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Briefly

By Our Staff Correspondent

Withdrawal of entry tax welcomed

MYSORE Oct. 27. The Hebbal Industrialists' Association (HIA) has welcomed the State Government's recent decision to withdraw special entry tax imposed on 23 goods. In a press statement, the association general secretary, Suresh Kumar Jain, has thanked the Deputy Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah, who also holds the Finance portfolio, and the Minister for Industries, P.G.R. Sindhia, for the decision.

Election to TMC posts put off

Bidar Oct. 27. The State Government has postponed the election to the posts of president and vice-president of the Bhalki Town Municipal Council on the grounds that Narsingrao Suryavanshi, the newly elected member of Parliament and an eligible voter, was not invited. The decision was taken hours before polling was to begin. Jayashree R. of the BJP and Vaiahsali More of the Congress had filed their nominations.

Security arrangements had been and members had gathered on the TMC premises.

At that time, the Deputy Secretary, Urban Development, Jagannath Jois, sent a fax message directing the tahsildar and Returning Officer, Heera Rathod, to postpone the election till further orders. Party sources said that Mr. Suryavanshi had not yet taken oath as an MP and the real reason behind delaying the election was to allow him vote. The election had attracted attention as political observers expected Congress members to replace those of the BJP who were holding the posts of president and vice-president.

The BJP held these posts since 1999. There are 12 Congress members and 11 of the BJP in the 23-member House. The Bhalki MLA, Prakash Khandre, belongs to the BJP and Mr. Suryavanshi won the parliamentary byelection on a Congress ticket. Since the MLA and MP are also allowed to vote in elections, the effective strength of the Congress and BJP becomes 13 and 12 respectively.

Award for writer

By Our Special Correspondent

BANGALORE OCT. 27. The Kannada short story writer, Abdul Rasheed, has been selected for the prestigious Golden Jubilee award of the Kendra Sahitya Akademi. Mr. Rasheed, known for his distinct style of writing, has become popular for his short stories. His "Haalu Kudida Huduga," an anthology of stories bagged the State Sahitya Academy Award in 1990.

He has also published "Pranapakshi" a collection of stories, "Nanna Padige Naanu," a collection of poems, and "Mathigu Ache," a collection of essays. He is also the recipient of the Vardhamana Award and the Lankesh Literary Award. The Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, will present the award at a function in New Delhi. The award carries a purse of Rs. 40,000 and a citation.

Council bypolls on Saturday

By Our Special Correspondent

BANGALORE OCT. 27. Polling in the two byelections to the Legislative Council will be held on October 30 at the Vidhana Soudha. All members of the Legislative Assembly, including the nominated member, are eligible to vote in the election, says an official press release. Qazi Arshad Ali (Congress), Vittal Heroor (Janata Dal-Secular), Basavaraj Ingin (Janata Dal-United) and Michael Fernandes (Independent) are in the fray. Mr. Fernandes, younger brother of the Janata Dal (United) President and former Defence Minister, George Fernandes, is a former member of both Houses of the State legislature. The voting will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Election Commission has issued instructions that two separate ballot boxes be kept for voting. The voters have been requested to show their identity cards to the polling officers before casting their vote. The byelection has been caused by the resignation of the Revenue Minister, M.P. Prakash, and the Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly, B.S. Yediyurappa, on their election to the Assembly.

HelpAge, LIC tie up

By Our Staff Reporter

BANGALORE OCT. 27. HelpAge India and the Life Insurance Corporation have entered into a memorandum of understanding to improve the lives of disadvantaged elders. As per the agreement, HelpAge India has been appointed the corporate agent of LIC and commissions earned through policies that the organisation sells will be ploughed back into development programmes. Through this effort, HelpAge hopes to raise more resources for the elders.

"We have been collecting donations within India and overseas till now. We are now entering the marketing area through this tie-up with LIC," said M.M. Sabharwal, president of HelpAge India. In the past 26 years, HelpAge India has raised more than Rs. 200 crores through various programmes. They run oldage homes, daycare centres, income generating activities and mobile medicare units.

Dypalapura case: three more held

HASSAN OCT. 27. The district police arrested three more persons in connection with the incident at Dypalapura village in the district, following the murder of city municipal councillor, Girija Shankar and his friend Jayaprakash on October 12, according to a release from Superintendent of Police, Panduranga H. Rane. He said that Puttaswamy alias Kenge Gowda (48), Kaloore Gowda alias Dinesh (27) and Deepak Gowda alias Deepak (21) were arrested and produced in the city court today. With the arrest of these three, the number of those arrested in connection with the murder and the arson incidents has risen to 14

Muthalik shifted to Bijapur jail

BIJAPUR OCT. 27. The convenor of Bajrang Dal (South India), Pramod Muthalik, who had been lodged at Hindalga Central Jail in Belgaum since his arrest by the Karwar police last week, was on Wednesday shifted to the Central Jail here.

Sources said that he was shifted here as he was to be produced before the local court on Thursday in connection with a case against him.

On hearing the news of his arrival, a large number of VHP and Bajrang Dal activists gathered outside the jail in the Darga area but they were not allowed to meet him.

FM station

demanded

Bidar Oct. 27. The Bidar Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) has urged the Union Government to set up an educational FM radio station in Bidar to promote literacy and education in the backward district.

In a letter to S. Jaipal Reddy, Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting, the BCCI president, B.G. Shetkar, said that the demand for a local FM channel had been pending for a long time. There was evidence of the FM channels contributing to the development of education in backward regions in Andhra Pradesh and the northeastern States.

Mr. Shetkar also requested the Minister to include Bidar in the area under the Door Darshan's Metro channel coverage. He has also sought the strengthening and upgrading the power of the Door Darshan Kendra in Bidar.

Date extended

Bidar Oct. 27. The Bidar City Municipal Council has extended the last date for regularising unauthorised tap connections for domestic and other consumers to October 30.

The assistant commissioner and in-charge Municipal council commissioner, T.H.M. Kumar, has asked people to pay a blanket fee of Rs. 2,800 to regularise the connections.

Criminal cases would be filed against those who failed to do so and a fine of Rs. 5,000 would also be imposed.

The deadline of October 10 was extended in lieu of Ganesh Chaturthi and the Bidar byelection, a press release said.

Elected

Raichur Oct. 27. Aravind Kulkarni and Chennabasavanna have been elected unanimously as president and general secretary of the Karnataka Working Journalists' Association, district unit, respectively for 2004-05.

Only one nomination paper was filed for each post on Tuesday, which was the last date for filing nomination papers. The election was scheduled on Thursday. R. Ramu, election officer, declared the results.

The election was also held for the posts of vice-presidents, joint secretary, and treasurer of the association. The following were elected unanimously to the posts: D.H. Kambli and Sushilendra Sodegar (vice-presidents), V. Sripad (joint secretary), and J.M. Jagadish (treasurer).

The working committee members B. Venkat Singh, Kishan Rao, K. Mrutunjaya Kapgal, K. Satyanarayana, Srinivas Rao, and Narasing Rao were also elected unanimously.

Programme

MANGALORE OCT. 27. The Directorate of Field Publicity, Union Government, arranged a programme to create awareness among people on health problems caused by shortage of iodine in the human body, at Bantwal recently, a release said.

Ramanand, Bantwal Taluk Medical Officer, said of the children born in the country every hour, 10 children suffered because of shortage of iodine in their bodies. Women self-help groups could play a vital role in educating women at homes.

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