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Wednesday, 7 January 2015


Political News -2014 PART-1

 Devyani Khobragade BARRED from entering United States"

Expelled Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade, in effect, has been barred entry into the United States.The State Department has said that her name would be placed in visa and immigration lookout systems to prevent the routine issuance of visa.Khobragade's departure from the US, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said, does not alter the charges against the 39-year-old diplomat.

"Her name would be placed in visa and immigration lookout systems to prevent the routine issuance of any future visa and upon her departure a warrant may be issued for her arrest," she said.From the comments made by the State Department spokesperson, it is clear that Khobragade is being virtually treated as a 'persona non grata' and she may be permitted to visit the US only to subject herself to the jurisdiction of an American court.Khobragade, married to an Indian-origin American national, has two daughters, aged 6 and 3, who are now likely to shift to India.The US has said that Khobragade, who has returned to New Delhi, no longer enjoys immunity and an arrest warrant might be issued against her.

"Prior to her departure, it was conveyed to her and to the government of India that she is not permitted to return to the United States except to submit to the jurisdiction of the court," said Psaki.On Thursday, Khobragade was indicted in a New York court on two counts of visa fraud and misrepresentation of facts."The charges remain in place. There are processes that are standard processes in each of these cases, which we were abiding by throughout this process," the State Department spokesperson insisted.

Arrested on December 12, Khobragade was strip-searched and held with criminals, triggering a row between the two sides.India had retaliated by downgrading privileges of a certain category of US diplomats, among other steps.

Sunanda's death unnatural, some injuries found: Doctors:

Doctors at All India Institute of Medical Sciences, who conducted autopsy on the body of Sunanda Pushkar, today said it was a case of "sudden, unnatural death" but ruled out poisoning even as police investigated various angles into death of Union Minister Shashi Tharoor's wife.

Injury marks were also found on the body of 52-year-old Pushkar, who was last night found dead in mysterious circumstances in luxury LeelaPalace hotel in South Delhi.

The head of the three-member panel of doctors that conducted the autopsy on Pushkar, said, "We have conducted the postmortem examination... It is a case of sudden, unnatural death" but ruled out poisoning.

However, he said the team has preserved certain "biological samples for toxicological analysis as well as visco-pathological examination.""We have completed the whole procedure. Samples for toxicological analysis means ruling out any poison. Some pathology of the heart has been preserved by us," he said.

Pushkar was found dead in her suite at the hotel and the body was shifted to AIIMS at around 3:30 am for post-mortem. The police is also expected to record statement of Tharoor, who was admitted to AIIMS following complaints of chest pain and was discharged later.

Pushkar and Tharoor were at the centre of a raging controversy when reports emerged that she was upset over reported text and tweet messages between her husband and Mehr Tarar, a Pakistani journalist.Gupta, who is head of forensic sciences department at AIIMS, said the autopsy report would focus on investigating from a medical angle the sudden unnatural death.He said the final autopsy report will be prepared within next couple of days after receiving reports of toxicological analysis and visco-pathological examination."After receiving all these reports in the next couple of days, we will finalise the postmortem report and we will give our opinion in the case," he said.

When asked about the injuries on the body, he refused to give details saying as police was working on the case, certain issues cannot be revealed.

"There were certain injuries on the body. I cannot reveal the details of the injury. Basically in medico-legal cases, the number of injuries does not matter. Whether these injuries were related to fatality or not matters," he said.Asked whether the injury caused death, he refused to give a direct answer.

 Meet this year's Padma Award winners:

Noted scientist R A Mashelkar and yoga guru B K S Iyengar were on Saturday chosen for this year's Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian honour in India, while cine star Kamala Haasan, author Ruskin Bond and late former chief justice J S Verma were selected for the Padma Bhushan.

National Badminton coach P Gopichand, tennis player Leander Paes, writer Anita Desai and Tamil lyricist and writer Vairamuthu were also picked for the Padma Bhushan while cricketer Yuvraj Singh and cine stars Paresh Rawal and Vidya Balan were selected for the Padma Shri.

 6 killed, scores injured as deadly blasts hit police in Cairo:

Four blasts, including a suicide bombing at the police headquarters, rocked the Egyptian capital and nearby areas in Cairo, killing six persons and wounding nearly 100 on the eve of the anniversary of the 2011 uprising.The first powerful blast was reportedly caused by a suicide attacker, who rammed his explosives-laden vehicle into a security fence around the Cairo Security Directorate, killing four and injuring 76 others, officials at the interior and health ministry said.In a second blast hours later, at least one person was killed when a small improvised explosive device went off near a police vehicle close to a metro station in Giza. At least 11 persons were wounded in the attack.Another improvised bomb hit a police station near the Giza pyramids. The blast did not cause any fatalities, an interior ministry official told state TV.The fourth blast at the Radobis Cinema theatre in Cairo's Haram district killed one person, state TV reported. The deadly blasts raised concerns that an Islamist insurgency is gathering pace in the polarised Arab nation as Egyptian forces have intensified a crackdown on Islamists.The Islamist elements have been blamed for a series of attacks on the army and police following the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi by the powerful military on July 3, 2013.Hours after the bombings, angry mobs along with police clashed with Brotherhood activists, accused by the government of being behind a wave of bombings and shootings. Brotherhood has denied such allegations.

At least 10 people, including a school student, were killed while 11 others were injured in the clashes."It's a vile, desperate attempt by evil terrorist forces to disrupt the success Egypt and its people have achieved in the [transitional] roadmap and the passing of the new constitution," Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi commented, in reference to the Cairo bomb.In a statement, president Adly Mansour pledged to "severely punish" those involved in "planning, financing, inciting, participating in or executing" such attacks, saying that tampering with state security is a "red line".An al Qaeda-inspired militant group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (Champions of Jerusalem) claimed responsibility for the attack on the police headquarters, the BBC reported.The explosion at the police headquarters blew out the windows of the building and stripped off parts of its facade. The nearby Museum of Islamic Arts was severely damaged by the explosion, which could be heard six kilometres away.State television said investigators had found the remains of the suspected suicide bomber.A witness said she saw a badly mangled vehicle stained with blood parked in front of the police compound. TV footage showed dense smoke billowing from the building after the blast. The police have cordoned off the area.

The blasts came on the eve of the third anniversary of the 2011 uprising that ended the three-decade long autocratic regime of Mubarak. "They don't want the people to to celebrate," the January 25 anniversary, Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim said of the attackers.Meanwhile, supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi squared off with police and local residents in the Nile Delta's Damietta governorate. Twelve protesters were arrested during the violence, Ahram Online reported.

Clashes also erupted in Alexandria during a funeral for a student killed in violence in the city on Thursday, leading to the death of another protester.Supporters and opponents of the Brotherhood threw bricks and stones in the Al-Dekheila district. Fierce clashes also broke out in Giza between Morsi supporters and Egyptian security forces.Hundreds of Islamists gathered in the Imbaba district, west of Cairo and clashed with security forces, who responded by firing tear gas, MENA news agency reported. One person died in the Imbaba clashes.At least 111 rioters have been arrested in several governorates, the interior ministry said.In Beheira governorate in Egypt's Nile Delta, two were killed in clashes between the Brotherhood and residents of Housh Eissa city.In Upper Egypt's Beni Suef governorate, the health ministry reported that two people were killed during clashes. Protests had erupted following Friday prayers in the cities of Beni Suef and Al-Wasti which soon after developed into confrontations.In Upper Egypt's Minya governorate, a shop owner died from gunshot wounds sustained as he was passing close to the clashes. One more was injured, according to a health ministry.Three more people, including a school student, were killed in the violence, officials said. There have been calls from three different groups to take to streets on January 25.All calls target Tahrir Square as a final destination and as the anti-protest law has been activated, it is expected the three groups should request permits in advance.

Protests erupt in Delhi over Arunachal student's death:

A group of students from the Northeast on Saturday staged a protest in New Delhi against the death of an Arunachal Pradesh MLA's son after being allegedly beaten up by some shopkeepers in Lajpat Nagar. The 19-year-old student Nido Tania, son of Congress MLA and Parliamentary Secretary in Health and Family Welfare Department Nido Pavitra, was allegedly beaten up by some shopkeepers following an altercation sparked by their taunts on his hairstyle.

"Police should take swift action in the case. We would not remain silent till the culprits are sent to jail," said Dhapo, a protestor.Protestors in large numbers today gathered outside the Lajpat Nagar Police Station and raised slogans against the police.Police have registered a case of murder under section 302 of IPC and are probing the matter. A magisterial inquiry has also been ordered.

"This is not the first time that a Northeast student has been targeted. We would continue our fight for our rights. We have come here to protest the brutal death of the Arunachal student. We want Delhi Police to take swift action in this case," said Sumokoji, a protestor.

The student's relatives alleged that he had an altercation with some shopkeepers in Lajpat Nagar in south Delhi on Wednesday after they made fun of his hairstyle. The shopkeepers then allegedly thrashed him to death.

Police had reached the spot and brokered compromise after which Tania returned to his Safdarjung home with his friends. However, he did not wake up the next day. When his friends took him to AIIMS, he was declared brought dead. Police said they were waiting for the viscera report while two shopkeepers identified as Farhan and Akram have been arrested.The initial post-mortem has not revealed "much injury or aberration". His viscera samples have been preserved to zero in on the cause of death, police said.

 In 1964, CIA thought Subhash Chandra Bose was alive, says document:

American intelligence agency Central Intelligence Agency had cast doubt on the reported death of Subhas Chandra Bose in a plane crash in 1945 and was tipped off that Netaji would return from exile in 1964, according to declassified documents."A search of our files indicates that there is no information available regarding subject's death that would shed any light on the reliability of the reports," documents released by the CIA said.A document, dated February 1964, released by the CIA said, "There now exists a strong possibility that Bose is leading the rebellious group undermining the current Nehru government."

Four declassified CIA documents were given to researchers Abhishek Bose and Anuj Dhar, besides Netaji's grand-nephew Chandra Bose, who had sought details under the Freedom of Information Act.In a report dated January 1949, the agency had noted the rumour that Bose was 'still alive'. In a detailed analysis of the Indian political scenario in November 1950, a highly-placed source had informed the CIA that it was being said in New Delhi that Bose "is in Siberia, where he is waiting for a chance to make a big come back.Among the released documents, the oldest one goes back to May 1946, in which a confirmation of Netaji's death was sought from the secretary of state in WashingtonDC.

"The hold which Bose had over the Indian imagination was tremendous and that if he should return to this country trouble would result," wrote the then American consulate general in Mumbai.When under house arrest by the Britishers, Netaji had escaped from India in 1941 to seek international support for the freedom struggle. After organising the Indian National Army with Japanese help he went missing in 1945.

He was last seen at the BangkokAirport on August 17 1945. The Mukherjee Commission, probing Bose's disappearance, had rejected that he died in a plane crash in Taiwan on August 18, 1945.The Prime Minister's Office had earlier refused to furnish data on documents and records it held on Netaji's disappearance, saying the disclosure would harm India's relation with foreign countries.Family members and researchers on Netaji's life have said that it was time for the Indian government to release the files.

 Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal resigns, recommends assembly dissolution, fresh elections:

Parliament nod to whistleblowers' protection bill:

A bill to provide for setting up a regular mechanism to encourage persons to disclose information on corruption or wilful misuse of power by public servants, including ministers, was passed by Parliament on Friday.The Whistleblowers' Protection Bill also seeks to provide "adequate protection to persons reporting corruption or wilful misuse of discretion which causes demonstrable loss to the government or commission of a criminal offence by a public servant."

While the measures set out the procedure to inquire into the disclosures and provides adequate safeguards against victimisation of the whistleblower, it also seeks to provide punishment for false or frivolous complaints.In his reply, Minister of State for Personnel V Narayanasamy said the legislation would supplement the RTI Act in checking corruption in the country.He said based on some recommendations of Parliamentary Standing Committee and other members, who had sought to bring some amendments. However, since it was session's last day, he was not pushing them as the bill would lapse.

"But appropriate steps will be taken to address concerns of members within constitutional methods in 10 days," he said.The bill was passed by Lok Sabha in 2011 and was taken up by the Upper House in 2012 for consideration. However, it could not be passed because of the death of Union Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh.To a suggestion that steps should be taken to protect those who had blown the whistle on corrupt practices prior to the bill being passed, Narayanasamy said the government has already brought a resolution in 2004 under which the CVC was empowered to protect the whistleblowers.

The definition of 'disclosure' has also been amended to include wilful misuse of power or wilful misuse of discretion which leads to demonstrable loss to the government or demonstrable gain to the public servant or any third party.The definition of competent authority to which a complaint can be made has also been expanded.

 India test-fires Akash SAM missile:

India on Friday test-fired the indigenously developed surface-to-air Akash missile from the IntegratedTestRange launch complex at Chandipur near Balasore in Odisha.The missile targeted a floating object supported by the pilot-less target aircraft 'Lakshya', defence officials said.

"Akash was test fired from launch complex-3 at 11.22 am," a defence official said, adding that "some more trials would be conducted within the next couple of days"."During the trial, the missile was aimed at intercepting a floating object supported by a pilot-less target aircraft, flown from launch complex-II, at a definite altitude over the sea," according to a source. Akash is a medium range surface-to-air anti-aircraft defence system developed by the DRDO as part of the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme.

It has a strike range of 25 km and can carry a warhead of 60 kg. It has the capability to target aircraft up to 30 km away and is packed with a battery that can track and attack several targets simultaneously, they said.

With the capability to neutralise aerial targets like fighter jets, cruise missiles, air-to-surface missiles etc, defence experts compare Akash to the American MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile system. The last trial was conducted on June 6, 2012 from the same base.

'Nalanda an international varsity, not another central university':

Noble laureate economist Amartya Sen, the chancellor of Nalanda University in Bihar's Nalanda district, has questioned the interpretation of the upcoming university as another central university rather than an international institution.“It is wrong to interpret Nalanda as another central university as it will be in contradiction with the parliamentary act and India’s assurance to other countries” he said on Tuesday in Patna.

Sen further said that it will also end the likelihood that “our own financial commitment to building this very special university will be increasingly supplemented by contributions coming from other countries as well as within India”.According to the Nalanda Act, 2010, Nalanda University has been described as an international institution. But the recent Union finance ministry’s queries have virtually equated it with central universities.

The next meeting of the Union Cabinet will be crucial for the university which plans to start its academic session from a makeshift venue in 2014 itself.Sen said that India had conveyed to members of the East Asia Summit that this would be an international university, an understanding that is already incorporated in the Nalanda Act of the Parliament in November 2010.He said nine countries have already signed an inter-government agreement at the invitation of the government of India to participate in the development of this non-state, non-profit, self-governing institution.Five of the nine countries have already made some financial commitment on the presumption that they were participating in an international effort, rather than only Indian efforts to build another central university.

Minister of state in MEA Preneet Kaur said on Wednesday that the countries which have made voluntary contributions to the varsity include China ($1 million), Thailand ($100,000), Laos ($50,000) and Indonesia ($30,000).Citizens of Singapore have offered to design, build and deliver university’s library at a cost of $5 million.Australia has offered 1 million Australian dollars for a chair in the school of ecology and environment studies.Japan has pledged to use its official development assistance for the renovation of highways leading to the university.The minister said the government has sanctioned Rs 272.10 crore to Nalanda university during its establishment phase from 2010-11 to 2021-22. The estimated capital cost of the project is Rs 1749.65 crore.

Sen said that he and his team had no problem at all with the expenses of the university being financially scrutinised with all the strictness.The finance ministry has made it clear that the government rules will have to be followed as Nalanda University is predominantly a government-funded institution.The university is set to come up on 446 acres in Rajgir, 10 kilometre from the site of the ancient university in Nalanda, about 100 kilometres southeast of Patna. The university will be fully residential, like the ancient Nalanda University. It will offer courses in science, philosophy, spiritualism and social sciences.The project took shape in 2006 at the initiative of then President A P J Abdul Kalam.

The ancient university at Nalanda was home to over 10,000 students and nearly 2,000 teachers. It existed until 1197 AD and attracted students and scholars from Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Persia and Turkey.

Sahara chief Subrata Roy sent to police custody till March 4:

Sahara Chief Subrata Roy, who was arrested in Lucknow on Friday after he surrendered to police, has been sent to police custody till March 4. This comes two days after a non-bailable warrant was issued against him by the Supreme Court.Chief Judicial Magistrate Anand Kumar Yadav directed the UP police to keep Roy in custody till 2 PM on March 4 and ensure that he is by then produced before the Supreme Court which had issued non-bailable warrant against him two days ago for his failure to appear before it in a case of non-refund of Rs 20,000 crore to investors.

Police had moved an application before the CJM seeking his custody instead of transit remand and Roy’s counsel V K Shahi also did not oppose it.
Roy pleaded that he be allowed to stay at his home but said he would go by the court’s decision.Earlier on Friday, appearing for Roy in the Supreme Court, Ram Jethmalani told a bench headed by Justice K S Radhakrishnan that 65-year-old Roy is in police custody.Jethmalani also pleaded to the court for recalling of NBW issued by it on February 26. He submitted that the special bench, comprising Justices Radhakrishnan and J S Khehar, which heard the case be assembled today to hear his application.
Justice Radhakrishnan, who sat with Justice Vikramajit Sen, however, said that it is not possible for the special bench to assemble today.

Subrata’s son Seemanto Roy said his father has willfully submitted himself before Lucknow police and he is cooperating with all authorities.
“We will produce Subrata Roy before local court and will proceed as per the direction of the court,” Navneet Sikera, DIG, Lucknow range stated. The police said that transit remand will be sought from the local court for taking Subrata to Delhi for producing him before the court.Earlier in the morning, Subrata Roy said he is not absconding from arrest and is ready to “unconditionally follow” whatever direction the Supreme Court gives him today.A day after the police visited his home in Lucknow to arrest him as per Supreme Court’s orders but failed to find him there, Roy said he is still in Lucknow and had gone out for sometime to consult “a panel of doctors”. Roy said he has ”already informed police to do their duty”.Through a statement signed by him, Roy also appealed to the Supreme Court to allow him to be with his “ailing mother under house arrest till March 3, 2014″, while adding that he was ready to reach Delhi even today, if court wants him to do so.Issuing a non-bailable warrant against Roy, the Supreme Court on February 26 asked the police to arrest him and present before the court on March 4.

 Lok Sabha elections 2014: All the dates that you need to know

The Election Commission of India has announced the dates for the Lok Sabha elections 2014. The elections will begin on 7 April and end on 12 May. 16 May has been set as the counting date and the EC will complete counting on this day. With the final dates being announced, the model code of conduct has also come into being in the country from today itself. The elections will be held in 9 phases. Below are the dates and the number of constituences in each state that will go to poll on a particular day: 7 April: 2 states will have polls in 6 constituencies. The states are Assam, Tripura. 9 April: 5 states will have polls in 7 Parliamentary constituencies. The states are Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland.

10 April: Elections will take place across 12 states and 3 union territories in 92 Parliamentary constituencies. The states are Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi. The union territories are Chandigarh , Lakshwadeep Islands and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. 12 April: Polls will be held in 3 states in 5 constituencies. States on the list are Assam, Tripura and Sikkim. 17 April: The polls will take place across 13 states in 122 constituencies. States on the list are Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Mahararashtra, Manipur, Odisha, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. 24 April: Elections in 12 states across 117 constituencies. States where polls will take place are Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Madhya Pradesh, Mahararashtra, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Karnatak, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal. The only union territory on the list is Puducherry. 30 April: Elections take place in 9 states across 89 constituencies in the country. The states are Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal. Two union territories where elections will take place are Dadra and Nagar Havelli and Daman and Diu. 7 May: Polls take place in seven states and will cover 64 constituencies. States on the list are Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, and West Bengal. 12 May: This is the last date for polls where elections will take place across 41 constituencies in three states. States on the list are Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. And now the list according to the states and union territories in alphabetical order: Andhra Pradesh - 30 April and 7 May Arunachal Pradesh - 9 April Assam - 7 april, 12 April and 24 April Bihar - 10 April, 17 April, 24 April, 30 April, 7 May and 12 May Chhattisgarh - 10 April, 17 April and 24 April Goa - 17 April Gujarat - 30 April Haryana - 10 April Himachal Pradesh - 7 May Jammu Kashmir - 10 April, 17 April, 24 April 30 April and 7 May Jharkhand - 10 April, 17 April and 24 April Karnataka - 17 April Kerala: 10 April Madhya Pradesh: 10 April, 17 April and 24 April Maharashtra: 10 April,  17 April and 24 April Manipur : 9 April and 17 April Meghalaya : 9 April Mizoram: 9 April Nagaland:  9 April Odisha: 10 April and 17 April Punjab: 30 April Rajasthan: 17 April 24 April Sikkim: 12 April Tamil Nadu: 24 April Tripura: 7 April and 12 April Uttar Pradesh: 10 April, 17 April, 24 April, 30 April, 7 May, 12 May Uttarakhand: 7 May West Bengal: 17 April, 24 April, 30 April, 7 May and 12 May Andaman Nicobar Islands: 10 April Chandigarh: 10 April Dadra and Nagar Haveli: 30 April Daman and Diu: 30 April Lakshadweep: 10 April NCT Delhi: 10 April Puducherry: 24 April

Russia's actions violate Ukraine's sovereignty: Obama to Putin:

United States President Barack Obama has said that Russia's actions are in violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and suggested that there is a diplomatic solution that would protect the interest of both Russia and Ukraine and end the worst East-West stand-off since the Cold War.

Obama spoke for an hour Thursday afternoon with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and told him that "there is a way to resolve the situation diplomatically, which addresses the interests of Russia, the people of Ukraine, and the international community", the White House said in a statement.

This was the second telephonic conversation between the two leaders in less than a week. It came hours after Obama slapped sanctions and placed restrictions on individuals supporting the Russian incursion and activities undermining democratic processes in crisis-hit Ukraine.

The new restrictions were announced as the US began stepping up pressure on Moscow after Russian forces reportedly took control of Crimea, an autonomous peninsula within Ukraine with a Russian ethnic majority.

“As a part of that resolution, the governments of Ukraine and Russia would hold direct talks, facilitated by the international community; international monitors could ensure that the rights of all Ukrainians are protected, including ethnic Russians; Russian forces would return to their bases; and the international community would work together to support the Ukrainian people as they prepare for elections in May," the White House said.

Obama indicated that Secretary of State John Kerry would continue discussions with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov, Ukraine and other international partners in the days to come to advance those objectives, it said.

Earlier, the White House had said the US is pursuing and reviewing a wide range of options in response to Russia's ongoing violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity -- actions that constitute a threat to peace and security and a breach of international law.

 26 New Faces in Trinamool Candidates List for LS Poll:

Going it alone in the coming Lok Sabha elections, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) today announced candidates in all 42 seats in West Bengal, bringing in 26 new faces including soccer star Baichung Bhutia and Mamata Banerjee's nephew Abhishek Banerjee, head of Trinamool Yuva.

Party supremo Mamata Banerjee also announced candidates for some seats in three other states.Four sitting MPs were left out of the candidates list while the new faces also included film stars like Moonmoon Sen, matinee idol in Bengali cinema Deb (Dipak Adhikari) and yesteryear star Sandhya Roy apart from sitting MPs Shatabi Roy and Tapas Pal.Moonmoon Sen, daughter of Suchitra Sen, will be fielded from Bankura Lok Sabha seat while Sugata Bose, grand nephew of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose from prestigious Jadavpur constituency replacing suspended party MP Kabir Suman.

Mamata's nephew Abhishek Banerjee would contest from Diamond Harbour seat in South 24-Parganas district. The seat was held by Somen Mitra, a former Congress state unit chief who had joined TMC in 2009 only to quit recently.Some singers also found place in the list.The TMC chief said that she had chosen "candidates from all walks of life to give a proper representation to Bengal".

TMC, which had shared seats in alliance with Congress in the 2009 elections, had fought from 27 seats and the latter from 14 seats. It had left one seat to SUCI, a Leftist party opposed to the CPI(M).Justifying her stand to fight the elections alone, she said, "People have wanted us to go it alone. We are happy that we won't have to see the political faces of the corrupt." "We hope to win from all seats," Banerjee said.

Bhutia, who hails from Namchi in Sikkim, would interestingly fight from Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat, which the BJP's Jaswant Singh held with support from the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha.Banerjee also announced the names of TMC candidates for two Lok Sabha seats in Tripura, two in Jharkhand and two in Manipur.Expressing her happiness at the five-phase election announced by the EC, she said, "It will take two months and seven days. But this will give me time to campaign in all places."However, she also mentioned that in some other large states like Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, elections would be held in one phase only."We respect the Election Commission. But we have seen that in Gujarat election is in one phase while in Tamil Nadu also it will be held in one phase," she said adding "thanks to the EC, it will give us time to campaign."

The party shifted sitting Basirhat MP Haji Nurul Islam to Jangipur, a seat held by President Pranab Mukherjee's son Abhijit Mukherjee of the Congress.While Dr Sugata Bose, a Harvard University professor of history, has replaced rebel MP Kabir Suman from Jadavpur seat, the MPs from Bongaon and Ranaghat have been replaced owing to health reasons.At Raiganj in North Dinajpur district, ailing Congress leader Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi's brother Satya Ranjan Dasmunshi has been fielded as the TMC candidate.
the seat is at present held by Deepa Dasmunshi, wife of Priya Ranjan, who is a Union Minister of State in the UPA-2 Cabinet and a bitter critic of Mamata Banerjee.

Dinesh Trivedi, who had been unceremoniously removed as Railway Minister by Banerjee after he went against the party line and hiked passenger fares in the 2012 Railway Budget, has been renominated from Barrackpur constituency.Trinamool Congress, which had won 19 of the 42 seats in 2009 elections, has fielded 11 women candidates this time.Noted Bengali singer Indranil Sen has been fielded from Beharampore constituency, presently being held by West Bengal Pradesh Congress chief and Minister of State for Railways Adhir Chowdhury."Of the 42 seats in Bengal, we are fielding 26.19 per cent women candidates and seven candidates from Minority community will fight under the Trinamool banner," Banerjee said.Yesteryear film star Sandhya Roy and Dev have been put up in Medinipur and Ghatal constituencies respectively.

Modi will contest Lok Sabha polls from one seat in Gujarat: BJP:

The Gujarat Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday announced that Chief Minister Narendra Modi will contest elections from one seat in the state, without ruling out the possibility that he may fight on a second seat from Uttar Pradesh."I can definitely say that Modiji will fight elections from one seat in Gujarat," state BJP general secretary Vijay Rupani told reporters.

"There has been a clamour to invite Narendra Modi to fight elections from four main cities of the state -- Ahmedabad, Rajkot, Vadodara and Surat. Our party workers want him to contest from Gujarat," Rupani said."Our (state BJP) parliamentary board had met over the last four days and decided that Modi would contest from one seat in Gujarat," he said, adding that the decision on which seat he will contest from is yet to be taken.

When asked if Modi will also contest from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP leader said, "I do not know anything about that seat, but it will be decided by our central parliamentary board."There has been lot of confusion about which seat Modi will enter the poll fray from.The BJP's prime ministerial candidate is at present in Delhi to attend the meetings of the central parliamentary board and the central election committee.However, state party leaders said that candidates for Gujarat seats will not be discussed in those meetings.To a question on whether party veteran L K Advani will be contesting from Gandhinagar, from where he has been elected five times, Rupani said, "The central parliamentary board will decide about that.""We have not finalised the panel of names for the Lok Sabha seats in the first round of meeting of the parliamentary board. We will meet again after Holi to do that," he said.

BJP Gujarat unit's parliamentary board had met on Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday at the residence of Modi, in his presence."Our (state) parliamentary board is likely to meet again to finalise the names of panels of candidates for the 26 Lok Sabha seats," state BJP spokesperson Harsad Patel said.

 Advani agrees to contest from Gandhinagar:

In twists and turns marking the top-level rumblings in the Bharatiya Janata Party, L K Advani on Thursday decided to contest from Gandhinagar in Gujarat after the party gave in to his pressure and allowed him the choice of the constituency in the Lok Sabha elections.

The 86-year-old leader made the announcement shortly after party president Rajnath Singh issued a statement saying that it was for Advani to choose whether to contest from Gandhinagar or Bhopal, seeking to end a 24-hour drama that exposed the simmering tensions between him and Narendra Modi.

Advani, who has been sulking since Wednesday over the party decision to field him from Gandhinagar against his wish of Bhopal, said Modi came to him this morning and "emphasised that the people of Gujarat are keen that I represent Gandhinagar Lok Sabha once again."

"I have represented the state both in Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha. Having represented Gandhinagar constituency in the Lok Sabha since 1991, I have decided to contest the 2014 general elections from Gandhinagar itself," Advani said in the statement, bringing to an end the raging row over his constituency.

 BJP clinches 7-party alliance in Tamil Nadu:

Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday announced the formation of a seven-party rainbow alliance for the April 24 Lok Sabha polls in Tamil Nadu, in its first-ever such electoral venture in the state where the turf has been largely dominated by Dravida Munetra Kazhagam and All India Anna Dravida Munetra Kazhagam.The announcement about the sealing of the alliance was made by BJP President Rajnath Singh who described it as a 'historic' moment for Tamil Nadu and also for the country as seven parties had come into the National Democratic Alliance-fold.Flanked by alliance partners, Singh told a press conference that out of the 39 seats, actor-politician Vijayakant's Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam will fight for 14 seats while the Pattali Makkal Katchi and BJP will field candidates in eight constituencies each.

Mayawati not to contest LS poll; declares all 80 UP candidates:

While refuting media reports about her plans to contest the forthcoming Lok Sabha election, Bahujan Samaj Party supremo Mayawati on Thursday went all out to woo the state’s Muslims, by training her guns at the entire brigade along with its prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi.

Exuding confidence that her party would strike the balance of power in the post-poll scenario, she ruled out the possibility of any kind of alignment with the Bharatiya Janata Party or its allies. Besides lambasting the BJP and its bandwagon as “communal forces”, she even went to the extent of terming her arch political foe the Samajwadi Party and the BJP as two sides of the same coin -- obviously knowing how in the aftermath of the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots, a large section of Muslims had voiced their disillusionment with Mulayam.

 155 candidates contesting Lok Sabha polls face serious charges:

Phases 1 to 4 of the Lok Sabha elections will witness 278 candidates with charges. The data of 1,566 candidates which have been analysed by the Association for Democratic Reforms show that out of the 278 candidates with charges, 155 of them have serious charges against them.

23 (25 per cent) of 92 candidates fielded by Indian National Congress, 38 (39 pc) out of 97 candidates from Bharatiya Janata Party, 15 (16 pc) out of 92 fielded by Aam Aadmi Party and 16 (18 pc) out of 89 Bahujan Samaj Party candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.

14 (15 pc) out of 92 candidates fielded by INC, 22 (23 pc) out of 97 candidates from BJP, 10 (11 pc) out of 92 fielded by AAP and 9 (10 pc) out of 89 BSP candidates have declared serious cases against themselves in their affidavits.

Out of the 1,566 candidates analysed, 456 (29 pc) are crorepatis. 75 (82 pc) out of 92 candidates in INC, 62 (64 pc) out of 97 candidates in BJP, 40 (44 pc) out of 92 candidates in AAP and 34 (38 pc) out of 89 candidates in the BSP have declared assets worth more than Rs 1 crore.

The average assets per candidate contesting from Phase 1 to 4 of Lok Sabha 2014 election is Rs 3.26 crore.

Among the major parties, the average assets per candidate for 92 INC candidates is Rs 15.40 crore, 97 BJP candidates have average assets of Rs 5.51 crore, 92 AAP candidates have average assets worth of Rs 2.63 crore and 89 BSP candidates have average assets of Rs 8.27 crore.

Deserted wife fasts and prays for Modi to become PM:

inadvertently been drawn in the political slugfest by Narendra Modi's rivals to target him, but decades of separation from Gujarat chief minister has not embittered Jashodaben, who fasts and prays for her husband to become the prime minister.

The reclusive 62-year-old retired school teacher has vowed not to eat rice and remain bare-footed until she has seen her husband ensconced in the prime minister's chair, says Jashodaben's brother Kamlesh."Jashodaben wishes from her heart that from being a chief minister, he (Modi) rises to become the prime minister of the country. She prays for that," he said.Jashodaben, has now proceeded on a 'char dhaam yatra' to Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri for fulfilment of the wish.

Living in a small village Ishwarwada in Mehasana district of North Gujarat with her two brothers, Jashodaben, according to her family, is a devout person and leads a simple life."She wakes up early in the morning, prays and visits temple....after that she is busy with her daily routine. She also watches news and reads all newspaper reports about him," Kamlesh said."Also, if someone speaks ill of him (Modi), she does not tolerate it. Otherwise, she is very mild-natured and never raises her voice against anybody," he said.Eldest of our four siblings, Jashodaben got married to Modi in 1968 aged barely 17 years.

Indians vote in first phase of giant general election:

Indians have voted in the first phase of a general election which pits the governing Congress party against the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party.The nine-phase vote got under way in the north-eastern states of Assam and Tripura and will conclude on 12 May. Votes will be counted on 16 May.More than 814 million Indians are eligible to vote in a poll dominated by corruption and high inflation.An anti-corruption party the AAP offers another challenge to the main parties.The Aam Aadmi (Common Man's) Party) secured a spectacular result in local polls in Delhi last autumn and is fielding candidates in all of parliament's 543 elected seats. Several smaller regional parties are also in the fray and if no single party wins a clear majority, they could play a crucial role in government formation.

The state is dotted with plantations growing the world-famous Assam tea and has more than six million eligible voters.Brisk polling was registered in the state. Officials put turnout at about 75%.The strong turnout is a sign, many believe, that voters are frustrated and want a change, our correspondent adds.The main contest in the elections is between the Congress, led by Rahul Gandhi, the latest member of India's influential Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, and the BJP, led by the charismatic and controversial Hindu nationalist leader Narendra Modi.Mr Modi, who is ahead in all the pre-election surveys, is the leader of Gujarat state, which witnessed one of India's worst anti-Muslim riots in 2002.The BJP has promised to improve the economy and infrastructure and curb corruption if it wins in the general elections.The party launched its manifesto hours after polling began for the first phase. "Today the country has become stagnant. It is drowned in pessimism. It needs momentum to move forward," Mr Modi said at the launch of the manifesto.

The Lok Sabha (lower house of parliament) has 543 elected seats and any party or a coalition needs a minimum of 272 MPs to form a government.Some 814 million voters - 100 million more than at the last elections in 2009 - are eligible to vote at 930,000 polling stations, up from 830,000 polling stations in 2009.Electronic voting machines will be used and will, for the first time, contain a None of the Above (Nota) button - an option for voters who do not want to cast their ballot for any of the candidates.The Congress party has promised "inclusive growth" if it returns to power.In its election manifesto, the party promised a raft of welfare schemes, including a right to healthcare for all and pensions for the aged and disabled.

 LS poll 2014: Record turnout in phase 3 :

April 10: The third phase of the Lok Sabha election 2014 will be held in 11 states and three Union Territories (UTs) on Thursday. Delhi (7 seats), Odisha (10 seats), Jharkhand (4 seats), Andamans, Chandigarh, Lakshadweep, Jammu and Kashmir and Chhattisgarh (1 seat each), Madhya Pradesh (9 seats), Maharashtra (10 seats), Uttar Pradesh (10 seats), Kerala (20 seats), Haryana (10 seats) and Bihar (6 seats) will go the elections today. Election in the Hazaribagh seat in Jharkhand was postponed owing to the Ram Navami celebrations.

In UP (voter turnout): Aligarh 60.04%,Baghpat 65.6%, Bijnor 65.38%, Bulandshahr 29.36%, Gautam Buddh Nagar 58.83%, Ghaziabad 60.2%, Hapur 63%, Meerut 62.68%, Muzaffarnagar 62.68%, Kairana 70.85%, Saharanpur 70.64% In Delhi (voter turnout): Chandni Chowk 65.1%, North East Delhi 66.6%, East Delhi 64%, New Delhi 65.9%, North West Delhi 61.2%, West Delhi 64.4%, South Delhi 63% 7.17 pm: Maharashtra saw 56% polling. In 2009, it saw 55.7% polling. Kerala saw 75% polling. Last time, it was 73.52% in the southern state. Jharkhand saw 58% polling. Last time, it was 50.9%. MP saw 66% polling. Last time, it was 53.66%. Jammu and Kashmir saw 65% polling. In 2009, the figure was 49%.

Ma Ganga has called me to Varanasi, says Modi filing nomination:

Bharatiya Janata Party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Thursday filed his nomination papers from Varanasi Lok Sabha seat, saying he had been called by "mother Ganga" to contest from this holy city.

He filed the papers after conducting a road show in the city.Among those who proposed his nomination were Madan Mohan Malaviya's grandson Giridhar Malaviya, Padma Vibhushan awardee Chhandu Lal Mishra, boatman Virbhadra Nishad and Ashok, from the dominant weaver community.

Talking to reporters before filing his papers, Modi said he felt "Mother Ganga" has called him to contest from this constituency.

"...Earlier I used to think that the BJP has sent me here, sometimes I felt that I am going to Kashi. But after coming here, I feel neither has anybody sent me nor have I come on my own. It is mother Ganga who has called me

"And the way a child feels when he is back in his mother's lap, the same way I feel here," said the Gujarat chief minister who is also contesting from Vadodara in his home state.He vowed to make Kashi a spiritual capital of the world.God... give me strength, so that I can work for the city, for my poor weaver that Kashi can become a spiritual capital of the world," Modi said.The BJP leader sought to project common links between his birthplace in Vadnagar in Gujarat and Varanasi, saying both were pilgrim centres for worshippers of Lord Shiva.

Modi also sought to reach out to the weaver community of Varanasi (also called Banaras), which makes up a sizeable section of the population in this constituency and many of them are Muslims.He said if he becomes the prime minister, he would provide encouragement to them in various ways so that their business could grow and expand.

"I can say about the weavers here. This is a valuable 'amanat' (legacy). Technological upgradation, marketing, branding, designing will be provided...If we create all these support bases, I don't see any reason why Kashi weavers would not be able to take on Chinese competition," he said.To buttress his point, he said after he became the Chief Minister of Gujarat, he had provided encouragement to poor Muslims engaged in kite business and their commerce had grown manifold.

"I did some research. Though no state government would pat attention to kites, I studied and found kites used to travel to 24 places before it could be produced," Modi said.After taking certain steps, the kite industry, which was worth Rs 35 crore in 2002, has now grown to Rs 700 crore."And all the poor Muslim brothers-sisters sit in their huts and produce kites," he added.

Defiant militia strike again in Ukraine:

The spiralling crisis in Ukraine has resulted in Russia and the United States stepping up the rhetoric as defiant pro-Russian militant took control of key buildings in the country's chaotic east.  Pro-Russia rebels, led by a heavily armed mob, took control of the police station in Lugansk after a stand-off with tear gas and shots fired.

Police tried to hold off an angry mob of some 1,000 demonstrators with grenades and tear gas but eventually turned over their headquarters and weapons to the rebels.The building in Ukraine's Donetsk region is the latest to fall under the control of pro-Russian militants.A pro-Russian activist holds a mace outside the regional government headquarters in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine. Hundreds of pro-Russian separatists seized the regional government headquarters in Luhansk on Tuesday, unopposed by police, underlining the lack of control of central government over swathes of eastern Ukraine

Who tried to kill Ramesh Agrawal, the activist and winner of the prestigious Goldman Environment Prize?:

Activist Ramesh Agrawal, 56, is among the six people who will be awarded the prestigious Goldman Environment Prize. However, two years after he was shot at immediately after he managed to stop Jindal Steel and Power Limited's coal mining project in Raigarh district, Chhattisgarh, the police and courts have been unable to unravel the bigger conspiracy behind the attack.

The Chhattisgarh police have filed a charge sheet in the case in which seven people, including a Jindal employee, a retired army brigadier, KK Chopra and his associate SN Panigrahi, who run a security agency, Superior Fire and Security Service, which provides security for Jindal Steel and Power Limited in Raigarh, have been named. The main attacker, who hails from Andhra Pradesh, is still absconding. Chopra and Panigrahi are out on bail while the Jindals have repeatedly denied all allegations against the company.

Local activists and Agrawal alleged that the attack was carried out at the behest of Naveen Jindal in 2012. Agrawal alleged that Jindal is influencing the case because of which the larger conspiracy behind the attack is not being unraveled.

Agrawal, who is currently in San Francisco for the award ceremony, had managed to stall the multi-million mining project of Jindal Steel and Power Limited, citing lacunae in environmental clearances and alleged farce public hearings, mandatory for such projects. Before that, Agrawal was incarcerated for two months in 2010 when Jindal filed a defamation case, alleging that Agrawal defamed the company during his public meeting with the villagers.

The attackers shot Agrawal in his groin and thigh in 2012. Two years later, he still has a steel rod installed in his femur and a cane to support him while walking.

“The local police is trying to dilute the case even in court so that the witnesses and accused do not point at Naveen Jindal on whose instance the attack was carried out. The main conspirator is still absconding and witnesses record statements sluggishly. Jindal is trying hard to ensure that people even remotely associated with him are not indicted in the case,” alleged Rajesh Tripathi, another activist from Raigarh, who is fighting for the rights of tribals and protection of environment.

The Goldman annual prize honours outstanding grassroots environmentalists who have made sustained and significant efforts, even at great personal risk, to protect and enhance the natural environment. The individual cash prize is $175,000. Agrawal won the prize along with five other activists across the globe.

 Modi reaches out to all parties in Vadodara victory speech:

Modi wins Vadodara LS seat by over 5.70 lakh votes

After a landslide victory, Narendra Modi on Friday reached out to the opposition seeking the cooperation of all parties and leaders in running the nation, and dedicated himself to serve everyone equally.In a gracious, 45-minute victory speech in Vadodara, Modi said the government does not belong to any particular party but to all the people of the country."For a government, no one is a favourite, nor is anyone an alien," he asserted to a cheering crowd of supporters whom he thanked for giving him a victory by 5.70 lakh votes.Committing himself to running the country in the best spirit of the Constitution, Modi said, "My responsibility is to take everyone along in running the nation.""In a democracy, there are no enemies but only competitors. That competition ends with elections," he said, adding his motto is "sabka saath, sabka vikas (with all, development for all)."Congratulating winners in the Lok Sabha elections and the assembly elections in some states irrespective of parties, Modi said, "I extend my best wishes to the MPs and MLAs of all parties. I hope that I will get their support in taking the country forward."

Apparently referring to recriminations during the campaign, he said he would convert the "love" shown by his opponents into "pure love"."In a democracy, there are no enemies but only competitors. This competition is the beauty of our democracy," he said, adding that the "bitterness" is over with the campaign.

"I want to assure the people of the country that for us it is our motto to carry along everyone however much they may oppose us. We will try to ensure that there will be nothing lacking on this front," he said.Modi underlined the significance of his victory by saying that it was the first time after Independence that a non-Congress party has got absolute majority on its own.The 63-year-old leader also emphasised that for the first time the reins of power have come to those born after Independence.Speaking amid chants of "Modi, Modi, Modi", he said, "Whatever may be the scale of victory, it is our responsibility in government to take everyone along. I need your blessings to achieve this humbly."

Trinamool Congress to play greater constructive role in country: Mamata Banerjee:

After putting up a brilliant performance in the Lok Sabha elections, Trinamool Congress said on Friday it would play a greater constructive role in the country. Party chief Mamata Banerjee claimed that the success came despite "malicious campaign" launched by a section of the media against which the party fought single-handedly.

"We will play a greater constructive role in the country. We thank the people and at the end of it, it is the people who has emerged as the 'Man of the Match'," Banerjee said. "We are for harmony of all castes, religions and creeds. We are in favour of economic stability, financial stability and political stability," she said.

Out of the 42 Lok Sabha seats, Banerjee's TMC has performed extremely well by leading in 34 seats, with the main opposition Left leading in 2 seats and Congress leading in 4 seats.

Sharif, Karzai among 3,000 invitees for Modi's swearing in:

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is among the foreign leaders invited to Narendra Modi's swearing-in as prime minister on May 26 which Afghan President Hamid Karzai has decided to attend.Sharif and Karzai are among the leaders who have been extended verbal invitation and Karzai has already accepted the same, sources said. This will be followed by written invitation, they said.

However, there was no clarity on who has been invited for the swearing-in ceremony at the forecourt of the historic Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi which will be attended by over 3,000 guests.

Modi will be administered the oath as 15th prime minister of the country by President Pranab Mukherjee. The Bharatiya Janata Party had a landslide victory in the just-concluded polls to elect members of the 16th Lok Sabha and crossed the majority mark of 272 in the 543-member House on its own for the first time in its history

 Indian consulate attacked in Afghanistan, Karzai calls Modi:

The Indian consulate in the Afghan city of Herat was on Friday attacked by heavily-armed gunmen. The assault, which began at 3.25 am, has been on for several hours.

All the four gunmen, who had stormed the Indian consulate in Afghanistan's Herat province early on Friday, have been gunned down, Indo-Tibetan Border Police chief Subhas Goswami said. "One terrorist was killed by ITBP personnel while three have been killed by Afghan forces. The attack has been successfully repulsed," he said.

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai called Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi and assured that Afghanistan will do all to protect India's Missions there.Modi condemned the attack in Herat and said he is closely monitoring the situation. Modi said he spoke to Indian Ambassador in Afghanistan Amar Sinha following the attack earlier in the day.

"I condemn the attack on our consulate in Herat, Afghanistan. Closely monitoring the situation. I have spoken to the ambassador as well," he tweeted.Goswami  also said that security at the Indian embassy in Kabul and consulates in Jalalabad, Mazar-e-Sharif and Khandhar besides Herat has been beefed up and a high alert sounded to all Indian assets based across Afghanistan.

"We have been on alert. Our sister agencies have been providing intelligence inputs regularly about sabotage activities against us in Afghanistan. We have asked all our units to be on alert and vigilant," Goswami told PTI.No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. India has invested in some major infrastructure projects in Afghanistan like Salma hydroelectric dam in Herat province and the Afghan parliament building in Kabul.India's development assistance programme for Afghanistan currently stands at $2 billion, making it the leading donor nation among all regional countries.

Bihar CM wins trust vote after BJP walkout:

The three-day-old Jitan Ram Manjhi government in Bihar won the trust vote in the state assembly amid walkout by opposition the Bharatiya Janata Party.The confidence motion moved by Manjhi was passed by members at a special session by voice vote.In the state assembly, whose effective strength presently is 237, the Manjhi-government managed getting the support of 145 legislators.

After winning the trust vote comfortably, a happy Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi on Friday said he would soon expand his cabinet. “Cabinet will be expanded soon,” Manjhi said outside the assembly after winning the confidence.He, however, did not mention the date for carrying out the expansion and merely said “soon.” The CM said his cabinet will be expanded to its maximum limit of 35.All the 15 ministers in the Nitish Kumar cabinet found berth in the Manjhi government.

Amid accusations from the Bharatiya Janata Party of an immoral alliance between the Janata Dal-United, the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress to stick to power and keep the BJP out, Manjhi said he never asked for support from Lalu Prasad’s party who voted for his three-day old ministry on its own.

“I had support of 124 legislators, including four of Congress, against the magic figure of 118 in the House whose effective strength at present is 237... there was no problem in my ways to win trust vote... but since RJD voted for me in the name of social justice I thank them,” Manjhi said.

Asked if coming together of Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar after 20 years would continue in future also, the Bihar CM said, “These are issues of future.”Manjhi expressed fullsome praise for former chief minister Nitish Kumar who chose him as his successor. “Nitish Kumar’s love for weaker sections was no show off... you all are witness to the episode when he had offered his own chair to ‘mountainman’ Dasrath Manjhi credited with carving out roads through mountains in Gaya,” he said.

Narendra Modi bows as he enters Parliament for first time:

Narendra Modi’s Glamorous Swearing-In Ceremony:

Narendra Modi greets India’s President Pranab Mukherjee after the swearing-in ceremony at the president’s estate. As part of the ceremony, Mr. Mukherjee invited Mr. Modi to take an oath of office as well as an oath of secrecy — that he will not reveal any confidential information or state secrets.

Hira Ba, center, 95, the mother of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, watches the live broadcast of the swearing-in ceremony of her son with Narendra Modi’s brother Pankaj Modi, left, and other relatives from her residence in Gandhinagar, in the western Indian state of Guajarat, on May 26, 2014

Leaders from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Mauritius, Sri Lanka and a government representative from Bangladesh arrived at the nation’s capital over the weekend and Monday after Mr. Modi invited neighboring states to the event.

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