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BJP Replaces Shatrughan in Patna; Congress Fields Digvijaya in Bhopal

New Delhi: On the day of annpuncing tickets for the various Lok Sabha seats, the BJP of Saturday replaced party veteran and cinestar Shatrughan Sinha from Patna City seat in Bihar with Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. On the other hand, the Congress on Saturday fielded veteran Digvijaya Singh from the BJP bastion of Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh.

The NDA in Bihar, comprising the BJP, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's JD(U) and Ram Vilas Paswan's LJP, Saturday announced its candidates for 39 out of the total 40 Lok Sabha seats in the state. As per the names announced at a press meet here by BJP national general secretary and party in-charge for the state Bhupendra Yadav, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will be contesting from Patna Sahib seat - a party stronghold represented by Shatrughan Sinha in the outgoing Lok Sabha.

According to media reports, Sinha is likely to join the Congress and seek re-election on a ticket of the grand old party. While Union minister Giriraj Singh, whose Nawada seat has gone to the LJP, has been shifted to Begusarai, his colleagues in the council of ministers Radha Mohan Singh, R K Singh, Ashwani Kumar Choubey and Ram Kripal Yadav will be fielded from their respective sitting seats of Motihari, Ara, Buxar and Pataliputra. Lok Janshakti Party state president Pashupati Kumar Paras will be replacing his elder brother Ram Vilas Paswan in Hajipur. The Union minister is likely to get a Rajya Sabha ticket. Chirag Paswan will be seeking re-election from Jamui. Yadav also said the candidate for Khagaria Lok Sabha seat, which would be contested by the LJP, would be announced shortly.

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The Congress has, on the other hand, fielded its strongman Digvijaya Singh from Bhopal and changed UP unit chief Raj Babbar's seat from Moradabad to Fatehpur Sikri to make it "easier" for the actor-turned-politician. Singh, who wanted to contest from his home turf Rajgarh, was publicly asked by MP CM Kamal Nath to choose one of the "tough seats" where the Congress has not won in three decades. Ex-CM Singh accepted the challenge and said that he would contest from any seat as long as it was chosen by "my leader Rahul Gandhi." He is yet to respond to the announcement made by Nath.

The Congress won three seats in the recent assembly polls from Bhopal. The high-profile Bhopal Lok Sabha seat is currently held by the BJP's Alok Sanjar. Late President Shankar Dayal Sharma was the last Congress winner from the seat in the 1984 LS polls. In 2014 the BJP won 27 of the 29 seats in MP. The Congress won the remaining two, Chhindwara and Guna, held by Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia respectively. As per the Congress list, Imran Pratapgarhiya will now be the party's candidate from Moradabad in place of Babbar.

According to sources, Raj Babbar was not keen on contesting from Moradabad where the BJP has fielded its sitting MP Kunwar Sarvesh Kumar. In another change, Naseemuddin Siddiqui has been fielded from Bijnor, from where Indira Bhatti was named earlier.

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Modi Gives Pakistan PM Message Of Peace In Sub-Continent And To Work Together In A Terror Free Atmosphere

New Delhi: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan tweeted the message that he had received from Prime Minister Narendra Modi who sent his greetings to him on the eve of Pakistan National Day delivering a message of peace. Modi called upon people in the sub-continent to work together “in an atmosphere free of terror and violence”.

In this message, according to the Pak PM’s tweet, PM Modi said: “It is time that ppl (people) of Sub-continent work together for a democratic, peaceful, progressive & prosperous region, in an atmosphere free of terror and violence”.

People familiar with developments in New Delhi described Modi’s message as a customary message sent to heads of government or state on national days and noted that the focus was on terrorism.

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BJP Releases Its First List Of 184 Candidates For The Upcoming Lok Sabha Elections

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has released its first list of 184 candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The first phase of voting will begin from April 11 and last phase will end on May 19. The counting of votes will take place on May 23, 2019. The list was announced by Union health minister JP Nadda.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will contest from Varanasi, while BJP president Amit Shah will contest from Gandhinagar, which is veteran BJP leader LK Advani’s seat. Union home minister Rajnath Singh will contest the elections from Lucknow with Nitin Gadkari contesting from Nagpur.

VK Singh will contest from Ghaziabad, Hema Malini from Mathura, Sakshi Maharaj from Unnao, and Smriti Irani from Amethi

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Scotland Yard Arrests Fugitive Diamantaire Nirav Modi In London Making Extradition Easy

New Delhi: Fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi was arrested and denied bail at the Westminster Magistrates Court, setting off another high-profile extradition trial involving large-scale financial irregularities in India, three months after that of businessman Vijay Mallya.

Modi, 48, was arrested by Scotland Yard in the central London area of Holborn on India’s extradition request made in August 2018. He is wanted in India to face allegations of defrauding the Punjab National Bank (PNB) of over Rs 14,000 crore, among other charges.

Modi declared in court his intention to contest the extradition request and offered to pay 500,000 pounds as security deposit for bail. But this was denied due to what the judge called the “high value of amount involved in the allegations” and the likelihood of Modi escaping. He will remain in custody until the next hearing on March 29.

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China Assures Pakistan Of Firm Support To Protect Its Territorial Integrity And Dignity

New Delhi: China has assured Pakistan of firm support to protect its territorial integrity and dignity during a high-level bilateral strategic dialogue in Beijing. Islamabad had raised the “rapidly deteriorating” situation in Kashmir and called on New Delhi to relook its policies in the state.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Pakistan foreign minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Chinese state councilor and foreign minister, Wang Yi appreciated Islamabad’s efforts to ease tensions with India following the terror attack in Kashmir’s Pulwama, claimed by Pakistan-based terror outfit, Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

The attack was followed by the Indian Air Force carrying out strikes on a JeM training camp and the air force of the two countries engaging each other in a dogfight near the Line of Control.