Iran to Test Long-Range Missiles in Weekend Drill


                                                         Military personnel place a flag on a submarine during the Velayat-90 war games by the Iranian navy in the Strait of Hormuz in southern Iran December 27, 2011

Photo: REUTERS
Military personnel place a flag on a submarine during the Velayat-90 war games by the Iranian navy in the Strait of Hormuz in southern Iran December 27, 2011

Iran says it will fire long-range missiles on Saturday as part of military exercises in the Gulf.

The announcement on Friday was made on the heels of heightened tensions between Iran and Western powers over Tehran‘s threat to block oil shipments through the strategic Strait of Hormuz.

The semi-official Fars News agency quotes Iranian admiral Mahmoud Mousavi as saying the navy will test several kinds of missiles, including long-range ones, as part of a military drill that began on December 24. He says the test firings are the final phase of the drill to “prepare the navy for confronting the enemy” in any war situations.

Iran’s arsenal incudes the Shahab-3 missile, which could reach Israel and some U.S. bases in the Middle East.

Earlier this week, Tehran threatened to block the entrance to the Persian Gulf if Western powers imposed sanctions targeting its oil exports.  

Such a move would add to several rounds of sanctions already imposed on Iran over its controversial nuclear program.

More than one-third of the world’s tanker-borne oil supply passes through the Strait of Hormuz. A closure could temporarily cut off some oil supplies and impact the price of oil worldwide.

The Pentagon said interfering with the passage of vessels through the strait will not be tolerated.

Separately, the Associated Press quoted a Saudi oil ministry official as saying Gulf oil producers would be ready to step in, if necessary, to make up for any losses.

Indians, Second Largest Bribe Payers in South Asia


Indians grabbed the second position for bribing among the six South Asian countries. 54 percent of the Indians have said to bribe policemen when they messed up with them, reported by anti-corruption organization Transparency International. It also stated that more than 1 in 3 people pay bribes in order to deal with the public servants, institutions, policemen, to access basic services, to speed up their work or sometimes to avoid problems.

Indians, Second Largest Bribe Payers in South Asia

A survey was done with 7500 people from Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, by Transparency International in between 2010 and 2011. This report helps to explain why these countries have high corruption rates. Some of the countries score less than 3.5 out of 10 in the list.

In this list of six countries, Bangladesh tops the list followed by India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Maldives. 66 percent of the Bangladeshis prefer bribing, whereas this is 50 percent in Pakistan. People in these countries mostly pay to speed things up. It shows how corruption is rising high and hence becomes a barrier to business expansion in many countries.In Sri Lanka, people pays bribes to tax authorities rather than for any other services. In Nepal and Maldives, Customs services are mostly paid bribes.

Mostly the bribe takers in these countries are the policemen, the political parties, who are the most corrupt institutions according to the reports. This list is followed by parliament and public officials. They entrusted to oversee deals related to buying, selling, inheriting and renting land were the next likely to demand a bribe. But mostly the viewpoints of these people across the countries is that this problem of corruption is getting worse and worse and they need a solution for this. But people in India and Pakistan are most reluctant about the fact. Thousand of Indians are demonstrating for strong anti-corruption laws since August but less than a quarter on Indians thought their efforts to fight against was effective.

Biggest Science Stories of 2011


hurricane hunters, earth, environment, atlantic hurricane season, hurricane planes, hurricane aircraft, meteorology, storm prediction, hurricane pilots

Credit: U.S. Air Force, Staff Sgt. Valerie Smock.

From the last space shuttle mission and spotting Earth-size planets orbiting another star to the possible detection of the elusive Higgs boson particle and some extreme (and very costly) weather, 2011 was filled with science, albeit sometimes disastrous. Here are 11 of the most compelling and significant science stories to break this year.

The U.S. may have exited the recession this year, but the amount of time Americans go without work has reached a record level. And psychologists say this doesn’t bode well for our emotional health. Census data also shows increases in the nation’s poverty rate in recent years. Americans feel their financial situation was getting worse, not better, and even their pets are suffering. The Great Recession of 2007 to 2009 hit all children hard, but seems to have caused the largest increase in childhood poverty among Latino kids.

Killer Contaminated Cantaloupes
null

Credit: stock.xchng

An outbreak of listeriosis, an infection caused by the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, spread by contaminated cantaloupes infected 146 people and killed 30 this fall, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in December. Health officials recommend washing melons particularly cantaloupes before slicing them to remove any bacteria clinging to the rind.

The Last Space Shuttle

Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Thirty years after launching its first space shuttle, Columbia, NASA ended its space shuttle program in July with a final mission by the shuttle Atlantis. NASA has no immediate plans to replace the shuttles, but is instead focusing on manned voyages beyond low orbit, such as to the moon and Mars. In the immediate future, a combination of commercial ventures, whose craft are still being developed, and other nation’s craft, such as the Russian Soyuz and Progress, are expected to take over the task of ferrying American astronauts and experiments back and forth to the International Space Station (ISS).

Mutant Flu Virus Created in Lab

Bird flu, also known as H5N1, rarely infects people, but when it does the results are often deadly: Of the 600 cases reported since 2003, about 60 percent have been fatal. To better understand how the virus might change into a form that could easily spread between people, two groups of scientists altered the virus in their labs, creating the sort of pathogen that could start a pandemic.

Biosecurity officials have called for crucial details of their work to be kept under wraps — to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands — and some have questioned whether the work should have been done at all.

Japan’s Earthquake, Tsunami & Nuclear Crisis
tsunami, tohoku earthquake, japan, japanese earthquake, tsunami debris, radioactive debris, radioactivity, pacific garbage patch, hawaii

Credit: U.S. Navy/ Specialist 3rd Class Alexander Tidd.

On March 11, an earthquake, measuring a magnitude of 8.9, struck off the coast of Japan. The earthquake was the most powerful to ever hit the country, and it was followed by the walls of water – caused by the subsequent tsunamis – which wreaked havoc. These disasters set off the worst nuclear emergency since Chernobyl when massive amounts of radiation were released from nuclear power plants. Reactors at the Fukushima nuclear power plant melted down, and the surrounding area evacuated.

Alarming Firsts in the Arctic
Baby and mother polar bear on Arctic sea ice

Credit: Sophie TRAN, Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement (LSCE), distributed by EGU under a Creative Commons license.

The ozone hole over the Antarctic is nothing new, although scientists expect it to disappear later this century. But this year, an Arctic counterpart emerged for the first time, thanks to unusually cold temperatures in the stratosphere plus lingering ozone-destroying pollutants. Arctic sea ice also melted — either to its lowest summer extent on record, or its second lowest, depending on who did the measuring.

Exceeding the Speed of Light?

Reports that physicists had accelerated subatomic particles, called neutrinos, faster than the speed of light appeared to upset modern physics and even the nature of causality. Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity gives a special status to the speed of light as a cosmic speed limit. Anything exceeding the speed of light would travel backwards time, interfering with the basic rule that cause precedes effect, called causality. However, this all may have been a false alarm. More recent evidence indicates the neurtrinos never traveled that quickly, though the jury is still out.

Planets Like Ours
earth-sized planets. The Kepler space telescope has spied evidence of two Earth-sized worlds in a star system 950 light-years away.

Credit: Karl Tate, SPACE.com Contributor/ NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle

Astronomers came a step closer to locating a habitable, Earth-like planet, when they found two, roughly Earth-sized planets orbiting a star 950 light-years away. These are the smallest, most Earth-size alien worlds known. Their close proximity to their sun means they are too hot to be habitable, however.

Our Ancestors’ Secrets
teeth from a new branch of ancient humans

Credit: David Reich et al., Nature.

It seems our ancestors not only mated with Neanderthals, they also got it on with another, even more mysterious archaic hominin species. Called the Denisovans, these people lived about 40,000 years ago and are known to us only from a few bone fragments and teeth. Research has uncovered Denisovan genes in modern East Asian and Pacific Island populations.

Particle

This track is an example of simulated data modelled for the ATLAS detector on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. The Higgs boson is produced in the collision of two protons at 14 TeV and quickly decays into four muons, a type of heavy electron that

Credit: CERN/ATLAS

Physicists say they are closing in on an elusive subatomic particle, called the Higgs boson, that could confirm their theory on where mass comes from. The Higgs boson is thought to be tied to a field (the Higgs field), which is responsible for giving all other particles their mass.

Climate Change

dry lake bed

Credit: NOAA.

Drought, wildfire, tornadoes, flooding, a blizzard and a hurricane — weather-related disasters wreaked havoc on the United States in 2011, setting a new record for costly weather-related disasters. In December, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced the country had experienced 12 $1 billion-plus of them. And we can expect more, said NOAA head Jane Lubchenco, citing predictions of more severe weather brought by climate change. Americans seem to be getting the message; an annual survey found we are starting to see climate change as an immediate problem, thanks to this year’s devastating weather.

In TN, the heat is on Azhagiri, summoned by collector


MK Azhagiri, union cabinet minister and the DMK strongman in Madurai is in trouble. In an unprecedented move, U Sagayam, the district collector has asked Azhagiri, his wife Kanthi and son Dhayanidhi to appear before him in person or through a representative on January 4 and make their stance on a complaint filed by a farmer from Sivarakottai village against the union minister.

M Ramalingam, a farmer, has alleged that Azhagiri, Kanthi and Dhayanidhi-all trustees of MK Azhagiri Educational Trust, damaged and destroyed irrigation channels in the village while constructing Dhaya Engineering College, a family enterprise. He charged that hundreds of farmers lost their only source of irrigation because of the destruction of the channels.

Sagayam asked the District Revenue Officer to hold an enquiry following the complaint by Ramalingam. “The DRO has visited the village to verify the veracity of the complaint and observed that there is prima facie case,” said the notice issued by the collector.

An earlier notice issued by the district collector was withdrawn after Azhagiri and family members filed a writ petition challenging it in the high court. The court had asked the collector to reword the letter of summons to the union minister.

“It is not a summons. We sent a notice to Azhagiri in his capacity as the Managing Trustee of the Education Trust named after him. He can always depute a representative to explain the facts,” a senior official in the collectorate told this newspaper.

But for Azhagiri, the elder son of the DMK president M Karunanidhi,this is a major setback. Till May this year, he was a law unto himself in southern Tamil Nadu. The change of government in Fort Saint George in Chennai has taken its toll with each and every action of the union minister coming under the scanner of the AIADMK government led by Jayalalithaa.

Author –  Kumar Chellappan

White Christmas: Images of Stunning Snowy Landscapes


                                   Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland Credit: mikie11 | shutterstock
Here’s hoping for a white Christmas! FromAustralia to Antarctica, we’ve rounded up breathtaking images of snow-filled landscapes from around the world.

The above winter scene of a rosy sunset’s rays over the snow was captured in Finland.

Winter Wonderland

Winter WonderlandCredit: mikie11 | shutterstock
Here’s hoping for a white Christmas! FromAustralia to Antarctica, we’ve rounded up breathtaking images of snow-filled landscapes from around the world.

The above winter scene of a rosy sunset’s rays over the snow was captured in Finland.

Dr. Seuss Trees

Dr. Seuss TreesCredit: Kotenko Oleksandr | shutterstock
This otherworldly shot also shows snow-covered trees in front of the Carpathian Mountains in Ukraine.

Winter Twilight

Winter TwilightCredit: Marcel Baumgartner | shutterstock
This tranquil photograph was snapped in the historic town of Schaffhausen, which was a city-state during the Middle Ages. Located in the northernmost corner of Switzerland, the town rests on the beautiful Rhine riverside.

Frozen Flatirons

Frozen FlatironsCredit: Coloradophotos | shutterstock
The jagged peaks of the Flatirons, a rock formation located in Chautauqua Park, rise above the snow-covered trees of Boulder, Colo. One of Boulder’s most iconic geological features, the Flatirons is a popular destination for mountain climbers.

Snowy Archway

Snowy Archway Credit: Hiroshi Ichikawa | shutterstock
This photo of the snow-tipped stratovolcano Mount Fuji was taken through arching braches on the island of Honshu in Japan. At 12,388 feet (3,776 meters), Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan.

Russian Forest

Russian ForestCredit: Leonid Ikan | shutterstock
The above shot of a sunset over a forest was taken in Russia. During the winter, the days in Russia are quite short, with the sun setting just before 5 p.m. in Moscow during December. The parts of Russia that are to the North of the Polar Circle experience a polar night, which occurs when there is no sunlight during the winter season because the sun’s rays do not reach over from the horizon in those areas.

Roadside Icicles

Roadside IciclesCredit: Repina Valeriya | shutterstock
Here, a snowy-white roadside in rural Russia. Tree branches can look like they’ve been spray-painted white from every angle — not just from above, as is the case after a snowfall — when water particles in fog settle and freeze on surfaces, forming a frosty outer layer that is known as rime.

Australian Snow

Australian SnowCredit: Ashley Whitworth | shutterstock
The above wind-swept landscape overlooks Mount Bogong in Falls Creek, Australia. Located in Alpine National Park, Mount Bogong is a popular skiing and snowboarding location during the mid winter-spring months — the only time that the mountain is covered in snow.

Fog and Frost

Fog and FrostCredit: Sergey Shandin | shutterstock
A fog creeps over a snow-covered road in the village of Mrzla Vodica in Croatia.

Winter Landscape

Winter LandscapeCredit: Dhoxax | shutterstock
The above winter landscape of frosty trees and shrubbery is in Denmark, a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The days are short in Denmark during the winter, with sunsets occurring at about 3:45 p.m.

The Great Outdoors

The Great OutdoorsCredit: Volodymyr Goinyk | shutterstock
Seagulls rest on the dazzling snow-capped mountains of Antarctica. Winter is tourism season in the icy region, which is located around the Earth’s South Pole. Adventure-seekers pay upwards of $30,000 to experience Antarctica’s breathtaking sights, extreme climate and stunning wilderness.

Icy Bridge

Icy BridgeCredit: Mika Heittola | shutterstock
A sunset illuminates a cozy home near a frost-covered bridge in Finland. If you love winter, Finland is the place to be, as Finns experience three to seven months of wintertime, depending on which part of the country they live in.

Sand and Snow

Sand and SnowCredit: morrbyte | shutterstock
The snow-covered shores of Ballybunion Beach, situated at the mouth of the River Shannon in County Kerry, Ireland, feature 14th-century ruins of Ballybunion Castle.

Amazing Alps

Amazing AlpsCredit: Luca Placido | shutterstock
The sun beams down on the smooth snow of Valnontey Valley, located within Italy’s Alps. The Alps mountain range stretches from Austria and Slovenia, through Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Liechtenstein to France.

Frosty Riverside

Frosty RiversideCredit: Govert Nieuwland | shutterstock
The picturesque riverside paths along Kleine Dommel, which starts in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, make for popular tourist attractions.

Winter Windmill

Winter WindmillCredit: Eric Gevaert | shutterstock
A windmill stands in stark contrast against the snowy landscape of the Dutch village of Oosthuizenthe in North Holland, the Netherlands.

Remy Melina

Snacks That are Healthier than You Think


We all have been told, at least at one point of time, to avoid stuff like chocolates, wine or even dairy products1 whatever the reasons may be, a few of these citations have been baseless. Especially, since now many scientific researches prove them wrong. So here is a list of snacks that are actually healthier than you think.

Chocolates

Snacks That are Healthier than You Think

Consuming chocolate in moderate amount improves workout: perfect example and proof actuating that Nature is perfect in her magnificence! A research showed that feeding chocolate (to mice) resulted in fifty percent greater stamina and greater muscle growth. So all you need to do is keep a few bites of chocolate on hand!

Red wine

Snacks That are Healthier than You Think

This delicious companion to scrumptious meals has long been measured comparatively fit in temperance. It includes resveratrol, which lowers cholesterol and guards the blood vessels. A study illustrates a relationship between wine and sunburn protection. Researchers found that the flavonoids in wine help protect skin cells from sun damage.

Roasted Peanuts

Snacks That are Healthier than You Think

Stick to some roasted peanuts next time you are out in the park or just strolling down the roads. And pass over the nitrate-loaded hot dog. Studies have revealed that well roasted peanuts are higher in antioxidants. But for all you know, no study has proved parallel results for Cracker Jacks or cotton candy.

Chocolate Milk

Snacks That are Healthier than You Think

Studies have been ballyhooing chocolate milk’s capability to build muscle and abet in workout recovery. The blend of protein, fat, carbs, and micronutrients is ideal for the body. Vitamin D helps transfer the calcium required by your body for weight loss into cells. A rese3arch showed motionless bike riders were able to pedal 49% longer after drinking chocolate milk in opposition to a sports drink.

Full-fat Cheese

Snacks That are Healthier than You Think

When flavorful varieties of cheese are eaten mindfully, one can in fact see a decrease in appetite.The protein/fat combo in addition to truly distinctive flavors and an everlasting assortment of choices could really make full-fat cheese a dieter’s best friend. Yes, seriously!

China Launches World’s Fastest Passenger Train


Raging an exceptional speed capability of 500km (310 miles) per hour,China has successfully launched this Christmas weekend, the fastest speed, so far, as reported by State Media.

The train resembles an ancient Chinese sword and was built by a subsidiary of China South Locomotive & Rolling Stock Corporation Limited (CSR), which is China’s largest rail vehicle maker. “The super-speed train design resembled the design of China’s ancient sword. The bodywork uses plastic materials reinforced with carbon fiber,” Ding Sansan, the company’s Chief Technician, said to the agency. This has contributed to reducing the train’s weight at a considerable rate while increasing its speed level.

China Launches World's Fastest Passenger Train

China kept postponing its plan of launching high speed train fearing the havoc followed by the deadly collision between two super fast trains killing nearly forty people and injuring 210 passengers in July, 2008. However, after the July incident, most of the Chinese trains made by CSR continued to provide service with reduced speeds.

Significantly known as six-car train for its ultra – high speed, the train has a  tractive driving power of 22,800 kilowatts, compared with 9,600 kilowatts for the CRH380 trains, Chinese electric high-speed train developed by CSR running is currently running for Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway with the world’s fastest speed of 300 km per hour. Ongoing plans are in progress to extend the railway route till Hongkong by 2015.

Shen Zhiyun,a locomotive train expert asserted that the current speed of 500 kmph will serve a useful reference for existing high- speed railway operations. However, the CSR chairman Zhao Xiaogang clarified that in future Chinese trains will not run at this speed levels. He added “We aim to ensure the safety of trains operation.” However, it is not clear when the train would be made accessible for commercial service.

Indian Railways, Now Tracked by Satellites


The Railways are soon shifting to a satellite-based tracking system to get the exact time information regarding the movement of train. The pilot project implemented on Chennai section is soon to be completed. It will be in production from next year.

P Bala Bhaskar Rao, VP (Operations) of Hyderabad-based Avantel Limited, “We will commence installation of the Mobile Satellite Service (MSS) system from the next week covering 107 locomotives that run on the Chennai section. The installation of the technology will be completed by February of next year,”as quoted by Business Standard.

Indian Railways, Now Tracked by Satellites

India’s first certified indigenous MSS system for defense and aerospace applications has been developed by Avantel and the first 12 unit of system including four spare systems is to be delivered to Boeing Company under a contract worth about $ 2.2 million. Supplied by the American aircraft company to Indian defense forces, these MSS systems would be fitted on 8 P-8I Maritime Reconnaissance Aircraft.

The Boeing Aerospace in compliance with Directorate General of Aeronautical Quality Assurance (DGAQA) standards produced the MSS system for the P-8I. According to the company, it has been qualified by the Center for Military Airworthiness & Certification (Cemilac).

Rao said that the system involving the technology is same for the aircraft and Indian Railways. The MSS-based tracking system is planned to be implemented in the Railways across the country once its pilots demonstrate its efficiency.

The first phase of the Real Train Information System, based on the satellite imaging for rail navigation has been opened by the Railway. It has been mutually developed by the Research Design and Standards Organization and IIT-Kanpur. Despite the fact that the locomotives are fitted with GPS equipment, the system runs on Global System for Mobile (GSM) communication technology that is used in mobile phones.

After the implementation of new system the movement and location of each train will be tracked on a realtime basis. Rao said, “Once the system is in place several value-added services like providing passengers with accurate information on train arrival time among others will be developed around it,”
Avantel has also come up with ultra high frequency (UHF) communication systems and products, and it will be delivered to Antrix Corporation, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) under a contract for 25-crore in the next six months.

The Indian army extensively uses the MSS system mainly on the Navy warships and Cost Guard vessels. The MSS system for defence applications are developed from various platforms like submarines, torpedoes, ground-based vehicles, ships, and aircraft.

Founded in 1995, Aventel had started developing Type-C terminals for one-way messaging following a technology transfer agreement with Isro in 2000. A turnover of Rs 24.5 crore was recorded for the BSE-listed company in 2001 and revenue of 26 crore is expected for the present year. Its share closed up at 58.25 whereas its 52-month price stood at 69.5 and 41 respectively.

BlackBerry: Caught Yet Again in Tussle for Name


The Canadian based manufactures of BlackBerry Smart phones, Research In Motion (RIM) face legal challenge over the trademark use of its instant messaging service, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM).

RIM faces trademark challenge from BBM Canada, a company which provides broadcast measurement and consumer behavior data. The CEO of BBM Canada, Jim MacLeod wants RIM to stop advertising its services under the trademark BBM, but would also consider changing his company’s name at a price.

rim

The instant messenger allows BlackBerry users to send and receive text and video files and also allow them to know when they are delivered and read. RIM has recently launched its BBM Music song sharing service and promoted the third party apps which boast of having 50 million active customers. RIM has been promoting all this under the trademark BBM.

But according to MacLeod, RIM is using a trademark which they don’t even own. BBM Canada was established in 1944 which currently has 650 employs and an annual revenue of around $ 50 million compared to RIM’s  last quarter sales of above $5 billion. MacLord added, “We have to be practical because RIM operates worldwide and we don’t, but we are not prepared to just walk away from the name.”

 BBM Canada launched its legal action late last year following the denial letter from RIM saying that there could not possibly be any confusion between two names as the services from both companies don’t overlap with one another. RIM is not ready to lose the name BBM and is determined not to pay anything to BBM Canada saying it is attempting to obtain trademark protection for BBM acronym which is well beyond the narrow range of services that BBM Canada provides.

However, Industry Canada has already denied RIM’s request in 2009 to register the trademark BBM, saying that the name was already in use. Earlier this month, RIM was forced to change the name of its operating system from ‘BBX’ to ‘BlackBerry 10’ following the trademark battle with BASIS International, a US based company.

Team Anna Slams Congress for Linking Hazare to RSS


Team Anna released photographs of some Congress leaders with former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader Nanaji Deshmukh as it slammed the party over its renewed allegations about the social activists’ saffron links.

The Bharaitya Janata Party (BJP) also slammed the Congress for raising a ruckus over the photograph published in a daily. The photographs released by Team Anna show Congress leader Motilal Vora sharing the stage with Deshmukh. Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Congress leader Balram Jharkhar have also been photographed with Deshmukh. In one of the photographs, Deshmukh is sitting alongside former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and Jhakhar.

anna

Earlier in the day, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh alleged that Hazare had links with the RSS. Referring to the photograph published by a Hindi daily, Singh tweeted: ‘And he denied any association with RSS! Now whom do we believe Facts with Picture and the claim of RSS or Anna? I am again proved right.’ His party colleague and union minister Beni Prasad Verma joined the tirade against Hazare, saying he was an ‘RSS agent’ and ‘army deserter’. Congress spokesperson Raashid Alvi said that Anna should come clean on his links with the RSS. ‘Which ideology Anna follows is his personal decision.

But there should be some honesty about it, people have the right to know what your ideology is. People must know,’ Alvi said. But Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal rejected the allegations, saying Hazare was ‘an agent of the country’. ‘Anna is an agent of our country. When they (government) don’t have anything to say, they say these things…Why do they not pass Jan Lokpal bill, why do they want to keep CBI in their hands,’ Kejriwal said, adding that the Congress wanted to divert the attention of people. Another Hazare associate Kiran Bedi tweeted: ‘Does sharing of the dais make one each other’s agent? Next time shud one sit alone? When two persons share a dais do they become each others agents? (sic)’ Hazare is slated to start a three-day fast in Mumbai from Tuesday to press for a stong Lokpal bill. His fast will coincide with the expected debate in parliament on the long-pending anti-corruption legislation.

Meanwhile, BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said Congress was raising irrelevant issues. ‘The Congress has lost its mind. And it is because of their frustration that they are talking rubbish and asking inane questions which need not be answered,’ Javadekar said. ‘Nanaji was a great patriot and activist. All parties had good relations with him. Who made this allegation? Digvijay Singh? He also has many pictures with Nanaji,’ Javadekar added.

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