Sachin has not made any sacrifice for nation: Sena

Days after Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray lashed out at Sachin Tendulkar, an article in its mouthpiece, Saamna, has again targeted the master blaster.

The article said: “Sachin is a great cricketer, but doesn’t match Lokmanya Tilak. He does not measure up to any Marathi revolutionary.”

Underlining that Sachin has not made any sacrifices for the country, the article said: “Sachin’s exploits are restricted to BCCI and record books and has not won Mumbai for Maharashtra.”

Sachin has never supported Marathi cause in sports; he could not even help Vinod Kambli stay in the team, the article added.

‘Headley has no links with the city’

HYDERABAD: Hyderabad police commissioner B Prasada Rao on Saturday categorically denied American LeT operative David Coleman Headley had any links with the city.

Speaking at the `Meet the Press’ programme on police arrangements for the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections, the commissioner said: “Different agencies are investigating the Headley case. So far, none of the agencies approached us. We will extend our cooperation in case they need help from us.”

Responding to a query, he said, “The city police are keeping a watch on candidates who have criminal antecedents. As a precautionary measure, we are video-recording activities of candidates.”

“We have deployed 70 shadow teams to keep tabs on activities of these candidates. For this, we have stationed three video teams at each police station. They will record events till the end of polling.”

According to official records, 30 candidates with criminal antecedents are in the fray. Of them, five have history-sheets against them, he said.

The shadow parties would focus on candidates who try to create nuisance by digging-up old issues. “We have set up 30 check-posts at entry/exit points of the city,” the commissioner said.

To a query on whether police have a mechanism to check likely distribution of money by candidates to lure voters a day before polling, Prasada Rao said, “If we receive complaints, either from candidates or people, we will immediately respond.”

The commissioner replied that police had no authority to check electoral photo identity card (EPIC). “The staff, deputed by the State Election Commission (SEC) are only authorised to check EPIC and allow voters into the polling stations. Police will only regulate queues at polling stations,” he clarified.

Meanwhile, the commissioner issued orders prohibiting assembly of five or more persons within the radius of 200 metres of polling stations on November 23 between 6 am and 6 pm.

He appealed to voters that information about electioneering and related matters can be passed on to toll-free number `1090′ apart from `100′. Information could also be sent as text messages (SMS) to: 9010100100.

Shiv Sena to Sachin: Play cricket, not politics

Bal Thackeray “loves Sachin” and he has “given him advice”- that’s how the Shiv Sena explains Bal Thackeray’s attack against cricketer Sachin Tendulkar. At a press conference, Sanjay Raut, spokesperson for the Sena, also said Thackeray “is 100% right” in his remarks against Tendulkar.The cricketer has been attacked by Bal Thackeray for saying he is an Indian first and then a Maharashtrian. In an editorial in his party’s mouthpiece, on Monday morning, Thackeray said Tendulkar should stick to playing cricket. He also declared Sachin’s been “run-out on the Marathi pitch.”

Advising Sachin to stay away politics, Sena supremo Bal Thackeray said in an open letter on the front page of his organisation’s newspaper, Saamna: “You have played like a king and become a multi-millionaire, no one has issues with that. But at a press conference, you said you are proud of being Marathi but are an Indian first. This has hurt Marathi people.”

Thackeray recalled that Sachin said all Indians had an equal right on Mumbai and said: “What was the need for this? You have been ‘run-out’ on the Marathi pitch. When the Marathi people wrested Mumbai, you weren’t even born.”

Meanwhile, the BCCI has come out strongly in defence of the batting maestro. “Shiv Sena’s comment is completely uncalled for. Whoever said this should be brought to book,” Shukla said.

Obama says Tibet is part of China, but wants talks

Describing Tibet as part of China, US President Barack Obama on Tuesday supported the early resumption of talks. “The United States supports the early resumption of dialogue between the Dalai Lama’s representatives and Beijing,” Obama said after his meeting with Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao here. China, which has governed Tibet since its troops occupied the territory in the 1950s, has repeatedly accused the Dalai Lama of leading a campaign to split the Himalayan region from the rest of the country. The 74-year-old Dalai Lama, who fled to India amid a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959, has denied the allegations.

The last formal talks between the Dalai Lama’s envoys and Chinese officials, the seventh since 2002, ended in an impasse in July 2008, with China demanding that he prove that he did not support Tibetan independence.

Obama, who is here on his maiden state visit to the Communist nation, also said that he and Hu want climate change talks in Copenhagen next month to result in a global deal that has “immediate operational effect”.

“Our aim there is not a partial accord or a political declaration, but rather an accord that covers all the issues in the negotiations and one that has immediate operational effect,” he said.

On North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme, Obama said the six-party talks process should resume “as soon as possible”. On his part, Hu said that both sides were “committed to dialogue and consultation in resolving the Korean peninsula nuclear issue.”

Hu said that the two countries “will continue to have consultations on an equal footing to properly resolve economic and trade frictions.”

Pankaj Advani knocked out of World Snooker












HYDERABAD: Unheralded 30-year old Greek Cypriot Anthony Brabin dealt Indian hopes a big blow when he knocked out National champion Pankaj Advani

5-3 en route to the pre-quarter-finals of the ONGC-IBSF World Snooker Championship on Sunday.

However, bringing some cheer to the Indian camp were the Mumbai-based Yasin Merchant who overcame compatriot Alok Kumar 5-1 to advance to the round of 16. Local challenger Lucky Vatnani, who took out Girish Rajashekar 5-2, and Kamal Chawla, a 5-4 winner over Alex Borg of Malta, also reached the pre quarters.

Meanwhile, China’s Tian Pengfei, despite notching two century breaks of 118 and 101, was beaten 4-5 by Thailand’s Supoj Saenia 4-5 while title favourite Alfie Burden of England struggled to beat Nader Khan Sultani of Afghanistan 5-3 in a scrappy encounter.

Playing fluently and to his strength, Brabin, an advertising executive from Cyprus, had Advani under pressure from the start when he took the first frame in which he trailed by 59 points. Brabin went on to take a 4-1 advantage before Advani reduced the leeway to 3-4. However, Brabin effectively sealed the match with a 54 break in the eighth to eliminate the India No.1.

“I came into this tournament wanting to do well, but beating Pankaj is huge for me. Even when I led 4-1, I was careful and when he made it 3-4, I realised I had to go for my shots. The last time I met him in Holland (2004 World championship), I was leading 2-0 but he beat me 4-2,” said Brabin.

Brabin’s long distance potting came in for high praise from the discerning. “Yes, I put in a lot of practice on this shot, especially after I changed my cue a month back. I also corrected my alignment, bringing in the elbow that used to stick out. I guess, today, I got most of these shots right,” he said.

Advani better known for his billiards achievements that include six World titles apart from one in snooker, was on tenter-hooks almost right through the match, missing sitters and with the run of the green also not favouring him, the defeat did not come as a huge surprise.

“All credit goes to Brabin. I have no excuses. Yes, it is disappointing, but I failed to finish off frames that I should have won, especially the first and fifth. I missed crucial balls and was not striking well today,” said Advani.

Joining Advani on the sidelines were Manan Chandra, who went down 3-5 to Anthony McGill of Scotland and Aditya Mehta who lost 3-5 to Gavin Pantall of Wales.

The pre-quarter-final matches are scheduled for a 7 pm start today, along with the four Masters quarter-final ties.

‘I’ll quit if TDP wins more seats than Cong in GHMC polls’

Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K Rosaiah on Sunday said he would resign if the TDP won even a single seat more than the Congress in the Hyderabad civic polls.

“I will send my resignation letter to the (Congress) high command and Governor if the TDP wins even a single corporator seat more than Congress in tomorrow’s Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections,” he told reporters.

Rosaiah made the comments while refuting the reported allegations of Telugu Desam Party chief N Chandrababu Naidu that the Chief Minister is on the pay rolls of Karnataka minister G Janardhana Reddy, whose firm is facing allegations of illegal mining in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh.

Taking strong exception to Naidu’s allegations, Rosaiah said he is ready for any probe into his own assets as well as his family members.

“If you can prove his (Naidu) allegations, I will go to the people and seek a punishment myself,” he said.

Lashing out at Naidu, Rosaiah said the TDP chief was never willing to face probe over the allegations of corruption faced by him.

“He faced so many allegations. He always ran away from them. Did he ever express willingness to face investigation,” he asked.

“Naidu obtained a stay over a corruption case in the Yeleru scam. If he is sincere, he should get that stay vacated and face trial,” Rosaiah said.

Asserting that he would never try to shield anybody over alleged illegal mining by Janardhana Reddy’s Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC), he reminded that he ordered probe by state government officials first and later sought investigation by CBI over the matter.

“When we realised that the Karnataka is also involved in the OMC issue and that our state officials cannot conduct probe in the neighbouring state, we immediately sought a CBI probe,” he said.

The Chief Minister said that he also pursued the matter with Union Home Minister P Chidambaram though the formal consent from the Centre for the CBI probe is yet to come.

Noting that the Empowered Committee of the Supreme Court has submitted its report on the allegations of illegal mining by OMC, Rosaiah said the state government would wait for the verdict of the apex court.

All set for Hyderabad Municipal elections

Hyderabad, Nov 22 (PTI) The stage is all set for election to the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) tomorrow.

It would be the first election here after the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) came into being in April 2007 after merging 12 surrounding municipalities and eight gram panchayats spread over four neighboring districts.

Incidentally, the formation of GHMC has made Hyderabad the second largest urban conglomeration in the country next only to Delhi.

The polls to the 150-division GHMC would be held at 5,719 polling stations, GHMC special officer M T Krishna Babu told reporters today.

The polling would be held from 7 am to 5 pm amid tight security arrangments with over 18,000 policmen being deployed.

Besides, three companies of Rapid Action Force (RAF) and special forces of OCTOPUS, the elite anti-terror force of Andhra Pradesh have also been deployed.