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LIVE! Rahul's campaign trail to hit Odisha on March 31

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March 24, 2014


22:47  Rahul's campaign trail to hit Odisha on March 31:  

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi is likely to visit Odisha on March 31.        

 

Gandhi is scheduled to visit undivided Koraput district and address two public meetings in Nabarngpur and Koraput parliamentary constituencies, Congress MP Pradeep Majhi said.        

 

Majhi, who is also a candidate from Nabarangopur seat, earlier in the day met Gandhi and said the Congress vice president's proposed visit has created tremendous enthusiasm among party workers in undivided Koraput district.        

 

Of the two Lok Sabha constituencies where Gandhi was scheduled to visit on March 31, the party held Nabarangpur seat while the BJD candidate had bagged the Koraput seat in 2009.        

21:31  Muthalik breaks down, urges BJP to reverse decision:  Controversial chief of right wing outfit Sri Ram Sene, Pramod Muthalik, today asked BJP's central leadership to retrace its "hasty" step of rejecting his membership within hours after he had joined the party. Muthalik, who membership was set aside by a red-faced BJP top brass after it raised a storm of controversy yesterday, broke down at a press conference here and said the party should explain the reasons for its decision.

"I have not made any property, could not attend my father's funeral and have not been able to pay attention to my ailing mother. I have led a clean life...I don't know why are you treating me like this. What mistake have I committed"? Muthalik said, breaking down.

Earlier at Belgaum, Muthalik claimed it was the Congress' "conspiracy" to stall his entry into BJP which quashed his party membership after opposition from within the party and it drew severe flak from other parties.

Latest election updates on Twitter: @RediffElections

20:51  EC pulls up Sharad Pawar for 'erase ink' remark:  Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar has prima facie violated the Model Code of Conduct by his 'ink' remark, says the Election Commission. It asks Pawar to explain by 5 pm on Thursday failing which it will take a decision without further reference to him.

Latest election updates on Twitter: @RediffElections

20:42   The Election Commission has asked the oil ministry to defer notification of new gas price from April 1. It says the matter is sub-judice. 
19:55  Ukraine orders Crimean troop withdrawal:  Ukraine today ordered its outnumbered troops to withdraw from Crimea following the peninsula's lightning seizure and annexation by Russia in response to the fall in Kiev of a pro-Kremlin regime. 

The dramatic but seemingly inevitable announcement came after the fall of another Ukrainian base in Crimea and as world leaders gathered in The Hague for a security summit dominated by concerns over the most explosive East-West standoff since the Cold War.
19:53  Obama vows Western unity ahead of Ukraine crisis summit:  US President Barack Obama today vowed Western unity in punishing Moscow for annexing Crimea, ahead of crisis talks that could see Russia excluded from the G8 club of rich nations. 

In Ukraine itself, the country's acting president announced that its troops had been given orders to withdraw from Crimea after the fall of another military base to Kremlin troops.
19:51  Co-pilot on missing plane was flying without minder:   The co-pilot of the missing Malaysian plane had just completed his evaluation to fly the Boeing 777-200 plane and was flying for the first time without a "check co-pilot" monitoring his work, the airlines said today. 

Fariq Abdul Hamid, 27-year-old co-pilot who joined the airline seven year ago, was on his sixth flight in the cockpit of a Boeing that disappeared on March 8 with 239 people on board, MAS chief executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said.
19:46  Smart phones fast becoming means for terrorists: NSA :  Smartphones are fast becoming means for terrorists to recruit people and communicate with each other, National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon said today. 

Addressing a seminar he said the same technology has been used for mobilisation and social protests by groups, including Aam Aadmi Party in India and protesters during the 'Arab Spring'.
19:45  Flight 370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean, no survivors: Malaysian PM:   Prime Minister Najib Razak while addressing a press conference said that as per latest data Flight 370 flew along the southern corridor.

He said that that the aircraft was lost and the conclusion was that the flight ended in the south of the Indian Ocean. There was no chance of any survivors, he said. 

"Based on their new analysis, Inmarsat & the AAIB concluded that the last position of #MH370 was in the middle of the Indian Ocean. With deep sadness and regret I must inform you that, according to this new data, flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean," he said.       
19:12  Malaysian Prime Minister to speak on search for Flight 370:  Malaysia's Prime Minister will make a live statement on missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 at 10 p.m. (10 a.m. ET), he said Monday on Twitter.

Prime Minister Najib Razak did not give any details of the statement.Also, two relatives of passengers aboard the missing airliner tell CNN they have been asked to attend a meeting at a Beijing hotel where Malaysian authorities have been briefing families.

The developments happened the same day as Australian officials announced they had spotted two objects in the southern Indian Ocean that could be related to the flight, which has been missing since March 8 with 239 people aboard.

Read more
19:06  Australian aircraft spots new objects in hunt for Flight 370:  An Australian navy ship steamed Monday night toward the remote spot in the Indian Ocean where a surveillance plane earlier spotted two objects that could be related to missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

One object is "a grey or green circular object," and the other is "an orange rectangular object," the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said.The reports have once again raised hopes of meaningful progress in the hunt for the plane, which has gone on for more than two weeks. 
19:01  Missing Jet: Chinese passenger's family asked to attend meeting:  Two Chinese family members of MH370 passengers say they've been asked to attend meeting in Beijing. 

An Australian navy ship steamed Monday night toward the remote spot in the Indian Ocean where a surveillance plane earlier spotted two objects that could be related to missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

One object is "a grey or green circular object," and the other is "an orange rectangular object," the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said.
18:47  TISS students expose UP govt's apathy for Muzaffarnagar riot-hit. Read
18:43  LIVE! 'I'm in Amritsar to fight whether it's Jaitley or Faitley or Footly':  "I am there (Amritsar) to fight the BJP candidate, whether it's Jaitley or Faitley or Footly," says Congress candidate Capt Amarinder Singh.

The Congress is fielding former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh to take on BJP leader Arun Jaitley in Amritsar.
18:28  All the Prime Minister-in-Waiting's Men: Today's column by Rediff.com's Sheela Bhatt. Read
18:19  Aus ship close to retrieving possible plane debris:   An Australian navy ship was today close to retrieving several objects spotted in remote southern Indian Ocean by the international team hunting for the Malaysian jetliner, raising hopes of a breakthrough in the frustrating search for the plane that went missing 17 days ago.

Australian and Chinese planes reported seeing several objects floating about 2,500 km south-west of Perth. Prime Minister Tony Abbott said two objects -- the first grey or green and circular and the second orange and rectangular -- located by an Australian P3 Orion aircraft in the area.

A Chinese Ilyushin-76 plane reported spotting "white and square" objects in the same location.
17:56  BJP will have to say goodbye, I won't, says Jaswant Singh:   More of the no-holds-barred Jaswant Singh at his rally in Barmer today. "I will not say goodbye till the party says goodbye," he said putting the ball on a possible expulsion firmly in the BJP's court.

On other fronts, he was less diplomatic. "NaMo NaMo ka jo tamasha hai (this circus around NaMo) and the way decisions are being taken nowadays reminds me of 1975 - the tradition of being inclusive has reduced, arrogance has increased," he said, denouncing the party's focus on its prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi.
17:49  Photographer Jenny Mathews returns Rwanda to find genocide survivors she met 20-years ago. See
17:46  Pranab gets legal help on formation of state govts:  President Pranab Mukherjee has co-opted the services of T K Viswanathan as a consultant - on a contractual basis. Viswanathan, former secretary general of the Lok Sabha, has been asked to assist and render legal advice to the president on constitutionality and the formation of state government. Viswanathan will also collate and compile judgements of the Supreme Court on minority governments.
17:35  Cong war room moves to new address :  Apparently, the reason for Rahul Gandhi has moved out of the Congress War Room at 15, Gurudwara Rakabganj Road to 2, Tughlaq Lane - is now trickling out. Gurudwara Rakabganj Road apparently was not secure and inner-circle discussions and speculations, especially on the number of seats expected in the polls (75-80) has upset Congress leaders. Tughlaq Lane is believed to be more secure. 
17:26  Chiranjeevi welcomes brother Pawan's entry into politics:   Union minister and Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee's election campaign in-charge Chiranjeevi welcomed his brother Pawan Kalyan's entry into politics. Chiranjeevi said that he would invite youth to enter politics for social justice.

Replying to BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu's recent comment in Hyderabad about the "bus yatra", he said that it was the BJP which first introduced the 'rathyatra' before demolishing the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya.

Venkaiah Naidu had recently said that Congress leaders conduct a "bus yatra" (bus tour) and later they go to a "teerthyatra" (pilgrimage).
17:23  Priyanka comes to Rahul's aid as Cong sees rise in defections :   Our sources in Delhi tell us that Priyanka Gandhi has taken control of the Congress campaign. Over the last 15 days, Priyanka has been attending meetings with Rahul Gandhi at the Tughlaq Lane bungalow. The siblings have been spending hours together till as late as 3 am to review events in the run-up to the elections. It's then home to husband Robert Vadra and the children. Priyanka meets Rahul for early-morning meetings as well. Obviously, Rahul and the party need help with the pre-poll defections of so many Congressmen
16:47  Modi of the middle class:  Christophe Jaffrelot on how Narendra Modi appeals to an urban class with eroding caste identities, increasing religiosity. Read
16:39  LIVE! TMC candidate Dev on media glare: I feel like being raped, you can shout or enjoy it:   Bengal superstar Dev, a Trinamool candidate from the Ghatal constituency, when asked by a Bengali tabloid on whether he was enjoying the media glare on him, said, "I feel like being raped, you can shout or you can enjoy."

His comments have not gone down well with women activists who are now planning to take up the issue with the election commission. 
TMC has fielded at least seven stars, from fields as diverse as cinema, theatre, music and sports. -- Indrani Roy


Follow the latest election updates on Twitter: @RediffElections
16:01  Dushyant Singh files nomination from Jhalawar-Baran LS seat:  BJP candidate and sitting MP from Jhalawar-Baran Lok Sabha seat Dushyant Singh today filed his nomination papers from the constituency.

Singh was accompanied by his mother, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, wife Niharika and thousands of party supporters when he filed his two sets of papers at District Election Officer's office in Jhalawar. Niharika also filed one set of papers as a substitute nominee.
15:48  Filmmaker releases a dozen clips of controversial Modi speeches made just after the Gujarat riots. Read  
15:47  MH370: Three new floating objects may be retrieved tomorrow :  The Malaysian authorities are giving another daily media briefing on the search operation. A ship maybe able to retrieve three objects spotted today by Tuesday. Two orange objects approximately one metre in length and one white drum were sighted by search aircraft, but remain unidentified and have not been conclusively linked to MH370.
15:32  Families of MH370 missing forced to move hotels to make way for F1:   More than 30 relatives of passengers on missing flight MH370 have had to move hotels to make way for Formula One teams and fans arriving for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Thirty-two family members, including Chinese nationals, have been moved from two hotels near Kuala Lumpur's international airport, which is also close to the Sepang racetrack.

"The rooms have been pre-booked before this event happened," one hotel official said on condition of anonymity.

The relatives have been staging a fraught vigil after the Malaysian Airlines flight with 239 people on board mysteriously vanished shortly after take-off on March 8, prompting a frantic international search effort.
15:22  Ukraine orders Crimea withdrawal:  Ukraine's interim President Olexander Turchynov says he has ordered the withdrawal of armed forces from Crimea.

The decision was taken because of Russian threats to the lives of military staff and their families, the president announced. Russian troops have seized most of Ukraine's bases in the peninsula, including the naval base at Feodosia.

Earlier this month, Russia annexed Crimea after a referendum which Ukraine and the West considered illegal. Read
15:17  Arvind Kejriwal's quip for the day: If Advani wants Modi to listen to him, he should drop "v" from his name.

Kejriwal has questioned Narendra Modi's alleged links with the Adani Group, asking why the conglomerate was given acres of land at Rs 1 per square metre when the prevailing market rate was Rs 300 per square metre.
15:13  Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia files his nomination from Guna in Madhya Pradesh. 
15:04  Heard the poo song?:  In India, more than 620 million people defecate in the open. That's practically half the population. The other half have become blind to the practice. So how do you get a blind population to open their eyes and see the big Poo Problem, asks UNICEF?

India's first Poo Song - composed using various Loo Sounds - by the music director, Shri (of the film 'Life of Pi' fame). Watch
14:58  Cong conspiracy behind BJP membership cancellation: Muttalik:  Pramod Muttalik, the controversial chief of right wing outfit Sri Ram Sene, on Monday claimed it was Congress' "conspiracy" that had stalled his entry into BJP, which quashed his party membership within hours after opposition from within the party and also drew severe flak from other parties.

"It is a Congress conspiracy. There was a lot of enthusiasm among the majority community after I joined BJP. Congress conspired and stalled my entry into the BJP as their leaders realised my hold among Hindu votes,' he said.
14:48  Jaswant Singh says he repents rejoining the BJP after he was expelled.

In 2009, the BJP had expelled Singh from the primary membership of the party two days after the release of his book praising Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. 

Follow the latest election updates on Twitter: @RediffElections
14:37  LIVE! Jaswant's 1st rally as independent: Vasundhara, Rajnath betrayed me:   Jaswant Singh addresses his first rally as an independent candidate at Barmer in Rajasthan. Earlier in the day, the senior BJP leader had filed his nomination from Barmer. Blaming Rajasthan CM and BJP president for his decision to run as an independent, Jaswant Singh says, "Vasundhara Raje and Rajnath Singh betrayed me. I feel very sad at being betrayed by a few people in the BJP. It was I who suggested Raje's name for the chief minister."

Raje is believed to have made it very clear that she wanted Sona Ram Chaudhary for the Barmer seat since he was a Jat, which bettered his chances of winning from the predominantly Jat area.

"BJP has become like the Congress and is indulging in vote bank politics," he said.

Follow the latest election updates on Twitter: @RediffElections
14:20  Only what Modi wants prevails in BJP, says Digvijay Singh:  Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh today said the present state of affairs in BJP gave an impression that only their prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi prevails over everything in the party.

"The way in which things were happening in the BJP these days indicated that the party had no say and only what Narendra Modi wanted prevailed there," Digvijaya said.

When asked if Brahmins were being reportedly sidelined in the BJP, he alleged that not only Brahmins, but "all those who opposed Narendra Modi were being given short shrift."

The senior Congress leader also alleged that the BJP had no faith in Hindu religion but exploited it for political purposes.

"I am a devout Hindu but have never used religion for political purposes," he said, adding that the "BJP never accorded the status of God to Lord Rama but only accepted him as a 'Maryada Purush' (man of self control)."

Singh said he viewed the BJP as a "fascist" party and this was best indicated by the way in which it was trying to promote Modi.

"Under fascism, a small thing is constantly glorified and even given the exalted status of a God, something which is happening in the case of Modi," he said.

Criticising the use of the "Har Har Modi" slogan in Varanasi by supporters of the BJP's prime ministerial nominee, Digvijaya said it "amounted to insult of Hinduism."

Follow the latest election updates on Twitter: @RediffElections
14:15  Nitin Gokhale tweets: Major decision: SC allows defence personnel to cast their votes at their place of posting but this is applicable to peace stations only.
14:08  BJP president Rajnath Singh tweets: Time For Change, Time For BJP. Bahut Hui Mehngai Ki Maar, Abki Baar Modi Sarkar.
14:06  Sentencing in photojournalist gang-rape likely today:  
A Mumbai court today is likely to sentence three men convicted last week for gang-raping a 23-year-old photojournalist at the defunct Shakti Mills in the heart of Mumbai in August last year.

The trio, Mohammed Salim Ansari, Vijay Mohan Jadhav and Mohammad Qasim Hafiz Shaikh alias Kasim Bengali, were also convicted for gang-raping an 18-year-old telephone operator at the deserted mill last year and were sentenced to life in prison on Friday.

While the fourth accused, Siraj Rehmat Khan, will learn his fate today, the fifth, a minor, is being tried separately by the Mumbai Juvenile Justice Board which will begin hearing the case next month.
13:59  LIVE! Shakti Mills gang rapes: Court accepts plea for adding death sentence charges :  Photojournalist gang-rape case: A Mumbai court has accepted Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam's application of framing of additional charges on the three common convicts in the photojournalist gang-rape case, for repeated offence under Section 376(e) of the IPC. The maximum penalty under Section 376(e) of IPC is capital punishment.
13:53  Modi's wife, Rahul's girlfriend, Kejriwal's family among top political Google searches. Read
13:47  Egypt court sentences 529 Muslim Brotherhood members to death:  The Al-Minya Criminal Court began the largest ever trial of Muslim Brotherhood leaders in Egypt on Saturday.

More than 1200 senior and mid-ranking members will stand trial on charges of attacking private and public properties.

The charges are widely believed to be politically motivated and an attempt to cover up the massacres committed by the post-coup authorities against supporters of former president Mohamed Morsi since August.

The defendants include the General Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood Mohamed Badie, whose son was shot dead during one of the post-coup protests in his hometown of Beni Suef.
13:41  LIVE! Egypt court sentences 529 Muslim Brotherhood members to death:  A court in Egypt sentences to death 529 members of Muslim Brotherhood on charges including murder. 
13:33  Only eight women get tickets for Arunachal Assembly poll:   Despite promises made by various political parties to provide 33 per cent reservation to women candidates in the Arunachal Pradesh Assembly elections scheduled for April 9, only eight women are in the fray for the 60-member house.
13:29  Russell Brand engaged to Jemima Khan?:  Comedian Russell Brand and girlfriend Jemima Khan have fuelled rumours that they are engaged after she was spotted wearing a diamond ring.

Jemima, 40, was seen wearing a diamond ring yesterday in east London and she apparently looked very happy, reported Daily Mirror. "It looked like an engagement ring. It was very pretty and classy. She looked very happy," the source said.

The 38-year-old funnyman, who fuelled dating rumours with Jemima last year, had earlier said that the journalist made him a "changed man". Jemina has two sons with former cricketer Imran Khan. She also dated actor Hugh Grant.
13:16  Susmita Bhattacharya, only Indian writer in book of British short stories:   On Sunday, Plymouth, Britain-based Susmita Bhattacharya read her enchanting story Letters Home at a quaint Khar, Mumbai, store, Sanctum.

The story was spawned by Susmita's time (8 years) at a centre in Cardiff, Wales, where immigrants from countries afar as Bangladesh, Iraq and Somalia were taught English, life skills and most important, how to cope in an alien land.

Susmita, who is from Mumbai, is the only Indian author featured in Rarebit, a new collection of 21 contemporary stories by Welsh writers that 'encapsulate much that is vibrant and exciting about modern short fiction.

'Susmita, the winner of the Literature Wales Mentorship Award 2009, has her first novel, A Normal State of Mind, coming out later this year.

Pic: Susmita Bhattacharya at the book reading of Letters Home.
13:16  'Book was noticed by an editor through Facebook':   "After struggling for years to find an agent or publisher, it was funny how the book was noticed by an editor through Facebook!" Susmita wrote on her blog.

"I had had a short story, Growing Tomatoes, published in Planet-The Welsh Internationalist in 2012. Someone read it and commented on Facebook. It was brought to the attention of the editor of Parthian Books, Susie Wild, who approached me. It was like winning the lottery! But it goes to show that editors do look around, and word does get around, and the more you write, the more you will be read."

A Normal State of Mind is about two young women -- one a widow, the other a lesbian-- struggling to locate their place in the cruel realities of current India. We can't wait to read it.

Pic: Susmita is the only Indian author featured in Rarebit, a new collection of 21 contemporary stories by Welsh writers.
12:59  Jaswant Singh files his nomination papers as an independent candidate:   So, BJP senior leader Jaswant Singh has filed his nomination papers from Barmer as an Independent candidate. 

A sulking Singh on Sunday dared his party and said that he is "not a piece of furniture" to be "adjusted" after polls. He has warned that the party will have to suffer the consequences of internal strife coming to the fore ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

Singh will be up against BJP candidate Col (retd) Sona Ram Chaudhary, who defected from the Congress recently.
12:44  LIVE! BJP leader walks on school kids in Rajkot :   BJP leader Mohan Kundariya, who is the Lok Sabha candidate of the party from Rajkot in Gujarat, has courted a controversy by walking over school children at a function.

According to reports, the video was shot during a yoga camp. Several supporters of the politician are seen waving tricolour and saffron flags while the BJP leader walks over the students. A version of 'Vande Mataram' can be heard in the backdrop.
12:44  'Gujarat carnage does not stop because Modi does not have the desire to stop it' :   Author and senior journalist M J Akbar on Saturday joined the BJP in the presence of party president Rajnath Singh. Akbar said he had come back to politics with the BJP for its policies and work to bring the nation back into a "recovery mission".

Akbar, who was close to then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, acknowledged that the latter was a friend and 20 years have passed since that. Backing Narendra Modi, the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, Akbar said that no other leader has gone through so much scrutiny as Modi.

Be that as it may, this is what Akbar wrote for Arab News in 2002 during the post-Godhra riots, when he was a Congress MP .  Read: Why Modi deserves Nishan-e-Pakistan
12:23  Mani Shankar Aiyar counting on track record in tight race:  Former Union Minister and the Congress candidate for the Mayiladuthurai Lok Sabha seat, Mani Shankar Aiyar strongly believes that the good work done by him as an MP for the constituency over the past two decades will fetch him a comfortable victory in the upcoming polls.

At a time when Congress leaders in the state are worried about the lack of any tie-ups going into the polls, Aiyar is unperturbed by alliance arithmetic.

He is facing the battlefield with all the confidence and eagerness of a seasoned campaigner. Aiyar, a Rajya Sabha MP, is locked in a very tough contest against AIADMK's Bharathi Mohan, DMK-ally Manithaneya Makkal Katchi (MMK)'s Hyder Ali and PMK's Agoram in BJP's rainbow alliance.
12:07  Wanted: AAP soldiers to take on Sonia, Jaitley:  AAP is struggling to find candidates for high-profile seats such as Rae Bareilly, Lucknow and Amritsar against Sonia Gandhi, Rajnath Singh and Arun Jaitley.

The party has announced candidates for 339 constituencies and sources say as many as 400 nominees could be fielded in the coming days. Read more
11:55  Another BJP leader to fight as Independent:  Upset over being denied a ticket, former Union minister and Vice President of BJP Kisan Morcha Subhash Maharia today decided to contest as an Independent from Sikar constituency in Rajasthan.

Maharia's announcement comes close on the heels of party veteran Jaswant Singh's decision to fight as an independent from Barmer after being denied a party ticket. Maharia said he would file nomination on March 26 with the support of Sarv Samaj Mahapanchayat.
11:49  Jaswant Singh, BJP's odd one out:  What surprised me about last week's kerfuffle over Jaswant Singh was not so much that he failed to be included in the BJP's list of candidates but that he has survived in politics for as long as he has.  Read Swapan Dasgupta's column on NDTV.
11:42  The second homecoming:  The Congress is pinning its hopes on Ghulam Nabi Azad, who has strong secular credentials and a good track record, to score big victories in Jammu and Kashmir. Read
11:38  Wanted, a vote for education:  The fact that education matters only in the long run makes it uninteresting for political parties. But in this election, the voice of education can be heard. Read
11:38  DMK rebel Alagiri to start loyalists' mobilisation across TN:   Amid speculation about him campaigning in favour of Narendra Modi after he endorsed the BJP's PM candidate, rebel DMK leader MK Alagiri is soon set to launch a statewide tour to hold consultations with loyalists across Tamil Nadu as he looks to galvanise them ahead of Lok Sabha polls. Sources indicated that he will meet both leaders and party workers who are "committed to the core values of the party and (were) against authoritarianism".
11:31  Moon Moon Sen goes glam in Bankura:  A tale of two names dominated the starting credits at the first workers' convention of the Trinamul Congress candidate from Bankura.

"Amar porichoy di aami? Aajke toh aalaap korte eshechhi... (May I introduce myself? Today I am here to meet you for the first time),' said the lady Bengal knows as Moon Moon Sen before lifting the veil on her dual identity at Bankura Stadium this evening.

One, "Sen, Suchitra Sen's daughter' Moon Moon Sen. The other, "Srimati Dev Varma', wife of Bharat Dev Varma, who shared the dais with her. Read more
11:12  The anatomy of murder and politics:  Padamsinh Patil, NCP candidate in Osmanabad, is facing trial for the murder of his cousin and political rival. Read
11:07  Viscera report deepens Sunanda Pushkar's death mystery:   Sunanda Pushkar's viscera report has brought back the possibility of foul play in the mysterious death of the 52-year-old businesswoman in a south Delhi luxury hotel on January 17 this year.

Sources said the report not only rules out the presence of any poison in Sunanda's body but also finds no trace of the anti-anxiety drug, Alprax, in her stomach at the time of the death.

This directly contradicts the autopsy report which had concluded that Sunanda died of drug poisoning and had indicated the presence of Alprax.

Read more
10:52  The biggest challenge facing the next government will be resources:  Finance Minister P Chidambaram feels the current set of challenges cannot be wished away by its successor. Read
10:51  MH370 search: Chinese aircraft finds 'white and square' objects:  Chinese aircrew have spotted "suspicious objects" in the southern Indian Ocean in the search for vanished Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, the official Xinhua news agency said on Monday. The "white and square" objects were spotted by searchers aboard a Chinese Ilyushin-76 plane, it said. 
Read more
10:50  Army running low on ammunition:  The world's second-largest standing Army is fast running out of ammunition. Tanks and air defence units, artillery batteries and infantry soldiers are all facing the crunch.

The Army is, obviously, tight-lipped on the ammunition shortage.

But a simple calculation reveals that at present, it may not have enough ammunition reserves to sustain a full-fledged war for even 20 days.
Read more
10:37  Malaysia Airlines jet in emergency landing in HK:  
Even as the search for MH370 continues, another Malaysia Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur to Seoul has made an emergency landing in Hong Kong after a generator failed.

Hong Kong's airport says firefighters were put on standby for the arrival of the Airbus A330-300, which landed without incident just before 3 am today.

Malaysia Airlines says in a statement that flight MH066 was diverted to the southern Chinese city after the main generator supplying normal electrical power failed. However, the jet's auxiliary power unit was able to continue supplying power.

The airline said the 271 passengers bound for Incheon International Airport near Seoul were put on flights with other carriers.
10:07  Sensex surges over 124 points in early trade:  
The benchmark BSE Sensex gained over 124 points in early trade today on sustained buying by funds and retailers amid a firming trend in other Asian markets. 

The 30-share barometer, which had gained 15.23 points in the previous two sessions, shot up by 124.18 points, or 0.57 per cent, to 21,879.50. 

All the sectoral indices, led by PSUs, banking and metals, were trading in the positive zone with gains up to 1.08 per cent.

On similar lines, the National Stock Exchange index Nifty moved up by 33.95 points, or 0.52 per cent, to 6,528.85.

Brokers said sentiments on the domestic bourses remained positive, largely on the back of a firming trend in the Asian region, despite fresh data indicating China's manufacturing sector witnessed shrinking in March. 

Among other Asian markets, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose by 1.03 per cent while Japan's Nikkei gained 1.83 per cent in early trade today.  
09:50  EC asks for copy of Pawar's 'bogus voting' comment on a CD:  
Maharashtra EC has asked for a copy of NCP chief Sharad Pawar's 'bogus voting' comment on a CD.

The Union minister on Sunday 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 their places of work.

Read more on it HERE

Follow the latest election updates on Twitter: @RediffElections
09:40  Modi to address rally Bihar's Saharsa today:  
BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is scheduled to hold a rally in Bihar's Saharsa on Monday. 

Elaborate security arrangement have been in place to ensure security for Modi, who was targeted during a previous rally in Patna in Bihar.

Follow the latest election updates on Twitter: @RediffElections
08:53  Sulking Jaswant set to file nomination from Barmer:  
Upset over denial of Lok Sabha ticket, a sulking Jaswant Singh on Sunday dared his party, saying he will file his nomination papers tomorrow from Barmer as an independent while asserting that he is "not a piece of furniture" to be "adjusted" after polls. 

He has also made it clear that the party will have to suffer the consequences of internal strife coming to the fore ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. 

Back channel efforts were underway to bring him around, BJP sources said, but the veteran leader showed no signs of relenting.
 
Training his guns on BJP president Rajnath Singh who said the 76-year-old leader's services will be utilised appropriately, Jaswant Singh retorted, "I am not a piece of furniture. The choice of the adjective 'adjust' itself is indicative of the mentality. You cannot adjust with principles and it is insulting". 

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08:48  South superstar Nagarjuna to meet Modi today:  
Southern actor Akkineni Nagarjuna is scheduled to meet BJP's prime ministerial candidate candidate Narendra Modi in Ahmedabad today, fuelling speculation that he might join the BJP.

The BJP has gone all out to string together as many alliances as possible ahead of the national election which is just about two weeks away.

The meeting comes days after another southern actor and brother of Union minister K Chiranjeevi, Pawan Kalyan, met Modi.

Pawan, a popular Telugu actor, who floated Jana Sena earlier this month, met Modi in Ahmedabad on Friday and declared his support to his candidature for the post of prime minister.

The youngest brother of Chiranjeevi described Modi as the right man for the top post and claimed that he declared his support on behalf of Telugu-speaking people of both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
08:48  Mumbai: Sentencing of 4 guilty of photojournalist's gang-rape today:  
A Mumbai court today is likely to sentence three men convicted last week for gang-raping a 23-year-old photojournalist at the defunct Shakti Mills in the heart of Mumbai in August last year.

The trio, Mohammed Salim Ansari, Vijay Mohan Jadhav and Mohammad Qasim Hafiz Shaikh alias Kasim Bengali, were also convicted for gang-raping an 18-year-old telephone operator at the deserted mill last year and were sentenced to life in prison on Friday.

The young photographer was on assignment at the mill with a male colleague when a gang of five men tied him up and took turns to assault her. The judge found her rapists guilty of offences that included showing pornography to her and forcing her to perform similar acts, stripping her, and destroying evidence.

While the fourth accused, Siraj Rehmat Khan, will learn his fate today, the fifth, a minor, is being tried separately by the Mumbai Juvenile Justice Board which will begin hearing the case next month.

Police had described the photographer's attackers as unemployed school drop-outs, while neighbours say they were a gang of youths known for petty theft and drinking in the area.
08:46  Australia 'clutching' at MH370 leads after new data:  
Australia said on Monday that French satellite data indicating floating objects possibly linked to missing Flight MH370 related to an area outside the current search zone, while admitting to "clutching" at every piece of new information.

Malaysian authorities on Sunday said the data was related to the area of the southern Indian Ocean being scoured for the missing Malaysian jet, which disappeared on March 8 with 239 people on board.

The information was passed to Australia, which is coordinating the hunt for the plane, focused on a remote stretch of ocean 2,500 kilometres (1,500 miles) southwest of Perth.

But Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said the latest potential sighting of debris was about 850 kilometres north of where aircraft and ships have been looking since Thursday.
08:45  
Good Morning.

Here's a look at what will dominate the news today:

A sulking Jaswant Singh may today file nomination from Barmer as an independent

Mumbai court to announce punishment for four guilty of photojournalist's gang-rape

South superstar Nagarjuna to meet Narendra Modi today

Australia 'clutching' at MH370 leads after new data

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