“BJP leadership in disarray”, says Advani’s

New Delhi, June 08: The BJP was “enfeebled” by so much “disarray” at the top never before witnessed in its history and its prime ministerial candidate L K Advani himself “failed” to assert his leadership at “crucial points”, says a key party strategist while analyzing its poll debacle.

Sudheendra Kulkarni, who is also a close aide of Advani, while giving an insight into the factors behind BJP’s defeat in the Lok Sabha elections cited confusion about Hindutva, failure to overcome the party’s limited social base, negativism in its campaign and a leadership in disarray.

NCP MP Padamsinh Patil Ccharged With Murder

Mumbai, June 07: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MP Padamsinh Patil, who was nabbed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) early Sunday, has been charged with the murder of his cousin and Congress leader Pavan Raje Nimbalkar in 2006, a law official said.

Senior Public Prosecutor Ejaz Pathan said that Patil has been charged under the Indian Penal Code Section 302 and 120-B, dealing with murder and conspiracy to murder, respectively.

LS debate: Congres takes potshots at BJP

New Delhi, June 05: Upbeat over its victory in the Lok Sabha polls, Congress on Friday took potshots at the BJP saying that its ideology of “hate speeches” and “raking up” religion have been rejected by the people.

Initiating the discussion on the Motion of Thanks to the President for her address to the joint sitting of Parliament, Congress leader Girija Vyas also accused the BJP of stealing the issues of development of the Congress.

Advani demands inquiry commission on Mumbai attacks

New Delhi, June 05: Describing the Mumbai attacks as an “invasion of India” launched from Pakistan, Leader of Opposition L K Advani on Friday demanded setting up of an inquiry commission at central level to determine what went wrong and suggest steps to prevent recurrence of such terror strikes.

Speaking on the Motion of Thanks to President’s address in the Lok Sabha, he also asked the government to share with the House the evidence given to Pakistan on 26/11, especially in the wake of release of Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Mohd Saeed apparently on the grounds of insufficient proof.

Who will sit next to Advani?

New Delhi ,June 05: For many of us in school, it was all about sitting next to our friends or best friend in class. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders it seems haven’t outgrown that stage.

It’s not such an innocent thing for BJP leaders in Parliament. They just want to sit next to the boss, Lal Krishna Advani.

First he failed to make it to the ruling benches in the Lok Sabha, and then his juniors fighting to take over his place in the party. And now L K Advani has a new headache – the BJP’s GenNext leaders desperate to succeed him – are now fighting for the right seat in Parliament.

President outlines road map for next five years

New Delhi, June 05: Union Government on Thursday declared that it will pursue a policy of “zero-tolerance” towards terrorism from whatever source it originates and seek to reshape relationship with Pakistan which should confront terror groups inimical to India.

Outlining 10 broad areas of priority for the next five years, President Pratibha Patil said in her address to the joint session of the Parliament that the internal security and preservation of communal harmony, stepping up of economic growth and agriculture, manufacturing and services are among those areas.

President unveils UPA government’s 100-day action plan

New Delhi, June 04: President Pratibha Patil on Thursday unveiled the new government’s agenda that includes reviving the economy through more investments in sectors such as infrastructure, a blueprint for national security and a host of social welfare programmes focused on creating a more inclusive society and economy.

“In 2004 my government had set before the country a vision of an inclusive society and an inclusive economy. My government sees the overwhelming mandate it has received as a vindication of the policy architecture that it put in place,” Patil said.

Iron man Advani out, BJP seeks leader of steel

Advani is believed to have offered is resignation as Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha but the party persuaded him to stay on. He was the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate in the elections and was projected as a strong and decisive leader.

The BJP lost no occasion to compare Advani, “the iron man”, with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was accused of being weak and ineffectual. Advani himself accused Singh of taking his cues from Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

Sharad blames BJP, says Atal’s NDA was different

New Delhi, June 01: In a significant remark, which could embarrass the BJP further after its poor performance in the recent general elections, the leader of its biggest ally on Sunday questioned the manner in which the
NDA had fought the elections.

Janata Dal (United) president Sharad Yadav said here that though the NDA fought the elections as a group, the “grip was missing”.

Cong revamp soon, “one-person-one-post formula likely”

New Delhi, May 30: After completion of govt-formation and distribution of portfolios, Congress would soon embark on a change in its organisation and a reshuffle in work allocation in the AICC.

“Changes will be brought in the organisation soon,” AICC media department chief Janardan Dwivedi told reporters at New Delhi on Friday.

Dwivedi parried questions on how soon the reshuffle would take place.

Kanimozhi to counter Jaya

Chennai, May 30: With her two politician brothers having a role cut out for them, Kanimozhi is the only member of the family on whom M Karunanidhi has not bestowed any political benefits. But the youngest daughter (from his third wife Rajathi Ammal), is willing to bide her time.

Prime Minister expanded Council of Ministers; Portfolios distributed

New Delhi, May 29: Expanding his six-day-old Council of Ministers by inducting 59 ministers, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made Anand Sharma the Commerce Minister and allocated the portfolio of HRD to Kapil Sibal, Law to M Veerappa Moily and Road Transport and Highways to Kamal Nath.

With this induction, the size of Council of Ministers went up to 79- 34 Cabinet Ministers, 7 Ministers of State with Independent Charge and 38 Ministers of State.

Sena warns Cong leader against insulting Thackeray

Mumbai, May 25: Irked over Mumbai Congress leader and former state minister Kripashankar Singh’s criticism of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, the Sena has warned that it would “paint the map of Maharashtra beneath Singh’s ears”.

“If Kripashankar continues to insult the Sena chief, we will paint the map of Maharashtra beneath his ears,” Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut said after Singh yesterday attributed Thackeray’s outburst against him to ‘frustration over loss of all six Lok Sabha seats in Mumbai’.

Thackeray family feud now out in the open

Mumbai, May 24: The Shiv Sena and the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena have both been electorally routed in Mumbai and in parts of Maharashtra in the recent General Elections, but this has not stopped the Thackeray family from bringing its internal bickering out into the open.

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has blamed his cousin and MNS chief Raj Thackeray for the Shiv Sena’s poll debacle. But Raj has wasted no time in hitting back at Uddhav.

Heavy polling in Sikkim

Gangtok, April 30: Long queues were seen outside polling booths in Sikkim, where elections were underway Thursday for the one Lok Sabha and 32 assembly constituencies.

The situation was peaceful with no reports of any untoward incidents, police said.

There were more women than men in the queues which started forming even before the polling centres opened at 7 a.m. Young voters, many of them exercising their franchise for the first time, were also seen lining up with great enthusiasm.

20 percent voter turnout in first three hours in Gujarat

Ahmedabad, April 30: About 20 percent of Gujarat’s voters exercised their franchise in the first three hours of polling in all 26 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state Thursday, poll officials said.

Chief Minister Narendra Modi cast his ballot at 9 a.m. at a booth in Ranip, under the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency.

Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) prime ministerial aspirant L.K. Advani is the party candidate from Gandhinagar.

Modi to record turnout at Gujarat poll booth

Ahmedabad, April 30: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has made Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in charge of recording turnout at booth number 124 of Amraiwadi locality in Maninagar constituency during the Lok Sabha polls underway Thursday, a party source said.

As per tradition, BJP workers are put on poll duty at various booths to record the turnout of voters and report to their seniors after voting ends.

Modi has been asked to monitor booth number 124 that serves two housing societies at Amraiwadi. The area falls under his assembly constituency Maninagar.

Advani seeks fixed tenure for the House

Gandhinagar, April 30: BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate L K Advani today sought a fixed term for Lok Sabha and state Assemblies and wanted voting to be made compulsory with elections to be scheduled in the month of February.

“I suggest that political parties and the Election Commission should think over whether we can change the Constitution for a fixed tenure for Lok Sabha and Assemblies,” 81-year-old Advani said after casting his vote here.

“We are following the UK pattern which does not suit us and we should change it,” he told reporters.

Congress veteran takes on young CPI-M candidate in Kannur

Kannur, March 29: The battle for the Kannur Lok Sabha seat will be an acid test for the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) as the Congress is pulling out all stops to capture the constituency after a gap of 10 years.

The Congress has fielded ‘the best possible candidate’ there, sitting Kannur assembly legislator and 60-year-old former minister K. Sudhakaran, a battle scarred veteran who completed a hat-trick of victories in the 2006 assembly polls from here.

Poonam Mahajan meets Raj Thackeray, denies rift with BJP

Mumbai, March 27: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) youth wing leader Poonam Mahajan-Rao, daughter of late Pramod Mahajan, Friday met Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray, then said there was ‘nothing political’ about the meeting.

After the meeting, Poonam denied rumours that she was quitting the BJP and joining the MNS.

‘I continue to remain in the BJP,’ she said.

Mahajan was hopeful of securing the BJP ticket from Mumbai North-East constituency in the ensuring Lok Sabha polls but the nomination was given to Kirit Somaiya.

BJP on Kodnani: law will take its own course

New Delhi, March 27: The law would take its own course in the case of Gujarat minister Maya Kodnani, who quit Friday after her bail plea was rejected for her role in the 2002 sectarian violence, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said.

‘Once the decision has come from the Gujarat High Court, the party asked her to resign. She resigned. Rest, the law will take its own course,’ party spokesperson Balbir Punj told reporters here.

Varun Gandhi withdraws anticipatory bail plea

New Delhi, March 27: The Delhi High Court Friday dismissed the anticipatory bail plea of Varun Gandhi after the lawyer for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate charged with making communal speeches withdrew the petition.

The lawyer said he was withdrawing the petition since the Allahabad High Court had already dismissed Varun Gandhi’s plea to quash the first information report (FIR) filed by the police in Pilbhit, the Uttar Pradesh constituency from which he is contesting in the April-May Lok Sabha poll.

Have an election related query? Just dial 47617500

New Delhi: Have an election related query and don’t know whom to ask? Simply call the toll free number 47617500 and get an answer by one of the young employees of the Delhi election commission’s round-the-clock call centre. Answering more than 500 calls every day, the call centre, which has been functioning since March 15, is the election commission’s effort to attract people to vote and make the seemingly cumbersome process of voter registration easier by answering all their queries.

Kashmir on alert amid fears of militant incursion: Police Chief

Director General of Police Kuldeep Khuda said after a brief ‘deceptive lull’, Pakistan has restarted pushing infiltrators into the state.

Security forces ‘have been asked to be on highest alert on the Line of Control (LoC) and the international border’ after reports that militants are grouping to infiltrate to this side, Khuda told IANS in an interview.

He said Pakistan continued to support militancy and push terrorists into Kashmir though there had been a drop in infiltration and ‘terrorist activities after the Nov 26 Mumbai attacks’.

Blind can vote without help at the polls

New Delhi, March 25: It is aimed at giving the blind voter dignity and secrecy. For the first time, Braille-facilitated electronic voting machines (EVMs) are being introduced on a large scale for the 15th Lok Sabha polls.

‘A total of 1.05 million EVMs are being used, of which 450,000 are Braille-enabled. These EVMs are spread across the country in many states,’ an Election Commission official told IANS.

He said earlier the rule was that one person would accompany the blind voter. ‘Now, the blind persons can cast their vote without any help.’