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NDA’s PM candidate should have secular credentials: Nitish

News4u-News Desk- In comments which could spell fresh trouble for BJP-JD(U) alliance, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has said NDA’s Prime Ministerial candidate should be somebody with “secular credentials”, apparently giving a thumbs down to his Gujarat counterpart Narendra Modi.

Even as differences over the Presidential election continue to simmer between BJP and JD(U), Kumar has made comments which are contradictory to his ally’s views.

He has hinted that Modi-who is being touted as the first choice of BJP for Prime Minister’s post-does not fit the bill.

Differing with the BJP view that the Prime Minister will be chosen after the Lok Sabha elections, Kumar said, “The NDA will have to declare its nominee. The electorate should know who they are voting for and who will lead the country. The NDA should have a leader who can feel for the underdeveloped states like Bihar.”

“It should not be someone who can develop developed states, but who has a feel for underdeveloped states,” he said in an interview to a newspaper.

Though Kumar has not named anybody, he was apparently referring to Modi, with whom he does not enjoy a healthy relationship.

The two had a war of words recently when Kumar attacked Modi for saying Bihar had lagged behind due to caste politics. Kumar had then said Modi is like the pot calling the kettle black.

“One whose hands are full of communalism does not have the moral right to malign others for casteism,” Kumar said.

Stressing on declaring the PM candidate in advance, Kumar said, “This leader should be acceptable to every constituent of the alliance. To me, the leader of the coalition should have secular credentials.”

Kumar said that the Prime Ministerial candidate should be someone who has absolute faith in democratic values.

“In a multi-religious and multi-lingual country like ours, the leader should not have rough edges in his personality. An alliance can win the confidence of the people only if the leader is seen as accomodating,” he said.

The Bihar Chief Minister said he will air these views to NDA allies when the issue comes up.

The chasm between BJP and JD(U) appears to have grown in the recent weeks.

Kumar reportedly does not want the NDA to contest the Presidential election and favours a consensus on UPA’s nominee Pranab Mukherjee.

Many see this as his attempt to maintain good relations with the Congress as he wants to keep his options open in case of a hung Parliament in 2014.

He, however, denied that he was aiming for Prime Ministership.

“I am not in the race for Prime Ministership. I cannot even dream of that high office. The Prime Minister should be from the bigger party.”

“We can only play a supporting role. But that depends on who leads the alliance. I have already outlined the qualities required of the leader,” he said.

Law Minister Salman Khurshid welcomed Kumar’s remarks, saying, “We are a secular country, so our Prime Minister must be secular. If there was any doubt about this in any political organisation, their own leaders coming out now and saying this clearly is a welcome thing.”

Interestingly, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister and BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi backed Kumar. He maintained that the PM candidate should be one having a liberal image like former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

“He should be acceptable to all sections of the society,” he said in Patna.


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Most no of Emigrants to middle east goes from UP ,Bihar

News4u-News Desk- CHENNAI: Breaking a 15 year trend and indicating a change in social profiling, the number of emigrants with ECR (Emigration Check Required) endorsement from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar has since last year surpassed Kerala and Tamil Nadu, so far the largest feeders for overseas employment.

According to the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are the states which sent the largest number of workers abroad with ECR endorsement in 2011.

“It only shows a shift in social profiling in the southern states. This could mean that more workers from Tamil Nadu and Kerala are qualifying themselves educationally and do not need ECR endorsement anymore,” a senior ministry official said.

On the other hand, more workers from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar might increasingly find overseas employment attractive, he said.

While Tamil Nadu saw a decline in numbers from 1,55,631 in 2006 to 68,732 in 2011, Bihar saw an increase from 36,493 persons in 2006 to 71,438 persons last year. Kerala sent only 86,783 persons last year, as against 1,20,083 in 2006, while the numbers from Uttar Pradesh went up to 1,55,301 last year from 66,131 in 2006.

As per the new guidelines,the blank page two on passports is deemed to have been ECNRendorsed, which otherwise would specifically state “Emigration Check Required (ECR).” Of desired destinations,Saudi Arabia continues to attract more Indian workers with 2,89,297 persons in 2011,while United Arab Emirates and Oman were at second and third spots with 1,38,861 and 73,819 persons, the official said.

The total number of emigrants from India in the last six years was 6,76,912 (2006), 8,09,453 (2007), 8,48,601 (2008), 6,10,272 (2009), 6,41,356 (2010) and 6,26,565 (2011). Over 750 fromEgypt and 17,927 from Libya and 846 from Yemen returned home with the help of Indian missions in these countries, following internal disturbances last year.PTI


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Rahul Gandhi no match for Narendra Modi: Shatrughan Sinha

News4u - News Desk : BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha on Sunday trashed the comparison made by a US magazine between Congress leader Rahul Gandhi andGujarat Chief Minister NarendraModi, saying there was “no match” between the two and no one stands even close to the saffron leader.

“He (Modi) is a man of stature, great standing and one who has ensured all round development of Gujaratand brought glory and shine to the state in true sense of the word he is a ‘Vikas Purush’,” Sinha said while addressing a meet-the-press programme here this evening.

Sinha was asked to comment on an article in US’ Time Magazine on Modi, with the Gujarat Chief Minister featuring on its cover page.

magazine, in its March 26 issue, published an article on the Modi, with the heading: “Modi means business”, along with a strap: “But can he lead India?”.

When asked about comparison between Congress General SecretaryRahul Gandhi and Modi, Sinha said, “there is no match no one stands even close to Modi in terms of his total personality”.

The actor-turned-politician felt that Modi has all the qualities which make him a top leader, but at the same time he added he also holds senior leader LK Advani in high esteem and the ageing BJP leader has carved a place of his own.

“He (Advani) is a statesman, mature and there to guide us all there are other leaders too like Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Nitin Gadkari,” he said.

When asked about the leader who will lead BJP in the next parliamentary elections, the cine star said “let the time come first, a collective decision will be taken”.

During the course of his reply, Sinha could not help avoid the feeling of not being given his due in the party.

Mere pass koyee pad naheen hein, but kad hein (I do not hold any post, but I am a man of stature,” said Sinha.

While youth should be promoted in the party, there was no substitute for the experienced leaders, he said.

Shatrughan slammed the Union Budget and the Railway Budget, saying though he was not an expert to comment on these, but as a common man, he feels they will add to the burden of ordinary citizens.

“These are the last two budgets which the UPA will present. The Government is in a suicidal mode and will fall under its own weight the BJP or NDA does not want mid-term or early elections, but if it falls on its own we can’t help,” Sinha, the Patna sahib, said.

He also said that in the next parliamentary elections, the BJP will go with its tried and trusted allies.

“In our eyes, no one is untouchable. But one thing is clear, we will not enter into any opportunistic alliance,” Sinha said.

When a reporter asked what would be the BJP’s strategy as reports suggest that Congress was cosying up with the Samajwadi Party, Sinha said, “they feel Mamata (Trinamool) may slip out of their hands and may be thinking about having some back up”.

To another question, the BJP leader praised Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and SP leader, Akhilesh Yadav.

“He is a wonderful boy,” he said, adding the saffron party feels that people voted in numbers for the SP thinking that the Mulayam Singh Yadav led outfit could take the Mayawati led BSP head on.

“Also, Akhilesh had good image, his media management was good, they had good cadre, his father’s (Mulayam’s) strategy was good, team work was good and certainly Mulayam Singh is one of the best politicians in the country and he is there to guide him (Akhilesh), who is one of the best boys having a forward looking approach,” Sinha said heaping praise on the UP Chief Minister.

Sinha said he was on a two-day visit to Punjab, where his daughter Sonakshi Sinha is shooting for a film.PTI

Shatrughan Sinha

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Jolt for Paswan; six nominees leave party

News4u - News Desk : The Lok Janshakti Party led by Ram Vilas Paswan received a severe jolt on Friday with six of its nominees returning tickets and symbols and joining the Rashtriya Parivartan Dal led by D P Yadav.

Alleging that LJP did not fulfil its promise of getting stars for campaigning and providing electioneering material, these candidates have resigned from the party, district unit president of LJP Ram Vilas Yadav, himself a candidate from Gannaur seat, said.

They later joined the Rashtriya Parivartan Dal in the presence of D P Yadav who hoped that the presence of these young leaders would further strengthen the party.

Those who resigned from the LJP included the candidates from Bilsi, Badaun, Bisauli, Sahaswan, Sehkupur besides Gannaur.

Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan

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Three Maoists killed in encounter

News4u - News Desk : Three Maoists were killed in an encounter with security forces in Rohtas district of Bihar on Monday, the police brought the bodies to the district headquarters in Sasaram.


“A joint team of STF of Bihar Police and Cobra battalion of CRPF launched the combing operation near Matiyaon village in Chutia police station when armed Maoists opened fire,” Superintendent of Police Manu Maharaj said on Monday.

In the ensuing encounter, three Maoists were killed on the spot, he said. The police brought the bodies to the district headquarters in Sasaram, he said.


Bihar Map

Bihar Map

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Two persons die in Bihar floods, state-wide alert issued

News4u - News Desk  : A woman and a child drowned in flood waters in Bihar’s Gopalganj district on Wednesday as a state-wide alert was issued with major rivers flowing above the danger mark.


The two drowned while trying to move to safety from Fulwaria village which was engulfed by flood waters, officials said on Wednesday.

With this, four persons have so far lost their lives in the floods in the state.

Over 100 villages were affected by the floods in Sitamarhi, Muzaffarpur, Gopalganj districts, they said.

Disaster Management officials said a 33-member National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) team was camping in Saharsa with four boats.

Water Resource Minister Vijay Kumar Choudhary said, “We have sounded a statewide alert with the flood threat aggravating due to rains in catchment areas of major rivers.”

According to a Central Water Commission report, the Bagmati was flowing 68 cm above the danger mark at Kamtaul, the Kosi two cm above the danger mark at Batltara and 79 cm above the red level at Kursela.

The Mahananda was flowing four cm above the danger mark at Dengraghat and Adhwara group of rivers 10 cm above the danger mark at Kamtaul, the report said. Other rivers were also rising, but were below the danger mark.

The eastern Kosi embankment that breached in 2008 causing floods in five districts rendering three million people homeless was totally safe, the water resources minister said.

Rural Works Department Minister Bhim Singh said the state government had completed construction of 17 flood protection shelters and work on 40 others was proceeding.

Singh said the state government had evolved a reconstruction and rehabilitation programme for the Kosi region affected by floods in 2008.

The state government had set a target of construction of 327 flood protection shelters in Madhepura, Supaul and Saharsa districts, he said.


Bihar Map

Bihar Map

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Mystery fever toll climbs to 46

News4u - News Desk : The fatal ‘mystery fever’ on Tuesday claimed one more life in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur district, taking the death toll to 46, even as ambiguity still prevails over the disease with scientists ruling out encephalitis.

Chief Medical Officer K P Singh said one more child died at Kejriwal hospital during the day.

Two more children were being treated at the Srikrishna Medical College Hospital and the Kejriwal hospital, he said.

A central team which visited the hospitals last week had initially diagnosed the disease as encephalitis and sent the blood samples to Pune’s National Institute of Virology for further tests.

NIV scientists, however, in a report to district magistrate S K Mall, ruled out Japanese encephalitis, Chandipura Virus encephalitis and Nipah virus encephalitis in the nine samples they tested.

As a precautionary measure, Methylene and DDT were being sprayed on a large-scale in the 63 affected villages, officials said.

“At present, we are just resorting to symptomatic treatment,” Dr Braj Mohan, Head of Paediatrics at the Srikrishna Medical College Hospital, said.


Bihar Map

Bihar Map

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Mystery fever diagnosed as encephalitis, toll climbs to 36

News4u - News Desk :

The mystery fever that has gripped children in Bihar’s Muzzafarpur district has been diagnosed as encephalitis even as the virus claimed three more lives, taking the toll to 36 on Thursday.


Two children died at Kejriwal Hospital, while another died at Srikrishna Medical College Hospital (SKMCH) in Muzaffarpur, official sources said on Thursday.

Thirty-three children had died due to the fever in Muzaffarpur district till Wednesday, the sources said.

A Central team, which had collected blood samples of the patients to ascertain the cause of the deaths, said that it was clinically diagnosed that the children were suffering from encephalitis.

“We can say the reason of the death of children is encephalitis but at this stage it is difficult to say what sort of encephalitis it is, whether it is viral one or Japanese”, Dr I P Choudhary, member of the Central team, told reporters.

Another member Dr B P Tambley of ICMI New Delhi also subscribed to Dr Choudhary’s view and said it has been clinically established as cases of encephalitis caused by Culex mosquito which was found in the surroundings.

Eighteen children were still undergoing treatment at the two hospitals, they said.

A seven-member Central team from National Institute of Virology, Pune and ICMI, New Delhi, comprising experts including Union Health Ministry Joint Director S K Jain, B R Thappa and I P Choudhary visited the SKMCH and took the blood samples of children affected by the disease.

Jain said the blood samples would be sent to specialised virology labs in Pune and New Delhi and the examination report would be made available within a fortnight.

Authorities have been advised by the Central team to shift the children afflicted with the disease to the air-conditioned ward of the hospital.

The Central team also visited the affected villages and enquired about the food habits of the affected children from their guardians besides inspecting the surroundings.

Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad sent the Central team of medical experts from Pune and New Delhi to Muzaffarpur following request from Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to examine the patients and work out ways to prevent the spread of unknown fever.

Bihar Map

Bihar Map

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Six naxalites killed in encounter in Bihar’s Banka district

News4u-News Desk-Six Naxalites were on Saturday gunned down by security forces during a five-hour encounter in Majhidih village in Bihar’s Banka district.

About twelve heavily-armed Naxalites, who were holed up in a house, opened fire on CRPF and SAP jawans after being asked to surrender, the Acting Superintendent of Police (SP) B K Das said.

The security forces retaliated killing six Naxalites and also destroyed the house where the ultras were hiding, he said.

The encounter lasted for about five hours, Das said.

A Naxalite, identified as Devan Tuddu-a native of Kaithavaran village, has been arrested, while about ten others escaped, he said, adding one SLR was recovered from the site of the encounter.

There was no casualty among the security personnel, he said.

The security forces have launched a combing operation in the nearby forces where some of the Naxalites might have escaped, Das said.

Bihar Map

Bihar Map

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Rs 3000 cr to be spent for sewage plants in Bihar towns

News4u-News Desk- Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh on Wednesday said Rs 3000 crore would be spent for setting up sewage treatment plants in 19 Bihar towns in the next five to six years under National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA).

Patna would have the biggest plant for which about Rs 1500 crore would be spent, Ramesh told reporters after he along with World Bank Chairman Robert B Zollieck undertook a boat ride on the Ganga to see the Dolphin Conservation Project.

Besides, the Centre has sanctioned Rs 450 crore for four towns in Bihar for work under NGRBA and most of the amount would be earmarked for setting up the sewage treatment plants, he said, adding he had a detailed discussion with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on the implementation of its Mission Clean Ganga.

“The Centre has sought World Bank’s support for 19 other states for having sewage treatment plants,” he said.

NGRBA has launched the Mission Clean Ganga in Uttar Pradesh, Uttrakhand, West Bengal and Bihar which would ensure development of areas on the riverbank and set up sewage treatment plants.

Ramesh said Bihar government had submitted a project of Rs 150 crore for the development of the Ganga river front in Patna three weeks ago and the Centre had raised certain queries.

Initially, the river front in a stretch of five to six km would be developed and he had held talks with Kumar on it.

Referring to the boating project, he said Kumar had raised the issue during his meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Union Shipping Ministry was actively considering the project.

Efforts are on to preserve the endangered Ganga river dolphins, which are threatened by pollution.

NGRBA with aid from World Bank would implement the action plan under Prof R K Sinha of Patna University to protect the dolphins, he added.

Bihar Map

Bihar Map

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