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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Congress leader and Member of Parliament Shashi Tharoor’s office were come under attack by Bharatiya Janata Party workers over his ‘Hindu Pakistan’ remarks.

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Five people have been killed in Kerala in the last 24 hours in incessant and widespread heavy rain across many parts in Kerala on Monday.

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KOCHI: The Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), the political front of Kerala-based radical outfit Popular Front of India (PFI) has called a dawn to dusk state-wide hartal on Tuesday, July 17, in protest against the arrest of four top leaders in connection with the killing of Maharaja’s College student and Students Federation of India (SFI) activist Abhimanyu.

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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala unit of the Congress party has decided to drop its plan to observe ‘Ramayana month’ from July 17.

The decision was taken in the wake of strong protests from within the party. Several senior like former Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) presidents, K Muraleedharan and V M Sudheeran and former minister Pandalam Sudhakaran had come down heavily on the party leadership for announcing the programme without discussion in the party forums.

Sudheeran and Muraleedharan said the decision to observe the Hindu ritual was against the democratic principles upheld by the party. They said that the programme would tantamount to politicising the God.

“The Congress has never sought votes in the name of God. The party does not need such votes. Ours is a secular party where members of different beliefs co-exist. It is the duty of communal organisations to organise religious programmes, not that of a political party,” Muraleedharan said.

The party had decided to conduct various programmes in connection with the Ramayana month after the ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) came forward to observe the Ramayana month, which falls in the Malayalam month of Karkidakam.

The Congress had planned the programmes under the auspices of Vichar Vibhag, its cultural wing. The organisation had drawn up elaborate programmes throughout the month under the theme "Ramayana is ours, for the well-being of our land".

The Vichar Vibhag has justified the campaign by saying that what they intended to do was to promote the concept of ‘Rama Rajyam’ as suggested by Gandhiji as a model form of governance.

“If it is the intention, we need to organize programmes like seminars to promote it. Why is there an observance of Ramayana month,” asked Muraleedharan. He said it was unfair to use religion to win four or five votes. “It is what the BJP is practicing. We shouldn’t do the same. We need to devise a different strategy to take on them,” he said.

While speaking to a news channel, KPCC spokesperson Rajmohan Unnithan also found the idea not in conformity with the party’s principles. He said there was no debate within the party regarding the Ramayana month observance.

Sources said the Vichar Vibhag had got the support of top leadership of the KPCC to organize the programme.  The state level programme was scheduled to be held at Thycaud Candhi Bhavan on Tuesday. As per the schedule, Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala was to inaugurate the event and MP Shashi Tharoor deliver the key note address.

Image Credit: Times of India

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 KOZHIKODE: Owner of a private finance company, who was set ablaze by an unidentified person in Kerala’s northern city of Kozhikode on Friday, has succumbed to his injuries.

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KOCHI: The annual ‘Ramayana masam’ that Hindus in Kerala observe by reciting Ramayana every day in their homes during the Malayalam month of Karkidakam is assuming political colour with political parties vying to grab the ritual. 

After a feeder organisation of the ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) jumped into the bandwagon, the opposition Congress Party is gearing up to organise several programmes to mark the Ramayana month. 

Hindus have been traditionally observing ‘Karkkidkam’, which is last month in the Malayalam almanac, as the Ramayana month by reciting verses from the epic in temples and homes to ward off troubles in their lives. This year the Karkidakam begins from July 17. 

Normally, elder people in the family recite Ramayanam on all days and explain the content in Malayalam language to younger generations. The Congress and the CPM have shown interest in the ritual after the Sangh Parivar entered the arena. 

Leaders of the two parties said their attempt was to stop the BJP from hijacking the ritual for their political gains. The CPM and the Congress are not directly involving in the conduct of the programmes. 

While the Sanskrit Sangh, a pro-Left cultural outfit, is conducting the programme for the CPM, the Congress will be organizing the programme under the aegis of Vichar Vibhag, the cultural wing of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC). 

The CPI (M) has chalked out elaborate programmes throughout the month.  They include a series of seminars, conventions and debates across the state to mark the annual month of rituals. The Congress programmes include 'Ramayana Parayana' (recitation of the epic) and seminars. 

The theme of the Vichar Vibhag programmes is "Ramayanam Nammudethanu, "Nadinte Nanmayanu" (Ramayana is ours, it is the goodness of society. Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala would inaugurate the programmes on July 17. 

The programmes would begin with 'Ramayana parayanam' in the morning, party sources said. Former union minister Sashi Tharoor, MP would deliver a lecture on 'Ramayana is ours', they said. 

Former KPCC president K Muralidharan has come down heavily on the Congress leadership for their decision to organise the Ramayana month programmes. He told a television channel on Saturday that the programmes were being conducted by religious organisations since generation. 

He said that his party’s decision would send a wrong message to its supporters since the Congress is founded on the ideology of secularism. He said that the Congress was fighting the BJP ideologically. The party cannot counter it by appeasing the majority community.

The CPM decision has also evoked strong criticism from within the party. According to sources, the national leadership of the party had asked the state unit to diassociate with the programme as it was not in accordance with the party’s atheistic ideology. 

The Kerala unit of the programme has been organizing the Sri Krishna Jayanthi for the last three years. The party leaders have been justifying it saying that their moves were aimed at BJP’s attempt inject communalism in the minds of the people. 

A senior leader said that their move was part of an attempt to present a “counter-narrative to the religious propaganda of the BJP. He said that the party’s support for the event was part of its “struggle against communalism”,but denied the party or the government it heads would officially observe the Ramayana month or organise events to mark it. 

“This is a group of Sanskrit scholars who have come together on their own terms to take up issues against communal forces who use religious rituals and symbols for political purposes,” the leader said. 

Image Credit: Rightlog

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BANGALORE: Senior Congress leaders in Karnataka have advised Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy not to be desperate but face the pulls and pressures of the coalition government boldly.

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BANGALORE: Karnataka police on Sunday arrested 30 people in connection with the lynching of a techie from Hyderabad in the state’s Bidar district over WhatsApp-driven rumours of child-lifting.

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BANGALORE: A brawl between a Bangalore- based landlord and his tenant over an issue as silly as an additional electricity bill of Rs 117 turned really ugly and the former had to spend Rs 1 lakh to not to be jailed.  Moreover, the 34-year-old landlord had to face charges under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.

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BANGALORE: Tata Power on Wednesday announced it had been awarded the state-run Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Ltd (KREDL) project to develop five solar projects totalling 250 MW in the state's Tumkur district.

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BANGALORE: Taiwan's leading developer Century Development Corporation (CDC) has offered to build an industrial park near the international airport on the city's northern outskirts, an official statement said on Wednesday.

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BANGALORE: Karnataka's Additional Director General (ADG) of Police, Bhaskar Rao, has directed officers to lose weight or face suspension from service. Speaking to ANI on the matter, Bhaskar said that those who have been found overweight are now under the scanner. He also firmly stated that if the defaulters failed to shed weight, they will be given harsh and extra duties during the period of their service.

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CHENNAI: Brand Avatar, a Branding and Event Management Company in association with Grand Catering Company, announced the launch of 'Village Ticket' - Uzhavar Unavu Unarvu - a first of its kind village themed setup at Dr. MGR-Janaki College for Women, in Chennai.

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CHENNAI: Actor-turned Tamil Nadu politician Rajinikanth has come out in support of the NDA government’s 'One India, One Election', which was rejected by most parties in the country.

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COIMBATORE: Coimbatore Rural Police have arrested a trainer of the National Disaster Management training in connection with the death of second-year BBA student at Kovai Kalaimagal College of Arts and Science.

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CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami on Thursday condoled the passing away of Sri Ranga Narayana Jeeyar, the 50th pontiff of Sri Ramanuja Mutt in Srirangam.

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CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit on Tuesday said he was disturbed seeing sitting and former Vice Chancellors being raided and arrested for graft.

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MADURAI: Candidates, who took the all-India medical entrance exam National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) in Tamil will receive extra marks as the question paper contained errors, reported ANI.

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MUMBAI: Ahead of the crucial monsoon session of the Parliament, the Telegu Desam Party (TDP) has launched a campaign to garner support of political parties for the Special Category Status for Andhra Pradesh.

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NEW DELHI: In a major boost to the Congress Party, former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy re-joined the party four years after he left it in protest against the bifurcation of the state in 2014.

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AMARAVATI: With an aim to improve banking services in the state, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Friday unveiled the State Credit Plan (banking) 2018-19.

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VIJAYAWADA: Buoyed by the huge response from the public, the government of Andhra Pradesh is gearing up to launch 100 more ‘Anna Canteens’ in various parts of the state by August 15.

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VIJAYAWADA: Six workers died and two others were taken ill in a gas leakage at a multinational steel company in Andhra Pradesh's Anantapur district on Thursday evening, police said. The incident occurred in Gerdau Steel plant on the outskirts of Tadipatri town.

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AMARAVATI: The Andhra Pradesh government today launched the much-awaited 'Anna Canteens' in various parts of the state.vChief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu inaugurated a canteen in Vijayawada to mark the launch of the programme while, in all, 60 'Anna Canteens' were opened in the first phase across the state.

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NEW DELHI: Former Indian cricket captain Mohammed Azharuddin is gearing up to fight the 2019 Lok Sabha election from his home state of Telengana.

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HYDERABAD: Hyderabad police on Wednesday externed a Hindu religious leader from the city for six months for allegedly making provocative statements against other communities.

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HYDERABAD: The Telangana Police has banned Telugu film critic Kathi Mahesh from entering Hyderabad for six months. The decision was taken in the wake of the derogatory remarks made by the critic regarding Hindu Gods Rama and Sita.

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HYDERABAD: The Telangana government will make arrangements to bring back the body of Sharath Koppu, a student who was shot dead by a suspected robber in the US, a state minister said on Sunday.

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HYDERABAD : Eleven people were killed when a fire broke out in a firecracker manufacturing unit-cum-warehouse in Telangana's Warangal Rural district on Wednesday, police said. Five others were injured in the incident that occurred in the Bhadrakali firecracker unit in Koti Lingala, near Warangal town.

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HYDERABAD: The city police have registered a case against Tollywood actor and critic Kathi Mahesh for allegedly making derogatory comments against Hindu Gods Rama and Sita

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