Live: PM takes on NDA in Parliament, highlights UPA achievements

Last Updated: Wed, Mar 06, 2013 13:04 hrs

6.20 pm: 

India's economic slow down will not persist; we are determined to bring the country back to the growth path of 8 per cent, says PM. 

He also said the BJP's India Shining campaign was a disaster and growth has always been higher under the UPA than the NDA. The Pm said that growth under the UPA has been 9%, while the NDA only managed 6%. 

Speaking in Parliament, the PM said the BJP used "choicest of abuses" against the Congress. 

"But we will not reply in the same language. The NDA will be defeated again thanks to their arrogance. The BJP had fielded the 'Iron Man' (L K Advani's nick name) in 2004 and lost." 

The PM went on to give a comprehensive economic road map for the nation, saying that more efforts was needed to boost growth. He also promised to work for promotion of investments.

6.00 pm: 

Khurshid rules out diplomatic talks with visiting Pak PM

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Wednesday ruled out any diplomatic talks with Pakistan Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf, who is likely to visit Ajmer Sharif on Saturday.

"Not to my knowledge. He is going to Ajmer for ziyarat (to offer prayers). He will go directly to Ajmer, and most probably the Governor there will welcome him. There is no other programme apart from that and I don't have any knowledge about it," he told media here.

The Pakistani Prime Minister will be visiting India on a private visit this week for a day-long pilgrimage to Ajmer Sharif. Ashraf, who is expected to be accompanied by his family members, will not be meeting any Indian political leaders.

5.25 pm:

'UP DSP was beaten up before being shot'

The post-mortem report of the Uttar Pradesh DSP, who was killed in Kunda, has revealed that he was beaten up before being shot dead, a report on CNN-IBN said.

The report conflicted Uttar Pradesh ADG, Law and Order, Arun Kumar, who had said that there was no evidence to show that Zia-ul-Haq was beaten up before being killed.

The report revealed that there were injuries on the DSP's eyebrows, fingers and ears.

5.00 pm:

Don't have the money to buy new Ferrari: Ratan Tata

Billionaire industrialist Ratan Tata pored over every inch of the new million-euro LaFerrari on the Italian supercar maker's stand at the Geneva auto show.

Ferrari's first-ever hybrid "looks terrific", said Tata, one of India's wealthiest businessmen and a close friend of Ferrari chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo.

But will he buy one?

"I don't have the money," Tata joked.

4.45 pm:

Number of Syrian refugees hits a million mark: UN

The number of Syrians who have fled their war-ravaged country and are seeking assistance has now topped the one million mark, the United Nations' refugee agency said Wednesday.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, said in a statement released in Geneva that the figure is based on reports from his agency's field offices in neighboring countries that have provided refuge for Syrians escaping the civil war.

"With a million people in flight, millions more displaced internally, and thousands of people continuing to cross the border every day, Syria is spiraling towards full-scale disaster," Guterres said.

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4.35 pm:

Pranab to confer 'Tagore Award' on Ravi Shankar

President Pranab Mukherjee will confer the 'Tagore Award' for cultural harmony on sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar at a function at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here on Thursday.

The 'Tagore Award' for cultural harmony has been instituted as a part of the commemoration of the 150th Birth Anniversary of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore and an announcement to this effect was made by the then Finance Minister in his Budget Speech on February 28, 2011.

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4.05 pm:

Kudankulam likely to be commissioned by April

The much-delayed Kudankulam nuclear power project is expected to be commissioned by April, government told the Lok Sabha today.

"All efforts are being made to commission units 1&2 of Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project by April 2013 and October 2013 respectively," Minister of State in the PMO V Narayanasamy said in a written reply.

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3.25 pm:

Chopper scam: CBI grills Tyagi cousins

Three cousins of the former air force chief SP Tyagi, accused of accepting bribes, partly on his behalf,  are being questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) today about their alleged role in the VVIP chopper scam.

Retired Air Chief Marshal Tyagi will be interrogated tomorrow, said sources.

He has denied charges of any wrongdoing.

2.15 pm:

SC seeks explanation from Punjab, Bihar on police brutality

The Supreme Court took suo motu cognisance of police personnel beating a girl in Punjab and contractual teachers in Bihar.

The apex court issued notices to the chief secretaries of Punjab and Bihar seeking explanation by March 11 on the conduct of the police.

Besides the state government, the apex court sought the views of the Attorney General and the Additional Solicitor General on the issue.

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2.00 pm:

Clashes in Valley despite curfew, Oppn storms out of J&K Assembly

Despite the curfew over the Baramulla firing, stone pelting and clashes were reported from many parts of the Valley, NDTV reported.

Most clashes took place in downtown Srinagar.

Meanwhile, the Opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) walked out of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly.

The PDP boycotted the state budget over the issue saying Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was incapable of ensuring the safety of Kashmiris.

PDP leader Mehbooba Mufti said, "If the Chief Minister is helpless, if he can't safeguard the life of his own people, then who is he? Is he there to impose curfew? What is his authority?"

1.25 pm:

BJP retaliates to Rahul Gandhi's comment on marriage and kids

Rahul Gandhi told party members in New Delhi yesterday, "If I get married and have children, I will be status-quoist and will like my children to take my place."

In response, BJP spokesperson Shahnawaaz Hussain retorted, "Does that mean those of us who are married are not capable of serving the nation?"

12.40 pm:

PM assures action if irregularities are found in farm loan waiver

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh assured that action will be taken if irregularities are found in the farm loan waiver scheme.

The Prime Minister's statement in the Rajya Sabha came after loud protests by the Opposition in the House. The Lok Sabha, too, witnessed a demand from the Opposition to discuss the CAG report on farm loan waiver scheme.

12.30 pm:

PM condoles Chavez's death

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condoled the death of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, saying the country has lost a charismatic leader who left a legacy of striving for social justice.

"The people of India join me in conveying our heartfelt condolence to his family and to stand with Venezuela in its hour of grief," Singh said in his message.

"Venezuela has lost a charismatic and immensely popular leader in President Chavez who leaves a legacy of striving for social justice," he added.

11.50 am:

The Lok Sabha was adjourned today till noon after uproar over alleged scam in farm loan waiver scheme.

The CAG report which was tabled in Parliament on Tuesday had criticised the scheme's implementation, citing lapses in 22 per cent of the cases.

11.30 am:

Punjab, Haryana, Delhi & Himachal rank top in Well Being Index

Punjab, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana have been ranked at the top of the Well Being Index (WBI), while southern states, Gujarat and most of the north-eastern states emerged as the most secure ones for women in the Female Security Index (FSI).

This was found by Tata Strategic Management Group which analysed multiple government sources and surveys to publish its 2013 edition of Well Being Index (WBI) and Female Security Index (FSI) for India here today.

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10.30 am:

Baramulla firing: FIR filed against Army

The police have filed an FIR against the Baramulla army unit in Kashmir, a report on CNN-IBN said. The Army, however, has denied shooting the 25-year-old protester.

A curfew has been clamped in 10 police station areas in Srinagar, Baramulla and Sopore.

The report quoted the Army's northern command as saying, "Army reiterates that Tariq Ahmad's death could not have been caused due to the firing by the Army personnel as extreme caution was exercised by them and the fire was deliberately aimed in the air."

10.15 am:

Delhi gangrape case: Juvenile justice panel to hear inquiry against minor accused today

The Juvenile Justice Board will start an inquiry today against the 17-year-old minor accused in Delhi gangrape case, CNN-IBN reports.

In its last hearing on February 28, the board framed charges of murder, gangrape, kidnapping and robbery.

9.30 am:

Anti-rape law: Govt proposes to lower age for consensual sex from 18 to 16

The Cabinet is likely to finalise new laws on crimes against women with a new Criminal Law Amendment Bill today.

Media reports said that the age of consent for sex is likely to be reduced from 18 to 16 as suggested by the Justice Verma panel.

Reports also indicated that the new anti-rape law has been prepared with the word 'rape' with its wider definition, instead of 'sexual assault' in keeping with the panel's recommendations

However, the note will not include marital rape and will not include under its ambit those in the armed forces accused of rape and so, it doesn't deal with the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, CNN-IBN reported.

9.00 am:

Disappointing that Wharton cancelled invite to Modi: US lawmaker

Expressing disappointment at the decision of Wharton India Economic Forum (WIEF) on rescinding its invitation to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, a US lawmaker has said that for Wharton "to suppress the views of some at the expense of others" is simply not right.

"When extending its invite, Wharton knew like the US knows that, more than a decade later, India's Supreme Court has not found any evidence against CM Modi regarding the allegations that his critics continue to put forward," said Congressman Eni Faleomavaega in a statement yesterday.

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7.30 am: 

Kalyan Jewellers' Kalyanaraman enters Forbes' billionaire club

Kerala-based Kalyan Jewellers' Chairman and Managing Director TS Kal

yanaraman has made it to the Forbes' billionaire-club with a net worth of USD 1 billion and ranked as the 52nd richest person in the country.

In the overall list of world's billionaires, as per the annual ranking published by US business magazine Forbes, Kalyanaraman is ranked 1,342 while he holds the 52nd position in India, which was topped by Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries yet again.

"I feel privileged to be a part of the elite Forbes list. This, however, would not have been possible without the support of our customers. We at Kalyan Jewellers have always advocated fair trade and transparency in the retail jewellery trade. All this has held us in good light," Kalyanaraman said in a statement.

Kalyan Jewellers is the single largest company-owned jewellery retail chain in the country in terms of number of showrooms and turnover with the single maximum bullion purchase from SBI at over 5 tonne, the statement said.

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