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  • Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar says government will win the trust vote as it has a two-third majority in Lok Sabha.
  • Logjam in Parliament continued for eleventh day today with Opposition unrelenting on their demands.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi says service to humanity by Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti of Ajmer will continue to inspire future generations; offers chadar at the Dargah on the occasion of annual Urs.
  • RJD chief and former Bihar CM Lalu Prasad convicted in fourth fodder scam case related to Dumka Treasury; another ex-Chief Minister Jagannath Mishra acquitted.
  • Enforcement Directorate attaches 68 lakh rupees assests of two top Maoist leaders in Bihar in connection with a money-laundering case; ten Maoists surrender in Chhattisgarh.
  • Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal apologizes to Union Minister Nitin Gadkari and Congress leader Kapil Sibal's son for levelling allegations against them; submit joint applications before Delhi court seeking withdrawal of defamation cases.
  • UK and European Union agree on terms for Brexit transition period from 29th March, 2019 to December 2020.                                                            


Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar today said, the government is ready to face no-confidence motion as it has the support both inside and outside Parliament. Talking to reporters outside Parliament, Mr Kumar said, the Centre is confident that it will win the trust vote with full majority. He said, the NDA has a two-thirds majority in the Lok Sabha.


Both the Houses of Parliament were adjourned for the day amidst Opposition uproar for the eleventh day today. In the Lok Sabha, members from TRS and AIADMK were raising slogans in support of their demands. TRS members were demanding increase in reservation quota for jobs in Telangana, while AIADMK members wanted the setting up of Cauvery Management Board.

Amid noisy scenes, Home Minister Rajanth Singh asserted that the government wants a discussion on the no-confidence motion moved by TDP and YSR-Congress. He sought cooperation so that discussion can take place.

Speaker Sumitra Mahajan also made repeated appeals to the agitating members to go to their seats so that the House can take up the no-confidence motion. As the protesting members did not yield, the Speaker adjourned the House till tomorrow.

The situation was no different in the Rajya Sabha. Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu adjourned the House for the day as opposition members trooped into the Well immediately after tabling of papers.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has conveyed his greetings and best wishes to followers of Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti in the country and abroad on the occasion of 806th annual Urs at Ajmer Sharif Dargah. In a message, Mr Modi said, peace, unity and harmony is at core of various philosophies in the country and Sufism is also one of them. Mr Modi said, the service of humanity made by Gharib Nawaz will continue to be an inspiration for future generations.

Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi offered Chadar on behalf of the Prime Minister at the dargah today.

"ख्वाजा गरीब नवाज का जो  अमन का  संदेश है, शांति का संदेश है, भाईचारे का संदेश है। आज जो है वो दुनिया में सबसे ज्यादा सार्थक है और जो लोग इस्लाम को सुरक्षा कवच बनाकर के अपनी शैतानी हरकतें कर रहे हैं वो ताकतें भी ख्वाजा गरीब नवाज ने कहा कि  जो अमन का संदेश है, उनके ही संदेश से ही परास् की जा सकती हैं।"


Mr. Modi had a telephone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin to congratulate him on his victory in the Presidential elections held in Russia yesterday. Conveying his compliments on Mr Putin's success, the Prime Minister expressed hope that under Mr Putin's leadership, the special and privileged strategic partnership between the two countries will continue to grow from strength to strength. An official release said, the Prime Minister also stated that he looked forward to welcoming President Putin in India for the Annual Summit later this year.

President Putin thanked Mr Modi and conveyed his commitment to further strengthen India-Russia relations in all spheres.


RJD chief and former Bihar Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav and 18 others were today convicted by a special CBI court in Ranchi in the fourth fodder scam case. The case relates to fraudulent withdrawal of over three crore rupees from the Dumka Treasury between December 1995 and January 1996. More from our correspondent:


"Former Bihar Chief Minister Dr Jagannath Mishra and some other political colleagues of Lalu Prasad - like  R K Rana, Jagdeesh Sharma are among the 12 acquitted. The arguments on quantum of punishments will start from day after tomorrow and will continue for next three days. It may be recalled that RJD Chief Lalu Prasad has been convicted and sentenced in three earlier cases of fodder scams, and he is serving his sentence in Birsa Munda Central Zail of Hotwar near Ranchi, and this is his fourth conviction on which sentencing will be delivered soon. Rajesh Sinha, AIR News, Ranchi."


The Supreme Court today favoured the Centre's submission that no interim order should be passed on pleas to grant certain facilities to Rohingya refugees as it would grab media headlines and have repercussions on India's diplomatic ties with Myanmar and Bangladesh.

The top court said it will not pass any interim order with regard to ensuring health and educational facilities for Rohingya refugee camps in the country unless materials contradicting the Centre's claims are brought before it. Appearing for the Centre, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra that any order passed may have repercussions on India's diplomatic relations with Myanmar and Bangladesh. He said, Government is alive to the situation prevailing at the Rohingya refugee camps.

The bench posted the matter for further hearing on April 9.

Earlier in the day, the apex court directed the Centre to file a comprehensive status report giving details of conditions at Rohingya camps in various states after visiting them.

The Rohingyas, who fled to India after violence in the Western Rakhine State of Myanmar, are settled in Jammu, Hyderabad, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi-NCR and Rajasthan.


The Enforcement Directorate (ED) today said, it has attached assets worth 68 lakh rupees of two top Maoist leaders in Bihar in connection with a money-laundering probe against them. This is second such action against the top Naxal leadership after the central probe agency last month attached properties worth 86 lakh of a Jharkhand-based ultra 'commander' Sandeep Yadav.


In Chhattisgarh, ten Maoists surrendered before the police in Kondagaon district today. The Maoists were active in Bayanaar, Bade Dongar and Dhanora area.


Karnataka Government has recommended religious minority status to the Lingayat community. The state Cabinet that met in Bengaluru today has decided to accept the recommendations of the Karnataka State Minority Commission to consider grant of recognition as religious minority to the Lingayats and Veerashaiva Lingayats who are believers of Basava Tathwa under section 2D of the Karnataka State Minorities Act. The Cabinet has also decided to forward its decision to the Central Government for notifying it under section 2C of the Central Minority Commission Act.

We spoke to a person of eminence from Karnataka Mohandas Pai over the development:


Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has written to Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari expressing regret over certain statements he made against him. Mr. Gadkari had filed a defamation suit against Mr Kejriwal. Both of them also submitted a joint application today before a Delhi Court seeking withdrawal of the defamation case filed against the AAP leader.

The application was moved before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Samar Vishal after Mr. Kejriwal's counsel submitted the letter. The AAP leader expressed regret in the letter for making statements without regard to their verifiability.

Mr Gadkari had moved the court against the Delhi Chief Minister for allegedly defaming him by including his name in the Aam Aadmi Party's list of "India's most corrupt".

The Delhi Chief Minister and his deputy Manish Sisodia also tendered an apology to senior advocate Amit Sibal, son of former Union Minister and Congress leader Kapil Sibal, in a criminal defamation case filed by him. They apologised for making unfounded allegations against Sibal in a letter which was submitted before the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate.

Mr Sibal and the AAP leaders also filed a joint application in the court seeking withdrawal of the case filed in 2013. The court then posted the matter for further hearing on 6th of next month. 


Congress today demanded a thorough and independent probe into the SSC exam paper leak. The party said, scam has marred the future of two crore youth of the nation. Briefing media in New Delhi this afternoon, party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said irregularities and paper leaks have put a question mark on future of India’s youth.


Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, today met his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee at the new secretariat building, Nabanna, in Kolkata. Our correspondent reports that the meeting took place in the backdrop of Mr. Rao's plan for an independent third front ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Earlier, Ms. Banerjee had spoken to him over phone, extending her support to the front.


The Director General of the World Trade Organisation, Roberto Azevedo, today said discussions at the informal mini-ministerial meeting will be useful for carrying forward the mandate of the multilateral trade body. Mr Azevedo told reporters in New Delhi that trade environment globally is very risky at this point of time. He said, there are significant challenges before WTO.

India is hosting the two-day meeting which began in the national capital today. It is being attended by representatives of 50 countries. Although the meeting does not have a fixed agenda, it assumes significance against the backdrop of increase in duties on steel and aluminium by the US administration, and Washington taking India to the WTO against export incentive programmes.


India today summoned the Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner in New Delhi and lodged a strong protest against the killing of five civilians in unprovoked firing by Pakistani forces. The External Affairs Ministry in a release said, the deliberate targeting of innocent civilians, who are located two kilometers away from the forward line of defences, by Pakistan forces is highly deplorable and is condemned in the strongest terms. Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner Syed Haider Shah was also told that such heinous acts are against established humanitarian norms and professional military conduct .


The UK and European Union, EU today agreed on a large part of the agreement that will lead to the orderly withdrawal of the UK. The EU's Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said, the two sides had agreed on a transition period, calling the announcement a decisive step. He spoke after meeting with the UK's Brexit secretary David Davis. The transitional period is set to last from 29th March, 2019 to December 2020, and is designed to smooth the path to the future permanent relationship. Mr Barnier said, there was agreement on the rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU after Brexit. Both the UK and the EU hope the terms of an agreement on the transitional period can be signed off at the EU summit this week.


The Sensex today settled below the 33,000 level amid negative global stocks. Both the Sensex and the Nifty hit the lowest closing level in more than 12 weeks. A report:

"The Sensex at Bombay Stock Exchange fell 253 points or 0.76 percent to 32,923. The Nifty at National Stock Exchange also declined 101 points or 0.99 percent to 10,094.         Asian stocks closed mixed while all major European markets were down. The rupee at forex market today plunged 23 paise against the US dollar to 65.17. Gold prices drifted lower by 110 rupees to 31,180 rupees per 10 grams at the bullion market in New Delhi. And Silver also fell below the 39,000 rupees-mark by falling 150 rupees to 38,950 rupees per kg. With Sanjio Kumar Singh this is V. Ravi Kumar for AIR News."


The News Services Division of All India Radio in its weekly bilingual live phone-in programme “PUBLIC SPEAK” will bring you a discussion tonight on “Tapedik Ke Baare Mein Jaankari Aur Upchar”.

This can be heard on FM Gold Channel and additional frequencies from 9.30 PM.


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