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LIVE! Looking forward to work closely with Modi: Putin

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May 24, 2014

22:35  Bomb scare delays Bhubaneswar-Bengaluru Express:  The Bhubaneswar-Bengaluru Prasanthi Express was today delayed by over 90 minutes following a bomb threat call which turned out to be a false alarm, police said.

The train was detained at Duvvada station near here after police got a call at 1.15 pm from an anonymous person, who claimed explosives were planted in the train, which arrived at Visakhapatnam around 12.45 pm and departed at 1.05 pm, they said.

GRP and RRP personnel detained the train at Duvvada at 1.35 pm and a Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad along with a dog team was rushed to the station, a suburb of the city. "We checked the train, but nothing suspicious was found," Deputy Superintendent of Police (GRP), Visakhapatnam, S Venkata Rao said. The train left for its onward journey after a 90- minute delay, he said.
21:57  Chandrababu Naidu meets Rajnath in New Delhi:  TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu today met BJP president Rajnath Singh in the backdrop of hectic discussions about cabinet formation and reports that he was eying cabinet berths for his party MPs.

The meeting in the evening lasted for about 15 minutes after which Naidu refused to speak to the media outside Singh's residence at Ashoka Road residence here. The chief minister-designate of Andhra Pradesh had on Tuesday said his party would join BJP-led NDA government at the Centre.

"We are joining the government. TDP was part of four non-Congress governments at the Centre. We would be part of NDA as well," he had stated but did not say how many cabinet berths his party would get in the central government to be headed by Narendra Modi.

Leaders of NDA allies like TDP, Akali Dal and LJP, are also likely to be included in the Council of Ministers. TDP, which faced the elections in alliance with BJP, won 16 Lok Sabha seats in Andhra Pradesh. The party is also forming the government in residual Andhra Pradesh.
21:34  Looking forward to work closely with Modi: Putin:  Russian President Vladimir Putin today said his country was looking forward to working closely with newly-elected Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and promised to work for lifting bilateral ties in economic, military and technical cooperation.

"Our relations are above political parties. We are friendly with the Indian people. We want to have good relations with India, Putin told a select group of journalists from the international media.

"I have met him (Modi). I am going to work with him closely," he said when asked about the Indian election that has thrown up a new government after 10 years.
21:25  BJP to project Vijaykanth as Tamil Nadu CM for 2016 elections?:  The Bharatiya Janata Party is keen to project Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam led by actor-turned-politician Vijaykanth as Tamil Nadu chief minister if a merger between the two parties takes place before Tamil Nadu assembly elections in 2016.

An informal exchange of ideas between BJP the parties has begun at the high level. There will be quid pro quo if the merger talks take serious shape, say sources.

In the third week on June, Modi is likely to visit Chennai to thank voters. According to a top leader of BJP. The BJP is keen to encash Modi's popularity and to win 20 to 25 MLAs in the state. 
20:52  Titlagarh in Odisha records 45.6 degree C:   Odisha's industrial town of Titlagarh today recorded 45.6 degree as the entire western region of the state reeled under heat wave conditions. The met office, however, forecast a thunder squall accompanied with hail at one or two places in the state.

The other western Odisha places which recorded temperature above 40 degree C include Bhawanipatna (44.6), Sambalpur (43.8), Malkangiri and Sonepur (43.5), Balangir and Sundergarh (43), Hirakud (42.3), Jharsuguda (41.9), Keonjhargarh (41.4) and Talcher (40).

The state government has so far confirmed death of 22 persons due to sunstroke.
20:30  TRS chief to attend Modi's swearing-in ceremony:  TRS President K Chandrasekhar Rao, who is set to be the first Chief Minister of Telangana next month, is likely to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi.

The TRS chief is among a host of leaders who have been invited for the swearing-in function to be held at the forecourt lawns of the Rashtrapati Bhavan on May 26.

Rao would leave for Delhi tomorrow, party sources said here. Rao, whose party won the just-held Assembly polls in Telangana, would take oath as Chief Minister here on June 2 when the new state would come into existence.
20:27  Individuals' spending limit abroad may be hiked to $2 lakh:  Giving more freedom to individuals travelling abroad, they may soon be allowed to spend $2 lakh overseas in a year as against the present ceiling of $75,000.

"The RBI may eventually reverse all measure taken to contain CAD and currency fluctuation in July-August last year," a finance ministry official said. The central bank could raise the limit sometime this year based on its assessment of the external sector, the official said.

As part of restrictions imposed in August last year to contain burgeoning current account deficit, the Reserve Bank had lowered the outward remittance limit to $75,000 in a financial year for any permitted current or capital account transaction or a combination of both.
20:23  Sonia to decide on leader of the opposition in Lok Sabha, RS:  The Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the party leader in Rajya Sabha will be decided by Sonia Gandhi soon amid a view in the party that either she herself or Rahul Gandhi should occupy the post in the Lower House.

"There is a tradition of election in Congress Parliamentary Party. After Sonia Gandhi's election as CPP Chairperson, she can now appoint the Leader of the House and the Chief Whip in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha," party general secretary Janardan Dwivedi told reporters after the meeting.

While a section of the party feels it is only Sonia or Rahul on whose name a consensus can be built among all MPs for the post of the Leader of Lok Sabha, the name of senior leader Kamal Nath for the post is also doing the rounds.

Names of senior leaders A K Antony and Ghulam Nabi Azad are being talked of in the party circles as Leader of the House in Rajya Sabha.
20:12  BJP, Cong responsible for destroying country: Mulayam:   Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav today accused BJP and Congress of "destroying" the country and exposing its borders to external threat. During a meeting to commemorate death of former Advocate General Virendra Bhatia, Mulayam said.

"BJP and Congress destroyed the country and it was due to the previous governments' wrong policies that over 100 crore people in the country were suffering the pangs of poverty."

He alleged that it was a result of poor policies of UPA and NDA governments that the boundaries of the country are insecure. Asked about reasons of party's Lok Sabha poll debacle, Mulayam said defeat and victory were a part of the polls. Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav said the country needs a socialistic ideology.
20:11  Sonia Gandhi re-elected as Cong parliamentary party chairperson:   Congress Members of Parliament from both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have re-elected party president Sonia Gandhi as the chairperson of the Congress parliamentary party.

Mallikarjun Kharge proposed Sonia Gandhi's name which was seconded by senior leaders Mohsina Kidwai and others.

This is be the first parliamentary party meeting of the Congress after its debacle in the Lok Sabha election, where it could win only 44 seats.
19:20  New Delhi lashed by hailstorm:  Our correspondent from New Delhi tells us that the city has been lashed by a furious hailstorm. More details are awaited.
18:53  Thai army disbands senate, intensifies post-coup crackdown:  Thailand's military junta today dismissed the country's senate as it intensified its post-coup crackdown and summoned 35 more people after detaining former premier Yingluck Shinawatra and top leaders of the ousted government for up to a week.

"The senate is dismissed. Responsibility for any laws needing the approval of the parliament or Senate will instead be assumed by the leader of the (junta)," said an announcement on national television, two days after Army Chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha staged a bloodless coup.

Addressing the media for the first time after the elected government was deposed, the military said it will detain former premier Yingluck Shinawatra and top leaders of the ousted government as well as some protest leaders for up to a week to give them "time to think" over a political compromise. It declined to specify where the detainees were held but said they were safe.

"They will be detained for up to one week depending on how directly they were involved (in Thailand's political conflict)," army spokesman Colonel Winthai Suvaree said.
18:14  We have to individually and collectively draw appropriate lessons from the unprecedented setback, says Sonia on the debacle in Lok Sabha polls
17:58  CPP appreciates Manmohan Singh for providing wise, sober and dignified leadership for a decade.
17:57  "Being in the opposition means asking more questions, raising more issues, initiating more debates and always being the vigilant watchdog," Sonia said at the meet.
16:47  Media arangements at swearing-in:   Mediapersons may not be to happy about the arrangements made for them ahead of Narendra Modi's swearing in on Monday. They are instructed to take a shuttle service from National Media Centre and alight at Gate No 4, which could be cumbersome, reports our correspondent from New Delhi. 

Photographers are instructed to carry focal length lenses. Their stand is 55 meters away from dais.
16:37  Congress to hold first meet of MPs after poll debacle:   Congress Members of Parliament from both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha will meet shortly to elect a new chairperson for the Congress parliamentary party.

This will be the first parliamentary party meeting of the Congress after its debacle in the Lok Sabha election, where it could win only 44 seats.

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi is likely to be again elected the chairperson of the Congress parliamentary party, party sources said.
16:19  What BJP ally Shiv Sena thinks of Sharif's nod?:  Key NDA constituent Shiv Sena, which has been vocal against Pakistan for "sponsoring" terrorism in India, today chose to remain mum on its Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif accepting the invite to attend Narendra Modi's swearing-in ceremony on May 26.

Shiv Sena spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Raut declined to comment when asked about his party's reaction to Sharif accepting the invitation to attend the swearing-in ceremony.

Earlier this week, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackarey had said the new government should adopt an aggressive "tit-for-tat" policy towards Pakistan. Thackeray, who was in Delhi on Tuesday for a meeting of the NDA that chose Modi as its Parliamentary Party leader, had said India should teach Pakistan a "lesson" if it created trouble for the country.
15:49  Protests over police action on Goan for anti-Modi Facebook comments:  Political parties and social activists today protested police action against a Goan youth, who had allegedly posted comments against Prime Minister designate Narendra Modi on Facebook in March when the Lok Sabha campaign was on.

The cyber crime cell of the Goa police had moved the court here seeking custodial interrogation of accused Lavu Chodankar claiming that his FB post was a larger gameplan to "promote communal and social disharmony" in the state.

The district and sessions court had yesterday rejected anticipatory bail plea of Chodankar, who is currently out of station. Goa businessman Atul Pai Kane, who heads the BJP-led Goa government's committee on investment and industrial policy, had lodged a complaint against Chodankar. The police had filed an FIR under Section 153(A), 295(A) of the IPC, besides Section 125 of the Representation of People Act as well as Section 66-A of the Information Technology Act.
15:39  Sonia, Rahul to attend Modi's oath-taking ceremony:  Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi will attend the Narendra Modi;s oath-taking ceremony on Monday at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Sonia and Rahul had come in for criticism from the Bharatiya Janata Party for not congratulating Modi on his landslide victory.

Sonia written a letter to Modi, congratulating him for being elected as the parliamentary party leader of the BJP, which the party revealed on Thursday.
15:21  A day after swearing-in, Modi, Sharif to hold bilateral talks :  Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's delegation to India will include Advisor Sartaj Aziz, Special Assistant Tariq Fatemi and Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry.

Sharif and Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi to have a bilateral meeting on May 27 before his return to Pakistan.
15:15  The foreign policy challenges that Modi faces:  Narendra Modi's statements on foreign policy over the past few years have been so meager and uneven that they cannot readily serve as a guide for how he will act as India's prime minister.

Wonks call him a realist. Political admirers and critics both say he's hardline. But the specifics of what he might do in office are unclear, opines senior journalist Siddharth Varadarajan.

Read the full column here
15:10  The latest Delhi whispers...:  Many of Dr Manmohan Singh's ministers have congratulated Narendra Modi on his victory, among them A K Antony, G K Vasan and Jairam Ramesh.

Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran had a 10-minute meeting with Modi at Gujarat Bhavan. Modi knows the solicitor general's father, K Parasaran, the distinguished lawyer, well.

Karnataka Chief Minister Sidaramaiah is said to oppose P Chidambaram's nomination to the Rajya Sabha from the state.
14:19  I have been systematically marginalised in AAP: Shazia Illmi:  Shazia Ilmi, who quit the AAP today said, "I have been systematically marginalised by the party. A small group has gripped Arvind Kejriwal and they take all the decision."     
13:55  AAP split wide open: Shazia Ilmi, Captain Gopinath quit:   Shazia Illmi and Captain Gopinath resign from the Aam Aadmi Party.

Captain Gopinath said that he has differences with the party. "I still admire Arvind Kejriwal. But the last straw was he not paying bond in court over the Nitin Gadkari defamation case," he said. 

Captain Gopinath is the founder of Air Deccan.

13:34  Swearing-in will be culmination of celebration of Indian democracy: Jaitley:  Senior BJP leader writes about the much-awaited oath-taking ceremony of Narendra Modi in his blog: 

The general elections 2014 has been a great celebration of Indian democracy.  It is the world's largest democratic elections. For such an election to be completed peacefully in a fair manner resulting in a democratic change of power is an occasion that does India proud. 

The swearing in ceremony of Prime Minister designate Shri Narendra Modi and his council of ministers on May 26, 2014 will be culmination of these celebrations. Thereafter, the new government shall get down to work. 

The invitation to all leaders of SAARC nations to be present at the ceremony is to showcase Indian democracy and its strength to the world at large. It is a democracy event. It should not be viewed  through the prism of bilateral issues  between countries. 

While celebrating the success of India's democracy the fact that our neighbours through its leaders will be represented reaffirms India's faith in both democracy and greater integration of the region. -- Arun Jaitley  
13:11  Only photo op that will matter now will be the Modi-Sharif handshake: Omar:  After Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif accepts invitation to Narendra Modi's swearing-in, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister tweets: Very glad to hear Pak PM has accepted invite, shows that he can prevail over forces inimical to good relations with India. I hope that this will mark a new beginning in ties between our two countries. The people of J&K will be watching closely.

Can't help feel sorry for others taking oath or attending because the only photo op that will matter now will be the Modi-Sharif handshake.
11:57  Pak PM's adviser Sartaz Aziz also to attend oath-taking ceremony:  Prime Minister designate Narendra Modi and Pakistan premier Nawaz Sharif 
may have a meeting on the sidelines of the oath-taking ceremony, say sources.

Sharif is also keen to meet former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the Paksitan high command is exploring the possibility.

The Pakistan PM's adviser Sartaz Aziz will attend Monday's oath-taking ceremony.
11:48  UN condemns attack on Indian consulate in Afghanistan :  he UN Security Council has unanimously condemned in the strongest terms the attack on the Indian Consulate in Afghanistan's Herat province, underlining the need to bring perpetrators and sponsors of the "reprehensible" acts to justice.

"The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the attack on May 23 on the Indian consulate in Herat province, Afghanistan," a press statement issued in the UN by the powerful 15-nation council said yesterday.

The UNSC "condemned acts of violence against diplomatic and consular representatives, which endanger or take innocent lives and seriously impede the normal work of such representatives and officials."
11:18  We hope that strategic talks will resume now: Pakistan:  After an official confirmation that Nawaz Sharif will attend Narendra Modi's swearing-in ceremony, spokesperson of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-N Tariq Azim, said, "Nawaz Sharifx consulted the PML-N and all other required parties before arriving at a decision. There was general consensus that the prime minister should attend the oath-taking ceremony. We hope that strategic talks will resume now."

Sharif will be visiting New Delhi along with a delegation of four to six diplomats.
An official notification will be issued soon.

Modi's swearing-in will take place at 6 pm on Monday in the open courtyard of Rashtrapati Bhavan.
11:05  Pak PM to attend Modi's swearing-in :  The speculation is finally over. Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will attend Narendra Modi's swearing-in on Monday, said Pakistan Muslim League-N spokesperson Tariq Azim.   
10:43  Modi donates Rs 21 lakh for educating Gujarat staff's daughters :  As a parting gift to the cause of girl education in his home state, Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi has donated Rs 21 lakh from his personal savings to create a corpus fund for educating daughters of drivers and peons working with the Gujarat government.

A foundation would be set up for the administration of the corpus fund under Chief Minister Anandiben Patel and the chief secretary.

"Before leaving Gujarat, I gave Rs. 21 lakh from my personal savings to educate daughters of drivers and peons working with Guj Govt, (sic)" Mr Modi tweeted.
09:51  Women from north-east molested, her lawyer beaten up:   A female lawyer and two activists were allegedly beaten up by a group of persons at the Tis Hazari court in New Delhi yesterday when they went there in connection with a case filed against an advocate by a woman from NorthEast alleging molestation.   

The incident took place when a 38-year-old woman from Nagaland, who was molested allegedly by a lawyer outside Delhi Vishwavidyalay metro station, came to the court with her advocate and some social activists to record her statement in connection with the incident.   

A senior police official said, "We have received the case of a north eastern lawyer along with two others being attacked."   

According to Noshi, the victim's lawyer, the accused and some of his associates, said to be lawyers, beat them up. The crowd also followed and threatened them.
09:29  Meetings begin in Gujarat Bhawan to discuss Modi cabinet:  Meetings begin in New Delhi to continue discussions on Narendra Modi's cabinet. BJP general secretary J P Nadda meets the prime minister elect at Gujarat Bhawan.

Amit Shah also meets Modi.
03:24  Nigeria's Boko Haram 'targets village vigilantes':  

BBC: Militants in Nigeria have raided three villages and killed those they accused of being anti-Boko Haram vigilantes, residents have told the BBC. More than 30 people were killed in the attacks overnight into Friday in north-eastern Borno state, they said.


The raids took place as the UN Security Council approved sanctions against the Islamist group. It is five weeks since Boko Haram kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls.


Nigerian officials say President Goodluck Jonathan is due to travel to South Africa for discussions with other African heads of state on combating terrorism in Africa following on from last weekend's summit hosted by France.

03:23  Obama has put Pakistan drone war on hold:  

A year ago, President Obama delivered a speech at the National Defense University in Washington in which he made the case that it was time to wind down the "boundless global war on terror " and "perpetual wartime footing" that has been a feature of American life since 9/11.


Indeed, the CIA drone program in Pakistan has stopped completely since the beginning of this year. This is a noteworthy development given the fact that there have been 370 drone strikes in Pakistan over the past decade that have killed somewhere between 2,080 to 3,428 people; most of whom were suspected militants, but also a smaller number of civilians.


In his speech the President made the case that al Qaeda, which carried out the 9/11 attacks, "is on the path to defeat. Their remaining operatives spend more time thinking about their own safety than plotting against us."


Read more on CNN

03:21  Naked man protests outside White House:  

AP: US Secret Service personnel sprang into action today outside the White House when a man stripped naked in what appeared to be a bizarre form of protest.


On one of the hottest days of the year so far in the US capital, where temperatures hit at least 26 degrees Celsius, the man ambled up to Secret Service officers at the gate of the White House and then took off all his clothes.


The incident happened shortly before President Barack Obama was due to give a speech at the White House announcing his new pick as housing secretary. The man, named by the Secret Service as Michel Bechard, refused to be subdued and was duly arrested, a spokesman said. Witnesses said uniformed officers covered the man in a foil heat sheet and loaded him into a Secret Service van.

00:55  RSS has swung polls in BJP's favour: Azad:  

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad today said the RSS, which had always misguided the people, had swung the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections in favour of the BJP.        


"The Congress has its own way of fighting elections by organising public meetings and by spelling out its policies, but the RSS since its inception has misguided people," he told reporters in Srinagar.  


Azad, who chaired a meeting of the state Congress held here to analyse the reasons for party's poll debacle in Jammu and Kashmir, alleged the RSS had resorted to rumours during electioneering to propagate its agenda.       


"Ninety per cent of what they say are rumours, even if they speak five per cent truth that will be a big thing. This time they asked for votes in Modi's name and not in BJP's name," he said.       


"The RSS mobilises its cadres like a country at war mobilises its army," he said.

00:50  Top headlines at this hour:  

Govt formation discussions in BJP gain momentum

Kejriwal's letter from Tihar: 'How a common man will fight corruption?

Putin, Rousseff, Netherlands PM congratulate Modi

Sharif faces opposition to attend Modi's swearing-in

So happy Modi accepted me... will always be his wife, says Jashodaben

India awaits Sharif's reply, meetings with other leaders planned

A day after coup, Thai army detains former PM

Goan youth faces arrest for anti-Modi Facebook comments

Include only clean MPs in Cabinet, NGOs' request to Modi

Anonymous letter threatens to target Modi, Advani, Akhilesh

Analysis: What's behind the Naveen wave in Odisha?

10 Kashmiri students expelled from Meerut university

Voices in favour of Priyanka grow stronger in Congress

Mamata to skip Modi swearing-in, will send 2 TMC leaders

Now, NCP blames Congress for poll rout

Modi invites all 28 governors to swearing-in

Bihar CM wins trust vote after BJP walkout


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