Live: The more the merrier, says Congress on Aam Aadmi Party

Last Updated: Sat, Nov 24, 2012 13:13 hrs

6.30 pm:

The more the merrier: Congress on Aam Aadmi Party

"If a person or group of people have decided to float a political party, it is their right," senior Congress leader and Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari told reporters here.

"There are 1453 political parties registered with the Election Commission. So, if one more is added, this will only strengthen our democratic fabric," he said.

"The more the merrier," Tewari quipped when asked to comment on one more party "Aam Aadmi", floated by activist Kejriwal, coming into existence.

"The Aam Aadmi (common man) is synonymous with the Congress since 1885 when the party came into existence.

"Therefore, nobody can either hijack or skyjack or bicycle-jack the intrinsic relationship between the Congress and the people of this country," Tewari said.

Kejriwal's party has been named 'Aam Aadmi Party' at a meeting of its founder-members in the national capital.

5.30 pm:

Kejriwal formally launches the Aam Aadmi Party

Arvind Kejriwal formally launched his party in Delhi today, confirming that it's name would be Aam Aadmi party.

The party was founded with 300 founding members who have created the party constitution.

Kejriwal said that his party's aim was 'Swaraj'.

The party has also elected at 30-member national executive.

The formalities with the Election Commission could take a few more months more, after which the party can officially begin it's political life.

4.00 pm

SS Namdhari had fired at Ponty, Hardeep Chadha

The Police has informed the court that former Uttarakhand Minorities Commission Chairman SS Namdhari who has been sacked from his job, had fired at Hardeep Chadha.

Namdhari was the main conspirator in the shoot out.

Namdhari has been sent to 5 days' police custody by court in Ponty Chadha shootout case.

3.30 pm

DMK to seek discussion over new 2G row

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) is expected to move a motion in Parliament for a discussion on the fresh charges against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and Public Accounts Committee Chairman Murli Manohar Joshi in the 2G scam.

The DMK, a constituent of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) coalition government which bore the biggest brunt over the 2G spectrum scandal, will cite the charges levelled by former Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) audit officer RP Singh that apparently vindicate its stand.

The former Director General, Post and Telecommunications, CAG has said that Joshi had called audit officials to his house for preparation of the PAC report on 2G scam that indicted the government.

Even though he did not agree with the CAG's 2010 estimate of Rs 1.76 lakh crore loss figure from the 2G scam and estimated the loss to be of just Rs 2,645 crore, Singh was asked to sign a report backing the original calculation, he said.

Joshi has already offered to resign if the allegations against him can be proved while the Congress has sought the opportunity to take on the Opposition leader saying it had "exposed" Joshi and party over the matter.

3.00 pm

Boat clinics providing healthcare for Assamese

The Brahmaputra River , and its fertile valley, serve as the lifeline of Assam. But thousands of people are affected annually by floods, and many villages are cut off. To help reach medical facilities and better healthcare options to these people, the state government has come up with the novel idea of boat clinics.

The Brahmaputra River makes its way 760 kms through Assam creating a vast network of islands. It is estimated that 2.5 million people live on over 2,500 islands. The floating clinics are their lifeline.

The boat clinics have life saving medicines, a laboratory and other medical equipments besides a doctor and nurses.

"We are getting a very good response as people residing here need medical facilities and care. We always witness huge crowd whenever we set up a camp in any village. We conduct routine checkups for pregnant women, immunization of children and provide medical care for all other patients," said Dr. Barman.

The boat clinics are an initiative of the Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research (CNES) and are supported by Unicef and the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM).

2.12 pm

Ponty murder witness to be produced in court

Key witness in liquor baron Ponty Chadha and his brother Hardeep shootout case, Sukhdev Singh Namdhari, who was arrested by Delhi Police on Friday from Uttarakhand, is expected to be produced in court on Saturday.

The police detained the sacked chairman of the Uttarakhand Minorities Commission after questioning him at his farmhouse at Bazpur city in Uttarakhand.

The Delhi Police on Thursday night conducted raids on Namdhari's properties in Bazpur, reports said.

1.56 pm

Kejriwal's party named Aam Admi Party

Arvind Kejriwal's party was today named 'Aam Admi Party' at a meeting of its founder members here during which the Constitution for the organisation was also adopted.

The meeting of around 300 founder members was held at Constitution Club here during which Kejriwal proposed the name of the party which was accepted by other members, sources said.

The Constitution of the party was also adopted at the meeting. It was proposed by Mayank Gandhi and seconded by Chandramohan, they said.

The formation of the party came after a bitter split with Anna Hazare over the question of the anti-corruption movement taking a political plunge as Kejriwal desired.

During the August fast, Hazare and Kejriwal ended the agitation saying they will work for providing a political alternative for the country to fight both Congress and BJP.

However, both Hazare and Kejriwal announced parting of ways on September 19 following differences over forming a party with the former sticking to his position that the movement should remain apolitical.


1.06 pm

Govt to launch direct cash subsidy transfer from Jan 1

Government will launch the payout of direct cash subsidy to people through the Aadhaar based system in 51 districts of the country from January 1, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said today.

He said the government intends to complete roll out of the direct cash transfer through the Aadhaar system in the entire country by the end of 2013.

This will, among other things, facilitate the pay out of direct cash subsidies to the targeted beneficiaries.

"We want the roll out (of Aadhaar-based subsidy transfer) to be completed by the end of 2013," he said at the Bancon conference here.

The Finance Minister noted that the government spends "thousands and thousands of crores of rupees" on pension and various subsidies.

"We are going to launch the ambitious programme of payout of direct cash subsidy to people through the Aadhaar system in 51 districts across 15 states", he said.

Chidambaram said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will take a meeting of the cash transfer committee on Monday in the run up to the implementation of the scheme from the beginning of next year.

Stating that the economy is in a slowdown mode, he said the economic growth is expected to be 5.5 per cent in the second quarter.

"For us 8 per cent growth is not an aspiration. We must aspire for over 8 per cent growth", he said.

12.41 am

Facebook's new privacy policy conflicting with European law concerns regulators

Parts of Facebook's newly proposed privacy policy has concerned privacy advocates over being in conflict with European law.

It came after a key regulator moved to give users in the European Union more power to block the sharing of their data with the company's affiliates such as Instagram.

Gary T. Davis, deputy data protection commissioner in Ireland claimed that regulators alerted Facebook about the problem shortly after the company announced major changes in how it will treat users' personal data.

The proposed policy also drew criticism from American privacy advocates, who said that the changes would make more data available to advertisers without users' explicit consent, in violation of last year's consent decree between Facebook and the Federal Trade Commission, The Washington Post reports.

According to the paper, the agreement had stemmed from complaints about the company's handling of personal data.

"Facebook is not really telling users what this means and how this is going to work," said Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy.

In Ireland, Davis expressed confidence that the company would make revisions giving European users the right to explicitly accept or reject data-sharing with affiliates such as Instagram. Facebook acquired the company for 1 billion dollars in April, but it remains a separate legal entity, the paper said.

"We've already engaged with Facebook. We expect Facebook to be reverting [to previous policies] on these issues," Davis said. 

12.00 am

Kejriwal to name his party Saturday

Activist Arvind Kejriwal and his supporters are meeting here Saturday to found their political party and hold its first national council meeting.

Kejriwal, former member of Team Anna, tweeted Friday that he would be founding his party Saturday and formally launch it Monday at Jantar Mantar.

"Party wud b founded tomo. 1st National Council meeting tomo. Launch ceremony at Jantar Mantar on Mon. All invited Mon to be part of history," he posted.

Around 300 supporters have gathered at Constitution Club here for the meeting, an aide told IANS.

Ahead of the meeting, Kejriwal tweeted that he would bring "poorn azadi" (complete freedom) for the common man and relief from high inflation.

"Main hoon Aam Aadmi. Main laoonga poorn azadi. (I am the common man, I will bring complete freedom)," went one post, while another said: "Main hoon Aam Aurat. Main door karungi mengai" (I am the common woman, I will wipe out inflation)".

Another tweet said "Main hoon Aam Aadmi. Main laoonga swaraj. (I am the common man, I will bring self rule)."

11.00 am
Irish health watchdog launches probe into Savita's death

The Irish public health watchdog has announced that it has launched a probe into the death of pregnant Indian woman Savita Halappanavar.

The Irish Republic's health service is already conducting an inquiry, which is now described as a clinical review.

The Health Information Quality Authority, an independent health safety body, will conduct a parallel inquiry, the BBC reports.

Halappanavar died after suffering a miscarriage in University Hospital, Galway.

Her widower, Praveen, claimed she was denied a termination.

Her husband has asked for a full public inquiry into his wife's death.

He believes she would still be alive if she had been granted an abortion days earlier, when she was told she was losing her baby.

The widower alleged doctors refused his wife's requests because there was a foetal heartbeat.

According to the report, Savita's death of the Indian-born dentist has sparked international protests and reignited the debate on the Republic's abortion laws.

10.30 am

Iran accuses US Navy of 'illegal' acts in Gulf

Iran is accusing the U.S. Navy of carrying out "illegal and provocative acts" in the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman.

In identical letters to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Security Council, Iran's U.N. Ambassador Mohammad Khazaee said the Navy repeatedly violated the country's airspace.

He cited flights over the coastal areas of Bushehr on seven occasions in October and most recently a U.S. drone flight on Nov. 1 which disregarded all radio warnings and penetrated Iranian airspace.

The letters, circulated Friday, urged Ban to warn the U.S. "against the continuation of acts in violation of international law and of the adverse consequences of any provocative and dangerous acts for which the United States government would be held responsible."

The White House had no comment Friday night.

10.00 am

1 of FBI's 10 most wanted arrested in Mexico

One of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives was arrested in Mexico and returned to Los Angeles Friday night to face charges of murder, kidnapping and rape, U.S. officials said.

Reputed Los Angeles gang member Joe Luis Saenz was taken into custody in Guadalajara late Thursday following a joint operation with the Mexican government, said Bill Lewis, assistant director in charge of the FBI's Los Angeles office.

Investigators said Saenz shot and killed two rival gang members in July 1998 to retaliate for an assault on one of his associates.

Saenz suspected Sigrieta Hernandez, his girlfriend and the mother of his daughter, was going to tell police about the slayings, investigators said. He is accused of kidnapping, raping and killing her less than two weeks later.

Saenz also is believed to have killed Oscar Torres at his home in suburban Whittier in October 2008 because he failed to repay $600,000 in drug money after police seized the cash during a traffic stop. Authorities said they have videotape from a surveillance camera at Torres' house that shows Saenz killing Torres and wounding another person.

Saenz, who is about 37 years old, was believed to be hiding in Mexico, working as an enforcer and hit man for a Mexican drug cartel.

Saenz had been on the FBI's most-wanted list since 2009, putting him among the ranks of Osama bin Laden, Boston crime lord James "Whitey" Bulger and other notorious criminals. There was a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to his arrest.

9.30 am

Public inquiry into Savita's death not ruled out

A senior Irish government official has not ruled out a public inquiry into the death of Indian dentist Savita Halappanavar who died due to pregnancy-related complications after being denied abortion in Ireland.

Eamon Gilmore, the second most senior officer in the Irish government has said the priority was getting to the bottom of the 31-year-old dentist's death after a miscarriage, according to a report in The Irish times.

"I wouldn't rule anything out," Gilmore said.

His comments follow the announcement of a second investigation into Savita death a statutory review by the Health Information and Quality Authority.

Minister for Health James Reilly is considering continued requests for an open inquiry. He met Praveen Halappanavar, husband of the late Savita in Galway for 25-minutes yesterday. Praveen was accompanied of his solicitor Gerard O'Donnell.


9.00 am

Mumbai court quashes anti-cell tower plea
The Kalyan Civil Court, Mumbai Friday turned down a plea to restrain the construction of a mobile tower due to violation of laws and fears of electromagnetic radiation, following absence of any evidence stating that the base centre of the tower is illegal or violates any law or rules.

On the basis of the WHO report and the committee of experts constituted as per the writ petition state, the Court observed that there is no substance in the argument that Electro Magnetic emissions are hazardous to human life.

It is pertinent to note that recently the government of India has adopted most stringent safety guidelines for EMF exposure which is 1/10th of the ICNIRP standards (which is considered to be the safest in the world with over 90% of the countries having adopted the ICNIRP guidelines), the Court said.

8.30 am

India, China spar over passport maps
India is stamping its own map on visas it issues to holders of new Chinese passports in that come depicting the disputed territory within China's borders, as the latest salvo in a long-running territorial row between the two Asian neighbours.

New Delhi has not yet taken up the matter through official diplomatic channels, media reports said citing unnamed sources.

However, the move was in response to the new microchip-enabled Chinese passports which show a map that includes Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin, Ladakh as part of China as well as an apparent sole claim over the South China Sea.

"We have issues with China, we have a history and everyone knows that. We, as a nation, have opted for an enlightened view of relation as a beneficial relation with China. Both countries have come to this conclusion. We ensure our flags of disagreement are put up immediately when something happens," External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid told a TV news channel.

8.00 am

The defence has asked the prosecution in the Aarushi murder case to supply documents that get to the root of the “error” -- a "typo" that raises more questions than answers any.

The Talwars’ application calls the integrity of both the CBI and the CDFD into question, so the importance of the records can hardly be overstated. The trial judge will decide on Saturday whether or not to ask the prosecution to place the papers before the court.

Ganga Mahotsav kickstarts today

The 18th Ganga Mahotsav, scheduled to be held in the city of Varanasi from November 24 to November 27, will be inaugurated at Rajendra Prasad ghat today.

Talking to reporters on Thursday, divisional commissioner Chanchal Kumar Tiwari revealed that classical and semi-classical artistes of nationwide fame, including Pandit Vishwamohan Bhatt, Bhajan Sapori, Ratan Mohan Sharma, a group of students from faculty of Performing Arts, Banaras Hindu University (BHU) and local folk artists will perform during the four-day cultural event.

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