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Govt to clarify coal bidders’ concerns next week New Delhi, April 17 : The inter—ministerial committee (IMC) today discussed issues raised by bidders for three coal blocks put up for auction and will clarify their concerns next week. The IMC meeting, headed by Coal Secretary S K Srivastava, lasted more than two hours. The meeting was convened to sort out the issues bidders had raised in the pre—bid meeting earlier this month. “We have discussed the issues raised by the bidders and will get back to them after finalising the minutes. There are 30—odd bidders who turned up in the pre— bid meeting,” a senior Coal Ministry official said. Interested parties were concerned on issues like whether a consortium can have more than four participating companies or not. There were concerns of trivial nature as well like copies to be initialed in blue ink or not. The government in late

February had initiated the auction process putting two Jharkhand mines —— Jhirki & Jhirki (West) of East Bokaro Coalfield and Tokisud—II of South Karanpura Coalfield and Andal Babuisol of Raniganj Coalfield in West Bengal on block. These three have an estimated 500 million tonnes of reserves, for captive use of steel, cement and sponge iron firms.The move came after the Centre drew flak for delaying the auction from the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).The government auditor had alleged that allotment of 57 mines to private firms without auction resulted in a notional loss of Rs 1.8 lakh crore to the exchequer. The IMC also took a call on whether bidders should be allowed to take sample of coal from Central Coalfields Ltd (CCL) to perform the yield analysis of Jhirki coal block, but the official did not disclose further.

Narendra Modi slams Sonia Gandhi on fishermen issue Kanyakumari, April 17 : The burning fishermen issue has taken a centrestage in the Lok Sabha election campaign trial, with BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi today hitting back at his bte noire AICC chief Sonia Gandhi for 'spreading untruths that Congress is working for fishermen, while in reality fishermen were constantly troubled by the neighbouring countries.' "Sonia Gandhi came here (Kanyakumari) yesterday and said the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre works for safety of fishermen. Do you (people) believe that ?," asked Modi while addressing the 'Bharat Vijay Rally' in support of NDA candidates. Mr Modi charged the UPA Government with failing to protect the interests of fishermen and their livelihood. "Congress will have to pay for their sins and the people will not forgive them," he said.

are beaten and expelled. Women were assaulted in Karnataka and Nelson's eye is turned to the graft by (exchief minister) Bookanakere S i d d a l i n g a p p a Yeddyurappa," he alleged while addressing a poll rally in this district headquarters. The BJP's politics is that of division and 'he' (the saffron party's prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi) speaks of eliminating the Congress, Mr Gandhi said, adding that the BJP wishes

Baseless allegations by Congress has reached its peak: BJP

New Delhi , April 17 : BJP today hit out at the Congress, saying that "baseless allegations made by the party has reached its peak". Addressing a press conference here, BJP national spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi said, "Congress is aware that it will be facing defeat in the Lok Sabha polls. "For the past few days, AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi has started giving immature statements," he added. "Congress top leadership raised the issue of communalism, but did not get any success. "In the statements of Mr Gandhi, a word like "Toffee" is being used and this shows that now, apart from lack of issues, the party vice-president also has lack of appropriate words," he quipped.

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Andhra Pradesh tops in cash poll seizures

Voters stand in queue to cast their votes in the Lok Sabha elections in Siliguri, West Benga on Thursdayl

LS polls : Heavy voter turnout in Phase V New Delhi/Bangalore/ Jaipur/Lucknow, April 17 : A heavy turnout of the 170 million electoral college in 121 constituencies across 12 states marked the end of Phase V polling for the 16th Lok Sabha tryst. Voting in the biggest phase of the nine-leg polling began at 0700 hrs. With 28 seats, Karnataka registered 65 per cent voting. The state witnessed whirlwind trips by top leaders before the D-day. Undeterred by soaring heat, about 35 to 40 per cent voters turned up to exercise their franchise at 54,264 poll-

BJP wants 2 Indias, one for rich and other for poor: Rahul Gandhi Khandwa, April 17 : Congress vice-chief Rahul Gandhi, representing his party's electoral armada, endeavoured to shoot the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) below the waterline today by alleging that those who speak of 'India Shining' desire "two Indias" -- one for the affluent and the other for the poor. "They want the poor to keep watching while the rich take everything. In Maharashtra, those hailing from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar

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to have a country dominated by five to six industrialists. "In Gujarat, 45,000 acres were provided to an industrialist at Re 1 per square metre, which is the price of a toffee. That businessperson's turnover shot up from Rs 3,000 crore to Rs 40,000 cr in the space of a decade. The industrialist did not create employment but merely sold the land at high prices," he said. Another captain of industry was provided a coastal area for only Rs 30 cr, Mr Gandhi alleged, adding that textile units -- which used to be Gujarat's backbone -- are lying closed, the diamond trade's labourers are shedding tears and if a person's daily income is Rs 12 then he or she is considered above the Poverty Line there. "In that state, 27,000 government posts are lying vacant. Gujarat's populace has been sweating for years. The Amul cooperative movement was made to stand on its feet by women. However, it is claimed that Gujarat's achievements are due to one person -- Mr Modi, who wants to be made the 'chowkidar' (watchman) of India," he quipped.

ing booths.Polling began at a brisk space in 28 Lok Sabha seats as voters thronged to the booths to avoid heat wave conditions especially in north Karnataka and Hyderabad-Karnataka region.Heavy polling was witnessed in most places including HyderabadKarnataka region where mercury had soared above 41 degree Celsius as celebrities, candidates and political leaders stood along with common people to vote. The fate of 434 candidates was before a 46 million electorate.Barring stray incidents, polling remained

peaceful and orderly throughout the state.Former prime minister H D Devegowda, Union Ministers Mallikarjun Kharge, Veerappa Moily, K H Muniyappa and former chief ministers Dharam Singh, B S Yeddyurappa, H D Kumaraswamy and D V Sadanandagowda, who are in the fray, were among those voted early. An estimated 51.54 per cent of about 3.25 crore electorate sealed their choice in EVMs at 36,879 polling stations in 19 Lok Sabha constituencies of Maharashtra, including 12 in West Maharashtra, six in

Four Chief ministers cast ballot on India's biggest polling day Rajnandgaon, April 17 : The chief ministers of four Indian states cast their votes today, the country's biggest polling day. The Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, Raman Singh, on Thursday arrived at the polling booth with his entire family in Rajnandgaon town to cast his ballot. Expecting a heavy turnout of voters through the day, Singh expressed confidence that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will win all 11 constituencies

in the state."I hope that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will create a history by winning majority in all the 11 constituencies in Chhattisgarh including three constituencies which will vote today," said Singh.Chief minister of Odisha, Naveen Patnaik, who is also the head of Biju Janata Dal (BJD), is deemed to be facing his toughest political battle."I expect the Biju Janata Dal to do very well in the forthcoming parliament and assembly elections," said Patnaik.

Marathwada and one in Konkan.The Shirur constituency in Pune district recorded the highest polling percentge of 55 pc, followed by Pune with 51.20 pc, Maval 50.65 pc and Baramati 50.44 pc. The Congress-NCP combine is facing an uphill task in retaining its hold over the dozen sugar belt constituencies, including Pune.Long queues of voters were seen this morning in several areas of Baramati where NCP sitting MP Supriya Sule, the daughter of NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, contested the election to retain the seat.

Hyderabad, April 17 (IPT) : Andhra Pradesh is on the verge of a splurge of crores of rupees as bribe money in the general elections to woo the voters as the mighty TDP, Congress, BJP and the YSRC gear up to the challenge of the hour , to win over the gullible voter either with bullet or the bullion .Besides hard cash, gold and silver jewellery, huge list of white goods like home appliances and electronic goods are on the platter to the voters. ' Instead of direct gifts, the political managers are sending catalog of white goods to associations and homes of voters ' says Palagudu Raghunath Rao,a political manager of the TDP in Rajahmundry . The whopping Rs.103 crore cash seizures out of the Rs.265 crore in the entire country during the election checks has put the election authorities on tenterhooks as the crucial polling day was just another 12 days away in the first of Telangana region . This was in addition to the alleged transaction of Rs 190 crore on internet through ATMs in the month of March in the neighboring Medak district which had raised hue and cry as Medak district Centre of 6 to eight parliamentary constituencies . ' We have received a complaint and are probing it ' says state Chief electoral officer Bhanwar Lal, who held a series of meetings with 55 heads of banking institutions to nip the huge online cash transactions ', he said

2 kg opium seized, 4 held

Hyderabad, April 17 (IPT) : City Task force team have arrested four persons, including one from Uttar pradesh, who were in possession of opium (contraband drug) and seized 2.650 kg of opium from them. On credible information, the Commissioners Task Force, North Zone team, apprehended accused persons who were indulging in drug trafficking near Cantonment park, at Jubilee Bus station in Secunderabad and seized contraband drug and four cell phones from their possession, according to a police release here today. The arrested were Mohd Arshad, a wood carver, native of Saharanpur district in Uttar Pradesh; Mohd Ali, a carpenter, Kashigari Raju, motor winding worker and kalva Sailesh Sagar, a student (all from city). The accused along with seized property were produced before the Deputy commissioner of Police, Detective Department (CCS) for necessary action, the release added.

Congress compares Modi to Hitler, Mussolin New Delhi, April 17 : Lashing out at BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi for his refusal to tender an apology for the 2002 Gujarat riots on the ground that the people's court had already judged him, Congress today, comparing him to dictators like Hitler, Mussolini and Zia-ulhaq, said popularly elected dictators are judged by their deeds, not (electoral) victories.Talking to reporters here, AICC spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said, "the PM pretender (Modi) yesterday said that he will

not apologise (for the 2002 Gujarat riots) and that the people's court has already judged him, which presumably meant the victories in the Gujarat Assembly polls in 2002."However, I want to tell him that Gujarat electoral victories do not validate genocide or communalism. "(Adolf) Hitler, Mussolini, Zia ulhaq and Idi Amin were all popularly elected dictators. All of them were elected by a wide margin."However, all these people went down in history by what they did, rather than by their electoral victories."Comparing Mr Modi

to these dictators, Mr Singhvi said, "all popularly elected dictators, be it Hitler, Mussolini, Zia-ul-Haq or Idi Amin have one thing in common- they believe that these are the jury and the prosecutors rolled into one. "They never apologised and were convinced of their infallibility. Pride and arrogance are their characteristics."On Mr Modi's claims on Development in Gujarat, Mr Singhvi said, "the developmental claims of Gujarat have already been proved either false or exaggerated.

Bhanwar Lal, Chief Electoral Officer is seen in a meeting with Bankers and concerned Higher Officials on General Elections-2014 at Secretariat on Thursday.


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Is this the Shiv Sena's last Lok Sabha election? The recent weeks have yet again given rise to speculation about Shiv Sena Executive President Uddhav Thackeray's leadership or the lack of it. The recent exodus from the party has shocked many. Many others are waiting to leave. It was expected after Sena founder Bal Thackeray's death. Shiv Sainiks gave Uddhav time to mourn and recover from his personal loss. However, recent events have left most political observers without a doubt that this heralds the end of the Shiv Sena. I wouldn't call the Shiv Sena a political party. When the Sena began in 1966, it was an ideological outfit, with the spirit to fight for all Maharashtrians. In my conversation with founder members, many first generation leaders and corporators, I got the feeling that it was this oneness and spirit that bound them together. Politics and contesting elections was by the way.With changing times, a lot has changed in the party. The uniqueness of this party was its cadre. That is why shakhas were established, to be with the people of one's area, deal with their problems. The leader was only one, Sena supremo Bal Thackeray.Today, those who parade themselves as 'leaders' aren't from the masses, have little connection with the cadre and are considered 'dealers' within political circles. This is the main grouse of the devout Sainiks who are leaving the party. Many have questioned Uddhav's leadership -- starting with his cousin Raj Thackeray who left the Sena to form the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena. Later, former Maharashtra chief minister Narayan Rane and others quit the Sena. Their grouse was a coterie had grown around Uddhav that blocked the stream of grassroots people from meeting him and allowing the flow of information. Many old time Shiv Sainiks say Uddhav doesn't seem to realise the disconnect of the party leadership from the pulse of the people. It has come as no surprise that the Bharatiya Janata Party wanted to do away with the Sena. The BJP realised the utility value of its ally is now very short-lived, or even past the expiry date. They saw potential in the MNS and approached Raj Thackeray. What ensued was a huge drama more on filmy lines than political. In Marathi there is a saying: Tuza vachun karmena, tuza sanga zamena (One can't do with you, one can't do without you).

Jordanian jihadis returning from Twins undergo first-of-itsSyria war rattle U.S.-aligned kingdom kind surgery at AIIMS Jordanian Islamist Ahmad Mahmoud fought with rebels in Syria for six weeks earlier this year, then slipped back across the border to seek treatment for a war wound even though the authorities had warned him not to return. Within a week the bearded 23-year-old fighter found himself in the dock at a military court, facing terrorism charges filed by authorities who are taking an increasingly tough stance against homegrown militants fighting in Syria’s civil war. Their rising numbers have rattled the Hashemite kingdom, a U.S. ally against Islamist militancy. Amman treats returning jihadists as a security threat to be nipped in the bud and, with an eye to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s potential to tough out the uprising against him, wants to keep channels open to a government with which it retains diplomatic and trade ties. Three years into Syria’s civil war a growing number of Jordanian jihadists are coming home, some disillusioned by infighting within rebel ranks, others seeking a break from a draining and largely inconclusive conflict. Up to a few months ago, Jordanian authorities were more discriminating with returning fighters, sometimes freeing “first-time offenders” who were deemed misguided after expressing regret for their actions. Now, every detained returnee is whisked straight to court, although none have been accused of plotting attacks in Jordan. Charge sheets against defendants highlight Amman’s continued prag-

matic recognition of Assad’s rule. Many are accused of committing “acts not authorized by the state that sour relations with legitimate Syrian authorities”, and face jail terms of 2 1/2 to five years after speedy military trials with minimal legal safeguards, according to defense lawyers. The fact Mahmoud’s father voluntarily informed officials that he was back in Jordan did not prevent a summons from hospital, where he was awaiting surgery on his injured knee, and detention by security services. “His father handed him over with his son’s consent before a hospital operation, after he phoned intelligence officials, who asked to bring him over immediately,” Mahmoud’s lawyer, Ayatollah Freihat, said. The returnees vary from youths like Mahmoud, moved by video footage of indiscriminate shelling of population centers in rebel areas by Assad’s forces, to others radicalized by hardline Sunni Muslim clerics calling for holy war and an Islamic state. “I allowed you to go, but don’t come back,” said a Jordanian judicial source, starkly summarizing the official attitude towards those who enter combat in Jordan’s northern neighbor. “We turned a blind eye to you going, but if you return we will catch you and lock you up,” said the source, who is familiar with the policy of Jordan’s intelligence services and spoke on condition of requested anonymity. Other countries ranging from Britain and France to Saudi Arabia and Morocco

have grown alarmed about security risks posed by citizens returning from stints as militant fighters in Syria. Saudi Arabia, the world’s No. 1 oil exporter and another strategic ally of Washington, has banned its nationals from fighting abroad, donating money to any faction in Syria or sympathizing with militant creeds. In a reminder of Amman’s jitters about the destabilizing effects of the Syrian war, Jordanian warplanes hit and destroyed several vehicles trying to cross the border from Syria on Wednesday. A Jordanian security source said the targets appeared to have been armed Syrian rebels seeking refuge from fighting with government forces in southern Syria. Jordanian Islamists say hundreds of volunteers have entered Syria’s conflagration since 2011. Salafis share the austere Sunni Islamist ideology of many Syrian rebels fighting Assad, who is from Alawite minority and backed by Shi’ite Muslim Iran. Mohammed Shalabi, a Jordanian Salafi leader who has spent a decade in prison for security offences, has encouraged militants to go and fight in Syria but said the earlier official stance of tacit tolerance had ended. “In the last month or so they are refusing to allow anyone (re-enter) except in the most exceptional circumstances,” which might include humanitarian grounds, said Shalabi, who is better known as Abu Sayyaf. Returning fighters picked up at the frontier end up on a fast track to military trials where, rights groups say, testimonies are usually taken

under coercion and torture. At one session of his trial last month, the wheelchairbound Mahmoud watched from the dock as his lawyer Freihat grilled the intelligence officer who had obtained his confession. “I cannot remember if he was in pain or not when I asked him what happened,” the officer told Judge Ahmed Qatarneh. Officials provide no numbers for Jordanians now on trial for fighting in Syria but lawyers say there are at least 120 active cases, and the spike in prosecutions has overwhelmed the courts. At a single-storey state security building in eastern Amman’s Marka district, the shortage of courtrooms has forced judges to hold trials in their own offices, one lawyer said. Jordan’s approach to militants fighting across the border sets it apart from Syria’s other neighbors. Turkey, which openly supports the anti-Assad insurgency, allows rebels to move back and forth between parts of northern Syria they hold and Turkish territory. Iraq and Lebanon, with poorly defined borders and mixed Sunni and Shi’ite populations, have not stopped fighters from both sides of the sectarian divide from joining the Syrian war. But Jordan’s Westernaligned monarchy is torn by conflicting interests over Syria. It has tried to steer a middle course between that of Gulf Arab allies who want Assad ousted at almost any cost and its own concerns echoed by Washington - that a radical Islamist victory in Syria would install a worse threat.

Turbulence strikes Varanasi's Muslims We are very sure that nobody will allow a Muslim to win from the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat ever because the Kashi Viswanath temple is located here. They won't like a Muslim MP's presence at meetings of the trust that manages the temple administration." This statement is made to Rediff.com by Ateek Ansari, a journalist turned social worker, in Varanasi. By "they", he meant a majority of Varanasi's Hindu voters. Whoever gets elected from Varanasi, Ansari says, gets nominated by virtue of being the MP to the management of this historic and ancient temple, so it is unlikely that a Muslim MP will ever be elected from the temple town. Muslims in Varanasi, Ansari adds, have realised lately that when you participate in the election process with the sole purpose to "defeat" a candidate, eventually they themselves lose out badly because their decision, normally, leads to a polarisation of Hindus in favour of the candidate they have set out to defeat. It happened with Mukhtar Ansari in the last Lok Sabha election. Local Muslims believe firmly that in 2009, when the 'outsider' candidate, Dr Murli Manohar Joshi of the Bharatiya Janata Party, contested against the Bahujan Samaj Party's Mukhtar Ansari, the controversial Ansari got Dalit and Muslim votes in abundance and was all set to win the election. But, after lunchtime on

Election day five years ago, BJP workers, with the help of the local media, spread the news that Muslims had voted en masse for Ansari and that the temple city would get a Muslim MP, and that too the controversial Ansari, to represent Shivji's city. Voting in Hindu-dominated areas shot up post lunch and changed the voting trend. Dr Joshi won by a thin margin -- a little over 17,000 votes -- in a constituency of 1.3 million voters. Dr Joshi should thank Narendra Modi that he didn't get a ticket from Varanasi this time as he stubbornly insisted on. Varanasi residents complain against their sitting MP for not taking a serious interest in the city's affairs. The BJP controls Varanasi's civic corporation, and its administration is pathetic. Varanasi -- Kashi, Benares, the holiest city of the Hindus -- is simply not liveable. Poor Muslims and Hindus live in dingy mohallas alongside the continuous blare of power looms. It is an inhuman existence, but the power looms bring in the money. In the city, not even half a kilometre of road is clean or has an even surface. Electricity is provided for around 12 to 14 hours a day, making life miserable. Mukhtar Ansari, a Varanasi resident, was at an advantage the last time as citizens were thinking local due to the crisis in the civic administration. They want someone from within who

has a clear idea of their plight. The total absence of development is a huge election issue.However, Modi's candidature has pushed back all serious local issues related to living standards. Identity politics is once again in focus. Modi's image from the 2002 riots in Gujarat is the only element on the minds of most Muslim voters. Modi is neither in our minds nor in our hearts, says Ateek Ansari. Muslims in the city, he says, want to ensure that any candidate who opposes Modi will be supported wholeheartedly, but strategically. The gameplan is to ensure that Muslim support to any candidate in this election does not incite polarisation of Hindus towards Modi. Muslims will remain tightlipped this time to ensure that their favoured candidate, be it from the Congress or the Samajwadi Party or the BSP, or the Aam Aadmi Party's Arvind Kejriwal, remains neutral enough to get Hindu votes too, to add to the massive Muslim support. Muslims will decide their preference after the campaign reaches its climax in the city to avoid Hindu polarisation as much as possible. Ateek Ansari, who is helping Kejriwal, is hopeful that the youth of the city and villagers from nearby areas that fall within Varanasi constituency will find Kejriwal an attractive proposition. Varanasi's Congress leaders and Muslim leaders feel the Congress will bring in a surprise element, else it

would not have waited so long to declare its candidate. Local Congress leaders discuss a new name for Varanasi seat every day, including Ajai Rai, Rajesh Mishra, and even a member of the Gandhi family, to take on Modi. Ajay Rai had switched over to the Samajwadi Party from the BJP in 2009 to contest against Dr Joshi; he finished third behind Dr Joshi and Mukhtar Ansari. Rai has an ongoing conflict with Mukhtar Ansari and has a considerable following among Brahmins and Bhumihars. The Varanasi police arrested him in 2010 for allegedly trying to set a trader afire, booked him under the Gangsters Act and sent him to the district jail. Rai is now a Congress MLA from Pindra and has won the past five assembly elections.Muslim political analysts are waiting for the Congress candidate to be named with intense apprehension. If the Congress candidate takes away more Muslim votes from Kejriwal (like Rai is expected to do since he enjoys clout over a section of Muslims having done them favours) and not enough of Modi's Hindu votes, then Muslims will be very disappointed. In Varanasi, prestige lies not only in victory. The loser too will have some honour if Modi wins by a narrow margin and not a huge one. This shows the level of political interest among the Muslims after Modi's candidature in Varanasi was announced.Mukhtar Ansari, who first expressed a desire

to take on Modi, later issued a statement through his Quami Ekta Dal that there should be a common candidate supported by all political parties against Modi. Since 2009, when he came within striking distance of victory, his stature has risen in his community as the bully who almost destabilised Joshi and the BJP. For the last 20 years, with the exception of 2004 when the Congress won Varanasi, BJP candidates have been elected from the city where around 300,000 Muslims live and earn their livelihood, largely from the silk and art silk sari trade. More than one million people are supported by the textile trade; some one million Muslims depend on the weaving and trading of saris in eastern Uttar Pradesh. Mukhtar Ansari is now imprisoned in Agra jail, and leads a lavish life there with his many cell phones. He has been accused of serious crimes, one of them related to the murder of BJP legislator Krishnanand Rai. The Samajwadi Party rejected his offer for a common candidate, with UP minister and Mulayam Singh Yadav's brother Shivpal Yadav, saying, 'We have already fielded Kailash Chaurasia. We will not take support from any goonda, badmaash (hooligan). Everyone knows we are secular. Those who wish to strengthen secular forces can support us.' Muslim leaders -- because of Modi's presence in the fray -- openly oppose any move by Mukhtar Ansari to

declare his candidature, saying, "He will only help Modi win."Many issued a statement that the BJP wants Ansari to stand against Modi so that Kejriwal's sure shot votes get divided and Modi can win comfortably with the help of Hindu polarisation. "In this emergency kind of situation Mukhtar Ansari should declare that in order to stop communal forces and to avoid a division of Muslim votes he will sacrifice himself and not stand in the election," one Muslim leader suggested. They are determined to ensure that no tainted Muslim emerges against Modi lest it makes the choice of Hindu voters easy. A great churning is taking place in the minds of Muslims these days. No one wants Modi to win, so everyone is looking to the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party. The Samajwadi Party's Kailash Chaurasia and the BSP's Vijay Jaiswal are considered lightweight candidates.Ateek Ansari feels Arvind Kejriwal's arrival in Varanasi has given Muslims a chance to cast a positive vote. Muslims, he says, must get out to vote to ensure someone's victory and not defeat, as they did in the 2009 Lok Sabha election.Kejriwal is one candidate who meets this requirement. Hindus will also vote for him, Ateek Ansari claims. Muslim leaders argue that Kejriwal is not someone -- like Mukhtar Ansari -who will alarm Hindus into going en masse to the other side after seeing the Muslim vote going in his favour.

Adhi and Adhri, twin brothers aged one, successfully underwent a first-of-its kind neurosurgery at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences here. The children underwent the surgery March 27, a week after being admitted in the hospital. They were discharged April 5. The media came to know about the medical feat at a press conference here Wednesday. The kids suffered from Craniosynostosis, a condition in which the bones and outer structure of the skulls grow faster than normal or into abnormal shapes. As a result, the brain has to bear the pressure because of the inadequate space available to it. This causes acute pain and other problems. Deepak Gupta, additional professor, Department of Neurosurgery, AIIMS, said: "Craniosynostosis is a childhood disease wherein an early fusion of skull bones leads to restricted growth of the brain."A team of four doctors headed by Arvind Chaturvedi performed the cranial remodelling surgery, which helped relieve the pressure inside the brains of the children.Parents Benu and Sandhya were elated to see their children after the operation.Benu, who runs a departmental store in Kerala, said: It was a difficult decision, but we had no choice. Doctors told us that it was necessary to go for a surgery as waiting would create more complications.We came all the way from Kerala for this. But now, we are very happy, he added. The kids have everything in common, they had same clinical features. We could only differentiate between them as Adhi cried a lot and Adhri remained calm and smiled a lot. B.S. Sharma of AIIMS added.

'Severely infectious' bacterial strain can survive in contact lens solution

Scientists have found a bacterial strain that is associated with more severe infections and survives longer in contact lens disinfectant solution.The study found that this different strain of the keratitis-causing bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa showed enhanced resistance to the disinfectant. According to the researchers from University of Liverpool and Royal Liverpool University NHS Trust, the majority of clinical strains were killed within 10 minutes of being immersed in the contact lens solution, comparable with the standard reference strain. However, the researchers found that there was one clinical isolate, P. aeruginosa strain 39016, which is associated with a more severe case of keratitis with a prolonged healing time, was able to survive for over four hours, much longer than the reference strain.Lead researcher Craig Winstanley, said that microbial keratitis can be devastating for a patient and it is important that the risk of developing this condition is reduced in contact lens wearers by improving contact lens disinfectant solutions.The study was presented at Society for General Microbiology Annual conference in Liverpool.

TV smoking triggers adult tobacco use

A new study suggests that even though smoking appears far less frequently in US television shows than it used to, its portrayal may still be triggering the urge in adult smokers. Researchers reviewed patterns in TV smoking over more than 50 years and found that they tracked with changes in adult tobacco use, suggesting that even established smokers are influenced to light up by seeing it done on the small screen, Fox News reported. Lead study author Patrick E. Jamieson of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia said that movie tobacco cues promoting smoking initiation in teens have been extensively covered in the literature, but this paper emphasizes that TV programming-promoted tobacco has been understudied and may be important as well An effective cue "should promote smoking initiation, reinforce a current smoking habit and make it harder for smokers to quit," he said, and smoking on television appears to fit that bill. For the new study, Jamieson and a colleague noted instances of tobacco use in prime-time TV dramas between 1955 and 2010. They compared these numbers to U.S. adult smoking rates over the same period. Over the 55 years studied, smoking in real life and on TV both declined. Between 1955 and 1964 there was an average of almost three tobacco appearances per hour in the primetime dramas, which declined to less than one every three hours between 2001 and 2010. For every additional tobacco appearance per hour of TV, the researchers found, each US adult smoker consumed about two more packs of cigarettes per year. Using an economic model, the authors determined that it was more likely TV smoking instances were influencing real-life smoking levels, rather than the other way around. The declining appearance of tobacco on TV has happened alongside a similar decline in movies, the authors note.Cigarette prices increased steadily over the study period, which also probably deterred some smokers. Decreasing TV portrayals of tobacco use seemed to have about half the power of increasing cigarette prices in discouraging smoking, according to the results.The study is published in the journal Tobacco Control.


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Friday, April 18, 2014

MARK INDIA, Hyderabad Moderate earthquake jolts Iran

President Barack Obama is introduced by Vice President Joe Biden as he arrives at the Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center in Oakdale, Pennsylvania. The visit was to promote the administration's Opportunity for All program to train the work force for careers in fields with a growing demand.

Bloodshed in eastern Ukraine heightens fear as talks start Mariupol, Ukraine, April 17 : Pro-Russian separatists attacked a base of the Ukrainian national guard in an eastern city overnight and Kiev said three of the militants were killed, bloodshed likely to overshadow crisis talks in Geneva. Ukrainian, Russian and Western diplomats arrived for the emergency talks in Switzerland, but there was little hope of any progress in resolving a crisis that has seen armed pro-Russian fighters seize whole swathes of Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin, who overturned decades of post-Cold War diplomacy last month by declaring Russia's right to intervene in neighboring countries and annexing Ukraine's Crimea region, may give clues to the extent of his territorial ambitions at an annual televised question and answer session. He has deployed tens of thousands of troops on the frontier. The new deadly clashes in the port of Mariupol took place even as a modest Ukrainian military operation to recapture territory elsewhere from armed pro-Russian rebels ended in disarray, with troops surrendering rather than open fire. Interior

Minister Arsen Avakov said an armed group of about 300 separatists attacked the national guard base in Mariupol with guns and petrol bombs. Three separatists were killed in shooting that followed and 13 were wounded, he said. No guardsmen were hurt. "Given the aggressive nature of the attack on the base, an interior ministry group has been strengthened by Omega special forces. Helicopters have been sent in," he said. Pro-Russian militants control buildings in about 10 towns in eastern Ukraine after launching their uprising on April 6. Kiev fears that Moscow, which claims the right to use military force to protect its supporters, could see any deaths as a pretext to launch an invasion. On Wednesday, an armored column of Ukrainian paratroops was humiliated in an attempt to retake some towns. Pro-Moscow separatists took control of some of their armored vehicles and crowds surrounded another column, forcing the troops to hand over the pins from their rifles and retreat. European countries and the United States are threatening Rus-

sia with more sanctions unless it takes steps at the Geneva meeting to show it will de-escalate the conflict in Ukraine. So far, diplomacy has failed to keep up with events on the ground, with Russia's partisans seizing control of territory before Western countries can formulate a response. Bloodshed has been limited so far during the uprising in the east, with two people killed on Sunday, including a member of the Ukrainian state security forces shot dead. The United States and European Union have imposed visa bans and asset freezes on a small number of Russian individuals, a response that Moscow has openly mocked. However, the Western states say they are now contemplating far more serious measures that could hurt Russia's economy more broadly, which could be put into place shortly after Thursday's Geneva meeting. "What I have said consistently is that each time Russia takes these kinds of steps that are designed to violate their sovereignty, that there are going to be consequences," U.S. President Barack Obama saidonWednesday in an interview with CBS.

Obama, Abe to battle negative images at US-Japan summit Tokyo/Washington, April 17 : When U.S. President Barack Obama meets Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at a summit next week, they will be battling negative undercurrents that could undermine their message that Asia's most important security alliance is firm. Obama, stopping in Tokyo at the beginning of a four-nation Asian trip, must counter worries in Japan that his commitment to its defense in the face of an increasingly assertive China is weak. Abe will be trying to soothe U.S. concerns that his conservative push to recast Japan's war record with a less apologetic tone is overshadowing his pragmatic policies on the economy and security. The two leaders will also need to demonstrate at least the prospect of progress on the economic centerpiece of what the Obama administration calls its strategic "rebalance" to Asia - a Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact that would bring together Japan, the United States and 10 other economies. Strains could also emerge over the crisis in the Ukraine, expected to be on the agenda when the two leaders talk. Japanese and U.S. officials say the alliance is rock-solid and the atmospherics will be just fine at what will be the first state visit to Tokyo by a U.S. president since Bill Clinton in 1996. But in a sign of how imagery matters, Tokyo sweated for months for Washington to affirm Japan's special ally status by agreeing to make Obama's visit a state occasion with accompanying ceremony, including dinner with the emperor, rather than a less elaborate business trip. Obama will spend two nights in Tokyo, but almost all his events will take place on April 24, according to a provisional schedule released by Japan's foreign ministry. "A presidential

visit is at least half symbolic," said Toshio Nakayama, a professor at Keio University in Tokyo. "We always pay attention, but we will be paying more attention to the dissonance between the two leaders." The United States has welcomed efforts by Abe to revive Japan's economy after a two-decade slump and to shoulder more of the burden for the decadesold alliance, the core of Japan's security policies and central to the U.S. presence in Asia. But ties were strained after Abe paid his respects last December at Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine, seen by critics as a symbol of Japan's past militarism because leaders convicted by an Allied tribunal as war criminals are honored there along with those who died on the battlefield. Washington had signaled it wanted Abe to stay away and then expressed "disappointment" over his visit, fearing it would further fray ties with China and South Korea, where Japan's past aggression has left a bitter legacy. Japan is also embroiled in territorial feuds with its two neighbors, most notably a tense row over tiny East China Sea islets controlled by Japan but also claimed by China. China in particular has used the Yasukuni visit to portray Abe as a right-wing nationalist who could lead Japan down the same path it travelled to World War Two. A U.S. official dismissed that assessment, but also told Reuters: "We think it's important that Japan address historical issues in a way that does not increase tensions." Some lawmakers close to Abe have resented the U.S. public chastisement over Yasukuni, which they said tilted towards Beijing and Seoul at Tokyo's expense. Abe's government has been at pains to distance itself from such comments and others casting doubt on the prime minister's commitment to past apologies for Japan's wartime deeds.

Tehran, April 17 : Iran’s state TV says a magnitude 5.3 earthquake has jolted a sparsely populated district in the south of the country. The quake was moderate and no injuries were reported. The TV says the quake struck in Shonbeh on Thursday morning, at 04-01 a.m. local time (Wednesday 23-31 GMT). Last April, a magnitude 6.1 quake killed dozens and injured hundreds in the same district but authorities said it did not damage the nearby nuclear reactor in Bushehr, about 96 kilometers (60 miles) northwest of Shonbeh. Iran sits on a series of seismic fault lines and experiences one slight earthquake quake a day on average. In 2003, some 26,000 people were killed by a magnitude 6.6 quake that flattened the historic southeastern city of Bam.

3 killed after Black Sea base attack Kiev, April 17 : Three proRussian militants have been killed and 13 wounded after Ukrainian troops repelled an attack on a National Guard base in the Black Sea port of Mariupol, Ukraine’s interior minister said on Thursday. A crowd of around 300 men armed with Molotov cocktails attacked the base, in the south-east part of the country late Wednesday, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said in a statement. A wellarmed, Russia-backed insurgency has sowed chaos in eastern Ukraine in the past weeks. Militants have seized police stations and administrative buildings in at least 10 towns in the region, including Mariupol. The latest unrest came just hours before diplomats from Ukraine, the U.S., the European Union and Russia prepared to meet Thursday for the first time over the burgeoning crisis that threatens to roil the new government in Kiev. With Ukraine struggling to contain the pro-Russian uprising, the Obama administration has said it is readying additional sanctions against Moscow and a boost in aid for the Ukrainian military in the coming days.

Brazil launches campaign against child sex abuse Rio De Janeiro, April 17 : Brazil has launched a campaign against the sexual exploitation of minors as it readies to host millions of visitors for the 2014 World Cup of soccer. The campaign, whose slogan is "Don't Look Away," aims to increase awareness about the crime and encourage people to report it, Xinhua reports. As part of the campaign, the government is promoting its sex-crime hotline, Disk-100, which people can call to denounce child abuse. Soccer player Kaka and former player Juninho Pernambucano, who have both played for Brazil, participate in the campaign. "Brazil will receive many tourists and we have a reputation for being a country of impunity," said Pernambucano, who played for Brazil in the 2006 World Cup. "I am a father of three girls and I came from the northeast, where exploitation is much more pervasive than in other regions. The campaign aims to save our country's children and teenagers from difficult situations," he added.

Malaysia forms panel to look into Muslim conversion cases Kuala Lumpur, April 17 : Muslim majority Malaysia will form a committee to look into issues pertaining to conflicts between the civil and Islamic Sharia courts in cases involving Muslim converts and their non-Muslim former spouses. "The Malaysian government is looking at the issue seriously and the committee will be formed as soon as possible," said Nancy Shukri, the minister in the Prime Minister's Department. She will be co-chairing the joint committee with her colleague Jamil Khir Baharom. She stressed that

the welfare of children caught in the legal tussle was a priority. Legal tussles involving Muslim converts and their non-Muslim former spouses have been an ongoing issue in Malaysia. The latest case involves ethnic Indian Hindu S Deepa, 30, and her ex-husband who converted to Islam and is now called Izwan Abdullah, 31. On April 7, the Seremban High Court awarded custody of both their children to Deepa after deciding that the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act had jurisdiction over their civil marriage. The

court also accepted an application by Deepa to annul their marriage because Izwan, had embraced Islam. Izwan had also converted both his children to Islam without Deepa's knowledge and had obtained custodial rights of them from the Shariah court. On April 9, Izwan allegedly abducted his six-year-old son away from Deepa's house. Malaysia's 28 million people include 60 percent Muslim Malays, 25 percent ethnic Chinese who are mostly Buddhist or Christians and 8 percent ethnic Indians who are mostly Hindus.

Robotic submarine completes third search mission to search missing MH370 Perth, April 17 : A mini-submarine deployed to locate the missing Malaysian plane’s wreckage on the floor of the Indian Ocean has completed a full 16-hour mission mission at its third attempt, authorities said today. Two previous missions by autonomous underwater vehicle Bluefin 21, a US Navy probe equipped with side-scan sonar, to map the ocean floor were cut short by technical problems and deep water, without making any “significant” detections. “Overnight Bluefin-21 AUV completed a full mission in the search area and is currently planning for its next mission,” according to Joint Agency Coordinating Centre (JACC) set up by the Australian government to coordinate the search operations. It said Bluefin-21 has searched approximately 90 square kilometres to date and the data from its latest mission is being analyzed. Bluefin 21 is searching in an area defined by four acoustic signals picked up by an Australian search team. Today’s

search operation would be carried out by up to 10 military aircraft, two civilian plane and 11 ships. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has planned a visual search area totaling approximately 40,349 square kilometres, as the multi-nation search entered into the 41st day. The centre of the search areas lies approximately 2,170 kilometres north west of Perth. The search for the missing plane could take up to two months as the robotic mini-submarine takes six times longer to cover the same area compared to the towed pinger locater, officials said. “It is estimated that it will take the AUV (autonomous underwater vehicle) anywhere from six weeks to two months to scan the entire search area,” Lt. J.G. Daniel S. Marciniak, a spokesman for the U.S. Seventh Fleet, had said in a statement. JACC also said the oil sample collected by Australian defence vessel ‘Ocean Shield’ had now arrived in Perth and will be subject to detailed testing and analysis. “We will provide details of the results when they become available,” JACC said.

Israel, Palestinians to hold peace talks with US envoy Jerusalem, April 17 : Israeli and Palestinian negotiators were to hold a meeting on Thursday with US envoy Martin Indyk, in a bid to find a way to extend their faltering peace talks. The meeting had been put off by a day, with Israel implying the delay was due to the killing of an Israeli police officer in the West Bank. But the Palestinians said it was to enable the participation of US envoy Martin Indyk. Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met on their own on Sunday and held a three-way meeting with Indyk a week ago, in last-ditch efforts to save the stagnant peace process, launched by US Secretary of State John Kerry in July for a period of nine months. Washington was pushing for an extension of talks beyond their April 29 deadline, but negotiations hit an impasse two weeks ago when Israel refused to release a group of Palestinian prisoners as agreed at the launch of talks. The Palestinians retaliated by seeking accession to several international treaties. Despite the crisis, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas's spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina stressed the talks could be extended if Israel released the 26 prisoners, the last batch of a total of 104 veteran prisoners Israel agreed to free. "What's needed now is Israel's commitment on issues that could lead to an extension of talks.

Fears rise for missing in South Korea ferry sinking Mokpo, April 17 : Strong currents, rain and bad visibility hampered an increasingly anxious search on Thursday for 287 passengers still missing a day after their ferry flipped onto its side and sank in cold waters off the southern coast of South Korea. Nine people, including five students and two teachers, were confirmed dead, but many expect a sharp jump in that number because of the long period of time the missing have now spent either trapped in the ferry or in the cold seawater. There was also fury among families waiting for word of passengers who were mostly high school students. There were 475 people aboard, and some of the frantic parents of the 325 student passengers who had been heading to Jeju island for a four-day trip gathered at Danwon High School in Ansan, which is near Seoul,

and on Jindo, an island near where the ferry slipped beneath the surface until only the blue-tipped, forward edge of the keel was visible. Relatives of the three dead students wailed and sobbed as ambulances at a hospital in Mokpo, a city close to the accident site, took the bodies to Ansan. The families, who spent a mostly sleepless night at the hospital, followed the ambulances in their own cars. The family of one of the victims, 24-year-old teacher Choi Hye-jung, spoke about a young woman who loved to boast of how her students would come to her office and give her hugs. “She was very active and wanted to be a good leader,” her father, Choi Jae-kyu (53) said at Mokpo Jung-Ang Hospital while waiting for the arrival of his daughter’s body. Choi’s mother, sitting on a bench at the hospital, sobbed quietly with her head

bent down on her knee. Meanwhile, more than 400 rescuers searched nearby waters overnight and into Thursday morning. Coast guard spokesman Kim Jaein said that in the next two days, three vessels with cranes onboard would arrive to help with the rescue and salvage the ship. Divers worked round the clock in shifts in an attempt to get inside the vessel, he said. But the current wouldn’t allow them to enter. Mr. Kim said coast guard officials were questioning the captain, but declined to provide details or speculate on the cause of sinking. He denied earlier reports by Yonhap news agency that the ferry had turned too swiftly when it was supposed to make a slow turn. He also declined to say whether the ferry had wandered from its usual route. “I am really sorry and deeply ashamed,” a man

identified by broadcaster YTN and Yonhap news agency as the captain, 60-year-old Lee Joon-seok, said in brief comments shown on TV, his face covered with a gray hoodie. “I don’t know what to say.” Coast guard officers, experts on marine science and other experts and officers planned to gather on Thursday in Mokpo to start discussions on how the ship sank. The coast guard said it found two more bodies in the sea Thursday morning, pushing the death toll to nine. The dead have so far been identifie d a s a f e m a l e c r e w member in her 20s, three male high school students; an 18-year-old woman and 18-year-old man, who authorities aren’t yet sure are linked to the high school; Choi, the female high school teacher; Nam Yoon-chul, a male high school teacher; and a man named Kim Ki-woong.

Mon Han Bae, president of the Korean American Federation of Los Angeles, lights incense, during a vigil for victims aboard the sunken South Korean ferry boat, at the Korean Federation of Los Angeles. A ferry carrying 459 people, on an overnight trip to a tourist island, sank off South Korea's southern coast, leaving nearly 300 people missing.


4,

Friday, April 18, 2014

MARK INDIA, Hyderabad

'''Modi hype like El-Nino'' : Yechury Shimla, April 17 : Equating BJP's pm pick Narendra Modi's hype with climatic factor 'El-Nino' Communist Party of India(Marxist) Polit Bureau member and Rajya Sabha CPI(M) MP Sita Ram Yechury today alleged that there would no change in the economic policy. "It can create heat in national polity like 'El-Nino' effect as this hype is posing a challenging social harmony," he said while addressing CPI(M) election rally at Sabji Mandi ground in support of its candidate Jagat Ram for Shimla parliamentary constituency which will go to polls on May 7. 'El-Nino effects come after cycle of 12 yrs causing global warming and also bringing the destruction with it. Similarly, is Modi hype would bring another suffering to people as party's policy would be equally worst than UPA" he commented in the rally.

People are angry with Congress, they are not fools: Jaitley New Delhi, April 17 : Attacking the Congress party, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley today said, "People are angry with Congress and they are not fools." Hitting out at AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi, Mr Jaitley in his article said, "Rahul Gandhi must accept that people are angry with the Congress."They are not 'Ullus' (fools) when they vote against Congress. The prospects of defeat should not make a leader lose his graciousness," the BJP leader said. "Those who vote against the Congress may have good reasons to do so," he added. "The angry voter is not a four letter word that Mr Gandhi has chosen to describe them," Mr Jaitley said.

BJP leaders have asked me to prevent Modi from becoming PM:Mulayam

Jaswantnagar (Etawah), April 17 : Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav today disclosed that some senior BJP leaders had appealed to him to prevent Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi from becoming the Prime Minister. "There are several senior BJP leaders who have asked me to prevent Mr Modi from becoming the PM as they are apprehensive about their own future," Mr Yadav said while addressing an election meeting for the polls which are scheduled for April 24. Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee wanted Mr Modi to step down from the Chief Minister's post after the Gujarat riots but senior party leader Lal Krishna Advani prevailed upon Atalji and saved Modi," he said. But now when Mr Modi has not even spared Advaniji, who had helped him against Mr Vajpayee, so now the other senior leaders are afraid of their own future if he becomes the PM," he disclosed and added that, "I have assured the BJP leaders that in no way Mr Modi can become the PM of the country and I will stop him."

2 labourers killed as lorry overturns at Metro Rail site

Congress party candidate Nagma from Meerut at an election campaign rally by Mohammad Kaif, party candidate from Phulpur in the Soraon area, 45 kilometers (28 miles) from Allahabad.

BJP objects to Sonia's statement on formation of Telangana Hyderabad, April 17 (IPT) : Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today objected to AICC President Sonia Gandhi's statement that BJP had obstructed the AP State Reorganization Bill when it was presented in Parliament. In a statement here, party spokesperson Krishna Sagar Rao claimed that Congress had no strength to pass any bills without BJP support, leave alone AP State Bifurcation Bill. "If at all anyone can legitimately claim credit for achieving Telangana, it is only BJP," he said.

He said the Congress public rally was a 'flop show'. "Neither they could establish any rapport with the people of Telangana with their illegitimate claims nor could they showcase any strength. It is evident, Congress party even in this region is in 'defeated mind set' on the anvil of their certain & miserable defeat across the country in the days to come, in the run up for the General and Assembly elections 2014," he said. "Ms Gandhi calling BJP a 'Religious fundamentalist' party is like 'Devil rendering

vedas'. In an open, defiant and non secular spirit the leader of Congress has met the religious head of Islam in Delhi and sought religious vote. In her recent address to the nation through an advertisement, she clearly divided the voters on religious lines and sought their support, Mr Rao alleged. BJP coalition in Telangana had set a mission of 65 + 10 [MLA & MP] and the party workers and leaders were working in tandem with alliance partner TDP to ensure consolidation and transfer of vote in all the seats

we both are contesting across the Telangana State, he said. "BJP coalition can only ensure development and progress for Telangana State with its rich experience and established good governance and developmental track record in all BJP ruled states since 15-20 years. Governments of Gujarat, MP, Goa, Chattisgarh, Rajastan are exemplary in their governance and people centric rule. Telangana State needs BJP government to ensure ' Te l a n g a n a Pragathi," Mr Rao added.

Good to heavy voter turnout in Phase V, says EC New Delhi/Bangalore/ Jaipur/Lucknow, April 17 : A good to heavy turnout of the 170 million electoral college in 121 constituencies across 12 states marked the end of Phase V polling for the tryst with the 16th Lok Sabha. Voting in the biggest phase of the nine-leg polling began at 0700 hrs. Elections for the 16th Lok Sabha crossed the half-way mark in the more than a month-long exercise. There were 769 candidates in the fifth phase.

The EC said Karnataka, registered a voter turnout of 68 per cent, a rise of almost ten per cent as compared to the last general elections in 2009. Rajasthan, where 20 seats went to the polls, registered a voter turnout of 63.25 per cent. There were 239 candidates in the fray and 3.48 crore electorate were eligible to cast their vote.Maharashtra, where 19 seats went to the polls, saw a voter turnout of 58 per cent, a rise of four per cent as

against last Lok Sabha polls. Uttar Pradesh and Odisha (11 seats each) registered a voter turnout of 62.52 per cent and 70 per cent respectively. Madhya Pradesh, where 10 seats went to the polls, witnessed a voter turnout of 54.41 per cent. Seven seats of Bihar went to the polls and they registered a voter turnout of 56 per cent, a phenomenal rise of 17 per cent compared to the last general elections in

Need 'clean money' to defeat Narendra Modi: Arvind Kejriwal New Delhi, April 17 : On a mission to defeat the BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal has sent out an appeal for “clean money”, requesting for doations. Kejriwal, who is contesting the General Elections against Modi from the seat of Varanasi, hit the campaign trail in the holy city of temples on Tuesday when he arrived there with his family. Kejriwal will remain here till May 12, the last day of elections, when Varanasi will go to the polls. He is expected to spend time in villages in Varanasi, focussing mainly on small meetings all over the constituency and having discussions with members of various communities. On the very day of arrival in Varanasi, he tweeted asking for donations from people wishing to contribute by sending an sms to

9868069953. Other than individual donations, which he has been recieving even from abroad, Kejriwal has earlier held fund-raising dinners, with the one held in Bangalore (Rs 20,000-per person dinner) fetching unexpectedly high amount of Rs 50 Lakh. The dinner held at Nagpur, which cost Rs. 10, 000 per person, fell below expectations as only 35 people turned out. Aam Aadmi Party claims to be very transparent and posts the donors' name and amounts donated on its website. According to the latest post on AAP website, kejriwal's party has managed to fetch more than Rs 27 crore after Delhi elections (since Dec 12, 2013). The donations on Wednesday amountd to Rs 3,73,260 by 61 donors. Indians from around 114 countries have made the donations, says the

website. Delhi BJP President Harsh Vardhan has called AAP an "apparition" which has the backing of foreign powers. Kejriwal, who arrived in Varanasi with posters of “Delhi ka bhagoda” (Deserter from Delhi) greeting him, later in an interaction with the electorate said that he was not a deserter. “I am not a deserter. Tell them, I am standing here...If the people defeat Modi in Varanasi, then no one will make him the Prime Minister of the country... And moreover the BJP will also get finished." Kejriwal shot to the political prominence after a spectacular show in Delhi Assembly elections after which he was made the Chief Minister. But after a 49-day stint as the CM, Kejriwal resigned. He is now aiming to take on Modi from Varanasi in Lok Sabha elections.

Jagan, Vijayamma file nominations

Hyderabad, April 17 (IPT) : Two labourers were killed and three others injured when a cement container lorry overturned at a site of the ongoing Hyderabad Metro Rail project at Malakpet near here today. According to police, the lorry which came from Guntur district rammed into barricades on the road near the site before falling into a pit dug up for construction of metro rail piers. At least ten labourers, who were working at the site, had a miraculous escape when the mishap occurred. The two deceased workers were identified as M Ansari and Babulala Yadav. The injured were two labourers and lorry driver suffered. The deceased belonged to Jharkhand. The metro rail project was being implemented by construction major L&T.

Hyderabad, April 17 (IPT) : YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and YS Vijayamma filed their nomination papers amidst fanfare for the Pulivendula assembly and Visakhapatnam Lok Sabha constituencies today. YSRCP President YS Jagan Mohan Reddy filed his papers for the Pulivendula assembly constituency in Kadapa district with milling crowds thronging to the venue where he addressed the gathering and sought their blessings and thanked them for support and cooperation extended to him and his family members."We have gone through turbulent times for the past five years after the death of YSR and I thank every one of you for blessing me and our family with your unstinted support at time of turmoil," Mr Jagan told reporters after filing nominations."I have come here (pulivendula) to file my nomination for assembly and in the next few days we will be having elections. With your support the golden era of YSR will return to the state," he said, amidst cheers from the crowd packed to the capacity. He said "the state has witnessed agony and I seek your mandate and will return as Chief Minister of the State next time he said and appealed to give a thumping and one-sided verdict to the Party which would a tribute to YSR." "I understand the plight of famers and the hardships you have gone through after the death of YSR and the political system has gone through a phase of divisive politics and it has degraded and decayed," he said."There is no respect for values and value-based politics and it is time to revive the YSR model of political system and bring in a welfare state," he said and assured that he would bring back the golden era of YSR. "This is the first time YS Jagan Mohan Reddy is contesting for assembly. He was elected to Kadapa Lok Sabha twice earlier," he said.His mother and Party Honorary President Y S Vijayamma, accompanied by her daughter Sharmila, filed nomination for Lok Sabha from Visakhaptanam amidst cheers from supporters and well-wishers.

New Delhi, April 17 : The Supreme Court (SC) on Thursday, said that it is for the Lieutenant-Governor (LG) Najeeb Jung to decide on the fate of the Delhi State Assembly. The court was hearing today on a petition filed by Aam Admi Party (AAP) challenging the nondissolution of the Delhi Legislative Assembly and

not holding of fresh elections. The government led by AAP, while resigning after serving 49 days in Delhi, had recommended that the Assembly be dissolved and fresh elections be conducted but the Centre had imposed President's Rule based on the report submitted by Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung. The AAP had

Lt. Governor will decide on fate of Delhi Assembly: SC then filed a petition in the Supreme Court . Following the apex court's notice both the Congress and BJP had filed their affidavits on wednesday oposing the dissolution of Delhi Assembly which is now in suspended animation following the imposition of President's rule in the State.

these seats. Jharkhand, where six seats went to the polls, clocked a voter turnout of 62 per cent. West Bengal, where four seats went to the polls, registered a turnout as heavy as 82 per cent. Chhattisgarh's three seats saw a voter turnout of 63.44 per cent.Jammu and Kashmir and Manipur both saw elections to one seat each. They witnessed a voter turnout of 69.08 per cent and 74 per cent respectively.

SC rejects plea to probe Army's role in Sri Lanka New Delhi, April 17 : The Supreme Court Thursday declined to entertain a plea seeking a Special Investigative Team (SIT) probe into the role of the Indian Army as a peacekeeping force in Sri Lanka during operations against the LTTE. "There are issues which are absolutely beyond the domain of the court and this is one of them," said the apex court bench of Justice RM Lodha and Justice Kurian Joseph as it dismissed the plea. Asking petitioner advocate Ram Sankar to approach the competent authorities, the court asked him "not to bring the court in this arena".

People near the damaged railway track after a landmine blast triggered by Maoists in Bokaro, Jharkhand.

Congress distributing wrist watches with photos of PC to voters : Modi Ramanathapuram, April 17: BJP Prime Ministerial candidate and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today alleged that the 'Congress was distributing wrist watches with photos of Union Finance Minister to the voters.''In Tamil Nadu, there is a Congress leader - recounting Minister. He is so afraid that he ran away from elections.Some people on this dais showed me a wrist watch, which has the recounting Minister's photo and his party's symbol. I was told that these watches are being given to every household. The Election Commission should take note of it very seriously and probe against

the recounting Minister and Congress for influencing the voters,' said Modi while addressing his first-ever election rally here in support of NDA candidates.Referring to the ordeal of fisher folk of Tamil Nadu, especially Rameswaram, he said while the fishermen of Tamil Nadu were often attacked, arrested and their boats were seized by Sri Lankan Navy, the Gujarat fishermen were suffering at the hands of Pakistan Navy. It was all because of a weak government at the Centre, he said. Mr Modi said if BJP was elected to power at the Centre, it would not only address the sufferings of fishermen,

but also would help their livelihood by providing latest satellite technologies to find out where were are fishes and to prevent them crossing border. He said vast majority of Muslim population continued to live in poverty as the 15point plan launched by Congress to improve the condition of minorities was complete failure. The 'Kundu committee' appointed by Congress-led UPA Government to supervise the implementation of Sachar Committee's recommendations found Muslims living in rural and urban areas lagging behind other groups in available income to spend on food and goods since 2006.

Edited, Printed, Published and Owned by L. Aseervadam, Printed at Krashak Printer, Vidyanagar, O.U. Campus Road, Hyderabad. Published from Flat No: 106, Block - A, Archana Apartments, East Marredpally, Secunderabad 500 026. Phone : 040 40160906, 27712775, Fax : 040 -27712774, E-mail : markindiadaily@gmail.com, Editor-in-chief : L. Aseervadam, RNI. No : APENG/2012/47447


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