Live: BJP pulls up Congress over graft allegations against Virbhadra Singh

Last Updated: Sat, Oct 13, 2012 14:58 hrs

8.30 pm:

BJP pulls up Congress over graft allegations against Virbhadra Singh

Taking potshots at former Union Minister Virbhadra Singh over allegations that he had received money from a private steel company, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday asked the ruling Congress Party to decide whether it is with the common people or with the corrupt.

"Sonia Gandhi has asked Virbhadra Singh to lead campaign of Himachal Pradesh assembly polls next month. This itself is a serious matter. After these fresh allegations, the Congress should decide whether it is with the common people or with the corrupt," said BJP leader Balbir Punj.

8.00 pm:

Kejriwal demands Khurshid's arrest, dismissal

India Against Corruption (IAC) activist Arvind Kejriwal today demanded the arrest of Law Minister Salman Khurshid and his dismissal from the Manmohan Singh ministry over allegations of siphoning off funds meant for providing aid to the disabled through an NGO run by him and his family.

Kejriwal was addressing his supporters on Parliament Street here where they were stopped by police when the IAC members were moving towards the prime minister's 7 Race Course Road residence to press for their demand.

7. 00 pm:

Pranab Mukherjee's son wins Lok Sabha by-poll

President Pranab Mukherjee's son Abhijit Mukherjee of the Congress Saturday won the Jangipur Lok Sabha by-election in West Bengal, defeated his nearest Communist Party of India-Marxist rival Muzaffar Hussain by over 2,000 votes, an official said.

However, Abhijit Mukerjee's margin of victory has sharply dropped from the emphatic over 1.28 lakh votes by which his father had won in 2009.

The by-election was held Oct 10. The seat had fallen vacant after Pranab Mukherjee was elevated to the highest office of the country.

6. 00 pm:

Drive-by shooting hits Obama's campaign office

A drive-by shooting occurred Friday afternoon at US President Barack Obama's campaign office at downtown Denver, police said.

One shot was fired, shattering the street-front window of the Democratic campaign headquarters office, but no one was injured, according to police spokeswoman Raquel Lopez who said a number of people were working inside at the time of the shooting.

Police arrived on the scene within minutes and finished their onsite investigation in two hours, reported Xinhua.

5.10 pm

BJP wins Tehri by-poll, disappointment for CM Bahuguna

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Mala Rajya Laxmi Shah won the Tehri Lok Sabha by-poll on Saturday defeating her nearest rival and Congress candidate Saket Bahuguna.

Mala Raj Laxmi Shah is a member of the erstwhile Tehri royal family, while Saket Bahuguna is the son of Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna.

The result of the by-poll has come as a disappointment for the ruling Congress Party, which was confident of Saket Bahuguna's victory.

The by-poll was necessitated after Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna resigned from the seat following his victory from Sitarganj Assembly constituency.

4.32 pm
Defiant Kejriwal to protest again if released

Social activist Arvind Kejriwal spent the night in a makeshift jail in Bawana, on the outskirts of Delhi, along with around 150 supporters, after being arrested for trying to lead a protest march to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's residence.

Undeterred, Kejriwal said that he will go to Parliament Street, where some of his other supporters are expected to demonstrate from 11 am onwards, and continue his protest demanding action against Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid over embezzlement charges.

"As per law, they will have to produce us before magistrate within 24 hours. They will have to do it before 3 pm. Either we will be arrested and taken to Tihar Jail or we will be released. If we are released, we will go to Parliament Street and continue our protest. We appeal to people to come and join us there," Kejriwal was quoted as saying on Saturday.

Earlier he said that India Against Corruption was protesting peacefully and the move of police to detain them was not expected.

4.04 pm
Al-Qaida leader urges holy war over Prophet film

The leader of Al-Qaida has urged Muslims to wage holy war against the United States and Israel over a film that insulted Islam's Prophet Muhammad.

Ayman al-Zawahri praised as "honest and zealous" demonstrators who breached the U.S Embassy in Cairo and attackers who stormed the U.S. "embassy" in Benghazi in violence linked to the film. The American ambassador and three others died in the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in the Libyan city.

The amateur film "Innocence of Muslims" was made by an Egyptian-born American citizen.

In an audio message released by al-Qaida's media arm As-Sahab and posted on militant websites early Saturday, al-Zawahri claimed Washington allowed the film's production under the pretext of freedom of expression, "but this freedom did not prevent them from torturing Muslim prisoners."

3.36 pm
Abhijit Mukherjee wins Jangipur LS seat

Abjijit Mukherjee, son of President Pranab Mukherjee and Congress candidate today won the Jangipur Lok Sabha by-election by 2,536 votes defeating his nearest CPI-M rival Muzaffar Hussain.

Abhijit polled 3,32,919 votes, while the CPI-M candidate bagged 3,30,383 votes, Election Commission sources said.

BJP candidate, Sudhangshu Biswas, who came third, received 85,867 votes.Two independent candidates Raisuddin and Tahedul Islam polled 41,620 and 24,691 votes respectively.

Trinamool Congress did not put up candidate in the by-poll even after severing ties with Congress.

Pranab Mukherjee had won the seat by a huge margin of over 1.28 lakh votes in the 2009 Lok Sabha election.

The by-election was held on October 10 as the seat had fallen vacant after Pranab Mukherjee was elevated to the highest office of the country.

2.45 pm
Khurshids take TV channel to court

Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid's wife Louise Khurshid on Friday filed a defamation suit against a TV network for accusing her of embezzlement charges even as fresh reports on Saturday appeared to bolster the case against the Congress leader.

Seeking damages of Rs 100 crore, the lawsuit was filed against the TV Today group for airing the defamatory programme on its channels, Headlines Today and Aaj Tak, media reports said citing unnamed sources.

According to the TV network's report, Khurshids' Zakir Hussain Memorial Trust had been granted Rs 71.50 lakh by the union social welfare and empowerment ministry for distributing tricycles and hearing aids to the disabled in Uttar Pradesh.

Forging signatures of senior officials in several districts of the state the NGO embezzled funds off the grants and deprived the physically challenged who were eligible for benefits under the scheme.

2.03 pm
BJP youth leader shoots waiter in Kanpur

Virat Bhadauria, vice-president of the Uttar Pradesh youth wing of the BJP, allegedly shot at a waiter in a Kanpur hotel yesterday because he had not been served food inside his car.

The restaurant owner stated that they came in drunk. After the waiter was shot at, Virat fled the scene. 

1.13 pm
Kejriwal refuses to quit agitation till Khurshid resigns

Anti graft activist Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said he will continue with his protest till Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid resigned over allegations of corruption, and urged more people to join the campaign.

Kejriwal is presently lodged in make shift jail in Bawana in New Delhi's outskirts with hundreds of his supporters.

Kejriwal along with his supporters was arrested on Friday (October 12) while leading a protest march to the residence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, demanding Khurshid's dismissal on the allegations of involvement in embezzlement of funds allocated for the welfare of specially-abled people.

Kejriwal on Wednesday (October 10) had accused Khurshid's wife, Louise Khurshid, for siphoning off funds, which were allocated for the welfare of specially-abled people.

Speaking to reporters, Kejriwal said that they would continue with their agitation and called for an explanation from Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.


12.31 pm
Cauvery row dampens Mysore Dasara festivities 

Politics has cast its ugly shadow over culture and tradition. The raging Cauvery row between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu is casting a shadow on the famous Mysore Dasara festivities that have been already been scaled down this year due to severe drought in the state.

The Dasara festival, signifying the victory of good over evil, is celebrated in Karnataka as 'Nada Habba' (state festival). The showpiece of the festival is the nine-day display of pomp and pageantry culminating in the 'jamboo savari' or procession of majestic elephants in Mysore.

Mysore, 130 km from Bangalore, thrives on tourism because of its places, the Chamundi hills and the Brindavan Gardens at the Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS) reservoir. Every weekend it attracts hundreds of visitors and during Dasara tens of thousands, including from abroad.

This year the Mysore Dasara festivities start Oct 16 with the usual 'pooja' (worship) of Hindu Goddess Chamundeshwari atop Chamundi hills.

11.45 am
'Banned' terror group JuD moves petition before Lahore court against anti-Islam film

Banned Pakistani terror group Jamatud Dawa has moved a petition before the Lahore High Court seeking directions for the government to approach the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against the anti-Islam film that has outraged the Muslim world.

Jamatud Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed said that the movie attempted to malign the dignity of Muslims.

According to the Daily Times, he pointed that the release of such a film was not good for world peace and everyone around the globe was bound to respect the religious sentiments of others.

Saeed's counsel AK Dogar said the movie had created unrest among Muslims throughout the world and no action had been taken against the makers of the film.

He said that while President Obama told the United Nations General Assembly that he condemned the anti-Islam movie, he strongly defended the US constitutional protection of the freedom of expression. 

11.11 am
Pak Maritime Security arrests 24 Indian fishermen, 4 boats

The Pakistan Maritime Security Agency has seized four Indian fishing vessels and arrested 24 crew members, while they were fishing 200 kilometres inside Pakistani waters, an official statement issued by the agency has confirmed.

The statement said that the fishermen have now been handed over to the Docks police station pending further investigation.

According to the Dawn, an MSA official said that the Indian vessels were caught while they were fishing around 100 kilometres from the Cape Montz coast, which is on the eastern side of the Karachi.

He claimed that with the arrest of these 24 fishermen, the total number of Indians here in the Malir district jail would now rise to 63 from 39 who have been held from before.

Only this year, over 654 Indian fishermen who were being held in the Pakistani jails had been released, while there are still over 136 Pakistani fishermen in Indian jails after the release of around 100 Pakistani fishermen from the country, the report said. 

10.35 am

Sunday Times considering legal action against Lance Armstrong

London's Sunday Times said it may take legal action against cyclist Lance Armstrong, including pursuing him for alleged fraud over a libel settlement, in the wake of the United States Anti-Doping Agency's report labelling him a drug cheat.

The newspaper, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, is "considering taking action to recover the money spent on a libel case he (Armstrong) brought and to pursue him for fraud," said a Sunday Times spokeswoman.

Armstrong sued the Sunday Times and two of its journalists over an article that appeared in the newspaper in 2004 concerning the doping allegations. After a series of rulings in Armstrong's favour in the UK courts, the two sides reached a settlement, the size of which was not disclosed. The newspaper also issued an apology to Armstrong.

One senior source at the newspaper said that the case cost it about $1 million.

9.55 am
Infosys punges 5% on disappointing Q2 results

The software giantkicked off the Q2 results season on Friday alright, but delivered yet another set of disappointing numbers.

Infy’s revenue grew by 2.5% on-quarter to Rs9, 858 crore in the second quarter (Q2, the July-September period), from Rs9, 616 crore in the previous quarter, whereas dollar revenues de-grew by 2.6% to $1.79 billion.

9.22 am

Counting in Jagnipur by-polls to happen today. President Pranab Mukherjee's son and 11 other candidates are contesting from this constituency in West Bengal. 

9.00 am
Kejriwal detained, released; refuses to leave detention venue

India Against Corruption (IAC) member Arvind Kejriwal and his supporters were Friday detained while protesting alleged irregularities in a NGO run by Law Minister Salman Khurshid and his wife Louise. Taken to a stadium on the outskirts of Delhi, they refused to leave even after being later released by the police.

Police swooped on around 150 IAC members, including a group of disabled people from Rashtriya Viklang Party, when the protesters were on Rajpath, about a kilometre from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's 7 Race Course Road residence.

The crowd was headed towards the prime minister's residence demanding Khurshid's dismissal from the cabinet over alleged misuse of funds sanctioned for buying equipment for disabled people in different parts of Uttar Pradesh.

Rashtriya Viklang Party president K.K. Dixit, who was among the protesters, alleged that the NGO run by Khurshid's wife had not properly utilised the funds allocated to it for welfare of the differently abled.

8.32 am
ISPAT's expense sheets show 2.2 crs paid to govt officials
Steel company ISPAT Industries Limited's (IIL) diary entry shows that the company has paid off 2.2 crores to government officials. 
The entries of the payments suggested kickbacks. Several government departments were listed as beneficiaries to huge amounts of money. 

A lump sum of the amount was directed to a certain 'VBS' on the sheets. Speculations are still on as to who 'VBS' is. 

7.30 am
Haryana's Sarva Khap Jat Panchayat, which has been at the forefront of demanding reservations for Jats in government jobs, will discuss later today the bizarre suggestion that the marriage age for girls be lowered to curb rising incidents of rape in the state.

The supreme council is an umbrella body of khap panchayats across the state. Khaps have no legal sanction but often function like kangaroo courts and issue social diktats that are enforced in the villages.

A meeting called for Saturday in Sonipat, about 40 km from Delhi, to discuss the reservation issue will focus instead on the marriage age issue and how the government could be compelled to get the bar lowered in Haryana, where at least 15 rapes have been reported in the past month.

"The meeting aims at knowing the views of various khap panchayats about the issue of lowering the marriageable age to prevent rape incidents in the state. Representatives of around 100 khaps across the state will attend the meeting to share their opinion and to present their proposals on the issue," Sube Singh Samain, spokesperson of the Sarva Khap Jat Panchayat, said.

On Saturday, also on the agenda, besides age and reservations for Jats, is the rising incident of heinous crimes in Haryana.

"The role of khap panchayats in checking crime will also be discussed in length at the meeting," Sube Singh said, adding that the khaps wished to play a vital role in controlling crime. You can read more on the issue here

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