23:02 Jaitley questions logic behind Rahul's BJP balloon jibe:
A day after Rahul Gandhi's BJP balloon jibe, Arun Jaitely today wondered whether the Congress leader's remark was an "astrological prediction" or based on some rational political thinking and charged the Congressman of "living in denial".
The remarks were made during the release of Congress manifesto in New Delhi yesterday, said Jaitley, who is BJP's candidate from Amritsar Lok Sabha seat.
"Sonia Ji said we will prove all opinion polls wrong. Second (comment) was by Rahul Gandhi... who said the balloon of BJP will burst," he said. Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Jaitley said BJP has never claimed that opinion polls are totally correct.
"But when reliable institutions conduct opinion polls... (they) indicate direction of public opinion and today there is clear direction that Narendra Modi is most popular person to become Prime Minister," he said.
He said the broad direction indicated by opinion polls is that Congress is nose diving to a two digit figure and BJP hopes to reach its highest tally in post-independence history.
23:00 'Khushwant will also be remembered for his love for Pakistan':
In a joint tribute to noted author and journalist Khushwant Singh, who recently passed away at the age of 99, four former high commissioners to India -- Humayun Khan, Riaz Khokhar, Ashraf Jehangir Qazi and Aziz Ahmad Khan '" had this to say: "We, the undersigned, have all had the privilege of serving as Pakistan's envoys in New Delhi and we would like to add our tribute to the late Sardar Khushwant Singh to those which have flowed in from all over the world. We have a special reason to do so because, among the many things he will be remembered for, was his love for Pakistan, the land of his birth.
"Khushwant was a larger than life character. Historian, scholar, journalist, wit and bon vivant, he enriched our lives with his writings and, above all, with his friendship. He relished his privacy, but his doors were always open to visitors from Pakistan. In his later years, he avoided public occasions, but always found time to spend an evening at our embassy, provided we followed his strict adherence to time, which enabled him to go home early.
He was not only rational about Indo-Pak relations, but genuinely emotional. He took pride in having Pakistanis as his best friends. Because of this, we were able to enjoy, in addition to his wit and his wisdom, his fraternal affection. In remembering this great man, we must all continue to strive for the ideals he promoted and the courage, the humour and the total lack of hypocrisy that he always displayed".
22:12 Azam Khan invities Jaswant Singh to join SP:
Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan invited rebel Bharatiya Janata Party leader Jaswant Singh to join his party saying that its doors were open for him. "I invite him (Jaswant) to join the SP.
"Doors of my party are open for him...," Khan said. After being denied ticket from Barmer, senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh has filed nomination from the seat as an independent candidate. He has also attacked his party for treating him like a piece of furniture.
The latest updates on elections: @RediffElections
21:39 Turkey officials block YouTube:
Turkey has made the "administrative decision" to block access to YouTube, the semiofficial news agency Anadolu
The announcement follows a Turkish government ban on Twitter that provoked widespread criticism, reports BBC
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who blames social media for fueling
anti-government rhetoric, threatened to "eradicate" Twitter last week
21:22 Chief judge in Musharraf case says not quitting trial:
The chief judge in Pervez Musharraf's treason trial today dramatically stormed out of the courtroom in "disgust" after repeatedly being accused of bias against the former Pakistani military dictator but later clarified that he was not recusing himself from the case.
It was widely reported that Justice Faisal Arab, the chief of the three-member bench conducting the treason trial against 70-year-old Musharraf, had recused himself from the hearing following an exchange of arguments with the former president's counsel Anwar Mansoor.
However, the judge later clarified that he had only walked out of today's proceedings and was not dissociating himself from the case completely.
20:06 Obama meets Pope Francis during Rome visit:
United States President Barack Obama meets Pope Francis for the first time on the third leg of a European tour dominated by the crisis in Ukraine.
Obama says it was a "great honour" to meet the Pope.
He flew into Rome after three days of talks with world leaders in the Netherlands and Brussels.
19:31 BJP approaches EC over 'misuse' of Modi's name, image in Maha:
The BJP today asked the Chief Election Commissioner V Sampath to act against those "misusing" its PM nominee Narendra Modi's name and picture to garner votes.
"The Election Commission should take cognisance of the violation of the Model Code of Conduct by some political parties/individuals by using images/name of our prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi," Shrikant Bharatiya, War Room Incharge, BJP Election Management Committee, told Sampath.
19:30 Sonia Gandhi to address rally in Mumbai:
Congress president Sonia Gandhi would address a election rally in the city on April 20, ahead of the third phase of Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra.
The Congress chief would also be accompanied by her son and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi, a senior party leader said.
"Although it is a Congress rally, other alliance partners including NCP chief Sharad Pawar will also be invited for the event," the leader said.
18:54 Agent 49: BJP's new film is dedicated to Arvind Kejriwal:
BJP screens film on Kejriwal: Agent 49. @RediffElections
A day after Narendra Modi mocked Arvind Kejriwal as "AK 49" and an agent of Pakistan, the BJP called the media to screen an entire film parodying "Agent 49."
Reporters were shown a montage of visuals and comments that highlighted controversies linked to Mr Kejriwal and lampooned his Aam Aadmi Party or AAP as "Arvind Apna Propaganda" party.
The BJP had avoided any direct attack on Kejriwal till he announced on Tuesday that he would contest against Modi from Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, in next month's national election, reports NDTV.
The party's offensive indicates that it is not taking the AAP leader's challenge to its prime ministerial candidate lightly.
18:17 Suhasini Haidar @suhasinih UNHRC now voting on whether Section 10 dealing with intrusive resolution for intl inquiry should be allowed.
18:14 Subramanian Swamy @Swamy39 MMS has at last shown spine: India abstains in UNHCR vote.
Three months after Sri Lanka declared victory over the Tamil Tigers, Channel 4 News broadcast footage apparently showing government troops summarily executing Tamils during the final push of the war. Watch
17:47 The UN Human Rights Council is voting almost exactly five years after Sri Lanka's civil war ended, the US and UK-led resolution would mandate the UN to launch a war crimes inquiry.
17:45 MEA spokesperson tweets on India vote :
This is what MEA spokesperson tweeted: Syed Akbaruddin @MEAIndia India abstaining on #SriLanka resolution at #UNHRC citing resolution's potential to hinder efforts rather than contribute constructively.
17:41 LIVE! India abstains on UN resolution to probe Sri Lanka war crimes:
Just in: India abstains on resolution for probe into Sri Lanka war crimes. The draft resolution calls for the United Nations human rights office to monitor Sri Lanka and "undertake a comprehensive investigation into alleged serious violations of human rights and related crimes by both parties."
The resolution sought an international probe against Sri Lanka.Also read:
Facing a war crimes inquiry, Sri Lanka continues to vex the U.N.
17:30 Chaos at Modi's Bihar rally, crowd hurls shoes, bottles at cops:
Just in: There's been a lathicharge at Narendra Modi's rally in Gaya, Bihar. BJP supporters entered the media enclosure prompting the police to resort to a lathicharge. Police have restored law and order but the mood still seems ugly as the crowd continues to hurl footwear at the police and the media.
Shoes, bottles and stones were hurled at the police. The commotion continued till Modi started addressing the crowd, which then started cheering.@RediffElections
17:17 Will Lalu share stage with Rahul, Sonia?:
Though the Congress has allied with the RJD for the Lok Sabha elections, there is still no clarity whether Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi who would campaign next week in Bihar would share the dais with Lalu Prasad Yadav.
While Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi would be in Aurangabad on April 1 to seek votes for former Kerala governor Nikhil Kumar, Sonia Gandhi will address a rally in support of Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar at Sasaram on April 3.
17:11 Keh Ke Peheno '@coolfunnytshirt Manifestos are subject to market risk. Please read the offer document carefully before voting.
17:07 Sonakshi Sinha tweets: I will not be campaigning for my father @Shatrugansinha as is being reported. Other than my professional commitments keeping me busy, He does not need me to, nor does he expect me to because as he said i am not a political personality. But when the time comes, i will definitely cast my vote as a responsible citizen :)
BJP candidate Sinha will contest from Patna Saheb in Bihar.
Some uplifting pictures of Sunny Leone's day out in Mumbai. Take a look.
16:50 Subrata Roy can't afford Rs 10,000 cr bail, will stay in jail :
So, it seems, Subrata Roy will stay in jail. Sahara has reportedly told the Supreme Court that it cannot afford to pay Rs 10,000 crore to secure the release of its chief.
This comes a day after the apex court set condition of depositing Rs 10,000 crore for releasing Sahara chief Subrata Roy on bail.
The Supreme Court had set Rs 5000 crore in cash and Rs 5000 crore of bank guarantee to be furnished as a pre-condition of bail to Roy and two other directors, who are in Delhi's Tihar Jail since March 4.
A bench of Justices K S Radhakrishnan and J S Khehar turned down Sahara's plea to reduce the amount and asked the group to convey its reply till Thursday.
16:32 When Asha Parekh was killed on Twitter :
And speaking of media, sometime ago, CNN IBN's Rajdeep Sardesai killed veteran Bollywood actress Asha Parekh on Twitter.
However, he quickly followed it up with this tweet:
"Big lesson learnt: apologies again. Will be much much more careful."
Asha Parekh, thankfully, is well, but unwittingly has been trending on Twitter.
16:22 Sonia asks PC to head to Assam :
Sonia Gandhi has asked Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram to go to Assam to coordinate the party's poll preparedness. This decision was taken after the AICC received complaints against Chidambaram that he should not have run away from contesting the elections. Chidambaram will certainly take advantage of his deputation to Assam as an observer -- he gets to pick up the lingo and creates a base for a Rajya Sabha seat from Assam in 2015.
Rahul Gandhi has agreed to consider Chidambaram is accommodatedas Rajya Sabha MP from Assam. In case Chidambaram gets it, he will be the third outsider from Assam to get Rajya Sabha. First Dr Manmohan Singhsecond Sanjay Singh. Will P Chidambaram be made as Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha in 2015.
16:12 LIVE! BJP may pit Smriti Irani against Rahul Gandhi in Amethi:
BJP is likely to field its party Vice President Smriti Irani from the constituency of Amethi against Rahul Gandhi. This is in continuum with fielding a woman candidate as Uma Bharti is contesting in the neighbouring Rae Bareily seat against Sonia Gandhi.
Rajnath Singh has approved the candidatures. Modi will address three rallies in these two constituencies, to ensure that the rank and file of the BJP is enthused.
If BJP decides to contest Irani from Amethi, AAP leader Kumar Vishwas will also be pitted against her.
15:56 Amritsar 'safe' seat may be tough for Jaitley :
BJP leader Arun Jaitley faces a formidable rival in Congress' Amarinder Singh in his maiden bid to the enter the Lok Sabha.
Election fever is gripping the holy city with Singh scheduled to pay a visit tomorrow.
It is his first visit after the announcement of his candidature, 10 days after a massive roadshow of Jaitley.
When BJP announced the candidature of Jaitley, Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Amritsar was considered his safe passage to the Lok Sabha.
But with Congress pitting Singh against him, the contest is surely likely to be a clash of the titans.
Jaitley, however, remains unfazed by his opponent as the former commerce minister claims the groundswell against Congress "adds to my confidence". Singh has been an MLA from Patiala.
His wife Preneet Kaur, who is minister of state for external affairs, is the Congress Lok Sabha candidate from there.
Initially he was unwilling to fight from Amritsar as he wanted to campaign for his wife. Although Jaitley is a successful advocate and an effective orator, Singh is a formidable opponent who has a large following both among Sikh and Hindu voters.
15:36 Will it be Sushma vs Jaitley for deputy PM if NDA wins?:
Madhya Pradesh Tourism Minister Surendra Patwa has said that Sushma Swaraj could be the future deputy prime minister if voted to power at the Centre.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal suggested that Arun Jaitley
could be given the post of deputy prime minister if the National
Democratic Alliance forms the next government at the Centre.
15:24 LIVE! Independent RS MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar supports Modi for PM:
Rajeev Chandrasekhar @rajeev_mp I hve decided 2 support @narendramodi as next PM for India.
Independent RS member from Karnataka Rajeev Chandrasekhar has turned down the party's offer to contest the Lok Sabha election from any constituency in Bangalore.
Chandrasekhar, who was elected to the Rajya Sabha for a second successive term in 2012, said it would be disrespectful (to the parties) to quit midway through his term.
Chandrasekhar is now headed the BJP's way.
In Modi's Gujarat, a BJP MP champions gay rights. Read
14:53 Why did Alagiri meet half-sister Kani today?:
Expelled DMK leader and son of party partriarch M Karunanidhi -- M K Alagiri -- today called on his half-sister and Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi in Chennai.
A day after he visited his mother Dayalu Ammal when his father was away for campaigning, Alagiri met Kanimozhi at her CIT Colony residence and was closeted with her for about an hour.
There is, however, no official word from the party, or supporters of Alagiri about the meeting. Speculation is rife among DMK workers about the "purpose" of the meeting as supporters of both Alagiri and Kanimozhi have been "sidelined" in selection of candidates for the Lok Sabha elections while Stalin's loyalists found place in the list of nominees without fail.
14:47 BCCI cancels IPL presser :
Just in: BCCI cancels presser to launch IPL 7 in Abu Dhabi. The press conference was scheduled for 3 pm today.
14:37 'Where is the leader who said Jharkhand will be created after his death?':
Poll updates: In the second such instance in a week, DMDK replaced one of its candidates for the April 24 Lok Sabha polls.
Narendra Modi also took a jibe at RJD chief Lalu Prasad, saying, "There is a leader in Bihar now, who used to say Jharkhand will be created after my death. Where is he now. "The message is that if there is strength in the government that is sitting in Delhi and its leader is decisive, decisions take place. Jharkhand is its living example."
14:21 LIVE! Khalistan terrorist Bhullar will NOT be hanged :
Just in: The Centre tells the Supreme Court that it is in favour of commuting the death sentence awarded to Devendra Pal Singh Bhullar in the 1993 Delhi bomb blast case to a life term.
The Centre has told the SC that there was an inordinate delay of 18 years in deciding his mercy plea and has been suffering from a psychiatric disorder and therefore cannot be hanged.
On January 31, a four-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice P. Sathasivam, acting on a curative petition, had stayed Bhullar's execution and asked the Delhi Government to file its response.
Did Teesta Setalvad really buy liquor with money meant for Gujarat riot victims? Read
14:03 Educated women are less vulnerable, right? :
Women who are well educated and financially independent are often thought to be less vulnerable in domestic relationships. But a new study of Indian women has found the opposite: women who are more educated than their husbands, or who earn more, face a greater threat of domestic violence. Read
14:01 Language barriers and legalities at gang-rape trial :
The trial of four men accused of gang-raping a photojournalist in Mumbai in August is over. The verdict: guilty. The sentence: Here's where it becomes complicated. The prosecution argues that three of the men should face fresh charges because they were also found guilty and sentenced to life in prison last week for the gang rape of another woman. Read
13:56 Muzaffarnagar riots: Over 800 rapists, murders roam free :
More than 800 accused of last year's Muzaffarnagar riot cases are yet to be arrested despite the fact that court has served arrest warrants against them, SIT sources said today.
Additional Superintendent of Police, Special Investigation Team, Manoj Jha said that 390 people were arrested and 75 surrendered in court while 804 are still absconding in the riot cases. Accused who are absconding, included gang rape and murder accused, he said.
Police had registered six gang-rape cases against 24 people during the riots but only two accused are arrested, Jha said.
13:33 Willing to be stoned if I am guilty: Pawan Bansal on campaign trail in Chandigarh:
Former Railway Minister Pawan Bansal, whose nomination as a Congress candidate has been questioned over a cash-for-jobs scandal on his watch, today said he was "willing to be stoned in the middle of Chandigarh" if he was found guilty.
"I was relieved when the CBI questioned me as they had nothing. I am willing to be stoned in the middle of Chandigarh if I am guilty," he told NDTV.
The 65-year-old is contesting next month's national election from Chandigarh.
The Congress' decision to field him again has been criticized at a time fighting against corruption is a dominant theme in poll campaigns.
Last year, Bansal was forced to resign as railway minister after his nephew Vijay Singhla was caught taking bribes to facilitate the promotion of a railway board member.
13:12 LIVE! SC: Make Gavaskar BCCI prez; ban RR, CSK:
The Supreme Court, which is hearing the IPL spot fixing case right now, has proposed that Sunil Gavaskar be the interim BCCI chief and take over from N Srinivasan. The SC has also proposed that Chennai Superkings and Rajasthan Royals be banned from the IPL. The apex court is likely to pass the order tomorrow.
13:07 LIVE! Dhoni guilty in IPL spot-fixing case: SC lawyer Harish Salve :
Harish Salve, counsel of the petitioner, says India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is guilty of corrupt conduct and gave false statement to the Commission.
Salve said, "Dhoni is an employee of India Cements and that leads to a conflict of interest."
Sundar Raman, who runs the IPL, is also an employee of Indian Cements. Salve has been arguing for more than an hour and he is drawing the attention of the SC towards the conflicts of interest prevalent in the BCCI at large.
Salve basically pointed to Dhoni deposition before the Mudgal Commission in which he said that Gurunath Meiyappan was not the team principal/owner... but just an enthusiast.
Harish Salve, counsel
of the petitioner, says India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni guilty of
corrupt conduct, gave false statement to the Commission.
Salve also said that: "Dhoni is an employee of India Cements and that
leads to a conflict of interest."
Sundar Raman, who runs the IPL, is also an employee of Indian Cements.
Salve has been arguing for more than an hour and he is drawing the
attention of the SC towards the conflicts of interest prevalent in the
BCCI at large.
Salve basically pointed to Dhoni deposition before the Mudgal Commission
in which he said that Gurunath Meiyappan was not the team
principal/owner... but just an enthusiast.
Read more at: http://www.firstpost.com/sports/live-sc-vs-bcci-salve-says-dhoni-guilty-of-corrupt-conduct-gave-false-statement-1449283.html?utm_source=ref_article
-- Firstpost.comAlso read:
Dhoni snubs media after his name figures in IPL spot-fixing
12:58 Modi the moderate:
Narendra Modi's campaign rhetoric so far has defied ideological templates.
"For several months, I have been hearing Narendra Modi's campaign speeches quite regularly, paying attention to his themes, rhetoric and imagery. As expected, he has vigorously attacked key political opponents '" the Nehru-Gandhi family, Nitish Kumar, Mulayam Singh Yadav. But a systematic silence has also marked his campaign. Quite remarkably, Hindu nationalism has been absent from his speeches."Read
the complete piece here.
12:52 Narendra Modi's dilemma: Surat vs Banarasi saris:
Surti silk or Banarasi weave? Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi has a 'sari' choice facing him in his adopted constituency. The large weaver community of Varanasi blames Gujarat's textile city Surat for its plight, and is now looking for its pound of zari in return for votes. So, when Modi arrives here, one of the first questions he will face in the bylanes of Madanpura will be: 'Will you help Varanasi artisans compete against the powerlooms of your home state?" Read more
12:45 'Modi is the most talented politician of our time':
He doesn't think anyone else has his brilliance or integrity. And he cannot bear to stand a rival,' says journalist Aakar Patel, a longtime Narendra Modi observer who has translated Modi's poetry and his biographies of RSS leaders. Read
12:41 5,872 farmer suicides in Gujarat :
Levelling allegations that seek to rock the very edifice of their targets is a guerrilla tactic that Arvind Kejriwal and his AAP have come to perfect. The Gandhi family was the first target, and soon the Ambanis were caught in the AAP cross-hairs. Inevitably, AAP turned its focus on BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and his claims on Gujarat. Read
12:33 LIVE! Haryana governor's plane crashes at Chandigarh, no casualties:
A small chartered plan carrying Haryana governor Jagannath Pahadia has crashed at Chandigarh airport. Apart from the crew, the governor and his staff were on the plane, say initial reports. No casualties have been reported. The governor was taken to the PGI hospital in Chandigarh for a check-up, but is believed to be doing well.
12:27 Blue blood in Odisha poll fray:
In Orissa, the polls get daubed in blue blood. Scions of erstwhile princely states in Odisha have made their place in the state's politics and 14 of them are in the election fray for the simultaneous assembly and parliamentary polls to be held next month.
Ruling BJD and BJP have fielded 11 and 3 candidates respectively from royal families in parliamentary and assembly seats. Of the 11 royal family members in the poll fight on BJD tickets, three will try their luck in parliamentary seats and the rest eight in assembly seats.
12:22 How AAP plans to storm into battlefield Tamil Nadu:
Here's how the AAP hopes to make a beginning in Tamil Nadu -- banking on the "good" background of its candidates and capitalising on the social-media savy educated and employed volunteers.
The Kejriwal-led party, which is forcing a six-cornered contest in at least four of 39 seats in the state, is hoping to make its presence felt being aware of the ground reality that it cannot replicate its Delhi assembly poll feat.
AAP has roped in well known faces like anti-nuclear activists, writers, journalists and lawyers into its fold.
12:18 Here's a list of Jyotiraditya Scindia and his family's investments :
Power Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and his family members, who have assets worth crores of rupees, also own shares in at least 25 companies and most of these investments were interestingly made last year.
Among these, the portfolio of Congress leader's daughter Ananya Raje includes shares of some well-known listed companies like Greaves Cotton, Ingersoll Rand, KEC International, Merck, RPG Life Sciences, Sintex Industries and Texmaco Rail and Engineering. The investments made by Scindia and his family members are spread across both listed and unlisted firms and many of these shares were purchased between May and September, 2013.
Scindia has movable assets to the tune of over Rs 1.70 crore while that of his wife and daughter are around Rs 11.51 lakh and Rs 33.19 lakh, respectively, according to the affidavit filed with the Election Commission. The Minister, contesting from Guna, Madhya Pradesh, where he is already a sitting MP, has shown immovable assets worth nearly Rs 32 crore.
12:14 MH370 pilot's world was crumbling when his wife left him :
As search crews continue to scour the Indian Ocean for any signs of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, questions once again have been raised about the veteran pilot at the controls of MH370 and his state of mind at the time of the flight.
One of Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah's friends, a fellow pilot, has said the 52-year-old was going through a number of relationship problems and felt that his life was crumbling at the time of the ill-fated flight on March 8. Read more
11:57 Flight MH370: Bad weather again halts plane search:
An air and sea search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane has again been suspended because of bad weather in the southern Indian Ocean.Australian officials said all aircraft were returning to base and ships were leaving the search area. On Wednesday Malaysian officials revealed fresh satellite images from the area that showed a possible debris field from the missing plane. Read more
11:50 LIVE! MH370: Black box batteries will die by mid-April:
Update on the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370: Equipment inside two nearly indestructible boxes aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines plane recorded critical information that would help investigators reconstruct what went wrong.
The flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder have beacons that are sending out "pings" which searchers could track back to the main wreckage.
But the batteries will run out in about two weeks. Satellite images show debris floating in the southern Indian Ocean, but search crews still have not confirmed it is from the plane.
If they can do that, searchers will calculate where the bulk of the plane may have come to rest on the sea floor - and then go to that area and start listening for the pings. -- APRead:
12 weird conspiracy theories on Flight MH370
11:44 Bihars endless feudal violence :
The politics of opportunism masquerading as secularism does great damage to the real battles being fought on the ground for justice against communal and feudal bias. Read
Kavita Krishnan's piece on the Hindu.
11:34 The Supreme Court and Mr Srinivasan :
Earlier this week, the Supreme Court told lawyers representing the Board of Control for Cricket in India that if the Board's president, N. Srinivasan, didn't step down from his post voluntarily, the court would pass orders compelling him to step down.
The court went further; it declared that it was "nauseating' that Srinivasan was still in office.
It didn't stop there; referring to the earlier inquiry commissioned by the BCCI into the scandal (conducted by two retired judges of the Madras High Court), the court asked rhetorically, "Can we say that the probe report was managed and if we say so, then what will be the consequences?"Read
Mukul Kesavan's piece on the Telegraph.
11:30 A sibling swing at succession:
Lalu Prasad has had an astonishing journey from buffalo-boy in the Gopalganj boondocks to an extended suzerainty over Bihar.
That journey hit a trough when Lalu was cast out of power in 2005 and travelled further south when, in 2009, he did so poorly in the Lok Sabha that he lost his UPA cabinet perch in New Delhi.
This coming election, Lalu believes, could be his hour of revival, an opportunity to sneak through the bitterly sundered alliance between the JD(U) and the BJP who collaborated to unseat him a decade ago.Read
Sankarshan Thakur's report for the Telegraph.
11:21 LIVE! Judgment day for N Srinivasan: SC begins hearing :
The Supreme Court has begun the final hearing on the IPL spot-fixing case, even as the BCCI gives its proposal before the court assuring it of initiating disciplinary proceedings on the basis of recommendations of the Mudgal committee report.
The BCCI says it is ready to take action against those who figure in the Mudgal report. The BCCI told the Supreme Court, "We want the IPL betting probe to be be carried out and have to think hard on what is in the best interest of cricket. Investigations will be carried out on the basis of the Mudgal report."
The BCCI has said that N Srinivasan, the head of the BCCI, will step down to ensure a fair probe into illegal betting during last year's IPL. Offering a time-bound inquiry to be conducted by the Chennai police , the board requested the court not to curtail Srinivasan's hefty role in international cricket.
10:58 Jokes can be costly: Supriya Sule on father's 'vote twice' comment:
Sharad Pawar's 44-year-old daughter Supriya Sule says her father's comment on "voting twice," has taught her a big lesson in life: that jokes can be costly. Sule, a NCP MP, says her father was speaking in jest when, at a rally in Navi Mumbai on Sunday, he asked workers to vote first at their hometowns, wash off the ink that would be daubed on their fingers, and then vote again at their places of work, reports NDTV.
10:21 Goa CM gets clean chit from EC on poll code violation :
The Election Commission's local office has dismissed a complaint of violation of the model code of conduct filed against Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar by opposition Congress.
The Goa Pradesh Congress Committee had complained to the EC against Parrikar, pointing out to his post on Twitter and Facebook, wherein he had informed people that the investment-cum-industrial policy would be announced by this month end.
The GPCC had alleged that the post violated the election code of conduct.
The Goa chief secretary's office had clarified that the announcement about the investment policy was made in the state budget which was presented on March 5.
10:20 Hunt for MH 370 continues after 'credible lead' :
The Australia-led search and recovery operation for the crashed Malaysian airliner resumed today with six military aircraft, five civil aircraft and five ships in the search and rescue region in the southern Indian Ocean.
On Wednesday, in what Malaysia called the "most credible lead" so far in the multi-nation hunt for the lost Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, 122 objects were spotted in the remote southern Indian Ocean off the western Australian coast by French satellites that could possibly be debris of the ill-fated plane that went missing 18 days ago.
Australian Maritime Safety Authority said in an official statement, "Search activities today will involve a total of 11 aircraft and five ships. Today's search is split into two areas within the same proximity covering a cumulative 78,000 square km".
10:17 America's arms supply to Pakistan rising :
US arms supply and fresh military aid to Pakistan has quietly gained momentum in the last one year, Congressional sources have said.
The Pentagon, according to publicly available documents, reports total Foreign Military Sales agreements with Pakistan worth about $5.2 billion for FY 2002-FY 2012.
The resumption of US military aid to Pakistan is seen as a sign of normalisation of military-to-military ties between the US and Pakistan, which had hit rock bottom after the killing of Osama bin Laden by US forces in Abbottabad in May 2011.
09:48 Maoists blow up mobile towers in Bihar:
Two mobile towers were blown up by Maoists in Gaya district, Bihar, on Thursday.
The attack comes hours before BJP's PM candidate Narendra Modi is scheduled to address poll rallies in both Bihar and Jharkhand.
09:11 Action against Jaswant? Rajnath Singh remains mum:
When asked about the open defiance by party veteran Jaswant Singh, who has filed his nomination as an independent candidate from Barmer, BJP chief Rajnath Singh reacted cautiously.
Singh said, "We still consider Jaswant a member of the BJP family and we will wait till the last day of the withdrawal of nomination".
He evaded questions on whether the BJP was planning to take action against Jaswant.
09:07 2 Indian Mujahideen operatives from Pak arrested in UP: Vicky Nanjappa reports:
Two Pakistan-based operatives of the Indian Mujahideen were arrested in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh on Thursday.
Muzzamil from Multan and Barkat from Kohat in Pakistan were arrested by Uttar Pradesh police, who recovered 50 kg of explosives from the duo.
Preliminary investigations reveal that Muzzamil and Barkat were suicide bombers who planned to target tourist spots as well as election rallies in UP.
09:03 SC to resume hearing in IPL spot-fixing case:
The Supreme Court will resume its hearing in the IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal today.
In its earlier hearing, the apex court had slammed BCCI chief N Srinivasan and termed his refusal to relinquish his post as "nauseating".
The Supreme Court had observed that Srinivasan must step down as BCCI president to facilitate a fair probe into the scandal.
It had made the observations while going through the contents of a report filed in a sealed cover by an apex court-appointed probe panel.
01:22 Egypt's Sisi resigns as defence minister to run for president:
Egypt's army chief Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi today resigned as defence minister to run for president in an election he is expected to win easily.
Field Marshal Sisi, 59, called a meeting of the supreme council of the armed forces to submit his resignation. In a televised statement, Sisi said that he has resigned from the army and intends to run for the country's presidency.
Sisi has been expected to run for the presidency ever since he overthrew President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, who appointed him, last July, thus cementing his position as the country's new political force.
SCAF in a statement earlier had stated that it welcomed "the people's demands for Al-Sisi to run for president".
00:24 After Modi's 'agent' barb against Kejriwal, AAP collects Rs 1cr in 1 day: HT
reports: The Aam Aadmi Party collected more than Rs 1 crore on Wednesday, as 1,208 donors contributed generously. A section of AAP supporters said the windfall was a result of Narendra Modi's comments against Kejriwal.
In his first direct attack on the AAP leader, Modi, the BJP's prime minister nominee, said earlier in the day, "There are three AKs in Pakistan who are being admired: AK-47, AK Antony and AK-49 (read 49-day Delhi chief minister Kejriwal)."