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 Violence mars Shia clergyman's funeral
Thousands of followers bade a tearful adieu to the politician and Shia clergyman, Agha Syed Mehdi, at Budgam today, amid incidents of violence, arson and police firing reported in Shia-dominated localities. Mehdi, along with five others, was killed when suspected militants detonated a landmine in a Budgam village yesterday.

 I am not guilty, claims Jadeja
The media expected a bombshell but Ajay Jadeja had nothing but a prepared statement to offer in the wake of his name figuring in the cricket match-fixing report released by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

'GDP growth may fall below projections'
The Finance Minister, Mr. Yashwant Sinha, has scaled down his optimism about the growth rate of the economy and conceded that the gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate this year could be lower than the projected seven per cent.

 Soren fails to convince PM
The Prime Minister, Mr. A.B. Vajpayee this evening granted audience to the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader, Mr. Shibu Soren. The meeting is seen as a last attempt to make Mr. Soren give up his adamant demand that the JMM was entitled to have one of its leader as the chief minister of the new State of Jharkhand.

Chandrika calls up Vajpayee
The Sri Lankan President, Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga, had a telephonic conversation with the Prime Minister, Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, today. This is her first call to Mr. Vajpayee since the recent elections in her country.

 Politics to me is about people: Jyoti Basu
Mr. Jyoti Basu, who has become the first politician in living memory to lay down office of Chief Minister of West Bengal after bringing to an end a 24-year-old innings, appears relaxed. With the pressures of office gone, Mr. Basu, the most visible face of Indian communism, is all set to embark upon a new phase of his career, as the shaper of the proposed third front.

20 CWC members back Sonia
Twenty Congress Working Committee (CWC) members have come out openly in support of Ms. Sonia Gandhi's candidature for the post of party president. In a joint statement today they said ``we unanimously and wholeheartedly support the candidature of Smt. Sonia Gandhi and request our colleagues in the electoral college to do the same''.


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