L A T E S T      N E W S

Don't project Modi as PM, Nitish tells BJP

NEW DELHI: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has sought an assurance from the BJP that his Gujarat counterpart Narendra Modi will not be NDA's prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 general elections. Kumar made this clear to BJP President Nitin Gadkari when he met him during the oath-taking ceremony of Pranab Mukherjee as President last month, sources close to the Bihar Chief Minister said.

The sources said Gadkari had told Kumar that BJP had not discussed who would be its nominee for PM's post in 2014 Parliamentary polls and would definitely consult all NDA allies while finalising a name.

Sources added that the senior JD(U) leader told the BJP President that general elections are nearing as only one-and-half year is left, so it would be better if NDA finalises its nominee for the top post and insisted that Modi should not be chosen.

JD(U) with 29 MPs in Parliament is the second largest coalition partner of the NDA after BJP.

Kumar in a recent interview had said that NDA Prime Ministerial candidate should have secular credentials which was seen as his clear reservation over Modi's nomination for the post.

Nitish and Modi, the two top NDA leaders are not on good terms. The Bihar Chief Minister, who enjoys strong support of Muslims, did not allow Modi to campaign both in 2005 Assembly elections as well as in 2010 polls.

Modi had twice tried to show that he and Kumar are not on bad terms by reaching him first at a NDA rally at Ludhiana during last general elections and recently at a CM's meet in Delhi.

But Modi's overtures did not end Kumar's opposition to him.

Sources in JD(U) said that if the BJP decided to go with Modi for the PM's post in 2014 elections, Kumar would have no hesitation in going Naveen Patnaik's way — snapping ties with BJP in Bihar.

JD(U) with 117 MLAs in a House of 243-member Bihar Assembly where the magic figure is 122, would not have much problem in running the government alone or with the help of Independents and other smaller parties. — PTI



No rift within NDA over prime ministerial candidate: BJP

AGRA: The BJP on Sunday said there is no rift among NDA partners on the issue of prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 general elections and the matter will decided collectively within the alliance. 

"There are no issues or differences in BJP... There is no question of any internal rift in NDA or BJP. Before the elections, BJP and NDA will decide under whose leadership we will fight the elections," BJP's national vice president Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told reporters here. 

Naqvi was replying to a question on the sidelines of the party's 'Chintan Baithak' (brainstorming session) here on reports of growing rift within NDA over the issue of prime ministerial candidate in the 2014 general elections. 

Bihar chief minister and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar had earlier expressed reservation over the candidature of his Gujarat counterpart and BJP leader Narendra Modi for the top post. 

BJP President Nitin Gadkari had said on Friday that he had discussed the issue of NDA's prime ministerial candidate with Kumar and assured him that no decision has yet been taken on Modi being the party's choice for it. 

Naqvi said, "In 2014 NDA will form its government and root out the corrupt Congress-led UPA government from power." — PTI





Haryana minister booked for abetment to suicide

NEW DELHI: A 23-year-old former woman employee of the now-defunct MDLR Airlines allegedly committed suicide at her residence in New Delhi and police on Sunday registered a case against a Haryana minister, who was the owner of the airline, on charges of abetting the crime.

Geetika Sharma, who quit Haryana minister Gopal Kanda’s company recently, allegedly committed suicide at her Ashok Vihar residence in north-west Delhi residence last night, apparently depressed over continuing mental harassment allegedly by the minister, the police said.

Kanda is the Minister of State for Home Affairs in the Haryana government.

“We have registered a case of abetment to suicide against Kanda and Aruna Chaddha, a manager with Kanda’s firm,” P. Karunakaran, Deputy Commissioner of Police (North-West), said.

the police received a call on Sunday morning about the alleged suicide, he said.

In her suicide note, Geetika had claimed that Kanda was torturing her mentally after she left her job in his company and was pressurising her to join his firm again.

“She has written about the Haryana minister in the suicide note. It was written that they have broken her trust.

"They have cheated her. Due to these things, she was committing suicide,” the DCP said.

Kanda could not be contacted for his comments.

After MDLR Airlines became non-operational, where she was working as an air hostess, she was made director in one of the subsidiary companies owned by Kanda. She quit the job recently.

“When the airline’s operation was suspended, Kanda offered her another job. She refused that offer and joined Emirates in Dubai. He then wrote a letter to Emirates making allegations against her character which lead to her termination,” Gaurav Sharma, Geetika’s brother, alleged.

“Kanda had told her that she has to work in his company only and that she could not work anywhere else. He used to spy on her and follow her. He used to call her and say that she cannot work anywhere else other than his company,” Gaurav alleged. — PTI





12 killed, 40 missing in Uttarakhand flash floods

DEHRA DUN: As many as 40 people, including 19 labourers at a project, are missing after flash floods and cloud bursts ravaged Uttarakhand. The government Sunday asked the ITBP, police and army for help. Twelve people have already died in the calamity, said officials. The government asked the Army, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and state police to search for the 19 labourers who went missing at a hydel project in Assi Ganga in Uttarkashi, about 180 km from Dehradun, late Saturday, officials said.

The government also confirmed the death of 12 people, including three children, in the flash floods, cloud bursts and incessant rains that have ravaged the sub-Himalayan state. 

Officials said that as many as 40 people were missing across the state, including in Garhwal, Uttarkashi and Chamoli.

With rains continuing in many parts of the state, rescue operations are getting affected, officials said.

Also, due to landslides and washing away of roads, the annual Char Dham yatra has been halted, said officials. 

A cluster of homes was washed away in the Gangotri after a bridge collapsed due to rain.

The water levels in Bhagirathi, Alkananda and Yamuna rivers are running at danger levels, officials said. 

Also, all major hydel projects have been shut down following torrential rains. Three small state-run hydel projects in Uttarkashi district have also been damaged. 

Producing an average of 18-20 million units a day during the monsoon, the hydel projects have been stopped due to fear of silting and fears of damage. — IANSBack




No Indian protest after Manoj's Olympic ouster

LONDON: Fuming they might be after medal hope Manoj Kumar's controversial ouster from the Olympic Games, but the Indian boxing team decided against filing a protest against the pre-quarterfinal loss.

Manoj (64kg) cried "cheating" as he exited from the Games ring after being distinctly unlucky in getting points in a bout won by British boxer Thomas Stalker 20-16 last night.

"It's a heartbreaking loss and the result was unfair but we will not protest because we don't want to be seen as bad losers," said an Indian boxing contingent member.

Manoj was left flummoxed after his bout and said, "It doesn't look fair because he was going in one direction and the scores 7-4 and 9-4 to him don't justify that.

"It doesn't look like an Olympic Games but more like a district competition because if it's Great Britain in the ring, it doesn't matter who's against them. It's like a district competition where there's lots of cheating, cheating, cheating," the dejected Commonwealth Games gold-medallist added.

Stalker won the first round 7-4 and maintained his lead by winning the second round 9-5. The Indian then launched an all-out attack in the third and last round which he claimed 7-4 but some debatable judging ultimately saw him leave the arena disappointed.

The Indian camp understandably was furious with the decision and strongly felt that Manoj was at the receiving end of some dubious point calls.

India's Cuban coach Blas Iglesias Fernandez said Manoj should have won the other two rounds as well as he fought in the same manner.

"The last round was 7-4 (to Kumar). Why no other rounds? All rounds were the same. It was very poor judging," he said.

On whether his boxer was "robbed", Fernandez said "I think so."

National coach Gurbaksh Singh Sandhu said: "My athlete was extraordinary. You saw for yourself what happened."

The Indians have been at the wrong side of judging at the ongoing Games, losing a protest filed against Sumit Sangwan's (81kg) close first-round exit.

Later, Vikas Krishan (69kg) was ousted despite being declared a winner initially after his American opponent won an appeal against his triumph.

The matter is now in the Court of Arbitration but the chances of anything happening in the Indian's favour appear remote ahead of the last-eight stage starting Tuesday. — PTI






HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | E-mail |