The ruling JD-U in Bihar appeared to be on tenterhooks tonight ahead of June 19 bypoll to two Rajya Sabha seats amid a claim that 33 rebel MLAs skipped the legislature party meeting in Patna this evening, even as RJD, which holds the key to outcome, deferred its decision till Wednesday.
Keeping its stand a closely guarded secret, JD(U)'s erstwhile ally BJP too said its legislature party would meet twice on Wednesday to chart out its strategy for the bypoll. Trouble stared at JD(U) with a dissident leader claiming that 33 MLAs skipped the legislature party meeting in Patna this evening.
Party chief Sharad Yadav tried to play down absence of large number of MLAs and expressed confidence that the party would win in bypoll for the two RS seats.
Asked how many MLAs skipped the meeting, Yadav said "I have not counted the number." State minister Vijay Chaudhary told reporters that except for a handful of rebels, many MLAs who could not make it to the meeting had informed the party before hand about it, citing personal reasons.
Gyanendra Singh Gyanu, leader of the dissident group who was among those absent at the meeting at the Chief Minister's residence claimed that 33 MLAs did not attend.
He also claimed that many who attended the meeting would side with them during voting during the Rajya Sabha bypoll, which has turned into a trial of strength. Another dissident leader also claimed that 32 party MLAs did not attend.
Ahmed Abu Khatallah was taken into custody in a secret raid in Libya on 15 June.He is now being held in a secure location outside Libya, a Pentagon spokesman confirmed.
A US ambassador and three others were killed in the attack.
Following a direction from External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, a "crisis management meeting" reviewed all aspects of the assistance that can be provided to the Indian nationals stuck in the country. Around 46 nurses are stranded in Tikrit, besides nearly 40 other Indians in Mosul. Insurgent outfits have seized the two cities.
External affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said Swaraj was herself "monitoring and reviewing" the situation on a regular basis.
Acting on a complaint of Chandrakeshwar Prasad alias Chandababu, an FIR was lodged at Town police station against Shahabuddin, his son Osama Shahabuddin and two unidentified persons in the murder of the complainant's son Rajiv Raushan last night, the Superintendent of Police Vivek Kumar said.
The FIR against Shahabuddin and others have been lodged under sections 302 (Murder) and 120B/34 (Punishment of criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and the Arms Act, the SP said, adding that raids were on to nab the RJD strongman's son and two other accused persons.
Last night, Raushan, 29, was shot dead by unidentified assailants at an overbridge near DAV public school crossing under the Town police station area while he was riding a motorcycle, the SP said.
Dismantling the legacy of UPA rule, Modi had on May 31 abolished all the 30 Empowered Group of Ministers and Group of Ministers and told ministries and departments concerned to take decisions on pending matters. The winding up of the ministrial panels is part of the agenda of the Union Cabinet tomorrow, sources said.
Announcing the decision to scrap nine EGoMs and 21 GoMs, the PMO had said this would expedite the process of decision-making and "usher in greater accountability in the system.
"The ministries and departments will now process the issues pending before EGoMs and GoMs and take appropriate decisions at the level of ministries and departments itself, said the statement.
"An SIT consisting of one Inspector each from crime branch, Traffic Unit and Moti Nagar police station under supervision of Assistant Commissioner of Police (Rajouri Garden) Eish Singhal has been formed to probe the case," a Delhi Police statement said today.
Mana Ram was allegedly run over by one Raman Kant on Saturday. 26-year-old Raman Kant, who was at the wheels of the Maruti Ritz car and accompanied by his two minor friends, was stopped at the Zakhira flyover by 24-year-old Mana Ram.
The constable asked them to take the diverted route. However, an argument ensued between the two following which Raman Kant reversed his car and ran over Mana Ram dragging him for around 150 metres.
The constable was rushed to a hospital where he was declared dead.
In a statement issued here, the cleric appealed to all to stand with the people of Iraq and to raise their voices against the growing danger of terrorism.
"India is always against terrorism so I appeal to the prime minister and the foreign minister that they should criticise the ISIL and terrorism in Iraq... Indian government should support the Iraqi government," the cleric said.
UK Foreign Secretary William Hague has told the British Parliament that the UK is ready to reopen its embassy in Tehran that was closed two and a half years ago.
Full diplomatic relations between the UK and Iran were suspended after attacks on the British Embassy in the Iranian capital in 2011.
An online petition calling for a day off for these festivals celebrated by Britain's Hindu and Muslim communities attracted 121,843 signatures and was passed on to the House of Commons Backbench Business Committee responsible for scheduling debates on e-petitions that crossed 100,000.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has now provided its decision on the issue, ruling out any further public or bank holidays, as they are known in the UK.
"Whilst we appreciate a new national holiday may benefit some communities and sectors, the cost to the economy remains considerable and any changes to the current arrangements would not take place without a full consultation,' the statement said.
"We are very aware of the importance of these festivals which are widely celebrated in the UK. The government is committed to bringing people together in strong, united communities. We encourage and support people to have shared aspirations, values and experiences,' the statement added.
Onion prices have risen to about Rs 25-30 per kg in Delhi from Rs 15-20 per kg a fortnight ago.
The MEP, which is the rate below which no exports are allowed, has been re-introduced barely three months after the previous government in March had abolished it.
Export of all onion varieties will be subject to MEP of USD 300 per tonne, commerce ministry said in a notification.
Also, the deadlock over the dispute between the onion wholesale traders and labourers, who have been demanding that their remuneration be hiked, has ended.
While on governor's here is an interesting judgment in the BL Singhal vs the Union of India case. Singhal, the writ petitioner had filed a public interest litigation in the wake of the removal of the Governors of the States of Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana and Goa in 2004 when the UPA government came to power.
The judgement says and we quote:
"A Governor cannot be removed on the ground that he is out of sync with the policies and ideologies of the Union Government or the party in power at the Centre.
"Nor can he be removed on the ground that the Union Government has lost confidence in him.
"It follows therefore that change in government at Centre is not a ground for removal of Governors holding office to make way for others favoured by the new government. (iv) As there is no need to assign reasons, any removal as a consequence of withdrawal of the pleasure will be assumed to be valid and will be open to only a limited judicial review.
"If the aggrieved person is able to demonstrate prima facie that his removal was either arbitrary, malafide, capricious or whimsical, the court will call upon the Union Government to disclose to the court, the material upon which the President had taken the decision to withdraw the pleasure. If the Union Government does not disclose any reason, or if the reasons disclosed are found to be irrelevant, arbitrary, whimsical, or malafide, the court will interfere. However, the court will not interfere merely on the ground that a different view is possible or that the material or reasons are insufficient."
"What I feel is that when he is getting support and respect from all BJP stalwarts time has come Sinha should respect the feeling of BJP leaders, not only from Jharkhand, but also in the country and come out of jail," Advani said after paying a two-hour visit to Sinha in prison.
Sinha was also the 'right person' to be chief minister after the Assembly elections later this year, he said.
Advani said Sinha should thereafter lead the ongoing agitation against power crisis and 'corruption' in the GM's office in the Hazaribagh area of the electricity board.
"Yashwant Sinha has launched a historic agitation in support of small villages ... I appreciate the stand taken by him for fulfilling the cause of poor villagers and he deserves all praise and support. "Prior to this agitation probably no other BJP leader in the state had ever launched such a vital movement in Jharkhand," Advani said.
The suspect sneaked into the changing rooms to steal 12 iPhones from the jacket pockets of players during a 50-over match at Church and Oswaldtwistle Cricket Club in Accrington, Lancashire.
The suspect was first spotted by the Church team's wicket keeper. He alerted an off-duty police officer who was waiting for his turn to bat, and he rounded up his teammates to give chase, The Times reported. The players pursued the suspect across fields and into a wood.
Joined by members of the home team, they used GPS technology on another phone to continue the pursuit. Police dog handlers were called in and, helped by the cricketers, they arrested a man and recovered the phones.
The tweet-happy PM writes: "Visit a success: All thanks to the blessings of our Guardian Deities; leadership of our Kings; good fortune of our People."
Modi, who chose Bhutan as his first foreign destination since taking over last month, received a rousing welcome in that country with the Monarchy and the government going out of the way to display their special gestures.
Zinta, 39, had filed the police complaint on Thursday night at Marine Drive police station alleging that she was molested by Wadia, 44, inside the Wankhede stadium on May 30. On that day, an IPL match between Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings was played in the stadium.
The actress and the businessman had broken their five-year-long relationship sometime back. Zinta left for the US immediately after filing the complaint.
When Kejriwal was Delhi CM, he had announced a Rs 1 crore compensation for the wife of a Delhi Police constable killed while on duty. The cop had been beaten to death by bootleggers in Delhi.
"The Centre was trying saffronise the country by appointing RSS and BJP men as Governors in states. This is dangerous for democracy," SP National General Secretary Naresh Agarwal said.
The country is not the property of any party. All the parties have right to put forth their views, he said, and alleged that it was a conspiracy against non-BJP governments in states.
"The way in which resignations are sought from Governors, pressurising them, is not only start of saffronisation of the country but is also part of a conspiracy against governments of other parties in the states," he said.
A vacation bench of Justice Sunita Gupta granted parole to 36-year-old Sharma on the condition that he shall furnish a personal bond of Rs 50,000 with one surety, for the like amount, who shall be a family member.
The court also directed that Sharma will not leave the National Capital Territory of Delhi for the duration of the parole, which shall be effective from the date of his release.
The other terms and conditions of the parole includes keeping away from the area around the residence of the deceased and her family members, the court said in its order which was made available today after it was reserved yesterday.
Sharma's exams are scheduled to commence from June 19 and will end on June 24. He is pursuing the course from Indian Institute of Human Rights here which is recognised by the United Nations.
"We will be video-recording the entire demolition process, which we will carry out from June 20, so that it can be used as proof against residents in the Supreme Court if they stop us from performing our duties," Mohan Adtani, additional municipal commissioner, said.
At the first stage of eviction, the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) will cut off electricity, water and gas supplies to the illegally built flats. Internal walls of the flats would be pulled down in the second phase before finally demolishing the balconies.
Adtani said the demolition process was slated to start today but was defererred on humanitarian grounds following the death of two residents. "We had planned to start the demolition drive from June 17, but we have now given the residents 3 more days to vacate the flats after the death of two residents. We will now start the demolition from June 20," he said.
The families of the deceased residents would be given extra time so that they can complete the last rituals, he said. Campa Cola's first resident, Vinod Kothari (82), died on June 15 after a heart attack while 83-year old Chakravarti Chawla, a refugee from Pakistan, who had been hospitalised after suffering from kidney failure, expired on June 8.
Meanwhile, residents of Campa Cola said MCGM should extend their 'humanitarian gesture' to other residents as well. "It is heartening to know that the MCGM has some humanity left in them. We sincerely hope that this humanitarian gesture gets extended to other residents as well. We, as citizens, expect the MCGM to take a humane approach to this issue," Ankit Garg, a resident said.
The government also wants the governors of Kerala, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh to resign.
Pic: That's the Raj Bhawan or the governor's residence in Kolkata. West Bengal governor MK Narayan resigned this afternoon. The historic residence was built in 1803.
The European Union's "temporary ban", on Indian mangoes, came into force on May 1 and was to remain effective until December 2015 after authorities in Brussels found consignments infested with fruit flies that they feared could damage European salad crops.
Pic: British High Commissioner James Bevan meets Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal
Karnataka governor, Hansraj Bharadwaj, Assam governor Janaki Ballan Patnaik and Rajasthan governor Margret Alva will make their way to the Rashtrapati Bhavan today. Their meeting assumes significance after West Bengal governor MK Narayanan and UP governor BL Joshi submitted their resignations this morning. The BJP government is keen to have their own nominees in Raj Bhavans, and Narayanan and Joshi were UPA appointees.
65-year-old Gupta, once regarded as among the most powerful and influential in corporate America, will serve his jail term at a minimum security satellite camp of the Federal Medical Center-Devens in Ayer, Massachusetts.
Incidentally Gupta's camp, which currently has 132 inmates, is next to the medical centre where his one-time friend and business associate hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam is serving his 11-year prison sentence for running a massive insider trading scheme.
Gupta was convicted in 2012 after a jury trial of passing confidential information about Goldman Sachs to Rajaratnam minutes after he learned about them at the board meetings.
The IIT-Delhi and Harvard alumnus is expected to arrive at the prison facility before noon after which he will undergo routine medical tests, an information officer at the prison told PTI over phone.
The medical tests will take a day to be completed, following which Gupta will be lodged in the satellite camp.
According to initial information available on the facility's website, Gupta has been described as a 65-year-old "Asian, male." According to the camp's rules, Gupta will be able to receive family and friends on Saturdays, Sundays and federal holidays between 8:30 am to 3:00 pm while on Fridays between 2:30 pm and 8:30 pm.
management will bring down prices. "We are watching developments in Iraq; with sufficient reserves and low CAD, India is in a better position to meet external sector challenges. Despite general deterioration in probity of public
institutions, RBI has maintained a reputation for integrity,"he says.
Finance minister Arun Jaitley blames inflation on hoarding. Fears of weak monsoon has led to hoarding and therefore price rise, he says.
RBI governor Raghuram Rajan has said that the next few quarters will be engaged in combating inflation. He also said that if the government wants to manage its own debt there was no reason for the RBI to stand in the way. He said the RBI was in a better position since last year to handle debt.
Modi has made controlling inflation a priority since taking office last month, but prospects of weak summer monsoon rains and turmoil in Iraq have increased the risk of rising food and fuel prices. In May, wholesale prices rose a faster-than-expected 6.01 per cent as a 19 per cent increase in potato prices during the month pushed up food inflation to 9.50 per cent from 8.64 per cent in April.
Modi does not want to sit quietly in Delhi but is keen to energise the party cadres with a drill of frequent activities.
The first state Modi plans to visit is Bihar. Did you say, naturally?
If Sinha's wish were to come true, it could pose a real political challenge not only for BJP president Rajnath Singh but also his successors, apart from being a real test for Modi.
The reason being, a quiet regrouping is now taking place within the BJP, on the lines of the earlier 'minus 160 group' formed against Modi during the election campaign.
The buzz is particularly strong that the transfer came because he was perceived by the new government as being close to Ahmed Patel, Sonia Gandhi's political secretary.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi too wasn't particularly happy about Takru, given the latter's stint in Gujarat, it is said.
But the real reason for Takru's transfer, say sources, was that the government did not want him presiding over the special investigation team set up to unearth black money. The secretary himself told the Hindustan Times following his transfer that he now has "a sense of relief since I will be able to focus on development of the north-east".
A well-known astrologer, it's strange that Takru failed to predict his own transfer, says a wag in North Block.
"We fought for it and today we have it,' he told me, pointing towards the Rudraprayag collectorate that stood shakily on sinking ground. The June 16-17 deluge last year -- one of the worst calamities the State has witnessed '" resulted in flash floods and landslides.
The situation was exacerbated by a defunct disaster management system, the result of the apathy of consecutive governments that have ruled the State. This was not the Uttarakhand that Santosh and his friends had desired. Read more
Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju speaks of his plans in this first of a two-part exclusive interview to Sheela Bhatt and Claude Arpi. Read the interview on Rediff.com.
Nothing unusual about this, since such an exercise is routinely undertaken by the business-industry-bureaucratic circles as well as the legal fraternity since, goes the wisdom, it then becomes easy to know who to tap for access to the very top.
But, sources say, such an exercise has met with a stonewall in the new administration, with insiders saying that the list does not go beyond one or two persons, forget the top five. Reason being, everything is so Modi-centric.
Efforts are on to withdraw Preity's complaint, on the basis of which police filed an FIR against the Bombay Dyeing scion on the charge of outraging the modesty of the actress and co-owner of Kings XI Punjab.
Mumbai police had filed an FIR against Ness after Preity complained that he had "grabbed her by the hand' and abused her in full public view during an IPL match at the Wankhede stadium on May 30. Read
Sources say the PM's Office is debating whether to retain staff that have worked for ministers in the previous Congress-led regime, and will clear these appointments only after scrutiny.
The decision is likely to impact at least eight ministers. Read more
The SC had granted an interim bail for three weeks to the senior journalist on May 19 to attend his mother's funeral and perform her last rites. Tejpal is in a Goa jail since November 30, 2013.
Tejpal, 50, has been chargesheeted for allegedly raping, sexually harassing and outraging the modesty of a junior colleague during an event held at a hotel in Goa in November last year.
Gupta's lawyer Seth Waxman argued his case during a hearing before a three-judge panel of the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday. Gupta, 65, was not present for the hearing, during which Waxman argued that his client personally did not make any money from the trades done by Galleon hedge fund founder Raj Rajratnam and "nor had any expectation of making any money."
Waxman said that Gupta should not be permanently barred from serving as a director on a board of a public company or taking up the role of investment advisor.
Following a request by the Indian government, a team of International Red Crescent contacted around 46 nurses in Tikrit and reported back to the Indian authorities about their well being, sources said.
The Indian Mission is also in touch with the Iraqi government and the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) to ensure the safety of all Indians stranded in the violence- affected areas of that country, they said.
Asked whether the government was considering evacuating the nurses from Tikrit, they said the roads are not suitable for any movement at present.
The government had on Sunday asked Indians residing in Iraq to consider leaving the country in view of the "precarious" security situation. In an advisory, the government had also asked people not to travel to Iraq.
Suspected militants abducted a branch manager of the State Bank of India today in Meghalaya's South West Garo Hills district, police said. The bank official, Arvind Kumar, was on his way from Guwahati when his vehicle was stopped by three armed persons at Rangatari near the Garobadha bridge around 9 am.
A group of three heavily armed gunmen abducted Kumar, an SBI branch manager in Ampati, but let off his driver unharmed, an operandi usually adopted by the militants operating in the area, they said.
The driver reported the matter to the bank authorities who later informed the police.
While no one has claimed responsibility for the abduction, police believes it is the handiwork of any of the militant outfits including the outlawed GNLA and its break-away faction '" the A'chik Songna An'pachakgipa Kotok group.
A man hunt has been launched to rescue the abducted bank official.
At least 45 persons, including several children, were taken ill after consuming poisonous food served after a religious function in West Bengal's Midnapore (West) district today.
Official sources said the incident happened at Sakhajora where a religious function was held Sunday night.
On Monday, food which was being left over were served to the persons after which they fell ill.
Osama bin Laden is dead. So is much of the influence his organization built with the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001. Al-Qaeda, however, lives on through a collection of like-minded Islamist militias holding territory and threatening to redraw the map in the Middle East and North Africa. Inspired by bin Laden's jihad and hardened by battle, they have capitalized on the security and political vacuum left by the toppling of autocrats in the 2011 Arab Spring.
The new face of Qaeda came into focus with the march of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which has seized Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city. The group emerged from the sectarian battles spawned by the American invasion of 2003, then honed its combat skills in the three-year Syrian civil war. It aims to create a new state that spans both countries.
A Spicejet flight from Srinagar to Bangalore was today subjected to an anti-sabotage check after an unidentified man, who was to travel to Delhi, deplaned in Chandigarh.
Chandigarh Airport Director M S Duhan told PTI that the Spicejet flight 509 from Srinagar to Bangalore via Chandigarh and Delhi was held up at the local airport following a sabotage scare as one of the passengers who had boarded the flight in Srinagar and was to have deplaned in Delhi disembarked in Chandigarh.
"The entire exercise of anti-sabotage check took place for some 45 minutes," he said, adding, that the luggage of the passengers on-board were checked.
Duhan said he did not know the identity of the person who left the airport after alighting from the plane. Attempts to reach the airline authorities to get the identity of the passenger proved futile. The plane later landed at Delhi airport safely, Duhan said.
The US is open to any "constructive" discussions with Iran over the deteriorating security in Iraq, Secretary of State John Kerry said, with the Pentagon asserting there are no plans to consult Tehran on any military action in the war-torn country.
"We're open to discussions if there's something constructive that can be contributed by Iran if Iran is prepared to do something that is going to respect the integrity and sovereignty of Iraq and the ability of the government to reform'," Kerry told Yahoo News in an interview.
Soon thereafter the Pentagon said there are no plans of military co-operation with Iran on the issue of Iraq.
"We have seen the comments made by Secretary Kerry. There are discussions going on with Iran surrounding P5+1 and it's possible that on the sidelines of those discussions there could be discussions surrounding situations in Iraq. But there is absolutely no intention and no plan to co-ordinate military activities between the United States and Iran," Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby, told reporters.
There are no plans to have consultations with Iran about military activities in Iraq, Kirby reiterated. "We encourage Iran like all neighbours to play a constructive role, to respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Iraq, while Iraq is going through this difficult time," Kirby said.
In his interview to Yahoo news, Kerry said one has to see what Iran might or might not be willing to do before the United States start making any pronouncements.