20:23 Please don't use 'Har Har Modi' slogan: Gujarat CM:
As Hindu seers and opposition parties objected to the 'Har Har Modi' slogan, Narendra Modi today asked his supporters not to use it.
"Some enthusiastic supporters have been using the slogan 'Har Har Modi'. I respect their enthusiasm, but request them not to use this slogan in the future," Modi tweeted on microblogging site Twitter.
20:16 Narendra Modi heaps praise on Ramdev:
Narendra Modi today heaped praise on yoga guru Ramdev, saying the issues raised by him were his own and these were giving sleepless nights to many.
His remarks came close on the heels of Ramdev being upset with the BJP leadership for denial of tickets to some of his associates.
Siding with the issues raised by Ramdev, Modi said he also felt the same about black money, corruption and misgovernance in the country.
The BJP's prime ministerial candidate said if there was no "fire of truth" within Ramdev, then he would have run away long back.
19:19 Goa Chief Minister Parrikar opposes Muthalik's entry into BJP :
Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar today opposed the induction of Sri Ram Sene founder Pramod Muthalik into the BJP and asked for the cancellation of his membership.
Parrikar said that he had conveyed his opposition to the national leadership of the party without specifying his name.
The development came shortly after Muthalik, who was linked with an attack on women at a pub in Mangalore in 2009, joined the BJP today in Hubli, Karnataka.
Muthalik was welcomed into the party in the presence of Karnataka BJP president Prahalad Joshi, former Karnataka chief minister Jagadish Shettar and former Karnataka deputy chief minister K S Eshwarappa at a formal ceremony in Hubli.
19:00 Al Qaeda could attack Queen, UK sports events: Report :
The Al Qaeda has been trying to recruit 'lone wolf' jihadis returning from Syria to carry out bomb attacks at high-profile sporting events in Britain, including the Epsom Derby horse race, attended by the Queen, and Wimbledon, media reports said today.
The Wimbledon tennis championships and FA Cup football matches have been suggested as potential targets in an attempt to cause "maximum carnage", the Sunday Times reported.
The Osama bin Laden-founded terror group recommends that such operations be carried out either by a "martyrdom bomber"or with explosives linked to a timer or a remote device.
18:34 DMK selected candidates on the basis of money: Alagiri :
Suspended DMK leader M KAlagiri today alleged that selection of DMK candidates for the April 24 Lok Sabha polls was made on the basis of "the quantum of money paid by aspirants and their affordability to contest".
However, he did not elaborate further.
He also regretted his "mistake of helping" two persons from this district to become ministers in his father Karunanidhi's cabinet.
18:34 Jaswant's son Manvendra seeks a month's leave:
Manvendra Singh, son of rebel BJP leader Jaswant Singh, has sought one month's leave on the ground of 'poor health'.
Manvendra, a BJP MLA in Rajasthan assembly, earlier told the media that he was "stressed out" and he needed rest.
He is expected to skip a meeting called by Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje to discuss the revolt by Jaswant and other senior BJP leaders in Rajasthan.
18:22 Court asks cops to book Kejriwal for 'insulting' tricolour :
A local court in Bina town in Madhya Pradesh has directed police to register a case against Aam Aadmi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal and his associates for allegedly disrespecting the national flag.
A complaint was recently filed in this regard by Rajendra Mishra in the court of Judicial Magistrate First Class R K Devalia, alleging that AAP workers, while campaigning for the party at different places in the country carry their party symbol jhaadu (broom) along with the national flag.
He also alleged that AAP workers sweep the floor with a broom and later wave with it along with the national flag, which amounts to disrespect of the tricolour.
18:21 Jaitley rakes up Sonia's Italian origin to counter 'outsider' barb:
BJP leader Arun Jaitley today hit back at his rival Amarinder Singh for dubbing him an 'outsider' in Amritsar, asking the Congress leader which state his party chief Sonia Gandhi belongs to.
"Despite my ancestral roots in Punjab, Captain Sahib (Amarider) called me an 'outsider' and a 'pseudo' Punjabi. Will he be kind enough to tell me which state in India does (Congress President) Mrs Sonia Gandhi belong to?
"Regrettably, he is resorting to his old USP -- lower the level of debate through personalised and discourteous language.... I have to resist the temptation of reciprocating in the same manner. However, a polite response is necessary," Jaitley wrote on his website.
18:19 Sunanda Pushkar's report hints at drug overdose: Police :
The viscera report of Sunanda Pushkar, Union minister Shashi Tharoor's wife who died under mysterious circumstances two months ago, hints towards drug poisoning but its findings are still inconclusive to file an FIR in the case, according to police.
"The CFSL report has not been able to give much headway into the probe. It rules out poisoning and hints toward drug poisoning," said a senior police official associated with the probe.
It was expected that the nature of the poison and the quantity could be established after viscera tests at CFSL but the report has failed to do so.
17:29 Did Sharad Pawar encourage bogus voting?:
In potentially controversial remarks, Union minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar today asked his party workers to take advantage of the multi-phase polling in the state by voting twice, first at their hometowns and then at places of work.
"Last time (in 2009), the polling in Satara and Mumbai was on the same day and people went to their hometowns. But this time, polling in Satara is on April 17 and here on April 24," Pawar said, addressing a gathering of workers.
"Vote for the clock (NCP symbol) there (in Satara) and come back to vote for the clock here as well," he said.
16:09 Khurshid asks EC to take cognisance of 'Har Har Modi' slogan :
Strongly opposing the Har Har Modi
slogan coined by the BJP to hail Narendra Modi, Union minister Salman Khurshid has requested the Election Commission to take cognisance of it.
"We respect democracy but God is above it, I request the EC to take cognisance of the slogan used by BJP," Khurshid told reporters.
The BJP carders have coined the slogan Har Har Modi, ghar-ghar Modi, which is being used by them widely during Modi's campaign and rallies.
16:06 Shri Ram Sene chief Pramod Muthalik joins BJP :
Pramod Muthalik, the controversial chief of right-wing outfit Sri Ram Sene, who was linked with the attack on women at a pub in Mangalore in 2009, joined the BJP today.
Muthalik was welcomed into the party fold in the presence of state party president Prahalad Joshi, former chief minister Jagadish Shettar and former deputy chief minister K S Eshwarappa at a formal ceremony.
Muthalik later told reporters that he joined the BJP with the objective of ensuring that Narendra Modi becomes the country's next prime minister.
15:24 Jaswant finds an unlikely supporter: Digvijaya!:
Congress General Secretary Digvijaya Singh wants to know why the BJP is "displacing" its senior leaders from their constituencies if there was a "Modi wave" in the country.
"If there is a Modi wave, why displace seat-winning seniors like Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, Navjot Singh Sidhu and Lalji Tandon?" Singh said today.
Singh also questioned the denial of Lok Sabha election ticket to BJP veteran Jaswant Singh from Barmer.
"Why persecute Jaswant ji?" the Congress leader asked.
15:22 Narendra Modi narrow-minded, says Sharad Pawar:
Attacking Narendra Modi for being "narrow minded," NCP chief Sharad Pawar today alleged that the Gujarat administration led by the BJP's prime ministerial candidate filed a FIR against its own people for providing relief to drought-hit Maharashtra last year.
The Union agriculture minister said people from Gujarat had helped Maharashtra for 3-4 months with cattle feed in the affected areas during last year's drought months.
"The Gujarat government has filed an FIR in Mehsana district for extending the help," he alleged, stating that the FIR has been filed on charges of "corruption."
15:21 India Inc registers 14 'electoral trusts' :
With Lok Sabha polls set to begin soon, at least 14 electoral trusts have been set up by various business houses, including by giants like Tatas, Reliance, Mahindras and Bajajs, for contributing funds to various political parties.
Being registered under a new framework that mandatorily requires 'Electoral Trust' in the name, the concept has been introduced to bring in more transparency into political funding activities.
According to data available with the Corporate Affairs Ministry, at least 14 electoral trusts have been registered and the count is expected to rise further as many other corporates have initiated the process to set up such entities before polls start for electing the 16th Lok Sabha.
14:07 Charles Sobhraj worked as an arms dealer for Taliban:
Serial killer Charles Sobhraj, a Frenchman of Indian and Vietnamese parentage, who has served long jail terms in India and other countries, claimed that he worked as an arms dealer for Taliban after befriending JeM chief Masood Azhar in Tihar prison and was even associated with American spy agency CIA.
Sobhraj, 70, lodged in the central jail of Kathmandu since 2003, said the Taliban needed to sell heroin to buy arms and he had helped the terror group with his contacts.
Recounting his stay in Tihar, Sobhraj said he started working as an arms dealer for the Taliban after coming in contact with Azhar, the mastermind of the attack on Parliament.
14:05 All our MLAs are with us: Uttarakhand CM:
Amid rumours that his government was facing the crisis of being reduced to a minority with Congress MLAs loyal to Satpal Maharaj likely to follow their leader and quit the party, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat today said all his MLAs were with him.
"There is no crisis. The entire legislature party and all legislators who were with us from the beginning are still with us," Rawat told reporters when asked whether the MP's resignation from Congress would cast its shadow on the fate of his government.
Soon after Maharaj quit Congress and joined the BJP, speculation became rife in the city that the MLAs in Uttarakhand Assembly loyal to him might follow suit, reducing the fledgling Harish Rawat government sworn in to a minority.
14:04 Eeeeeks! Funerals go live on the internet:
An Irish company is offering to stream funerals live over the internet for mourners who are unable to attend the ceremony in person.
The man behind the venture, businessman Alan Foudy, claimed it was the "only service of its kind being offered anywhere in Ireland or the UK".
The company offers to film memorial church services and burials, with target clients being Irish emigrants who are unable to travel home for family funerals and elderly people confined to hospitals or homes.
The clients will be charged a fee to view the funeral online, BBC News reported.
13:26 Nalanda University in trouble even before taking off:
Bihar's Nalanda University is yet to become a fully functioning entity, but the much-hyped educational institute, with no less than Nobel laureate Amartya Sen acting as its chancellor, is already running into trouble over mounting bills and violation of norms.
13:20 More trouble for BJP: Sushma-Jaitley spat worsens:
The war of words between BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley worsened on Sunday, with the latter claiming that the decision to deny a Lok Sabha poll ticket to veteran party leader Jaswant Singh was a decision "taken by the party".
Earlier, Swaraj had made her displeasure over the denial of ticket to Jaswant clear, claiming that the decision was not made by the BJP's Central Election Committee.
Reacting to her comment, Jaitley today said,"All the decisions are taken by the party, not by CEC".
13:15 Another BJP leader 'hurt' at being denied LS poll ticket :
Madhya Pradesh BJP Vice President Raghunandan Sharma today said he felt "hurt and insulted" at being denied a party ticket from the Mandsaur Lok Sabha seat.
"I have been working for the BJP for more than 30 years and have never asked for anything from the party. A Lok Sabha ticket for contesting from Mandsaur was the first thing I had asked for and that was denied," said Sharma, who is also a Rajya Sabha member.
When asked if the BJP sometimes does not treat its own people well, the sulking leader said it was not the cases sometimes, but "always."
He brooded over the party's failure in treating properly members who had always stood by its ideology.
13:14 Won't change candidate against Modi: Congress:
The Gujarat Congress today ruled out any possibility of changing Narendra Ravat -- its candidate from Vadodara Lok Sabha seat -- who is considered as a political greenhorn.
He is pitted against BJP's PM nominee Narendra Modi.
There are demands from certain sections within the Congress to replace Ravat.
However, the Congress scotched the demand saying Ravat, who is the city unit president, emerged as a consensus candidate after winning the party primary introduced by its vice-president Rahul Gandhi.
"There is no question of changing the candidate of Vadodara seat who has been elected after the concept of primaries introduced by Rahul Gandhi," the Congress party said in a statement.
13:12 3 Aam Aadmi Party leaders join BJP :
Three AAP members -- Dharmaveer Singh, Mahender Kaur Narula and Rajendra Kumar Sonkar -- today joined Bhartiya Janata Party.
Attacking the Aam Aadmi Party for its "non-performance" and shying away from its responsibility, Singh, who lost to BJP candidate Harmeet Singh in the Delhi assembly polls last year from Kalkaji constituency, related his shifting gears to "the wave of change and development promised by the BJP."
"AAP which thrived on eradicating corruption has suddenly shifted its focus to communalism. Despite designing a specific manifesto for 70 constituencies, the party failed to take any concrete action. They faltered on many of their promises," Singh said.
"There is a changed political environment today, where people want honesty, transparency and action. I believe BJP is the only alternative," he added.
13:10 Vaiko meets Alagiri:
In a major political development in Tamil Nadu, MDMK General Secretary Vaiko today met suspended DMK leader M K Alagiri at his residence in Madurai and sought his support for the Lok Sabha polls.
The meeting between the leaders holds significance as DMK leaders were worried about the poll strategy taken by Alagiri after his suspension from the party.
Both were closeted for more than 40 minutes at Alagiri's house at Alagappan Nagar.
Later, while talking to reporters, Vaiko and Alagiri alleged that the DMK high command had made malicious charges against them.
12:25 Jaswant Singh's ultimatum to BJP: I WILL contest from Barmer:
Upset over the denial of ticket, former Union minister and BJP veteran Jaswant Singh today said he has decided to contest the Lok Sabha elections as an independent from the Barmer seat and will file his nomination papers on Monday.
Singh, however, is not resigning from the party yet and said he would consult his colleagues before taking that step.
"Yes, I am filing my nomination papers from Barmer. Independent or not, will depend on the party's attitude," he said when asked whether he would contest despite the denial of a ticket from his home constituency.
The 76-year-old leader, who currently represents Darjeeling in Lok Sabha, is upset over the Barmer seat being given to recent entrant from Congress Sonaram Chowdhry.
12:13 Corporate sector fuelling Narendra Modi's campaign: Sibal :
The corporate sector is fuelling the campaign of BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi because it wants "freebies" from him which he has extended in Gujarat, Law Minister Kapil Sibal has said.
He also said the BJP has failed to reach a "credible" alliance in various states even as he termed as "good riddance" some of the Congress leaders joining the opposition party ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.
"Pink papers are with Modi, you know that. The corporate sector is with Modi. They are fuelling the campaign," he said during an interview.
12:10 Bangalore: Play pulled off fest list due to right-wing protests:
A critically-acclaimed English play, which did not go down well with some right-wing groups which claimed it hurts Hindu sentiments, was pulled off by organisers in Bangalore from a festival schedule citing election concerns.
"Ali J", by Chennai-based theatre group Evam,scheduled to be staged from March 12 to 16, was cancelled on the advice of the home department of Karnataka.
"A senior official from the home ministry has told us that at any other time they would stand by us, but because it's election time, we must comply and not stage the show," Jagriti Theatre, where the play was planned to be staged, said on its website.
12:08 Maha: Congmen sulk over seat swap with NCP:
The swapping of the Raigad Lok Sabha seat with the NCP has not gone down well with the Congress' cadre in the district, which says the decision will have serious repercussions on the party's prospects in the Konkan region.
"Raigad has traditionally been a Congress seat and the barometer of a party's strength is not win or loss, but the percentage of vote share which is substantial," party leaders, who did not wish to be named, said.
"If the criteria to give away the seat was that we could not win it for the last three elections, then there are many others as well. Should we give away all these seats to our ally?" they asked.
11:53 Denied a ticket, Advani loyalist lashes out at BJP:
Dissent seems to be the flavour of this election season in the BJP.
After party veterans Murli Manohar Joshi and Jaswant Singh made their displeasure clear about being ousted from their respective constituencies, it was the turn of Harin Pathak, a 7-time MP from Ahmedabad East constituency, to express his displeasure about the BJP's ticket tactics.
Pathak, a L K Advani loyalist, has been replaced by actor Paresh Rawal.
In a press conference held on Sunday morning, Pathak claimed that the BJP high command was distributing tickets to "even those who have attacked the BJP and the RSS in the past".
He claimed that BJP workers in Gujarat were extremely upset at the BJP leadership for denying him a ticket.