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LIVE: Chidambaram will be remembered as spoiler, arrogant leader: Yashwant Sinha

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March 30, 2014

19:07  BJP sets 24-hour deadline to TDP:  
With talks between Bharatiya Janata Party and the Telugu Desam Party being stuck over sharing of seats in Andhra Pradesh, senior party leader Venkaiah Naidu today indicated that BJP will contest upcoming polls on its own if the Chandrababu Naidu-led party fails to spell out its stand within 24 hours.

Admitting that a stalemate in talks continues with TDP on seat sharing in both Telangana and Seemandhra, Venkaiah said the party's central elections committee will meet on Monday in New Delhi to decide the future course of action. 

Venkaiah said the BJP cannot wait inordinately on its future course of action.

"As per the information I have received there seems to be some sort of a stalemate (over talks with TDP). And we cannot wait indefinitely," he said.

Venkaiah said the state committee of Telangana has been asked to make its recommendations by Monday when the BJP's central committee will be meeting in the national capital.

Latest on elections: @RediffElections
17:55  RSS poll predictably predicts Modi win:  
An opinion poll conducted by RSS mouthpiece 'Organiser' ahead of Lok Sabha elections has said development and governance were top issues before voters but steered clear of any mention of Ram Temple. 

The survey, published in the latest issue of the weekly, said BJP's prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi is the top choice of voters for the PM's post except in south India where Rahul Gandhi enjoys an edge. 

Corruption, strangely, did not figure among the top five topics among voters though it was one of the issues among the top ten. The opinion poll, however, does not mention Ram Temple. 

The survey, conducted by Organiser and Lok Saarthi Foundation in 380 parliamentary constituencies across all states in central, northern, western, eastern and southern India, said that the majority of 1.14 lakh sampled electors listed lack of employment and basic amenities such as electricity, hospitals, roads and drinking water, as their primary concerns.

Latest on elections: @RediffElections
16:56  Chidambaram will be remembered as spoiler, arrogant leader: Yashwant Sinha:  
Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Yashwant Sinha took a dig at outgoing FM P Chidambaram on Sunday saying that the Bombay Stock Exchange's sensitive index's rise coincided with the announcement that the latter wasn't contesting Lok Sabha polls 2014. 
Addressing scribes at the BJP headquarters here, Sinha said, Chidambaram tried to bring down fiscal deficit very artificially. (As a result) The UPA is leaving a huge burden of subsidy on the next government. 

And added, "The Finance Minister will be remembered in history as a spoiler and an arrogant leader." 

Continuing his tirade against the outgoing United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, Sinha said that the Congress-led government showed no concern for the poor and downtrodden strata of the society.

"UPA has no concern for BPL families,the last survey was done by NDA in 2002, since then there's been no new survey," said Sinha.

Latest on elections: @RediffElections
16:33  In Ashok Chanvan's Nanded, Modi calls Congress 'shameless':  
Narendra Modi today attacked the Congress and Rahul Gandhi for giving a ticket to former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, who has been indicted in the Adarsh Housing scam in Mumbai.

"Congress shameless, says no law stops Chavan from contesting. Rahul Gandhi said investigation will take place. Was 'handing out a ticket' your way of conducting an investigation?" the BJP's prime ministerial candidate said at a rally in Nanded in Maharashtra.  

On Wednesday, Congress president Sonia Gandhi had defended her party's decision to field Chavan in the Lok Sabha elections, despite corruption charges against him. 

"As far as we know, Chavan is not barred from contesting the election by any law," Sonia had said. 

Chavan, who was indicted by an inquiry panel that investigated the Adarsh scam in Mumbai in December last year, is the Congress candidate from Nanded. He had to resign as chief minister in 2010 after allegations against him surfaced.

Latest on elections: @RediffElections
15:20  Sending legal notice to Naqvi, he must apologise soon: Sabir Ali:  
CNN-IBN reports: Angered by the comments of Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi over his alleged links with Indian Mujahideen mastermind Yasin Bhatkal, expelled JDU leader Sabir Ali said that he will be sending a legal notice to the Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson.

Sabir Ali also demanded an apology from Naqvi saying that his statement has disturbed him and his family. 

"We demand an apology from Naqvi within 24 hours. Either he should give the proof or apologise. My kids study in reputed schools and they are also disturbed by such irresponsible comments," Sabir Ali's wife Yasmin said, adding that if he Naqvi refuses to apologise, she will sit outside his house on protest.

Sabir reiterated his stand that he had no link with any terrorist. 

"We have no connections with the underworld, these allegations are absolutely baseless," he said.

Latest on elections: @RediffElections
15:15  EC not to ban opinion polls:  
The broadcast and publication of opinion polls is unlikely to be restricted in the coming months as Election Commission has told the Law Ministry that it will not take such a step using its powers under the Constitution and it wants the government to come out with a law on the issue.

Days after the Law Ministry suggested to the poll panel that it can restrict opinion polls using its powers under Article 324, the Commission has reverted back to the government saying that bringing a law would be a better idea. 

EC feels that restricting opinion polls under Article 324 may not be "legally sustainable". It told the Law Ministry that since exit polls were also restricted by law, it should follow similar procedure on opinion polls. 

The poll panel had proposed that there should be a prohibition on publication and broadcast of the results of opinion polls starting from the date of notification of elections till the completion of the last phase of polls to the Lok Sabha and state assemblies.

Latest on elections: @RediffElections
14:44  BJP only talks big, we deliver: Sonia:  
Mounting an attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party, United Progressive Alliance Chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Sunday said the Opposition party "talks big" and believes in the "politics of hate." 

Congress has strengthened the country's 'Ganga-Jamuna' culture but the BJP is all out to weaken the country, she said addressing an election rally in Assam's Lakhimpur town.
"The opposition, particularly the BJP, are going round the country indulging in big talk but what did their government do when they were in power at the Centre? There is a big difference between talking and working", Gandhi said. 

"We have fulfilled almost all promises made in the 2009 manifesto. We will do the same with the 2014 manifesto and we need your support for this," she said.

"We do not make false promises. What we promise, we deliver. The Congress believes in Har Haath Shakti, Har Haath Tarakki (Each hand is power, each hand is progress", Gandhi said.

Latest on elections: @RediffElections
14:02  Pawar has time to talk on cricket but not for dying farmers: Modi:  
Targeting Maratha strongman Sharad Pawar in the farmers' suicide belt of Amravati, Narendra Modi today said the Agriculture Minister has time to talk on cricket but has been "unable to save" farmers.

He said Pawar has done little to save the farmers in the belt, which has seen a spate of suicides by farmers, and asked the voters to free India and Maharashtra of NCP.

"The Agriculture Minister is from here, yet he is unable to save farmers. He has time to talk on cricket but not for dying farmers. Let us have a NCP free India and Maharashtra," he said addressing an election rally in Amravati in Maharashtra.

Flaying the local body tax, he said, "LBT is nothing but Looto Baato Tax. This tax is ruining the farmers of Maharashtra."

Latest on elections: @RediffElections
13:59  CVC to review coalgate cases probe; to call meeting with CBI:  
The Central Vigilance Commission will review preliminary enquiries filed by the CBI in connection with the multi-crore coal blocks allocation scam. 

The anti-corruption watchdog, which exercises superintendence over CBI to oversee corruption cases, will call a meeting with agency officials involved in investigation into the coal blocks allocation scam this week, a senior CVC official said. 

"We do not interfere in investigation. It is a police power. The Commission will review the stand taken and action suggested by investigating officials and supervising officials on preliminary enquiries registered by the CBI," he said. 

There are 20 cases in which CBI officers have divergent views and the CVC will give its independent evaluation on these cases to Supreme Court, which is hearing matters related to coal blocks scam, the official said. 

The CVC was asked by the apex court on Friday to peruse the coal blocks allocation cases in which there is a difference of opinion within CBI. 
11:56  Rich harvest of the Aam poll people:  
Assets of 16 select Aam Aadmi Party candidates who have already filed their nominations show that at an average, each is worth Rs 18.06 crore. 

While the richest -- V Balakrishnan -- is worth Rs 190 crore, the poorest -- Rakhi Birla -- has only Rs 1.65 lakh to her name. 

Some of the crorepati candidates do not own cars, but have investments in more than one property. 

Read more HERE
11:53  What MJ Akbar brings to team Narendra Modi:  
M J Akbar is formidably good at debate, but his talents lie in being mostly clever and often rude.

He likes to dominate. He is short of temper and curt with all those not as smart as he is (everyone). These are not good qualities for a spokesman.

So then what does Akbar bring to team Narendra Modi?

11:49  Can Modi Be Modi? Will Politics Enable NaMonomics?:  
The first votes are yet to be cast. 

Victory though, it would seem, is a mere formality. 

Bankers and investors on Wall Street and Dalal Street are voting with dollars and rupees. 

The Sensex is defying gravity, sentiment is challenging logic. Investment banks are in a race of competitive adulation. 

The rupee, boosted by testosterone therapy, is reflecting a new machismo. 

The wail of pessimism is fading off, the NaMo wave of exuberance -- rationality is after all about where you stand -- is setting in.

Click HERE to read more
11:46  Sonia Gandhi to address rally in Delhi today:  
In an attempt to boost Congress' campaign for the upcoming General Elections, party president Sonia Gandhi will address a rally in the national capital on Sunday. 

Sonia will address the rally at Ajmal Khan Park in Karol Bagh in New Delhi constituency. Party leaders say Sonia's rally will bolster the party's flagging morale before Delhi goes to the polls April 10. 

The New Delhi constituency is represented by Congress leader Ajay Maken, who is pitched against BJP's Meenakshi Lekhi and AAP's journalist-turned-politician Ashish Khetan. 

The grand old party had suffered a massive setback in the 2012 Delhi Assembly elections. It had managed to bag just 8 seats in the 70-member Delhi Assembly. The AAP under the leadership of Arvind Kejriwal had won 28 and the BJP 32.

To give final touches to the preparations for the rally, AICC general secretary and in-charge of Delhi Affairs Shakeel Ahmed, Delhi Congress president Arvinder Singh, senior leader Haroon Yusuf among others inspected the Ajmal Khan Park on Saturday. 
00:07  Car bomb targets Lebanon army near Syria border:  Lebanon's state news agency says a suicide bomber driving an explosives-laden car has targeted an army checkpoint near a town close to the Syrian border.

The National News Agency said the Saturday evening bombing just outside the eastern Lebanese town of Arsal killed several soldiers and wounded others. It did not immediately provide further details.
00:05  US and Russia to discuss potential solution over Ukraine:  John Kerry, the US secretary of state is to meet Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister next week to discuss a potential resolution to the Ukraine stand-off.

The meeting was announced a day after Vladimir Putin called Barack Obama in an effort to launch a fresh diplomatic effort to de-escalate the crisis. The US State Department said on Saturday that Kerry would travel from Saudi Arabia to Paris on Saturday, in advance of a "to-be-scheduled meeting' with his Russian counterpart early next week. Reuters reported that the two would meet on Sunday.
00:04  Taliban attack election panel headquarters before Afghan voting:  Taliban fighters unleashed a barrage of gunfire and rocket-propelled grenades at the headquarters of Afghanistan's election commission on Saturday, a week before Afghans are to vote for a new president in an election that the Taliban has vowed to disrupt. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Afghan officials and witnesses said the attack began shortly before 1 p.m. when at least three militants entered a building overlooking the headquarters of the Independent Election Commission, a grassy compound of low-slung buildings on the eastern edge of Kabul.
00:03  BJP says no deal with TDP, will contest alone in Telangana:  Telangana unit of BJP today said the party would fight April 30 Lok Sabha and assembly elections in the region alone, indicating that talks with Chandrababu Naidu-led Telugu Desam Party over sharing of seats have failed. 

While announcing the party's decision to go solo, Telangana unit BJP president G Kishan Reddy said the central leadership would take a final decision in this regard.
00:02  Gas leak from LPG tanker sparks panic in Kerala:  Panic gripped people here after gas leaked from an LPG tanker which overturned and fell on a stationary autorickshaw killing its driver, before experts temporarily plugged it some five hours after the mishap. 

In view of the LPG tanker tragedy at Chala in neighbouring Kannur district in 2012, which claimed the lives of 20 people in an inferno, officials have taken all precautionary measures to avert a similar situation.
00:01  Brazilians say women in revealing clothes deserve rape: poll:  In Brazil, the land of mini bikinis and voluptuous carnival dancers, most people say a woman who shows off her body deserves to be raped, according to a poll that has triggered outrage. 

Of the 3,810 respondents of both sexes who responded to the government's Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA) survey released this week, about 2,480 -- 65 per cent -- justified raping women who wear "clothing that shows off the body."

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