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on 2008/2/26 15:00:15

Lalu’s gives little for AP

Railway minister Lalu Prasad Yadav presented the Railway budget for the year 2008-09 today. There was not much in the budget for Andhra Pradesh.

A new Garib Rath between Secunderabad and Visakhapatnam has been announced. The train will run three times in a week. The Tirupathi and Nizamabad Krishna Express has been now extended to run up to Adilabad. A tri-weeksly train From Machilipatnam to Bangalore would be introduced shortly.

Lalu Yadav also announced that the Secunderabad Railway Station would be modernized and made into a world-class railway station.

Chief minister YS Rajashekar Reddy expressed satisfaction over the allocation to Andhra Pradesh in this year’s railway budget.

Related Stories:

  • Lalu Prasad takes dig at Anna and team
  • Good news for MLAs and MPs
  • Chidambaram presents 'Poll' budget
  • Naren, back on action
  • Meera Jasmine & Prithviraj in Bose
  • Nasrani- A fine pair!
  • Prithviraj gets Notebook Roma
  • Manju- Mammootty's new heroine!
  • Nasarani is coming!
  • Madhuri fan asks for Bollywood train
  • Johny On a Roll
  • Mammootty plans it better
  • Lal Jose is back with 'Mulla'
  • Resignations no solution to bifurcation issue: Raghuveera
  • Mammootty to play a cop for the 25th time
  • 10 Most Corrupt Indian Politicians
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    Lalu Prasad takes dig at Anna and team

    2011/8/27 17:58:35

    Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Lalu Prasad Yadav on Saturday said Anna Hazare took advantage of his arrest.

    Speaking in the Lok Sabha during discussion on a suo motu statement by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Hazare's demands related to the anti-graft Lokpal Bill, the RJD leader said he respected Annaji, but Team Anna has continued to humiliate us (leaders).

    Angry with Kiran Bedi for her theatrics on stage at Ramlila Maidan on Friday, Lalu said Anna Hazare was being misled by the people surrounding him, including former top cop Kiran Bedi who was eyeing polls.

    Bedi, to the great amusement of the crowd, had on Friday pulled a scarf from the neck of a young activist on stage, wrapped her head with it like a 'ghunghat' (veil) and mocked MPs and their "double-faced utterances".

    "Anna is being misled by the people around him. Kiran Bediji, if you want to contest the elections, go," the former Bihar chief minister said in his inimitable style and invited bouts of laughter frequently during his speech.

    Looking towards the treasury benches, he said she (Bedi) was "fit candidate" against Kapil Sibal who represents Chandni Chowk Lok Sabha constituency.

    Lalu Prasad also took a dig at Hazare's aide Arvind Kejriwal for trying to dictate the draft legislation on Parliament. "Kejriwal is teaching us. Tell him standing committee is a mini-Parliament."

    Former Bihar CM also appealed to MPs not to allow subversion of Parliament as it will ring the death knell of democracy in the country.

    "We won't allow the supremacy of Parliament to be moved by an inch," he said.

    Pointing out that the MPs and the entire nation had great respect for Hazare, Lalu Prasad wished him a long and healthy life.

    In a lighter vein, he asked MPs to learn "from Anna how to go without food for 12 days at the age of 74".

    He then claimed that he would run three kilometres. "Doctors should research and write a book to reveal the secret behind Annaji's stamina for standing such a long hunger strike."

    Looking towards the media gallery, he also asked journalists to "save democracy, save the nation".
    (Source: Zee News)

    Andhra News : Lalu Prasad takes dig at Anna and team

    Good news for MLAs and MPs

    2007/11/29 15:06:16 The MLAs and MPs had been worried over the delimitation issue. As many as 60 MLAs and MPs were set to lose their constituencies in the delimitation exercise. But there is some good news for them. Digvijay Singh said that the report tabled in Parliament may not be pushed in a hurry. Some parties like the JD (U) led by Lalu Prasad Yadav are opposed to it.

    According to Digvijay Singh, the delimitation exercise is yet to be completed in some states and such, the report may not be implemented now. So there is no worry for MLAs and MPs at least during the coming elections in 2009.

    Andhra News : Good news for MLAs and MPs

    Chidambaram presents 'Poll' budget

    2008/2/29 14:51:52

    After Lalu Prasad Yadav presented a populist budget without increasing railway fares, it was obvious that union finance minister would follow up with a popular and populist budget

    The budget presented by P Chidambaram has announced several sops with an eye on the next general elections.

    The income tax concessions, excise duties exemptions and loan waiver for farmers are all indicators of impending general elections. The prices cars and two wheelers, computers etc will come down as a result of reduction in excise duty.

    Andhra News : Chidambaram presents 'Poll' budget

    Naren, back on action

    2007/6/7 11:15:37

    Naren, who has been careful enough to sign very few sensible films in Malluwood, after the phenomenal success of Classmates and his latest Pandhaya Kozhi, is again back to action.

    He will be appearing in a very different and strong lead character in the film directed by the debutant Ebby Abraham. The film is said to have a very fresh story and screenplay by the director himself.

    The others in the cast include Jagathy, Vijayaraghavan, Lalu Alex, Kochupreman, Shammy Thilakan, Anoop Menon, Bijukuttan, Jagadheesh Prasad, Aswathy, Valsala Menon and Jagannathavarma. Cinematographed by P Sukumar, the film will have a few songs by Ouseppachan. Produced by Nijhin and Sheriff in the banner of Karvarna Vision, this untitled movie will be on the floors by the 11th of July.

    Malayalam Cinema News : Naren, back on action

    Meera Jasmine & Prithviraj in Bose

    2007/8/30 14:05:29

    Prithviraj has signed his next film ‘Bose’. The film will be directed by M.Padmakumar and he has roped in Prithviraj and Meera Jasmine to play the lead. A K Sajan has done the script of the film. Saikumar, Jagathy, Lalu Alex and Manoj K Jayan are in other important roles.

    The film is planned to start by the 20th of December. Chandra Kumar produces the film under his banner of Malavika productions. The production house had earlier produced Dileep starrer ‘The Don’.

    The delay in starting the film might be due to Padmakumar’s commitment towards Mammootty Project ‘Theepetty Chandran’. The script by T A Rasaaq is complete however the dates of this film have not yet been finalized.

    Malayalam Cinema News : Meera Jasmine & Prithviraj in Bose

    Nasrani- A fine pair!

    2007/7/18 13:53:14

    Mammootty plays a typical Kottayam Achayan after a long time in Nasrani. This Joshy directed film has special punch lines from writer Ranjit, who has written the script for the film.

    Mammooka plays David John Kottarathil, a rich planter with style and élan. Vimala, plays Sara, a lecturer and his childhood sweetheart. Mukta is a medical student Annie whose education is sponsored by David. Kalabhavan Mani is in the role of David's trusted driver and Man Friday Sukumar.

    Nasrani is a family entertainer, and also features Jagathy,Lalu Alex,Bharat Gopi,Siddique, Sai Kumar, K.P.A.C Lalitha, Ambica Mohan etc. A new music director Bijil, is in charge of providing the songs.

    The film is being shot in one schedule in and around Kochi, and is likely to release for Onam.

    Malayalam Cinema News : Nasrani- A fine pair!

    Prithviraj gets Notebook Roma

    2007/4/19 7:51:47

    There always were problems when it comes to finding heroines for Prithviraj in Malayalam. They either were too young or slightly senior to him in terms of image. As if this wasn't bad enough, suddenly actresses would simply refuse to work with him. After the resounding success of Maayavi, director Shafi is all set to start his new film, Chocolate. The film's shooting will begin on the 1st of May. Prithviraj is the hero. Notebook Roma is the heroine. The film story takes place with Kalalayaa as the backdrop. Jayasurya is the second hero. The rest of the cast includes Lalu Alex, Salim Kumar, Suraj and others.

    Meanwhile, Prithviraj had an amazing hit in Tamil with Mozhi, in which he plays the role of a musician who falls in love with a hearing impaired woman. Jyothika had played the female lead in this film. There were many who wondered if starring in such an emotional role would be such a good idea for Prithviraj, but he seems to have had his priorities right. There is gossip going around that he might soon start shifting to more action-oriented roles in future.

    Malayalam Cinema News : Prithviraj gets Notebook Roma

    Manju- Mammootty's new heroine!

    2007/9/18 12:17:38

    Mammootty has a new heroine in Renji Panikkar's Rowdram, where he plays a cop for the 25 th time in his career. Mammootty is assistant police commissioner Narendran, and newcomer Manju plays his wife.

    Manju is a Mallu girl from Chennai, daughter of seafood exporter Benjamin. She has passed out of the prestigious Ethiraj College and is doing her fashion technology course in Chennai. Manju was introduced to director Ranji Panikkar, by a family friend.

    Rowdram is an action packed police story, based on a recent happening in Kerala politics. Ranji Panikkar is one of the best chroniclers of the coalition politics in the state. The others in the cast are Sai Kumar, Lalu Alex, Vijayraghavan, Rajan.P.Dev and others.

    Rowdram is produced by Marikkar films and is due for release on November 29.

    Malayalam Cinema News : Manju- Mammootty's new heroine!

    Nasarani is coming!

    2007/9/24 11:58:35

    Last week Mammootty's Joshy directed Nasarani shoot was over at the Marian college ground at Kuttikanam, near Peerumedu in Kerala. Mammootty plays a rich planter David John who has his own helicopter in the film.

    Joshy was shooting a scene in the college where Mammootty as David John wearing a Kasavu Mundu and white Juba, looking sexy with a Ray Ban glasses and talking continuously on higher end Nokia mobile was trying to impress Sara Eapen (Vimala) a college lecturer. Vimala in a pink sari was sufficiently impressed by Mammootty's small talk and his helicopter and takes a ride with him.

    The entire shoot of Nasarani is over, and it is Mammootty's big Perunal (Ramzan) film, that is likely to release on October 12. Mammookka needs a hit badly to catch up with arch-rival Mohanlal in the box-office sweepstake.

    Nasarani is a film which is sure going to be lapped up by Mammootty's fans as it has all the essential ingredients to keep them happy. Ranjit who has given Mammootty some memorable characters is writing the script. An array of top actors like Kalabhavan Mani, Biju Menon Lalu Alex. Bharat Gopi, Mukta George, K.P.A.C Lalitha and others are in the cast. The film milieu is Christian background and Mammootty as 'Achayan' simply rocks!

    Malayalam Cinema News : Nasarani is coming!

    Madhuri fan asks for Bollywood train

    2006/6/25 14:44:28

    Pappu Sardar, a die-hard fan of screen diva Madhuri Dixit who has been celebrating her birthday in a big way for the past one decade, has appealed to Railway Minister Lalu Prasad to introduce a 'Bollywood Express' in recognition of the film industry's contribution to the country's economic growth.

    Pappu distributes sweets among 3000 people on his favourite actor's birthday on May 15 every year and this time to stress his point had a 30-pound cake in the shape of a train made.

    "In my letter to Laluji I have pointed out that Bollywood, the biggest film industry in Asia, has been playing a major role in the country's economic growth by generating revenue and providing employment to hundreds of families but has not been given its due recognition.

    Bollywood has also earned the country many accolades in the international level and the train would be a tribute to legendary like Dada Saheb Phalke," he said.

    Prasad, he said, is not only famous in the political circles of the country but is like a Bollywood 'superstar.'

    Asked why he was for a Tata-Mumbai train when there were already several which link the two, he said he had made the demand as several present-day actors like Priyanka Chopra, R Madhavan and Tanushree Dutta hail from this city.

    "But I have no problems if the train starts from elsewhere so long it is called Bollywood Express and goes to Mumbai," he said.


    Bollywood News : Madhuri fan asks for Bollywood train

    Johny On a Roll

    2006/7/29 21:00:46

    The Master Blaster of comedy and humor, Johny Lever has managed to achieve a feat of no less than 50 impersonations and spoofs in just a mere 25 episodes! Johny has laced his innings with hilarious gags along with flashes of his personality unknown to his fans, and donning many disguises with ease.

    The opening spell saw ‘Johny Aala Re with a high 3.3 TRP rating on the 10pm slot on Zee TV. Johny burst open with a rib tickling impersonation of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, which soon established his domination of television comedy. Soon after followed the famous get-up of Asha Bhosle, which had his audiences rolling in the aisles.

    There was no stopping him there onwards. Johny kept his viewers in splits with gags on Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav, former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly, the Late Comedy Master Mehmood (whom Johny regards as his Guru), Veerapan, Himesh Reshammiya and hosts of other former greats such as Ashok Kumar and Om Prakash.

    Johny has carried his fine form from recent films like ‘36 China Town’ and ‘Phir Hera Pheri’ to television and the future is promising with new gags and spoofs on well known stars like Late Amrish Puri, musical genius Kishore Kumar and veteran actor Sanjeev Kumar. Other celebrities need not rest easy that they have been spared; it might be their turn to be bowled out soon!


    Bollywood News : Johny On a Roll

    Mammootty plans it better

    2007/7/5 11:23:35

    It's better to know the game to play it the best. Mammootty is a man who is known to be a meticulous player in the filmi circuit. He knows how to move his lines in the filmi business. All determined to have an Onam release, Mammootty has altogether rescheduled his plans of shoots and releases to make an adipoli film for his fans.

    Nasarani, his film with Joshy in the scripts of Renjith will now go on for a continuous schedule to get completed by the first week of August. Earlier the MACTA strike and other reasons had put a big question mark on the shoot of his film which was indefinitely postponed.

    The shoot of Nasarani which restarted in Kochi on June 25, will be completed by the first week of August. The film is all set to get released for Onam on August 26 or 27. In a span of 61 days, the film is going to complete its shooting , editing and dubbing!, that too with a star studded cast of Kalabhavan Mani, Biju Menon, Lalu Alex, Captain Raju, Siddique, Saikumar, Vijayaraghavan, K P A C Lalitha. Muktha George and Vimala Raman.

    After completing Nasarani, Mammootty will move on to Pazhassi Raja which demands another hundred days to get completed. The film with six crore budget may be the Christmas release of the star. Apart from these, the star will also be featured in an important guest role in Sreenivasan's Katha Parayumpol.

    Mammotty's Ore Kadal which has already been completed will be postponed for this Ramzan. Mammootty's immediate release will be Mission 90 Days which will get into theatres by the 12th of this month.

    Malayalam Cinema News : Mammootty plans it better

    Lal Jose is back with 'Mulla'

    2007/11/21 17:00:06

    Lal Jose is today the biggest brand among Malayalam directors. He is able to deliver delights like Arabikatha to the critics and at the same time come out with a trendsetter Classmates,a blockbuster. Now Lal Jose has started the shoot of his new film Mulla, with his favourite hero Dileep at Palani in Tamilnadu.

    The highlight of Mulla is that he is introducing a new heroine Meera Nandan from Kochi, who was the anchor of a reality show on television. She is doing her Plus two in a school, and looks beautiful and has typical the girl next door looks. Says Lal Jose: “The character she plays in Mulla is that of Latchi a bubbly girl who works in a bakery. She has the looks of my character and I think she can emote well.”

    Another important character is Vasanthi a gypsy girl who goes around in trains singing songs. For that Lalu has found a girl from Mumbai Sruthi Menon, a dusky beauty. The other new face is Reena Basheer, who plays the role of Malathy, the wife of a dada in a colony. The story takes place against the background of trains and a slum colony, near the Railway station.

    The others in the cast are Innocent, Salim Kumar, Riza Bava, Binish Kodiyeri, Anoop Chandran. Sindhuraj has written the story; camera is by Vipin Mohan and for the first time upcoming lyric writer Vaylar Sarathchandra Varma is being teamed up with the hit maker Vidyasagar.

    Mulla is the coming together of Dileep and Lal Jose wjho have given us the maximum number of hits. The film is scheduled to be Dileep’s 2008 Vishu release.

    Malayalam Cinema News : Lal Jose is back with 'Mulla'

    Resignations no solution to bifurcation issue: Raghuveera

    2011/7/11 14:04:24 Revenue Minister N Raghuveera Reddy on Monday sidestepped demands of his resignation by activists of the Seemandhra Joint Action Committee, saying that resignation of elected representatives would not find a solution to the controversial separate statehood issue.

    The Minister was responding to the activists of the Seemandra Joint Action Committee who had picketed the Guest House in city, demanding that he submit his resignation for the cause of Samaikya Andhra Pradesh.

    Mr Raghuveera Reddy told the protestors that resignations of leaders would not create a Constitutional crisis as expected by them. “Resignations would only lead to by elections,” he said.

    The Minister pointed out that allies constituting the United Progressive Alliance should extend support to the formation of Telangana state. “Without their support it is impossible for the UPA government to form any separate Telangana state,” he pointed out.

    He said the government would seek the opinion of Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee, DMK chief M Karunanidhi, Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar, Rashtriya Janata Dal president Lalu Prasad and Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav before taking any decision on the Telangana.

    Mr Raghuveera Reddy also told the protestors that he was opposed to resignations by elected members from their posts and added that he would appeal the Centre to maintain status quo in the state. “Division of the state would hamper its progress,” he said.

    The Minister also expressed the view that agitations and dharnas are paralysing the administration in the state and students’ educational careers are being hit.(INN)

    Andhra News : Resignations no solution to bifurcation issue: Raghuveera

    Mammootty to play a cop for the 25th time

    2007/9/7 9:37:12

    It was his role as a police officer that made him a Malayalam film superstar. And now Mammootty is all set to don the cop's uniform for the 25th time in an acting career spanning more than 25 years.

    For this role, Mammootty is joining hands with filmmaker Renji Panicker. Shooting for the film began on Wednesday.

    "I have heard only a bit of the story for the yet-to-be-titled film by Panicker and, of course, I have complete faith in him because it is his own script and is to be directed by him," Mammootty told.

    He has every reason to be happy with the new film because it was the role of a police officer in the movie Yavanika in the early 1980s that propelled his career to newer heights. Since then he has had no reason to worry about the success of a film in which he donned the khaki uniform.

    Panicker told IANS: "Mammootty plays the role of a middle level police officer investigating a crime." The paper work for the film, which is slated for an early November release, is still not complete. "I shoot and write because I feel more comfortable that way and this is a film focusing on recent political events in Kerala," Panicker said.

    He had earlier scripted two hugely successful films starring Mammootty - The King and Dubai.

    The new film will be produced by Marikar Films, whose recent productions - Big B starring Mammootty and Hello starring Mohanlal - have done well at the box office. Panicker's lucid writing skills have been credited for the success of many Mohanlal and Suresh Gopi films. This film will be Panicker's second as a director and his 14th as a scriptwriter.

    "The heroine of the film is a new face who is 23 years old and we are finalising her new name," added Panicker.

    Other cast members include Lalu Alex, Saikumar, Vijayaraghavan and several regulars in the industry. Sanjiv Sankar will handle the camera.

    Malayalam Cinema News : Mammootty to play a cop for the 25th time

    10 Most Corrupt Indian Politicians

    2011/8/22 7:04:32 While everyone has been animatedly supporting Anna Hazare's fight against corruption, people seem to have forgotten who the people are who actually led to this situation.

    The peak of irony was when Anna was, allegedly, lodged in the same jail that housed the people who were responsible for two of the biggest scams in the country ever. How must the authorities have felt when they saw Raja and Kalmadi fill their plates while Anna was on a fast because of their misdeeds?
    Corruption has become an unavoidable part of politics and every now and then, one or the other politician re-affirms this fact.

    Here is our pick of the 10 most corrupt politicians of India.
    Suresh Kalmadi, almost single handedly caused a loss of hundreds of crores of rupees to the country. The Commonwealth Games, organized by Kalmadi was no less than a loot with numerous reports of the magnum opus event being soaked in corruption making headlines way before the Games had even started. Apparently, out of Rs. 70000 crores spent on the Games, only half of the amount was actually spent. Owing to his involvement in the scam, Kalmadi was charged with corruption and sent to Tihar jail.

    A scam worth Rs. 176,000 crore had former Union Cabinet Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Andimuthu Raja at the centre. A. Raja as he is generally called, was the prime accused in the 2G spectrum scam, which was the largest that the country had seen in a long time. Following the shocking exposure, Raja was indicted and forced to resign. Presently, he is too has been lodged at the Tihar jail and is awaiting his trial.

    Mayawati has always been criticized for ostentatious display of power in her state. She has allegedly used her status as chief minister to amass large amounts of personal wealth. She was charged with corruption when the Taj Heritage Corridor Case was uncovered. Mayawati's birthdays have always been media events, where she usually appears decked in diamond jewellery and also accepts public donations for which, she often comes under fire. Her assets are worth millions of dollars and in the year 2007-08, she had paid an income tax of Rs. 26 crores, which placed her amongst the top 20 taxpayers of the year.

    The fact that Lalu Prasad Yadav has been an accused in 63-odd cases serves for the fact that Lalu stands as one of the strongest competitor in the list. The biggest scam that rocked Lalu's political career was the fodder scam which involved the embezzlement of Rs. 950 crore approximately. The accusation of nepotism against him has come up time and again but hardly any action has been taken against him owing to his 'connections' in the government.

    Former Jharkand Chief Minister, and only the third independent legislator to assume the office of chief minister in India, Madhu Koda was responsible for a scam worth over Rs. 4000 crore. The man exploited the state's natural resources by licensing illegal mining leases and stashing away the wealth amassed during the undertaking. Furthermore, the Maoists received a 30% share of the booty. Koda was arrested on charges of money laundering and is still in prison following the rejection of numerous bail applications.

    Mulayam Singh Yadav is also known as one of the most corrupt ministers in the country despite not being directly involved in any major scams. Apart from his name being involved in appointments of tainted officers and mishandling of his power as chief minister, Mulayam Singh had one major allegation levelled against him– accumulation of disproportionate assets. The case drew limelight on his sons and daughter-in-law as they too were holders of the assests that amounted to crores of rupees.

    The corruptions charges against M. Karunanidhi are so many that he is often referred to as the king or emperor of corruption. He was accused of lending support to the LTTE and was indicted for abetting the LTTE in the interim report which oversaw the investigation into Rajiv Gandhi's assassination.

    Karunanidhi reportedly institutionalized corruption in the South. He was a leading player in the cash for votes scams that are common in the southern region, as well as notorious foe extreme nepotism shown under his rule. Not so surprising, is the fact that the main accused in the 2G scam, A, Raja, considers him to be his mentor.

    Very few people can miss the cosy relationship that Sharad Pawar shares with power and money.Every now and then, Pawar draws flak for alleged investments made by him and his family in various illegal projects. He was named by Abdul Karim Telgi, during a narcoanalysis test, stating that it was Pawar's brainchild to print fake stamp papers across the country and mint money. He was also accused in a multi-crore scam involving wheat imports and institutions headed by him and his close associates were served notices by the Bombay High Court for showing favoritism to his family.

    The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu has a staggering 46 corruption cases against her. Amongst the various scams were the Rs. 70 million coal import scam, Tansi land deal case, case of disproportionate assets and colour TV case, amongst many others. A raid in her residence and business establishments led to the seizure of some 28 kg of jewellery (worth Rs 51 crore), 91 wrist-watches, 41 air-conditioners, 10,500 sarees, 750 pairs of footwears, etc. She along with her former cabinet colleagues and senior bureaucrats who worked with her are still facing investigation with regard to corruption.

    The most recent politician to be caught in the web of corruption is former Chief Minister of Karnataka, B. S. Yeddyurappa. While he has a number of corruption lying against him, the one that toppled his career was his alleged involvement in the illegal iron ore export scam in districts of Karnataka. A lot of blame game followed and ended up with Yeddyurappa losing his ministerial post last month. Despite his denial, his image as one of the most corrupt politicians of the country will not fade anytime soon.

    (source: Yahoo)

    Andhra News : 10 Most Corrupt Indian Politicians

    Highlights of Railway Budget

    2008/2/26 19:18:07 * Railway profit in 2007-08 at Rs 25,000 crore.
    * Doubling of lines to be given priority.
    * Railways planning smart card-based ticketing system.
    * CCTvs at all important stations
    * Modular toilets to be introduced in trains.
    * 'Go Mumbai' card to be sold at bus depots.
    * Freight loading estimated to increase from 650 mt to 1100 mt by 2011
    * New policy for wagon leasing.
    * New line for Ennore Power Station.
    * By 2010, all coaches will be made of steel.
    * Professional agencies being involved on a pilot basis to ensure cleanliness in running trains.
    * Work on automatic signalling to start in new sections.
    * Railways to bring in led displays in stations on train arrivals/ departures.
    * Stainless steel coaches for mail and express trains.
    * Cleanliness drive on rajdhani and shatabdi trains.
    * Railways show a surplus of Rs 68,778 cr in last four years.
    * Railways to provide escalators at 50 per cent of the stations in the country.
    * Railway Minister Lalu Yadav announced that Indian Railways will introduce 15,000 ticketing counters in the next 2 years. The Railways plans to offer tickets through mobile phones.
    * By 2009 call centre based inquiry services to be unveiled.
    * Issuance of wait-listed e-tickets will also allowed
    * Operating ratio of the Railways was at 76%.
    * Rs 49,250 crore invested into new railway projects.
    * Railway plan size increased from Rs 11,000 crore to Rs 30,000 crore in the last four years.
    * Productivity of Railway assets has been constantly increasing.
    * Railways attained 790 tonne payload target in the year 2007-08.
    * E-ticket booking is likely to rise to 300,000 from 100,000 in a year.
    * Freight traffic target of 785 million tonnes crossed to touch 790 million tones
    * Railway plan size increased from Rs 11,000 crore to Rs 30,000 crore in the last four years.
    * 560 railway station platforms to be lengthened to take long trains.
    * Middle-level and low-level platforms to be upgraded to high-level platforms in several stations to help commuters.
    * More facilities for women and old passengers.

    Andhra News : Highlights of Railway Budget

    Vying for top spot this fesival season


    The Malayalam film industry gears up for the festival season with four new releases, Flash, Kadha Parayumbol, Kangaroo and Romeo. KK Moidu writes

    The festive season, Christmas and New Year, coincides with Eid Al Adha this year and frontliners Mohanlal, Mammootty, Prithviraj and Dileep have new releases for their fans. The last season of the year is one of the best times for new releases, not only in time for the celebrations, but also for the two-week holiday in Kerala.

    Director Sibi Malayil and Mohanlal team up after an interval of seven years in Flash. Fans of the superstar have high expectations of the psychological thriller

    scripted by journalist S Bhasura Chandran. Recording artist Gopi Sundar makes his debut as the music director.

    Of Notebook fame, Parvathy plays Dhwani, an obstinate rich girl, born and brought up in Chennai. She is the sole heir of the wealthy Kalarithodi family but has little knowledge about her relatives or her state, Kerala.

    After the death of her mother, Dhwani returns to her ancestral home in Kerala. She is welcomed with immense love and affection by her grandfather because of the long years of separation. Mithun Madhavan (Mohanlal), a Mumbai-based IT businessman's entry in her life changes everything.

    Jagathy Sreekumar plays an important role in the film as Idea Sasi, a close friend of Mithun. Sasi always has ideas, which are always impractical. Tamil actor Ponvannan, Indrajith, Sai Kumar, Jagadheesh, Siddique, Suraj Venjaramoodu, Bijukuttan, Vineeth Sreekumar, Shamna Kasim etc. are the other artistes in the film.

    The movie, filmed at Kannoor, Kanjangad, Kozhikode and Changanassery is cinematographed by Sajan Kulathil.

    The classic makers Lal and Sibi have earlier created superhits like Kireedom, Maayamayooram, Bharatham, Kamaladalam, His Highness Abdulla etc.

    Will Mohanlal bring back his glorious success in his reunion with Sibi Malayil in Flash?
    Lal's pairing opposite Parvathy in Flash will be another record for the highest paid actor of Malayalam cinema. The fifty-plus actor is playing the hero opposite an 18-year old Parvathy this time! This is the biggest ever age gap for the actor in his more than two-and-a-half decades long career.

    The actor has worked on his appearance and lost weight to romance the young heroine in the thorough entertainer. The first half of the film is comedy and romance and the second half gives importance to suspense and action.

    The success of the film will be a relief for the superstar Mohanlal who is going through a series of flops. Starting with Alibhai, even his latest film Rock N Roll, directed by Renjith, failed at the box office.

    According to reports, success or failure will not affect the superstar's career for a couple of years because his hands are full with offers with a group of heroines.

    Mohanlal earlier created news by appearing with eight heroines in his forthcoming film Casanova. Other leading directors like Sathyan Anthikkad also cast him opposite four heroines a new release. The upcoming film Kaarthika Thirunaal Kaarthikeyan will also feature him with leading heroines Parvathy Milton, Padmapriya, Namitha and Shwetha Menon. He paired with three ladies Shwetha Menon, Padmapriya and Lakshmy Gopalaswamy in Pardesi.

    Kadha Parayumbol
    M Mohanan, an assistant of Sathyan Anthikkad, makes his directorial debut in Kadha Parayumbol with Mammootty. He plays the role of Ashok Raj, a film superstar, scripted by Sreenivasan.

    Sreenivasan is also playing a full length character in the film. Mukesh not only plays an important role in the film but also produces the film under the banner of Lumiere films.

    The movie tells the story of a rare friendship between Balan (Sreenivasan), a barber in a village and a reigning superstar Ashok Raj. They are childhood friends and studied in the same school.
    Balan becomes a luminary in the village because of his unusual companionship with Ashok Raj. Villagers are ready to do anything for Balan and his family. He climbs the ladder of success within no time, but Balan does not disclose his closeness to the superstar.

    The arrival of Ashok Raj in Melukaavu Village for the shooting of a film becomes a trial by fire for Balan. Will the superstar recognise his childhood campanion? Will people get to know their intimacy?
    Innocent appears as Ashok Raj's personal assistant cum chef in the film. Mukesh plays a parallel college teacher role. Meena is barber Balan's wife, who makes a living by selling goat's milk.

    Other artistes in the comedy entertainer are Jagadeesh, Salim Kumar, Jagathy, KPAC Lalitha, Suraj Venjaramoodu, Sadiq and Mamukkoya. M Jayachandran tunes for the lyrics of Anil Panachooran and Gireesh Puthencherry.

    Will Mammootty create another hit with a debutante director? He could as he has tasted success earlier with debutante directors Joemon, Blessy, Amal Neerad, Anwar Rasheed, Lal Jose etc.

    Prithviraj, who is delivering hit after hit in Tamil, has repeated his success on home turf in the recently released Chocolate. His new release Kangaroo will add to his prestige to keep his star status.
    Kavya Madhavan is his love interest in the film. Other artistes are Jayasoorya and Kaveri.

    Prithviraj plays the role of an auto driver for the first time. In the film, he always carries a baby which he found on the street everywhere with him. Although Josekutty was born in a rich family, he is almost like an orphan and has grown up as an ordinary person.

    The film, produced by Isabella Movie Tone, is directed by Raj Babu. Other cast members are Jagathy, Salim Kumar, Bindu Panicker, Suraj Venjaramoodu, Lalu Alex and Sukumari.

    Whenever any south Indian superstar played an auto driver's role, the movies were superhits like Basha starring Tamil superstar Rajnikanth and Aye Auto with Mohanlal.

    Another possibility of a box office victory for Kangaroo is his partnership with Jayasurya. These young actors earlier appearance in Swapnakoodu, Classmates and the recently released Chocolate were big hits. Will the auto driver role in Kangaroo take the young hero to new heights?

    Superstar Dileep, who did not have a release in the last five months, is returning as a male nurse in Romeo. Like Mohanlal, Dileep also has three heroines in the film, Vimala Raman, Samvrutha Sunil and Shruthi Lekshmy. This is Dileep's first appearance with Vimala Raman.

    Romeo is directed by 90s hit maker Rajasenan and is produced and scripted by the super hit team of the year Rafi-Mecartin.

    Rafi-Mecartin became a successful script writing duo in Aniyan Bhava Chettan Bhava directed by Rajasenan, which released one-and-a-half decades ago. In Romeo, the duo returns as the producer with their mentor Rajasenan, who is going through a bad phase in his career.
    Romeo also reunites Rajasenan and Dileep after Darling Darling. The humorous entertainer is centered on Manu (Dileep), son of a junior film artist. Manu is a male nurse in a reputed hospital. He loves music and girls. He has a special attachment with doctor Priya (Vimala Raman), who works in the same hospital.

    Manu is in love with Leena (Samvrutha Sunil), the star contestant in the music reality show on television. His love for music forces him to study classical music and that makes way for a new female fan (Shruthy Lakshmy). The film tells the story of Manu's varied experiences in life with music, love and women.

    Other important roles are played by Bheeman Raghu, Ashokan, TP Madhavan, Cochin Haneefa, Mallika Sukumaran and Bindu Panicker.

    Alex Paul-Vayalar Sharath team handles the music department of the film and it is cinematographed by KP Nambiathiry.

    Dileep's last release was July 4 and it was not a box office hit. The delay of Calcutta News directed by Blessy created a long gap for a new release in Dileep's career.

    Romeo was opened in 45 centres in Kerala on Dec.14. The film is enjoying a wave of success with satirical comedy sequences.

    Will Romeo continue the lead after the release of other superstar films? Will Mohanlal's Flash with Sibi Malayil bring back their earlier success? Will Mammootty's debutante director formula create box office wonder?

    Will Prithviraj repeat his Chocolate success in Kangaroo?
    Among the last Eid Al Fitr releases Chocolate, Nasrani, Pardesi and Black Cat, the Prithviraj starrer Chocolate turned out to be the biggest box office hit. Mammootty's Nasrani is also doing well at the box office. Mohanlal's Pardesi and Suresh Gopi's Black Cat bombed at the box office.

    Who will be the winner in this festival season? It remains to be seen as each film promises to be a hit.

    Malayalam Cinema News : Vying for top spot this fesival season

    Real life Nayak fails to deliver

    2007/12/28 13:27:08

    Nitish Kumar’s 24 months in office (that he completed on 24 November) are no match for celluloid hero Anil Kapoor’s 24 hours as Chief Minister.

    In the Bollywood blockbuster Nayak, Shivaji Rao, played by Kapoor, sets all things right within a day which he gets to rule, but Kumar has failed to deliver even after completing two years in office, having full majority in the House and despite being lucky enough to have the weakest-ever Opposition which protests for its own sake. One may, of course, say that Kapoor achieved the impossible and did the “miracle” in “reel life” and not in real life. But the Bihar CM cannot escape from his responsibilities to deliver the goods that he promised to the masses before getting their support in the last Assembly polls.

    There are many areas where the Nitish Kumar government has performed miserably, sometimes even worse than the previous Rabri Devi regime, but it has gone on adopting the perfect NDA style of “repeat a lie a thousand times to make it look true”.

    The people who had earlier said that Bihar was akin to “jungle raj”

    under the previous RJD regime, have suddenly begun claiming that “It’s now a matter of pride for all to call themselves Biharis”. In reality, however, Biharis continue to be the target of attacks and are shabbily treated almost all over the country, from Assam in the east to Maharashtra in the west and from Punjab in the north to Karnatka in the south.

    What is even more shocking is that not for once has Bihar’s “sober” chief minister taken the pain to visit the victim Bihari families in those states and apply at least a verbal balm on their wounds. Instead, the CM washed his hands of this responsibility by just sending a team of helicopter-riding ministers to such places, unlike RJD chief Lalu Prasad who at least visited them personally.

    Crime in Bihar is at its worst and this has damaged the already poor reputation of the state.

    On the silver screen, Kapoor personally takes on the lumpen and criminal elements to destroy their wide network, but in real life, Bihar continues to bleed even two years after it was able to find a new chief minister.

    A Patna High Court report prepared on the basis of data collected by the district judges says that an alarming number of 4,849 cases of kidnapping took place in Bihar in the last one year (between July 2006 and June 2007) yet the entire state machinery goes on saying that everything is “fine”. The CM sings a different tune now: “Crime has been an integral parts of the society since time immemorial and that no can check it fully.”

    Previously, we were at least able to get our children back by paying up ransom to the kidnappers, but today we are getting skeletons and bodies of our children. In no way, this could be described as an improvement in law and order, though everyone, from officials to ministers, goes on likening it to sushasan (good governance).
    How the law and order situation has deteriorated can be understood from the fact that except for one, all gates of the Bihar Legislature were kept locked for security reasons this time, forcing the lawmakers to wait in a long queue to enter the Assembly premises. This has resulted in a ruckus in the state legislature in the current session almost everyday. Not only the Opposition but the ruling party members too have taken a strong exception to such a move by the law-enforcing authorities.

    What’s more funny is that the state police department repeatedly goes on highlighting its “achievements” while comparing the crime figures with that of the previous regime, obviously to escape immediate criticism by the media and the Opposition, instead of assessing its own performance independently.

    Nothing is complete without making a comparison with the previous RJD regime, although many governments, including those of the Congress, have ruled Bihar since Independence .

    Every time the courts made scathing observations over the functioning of the previous RJD regime, the Bihar CM exulted and made it a point to criticise the previous regime; when the same court came out with those kidnapping figures, the government differed, nay contradicted, the court’s report.

    While the High Court report has said that close to 5,000 people have been abducted by criminal gangs in the last one year, the government report claims only 74 (seventy four) persons have been kidnapped in the last 10 months since January this year! If that is not enough, the state police department has invented a peculiar idea of “honeymoon kidnapping” to play down the abduction cases through which it has tried unsuccessfully to explain that many of the kidnapping cases turned out to be elopement for marriage!

    However, the official figures regarding murder and road robberies remain as alarming as was witnessed during the previous regime and the government has no answer for its failure. If the official figures are to be believed, a whopping 2,506 cases of murder were reported between January and October this year as against 2,753 in 2006, 2,864 in 2005, 3,243 in 2004, 3,062 in 2003, 3,096 in 2002 and 3,071 in 2001 in the corresponding period, indicating only a slight improvement on the law and order front. Likewise, 133 cases of road robberies were reported between January to October this year against 176 in 2006, 177 in 2005, 233 in 2004, 207 in 2003, 202 in 2002 and 202 in 2001 in the corresponding period. Remember, these are “official” figures. The opposition says the ground realities were even more alarming.
    The next major step that Anil Kapoor initiates just after getting power for a day in the film is to act tough with corrupt officials and then dismiss the corrupt politicians. Initially, the Bihar CM too tried to follow the celluloid hero but later appeared to give in for reasons best known to him.

    According to a government report, a total of 189 government officials have been caught red-handed while accepting bribe, whereas corruption cases have been filed against 231 officials in the last two years. This explains how corruption has spread in the administration and the government has failed to check it.

    What is peculiar is that majority of the staff trapped by the anti-corruption bureau are just “small fries” like clerks, BDOs, peons, engineers and Anganwadi sevikas while the “big fishes”, the lone exception being a promotee IAS officer, still continue to go unpunished.
    The same is the case with politicians. One of the first things that Kumar had done after becoming the CM was to sack Jitanram Manjhi moments after he took oath as a minister. What had cost Manjhi, a Scheduled Caste member, dearly was that he was accused in an education scam unearthed during the previous RJD regime. Since then, charges have been leveled against many party colleagues, while several others have been embroiled in controversies for taking law into their own hands. But they still remain to be blue-eyed boys of the CM.

    The opposition has accused leaders like Lalan Singh, state JD-U chief, Narendra Singh, agriculture minister, Rameshwar Paswan, welfare minister, and several party legislators of breaking the law, but no action was taken against these leaders.

    Worse, the government is yet to initiate any action against party leaders like Anand Mohan and his wife Lovely Anand, both ex MPs, and Munna Shukla, party legislator. They were convicted in Gopalganj DM G Krishnaiah lynching case by a local court. While Anand has been given death sentence, the rest two leaders were given life term.
    The opposition says the double standard in initiating action against the guilty party leaders “exposes” the hollowness of the NDA’s much-trumpeted “good governance” in Bihar.

    In Nayak, Anil Kapoor sets up hotline and booth to have direct access to people’s woes and their immediate redress. He meets with tremendous success in his efforts and thus wins people’s heart. Almost taking a leaf out of this film, Kumar too started a weekly Janata ke Durbar mein Mukhya Mantri programme at his official residence at 1, Anne Marg. He tried to interact with people and hear their problems. Every week, thousands of complainants from across the state have been reaching there to lodge complaints with the CM, instead of the local district police or civil chiefs, after paying bus and train fares from pockets; this explains why they have lost faith in the local administration. To top it all, several of the complainants have been seen on more than three occasions at the CM’s “Junta Durbar” which exposes the government’s claim with regard to immediate redress of people’s complaints.

    A very important thing concerning the Anil Kapoor film is that the bureaucrats never proved heavy over the celluloid hero and that they always remained under his command. But in real Nayak’s Bihar, everyone, from ruling party to Opposition leaders, have been accusing the government of allowing the bureaucrats to grow too big. “They don’t listen to our requests. They ignore our demand for transfer of local officials or with regard to disposal of certain cases relating to the common man. Why then will people vote for us in future when we can’t meet their small demands?” This is the most common refrain of the ruling party legislators. The issue has rocked the state Assembly in the past and this time again has figured in the current session of the Assembly but the government continues to play it down.

    Kumar with over 30 officials and ministers went on a week-long tour to Mauritius to woo investors in a country that is as small as some of Bihar’s district and that too at a time when almost entire North Bihar was submerged in floodwaters. Everyone blamed the government’s lack of preparedness as well as little or no preventive flood measures, but the government blamed “nature”.

    Till date, the country’s top industrialists like Mukesh Ambani, Ratan Tata, Anand Mahindra, Sunil Bharati Mittal are still to decide about investments in Bihar, although several of them have visited the state more than twice.

    Yet the real life Naik called Kumar has been lucky so far in the sense that there is no “Manchali”, as played by Rani Kukherjee in the film, at least “officially” to disrupt the functioning of the CM’s secretariat.

    Bollywood News : Real life Nayak fails to deliver

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