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Amit Shah takes stock of political situation in Bihar

Written By kom nampultig on Rabu, 15 April 2015 | 22.44

PATNA: A day after sounding poll bugle for Bihar Assembly elections, BJP national president Amit Shah today discussed the political situation in the state in a closed door meeting with senior party leaders.

Besides, Shah met over 100 BJP leaders and workers at the state guest house where he stayed during his two-day visit to Bihar and sought to instill confidence among them ahead of the Assembly polls, Bihar BJP president Mangal Pandey said.

Shah later left for New Delhi by a flight, he said. Mediapersons were barred from attending Shah's meeting. During a party rally here yesterday, Shah claimed the BJP will sweep the Assembly polls to be held later this year with two-thirds majority.

He also said the merger of Janata Parivar parties and their collective might will not be enough to prevent rout at the hustings.

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Jayalalitha's DA case: SC gives split verdict prosecutor

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday delivered a split verdict in the disproportionate assets case against Jayalalitha that will now be heard by a larger bench, a decision that has come as a dampener on her hopes for an early verdict from the Karnataka high court.

As a consequence of the split verdict on a plea for removal of special public prosecutor Bhavani Singh appointed by Karnataka government, the matter has been referred to Chief Justice H L Dattu, who will constitute a larger bench for an authoritative pronouncement.

Justice Madan B Lokur, heading a two-member bench, allowed the plea of DMK leader K Anbazhagan seeking removal of Singh and ordered a fresh hearing on the AIADMK chief's plea against her conviction saying the proceedings have been "vitiated".

However, justice R Banumathi differed with Justice Lokur and held that the SPP was duly authorised to represent the state before the Karnataka high court as well.

Justice Lokur said the delay in deciding the case was "extremely unfortunate" and the "criminal justice delivery system is a loser". He also observed that "something drastic needs to be done".

The court on April 7 had reserved its verdict on the plea of Anbazhagan for Singh's removal, raising questions about his impartiality as a prosecutor in the case.

The DMK leader had alleged that the SPP was "hand in glove with an accused (Jayalalithaa)".

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China praises Modi's leadership, sees likely resolution of border dispute

BEIJING: Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit here next month, China on Wednesday said the border dispute has "good prospects" of resolution if it is backed by "strong political will" from both sides.

Huang Xilian, deputy director general of Asian affairs, said Beijing wants India and China to act as a "bridge" for the development of Nepal and Sri Lanka so as to reduce strategic rivalry between the two Asian giants and firm up their strategic influence in the region.

READ ALSO: Ahead of Modi's China trip, Beijing talks of 'huge dispute over Arunachal'
Lakhvi affair to affect Modi visit to China, Xi visit to Pakistan
"There are lot of perceptions about border issue. So long as the two leaderships have strong political will we have good prospects for the resolution of the border issue," Huang said at a briefing to Indian media about Modi's visit which is expected to take place in the third week of next month.

Huang stated that progress has been made in recent Special Representatives (SR) talks held in New Delhi.

"We believe that the two SRs will continue to carry on this process according to the consensus reached by the two leaders," he said in reply to a question as to whether China is open for a resolution of the border dispute based on status quo.

READ ALSO: 'China's border violations reduced'

Border dispute: India, China take positive steps

China says the border dispute is confined only to 2,000km mostly in Arunachal Pradesh whereas India asserts that the dispute covered the western side of the border spanning to about 4,000 km, especially the Aksai Chin area annexed by China in 1962 war.

The two sides have held 18 rounds of talk and expectations are high on both sides as both Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping were regarded as strong leaders who could clinch a solution.

"We have a very long border. You can see anywhere in the world there will be shooting crimes, but generally speaking, along the border we have maintained peace and stability, there have been no shooting incidents in the past decade. What is important is that both sides should work together to avoid such kind of incidents and promote tranquillity and stability," he said.

READ ALSO: Indian Railways to build station near Chinese border, defence minister says

Praising the Indian Prime Minister's leadership, Huang said since "Modi took over, the whole international community has shown interest in India. We have seen the new momentum has been achieved in economic development." "Made in China and 'Make in India' can work together," he said.

"The new government introduced a lot of reforms and measures. We are happy to see the new momentum and hope that India will achieve progress in future and develop faster," Huang said adding that India's development will bring more opportunities to China and the region.

READ ALSO: India, China to hold joint military exercise in 2015, decision ahead of Modi visit

Hectic preparations are underway on both sides to make Modi's visit a success and Huang said a number of agreements were expected to be signed during the trip.

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CPI(M) has given up the idea of Third Front: Karat

VISAKHAPATNAM: The CPI(M) has abandoned the idea of formulating a third alternative (non-Congress and non-BJP) at the central level given the political situation in the country, the party's outgoing General Secretary Prakash Karat said.

Speaking to media persons at a press conference, the Left leader also said the 21st Congress of the party passed a resolution demanding that the Government should hold a special Parliament session on the occasion of the 125th birth anniversary of BR Ambedkar.

The Congress also adopted another resolution against the new land acquisition bill currently awaiting Parliament nod.

Replying to a query, Karat said, "since these parties (regional parties) with their policies and programmes cannot be alternative to the Congress and the BJP, we may cooperate with these parties on different issues. We may join movements and struggles with them. It is possible that we may have an electoral alliance in some states at a particular juncture, but there will not be any national level alliance with them. We will not project any alliance at national level with such parties."

He said that his party propagated the idea of forming the third alternative. However, it has become irrelevant to the current political trends.

Karat presented the Draft Review Report on the Political Tactical Line, in the party's 21st Congress which began yesterday.

The review covers the period of 25 years from 1990-91. It focused on assessing how the Political Tactic Line has helped the 'independent growth' of a Left and Democratic alliance.

Karat said the report was processed all the amendments received from the party members and units of the Draft review Report.

All together, 1431 amendments and 136 suggestions were received, out of these 29 amendments have been accepted. "Still discussions are going on and by tomorrow we will be able to come out with the resolution on Political Tactic Line of the party," Karat explained.

According to him, the party has a membership base of over one million mostly concentrated in West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura.

He said the party Congress is also discussing on the strategies to grow independently.

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BSF seizes gold biscuits, CFC cylinders in Bengal

KOLKATA: Over the last couple of days the Border Security Force (BSF) has succeeded in foiling attempts to smuggle in gold biscuits and Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) cylinders into India. Two motorcycles and automobile parts were also seized while being smuggled in from Bangladesh. The 22 gold biscuits seized weigh 2.56 kg and are valued at Rs 65 lakh. CFC, once used as a coolant in refrigerators and air-conditioners is banned in India due to its ozone depleting property.

"The gold was seized by troops of the 40Bn posted at the Jayantipur Border Outpost near Petrapole in North 24-Parganas around noon on Wednesday. Acting on specific information, the troops carried out a special operation and apprehended two Indian nationals carrying 22 gold biscuits. They were identified as Amir Mondal (67) and Aser Mondal (45). They are brothers from Jayantipur village in the Bongaon police station area. The gold and miscreants have been handed over to the customs department. In 2015, the BSF's South Bengal Frontier has seized more than 31.53 kg gold worth Rs 2,30,35,740 and apprehended 11 smugglers," a senior BSF officer said.

The CFC cylinders were seized around 9 pm on Tuesday by troops of the 173Bn posted at the Puttakhali BOP in Krishnanagar. During an operation, the troops spotted Bangladeshi criminals attempting to smuggle in cylinders. On being challenged, the Bangladeshis fled the spot, leaving behind 60 gas cylinders. Each cylinder weighs 13.6 kg and the haul is valued at Rs 8.16 lakh.

"On Tuesday, troops posted at the Bithari BOP in Swarupnagar, North 24-parganas, received information of auto spare parts and motorcycles being smuggled into India along an unfenced portion of the international border. During the operation, automobile spare parts and a motorcycle were seized. The haul is worth nearly Rs 4.5 lakh. BSF troops from the Tarali BOP also seized a motorcycle being smuggled into India. Several infiltration attempts have also been thwarted. On Tuesday, troops of the Tarali BOP apprehended 23 Bangladeshis attempting to enter India without necessary documents. On Monday, troops of the Haridaspur BOP near Petrapole apprehended 56 Bangladeshis attempting to sneak into India. The South Bengal Frontier has apprehended 1,623 Bangladeshis this year while trying to enter India," the officer added.

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'Advani missing' posters emerge in Gandhinagar

Written By kom nampultig on Selasa, 14 April 2015 | 22.44

AHMEDABAD: Posters saying that BJP leader L K Advani was "missing", appeared in his Lok Sabha constituency Gandhinagar.

Similar posters, taking a dig at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, had recently appeared in Amethi, his constituency in Uttar Pradesh.

The posters, pasted on electricity poles, bore the name of Aam Aadmi Party.

However, AAP denied that it had put up the posters.

Convener of Gujarat unit of AAP, Sukhdev Patel, said that anti-Advani camp within BJP could be behind the prank.

The posters say in Hindi: "MP from Gandhinagar L K Advani is missing for the last few years. We all residents of Gandhinagar have never seen him in the city. We all want to meet him and tell him about our problems. If any one of you find him in Gandhinagar, please inform us... Regards ... AAP-Gandhinagar."

"Our volunteers in Gandhinagar learnt about these posters only after media drew our attention to them. AAP is not involved in such acts. It is not our way of working. It can be the work of BJP dissidents, who can not express their unhappiness on the party forum," Patel said.

PM Narendra Modi, right, speaks with BJP senior leader L K Advani during a ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi on April 8. (AP photo)

It may be noted that when Narendra Modi was made chief of the campaign committee of BJP before the 2014 elections, Advani had resisted the move. Later, the veteran leader had expressed the wish to switch the constituency, shifting to somewhere in Madhya Pradesh.

Adavni has been elected to the Lok Sabha from Gandhinagar six times.

BJP leaders denied that anyone from the party could be behind the posters.

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Actor Roopa Ganguly alleges attack by TMC supporters

KOLKATA: Actress and BJP leader Roopa Ganguly's convoy was today attacked allegedly by ruling TMC supporters in the city's upmarket Alipore area, where she had gone to campaign for the upcoming Kolkata Municipal Corporation election.

Ganguly alleged that she was attacked, her driver beaten up and the car damaged when she arrived in the area for campaigning in support of her party candidate.

The actress said that the police personnel present there saved her, wondering why they had to resort to such acts if the ruling party was so sure about its victory.

She said that she had registered a complaint with the police.

According to a senior police official, a scuffle broke out between the BJP and TMC supporters in the area. When Ganguly arrived at the spot, her car was gheraoed by the TMC workers, he said.

BJP national secretary Siddharth Nath Singh who visited the area said that the TMC had got scared of the BJP and that was why they resorted to such attacks.

Alleging that jungle raj prevailed in the state, he demanded that the culprits be arrested.

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LeT planning attacks in India: Intelligence agencies

NEW DELHI: Days after Lashker e Taiba commander and 26/11 attacks accused Zaki ur Rehman Lakhvi walked free, Indian intelligence agencies have warned all states and union territories about LeT's plans to launch fresh attacks at hotels, railway stations and metro stations in key cities over the next couple of months.

READ ALSO: GRP beefs up security at Mumbai stations after state intel alert

The alert, issued on Sunday, is based on inputs passed on by railway authorities in Mumbai that LeT is planning a 26/11-type strike at hotels and railway stations in the city. The Mumbai alert had warned that around 8-10 terrorist may infiltrate through the sea route to execute the attack.

The IB has asked the states to beef up security outside hotels, particularly five-star properties, as well as at railway stations and metro stations, even as agencies in charge of coastal security also tighten vigil.

Latest assessment by the intelligence agencies state that Lakhvi's release has come as a major morale booster for LeT's rank and file, and may encourage them to launch yet another spectacular attack against India.

READ ALSO: US conveys 'grave concern' to Pakistan over Lakhvi release

Lakhvi was released on Saturday after a court in Pakistan called his detention illegal. He was arrested in 2009, months after 166 people were killed by 10 gunmen in a three-day siege in Mumbai.

READ ALSO: Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi released from Adiala jail

The LeT operations chief and six others in Pakistan have been charged for planning and executing the Mumbai attacks, but the case has made little progress in six years despite repeated appeals from India to bring the accused to book.
On Monday, the Islamabad High Court ordered an anti-terror court to close the trial in two months.

READ ALSO: India asks Pakistan to appeal against Lakhvi's release

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Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav form new group, call it ‘Swaraj Abhiyan’

NEW DELHI: Rebel Aam Aadmi Party leaders, Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav have formed a new non-political group 'Swaraj Abhiyan'.

"It's a new beginning. If today we announce of forming a new political party, then dangers will be the same which AAP is facing," Prashant Bhushan said while initiating a dialogue ""on present and future of alternative politics".

"One opinion is that everything is fine with party leadership and we should trust them, while the other is we should struggle or form another party," Yogendra Yadav said about future course of action.

Significantly, Yadav said they would "not" quit AAP as he emphasised that it does not belong to a "single" person.

READ ALSO: AAP rift: Rebels to hold 'samvad'

On the day of a meet organised by the AAP dissidents, Bhushan, who was particularly aggressive, sought to take on the party's top leadership for "threatening" to expel those attending the same, saying it meant that "there is no place for dialogue in the party".

Speaking at the 'Swaraj Samwad' convention in Gurgaon, Bhushan said, "Those who raised questions were expelled from top party posts. Today, I heard that we may be expelled for organising this samwad. The message from the top is that if you raise voice against the party, you will be expelled."

As to the crisis that has rocked AAP, Bhushan said that going to the court or Election Commission against those who have "captured" the party would be a "long and messy" affair.

READ ALSO: Yogendra Yadav, Prashant Bhushan sacked from AAP national executive

Yadav for his part said that the attendance at the meet was indicative of the fact that the problems which have beset AAP are not limited to only one or two people.

READ ALSO: AAP draws flak, ridicule from rival parties as Yogendra Yadav, Prashant Bhushan shown the door

"Principled workers of the party do not agree on happenings in the AAP... the biggest challenge is to prevent hope from being broken," he said.

Both Bhushan and Yadav appeared to steer clear of the question of the launch of a new party even as they stressed on the importance of a "new start".

"We need time to prepare, today is not the day for a new party. We will keep working for the people. We will not leave this party, it does not belong to a single person," Yadav said.

Echoing those thoughts, Bhushan said that "if today we announce the launch of a party" it would run into the "same situations" that AAP is now facing.

"We will have to start a new dialogue on issues like challenges being faced by the farmers... development models in the country through swaraj and find solutions and launch a movement.

"The day we manage to show that our movement has stayed true to its ideals, we can make it a political party," the senior lawyer said.

Earlier, the rebels' meet began in the presence of volunteers from across the country, who termed it a day for a "new beginning" even as AAP warned of action against those attending the event.

Triggering speculation that they wanted to float a new party, Yadav and Bhushan had announced their decision to hold the 'Swaraj Samwad' meet to discuss the future course of action after their expulsion from AAP's top echelons.

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Prisoners play T20 cricket, Satyam fraudster Ramalinga Raju keeps away

HYDERABAD: If 20:20 is the flavor of the season, it's just that even at the Central Prison, Cherlapalli where jail birds played a limited overs match for the first time on Tuesday. And no, cricket did not seem to interest Satyam fraud convict B Ramalinga Raju as he stayed put in his barrack.

Perhaps taking a cue from the Tihar jail in Delhi, a T20 cricket match was organized for the first time ever at the biggest jail in Telangana. And it wasn't just a game. It was played in the most competitive spirit. The pitch was soggy considering the rain in Hyderabad but there was enough play area in the expansive jail to go ahead with the finals of the T20 match. "Because of the better weather conditions in the morning, the pitch also got dried to facilitate play," a prison official said. Central Prison, Cherlapalli is Telangana's most modern prison located on 120 acres near Hyderabad.

READ ALSO: Raju and other accused appeal against trial court judgment

"When the Warangal team, which batted first went on a scoring spree, it received a lot of support from the inmates who cheered them. The prisoners were not divided on whom to support. They were simply enjoying cricket," a prison official said. There are 943 convicts in the prison and that was a huge crowd of spectators for the players. The end result was that the Warangal central jail team triumphed lifting the T20 cricket cup. The winners in all the games were given away prizes on Tuesday evening.

With the IPL 2015 also being underway, there was much enthusiasm amongst the prisoners for the game - not just for the prisoners selected as teams but also the other inmates who cheered.

The teams competing for the honours were the Central Prison, Warangal and Central Prison, Cherlapalli. Cricket matches were organized in various jails in Telangana in the last few months. Warangal and Cherlapalli entered the finals to battle it out for the cup, which was introduced for the first time.

Sports and games including volleyball, chess and caroms are otherwise organized regularly by the prisons department but cricket was never organized. According to prisons department officials, the players who got selected to play in the finals were also giving coaching by professional coaches whose help was taken.

In the T20 fixture organized in Tihar Jail in Delhi, Jail no. 3 had lifted the trophy in the inter-jail cricket tournament in January last year was attended by cricketer Gautam Gambhir.

READ ALSO: When the Gods didn't help Raju

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