19 January, 2014
- BJP promises accountable and transparent governance with all round development of all sections of the society; Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi alleges Congress nominates and not elects a Prime Minister.
- In Assam, a high level security meet is under way, as the state gears up to counter insurgency ahead of the Republic Day.
- Polio drops being administered to over 17 crore children under five years of age today.
- In Pakistan, 20 security personnel killed in a suicide bomb attack in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
- US says aid to Pakistan will continue only if it cooperates in counter terrorism efforts.
- India walking a tight rope in the Napier onedayer against New Zealand; Kohli again stands tall with a ton.
- World Number One Serena Williams crashes out of Australian Open Tennis; Leander Paes and his Czech partner storm into the quarterfinals.
BJP has promised to address the country's problems through accountable and transparent governance. In a unanimous resolution passed at the ongoing National Council meeting in New Delhi today, the party said it will give a strong leadership promising all round development of all sections of the society. Earlier moving the resolution on current political situation in the country, BJP leader Sushma Swaraj expressed confidence that the party will win more than 272 seats in the upcoming polls. Ms Swaraj said that Congress is running away from announcing its Prime Ministerial candidate as it is afraid of defeat in Lok Sabha polls. She accused Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi of spreading rumours that the BJP did not allow Parliament to run smoothly. Ms Swaraj expressed satisfaction over the passage of Lokpal Bill in Parliament for which she said her party took an initiative and made concerted efforts.
"You didn't want to bring the Lokpal Bill, you kept the report of the select committee of Rajya Sabha in the cold storage for a year. It was BJP, which from the first day, was demanding in both houses to bring the Lokpal Bill to pass it, and due to our pressure you had to bring Lokpal Bill and when after its passage in Rajya Sabha, it came in Lok Sabha, we passed it within one day."
Speaking at the National Council Meeting BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi said that Congress President Sonia Gandhi did not name her son Rahul Gandhi as the Prime Ministerial candidate as she wanted him to be saved from imminent defeat in Lok Sabha polls.
"When defeat is certain and destruction is clearly visible then no mother in this world will sacrifice her son in politics. Sonia Gandhi did not name Rahul Gandhi as Prime Ministerial candidate as she wanted to save him."
Mr. Modi said Dr Manmohan Singh was not chosen the Prime Minister by Congress's Parliamentary Committee but was nominated to the post by party President Sonia Gandhi. He sought to know whether Rajiv Gandhi was chosen for the Prime Ministership by the same committee. The BJP leader was referring to Congress deciding not to name its Prime Ministerial nominee reasoning that it is against the party's traditions.
In Assam, a high level security meet is being held in Guwahati to chalk out plan to counter insurgent groups in the run up to the Republic day. The meeting which includes Army and CRPF, has been convened after the National Democratic Front of Bodoland -Sangbijit faction killed 9 persons in three separate incidents during last 48 hours. More from our Correspondent:
"Militants have gunned down one person and injured four at Dhekiajuli in Sonitpur district today. Earlier, NDFB also killed a shopkeeper at Manglajohra in Dhubri district. IGP, L R Bishnoi said that two additional companies of security forces have been deployed in Chirang and Kokrajhar district to keep an eye on railway tracks. Security has already been beefed up at sensitive areas. The army and other security forces have launched combing operation against militants. Police have arrested 10 persons yesterday in connection with the firing incident in Kokrajhar district. Manas Pratim Sarma, AIR News, Guwahati."
National polio immunisation campaign is being carried out across the country today to administer polio drops to children under five years of age. More than 17 crore children will be vaccinated under the Pulse Polio Immunization programme this year. Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said 23 lakh workers and volunteers will go to every nook and corner of the country to vaccinate children. Over 100 polio posts will be set up along international borders as well and every single case will be treated as public health emergency. In Delhi, over 24 lakh children are being vaccinated at 8400 booths set up at different places, including bus stops, metro and railway stations. In Madhya Pradesh Mobile teams have been formed to administer polio drops to the children of labourers and migrants. In Tamil Nadu also special arrangements have been made to give polio drops to children of migrant labourers in the state.
Foiling the evil attempts of Pak based smugglers to smuggle Heroin in Punjab from across the border, the Border Security Force has seized 17 kilogram contraband with two pistols and cartridges after a brief shoot out in Amritsar sector, early this morning. This is the second such attempt within two days when anti-national elements tried to sneak in the Heroin from across the fence. Four kilogram of contraband was recovered in Ferozepur sector yesterday.
In Uttar Pradesh, rain along with hailstorm has disrupted normal life across the state. At least fifteen people have died in rain and cold related incidents in different districts during the last 36 hours. The weather has improved in some districts though there is mist and fog in most of the eastern districts. A report-
"Light rain along with chilly wind is still continuing in some parts of eastern Uttar Pradesh. Waterlogging in low-lying areas has also posed problems to commuters. The schools and colleges upto intermediate in most of the districts are closed till today. The met office has predicted hailstorm and light rain during 24 hours. Salman Haider, AIR News, Gorakhpur."
Overnight rain in most parts of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh has brought back the winter chill in the region. Adampur in Punjab was the coldest place with a low of 3 degrees Celsius. While Hisar in Haryana braved a low of 3.6 degrees. It was a bright sunny morning in Kashmir Valley for the second consecutive day today though there was no respite from cold in the night as mercury dipped below freezing point.
In Uttarakhand, sunny weather today gave people some respite from severe cold conditions following heavy snowfall in the hills and widespread rain in the plains in the last two days. More from our Correspondent:
Garhwal hills including Char Dhams, Mussoorie, Dhanolti, Chakrata, Tehri and Pauri experienced heavy snowfall. Nainital, Ranikhet, Almora, Munsyari, Champawat and Kapkot in Kumaon also had heavy snowfall of the season. Tourists in large number visited the tourists destinations of Mussoorie and Nainital. However, they had to face difficulties in reaching the stations following landslides on the highways and heavy snowfall in the areas. Efforts were on to reopen the national highways of Nainital-Haldwani and Nainital-Kaladhungi. All schools in Dehradun district have been closed till Tuesday following severe cold. Sanjeev Sundriyal, AIR News, Dehradun."
In Pakistan, at least 20 security personnel were killed and 25 injured in an explosion in Bannu district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province today. The blast near Razmak gate in Cantt area targeted a convoy of vehicles carrying Frontier Corps and Pakistan Army personnel travelling from Bannu district to Miramshah. Rescuers said the the blast was suspected to have been carried out by a suicide bomber. Emergency and security forces rushed to the attack site. Security forces cordoned off the area as a probe into the incident went underway. The Pakistani Taliban said it carried out the attack.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has called upon the NATO-led coalition members, especially the United States to work unitedly with the people of Afghanistan in fighting terrorism. Strongly condemning the brutal terrorist attack in Kabul on Friday, Karzai said that the war against terror in the country could succeed only when a distinction is made between the victims and the perpetrators of terrorism. President Karzai said Pakistan and the United States can help Afghanistan in peace and reconciliation process in the country. Afghan President conveyed his heart felt condolences to the bereaved families and prayed for the quick recovery of those wounded in the terror attack. Twenty one people including thirteen foreigners and eight Afghan citizens were killed and four others wounded in the deadly attack at a restaurant in Kabul on Friday.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has vowed that the United Nations would maintain its work in Afghanistan despite Friday's Taliban suicide attack.
U.S. President Barack Obama has signed a spending bill of over one trillion dollars that also includes conditions put on continuation of aid to Pakistan. Amendments attached to the bill require a certification from the secretaries of State and Defence that Pakistan is cooperating with the US in counter-terrorism efforts against domestic and foreign terrorist organizations. Congress has also withheld three million dollars from the assistance until Pakistan releases Dr. Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani Doctor who was detained after the killing of Osama Bin Laden, from prison and clears him of all charges.
In Bangladesh, 25 people, including 22 security personnel were injured during clashes between activists of Jamaat and its Students' Wing Islami Chaatra Shibir and Joint Police forces today in Gaibandha. The Jamaat-Shibir activists torched a police van and then vandalised 12 houses in the area. The joint security forces consisting of RAB, BGB and police came under attack from the Jamaat-Shibir activists when they went to Kadamtala village in Sarbananda upazilla to arrest persons accused in diferrent cases filed in connection with the recent spate of violence and arson.
Chasing 293 for victory, India were 237 for 7 in 44.1 overs against New Zealand in the first cricket one dayer of the 5-match series at Napier, when reports last came in. Virat Kohli, who scored his 18th ODI ton, was out on 123.
India still need 56 runs to win, with 35 balls remaining. India, earlier, got off to a shaky start, losing 4 wickets for 129. Skipper MS Dhoni was out for 40, after ably supporting Kohli.
The hosts had posted 292 for 7 in the stipulated 50 overs, after they were put in to bat at the McLean Park. Kane Williamson top scored for the Kiwis with a brilliant 71.
World Number One Serena Williams today made a shocking exit from the Australian Open Tennis tournament, the first Grand Slam of the season, at Melbourne. In the Women's Singles pre-quarterfinals, Serbia's Ana Ivanovic defeated injury-hit Serena, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, denying the American an 18th major title. Na Li of China and Italian Flavia Pennetta also, booked the last-eight berths.
In the Men's Singles, Serbia's Novak Djokovic and Spaniard David Ferrer have made it to the quarterfinals.
In the Men's Doubles, India's Leander Paes and his Czech partner Radek Stapanek today stormed into the quarterfinals. The fifth seeded Indo-Czech duo defeated the Indo-Kiwi pair of Yuki Bhambri and Michael Venus, 6-3, 6-2. Rohan Bopanna and his Pakistani team-mate Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi today crashed out of the tournament, after losing in the pre-quarterfinals.
11th Mumbai marathon was dominated by Keniyan athletes. Evans Rutto won full marathon’s title, while Ethiopian Dinknesh Mekash won the women's event. Our Mumbai Correspondent reports that the whole event was the culmination of unity in variety with highlight of various social and environmental concerns.
Planning Minister Rajeev Shukla has said, no state has approached the Centre with any proposal to avail funds under the 25,000 crore rupee Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), a scheme for upgrading higher education infrastructure. In an interview to PTI, he said, states can improve their existing higher education infrastructure and convert those into excellent studies centres. The scheme was approved by the Union Cabinet in October last year.