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LIVE! Mulayam confident of winning 'cycle' at Election Commission today

12:22  Clinton will never run for office again: aide:  Hillary Clinton will not run for any elected office again after losing to Donald Trump in the US Presidential polls, her Indian-American aide Neera Tanden has said amid reports that the former secretary of state could run for the post of New York Mayor.

“I think she’s going to figure out ways to help kids and families. That’s been what she’s been focused on her whole life, and a lot of issues that are affecting them, over the next couple of years,” Tanden told CNN. “But I don’t expect her to ever run for any elected office again,” she said.


11:54  End one-China policy and Beijing will take revenge: Chinese state tabloid warns Trump:  

State-run Chinese tabloid Global Times warned US President-elect Donald Trump that China would take “take revenge” if he reneged on the one-China policy, only hours after Taiwan’s president made a controversial stopover in Houston.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen met senior US Republican lawmakers during her stopover in Houston on Sunday en route to Central America, where she will visit Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador.

Beijing had asked Washington not to allow Tsai to enter the United States and that she not have any formal government meetings under the one China policy.

11:35  Ashley Tellis could be Trumps pick to replace Rich Verma as US envoy to India:  

Mumbai-born strategic expert Ashley J Tellis, who served at the United States embassy in New Delhi and the White House, could be US President-elect Donald Trump transition teams pick for ambassador to India, a media report said on Monday.

Trump is close to selecting Tellis to be the next envoy to India, transition sources were quoted as saying by The Washington Post.

The report described the move as part of behind the scenes efforts by the Trump transition team for its own pivot to Asia. The pivot towards Asia was a concept framed by the Obama administration.

Tellis, currently a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace specialising in international security and Asian strategic issues, was closely involved in negotiating the landmark civil nuclear agreement between the US and India.


11:24  Mulayam confident of winning ‘cycle’ at Election Commission today:  

Samajwadi Party feud is likely to end on Monday as the Election Commission is expected to give a decision on the party symbol and title in favour of Akhilesh Yadav or Mulayam Singh Yadav.

According to sources, Mulayam is confident that he will emerge as a winner in the battle of symbol. 

He is slated to visit Election Commission later today.

The Samajwadi Party founder and patriarch has not wavered from his plans to fight elections on all 403 seats, with or without Akhilesh, and to fill the void he may just introduce a new face for chief ministerial candidate — Azam Khan. 

11:21  Dena Bank to issue equity shares to raise capital:  State-run Dena Bank today said its board has approved raising of share capital by up to Rs 360 crore through issue of equity shares.

“The Board of Directors…has approved raising of share capital (including premium) of the bank up to amount of Rs 360 crore by issue of equity shares via FPO/rights issue/QIP/preferential/Employee Stock Purchase Scheme etc. at appropriate time,” Dena Bank said in a BSE filing.

Shares of Dena Bank were trading 0.15 per cent lower at Rs 34.25 apiece on BSE.

10:58  Face problem abroad? Tweet and tag me, Sushma Swaraj tells Indians:  

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said Indians abroad facing problems can tweet to the respective embassy and tag her in the tweet, adding that she will personally monitor the missions responses.

The minister, who has been known for reaching out to citizens through Twitter, said a new pattern is being adopted.

We are adopting a new pattern here. Pl (please) tweet your problem to the concerned Indian Embassy/authority and endorse the same to @sushmaswaraj.

The external affairs ministry had recently launched a Twitter Seva to enable timely, transparent and large-scale response to citizens tweets in real time.

The Twitter Seva service will be supported by 198 Twitter accounts of Indian missions abroad and 29 regional passport offices.


10:44  Centre is desperate, not coordinating with banks: Robert Vadra:  

The Centre is now “desperate”, leading it to compound the note-ban “blunder” with more and egregious blunders, said Robert Vadra, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law, in a Facebook post wrote. 

Referring to another note ban-related latest crisis, this time with petrol pump owners, Vadra suggested the government is acting unilaterally without consulting or coordinating with agencies and organisations that are stakeholders.

“The govt seems to have reached its levels of desperation to overcome the initial blunder it created, through the unplanned and unthought (sic) process of demonetisation,” said Sonia’s daughter Priyanka’s husband.

With regard to the Centre’s stated aims of getting India to adopt a cashless economy, Vadra said that when the common man didn’t immediately jump on the digital bandwagon, the government “offered sops to push people to use debit/credit cards.”

After sops and a degree of coercion forced people to attempt more digital transactions, the government again failed, as is exemplified in the latest fracas with petrol pumps,” Vadra said. “…when people started using more of cashless means, now lack of coordination with banks and their policies is forcing petrol pump owners to adopt these drastic steps,” Vadra said.


10:05  Wary of China, India offers Akash surface-to-air missile systems to Vietnam:  

India is now actively discussing the possible sale of the indigenously developed Akash surface-to-air missile systems to Vietnam, even as the two countries steadily crank up their bilateral military ties with a watchful eye on a confrontational China in the Asia-Pacific region.

Sources say the discussions under way with Vietnam on the Akash area defence missiles, which have an interception range of 25-km against hostile aircraft, helicopters and drones, come after India earlier offered BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles and Varunastra anti-submarine torpedoes to the country.

India, of course, will also begin training Vietnamese fighter pilots on its Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jets from this year, much like it has been tutoring sailors from that country on the intricate art of operating Kilo-class submarines for the last three years.

10:00  Modi flying blind into budget as Indias GDP a guessing game:  

Prime Minister Narendra Modis administration will probably have to prepare Indias $300 billion budget in the dark.

With less than a month to go before the annual presentation, his Statistics Office has refused to estimate the impact of Modis unprecedented cash clampdown on gross domestic product. All it said was that growth will slow to a three-year-low before the effects of the ban start to show.

Read full story HERE

09:41  Navjot Sidhu likely to join Congress today:  

Former Bharatiya Janata Party leader Navjot Singh Sidhu is likely to officially join the Congress Party today.

According to sources, Sidhu wanted to join the Congress in presence of party vice-president Rahul Gandhi but since he is out of country, he decided the date accordingly.

The Central Election Committee of Congress for Punjab is scheduled on January 10 and the remaining 40 party candidates will be declared.

The Punjab Congress is waiting for Rahul to return from his New Year trip abroad to get the party’s campaign rolling.

Both Sidhu and his wife had quit the BJP last year over differences with the top leadership.


09:27  Bengaluru cops say man, sister-in-law hatched ‘molestation plot’ to get married:  

A man tried to use the spate of molestation allegations in Bengaluru as a decoy to carry on his extra-marital affair with his sister-in-law, police said on Sunday.

Footage from a CCTV camera showed a man stalking a burqa-clad woman walking towards a bus-stop on a deserted road on Friday morning. Another video, later in the day, showed wounds on her lips, tongue, hand and toes as she tried to resist the alleged molester.

Deputy commissioner of police (east division) Ajay Hilori said investigators found that it was a set-up. The alleged stalker is the womans brother-in-law and he plotted the incident meticulously because her parents were trying to marry her off.

The duo is in a relationship and decided to stage the molestation because she wouldnt be able to find a match then. The accused thought he could then convince his wife to let him marry her sister, the officer said.

The idea came after watching television channels that aired footage from a surveillance camera of a woman being molested by two men riding a two-wheeler in the Kammanahalli area of the city on New Years Eve.

Hilori said the accused surveyed the area for cameras and staged the incident.

The man was so confident about his plot that he took the victim to the police station and helped officers to detect the specific video.


08:38  Sakshi Maharaj a very bad person, he’s a vagabond: Lalu Prasad:  

After Sakshi Maharaj sparked a controversy by indirectly blaming Muslims for the population boom in the country, RJD supremo Lalu Prasad said the BJP leader should be booked under Goondas Act and sent to jail.

He said Sakshi Maharaj is always involved in communalising society and he should be arrested.

Sakshi Maharaj is a very bad person. He is not a saint. He is a vagabond person. He should be arrested under Goondas Act and sent to jail… He always tries to communalise society, the RJD leader said.

Sakshi Maharaj was booked on Saturday for allegedly hurting religious feelings after he indirectly blamed Muslims for the population growth, days after Supreme Court outlawed seeking votes in the name of religion or caste.

Those with four wives and 40 children are responsible for the population increase in the country. Hindus are not responsible for the increase in population, the MP from Unnao in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh had said.


08:20  Petrol pumps defer decision to not accept card payments till Jan 13:  

Petrol pump owners in the country on Sunday night deferred till January 13 their decision to not accept credit and debit card payments for fuel sales after banks put off the move to levy the transaction charge.

To promote cash-less transactions, the government had waived the Merchant Discount Rate (MDR) on fuel purchase post demonetisation for consumers. But after the expiry of the 50-day window, the banks have decided to levy MDR on petrol pump owners.

This meant petrol pumps having to bear 1 percent on all credit card transactions and between 0.25 percent and 1 percent on all debit card transactions from January 9. In protest of the move, petrol pump operators had decided not to accept card payments from Monday.

“We have received official communication from oil marketing companies that the transaction fee charges have been deferred till January 13, 2017. AIPDA also has decided to defer the agitation till January 13,” said Ajay Bansal, President, All India Petroleum Dealers Association.


07:48  Terror attack on GREF camp in J-K’s Akhnoor, 3 personnel killed:  

Three General Reserve Engineer Force personnel lost their lives on Monday morning in an attack on the BRO GREF camp in army district of Akhnoor, reports said. 

The gunshots were heard around 7 am on Monday.

According to reports the area has been cordoned off. More details are awaited.

The GREF camp in Akhnoor is in the military area and it is not accessible to civilians.

General Reserve Engineer Force or GREF, along with Border Roads Engineering Service, form the parent cadre of the Border Roads Organisation.

BRO is the organisation responsible for development and maintenance of road networks in India’s border areas and friendly neighbouring countries.

Source: Rediff