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Major News and Events of 16 March 2014

What Happened on 16 March 2014

Narendra Modi will contest from Varanasi

Contesting from Varanasi is an honour, said Modi after the BJP declared him as its candidate from Varanasi. He tweeted after the announcement and said that with blessings of Ganga Mata and Kashi Vishwanath, we should work towards our mission of 272+. Mission also includes vibrant, prosperous and strong India. The announcement of Modi’s candidature from Varanasi came in the fourth list of the BJP candidates. Internal clashes were going on for the Varanasi seat which was earlier represented by senior party leader and former party president Murli Manohar Joshi. He has now given a seat from Kanpur. Joshi was not willing to give his Varanasi seat . But all the oppositions were over ruled by the Central Election Committee (CEC) of the BJP. Modi’s seat from Varanasi has also been applauded by the former IPS officer Kiran Bedi who tweeted "NaMo from Benaras. UP's destiny changes. If UP changes India changes! This portends very well for India's future! Happy Holi!". She also tweeted that Modi has a strong leadership and governing skills and soon UP is destined to give India it’s the strongest PM. Apart from this many other political leaders and party workers have applauded and wished Modi a good luck.

Decision on Arvind Kejriwal's candidature from Varanasi to be taken

Narendra Modi has been nominated by the BJP as its candidate from Varanasi. On this, the AAP is stating that the party’s convener Arvind Kejriwal should contest against him. But Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said that he has not taken any decision on contesting from Varanasi and against BJP’s Narendra Modi.  The AAP leaders are sure that the performance of Kejriwal from Varanasi will be very good. AAP leader Ashutosh has expressed his party wish that Kejriwal should fight against Modi from Varanasi. This has also been told by the former Delhi minister and senior AAP leader Manish Sisodia. Few days back he has said that if Modi will contest from Varanasi then it is almost certain that Arvind Kejriwal would contest from that seat. Arvind Kejriwal during his roadshow in Bangalore urged people to vote for their party which is an alternative to the Congress and the BJP. The AAP is also stressing that Kumar Vishwas of the party would definitely defeat the Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi. Kejriwal tweeted that he will talk about the issues of contesting against Modi from Varanasi in rally at Bangalore on Sunday. The BJP has also reacted on the statements of the AAP and called it the B team of the Congress. The AAP has made the six lists of its candidates public so far but decision on Arvind Kejriwal’s seat is still pending.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid called the Khobragade case very irksome

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid called the Khobragade episode highly annoying and said that it is the time to close it. He added that the US should find out political ways to close the issue. Khurshid also said that India cannot show indifference towards such incidence. He added that many a times he had made the statements and said that it is a very irksome issue and must not be taken any further. They all are convinced that whatsoever has happened was not good. This would impact the long term relationships between the two nations. But there also exists practical considerations. Khurshid was asked to give his reaction on US prosecutor’s act of re-indicting senior Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade on visa fraud charges. Khobragade was also accused of illegally underpaying and taking advantage of her domestic help at home in US. Earlier indictment was dismissed by the US court. It is the second indictment against the senior India diplomat. The case is hurting deeply. Khurshid has also met his US counterpart John Kerry to discuss and look into the issue of diplomatic immunity and privileges. He said that talks on any issue mean closure of the previous happenings.

Cost of the 2014 LS polls – Rs 30,000 crore

Combing the expenditure of all the political parties, the government and candidates in the coming Lok Sabha elections the total amount would be approximately Rs 30,000 crore. It has become the most expensive electoral in the history of India. The Centre for Media Studies conducted a study on the poll spending and said that crorepati candidates are bringing in the money. Along with them contractors and corporate have given a push to the expenditure. It is expected that the Election Commission will spend Rs 3,500 crore. The Union Home Ministry, Indian Railways, various other government agencies and state governments will also spend the same amount to make sure that polls are conducted fairly. As per the senior government official final figures can only be told after the initiation of the poll process. One of the reasons why poll expenditure will be near about Rs 30,000 is the change in the maximum and the minimum limit of the expenditure which is Rs 70 lakh and Rs 54 lakh respectively. There is a hike in the poll expenditure cap and as per new expected figure it could be Rs 4000 crore in the Lok Sabha elections. According to the study the total amount spent in 1996 polls was Rs 2,500 crore and in 1994 it was Rs 10,000 crore.

India will have more Nuclear Fuel Complexes to meet the demand

As the number of atomic reactors in the country are growing, India is all set to build a second nuclear fuel complex for reprocessing atomic fuel. The second nuclear fuel complex (NFC) would cost Rs 2400 crore and will be constructed next to Rawabhata nuclear plant in Kota, Rajasthan. The Cabinet Committee on Security cleared the proposal earlier this month. All the new arrangements have been made by understanding the fuel supply which is required to fulfill the demand. India has set up new aims regarding power generation from nuclear energy under its 12th Five Year Plan and according to the new demand the capacity would be more than 17,300 MW. At present total generation of electricity from nuclear power is more than 5500 MW. Presently there is an NFC in Hyderabad which is not sufficient to meet the increasing demands of fuel of coming reactors which the nation is going to have in a decade’s period. With the new NFC in Kota atomic plants in North India would be taken care. According to the official new nuclear plants are coming up in Gorakhpur in Haryana, Jaitapur in Maharashtra and Mithi Virdhi in Gujarat. Along with new NFC, capacity of the present nuclear plants will also be increased by adding new reactors. In Kakrpara two more reactors will be constructed with the capacity of 700 MX each, two will be constructed in Rawabhata because of rise in demand.

First professional Kabaddi League will change the face of the game

India’s first professional kabaddi league has attracted some well-known businessmen. It is expected that this will give the push to the nation’s first kabaddi league. These businessmen have shown interest in becoming the owners of the teams. The launch of the league took place at NSCI Sardar Vallabhai Patel Stadium in Worli on Friday. Industrialist Anand Mahindra and sports commentator Charu Sharma are the two prominent persons behind the league. Teams from the eight cities will take part in the league. They will play against each other from July to August. The matches will be telecast live by Star Sports Channel. The league is also receiving a support from the International Kabaddi Federation, Asian Kabaddi Federation and Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India. In the list of entrepreneurs names of Ronnie Screwala, Rajesh Shah and Kishore Biyani are at the top. Discussions are also going on with more corporate giants like GMR Group and Murugappa Group. Even the film personalities are also showing interest in the professional kabaddi league. For matches special mats have been developed. In the auctioning 72 Indian and 28 overseas players participated.

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