23:27 5 drowned as boat capsizes on Biluakhai river in Odisha:
At least five persons were drowned when a country boat capsized on Biluakhai river in Odisha's Jagatsinghpur district today, officials said.
"Bodies of five persons have been fished out after the country boat carrying devotees to a temple capsized on the river near Nachhipur village this evening," Jagatsinghpur district Collector S K Mallick said.
Some people were rescued during a rescue operation launched by personnel of Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF), fire brigade, police and local divers, he said adding one of the rescued persons has been admitted to hospital.
The search and rescue operation was supervised by senior officials including the District Collector Mallick and Superintendent of Police.
In view of darkness, arrangements for adequate lighting were made in order to facilitate the search operation, sources said adding it was not immediately clear whether some more people were still missing.
23:08 I decide monetary policy, govt can fire me if it wanted: Rajan:
Asserting independence of the central bank, Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan today said it is he who determines the monetary policy and the government can fire him if it wanted.
"I determine the monetary policy. I say what it is. The government can fire me, but the government doesn't set the monetary policy. So, in that sense, am I independent! Well, I am happy to talk to the government. I am happy to listen to the government but ultimately the interest rate that is set is set by me," he said at St Gallen Symposium in Switzerland.
Rajan was replying to a question on how much independence and real power he enjoyed as RBI Governor during a programme
that was broadcast on Bloomberg TV.
The central bank, he said, works with the Finance Ministry and he has regular conversations with the Finance Minister.
"We (RBI) control the monetary policy. In India, what happens is when we want to do something big, we go, tell the government this is what we want to do and the government is usually supportive.... We talk to each other," he said.
Replying to questions on growth, Rajan exuded the confidence that India would revert to 7-8 per cent growth rate with right kind of policies. However, he added, achieving higher growth would be difficult.
22:08 Wait till polls are over: EC to I&B on naming of Prasar CEO:
The Election Commission has told the Information and Broadcasting ministry to put on hold the selection of a new chairperson of public broadcaster Prasar Bharati till the poll process was over. Ministry had written to the EC seeking its views on the issue of finding a new chairperson after the tenure of previous incumbent Mrinal Pande got over last month, sources said.
"The ministry had sought the EC's opinion about the process of appointing the new chairperson. The EC has replied saying that the appointment could wait till the process of elections was over," a senior official told PTI.
The chairperson of Prasar Bharati is chosen by a committee which is headed by the Vice President. Sources said that the ministry had also asked the EC as to whether it should initiate the process to appoint senior functionaries in the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal regarding which also it had received the same reply from the poll panel.
21:35 EC sends show cause notice to Rahul Gandhi for his alleged remarks that 22,000 people will be killed if BJP comes to power; wants his response by May 12.
21:34 Former AP CM N Janardhan Reddy no more:
Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Janardhan Reddy passed away here today following prolonged illness. Reddy, 80, had been undergoing treatment for neurology-related problems and the end came at 5 am.
A sitting Rajya Sabha member from Andhra Pradesh, Reddy, served as Chief Minister from December, 1990 to October, 1992. He served as state minister and legislator in his long political career spanning several decades.
It was during his tenure as chief minister ban on Naxals was first imposed and he survived an attack on his life by the extremists in 2007.
21:22 Student shot dead, tension erupts in Muzaffarnagar:
A student of class ten was shot dead by some youths in a mobile shop here today, sparking tension in the area. Furious over the killing of Uvais, locals blocked road traffic, the police said.
One person had been arrested in connection with the killing of the student while another, allegedly involved in the crime, was absconding. Senior police officers rushed to the scene and brought the situation under control.
Adequate police personnel were deployed in the area as a precautionary measure.
21:16 Aarushi case: HC reserves order on Talwars' bail plea:
The Allahabad High Court today reserved its judgement on the bail application of dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar, who are serving life sentence for the murders of their daughter Aarushi and domestic aide Hemraj.
The judgement was reserved on the bail plea of the Noida-based couple by a Division Bench comprising Justice Rakesh Tiwari and Justice Anil Kumar Agarwal.
The couple had been awarded life sentence by a CBI court on November 26, 2013, after which they moved the High Court in January this year challenging their conviction.
Later, they moved another application with the request that they be released on bail until their appeal was pending. Aarushi and Hemraj were found murdered inside the Talwars' residence in May, 2008.
21:15 Mumbai court's summons to Amit Shah in fake encounter case:
A special CBI court today issued summons to Amit Shah, the close aide of BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, and other accused in the Tulsiram Prajapati fake encounter case. Today, on the first day of hearing, special judge J T Utpat here issued summons to the accused, seeking their presence on May 23. Earlier, the case was transferred from Gujarat to Mumbai court.
The CBI filed a chargesheet in the case last September against Shah, the former home minister of state, and 18 others, including several police officers.
According to the CBI, gangster Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kauser Bi were abducted by Gujarat's Anti-Terrorism Squad from Hyderabad and killed in a fake encounter near Gandhinagar in November 2005.
20:37 Gurudas Kamat files defamation suit against newspaper for 50 cr:
Congress leader and former Union Minister Gurudas Kamat today filed a civil defamation suit in the Bombay High Court seeking damages of Rs 50 crore from the local Marathi daily `Vruttmanas
He also filed a criminal defamation complaint against the newspaper and its editor Amul Acharya in a Metropolitan Magistrate's court in suburban Andheri. Kamat alleges that the paper published a series of defamatory and malicious articles against him ahead of the ongoing Lok Sabha polls. Kamat is Congress's candidate from Mumbai North-West Lok Sabha constituency.
The newspaper said that he would lose, and people were being hired for his rallies, the petition alleges. The magistrate today issued summons to the accused and posted the matter for hearing on June 7. Petition in the HC would come up for hearing in due course.
20:32 BJP refuses to buy EC view on denial of nod for Modi rally:
BJP did not buy the Election Commission's plea that Narendra Modi was not given permission to hold a rally in Varanasi on security concerns and said had EC taken immediate action at its level it could have saved such a situation.
The party also said while other leaders like Rahul Gandhi, who is a step above Modi on security threats, were given permission to campaign, its prime ministerial candidate was denied permission to do so even in the constituency where he was contesting. "Had Election Commission taken immediate action at its level, it could have saved the situation from coming to this level," BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi said.
The statement came a day after the party protested against the decision of the poll authorities not to allow Modi to hold a rally in Varanasi's Beniya Bagh area. On the security threat issue, Trivedi said "if Rahul Gandhi, who is a step above Modi on the security threat, and Akhilesh Yadav can get permission to hold their functions, then why is Modi not allowed to campaign in his own constituency? It is a serious issue."
20:31 MNS objects to Gujarati newspaper advertisement on BEST buses:
MNS chief Raj Thackeray has backed Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's bid to become Prime Minister, but his party has objected to a Gujarati newspaper advertisement on BEST buses, saying that it has "ignored" the contribution of Marathi people towards Mumbai's development.
Alleging that the advertisement issued by the Gujarati language newspaper called 'Sandesh', highlighted only efforts made by Gujaratis and "ignored" the contribution made by Marathi people towards Mumbai's development, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena corporator Sandeep Deshpande demanded removal of the advertisement here today.
"The Gujarati language newspaper advertisement speaks only about the contribution made by Gujaratis towards Mumbai's development but ignores similar efforts made by the Marathi people. Is it true that Gujaratis alone contributed towards Mumbai's growth? Aren't Marathi speakers involved in the development of the city? Why has the contribution made by the Marathi people not been mentioned (in the advertisement)," Deshpande asked.
20:01 EC sends special observer for Varanasi:
Senior IAS from Tamil Nadu cadre Praveen Kumar has been appointed special observer for Varanasi seat by the Election Commission. Chief Electoral Officer Umesh Sinha told reporters that Kumar has been asked to reach Varanasi at the earliest and remain there till electoral process is over.
As part of his duties as special observer, the 1987-batch IAS officer would keep a close watch on election related preparedness and electoral process. Varanasi which is seeing high pitched battle among BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Aam Aadmi Party Chief Arvind Kejriwal and Congress' Ajay Rai, will go to polls on May 12.
19:57 IPS officer, who got bail in Sohrabuddin case, reinstated:
Suspended IPS officer Dinesh M N, who was recently granted bail by Bombay high court in Gujarat's Sohrabuddin Sheikh alleged fake encounter case, was today reinstated by the Rajasthan government. "The officer was reinstated today and was put under the awaiting posting orders status," Principal Secretary DOP, Alok Gupta, told PTI.
He said the IPS officer would be given posting soon. A 1995-batch officer, hailing from Karnataka, Dinesh M N was under judicial custody since 2007 in connection with the alleged fake encounter of Sheikh in Gujarat in 2005. He was posted as Superintendent of Police of Alwar district when he was arrested in the case.
19:41 Nothing wrong in Amit Shah's speech about Azamgarh: EC:
The Election Commission (EC) today said there was "nothing particularly wrong" in the speech of BJP leader Amit Shah in which he reportedly described Azamgarh as "a base of terrorists".
"I have seen the speech myself...he only said Azamgarh. We found nothing much. Our people have also seen the video. There is nothing particularly wrong in what he said," Election Commissioner H S Brahma said here. "We have given him (Shah) permission to speak and campaign again only after he had had expressed regret over his last statements and he promised to us that he will not do it again," he said during an interaction with Indian Women Press Corps. Responding to questions, the Commissioner said there were adequate provisions in the Representation of the People Act to check the menace of 'hate speeches'.
The law clearly says that party candidates and leaders cannot make speeches in the name of caste, creed or community. "Honestly, as a citizen, I would say we don't expect from anyone to speak such a kind of thing...that will hurt the feeling of someone," he said.
The ongoing AAP rally in Varanasi.
18:37 LIVE! India tops in open defecation: WHO:
India still has the largest number of people defecating in open in the world, according to a new UN report prompting the Government to admit it as a "huge shame".
"Globally, India continues to be the country with the highest number of people (597 million people) practising open defecation," says the report --the Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation-2014 update-- released in Geneva today. The report jointly prepared by the WHO and the UNICEF says that eighty-two per cent of the one billion people practising open defecation in the world live in just 10 countries.
Michelle Obama and Malala Yousafzai have become the latest high-profile figures to join worldwide calls for the return of almost 300 schoolgirls kidnapped in Nigeria.The leader of Boko Haram, an Islamic militant group trying to overthrow the government, threatened to "sell" the girls at a market.
This is a classic reply...
18:17 If Narendra Modi wins...:
What can India and the world expect if Narendra Modi, the self-styled "Hindu nationalist" who is front-runner in the elections, ends up winning a plurality of seats when results are declared on May 16? The conventional answer is that this depends less on the man and what he represents, than on the scale of his victory. Read
18:10 TMC leader Derek O' Brien says that if it's a Narendra Modi-led govt then the doors are shut, TMC will emerge as the 3rd largest party post elections.
18:02 DU prof arrested for alleged Maoist links :
Just in: Delhi University professor G N Saibaba arrested by Maharashtra Police for alleged Maoist links. The Maharashtra Police had raided his home last year, alleging that he is an active member of the banned CPI-Maoist.
Police officials claimed Saibaba was named by JNU student Hem Mishra, who was arrested earlier in September for being a courier between Saibaba and the Maoists based in Abujmad, Chhattisgarh.
According to RG Kadam, DIG, Gadchiroli, Hem Mishra was carrying some explicit documents and named Saibaba. "We have enough evidence against him," he said.
Saibaba accepts that he knows Hem Mishra and his alleged accomplice Prashan Rahi arrested on the same charges as Mishra. But he denies having ever sent any letter to the CPI-Maoist. He said, "I don't think communicating with the Maoist is a crime. But I myself have never done it."
The Gadchiroli police claim that Saibaba runs an organisation called Revolutionary Democratic Front, which is a front for the CPI-Maoist. He is known in Maoist circles as Prashant alias Chetan and he uses these names to interact and hatch conspiracies with over ground Maoists through online chat forums.
This is his piece for Tehelka in 2010. Revolutionaries don't kill policemen: Read
17:48 After the Hamid Mir attack, Pakistans media landscape in chaos.:
The battle lines are drawn. The swords are out. The casualty in all this is complexity. It started with the attack on anchor Hamid Mir and the allegation by his younger brother that the April 19 assassination attempt was the handiwork of the Inter-Services Intelligence agency. The allegation was hyped and played up by Geo News, the channel Mir works for. Read moreAlso read
Hamid Mir's column for Rediff.com: I will not be stopped from speaking the truth.
17:39 'Har Har Modi' slogans raised during Rahul's rally:
A group of people present at Rahul Gandhi's rally in Deoria, UP, raised pro-Modi slogans causing discomfiture to the Congress Vice-President.
Gandhi who was campaigning here was faced with slogans of "Har Har Modi, Ghar Ghar Modi" during his rally while he was promising free housing, free medical care and pension for women to his audience.
After the incident, the security personnel whisked these people away. Gandhi during his speech asked a person standing in the rally, the rate of the land for him, to raise a point about "land being gIven" to corporate group Adani in Gujarat.
"In Gujarat, you get land at Rs one per square meter but you will not get land at that rate. If you want land at this rate in Gujarat, you will be slapped and thrown out of the state," Gandhi alleged.
He claimed if BJP leader Narendra Modi becomes the prime minister, only his "industrialist friends" would benefit. "Modi has given 43,000 acres of land to his industrialist friend Adani. Electricity worth Rs 26,000 crore has also been given for free of cost," he alleged.
Hunting the 'fiery serpent: The quest to wipe out Guinea worm
17:13 The making of Narendra Modi:
Flanked by grim-looking security guards, Narendra Modi walks up briskly to the podium, tosses a glance at local party leaders waiting in the oppressive heat, and launches into his speech. Mr Modi, the man who many believe will be India's next prime minister, is, clearly, in a hurry. Read more
17:08 Madhu Kishwar tweets: Glad that gul panag has been honest enough to deny that there was no attack on her in varanasi.
16:49 Gul: I wasn't attacked, I'm safe and sound :
Gul Panag tweets: "Just read about me being 'attacked'. Incorrrect. Safe & sound."
The Aam Aadmi Party had alleged that actor-politician Gul Panag and
other party activists were attacked in Varanasi, where they are
campaigning for party chief Arvind Kejriwal, today.
16:46 LIVE! CEC: Exit polls can be telecast from 6:30 pm on May 12:
Chief Election Commissioner VS Sampath clarifies on the exit polls. The exit polls can be telecast from 6:30 pm from May 12. The last phase of the Lok Sabha elections ends on May 12 at 5 pm.
Earlier, EC HS Brahma said no exit polls can be telecast till May 16, the date of counting.
16:43 LIVE! Exit polls can't be telecast till May 16: EC:
Election Commissioner H S Bramha says no exit polls can be telecast till May 16, the date of counting. Although May 16, when election results are expected to come out, is supposed to be a very big and important day for the markets, but analysts feel that the big move in the markets may come in from May 13th onwards when the outcome of the exit polls starts trickling in.
Although May 16, when election results are expected to come out, is supposed to be a very big and important day for the markets, but analysts feel that the big move in the markets may come in from May 13th onwards when the outcome of the exit polls starts trickling in.
Ten questions that Arnab Goswami should have asked Narendra Modi. Read
16:20 Pakistan 'blasphemy lawyer' shot dead in Multan office:
Gunmen in the Pakistani city of Multan have shot dead a lawyer defending a university lecturer accused of blasphemy, police and officials say. Police said that Rashid Rehman was sitting in his office when he was shot. Two of his assistants were injured. Read
16:06 Kejriwal's family, BJP leaders will have to leave Varanasi tomorrow :
Arvind Kejriwal's family, BJP leaders Amit Shah and Arun Jaitley and others involved in campaign but not having voting rights in the city will have to leave the constituency after canvassing ends tomorrow evening in accordance with rules, officials made it clear today.
Aam Aadmi Party's Amethi candidate Kumar Vishwas had protested after his family members were asked to leave the constituency ahead of polling on May 7, accusing the administration of being biased and favouring his Congress rival Rahul Gandhi.
Denying any partisan approach, Varanasi's Additional District Magistrate (City) M P Singh said the administration will see that those engaged in campaigning activities, if they are not voters in the constituency irrespective of their party or candidate affiliation, leave the city.
"We will not allow anybody involved in campaign and not having a voter to stay in the city after campaigning ends tomorrow. Be it Kejriwal's family or BJP leaders like Amit Shah, everybody will have to comply with our orders," Singh said. The high-octane campaign for the May 12 election will come to an end tomorrow at 5 pm.
15:44 PM's failure to fight corruption led to govt's undoing: Baru:
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's "failure" to be assertive against corruption led to his government's undoing and "rise" of Narendra Modi and Arvind Kejriwal, according to his former media advisor Sanjaya Baru.
He, however, said, "If he had got serious about tackling corruption, the government would have fallen. There was a lot at stake with allies like the DMK and Sharad Pawar." Singh believed that people saw him as an honest person and that the accusations were against other people.
"What could I do about it?" Singh was quoted as having told Baru.
15:44 LIVE! AAP says its Chandigarh candidate Gul Panag attacked in Varanasi:
The Aam Aadmi Party has alleged that actor-politician Gul Panag and other party activists were attacked in Varanasi, where they are campaigning for party chief Arvind Kejriwal.
Panag, who contested as the AAP candidate from Chandigarh, was allegedly attacked at the city's historic Banaras Hindu University, which has been the nerve centre for campaigning in Varanasi.
Another AAP supporter, radio host Raghu Ram, tweeted, "Oh well. I just got attacked by 2 guys with lathis inside BHU! They were outsiders. The BHU boys chased them away."
Kejriwal is contesting the national election from Varanasi against Narendra Modi, the BJP's prime ministerial candidate, and the Congress' Ajay Rai.
Pic: The picture was tweeted by AAP yesterday, saying 'Team Gul Panag arrives in Varanasi'. Panag, is the AAP's Chandigarh candidate and reached the city yesterday.
15:30 AAP claims candidate attacked, police dismisses:
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) today alleged that its candidate for East Champaran constituency Amit Kumar Choube and his supporters were attacked with guns by BJP workers at Panpur Bazar area, but police said it was an incident between two marriage parties.
AAP state Campaign Committee Secretary Prabhat Kumar alleged that while they were campaigning in the area, local BJP workers attacked them and one of them pointed a country-made pistol at the forehead of one AAP volunteer and threatened to shoot him.
"Other AAP volunteers managed to snatch the firearm from him while his accomplices ran away. We have lodged an FIR with the Harsiddhi police station and submitted the seized pistol," Kumar said and complained that police had not taken any action against the culprits.
Dismissing the allegations of inaction, Harsiddhi SHO Jay Prakash Prasad said an FIR had been lodged in connection with an incident.
15:21 Fire on naval ship occured during welding work :
Update on the fire on board the INS Ganga: According to naval sources, the incident occurred around 11:50 am when welding work was going on on board the naval ship.
"During the welding work, the (welding) gun took time to ignite and when it did, thick flames erupted from the gun, injuring three people including two civilians," the sources said.
"It was a minor accident in which three people sustained burns. They have been taken to the naval dispensary for first said," the sources added. INS Ganga was deployed for patrolling the Gulf of Eden in 2012 to protect the marine jurisdiction from the Somali pirates.
15:15 NDA will bag more than 300 seats, says Amit Shah:
BJP's UP in-charge and Narendra Modi's close confidante Amit Shah is addressing a press conference in Varan asi. He says that Narendra Modi has covered more than 3 lakh kilometres across 25 states during his election campaign, addressing over 5,000 big and small functions including over 400 big rallies.
Shah says that his campaigning has now transformed into a big movement, and exudes confidence that NDA will single-handedly bag more than 300 seats in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.
He also says that the Election Commission must deploy paramilitary forces everywhere in UP, also demanding that Varanasi district magistrate must be removed.
14:56 Use of unch, neech terms don't sound good: Modi tells Sonia:
Raking up the caste issue, Narendra Modi today charged Congress with starting the politics of "untouchability and hatred" and Sonia Gandhi of resorting to "unch aur neech" politics for salvaging the "lost political ground" in the ongoing elections.
"Who started the politics of untouchability in the country?" he asked the people at an election meeting in Motihari, Bihar, favour of BJP candidate Radhamohan Singh.
"The same people who do votebank politics had started the politics of untouchability," he said referring to Congress.
"During the entire election process, we have never wavered from development-based politics", the BJP prime ministerial candidate said charging the Congress president with resorting to 'unch aur neech' (high and low) politics.
"Madam you are a party President. You keep using terms like 'unch' and 'neech', it does not look good," he said, adding the Congress was trying to "salvage the lost political ground".
14:37 INS Ganga was commissioned in 1985:
The fire on board the INS Ganga at the Naval dockyard in Mumbai comes in the wake of Chief of Naval Staff Admiral R K Dhowan saying yesterday that the Indian Navy has taken a 'serious note' of the recent accidents involving its submarines and the probe reports are in different stages.
The INS Ganga (F22) is a Godavari-class guided-missile frigate of the Indian Navy. Built in Mumbai by Mazagon Dock Limited, she was commissioned on 30 December 1985.
INS Ganga along with INS Godavari and INS Shakti were deployed to Mogadishu in December 1994 to support the withdrawal of the Indian Army's 66 Brigade, including the 2nd Battalion, Jammu & Kashmir Light Infantry.
14:31 Fire aboard frigate INS Ganga; three injured:
Just in: Fire aboard frigate INS Ganga; three injured. Three persons, including a sailor, injured in a minor fire onboard INS Ganga at Naval Dockyard in Mumbai. Details awaited.
14:20 LIVE! Confident Kejriwal begins roadshow in Varanasi:
A day after Narendra Modi drove through Varanasi, his opponent AAP's Arvind Kejriwal today began his roadshow from rural parts of the constituency and took a jibe at the BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate's "helicopter" visit.
Kejriwal also said that he was confident about his victory with a "huge majority" and accused BJP of trying every tactic including communal and caste politics, as well as "violence and bribing of media".
The Aam Aadmi Party leader, who is pitted against Modi from Varanasi parliamentary constituency, said "people in Varanasi say how will a person who comes in a helicopter for only two hours to campaign, serve us".
"AAP is winning with a huge majority in Varanasi... Narendra Modi will suffer defeat as people of Varanasi know about the reality," said Kejriwal, whose city roadshow would begin later today from Banaras Hindu University gate -- the same place from where Modi last evening began his drive-through.
The campaigning has suddenly heated up here despite scorching heat with temperatures soaring past 45 degrees. Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi will also hold a roadshow tomorrow to seek vote for the party candidate Ajay Rai.Also read:
Why is BJP using street power against the EC?
13:50 Rajasthan ATS arrests another IM operative from Jodhpur:
Another Indian Mujahideen terror suspect has been arrested in Jodhpur by the Rajasthan ATS. Zakir (30) was arrested yesterday from Lala Lajpat Colony in Pratap Nagar locality in Jodhpur. He was also found to associated with the IM module of Rajasthan and was assisting the module's active members, said an ATS official.
13:36 The Supreme Court has also asked the woman architect and her father to go to the Gujarat High Court against pending inquiry by state.
13:34 LIVE! Centre to SC: Will NOT set up panel to probe Snoopgate:
Just in: The Centre tells the Supreme Court that it will not set up a panel to probe the Snoopgate case. The woman who was tailed by Gujarat police allegedly on the orders of chief minister Narendra Modi, on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court along with her father for restraining the Centre and state government from going ahead with their Commissions of inquiry.
The bench issued notices to the Centre and the Gujarat government seeking their replies for hearing on Friday. The petition has also sought protection of their fundamental right to privacy and right to live with dignity.
The apex court also requested the media not to make public the name of the woman.
A controversy broke out last year when two news portals released CDs of purported telephonic conversations between Narendra Modi aide Amit Shah, who was then state home minister, and two top state police officials relating to snooping on a woman architect in 2009.
The conversations, purportedly between August and September 2009, do not specifically mention Modi by name but refers to a 'saheb', which the portals claimed was the Gujarat chief minister at whose instance the snooping was done, a charge denied by Shah.
While the Gujarat government constituted an inquiry commission in November last year, the Union Cabinet also decided to follow suit. However, a major controversy broke out when last week, senior ministers announced that the name of the judge to head the commission would be announced.
13:15 "The mother-son government had promised employment to 10 crore youth by 2014, but they failed," says Narendra Modi in Motihari, Bihar.
12:51 LIVE! Omar: I'm not overstaying in Lutyens bungalow in Delhi :
Jammu and Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah tweets his displeasure on Mail Today's story that he is on the 'squatters list' of VVIPs occupying Lutyens bungalows even after his tenure has expired.
This is what Omar tweets: "Now to the house matter that has created a twitter storm in a tea cup. I'm not overstaying in a Govt bungalow in Delhi. It would have been correct for the Mail Today to verify the facts before printing a story - 7 Akbar rd is allotted to Ghulam Nabi Azad. In his capacity as Union Minister & the JK CM has a bungalow on South Avenue Lane. We have swopped occupancy for our convenience. His has been since 2009 & so neither of us is over staying or violating any guidelines regarding our accommodation."Read
the Mail Today story
12:43 Vedanta says no bauxite mining at Niyamgiri till local nod:
Billionaire NRI Anil Agarwal-led Vedanta Resources has made it clear that it will not look at mining bauxite from the Niyamgiri hills to feed its Rs 5,000 crore Lanjigarh alumina refinery in Odisha until it gets approval from the local community.
"In deference to the sentiments of the community, Vedanta confirms it is not seeking to source bauxite from Niyamgiri bauxite deposit for its alumina refinery operations and will not do so until we have the consent of the local communities," Vedanta said today.
The announcement comes nearly four months after the Ministry of Environment and Forest turned down Vedanta's mining proposal, paying heed to the local villagers' verdict.
12:38 Chasing the Dalit vote in UP:
Mayawati's core voters stand rock-like with her in this election, but a second layer of Dalit voters are drawn to Narendra Modi. Read
12:29 Nothing not even Mamata rises above a monument and a rallying force in Nandigram:
A knot of boys in their teens is forcing vehicles plying along the pucca road from Sonachura to Bhangabera to stop and pay up for Manasha puja, a few hundred meters from a 130-ft tall martyrs' tower near Tekhali Bridge, a silent witness to a battle that took place seven years ago between men in uniform and villagers in Nandigram.
The Shahid Smriti Stambha was a dream project of Subhendu Adhikari, the sitting MP from Tamluk who threw his weight behind the villagers during their struggle to protect their land, in the memory of 14 people who died when police opened fire on protesters on March 14, 2007. Read
12:23 Former AP CM N Janardhana Reddy dead:
Former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Nedurumalli Janardhana Reddy died in Hyderabad on Friday. He was 80. Reddy was suffering from liver ailment and was admitted to the NIMS hospital on April 26. His body has been shifted to his house in Somajiguda.
12:06 So, where is the damned wave?:
If the mainstream media is to be believed, the nation is buoyantly swept up by the Modi Wave that soaring hope and optimism they are allegedly pinning on Narendra Modi of Gujarat. But, the reality on the ground looks and feels decidedly drier. Read
11:56 Smita Prakash tweets: Caste issue of a PM candidate reminds me of a rally in Bihar where Laloo Yadav introduced I K Gujral as a Gujjar. Gujral didn't correct him.
11:47 In Ma-ma-ta, First M for Mamata, Next for Modi: Rahul :
Narendra Modi and Mamata Banerjee have spent the last few weeks exchanging allegations, with the West Bengal chief minister also throwing in some unkind epithets, but the Congress' Rahul Gandhi says he sees a new partnership in the making. He had a political explanation for his prediction and one quite not so.
"If you spell Mamataji's name, you will find Ma-ma-ta. The first M is Mamata and the next M is Modi. A partnership is brewing," the Congress vice president said at a rally in Kolkata.
11:38 Modi is rewriting many of the rules governing politics :
After the 2009 general election, I spoke to many politicians (both winners and losers) about the changing nature of campaigning. Most seemed to agree on one point: that the age of mass meetings, drawing lakhs of people, was coming to an end. Read
Swapan Dasgupta's column for the Telegraph.
11:24 Arun Jaitley reacts to Modi's caste row: Congress is completely out of its depth, this Modi not an OBC issue is preposterous.
11:21 The end of the Amethi myth:
There is a difference between the politics of representation, participation and empowerment. These three styles triangulated at Amethi this time to destroy an old myth, the myth of family constituency. Read
11:15 Modi is NOT OBC: Cong :
Three more days for the last phase of the Lok Sabha polls and the barbs are still flying thick and fast.
The Congress says that one more lie of Narendra Modi has been exposed -- that he is an OBC by birth. "It is
evident that with fabricated lies he is trying to fool one and all. Modi belongs to the rich and prosperous Modh Ghanchis who were included in the OBC list only after Modi took over as Gujarat CM."
Arvind Kejriwal tweets: I invite Mr Modi for an open discussion on a public platform. Let Kashi people ask straight questions from both of us. Time place his choice.
11:04 LIVE! SC orders CBI probe into Saradha chit fund scam:
The Supreme Court has ordered a CBI-probe plea in the Saradha scam. Hundreds of thousands of people in Bengal, Orissa, Tripura, Jharkhand and Assam have lost crores of rupees in the money marketing scam in April last year.
Saradha, based in Kolkata, was headed by Sudipta Sen who is now in jail.
The scandal has been repeatedly referenced by Narendra Modi to target Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Several leaders of her Trinamool party have been accused of benefiting financially from the scam.
The Trinamool had opposed a CBI investigation, arguing that its own police were inquiring into it. The Supreme Court's verdict comes just before the last round of polling in Bengal on Monday, when the nine-phase national election ends.
09:50 UP: 13 killed as train hits jeep at unmanned crossing:
Thirteen people were todaykilled and three others seriously injured when a train rammedinto a jeep at a unmanned railway crossing in Kothipur area in Maharajganj in UP.
The incident took place at 1 am when the jeep carrying 16persons was returning from a marriage function, police said.
While 13 people died on the spot, three others wererushed to a hospital where their condition stated to be theserious. Further details are awaited
09:14 J&K voters beaten up, stripped for ignoring election boycott call:
Voters in Kupwara in Jammu and Kashmir were allegedly thrashed, stripped and labelled as traitors for not heeding to the boycott call by stone-pelters. They were allegedly assaulted for going ahead and casting their votes for the Lok Sabha elections.
A middle-aged man from Kupwara was allegedly caned and later forced to strip by a group of youth for voting. Many voters faced the ire of stone-pelters at Sopore and Baramulla on Wednesday. The protesters called them 'traitors' for not heeding the boycott call.
"This is not good. My appeal goes to both the administration and Hurriyat to come clean on this. Both voting and boycott are the right of people. The administration should safeguard the people and Hurriyat should clear its stand whether they are its supporters who beat up people," said PDP leader Javeed Ahmad Dar.
In the Baramulla town where groups of youth clashed with government forces on polling day, voting percentage was dismal. But in Kupwara it had been over 60 per cent.
Read more on CNN IBN
09:10 Class 12 girl found dead in Gurgaon school :
NDTV: A class 12 student of a leading private school here was Thursday found dead in the school premises, police said.The deceased was identified as the daughter of a Delhi-based businessman and resident of DLF phase-4 area here.
"Her body was found hanging in the washroom on the second floor of the school around 1.45 p.m.," a school spokesperson told IANS.The girl took admission in the school last year in class 11 (commerce stream) and was said to be good at studies."Thursday was the unit test of English subject and she was appreciated by her subject teacher for performing well in the exam," a school teacher who did not wish to be named told IANS.
02:35 Attacks in Iraq, including cafe bombing, kill 15:
A series of attacks in Iraq, including a bomb blast at a cafe in a Baghdad suburb, killed 15 people today, Iraqi officials said.
The deadliest of the day's attacks was the cafe bombing, which struck in the evening hours inside a small cafe in the capital's northeastern suburb of Husseiniyah, killing four people and wounding eight, police officials said.
Two hours later, a bomb went off in a commercial street in Baghdad's southern district of Dora, killing two people and wounded five. Later police said a bomb targeted a wedding party in Baghdad's Abu Dashir neighbourhood, killing three people and wounding seven.
Earlier in the day, a roadside bomb exploded near an outdoor market in the town of Youssifiyah, about 20 kilometres south of Baghdad, killing three people and wounding nine.
Police also said a bomb went off near a security checkpoint in northeastern Baghdad, killing two soldiers and wounded five people, including three civilians.
02:30 UK cleric Abu Hamza: Lost hands in Pakistan army experiment:
British hate preacher Abu Hamza told his US terror trial today that his hands were blown off during a Pakistan army explosives experiment in Lahore in 1993.
The device was prepared by an Arab with the same name as an expert alleged to have taught al-Qaeda recruits in Afghanistan in 2000-01.
Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, 56, better known in Britain as Abu Hamza al-Masri has pleaded not guilty in New York to 11 kidnapping and terror counts that pre-date 9/11.
He is charged over the 1998 kidnapping in Yemen of 16 Westerners, conspiracy to set up a jihad training camp in Oregon in 1999, of providing material support to Al Qaeda, of assisting the Taliban and of sending recruits for terror training in Afghanistan.
Taking the stand in his defense for a second day, he told the court he moved with his family to Pakistan in 1992 to do reconstruction work in war-torn Afghanistan.
After Saudi funders pulled the plug on multi-million-dollar projects, he said he helped Arab veterans of the 1980s Afghan jihad against the Soviet Union find jobs with the Pakistan army.
Those with army tactics and explosives experience were wanted "to help with the army in other areas of conflict," Abu Hamza testified.
00:38 Now, Mamata calls Modi 'Danga babu':
Continuing the anti-Modi tirade against Narendra Modi, Mamata Banerjee today alleged that BJP was collecting 'Modi for PM' fund and said her party would write to the Election Commission about it.
"Modi for PM fund is illegal. PM and CM can only have Relief Fund. How can a political party collect fund for PM?" Banerjee, the Trinamool Congress supremo asked at an election meeting here in North 24 Parganas.
"We will write to the EC against the 'Modi for PM fund'," she said waving a paper.
"Now I am even hearing they are protesting against the EC in Varanasi. This is unheard of," she said.
Alleging that BJP was spending a huge amount of money in the elections and that 90 per cent of the media had been bought she asked "Who is giving this money?
"This has never happened before in democracy. Today it has become a black day for the nation and this election will become a black election for them."
In an apparent reference to 2002 Gujarat riots, she said "See the enormity of the riots in Gujarat when little children and the women were burnt alive... If they come to power, they will sell the nation and incite riots.
"People of all faiths caste, creed live together in peace in Bengal. This makes 'Dangababu' (Mr riot) very jealous and angry," she said without naming the BJP Prime Ministerial candidate.
00:38 Modi is an OBC, says Gujarat government:
Responding to Congress charge that Narendra Modi was a "fake" OBC, Gujarat government on Thursday cited its two-decade old notification which says the Modh-Ghanchi (oil-pressers) caste, to which Modi belongs, was included in Other Backward Castes (OBCs) category.
"The Social Welfare Department of the Gujarat Government had passed a notification on July 25, 1994 which included 36 castes as OBCs and at number 25 (b) Modh-Ghanchi caste has been mentioned to which Narendra Modi belongs.
The caste has been included amongst OBCs," Nitin Patel, the state government's spokesperson, said.
Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil said earlier in Delhi on Thursday that Modi was "a fake OBC".
Patel pointed out that the notification was issued way back in 1994 when Congress was in power in the state.
00:37 EC seeks report on Rahul entering polling booths:
The Election Commission today said it has sought a "factual" report on allegations that Rahul Gandhi, a candidate from Amethi, had violated rules by going to the polling area inside some booths in the constituency during balloting yesterday.
"It is a matter of fact (that Rahul was) seeing the EVM in a polling station," Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath said at a press conference here when referred to Rahul's action and asked what the Commission was doing about it.
"We have asked for a factual report and as soon as it is received further action will be taken," he said. He said this particular instance will be examined vis-a-vis the law (Representation of the People Act).
Sampath was asked whether there are some grey areas in the law as well as the Model Code of Conduct in dealing with such matters.
"Definitely, wherever there is a grey area that will have to be spelt out....In this case which is relating to violation of secrecy and voting, etc., they are covered by law. We will examine (it) with reference to law and take action," he said.