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Saturday, April 19, 2014
Edition : HYDERABAD
Good Friday observed in State
Devotees offer prayers at the Sacred Heart Cathedral on the occasion of Good Friday in New Delhi.
BJP crossing all limits to capture power: Sonia Raipur, April 18 : Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Friday launched another scathing attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), saying that the saffron party’s acts were threatening the democratic fabric of the country.Addressing a rally at Bhatgaon town in Sarguja Lok Sabha constituency, she said: “The BJP is crossing all the limits to capture power in this election. Their behaviour is extremely dangerous for the democratic set-up in our country. Elections will come and go, but the way they are doing things and lying to the people of this country, will hamper democracy.”Without naming BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Ms.
Gandhi cautioned the people that no democracy could be safe in the hands of one man.Applauding the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government for “taking decisions for the betterment of all the sections of the society," the UPA chairperson also claimed that no other government had done the welfare work which the Congress party did in its tenure. Criticising Chhattisgarh’s BJP government, Ms. Gandhi said it had failed to protect the people of the State despite the Centre providing all possible assistance. “We never saw which State is ruled by which party. The Central government provided help to all the States without any discrimination.
The Central government provided thousands of crores of rupees to the State government but it did not utilise the funds for the people of the State,” Ms. Gandhi asserted. The Congress president also questioned why the people of Chhattisgarh had to migrate to other States when the Central government provided crores of rupees to the State for works under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. “We brought the Land Acquisition Act to protect Tribals from land displacement, but in Chhattisgarh, the Tribals’ land is being snatched. The State government is not giving the rights to the Tribals,” she told the gathering.
'Ma beta ka sarkar', not Manmohan, rules country: Modi Betul, April 18 : The Bharatiya Janata Party's heavy artillery roared in this district headquarters today as the saffron party's prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi placed Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and her deputy Rahul Gandhi in the crosshairs by alleging that it is not Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government but actually a "ma beta ka sarkar" (mother and son's regime) that rules from New Delhi. "India never had a government that is so corrupt and conceited as the one in power for the past five years. The country was looted. Graft is in the blood of the Congress that is clever and changes colour whenever it gets an opportunity," the Gujarat Chief Minister said while addressing a poll rally. Pouring sarcasm on the Congress' symbol, Mr Modi quipped that the party's members first fold hands, then shake hands, show hands, play a hand and finally do sleight of hand. "During Mr Rajiv Gandhi's premiership, only the Congress was visible from the panchayat to Parliament levels. However, Mr Gandhi himself admitted that for every rupee disbursed from New Delhi only 12 paise reach beneficiaries. Which hand took the money?" he asked. In an endeavour to attract tribal folk, Mr Modi said adiwasis participated in the Revolt of 1857 and the struggle for inde-
pendence but the Congress does not comprehend those facts. "Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the first prime minister to create a Tribal Affairs Ministry and earmark a separate budget for adiwasi welfare. The then Premier monitored the Ministry," he claimed. In such an immense country, would a soft regime be okay, Mr Modi asked, adding that a careless 'daroga' (police inspector) is worthless and a car with a deflated tyre would not move properly. "The nation cannot wait much longer. Choose this 'sewak' (servant) once. You gave them 60 years, give me 60 months. I will make the country emerge. All 'lotuses' from Madhya Pradesh should reach Delhi," he appealed. If a vehicle is stuck in some mud, the driver manages to push it out, if the mud is deeper then a few persons can push it out, Mr Modi said, but in today's crisis, he requires more than 300 parliamentarians to rescue the nation. "Had Mr Shivraj Singh Chouhan not been chosen as the Chief Minister and the BJP government not formed then would not this state have continued to be in ruin? That was the condition it was placed in by earlier regimes. The BJP brought Madhya Pradesh out of the 'BiMARU' (Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh) category. Development is our objective," he claimed.
Hyderabad, April 18 (IPT) : Good Friday, which symbolizes the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, was observed by Christians all over Andhra Pradesh by offering prayers in the churches and fasting today. Since dawn, Christians of all denominations thronged the churches to participate in special masses for the solemn occasion. Devout Christians observed the 40-day Lent period of prayers and abstinence preceding Good Friday. At many places, including in the All Saints Church in the city, the passion play was enacted where actors wearing crowns of thorns depicted the moving crucifixion of Jesus. On Sunday next (April 20), Christians will celebrate Easter marking the resurrection of Christ.
LS tryst part six ; All eyes set on April 24 polling for 117 seats New Delhi/Hyderabad/ Varanasi, April 18 : As India set out for phase six of the tryst with the 16th Lok Sabha, the century-old Congress waxed sarcasm at prophets of doom. " Yes! Yaar halat badey kharab hai" a senior Congress functionary mocked. Smilingly, he recalled similar reports in 2004 and 2009 and said what transpired was an open secret. In an informal chat with media persons during a debriefing session this week, the leader laughed away discussions veering around the party's bleak prospects at the hustings. He said that in 2004, a journalist at a TV show told him not to lose heart, sometimes such situations crop up.Unfazed by the possibility of poor performance due to anti-incumbency after 10 years, insiders claimed a Congress tally of 125-135 is not an uphill task given reports emanating from the
ground.A retreating scribe whispered," Yes! miracles happen."No harm in harbouring optimism even in adverse situations." BJP HQ at Ashoka road, however, was suffused with optimism . When power tripped during a recent news conference, a senior leader smelt a rat. He added, " Don't worry, acche din aane wale hai. "We will take care of such breakdowns." Peals of laughter followed. Body language of leaders and workers at the party HQs is transforming fast much before May 16 -the verdict day.In Tiruchirapalli, BJP president Rajnath Singh expressed confidence that the party-led NDA alliance would win about 300 seats, getting a clear and comfortable majority to form the next government at the Centre. Sonia Gandhi assailed the BJP as hungry for power.
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Congress promises free TVs, laptops in Seemandhra Hyderabad, April 18 (IPT) : The Congress has promised free television sets along with dish connection for poor and free laptops for students of government colleges, in its manifesto for Seemandhra released Friday. The Congress, which is facing a testing time in Seemandhra in view of bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, promised freebies for different sections of voters to woo them.The election manifesto for Seemandhra said if the party comes to power, it would introduce a new scheme under which 100 square yard land will be allotted in the name of girl child
Prosperity in trade will boost employment : Jaitley Amritsar, April 18 : Advocating the need to provide investment friendly environment for traders, SAD-BJP candidate from Amritsar Arun Jaitley said encouragement to trade will not only increase the employment opportunities but will also enhance government's revenue that can be use in the development works.Addressing a meeting of Old Market cloth merchant association, he reminded that in 1950's BJP was considered to be a party of traders and industries. Whereas BJP had been of the firm view that good economy always encourages investment and profitability. As it will promote to tax collection and more development or welfare schemes can be executed. So the interests of traders cannot be ignored.He assured traders present there of full support and friendly policies to make their business flourish. Endorsing Mr Jaitley's opinion, BJP Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Goyal said that as a trader himself he perfectly understands the concerns of the traders. He sought sport from the traders' community to vote for Arun Jaitley.
immediately after her birth and a house will be constructed on the land at the time of her marriage.The party promised to waive all loans of self-help groups. Andhra Pradesh Congress chief N. Raghuveera Reddy said free electricity would be provided to houses which consume less than 100 units per month."There will be no hike in electricity tariff for five years and daily nine-hour uninterrupted power supply will be ensured for farmers," he said.The Congress promised to create Rs.5,000 crore calamity relief fund for farmers and increase the retirement age of government employ-
ees to 60 years.Elections to 25 Lok Sabha and 175 assembly seats in Seemandhra are scheduled on May 7. Seemandhra will come into being as Andhra Pradesh state on June 2. Union minister and senior central leader Jairam Ramesh, who released the manifesto, said Polavaram project, which will irrigate seven lakh acre land and generate 900 MW of electricity, would get the status of national project. Jairam said 80 TMC water would be diverted from Godavari river to Krishna river, which will help both Telangana and Seemandhra.
BJP-TDP alliance to continue in Seemandhra
Hyderabad, April 18 (IPT) : The alliance between the BJP and the TDP in Seemandhra will continue as the two parties Friday ironed out their differences. After prolong talks with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief N. Chandrababu Naidu, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) national spokesman Prakash Javadekar announced that their alliance will continue.He said the BJP will give up one assembly seat earlier allotted to it and the TDP will give it three seats in the legislative council. The BJP will now contest 13 assembly and four Lok Sabha seats in Seemandhra. BJP Seemandhra chief K. Haribabu said the TDP agreed to give three legislative council seats to the BJP.Under the seat sharing agreement, the TDP had originally left 15 assembly and five Lok Sabha seats for its national partner. However, due to differences over the choice of seats, the TDP reduced the number to 14 assembly and four Lok Sabha. The latest row led to the BJP giving up another assembly seat on the assurance that it will get three seats in the upper house. The BJP has also reportedly agreed to change three candidates as the TDP found them weak. Javadekar, who is incharge of BJP affairs in Andhra Pradesh, met Naidu at the latter's residence. He again held talks with TDP leaders K. Rammohan Rao and Sujana Chowdary at the residence of senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu. Naidu had stated Thursday that the alliance is proving costly for the TDP as the BJP has fielded weak candidates.The former chief minister reportedly is miffed with the BJP for fielding his estranged sister-in-law D. Purandeswari for Lok Sabha from Rajampet. Purandeswari quit Congress last week and joined the BJP. She, however, was not given ticket from Visakhapatnam, from where she was elected in 2009. The TDP chief is also upset over the BJP ignoring Raghuram Krishnam Raju, a businessman considered close to him. Naidu wanted the national party to give him ticket for Narsapur Lok Sabha seat. Raju Thursday filed nominations from the same constituency as a candidate of both TDP and BJP and also as an independent.
TRS knows no language save provocation: Jairam Ramesh Hyderabad, April 18 (IPT) : Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on Friday said the agenda of the regional Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) is to provoke. "The agenda of the TRS is an agenda of provocation. They know no language other than the language of provocation," said Ramesh. The minister said a Congress Party government in Telangana is necessary for the development of the rest of Andhra Pradesh. "The first requirement is a Congress Government in Telangana. Any other government in Telangana will blackmail, will extort, will provoke, create new disputes. It is only the Congress that will ensure that both states live peacefully together," he added.Simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and undivided Andhra Pradesh assembly will be held in Telangana on April 30 and on May 7 in Seemandhra
Union Minister Jairam Ramesh at the Road Show from Hi-Tech City to Chandanagar to Support Sherlingampally Congress Candidate-Bhikshapati Yadav & P.Karthik Reddy-Congress Loks Sabha Candidate from Chevella in city on Friday.
Saturday, April 19, 2014
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As opposition grows, China defends plans for petrochemical plants China has launched an intense media campaign to defend the safety of producing a chemical used to make polyester fiber, as public opposition to new petrochemical plants threatens to disrupt expansion plans by state energy giants such as Sinopec Corp. Choking smog and environmental degradation in many parts of China is angering an increasingly educated and affluent urban class and after a series of health scares and accidents there is deepening public skepticism of the safety of industries ranging from food to energy. Illustrating this distrust, hundreds of residents in the southern Chinese city of Maoming demonstrated this month against plans to build a petrochemical plant to produce paraxylene, known as PX, a chemical used in making polyester fiber and plastics. The plant is backed by the local government and China's biggest refiner, state-controlled Sinopec Corp. China is the world's largest producer and consumer of PX and polyester, vital for the country's textile industry, which generated $290 billion of overseas sales, or 13 percent of China's total exports last year, according to customs data. State television, CCTV, last week aired six short features showing staff reporters visiting petrochemical facilities in Japan, South Korea and Singapore producing PX in a bid to assure the public over safety. China's state-dominated oil and petrochemical sector has had a poor safety record in the last decade. Accidents have included a gas well explosion in the sprawling municipality of Chongqing in 2003 that killed 234, a 2005 chemical leak into a river in Jilin that poisoned drinking water and a pipeline explosion in Qingdao that killed 62 last November. "The reason why the industry has lost credibility is not that it hasn't carried out public relations or education work properly, but because of repeated accidents," said Ma Jun, head of the Institute of Public & Environmental Affairs, an independent environmental group. China still relies heavily on importing PX. Last year, China imported just over 9 million metric tons worth about $18 billion, mainly from South Korea, Singapore and Japan, exceeding domestic output of 8.3 million metric tons. There have been demonstrations in six Chinese cities since 2007 against plans for PX plants, forcing at least one plant to relocate and another two to be shelved or canceled.
The real threat to India's democracy Why is the majority religion in India frequently under attack?There is terrible intellectual confusion on the exact nature of the Indian subcontinent's polity. Indians by and large are described as tolerant, secular and non-violent. Why then this vilification? A detailed examination of Indian philosophical and cultural context is necessary to save India from the pretenders and self-styled intellectuals who flaunt their institutional and family lineage to hide their shallow thinking and lust for power. A shrill debate has begun on the by now familiar theme of 'secularism' versus 'communalism', with many from Imperial Delhi talking darkly about the rise of majority 'fascism' and an Adolf Hitler-like dictator. It is ironic that in a country where the de facto ruler (who takes every single important decision), the prime minister, vice-president, defence minister, foreign minister, intelligence chief, an air force chief (till recently), and many others belong to so-called minority communities, a scare is being raised about 'majoritarianism' and the threat it poses to democracy. Under the garb of 'secularism' a determined attack is being launched on Indian 'polytheism' by organised groups of the Right and the all-powerful Left. It is this and not majoritarianism that poses a threat to Indian democracy.India is not a 'secular' country in the accepted Western definition of the term. Countries like
France and the US as well as many European countries have strict separation of religion and State and do not permit any religious symbols or teachings in public space. The Indian approach is best exemplified by the Indian armed forces, possibly the finest example of Indian brand of 'secularism'. In the armed forces it is very common to find the drivers of military vehicles having a little picture of their favourite god/ guru or Islamic calligraphy (in the case of Muslims) on the vehicle dashboard. Visit any forward post in the mountains and en route at the mountain pass you will find an all-religious shrine where all the possible gods happily share one roof. Religion is not just permitted but promoted in the armed forces with a clear catholicity wherein participation in each other's religious functions is a norm and not an exception. It is this concept of 'polytheism' unique to India, that was threatened some years ago when the Sachar Committee wanted to have a separate head count for minorities. Many, including this author, successfully fought that.Much of the confusion in India is caused due to inadequate understanding of the history of secularism. Monotheism is inherently antidemocratic as it brooks no deviation from one book, one god and one path, the exact anti-thesis of the democratic principle of individual freedom and choice.In Europe the
concept of secularism had to battle the monotheism and domination of the Church. Europe became democratic in opposition to monotheist Christianity. This came about only when during the Renaissance Europe went back to its Greek and Roman roots, both in essence polytheist civilisations. In India it was never an issue as Indians never had a unified church, a single book or dominant monotheism. The essence of Indian civilisation has been that while there is essential unity of god, it is manifested in many ways and all paths are equally valid and like the many rivers that lead to the ocean, lead to same destination.Indians accept all prophets as true. Acceptance of multiplicity of or many facets of truth has led to democracy being easily accepted.India, along with the Middle-East and China, is a civilisational node. Interestingly, in the case of China as well as the Middle-East, over thousands of years a single language dominates the population. On the other hand, in India, while Sanskrit was once the link language, more than 17 major languages flourish. Linguistic diversity has been a function of polytheism. It needs reiteration that language is far more powerful a tool for nation formation than religion.The example of Bangladesh is a recent one, but a look at Europe will show the power of language as a factor in nation-building.
Lalu refused to oblige even though they were organising and asserting through the 'Backward Muslim Morcha' (1994) and the 'Pasmanda Muslim Mahaz' (1998). Thus, the question arises, why don't a majority of 'Ashraaf' Muslims seem to go for the JD-U? Why do they overlook the considerably contained organised crime and fastpaced judicial conviction of around a dozen gangster politicians; the augmented supply of electricity; the enhanced agricultural production; better roads, bridges, and quite visible rural development? Their argument stained with apprehension is: Nitish might go back to the NDA, which may perpetrate a pogrom like Gujarat 2002, notwithstanding his known aversion and assertion against Narendra Modi even while he was in the NDA. Leaving this question there in Bihar, I moved on to interact with the Muslims of Uttar Pradesh, where they constitute around 18 per cent of the electorate and in a good number of seats are above 20 per ceent, hence of crucial electoral importance. Quite a few of the students, teachers, and other employees of the Aligarh Muslim University seem to be in love with the Samajwadi Party of Mulayam Singh Yadav. They are campaigning for his party in Aligarh and elsewhere. A few weeks back there was an attempt to welcome him to the AMU campus, to enhance his electoral pros-
pects, but he had to cancel his visit amid protests. Now, one wonders, even after a series of gruesome communal violence and massive dislocation of riot victims, mainly of the disadvantaged groups of Muslims, in Muzaffarnagar, not far from Aligarh, why do these (educated elite) Muslims continue to be with Mulayam? More so, when the performance of the Akhilesh Yadavled Samajwadi Party government in UP is horribly bad in terms of law and order, roads, electricity, etc. Here, also, the intra-Muslim diversities manifests too prominently, not only in socio-economic terms but also in terms of electoral preferences as well. The articulate and vocal sections of the PasmandaDalit Muslims have made it known that their groups will be voting for Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party. I asked many of them if a majority of Muslims (the Pasmanda-Dalit segment of Muslims) are going in for the BSP in UP and for the JD-U in Bihar, then at least in order to avoid a split in Muslim votes (which will put the BJP at an advantage), why don't they join them? Like Bihar, this segment of UP Muslims, too, offers the same argument: Mayawati may join the NDA. The vexing question is: Why do sections of Muslims seem to prefer Lalu and Mulayam who symbolise wilful neglect of governance and development? And the bigger question is: If at all Narendra Modi's 'pogrom image' is really so
dreadful for the Muslim electorate, why don't they unite against the BJP, sinking their Pasmanda-Ashraaf division? Why are they varying along caste-class lines in their electoral preferences at least in Bihar and UP, which together elect 120 parliamentarians out of a total of 543? If at all Modi's 'pogrom image' is so repulsive for the Muslims, then why don't sections of Muslims get frightened with Mulayam as well? An equally relevant question is: When will India's secular democracy provide space for its Muslim electorate to go beyond the logic of security so that their political participation and engagement involve questions of development and empowerment? Is it appropriate to reduce the definition of secularism merely to anti-BJP and antiNDA politics? Can this reductionism really contribute to strengthening and deepening secularism in India? The fact of the matter is, because of this duplicity of character being displayed specifically by Ashraaf Muslims, the biggest disservice has been done to the cause of secularism, and considerably because of this, the appeal, validity, and sheen of secularism as an electoral slogan has faded miserably. Howsoever tactically Narendra Modi has been smart enough to have largely avoided invoking communally divisive issues at least in this election campaign, and has rather preferred to talk of 'development', the statistical fact of which is of course contested by his opponents.
Are Muslims really scared of Narendra Modi? Economic development? Or, secularism combining the empowerment of disadvantaged sections? Is it really an either-orsituation? This is the question that seems to have taken centrestage in the 16th general election. To me it is ironical that over a period of time the political leaders and formations claiming to be committed to pluralism-secularism have reduced India's politics to this undesirable binary. The question is, why doesn't or can't the practice of secularism combine economic development? Or is it really an appropriate question? Let us begin with Bihar, my land of birth as well as my area of research, and where around 17 percent of the electorate is Muslim. My conversations with a cross-section of the highly stratified and diversified Muslim electorate of Bihar revealed that they remain divided between the now discredited Rashtriya Janata Dal of Lalu Yadav in alliance with the equally discredited Congress, which leads the United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre. The historically subjugated communities of Muslims looked relatively clear about their choice, showing their preference for Nitish Kumar as he is said to have done a lot for these groups. The category of backward castes stand divided as do the lower and upper backward castes. Bihar's Muslims have around 41 communities. Of them, 37 are on the list of
backward castes, and of these 37 most are listed in the lower backward, now popularised as 'Ati Pichhrha' who have got reservations (preferential treatment) in the rural and urban local bodies that discharge a large number of developmental schemes. Moreover, in each such category, 50 percent of the seats are reserved for women.Unsurprisingly, most of these lower backward Muslims, called 'Pasmanda', have appreciation for Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, whose breaking off his alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party in June 2013 has removed whatever little apprehension these Muslims could have had about the Janata DalUnited.However, once you converse with the 'Ashraaf' communities of Bihar Muslims you will find them considerably confused between Nitish Kumar's JD-U and Lalu's RJD. Mainly because during the Lalu-Rabri Devi raj (1990 to 2005), even though psychosocial empowerment -more through rhetoric -- was provided to them, most of the state's patronage went to the 'Ashraaf' (Syeds, Shaikhs, Pathans) who don't constitute more than 25 per cent of Bihar's Muslims. Lalu had extracted his protection votes from the 'Pasmanda', who usually suffered most in riots like the Riga-Sitamarhi riot of October 1992. Beyond a point of time they were not going to be content merely with protection, they now demanded promotion and empowerment.
Polytheism led to this diversity and also made political unity impossible. As a military historian one can vouch that repeated Indian battlefield defeats were due to this single biggest factor. Even today, while the concept of pluralism and polytheism is under attack, political unity eludes a majority of Indians. Another proof and effect of this Indian polytheism is that a majority of visitors to holy shrines of Islam (the Ajmer dargah, for instance), the St Xavier's church in Goa or the Golden Temple in Amritsar, are polytheist Hindus.If one observes a common man passing a church or gurdwara or dargah, he instinctively bows his head. It is this prevalence of polytheism that has ensured that monotheists and minorities flourish in India. This may sound preposterous in wake of the recent communal clashes in Muzaffarnagar. But it must be understood that in a county of over one billion people that was at worst an aberration. If a person belonging to a 'minority' is to take an unjaundiced look at the Arab world or our neighbourhood, he will find daily massacres in Syria, killings in Egypt and drone attacks and use of fighter aircraft against its own people by Pakistan. Unless the Islamic world finds an answer to the challenge of monotheism, democracy will remain a far cry in those countries. As a side effect, sectarian killings where the monotheists are in a majority are completely absent in polytheist India. Another reason for continued tension in India between religious communities has been the constant propaganda of 'victimhood' that is dinned into Indian ears. So a 1992 demolition of a mosque is cause to spawn terrorist attacks, two attacks on the Raghunath temple and Akshardham temple, hundreds of bomb blasts and terror attacks have been forgotten.Ask an average Indian about these events and chance is one will get a blank look. Offhand, people will not be even able to recall the year in which these took place, but on the other hand the date December 6, 1992 is firmly etched in public mind.This is despite the fact that in cultural, sports and economic fields, there is no majority-minority distinction. Bollywood is dominated by the minorities, we have sporting heroes from all communities and in the economic field three of the biggest pharmacy companies (Wockhardt, Cipla and Himalaya) are owned by minorities. At the micro level, the hardware business is dominated by the Bohra community and most of the butcher shops are run by minorities (and sell only halal meat). It is only in the field of politics that the minorities have studiously been kept as a captive vote bank. Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first prime minister, is often invoked by the practitioners of vote bank politics. But it must be remembered that Nehru was keen to shield the minorities from the backlash of Partition. He did not need minority vote banks to win elections -- he would have won them anyway.
'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 primetime 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.
Genetic therapy may repair spinal chord: Study
Damage to the central nervous system, the brain and spinal cord, is currently irreparable. But this may change soon as researchers have now discovered that genetic and chemical treatment could help regenerate damaged nerves.Future therapies could help repair nerve damage after people suffer spinal cord injury or brain trauma, said the study. "Due to the complexity of the structure of the central nervous system, regrowth leads most often to incorrect rewiring, such as pain," said Simone Di Giovanni, a neuroscientist and neurologist from Imperial College London."The peripheral nervous system is much more simple and has effective, although partial, regeneration," noted the researchers. Most spinal cord injuries are caused by damage to axons, the long extensions of neurons that send messages around inside the nervous system, the study pointed out. The researchers found that when nerves are damaged in the peripheral nervous system, they emit signals to switch on a program to initiate nerve growth.This program is "epigenetic", meaning that it can activate or deactivate genes without altering .They also identified a protein, called P300/CBP-associated factor (PCAF), as being central to initiating nerve regrowth.The researchers found that when this protein was injected into mice that had damage to their central nervous system, it significantly increased the number of nerve fibers that grew back."This work opens an exciting new field of investigation, placing epigenetic regulation as a new, very promising tool to promote regeneration and recovery after spinal injury," Di Giovanni told Live Science. The study appeared in the journal Nature Communications.
Saturday, April 19, 2014
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Iran says will firmly deter any attacks as military displays might
Pope Francis kisses the foot of a woman at the Don Gnocchi Foundation Centre in Rome. The Pontiff has washed the feet of 12 elderly and disabled people â€” women and non-Catholics among them â€” in a pre-Easter ritual designed to show his willingness to serve like a "slave." The Pope's decision in 2013 to perform the Holy Thursday ritual on women and Muslim inmates at a juvenile detention center just two weeks after his election helped define his rule-breaking papacy.
Ankara, April 18 : Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the Islamic Republic had the might to deter any attacks as its military displayed a range of drones and missiles at an annual parade in Tehran, state television reported on Friday. Chanting "God is Greatest", troops paraded missiles carriers, some bearing banners saying "Death to America" and "Death to Israel", armored personnel carriers and unmanned surveillance aircraft as well as small submarines with men wearing aqua-lungs alongside. Unlike hardline predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Rouhani did not use his speech to lash out at the United States and Israel, which Tehran refuses to recognize.
"We told the world during the (nuclear) talks and we repeat that we don't support any aggression ... We support dialogue," Rouhani said in the live broadcast. "We don't attack any country and don't want war but we will firmly confront any aggression against Iran," he said, as helicopters and fighter jets flew overhead and parachutists landed in the parade area in the south of the capital near the shrine of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Rouhani, whose election in June paved the way for a major thaw in ties with the West, was referring to the talks with six major powers to hammer out a permanent agreement aimed at resolving the decade-old nuclear standoff.
East Ukraine separatists stay put despite diplomatic deal Kiev/Slaviansk, Ukraine, April 18 : Armed pro-Russian separatists were still holding public buildings in eastern Ukraine on Friday, saying they needed more assurances about their security before they comply with an international deal ordering them to disarm. The agreement, brokered by the United States, Russia, Ukraine and the European Union in Geneva on Thursday offered the best hope to date of defusing a stand-off in Ukraine that has dragged East-West relations to their lowest level since the Cold War. Enacting the agreement on the ground though will be difficult, because of the deep mistrust between the pro-Russian groups and the Westernbacked government in Kiev, which this week flared into violent clashes that killed several people. The fact any deal was reached at all came as a surprise, and it was not immediately clear what had happened behind the scenes
to persuade the Kremlin, which had up to that point shown little sign of compromise, to join calls on the militias to disarm. In Slaviansk, a city that has become a flashpoint in the crisis after men with Kalashnikovs took control last weekend, leaders of the pro-Russian gunmen were holding a meeting early on Friday inside one of the buildings they seized on how to respond to the Geneva agreement. On the street, there was little change. In front of the Slaviansk mayor's office, men armed with Kalashnikovs peered over sandbags which had been piled higher overnight. Separatists remained in control of the city's main streets, searching cars at checkpoints around the city. "Are we going to leave the buildings so that they can come and arrest us? I don't think so," said a man guarding the road to the security office, another building the separatists seized, who identified himself as Alexei. But
Nigeria military admits most abducted schoolgirls still missing Abuja, April 18 : The Nigerian military on Friday admitted that most of the 129 girls abducted by Boko Haram Islamists from their school in the country's restive northeast remained missing. The military had claimed on Wednesday that all but eight of the 129 girls snatched from their school in the state of Borno managed to escape, contrary to the position of the state government and the school principal. "The defence headquarters wishes to defer to the school principal and governor's statement on the number of students still missing," Defence Ministry spokesman Chris Olukolade said in a statement on Friday. He said that vigilante groups and hunters were assisting the authorities in the frantic search for the girls, who were grabbed from the Government Girls Secondary School in the Chibok area of Borno state. Up to 20 girls are thought to have escaped. "We have recovered about 20 girls now and they are with us. After they escaped, the girls went to village heads who live close to where they found themselves and the local leaders brought them to us," Mallam Inuwa Kubo, Borno's education commissioner, said on Thursday. The mass abduction on Monday sparked global outrage and came just hours after the deadliest attack to hit capital Abuja, where a bomb blast also blamed on Boko Haram killed at least 75 people. Boko Haram's extremist uprising, aimed at creating a strict Islamic state in northern Nigeria, has killed thousands since 2009. Parents of the missing girls swarmed the home of Chibok's tribal chief early on Thursday, demanding answers after the military claimed the girls were free, residents said. Others decided to scour the remote area in a desperate search for girls who may have escaped. "Some of our parents are even combing the bush," Kwambura said, adding that families had pooled money to buy fuel for motorcycles and other vehicles to help with the search. Boko Haram's name loosely translates as "Western education is forbidden" and the group has repeatedly attacked schools and universities. Students have been massacred in their dormitories and bombs set off at university campuses, but the mass abduction specifically targeting girls is unprecedented. Borno's governor has offered a 50 million naira (USD 300,000, EUR 216,000) reward to anyone with information leading to the return of the schoolgirls.
he acknowledged that the Geneva talks had changed the situation. "It turns out Vova doesn't love us as much as we thought." said Alexei, using a diminutive term for Vladimir Putin, the Russian president viewed by many of the separatist militias in eastern Ukraine as their champion and protector. Putin overturned decades of postCold War diplomacy last month by declaring Russia had a right to intervene in neighboring countries and by annexing Crimea. Moscow's takeover of the Black Sea region, followed the overthrow of Ukraine's pro-Moscow president Viktor Yanukovich, after months of street protests prompted by his rejection of a trade deal with the EU. In the capital, Kiev, people on the Maidan, the local name given to Independence Square which was the center of protests that eventually toppled Yanukovich, said the barricades would not come down until the May 25 presidential election.
British teenager killed in Syria conflict London, April 18 : A British teenager whose uncle was detained in the Guantanamo Bay camp has been killed in the Syrian conflict, his family said on Friday. Abdullah Deghayes, 18, died earlier this month although the circumstances of his death are unclear. The teenager from Brighton in southeast England is the nephew of Omar Deghayes who was held by the United States as an enemy combatant at Guantanamo between 2002 and 2007 after he was arrested in Pakistan. The family of Abdullah Deghayes confirmed his death to local newspaper The Argus and said they had not been aware that he had travelled to Syria. A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "We are aware of the death of a British national and are urgently looking into it." His Facebook page states that he was studying at the University of Brighton. Around 400 Britons are believed to have gone to Syria over the last two years, authorities believe, with an estimated 20 having died. British intelligence services have expressed concern about the risk of aspiring jihadis going to Syria to learn how to fire guns and make bombs before using their training to attack Britain.
"People will not leave the Maidan. The people gave their word to stay until the presidential elections so that nobody will be able to rig the result. Then after the election we'll go of our own accord," said 56-year-old Viktor Palamaryuk from the western town of Chernivtsi. "Nobody will take down our tents and barricades," said 34year-old Volodymyr Shevchenko from the southern Kherson region. "If the authorities try to do that by force, thousands and thousands of people will come on to the Maidan and stop them." The Right Sector, a far-right nationalist group whose violent street tactics in support of the Maidan helped bring down Yanukovich in February, saw the Geneva accord as being directed only at pro-Russian separatists in the east. "We don't have any illegal weapons and so the call to disarm will not apply to us. We, the vanguard of the Ukrainian revolution, should not be compared to obvious
bandits," said Right Sector spokesman Artem Skoropadsky. President Barack Obama said the meeting in Geneva between Russia and western powers was promising but that the United States and its allies were prepared to impose more sanctions on Russia if the situation fails to improve. "There is the possibility, the prospect, that diplomacy may de-escalate the situation," Obama told reporters. "The question now becomes, will in fact they use the influence they've exerted in a disruptive way to restore some order so that Ukrainians can carry out an election and move forward with the decentralization reforms that they've proposed," he said at the White House. The Geneva agreement required all illegal armed groups to disarm, it demanded an end to the illegal occupation of public buildings, streets and squares, and gave a leading role to overseeing the deal to monitors from the Organisation for Security and
Cooperation in Europe. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters in Geneva that if by the end of the weekend there were no signs that pro-Russian groups were pulling back, there would be costs for Moscow, a reference to further EU and U.S. sanctions. "It will be a test for Russia, if Russia wants really to show willing to have stability in these regions," said Ukrainian Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia. Moscow has denied any involvement with the unrest in eastern Ukraine and rejects allegations that it has agents running clandestine operations on Ukrainian soil. The Geneva deal contained no mention of Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea Peninsula. Asked about the absence of any language in the document condemning Russia's intervention in Crimea, Western diplomats said they remained firm that Russian had acted illegally, and denied they had dropped the issue.
Vice principal of South Korea school in ferry disaster commits suicide Mokpo/Jindo, South Korea, April 18 : The vice principal of a South Korean high school who accompanied hundreds of his pupils on what turned out to be a disastrous ferry trip has committed suicide, police said on Friday, as hopes faded of finding any of the 268 missing passengers alive. Kang Min-gyu, 52, had been missing since Thursday. He appeared to have hanged himself with his belt from a tree outside a gym in the port city of Jindo where relatives of the people missing on the ship, mostly children from the school, were gathered. Police said Kang did not leave a suicide note and that they started looking for him after he was reported missing by a fellow-teacher. He was rescued from the ferry after it capsized on Wednesday Of the 475 passengers and crew on the ferry, 28 people had been officially been declared dead before Kang's suicide and 179 were rescued. The overwhelming majority of the missing are students from the Danwon High School on the outskirts of Seoul, who were on a holiday trip. Divers are fighting strong tides and murky waters to get to the sunken ship but the likelihood of finding any of the missing alive is slim. At the high school in Ansan, an industrial town near Seoul, many friends and family of the missing gathered in somber silence, with occasional sounds of sobbing breaking the quiet. "When I first received the call telling me the news, at that time I still had hope," said Cho Kyung-mi, who was waiting for news of her missing 16 year-old nephew at the school. "And now it's all gone." In the classrooms of the missing, fellow students have left messages on desks, blackboards and windows, asking for the safe return of their missing friends. "If I see you again, I'll tell you I love you, because I haven't said it to you enough," reads one message. Investigations into the sinking, South Korea's worst maritime accident in 21 years based on possible casualties, have centered on possible crew negligence, problems with cargo stowage and structural defects of the vessel, although the ship appears to have passed all of its safety and insurance checks. The 69-year old ship captain has also come under scrutiny after witnesses said he was among the first to escape the sinking vessel that was on a 400-km (300-mile) voyage from the port city of Incheon to the Korean holiday island of Jeju.According to investigators, Captain Lee Joon-seok was not on the bridge at the time the Sewol ferry started to list sharply, with a junior officer at the wheel. "I'm not sure where the captain was before the accident. However right after the accident, I saw him rushing back into the steering house ahead of me," said Oh Young-seok, one of the helmsmen on the ship who was off duty and resting at the time. "He calmly asked by how much the ship was tilted, and tried to re-balance the ship," said Oh who was speaking from a hospital bed in the city of Mokpo on Friday, where those injured in the incident have been taken. Handing over the helm is normal practice on the voyage from Incheon to Jeju that usually takes 13.5 hours, according to local shipping crew. Divers gained access to the cargo deck of the ferry on Friday, although that was not close to the passenger quarters, according to a coastguard official.
Drone risks damage at record depth in search for Malaysian plane Perth, Australia, April 18 : An underwater drone scouring the Indian Ocean floor for a missing Malaysian jetliner has dived to its deepest ever level, putting its equipment at unprecedented risk, as hopes dwindled that it might soon turn up some sign of wreckage. The U.S. Navy's Bluefin-21 and its "side scan" sonar has become the focal point of the search some 2,000 km (1,200 miles) west of the Australian city of Perth, where authorities believe Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 hit the ocean after disappearing from radars on March 8 with 239 people on board. The search has centered on a city-sized area where a series of "pings" led authorities to believe the plane's black box may be located. But after more than a week without a signal, and almost two weeks past the black box battery's life expectancy, authorities have turned to the Bluefin-21. But the Bluefin-21's searches of the largely unmapped ocean floor have been frustrated by an automatic safety mechanism which sends it to the surface when it exceeds a depth of 4.5 km (14,763 feet). Its searches have yet to find any
sign of the plane. On Friday, as searchers waited for the remote-control submarine to return from its fifth mission, the U.S. Navy said the Bluefin-21 had gone to a record depth of 4,695 meters (15,403 feet) in its previous mission. "This is the first time the Bluefin-21 has descended to this depth," U.S. Navy spokesman Lieutenant Junior Grade Daniel S. Marciniak said in a statement. "Diving to such depths does carry with it some residual risk to the equipment and this is being carefully monitored by the U.S. Navy and (Bluefin-21 owner) Phoenix International." He also confirmed that the Bluefin-21's search area had been reduced based on further analysis of the initial signals believed to have come from the plane's black box. Authorities have said the U.S. Navy's previous estimate, that the Bluefin-21's hunt may take two months, was also wrong and the drone was focusing on a "reduced and more focused underwater search area". On Monday, the search coordinator, retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, said the air and surface search for debris would likely end in three days as the operation shifted its focus to the ocean floor.
President Barack Obama speaks about health care, in the briefing room of the White House in Washington. The President said eight million have signed up for health insurance under Affordable Care Act.
Kiev govt must quit before rebels respect deal: Pro-Russian leader Donetsk, April 18 : Kiev's interim government must leave power before pro-Russian militants in eastern Ukraine will abide by an international deal to vacate seized government buildings, a separatist leader said on Friday. "We agree that the buildings should be vacated, but first (Prime Minister Arseniy) Yatsenyuk and (acting President Oleksandr) Turchynov much leave the buildings that they are occupying illegally since their coup d'etat," Denis Pushilin,
a prominent member of the self-declared Donetsk Republic, told journalists. ProKremlin rebels remain barricaded inside state buildings across southeastern Ukraine a day after Kiev, Moscow, Brussels and Washington inked an accord in Geneva aimed at resolving the spiralling crisis. The accord called for "all illegal armed groups" to disarm and leave seized state buildings. Pushilin said that the separatists had not been consulted on the deal and
that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov "did not sign in our name". Pushilin said that pro-Moscow protesters would press on with plans to hold a regional referendum on sovereignty for the eastern part of the country on May 11. "We are expecting an escalation in the conflict," he said. Authorities in Kiev have also expressed scepticism about the deal, with Yatsenyuk telling Parliament that he had "no high hopes" for the agreement sticking.
Saturday, April 19, 2014
MARK INDIA, Hyderabad
Delhi LG should invite BJP to form Govt in Delhi: AAP New Delhi, April 18 : The Aam Aadmi Party today wrote to Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung asking him to invite the BJP to form the Government in Delhi if they were inclined to do so, sources said. The sources said in a letter to the LG, AAP leader and senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan said, "AAP, humbly requests you firstly to invite the leaders of the BJP to ascertain whether they are inclined to form the government in the NCT of Delhi and, if they express their unwillingness or inability to form the government, then you kindly reconsider your earlier recommendation to the President of placing the assem-
bly in a state of suspended animation." Mr Bhushan called upon the LG to take 'an appropriate decision' in this regard, so that the citizens of Delhi can have a democratically elected government at the earliest. AAP has opposed the Lt Governor's decision to place the Delhi Legislative Assembly in suspended animation and has also approached the Supreme Court over the decision. In his resignation letter on February 14, Arvind Kejriwal had asked Jung to dissolve the House and conduct fresh polls. The Supreme court too had sought response from the BJP and Congress and asked them to
clarify their stand on the issue. The party said Congress avoided specific query of the Supreme Court over government formation. On the other hand, the BJP has said it has not yet taken any decision on the matter as the party had not been invited by the Lt Governor to form the government. In the 70-member Delhi Legislative Assembly, the BJP is the largest party with 32 MLAs including one lone legislator of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), AAP has 28 MLAs of which Laxmi Nagar MLA Vinod Kumar Binny has been expelled while the Congress has eight. JD(U) has one MLA while another is an independent.
Gattu asks TDP not to drag Jagan's name into alliance with BJP Hyderabad, April 18 (IPT) : Warning the TDP-BJP combine not to drag the name of its President Y.S.Jagan Mohan Reddy into the glitches of their alliance, YSR Congress Party today said both parties were indulging in unabashed political drama to hoodwink the people. YSRCP spokesperson Ramachandra Rao told reporters here today. the two parties are very weak and not in a position to take on YSRCP, party spokesperson Gattu Ramachandra Rao said in a press conference here.'Unable to take on Jagan politically and in the ensuing elections, TDP president Chandrababu Naidu has unleashed a Gobble's theory dragging the name of Jagan Mohan Reddy aiming to denigrate him,' he said asking Naidu to stop the false propaganda forthwith.He said there is not even an
iota of truth in the allegation that BJP is trying to conspire with Sri Jagan Mohan Reddy internally. 'We are the kings in Seemandhra and king makers in Telangana and there is no need for us to enter into such conspiracies with any one,' he asserted, adding that the musings of the two parties over alliance are only a part of the political drama being enacted to hoodwink the people. 'In fact, both of you are very weak. If you are strong, there is no need for you to have political alliances. Since you are weak, you have formed alliances out of your frustration,' Gattu told TDP and BJP leadership, adding that TDP, while trying to divorce the BJP in Seemandhra, is treating the party as its political partner in Telangana. 'But people know your dramas.'
TDP complains against YSRCP Hyderabad, April 18 (IPT) : Telugu Desam Party (TDP) today complained against YSR Congress Party to Chief Electorral Offivcer (CEO) Bhanwar Lal that the YSRCP had violated Model Code of Conduct with the conducting of election campaign in Church campus at Anakapally Parliamentary Constituency. In a memorandum submitted to the ECO and a copy of which was released to media here, TDP General Secretary M A Shariff said Gudivada Amarnath, contesting from Anakapally Parliamentary Constituency on hehalf of YSRCP, conducted election campaign within the church campus this morning. As per code of conduct, no religious place can be used for political campaign. 'We therefore request your goodself to initiate action against Amarnath under the provisions of RP Act and Model Code of Conduct', Mr Shariff added.
Rajnath Singh slams Cong for price rise, corruption Sivaganga, April 18 : BJP President Rajnath Singh today said 'the problem of spiraling prices of essential commodities and inflation is closely linked to Congressled UPA Government's misrule and corruption.' 'Price rise is adversely affecting the people of the country, but no concrete action has been taken against inflation during the UPA rule, he alleged while addressing an election rally here this evening.'Whenever Congress comes to power, there is always unprecedented price rise, which is mainly due to wrong economic policies, planning and above all corruption,' he said. He said the people face inflation whenever Congress comes to power due to corruption and financial irregularities and the 55-years that the party (Congress) ruled the country since independence had proved to be disastrous.
Advani to campaign in Gandhinagar LS seat on Apr 20 Congress candidate M Azharuddin at a public meeting in Tonk, Rajasthan on Friday.
Bengal LS polls: Over two percent increase in first phase turnout Kolkata, April 18 : West Bengal recorded more than two percent increase in average voter turnout in the first phase of Lok Sabha polls in the state compared to the 2009 election, an Election Commission official said Friday. A whopping 82.52 percent of the electorate cast their votes in the first phase covering four constituencies. The figure for the 2009 Lok Sabha polls for the four seats) stood at 80.77 percent. Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, Alipurduar and Cooch Behar in northern West Bengal went to the hustings Thursday, kick-starting the staggered five-phase balloting in the state, which sends 42 members to the Lok Sabha. "The final polling percentage in Cooch Behar stood at 81.74 percent, in Jalpaiguri it was 84.84, Darjeeling recorded 80.2, while the turnout at Alipurduar was 83.2 percent," assistant chief electoral officer Amitjyoti Bhattacharya told reporters here. Figures show the percentage for 2014 shot up in Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling while it decreased by 2.2 percent in Coochbehar.The poling extended way be-
yond the scheduled deadline of 6 p.m. Around 120 companies of paramilitary forces were deployed for the polls where 6,033,310 voters - including 2,909,975 women - were eligible to make their choice from among 47 candidates in 7,443 polling stations.The Forward Bloc, which contested the Cooch Behar seat, accused the ruling Trinamool of capturing a large number of booths, and demanded repoll in three assembly segments - Natabari, Cooch Behar South and Sitalkuchi. Poll panel officials said a scrutiny report of facts and complaints has been sent to the panel in Kolkata by the returning officer of Coochbehar and other three seats that witnessed polling Thursday."No decision has been taken as of yet," Bhattacharya said of the repoll demands.Meanwhile, chief electoral officer Sunil Gupta and the special observer Sudhir Kumar Rakesh will hold a detailed video-conference Saturday with the district administration officials, superintendents of police, police commissioners and other officials of the districts going to polls in the remaining four phases.
Ahmedabad, April 18 : BJP veteran L K Advani will hold election campaign in his Gandhinagar Parliamentary constituency on April 20. BJP's Gandhinagar Lok Sabha seat co-incharge Kishansinh Solanki today said Mr Advani will address a conference of intellectuals at Sindhu Bhavan, S G Road in Bodakdev in Ahmedabad on Sunday morning. In the evening, he will hold a road show from Nirnaynagar to Gurukul Drive In Road in the city. State revenue minister Anandi Patel and other senior BJP leaders will also accompany the former Deputy Prime Minister. Meanwhile, his daughter Pratibha Advani today campaigned for him in his constituency. Mr Solanki said she addressed a women conference in Kalol Assembly area and appealed to the people to vote for Mr Advani. Earlier, the BJP veteran had organised a road show in Gandhinagar Parliamentary constituency on April 16.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during an election rally in Birbhum with Ria Sen (2nd L) and Raima Sen (2nd R) and Bengali actress Satabdi Roy (R) on Friday.
Sending somebody to jail is legal matter : Jaitley Amritsar, April 18 : Days after BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi announced that his party's Government will not be in a witch hunting mode, another key party leader Arun Jaitley clarified that the agencies involved will be allowed to do their job and no guilty will be spared. Asked for his comments on the claims of BJP leader Uma Bharti claiming that the next BJP government will jail Robert Vadra for the land grabbing and the statement of Mr Modi, Mr Jaitley who is contesting from Amritsar told in an interview that the agencies responsible will be allowed to examine objectively
if substantial evidences exist in the land deals allegation without appearing vindictive. As far as sending somebody to jail, it was a legal matter. Mr Modi himself had sought an explanation from Congress at his rally in Gurgoan as to how a person from the Congress' first family could make Rs 50 crore in land deals without any investment in a matter of months. The apex court in October has rejected a probe into Mr Vadra's land deals, saying that a person 'can't be called a sinner merely because he is linked to a politician.'To a question if he
was perceived as a future Deputy PM by the voters, Mr Jaitley said he would not regard himself as one such leader. People of Amritsar want a powerful voice at the Centre and a person who could speed up rolling out infrastructure. Mr Jaitley, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha also a leading legal luminary of the country defended Mr Modi disclosing his legal relationship for the first time after Supreme Court ruled in September, last that no column in the affidavit could be left blank. Whatever the information furnished till such time was correct and the BJP's PM candidate had made a
BJP slams Congress for attacking Modi on issue of black money New Delhi, April 18 : Slamming Congress-led UPA government on the issue of black money, the BJP today asked whether their government have taken any measures to curb ill-gotten money. Reacting to senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal's attack on BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on the issue of black money, senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad, while addressing a press conference here, tore into Mr Sibal for talking on the issue of black money. "Has Mr Sibal taken any initiative as Law Minister to
curb black money," Mr Prasad said. "Kapil Sibal talking of black money is curious and interesting," Mr Prasad said. "The biggest joke of 2014 Lok Sabha polls is when Kapil Sibal talks about black money," Mr Prasad mused. Earlier in the day, while addressing a press conference, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal attacked BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on the issue of black money. Taking a swipe at Mr Modi's campaign against black money, Mr Sibal said, "I want to ask the Gujarat Chief Minister whether he
would set up a special fasttrack court to investigate the generation of black money in the state." BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad at the party's press conference expressed happiness over the increase in voter turnout in the ongoing Lok Sabha polls. "There has been an increase in voter turnout percentage in the ongoing Lok Sabha polls and this reflects that the country is voting for a stable government," Mr Prasad said. "There has been an increase in percentage of youth voters and this is a good sign for the country," Mr Prasad added.
'full and honest disclosure' of a relationship entered through a child marriage that was not acted upon. There were several people living in illegal relationships and ultimately sane voices in Congress prevailed not to tread the dangerous path beyond a point. He said there was a groundswell of support for Modi and the BJP and the combination was working well and the people were seeing BJP as the 'natural party of governance'. As the focus was shifting towards BJP, people expect the party and its leaders to speak the language that befits a party of governance.
Good Friday commemorated across Delhi New Delh, April 18 : Good Friday, the day which marks Christ's crucifixion, was commemorated today with special prayer services being held in various churches across the city. Christians were seen thronging the churches in the noon time to attend special prayer service, which generally begins at 1200 noon and goes on till 1500 hrs - the three hour time when Christ believed to have been hanged on the cross. The faithfuls remember the seven words - like "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do" - said on the cross by the Christ in threehour-long prayer service.
Mulayam soft on Trinamool does not need black rapists, says Modi money to fight elections: Mamata Etawah (UP), April 18 : Taking on Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav in his home district for his controversial remarks on rape and handling of Muzaffarnagar riots, BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Thursday alleged that the “netaji” miserably failed to take a tough stand against rapists or help riot victims. Alleging that at a recent IT raid at a meat—exporting company, a big hawala racket came to the fore, Modi claimed that the "four union ministers and a leader close of 10 Janpath" were involved in the racket. “Netaji (Mulayam) has a problem..He is unable to take an appropriate stand..he goes soft when a tough stand
was required..Netaji failed miserably in helping the kin of victims of Muzaffarnagar riots”, Modi told a rally here punning on Yadav’s first name.“Balatkariyon ke liye netaji ka man ekdum mulayam hai”, (For rapists, netaji’s heart is very soft”, he charged and said it was the right time to rid the state of “misrule” of SP and the Centre of Congress. Yadav had recently triggered a controversy when he said “boys will be boys, they make mistakes” while commenting on the death sentence of three men convicted of gang—raping two women in Mumbai last year. Taking potshots at SP and BSP with taking names, Modi said the two parties did not have the right priorities.
Nalhati ( West Bengal ), April 18 : Trinamool supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee while addressing an election rally here at Nalhati in Birbhum district of West Bengal today in support of Birbhum Trinamul candidate and actress Satabdi Roy attacked the Opposition on the chit fund issue. Ms Banerjee said that Trinamool does not need illegal money to fight elections. The Opposition should prove its allegations, she commented while adding that chit funds flourished in Bengal during the Left Front rule. "We have not taken any money from any chit fund. Let the Opposition prove their allegations. Chit funds started in Bengal during the Left regime. Why did many media houses give ad space to chit funds? Trinamool does not work with black money. We do not need illegal money. The Opposition and a section of the media have hatched a conspiracy to stifle our voice," she commented. Trinamool supremo said, "Congress has sold the country through scams. People will give a fitting reply to the Opposition for their malicious campaign. The more the Opposition tries to malign me, the greater is the rise in support of the people for me. The Opposition may try its best to malign me. I hold no grudge."Congress has deprived Bengal of funds. BJP is communal. CPI(M) has ruined Bengal. BJP has come to Bengal to divide the State. We will not allow our motherland to be divided, "she added.
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