L A T E S T      N E W S

Kejriwal tables Jan Lokpal Bill in Delhi Assembly

NEW DELHI: Defying Lt Governor’s advice, the AAP Government on Friday tabled the Jan Lokpal Bill in Delhi Assembly amidst stiff protests from BJP and Congress members triggering an uproar and forcing adjournment of the House.

Amidst chaos following opposition demands for voting on the LG’s advice to the Assembly against introduction of the Bill without following constitutional procedures, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal got up to say he was tabling the Bill.

Trouble broke out immediately with BJP and Congress members opposing the government’s move and shouted slogans saying the government cannot violate the Constitution.

As shouting and counter shouting continued, Speaker M S Dhir announced that he was allowing tabling of the Bill and wanted discussion at the introduction stage.

However, the opposition members rushed to the well protesting against the Speaker’s decision resulting in chaos and forcing the Chair to adjourn the House for 20 minutes, the second in the afternoon. - PTI









Karunanidhi slams Left’s bid to project 
Jayalalithaa as PM candidate

TIRUCHIRAPPALLI: DMK chief M. Karunanidhi on Friday slammed Left parties for reportedly trying to project Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa as a candidate for the Prime Minister’s post, saying that the move “is nothing but opportunistic slavery”.

“She is facing a disproportionate wealth case. It is nothing but opportunistic slavery,” Karunanidhi told reporters.

Talking to the media at the venue of the two-day party conference which is to start in Tiruchi fron Saturday, he said the Lok Sabha elections would be forerunner to a change of government in the state after the next Assembly polls. The ruling AIADMK has formed an alliance with Left parties for Lok Sabha elections.

Jayalalithaa has said that the question as to who gets to become the next prime minister would arise only after the election results are announced.

Meanwhile, as to the speculations of a tie-up between his party and the Congress after his daughter Kanimozhi held a meeting with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi in Delhi on Thursday, Karunanidhi said it was just a courtesy call.

He said that DMK could only enter a poll alliance with those who respected the Tamils’ feelings, sentiments and unity. He also insisted that the party would give importance to the unity of the nation, secularism and the fight against corruption.

“Respecting others, which was the main policy of Annadurai (DMK founder), would be the basis for any alliance involving the party for the upcoming polls,” he said.

He said that DMDK chief Vijayakanth was not an exception to these basic principles while adding that the party could also come into the DMK fold if it respected those views.

However, Karunanidhi had on Thursday said that there were “no indications” that a DMK-Congress-DMDK alliance would eventually materialise.

DMK has been openly wooing DMDK in order to strike an alliance, but the party is yet to make its choice clear.

Referring to his elder son M.K. Alagiri and his supporters who were recently punished by the party, Karunanidhi said that “if their action is forgivable, we will forgive.” - PTI









Two killed as Indonesia volcano erupts

NDONESIA: A major volcanic eruption in Indonesia shrouded a large swath of the country’s most heavily populated island in ash on Friday, triggering the evacuation of more than 1,00,000 people and the closure of three international airports.

Two people were killed when the roofs of their homes collapsed under the weight of the ash and volcanic debris unleashed during an explosive overnight eruption of Java island’s Mount Kelud that could be heard up to 200 kilometers away, the country’s disaster agency said.

International airports in Jogyakarta, Solo and Surabaya were closed due to reduced visibility and the dangers posed to aircraft engines by ash, Transport Ministry spokesman Bambang Ervan said. Virgin Australia said it had canceled all its Friday flights to Bali, Phuket, Christmas Island and Cocos Island because of the eruption.

Indonesia’s disaster agency said tremors were still wracking the volcano, but scientists didn’t expect another major eruption.

The 1,731-meter Mount Kelud in eastern Java Indonesia’s most densely populated island and home to more than half of the country’s 240 million people has been rumbling for several weeks and was under close observation.

Muhammad Hendrasto, head of Indonesia’s volcano monitoring agency, said the mountain erupted violently about 90 minutes after authorities raised its alert status to the highest level. The disaster agency said it had spewed millions of cubic meters of debris into the atmosphere. - AP









No question of stalling gas price hike from April 1: Moily

Oil Minister Veerappa Moily says no question of stalling gas price hike from April 1.

Moily says Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s FIR against him and others is unconstitutional. - PTI












Kejriwal government to ignore Lt. Governor 
advice against Jan Lokpal Bill

NEW DELHI: The Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi has decided to go ahead with the tabling of the Jan Lokpal Bill despite Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung’s advice to Delhi Assembly Speaker, sources said in New Delhi.

Najeeb Jung on Friday advised the Delhi Assembly Speaker not to allow tabling of Jan Lokpal Bill as “proper procedure was not followed in the Jan Lokpal Bill issue”. - PTI









Sensex gains 77 points in early trade

MUMBAI: The benchmark BSE Sensex recovered by nearly 77 points in early trade on Friday on fresh buying by funds amid a firm trend at other Asian bourses.

The 30-share index rose by 76.80 points, or 0.38 per cent, to 20,270.15 points with tech, healthcare, auto, IT and realty sector stocks leading the gains. The index had lost 255.14 points in Thursday’s trade.

The National Stock Exchange index Nifty moved up by 19.90 points, or 0.33 per cent, to 6,021.00.

Brokers said fresh buying by funds as well as retail investors, triggered by a firming trend at other Asian bourses on overnight gains in the US markets, mainly buoyed the trading sentiment here.

Among other Asian markets, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose by 0.94 per cent, while Japan’s Nikkei was up by 0.69 per cent in early trade on Friday.

The US Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.40 per cent in the previous session. - PTI











Rupee up 14 paise in early trade

MUMBAI: The rupee recovered by 14 paise to 62.28 in early trade on Friday at the Interbank Foreign Exchange market on dollar selling by exporters and increased capital inflows.

Forex dealers said dollar’s weakness against other currencies overseas after weaker-than-expected US retail sales data and higher opening in the domestic equity market also supported the rupee.

The rupee had lost 32 paise, logging its biggest daily drop in over two weeks, to close at 62.42 on Thursday against the US currency in line with weakness in domestic stocks and sustained demand of the American currency from oil importers.

Meanwhile, the benchmark BSE Sensex rose 76.80 points, or 0.38 per cent, to 20,270.15 in early trade on Friday. - PTI










Ishant takes six wickets on green pitch 

WELLINGTON - India consolidated their advantage after paceman Ishant Sharma's career-best six-wicket haul, reaching 100 for two at the close of play on the first day of the second test against New Zealand on Friday. Ishant was the pick of India's bowlers, who were given first use of the green and bouncy Basin Reserve wicket after captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won his seventh successive toss. 

The tall right-armer took six for 51 and helped bowl the hosts out for 192 after tea. Mohammed Shami provided admirable support with 4-70. Shikhar Dhawan was on 71 and Ishant, sent in as nightwatchman after Chesteshwar Pujara was out for 19, was three not out at the close. - Agencies








Gavaskar expects massive Indian crowd at World Cup

WELLINGTON:  Legendary batsman Sunil Gavaskar is expecting the Indian fans to turn up in huge numbers for next year’s Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand to watch the defending champions who will be seeking for their third title in the premier 50-over tournament.

India is placed in Pool B alongside South Africa, Pakistan, West Indies, Zimbabwe, Ireland and UAE. Pool A comprises of England, Australia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, New Zealand, Afghanistan and Scotland.

With exactly one year to go before the first ball is bowled in Christchurch in the World Cup 2015, Gavaskar said Indian fans would be looking to relive the joy of their team’s historic win on April 2, 2011 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

Gavaskar said there were so many people on the streets of Mumbai after Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Co’s famous win that it was just difficult to move freely.

“It was absolutely massive. That’s the passion that Indians have for this game. I’m pretty certain that the Indians will be coming here to enjoy their cricket and partake of the magnificent hospitality,” Gavaskar told reporters here.

The price of tickets has been kept as low as possible to allow the fans watch the action at the venues itself.

New Zealand great Richard Hadlee said the Black Caps needed to overcome their mental barrier if they were to win the World Cup.

New Zealand reached the semifinals of the tournament six times but never went on to win the trophy.

“If we can replicate the form that we’re in now in 12 months time then we’re in with a shot. But we do have that mental barrier don’t we? Six previous semifinals but we’ve not gone beyond that. If we can make the semifinal and dig deep then it’s 50-50 on the day when you’re in the final, so we can live in hope,” he said. - PTI






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