January 14: Top news at noon

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Photo by Mujeeb Faruqui/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Photo by Mujeeb Faruqui/Hindustan Times via Getty Images


Congress, NCP, Shiv Sena slam PM over KVIC calendar controversy

BJP ally Shiv Sena and opposition Congress and NCP today reacted sharply to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's photo in the calendar and the diary of Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC). Shiv Sena MP from South Mumbai Arvind Sawant said he was "extremely pained" over the development. "It is an example of what can happen when a person is self-centered and obsessed," he said.

Former Maharashtra Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Narayan Rane lashed out at the PM, saying "Does he (Modi) think that by putting his pictures next to a charkha will make him a great figure or a 'Mahatma'? He can never rise to Gandhiji's status by doing such things." He added that after demonetisation, the Modi government has made life "miserable" for masses and that reality cannot be changed through such "gimmicks".

Senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar claimed it was Modi's strategy to compare himself with great historical personalities. "Can anybody be compared with Gandhiji or Jyotiba Phule?" Pawar asked.

PM should promise Ram temple if BJP wants seers' support in UP

Seers will support BJP in the upcoming UP elections only if Prime Minister Narendra Modi promises to get the Ram temple constructed in Ayodhya during his tenure, the chief priest of the makeshift temple at the Ram Janambhumi-Babri Masjid disputed site said in Ayodhya today. "Modi must visit Ayodhya, give us a guarantee and announce that that he will get the Ram temple constructed during his tenure," said chief priest, Acharya Satyendra Das. Reacting to Das' demand, the Mahant of Rasik Niwas temple in Ayodhya, Raghuvar Sharan said "The BJP leaders, who rose to politics due to Ayodhya issue including Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Vinay Katiyar and Uma Bharti, are all MPs. They never raised their voice for Ram temple in the House, neither did they demand that Prime Minister Modi bring a resolution in Parliament for construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya.”

Political parties need to unite against BJP in UP: Jayant

Rashtriya Lok Dal leader Jayant Chaudhary said in Meerut today that political parties in Uttar Pradesh need to unite against BJP as it has "deceived" the people of the country. The RLD national general secretary also said RLD has not entered into an alliance with Congress. On a question about the ongoing feud in Samajwadi Party, he said the party has to decide its future. Only after the row on the election symbol is settled can anything be said about an alliance, he added. He also lashed out at BJP over demonetisation, saying after promising 'Acche Din' old women were made to stand in bank queues from morning to evening.

Army, SoG seize arms cache in Poonch

Army and Special Operations Group (SoG) of Police today seized a huge cache of arms and ammunition, including weapons and mortar bombs, in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir. A party of 16 Rashtriya Rifles of army and SOG conducted a search operation in general area in Chamrer forest in Surankote belt of Poonch district, an army officer said. During the search, the troops busted a natural hideout in which a large cache of arms, ammunition and other warlike stores was recovered, he said.

Two held with 10 lakh in new currency in East Delhi

Two people carrying over ₹10 lakh in new currency were held in Geeta Colony area of Shahdara, Delhi. A Delhi Police constable found two “suspicious looking” men with ₹10,99,500 in new currency. They were caught and handed over to the IT department for further interrogation, said a senior police officer.

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