BSP launches campaign to woo Brahmins
BSP national general secretary Satish Chandra Misra today fainted on stage due to sweltering heat while addressing a rally to woo Brahmins in preparation for the Lok Sabha polls.
Misra was given first aid on the dais and later he completed his address at the Brahmin samaj rally in Khalilabad town.
"If 16 per cent Brahmins and 24 per cent Dalits come together in Uttar Pradesh they can ensure victory of BSP on all the seats," he said.
Stressing that the Brahmins have to come forward and unite, he alleged there was "a conspiracy at work to humiliate them, specially under the present SP government and isolate them politically" and they will have to understand this and emerge as a power through unity.
Recalling how he was given responsibilities by BSP Chief Minister Mayawati, Misra, whos is considered number two in his party, said that his party had always given due respect and representation to Brahmins.
Misra said that as per the new responsibility given by Mayawati, he has to address 38 Brahmin Samaj Bhaichara rallies in the state starting today from Khalilabad.
4. 10 pm
Bilawal Bhutto out of Pakistan, not to return before polls: Report
Pakistan People's Party chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has left on a foreign trip and will not be present in the country when it goes to polls on May 11, according to a media report.
Bilawal, 24, will not address any rallies or meetings ahead of the general election due to threats to his life, sources in the PPP were quoted as saying in the report on the website of the Dawn newspaper.
Senior PPP leader Taj Haider confirmed that consensus had been reached within the party and Bilawal had been advised not to lead the poll campaign due to serious security threats.
2. 20 pm
Pak officials visit injured prisoner
A team of Pakistani High Commission officials on Saturday visited Sanaullah Ranjay, who was injured in a scuffle with another inmate in Jammu jail, at PGI Chandigarh after India granted consular access to them last night.
"Pakistan High Commission officials visited the injured prisoner Sanaullah in Chandigarh hospital at 03:30 hours in the morning. They also met the attending doctor," a spokesperson in the ministry of External Affairs said.
India had granted the consular access to Pakistani High Commission officials last night. They had also given travel permission to three officials and a driver.
Ranjay was injured during a scuffle with another inmate in Jammu jail where he was serving life term after being convicted under TADA provisions. He was arrested in 1999.
1. 50 pm
Gambhir, Yuvraj dropped for Champions Trophy
The Indian selectors sprang a surprise by dropping Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh for the Champions Trophy to be held in England next month.
Here's the full squad:
MS Dhoni (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Dinesh Karthik, M Vijay, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Irfan Pathan, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra, Vinay Kumar
12. 50 pm
RJD chief Lalu Prasad injured in road accident
RJD president Lalu Prasad sustained injuries on his head and face when the windshield of his car broke and shards of glass hit him when he was going to Vaishali district, his personal assistant said today.
Mr Prasad was taken to private hospital in the city where he was given two stitches on the head and discharged late last night.
His personal assistant Bhola Yadav told PTI that the accident occurred at around 10 pm when his car was crossing a pantoon bridge near Kachchi Dargah on way to Raghopur.
12. 10 pm
Pak prisoner's condition still critical but stabilising, say doctors
The medical condition of Pakistani prisoner Sanaullah Ranjay, who was attacked at Jammu's Kot Bhalwal Jail, is stated to be still critical but stabilising.
Doctors attending to him at PGI Chandigarh said he is still on ventilator support with severe head injuries and added that any decision on surgery would only be taken after his condition stabilises further.
India has given consular access to Pakistan with regard to Sanaullah.
India has also suggested to Pakistan that a meeting of officials takes place to discuss safety measures for prisoners in eachy country.
Pakistan, however, has sought the repatriation of Sanaullah on humanitarian grounds. The Jammu and Kashmir Government has suspended the jail superintendent and ordered for an inquiry.
11. 30 am
CPI-M leader says won't allow Parliament to function
Senior Communist Party of India leader Atul Anjan on Saturday warned that his party would not allow Parliament to function on Monday wake of Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal's nephew being arrested for allegedly accepting a bribe of Rs 90 lakh, from a Railway Board member.
Expressing his disgust over the incident he said: "This is taking a bribe for a big thing and surely not for giving food to orphans. On Monday the Parliament won't function. All the planets now encircle the government and their death is near. It is to be seen that in Sonia Gandhi's government who are the culprits in the Congress ranks. Whatever be the result in Karnataka, bad times have started for the Congress Government."
10. 00 am
Bansal distances himself from arrested nephew
Distancing himself from his nephew arrested by CBI last night in a case of bribery for allegedly fixing a top level position in Railway Board, Railway Minister P K Bansal today said he had no business links with him and denied any wrongdoing.
In a statement, 64-year-old Bansal, who was made Railway Minister in October last year, claimed he has always observed highest standards of probity in public life and that nobody can influence his decisions.
He also sought an expeditious CBI inquiry into the issue.
"Regarding yesterday's incident involving my sister's firm in a CBI raid at Chandigarh, I have to say that I have no knowledge or proof about the matter at all. Though a close relative, he or any other relative of mine does not and cannot meddle in my official function or influence my decision.There is also no business relationship between his and my family.
"I have always observed highest standard of probity in public life and look forward to an expeditious investigation by CBI in the matter", he said in the statement.
8. 50 am
Officials: Israel launches airstrike into Syria
Israel launched an airstrike into Syria, apparently targeting a suspected weapons site, U.S. officials said Friday night.
The strike occurred overnight Thursday into Friday, the officials told The Associated Press. It did not appear that a chemical weapons site was targeted, they said, and one official said the strike appeared to have hit a warehouse.
The U.S. officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.
Israel has targeted weapons in the past that it believes are being delivered to the Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah. Earlier this week, Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said his group would assist Syrian President Bashar Assad if needed in the effort to put down a 2-year-old uprising.
Three Pak prison officials suspended over attack on Sarabjit
A week after Indian national Sarabjit Singh was fatally attacked within a Pakistani jail, authorities today suspended three senior prison officials over the incident.
The Home Secretary of Punjab province suspended the three officials from service for alleged negligence that led to the brutal attack on Sarabjit within Kot Lakhpat Jail.
The three officials are Kot Lakhpat Jail Superintendent Mohsin Rafique, Additional Superintendent Ishtiaq Gill and Deputy Superintendent Ghulam Sarwar Sumra, official sources told PTI.