Antony objects to China's reaction on Arunachal
NEW DELHI: Expressing surprise over China's objection to his visit to Arunachal Pradesh on February 20, Defence Minister AK Antony on Monday made it clear that this strategically-located state is an integral part of India, and it his duty to ensure that all borders of India are safe. China had objected to Antony's recent visit to Arunachal Pradesh to take part in the state's silver jubilee celebrations, asking India to refrain from taking any action that could complicate the border issue.
"I was surprised to read the Chinese reaction. It is very sad and highly objectionable. Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India. As the Defence Minister of India, it is my duty to ensure that all the borders of India are safe," he told reporters on the sidelines of the Annual Maritime Power Conference 2012.
"Statements by China are objectionable. Arunachal Pradesh is a part of India like J&K. Northeast and any other state of India. As Defence Minister, I can visit anywhere within my country," Antony added.
Antony also said that he has been associated with the state for the last 27 years since 1984.
Earlier, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna said: "India will not tolerate external interference of China into the Indian territorial affairs," reminding Beijing that Arunachal Pradesh is a "part and parcel" of India.
Antony had visited Itanagar on February 20, and said that Arunachal Pradesh is an integral part of India.
India has been keeping close tabs on China's massive build-up of military infrastructure all along the 4,057-km Line of Actual Control. A range of issues pertaining to the disputed 2,000-km-long boundary have been discussed from time to time by Indian and Chinese officials at various levels. In Arunachal Pradesh, India and China share a 1,080-km-long border.
Antony, who attended the silver jubilee statehood day celebrations of Arunachal Pradesh as the chief guest at the Indira Gandhi Park in Itanagar, had said: "By and large, the border is peaceful, and at the same time, India is taking care of strengthening the capabilities to protect our national interest from any kind of challenges from any quarters.
"The eastern border is safe and we will make it safer, (and) for that, whatever is needed to strengthen our security apparatus, we are taking care of it continuously in a systematic manner. India is strengthening its security capabilities in the eastern border. Along with that, we are also taking care of the socio-economic development of the border areas." —ANI
Trade, bank unions to go on strike tomorrow
NEW DELHI: The UPA government is bracing for a mega strike on February 28, backed by trade unions cutting across party lines, in protest against rising prices, disinvestment of profit-making PSUs and violation of labour laws among other reasons. They will be joined by around 8 lakh bank employees who are protesting against reforms and outsourcing of jobs.
Almost all sectors, except railways, are likely to come to a stop on Tuesday.
The strike will be backed by most of the country's trade unions, including 11 central trade unions and 5,000 smaller unions, who refused to negotiate with the government after being called for talks at the last minute.
Interestingly, apart from trade unions affiliated to the Left, trade unions of BJP, Shiv Sena and UPA ally Indian Union Muslim League and even Congress have all come together to hit out at the government. According to senior union leaders, the strike will be near-total in Assam, Kerala, Haryana, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Bihar.
The striking trade unions include the Left labour arms CITU, AITUC, UTUC and AIUTUC, and Congress's INTUC, besides BMS, HMS, TUCI and NLO who have joined forces in support of a 10-point charter of demands.
'The Artist' bags 5 Oscars
Hollywood: 'The Artist' sweeps five Oscars at the 84th Academy Awards, including the Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Original Score and Best Costume Design. Hogo was not far behind and also managed to bag five Oscars.
The Oscar winners
Best Actor: Jean Dujardin wins the Best Actor Oscar for ‘The Artist’. He thanks Michel, co-star, wife and cast of ‘The Artist’.
Natalie Portman on stage to present Actor in a Leading Role Oscar. She compliments each nominee individually by saying what makes their performance different.
Oscar pays tribute to the artistes who passed away in the recent past. Likes of Jane Russsell, Ken Russell, Whitney Houston, Steve Jobs, Elizabeth Taylor.
Best Director: Michael Douglas presents Oscar to Michel Hazanavicius for ‘The Artist’. He thanks academy, cast, dog, thanks the financers.
Yeddy's deadline to BJP ends
BANGALORE: With Karnataka BJP strongman BS Yeddyurappa remaining defiant after being rebuffed by BJP chief Nitin Gadkari in his bid to regain chief ministership, all eyes are on the former chief minister's birthday bash Monday as he is expected to take a "drastic" decision whether to continue in the party or not.
Yeddyurappa turns 69 today and has extended invitation to all his supporting legislators to attend a lunch hosted by him at his residence. He also has hosted a dinner party to mediapersons where he is expected to divulge his next political step.
Yeddyurappa will be visiting Siddaganga Mutt pontiff Shivakumar Swamy in Tumkur in the morning and offer worship at a nearby temple.
After attending a function orgainsed by Backward Class Forum near Railway Station, Yeddyurappa would head to his residence to hold a meeting with his supporters including legislators and MPs, sources close to him said.