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News in Pictures

Seemingly unfazed at being ousted from the Asian Athletics Association, scam-tainted Suresh Kalmadi on Monday said losing the presidential re-election bid to Qatar’s Dahlan Jumaan Al-Hamad has actually given him a chance to work at the “grassroots” level.
“I have no issues today and I congratulate Mr Al-Hamad for being elected as President. I am rather relieved that I will be able to work at the grassroots level in athletics,” Mr. Kalmadi said after losing the vote during the ongoing AAA Congress in Pune.

National News

Prime minister visits ailing Jyoti Basu

Thursday - Jan 07, 2010, 03:09pm (GMT+5.5)
[+] Text [-]

Kolkata, Jan 7 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday paid a visit to 95-year-old Marxist veteran and former West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu, who is in a critical condition at a hospital here following a pneumonia attack.

Manmohan Singh reached the private hospital in Salt Lake at around 1 p.m. and headed for the Intensive Cardiac Care Unit (ICCU) where Basu is being treated. He was at the hospital for over 20 minutes.

He was accompanied by Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, who also received him at the airport.

Basu was admitted to the hospital near his Indira Bhavan residence Jan 1 and is on ventilator support.

The prime minister had arrived in Kolkata from Delhi in a special aircraft around 12.30 p.m. only to visit Basu. After the brief one-and-a-half hour visit to the city, he left from the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) airport.

Entry was restricted to the hospital ahead of the prime minister's visit and traffic was diverted on nearby roads. Jammers were installed and Special Protection Group (SPG) personnel threw a security cordon around the hospital.

The state government deployed a large number of armed policemen, Special Action Force (SAF) and Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel to ensure foolproof security for the Prime Minister.

Even the doctors had to undergo security checks before being allowed to enter the hospital Thursday morning.

Senior Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Shyamal Chakraborty had earlier requested political luminaries and other dignitaries wishing to visit Basu to stay away from the hospital during the prime minister's visit.


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