Live: Congress to roll out food security scheme on Aug 20

Last Updated: Sat, Jul 13, 2013 09:38 hrs

3. 10 pm

Congress to roll out food security scheme on August 20, Rajiv Gandhi's birth anniversary

 Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday asked the states ruled by the party to implement in "letter and spirit" the food security scheme which it sees as a "game changer" in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

She held deliberations with Congress Chief Ministers on how to implement the food scheme seeking to provide cheap foodgrains to 82 crore people, for which an ordinance was promulgated last week.

Party sources said the CMs were told at the meeting to rollout the scheme in "letter and spirit".

The meeting was held at a time when the party is preparing for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and is keen to reach out to the people with its populist measure.

Delhi, where assembly polls are due by year-end, will be the first state to roll out the scheme on August 20, the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

2. 30 pm

Don't divide this nation: Digvijay to Modi

Congress leader Digvijay Singh today assailed Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's remarks describing himself as a 'Hindu nationalist' and asked him not to "divide the nation" on the basis of religion.

A day after Modi's remarks sparked a political furore, Singh said on Twitter, "Shouldn't we all be Nationalist Indians rather than Hindu Nationalist or Muslim Nationalist or Sikh Nationalist or Christian Nationalist ?"

In another tweet, he also took a jibe at Sangh Parivar saying, "Don't divide this Great Nation on basis of religion which Savarkar and Jinnah did. They were the original authors of Two Nation theory."

1. 40 pm

Three Christian women allegedly paraded naked in Pakistan, court orders probe

Over a month after a Muslim landlord allegedly paraded three Christian women naked in Pakistan's Punjab province, a court in Lahore has finally taken notice of the matter and directed a judge to investigate the incident.

The Lahore High Court yesterday ordered the district and sessions judge, Kasur, to probe the matter and submit a report within two weeks.

The three Christian women were allegedly brutally beaten and then paraded naked by armed men of Muhammad Munir, a local landlord said to be having the backing of the ruling PML-N party, in Pattoki area of Kasur district, some 50 kilometres from Lahore.

12. 20 pm

Pran's body taken to crematorium

Legendary actor Pran's body, adorned with flowers, was taken to the Shivaji Park crematorium on Saturday morning.

The body was kept overnight at the Lilavati Hospital, where Pran, Bollywood's most loved villain, breathed his last late Friday evening. He was 93.

His last rites will reportedly be conducted at the electric crematorium in Dadar west around 12:30 p.m. Among the early attendees from Bollywood include veteran writer Gulzar.

11. 10 am

Kaneria's presence in stadium raises eyebrows

Disgraced Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria caused a stir when he showed up at the inaugural Ramazan Twenty20 Cup tournament, organised by the Pakistan Cricket Board, at the National Stadium here.

Kaneria, however, clarified that he had only visited the stadium to meet his friends from the media and his former teammates in Habib Bank, which played here last night.

The spinner's presence clearly had the security and vigilance officer of the board present in the stadium rattled and uneasy but he showed enough respect to Kaneria and avoided any direct ejection orders from the stadium.

10. 30 am

Amar Bose, founder of Massachusetts-based Bose audio firm, dies at 83

Acoustics pioneer Amar Bose, founder and chairman of the audio technology company Bose Corp, known for the rich sound of its small tabletop radios and its noise-canceling headphones popular among frequent fliers, has died at age 83.

Bose's death was announced on Friday by the company's president, Bob Maresca, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where Bose began his acoustics research and was on the faculty for more than 40 years.

Details about Bose's death weren't immediately available.

10. 00 am

US reiterates call for Russia to hand over Snowden

The US reiterated its call for Russia to hand over whistleblower Edward Snowden to face espionage charges back at home.

Snowden was charged by Washington with espionage and theft of government property following his disclosure of massive secret phone and internet surveillance programmes of the US National Security Agency.

"Our position on Mr. Snowden and the felony charges against him and our belief that he ought to be returned to the United States to face those felony charges is as it was, and we have communicated it to a variety of countries, including Russia," Xinhua quoted White House spokesman Jay Carney as saying at a press briefing.

"We continue to discuss with Russia our strongly held view that there is absolute legal justification for him to be expelled, for him to be returned to the United States to face the charges that have been brought against him for the unauthorised leaking of classified information," Carney added.

9. 20 am

Congress meet today to discuss strategy for early rollout of food security bill

Strategy for an early rollout of the Food Security Bill in Congress-ruled states will be deliberated today at a meeting of party chief ministers called by Sonia Gandhi.

The meeting is being held at a time when the party is projecting the scheme seeking to provide cheap foodgrains to 82 crore people as a game changer in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Delhi, where assembly polls are due by the year-end, will be the first state to roll out the scheme on August 20, the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

As many as 34 party leaders, including chief ministers of 14 Congress-ruled states, All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretaries and members of Congress Core Group, have been invited for the meeting today.

8. 30 am

Six killed as train derails in France

At least six people were killed and dozens were injured when a train derailed south of Paris, Xinhua reported on Saturday.

The train, heading from Paris to the central city of Limoges, derailed and hit the platform at the Bretigny-sur-Orge station, about 25 km south of the capital city around 5.15 p.m..

The national rail operator SNCF said there were 370 people on board, and six carriages of the train derailed.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls said the death toll could rise.

This was the country's worst train accident since 1988, when a crash at Gare de Lyon station in Paris killed 56 people.

7.30 am: 

We don't make the likes of Pran anymore, says Bachchan

"A gentleman of the finest order, an admirable colleague and a considerate human" is how Amitabh Bachchan described Pran, his co-star of many films, who passed away today after a prolonged illness at the age of 93.

"A gentleman of the finest admirable colleague ....a thorough professional .. a master of disguise in the characters he played .. a delightful companion after 'office hours' .. and a considerate human," Bachchan wrote on his blog in his tribute to Pran.

"Pran Saheb....! Another stalwart leaves us, and this massive and imposing Film Industry edifice, tottering by the removal of the giant pillars that held it up, suffers another deathly blow.... 'At this time of our lives', as a close relative once sadly said 'we do not make friends any more, we lose them'!

"What shall remain thankfully, shall be the immense volume of documented work that they leave behind, a work that has been laboured sweated and bloodied over years and years of harsh and severe commitment! We don't make the likes of them anymore...," Bachchan wrote.

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