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  • States should use additional funds for infrastructure: PM

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday suggested that additional funds and resources at the disposal of states should be directed primarily towards nation building, an official release in New Delhi said. At a meeting with 35 first-time Maharashtra MLAs, who called on him at the Parliament House, Modi highlighted the union government's initiatives towards cooperative federalism. The prime minister said that states have been allocated 62 percent of the total resources in the union budget, while only 38 percent have been left for use by the Centre, the release added. He also spoke about the central government's acceptance of the recommendations of the 14th Finance Commission regarding devolution of 42 percent of the divisible pool of taxes to states. He said that the states would also benefit from the proceeds from the coal auctions and the enhanced mineral royalties.

    Source: IANS

    2015-03-04 06:02:49 PM
  • CBI raids TMC MP Tapas Paul home, 42 other Rose Valley locations

    Probing a multi-crore rupee chit fund scam, the CBI on Wednesday conducted raids at 43 locations of the Rose Valley Group across the country, including the home of Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Paul. "In an ongoing investigation, searches are being conducted at 43 locations across the country including 27 in West Bengal, 7 in Tripura and 1 location each in Odisha, Assam, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu," said a CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) official. "Apart from offices, searches are being conducted at the residential premises of Rose Valley Group chairman Gautam Kundu, managing director Shibamoy Dutta and then directors of the group including Abir Kundu, Ramlal Goswami, Ashok Kumar Saha and present Lok Sabha MP Tapas Paul," added the official.

    Source: IANS

    2015-03-04 04:40:05 PM
  • Tihar DG meets Rajnath Singh

    Tihar jail director general Alok Verma on Wednesday met Home Minister Rajnath Singh in connection with the BBC interview of a December 16, 2012 gang-rape convict, official sources said. The home ministry official, however, termed the meeting as "usual affair". "He was not summoned as being reported. He came and met the minister and other officials," the official said. A controversy had broken out over the gang-rape convict making offensive and outrageous comments against the victim in the interview. The interview was taken for a BBC documentary and was to be telecast later this week. However, after the controversy, the government asked media not to telecast the interview.

    Source: IANS

    2015-03-04 04:33:51 PM
  • Uproar in Rajya Sabha over BBC interview of rapist

    The Rajya Sabha witnessed uproar on Wednesday on the interview of a December 16 gang-rape convict to BBC, as members sought to know from the government how this was permitted. While some members said that it was wrong to allow the interview in which the rapist blames the victim, others were of the view that it reflected the mentality of a large section of the society, stressing on the need to correct it. The issue was raised by Janata Dal-United (JD-U) member K.C. Tyagi during zero hour as he questioned how permission for the interview was granted. "There is a documentary which is so derogatory. It should not be shown," Tyagi said, adding that he had also given a notice for suspension of business in the Rajya Sabha to discuss the issue. Deputy chairman P.J. Kurien did not allow the suspension, but let the members express their views, himself wondering how the permission was granted.

    Source: IANS

    2015-03-04 04:29:13 PM
  • Neither split nor quit AAP: Yogendra Yadav

    AAP leader Yogendra Yadav on Wednesday said that he would "neither split nor quit" the party. He refused to comment on Arvind Kejriwal's offer to quit as party convenor. Yadav said that for the past three days there have been many messages from party volunteers on social media asking them to stay united. "I am sure that in the evening we will be able to tell you that we have moved step forward and not backward," Yadav told reporters ahead of the meeting of the 21-member national executive. "Na todenge, na chodenge. Sudherenge aur sudharenge. (We will neither split it nor quit it. We will improve and improve others)," said Yadav amid reports that Kejriwal has offered to resign following squabbling within the senior party leaders.

    Source: IANS

    2015-03-04 02:01:02 PM

  • HC rejects Ashok Chavan's plea in Adarsh scam

    The Bombay High Court on Wednesday rejected a plea by former chief minister Ashok Chavan challenging its ruling refusing permission to CBI to delete his name as an accused from the charge-sheet in the Adarsh Society scam. The CBI had approached the court in November 2014 with a plea seeking to drop Chavan's name from the Adarsh Society case charge-sheet on grounds that the governor had declined to sanction his prosecution. Rejecting the CBI's plea, Justice M.L. Tahaliyani had ruled that the governor had refused permission to prosecute Chavan on the conspiracy charges, but he (Chavan) could be prosecuted under corruption charges. In December 2014, Chavan had moved the Bombay High Court against the ruling. The CBI charge-sheet has alleged conspiracy by Chavan and questioned his actions as revenue minister and then as chief minister at the relevant time.

    Source: IANS

    2015-03-04 01:58:38 PM
  • Dec 16 rapist interview telecast stopped: Home minister

    Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday said that the government has taken necessary action to stop the telecast of a documentary based on the interview with a convict in the December 16 gang-rape case. Making a statement in the Rajya Sabha, the home minister said that government condemns the December 16, 2012 incident and will not allow to leverage such incidents for commercial use. "It has come to the notice that the said interview was scheduled to be telecast by BBC-4 on International Women's Day on March 8," he said. "Our government condemns the incident of 2012. The government has taken necessary action and secured a court order restraining telecast of the film," the minister said. The issue forced the adjournment of the house for 15 minutes amidst noisy scenes earlier as members expressed outrage over the interview.

    Source: IANS

    2015-03-04 01:52:30 PM
  • Miffed Sajad Lone refuses to join Mufti's cabinet

    Upset over the portfolio allocated to him, Sajad Gani Lone of the Peoples Conference (PC) on Wednesday refused to join the council of ministers in the PDP-BJP government headed by Mufti Muhammad Sayeed. Lone was miffed over allocation of the animal husbandry department portfolio to him by Sayeed on Tuesday. He did not attend his office in winter capital Jammu on Wednesday and instead chose to fly back to the Valley. "Yes, he has refused to join the council of ministers. He has also surrendered all entitlements including security, official vehicle and other perks given to him as a cabinet minister," said a Peoples Conference source. The source said that Sajad is flying back to Srinagar on Wednesday. On whether he had resigned from the council of ministers, the source said: "No, he has not resigned so far, but a decision on whether he should resign from the council of ministers or not would be taken after he meets party rank and file in the Valley."

    Source: IANS

    2015-03-04 01:48:35 PM
  • Kejriwal offers to quit as AAP convenor

    Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has offered to resign as the convenor of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), a party source said on Wednesday. There were conflicting versions to Kejriwal's offer to quit. In one, Kejriwal apparently wrote a letter on February 27 to party secretary Pankaj Gupta saying that he wants to quit as the AAP convenor. In the other, Kejriwal wrote on Tuesday night that he wants to quit. AAP leader Ashutosh said that he was not aware of any other note except the one on February 27. The handwritten letter comes amid squabbling within the AAP and ahead of a meeting of the 21-member National Executive. Kejriwal on Tuesday said that he was "deeply hurt and pained" by the wrangling within the party, which had stormed to power last month in the Delhi assembly elections.

    Source: IANS

    2015-03-04 01:45:28 PM
  • BJP demands action against Azam's bus ride

    The BJP on Wednesday demanded legal action against Uttar Pradesh Urban Development Minister Mohd Azam Khan for driving a bus without having a license to drive a heavy passenger vehicle. Slamming Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav for his "continued silence on the misdemeanour" of his cabinet colleague, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state spokesman Vijay Bahadur Pathak said that Yadav's silence reflected his "inability and helplessness" to control Azam Khan and it "spoke volumes" of how Khan continued to run berserk, trampling all laws. The minister had recently driven a state transport bus with school students and officials as passengers in his home town Rampur. Pathak said that it was astonishing that the minister put on risk the lives of students in the presence of district officials.

    Source: IANS

    2015-03-04 11:33:58 AM
  • Eight Congress MLAs suspended from Rajasthan assembly

    The Rajasthan assembly on Tuesday witnessed uproarious scenes on the issue of baton charge on Congress workers while they were protesting the new land acquisition bill, following which eight Congress MLAs were suspended. Speaker Kailash Meghwal suspended nine opposition MLAs -- eight from the Congress and one independent MLA - for rest of the budget session of the assembly. Earlier, Congress MLAs led by opposition leader Rameshwar Dudi raised the issue of the baton charge by police on Congress workers outside the state assembly. He alleged that some of their party workers including MLA Ashok Chandana and state Congress president Sachin Pilot sustained injuries in the police action while they were trying to march towards the assembly. Chandana also tried to show the injuries that he sustained due to police action.

    Source: IANS

    2015-03-04 11:29:55 AM
  • Delhi government to revamp anti-corruption helpline

    The AAP government in Delhi on Tuesday decided to revamp its anti-corruption helpline, which was launched during its earlier 49-day stint. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that the decision was taken at a cabinet meeting held at the Delhi Secretariat. "We will revamp the anti-corruption helpline. The operators of the helpline will undergo a 15-day training," Sisodia told reporters. The anti-corruption helpline is aimed at trapping government employees who demand bribes. "As per our promise, we have decided to launch the anti-corruption helpline after around 15 days. We appeal to people that if anyone is asked to pay a bribe, he or she should record it and give information to us through the helpline. Strict action will be taken against the accused," Sisodia said.

    Source: IANS

    2015-03-04 11:26:16 AM
  • Akali Dal to oppose land acquisition without farmers' consent

    The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Tuesday said that it will oppose any move by the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government which will seek to allow land acquisition without the consent of farmers or landowners. The Akali Dal, a partner in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, adopted a resolution in this regard during its core committee meet convened in the national capital on Tuesday. The meeting was chaired by Akali Dal president and Punjab deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, in the presence of the party's patron and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and other senior Akali Dal leaders. It was called to formulate the party's response to the proposed bill on land acquisition due to come before parliament this week.

    Source: IANS

    2015-03-04 11:20:53 AM
  • Mufti Sayeed allots portfolios to council of ministers

    Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed on Tuesday assigned portfolios to his council of ministers, ending the suspense over sharing of portfolios between the ruling alliance partners PDP and BJP. Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh (BJP) has been assigned the important portfolio of power development, housing and urban development. Abdul Rehman Veeri (PDP) got horticulture, Hajj and Auqaf while Haseeb Drabu (PDP) got finance, labour and employment. Chander Prakash (BJP) got industries and commerce. Javaid Mustafa Mir (PDP) got revenue while Lal Singh (BJP) got health, medical education, ARI and training. Abdul Haq Khan (PDP) got rural development, Bali Bhagat (BJP) got social welfare, forest, ecology and environment.

    Source: IANS

    2015-03-04 11:15:48 AM
  • BJP slams Trinamool, CPI-M over deferment of chit fund discussion

    The BJP on Tuesday accused the Trinamool Congress of having a tacit understanding with the CPI-M after a discussion on chit funds in the West Bengal assembly that was to take place on Wednesday was deferred till the next session. "Chit funds came into existence under the CPI-M led Left Front and flourished under the Trinamool Congress. So if the discussion would have taken place, the muck of the chit funds would have splashed both the CPI-M and the Trinamool," state BJP president Rahul Sinha said. "That is why both the parties, owing to their understanding, agreed to defer the discussion. The moment the chief minister (Mamata Banerjee) proposed the deferment, the CPI-M were quick to latch on to it. This reflects how much discomfort the discussion would have brought to both the parties," Sinha said. The decision to defer the discussion was taken at a meeting of the Business Advisory Committee of the house in the presence of Banerjee.

    Source: IANS

    2015-03-04 11:05:06 AM
  • TRS has no right to criticise TDP: Chandrababu

    On his second visit to Telangana after the new state was formed, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Tuesday said that the TRS has no right to criticise his party TDP. Addressing a public meeting in Karimnagar, Naidu, who is the president of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), said that it was the TDP which developed Telangana and challenged those criticising it for a debate. Stating that Telugu people were one despite division of the state, he called for solving all outstanding issues between the two states amicably through talks. Naidu, who was chief minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh between 1995 and 2004, said that it was because of his efforts that Telangana now has a surplus budget. "Ask even an autorickshaw driver in Hyderabad, and you will know who developed Hyderabad," the TDP chief said. Police had made tight security arrangements to foil any attempt by the workers of ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) to disrupt Naidu's visit.

    Source: IANS

    2015-03-04 11:00:52 AM
  • Terror, money laundering infrastructure in Bengal under Trinamool: BJP

    In the wake of police busting a fake currency printing racket in West Bengal, the BJP on Tuesday said that the state under the Trinamool Congress now had the "infrastructure" to export smuggling and terrorism. Referring to the busting of the fake currency racket in which crores of Indian and foreign notes were seized as well as the Burdwan blast that revealed the existence of a Bangladeshi terror module, Bharatiya Janata Party national secretary Siddharth Nath Singh questioned the silence of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. "So far, fake currency used to come to India from neighbouring countries, but now in Bengal, we have the infrastructure to print them. Moreover, the fact that foreign currency was also printed, it is evident that they were meant for exporting to other countries," Singh told media persons in Kolkata. "The Burdwan blast probe revealed that Bangladeshi terrorists were trained and bombs were manufactured in Bengal with a view to destabilise Bangladesh.

    Source: IANS

    2015-03-04 10:55:04 AM
  • BJP complains to Jung against Delhi speaker

    The BJP on Tuesday complained to Delhi Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung against the "unconstitutional conduct" of Delhi assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goyal. The three Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators -- O.P. Sharma, Jagdish Pradhan and Vijender Gupta -- accused the speaker and the Aam Aadmi Party government of infringing upon the "constitutional and democratic rights" of the opposition. Targeting Goyal, leader of BJP's legislature party Gupta said that the speaker acted in a "biased manner" and behaved more like an AAP spokesperson than a constitutional authority. "The MLAs urged that the Lt. Governor to take strict cognizance of the matter and remind the ruling party to not sacrifice constitutional integrity," said a statement from the BJP.

    Source: IANS

    2015-03-04 10:51:15 AM
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