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Sonia regrets failure to pass Women's Reservation Bill

Kochi: UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Saturday regretted that the Women's Reservation Bill has not been able to be passed in the Lok Sabha for lack of consensus.

"With the Lok Sabha elections looming large, my greatest regret is that the Women Reservation Bill has not been able to be passed in the Lok Sabha for lack of consensus though it has been approved by the Rajya Sabha", she said here.

India, Italy should resolve marines issue: UN

United Nations: The long-standing issue of two Italian marines being tried by India is prompting tensions between the two countries and they should try to find a "reasonable" and "mutually acceptable" solution to it, the UN has said.

"The Secretary-General is concerned that this long-standing matter between Italy and India remains unresolved and is prompting tensions between two friendly and important Member States of the Organisation," UN Chief Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson Martin Nesirky told reporters.

Pinarayi defends C Bhaskaran, slams police for booking him

Thrissur: CPI-M state Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday came out defending C Bhaskaran, CPI-M district secretariat member, who was booked by the police for making derogatory comments against slain RMP leader TP Chandrasekharan in speech in Vadakara in Kozhikode.

“It is nonsense that the police filed a case against Bhaskaran for the speech. Only he knows what he said. The native people have a very good knowledge about Chandrasekharan. His remarks might be based on that knowledge,” Vijayan said.

Black flags waved at Aryadan Muhammed in Nilambur

Nilambur: Janadipathya Mahila Association activists on Saturday waved black flags at Electricity Minister Aryadan Muhammed who was here to visit the home of C Radha, the 49-year old woman who was murdered by the minister’s former personal assistant and his accomplice at the Congress Block office here earlier in February.

There was mild squabble in the area when the Congress workers gathered tried to block the Association workers from protesting against the minister.

SDPI activist attacked in Vazhikadavu

Vazhikadavu: A Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) activist was critically injured in an attack by some miscreants here near Nilambur Saturday.

Mulayangayil Aneesh (36) was hacked by a six-member group of suspected BJP activists who came on motorbikes while he was standing at Vazhikadavu town.

He came under attack at 7.30 am.

The police see the attack as a retaliatory act as a BJP activist had come under a similar attack here last week.

The Vazhikadavu police have started investigation into the incident.

 

 

Sonia Gandhi to kickstart Lok Sabha election campaign today

Thiruvananthapuram: AICC chief Sonia Gandhi will launch the party's Lok Sabha poll campaign in the State on Saturday at a special convention to be held in Kochi even as the state Congress is yet to complete seat-sharing within the ruling UDF it heads.

Besides energising party functionaries as well as the rank and file for the crucial electoral battle, Gandhi is expected to put across the main themes over which the Congress is going to seek a fresh mandate in her address at the meet.

Busy Chandy misses Lakshadweep-bound Sonia at Kochi

Malappuram: Chief Minister Oommen Chandy Friday said he was unable to be present at the Kochi Naval Airport to welcome AICC chief Sonia Gandhi as he was busy with an official function in this district.

Talking to reporters here, Chandy said he had already informed Gandhi about it.

"I had called Soniaji yesterday and infomed about it and got her permission to attend a function here," he said.

Gandhi arrived at the Kochi Naval airport today on her way to the Minicoy island to commission the Eastern Jetty.

Millions of women devotees expected at Attukal Pongala Sunday

 File photo

Thiruvananthapuram: Upwards of four million women devotees are expected to cook an offering as part of the famed Attukal Pongala festival to be held here Sunday, the organisers said.

More than four million took part last year and the organisers expect the numbers to rise this year.

The temple located in the heart of the city is dedicated to Attukal Bhagavathi, believed to be an incarnation of Kannaki, the central character of the Tamil epic "Silappathikaaram".

Kochi to host this year's World Spice Congress

Kochi: The 12th edition of the World Spice Congress, the world's largest exclusive business platform for the sector, will begin here Feb 16.

The biennial event, jointly organised by Spices Board of India and All India Spice Exporter's Forum, will bring together global thought leaders, grower representatives, policy defining bodies as well as leading players from the spice industry, food and beverages companies on one platform.

All-women Pongala festival turning a boon to potters, vendors

Thiruvananthapuram: One of world's largest all-women religious events, the annual Pongala festival of the famous Attukal Bhagavathi shrine here, to be celebrated on Sunday, is turning to be a boon to earthen pot-makers in South India who struggle to make both ends meet.

Thousands of earthen pots are in demand during the event as women who congregate here for the ritual will be preparing 'Pongala' (a mix of rice and jaggery) in those pots, as offering to the Goddess for the prosperity of their families.