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LIVE! Lalu backs Mayawati, offers her RS seat from Bihar

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July 18, 2017

23:34  Lalu backs Mayawati, offers her RS seat from Bihar:  Rashtriya Janata Dal president Lalu Prasad today came out in support of Bahujan Samaj Party leader Mayawati who resigned from the Rajya Sabha, and offered to send her to the upper house from Bihar.

"Today would be remembered as a black day in the history when a highly respected Dalit leader was not allowed to raise the voice of poor in the Rajya Sabha," Lalu said reacting to Mayawati's resignation.

The BSP chief today tendered her resignation accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party and the chair of not allowing her to raise the issue of anti-Dalit violence in Uttar Pradesh.

"If Mayawati wishes, we will send her to Rajya Sabha from Bihar," the RJD president whose party has 80 MLAs in 243-member Bihar Legislative Assembly said.

"We are with her," Prasad said.

Mayawati's current term would have ended in April next year and her party, with just 18 MLAs in the UP Assembly, is not in a position to send her to Rajya Sabha.

"Chanakya had said that an assembly (of people) where a person is not allowed to speak through the force of brute majority is no assembly," he said.

Lalu's support to Mayawati is being seen as a part of his efforts to bring her and Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav together.

He has invited the two leaders to his party's August 27 rally in Patna.  -- PTI
23:14  Six persons died in police action in Mandsaur: MP government:  The Madhya Pradesh government today said six persons were killed and as many were injured in the police action during the farmers' stir in Mandsaur district, as it blamed drug peddlers and anti-social elements for triggering violence.

The state government had on June 8 conveyed to the Centre that five farmers were killed in Mandsaur in police firing on June 6.

However, one more farmer had died later, with his kin accusing the police of assaulting him.

"Six persons were killed and as many others were injured in the police action, including firing, to check unruly protesters during the farmers' unrest in Mandsaur," Home Minister Bhupendra Singh told the Legislative Assembly in Bhopal.

He was replying to an adjournment motion on the second day of the monsoon session.

Describing the unfolding of the events on June 6, Singh said, "Besides blocking a highway, the protesters had also damaged and torched vehicles. They were pelting the police with stones, which forced the police to fire in self defence at Pipaliya Mandi in Mandsaur district."

He said the police had used the total of 895 tear gas shells to quell the protests. According to Singh, as many as 109 police personnel were injured during the violence.

A judicial commission, headed by retired judge of the Madhya Pradesh high court, Justice J K Jain, is probing the Mandsaur police firing episode.

The home minister also refuted the Opposition's charge that the government had framed farmers as drug peddlers and arrested them during the stir.

He rebutted the reports of more than 65 farmers committing suicide since June 10 due to reasons like indebtedness, failure of crops and over unsettled insurance claims of damaged farm produce.

Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Gopal Bhargava said the Mandsaur unrest was set off by those involved in peddling opium and its derivatives.

"The peddlers of opium and its derivatives orchestrated the violent unrest in Mandsaur district," he said.

Bhargava was replying to an adjournment motion brought in by Congress member Govind Singh and his colleagues on the plight of farmers.

He said the people engaged in opium-related trade and some anti-social elements were responsible for the violent farmers' stir following a crackdown on their illegal business. -- PTI
22:16  Ex-IAS officer begins probe into Sasikala 'jail bribery' case:  The Karnataka government has appointed retired IAS officer Vinay Kumar to probe into the alleged special treatment meted out to All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (Amma) leader V K Sasikala and other 'erroneous' practices in the central jail in Bengaluru.

Kumar was appointed by the government for the probe after D Roopa, shunted out as DIG (Prisons) yesterday, highlighted in a report the alleged special privileges given to Sasikala and others inside Parapana Agrahara central Jail.

"The home department had issued notification (to start a probe) in this regard yesterday itself," Kumar told PTI.

He, however, refused to divulge the deadline given by the government to finish the probe and submit the report.

"I will not be providing any more details, but will come before the media if required," Kumar added.

Kumar had met Home Secretary Subhash Chandra yesterday, an official said.

Kumar is in possession of the report submitted by Roopa, who had alleged irregularities and destruction of evidence, the official also said adding that Kumar has also been given the copies of the show-cause notices issued to the officials for the alleged lapses.

The government had yesterday transferred Roopa and asked DGP (Prisons) H N Sathyanarayana Rao to go on compulsory leave after they sparred over a report on the allegations in public.

The government also shifted Bengaluru central jail Chief Superintendent Krishna Kumar, who had also been blamed in the report by Roopa for alleged illegal activities in the prison.

Roopa's transfer had stirred a huge controversy with the Opposition slamming the decision.

The issue figured in Parliament today when Bharatiya Janata Party members from Karnataka were seen holding placards asking the Karnataka government to protect honest officers.

In a report submitted on July 12 to Rao, Roopa had said there was 'a talk' that Rs 2 crore had exchanged hands to give preferential treatment to Sasikala and there were allegations against him also.

Rao had rubbished the charges as 'absolutely false, baseless and wild'.

Roopa had also said a special kitchen was functioning inthe jail for Sasikala in violation of the prison rules.

Sasikala is lodged at Parappana Agrahara central prisonhere ever since her conviction in February in the disproportionate assets case along with her two relatives V N Sudhakaran and Elavarasi, all serving a 4-year jail term. -- PTI
21:33  Paranjoy Guha Thakurta quits as EPW editor:  Senior journalist Paranjoy Guha Thakurta resigned as editor of Economic and Political Weekly on Tuesday, a report by said.

The report said he quit over differences with board caused by an article about the Adani group.

'Following the publication of the article, Adani Power sent a legal notice to the Economic and Political Weekly, which the organisation replied to. Both of those documents were earlier also available on the publications website but they seem to have been taken down, as also the contentious article,' the report said.

"I have indeed resigned as editor of EPW," Thakurta was quoted as saying by

Though he did not comment on the reason for his resignation, Thakurta said he has stepped down with immediate effect.
20:41  3 arrested for manhandling cricketer Mohammed Shami:  Three persons were arrested by the police for manhandling Indian cricketer Mohammed Shami in front of his apartment in the southern fringes of the city on July 15.

Three youths, who were drunk, confronted the cricketer in front of his apartment in the Jadavpur area in the late evening of Saturday for allegedly blocking their bike while taking too long to garage the vehicle.

The three offenders were arrested last night, the police said.

The cricketer was with his family returning to his residence close to city's landmark South City Mall in the southern fringes of the city.

"He was waiting for the security guard to clear way for his car so that he could park it inside the complex. In the meantime, three youths who were on motorcycle started abusing the cricketer for taking too long to park his car inside the complex. They also tried to assault him," a police official said.

Shami later lodged a police compliant.

According to police sources, the CCTV footage outside his complex was checked and the culprits were identified before being arrested.

The arrested were identified as Swarup Sarkar, Jayanta Sarkar and Shiva Pramanik.  -- PTI
20:10  Tejashwi meets Nitish at CM's chamber, clarifies on CBI case:  Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar met Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav in his chamber for a meeting on Tuesday evening amid the ongoing political crisis in the state.

Earlier, Tejashwi and his brother health minister Tej Pratap Yadav attended a cabinet meeting in Patna.

This is the first time that Tejashwi met the CM alone since the corruption scandal erupted two weeks ago.

Tejashwi reportedly clarified his position on the CBI case to Kumar.

Kumar has indicated a preference for the resignation of Tejashwi, who has publicly declared it will not be forthcoming, a stand endorsed by his father Lalu Yadav and their party Rashtriya Janata Dal.

Last week, Tejashwi skipped an event attended by Kumar which the former was earlier supposed to attend, raising speculations about his ouster. -- Agencies
19:54  Pak court lifts ban on airing of Indian TV shows:  A Pakistani court on Tuesday lifted a ban imposed by the country's media watchdog on airing of Indian teleplays calling it 'unreasonable' restriction.

The Lahore high court declared the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority's ban on airing Indian teleplays null and void after the federal government told the court that it has no objections on Pakistani private TV channels telecasting Indian TV shows.

Although PEMRA's ban on the airing of Indian films on television channels was lifted in February, permission to air teleplays or television dramas was not granted.

The petitioner's counsel Asma Jehangir argued in court today that a ban on Indian teleplays appeared strange while Indian films were being openly aired.

LHC Chief Justice Mansoor Ali Shah said the Indian content with objectionable or anti-Pakistan content could be censored but there was no need for a complete ban.

"The world has become a global village. How long unreasonable restrictions could be imposed," he said.

He further said when Indian movies are being screened in cinemas in the country what justification the PEMRA has to ban them on TV channels.

The judge also snubbed the PEMRA for making the airing of Indian content on private television channels an issue when the federal government had stated that it had no objection on it.

Shah inquired the PEMRA to tell the court whether the Indian government had issued a notification to ban Pakistani content and its overall policy about it.

In October last year, Pemra had banned Pakistani private channels being operated through cable network from airing Indian content. -- PTI

Image only for representation.
19:27  Pak news report of attack on India 'fake', says Chinese media:  China's state-run media today rejected as 'fake' a Pakistani news report that claimed over 150 Indian soldiers were killed in Sikkim in a Chinese rocket attack.

"Chinese media outlets have carried out a series of investigations, claiming that the fake news should not be taken seriously," People's Daily Online reported.

Chinese mainstream media outlets have denounced Pakistani media's 'groundless' report, said the online edition of the ruling Communist Party's mouthpiece.

A 24-hour Pakistani news channel yesterday claimed that at least 158 Indian soldiers have been killed as China fired rockets across the border on Indian border installations.

India last night dismissed the report as 'utterly baseless, malicious and mischievous'.

According to the People's Daily, the Chinese embassy in India has denounced the authenticity of the report. Some Pakistani media outlets claim that the fake news is based on unverified information from social media and the Internet.

The state-run Global Times also published a report today, calling the Pakistani media report 'groundless and fake'.

Chinese authorities have not yet responded to the report.

China and India have been engaged in a standoff in the Doka La area in the Sikkim sector, where Indian troops stopped road construction by Chinese soldiers on June 16. -- PTI
18:51  JUST IN: Passport of controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik revoked, say officials of National Investigation Agency.
18:46  There will be no shortage of beef in Goa: Parrikar:  Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Tuesday said that he will ensure that there is no shortage of beef in the state.

Parrikar, while addressing the state assembly, said that if there is shortage of beef in Goa, he will import beef from the neighbouring states.

"I haven't closed option of getting beef from Belgaum or some other place to ensure there is no shortage of beef," Parrikar said.

"Can assure inspection of beef, coming from neighbouring state, will be done by proper doctors or those authorised for it," he added. -- ANI
18:31  Jawan killed in Pak firing at Nowgam:  A soldier has been martyred as Pakistan violates ceasefire in Nowgam sector of Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday evening, the Army said.

Including this, the army has lost five jawans in the past week in Pak firing.

Yesterday, Naik Muddasar Ahmed was killed in Rajouri.

More details awaited.
18:10  Setback to Liezietsu, HC dismisses plea against floor test:  In a major setback to Nagaland Chief Minister Shurhozelie Liezietsu, the Gauhati High Court today dismissed his petition for staying Governor P B Acharya's directive for floor test.

The court has left the matter to the discretion of the governor, who had asked Liezietsu to seek the vote of confidence in view of the turbulence within the ruling Naga People's Front.

Kohima Bench judge L S Jamir had heard the argument in the case yesterday and the pronounced of the judgement was listed for today.

Acharya had on July 11 and July 13 directed Liezietsu to seek the vote of confidence after former chief minister T R Zeliang staked claim saying he had majority support in the house.

Liezietsu, who is facing rebellion by 43 Naga People's Front MLAs led by Zeliang demanding change of leadership in the present house of 59, had filed the petition on July 14 appealing for stay on the governor's directive. -- PTI
18:00  When veeps filed nominations, MPs forgot their differences :   It was full house in Parliament today.

In the Central Hall of Parliament, lawmakers across parties, greeted each other warmly, often hugged and chatted even as in another room in Parliament House, Vice Presidential candidates, Gopalkrishna Gandhi and Venkaiah Naidu filed their nominations separately.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was seen walking across Central Hall in the Lok Sabha to Chamber # 74 in the Rajya Sabha where Naidu filed his nomination papers as the NDA candidate. Naidu, walking close behind the Prime Minister, met almost all the MPs from both the treasury and the opposition benches.

In the Central Hall, the PM shook hands with President of Karnataka's state BJP unit BS Yeddyurappa and spent a few seconds talking to him, as opposed to simply waving or folding his hands in a Namaste to other MPs.

Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs have put together a farewell card for President Pranab Mukherjee who demits office next week. The card will be handed over to Pranab Mukherjee on the evening of July 23 in the Central Hall. A special desk is now being set up in Central Hall and to ensure that each MP signs this farewell card, the move is being coordinated by a senior official of the Union Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs.

Leader of Opposition, Mallikarjuna Kharge, entered the Lok Sabha and later, the Central Hall, with a walking stick. Kharge has been given special permission from the Speaker since sticks are not permitted in the House. Kharge, has just undergone knee surgery and needs a stick for support . The witty Kharge told MPs that others will have to adjust to his pace, or wait, as he is a 'weighty' person.

NCP leader Sharad Pawar was seen talking in Marathi with Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut on  Gopalkrishna Gandhi's candidature. AIADMK MPs belonging to both the Edappadi Palaniswami and the O Panneerselvam factions seemed friendly with each other and were heard talking about the future of Tamil Nadu politics.

Few Congress MPs were seen in Central Hall, but seemingly lacked the enthusiasm of their colleagues. They were huddled in a corner of the huge room and kept to themselves.

Karnataka BJP MPs BS Yeddyurappa, Shobha Karandlaje, Prahlad Joshi  and Union Minister Ananth Kumar were seen talking about Karnataka politics. They were standing around banners which read ban PFI (Popular Front of India), KFD (Karnataka Forum for Dignity) and Save Karnataka.

Most of the Karnataka MPs took one banner each before they went into the Lok Sabha. Central Hall has a special enclosure for those Members of Parliament who are smokers.  This corner was full of MPs some of who are chain smokers. Notable among them were CPI-M's Sitaram Yechury and T K Rangarajan, Civil Aviation Minister Gajapati Raju and TMC's  Sugata Roy.
17:16  BSP chief Mayawati resigns from the Rajya Sabha :  Just in: BSP chief Mayawati resigns from the Rajya Sabha.

To bring you up to speed, this is what happened this morning.

Soon after the Upper House assembled for the day, a visibly angry Mayawati, who was speaking on the recent anti-Dalit violence in Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh, threatened to resign from the House after the Chair asked her to restrict her impromptu speech.

"I will resign from Rajya Sabha today," Mayawati shot back when Deputy Chairman P J Kurien asked her to wrap up her speech as she had exceeded the three minutes given to her to make her submission.

Mayawati, whose term in the Upper House is till April next year, argued with Kurien saying how can she be prevented from raising the issue about her 'samaj' (community) and the Dalits.

"I have not finished. You cannot do this." "I have no moral right to be in the House if I am not allowed to put across my views on atrocities being committed against Dalits," she said.

Kurien asked her not to make a full-fledged speech and told her she could seek a discussion after giving a notice under rule 267 that seeks adjournment of proceedings to take up an issue.

A discussion can begin only after the Chair, on the advise of the government, accepts the notice and agrees for a discussion.

Kurien rose from his seat in an attempt to calm her down but Mayawati refused to agree saying she has no right to be in the House if she cannot protect the rights of her community. "I am going to resign from the house," she said and walked out of the House in a huff.
17:06  Kashmir: 50 students trapped in school due to Pak shelling:  Around 50 students of a government high school were trapped due to heavy mortar shelling by the Pakistan army in the Naushera sector in Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri district, an official said.

Authorities, however, managed to rescue 12 children from a primary school.

The Pakistan army violated ceasefire in four sectors of Rajouri and Poonch districts this morning. ANI now reports that an Army jawan has been critically injured in Pakistani firing along the LOC in the Nowgam sector of Handwara.

"Forty-five to 50 students of the government high school in Sehar in Naushera sector are trapped due to heavy shelling," Deputy Commissioner (Rajouri) Shahid Iqbal Choudhary told PTI this morning.

He said the school is located at a height which had made the task of evacuation difficult.

However, police and other authorities evacuated 12 students from a primary school at Kadali in Naushera. The children were ferried from the school in bulletproof vehicles during the intermittent shelling by Pakistan, Choudhary said.

"We have sent three bullet proof vehicles to evacuate the students from high school at Sehar. Once the intensity of shelling lessens, we will rescue them too," Choudhary said.

Yesterday, a nine-year-old girl and and Army jawan were killed and three others were injured in Pak firing in the Rajouri-Poonch belt.  -- PTI

Image: The school van was sprayed with bullets, but luckily there was nobody inside. Pic: ANI
16:34  Stone pelting incidents down: MHA to LS:  Home Ministry's written response in Lok Sabha: Incidents of violence by terrorists in J&K stands at 172 in 2017 (till 9 July) as compared to 322 in 2016.  Stone pelting incidents in J&K down to 664 in 2017 (till 9 July) from 2808 in 2016.

16:21   Sensex sinks 364 pts, ITC crashes 13 per cent:  Benchmark Sensex today slipped from life highs to end sharply lower at 31,710.99 by falling 364 points following a steep plunge in ITC Ltd stocks after the GST Council yesterday hiked tax on cigarettes. Besides, the broader Nifty also cracked below the 9,900- mark. Sentiment was hurt after the GST Council raised the tax on cigarettes to take away an estimated Rs 5,000 crore annual "windfall" manufacturers could have reaped from lower GST rates.
16:20  Extremely sorry if I have hurt anyone: Varun on nepotism dig:   Actor Varun Dhawan has apologised for mocking actress Kangana Ranaut in wake of the nepotism controversy. The 30-year-old actor took to Twitter to express his regret on taking part in a joke at the recently concluded 2017 IIFA Awards ceremony, which refuelled the debate that had become a bone of contention between Kangana and filmmaker Karan Johar earlier this year.

"I express my apology and regret... I am extremely sorry if I have offended or hurt anyone with that act..." wrote Varun. The

"Badrinath Ki Dulhania" star's statement comes in after he, along with hosts for the event Johar and Saif Ali Khan were criticised on social media for the joke made at the expense of the actress.

Johar and Saif took a dig at Kangana when Varun joined them on the stage to receive the award for the best performance in a comic role for "Dishoom".

Saif raked up the issue when he joked that the actor had made it big in the industry because of his father, director David Dhawan. "You are here because of your papa," Saif quipped. To which Varun replied, "You are here because of your mummy (referring to Sharmila Tagore)." Soon, Johar joined them and said he was in the industry because of his father, filmmaker Yash Johar. The trio then shouted, "Nepotism rocks".

Saif and Varun then sang "Bole chudiyaan" from Johar's film "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham..."

But the director twisted the second part of the song to take a potshot at the actress, saying, 'Kangana nahi bole toh achha hai' (It would be better for Kangana not to speak).

Kangana had fuelled the nepotism debate when she appeared on Johar's chat show where she referred to him as "the flag bearer of nepotism", something that did not go down well with the director-producer. -- PTI
16:12  'India's GDP could rise to about $8 trillion over next 15 yrs':  India's GDP could rise to about USD 8 trillion over the next 15 years if the country registers an economic growth of 8 per cent annually and come very close to eliminating abject poverty entirely, NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Arvind Panagariya has said today. He said with that level of economic growth, living standards and amenities that are taken for granted in the west will become accessible to a very large part of the population in India in the coming 15 years.
16:02  Smriti Irani takes charge as IB minister :  Union minister @smritiirani  tweets: With blessings of PM @narendramodi ji, took Additional Charge of @MIB_India. My gratitude to Hon. Prime Minister for his continued guidance.
16:00  Shastri scores, BCCI appoints Bharat Arun bowling coach:  India's new head coach Ravi Shastri gets his way.

On the basis of Shastri's recommendation, the BCCI has appointed Bharat Arun as bowling coach for Team India.

Shastri put forth Arun's name in his meeting with the BCCI on Monday in Mumbai.

Arun has been appointed as India's bowling coach on a two-year contract. Sanjay Bangar has been appointed assistant coach. No decision on Rahul Dravid's contract yet.

Shastri's choice of bowling coach was always Arun and it is now apparent that Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) did not take the new head coach into confidence while recommending Zaheer as the bowling coach although his role would be similar to that of Rahul Dravid --- that of a consultant.

Arun and Shastri go back a long way having been buddies since their Under-19 days back in the early 80's. It was on Shastri's recommendation that erstwhile president Narayanswami Srinivasan gave a go-ahead to Arun's appointment with the senior team when he was the bowling consultant at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.
15:32  Committee to check if Karnataka can get its own flag :  The Karnataka Government has constituted a nine-member committee to submit a report to the state government on the possibility of designing a separate flag for the state.

If a flag comes into being, Karnataka will be the second state in the country to have a flag of its own, after Jammu and Kashmir, which enjoys special status under Article 370 of the Constitution.

Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah told ANI, "Is there any provision in the Constitution that prohibits a state from having a flag? It has nothing to do with elections. If the BJP is opposed to it then can they say openly that they are against a state flag."

Journalist-writer and president of Karnataka Vidyavardhaka Sangha, Dharward, Patil Puttappa and social worker Bheemappa Gundappa Gadada had submitted a representation to the government, following which the committee was constituted.

They had urged the government to design a separate flag for Kannada 'naadu' and accord statutory standing for that.  -- ANI
15:05  Nawazuddin blasts colour bias in film industry:  In a cryptic tweet, Nawazuddin Siddiqui has hinted at being discriminated on the basis of his skin colour.

The 43-year-old actor, who is considered one of the most talented and versatile performers in Bollywood, did not name anyone in his post but it seemed to be aimed at someone.

"Thank you for making me realise that I cannot be paired along with the fair and handsome because I'm dark and not good looking, but I never focus on that," Nawaz tweeted.

The tweet appeared to be a response to "Babumoshai Bandookbaaz" casting director Sanjay Chouhan's recent comments. Chouhan, in an interview to a daily, had apparently said that after Chitrangada Singh walked out of the film, they searched for a new female lead who would suit Nawazuddin's look and personality.

"We can't cast fair and handsome people with Nawaz. It would look so weird. You have to take people with distinct features and personalities when pairing them with him," he had reportedly said. Only last year, Nawazuddin had praised the film industry for giving priority to talent over good looks.
15:01  MHA asks states to file mandatory FIRs over violence in name of gau raksha:   The Centre has asked state governments to compulsorily register FIRs in all "untoward incidents" happening in the name of cow protection, the Lok Sabha was informed today.

Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir said the responsibility to maintain law and order, protect life and property and incidents of attacks on cattle traders, beef eaters, Muslims, Dalits and dairy farmers rests primarily with the state governments.

An advisory with regard to untoward incidents over cattle, disturbance of law and order by miscreants in the name of cow protection, compulsory registration of an FIR for cognisable offences irrespective of territorial jurisdiction, and making available a copy of the FIR has been issued to states/UTs, he said replying to a written question.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Sunday sought to put the onus for checking cow vigilantism on state governments, insisting that they take "stringent action against anti-social elements".

The prime minister also sought the support of opposition parties in tackling "communal violence" in the name of cow protection, and deprecated attempts at giving a political or communal colour to the issue. -- PTI
14:54  Rathore's new boss :   Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Rajyavardhan Rathore gets a new boss. Union textiles minister Smriti Irani takes additional charge of the I&B ministry after Venkaiah Naidu resigned.
14:36  Is privacy a fundamental right? Aadhar validity hinges on SC decision:   The Supreme Court on Tuesday referred to a nine-judge constitution bench the question whether right to privacy is a fundamental right on which hinges the challenge to the validity of the Aadhaar scheme.

Referring the matter to the larger bench, a five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar said that hearing in the matter will commence on Wednesday.

Justice Khehar said the bench will decide "whether there is no right of privacy in the Indian Constitution'.

The apex court said that the nine-judge bench will also examine the correctness of the position taken by a eight-judge bench in 1954, and subsequently by a six-judge bench in 1962.

The court said both in 1954 and 1962, the benches had held that privacy is a not a fundamental right. However, after the mid-1970s, benches of two and three -judges had consistently taken the position that privacy is a fundamental right. -- PTI
14:05  The new I&B mantri meets the former mantri:  Delhi: NDA presidential candidate Venkaiah Naidu meets Smriti Irani in Parliament after filling his nomination for the polls. Irani takes over the I&B portfolio from Naidu today. 
14:01  We are living in divisive times, says Gandhi after filing nomination papers:  Former West Bengal governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi today filed his nomination for the vice-presidential poll in the presence of senior Congress and other opposition leaders, including from the JD(U). Gandhi has been picked by 18 opposition parties to be their nominee for the post of vice president.

Speaking to the media after he filed his nomination papers, Gandhi, said, "I am an ordinary citizen, and I am not associated with any party. My views are my own. Janta aur rajneeti ke beech ek khaai bani huyi hai, main use kam karna chahta hoon. I want to work in the chasm between politics and people.

"I am not here to oppose any person or party, I'm here with all humility to place before electors, the aspirations of citizens.

"We are living in divisive times. This spells danger for our future, not only for politics but for the nation.

"I believe death penalty belongs to the medieval ages, it's wrong. My views inspired by Mahatma Gandhi and Dr Ambedkar. (Referring to his opposition to the death sentence on 1993 Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon)."

The Congress was represented by senior leaders such as president Sonia Gandhi, vice president Rahul Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh as well as Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mallikarjun Kharge as the former West Bengal governor filed his papers in the parliament complex.

Also present were other opposition leaders, including JD (U)'s Sharad Yadav, CPI(M)'s Sitaram Yechury, CPI's D Raja, NCP's Tariq Anwar and Praful Patel, NC's Farooq Abdullah and DMK's Kanimozhi. The vice presidential is scheduled to be held on August 5. Gandhi will contest against the NDA's candidate Venkaiah Naidu.
13:32  Naidu meets Advani, Joshi before filing nomination:   The NDA's vice president candidate M Venkaiah Naidu today met BJP veterans L K Advani and Murli Mahonar Joshi before his filing papers, a government official said. Advani and Joshi are members of the BJP's margdarshak mandal. The BJP's Parliamentary Board had yesterday picked Naidu as the NDA's vice presidential nominee. He and joint opposition candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi filed their nominations today for the August 5 vice presidential poll. -- PTI

Also read: Naidu: From putting posters of Atal, Advani to VP candidate
13:27  Venkaiah Naidu happy with Mulayam's support:  NDA's Vice-Presidential nominee M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday expressed his happiness over getting Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav's support.

Naidu tweeted, "Happy that Sh Mulayam Singh ji blessed me and extended his full support." (sic)

Earlier today, Naidu filed his nomination papers for the Vice-Presidential election.Naidu also extended his thanks to Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh, Chhattisgarh Governor Balram Das Tandon, Thambidurai and MPs from the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and others for extending their support to him.Yesterday, Venkaiah Naidu resigned from his ministerial responsibilities.
13:21  BJD supports 'old and valued friend' Gopalkrishna Gandhi:  Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today announced his party's support to Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the opposition's candidate for the vice-presidential election.

The regional party had supported NDA candidate Ram Nath Kovind in the presidential election, polling for which was held yesterday.

However, Patnaik preferred to go with opposition parties this time. "The Biju Janata Dal will support Sri Gopalkrishna Gandhi," the BJD president told reporters.

BJD parliamentary party spokesman Kalikesh Singhdeo said, "Patnaik has proved that the BJD has been maintaining equal distance from the Congress and the BJP."

Patnaik had in 2012 said Gandhi was an "old and valued friend. We were friends even when I was not in politics".
13:18  SC to set up 9-judge Constitution Bench to decide whether right to privacy is fundamental right under Constitution.
12:36  Hope I will do justice to the post, but painful to leave BJP: Naidu:   Venkaiah Naidu addresses the media after filing his nomination papers for the Vice Presidential poll. Highlights of his speech.

-- Honored to be a candidate for the Vice President of India.

-- I have been actively engaged in public life for over four decades.

-- Office of Vice President is a different profile, has its functional norms. Hope I will be able to do justice. I am grateful to PM Modi.

-- I come from a farmer's family. I come from humble background and I have reached here with the support of the people.

-- India's strength and beauty lies in Parliamentary democratic system. It will be my endeavor to strengthen that further.

-- I don't belong to the BJP now as post is above party. (Naidu resigns from the BJP). I think I will be able to do justice to the august post; I thank all parties who have supported my candidature.

-- I want to assure all I will upheld dignity and tradition of the office. 
12:21  Mayawati adamant about resigning from Rajya Sabha: BSP leader:  BSP's SC Mishra tells NDTV that party chief Mayawati is adamant about resigning from the Rajya Sabha. She is likely to resign from the Upper House today.

Uttar Pradesh politician Mayawati today walked out of the Rajya Sabha declaring she would quit if she was not allowed to speak. She was trying to raise what she alleged was atrocities on dalits in Uttar Pradesh."If I am not allowed to speak right now, I will resign right away. I will come and give my resignation right now, if I am not allowed to speak right now," said the furious Bahujan Samaj Party leader, demanding she be allowed to speak on Dalits being targeted in Saharanpur.

After the former UP chief minister walked out, opposition parties raises slogans and disrupted house, forcing an adjournment.
12:02  Venkaiah Naidu files nomination for vice-presidential poll :  BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu files his nomination papers for vice-presidential poll in the presence of PM Narendra Modi, BJP President Amit Shah and EAM Sushma Swaraj. Textiles Minister Smriti Irani was today given the additional charge of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry after Naidu resigned from the Cabinet to contest the vice-presidential poll. The portfolio of urban development, which too was with Naidu, was given to Narendra Singh Tomar, Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, the PMO said. 
11:53  Gandhi heads to Parliament to file nomination papers :  "On my way to file my nomination for the Vice Presidential polls with a sense of respect and gratitude towards the citizens of India," says Opposition parties' nominee Gopal Krishna Gandhi.
11:50  BSP chief Mayawati says she will resign from the Rajya Sabha today.
11:44  PoK integral part of India, says Sushma while granting medical visa :  External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday said Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) is an integral part of India and that New Delhi will give a medical emergency visa to 24-year-old resident Osama Ali.

Taking to Twitter Sushma said, "POK is an integral part of India. Pakistan has illegally occupied it. We are giving him visa. No letter required."

Ali has been diagnosed with a tumour and wants to come to Delhi for his treatment.

He has been unable to travel to New Delhi because Pakistan Prime Minister Nawz Sharif's Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has not written a letter of request to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad for grant of a medical emergency visa.

On July 10 also, Sushma took on Aziz, for not entertaining a request for grant of visa to the mother of former naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav, who has been sentenced to death for alleged espionage.
11:41  Delhi: NDA candidate Venkaiah Naidu files nomination for the Vice-Presidential poll.
11:27  Let me speak or I will quit, says Mayawati walking out of Rajya Sabha :  Pandemonium in the Upper House. Mayawati walks out of the House and threatens to resign from the Rajya Sabha amid ruckus in the House. She said she will resign if she is not allowed to speak and says she was not allowed to complete her statement on the treatment of Dalits in Saharanpur. Congress takes up her cause and says the government is gagging the Opposition. CPI-M's Sitaram Yechury joins force with the Congress. 

BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi says Mayawati has been disrespectful in the House and has dared to challenge the Chair. She must apologise.

Today is the second day of the monsoon session of Parliament. The opposition parties have said they'll raise issues like cow vigilantism, unrest in Jammu and Kashmir, and the India-China standoff in Dokalam. Top Congress leaders had called a meeting yesterday to discuss a strategy.

The RS has now been adjourned.
11:13  In the Rajya Sabha... :  In the Rajya Sabha, Trinamool Congress gives notice on the rise in mob lynching incidents, while Mayawati speaks on the rise in atrocities against Dalits, referring to the Saharanpur riots. She said the riots were a conspiracy by the UP government to fuel communal violence. 
11:02  Urban development ministry goes to Narendra Singh Tomar :  Update: The urban development portfolio, which was with Venkaiah Naidu, has been given to Narendra Singh Tomar, who is the minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj.
11:00  Smriti Irani given charge of Naidu's I&B ministry:  The Prime Minister's Office tweets: The additional charge of the Ministry of I&B has been given to @smritiirani.

Union minister for Textiles Smriti Irani will take over the I&B portfolio from Venkaiah Naidu who resigned from the post after being named as the vice-presidential candidate of the ruling NDA coalition.

Naidu is also the Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and Information and Broadcasting in the Modi administration.
10:52  We are hardwired to lean right when we kiss:  To kiss your partner is always special, but a study has revealed that more than two-third of humans are hardwired to tilt their heads to the right when lip-locking their spouse, while adding that men are about 15 times more likely than women to initiate a kiss.

Over two-thirds of the kiss initiators and kiss recipients turn their heads to the right.

It is also the first study in the world to show that the kiss recipients have a tendency to match their partners' head-leaning direction.

Researchers at the Universities of Dhaka (Bangladesh), Bath (UK) and Bath Spa invited 48 married couples to conduct the same.

The study suggested that the kiss recipients have a tendency to match their partners' head-leaning direction in order to avoid the discomfort of mirroring heads.

It suggests that the act of kissing is determined by the brain splitting up tasks to its different hemispheres - similar to being either right or left-handed - specifically the functions in the left cerebral hemisphere, located in the emotion and decision-related areas of the brain.  -- ANI

10:39  Grateful to Opposition for selecting me as Vice Presidential nominee: Gandhi:  Opposition's vice-presidential nominee Gopalkrishna Gandhi on Tuesday said he has accepted the request with a sense of gratitude and responsibility.

Gopalkrishna said a total of 18 opposition parties asked him to be their presidential candidate.

"The Opposition in India is a very large entity. There are opposition parties at the Centre and states who hold different perspectives. But a large number, precisely 18, have asked me to be their candidate in the Vice-Presidential election. I have accepted their invitation with a sense of gratitude and a sense of responsibility," Gopalkrishna told the media.

Vice Presidential candidates M Venkaiah Naidu, representing the ruling National Democratic Alliance and Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, will be today filing their nominations for the post.
10:36  Wearing saffron, Naidu arrives in Parliament to file nomination for VP poll:  NDA's Vice Presidential candidate Venkaiah Naidu arrives in Parliament to file his nomination. With a rich, saffron angavastram draped around his shoulders, Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, is one of most recognisable faces in the Bharatiya Janata Party. Yesterday, the party announced that he was the National Democratic Alliance's vice presidential candidate.

Naidu was chosen at the BJP parliamentary board meeting in New Delhi attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior party leaders.

The 68-year-old Naidu currently holds the two portfolios of information and broadcasting and Housing and urban affairs.

His nomination is seen as part of the saffron party's attempts to expand in south India, which has been identified by Shah as a key region for growth before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

10:27  Venkaiah Naidu resigns as Union Minister :  Venkaiah Naidu, who has been named as the vice-presidential candidate of the ruling NDA coalition, has submitted his resignation from the post of Urban Development Minister.

Naidu is the Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and Information and Broadcasting in the Modi administration.

Naidu as well as the Opposition parties' nominee, Gopal Gandhi will be filing their nominations today.

A prominent leader of the BJP, he has also served as its national president from 2002 to 2004Both as a student leader and political figure, Naidu gained prominence as a brilliant orator, who vigorously championed the cause of the farmers and the development of backward areas.

His oratory skills and political activism propelled his political career and he was elected as an MLA to the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly twice from Udayagiri constituency in Nellore district in 1978 and 1983.

He rose to become one of the most popular leaders of the BJP in Andhra Pradesh.After having served in various organisational posts of the BJP at the state and national level, he was elected as a member of the Rajya Sabha from Karnataka in 1998.He has since been re-elected twice in 2004 and 2010 from Karnataka.

Union minister Piyush Goyal has claimed that Naidu's victory will be unprecedented.
10:07  Don't need your support: BJP to Mamata on Presidential polls:  With West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee backing Opposition presidential nominee Meira Kumar as a mark of protest against the Centre's "atrocities", the Bharatiya Janata Party today said the it does not expect support from parties who pursue communal politics.

Speaking to ANI, BJP leader GVL Narsimha Rao said the Trinamool Congress, the Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal represent regressive politics today and have been perusing communal politics, vote-bank politics and they do not represent the kind of politics that the BJP is perusing that is "sabka saath, sabka vikas".

"So at another level, the opposition is more like a corrupt alliance of different desperate parties. TMC, RJD, Congress, they are all facing serious charges of corruption. So, obviously we do not expect her (Mamata) to vote for the NDA candidate because we represent positive politics, we represent secular and non-discriminatory administrative regime, positive agenda and honest government," he added.

Another BJP leader Rahul Sinha blamed Mamata of practising "politics of appeasement" and said she has no right to talk about the Centre when her own state is burning of communal violence.

"She herself is not able to control the law and order situation in the state and she is blaming the Centre. All the anti-social elements are in the TMC. Because of Mamata the hills are burning, it was because of her that in 7 months there were 14 cases of riots," he added.

Demanding Mamata's immediate resignation, Sinha further said that the TMC chief was making such "absurd" statement out of "frustration".

Training guns at the Centre for the growing unlawfulness and injustice in the country, Mamata yesterday said "We support Meira Kumar and will stand by her always. Our vote is against unlawfulness and injustice which is growing in the country. For the sake of the country we urge everyone to not support Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and stand by a common man."

Further slamming the government, Banerjee stated that the TMC will not bow down their heads and will rather fight and be happy to go to jail.

"Demonetisation and GST are the two biggest scams of the country, which is making it, lag behind. After all this, we will not bow down our heads rather fight and be happy to go to jail. If BJP thinks that Bengal is an easy place then they are wrong. We already have 18 political parties that have come together and this is a good time for coalition," Banerjee said.

Targeting the Centre for having bad relations with West Bengal, Banerjee termed it like a 'sandwich'.

"The Centre has always had bad relations with neighbouring countries like China, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal and now it's with West Bengal which has become like a sandwich," Banerjee added.

The counting of the votes will take place on July 20.  -- ANI
09:48  Attack on Amarnath pilgrims: Driver who saved lives feted:  
Bus driver Salim Shaikh from Gujarat, who saved many lives during the recent attack on Amarnath pilgrims, was today felicitated by a Mumbai-based organisation.

Earlier, on July 10, terrorists attacked a bus carrying pilgrims in which eight persons lost their lives.

Mumbai BJP president Ashish Shelar also feted the brave bus driver.

"We respect all people who show extraordinary spirit of humanity. Salim is one of then and therefore, I felicitated him," Shelar said. 

It was raining bullets but the remarkable courage and presence of mind shown by Sheikh helped save many lives in the terror attack on a bus of Amarnath pilgrims in Jammu and Kashmir, according to survivors' accounts.

09:33  Bal Gangadhar Tilak's great-grandson booked for rape: Police:  
Congress leader Rohit Tilak, who is the great-grandson of Bal Gangadhar Tilak, has been booked for allegedly raping a woman and forcing her into "unnatural" sex, the police said.

The case was registered against him late last night.

Rohit is the great-grandson of freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak and grandson of late Jayantrao Tilak, who was a senior Congress leader and member of Parliament.

The police said the 40-year-old complainant and Rohit knew each other for the last couple of years.

"The complainant alleged that Rohit repeatedly raped her on the pretext of marrying her," said a police officer.

The police have slapped charges of rape, unnatural offences, voluntarily causing hurt, insult with an intent to provoke breach of peace and criminal intimidation under the Indian Penal Code on the Congress leader.

Rohit had unsuccessfully contested the 2014 Maharashtra assembly polls from the Kasba Peth seat in Pune against the BJP's Girish Bapat. 
09:21  India should get ready for 'all-out confrontation', says Chinese media:  
India should get ready for an all-out confrontation along the entire stretch of the disputed boundary with China, the countrys state media said on Tuesday, threatening to open up new fronts of conflict on the 3,488 km non-demarcated border between the two countries.

China isnt afraid to go to war with India and will be ready for a long-term confrontation, the Global Times comment piece said.

The threat of new geographical points of conflict being opened up along the Line of Actual Control comes amid the Peoples Liberation Army recently carrying out live-fire drills in Tibet Autonomous Region close to Arunachal Pradesh, claimed by China as part of south Tibet.

China can take further countermeasures along the Line of Actual Control. If India stirs up conflicts in several spots, it must face the consequence of an all-out confrontation with China along the entire LAC, the nationalistic tabloid, Global Times, said in a comment piece on Tuesday. 

China doesnt advocate and tries hard to avoid a military clash with India, but China doesnt fear going to war to safeguard sovereignty either, and will make itself ready for a long-term confrontation, it added.
08:04  At Doklam, soldiers replaced every 2 hours:  
For the last 30 days at least, 350-odd Indian soldiers have been standing in a human chain, eyeball to eyeball with Chinese troops at Dhoka La in Bhutan. Armed, but guns pointed down, the two lines of soldiers stand just metres apart. The lines stretch across 500-odd meters, in an area located roughly 15 km from the Nathu La pass.

The stand-off has persisted since June 6. As New Delhi tries all options, including diplomatic contact with Beijing, to resolve the situation, the situation on Ground Zero is cold and stagnant.

On the rugged terrain, around 4,500 metres above the sea level, the air is thin. The soldiers of the Indian Army are replaced every two hours. The face-off continues round the clock.

The stand-off is expected to find resonance in Parliament, with Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee's party demanding a discussion. While the opposition has agreed to back the government on a situation that concerns national security, Banerjee has blamed the Centre for failing to resolve the situation.
00:07  PM Modi likely to go for cabinet expansion:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to go for a cabinet expansion as senior minister M Venkaiah Naidu's almost certain election as the next vice president will leave two heavyweight portfolios without a cabinet minister.

Already, two key ministries-- defence and environment-- are without a full-time minister.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan are holding the additional charge of these two portfolios respectively.

Naidu, whose candidature as the NDAs vice presidential candidate was announced on Monday, currently holds charge of the ministries of information and broadcasting and urban development.

BJP sources said a reshuffle in the Union council of ministers is expected after the monsoon session of Parliament, and some new faces could also be inducted into the cabinet.

While Manohar Parrikars move to Goa as its chief minister in March left the defence ministry without a full-time cabinet minister, the death of Anil Dave in May caused a vacancy in the environment ministry.

Prime Minister Modi first expanded his cabinet in November 2014 when he inducted 21 new faces, including Parrikar as defence minister. -- PTI
00:07  Top headlines at this hour:  NDA names Venkaiah Naidu as vice presidential nominee

Not for giving another chance to exchange old notes: Centre to SC

Army jawan, 9-yr-old girl killed in Pak firing in Jammu-Kashmir

Prez poll: 99% turnout amid rumours of cross-voting

DIG Roopa, who alleged VIP treatment to Sasikala in jail, transferred

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