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Briefly

Referred to privileges panel

Bangalore Jan. 28. The Chief Minister, N. Dharam Singh, today agreed to the demand of the BJP-led Opposition to institute an inquiry by the Home Commissioner as well as refer to the Privileges Committee the issue of the Deputy Superintendent of Police of Sringeri apprehending the BJP MLA for Sringeri, D.N. Jeevaraj, during the Datta Jayanti celebrations in December. The Chief Minister, while maintaining that no one can initiate action against legislators without permission from the Government, said the incident has to be verified before any action is initiated against the police officer. The Opposition members were demanding the immediate suspension of the police officer. After the assurance of the Chief Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, B.S. Yediyurappa, seemed satisfied, while younger legislators from the BJP stood up demanding action against the police officer. Mr. Yediyurappa pacified them and told them to accept the decision of the Chief Minister. Earlier Mr. Yediyurappa said that his party colleague was arrested and humiliated by the police, who put him in the lock-up. When Mr. Jeevaraj issued a statement to the press, the police officer served him with a legal notice claiming damages of Rs. 25 lakhs for defamation.

Govt. ready for panchayat polls

Bangalore Jan. 28. The State Government is ready to conduct elections to the gram panchayats, and it is for the State Election Commission, an independent body, to announce the dates, said H.C. Mahadevappa, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, in the Legislative Assembly today. Replying to a query by Vatal Nagaraj (Kannada Chaluvali Vatal Paksha) and B.S. Yediyurappa, Leader of the Opposition, the Minister said the Government will not interfere in the process of elections. It is the responsibility of the Commission to conduct them. The Deputy Commissioners have been directed to work on the reservation of seats as per the 2001 Census. However, the Minister for Revenue, M.P. Prakash said representations have been made by various persons, including legislators, to the Chief Minister, the Deputy Chief Minister and other Ministers on the election date in view of certain irregularities in the delimitation of constituencies. Mr. Vatal Nagaraj said that the State Election Commission has written to the Chief Secretary for the Government's view on the election date in view of the school examinations to be held in March. The Commission has sought two lakh personnel to conduct the elections.

Council passes amendment Bill

BANGALORE JAN. 28. The Legislative Council passed the Karnataka Electricity Reforms (Amendment) Bill, 2005 today. Introducing the Bill, the Minister for Energy and Public Works, H.D. Revanna, said the objective of the Bill is to establish a new electricity distribution company called Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Company (CESCOM). It has become inevitable for the Government to form the new company because of the administrative difficulties involved in providing adequate services to all the consumers under the Mangalore Electricity Supply Company (MESCOM). The latter looks after distribution in Mandya, Mysore, Chamarajanagar, Kodagu, Hassan, Udupi, Dakshina Kannada, Shimoga and Chikmagalur districts. CESCOM, with its headquarters in Mysore, will supply power to Mysore, Chamarajanagar, Mandya and Hassan districts, he said. The Bill is essential to transfer all power-related assets and liabilities of Mysore, Chamarajanagar, Mandya and Hassan districts from MESCOM to CESCOM by amending the Karnataka Electricity Reforms Act, 1999 without additional financial implications.

Hassan farmer ends life

HASSAN JAN. 28. Mallaraju, 45, of Kommanahalli of Dudda hobli in Hassan taluk allegedly committed suicide by consuming poison because he was unable to repay a loan taken from a commercial bank. Parvathamma, his wife, in a complaint to the police said that Mallaraju had borrowed money from a bank and a moneylender. Finding it difficult to repay the loan, he consumed poison on Thursday night. He was admitted to a private nursing home where he died today, the police said.

Mettur Dam closed

Tiruchirapalli Jan. 28. The sluice gates of the Stanley reservoir at Mettur across the Cauvery was closed this evening following orders from the Tamil Nadu Government. State Public Works Department sources told UNI that the dam was closed at 6 p.m. The dam was opened on August 12, 2004 for irrigation purposes. Normally, the dam is opened on June 12 every year. But this time, due to poor storage, there was a delay in opening the sluice gates. When water was first released, the level in the dam stood at 93.16 ft. Now, the level is 55.26 ft, sources added. — UNI

Restrictions on media

BANGALORE JAN. 28. The Election Commission of India has banned photography and videography inside polling stations. S.K. Kaura, Secretary to the commission, in a letter to all the State Chief Electoral Officers, said "entry of mediapersons shall be allowed inside the premises of the polling station building, where the process of voting takes place... but no photography or videography will be allowed inside the polling station buildings, where the process of voting takes place." The presiding officer will also be within his rights to refuse entry inside the polling station building to a mediaperson if he/she violates any of the conditions, an official release said.

`VISL will improve performance'

Bhadravati Jan. 28. The Executive Director of Visvesvaraya Iron and Steel Ltd., Bhadravati (VISL), H.K. Roy Chowdhary, has said that the company's major production facilities have been revamped and it is likely to improve its performance.He was addressing a gathering comprising VISL officials and their families at a programme to mark the Republic Day celebrations at the company. Earlier, he unfurled the Tricolour.

He said the officials of organisations under Steel Authority of India Ltd. have contributed a day's salary to the Prime Minister's Relief Fund to provide assistance to victims of the tsunami.

Mr. Chowdhary presented awards to officials for their performance.

March to Alamatti

BIJAPUR JAN. 28. The nine-day padayatra from the Bheema to the Krishna, organised by the Bijapur Zilla Samagra Neeravari Horata Samiti, reached Golasangi village in Basavanabagewadi taluk on Friday evening.

Hundreds of members of the samiti, led by local MP and the former Union Minister of State for Railways, marched around 20 km before reaching Golasangi. It was the 7th day of the padayatra that will culminate in a farmers rally at the Alamatti reservoir on Sunday.

The protesters have been demanding that irrigation schemes in Bijapur and Bagalkot districts be implemented in their original form immediately. The reduction in the allocation of water to the Mulwad and Chimmalgi lift irrigation schemes should also be restored, they said.

Protest against attack

DAVANGERE JAN. 28. Journalists of Davangere took out a procession here on Friday to protest against the attack on the Chitradurga correspondent of The Hindu allegedly by the followers of the Chitradurga MP, N.Y. Hanumanthappa.

The protesters raised slogans against Mr. Hanumanthappa and marched from the city municipality to the Deputy Commissioner's office. They submitted a memorandum to the Deputy demanding that the MP and his followers be arrested.

Advocates boycott courts

MYSORE Jan. 28. Advocates boycotted court proceedings here on Friday to express solidarity with their colleagues in Mandya, who had a showdown with the police on Thursday.

Led by the Mysore Bar Association president, M.N. Ninge Gowda, formed a human chain around Gandhi statue in front of the Mysore Court complex and demanded action against the Circle Inspector of Police in Mandya, Nagesh Kumar, who allegedly pointed his revolver at advocates in Mandya on Thursday.

Advocates in Mandya clashed with the police over the ownership of a piece of land adjacent to the court complex there.

SHG convention

MYSORE JAN. 28. A convention of members of women self- help groups (SHGs) has been organised at the Dasara Exhibition Grounds in Mysore on Sunday. Parimala Nagappa, Hanur MLA, will inaugurate the convention. The Deputy Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah, will preside over the inaugural function.

Surprise checks continue

Mysore Jan. 28. The drive against illegal trade in petrol and sale of subsidised cooking gas for commercial purposes continued for the second day on Friday with the Transport Department officials and the police carrying out surprise checks. This follows a series of cylinder explosions on Wednesday in which one person was killed and five shops were gutted.

Jolted by this, the Deputy Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah, directed the Deputy Commissioner, Kumar G. Naik, and the Commissioner of Police to crack down on the menace.

Special train

MYSORE Jan. 28. The winter special trains plying between Mysore and Bangalore every day will be in operation till March 31.

According to a press statement from South-Western Railway, the special express train running every day between Mysore and Dharwad have been extended till March 15.

Industrialist for Dubai

MYSORE Jan. 28. Suresh Kumar Jain, general secretary of Hebbal Industrialists' Association, Mysore, will attend the Small and Medium Industries International Conference and Exhibition to be held in Dubai from January 31 to February 2. He will be part of the delegation headed by Mahadev S. Dhad, president of Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association.

Dance

festival

MYSORE Jan 28. The 20th national level classical dance extravaganza will held at Jaganmohan Palace auditorium from March 26 to 28. Persons in the age group of 15 to 30 should send their applications with three dance photographs and a copy of their bio-data before February 21 to Vasundhara Doreswamy, Vasundhara Performing Arts Centre, 1, West Cross, Ashoka Road, Mysore.

Ganja seized

Bidar Jan. 28. The Bidar Police have seized six kg of ganja from a person selling it at Ambedkar Circle in Bidar city on Thursday.

Acting on a tip off, a team led by the Circle Inspector, Dinakar Shetty, arrested Panchaiah Basaiah of Aralagundagi in Gulbarga district.

The accused has been remanded in judicial custody.

Man dies in accident

HASSAN JAN. 28. One person was killed and another injured when the motorcycle they were riding hit a boulder on Belur-Chikamagalur Road near Karagada Tank Bed on Friday morning. The police said that the pillion rider, Lokamanya (25) of Yalahanka village in Halebeed hobli, died on the spot. Nagaraj, who was riding the motorcycle, was injured. A case has been registered.

Loans

Bidar Jan. 28. Unemployed agriculture and veterinary graduates will be given loans for starting agriculture and veterinary clinics or agri-business centres in the district.

Eligible candidates can appear along with their academic records before the Task Force at the Lead Bank office on Monday, said a release.

Ganja seized

Bidar Jan. 28. The Bidar Police have seized six kg of ganja from a person selling it at Ambedkar Circle in Bidar city on Thursday.

Acting on a tip off, a team led by the Circle Inspector, Dinakar Shetty, arrested Panchaiah Basaiah of Aralagundagi in Gulbarga district.

The accused has been remanded in judicial custody.

Convention

MYSORE JAN. 28. A convention of members of women self- help groups (SHGs) has been organised at the Dasara Exhibition Grounds in Mysore on Sunday.

Parimala Nagappa, Hanur MLA, will inaugurate the convention. The Deputy Chief Minister, Siddaramaiah, will preside over the inaugural function.

H.C. Mahadevappa, Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj; H.S. Mahadev Prasad, Minister for Food and Civil Supplies; D.T. Jayakumar, Minister for Tourism; Tanveer Sait, Minister of State for Labour; and C.H. Vijayshankar, Mysore MP, will participate in the convention.

Appointment illegal: Tanga

Bangalore Jan. 28. M.R. Tanga, senior Bharatiya Janata Party MLC, has said that the reconstitution of the governing council of the Jayadeva Institute of Cardiology is illegal since it violates the bylaws. In a letter to the Chief Minister, N. Dharam Singh, here today, he has said that under bylaw 4, only the Chief Minister can be the chairman of the governing council. However, in the reconstituted governing council, the Minister for Medical Education has been appointed chairman owing to the preoccupation of the Chief Minister. Dr. Tanga has said that if the State Government was keen on appointing the Medical Education Minister as chairman, then it should have first amended the bylaws governing the Jayadeva Institute of Cardiology. Otherwise someone can approach the court and obtain a stay on the appointment. The Government Order reconstituting the governing council was issued on January 13. He has said that under the bylaws of the institute, the Minister for Health and Family Welfare should be the co-chairman of the governing council. However, in the reconstituted council, there is no mention of the Health Minister. The Government should withdraw the order and issue a fresh one in accordance with the bylaws, he has said.

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