Malaysian jet search concludes

Nothing related to the missing Malaysian jetliner was retrieved Monday as a multilateral air and sea hunt for MH370 concluded in waters about 1,850 km west of Perth.

All aircraft have returned to Perth with nothing significant to report, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), which oversees the search, said on Twitter, Xinhua reported.

The three-week scouring for trace of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has turned out sightings of hundreds of floating objects from satellites and aircraft, but none has been confirmed as the debris of MH370.

Poll panel to look into heckling of Bengal official

The Election Commission has set up a committee to look into the allegations of a West Bengal official that he was heckled by “miscreants belonging to the ruling Trinamool Congress” and a legislator “argued roughly” with him even as the party said it was mulling legal action against the official.

Joint chief electoral officer Jaydip Mukherjee said Monday the committee comprises an additional superintendent of police of the district and the local sub-divisional police officer.

Trinamool leading in Bengal, BJP in Bihar: Opinion poll

The ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal could win up to 29 Lok Sabha seats in the state, while the BJP-led alliance would be ahead of its rivals in Bihar, an opinion poll said Monday.

The CNN-IBN-The Week election tracker said Trinamool could win 23-29 of 42 seats in West Bengal, while the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) would lead the race in Odisha.

It said the Left Front will win 7-13 seats in West Bengal while the Congress could win 4-7 seats and the Bharatiya Janata Party could win just one seat.

The opinion poll said the BJP-Lok Janshakti Party may get 21-29 of 40 seats in Bihar.

NCP to support Congress candidates in Meghalaya

The NCP Monday announced it would support the Congress candidates in both of Meghalaya’s parliamentary constituencies – Shillong and Tura.

“We have decided to support the Congress candidates – Vincent H. Pala and Daryl William Cheran Momin – and our party will not field candidates in the state,” Nationalist Congress Party leader Wallambok Lyngdoh told IANS.

He expressed confidence that both the Congress candidates will win the polls to be held April 9.

Momin is pitted in Tura against National People’s Party chief and former Lok Sabha speaker Purno A. Sangma.

Two minors drown in Yamuna

Two minors drowned after the motorbike they were riding along with two other friends fell from a temporary bridge into the Yamuna river here Monday morning, police said.

Bunty, 15, and Sonu, 17, drowned while their two other friends – Gaurav, 15, and Monu, 16 – were rescued by some people walking along the Yamuna bank.

The incident took place in New Usmanpur area in east Delhi.

The driver lost control over the bike and it fell into the river, police said.

Indian wins $272,000 payout in Dubai

A court in Dubai has awarded one million dirhams (or $272,257) to an Indian expatriate as compensation after a car accident left him paralysed, a daily reported Monday.

Identified as A.K., the man was travelling in a car from Abu Dhabi to Fujairah in 2012 when he met with the accident in Dubai, Gulf News reported. The Emirati driver of the car was later arrested and convicted for the accident.

Petrol price cut by 75 paise a litre; diesel rates unchanged

Oil companies on Monday cut petrol price by 75 paise a litre while letting diesel rates remain unchanged.

Petrol currently costs Rs 73.16, the new price after reduction will be Rs 72.41.

“Rupee has appreciated to Rs 60.50 to a US dollar from Rs 61.44 and simultaneously international gasoline rates have dipped from USD 118.09 per barrel to USD 115.73. The twin factors will lead to a reduction in petrol price on Monday,” a source with direct knowledge of the development said.

Court fines Suniel Shetty Rs.20,000 for non-appearance

A court here Monday imposed a fine of Rs. 20,000 on Bollywood actor Suniel Shetty after he failed to appear before it in a defamation case.

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Savitri allowed the actor’s plea seeking exemption from personal appearance but directed him to pay a fine of Rs. 20,000 for his failure to appear in the court.

The court also told the actor to appear on the next date without any fail.

Venkataswamy’s sons join Congress, Rayapati in TDP net

Padapalli Lok Sabha member G Vivekananda and his brother and former minister G Vinod broke away from the TRS and returned to the Congress fold on Monday even as the TDP posted a prize catch with Rayapati Sambasiva Rao embracing it.

The two sons of former Union Minister G Venkataswamy – who had joined the TRS in June last year – noted that the Congress fulfilled its promise of creating a separate state of Telangana.

JPL commissions 600 MW unit in Chhattisgarh

Jindal Power Limited (JPL), a company promoted by Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL), has successfully commissioned the second unit of its 4×600 MW expansion project in Chhattisgarh’s Raigarh district, a release said Monday

The plant at Tamnar is the country’s first mega power project in the independent power plantcategory, said a company press release here.

The company’s second unit had now been declared available for commercial operation (COD) within a time frame of 28 months from the boiler erection stage which is a record for a unit of this size, it claimed.

Khaleda Zia sued for claiming her husband was first B’desh president

A libel suit was on Monday filed against Bangladesh’s former premier and main opposition leader Khaleda Zia on charges of “distorting the history” by claiming that her late husband Ziaur Rahman was the nation’s first president.

A Dhaka court today recorded the suit against 68-year-old Zia, also the chairperson of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).

On March 27 at a discussion on the Independence Day, Zia claimed that her husband was the first president of the country and the proclaimer of the independence.

Parrikar dodges query on Advani as future minister

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar Monday dodged questions on whether senior BJP leader L.K. Advani should be part of the Narendra Modi cabinet, if the BJP wins the Lok Sabha election.

Parrikar was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a restaurant launch in Panaji, when he was asked to respond to a report in a newspaper on Modi’s possible team if he becomes prime minister.

While Parrikar was named ‘home minister’ in the news story, Advani, a former deputy prime minister, found no mention as a cabinet minister.

“Let him (Modi) become PM, then let him decide,” Parrikar said.

Narendra Modi would enjoy diplomatic immunity if he becomes PM: Report

The nine-year US visa ban on Narendra Modi will automatically be lifted and he would enjoy diplomatic immunity if he becomes the prime minister, a Congressional report said on Monday.

“Modi is widely considered to be one of the front-runners as prime ministerial candidate of his Bharatiya Janata Party. If Narendra Modi were to become Prime Minister of India, he would automatically be eligible for an A-1 (diplomatic) visa as head of state, regardless of the purpose of his visit,” the Congressional Research Service (CRS) said in its communication to US lawmakers.

Last words from cockpit: ‘Goodnight Malaysian 370’

The last conversation between the air traffic controller and the cockpit of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was at 1:19 a.m. and the last words were “good night Malaysian 370,” Malaysian Transport Ministry said in a statement Monday.

It said the authorities were still doing forensic investigation to determine whether those last words from the cockpit were spoken by the pilot or co-pilot, Xinhua reported.

The minister had instructed the investigating team to release the full transcript which would be made available during the briefing to the next of kin.

Arun Jaitley rules out Narendra Modi’s apology on 2002 riots

Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley on Monday ruled out an apology from Narendra Modi on the 2002 riots, saying he does not have to do it to satisfy a “fake campaign” against him.

“Those asking for an apology wanted the apology to be an act of confession. If he has actually committed a mistake why apologise, he should have been prosecuted and punished for it.

“We can squabble over the kind of expressions one wants to use… To satisfy a fake campaign he does not have to apologise,” Jaitley said in an interaction with foreign journalists here.

NC, PDP criticize differences between Bhullar, Afzal Guru cases

Jammu and Kashmir’s ruling National Conference and opposition Peoples Democratic Party were Monday on the same page, wondering why relief was granted to convicted terrorist Devender Pal Singh Bhullar by the apex court but denied to parliament attack convict Afzal Guru.

In separate statements, the NC and the PDP said the Supreme Court’s decision to commute the death sentence of Bhullar highlighted stark discrimination somewhere in the system.

TDP promises farm loan waiver in Telangana, Seemandhra

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Monday released separate election manifestos for Telangana and Seemandhra, promising to waive off farm loans.

Releasing the manifestos, party chief N. Chandrababu Naidu told reporters that if voted to power in both the states, the TDP would waive off all loans of the farmers to provide them relief.

Naidu also vowed to continue his fight against corruption and promised an honest and transparent administration.

Vote for change, vote for Modi, says Advani

In the midst of reported cold vibes between them, L K Advani kicked off his election campaign seeking votes for Narendra Modi.

“Vote for Modi, vote for change,” he said, addressing his maiden campaign rally for the ensuing polls at Shevgaon for sitting BJP MP Dinesh Gandhi.

“The nation needs and expects action and not mere slogans. So, vote for change, vote for Modi,” he said.

TDP-Congress workers clash in Nalgonda, five injured

At least five persons were injured when a group of Congress workers allegedly attacked TDP activists in Jamnigadda near Suryapet here on Sunday.

According to reports, Congress and TDP workers had an argument over the municipal polls and former attacked the latter. Those injured have been identified as I Adilakshmi, I Venkanna, A Nageshwar Rao, Ch Venkatesh and I Ramesh. They have been admitted to Suryapet Area Hospital for treatment.

On information, police reached the spot and intensified security in the area to control the situation. (INN)

Pilot’s daughter says UK tabloid ‘made up’ MH370 report

The daughter of MH370’s pilot has accused a British tabloid of “making up” an article in which the paper quoted her saying her father was unstable before the flight, a report said today.

The Daily Mail, whose coverage of the three-week-long missing-plane crisis has been questioned before, said in a report Sunday that family members described captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, as “disturbed”.

Sri Lanka seal semis spot with 59-run win over New Zealand

Sri Lanka secured a semifinal spot in the ICC World Twenty20 after defeating New Zealand by 59 runs in a Group I match of at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, here today.

Brief Scores:

Sri Lanka: 119 all out in 19.2 overs (Mahela Jayawardene 25, Lahiru Thirimanne 20; Tremnt Boult 3/20, Jimmy Neesham 3/22).

New Zealand: 60 all out in 15.3 overs.(Kane Williamson 42; Rangna Herath 5/3.

Palestinians reject Israel talks proposal as ‘blackmail’

The Palestinians have rejected an Israeli proposal to extend the crumbling peace talks beyond April 29, saying it was akin to “blackmail,” an official in Ramallah said today.

“Israel is practising a policy of blackmail and linking its agreement to releasing the fourth batch of prisoners with the Palestinians accepting to extend the negotiations,” the official said following a late-night meeting in Jerusalem between the two negotiating teams.

‘India Shining’ and ‘Gujarat Model’ not going to take India further: Rahul

Attacking Bharatiya Janata Party prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Monday said that India will not develop by just lengthy speeches and slogans like ‘ India Shining’ and Gujarat ‘Model’.

Addressing a rally in Kondagaon district of Chhattisgarh, Rahul accused the BJP of not working for the welfare of tribals, poor and farmers, and said that they are just giving slogans to woo the people with false dreams.

Life is like T-20 match, will decide how to play last overs:FM

Life is like cricket and “I want to decide on how I will play the last ten overs” of life, Finance Minister P Chidambaram today said justifying his stand of not contesting Lok Sabha polls.

While maintaining that he will continue to work for the party, the senior Congress leader also said,”I want to travel, read and write and to connect with my friends.”

“I am not old enough to write an autobiography”, he said when asked whether he plans to pen his memoirs.