If you are not from Congress, you are not secular

By Mohd Asim Khan,

What kind of a deal the Congress struck with Shahi Imam Ahmed Bukhari in Delhi is not known. But the gist of what transpired in the meeting between Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Bukhari is that the former asked the Shahi Imam not to let the secular vote get divided.

What the Congress means by "secular vote" is open to scrutiny. If by secular vote the Congress means the Muslim vote (Bukhari in any case has only some clout among Muslims), it is objectionable because it tends to say that only the Muslim vote is secular and the Hindu vote is not.

Afghanistan keen on April 5 presidential poll despite repeated terror attacks

By Mohammad Reyaz,

More than terror strikes, the impeding withdrawal of NATO forces or foreign aid, Afghans are most worried about the peaceful transition of power.

Diaspora makes Indian election exciting

By Saroj Mohanty,

"I have no doubt that we are prepared to assume the international role and responsibilities that the world at large expects from a rising India. I am also confident that the association between India and its over twenty-two million roving ambassadors in the expatriate Indian community will continue to deepen and prosper in the years that lie ahead."

Trinamool Congress: Counting 35 and more to be key player

By Ranjana Narayan ,

New Delhi: An air of quiet confidence pervades the Trinamool Congress office here as the party headed by "Didi", West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, makes a determined bid to go national and become a major player in government formation.

The party is contesting 100 seats across India this time and is aiming to win "35 plus seats", to become, in Banerjee's own words, the "third largest party" in India.

Afghanistan faces a make or break polls

By Monish Gulati ,

Afghanistan will go to polls April 5 to bring about the first democratic transition of power in the South Asian nation's history -- a transition accentuated by the fact that, after more than a decade, international forces will withdraw by the end of this year, the highly visible multi-sectoral international presence will reduce and taking the nation through this change will be a new president.

Himachal CM tries to catch BJP on slippery wicket

By Vishal Gulati,

Shimla: The Congress-led Virbhadra Singh government in Himachal Pradesh is trying to bowl out its archrival BJP with a googly ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

Political observers say the government's decision to speed up the probe against BJP MP Anurag Thakur-administered Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) and his father Prem Kumar Dhumal, two-time chief minister, is just a shrewd move to push the opposition onto a slippery wicket.

Obituary: Prof Asad Ahmad

By Naved Masood,

Prof. Ahmad was Professor Emeritus, University of Alberta and a distinguished Molecular Geneticist.

The news of Prof Asad Ahmad's passing away came as a complete shock for though for the last several months we were not in touch, such 'net silence' on his part was not unprecedented. It comes out though that this time round it was his serious illness and not his occasional hibernation that led to his silence. His death gives me much thought to reminisce and introspect.

Congress heavy artillery changes Punjab equations

By Jaideep Sarin ,

Chandigarh: When ruling Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal recently assured BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi that the Akali Dal-BJP alliance will win all 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab, he did not perhaps have the game-plan of the principal opposition Congress in mind.

Karnataka's six former CMs in election fray

By Fakir Balaji ,

Bangalore: Six former chief ministers of Karnataka, including one who was prime minister for 10 months, are in the fray for the Lok Sabha seats from the state -- a record of sorts.

Of them, two each are from the Congress (M. Veerappa Moily and N. Dharam Singh), the BJP (B.S. Yeddyurappa and D.V. Sadananda Gowda) and the Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) H.D. Deve Gowda and his son H.D. Kumaraswamy.

Moily is the central minister for petroleum and natural gas in the outgoing UPA-II government.

Indian scientist contests Big Bang `evidences'

By K.S. Jayaraman ,

Bangalore: Indian astrophysicist Abhas Mitra, at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in Mumbai, who had once challenged the Black Hole theory of Britain's famed Stephen Hawking is in the limelight again.

Mitra's earlier research had claimed that the so-called "Black Holes" must be grey-holes and not exact black holes, and the so-called "Dark Energy" -- a topic of Physics Nobel in 2011 -- must be an artifact rather than a real entity.

His views remain uncontested till now.