People throng markets for Christmas shopping in Assam

Guwahati, Dec 23 (ANI): People of Assam thronged shops to buy decorative items for Christmas. Shops in Guwahati city are filled with Christmas trees, Santa Claus dolls, stars and lights, which are attracting customers from all faiths. People brought Christmas trees and tinsel streamers, baubles, stars, lights, stockings, bells to decorate it. A resident, Rajiv said that Christmas celebrations had increased over a period of time in the northeastern state. There are few churches in Guwahati city that attract thousands of people on Christmas Eve. The Punbazar Don Bosco school church is one of the most visited churches on Christmas. Dec 23, 2014

BJP set to form govt in Jharkhand, celebrations begin

Ranchi/New Delhi/Kolkata/Lucknow, Dec 23 (ANI): Massive celebrations began in Jharkhand as it became clear that the Bharatiya Janata Party will be a major gainer in JMM-ruled Jharkhand shortly after the counting of votes polled in assembly polls began on Tuesday. The trends clearly show that the BJP is heading towards absolute majority in the state. Meanwhile, reacting over the victory, BJP leaders said that People have voted in Jharkhand against violence and voted for good governance. Dec 23, 2014

Congress leader G Venkat Swamy passes away after prolonged illness

New Delhi, Dec 23 (ANI): Former union minister and senior Congress leader G Venkat Swamy passed away at a private hospital in Hyderabad. Swamy, 85, had been in poor health for some time and was undergoing treatment but on Sunday his condition got worse. Popularly known as 'Kaka', the leader was elected to the assembly of the undivided Andhra Pradesh in 1950 and held several key positions in the government as well in the party. He served in the Indira Gandhi and PV Narasimha Rao Governments and also was Pradesh Congress Chairman for Andhra Pradesh. Swamy was also elected to the state assembly twice and seven times for the Parliament. Venkat Swamy's two sons, Vinod and Vivek are active in politics and in Congress party. Dec 23, 2014

Nation remembers Chaudhary Charan Singh on his birth anniversary

New Delhi, Dec 23 (ANI): Nation is remembering former Prime Minister Chaudhary Charan Singh on his 112th birth anniversary on Tuesday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi saluted Chaudhary Charan Singh on his birth anniversary. Modi took to twitter for extending his greetings. "A tall mass leader who dedicated his life to the welfare of farmers and the poor, I salute Chaudhary Charan Singh ji on his birth anniversary ," he wrote. Meanwhile, Vice-President Hamid Ansari and former Union Minister Ajit Singh paid floral tributes to Chaudhary Charan Singh at his Samadhi 'kisan Ghat". A painting exhibition has been organized at Kisan ghat in memory of the former prime minister. Singh was born in a Jat family in 1902 in village Noorpur of Hapur district in Uttar Pradesh. He entered politics as part of the Independence Movement. Dec 23, 2014

'Good governance day'on agenda in BJP parliamentary meeting

New Delhi, Dec 23 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday conducted a parliamentary board meeting, even as the counting of votes for the five-phased assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand is underway. Minister of state for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Pratap Rudy said that the agenda of the meeting was 'good governance day'and also Christmas. Rudy said that it is decided that wherever Christmas is being celebrated, there should be active participation by parliamentarians. Further, Rudy stated that having a strong presence in the Lok Sabha was paying dividends and applauded developments that took place in the lower house as against the upper house. He said that other issues discussed were farmer's problems, drugs issue and Lakhvi and Tamil fishermen. Dec 23, 2014

Political parties react as early trends show BJP heading for strong position in Jharkhand

New Delhi/ Ranchi, Dec 23 (ANI): Political parties on Tuesday react as early trends in Jharkhand showed BJP heading for majority in the state. While BJP leaders said the results were expected as such and that people have shown faith on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, others chose to wait for final results. Jharkhand Vikas Morcha Chief Babulal Marandi said that the party is open to alliance and agreed on the effect of BJP in the state. Jharkhand Congress President BK Hariprasad said that it was a setback for the party. Meanwhile, JD (U) leader KC Tyagi said that BJP's gain in Jharkhand is due to mistakes of JMM and Congress. In Jharkhand, the BJP took the lead while the ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) followed. Dec 23, 2014

Political parties remain optimistic even as BJP and PDP share early leads in J and K

New Delhi/ Jammu, Dec 23 (ANI): Political parties on Tuesday remained optimistic even as BJP and PDP are locked in a close contest as the counting for the assembly elections are underway. BJP was leading in 16 seats while PDP was ahead in 15 in the early trends of counting of votes in Jammu and Kashmir where Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was ahead by a slender margin in Beerwah constituency but trailing by over 1,800 votes in Sonawar seat. While BJP remained confident that it will come to power with majority and said that the party will be open to those who want to give support: PDP leader Sameer Kaul said that the party will not need support from any party and will make government on its own. NC leader Ratan Lal Gupta also remained hopeful and chose not to rely on early trends. J and K NPP' Bhim Singh said that the party will gain a few seats and claimed that no party will be able to make majority government in the state. Meanwhile, Congress leader Shobha Oza also chose to wait for final results. Dec 23, 2014