Mon, 16 January 2017
'Cycle aage badhti jayegi', tweets Akhilesh after getting SP symbol

Timeline  Refresh

22:41   No directions issued to CBI in Rose Valley case, clarifies PMO
The Prime Minister's Office on Monday said it has issued no instructions to the CBI in connection with the Rose Valley case and a letter which appeared in some newspapers in this context is "forged".

In a rejoinder to the news organisations of West Bengal which "displayed" such a purported letter, the PMO wrote: "This has reference to a report appearing in your publication regarding a letter purportedly written by the Prime Minister s Office to CBI on the Rose Valley case.

"The report alleges that PMO has issued certain instructions to CBI in the matter. A copy of the purported letter has also been displayed." 

The said report, the PMO said, "is totally false and baseless." 

It said the "letter displayed in your publication is a forgery" as "No such letter has been issued by the Prime Minister s Office." In the Rose Valley scam case, CBI has arrested Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Tapas Pal, MPs of Trinamool Congress, which is in power in West Bengal.
22:26   FBI arrests wife of killer in Orlando mass shooting
The wife of the man who carried out a deadly terrorist attack in Orlando has been arrested in connection with the mass shooting, a law enforcement official said Monday.

Noor Salman was taken into custody by FBI agents at her home outside of San Francisco. Prosecutors had been weighing charges against her in the aftermath of the attack that killed 49 people and wounded dozens. A person familiar with details of the arrest said she was charged with obstruction.

Noor's husband, Omar Mateen, was killed in a shootout with police during the rampage in a gay club on June 12, 2016. Investigators interviewed her for hours after the attack and came to believe she was not telling the truth about her husband's plans to carry out the rampage.

She is expected to make an initial appearance Tuesday in federal court in San Francisco.
22:00   J&K CM Mehbooba links lifting of AFSPA to end to terrorism

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today linked the revocation of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act to improvement in law and order situation and success of security forces in ending terrorism in the state.
The success of the security forces depends upon when we will start revoking Armed Forces Special Powers Act.
"It also depends upon when we stomp out terrorism fully and slowly and steadily decrease the footprints of security forces. It will not be our success first, it will be the success of the security forces, she said in her address to Legislative Council in Jammu on Monday.
Mehbooba went on to add, "If we can control infiltration and militancy in the state, then we can start revoking AFSPA. Time is nearing by  when this will start happening. This has been agreed in the Agenda of Alliance (between ruling coalition partners PDP and BJP)."
She said it has been agreed in the Working Group that whenever the security situation becomes conducive, the laws applicable with regard to security will be automatically revoked, she said.
21:50   I feel the need of becoming a parent: Karan Johar
Filmmaker Karan Johar says he has a lot of love to offer and would like to be a parent someday.
"I would like to be a parent. I don't know in what capacity, I don't know how it's going to happen, I don't have answers to those questions. But I do feel the need because I have love to offer," Johar told reporters.
The director was in-conversation with author Shobha De during the launch of his book, "An Unsuitable Boy".
"Since it (love) is there, I would like to take it forward. I feel the paternal instinct needs to be acted upon. I feel there is so much within me and the love has to have a release, it is not going into a relationship, it goes to my
mother, friends, company," he added. 
The filmmaker says he realised his nurturing quality when he launched Alia Bhatt, Sidharth Malhotra and Varun Dhawan in "Student of the Year".
"I feel I have a nurturing quality in me. I saw that most when I launched Alia, Sidharth and Varun. I can't let them go off  even now. It has been nearly five years but I see myself staring at what they're doing. Even for all those at 'Dharma'. The emotion comes from a very strong paternal space."
21:47   'Cycle aage badhti jayegi', tweets Akhilesh after getting SP symbol
Expressing his happiness after winning the battle over Samajwadi Party's symbol 'cycle', Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav tweeted, "Cycle chalti jayegi, aage badhti jayegi (Cycle will move on, will progress ahead).   

Interestingly, Akhilesh posted pictures of him and his father Mulayam Singh Yadav and his uncle Ramgopal Yadav with the tweet.   

The Election Commission on Monday allotted the Samajwadi Party's 'cycle' symbol to the faction led by Akhilesh.   

Earlier, while addressing party workers, Mulayam said, "We will accept whatever the Election Commission decides. Maine teen baar Akhilesh ko bulaya, par wo ek minute ke liye hi aaye aur meri baat shuru hone se pehle hi chale gaye. Akhilesh did not even have the time to hear me out."
20:58   EC notice to Kejriwal for asking voters to take money
The Election Commission has issued a notice to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for asking voters to accept money from rival parties during election campaign in Goa.

The EC has asked the Delhi CM to give an explanation by 1 PM on January 19.

Kejriwal had asked voters to take the money offered by political parties but fool them by voting only for the Aam Aadmi Party. He made similar remarks later in Punjab.
20:37   Congress hails EC for granting Akhilesh the 'cycle' ride
The Congress today hailed as "judicious" the Election Commission's decision to grant the 'cycle' symbol to the Akhilesh Yadav faction of the Samajwadi Party ahead of the assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh. 

"We congratulate Akhilesh on being allotted the cycle symbol. The Election Commission has taken a judicious decision in record time," Congress spokesman R P N Singh said, adding the UP Chief Minister had 90 per cent of the party including legislators on his side.

The Congress and the Akhilesh-led faction are busy stitching up a grand secular alliance in the state in an apparent bid to prevent the  BJP from coming to power in the politically key state. 

In a major boost to UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, the EC recognised the faction headed by him as the SP and alloted the reserved symbol 'Bicycle' to it for contesting the coming assembly elections. The verdict comes a day ahead of the start of the filing of nominations in the seven-phased polls in the state beginning on February 1.
20:36   Bonhomie over? Nitish attacks BJP, trashes demand to postpone human chain
Amidst speculation of growing bonhomie with the BJP, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today attacked the party while rejecting its Bihar unit's demand of postponing the human chain programme scheduled for January 21 in the wake of Patna boat tragedy.
Speaking to media on the January 14 boat capsize incident, in which 24 people lost their lives, the JD-U chief said he fails to understand the logic of BJP leader Sushil Modi's demand for postponing the human chain programme.
"Why should it be postponed...What kind of demand is this? It is a social event in support of liquor ban," he said.
Involving 2 crore people, the human chain programme would be the largest in the world and its image would be captured by ISRO satellite and several drones, the CM said, adding, standard safety drills, including traffic regulations and other safeguards, would be undertaken.
Sushil Modi had yesterday alleged that "negligence" of the Bihar government led to the boat capsize and said that the chief minister should take responsibility.
He had also demanded the state government postpone the proposed human chain programme.
Speculation of a bonhomie between the JD-U and the BJP set off after Nitish Kumar supported demonetisation decision notwithstanding disquiet within a section of his party over his stand.
The speculation grew thicker after Prime Minister Narendra Modi during an event in Patna to celebrate the 350th birth anniversary of Guru Govind Singh praised Kumar for implementing prohibition in the state.
19:57   Bonhomie over? Nitish attacks BJP, trashes demand to postpone human chain
Amidst speculation of growing bonhomie with the BJP, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today attacked the party while rejecting its Bihar unit's demand of postponing the human chain programme scheduled for January 21 in the wake of Patna boat tragedy.
Speaking to media on the January 14 boat capsize incident, in which 24 people lost their lives, the JD-U chief said he fails to understand the logic of BJP leader Sushil Modi's demand for postponing the human chain programme.
"Why should it be postponed...What kind of demand is this? It is a social event in support of liquor ban," he said.
Involving 2 crore people, the human chain programme would be the largest in the world and its image would be captured by ISRO satellite and several drones, the CM said, adding, standard safety drills, including traffic regulations and other safeguards, would be undertaken.
Sushil Modi had yesterday alleged that "negligence" of the Bihar government led to the boat capsize and said that the chief minister should take responsibility.
He had also demanded the state government postpone the proposed human chain programme.
Speculation of a bonhomie between the JD-U and the BJP set off after Nitish Kumar supported demonetisation decision notwithstanding disquiet within a section of his party over his stand.
The speculation grew thicker after Prime Minister Narendra Modi during an event in Patna to celebrate the 350th birth anniversary of Guru Govind Singh praised Kumar for implementing prohibition in the state.
19:38   To go 'bing bing bing' on Twitter even after becoming Prez: Trump
Donald Trump has said that he has no plans to quit Twitter even after becoming US President this week, saying a "dishonest" media has forced him to continue tweeting to vent out his views.
"I thought I'd do less of it, but I'm covered so dishonestly by the press so dishonestly that I can put out Twitter and it's not 140, it's now 280 I can go bing bing bing . . . and they put it on and as soon as I tweet it out....," the President-elect told The Times newspaper.
Trump, who will become the 45th US President on Friday told the paper that he does not intend to lay off Twitter once he is in the Oval Office of the White House and will keep his @realDonaldTrump account.
Trump, who has earned a reputation for making unpredictable statements on Twitter, said that he had considered cutting down his Twitter use. But his reach has become so large that he feels the media are so unkind to him
that he will continue to send out updates, he said.
"@realDonaldTrump I think, I'll keep it," he said. "So I've got 46 million people right now that's a lot, that's really a lot but 46 million including Facebook, Twitter and ya know, Instagram, so when you think that you're 46 million there, I'd rather just let that build up and just keep it @realDonaldTrump, it's working....," he said.
18:45   Cycle symbol belongs to Akhilesh-led Samajwadi Party, says EC
The son has trumped his father!

The cycle symbol belongs to the  Akhilesh-led Samajwadi Party, said the Election Commission. 

Both factions of the Samajwadi Party headed by Mulayam Singh Yadav and his son and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav had approached the Election Commission for control over the party's election symbol 'bicycle'.

The commission had told both the sides that a judgment will be delivered before the process of filing nominations for the phase one of Uttar Pradesh assembly elections will begin on January 17. 

Akhilesh camp had argued that since the numbers are stacked in favour of the CM, the symbol should go to him. 
18:14   GST deadline has been deferred to July 1: FM Jaitley
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is addressing the media on GST. 

Here are the live updates:

-- The entire taxation base will be shared between the assessment and machinery of the Centre and the states.

-- Those above turnover 1.5 crores would be assessed in the ratio of 50:50 between Centre and state.

--All assesses with GST turnover of Rs. 1.5 crore or less, 90 per cent of them will be assessed by States & 10 per cent by administrative machinery of Centre.

--States will also be cross empowered on the ratio mentioned earlier.
-- GST deadline has been deferred to July 1
18:04   Nitish Kumar's response after Navjot Singh Sidhu cited him to justify joining Cong
Navjot Singh Sidhu, master of one-liners, shared a surfeit of them today as he met with reporters to discuss his induction into the Congress. "I am a born Congressman," said the man who served with the BJP for more than 10 years.

The 53-year-old denied that his political swinging suggests a compromise of ideology for opportunism. "Didn't Nitish (Kumar) and Lalu (Yadav) come together (in Bihar)?" he asked, referring to over a year-old deal that morphed two long-standing rivals in Bihar into allies who now co-govern the state with the Congress as a junior partner. 

"To achieve large goals, you have to sink your differences," said Nitish Kumar, Bihar chief minister, endorsing Sidhu's analogy.
17:46   Congress to gherao four RBI offices on Jan 18 against note ban
Congress today demanded the resignation of RBI Governor Urjit Patel over the apex bank's "loss of autonomy" and said the party will gherao RBI offices in Mumbai, Nagpur, Bangalore and Ahmedabad on January 18 over the issue of demonetisation.

Maharashtra Congress president and former state Chief Minister, Ashok Chavan, will lead the protest in Mumbai, while the Leader of Opposition in legislative Assembly, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil, will participate in Nagpur.

Former Maharashtra Chief Ministers Prithviraj Chavan and Sushilkumar Shinde will take part in the protests in Bangalore and Ahmedabad respectively, it was decided at a party meeting here today.
17:19   ATM withdrawal limit raised to Rs 10,000
This might put a smile on your face. 

RBI has announced that the cash withdrawal limit from ATMs has been risen to Rs 10,000 per day per card from Rs 4,500 rupees currently. 

The withdrawal limits have been in place ever since November 8, 2016 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the demonetisation of the Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes. 
17:13   Modi government considering 'fat tax' on junk food and sugary drinks
The Modi government is considering raising taxes on junk food and sugary drinks and this tax could be included in the 2017-2018 Budget, slated to be presented on 1 February.

A report states that a 11-member group including secretaries of the health, sanitation and urban development had met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and advocated for a "fat tax," which could play a role in countering diseases such as diabetes and obesity.

"In our presentation to the PM, we suggested higher taxes on junk food and sugary beverages because consumption of such products is growing fast and fueling several lifestyle diseases like obesity, diabetes and heart disorders. We have also suggested that revenue earned from such tax be invested in health schemes," a member of the group was quoted as saying.

A study published in the Lancet Journal last year found India to be among the top five countries with an obesity problem. India is home to over 40 percent of the global underweight population, but it also the third most obese country in the world, with 41 million obese people.
17:01   No privacy on FB, WhatsApp: SC seeks response to plea
The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice to the Centre, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and social media platform Facebook over a plea seeking privacy on data.

Seeking a reply in two weeks, the apex court asked the government, Facebook and Whatsapp to respond to the plea for privacy policy for social media networks.

"WhatsApp is a free facility, don't use it if concerned about privacy," the apex court observed.

The petitioner told the Supreme Court that WhatsApp has become a utility service and user data needs to be safeguarded.

A petition filed before the Supreme Court has claimed that there is no protection of data on Facebook and WhatsApp.

According to the petitioner, there are 157 million users on WhatsApp and Facebook, therefore the service provided by the social network and messaging app should be considered as a public utility service.

In September 2016, the Delhi High Court had ordered WhatsApp to delete the data of users who had deleted the messaging app from their devices. Additionally, not share these users' data with Facebook
Inflation index in the last six months
16:49   Anti-national PETA working against Tamil culture, should be banned: Stalin
DMK today dubbed animal rights advocacy group PETA as "anti-national" and said it's working against Tamil culture seeking a ban on the NGO which has been stridently opposing the bull-taming festival Jallikattu.

"Centre should immediately ban the international NGO PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals)- which is against our culture and is anti-national," DMK Working President and Tamil Nadu Opposition Leader MK Stalin said. He also urged the Centre to 'disband' the incumbent Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and replace it with a body which has more representation for Tamil Nadu.

He said the Centre and the state government should realise the "negative impact" of having "failed to protect the heritage identity of the Tamil culture". Stalin strongly argued in favour of replacing AWBI with a body with "adequate representation for Tamil Nadu as that alone would prove" sports like Jallikattu do not involve any cruelty to the animals.
16:32   Nobody forced me to do anything, says Dangal star in new tweet
Dangal actress Zaira Wasim issues a new post: "Regarding my last post, I have no idea why this has become such a big issue. I just wanted to make sure that I did not hurt anyone's feelings and all of a sudden it has been turned into national news. Again and again I am telling people that I have not been forced into anything by anyone. This was post was not meant against anyone, just wanted to make sure that people were not hurt by what I was doing. From media to everyone else, please don't blow this out of proportion. Neither was I forced nor am I against anyone. Hopefully this post just stops this once and for all."

Wasim who played the young Geeta Phogat in Aamir Khan-starrer Dangal, met J-K CM Mehbooba Mufti who said she was impressed by the young Kashmiri girl's portrayal of a wrestler in the film.

She played Commonwealth Games' gold-medal winning Indian wrestler Geeta Phogat as a child in the multiple Filmfare Award-winning film. Mehbooba Mufti appreciated Zaira and her family and spoke to them about the young Kashmiri actress's s interest in creative endeavours.

But following the meeting, Wasim was allegedly threatened, trolled and abused by Kashmiri Separatists for meeting the CM. She apologised in a tweet and said people should remember she is is just 16. Following that tweet, she now says nobody forced her to apologise.

The actress has now deleted this post.

Image: Zaira Khan as the young Geeta Phogat in Dangal.

16:21   8 dead after shooter opens up at a popular Mexican music festival
Police are investigating a shooting at a popular festival in Mexico in which five people have been reportedly shot dead, reports

According to early reports, a security guard is among the dead, after shots were fired into the crowded closing party of the annual BPM Festival in Playa Del Carmen, a coastal resort town along the Yucatn Peninsula.

Popular DJ Jackmaster tweeted that shots had been fired into the festival crowd. The BPM festival is an annual event running from January 6 to 15 this year, its 10th anniversary. Along with thousands of people, the event featured more than 375 artists.
16:12   Don't let rivals exploit crisis after Jaya's death: Sasikala to AIADMK cadre
AIADMK chief V K Sasikala today asked her party men to ensure "enemies" did not exploit the "crisis" created by the "sudden" demise of her predecessor, the late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, and said she had taken over the party's reins on their "affectionate order".

In a message to party men on the eve of the birth centenary of AIADMK founder M G Rmachandran, Sasikala said none can fill the void left behind by Jayalalitha.

"Although none can fill the void left behind by Purathchi Thalaivi Amma (revolutionary leader mother), there is a big responsibility before crores of party workers who are its roots. That is to ensure that they don't allow enemies to exploit the crisis created by the sudden demise of Amma by any means," she said without referring to anyone.

Jayalalithaa had often rewarded hard work and loyalty and that alone mattered in the party and other factors like caste or creed never were of any significance for the grassroots workers to scale new peaks in AIADMK, she said.

Recalling her 33-year-old friendship with Jayalalithaa, Sasikala said her sole aim was the welfare of the former Chief Minister. "Although I could have spent the rest of my life reminiscing these 33 years, I decided to dedicate myself to public life due to the concern that the third largest movement in India should not suffer a setback and also due to the affectionate order by you," she said in an apparent reference to being appointed as the party's General Secretary last month after Jayalalithaa's death.

The party men can continue to feel the same "warmth and protection" offered by Jayalalithaa as its head, she said and exhorted the AIADMK workers to continue their victory march in the path laid out by Amma.

The "defeated enemies" are looking for a "fissure in the strong castle" and see if they can make some redemption, Sasikala said and asked the party workers to work harder and with more determination to thwart any such designs. This should be the motto of the party workers on the birth centenary of Ramachandran, she added.
Omar Abdullah lends support to young Kashmiri actress Zaira Wasim who was forced to apologise for meeting J-K CM Mehbooba Mufti. @abdullah_omar I've a problem with @MehboobaMufti trying to userp other peoples success to cover up her own failures but why punish/troll people she meets? A 16 year old shouldn't be forced to apologise & that too allegedly for meeting @MehboobaMufti. What are we coming to!!!!!
The Supreme Court seeks the govt's response on a plea for framing privacy policy for social media networks like Facebook and WhatsApp. SC also issues notice to Facebook, WhatsApp and TRAI and seeks assistance of Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi in the case.
15:21   Trolled by Separatists, Dangal star apologises for meeting Mehbooba Mufti
Two days after Dangal star Zaira Wasim met met Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, the young 16-year-old has tweeted an 'unconditional apology" saying she does not want to be anyone's role model.

Wasim who played the young Geeta Phogat in Aamir Khan-starrer Dangal, met Mehbooba Mufti who said she was impressed by the young Kashmiri girl's portrayal of a wrestler in the film.

She played Commonwealth Games' gold-medal winning Indian wrestler Geeta Phogat as a child in the multiple Filmfare Award-winning film. Mehbooba Mufti appreciated Zaira and her family and spoke to them about the young Kashmiri actress's s interest in creative endeavours.

Shortly after, the young star was hounded and trolled and according to media reports even threatened by Separatists for meeting the J-K CM and the frightened girl  tweeted her apology saying, "I want to apologise to all those people who I've unintentionally hurt and I want them to know that I understand their sentiments behind it especially considering that what had happened over the past 6 months but I hope people can also understand there are certain circumstances that emerge which one cannot control and I hope people still remember that I'm just a 16 year old girl and I hope you treat me accordingly." 
15:02   Did not live off tax payer's money: Obama
Looking forward to getting out of the "bubble", outgoing US President Barack Obama has contradicted the general perception of him living off taxpayers' money in the White House, saying he bore all his family's expenses, including the cost of toilet paper.

"You know, I mentioned how I've got a pretty thick skin in this job. You've got to have it. One thing that did kind of get under my craw sometimes was people talking as if when we went on vacation or--  ' that people'd be like, 'Oh, spending taxpayer money'. It's like, 'No, no, I actually I'm paying for all of this'," Obama said as he contradicted the general impression that he lived on taxpayers' money and had never had to use his wallet.

"The only thing I don't pay for is Secret Service and an airplane. And communications, because I don't have any choice," Obama was quoted as saying by the CBS News in his last interview before he hands over the reign to his successor Donald Trump on January 20.

"But, you know, we buy our own toilet paper even here in the White House. You know, it's not free. I've got a grocery bill at the end of every month. You know, our toothpaste, our orange juice, that all gets paid. But it is true that I don't carry my wallet that often," Obama said.

Obama said that he is going to have some catching up to do in terms of how day-to-day things operate. "I'm going to have some catching up to do in terms of how day-to-day things operate," Obama said.

Obama said one thing is certain on January 21, the day after his presidency ends, that he will not set an alarm. "Well, here's one thing is I'm not setting my alarm. That, I'm certain of. That I am absolutely positive of. I'm going to spend time with Michelle. And, you know, we got some catching up to do. We've both been busy," he said. Obama, the first black American president, said he is looking forward to getting out of the bubble.
14:41   All parties in Bihar will join hands for prohibition
Bihar has decided to use three satellites including two of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and one foreign foreign satellite, apart from four trainer aircraft, two helicopters and over 40 drones, to capture the image of the worlds longest human chain on January 21 in support of prohibition in Bihar, officials on Monday said.

"The state government has decided to use all of that to capture the image from four different corners of the state," an official at Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's office told in Patna.

The chain will spread over 11292 km in Bihar to demonstrate public support for prohibition. It will probably be first of its kind event in the country.

A team of ISRO will camp in Patna three days ahead of the event to finalise its modalities to capture the satellite image," officials said.

Explaining the need for imagery from a foreign satellite, officials said taking pictures of such a long human chain would not be possible using only the ISRO satellite in view of its positioning at the time of the event.

Last week, a five-member team of ISRO from Kolkata and Hyderabad visited Bihar and held meetings with state chief secretary Anjani Kumar Singh on.

The proposed human chain will be from east to west and from north to south Bihar that will cover all panchayats, blocks and districts, officials said.

Nearly 2 crore people will take part, holding hands for 45 minutes from 12.15 pm to 1 pm.

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar imposed a total liquor ban in the state since April 5, 2016. After liquor prohibition was enforced more than 16,000 people have been arrested on charges of either consuming or transporting liquor in the state.

The Rashtriya Janata Dal, a major constituent of Bihar's ruling Grand Alliance, on Tuesday decided to support and join Nitish Kumar's proposed human chain to raise awareness about the liquor prohibition issue in the state.

Main opposition the BJP also decided to join hands after Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised Nitish Kumar for his policy of imposing liquor prohibition in Bihar. Later BJP's ally LJP will also join the initiative.

MI Khan in Patna/
Former Afghan president Hamied Karzai's cousin dies after being injured in the Kandahar attack that killed 5 UAE diplomats.
13:43   SAD's snarky congrats to Sidhu
SAD MP Harsimrat Badal reacts to Navjot Singh Sidhu joining the Congress. "Congratulations to Sidhu saab who calls it gharwapasi to go to a party that wrecked a genocide on the Sikh community. Some people have their feet in three boats, sometimes BJP, Congress and why not go ahead a little into Pakistan. Yeh Rahul Gandhi, mujhe lagta hai khud sabse zyada nashe karte honge jo inhe Punjab ke 70% log nashedi lagte hain." 
13:32   Akhilesh did not even have the time to hear me out: Mulayam
High drama at SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav's meeting with party workers. The EC, which reserved its order on the dispute over 'cycle' symbol, has kept both sides guessing with leaders of warring camps exploring various scenarios as little time is left for the process of filing nominations to start for the first phase of the staggered polls in Uttar Pradesh.

Addressing party workers, Mulayam said, "We will accept whatever the Election Commission decides. Maine teen baar Akhilesh ko bulaya par wo ek minute ke liye hi aaye aur meri baat shuru hone se pehle hi chale gaye. Akhilesh did not even have the time to hear me out."

As party workers plead with Mulayam to save the party symbol, Mulayam points out that Akhilesh has not given Muslim candidates tickets and blamed Ram Gopal Yadav for the infighting in the party. "Ram Gopal Yadav has destroyed the party," Mulayam said of his cousin who had been expelled from party last month. 

The politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh is all set to witness a tough fight between the ruling Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party in the upcoming 17th state assembly elections.
13:07   Bangla court sentences 26 to death for Narayanganj killing
Twenty six people, including a former city councillor extradited from India and three senior officers from Bangladesh's elite security force, were today sentenced to death for brutal murders of seven persons in Narayanganj in 2014.
12:56   70-yr-old arrested for smuggling cow dies
A 70-year-old under-trial prisoner, who was arrested for allegedly smuggling cow, died in hospital, police said on Monday.

According to Superintendent Rakesh Singh, Balbir Singh was admitted to hospital after suffering from illness.

However, his family had claimed that Singh was implicated in a false case of carrying cows last month whereas he was taking them for agriculture purposes.

Investigation is on, the officer said.
12:46   HC refuses urgent hearing on plea seeking MHA report on BSF jawan's video
The Delhi high court on Monday refused urgent hearing on a plea seeking a status report from the Ministry of Home Affairs following a Border Security Force soldiers allegation that troopers posted along the Line of Control were being served poor quality food.

The petitioner urged the bench headed by Chief Justice G Rohini, which did not assemble, that the matter be transferred to another bench today itself as it was an 'urgent issue'.

The court master, who was giving dates in the matter, asked the counsel for the petitioner what was the urgency.

"The authorities concerned are looking into the issues (raised in the writ petition). Even the army chief has also taken steps in this regard," the court master said.

To which the counsel for the petitioner requested that at least it be listed for tomorrow.

Agreeing to which, the matter has been fixed for consideration tomorrow.

The plea was filed by Puran Chand Arya, a former central government employee, in the wake of a video posted on Facebook by BSF jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav, claiming corruption among officers and poor working conditions.

The public interest litigation sought direction to the MHA to submit a status report with respect to all paramilitary forces in India over allegations of the BSF jawan in his video, which went viral on social media.
12:27   CISF jawan shoots himself at Bengaluru airport
A Central Industrial Security Force jawan committed suicide at Kempe Gowda Airport in Bengaluru.

Jawan Suresh Gaikwad allegedly committed suicide by shooting himself with his service rifle.

More details awaited.
JUST IN: The Wholesale Price Index inflation for December 2016 inches up to 3.39 per cent, from 3.15 per cent in the previous month. 
12:00   ATM free withdrawals may be halved to just three
If you thought not being able to withdraw as much as you wanted to from ATMs was painful, here's some more worry coming your way. The government is considering a proposal to reduce the free withdrawals by more than half to just three, instead of the nearly 8-10 now, including from banks where one has accounts, reports The Economic Times.

This proposal, floated by bankers, was discussed in the pre-budget consultations with the finance ministry, and the feeling was that this is one of the ways to push digital, said people familiar with the matter.

"A proposal to bring down free ATM transactions to three per month has been discussed with the finance ministry, and this is one of the measures being considered to disincentivise use of cash," a senior banker said on the condition of anonymity.

11:49   1984 riots case: SC directs Centre to file status report
The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Central Government to file a report regarding the status of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.

An apex court bench headed by Chief Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar had fixed the next date of the hearing on February 20.A Delhi Court had on December 21 last year granted anticipatory bail to Congress leader Sajjan Kumar in connection with 1984 anti-Sikh riots case on the condition that he would cooperate with the investigation agency and not leave country without permission.

The Delhi High Court had earlier on November 4 last year rejected Kumar's plea to change the judge hearing the case.

Kumar's case was transferred to the Patiala House Court by the High Court, which directed the district judge to video record the proceedings.

Kumar has been accused of instigating a mob for killing two Sikhs - Sohan Singh and his son Avtar Singh - in Delhi's Janakpuri area on November 1, 1984.
11:23   I am born a Congressman, this is ghar wapasi: Sidhu
Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu addressing a press conference after joining the Congress party yesterday. Highlights...

"I am a born Congressman. My birth was in the Congress. I have  come back to my roots. My father was in the Congress and served the party for 40 years and participated in the freedom struggle. The British ordered that he be shot by the firing squad, but later he was released and went on to become the advocate general of Punjab.

"This is my ghar wapasi. BJP exiled me from my home. This is not a personal fight for Sidhu. This is a fight for the rights of Punjab. Punjab has been turned into a dust bowl. 55 per cent of the population in Punjab are youths. A state which was known for the green revolution is now known for drugs.

The cricketer-turned-politician on Sunday joined the Congress after meeting Rahul Gandhi and the party said it would be "immensely strengthened" in poll-bound Punjab with his presence.

Sidhu, 53, will contest from Amritsar East assembly seat, party leaders said.

Sidhu was earlier member of Lok Sabha from Amritsar and was apparently not happy when in the last Lok Sabha polls, he was replaced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who was subsequently defeated by Amarinder Singh.
11:08   World's eight richest people have same wealth as poorest 50%
The world's eight richest billionaires control the same wealth between them as the poorest half of the globe's population, according to a charity warning of an ever-increasing and dangerous concentration of wealth.

In a report published to coincide with the start of the week-long World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Oxfam said it was "beyond grotesque' that a handful of rich men headed by the Microsoft founder Bill Gates are worth $426bn (350bn), equivalent to the wealth of 3.6 billion people.

The development charity called for a new economic model to reverse an inequality trend that it said helped to explain Brexit and Donald Trump's victory in the US presidential election.

Oxfam blamed rising inequality on aggressive wage restraint, tax dodging and the squeezing of producers by companies, adding that businesses were too focused on delivering ever-higher returns to wealthy owners and top executives.  Read more
11:03   Trump was a 'change candidate', don't underestimate him: Obama
US President Barack Obama has said Donald Trump was a "change candidate" and cautioned people against underestimating the President-elect, even as he acknowledged that it has been an "unusual" transition.

"He was a change candidate," Obama told CBS News in his final interview as the President of the United States. Asked if anyone can change Washington, Obama said, "I think the American people can change Washington."

"But I think that it is not going to change, because somebody from high directs that change. Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, are motivated by all kinds of issues," the 55-year-old outgoing President said.

"They're sincerely interested in the economy, in terrorism, in social issues. But the one overriding thing they're interested in is getting re-elected. And if they think that it's harder for them to get re-elected by cooperating with each other, then they won't cooperate," Obama said. Reflecting on the election campaign, the US President said Trump was clearly able to tap into a lot of grievances. "And he has a talent for making a connection with his supporters that overrode some of the traditional benchmarks of how you'd run a campaign or conduct yourself as a presidential candidate," Obama said of the billionaire-turned-politician, who will be sworn-in on January 20. "What will be interesting to see is how that plays out during the course of his presidency. We are moving into an era where a lot of people get their information through tweets and sound bites and some headline that comes over their phone," he said, in an apparent reference to the series of tweets that Trump writes everyday, which very often are the main source of news. "And I think that there's a power in that. There's also a danger, what generates a headline or stirs up a controversy and gets attention isn't the same as the process required to actually solve the problem," Obama noted. Obama also cautioned political pundits and others who are critical of Trump that they should not underestimate him. "First of all, I think everybody has to acknowledge don't underestimate the guy, because he's going to be 45th president of the United States," he said. "The one thing I've said to him directly, and I would advise my Republican friends in Congress and supporters around the country, is just make sure that, as we go forward certain norms, certain institutional traditions don't get eroded, because there's a reason they're in place," he said.
10:54   Sasikala will be Tamil Nadu CM on January 29
We posted this on Sunday. Should you have missed it, here it is.

Rajeev Sharma tells us: Sasikala Natarajan will take over as Tamil Nadu chief minister on January 29, knowledgeable sources have disclosed.

Why January 29?

One, because it is an auspicious date and Sasikala, like the late J Jayalalithaa, is a stickler to religious beliefs and rituals.

Two, the position of Surya will be firmly in Uttarayan (ascending Sun) from that date as January 27 is Amavasya.

AIADMK cadres have of late stepped up their clamour for Sasikala's elevation as chief minister as it has been the AIADMK's convention that the party leader is also the chief minister if the party happens to be in power.
10:47   Cow only animal that inhales, exhales oxygen: Rajasthan minister
Rajasthan Education Minister Vasudev Devnani has said cow is the only animal that inhales as well as exhales Oxygen. He made the claim while speaking at the Hingonia Goshala during an event organised by Akshay Patra foundation Saturday.

The minister underscored the 'scientific significance' of the cow. "Gai ekmatra prani hai jo oxygen grahan karta hai, aur oxygen his chodta hai (The cow is the only animal that takes in oxygen and also releases oxygen),' he said, adding that "there is a need to understand the scientific significance of the cow and ensure that the message reaches all people''  Read more
10:24   February gold 2% cheaper on duty cut hopes
The MCX February gold contract is quoting Rs 510, or 1.8 per cent, lower than the spot market in Mumbai's Zaveri Bazaar's Friday closing price of Rs 28,890 per 10 gm on expectations of an import duty cut.

Futures prices are usually higher than spot prices because these include a cost for carrying forward positions, but the market is expecting the government will lower the import duty on gold.

The April contract is trading even lower than the February price.With declining imports and a virtual collapse of the black economy, the government might bring the gold duty structure in line with the proposed 4-6 per cent goods and services tax rate for precious metals, a trader said.

He added a duty cut would also deal a blow to smuggling.Arbitrage traders, especially those who have ready bullion, prefer to sell in the spot market now and buy futures. When futures used to fetch a premium, they bought in the spot market and sold on the MCX.

Rajesh Bhayani/Business Standard
10:22   NSA Doval may attend Trump's inauguration
Rajeev Sharma tells us: National Security Advisor Ajit Doval may travel to Washington, DC for Donald Trump's inauguration as US President on January 20.

There is no tradition of the Indian government sending its nominee to attend the inauguration of a US President, however, new conventions may evolve in view of the improved ties between India and the US.

Trump's NSA-designate Michael Flynn had telephoned Doval a month ago after which Doval visited Washington and met Flynn.

The Trump team has invited leaders of several nations, whom Trump considers important to his scheme of things, to attend his inauguration.
These nations include Japan, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Australia.
10:16   Disappearing Gandhi
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi has been a totem for half a century and more. His ideas, even when he was alive, were seen by his peers and protgs as impractical pieties. It is appropriate that the tokenism that surrounds his legacy was taken to its absurd conclusion last week when the Khadi and Village Industries Commission published a calendar that featured a photograph of Narendra Modi sitting at a charkha. The picture provoked hysteria among liberals who read it as an act of insolent appropriation. They were right, but it's more interesting than that.

Read Mukul Kesavan's column for the Telegraph.
10:02   15 feared killed in cargo plane crash in Kyrgyzstan
Just In: A cargo plane on a flight from Istanbul to Bishkek, has crashed near the Kyrgyzstan capital, TASS has reported quoting the press service of the Bishkek airport.   

The crash occurred several kilometres from the Manas airport.   

The plane had an unspecified number crew members on board and Kyrgyzstan said up to 15 people may have been killed in the crash.
09:39   PM-led panel may decide on CBI director today
The selection committee led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet today to decide on the name of next Central Bureau of Investigation director. 

Leader of the Congress party in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjun Kharge, and Chief Justice of India J S Khehar, will also attend the meeting.  

The meeting of the selection committee is expected to finalise the name to head the country's premier investigating agency. Currently Rakesh Asthana, a Gujarat-cadre IPS officer of the 1984 batch, is holding additional charge as the director of CBI. 

Asthana's appointment as the interim chief of the CBI has been challenged in the Supreme Court as after the enactment of the Lokpal Act, the director of the agency has to be appointed by a collegium comprising the prime minister, the Chief Justice of India or his nominee, and the Leader of the Opposition. 
09:35   Child rapist who targeted nearly 500 minors arrested in Delhi
A 38-year-old serial rapist was arrested from Delhi's New Ashok Nagar on Sunday for targeting minors girls aged between seven and 11 years. 

The accused, Sunil Rastogi, who wore the same set of clothes -- a 'red jacket' (which he considered lucky) -- used to come from Uttar Pradesh to Delhi by train and look for lone minor girls, kidnap them to under-construction buildings or isolated locations, rape them and then flee the city.  

The rapist targeted nearly five hundred children over the last 13 years not only in Delhi but even in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.  

According to the police, three cases of child rape and molestation under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act were registered in New Ashok Nagar police station on January 10 and 13. 

Deputy Commissioner of Police Omvir Singh told the media that the accused -- who is a tailor by profession and is married, with children -- is a clear case of paedophile.  

"The accused told police that he used to target minor girls. Whenever he would find any minor girl going home from school, he used to mislead her on the pretext that her father had sent some clothes or some other articles to give her and take her to an isolated place," he said.  

"During interrogation, he confessed that he committed the alleged offences and also revealed he committed similar offences with other girls in New Ashok Nagar, Delhi, Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh), and Rudrapur (Uttarakhand)," he added. Singh said a team was formed to identify the man after another complaint was received on December 13. 

The police scanned the CCTV footage of the area where Rastogi had raped the girls and were able to identify him but his face was not clearly visible. They spoke to the vendors and some of the victims and got a sketch made. They then went door to door with the sketch. 

Finally, the accused was nabbed yesterday.
09:31   Who will ride away on Cycle today -- Mulayam or Akhilesh?
The Election Commission is likely to pronounce its order today regarding the Samajwadi Party factions, one led by party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav and the other by his son Akhilesh Yadav, staking their claims over the party symbol 'Cycle'. 

The three-member poll body, headed by Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi, on Friday heard the arguments put forward by the two factions. 

The commission's order is expected today as the notification for the first phase of the seven-phase assembly elections in the state will be issued tomorrow.  

The Samajwadi Party tussle refuses to subside, with the stalemate between Akhilesh and his father Mulayam Singh Yadav over the post of the party president, not reaching a solution. 

According to sources, Mulayam told Akhilesh to step down from the post saying that he would remain to be the party's face for Uttar Pradesh assembly elections. But, Akhilesh refused the offer saying that he would pass on the baton once the elections are over. 

The sources further stated that the two are likely to meet again to discuss the issue. 
09:21   Swamy says anti-Jallikattu protests inspired from abroad
Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy has alleged that protests organised against Jallikattu have been inspired from abroad and he intends to take the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation in terms of funding of the animal rights organisations.

"As the Tamil Nadu government has successfully suppressed any revolt against the Supreme Court and any indignity caused to the Supreme Court. The next step we should take is to investigate these NGOs like PETA and others and find out what is their source and why are they doing this. I am have strong feeling that this has been inspired from abroad and I intend to collect the information and ask the CBI to investigate into their financing," he said.

Supporting the claim of hosting Jallikattu, Swamy said that he has given a written submission of 23 pages and is waiting for the judgment of the apex court over the issue.

Swamy took on the protestors of Jallikattu and said: "This is a democratic country and we have to abide by the Constitution and all these LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam) types and anti-national people, who want separate Tamil Nadu are the ones who are creating all these problems."
09:11   Supreme Court to hear LGBT plea today
The Supreme Court will hear the curative petition filed by the Naz foundation in the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) matter today. 

In a much-needed reprieve to the LGBT community, the apex court last year referred the matter to a five-judge bench for further hearing on a curative petition challenging its earlier order.  

An apex court bench headed by former chief justice of India T. S Thakur had earlier agreed to hear the curative petition against its December 2013 order upholding the validity of Section 377 of Indian Penal Code and a January 2014 order by which it had dismissed a bunch of review petitions. 

The petitioners include the NGO Naz Foundation, working for the LGBT community. The plea stated that the judgment was reserved on March 27, 2012, but a verdict was delivered after around 21 months; during this period lots of changes took place, including amendment in laws, which were not considered by the Bench, which delivered the judgment.  

Section 377 of IPC criminalises sexual activities "against the order of nature', including homosexual acts.  

A fresh plea filed by celebrities from different walks of life affected by Section 377 was dismissed by the top court in June because of the petitions already pending with another bench.  

The Indian government's stance on LGBTQ rights was made amply clear in the country's refusal to vote in the United Nations Human Rights Commission's resolution to set up the office of an independent expert to end discrimination against the LGBTQ community.
08:30   3 terrorists killed in encounter in Pahalgam
Three terrorists have been gunned down in an encounter with security forces in Pahalgam encounter, Jammu and Kashmir, says the army.

Three AK-47 rifles have been recovered from them.

The encounter broke out yesterday when, acting on specific intelligence input about the presence of unspecified number of militants in Awoora village in Pahalgam area of Anantnag district, security forces launched a search operation in the area, a police official said.

As the forces were conducting the search operation, the hiding terrorists fired at them, he said, adding the security forces retaliated, ensuing in an encounter.

Image for representation only.
08:22   Pramila Jayapal will not attend Trump inauguration
Indian-American Congresswoman from Seattle Pramila Jayapal has announced that she won't attend Donald Trump's inauguration this week, saying the President-elects 'language and actions' undermine America's democracy and its history.

'I did not undertake the decision lightly,' Jayapal said in a statement.

So far two dozen US lawmakers have announced that they are boycotting Trumps inauguration.

'I had hoped in the days following the election that we would see a President-elect who broke from his campaign rhetoric and worked to unite the American people. Instead, we have seen this President-elect continue to use language and take actions that demean our history and our heroes, and undermine our democracy,' she said.

The only lawmaker to oppose Trump's presidential victory confirmation during the joint session of the Congress early this month, Jayapal alleged that his Cabinet appointments underscore the grave threat to the country that his presidency represents.

'Appointments of people such as Steve Bannon, Jeff Sessions and Andrew Pudzer threaten the very fabric of our country and the institutions that these men and women will lead.  The continued promises to create a Muslim registry, to repeal DACA, deport millions of undocumented immigrants, and punish women for abortions, fly in the face of our 7th District values,' she said.

Instead of being in Washington DC attending the swearing-in ceremony of Donald Trump, Jayapal said she would be with her constituents attending a seminar on immigration. -- PTI