10 March 2014

  • CBI to file first chargesheet in coal scam today; To submit status report in the Supreme Court on progress in the case.

  • Communist Party of India declares names of 39 candidates for the Lok Sabha polls; Gurudas Dasgupta not to contest.
  • Vietnam spots debris that appears to be one of the doors of the missing Malaysian plane.
  • Maldives Supreme Court sacks all four Election Commissioners for contempt of court. 

The CBI will submit to the Supreme Court today a status report about the progress made in the coal scam probe and on the filing of a charge sheet in one of the cases registered by it in 2012. Official sources in the investigating agency said that a charge sheet will be filed before a designated court and the Apex Court would be apprised about it. The Supreme Court had asked the CBI, during the last hearing on the 11th of  February to submit a status report about filing of charge sheets in six of the cases finalised by the agency. The Apex court had also directed the probe agency to file charge sheets in all the cases finalised by it by the first week of March but the agency had moved a petition on the 4th of March seeking more time to file the charge sheets in the cases.
The Communist Party of India has declared names of 39 candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. Probodh Panda and Atul Kumar Anjaan are among the 39 candidates announced by the CPI. The party said that it would fight on 60 seats in 24 states. Gurudas Dasgupta would not contest the election as he had announced earlier.Probodh Panda is the sitting MLA from Medinipur in West Bengal. The other two names announced from West Bengal are former MLA Santosh Rana from Ghatal and Nurul Huda from Bashirhat.  Another prominent name in the list is Atul Kumar Anjaan who would contest from Ghosi in Uttar Pradesh.In a statement released in the national capital, the party said that the CPI National Council has decided to continue efforts to have poll adjustments with secular democratic parties. The party also hoped that a non-Congress non-BJP formation would come to power at the Centre.
The Samajwadi Party has announced 17 more candidates for different Lok Sabha constituencies in Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Assam. The Party has also announced its 9 candidates for Andhra Pradesh Assembly elections.
Quoting party sources AIR Allahabad correspondent reports that the ruling party in Uttar Pradesh has announced its nominees from Tirupati, Machhalipattanam, Warangal, Aarakku and Narasapuram Lok Sabha seats in Andhra Pradesh.  In Madhya Pradesh, candidates have been announced for Khajuraho, Vidisha, Rewa, Shahadol and Bhind seats.The Party has announced its nominees from Karimganj, Dhubari, Silchar, Barpeta, Jorhat and Mangaldoi seats in Assam.
In Uttar Pradesh, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has sacked two of his ministers from the cabinet. One of the sacked Ministers, Anand Singh, was the agriculture minister of cabinet rank, and MLA from Gaura in Gonda district. His son Kirti Vardhan Singh, a former MP from Gonda, joined the BJP recently, and is likely to be fielded as a BJP candidate. The other ousted minister, Manoj Paras, was Minister of State for Stamp and Registration. Paras is an MLA from Nagina in Bijnor district. Our correspondent has filed this report
Even as the government preferred not to divulge the exact reasons for the action, it is learnt that both the ministers have paid the price for working against the interests of the ruling Samajwadi Party. The party was red faced recently when cabinet minister Anand Singh's son Keertivardhan Singh, not only joined its arch rival BJP but also severely denounced Mulayam Singh Yadav and CM Akhilesh Yadav. The other minister Manoj Paras, was dethroned because he was allegedly campaigning against the fielded party candidate for Lok sabha from Bijnor Shahnawaz Rana. Merajuddin, AIR News, Lucknow.
In Andhra Pradesh, Congress MP from Anantapur, Venkatarami Reddy has joined the Y S Jaganmohan Reddy-led party in Hyderabad.Venkatarami is the latest among Congress leaders from Seemandhra who have joined either the Telugu Desam Party or the YSR Congress in recent times against the division of Andhra Pradesh.Two Congress ministers in the former Kiran Kumar Reddy government joined the TDP yesterday. T G Venkatesh and E Pratap Reddy, both belonging to Kurnool district in the Rayalaseema region, joined the TDP in the presence of its chief N Chandrababu Naidu.
Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has claimed that the Tamil Nadu government has failed to attract foreign investments to the state in the last two years. Unveiling the statue of late Congress leader and former Chief Minister K Kamaraj in Kanyakumari yesterday, Mr. Chidambaram said that  due to lack of investments, there are no job opportunities in the state and it remained backward in attracting industries. He said,people of the state should identify which party would be able to attract investments and vote for them.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, addressing a rally at Nagercoil, continued her pitch for an AIADMK inclusive government at the Centre after the Lok Sabha polls. She promised that her party would put the country on a development trajectory. 
A Vietnamese aircraft is said to have spotted what it suspects to be  one of the doors of the Boeing 777, Malaysia Airlines plane that suddenly disappeared from the radar with 239 people on board. The plane lost contact with ground controllers somewhere between Malaysia and Vietnam. Searchers in a low-flying Vietnamese plane spotted an object that appeared to be one of the plane's doors. The state-run Thanh Nien newspaper reported this citing the deputy chief of staff of Vietnam's army. 
Meanwhile, authorities were checking on the identities of the two passengers who boarded the plane with stolen passports. The theft of the two passports, one belonging to Austrian Christian Kozel and the other to Luigi Maraldi of Italy, were entered into Interpol's database after they were stolen in Thailand in 2012. India is closely following the developments regarding the missing flight in which five Indian nationals were also travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and has assured their families of all assistance and support.External Affairs Minister Salman Khursheed has said that the Indian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur was in constant contact with Malaysian authorities in this regard.
We have sent condolence message and our Ambassador is in constant touch with the Malaysian authorities. We will provide any information or help if needed.
The Maldives Supreme Court sacked all the four Election Commissioners of the country including the Commission President Fuwad Thowfeek last evening and gave them a suspended jail sentence for disobedience of a court order.
The sentence stripped the Commissioners of their membership in the commission and sentenced all four Commissioners to six months in jail.  The jail sentence will be implemented after three years and would be suspended if they do not commit further offences.  Former President Mohamed Nasheed has reacted to the court's decision by calling it the saddest day in the history of Maldives' constitutional life. More from our correspondent
Fuwad Thowfeek, the Chief of Election Commission in Maldives, and his team had drawn wide appreciation from international observers, for the way they had conducted the Presidential elections last year. But the Election officials had come into repeated conflict with the Supreme Court during the process. In the elections where the polls were annulled once and postponed twice by the court, Abdulla Yameen had finally overcome the challenge by former President Mohamed Nasheed. Now with the sacking and suspension of all four Election Commissioners in the country, court has ordered the appointment of a new team within a week since crucial Parliamentary elections are to be held on the 22nd of this month. WITH ABHISHEK DAYAL FROM COLOMBO, THIS IS KONA MADHUSUDAN RAO, FOR AIR NEWS.
The US will not recognise the annexation of Crimea by Russia if residents of the region vote to leave Ukraine in a referendum next week. This was stated by the White House Deputy National Security Advisor Tony Blinken in a press interview yesterday. He said, Crimea's regional pro-Moscow government will hold a referendum on joining Russia on March 16, which could lead to a formal annexation of the territory. 
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has told Russian President Vladimir Putin that she considered the referendum illegal. Recounting the  phone call between the two leaders, Ms  Merkel's spokesman said, the chancellor asserted the German position forcefully that the so-called March 16 referendum on Crimea is illegal. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin defended the separatist drive in the disputed Crimean Peninsula as in keeping with international law. However, Ukraine's Prime Minister vowed not to relinquish "a single centimeter" of his country's territory.
Afghanistan's first Vice-president Field Marshal Mohammad Qasim Fahim has died from a brief illness in Kabul. 57-year old Fahim was suffering from diabetes for some time. He was a Tajik commander who along with Northern Alliance Commander Ahmad Shah Massud had fought against the Soviet Union and the Taliban. Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have condoled the passing away of Marshal Fahim. Expressing his condolence, the Vice President said that India shall always remember Marshal Fahim for his tireless efforts to strengthen the India-Afghanistan strategic partnership. Dr. Manmohan Singh in his condolence message also recalled Marshal Fahim’s contribution in promoting the strategic partnership between India and Afghanistan.
There will be no ceiling on carrying legitimate cash by the public in view of the security and anti-black money measures initiated by the Election Commission, EC, for Lok Sabha polls. However, surveillance squads will have the power to intercept any suspicious transportation of cash.The EC has issued a number of measures for the Chief Electoral Officers of all States and Union Territories with regard to curbing blackmoney and illegal money power during polls.
The EC decided to ease its norms and directives on cash transportation as it received a number of representations from public groups and trader bodies over the alleged harassment while they were carrying big cash sums for the conduct of business deals or social functions.
The News Services Division of All India Radio in its weekly Live Phone-in programme “PUBLIC SPEAK” tonight will bring you a discussion on "Violence in Politics and responsibility of political parties."  This can be heard on the FM Gold Channel and additional frequencies from 9.30 to 10.05 p.m.  Listeners can pose questions to the experts sitting in our Studio on telephone number: 011: 2331-4444. This programme  is also available on Doordarshan DTH.
The Fifth seeded pair of Sania Mirza and Cara Black have reached the quarterfinals of the WTA Paribas Open in Indian Wells, USA. The Indo-Zimbabwean pair defeated the American duo of Racquel Kops-Jones and Abigail Spears 6-3, 6-4. Sania and Cara had not gone beyond the quarterfinals in four tournaments they had played this season.
  • Speculation about a terror angle in the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines plane on its way to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur grabs front page attention in all the papers.
  • Murli Manohar Joshi's assertion that there was no poster war between his and Narendra Modi's supporters regarding candidature for the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat is prominently noticed on the front pages. The Hindu quotes Mr. Joshi as saying "Ready to make way for Modi if party asks".
  • In a special front page story, the Indian Express reports that the CAG has detected a 25,000 crore rupee land scam in Jammu and Kashmir. The paper writes that the CAG in its report has alleged irregularities in the sale of encroached government land for a mere 76 crore rupees when according to the government's own estimates it was meant to have raised nearly 25,000 crore rupees.
  • An interesting twist in the bribery scandal involving British firm Rolls Royce's supply of aircraft engines to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, is highlighted in the press. "Rolls Royce offers to return 18 crore rupees it gave to agents" reports the Tribune.
  • The Hindustan Times carries a front page exclusive which says that the Indian government will probe concerns that mobile service provider Vodafone may have shared details of phone calls and e-mails of its subscribers worldwide with British security agency Government Communications Headquarters.
  • The World Health Organisation appointing Dr Poonam Khetrapal as its South East Asia head is prominently noticed in the Mail Today. The paper says she is the first Indian woman to occupy this position.
  • And finally, news about a very unique invention. The Asian Age, the Pioneer and the Times of India report that a new machine has been developed that can turn water into wine in just three days by simply adding a few other ingredients. Did we hear someone say "Hic!"?
The police in Mumbai’s neighbouring Thane district would conduct sessions in schools and colleges to educate the students and their parents about the benefits and hazards of the social media. Along with the children, their parents will also be educated and warned of the ill-effects of the misuse or excessive use of social networking sites.  Thane Joint Commissioner of Police V V Laxminarayana said the program would be designed to make aware the people especially the students and their parents, about the ill effects of excessive use of social media.

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