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Bihar

Nitish Kumar announces plan to impose liquor ban in Bihar from April 2016

 
Nitish Kumar announces plan to impose liquor ban in Bihar from April 2016
 
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has announced plans to impose a ban on liquor in the state from April 1, 2016 in fulfilment of one of his promises during the recent elections to the state legislative assembly which saw the "Grand Alliance" formed by his Janata Dal (United), the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress win an overwhelming majority.
 
"My government is committed to fulfilling the promises made to women during he election campaign," he said at a function here yesterday.
 
He said he had instructed the Chief Secretary and other officials concerned to start work on drafting the new policy so that it could be implemented from April 1 next year.
 
He said there were large numbers of complaints from women about the problems arising out of the addiction to liquor among men in their families.
 
Mr. Kumar said people from the low income groups were the worst-hit because of the consumption of liquor. It affected not only their health but also the economic condition of their families, especially the education of their children, he said. He said men's addiction to liquor led to tension within families, and women had to bear the brunt of such problems.
 
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Mr. Kumar said the government would make efforts to ensure that such families lived happy lives again, that they spend money they saved by not consuming liquor on their children's education and nutrition. 
 
He said the policy would make women in the state happy and help the development of families. He said women's self-help groups had already done good work in curbing consumption of liquor, which had helped create the atmosphere for such a ban by the government.
 
He said the state government would find other ways of making up the loss of revenue from excise duty arising from the ban.
 
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Nitish Kumar sworn in as Bihar CM, Tejaswi Yadav is Deputy CM

 
Nitish Kumar sworn in as Chief Minister of Bihar for fifth time
 
Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar was today sworn in as the Chief Minister of Bihar for the fifth time in his political career after leading the "Grand Alliance" comprising his party, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress to a resounding win in the recent elections to the state legislative assembly.
 
Mr. Kumar, 64, was administered the oaths of office and secrecy by Governor Ramnath Kovind at a ceremony at the historic Gandhi Maidan here, watched by thousands of supporters and dozens of leaders from several non-BJP parties.
 
This is the first time that the JD (U), the RJD headed by former Union Minister Lalu Prasad and the Congress have come together in an alliance in Bihar.
 
Along with Mr Kumar, 28 others took oath as Ministers in the new government, including Tejaswi Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav, sons of Mr Lalu Prasad. Tejaswi Yadav, 26, was named as Deputy Chief Minister in the allocation of portfolios announced later.
 
The "Grand Alliance" ended up with 178 seats in the 243-member assembly, while the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), finished with just 58 seats.
 
Among the "grand alliance" partners, the RJD became the single largest party in the assembly with 80 seats, while the JD(U) bagged 71 and the Congress got 27.
 
The BJP ended up with 53 seats on its own, while its allies Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RSLP) picked up two seats each and and the Hindustan Awam Morcha (Secular) one. Among the others in the fray, the CPI (ML) won three seats and independent candidates bagged four.
 
Apart from Mr. Kumar, the Ministry includes 12 members each from the JD (U) and RJD and four from the Congress.
 
Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, Chief Ministers Mamata Banerjee of West Bengal, Oommen Chandy of Kerala, Arvind Kejriwal of Delhi, Virbhadra Singh of Himachal Pradesh, S. Siddaramaiah of Karnataka, Tarun Gogoi of Assam, P K Chamling of Sikkim, O Ibobi Singh of Manipur and Nabam Tuki of Arunachal Pradesh were amongst those present on the occasion.
 
Union Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu represented Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the event. Mr. Lalu Prasad and JD (U) President Sharad Yadav were among the prominent guests at the function.
 
Also present were CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury, CPI's D. Raja, former Prime Minister H. D. Deve Gowda, Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah, Congress leaders Ghuulam Nabi Azad and Mallikarjun Kharge, DMK's M. K. Stalin, former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, former Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and former Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi.
 
Former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupendra Singh Hooda and former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi were also present.
 
In the allocation of portfolios, the Chief Minister retained the portfolios of Home, General Administration and Information & Public Relations with himself.
 
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Mr Tejaswi Yadav, the new Deputy Chief Minister, will be in charge of Road Construction and Building Construction Departments. His brother Tej Pratap Yadav has been given Health and Environment & Forests.
 
Mr. Abdul Bari Siddiqui has been given the Finance portfolio, while Mr Bijendra Prasad Yadav, who held Finance in the previous Nitish Kumar government, will now handle Energy.
 
Mr. Ashok Choudhary, the state Congress president, has been given Education and Information Technology. Another Congress leader Madan Mohan Jha was put in charge of Revenue while JD (U) MLA Rajiv Ranjan Singh will handle Water Resources.
 
Jay Kumar Singh of JD (U) will look after Industry, while Manju Varma, also of JD (U) has been given Social Welfare.
 
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CCEA okays revised cost estimate for rail-cum-road bridge over Ganga at Munger

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The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) today gave its approval for the revised cost estimate amounting to Rs. 2774 crore for the construction of a 14 km rail-cum-road bridge across the river Ganga at Munger in Bihar.
 
The Railways' share of the cost will be Rs 1247 crore and that of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways will be Rs 1527 crore, an official press release said.
 
The approval has been given with a provision that the cost of land for road approaches might increase in the future as the Bihar government has not yet initiated acquisition proceedings for the same. 
 
The railway line part of this project is likely to completed during the current financial year, the release said.
 
Munger, Khagaria, Saharsa, Bhagalpur districts of Bihar will be benefitted through this project.
 
The bridge was included in the supplementary Railway Budget for 1997-98 for providing adequate infrastructure for all season rail and road connectivity between North and South Bihar for rapid economic development of the State. 
 
This bridge would also produce an additional connectivity to North East region States, the release added.
 
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Four BJP veterans lash out at party leadership after Bihar debacle

Four senior BJP leaders -- Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Shanta Kumar and Yashwant Sinha -- on Tuesday lashed out at the party leadership for the crushing defeat it suffered in the elections to the Bihar Legislative Assembly and demanded fixing of responsibility for the debacle.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting former Deputy Prime Minister and veteran BJP leader L.K. Advani on his birthday, in New Delhi on November 8, 2015.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting former Deputy Prime Minister and veteran BJP leader L.K. Advani on his birthday, in New Delhi on November 8, 2015.
Four senior leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) -- Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Shanta Kumar and Yashwant Sinha -- today lashed out at the party leadership for the crushing defeat it suffered in the elections to the Bihar Legislative Assembly and demanded fixing of responsibility for the debacle.
 
"The results of the Bihar elections show that no lesson has been learnt from the fiasco in Delhi," the veterans, who have all been denied an active role in the party's affairs since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in May last year, said in a joint statement here this evening.
 
"To say that everyone is responsible for the defeat in Bihar is to ensure that no one is held responsible. It shows that those who would have appropriated credit if the party had won are bent on shrugging off responsibility for the disastrous showing in Bihar," they said.
 
The four leaders said the principal reason for the latest defeat is the way the party had been emasculated in the last year.
 
"A thorough review must be done of the reasons for the defeat as well as the way the party is being forced to kowtow to a handful, and how its consensual character has been destroyed.
 
"This review must not be done by the very persons who have managed and who have been responsible for the campaign in Bihar," the statement, signed and issued on behalf of the others by Mr. Sinha, former Union Finance Minister, added.
 
Mr. Sinha, Mr. Advani, former Deputy Prime Minister, and Mr. Joshi and Mr. Shanta Kumar, both former Union Ministers, are among the many party veterans who find themselves on the sidelines of the organisation after the new dispensation, led by Mr. Modi and party president Amit Shah, a close confidant of the Prime Minister, have taken control of the BJP.
 
Mr. Advani and Mr. Joshi, along with former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who is suffering from ill health, are members of the party's Margdarshak Mandal, that is supposed to provide guidance to the leadership.
 
Other members of the Margdarshak Mandal are Mr. Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.
 
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While there have been calls from several quarters for a review of the reasons for the humiliating defeat, the BJP's top leaders met here yesterday and said the debacle was the result of the party's failure to gauge the effectiveness of the Grand Alliance, comprising the Janata Dal (United), the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress.
 
The party said it had got its arithmetic wrong to explain Sunday's results in which the Grand Alliance romped to a resounding victory with 178 seats in the 243-member assembly, while the National Democratic Aliance (NDA) led by the BJP, now in power at the Centre, ended up far behind with just 58 seats.
 
The elections were seen as a major test of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal to the voters and as a battle for survival for Mr. Nitish Kumar and his foe-turned-ally, RJD chief Lalu Prasad.
 
The results are being seen as personal setbacks to Mr. Modi, who had campaigned extensively in Bihar and addressed more than 30 election rallies, and for Mr. Shah, who had fashioned the party's strategy for the elections.
 
Polling in the elections was held in five phases on October 12, October 16, October 28, November 1 and November 5.
 
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GE Global Sourcing wins contract for diesel locomotive factory in Bihar

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The Indian Railways today issued the letter of award (LOA) for setting up a diesel locomotive factory (DLF) at Marhowra in Saran district of Bihar and procurement and maintenance of mainline diesel electronic locomotives to GE Global Sourcing India Pvt Ltd.
 
The project was announced in 2006-07 to select a joint venture partner through international competitive bidding for manufacture and supply of modern diesel electric locomotives of 4500 HP and 6000 HP to Indian Railways. 
 
The RFP was issued to two short listed bidders at RFQ stage on March 11, 2015. The bid was opened on Septmber 1 and awarded today.
 
An official press release said a joint venture (JV) company between Ministry of Railways and GE Global Sourcing would now be incorporated to construct and run the DLF, Marhowra. 
 
The Ministry of Railways will hold 26% equity in the JV company subject to a maximum of Rs. 100 crore. Railways have completed acquisition of 226 acres of land for this project and taken possession. The factory is expected to be established within  three years at a cost of about Rs. 1000 crore.
 
The release said the company would work on an assured off-take model of 100 locomotives per annum for 10 years. The basic cost of 1000 freight locomotives will be about Rs.14,656 crores. The company will also maintain these locomotives upto the 13th year. 
 
Thereafter, Indian Railways will take over the maintenance of these locomotives. 
 
The 4500 HP and 6000 HP locomotives will also operate as 9000 HP and 12000 HP multiple units to provide the necessary economical and environmentally friendly motive power to growing heavy haul freight business of Indian Railways. 
 
The project will also support the upcoming Dedicated Freight Corridors. In future, passenger version of these locomotives may also be manufactured. 
 
The release said the factory would lead to direct and indirect employment and development of ancillaries and support industry in the neighboring region which is economically less developed leading to much more investment and related job creation. 
 
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JD (U)-RJD-Congress "grand alliance" storms to power in Bihar with resounding win

The "grand alliance" led by the ruling Janata Dal (United), which includes the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress, romped to power with a resounding victory as votes were counted in the crucial and bitterly-contested elections to the 243-member Bihar Legislative Assembly on Sunday.
 
Nitish hails verdict as victory of Bihar's swabhimaan
 
The "grand alliance" led by the ruling Janata Dal (United), which includes the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress, romped to power with a resounding victory as votes were counted in the crucial and bitterly-contested elections to the 243-member Bihar Legislative Assembly today.
 
As results for all 243 seats became available late tonight, the "grand alliance" or "Mahagathbandhan" ended up with 178 seats, well past the two-thirds mark, while the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), now in power at the Centre, was far behind with just 58 seats.
 
Among the "grand alliance" partners, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) of former Union Minister Lalu Prasad won 80 seats to end up as the single largest party. The JD (U) of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar won 71 and the Congress 27.
 
The RJD's performance is particularly impressive, given the fact that many political observers felt that its presence was a liability for the JD (U).
 
The BJP ended up with 53 seats on its own, while its allies Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) and Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RSLP) picked up two seats each and and the Hindustan Awam Morcha (Secular) one.
 
Among the others in the fray, the CPI (ML) won three seats and independent candidates bagged four.
 
In terms of vote percentage, the RJD got 18.4% of the votes, the JD(U) 16.8% and the Congress 6.7%.
 
The BJP secured 24.4% of the votes cast, the LJP 4.8%, the BLSP 2.6% and HAMS 2.4%. Independents garnered 9.4% of the vote, while the CPI(ML) got 1.5%.
 
The campaigning for the elections was marked by sharp and bitter exchanges of barbs among the main contestants.
 
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The elections were seen as a major test of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal to the voters and as a battle for survival for Mr. Nitish Kumar and his foe-turned-ally, RJD chief Lalu Prasad.
 
The results will be seen as personal setbacks to Mr. Modi, who had campaigned extensively in Bihar and addressed more than 30 election rallies, and for BJP President Amit Shah, who had fashioned the party's strategy for the elections.
 
Polling in the elections was held in five phases on October 12, October 16, October 28, November 1 and November 5, and more than 56.80 percent voting was registered.
 
Polling was by and large peaceful across the state and no major untoward incident was reported from anywhere.
 
A total of 67063004 electors, including 31282535 women, were eligible to exercise their franchise in the elections and there were, in all, 3450 candidates, including 272 women, in the fray.
 
The Election Commission had set up 65349 polling stations and made elaborate arrangements to ensure a freee and fair poll.
 
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Counting of votes began at 8 am today amidst tight security at 39 centres across the state and al the results are expected to be in by this evening. All counting centres are situated in the district headquarters. There were two counting centres separated by a common road in Saharsa distict and one each in the 37 other districts.
 
The Election Commission ensured 24x7 three-tier security at all counting centres, with the inner cordon being manned by personnel of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF). Closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras have been installed at all counting centres.
 
The commission also deployed an observer each in all 243 constituencies to oversee the counting process.
  
Exit polls had produced varying forecasts, with some putting the "grand alliance" ahead and others predicting a victory for the NDA.
 
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JD (U)-RJD-Congress "grand alliance" romps to power with overwhelming win in Bihar elections

The "grand alliance" led by the ruling Janata Dal (United), which includes the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress, romped to power with an overwhelming victory as counting of votes progressed in the crucial and bitterly-contested elections to the 243-member Bihar Legislative Assembly on Sunday.
 
Nitish hails verdict as victory of Bihar's swabhimaan
 
The "grand alliance" led by the ruling Janata Dal (United), which includes the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress, romped to power with an overwhelming victory as counting of votes progressed in the crucial and bitterly-contested elections to the 243-member Bihar Legislative Assembly today.
 
As counting trends became available for all 243 seats, the "grand alliance" or "Mahagathbandhan" had won or was leading in 178 constituencies, well past the two-thirds mark, while the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), now in power at the Centre, was far behind with wins or leads in just 59.
 
Among the "grand alliance" partners, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) of former Union Minister Lalu Prasad was ahead in 80, the ruling JD (U) of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in 71 and the Congress in 27.
 
The RJD's performance is particularly impressive, given the fact that many political observers felt that its presence was a liability for the JD (U).
 
The BJP was leading in 53 constituencies, while its allies Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) was ahead in three, the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RSLP) in two and the Hindustan Awam Morcha (Secular) in one.
 
Among the others in the fray, the CPI (ML) won two seats and independents were ahead in four.
 
The campaigning for the elections was marked by sharp and bitter exchanges of barbs among the main contestants.
 
The elections were seen as a major test of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal to the voters and as a battle for survival for Mr. Nitish Kumar and his foe-turned-ally, RJD chief Lalu Prasad.
 
The results will be seen as personal setbacks to Mr. Modi, who had campaigned extensively in Bihar and addressed more than 30 election rallies, and for BJP President Amit Shah, who had fashioned the party's strategy for the elections.
 
Polling in the elections was held in five phases on October 12, October 16, October 28, November 1 and November 5, and more than 56.80 percent voting was registered.
 
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Polling was by and large peaceful across the state and no major untoward incident was reported from anywhere.
 
A total of 67063004 electors, including 31282535 women, were eligible to exercise their franchise in the elections and there were, in all, 3450 candidates, including 272 women, in the fray.
 
The Election Commission had set up 65349 polling stations and made elaborate arrangements to ensure a freee and fair poll.
 
Counting of votes began at 8 am today amidst tight security at 39 centres across the state and al the results are expected to be in by this evening. All counting centres are situated in the district headquarters. There were two counting centres separated by a common road in Saharsa distict and one each in the 37 other districts.
 
The Election Commission ensured 24x7 three-tier security at all counting centres, with the inner cordon being manned by personnel of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF). Closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras have been installed at all counting centres.
 
The commission also deployed an observer each in all 243 constituencies to oversee the counting process.
  
Exit polls had produced varying forecasts, with some putting the "grand alliance" ahead and others predicting a victory for the NDA.
 
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JD (U)-led "grand alliance" set to gain power with big win in Bihar Assembly elections

The "grand alliance" led by the ruling Janata Dal (United), which includes the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Congress, was headed for a huge victory as counting of votes progressed in the crucial and bitterly-contested elections to the 243-member Bihar Legislative Assembly on Sunday.
 
Supporters of the Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) celebrate their victory in Patna
 
The "grand alliance" led by the ruling Janata Dal (United), which includes the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress, was headed for a huge victory as counting of votes progressed in the crucial and bitterly-contested elections to the 243-member Bihar Legislative Assembly today.
 
As counting trends became available for 239 seats, the JD (U) and its allies were ahead in 163, past the two-thirds mark, while the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), now in power at the Centre, was far behind with leads in just 66.
 
Among the "grand alliance" partners, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) of former Union Minister Lalu Prasad was ahead in 75, the ruling JD (U) of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in 72 and the Congress in 16.
 
The RJD's performance is particularly impressive, given the fact that many political observers felt that its presence was a liability for the JD (U).
 
The BJP was leading in 58 constituencies, while its allies Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) was ahead in four and the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RSLP) and the Hindustan Awam Morcha (Secular) in two each.
 
Among the others in the fray, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) was leading in one seat, the CPI (ML) in two and independent candidates in five constituencies.
 
The campaigning for the elections was marked by sharp and bitter exchanges of barbs among the main contestants.
 
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The elections were seen as a major test of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal to the voters and as a battle for survival for Mr. Nitish Kumar and his foe-turned-ally, RJD chief Lalu Prasad.
 
The results will be seen as personal setbacks to Mr. Modi, who had campaigned extensively in Bihar and addressed more than 30 election rallies, and for BJP President Amit Shah, who had fashioned the party's strategy for the elections.
 
Polling in the elections was held in five phases on October 12, October 16, October 28, November 1 and November 5, and more than 56.80 percent voting was registered.
 
Polling was by and large peaceful across the state and no major untoward incident was reported from anywhere.
 
A total of 67063004 electors, including 31282535 women, were eligible to exercise their franchise in the elections and there were, in all, 3450 candidates, including 272 women, in the fray.
 
The Election Commission had set up 65349 polling stations and made elaborate arrangements to ensure a freee and fair poll.
 
Counting of votes began at 8 am today amidst tight security at 39 centres across the state and al the results are expected to be in by this evening. All counting centres are situated in the district headquarters. There were two counting centres separated by a common road in Saharsa distict and one each in the 37 other districts.
 
The Election Commission ensured 24x7 three-tier security at all counting centres, with the inner cordon being manned by personnel of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF). Closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras have been installed at all counting centres.
 
The commission also deployed an observer each in all 243 constituencies to oversee the counting process.
  
Exit polls had produced varying forecasts, with some putting the "grand alliance" ahead and others predicting a victory for the NDA.
 
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Counting of votes begins in Bihar Assembly elections

Counting of votes began on Sunday morning in the crucial and bitterly-contested elections to the 243-member Bihar Legislative Assembly.
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Counting of votes began this morning in the crucial and bitterly-contested elections to the 243-member Bihar Legislative Assembly.
 
Polling in the elections was held in five phases on October 12, October 16, October 28, November 1 and November 5, and more than 56.80 percent voting was registered.
 
Polling was by and large peaceful across the state and no major untoward incident was reported from anywhere.
 
A total of 67063004 electors, including 31282535 women, were eligible to exercise their franchise in the elections and there were, in all, 3450 candidates, including 272 women, in the fray.
 
The Election Commission had set up 65349 polling stations and made elaborate arrangements to ensure a freee and fair poll.
 
Counting of votes began at 8 am today amidst tight security at 39 centres across the state and al the results are expected to be in by this evening. 
 
All counting centres are situated in the district headquarters. There are two counting centres separated by a common road in Saharsa distict and one each in the 37 other districts.
 
The Election Commission has ensured 24x7 three-tier security at all counting centres, with the inner cordon being manned by personnel of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF). Closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras have been installed at all counting centres.
 
The commission also deployed an observer each in all 243 constituencies to oversee the counting process.
 
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The campaigning for the elections was marked by sharp and bitter exchanges of barbs among the main contestants -- the so-called grand alliance formed by the ruling Janata Dal (United), the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress, on the one hand, and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is in power at the centre, on the other.
 
The elections are being seen as a major test of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal to the voters and as a battle for survival for Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of the JD(U) and his foe-turned-ally, RJD chief Lalu Prasad.
 
Exit polls have produced varying forecasts, with some putting the "grand alliance" ahead and others predicting a victory for the NDA.
 
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60% voting in final phase of polling in Bihar Assembly elections

More than 60 percent of the electors turned out to exercise their franchise amidst tight security in 57 constituencies in the fifth and final phase of polling in the crucial and bitterly-contested elections to the Bihar Legislative Assembly on Thursday.
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More than 60 percent of the electors turned out to exercise their franchise amidst tight security in 57 constituencies in the fifth and final phase of polling in the crucial and bitterly-contested elections to the Bihar Legislative Assembly today.
 
With this, the voters of the state have recorded 56.80 percent polling in the five-phase election, as compared to 55.38 percent registered in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls and 52.65 percent in the last assembly elections in 2010.
 
Today's polling was peaceful with no major untoward incident reported from anywhere, official sources said.
 
The 57 constituencies are spread over nine districts -- Madhubani, Supaul, Araria, Kishanganj, Purnia, Katihar, Madhepura, Saharsa and Darbhanga.
 
Polling began at 7 am and ended at 5 pm, except in two where it concluded at 3 pm due to security reasons.
 
A total of 15543594 electors, including 7353004 women, were eligible to exercise their franchise in these 57 constituencies. There were a total of 827 candidates, including 58 women, in the fray.
 
The Election Commission had set up 14709 polling stations and made elaborate security and other arrangements to ensure a free and fair poll.
 
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More than 57 percent of the voters had turned out to exercise their franchise in the 49 constituencies that went to the polls in the first phase of polling on October 12. In the second phase on October 16, more than 55 percent of the electors had cast their votes in 32 constituencies, while 53.32 percent polling was recorded in 50 constituencies in the third phase on October 28 and 57.59 percent polling was registered in the fourth phase on November 1.
 
Counting of votes will be taken up on November 8 and all the results are expected to be in by that evening.
 
The campaigning for the elections was marked by sharp and bitter exchanges of barbs among the main contestants -- the so-called grand alliance formed by the ruling Janata Dal (United), the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress, on the one hand, and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is in power at the centre, on the other.
 
The elections are being seen as a major test of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal to the voters and as a battle for survival for Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of the JD(U) and his foe-turned-ally, RJD chief Lalu Prasad.
 
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Polling begins for 50 seats in third phase of Bihar Assembly elections

 
Voting for third phase in Bihar begins
 
Voting began amidst tight security in 50 constituencies in the third phase of polling in the crucial elections to the 243-member Bihar Legislative Assemby this morning.
 
In all, 14585177 electors, including 6701382 women, are eligible to vote in these 50 constituencies, where a total of 808 candidates, including 71 women, are in the fray.
 
The Election Commission has made elaborate arrangements to ensure a free and fair poll, and has set up as many as 14170 polling stations in the 50 constituencies.
 
More than 57 percent of the voters had turned out to exercise their franchise in the 49 constituencies that went to the polls in the first phase of polling on October 12.
 
In the second phase on October 16, more than 55 percent of the electors had cast their votes in 32 constituencies.
 
The next two phases of polling will be held on November 1 and November 5. Counting of votes will be taken up on November 8.
 
The elections are witnessing a keen contest for power between the so-called "grand alliance" of the ruling Janata Dal (United), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress, on the one hand, and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), on the other.
 
Campaigning so far has seen sharp exchanges of barbs among the main political parties.
 
The elections are being seen as a major test of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal to the voters and as a battle for survival for Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of the JD(U) and his foe-turned-ally, RJD chief Lalu Prasad.
 
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55% turnout in second phase of polling in Bihar Assembly elections

More than 55 percent of the voters turned out to exercise their franchise in the 32 constituencies that went to the polls amidst tight security in the second phase of polling in the elections to the 243-member Bihar Legislative Assembly on Friday.
 
55% turnout in second phase of Bihar elections
 
More than 55 percent of the voters turned out to exercise their franchise in the 32 constituencies that went to the polls amidst tight security in the second phase of polling in the elections to the 243-member Bihar Legislative Assembly today.
 
Polling was by and large peaceful in all the constituencies, though there were reports of poll boycott at 13 polling booths, state election officials said. 
 
These constituencies had witnessed 52.03 percent polling in the last Assembly elections in 2010 and 52.21 percent in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
 
The elections are witnessing a keen contest for power between the so-called "grand alliance" of the ruling Janata Dal (United), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
 
The 32 constituencies are in the six districts of Kaimur, Rohtas, Arwal, Jahanabad, Aurangabad and Gaya.
 
In all, these constituencies had a total of 8613832 electors, including 4025351 women. There were 456 candidates in the fray, including 32 women. 
 
Women registered a higher percentage of polling today at 57.50 as compared to 52.50 percent registered by men.
 
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The Election Commission had set up 9,119 polling stations in these 32 constituencies and made elaborate security and other arrangements to ensure a free and fair poll.
 
Polling began at 7 am and ended at 3 pm in 11 constituencies, at 4 pm in 12 and at 5 pm in nine constituencies.
 
More than 57 percent of the voters had turned out to exercise their franchise in the 49 constituencies that went to the polls in the first phase of polling on October 12.
 
The next three phases of polling will be held on October 28, November 1 and November 5. Counting of votes will be taken up on November 8.
 
Campaigning so far has seen sharp exchanges of barbs among the main political parties.
 
The elections are being seen as a major test of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal to the voters and as a battle for survival for Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of the JD(U) and his foe-turned-ally, RJD chief Lalu Prasad.
 
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Polling begins for 32 seats in second phase of Bihar Assembly elections

Voting began on Friday morning amidst tight security in 32 constitutencies in the second round of polling in the crucial five-phase elections to the 243-member Bihar Legislative Assembly.
 
Voting begins for second phase of Bihar assembly polls
 
Voting began this morning amidst tight security in 32 constitutencies in the second round of polling in the crucial five-phase elections to the 243-member Bihar Legislative Assembly.
 
The elections are witnessing a keen contest for power between the so-called "grand alliance" of the ruling Janata Dal (United), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
 
The 32 constituencies are in the six districts of Kaimur, Rohtas, Arwal, Jahanabad, Aurangabad and Gaya.
 
In all, these constituencies have a total of 8613832 electors, including 4025351 women. There are 456 candidates in the fray, including 32 women. 
 
The Election Commission has set up 9,119 polling stations in these 32 constituencies and made elaborate security and other arrangements to ensure a free and fair poll.
 
Polling began at 7 am and will end at 3 pm in 11 constituencies, at 4 pm in 12 and at 5 pm in nine constituencies.
 
More than 57 percent of the voters had turned out to exercise their franchise in the 49 constituencies that went to the polls in the first phase of polling on October 12.
 
The next three phases of polling will be held on October 28, November 1 and November 5. Counting of votes will be taken up on November 8.
 
Campaigning so far has seen sharp exchanges of barbs among the main political parties.
 
The elections are being seen as a major test of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal to the voters and as a battle for survival for Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of the JD(U) and his foe-turned-ally, RJD chief Lalu Prasad.
 
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Bihar elections: 57% voter turnout in first phase, polling peaceful

More than 57% of the voters turned out to vote in the 49 constituencies which went to the polls in the first phase of the elections to the 243-member Bihar Legislative Assembly on Monday after more than a month of hectic campaigning that was marked by sharp exchanges of barbs among the main political parties.
 
57% voting in first phase of polling in Bihar elections
 
More than 57 percent of the voters turned out to exercise their franchise in the 49 constituencies which went to the polls in the first phase of the crucial five-phase elections to the 243-member Bihar Legislative Assembly today after more than a month of hectic campaigning that was marked by sharp exchanges of barbs among the main political parties.
 
Polling was peaceful, with no major untoward incident reported from any of the constituencies, Bihar election officials said.
 
The 49 constituencies, spread over ten districts, had recorded 50.85 percent polling in the last Assembly elections in 2010.
 
The next four phases of polling will be held on October 16, October 28, November 1 and November 5. Counting of votes will be taken up on November 8.
 
Election officials said incidents of poll boycott were reported at nine polling booths, mainly in protest against lack of development projects.
 
Women voters recorded a higher percentage of polling at 59.50 percent as compared to 54.50 percent voting by men voters.
 
The elections are being seen as a major test of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's appeal to the voters and as a battle for survival for Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar of the Janata Dal (United) and his foe-turned-ally, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad.
 
As many as 13572339 electors were eligible to cast their votes in today's polling in 49 constituencies, including 6322898 women. Eight of the constituencies that went to the polls today are reserved for Scheduled Caste (SC) candidates and one for Scheduled Tribes (ST).
 
There were a total of 583 candidates candidates in the fray, including 54 women. Three constituencies had more than 16 candidates each. 
 
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The Election Commission made elaborate arrangements for today's polling. It had set up 13212 polling stations in the 49 constituencies.
 
The Commission deployed 49 general observers, 18 expenditure observers, 10 police observers and four awareness observers in these constituencies.
 
Of the 49 constituencies involved in today's polling, the ruling JD (U) had won 29 in the last Assembly elections in 2010, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), then its ally, had won 13. The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) had won four.
 
This time, the JD(U) contested 24 of these 49 seats in alliance with the RJD, which fielded its nominees for 17 seats.
 
Mr. Modi himself led the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) campaign, addressing several ralleis across the state. The BJP fielded 27 candidates in the 49 constituencies, while its ally, the Lok Janshakti Party of Ram Vilas Pawan, fielded its nominees in 13.
 
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Bihar polls to be held in five phases between Oct 12 and Nov 5

Elections to the 243-member Bihar Legislative Assembly will be held in five phases between October 12 and November 5 and counting of votes will be taken up on November 8, the Election Commission announced on Wednesday.
EC announces dates for Bihar elections
 
Elections to the 243-member Bihar Legislative Assembly will be held in five phases between October 12 and November 5 and counting of votes will be taken up on November 8, the Election Commission announced here today.
 
The five phases of polling will be held on October 12, October 16, October 28, November 1 and November 5.
 
The notifications for the elections will be issued on September 16, September 21, October 1, October 7 and October 8. The last date for making nominations will be September 23, September 28, October 8, October 14 and October 15.
 
The term of the current Legislative Assembly is due to expire on November 29.
 
Of the total 243 seats, 38 are reserved for Scheduled Castes (SCs) and two for Scheduled Tribes (STs).
 
The electoral rolls of all existing Assembly Constituencies in the state, on the basis of the electoral rolls revised with reference to 1.1.2015 as the qualifying date, have been finally published on 01.11.2015. The number of electors in the State, as on 07.09.2015 is 66826658.
 
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The Commission will set up 62,779 polling stations and make various other arrangements for the smooth conduct of the polls.The poll wll be coducted at all polling stations using electronc voting machnes (EVMs). Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) will be used in 36 constituencies spread over 34 districts.
 
The photographs of candidates will be displayed on ballot paper to be fixed on ballot unit, along with symbol of respective candidates.
 
All critical events will be video-graphed and District Election Officers have been asked to arrange sufficient number of video and digital cameras and camera teams for the purpose. 
 
The Model Code of Conduct has come into effect immediately in Bihar and will be applicable to all candidates, political parties and  the State Government of Bihar. The Model Code of Conduct shall be applicable to the Union Government for the State.
 
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Modi to visit Bodh Gaya on Saturday

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Bodh Gaya in Bihar tomorrow, an official press releae said here today.
 
During the trip, Mr Modi will visit the Mahabodhi Temple and the Holy Bo Tree. He will also inaugurate the exhibition "Chetiya Carika: The Pilgrimage and Quest for Truth." 
 
The Prime Minister's visit to Bodh Gaya coincides with Day 3 of Samvad – the Global Hindu Buddhist Initiative on Conflict Avoidance and Environment Consciousness, during which the delegates for this event will be present at Bodh Gaya. 
 
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Nitish Kumar, Sonia Gandhi, Lalu Prasad take on Modi at Patna rally

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Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav launched a frontal attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and urged the people of the state to uphold their self-respect and pride which, he said, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had challenged.
 
Addressing a massive "Swabhimaan" (self-respect) rally at Gandhi Maidan here, they especially took on Mr Modi on the Land Acquisition ordinance, hours after the Prime Minister announced on his radio show, "Mann Ki Baat", that the government would repromulgate the controversial ordinance when it lapsed tomorrow.
 
Mr Kumar said Mr Modi's withdrawal was a "victory of the people" and that the Prime Minister had to bow before their will.
 
He said the proposed legislation, which sought to amend the Land Acquisition Act 2013 enacted by the previous UPA government, had failed to get the required support in Parliament or win the backing of the people of the country.
 
Mr Kumar said no force in the world could survive after challenging the pride of the people of Bihar as Mr Modi had done by mocking their political DNA. He said the huge gathering at today's rally showed the people rejected such politics.
 
Mr Kumar said the Modi government had failed to keep its promises made to the people ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, including the one about bringing back black money from abroad and depositing Rs 15 lakh in each Indian's bank account.
 
Ms Gandhi also attacked Mr Modi for his remarks about Bihar's DNA and said some people mocked Bihar whenever they got a chance.
 
She said the Congress had always respected Bihar and its people and their talent. She said the Congress-led UPA government had launched many programmes for Bihar, which had been implemented successfully by the Nitish Kumar government in the state.
 
Ms Gandhi said the Modi government had failed to keep promises like jobs for the youth. On the contrary, she said, the lives of thousands of youth in Madhya Pradesh had been destroyed by the Vyapam scam under the BJP government in that state.
 
She said the Modi government was "anti-farmer" and that the Land Acquisition Bill was aimed at "snatching land from farmers and giving it to a few chosen industrialists.
 
Ms Gandhi said the people of India and the people of Bihar had lost faith in Mr Modi. She said the Modi government's faulty policies had led to the present economic crisis.
 
She said Mr Modi, who used to challenge Pakistan and show the neighbour his "56-inch chest" before the elections, was now silent when Indian security personnel and civilians were losing their lives in ceasefire  violations from across the border.
 
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She said Mr Modi had made so many "empty promises" and wondered how the people of the state would now belive his latest promises.
 
She said the UPA beleived in secular values and in taking the whole country and all communities and castes together forward in unity, brotherhood and harmony.
 
"You say this is Jungle Raj part 2. No, no, this is Mangal Raj part 2," said Lalu Prasad. "When two backward leaders came together, the BJP call in jungle raj," he said, referring to himself and Mr Kumar.
 
Others present on the dais included Janta Dal (United) chief Sharad Yadav, former Bihar Chief Minister Rabri Devi and senior Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Meira Kumar.
 
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Govt. notifies 21 Bihar districts as Backward Areas to help industries set up there

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The Government has notified 21 districts of Bihar as Backward Areas to provide additional benefits to manufacturing units or enterprises set up in them during the period 2015-20.
 
An official press release said these undertakings would be eligible for 15% additional depreciation under Section 32(1)(iia) and 15%  investment allowance under Section 32AD of the Income-tax Act, on the cost of plant and machinery acquired and installed by them during the said period. 
 
The Government had earlier amended the Income Tax Act 1961 through the Finance Act 2015 to provide such tax benefits to notified backward areas in specified states, including Bihar, to give them an opportunity to grow faster.
 
The latest notification, dated August 17, 2015, gives effect to the amendment, it said.
 
The 21 districts listed in the notification are: Patna, Nalanda, Bhojpur, Rohtas, Kaimur, Gaya, Jehanabad, Aurangabad, Nawada, Vaishali, Sheohar, Samastipur, Darbhanga,   Madhubani, Purnea, Katihar, Araria, Jamui, Lakhisarai, Supaul, and Muzaffarpur.
 
The release said the incentives are in addition to other tax benefits available under the Income-tax Act.  
 
Thus a manufacturing undertaking/enterprise set up in any of these areas during the aforesaid period will be eligible for 35% (instead of 20%) of additional depreciation. This would be over and above the normal depreciation of 15%. Besides, a company engaged in manufacturing will also be eligible for 30% (instead of 15%) of investment allowance if its investment in new plant and machinery during the period 1.4.2015 to 31.3.2017 exceeds Rs.25 crore.
 
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Justice Iqbal Ansari to perform duties of Chief Justice of Patna High Court

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The President has appointed Mr Justice Iqbal Ahmed Ansari, senior-most Judge of the Patna High Court, to perform the duties of the office of Chief Justice of that High Court.
 
An official press release said the arrangement was with effect from 1st August, 2015 consequent upon the retirement of Mr Justice Lingala Narasimha Reddy, Chief Justice of Patna High Court. 
 
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TCS builds sanitation facilities for girls in 1,000 schools under 'Swachh Bharat' initiative

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IT services major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has said that it has completed building sanitation facilities for girl students in 1,000 schools across Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Bihar as a part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Swachh Bharat (Clean India) mission.
 
A press release from the company said it had earmarked a budget of Rs 100 crore for building dedicated sanitation facilities for girls in selected schools. The initiative aims to boost the enrolment rate and reduce the dropout rate of girl students in the adopted schools, and in turn, improve learning outcomes.
 
“TCS is committed to the Prime Minister’s ‘Swachh Bharat’ initiative of ensuring safety, dignity and equality for all girl students. We are happy to have completed building toilets in about 1,000 schools,” said N Chandrasekaran, CEO and MD of TCS.
 
TCS commenced the project in October 2014 and a special task force was constituted for the end-to-end implementation. This involved collaborating with the central and state government to strategize, plan, and execute by leveraging technology to ensure successful and timely implementation.
 
Under the first phase of this sanitation initiative, TCS has successfully implemented building toilets for girl students in about 1041 schools spread across Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Bihar.
 
To ensure the ongoing maintenance and regular cleaning of toilets built by it, TCS has aligned with two maintenance partners across the selected states. Additionally, to encourage and impart behavioural change in the target audience, TCS’ maintenance partners have designed programs and activities to spread awareness on the importance of hygiene and cleanliness in every school, the release said.
 
"Providing hygienic sanitation for girl students will have a tangible impact on the level of education and for longer period of time play a larger economic role in their communities and development of India’s next generation," it added.
 
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Amaresh Kumar Lal appointed as Additional Judge of Patna High Court

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The President has appointed Mr Amaresh Kumar Lal to be an Additional judge of the Patna High Court, an official press release said here today.
 
The release said that the appointment would be with effect from 20th June 2015, till 27th August 2015. 
 
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BHEL wins Power Cycle Piping contract for revival of Barh Super Thermal Power Project, Stage-I

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The public sector Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) today said it had won a contract, valued at Rs 369 crore for the supply and installation of the Power Cycle Piping (PCP) package for Barh Super Thermal Power Project, Stage-I (3x660 MW) of NTPC. 
 
The project is located at Barh in Patna district in the state of Bihar.
 
The contract was bagged in the face of stiff competition under international competitive bidding (ICB), a press release from the company said.
 
Valued at Rs.369 Crore, BHEL has been awarded this package by NTPC for the revival of the Barh plant and to make it operational, after NTPC terminated the contract of the foreign contractor, who was awarded the contract for the supercritical boiler including Power Cycle Piping in 2005, but which has not yet been completed.
 
BHEL’s scope in the order includes design, engineering, manufacture, supply, erection and commissioning of the complete Power Cycle Piping Package of the project. The design, manufacture and supply of Power Cycle Piping equipment will be taken care of by the Piping Centre and Trichy-Valves Division of BHEL, while the company’s Power Sector Eastern Region will be responsible for the erection and commissioning of the Power Cycle Piping.
 
This is not the first time that BHEL has been entrusted the responsibility of revival of a project, initially ordered on a foreign company. Earlier, BHEL had received an order from Ratnagiri Gas & Power Private Limited (RGPPL) for restarting the 1,967 MW Gas Turbine based Combined Cycle Project at Ratnagiri.
 
Notably, two units of the Stage-II (2x660 MW) of Barh STPP, for which supply and installation of supercritical boilers and turbines was awarded on BHEL in 2008, have already been commissioned. 
 
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Moderate earthquake jolts Nepal, tremors felt in Bihar, UP, West Bengal

 
Moderate Nepal quake felt in Bihar, West Bengal
An earthquake of moderate intensity, measuring 5.7 on the Richter scale, shook Nepal this evening and the tremors were also felt in parts of Bihar, West Bengal, Sikkim and Uttar Pradesh in India.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 27.5°N and longitude 86.0°E, occurred at 1704 hours at a focal depth of 10 km, a bulletin from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
People in many areas ran out of their homes and offices as a precautionary measure, reports reaching here said.
 
Nepal has been rocked by scores of aftershocks since the massive 7.9 temblor on April 25 that claimed more than 8250 lives and caused widespread devastation in the Himalayan country. That quake had also caused 79 deaths in Bihar, UP and West Bengal.
 
Last Tuesday, Nepal was again struck by a 7.3 quake, which claimed more than 95 lives. As many as 16 people died in Bihar because of that quake.
 
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BHEL commissions 195 MW thermal unit in Bihar

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The public sector Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) today said it had successfully commissioned a 195 MW thermal unit at Muzaffarpur in Bihar.
 
This is the first 195 MW unit to be commissioned by BHEL at the 2x195 MW Muzaffarpur Thermal Power Station (TPS) of Kanti Bijlee Utpadan Nigam Limited (KBUNL),  a joint venture of NTPC Ltd. and BSPGCL, in Bihar.
 
BHEL is the leading supplier of main plant equipment to NTPC and its joint ventures, with a 72% share in their installed capacity.
 
BHEL’s scope of work in the Muzaffarpur project envisaged design, engineering, manufacture, supply, erection and commissioning of steam turbines, generators and boilers, along with associated auxiliaries and electricals, besides state-of-the-art controls and instrumentation (C&I) and electrostatic precipitators (ESPs).
 
The second 195 MW unit is expected to be commissioned in FY 2015-16. Earlier, in the first week of March, 2015, a 660 MW supercritical thermal unit was commissioned by BHEL at Barh in Bihar.
 
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Mukherjee condoles passing away of former Union Minister Baleshwar Ram

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President Pranab Mukherjee today condoled the passing away of former Union Minister and veteran Congress leader Baleshwar Ram, who passed away in Patna yesterday at the age of 87.
 
In a message to Mr Baleshwar Ram's wife Chinta Devi, Mr Mukherjee said he had served the nation in different capacities during his long public life.
 
"As a five-term Member of the Bihar Legislative Assembly and Minister in the State Government in the sixties and seventies, he made immense contribution for the welfare and development of the people of Bihar, especially weaker sections. I had the privilege of working closely with him when both of us served as Ministers in the Government led by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in the eighties," he said.
 
"Please accept my heartfelt condolences and convey the same to the rest of your family members. I pray to the Almighty to give you and other members of your family the strength and courage to bear this irreparable loss," Mr Mukherjee added.
 
Mr Baleshwar Ram is survived by his wife, two sons and two daughters.
 
Apart from being elected five times to the Bihar Legislative Assembly and serving as a Minister in various Congress governments in the state during the 1960s and 1970s, Mr Baleshwar Ram was elected to the Lok Sabha from Rosera in 1980 and appointed as a Minister in the Indira Gandhi government.
 
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