Sat, 04 March 2017
Decision on Ram Temple construction 'within a week': Togadia

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21:13   Decision on Ram Temple construction 'within a week': Togadia
VHP leader Praveen Togadia Saturday hinted at the Hindutva outfit contemplating some move for the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, claiming a decision on the issue may be taken "within a week". 

"Karenge (we shall do something)," VHP International President Togadia replied when asked if VHP would take steps for the construction of Ram Temple owing to indifferent attitude of union government on the issue.

"Decision for the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya may be taken within a week," he said when asked why the temple construction has been put in abeyance despite a powerful BJP-led government at the centre. 

"Decision can be taken within one hour, after calling special session of the Parliament," he stated adding the process does not require even a week.
21:11   Photo of Hillary reading news Pence used AOL email goes viral
A photograph of former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton looking at a newspaper headline about vice-president Mike Pence using private email has gone viral on social media, with thousands of people commenting on it.

On Friday, Clinton was on a plane traveling from Boston to New York when a fellow passenger snapped a photo of her glancing down at Friday's USA Today front page headline: "Pence used personal email in office."

Pence and others involved in the Republican presidential campaign last year criticized Clintons use of a private email server during her time as secretary of state.

Donald Trump and his running mate regularly said Clinton broke the law and endangered national security, complaints that led supporters at rallies to chant "Lock her up!"

Trump also threatened to send Clinton to jail if he won, a threat he has subsequently dropped.
20:36   Protesters snatch CRPF jawan's rifle in Kashmir clash
A service rifle of a CRPF jawan on duty was today snatched allegedly by unidentified people during a clash between security forces and protesters in south Kashmir's Pulwama district, police said. 

A group of youth indulged in stone-pelting on police and paramilitary forces at bus stand in Tral, 33 kms from Srinagar, on Saturday afternoon after security forces launched a cordon and search operation at Hafoo-Zameenpora village following information about presence of militants, a police official said.

He said security forces deployed in the area chased the protesters resulting in a clash which was still continuing when last reports were received.

Although there was no report of any casualty in the clashes, the official said an INSAS rifle of a CRPF jawan was reportedly snatched and taken away by some youth.

A hunt has been launched to recover the stolen weapon, the official said.
20:30   Former MP Syed Shahabuddin dies
Former three-time MP and diplomat Syed Shahabuddin died on Saturday at a private hospital in Noida, UP. He was 82.

"He passed away at 5:22 AM at the hospital where he was admitted two weeks ago after he suffered from some pulmonary complications. He was not keeping well for the last few months," a family member said. 

Shahabuddin, born in Ranchi in 1935, was buried in Delhi after last rites. 

He had joined Indian Foreign Service in 1958 and served as a Vice Consul and Consul in New York from 1959-61. 

Vice President Hamid Ansari condoled his demise, saying, he was a man of "deep convictions" and pursued issues that were dear to him with "great tenacity and determination." 

"I am deeply saddened to learn of the demise of renowned political leader, scholar, diplomat and former Parliamentarian Syed Shahabuddin.

"Syed Shahabuddin was a friend and his passing away is a personal loss. A man of deep convictions, he pursued issues that were dear to him with great tenacity and determination. He will be remembered for his tireless work towards a more inclusive, less corrupt democracy in India," he said. 

He was a Rajya Sabha member from Bihar during 1979-84 and a Lok Sabha member (Kishanganj) from 1985-89 and 1991-96.

Shahabuddin was enrolled as an advocate in the Patna High Court and the Supreme Court. He served as Joint Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs from 1975-78. He also served as India's ambassador to Algeria and Mauritania.
20:11   Maharashtra set to regulate web-based taxi services
Maharashtra government today decided to regulate the web-based taxi services in the state to ensure affordable travel for commuters. 

Transport Minister Diwakar Raote told reporters that Maharashtra City Taxi Regulations 2017 will be implemented in the state.

He said web-based taxis like Ola, Uber, Taxi for Sure were operating in big cities.

"There were complaints that taxi fares were charged as per demands of commuters and supply of the taxi services. Due to this during peak hours, taxi fares were exorbitant," Raote said.

"Due to this decision, fares of web-based taxi services will be regularised. Apart from GPS/GPRS system in the vehicle and with the driver, there will be a display of
the route and fare to be recovered for the same. This move will help to bring transparency in the tariffs," he said. 

"As per the new regulation, the service provider will have to register in the city where he wishes to operate the taxi service," said the minister.

"These taxi services will have separate permits and will be air-conditioned. They will run on clean fuel. The black and yellow taxis can also upgrade to air-conditioned and register as app-based service," he added. 

"However, they will not be allowed to shift back again to meter system. It is mandatory to give the commuters a bill for the payment made. Government will formulate the maximum and minimum fare. The fares will be different for small taxis, medium luxury taxis and large taxis," said Raote. 
19:46   Pak apprehends around 70 fishermen off Gujarat; 3rd case this year
The Pakistan Maritime Security Agency today seized 10 to 12 boats with around seventy fishermen on board in the Arabian sea off the Gujarat coast, a fishermen's association said. 

"The fishermen who manged to escape informed us that PMSA seized 10 to 12 boats with some 70 fishermen on board," said Manish Lodhari, secretary of National Fishworkers Forum.

The boats were seized near the International Maritime Boundary Line, he said, adding that these boats were mostly from Okha and Mangrol on Gujarat coast. 

PMSA had seized two boats off Gujarat coast earlier this week and apprehended 11 fishermen. In the last week of January, it had seized six boats and apprehended 36 fishermen. 
19:41   RSS leader, who offered a crore for Kerala CM's head, booked
Police have registered an offence against RSS leader Kundan Chandravat, who had announced a bounty of Rs 1 crore for beheading the Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. 

Meanwhile, the RSS has also stripped Chandravat of the post of Ujjain Mahanagar Sah Prachar Pramukh (joint chief of publicity).

Ujjain district Superintendent of Police Manohar Verma said, "We booked Chandravat yesterday under IPC section 505 (1) (B) (whoever makes any statement with intent to cause, or which is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public, or to any section of the public whereby any person may be induced to commit an offence against the State or against the public tranquility)." 

Madhav Nagar Police Station Inspector Mahendra Singh Parmar said the accused has not been arrested yet. 

RSS senior state functionary Prakash Shastri said in a statement issued today, "Chandravat has been stripped of the duties of Mahanagar sah prachar pramukh."

Chandravat, in a meeting held here recently, had announced the bounty to avenge the killing of RSS workers in Kerala, allegedly by CPI-M workers.

His speech sparked an uproar, drawing condemnation from the RSS, the CPI(M) and the Congress two days ago. In a video, which went viral, Chandravat could be purportedly seen saying that Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is behind the killing of RSS workers there and he will pay Rs 1 crore to anyone who beheads him and brings his (Vijayan's) head to him. 
18:54   Modi violated model code by holding Varanasi road show: Cong
The Congress today alleged Prime Minister Narendra Modi had violated the model code of conduct by holding a road show in Varanasi without permission of poll authorities and asked the Election Commission to take action against the Prime Minister and other senior BJP leaders. 

In a letter to the EC, the Congress alleged that Modi took out the road show in Varanasi from BHU (Banaras Hindu University) "without the necessary permission from the
competent authority". 

"It is requested that action may be taken and FIR registered against all BJP leaders including Narendra Modi who were part of the road show," said K C Mittal, AICC secretary incharge of legal and human rights cell. 

The opposition party said the entire video recording of the road show has been shown by various channels and election authorities must also have recorded the same.

Mittal said the road show covers three assembly seats of Varanasi South, Varanasi Cantt and Varanasi North and Modi also visited the Kashi Vishwanath Temple and Kaal Bhairo Temple during the event. 

"All this was done without any requisite permission for conducting the road show from the competent authority of the Election Commission," Mittal said.
Approximately 57.03% polling in phase 6 of Uttar Pradesh elections
Approximately 57.03% polling in phase 6 of Uttar Pradesh elections
18:06   After Kejriwal and Parrikar, UP CM asks voters to accept money
Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav is the latest addition to the list of leaders who have asked the electorate to take money from other outfits but cast vote for their respective parties. 

"I (have) heard that voters are being given money. My advice to you is to keep the money and vote for the bicycle," he said at an election meeting in Bhadohi, UP on Saturday.

'Bicycle' is the election symbol of the Samajwadi Party.
Last month, the Election Commission had served Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar a notice over allegations that during an poll speech in Goa, he had said " vote him by taking Rs 2000 from someone. It is okay, somebody will hold a rally, there is no objection, someone roams there with Rs 500. But vote shall be for lotus...".

The EC, which took cognisance of the matter, had asked Parrikar to be more circumspect and careful while making any statement in future when the Model Code of Conduct is in place.
17:41   How Uber deceives the authorities worldwide
Uber has for years engaged in a worldwide program to deceive the authorities in markets where its low-cost ride-hailing service was resisted by law enforcement or, in some instances, had been banned.

The program, involving a tool called Greyball, uses data collected from the Uber app and other techniques to identify and circumvent officials who were trying to clamp down on the ride-hailing service. Uber used these methods to evade the authorities in cities like Boston, Paris and Las Vegas, and in countries like Australia, China and South Korea.

Greyball was part of a program called VTOS, short for violation of terms of service, which Uber created to root out people it thought were using or targeting its service improperly. The program, including Greyball, began as early as 2014 and remains in use, predominantly outside the United States. Greyball was approved by Ubers legal team.

Read more HERE
17:40   Bollywood actress claims harassment, FIR registered
A Bollywood actress and former Miss India on Friday filed a complaint of sexual harassment at the Bangur Nagar Police Station in Mumbai.

In her complaint, the actress said that she has been receiving obscene phone calls and videos from an unidentified person for a long time.

The police has filed an FIR under sections 354 of the Indian Penal Code.
17:36   BJP won't contest for BMC mayor, says Fadnavis after Sena's move
We will not put up a candidate for Mayor or Deputy Mayor for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis announced on Saturday.

This comes just hours after the Shiv Sena announced its candidates for the posts in the BMC, where the elections resulted in a hung house.

The announcement of the candidates by Shiv Sena for the election slated for March 8 indicates that the party is not willing for a post-poll alliance with the BJP.

Vishvanath Mahadeshwar will be Shiv Sena's candidate for the Mayor's post and Hareshwar Worlikar is Deputy Mayor nominee, senior Sena leader Anil Parab said.

Neither the Sena, which emerged as the single largest party with 84 seats, nor the BJP, a close second with 82 corporators, has enough numbers to touch the half-way mark in 227-member council. 

However, the party with the highest number of corporators can get its candidates elected for the two posts so long as other parties do not come together and put up joint candidates.
17:02   Dimple joins Akhilesh and Rahul at Varanasi roadshow
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday held a roadshow in Varanasi on the sidelines of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit. 

The Samajwadi Party-Congress roadshow began from 'Kachehri chauraha' area and will culminate at the 'Girjaghar chauraha'. 

Akhilesh's wife Dimple Yadav too is part of the roadshow

49.57 percent polling reported in sixth phase till 3 pm
16:34   Govt aiming for July 1 rollout of GST: Jaitley
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley addressed the media after the GST Council meeting in New Delhi. Here's what he said:

"State GST law has to be passed in state assemblies, legal committee will finalise it in next 3 days & circulate to states."

"July 1 looks possible for rollout of GST; cap rate will be kept at a higher rate; applied rate will be 5, 12, 18, 28 per cent."

"UT-GST along with SGST will be on lines of CGST law; GST Council to consider them at March 16 meeting" 

"CGST, IGST and UT-GST law to be taken to Parliament in the second half of Budget session beginning March 9."

The GST Council meeting broadly agreed on the contours of two key legislations -- CGST and IGST -- but a final approval is likely only by mid-March. Jaitley met his state counterparts and discussed the GST legislation to be adopted by Union Territories, but there was no discussion with regard to the State GST Bill. 

 "As many as 26 changes sought by the states have been accepted by the Centre. This shows the federalist character of India. CGST and IGST will come up for further discussion at the next meeting of the Council in mid-March," West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra said.
16:23   Iran tests sophisticated Russian-made air defence system
Iran successfully test-fired a sophisticated Russian-made air defence system, the official IRNA news agency reported today. 

The report said the test of the S-300 system came during a recent military exercise named Damvand, the name of Iran's highest mountain.

It said the test targeted various flying objects including missiles. With a range of up to 200 kilometers (125 miles) the S-300 is capable of simultaneously tracking and striking multiple targets. 

Russia delivered the S-300 system to Iran in 2016, nearly 10 years after the initial contract had been signed. Iran signed the $800 million contract to buy the S-300 missile system in 2007, but Russia suspended their delivery three years later because of strong objections from the United States and Israel.
16:21   OPS faction hails EC rejecting reply on Sasikala's elevation
The O Panneerselvam faction today welcomed the Election Commission rejecting AIADMK's response on the election of V K Sasikala as its General Secretary as the letter was signed by her nephew T T V Dinakaran, saying it was their "first victory." 

"This is a victory for justice. It is our first victory," Panneerselvam aide and  former minister K Pandiarajan said. 

The Election Commission had yesterday rejected the response of the AIADMK on the elevation of Sasikala, saying Dinakaran, who signed the letter, was not in its list of party office bearers. 

The EC had asked Sasikala to either sign the response herself or by an authorised signatory who is in the Commission's list of AIADMK office bearers and send it again
by March 10. 

"... Dinakaran (Sasikala's nephew, who was hurriedly reinducted into the party and nominated AIADMK deputy general secretary) is not an office bearer of your party as per the Commission's record... The reply should either be submitted under your own signature or you may duly authorise somebody to do so on your behalf," EC had said.
15:18   Kerala priest's rape of minor girl: 5 nuns among eight booked
Eight people, including five nuns, have been booked for their role in hiding facts related to the alleged rape of a minor girl by a vicar of a church in Kannur district of Kerala.

The in-charge of the private hospital at Kuthuparamba in the district, where the 16-year-old girl gave birth to a boy on February 17, and two others, besides the nuns, have been booked under non-bailable sections of POCSO Act and Juvenile Justice Act, Peravoor Circle Inspector, Sunilkumar, who is the investigating officer in the case, said today. 

A report has also been submitted to the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights and Kannur district police superintendent against the Chairman and a member of the Child Welfare Committee of Wayanad district for hiding facts in the case, he said.

The report recommends action against them for concealing details of the newborn from the authorities. 

Based on a complaint lodged by the victim's mother with the Childline that Fr Robin alias Mathew Vadakkancheril had "sexually exploited" her daughter last year, the vicar was arrested on February 28.
15:10   Most of the crowd for BJP, SP-Cong are onlookers: Mayawati
Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati is addressing a rally in Varanasi.

Highlights of her speech:

* People are very angry with Samajwadi Party and BJP.

* PM can go to any temple and get all ministers, but will not win here

* In roadshows of both BJP and SP-Congress today in Varanasi, most of the crowd are onlookers

* People have been called from neighbouring Bihar and Madhya Pradesh for the roadshows.

* BJP and Samajwadi Party-Congress fighting for the second and the third place.

* You can get the media limelight for a while with the crowds, but they can't vote for you. The voters are here in front of me. 

* The people of UP have made up their mind to give BSP a majority government.

14:41   No rules were bent on appointment of Geelani's grandson: SKICC
No rules were bent for the appointment of separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani's grandson as research officer, an autonomous body of Jammu and Kashmir's Tourism department said in Srinagar today. 

Reacting to media reports in a national daily today, the spokesman for Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre said proper selection procedure was followed in the appointment.

The post for the research officer was advertised on October 3 last year for which 196 applications were received. Out of these, interview letters were sent out to 35 candidates, he said. 

The interviews for the post were held in November last following which Anees-ul-Islam, grandson of Geelani was selected.

Anees had topped the merit list prepared by the five-member interview panel, the spokesman said.
14:07   USCIS to suspend premium processing for H-1B petitions for 6 months
Starting April 3, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services will temporarily suspend premium processing for all H-1B petitions. This suspension may last up to 6 months

While H-1B premium processing is suspended, petitioners won't be able to file Form I-907, request for premium processing service for Form I-129 or petition for a non-immigrant Worker which requests the H-1B non-immigrant classification.

According to the USCIS, this temporary suspension was necessitated by the need to reduce the overall H-1B processing time. 

"By temporarily suspending premium processing, we will be able to process long-pending petitions, which we have currently been unable to process due to the high volume of incoming petitions and the significant surge in premium processing requests over the past few years; and prioritize adjudication of H-1B extension of status cases that are nearing the 240 day mark," it said in a release.

Read the full notification HERE
13:04   Jordan hangs 15 convicts at dawn, most in years: minister
Jordan hanged 15 death row prisoners at dawn today, Information Minister Mahmud al-Momani said, in a further break with the moratorium on executions it had observed between 2006 and 2014. 

Ten of those put to death had been convicted of terrorism offences and five of crimes including rape, Momani told the official Petra news agency.

All were Jordanians and they were hanged in Suaga prison south of the capital Amman. 
Sculptor Udit Jain arrested by Mumbai DRI in smuggling ancient sculptures & old paintings case.
12:54   Family of Kerala soldier, who alleged harassment, refuse to accept his body
Relatives of Roy Mathew, the army man found dead in Nashik camp, refused to accept his body on Saturday and demanded that the postmortem be done again.

"Many questions are unanswered. The body is beyond recognition. And the officials who accompanied the body refused to show it to even close relatives including the wife of the deceased," one of Mathews relatives told the Hindustan Times when the body arrived in Thiruvananthapuram.

Mathew, a gunner in the Indian Army, was found dead near his camp in Nashik on Thursday, a few days after he accused senior officers of harassment in an interview. The programme was aired on Monday.

Although the army said it was a case of suicide, family members of 33-year-old Mathew said they suspected foul play. They are demanding an investigation into the circumstances leading to his death.
12:03   Chopper scam: 2 associates of middleman Christian James get bail
A Patiala House Court on Saturday granted bail to two Indian associates of alleged middleman Christian Michel James in connection with the R. 3600 crore VVIP AgustaWestland Chopper scam.

Earlier in February, the Delhi High Court had adjourned the hearing over the Central Bureau of Investigation's (CBI) bail cancellation plea against former Indian Air Force (IAF) chief S.P. Tyagi and others in the Agusta Westland case till March 15.

On January 4, a CBI special court granted bail to the former air chief's cousin Sanjeev Tyagi and his lawyer Gautam Khaitan.

The court had then directed Sanjeev and Khaitan not to contact any witnesses and not to leave the National Capital Region (NCR) without prior permission.

The court had earlier granted bail to the 72-year-old former air chief, citing the CBI had failed to state the alleged bribe amount and the day it was paid.
Latest update on Manipur polls: 43% voting recorded till 11 am in the first phase.
11:21   UP polls: PM Modi holds roadshow in Varanasi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has arrived in Varanasi as the sixth phase of the Uttar Pradesh polls is underway in 49 assembly seats.

Currently, Modi is holding a roadshow in his Lok Sabha constituency. Later, He will offer prayers at the Kashi Vishwanath temple and Kaal Bhairab temple.

Modi will then leave for the Kashi Vidyapith University where he is scheduled to address his first public meeting in the ancient temple city during the ongoing assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.

It's not only Modi but Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, Rahul Gandhi and BSP supremo Mayawati will descend on Varanasi today making it their battleground ahead of the last phase of Uttar Pradesh polls, a schedule that has put the administration on its toes.
11:09   GST Council to meet today to clear crucial bills
People dealing with small companies have made a pitch for changes in the goods and services tax  legislation to avoid cash-flow problems for this sector even as the GST Council takes up crucial bills at a two-day meeting.

The meeting will try to iron out the irritants so that the bills can be tabled in the Budget session of Parliament after the recess and assemblies.

However, tax experts say the proposed provisions are fair.

Bharat Goenka, managing director of Tally Solutions, says the model GST Bill should change the definition of valid return, which is necessary for companies getting input credit, which firms receive for paying taxes on their inputs in production.

Currently, the model Bill provides for paying input credit if firms have paid taxes. Within a month of selling its goods, the company will have to upload its invoice on the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) and pay taxes by the next month. Goenka wants valid return to be one which has been correctly computed, and defines the liability of the taxpayer and not the one that is linked to the payment of taxes. He says the provision will create problems for small businesses.

Most (if not all) will have no bad intent of evasion or not paying. Nor will they be taking the government for granted. It is just that they may sometimes need to delay payment due to exigencies, he said. Tally Solutions is a software product company, primarily dealing with small and medium enterprises. Sometimes companies are forced between choosing whether to pay salaries in time or taxes, according to Goenka, adding that the pressure of paying their suppliers becomes critical.

Indivjal Dhasmana/Business Standard
11:02   Manipur polls: Around 29% votes cast till 10 am
Around 29 percent votes were cast in the first three hours of the first phase of Manipur Assembly elections today.

No untoward incident has been reported so far, the Election Commission said.

Long queues were visible in front of the polling booths and women voters were also seen in large numbers.

Polling which began at 7 am will end at 3 pm in 38 assembly segments.

In all, 168 candidates are in the fray in this phase.

An electorate of 19,02,562 comprising 9,28,573 male voters and 9,73,989 female voters are eligible to exercise their franchise.

For maintaining peaceful polling, 280 companies of central paramilitary forces and armed police of other states have been deployed.
10:53   Mumbai model held for crying 'bomb' just before boarding flight for Delhi
A Mumbai woman was arrested after she triggered panic in Sahar airport's T2 on Thursday night by asking security to "check her friend's handbag carefully as it had a bomb inside" and then getting into an argument with CISF officials.

A seemingly thoughtless prank not only delayed an Air India flight to Delhi by over an hour, but it could cost her up to three years in jail after she was charged with endangering the life of others and causing fear or alarm among the public. She is out on bail.
Around 8pm on Thursday, Kanchan Thakur, a 27-year-old model, queued up with three friends to board Air India flight 101. She passed the boarding gate first, and when it was her friends' turn, she turned to the flight security guard and made the "bomb" comment. Immediately, all hell broke loose. In panic, the security called in CISF and airport officials.

Read the full story HERE
10:47   Schwarzenegger quits 'Apprentice', blames Trump for decision
Action star-politician Arnold Schwarzenegger says he will no longer be a part of "Celebrity Apprentice," and has blamed President Donald Trump's continued involvement in the show as a reason for his decision to quit the show.

The 69-year-old host says he is through with the show as he feels the president's continuous interference in the show has brought it a bad reputation, reported Variety.

"I loved every second of working with NBC and Mark Burnett. Everyone from the celebrities to the crew to the marketing department was a straight 10, and I would absolutely work with all of them again on a show that doesn't have this baggage," Schwarzenegger says in a statement following an interview with Empire magazine, in which he said that the show suffered from its association with Trump.

"Even if asked (to do it again) I would decline. With Trump being involved in the show people have a bad taste and don't want to participate as a spectator or as a sponsor or in any other way support the show. It's a very divisive period now and I think this show got caught up in all that division," the actor, who once served as a governor of California adds.

Trump serves as an executive producer on the show, even though he left his on-screen role when his presidential campaign began.
10:29   Manipur polls: Irom Sharmila confident of victory
Irom Sharmila Chanu casts her vote at the Khurai assembly constituency. After voting she said that she is confident of her victory.

Sharmila who broke her 16-year fast last year and founded a party of her own 'Peoples' Resurgence and Justice Alliance' to fight the assembly election in her quest to get the dreaded AFSPA repealed.

09:40   Was denied permission to take Jaya abroad for treatment: OPS
Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, who tried and failed to take control of the party, has now alleged that he was not allowed to take J Jayalalithaa abroad for treatment.
Recalling the various developments in the run up to Jayalalithaa's death, Panneerselvam claimed that several times the issue of taking the leader to the US or the UK for better treatment was raised.

"Senior ministers and I suggested that Amma be taken abroad for treatment. We also spoke to doctors in the hospital to find out whether she was fit to travel abroad. They said it was possible, but permission was not given," alleged Panneerselvam.

Panneerselvam, one of Jayalalithaa's most trusted aides, revolted days after her longtime friend Sasikala took over as party chief and was chosen to replace him as Chief Minister.

In dramatic developments last month after Panneerselvam's revolt, over 100 lawmakers were sequestered at a resort near Chennai until a trust vote was won by Sasikala's candidate E Palanisamy amid chaos and violence in the assembly.
09:39   10% voter turnout recorded in Manipur
10% voter turnout recorded till 8.30 am of the first phase of assembly elections in Manipur.

Polling which began at 7 am, will end at 3 pm, the Election Commission has said.

An electorate of 19,02,562 comprising 9,28,573 male and 9,73,989 female voters will decide the fate of 168 candidates.
Earthquake of magnitude 5 hit Myanmar-India (Manipur) Border Region, at 7:42 am this morning, ANI reports. 
08:50   PM Modi appeals for high turnout
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked people to vote in large numbers as the voting began in Uttar Pradesh and Manipur.

"Today is the first phase of the Manipur Assembly polls. I appeal to voters in the seats polling today to turnout in record numbers & vote," Modi tweeted.

In another tweet the PM appealed UP voters to participate in the democratic process and vote.

PM Modi is scheduled to arrive at his Lok Sabha constituency, Varanasi today to address election rally ahead of the last phase of Uttar Pradesh polls
Just In: Quake of 6.3 magnitude strikes off Papua New Guinea - USGS
08:23   Polling begins in Manipur and Uttar Pradesh
Voting is underway in the first phase of elections in Manipur where 38 constituencies in five districts of Imphal East, Imphal West, Bishnupur, Churachandpur and Kangpokpi are polling.

While, the sixth phase of Uttar Pradesh elections, spread across Mau, Gorakhpur, Maharajganj, Kushinagar, Deoria, Azamgarh and Ballia, has also started.

Assembly segments of Gorakhpur Lok Sabha constituency of firebrand Bharatiya Janata Party leader Yogi Adityanath, and Mau, where jailed gangster-turned-MLA Mukhtar Ansari is in fray, also figure in this penultimate phase of polling that will also cover some districts bordering Nepal.

Around 1.72 crore UP voters, including 94.60 lakh men and 77.84 lakh women, are eligible to cast their votes in this round to decide the fate of 635 candidates.
00:09   Trump administration would be good for India: US industry body
The Trump administration would be good for India as Washington sees New Delhi as a stabilising factor in the region, a top US industry body has said.

"I think US needs India for its presence in the region itself," Mukesh Aghi, president of US India Business Council, a representative body of top American businesses having a footprint in India, told PTI.

Noting that geopolitically as India sits in a very turmoil arena, New Delhi needs Washington more.

"We feel that from the Indo-US relationship perspective, Trump administration will be good for India," Aghi said, adding that two principles could drive Indo-US relationship.

"First, this administration sees that the economic prosperity of India is good for America. Second, it also sees the military growth of India as a stabilising factor in the region itself," he said.

"We believe that India wants to see the US as a strong nation, sending a strong message out there because at this stage while India is trying to grow economically you do not want too much disruption in global order. We feel that the ties between the Trump administration and Modi government will be positive and much more deeper also," Aghi said.