'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

BJP says TMC fell into its own trap as Kunal Ghosh claims Mamata's involvement in Saradha scam

Kolkata/ New Delhi, Dec 23 (ANI): BJP said that Trinamool Congress party has fallen into its own trap while saving its party leaders in Saradha chit fund scam. Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said this after suspended TMC leader Kunal Ghosh claimed that party Chief Mamata Banerjee, is involved in Saradha chit fund scam. Earlier in the day, a delegation of Left parties also submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, demanding a coordinated investigation into the scam and compensation for the victims. However, while addressing an event in Kolkata, Banerjee took an indirect jibe at BJP, saying the party possesses pessimistic attitude. However, TMC leader Derek O'brien refuted Ghosh's claims. Dec 23, 2014

Tata, Singapore airlines Indian venture 'Vistara' to begin operations from January 09

New Delhi, Dec 23 (ANI): Singapore Airlines Limited's Indian joint venture with the Tata conglomerate, Vistara, will start flying from January 09, the airlines said. Based in New Delhi, the full service Vistara will begin operations with a fleet of new Airbus A320-200s with 148 seats, Tata SIA Airlines Limited had said in a statement on December 18. Vistara will offer flights to Mumbai and Ahmedabad city initially. Speaking at a promotional event, Chief Executive Officer of Vistara, Phee Teik Yeoh, said he is optimistic about the potential that Indian aviation market has to offer as many airlines in the country are cash strapped. The announcement comes in the middle of a particularly testing time for the airlines industry in India, with budget carrier SpiceJet struggling for survival. Dec 23, 2014

People in Bangladesh demand arrest of Tarique Rahman for 'derogatory remarks' against independence l

Dhaka, Dec 23 (ANI): Thousands of people took to Dhaka streets to protest against Bangladesh National Party (BNP) leader Tarique Rahman for making derogatory remarks against country's founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Protesters, mainly freedom fighters of 1971 war of liberation, shouted slogans "down with Tarique Rahman" and "we demand his arrest" and carried flags and banners as they marched through the streets. Tarique Rahman, son of former Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, had on December 15, reportedly said that Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was a 'razakar'-a collaborator with Pakistan occupation army in 1971. A protester, Muhammad Alauddin said Tarique should be arrested immediately and awarded punishment. Dec 23, 2014

Sydney siege victims remembered

Mourners attend services for Tori Johnson and Katrina Dawson, the two victims of the Sydney cafe siege. Duration: 00:53 Dec 23, 2014