LIVE! Our govt will never let the nation bow down its head before anyone: Rajnath

15:18  PM Modi's chopper fails to land in Bahraich; addresses rally via phone:  Dense fog played spoilsport for PM Modi after his chopper was unable to land in Bahraich, UP. BJP's Keshav Prasad Maurya said that the PM's helicopter was unable to land in Bahraich due to foggy weather. This was supposed to be PM Narendra Modi's first visit to Bahraich after he assumed charge as PM. 14:54  Our govt will never let the nation to bow down its head before anyone: RajnathLIVE! Our govt will never let:  

In a direct attack to Pakistan, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said the neighbouring country is trying to destabilise India by encouraging "cowardly" act of terrorism, while adding that the Indian army will give befitting reply to Pakistan's unprovoked violations.

"Our government will never let the nation to bow down its head before anyone. We cannot change our neighbours," Rajnath Singh said.

"A neighbouring country of our again and again encourages terrorism and terrorist activities to harm India. Perhaps it was not able to understand the fact that terrorism is not a weapon of the brave but of cowards," Singh added.

He was speaking at Shahidi Diwas programme in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua district.

Further referring to surgical strike by Army after the Uri attack, he said, "You have seen how they cowardly attacked our jawans but after that our jawans did a wonderful job. I want to assure that this government will never let India to bow its head before anyone".

14:34  Thambidurai for Sasikala as AIADMK General Secretary:  A day after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam backed V K Sasikala for the post of AIADMK General Secretary following the death of his predecessor J Jayalalithaa, another senior leader and Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai also batted for her to take over the reins.

Sasikala had even given suggestions to Jayalalithaa on party affairs and governance in the past, he said and urged her to take over the "reins" of AIADMK. 

 "At this juncture when Honourable Amma (Jayalalithaa) is not amongst us, respected Chinnamma (Sasikala) is the only person who is capable, who has (the) acumen and experience, to lead the AIADMK party," he said.

14:15  Shami, Saha ruled out of Chennai Test:  

Indian pacer Mohammed Shami and wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha have been ruled out of the fifth Test starting in Chennai, on December 16, because of injuries, the BCCI said on Sunday.

Shami has soreness in his right knee and has been advised rest and rehabilitation. He will be going to the National Cricket Academy, Bengaluru to start his recovery programme.   

Saha who suffered a hamstring tendon injury in the second Test of the ongoing series against England at Vizag, is undergoing a rehabilitation programme at the NCA.

14:14  Heavy rains from evening in Andhra as Cyclone Vardah nears:  

Heavy rains are expected to hit Andhra Pradesh this evening as cyclone Vardah makes its way over the Bay of Bengal. The cyclone, which is now 490 km from Nellore, is expected to make landfall tomorrow afternoon between Sriharikota and Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh's SPS Nellore district. It is expected to bring high velocity winds of up to 100 kmph and heavy rainfall of about 19 cm.

Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who cancelled his trip to the Gulf -- scheduled to begin tomorrow - said, "The intensity of Vardah may not be as high as Hudhud, which battered Visakhapatnam in October 2014. Nevertheless, we are taking all precautions".

13:38  1 dead after chopper crashes in Mumbai's Aarey Colony:  

A chopper has crashed in Mumbai's Aarey colony area, in which 1 person has died and 3 others injured. The Robinson R44 Astro chopper belonged to Aman Aviation.

Eyewitnesses said the aircraft has been completely burnt. 

Three fire engines at the spot have been successful in dousing the flames.

The injured have been shifted to a hospital.

13:28  Govt to amend RBI Act to annul old Rs 500/1000 currency notes:  

The government is likely to amend the Reserve Bank of India Act to extinguish the validity of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 and a reference to this effect would be made in the upcoming Budget.

As part of the demonetisation process, there would be a law to make Rs 500/1000 notes invalid and it can be made effective from March 31, sources said.

Asked about the amount of money which did not get into the system, sources said, it would add to bottomline of the RBI and it would be in a position to pay the government in the form of higher dividend or special dividend.

Banks have received Rs 12 lakh crore demonetised currency notes as against Rs 15.5 lakh crore. The government expects Rs 13 lakh crore to come back to banking system.

12:46  JUST IN: Helicopter crashes in Mumbai's Aarey Colony, two fire engines rushed to the spot. 

Awaiting more details

12:28  90 trains delayed, flights affected as dense fog drops visibility in Delhi:  

Early morning fog engulfed Delhi once again and threw train schedules into disarray even as the Regional Weather Forecasting Centre  expected the dense fog to subside from Sunday.

Visibility had dropped to 50 metres at 5:30 am, and was recorded at 300 metres at 8:30 am. Though few domestic flights have been delayed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, officials maintain that flight operations have not been drastically affected.

Flights are usually affected when visibility drops below 200 metres.

But the fog hit rails services. According to reports, the arrival of 90 trains in Delhi were delayed on Sunday, 28 were rescheduled and 4 others were cancelled due to the fog.

12:04  Suicide bombing kills 16 in Somali capital :  

A car bomb has exploded at the entrance of Somalia's biggest port in its capital Mogadishu on Sunday, killing at least 16 people, police said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility though the al Shabaab militant group has been carrying out a series of deadly attacks in Somalia.

Al Shabaab's insurgency aims to drive out African Union peacekeepers, topple Somalia's Western-backed government and impose its strict version of Islam on the Horn of Africa state.

11:48  Jayalalithaas niece open to joining politics:  

On a day of hectic activity on the political front, Deepa Jayakumar, niece of former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, created ripples by giving several interviews.

In these, she laid in the open her desire to enter politics if the people so willed it and staked a claim to being Jayalalithaas heir, besides expressing shock at seeing her brother, Deepak, performing the last rites with VK Sasikala.

11:24  PM Modi to address India on December 31:  

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation again on December 31.  Modi is expected to talk about his unprecedented demonetisation drive, which he launched on November 8, and also share with the nation his near future roadmap in this context.

He is also expected to give an update of the demonetisation drive in which 500 and 1000 rupee notes were banned. The last date of depositing banned notes in individual accounts is December 30.

The prime minister has already indicated that he has more new policy decisions up his sleeve. The timing of the PM's address to the nation on the New Year's Eve is yet to be decided.

-- Rajeev Sharma reports

11:20  AIADMK claims 470 people have died of grief and shock over Jayalalithaa's death, their families will receive Rs 3 lakh as aid

10:51  India is proud to have such a knowledgeable Prez: PM on Pranab's b'day:  Wishing President Pranab Mukherjee on his 81st birthday today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the President always put India's interest above everything and that the nation was proud to have such a well read and knowledgeable President.

Taking to Twitter, the prime minister said that President Mukherjees tremendous experience and wisdom has benefited the nation greatly.

'Birthday wishes to Rashtrapati Ji. His tremendous experience & wisdom has benefitted the nation greatly. I pray for his long & healthy life. Pranab Da always puts India's interest above everything. We are proud to have such a well read & knowledgeable President,' he said.

Besides the President, the nation's top brass including Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu, Kiren Rijiju and Piyush Goyal among others also wished the President.

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao also conveyed his greetings to the President, wishing him a happy, fruitful and long life.

09:49  Cyclone Vardah weakens, to hit TN coast tomorrow:  Cyclonic storm Vardah over west central and adjoining south Bay of Bengal moved further west-northwestwards during past six hours with 20 kmph speed, the Navy said on Sunday.

The system is likely to continue to move west-northwestwards and maintain its intensity up to this evening.

It is likely to weaken gradually while moving towards South Andhra Pradesh coast and adjoining north Tamil Nadu coast.

It is very likely to cross South Andhra coast and adjoining north TN coast between Chennai and Ongole around afternoon of Dec 12, the Navy PRO said.

09:06  Rs 10 cr seized from Delhi law firm, Rs 2.5 cr in new notes:  Delhi Police raided the office of a law firm in southeast Delhis Greater Kailash-I area and recovered Rs 10 crore in cash, of which Rs 2.5 crore was in new banknotes released after demonetisation.

The raid was carried out by the Crime Branch at the office of T&T Law Firm, said a senior police officer.

"Rs 10 crore was recovered. Out of which, Rs 2.5 crore was in new currency notes and the rest in old notes. The I-T (income tax) department has been informed," said the officer.

When the police team raided the office, its rooms were locked and a caretaker was present.

Police is searching for the firm promoter Rohit Tandon.

Police said more raids would be conducted in this connection. -- PTI

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