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Setback to Cong.(I) in RS elections
The former Union Minister, Ms. Sushma Swaraj, the Union Minister, Mr. Rajnath Singh, the former Central Minister, Mr. Janeshwar Mishra, the renegade BJP leader, Sakshi Maharaj, the industrialist, Mr. R.P. Goenka, the BJP neo-convert, Mr. M. Rajasekhar Murthy, and media personalities Mr. Rajiv Shukla and Mr. Balbir Punj, are among the winners in today's biennial elections to the Rajya Sabha in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir, and Orissa

Further hike in PDS prices
Even as a majority of political parties, including the BJP's coalition partners, are demanding a rollback of the hike in essential commodities proposed in the Union Budget, the Centre today announced a steep upward revision of the Central issue price of wheat and rice distributed through the Public Distribution System (PDS) effective from April 1.

Review panel sets up 10 expert groups
The National Commission to review the working of the Constitution, headed by Mr. Justice M.N. Venkatachalaiah, has set up 10 expert groups to study areas identified by the Commission for consideration.

Constitution bill to annul SC ruling on quotas
The Government has decided to bring in a bill to amend the Constitution to nullify a Supreme Court judgment on limiting the percentage of backlog vacancies and discontinuation of special recruitment drives in government jobs for Scheduled Caste/Tribe candidates.

Govt. hikes D.A.
The Union Cabinet today decided on a one per cent increase in the dearness allowance and dearness relief for Central Government employees and pensioners respectively with retrospective effect from January 1. Now the rate is 37 per cent.

LTTE gain in Jaffna peninsula
Sri Lanka's separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) today gained control over the southeastern theatre of the Jaffna peninsula by capturing three camps. A total of 38 combatants - 25 LTTE militants and 13 Government troopers - were killed in a fresh 12-hour offensive.

Crude output to go up
The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) bowed to US pressure for cheaper oil today, agreeing higher output limits that sent petroleum prices into an immediate tailspin.

 Judge surrenders
The suspended judge, Mr. J. W. Singh, wanted by a court to face trial in a case regarding his links with the underworld and who had been absconding for a month, surrendered before the police today as per the directive of the Bombay High Court.

Acting jathedar
Giani Joginder Singh Vedanti, a `Granthi' at the Harmandir Sahib, was today formally installed as the acting jathedar of the Akal Takht. The SGPC president, Bibi Jagir Kaur, was not present at the ceremony.

Karunakaran's plea rejected
The Supreme Court today dismissed a petition by former Kerala chief minister K Karunakaran seeking quashing of the FIR lodged against him on charges of corruption in the import of Palmolein oil from Singapore.


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