Opposition parties pull up NDA for choosing ordinance route for coal, insurance reforms; Govt defend

New Delhi, Dec 25 (ANI): The Congress and the Communist Party of India (CPI) on Thursday criticized the BJP-led government at the Centre for bypassing the Parliament and choosing the ordinance route to bring reforms in the coal and insurance sectors. The BJP, however, defended itself. Congress leader Rashid Alvi condemned the government's step. CPI leader D Raja said that attempts to rule through ordinance is not good governance. However, BJP leader Siddharth Nath Singh said that Modi government is committed for reforms and economic development. The Centre on Wednesday approved the promulgation of an ordinance to raise the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) cap in the insurance sector to 49 percent from 26 percent as the legislation could not be passed in the Parliament. Dec 25, 2014

Nawaz Sharif sends bouquet to Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his birthday

New Delhi, Dec 25 (ANI): Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday sent a bouquet to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his 90th birthday. Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also visited Atal Bihari Vajpayee's residence and greeted the former PM on his birthday. Modi visited Vajpayee along with BJP President Amit Shah and other union leaders. Dec 25, 2014

Maoist attack kills one cop, injures four in Jharkhand

Chatra, Dec 25 (ANI): Maoists attacked a police team in Chatra district of Jharkhand state on December 24 night killing one cop and injuring four others. A policeman who witnessed the incident said it took place late evening in Itkhori region of the district. The injured were admitted to a hospital in Hazaribagh city. Meanwhile, police have cordoned off the area and begun combing operations. The rebels have operated for decades across a wide swath of central and eastern India, and grew in strength during recent times in areas where poor, tribal villagers came into conflict with mining companies seeking resources for industrialization. Dec 25, 2014

PM Modi visits Vajpayee's residence on his 90th birthday

New Delhi, Dec 25 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday visited Atal Bihari Vajpayee's residence and greeted the former PM on his 90th birthday. Modi said there is no bigger tribute to Vajpayee than celebrating his birthday as "Good Governance Day". Modi visited Vajpayee along with BJP President Amit Shah and other union leaders. Vajpayee, along with late freedom fighter-educationist Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, was on Wednesday named for Bharat Ratna. Both of them share their birthday on Dec 25. Dec 25, 2014

Blast rocks Imphal again, none injured

Imphal, Dec 25 (ANI): A powerful IED went off near a post of India’s paramilitary Border Security Force (BSF) in Imphal, Manipur on Wednesday (December 24). Witnesses said nobody was injured in the blast. Police suspect the IED was equipped with a timer device. The blast occurred just a kilometre away from the 49 BSF Post located at Laikoiching area. BSF contingent, which was on a routine patrol, had a miraculous escape as the blast took place minutes after it went past the post. So, far no group has claimed responsibility for the blast and the motive behind it is not known yet. Earlier this week on December 21, three people were killed and four sustained injuries in a bomb explosion in Imphal. Dec 25, 2014

PM Modi pays floral tribute to Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya at BHU

Varanasi, Dec 25 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday paid floral tribute to Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya at Banaras Hindu University on his 153th birth anniversary. Malaviya is most remembered as the founder of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) at Varanasi in 1916, the largest residential university in Asia and one of the largest in the world. He also served as the Vice Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University from 1919-1938. Later, PM Modi also paid a visit at Assi Ghat. Yesterday, former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and educationist Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya were conferred with the highest civilian award Bharat Ratna. Dec 25, 2014

Suresh Prabhu & Nitin Gadkari wields broom on 'Good Governance Day'

Varanasi/ Nagpur, Dec 25 (ANI): Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday wielded broom on the occasion of 'Good Governance Day'. Prabhu picked up the broom at Manduadih railway station of Varanasi and said that improvements will be brought in railways so as to increase the passenger's satisfaction during the journey. Meanwhile, Gadkari participated in the drive in Nagpur and said that development and good governance are both important for the nation. Dec 25, 2014

Our priority to form govt, will be facilitating factor & not impeding: Sajjad Lone

Srinagar, Dec 25 (ANI): J&K People's Conference Chief Sajjad Lone on Thursday said that their priority is to form government in the state. He said that the party will be a facilitating factor and not an impeding factor in the process of government formation. Further, he accepted that the BJP has the power and they will help in whichever way to form a government. J&K assembly elections ended with ‘fractured mandate’, paving way for a coalition government in the state. Dec 25, 2014

Govt launches portal to enable e auction of 24 coal mines

New Delhi, Dec 25 (ANI): The government on Thursday launched a portal to enable the e-auction of 24 coal mines to commence. Paving the way for start of an auction process, the government on Wednesday had approved re-promulgation of the coal ordinance and necessary guidelines for mine allocations and said the coal-rich states stand to earn Rs 7 lakh crore over the next 30 years. Dec 25, 2014

Meenakshi Lekhi wields broom at Delhi Cantonment Railway Station

New Delhi, Dec 25 (ANI): BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi on Thursday along with Railway DRM Ashwani Sachan wielded broom at the Delhi Cantonment Railway Station. Meenakshi Lekhi said that there is extreme lack of civic sense among the public. She added that people should ensure that they don't litter the public places. Dec 25, 2014

JP Nadda inspects Safdarjung Hospital; participates in cleanliness drive

New Delhi, Dec 25 (ANI): Health Minister JP Nadda on Thursday along with BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi paid a surprise visit at Safdarjung Hospital and inspected the cleanliness maintained by the hospital staff. Nadda even wielded the broom in the outer premises of the hospitals. He said that in order to expedite PM Modi's Swachhata Abhiyan, he will inspect hospitals for cleanliness and also clean them himself. He added that he will be making such surprise visit to ensure cleanliness in the hospitals. Dec 25, 2014