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National Voters' Day: Elections are celebrations of democracy, says PM Modi

Extending warm wishes to the nation on the occasion of National Voters' Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday, said that elections are celebrations of democracy, which communicate the will of the people.

"Wishing you all on National Voters' Day. We greet the Election Commission & salute their important role in our democracy. Elections are celebrations of democracy. They communicate the will of the people, which is supreme in a democracy," Prime Minister tweeted.

Through his social media handle, he even urged the eligible voters to exercise their franchise and called upon teenagers to register as voters, as they turn 18.

The Election Commission of India (ECI) will celebrate the seventh National Voters' Day across the country on 25 January, for enhancing the participation of the citizens in the electoral process.

Jallikattu row: SC likely to hear Animal Welfare Board's plea on 30 January

The Supreme Court is expected to hear the petitions filed by Animal Welfare Board of India and other bodies challenging Jallikattu order on 30 January.

The apex court had earlier on November 16 last year rejected the plea of the Tamil Nadu government seeking review of the 2014 judgement which had banned the use of bulls for jallikattuevents in the state.

After hearing from various petitioners and respondents in the case, a division bench of the Top Court, headed by Justice Dipak Misra and also comprising Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, dismissed the state government's review petition.

The court in its order had said, "We are of the opinion that the review petition does not contain any merit and thus accordingly we dismiss it."

The state government had filed the review petition in the Apex Court in 2014 through its Chief Secretary, claiming that it was illegal and unconstitutional as the taming of bulls for such an event amounted to "cruelty".

Jallikattu: Human Rights panel issues notices to Tamil Nadu govt, state police after violence

The National Human Rights Commission has issued notices to the Tamil Nadu government and the state police over reports of "unprovoked excesses" committed by the forces in quelling the pro-Jallikattu protests in Chennai.

The NHRC on 25 January said it has issued the notices to the Chief Secretary, Chennai Police Commissioner and Director General of Police of the state, and sought reports in the matter in two weeks.

The Commission in a statement said that it has taken its own view based on media reports, that after the passage of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Tamil Nadu Amendment) Bill, 2017 in the state Assembly, "police, without any prior caution, resorted to beating, arresting and damaging private property in order to disperse a large number of people gathered at landmark places in Chennai in support of Jallikattu."

Ram Temple controversy: Maurya takes U-turn, seeks to expose corrupt Akhilesh Yadav

Uttar Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Keshav Prasad Maurya on Wednesday took a u-turn on his earlier statement on the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya saying his statement has been misinterpreted and misconstrued.

Maurya had on Tuesday said that a "grand" temple will be built in Ayodhya if BJP secures a majority in the seven-phase assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.

He had further said, "Ram Mandir is a subject of faith. It is not going to be built in two months. The temple will be constructed after the elections. BJP will come to power with a full majority."

On Wednesday, however he said, "I haven't given any such statement, all what I said got misconstrued. I have only said that the true face of Akhilesh Yadav was revealed in front of everyone when he asked the people to cast vote for Gayatri Prasad in Sultanpur," Maurya toldANI.

Trump advance construction of controversial oil pipelines Keystone XL, Dakota Access pipelines

United States President Donald Trump has advanced the construction of the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines through executive orders.

Trump signed the documents in the Oval Office and vowed to "renegotiate some of the terms" of the Keystone bill and said he would then seek to "get that pipeline built."

Trump's decision sets aside efforts by predecessor Barack Obama's administration to halt the construction of the two pipelines, reports CNN.

He also issued an executive order that declares that oil pipelines be constructed with US materials and to shorten the environmental review process.

The Dakota Access Pipeline or Bakken pipeline is 1,886 km underground oil pipeline project which is currently being constructed by Dakota Access, LLC, a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners, L.P.

The USD 3.78 billion project was announced to the public on 25 June, 2014 and was planned for delivery by 1 January, 2017.

The pipeline has been declared controversial with regard to its impact on the environment.

Several Native Americans in Iowa and the Dakotas have opposed the pipeline.

Thousands of people have been protesting against the construction of the pipeline.