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LIVE! Sonia Gandhi in hospital due to food poisoning

23:11  Sonia Gandhi in hospital due to food poisoning:  

Congress president Sonia Gandhi has been admitted to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in New Delhi after food poisoning.

Chairman of the Board of Management of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital D S Rana said Gandhi was admitted after she suffered from food poisoning.

She is doing better now and will be discharged soon, he said.

She was admitted to the hospital on Sunday, the hospital said.

22:56  US-Pak relationship like a ‘critically ill patient’: Rice:  

The US’ relationship with Pakistan is like a “critically ill patient” as one has to just try to keep it alive for the next day, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has said.

Rice also asserted that Pakistan was not the “stalwart fighter” against particularly the Taliban in that area between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“The relationship with Pakistan is kind of like a critically ill patient. You know, you get up every day, you take the pulse, you deal with whatever fever has set in overnight and you just try to keep it alive for the next day,”

Rice told MSNBC.

“That’s how I thought about Pakistan when I was there. It’s a relationship you’ve got to have but it is tough,” said Rice, who served as the National Security Advisor and the Secretary of State under the Bush administration.

Rice, author of the new book ‘Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom’, made the remarks while responding to a question on Pakistan.

“There is no doubt that Pakistan has got internal issues. I still think that Pakistan is not the stalwart fighter against particularly the Taliban in that area between Afghanistan and Pakistan,” she said.

“But Pakistan is a little bit more stable than it’s been in a number of years. So maybe there’s something,” Rice said. 


22:40  Tendulkar reveals who started ‘Sachin-Sachin’ chant:  ‘Sachin-Sachin’ chant has become popular across the globe, but cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar has revealed that it was his mother who actually started it. 

“I never thought ‘Sachin Sachin’ (chant) would continue beyond my playing days. It has now gone to the theatres. So I feel happy,” the right-handed batsman said. 

He was speaking after a song from a movie “Sachin: A Billion Dreams”, based on his life, was launched in Mumbai in presence of music composer A R Rahman. 

“My mother started it actually. I used to go play downstairs and to call me back home, mother would call ‘Sachin Sachin’,” Tednulkar said when asked when did he first hear the chant. 

There is an iconic picture of a young Tendulkar holding a bat. Asked about it, Tendulkar said, “This was actually taken at home when I was playing with my brother. This was in the balcony. I was only four or five then. My positions weren’t perfect. What I enjoyed was, hitting the ball. Be it a cricket bat or a tennis racket. My brother would chuck tennis ball, few I used to hit from cricket bat, few from rackets.”

22:33  Now, pay after delivery of train tickets at doorstep:  The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation or IRCTC has offered delivery of rail tickets allowing passengers to make payment through any payment mode, including cash. 

Broad-basing the customer service, the IRCTC has now introduced pay-on- delivery service allowing passengers to book train tickets online and pay at the time of delivery. 

The IRCTC through its website and mobile app has now introduced pay-on-delivery as one of the payment options for its customers, said a senior official.

Delivering tickets at the consumer’s doorstep by offering the pay-on-delivery (PoD) option will facilitate those consumers who book through travel agents to move to online medium. 

It will also encourage people who book at railway reservation counters to move to online medium as there is a cost and effort to reach the reservation counters. 

The customer will have to do a one-time registration for availing PoD as a payment option. He or she will have to tender either Aadhaar or PAN card to avail this payment option.

PoD charges shall be Rs 90 plus sales tax for transactions up to Rs 5,000 and Rs 120 plus tax for transactions over Rs 5,000. 

 In case of refusal or cancellation before delivery, the customer will be liable to pay the cancellation and delivery charges.


21:56  India to get above average monsoon rains this year: IMD chief:  

Reiterating its forecast, the chief of the weather office on Tuesday said that India is likely to receive above average monsoon rainfall as concern over the El Nino weather condition has eased in the past few weeks

The state-run India Meteorological Department on April 18 forecast this year’s monsoon rains at 96 percent of a 50-year average of 89 cm.

“Things have changed for good since then,” KJ Ramesh, director general of the state-run India Meteorological Department, told Reuters in an interview.

The monsoon delivers about 70 percent of India’s annual rainfall, critical for growing crops such as rice, cane, corn, cotton and soybeans because nearly half of the country’s farmland lacks irrigation.

“We assessed 96 percent based on the climatological conditions up to March. Now, conditions are becoming favourable for an improvement over our April 18 estimate,” he said.

India defines average, or normal, rainfall as between 96 percent and 104 percent of the 50-year average.

21:34  I will be president for all South Koreans, says Moon:  Left-leaning former human rights lawyer Moon Jae-In, on course for a landslide victory in South Korea’s presidential election, pledged today to represent all the country’s people.

“I will be president for all South Koreans,” he told cheering supporters on Gwanghwamun Square in Seoul — where vast crowds gathered over several months to demand the removal of his predecessor Park Geun-Hye over a huge corruption scandal.

20:58  China tests new guided missile in Bohai Sea:  China today said it has tested a new guided missile in the Bohai Sea near the Korean peninsula to raise the operational capability of its armed forces and “effectively respond to threats” to national security.

In a brief statement, the Chinese defence ministry did not specify when the missile was tested.

The tests of new missiles and weapons were carried out by the People’s Liberation Army’s Rocket Force in recent days and were designed to “raise operational capability” of the armed forces to “effectively respond to threats” to national security, the statement said.


20:32  AAP hacked ‘look-alike’ gadget, not our EVM: EC:  The Election Commission on Tuesday rejected the claim of the Aam Aadmi Party that its EVMs can be hacked, saying the machine hacked in the Delhi assembly was a “look-alike” gadget and not an actual equipment used by it. 

“It is common sense that gadgets other than ECI-EVMs can be programmed to perform in a pre-determined way, but it simply cannot be implied that ECI-EVMs will behave in the same manner because they are technically secured and function under an elaborate administrative and security protocol,” the commission said in a statement. 

The “so-called” demonstration on “extraneous and duplicate gadgets” which are not owned by the EC “cannot be exploited to influence our intelligent citizens and electorate to assail or vilify the EVMs used by the Commission in its electoral process, it added.

Earlier, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had dared the EC to provide an electronic voting machine to the AAP, claiming it can be tampered with in ’90 seconds’ flat. 

Later during a day-long special sitting of the Delhi assembly, AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj put on a “live demonstration” on how EVMs can be programmed “to favour” any political party.

20:18  Centre asks BJP, Congress, AAP to give details of overseas funding:  

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, the Congress, the Aam Aadmi Party and a few other political parties have been asked by the Centre to furnish details about the source of their overseas funding.

The ministry of home affairs, in separate communications, has asked the political parties to give details of their sources of funding, including those from abroad or foreign business enterprises, official sources said.

The sources, however, said this was part of the routine communication sent to political parties every year to ascertain whether the outfits have violated the provisions of the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act.

The officials made it clear that these were “not show cause notices” and a decision in this regard would be taken only after the replies were received from the political parties.

The AAP, which was served the notice last week, had alleged that the Central government’s move was a clear case of “political witch hunt” and that it was very “dangerous” for democracy.

“It is a clear case of political witch hunt. All the agencies at the Centre’s disposal have been unleashed against the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), its government in Delhi and its ministers, which is very dangerous for democracy,” the party had said in a statement.


19:46  EVMs can be tampered with in 90 secs: Kejriwal:  

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today dared the Election Commission to provide an EVM to the AAP, claiming it can be tampered with in 90 seconds flat.

 During a day-long special sitting of the Delhi Assembly today, AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj put on a “live demonstration” on how electronic voting machines can be programmed to favour any political party.

“He (Bhardwaj) showed how easy it is to hack EVMs and it is being done on a massive scale. It is dangerous for the democracy and the country, and people should raise their voice against it.

“The ECI can give us its machines, we will show how to hack it in 90 seconds by merely changing its motherboard,” Kejriwal told reporters outside the assembly.

Bhardwaj claimed that a voting machine can be manipulated by simply feeding it with a “secret code”.

The Election Commission, which maintains that EVMs cannot be programmed to favour any party, did not officially react. However, sources said the machine “did not” seem to be among the ones that are used during elections. 

18:53  Prime Minister Narendra Modi calls up Emmanuel Macron to convey his congratulations on his victory in French Presidential polls.


18:29  After EC rejects AAP’s EVM hacking demo, party dares: Give us a real machine:  The Election Commission dares AAP to ‘tamper with an actual EVM at its hackathon in few weeks’ and calls for an all-party meet. AAP says it will take part in the EC’s meet and tells the EC to fix the date and time and will hack the EVMs again. 

The Aam Aadmi Party has also dared the EC to provide it with an original EVM after the central poll panel raised questions over the party’s live demo of a voting machine hacking in the Delhi Assembly today.

AAP MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj demonstrated how an EVM can be hacked  during the Assembly’s special session today. However, the voting machine the Greater Kailash MLA used was a dummy of what the Election Commission actually uses during polling.

The Aam Aadmi Party said it will participate in the May 12 all party meeting to discuss the issue concerning EVMs.

The Election Commission has time and again rubbished allegations that EVMs can be programmed to favour any particular party.

17:27  Pak summons Iranian envoy over army chief’s provocative remarks:  Pakistan today summoned Iranian ambassador to express its concern over Iran army chief’s remarks that Tehran will hit “safe havens” of terrorists in Pakistan until Islamabad takes steps to stop militants from carrying out cross-border attacks. Iran’s state news agency IRNA yesterday quoted Major General Mohammed Baqeri as saying that “unless Pakistan control(s) the borders, arrest(s) the terrorist and shut(s) down their bases, we will hit their safe havens and cells wherever they are”. Baqeri’s remarks came after Iranian border troops were killed in a clash with militants.

17:07  Media can’t be prosecution, judge, executioner: Tharoor on wife’s death:   Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday targeted the media for its reportage in the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar and asserted that he had nothing to hide in the matter.

Sunanda Pushkar was found dead at a suite in a five star hotel in South Delhi on the night of January 17, 2014.

Tharoor addressed the media at his residence in Thiruvananthapuram after a television channel had broadcast a news item that claimed that he was involved in Sunanda Pushkar’s death.

Tharoor said the said channel’s broadcast was a bid to establish itself. “The media has very important role as a witness but the media doesn’t have a role of being a prosecutor, a judge or an executioner.”

The Thiruvananthapuram MP said he had nothing to hide and had been fully cooperative with the police.

“Full facts and all the circumstances that have been mentioned in yesterday’s distorted broadcast are known to the police. They have been investigating for last three years and so far have not been able to establish whether any murder has even occurred,” said Tharoor.

Earlier this year, the head of All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) forensic department, Sudhir Gupta had confirmed that the death of Sunanda Pushkar Tharoor was unnatural and caused due to poisoning.

“Sunanda Pushkar’s death was unnatural. We clearly said that this is a case of poisoning. This has been clearly stated in the opinion. This opinion has been made and formed on the basis of circumstantial evidence where certain drugs and poison have been recovered by Delhi police itself,” Gupta told ANI.

Asserting that there is no iota of doubt in Sunanda’s death case, he added, “This has also been confirmed by the chemical examination report of FBI America.”

The AIIMS medical board had earlier in its reports, said that Sunanda was died of poisoning due to an overdose of the anti-anxiety drug Alprax.


16:58  Delhi BJP to lodge complaint with EC against AAP:  The Delhi BJP on Tuesday stepped up its attack on the AAP, saying it will lodge a complaint with the Election Commission for the party’s alleged involvement in corruption cases and seek its derecognition.

The saffron party’s Delhi unit chief Manoj Tiwari, at a press conference in Delhi, alleged that there were “gross discrepancies’ in the figures of donation amount shown by the AAP in its affidavits, party website, and what it has declared to the EC.

“One private news channel has done an ‘expose on the AAP’ when it comes to donations received by it. And, there is ‘huge difference in the figures shown in its affidavit and what the Arvind Kejriwal-led party has told the EC,” he alleged. “And, discrepancies exist in donation figures for both years, 2013-14 and 2014-15,” Tiwari said.

The Delhi BJP chief, read out figures, quoting from the channel’s claim. “So, in 2013-14, the AAP showed a donation amount of Rs 50.64 crore in the affidavit, Rs 19.82 crore on its party website, but to the EC it told that the figure stood at only Rs 6 crore.

“We wonder if this missing amount was routed in the corruption cases against the party that its own (sacked) Cabinet minister has highlighted,” he alleged.

“So, based on the past and this new corruption case, a delegation of the party will go and meet the chief election commissioner at 4 pm to lodge a complaint. We will also urge the EC to probe the entire accounts of the AAP. And based on the string of irregularities being exposed, we will also ask the EC to derecognise the party,” Tiwari said.

15:59  Update on the AAP claims of EVM rigging: Saurabh Bhardwaj, the AAP MLA who demonstrated how the rigging can be done, said, “All it takes to rig EVM is changing the motherboard. If polls continue to be done through these, there will be no democracy.”


15:46  EVM tampering: AAP MLA demonstrates in Assembly how votes can be rigged :  Saurabh Bharadwaj, the Aam Aadmi Party MLA from Greater Kailash, on Tuesday claimed in the Delhi Assembly that EVMs can be tampered with using a certain secret code which any voter in the know can insert in the machine. Bhardwaj said that each party has a code and when that code is keyed into the machine all votes registered on the machine will go to the party the machine has been rigged for.

Bharadwaj, who was a software engineer before he joined politics, claimed the EVM machines can be tampered with easily, and demonstrated on a mock machine.

Giving a step-by-step demonstration of the how the tampering is allegedly done, he said there are different codes to make anyone on the panel win, based on their position in the panel. After the BJP swept the polls in UP, opposition parties — the BSP, Congress, AAP, SP and CPM — claimed that the machines were tampered with.

Bhardwaj demonstrated that the vote tally is absolutely different from actual votes cast. He resets the machine with the code and demonstrates that the same EVM, which passed the mock test, could be manipulated during polls.

He said he spent 10 years working in this field and challenged any scientist to explain it to him.

Also read: Who is Saurabh Bharadwaj?

15:22  AAP MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj displays how the manipulator enters the code and changes the vote share so far into the polls. 

15:06  Yogendra Yadav @_YogendraYadav on the graft charges against Arvind Kejriwal:  “While we don’t have any Prima facie evidence yet on 2cr bribery charge, farmhouse & PWD scam charges merit full response & credible probe.”


14:59  ‘Happy to have met. My best wishes’:   Akshay Kumar mets PM Modi ahead of his upcoming film: “Met PM @narendramodi and got the opportunity to tell him about my upcoming ‘Toilet-Ek Prem Katha.’ His smile at just the title made my day!”

The PM responded to the tweet saying, “Happy to have met. My best wishes.”


14:36  AAP’s ‘big revelation’ in Assembly is about EVM tampering :  The special sitting of the Delhi state assembly is underway to pass a Goods and Services Tax-related bill.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had tweeted this morning there will be an expose on a “big conspiracy on an issue now raging in the country.”

The Speaker warned the members of the house to maintain decorum. Highlights of what is happening at the assembly session:

BJP and AAP legislators trade charges in the Delhi assembly. The Speaker asks BJP leader Vijender Gupta to leave the House. The Speaker said, “Allow the house to function.” Gupta was then marshalled out of the Delhi assembly

AAP MLA Alka Lamba speaking now: “The BJP had questioned EVMs in the past, but it doesn’t do so anymore. We feel that the votes people have given have not gone to the people they voted for. Questions are being raised. EC has not given access to EVMs. Old EVMs used in civic polls.”

AAP is expected to give a demo on EVM tampering inside the assembly.

14:29  Uproar in Delhi Assembly, BJP lawmaker Vijender Gupta asked to exit. He was escorted out. 

14:11  Special Delhi Assembly session begins:  Special Delhi Assembly session underway, during which CM Arvind Kejriwal has promised a ‘big revelation’. Kapil Mishra has skipped the session. Arvind Kejriwal will respond to Mishra’s graft charges in the Assembly.

14:09  Kapil Mishra nothing but a ‘bouquet of lies’: AAP:   Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader HS Phoolka on Tuesday branded suspended Delhi Minister Kapil Mishra as a ‘bouquet of lies’.

After his removal from Delhi Cabinet, Mishra has been grabbing headlines by leveling sensational allegations against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejiwal and Delhi Minister Satyendra Jain.

Talking to ANI, Phoolka questioned Mishra’s biggest allegation against Kejriwal of accepting bribe of Rs 2 crore from Delhi Minister Satyendra Jain in front of him. “If it was bribe money, why would it be given in front of a third person? Jain has denied going to Kejriwal’s house on that day. Mishra has failed to answer media queries properly,” said Phoolka, adding that Mishra’s charges aren’t believable.

He further opined that Mishra should public the address of that farmhouse, which according to him belongs to Kejriwal’s relative.Brining in another angle into the debacle, the eminent lawyer alleged that the Union Government led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been harassing Kejriwal.

“The one who favours Kejriwal faces criminal cases and those who speak against Kejriwal are being made a hero,” said Phoolka.He said when Mishra was with Kejriwal then he was summoned by the Anti- Corruption Bureau for no reason.

14:00  Rich farmers rare, no plans to tax agricultural income: Jaitley:  Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said the government has no plans to tax agricultural income, including that of prosperous farmers, saying a rich farmer is “a very rare institution” and not the norm.

In an interview to PTI, he said the farm sector is in distress and there was no question of taxing agricultural income. NITI Aayog member Bibek Debroy had late last month stated that farmers should be liable to pay tax on their incomes at par with other citizens after seasonal fluctuations are adjusted.

“I have already contradicted that. I have already said that we are not in favour of doing that,” he said. Stating that the agriculture sector is under distress, he said farm holdings are very small in size.


13:51  NEET dress code row: 4 school teachers in Kerala suspended :   Four school teachers in Kerala suspended over ‘dress code harassment’ during the NEET medical exam in Kannur.

The move comes after angry parents hurt over the manner in which their daughters were forced to remove their clothes, including inner wear, for appearing in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test, filed complaints before the Central Board of Secondary Education and the National Human Rights Commission.

The strict adherence to the CBSE’s anti-cheating dress code for those appearing for the NEET saw an invigilator asking a student in Pariyaram in Kannur to remove her bra before writing the exam on Sunday.

Reacting to the incident, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said “forcibly implementing such regulations in the name of dress code cannot be accepted by any civilised society.”

A few complaints have been received on the manner in which some students were frisked in certain examination centres, he said in a Facebook Post.

He said a student was asked to remove her inner wear.

“If the incident is true, it is a serious violation of human rights. Such restrictions will mentally affect the children appearing for the exams,” the chief minister said.

The Kerala Child Rights Commission has sought a detailed report from CBSE within 10 days, even as the Kerala Human Rights Commission suo motu registered a case against the CBSE and demanded a high level probe.

Representational image.

13:28  Jakarta’s Christian governor jailed for two years for blasphemy:  Jakarta’s Christian governor was jailed for two years today after being found guilty of blasphemy, in a shock decision that has stoked concerns over rising religious intolerance in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation.

Islamic hardliners outside the Jakarta court cheered and shouted “God is greatest!” as news came through that Basuki Tjahaja Purnama was to be sent to prison, a surprisingly harsh punishment after prosecutors recommended only probation.

Purnama, Jakarta’s first non-Muslim governor for half a century and its first ethnic Chinese leader, looked calm when the verdict was announced and said he would appeal, as some of his supporters in court burst into tears.

The governor was taken to a Jakarta prison after the verdict but it was unclear whether he would remain in jail or be released later to allow him to file his appeal. The governor was hauled into court last year to face trial on charges of insulting Islam while campaigning for re-election, in a case critics said was politically motivated.

13:24  Former AAP member Prashant Bhushan tweets: Whatever the truth in Mishra’s charges, remember he was AK’s handpicked ‘diamond’ who led physical attack on my 90Yr father at AAP’s NC meet.


12:49  Gurudev will be remembered for his powerful thoughts: PM :  Prime Minister Narendra Modi today paid rich tribute to Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore on his birth anniversary. Hailing the Bard of Bengal for his “contribution to the freedom movement’, PM Modi said, “Gurudev Tagore will always be remembered for his powerful thoughts.”

Tagore’s birth anniversary will be celebrated today across India.

President Pranab Mukherjee has also urged people to draw inspiration from Tagore’s idea of ‘oneness of humanity’ as he greeted the country on the eve of the poet’s birth anniversary.

“On the occasion of the birth anniversary of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, I pay humble tribute to this great creative genius, who authored India’s national anthem and won for Asia its first Nobel Prize in literature,” he said.

Mukherjee said Tagore was an intellectual giant and that he was fascinated by the idea of interaction between civilisations through the exchange of knowledge about their cultures and literatures.

Image: Rabindranath Tagore with his daughter Madhurilata in 1890.


12:38  I know your every move, I’m treading cautiously: Kapil Mishra tells Kejriwal:  Update: Sacked AAP minister Kapil Mishra, who has levelled allegations of graft against Kejriwal and minister Satyendar Jain, has also said the following:

— He had received 211 “corruption-related” complaints against the party and the government since last evening.

— “What has happened in the past two years is most unfortunate. You and four-five of your friends have betrayed the people of the country,” he wrote.

— Mishra said he was out to demolish the labyrinth of lies, betrayal and corruption and would go to any extent in his fight against corruption.

— “I know your every move and I am treading cautiously. I will tell the CBI everything that I have seen or heard,” he threatened.

— He claimed that he had been removed from his ministerial post for writing a letter to the Anti Corruption Branch (ACB).

— “You know what kind of deals I am talking about. Had I not written to the ACB, you would have not removed me in a hasty manner,” he added.

Ratcheting up his attack on Kejriwal and the party leadership, Mishra had yesterday submitted documents related to the water tanker scam to the ACB, alleging that Kejriwal delaying probe against former chief minister Sheila Dikshit.


12:26  India’s GDP To Grow At 7.5% in 2018: UN report :  If you’ve missed this, here’s a repost.

The Indian economy will grow 7.5 per cent next year by virtue of consumption revival and higher infrastructure spending, says a report by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

For 2017, India’s economic growth is projected stable at 7.1 per cent before catapulting to 7.5 per cent going into the next year, the regional development arm of the the United Nations said.

This forecast is “underpinned by higher private and public consumption and increased infrastructure spending,” the report said.

The International Monetary Fund last month projected the India’s growth at 7.2 per cent in the fiscal 2017-18 and at 7.7 per cent for the next financial year. While, the Manila-headquartered Asian Development Bank sees the growth jumping to 7.4 per cent in 2017-18 and 7.6 per cent in the next.


12:23  BJP workers protest outside Kejriwal’s home :  Water cannons used to disperse BJP workers protesting outside Kejriwal’s residence. They are demanding his Satyendra Jain’s resignations. Kapil Mishra on Saturday alleged that he saw Health Minister Satyendra Jain giving Rs 2 crore to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

12:19  Kapil Mishra’s yellow envelope proof of Kejriwal’s graft?:  Sacked Aam Aadmi Party minister Kapil Mishra – who was suspended yesterday – went to the CBI today, armed with yellow envelopes that he said were his proof. Those envelopes, he said, had his statements, not clarifying whether that was all he had to show for his allegation that Kejriwal had taken a bribe. This morning, he dramatically called Kejriwal his mentor and sought his blessings and “forgiveness” before “the biggest step of my life”.

12:06  Big revelation at 2 pm today, promises Kejriwal :  Update on the Arvind Kejriwal-Kapil Mishra clash.

To begin with,  AAP receives an Income Tax notice on a Rs 2 crore donation.

The Delhi CM’s aides have promised a big revelation at 2 pm today when the Delhi assembly sits for a special one-day session called to pass a Goods and Services Tax-related bill. The expose, reports NDTV, will centre around the alleged tampering of Electronic Voting Machines or EVMs.   

And Arvind Kejriwal is not resigning as the chief minister of Delhi.

Ankit Lal, who is heads AAP’s IT and Innovation cell, last night tweeted, “No. @ArvindKejriwal is not resigning. But it’s something bigger than this…Watch out…today, 2pm, Delhi assembly!”

He tweeted, “Keep yourself free tomorrow 2pm onwards. Tune in to Delhi assembly live telecast on Website and FB. It’ll be interesting to say the least.”

Kejriwal also tweeted saying a big conspiracy will be revealed in the assembly today by MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj.

Meanwhile, the sacked AAP minister Kapil Mishra , who has levelled corruption charges against Kejriwal, today challenged the AAP chief to contest an election against him.

11:44  AAP under total `dictatorial` rule of Kejriwal: Congress :  With ex-Delhi minister Kapil Mishra blowing the whistle against corruption within the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Congress on Tuesday said that the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal-led party has the become the worst of all political outfits.

Asserting that there is no internal democracy within the AAP, Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken said that anyone who raises their voice against party supremo Kejriwal is targeted.

“This is a continuation of what has been happening in the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Anyone who tries to raise their voice against Kejriwal, or tries to raise dissent in the party, action is taken against them. I would like to ask, where is the internal democracy in Aam Aadmi Party for which it was created,” Maken told ANI, adding that the basic premises on which the AAP was created has been compromised.”People in AAP are working under total dictatorial attitude of Kejriwal,” he added.

Meanwhile, another Congress leader Tom Vadakkan urged an immediate action against the corrupt elements in the party.

“In view of the new inputs, the Anti-corruption chief must investigate this matter urgently. Because on the basis of this an FIR must be launched against the accused and action must be taken against these corrupt elements,” said Vadakkan.


11:29  UPDATE: SC sentences Justice CS Karnan to 6 months in jail ‘immediately’:  

The Supreme Court on Tuesday held Calcutta high court justice CS Karnan guilty of contempt of court. The court sentenced Karnan to six-month imprisonment.

The apex court has also banned the media from publishing content of orders passed by Justice Karnan. 

The apex court verdict came after Karnan on Monday “sentenced” Chief Justice of India JS. Khehar and seven other judges of the Supreme Court to five years’ rigorous imprisonment.

Justice Karnan had on 4 May declined to undergo a mental health checkup as ordered by the apex court, telling a team of doctors he is “absolutely normal” and has a “stable mind”.


11:06  UPDATE: SC holds Vijay Mallya guilty of contempt of court, summons him on July 10:   The Supreme Court says it has held Vijay Mallya guilty for contempt of court on two grounds and directs him to appear before it on July 10. 

Mallya, 61, who fled from India last year, owes over Rs 9000 crore to the banks.

At present, Mallya is living in the United Kingdom and facing extradition proceedings. The businessman is wanted in India for alleged loan default and money laundering cases.

The consortium of banks had pleaded for contempt proceedings against Mallya in the apex court after the businessman received $40 million from British firm Diageo Plc in February last year but transferred the fund to his children, instead of repaying the loan.


10:38  No junk food sale in Maharashtra school canteens:  

Vegetable khicdi, Rajma-rice and idli-vada will be among the dishes that will replace pizza, noodles and pastries in school canteens across Maharashtra as the state government has banned sale of junk food in school cafeterias.

A Government Resolution listed 12 categories of foods which cover potato chips, noodles, carbonated soft drinks, pizza, burger, cakes, biscuits, buns, pastries, etc, which can not be sold.

It also gives a list of 20 items that can be sold, which include wheat roti, vegetable pulav, idli-vada, coconut water and jaljira.

The GR said the Union government had set up a Task Force under the chairmanship of Director, National Nutrition Institute, Hyderabad to promote consumption of healthy food by children in schools and to ban sale of junk food.


10:25  Beijing deletes envoy’s suggestion to rename China-Pakistan corridor:  

An embarrassed China has expunged its India’s envoy’s suggestion that Beijing could think about renaming the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to allay New Delhi’s “sovereignty” concerns as the corridor passes through Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir. 

The suggestion made by envoy Luo Zhaohui has been removed from the official version of his speech published on Chinese embassy’s website.

With Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif heading to Beijing next week to attend the high-profile Belt and Road Forum (BRF), it would had left Beijing fairly red in the face to have been seen to be tweaking with the CPEC’s name the prized and prestigious project to be showcased at the BRF. That too on behalf of a country — India — that has till now snubbed the Belt and Road Initiative.

Speaking at the United Service Institution in New Delhi last week, Ambassador Luo had said referring to India’s concerns that CPEC violated its sovereignty as it passes through Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir that China could think about renaming it.


10:15  Rides on Delhi Metro to become costlier from Wednesday:  Fares on Delhi Metro are to be increased in two phases, starting Wednesday.   

The base fare has been increased to Rs 10, from Rs 8. The maximum fare would increase to Rs 60 from October 1, when the second phase of the increase would come into effect. 

The maximum fare would be Rs 50 in the first phase from the existing Rs 30, reports Megha Manchanda in Business Standard.   

‘There will be a total of six fare slabs, against the existing 15, with a minimum fare of Rs 10 and a maximum fare of Rs 50 in phase-I,’ Delhi Metro said.   

To encourage ridership on Sundays and national holidays, discounted fares have been approved. 

Metro spokesperson Anuj Dayal said there would be a discount of around Rs 10 across slabs on Sundays and national holidays (January 26, August 15 and October 2). 

The prevailing 10 per cent discount on every journey made by a passenger using a Smart Card would also continue.   

To avoid overcrowding during peak hours, an additional 10 per cent discount will be given to passengers using Smart Cards who exit from the Metro system during off-peak hours  (6 am to 8 am, 12 noon to 5 pm and 9 pm onwards).   

Fares on the Airport Express line remain unchanged.


09:49  Amazon does it again, sells Indian map without disputed territories:  

Amazon Canada has once again landed a soup after a Bharatiya Janata Party leader observed that the online site was selling an incorrect version of the map of India.

BJP Delhi spokesperson Tajinder Pal S Bagga found that Amazon Canada is selling a map of India that differs from the Indian government’s official one.

Bagga took to Twitter to raise concern about the vinyl wall sticker map that excludes areas disputed by Pakistan and China asking them to take it down.

“ is selling distorted Map of India. It’s unacceptable. Remove this from ur website & stoop selling immediately [sic],” Bagga tweeted.

The product which is said to have transgressed the 2016 Geospatial Information Regulation Bill, is being sold by an unknown seller who recently registered on the website.

It is not the first time that the company has landed in controversy for selling things related to India.

In January this year, Amazon had apologised for selling doormats bearing the Indian national flag on its Canadian website, and removed the product.

09:41  JUST IN: Pakistan violates ceasefire in Mankote area along LoC in Poonch sector; Indian troops retaliate


09:39  Shekhar Kapur to direct film on young Bruce Lee:  Filmmaker Shekhar Kapur has been signed on to co-write and direct Little Dragon, a feature film about Bruce Lee’s early days.   

The film is backed by Chinese investors and will explore the formative years and adventures of the martial arts legend in 1950s Hong Kong, according to Hollywood Reporter.   

Veteran Hollywood casting director Mary Vernieu is currently leading a worldwide search for the actor to play the charismatic teenager, Lee.   

The film will be co-scripted and produced by Lee’s daughter, Shannon Lee, who runs Bruce Lee Entertainment, a division of the Bruce Lee Family Company, which is dedicated to promoting and protecting Lee’s legacy and ideas.   

“The film will be a contemporary take on Bruce Lee who, aside from being considered the most gifted and famous martial artist of all time, is now accepted as a major philosopher in his own right,” said Kapur in a statement.   

“It is important that audiences today can relate their own lives to the journey of Bruce Lee, who manages to tap into his inner wisdom and harness his true destiny before it’s too late.”   

Little Dragon is being planned as an official US-China co-production, with several Chinese companies attached to co-finance and co-produce, including Dadi Media Group, Beijing Golden World Pictures, Shanghai Longzhilin Cultural Investment Partnership and Kirin Media.   

Now in pre-production, the project will begin shooting this summer in China and Malaysia.


09:16  Suspended AAP leader Kapil Mishra dares Kejriwal for electoral fight:  

In the Kapil Mishra vs Arvind Kejriwal battle, the sacked leader has struck again this time challenging the AAP leader and Delhi CM for an electoral fight. 

He also said that he would be filing a FIR against the Delhi CM. 

Ahead of his meeting with the CBI, Mishra, the sacked water minister, addressed a press conference. 

Here are the highlights from his presser. 

>> I am going to meet the CBI today to file a corruption complaint

>> Disheartened to fight against you (Arvind Kejriwal)

>>  Ask for forgiveness and blessings from Kejriwal, but I will not quit this fight against corruption

>> Accept this challenge from me: If there’s a shred of morality left in you, resign from your seat, fight election against me

On Sunday, Mishra had alleged that Kejriwal had taken a Rs 2 crore bribe from his cabinet minister Satyendra Jain. 


09:06  Madhu Kishwar named to JNU council as School of Arts expert:  

JNU Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar has nominated scholar-activist Madhu Kishwar to the universitys Academic Council to represent the School of Arts & Aesthetics as an outside expert for two years.

As an AC member, Kishwar will have the power to decide on matters related to JNUs academic policies. The university will hold its 143rd AC meeting on May 9.

Sources said Kishwar was sent an official letter on May 3 to attend the meeting which is expected to debate changes in the university admissions policy including deep cuts in MPhil and PhD seats.

Kishwar, founding editor of Manushi, is a graduate of Miranda House and JNU and has widely researched and written on issues of gender and politics. In 2014, she published Modi, Muslims and Media: Voices from Narendra Modis Gujarat.

The move to appoint Kishwar hasnt gone down well with a section of the faculty, including the Dean of SAA. Some teachers criticised Kishwars nomination saying her name was not among the list of experts provided by the School to the V-C. 

08:56  And by the tweet put up by Kapil Mishra, we can expect some more news. 

“At 9 am today, important announcement . I will be going to CBI office at 11:30 am.”


08:44  After Mishra, now Swamy levels Rs 2 crore bribery charge against Kejriwal:  

BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy has targeted Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over another Rs 2 crore alleged bribery case, after sacked AAP minister Kapil Mishra accused him of corruption yesterday.

Swamy has shot off a letter to Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, asking him to give sanction to prosecute Kejriwal.

Swamy alleged, “Jung was hand in glove with Kejriwal. All the fight was a facade. He didn’t give sanction to prosecute that I asked for long time back. That’s why I sent a letter of reminder to this LG.”

Kejriwal took a bribe of Rs 2 crore from a private company, Swamy said.

“Kejriwal took the bribe in 4 installments…of Rs 50 lakhs each…in return Kejriwal wrote off a pending VAT issue as quid pro quo,” he said.

So what’s the next step? Swamy is hopeful the LG will give sanction. But what if he doesn’t?

“I will move Supreme Court and bring a contempt charge against the LG. In one case that I fought, SC has clearly said that sanctions has to be given in such cases”, Swamy said.

Swamy also claims he has all the documents to prove his charge.

“It’s a fit case for CBI to take over and investigate”, Swamy said.

08:17  Iran warns will hit militant ‘safe havens’ inside Pakistan:  

The head of the Iranian armed forces warned Islamabad that Tehran would hit bases inside Pakistan if the government does not confront Sunni militants who carry out cross-border attacks.

Ten Iranian border guards were killed by terrorists last month. Iran said Jaish al Adl, a Sunni militant group, had shot the guards with long-range guns, fired from inside Pakistan.

The border area has long been plagued by unrest from both drug smuggling gangs and separatist terrorists.

“We cannot accept the continuation of this situation,” Major General Mohammad Baqeri, the head of the Iranian armed forces was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA.

“We expect the Pakistani officials to control the borders, arrest the terrorists and shut down their bases.”

“If the terrorist attacks continue, we will hit their safe havens and cells, wherever they are,” he said.


07:45  Gujarat Deputy CM’s son barred from flight for being ‘heavily drunk’:  

Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel’s son was stopped from boarding a Qatar Airways flight early on Monday after he arrived in a “heavily drunken” state and argued with the staff at the airport.

Jaiman Patel, who is in his mid-30s, along with his wife Jhalak and daughter Vaishvi were stopped from boarding the plane, which was scheduled to take-off at 4 am, official sources said. 

Patel, who is a land dealer, reached the Ahmedabad International Airport in a drunken state, barely able to walk.

He cleared the immigration and other checks in a wheelchair due to his inebriated condition, said airport officials.

“Jaimin Patel was prevented from boarding the flight. He also had an argument with the staff of the airways,” an official said, requesting anonymity.

Meanwhile, Nitin Patel told reporters in Gandhinagar that this was a ploy to defame him. “My son, his wife and daughter were going for a vacation. He was not feeling well.”


00:23  Maoists trying to expand activities to newer areas: Home ministry:  

The Maoists are trying to extend their “movement” to new areas and they stepped up their activities along the shared borders of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, a government dossier said.

The most deadly of the Naxalites’ formations — the Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee, operating along the southern border flank of Chhattisgarh, is behind this move.

“In order to extend their movement to newer areas and deflect attention of the security forces away from the Dandakaranya region, the CPI-Maoist has stepped up activities at the tri-junction of Chhattisgarh-MP-Maharashtra.

“They plan to develop the area into a new zone for which a vistaar core commiteee has been formed,” it said.

“The DKSZC has reportedly sent around 60 People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army cadres to participate in political and organisational work,” the agenda paper placed by the Union home ministry during Monday’s meeting on Naxal issues with various states said.

It said, in a similar fashion, other inter-state boundaries like along West Bengal-Jharkhand, Odisha-Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh-Jharkhand have also seen activities of the CPI-Maoist for “consolidation and expansion”.

It said 2016 witnessed maximum Naxal violence incidents in the states of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh who together accounted for 68.5 per cent of the total incidents and 69 per cent of the deaths.

“Bihar followed by Odisha and Maharashtra accounted for 12.3 per cent, 8.2 per cent and 6.9 per cent of the incidents respectively. Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana together reported less than 4 per cent incidents,” it said.

Chhattisgarh, it said, despite being the “core area” for Maoist activities recorded a decrease of 15 per cent in incidents of violence in 2016.

“The year 2017 (upto April 15) has also seen an overall 23.3 per cent (377 to 289) decline in number of violent incidents so far as compared to the corresponding period of 2016,” it said.

Source: Rediff