Live: Government withdraws RTI Act amendments

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 01, 2012 11:53 hrs

5.30 pm:

Government withdraws RTI Act amendments

Under pressure from UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, the Manmohan Singh government Thursday withdrew the controversial amendments aimed at diluting the Right To Information (RTI) Act.

"The cabinet decided to withdraw the amendments to the RTI Act," a government source told IANS after a cabinet meeting chaired by Manmohan Singh.

Non-subsidised LPG cylinder price hiked by Rs.26.50

The price of non-subsidised cooking gas (LPG) cylinders was Thursday hiked by Rs.26.50 to Rs.922 per cylinder.

The 14.2-kg LPG cylinder, which consumers purchase beyond their annual entitlement of six units at subsidised rates, will now cost Rs.922, up from Rs.895.50 in Delhi, according to the Indian Oil Corporation.

A subsidised cooking gas (LPG) cylinder costs Rs.410.

4.40 pm:

Kejriwal in Khurshid's constituency

"I want to tell Khurshid that we have come to Farrukhabad and will be returning tonight. If he can do anything then let him do. Who is he trying to threaten?" said Kejriwal.

4.35 pm:

Kejriwal in Khurshid's constituency

"I want to ask people of Farrukhabad if they will elect Salman Khurshid again or not. Stealing money meant for handicapped is the worst crime I have ever seen. I earlier said that a handicapped person should stand against Khurshid. Khurshid responded back by threatening us," Kejriwal thundered in fine style. 

4.21 pm

Not afraid, says Arvind Kejriwal in Farrukhabad

Arvind Kejriwal makes it to Salman Khurshid's turf, Farrukhabad.

There were clashes between India Against Corruption workers and the Congress men ahead of the rally.

At the rally, Kejriwal went on to reiterate that the PM can't run the country and should resign.

4.08 pm

Reliance Industries shares hit by Kejriwal's allegations

Shares in Reliance Industries Ltd recover after falling as much as 2.1 percent on Thursday, a day after anti-corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal accused the energy conglomerate of hoarding natural gas and exerting pressure on the government to favour it.

The company denies the allegations.

Kejriwal, whose group India Against Corruption (IAC) has won publicity in India by accusing ruling Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi's son in law Robert Vadra of taking part in shady dealings, said on Wednesday that Reliance has profited from cosy relationships with a string of government ministers.

3.39 pm

BJP denies power rotation agreement with JMM in Jharkhand

BJP on Thursday said there was no pre-condition about rotation of power with JMM, a major coalition partner in the Arjun Munda-headed Jharkhand government, when it was formed two years ago.

While stating this, Jharkhand unit president of BJP Dineshanand Goswami told a press conference, "You can enquire from other coalition partners JD(U) and AJSU Party in this regard."

He said there was a co-ordination committee to raise grievances or issues for discussion.

Goswami's remark came in the wake of a suggestion made by Sibu Soren, JMM supremo and the chairman of the Steering Committee in Jharkhand, about a 28:28 month rotation of power with the BJP in the state.

Soren had said there would be change of leadership in the state after Munda government completes 28 months in office.

3.04 pm

Chennai port resumes cargo operations as cyclone eases

Chennai port has resumed cargo operations from Thursday after a cyclone in the area eased in severity, a port official said.

"Normal activity has resumed since this morning," said the official, who requested anonymity.

Cargo operations at Chennai port were halted on Tuesday after a cyclone warning. 

2.25 pm

Indian youth for Scottish opera at Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games

What does friendship mean? A group of youngsters from India will be joined by contemporaries from six countries in interpreting this universal question through a grand operatic production for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

"The Friendship Oratorio" to be staged by Scotland's national opera company will feature 100 young people and emerging artists from seven Commonwealth countries and is based on their stories about what friendship means to them.

Author Alexander McCall Smith, famous for his "No 1 Ladies Detective Agency" crime fiction series, has been roped in to pen the opera, according to Fiona Hyslop, the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Scotland.

Fiona announced this after recently visiting a school here and meeting youngsters who could be participating in the opera.


1.19 pm

Heavy rain continues to lash coastal Andhra

Heavy rain continued to lash parts of Andhra Pradesh Thursday under the impact of Cyclone Nilam which made a landfall near Chennai Wednesday night.

Three people were killed in rain-related incidents since Wednesday while the heavy downpour brought normal life to a standstill in southern coastal districts of Nellore, Prakasam and Guntur.

Two people were electrocuted and two others were injured at Kakinada in East Godavari district. The incident took place when electric wires fell on a canteen at a railway station due to heavy winds Wednesday night.

An old woman died in Nellore district due to sudden drop in temperature.

Chittoor district in Rayalaseema region, the northern coastal Andhra and parts of Telangana including Hyderabad were also receiving heavy rain under the impact of the cyclone, which has weakened into deep depression, according to the weather office.


1.04 pm

'Alfred Nobel' visits India 116 yrs after death; eyes Bollywood

Alfred Nobel, the maverick innovator, entrepreneur and founder of the Nobel Prize, has "arrived" in India for the first time after his death 116 years ago - looking just as he did during his heyday and saying he would love to work in a Bollywood movie.

Meet 54-year-old actor Peter Sundh, the Nobel impersonator and look-alike from Sweden who has been working for the last eight years on a project to resurrect the man behind the prize . He impersonates at museums in Sweden and at the Nobel Memorial Weeks around the world.

12.23 pm

Reliance shares hit by Kejriwal's allegations

Shares in Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries Ltd fell as much as 2.1 percent on Thursday, a day after anti-corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal accused the Oil major of hoarding natural gas and exerting pressure on the government to favour it.

The company denies the allegations.

"Reliance Industries is falling because of a knee-jerk reaction to Kejriwal's comments," said Kishore Ostwal, chairman and managing director at equity research firm CNI Research.

12.05 pm

US poll can't be postponed, despite Sandy havoc

Next Tuesday's US presidential election apparently cannot be postponed despite the havoc caused by Hurricane Sandy that has flooded towns and cities up and down US East Coast and left millions without power.

The election for president cannot be moved to a later date without passage of a new federal law as an 1845 law set the Tuesday immediately following the first Monday in November of every election year as Election Day across the country.

11.49 am

Woman convicted in Mumbai drunk driving case

A woman, Nooriya Haveliwala who killed two people while driving drunk in her SUV home from a party in Mumbai has been found guilty today of culpable homicide. The incident occured in January this year when she drove into a police check-point at Marine Drive.

A constable and a driver were killed and 3 others were injured.

11.02 am

Kejriwal to hold rally against Salman Khurshid in Farrukhabad today

Activist-turned politician Arvind Kejriwal is set to hold a rally today against External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid in Farrukhabad and is expected to highlight the alleged financial irregularities by his Zakir Hussain Trust.

Farrukhabad is Khurshid's Lok Sabha constituency and his home turf.

A few weeks ago, a Hindi TV channel ran a detailed report on how an NGO headed by Khurshid and run by his wife Louise has allegedly been embezzling lakhs of funds meant for the differently-abled.

Khurshid and his wife had come under huge criticism after a sting operation done by news channel Aaj Tak reported that the Union Social Welfare and Empowerment Ministry had granted Rs 71.50 lakh to the Khurshids' NGO for distributing tricycles and hearing aids to the disabled in 17 districts of Uttar Pradesh.

Kejriwal had questioned Salman Khurshid and threatened to visit his constituency to campaign against him. 

9.30 am

Pattinson, Stewart back in 'magical phase'

Actor Robert Pattinson who forgave girlfriend Kristen Stewart for cheating on him has reportedly again entered the romantic phase of relationship with her.

Stewart, 22, was caught cheating on Pattinson with director Rupert Sanders.

"They are not living with each other but they are spending plenty of time with each other and they do sleep over often. Rob usually sleeps over at Kristen's new home in Los Feliz, rather than the other way around," quoted a source as saying.

"They are in a really magical place right now despite some lingering trust issues on Rob's side," the source added.

The couple started dating in 2008 with beginning of "Twilight" franchise. They will soon be seen together in the last movie of the series "Breaking Dawn 2".

9.00 am

Cyclone brings heavy rain, displaces 100K in India

A tropical storm slammed into southern India, bringing heavy rain and a storm surge flooding low-lying areas and displacing more than 100,000 people. Six deaths have been reported in India and Sri Lanka.

Just before the storm made landfall Wednesday, an oil tanker with 37 crew ran aground off Chennai. One of its lifeboats capsized in the choppy waters, and one crewmember drowned, the Press Trust of India news agency reported. Coast guard officers were searching for the lifeboat's six other occupants.

Andhra Pradesh state said two people died there when their homes collapsed due to heavy rain Wednesday night in Nellore and Chittoor districts, and PTI reported another death in Tamil Nadu state, a 46-year old man who slipped into the rough sea from a pier and drowned. Sri Lanka reported two deaths earlier from the cyclone.

The storm from the Bay of Bengal had maximum winds of 75 kilometers (45 miles) per hour after landfall but was weakening. A storm surge of up to 1.5 meters (5 feet) was expected to flood low-lying coastal areas, the India Meteorological Department said.


8.30 am

500 BJP workers detained for holding protests in Hyderabad

Around 500 BJP workers, including former Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya and BJP national secretary Dr K Laxman, were taken into preventive custody for holding protests in front of the police commissionerate here today.

BJP's Greater Hyderabad unit had organised a dharna opposite the Police Commissioner Office at Basheerbagh to protest cases registered against "innocent persons," including the party's workers, in connection with the recent incidents of communal violence in parts of the city, police said.

BJP leaders and workers gathered in front of the police commissoner's office and raised slogans condemning police action and their alleged "failure" in acting against those responsible for the communal violence.


8.00 am
India will assume the month-long rotating presidency of the UN Security Council beginning today before its term as non-permanent member of the powerful 15-nation body ends this year.

India had last served as president of the UNSC in August 2011. Its two year term on the Council will end on December 31.

Piracy is among the key issues that India could focus on during its presidency in November.

India, seeking permanent membership of the Council, has also been stressing on reform and expansion of the UN body and it could focus on the issue during its presidency.

US President Barack Obama would get back to his election campaign today after spending three days away from poll-related activities to focus on the devastating storm Sandy and its aftermath.

Obama had suspended his election campaign on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in view of the megastorm that devastated the country's Eastern Coast, claiming as many as 55 lives and leaving more than eight million people out of power.

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