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Rajasthan MLA fails to resign as speaker out

On the question of whether he would later contest the by-election, Sharma said, "I will submit my resignation, but for there to be a bypoll, it has to be accepted by the speaker first."”
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–><!–end of breadcrumbx–>Rajasthan MLA fails to resign as speaker out Rajkumar Sharma
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written BySangeeta Pranvendra <!–end of artlbotbor–>Saturday 30 December 2017 2:43 ISTMust readVasundhara Raje ensures ‘smooth landing’ for PM Modi at BarmerNow, Veg khao, paisa bachao: Air India style<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>Even as former minister of state for health and now independent MLA from Navalgarh, Rajkumar Sharma had announced his plan to register his protest against the Rajasthan government’s handling of the 12-day doctor strike, he could not see it to fruition as Assembly speaker Kailash Meghwal was not in Jaipur. According to the rules, a member can hand over their resignation only to the speaker.Assembly secretary Prithviraj was also not present as he was at an official exam to hire stenographers for the assembly. Sharma has now been asked to come in on Monday.”The speaker had left for Bhilwara early on Friday and will be back on Monday. I will meet him then and hand over my resignation,” said Sharma. He had reportedly come the Vidhan Sabha without a prior appointment with the speaker.Sharma continued his offensive against the health minister and demanded that Kalicharan Saraf should take moral responsibility for the 304 deaths that occurred during the strike and resign from his post.On the question of whether he would later contest the by-election, Sharma said, “I will submit my resignation, but for there to be a bypoll, it has to be accepted by the speaker first.”

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Youth drowns in river while clicking selfie

A 20-year-old youth lost his life while taking selfies near a river in Badlapur on Monday. The deceased has been identified as Shahid Shaikh, a resident of Mankhurd. According to Badlapur police, a group of six to seven Chembur-based youth had gone to Badlapur to celebrate their Christmas vacation when Shaikh attempting to take selfies drowned in the river. His body was fished out on Tuesday evening by local swimmers who joined the rescue operations.The police said the youngsters were on a three-day holiday. On Monday Shaikh went to a river, was clicking selfies while perched on a rock. He slipped and fell into the water. Shaikh’s friends looked for him but failed. Some of the villagers rushed to help but they too could not locate him. The police was then informed.”We found the body a kilometer away from the spot and have registered an accidental death report in the matter. We are investigating the case,” said J. Agarkar, Senior Police Inspector of Badlapur police station.On June 28, this year, a 17-year-old drowned at Marine Drive while taking selfies with her friends.

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It’s business as usual in Kashmir

Skirmishes on the borders notwithstanding, it is business as usual for the Cross-Line of Control (LoC) trade at Chakan da Bagh crossing on the Poonch-Rawalakote Road.Tension had gripped the LoC after four Army soldiers, including a Major, were killed when Pakistan violated cease fire on Saturday. On Monday evening, Indian Army troops — in a tit-for-tat action — crossed the LoC and killed three Pakistani army men and injuring another in Rawalakote sector.However, escalating tensions between two rival armies have failed to dampen the spirit of Cross LoC trade on the Poonch-Rawalakote Road in Jammu and Kashmir. For the second day on Wednesday, the Cross-LoC trade continued uninterrupted on the Poonch-Rawalakote Road despite tensions on borders. “On Tuesday, 30 trucks from our side crossed the Chakan da Bagh crossing into Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. Around 19 trucks came from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK). On Wednesday, 25 trucks carrying banana and tomato crossed into PoK and 12 trucks carrying kinnow and dry dates came from the other side,” said Tanveer Ahmad, Custodian, Trade Facilitation Centre (TFC) Chakan da Bagh.It is after a long time that border tension has not cast its shadows on the cross LoC trade. This year the trade on Poonch-Rawalakote Road was suspended for four months due to the cross border shelling.

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‘Hawkers not allowed here’: RPF fines Dabbawalas

Dabbawalas have written to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal seeking resolution of the issues they face at suburban stations after the Railway Protection Force (RPF) on Monday fined some of them for parking their bicycles outside Grant Road station, stating that “hawkers” were not allowed outside station premises.After a stampede on Elphinstone Road foot overbridge killed 22 people on September 29, the authorities have been driving hawkers out of railway station premises across the city.According to the Mumbai Dabbawala Association, they have been treated as hawkers by the RPF at various stations, such as Kandivali, Borivali and Bhayandar, for the past few months.On Monday, the RPF confiscated eight cycles belonging to dabbawalas that were parked outside Grant Road station and asked them to cough up a fine.Subhash Talekar, spokesperson for Mumbai Dabbawala Association, said, “We have shot off a letter to the railway minister regarding the issue. Cycle is an important means of transport for us. We should not be called hawkers just because we have to park our cycles near railway stations. We keep our cycles there just for some minutes while exchanging tiffin boxes. The authorities should keep this in mind before slapping a fine on us and terming us hawkers. We request the officials to exempt us from these charges.”Earlier, three cycles from Borivali and four from Bhayandar railway station were confiscated; they belonged to dabbawalas. Talekar said this happened a few weeks ago and they had to pay a fine “but on Tuesday the court said we should be let go without being charged a fine.”

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Gujarat High Court stays arrest of newly elected MLA Kandhal Jadeja

Gujarat High Court’s single bench justice AG Uraizee heard the special criminal application moved by recently elected MLA from Kutiyana, Kandhal Jadeja, late on Monday after court hours and stayed his arrest in a case in which he was alleged of creating ruckus at a petrol pump on December 24.The court stayed his arrest till December 27. The petitioner’s advocate Harsh Surti’s submission was that the allegation made by the complainant against Jadeja of damaging property at a petrol pump and creating ruckus was baseless. He stated that in the CCTV footage, petitioner was found standing at the petrol pump and not involved in the act at all.State had opposed the petition citing his background. Petitioner’s another ground was that he was recently elected, and if court does not protect him from arrest, he would not be able to take oath as MLA. Earlier, the petitioner and the original complainant both were booked by the Ranavav Police for creating ruckus at the police station on December 21. He was granted temporary bail till December 27. The Porbandar court has granted Jadeja regular bail on Tuesday.TEMPORARY BAIL TILL DECEMBER 27Earlier, the petitioner and the original complainant both were booked by the Ranavav Police for creating ruckus at the police station on December 21. He was granted temporary bail till December 27. The Porbandar court has granted Jadeja regular bail on Tuesday.

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‘Kavi sammelan’ spreads cheer in jail

The courtyard at the Pratapgarh jail resonated with laughter, clapping for India. There was hearty singing of national songs too. No, it was neither Independence Day or Republic Day. The occasion was a ‘kavi sammelan’ organised for the inmates by the jail authorities as part of its efforts to initiate the inmates to the finer aspects of life.For over three hours, the prisoners listened in rapt attention to the poems of love and longing; as they wiped a tear or two in memory of those who awaited them outside the prison walls. They laughed out loud to the lightercreations and took avid interest in the poems about current issues like national security, Pakistan, Kashmir Ram Rahim and several social issues.The event organised on Monday morning was a part of the initiative by Pratapgarh jail authorities to introduce some fresh enthusiasm in the lives of the inmates. It was supported by the All India Human Rights MonitoringCommittee, Pratapgarh. There were total ten poets, four local and five from other states and one from Sharjah too.When contacted to perform in the jail, the poets were initially very apprehensive to be in the company of hardcore criminals. “My first reaction was of apprehension and fear. Performing for criminals for over four hourswas not a very comforting idea,” said Vijay Vidrohi, a local poet from Pratapgarh to DNA. “But it was an amazing experience! For four hours they were the best audience a performer can hope for. No one got up even to drinkwater,” added Vidrohi.Speaking to DNA Harish Vyas, another poet said, “I was very apprehension to perform in the jail. But it was an amazing experience. For three hours they were not inmates, they were poetry lovers. They were the best audience Ihave seen, which was very surprising for us. I would be willing to do it again in any jail.”The initiative was well received by the inmates.Inmates who had not been smiling for years were cheering and laughing at the performances. At the same time we had urged the poets to take up issues like cleanliness, national integration, Army and security personnel. They also delivered poems against liquor and crime,” informed Paras Jangid, jailer, Pratapgarh jail to DNA.

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Inside details of India’s cross border raid: ‘Exact replica’ of Pak attack on December 23

Indian Army’s action across the Line of Control on the evening of December 25 which resulted in the killing of three Pakistani soldiers was today described as “selective targeting across the LoC”, a “short-distance raid” and a “localised tactical operation” by highly-placed sources in India’s defence establishment.The cross-border raid across LoC was first reported by DNA.The raid was also acknowledged as a “tit-for-tat” reply for the attack carried out of Pakistan troops on December 23 in the Keri sector of Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district in which one Major and three Army jawans were killed. In fact, sources said that Monday’s raid was almost an “exact replica” of the raid conducted by the Pakistani soldiers on December 23.Also readSurgical Strike 2.0: Indian Army planted IEDs to surprise Pak; toll could be higher The Pakistani troops who came under fire were from 59 Balooch Unit of the Rakhchakri Battalion of the Rawalkot Brigade. The engagement with Pakistani troops happened at around 6 pm on Monday when a temporary post and a patrol party came under fire from the Indian Army. Firing from both sides continued for a long time even after the raid had ended and the situation continued to be tense in that area.On Monday evening, first an explosion was conducted 200-300 meters across the LoC and following that the 8-10 member strong Pakistani patrol party came under fire from Indian Army’s Ghatak team. Around four Indian Army troops conducted this raid, sources added. Sources added that the Pakistani patrol party was probably in this area to lay a counter-ambush. “We were able to locate and target them,” a source said. “”The Indian Army will continue to exploit such fleeting opportunities,” the source added.While initial details suggests that three Pakistani troops got killed and one injured, sources said that intelligence reports indicate that the toll could climb. Sources also added that this was a localised tactical operation conducted by Indian Army Commanders on the ground and that the decision to conduct this raid was taken at the Brigade/Battalion level.

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Yogi Adityanath announces Metro for Agra, Kanpur

Addressing his first public meeting on Monday, right after the inauguration of the Magenta Line of Metro in Noida, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath announced new Metro projects for Agra and Kanpur in the state.During the inauguration, Adityanath said: “I thank the PM for giving UP the offering of this new Metro line. We are going to bring Metro to Kanpur and Agra. The inauguration of the Magenta Line will prove to be a milestone towards realising the dream of development for Noida and Greater Noida. The PM has given a new meaning to politics of this nation. He is always telling us one thing: We have to move ahead on the path of development. We should ensure no citizen is unhappy. There is no question of discriminating against anyone.”He further said that the work to set up an airport at Jewar has also been expedited, which will be a boom for the people and will bring development to the district.”We have been planning two major expressways in the state. It is an achievement to have the Prime Minister in the state. He has given a new direction to politics and till even a single individual remains unhappy, we should make efforts to solve his problems,” Adityanath said during the meeting.Attacking the previous governments in the state, Adityanath claimed that under their rule, Noida, Greater Noida, and Yamuna Expressway region were only meant to make money. “My government is taking public welfare projects on a priority basis. As per Modi’s directions, we are working on the principle of participation of all and development for all (sabka saath, sabka vikas),” Adityanath said.Referring to the issue of real estate developers leaving projects unfinished, much to the agony of homebuyers, the UP chief minister said that builders have promised to handover 80,000 apartments to consumers in the next six months.Aditynath further said that in the nine months of his rule, he has been taking decisions without any partisan attitude or self interest. “All decisions are in public interest,” he added.The UP CM referred to agriculture in the state and claimed that sugarcane farmers’ dues were being paid on time while the power supply, too, had improved. Adityanath further said that his government was tough on criminals as well.REALITY ISSUEReferring to the issue of real estate developers leaving projects unfinished, much to the agony of homebuyers, the UP chief minister said that builders have promised to handover 80,000 apartments to consumers in the next six months.

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Airport X’mas for stranded Air India passengers

The Christmas spirit was dampened for passengers travelling to India from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as several flights from Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi were delayed or rescheduled owing to foggy weather conditions in the country. Flights to Mumbai and Delhi were delayed by as long as 12 hours, forcing several passengers to be stranded at the airports who then took to social media to express their displeasure over the delays.”Air India Express, terrible traveling service. Flight from Sharjah to Mumbai IX 252 delayed for more than 10 hours! No response from 24/7 helpline,” tweeted Raj Shah, one of the passengers. The Air India Express flight IX 252 was originally scheduled to take off from Sharjah Airport at 2.25 am on December 25 and reach Mumbai at 6.55 am, however, the flight took off at 4.34 pm on December 25.A source from Air India said, “The flights from Sharjah were rescheduled considering the weather conditions.” Repeated attempts to get in touch with a spokesperson of Air India Express did not yield any result.The Air India Express Mumbai-Sharjah IX 251 was also delayed by more than 12 hours. The flight was scheduled to take off from Mumbai airport on Sunday at 11.30 pm but took off 12.50 pm on Monday afternoon.Several flights were affected at Mumbai Airport on Monday as well due to traffic congestion.

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Joyride ends up killing two-year-old

A two-year-old Versova boy died on Monday after he fell from the bike on which he was taken for a joyride by the household help. The mishap took place on the flyover opposite Celebration club near Lokhandwala in Andheri on Saturday, when the help, Gopal Khandare, took two-year-old Jayan Khatri for a ride after his parents left for some work at night. The toddler plummeted headlong onto the road and succumbed to his injuries two days later.According to the Oshiwara police, Khandare, 24, works for Versova-based Abdul Khatri, 36, who trades in garments.”The boy was asking to go on a bike ride. When they were riding down the flyover at speed, Jayan fell down,” said a police officer.He added that Khandare had been working for the Khatris for four years and is like a family member to them. The parents were therefore reluctant to file a first information report.Senior inspector Subhash Khanvilkar of Oshiwara police station said, “We have registered a case under sections 304A (causing death due to negligence) and 279 (rash driving) of the Indian Penal Code. The accused was granted bail. We have recorded statements of the parents and witnesses.”

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Tamil Nadu: 5 die on spot in car mishap

Five persons, including three women, were killed when a car and a mini lorry collided at nearby Nalatinputhur in Tuticorin district on Monday, police said.<!– /11440465/DNA_Mobile_Article_300x250_BTF_1 –>Also readTwo killed in separate road accidents in MumbaiAll the five died on the spot, they said.Police said both vehicles collided head on.

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India celebrates Christmas with much fanfare

Midnight masses and carols in praise of Lord Jesus marked Christmas on Monday as the country got into a festive mood with people thronging markets donning Santa Claus caps and gospel bands enthralling the merry-makers.Worshippers across the country gathered in churches and cathedrals decorated with twinkling lights for the midnight service to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.Persons dressed up as Santa Claus cheered the revellers at several places such as malls, markets and parks.Christmas trees, bells, gifts and cakes were flooded in the markets where several people wearing Santa Claus’ signature cap could be seen enjoying the festive spirit.Prime Minister Narendra Modi wished people on Christmas, saying, “We remember the noble teachings of Lord Christ”.”Merry Christmas to all fellow citizens, especially our Christian brothers and sisters. May the festival bring happiness to our families and our shared society,” President Ram Nath Kovind said on his official Twitter handle.Vice President Venkaiah Naidu also wished all citizens on Christmas.”It reaffirms our faith in the values of compassion and forgiveness taught by Lord Jesus Christ for the enlightenment of humanity. May this bring peace, harmony and happiness,” a post on the Twitter handle of the Vice President said.Christmas was celebrated with full fervour in the national capital as thousands gathered in churches and decked up cathedrals.As the bells tolled, people thronged the churches — including the Cathedral Church of The Redemption and Sacred Heart Cathedral.Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, “Merry Christmas” and celebrated the festival by attending several Christmas programmes in the capital.The neighbourhoods of churches reverberated with traditional Christmas carols, with gospel bands enthralling the merry-makers with songs such as ‘Jingle Bells’, ‘Oh Holy Night’ and ‘Santa Claus Is Coming to Town’.In Kerala, which has a sizeable Christian population, special prayers, midnight masses and low key festivities on Monday marked Christmas as the state witnessed massive devastation and loss of life due to cyclone Ockhi last month.Senior bishops and priests led special masses and gave out Christmas messages at cathedrals and churches across the state.In his Christmas message, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan urged people to observe the day standing along with those who suffered in the cyclone.In Goa, which has around 27% Christian population, the peal of the midnight bells in churches and the carols in praise of Lord Jesus ushered in the Christmas festivities.The capital city Panaji was lit up and the markets gleamed with Christmas trees, bells, gifts, cakes and bebinca (a traditional Goan dessert), as tourists flocked to celebrate the festival in the coastal state.Cribs, decorated in beautiful ways and displaying the birth of Lord Jesus, were seen at several houses in the state.A larger-than-life crib installed in front of Mary Immaculate Conception Church in Panaji was a major attraction with thousands of tourists visiting the place since midnight.The streets of Panaji and Margao, the two main cities of Goa, were packed with vehicles till the wee hours as people participated in the traditional dance parties after the prayer service.The celebrations that commenced on Monday will now continue in the beach state till the New Year.Archbishop of Goa and Daman, Filipe Neri Ferrao, in his message, appealed to the people to spread the message of peace, love and harmony.Christmas was also celebrated with traditional gaiety and fervour in Tamil Nadu, with believers thronging churches, including the famous Santhome Basilica Church here, for special prayers and mass.In Chennai, senior bishops and priests conducted special masses at churches and read out the Christmas message at churches across the city.A large number of people thronged the Annai Velankanni church at Besant Nagar in the city, offered prayers and exchanged greetings.Faithful from all over the country gathered in large numbers at Shrine Basilica of our Lady of Health in Vailankanni and also New Jerusalem Church at Tarangambadi, the oldest protestant church in Asia, and offered prayers.Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Chief Minister K Palaniswami and leaders of political parties extended their greetings to the people.The festival mood was also visible in Mumbai. A 65-feet, or as tall as a seven-storey building, pine conifer at a society in Worli attracted visitors, for its tag of being India’s tallest fully decorated Christmas tree.The tree, located at a garden in Adarsh Nagar society in South Mumbai’s Worli area, has been decorated with over 10,000 lights, bells, images of reindeer and snowmen, and a waving Santa Claus.Kolkata celebrated Christmas by holding midnight masses and carols that continued through the day.A man dressed as Santa takes selfie at St. Pauls Cathedral during Christmas celebrations in Kolkata, on Monday. In an unpleasant incident, a church was vandalised on Christmas day by two unidentified drunken youths in Tura town of Meghalaya.The incident was caught in CCTV camera of the Baptist Church at Hawakana area of the town and it had also gone viral on social media with people condemning the incident which took place hours after the midnight service.In Uttar Pradesh, police kept a strict vigil across the state to ensure Christmas festivities passed off peacefully in the wake of the Hindu Jagran Manch warning against celebrating the festival. Christmas celebrations at a mall in Vaishali, Ghaziabad on Monday. All SPs were put on maximum alert in the districts after the Manch, an RSS-affiliate, recently issued a circular threatening all Aligarh schools against celebrating Christmas saying, they would be doing it “at their own risk”.

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Rahul Gandhi sends ‘big hug’ to woman on Twitter! Find out why

Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday took to Twitter to send a ‘big hug’ to a woman and also to wish her happy birthday and merry Christmas. Maybe Rahul Gandhi is finally smitten by someone and is ready to reveal it to the world. Actually, no, it’s the other way around! A 107-year-old woman blew her birthday candle on Monday and had only one wish on her mind- to meet Rahul Gandhi. Reason? She thinks the newly appointed Congress president is really “handsome”.A Twitter user with name Dipali Sikand tweeted on Monday with her grandmother’s picture cutting birthday cake with the caption: “Today my grandmother turned 107. Her one wish. To meet @OfficeOfRG Rahul Gandhi ! I asked her why? She whispers….He’s handsome !”Rahul Gandhi was quick to reply and tweeted, “Dear Dipali, Please wish your beautiful grandmother a very happy birthday and a merry Xmas. Please also give her a big hug from me. Best, Rahul.”It’s surely a Christmas miracle Deepali’s grandmother would have hoped for. Rahul Gandhi assume post as Congress President on December 16. During the recent Gujarat campaign, we witnessed his ‘change’ has got the media talking.From taking subtle digs at BJP to mixing ‘Khakra’ jokes in his speeches, Rahul Gandhi looked like a rejuvenated man.

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Four killed after bus drives into pedestrian underpass in Moscow

A passenger bus swerved off course and drove into a busy pedestrian underpass in Moscow on Monday, killing at least four people, Russian news agencies reported.Video from the scene posted on social media showed a bus veering off the road and plunging down the steps of a pedestrian underpass, crushing several people beneath its wheels.The driver of the bus had been detained by police, agencies said, after he lost control of the vehicle. The incident occurred on one of the Russian capital’s busiest roads near the Slavyansky Boulevard metro station.Monday was an ordinary working day in Russia where Orthodox Christmas will be celebrated on January 7.An unnamed emergency services source told the TASS news agency that the number of fatalities had risen to five people. There were also unconfirmed reports that some 15 people had been injured.The Interfax news agency said investigators were looking into whether the incident had occurred as a result of a technical fault with the bus.Ten ambulances, fire service personnel, and three medivac helicopters were on the scene, agencies reported.

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After RK Nagar debacle, AIADMK sacks Dhinakaran loyalists

The ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu on Monday sacked six office-bearers supporting sidelined party leader TTV Dhinakaran, a day after he won the RK Nagar bypoll here with a thumping margin of 40,000 votes. The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by top party office-bearers O Panneerselvam and K Palaniswami, AIADMK sources said. Along with that, it decided to remove four Dhinakaran aides as party’s districtsecretaries.Five senior functionaries have also been removed from AIADMK. The party decided to remove, among others, key Dhinakaran aides P Vetrivel and Thangatamilselvan, AIADMK district secretary in Chennai and Theni respectively, the sources said. Though AIADMK supporters are divided between Dhinakaran and the Palaniswami-led camps, many office-bearers from the rival group hold party posts.Also readRK Nagar bypoll: 4 big takeaways from TTV Dhinakaran’s stunning win In a jolt to the ruling dispensation, Dhinakaran defeated its candidate E Madhusudhanan by 40,707 votes in the December 21 RK Nagar bypoll. The votes were counted yesterday. The party alleged that TTV Dhinakaran won owing to tacit understanding with DMK. The main opposition party in the state, DMK finished third in the RK Nagar bypoll.

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Delhi Metro LIVE: Magenta Line will be a milestone in UP’s development story, says CM Yogi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday inaugurated the Magenta Line of the Delhi Metro. Seen as Christmas gift for commuters, the Magenta Line is expected to make commuting between South Delhi and Noida hassle-free.13:52 IST Monday, 25 December 2017: We are going to bring new metro lines in Kanpur and Agra, says UP Yogi13:51 IST Monday, 25 December 2017: PM Modi has given a new meaning to politics of this nation. He is always telling us one thing – we have to move ahead on the path of development, says CM Yogi.13:49 IST Monday, 25 December 2017: Breaking the ‘Noida jinx’, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath travelled with PM Modi on during the inaugural ride of Magenta Line. He also addressed a public rally in Noida and said that the Magenta Line will be the milestone in UP’s development story.13:31 IST Monday, 25 December 2017: After inaugurating the Magenta Line, PM Modi will address a public rally in Noida shortly.13:24 IST Monday, 25 December 2017: Inside visuals of PM Modi’s inaugural ride on Magenta Line:13:22 IST Monday, 25 December 2017: From LED display to colourful seats, the Magenta Line will have host of new features. The stations will also portray themes of nature, yoga, and cultural landmarks.13:15 IST Monday, 25 December 2017: PM Narendra Modi onboard Delhi Metro after inauguration of a stretch of the new Magenta line.13:09 IST Monday, 25 December 2017: The Magenta Line connects Botanical Garden in Noida with Kalkaji Mandir in Delhi.13:07 IST Monday, 25 December 2017: PM Modi inaugurated Delhi Metro’s Magenta Line at the Botanical Garden Metro Station.

Kulbhushan Jadhav LIVE updates | No consular access for ex-Indian Navy official, reports Pak media

13:18 IST Monday, 25 December 2017: Jadhav’s wife and mother will first visit the Indian High Commission in Islamabad. The meeting is expected to take place at 1pm (Pak time).12:55 IST Monday, 25 December 2017: Elaborate security arrangements are in place around Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From Pakistan Rangers to Anti-Terrorism squads and sharp shooters have been deployed on roof tops.12:48 IST Monday, 25 December 2017: The Pakistani media has started to gather outside Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad.12:38 IST Monday, 25 December 2017: Latest media reports from Islamabad say that Kulbhushan Jadhav has not been granted any consular access. 12:36 IST Monday, 25 December 2017: Dr Mohammad Faisal, spokesperson Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pakistan, took to Twitter and said that the meeting between Jadhav and his family has been allowed as a ‘humanitarian gesture’ on the birthday of ‘Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’12:33 IST Monday, 25 December 2017: There are conflicting reports over consular access being granted to Kulbhushan Jadhav. While Pakistan claims to have finally granted the access, India has downplayed the news and said that the Indian diplomat accompanying the wife and mother of Jadhav can’t be seen as consular access.12:32 IST Monday, 25 December 2017: Wife and mother of Kulbhushan Jadhav have reached Islamabad.

Kulbhushan Jadhav to meet his mom and wife today

The Pakistan government has thrown a security blanket around the Constitutional Avenue hosting its Foreign Office and other top government offices in the wake of the arrival of Indian prisoner Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mother and wife in in Islamabad on Monday.Both women are arriving in Pakistan via Dubai on a commercial flight on Monday morning and will leave the country the same evening after meeting Jadhav. The meeting will take place at the Pakistan Foreign Office and not in prison. India’s deputy high commissioner in Islamabad J P Singh will accompany them to the meeting.A Pakistan Foreign Office official will also be present during this time, as per the agreement between the two countries through diplomatic channels. India conveyed the itinerary on Saturday after Pakistan gave the deadline of Sunday to provide the requisite information about the family members’ visit or risk the meeting being deferred or cancelled.Sources said Pakistan had said they needed to put in place elaborate security arrangements for transporting Jadhav from jail to Islamabad and also for the meeting. Pakistani media reported that while Pakistan had completed the preparations to arrange the meeting India was delaying providing relevant information about the itinerary. The Indian High Commission was informed about the issuance of the deadline, the reports said. They said Pakistan needed time to bring Jadhav to the Foreign Office and for other security-related matters.In preparation for the meeting, Pakistan has deployed heavy security and traffic personnel within and outside their Foreign Office. Pakistani diplomatic sources said the meeting will last for an hour. Pakistan has offered to arrange media presence, if Jadhav’s mother and wife want to speak to media. But the offer has been rejected by India, reports said.Pakistani sources indicated that the meeting between Jadhav and his family members will not be the last, raising hopes that his death sentence may be deferred. The Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi had issued visas to Jadhav’s mother and wife earlier in the week. The visas were issued after Pakistan decided to allow Jadhav’s wife to visit him. But later, it agreed to allow his mother to join, who had originally applied for the visa. Pakistan later agreed to Indian condition — to allow an Indian diplomat to accompany the two women and also to provide a sovereign guarantee to their security and safety. After extensive deliberations, the Indian request was allowed and December 25 was proposed last week as the meeting date.Jadhav, who was reportedly captured by Pakistani security forces on March 3, 2016, in Balochistan, was sentenced to death by a military tribunal earlier this year for his involvement in terrorism and espionage. His appeals against the conviction have been rejected by the military appellate court and his mercy petition has been lying with Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.India has challenged Pakistan’s refusal to grant consular access in the International Court of Justice (ICJ). The ICJ is hearing the case and has restrained the Pakistan government from executing Jadhav till it decides the case. Pakistan had earlier repeatedly rejected India’s plea for consular access to Jadhav. India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the navy.

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Mumbai’s first AC local train to begin operations tomorrow

The first Air Conditioned local train will depart on its historical introductory run on Monday from Borivali station at 10.30 am for the Churchgate station. After the introduction, the AC local train will be operated on an experimental basis between Churchgate and Borivali stations till December 29 wherein only 6 services shall ply per day.After reaching Churchgate, the train will depart for Borivali again within 5 minutes of its arrival. This train will follow a schedule of 6 services – 3 services each towards Churchgate and Borivali – until December 29.The train service will have halts at Mumbai Central, Dadar, Bandra, Andheri. It will then be monitored during the weekend. From January 1, it will have 12 services each day. Those having existing first class tickets and season passes wouldn’t be allowed to travel in AC rake but those with AC ticket/passes can travel in regular first class.People have been given option of buying daily tickets — for instance a journey between Churchgate to Borivali will cost Rs 165 which is Rs 15 more than the daily ticket price of regular first class.It will cost more to travel shorter distances. For instance, a Churchgate-Dadar/Bandra would cost Rs 85 (Rs 30 more than the regular first class). There is also an option of buying weekly, fortnightly and monthly passes.The Churchgate-Borivali weekly pass will cost Rs 855 as compared to Rs 755 for monthly pass for a regular first class on the same route. The fortnightly pass will cost Rs 1245 and monthly will be Rs 1640 for the same route of this AC rake. For those on Churchgate-Andheri route, AC passes will cost Rs 655, Rs 945, Rs 1240 for weekly, fortnightly and monthly respectively. In comparison, it costs Rs 670 for monthly first class pass on same route. The Churchgate-Dadar/Bandra would cost the same at Rs 445, Rs 630 and Rs 820 for weekly, fortnightly and monthly respectively.The coaches reserved for Ladies and Seats earmarked for Senior Citizens/Divyangs are different from Standard Configuration. 1st and 12th coach from Churchgate end are earmarked as Ladies coaches and 7 seats in 2nd and 11th coach from Churchgate end are earmarked for Senior citizens while 10 seats in 4th and 7th coach from Churchgate end are earmarked for Divyangs.

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Trial run on Magenta Line held for media

A trial run for the media was held on Delhi Metro’s Magenta Line on Friday, after a driverless train rammed through a wall during the trial run three days ago. The corridor, which will reduce travel time between south Delhi and Noida to 19 minutes, will be using the Communication Based Train Control System (CBTC) for the first time, and will be thrown open to public at 5 pm on Monday, after inauguration by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The 12.6 km line between Botanical Garden and Kalkaji Mandir, with nine stations en route, is being touted as an engineering marvel by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). Among the many firsts are glass gates and screen doors at all nine platforms, a feature used only on the Airport Line till now.The Magenta Line, which will run through stations such as Okhla Bird Sanctuary, Kalindi Kunj, Jasola Vihar, and Kalkaji Mandir, will also be the first ever interchange station in the National Capital Region outside Delhi. Trains chugging on the route will have backrests for those standing, with colourful seats adding to the decor. A departure from the drab grey in all trains, women’s coach on the Magenta Line trains will be bright pink while seats in general coaches will be painted orange and blue. Red is the colour for reserved seats in general coaches.Trains will run at a frequency of 5 minutes and 14 seconds. A total of 10 trains will be pressed into service and two more trains (one each at Kalkaji Mandir and Botanical Garden) will be kept on standby for peak hours’ traffic. One of the engineering challenges that the DMRC handled was the tunnel work between Kalkaji Mandir and Okhla NSIC, using the New Austrian Tunneling Method (NATM) .The tunnel between Kalkaji Mandir and NSIC Okhla passes below piers 135 and 136 of the Violet Line and the distance between the two piers is 28 metres, making it difficult to construct twin tunnels within such a short space. Hence, the DMRC decided to construct a single tube twin tunnel through which both tracks could pass using the NATM technology.MORE ON MAGENTAThe corridor will use the Communication based Train Control System for the first time. The line will reduce travel time between south Delhi and Noida to 19 minutes. It will open to public from 5 pm on Monday. It is a 12.6 km line between Botanical Garden and Kalkaji Mandir.

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Manmohan Singh-Pakistan remark: Nobody will apologise as incident did not happen in House, says Vice President Naidu

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, who is also the chairman of the Rajya Sabha, addressed the controversy surrounding the allegations made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi against former PM Manmohan Singh of conspiring against Pakistan.“This is not the way. Nobody is going to give apology. Nothing happened in the House. The statement was not made here,” Naidu said in the upper House.The Rajya Sabha was adjourned till 2 pm after an uproar by the opposition in the house over the allegations that the Congress had conspired with Pakistan for the BJP to lose in Gujarat. PM Modi had made the allegations following a dinner party hosted by senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar that had ‘top Pakistani officials present.’ However, Singh listed those who attended the dinner hosted in honour of visiting former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri. “None of them could be accused of any anti-national activities,” he said.Also readParliament attack anniversary: Modi, Manmohan Singh shake hands after row over ‘Pak meddling’ allegationsOn Monday, Congress continued its protests in the Parliament on Monday, disrupting proceedings in both Houses for the second day. The party had raised objection to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks that suggested former prime minister Manmohan Singh conspired with Pakistan to influence Gujarat elections.While Lok Sabha was adjourned within minutes on Monday, Rajya Sabha was first adjourned within 10 minutes after it assembled at 11 am. At 12 noon, when it reassembled, it was adjourned again as Congress continued with sloganeering and would not allow any legislative business to continue.Also readApologise to Manmohan Singh, Congress tells Narendra ModiCongress leader Anand Sharma demanded a clarification by Prime Minister on his remarks about Singh, a sitting member of Rajya Sabha.Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu insisted on taking up a question, but some Congress members did not allow him to continue. As the chaos continued, Naidu remarked, “I don’t want this kind of thing to be seen by the people,” and adjourned proceedings for the day as Congress members were seen walking into the Well.

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20-year-old man’s body found dumped in Kalyanpuri park

The body of a 20-year-old man was found, with his face crushed inside a park, in North-East Delhi’s Kalyanpuri area late on Monday night. Police officials are investigating the case from a personal enmity angle as the deceased was not robbed and his belongings were intact.According to the police, the incident came to the fore on Tuesday morning when a passerby noticed the body lying in the park. Prima facie, it appears that he was killed on Monday night and his face was disfigured using a huge stone so as to conceal his identity.Police officials have ruled out robbery as a prime objective in the case as the mobile phone and the wallet of the deceased were intact. The deceased has been identified as Ranjit Kumar. Kumar worked at a shop and the police informed that he used to consume drugs. Kumar also used to have arguments with his parents as they objected to his consuming drugs.The police identified the body through his mobile phone. His parents had tried reaching him on the mobile phone but when he did not answer, they panicked and started looking for him in the vicinity. Police have registered a case and the investigation is on.

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BJP tears into ‘clueless’ Rahul Gandhi for attacking PM Modi despite wins

A day after Gujarat’s election results were announced, a fierce war of words broke out between the Congress and the BJP.Rahul Gandhi said on Tuesday that the outcome was “a moral victory” for the Congress and “a massive jolt” for the BJP, and has “raised questions on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s credibility”. The BJP won a sixth straight term, but got 16 seats less, compared to the 2012 Assembly elections. The saffron party ridiculed Rahul, saying he was “clueless on how to compete with Modi”, and that it was the Congress leader’s credibility that was at an all-time low.In a stinging response, two Union Ministers, Ananth Kumar and Prakash Javadekar, said Gandhi was probably trying to redefine the meaning of “setback”.”Frankly, Modi ji has a credibility problem. His party repeats whatever he says, but the nation is not listening to it. Gujarat polls showed it and it would be clearer in the times to come,” Rahul said outside Parliament, in his first interaction after the verdict came on Monday.Rahul said he learnt only in Gujarat that people actually do not accept the so-called “Modi model” of development as it is “a very good propaganda, very good PR (public relations) stunt, very good marketing” but the model is “khokhla” (hollow) from inside.Ananth Kumar said that PM Modi’s credibility was at its peak, not just in India but globally. He also reminded Rahul that the BJP was in power in 19 states. Kumar said the BJP’s vote share of 49.1 per cent in these polls is an improvement over the 47.9 per cent it achieved in 2012.Javadekar also said, “Yesterday (Monday) the BJP won Gujarat for the sixth consecutive time and also got the mandate in Himachal Pradesh. But today (Tuesday) a new definition has emerged as Rahul Gandhi described the results as a setback for the BJP.”He said that if Rahul thinks that it was a jolt for the BJP, then either “he is changing the definition of jolt or trying not to understand it”.”Those who were saying that development has gone mad, people gave them a severe jolt by reposing their faith in the BJP,” he said.The BJP leader said that since 2014, BJP has formed governments in Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, Manipur, Assam, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. “While under Rahul Gandhi’s leadership they have lost since 2014,” he said.Javadekar further reminded Rahul that his party has not only been losing state elections, but was also defeated recently in civic polls in Rahul’s pocket borough Amethi.

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BMC blames socio-economic problems for Andheri farsan shop fire

A day after 12 people were charred in a fire at an illegal condiment factory in Sakinaka, the civic body on Tuesday tried to shrug off its responsibility by attributing the tragedy to a combination of several issues.Political pressure, court cases and government failure in checking illegal supply of electricity and gas cylinders for commercial purposes the hurdles that it faces in controlling unauthorised businesses in the city, said the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation.”It is a socio-economic problem that people come to Mumbai to do odd jobs. The workers who died on Monday were from north India,” said Deputy Municipal Commissioner, Bharat Marathe. The Bhanu condiment factory on Khairani Road was too small to operate as a factory and accommodate 20 people, said Marathe, the in-charge of civic affairs for the area.And the issues span across Mumbai, he said. “It is a reality that 60 percent of the city have the same scenario.” Regular inspections and strict action are the need of the hour, he said.Vote-bank politics undo all the efforts of the civic body, said a BMC official, who did not wish to be named. “We are under immense political pressure to not take action in slums. It is only after court orders that we can do something.” He said only a handful of politicians allow the BMC to do its work in good faith.Resource crunch is another impediment, said the second official. “We lack staff in sanitary inspections, factory and licence departments. One person can inspect maximum 20 shops per day but in Mumbai depending on the area ranging from 60 to 200 illegal small scale businesses come up every day. Many a times we don’t even come to know that some businesses start and even closes after few months. Even if we take the owner to court, high court penalises him sometimes with just Rs 500 and the illegal business continues”, he said.BJP MP Kirit Somaiya, who has written to the BMC chief after Monday’s tragedy, said he has demanded inspection at all condiment factories in Mumbai. “It may be true that some politicians don’t allow BMC action, but it is not important at the moment. We have to look forward that such incidences should not occur and innocent should not lose their lives”.

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Owner stares at charges for child labour

With the discovery of the body of a 17-year-old boy at Bhanu Farsan in Saki Naka, authorities are trying to ascertain if the minor had been employed by the illegal unit’s owner Ramesh Bhanushali. It is also likely that the owner will be booked under laws governing child labour.According to the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Amendment Act, 2016, people below 14 years of age cannot be engaged in any business or organization, while those between 14 and 18 cannot be permitted to work in hazardous occupations that involving inflammable substance or explosives.Violators can be punished with two years in jail and a maximum fine of Rs. 50,000. “In this case if the minor was employed with the factory unit, the owner exposed the minor to the inflammable substances used in the factory unit. This can lead to the addition of sections of the Child Labour Act. We are taking an expert opinion to press charges,” said a senior police officer.Twelve people, mostly labourers, were charred after a fire broke out at the Saki Naka shop on Monday. Initial reports said the fire was triggered by a short-circuit at the tiny structure.

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20-year-old BMC cleaner dies in an accident

A 20-year-old man, who was traveling by a Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s clean up van died after the vehicle was hit by a speeding trailer on Monday afternoon.The deceased has been identified as Rizvan Shaikh. a cleaner of BMC.According to the police, the incident took place around 4:30 pm on Monday when Shaikh was seated beside the driver of the vehicle. Near the Ghatkopar-Mankhurd Link road, when the cleanup van was taking right turn, a speeding trailer came from behind and hit the van injuring Shaikh fatally. The police said, Shaikh had sustained a severe head injury and was immediately rushed to nearby hospital. However he succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday morning.The driver of the trailer fled from the spot,”We have registered a case of rash driving and causing death due to negligence. The victim was a friend of the driver and would come to help him. They were going home when the incident took place. We are trying to trace the vehicle that hit the van,” said a police officer from Tilak Nagar police station.

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20 cases of short delivery, spurious petrol found across Rajasthan

With the use of unauthorised chip on dispensers, 20 cases of short delivery and adulteration in petrol have been found in the petrol pumps across the state in past three years and in the current year (April-September 2017). This has been revealed in a data issued by ministry of petroleum and natural gas on Monday.Out of these 20 cases, 4 are of short delivery while 16 are of adulteration. Interestingly, in adulteration cases during this duration, only UP, which has 17 cases of adulteration has more cases than Rajasthan. Rajasthan stood second with 16 cases of adulteration in petrol. Notably a week back, petrol supplies from two nozzles were stopped at Durgapura-based Coco petrol pump in the city. The step was taken by the deputy controller of legal metrology under department of consumer affairs after a due investigation on a complaint received by the department. According to the investigation, 10ml from five litres of petrol was found missing from the two nozzles.In the month of May this year, one such case in Chittorgarh was revealed when a team of department of food and civil supplies checked a retail outlet and found a chip in the machine. As a result it was pumping less fuel. After this incident the officials of oil companies have started a campaign of making surprise checks to find out if any tampering has been done.

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Yamuna water to quench thirst of Jhunjhunu: Vasundhara Raje

Water from Yamuna river will quench thirst of Jhujnhunu district, claimed chief minister Vasundhara Raje on Monday and added that pipelines will be laid instead of canal to bring water under the project.“The government is in constant touch with Union water resources ministry to consider option of laying pipelines in place of canal to bring water from Yamuna,” Raje told the locals during the ‘CM Jan Samwad programme’ held at a private school.The CM also made a veiled attack on the Congress for making no efforts to provide water to the district of Shekhawati region. “We made efforts to supply water to Jhunjhunu rising above the politics. In four-year rule so far, we brought water from Kumbharam Lift canal to several areas here. The rest will also be covered and get water from the canal as Detailed project report (DPR) is being drafted for this,” Raje said.She also said that her government plans to set up a state sports academy in Jhunjhunu on the line of NIS Patiala. Also, a military school with an estimated cost of Rs184 crore will be developed here. “Our government is committed to giving opportunities to youths to make a career in sports. We have announced to set up a sports academy here which will be linked to the rest of seven academies of the state. This will motivate youth to take up sports as a career.”

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3 held for misbehaving with school staff

Three drunkards were arrested for misbehaving with the staff of a school in Badu Kalan. Matoda police reached the spot after receiving information about the misbehaviour with the staff of Rajya Ucch Prathmik Vidhyalaya Meghaniyon ki Dhani Bedu Kalan. Principal Mohan Ram Godara filed the report and told that Police have taken action and arrested the accused.6 ARRESTED IN LOOT CASEIn connection with the robbery near Lunawas Khara Road, the police have arrested six people on Monday. Police have seized the car used in this incident. Bhagwan Sahay, an employee of finance company, was looted when he returning from rural area after collecting money.On December 16, he was returning when some unidentified man looted Rs 60,000. They also took away rs 5,000 of his own.

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Govt tables bill in Lok Sabha to let NRIs vote in Indian polls

The Central government on Monday tabled a bill in the Lok Sabha to ensure that more than 10 million Indian passport holders who are overseas get to exercise their right to vote in future through proxy. The draft law also seeks to make the election law gender neutral by replacing the term ‘wife’ with ‘spouse’ to benefit service voters.According to the provisions of ‘Representation of the People Act (Amendment) Bill, 2017’ introduced by Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, overseas Indians, who are entitled to vote in India, can now appoint a proxy voter to cast their votes. The Narendra Modi-government had submitted before the Supreme Court that the Cabinet would consider a draft bill seeking to allow e-voting by NRIs, armed forces personnel, and security forces working outside their constituency.As of now, overseas Indians with Indian passports are able to vote only if they are physically present in the constituency. However, in the 2014 elections, only 11,846 voters registered, Election Commission statistics reveal. This may allow the ruling BJP to translate the euphoria of events such as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Madison Square event in New York and elsewhere into votes in the next general election.An expert committee of the Election Commission working on the issue had in 2015 forwarded the legal framework to the Law Ministry to amend the electoral laws to allow overseas Indians use proxy voting. The bill said the necessary provision of coming to India to cast ballot caused ‘hardship’ to overseas electors.Another provision in the amendment bill relates to spouses of service voters. As of now, an armyman’s wife is entitled to be enrolled as a service voter, but a woman army officer’s husband is not, according to the provisions in the electoral law. The draft bill proposes to replace the term ‘wife’ with ‘spouse’, thus making the provision gender neutral.Members of the armed forces, central armed police forces, personnel of state police forces posted outside their state and employees of the Centre posted outside India are eligible to be enrolled as service voters. According to Election Commission for 2014 electoral rolls, , 11, 846 oversses electors had registered. Out of the total 11,846 registered overseas electors, 11 ,448 (96.64%) are registered in the State of Kerala and the rest 398 (3.36%) are registered in the States of Punjab (138), Tamil Nadu (112) Puducherry (56), Goa (27), Delhi (13), Haryana (12), Daman & Diu (9), Gujarat (7), Chandigarh & Madhya Pradesh 6 (6 each), West Bengal (4), Chhattisgarh & Himachal Pradesh (2 each), and Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Uttar PradeshThe Opposition Congress had submitted to the EC that the privileges not being given to Indian voters must not be extended to NRI voters either. In the petition, the party favoured sending ballot papers by electronic mail or the acceptance of self-attested ballot papers as valid votes. The party has emphasized that internet voting is prone to misuse and rigging and therefore cannot be a viable voting mechanism.Other bills introduced in the Lok Sabha on Monday included getting permission to transport bamboo, The National Council for Teacher Education (Amendment) Bill, 2017, The Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill, 2017, The Dentists (Amendment) Bill, 2017 and The Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill, 2017. The government has proposed to do away with the practice of nominating practising dentists who do not have required qualifications to the Dental Council of India.(ends)OTHER PROVISIONThe draft law introduced in the Lok Sabha also seeks to make the election law gender neutral by replacing the term ‘wife’ with ‘spouse’ to benefit service voters.NRI population abroad 10037761 Countries with large NRI populationsAustralia213710Bahrain350000Canada200000Germany42500Italy97719Kuwait579058Malaysia150000Nepal112500Oman718000Qatar500000Saudi Arabia1789000Singapore350000Thailand90000UAE1750000UK1500000USA927283Out of 214 countries, 101 countries have provision of external voting.Few Countries where external voting is allowed Voting methodUnited States of AmericaVaries by state. External voting managed on state levelUnited KingdomMixed (postal, proxy)TurkeyPersonalSouth AfricaPersonalNew ZealandPersonal, postal, faxMalaysiaPostalIsraelPersonalItalypostalGermanyPostalEstoniaE-voting, personal, postal

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What the verdicts mean…

The early jitters in the stock market on Monday morning showed how nervous investors were. The markets were confident of a BJP victory, thanks to the exit polls, but when early counting trends showed the party neck-and-neck with Congress, the Sensex tanked more than 800 points. Later, as counting progressed, it recovered.
Despite taking tough measures such as demonetisation and the brouhaha over GST rollout, the government has managed to keep voters under its wings. Now it can stick to its policy trajectory, with reforms and fiscal consolidation topping the agenda.

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JNU VC urges Centre to install Army tank on campus as ‘symbol of patriotism’
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written Bydna Correspondent <!–end of artlbotbor–>Tuesday 19 December 2017 1:30 ISTMust read’FRDI Bill will take away people’s bank deposits’: Mamata writes to Jaitley for immediate withdrawalForget sharing your data with banks, in Goa you need to share Aadhaar for paid sex<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>For IndiaThe issue of quota could be back in the political discourse with the Congress’s promise of reservation to Patidars having helped it to consolidate in Patel belts of Gujarat. In order to consolidate its Hindu vote-bank, the BJP’s call for Ram temple will reach a crescendo before 2019 elections. The Hindutva message will be pushed further and deeper. Reacting to Rahul Gandhi reworking his party’s strategy from minority outreach to soft Hindutva, the BJP will scale up Hindutva, along with issues like the ‘Triple Talaq’ in the run-up to 2019. This also means that despite being in office for three years, the Modi government is yet to suffer any substantial anti-incumbency wave. It can breathe easy in 2019 when it faces the next general elections. Trading community’s woes will now get more attention, especially after the results in the Saurashtra region, the diamond hub. The message is, reform with caution. Also, the middle class needs to be kept in mind. The echo of Monday’s results will be heard far beyond the boundaries of the two states and will impact upcoming elections in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. For GujaratGujarat has given one message loud and clear: The voter cannot be taken for granted. BJP got simple majority, but that’s about it. Congress has gained but doesn’t get to rule the state. Were it not for PM Modi, the BJP would have come close to experiencing defeat. Gujarat trusts Modi, but wants the party to work on unresolved issues. Congress could not encash 22 years of anti-incumbency, dissent over GST and Patidar support. Rahul fought gallantly, but will need the rank and file to convert narrow defeats into victory. It must now fight hard on people’s issues. For Himachal PradeshAn end of the road for BJP stalwarts Shanta Kumar and Prem Kumar Dhumal. While Shanta Kumar was already out of the race, the defeat of two-time CM Dhumal and BJP state president Satpal Singh Satti has sent shock waves through the party. With the last-minute decision of declaring Dhumal as its chief ministerial candidate backfiring, the BJP will now think of projecting leaders with a stronger grassroots connect in future Assembly polls. For modi-shah & the bjpThe iron grip of PM Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah on the party will continue. Modi remains the principal vote-catcher of the BJP, while Shah remains the ‘Shah’ of strategy. There will be more centralisation of power within the BJP. The loss of over a dozen seats will act as a wake-up call for the duo. They will now have to re-assess the impact of hard reforms measures on the rural electorate (results in rural Gujarat being a pointer). For Rahul & CongMonday’s results can boost opposition morale in the run-up to the crucial seven state elections in 2018 and the general elections in 2019. Unlike in Gujarat, the Congress state leaderships in Rajasthan and Karnataka are popular. A stronger Congress can also become the nucleus around which all other non-BJP regional parties can gather. Congress has recorded its best performance in Gujarat and this will definitely be a moral booster. It has taken away some 16 seats from the BJP in Gujarat — the credit for which should go to party president Rahul Gandhi. For Hardik & PatidarsDuring the campaign, Hardik Patel was confident that the Patidars would back him, and, therefore, Congress would defeat BJP. That hasn’t happened. He has said that the agitation will be more intense if BJP wins; but he must now introspect as the Patidars in urban areas haven’t voted for Congress, and those in rural areas voted against BJP because they suffered an agrarian crisis. With BJP back in power, Patidars may not get the reservation quota. For Economy & ReformsThe early jitters in the stock market on Monday morning showed how nervous investors were. The markets were confident of a BJP victory, thanks to the exit polls, but when early counting trends showed the party neck-and-neck with Congress, the Sensex tanked more than 800 points. Later, as counting progressed, it recovered. Despite taking tough measures such as demonetisation and the brouhaha over GST rollout, the government has managed to keep voters under its wings. Now it can stick to its policy trajectory, with reforms and fiscal consolidation topping the agenda.

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More than 90% shops in Saki Naka operate without license

More than 90 per cent of the tiny manufacturing units in Khairani Road in Saki Naka are running without the requisite permissions. Officials from BMC’s L Ward said that a majority of the units had recently registered their shops, and were carrying out their business as per their choice without any intimation to the civic body or the concerned department.Even the farsan shop where the fire broke out on Monday was operating without licenses. The shop owner had once registered the shop but had never applied for any other licenses. Over the years, the premises have been used for various purposes from shoe manufacturing to farsan making.According to the records available with the ward office, kerosene oil, diesel, LPG cylinder or any other hazardous substances cannot be stored as the shop owner had not procured licenses for such purposes. However most of these items were stored in the congested area that spiked the fire. Ajitkumar Ambi, assistant commissioner, L Ward confirmed that the shop owner had never applied for a license to store such hazardous materials. The shop also had a wooden chimney for which a separate license is required.The report submitted by the BMC’s fire department has indicated that a short circuit was the main reason behind the fire while hazardous substances stored without requisite licenses fulled the fire further.

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Will conduct inquiry on safety norms violation: BMC Chief Ajoy Mehta

Civic chief Ajoy Mehta visited the incident site on Monday and told DNA that an inquiry will be conducted to ascertain whether fire safety norms were violated.Did the fire break due to lapses in safety norms?It was a sad incident and I personally visited the site to take stock of the situation. It’s a very crowded area and we will conduct an inquiry to look into violations of safety norms if any. Thereafter we will take further action as needed. I strongly believe citizens must take the first step towards fire safety. Wherever you work or stay, you must ensure that the stipulated fire norms are complied with.Is BMC’s fire department fully equipped to effectively handle fires?Due credit must be given to our jawans and officers who quickly doused the fire and also prevented its spread in the densely populated area. In the past two years, the BMC has fortified its fire brigade with the latest in firefighting equipment, upgrading the training of personnel and increasing the human resources available.How can Mumbaikars be proactive in fire mitigation and control?Fire safety norms have to be fulfilled, it’s imperative. We must do away with the attitude that ‘it can’t happen to me’. One can very well be the victim to such a situation if one is not cautious.

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Revised timetable, trains still late, says irate passenger body

Tired of the constant delays in train services on Central Railway (CR), passenger associations have decided to protest if the trains continue to be behind schedule. The association stated that December 18 onward, CR changed the timetable wherein several trains have been revised by 10 to 15 minutes.The Federation of Suburban Passengers Association has written a letter to the CR authorities. “In the morning hours, the trains are always delayed. This causes a lot of inconvenience to commuters. If trains run late even after the train timetable has been revised, people are bound to lose their patience,” said Nandkumar Deshmukh, president, Federation of Suburban Passengers Association.CR suburban trains began running as per a new winter timetable from Monday to offset delays caused due to dense early morning fog in the Kasara and Karjat sections. In all, the timings of 11 trains between Kalyan-Kasara/Karjat and Khopoli have been revised.The first train from Karjat will depart at 2.25 am instead of 2.35 am. Similarly, the first Kasara local will depart at 4.10 am instead of 4.25 am. Both trains will reach Kalyan at their original scheduled times of 3.29 a.m and 5.37 a.m. The change will only be for the first six services from Karjat and first four from Kasara.”If this new timetable becomes a success then punctuality of our services shall improve,” said a CR official.

Sunburn Music Festival: Bombay HC asks state govt to ensure ‘no alcohol’ for underage youth

The Bombay High Court on Monday asked the Maharashtra government to file an affidavit listing the steps it proposes to take to ensure that those underage do not consume alcohol at the upcoming ‘Sunburn music festival’ in Pune.A bench of Justices Shantanu Kemkar and Rajesh Ketkar also directed the government to take an undertaking from the organisers of the festival stating that they will pay all pending entertainment and related taxes from last year’s festival as well as the dues for this year’s event.The bench was hearing a petition filed by one Ratan Luth, a resident of Pune seeking that the organisers of the event were not granted a liquor license.Also readConcerned about poor air quality, organisers cancel Sunburn festival in DelhiAccording to his plea, the Festival was scheduled to take place from December 28 this year to January 1 next year, and around three lakh people expected to attend it.Several of those who attend the festival will be minors, school students etc and thus, the organisers must not serve liquor to ensure that no under-age drinking takes place, the petitioner sought.Also readSunburn Festival 2017: DJ Snake, Martin Garrix to headline EDM extravaganzaThe petitioner also cited several news reports claiming that in 2013, when the festival was organised at Goa, several instances of under-age drinking and consumption of illegal drugs was reported.However, Percept India, the organisers of the event told the court on Monday that the event had music that “appealed to 15- year-olds too.”The organisers also said that they had already sold several tickets, and booked international artistes for the event, and that they will ensure no laws are broken.The state’s counsel Abhinandan Vagyani meanwhile, told the court that the organisers had agreed to have a segregated and colour coded entry based on age groups.”Those below 20 years will be given green bands, those above 21 but under 25 will have yellow bands, and those guests who are above 25 will have red bands to identify them,” Vagyani said.”Also, the liquor counter will be at a distance from the stage and the main ground so that our police officials deployed at the spot can keep a check,” he said.Vagyani also said police will be deployed at the entry and exit points. “Our police will ensure that what happened in Goa does not happen here,”Vagyani said.While the bench directed Vagyani to put all his submissions in the affidavit, it also said the police must ensure that there was enough staff to maintain daily and law and order in the city as well.”The timing of the event is such that you’ll have to not just keep a watch on the event, but also across the city.Ensure that your entire staff does not happily go to the event,” it said.The state has been directed to file the affidavit by December 20.

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Assembly Elections 2017: Amit Shah hails BJP win in Gujarat, HP as ‘victory of development over dynasty and polarisation

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President Amit Shah on Monday hailed the party’s win in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections as a “victory of development over dynasty and polarisation.”Talking to reporters at the party headquarters in Delhi, Shah said, “We have once again emerged triumphant. I offer heartfelt gratitude to the people of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh that they gave us anther opportunity to serve them.”This is a victory of development over dynasty and polarisation, he said.Also readSensex cheers over BJP win in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh polls”The two-third lead in Himachal Pradesh shows that people there want to join Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the journey to development,” the BJP chief who arrived at the party office to a rousing welcome said.”We are confident that when we go into 2019 elections under the leadership of PM Modi we will once again get people’s support and Modi ji’s aim for the youth in 2022 will become a reality,” he added.

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Assembly elections 2017 result: ‘I salute hardworking BJP Karyakartas,’ PM Modi’s victory tweet

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said the assembly election results in Gujarat and Himachal Prades indicate BJP’s effort for development in the state.”Election results in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh indicate a strong support for politics of good governance and development. I salute the hardworking BJP Karyakartas in these states for their hardwork which has led to these impressive victories,” PM Modi said on Twitter.”I bow to the people of Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh for their affection and trust in BJP. I assure them that we will leave no stone unturned in furthering the development journey of these states and serve the people tirelessly,” he said in a series of tweets.The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is all set to form a government in the state of Gujarat for the sixth time and end Congress’ reign in Himachal Pradesh.Union Minister Smriti Irani also hailed BJP’s win saying, “It’s a matter of happiness for us, this is the victory of development.””Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar. It is a victory of every booth worker’s hard work and the people who trusted development,” she added.

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Gujarat Election Results 2017 LIVE: Rajnath Singh takes a dig at Rahul Gandhi, says ‘sar mundwate hi ole pade’

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday took a direct dig at newly appointed Congress President Rahul Gandhi after the assembly elections verdict in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.”Won’t say anything now as he has recently been made party president, ‘sar mundwate hi ole pade’ (Abhi toh kuch nahi bolunga kyunki woh haal hi mein adhyaksh bane hain lekin),” Rajnath Singh told ANI.The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is all set to form a government in the state of Gujarat for the sixth time and wrest power from Congress in Himachal Pradesh.However, Rahul Gandhi on Monday said he is not disappointed with the party’s loss in the state assembly elections.According to ABP News, the Congress President reportedly made the statement while interacting with party MPs inside Parliament in New Delhi.Rahul Gandhi had personally spearheaded the Congress’ campaign in Gujarat, which is home to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah. He raised issues such as lack of jobs, Goods and Service Tax, and Demonetization. The Congress President, however, did not focus his energy on the Congress-ruled Himachal Pradesh.

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Gujarat Election Results 2017 LIVE: Modi wave all over again? BJP leads on 53 seats

All eyes are set on Gujarat as the much-awaited results of the bitterly fought Assembly polls, which saw a political Mahabharat contest between the two leading parties – the BJP and Congress, will be announced today.The counting for the two phase Gujarat Assembly elections has begun and the results are expected to come out by afternoon.Gujarat has 26 parliamentary constituencies and 182 assembly constituencies.A total of 977 candidates were in the fray in the first phase of elections, out of which 57 were women candidates and over 2.22 crore people took part in the election to decide their fate. While in the second phase, 851 candidates fought, out of which 69 women candidates contested.8:00 IST Monday, 18 December 2017: Counting begins at the 37 centres that will decide the future course of Indian politics. 8:19 IST Monday, 18 December 2017: Early leads for BJP, the ruling party leads in 15 seats, whereas Congress is ahead on 4 seats. BJP had predicted 150 seats in the state. If initial trends are anything to go by, BJP may be heading for fifth straight win in PM Modi’s home state. 8:25 IST Monday, 18 December 2017: Visuals from Vadodara show the the buzz. There are seven seats in Vadodara district. The BJP had won 6 out of 7 seats in 2012. 8:35 IST Monday, 18 December 2017: The morning leads are showing strong position for BJP. Looks like the ‘Modi magic’ is working again. The ruling party is leading on 53 seats, whereas the Congress comes at distant second on 35.

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Gujarat elections 2017: BJP upbeat, gears up for ‘twin wins’

Silently, but diligently, the BJP’s election machinery rolled on a chilly Sunday, with party spokespersons huddled at the headquarters at 11 Ashoka Road, just a day before the fate of its candidates in Guajarat and Himachal Pradesh was to be revealed.As exit polls give the BJP a decisive edge in Gujarat, the mood was upbeat with BJP general secretary in-charge for Gujarat, Bhupendra Yadav, and Information and Broadcasting minister Smriti Irani, who is a Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat, briefing the spokespersons.According to sources in the party, nearly 30 party workers met at the party office to discuss and finalise the media communication strategy for Monday. They included leaders such as Dalit face of BJP, Bizay Sonkar Shastri, former Union minister Shahnawaz Hussain, the suave Samajwadi Party-turned-BJP leader Gaurav Bhatia, and Zafar Islam.Yadav oversaw communcation management, BJP’s media in-charge Anil Baluni and his deputy Sanjay Mayukh helped.”This meeting is nothing special. We are here only to decide the media strategy for Monday, as it would be a long day. We are deciding the shifts in which the spokespersons would be present here to interact with the media,” a senior BJP leader said.As the results start trickling in from 8 am, most of the party members would be present at the headquarters by 7 am. In the event of a victory, celebrations have been planned, including sweet distribution and cracker bursting.Meanwhile, an eye-catching poster of Congress president Rahul Gandhi was seen hanging right opposite the saffron party’s central office, ostensibly put up by the Youth Congress. The poster had Rahul waving his hand, with the message: “Lead For The India”.

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Death of HRD Ministry official: Family claims he was killed

The family of a central government official, whose body was found on railway tracks in Delhi three days after he went missing, on Friday alleged that he was killed and his body was dumped there. Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry Indian Civil Accounts Service officer Jeetendra Kumar Jha’s body was found on rail tracks on Monday in Palam.The police, however, said that it was a case of suicide since a purported note was also found in which he said no one was responsible for his death. Jha’s family was initially not able to identify his body yesterday. But after police showed a wallet and clothes, they identified the body.RN Mishra, Jha’s brother-in-law, said the body was mutilated beyond recognition and that is why they could not identify it. “Three-four months ago, he had said that he won’t live for long. He was scared for his life,” Mishra told news agency PTI, alleging foul play in Jha’s death.Mishra said that Jha was scared and was not even going to work and had been on leave. “He had even stopped visiting our house late in the night. If we had to meet him, we would have to visit his home,” Mishra said. Jha had even started leaving his cell phone at home so that his location could not be tracked, he said. “Even on the day he went missing, he had left his phone at home,” said Mishra.Jha, a 1998-batch officer, has worked in the training section of the Ministry of Human Resource Development. He was not going to the office and was on medical leave from September 28, the police had said.

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25-year-old event anchor found dead, family demads CBI probe

After a semi nude body of a 25-year-old event anchor was found dead on the second floor duct of the high rise building in Malad, the family members are suspecting foul play into the entire incident and have demanded that the incident must be probed by the Criminal Bureau of Investigations (CBI). The Malwani police have so far taken the statements of the friends of the deceased and a case of accidental death has been registered in this regard.According to police, Arpita Tiwari, is a resident of Mira road. Arpita on Sunday had visited her friend’s 15th floor residence at Manav Thal building at Malwani in Malad West. Tiwari works as an event host and anchors different events. Tiwari allegedly locked herself inside the washroom and jumped out from the window at around 3 am on Monday.Also readMumbai cop turns thief, walks away with ammunitionAt around 7 am, one of the friend woke up to answer nature’s call and found that the washroom was locked from inside and despite repeated knocks on the door went unanswered. Her friends later on using force opened the door and found glass of the washroom window being tampered. At around 7.30 am her friends found the body on the second floor’s duct. Later they informed the police about the incident.Also readNavi Mumbai suicide: Woman’s body not fit for donation, say copsThe sister of the victim on Wednesday claimed that Tiwari cannot end her life and it can be a case of murder. “The incident must be probed by the CBI and the culprits should be put behind bars”, Tiwar’s sister said. Dipak Phatangare, Senior Police Inspector, Malwani police station said, “So far a case of accidental death has been registered and we are investigating further. If we find any foul play into the incident. A case will be registered.”

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Banning condom ads is not a solution, say AIDS activists

The Information and Broadcasting ministry in an advisory issued to all television channels on Monday said advertising for condoms will not be allowed between 6 am and 10 pm. The announcement has raised a concern in several health circles particularly organisations working on HIV-AIDS control programme.Speaking about the issue, Dr V Sam Prasad, country program director of AIDS Healthcare Foundation, said, “The ban will create a negative impact on society. After banning the ads, teenagers will actively use social media to look for information. If the right message is not conveyed to children, it will be a big problem for them. It should actually be a dinner-table topic to discuss with the family members.”The data revealed by Mumbai District AIDS Control Society (MDACS) states that HIV infection among youth aged 15 to 29 years is about 31 per cent of the total infections.Dr Shrikala Acharya, spokesperson and additional project director of MDACS, said, “It won’t have any negative impact since people are aware of the fact that condoms are used to have protected sex. The younger generation is active on social media sites like YouTube, WhatsApp where they can easily access data and videos. Banning it on TV will not have any negative impact on the AIDS control programme organised by the government.”Ashok Row Kavi, Chairperson, The Humsafar Trust, said, “This is a regressive decision.”

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Mamata Banerjee likely to talk about drinking water problem at Purulia today

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will be addressing a public meeting at Purulia district on Tuesday. On Monday, she had conducted a meeting with district TMC leaders such as party MLA and Purulia district TMC president Shantiram Mahato, MLA Sandhyarani Tudu. Sources said that district leaders had expressed their concern over the paucity of drinking water in Purulia.In the meeting which had lasted over an hour, sources said that Mamata wanted to know about the prime concerns of the area and had been told about how some of the villages of the district had been reeling under severe drinking problem and in spite of many discussions and meetings in the past, there had been no solution to it.Ahead of the Panchayat elections next year, BJP has already started raking up the issue of dearth of drinking water here and that has been a major cause of concern for the TMC leadership in Purulia. BJP had been talking about the lack of infrastructural development in the district and TMC leaders know that the had been pushed at the back foot owing to the problem of potable water.Also readMamata Banerjee says will protect Muslims, Dalits in stateIt is expected that Mamata would be talking about the drinking water problem at the meeting on Monday and would assure people that a solution would be found soon.Works undertaken by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) are on but so far have not produced any desired solution to people’s plight.Also readMamata banerjee mocks Swachh Bharat mission over Sri Lankan players wearing masksAt about 1 pm Mamata is scheduled to inaugurate several welfare projects and address a public meeting at Jaipur area of the district.Ahead of the meeting, on Sunday some leaders from CPI(M) and Congress had defected to TMC.

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Yamuna water to resolve drinking, irrigation issues; report set

The state government has started preparations to bring Yamuna water in the state. It will be brought to Churu district via pipeline from Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh and will be used for drinking and irrigation in Churu, Jhunjhunu and Sikar district. The Water Resources Department has prepared a project of Rs 20 thousand crores for this.Water Resources Minister Dr Ram Pratap, during a press conference on Monday, said that the pre-feasibility report of 20 thousand crore rupees for bringing Yamuna water to Rajasthan was presented in the Central Water Commission(CWC). The Commission has approved the report and has appreciated the state government for this. Now, DPR will be made and sent to the CWC. Principal Secretary Shikhar Agrawal said that under this project, about 270 KM long, five pipelines of 3.2-meter diameter each will be laid down from Ghaziabad to Rajgarh (Churu) after which, the irrigation and drinking problem of the area will be resolved. On the fourth anniversary of the state government, Dr Ram Pratap organized a press conference and told about four years achievements of his department. He said that the government sanctioned the budget of Rs 11 thousand 930 crores in four years whereas, in the previous government’s five years, only 4 thousand 257 crores projects were made. He said that many major projects will be inaugurated and laid out in coming days. In this order, the foundation stone of Parwan Project will be laid on December 15 and work orders of Rs 273 crores have been issued for construction of dam and tunnel under this and after 15 days, the foundation stone for the construction of the Isarda dam will be done. Similarly, the foundation stones of the Batissa Nallah Project and Dholpur Lift and Irrigation Project in Sirohi district will be put up. “State government has formed Rajasthan River Basin and Water Resources Planning Authority. Under the Eastern Basin Transfer Project, drinking water and Irrigation facility will be provided in 2 lakh hectare area in 13 districts namely Jhalawar, Baran, Kota, Bundi, Sawaimadhopur, Ajmer, Tonk, Jaipur, among others,” said minister.LOAN WAIVER: A REPLY, NOT ANSThe Minister of Water Resources, Dr Ram Pratap, did not give a clear answer to the farmers’ bank loan waiver, on Monday. But in a philosophical way, the minister said that all political parties and farmers have to solve it, by studying this problem.In order to consider the demand for farmers’ debt waiver, the state government had formed a committee under the chairmanship of Dr Ram Pratap. On the question, in a press conference, Dr Ram Pratap said that in states like Kerala, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra etc., it has been declared to waive bank loans of farmers. These states have announced debt waiver, but have not done anything on the ground. He mentioned that something has happened in Kerala and Karnataka in this direction for debt waiver. That’s why our government sent a team of officials to study. Apart from this, the members of the committee, co-operative Minister Ajay Singh Kilak and Minister of State for Energy Pushpendra Singh, went to Karnataka to study the work.

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Stubbing the stub

At a time when number of deaths caused by cancer continue to be a matter of concern among governments and health experts, Rajasthan has recorded a significant decrease in overall tobacco consumption including smoking and smokeless tobacco use. The second edition of the Global Adults Tobacco Survey (GATS 2) revealed that tobacco consumption has been the main reason of oral cancer during last seven years.According to Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS-2) released by state health minister Kalicharan Saraf here on Monday, consumption of smokeless tobacco such as khaini and gutkha went down by 4.8 per cent from 18.9 in 2009-10 to 14.1 in 2016-17 and smoking went down by 5.6 per cent from 18.8 to 13.2. From GATS 1 to GATS 2, the prevalence of any tobacco use has also significantly decreased by 7.6 percentage points from 32.3 per cent in GATS 1 to 24.7 per cent in GATS 2.“It is the efforts made by the state government that is reflecting in GATS 2,” Saraf said. Though he denied any possibility of total tobacco ban in the state. “Ban (on tobacco) is not a solution as it involves the risks of malpractices such as smuggling and black marketing. We are committed to reduce tobacco consumption and for that awareness will be spread at the grassroots,” said Saraf.As per the survey, bidi and gutka are the two most commonly used tobacco products in the state as 11.4 per cent of adults smoke bidi and 9.0 per cent of adults use gutka. The mean age for initiation of tobacco use has increased from 17.0 years in GATS1 to 18.4 years in GATS 2.Principal secretary, health, Veenu Gupta said that the actions should be taken considering the youth between the age group of 18 to 35 years. She also suggested that at the places in the state where manufacturing is associated with people’s livelihood, bidi workers should to be trained for alternative means of living through skill development.

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Gujarat Elections 2017: City police say no to PM, Rahul Gandhi, Hardik Patel rallies

Citing the Election Commission’s guidelines, the Ahmedabad Police have denied permission to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president-elect Rahul Gandhi and PAAS leader Hardik Patel to hold roadshows in the city.A K Singh, city police commissioner, said, “We have denied permission for all the roadshows due to law and order as well as security concerns. It would have caused much public inconvenience as all the rallies were overlapping.””We have brought it to the notice of organisers our inability to manage the situation because an EC guidelines on roadshows emphasise on public convenience. Roadshows are expected to be done in a manner that the public is not inconvenienced.” Singh added.The routes proposed for the roadshows were through crowed areas, busy markets, railway stations, bus stands, the walled city, etc.It would have required a large deployment of police personnel to manage so many roadshows, Singh noted.The roadshows of Modi and Rahul were scheduled for Tuesday (December 12), while Hardik’s event was to take place on Monday. The public meeting was granted permission, but not the roadshow. However, he was allowed to move in his small convoy of four to five vehicles on the routes with small welcome events at some points.Modi will now address members, MPs and MLAs of the party’s OBC cell through an audio bridge on Tuesday, the BJP said.The campaigning for the second phase of the Assembly elections will come to an end at 5 PM on Tuesday.

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Brief spell of rain brings relief to pollution-hit Capital

The pollution-hit Capital heaved a sigh of relief on Monday after a light rainfall graced the city in the evening. The drizzle started around 5 pm and as much as 2 mm rainfall was received till 8.30 pm, officials of the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.The air quality, however, remained ‘very poor’, with an AQI score of 366 during the evening. Scientists at the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) said the rain was likely to continue on Tuesday as well, with which the air quality might improve from poor to moderate in the coming few days. In fact, it is not expected to end up in the ‘severe’ category till December-end.”The rain is likely to continue on Tuesday and will help in washing down of pollutants hanging in the air. The AQI in the city is expected to range from moderate to poor in the coming fortnight,” said Dipankar Saha, chief of air laboratory, CPCB. The temperature is also expected to come down with the downpour, he added.The maximum and minimum temperatures on Monday were recorded at 24.2 degrees Celsius and 8.2 degrees Celsius, respectively.”So far, winter has not set properly in Delhi. It is expected to set in by December 15-16. At present, the pressure in the atmosphere is low, which will pick up after winter sets in and a cold wave from the Himalayas comes in. Air from this region is clean and will help improve the air quality in the Capital as well. In the next 20 days at least, it will not touch the ‘severe’ category,” Saha said.After a brief respite on December 6 and 7, which were tagged as ‘good air days’ in the month, pollution levels spiked once again on Friday, with the AQI shooting up to 390 units. The permissible standards for PM 2.5 — the most prominent pollutant in the city — are 60 units (measured in microgram per cubic meters).Meanwhile, the air quality in the NCR towns of Ghaziabad and Noida, which are industrial hubs, continued to remain in ‘severe’ category at 463 and 408 units, respectively.Last week, the Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority (EPCA) had asked the Lieutenant-Governor in a meeting to tell the Delhi government to start patrolling of small industrial units using cheap fuels, which leads to pollution.The Delhi Technological University (DTU) surrounded by Narela, Bawana, and Badli in outer Delhi has been witnessing massive pollution levels. The air quality index (AQI) readings of these two areas is always found to be high.

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Four from Mumbai killed near Pune

Four Mumbai residents, including three from a family, died on Monday after their car hit a truck on the Mumbai-Bangalore Highway near Pune. The police have identified the victims as Yashwant Mane (55), Sharada Yashwant Mane (46), Hrishikesh Yashwant Mane (20) and Krushna Surve. Mane family and Surve were all residents of Chunabhatti. According to Bharti Vidyapeeth police, the Mane family had gone to Satara to drop their daughter at a college. The accident took place when they were returning to Mumbai. “Hrishikesh was driving the car and when their car reached near Katraj tunnel in Jambhulwadi area, the car rammed into a truck that was travelling ahead of the car. The car was damaged badly and all the four occupants of the car got trapped inside,” said an officer from Bharti Vidyapeeth police station.

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Gujarat Elections 2017: Retired Armymen raise One Rank, One Pension again

Retired Army major general Satbir Singh along with other retired Army staff on Monday told mediapersons about their plight following implementation of the One Rank, One Pension (OROP) scheme and said PM Narendra Modi keeps insulting Armymen.At the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC), Singh said, “In 2013, Narendra Modi had promised to give OROP as discussed. Armymen helped him gain 70 to 80 seats in the General Elections in 2014. But then Modi betrayed them. Media projects him as a leader who loves his nation and offers sweets during Diwali but it does not report that he is not supporting us or listening to our demands.”The retired Army major general said, “Modi has two faces. What media is showing is not his real face. He is not respecting the Army who is serving the nation. We are demanding OROP, which was decided and approved. But what he has offered is totally different.”He said the retired personnel have been protesting by holding Dharna at Jantar Mantar for last 910 days. “But, what Modi led government has done for us? They hassled, beat us up and torn our clothes. We were detained.”Singh said, “Modi does not deserve to be the PM of the Nation. We are not part of any political movement, but we will tour the whole nation to draw attention of the people to the plight of the Armymen. It doesn’t have any connection with the Gujarat election.”He also said that the country can never progress under such government. Sudesh the ‘iron lady of OROP’, who was on a hunger strike for 800 days, said with a teary-eye, “Modi is a liar. Never believe him. They have disrespected family members of martyrs, when we asked for our right. If we would have received the OROP, then we would have not come on roads.”

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Pre-school anxious after leopard entry

The Junior Crafting Playschool where leopard entered on Sunday remains close for two days that is Monday and Tuesday. According to the pre-school and day care centre, the school is kept close to sanitize the area for the safety of the small children. On the other hand the suggestions came from the parents to cover the rooftop of the playschool, but the playschool officials refused to do it explaining that BMC wont allow them to do that.On Sunday a leopard entered the playschool named Junior Crafting a junior and senior kindergarten as well as a day care centre area in Andheri located in Sher-E-Punjab society, Andheri east. Thankfully there were no children because of the day being Sunday. It was easy for the forest department to catch the animal because of CCTV cameras being around the school and inside as well.Ruchi Sabharwal, one of the owner of Junior Crafting Playschool, said, “The school is kept close for two days because the forest officials requested us to sanitize it as the animal moved around and inside the school. The school is sanitized in the morning as well as we will do pesticide and keep the school closed.

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BJP is directionless in Gujarat, says Rahul Gandhi

BJP has become directionless in Gujarat and the party leaders are raising issues that do not have a direct relation with the state, Congress president designate Rahul Gandhi said in Gandhinagar on Monday.Addressing a gathering of close to 12,000 people, Gandhi said that no power in the world can stop Congress from coming to power in Gujarat and now BJP workers are privately admitting it.”After misguiding the state for almost two decades, BJP is now faced with harsh reality, which it is unable to cope with. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is raising issues of China and Pakistan in Gujarat which do not have a direct impact on Gujarat,” he said.On the other hand college professors, health workers and many other sections of the society are complaining about inadequate wages.Gandhi said farmers are complaining of inadequate water and electricity and the middle class is trying to get their children educated in costly colleges and healthcare costs have sky rocketed.”Modiji, this is Gujarat. Talk about the future of the youth. You have nothing to offer to the youth, farmers and the masses,” said Gandhi adding that Modi is now engulfed with truth and is finding no way out.”Now you have been exposed. People of Gujarat know you very well. This state gave Mahatmas Gandhi, Sardar Patel. They defeated powerful with love. We will also defeat you with love,” the Congress president designate said.Modi betrayed people of India: Nana PatolePrime Minister Narendra Modi has betrayed the trust of the people of India, former BJP MP from Maharashtra Nana Patole said here on Monday. He also termed demonetisation as the biggest ever scam in the history of India, ‘where black money has been converted into white’. Citing an incident of meeting of MPs from BJP with the PM, Patole said that when one of the senior MPs questioned the PM, he was silenced and insulted.

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Gujarat Elections 2017: Rahul Gandhi is now King of Cong; it is official

Rahul Gandhi (47) was elected Congress president unopposed on Monday, a much-awaited generational shift in India’s oldest political party that comes in the middle of the fiercely contested Gujarat elections. Rahul is likely to take over from his mother Sonia Gandhi on December 16, the party’s foundation day.The spotlight will now be on Sonia who has been the party’s longest serving president. She has been leading the Congress for 19 years since 1998. Party sources said Sonia remains UPA chairperson and head of the Congress Parliamentary Party.While senior leaders feel Sonia could remain the final arbiter, she herself has given enough indications of not coming in way of Rahul’s decision making. His elevation also ends speculation over his sister Priyanka Gandhi’s leadership role in the party.The move comes 10 years after Rahul was made AICC general secretary and five years after he became Congress’ vice-president.There will be now greater scrutiny of Rahul’s performance. Next year, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh will go to the polls ahead of the 2019 general elections.All 89 nominations — all in Rahul’s favour — were found valid. When the time for nomination withdrawal ended on Monday, Rahul had no other contestant for the post.Soon after the announcement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “I congratulate Rahul Ji on his election as Congress President. My best wishes for a fruitful tenure.” PM Modi had earlier likened Rahul’s imminent elevation as Congress president to “Aurangzeb Raj” or the rule of the 17th century absolutist Mughal emperor.Party workers gathered outside the AICC office broke into celebration with a slogan “Desh ka neta kaisa ho? Rahul Gandhi jaisa ho” renting the air. The Congress has sought to project the election as democratic to counter the BJP’s charges of dynastic politics.Rahul’s elevation comes at a time when the Congress faces an uphill task of reviving its flagging fortunes after having recorded its worst poll performance in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, wining only 44 seats.Rahul was campaigning in Gujarat, attacking PM Modi and the BJP, when his party made his election official in Delhi. The elevation concludes a year-long organisational election process in the 132-year-old party.

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Condom ads should only be aired between 10pm and 6am, says I&B ministry advisory

The government on Monday issued an advisory asking TV channels not to air condom advertisements during the daytime. Stating that the be indecent ads could be inappropriate for viewing by children during the day, the information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry said that condom ads should only be aired between 10pm and 6am to avoid exposure of such material to children and to ensure “strict adherence to the provisions contained in the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994”.“All TV channels are hereby advised not to telecast the advertisements of condoms which are for a particular age group and could be indecent/ inappropriate for viewing by children,” the I&B ministry advisory said.In the advisory, the ministry cited 7(7) and 7(8) of the Cable Television Networks Rules that state that no advertisement which endangers the safety of children or creates in them any interest in unhealthy practices or shows them begging or in an undignified or indecent manner shall be carried in the cable service” and “indecent, vulgar, suggestive, repulsive or offensive themes or treatment shall be avoided in all advertisements”.This advisory was issued after the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) had requested the I&B ministry to take a call on such ads and their telecast timing after receiving several complaints from various corners about telecasting advertisement of condoms.

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North India experience chilly weather; snowfall in J&K and Himachal, rain in Delhi

Northern India on Monday experienced drop in temperature as Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir were graced with the first snowfall of the season.Heavy snowfall was witnessed in the Leh region and moderate snowfall in the other regions. Leh continues to be the coldest recorded place in Jammu and Kashmir.Rains lashed several parts of the national capital on Monday, bringing the mercury down by several notches, even as the weatherman forecast similar conditions for Tuesday.The minimum temperature on Monday settled at 8.2 degrees Celsius, a notch below the normal, while the maximum temperature was recorded at 24.2 degrees Celsius, a notch above the season’s average.However, following the rains, the mercury fell down to 17 degrees Celsius at around 8 pm.The rains increased humidity levels which oscillated between 97 and 47 per cent.The MeT office has forecast overcast skies along with likelihood of very light rains and drizzle in some parts of the city.”The maximum and minimum temperatures are likely to hover at 23 and 10 degrees respectively tomorrow,” the weatherman said.Yesterday, the minimum temperature was recorded at 7.4 degrees Celsius while the maximum temperature settled at 27.2degrees Celsius.

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TN CM K Palaniswami takes dig at AIADMK’s rivals over dynasty politics

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Monday took a dig at rival parties over ‘dynasty politics’ saying unlike them the ruling AIADMK offered scope for hardworking grassroots workers to rise in the ranks.Citing his own case, the chief minister said “I have reached this stage after working hard for years.” Palaniswami, co-cordinator of the AIADMK, was addressing about 4,000 youths, including college students, who joined the party at an event where his deputy and party coordinator O Panneerselvam was also present, a party release said.”The only movement where posts are given for hardwork and loyalty is AIADMK…. Even a grass roots level worker can achieve great heights. In other parties, such posts are available only on the basis dynasty. Otherwise, only the affluent can occupy positions (in them),” he said without naming any party.The chief minister recalled that he and many others too had joined the AIADMK as college students and assured the new entrants that they will reap fruits of their hardwork for the party.Among those who joined the party were students from nine government and private colleges, the release said.Panneerselvam exhorted the students to work for the betterment of the state and the country.Describing the youth as the ‘forces’ that will determine the future of the state, he recalled the “key contribution” of students in the anti-Hindi agitation of 1960s.Anti-Hindi agitation was one of the key issues that propelled late C N Annadurai-led DMK to power in 1967 when the Congress was trounced.Panneerselvam said “they (Congress) could never come back to power” in Tamil Nadu after that.The joining of 4000-odd youngsters today further strengthened the party founded by late MG Ramachandran, Panneerselvam added.

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‘Stop giving us lessons,’ India’s blunt reply to Pakistan on ‘poll-meddling’ statement

India on Monday tore into Pakistan’s statement on the poll-meddling allegations in Gujarat.“Condemn this unwarranted statement,” said Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad after the Pakistan foreign ministry tweeted about the allegations by Prime Minister Narendra Modi that Islamabad was interfering in the elections in his home state.“Completely abhor outside interference in India’s internal affairs. Pakistan’s promotion of terrorism in India is well known but Pakistan must stop giving us lessons, we are proud of our democracy,” Prasad was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.Earlier on Monday, Dr Mohammad Faisal, the spokesperson of the Pakistan Foreign Ministry, tweeted that India must not drag Pakistan in its electoral debates.Also readDay after PM Narendra Modi’s ‘poll-meddling’ allegations, Pakistan says stop dragging us in your election debates“India should stop dragging Pakistan into its electoral debate and win victories on own strength rather than fabricated conspiracies, which are utterly baseless and irresponsible,” he said in a tweet.The poll-meddling allegations were made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during an election rally in Gujarat’s Sanand.Also readPoll war: Congress can’t win Gujarat polls using Pakistan as pawn, says Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi On Sunday, while addressing the rally, he had said asked about the ‘secret meeting’ of top Pakistani officials at the residence of now-suspended Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar in New Delhi.”On one hand, Pakistan Army’s former DG is interfering in Gujarat’s election, and on the other, Pakistani people are holding a meeting at Mani Shankar Aiyar’s house. After that meeting, people of Gujarat, backward communities, poor people and Modi were insulted. Don’t you think such events raise doubts?” he had said while addressing a poll rally in Gujarat.The prime minister also raised questions about the alleged appeal by former director general (DG) of the Pakistan Army Sardar Arshad Rafiq for making senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel chief minister of Gujarat.(With PTI inputs)

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Gujarat Elections 2017 | PM Narendra Modi, Rahul Gandhi, Hardik Patel denied roadshow permission by Ahmedabad Police

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi and influential Patidaar leader Hardik Patel have been denied permission for their roadshows by the Ahmedabad Police.<!– /11440465/DNA_Mobile_Article_300x250_BTF_1 –>Police Commissioner AK Singh on Monday refused to give permission to the political bigwigs as he felt that its would be difficult for the cops to manage traffic during the roadshows.The cops also saw it as a law and order issue.The roadshows were part of the election campaign for the second and the last phase of the Gujarat Assembly Elections.

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Gujarat Elections 2017 | Ideal village: Fail to vote? Pay Rs 51

When the first phase of elections came to a close at 5pm, Rajsamadhiyala village in Rajkot reported 93.23 per cent voter turnout. If the soaring number was not enough, some villagers are unhappy because a few of the few neighbours who couldn’t exercise their franchise.According to one of the rules of their own village, it is compulsory to vote for each adult to poll in the state and general election and if someone violates that rule, one has to pay Rs 51 as fine. This year, A 38-year-old man fractured his leg last Monday and couldn’t cast his vote as he is hospitalised and two others in his family couldn’t cast their vote as they had to go to some social function.”We don’t have local body election ever. We select our sarpanch, never elect. Party representatives cannot enter our village for campaign,” said Hardevsinh Jadeja, former sarpanch of the village.In spite of nearly 95 per cent of voting, the booth has not seen queues here, due to the micro management of Jadeja. “Timing has been decided two days before. A hundred voters have been called to vote at an hour,” he added.

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Mum-daughter murder: Suspect son’s last location traced at Chandni Chowk

A joint team of more than 100 policemen from Gautam Budh Nagar are on the hunt for the juvenile who allegedly stabbed his mother and sister to death in their Greater Noida apartment.Sources told DNA that the boy was located last in Chandni Chowk area. Therefore, Delhi Police has been approached to try and find him there. Family members have also appealed to the son, who has been missing since the incident, to return home.A senior officer of the Greater Noida police said, “After the incident came to light, we had put the phone, which the boy had taken along with him, on surveillance. That’s how we found out his last location on Monday night.””However, the phone has been switched off thereafter. Pictures and details of the boy have been posted at various platforms to seek public assistance in tracing him. We have also announced a reward for any information regarding his location.”The police did not announce the reward amount, but sources said it is between Rs 20,000 and Rs 25,000.”We have formed four teams to trace the boy and hope to find him soon. Only he can tell the truth about what happened inside the apartment,” said Luv Kumar, Senior Superintendent of Police.On Tuesday night, a mother-daughter duo was found dead with multiple stab wounds on their bodies at their residence in Gaur City area of Greater Noida. The prime suspect in the case is their 16-year old son, who was the only one present in the house when the incident took place.

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