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No Talks With Separatists who want azadi from India, Centre to Supreme Court April 29, 2017 11:10

The central government has made its stand clear and reiterated that there will not be any talks with the separatists or those raising slogans of "accession or Azadi" in Jammu and Kashmir. The Centre has informed the Supreme Court that a dialogue to restore normalcy was possible only with the legally recognised stakeholders or political parties. The Supreme Court had said, "All those whom the law does not prevent, can meet and come out with suggestions, as the situation is not very palpable". The top court's observation came after Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi said "the government would come to the negotiation table only if the legally recognised stakeholders participate in the dialogue and not with the separatist elements who rake up the issue of accession or Azadi in Kashmir." "The Chief Minister is with the Prime Minister, what further dialogue is required? The Prime Minister has invited the Chief Minister. She (Mehbooba Mufti) is their CM," Rohatgi said. "It is not acceptable that you come here and say that there are several other stakeholders. You make an undertaking that there will be no agitations (stone-pelting) for two weeks, then we will direct them (the Centre) to keep away the security forces from using pellet guns. But the first positive foot forward has to come from you. This is the last opportunity and you have to play an important role. You will have to come forward. If you take a first step, you will be remembered forever in history," the bench told the counsel appearing for the bar association. The Supreme Court bench also said, "What kind of talk will happen if you keep agitating and there are stone-pelting incidents. You should first stop these agitations and then talk. If you keep throwing stones, then what kind of talk will happen." By Premji

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Now Priyanka Gandhi Vadra disowns Robert Vadra’s finance not Vadra April 28, 2017 11:05

While the agencies are zeroing in on the corrupt land deals of Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law and her daughter Priyanka Gandhi’s husband and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi’s brother-in-law Robert Vadra, Priyanka Gandhi has come out disowning Robert Vadra’s finances and not her husband Robert Vadra. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra had said in her statement that her finances had nothing to do with those of her husband Robert Vadra's or his company Skylight Hospitality which is under Haryana government's scanner over its land deals with realty major DLF. The statement had mentioned that Priyanka Gandhi had bought 5 acres of agricultural land in the village of Amipur in Faridabad district for Rs. 15 lakh on April 28, 2006, six years prior to the purported land deal involving Skylight Hospitality. The statement added that the said land was resold to the original owner four years later on February 17, 2010 for Rs. 80 lakh, the then prevailing market price. The money was accepted through cheque. The earlier owner has made the offer to allow him exercise the right of first refusal. "The source of funds for the aforesaid purchase was rental income of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra from property inherited by her from her grandmother Indira Gandhi. The source of funds for this or any other property acquired by Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has no relationship whatsoever with Shri Robert Vadra's finances and/or Skylight Hospitality and no relationship whatsoever with DLF," the statement said. The statement added that any insinuations made about the land deal were "false, baseless and defamatory" and represented "a deliberate, politically motivated and malicious campaign to besmirch and destroy her reputation". By Premji

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Baahubali 2: The Conclusion Movie Review April 27, 2017 15:32

COMING SOON

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Bollywood heartthrob Vinod Khanna no more April 27, 2017 13:07

Vinod Khanna, 70, the original heartthrob of Hindi films, has died this morning. He was reportedly battling with cancer for years. He has worked in more than 100 films and was an active politician and Member of Parliament from Gurdaspur, Punjab. He is survived by his wife Kavita Khanna, sons Rahul, Akshaye and Sakshi, and daughter Shraddha Khanna. Before marrying Kavita, Vinod Khanna was married to Getanjali but they got divorced. He had made his debut in 1968 with Mann Ka Meet and later on he went on to becoming a star and his performance in films like Mere Apne, Mera Gaon Mera Desh, Imtihaan, Inkaar, Amar Akbar Anthony, Lahu ke Do Rang, Qurbani, Dayavaan and Jurm were truly appreciated. In the year 1982 he took a break from work to join his guru Osho Rajneesh at his ashram. He gave up films altogether in that period. After a five-year break from work, he started signing films again and gave two superhits, Insaaf and Satyamev Jayate. Later he has also joined politics. Vinod did not give up on Bollywood and worked in some of the latest films like Dabangg, Players, Dabangg 2 and Dilwale, and received a lot of love for his work. In late 2016 and early 2017, news about his detoriating health started coming in and this has kept him away from a public eye. By Premji

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Udan flagged off by Modi April 27, 2017 12:27

PM Narendra Modi on Thursday launched the UDAN (Ude Desh Ka Aam Nagrik) scheme, which will make flying easier and affordable for the common man. He has flagged off first UDAN flight under the Regional Connectivity Scheme, on Shimla-Delhi sector. Inaugural UDAN flights on Kadapa–Hyderabad and Nanded-Hyderabad sectors were also flagged off by him. “We had the opportunity to frame a civil aviation policy, which caters to aspirations of the people of India,” Modi has said. “To make air travel accessible to citizens in regionally important areas, the ‘Ude Desh ka Aam Naagrik’ RCS (regional connectivity scheme) was launched in October 2016,” PMO had said in a tweet. “Airfare for a 1-hour journey of appx. 500 km on a fixed wing aircraft or for 30-minute journey on a helicopter would be capped at Rs. 2,500,” the PMO said. “This with proportionate pricing for routes of different stage lengths and flight duration,” it said. “UDAN network will cover the whole country, giving a major economic boost to hinterland areas,” Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said. UDAN is a first-of-its-kind scheme to stimulate regional connectivity through a market-based mechanism. Under this scheme, routes and networks were awarded to bidders who have submitted valid proposals and quoted the lowest viability gap funding (VGF) from the government for such routes and network. The Airports Authority of India (AAI), the implementing agency, issued Letter of Awards for 27 such earlier this year. By Premji

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Delhietes slaps CM Kejriwal for eating Samosa worth 1 crore April 26, 2017 10:54

As expected BJP sweeps MCD elections of Delhi. A tight slap for all the rants AAP chief and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had made, by the frustrated Delhietes for eating Samosas worth 1 crore. The writing is in the wall for Kejriwal, that it is the beginning of end of Aam Admi Party. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) sweep the elections to the national capital’s three civic bodies, THE Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which rules Delhi, is struggling at the third position. The Congress seemed to do better than expected, taking the second slot in most wards of the three municipalities. The elections carry wider national ramifications as an emphatic victory for the BJP will reconfirm a wave of support for the party and further demoralise a divided opposition. “The BJP is the only viable option available for the voter today. That is why the BJP has been given mandates at every level; I thank the voters of Delhi,” says BJP leader and Union minister J Singh. “This is not a Modi wave, but an EVM wave. This is the same wave that they (BJP) used in the Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Punjab polls,” says AAP’s Gopal Rai. Albeit more than two years after the Delhi Assembly elections, BJP has succeeded in taking a sweet revenge against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). By Premji

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Red terror kills 25 CRPF jawans April 25, 2017 10:51

300 to 400 heavily armed Maoists, including women, ambushed at a CRPF contingent in a forested patch in Chhattisgarh and massacred 25 troopers and escaped with their AK-47 assault rifles. An injured trooper, Sheikh Mohammed, said that the subsequent gun battle had lasted for about three hours. Troopers who had survived the horror said that the attackers used hand grenades, automatic rifles and rocket launchers as they launched the attack "from all sides". "The troopers replied in a befitting manner but taking geographical position to their advantage, the Maoists succeeded in inflicting loss to the CRPF," a CRPF statement said. "A considerable number of Maoists are believed to have been eliminated." "It's a major tragedy. We will hit back with full intensity," Vivekanand, the Inspector General of Police of Bastar region, said in Sukma after returning from the site of carnage. "The entire Chhattisgarh is pained by the CRPF men's killing," a visibly shocked Raman Singh said after landing in Raipur. "The Maoists are feeling a lot of heat in Sukma with increased presence of security forces.""Our jawans will not back down," Mr Singh said. "Sukma is Naxalite bastion. This road, once built, will cripple their network." Prime Minister Modi saluted the CRPF, "We are proud of the valour of our CRPF personnel. The sacrifice of the martyrs will not go in vain," he tweeted. "Condolences to their families. May those injured in (the) attack recover at the earliest." Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, "It is very sad incident and we take it as a challenge". By Premji

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Simultaneous elections and Jan - Dec fiscal, Modi’s new norms April 24, 2017 10:18

Addressing the Niti Aayog Governing Council's third meeting, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pitched for conducting the simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the state assemblies and shifting to a January-December fiscal year. "Because of poor time management, many good initiatives and schemes had failed to deliver the anticipated results," he said. Referring to the change in the Budget dates, he had said that, in a country where agricultural income is exceedingly important, Budgets should be prepared immediately after the receipt of agricultural incomes for the year. He added that there have been suggestions to follow January to December as financial year. He called upon the states to "speed up capital expenditure and infrastructure creation" to spur growth. "Niti Aayog is working on a 15-year long term vision, 7-year medium-term strategy and 3-year action agenda," PM Modi said. Niti Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya said that the Prime Minister wants that "we should think of January-December financial year as this is appropriate from the point of view of farmers". The Prime Minister had said that more expenditure on basic infrastructure such as roads, ports, power and rail would help in accelerating the pace of growth. The meeting of the Governing Council held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan was attended by several chief ministers, including from non-BJP ruled states like Punjab, Bihar, Tripura and Karnataka. The notable absentees were West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. The council, which is the apex body of the Niti Aayog, is headed by the Prime Minister and includes all chief ministers and the Aayog's members. By Premji

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OPS CM and EPS AIADMK chief? April 22, 2017 15:40

Rumours are striving that, the AIADMK factions have zeroed in to a compromise formula, OPS as CM and EPS as party chief. The ruling AIADMK (Amma) faction on yesterday has announced the formation of a committee under party's senior leader and Rajya Sabha MP R Vaithilingam to oversee the merger talks between the camps headed by Chief Minister K Palaniswami and his predecessor, O Panneerselvam. According to a reports, the ruling AIADMK faction sealed the deal due to “vulnerable state of the government”. The merger is likely to be announced on Monday. “The merger deal has been sealed and formal talks will begin now between the senior leaders of both factions to finalise and announce the decision. Palaniswami will step down for Panneerselvam, and become the party chief. Health Minister C Vijayabaskar, whose properties were raided by Income Tax officials, may be dropped from the cabinet. Former minister and MLA Senthil Balaji may be inducted along with one or two more faces from southern Tamil Nadu,” a senior AIADMK leader said. Other leaders in the ruling faction have started to distance themselves from Sasikala and her nephew TTV Dinakaran. Both the factions of the AIADMK had on Friday formed committees to discuss the merger. Panneerselvam’s panel is headed by former AIADMK minister KP Munuswamy, includes senior leaders Mafoi Pandiarajan and V Maitreyan. Panneerselvamhas formed a seven-member committee, which will be headed by Rajya Sabha MP R Vaithiyalingam, and includes ministers C Sreenivasan, KA Sengottaiyan and D Jayakumar among others. By Premji

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Taj visitors made to remove scarves with Hindu religious symbols April 21, 2017 12:13

The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) officials have asked the contestants from several countries for a super model crown, who were visiting the Taj Mahal, to remove the scarves bearing Hindu religious symbols and words like 'Jai Shri Ram'. Right-wing organisations Hindu Jagran Manch (HJM) and Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM), said it has hurt the sentiments of Hindus and have launched high-decibel protests in Agra. ASI superintending archaeologist Bhuvan Vikrama said, "I have written to the CISF asking them to explain what transpired there during the visit. Whatever we know so far is through the media only. The models were quite happy with the visit. There was no complaint, but now after some organizations have taken offence at the alleged act, we have sought to know the details." Brij Bhushan, commandant, CISF, said, "ASI through an order has stated that all sorts of religious symbols are banned from being taken inside a protected monument. Such scarves are among them. Our intention is not to hurt anyone's religious sentiments, but to maintain peace and harmony." Shivendu Dixit, director of the event management company which has organized the group's visit to the Taj, said, "There was no issue at all. The models were travelling from Mathura and to avoid the heat some of them had bought scarves from there. Some might have religious faith also. Actually, it was the guide who first told the models to remove the scarves and it was reiterated by security officials." Sunil Sharma, city coordinator (enrollment cell), BJYM, said, "Our intention is not to stoke religious sentiments, but we will enter the Taj wearing saffron attire and scarves on Saturday. We will see how they stop us. This is our government. Officials cannot hurt people's sentiments." Avinash Rana, general secretary, HJM (Agra), said, "In past also such incidents had happened, but now we will not tolerate this. It is shameful that ASI and CISF officials behaved in this irresponsible manner. Why don't they stop people wearing skull caps from entering?" By Premji

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