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Bihar

8 crushed to death by truck in Bihar

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Eight people, including two children, were crushed to death and over half a dozen persons were injured by a truck in Bihar's Lakhisarai district, police said on Thursday.
 
This incident occurred late on Wednesday night near the Halsi block when all the victims were busy attending a wedding on the roadside, a district official Murli Prasad said.
 
Prasad said all the victims belong to the Dalit community.
 
All the injured have been admitted in a government hospital for treatment and police have lodged a case against the driver and owner of the truck.
 
Angry over the incident, local residents protested and blocked the road, demanding compensation to the kin of the victims.
 
IANS

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Rahul granted bail in defamation case by Bihar court

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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was on Saturday granted bail by a court in connection with a defamation case filed by Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi.
 
The Patna civil court granted the bail to Gandhi, a government lawyer said. 
 
In April, Modi filed a defamation case against Gandhi for his statement "all thieves have Modi as their surnames". 
 
The senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader had filed the case in the CJM court in Patna under Section 500 of the IPC alleging him of defaming and hurting the sentiments of people with Modi surnames. 
 
IANS
 

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Rahul Gandhi to appear in Bihar court today

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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said that he will appear in a court in Patna in connection with a defamation case filed by Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi over his statement that "all thieves have Modi in their surnames".
 
"I will appear in person at the Civil Court in Patna today at 2 p.m., in yet another case filed against me by my political opponents in the RSS/BJP to harass and intimidate me. Satyameva Jayate," Rahul Gandhi tweeted. 
 
The senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader had filed a defamation case and said that "Rahul defames and hurts the sentiments of everyone who has the Modi surname".
 
IANS
 

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Bihar AES death link killed litchi business worth Rs 100 crore

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The luscious litchi has become an uncanny victim of unsubstantiated claims, which have affected both its cultivators as well as sellers in a place where it is abundantly grown.
 
Litchi sales worth at least Rs 100 crore have suffered following reports that the fruit contained toxins that caused Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES), which led to over 160 deaths in Bihar. 
 
The AES deaths occurred late into the litchi season, but unverified reports about Methyl Cyclopropyl Glycine (MCPG), a naturally occurring toxin also known as hypoglycin in the succulent fruit, causing death have devastated its cultivators.
 
The owner of a litchi orchard told IANS: "A box of litchi that sold for Rs 800-1,000 is now selling for Rs 100-200. A lot of fruit was wasted as it found no buyers. With no one to buy, we've stopped plucking the fruit and tonnes of it went bad on the trees itself."
 
K. P. Thakur, the owner of Litchica International Private Limited, told IANS that wholesalers had been forced to cut down purchases following sudden drop in sales. 
 
Bachcha Singh, President, Bihar Litchi Producers Union said: "Last year, the Central government's Intellectual Property Rights Department granted Bihar the patent for Shahi Litchi, following which the state government initiated steps to obtain a Geographical Indication (GI) tag for the variety. Shahi Litchi is a juicier and pulpier variety of the fruit grown in and around Muzaffarpur district. This year, a few uninformed politicians and journalists have given it a bad name." 
 
Singh was referring to State Agriculture Minister Prem Kumar, who insisted on a probe into links between litchi and Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) even though the director of Muzaffarpur-based National Research Centre on Litchi (NRCL) Vishal Nath categorically denied any such connection. 
 
By one estimate, 52 per cent of the country's entire litchi is grown in Bihar. "At least 32,000 hectares of land in Bihar is under litchi cultivation, which provides employment to over one lakh people. It's a 200-crore business a season. But business worth Rs 100 crore has been hurt since rumours about toxins started," Singh added.
 
Retailers, too, feel the pinch. "The business has halved. The prices have fallen from Rs 100-150 per kg to Rs 40-50 per kg. We're still not getting customers," said a retailer here. 
 
"The demand has fallen to 60-70 per cent. I have stopped ordering litchi since the past week," said fruit merchant Mohammed Mustafa. 
 
Some traders also see a conspiracy in it. Litchi cultivator S.K. Dubey, a recipient of the state government's Kisan Bhushan award, said: "The southern states produce mangoes in the summer months when litchi arrives in the market. And litchi sales have picked up big time in the south over the past few years. It could be a conspiracy by the mango traders down south to give litchi a bad name and benefit at its expense."
 
IANS
 

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30 die in Bihar lightning strikes

At least 30 people died and over a dozen others suffered injuries in incidents of lightning strikes
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across Bihar in the last 24 hours, an official said here on Thursday.
 
The deaths occurred in Bhagalpur, Begusarai, Saharsa, Purnea, Araria, Katihar, Jamui, Khagaria, Madyepura, Madhubani, Darbhanga, Sitamarhi, Mitigari and Gaya districts, the state disaster management department official said.
 
"The state government has ordered an ex-gratia payment of Rs 4 lakh each to the victims' kin," the official added.
 
According to the weather office, lightning strikes occur in the state during the June-September monsoon season.
 
IANS

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12 killed by lightning in Bihar

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At least 12 people, including four women and two girls, were killed on Wednesday when they were struck by lightning in separate incidents in various Bihar districts, officials said.
 
Four deaths were reported from Begusarai district and three each in Purnea and Saharsa districts.
 
Similarly, one person each was killed in Sheohar and Nawada districts.
 
"The state government has ordered ex-gratia payment of Rs 4 lakh each to the next-of-kin of those who lost their lives," an official of the Disaster Management Department said.
 
According to the weather office, lightning strikes are usually reported during the June-September monsoon season.
 
IANS
 

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4 killed, 12 injured as bus hit electric pole in Bihar

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Four people were killed and 12 others injured when a high tension wire fell on a bus in Bihar's Nawada district on Wednesday, police said.
 
A district police official said 40 people were travelling in the bus when it hit an electric pole near Yogiya Sthan under Kawyakaul police station.
 
All the injured were admitted to a hospital. 
 
IANS
 

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RJD not adverse to Nitish Kumar: Senior party leader

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Senior Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh on Monday strengthened speculation about a realignment ahead of the Bihar Assembly polls, saying he and his party are not adverse to JD-U President and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.
 
"We are not adverse to Nitish Kumar, we are not against him," Singh said.
 
He said all secular parties should unite and join hands to fight against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). 
 
Singh said he welcomes non-BJP parties to join the Grand Alliance in the state.
 
Singh held a closed door meeting with senior Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader Narendra Singh.
 
Singh, a former Union Minister and considered close to RJD chief Lalu Prasad, had earlier also showed a soft attitude towards Nitish Kumar and asked him to join the Grand Alliance.
 
He said Nitish Kumar should join hands with the non-BJP parties to fight against the saffron party.
 
However, the JD-U, an ally of the BJP-led NDA, has repeatedly claimed that it was with the BJP and part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
 
The RJD failed to win even a single seat in Bihar in the Lok Sabha elections. 
 
IANS
 

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Harsh Vardhan reviews status of AES cases in Bihar

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Union Health & Family Welfare Minister Harsh Vardhan, reviewing the status of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) cases in Bihar, has stated that the Central and state teams have finalized the site and design of a 100-bed paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) at Muzaffarpur.
 
“The central and state teams have finalized the site and design of a 100-bed PICU at Muzaffarpur, which will be supported under a centrally-sponsored scheme," Harsh Vardhan said after a review meeting here yesterday. 
 
The Union Health Minister is reviewing the AES cases on a daily basis with the officials, an  official press release said.
 
There are currently 84 patients in Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH), of whom four are in a critical condition and under constant watch.
 
The Minister said a multi-disciplinary central team has been camping at Muzaffarpur for over a week now. 
 
“With the support of state and district administration, efforts of social and behaviour change at the community level and early identification and management at primary health care facilities have been strengthened,” he added.
 
Clinical management of AES is also being supported by the multi-disciplinary central teams and patients are receiving round the clock clinical, diagnostic and drug support, he said.
 
Manoj Jhalani, Addl. Secretary & Mission Director, NHM, along with other senior officers and experts have visited Muzaffarpur including the SKMCH where the AES patients of Muzaffarpur are admitted and took stock of the situation.
 
Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, MoHFW, had been stationed at Muzaffarpur till yesterday to oversee and support the State government efforts for prevention and management of AES cases at the community level, primary facility level and the district hospital and SKMCH. The central teams will be stationed in Bihar to till mortality due to AES is controlled, the release added.
 
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Central medical teams to strengthen management of AES cases in Bihar

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Wednesday directed that five teams of senior paediatricians and paramedics be sent immediately to help manage the cases of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome/Japanese Encephalitis in Muzaffarpur district of Bihar.
Children with encephalitis symptoms being treated at a hospital in Muzaffarpur, Bihar. (Photo: IANS)
Children with encephalitis symptoms being treated at a hospital in Muzaffarpur, Bihar. (Photo: IANS)
Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan today directed that five teams of senior paediatricians and paramedics be sent immediately to help manage the cases of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES)/Japanese Encephalitis (JE) in Muzaffarpur district of Bihar.
 
The teams will strengthen the State government's efforts and measures in Muzaffarpur and other affected districts, an official press release said.
 
Ten paediatricians (including five senior consultants) and five para-medics from RML Hospital, Safdarjung and Lady Hardinge Medical College will be part of the five teams. “The teams will strengthen the clinical care to the existing patients in the hospitals and also strengthen surveillance of cases from the peripheral areas,” Harsh Vardhan stated.
 
“A high-level central team led by Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Health, has been stationed in the area to monitor the operations for the past three days. Teams have also been constituted for socio-economic survey in these areas to identify and pinpoint causes linked with the economic status," he added.
 
Ten additional ambulances have been deployed in the most affected blocks of the districts for round-the-clock services. Also, 16 nodal officers (teams of senior doctors and an administrative officer) have been deployed at the primary health centres (PHCs) in the affected blocks.
 
To strengthen the health infrastructure and facilitate the transportation of patients to the health facilities, the State Government has also made a provision to reimburse the ambulance charges if the patients are shifted privately by the family to the hospitals.
 
IANS adds from Patna:
 
Children have been dying in Bihar's Muzaffarpur and neighbouring districts due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) for over a fortnight, but doctors and health officials are still in the dark about the exact nature of the disease and precise cause of deaths.
 
The state and central governments are also clueless in the matter. As per official figures, 113 children have died due to AES in Muzaffarpur and neighbouring districts, so far. 
 
Bihar Health Department Principal Secretary Sanjay Kumar said here that of the total 113 deaths, 91 had died in the state-run Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH), 16 in the private Kejriwal hospital, both in Muzaffarpur, two in the Nalanda Medical College and Hospital in Patna, and 4 in other districts.
 
This year, 501 AES cases have been reported in the state till date.
 
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Doctors and health officials have different views on the factors behind the AES epidemic and the cause of the deaths. This confusion has further complicated the process to combat or control the seasonal outbreak of AES, which has been recurring every year.
 
Bihar Chief Secretary Deepak Kumar has publicly admitted that even the government is unclear about what exactly was causing the AES outbreak, which has been recorded regularly in Muzaffarpur since 1995.
 
"We are still not aware if the disease is caused due to some virus, bacteria, toxin effect due to the consumption of lychees, malnourishment or due to environmental conditions such as high temperature and humidity," he said. 
 
"Several research projects have been conducted, including by a team of experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta (US), but the finding is inconclusive."
 
SKMCH Chief Medical Officer S. P. Singh said the reason behind the outbreak of the disease was yet to be confirmed. "We don't know it and it is being ascertained medically," Singh said.
 
Harsh Vardhan, himself a doctor, who had visited Muzaffarpur three days ago and examined several children in SKMCH, said the deaths could have something to do with electrolyte imbalance and the metabolic system. 
 
He also did not rule out the possibility of AES due to viral infection or toxin effect, which could possibly be caused by the consumption of litchi, as well as high temperature and humidity.
 
Taking this into consideration, Harsh Vardhan stressed the need for research on AES and setting up of a state-of-the-art, multi-disciplinary research unit in Muzaffarpur in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research, the National Centre for Disease Control and AIIMS Patna.
 
He said there should be research to identify the disease that has still not been identified and for it a research facility should be developed in Muzaffarpur. He said the government will take support from Atlanta based Centre for Disease Control and WHO for research in order to ascertain the causative factor of the disease.
 
However, Hardeo Manjhi, a landless labourer from Muzaffarpur, whose 4-year-old son is being treated at SKMCH, said: "My son suddenly developed a high fever in the early hours last week, followed by convulsions, and he later turned unconscious, after which we brought him to hospital for treatment. His condition is showing little improvement."
 
Manjhi pointed out that most of the children first develop high fever, followed by symptoms like weakness and convulsion, and then lose consciousness.
 
Marla Devi, the mother of a 6-year-old child undergoing treatment for AES, said doctors treating her daughter informed her that she had lost consciousness due to brain swelling and high fever. "We have noticed only high fever and convulsion," she said. 
 
SKMCH's Paediatrics Department head Gopal Shankar Sahni said the AES outbreak happened during extreme summer.
 
"We have collected information that suggests that children's body temperatures would shoot up followed by convulsion. They also suffer from hypoglycaemia (very low blood sugar) due to shortage of sodium".
 
Rajiv Kumar of Kejriwal Hospital said it was common for children struck by AES to suffer from mental disorientation after the sudden onset of fever.
 
"In such a situation, we have been advising parents to bring their children to the nearest PHC or hospital without delay for treatment. Chances of survival increase with early arrival"," he said.
 
Most of the child victims of AES belong to poor and marginalised sections, including Dalits, Other Backward Classes (OBCs), Economically Backward Classes (EBCs) and Muslims.
 
"AES victims are mostly the malnourished children from underprivileged sections of society, they are from categories below the poverty line (BPL)," said a district health official in Muzaffarpur.
 
After Chief Minister Nitish Kumar visited Muzaffarpur on Tuesday, the government has commissioned a survey in blocks and villages which reported high death toll to study the socio-economic profiles of the affected families and their living conditions.
 
A team of experts sent by the Central government has expressed dissatisfaction over the weak health infrastructure and poor hospital facilities.
 
IANS
 

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Heatwave kills 90 people in last 72 hours in Bihar

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A severe heat wave has killed 12 more people in Bihar in the past 24 hours, taking the death toll over the past three days to 90, official sources said on Tuesday.
 
Unofficial reports reaching here, however, said the number of people killed was much higher in a dozen districts.
 
Deaths were reported from Aurangabad, Gaya, Nawada and Jamui districts, where temperatures hovered around 45.8 to 42 degrees Celsius on June 15, 16 and 17.
 
According to the State Disaster Management Department website, some 90 deaths had been recorded till Tuesday. Of these, Aurangabad recorded 41 deaths, Gaya 35 and Nawada 14.
 
In a first, prohibitory orders have been imposed in the wake of extreme weather conditions under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) in Gaya, Begusarai, Darbhanga, Gopalganj, Madhubani and Sitamarhi districts 
 
Bihar Chief Secretary Deepak Kumar told the media here that the government will conduct an enquiry into how intense the heatwave was between 3-5 p.m. on June 15 that it resulted in the highest number of deaths in a day due to heatstroke.
 
Kumar said the Chief Minister had also ordered an environment survey of the state over the next four days.
 
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has already announced a compensation of Rs 4 lakh to the next-of-kin of the victims.
 
The government has also issued a heat alert and advised people to avoid going out during the day time.
 
Additional Health Director of Magadh range Vijay Kumar said that nearly 100 people had been admitted in government-run hospitals in Gaya, Aurangabad and Nawada, while dozens were being treated at primary health centres in the three districts.
 
IANS
 

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Harsh Vardhan visits AES-hit Muzaffarpur, death toll rises to 81

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Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Sunday visited Bihar's Muzaffarpur district, where 81 children have died due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in the past fortnight.
 
Seven children died on Sunday, taking the total number of casualties due to AES to 81, health officials said. Seventy three children had died till Saturday night.
 
However, the unofficial number of deaths due the disease is said to be over 100 as some children died in villages before being admitted to hospital.
 
Harsh Vardhan, accompanied by Union Minister of State for Health Ashwani Kumar Choubey and Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey, visited the state-owned Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH).
 
"The Ministers are holding a closed-door review meeting with the doctors and health officials to take stock of the situation," a district health official said.
 
Meanwhile SKMCH and private Kejriwal Hospital in the city continue to recieve fresh cases with symptoms akin to AES. The two hospitals are reverberating with the cries and wailing of helpless parents as children continue to die of AES.
 
According to reports, two children died in Begusarai district and three died in East Champaran district on Saturday.
 
IANS
 

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AES kills 43 kids in Bihar, spreads to new victims

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Seven more children died of Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES)-like symptoms in Bihar in last 24 hours, taking the toll to 43 even as new cases are being reported, officials said on Thursday.
 
Amid fears that the toll might go up, as dozens of children are still being treated in various hospitals, the state and Central governments are scrambling to contain the spread of the disease.
 
Regional Additional Director, Health, Ashok Kumar Singh, who is based in Muzaffarpur that has been worst hit by the disease outbreak, confirmed deaths of 43 children so far
 
As many as 36 children died in the government-run Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) and seven in the private Kejriwal hospital as of Wednesday evening, he said. 
 
With dozens of children undergoing treatment, Singh did not rule out more deaths on Thursday even as some reports said that the toll had risen above 60.
 
Principal Secretary, Health, Sanjay Kumar admitted that many children with symptoms akin to AES are still undergoing treatment in Muzaffarpur and a few new patients were also admitted in the hospitals in last 24 hours. 
 
Till date, 143 cases of AES have been reported from 11 districts - Muzaffarpur, Vaishali, Samastipur, Sheohar, Sitamarhi, East Champaran, Patna, Gaya, Jehanabad, Bhojpur and Aurangabad.
 
Kumar said that most of children died due to hypoglycaemia (loss of sugar in the blood) and shortage of sodium in their bodies after developing symptoms akin to AES.
 
A day after the seven-member Central team headed by senior paediatrician Dr Arun Kumar Sinha, national advisor in the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry, visited Muzaffarpur to review the situation and to help the state in control of the disease, Union Minister of State for Health Ashwani Kumar Choubey reached Muzaffarpur on Thursday.
 
His visit came as Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan's visit was cancelled at the last momemnt.
 
Choubey, who belongs to Bihar, will meet doctors, health officials and parents of children battling for their lives during his visit. 
 
SKMCH superintendent Sunil Kumar Shahi said team of doctors have been working day and night to provide proper treatment to save the lives of the affected children. "We are in alert mode... taking no chances," he said.
 
Health officials said that experts are of the view that monsoon rains will not only help bring down cases but also help to treat children. "In the last few years, we had closely seen that heat wave conditions help the virus to spread and intensify the disease... monsoon rains are the best antidote for the disease," an official said. 
 
The state Health Department had already issued advisory to people to take care of their children during daylight hours and not allow them to play under the open sky.
 
After Chief Minister Nitish Kumar stressed the need to sensitise the people, health officials have launched the campaign from primary health centres to block and district hospitals.
 
IANS
 

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Bihar Cabinet expansion, 8 JD-U MLAs appointed ministers

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Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday inducted eight new JD-U MLAs as Ministers in his Cabinet. The Cabinet expansion comes two days after Janata Dal-United (JD-U) chief opted out of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's new government at the Centre.
 
There are now 33 ministers in the Nitish Kumar Cabinet, up from 25 ministers.
 
The newly appointed ministers are Ashok Coudhary, Shyam Rajak, Narendra Narayan Yadav, Sanjay Jha, Ramsewak Singh, Lakshmeshwar Rai Neeraj Kumar and Bima Bharti. Bima Bharti is the only woman among the new ministers. 
 
Governor Lalji Tandon administered the oath of office and secrecy to the Ministers at a simple ceremony held at the Raj Bhavan. Five of the eight sworn-in are first-time ministers.
 
IANS
 

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Two children killed in Bihar fire

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Two children were killed in a fire that engulfed three houses in Bihar, police said on Saturday.
 
The incident took place in Baligaon Bandh village in Saran district on Friday night.
 
Rumbhu Shah had left his son Kundan (eight) and daughter Suhani (five) sleeping in the house to attend a function in the neighbourhood. A fire broke out in the house killing the children and engulfed two adjacent houses.
 
The reasons for the fire could not be ascertained immediately, said Kundan Kumar Singh, in-charge of Parsa police station.
 
IANS
 

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JD-U not to be part of Modi government: Nitish Kumar

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Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday said that his Janata Dal-United would not be part of the Narendra Modi government. He called the BJP's offer of participation in the Modi-led ministry "symbolic representation."
 
"We got the BJP's offer (for one ministerial post).. discussed it in the party and conveyed yesterday (Wednesday) itself that it was not acceptable. We also reiterated our stand this morning," Nitish Kumar, who is also the JD-U chief, told media persons here.
 
He, however, reiterated that his party would continue to be part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
 
IANS
 
 
 
 

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Pragya Thakur should be expelled from BJP: Nitish Kumar

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BJP ally and JD-U chief Nitish Kumar on Sunday lashed out at Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur for her statement in favour of Mahatma Gandhi assassin Nathuram Godse and demanded the party to expel her.
 
Pragya Thakur, who is a Malegaon blast accused, spurred a row and drew flak after she lauded the killer of Mahatma Gandhi and called him a "patriot".
 
"The BJP should take action against her. She should be expelled from the party for what she had stated," Nitish Kumar told media here after casting his vote in the final phase of the Lok Sabha elections. 
 
"The BJP should think about such comments. We condemn such remarks," he said.
 
Thakur is contesting from Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh against senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh. 
 
Thakur had earlier too, created controversy after she claimed that 26/11 martyr Hemant Karkare, who died fighting against terrorist in Mumbai, lost his life because he tortured the BJP leader in jail.
 
IANS
 

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Congress stands with 'tukde-tukde' gang: Modi

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday attacked the Congress saying it has been standing with the "tukde-tukde" gang and joined hands with those who care less about the country and more about themselves.
 
"Desh ko tukde tukde karne wale ke sath Congress khadi hai," Modi said, addressing an election meeting at Paliganj in Patliputra constituency in Patna district. 
 
Modi complained to the public that those people have been hurling abuses at him and trying to damage his image and defame him. 
 
He appealed to the people not to support and vote for any party that could disintegrate the country. "Elect a strong government that will protect the interest of the country." 
 
He urged them to vote for a party that will work for development, progress and growth of the nation. 
 
He said: "130 crore people of the country have faith in me and my leadership." 
 
Modi claimed that people, particularly the youths, have been getting cheapest internet in the country. "World's cheapest internet is in India." 
 
He said his real capital was people's love for him and he was getting overwhelming blessings and support throughout his campaign. 
 
He requested people to support and vote for BJP candidate and Union Minister Ram Kirpal Yadav from Patliputra seat, who is pitted against RJD's Misha Bharti. 
 
IANS
 

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CBI to SC: Probing murder of 11 girls in Muzaffarpur shelter home case

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In a twist in Bihar's Muzaffarpur shelter home case, the CBI informed the Supreme Court on Friday it is probing accused Brajesh Thakur in the murder of eleven girls. The CBI has recovered a bundle of bones from an alleged burial ground.
 
Thakur is already an accused in rape and sexual abuse of children in his shelter home in Muzaffarpur district of Bihar. The CBI has been facing severe criticism for the delay in charging the accused persons with murder.
 
The CBI, in its affidavit, told the court that it had made a headway into the alleged murders from a child rescued from the shelter home. 
 
"During investigations, from the statement of victims recorded by investigation officers (IOs) and NIMHANS team, names of 11 girls emerged, who were said to be allegedly murdered by the accused Brajesh Thakur and his accomplices, said the CBI in affidavit. 
 
"On scrutiny of details of these 11 girls, it was revealed that there were a total of 35 girls with identical/similar names who at one time or the other stayed at the Balika Grih (girls' home), Muzaffarpur".
 
The CBI told the apex court: "The physical existence of these girls and their location were verified and duly reported to the apex court in a status report."
 
One accused, Guddu Patel, led CBI to a "particular spot in a burial grounda...a bundle of bones was recovered after excavation," the CBI told a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi.
 
The CBI said: "The alleged murders had cropped up during the examination of victims by the IOs. The Master Register maintained at Balika Grih is being scrutinized to locate the dead bodies, conduct field-level verification as to existence of the girls alleged to be murdered." 
 
Stating that the investigation is in progress, the agency denied the accusations that allegations of murder have not been looked into. 
 
The CBI told the apex court that it will soon file a supplementary chargesheet.
 
Advocate Shoeb Alam, representing Nivedita Jha, in an application in a writ petition filed in the court, accused the CBI of avoiding crucial leads to shield the perpetrators. 
 
In its defence, the CBI said: "Persons named by the victims even by way of gestures have been identified and chargesheeted to face process of law. No person has been left out who was named or identified by the victims." 
 
The agency said all the accused who were chargesheeted by the local police have been chargesheeted by it. 
 
The agency said the trial court has already framed charges against 20 accused for offences under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, the Indian Penal Code and the Juvenile Justice Act. 
 
The court will further hear the case on May 6.
 
IANS
 

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Modi surname: Case filed against Rahul in Bihar

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A case was filed against Congress President Rahul Gandhi in a Bihar court for his reported statement that "all thieves have Modi as their surnames".
 
A BJP leader Manoj Modi on Wednesday filed the case in the Chief Judicial Magistrate's (CJM) court in Purnea district.
 
The petitioner's lawyer Delip Kumar Deepak said his client Manoj Modi was deeply hurt by Gandhi's statement.
 
Last week Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Modi also filed a defamation case against Gandhi for the same reported statement.
 
The senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader had filed the case in the CJM court in Patna under Section 500 of the IPC. "Rahul defames and hurts the sentiments of everyone who has the Modi surname," he had said.
 
IANS
 

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People have decided to change chowkidar: Rahul

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Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said voters have made up their mind to "change their 'chowkidar' this time" as he has proved he is "not fit for the job".
 
"The chowkidar has exposed himself and people have realised he is not fit for the job," Gandhi said at an election rally in Bihar's Supaul parliamentary constituency.
 
"PM Narendra Modi has been trying hard but the people of the country will not allow him to become PM again," he added.
 
"Now people know the reality and truth of the chowkidar. And the chowkidar is afraid of that truth. Chowkidar has realised that his place will be in jail whenever a probe is conducted in the Rafale case," Rahul said.
 
He appealed to people to support Congress candidate from Supaul seat Ranjeet Ranjan.
 
Gandhi reiterated that only rich people keep a chowkidar not the poor including farmers, workers and labourers. 
 
The Congress president said if his party is voted to power this time, it along with allies would provide annual income of Rs 72,000 to 5 crore poor people and 35 per cent reservation to women in government jobs.
 
He also promised to provide employment to 22 lakh youths annually. "These are not mere promises. After coming to power in MP, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, the Congress has fulfilled its promise of waiving farmers' loans".
 
IANS
 

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Poll code breach: Case lodged against Sidhu in Bihar

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A case was lodged against cricketer-turned-politician and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu on Tuesday for violating the Model Code of Conduct in Bihar's Katihar district, police said.
 
According to district police officials, a first information report (FIR) was lodged against Sidhu at Barsoi Police Station in Katihar based on the statement of a local magistrate.
 
The case was lodged in connection with Sidhu's allegedly objectionable appeal to Muslims to vote against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Lok Sabha polls while campaigning in Barsoi in Katihar parliamentary constituency. 
 
Earlier in the day, Bihar BJP leaders had said they would make a complaint to the Election Commission against Sidhu.
 
Deputy Development Commissioner (DDC) Amit Kumar Pandey, who is the district's nodal officer for Model Code of Conduct, took cognizance of Sidhu's statement and asked the local administration to submit a CD of his speech at an election rally.
 
Pandey said if it was established that Sidhu made the appeal for votes on the basis of religion, the Election Commission would take appropriate action against him. 
 
While canvassing support for veteran Congress leader and former Union Minister Tariq Anwar, Sidhu urged Muslims to vote en bloc and defeat Modi. 
 
Katihar is part of backward Seemanchal region having sizeable Muslim population, and their support or opposition could decide the outcome of polls. 
 
Sidhu reportedly said: "Do not consider yourself as being in minority. You constitute the majority here. You are about 64 percent. Do not fall into the trap laid by people like (Asaduddin) Owaisi (chief of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen). They have been propped up by the BJP.
 
"Recognise your strength and vote en bloc to defeat Prime Minister Narendra Modi."
 
Katigar will go to polls on April 18 in the second phase of Lok Sabha elections. 
 
IANS
 

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Shatrughan Sinha ends suspense, joins Congress

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Actor-turned-politician Shatrughan Sinha on Saturday ended the suspense over his political future and joined the Congress here with the hope it will provide him with the opportunity to serve people, society, and the nation.
 
The former Bharatiya Janata Party MP joined Congress at the party headquarters in the presence of Congress General Secretary K.C. Venugopal and Randeep Singh Surjewala.
 
He earlier tweeted: "It's with a heavy heart and immense pain that I finally bid adieu to my old party, for reasons best known to all of us, on April 6, which also happens to be the Sansthapna Diwas (Foundation Day) of the BJP.
 
"I don't hold any ill will for our people as they were like my family and I was groomed in this party with the guidance and blessings of the stalwarts like Bharat Ratna Nanaji Deshmukh, late and great PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and of course, our friend philosopher, ultimate leader, guru and guide L.K. Advani."
 
IANS
 
 
 
 

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Opposition speaks Pakistan's language on terror: Modi

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday attacked the opposition, accusing them of "speaking the language of Pakistan" on terror while his government had cracked down on terrorist activities and ensured security in the country.
 
The Prime Minister addressed two election rallies in Bihar's Jamui and Gaya Lok Sabha seats for candidates of allied parties.
 
At a rally in Gaya, from where Janata Dal-United's Vijay Manjhi is contesting, he alleged that the opposition are helping terrorists "who are in trouble from the 'chowkidar'".
 
"Earlier, bomb blasts were a daily affair but now it has ended after people voted us to power. Every vote matters as it helped to end daily bomb blasts," Modi said.
 
He also said that in last five years, several schemes and development projects were initiated and promised people that if they voted for the National Democratic Alliance, he would do what was left.
 
"You have given me chance to serve and work for development... if you are happy with my work, then give me another chance to complete the remaining work," he said.
 
He also questioned former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah's demand to go back to the old title of 'Prime Minister' in the state. "How it is possible that there will be two PMs in one country," he asked, adding that opposition leaders were silent over the demand.
 
Modi attacked the Congress for insulting the Indian Constitution's prime architect B. R. Ambedkar while his BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government honoured him.
 
"Congress has always insulted Ambedkar. But the NDA government is doing everything to respect and honour him," he said at the rally in Jamui constituency from where ally Lok Janshakti Party's Chirag Paswan, the son of party chief and Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, is contesting.
 
Those who consider Ambedkar as an icon and legendary would never support the Congress, Modi added. 
 
Accusing the Congress of creating confusion over reservation by spreading lies, he said: "No one can end reservation in government jobs and educational institutions, not even Modi. Opposition leaders are spreading lies on it."
 
The Prime Minister also sought to clarify that the 10 percent reservation for economically weaker sections, brought in by his government, has nothing to do with ending reservation at all.
 
IANS

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Four injured after train derails in Bihar

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Four people were injured on Sunday after at least 13 coaches of the Chapra-Surat Tapti Ganga Express train derailed in Bihar, officials said.
 
The train that runs between Bihar and Gujarat derailed near Gautam Sthan railway station, a railway official said.
 
Rescue and relief operations were on, the official added.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 

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