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NDA MPs will give declaration on black money: Advani

New Delhi: Seeking to corner the government on the issue of black money and daring it to come clean, BJP leader L. K. Advani today said all NDA MPs would give a declaration during the Parliament session commencing next week, stating that they did not possess any illegal wealth or bank accounts outside India.

Addressing a huge rally at Ramlila grounds at the culmination of his 38-day anti-corruption yatra, Advani said even though his journey had ended, the battle against corruption would continue.

Accusing the government of "lack of political will" to fight graft, Advani said the only route to end corruption was through public awakening or a change of the government.

Flanked by top BJP and NDA leaders as well as AIADMK supremo Jayalalitha's emissary M. Thambidurai, Advani said, "The fog around India's politics will not go automatically. It will go only by public awakening or by the change of government." He added, "My yatra against corruption has ended, but this war will carry on till we conquer corruption." PTI



Singapore PM backs India's bid for permanent UNSC seat

Singapore: Hailing India's growing influence and stature, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong today pitched for its permanent membership of an expanded UN Security Council, saying New Delhi has much to contribute to the stability and progress of Asia.

"As India continues to grow, so will its influence and stature," Lee said at a luncheon hosted by him in honour of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife Gursharan Kaur.

He said Singapore "looks forward to India playing a more active role in global affairs. We support India's permanent membership in an expanded UN Security Council." Observing that India has "much to contribute to the stability and progress of Asia", Lee said, "India is an integral part of the regional architecture in Asia and is an important ASEAN dialogue partner." He described Singapore-India relationship as comprehensive, mutually beneficial and in excellent shape and expressed confidence that the partnership will continue to strengthen and grow in the years ahead.

Singh responded by saying that India places high value to bilateral relations and that it was the start of partnership with Singapore that initiated India into opening up economic ties. PTIBack



Sikhs seek minority status in J&K

Srinagar: Sikhs of the Kashmir Valley have demanded that the J-K government accord minority status to their community and introduce Punjabi as a language in schools and colleges.

A delegation of Sikh leaders put forth their demands during a meeting with Mubarak Gul, advisor to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, here last evening.

They also demanded a probe into the March 2000 massacre of the community members in Chattisinghpora village of south Kashmir's Anantnag district.

In the meeting, All-Parties Sikh Coordination Committee (APSCC) chairman Jagmohan Singh Raina asked the government to take concrete steps to address the issues which the community members were facing in the state. PTIBack



Quake hits eastern Japan, N-plant stable

Tokyo: A 5.2-magnitude earthquake struck eastern Japan today, but a nuclear plant that was crippled by a huge quake and tsunami in March remained stable, officials said.

The quake hit at Ibaraki, 136 kilometres east of Tokyo and just south of Fukushima, at 10:23 am (local time) with its depth at 24.7 kilometres, the US Geological Survey said.

A tsunami was not expected, said the Japan Meteorological Agency, while there were no reports of damage.

Nuclear plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) said that the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant remained stable.

A 9.0-magnitude earthquake on March 11 triggered a monster tsunami that killed 20,000 people and crippled the cooling systems at the Fukushima plant, causing meltdowns in some of its reactors.

Radiation leaked into the air, soil and sea around the plant, forcing tens of thousands of people to evacuate their homes.

A number of powerful aftershocks have shaken the region since the March quake. AFP




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