• An opinion piece titled “The truth about Swachh Bharat” was published yesterday in The Telegraph. The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation would like to place on record its response to the claims made in the piece about the progress made under the Swachh Bharat Mission (Grameen) and the veracity of the findings of the National Annual Rural Sanitation Survey 2018-19.

  • The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has asserted that the nation could not accelerate its progress unless women were involved as equal stakeholders in every sphere of activity. He urged the governments at State and the Centre, NGOs and civic society at large to collectively work towards educating women on financial management.

  • IN Ships Kolkata and Shakti are scheduled to arrive Qingdao, China on 21 Apr 19 to participate in the International Fleet Review as part of 70TH Anniversary celebrations of PLA (Navy). International Fleet Review (IFR) is a parade of naval ships, aircraft and submarines, and is organised by nations to promote goodwill, strengthen cooperation and showcase their organisational capabilities.

  •             In exercise of the powers conferred by section 14 of the Customs Act, 1962 (52 of 1962), and in supersession of the notification of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs No.30/2019-CUSTOMS (N.T.

  • MHA has issued orders to suspend the LoC trade in Jammu & Kashmir w.e.f 19-04-2019. This action has been taken as the Government of India has been receiving reports that the Cross LoC trade routes are being misused by the Pakistan based elements for funnelling illegal weapons, narcotics and fake currency etc.

    It may be recalled that the LoC trade is meant to facilitate exchange of goods of common use between local populations across the LoC in Jammu & Kashmir.

  • Shri N. Kashinath took over as Member (Signal &Telecom) Railway Board on 16.04.2019. Shri N. Kashinath belongs to the 1980 Batch of the Indian Railway Service of Signal Engineers (IRSSE) with his lien on Southern Railway.

  •  Shri V.P. Pathak, Indian Railway Stores Service Officer of 1980 batch, took over as Member  (Materials Management) Railway Board on 16th April, 2019. Prior to joining this post, he had been  working as Director General (RS), Railway Board since 12th June, 2018 and General Manager of  Chittaranjan Locomotive Works since December, 2016.

  • The State of Karnataka will go to the polls tomorrow on 18th April 2019 in Phase 02 of the General Elections. Out of total 28, only14 Parliamentary constituencies in the state are scheduled to go to polls in a second phase.

  • The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has said that the life of Bhagwan Mahaveer and the philosophy of Jainism hold many crucial lessons for contemporary world.

    Addressing the gathering during the Bhagwan Mahaveer Janam Kalyanak Mahotsav organized by the Jain Seva Sangh on Mahaveer Jayanti, in Hyderabad today, the Vice President said that some of the answers to the serious questions of our times could be found in the philosophy, principles and teachings of Lord Mahaveer.

  • In the backdrop of the growing maritime engagement between India and Vietnam, the Indian Navy undertook the second edition of the bilateral maritime exercise between Indian Navy and Vietnam Peoples’ Navy at/ off  Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam from 13 to 16 Apr 19. The maiden edition was conducted from 21 to 26 May 18 at Da Nang, Vietnam.

  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has expressed grief at the loss of lives due to unseasonal rains and storms in MP, Rajasthan, Manipur & various parts of the country.

    “The government is doing its best to provide all possible assistance to those affected.

  • The maiden national level Coastal Defence Exercise SEA VIGIL was conducted by Indian Navy from 22-23 Jan 19. The exercise witnessed the simultaneous activation of the coastal security apparatus across the country involving maritime stakeholders at the Centre and all the 13 Coastal States and Union Territories.

  • The 11 member ‘Himalayan Heights Motorcycle Expedition’ which was flagged off from Karu (Leh) on 07 April 2019 traversed the challenging terrain of Eastern Ladakh, across the Chang La pass and has reached the mighty ‘Karakoram Pass’ situated at an altitude of 18,176 feet on the Karakoram Ranges on 16 April 2019.

  • The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi has expressed his grief on the loss of lives due to unseasonal rains and storms in various parts of Gujarat.

    “Anguished by the loss of lives due to unseasonal rains and storms in various parts of Gujarat.

  • The Election Commission of India made a recommendation to the Hon’ble President of India, under Article 324 of the Constitution read with Section 21 of the General Clauses Act, 1897, to rescind the Election to 8-Vellore Parliamentary Constituency, Tamil Nadu vide its proceedings no.464/ECI/LET/TERR/TN/SS-I/2019 dated 14.4.

  • 2nd Marshal Arjan Singh Memorial International Hockey Tournament is being organised by Air Force Sports Control Board at Astro Turf Hockey Ground, 3 Base Repair Depot, Air Force Chandigarh from 16 April to 25 April 2019.

  •             The Election Commission of India has decided to hold bye-election to fill one clear vacancy from 42 – Chincholi (SC) Assembly Constituency in State Legislative Assembly of Karnataka.   

                After taking into consideration various factors like, festivals, electoral rolls, etc., the Commission has decided to hold the bye-election to fill this vacancy as per the programme mentioned as under: -

    Sl No.

    Poll Events



    Date of Issue of Gazette Notification


  •             On the basis of the results of the written part of the CISF AC (Exe) Limited Departmental Competitive Exam, 2019 held by UPSC on 03.03.2019, the candidates with the under mentioned roll numbers have qualified provisionally for Physical Standards/Physical Efficiency Tests and  Medical Standards Tests.

  • As many as 1,40,76,635 electors are on the Final Electoral Roll of eight constituencies in Uttar Pradesh which will go to polls in second phase of the General Election- 2019. The constituencies in this phase are - Nagina, Amroha, Bulandshahr, Aligarh, Hathras, Mathura, Agra and Fatehpur Sikri.

  • As many as 85 candidates are contesting for eight Lok Sabha seats in UP in phase –II of the General Elections- 2019. The constituencies going to poll in this phase are- Nagina, Amroha, Bulandshahr, Aligarh, Hathras, Mathura, Agra and Fatehpur Sikri.

  • Talking to a private news channel, Prime MInister said that he challenged with himself that he will work faster to achieve the dreams of common people during next five years .

    Reiterating his commitment of eradicating corruption, Prime Minister said that earlier people had accepted that survival without black money was not possible, and that corruption was a way of life.

    However, with govt's efforts, people have now started realising that one can move ahead with hard work and honesty.

  • Mueller's report is an investigation into Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

    Speaking to reporters during a conference call, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow regretted the Mueller report was having an impact on its relations with Washington.


    Meanwhile, Democrats have vowed to continue pursuing Donald Trump over allegations he obstructed justice, following the release of a report into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

    Democrat congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer in a joint statement said the report painted a "disturbing picture of a president who has been weaving a web of deceit, lies and improper behaviour".

    The party has made the first legal move to try to obtain the full, unredacted document by issuing a subpoena to US Justice Department to hand over the full report.


    From a triumphant to a slightly defensive note, President Trump in a tweet termed what he called the Crazy Mueller Report as fabricated & totally untrue. He urged Americans to watch out for people that take so-called "notes," when the notes never existed until needed. Trump said since he never agreed to testify, it was not necessary for him to respond to statements made in the "Report" adding that this was an Illegally Started Hoax that never should have happened.

  • In a major setback for the Congress party in election season, national spokesperson and media face of the party jumped ship to join the Shiv Sena.

    She is miffed at the reinstatement of some party workers who had misbehaved with her in Mathura.

    On Thursday she expressed her anguish on twitter and on Friday paid a visit to Matoshree, to join the Shiv Sena in the presence of party cheif Uddhav Thakeray. While Priyanka denied rumours that her shift was because she was denied a ticket, Thackeray asserted that aside from Mumbai, she would work dedicatedly for across the country.

    Till Wednesday, Priyanka Chaturvedi was not just the National spokesperson for Congress but also the party's media convenor. The grand old party meanwhile, is tight-lipped over her joining the Sena.

    Meanwhile, the Gandhi campaign juggernaut rolled on with Congress President Rahul Gandhi addressing three rallies one in Tapi, Gujarat and the second in Raichur, Karnataka and the third in Chikodi, Karnataka. He highlighted the Nyaya Scheme saying it was getting tremendous response from the public. Rahul said that during his extensive travels across the country, he has sensed under currents of massive support for the Congress party. 

    Sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra headed to family bastion Amethi on Friday. She interacted with party workers and later addressed some rallies. Her last stop of the day was Kanpur where she canvassed for Sri Prakash Jaiswal holding a road show.

    Congress leader Hardik Patel was slapped by a man on Friday when he was addressing a poll rally in a village in Surendranagar district of Gujarat. The man, identified as Tarun Gajjar, suffered injuries after he was thrashed by Congress workers. An angry Patel blamed the BJP for the incident . 

    Even after PC Chacko's categorical statement on Thursday, the Aam aadmi party continues to clutch at the straws when it comes to allying with Congress in Delhi. It has put a halt to announcing candidates for the next two days in the hope that something may still fructify.

    With 23rd April, the last date for filing nominations for Delhi fast approaching, both AAP and Cong are running against time.

  • World over, processions recreating the crucifixion of Christ were taken out on Good Friday. Beginning from home, devout catholic christians held sombre processions across the country recreating the last steps of Christ before his crucifixion. In Vijaywada the procession ended at St Peter's Cathedral where Good Friday prayers were offered.

    In Kochi too similar processions were taken out. Prime Minister tweeted:  Today we remember the sacrifice of Lord Jesus Christ. His life, rich ideals and exemplary courage are a source of strength for many. His teachings emphasise a world free from inequality and injustice.

    In old Jerusalem, Catholic Christians held a procession, carrying wooden crosses and singing hymns, retracing what they believe is the route that Jesus Christ took to his crucifixion.

    The procession went to the Holy Sepulcher church where Christians believe Jesus was buried, before rising from the dead three days later. Along the route there are the 14 "Stations of the Cross".

    The first station is where Jesus was believed to have been condemned to death. The last is the tomb where Christians believe he is buried.

    In Philippines, a Catholic actor playing the role of Jesus Christ during Holy Week rites in the Philippines was crucified for the 33rd and the penultimate time on Good Friday. Actors drove four-inch nails into both his hands and feet and lifted him on a wooden cross for around five minutes in the Old City of Jerusalem.

    Hundreds of people marked the beginning of Easter in southern Germany with a procession recreating Jesus' walk to his death. Good Friday is an important part of Holy Week, an eight-day celebration starting on Palm Sunday and running through to Easter Sunday when Christians believe Jesus Christ was resurrected.

  • Ram sevak Hanuman. Devotees across the nation thronged temples to offer their prayers on Hanuman Jayanti with great zeal and enthusiasm. In Varanasi, people participated in a Shobha Yatra to mark the occasion.

    Devotees were also in festive spirits in Hapur district of Uttar Pradesh, and celebrated the festival by offering prayers and reciting the Hanuman Chalisa. The festival is celebrated every year on the occasion of 'Chaitra Poornima', observed on the  first full moon day in the month of Chaitra as per the Hindu calendar that usually falls in the months of late March or early April.

    Devotees were seen standing in long queues since morning to offer their prayers at the Pracheen Hanuman Temple in Delhi. People sang hymns and offered flowers and sweets to Lord Hanuman.

    At the Atal Ashram in Surat, Gujarat, devotees worshipped Lord Hanuman in a special manner. They marked the occasion by offering around 4000 kg of ladoos to God.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi also extended his greetings to the countrymen. He said in a tweet:

    My greetings to everyone on the occasion of Hanuman Jayanti. Lord Hanuman's life, dedication, devotion, and determination inspires us to fight against evil.

    Meanwhile in Lucknow Uttar Pradesh,  Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath also prayed for welfare of society at the Hanuman temple located in the Aliganj area of the city.

    Hanuman temples across the nation are decorated on the occasion of Hanuman Jayanti. Lord Hanuman has a significant place in Hindu culture. He is considered as a symbol of strength, intellect, devotion, and dedication.

    He devoted his entire life towards Lord Ram, and essayed a very important role in the Hindu scripture Ramayana. Apart from Ramayana, Hanuman was also mentioned in Mahabharata.

  • Chatterjee blamed the Trinamool Congress (TMC) supporters for the incident. she said that TMC is disturbed with the support for BJP. She added that nothing can stop her  and she will be campaigning more in coming days.

  • Rajinikanth was speaking to the media outside his residence in Chennai on Friday.

    The actor was responding to a query as to whether he would contest the assembly elections in case the AIADMK failed to get a majority and its government lost its majority  after May 23 when the results of the assembly bypolls are announced.

  • "Till now, solar power generated by roof-top solar plants installed in DMRC premises were utilised for auxiliary requirements such as lighting and air conditioning of stations, depots. 

    Marking the beginning of this "new arrangement", DMRC's Managing Director Mangu Singh Thursday travelled in a metro train powered by solar energy along with other officials from the JLN Stadium station to Central Secretariat station on the Violet Line.

  • The banners, which had a picture of Rahul Gandhi, said, "Ab hoga nyay". Rahul Gandhi has been asked to reply to the Election Commission's notice in 24 hours.

    The election body, in its notice, said that the banners were put up without the permission of the local election officers and the owner of the building.

  • In the midst of the heat of campaigning Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday addressed a traders convention in Talkatora Stadium. He said that in the past 5 years he had done all he could in full sincerity for the welfare of traders.

    He said that increasing transparency and honesty in the economy of the country would boost progress and that his aim was that traders should be able to work free of tension.

    Taking a jibe at the Congress he said that during its regime there was a tendency to blame everything that went wrong on traders though it was Congress hoarders who reaped the benefits, traders were made to feel responsible.

    Terming Traders the backbone of the nation, PM said that it was their hard work that had given a lot to the country for ages. He said GST which had infused transparency into the system was an attempt to provide relief to traders. Prime Minster promised to set up a National Traders Welfare board after winning the elections.

    Saying that his government had implemented the process of ease of doing business, the Prime Minister said that more and more youth were joining the world of business and trade.

    Prime Minister highlighted his govt's initiative of a 59 minute loan and guarantee free loans. He also said that the party's manifesto had many promises for traders ... The trader convention was held to thank the PM for all that his govt had done for their welfare in the past 5 years.

  • Deputy Chief of Mission, Embassy of India Dr. Ajay Kumar was also present on the occasion. 

    The Monastery has been reconstructed with Government of India grant of 18.9 million Nepalese rupees. 
    The project also included building additional infrastructure such as residences, kitchen, sanitation facilities and compound wall. 

    The Chhyoiphel Kundeling Monastery was established in 1946 with the active initiation and contribution of Lisankhu villagers. 

    It has been carrying out various socio-cultural activities like teaching Buddhism,Thangka painting, wood carving and sculpting etc. 

    Apart from being an important heritage building, the monastery is also an integral part of social and cultural life of people in the area.

  • The '112' helpline is an integration of police (100), fire (101) and women (1090) helpline numbers and the project is being implemented under the central government's Nirbhaya Fund. The single number for emergency services is similar to '911' in the United States.

    The 20 states and UTs include Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Puducherry, Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Dadar and Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu, Jammu and Kashmir and Nagaland, a Home Ministry official said.

    The Emergency Response Support System (ERSS) envisages a single pan-India emergency number '112', which is an internationally recognised number, to target all types of emergencies. A panic button is already provided on all mobile phones, which on activation will trigger an emergency call to '112'.

    The Emergency Response Centre (ERCs), being set up by the States and UTs, can receive panic signal via voice call to '112', email requests on state ERSS website or the '112' mobile app, the official said. Location based tracking of victim can be done through location based services of all phones or even more accurately through GPS for smart phones. The '112' India app provides for 'shout facility' designed especially for women, for enlisting support of volunteers, who have registered themselves with the state police, for emergency response.

    To access emergency services, a person can dial '112' on a phone or press the power button of a smart phone three times quickly to send a panic call to the Emergency Response Centre. In case of a normal phone, a long press of the '5' or '9' key will activate the panic call. A total of Rs 321.69 crore has been earmarked for this Emergency Response Support System out of which Rs 278.66 crore has already been released to the States and the UTs from the Nirbhaya Fund, set up following the infamous 2012 Delhi gangrape case, another official said.

    People can also log onto the ERSS website for the respective state and send an emergency email or SOS alert to state Emergency Response Centre. They can use '112' India mobile app, which is available free on Google Play Store and Apple Store. The Nirbhaya Fund was set up by the central government for projects specifically designed to improve the safety and security of the women.

    An empowered committee of officers, headed by the Secretary, Ministry of Women and Child Development, apprises and recommends projects to be funded under the Nirbhaya Fund, the official said. The empowered committee also reviews and monitors the progress of the schemes/ projects. Once it is recommended by the committee, the ministry/ department concerned has to take approval of the competent authority.

  • A statement from President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita's office said he had accepted Soumeylou Boubeye Maiga's resignation, along with that of his ministers, after mass protests last month over the rising tide of violence.

    The statement said a successor would be named soon, once consultations with ruling and opposition parties had taken place. The government had come under mounting pressure over its handling of violence in the restive Mopti region and especially a massacre on March 23 in which 160 people were killed in the village of Ogossagou near the border with Burkina Faso.

    Members of the Dogon ethnic group, a hunting and farming community with a long history of tension with the nomadic Fulani people over access to land, were accused of being behind the mass killing. Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Bamako on April 5 to protest the upsurge of violence, accusing the government of not doing enough to stop it.

    The protest was called by Muslim religious leaders, organisations representing the Fulani herding community, opposition parties and civil society groups. Mali has been struggling to restore stability since Islamist extremists linked to Al-Qaeda took control of the country's vast desert north in early 2012.

    While the jihadists were largely driven out in a French-led military operation that began in January 2013, huge areas are still in the grip of lawlessness, despite a 2015 peace agreement with some armed groups that sought to definitively stamp out the Islamist threat. Since then, militants have shifted from the north towards the more densely populated centre of the country, where they have sharpened ancient rivalries and ethnic conflicts that date back years. Jihadist attacks have also spread to Burkina Faso, Chad and Niger, forcing tens of thousands of people from their homes

  • The convention has been organised by traders supporting the BJP to express gratitude for various measures promised in the party manifesto for the Lok Sabha polls.

    Union minister Vijay Goel said, traders want to express their gratitude to the Prime Minister for the BJP's Sankalp Patra promising measures like accident insurance of 10 lakh rupees, pension after 60 years, traders credit card, simplification of GST and also exemption from income tax up to 5 lakh rupees.

    Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari claimed that only the saffron party can permanently solve the problems of traders.

  • The demand came after it test-fired a new type of tactical guided weapon, its first such test in nearly half a year.

    In a statement, Director General of the American Affairs Department at the Foreign Ministry, Kwon Jong Gun accused Mike Pompeo of misrepresenting the meaning of North Korea's requirement for the negotiations.

    The statement called for a different counterpart who, it said, is more careful and mature in communicating.

    The US has said, it remained ready to negotiate with North Korea. A State Department spokesman said, Washington was aware of Pyongyang's demand but did not comment directly on it.

    US Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan said the weapons test conducted by North Korea did not involve a ballistic missile.

  • Good Friday is a Christian holiday commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. It is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday. The date of the holiday on the Gregorian calendar varies from one year to the next.

    Good Friday which is also called Great Friday, Easter Friday or Holy Friday coincides with the beginning of the Jewish festival of Passover.
    For Christians, Good Friday is of extreme importance. On this day, Jesus willingly suffered and died on the cross as the sacrifice for the sins of mankind.

    There is often a dilemma as to why call the day of Jesus’ death a “Good Friday” and not something like a “Bad Friday”. Though in some languages and traditions, it is regarded with a sorrowful name in English, the origin of the term “Good” comes from an older name, “God’s Friday.” Irrespective of the origin, the name Good Friday is considered appropriate because the suffering and death of Jesus marked the fulfilment of God’s plan to save his people from their sins.

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi today remembered the sacrifices of Jesus Christ. In a tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, Lord Jesus' life, rich ideals and exemplary courage are a source of strength for many. PM said, Jesus Christ's teachings emphasise a world free from inequality and injustice.

    In Goa, special masses and processions take place in all major churches including those at the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Old Goa; and at the Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church and Don Bosco grounds in Panaji.

  • The rankings were released by United World Wrestling on Wednesday.

    Punia, who won Gold in the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games as well as a silver in the World Championships last year, secured 58 points ahead of Akhmed Chakaev of Russia. 

    Bajrang, who is currently preparing for the Asian Wrestling Championship to be held in China from the 23rd of this month, had first reached the world number one spot in November last year. He won gold at the Dan Kolov-Nikola Petrov tournament in Bulgaria last month.

  • Umar recently returned from a trip to the US in which the details of Pakistan's next IMF bailout were discussed. 

    He said, as part of a Cabinet reshuffle, Prime Minister Imran Khan desired him to take the Energy Minister portfolio instead of Finance. However, he obtained Khan's consent to not take any cabinet position.

    Imran Khan-led government and Umar, in particular, have faced mounting criticism by Opposition parties, members of the business community and citizens over the handling of the economic crisis.

    Pakistan is seeking eight billion dollars from the IMF to bail itself out from a severe balance-of-payments crisis that threatens to cripple the country's economy.

  • Britain put forward the measure after forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive on April 4 to seize Tripoli, a move that threatened to plunge the north African country into deep turmoil.

    During a closed-door council meeting on Thursday, Russia again insisted that there be no references in the draft resolution criticising Haftar while the United States appealed for more time to weigh its options, diplomats said.

    The divisions among world powers deepened as fighting escalated in Tripoli, with the death toll now reaching over 200, while more than 25,000 people have been driven from their homes. "We want to have this resolution," German Ambassador Christoph Heusgen told reporters after the meeting. "We want to have a strong resolution... with a united council - everybody behind it - that says who is responsible and what needs to be done." "Not having this now is something that is frustrating," he added.

    British Ambassador Karen Pierce said efforts would continue to reach a consensus next week. UN diplomats however raised doubts over whether the council would be able to agree a text, with the US reluctance to take action throwing a new spanner in the works.

    There was speculation that President Donald Trump's administration may be consulting Egypt, a strong Haftar ally, and other players in the region, or with the Libyan leaders themselves, on how to address the crisis.

    The council heard a briefing by video link from Tripoli by UN envoy Ghassan Salame, who raised concerns about the escalation in fighting and weapons flows to Libya. Haftar, seen by his allies Egypt and the United Arab Emirates as a bulwark against Islamists, has declared he wants to seize the capital, now controlled by a UN-recognised government and an array of militias. The military commander backs a rival administration based in eastern Libya that is refusing to recognize the authority of the Tripoli government.

  • Chasing a target of 169 to win, Delhi Capitals were restricted by Mumbai Indians to 128 for nine. Rahul Chahar took 3 wickets while Jasprit Bumrah took 2 wickets.

    Earlier, Mumbai Indians had won the toss and opted to bat. Hardik Pandya, 32 off 15 and Krunal Pandya 37 not out off 26 provided a much needed late onslaught by hammering 51 runs off the last 18 balls to put Mumbai Indians 168 for 5. Opener Quinton de Kock hit 35 runs. 

    Kolkata Knight Riders will face Royal Challengers Bangalore at Kolkata on Friday.

  • Senior BJP leader and Prime Minister Narendra Modi held public rallies in Bagalkote and Chikkodi in North Karnataka on Thursday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, the NDA government worked for the welfare of farmers in the last five years and will continue to do so if voted to power again.

    Congress President Rahul Gandhi addressed a rally at Vanthli in Junagadh district of Gujarat. He said, his party's 'Nyay' scheme will not harm the economy, but instead help it grow.
    The deadline ended for filing of nominations for the fifth phase of Lok Sabha elections. 

    51 constituencies spread over 7 states will go to polls on May 6. Scrutiny of nominations will be held on Saturday. 

    A total of 173 candidates have filed nominations in Rajasthan for 12 seats going to polls in this phase. 95 candidates filed nominations on Thursday 

    These include Congress leader Jitendra Singh and BJP's Arjun Ram Meghwal and Jaskaur Meena. Of 161 candidates, there are just 19 women who have filed nominations for this phase.

    In Bihar, 88 candidates have filed their nomination papers so far. 

    In Uttar Pradesh,  Samajwadi party chief Akhilesh Yadav, SP-BSP alliance candidate Poonam Sinha and BJP leader Maneka Gandhi filed their nomination papers on Thursday.
    In Delhi, a total of 34 candidates on Thursday filed their nomination papers for seven Lok Sabha seats going to polls in the sixth phase on 12th May. BJP and Congress are yet to announce the names of their candidates. Aam Aadmi Party has already fielded its candidates.

  • An alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland chopper deal scam, Michel is in custody and is being probed by both Enforcement Directorate and CBI. 

    Special Judge Arvind Kumar rejected his interim bail plea for seven days. 

    Special Public Prosecutor DP Singh, appearing for the CBI and the ED, said if Michel comes out on interim bail and makes some statement relating to the case, it would derail the investigation. 

    Michel's lawyer argued that since the charge sheet has been filed, there is no point of tampering evidence.

    The ED had filed a supplementary charge sheet against Michel and others on the 4th of this month. 

    The agency had in December arrested him after his extradition from Dubai.

  • U.S. Attorney General William Barr on Thursday offered a spirited defense of President Donald Trump ahead of the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russia's role in the 2016 U.S. election, but revealed that it detailed 10 episodes of potential obstruction of justice by the president.

    Barr is one of a handful of people to have seen the report before its release later on Thursday.

    He emphasized that Mueller did not conclude there was collusion between Trump's campaign and Moscow.

  • With the political temperature soaring, candidates are busy campaigning day and night, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held four rallies across three states. He addressed rallies in Gujarat, Karnataka, and Kerala and appealed to voters to vote for the BJP.

    PM held the first rally of the day in his home state Gujarat where he launched a scathing attack on the Congress saying that it never gave Sardar Patel the respect he deserved. He said that Sardar Patel was a Congress minister yet none of the party leaders have come to see the Statue of Unity. The Prime Minister said that his government has restricted terrorism to only 2 and a half districts of Jammu and Kashmir. He furrther said that there hasn't been a single bomb blast in the last five years.

    The Prime Minister later held rallies in Karnataka's Bagalkot and Chikodi where he attacked the coalition government of the JD(S) and Congress in the state. He said that the Karnataka state government is weak, and their support to the 'Mahagathbandhan' indicates they also want a weak government at the Centre.

    PM held the last rally of the day in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala where he talked about the accomplishments of his government. Congress Leader Shashi Tharoor is in a direct contest against BJP candidate Rajshekhar for this seat.

    Other BJP leaders are also campaigning round the clock. While party president Amit Shah addressed rallies in Chhattisgarh, Home Minister Rajnath Singh was in West Bengal, where both senior leaders spoke about the achievemements of the government and attacked the opposition. Tearing into the Congress party's Nyaya yojana, Rajnath Singh said that for India to get rid off poverty, India should get rid off Congress. BJP Chief Amit Shah said that if the NDA comes to power, they will remove each and every infiltrator from the country.

    Meanwhile, in Delhi someone flung a shoe at BJP leaders Bhupendra Yadav and GVL Narsimha Rao while they were addressing a press conference at the party headquarters. He was immediately detained by the security personnels persent at the event.

    Apart from the electioneering, party leaders also filed their nominations. Union Ministers Maneka Gandhi and Arjun Ram Meghwal filed their nominations from Sultanpur and Bikaner respectively. Maneka Gandhi also held a roadshow before her nomination.

    Opposition party leaders are also on the campaign trail with full might, leaving no stone unturned to convince the voters that they can give an alternative model of governance. Congress President Rahul Gandhi addressed election rallies in Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat, while Samajwadi Party Chief Akhilesh Yadav,Poonam Sinha and many other opposition leaders  filed their nomination for Lok Sabha elections.

    In the opposition camp a number of prominent leaders filed their nomination on Thursday. SP Chief Akhilesh Yadav and Poonam Sinha filed their nomination in UP, while AAP leader Balbir Jakhar filed his nomination in Delhi  and Congress leader Captain Ajay Yadav filed his nomination in Gurugram.

    SP Chief Akhilesh Yadav filed his nomination from Azamgah parliamentary constituency in UP. Accompanied by large number of party leaders Akhilesh Yadav reached DM's office and filed his nomination. The SP chief said Azamgarh is the 'karambhoomi' of 'samajwadis' and exuded confidence that the people will continue to repose their faith in him by giving him blessings and support.

    Poonam Sinha, the wife of film actor Shatrughna Sinha filed her nomination from Lucknow parliamentary seat. She was accompanied by her son. Later she visited the Samajwadi Party Office and  held a road show. Akhilesh Yadav's wife Dimple yadav, Shatrughna Sinha and many other prominent were present on the occasion.

    On the other hand, Congress leader Captain Ajay Yadav filed his nomination from Gurugram Lok Sabha seat. An election rally was also held on the occasion. Meanwhile amid suspense of an alliance between Congress and Aam AAdmi Party in Delhi AAP candidates have started filing nominations for the LS elections. AAP candidate Balbir Jakhar filed his nomination from west Delhi seat. On another front, the chances of an alliance between Congress and AAP seem bleak. Both parties are accusing each other for this deadlock.

    Congress is also on the campaign trail with full energy. Its President Rahul Gandhi held election rallies in UP and Gujarat. Addressing an election rally in Badaun, Rahul Gandhi said if his party is voted to power, interests of farmers would be taken care of and indebted farmers will not be sent to jails. He also attacked SP-BSP alliance and said that they never oppose PM Modi. In his rally at Junagarh in Gujarat Rahul referred to NYAY Scheme and said through this scheme congress would launch attack on poverty.

    Clearly, Opposition parties are also doing all efforts to convince the electorate about their policies and programmes.

  • "Internationally renowned players from around 15 Asian countries will be participating in this championship and the people of the region will be able to witness world-class talent in action. This is expected to give a big boost to the sport and help enthuse the budding players of the region to better their skills and performance," PBSA president D.S. Bains said.

    The participating countries include India, China, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Qatar, Syria, Korea, Japan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Iran and others.

    The current World Billiards Champion, Pankaj Advani, will spearhead the Indian challenge along with the current Asian Ladies snooker champion Amee Kamani and international medal winners like Dhruv Sitwala, Vidya Pillai and current national billiards champion Shrikrishna.

    "International Billiards and Snooker Champion Alok Kumar, is from the region and with exposure at this level, we hope that more champions will emerge when such prestigious tournaments are organized in the region," Bains said.

    The championship is being organized under the aegis of the Asian Confederation of Billiard Sports (ACBS) and Billiards and Snooker Federation of India (BSFI). PBSA general secretary Alok Kumar, who is an Arjuna awardee, said that the championship will be played on specially imported tables.

    "Joseph Law of Hong Kong will be the tournament director and international referees along with Indian referees will be adjudging the games," Kumar said.

    "All players will be seeded and the seeding will be done by the ACBS Seeding Committee, who will take into consideration previous Asian Championship records for seeding criteria, including other performance records achieved at other multi-sport events and/or at the IBSF world snooker championship and the WSA professional circuits," Kumar added.

  • Ministry of Home Affairs has issued orders to suspend the LoC trade in Jammu & Kashmir starting tomorrow. This action has been taken as the Government of India has been receiving reports that the Cross LoC trade routes are being misused by Pakistan based elements for funnelling illegal weapons, narcotics and fake currency etc.

    The trade has changed its character to mostly third party trade and products from other regions, including foreign countries, are finding their way through this route. Unscrupulous and anti national elements are using the route as a conduit for Hawala money, drugs and weapons, under the garb of this trade.

    During the ongoing investigations of certain cases by NIA, it has been brought out that a significant number of trading concerns engaged in LoC trade are being operated by persons closely associated with banned terrorist organizations involved in fuelling terrorism and separatism. Investigations have further revealed that some individuals, who have crossed over to Pakistan, and joined militant organizations have opened trading firms in Pakistan. These trading firms are under the control of terrorist organizations and are engaged in LoC trade.

  • After rising to an intra-day record of 39,487.45 points, the 30-share index turned negative to settle 135.36 points, or 0.34 per cent, lower at 39,140.28. The broader NSE Nifty slipped 34.35 points, or 0.29 per cent, to 11,752.80.

    The benchmark indices had closed at record highs on Tuesday on earnings optimism and forecast of a near-normal monsoon. Markets were closed Wednesday for Mahavir Jayanti.

    Top losers in the Sensex pack included Yes Bank, Vedanta, IndusInd Bank, Tata Steel, L&T, SBI, NTPC, Kotak Bank, HDFC, HDFC Bank, PowerGrid, Infosys and ITC, falling up to 4.18 per cent.

    On the other hand, RIL was the biggest gainer on the index, rising 2.79 per cent ahead of its Q4 results.

    Tata Motors, Asian Paints, TCS, Coal India, Hero MotoCorp, Axis Bank and HUL also ended in the green, rising up to 2.32 per cent.

    Foreign institutional investors (FIIs) purchased equity worth a net Rs 1,038.58 crore on Tuesday, and domestic institutional investors (DIIs) bought shares to the tune of Rs 37.22 crore, provisional data available with stock exchanges showed.

    Elsewhere in Asia, markets in Japan, China and Korea ended in the red.

    In Europe, bourses in Germany, France and the UK were trading on a mixed note in early deals.

    Global crude oil benchmark Brent futures fell 0.17 per cent to USD 71.50 per barrel.

    Meanwhile, the Indian rupee appreciated 5 paise to 69.55 against the US dollar intra-day.

  • Garcia, 69, fatally shot himself in the head on Wednesday at his home in Lima as police waited in another room to arrest him in the Odebrecht case, which has ensnared three other former Peruvian presidents.

    Garcia had denied the corruption allegations that had long dogged him until the end, saying he was victim of political persecution.

    “Others might sell out, not me,” he told journalists in some of his last public comments on Tuesday, repeating a phrase he used often as his foes became ensnared in the bribery investigation into Brazilian builder Odebrecht in recent years.

    The son of an accountant and a schoolteacher, Garcia became one of Latin America’s greatest orators and governed Peru as a firebrand leftist from 1985-1990. He remade himself as a champion of foreign investment and free trade to win another five-year term in 2006.

    Garcia benefited from his family’s connections with Victor Raul Haya de La Torre, the founder of Apra, which was once Peru’s largest and most powerful political party.

    After earning a law degree in Lima and studying political science in Madrid, he won a seat in Congress and in 1985 became Apra’s first president at age 36. He had promised to bring historically excluded Peruvians into the political fold and extend the country’s vast minerals wealth to the millions who lived in desperate poverty.

    He once enjoyed tremendous support - near 90 percent at his height - and was touted as Peru’s John F. Kennedy.

    But the popularity soon began to crack. In June 1986, security forces killed hundreds of rioting guerrilla inmates in Lima jails, putting in doubt Garcia’s reputation as a defender of human rights.

    His approval sank further when he tried to nationalize banks in 1987 and refused to pay foreign debt, alienating the business class and sparking a deep recession.

    The end of his term was marred by an escalating war with Shining Path guerrillas, hyperinflation surpassing 2,000,000 percent and accusations of widespread corruption.

    In July 1990, he left office in disgrace.


    Garcia was down but not out.

    After spending nine years abroad to avoid corruption probes, he eventually returned to Peru and charmed his way back into politics by convincing voters he had returned older and wiser.

    He ran and lost the 2001 presidency but succeeded in re-creating his image. This time, Garcia promised, he would avoid of the mistakes of his first presidency and would control spending, attract investment and handle insurgent rebels with a heavy hand.

    In 2006, Garcia again ran for the presidency and eked out a win, defeating Ollanta Humala, who had spooked investors and was closely connected in many voters’ minds with the socialist politics of Venezuela’s late former president Hugo Chavez.

    In his second term, a visibly pudgier Garcia oversaw explosive economic growth. He brought billions of dollars of mining and energy investment to Peru and is credited with opening its economy to the world.

    The country became a darling of global investors under his watch but his popularity continued to sink after he left office in 2011, in part due to thousands of pardons his government granted to drug traffickers in his second term.

    Garcia, who had six adult children, ran for president again in 2016 but came in a distant fifth in a race of 10. He resigned as president of Apra and urged members to revamp the party without him.

    Garcia was one of nine people whom a judge had ordered arrested in connection with the bribery investigation into Odebrecht on Wednesday. But he shot himself after police arrived to arrest him and died at a hospital hours later.

    President Martin Vizcarra, who Garcia had accused of trying to silence him, ordered Peru’s flags to be flown at half staff.

  • Most health care workers need a surgical mask, goggles, hooded coveralls, an apron, rubber boots and two pairs of gloves to avoid catching the virus that typically kills around half those it infects.

    The outfits are hot, and in the stifling tropical temperatures of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo this limits the time they can spend with patients fighting for their lives in isolation units.

    But Masika has antibodies in her system after she won her own battle against Ebola last year, and she now has immunity.

    The 33-year-old mother of six can spend entire days with patients at a treatment centre in the North Kivu town of Beni, offering a comforting presence among a crowd of faceless figures with names written on their suits in marker pen.

    Masika is one of dozens of survivors who are providing care - and much-needed human contact - to some of the littlest victims of the second-worst Ebola epidemic on record.

    Of the more than 1,260 confirmed and probable Ebola cases, 28% are children, according to figures from the World Health Organization. More than 800 people, including at least 248 under the age of 18, have died since the outbreak began in August.

    The outbreak is surpassed only by one in West Africa in 2013-16, which is believed to have killed more than 11,000 people.

    Masika lost 10 relatives to the virus; four of those infected in her family survived.

    “It was as if Ebola had chosen my family,” she said.

    She was admitted to the same treatment centre where she now works in September and stayed there for 21 days, battling horrific symptoms.

    “It’s like suffering from all the diseases of Congo at the same time,” she said. “I felt bad all over my body: headache, stomach ache, diarrhoea, vomiting, tiredness.”

    Masika’s experience inspired her to join the fight against Ebola, comforting sick and frightened children who have to be isolated from their families and familiar surroundings to avoid infecting others. She is one of at least 23 former patients employed at the centre in Beni, which is run by the Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA).

  • The scientists emphasized that their work did not even come close to reawakening consciousness in the disembodied pig brains. In fact the experiment was specifically designed to avoid such an outcome, however improbable.

    Still, the study raises a host of bioethical issues, including questions about the very definition of brain death and potential consequences for protocols related to organ donation.

    The research grew out of efforts to enhance the study of brain development, disorders and evolution. The main practical application is the prospect of allowing scientists to analyze whole brain specimens of large mammals in three dimensions, rather than through studies confined to small tissue samples, Yale said.

    The study, backed by the National Institutes of Health, offers no immediate clinical breakthrough for humans, according to the authors.

    Results of the experiment, to be published on Thursday in the journal Nature, run contrary to long-accepted principles of brain death, which hold that vital cellular activity ceases irreversibly seconds or minutes after oxygen and blood flow are cut off.

    The limited rejuvenation of circulatory function and cellular metabolism in pig brains, which were harvested from animals slaughtered at a meat-packing plant, was achieved four hours after death by infusing the brains with a special chemical solution designed to preserve the tissue.

    “The intact brain of a large mammal retains a previously underappreciated capacity for restoration of circulation and certain molecular and cellular activities multiple hours after circulatory arrest,” lead researcher Nenad Sestan said in a Yale press release issued ahead of the study.

    It was in the lab run by Sestan, a Yale professor of neuroscience, comparative medicine, genetics and psychiatry, that researchers developed the so-called BrainEx system used to pump artificial nutrients into the pig brains’ vascular network.

    Scientists stressed, however, that the treated brains still lacked any detectable signs of organized electrical activity associated with perception, awareness or consciousness.

    “Clinically defined, this is not a living brain, but it is a cellularly active brain,” study co-author Zvonimir Vrselja, associate researcher in neuroscience.

    The BrainEx preservative included substances to block nerve signals. Researchers also were ready to halt any electrical activity that might have emerged through anesthetics and temperature reduction, according to Yale.

    While the study offers no immediate therapeutic benefits for humans, it creates a new research platform that may ultimately help doctors find ways to revive brain function in stroke patients or to test new treatments for restoring brain cells damaged by injury, the authors said.

    In the meantime, the research could spark new quandaries surrounding the determination of death itself, widely defined by one measure as the irreversible loss of all brain function. The blurring of that line has implications in turn for deciding when doctors are ethically bound to go from preserving a patient’s life to preserving their organs.

    “For most of human history, death was very simple,” Christof Koch, president and chief scientist of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle, said in a Nature article accompanying publication of the Yale study.

  • Attorney General William Barr’s planned release of the nearly 400-page report comes after Mueller wrapped up his 22-month investigation last month into the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia and questions about obstruction of justice by the president.

    Its disclosure, with portions expected to be blacked out by Barr to protect some sensitive information, is certain to launch a new political fight spilling into the halls of Congress and the 2020 presidential campaign trail, as Trump seeks re-election in a deeply divided country.

    The release marks a watershed moment in Trump’s presidency, promising new details about some of the biggest questions in the probe, including the extent and nature of his campaign’s contacts with Russia and actions Trump may have taken to hinder the inquiry including his 2017 firing of FBI Director James Comey.

    It also may deepen an already bitter partisan rift between Trump’s fellow Republicans, most of whom have rallied around the president, and his Democratic critics, who will have to decide how hard to go after Trump as they prepare congressional investigations of his administration.

    Barr said he would hold a news conference at 9:30 a.m. (1330 GMT) on Thursday to discuss the report, along with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller as special counsel in May 2017.

    Copies of the report will be delivered to Capitol Hill more than an hour later, between 11 a.m. and noon (1500-1600 GMT), a senior Justice Department official said. The delay in seeing the report sparked Democratic complaints that Barr, a Trump appointee, wanted to shape the public’s views during his news conference before others had a chance to draw their own conclusions.

    Mueller’s investigation, which Trump has called a “witch hunt,” raised questions about the legitimacy of Trump’s presidency and laid bare what the special counsel and U.S. intelligence agencies have described as a Russian operation to derail Democrat Hillary Clinton’s candidacy and elevate Trump, the Kremlin’s preferred candidate.

    Some Democrats have spoken of launching impeachment proceedings against Trump in Congress, allowed under the U.S. Constitution to remove a president from office for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors,” but top Democrats have been notably cautious.

    Mueller charged 34 people and three Russian companies. Those who were convicted or pleaded guilty included figures close to Trump such as his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, personal lawyer Michael Cohen and national security adviser Michael Flynn.

    Mueller submitted the report to Barr on March 22. Two days later, Barr sent lawmakers a four-page letter saying the inquiry did not establish that Trump’s 2016 campaign team engaged in a criminal conspiracy with Russia and that Mueller had not exonerated Trump of committing the crime of obstruction of justice. Barr subsequently concluded that Trump had not committed obstruction of justice.

    Since Barr released that letter, Trump has claimed “complete and total exoneration,” and condemned the inquiry as “an illegal takedown that failed.” At a March 28 rally in Michigan, Trump said that “after three years of lies and smears and slander, the Russia hoax is finally dead.”

    Citing people with knowledge of the discussions, the New York Times reported on Wednesday that White House lawyers held talks with U.S. Justice Department officials in recent days about the conclusions in Mueller’s report, aiding them in preparing for its release.

    Justice Department regulations gave Barr broad authority to decide how much of Mueller’s report to make public, but Democrats have demanded the entire report as well as the underlying investigative files. Barr is due to testify to Congress in public about the report in early May.

    The Justice Department has been working for weeks to prepare the redactions, which will be color coded to reflect the reason material is omitted.

    Barr said he would redact parts to protect secret grand jury information, intelligence-gathering sources and methods, material that could affect ongoing investigations and information that unduly infringes on the privacy of “peripheral third parties” who were not charged.

    Democrats are concerned that Barr, appointed by Trump after the president fired former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, could black out material to protect the president.

  • Televised images showed the bus had spun off the road, apparently having flipped several times, before crashing into a house at the bottom of a slope.

    Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa said on Twitter that he had contacted German Chancellor Angela Merkel to convey his condolences.

    Filipe Sousa, mayor of Santa Cruz where the accident happened, said 17 women and 11 men were killed in the crash, while another woman died of her injuries in hospital. 21 others have been injured.

  • Rajasthan Relief Secretary Ashutosh A T Pednekar said twenty-five deaths occurred in the state. In Madhya Pradesh, senior police officials confirmed 22 deaths. 

    Gujarat government's Director of Relief G B Manglpara said that at least 10 people have died due to rain and dust storms. 

    In Maharashtra, three persons died in rain related incidents. The Met department said in New Delhi on Wednesday that several parts of north and northeast India are likely to witness thunderstorm and rainfall over the next 24 hours.

  • Chasing a target of 133 runs to win, Sunrisers Hyderabad scored 137 for 4 in 16.5 overs. Jonny Bairstow smade 61 not out and David Warner 50. 

    Earlier, opting to bat, Chennai made 132 runs for the loss of 5 wickets in the stipulated 20 overs. Opener Faf du Plessis top-scored with a 31-ball 45 while Shane Watson made 31. 

    Thursday, the second spot on IPL Points Table will be on the line, when Delhi Capitals face Mumbai Indians at Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi. The match will start at 8 p.m.

  • The FIH has given the Pakistan sports body time until 20th June to pay the fine or else the penalty would be doubled. 

    Confirming the fine, the cash-strapped PHF said it is in no position to pay the penalty. 

    PHF Secretary General Shahbaz Ahmed said in Karachi today that he has requested the FIH to reduce the fine and allow it to be paid in instalments. 

    PHF was fined for not sending the national team for the Pro League matches in Argentina, Australia and New Zealand.

  • 51 constituencies spread over 7 states will go to polls on the 6th of May. Scrutiny of nominations will be held on Saturday. Monday is the last date for withdrawal of candidature. 

    In Bihar 19 candidates have  filled nomination papers for the fifth phase of elections in the state on Wednesday. With this 88 candidates have filled nomination so far. Former Union Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy filed nomination from Saran constituency. 

    Union Minister Radha Mohan Singh filed his nomination from East Champaran for the sixth phase of election in state. 

  • Voting for 95 of the 543 seats across 11 states and 1 Union territory began at 7am. Apart from some sensitive polling booths, voting continued till 6pm. Those in queue after 6 were allowed to cast their vote.

    Over 15 crore voters sealed the fate of around 1596 candidates in EVMs in this phase. States which voted for Phase 2 Lok Sabha Election are Assam, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Manipur, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Bengal, Chhattisgarh and Union Territory Puducherry.

    Talking first of the South, in Tamil Nadu 38 out of 39 seats witnessed polling. Neighbouring Puducherry too polled in a single phase on Thursday.

    Moving to Maharashtra and Karnataka, 10 out of 48 Parliamentary constituencies in the former and 14 out of 28 seats in the latter voted. In Karnataka key constituencies of Hassan, Mandya, Bangalore North, Bangalore Central, Bangalore South, and  Bangalore Rural voted in the second phase.

    And the key contests in Maharashtra in this phase were seen on Nanded seat with Former Cong CM Ashok Chavan taking on Govindrao of BJP and Former Congress Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde contesting from Solapur. The third contest in Marathwada was BJP stalwart Gopinath Munde's daughter and Sitting MP Pritam taking on NCP's Bajrang Sonwane.

    Moving to Uttar pradesh, 8 seats out of 80 in Western UP voted on Thursday. Nearly 40 lakh voters sealed the fate of 87 candidates on these seats including Mathura from where cine star Hema Malini contested on a BJP ticket and Fatehpur Sikri where Congress fielded another bollywood star Raj Babbar. 

    Moving further East to Bihar, 5 out of 40 seats including Banka, Kishanganj, Katihar, Bhagalpur and Purnia voted. Enthusiasm of voters was visible across these seats.

    In West Bengal, Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Raiganj voted in the second phase. An incident of stone pelting on CPI(M) candidate from Raiganj Md Salim's car came to light when he was on his way to a polling booth in Uttar Dinajpur. Police fired in the air and lobbed tear gas shells to control a mob, after stones were pelted at them in Chopra in Raiganj.

    3 Naxal affected seats in Chattisgarh Rajnandgaon, Mahasamund and Kanker voted amidst tight security on Thursday.

    Two seats, Udhampur and Srinagar polled in phase two amidst tight security.

    Odisha saw simultaneous polling for 5 Lok Sabha seats and 35 Assembly seats. The electoral fortunes of 279 candidates, including Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Union minister Jual Oram, were locked in EVMs by nearly 77 Lakh voters in the second phase of voting.

    And finally 5 out of 14 seats of Assam and one seat of Inner Manipur polled in the second phase. Voter enthusiasm was visible in both states.

  • As finishing touches were being given for phase two of polling, Prime Minister Narendra Modi continued his campaign blitz for the remaining 5 phases in Maharashtra and Gujarat on Wednesday.

    His first rally was in Madha, Maharashtra where he hit out at the Congress-NCP alliance. PM criticised Sharad Pawar's "dynastic politics" and said Pawar  "fled" the poll arena from Madha Lok Sabha constituency as he sensed defeat. He also said Rahul Gandhi has maligned the entire backward community in his zeal to abuse PM Modi.


    Prime Minister Modi also addressed rallies in Himmatnagar and Surendranagar in Gujarat. He accused the UPA government of arresting BJP president Amit Shah and some police officers in Gujarat in a bid to topple the state government then headed by him. He asked the crowd if they approved the language being used by Congress president Rahul Gandhi against him.

    The last rally of the day was in Anand. PM Modi said that this election will decide if nationalist forces will rule the country or those who want to help the "tukde tukde gang" by scrapping sedition law.

    26 Parliamentary constituencies across Gujarat will poll in the third phase on 23rd of April. The state has been a BJP bastion with PM Modi heading the state as Chief Minister for 12 years.

  • Tripura East is a reserved constituency for Scheduled Tribes.

    The seat has 30 Assembly sections under it. The date has been deferred from April 18 to April 23 due to adverse report on law and order.

  • Images from four different corners of the country making it evident that it's all set for the second phase of general elections on Thursday.

    95 of the country's 543 lok sabha seats going to polls starting at 7 am. Voting for most seats will wind up by 6 pm. Polling concludes earlier in some naxal affected and North East seats.


    -- The 95 Lok Sabha seats going to polls in phase II are spread out over 11 states and one union territory
    -- Over 15 crore voters will seal the fate of 1,596 candidates on these seats
    -- Apart from 38 of the total of 39 seats in Tamil Nadu..this phase will see voting take place for 14 of 28 seats in Karnataka, 10 of 48 seats in Maharashtra, 8 of 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh, 5 of 40 in Bihar, 5 of 21 seats in Odisha, 5 of 14 in Assam, 3 of 11 in Chhattisgarh, one of 2 in Manipur and the lone seat in Puducherry
    -- 35 of 147 seats in the Odisha assembly are also polling in the same phase
    -- And bypolls are also being held for 18 of 243 assembly seats in Tamil Nadu

    Preparations for voting are complete with lakhs of personnel deployed to ensure free, fair and secure polling..Both central paramilitary and state police forces are being deployed to maintain vigil..The entire state of Tamil Nadu with its 39 seats is voting except for the cancelled election in Vellore because of exorbitant cash seizures a few days ago.

    Phase II is also seeing election being held in 10 seats in Maharashtra and 14 in Karnataka..All poll preparations have been completed in both the states.

    Among the 8 seats that are voting in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday are Agra, Mathura, Nagina, Amroha, Bulandshahar, Aligarh, Hathras & Fatehpur Sikri..All preparations for polling are in place.

    The same day will see multiple seats going to polls in West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Assam and Odisha..Adequate arrangements have been made to ensure incident free voting.

    In Bihar, the second phase will see voting for the Kishanganj, Katihar, Purnia, Bhagalpur & Banka seats. The Election Commission has made all arrangements for free and fair polling.

    2 seats in Jammu & Kashmir are also going to polls in the second phase..12 candidates are wying for the Srinagar-Budgam seats with over 12.95 lakh voters..All arrangements are also in place for voting in the Udhampur seat.

    In case of the North is taking place for one seat in Manipur where polling officials have been deployed to all far flung areas.

    Voting was scheduled to be held for the Tripura East seat as well but the Election Commission postponed the election for the 23rd of April owing to security concerns..Prominent candidates include.

    -- Former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda
    -- BJP leader and MoS PMO Jitendra Singh
    -- Union Minister Sadananda Gowda
    -- Film actor and MP Hema Malini
    -- Former Union Minister Dayanidhi Maran
    -- DMK leader Kanimozhi
    -- Former Maharashtra CM Ashok Chavan
    -- Former Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde
    -- Former Law Minister Veerappa Moily
    -- UP Congress President Raj Babbar
    -- Former NCP co-founder Tariq Anwar
    -- Scam accused Karti Chidambaram
    -- Former J&K CM Dr Farooq Abdullah
    -- CPM MP Mohammed Salim
    -- and BSP leader Danish Ali

    Clearly, politicians and eletion officials have done their part for the second phase of general elections. It's now time for election machinery, security and voters to step up.

  • President Ram Nath Kovind rescinded the notification to hold the election to the seat based on the recommendation made by the poll panel Monday.

    Polling in Vellore was scheduled in the second phase on April 18. 

    The EC took the decision after the district police had filed a complaint against the accused, Kathir Anand, as well as two party functionaries on the basis of a report from the Income Tax department on April 10.

  • He added that five generations of Congress ruled the country but did nothing for India.

  • Having faced brickbats&abuse across board for the party but yet those who threatened me within the party getting away with not even a rap on their knuckles is unfortunate.

  • The Congress president and party's candidate from Wayanad parliamentary constituency, Rahul Gandhi offered prayer at the Thirunelli temple.

    He also performed various rituals after offering prayers.

    While addressing rally in Kannur in Kerala, Congress President said that he is contesting from Wayanad because he wanted that their voice to be heard at national level.

  • Prime Minister Modi slammed Congress President Rahul Gandhi for allegedly labeling entire backward community thieves by calling him one of them.

    PM Modi's next stop was at Himmatnagar in Gujarat where he slammed Congress.

  • Party spokesperson G. V. L. Narasimha Rao demanded an apology from Congress on the issue.

    Earlier in the day, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said Ram Nath Kovind was made president of the country to balance caste equations ahead of the assembly election in Gujarat in 2017.

  • Anchor: Hello. The entire country is facing the rising electoral temperatures in the country right now. And why just India, the entire world is talking about the Lok Sabha elections in the country. Every election is crucial but this election is special. In 2014 Lok Sabha elections, people gave majority to a single party to form the government after 30 years. The election campaign at that time centred around one name, one personality. And that person is none other than our Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is with us for a special interview on DD News and Rajya Sabha TV. Thanks a lot sir.

    Prime Minister: My greetings to all the viewers of DD News and Rajya Sabha TV

    Question: Your critics used to say that your entire push is towards improving relations with the US, while our relations with Russia are worsening. Did the critics got their reply when Russia bestowed its highest civilian honour to you?

    Prime Minister: In a democracy, criticism is good and is also necessary. However, without any substance, criticism becomes allegations. I want criticism but it is very rare. I have experienced that mostly they are allegations. If they wanted to criticize, they would have studied the facts about India’s relations with US and Russia, the issues, where do we stand at multilateral forums and bilateral forums etc. Then they wouldn’t have drawn such a halfbaked conclusion.

    Question: You got several awards. However, questions are being raised about the timing of awards given to you by Russia and the UAE as you got them close to elections.

    Prime Minister: See, every country has its own mechanism, its own ways. They decide their timing. We also give Padma awards to many foreigners. At that time we don’t consider what’s going on in their country. Anyone can ask why we gave Bharat Ratna in election year. There is no logic behind such criticism. Secondly, when I went to Saudi Arabia, I was awarded with their highest civilian honour. I was the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Palestine and they honoured me. Afghanistan also gave me their highest civilian honour. I believe it’s a natural process. The Election Commission has always talked about letting these natural processes continue.

    Question: The kind of support India received from the international community after Balakot showed that our relations with the foreign countries have improved.

    Prime Minister: What you are saying is absolutely true. Today, India has arrived at the global fora. Earlier we were a mere spectators but today we are a player. For example, earlier during discussions on global warming and environment, India was seen as a hindrance. But today, the world commends India as a leading player. We have initiated concrete plans like International Solar Alliance. We have good ties both with Israel and Palestine even though there is conflict between them. I am fortunate to have visited the both countries. There are tensions between Arabic nations and Iran but we have friendly relations with both of them. Our aim is to keep national interests paramount while maintaining diplomatic ties with the world. Earlier, the world was bipolar and that’s why we were forced to be a part of one or the other bloc. But in this globalized era, the entire world is inter-dependent and inter-connected. In this situation, India cannot remain in an isolated state. We should try to take everyone along and this is what we have done in the recent past and have got good results.

    Question: Your manifesto also talks about your vision for India. It talks about New India @75 by 2022. What are the five top priorities to achieve that vision?

     Prime Minister: For the first time, we have come up with a manifesto that talks about giving a report card to the nation, mid-way through the govt. We have set goals for 2022 and 2024. In 2022, India is completing 75 years of independence and we aim to create an inspiring environment. We must remember those who gave their lives for the nation. Taking inspiration from there, all 125 crore citizens should participate in India’s growth. Keeping that in mind, we have set 75 goals to achieve by 2022. This means that in 2023 and 2024 people will ask me what I said and what has been done. No one in the past has dared to take such huge responsibility but we did this. I am confident that by 2022, we will provide pucca houses to every family that is homeless. We said that by 2022, no family in the country would be without electricity. In a way, we are encouraging ease of living. We also want to double farmers’ income by 2022 and reduce the input cost, increase yield per acre, spike productivity, give boost to food processing, food storage, grain storage, cold storage, warehousing. How to prepare a good infrastructure with all this along with animal husbandry, fisheries, poultry, honey and connecting all these together. We have given a new point of view - the farmer becomes energy-producer. Farmers waste a few patches of land in fencing the farms. If that space can be used to install solar panels, then he will be able to produce energy. This energy can be used for running pumps and all. The additional power produced can be also be sold to the state governments. Some places experience water crisis and only one or two crops can be grown per year. If such places get electricity for six months using solar panels, an additional source of income will be generated. This is our revolutionary thinking which will pan out in the coming times.

    Question: When you talk about solar panels, there is a cost input. Have you thought of ways to reduce cost of the solar panels?

    Prime Minister: You see, LED bulbs are a great example. LED bulb wasn’t a new thing and people were aware of them. Before our government, the cost of LED bulbs was around Rs 350-400. Now due to their usage, the electricity bill of a middle class family has reduced by Rs 2000-3000 per year. It has also reduced energy consumption in the country along with saving the natural resources. It also helps in reducing global warming. We have taken a huge initiative of distributing thousands of crores of LED bulbs. The cost of the bulbs has been reduced to Rs 45. In the beginning when the mobile phones came their prices were very high but today they have reduced a lot. Same thing is going to happen to the solar panels too.

    Question: You talked about farmers. In your manifesto you have aimed to double their income by 2022. However, people say that the farmers are still in distress, they are committing suicides in different parts of the country. This is being made a political issue repeatedly. Farmers have been protesting in Delhi, saying no concrete steps have been taken to provide them immediate relief. They say long term is fine for 2022 but they want immediate relief.

    Prime Minister: We initiated soil health cards. With these cards, the farmers get to know about the health of their soil immediately. They can decide whether the soil is good for the crop they plan to gorw. Many decided to shift to other crops. Earlier farmers used fertilizers more than actual need. They would use the same pesticides as used by the other farmers. Soil health card is a big move to shift the farmers towards scientific ways of farming. The other big point is MSP. This was a big issue highlighted by the Swaminathan Committee. The UPA government was sitting on the files since 2007. They didn’t care about the farmers. Had it been implemented in 2007, the farmers would have been in a much better state now. We implemented the report and ensured that farmers got 1.5 times the cost. We also increased the scope of MSP. Earlier pulses were not covered under MSP. The third important thing we did was to reduce the agricultural imports to zero and produced the concerned crops in the country. For example, to reduce import of palmolein, we pushed those working in the agriculture sector to produce more palmolein. Reduction in imports will strengthen the farmers of the country. We brought the crop insurance scheme for the first time. Earlier if there was a natural calamity like hailstorm etc, the ways and means of providing relief to the farmers were very llimited. We changed old ways and ensured that the farmers faced no losses. We started eNam scheme to provide the farmers a national market. Farmers can now decide on their mobile phones where can they find a good market for their produce and get good prices. We have done many such things. We have now started Kisan Samman Nidhi to help farmers in distress. Earlier, it was done once in ten years to reap political dividends. During the UPA regime, the net loans of the farmers amounted to Rs 6 lakh crore but they only waived off 52 thousand crore. This clearly was a political gimmick. They cheated the farmers forcing them to commit suicides. Out of the 52 thousand crore, only a few lakhs were given to the people. Many farmers got nothing. The CAG report said that out of total beneficiaries, 35-40 people were not even farmers and hence points towards the pre -designed fraud.

    Question: Sir like you just said that the government is going to be formed after 2023. What is the basis of your confidence. The first round of polling has just got over. Now there are six more rounds to go. Today, in a newspaper, a news came came that the government has already fixed its hundred-day agenda. You are talking about 2022. If you are talking about 2047, then what is the reason for this self-confidence?

    Prime minister: We have completed Five years with complete dedication ... With full devotion ... I was new.. I kept trying to learn like any eager student ... The biggest advantage was that I was Gujarat's longest serving chief minister, I learnt a lot there. So with all these positives I started work in 2014. And you must have seen that this government never had shortage of work. There is not a single department that has not taken initiatives. We emphasized on policy governance.. We also emphasized on timely delivery.. the sanitation coverage was 38% since independence until 2014, today it is nearly cent percent. So we have been successful in offering the last mile delivery.. We have also doubled the number of LPG gas connections in the last five years. So people are witnessing our speed, watching our scale, and also looking at our work skills. So these five years of hard work and dedication can create confidence in anyone, I'm constantly travelling and meeting people in diffrent corners of India specially during the weekend. I have met different leaders owing to continous travelling.

    Question: What is going on in a particular clip ... I was looking at ...

    Prime Minister: It was not a road show which happened in Mangalore ... I was passing through a road, people were standing at the side, so I thought that i should look out and greet them. But when I go out I was surprised when it turned out to be huge crowd. I came out to honour their sentiments. ... It was not a road show. and when I saw this clip on social media, someone might have shot it from above.... Yes, I was surprised ... It was visible up to 25- 50 feet from my car... and there was a large number of people around my car ...

    Question: You attend so many rallies, what do you think are the issues on people's mind standing infront of you.

    Prime Minister: In past five years, we tried addressing those basic human needs which should have been theirs in the first decade of independence. They could not get those needs fulfilled even after 60 years. it was our first priority. And as you know that when I was chosen the NDA Leader, I went to the Central Hall of Parliament and said that my government is dedicated to the poor. In the five years I started to fulfill the needs of the common man. They got home, gas, electricity, education for children, arranged for health, many such unprecedented initiatives by my govt. And in the first five years efforts were made to address those needs, the next five years are now focuused on fulfilling the aspirations and ambitions of India and its citizens.

    Question: Sir, if we talk about MANIFESTO, yours or Congress, one thing stands out- i.e. social security, do you believe that this is going to be a big issue in this country.

    Prime Minister: First, every government has this obligation, Social Security. Whether it is in MANIFESTO or not, and we have done the same for the last five years, we focussed on a scenario where a citizen gets home to live, ie; under the social security, Ayushman Bharat ensures he gets five lakh rupees as health cover, one rupee i.e. INSURANCE in 90 paisa as social security, and close to it, the data will have to be checked but I don’t remember the exact amount, I remember, 3000 crores rupees corpus for insurances under social security. Question: The opposition alleges that you are using the cover of nationalism to obfuscate the other important issues – Your Comment. Prime Minister: There is small segment of so called secular media which work on the set agenda of targeting Modi and his govt. Let me point out Bofors case. It was directly related to the nationalism. ‘’He’’ is cherry picking the Rafale issue only to hide sins of his father late Rajeev Gandhi. For the past 6 months, he is levelling allegations without producing even an iota of evidence. The idea is to raise the bogey of nationalism and encash voters’ sentiments. Ditto with Chowkidaar, he went around calling names, attacking me, only to lose the battle of perception in the peoples’ court. He is led by a core team with western ideals and this team has limitations. I want to point out that whenever a farmer is killed or commits suicide, it becomes a political issue. But why we fail to apply the same yardstick to the defence forces. Why it should not become a political issue. Since last 40 years, we are fighting against scourge of terrorism and have lost several brave soldiers till now. I don’t see any logic in keeping this issue under wraps. The issue of Jammu and Kashmir too is like an albatross around India’s neck since time of Pandit Nehru. Its 70 years now, we must try find a solution with a different roadmap this time. We do have specific plans pertaining to Art 370 and 35A. I believe in taking the entire nation into confidence on this issue. I also firmly believe in the power of patriotism. It energises the nation. An Indian youth inspired by light of patriotism can certainly bring medals for India in the Olympics.

    Question: Sir, Article 370 was always part of BJPs manifesto but its for the first time that Congress is opposing it. Ditto with Art. 35A. Kashmiri leaders like Farookh Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti are on record opposing it. They even went to the extent of issuing threat of pulling Kashmir away from India in 2020. Your comment ...

    Prime Minister: These leaders are used to such toxic language. They have emotionally exploited and blackmailed since long. They exhorted Kashmiri citizens to boycott panchayat polls whenever they were announced. But these leaders have now run their course. The Kashmiri citizens now refuse to acknowledge them as their leader. For instance, panchayat elections recently held during governor’s rule, were boycotted by them as per habit. Despite of such boycotts the polling percentage was between 70- 75 percent. And today, the elected Sarpanches are successfully running the show in their villages. The funds from the centre directly reaches them. There are no middlemen.

    Question: Dear Sir, despite of heat of elections and presence of Nehru-Gandhi family, can we say that the narrative this time revolves around Prime Minister Narendra Modi

    PM: In a recent interview, I was asked the same question- My reply was that we believe in raising issues. Currently, we are discussing nepotism. Baba Saheb Ambedkar, in the speeches that he gave in 30s, 40s in Jalandhar and Pune, had ticked nepotism as a huge danger to the democracy. If today, I choose to highlight this issue, then it is to save our democracy. Nepotism blights democratic traditions. This country was run by a family for 55 years. If questions are now raised on my 55 months tenure then they too answerable for 55 years of their rule. As far as calling names are concerned, I come from a humble family that sold tea to earn livelihood. I do not have the privileged background like him which has produced number of prime ministers. Such people consider abusing lesser beings as their privilege. There is huge chasm between our status.

    Question: Sir, you said that you are used to expletives thrown at you- so are you the most reviled prime minister this country has ever seen.

    Prime Minister: I’m being abused since almost last 2 decades. Every available expletive in the dictionary was used against me but I never lost my composure. I’m serving my nation with full commitment.

    Question: What is the reason behind it.

    Prime Minister: Simple, they cannot digest the love and affection showered on me by nation and the common man.

    Question: Sir, these general elections are being held when India faces many challenges. The borders are under severe stress. Our forces are engaged full time specially in Kashmir. As the Prime Minister your attention is divided on various fronts. How you cope with it.

    Prime Minister: I believe in carrying out my duty no matter how tough they are. My experience as a CM too helps me. See, the country is facing problems since independence, the scourge of terrorism and bomb blasts has singed this nation and its cities many times. Though now, we have succeeded in limiting it to the 2-3 districts of J&K. My I my duties towards the nation goes beyond elections. I went to Seoul after the announcements of election were made. We recently also succeeded in launching ASAT missile and became the 4 th nation in the world to do so. So eventually, I believe that the govt must function normally even in face of adversities.

    Question: With reference to incidents like Balakot- how you perceive the role of national and international media.

    Prime Minister: The people of the country are the final judge. But their increasing dependence on social media is not a good sign.

     Question: Sir- There were some recent global media reports undermining the strength and capability of our defence forces. These reports also got traction in the local media. Do you find it unusual? Is this an effort to influence the Indian election?

    Prime Minister: I firmly believe that the opposition must draw a line when it comes to national security. They should not cross that thin line while opposing Modi. Unfortunately what starts as anti-Modi campaign ends up landing on anti-national fault lines.

    Question: Sir, talking of fake news, you mentioned Rafale, in this case a lot of unverified information found its way in the media. A stream had also filtered in from abroad. Even Rahul Gandhi said that Chowkidaar Chor hai, though Supreme Court did took note of it recently, do you think all this information is used to CREATE narratives.

     Prime Minister: I know it’s all lie and I’m hardly bothered. But it’s certainly a cause of concern for a grand old party like Congress. It is relying on such canards to survive. The Congress party worker must seriously introspect on this issue specially after the censuring it got from the Supreme Court. Question: It’s been seen that there are concerted efforts to keep alive the Rafale issue. Articles in global media appear at regular intervals. Do you see a design behind it. Prime Minister: As of now, yes, it’s pretty clear.

    Question: So, How will the truth come out?

    PM: The truth has come out. The report of the CAG is there. the report of the Supreme Court has arrived, has been kept on the table of Parliament, everythinh is out there. But the media do not dare to tell the truth.

    Question: Mr. Prime Minister, now let’s talk in the context of elections, about certain states. You look confident. You are saying that you will form the government. But taliking about Karnakataka - you said that people welcommed you in large numbers. BJP also claims that Karnataka as gateway to South, But the JDS and Congress stopped you even when they contested seperately. This time they are fighting as a single unit. Do you think BJP can repeat its winning performance in the state.

    PM: Please remember the Maharashtra scenario- there NCP and Congress were fighting together, they were in power as well. but what was the final result. In Uttar Pradesh assembly elections the Congress-SP together was fighting together. what was the result? In Tripura , there was an informal alliance. In Tripura, Left was in power for a long time. Its history now. Henceforth, such half hearted analysis done by the media means nothing at the ground zero. The situation does not changes there.

    Question: Do you also feel the same in Uttar Pradesh as two opposition parties are in coalition. it is believed that this coalition has a very good vote bank, since BJP performed very well last time here. does you see a repeat performance.

    PM: Bharatiya Janata Party will perform even better this time. The people of the country, the people of Uttar Pradesh, more than ever and have mad up their mind. Families who have their ancestral seats since the last four decades have run away from the battlefield. If the coalition had this brute strength then it would have supported them. They ran despite of coalition. This reveals the true ground sitaution. I do not have to give any evidence.

    Question: You are referring to Amethi?

    PM: Yes, I am speaking about Amethi. I have no hesitation in speaking the truth. Question: You think Rahul Gandhi got scared and went to Wayanad seat?

    PM: I do not think. It is THE truth.

    Question: Mr. Prime Minister, but as we talk about Uttar Pradesh, some people in BJP believe that mahagathbadhan will damage the prospects of the party and that we will be able to compensate for this loss in West Bengal because BJP's position in West Bengal is very good. But Mamata continuos to play hardball.... what do you think about this challenge...

    PM: As far as Uttar Pradesh is concerned, I am saying this with full authority that the people of Uttar Pradesh have made up their mind. The people of Uttar Pradesh have come out of crisis after many years. And therefore, they understand the gathbandhan politics very well; they also understand national politics, so please let’s not talk in the name of Uttar Pradesh. Thirdly, you are saying that the government of Bengal is trying all ways to stop BJP. BJP is in a powerful position there that is why they are trying to stop. If you do not have the strength, then they wouldn’t have noticed us. This means that the BJP is getting mass support in West Bengal very fast. They tried sttopping me too, wherever I went. They are not worried about congress, they do not care about the Left. This means that the People of West Bengal have accepted BJP.

    Question: About West Bengal, how do you see the politics of Mamta Banerjee in West Bengal? What she did with central agencies. Do you see it as violation of federalism?

    PM: I have been chief minister for a long time. All the agencies of the Indian government have troubled me. UPA government was there in the centre for 10 years. For 8 hours policemen have grilled me. I was the Chief Minister. But I still did not speak. I followed the constitution in letter and spirit. So federalism becomes everyone’s responsibility. I leave it to the scholars like you, that what they are doing is right or not, evaluate it and if necessary then write about it. Secondly, what they have done to their people, it is more dangerous. I am more worried about that. Panchayat elections were held. In J & K Panchayat elections were held, there is discussion of terrorism and violence in Jammu and Kashmir. Thousands of people in Jammu and Kashmir came out victorious in Panchayat elections. Not a single incident occurred at any polling booth. There was no single incident of violence. There was not a single village in West Bengal where there was no violence, and people were killed in very large numbers. It is the responsibility of the state government to ensure safety of its own citizens and elections of the district council, taluka, election of panchayat elections. The media of this country has suppressed this matter. The amount of truth that was supposed to come out did not come out. Because of that, now they are enjoying going on this path and there is no one to question.

    Question: In this regard, they accuse and Congress also supports them that your government is politically using the central agencies in a wrong way?

     PM: There is no such evidence. The cases in UPA’s time, if its process is going on, the court is asking to do this and do that. Now what the courts say, they should do it nor not? Secondly let’s assume in the train 5 to 25 people are going and a small leader is also going and gets caught without ticket, so if there is an election going on, that leader should not be held? Election is being held if he is travelling without ticket in the railway so he should not be held. Does this happen? Law is for everyone, for me as well.

    Question: Sir, we discussed about Bengal and you said in the context of justice, Congress dismissed the state governments, in the same context, if I see the figure after independence about 124 times the central government has sacked (dismissed) the state government. But when such violence took place in Bengal. When political activists in Bengal were murdered, not only the BJP but the political workers of Congress also were murdered. In Kerala BJPCongress workers were killed, RSS too. People have been saying that this is fit case of imposing Art. 356, but still you refused to react.

    PM: In my opinion, even in Jammu and Kashmir, we used to wait for the government to be formed. We kept the Assembly in Suspended n Animation, but when there was no possibility of government formation we had no option but to impose 356. it should be the last resort.

    Question: I once again come back to Karnataka and South politics. In Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, especially in Tamil Nadu it is happening after many years that there is no such personality as Jayalalitha. DMK does not have big leaders, then how do you see politics for BJP in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Especially as your hopes are high for Karnataka?

    PM: Bharatiya Janata Party will perform well in South. Take any state of South whether it is Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

    Question: Sir, let’s deviate from election talk. In coming years, our country will have a large number of middle class. You have talked about it in past few days. It was mentioned In the budget tax rebate also . How do you see their aspirations and means to fulfill it?

    PM: You have asked the right questions. The guide and philosopher of Congress Party has come especially from America. They gave a statement that middleclass is selfish and tax has to be implemented on them. The Congress party is officially saying that if they come into the government, they will break the middle class. My conviction is that the bulk of the middle class is increasing in the country. By nature middle class does not have the habit of doing anything wrong. They live as law abiding citizen and are a growing class of our country. Even today the highest contributors towards tax etc. are the middleclass people. We have neglected middleclass people for many years. Our opinion is middleclass should get respect, should get opportunity. For many years the middle class was demanding for more than 2 lakh concession in income tax. Many governments came and went. Keeping in mind the middle class with income of 5 lakh, now there is no income tax up to Rs 5 lakh. In the same way, the Home loan, It is the dream of Middle class to have their own home. For the first time a government thought for the urban middle class. This has happened for the first time that any government has thought about the middle class. For housing sector, we introduced RERA. The builder community used to loot middle class… a person from middle class family used to run from pillar to post for a house and yet was never satisfied with the end result. Middle class was hassled for a house. To protect the rights of middle class, we introduced RERA. We have introduced many policies that will benefit middle class now and even in near future. Middle class, noveau middle class…or those who have managed to step out of poverty need special attention. This huge block of population, I believe will be the force that will change India’s fate. This has happened for the first time that any government has thought about the middle class. For housing sector, we introduced RERA. The builder community used to loot middle class… a person from middle class family used to run from pillar to post for a house and yet was never satisfied with the end result. Middle class was hassled for a house for the longest. To protect the rights of middle class, we introduced RERA. We have introduced many policies that will benefit middle class now and even in near future. Middle class, neo middle class…or those who have managed to step out of poverty would need special attention. This huge block of population, I believe will be the force that will change India’s fate.

    Question: Prime Minister sir, I would like to shift focus back to elections…especially on your home state Gujarat. In 2014 elections, Gujarat became congress-mukt, you won all 26 seats but when assembly elections were held, BJP could not touch the figure of 100 and was stopped at 99. You are not even contesting from Vadodara this time…some people feel that after BJP’s hold has weaken after you have made your way to Delhi.

    Prime Minister: The Bharatiya Janata Party started emerging in Gujarat from 1987-88. We fought in one Lok Sabha election in alliance with Chimanbhai Patel. BJP got 12 seats and others had 14 seats. We won 12 out of 12 and they won 11 out of 14…. So even at our first attempt we did not get 26 out of 26, but we won all 12 seats. And this time too, Gujarat will vote for BJP and we will win from all 26 seats. It is natural that people of Gujarat prefer development.

    Question: With growing population, it will be difficult to provide opportunities to all… how will you be able to tackle these aspirations of the new generation?

     Prime Minister: In India, ambit of middle class is growing rapidly…we have over 800 million youth… we must consider this as an asset. India is undergoing urbanisation and we have not considered this as a challenge… but have taken it as an opportunity. This lot will become the growth centre… Thirdly, India’s talent has become part of world’s biggest eco system… that is of Start-up. Who is behind this revolution? Not someone at the age of 40-50 but they are the youth… There are some entrepreneurs, who are making selling their 2-3 year old start up to other companies… So, a new sector has come up. Hence to benefit them, we have given them money without guarantee through Mudra Yojana. We have opened all doors of financial help for these budding entrepreneurs. 17 crore people have taken advantage of it, and out of these…. 4.25 crore people are those who have taken money from the bank for the first time. We want to strengthen technology, build modern infrastructure… for all this we would need lots of talent… We want to make world class infrastructures… we would require such talent in these field too. It’s the power of youth that will take the country forward.

    Question: That’s correct, but don’t you think you must also focus on growing population? The growing population will sooner or later will put immense pressure on present resources.

    Prime Minister: First of all people have to be educated….just how southern states have managed to achieve tremendous success in controlling population growth… Those states that have worked hard to reduce population growth will not be unjustified by the Finance Commission. The commission has taken up this role for the first time. In a way, this will benefit the people….This is also a way to strengthen the states.

    Question: Prime Minister, in the last five years, your government's economic policies has been debated worldwide…. There has been a report of the IMF two days ago, which says that India will be the fastest growing economy…at the same time, actions taken by your government against NPA was appreciated but there are certain reports that say it is a jobless growth and steps like demonetisation, GST have caused damage

    Prime Minister: Only those people are crying over demonetisation who had to lose something. Those who have unaccounted cash were troubled by the demonetisation and so they kept crying, but today it has been proven that our steps were right and due to which the formal economy has got strengthened in the country. Those who earn money honestly, those who do not have any black money… is now able to purchase things from the market. Earlier they were not able to because people used to ask for 50% cash and 50% cheque. … But how will that person get black money from? So this was a huge issue for the honest lot. Secondly, we have increased tax bracket too…If you would have noticed, since Independence number of people filing their taxes have doubled. Whether it’s World Bank, IMF or other group… they all have accepted India as the fastest growing world economy and even in future India will be counted in the list of fastest growing economies. Thirdly, before 2014, before we came into power… When India stood at 11th number at the world economy… our the then Finance Minister celebrated the event with much fervour… And we have managed to take it to number six… and very soon we will reach the number five spot. So, whatever the current situation is… one need to understand it better. This is not even an issue. Those people can continue criticising it.

     Question- You said that there are no issues. Some issues have been created in the last 5 years. Some said that there is a state of undeclared emergency in the country. Some people started returning their awards. It was also said that under your Government, citizens don’t have freedom of speech. Such incidents have been constantly happening. How do you view this?

    Prime Minister- One, the people of the country did not pay heed any of these people. The people of the country did not accept what they were being told by these people. So this is a specific set of people. What is the reason behind all that was being said? The biggest reason is the people that make up this set. This aspect is not discussed in our country. You have asked a good question. So, I want to inform the people of the country. In our country, there is a law for bringing wealth from abroad as a donation, and under that law, whoever brings money from abroad, be it for an organization, or charity, or education, or health, has to give an account to the government, compulsorily. There was no accounting. Money from abroad kept coming in. We came and tried to follow the law. We sent letters, asked the people who had been receiving money from abroad to account for it. You’ll be surprised to know that there were 20 thousand people… 20 thousand organizations who declined to give us information. They did not even put in fresh applications. This clearly meant that the money which was coming in was being used for wrongful activities. It was being used to damage the country. Now, definitely these people were indulging in wrongful activities. In these 20 thousand organizations, somebody or the other would have a link. Now these shops got closed when Modi took such a big step. If there are 20 thousand such powerful people, then there will be some people from among them, who would misguide other people to spread such hoax.

    Question- Prime Minister, one final question for you ... Manmohan Singh, who was the Prime Minister before you… He gave a statement which was debated upon a lot… he said that the resources of this country should be the first right of one particular religion. What is your take on it?

    Prime Minister- In that meeting, I was present as Chief Minister and when Manmohan Singhji said such a thing, the whole House was shocked, people were astonished as to what he was speaking … and at the same time, I came out and gave a byte that first rights on the resources of this country are that of the poor, the downtrodden, the victims, the exploited. We should not paint the resources of our country with the color of one sect. Such vote bank politics should not be practiced and such a declaration from the Prime Minister's mouth, on such an important forum will never acceptable this country. I had said that day and I am still saying that the resources of this country should be used for the future of the country… should be used for every poor of the country.

    Question- Prime Minister, since the elections are going on… our best wishes for you … and thank you very much for giving time to DD Doordarshan and Rajya Sabha TV.

    Prime Minister- I am also grateful to Doordarshan and Rajya Sabha TV for this opportunity to meet you your audience through you. Thanks a lot.




  • The Sun is probably the most studied celestial object, but it still hosts mysteries that scientists have been trying to unravel for decades, for example, the origin of coronal mass ejections which can potentially affect the Earth.

    A team of scientists at the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA) in Pune, Maharashtra have been leading an international group of researchers to understand some of these mysteries.

    "The sun is a surprisingly challenging radio source to study. Its emission can change within a second and can be very different, even across nearby frequencies," said Divya Oberoi, from NCRA, who led the study published in the Astrophysical Journal.

    "In addition, the radiation due to the magnetic fields is so weak that it is like looking for the feeble light from a candle in the beam of a powerful headlight," Oberoi said in a statement.

    "On top of this, seeing coronal emission at radio frequencies is a bit like looking through a frosted glass, which distorts and blurs the original image," he said. The Sun has some of the most powerful explosions in the solar system. Their possible impacts on Earth include electric blackouts, satellite damage, disruption of GPS based navigation, and other sensitive systems. Hence, it is becoming increasingly important to understand and predict space weather reliably.

    The magnetic fields in the sun's atmosphere, the corona, are the energy source for these massive explosions, and they are notoriously difficult to measure. Observations in radio wavelengths are best suited for this problem, but even there, this information is very hard to extract.

    A new telescope extremely well suited for solar studies has recently become available: the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) in Australia.

    To keep up with the rapid changes in solar emissions, it is necessary to make images of the sun at every half-second interval, and also at hundreds of closely spaced frequencies, totalling to about a million solar images every hour.

    The researchers recently developed an automated software pipeline for making these images. "The solar images from this pipeline also offer the highest contrast, which has ever been achieved, and are a big step toward understanding space weather," said Surajit Mondal, the lead author the study.

    This pipeline is called the Automated Imaging Routine for Compact Arrays for the Radio Sun, or AIRCARS. The contrast of the images from AIRCARS is much better than the best solar images available.

    These high-contrast images have already yielded their first discovery -- a group of weak radio bursts, researchers said. This work has also led to the exciting discovery of oscillations in the size of the radio-emitting region and its brightness.

    "These findings challenge the conventional wisdom of these oscillations arising in the local magnetised plasma and point to a new phenomenon operating deep down at the base of the solar atmosphere," said Atul Mohan, PhD student at NARC.

    These images have also led to a technique for estimating, for the first time, the details of exactly how passing through the corona distorts the radiation passing through it, researchers said. 

  • Country's oldest private airline, Jet Airways, announced a temporarily suspension of its operations due to the ongoing financial crisis.

    The airline's last flight took off on Wednesday night, between Mumbai and Amritsar. However, regular meetings are being held to find a solution to the problem. Employees of the airline also had a meeting with the management to resolve the issue.

    Jet has become the second company to suspend its operations, after Kingfisher went through a similar fate in 2012. The new development has raised questions on the future of 22000 employees. However, aviation regulator DGCA said it will ask the airline for a "concrete and credible" revival plan, as well as extend help within the regulatory framework.

    National carrier Air India is looking at leasing five of the grounded carrier Jet Airways Boeing 777s and operate them to London, Dubai and Singapore. Meanwhile, The Bombay High Court has refused to intervene in the Jet Airways crisis, saying it cannot direct the government and the Reserve Bank of India to rescue a "sick company".

    Following the announcement, passengers were seen at the Mumbai Airport seeking a refund for their tickets.

    The stock market too saw a downward trend following the announcement. Shares of Jet Airways continued to fall for the second day in a row, plummeting over 32 % on Thursday. Lenders of the airline in a statement have said that they are reasonably hopeful of a successful bidding process for stake sale.


  • "Authorities are monitoring the situation very closely. All possible assistance is being given to those affected," he tweeted.

    In another tweet, it was informed that PM Modi has approved an ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh each from the Prime Minister's National Relief Fund for the next of kin of those who have lost their lives due to unseasonal rain and storm in various parts of Gujarat.