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Live! Nigeria's Boko Haram threatens to sell schoolgirls on market

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May 05, 2014


23:59  Chaos continues in East Ukraine:  Pro-Russian militants stormed a Ukrainian police station in Odessa on Sunday and freed nearly 70 fellow activists as Ukraine's prime minister blamed police corruption there for dozens of deaths in rioting on Friday.

About 300 pro-Russian activists forced their way into the Odessa police station, gathering in the courtyard, while about a thousand more surrounded the modern complex.
23:58  Nigeria's Boko Haram threatens to sell schoolgirls on market:  The Islamist militant group Boko Haram claimed responsibility on Monday for the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls in northeast Nigeria last month and threatened to "sell them on the market," the French news agency AFP reported, citing a video.

Boko Haram on April 14 stormed an all-girl secondary school in the village of Chibok, in Borno state, then packed the teenagers, who had been taking exams, onto trucks and disappeared into a remote area along the border with Cameroon.
23:56  Top headlines in that last 24 hours:  

Modi's Ram Rajya remarks no violation of law: BJP
'I want to build India starting from Amethi' 
Cong moves EC against Modi on Lord Ram's picture
LS polls 9th phase: 119 tainted candidates in fray 
Almost a year after Uttarakhand floods, Badrinath shrine reopens
Will this 'ghost-like figure' help crack Chennai blasts case? 
No neta campaigns in the village that had this horrid tragedy 
'We didn't see anyone planting the bomb' 
Maharashtra train derailment: Toll mounts to 21 
'India's political deterioration began with Gandhi' 

Yesterday's Live commentary

23:30  Syria clashes kill 21 rebels in Aleppo province:  Fierce fighting in Syria's contested northern province of Aleppo killed at least 21 rebels on Monday as rockets slammed into a government-held district in the provincial capital, killing nine people. 

The clashes, which erupted after midnight yesterday and continued through the day today, also left at least 30 soldiers dead or wounded, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The Syrian government does not publicise its casualties in the war.
23:23  Train mishap: toll rises to 22, Kharge visits site, hospitals:  The death toll in the derailment of a passenger train in Maharashtra's Raigad district rose to 22 today as Railway Minister Mallikarjun Kharge said a probe was on into the mishap and those found guilty will be punished.
23:20  More than 100 killed in C Africa fighting: military source:  More than 100 people have been killed in fierce fighting in the past 10 days in the Central African Republic, as charity Doctors Without Borders said it would reduce its work after a bloody attack on a hospital. Among the dead were many civilians, with one eyewitness claiming children had been thrown alive onto fires.
21:37  SC dismisses PIL on INS Sindhuratna tragedy:  The Supreme Court today dismissed a PIL seeking a court-monitored probe into the fire tragedy in Indian Navy submarine INS Sindhuratna and a compensation of Rs 1 crore each for relatives of the two naval officers who died in the incident. 

A bench headed by Chief Justice R M Lodha declined to pass any direction on the petition which claimed the officers died allegedly due to technical and maintenance failure of batteries in the submarine.
21:34  Greece: Smuggling boats capsize, 22 migrants drown:  A yacht and a dinghy crammed with immigrants trying to enter Greece today capsized in the eastern Aegean Sea, leaving at least 22 dead, including four children, and potentially several more missing in one of the deadliest such accidents in Greek waters in recent years. 

The vessels had been trying to enter Greece illegally when they overturned before dawn off the coast of the island of Samos near the Turkish coast. It was not immediately clear what caused the overloaded craft to capsize. This was the third fatal migrant boat disaster this year.
21:18  UN chief offers mediation on Ukraine crisis:  UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon today offered his mediation to help end the escalating crisis in Ukraine. "I have been discussing this matter will all the parties concerned -- Ukranian leaders, leaders of the Russian federation, the European Union, and Americans," Ban told AFP in Abu Dhabi. 

"I am urging these four parties to solve this problem through peaceful means and I'm ready to provide my own role if necessary." 

An agreement to defuse the crisis was reached in Geneva on April 17.
21:08  Heavy combat in Ukraine as Russia warns European peace at risk:  Russia warned today that Europe's peace was at risk over the escalating crisis in Ukraine, where deadly fighting raged around a flashpoint eastern city and the interim president warned of "war". 

European leaders fearing all-out civil war was breaking out on their eastern flank have launched a desperate new peace bid, trying to force Ukraine and Russia to find a negotiated solution before it is too late.
21:07  Pistorius 'torn apart' after shooting girlfriend:  Oscar Pistorius's murder trial resumed today with a neighbour and friend giving a heart-wrenching account of finding the "broken" athlete coming down the stairs, holding his dead girlfriend in his arms. 

After a two-week break in the trial, the defence called Johan Stander, the first man to arrive at the crime scene after the Paralympic gold medallist shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day last year.
21:07  Modi interview row: Prasar Bharati ready to hold probe:  Prasar Bharati is ready to institute a probe into the controversial editing of Narendra Modi's interview by Doordarshan but will do so only if the Information and Broadcasting Ministry assures that it would abide by the findings. 

Prasar Bharati CEO Jawhar Sircar today said the I&B Ministry needs to give assurance about abiding by the findings as it has not been done in the past.
21:02  China's new satellite to provide 3-D view of earth:  China's Fengyun-III, a polar orbiting meteorological satellite which provides a three-dimensional view of the earth, was put into operation today. 

The third Fengyun-III satellite, together with the second Fengyun-III, will form a monitoring network capable of constant three-dimensional, multiple-spectrum and remote-sensing observation of the earth, the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) said.
20:53  SpiceJet to pay passengers for flight delays, cancellations:  No-frill carrier SpiceJet today announced compensation to passengers for delay or cancellation of flights due to factors within their control, through travel vouchers worth Rs 500 or Rs 1,000. 

The 'On-Time Guarantee' programme, which would cover all travellers, would be effective from tomorrow, a SpiceJet statement said, adding that passengers affected due to a delay of more than 60 minutes "due to reasons in control of SpiceJet will be given Rs 500 voucher for their next travel.
20:34  Chidambaram needs to be reborn to match my record: Yashwant Sinha:   The Bharatiya Janata Party today attacked the UPA government for leaving the economy in the "worst crisis" and said it was committed to a simplified tax regime and will, if voted to power, try to hasten implementation of Direct Tax Code and Goods and Services Tax after a consensus among states.

"We are committed to simplifying the tax system - direct and indirect and therefore, we have always said that we will be critically examining the Direct Tax Code and the GST Constitutional Amendments Bill by getting a consensus among the states and try and hasten the process of DTC.

Read more
19:52  My martyred father has been insulted, Amethi will never forgive them: Priyanka:   Hitting out at Narendra Modi, who took on the Gandhis in Amethi, today Priyanka said, "My martyred father has been insulted in Amethi, people will never forgive them."

Modi said in his speech today, ", "The Gandhis talk about my anger and they talk about how everyone follows Rajiv Gandhi's vision. Andhra Pradesh chief minister was humiliated for not receiving Rajiv Gandhi who was at that time a party general secretary - and his mother, Indiraji was the PM."

Follow the latest updates on Twitter: @RediffElections

19:31  EC lifting ban on Shah will strengthen communal forces: Azam Khan:  Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan today said the Election Commission's decision to lift ban on BJP leader Amit Shah will "strengthen communal forces and weaken democracy".

Khan alleged that the EC had given relaxation to Shah so that he could get into mudslinging against SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav. "

The EC has given relaxation to Shah so that he could do mud slinging against Mulayam Singh Yadav, weaken Samajwadi Party and strengthen communal forces. This is also the reason for banning me so that persons like Shah could weaken democracy," Khan said in a statement in Lucknow.
19:10  Coal scam: ED files laundering case against ex-MoS Rao, Jindal:   The Enforcement Directorate has slapped money laundering charges against former minister of state in the Coal Ministry Dasari Narayana Rao and Congress MP Naveen Jindal in connection with its probe in the coal blocks allocation case.

The agency, which has registered an FIR under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, taking cognisance of the Central Bureau of Investigation complaints in these allocations, has also named members and officials of the 35th screening committee (government constituted multi-member body).

Others include Ms Gagan Sponge Iron Pvt Ltd, Ms Jindal Steel and Power Limited, Ms Jindal Realty Pvt Ltd, Ms New Delhi Exim Pvt Ltd, Ms Sowbhagya Media Ltd besides unknown persons in its complaint in this case.
18:49  LIVE! Jaitley: Mrs Vadra's comment on Smriti is arrogance at its worst:   Targetting Priyanka Gandhi, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley today said her ignorance about the presence of party candidate Smriti Irani in Amethi showed the Congress star campaigner's "arrogance at its worst".

"Mrs Vadra's statement yesterday on Smriti Irani, denying her existence by asking a question 'who' displays arrogance at its worst," Jaitley said in his 'Campaign Diary'. Irani has challenged Congress vice president and sitting MP Rahul Gandhi in his constituency in Amethi, which is going to polls on May 7.
18:29  Polio spreading at alarming rates: WHO:  Alarmed by the spread of polio from conflict zones in three continents, the Wolrd Health Organization on Monday declared the spread of the disease an international health emergency.

The United Nations health body said it was taking the step in an effort to slow the further spread of the disease, a paralyzing virus once thought to be nearly eradicated. Read
18:24  Bodoland: A saga of failed promises and communal clashes:  One of the reasons behind the demand for Bodoland is the influx of Bengali Muslims from Bangladesh. The Bodos claim they are the original inhabitants of the region but have been pushed, over the centuries, initially by the Assamese, who belong to the Ahom kingdom, and later by Bengali Muslims. Read
18:20  Sonia asks Modi to read history again:   Accusing BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi of "lecturing" as if he was the "cleanest of them all", Congress President Sonia Gandhi today advised him to read history again to know about the party's contribution in transforming the country since Independence from a poor state to a progressive nation.

"Narendra Modi aaj kaal lecture dete phir rahe hain ki ek wo hi dudh ke dhule hai (Narendra Modi is lecturing nowdays as if he is the cleanest them all)," Sonia Gandhi said, addressing an election meeting in Muzzafarpur, about 70 km from Patna. Making a scathing attack on Modi for his allegations that Congress did nothing for the country, she advised him to read history again to know the "truth."

"In its 67 years of rule since Independence, Congress made many sacrifices to uphold unity and integrity of the country and initiated many pioneering steps to take it on path of progress," she said.

Gandhi's rally saw senior RJD leader Raghubansh Prasad Singh sharing the dais with her. The event was significant since nowhere else RJD President Lalu Prasad or other senior party leaders were found on the dais alongside Sonia or Rahul Gandhi in the their rallies in the state be it at Aurangabad, Sasaram or Kisanganj.
18:00  Robert Vadra, the albatross around the Gandhi family neck is apparently in Dubai. He has been travelling in and out Delhi, while his wife campaigns relentlessly in Amethi. 
17:52  Kiran Bedi tweets: NaMo in Amethi. A speech of a lifetime.Challenged decadence! Finally someone with capability is determined to pull India out of stagnation!

Bedi is a BJP member.
17:46  Advani to host 'celebratory' dinner on May 18:  Our sources in Delhi tell us that LK Advani is planning to host a dinner for BJP leaders including BJP chief ministers on Sunday, May 18, 2014. 
17:43  'Pehle matdan, phir jalpan':   Targeting the Gandhi advantage of 'continuity', Modi says, "When the elections are held in 2019, I will come here and ask for an account of the development in Amethi. Pehle matdan, phir jalpan," says Modi to an approving crowd. "Press the lotus symbol on the EVM machine, let the lotus bloom in Amethi," he roars.
17:28  'Sonia refused permission for cremation of Narasimha Rao in Delhi' :  Modi also talks of the the 'politics of anger', a reference to Sonia's comment on him, and cites examples of how badly Sonia treated former Congress president Sitaram Kesri and former PM PV Narasimha Rao. Citing the example of the British and Bahadurshah Zafar, with Sonia refusing permission for Rao's cremation in Amethi.  
17:22   "When BJP forms government and Smriti-ji becomes MP, I will implement a scheme to bring water here, I'm sure Mulayam-ji will not refuse, but cooperate.

"How long can Rahul give excuses that the state is responsible for the lack of development in Amethi," he asks.
17:15  Kanchan Gupta: Modi is cruel. Just see how is mercilessly trampling all over on the Delhi elite which sucks up to Nehru household."

Kanchan Gupta: "Medam Soniaji kahti hain, Modi kahta hai woh PM ban gaya hai. Medam Soniaji, aapke moonh mein ghi shakkar."
17:09  LIVE! 'Sonia frustrated that 10 years of preparing Rahul have gone waste' :  The crowd chants, Modi, Modi, Modi.

"Earlier, ma-beta never took my name. But now that the whole  country cries, Modi Modi, it's affecting them as well," says Modi.

He says he can understand Sonia's frustration that 10 years spent preparing him have gone in waste. "They can't stomach the fact that the son of poor parents, an ordinary tea boy is challenging royalty," he says.
17:02  Modi takes a swipe at Priyanka's 'Who is Smriti' jibe:  Hitting out at Priyanka Gandhi's jibe earlier today, when she said 'who is Smriti', Modi says, how dare anyone ask that question. "Even royalty should not be arrogant enough to ask such a question," he says.
16:58  'Your dreams are my dreams':  Modi says he purposely chose Smriti to Amethi because it is among the least developed places in UP. "People here are asking for just basics -- water, electricity, toilets... you are not asking for a Mercedes car or a trip to the US," he says, latching on to the lack of development in the VVIP constituency.

"Your dreams are my dreams. For 40 years, one family has destroyed the dreams of three generations. I will ensure your dreams are fulfilled," he says.
16:52  Smriti is not just a celebrity, she's an achiever: Modi:  "Smriti is not just a celebrity, she is an achiever," he says. "Make my kid sister stand against all the Gandhis, and ask her the names of villages in Amethi. She will be able to tell you the names of 100 villages, the Gandhis put together can only recite the names of 10 villages," says Modi. 
16:47  LIVE! Verdict is already out, ma-beta sarkar will end: Modi in Amethi:  "We have not sent Smriti to increase the problems of Rahul Gandhi. He already has a lot of problems. We sent Smriti here to reduce your problems," says Modi, as Smriti Irani looks on from the stage. A sea of orange in Gauriganj. 
16:45  LIVE! Verdict is already out, ma-beta sarkar will end: Modi in Amethi:  Narendra Modi says the results of this election will upset the calculations of political pandits. He says so far, people who have voted have already done a good deeds -- Ending the ma-beta sarkar. The verdict is already out in the areas that have polled -- the Congress government is going to end.
He says make sure a lotus blooms from Amethi.
16:39  LIVE! Modi set to address rally in support of Smriti Irani in Rahul's Amethi:   Narendra Modi all set to address a rally in support of Smriti Irani in Amethi. This is Modi's first visit to Amethi, where he will be addressing the rally at Gauriganj, the district headquarters. Modi breaks an unwritten code of Indian politics -- of senior leader's keeping off a political rival's turf.
15:49  LIVE! Digvijaya's brother writes to Sonia opposing marriage with journo :  The buzz is that senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh's brother, Laxman Singh, has written a letter addressed to Sonia, Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi, asking them to: "Please impress upon my brother Digvijaya to resist his emotions."  

Singh, 67, on April 30, admitted to his relationship with journalist Amrita Rai, after selfies of the duo in intimate poses went viral on the social media. He also said the two would get married as soon as Rai's divorce comes through.

Laxman is believed to be against  the alliance and the reason goes back to his own marriage with Rubina.

When Laxman was dating Rubina, a Kashmiri, in the early 1990s, Digvijaya was believed to be vehemently against it. Rubina's brother is well known fashion designer Rohit Bal.

Laxman Singh, as a Congress candidate, had fought against Sushma Swaraj in Madhya Pradesh. The gossip is being spread by a Union Minister from a royal family.
15:34  LIVE! Yashwant Sinha likely to be Gujarat governor if Modi forms govt :  Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha is likely to be the Governor of Gujarat in the event Narendra Modi forms the government at the centre. The present governor, Kamla Beniwal, wants to quit before the NDA is asked to form the government, since she fears there will be scrutiny over her land deals. 
15:19  BJP Parl Board meet on May 17, 3 CMs many join cabinet if Modi becomes PM :  The BJP Central Parliamentary Board is being convened on May 17 in New Delhi. Party insiders feel that Narendra Modi will stay put in Gandhinagar from May 12 onwards and not to travel across the country. The BJP headquarters at 11 Ashok Road, New Delhi, is agog with speculation that in the event of Narendra Modi forming a government -- two chief ministers are likely to be inducted into the cabinet.

Three union ministers have also approached the top BJP leadership to get closer to Modi. In fact, on Sunday backroom politics was in full swing at Amritsar candidate Arun Jaitley house.
15:04  Badrinath shrine reopens for pilgrims:  The sacred portals of Badrinath shrine in Garhwal Himalayas were reopened today after a gap of six months amid chants of vedic hymns and elaborate rituals.

Nearly 5,000 devotees payed obeisance at the shrine dedicated to Lord Vishnu, as the temple portal opened in the early hours.

With the opening of Badrinath shrine, the Char Dham Yatra will be complete as the other three shrines in the circuit including Gangotri, Yamunotri and Kedarnath were thrown open to the pilgrims last week.

This is the first char dham yatra season after the devastating calamity struck Uttarakhand last year leading to large scale damage to lives and property in areas close to the four Himalayan shrines.
14:59  Aap ke mooh mein ghee-shakkar: Modi to Sonia:   Narendra Modi today seemed to thank Sonia Gandhi for her jibes that he considers himself as Prime Minister, saying "aap ke muh mein ghee-shakkar", a remark suggesting she has already predicted his victory.

"Sonia says that Modi considers himself as PM. So what should I say. Madam Soniaji what should I say on this. When you have said this that Modi sees himself as PM then there is a saying that 'aap ke muh mein ghee-shakkar' (May your words come true)", he said.

Slamming Congress for criticising his 'Ye Dil Mange More' remark at a rally in Himachal, Modi said, "Ek garib ma ka beta maange ga nahin to kya karega" (What else can a poor woman's son do but to beg).

"I said that 'Ye Dil Mange More'. Give more votes for the lotus (BJP symbol). But Sonia Gandhi did not like it. They may be ashamed of asking (votes), but I am not ashamed of asking," he said at an election rally in Ambedkar Nagar, UP.

Modi said earlier Sonia Gandhi and her son and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi were not taking his name while addressing public rallies. "But they are now forced to take Modi's name as the whole country keeps uttering Modi's name," he said.
14:31  May 31 deadline to vacate Campa Cola Society stands: SC :  The Supreme Court says it will not grant Campa Cola Compound residents time beyond May 31 to vacate the premises.

The nearly-100 flats have been declared an illegal construction. In November, just as bulldozers from the city corporation arrived to begin demolishing them, the Supreme Court intervened, stating that occupants would be able to live in the high-rise in South Mumbai till May 31.

The residents have today lost an appeal for an extension.

They say they were duped by the builders. 
14:08  LIVE! Cong complains to EC about Lord Ram's image at Modi rally:  The Congress says it will complain to the Election Commission on the use of religious imagery in Narendra Modi's Faizabad rally. Invoking Lord Ram's name, Modi said, "In Lord Ram's land I assure you that I will keep fighting corruption all my life. Allow a lotus to bloom in the land of Ram," he said. Behind the lectern, was a huge picture of Lord Ram.

The EC has banned the use of religious symbols when the elections are on.
13:45  LIVE! Priyanka: NO party will get a clear majority :  Just in: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi is likely to campaign in Varanasi on May 10. Priyanka says she won't join politics and that no party will get a clear majority in general elections.  
13:34  LIVE! Kashmiri students beaten up, told to chant Pakistan murdabad in Noida:  Three Kashmiri students from a private university in Greater Noida have alleged that fellow students misbehaved with them and forced them to shout anti-Pakistan slogans, drawing a sharp reaction from the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister who said UP authorities should admit their "inability" or "unwillingness" to protect them.

The latest incident comes two month after over 60 Kashmiri students were expelled from a Meerut university after cheering for Pakistan cricket team during an Asia Cup match against India.

A Kashmiri student, who is studying at the Nodia International University, said that a group of five-six drunk boys allegedly thrashed and abused them.

"They knocked at my door late night. When I did not answer, they barged in. They were five-six drunk boys standing outside. They started abusing us and then asked who amongst us were Kashmiris.

"When I told them that there were three of us who are Kashmiris, they started abusing us and thrashed us. This has happened before," the Kashmiri student alleged.

The student alleged that the fellow students "asked us to shout 'India Zindabad' and then asked us to repeat 'Pakistan Murdabad'".

"When I asked them why I should do it, they abused us again and called me a terrorist," the student alleged.

Reacting to the incident, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said on Twitter, "If the universities or state authorities can't protect Kashmiri students coming there then man up & admit your inability or unwillingness."

In a sarcastic remark, Omar said beating patriotism into these students would not remove any fear of sense of alienation among the Kashmiris.

"Let's beat patriotism in to Kashmiri students, why don't we. Great way to remove any fear or sense of alienation among Kashmiris. Thugs!!!" he said.

Omar said he will send the state government's Resident Commissioner in Delhi to the University for ascertaining facts before taking the next step.
13:27  Just in: Greek authorities say at least 2 dead, 30 missing after migrant ships sink in Aegean Sea. Details in a bit.
13:21  The Supreme Court agrees to hear real estate giant Supertech's plea challenging the Allahabad HC order for demolition of its two 40-floor towers in Noida.
13:16  The real reason Indian intellectuals are backing Narendra Modi. Read
12:18  Curfew relaxed in 3 districts, no fresh incidents:  Curfew was today relaxed in violence-hit Baksa and Kokrajhar and neighbouring Chirang districts of Assam where 34 persons were killed in the mayhem unleashed by NDFB-Songbijit militants since Thursday last.

With no fresh incident reported so far, the district administrations relaxed the prohibitory order imposed since Friday night for eight hours from 10 am at Baksa, for six hours at Kokrajhar and for seven hours from 10 AM at Chirang respectively.

Flag march by the Army continued to instill confidence among the people even as the security forces were patrolling the affected areas to prevent further outbreak of violence, the sources said.
12:13  How Kejriwal survived the BJPs psychological warfare in Varanasi:  Every morning, when Arvind Kejriwal leaves for campaigning from his party's office in Varanasi's Shivaji Nagar, the air is already so hot, it almost leaves one stupefied.

His car passes by a row of houses where people have put up Bharatiya Janata Party flags on their balconies.

On the main road outside, he encounters one of the many giant posters the Congress party has put up in support of its candidate, Ajay Rai. It has Mr. Rai standing in the backdrop of a ghat, his eyes closed, and his hands folded in prayer. He looks like a raffish Zen master. 
Read Rahul Pandita's column for the Hindu.
11:36  JUST IN: The Supreme Court indicates order on Sahara chief Subrata Roy's release is likely tomorrow.

On March 26, the bench had ordered release of Roy and Sahara directors Ravi Shanker Dubey and Ashok Roy Chaudhary from jail provided they deposited Rs 10,000 crore as part payment of the Rs 20,000 crore which is due from Sahara Housing and Sahara Real Estate as per the court's August 31, 2012 judgment. Sahara has so far deposited Rs 5,120 crore.

After rejection of their numerous proposals, the two Sahara companies, Roy and the directors had proposed on April 21 that they would deposit Rs 3,000 crore within three days of their release and Rs 2,000 crore by May 30 to take care of the cash component of the condition for their release. Roy has been in judicial custody since March 4.
11:29  Shop fined Rs 50 lakh for charging Rs 75 extra on drink:  That October morning in 2009, a vendor at Chennai airport decided to make an extra Rs 75. Five years later, he may be poorer by Rs 50 lakh. Charging a customer double for an energy drink has attracted a strong censure from the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) and a fine of Rs50 lakh for the vendor- Snack Bar, a unit of Saptagiri Restaurant.
Read more
11:23  Big setback in 'Paid News' row for Cong leader Ashok Chavan :  Congress leader Ashok Chavan has lost an important case today - the Supreme Court ruled that the Election Commission has the authority to decide whether a candidate can be disqualified for misrepresenting how much money was spent on his or her campaign.

Judges have asked the Election Committee to determine within 45 days whether Chavan fudged his accounts for the 2009 state election, which he won.

Chavan, who was removed as Chief Minister of Maharashtra in 2010 after allegations of corruption, has been  accused by the BJP and others of under-reporting his expenses.

The Congress leader allegedly did not include the amount he spent on "paid news" - a series of newspapers ran articles praising his achievements. Read more
11:20  'Who?' asks Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Smriti Irani:   "Who?" was Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's cutting response to questions today about Smriti Irani, who it running against her brother, Rahul, in Amethi.

Irani, BJP leader, was equally scathing in her response. "I am not surprised. If u forget scams done by a family member why wud u remember my name:) (sic)," the actor-turned-politician tweeted today, referring to allegations of corruption that are swarming around Priyanka's husband, entrepreneur Robert Vadra.

Read
11:14  Why Narendra Modi was banned from the US:  Narendra Modi is the only person ever denied a U.S. visa based on a little-known law on religious freedom. Read
11:12  No reason why my mother won't win: Raima Sen:  Election 2014 has been an eye-opener for Raima Sen. The stunning actress, who has been campaigning relentlessly for her mother, Moon Moon Sen, in Bankura, West Bengal, explains why she feels humbled by the love her family has received. An exclusive interview with Rediff.com's Indrani Roy. Read
10:52  Just in: The Supreme Court says that the Election Commission has the power to inquire into complaints of paid news against a person contesting polls.
10:50  LIVE! Those blaming Modi for Assam violence have lost mental balance: Sena:  Shiv Sena today slammed the Congress for holding Narendra Modi responsible for the violence in Assam, saying those levelling such charges are the ones who have "divided" the country and should practice meditation at Ramdev's ashram as they have "lost their mental balance".

BJP's oldest ally also targeted Congress leader Kapil Sibal, saying it has never seen him "taking up the cause of Hindus in Kashmir as as he did for Bangladeshi Muslims in Assam".

"Those who are saying that India will break into pieces because of Modi are the ones who have divided the country. Instead of abusing Modi, Congressmen should introspect," an editorial in Sena mouthpiece Saamana said.

"Those in Congress who are making such allegations should either do vipassana (meditation) in Ramdev's ashram or else they will have to be admitted in a mental hospital after May 16 poll results as they have lost mental balance," the Sena said.
10:17  Court records Raja's statement in 2G case:  A Delhi court has recorded statement of former Telecom Minister A Raja in 2G-spectrum allocation case, reports PTI
09:55  Cong, SP seek EC action as Shah calls Azamgarh a terrorist base:  

CNN IBN: Bharatiya Janata Party Uttar Pradesh in charge Amit Shah raised the poll pitch against the Samajwadi Party government, calling SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav's constituency Azamgarh a terrorist base. Speaking in Azamgarh, he accused the SP government of allowing Azamgarh to have become a haven for terrorists. "Terrorists have made Azamgarh their base and they launch attacks on other parts of the country. You should overthrow the Akhilesh Yadav government that advocates the release of terrorists," Shah said in Azamgarh.

 

Congress leader Digvijaya Singh has slammed Amit Shah's remark asking for the Election Commission to step in. "I strongly condemn Amit Shah's statement about Azamgarh. The Election Commission must take action," Digvijaya tweeted.

 

Meanwhile, reacting to political attacks, Samajwadi Party leader from Azamgarh Abu Azmi has denied having any links with the Indian Mujahideen even though he admitted he knew IM operative Faizan Ahmed.

08:31  'Who?' asks Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Smriti Irani:  

"Who?" was Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's cutting response to questions today about Smriti Irani, who it running against her brother, Rahul, in Amethi.Ms Irani, BJP leader, was equally scathing in her response.

 

"I am not surprised. If u forget scams done by a family member why wud u remember my name:) (sic)," the actor-turned-politician tweeted today, referring to allegations of corruption that are swarming around Priyanka's husband, entrepreneur Robert Vadra.

 

The exchange of fire comes a day before Narendra Modi, the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, arrives in Amethi to rally support for Ms Irani.

08:30  Mamata accuses Modi of instigating violence in Assam:  

NDTV: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today accused Narendra Modi of inciting violence in Assam and demanded his arrest for allegedly trying to instigate caste-based violence in West Bengal.

 

"He wants to cause caste-based violence. We are telling the Election Commission that he should be arrested and should not be allowed to campaign in the state," Ms Banerjee said at an election rally in Krishnagar.

 

"We will keep everyone close to our hearts - Hindus, Muslims, Bengalis and non-Bengalis. Let him touch a single one of them. We will rock Delhi," she said while accusing the BJP of trying to spread the seeds of communalism

08:29  Modi to campaign in Rahul's Amethi today:  

CNN IBN: On the last day of campaigning for the eight phase of the Lok Sabha elections, parties are leaving no stone unturned to garner as many votes. Out of the 64 constituencies that will go to polls on May 7, Amethi will be one of the keenly watched seats.

 

Amethi is witnessing a triangular battle with Rahul Gandhi, BJP's Smriti Irani and AAP's Kumar Vishwas in the fray. The constituency has been a patrimonial seat of the Gandhi family and Congress President Sonia Gandhi's daughter Priyanka has been campaigning aggressively for the last few days. BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will address a mega rally in Amethi to buttress the chances of Smriti Irani. It will be his first rally in the Gandhi bastion.

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