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Chintan Shivir: Cong leaders seek bigger role for Rahul

JAIPUR: Amid talk that Rahul Gandhi will be given a larger responsibility, clamour for declaring the young leader as the Congress prime ministerial candidate grew louder at the party's Chintan Shivir on Saturday.

Union ministers Jyotiraditya Scindia, Rajiv Shukla, Jitin Prasada, senior leader Manishankar Aiyar batted for larger responsibility for Rahul as the party recognised the need to respond to the demands of "new changing India peopled by a more younger" generation.

Young leader Milind Deora said, "It is a consensus and feeling at the Shivir that youths should be empowered.

On the first day also, a number of leaders, including Raj Babbar and Avtar Singh Badhana, had demanded that Rahul should be declared Congress PM candidate before the party goes to next Lok Sabha polls.

"Rahul will lead the party during 2014 general elections and would be the prime ministerial candidate," party leader Sanjay Nirupam said before the discussions began on Day 2.

Uttar Pradesh leader Jitin Prasada said, "Things are being discussed as to how we can ensure participation of youths. Rahul is certainly our leader and he will lead 2014 general elections of Congress and the country as well."

Union Minister Veeprappa Moily said, "Rahul is already a leader. We have stable leaders; we are proud of them. The Congress has always enjoyed great leadership. If there is any disconnect, we are discussing these concerns and will ensure that there is proper connect."

About the demand for larger role to Rahul, Union minister Rajiv Shukla said, "It is to be decided by Sonia and Rahul, we can only demand and we are demanding. — PTI




No rollback in diesel price hike: Moily

JAIPUR: Ruling out rollback of the “small” 45 paisa increase in diesel prices, Oil Minister M. Veerappa Moily on Saturday said bulk consumers like the Railways will have to find their own budget to buy the fuel at market price.

“No, no, there is no question of roll back,” Moily, who is in Jaipur to attend the Congress brainstorming session, told reporters.

The government had two days back raised diesel prices after a gap of four months by a marginal 45 paisa per litre for retail users like car and truck owners and hiked the rate for bulk users like defence and the Railways by about Rs 10, to cut subsidy bill.

After including local sales tax or VAT, price of diesel for retail users went up by 50 paisa to Rs 47.65 a litre in Delhi.

Bulk users, which consumer around 17.77 per cent of the total diesel sales in the country, will pay Rs 56.88 a litre in Delhi.

The government has refused to call its January 17 decision deregulation even though it has permitted oil companies to raise diesel prices by the same quantum from time to time till the over Rs 9 per litre loss on the fuel is wiped out.

Moily said diesel and petrol had been deregulated by the BJP-led NDA government in 2002, but the UPA government had continues to subsidise diesel, the nation’s most consumed fuel.

“This (deregulation) has been going on even during the days of NDA,” he said. “(There were demands that) there should be deregulation of diesel and this is the only commodity where we have the regulations.”

Asked about the impact of the decision on Railways, Moily said it will “largely” have no impact as bulk buyers purchase other inputs and fuels at commercial rates.

“They are all running commercially and ultimately they have to find their own budget,” he said.

Railways buy 2.428 million tonnes of diesel annually and will have to shell out Rs 2,727 crore more for buying the fuel at market price. State transport undertakings would have to shell out an additional Rs 2,462 crore for buying 2.192 million tonnes of diesel at market price.

Defence, the third largest bulk buyer, would pay an additional Rs 299 crore for purchase of their annual 267,000 tonnes of diesel. — PTI





US welcomes direct Indo-Pak talks

Washington: The US today welcomed direct talks between India and Pakistan on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.

"We think the best way to work through the issues on the Line of Control is for India and Pakistan to work through this directly. They are in direct talks now, and that's something that we welcome," State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland told reporters.

"We very much value the progress that the two countries have made on the economic side, on the visa side, on the trade side, and we would hate to see that jeopardized because it’s in the interest of India and Pakistan and all of us who care about that region," she said in response to a question. — PTIBack






Man kills wife in Noida hotel

Noida: A 24-year-old woman was murdered allegedly by her husband in Radisson Hotel here, police said today. Akansha Khosla, a resident of Delhi, was found dead in the hotel located in Sector 18 last evening. SSP Praveen Kumar said the hotel staff found the woman dead round 6.30 pm.

Initially, the police thought that Akansha had committed suicide as a note recovered from the site stated that the couple was facing some differences with parents beside financial problems. The note said she was committing suicide and the husband too would commit suicide by jumping from a tower in Sector 25.

When a police team went to sector, 25 they could not trace her husband. However, her husband Ishan Khosla last night turned up at the police station and allegedly confessed to have killed his wife.

Ishan told police that they got married in June 2011 but did not get along. Ishan said he smothered Akansha to death with a pillow and planned to commit suicide but could not do so.Back






Conductor stabbed for protesting against eve-teasers in Ambala

Ambala: Over a month after the brutal gang-rape of a 23-year-old paramedical student in Delhi, another shocking incident here was reported in which the conductor of a moving bus was reportedly stabbed when he objected to the harassment of a woman by a group of men with no fellow passengers coming to his rescue.

The incident took place when a state roadways conductor, Sultan Singh, was travelling in a bus when a group of people started harassing a woman passenger, as per an English news channel report. When Singh objected to the harassment, he was beaten and stabbed by them.

Despite being assaulted, no other passenger travelling in the bus at that time came forward to help Singh. Singh was not on duty when he travelling in the bus at the time of incident.Back




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