Kangana watching Madhubala DVDs

Mumbai, March 29: Kangana is getting ready for the biggest challenge of her career. Kangana Ranaut

She’ll be playing whom she considers the most beautiful woman in the history of Indian cinema. It’s a thought that flatters and terrifies her. Kangana is afraid she may not look beautiful enough on screen.

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.

SRK, Sush friends forever!

Mumbai, March 29: We didn’t say that. Sushmita Sen said that about herself! In the city to attend an event, Sush made a candid confession. When asked what was that Sushmita Sen one thing in her life that she would not want to talk about in public, she said, “Meri zindagi ek khuli kitaab hai.

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.

Chiranjeevi to contest from Tirupati

Hyderabad, March 27: Actor-politician Chiranjeevi would be contesting from Andhra Pradesh’s Tirupati assembly seat, his Praja Rajya Party (PRP) announced Friday while declaring the first list of candidates for the state assembly and Lok Sabha elections.

Unlike other parties, which declared their lists either in Delhi or Hyderabad, he chose Jaggampet in coastal Andhra Pradesh’s East Godavari district to announce the candidates for 100 assembly and nine Lok Sabha seats.

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.

Inflation nears zero; drops further to 0.27%

New Delhi, March 26: India appears to be set for a deflationary phase with Inflation hitting 30 year low at 0.27 percent even as prices of some essential commodities like cereals and vegetables rose during the period.

The figures released on Thursday were for the week ended March 14, down from 0.44 percent recorded for the earlier week.

However, despite the remarkable drop in inflation rate, there is still no significant drop in consumer price index (CPI), which relates to the prices of consumer goods including fruits and vegetables.

Srinagar-Kargil Highway to open from April 7

Jammu, March 26: The Srinagar-Kargil Highway, closed since December last owing to heavy snowfall in the region, is expected to be thrown open to traffic from April 7, a senior official said here Thursday.

“With snow clearance operations being undertaken around Zojila pass, the Srinagar-Kargil road is expected to be thrown open for vehicular traffic by April 7, 2009,” Deputy Commissioner (Kargil) Satish Nehru said.

Sourav Ganguly dropped as Kolkata Knight Riders captain

New Delhi, March 25: Kolkata Knight Riders coach John Buchanan has dropped Sourav Ganguly as captain of the IPL team for the Twenty20 tournament to be held in South Africa from April 18 next month.

The team will have four captains, team coach John Buchanan announced on Wednesday in Kolkata.

Times Now had reported on Tuesday of a rift between the coach and the captain and that Buchanan wanted Dada to be axed as captain.

Buchanan had expressed favour of a rotating captaincy in a match.

Shuttle, space station crews part after 8 days

Cape Canaveral, March 25: After eight days together, it’s time for the space shuttle and space station crews to say goodbye.

The hatches between the linked spacecraft will be sealed early Wednesday afternoon. Three hours later, Discovery will undock.

Discovery will be bringing back five months’ worth of science experiments from the space station. The blood, urine and saliva samples need to be kept cold for as long as possible, and will remain in the station freezer until the last possible moment.

Hit by meltdown, Bangalore youths to vote for secure jobs

Banglore, March 25: As hundreds of young people graduating in engineering and management in India’s IT hub feel the heat of the global financial meltdown, they are united on one issue – vote in the Lok Sabha polls and vote for those with the best economic recovery plan.

With fewer job offers and lower compensation this year at the summer campus placements, talk among young Bangaloreans centres on the five-phase polls beginning April 16.

Only by electing right candidates can the future become secure. That is the view that dominates the discussion over coffee at a popular hangout.

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.

Weather and proximity clinch IPL for South Africa

Johannesburg, March 25: Weather and proximity to India were the decisive factors in South Africa edging past England as hosts of the Indian Premier League (IPL), which has now been shortened to five weeks starting April 18. IPL commissioner Lalit Modi and Cricket South Africa (CSA) chief Gerald Majola in a joint press conference confirmed that the second edition of the Twenty20 league, which was moved out of India because of security reasons, will be held in six venues in South Africa.

The venues include Durban, Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Pretoria, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth.

TDP, TRS reach seat sharing agreement in Andhra

The leaders of the two parties reached the agreement in the evening. However, a formal announcement is likely to be made Wednesday.

TRS leaders claimed that the TDP has agreed to leave 48 assembly and nine Lok Sabha seats for the party, which is spearheading the movement for separate statehood to the Telangana region.

On a day of dramatic developments, the TRS had set a deadline for the TDP to accept its demands and had even threatened to walk out of the alliance, which also has the two communist parties as the other constituents.

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.’

IPL move was hardest BCCI decision ever: Modi

Johanesburg, March 25: The decision to move the India Premier League 2009 to South Africa was “one of the hardest decisions that the BCCI ( Board of Control for Cricket in India) has ever had to take”, Lalit Modi, chairman and commissioner of the IPL, told a press conference in Johannesburg as he jointly announced the decision with Cricket South Africa chief executive Gerald Majola.

“But I am equally confident that staging it here will be a massive success for us,” Modi said on Tuesday evening.

IMF to talk to Sri Lanka on $1.9 bn loan

Colombo, March 22: An International Monetary Fund (IMF) team is to hold talks with Sri Lanka Sunday and finalise its request for a $1.9 billion standby loan to prop up the country’s dwindling foreign exchange reserves, media reports here said.
Responding to reports that conditions may be attached to the IMF loan, a Central Bank official said that there had ‘so far been no talks on conditions’.

Nano tanks up for road test challenge

New Delhi, March 23: Capping a journey full of admiration but not bereft of controversies, the Tata Nano is all set to steer India into automotive history. Tata Nano is all set to launch today.
The small yet innovative car, revered for its tag of being the worlds cheapest, is ready to fuel up, promising an affordable and comfortable vehicle to millions of Indians for whom a car was far out of reach.

My goal is to uplift Muslims of Hyderabad: Zahid Ali Khan

Even as all the major political parties in Andhra Pradesh are busy in finalizing suitable candidates for the 42 Parliamentary seats, Hyderabad is the one constituency where the battle lines have already been drawn. The only Muslim dominated Lok Sabha constituency in Andhra Pradesh (now with whopping 70% Muslim electorate after the delimitation) Hyderabad has traditionally been a stronghold of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) and it has won all the elections from here since 1984.

Tendulkar’s ton puts India in commanding position

Hamilton: Sachin Tendulkar gave ample display of his class with a masterly 160 as India tightened the noose around New Zealand by taking a huge 241-run lead and snapping up three early Kiwi wickets in the first cricket Test here today.

Tendulkar not only notched up his 42nd Test century but also anchored the innings brilliantly to steer India to a commanding first innings total of 520.

Our marriage depends on Ash and Bipasha

Mumbai, March 11: John Abraham says the best thing to happen to him in 2008 was his brother’s marriage. And the most unusual happening in his life in 2009 could be his first stage performance, thanks to the success of his Desi girl number in Dostana.

“My brother’s marriage in Romania was beautiful. Standing there at his wedding as his best man as he took the vows with his wife in a beautiful old church I felt so content. I was never happier. And I liked being the best man. Because I’m the best. People ask me where I’m going from here. And I tell them, I’m only going to get better.”