Modi discusses 2014 polls with new BJP president

Updated 28 January 2013
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Modi discusses 2014 polls with new BJP president

NEW DELHI: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, a top contender in the main opposition party, the BJP, for the post of prime minister, met the partys’s new president, Rajnath Singh, in Delhi yesterday and held “detailed discussions” on the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Modi said he came to Delhi to meet and congratulate Singh, who was unanimously elected the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president on Wednesday. Talking to reporters after the meeting, which lasted for more than two hours, the two leaders said they discussed mainly the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. They refused to give any details.
“The day I was elected party president, Narendra bhai called me and congratulated me. He said he will come to Delhi and meet me,” Singh told reporters.
“We sat together for a couple of hours and discussed about Gujarat, and 2014 elections were also discussed,” he said.
Modi, who visited Singh at his residence, also said he sought the new BJP president’s “guidance” for what more should be done in Gujarat.
“I sought his guidance for what more should BJP do to serve the people in Gujarat and people of India. We also had detailed discussions on the coming general elections,” Modi said.
Singh replaced Nitin Gadkari, who had to let go a second term at the last minute because of charges of financial irregularities in companies involved with Purti Group, with which he has been associated.
Rajnath Singh will head the BJP in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, and the meeting assumes significance as Modi is one of the prominent contenders for prime minister’s post from the BJP.
The party has, however, kept quiet on its choice for the top post.


Malaysia reopens grisly murder case linked to former PM Najib

Updated 11 min 32 sec ago
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Malaysia reopens grisly murder case linked to former PM Najib

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian police have reopened an investigation into the grisly murder of a young Mongolian woman in 2006 which has been linked to the country’s ousted leader, reports said Friday.
Altantuya Shaariibuu was shot dead and her body blown up with military-grade plastic explosives near Kuala Lumpur.
The murder was the most shocking aspect in a scandal involving allegations that an associate of recently toppled Prime Minister Najib Razak arranged huge kickbacks for the purchase of French submarines in 2002.
The case captivated Malaysia for years and there have long been allegations that Najib — defense minister at the time of the deal — and his wife Rosmah Mansor were involved. They have steadfastly denied the claims.
Two government bodyguards were convicted of the killing and sentenced to death. One subsequently fled to Australia, where he is in detention, and maintains he was ordered by “important people” to carry out the murder.
Altantuya’s father visited Malaysia this week. He met new Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who backed re-opening the investigation, and lodged a fresh police report about the murder.
“I can confirm we are reopening investigations,” national police chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun was cited as saying by The Star newspaper.
“We will conduct our duties without fear or favor.”
Eric Paulsen, head of local rights group Lawyers for Liberty, said that Najib should be among the new witnesses to be interviewed by the police.
“We want to know why Altantuya was killed and who ordered her killing,” he said.
Malaysians broke the six-decade stranglehold on power of Najib’s coalition at elections last month, and voted in a reformist alliance headed by 92-year-old Mahathir.
Altantuya was the mistress of Najib’s associate, Abdul Razak Baginda, and was alleged to have demanded a cut in the submarine deal for translating during negotiations.
Abdul Razak was cleared in 2008 of abetting the murder.
The bodyguard who fled to Australia, Sirul Azhar Umar, recently said he is willing to assist any new government investigation into the case, a potential major breakthrough.