Protest against tobacco promotion board held in Tamil Nadu

Chennai, Feb 07 (ANI): Members of a non-governmental organisation (NGO) took out a protest march in Chennai city of Tamil Nadu on Saturday demanding close down of the tobacco promotion board. Members of Tamil Nadu People's Forum for Tobacco Control (TMPFTC) demanded government action against the panel, responsible for promoting export and sale of tobacco products in India. Protesters shouted slogans and demanded that any sort of promotion of the tobacco industry be stopped with immediate effect. Tobacco use alone is responsible for about 40 per cent of all cancers in India. A protester, Niranjana said that dealing with cancer caused expenses was greater than the revenue generated by the tobacco industry. Feb 7, 2015

West Bengal NGO organize Sports event for HIV positive kids

Siliguri, Feb 07 (ANI): HIV positive children and adults took part in a sports and cultural event in West Bengal on Saturday to spread awareness about the virus. A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO)--West-Bengal Voluntary Health Organisation (WBVHO)--organised the meet, which was attended by people from all walks of life. During the meet, children participated in various events like frog race, biscuit eating competition, etc, while parents took part in musical chairs, passing the ball, etc. About 80 families from different parts of the state took part in this event. The NGO works for creating awareness among people about HIV to change the thinking of the society. Meanwhile, a participant Dhan Kumar Rai said that such events boost morale and bring happiness. Feb 7, 2015

Nitish Kumar thanks JD (U) legislative party for his anointment as party leader

Patna, Feb 07 (ANI): JD (U) Senior Leader Nitish Kumar on Saturday thanked the legislative party for his anointment as party leader. He blamed BJP for dividing the party for its political interests. Kumar also said that he recommended name of Jitan Ram Manjhi for chief minister of the state earlier and asked the party to ply with the same. But ultimately, the unrest in the party and among the citizens of the state regarding development in the state led to such political crisis in Bihar. Feb 7, 2015

Kiran Bedi thanks people of Delhi for voting in large numbers, says updated surveys will be in favou

New Delhi, Feb 07 (ANI): BJP's chief ministerial candidate Kiran Bedi on Saturday thanked people of Delhi for coming out and voting in assembly polls. Bedi also thanked BJP for reposing its faith in her and assigning her with the responsibility of party's CM candidate. Bedi said that the current surveys showing greater number of seats to AAP than the BJP is based on surveys till 3:00 PM. She said that the updated surveys of voter turnout from 3:00 to 6:00 PM will be in favour of BJP. She said that the results are not yet out and there still is a chance for BJP's victory. Feb 7, 2015

Donetsk residents in constant fear of shelling

As international leaders seek an end to fighting in eastern Ukraine on the sidelines of a Munich security conference... ...residents in Donetsk say they live in constant fear of shelling. (SOUNDBITE Feb 7, 2015

Indian army launches recruitment drive in J and K

Poonch, Feb 07 (ANI): Indian army has launched recruitment drive in border areas of Jammu and Kashmir, which aims to increase the representation of the state in the army and could reduce unemployment in the region. The candidates were subjected to physical measurement such as height, weight and chest before going through physical tests such as running, jumping and walking on a narrow ramp. Later they would be put to medical test before recruitment. An Indian army officer, Ajay Sharma, said it was an opportunity for the local youth to join the armed forces to serve the nation. Feb 7, 2015

J and K holds Rajya Sabha elections

Jammu, Feb 07 (ANI): Kashmir is holding elections for four seats in the upper house of parliament with seven candidates in the fray. Prominent among those whose fate will be decided is Congress' Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is the leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha. Jammu and Kashmir Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, whose regional National Conference (NC) party is supporting Azad, was among those who cast their votes. Besides Azad, the other contestants are Peoples Democratic Party's (PDP) Mir Mohammad Fayaz and Nazir Ahmad Laway; BJP's Shamsher Singh and Chander Mohan Sharma; and Sajjad Ahmad Kichloo and Nasir Aslam Wani of NC. Both BJP-PDP and National Conference-Congress are fighting the elections under seat sharing arrangements. Feb 7, 2015

Small scale industry in Gujarat hopes for revival with govt's upcoming budget

Rajkot, Feb 07 (ANI): Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Gujarat are hoping for revival with Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government's budget later this month. The coming budget for fiscal 2015-16, April-March, which will be unveiled on February 28, is widely seen as a test of Modi's ability to lead economic reform. In Rajkot city, small and medium scale industrialists say Modi's 'Make in India' initiative will be a success only if government takes steps to smoothen infrastructure and skill development. The auto industry, reportedly, does a business of rupees 40 billion every year and over the years has suffered immensely due to less acceptance of rebate. Feb 7, 2015

Cattle fair in Tamil Nadu draws large number of enthusiastic farmers

Pollachi, Feb 07 (ANI): A cattle fair held to spread awareness among people about the preservation of livestock drew enthusiastic response from villagers in Tamil Nadu. The fair, held at Samathur on the outskirts of Pollachi town in Coimbatore district, also drew animal lovers from abroad. Villagers dressed in traditional attire brought hundreds of cows and bulls of different breeds at the fair ground. A member of Vanavarayar Foundation, which organised the event, Shankar Vanavarayar said the idea was to create awareness about the importance of livestock in agriculture. A cattle specialist from New Zealand, Doctor John Henry Niezen said the fair offered opportunities to farmers to share their ideas and thoughts with each other about the health of animals. Feb 7, 2015

Railway infrastructure not growing in proportion with passenger traffic: Manoj Sinha

Lucknow, Feb 07 (ANI): Minister of State for Railways, Manoj Sinha on Saturday acknowledged that the passenger and freight traffic in the railways has grown manifold but the infrastructure has not grown correspondingly. Sinha was speaking at the flagging off ceremony of the Lucknow-Kathgodam train in Lucknow city of Uttar Pradesh. The train was flagged off by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and will ply thrice a week between Lucknow and Kathgodam town of Uttarakhand. He further expressed hope that the upcoming budget would offer a good package for Indian railways, allowing the government to develop it in accordance with the expectations of the masses. Feb 7, 2015

BJP says Nitish Kumar and his 'greed for power' responsible for Bihar political crisis

New Delhi, Feb 07 (ANI): BJP on Saturday said that JD (U) leader Nitish Kumar and his 'greed for power' is responsible for political crisis in Bihar. BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain said that JD (U) members slanged and insulted Jitan Ram Manjhi whom they had inducted advocating party's ideology of non discrimination against lower caste. He said that Kumar broke alliance with BJP, vouched for Manjhi as chief minister of the state and now is insulting him for gaining power and sympathies. BJP leader Rameshwar Chaurasia said that BJP has nothing to do with the political situation in Bihar, like the JD (U) is claiming and that this all is a result of Kumar's attitude. Feb 7, 2015

Bihar CM appeals governor to dissolve state assembly

New Delhi, Feb 07 (ANI): Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi on Saturday appealed Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi for dissolution of the state assembly in wake of the political deadlock in the state. Earlier in the day, Manjhi met his predecessor Nitish Kumar at the latter's residence. This meeting came at a time when speculations are rife that Manjhi will be sacked by the Janata Dal (United), with a view of reinstating Nitish Kumar to the top post. Earlier, Manjhi had sent a recommendation to Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi to sack two state cabinet ministers, Lallan Singh and P. K. Shahi, who are reportedly close to Nitish Kumar and also supporting the removal of Manjhi from his chief ministerial post. Manjhi had earlier, declared a meeting called today by party chief Sharad Yadav as 'illegal'. Feb 7, 2015

Delhi polls: AAP files complaint against Kiran Bedi

New Delhi, Feb 07 (ANI): The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Saturday filed a complaint against the BJP's chief ministerial candidate Kiran Bedi for allegedly violating the Model Code of Conduct. In a letter to the Chief Election Commission, the party said Bedi had held a 'pad-yatra' and asked for votes in her constituency, Krishna Nagar, which was covered live by various news channels. AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal hit out at rival BJP earlier in the day, saying the Delhi polls were a one-way contest and the BJP already knew that it was losing. The polling is presently on at 12,177 polling stations. Of these, 714 have been declared as critical and 191 as highly critical. Voting will continue till 6 p.m. in the evening. Feb 7, 2015