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SC rejects plea to block 'Padmavati' release
New Delhi, Nov 21: The Supreme Court on Monday rejected a plea seeking to block the release of controversial film "Padmavati", saying that it is "premature" as the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has yet to decide and any interference at this stage would amount to "pre-judging the matter".The bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said this after it was told that the CBFC has yet to clear the film."'Padmavati' has not yet received certification from CBFC. In view of this, our interference will be tantamount to pre-judging the matter. We don't intend to do so," the court said in its order, rejecting the plea to block the release of the movie."Needless to say that the pleadings are premature," the bench said, adding that CBFC was a statutory body and the court could not injunct it from doing its duty of certifying the film.It is only after the CBFC has taken a decision, that the...




CMs Shivraj, Amarinder jump on anti-'Padmavati' wagon, Mamata says attack on freedom of expression
New Delhi, Nov 20: Even as the release of "Padmavati" has been deferred, three Chief Ministers on Monday jumped into the controversy with Madhya Pradesh's Shivraj Singh Chouhan announcing a ban on the film in his state, while his Punjab counterpart Amarinder Singh backed the Rajput community in its protests against Sanjay Leela Bhansali's historical drama that is mired in controversy.However, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee described the controversy as "unfortunate" and a "calculated plan" to destroy freedom of expression.In Jammu and Kashmir, senior National Conference (NC) leader and MLA Devender Rana urged Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to ban the release of "Padmavati" in the state.The three chief minister's waded into the controversy after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Aditynath and his Rajasthan counterpart opposed the release of the film citing threat of serious law and order problem.The film has been mired in controversy ove...




Modiji fails to adhere promises of 2014 and continues to make false promises - Sonia Gandhi
New Delhi, Nov 20: Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for delaying the Winter Session of Parliament on "flimsy grounds", Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday warned the NDA regime that it can not escape constitutional accountability by "locking the temple of democracy". Addressing the Congress Working Committee, which met here to finalise the schedule for the election of the next Congress chief, Gandhi said that despite Modi's failure to adhere to the promises made during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, he continues making "false promises". "The Modi government in its arrogance has cast a dark shadow on India's Parliamentary democracy by sabotaging the Winter Session of Parliament on flimsy grounds. The government is mistaken if it thinks that by locking the temple of democracy, it will escape constitutional accountability ahead of the assembly elections in Gujarat," Gandhi said in her opening remarks.  She said t...




Modi may call Lok Sabha polls next year: Lalu Prasad Yadav
Patna, Nov 19: Prime Minister Narendra Modi may go for Lok Sabha elections next year, a year ahead of schedule, RJD leader Lalu Prasad said on Sunday. "Modi may go for Lok Sabha polls in 2018, ahead of its scheduled time in 2019," the former Bihar Chief Minister said at a meeting of his Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) here and pressed his activists to be ready to face an early parliamentary election. But Lalu Prasad insisted that whenever the Lok Sabha election was held, the opposition parties would unite to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He also taunted Modi by saying that earlier people used to fear the lion but now they feared the cow thanks to cow vigilantism across the country. "Pahle log sher se darte the, ab gai se darte hain. Yeh sab Modi sarkar ki den hai." He said that due to growing fear for being seen with cows and cattle, the Sonepur cattle fair in Bihar's Saran district, considered Asia largest cattle fair, had turned into...




Earlier People Fear Lion, Now people fear cow, thanks to Modi: Lalu
Patna, Nov 19: RJD chief Lalu Prasad on Sunday taunted Prime Minister Narender Modi by saying that earlier people used to fear the lion but now they fear the cow thanks to cow vigilantism across the country. "'Pahle log sher se darte the, ab gai se darte hain. Yeh sab Modi sarkar ki den hai," Lalu Prasad said at a meeting of his Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) here.He said that due to growing fear for being seen with cows and cattle, the Sonepur cattle fair in Bihar's Saran district, considered Asia largest cattle fair, had turned into a fair without cattle. He said people were angry with the Modi government in view of its "total failure" in the last three-and-half-a-years to meet any of promises made during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. People were also upset by demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax, he added. "Modi may go for Lok Sabha polls in 2018, ahead of its scheduled time in 2019," Lalu Prasad said, and asked his party activists to b...




Indira Gandhi opposed those dividing India over religion: Sonia Gandhi
New Delhi, Nov 19: Indira Gandhi "fought for secularism, against all those forces seeking to divide the Indian people into lines of religion and caste", Congress President Sonia Gandhi said on Sunday. On the centenary of the birth anniversary of the former Prime Minister, Sonia Gandhi spoke at the inauguration here of a photo exhibition, �A Life of Courage', on the life and achievements of Indira Gandhi. "I have heard Indiraji being referred to as the Iron Lady. But iron was only one of the elements in her character; generosity and humanity were just as prominent traits," she said. Indira Gandhi, daughter of first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, was born on November 19, 1917. She was Prime Minister from January 1966 to March 1977 and again from January 1980 until her assassination on October 31, 1984. On Sunday, Sonia Gandhi also recalled her relationship with the former Prime Minister, who was also her mother-in-law.&n...




Gujarat regressed in last 22 years: P. Chidambaram
New Delhi, Nov 19: Senior Congress leader P. Chidambaram on Sunday attacked the BJP on Gujarat's development model, saying that as a result of a distorted concept of development, many sections of the people were left behind and the state has regressed in the last 22 years. Sustaining his argument, the Congress leader, in his tweet, posted a data comparing the development figures of Gujarat against four other states: Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Maharashtra.  "The table tells the story of Gujarat and how, despite the boasts, Gujarat is not ahead of four comparable states. While Gujarat has progressed industrially, in many critical areas of human development, Gujarat may have actually regressed in the last 22 years," Chidambaram said adding that the much-touted ‘Gujarat Model' was being dissected and examined.  In his series of tweets, the leader questioning the government, said: "As a result of a distorted concept of development or vika...




Gujarat children getting expired polio vaccine: Congress
New Delhi, Nov 18: The Congress on Saturday accused the BJP government in Gujarat of administering expired and unusable polio vaccine to the children in state and said it is a criminal act of negligence and demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi initiate an "inquiry" into it. "A very shocking and worrisome report has come from Gujarat regarding child healthcare which depicts that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and their government has not learned any lessons from the infant deaths in Gujarat and in Uttar Pradesh. "The BJP government is playing with public healthcare in India," said Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill. "The report says that BJP government in Gujarat is administering an expired unusable polio vaccine to the children of Gujarat. "This is an act of criminal negligence... When you administer an expired medicine, it is like administering poison. So, BJP government in the garb of polio vaccination is administerin...




Kovind, Modi pays tribute to Indira Gandhi on birth centenary
New Delhi, Nov 19: President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday paid tribute to former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on her birth centenary. "Nation remembers former Prime Minister Smt Indira Gandhi on her birth centenary," Kovind tweeted.  Modi tweeted" "Tributes to former PM Mrs. Indira Gandhi on her birth anniversary." Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi also paid tribute to Indira and said: I remember you Dadi (grandmother) with so much love and happiness. You are my mentor and guide. You give me strength. #Indira100."  Former President Pranab Mukherjee, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Rahul Gandhi went to Shakti Sthal to pay tributes. (IANS)  "Remembering Indira Gandhi on her birth centenary. Her steely determination, clarity of thought and decisive actions made her a towering personality. Undoubtedly and rightfully India's Iron Lady," Mukherjee tweeted. ...




Gujarat wants to see outcome of 23-year rule, not 23-year-old's CD: Hardik
Gandhinagar, Nov 19: Hardik Patel, the leader of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), on Saturday said the people of Gujarat want to see what the BJP has done in 23 years rather than the video of a 23-year-old youth. Hardik, who had earlier threatened to drop a "bomb" against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at "prestige rally" at Mansa, the hometown of party's President Amit Shah, however, stuck to the script of hitting out at BJP.  The PAAS, which has been agitating against the government for more than two years over the issue of reservation for the Patidar community, has pledged to oppose the ruling BJP in the coming state assembly elections in December. Earlier, they had sought the administration's permission to hold the rally in Mansa, but the same was denied by the Gandhinagar Superintendent of Police.Touted as a prestige rally for the young Patidar, who has been facing heat after a couple of his video clips allegedly showing his sexual escapa...




NIA officials record Hadiya's statement
Kottayam, Nov 18: A team of investigators attached to the Kochi unit of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Saturday recorded statements of 24-year-old Hadiya, who converted to Islam.Hadiya alias Akhila had embraced Islam last year and married Shafin Jahan by her own will. The marriage had been challenged in the high court by Hadiya's father, who also alleged that her husband had links with terror group IS. Subsequently, the high court annulled the marriage. As the case reached the Supreme Court, Jahan pleaded before it to cancel the NIA probe into their marriage. The apex court had ordered the probe.The NIA team has also taken statement of Jahan. The investigative agency has been asked to submit their report in this case to the apex court on November 27. The Supreme Court has asked Hadiya's father, Asokan, to present her in the court on the day to obtain her views on her marriage with Jahan.Hadiya will be presented before the bench of Chief Justice Dipa...




Sharad questions EC decision on JD-U symbol, vows to fight on
New Delhi, Nov 18: Senior socialist leader and Rajya Sabha MP Sharad Yadav on Saturday questioned the Election Commission's decision to grant the "Arrow" symbol to the Nitish Kumar-led faction of Janata Dal-United and vowed to fight it both legally and democratically. "The decision has not meted out justice. The EC's decision is just asking the person who built the building to vacate it. My lawyers are looking into the matter and will soon take a call. Our fight will continue," Yadav told reporters here at a press conference. He was responding to the Commission's decision in which it granted the "Arrow" symbol to the Nitish Kumar-faction after a three-month battle between the two warring factions of the JD-U. Yadav, a former President of the JD-U, said the EC's decision would not deter his fight to "save democracy". "We are not dismayed with this decision. We knew the fate but it does not mean that we should end our fight...




Moodys rating goes against people's mood: Kapil Sibal
New Delhi, Nov 18: Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Saturday said the upgradation of India's rating by the US credit rating agency Moody's was not in sync with the "mood of the people". "Contrast the mood at Moody's with the mood of the people. While you bask under their upgrade worry about livelihood millions have lost," Sibal said in a tweet. "Moody talks about sunshine tomorrow. We are worried about the dark clouds today," he said. US credit rating agency Moody's on Friday upgraded India's sovereign rating to Baa2 from its lowest investment grade of Baa3 after 13 years.Maintaining that the upgrading was based on New Delhi's "wide-ranging programme of economic and institutional reforms", Moody's simultaneously changed the outlook for the country's rating to stable from positive and upgraded India's local and foreign currency issuer rating to Baa2 from Baa3.




Delhi government to form women protection groups
New Delhi, Nov 17: Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia on Friday said the Delhi government would form "Mahila Suraksha Dals" (women protection groups) to curb crimes against women in the national capital. "We will form women protection groups ... will make civil defense volunteers available to them and pilot projects will be run at two-three places first," Sisodia said. He said these groups will provide information to the police. The Deputy Chief Minister added these teams would work in coordination with the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW), adding that the Excise Department had been asked to conduct raids to check the illegal sale of liquor in the national capital. "Illegal liquor shops running in many parts of Delhi is also a reason behind women being insecure on the streets of Delhi... Wherever liquor is being sold illegally, we will raid all those places," Sisodia said. He also appealed to the people of Delhi to infor...




Congress urges President to prod government for winter session
New Delhi, Nov 18: The Congress on Friday said the Narendra Modi government is scared of convening the winter session of Parliament because of Gujarat polls and appealed to President Ram Nath Kovind to take notice of this and ask the government to convene the session. Asked if the party would approach the President on this, Congress Spokesperson Rajeev Shukla said: "The opposition parties will have to decide it. Ghulam Nabi Azadji will meet the opposition leaders and decide. "But we can appeal to the President that he should convene the Parliament session. Why are the dates of the winter session not being announced? The government is silent on this." "Today is November 17 ... and they have not called even a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Parliamentary Affairs (CCPA). They are waiting for Gujarat polls to get over," he added.  Shukla asked: "Why are they so scared of Gujarat polls? What do they think will be raised in Parliamen...




Both Modi and Moodys have "failed to gauge the mood of the nation" : Congress
New Delhi, Nov 17: After Moody's upgraded India's sovereign rating and a survey claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was still a "popular leader", the Congress on Friday said both Modi and Moody's have "failed to gauge the mood of the nation". The party said: "After destroying India's economy, the Modi government was clutching at straws to claim lost credibility. "Modiji and Moody's ‘Jodi' has failed," Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala tweeted. "Hunger deaths, farmers shootings, agri distress, job losses, lowest credit ratings, rising prices, plunging exports, flawed GST, demonetisation disaster, stagnant growth are the real indices to measure it," he added.  "They rely upon a World Bank report of Delhi/Mumbai to claim all is well and quote a PEW survey of 2,464 people to claim victory. "At this pace, Modiji should be fighting the next election abroad," Surjewala added. US c...




Present AgustaWestland chopper purchase file, SC tells Chhattisgarh Govt.
New Delhi, Nov 16: Wondering why a notice inviting tenders mentioned only AgustaWestland's name, the Supreme Court on Thursday directed that the records related to purchasing of a VIP helicopter by the Chhattisgarh government be placed before it in a week. A bench of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit summoned all files and documents on the purchase of AgustaWestland VIP helicopter as it was told that the bids were invited in disregard of the state Chief Secretary's suggestion for floating a global tender to ensure bids from other chopper manufacturers as well. The court directed for further hearing on November 23. The name of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh's son too is being mentioned in connection with the deal. The court asked senior counsel Mahesh Jethmalani, appearing for the Chhattisgarh government, as to why the notice inviting tenders mentioned the name of helicopter of AgustaWestland only. Why were other companies not consi...




Delhiites can soon access 40 government services at doorstep
New Delhi, Nov 16: The Delhi government has decided to offer over 40 government services ranging from grant of water connection to marriage certificate at people's doorstep, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said on Thursday. Sisodia said citizens would save time and countless trips to government offices in the process and termed the decision as one amounting to bringing "government at your doorsteps" and "home delivery of governance". The minister said citizens would be able to access these services outside of the normal working hours too. Sisodia said a nominal fee would be charged from people and added that a private agency would be hired to carry out the service. Under the new project, if a person wanted a certificate from the government, he would have to telephone a call centre. Then a 'Mobile Sahayak' would go to the residence or office of the applicant and collect the necessary documents, take photo and biometric details and then p...




Raise questions about Rafale, Jay Shah from PM: Rahul
New Delhi, Nov 16: Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday asked the media to raise questions about the Rafale deal and on BJP chief Amit Shah's son Jay's income from Prime Minister Narendra Modi."You ask lots of questions from me. And I always answer. But why don't you ask questions about the Rafale deal and Amit Shah's son Jay from the Prime Minister," Gandhi told reporters at the party headquarters.




Committed to upholding freedom of press: PM Modi
New Delhi, Nov 16: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday wished journalists on "National Press Day" and said his government is "fully committed to upholding freedom of press and expression in all forms". In a series of tweets on Thursday morning, Modi termed free press as the "cornerstone of a vibrant democracy" and said that "the role of the media in giving voice to the voiceless is commendable". "My greetings to all friends in the media on National Press Day. I appreciate the hard work of our media, especially the reporters and camerapersons, who tirelessly work on the ground and bring forth various news that shapes national as well as global discourse," he tweeted. "The role of the media in giving voice to the voiceless is commendable. Over the last three years, the media has added great strength to 'Swachh Bharat Mission' and effectively furthered the message of cleanliness," Modi said.  The Pri...




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