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LIVE! 'Aam aadmi' Kejriwal travels by chartered plane, triggers row

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March 07, 2014

22:35  Congress waging scandalous campaign against RSS: BJP :  The BJP today came in support of the RSS for filing a complaint against Rahul Gandhi for his remarks that the Sangh was behind the killing of Mahatma Gandhi and accused the Congress of "persistently continuing its scandalous campaign".        

Former BJP chief M Venakaih Naidu said the Congress was saying such things to divert the attention of people from the scams and scandals by them and indulge in "dirty propaganda" instead.        

"I am happy that the RSS has decided to initiate legal action against the Congress party and its leaders for the slanderous campaign linking RSS with the murder of Mahatma Gandhi. All inquiry commissions have absolved the RSS of any role in this heinous act. Still the Congress leaders have been persistently continuing their scandalous campaign," he said.  
22:24  Poll code to delay spectrum trading: Montek:  Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia today said operationalisation of the Model Code of Conduct would delay spectrum sharing and trading by three to four months though the government had in principle approved the concept.        

"The government has accepted that spectrum trading is good thing. I believe TRAI has put some guidelines. The Telecom Commission is yet to pronounce its verdict on it. This might get delayed because the Model Code of Conduct is in place by 3-4 months," he said while speaking at a seminar on the telecom sector.
22:22  AAP is trying to attract cheap publicity: BJP :  Hitting back at the Aam Aadmi Party after its leader Arvind Kejriwal attacked Narendra Modi for not meeting him, the BJP today dubbed it as an attempt to get "cheap publicity".        

Briefing reporters at a press conference, senior BJP leader Venkiah Naidu said AAP was not their rival at the national level.        

"We do not take the AAP seriously at the national level because we know the ground reality. It has no grass-root level support in the country as such. Our rival is the ruling Congress party," he said.        

Alleging that the AAP was indulging in tactics to divert attention, Naidu said the "fledgling party" is losing popularity.
22:06  Italian marines won't be tried under anti-piracy law:  The home ministry today withdrew the sanction given to the National Investigation Agency to prosecute two Italian marines, accused of killing Kerala fishermen, under an anti-piracy law.

The sanction given to NIA to prosecute the two marines under Suppression of Unlawful Acts against Safety of Maritime Navigation And Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf Act has been withdrawn, a home ministry official has said.        

The move came after the Attorney General assured the Supreme Court that SUA will not be applied in the case against the two marines who have been accused of killing the two fishermen two years ago.
21:26  Jim Crace, Pankaj Mishra win $150,000 prize:  Eight authors from seven countries are the recipients of this year's Windham Campbell Literature Prizes.

The winners will get $150,000 each to recognise their achievements and to support their work.

British author Jim Crace and Pankaj Mishra, author of From the Ruins of Empire, are among the winners.

Click here to read more
21:23  CCI gives nod to Rs 870 cr Thomas Cook-Sterling Holiday deal :  The Rs 870 crore-deal involving the merger of Sterling Holiday Resorts with travel firm Thomas Cook (India) has received the Competition Commission's approval. 

Approving the multi-structured deal, fair trade regulator CCI said the deal is not likely to have an adverse impact on competition in the country.        

Under the deal, Chennai-based Sterling Holiday Resorts' (India) resorts and some other business would be transferred to Thomas Cook Insurance Services, a subsidiary of Thomas Cook (India). Further, Thomas Cook would issue certain equity shares of the subsidiary to Sterling Holiday's shareholders.
21:20  EC sends poll dates to govt; law ministry upset at delay :  The Election Commission today sent the mandatory recommendation for notifying the Lok Sabha poll dates to the Union law ministry, but the latter is reportedly upset over the "delay" that took place in this process.        

The recommendation was sent by the EC three days after it announced the schedule for the nine-phase polls beginning on April 7.      

Under Section 14 of the Representation of the People Act, the EC sends its recommendation to the government which requests the President to clear the notification of poll dates.
21:19  17 TN fishermen repatriated from Lanka:  Seventeen Tamil Nadu fishermen were today repatriated from Sri Lanka, a day after Chief Minister Jayalalithaa slammed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over the continued detention of Indian fishermen by Lankan Navy.        

The fishermen were handed over to the Coast Guard by the Sri Lankan Navy at the Indo-Lankan International Maritime Boundary Line, an official release said.
21:03  'Aam aadmi' Kejriwal travels by chartered plane, triggers row:  Arvind Kejriwal, who has been attacking major political leaders for using chartered aircraft of corporates, today created a flutter by himself travelling in such an aircraft from Jaipur to Delhi        

"As another plane was not available, I took the chartered plane. India Today group has invited me. They bore the cost of the chartered plane," the former Delhi chief minister said. 

Later, Kejriwal tweeted, "I would urge  (Narendra) Modiji and Rahul Gandhiji also to disclose whose planes they are using and who pays for them".
20:57  Pakistan warns Taliban of full-scale military operation:  Pakistan's defence minister today warned the Pakistani Taliban that the government would be compelled to launch a full-scale military operation if the banned militant group violates the ceasefire.        

Khawaja Asif's warning came amid reports that the army has decided to continue with targeted air strikes.
20:55  Shinde writes fresh letter to CMs on terror-related cases:  Ahead of Lok Sabha polls, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde has written a letter to all chief ministers to set up a multi-disciplinary committee to review all criminal cases where an accused is waiting for trial for a long time or has been allegedly wrongfully arrested.    

In a letter written in February, Shinde told the chief ministers to ensure a review through a multi-disciplinary committee each case where the accused is in jail for a long time without a trial or allegedly arrested wrongly.     

The move came after two earlier letters written by the home minister to chief ministers to set up screening or advisory committees to review cases of minority youths languishing in jails.
20:53  Yasin Malik, supporters detained in Kashmir:  JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik and his supporters were today detained while trying to take out a march to condemn the action taken against Kashmiri students in Meerut for allegedly cheering Pakistan when their team won a match against India.        

Malik and over a dozen of his party colleagues were detained at Budshah Chowk in the heart of Srinagar when they tried to proceed to Lal Chowk from the nearby Maisuma headquarters shortly after Friday prayers.
20:25  BJP leaders meet Raj Thackeray again:  The tension within the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance is likely to escalate further as the BJP today sought the MNS's support for the biennial elections to the Maharashtra Legislative Council, slated for March 20.     

Senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari's recent meeting with MNS president Raj Thackeray had created a stir in political circles, with Shiv Sena registering a strong protest.     

Today, state BJP leader Vinod Tawde and Mumbai BJP chief Ashish Shelar met Raj at his residence in Dadar in central Mumbai.  
19:50  Police have found nothing against me: Shazia Ilmi:  Onkar Singh reports: AAP leader Shazia Ilmi, who was questioned along with fellow party leader Ashutosh over the violent protests outside the BJP headquarters in Delhi, claimed that police have found no evidence against her. 

"For two days, they checked and rechecked my movements and found nothing against me," Shazia said.  

"They could not press charges as they found my statement to be true. No television footage showed me indulging in activities that amounted to instigating AAP workers to attack the BJP office," she said. 
19:45  BJP demands Antony's resignation:  Training its guns on the government for the latest mishap involving a naval warship, the BJP today demanded the resignation of Defence Minister A K Antony, holding him responsible for the incident and the neglect of the Indian Navy.        

The principal Opposition party asked the President, as Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, to initiate a detailed investigation into this "mess" and said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh owes an explanation over the accidents.        

BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar accused the Congress-led UPA government of indulging in scams and jeopardising the country's defence preparedness by not focusing on the needs of the armed forces and stalling the procurement process.
19:43  India's mission 200 days away from Mars:  India's ambitious maiden inter-planetary voyage Mars Orbiter Mission, launched in November last year, has covered over 21 million km and as of today is exactly 200 days away from reaching the red planet's orbit on September 24.   

The MOM probe was travelling with a helio-centric velocity of 29 km per second and radio signals sent from ISRO Telemetry, Tracking and Command Network ground stations near Bangalore takes 142 seconds to reach the spacecraft and return, ISRO said.        

"If everything goes as planned, MOM will get inserted into its Martian orbit around, exactly after 200 days from today," the space agency said in a posting on its social networking site Facebook.
19:40  Backed by Hazare, Mamata to try luck in all seats in Delhi :  Buoyed by Anna Hazare's support, Mamata Banerjee will field candidates in all seven constituencies of Delhi during the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.       

In the process, Hazare will be indirectly taking on his estranged prodigy Arvind Kejriwal, whose Aam Aadmi Party bagged 27 out of 70 seats in the assembly polls.    

The list of Trinamool Congress candidates would be announced jointly by Banerjee and Hazare at the jantantra rally at the Ramlila ground on March 12, Trinamool's Rajya Sabha member Shukhendu Sekhar Roy said today.     

The candidates will be selected together by Banerjee and Hazare from around 300 aspirants, he said.
19:37  RSS files complaint with EC against Rahul Gandhi:  The RSS has filed a complaint with the Karnataka Election Commission against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for linking it with the killing of Mahatma Gandhi.    

The complaint was filed with the Karnataka Chief Electoral Officer by RSS spokesman Ram Madhav.
19:03  No permanent enemy, friend in politics: SC:  The formation of Aam Aadmi Party Government with the support of Congress which joined hands with BJP in opposing Arvind Kejriwal regime on Jan Lokpal Bill demonstrates that there is no permanent enemy or friend in politics, the Supreme Court observed today. 

"In India the situation can change. The same party can support and the same party can oppose," a bench comprising justices R M Lodha and N V Ramana said during the hearing on the petition by AAP challenging the imposition of President's Rule in Delhi.
18:49  Russia welcomes Crimea despite Western sanctions:  Top Russian lawmakers today welcomed the prospect of Crimea joining the country, despite stiffening sanctions on Moscow over the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War. 

The heads of Russia's two houses of parliament said they would respect a decision by lawmakers in Ukraine's majority-Russian peninsula to renounce ties with Kiev and stage a March 16 referendum on switching over to Kremlin rule.
18:47  1 killed, 12 missing in China chemical plant explosion:  One person was killed and 12 others went missing after an explosion at a chemical plant in northern China today. The blast took place around 11.25 am at the chemical plant in Hebei province. 

Thirteen people were working inside the plant at the time of the blast, State-run Xinhua news agency reported.
18:36  LIVE! LS polls: Centre ups security ahead of expected Naxal strikes :   Ahead of Lok Sabha polls, the Centre today reviewed the security situation in Naxal-affected states and directed security forces to foil any attempt by the rebels to disrupt the election process.

A high-level meeting, chaired by Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth, took stock of the current Left Wing Extremism situation and discussed threadbare the status of action taken to maintain law and order and progress of the development activities, official sources said today.

An advisory has already been sent to Bihar, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh to tighten vigil in view of intelligence reports which suggested Naxals would try to carry out subversive attacks in the run up to Lok Sabha polls.
18:32  HC allows RInfra to amend defamation suit against AAP:   The Bombay High court today allowed Reliance Infrastructure (RInfra) to amend the Rs 100 crore defamation suit filed by it against Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which alleged that the company was overcharging consumers in collusion with Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission.
17:56  Nepali gay rights activist nominated for Nobel Peace Prize:  Nepal's most prominent crusader for equal rights to sexual minorities, Sunil Babu Pant, is among the record 278 nominees for this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

Pant, a former MP and Nepal's first openly gay politician, is one of the several gay rights activists and organizations nominated alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin who is known for his anti-gay stance.
17:52  Tarun Tejpal bail petition hearing adjourned to March 12:  Hearing on the bail plea of Tehelka magazine's founder editor Tarun Tejpal, charged with rape and sexual assault of a junior journalist colleague in November last year, was adjourned today till March 12 by the Bombay High Court.

After hearing arguments in-camera by prosecution and defence counsels, the Goa bench of the Bombay High Court deferred hearing on the bail plea till March 12. Tejpal, currently lodged in the Sada sub-jail, was present in the court during the hearing.

Tejpal was last month charged by Goa police with rape, sexual harassment and outraging the modesty of a junior colleague, 80 days after his arrest.
17:50  Purandeswari meets Advani, likely to join BJP:   Former Union minister D Purandeswari today met senior BJP leader LK Advani, amid indications that she would join the principal opposition party shortly.

BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu said Purandeswari, who is the daughter of TDP founder late N T Rama Rao, met Advani to seek his blessings.

However, Purandeswari, who was elected on a Congress ticket from Visakhapatnam in Seemandhra region, did not take any questions from the media after the meeting.

The former minister had yesterday said the situation was such that a painful decision has to be taken. Though she claimed there would not be any conditions from her side, Purandeswari said that she wished to contest from the Visakhapatnam Lok Sabha constituency.
17:37  10 movies that were better than 12 years a slave:   If you thought 12 Years a Slave was the best movie of the year, you've probably not watched these films. Read
17:18  LIVE! Kejriwal: I'm not a terrorist, Modi could have at least served me tea :  Arvind Kejriwal tells the press after he was refused to permission to meet Narendra Modi without an appointment, that Modi could at least have asked his men to serve him tea. "I'm not a terrorist. His men could have served us tea. Why is Modi so afraid to meet me?" asked Kejriwal.

While on tea, read this: When Modi served vision, not vitriol, in cups of tea
17:00  No pressure to name Shah in Ishrat charge sheet: CBI:  CBI Director Ranjit Sinha today said there was no pressure on him to implicate former Gujarat home minister Amit Shah in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case and the agency has filed the charge sheet on the basis of evidence which could withstand legal scrutiny.

"There are always perceptions. We also hear. We have to go by the evidence that we have. After all I cannot invent evidence. We have to find evidence and assess whether it is fit to file the charge sheet," Sinha said at a function. Sinha said the issue was also raised whether they were terrorists or not.
16:54  Malaysian opposition leader Anwar convicted of sodomy:  A court today convicted Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim of sodomy, overturning his 2012 acquittal in the case, in a fresh setback to the political stalwart. A three-man panel of the Court of Appeal unanimously found Anwar guilty of sodomising his former aide Saiful Bukhari Azlan in June, 2008.
16:49  Agatha Sangma, PA Sangma meet Rajnath Singh :  In the run-up to Lok Sabha elections, Nationalist Congress Party MP Agatha K Sangma and National People's Party (NPP) national president PA Sangma on Friday met BJP president Rajnath Singh here.

The BJP had fielded PA Sangma as its contestant for the 2012 Presidential Elections.

The Lok Sabha election dates for the two reserved seats of Shillong and Tura in Meghalaya has been fixed on April 09.
16:46  Delhi Police accuses AAP workers of indulging in riotous acts:   Delhi police has accused the Aam Aadmi Party protestors of indulging in "riotous acts and using criminal force" to prevent the police from discharging their duty over Wednesday's protest which turned violent outside BJP headquarters in the capital.

According to the report submitted by the police, sub inspector Sunil Kumar along with force from Parliament street police station reached at BJP headquarters and found that around 50 AAP activists had assembled.

He tried to persuade and pacify the protestors to go back but the crowd continued shouting slogans and in a short duration, the number AAP protestors swelled to 150-200, said the report.
16:43  Just in: Agatha Sangma and her father PA Sangma meet BJP president Rajnath Singh at his residence.
16:35  In other news: Why India's landmark education law is shutting down schools. Read
16:24  Nitin Gokhale tweets: Inhalation of carbon-di-oxide beyond permissible limits killed the commander is what preliminary reports say.

Just last week, two sailors died and seven members of the 94-strong crew were evacuated after inhaling smoke aboard the submarine INS Sindhuratna. After the mishap, Admiral D K Joshi resigned as Navy Chief taking 'moral responsibility'.
16:20  Two naval officers affected by gas leak, one commanding officer dead :  The INS Kolkata was due to be commissioned this month and is India's most advanced naval destroyer. Early reports say two naval officers have been affected due to the gas leak. 
16:04  LIVE! Officer killed in explosion on board INS Kolkata at Mazgaon dock:   Yet another naval accident...

A naval officer has been killed in an accident on board an operational warship. Sources said a commander rank officer of the Kolkata class destroyer was killed around 1pm on Friday in the accident.

Sources said he was killed because of possible malfunctioning of the firefighting system in the engine room of the destroyer.

The valve on top of the cardon-dioxide cylinder burst, hitting the officer on his chest, and he collapsed. The leaking CO2 would have further added to the confusion, it is believed. Read more
15:48  LIVE! RSS: Modi is a strong leader, proud he was a swayamsevak :  RSS' top policy making body today began its three-day session here with the Sangh Parivar fountainhead describing BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi as a "strong leader" and saying it was proud of his "swayamsevak" background.

"Modi is a strong leader. He is a swayamsevak himself and we are proud of it. The country wants a change. He has proved his worth in Gujarat," RSS Joint General Secretary Dattatreya Hosabale told reporters after the inauguration of the RSS' Akhil Bharateeya Pratinidhi Sabha meeting in Bangalore.

Hosabale said Ram Mandir is not on the agenda for this meeting but it is an issue for RSS among other crucial problems facing the country. "No, this time we do not have any such (Ram Mandir) proposal for discussions in the meeting because there is no government to implement it," he said.
15:46  Delhi assembly under suspended animation: SC seeks BJP, Cong view:  The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the BJP and Congress to know their position on the presidential order for keeping Delhi assembly under suspended animation.

"What is worrying is keeping the assembly under suspended animation for a year may be harmful for democracy," the apex court said.

The Centre on Thursday had justified before the Supreme Court that its decision not to dissolve the Delhi assembly after the resignation of Arvind Kejriwal as chief minister was taken in "public interest" as there was a possibility of BJP staking claim to form a government.
15:43  FDA surprise visit in Ranbaxy India plant finds 'flies too numerous to count':  In January, FDA inspectors paid a surprise visit to the Ranbaxy facility in Toansa, in a rural area north of New Delhi, and found broken equipment, windows stuck open and flies "too numerous to count," according to the FDA's report of its inspection. Workers ran quality tests over and over until they got the results they wanted, the FDA noted. Read
15:39  What Arvind Kejriwal has accomplished in Gujarat:  That Arvind Kejriwal, though un-schooled, has an intuitive grasp of the media is not in doubt.

He has proven that he knows how to focus media attention on himself and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

But he has also demonstrated  an uncanny ability to take up issues which capture  the imagination of vast swathes of the population, and strike a chord across castes and communities and social strata.

Read AAP member Capt Gopinath's blog here.
15:26  China anger at Dalai Lama's US Congress meeting, prayers chanted at opening:  China expressed anger today over the Dalai Lama's meeting with US congressional leaders, urging Washington to "stop conniving" with the man it brands a separatist working under the "cloak of religion". The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader on Thursday delivered the customary prayer that opens each Senate session, after meeting President Barack Obama at the White House last month, a move that raised the ire of Beijing.

Also read: In a first for the US Senate, the Dalai Lama gives the opening prayer
15:22  Hailstorm in Maharashtra destroys standing crops :  Heavy rains accompanied by hailstorms had claimed lives of at least two people in Maharashtra. Hailstorms in Gherbi village in Solapur district also caused huge damage to property. Heavy rainfall has been reported in parts of Solapur, Sangli, Aurangabad, Beed, Latur, Parbhani and Nagpur. Standing crops were destroyed as a result of this hailstorm.

Here's a picture Riteish Deshmukh tweeted of hail in Latur. His father, former Maharashtra CM, the late Vilasrao Deshmukh was from Latur.
15:10  A tragic end to storytelling :  The TTP prepared a "media hit-list' which includes the names of journalists, media-group owners, the news heads of television channels and prominent anchors. Read
15:07  Also read: World's Biggest Arms Importer, India Wants to Buy Local.
15:06   SC agrees to examine Telangana issue, notice to Centre:   Bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh to create Telangana today came under judicial scrutiny with the Supreme Court agreeing to examine it and sought response from the Centre. A bench headed by Justice H L Dattu issued notice to the Centre on a batch of petitions filed by several people, including former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Reddy, challenging bifurcation of the State.
14:23  Subrata Roy to spend weekend in jail, SC rejects Sahara's 'insulting' repayment plan:  So it's the weekend in jail for Subrata Roy. The Supreme Court on Friday rejected Sahara Group's proposal to return debenture money to the investors stating that the proposal is an insult to it. The company had proposed to deposit Rs 2,500 crore within three days and rest of the amount in instalments after every three months over one-and-half years.

SC permitted Sahara laywers to meet Subrata Roy in jail. 

Sahara Group had also pleaded today that Roy and other two directors be released from custody to raise the amount. The apex court will hear Roy's bail plea on Tuesday.

Agreeing to assemble the special bench today to hear Sahara's plea, the Supreme court, had said that the first instalment "looks attractive". However SEBI oppossed Sahara's proposal, saying the group intends to pay Rs 17,000 cr but the total due amount is Rs 37,000 cr.

The apex court had on March 04 asked the Sahara group to come up with a proposal to repay the money it owes to its investors.
14:16  Arvind Kejriwal's 16 questions for Narendra Modi:   These are the 16 questions that Arvind Kejriwal wanted Narendra Modi to answer. The former Delhi CM, however, never got around to meeting the BJP PM candidate since he wrongly assumed he could elbow his way in to Modi's home without an appointment. Sent off packing, the questions have now been mailed to the media.  Read
14:01  SC agrees to examine Telangana issue, notice to Centre:   Bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh to create Telangana today came under judicial scrutiny with the Supreme Court agreeing to examine it and sought response from the Centre. A bench headed by Justice H L Dattu issued notice to the Centre on a batch of petitions filed by several people, including former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Reddy, challenging bifurcation of the State.
13:51  RSS to initiate legal action against Rahul Gandhi:  Irked by Rahul Gandhi's remark accusing "RSS people" of having killed Mahatma Gandhi, the Sangh has decided to initiate legal action against him and lodge a complaint with the Election Commission.

"Legal action will be initiated against Rahul Gandhi for his irresponsible utterances linking RSS with Gandhi's murder. Complaint will be filed with EC too," RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav said twitter.
13:46  'We just helped Hafiz Saeed sharpen his attack on India':  Security experts and Intelligence agencies say the decision of the Uttar Pradesh police to slap sedition charges against 67 Kashmiri students of a Meerut college was stupid. Vicky Nanjappa reports.
13:21  'We expect a zero error election; 100% successful to the last booth':  "In the Uttar Pradesh election last time, there were four presiding officers who had a heart attack on the day of the poll. It is a high pressure job and we must compliment our bureaucracy," says former Chief Election Commissioner S Y Quraishi who headed the Election Commission in the 2009 general election. Read the interview on
13:17  LIVE! Abki Baar, Modi Sarkar: BJP officially launches 2014 poll campaign:  And on that note, BJP officially launches it's 2014 Lok Sabha poll campaign. The campaign slogan is: Abki Baar, Modi Sarkar. A slight tweaking of the 1998 slogan for then PM candidate Atal Bihari Vajpayee was: Abki Baari, Atal Bihari. 
13:14  Narendra Modi: India's saviour or its worst nightmare?:  India goes to the polls next month to elect a new prime minister. The BJP candidate, and frontrunner, Narendra Modi, is seen by supporters as a dynamic man of the people. Opponents say he is little more than a rabid nationalist. What would his victory mean? Read Jason Burke's report for the Guardian.
12:53  The Congress is now unable to judge what is indiscreet :  "Like many other liberal-minded individuals in the country, I dread the genuine prospect of Narendra Modi's taking over as the nation's prime minister in a few months from now. The sordid details of the planned killings of members of the minority community under his auspices, which had immediately leaked out, shocked the country and the rest of the world."

Read the opinion piece on the Telegraph. 
12:44  Modi busy for next 2-3 days, Kejriwal refused appointment :   So, Arvind Kejriwal has been refused an appointment with Narendra Modi. The former Delhi CM and AAP chief is now on his way to Ahmedabad airport. Modi is apparently busy for the next two to three days. BJP workers wave black flags at Kejriwal's convoy.
12:41  Who said what on Kejriwal in Gujarat:  Manish Sisodia tweets: Met the PS, gave him request for appointment. He says Modi ji will decide and we would be informed soon.

Arun Jaitley tweets: AAP's Politics now includes the Right to gate crash, the right to a violent protest and the Right to take liberties with the truth.
12:35  LIVE! Mamata: Jaya can be PM candidate of Federal Front :  So, what's brewing between Mamata and Jaya? The West Bengal CM has told TV channels that she wants J Jayalalithaa to be part of the Federal Front. Jaya it seems has also called up Mamata to wish her for polls. Mamata had also said she would like to see Jaya as the PM candidate.

This comes a day after Jaya broke off ties with the Left.
12:31  Kejriwal: Heard that Modi does not have the time to meet me:  Kejriwal tells the media, that he's heard that Narendra Modi does not have the time to meet him.

The BJP says it would be too much to expect basic courtesy (calling the Gujarat CM and asking for an appointment) from a man who calls himself an anarchist.
12:21  SEBI nixes Sahara proposal to pay 'substantial amount' to depositors:  Just in: SEBI has opposed Sahara's proposal, saying that while the group intends to pay Rs 17,000 cr, the total due amount is Rs 37,000 cr.   

Earlier, Sahara had assured the SC that it would deposit a "substantial amount"out of Rs 20,000 crore of investors' money this month and the rest later.

Sahara proposed to deposit Rs 2,500 crore within three days and rest of the amount in instalments after every three months. The Sahara Group lawyers pleaded that Roy and other two directors be released from custody to raise the amount.
12:06  LIVE! Where's the appointment? Cops stop Kejriwal en route to Modi's house:   Imran Khan, Tehreek-e-Insaaf chief and former cricketer tweets: Surprised at unsporting intolerant behaviour of an Indian Uni, expelling Kashmiri students 4 celebrating Team Pakistan's win over India.

The 67 Kashmiri students from Swami Vivekanand Subharti University in Meerut who had cheered Pakistan when that country's cricket team beat India in the Asia Cup match last on Sunday were hit with sedition charges under sections 124A, 153 and 427 of the IPC but freed from it later as withering criticism of the police move forced the Uttar Pradesh government to intervene in the matter.
11:58  BJP: Why didn't Kejriwal take an appointment with Modi:  The BJP wants to know why Arvind Kejriwal did not seek an appointment with the Narendra Modi, instead of unilaterally announcing it to the media.

AAP leader Manish Sisodia says he will try and get permission now.

Seemingly, AAP doesn't seem to have heard of protocol.
11:48  Police stop Kejriwal's convoy on the way to Modi's residence:  So, as expected, no meeting between Arvind Kejriwal and Narendra Modi. Kejriwal's convoy was stopped at Gandhinagar while he was on his way to Modi's residence. Kejriwal has not been detained, but the police want to know if he has an appointment with Modi and whether he has the requisite permission through pass through the area. 

Incidentally, not once, during any of his numerous rallies across the country, has Narendra Modi ever mentioned Arvind Kejriwal by name.  
11:44  Didi smells chance in Amma split:  Mamata Banerjee has grabbed an opportunity thrown up by Prakash Karat and Jayalalithaa to widen her options on friends outside Bengal -- an art in which the Left had initially stolen a march over the Trinamool Congress.

Mamata today suggested she was not averse to supporting Jayalalithaa for Prime Minister if the conditions of "good governance, good government and pro-people government' were met. Read more
11:38  Lalu gives Misa the seat he lost, Rabri the one he won :  Lalu Prasad, who pushed through the cheekiest succession act in India by hoisting his wife on the chief minister's chair, has now fielded daughter Misa Bharati as a Lok Sabha candidate in Bihar.

Misa, the eldest of Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi's children and named after a draconian Emergency-time law under which the RJD chief was imprisoned by the Indira Gandhi regime, will contest from Pataliputra, a seat on the outskirts of Patna, which he had lost from in 2009.  Read
11:30  The striking similarities of Modi and Indira's politics:  "Narendra Modi today claims to derive inspiration from Sardar Patel and Swami Vivekananda even if his original icon was the long-serving RSS chief, Guru Golwalkar. Patel and Vivekananda are natural choices for the BJP's prime ministerial candidate: with Patel, there is the instant strongman from Gujarat connect while Vivekananda gives him the image of an "inclusive" Hindu nationalist.

The truth is, Modi's real role model in the 2014 election is someone very different: the former prime minister, Indira Gandhi."

That's Rajdeep Sardesai's blog today. Read more
11:28  LIVE! Kejriwal heads to Modi's house armed with 16 questions:   On the Day 3 of Arvind Kejriwal's veni, vidi not-quite-vici tour of Gujarat, the Aam Aadmi Party chief says he wants to meet Narendra Modi to discuss what he saw in Gujarat over the last two days.  

Kejriwal says everyone had heard about the development stories of Modi's Gujarat, but they have been found to be false. "We will meet Modi to discuss what we have seen in Gujarat. We have found that many claims made by Modi in his speeches are false," Kejriwal said today.

It is still unclear whether Modi has agreed to meet Kejriwal, but the former Delhi CM will be heading towards Modi's house anyway. He said he had written to Modi a fortnight ago, but Modi has not replied. Kejriwal has a 16-point questionnaire of sorts with him. The questions are on issues that the AAP has raised earlier, including the funding of the BJP in Gujarat and the pricing of the gas extracted from the K3G basin.

Yesterday, the AAP chief was booked by the police after he used loudspeakers and microphones in Gandhidham in Kutch allegedly without permission. An FIR has been lodged against Kejriwal and five others.
10:52  Will Sahara find exit route for jailed Subrata Roy?:  In court on Tuesday, Sahara lawyers offered to give bank guarantees for  Rs 22,500 crore within three to six months, but the court rejected the proposal and asked Sahara to come up with a "concrete" plan, according to two lawyers who were at the hearing.

Sahara also proposed that the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) begin selling Sahara properties to which it holds title until it comes up with the bank guarantee. SEBI has argued that it does not have the needed paperwork for some Sahara properties and disputed the valuation of some of them.
10:49  SEBI to examine Sahara's proposal of time-bound installments at 11:30 am today :  Sahara lawyers have moved the Supreme Court. The lawyers tell the Supreme Court that they want to make the payments in installments a time-bound manner. Sahara wants an early hearing in the case. The SC has asked the SEBI to look at the proposal and get back to them by 11:30 am today.
10:22  Sindhuratna mishap due to human error: Sources:  A probe in the accident of Indian Navy ship INS Sindhuratna says it was caused due to human error, reports CNN-IBN.

The inquiry report mentions deviation from standard operating procedures, sources said.

Last week, navy chief Admiral Devender Kumar Joshi resigned owning "moral responsibility" for warship and submarine accidents over the last six months, after the latest mishap on board submarine INS Sindhuratna off Mumbai.

The fire in the submarine caused due to problems in the cables left two officers feared dead and seven sailors injured.

10:11  Former foreign secretary Jagat Singh Mehta dies :  Former foreign secretary Jagat Singh Mehta died in Udaipur following age-related ailments.

Ninety-two-year-old Mehta was ailing for sometime and passed away at his residence yesterday. He served as foreign secretary between 1976 and 1979.

Born in 1922 to Mohan Singh Mehta, a member of the Constituent Assembly of India in 1947, Mehta was educated at Allahabad and Cambridge Universities.

He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 2002.
10:00  Rupee strengthens to 60.95 per dollar, hits new 3-month high:  The rupee hit a new three-month high today after strengthening below the key 61 per dollar mark for the first time since December 10 last  year.
09:41  Markets open at record high, Sensex touches 21685.80 :  The markets today opened at a record high with the Sensex at 21685.80 and Nifty at 6452.95.

Yesterday, the Sensex has made two records. It hit a fresh intraday high of 21,525; and ended the day at all-time closing high of 21,513.87; up 237.01 points, or 1.11 per cent.

The Nifty closed the day at 6,401.15, up 72.50 points, or 1.15 per cent.

According to analysts, global cues and opinion polls on which party will come to power after the 16th Lok Sabha General Elections would be the driving force for the Indian equities, reports The Economic Times.

According to analysts, global cues and opinion polls on which party will come to power after the 16th Lok Sabha General Elections would be the driving force for the Indian equities.

The Sensex has made two records today. It hit a fresh intraday high of 21,525; and ended the day at all-time closing high of 21,513.87; up 237.01 points, or 1.11%.

The Nifty closed the day at 6,401.15, up 72.50 points, or 1.15%.

09:28  After Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia's car allegedly attacked in Gujarat:  After Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal, AAP leader Manish Sisodia's car also came under attack in Gujarat's Himmatnagar district yesterday. Both Kejriwal and Sisodia tweeted about the incident allegedly carried out by BJP workers.

"Our car attacked by bjp goons in Himmatnagar (Sabarkantha).. If BJP leaders think they can hide corruption in Gujarat by attacking my car,then they are underestimating the power of Aam Gujarati (sic)," Sisodia tweeted last night along with the picture of the vehicle.

08:55  JuD chief Hafiz Saeed offers scholarship to suspended Kashmiri students:  A day after a cornered Uttar Pradesh government withdrew sedition charges against 67 Kashmiri students for cheering for Pakistan during the India-Pakistan Asia Cup match,  Lashkar-e-Tayiba founder and Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed has now said that it will give scholarship to them. reports CNN-IBN.

We, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, have decided to give scholarship to all 67 students. We want them to study with freedom. If India has treated them in this manner, we will prove that Kashmiris and Pakistanis are one," Saeed said.
08:28  Arvind Kejriwal overstays in official bungalow:  Former Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, who has batted for honesty and integrity in public life, has not vacated his official bungalow C-II/23 at Tilak Lane despite the completion of the 15-day grace period.

According to Delhi secretariat sources, the Public Works Department has not sent a notice to Kejriwal for vacating the official house allotted to him, fearing that if the same government comes to power, it may create trouble for the concerned officials.
08:27  6 allegedly from Muzaffarnagar arrested near Pak border:  Six people, including two women, were arrested at the Attari Railway station yesterday while they were returning from Pakistan on the Samjhauta Express.

The customs officials, who arrested them, said all six belong to Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh.The officials said 11 pistols were seized from them. The pistols were found concealed in the meat cutter machine along with 22 magazines, they added.
08:25  Top headlines in the last 24 hours:  
NDA will win Lok Sabha race, but will need more allies: Poll

Kashmiri students speak up: 'We were cheering the better players'

In PHOTOS: Rahul Gandhi's 'fishy' business in Mumbai

Has someone in your family died, Mulayam asks journalists

Doctors strike in Lucknow continues, top Kanpur cop transferred

Exclusive! Madhuri on why she left the US and came home

AAP's Ashutosh, Ilmi taken for questioning by Delhi police

Yesterday's live commentary

02:41  Enigmatic bitcoin creator Nakamoto found: Newsweek:  
Newsweek today said it had found the enigmatic creator of the online currency bitcoin, a reclusive Japanese-American physicist and model train fan whose name is actually Satoshi Nakamoto. 

After years of speculation that the name was a pseudonym for another person or a collective, a Newsweek reporter said 64-year-old Dorian S Nakamoto, who lives in a modest two-storey home in suburban Los Angeles, is the creator of the crypto-currency that has rocked the banking world. 

Nakamoto did not admit to being behind the online phenomenon that, since its launch five years ago, has sparked enthusiasm as a financial revolution and scandals over its use to trade drugs and launder money. 

And he called the police when the magazine's reporter knocked on his door. 

But the magazine said the man, whose quiet career often involved classified work as a systems engineer for the US government and private companies, tacitly acknowledged his role.
02:40  Crisis in Ukraine will de-escalate soon: Obama:  
US President Barack Obama today expressed hope that the crisis in Ukraine would de-escalate in coming weeks as he continues to mobilise the international community to condemn the Russian military action in Kiev. 

Obama's remarks to the press came hours after he signed an executive order that authorises sanctions on individuals and entities responsible for violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine or for stealing the assets of the Ukrainian people. 

"The State Department has also put in place restrictions on the travel of certain individuals and officials. These decisions continue our efforts to impose a cost on Russia and those responsible for the situation in Crimea. And they also give us the flexibility to adjust our response going forward based on Russia's actions," Obama said.

In his remarks, Obama exuded confidence that the US and its international partners are moving forward together, united in their determination to oppose actions that violate international law and to support the government and people of Ukraine, and that includes standing up for the principle of state sovereignty.
02:39  Arunachal Pradesh assembly dissolved:  
Arunachal Pradesh Assembly was late Thursday night dissolved by Governor Lt Gen (Retd) Nirbhay Sharma on the recommendation of the state cabinet which demanded holding of state elections along with Lok Sabha polls next month.

The cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Nabam Tuki recommended the dissolution of the Assembly demanding simultaneous state elections along with the Lok Sabha polls. 

"The Cabinet favours simultaneous assembly polls along with Lok Sabha poll on April 9 to minimise election expenditure, which comes roughly around Rs 70 crore," Chief Secretary Ramesh Negi told PTI.

The Lok Sabha election in Arunachal Pradesh would be held on April 9 and a notification in this regard would be issued on March 15.

The Governor would send the recommendation to the Election Commission for its consideration, Raj Bhawan sources said, adding that the announcement of simultaneous state polls has to be made before March 15.
02:39  Malaria on the move as temps warm: study:  
Malaria is on the march to higher elevations as temperatures warm due to climate change, a trend that could increase the number of people sickened by the disease, researchers said today. 

The study in the US journal Science was based on records from highland regions of Ethiopia and Colombia, raising concern about a potential spike in cases of the the mosquito-borne disease, which killed some 6,27,000 people in 2012.

British and US researchers examined malaria case records from the Antioquia region of western Colombia from 1990 to 2005 and from the Debre Zeit area of central Ethiopia from 1993 to 2005. 

The median, or midpoint, of malaria cases shifted to higher elevations in years that were warmer, and dropped to lower elevations in cooler years. 

"This is indisputable evidence of a climate effect," said University of Michigan theoretical ecologist Mercedes Pascual.

"The main implication is that with warmer temperatures, we expect to see a higher number of people exposed to the risk of malaria in tropical highland areas like these." 
02:39  Pistorius weeps as witness recalls shooting scene horror:  
A weeping Oscar Pistorius shielded his ears as a witness in his murder trial today gave harrowing evidence about desperate attempts to save Reeva Steenkamp's life after she was shot.

Rocking back and forth in the dock, Pistorius put his hands over his ears as neighbour and radiologist Johan Stipp recounted how he entered his house to find the distraught Paralympian bent over, attempting to resuscitate his girlfriend.

Stipp noticed a wound on Steenkamp's right thigh, right upper arm, and "blood and hair and what looked like brain tissue intermingled with that" on top of the skull. 

Amid the scene of horror, Stipp said he quickly realised the 29-year-old model would not survive the injuries. 

"She had no pulse in her neck, she had no peripheral pulse, she had no breathing movements that she made. She was clenching down on Oscar's fingers as he was trying to open her airway."

"I opened her right eyelid, the pupil was fixed, dilated and the cornea was milky, in other words it was already drying out, so to me it was obvious that she was mortally wounded." 

During the testimony, sobbing could be heard around the courtroom as Steenkamp's family and friends sat disconsolately arm-in-arm.

02:39  US judge rules for Samsung in dispute with Apple:  
A federal judge in California has denied Apple's request to permanently ban Samsung from selling 23 older-model smartphones and tablets smartphones that a jury found infringed on patents held by the maker of iPhones and iPads.

Judge Lucy Koh today said Apple failed to prove that the South Korean company's patent infringement caused irreparable harm to Apple sales. 

Apple accused Samsung of ripping off designs for its iPhone and iPad. A jury in 2012 found that close to two dozen of Samsung's products used technology controlled by Apple. 

Apple's allegations involved touchscreen features such as tapping and swiping. 

Koh said she was not convinced those features drive consumer demand for Samsung products. 

The two biggest smartphone makers are scheduled to begin a third patent trial later this month. 
02:38  Groups seek privacy review of Facebook-WhatsApp tie-up:  
Two privacy activist groups asked US regulators today to put on hold the Facebook acquisition of messaging service WhatsApp to ensure against misuse of user data. 

An administrative complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission calls on the agency to investigate the deal and protection against "unfair and deceptive data collection practices" which could be implemented by WhatsApp after the takeover. 

Facebook last month unveiled the eye-popping cash-and-stock deal worth up to USD 19 billion for WhatsApp, which allows for free communications over mobile devices. 

The complaint filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center and Center for Digital Democracy said the deal may undermine the privacy of users by allowing Facebook access to user information, which could be used for advertising purposes.

"WhatsApp built a user base based on its commitment not to collect user data for advertising revenue," the complaint said.

"Facebook routinely makes use of user information for advertising purposes and has made clear that it intends to incorporate the data of WhatsApp users into the user profiling business model. The proposed acquisition will therefore violate WhatsApp users' understanding of their exposure to online advertising and constitutes an unfair and deceptive trade practice."
02:38  US general pleads guilty on 3 counts; not assault:  
A US general accused of sexual assault pleaded guilty today to three lesser charges, a remarkable admission sure to end the military career of a man once regarded as a rising star among the Army's small cadre of trusted battle commanders.

The case against Brig Gen Jeffrey A Sinclair, believed to be the most senior member of the US military ever to face trial on sexual assault charges, comes as the Pentagon grapples with revelations of rampant rape and sexual misconduct within the ranks.

The US Senate today blocked a bill that would have stripped senior military commanders of their authority to prosecute rapes and other serious offenses in the ranks. The bill was firmly opposed by the Pentagon. 

In his immaculate blue dress uniform, Sinclair stood ramrod straight before a judge Thursday and pleaded guilty to three charges that could send him to prison for up to 15 years. 
02:37  Top headlines at this hour::  NDA will win Lok Sabha race, but will need more allies: Poll

Arunachal Pradesh assembly dissolved 

Kashmiri students speak up: 'We were cheering the better players'

Left parties call off alliance with AIADMK

Kejriwal overstays in official bungalow, PWD scared to send notice

Chiranjeevi's brother Pawan Kalyan to launch political party 

DMDK begins Lok Sabha poll alliance talks with BJP 

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