NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 

LIVE! Tushar Gandhi contradicts reports on Mahatma's letter to son

Write a comment

May 15, 2014

23:24  Tushar Gandhi contradicts reports on Mahatma's letter to son:  Tushar Gandhi, the great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, today described as "incorrect" media reports about the letter written by Gandhi to his son Harilal, castigating him for 'a rape'.

Gandhi berated Harilal, his estranged son, in this letter for 'rape' of his (Harilal's) sister-in-law, and not his daughter Manu, contrary to media reports, Tushar said in a statement here. Three letters written by Gandhi to Harilal are slated to be auctioned by Mullock's in the UK on May 22. Tushar said the original letter was written in Gujarati and the translation was "uneducated".

"I read the letters in its original form in Bapu's handwriting and realised how wrong and may be mischievous the assumptions were," he said. "In the letter, Bapu confronts Harilal kaka's relationship with his dead wife's sister whom he... contemplating on (sic) marrying then. Bapu approved of the marriage since the sister was a child widow. But he wished that both Harilal Kaka and his sister-in-law make an honest confession of their previously committed sins," Tushar said.
22:41  12 killed as ferry carrying 200 sinks in Bangladesh river:  At least 12 people, including a child, today drowned and hundreds were missing when an overcrowded ferry carrying over 200 passengers capsized in a storm in Bangladesh's Meghna river.

"The storm hit it (ferry) over an hour after it left Dhaka's Sadarghat ferry terminal for its destination at (southwestern) Shariatpur," Deputy Commissioner of Munshiganj district Saiful Hassan told reporters.

"The (death) toll now stands at 12," he said, adding that it was still not clear exactly how many passengers were on the MV Miraj-4 ferry but the number could range from 200 to 350 as it sank mid-river. There are fears the death toll may rise as many more bodies are believed to be trapped inside the sunken vessel.

A search is underway for the other passengers after the ferry sank in the Meghna river in Munshiganj district this afternoon during a seasonal nor'wester storm.
21:46  Modi as PM won't need visa to visit Germany: German envoy:  Germany today made it clear that if Narendra Modi becomes Prime Minister, he will not need any visa to travel to that country and he is "welcome" there. "An elected Prime Minister of India does not need a visa for Germany, he is welcome there," German Ambassador to India Michael Steiner said in a statement.

His statement assumes significance in the context of Modi being denied visa by the some countries so far because of the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat. The German Ambassador hailed the conduct of 9-phased Lok Sabha elections which will culminate with the counting of votes tomorrow.

"The election process in India was simply breathtaking '" passionate, powerful, vibrant, involving the whole country twenty four seven. It showed democracy is India's roots, is India's identity, is its common denominator.

"Ahead of the next government, whoever will form it, lay huge challenges. Modern Germany is an ideal partner for modern India in tackling these," he added.
20:59  DU suspends G N Saibaba over arrest for 'Maoist links':  Delhi University today suspended G N Saibaba, English professor at Ram Lal Anand College, following his arrest for alleged links with Maoists. "G N Saibaba's suspension had been recommended by Ram Lal Anand College's governing body yesterday.

The vice chancellor approved the suspension today," DU's media coordinator and joint dean of students' welfare Malay Neerav said. DU Registrar Alka Sharma said the decision against Saibaba was as per the rules and his was a deemed suspension.

"A public servant is deemed to have been placed under suspension if he is in police or judicial custody for a period exceeding 48 hours. It is just following of rules," she said. Asked if Saibaba's family will be asked to vacate the warden's quarter at Gwyer Hall in North Campus, Neerav said no such decision has been taken in this regard and it is too premature to comment on the matter.

The Delhi University professor was arrested by Maharashtra Police from here on charges of being a member of a banned terrorist organisation (CPI-Maoist), providing logistics and helping in recruitment for the group.
20:41  Singapore riot: Indian gets 33 months jail, 3 strokes of cane:  An Indian was today sentencedto 33 months in jail and three strokes of cane for his role in rioting last year, becoming the second man from the country tobe jailed for the worst street violence in four decades in Singapore.

Arumugam Karthik, 25, had thrown projectiles at three police vehicles and one fire engine and flipped over three police cars.

Karthik, who worked in the construction sector, had also set fire to one of the police vehicles at the scene of riot in Singapore's Little India -- a precinct of Indian businesses, pubs and eateries.
20:30  Modi to be in Rajasthan schoolbooks if he becomes PM: Education minister:  Shahnawaz Akhtar reports from Jaipur: Education Minister Kalicharan Sharaf has announced that if Narendra Modi becomes the prime minister of India, then his life history will be included in the school syllabus of state government schools.

The education minister has also made it clear that if NDA forms the government, then there would be amendment made in the Right to Education Act.While speaking to mediapersons, Sharaf said that it is not only the jurisdiction of Gandhi-Nehru family legacy to be included in the school curriculum.

So, if Modi becomes the prime minister, then his life histories would be taught in schools across Rajasthan. He also added, "Along with Modi, Morarji Desai, Charan Singh and Atal Bihari Vajpai's life histories will also be taught.

The minister also mentioned that the NDA government will bring in major changes in the RTE act. According to the existing act students from class one to eight cannot be refused to be promoted to the next class despite poor results, however, post amendment teachers will be able to refuse promotion to those who fail their assessments.

He also pointed out that an alternative board at class eight would also be set up.
20:26  Expecting big win, Maha BJP prepares 40K ladoos, giant cake:  Buoyed by exit poll predictions, Maharashtra BJP unit has prepared a giant cake and as many as 40,000 laddoos to distribute among the people after the Lok Sabha election results tomorrow.

"We have prepared as many as 40,000 laddoos and will distribute among people at CP Tank crossing. We have also prepared a huge cake with a lotus symbol and slogan 'Ab ki baar Modi sarkaar' decorated on it," party spokesperson Atul Shah told PTI.

He said giant LCD screens would also be installed to watch the results and as soon as BJP candidates are announced victorious, party workers will start distributing sweets.

"We have been targeting to prepare 50,000 ladoos. By evening we will be able to get these laddoos," he added. Shah said balloons filled with helium gas will also be released in sky "after the NDA gets majority to form the government at Centre as a mark to congratulate BJP prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi"

Image: Sahil Salvi
19:17  Jayalalithaa in PM race too, say Tamil astrologers:  
Astrologers in Tamil Nadu have put BJP's Narendra Modi at the top of the list of candidates for India's next prime minister, but also said that Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa too is a contender.

On Friday, 39 members of the Lok Sabha will get elected from Tamil Nadu, while the remaining 806 candidates who had contested in the state will face disappointment.

Of the 55 million voters in the state, around 73 percent exercised their democratic right. Fifty five women and one transgender were among the contestants.

Apart from the contestants, it will be a litmus test for psephologists and astrologers who have predicted the ruling AIADMK will win anything between 20-32 seats of the 40 it contested (39 in Tamil Nadu and one in Puducherry).

Read more HERE
18:40  LIVE! Speaker for Advani? Rajnath Singh meets BJP veteran at his home :  Just in: BJP President Rajnath Singh meets LK Advani at his residence.With exit polls predicting a victory for the BJP and its allies, the party's top leaders are in a series of meetings to ensure that fissures within are smoothed over.

That exercise has included consultations with veteran leader LK Advani and Sushma Swaraj, neither of whom is a member of the core group working with the party's prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi.
18:23  Nitish calls cabinet meeting a day before poll results:   Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today presided over a meeting of his cabinet which triggered debate in the political circle.

Though officially the cabinet meeting is said to be a routine affair of the government's functioning, its timing, a day before declaration of results, triggered interest.

The exit polls have predicted poor performance of ruling JD(U) in the 40 Parliamentary seats in Bihar.

The projections have given wing to speculations that days of Nitish Kumar government in Bihar are numbered.

Follow latest updates on elections on Twitter: @RediffElections
18:19  Sandeep Dikshit: I'm unlikely to win; Rashid Alvi: Mamata should lead :  On the eve of the Lok Sabha election results, Congress leader Rashid Alvi on Wednesday suggested that all regional secular parties should come together and elect West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee as the leader to keep BJP out of power.

Admitting that it may be difficult for Congress to form the government, he said, "It may be difficult for us to form the government, but all secular forces should come together to keep Narendra Modi away from power."

He suggested that all regional secular parties should come together and elect their leader. "Congress party will never hesitate to form a secular government," he said.

"I suggest that regional parties should elect Mamata Banerjee, who is secular, competent and honest beyund doubt, as their leader," he said.

Stating that he does not believe in exit polls and truth will come out tomorrow, Alvi said, "Whether the Congress conquers the electoral battle or loses it, we all shall be responsible for the credit or discredit. It will be injustice for anyone to only blame the leadership of Congress."

Meanwhile, another Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit admitted that he was unlikely to win. "I can speak for myself. I am unlikely to win. But I don't speak for the party," Dikshit told NDTV.

Dikshit is contesting from the East Delhi constituency, which has voted him since 2005. The Congress party is expected to lose all seven seats in Delhi in the Lok Sabha election.
18:13  Zero turnout in repolls in Nagaland:  Repoll at five polling stations under 39-Sanis Assembly Constituency of Wokha District in Nagaland reported zero turnout today, a senior Election Commission (EC) official said.

Polling officials waited for electorates since morning, but not a single electorate turned up, Returning Officer (RO) for Lok Sabha polls in Nagaland Temjen Toy said.

Though there was no official communication from the voters behind the 'nil' turnout, Toy said that villagers were resenting imposition of the repoll and questioned on what grounds the EC ordered it.

The Congress submitted a complaint to the EC on April 25 alleging that the April 9 elections had been marred with massive proxy voting and election malpractices demanding repoll in over 1300 polling stations.
18:02  Don't sing the national anthem if you don't want to:  A French minister is under fire for failing to sing along with La Marseillaise. But why is there pressure to participate?  Read
17:55  Shiv Aroor tweets: Rahul Gandhi returns from London tonight, hopefully well-rested.
17:54  MHA advisory to all states: Police and state government should be extra vigilant to communal tension. 
17:51   Kejriwal to reach Varanasi ahead of counting:   Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal will arrive in the temple town this evening ahead of the counting day tomorrow for the Lok Sabha elections held in a marathon nine phases spread over 35 days.

The AAP chief will arrive here by a flight from New Delhi, and will even visit the counting centre at Paharia in the city, AAP media coordinator here, Prerna Prasad said. Nearly 8000 candidates, including top guns Narendra Modi, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Kejriwal had contested in the largest-ever electoral exercise held in Indian history.

Anti-corruption crusader Kejriwal pitted against Modi, BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate in Varanasi, is seeking to replicate this time, his electoral triumph in last year's Delhi Assembly polls. The exit polls have meanwhile, projected that BJP will emerge as the single largest party.

Follow latest updates on elections on Twitter: @RediffElections
17:10  LIVE! Rahul replies to EC: Officially 22,000 people were killed during NDA rule:  Rahul Gandhi replies to the Election Commission notice on him. The EC issued a show cause notice to Rahul for his alleged remarks that if BJP comes to power, 22,000 people will be killed in violence. 

Rahul said he was referring to the official figure of 22,000 people who were killed during the NDA rule.

Follow latest updates on elections on Twitter: @RediffElections
17:05  At present, Mishra is director of the Gujarat Disaster Management Institute (GDMI) but advises Modi on policy issues.

"He is extremely close to Modi, who takes his views and advices very seriously," a senior official in the state secretariat said, adding, "Dr Mishra has wide experience of working in Delhi at higher positions so he knows the system there."

Secondly, he is also said to enjoy wide network with bureaucrats in the national capital which can help the new prime minister in putting right persons at right posts to create his own set up in the national capital where bureaucracy is known to rule the roost.

Shy and soft spoken, Dr Mishra is also known to be man of high integrity and during his stint as secretary agriculture, he had initiated reforms in the ministry which led to higher agriculture growth during his tenure. The day he retired, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh had called him and appreciated his work in the ministry.
17:04  PK Mishra likely to be Modi's principal secretary in PMO:  An old-fashioned bureaucrat who always works within the system, Dr PK Mishra, a 1972 batch, retired IAS of Gujarat cadre, is most likely to be Narendra Modi's principal secretary in the PMO, should Modi occupy the country's highest post in North Block in the national capital.

Dr Mishra was Modi's principal secretary when he became Gujarat Chief Minister in 2001 dethroning Keshubhai Patel.

In 2004, Modi had sent him to the central deputation as additional secretary.

However, with the arrival of UPA, he was initially sidelined, but eventually became secretary agriculture as Sharad Pawar had demanded his services in his ministry from where he retired in 2007.

Subsequently, Modi had appointed him as chairman of the Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission from where his term ended in 2013.
16:40  LIVE! On Saturday: Modi victory lap in Delhi, maha aarti in Varanasi :   On Saturday, a day after the Lok Sabha results are announced, Narendra Modi will arrive in New Delhi. Modi will arrive in Delhi by a special aircraft at 13:30 hours. And from there, begins the massive road show from the the airport to the BJP HQ at 11 Ashok Road, with Modi doing the victory lap in an open jeep.

At the airport, 25,000 BJP workers are expected to welcome him. Modi will meet LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and other senior leaders.

At 4 pm, Modi will head to Varanasi where he will perform the maha aarti which the Election Commission had banned last week.

TN CM Jayalalitha is also expected to attend Narendra Modi's swearing-in ceremony in New Delhi.

Follow latest updates on elections on Twitter: @RediffElections
16:21  The school girls who escaped the Boko Haram:  Among the lucky ones, there are pensive smiles but not much laughter. When the militants came to their school, the men shouted "Allahu akbar!' and announced, "We are Boko Haram,' firing their rifles and threatening casually to kill the teenage girls studying there."

They said: 'If you want to die, sit down here. We will kill you. If you don't want to die, you will enter the trucks,' ' remembered Kuma Ishaku, a soft-spoken 18-year-old in a bright white blouse with silver sparkles.

Frightened and crying, the girls boarded the trucks.But then Ms. Ishaku fled '" one of 53 girls from the Chibok Government Girls Secondary School who escaped their captors.  Read more
16:12  Hunt for an august chair for Advani:   The BJP brass met for several hours in Gandhinagar this evening at Narendra Modi's residence and discussed the prospective role that veterans LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi and a relatively younger Sushma Swaraj could be assigned if the party forms the government at the Centre. The meeting, followed by dinner, was attended by Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and Nitin Gadkari.

Follow latest updates on elections on Twitter: @RediffElections
16:08  Counting for 6 LS seats in J&K tomorrow:   The fate of 77 candidates, including Union ministers Farooq Abdullah and Ghulam Nabi Azad, from six Lok Sabha seats of Jammu and Kashmir will be known after the counting of votes tomorrow.

"Tight security arrangements have been made in and around the counting centres in five districts in Jammu and Kashmir. All other arrangements have also been put in place," a senior officer of J&K Election department officer said today.

Follow latest updates on elections on Twitter: @RediffElections
15:59  LIVE! On counting day, Modi will address two rallies in Gujarat :  So, what is Narendra Modi going to be doing tomorrow, the day of the election results? He will be in Gujarat, not New Delhi, and will actually address two rallies, one in Ahmedabad and one in Vadodara.

He will go to New Delhi on Saturday, May 17. Later in the day he will leave for Varanasi where he will perform a maha aarti. This time, of course, there is no Election Commission to stop him.

Follow latest updates on elections on Twitter: @RediffElections
15:39  Over 3 Hours, Rajnath, Amit Shah meet RSS Leaders :  It's been a hectic couple of days for BJP president Rajnath Singh, who made a dash to Gujarat to meet prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi last evening and dashed right back to hold strategic meetings in Delhi this morning.

There have also been other meetings in the capital amid reports that big changes are on the cards in the BJP's organisational structure as the party preps to form government at the Centre, with exit polls showing that it is headed, with its allies, for a clear majority.

Rajnath Singh met RSS functionary Suresh Soni with party colleague Saudan Singh over three hours at his residence and they were joined later by Modi's chief aide Amit Shah, who has been part of all important deliberations in Delhi since yesterday.

Shah was also spotted at the RSS' Jhandewalan office. Sources said the RSS leaders also discussed the political situation that could emerge from tomorrow's election results and how to get more allies if necessary.
15:18  D-Day predictions: Don't count our MPs, weigh them, says Kumar Vishvas. Read
15:10  ONGC moves court accusing RIL of exploiting gas from its block:  PSU ONGC moves Delhi High Court accusing RIL of exploiting substantial gas from its natural gas block.

The issue has its roots in Reliance Industries wanting to transport gas from a new field in the KG-D6 block with a pipeline through ONGC's adjoining block, but the state-run firm was reluctant to allow this.

ONGC had earlier said that using RIL's infrastructure would speed up the development of its own field and cut costs by up to 40%, signaling bright prospects of cooperation between India's top two exploration firms.

But ONGC subsequently complained to the government last year that the two adjoining blocks may have a common reservoir, from which Reliance could potentially draw gas.
gas from a new field in the KG-D6 block with a pipeline through ONGC's adjoining block, but the state-run firm is reluctant to allow this, giving another twist to their relationship a year after they agreed to look at prospects of sharing infrastructure in the deep-sea region.

14:50  Rahul Gandhi, gaffe master:  Rahul Gandhi has done it again. He was missing from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's farewell dinner.

No one seems to know his coordinates.The gesture is being read right as discourteous to an elderly statesman of his own party. It also shows him as wanting in basic protocol, given that he holds the office of the Congress Vice-President. From a political point of view, this is imprudent, irresponsible and also immature.

He has exposed himself to avoidable ridicule and salacious rumours.As expected, Congress courtiers are busy defending the crown prince and his mysterious escapades.

Read the blog by AAP member Capt Gopinath
14:46  TRS rules out supporting NDA :  Notwithstanding exit polls giving a clear mandate to BJP-led NDA, TRS today said the party still prefers to support a Congress-led UPA government at the Centre. TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao's daughter and party leader K Kavitha also said that the party is unlikely to support an NDA government as it believes that a "secular government should be in place" at the Centre.

Follow latest updates on elections on Twitter: @RediffElections
14:41  The PM will be hosting high tea for the cabinet on May 17. 
14:19  Exit polls only give rise to Sensex: Akhilesh:   Dismissing the exit poll results, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today said he did not trust exit polls which only give rise to Sensex. "I dont believe in exit polls. They are not true and are only giving rise to Sensex", Yadav said when asked about exit polls showing poor performance by his party.

"I am waiting for the results", he said while attending a marriage function at party MLA Rampal Rajvanshi's house in Sitapur, UP.

Earlier, on Facebook Akhilesh wrote, "Lohiaji once said elections are always a festival". "I have thoroughly enjoyed this journey and now I wait for the results. Exit Polls are not the results. They are not the real thing. I believe in waiting for the truth. I believe in waiting for the real results", Yadav wrote on the social networking website.

Follow latest updates on elections on Twitter: @RediffElections
14:05  Madhu Kishwar tweets: "If election hd bn fought with swaraj projected PM candidate BJP wd hv bn where Congress is & Cong where BJP is."
14:04  Kanchan Gupta tweets: In this din, reminded of Harkishen Singh Surjeet's wise words: Elections come and go, parties remain.
13:59  Modi's Thatcherite talk cannot restore India's flagging fortunes:   India's superpower dreams are giving way to the same old reality of poverty. Read
13:50  Modi will win from Vadodara by over 5L votes, claims Patel:   Gujarat Energy Minister Saurabh Patel has claimed that BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi will win the election to Vadodara Lok Sabha seat by a "margin of over five lakh votes".

"We expect majority of votes for Modi and a victory margin of over five lakh votes," Patel, the poll in-charge of Modi for the Vadodara election, said.

Patel, who represents the Akota Assembly seat of Vadodara, has been camping in the city ever since the poll process began and supervised party network in all seven Assembly segments falling under the Vadodara LS constituency.

Follow latest updates on elections on Twitter: @RediffElections
13:33  Rajiv Shukla defends Rahul: Sena has one-point agenda to abuse Gandhis :  Congress spokesperson Rajiv Shukla reacts to the Shiv Sena's comments that "Rahul Gandhi is a foreigner, he comes to India for a holiday. When he is done, he goes back to his foreign home."

Shukla says the Shiv Sena has a one-point agenda to abuse the Gandhi family. "They should define what the word "foreigner' means.

Follow latest updates on elections on Twitter: @RediffElections
12:48  LIVE! Sahara judge opts out amid allegations of 'pressure, strain' :  Supreme Court judge Justice J S Khehar writes to CJI R M Lodha offering to recuse himself from hearing the Sahara case, says a court official. the CJI constitutes another bench to hear the matter relating to Sahara Group, says the official.

Matters came to a head on May 6, when the Supreme Court bench of Justice K S Radhakrishnan and Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar pronounced its 207-page judgment turning down the bail plea of Sahara group chief Subrata Roy and its two directors, who are in jail since March 4 for failing to refund investors money.

The same evening, Justice Khehar sent a note to the Supreme Court Registry directing it not to include him in any new bench the bench would have to be recast due to Justice Radhakrishnans retirement on Thursday constituted to hear the Sahara case.

The Indian Express reports that Justice Khehars decision to opt out of the case assumes significance in view of the public statement by his colleague on the bench, Justice Radhakrishnan, last week that he faced pressure, tension and strain while hearing the Sahara matter.
12:42  The Light of Benares:  Modi, if he is to bring profound change, must not go the Erdogan or Rajapaksa route. Because the conditions for the emergence of that kind of leader do exist in India. Read
12:23  Malaisamy had said Jayalalithaa would tie up with Narendra Modi after elections. Jaya says Malaisamy has brought disrepute to the party. 
12:06  AIADMK leader expelled for saying Jaya, Modi shares good relations :  Just in: AIADMK leader K Malaisamy has been expelled from the party for saying that the Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa would ally with Narendra Modi. Malaisamy, a retired IAS officer, also said that Modi and Jayalalithaa shared good relations.

Follow latest updates on elections on Twitter: @RediffElections
12:03  LIVE! Finally, ND Tiwari marries Rohit Shekhar's mother Ujjwala Sharma:   We are raising a toast to Congress leader ND Tiwari (88) who has just got married to Ujjwala Sharma (62).

Ujjwala's son Rohit Shekar had hauled Tiwari to court after the senior Congress leader had refused to acknowledge him as his son.

The Delhi High Court on April 24 had declared Rohit Shekhar as Tiwari's biological son.

Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw allowed the plea of Shekhar, who in 2008 had filed a paternity suit claiming Tiwari as his biological father.

The court's decision came after the senior Congress leader publicly accepted Shekhar as his biological son and his mother Ujjwala at a press conference in March.
11:48  News channels hike ad rates 20 times for poll verdict:  Anticipating record viewership on May 16, the day the 2014 Lok Sabha poll results are to be declared, popular news channels have jacked up their advertising rates.

For a 10-second slot, rates have shot up from around Rs 10,000 to up to Rs 2 lakh. So far this year, when it comes to ad rates, IPL 7 has hogged the limelight with advertisers coughing up nearly Rs 5 lakh for a 10-second slot on television. The judgment day of Indian politics comes a close second. Read

Follow latest updates on elections on Twitter: @RediffElections
11:47  Why it was important for Pranab Mukherjee to abstain from voting :  By deciding not to vote this time, the president, Pranab Mukherjee, obviously sent out a signal that he wanted to keep his office above party politics. The gesture makes eminent sense, even if it is a symbolic one.

Not just the president of the republic, but governors of states and others holding high constitutional offices should cease to have any political role or activity the moment they assume such responsibilities. Read

Follow latest updates on elections on Twitter: @RediffElections
11:27  Here's why Rahul skipped the farewell dinner for the PM:  Tweets on why Rahul skipped the farewell dinner for ‏the PM.

RahulG escaped to US at Jupiter velocity..

Rahul Skips Dinner after he got very angry when told that as there are no poor people in Gujarat, he cannot have dinner with any of them.

Enjoyed free n fair nice sucular society of USA n here he wants nasty communal hindu society

Rahul Skips Dinner.. Before Congress could give a reason why, few journos at their payroll already had their answers ready

"WHAT?! I am not going to become the PM mummy? Maine nahi khaana khaana!"

Rahul skips dinner probably watching exit polls or maybe Chota Bhim. I donno

Rahul Gandhi skipped the farewell dinner of Manmohan Singh coz he's eating Humble Pie at home.

Follow latest updates on elections on Twitter: @RediffElections
11:17  Power of percentage and slogans, just on paper:  In the run-up to the general election, the media has been ablaze with advertisements raising a wide variety of issues related to women. It started with emphasising the fact that 49 per cent of voters are women and warned of the consequences of ignoring them. Read
11:15  Sensex up 56 points in morning trade:  The benchmark BSE Sensex rose 56 points in morning trade today on fresh buying in consumer durables, power, realty and FMCG sectors amid persistent capital inflows by foreign funds despite mixed Asian cues.

Key benchmark indices edged higher in early trade as the market sentiment was boosted by data showing foreign funds made substantial purchases of Indian stocks yesterday, ahead of the outcome of the Lok Sabha elections.

Follow latest updates on elections on Twitter: @RediffElections
11:12  LIVE! Rahul met PM before he went abroad: Cong:  Rahul Gandhi met the PM before going abroad, there is no question of an insult, says Satyavrat Chaturvedi of the Congress.
11:11  Ladies to LK, play on pecking order :  Smriti Irani may win or lose from Amethi but she appears set to unseat Sushma Swaraj as the BJP's first lady. Like Sushma three elections ago, Smriti has won the admiration of the party for her "courage and resolve' in taking on a Gandhi and making a fight of the contest. Read

Follow latest updates on elections on Twitter: @RediffElections
11:08  Counting tomorrow; nearly 8000 candidates for 543 LS seats:  Once the results are declared, the names of the winning candidates will find mention in the gazette to be issued by the Election Commission.

The gazette notification will initiate the process to form the next Lok Sabha. The campaign held in blistering heat in several parts of the country was replete with barbs by various political leaders.

During the high decibel campaign marked by vitriolic accusations, Modi constantly targeted Rahul as 'shehzada' and the UPA dispensation as the 'mother-son' government besides going after Sonia's son-in-law Robert Vadra over alleged land deals.

He also hurled barbs at the UPA government, saying it represented the 'ABCD' of corruption, referring to Adarsh, Bofors and Coal scams.

He also took a 'RSVP' jibe at the Nehru-Gandhi family, saying R stood for Rahul, S for Sonia, V for Vadra and P for Priyanka.

He often ridiculed his rival parties for having a one-point "Stop Modi" agenda.

The BJP Prime Ministerial candidate also had his share of criticism with several leaders taking him on in connection with the 2002 post-Godhra riots in Gujarat. The Trinammol Congress in West Bengal called Modi the "butcher" of Gujarat after he escalated his attack against Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, saying there is no "poribartan" in the eastern state.

Follow latest updates on elections on Twitter: @RediffElections
11:00  Counting tomorrow; nearly 8000 candidates for 543 LS seats:  Votes polled in the nine-phased Lok Sabha elections will be counted tomorrow to decide who will form the next government.

Election Commission said the counting exercise to be held at 989 counting centres is likely to be completed by 5 pm and trends will be available by 11 am.

By noon, a final picture could emerge on who would be the major players in the 16th Lok Sabha.

Nearly 8000 candidates, including top guns Narendra Modi, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal were in the fray, in the largest-ever electoral exercise held in Indian history. The exit polls have projected that BJP will emerge as the single largest party.

Follow latest updates on elections on Twitter: @RediffElections
10:55  Why Jill Abramson was fired :  At the annual City University Journalism School dinner, on Monday, Dean Baquet, the managing editor of the New York Times, was seated with Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., the paper's publisher.

At the time, I did not give a moment's thought to why Jill Abramson, the paper's executive editor, was not at their table.

Then, at 2:36 pm on Wednesday, an announcement from the Times hit my e-mail, saying that Baquet would replace Abramson, less than three years after she was appointed the first woman in the top job. Baquet will be the first African-American to lead theTimes. More of that here.
10:49  Match-fixing 'treasure trove' no surprise to NZ:  Former New Zealand cricketer Lou Vincent has opened up to investigators about widespread match-fixing in several countries, the country's cricket boss confirmed today.

David White's comments came after the London Telegraph reported Vincent had provided the International Cricket Council (ICC) anti-corruption unit "with a treasure trove of information about matches that were targeted for spot-fixing and the names of players" involved.

The former international "has agreed a plea bargain in the hope of avoiding a criminal prosecution for his involvement in and knowledge of spot-fixing in five or more countries" between 2008-2012, the report said.

White, New Zealand Cricket's chief executive, said the revelations contained in the newspaper were well known to officials. "We have been informed of a lot of the information over some period of time (by the ICC) so it doesn't come as a surprise to us," he said.
10:48  Cricket rocked by new fixing evidence from Kiwi former batsman Lou Vincent:   Anti-corruption forces are investigating the most detailed evidence yet of widespread fixing across the cricketing world. Telegraph Sport can reveal that Lou Vincent, the former New Zealand batsman, has provided officials from the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption unit with a treasure trove of information about matches which were targeted for spot-fixing and the names of players who were involved.  Read the full story here.
10:43  RSS-BJP meet begins:   Senior RSS leader Suresh Soni meets BJP president Rajnath Singh's residence in New Delhi. The BJP and RSS are discussing the party's post-poll scenario

Follow latest updates on elections on Twitter: @RediffElections
10:11  What role for Sushma, Advani? BJP leaders hold hectic meetings:  Times NOW reports: Senior Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leaders are likely to meet Bharatiya Janata Party chief Rajnath Singh at his residence today.

The BJP and RSS are to be in constant touch to discuss the party's post-poll scenario. The party is reportedly in a dilemma over roles to be played by senior leaders L K Advani and Sushma Swaraj.

The party's core group of leaders -- Rajnath Singh, Narendra Modi, Arun Jaitley and Nitin Gadkari met last night in Gandhinagar. The BJP parliamentary board will meet on May 17, a day after counting, to hold further consultations on roles of senior party members.

Follow latest updates on elections on Twitter: @RediffElections

09:58  Strike in Turkey over mine disaster :  BBC reports: Trade unions in Turkey have announced a one-day strike in protest at the country's worst ever mine disaster which has claimed at least 274 lives.

The recent privatisation of the mining sector had made working conditions more dangerous, Union officials said.

Anger erupted against the government in several cities on Wednesday after the disaster in the western town of Soma on the previous day.

An explosion caused the pit to collapse while more than 700 miners were underground.

09:42  Persons with security cover cannnot be counting agents: EC:  The Hindu reports: The Election Commission has started issuing series of instructions for the May 16 counting process and the latest one is ban on the people with security cover from being appointed as counting agents of the candidates.

According to the EC's order, sent to all the chief electoral officers, there is no prohibition on councillors, sarpanchs, ward members and other local body chief/head from being appointed as counting agents provided they do not have any security cover from the state/central governments.

Permission to work as counting agents will not be given even if the person is ready to surrender his/her security cover. Their security could not be put to jeopardy by allowing them to enter the hall without any security cover.

Follow latest updates on elections on Twitter: @RediffElections

09:14  BJP parliamentary board to meet in Delhi on May 17: Rajnath:  The BJP parliamentary board will meet in Delhi on May 17, a day after Lok Sabha poll results are declared, to finalise a time frame for electing Narendra Modi as leader of the party and National Democratic Alliance parliamentary parties at the earliest.    

"I have told Narendrabhai to come to Delhi on 17th. I will convene the parliamentary board meeting on that date to decide the earliest date to hold BJP parliamentary party meet to formally elect Narendrabhai as our leader," BJP chief Rajnath Singh told reporters in Gandhinagar late last night after at three-hour meeting the party's core group leaders at Modi's residence.    

The meeting of the parliamentary board, BJP's highest decision-making forum, will also decide what role party senior leaders will play in the next government, Rajnath said and denied there was any rift between BJP leaders on the issue.     

Replying to a question, he said the issue of Gujarat chief ministership will also be decided at a meeting of BJP parliamentary board.Besides Rajnath Singh, the core group has Modi, Arun Jaitley and Nitin Gadkari in it.

Follow latest updates on elections on Twitter: @RediffElections
01:04  New York Times replaces Jill Abramson as executive editor:  From NYT : Jill Abramson, the executive editor of The New York Times, is unexpectedly leaving the position and will be replaced by Dean Baquet, the managing editor of the newspaper, the company said Wednesday.

Read the full story here
00:17  BJP parliamentary board to meet in Delhi on May 17: Rajnath:  BJP Parliamentary Board will meet in Delhi on May 17, a day after Lok Sabha poll resultsare declared, to finalise a time frame for electing Narendra Modi as leader of BJP and NDA parliamentary parties at the earliest.

"I have told Narendrabhai to come to Delhi on 17th. I will convene the Parliamentary Board meeting on that date todecide the earliest date to hold BJP parliamentary party meetto formally elect Narendrabhai as our leader," BJP chiefRajnath Singh told reporters late tonight after a three-hour meeting the party's core group leaders at Modi's residence.    

The meeting of the parliamentary board, BJP's highest decision-making forum, will also decide what role party senior leaders will play in the next government, Rajnath said and denied there was any rift between BJP leaders on the issue.

Replying to a question, he said the issue of Gujarat Chief Ministership will also be decided at a meeting of BJP parliamentary board.
00:14  Top headlines of the last 24 hours:  NDA projected to win 274-286 seats; Congress worst-ever at 72-82
Pramila Jayapal eyes Washington State SenatePramila Jayapal eyes Washington State Senate
Rahul skips Cong's farewell dinner for PM Manmohan Singh
Kate Middleton's phone hacked 155 times, UK court told
Lalu trashes exit polls, calls them a conspiracy against him

Stars spotted!  What's this?

What was Lalettan doing in New Jersey?
Reader Bhargav Govind sends us a picture from...

More stars spotted

Met a celebrity?
Email us photos & videos