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West Bengal elections: BJP plans four massive rallies by Central leaders between 18- 25 January

With just four months to go before elections in West Bengal, the BJP has planned four massive rallies between 18 and 25 January. The rallies to be held in four key districts - Malda, Burdwan, Barasat and Howrah will be addressed by central leaders. While Malda rally will be addressed by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on 18 January, the others will see party president Amit Shah, HRD Minister Smriti Irani and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari campaigning. The Malda rally would be a crucial one following the the Home Ministry demanding a report from the Mamata government on what caused the Malda violence on 4 January. The key themes of these rallies would be women safety and industry.

Source: India Today

Chhattisgarh: Jogi camp to form a new party by 2016-end?

Amit and Ajit Jogi may soon float a party of their own in Chattisgarh, reports have revealed. The news comes days after Amit Jogi was expelled by the Congress party in Chhattisgarh and similar recommendations were made to the party high command against Ajit Jogi. The action against Amit Jogi was taken after the Indian Express published transcripts of tapes recording conversations among key political players in the state trying to fix a bypoll. Even as the fate of Jogi senior hangs in the hand of the Central leadership of the party, Jogi junior hasn't exactly denied the possibility of forming a new regional form. The Jogi faction will organise several public meetings across the state on non-Congress platforms.

Source: The Indian Express

Give us 3 temples, keep 39,997 mosques: Swamy's 'Lord Krishna' package to Muslim community

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy who is leading initiatives to fast track the Ram Temple construction issue, courted controversy on Sunday while offering the 'Lord Krishna' package to the Muslim community.

"We Hindus offer Lord Krishna's package to Muslims - give us 3 temples and keep 39,997 masjids. I hope Muslim leaders don't become Duryodhans," Swamy tweeted.

He also lashed out at those opposing a seminar on Ram Janmabhoomi in the Delhi University campus yesterday and dubbed the protests as 'intolerance'. The National Students' Union of India (NSUI) members yesterday staged a protest outside the Vice Chancellor's office against the Delhi University's decision to allow a seminar on Ram Janmabhoomi temple.

Source: ANI

Governor's Rule Imposed In Jammu and Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir was placed under Governor's Rule on the night of Saturday with the process of new government formation following the death of Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed taking some time. The President cleared the recommendation of the Union Home Ministry for imposing Governor's Rule on the basis of a recommendation from Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra.

The state had to be put under Governor's Rule in view of Sayeed's daughter Mehbooba Mufti's reluctance to take oath during the mourning period though her party has already conveyed to the Governor that 28 MLAs of the PDP legislature party backed her for the Chief Minister's post.

Source: PTI

VK Singh rubbishes Manish Tewari's statement on 2012 Army troop movement story

Almost four years after it was published, Congress leader Manish Tewari has confirmed the veracity of the Indian Express report on two army troops moving towards Delhi in January 2012 without any notification.

Speaking at the book launch of former Principal Information Officer I Ramamohan Rao's book Conflict, Communication - chronicles of a communicator, Tewari said, "I used to serve in the Standing Committee on Defence and it is unfortunate but the story was true. Story was correct.".

Union Minister VK Singh, who was the army chief at the time has rubbished Tiwari's statement. Speaking to reporters he said, "Manish Tewariji has nothing to do these days. There is this book of mine, ask him to read it and every thing will be clear to him."

Is it a bird? No, it's a foreign hand!

A proposed ban on hunting the endangered Houbara bustard in Sindh, Pakistan, has led to a staggering conspiracy theory regarding India, reports The Telegraph. The bird is a much-prized prey for hunters from the Middle East, and a ban on its hunting would be tantamount to playing into the hands of India, the Sindh government told the Supreme Court in Pakistan. According to the Sindh government, banning the hunting of the bustard would stop investments coming in from the Middle East, thereby slowing down Pakistan's development, something that India wants.

Besieged Madaya residents in Syria starving to death one by one

Fresh reports claim that 23 people, including six children, died of starvation last month in the blockaded town of Madaya northwest of Damascus. Madaya residents lack many basic needs after being victims of an ongoing blockade by the Assad regime and the Hezbollah Shia militia. Eight people were killed by landmines as they tried to escape the town, which has been under siege for 190 days so far, the report added. Living conditions have further deteriorated as winter set in. Electricity is non-existent and food prices have been at an all time high since the blockade began. In all, 70 people have died of starvation, while 50 have died from various diseases in the past six months.