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LIVE! Modi takes a dig at news channels' Cabinet speculation

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May 21, 2014


23:00  Modi takes a dig at news channels' Cabinet speculation:  

A correspondent in New Delhi: Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi today took a dig at news channels for their speculative reports on his government's Cabinet at the Centre.

 

Modi said, "For last few days, some 8-10 news channels are showing 8-10 different Cabinets, while I am yet to form mine. While one channel gives particular department to one person, the other channel gives the same department to some other person. While on one channel we find one person has been made minister of one department, on other channel the same person is allotted another department. Not only this, but the news channels describe reasons also for allotment of particular ministry to a particular person'.

 

Modi further said that his job has been made easier by news channels, as now all he needs to do is just to order a copy of the list of ministers already prepared by news channels.

22:57  LIVE! 5.6 quake hits Bay of Bengal; tremors in WB, Odisha, NCR:  According to media reports, a 5.6 magnitude earthquake has hit the Bay of Bengal. Initial tremors were felt in parts of West Bengal, Odisha, and even the Delhi NCR region. No reports of any damage have yet been received.

More details are awaited.
21:53  Jaganmohan Reddy elected leader of YSRC legislature party:  YSR Congress president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy was today unanimously elected as the leader of the party MLAs in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly.

The election was made at a meeting of newly-elected MLAs and MPs of YSRCP at Idupulapaya in Kadapa district where the samadhi of late Chief Minister and Jagan's father Y S Rajasekhara Reddy is located.

"YSR Congress would continue its struggle for the welfare of the people and will closely monitor the election promises made by TDP," Jagan said on the occasion. "Though there was a small set-back, we are never lagging behind. Despite the TDP tie-up with BJP and Modi wave, the difference between the victory and defeat is just over five lakh votes working out to 1.9 per cent which is wafer thin and this could happen as my heart did not permit to give false promises like Chandrababu Naidu," the YSRCP chief said.
21:23  Nitish congratulates Narendra Modi:  Bihar's former Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today congratulated arch-rival Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi. "I congratulate and greet Narendra Modi for his victory and becoming the PM-designate," he said in a Facebook post.

Kumar's gesture followed Modi congratulating Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi. In the post, Kumar also gave the reasons for giving up the chief minister's post.

"I did not get majdoori (wage) for my labour in the results of general elections. I thought I need to win your faith once more and resigned on moral grounds," he wrote.

"I have given up chair but not my responsibility towards Bihar. Once again I will try to win your trust and support for making a strong and prosperous Bihar and a lively India," he said.
21:23  Rohtang Pass to be opened for tourists from June 1:  The mighty Rohtang Pass, gateway to Lahaul valley, will be opened for tourists from June 1. The 13,050 ft pass was briefly opened on May 3 on the eve of Lok Sabha polls but it was closed again due to snowfall, said Rakesh Kanwar, Deputy Commissioner of Kullu said today.

It was closed as with the rise in temperature, the threat of landslides and glacier movement had increased and tourist vehicles were not allowed to go to beyond Marhi on Manali-Rohtang road in compliance with directions of National Green Tribunal, Kanwar said.

While issuing order under the direction of National Green Tribunal, the Deputy Commissioner banned all the commercial activities like snow-scooter, tyre-tube game, dhabas and tea-stall between Kothi-Rohtang.
21:05  Tharoor jibe at Modi: Let's hope Sharif is served biryani:  "If Nawaz Sharif does accept the invitation, let's hope Narendra Modi will serve him chicken biryani!" Congress leader Shashi Tharoor today said in an apparent jibe at the BJP's prime minister-designate.

The reference was obviously to Modi's earlier attack on Congress accusing it of serving chicken biryani to visiting Pakistan premier Raja Pervez Ashraf in 2013 when he had come here on a private visit in the midst of the controversy of beheading of an Indian soldier by Pakistani army.

Addressing a rally in Baghpat in the last week of March, Modi had, alluding to the alleged incursions by the Pakistan army and beheading of the Indian soldier in 2013, again said that while all this was happening, the Congress government was serving chicken biryani to the visiting Pakistan premier.

SAARC Heads of State and Government including Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif have been invited to Modi's swearing-in as Prime Minister on May 26.
20:56  Shinde packs his bags, leaves for Mumbai:  Sushilkumar Shinde today left for Mumbai, becoming perhaps the first Cabinet minister from the outgoing UPA government to start the process of vacating his official bungalow.

Shinde, who lost in the Lok Sabha elections from Solapur, has already packed his belongings and the process of the handing over of his Krishna Menon Marg bungalow in Lutyens Zone has begun.

The outgoing home minister said that, earlier, after he had ceased to be the Maharashtra chief minister, he had vacated his official residence within a few days.
20:33  Mercy plea of Yakub Memon rejected by President:  The mercy plea of Yakub Abdul Razak Memon, a death-row convict in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, has been rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee.

The decision has been taken by the President following recommendations of the Maharashtra government and the Home Ministry that the mercy petition of Memon be rejected, a senior official said. The President's decision has been conveyed to the Maharashtra government.

Yakub, a chartered accountant and brother of fugitive terror mastermind Tiger Memon, was sentenced to death by a TADA court in 2007 after being found guilty of charges of criminal conspiracy and for arranging finances and managing its disbursement through the co-accused in the Mumbai serial blasts.
20:28  HP CM Virbhadra rules out resignation:  

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today ruled out his resignation in the wake of Congress' defeat in the state even as his Assam counterpart Tarun Gogoi declared plans to quit tomorrow.        

 

"It is a defeat of the party and not the Chief Minister. Why should I resign? I do not think it is a moral responsibility to resign because issues involved were beyond my control," Singh told reporters.        


Congress has lost all the four seats in the hilly state including Mandi from where Singh's wife Pratibha was the party candidate and sitting MP. There have been a dozen odd states where the Congress could not win a single seat and these include major ones like Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Gujarat.     

 

Singh's statement came close on the heels of Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi announcing his plans to submit his resignation to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi tomorrow.

19:04   Assam CM likely to submit resignation to Sonia tomorrow:  Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi is likely to submit his resignation to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi tomorrow. "I have sought an appointment to meet the Congress President. If I get it tomorrow, I will submit my resignation to her," Gogoi told reporters here while replying to queries."
19:03  Gujarat's next CM Anandiben Patel meets Gujarat governor Kamla Beniwal. She will be sworn in tomorrow. 
18:53  Kumar Vishwas returns to Delhi:  Tweet from Dr. Kumar Vishwas's twitter handle:  [Msg frm Admin] -Dr Kumar Vishwas has cut his meditation-relaxation trip short after the recent development in Delhi, and is returning back to stand strongly with the team in this situation.
18:40  LIVE! Anandiben Patel: Thank you, Narendrabhai, I promise to continue your work:  Anandiben Patel's posts her response to being unanimously elected as the next CM of Gujarat: "Thank you honorable Narendrabhai, my fellow party colleagues and all brothers and sisters for this opportunity and responsibility. I promise to be continue the exemplary work from the last 12 years and do my best for Gujarat and its people."
18:36  LIVE! Cong on Kejriwal bail bond: He has lost his mental balance:  Reactions to Arvind Kejriwal refusing to pay the bail bond and being sent to Tihar:

The Congress questioned that Arvind Kejriwal has dared to challenge the judiciary.

"He has lost his mental balance following the Congress's decision not to extend support to AAP to form a government again in Delhi. He is hungry about power. Now, he even does not care about Janlokpal Bill and other issues," said Delhi Congress' Chief Spokesperson Mukesh Sharma. "We condemn his act. We do not have any sympathy for him. Law is equal to everybody," he said.

BJP leader Harsh Vardhan said Kejriwal had levelled wrong allegations against party leader Nitin Gadkari who gave him a fitting reply by filing case against him. "The type of politics that he (Kejriwal) is continously pursuing in this country has been grossly and thoroughly rejected by the people of India and more particularly by the people of national capital. "I don't think any more dramas' of this nature would help him," he said.
18:27  "This occasion (oath ceremony) is being used to show the world that the new Govt wants peaceful relations with all countries," Arun Jaitley.
17:54  India has given Narendra Modi a mandate to refashion the country:  Young Indians crave the good life, and their energy will allow the country's new leader to push past its 'plodding culture', writes Swapan Dasgupta for the Guardian. Read
17:53  Egypt prez Hosni Mubarak gets three-year jail :  A court in Egypt has sentenced former President Hosni Mubarak to three years in prison after finding him guilty of embezzling public funds.His two sons, Alaa and Gamal, were also convicted and given four-year terms.  
17:41  PDP, NC hail Modi for inviting Nawaz Sharif for swearing-in ceremony:  Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti, hailed Narendra Modi's move of inviting Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to his swearing in ceremony on May 26. She said it was a "good omen", while leader of the moderate faction of Hurriyat Conference, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, expressed hope that it would pave the way for meaningful dialogue between India and Pakistan.

Mamata Banerjee may boycott Narendra Modi's swearing-in, we hear.
17:31  LIVE! If calling Gadkari a thief is a crime we're ready to go to jail: AAP:  AAP's Ashutosh on Kejriwal being sent to jail, says that the law clearly states if one doesn't submit the bail bond then you must be prepared to go to jail. So, we are ready to go to jail, but is not submitting bond a crime? If calling Gadkari a thief is a crime, we are ready to go to jail.
17:07  Modi on Monday: Slide shows, briefings at PMO:  R Ramanujan, Secretary in the Prime Minister Office, will receive Narendra Modi on Monday at 20:30 pm outside South Block. He will then brief Modi about important issues.

Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth has prepared eight crucial issues for the new Prime Minister Narendra Modi to consider. A power point presentation of six-minute slide shows are ready with the Secretariat. These include power, railways, shipping, tourism, coal, civil aviation and telecom. Thye are believed to be Modi's pet subjects.

Follow latest updates on Twitter: @RediffElections 
16:44  LIVE! Gujarat's CM-elect Anandiben Patel gets emotional at MLAs meet:  Anandiben Patel, who will be sworn in as Gujarat's next chief minister,  is in tears while speaking at the Gujarat MLAs meeting in Gandhinagar. She was unanimously elected as the next CM.

First Modi, then Adavani and now Anandiben... 
16:37  Modi on Monday: PM-elect to meet PMO top brass:  On Monday, Narendra Modi will address the officers of the Prime Minister's Secretariat. Officials above the status of directors which include the Joint Secretaries and Additional Secretaries will be present.

Additional Secretaries Satrughan Singh and KVS Subrahmanyam and Joint Secretaries Javed Asraf, Anu Garg will be present. The meeting will be conducted by R Ramanujan.

Follow latest updates on Twitter: @RediffElections 
16:31  That's Modi and Advani getting emotional yesterday...
16:22  Karzai will attend Modi's swearing-in ceremony:  Afghan President Hamid Karzai has decided to attend Modi's swearing-in ceremony on May 26. Pak PM Nawaz Sharif and Karzai are among the leaders who have been extended verbal invitation and Karzai has already accepted the same.

This will be followed by written invitation. However, there was no clarity on who all have been invited for the swearing-in ceremony at the forecourt of the historic Rashtrapati Bhavan here which will be attended by over 3000 guests. Modi will be administered the oath as 15th Prime Minister of the country by President Pranab Mukherjee.

Follow latest updates on Twitter: @RediffElections 
16:11  Anandiben Patel to be sworn in at 12:39 pm:   Anandiben Patel to take oath as new Chief Minister of Gujarat tomorrow at 12.39 pm in Gandhinagar.
16:08  LIVE! Kejriwal sent to jail for refusing to pay bail bond in Gadkari defamation case :  And former Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been sent to judicial custody (jail) today after he refused to furnish a bail bond in connection with a criminal defamation complaint filed against him by BJP leader Nitin Gadkari before a court in Delhi, which asked if the AAP leader was looking for "some exceptional treatment".

The case will now be heard again on May 23.

Kejriwal says the AAP would not pay the bail in cases where it believes there is political maneuvering.

Kejriwal, who appeared before the court in pursuance to the summons issued against him, told Metropolitan Magistrate Gomati Manocha that he was ready to give an undertaking that he will appear before the court but refused to furnish bail bond to secure bail.

During the hearing, the magistrate observed, "I completely agree but why he (Kejriwal) will not furnish bail bond. What is the problem. There is a procedure and why should we follow different procedure in this case.

"I agree he will appear in the court but the procedure is that a person has to file bail bond. Are you looking for some exception treatment?" Kejriwal, who also argued in the court, told the judge that he has not committed any heinous crime and added that he was not looking for any exceptional treatment.

"This is my principle that when I have not done anything wrong, I will not seek bail. I am ready to go to jail," he said.

Advocates Prashant Bhushan and Rahul Mehra, who appeared for Kejriwal, told the magistrate that these cases are of political nature and as per the principle of AAP, they will not furnish bail bond.
16:05   So, Anandiben Patel replaces Narendra Modi as Gujarat CM, becoming the first woman head of the state. In Gujarat, Anandiben Patel and Amit Shah are often described as Narendra Modi's "left and right arms", but don't see eye-to-eye. 
16:02  Modi to meet Atal, Manmohan before taking oath as PM on Monday:   On Monday, when Narendra Modi will take oath as India's 14the PM, he will also pay a courtesy call on Atal Bihar Vajpayee, Dr Manmohan Singh
and visit Mahatma Gandhi's samadhi at Rajghat where he will offer floral tributes. Modi is also planning to garland the statues of luminaries inside the Parliament complex like Mahatma Gandhi, Chhattrapati Shivaji, BR Ambedkar, C Rajagopalachari, Kamaraj, MGR and Annadurai.

Follow latest updates on Twitter: @RediffElections 
16:00   Anandiben Patel's name has been formally announced as the new chief minister of Gujarat.
15:48  Modi resigns as Gujarat CM:   Just in: Narendra Modi resigns as Gujarat CM. Modi has given in his resignation to governor Kamla Beniwal. Modi has yet to resign from the Gujarat assembly. The BJP is all set to name Anandiben Patel as the next chief minister of Gujarat, but a formal announcement is yet to be made. The appointment will be made tomorrow.

Follow latest updates on Twitter: @RediffElections 

That's a file picture of Modi and Beniwal, when he took oath as CM for the fourth time in December 2012
15:29  Pak blanks out NYT piece on blasphemy:   Ali Sethi's piece on blasphemy in today's international NYT was censored in Pakistan. This is what the piece said... Read
15:26  More hidden Vaghelas in the RS?:  The buzz in the BJP headquarters is that there is likely to more Shankar Sinh Vaghela-esque fan boys from the opposition. Eight Congress MPs of the Rajya Sabha are in touch with senior BJP leaders who will utilise their services at the crucial time of voting in the Rajya Sabha in favour of Narendra Modi. Like Vaghela, these MPs are likely to praise Modi in the RS flouting the Congress line of approach.

Remember, neither Sonia nor Rahul have named Narendra Modi or the BJP while congratulating the party for their win in the Lok Sabha polls.
15:15  LIVE! Guj MLA Shankersinh Vaghela embarasses Cong with demand for Ram Temple :   Narendra Modi's bitter foe and one-time associate Shankersinh Vaghela, a Congress MLA has embarrassed his party with the demand for a Ram temple in Ayodhya.

At the farewell ceremony of the Gujarat assembly today, Vaghela told Modi, "I hope within the framework of constitution there is a Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. People have voted for you with immense expectations, you will not be the PM of BJP, but the PM of entire India. Vaghela also credited Modi for BJP's emphatic win in the Lok Sabha polls. "In 1984 it was two now it is 282 and the credit goes to Narendra Bhai, says Vaghela.
15:15  DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi today congratulated Narendra Modi on being elected as the BJP parliamentary party leader and continued to praise the Prime Minister-elect for his "humble beginning, intelligence and hard work."
15:05   Airplane surfaces may harbour deadly bacteria:  Are you a frequent air traveller? Watch out for that armrest! Disease-causing bacteria can live for up to a week on airplane seats, tray tables, armrests, and other surfaces, scientists have found.

Bacteria such as MRSA and E coli can linger on surfaces commonly found in airplane cabins for days, even up to a week, researchers said.

They obtained six different types of material from a major airline carrier (armrest, plastic tray table, metal toilet button, window shade, seat pocket cloth, and leather), inoculated them with the bacteria and exposed them to typical airplane conditions.

MRSA lasted longest (168 hours) on material from the seat-back pocket while E coli survived longest (96 hours) on the material from the armrest.
14:39  Omar Abdullah tweets: Excellent move by @narendramodi to invite SAARC leaders, especially Pak PM for his swearing in. Hope this is beginning of sustained talks. At the same time I can't help wonder what BJP would have said if a PM designate Rahul Gandhi had done the same thing.
14:22  Kejriwal and team to begin door-to-door apology campaign :  Excerpts from AAP's statement to the media today...

"After the declaration of Lok Sabha election results, I have gone to many areas in the national capital and people have told me that we have already committed one mistake and it should not be repeated.

"I have also been told that in case we get a chance we should form the government at the earliest and continue the relief we had initiated for the people.

"I have been told that in case the AAP commits another mistake of not taking up the responsibility of forming a government this time, the people will not spare us.

"Keeping all these factors in mind, we had decided to go back to the people and seek their opinion. We did not want to repeat the mistake that we had made by resigning without seeking the opinion of the people.

"I had written a letter to the hon'ble Lieutenant Governor of Delhi yesterday (May 20), requesting him to put on hold the decision to dissolve the Delhi assembly for a week, in case he was considering to do so, since we want to seek the opinion of the people on whether they want a government in Delhi or will they prefer fresh elections. 

"However, given the way political developments have been taking shape, particularly the recent developments, it has now become clear that the possibility of providing a fresh government to the people of Delhi appear to be negligible.

"Therefore, nothing will emerge from conducting any referendum on this issue and given the existing political scenario, we do not feel the need of holding any such exercise now.

"In the meeting our legislature party held today, we have unanimously decided to seek a fresh election for the state assembly, the recommendation for which we had made in the last meeting of our cabinet on February 14, but the UPA government had not accepted our recommendation to dissolve the state assembly.

"Over the next 7-10 days, we will hold meetings all over Delhi and will take our apology to the people and begin preparations for seeking a fresh mandate to resume the relief of cheap electricity and free water to the people, apart from providing a corruption-free administration."

Follow latest updates on Twitter: @RediffElections 
14:12  Pre 1971 Bangladeshi settlers are Indians: Megh HC:  In a historic judgement, the Meghalaya High Court has said that Bangladesh nationals who have settled in this north eastern state before March 24, 1971 should be treated as Indians and they be enrolled in voters'list.

The judgement was based on a petition by over 40 refugees from Bangladesh, who were denied enrolment in the electoral roll by the district administration citing their citizenship was doubtful.

These refugees hailing from Amjong village near the Assam-Meghalaya border in Meghalaya's Ri-Bhoi district moved the High Court after their citizenship certificates were seized by the deputy commissioner.
13:58  Bihar couple all set to enter Lok Sabha:  The 16th Lok Sabha will be a family affair for a Bihar couple. Rajesh Ranjan, better known as Pappu Yadav and his wife Ranjeet Ranjan, both have made it to the lower house of the Parliament.

They are the only couple in the country to notch a victory in the recent Lok Sabha polls. Brimming with joy, Yadav, a fifth time Lok Sabha member now, points out that both of them had achieved the distinction in the 2004 general elections as well, becoming the only couple then to enter the Lok Sabha.

While Yadav won from Madhepura LS constituency on a Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) ticket this time trouncing JD(U) national president Sharad Yadav by over 56,000 votes, Ranjeet clinched the Supaul seat as a Congress candidate defeating JD(U) rival Dileshwar Kamait by around 60,000 votes.

Follow latest updates on Twitter: @RediffElections 
13:54   UN chief hopes Modi would attend UN General Assembly in Sept:  Meanwhile, UN chief Ban Ki-moon has said that he "very much hopes" that India's new Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the UN General Assembly later this year and particularly participate in the climate change summit.
13:52  LIVE! Pak PM Nawaz Sharif may not attend Modi's swearing-in ceremony:   Meanwhile, bilateral relations with Pakistan begin on a sour note with PM Nawaz Sharif unlikely attend Narendra Modi's swearing-in ceremony. Pakistan says it needs more time to decide. However, things have not been firmed up as yet.

During his meeting with President Pranab Mukherjee yesterday, Modi reportedly conveyed his keenness to invite world leaders including heads of state of neighbouring countries in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation or SAARC. The Ministry of External Affairs has begun the process to send the invites.

Follow latest updates on Twitter: @RediffElections 
13:49  And Kejriwal continues to be slammed for quitting on Delhi. "Kerjriwal ooonchi chhalang lagane ke chakkar mein gaddhe mein gir gaye, vo politics rehne dein aur apna NGO chalayein," says Anwar, NCP.
13:42  LIVE! Kiran Bedi: Will consider CM's post if offered, it's time to repay my Delhi :  Kiran Bedi: Will consider if I'm offered Delhi CM's post. I will not say no this time. It is time to repay what people of Delhi have given me. I am from Delhi and Delhi has to be given the benefit of the Gujarat model. If we are heading towards Mt Everest, why should we remain behind." she asked.

Follow latest updates on Twitter: @RediffElections 
13:38  Cong will NOT support AAP in Delhi:  
DPCC chief Arvinder Singh Lovely said under no circumstances Congress would extend support to AAP to form government and the party would prefer fresh assembly elections to backing Kejriwal who "betrayed" the people of Delhi by quitting power in February.

Read more at: http://www.firstpost.com/politics/delhi-aap-open-to-forming-govt-asks-l-g-not-to-dissolve-assembly-1534607.html?utm_source=ref_article
Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee chief Arvinder Singh Lovely said under no circumstances will the Congress extend support to AAP to form government and that the party would prefer fresh assembly elections to backing Kejriwal who "betrayed" the people of Delhi by quitting power in February.

Congress's Shakeel Ahmed said, "Yeh (AAP) log hume phone karte hain, sms karte hain ki samarthan dijiye, aur akhbaron mein kehte hain samarthan nahi lenge."

Follow latest updates on Twitter: @RediffElections 
13:31  So, will Kiran Bedi be Delhi's next CM?:  Bedi, who has been heaping praise on Narendra Modi in the past couple of months, yesteday dropped hints of joining politics.          

"I no more rule out entering Indian political service on capability basis. I am moving towards some flexibility in this," Bedi tweeted.        

When asked whether she was contemplating joining BJP, Bedi refused to answer.          

Bedi, who was part of core team of Anna Hazare during his agitation for a strong Lokpal legislation, has openly been hailing Modi's leadership saying he could lead the country effectively.          

"Feel as if the country was orphaned past several years. It finally has a guardian who is caring and capable! We can now focus on creativity," she tweeted after election results were declared on May 16.          

"All who were spreading lies and apprehensions about @narendramodi got punished! Indian Voter saw it all! It's a victory of good intentions!," she said in another tweet.   

Follow latest updates on Twitter: @RediffElections 
13:29  Kiran Bedi, who could be the next CM of Delhi praises Narendra Modi. "People of Delhi also need good governance. Now I  am prepared to enter politics, we have a truly inspiring leader." 
12:58  Abhishek loves Ash's look on red carpet :   In a break from Modi: Abhishek Bachchan tweets: Almost 52 hrs without sleep! Eyes shutting' and the Mrs. shows up looking like this!! Ok.. Eyes wide open now!

The actress-mum made much delayed entry on the Cannes red carpet but we can tell you it was well worth it! After a rather ho-hum couple of years at Cannes, looks like Aishwarya Rai Bachchan has finally got her groove back.

She may have missed her scheduled arrival on the French festival's prestigious red carpet but she certainly hit it out of the park with this one.
Ash made a stunning red carpet appearance at the Cannes film festival in a golden Roberto Cavalli fishtail gown. The actress looked relaxed, the 40-year-old former Miss World debuted a thinner self in the off-shoulder gown which she teamed up with open hair.

The mother of one kept her look minimal by going easy on accessories and instead concentrating on make-up. She paired her mermaid-cut pattered gown with heavily lined eyes and red lips.
12:50  Defamation complaint: Kejriwal refuses to give bail bond:   In other news, former Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today refused to furnish a bail bond in connection with a criminal defamation complaint filed against him by BJP leader Nitin Gadkari before a court in Delhi, which asked if the AAP leader was looking for "some exceptional treatment".

Kejriwal, who appeared before the court in pursuance to the summons issued against him, told Metropolitan Magistrate Gomati Manocha that he was ready to give an undertaking that he will appear before the court but refused to furnish bail bond to secure bail.

During the hearing, the magistrate observed, "I completely agree but why he (Kejriwal) will not furnish bail bond. What is the problem. There is a procedure and why should we follow different procedure in this case.

"I agree he will appear in the court but the procedure is that a person has to file bail bond. Are you looking for some exception treatment?" Kejriwal, who also argued in the court, told the judge that he has not committed any heinous crime and added that he was not looking for any exceptional treatment.

"This is my principle that when I have not done anything wrong, I will not seek bail. I am ready to go to jail," he said.

Advocates Prashant Bhushan and Rahul Mehra, who appeared for Kejriwal, told the magistrate that these cases are of political nature and as per the principle of AAP, they will not furnish bail bond.

Follow latest updates on Twitter: @RediffElections 
12:40  So, Modi ends his speech, but not before this quip: Now in the PMO, Gujarati will be spoken, Khaman Dhokla and Khakhra will be eaten.
12:39  Moment of bonhomie between the leader of the opposition in the house -- Shankersinh Vaghela -- and Modi. Vaghela said he can now proudly say the PM used to ride on his bike. Modi's repartee to that was to say that the two had travelled to every district on his motorcycle.

Follow latest updates on Twitter: @RediffElections 
12:33  Have full faith in Gujarat Assembly:  Back to Modi: He says institutionalizing ideas is important, it is important to straighten the establishment. "I trust Gujarat assembly leaders, I have full faith in them. I will keep in mind no injustice happens to the people of Gujarat. My success will be in how Gujarat will be taken forward. I am confident that Gujarat will develop further," he said.

Follow latest updates on Twitter: @RediffElections 
12:27  Rajiv Gandhi remembered on 23rd death anniversary:  Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was today remembered on his 23rd death anniversary with several leaders paying homage at his memorial here.

President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, outgoing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the late leader's wife and Congress President Sonia Gandhi offered flowers at his memorial 'Vir Bhumi' in New Delhi.

Sonia was accompanied by son and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, daughter Priyanka Gandhi and son-in-law Robert Vadra, who arrived together to pay homage around 6.20 am.

'Shanti Mantra' was recited on the occasion as youths holding the Tricolour circumambulated the memorial. A number of young children also offered floral tributes at the memorial.

Follow latest updates on Twitter: @RediffElections 
12:24  Foreign ministry processing the proposal to invite all SAARC leaders for Modi's swearing-in, as Modi speaks at his farewell in the Gujarat Assembly.

Follow latest updates on Twitter: @RediffElections 
12:22  Modi: I had the honour of becoming CM four times:   Modi: I had the honour of becoming CM four times. Each person has contributed to the growth of Gujarat. What is happening here today is because of the Gujarat model. 

Follow latest updates on Twitter: @RediffElections 
12:19  Modi speaking at his farewell :  New cabinet and Gujarat CM will be sworn in on May 22.

Modi is responding to the farewell speeches at the floor of the Gujarat Assembly now. He says he has learnt a lot from this assembly.
12:14  Waghela praises Modi:   "In 1984 there were 2 seats now there are 282,credit for this goes to Narendra Bhai, people voted with expectations" - Shankersinh Vaghela, Congress MLA.

Madhu Kishwar tweets: Hearing Waghela shower praise on his bete noire in Gujarat assembly, I wonders if Sonia Madam will be forced to speak similar words one day.

Follow latest updates on Twitter: @RediffElections 
12:09  Anandiben Patel also says Gujarat will extend full cooperation to the PM. 
12:03  Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif, heads of other SAARC nations invited for Narendra Modi's swearing-in as prime minister on Monday.

Senior Congress leader Shankersinh Vaghela speaking during Narendra Modi's farewell assembly session.
11:58  LIVE! Anandiben Patel: Moment of pride for Gujarat :  Anandiben Patel says it is a moment of pride for Gujarat that a son of the state will now be PM of India.

At 2 pm Modi will be felicitated by the association of government employees and at 4 pm he will met Governor Kamla Beniwal to submit his resignation. 
11:54  Witty take in the Hindu today. Yesterday, Modi was unanimously elected as the leader of BJP parliamentary party on Tuesday with the Prime Minister-designate saying the election result was a vote for "new hope and aspiration" and he would try his best to live up to the expectations of the people of the country.

During his acceptance speech, 63-year-old Modi broke down when he referred to L K Advani's mention that he had done favour to the party by taking up the responsibility.

"Can serving the mother be a favour? A son is only dedicated to serve the mother....The favour has been done by the party," he said addressing the newly-elected MPs of the party in the historic Central Hall of Parliament.


Rahul Gandhi has been pilloried for smiling beatifically on May 16, while accepting defeat in the Lok Sabha elections.
11:48   Modi will be sworn-in as prime minister on Monday, May 26. Heads of all SAARC nations have been invited to the ceremony.

Before Anandiben, Congress's Mohansinh Rathwa lauded Narendra Modi at the farewell assembly session.
11:45  Anandiben Patel, possibly Gujarat's next CM, is lauding Narendra Modi. 
11:37  Kiran Bedi tweets: Time for "New Delhi to All Delhi". "Gujarat Model-Delhi Model" Let not a single vote go waste! Delhi must reap full rewards of Modi Sarkar!
11:34  Gujarat finance minister Nitin Patel speaking now.
11:33  American Center attack case: SC commutes death sentences :  Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Tuesday commuted the death sentences awarded by the Calcutta High Court to two key accused in the 2002  American Center attack case. A bench of Justices A K Patnaik and FMI Kalifulla noted that the case was based on only circumstantial evidence and although their complicity was proved in the offence, their crime did not fall in the category of rarest of the rare.

Md Jamiluddin Nasir will serve 30 years in jail whereas Aftab Ansari, the bench held, will serve the life term without any remission. Both were on the death row for the 2002 attack.
11:31   Right now, Modi's key aide and the man responsible for the BJP's spectacular victory in UP, Amit Shah, is making a speech talking about Modi's rise from a poor family to a CM and now to the PM candidate.

Pic: Modi sitting next to no 2 minister in his cabinet -- Finance Minister Nitin Patel.
11:23  So, who is Anandiben Patel:   Known to be hardworking, Anandiben is a strict taskmaster and gets maximum work out of bureaucrats and others. She is accepted much less among the party cadre but the bureaucrats in Gujarat generally bow to her dictates. In charisma she is not a patch on Narendra Modi, and her acceptance among the masses will never become a reality. The BJP is all set to name Anandiben Patel as the next chief minister of Gujarat, reports Sheela Bhatt. Read
11:15  Shashi Tharoor tweets: Genuinely impressed by recent comments of Mr.Modi,these are good signs, as opposition must cooperate.

Tharoor, a Congress MP, retained the Thiruvananthapuram seat.
11:12  Meanwhil,e Pawan Chamling has been sworn in as Sikkim Chief Minister for a record fifth time along with 11 ministers by Governor Sriniwas.
11:09  LIVE! On Modi's last day as CM, a special session by Gujarat Assembly :  Narendra Modi, Gujarat chief minister, will resign today after addressing a special session of the state assembly.

His revenue minister Anandiben Patel is the front-runner to replace him in the state.

If she is picked, Anandiben Patel, 72, will be Gujarat's first woman chief minister.

Modi meanwhile is headed to Delhi and will be sworn in as India's next Prime Minister on Monday, May 26.
11:04  A special session of the Gujarat assembly is on now to felicitate Narendra Modi. 
10:56  Modi heads for Gujarat assembly, to hand over duties as CM :  PM elect Narendra Modi leaves for the Gujarat assembly. Modi, the longest-serving chief minister of the state, who led the BJP to a spectacular victory in the Lok Sabha elections, is scheduled to resign today.
10:52  Naveen Patnaik sworn is as Odisha CM :  Naveen Patnaik was sworn in as Odisha Chief Minister for fourth consecutive term today.
10:50  Patna blasts: 4 more suspects held :  Vicky Nanjappa reports: Four suspected Indian Mujahideen operatives have been arrested in connection with the bombing ahead of Prime Minister elect Narendra Modi's rally in Patna last October.  

Investigators have picked up the four suspects based on the leads provided by main accused in the blast Tehsin Akthar.

The National Investigation Agency, which has been probing the case, says that there were over 14 persons involved in this attack.
10:04   AAP to go for fresh elections in Delhi:  The Aam Aadmi Party will go for fresh elections, it chief Arvind Kejriwal said today.

The party will not seek fresh referendum.

Addressing the media, Kejriwal said, "I want to apologise to the people of Delhi for quitting after 49 days. People are upset over our resignation."

"I quit on principles. I was misinterpreted," he added.      
09:15  Kejriwal, AAP MLAs meet to discuss repolling option:  Arvind Kejriwal meets Aam Aadmi Party MLAs at his Delhi residence to discuss the option of re-polling.  

Kejriwal yesterday asked Lt Governor Najeeb Jung not to dissolve the Delhi assembly anytime soon, saying it will hold public meetings across the city to know whether the party should form the government again.
08:59  Modi to quit as Gujarat CM today, Anandiben likely to take over :   Prime Minister elect Narendra Modi will quit as the Gujarat chief minister today.

Following Modi's resignation, Gujarat will get a new CM. Modi's close aide Anandiben Patel is tipped to be his successor.
08:55  AAP to discuss re-poll options in New Delhi:   Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal to meet all party MLAs at his residence at 9 am today in New Delhi. The party will discuss options if it should go for re-polls in the national capital. It will also debate if they should hold public meetings for referendum.

Kejriwal yesterday asked Lt Governor Najeeb Jung not to dissolve the Delhi assembly anytime soon, saying it will hold public meetings across the city to know whether the party should form the government again.

He told Jung that the party was deliberating on whether it should form the government.    
03:32  Putin seeks gas deal on state visit to China:  

Russian President Vladimir Putin has begun a two-day state visit to China with a major gas supply deal high on the agenda. A price for the Russian gas was not agreed on Tuesday, but analysts say a deal could still be struck before Mr Putin leaves China on Wednesday.

 

Mr Putin described China as a reliable friend and Russia's leading foreign trading partner. It is his first visit to China since President Xi Jinping took office.

 

Read more on BBC

03:30  Two blasts in Nigeria kill at least 118:  

Two car bombs exploded at a bustling bus terminal and market in Nigeria's central city of Jos on Tuesday, killing at least 118 people, wounding dozens and leaving streets strewn with bloodied bodies.

 

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the twin car bombs. But they bore the hallmarks of Boko Haram, the Islamic extremist group that abducted nearly 300 schoolgirls last month and has repeatedly targeted bus stations and other locations where large numbers of people gather in its campaign to impose Islamic law on Nigeria.

 

The second blast came half an hour after the first, killing some of the rescue workers who had rushed to the scene, which was obscured by billows of black smoke. Dozens of bodies and body parts were covered in grain that had been loaded in the second car bomb, witnesses said.

 

A Terminus Market official said he helped remove 50 casualties, most of them dead. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not allowed to give information to reporters.

 

Read more on ABC News

01:10  Shruti Haasan lodges police complaint:  

Actress Shruti Haasan has lodged a complaint with police in Hyderabad, alleging that some of her working stills have been uploaded online unauthorisedly.        

 

"Following a complaint by the actress, the matter has been referred to the CID's legal cell," a CID officer said. According to some reports, the pictures were shot on location when the actress had shot for a Telugu movie 'Yevadu' few months ago and some of these were taken from "unflattering angles".        

 

The pictures were subsequently leaked and uploaded onto some websites unauthorisedly.

01:07  Top headlines at this hour:  

SMS ban on prepaid connections lifted in Valley

Mulayam and Mayawati are still in denial mode!

AAP open to form Delhi govt; asks LG not to dissolve assembly

Cong wants Sonia or Rahul, not Kamal Nath, to lead in Lok Sabha

PM-designate Modi gets grand welcome at Ahmedabad

Ready to work closely with Modi government: Kerry

Move to change PMO Twitter handle irks BJP

Modi govt must adopt a 'tit for tat' policy towards Pak: Sena

Modi likely to acknowledge the power of the Patlani

Jitan Ram Manjhi sworn in as new Bihar CM

Despite drubbing, Congress to celebrate Gogoi-led govt's anniversary

NDA chooses Modi as its leader

Narendra Modi appointed PM, swearing-in on May 26

PHOTOS: When Modi first stepped into Parliament

36 SP leaders sacked, but Akhilesh won't quit

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