Finance minister Arun Jaitley holds pre-budget consultations with interest groups

New Delhi, June 05 (ANI): Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley on Thursday held pre-budget consultations with various stakeholders including representatives of industry chambers, trade unions, financial services sector and other interest groups. Earlier this month, Jaitley had vowed to uphold fiscal discipline, despite pressure on public finances. Investors are waiting to see whether Jaitley, who also handles the defence portfolio in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's new government, will allow some slippage on the budget deficit when he presents his first budget in early July. Jun 5, 2014

Amarinder Singh appointed Congress' deputy leader in LS

New Delhi, June 05 (ANI): Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday appointed Punjab former CM Captain Amarinder Singh as the party's deputy leader in the 16th Lok Sabha. Gandhi also appointed the Congress' whips in the Lok Sabha. Former union minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, will be the party's main floor manager. He will be assisted by another former union minister KC Venugopal and Rohtak MP Deepender Hooda. Scindia was one of the two Congress leaders who could save their seats in Madhya Pradesh. Meanwhile, Singh had defeated BJP's Arun Jaitley from Amritsar constituency in the 2014 polls. Jun 5, 2014

Grenades recovered while cleaning of pond in Ludhiana's village

Ludhiana, June 05 (ANI): Panic gripped Sidhwan Khurd village near Jagraon city on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur highway in Punjab with the recovery of 14 hand grenades and 33 cartridges of AK-47 rifles from a pond during cleaning operations. A police team led by Deputy Superintendent of Police, Jagraon city, Naveen Kumar, reached the spot, sealed the area and took the ammunition into its custody. He confirmed that 14 hand grenades and 33 cartridges of AK-47 rifle were found in the village pond. The ammunitions were recovered while some workers hired under the MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) Scheme were cleaning the pond. Jun 5, 2014

Maoist kills group commander following internal conflict

Khunti, June 05 (ANI): Maoists killed their one of the group's area commander Dubraj Manki along with his wife and one other in red corridor area of Jharkhand. Police said early investigations reveal that the rebels gunned down their fellow group members after an exchange of fire. According to the villagers, they had heard the gun being shot at night and in the morning they saw the dead bodies lying near the village road. Gupta added that there was internal conflict between the members of the Maoist group. Jun 5, 2014

250 Bangladeshi Buddhist, Hindu tribals seek refuge in India after ethnic violence

Tripura, June 05 (ANI): Over 250 Bangladeshi tribal, mostly Buddhists and Hindus, fled their villages along the international border and crossed over to India's northeastern Tripura state, seeking refuge after ethnic clashes with non-tribal Muslims in their country. The Chakma and Tripuri tribes left their villages in Khagrachari district of Bangladesh and took shelter in Tripura's Gandachara area on Thursday. The exact reason for the violence has not been identified yet, said authorities. However, efforts are being made by the state government to repatriate Bangladeshi tribal. Meanwhile, speaking to reporters, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar said the tribals from Chittagong Hill Track of Bangladesh have taken shelter in the state after worsening of law and order situation in their villages. Jun 5, 2014

Indian band set to mesmerize audience with desert rhythms at Commonwealth games in Scotland

Jaipur, June 05 (ANI): The traditional 'Kawa Music Group' comprising 10 musicians and dancers of pink city, Jaipur is all set to enthrall the audience with rhythms of the desert through a vibrant performance during the Commonwealth Games beginning next month in Glasgow in Scotland. The founder of the band, Hameed Kawa, told reporters on Wednesday (June 04) said the group has created a blend of music which will be widely appreciated. Kawa also said that it is a matter of pride for them as they would perform not only Rajasthani music but also a fusion of Indian and European music. The band will also collaborate with the Kawa Musical Circus and the Musafir band. The brass band which will be part of the parade will entertain audience in public places thrice a day. Jun 5, 2014

Varanasi railway station set for a makeover

Varanasi, June 05 (ANI): Indian Railways plan to revamp the railway station of Varanasi, the constituency of PM Modi, to meet international standards. Varanasi which is situated on the banks of the Ganges, is one of the two constituencies from where the newly- elected Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, fielded his candidacy and won during the general elections last month. The city is an important centre of the Indian Railways (IR). Traffic from all over the country goes through this station, which makes it a very important one. A lot of work is proposed for this station and still more sanctioned; rail authorities plan on making it fit to meet international standards. Jun 5, 2014

Monsoon may arrive within 24 hours: MeT

New Delhi, June 05 (ANI): Indian weather official on Thursday said southern coast could witness the arrival of this year's monsoon in the next day or so after sporadic rains in recent days heralded the arrival of the wet season that is crucial to farmers. Scientist at the meteorological department in New Delhi, BP Yadav, said conditions have turned favourable for the monsoon onset in about 24 hours. Experts said the spread of rainfall near the southern coast does not qualify for a formal announcement of the monsoon onset. Last month, the Meteorological Department predicted a delayed onset for this year's monsoon over the Kerala coast around June 05. Jun 5, 2014

Praful Patel files nomination for Rajya Sabha election

Mumbai, June 5 (ANI): Senior NCP leader Praful Patel on Thursday filed his nomination for the Rajya Sabha election in Maharashtra slated for June 19. NCP leader Tariq Anwar, who was elected to Lok Sabha, has quit his Rajya Sabha seat after which the NCP Parliamentary Board decided to field Patel for the position. Jun 5, 2014

Traffic violators will be punished, public transport should be promoted: Gadkari

New Delhi, June 05 (ANI): Road transport minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday highlighted the safety measures to be taken in order to stop road accidents. Gadkari stated that roads are quite prone to accidents in our country due to various reasons like plantation growth, curved roads etc. He gave a few acts to be implemented by the government to keep a check on traffic violators and said that irrespective of the person’s office, violators will be punished strictly. Gadkari also asked for help from media to highlight any flaw in traffic system so that it can be corrected without delay. Jun 5, 2014

In Newark, UKIP launches assault on parliament

Following its stunning victory in the European elections, Britain's anti-EU party UKIP is targeting a first parliamentary seat, starting with Thursday's by-election in central England. Jun 5, 2014