Live: BJP announces grand alliance in Tamil Nadu

Last Updated: Thu, Mar 20, 2014 11:04 hrs

4.25 pm:

BJP announces grand alliance in Tamil Nadu

BJP President Rajnath Singh on Thursday announced its grand alliance in Tamil Nadu with Vijayakanth's DMDK, Vaiko's MDMK, Ramadoss' PMK, Kongunadu Makkal Desiya Katchi and IJK.

4.10 pm:

ED issues fresh summons to Karunanidhi's wife in 2G case

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has issued fresh summons to DMK chief K Karunanidhi's wife Dayalu Ammal in connection with its money laundering probe in the 2G spectrum allocation case.

Ammal, 84, has been given an option to present her case through an authorised legal representative, in case she cannot come herself and answer questions of agency sleuths on March 28 here, sources said.

The agency, they said, wants to investigate the role of Ammal with regard to alleged channelling of Rs 200 crore to the DMK family-run Kalaignar TV through a circuitous route in which her daughter Kanimozhi and MD of the TV group Sharad Kumar are also accused.

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3.30 pm:

Naveen renominates trusted aides

The ruling BJD president Naveen Patnaik renominated the five sitting MPs and denied ticket to Laxman Tudu who represented Mayurbhanj in the Lok Sabha. While announcing names of candidates for the second phase of polling on April 17, the ruling BJD supremo announced candidates for the seven Parliamentary Constituencies. A total of 11 Lok Sabha constituencies and 77 assembly segments are going to polls in the second phase of elections.

The MPs who are renominated are: Arjun Charan Sethi (Bhadrak), Tathagata Satpathy (Dhenkanal), Bhartuhari Mahatab (Cuttack), Pinaki Mishra (Puri) and Baijayant Panda (Kendrapara).

The BJD supremo fielded Rarbinda Jena, a new face, in Balasore Lok Sabha seat to contest against Union Minister and Congress candidate Srikant Jena.

During the last general elections in 2009, the BJD had not fielded its candidate from Balasore Lok Sabha seat. The Balasore seat was in hands of NCP as part of the seat adjustment with the NCP in 2009.

2.30 pm:

Polls a battle of thoughts, says Rahul

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi termed the Lok Sabha elections as a "battle of thoughts", saying while the Congress stood for empowering the people, the opposition represented only the rich in the country.

In a meeting with ex-servicemen, the Congress Vice President said he would make wholehearted attempts to fulfill the demands of the veterans including representation for the armed forces in the central pay commission.

"The election is a battle of thoughts in India. On one hand, there is Congress which feels that power should be in each and every hand and that is how the country can be powerful.

"On the other side, the opposition thinks that the country can be run by only powerful and rich and they have no place for the poor in their ideas," Gandhi said, without naming the BJP.

1.30 pm:

Indians targeted in immigration scam in New Zealand

At least 11 Indian immigrants have fallen victim to an immigration scam in the past six weeks in New Zealand, the media reported Thursday.

Detective sergeant Graham Shand said the scam that appeared to be based outside the country was targetted at migrants who had recently returned from holidays in India, according to the New Zealand Herald.

"I've had 11 complainants, all of Indian descent. All have flown over to India, and when they've arrived back in New Zealand they have been contacted by a number they believed to be Immigration New Zealand," the detective was quoted as saying.

Scammers threatened them with deportation and swindled each one them out of NZ$3,000 (over $2,550).

1.06 pm:

Author Khushwant Singh dies at 99

Noted columnist and well-loved author Khushwant Singh died on Thursday. He was 99. Khushwant had received the Padma Vibhushan in 2007.

Khushwant's last book 'Khushwantnama' was published at the age of 98.

12.32 pm:

Congress party asks US court to respect India's sovereignty

Asking a US court to respect India's sovereignty, India's Congress party has sought dismissal of a human rights violation case relating to the 1984 anti-Sikh violence filed by a US-based Sikh rights group.

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11.40 am:

Four found guilty in Shakti Mills gang-rape case

All four accused in telephone operator gangrape case of July 31, 2013, at Shakti Mills have been convicted by sessions court in Mumbai. The court has also convicted all four accused in Shakti Mill photojournalist gangrape case.

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11.23 am:

AP alerts IAF and armed forces to fight Tirumala hills blaze

Andhra Pradesh Governor E S L Narasimhan alerted the Indian Air Force (IAF) and other armed forces to control the fire raging in the Tirumala Tirupati hills in Andhra Pradesh.

An official release issued today said that specially-designed aircraft with expertise in chemical spraying to put off flames would arrive tonight. He has directed the Executive Officer of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) to co-ordinate.

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10.30 am:

Violence in Uttar Pradesh town after man dies

Violence broke out in a Uttar Pradesh town after an elderly man was allegedly beaten to death in police custody, officials said Thursday.

Sant Lal, 58, was picked up by the police in Pratapgrah town late Wednesday on charges of gambling. He was allegedly thrashed by the police following which he became unconscious and was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.

As soon as the news of his death spread, angry locals blocked the Allahabad-Faizabad highway.

10.00 am:

White House stands by Vivek Murthy as 'America's doctor'

In the face of strong opposition from the powerful gun lobby, the White House is standing by President Barack Obama's pick for surgeon general, Indian American Vivek Murthy, an ardent supporter of Obama's healthcare law.

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9.10 am:

Mystery jet: Aussie PM says possible debris found in Indian Ocean

Two objects possibly related to the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane carrying 239 people have been spotted in the southern Indian Ocean, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said today.

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8.40 am:

Obama rules out US military action in Ukraine

President Barack Obama said Wednesday that the US would not take military action in Ukraine against Russia.

"We are not going to be getting into a military excursion in Ukraine," Xinhua quoted Obama as saying during an interview with KNSD, a California-based broadcaster.

"I think even the Ukrainians would acknowledge, for us to engage Russia militarily would not be appropriate and would not be good for Ukraine, either," Obama said.

"What we are going to do is mobilise all of our diplomatic resources to make sure that we've got a strong international coalition that sends a clear message."

8.00 am:

Shakti Mills gangrape verdict today

​The sessions court is likely to pronounce the verdicts in the cases related to two gangrapes that took place at the Shakti Mill premises last year, leading to a countrywide outrage, on Thursday.

The first case pertains to the gang-rape of a 22-year-old magazine photojournalist who had gone to the deserted Shakti Mills compound in Central Mumbai with a male colleague on an assignment on August 22, 2013.

The other case is of an 18-year-old telephone operator who was allegedly gang-raped by five persons (including three of the accused in the first case) on the same premises on July 31 last year.

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