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  • Modi blames Cong for lack of development in Jharkhand, addresses rally amid watertight security

    Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Sunday blamed the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre for lack of development in mineral-rich Jharkhand.
    BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi is garlanded along with party president Rajnath Singh at the Vijay Sankalp rally in Ranchi. (PTI Photo)

    Addressing a rally in state capital Ranchi, the Gujarat chief minister highlighted Jharkhand’s unemployment problem and said the central government had done nothing to bring about change.

    “Chhattisgarh has developed a lot. Chief minister Raman Singh has scored a hat-trick (of assembly poll wins). Why are Jharkhand and Uttarakhand lagging behind?” Modi said at the rally, which saw a huge gathering.

    The three states were created in 2000, when the BJP-led NDA government was in power at the Centre. While Chhattisgarh has been ruled by the BJP for the past 10 years, the other two have undergone regime changes. Maoist-hit Jharkhand has seen nine governments and three spells of President’s rule.

    Modi, who has recently got a clean chit from an Ahmedabad court in a Gujarat riots case, also attacked the Centre over price rise.

    A supporter of BJP at party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi's Vijay Sankalp rally at Dhurwa in Ranchi. (PTI Photo)

    The BJP’s PM nominee stressed the Congress had lost contact with the people of the country.

    “Jharkhand’s people were heard only when (veteran BJP leader) Atal Bihari Vajpayee came to power... a separate state was created,” he said.

    Heavy security arrangements were in place for the rally in the Jharkhand capital, which had grabbed the headlines two months ago for links with the October Patna blasts accused.

    More than 2,500 security personnel were deployed at the venue. As many as 40 CCTVs kept an eye on the proceedings.

    The Jharkhand Police were on toes to avoid a Patna-like incident. In the last week of October, serial blasts had rocked the Bihar capital ahead of a rally addressed by Modi, killing five people and leaving more than 90 injured. Probe led the investigators to Ranchi, the native place of the accused.

    Earlier in the day, Modi reached the venue in a chopper after landing at Ranchi’s Birsa Munda Airport. Senior BJP leaders such as former chief minister Arjun Munda, Yashwant Sinha and Ravindra Rai, welcomed Modi amid a gathering of around 2 lakh people from across Jharkhand. The saffron party booked five trains and 2,000 buses to ferry the supporters from different districts.

    The stage was a replica of Parliament building. A message ‘Mission-2014: 272 +’ was displayed at the top.

    “It’s a Modi wave and the benefit of the wave will be seen in the 2014 elections in Jharkhand,” said former chief minister Munda.

    The state BJP is on the back foot, with the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) withdrew its support to the Munda government in January. The JMM has now formed a government in the state with the Congress' help.  Source

    Kallis goes past Dravid, becomes third highest Test run-scorer

    South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis on Sunday surpassed Rahul Dravid as the third highest run-getter in Test cricket after a 115-run knock against India in his farewell match in Durban.

    Kallis, who would be retiring from Tests at the end of the match, now has 13,289 runs in the longest format.

    That tally is one run more than Dravid, who retired last year after playing 164 Tests. Kallis, who is playing in his 166th Test, is now third behind Sachin Tendulkar (15,921) and Ricky Ponting (13,378) in the all-time list.

    The South African, considered the best all-rounder in modern cricket, struck a fluent 115-run knock, which came off 316 balls and included nine fours, in his final Test.

    Kallis goes past Dravid
    “Hail King Kallis!Even his worst critic wudn’t begrudge JK farewell ton—truly fantastic feat V normally relate 2 dreams!!” tweeted former Indian captain Bishan Singh Bedi, paying tribute to the 38-year old.

    “Handsome is that handsome does!Is thr any1 more handsome than Kallis in his final test?No 1 took so much workload as JK in last 3/4 decades!” he added.

    Besides the mountain of runs he sits on, Kallis also has 292 wickets in Tests at an impressive average of 32.53, besides having 200 catches to his credit.

    “100 for #Kallis in his last test. One of the greats,” wrote New Zealand captain Ross Taylor.

    Composer Khayyam recounts his association with Farooq Sheikh

    I have had the good fortune of being in several projects in which Farooq Sheikh was involved, so in the early hours when I heard of his passing away my first reaction was of disbelief. How can a man so full of life be snatched away like this from amongst our midst?

    Steeped in Hindustani tehzeeb, an adaab and a smile from him was all it took to bewitch people. Everything about him suggested gentlemanliness and great upbringing. He came from a family of well-to-do zamindars of Amroli, but never once did one find him even raising his voice. You should see how much izzat and affection he would put into speaking either on the sets or at home. That for me is the real indication of how great a human being he was.
     Farooq Sheikh
    When he was cast in the lead as Yusuf Fakir Mohammed, for the low-budget Yashraj film Noorie in 1979, he’d already made a mark for himself with roles like Sikandar Mirza in Garm Hawa, Aquil in Shatranj Ke Khiladi and Ghulam Hussain in Gaman. Both Poonam (Dhillon) and he were new and hardly known but the film became a hit with record-breaking collections. My compositions for the film were such a hit that they could be heard no matter where one went in the country.

    Even in the 1981 Umrao Jaan, where the Rekha-Asha Bhosale combination walked away with all the acclaim, the song by Talat Aziz filmed on him — zindagi jab bhi tere bazm mein laati hai hamey — stood out. He would praise the silken soft feel of the song, which he really made his own in the film with his regal splendour.

    Though I wasn’t associated with either Saath Saath or Chashme Buddoor, which came in quick succession after this, they will remain the films that come to mind immediately when one thinks of him. We were to again work together in Sagar Sarhadi’s Bazaar in 1982. This time, his Sarju came from a really poor background and the pain Farooq saab depicted with his eyes was amazing. Again, the number I composed drew a lot on his refined gentle persona. Even today, ‘Phir chhidi raat baat phoolon ki’ never fails to enthuse listeners and I will always give credit to Farooq and Supriya, who brought the sentiment of the song alive.

    Let all 14 seats come to BJP in 2014 polls, says Narendra Modi in Ranchi


    2:50 pm Modi concludes his rally by ensuring that the BJP will usher in a better and brighter future for Jharkhand. And the people (Congress) who just believe in doing 'Aakashwani', will be of no use.

    2:50 pm This is a historic rally. When I was watching it from the chopper, I could see a sea of humanity queued up for this rally.

    2:48 pm The country need development, and not division. People need employment and not political chaos. The elders need support and not struggle.

    2:47 pm The Congress is cut off from the people. Their leaders can't hear the public's voice.

    2:45 pm Jharkhand's electorate must support the BJP and we ensure it a bright future. Otherwise, its young can never be 'Bharat ke Bhagya Vidhata'.

    2:40 pm People ask me what's your vision? Jharkhand has coal but no electricity stations. Where is the vision? If there were power stations here, then Jharkhand could create so much electricty as to illuminate the entire nation. But the Centre doesn't care.

    2:32pm: Delhi government has been paralysed. The Centre has done nothing for Jharkhand since Independence.

    2:30pm: In 2014, we have Lok Sabha Elections. Let all 14 Lok Sabha seats come to the BJP.

    2:21pm: Jharkhand people would have not been poor if there was a BJP government in the state. People ar epoor here despite abundant resources.

     Narendra Modi in Ranchi
    2:14 pm: Three states were formed at the same time - Jharkhand,Chhattisgarh & Uttarakhand. Why is it that Ch'garh is on a development trajectory but other two are lagging way behind?

    2:10 pm: It was Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji who had a vision for Jharkhand, that vision needs to be realised.

    2:05 pm: Modi starts addressing the rally

    1:30 pm: Modi reaches the venue

    Narendra Modi landed near the venue in a chopper from Birsa Munda airport.

    11:00 am: Crowd starts to gather at the venue

    The people of Jharkhand began assembling for the Narendra Modi's speech. Modi will make the speech from the stage which is shaped like a Parliament House.

    The Dhurva Ground in Jharkhand's Ranchi is all set to be graced by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modion who will address the crowd in his 'Vijay Sankalp' rally today.

    The remarkable point about this rally is that Modi will address the crowd from the stage with a model of the Parliament in the background.

    The back side of the stage from where Modi will address the crowd, has been made in the form of a Parliament house to give an impression of the Parliament. Read More

    BJP slams Arvind Kejriwal for taking Congress' support to form govt

    BJP on Sunday criticised newly-appointed Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for forming a government with the support of the "corrupt" Congress party, claiming that the latter would abandon it sooner or later.

     Arvind Kejriwal
    "It is really strange that Kejriwal has taken the support of the same Congress which he has been always been describing as a corrupt political party," BJP national vice president Prabhat Jha told PTI.

    Aam Aadmi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal was yesterday sworn-in as as the seventh Chief Minster of Delhi.

    ar term, Jha said, and claimed that "Congress would withdraw its support from the Kejriwal government sooner or later."

    Kejriwal has been making tall claims about removing corruption, but it has no meaning if his government has the backing of a corrupt political party, he said.

    "I feel that a time will come when Kejriwal will be exposed," Jha said.

    Asked if the BJP would support Kejriwal in case Congress withdraws support from his government, he refused any such move saying, "There can be no question of it."

    As Hollywood Filming Spreads Out Globally, California Loses

    In the old days, filmmakers flocked to Hollywood for its abundant sunshine, beautiful people and sandy beaches. But today a new filmmaking diaspora is spreading across the globe to places like Vancouver, London and Wellington, New Zealand.

    Fueled by politicians doling out generous tax breaks, filmmaking talent is migrating to where the money is. The result is an incentives arms race that pits California against governments around the world and allows powerful studios —with hundreds of millions of dollars at their disposal— to cherry-pick the best deals.

    The most recent iteration of the phenomenon came earlier this month when James Cameron announced plans to shoot and produce the next three "Avatar" sequels largely in New Zealand. What Cameron gets out of the deal is a 25 percent rebate on production costs, as long as his company spends at least $413 million on the three films.

    "There's no place in the world that we could make these sequels more cost effectively," says producer Jon Landau. It is neither the archipelago's volcanoes nor its glaciers that are attractive, because the "Avatar" movies will be shot indoors. Sure, Peter Jackson's award-winning special effects infrastructure is there, but the deciding factor was the money. "We looked at other places," says Landau. But in the end, "it was this rebate."

    In exchange, the local economy will benefit hugely, Landau says, comparing the ripple effect to the boost that comes from new home construction. "We're doing lumber, we're catering for hundreds of people a day. We're housing people in hotels. We're going to a stationery store and tripling their business in a year."

    The deal was "the best Christmas present we could have possibly hoped for," says Alex Lee, an Auckland, New Zealand-based entertainment lawyer. The news is especially welcome because the local screen industry is facing a potential drought: The Starz pay TV series "Spartacus" finished this year and Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit" trilogy is set to wrap next year. Thanks to the "Avatar" sequels, the 1,100 workers at Weta Digital Ltd., the ground-breaking digital effects house Jackson co-founded in 1993, can keep plugging away through 2018.

    "It would have been a real shame if we had lost any of that talent and they had to move to follow the films," says Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown.

    Renee Zellweger Goes Incognito In Santa Monica Photo

    Renee Zellweger, that you, girl? The 44-year-old actress went super casual while dining with her parents Emil and Kjellfrid Zellweger in Santa Monica, Calif., on Thursday (Dec. 26). (The half-up, half-down hairdo is an apparent fave, judging from the same hairstyle Zellweger wore back in November).

    Zellweger has remained relatively out of the spotlight since starring in 2010's "My Own Love Song," though fans of the actress have been putting up her name for bid ever since Helen Fielding released a third Bridget Jones book, "Mad About A Boy," in October.

    Meanwhile, Zellweger has been spotted hitting town with her new beau, guitarist Doyle Bramhall II, whom she has been dating since at least last December.

    Why Julia Roberts Is Picky With Her Movie Roles

    The 46-year-old actress sat down with Amy Kaufman from the Los Angeles Times to talk about her transition into motherhood and how it reflects on her career. "I think people like to say that I'm super picky because of how much I l-oo-ve my kids. But as an actor, I sort of pride myself on the fact that I've always been picky," Roberts explained to the paper.

    Roberts has been married to cinematographer Daniel Moder for 11 years, and the couple have three children together. At this point in her life, those kids have become her top priority. "We try to protect our kids. We just want to have our family life and not have that intruded upon," Roberts told USA Today in a separate interview.

    Speaking to the Times, Roberts also explained how age plays a part in her decision making. "For one, I'm 46 years old, so falling out of chairs isn't as funny. I could break a hip," Roberts said. "Certain scenarios that worked 10 years ago aren't as appealing, as applicable, as believable, as original -- all those things." These factors have directed Roberts away from many of the big romantic comedies she became famous for, and have allowed her to focus on the roles that inspire her most, like "August: Osage County." The new film finds Roberts in unfamiliar territory, playing a depressed mother on the cusp of a divorce.

    "Julia, when we first started talking about it, that was our question," director John Wells told HuffPost Entertainment when asked about the decision to cast Roberts in such an against-type role. "This is an embittered, angry woman in her mid-40s, and it's going to be a lot of time spent not being a very nice person. Julia has a screen persona that she has not exclusively done, but done often, where people sort of expect her to be a certain way. None of that was going to be what we're doing. She said, 'Yeah, that's exactly why I want to do it.'"

    The actress credits her career's development and success to finding fame in a time when she was allowed to be herself. "Nobody expected me to be anybody but myself, really," she recalled.

    Everything That Needs To Be Retired From Pop Culture In 2014

    Enough is enough. The new year is fast approaching and we'd like to look at it as an opportunity for a fresh start. A clean slate. A chance to start anew without many of the repetitive, lazy, worn out tropes and trends that pop culture wielded at us in 2013. From twerking to tired storylines -- we're just over it.

    What hath "Marvel's The Avengers" wrought? Just a bunch of expensive and loud movies with shared universes that will keep multiplexes filled from now until forever. This past year saw Warner Bros. reboot Superman with a good standalone film ("Man of Steel"), and then immediately explode plans for its sequel by turing the continuation into the kitchen sink. (Why just have Superman when you can have Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and maybe even Joaquin Phoenix?) It's even worse for Spider-Man fans, as Sony announced in December that Peter Parker's friendly neighborhood opponents will get movies too. (Hope everyone loves the Sinister Six! Because that's a movie people will pay money to see somewhere around 2017.) It's all so exhausting; the tyranny of synergy writ large in an industry increasingly devoid of ideas. Lo for the simple days of part two. - Christopher Rosen

    Jennifer Aniston is definitely not pregnant, guys. As much as we try to wish and pray and hope for a baby to start growing in her belly, it is not going to happen, because that is not science. I know, I know. We all just want Jen to be happy, but the incessant rumors are just making her run out of fun talk show anecdotes. Besides, now she has Justin Theroux, a $21 million mansion and chickens! Shouldn't that be enough? - Lauren Duca

    Aamir Khan's Dhoom: 3 earns Rs 69.58 crore in two days

    Aamir Khan-starrer big-budget action thriller Dhoom: 3 has collected Rs 69.58 crore -- which includes earnings from Tamil and Telugu versions -- in two days of its release, an official statement said.

    Directed by Vijay Krishna Acharya, the third instalment of Yash Raj Films' popular Dhoom franchise came out on Friday (December 20, 2013) and opened to mixed reviews. But it seems the box office collection is satisfactory.

    On Friday, the well-packaged enrapturing drama clinched a total of Rs 36.22 crore at the box office, while on Saturday the earnings were recorded to be Rs 33.36 crore.

    Abhishek Bachchan and Uday Chopra, who have been constant in the cast since Dhoom, reprised their roles of cop and sidekick, respectively. Katrina Kaif added glamour to the film and the actress was seen in beautifully designed sequences.

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