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Ex-skipper Mohammad Azharuddin to contest on Congress ticket

COUNTERING AP ALLIANCE: With the TDP-TRS alliance looking strong in AP, Azhar’s entry will boost Cong’s confidence.

With the TDP-TRS alliance looking strong in AP, Azhar

Former cricketer Mohammed Azharuddin may contest the coming Lok Sabha polls on a Congress ticket. The Congress leadership has been in touch with him for the past few months.

With the TDP-TRS alliance looking strong in Andhra Pradesh, Azharuddin’s entry will boost the confidence of the Congress.

Azharuddin will be used by Congress to counter the powerful MIM influence on Muslim voters in Hyderabad.

The batsman might stand from his hometown Hyderabad. He has a huge fan-following there despite his premature exit from the world of cricket following allegations of match fixing in the late 90s.

Azhar has kept a low profile since his exit from the Indian cricket scene and runs a successful event management firm.

Speculation was rife in February last year that he may either join or campaign for the Telangana Rastra Samiti in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation polls. The talk was sparked by the hour-long luncheon meeting he had with TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao.

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January 20, 2009 Posted by | Cricket, Elections, General, India Related, Politics, Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sanjay Dutt gets a Rs 3-crore bus for poll campaign

Sanjay Dutt’s luxury cruise caravan is being built on an original Volvo chassis.

Sanjay Dutt

Sanjay Dutt, a new entrant to the field politics, is kicking off his new career in style.

The Bollywood star is all set for smashing debut at the political box office in Lucknow and it’s time now for the Samajwadi party candidate to do a bit of travelling.

Dutt is getting a Rs 3-crore luxury Volvo caravan, equipped with a shower and a toilet for his campaign trails.

The luxury cruise caravan is being built on an original Volvo chassis complete with all the comforts of home.

“The forward section has an office lounge section. The central section has a bar and complete set-up which houses all the DVDs, the play station, the X-Box, computers,” says Dilip Chhabria of DC Design Pvt Ltd.

The designer says Sanjay designed it for his outdoor movie shoots. Sources close to the actor believe otherwise and say he would also be using it for his election campaigns in Uttar Pradesh and other parts of North India.

The luxury vehicle could even be a gift from the Samajwadi Party.

“Sanjay Dutt’s specification was very, very clear. He wanted a vehicle that could spell a wow,” says Chhabria.

The caravan has been nine months in the making and would be delivered to Sanjay Dutt soon.

January 20, 2009 Posted by | Bollywood, Cinema, Elections, General, India Related, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Obama finally calls Manmohan Singh, discusses Indo-US ties

Obama has already spoken to 15 world leaders, including the Pakistani President.

TIME FOR INDIA: Obama has already spoken to 15 world leaders, including the Pakistani President.

US president-elect Barack Obama called Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday morning and discussed the Indo-US relationship.

Obama reportedly told Singh that the two countries can work together in many area.

“We need to give strength to Indo-US relations. The Indo-US strategic ties are very important,” Obama told Singh.

PMO sources said Singh congratulated Obama on his historic victory and said his success would be an inspiration for the oppressed people all over the world.

The Prime Minister also said that the relationship between India and the US was “very good” but “we should not be satisfied with the status quo”.

Singh conveyed his best wishes for the success of the Obama administration in meeting challenges that face the world.

The Prime Minister also invited Obama and his wife Mitchelle to visit India, the sources said.

Obama praised Singh’s contribution to the progress of India as Finance Minister earlier and the Prime Minister now.

Obama had reportedly called Singh on Saturday too but the Prime Minister could not take the telephone call from the US president-elect as he was travelling.

“I got a call on Saturday but could not take it as I was travelling,” Manmohan Singh had said on Monday on board his special aircraft while returning home from a two-nation visit to the Gulf.

Obama has already spoken to 15 world leaders, including Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, after his election.

November 12, 2008 Posted by | Business, General, Politics, USA Related, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

OBAMA ELECTED US PRESIDENT

Democrat Barack Obama has been elected president of the United States.

HISTORY MADE: Democrat Barack Obama has been elected president of the United States.

Democrat Barack Obama wrote his name indelibly into the pages of American history on Wednesday, engineering a social and political upheaval to become the country’s first black president-elect in a runaway victory over Republican John McCain.

The 72-year-old Arizona senator quickly called his opponent to concede defeat and congratulate his rival in the longest and most costly presidential campaign in American history.

The 47-year-old Illinois senator, son of a white mother from Kansas and an African father from Kenya, mined a deep vein of national discontent, promising Americans hope and change throughout a nearly flawless 21-month campaign for the White House.

Obama stepped through a door opened 145 years ago when Abraham Lincoln, a fellow Illinois politician, issued the Emancipation Proclamation that freed African-Americans from enslavement in the rebellious South in the midst of a wrenching civil war.

The powerful orator lays claim to the White House on Jan. 20, only 43 years after the country enacted a law that banned the disenfranchisement of blacks in many Southern states where poll taxes and literacy tests were common at the time.

With victories in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and other battleground states, Obama built a commanding lead over McCain after surging in the polls in the midst of a national financial crisis. He and his fellow Democrats sought to link McCain to the unpopular George W. Bush.

Obama soared into the national spotlight with his electrifying speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, when he was making his first run for the Senate and polishing his message of unity in a country that was mired in partisan anger.

Democrats also were expanding their majorities in both chambers of Congress.

November 5, 2008 Posted by | Elections, General, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Banks safe, but economy may slump: PM

Manmohan Singh says tackling inflation remains goverment's priority.

HIS ECONOMIC ADVICE: Manmohan Singh says tackling inflation remains goverment’s priority.

Indians banks are safe and depositors need not worry for their money, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has told Parliament for the first time after the worldwide financial crisis.

“Our banks, both in the public sector and in the private sector, are financially sound, well capitalised and well regulated. There should be no fear of a failure of any bank,” Singh said in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

“I wish to assure depositors in our banks that their deposits are entirely safe.” Singh, however, warned that the economy might slow down.

“The financial storm has shaken confidence in the system and precipitated a steep decline in stock markets. It has produced a sharp slowdown in economic activity, with the prospect of a prolonged recession in industrialised countries,” he said.

There is enough capital, but “nevertheless, we must be prepared for a temporary slowdown in the Indian economy”.

Singh said the precise impact of the global financial crisis was difficult to estimate but the economic slowdown in developed countries is likely to have an “indirect impact” on the Indian economy.

Some estimates projected GDP growth to reduce to 7.5 per cent in the current year, but “our effort will be to minimise the negative effect of the financial crisis… to return to the growth trajectory of 9 per cent.”

The Prime Minister said the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Government were carefully monitoring the flow of credit and would ensure that the additional liquidity infused into the system translated into actual credit.

“We will not hesitate to do more, if needed. While the capital adequacy ratios of all our banks are well above the Basel norm and above the RBI stipulated norm, government has promised that it will help banks, which have lower ratios, to access funds to increase the capital risk-weighted asset ratio to 12 per cent,” he said.

October 20, 2008 Posted by | Business, General, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Parliament session starts, ‘fireworks’ expected

The economic crisis will be the big issue after Parliament reconvenes on Friday even as the session is expected to be a short one.

The session is also expected to be stormy with the United Progressive Alliance Government facing fire from the Opposition on many other issues.

With General Elections next year and five states going to polls starting November 14, there are many issues like the global financial crisis and its impact on the Indian economy, terror attacks, communal riots, price
rise and the Indo-US nuclear deal, which the Opposition will try to raise.

It could also be the last session under the leadership of Manmohan Singh.

But with elections for Assemblies of Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Mizoram already announced, there are many who feel that there is no point of continuing with a month-long session.

So it might well be cut short by at least 10 days to allow leaders to campaign aggressively in a poll that is already been billed as mini General Election.

“Whenever we need to have something, we will discuss it. There is no hard and fast position on that because political exigencies can definitely come,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi said.

An estimated Rs 25000 are spent per minute on Parliament’s activity.

October 17, 2008 Posted by | General, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment