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 B. P. Verma, 3 others held
The former Chairman of the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC), Mr. B. P. Verma, his son, and two of his associates were today arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation on charges of bribery, corruption, possessing assets beyond known sources of their income, and showing undue favour to a Chennai-based export firm.

Raids in Chennai
A Chennai-based garment exporter has been arrested by the CBI in connection with the case registered against the erstwhile Chairman of the Central Board of Excise and Customs, Mr. B. P. Verma.

Cong., Trinamool clinch deal
The Congress and the Trinamool Congress today announced the formalisation of the alliance for the Assembly election in West Bengal, scheduled for May 10.

AGP inches closer to BJP
The general council of the Asom Gana Parishad, which held a six-hour long marathon meeting here today, stopped short of formally announcing an electoral alliance with the BJP.

WTO steps will be invoked: Maran
In a bid to dispel fears of cheap imports swamping the agriculture and industry sectors, the Government is determined to use seven steps available under the World Trade Organisation rules to protect the economy. These include health and hygiene barriers known as sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures used by developed countries in a big way. These will be imposed in case of import surge in ``sensitive'' items including milk, chicken products, fruits, edible oils, liquor, tea, coffee, pens, toys, spices, salt and even passenger cars.

Jayalalitha seeks stay on conviction
The former Chief Minister, Ms. Jayalalitha, today moved the Madras High Court, seeking to stay the operation of the Special Court judgments convicting her in two TANSI land deal cases. The AIADMK leader specifically sought a direction to suspend the conviction to enable her to contest the Assembly elections.

 Clinton to help 'rebuild Gujarat better'
The former U.S. President, Mr. Bill Clinton, commences his visit to India tomorrow, touching New Delhi first, as part of American-India Foundation's effort to raise funds for earthquake relief in Gujarat, with an affirmation that he will be working with the NGOs, Government agencies and ``the concerned Indians to not just rebuild Gujarat but to rebuild it better.''

PM to visit Malaysia
The Prime Minister, Mr. A.B. Vajpayee, is scheduled to visit Malaysia from May 13-16.


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