New Delhi : One of the parties representing the Hindu community moved the Supreme Court on Tuesday to list the Ayodhya dispute for adjudication saying there has been no progress in the mediation process. The court said the members of the committee were not experiencing any difficulty in the mediation process. It observed that the Chairman of the committee, former Supreme Court judge F.M.I. Also Read – National Herald case: Officer bearers of Congress were cheats, Subramanian Swamy tells court Advertise With Us Kalifulla, had indicated progress in mediation so far and sought extension of time to complete the task. The court refused to divulge the details on the mediation efforts. “We will not tell you the progress made, that is confidential,” replied the court to a counsel’s query regarding the mediation. The court observed that the mediation process can be also extended, if required. Also Read – Dehydrated elephant being given treatment Advertise With Us The court’s observation came after a report was submitted on the mediation efforts. Senior counsel Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for one of the Muslim litigants, told the court that they have no objection to the mediation process taking time. Iqbal Ansari, the son of Muslim litigant Hashim Ansari in the Ayodhya case, said: “This matter is very old and the issue cannot be resolved in two months.” Advertise With Us Iqbal Ansari said that an eventual decision should be such that brings peace to the country. Swami Satyendra Das, the main priest at the Ram temple in Ayodhya, said the mediation team had submitted its report in the Supreme Court which will decide on the matter. Das told IANS: “The meditation team has spoken to all the parties and come to a conclusion and given it to the court. Now the court will decide on the matter.” The top court had on March 8 set up a three-member committee headed by Kalifulla to mediate to find a possible settlement of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid Ayodhya title dispute. The Kalifulla panel has Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and senior advocate Shriram Panchu as its other members. The mediation is taking place at Faizabad, close to Ayodhya.
Narketapally ( Nalgonda ): Stating that he will continue to fight with the State government till the completion of irrigation projects initiated by him, Bhongir MP Komatireddy Venkat Reddy mocked the State government over paying more attention to the elections and collections rather than issues of the people. Addressing the media at Narketpally on Saturday he said with the demand for immediate completion of Brahmana Vellemla Lift Irrigation Scheme, he along with 5000 farmers conduct padayatra from Nalgonda to Jalasaudha in Hyderabad very soon Also Read – Golden 90’s Music Superstars – Alka Yagnik & Kumar Sanu LIVE in Concert will be performing together for the very 1st time in the city of pearls,… Advertise With Us He criticised the government for not announcing drought mandals in the State so far in the prevailing drought conditions with no rains. He announced to organise protest demonstration with party workers on national highway September over the delay in completion of SLBC Tunnel project. In this press meet party local leaders were present on the occasion.
Rajamahendravaram: Rajamahendravaram Municipal Corporation Additional Commissioner NVV Satyanarayana Rao on Thursday said that the corporation started distribution of pensions from Thursday. The same will be continued up to August 5 at 50 centres in the city, he added. Details of pension beneficiaries: Old age persons 7,805, handloom workers 83, widows 11,830, disabled 3,036, toddy tappers 54, Abaya Hastam 75, transgenders 39, tailors 6, dappu artists 3, lone women 60, fishermen 21 and kidney patients 18. He said that instructions were issued to the respective corporation staff to distribute pensions as early as possible.
BANDA: The police have registered a case against a priest who allegedly held a 10-year-old boy hostage and sexually abused him, officials said on Monday. Based on the complaint of the boy’s uncle, a case under IPC 377 (unnatural offences) and POCSO Act has been registered against the priest, they said. The incident took place under the Tindwari police station area. The case was registered on Sunday. Also Read – Enforcement Directorate summons Karnataka Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar Advertise With Us “The 10- year-old boy was missing for the past one week. On Saturday, he managed to escape from the place where the priest – Chandrashekhar Baba – had kept him as hostage,” Neeraj Kumar Singh, Station House Officer (SHO) of Tindwari police station said. The priest is absconding and efforts are on to nab him, the police added.
Srikakulam: The State government is committed to provide corruption-free governance to public, said Roads and Buildings Minister D Krishna Das. Unfurling the tri-colour at Government Degree College grounds here on the occasion of 73rd Independence Day celebrations, he said that the government was committed to welfare of poor and weaker sections and implement nine schemes (Navaratnalu) for their uplift. Also Read – Fit India rally held in Vijayawada Advertise With Us For speedy disposal of grievances filed by the people, the government launched ‘Spandana’ programme on each Monday and set a deadline for each issue for its disposal as one-week, he said. So far, in the district a total of 13, 201 grievances lodged by the public and of them, 11,062 petitions have been resolved by the officials’ concerned, the minister stated. Also Read – PV Sindhu visits Tirumala temple Advertise With Us To deliver government schemes at doorstep of the people, village level volunteers system has been introduced from today, he said. In total, 13,427 volunteers have been appointed in rural areas and 1,902 volunteers were selected in urban areas to serve the public, he stated. District in-charge minister and Minister for Endowments V Srinivas was scheduled to unfurl national flag but due to some unavoidable programmes he did not attend and Krishna Das attended the event. Advertise With Us On the occasion various departments like agriculture, horticulture, sericulture, BC welfare, tribal welfare, social welfare, rural water supply and other departments have arranged stalls at the venue of Independence Day. Minister inspected stalls and inquired about implementation of various schemes. The minister also inspected tableaux displayed by various departments highlighting the government schemes. The Minister also felicitated family members of the freedom fighters at the venue. Students of various schools presented cultural programmes reflecting the fruits of Independence. Collector J Nivas and SP R N Ammi Reddy were present.
NEW DELHI: India on Thursday strongly condemned “highly irresponsible” statements by Pakistani leadership on withdrawal of special status to Jammu and Kashmir. External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said Pakistan has been using terrorism as state policy against India and it must stop exporting terror. “We strongly condemn highly irresponsible statements by Pakistani leadership on matters internal to India,” he said, in what is seen as a direct reference to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s comments. Also Read – Shah urges women to shun plastic bags Advertise With Us “The provocative statements from Pakistan include call for jihad and inciting violence in India,” Kumar said. Khan has been consistently attacking India on its decisions on Jammu and Kashmir in the last three weeks. On Monday, Khan said he will raise the issue at every international forum, including at the UN General Assembly.
Our Fight is for Kashmir not against the Kashmiri’s says Narendra Modi IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:06/3:58Loaded: 0%0:06Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-3:52?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading … Close Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other BJP leaders have added the prefix ‘Chowkidar’ to their Twitter handles a day after the launch of the ‘Main Bhi Chowkidar’ campaign ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.After PM Modi changed his name, other leaders such as Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal, Textiles Minister Smriti Irani and BJP’s social media head Amit Malviya added the word ‘Chowkidar’ to their names. #MainBhiChowkidar became one of the top trends on Twitter this morning.TwitterAfter changing their handles, they tweeted their support for the movement. Amit Shah and Piyush Goyal said, ” As Chowkidars of our nation, we are committed to creating a clean economy by using cashless financial transactions. The menace of corruption and black money has adversely affected us for decades. Time to eliminate these for a better future.”While launching the campaign on social media on Saturday, PM Modi had urged the citizens to act as watchmen or ‘chowkidars’ and help prevent corruption and other unlawful activities in the country. In the video, PM Modi called himself a Chowkidar and added that he was not alone, implying the general populace to join him.In a series of tweets on Saturday, PM Modi said, “Your Chowkidar is standing firm and serving the nation. But, I am not alone. Everyone who is fighting corruption, dirt, social evils is a Chowkidar. Everyone working hard for the progress of India is a Chowkidar.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses during a programme at Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh on March 9, 2019.IANS/PIBHe added, “Today, every Indian is saying. Main Bhi Chowkidar.”Since Saturday, the hashtag #MainBhiChowkidar was trending on Twitter. This campaign was retaliation to opposition leader Rahul Gandhi’s barbs against the prime minister, calling him a thief. He made these comments while talking about the Rafale deal. One of Gandhi’s slogans was, “Chowkidar Chor Hai (watchman is a thief)”.The Congress president said at a rally a few days back, “Five years ago, chowkidar said he wanted to fight corruption. He said he wanted to make it a ‘Congress-mukt Bharat’. Today, the slogan of ‘Acche Din Aayenge’ has changed to ‘Chowkidar chor hai’.The word Chowkidar, describing PM Modi, came about in 2014 when he was campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections. He had said that he would be the ‘chowkidar’ of the country and guard the people and the money.
Erin HeathertonInstagramLeonardo DiCaprio’s model ex-girlfriend Erin Heatherton has filed for bankruptcy. The former Victoria’s Secret model claims that she is reportedly in over half a million debt. Further adding to the claims, the model revealed that she has made only about $2,800 so far this year.Born as Erin Bubly, Heatherton filed for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. She has listed $6,464.57 in assets and $560,242.13 in liabilities. Documents regarding her debts have been extracted by The Blast. The report also states that Erin has claimed she only makes $1,081 in a month out of which, $212 is received from friends and family. As per her statement, Erin has made $2,820 so far this year with $919 being reflected as balance in her bank account.Heatherton’s living expenses take up about $1,000. The legal documents claim that she is in tremendous credit card debts from three of her cards from City National Bank. The Blast further reports that she owes $11,514 on one credit card, $9,485 on another and $194,602.49 on a third — adding up to $215,601.49. Apart from this, Heatherton also reportedly owes City National a different debt of $201,000 from a separate line of credit.Sadly, Erin’s woes don’t end here. She additionally owes her former business partner Clare Byrne, $100,000. For the same, Clare has sued the model for $10 million in 2017 over a sportswear collection that they were supposed to launch but never got off the ground. As per documents shared by Clare to the court, back in 2015 after working with Erin as a stylist, the two decided to team up and kickstart a sportswear line going by the name RetroActive. In the same year though, around October, Erin allegedly absconded the project without a warning or justification. The debts on her book have one more addition as she also owes $41,000 bank taxes to the State of New York.Speaking of the assets that the model owns, she has $750 in electronics, a $995 vintage Japanese jacket and $500 in other clothing. Apart from these, she also owns the $945 Jennifer Meyer (Tobey Maguire’s ex-wife) diamond necklace. Things aren’t looking very bright for Erin for now. So far the model’s representative has not given out a statement or responded to the report.Erin Heatherton and Leonardo DiCaprio dated back from December 2011 to October 2012. Theirs was an amicable breakup, as stated to People. The two remained friends post-breakup too, revealed a source to People. Citing bad timing as the reason, the couple had called it quits.
As you may have heard, George Osborne has announced a so-called sugar tax in his 2016 Budget and celebrity chef Jamie Oliver is jumping for joy. The chancellor said the levy on fizzy drinks will come into force in April 2018, and the Treasury expects to raise Â£520m ($733m) from the policy in its first year.Osborne has unveiled the measure to help tackle high childhood obesity levels in the UK. The chancellor claims taxing soft drinks will give an incentive to companies to reduce sugar levels in their products. But the proposal is not without controversy. IBTimes UK takes you through the ins and outs of the new sugar tax in the video above.2016 Budget highlightsUK economic growth revised downExtra Â£3.5bn of public sector cutsOsborne sticks to Â£10 budget surplus pledge by 2019/20A new sugar taxFuel and alcohol duties frozenDisabled people hit by reformsVAT crackdown on overseas online firmsLifetime ISA announced
An Indian woman speaks on her phone while walking past a Bull sculpture outside the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) in Mumbai on February 6, 2018. Asian stocks plunged on February 6 after a record-breaking loss on Wall Street, extending a global rout as panicked investors fret over rising US borrowing costs and take profits after months of market euphoria.INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty ImagesIndia’s benchmark stock index Sensex marked a weekly gain of nearly 380 points as trading wound up on Friday.The BSE Sensex settled 12.53 points, or 0.03 percent, higher at 36,386.61. The broader NSE Nifty inched up 1.75 points, or 0.02 percent, to 10,906.95. trading was flat on on Friday after a volatile session as investors largely stuck to index heavyweights despite positive global cues.Led by Sun Pharma, BSE Healthcare index tanked 2 percent on Friday, while telecom stocks also saw heavy selling pressure, losing more than 3 percent.During the week, the 30-share Sensex gained 378.77 points, or 1 percent and the Nifty rose 112 points, or 1.02 percent.Sensex rises 12.53 pointsNifty up 1.75 pointsSun Pharma drags healthcare stocks Rupee falls marginallyDomestic markets seen range-bound in near termReliance Industries was the biggest gainer on Sensex in Friday’s session, spurting 4.43 percent, after the company became the first Indian private sector company to report a quarterly profit of more than Rs 10,000 crore following record earnings from petrochemical, retail and telecom businesses.Other gainers included Kotak Bank, HCL Tech, ONGC, Asian Paints, Vedanta, HDFC Bank, Bajaj Finance, Maruti and TCS, gaining up to 1.41 percent.”Domestic indices failed to absorb the rebound in global market as plunge in pharma stocks and weak rupee dragged the sentiment … Global headwinds continue to dictate a range-bound movement in the market while any green shoots in quarter earnings provide opportunity to accumulate.”Sun Pharma was the top loser, cracking 8.58 percent, on reports of fresh allegations by a whistleblower against the company.Domestic markets range-bound in near term”Domestic indices failed to absorb the rebound in global market as plunge in pharma stocks and weak rupee dragged the sentiment,” said Vinod Nair, Head of Research, Geojit Financial Services. “Global headwinds continue to dictate a range-bound movement in the market while any green shoots in quarter earnings provide opportunity to accumulate,” he added. RIL’s 41st AGM: Biggest highlights On a net basis, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) purchased shares worth Rs 842.13 crore Thursday, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) were net sellers to the tune of Rs 727.46 crore, provisional data available with BSE showed.According to analysts, global trade tensions and risk of recession will cast a cloud over the sentiment, while lack of major triggers in the domestic market could see range-bound movement in the near term.The rupee, meanwhile, depreciated 10 paise against the US dollar to 71.13 intra-day.(With inputs from PTI) Close IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:01/1:09Loaded: 0%0:01Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-1:08?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading …
A total of congregations of the holy Eid-ul-Fitr will be held at Baitul Mukarram National Mosque this year. The first congregation will be held at 7:00am, the second at 8:00am, the third at 9:00am, the fourth at 10:00am, and the fifth at 10:45am, according to a press release of Islamic Foundation on Thursday.Meanwhile, the main congregation of the Eid-ul-Fitr will be held at National Eidgah on the High Court premises at 8:30am on Eid day.The venue of the main congregation will be shifted to Baitul Mukarram National Mosque at 9:00am in case of inclement weather, said religious affairs minister Motiur Rahman.
Two people, including a minor boy, were killed in separate road accidents at Kaliakair upazila on Saturday.Rasel Ahmed, 32, son of Ismail Uddin of Dinajpur district, was killed when a bus knocked down his motorcycle at Baipass in the afternoon, said police.In another accident, a 10-year old boy was crushed under the wheels of a speeding bus at Mouchak while he was crossing Dhaka-Tangail Highway around 9:00am.
Two minor boys died from electrocution and three people injured at Adhara Saradi village in Sadar upazila Munsiganj on Friday afternoon, reports UNB.Police said a live electric wire got snapped and fell into a pond at the village.The two minor boys — Rohan, 5, son of Kamal Miah, and Junayed, 7, son of Nuruzzman, residents of the village, got electrocuted after they fell into the pond while playing adjacent to the water body.Soon after the incident, mothers of the two kids — Maksuda Begum and Malati Begum –and Ruhul Amin, also a resident of the village, jumped into the pond to rescue the duo.Later, locals removed the live electric wire from the pond, rescued the five and sent them to Munsiganj General Hospital where doctors declared Rohan and Junayed dead while Maksuda, Malati and Ruhul Amin were admitted to the hospital.
Yaba Pills. UNB File PhotoMembers of Bangladesh Coast Guard seized 300,000 pieces of yaba pills and detained six Myanmar nationals from the southeastern side of Chhera Dwip near Saint Martin’s Island in Teknaf upazila of Cox’s Bazar on Wednesday.The Coast Guard headquarters said acting on tip off, an operational team of the force conducted a drive in the Bay of Bengal around1:10pm and challenged a fishing boat.The team recovered 300,000 yaba tablets worth about Tk 150 million from the fishing boat and detained six Myanmar nationals, reports UNB.With the recovery of those pills, the number of seized yaba tablets within a week rose to 620,000, said Coast Guard headquarters assistant director (intelligence) lieutenant commander Abdullah Al Maruf.
ACC logoThe Anti-Corrupt Commission (ACC) would take stringent measures against people involved with money laundering, ACC chairman Iqbal Mahmood said on Wednesday.Preventing money laundering is a must to achieve the status of a developing country, he said.Iqbal made the remark while speaking at a human chain to mark Corruption Prevention Week 2018 in front of the National Press Club.Claiming that the situation has improved in regards to tackling graft, Iqbal said creating consciousness and unity among people is vital to eliminate corruption.Senior ACC officials were also present at the human chain.
Guam is looking to cash in on its new-found fame as opportunity to attract visitors to the idyllic island. Photo: AFPTourism-dependent Guam is looking to cash in on its new-found fame as a North Korean missile target, tapping an unlikely promotional opportunity to attract visitors to the idyllic island and prove that all publicity is good publicity.Pyongyang’s threats to launch four missile strikes near the US territory has stirred global curiosity in the remote Pacific destination, with it trending heavily on search engines as social media users wondered, “what is Guam?”Although Guam hosts two US military installations and 6,000 US soldiers, making it the target of North Korea’s wrath, tourism authorities are keen to dispel any impression of danger to the tranquil island and its secluded beaches.“The circumstance are unfortunate but this is a good opportunity for us to educate the world about Guam and our culture, about where we are, and who we are,” said Josh Tyquiengco, marketing director at Guam Visitors Bureau, the official agency for the island.“Guam is more than a military base. We are a safe family destination. We reassure potential visitors that we continue to be a safe… place to visit,” Tyquiengco told AFP Friday.Despite North Korea’s threats to prepare plans within days that would surround Guam with “enveloping fire”, fears of a potential attack have not deterred tourists from visiting Guam, he said.“We heard about a few booking cancellations from South Korea, but it’s too minimal to affect the industry,” he said.As aircraft after aircraft—packed with tourists—landed Friday at Guam’s international airport, the latest visitors to the island appeared untroubled by the prospect of missile strikes.Sun Doojin, who arrived with her husband and two-year-old daughter on a flight from Seoul, responded with an emphatic “no” when asked if she was concerned about an attack during her visit.The Guam Daily Post, in an editorial, said the spotlight on the territory offered an opportunity to show the world why an island of 162,000 people draws more than 1.5 million tourists a year.“The beach waters are crystal clear, beaches aren’t overrun, and nature hiking trails are very accessible.“The different cultures that are showcased on the island through food, make Guam a hidden gem, a tropical vacation getaway but with the amenities and comforts of some of the small cities stateside.”Guam’s history of earthquakes and typhoons mean its infrastructure is built to robust standards and authorities insist that the island is prepared for any emergency, including a North Korean strike.Homeland Security spokeswoman Jenna Gaminde told the Guam Daily News that in the event of an attack, residents would be immediately notified by sirens from the All-Hazards Alert Warning System located throughout the island.“If you hear the sirens, tune into local media—radio, print, television—for further instructions,” she said.Pyongyang has said it would take less than 18 minutes for a missile to cross the 3,400-kilometre (2,100 miles) distance to the US territory.In addition to the US military bases, Guam is also equipped with the sophisticated THAAD weapons system which is capable of destroying intermediate-range missiles in the final phase of flight.Officials, however, have sought to brush off fears and say there has been no change in the threat level for now.“I don’t think there’s anything to worry about. No missile is going to land on Guam,” said Carl Peterson, who serves on the Guam Chamber of Commerce’s armed forces committee.“We’ve got defense mechanisms in place… they have the ability to seek out the missiles with kinetic energy and destroy it.”
India has expressed profound shock at the loss of lives in the fire at Chawkbazar area of Old Dhaka on Wednesday night, reports UNB.”India is saddened by the loss of lives as a result of tragic fire in Dhaka on 20 February. We offer our deepest condolences to relatives of those affected by the accident. As a close neighbour and partner, we stand by the people and the government of Bangladesh in this hour of grief,” the spokesperson of the Indian external affairs ministry said on Thursday.At least 67 people were killed and around 41 others injured in a devastating fire that broke out at a building and raged through four other adjacent buildings in the city’s Chawkbazar area on Wednesday night.
US mapA Chinese national who came to the US on a student visa and later enlisted in the army reserves was arrested Tuesday in Chicago and accused of helping Beijing attempt to recruit American scientists and engineers.Ji Chaoqun was allegedly tasked with providing Chinese intelligence with biographical information about eight American citizens—some of whom were US defense contractors.The 27-year-old, who first arrived in Chicago in 2013 to study electrical engineering on a student visa, was charged with one count of knowingly acting as an agent of a foreign government without prior notification to the US Attorney General.According to a court affidavit, Ji was working at the direction of a “high-level intelligence officer” in China’s Ministry of State Security, which “handles civilian intelligence collection and is responsible for counter-intelligence and foreign intelligence, as well as political security.”All eight of the people Ji allegedly researched were naturalized American citizens who were born in Taiwan or China, according to authorities. The targets either currently worked or were recently retired from a career in the science and technology industry.An affidavit filed in federal court by an FBI investigator specializing in espionage, claims among the people targeted was an engineer at one of “the world’s top aircraft engine suppliers for both commercial and military aircraft.”After one of Ji’s handlers was arrested, he met with US undercover agents in April and May, and admitted to his work, which included collecting background checks, the affidavit said.He allegedly told the undercover agents: “They just wanted me to purchase some documents on their behalf. Their reason was just because it was inconvenient for them to make payments from China.”Ji enlisted in the army reserves, according to the US Attorney’s office, but failed to disclose his foreign contacts to the military.
Narendra ModiA day after launching the “Main Bhi Chowkidar (I am a watchman too)” campaign on social media, prime minister Narendra Modi on Sunday changed the title of his Twitter account to “Chowkidar Narendra Modi”.BJP president Amit Shah followed with “Chowkidar Amit Shah”, and tweeted: “The one who made cleanliness a moral value… he is called Chowkidar #MainBhiChowkidar. Say with all your heart #ChowkidarPhirSe (watchman again).”Shah’s remarks came after senior BJP leaders and union ministers Piyush Goyal, JP Nadda, Harsh Vardhan and Dharmendra Pradhan followed suit, changing their names similarly on Twitter accounts.On Saturday after Modi launched his party’s “Main Bhi Chowkidar (I am a watchman too)” campaign ahead of the general election that begins in April. He posted a video with the same title on Twitter, saying: “Your Chowkidar is standing firm and serving the nation”.The campaign counters Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s repeated attacks on Modi and his government over various alleged malhandling of economic and defence deals and situations, with the slogan, “Chowkidar Chor Hai (watchman is a thief)”.”Five years ago, chowkidar said he wanted to fight corruption. He said he wanted to make it a ‘Congress-mukt Bharat’. Today, the slogan of ‘Acche Din Aayenge’ has changed to ‘Chowkidar chor hai’,” Gandhi has been repeating at rallies.Gandhi latched on to the word “chowkidar” as Modi during the 2014 Lok Sabha campaigning promised to work as a “chowkidar” to guard people’s money and their trust once elected.
Tomas Kennedy from the Florida Immigrant Coalition speaks during a press conference, across the street from a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office, to announce a travel alert for the state of Florida on 10 April 2019 in Miramar, Florida. Photo: AFPThe White House pushed immigration authorities to release illegal migrants onto the streets of so-called “sanctuary cities” to retaliate against US president Donald Trump’s political enemies, the Washington Post reported Thursday.Citing homeland security officials and leaked emails, the Post said White House officials first broached the plan in November, asking officials at several agencies whether members of a caravan of migrants could be arrested at the border and then bused “to small- and mid-sized sanctuary cities”.Sanctuary cities are places where local authorities — usually Democratic run — have refused to hand over illegal immigrants for deportation.The White House told the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) that the plan was intended to alleviate a shortage of detention space, but would also send a message to Democrats, the Post said.The suggested policy was pushed back within ICE, with a top official saying it was rife with concerns and noting “there are PR risks as well”.After the White House pressed the issue again earlier this year, ICE rebuffed it as “inappropriate”.The Post said a White House official and a spokesman for the department of homeland security said the proposal was no longer under consideration.”This was just a suggestion that was floated and rejected, which ended any further discussion,” a White House statement said.One of the centres targeted was the constituency of house speaker Nancy Pelosi, whose office on Thursday blasted the plan.”The extent of this administration’s cynicism and cruelty cannot be overstated,” said Pelosi spokeswoman Ashley Etienne.”Using human beings — including little children — as pawns in their warped game to perpetuate fear and demonise immigrants is despicable.”Combating illegal immigration is a central plank of Trump’s administration and he has expressed increasing frustration at the influx of migrants from Central America, who he often casts as criminals who threaten US security.The number of immigrant detainees in ICE custody has approached 50,000 in recent months, the Post said, an all-time high that has strained the agency’s budget.