Party President to decide on Govt formation in J and K, says Arun Jaitley

Jammu, Dec 25 (ANI): Finance Minister Arun Jaitley while addressing a press conference after a meeting of the newly-elected MLAs, said that the legislators have authorized BJP President Amit Shah to decide the future course of action on government formation. He added that popularity vote of J and K is with the BJP. The MLAs in the meeting discussed the issue of government formation in a hung House. Jaitley said that there was a consensus within the MLAs that Government should be formed and that Shah should take the final decision on government formation. Dec 25, 2014

Should be balance between development and good governance for welfare of nation: Sushma Swaraj

Bhopal, Dec 25 (ANI): External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday said that there should be a balance between development and good governance for the welfare of nation. Swaraj said that the government has done a lot in seven moths of its governance to ensure development. She also mentioned about Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojna and said that the same gave a new turn to lives of many people. Swaraj also talked about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Make in India' and said that this will not only better Indian economy but will also provide employment to people. Dec 25, 2014

PM Modi wields broom in Varanasi to mark 'Good Governance Day'

Varanasi, Dec 25 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi takes part in Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan during the visit to his parliamentary constituency as part of Good Governance Day celebrations across nation. During his one day visit to Varanasi, Modi wielded broom at the Assi Ghat and outside near Jagannath temple in the holy city. Modi today also lauded people for helping rid the Assi Ghat of mounds of soil and garbage to restore the historical site to its old glory. He also nominated noted people and institutions for the Clean India Mission. During the visit, Modi is expected to lay the foundation stone for an inter-university centre for teachers' education to be named after Madan Mohan Malviya. Modi is also expected to launch Varanasi Mahotsav. Dec 25, 2014

Rajnath Singh visits violence-hit Assam as death toll rises to 76

Assam/ New Delhi, Dec 25 (ANI): Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday visited the violence-hit Assam to take stock of the situation where tribal separatists have killed at least 76 people, including women and children, according to latest figures. The first round of attack began on Tuesday where militants fighting for a separate homeland for indigenous Bodo tribesmen targeted plantation workers. Singh is scheduled to hold meetings with senior officials of the state. He will also visit hospitals to meet the injured. Eyewitnesses said a dozen of masked men came and segregated them. The victims of the guerrilla attacks were mostly tea-plantation workers from other parts of India. Meanwhile, police in Assam fired on Wednesday on demonstrators protesting against the killings of dozens of people by tribal guerrillas, killing five of them. Curfew has been imposed in Kokrajhar since Wednesday evening. Dec 25, 2014

Education apparatus should be for overall personality development not for robot production, says PM

Varanasi, Dec 25 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday laid foundation stone of an inter-university centre for teachers' education in Varanasi. The foundation stone laying ceremony was being held at Swatantrata Bhavan, Banaras Hindu University. Modi even paid tribute to Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya at the ceremony. Speaking at the ceremony, Modi said that the education apparatus can't be one that produces robots and that there must be overall personality development of the students. He added that good education is connected with good teachers. Dec 25, 2014

Swachh Bharat campaign: Modi nominates more names in Varanasi

Varanasi, Dec 25 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday visited his Lok Sabha constituency Varanasi as part of nation-wide Good Governance Day celebrations being held by his government. Modi extended his greetings to people of Kashi and nominated few more people for cleanliness drive. Modi nominated India Today Group Chairman and Editor-in-Chief Aroon Purie and India Today Group and several other personalities for the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.The other nominees include the Nagaland Governor Padmanabha Acharya, Eenadu Group chief Ramoji Rao, former cricketer Sourav Ganguly, comedian Kapil Sharma, danseuse Sonal Mansingh, former IPS officer and activist Kiran Bedi, Indian Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and Mumbai's dabbawallas. Dec 25, 2014

Northern India continues to shiver under extreme cold wave

Kanpur, Allahabad / Amritsar, Dec 25 (ANI): Northern India continued to shiver under intense cold wave as mercury dipped below normal on Thursday. The cold wave has added troubles to lives of daily wage labourers and vagabond as they have no alternative to fight the chill. One vagabond died due to extreme cold in Kanpur on Wednesday. Meanwhile, devotees took holy dip in River Ganges in Allahabad. Several trains and flights were delayed and rescheduled due to low visibility as thick blanket of fog enveloped several northern cities. A thick blanket of fog enveloped Amritsar, affecting air, rail and road traffic. The minimum temperature hovered around five degrees Celsius. Dec 25, 2014

Three Railway Protection Force personnel killed in brawl among themselves

Howrah, Dec 25 (ANI): Three Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel were killed after they clashed with each other in West Bengal. Other personnel on duty informed that they heard rounds of firing but were unaware of the reason behind the clash. RPF Inspector General (IG), Binod Kumar Daka, said the matter was under investigation. The three deceased personnel have been identified as Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) J Yadav, two head constables Bhagwat Chowdhury and DK Singh. The RPF is an Indian Central Armed Police Force charged with protecting railways. Dec 25, 2014

WHO urges for disaster preparedness ahead of 10th Indian Ocean tsunami anniversary

New Delhi/Nagapattinam, Dec 25 (ANI): The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday called for strong response and preparedness ahead of 10th anniversary of Indian Ocean tsunami. More than 16,279 people in India were killed on the morning of December 26, 2004. A total of 730,000 people in India were displaced and 157,393 buildings and homes damaged or destroyed a decade ago when the enormous waves smashed into the coast. According to government records, India's worst affected district was Nagapattinam, where 6,065 people were killed; more than 200 children were orphaned, while nearly 900 were left with only one parent. Dec 25, 2014

Opposition parties pull up NDA for choosing ordinance route for coal, insurance reforms; Govt defend

New Delhi, Dec 25 (ANI): The Congress and the Communist Party of India (CPI) on Thursday criticized the BJP-led government at the Centre for bypassing the Parliament and choosing the ordinance route to bring reforms in the coal and insurance sectors. The BJP, however, defended itself. Congress leader Rashid Alvi condemned the government's step. CPI leader D Raja said that attempts to rule through ordinance is not good governance. However, BJP leader Siddharth Nath Singh said that Modi government is committed for reforms and economic development. The Centre on Wednesday approved the promulgation of an ordinance to raise the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) cap in the insurance sector to 49 percent from 26 percent as the legislation could not be passed in the Parliament. Dec 25, 2014

Nawaz Sharif sends bouquet to Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his birthday

New Delhi, Dec 25 (ANI): Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday sent a bouquet to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his 90th birthday. Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also visited Atal Bihari Vajpayee's residence and greeted the former PM on his birthday. Modi visited Vajpayee along with BJP President Amit Shah and other union leaders. Dec 25, 2014

Maoist attack kills one cop, injures four in Jharkhand

Chatra, Dec 25 (ANI): Maoists attacked a police team in Chatra district of Jharkhand state on December 24 night killing one cop and injuring four others. A policeman who witnessed the incident said it took place late evening in Itkhori region of the district. The injured were admitted to a hospital in Hazaribagh city. Meanwhile, police have cordoned off the area and begun combing operations. The rebels have operated for decades across a wide swath of central and eastern India, and grew in strength during recent times in areas where poor, tribal villagers came into conflict with mining companies seeking resources for industrialization. Dec 25, 2014

PM Modi visits Vajpayee's residence on his 90th birthday

New Delhi, Dec 25 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday visited Atal Bihari Vajpayee's residence and greeted the former PM on his 90th birthday. Modi said there is no bigger tribute to Vajpayee than celebrating his birthday as "Good Governance Day". Modi visited Vajpayee along with BJP President Amit Shah and other union leaders. Vajpayee, along with late freedom fighter-educationist Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, was on Wednesday named for Bharat Ratna. Both of them share their birthday on Dec 25. Dec 25, 2014

Blast rocks Imphal again, none injured

Imphal, Dec 25 (ANI): A powerful IED went off near a post of India’s paramilitary Border Security Force (BSF) in Imphal, Manipur on Wednesday (December 24). Witnesses said nobody was injured in the blast. Police suspect the IED was equipped with a timer device. The blast occurred just a kilometre away from the 49 BSF Post located at Laikoiching area. BSF contingent, which was on a routine patrol, had a miraculous escape as the blast took place minutes after it went past the post. So, far no group has claimed responsibility for the blast and the motive behind it is not known yet. Earlier this week on December 21, three people were killed and four sustained injuries in a bomb explosion in Imphal. Dec 25, 2014

PM Modi pays floral tribute to Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya at BHU

Varanasi, Dec 25 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday paid floral tribute to Pt. Madan Mohan Malaviya at Banaras Hindu University on his 153th birth anniversary. Malaviya is most remembered as the founder of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) at Varanasi in 1916, the largest residential university in Asia and one of the largest in the world. He also served as the Vice Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University from 1919-1938. Later, PM Modi also paid a visit at Assi Ghat. Yesterday, former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and educationist Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya were conferred with the highest civilian award Bharat Ratna. Dec 25, 2014