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Sonia files nomination for Rae Bareli LS seat

RAE BARELI: Making yet another bid to enter Lok Sabha through the family’s pocket borough in Uttar Pradesh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday filed her nomination papers from the Rae Bareli Lok Sabha constituency.

Sonia Gandhi, 67, who will be seeking re-election to the seat, was accompanied by party’s vice president and her son, Rahul Gandhi while presenting her papers before the Returning Officer. While SP has decided not to field anyone against her and Mr. Rahul, BJP has fielded Supreme Court lawyer Ajay Aggarwal. The AAP is yet to announce a candidate.

“The people of Rae Bareli have adopted me with immense affection and I hope they will make me victorious again in the election,” she told reporters in a brief interaction after filing her nomination.

Arriving from Delhi in the morning, Sonia Gandhi was given a rapturous welcome from the Fursatganj airport to the district collectorate office. With Rahul Gandhi at the steering wheel, Sonia was welcomed with showering of rose petals all the way.

Before she filed the nomination, a havan was performed at the local Congress office in which Sonia and Rahul participated. Old family loyalist Satish Sharma along with her lawyer was also present at the time of filing of nominations.

The constituency has been a Nehru-Gandhi family bastion since the 1960s. Indira Gandhi won it for the first time in 1967, taking over after the death of her husband Feroz, who was also an MP from Rae Bareli.

Sonia Gandhi is a three time MP from Rae Bareli, including once elected in a by-election in 2006, after she resigned over office of profit issue. In 2004 elections she shifted to Rae Bareli from Amethi, leaving it to her son Rahul Gandhi. In 1999, she won from Amethi and had also defeated BJP’s Shushma Swaraj from the Bellary Lok Sabha constituency.

Sonia was given a rousing reception all along the route with women, youth and children shouting slogans and showering flower petals on her. She got down at Ghosiyana Road and other places to meet her electorate which comprised a large number of women. - PTI








Nitish Katara murder: HC upholds conviction

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday upheld the conviction of three convicts, including Vikas Yadav, son of Uttar Pradesh politician D.P. Yadav, for the abduction and murder of Nitish Katara in 2002, saying it was a case of “honour killing."

A bench of justices Gita Mittal and J.R. Midha fixed April 25 for hearing arguments on quantum of sentence to be awarded to Vikas Yadav, his cousin Vishal and Sukhdev Yadav.

“The appeals are devoid of merit. We have also held that the killing of Nitish Katara was a honour killing,” the bench said. The high court’s judgment came nearly a year after it had reserved its verdict on April 16 last year.

The lawyers for the convicts, State and Neelam Katara, mother of the victim, had started advancing final arguments on April 16, 2012. Vikas, Vishal and Sukhdev Pehalwan are serving life term for abducting and killing Nitish Katara, a business executive and son of an IAS officer, on the intervening night of February 16—17, 2002.

The court has heard five appeals filed by three convicts against their conviction and one each from the prosecution and Neelam Katara seeking death penalty for the persons found guilty by the lower court.

However, the court had decided to segregate the appeals filed by the victim’s mother and the prosecution from that of convicts. The prosecution had alleged that the Yadavs allegedly killed the victim as they did not approve of his alleged affair with their sister Bharti Yadav. Vikas and Vishal were convicted by the trial court in 2008.

Their accomplice Pehlwan, who had absconded for some time but was arrested in 2005, was tried separately and sentenced to life term by the trial court. The trial court had in 2008 convicted them and awarded rigorous life term to all three. - PTI













Kejriwal's road show in East Delhi draws big crowds

NEW DELHI: Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal drew big crowds on the third day of his road show in the national capital as he ventured into East Delhi with local party candidate Rajmohan Gandhi.

Buoyed by the public response, Kejriwal hit back at Congress and BJP who had been accusing him of running away from Delhi. "They say that I ran away, I have not run away to Pakistan. I am here to stay and I will continue to torment you (BJP and Congress)," he said.

Invoking mythology to attack his rivals, Kejriwal said, "Lord Ram left for vanvas on his mother's order despite popular support. Had BJP been there even they would have called him a bhagoda (deserter). Even they would call King Harischandra a bhagoda had BJP been there during his time," Kejriwal said.

Kejriwal, who was in an open jeep along with local candidate Rajmohan Gandhi, started his road show from Geeta Colony at around 10 AM from where they moved to Shastri Nagar. Throughout the road show, residents peered out from the windows of their houses, waving and cheering the Aam Aadmi Party chief. Women performed 'aarti' and people gave him garlands.

In Gandhi Nagar, some people tried to show black flags to Kejriwal but he gave them garlands in return.- PTI










Badal speaking 'outright lies' on Op Blue Star: Amarinder

AMRITSAR: Congress candidate from Amritsar Lok Sabha seat Amarinder Singh today took a dig at Parkash Singh Badal, alleging that he was speaking "outright lies", a day after the Punjab chief minister denied secret meeting with any Congress leader before Operation Bluestar.

"He (Badal) should better undergo a lie detector test to redeem and salvage his pride and prestige," he said in a statement. The Punjab CM yesterday had denied holding meeting with any senior Congress leader ahead of Operation Bluestar, while accusing Amarinder of lying "shamelessly" on this issue.

Amarinder had earlier claimed that 'white paper' on Punjab agitation had details about the meetings held by Badal with a senior Congress leader prior to Operation Bluestar. Amarinder had alleged that while Operation Bluestar was carried out by the Congress government, Parkash Singh Badal and BJP leader L K Advani had recommended it.

"He (Badal) is trying to get away by saying even the white paper was wrong and factually incorrect," he remarked.

About the Rajiv-Longowal Accord, the former chief minister said, "either Mr Badal is resorting to outright lies as a congenital liar or has forgotten his memory as I was not at all in the Congress when the accord was signed and had no role in it".

Amarinder said he had resigned from the Parliament and Congress immediately after Operation Bluestar in June 1984, while the accord was signed more than a year later.

Yesterday, Badal had alleged that Amarinder worked with other leaders to get the Rajiv-Longowal accord signed. Amarinder claimed the architect of the Rajiv-Longowal Accord was the then Punjab Governor Arjun Singh while he himself was out of the Congress.

However, he added, "I was the first to welcome the accord as I felt it was the first step towards restoring peace and normalcy in Punjab, while Badal opposed and tried to sabotage it and also betrayed his leader Sant Harchand Singh Longowal". - PTI













BJP to launch voice portal campaign

NEW DELHI: Using technology to connect, BJP is launching a Voice Portal service to target lakhs of mobile users and connect with maximum number of voters especially youth.

The party has acquired the dedicated number 02245014501 for the Voice Portal and it will be launched on Friday, BJP IT cell convenor Arvind Gupta said. One has to dial the number to listen to the messages of Narendra Modi. "The caller can ask on any subject such as corruption, price rise and jobs to listen to the thoughts of BJP prime ministerial candidate," Gupta said.

Since mobile and social networking medium are transforming the political landscape, BJP is making maximum use of technology to reach out to as many voters particularly youth.

"The party has already made its presence on Internet, now the aim is to reach out through mobile phones. Because the number of people having mobile phones is more than Internet," he said.

Earlier BJP had undertaken the hi-tech tea campaign in which Modi used the Internet to address people at thousands of tea shops across the country. The BJP with a traditional vote bank is also using telebridge technology to coordinate with the party workers.

New media technology is playing a crucial role in BJP campaign as the party is using social networking site like Facebook and twitter to engage voters. - PTI












Tejpal permitted to meet ailing mother tomorrow

PANAJI: A local court today allowed Tehelka founder editor Tarun Tejpal, accused of raping his woman colleague, to meet his ailing mother tomorrow.

Fast track court judge Vijaya Pol, while allowing the application filed by Tejpal, put several conditions which he will have to abide to meet his mother at his Moira village residence in North Goa. Earlier, the court had permitted him to meet her on March 13.

Tejpal, 50, had claimed that his mother is suffering from brain tumour and is in the last stage of her life and had sought permission to meet her. Allowing Tejpal to meet his mother for one hour tomorrow, the court said if he wants to meet her again, he needs to file fresh application which would be considered on merits.

While granting permission to Tejpal, the court said that the investigating officer representative or the IO should be allowed to be present at the venue and during the period of the visit.

"The escort party should ensure that solemnity of the occasion should not be diluted by the visit being reduced to a social meeting with friends and relatives under the garb of visiting the ailing mother," the order says.

"The accused be directed to maintain proper decorum and discipline so that the members of the escort party are not inconvenienced," it mentioned, adding that "the accused should not be allowed to address media or anybody on his behalf." Tejpal was arrested on November 30 last year for allegedly raping a junior woman colleague during an event in Goa. He has since been lodged in Sada sub jail in Vasco town, about 40 kms from Panaji.- PTI 




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