PM Modi urges for large voter turnout in Jharkhand, JandK

New Delhi, Dec 20 (ANI): As the voting kick started on Saturday for the fourth phase of Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir and Jharkhand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged the people to cast their vote in large numbers. "I urge all those voting in the 5th and final phase of J-K and Jharkhand Assembly polls to turnout in record numbers and vote," tweeted Prime Minister Modi. In Jammu and Kashmir, voting is taking place for 20 Assembly seats in border district of Jammu, Kathua and Rajouri. Five ministers of Omar Abdullah government along with 213 other candidates, and a number of former MPs and MLAs are in the fray. In Jharkhand, polling is underway for 16 constituencies spread over 6 districts of Dumka, Godda, Sahebganj, Jamtara, Deoghar and Pakud in Santhal Pargana region. Elaborate security arrangements have been made to ensure free and fair polling. Dec 20, 2014

MEA strips Devyani Khobragade of her charge, puts her on 'compulsory wait'

New Delhi, Dec 20 (ANI): In yet another trouble for Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade, the External Affairs Ministry has stripped her of her duties as Director in the Development Partnership Division of the MEA for making unauthorized statements in the media. She has been placed under a 'compulsory wait'. MEA Spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said that the action taken against Khobragade is related to an ongoing inquiry against her in a vigilance case. The vigilance case against Khobragade is underway on charges that she had failed to disclose that her husband is a US citizen and that she has got US passports for her two children. The government action means Khobragade remains in service but has no job for now. She could also face further administrative action. Dec 20, 2014

As winter sets in, Kashmir gorges on winter snacks

Srinagar, Dec 20 (ANI): Its winter season once again in northern India and as temperatures dip to sub-zero level in Kashmir, people throng markets in the valley to relish some of their favourite winter snacks. The traditional snacks of Jammu and Kashmir known as Nadir Mounji or Mounji Goul are selling like hot cakes in the winter season. These traditional snacks have different varieties including Nadir Monji, Gaer Gouji. Made from lotus stem, chestnuts and other ingredients, these snacks have a great demand this season. These snacks are an essential part of daily lives of people in Kashmir during winters. A seller, Mohammad Azad, said on Friday that people come from far flung areas to get a taste of their favourite snacks. Not only are these snacks delectable but also help people bear the cold and the change in weather. Dec 20, 2014

JandK Pollings: Voters turn up in large numbers

Kathua, Dec 20 (ANI): Despite heavy snowfall and bad weather, people in Jammu and Kashmir are coming out in large numbers to vote. In Jammu and Kashmir, voting is taking place for 20 Assembly seats in border district of Jammu, Kathua and Rajouri. Five ministers of Omar Abdullah government along with 213 other candidates, and a number of former MPs and MLAs are in the fray. This is the fifth and final leg of assembly polls. Dec 20, 2014

Police destroy huge cache of seized liquor in Vadodara

Vadodara, Dec 20 (ANI): Police in Gujarat destroyed more than 100,000 seized liquor bottles as sale and consumption of liquor is banned in the state. Gujarat, which is Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state, has a sumptuary law in force that proscribes the manufacture, storage, sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages. The destruction took place in Vadodara city. Huge road rollers and bull dozers were seen moving over the seized liquor bottles. During his recent radio speech on December 14, Modi urged people to make India liquor free. Dec 20, 2014

Indian nurses stranded in Libya return home

Kochi, Dec 20 (ANI): A first batch of 12 nurses that was stranded in war torn Libya have returned to Kochi. The nurses, who had shared their ordeal through a video appealing for help, have been evacuated by the Indian government. The 12 nurses arrived at the international airport around 2.30 a.m on Friday. The nurses had pleaded for help to return back to India at the earliest as they have not got their salaries for the past four months. A nurse, Jisha, narrated her ordeal upon arriving back from Libya. Earlier, the nurses stranded at Benghazi in Libya were shifted to a safe hospital but there they found it difficult to even have basic food as they had no money in the strife-torn country. Dec 20, 2014

Final phase polling begins in Jharkhand

Jharkhand, Dec 20 (ANI): The fifth and final phase of voting for 16 Assembly seats spread across six districts has begun in Jharkhand amid high security. Among the heavyweights, Hemant Soren, the JMM leader, is contesting from Dumka, apart from Barhait constituency, where he is facing challenge from former Morcha leader and BJP candidate Hemlal Murmu. Sixteen of the 81 assembly constituencies will vote in this phase. In all 36,90,069 voters, including 17,84,486 women, are eligible to exercise their franchise to choose among 208 candidates, 16 of them women. Voting would end at 3 pm in all the seats. Dec 20, 2014

Polling begins in Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir, Dec 20 (ANI): Voting for the fifth and final leg of assembly polls on 20 seats of Jammu and Kashmir has begun. Elaborate security arrangements have been put in place in the state to ensure free and fair polling. In Jammu and Kashmir, several high-profile candidates, including Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand, will try their luck in 20 seats spread over three districts - Jammu, Kathua and Rajouri. As many as 18,28,904 eligible voters, comprising 9,59,011 men and 8,69,891 women, are expected to exercise their franchise at 2,366 polling stations. Dec 20, 2014