india-secures-release-of-jesuit-priest-father-alexis-prem-kumar-from-afghanistan-mea-says-he-is-in Play

India secures release of Jesuit priest father Alexis Prem Kumar from Afghanistan, MEA says he is in

New Delhi, Feb 22 (ANI): India has secured the release of Jesuit priest Father Alexis Prem Kumar who had been in Taliban captivity in Afghanistan since June last year. Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said that he is in safe hands and will return to his home with his family shortly. He said that this has been a difficult eight months period where the government of India persuaded the matter relentlessly and that the prime minister has also been keeping track of the case. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his delight over the release of Father Kumar. "Delighted at securing the release of Indian Jesuit priest Father Alexis Prem Kumar from captivity in Afghanistan. Have spoken to Father Alexis Prem Kumar. Informed happy family of Father Alexis Prem Kumar of his safe return after 8 months in captivity" the Prime Minister tweeted. Feb 22, 2015
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Cricket World Cup: India defeats South Africa by 130 runs

New Delhi/Jaipur, Feb 22 (ANI): The Midas touch of Shikar Dhawan continues as India records yet another win against South Africa at the spectacular Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday. India defeated South Africa by 130 runs in a dominant World Cup display. Shikhar Dhawan's 137 and a quickfire 79 from Ajinkya Rahane set the tone as India amassed 7 for 307, before skittling the Proteas for just 177. After the victory, Indian cricket fans distributed sweets and burst firecrackers. Feb 22, 2015
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Nitish Kumar takes oath as Chief Minister of Bihar

Patna, Feb 22 (ANI): Senior Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Bihar on Sunday evening. This will be his fourth stint as the Chief Minister. He was administered the oath of office and secrecy at the Raj Bhawan in Patna by Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi attended the ceremony. The ceremony was also attended by Kumar's predecessor, Jitan Ram Manjhi, who had stepped down on Friday after a lengthy battle to hang on to the chief minister's post. Along with Nitish, 22 ministers took oath. Feb 22, 2015
congress-will-not-support-any-anti-people-bills-and-ordinances-ghulam-nabi-azad Play

Congress will not support any anti-people bills and ordinances: Ghulam Nabi Azad

New Delhi, Feb 22 (ANI): The Government on Sunday reached out to the Opposition, calling for "a spirit of mutual cooperation" ahead of the Budget session of Parliament on Monday that is expected to be a stormy affair. After the all party meeting in New Delhi, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said that the government should not expect support on any anti-people bills and ordinances from the Congress party. The government is looking to pass key legislation, including bills to replace a slew of ordinances in this session. Feb 22, 2015
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Philately exhibition at Aero Show attracts visitors in Bengaluru

Bengaluru, Feb 22 (ANI): A unique stall of the Indian postal department containing postal stamps of aero shows and old aircraft attracted visitors at the Aero Show 2015 in Bengaluru city. Indian postal department has exhibited stamps released on aero shows since 2003 and pictures of old aircraft on the stamps. Various national and international companies participated in the five-day biennial air show where they showcased defence equipments of the world's leading defence suppliers. Post Master General of Business Development and Mails department, Veena Srinivasan, said the stamp exhibition was based on aero philately. The commemorative stamps commemorate any event or occasion while definitive ones are usually seen in correspondence. Items like mugs and lettersets with stamps embossed over them were also exhibited at the gallery. Feb 22, 2015
regional-rpi-protests-demanding-arrest-of-govind-pansares-killers Play

Regional RPI protests demanding arrest of Govind Pansare's killers

Mumbai, Feb 22 (ANI): Activists of the regional Republican Party of India (RPI) held a protest march in Mumbai city on Sunday demanding arrest of the killers of veteran Communist leader Govind Pansare. Senior Communist Party of India (CPI) leader Govind Pansare died on Friday, four days after he was shot at by unidentified assailants. The protesters took to the streets shouting slogans against the state government for failing to arrest the culprits. Police rounded up several activists and RPI leader before they were released. Kolhapur police has announced a cash reward of rupees 500,000 to any person providing information about the murderers of slain leader. Maharashtra state government has set up special police teams to nab the culprits. But no arrests have been made so far. Feb 22, 2015
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People throng annual 'Rose Festival' in Chandigarh

Chandigarh, Feb 22 (ANI): Nature lovers thronged the three-day annual 'Rose Festival' in Punjab on Sunday. The 43rd edition of the festival, which began on Friday (February 20), is taking place at illustrious Rose Garden in the capital city of Chandigarh. The garden has more than 50,000 rose plants and bushes. Around 829 varieties of roses, including hybrid teas, floribunda, polyanthus, miniatures and climbers, are being displayed. Folk artistes from various parts of the country are presenting their exclusive regional art forms to depict the socio-cultural ethos of India. Rose festival gave a good platform to the people to enjoy the nature and know more about the variety of flowers and plants grown in and around the city. Feb 22, 2015
venkaiah-naidu-says-general-view-in-all-party-meet-expressed-smooth-functioning-of-parliament Play

Venkaiah Naidu says general view in all-party meet expressed smooth functioning of Parliament

New Delhi, Feb 22 (ANI): After an all-party meeting ahead of the Budget session, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday said that the general views expressed smooth functioning of the Parliament. Naidu said that the government is ready to take up discussions and suggestions on the topics demanded by the political parties. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also said it was the collective responsibility of all parties to run the House as the budget sessions start Monday. The Parliamentary Affairs Minister also said that he met Congress President Sonia Gandhi today morning and extended request to her to help in smooth functioning of the Parliament. Feb 22, 2015
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Classical dancers enthrall audience at ongoing Khajuraho festival in Madhya Pradesh

Khajuraho, Feb 22 (ANI): Classical dancers from across India have been mesmerising audience with their delicate and graceful moves at the ongoing world famous Khajuraho Dance Festival. The week-long festival is held in the temple city of Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh to celebrate the spring season. The festival, aimed at promoting cultural and traditional dance forms, draws world renowned Indian classical dancers. The dancers performed in solos, duets and in groups to tell tales of various folklore through their dance forms. The artists also illustrated traditional Indian dance forms like Bharatanatyam, Odissi, Kuchipudi, Kathak and Manipuri in an attempt to keep the dance forms alive. The annual dance festival kicked off on Friday (February 20) and will conclude on February 26. Feb 22, 2015
jd-u-reacts-as-manjhi-supporters-observe-black-day-ahead-of-nitishs-oath-as-cm Play

JD (U) reacts as Manjhi, supporters observe black day ahead of Nitish's oath as CM

New Delhi/ Patna, Feb 22 (ANI): JD (U) leaders reacted on Sunday after Former Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi along with his supporters decided to observe a black day by fasting, ahead of oath taking ceremony for Nitish Kumar. JD (U) leaders Sanjay Singh, KC Tyagi, Neeraj Kumar and Shyam Rajak said that Manjhi is only trying to gain public attention by fasting and added that it might be a black day for some people but for Bihar it is a good day. Feb 22, 2015
jd-u-sanjay-singh-kc-tyagi-neeraj-kumar-shyam-rajak-jitan-ram-manjhi-nitish-kumar Play

JD (U), Sanjay Singh, KC Tyagi, Neeraj Kumar, Shyam Rajak, Jitan Ram Manjhi, Nitish Kumar

New Delhi, Feb 22 (ANI): As the protests against the amendments proposed in the land acquisition bill is increasing, according to reports government may revise some of the amendments of the bill, when it is taken up for discussion in the House, to pacify the farmers, and the opposition parties. Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare and other farmers' groups along with opposition parties have come together on issue of land acquisition bill. Feb 22, 2015
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All-party meet ahead of budget session underway

New Delhi, Feb 22 (ANI): Ahead of parliament's Budget session, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, senior ministers and leaders of opposition parties are holding an all-party meeting in New Delhi called by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu, to explore consensus on passing key legislations, including bills to replace ordinances on land acquisition and mining. The meeting comes even as the Communist Party and activist groups including Anna Hazare are set to protest against the Land Ordinance accusing it of being anti-farmer. Meanwhile, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has also called a meeting of political parties in the evening to ensure a smooth run of the Budget Session. Feb 22, 2015