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Live! BJP in talks with Kiran Bedi, could field her against Kejriwal

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March 02, 2014


22:27  BJP wants to field Kiran Bedi against Kejriwal:  The BJP is reportedly in talks with with former IPS officer and close aide of anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare, Kiran Bedi to contest on a BJP ticket.

Sources say that the BJP is trying to convince Bedi to take on former Delhi CM and Aam Aadmi Party's national convenor Arvind Kejriwal if he contests from Delhi, CNN-IBN reports.

21:11  Russia's actions declaration of war: Kiev:  Ukraine's new leaders accused neighbour Russia of declaring war, as Kiev mobilised troops and called up military reservists in a rapidly escalating crisis that has raised fears of a conflict, reports CNN.
20:54  Antony orders CBI probe into bribery charges in HAL deal:  A new potential scam has emerged with Defence Minister A K Antony ordering a CBI probe into allegations of bribery into a Rs 10,000 crore deal for supply of aircraft engines to state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited by London-based Rolls Royce company.

The deal relates to supply of engines for Hawk trainer and Jaguar figher aircraft between 2007 and 2011 and an internal probe by the vigilance wing of HAL has prima facie established the charges, highly-placed defence ministry sources told PTI.
20:52  Cabinet rejects ordinance route for anti-graft bills:  NDTV reports: The Cabinet today rejected the ordinance route for anti-corruption bills pushed by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi while clearing reservation for the Jat community and approving changes to the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill in a special meeting today.
20:41  Cabinet clears Jat reservation :  The Cabinet today cleared Jat reservation. It did not take up anti-corruption ordinances after President Pranab Mukherjee expressed his reservations.

A Cabinet briefing is expected shortly.
19:07  President reluctant to sign Rahul's anti-graft ordinances: Sources :  CNN-IBN reports: President Pranab Mukherjee has expressed his reluctance to sign all anti-graft ordinances and the Cabinet may clear one or two ordinances, said sources today.

The President has no objection to changes in the Prevention of Corruption Act, sources added. Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, Defence Minister AK Antony, Congress President Sonia Gandhi's political secretary Ahmed Patel met the President to decide on pushing through Rahul Gandhi's anti-graft bills via ordinance route.

Read the full report here
18:13  More flak for Russia's Vladimir Putin. "What Russia is doing now in Ukraine violates the principles of UN charter," NATO secretary general says. 
17:40  Lok Sabha polls likely in 7-phases, may commence from April 7:   PTI reports: Polling in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections is likely to commence in the second week of April and may be spread over seven phases, the longest so far, highly placed sources said today.  

The probable dates for the commencement of polling are between April 7 and 10, the sources in the Election Commission told PTI while emphasising that the poll schedule was still being "fine tuned".   

As of now, the plan is to have voting, involving over 81crore voters, in seven phases but efforts are on to reduce that to six phases. The 2009 polls were held in five phases from April 16 to May 13.   

The much-expected announcement of the schedule is expected in the middle of this week. The Model Code of Conduct for governments and political parties will come into force from the date of announcement. However, the Election Commission has ruled out advancing the schedule or compressing it to avoid the summer heat, a demand put forward at the all-party meeting convened by the commission last month.   

The term of the current Lok Sabha expires on June 1 and the new House has to be constituted by May 31.
17:34  The CPI-M today released its first list of 24 candidates for Lok Sabha polls.
17:19  Ukraine mobilises troops amid crisis with Russia:  CNN reports: Ukraine's shaky new government mobilised troops today even as the defence minister said Kiev stood no chance against Russian troops in a rapidly escalating crisis that has raised fears of war.

Urging Russian President Vladimir Putin to pull back its ministry, Ukranian leader said, "We are on a brink of disaster."

Russian generals led their troops to three bases in the Crimea region demanding Ukrainian forces surrender and hand over their weapons, Vladislav Seleznyov, spokesman for the Crimean media centre of the Ukrainian defence ministry told CNN
16:59  AAP's Manish Sisodia hints Kejriwal may contest from Varanasi:  Aam Aadmi Party leader Sanjay Singh today appealed to Arvind Kejriwal to contest against Narendra Modi.

AAP's Manish Sisodia indicates that Kejriwal might contest from Varanasi if the BJP PM hopeful contests from there.

Amid speculation, Kejriwal said that he will visit Gujarat from March 5 to 8 to have a look at the development that Modi claimed has taken place in the state:

A confident Kejriwal added, "The AAP will get 100 seats in Lok Sabha and next government will not be formed without AAP's support."
16:18  Paid polls projecting Modi's win: Kejriwal:   Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal addresses a rally in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. Attacking BJP PM candidate Narenra Modi, he said, "There is no Modi wave. It's a creation of the media. Paid opinion polls are projecting a win for Modi."

"We won 28 seats in Delhi not because there was a wave but because people were angry," he said.

He said the Congress and the BJP are both helping Mukesh Ambani. "Both Modi and Rahul are his agents."

He questioned why Oil Minister Veerappa Moily was challenging the FIR against Ambani.      
16:17  SP running a govt of guns and guns: Modi in Lucknow:   Attacking the Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh, Narendra Modi accused them of running a government of "goons and guns".

"You can't hear the strains of qawwali in Lucknow anymore; there is just the hustle-bustle of politics. What has happened to Uttar Pradesh? There are only goons and guns here and no music, Uttar Pradesh has become sewage," he said at a rally in Lucknow.
15:14  The CPI-M today opposed ordinance route for anti-graft bills, has written to President Pranab Mukherjee against it.
15:09  Modi hits back at Mulayama, says SP is 'Samaj Virodhi Party' :  BJP's PM nominee addresses his eight rally in Uttar Pradesh. Addressing the crowds at Lucknow's Ramabai Ambedkar he said, "Yesterday there was a hail storm  in many places...many farmers here have suffered heavy losses. In these difficult times, I stand by my farmer friends."

"In Uttar Pradesh, we have had eight rallies, each bigger than the last one...and today in Lucknow, I see a 'sea of saffron' BJP wave will turn into a tsunami by the time of elections.'

''SABKA vinash tai hain - S for Samajwadi Party, B for BSP and KA for Congress. The road to Delhi will go through Lucknow," he said.

Hitting back SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, Modi said, "He has accepted defeat in these elections. The SP is a 'Samaj Virodhi' party. UP has seen 150 riots in the past one year, Gujarat has been at peace for 10 years."      
14:22  BJP first kills Muslims, then seeks apology: Mulayam:  CNN-IBN reports: Continuing his attack on the BJP, SP chief said, "They first kill Muslims and then seek an apology. Narendra Modi's lies won't stand in front of the people of Uttar Pradesh."

"The SP is the only party that cares for Muslims," he added as he addressed the public gathered at a rally in Allahabad.        
14:05  Mulayam attacks Modi, says he presided over mass murders :  Attacking BJP's PM hopeful Narendra Modi over the 2002 riots, SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav said at a rally in Allahabad, "Modi must realise that Muslims were killed in Gujarat. He first presided over mass murders and then apologised."

"The BJP does not have candidates, they are taking Congress candidates at some place. The SP has real strength."

Mulayam's attack comes minutes before Modi's rally in Lucknow.     
13:57  IPL venue decision on Wednesday:  The suspense over the venues for this year's Indian Premier League is all set to end on March 5 when the BCCI will take a decision on the matter in a meeting here, Board vice-president Rajiv Shukla revealed today.

"The BCCI president has been authorised to take a decision," Shukla told reporters, adding that the matches may not be played in the country because of the general elections due in April-May.

The home ministry has already made it clear that in view of the Lok Sabha elections, providing security for IPL matches will not be possible for it.
13:26  BJP, DMDK likely to sign poll deal on Thursday:  DMDK leader Vijaykanth called up BJP chief Rajnath Singh from Singapore, where he is reportedly undergoing a medical treatment, reports our Delhi correspondent. 

The two discussed the possibility of an alliance for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. Another round of talks on the seat sharing will be held before the alliance is finalised on Thursday.

Singh wished Vijaykanth a speedy recovery.
13:16  2014 battle in UP: SP holds rally; Modi, Kejriwal to follow:  Narendra Modi, Arvind Kejriwal and Mulayam Singh will be holding rallies in Uttar Pradesh today, all within 200 km of each other.

The Samajwadi Party is the first to hold a rally in Allahabad.

Addressing the crowds Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav said, "There are many communal parties fighting elections. We have defeated communal parties at all front." 
13:03  Asia Cup: Pak wins toss, puts India to bat first:  Pakistan wins toss in its clash against India in the Asia Cup. It chooses to bowl first.

The game will be held in Dhaka.   
12:51  India, Pak officials to discuss cross-LoC trade issues on Tuesday:   Indian and Pakistani officials will meet in New Delhi on Tuesday to fine tune the mechanism for cross-Line of Control trade in Jammu and Kashmir, including urgent redressal of issues arising out of illegal practices.

The meeting comes against the backdrop of tension along the LoC after the arrest of a driver from Pakistan-occupied- Kashmir for allegedly smuggling 'brown sugar' worth Rs 100 crore on January 17.

That resulted in disruption of the trade between the two sides of Kashmir, which resumed only in the last week of February.

Following resumption of trade in Kashmir, the two sides had agreed to hold a joint working group meeting to make a holistic review of trade along the LoC.

In view of this, the two sides will be meeting on March 4 where Pakistani side will be represented by Director General (South Asia) Riffat Masood and Indian side will be headed by a Joint Secretary from the Ministry of External Affairs, official sources said.

Ahead of this meeting, internal deliberations were held with various stakeholders in LoC trade over the agenda for the meeting.
12:46  Ukraine crisis: In 90-min call, Obama urges Putin to recall troops:  United States President Barack Obama has told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that Russia has flouted international law by sending troops to Ukraine, reports BBC.

In a 90-minute telephone conversation, Obama urged the Russian leader to pull forces back to bases in Crimea.

Putin responded by saying that Moscow reserves the right to protect its interests and those of Russian speakers in Ukraine, the Kremlin said.

Read the full report here
12:39  Why special status only for Seemandhra, asks Nitish:  Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, who called for a bandh in the state today, to push for a special status tells NDTV: We have been demanding this (special status) for a long time. But instead of acting on it, the proposal has been put in cold storage. Seemandhra was given a special status within 24 hours without any demand, and there has been a deal between the Congress and BJP on for it. But why only Seemandhra? 
12:36  Modi's close ties to Amit Shah are proof of his dark side?:  Narendra Modi's key aide Amit Shah is charged with three counts of murder.

A key election campaign manager, to supporters, Shah's proven talent in winning elections makes him the obvious choice to run Modi's campaign in Uttar Pradesh, a swing state that holds the key to national power.

But for critics, Modi's ties to Shah are proof that there is a dark side to the Hindu nationalist leader now storming ahead in opinion polls on promises to sweep away corruption and economic mismanagement.

Read the full report here
12:31  Kapil bats for 'extremely patriotic' Subrata Roy :  Former Indian cricket captain Kapil Dev has expressed concern over the arrest of Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy and hoped that an "extremely patriotic person" like him will come out of this situation soon.

"In Bangladesh, I came to know though TV channels that Saharasri has surrendered and is in police custody. I have known him as an extremely patriotic man who has done so much for the country. I wish that he comes out of this situation soon," Kapil said in a letter addressed to the media.

Roy was arrested on Friday by Uttar Pradesh police after non-bailable warrant was issued by the Supreme Court for his failure to appear before it in a case of non-refund of Rs 20,000 crore to investors.

He would be produced before the apex court on March 4. Roy has been kept at Kukrail guest house in Lucknow following court orders.
12:03  Nitish joins protest for special status, marches from his home to Gandhi Maidan:  Bihar CM Nitish Kumar marches from his residence to Gandhi Maidan in Patna as part of protest demanding special status for Bihar.

"Special status for Bihar is a legitimate call. Bihar has the right to develop and should get special status." 
11:48  Dr Singh to leave for Myanmar tomorrow; his last trip as PM:   Prime Minister Manmohan Singh leaves for Myanmar tomorrow to attend the BIMSTEC Summit where he is expected to make a strong pitch for giving a fillip to India's Look East policy and explore ways to enhance connectivity, transport, trade, tourism and other linkages to all the northeastern states.

In what could be his last foreign trip as PM in this tenure, Dr Singh is likely to use his two-day visit to renew contacts with leaders of the seven-member Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) which will hold its summit on March 4 in Myanmar capital Nay Pyi Taw.

BIMSTEC is an expression of India's Look East Policy of the 1990s, coinciding with Thailand's Look West Policy.

The seven members-- India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, Bhutan and Nepal-- bring together over 20 per cent of the world population, which is about 1.5 billion, and a GDP of over USD 2.5 trillion.
11:45  Delhi: Brother-in-law allegedly rapes 13-year-old, girl gets pregnant:  A 13-year-old girl got pregnant after allegedly being raped repeatedly by her brother-in-law, who is a PhD scholar in Jawahar Lal Nehru University and lives in South Delhi's Vasant Vihar area, police said.

The accused has been arrested after a case was registered against him under POCSO Act and section 376 of IPC, they said.

The victim was sent to Delhi to stay with the accused so that she can study. She lived with him in a rented accommodation in Munirka Village area and studied in Class 8, they said.
11:36  Bihar bandh for special status: Road, rail traffic hit:  NDTV reports: Workers of the Janata Dal-United disrupted train services and blocked roads at many places in Bihar today to enforce a shutdown to press for a special status for the state.

JD-U supporters halted over half a dozen long-distance trains, and as a result, passengers were stranded at Patna, Gaya, Jehanabad, Bhagalpur, Nalanda and Darbhanga railway stations, the police said.

Buses, trucks and other vehicles kept off the roads.

The special status for the Seemandhra region prompted Bihar CM Nitish Kumar to call for a shutdown today.
00:31  UNSC calls emergency talks on Crimea:  
The UN Security Council will meet today for a second round of emergency consultations, officials said, after Russia's parliament approved the deployment of troops to Ukraine. 

The president of the Security Council, currently Luxembourg, invited members to "informal consultations" at 1900 GMT, a statement said. 

The announcement came just hours after Russian leader Vladimir Putin won approval from lawmakers to send Russian troops into Ukrainian territory. 

Britain's ambassador, Mark Lyall Grant, tweeted that the meeting was called at London's request. 

The UN envoy to Ukraine, Robert Serry, announced earlier that he was leaving the country because it was impossible to visit Crimea as requested by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. 

Ban ordered Serry to visit the Crimea in a bid to de-escalate tensions after an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council yesterday.

00:29  UP: Boat capsize on Mahona river, 12 feared drown:  
Twelve people, including three children, were feared drowned when the boat in which they were crossing the Mahona river capsized near Elona Ghat in Tikuniya police station area late Saturday evening. 

According to eyewitnesses, about 12 people were feared drowned as the boat capsized in the main stream of the river.

Confirming the accident, Sub-Divisional Magistrate D P Pal said detail of the suspected victims were not known. 
00:25  China: 27 killed, 109 hurt in 'terror attack' in Kunming city:  
Twenty-seven people were killed and 109 others injured in a "violent terrorist attack" when a group of unidentified men armed with knives attacked a railway station in China's southwestern Kunming city today. 

A group of unknown knife-wielding men attacked the Kunming Railway Station in the capital city of southwestern China's Yunnan province at around 9 pm (local time), causing death and injuries, city police said without providing the identity of the attackers. 

"It was an organised, premeditated violent terrorist attack," state-run Xinhua news agency reported confirming that 27 people were killed and 109 injured in the incident which is the biggest terrorist attack outside the restive northwestern Xinjiang province. 

The agency reported that several suspects have been "controlled", while police are still investigating people in the station.

Local television station K6 said police shot dead a number of the perpetrators at the train station.
00:22  Top headlines at this hour::  Modi's Lucknow rally on Sunday will be historic: Amit Shah

RAW official and his family found dead in South Delhi flat

Wendy Doniger is now under attack for 'On Hinduism' 

Former BJP President Bangaru Laxman dead

Afghanistan thrash Bangladesh by 32 runs

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