- Campaigning for the fourth
phase of Uttar Pradesh Assembly election ends this evening; 53 constituencies
in 12 districts go to polls on Thursday; Election Commission removes SP crime Allahabad and 19 SHOs in different districts following
complaints against them.
- Nagaland Tribes Action
Committee calls off the state wide shut down following resignation of Chief
Minister T R Zeliang; New CM designate Shurhozelie Leizietsu to be sworn in
- CBI arrests Chhattisgarh Principal Secretary B L Agrawal and two others
in a corruption case.
- In Jammu and Kashmir, BSF foils infiltration bid along the LOC in Rajouri
district; One terrorist killed in the operation.
- Madras High Court to hear
today DMK's plea seeking to declare Chief Minister EK Palaniswami's trust vote
null and void in the state Assembly.
- In Pakistan, five killed and several injured in three bomb blasts at a
court in Charsadda district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
- And in Women's Cricket,
India to clash with South Africa today in the Final of ICC Qualifying
tournament in Colombo.
Campaigning for the fourth
phase of Uttar Pradesh Assembly election ends this evening. 53 constituencies,
spread over 12 districts, including the Bundelkhand region, will go to polls in
this phase on Thursday, 23rd February. The districts include Raebareilly,
Allahabad, Pratapgarh, Kaushambi, Jhansi, Chitrakoot and Fatehpur. A total of 630 candidates, including 50 women, are in the fray.
Our correspondent reports that BJP President Amit Shah, Samajwadi Party
Chief Akhilesh Yadav and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi are campaigning
in Allahabad district today. BJP president Amit Shah and SP- Congress alliance leaders Akhilesh
Yadav and Rahul Gandhi will be conducting a road show at Allahabad. They will also be addressing rallies in
different districts. BJP leaders have
accused the SP and BSP to avoid developmental issues and adopting only
appeasement policies towards particular communities. SP leader Akhilesh Yadav
has said that BJP leaders are trying to undermine the works done by the
Samajwadi Party. The Election Commission has removed 29 administrative and police
officers including ADM Deoria, SP crime Allahabad and 19 SHO in different
districts including Jaunpur, Banda,
Mahoba, Jhansi, Jalaun and Lalitpur. The commission has taken the decision after
getting complaints against them. Sunil
Shukla, AIR News, Lucknow."
For the seventh and final
phase of elections, 535 candidates are left in
the fray after the withdrawal of nominations yesterday. Polling will take place
on the 8th of March for 40 seats of the Assembly.
Polling is underway for
the cash-rich Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and 9 other civic bodies
across Maharashtra. 17,331 candidates are in the fray for 3,210 seats in 10
municipal corporations, 11 zilla parishads and 118 panchayat samitis in the
second phase of polls. Polling began at 7:30 A.M. and will end at 5:30 PM.
The districts where
polling is taking place in this phase are Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg, Satara,
Sangli, Kolhapur, Pune, Solapur, Nashik, Amravati and Gadchiroli.
Counting of votes will take
place on February the 23rd.
Nagaland Tribes Action Committee (NTAC) has called off its statewide
bandh following the resignation of TR Zeliang as the Chief Minister of
Nagaland. In a press release, the NTAC said that the decision to withdraw the
bandh, which had paralysed normal life
for the past 20 days, was taken yesterday evening after resignation of Mr
Zeliang was accepted by the Governor.
Speaking to media person, NTAC convener KT Vilie appreciated Mr Zeliang
for listening to the voice of the people, and thus tendering his resignation.
Authorities have decided to restore mobile internet/data and SMS services which
were snapped since January the 30th.
Nagaland People's Front president Shurhozelie Liezitsu will be sworn in
as the new Chief Minister of the state tomorrow. He will be administered the
oath of office and secrecy by the Governor PB Acharya at a grand ceremony. Mr.
Liezitsu was invited by the Governor to form a new government yesterday after
he emerged as the unanimous choice for the post and formally staked his claim.
He was chosen to replace Zeliang at a meeting of the Democratic Alliance of
The Central Bureau of Investigation has arrested a senior IAS officer
of Chhattisgarh BL Agrawal. Agrawal is presently posted as a Principal
Secretary in the Department of Higher Education. CBI arrested two more persons
including his Brother-in-law. Earlier, CBI registered a case against Agrawal on
the allegations related to payment of about one and a half Crore rupees by the
officer to private persons as gratification for help in a case against him
being investigated by the CBI. CBI raided different premises at Raipur,
Hyderabad, New Delhi and Greater Noida, including the residence of B.L. Agrawal
on Saturday evening. During searches, CBI recovered 2 Kg of gold and about 20
Lakh rupees in cash. CBI officers have taken both of them to Delhi for further
CBI today also arrested
Joint Director of Enforcement Directorate, Indian Revenue Service officer JP
Singh in corruption case. Three others have also been arrested, which include
ED official Sanjay Kumar.
The Tamil Nadu government has announced a financial package of 2247
crore rupees for farmers who have lost their crops due to drought. In a
statement today, Chief Minister E K Palaniswamy said more than 32 lakh farmers
will be given the compensation package by crediting the amount in their bank
accounts directly. The state has pegged the total loss due to the severe
drought at 39,565 crore rupees in a report submitted to the Union Home
Representatives of farmers bodies have expressed dismay at the package
saying it is far below the actual damages suffered by the worst ever drought
recorded in the last 140 years.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that India's oral tradition has
evolved constantly to adapt to changing times and circumstances keeping the
eternal values intact. He said false perception was created about India that
India needed social, political and economic reform initiated by outsiders. The
Prime Minister was delivering the inaugural address via video conferencing at
Sri Ramakrishna Vachanamrita Satram, Sri Ramakrishna Ashram, Tiruvalla in
Kerala today. Mr. Modi said India's soil is the soil from where change has
always originated and our civilization stands tall, overcoming obstacles.
"India's Soil from where change has always originated and this
change originated from within. Our
saints integrated each and every citizen in their quest for social reform. This is why our civilization stands tall,
overcoming obstacles. Those civilizations that did not change with time,
The Prime Minister said to reach the common people there was a need to
make Dharma or right living more accessible and closer to their daily lives. He
said bhakti saints used music, poetry and local languages to bring God closer
to people and they broke barriers of caste, class, religion and gender.
In Jammu and Kashmir, Border Security Force foiled an infiltration bid along the Line of
Control in Rajouri district and gunned down a terrorist.
BSF Spokesperson told AIR that the incident occurred around midnight when BSF
troops deployed along the LoC fence in Keri sector detected some suspicious
movement. A heavy exchange of fire ensued for about 30 minutes.
"Terrorists also heavily fired on BSF troops and the exchange of fire
continued for half an hour. A massive
search operation was launched in the area in the morning. A dead body of
terrorist with AK-47 Rifle and Magazine and some miscellaneous items were
recovered. It is believed that remaining terrorists taking advantage of
undulating hilly ground and jungle
returned back to POK. Yogesh
Sharma, AIR NEWS, Jammu."
The Madras High Court will
hear the DMK's plea today seeking to declare null and void, Saturday's vote of
confidence in the Tamil Nadu Assembly by Chief Minister E K Palaniswami. The
opposition had moved the court yesterday and the two judge bench posted the
matter for hearing today.
Mr Palaniswami had won the
trust vote 122-11 in the 234-member Assembly, aided by the eviction of DMK and
walkout by its allies. DMK has 89 MLAs in the Assembly.
The Kashmir valley remained cut off from the rest of the country for the
second day today following closure of Jammu-Srinagar national highway. Our
correspondent reports, a large number of Jammu-bound empty trucks and oil
tankers are now stranded at Qazigund and other places.
"With overcast conditions in Kashmir, the Srinagar Jammu national
highway remained closed for the second consecutive day today. Heavy rains
triggered multiple landslides and shooting stones on the road stretch in the
Ramban sector of the highway. All precautionary measures are being taken to
ensure safety of passenger vehicles and trucks carrying supplies to the Valley.
A senior traffic official told AIR that the decision to resume vehicular
traffic on the highway will be taken on the basis of improvement in weather and
safe road condition. TARIQ RATHER, AIR
In Punjab and Haryana minimum temperature continued to hover above
normal levels, including Chandigarh. For the past few days, at most places in
the states, the minimum temperature has hovered two to six notches above
normal. Met office said, Chandigarh, which received traces of rainfall,
recorded a low of 15.5 degrees, which is seven notches above normal. The
temperature in Amritsar settled at 9 degrees Celsius, up two degrees.
In Pakistan, at least five people were killed and 12 others injured in
three bomb blasts at a local court in Charsadda district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
province today. District Police Officer of Charsadda, said three
attackers attempted to enter the court premises through the main gate and
opened fire and also threw hand grenades, prompting retaliatory fire by police
and security forces. He said, security forces shot two of them dead, while one
suicide bomber blew himself up. Emergency has been declared in all hospitals of
Charsadda and Peshawar. The banned Jamaat-ul-Ahraar has claimed the
responsibility for the attack.
US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis has said that the American forces will
remain in Iraq to fight Islamic State terrorists. Speaking at the end of a day
of meetings in Baghdad with military commanders and Iraqi political leaders,
Mattis said he is open to any request from his military commanders to aid the
battle to retake Mosul and launch an operation against IS in Syrian city of Raqqa.
He said there is no doubt that the Iraqi people, military and political
leadership have recognized the value of the coalition and the partnership,
particularly with the United States.
Pakistan has said that Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed can pose a
serious threat to the nation, and was thus placed under house arrest.
Addressing an international security conference at Munich in Germany,
Pakistan's Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said Hafiz Saeed was arrested in the
larger interest of the country.
The action against Saeed was taken after Pakistan was hit by at least
eight terror attacks this month in which more than 100 people died.
Nepal has announced the date of local body polls. In a cabinet meeting
held at Kathmandu last evening it was decided to hold local body elections in a
single phase on May the 14th. Prior to the Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister
Pushpa Kamal Dahal held consultations with the Election Commission of Nepal.
The civic polls have been announced despite the protest from Madhesi parties,
who had been demanding an amendment to the Constitution before the poll
The Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha, an alliance of seven
Madhes-based parties has announced to protest against the decision. The Morcha
has said that announcement of polls would not change their position that the
constitution should be amended before the polls at any cost. Prime Minister
Pushpa Kamal Dahal has said that the constitution amendment process and the
poll preparations will go on side by side.
In Australia, at least five people have died after a light plane
crashed into a Melbourne shopping centre today. Victoria's Police Minister Lisa
Neville said, the five people were traveling to Tasmania's King Island, in
nearby Bass Strait. Authorities said, the shopping complex was not open at the
time and police do not believe anyone inside died.
In Women's Cricket, team
India are playing against South Africa
in the Final of the ICC Qualifying tournament in Colombo today. Both teams
have already booked their berths in this year's ICC World Cup. India is the
only unbeaten team in the tournament, while South Africa's only loss so far has
been against the Mithali Raj-led side.