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Mann ki Baat - 27
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0815 HRS



  • Election Commission likely to pronounce its order on the symbol dispute of Uttar Pradesh's ruling Samajwadi Party today.
  • BJP's Central Election Committee meets in New Delhi to finalise candidates for Uttarakhand and UP assembly polls.
  • At least six pilgrims feared killed in a stampede in Gangasagar Mela in West Bengal.
  • Petrol prices hiked by 42 paise and diesel by one rupee 3 paise a litre.
  • United States lashes out at China for blocking India's entry into Nuclear Suppliers Group.
  • AND IN SPORTS; Brilliant Centuries by Virat Kohli and Kedar Jadhav help India pull off an incredible three-wicket win over England in Pune ODI.
  • Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the season begins in Melbourne.


The Election Commission is likely to give its order today on the symbol dispute of Uttar Pradesh's ruling Samajwadi Party. The three-member poll body, headed by Chief Election Commissioner Nasim Zaidi, had on Friday heard the two rival factions - one led by Mulayam Singh Yadav and other by his son Akhilesh - with both staking claim over the party's symbol, 'bicycle'. Our correspondent reports, the Commission's order is expected today as the notification for the first phase of the 7-phase Assembly elections in the state will be issued tomorrow.

"Under the Symbols' Order, the Commission heard the two sides on Friday. Senior lawyer Kapil Sibal, argued for Akhilesh and said that majority of party MPs, MLAs, MLCs and workers are with the Chief Minister and hence the symbol should be allotted to them. Former solicitor general Mohan Parasaran, appearing for Mulayam Singh Yadav's side disputed the contention that there was any split in the party and insisted that the symbol should remain with them. He also said that the convention called by the Akhilesh camp  in which he was elected as Party Chief  as unconstitutional. The Election Commission has also the option to come out with an interim order freezing the symbol as there is hardly any time left for it to go into the authenticity of the documents filed by both sides. ANUPAM MISHRA, AIR NEWS, DELHI."



The BJP's Central Election Committee held meeting in New Delhi last evening to finalise the candidates for ensuing assembly polls in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party President Amit Shah besides other CEC members attended the meeting. The name of some candidates are likely to be announced today. Another CEC meeting is scheduled tomorrow in which names of more candidates will be finalised.

The seven-phase UP assembly polls will be held from 11th February and the single phase polling for Uttarakhand, will be held on the 15th of the next month.



In Uttar Pradesh, the election mood is gearing up day-by-day. First phase poll notification for 73 constituencies will be issued tomorrow. Our correspondent takes a look at the political scenario in the state.

"Leaders and party workers of the Samajwadi party are anxiously waiting for the Election Commission's decision on the symbol issue.  BSP chief Mayawati yesterday said that her party is going to fight the election all alone. The party has  already announced its candidates. Six Left parties including CPM have also  declared that they will contest the poll jointly in 140  seats. There is also a possibility of Akhliesh led faction of samajwadi party forming a pre poll alliance with congress. Sanjay Pratap SINGH, AIR News, Allahabad."




A three-member committee headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet today to select the CBI Director. The post is lying vacant for over a month following retirement of Anil Sinha. At present, Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana is

the interim Director of the investigating agency.

Reports say, a list of eligible IPS officers has been sent to the Prime Minister's Office for consideration as the next CBI Director.  



In West Bengal, a boat tragedy took place on the last day of the Ganga Sagar Mela in South 24 Pargana District late last evening.  The ill fated boat was crossing river Ganga on way back from the Kapil Muni Ashram which lies at the confluence of the Ganges and the Bay of Bengal, when the boat carrying mainly pilgrims from Bihar tried to dock with a passenger vessel.  Our correspondent reports that in the rush to get to the vessel from the boat six people are feared killed due to the stampede and 13 others are reported to be under treatment in a local hospital.

However, the details of the incident could not be confirmed by the State Government.




Petrol price has been hiked by 42 paise a litre and diesel rate has been raised by 1 rupees 3 paise a litre. The increase in rates is excluding state levies. The new rate came into effect midnight last night.

Petrol will now cost 71 rupees 14 paise per litre in Delhi, 73 rupees 66 paise in Kolkata, 77 rupees 46 paise in Mumbai, and 70 rupees 61 paise in Chennai. Diesel will now cost 59 rupees 02 paise per litre in Delhi, 61 rupees 27 paise in Kolkata, 64 rupees 89 paise in Mumbai, and 60 rupees 73 paise per litre in Chennai.

This is the fourth increase in petrol price in six weeks and the third in case of diesel in one month.




United States has lashed out at China for blocking India from becoming a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group, NSG. In an interview with PTI, calling China as an out lier, US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Nisha Desai Biswal has said clearly there is one out lier that needs to be addressed. She said, it is because of the Chinese resistance that India could not become a member of NSG. Biswal said, China is advocating a two-step "non-discriminatory" approach for admission of countries who have not signed nuclear-Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) in the NSG. She said, Washington has been very clear and unequivocal that India has met the criteria for it and should be brought into the NSG. US statement comes a week ahead of the Obama Administration passing on the baton to the Trump Administration.




Delegates from 70 countries have called on Israel and the Palestinians to revive work toward long-elusive peace, including an independent Palestinian state. The closing declaration at a Mideast peace conference in Paris yesterday urged both sides to "officially restate their commitment to the two-state solution" and disassociate from voices that reject this. It also warned them against taking one-sided actions that could hurt talks, an apparent reference to Israeli settlement building. While the Palestinians welcomed the declaration, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the conference rigged.




In Jammu and Kashmir, three militants have been killed in an overnight operation in Awoora village in Pahalgam area of south Kashmir's Anantnag district today.  Details are awaited.




Union Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said, cultural diversity must be preserved and dance will bring together not only body and mind but also unite  people of various parts of the Globe. Mr Naidu said this while inaugurating the first ever ABU International Dance Festival at Shilpakala Vedika in Hyderabad yesterday. Over 100 artists from about ten countries showcased their traditional and contemporary dance nuances, from the Asia-Pacific region during the festival.




A fresh western disturbance has led to a rise in the minimum temperature in Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan and the National capital Delhi though there was no let-up in the intense cold elsewhere. The onset of a western disturbance took the minimum temperature in the national capital yesterday a notch above the season's average at 8.6 degrees Celsius.  

The weatherman has warned of rain or snow in Himachal Pradesh, which is reeling in the grip of intense cold. In Jammu and Kashmir, the intensity in cold wave decreased after Kashmir Valley and several areas in Jammu region received fresh snowfall.

"On the 27th day of ongoing harshest cold period Chillai Kalan, the Srinagar and other areas in Kashmir Valley received fresh snowfall. This is the 2nd spell of snowfall witnessed by Kashmir region during January month this winter. Besides continuing light snowfall in Srinagar, the Jawahar Tunnel area, Patnitop and Ramban areas on Srinagar Jammu National Highway continued to receive heavy snowfall. The national highway has been closed for all types of vehicular traffic today. The road connecting Batote with Chenab Valley’s Doda region has also been closed. Tariq Rather, AIR News, Srinagar."

In Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh sky is overcast at many places. Light showers occurred at some places yesterday. The Met Office has also predicted showers today and tomorrow.




In Cricket, India pulled off an incredible three-wicket win over England in the first One Day International of the 3-match series at Pune last night. Our correspondent has the detail;-

"It was a perfect start for Virat Kohli as full-time ODI captain as Team India showcased a power-packed performance to chase down England's 350 for 7 and take a 1-0 lead in the series. Put in to bat, England had posted the mammoth total, their highest ODI score against India, courtesy half centuries by Joe Root, Jason Roy and Ben Stokes. In reply, India got off to a nervy start as they lost 4 wickets at the score of just 63. But, a 200-run fifth wicket stand between Kohli and Kedar Jadhav helped the hosts bounce back brilliantly, putting them on course to a sublime win. Kohli made 122, his 27th ODI century, while Jadhav made 76-ball 120, his second ton. In the process, Virat equalled Sachin Tendulkar's record of 17 centuries while chasing a target, but went one better after taking the number of tons in a successful chase to 15. SAVVY HASAN KHAN, FOR AIR NEWS."




In Tennis, the Australian Open - the first Grand Slam of the season began in Melbourne this morning. Singles first round matches are being played today. World number four Simona Halep of Romania made a shock first round exit after losing to an unseeded American Shelby Rogers, 3-6, 1-6. Top players, including world number one Andy Murray, Angelique Kerber, Serena Williams, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Agnieszka Radwanska, are taking part in the 14-day tournament. Swiss Roger Federer is also making a comeback.

There are no Indian players in the Singles categories. The Doubles are, however, featuring the participation of Sania Mirza, Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna.



The News Services Division of All India Radio in its weekly bilingual live phone-in programme “PUBLIC SPEAK” will bring you a discussion tonight on 'डिजिटल लेनदेन के लिए सरकार की पहल'. This can be heard on FM Gold Channel and additional frequencies from 9.30 p.m. Listeners can ask their questions to the experts sitting in the Studio on Toll Free Telephone No: 1800-115767. You can also ask questions on telephone number: 011: 2331-4444 and post queries on our Twitter handle @airnews alerts by #tag Askair. This programme will also be available on Doordarshan DTH.



NEWSPAPERS headlines:

  • Army Chief General Bipin Rawat warning jawans against using social media to air complaints saying it will be liable for punishment makes for front page story in the Tribune.
  • "Budget may aim to help move start ups qualify for incentives" is the Hindu Business Line headlines. So far there have been less than a dozen start ups qualifying for income tax sops, says the report.
  • Khadi village industries commission has got an order worth 47 crore rupees from ONGC, the largest so far in the form of khadi vouchers of 10,000 and 5,000 rupees reports Pioneer.
  • Several papers carry colorful pictures of traditional dances at the ongoing 21st National Youth Festival, Rohtak.
  • The Pioneer reports of cricketer turned politician Navjot Singh Sidhu joining the Congress. Punjab is witnessing a three cornered contest among the BJP-SAD, the Congress and the Aam Admi Party.
  • The Mail Today exposes the fact that a whopping 5 lakh police posts of the sanctioned 22 lakh are lying vacant across the country.
  • While Jallikattu issue in Tamil Nadu remains contentious, another prohibited tradition was seen in YADGIR in Karnataka on Saturday reports The Hindu. 4 live sheep were thrown down the hills in the belief that the rest of the flock would be protected.
  • A special kite festival being organized for Divyangs in Gujarat for the first time/ Bihar boat tragedy toll rising to 24/ rise of ammonia level in Delhi water/ the arrest of a tailor who has abused 500 kids in 12 years and stents likely to cost 50 per cent less are some of the other stories covered by papers today.



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