This is a budget for all, will bring prosperity to states: Amit Shah

BJP on Saturday said that the Union Budget offers something for everyone and will bring prosperity to states and strengthen the country’s economy to realise the dream of ‘One India, Great India’.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that the NDA government is dedicated to the poor and thus in its first full budget it has taken care of all sections, be it poor, youth, women, elderly, disabled and employees, BJP President Amit Shah said in a statement.

FIR against Digvijay Singh over appointments in Congress regime

An FIR was today filed against Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh, former Speaker of the Madhya Pradesh Assembly Sriniwas Tiwari and 17 others in connection with their appointment to the legislature secretariat during the Congress regime.

Deputy secretary of the state Assembly Shyamlal Maithil filed the FIR at Jehangirabad police station here.

Principal secretary of the Assembly Bhagwandev Israni said that initially it had named the 17 personnel but later the government added Singh’s and Tiwari’s names.

Heavy rains, snow predicted in Himachal in next 48 hours

The MeT department on Friday predicted heavy rains in lower and mid hills and heavy to very heavy snowfall in higher hills and tribal areas during the next 48 hours.

The MeT office predicted thundershowers at many places in lower hills, rains in mid hills and snow at many places in higher hills and tribal areas till March 6.

Kalpa received 12 cm of fresh snow while Reckong Peo and Keylong had traces of snow.

Kheri and Chamba received 2 mm of rain while Manali had sharp showers in the afternoon.

At party meet, Arvind Kejriwal wanted to quit as AAP Convener

AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal had tendered his resignation as party’s National Convener in the National Executive meeting held on Thursday, party sources said, a move which was vehemently opposed by members.

The sources said Kejriwal was upset after a section of leaders raised the issue of him playing dual role of the Delhi Chief Minister and the party convener. Kejriwal is believed to have demanded more freedom to run the party.

The meet was held on Thursday and an informal meet continued until yesterday

Govt hikes petrol prices by Rs 3.18, diesel by Rs 3.09 per litre

Petrol price was today hiked by Rs 3.18 per litre and diesel by Rs 3.09, the second increase in rates this month on rising international oil rates.
The increase is effective from midnight tonight.

A litre of petrol in Delhi will cost Rs 60.49 from tomorrow as against Rs 57.31 currently while diesel will cost Rs 49.71 per litre as against Rs 46.62 at present, oil companies announced here today.

Prior to the increases this month, petrol price had been cut on ten occasions since August 2014 and diesel six times since October 2014.

Shutdown over ban on VHP leader Praveen Togadia hits normal life in Kandhamal

The day-long shutdown called by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) to protest against the ban on the entry of its top leader Pravin Togadia hit normal life in Odisha`s Kandhamal district Saturday, police said.

People and commercial vehicles stayed off the roads in most places including the district headquarter town of Phulbani. Shops, hotels and business establishments also downed shutters, district superintendent of police Kanwar Vishal Singh told IANS.

Modi accepts Pachauri’s resignation

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday accepted resignation of noted environmentalist RK Pachauri, accused of sexual harassment, from PM’s Council on Climate Change.

Pachauri is under investigation following allegations that he sexually harassed a colleague at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in New Delhi. However, Pachauri has denied the allegations against him, but proceeded on leave from TERI, where he was director general.

Another temple attack in US spreads concern among Hindus

A Sanatan Dharam temple was vandalised in Washington state with windows broken and the word “Fear” painted on it, less than a fortnight after another temple was attacked.

Members of the the Sanatan Dharma Temple in Kent, about 30 km from Seattle, who came for worship Friday “were greeted by shards of broken glass after vandals targeted the building,” KING5-TV, a Seattle NBC affiliate, reported. According to the temple web site, “Amalaki Ekadashi” was to be observed Saturday.

Chandrababu to meet Modi over ”injustice” to Andhra

Reacting to the “raw deal” meted out to Andhra Pradesh in the union budget, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu Saturday said he would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to seek justice for his state reeling under the impact of bifurcation.

Naidu, who is also president of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), a partner in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government, told reporters here that the budget dashed hopes of people who had reposed faith in the alliance.

Opposition criticises petrol, diesel hike

The opposition on Saturday criticised the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Government for hiking petrol and diesel rates across the country.

“The way petrol and diesel rates have reduced in the international market is not in proportion to [the earlier reductions],” said Janata Dal (United) chief secretary K.C. Tyagi.

“The new hike is like stealing directly from public’s pocket,” he added.

Congress leader Shobha Oza termed the hike as ‘playing with the sentiments’ of the public.

Togadia asks Centre to declare swine flu as national emergency

Viswa Hindu Parishad today asked the Centre to declare swine flu as a national emergency and take steps on war footing.

“I appeal to the Centre to declare swine flu as a national emergency as the disease has already killed 1,000 people and is still spreading in different states,” VHP international working president Praveen Togadia said after meeting a group of doctors in Cuttack.

No ‘achche din’ for working class: RSS-affiliate Mazdoor Sangh

Narendra Modi government’s first full budget today encountered opposition from an RSS-affiliate Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh(BMS) which said it facilitated corporates and neglected the working class and that ‘achche din’ have not come for them.

Expressing resentment over the budget, the Sangh has decided to hold a protest on March 2 at Jantar Mantar in Delhi.

Joining the opposition in criticising the budget, the BMS said it disappointed the aspirant government employees and working/labour class.

President Mukherjee congratulates India for World Cup win

President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday extended congratulations to the Indian cricket team for its victory over UAE in the ongoing World Cup.

The official twitter account of the Rashtrapati Bhavan shared the President’s congratulations.

“Congratulations Indian Team on your win in today’s match against UAE. Wishing you continued success in coming matches # President Mukherjee,” it posted.

Earlier in the day, India comprehensively beat UAE by 9 wickets in its third match of the group stage of the ongoing World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. (ANI)

66-year-old cinema shuts in Pakistan

A 66-year-old cinema in Pakistan has shut down — mainly due to declining clientele.

The Taj Mahal cinema in Abbottabad city, built in 1948, was being dismantled after its owner recently sold the property, the Dawn reported Saturday.

Mohammad Saeed Khan, who ran the cinema for the last four decades, said business was at full swing till 2010, providing entertainment to visitors.

Abbottabad, located about 120 km from Islamabad, grabbed global headlines when US Special Forces killed Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden at a hideout in the city.

57 fresh cases of swine flu in Telangana

Fifty seven fresh cases of swine flu have been reported in Telangana, where the number of deaths due to the virus stands at 56 as of today.

“In the current year, from January 1 till February 27, 4,673 samples have been tested, out of which 1,469 found to be positive. The number of deaths because of other complications and swine flu as on date are 56,” a bulletin on swine flu issued by the state government said here today.

It said 190 samples were tested yesterday and 57 have been found positive for the virus.

Biz community in AP, T’gana say they expected more from budget

Welcoming some of the proposals in the budget at macro level, the business community in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh today said the overall budget, however, falls short of expectations with regards to allocations for both the states.

Federation of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FTAPCCI) said it was not a “big bang” budget.

Police planted false evidence, Uber cab driver tells court

The Uber cab driver, accused of raping a woman executive he was ferrying, told a court here Saturday that the Delhi Police planted false evidence against him, while claiming there is dispute over identification of the car.

Cab driver Shiv Kumar Yadav’s counsel told Additional Sessions Judge Kaveri Baweja that there were two cars and police has seized a different car, the identification of which is in dispute.

“Identification of vehicle is in dispute. Ownership of car is in dispute,” said defence counsel D.K. Mishra, adding the car produced by police is not the car of his client.

AP CM disappointed with Budget not giving enough to state

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu today said that the union Budget failed to fulfil the promises made to the state at the time of bifurcation last year.

“At that time (when new states of AP and Telangana came ino existence) Congress had ditched Andhra Pradesh…NDA leaders, even Narendra Modi-ji, myself, we gave so many assurances to the people of Andhra Pradesh. In turn, they voted for NDA.

Shiv Sena lauds budget but unhappy over service tax hike

BJP ally Shiv Sena today said the budget presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today gave hope on many counts, however, it should have avoided the hike in service tax.

“There are several hopeful things about the budget. But we feel it would have been better if the service tax hike had been avoided,” Sena spokesperson Neelam Gorhe said here.

“Also, we feel people should be given relief by reducing petrol and diesel rates to curb inflation,” Gorhe said.

The budget acts on the premise of good governance and faith reposed by people in the government which elected it to power.

Modi govt has added insult to injury:Cong on petrol price hike

Congress today reacted sharply to the hike in petrol and diesel prices saying that government has added insult to injury to the common man by the steep post-Budget increase.

“Modi government has added insult to injury by first ignoring the common man and farmer in the Union Budget and then giving a steep shock by the post budget increase…. It is arrogance of ‘achhe din’,” party spokesman Randeep Surjewala said.

Budget will fulfil reorganisation act promises: AP BJP

Reacting to the union budget presented by the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today, Andhra Pradesh BJP’s general secretary J Syam Kishore said it would meet many promises made in the Andhra Pradesh State Reorganisation Act.

The budget allocates funds for Polavaram irrigation project, Vijaywada Metrao rail project and the Visakhapatnam metro rail project, apart from announcing plan to set up IIM for AP, he noted.

Budget pro-poor and pro-growth: PM

Describing the budget as “progressive” and “pragmatic”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said it is “pro-poor” and “pro-growth”, providing opportunity to move to new heights while assuring foreign investors about predictable and fair tax system.

Amid criticism, he said the budget provides for increasing investment and strengthening the country’s economic capabilities to help fulfil the dreams of the common man and providing employment opportunities.

‘Bhagwat’s Mother Teresa comment to justify forced reconversion’

Condemning RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s comment on Mother Teresa, a forum of minorities organisations in West Bengal Saturday said the leader’s “malicious” allegations against the Noble laureate were either the result of his gross ignorance or a “well-calculated sinister agenda” to justify forced reconversions.

Bhagwat, while addressing a function of an NGO near Bharatpur in Rajasthan, had said the Nobel laureate’s service to the poor was aimed at converting them to Christianity.

Ashwin’s line and length was superb: Dhoni

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni heaped praise on off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin for his match-winning bowling effort in India’s nine-wicket spanking of United Arab Emirates in a cricket World Cup group league match today and termed the length he bowled as “superb”.

Ashwin, who was adjudged man-of-the-match, almost singlehandedly decimated UAE for 102 with a career-best haul of four wickets for 25 runs, and Dhoni lauded him for his ability to adapt to the conditions.

Chest Disease Hospital to also treat swine flu patients

The government-run Chest Disease Hospital here has been made fully functional for treatment of swine flu patients.

Earlier, Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Science (SKIMS) was the only hospital in Kashmir equipped to deal with the disease. Swine flu has so far claimed six lives and over 180 people were tested positive in the Valley.

“The Government Chest Diseases Hospital, Dalgate, has been made fully functional for treatment and management of H1N1 (swine flu) patients,” an official spokesman said.