Archive | April, 2014

Woman polling officer dies of cardiac arrest in Punjab

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Woman polling officer dies of cardiac arrest in Punjab

Posted on 30 April 2014 by GGS News

Moga, 30 Apr : As polling picked up in 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab, a 48-year-old woman, Kamlesh Kumari, an aanganwari supervisor, died of cardiac arrest during election duty at Nihal Singh Wala town in Moga, while minor clashes broke out between Akali Dal and Congress workers in Moga and Amritsar.

District election officer Arshdeep Singh Thind said Kamlesh was posted as aanganwari supervisor at Baghapurana. “She complained about chest pain and was rushed to the nearby hospital where doctors declared her dead. A new staff member has been deployed at Nihal Singh Wala polling station,” said Thind, adding that however the election process was running smoothly.The deceased’s husband, Jarnail Singh, said that his wife was suffering from heart problem.

Meanwhile, seven people were injured in a clash between SAD and Congress workers at Sangatpura village under Baghapurana in Moga district. The injured were rushed to the nearby hospital immediately. The injured have been identified as Congress leader Dilbagh Singh Bhau, SAD leader Karnail Singh and Jassa Singh. A police official said that three people have been rounded up and situation was under control at the moment.

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3 die in clash between Pakistani Taliban factions

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3 die in clash between Pakistani Taliban factions

Posted on 30 April 2014 by GGS News

Islamabad, 30 April  (IANS/EFE) : At least three alleged militants died Wednesday in northeastern Pakistan following a clash between rival factions of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the main Taliban group of the country, official sources here said.

The incident occurred in the Shaktoi area in the South Waziristan tribal region when a remote-controlled bomb exploded on a vehicle carrying the people who died and two other passengers, one of whom was injured.

Nisar Amjad Ali, an official of the co-ordinating agency of the tribal areas, told EFE that the victims belonged to one of the two main factions of the TTP.

For some years now, these factions have been engaged in a fight for the control of the organisation which has intensified in the last few weeks.

A source from the local administration of South Waziristan confirmed the incident and the number of casualties although some local channels said the figure was higher at five.

The warring factions belong to the powerful Mehsud tribe considered by local analysts to be the “heart” of the TTP.

They are respectively led by Khan Sayad alias Sajna and Sheryar Mehsud who have recently succeeded former leaders of the group and are now locked in a battle for control of the Pakistani Taliban.

Sheryar Mehsud was very close to Hakimullah Mehsud who headed the TTP from 2010 onwards and died last October in a US drone atack.

Khan Sayad was the deputy of Waliur Rehman who was also the second-in-command in TTP and who too died in a bombing by the US in May last year.

Maulana Fazlullah, elected last October as leader of the TTP, has been unable to stop the escalation of violence between the rival factions that, according to local analysts, is seriously damaging the internal cohesion of the Taliban group.

The lack of strong leadership is seen as one of the factors behind the breakdown of the dialogue initiated in February between the government and the TTP which till now has yielded barely any result.

According to a recent report of a local research centre, there were more than 1,700 attacks in the country last year — 61 percent of them were carried out by the TTP or its alliances — causing the death of close to 2,500 people, 19 percent more than in 2012.

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National Commission for Women issues notice to Ramdev

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National Commission for Women issues notice to Ramdev

Posted on 30 April 2014 by GGS News

NEW DELHI, 30 Apr : The National Commission for Women has issued a notice to yoga guru Baba Ramdev for his ‘honeymoon remarks’ against Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi that has triggered a major controversy.

Taking a suo-moto congnizance of the media reports, the Commission sent a notice to Ramdev on Monday seeking a explanation for his remarks within three days.

“His remarks hurt the dignity and sentiments of dalit women. What he said is highly condemnable,” said NCW chairperson Mamta Sharma, adding if the Yoga guru fails to reply, he will be summoned by the Commission.

Sharma said that making such remarks and then apologizing has become a tradition now. “Seeking apology cannot be a remedy,” she said.

Addressing a gathering in Lucknow recently, Ramdev had said, “He (Rahul) goes to houses of Dalits for honeymoon and picnic …”

His remarks sparked off a controversy and drew flak from various quarters, especially from the Congress party and some Dalit activists.

Later Ramdev apologised for his “honeymoon” remark and said he was misinterpreted.

Acting on a complaint, the police has charged Ramdev under Section 171G of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for making “false statement with intent to affect the result of an election”.

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New pact reflects cozier US-Philippine alliance

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New pact reflects cozier US-Philippine alliance

Posted on 30 April 2014 by GGS News

Manila, 30 Apr : After World War II, the U.S. maintained bases in the Philippines for nearly a half-century, but those were shuttered in 1992 amid rising nationalism, and military ties between the nations became virtually frozen.
Territorial disputes with China in the mid-1990s prompted Manila to reach out to Washington.
The Philippines discovered that Beijing has taken control of the Mischief Reef off its western coast and built hut-like structures over the submerged coral outcrops. In 1998, the U.S. and Philippines signed a treaty that allowed large military exercises to resume in the country.
The Sept. 11, 2001, attacks brought the U.S. and Philippine militaries closer, with Filipino officials allowing hundreds of American counterterrorism troops to train Filipino soldiers fighting al-Qaida-linked militants in the south.
Relations soured again in 2004 when the Philippines ordered an early withdrawal of its small peacekeeping contingent in Iraq to comply with the demand of Iraqi insurgents who threatened to behead a kidnapped Filipino worker. The decision angered U.S. officials.
At the army gymnasium, Obama paid tribute to some of the surviving American and Filipino World War II veterans.
In April 1942, after the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, tens of thousands of sick and exhausted U.S. and Filipino prisoners were forced to trek for five days for 105 kilometers (65 miles) to a prison camp in the infamous “Bataan Death March.” Survivors have recounted how many prisoners were stabbed or decapitated by their Japanese captors if they stopped to drink or collapsed from exhaustion.
“I am never prouder than being able to stand before you as your commander-in-chief,” he told the veterans before posing for photos with them.
Sitting in a wheelchair and wearing his medals, a 91-year-old veteran, Ret. Col. Romeo Castro, shook Obama’s hand. He told a reporter that said he wanted the U.S.-Philippine alliance to last “forever” to counter external threats like the Japanese before and China now.
“We need them to protect us from our enemies,” Castro said.

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Rahul a liberal, looks upon all as equals: Priyanka Gandhi

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Rahul a liberal, looks upon all as equals: Priyanka Gandhi

Posted on 30 April 2014 by GGS News

GGS NEWS : 30 Apr : Hitting out at critics of Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi on Wednesday said her brother’s style of politics was “liberal” and not “opaque” and that he worked for the development of every section and looked upon all as equals.

During her marathon roadshow covering 13 several issues which need to be addressed including the electricity crisis in the constituency and also blamed the state government for its slackness in development work.

“I know there is a power problem here. Rahul initiated steps to bring electricity. But the supply of the electricity is state government’s responsibility,” she said.

She said that some year’s back Congress President Sonia Gandhi had spoken to SP Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav about providing 24 hour power supply to both Amethi and Rae Bareli.But some political parties went to high court asking why these areas were being given special treatment, Priyanka said and added that till these issues are resolved providing uninterrupted power supply would be a problem.

Priyanka said that candidates of opposition parties were spreading various types of propaganda.

She said that they alleged that no development work has been done in Amethi, but the people know what Rahul has done for the area.

“You all understand what Rahulji has done for the development of Amethi. Candidates of other parties neither have any relation with you, nor they have done anything for you. Understand their designs. They have come here only because this is the area of Rahulji,” she said.

Priyanka also met some workers of Aam Aadmi Party standing on the roadside in Harakhpur village.

During the roadshow, people in rural areas complained about damaged roads and acute power crisis. Priyanka assured them that it will be looked into.

Priyanka started her roadshow and mass contact programme from Munshiganj, with 50 planned corner meetings.

She was accompanied by the UPCC spokesperson and MLA Akhilesh Pratap Singh and Rahul’s representative Chandra Kant Dubey.

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Top UN climate official to visit Bhutan

Posted on 30 April 2014 by GGS News

GGS NEWS : 30 Apr : A top UN climate official will visit Bhutan from tomorrow to discuss the challenges faced by the Himalayan nation due to climate change.

UNFCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres will call on Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay and discuss the progress in responding to the challenges during her visit from May 1 to 3.

The Second National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change states that Bhutan already faces significant challenges for development but climate change threaten the achievements made thus far.

Bhutan, with its population of around 740,000, arouse global interest because of its search for gross national happiness (GNH) and not the servile desire for economic growth at any cost.

In the short run Bhutan will experience rapid melting of glaciers and risk more frequent Glacial Lake Outburst Flood (GLOF) events that would result in significant loss of lives and property, experts say.

Bhutan would also experience unusual weather patterns thereby affecting agriculture and food production, they add.

Bhutan is implementing a project under the National Adaptation Program of Action (NAPA) to reduce the risk of GLOF from one of 25 dangerous glacial lakes.

Experts say mitigation measures must be taken up simultaneously but they are more difficult to implement since they require political commitment from within and outside to have meaningful reduction of carbon emission.

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Digvijay Singh accepts relationship with TV anchor Amrita Rai

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Digvijay Singh accepts relationship with TV anchor Amrita Rai

Posted on 30 April 2014 by GGS News

New Delhi, 30 Apr : On Twitter today, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh declared that he is involved with Amrita Rai, an anchor for Rajya Sabha Television, but stressed “I do condemn encroachment in our private life.””I have no hesitation in accepting my relationship with Amrita Rai. She and her husband have already filed a mutual consent divorce case,” Mr Singh, 67, tweeted.

Mr Singh’s wife, a cancer patient, died last year.At 4 pm today, three of the top 10 trending topics on Twitter in India were on Mr Singh or Ms Rai.

In this election campaign, Mr Singh was among senior Congress leaders who attacked Narendra Modi, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, after he for the first time publicly acknowledged that he is married. (In poll affidavit, Modi says Jashodaben is his wife)

Earlier this month, in election papers that he filed to run from Vadodara, Mr Modi for the first time publicly acknowledged that he is married by entering his wife’s name in a column asking about his marital status. He had left the column blank on previous occasions, including in the last Gujarat state election in 2012.

The Congress, which is expected to be dealt a crushing defeat by the BJP after 10 years in power, seized the issue, alleging that Mr Modi’s refusal to acknowledge his wife for decades reflects a poor attitude towards women.

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LIVE: ‘Lotus’ gets Narendra Modi into trouble, Gujarat police to file FIR against him

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LIVE: ‘Lotus’ gets Narendra Modi into trouble, Gujarat police to file FIR against him

Posted on 30 April 2014 by GGS News

NEW DELHI, 30 Apr : Narendra Modi on Wednesday triggered a controversy after he openly sought votes for the BJP at a press conference while holding aloft his party’s lotus symbol immediately after casting his ballot.With the Congress moving the Election Commission, the poll body sought a report from the returning officer and directed the Gujarat administration to file a complaint/FIR against Modi for “violating” the model code of conduct.

Asking the state to furnish a compliance report by 6pm, the commission said Modi had violated provisions of Sections 126(1)(a) and 126 (l) (b) of The Representation of the People Act (RPA), 1951.

Though it is a normal practice for top leaders to make brief statements to the media after casting their votes, what irked Modi’s rivals was a full-fledged press conference that the Gujarat chief minister held.

Read: Modi clicks selfie with BJP symbol, criticises Congress after voting; EC orders probe

Modi not only fervently asked the electorate to vote for the BJP but also launched a tirade against the Congress.

The BJP’s prime ministerial hopeful also clicked a selfie prominently displaying the party symbol and posted it on Twitter.

AICC legal department secretary K C Mittal promptly filed a complaint with the EC, saying Modi’s speech and display of symbol was in violation of the RPA and demanded an FIR be registered against him.

“It is noticed from the live news telecast on various news channels that Modi went to the polling station at Gandhinagar to cast his vote.

“And on his way out, he was campaigning for BJP and delivering speech in a fashion to canvass for BJP, himself and also displayed the election symbol to the public while showing his finger for having cast his vote,” the Congress said in the complaint, adding, “He may also be disqualified for such blatant violation.”

Roopwant Singh, Ahmedabad collector and the returning officer for the poll, said, “We have sent a preliminary report. Shall submit video clip…”

As per the Election Commission norms, a candidate is liable to be booked for model code violation if he canvasses within a radius of 100 metres of a polling booth.

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Sidhu would have been a tougher contestant: Capt

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Sidhu would have been a tougher contestant: Capt

Posted on 30 April 2014 by GGS News

Amritsar, 30 Apr : (PTI) Congress’ Amarinder Singh today said that Navjot Singh Sidhu would have been a tougher contestant from Amritsar than BJP leader Arun Jaitley whom he dismissed as a “nominal candidate”.

“Let me also tell now that all is over….Had he (Sidhu) been there, I would have had a difficult fight. At the moment there is no fight. Arun Jaitley is no candidate. He may be the nominal candidate but my fight is with Akalis on the ground,” he told reporters.

He was responding to a question whether Mr Sidhu not being in the fray may have benefited him in the elections.

“Have you ever heard me talk much about Jaitley….Its always about (Bikram Singh) Majithia and Badals and all that….So that fight remains there with Jaitley as a figure head,” said the Congress candidate from Amritsar where polling was taking place today.

Mr Singh, a former Punjab Chief Minister, “To some extent it will benefit because BJP is divided. Half of BJP likes Navjot Singh Sidhu and thinks very well of him and naturally I think they are upset that he is not there.”

Meanwhile, Mr Jaitley, the BJP nominee from Amritsar, offered prayers at the Golden Temple and later told reporters, “I have often come here and today is a special day. That is why taking blessings here is in accordance with our traditions. My messege to the people is that they should come out and vote.”

SAD leader Sukhbir Singh Badal maintained that Punjab is not facing any anti-incumbency and said that he expected “amazing results”.

“From Punjab, we are voting for the national elections and not for the state elections. Anti-incumbency was a factor when you all thought in the last elections (2012). You will see amazing results this time. There are just 16 days to go,” he said.

Replying to a question on the drug menace, he said that the highest recovery of drugs and the maximum number of drug pushers who were arrested in the whole country were in Punjab.

“These are records according to the Home Ministry of the Government of India. We are the only state which has declared a war on drugs….We are the only state which has recovered the maximum (amount of drugs),” he said

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Live: Live: Punjab records 54% voter turnout till 3pm

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Live: Live: Punjab records 54% voter turnout till 3pm

Posted on 30 April 2014 by GGS News

Chandigarh, 30 Apr : (PTI) A turnout of 54% was registered till 3pm on Wednesday in parts of Punjab, where 253 contestants are in fray for 13 Lok Sabha seats.

Out of a total 1.95 crore electorate, 54% voters had exercised their franchise till 3pm and the polling has been peaceful so far, an election office spokesman said.

However, minor skirmishes between Akali Dal and Congress workers were reported from Moga, Khadoor Sahib and Amritsar.

At least ten persons were injured in a clash between Akali and Congress workers at Sangatpura village in Moga, officials said, adding, that police intervened and peace was restored in the area.

Union Minister of State Preneet Kaur cast her vote in Patiala, while her husband and Congress candidate from Amritsar Capt Amarinder Singh preferred to stay back at the constituency from where he is in fray against BJP’s Arun Jaitley.

Singh is a registered voter in Patiala from where he is a MLA.

Soaring temperatures in Punjab have not deterred the electors from reaching the polling booths to exercise their franchise as serpentine ques were seen at several places.

The polling will end at 6pm.

BJP MLA Navjot Kaur, wife of cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, a three-time MP from Amritsar, cast her vote in the holy city.

On Sidhu’s absence from exercising his franchise, she said, “He is very busy today otherwise he does not miss exercising his franchise.” BJP had replaced Sidhu by leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley from Amritsar. In the run up to the Lok Sabha polls, Sidhu did not even once visit Amritsar to canvass for Jaitley.

Jaitley, who did not have vote in Punjab paid obeisance at Golden temple, and urged people to come out in larger numbers to vote. SAD’s Sangrur candidate Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate from Patiala Dr Dharamvir Gandhi were among those who cast their vote in the initial hours of polling. “There is an AAP wave in Punjab and we will surprise all by winning maximum seats,” Dharamvir said.Congress candidate Manpreet Singh Badal, estranged nephew of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, after casting his vote alleged there is “misgovernance” in Punjab with mafias controlling all businesses.

“The polls are about pride of Punjab…we (Congress) will bring rule of law in the state,” he said. Manpreet’s rival and SAD candidate Harsimrat Kaur Badal also cast her vote in Bathinda.

Harsimrat, who is wife of deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, claimed there is anti-incumbency wave against the central government and NDA will come to power at the Centre.

She refuted corruption charges against the Badal regime and claimed that drug menace prevailed due to inflow of contraband from across the border and it is the role of the central government to stop it by enhancing vigil at borders.

“Congress is deaf and dumb to problems of Punjab,” she said.

Punjab Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa and his MLA wife Charanjeet Kaur exercised their franchise in Qadian in Gurdaspur. Bajwa claimed that SAD-BJP will be wiped out of Punjab as Congress is set to win all 13 seats.

Among other key contestants are actor-turned-politician Vinod Khanna (BJP) and his rival Punjab Congress Chief Partap Singh Bajwa from Gurdaspur, Leader of Opposition in Punjab assembly Sunil Kumar Jakhar (Congress) against SAD’s sitting MP Sher Singh Ghubaya from Ferozepur, Congress veteran Ambika Soni against Akali stalwart Prem Singh Chandumajra from Anandpur Sahib constituency.

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