8. 05 pm
Mulayam rakes up demand for Muslim quota to counter SC/ST bill
Isolated in its opposition to quota in promotion for SC/ST in government jobs, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, who threatened to review support to UPA on the issue, today said the government should work towards providing reservation to Muslims.
"We will think about continuing support," Yadav told reporters outside Parliament when asked if his party was contemplating such a move.
His remarks came as his party in Rajya Sabha today demanded proportionate reservation for Muslims through a Constitutional amendment in an apparent move to counter the push for quota in promotion for SC/ST in government jobs.
Referring to the Sachar committee report, Yadav said the condition of the Muslim community is worse than SC and ST. "Muslims' condition is very band. Therefore, reservations should be provided to them and there is not alternative to this".
7. 40 pm
Quota in promotions bill passed in Rajya Sabha
The Rajya Sabha has voted in favour of a Bill that seeks to amend the Constitution to allow reservation in government job promotions for Dalits and tribals - 206 votes were cast in favour of the Bill and 10 against it of a total 216. The UPA government is in a minority in the 244-seat Rajya Sabha, but the opposition helped push the legislation through.
7. 00 pm
Mulayam hints at withdrawing support to UPA
Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav Monday remained ambivalent about supporting the UPA government, and said his party would deliberate over the issue when "the time comes".
"The party will think over the issue at the appropriate time," Mulayam Singh told reporters here when asked whether he would continue to support the United Progressive Alliance government.
He also accused the UPA government of using the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) against him. "The government has entrapped me through the CBI," he said, adding, "I am not afraid of the CBI."
6. 00 pm
Dhoni blames batsmen, pacers for series loss
A dejected India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni today blamed his batsmen and quick bowlers in equal measure for the team's humiliating 1-2 series loss against England after the fourth and final Test ended in a draw.
"I think we struggled in the batting and fast bowling but our spinners were on the mark. The difference between the two bowling sides was James Anderson, he bowled really well on all the four occasions," said Dhoni at the post match presentation ceremony.
"Most of the other fast bowlers looked quite average but he was the one who tested the batsmen quite often. I think the credit goes to him, there was not much support for fast bowlers on a track like this. But apart from that, I think the batsmen have to take the responsibility of not putting enough runs on the board," he said.
Delhi gang-rape victim 'very critical'
The 23-year-old Delhi woman who was gang-raped and thrown off a bus has undergone surgery and is "very critical", authorities at the Safdarjung Hospital here said Monday.
"The patient is very critical," S.N. Makwana, press information officer at the hospital, told IANS.
A senior doctor at the hospital who is attending to the victim said the woman is in a "state of shock".
"The patient is in critical condition and she is in a state of shock. She has bruises on her face, chest and on her upper abdomen. We have performed surgery... and blood transfusions have also been done," the doctor said under condition of anonymity.
"Her intestines are badly damaged. At the moment, we cannot perform more surgeries as she is in a state of shock. We are monitoring her condition closely," the doctor added.
The condition of the woman had deteriorated and she was placed on ventilator with grave injuries. She bore signs of having been beaten with a blunt object.
The assault occurred Sunday night when the woman along with her male friend boarded a private bus at Munirka to go to Dwarka after watching a movie.
The woman was beaten up, stripped and raped by at least a dozen men who were inside the bus. Both the woman and her male friend, who was also beaten up when he resisted, were thrown off the bus near Mahipalpur.
The male friend was taken Safdarjung but discharged after treatment for his injuries.
Two editors from the Zee group have been granted bail. They were arrested for allegedly extorting the Jindal group. Sudhir Chaudhary and Samir Ahluwalia have been released on a bond of Rs. 50,000.
Call off Indo-Pak cricket series, says BJP
BJP today demanded cancellation of the upcoming Indo-Pak cricket series in the wake of visiting Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik "insulting" India.
The party also accused Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde of remaining silent by not responding appropriately to Malik, who triggered controversy by equating 26/11 Mumbai attack with Babri Masjid demolition and describing LeT terrorist Abu Jundal as an operative of Indian intelligence agency.
New Delhi has rubbished Malik's assertions.
The Maharashtra government has announced a SIT probe into alleged irrigation scam in Maharashtra. The SIT will probe the irrigation scams from the BJP-Sena tenure. Water expert Madav Chitale will head the team. Modalities of the SIT will be finalised on December 30th.
A white paper on the scam had given a clean chit to Ajit Pawar.
Gujarat records 38% voting till 1 PM
About 38 per cent average polling was recorded across 95 constituencies in Gujarat in the first five hours of the final phase of voting today, which will decide the fate of 820 candidates including Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
Veteran BJP leader L K Advani exercised his franchise at a polling booth in Shahpur area here. Earlier in the day, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitely and Modi had cast their vote.
"Around 37-38 per cent polling has been recorded in the first five hours of polling till 1 PM, which is exactly the same as in phase-I till this time," a state Election Commission official said.
Congress files complaint against Modi
Congress has filed an official complaint with the Election Commission against Gujarat CM Narendra Modi. The complaint is for Modi's comment on Sonia Gandhi in an election speech where he said Sonia was mentally unbalanced.
BJP candidate Jetha Bharwad has been shot at in the Panchmahal district, Gujarat. Reports indicate that he was shot at 8 times by unknown elements. He was one of the two MLAs caught watching porn in the Gujarat Assembly.
Three people have been injured.
21% polling in first three hours in Gujarat
An average 21 per cent voting was recorded in the first three hours across 95 seats in Gujarat where polling is underway for the second phase of elections which will decide the fate of 820 candidates including Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
"Around 20-21 per cent voting has been recorded across 95 Assembly constituencies till 11 AM, where brisk polling is underway in second phase," a state Election Commission official said.
Modi, who is seeking a third term in office, exercised his franchise at Nishan High School in Ranip area of the city.
Explosion in Lebanon near Israel border
Lebanon's state agency has reported a large explosion in the country's south near the border with Israel.
National News said early Monday the reasons behind the blast near Tair Harfa were not clear.
Andrea Tenenti, who is a spokesman for the U.N. peacekeeping force in the area, UNIFIL, said it was investigating.
South Lebanon, the scene of bitter fighting between Israel and Lebanese militant Hezbollah guerrillas in 2006, is considered a Hezbollah stronghold.
Security officials said Hezbollah had cordoned off the area. They asked not to be named because they are not authorized to speak publicly.
10 kids killed in Afghan bombing
Ten children were killed and one was wounded Monday when a bomb went off in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province, police said.
"The innocent children were collecting firewood in Salozai area of Chaparhar district around 9 a.m. when one of them stepped on a bomb, triggering a powerful blast," police spokesman Hazrat Housain Mashriqiwal told Xinhua.
He said the injured child was also in a critical condition.
The police official blamed Taliban insurgents for planting the bomb in the area.
Nangarhar is 120 km east of capital city of Kabul.
Delhi student who was gangraped, now in intensive care in critical condition, will have to undergo several operations, says Times Now.
Narendra Modi has said that he is serving India through his work in Gujarat.
"I am committed to the six crore Gujaratis. I live for them. I believe that I am also serving the country through my work in Gujarat. Gujarat is a part of the country and not outside it," said Modi when asked to comment on his Prime Ministerial ambitions.
Modi is emerging as a strong contender from the BJP for the Prime Ministerial berth.
After casting his vote early in the morning Gujarat CM Narendra Modi has expressed confidence that his party will be back in power. "The people of Gujarat will vote for the BJP," said Modi.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has cast his vote at Ranip, Maninagar. A huge crowd turned up just to see the leader register his vote.
Today marks the second and final phase of polling for the Gujarat Assembly. Polling began this morning for 95 assembly seats. The turnout has been recorded at 6 to 7 % till 9 am according to reports.
Weatherman sends out fog warning for North India
Most parts of Uttar Pradesh would come under a thick blanket of fog early morning and late night, in coming days, the meterological office said Monday.
The fog is only to be expected, after snowfall in Kashmir Valley, Himachal Pradesh and parts of Uttarakhand, over the past week, Met officials said.
Regional Director of the Met office, J.P. Gupta said that with the onset of fog, even the cold would increase considerably.
Obama offers 'love, prayers of nation' to Newtown
He spoke for a nation in sorrow, but the slaughter of all those little boys and girls left President Barack Obama, like so many others, reaching for words. Alone on a spare stage after the worst single day of his presidency, the commander in chief was a parent in grief.
"I am very mindful that mere words cannot match the depth of your sorrow, nor can they heal your wounded hearts," Obama said at an evening vigil in the grieving community of Newtown, Conn. "I can only hope that it helps for you to know that you are not alone in your grief."
The massacre of 26 children and adults at Sandy Hook Elementary on Friday elicited horror around the world, soul-searching in the United States, fresh political debate about gun control and questions about the incomprehensible — what drove the suspect to act.
A girl has been gangraped in a moving bus in Delhi's Vasant Vihar last night. The girl was traveling in a private bus with a male friend. They were both assaulted and thrown out of the bus after she was raped.
They were found near the Mahipalpur flyover in south Delhi in a semi naked state. The girl is now in the Safdarjung Hospital and she is said to be in a critical condition.
India trashes Malik's Jundal contentions
India on Sunday deplored statements by Pakistani interior minister Rehman Malik who appeared to suggest that Abu Jundal, one of the 2008 Mumbai attacks plotter, may have been working for an Indian spy agency.
Indian Home Secretary R K Singh rubbished the the statement made by Malik, who just returned to Pakistan following a three-day visit to India, as "ridiculous", media reports said.
Jundal, who arrested earlier this year from Saudi Arabia, has confessed that he served as a handler for the 10 Pakistani terrorists who launched the Nov 26 attacks on Mumbai, known as 26/11, killing 166 people.
Speaking at a function on Sunday, Malik said that Jundal, who hails from the Beed district of Maharashtra, said that by his own admission the militant had "worked" as a source "of a very elite agency of India".
Malik also appeared to go on to say that India may be unwilling to introspect its own role in the deadly attacks, saying, "I have to tell truth to the world, to your country, to your people so that we find out a way forward...if you hide things, the things will continue in the same way."
India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is confident that the home team will be able to dismiss the remaining seven England batsmen at a fast clip thereby forcing a series leveling victory.
"Strange things have happened. We are not trying to be too optimistic, but we have done it before in India and we can take six or seven wickets in a session.
Rajya Sabha to vote on job quota bill today
The Rajya Sabha will on Monday vote on the controversial Constitution (117th Amendment) Bill 2012 that seeks to provide reservation in government jobs for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
While the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has been pressing the government to pass the bill, the Samajwadi Party (SP) has issued veiled threats saying it could reconsider its outside support to the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) if the bill is passed.
SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav had said in Lucknow on Saturday: "If voting is done on the bill in the house, I will reconsider my party's support to the government."
Gujarat set for final round of polling today, Modi in fray
After a record 71 per cent voting in the first phase, Gujarat will go for the second and final phase of polling on Monday for the remaining 95 seats in the 182-member Assembly that will also decide the electoral fate of Chief Minister Narendra Modi who is seeking a third term.
The polling will take place in 40 constituencies in five districts of central Gujarat, 32 in five districts of north Gujarat, 17 in Ahmedabad city area and on six in Kutch district. Counting of votes will be taken up on December 20.
About 1.98 crore are eligible to vote in the second phase for which 820 candidates are in the fray. Modi is contesting from Maninagar in Ahmedabad.