Mon, 12 June 2017
Nitish dares BJP to hold polls in Bihar, UP simultaneously

Timeline  Refresh

23:59   Nitish dares BJP to hold polls in Bihar, UP simultaneously
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar accepted the BJP's challenge of holding fresh assembly polls in Bihar and threw down the gauntlet asking it to hold simultaneous election in Uttar Pradesh, besides by-election to Lok Sabha seats held by the NDA members in the two states.

Uttar Pradesh deputy chief minister and BJP leader Keshav Prasad Maurya had yesterday dared Kumar to hold fresh assembly polls by dissolving Bihar assembly if he has "faith in the development work done by his government".

"If you (BJP) have the courage then hold simultaneous polls in UP and Bihar. I don't have any problem. I am ready for it tomorrow if you want it so," Kumar said.

"I am ready (for snap polls) but it should be held along with Uttar Pradesh assembly polls. There should be simultaneous assembly polls in UP and Bihar," he told reporters on the sidelines of a programme.
23:13   Britain's Princess Diana tried to cut her wrists weeks after her wedding
Diana was so unhappy in the few weeks after her fairy tale wedding with Prince Charles that she tried to slash her wrists, according to the transcripts of secret tapes of the popular princess.

The shock revelations were made in a book about her battles with depression, life with Charles and his lover Camilla .

"I was so depressed, and I was trying to cut my wrists with razor blades," The Princess of Wales is quoted as saying.

The "suicide" tapes - are believed to have been recorded in 1991 with the help of a friend - and have remained secret for 20 years. 

Diana in the tapes tells how life became a misery after life in Balmoral during their honeymoon.

"I got terribly, terribly thin. People started commenting: 'Your bones are showing.' By October (1981) I was in a very bad way," she said.

"I was so depressed, and I was trying to cut my wrists with razor blades. It rained and rained and rained. I came down early (to London) to seek treatment, not because I hated Balmoral, but because I was in such a bad way.

"I was so depressed, and I was trying to cut my wrists with razor blades, she was quoted as saying.

She also reveals how she kept looking for Camilla Parker Bowles, her love rival, even as she walked down the aisle at her wedding.

"As I walked up the aisle, I was looking for Camilla. I knew she was in there."
22:46   Trump loses travel ban ruling in appeals court
A second federal appeals court on Monday ruled against President Trumps revised travel ban. The decision, from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, was the latest in a string of court rulings rejecting the administrations efforts to limit travel from several predominantly Muslim countries.

Mondays order by the US Court of Appeals in San Francisco follows a May 25 ruling by a regional appeals court based in Richmond, Virginia, that concluded Trump intended to discriminate against Muslims from the six countries he targeted in his executive order. 

The administration on June 1 asked the nations highest court to let the ban take effect while the justices decide whether to review the Richmond ruling.
22:33   Don't intend to alter food habits, hit businesses: Govt
The government does not want to "alter" the food habits of people and put businesses in this sector to trouble, Union minister Harsh Vardhan said.

His remarks come amid protests over the notification issued by his ministry on the sale of cattle for slaughter at open markets across the country.

"We drafted the rules after the Supreme Court directive. Following this, the notification was put in the public domain for a period of one month.

"Some suggestions came and were incorporated into the rules. Our intention behind issuing the rules is not to alter the food habits of people in anyway. We also do not have any intention of putting businesses of any kind to difficulty," the environment minister said.

The row over beef eating and cattle trade has led to protests in several states, including Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka.
JUST IN: Terrorists hurled UBGL grenade on a CRPF camp in Pulwama's Tral, two CRPF personnel injured, cordon going on in the area.
22:04   Ivanka Trump taken aback by 'level of viciousness' directed at father
US first daughter Ivanka Trump has been surprised by the intensity of negative feeling towards herself and her father, President Donald Trump.

"There is a level of viciousness that I was not expecting," she said during a Fox & Friends interview.

"I was not expecting the intensity of this experience but this isn't supposed to be easy."

Ivanka said, ""Some of the distractions and some of the ferocity I was a little blindsided by on a personal level." 

She added: "I'm trying to keep my head down and not listen to the noise."

Ivanka, who is special advisor to her father said "there's a scrutiny and an interest that exceeds anything I had experienced before."

This week Trump is under extra pressure as he's urged to say whether tapes exist of his conversations between himself and his sacked FBI chief James Comey. 

When asked about Comey, who last week accused Trump of lying, Ivanka said that her father felt "vindicated".

"My father felt very vindicated in all the statements that he's been making, and feels incredibly optimistic."
21:37   India needs free, responsible media: VP Hamid Ansari
Amid a debate on freedom of press, Vice-President Hamid Ansari today said India needs a free and responsible media to hold "power to account" and protect the rights of citizens.

The comments by Ansari come against the backdrop of the recent raids by the Central Bureau of Investigation on the premises of NDTV co-founder Prannoy Roy.

Ansari said a free media is not only beneficial but necessary in a free society and any attack on press freedom would result in jeopardising of citizen's rights.
When faced with unjust restrictions and the threat of attack, self-censorship in the media could have the opposite effect, aiding the covering up of abuses and fostering frustration in marginalised communities, he said.
21:20   Ahead of PM's US visit, Infosys chief Vishal Sikka calls on Jaitley
Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka today met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley amid industry-wide concerns around tighter visa norms in key markets like the US and layoffs in the sector.

The 45-minute meeting, between Jaitley and Sikka accompanied by other top company officials, also assumes significance as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit the US later this month.

Over the past few months, Indian IT companies are confronted with closer scrutiny and tighter visa norms in the US, a market that accounts for nearly 60 per cent of India's IT exports.
20:49   10-member opposition group to meet on prez poll on Wednesday
Leaders of top opposition parties will meet on June 14 in a bid to reach a consensus on a joint candidate for the upcoming presidential election.

The 10-member group set up by the opposition will meet for the first time after its constitution, sources said.

The opposition move on Wednesday's meeting came soon after BJP president Amit Shah announced that a panel of three senior ministers -- Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley and M Venkaiah Naidu -- would talk to allies and other parties on presidential candidates.

Several rounds of talks have already been held among senior opposition leaders on the issue. Congress president Sonia Gandhi has been trying to reach a consensus in the opposition on candidates for the presidential and vice presidential election.

Sources said Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Mallikarjun Kharge represent the Congress in the 10-member group, which also includes other senior opposition leaders such as JD-U's Sharad Yadav, RJD's Lalu Prasad and CPI-M's Sitaram Yechury.

DMK's Rajya Sabha member R S Bharathi, Samajwadi Party's Ram Gopal Yadav, Bahujan Samaj Party's Satish Chandra Misra, TMC's Derek O'Brien and NCP's Praful Patel are also on the panel.
JUST IN: Indiscriminate firing by Pakistan Army along LoC in Krishna Ghati sector
20:36   'Haivaan' prefix to Jesus in Guj Hindi textbook; Nagaland guv shocked
Governor of Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh P B Acharya has expressed shock and dismay over reports that in the class IX Hindi language textbook published by the Gujarat Board, the word 'haivaan' (devil) was used before Jesus Christ.

In a letter addressed to the Governor of Gujarat Om Prakash Kohli today, Governor Acharya said "such mendacious action by irresponsible employees not only hurt the sentiments, but also jeopardise communal harmony."

Acharya, through the letter, also called for stern action and punishment against those responsible, stated a Raj Bhavan release.

In a blunder, a class IX Hindi language textbook published by the Gujarat Board has used the word 'haivaan' (devil) before Jesus Christ, instead of the intended word 'bhagwan' (God) in a passage in one of its chapters, which has triggered protests from the Christian community.

Left embarrassed, officials of the Gujarat State School Textbook Board, the publisher of the textbook, have rectified the blunder in the online version of the book available on their website and removed the controversial word.
20:11   M K Gandhi's granddaughter 'deeply hurt' by Shah's remark
Mahatma Gandhi's granddaughter Tara Gandhi Bhattacharjee today said she was "deeply hurt" by BJP chief Amit Shah's "chatur baniya" remark.

Shah had dubbed Mahatma Gandhi as a "bahut chatur baniya", a reference to his mercantile caste, sparking a political row with the Congress and other opposition parties demanding an apology from him for insulting the Father of the Nation.

"Recently, a senior politician has referred to Mahatma Gandhi as a 'chatur baniya'. As the biological granddaughter of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, my natural reaction is of deep hurt," Tara said in a statement.

"Mahatma Gandhi is the father of the nation. The senior politician should have had the wisdom to refer to Mahatma Gandhi as the greatest visionary of our time," she said. 
19:36   Retail inflation falls to 2.18 per cent in May
Indias retail inflation eased, adding pressure on the central bank to reduce interest rates to support economic growth.

Data released by the Central Statistics Office showed retail price inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index, slowed to 2.18% in May from 2.99% a month ago as food prices started falling from their level a year ago.
19:32   Geelani's son-in-law quizzed again over terror funding
NIA has once again quizzed hardline separatist SAS Geelani's son-in-law Altaf Shah in connection with the probe over terror funding in Kashmir.

He was earlier questioned last Friday for the same issue. Shah was questioned by agency sleuths about the alleged funding of the Geelani-led Tehrek-e-Hurriyat by Pakistani agencies and entities, official sources said. Shahs questioning comes after the agency raided his residence in Srinagar recently and recovered relevant materials during the searches.
18:58   11 Pakistani prisoners released by India
Amid ongoing tension between the two neighbours, India today released 11 Pakistani prisoners and handed them over to authorities of that country at the Wagah border post.

The Pakistani nationals were released after they completed their respective prison terms, official sources said.

The move came days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi exchanged greetings with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Astana.
18:49   6.3 earthquake strikes western Turkey
A strong earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3 has struck near the coast of western Turkey and the Greek island of Lesbos, a European earthquake monitor said.

The epicentre of the quake was located some 84 km northwest of the Aegean coastal province of Izmir, the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre said on its website.

The Greek island of Lesbos has also been rattled. 

It wasn't immediately clear if the quake caused any major damage in Turkey or Greece. Earthquakes are common in both countries. 
18:47   Justify decision to grant Dutt early release: HC to Maha govt
In what could spell fresh trouble for Sanjay Dutt, the Bombay High Court today asked the Maharashtra government to justify its decision to grant the actor early release from prison in the 1993 serial blasts case. Dutt was earlier sentenced to five years in jail for possession of arms, which were a part of the consignment used in the 1993 blasts.

The actor, who was on bail during the trial, had surrendered in May 2013 after the Supreme Court upheld his conviction. Dutt was let out in February 2016, eight months early, on account of his good conduct while in Pune's Yerwada prison.

A division bench of justices R M Sawant and Sadhana Jadhav was today hearing a public interest litigation by Pune resident Pradeep Bhalekar challenging the regular paroles and furloughs granted to Dutt when he was serving his sentence.

The court then directed the state government to file an affidavit stating what parameters were considered and the procedures followed while deciding that Dutt deserved leniency.

"Was the DIG, Prisons, consulted or did the jail superintendent directly send his recommendation to the governor?" Justice Sawant asked. "Also, how did the authorities assess that Dutt's conduct was good? When did they get the time to make such assessment when he was out on parole half the time?" he asked.

The court will further hear the matter after one week. During the investigation and the marathon trial, Dutt spent 18 months in jail. On July 31, 2007, the TADA court in Mumbai sentenced him to six years' rigorous imprisonment under the Arms Act and imposed a fine of Rs 25,000.

In 2013, the Supreme Court upheld the ruling but reduced the sentence to five years following which he surrendered to serve the remainder of his sentence. During his imprisonment, Dutt was granted parole of 90 days in December 2013 and later again for 30 days.
18:01   PM to meet Trump on June 26 in Washington
PM Narendra Modi to visit to the US from June 25, talks with American President Donald Trump on June 26, says the Ministry of External Affairs.

The prime minister will be on a two-day visit  to Washington DC from June 25 after an invitation from US President Donald Trump. The meeting will be PM Modi's first with Trump who took over as the president on January 20.

The meeting between the two leaders who have spoken over the phone at least thrice since the latter assumed office, comes at a time when Trump made critical comments about India while announcing America's decision to pull out of the Paris climate change agreement.

President Donald Trump has accused India and other countries of trying to extract "billions and billions and billions" of dollars in foreign aid from the developed world to sign up for the climate accord.
17:48   Uma Bharti ends 2500-km road trip along the Ganga
Union Minister for Water Resources, Uma Bharti has been on a road trip since May 26 for six days. After her appearance in the Lucknow lower court in the Ram Janmabhoomi case, Uma Bharti began the Ganga Nirikshan Abhiyan covering over 2500 kilometers following the course of the Ganga from Ganga Sagar in West Bengal to Gangotri in Uttaranchal.

She began the journey on May 26 and along the way addressed thousands of people holding Ganga chaupals, meeting officials and interacting with other stakeholders.

Uma Bharti has urged people to refrain from all practices that pollute the Ganga like washing clothes by the banks of the river and dumping solid/liquid waste into the river. Thousands have pledged to keep the river clean.

The minister seldom uses a helicopter as she is scared of its low altitude flying and prefers using a Jeep.

She briefs the Prime Minister soon after the Cabinet meetings are over about her tours and the progress on cleaning of the Ganga.

The Ganga clean-up drive is badly behind schedule with large stretches contaminated by toxic waste and sewage, forcing PM Modi to intervene.

17:08   Maharashtra SSC board results out tomorrow
Maharashtras Secondary School Certificate  exam results 2017  will finally be out on Tuesday, June 13, at 1 pm. You can access the results on by following this link.
17:00   Rahul raps Dikshit: No politician should comment against Army chief
Rahul Gandhi raps party leader Sandeep Dikshit for his comments on Army Chief Bipin Rawat: "No politician should make comments against the Army chief," the Congress vice president said. Dikshit made the remark while responding to a question about the aggressive statements made by Pakistan's Chief of Army staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa. Dikshi had said, "It is expected that Pakistan will make such statements. But it feels bad when our own army chief speaks like a 'sadak ka gunda' (roadside thug)."

16:55   Foreign Correspondents Club distance themselves from NDTV presser
The Foreign Correspondents Club of South Asia has put out a statement dissociating itself from the meeting held in the Press Club of India, New Delhi, on June 9, 2017, in support of NDTV.

The statement says: This is to clarify that the FCC was NOT (sic) involved in the meeting the Press Club of India had organised last week on the NDTV owners problems with the CBI. We are for freedom of the press. However, the I&B ministry and the CBI say the action against NDTV owners has nothing to do with press freedom.

16:42   President Mukherjee gets set to move house
New Delhi is getting sprucing up to receive the next President. There are two places in Delhi which is seeing a flurry of activity.

First stop, Rashtrapati Bhavan. The President's residence is getting ready to receive the next head of state, which will take place on July 25, 2017 at 12:45 pm. Consequently, Military Secretary Major General Anil Khosla is getting all protocol in order.

Second stop, 10 Rajaji Marg. This is will be Pranab Mukherjee's new residence once he demits office. There have been a number of military trucks moving to and from between the two residences, carrying loads of books, beds, and assorted pieces of luggage. The entire move is being overseen by the deputy military secretary to President Mukherjee.

Major General Khosla said that the Blue Book on security is very clear that initially the security drill for the President will remain the same after he moves residences. After monthly reviews, the strength of the security personnel may be pared down considering the threat perception by the Intelligence Bureau and the Military Intelligence.

It is Military Secretary Anil Khosla, who will be a link between the outgoing President and the incumbent President. Khosla's term in the Rashtrapati Bhavan ends in October. Which means, once the new President is elected, Khosla will be part of the new president's retinue.

It is not yet certain, whether Omita Paul, who is Pranab Mukherjee's secretary, will be part of the staff of the new president, or remain
with Mukherjee. The president elect may also appoint a new Secretary before he is sworn in.
16:19   'Power of truth' being replaced by 'truth of power': Rahul
Accusing the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Central Government of silencing the people's voice, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Monday said the 'power of truth' was being completely replaced by the 'truth of power.'

Rahul, who is in Bengaluru today for the first step in the re-launch of the National Herald, a Congress-run newspaper started by former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, said anybody, who tries to stand for the truth is pushed aside by the present government.

"In India, power manufactures the truth and everyone knows what the truth is, but the people are scared to say it. Power of truth is being completely replaced by truth of power. The Government is forcing everyone into silence," he added.

The paper will be published weekly from New Delhi. The online web edition '' has been functional since last year and is being headed by Neelabh Misra as editor.

The print edition of the newspaper was originally launched from Lucknow September 9, 1938, whose editor at that time was Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, but it was later shut down in 2008 due to financial constraints.

The newspaper has been headline after BJP leader Subramanian Swamy filed a case against Congress President Sonia Gandhi , Rahul Gandhi, Congress Treasurer Motilal Vora, Congress leader Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey and Sam Pitroda.
16:15   Cut down on salads, magazines to save costs: AI staff
Removing salads from meals for economy class passengers on international flights and carrying fewer copies of in-flight magazine on board are among the cost-saving tips from the staff of beleaguered Air India. These suggestions were made after Air India CMD Ashwani Lohani exhorted his senior executives to become "aggressive commercially and display a major spurt in revenues".

With government looking at disinvestment and louder calls against committing more taxpayers' money into the carrier, Lohani in a recent internal communication remarked that the airlines' huge debt made him "feel like a loser".

Following the communication, a senior airline official wrote to the CMD with staff feedback, including a cabin crew in-charge, on how salads often go a waste on international flights.

"In my flight today, the CIC (cabin in-charge) was talking to me and suggested some ways to reduce costs. One was that in international flights in Y class (economy class), he found only 20 per cent eating the salad. He felt we must discontinue salad in Y class on international flights," the official said.

Another suggestion was to carry fewer copies of the in-flight magazine in order to reduce the total load, which would help in reducing the fuel costs. "He (CIC) also felt that we must carry only around 25 copies of 'Shubh Yatra' (in-flight magazine) in a flight which can be kept in the magazine racks rather than on every seat to reduce weight," the official wrote to Lohani. Besides, the official's communication has listed various examples of how other airlines resorted to ideas that helped in reducing the overall load. The official said that a domestic budget carrier had decided to do away with curtains in front of the cockpit door and also removed curtain hooks, as part of efforts to bring down the plane's weight and in turn, reduce operational costs. The communication comes at a time when Air India is saddled with more than Rs 50,000 crore debt and the government is looking at ways of revival, including possible privatisation. Many airlines world over are known for coming up with novel ways to cut costs, majority of which is accounted for by fuel bill. A few years ago, a domestic airline decided to employ only female flight attendants on weight grounds. In the 1980s, an American carrier found that if one olive was removed from every salad served to the passengers, it would save up to USD 40,000 a year.
15:49   Meghalaya govt passes resolution aganist Centre's cattle sale ban
Just in: Meghalaya government moves resolution against Centre's cattle sale ban.

The state government has an official resolution on the recent notification of the Centre to ban 'cow slaughter' during the special session of the Meghalaya Assembly on Monday.

The official resolution was passed during the session after a threadbare deliberations by the MLAs in the House. The state government has brought this official resolution since there is strong resentment and opposition from various quarters against the recent notification by the Centre to ban cow slaughter. 
15:18   Cow vigilantes attack truck carrying cows, block highway in Raj
Around 50 cow vigilantes targeted officials of the Tamil Nadu government transporting cows from Jaisalmer to their state, pelted stones at a truck and blocked National Highway 15 on suspicion of cattle smuggling in Rajasthan's Barmer district, police said on Monday.

Four persons have been arrested and action against seven policemen including a police inspector has been taken for allegedly not taking the matter seriously and reaching the spot late last night, a senior police official said.

The officials of the Animal Husbandry Department of Tamil Nadu government had purchased 50 cows and calves from Jaisalmer and were transporting them in five trucks with NOC and all required papers and permission from authorities and police when the cow vigilantes attacked them.
14:57   Told Dikshit not to make controversial remarks: Cong
Cong's RS Surjewala: " We advised Sandeep Dikshit to desist from making any controversial remarks on Army Chief as INC doesn't support such remarks."
14:55   India has made primary education universal, but not good
The world's biggest school system is also one of the worst. Read the report here.
14:31   Is Harish Salve the reason AG Mukul Rohatgi refused extension?
The buzz in the Supreme Court, quite naturally, is about the sudden decision of Attorney General Mukul Rohtagi to refuse an extension of tenure.

Rohatgi has written to the government saying he is not interested in continuing as the country's top law officer and said that while he enjoyed a fantastic relationship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and the bureaucracy he now wants to get back to private practice.

As we write this, the AG is in London for the Champions Trophy.

Rohatgi has served the government well for three years in the Narendra Modi dispensation. Prior to this, he was additional solicitor general in the Vajpayee regime. His friends speculate that the lure of private practice in the Supreme Court, is the reason behind the move and none other. He would therefore want to use his experience and expertise and take up private cases.

At the same time, the gossip is that Rohatgi felt humiliated that he was not sent to argue for India in the International Court of Justice in the Hague. Insteadm the External Affairs Ministry chose Supremce Court lawyer Harish Salve.

Since Rohatgi has not elaborated on the reason behind his refusal to extend his tenure, it's still a matter of speculation. We are waiting for the little birdie to chirp.
14:04   BJP chief forms 3-member committee for prez polls
BJP chief Amit Shah forms three-member committee for consultations with political parties for the upcoming presidential poll. The members of the committee are Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh and Venkaiah Naidu.

Shah had postponed his visit to Arunachal Pradesh today and the party is likely to defer its national executive meeting scheduled for July 15-16 in view of the presidential election.

Shah's presence in the capital is required as the BJP is likely to begin the process of finalising the name of its presidential nominee any time now, a party leader said.

The election to the top constitutional post will be held on July 17. The last date for filing nomination is June 28.

13:53   Hizb-ul-Mujahideen module busted in Handwara, two terrorists arrested
In a major breakthrough, two terrorists were arrested on Monday after the Jammu and Kashmir Police and the Army personnel busted an active Hizb-ul-Mujahideen module in north Kashmir's Handwara in a joint operation.

The Jammu and Kashmir police also confirmed the arrest of the militants.

Earlier this month, a Hizb-ul-Mujahideen module was busted in a joint operation by the Indian Army's 62 Rashtriya Rifles unit and the police force in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir.

The forces busted modules of three Over Ground Workers of the militant organisation.
13:37   States offering farm loan waiver must fund themselves: Jaitley
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, on Monday, said that the states which were keen on farm loan waiver must generate funds from their own resources, reported news agency PTI.

Jaitleys comment comes after Maharashtra government announced a total loan waiver for farmers in the state. According to estimates, the Maharashtra government will have to provide Rs 1.14 lakh crore to waive off the entire loan burden of all 1.36 crore farmers in the state.

However, total loan waiver of marginal and small farmers only amounts to Rs 30,000 crore.

Earlier, the newly-elected BJP government in Uttar Pradesh led by CM Yogi Adityanath had also made the announcement of  waiving off Rs 36,000-crore loan in its first cabinet meet on April 4.

The decision led to similar demands in states like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab.

Jaitley was meeting the heads of PSU banks to discuss the issue of Non-Performing Assets (NPAs).

NPA resolution, finances of banks, review of financial inclusion discussed with heads of public banks, PTI quoted him as saying.
PSBs made stable operating profit of Rs 1.5 lakh crore in 2016-17, net profit at Rs 574 crore after provisioning. Speedy resolution for pending NPA cases required, he added.

The meeting was the first after promulgation of the ordinance amending the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.
13:26   7-star fast drama, says Cong of MP CM's fast
The Congress today said Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan should have met the families of those killed in Mandsaur police firing instead of resorting to the "drama" of going on a "seven-star fast".

Chouhan sat on an indefinite fast on Saturday, appealing for peace to farmers demanding loan waivers and remunerative prices for their produce.

He ended it the next day while announcing a slew of schemes but issued a stern warning to those who engaged in "incendiary activities".

"Rs 5 crore was thrown down the drain in holding the sheer natuanki (drama) and wasteful event of fast by the chief minister. It was a seven-star fast," state Congress president Arun Yadav alleged while talking to PTI.

He claimed that various district collectors arrange buses and people were ferried from different parts of the state to Chouhan's venue, where he sat on a fast to quell the farmers' agitation, at Dussehra maidan here.

Instead of holding the fast, he should have gone to Mandsaur - the epicentre of the farmers' agitation in MP - and comforted the families of the five persons killed in police firing last week, Yadav said. Rather than doing the "nautanki", he should mitigate the problems of farmers, the Congress leader said.
13:08   Adityanath meets PM, third meeting in four months
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath met Prime Minister Narendra Modi today in Delhi, their third official meeting since he took charge of UP in March. Details of the meeting were not known. The Chief Minister had met the Prime Minister on April 9 this year and another meeting with PM Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah on March 21. The meeting took place this morning. 
Sheena Bora case: CBI informs the Special Court that they may challenge the HC order in SC, over 'inadmissible' statement of the driver, Shyamvar Rai. 
13:01   Sharif to appear before Panama Papers probe panel on June 15
Beleaguered Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will appear before the Joint Investigation Team probing the high-profile Panamagate graft case on Thursday to become the first sitting premier of the country to depose before such a panel. Joint Investigation Team chief Wajid Zia, in a letter dated Saturday, asked the prime minister to appear before the six-member probe team at 11.00 am (local time) on June 15 with all documents relevant to the case. The summon was issued to Sharif, 67, after he returned from his Kazakhstan visit where he attended the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit.
Indian Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh summoned by Pakistan over alleged cross border firing.
12:46   President Trump to host PM on June 25-26
At the invitation of U.S. President Donald Trump, Prime Minister Modi will visit Washington DC on June 25-26.

It will be Prime Minister Modi's first meeting with President Trump, whose presidency began on January 20 . The two leaders have spoken over phone at least thrice since the latter assumed office.

This meeting comes at a time when Trump made critical comments about India while announcing America's decision to pull out of the Paris climate change agreement. President Donald Trump has accused India and other countries of trying to extract "billions and billions and billions" of dollars in foreign aid from the developed world to sign up for the climate accord.

In spite of the difference on some issues, Modi's discussions with Trump are likely to find a common approach on matters related to South Asia, particularly the rise in infiltration from the neighbouring Pakistan, terrorism and India's case for a seat at the nuclear supplier's group.

Modi has reiterated India's support to the Paris agreement and said he is willing to go further than what has been committed under the Paris accord.
12:38   Sonia must apologise for 'sadak ka gunda' statement, says enraged BJP
BJP's Nirmala Sitharaman weighs in on the Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit's remarks against Army chief General Bipin Rawat by calling him a "sadak ka gunda".

Dikshit made the remark while responding to a question about the aggressive statements made by Pakistan's Chief of Army staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Sitharaman held a press conference today to condemn the remark saying, "Sadak ka gunda! Is that a language a senior politician uses against our Army Chief? I wonder if there is a strategy by the Congress to undermine the Indian Army," she said.

She said the Congress party consistently questioned the integrity of the Indian army to shame and demoralize them.

She said the Congress leadership must apologise. "Why is Sonia Gandhi silent? We condemn the Congress and demand that Sonia Gandhi come out and disown the leader insulting the army. They must apologise," she said.

Dikshi had said, "It is expected that Pakistan will make such statements. But it feels bad when our own army chief speaks like a 'sadak ka gunda' (roadside thug)."

Union minister Kiren Rijiju tweeted, "What's wrong with Congress Party? How dare Congress call Indian Army Chief as 'Sadak Ka Gunda'!"

Dikshit later issued an apology and clarified that his statement was his personal opinion and did not reflect the beliefs of the Congress party.

"I genuinely believe what I said was wrong. So I apologize for it and withdraw my statement," the senior Congress leader told ANI.
11:59   BJP's Sambit Patra falls for 'fake news' on social media yet again
Re-tweeted a story by Times of Islamabad on Make in India, the website credited NDTV instead of IE. Read more
11:51   Declare NEET medical exam results, says SC in much-awaited order
Paving the way for declaration of NEET examination results, the Supreme Court today stayed the Madras High Court's interim order restraining publication of the results for admission to MBBS and BDS courses. The apex court also directed the authorities concerned to proceed with the process of declaration of results, subsequent counselling and admission as per the schedule fixed by it earlier.

However, a vacation bench of Justices P C Pant and Deepak Gupta said the declaration of results as well as the subsequent counselling and admission will be subject to the decision of the apex court in the matter pending before it.

The bench also requested all the high courts not to entertain petitions in the matters relating to the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) examination 2017.

The order came on the plea by the (CBSE) and others challenging the May 24 order of the Madras High Court which had restrained the Board from publishing the results of NEET examination 2017 in which around 12 lakh aspirants had appeared.
11:37   Panneerselvam dissolves 7-member panel for holding merger talks
Former Tamil Nadu chief minister O Panneerselvam has dissolved the seven-member panel that he appointed for holding merger talks between two rival AIADMK groups, ending any hope of immediate unity within the party.

He took the decision late last night, local media reports said after a meeting party functionaries in Chennai.

The Panneerselvam-led AIADMK faction has been demanding a probe by the CBI into the death of of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa.

It also sought the removal of AIADMK chief VK Sasikala and her family members, including Deputy General Secretary TTV Dinakaran, from the party as preconditions for merger talks to go ahead.

Since no visible progress was seen on these issues, it was decided by the Panneerselvam faction to call off merger talks for the time being.
11:32   First bullet, then fast! Sena slams ally BJP after Mandsaur deaths
Saamna, the Shiv Sena mouthpiece, has slammed Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan over the recent Mandsaur fiasco.

In an editorial titled 'First bullet, then fast,' Saamna outlined the tense situation that has engulfed the Mandsaur district of Madhya Pradesh for last few days.

"Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister is following the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi. Shivraj ji was deemed as the idle chief minister. Despite of welfare policies for farmers, women and common people, the farmers staged protest and five lost their lives," the article reads.The Shiv Sena, however, said neither Chouhan disregarded the farmers protest nor played any politics by calling the agitation as anti-social act.

The article further recalled the double standard of the BJP when Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called for a strike recently."Recently, the BJP criticised the Delhi Chief Minister for staging protest against the Centre. He was advised to solve public's issue instead of staging protest," the Shiv Sena said.

"This same applies to Chief Minister Chouhan, who is following the ideology of Mahatma Gandhi by going on fast. Is it possible to solve everyone's problem by adopting Gandhi's ideology? First they fire bullets, then sit on fast ," it added.

The Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister yesterday ended his fast which was started on June 10 amid raging farmers' protests in the state.

Chouhan went on the fast in a bid to restore peace in the state which recently witnessed turbulence because of the violent protest staged by the farmers demanding better prices for their produce and also a waiver on loan repayments.
11:26   Is this the final straw for CEO Travis Kalanick?
How being 'coin-operated' at Uber led to a top exec obtaining the medical records of a rape victim in India. Read more
10:38   Monday blues spook markets
The Sensex picked up cues from a lacklustre Asia as it stumbled 156 points today in the beginning of the week after investors started to take profit ahead of key IIP and inflation numbers due later in the day.   

Asian shares traded in the negative territory after polls in the UK threw up a hung parliament and markets await the results of the first round of France's parliamentary elections.   

The 30-share index plunged by 155.91 points, or 0.49 per cent, to 31,106.15.   

The gauge had gained 48.70 points in the previous session on Friday.   Sectoral indices such as technology, IT, capital goods, bank, PSU, power, auto, oil and gas tripped, falling by up to 0.62 per cent. 

Major IT players felt the heat as Wipro, TCS and Infosys slid by up to 2.08 per cent.   National Stock Exchange's Nifty too retreated by 45.35 points, or 0.46 per cent, to 9,622.90.
10:19   London terror attack: 19-year-old arrested in raids
A 19-year-old boy has been held by detectives probing the London Bridge attack, on suspicion of preparing terrorist acts following a raid in Barking, east London.

The Scotland Yard has confirmed the arrest, which brings the total to 21 arrests in the case.

Meanwhile, detectives from the Metropolitan Police's counter-terrorism command are searching for another suspect in Barking where a 28-year-old man was arrested on Saturday, reports Guardian.

A total of seven men are in custody after the June 3 attack that left eight dead and dozens wounded. Twelve people who were arrested in the initial stages were released without charges.

A 27-year-old arrested under the Terrorism Act on Tuesday was also released without a charge on Saturday. 
10:11   Congress to relaunch National Herald in Bengaluru today
The Congress will relaunch the National Herald newspaper, which was founded by former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, in Bengaluru today.

Vice President Hamid Ansari will launch a commemorative edition of the National Herald to mark the 70th year of Independence, in the presence of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi at Ambedkar Bhavan on Millers Road in Bengaluru.

This event will be followed by an official launch of the edition and formal print re-launch of the newspaper in New Delhi on June 20 by President Pranab Mukherjee.

The paper will be published weekly from New Delhi.

The online web edition has been functional since last year and is being headed by Neelabh Misra as editor.

The print edition of the newspaper was originally launched from Lucknow September 9, 1938. Nehru was the editor of the publication. 

The paper was later shut down in 2008 due to financial constraints.
09:51   Women employees of Gurgaon pub thrash molester
Women employees of a pub in Gurgaon beat up an alleged molester with slippers in full public view, a video of which has gone viral on social media.   

The incident occurred on MG Road on Saturday night. A man in an inebriated condition approached a woman employee of a pub and misbehaved with her.   

Soon after, some of her colleagues rushed to her rescue and started thrashing him with slippers.   

Eyewitnesses alleged there was no policeman around when the incident took place.   

"We have deployed male and female constables in civil dress to take action against miscreants. We have issued strict directions to police personnel to file an FIR forthwith if the victim approaches police," Manish Sehgal, ACP and PRO of Gurgaon police, said.
09:49   Curfew lifted in Mandsaur, Sec 144 in place
Curfew has been completely lifted from Madhya Pradesh's Mandsaur district, the epicentre of a violent stir by farmers, as the situation there remained peaceful on Sunday.   

Curfew was lifted from all three police station areas of Mandsaur city, but was in place in Pipliamandi police station area, which is 15 km from Mandsaur district headquarters and where five farmers were killed in separate police firings during the agitation.   

The curfew from 8 pm to 8 am has been lifted although prohibitory orders under CrPC section 144, which bans the mbly of more than four persons, will remain in force, additional collector of the district Arjun Singh Dabar said.
09:46   I&B ministry official's car with home ministry sticker stolen in Delhi
A car belonging to an official of the information and broadcasting ministry, bearing a home ministry sticker, was allegedly stolen from west Delhi's Hari Nagar, the police said.   

The car, belonging to Harcharan Kaur, was stolen when she had come to visit her relatives in Hari Nagar along with her husband on Saturday night, they said.   

While leaving their relative's residence, she found the vehicle to be missing and informed the police about it.   

It was Kaur's personal car and the sticker was pasted as she was working in the information and broadcasting ministry.   

The police said they are scanning CCTV footage from the area to identify the accused, and other security agencies have been informed about the theft.
09:42   Macron's party heads for huge majority in French parliament
French president Emmanuel Macron's new centrist party is heading towards an assured overwhelming majority in parliament, after exit polls showed it topping the poll with 32% in the first round on Sunday.  

Macron's La Republique En Marche (Republic on the Move) -- which was set up only more than a year ago -- could go from zero to as many as 430 seats in the 577-seat French national assembly, which could be one of the biggest majorities in post-war France, reports the Guardian newspaper. 

On the other hand, Marine Le Pen's far-right Front National, which came second in the presidential election with 10.6m votes, was projected to win between three and 11 seats -- with about 14% of the vote, which the party said was "disappointing".  

Macron needs a solid majority if he is to put in place his plans to loosen France's extensive labour laws and change the French welfare system on pensions and unemployment benefits.
09:35   May appoints new Cabinet, Priti Patel retains portfoloio
Theresa May has appointed her close ally Damian Green as her first secretary of state  while Priti Patel remained the senior-most Indian-origin Cabinet minister as the embattled British premier unveiled her new Cabinet after shock election results forced her to form a minority government.   

Patel holds on to her position as the senior-most Indian-origin Cabinet minister and will remain in charge as the secretary of state for international development in the new government, which May said will focus on delivering a successful Brexit.   

Prime Minister May said the new line-up brought in "talent from across the whole of the Conservative party".
09:14   Amit Shah defers Arunachal visit to kickstart preparation for Prez poll
BJP president Amit Shah has postponed his visit to Arunachal Pradesh and the party is likely to defer its national executive meeting scheduled for July 15-16 in view of the presidential election.
Shah's presence in the capital is required as the BJP is likely to begin the process of finalising the name of its presidential nominee any time now, a party leader said.

The BJP president was to leave for the northeastern state today.
The election to the top constitutional post will be held on July 17. The last date for filing nomination is June 28.
There could be a meeting of senior party leaders in New Delhi, he said, giving the reason for postponing Shah's Arunachal Pradesh trip.
If the opposition too puts up a candidate, which is very likely considering the ongoing talks among top leaders of the Congress, the Left, among others, a contest will be inevitable.
The BJP leader said there was no point in keeping the national executive meeting scheduled for July 15-16 in Andhra Pradesh, as the presidential election is scheduled for July 17.
He noted that the executive meeting was fixed long before the Election Commission announced the presidential poll schedule.
The nomination process will begin from June 14 with the issuance of a notification and the counting of votes will take place on July 20 in New Delhi.
08:33   Pak violates ceasefire along LoC in Krishna Ghati sector
The Indian Army on Monday retaliated to an indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatics and mortars initiated by the Pakistan Army.

The firing from across the Line of Control reportedly began at around 06:20 am in Jammu and Kashmirs Krishna Ghati sector.  

On Sunday, Pakistani has resorted to firing and shelling on forward posts along LoC and International Border in Rajouri and Samba districts of Jammu and Kashmir, prompting Indian troops to retaliate. 

Fourteen terrorists trying to infiltrate into India from across Line of Control have been killed as infiltration attempts witnessed a dramatic rise since last Thursday. 

The army said multiple infiltration attempts have been foiled near the LoC in Machil, Nougam, Uri and Gurez sectors of Jammu and Kashmir.