Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

March 6, 2012

Assembly results major blow for Congress, Rahul

New Delhi: Congress leaders admitted they were stunned as results from five state elections showed the party faced defeats in Punjab and Goa and a poor showing in Uttar Pradesh.

The Congress was on top in Uttarakhand but short of an outright majority. The only good news came from Manipur, where the Congress was set to sweep and retain power.

Congress leaders quickly rushed to insulate their star campaigner in Uttar Pradesh and general secretary Rahul Gandhi from criticism, saying that a wide variety of factors were to blame for the multiple disaster.

“We are very surprised, we are shocked,” Congress leader and Minister of State for Science and Technology Ashwani Kumar said.

“This calls for very serious reflection and introspection on what went wrong,” he added, disappointment writ large on his face.

“This calls for very serious reflection and introspection on what went wrong,” he added, disappointment writ large on his face.

Congress chief spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi was downcast.

The results in Punjab, where the Akali Dal-BJP combine is set to retain power, a first in the state for any ruling party, were “extremely baffling”, he said.

“I am very disappointed,” he added, commenting on the overall outcome of the February-March polling in Manipur, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Goa.

Rajiv Shukla of the Congress struck a different note: “We are not happy but you cannot say it is a pathetic showing.”

Political pundits and opposition activists heaped scorn on the Congress and its leadership.

A Congress source admitted to IANS that the results were “a major blow” and were partly a result of the corruption charges faced by the Congress-led government of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

“There is no doubt that corruption played a big role in voters’ thinking,” said the source not willing to be identified.

The source said the Congress also blundered by injecting “communal politics” towards the end of campaign in Uttar Pradesh when it promised to reserve special job quotas for Muslims.

Marxist leader Suhasini Ali said the Congress blundered by not projecting anyone as a possible chief minister even as it sought a clear mandate from voters.

“Then the central government’s non-performance and price rise are also factors,” she said. “As for the 22 Congress MPs who won in 2009, they were a huge disappointment for their electorate.”

Sudheendra Kulkarni of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) underlined that there was “a very strong anti-Congress sentiment” in almost all the states that went to the polls.

Congress-turned-Samajwadi Party politician Shahid Siddiqui said the Congress leadership’s “ostrich like attitude” and “refusal to learn” from previous mistakes were major factors.

Minister Ashwani Kumar added: “We (Congress) need to strengthen our organisational structure.”

Apart from Uttar Pradesh, where Rahul Gandhi’s 200-plus election rallies were expected to give the party a major boost, the Congress was also stunned that it was unable to dislodge the Akali-BJP combine in Punjab.

The Congress-led government was expected to be voted out in Goa but was in the reckoning for power in BJP-ruled Uttarakhand, though not in the manner it would have desired.

Insurgency-hit Manipur was its only saving grace, with the Congress-led government getting an emphatic mandate for five more years, decimating a coalition of several opposition parties.

Source: Zee News

December 11, 2011

Team Anna should be flexible, says Left

New Delhi: Hitting out at the Standing Committee and the government, Left leaders on Sunday rejected the panel’s Lokpal draft submitted before Parliament.

Taking part in the ‘Lokpal debate’ being held here at Jantar Mantar, where Anna Hazare is observing a day-long fast, general secretary of the Communist Party of India, AB Bardhan thanked Team Anna and the common public for “allowing” political leaders for discussion on a public platform.

Addressing the huge gathering Bardhan urged Team Anna to be flexible, saying all the points of Jan Lokpla Bill cannot be accepted.

Divulging his party’s stand, Bardhan said Group A, B, C and D employees should come under Lokpal. Interestingly, the Parliamentary Standing Committee’s Lokpal draft excludes Group C and D staff and recommends they be covered under the Chief Vigilance Commissioner.

Along with Bardhan, Communist Party of India (Marxist) member Brinda Karat said that their parties want inclusion of the Prime Minister under Lokpal.

Both the Left leaders disagreed with Team Anna’s point of view of bringing judiciary under Lokpal, saying that a judicial commission and a strong Judicial Accountability Bill should be made. Justifying his party’s stand Bardhan said that judiciary has always been an independent institution and its independence should be maintained.

Taking on the corporate sector, Karat said that there is a nexus between the government and corporates. Liberal policies have been introduced to favour corporates which is further increasing corruption, she said demanding corporates should be brought under Lokpal.

The CPI(M) leader also said that a separate grievance redressal bill should be brought in, but agreed with Team Anna’s demand for inclusion of citizen’s charter under Lokpal.

Karat said that her party has rejected Parliamentary panel’s draft and party MPs have submitted their dissent notes.

She expressed disappointment over other political parties of not favouring vote, speech and conduct of MPs in the House to come under Lokpal, adding that her party is the only one which wants Parliament’s members be included under the ombudsman bill.

On the issue of bringing CBI under the purview of Lokpal, Karat said that the country’s premier investigating agency’s corruption wing should be brought under the ombudsman.

August 7, 2011

Delhi: No electricity at IGI T-3 for over 5 hours

New Delhi: There was no electricity at the Terminal 3 of the Indira Gandhi International airport in New Delhi for over five hours on Sunday. However, full power supply has been restored now, after lights went out at 1:30 am. Full power supply could be restored only by 6:30 am on Sunday.

All check-ins were done manually and most worrying, the security check-ins were compromised as machines were not working.

Major chaos was reported at night with passengers being refused to enter the terminal and passengers were left stranded without any information.

Ironically, the terminal just completed a year of operations and is being touted as India’s busiest terminal.



August 3, 2011

‘Pak army’s focus on countering India self-destructive’

New York Lauding the Indian leadership’s willingness to engage Pakistan despite its failure to bring perpetrators of the 26/11 attacks to justice, a leading US daily has said that the Pakistani Army’s use of militants to counter Indian influence in Kashmir is “self-destructive.”

In the editorial titled ‘India and Pakistan, Talking: Even modest progress is to be celebrated and urged forward,’ the New York Times said that homegrown extremism and not India is the real threat to Pakistan’s survival.

“Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India deserves huge credit for staying engaged despite Pakistan’s failure to prosecute those responsible for the 2008 horrors. And he deserves credit for not shooting first and asking questions later after the recent attacks. We wish we could say the same of Pakistan’s leaders,” the editorial said.

Pakistani army’s focus on countering India’s influence in Kashmir and Afghanistan is self-destructive for the country, it said.

“Before there can be a true reconciliation, and stability in the region, Pakistan’s Army must realise that using militants to try to counter Indian influence in Kashmir and Afghanistan is self-destructive – and that homegrown extremism, not India, is the real threat to Pakistan’s survival.”

Describing the relationship between the two neighbours as “combustible”, the editorial said “it is progress just to get the two sides in a room,” in a reference to the recently concluded talks between the foreign ministers of the two countries.

“Last week’s meeting was better. Their foreign ministers announced modest, but very welcome, agreements concerning… Kashmir.”

Small steps like increasing cross-border trade and expediting travel permits for those wanting to cross the border could help chip away at the “visceral mistrust” between the two countries that have fought three wars since their independence in 1947, it said.

“India and Pakistan have more to talk about, including cooperation on water, expanded trade and their joint stake in a stable Afghanistan. President Obama’s drawdown of American troops will go easier if India and Pakistan are part of the solution, not fighting over the spoils,” the Times said.

“New Delhi insists that it will accept no outside mediation. Washington needs to keep pressing the two to work together.”

The United States and its allies are planning a conference in Bonn in December where they hope to rally international support for a broad regional strategy that includes a peace deal for Afghanistan, trade agreements and ambitious energy projects.

“India and Pakistan need to be full participants. The payoff could be huge if their leaders muster the courage to resolve their differences,” it added.


July 25, 2011

Vastanvi removed as Deoband VC (UP): Darul Uloom Deoband’s Vice Chancellor Ghulam Mohammed Vastanvi was on Sunday sacked for praising Narendra Modi five months after the reformist took over the reins of the prominent Islamic seminary.

His remarks on the Gujarat Chief Minister’s development policies and that Muslims should forget the communal riots of 2002 and move on had raised the hackles of the conservatives. His powers were spliced and a three-member inquiry was appointed in February which gave its report today.

“Maulana Vastanvi has been removed from the post of Vice Chancellor by Majlis-e-Shoora (governing council) of the seminary,” said Maulana Abdul Qasim Nomani, who was appointed as Acting Vice Chancellor during an emergent meeting of the Shoora on February 23.

Nomani, who is in his 60s, will be the new chief of the 145-year-old Islamic seminary, the country’s largest.

A vote on the ouster of 60-year-old Vastanvi, who is an MBA with a Facebook page in his name, was held in a stormy meeting of the council. While opposing the report, Vastanvi demanded setting up of a new panel, but his plea was turned down by the Shoora.

Crying foul, Vastanvi said he was a victim of conspiracy. “This is injustice and a conspiracy against me.”

He alleged that the report was incomplete and he was removed from the post for opposing it.

The sacked vice-chancellor, who was born in Vastan village of south Gujarat and educated in a madrassa near Surat, said he will neither move court nor protest against the decision. Vastanvi said he will continue as a member of the Shoora. However, his supporters said they would press him to challenge the decision in the highest court.

Vastanvi removed as Deoband VC Nomani said that there were differences among the 14 Shoora members present at the meeting out of the 18. One of the members walked out before the voting while Vastanvi did not cast his ballot. He received four votes in favour and eight against.


July 21, 2011

Sanjay Dutt to co-host Bigg Boss 5 with Salman Khan

MUMBAI: Colors’ reality show Bigg Boss Season 5 is all set to be back in a bigger avatar. This time round, the channel has signed Sanjay Dutt along with Salman Khan to co-host the show.
Sanjay Dutt
This is the first time in the history of Bigg Boss that two Bollywood superstars would be hosting the season.

Colors CEO Raj Nayak said, “Bigg Boss is one of our flagship shows which has been successfully running on the channel over the last 4 seasons. It’s a unique format that provides brands an exciting and innovative platform, spread over more than three months. This year with two of Bollywoods biggest super stars, Salman Khan and Sanjay Dutt as hosts we’re confident of making Bigg Boss even bigger & generating both – higher revenues as well as stickier eye-balls.”


July 18, 2011

IM, Taliban join hands to target India?

New Delhi: In what may emerge as a big trouble for India, the Taliban is said to have joined hands with India-based terror outfit Indian Mujahideen (IM).

As per a report, Monday, the nexus was unearthed by investigating agencies while following leads after the arrest of key IM operative Danish Riyaz in June.

Danish’s emails have divulged details of the former being in touch with Haroon of Kolkata along with four other IM operatives, the report said. It has also revealed that the network spreads across other countries.

Not only this Haroon’s emails have revealed that ten people from India were to be sent to Pakistan and then Afghanistan for terror training, the newspaper quoted crime branch official as saying.

Haroor is said to be in touch with Taliban. The investigating agencies are now looking whether ten people were sent for terror training or not.

The investigating officials believe that Danish was in touch with some Gujarat youths as well. The sleuths are working to identify those local contacts.

However, the officials have refused to divulge more details about Danish citing sensitivity of the issue.

Earlier, reports claimed that the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) is looking into the possible involvement of an Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative, Abdullah alias Nata, in the terror strikes.

Officials of the Maharashtra ATS have got in touch with the Kolkata Special Task Force (STF) and have sought details of railway passengers who travelled on the Kolkata-Mumbai and Kolkata-Kanpur route eight days before the blasts.

Abdullah is believed to be a close aide of IM co-founder Amir Raza. Raza has been on the run since the arrest of IM operatives in 2008.

Meanwhile, the Maharashtra ATS are also looking into the possible involvement of IM’s Azamgarh module in the blasts. ATS officials have already discussed the same with a visiting Uttar Pradesh STF team.

So, far the Mumbai Police have interrogated more than 100 people, including former SIMI activists and aides of arrested or wanted IM suspects.

Also, over 100 phone numbers have been put under surveillance.


June 27, 2011

Baba Ramdev back in Delhi, hits out at government

New Delhi:  Returning to Delhi three weeks after he was bundled out from here, yoga guru Ramdev today attacked the government claiming that it has no will to fight corruption or create a Lokpal to check the menace.

Ramdev said he would continue his fight against corruption alongside “anybody from any party, any religion”. He said he was willing to fight the menace but he did not make it clear whether he would join Anna Hazare on August 16 when the latter relaunches his campaign for a strong Lokpal.

Holding that he was “not a mask” for BJP or RSS, he asked why the government was talking to him if they thought he was a criminal and insisted he doesn’t have a penny of black money.

“Government does not want to create a Lokpal,” he said addressing a press conference here after meeting Raj Bala, who was grievously injured in the June five pre-dawn police crackdown at Ramlila Maidan on his supporters, at a hospital and dared the government to “search” his institutions for black money and declare it as national asset.

“Sarkar pehle bhrashtachari thi, abh woh atyachari bhi ho gayi (The government was indulging in corruption earlier. Now it is indulging in atrocities),” he said, adding, “This government has no will to fight corruption.”

The yoga guru alleged that the government was muzzling voices of those who talk about black money or tell the truth.

Terming the crackdown in Ramlila Maidan as “murder of democracy”, he alleged it was aimed at eliminating him and that there were “attempts to rape women” by drunk men during the police action.

However, Ramdev did not throw any light on his next move as part of his anti-corruption campaign. He said he would launch a free housing scheme in Haridwar on July one followed by another programme on August four for empowering villages.

Ramdev reached the capital from Haridwar by road this afternoon and straight away headed to G B Pant Hospital in central Delhi to visit Raj Bala.

Police had erected barricades along the border to screen those entering the Capital and ensure that no untoward incident occurred during Ramdev’s visit to the city.

Earlier, police had said he was not allowed to enter the capital for 15 days but later retracted from it.

June 16, 2011

Longest lunar eclipse of the century


Moon’s bright white glow turned crimson brick red as it delved into the dark centre of the Earth’s shadow.

March 3, 2011

Netherlands Win Toss, Elect To Bowl Against SAfrica


Mohali, Mar 3: The Netherlands captain Peter Borren won the toss and elected to bowl against South Africa in their Group B match of the cricket World Cup here today.

South Africa have made one change to their team, bringing in Morne van Wyk instead of Johan Botha.

The Netherlands are playing the same team which lost to the West Indies in its previous group match.


The Netherlands: Peter Borren (capt), A Kervezee, WBarresi, T Cooper, R ten Doeschate, B Zuiderent, T de Grooth,Mudassar Bukhari, P Seelaar, B Loots, B Westdijk

South Africa: Graeme Smith (capt), H Amla, J Kallis, ABde Villiers, JP Duminy, F du Plessis, M van Wyk, R Peterson, M Morkel, D Steyn, Imran Tahir. PTI