Header Navigation

Friday, August 31, 2012

PM tells Zardari to put 26/11 trial on fast track

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh meets Pakistani President Asif Ali ZardariPushing Pakistan to act against India-directed terrorism, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday told Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari that expeditious conclusion of the Mumbai terror attack trial in that country will be a “major” Confidence Building Measure in bilateral relations.

During a meeting between the two leaders which lasted more than half-an-hour, Dr Singh underlined India’s terrorism-related concerns.

The Prime Minister “underlined our terrorism-related concerns. He pressed for an expeditious conclusion of the 26/11 trial and said that action taken in this sphere (terrorism) would be a major CBM,” foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai said, briefing reporters on the Singh-Zardari meeting on the sidelines of the 16th NAM summit here.

Dr Singh was accompanied by external affairs minister S.M. Krishna and other senior officials while Mr Zardari had his son Bilawal Bhutto, foreign affairs minister Hina Rabbani Khar and interior minister Rehman Malik in his team.

Continue Reading Story Deccan Chronicle English Newspaper

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Dinesh set to gain from SC verdict

V. Dinesh Reddy
The state government is looking into the possibility of implementing the Supreme Court judgement in the Prakash Singh case regarding selection of the director-general of police in toto which would give V. Dinesh Reddy an unexpected extension.

The Supreme Court had categorically stated that “once (the DGP) has been selected for the job, he (or she) should have a minimum tenure of at least two years irrespective of his (or her) date of superannuation“.

Thus, Mr Reddy, who is due to retire in June 2013 will continue to serve till September 2014 if the judgement is implemented in letter and spirit.

Explaining the rationale behind the fixed tenure, the court had said that frequent and indiscriminate transfers ordered on political considerations and other unhealthy influ ences were impacting police functioning.

Continue Reading Story Deccan Chronicle Kochi

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Sonia: Stand up and fight

Congress President Sonia Gandhi
Disapproving of the BJP's behaviour in Parliament and its propaganda tactics, a combative Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday asked the party to “stand up and fight aggressively“ against the Opposition.

“We have many achievements. We have nothing to feel defensive about. We are ready to face the challenges before us. We will not be deflected by the intemperate Congressbashing by the Opposition. Let us stand up and fight, fight with a sense of purpose and fight aggressively,“ Mrs Gandhi appealed.

Addressing the general body meeting of the Congress Parliamentary Party, she said the BJP's attitude of “our way or no way“ makes a mockery of the vision of India's founding fathers and the constitutional framework.

More information on this story, please visit Deccan Chronicle Bangalore

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

PM targets CAG: Our case strong

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, rejecting the CAG’s claims in its coal block allocation report as “misleading” and “flawed”, on Monday took the BJP headon and accused it of thwarting his government’s efforts to bring in a policy of competitive bidding. Amid a din in both Houses of Parliament, he also dared the saffron brigade to debate the issue on the floor of both Houses.

Speaking both inside and outside Parliament, Dr Singh said he was not running away from taking full responsibility for decisions taken by the coal ministry when he had held the portfolio himself. He, however, declared that the allegation of impropriety “is without any basis and is unsupported by facts”.

He read out his statement even as the uproar by the BJP continued for the fifth day in a row. After reading a few paragraphs, he laid the statement on the table.

Daring the BJP to hold a House debate to let the country judge the truth, he declared: “We have a very strong and credible case as the CAG’s observations are clearly disputable.” As the BJP continued to create a ruckus, no legislative businesses could be transacted.

Continue Reading Story Deccan Chronicle Bangalore

Monday, August 27, 2012

TOP OF THE WORLD AT 19

Indian Under-19 cricket team









Unmukt Chand led from the front with a magnificent hundred as India Under-19 lifted their third World Cup title after beating formidable defending champions Australia by six wickets in the final on Sunday.

This was India U-19s first triumph after Mohammed Kaif and Virat Kohli led their respective teams to victory in 2000 and 2008 editions respectively.

Courtesy a magnificent unbeaten 111 by Unmukt and his unbroken partnership of 130 runs with glovesman Smit Patel, India overhauled a competitive target of 226 on a bouncy strip with 14 balls to spare.

It was one of the best centuries one could have witnessed at the junior level as Unmukt hit seven fours and as many as six sixes during his 130-ball knock.

To read full story, please visit Deccan Chronicle ePaper

Friday, August 24, 2012

Sonia tells MP to take fight head-on

Congress president Sonia Gandhi
With both sides -the Opposition NDA and ruling UPA -sticking to their respective positions, the logjam in Parliament continued for the third straight day on Thursday. As the BJP-led Opposition stuck to its demand for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's resignation after a CAG report on coal block allocations, a combative Congress president Sonia Gandhi asked party MPs not to be “defensive“ on the issue and to aggressively go on the offensive.

Even attempts by the presiding officers of the two Houses failed to break the deadlock.

While the all-party meeting convened by Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari saw BJP and Congress members throwing barbs at each other, the attempt by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar failed as the Opposition boycotted the meeting.

The BJP's Arun Jaitley is learnt to have said Parliament is also about accountability, and the gov ernment cannot jettison this role. Congress leaders said parliamentary practices were going downhill, and blamed it on the Opposition's attitude.

The BJP, however, countered this by saying the Congress, too, had stalled Parliament for 20 days when the Tehelka controversy had erupted during the NDA rule, sources said.

Continue Reading Story Deccan Chronicle English Online Newspaper

Thursday, August 23, 2012

BJP isolated, rift in NDA over Coalgate

Trinamul Supremo Mamata Banerjee
While the BJP continued its attack on the government over the CAG coal allocations report, the party appeared somewhat isolated on Wednesday as the NDA failed to stay united, with the key ally — JD(U) — disapproving of the strategy of disrupting Parliament.

The Congress, meanwhile, not only managed to keep its UPA allies together, but also ensured that supporting parties like Samajwadi and BSP did not join the Opposition ranks.

Indicating his party had serious differences with the BJP over strategy, a senior JD(U) leader said while his party will go with the BJP’s decision for a day or two for the sake of “NDA unity”, it felt that “our senior ally’s insistence on stalling Parliament till Prime Minister Manmohan Singh resigns will not sustain as other parties are not inclined to adopt this line”.

More information on this story, please visit Deccan Chronicle English ePaper

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

UPA: Asking PM to quit `preposterous'

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
The government is in no mood to placate the Opposition, which is trying to turn “Coalgate” into another Bofors, and categorically rejected its demand for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s resignation on the issue.

Both Houses of Parliament were adjourned for the day on Tuesday following an uproar on the demand of the Opposition, led by the BJP for Dr Singh’s resignation over the Comptroller and Auditor General’s report on coal block allocations. The CAG report tabled in Parliament recently claimed there was an estimated loss of `1.86 lakh crore in allocation of coal blocks between 2004 and 2009.

Parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said on Tuesday that the Opposition’s demand was “preposterous and baseless” and that the BJP was “trying to make an issue out of nothing”.

Opposition floor managers are unwilling to talk to the government, saying
they will not dilute their demand.

The NDA’s strategy appears to be to stall Parliament for at least the next three days, while the government says it is ready to discuss any issue they want to raise in the two Houses. Deccan Chronicle English Online Newspaper

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

CM consulted on Dharmana future

Roads and Buildings Minister Dharmana Prasada Rao
The Congress High Command has started consulting the Chief Minister, Mr N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and PCC chief, Mr Botsa Satyanarayana, on steps to be taken in the wake of the roads and buildings minister Dharmana Prasada Rao submitting his resignation following the CBI’s chargesheet against him in the Jagan Mohan Reddy illegal investments case.

The PCC chief Botsa has left for Delhi on Monday to have one-on-one meetings with party leaders.

Dharmana’s resignation is not the only issue, said a source.

“The High Command is expected to look into the role of other ministers too who are yet to be named by the CBI,” said a source.
The decision on Dharmana will be crucial, as it will send a signal to other ministers to follow suit if they are named.

In a related development, 10 Cabinet ministers met at the residence of tourism minister Vatti Vasanth Kumar on Monday night.

Read more Deccan chronicle English ePaper

Friday, August 17, 2012

PROMOTION ROW HC orders fresh DGP list, Dinesh ahead in new race

V. Dinesh Reddy
The AP High Court on Thursday upheld the Central Administrative Tribunal order quashing the appointment of senior IPS official V. Dinesh Reddy as director-general of police (head of police force, HoPF).

A division bench comprising Justice Goda Raghuram and Justice M.S. Ramachandra Rao directed the state government to select a new DGP in accordance with the Supreme Court judgement in the Prakash Singh case (which stipulates guide lines for the appointment of police officials to senior positions).

Continue Reading Story Deccan Chronicle English ePaper

Thursday, August 16, 2012

PC moves into high gear to spur growth

Union Finance Minister P.Chidambaram
Union finance minister P.Chidambaram, who had given the nation a “Dream Budget” in the 1990s, is now taking swift measures to counter the economic slowdown. He will meet top public sector bank chiefs on Saturday to review their non-performing assets, agricultural loans and credit to infrastructure sector.

He has directed finance ministry officials to aggressively chalk out strategy to boost the economy and revive investor sentiments. Mr Chidambaram has already met the secretaries in charge of key infrastructure ministries, like power, roads and highways and petroleum, and urged them to step up the pace of work. Various power projects are stuck due to regulatory and supply side issues. There are also plans to revive the stock markets.

In addition, the finance ministry is trying to restart the stalled disinvestment process, and public issues of PSUs, including Steel Authority of India, are likely to hit the stock market soon. Efforts are also on to make it easier for foreign
ers to invest in India. The ministry is expected to unveil a path of fiscal consolidation shortly to reassure investors that India is serious about containing deficits.

To read full story, please visit Deccan Chronicle Online Newspaper

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Political baba secures NDA's full support

Yoga guru Baba Ramdev
Opposition leaders flocked to share the dais with Baba Ramdev on Monday after the yoga teacher gave a call to oust the Congress. BJP chief Nitin Gadkari and NDA convenor Sharad Yadav joined the yoga guru at Ramlila Ground in the national capital on the issue of black money.

“Congress hatao, desh bachao (Remove Congress, save the country),” the yoga teacher said. The government was “incapable of rooting out corruption and bringing back black money,” he said.

Apart from Mr Gadkari and Mr Yadav, TD leader Nama Nageswara Rao and Akali Dal representatives also sat on the dais along with the yoga guru. While sources said that Ramdev had on Sunday night invited the Opposition leaders to the Ramlila Ground, the NDA leaders rushed to lend their support to the yoga teacher.

Continue Reading Story Deccan Chronicle English ePaper

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sushil Kumar rallies to enter finals

Wrestler Sushil Kumar
India's Sushil Kumar advanced into the Olympic men's 66kg freestyle wrestling final after coming from behind in his last four clash in spectacular style on Sunday.

Victory means the 29-year-old, world champion in 2010, is guaranteed to improve on the bronze medal he won at the Beijing Games four years ago.

Having won the first period against Akzhurek Tanatarov of Kazakhstan, Kumar saw his semi-final opponent level and then go 3-0 ahead in the third and final period.

But Kumar countered with a hold down initially worth two points, which he converted into a three-point score to tie the match. And with 34 seconds left he'd edged 5-3 in front.

Then, with just seconds of the contest remaining, Kumar sealed victory with a huge throw that saw him dump Tanatarov onto the mat.

Now he will face Japan's Tatsuhiro Yonemistu in the final later on Sunday.
Kumar had a tough start to his London 2012 campaign, beating 2008 gold medallist Ramazan Sahin of Turkey 3-1.

To read full story, please visit  Deccan Chronicle Bangalore

Friday, August 10, 2012

Indian hockey has hit nadir

Indian hockey team














The Indian hockey team's dismal performance at the London Olympics was an unexpected result which none of us could have anticipated.

With Michael Nobbs at the helm, I thought this was a step towards building a good team and expected them to play at least for the 5-6th places. But after watching their first match against the Dutch, I had my doubts.

The lack of a potent forward line was visible in that match which became our bane at these Games as we went on to lose all our group stage games. It's a shame that we lost so badly after getting a chance to play at these Olympics since our last appearance in 2004.

After such a beating, I would say that Indian hockey has hit the nadir and will have to start from zero.

The other problem area I observed was that we focused on playing defensive hockey. We opted for those tricks of European hockey that are good for them, but not for us. We stopped finding, grooming and fine-tuning a breed of attacking players, opportunists and schemers. And the result is in front of our eyes in the form of this debacle.

Let me also say that these shortcomings have not surfaced right now. For me, the alarm bells rang when we lost 0-8 to Australia in the final of the Commonwealth Games in Games in 2010. We s h o u l d have overcome the deficiencies. But we have gotten our selves into the habit of hype. We win tournaments featuring two to four teams and play it up. And the world thinks these are the best players when it's not so.

Another area of concern for me is the selection of players. I fail to understand the continuous entry and exit of players like Rajpal Singh, Prabjot Singh and Deepak Thakur. The selectors also need to answer why a mediocre player like Sandeep Singh is in the squad and why Ignace Tirkey and Gurwinder Singh Chandi have been included at the last minute.

Continue Reading Story Deccan Chronicle Chennai

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Sonia leads UPA attack on Advani

UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi

In a rare show of combativeness, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday led the UPA attack in the Lok Sabha against senior BJP leader L.K. Advani, who earlier described UPA II as “illegitimate”.

Mr Advani, initiating the debate on the adjournment motion on the Assam ethnic violence, said: “In 2004, the UPA I was formed after winning the election, so it was a legitimate government. But UPA II is an illegitimate government.” At this, UPA members were on their feet demanding an apology from Mr Advani.

A visibly angry Mrs Gandhi led the protest, asking UPA MPs to stand up and prevent Mr Advani from continuing. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also described Mr Advani’s remark as “disgraceful and unfortunate”.

The House was locked in uproar as BJP members launched a counter-attack but Mrs Gandhi had one simple demand.

“Withdraw, withdraw one word, withdraw,” she said signalling the whole matter could be resolved.

Continue Reading Story Deccan Chronicle Hyderabad ePaper

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Ansari wins a 2nd term as V-P easily

Rajya Sabha MP's Sachin & Rekha
Incumbent Hamid Ansari, the UPA’s candidate, was re-elected vice-president on Tuesday, beating NDA nominee Jaswant Singh by a large margin of 252 votes.

Mr Ansari, 75, a former diplomat, becomes the second person after Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, India’s first vice-president (and second President), to get two terms in the second highest office.

Out of the 736 votes polled on Tuesday, Mr Ansari got 490 votes against Mr Singh’s 238. Eight votes were declared invalid. Altogether 787 members of two Houses of the Parliament were eligible to vote.

Mr Ansari, a Padma Shri recipient and former vicechancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University, was a surprise choice for vicepresident in 2007, proposed by the Left, which was then giving outside support to the UPA government. The Left had no problem supporting him this time as well.

Among those who refrained from voting were ailing Union minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, admitted to a Chennai hospital, and BJP’s Shatrughan Sinha, recovering from surgery, besides 21 BJD members, 11 from the Telugu Desam and six from the Congress and supporting parties.

To read full story, please visit Deccan Chronicle Hyderabad

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

PC roadmap to boost biz

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram
In a bid to reverse the downturn in the economy and give fillip to investment, new finance minister P. Chidambaram on Monday unveiled a roadmap to fine-tune existing policies. In a statement, he indicated to put in place a stable and non-adversarial tax regime, a possible cut in interest rates and measures to attract domestic savings and foreign capital.

Reversing the recent policy initiatives, the finance minister has directed a review of tax provisions that have a retrospective effect in order to find a fair and reasonable solution to pending as well as likely disputes between the tax department and assessees concerned.

Mr Chidambaram, who took charge of the finance ministry last week, also made an obvious reference to recent controversies over retrospective amendment to the Income Tax Act and GAAR (General Anti Avoidance Rules) provisions in the Budget for 201213.

Clarity in tax laws, a stable tax regime, a non-adversarial tax administration, a fair mechanism for dispute resolution as well as an independent judiciary will provide great assurance to investors. We will take corrective measures wherever necessary,“ the statement said, adding that the government would work closely with the RBI to moderate inflation in the medium term.

To read full story, please visit DC English Newspaper

Monday, August 6, 2012

LK: No BJP or Congress PM

BJP Leader L.K. Advani
Adding to his party's confusion on the prime ministerial candidate issue, veteran BJP leader L.K. Advani on Sunday gave another twist by suggesting that a nonCongress, non-BJP Prime Minister was possible after the 2014 general election.

This could also be seen as a glimmer of hope for Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, who has been consistently rejecting the projection of Gujarat CM Narendra Modi for this post.

Mr Advani said in his latest blog: “A non-Congress, non-BJP Prime Minister heading a government supported by one of these two principal parties is, however, feasible. This has happened in the past also.“

By suggesting such a PM could head the government only with the support of either of two national parties, whispers started doing the rounds that Mr Advani had done a deal with Mr Kumar.

“If a government is installed at the Centre with BJP support, Mr Kumar, a JD(U) leader, getting the coveted post appears more likely,“ political analysts said.

More information on this story, please visit  Deccan Chronicle ePaper

Friday, August 3, 2012

Saina scripts Indian history at Olympics

Saina Nehwal

Saina Nehwal on Thursday created history by becoming the first Indian shuttler to reach the semifinals of the Olympics but it was curtains for Parupalli Kashyap at the London Games.

Fourth seeded Saina relied on a fine blend of attack and defence to prevail over fifth seeded Tine Baun of Denmark 21-15 2220 in a 39-minute women's singles match to keep her medal hopes alive here.

The 22-year-old will now take on World No. 1 Yihan Wang of China in the semifinals; one whom she hasn't beaten once in last five encounters. “I'm so happy as it's one of my dreams to play in the Olympic semifinals. Last time in the quarterfinals of the Olympics, I was 11-3 up...“ Saina said after the match. “It is a dream come true for me and I'm so, so happy. I really, really can't believe it,“ she added.

To read full story, please visit DC English Newspaper

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Probing all angles to find if terrorists behind blasts

Probing all angles to find if terrorists behind blasts
Maharashtra Home Minister R.R. Patil on Thursday said investigating agencies were probing all angles to determine whether any terror outfit was behind the low intensity serial bomb blasts that rocked the city last night.

"Whether it was a terrorist act or not will be determined only after proper investigations are carried out by Maharashtra ATS, city crime branch and central agencies," Patil told reporters after visiting the four blast sites on J.M. Road here.

Four coordinated low-intensity explosions struck the busy arterial J.M. Road in the heart of Pune on Wednesday night.

The explosions occurred at Jangli Maharaj(JM) road at spots near Balgandharva Theatre, Dena Bank branch, a McDonald food outlet and Garware Bridge.

Asked whether there could be a 'saffron terror' angle to the incident, he said, "All angles are being probed and it will not be proper to comment at this stage."

He said the person injured in one of the blasts-- near Bal Gandharva theatre -- was being treated for minor injuries.

To Read Full Article Visit Deccan Chronicle English Online Newspaper

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Finance for PC, home for Shinde

P. Chidambaram
Sushilkumar ShindeIn a limited reshuffle of his Cabinet, necessitated by Mr Pranab Mukherjee’s exit from the government to become President, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday moved home minister P. Chidambaram to finance and replaced him with power minister Sushilkumar Shinde.
Corporate affairs minister M. Veerappa Moily has been given additional charge of the power portfolio.
Incidentally, Mr Chidambaram has been given the responsibility of finance at a time when the economy of the country faces one of its toughest moments, with growth showing a declining trend, and some decisions on tax issues creating a scare among foreign investors.
Mr Chidambaram faces the triple challenge of restoring confidence among foreign investors, taming inflation and ensuring India returns to high economic growth.

More information on this story, please visit Deccan Chronicle Hyderabad