Posts Tagged ‘Delhi’
Delhi, Nov 9 (IANS) Malaika Arora Khan says the day she and her husband Arbaaz Khan decided to become movie producers, was the most important turning point in her life.
“Professionally, there have been many instances which have actually made me the person I am today. But by far, the most special was the day when Arbaaz and I decided to become producers and make a film which is ‘Dabangg’ and now we are making the sequel. So, professionally, it’s the most important turning point in my life,” Malaika said at an event to support the Clean Shaven Look for Men campaign.
While ‘Dabangg’ was directed by Abhinav Kashyap, Arbaaz has himself taken the reins of ‘Dabangg 2′ in his own hands.
Talking about Arbaaz as a director, Malaika, who had danced to “Munni badnaam” in the first instalment, said: “I am really excited and nervous. It’s been superb not just producing this time, but having him direct the film. I have been pretty hands-on, so yes, it’s really nerve-wrecking right now”.
“Dabangg 2″ stars Salman Khan and Sonakshi Sinha. While Kareena is doing a special song in the film, Malaika will also be seen in a special appearance, which she is keeping under the wraps. However, if reports are to be believed, Malaika has already shot for a peppy number.
“Dabanng 2″ is set for release Dec 21.
New DelhiLucknow, Sep 19 (IANS) Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav warned Wednesday that the ‘arrogance’ of the Congress was going to hurt it badly.
Speaking to reporters a day after the Trinamool Congress said it was pulling out of United Progressive Alliance (UPA), Mulayam Singh said that the government should be wise as there was pressure on the common man due to the hike in diesel prices.
‘The government’s stubborn behaviour will do it no good. Congress will become weaker because of it,’ he said.
Speaking to IANS on telephone, the Samajwadi Party chief urged the Congress to look into the issues raised by the allies and supporting parties.
The time has come for the Congress-led UPA to get its act together, he said,
‘Ab Congress ki akal theek ho jaani chahiye’ (It’s high time the Congress learnt its lessons), he said.
‘The Congress should introspect what it has given to farmers and people of the country.’
Asked if Congress leaders were in contact with his party after the Trinamool move, Mulayam Singh said: ‘Rajneeti mein to baat cheet to chalti rahti hai.’ (In politics, discussions and dialogue continue).
Mulayam Singh said a final call on continuing support to the UPA will be taken after the Samajwadi Party Parliamentary Board meets Thursday.
He said his party would go ahead with the Thursday protests planned against allowing foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail and the hike in diesel prices.
Samajwadi Party’s support to the UPA has become crucial after the Trinamool Congress decision to pull out of the government. The Samajwadi Party has 22 MPs in the Lok Sabha and provides outside support to the government.
The Trinamool Congress decision to pull out has brought the UPA’s own strength in the Lok Sabha below the half-way mark.
Thiruvananthapuram/Delhi, July 22 (IANS) Contrary to speculation that discipilniray action would be taken against V.S. Achuthanandan, Kerala’s veteran Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Sunday escaped with only a public censure.
“Yes, some of the things that I raised have been addressed. The details of all this, you will know when (general secretary) Prakash Karat tells you about it. It was Karat who invited us here for the meeting and issues have been discussed,” said Achuthanandan after returning from the meeting to Kerala House in Delhi.
Incidentally this is the sixth time that disciplinary action has been taken against him, with the first one way back in 1966.
A party source said that he spoke in the central committee for close to 30 minutes Sunday, where he said most of the issues were those he has been raising for a few years but the national leadership did not look into it.
He also admitted that it was a mistake of his that he chose to visit the home of murdered former CPI-M leader in Kozhikode on the very same day of the Neyattinkara by-election took place in June this year.
The CPI-M in Kerala has been divided between Achuthanandan and the huge majority faction headed by state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan.
The two have been at loggerheads for more than a decade and every time when the clash crossed limits, the national leadership intervened and on every occasion it was the veteran who outsmarted Vijayan, like what happened Sunday.
This time the Vijayan faction had asked the national leadership to reign him in by removing him from the post of the leader of opposition and also to remove him from the central committee of the party, but nothing happened.
“This is a very very lenient step which has been taken against him and all of us expect that he will accept this and correct himself and does not repeat what he was doing before,” said a peeved M.M. Lawerence a senior CPI-M leader owing allegiance to the Vijayan faction.
The veteran has been going on hammer and tongs against his party for some time now and it increased hugely after he was not nominated to the party politburo at the party meeting held in February.
(With India back in Olympic hockey, IANS takes a look at the country’s glorious past in the Games. The first of a series of articles recalling the country’s performance from the 1928 Olympic Games till 2004 in Athens.)
By Anand Philar
The 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam, when India won the gold, was the country’s first step towards ascending the hockey throne. It was at the insistence of the newly-formed Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) that the sport was included in the programme after a break of eight years.
When hockey made its Olympic debut in 1908 at London, the sport had barely taken root in India. Calcutta formed clubs in 1885 followed by hosting the country’s first tournament, the Beighton Cup the same year, and Bombay organising the Aga Khan Cup in 1886. However, it was only on Sep 7, 1925 that the IHF had its first meeting in Gwalior where Col Bruce Turnbull was elected president and NS. Ansari, the secretary.
India’s Olympic debut was marred by controversy over captaincy. Jaipal Singh, who was
studying in Oxford, was selected along with two other England-based Indians, Yusuf Khan and the Nawab of Pataudi (Sr), who played only in the warm-up games but not the
Jaipal was named captain much to the dismay of the Anglo-Indian players in the squad. The simmering discontent saw a disgusted Jaipal walk out of the team after it reached the quarter-finals and Eric Pinninger took over the leadership.
The competition that India won convincingly saw the birth of a legend in Dhyan Chand who was the top scorer of the tournament with 14 goals, including a hat-trick in the final against the Netherlands while India did not concede a single goal in five matches.
India’s performance earned them rave reviews and while only three persons saw them off
on their journey to London, massive crowds thronged the Bombay port to welcome the new
A Dutch journalist, taken in by the Indian wizardry, wrote: ‘The Indian ball seems ignorant of law of gravity. One of those tanned, diabolical jugglers stares at the ball intently; it gets upright and remains suspended in the air. It only proceeds on its way when the player has bestowed an approval nod on it.’
Indian team: Jaipal Singh and Broome Eric Pinninger (captain), Syed M Yusuf, Richard J Allen, Michael E Roeque, Leslie C Hammond, Rex A Norris, William John Goodsir-Cullen, Kehar Singh Gill, Maurice A Gateley, Shaukat Ali, George E Marthins, Dhyan Chand, Feroze Khan and Frederick S Seaman.
League – India beat Austria 6-0 (Dhyan Chand 4; Shaukat Ali 1; Maurice Gateley 1).
India beat Belgium 9-0 (Feroze Khan 5; Frederic Seaman 2, George Marthins 1; Dhyan Chand 1)
India beat Denmark 5-0 (Dhyan Chand 4; Frederic Seaman 1).
India beat Switzerland 6-0 (Dhyan Chand 3; Maurice Gateley 2; George Marthins 1).
Final: India beat Holland 3-0 (Dhyan Chand 2; George Marthins 1).
Final Positions: India 1, Netherlands 2, Germany 3; Belgium 4; Spain 5; France 6; Denmark 7;
Austria 8; Switzerland 9.
Delhi, June 13 (IANS) Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit Wednesday directed the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) to ensure adequate supplies of drinking water in the capital, and warned of strict action against laxity.
Dikshit, who is the DJB chairperson, instructed officials and engineers to carry out “equitable distribution” of drinking water across the capital for at least one-and-a-half hours daily.
“No one should be deprived of drinking water,” Dikshit said in a meeting held with DJB officials. She warned erring officials of termination from service.
There were reports of water shortage in New Delhi Municipal Council areas (NDMC) areas and parts of south Delhi due to damage to a pipeline in Madhuban Chowk. Areas like West Patel Nagar, Tilak Nagar, Sangam Vihar, Mukherjee Nagar and Nehru Vihar, as also trans-Yamuna areas also had reportedly faced water shortages.
Dikshit asked DJB officials to coordinate with police to prevent illegal water tapping.
“The DJB has been instructed to straightway disconnect illegal tapping and take help of police wherever necessary. The local Member of Legislative Assembly (MLAs)/Councillors must be kept in confidence. There is a need of inspecting (underground reservoirs) UGRs and tanker filling stations on daily basis by the Chief Engineers and others,” said Dikshit.
She said that commissioning of eight more UGRs during this financial year will help in equitable supply of drinking water.
New Delhi/Kolkata, June 12 (IANS) The Election Commission announced Tuesday that the presidential election would be held July 19, setting the ball rolling for the process to decide on who would be the next occupant of the Rashtrapati Bhavan. All eyes are now on Congress chief Sonia Gandhi who will take the final call on the ruling UPA’s candidate.
While union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has emerged front-runner, there is no clarity on who would be the United Progressive Alliance’s choice for the post. Suspense has been mounting and there have been hectic consultations between leaders of various political parties but no names have been thrown up.
The only declared candidate is former Lok Sabha speaker P.A. Sangma of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), who has been actively lobbying for support amongst opposition parties.
Chief Election Commissioner V.S. Sampath said the elections would be notified June 16, be held on July 19 and the votes counted on July 22, just two days before President Pratibha Patil’s term ends.
As the tempo built up, the Congress let out little and only said that there were no differences amongst the allies. ‘We have repeatedly demonstrated that UPA is united and cohesive,’ said party spokesperson Manish Tewari.
It is being hoped that the wait for the UPA’s ‘consensus’ candidate ends Wednesday when Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee meets Gandhi. She told reporters in Kolkata before leaving for the national capital that Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav would be present as well.
The Manmohan Singh-led government, which has for weeks been trying to balance interests of its often troublesome allies, is hoping to resolve differences with the Trinamool and SP, who have the maximum numbers and are crucial for the Congress candidate to win.
Asked to comment on speculation that Mukherjee, the government’s most senior minister and troubleshooter for all seasons, was the front-runner in becoming the Congress candidate, she said: ‘This is an issue for the Congress.’
She also denied that her backing for the Congress’ choice for the post was linked to a financial package for her state.
Banerjee had earlier indicated that she was not in favour of Mukherjee, who has cancelled his visit to Afghanistan fuelling conjecture that the choice would narrow down to only him.
Sources admit that if Mukherjee is indeed the chosen one, Banerjee would find it difficult to oppose him – if elected, he would be the first Bengali in the presidential palace.
SP chief Mulayam Singh has been of the same view. He told reporters Monday that he wanted the Congress to first announce its candidate. Asked about Mukherjee, he said: ‘I do not know who is the candidate. When a candidate is declared, we will decide.’
Another key ally, the NCP, indicated that Mukherjee could well be the man for the top post.
‘India’s president will be acceptable to all. He will be a seniormost person who will be congratulated by the entire country,’ senior NCP leader D.P. Tripathi said. Interestingly, NCP has not backed Sangma.
If all goes well and there is consensus amongst allies in the UPA, the opposition National Democratic Alliance (NDA) will have little say.
In the jockeying for power, the BJP-led NDA was believed to be pushing for its own person for the post of vice president.
Talk was that the party might choose senior leader Jaswant Singh for the job. The buzz was heightened with Jaswant Singh meeting Mulayam Singh at his residence.
‘All the constituents of the NDA would join their heads to decide their stand over the matter in the coming days,’ Akali Dal leader and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said.
Given the uncertainty, the final name could well be a dark-horse. Either way, the government will have to reveal its choice for India’s 13th president before Saturday.
New Delhi/Kolkata, June 10 (IANS) Speculation about Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee emerging as the Congress candidate for presidential elections grew Sunday with a senior party leader from West Bengal rooting for him and appealing to party ally Trinamool Congress to support his candidature.
State Irrigation Minister Manas Bhunia, who has earlier headed the Congress’ West Bengal unit, said that Mukherjee was the most apt choice for the post but added that the final decision had to be taken by the party’s central leadership.
‘Discussions about our nominee for the presidential election are still on and the ultimate decision vests with the party high command. But we feel Mukherjee is the most apt choice for the post,’ Bhunia told media persons in Kolkata.
‘What has been concerning us the most is the silence of our ally – the Trinamool Congress. I appeal to them and their supremo (Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee) to support Mukherjee as the choice for the president,’ he added.
Bhunia’s remarks came two days after Mukherjee signalled his interest in the post of president while on a visit to West Bengal, but said it was for the party to decide.
Congress sources in New Delhi said Bhunia’s remarks signified public endorsement of Mukherjee’s candidature by the West Bengal Congress leaders and could have a bearing on the decision of high command.
They said the remarks were aimed at increasing probability of Mukherjee emerging as the final choice.
The Trinamool Congress was unlikely to oppose his candidature as the party will find it politically imprudent to be seen as blocking chances of a Bengali to occupy the top post, they added.
Banerjee had earlier expressed reservations on Mukherjee’s presidential candidature.
The Congress is expected to announce its presidential candidate in the coming week before the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh leaves the country to attend the G-20 meeting.
On Saturday, party leader Janardan Dwivedi had said that discussions with the party’s allies in United Progressive Alliance were continuing and no name had been finalised.
Congress sources said the party will strive for ‘maximum amount of consensus’ in selecting a candidate
The past week saw a meeting of party’s core group and Congress president Sonia Gandhi stepping up consultations for the top post with UPA allies on the presidential election.
After the core group meeting Friday, Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel met Mukherjee in his office for almost an hour.
The name of Vice President Hamid Ansari has also been doing the rounds as a possible Congress candidate in the presidential polls.
The Bharatiya Janata Party, which intends to convene a meeting of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to discuss the presidential election, has avoided comments on the issue after remarks of party leader Sushma Swaraj drew flak from its ally Janata Dal-United.
BJP sources said that the party is likely to come out with its stance after Congress declares its candidate.
Former Lok Sabha Speaker P. A. Sangma, whose candidature is being supported by the Biju Janata Dal and the AIADMK, had Friday met senior BJP leader L.K. Advani to apparently seek the party’s support.
Chennai/Delhi, June 9 (IANS) Hitting out at Team Anna members for their allegations against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over the allocation of coal blocks, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office V. Narayanasamy Saturday said that Anna Hazare is a simple man but is surrounded by anti-national elements.
‘Anna Hazare is a simple man but is surrounded by anti-national elements. I would like to say that Arvind Kejriwal collected huge money at the time of Anna Hazare’s agitation… what happened to that money…nobody knows,’ Narayanasamy told reporters in Chennai.
Targeting another member, Kiran Bedi, he said: ‘Kiran Bedi is accused of collecting money from organistions; she attended meetings by going economy class and then collecting the money for business class… and that allegation was proved and now she has refunded the money… this is the reputation.’
He said that as far as the agitation by yoga guru Baba Ramdev to bring back black money is concerned, the government has already submitted a white paper in parliament and is trying to bring back the money stashed in banks abroad.
‘What is the reputation of Baba Ramdev, we all know,’ he said.
According to the minister, the prime minister has assured transparency in coal allocation but there was no transparency during the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) rule.
‘Our government is a transparent government. The PM wanted to have a transparent form of coal block allocation in 2004. During the NDA government, there was no transparency,’ he said.
Team Anna has been targeting the prime minister over the auction of coal blocks during the period he held the coal portfolio.
In Delhi, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Nitin Gadkari called Narayanasamy’s comment ‘unfair’.
‘I think it is unfair to call anyone anti-national. There can be differences in opinion…if somebody campaigns against the government, then they cannot call them anti-national,’ Gadkari told reporters in the national capital.
New Delhi/Mumbai, May 25 (IANS) In a bid to end the 18-day-old strike at national carrier Air India, some of the agitating pilots met Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh here Friday.
‘A few pilots in their individual capacity came in today to meet the minister. They wanted to rejoin duty and said they were ready to cooperate and discuss all outstanding issues,’ a senior official of the ministry told IANS.
‘They requested the minister to give them a fair chance to explain their stand,’ the official said.
Ajit Singh reportedly advised the pilots to join back duty immediately after going through the mandatory guidelines and said none of them would be victimised.
‘The minister has advised them to join back. He gave them a firm assurance that they would not be victimised in any way and that he is willing to discuss all their issues after they join back,’ said the official.
The development comes as the strike by Indian Pilots Guild’s (IPG) members continued for the 18th day. The strike by over 400 pilots has crippled the airlines’ international operations. The airline has lost some Rs.280 crore in revenue during this period.
Meanwhile, IPG said it had also offered to meet Ajit Singh and that it would immediately end the strike after reinstatement of 101 sacked pilots.
‘We have sent a letter yesterday (Thursday) to the minister seeking a meeting with him, so that we can explain our situation to him personally. The letter was delivered to his aide. But till now, we have not received any invite,’ Rohit Kapahi, committee member of Indian Pilots Guild (IPG), told IANS.
‘We want a chance to put across our views to him in a fair and transparent manner, so that we can find a way to end the impasse. But till now, we have not received any reply,’ he said.
The letter, which was sent to Singh on behalf of IPG general secretary E.A. Kapadia, said: ‘An earnest dialogue will help resolve all issues in the interest of the country, the airline and its employees.’
The IPG also pointed out that despite the ongoing agitation, it requested one of its eight recently returned Boeing 787-trained pilots not to join the stir and instead go to Seattle May 25 to take delivery of the new aircraft that is joining the Air India fleet.
New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) Street protests rocked parts of India against a sharp hike in petrol prices that the opposition denounced as an assault on the common man.
Both in metros and smaller towns, opposition activists took to the streets raising slogans against the government and, in some cases, clashing with police.
Petrol prices have gone up by Rs.7.50 a litre. Consumers in Bangalore and Hyderabad will now pay over Rs.81 — due to higher taxes.
A 12-hour bandh called by the Left Democratic Front shut down parts of Kerala, where even the ruling Congress expressed unhappiness over the hike in petrol prices announced Wednesday.
A state-owned bus was stoned by a crowd at Kollam, about 60 km from Thiruvananthapuram. Public transport went off the roads and attendance in government and private offices was thin in the state.
The Trinamool Congress, which has attacked the government for increasing petrol prices, took out a massive rally in Kolkata. Railway Minister Mulul Roy was one of the marchers.
Communists staged separate protests in the city.
Some 100 odd people gathered in Mumbai’s Juhu area holding placards and demanding that the price rise — effective from midnight Wednesday — be rolled back.
Communist activists organised rallies all across Tamil Nadu, as well as in the capital New Delhi.
In Pondicherry, AIADMK members organised a novel protest, with bullock carts ferrying two-wheelers to show that petrol was now beyond the reach of the middle class.
A Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) woman activist suffered burns while setting fire to an effigy in Uttar Pradesh.
The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has called for an all-India strike May 31.
In Mumbai, where the BJP national executive opened its meet Thursday, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi described the higher petrol prices a “gift” from the UPA-II government on its third anniversary.
The opposition continued to hit out at the government.
The four Left parties, including the CPI-M, Thursday called the government move “a savage attack” on the people.
The steepest hike ever in the price of petrol was announced a day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh warned of “difficult” decisions his government would have to take to mop up revenue.
In the Kashmir Valley, no one was willing to buy the official line that the price hike was an independent decision of the oil companies.
Many feared that diesel and LPG prices may also shoot up.
“The worst is yet to come. A hike in diesel and cooking gas rates will spell complete disaster for us,” said Srinagar resident Shabir Ahmed, 29.
Protests and demonstrations took place in many parts of Odisha. In Bhubaneshwar, the youth wing of the BJP organised a motorcycle rally, and slogan-shouting people gathered outside petrol pumps.
New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) The Telecom Commission at its meeting Thursday could not decide on the sector regulator’s recommendations on key issues such as pricing and refarming of spectrum. It will meet again May 26.
The Commission, however, concluded that 10 MHz in all should be made available for auction in all the circles and the auction will be open to both new players and old players.
In another development, the union cabinet did not take up the National Telecom Policy 2012 that proposed to de-link spectrum from licences, reduce number of different licences, give industry liberal mergers and acquisition norms and remove roaming charge burden for consumers.
After the Commission meeting, R. Chandrasekhar, department of telecom (DoT) secretary, said: “As far pricing is concerned, the issue has not been completed in terms of discussion. The commission will meet again Saturday and will take up issues on pricing and other issues which could not be covered.”
“No modalities of refarming of the timing has been taken at this point, only a provisioning has been made,” he added.
The commission however concluded that while the old operators would be entitled to bid for maximum of 2 blocks of 1.25 MHz which means a maximum of 2.5 MHz, the new players can go for 4 blocks of 1.25 MHz.
The commission has also agreed with the recommendation of liberalising spectrum. “All spectrum in the future will be liberalised spectrum meaning anybody who gets the spectrum though the auction would be free to use any technology in that spectrum.”
All these issues will be analysed and put before the Empowered Group of Ministers, he said.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended, among other proposals, a reserve price of Rs.3,622 crore for 1 MHz pan-India spectrum, which is around 10 times higher than the price at which 2G licences were allocated in 2008 under then Telecom Minister A. Raja.
The proposals have been highly criticised by the operators and independent analysts alike. Calling TRAI’s recommendations a ‘death knell’ for the industry, the operators have also warned of a 100 percent hike in tariffs if the proposals are accepted.
According to a study conducted by consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), telecom tariffs are expected to rise by 90 paise a minute in metros and 20-34 paise on an average across the country if the sector regulator’s recommendations on spectrum pricing are accepted.
Following constant opposition from the industry, the DoT had asked the regulator to review the recommendations. However, TRAI largely retained its proposals on high reserve price even in the revised paper.
The recommendation comes in the wake of the Feb 2 Supreme Court order cancelling 122 telecom licences issued in 2008.
New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) A director and a shareholder of Global Vectra Helicorp, the aviation arm of the Ravi Rishi-led Vectra Group, Thursday moved the Delhi High Court against the suspension of its permit to fly choppers.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) May 7 suspended the firm’s operating permit after the home ministry raised security concerns.
The court is already hearing the plea of Global Vectra Helicorp against the DGCA’s order.
On Thursday, the company’s director Raj Menon and shareholder Rohit Hans, who holds 960 shares in the company, approached Justice Vipin Sanghi to protect their rights.
The court would next hear the case Friday.
Senior advocate Parag P. Tripathy, appearing for the petitioners, contended that while issuing the May 7 order no reason was given by the DGCA.
He said that the home ministry informed the DGCA that security clearance of Ravi Rishi had been withdrawn. The DGCA then suspended the non-scheduled chopper operator’s permit.
“This is the commercial operation of the company, I have to fly to Vaishno Devi to take pilgrims there, and have to operate onshore and offshore operations for oil companies. Commercial operation can not be stopped,” Tripathy said.
He said that because of Ravi Rishi the whole company could not be come to an end.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe against Ravi Rishi, who was one of the directors of the company and had three percent stake in it, cannot be the basis for blacklisting a company which had been supplying choppers for various purposes in the country since 1998, he argued.
The CBI is currently probing the alleged role of Rishi, London-based Vectra Group’s chairperson, in connection with the multi-crore rupee deal for the heavy-duty all-terrain Tatra trucks for the army and the bribery allegations made by the army chief, Gen. V.K. Singh.
With a fleet of 23 choppers, the company operates onshore and offshore operations for oil companies and also caters to tourists in northeast India.