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`Truant' Ministers to get notice

By Our Special Correspondent

Bangalore Jan. 11. The AICC General Secretary in charge of the State, Vayalar Ravi, and the State Congress have taken serious note of the absence of most of the Congress legislators and several Ministers from the general body meeting of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) held here on Saturday. Mr. Ravi himself announced at a press conference here today that it had been decided to issue show-cause notices to the absentees. The notices would be issued to the presidents of the District Congress Committees and chairpersons of boards and corporations also. However, he added that it was the decision of the KPCC. It was a crucial meeting and the general body of the KPCC was meeting after a long time. There was no reason for their absence. Mr. Ravi said the notices to be issued would ask the absentees why they should not be removed from the posts they were holding. Further action would follow after going through the explanations. Congress sources said only about 50 of the 175 MLAs and MLCs and about half of the ministers were present at the meeting.

Prohibitory orders extended

By Our Staff Reporter

BANGALORE Jan. 11. The Bangalore Police Commissioner, S. Mariswamy, has extended prohibitory orders around Vidhana Soudha, where a joint session of the legislature is on, till the midnight of Wednesday. Ban orders had been imposed in a radius of one km. around Vidhana Soudha when the session started on January 5.

Honour for Mathoor

By Our staff Reporter

Bangalore Jan. 11. The Bangalore Gayana Samaja will confer the title of "Pravachana Bhima" on Mathoor Krishnamurthi and that of "Gamaka Phalguna" on Hosahalli Keshavamurthi, on Monday. A note from the samaja said that Mr. Krishnamurthi was being honoured "for his yeomen service in rendering discourses", while Mr. Keshavamurthi was being honoured in recognition of his services in rendering "Gamaka". The release added that the function to be held from 7.30 p.m. at the samaja premises would have B.K. Chandrashekar, Minister of State for Primary and Secondary Education, as chief guest.

KPCC backs Sonia Gandhi

By Our Special Correspondent

Bangalore Jan. 11. The Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) has come out in support of the AICC President, Sonia Gandhi, becoming the Prime Minister if the Congress was voted to power at the Centre. Ms. Gandhi was the personification of patriotism, sacrifice, dedication, and commitment and should be the next Prime Minister. At a press conference here today, the AICC General Secretary in charge of the State, Vayalar Ravi, claimed that the former Railway Minister, C.K. Jaffer Sharief, had refuted reports in the media which had attributed to him the statement that the Congress desist from projecting Ms. Gandhi as its prime ministerial candidate. Mr. Ravi exonerated Mr. Sharief of any wrongdoing in the matter.

`Bhadra water only for drinking'

By Our Staff Correspondent

DAVANGERE JAN. 11. Water will be supplied from the Bhadra this year only for drinking purposes and not for irrigation as the storage in the reservoir has depleted. According to sources at the Bhadra Channel Office here, a decision was taken in this regard a few days ago at the irrigation consultative committee meeting. It has also been decided to instruct the engineers of the project to enlighten farmers about the shortage of water and convince them not to use it for irrigation. This year, there might be a serious drinking water scarcity and the storage might not be sufficient to supply drinking water. The engineers have been asked to maintain a constant vigil to ensure that farmers do not draw water for irrigation using electric pumps. They have been asked to seek the assistance of the police and the district administration in preventing farmers from raising any crop with the help of the Bhadra waters.

Sena welcomes BJP's advice

By Our Staff Correspondent

Bidar Jan. 11. Shiv Sena will not say no to the suggestion made by the Bharatiya Janata Party President, Venkaiah Naidu, that his party and its allies should reach out to the minorities, according to Manikbhau Selukar, head, communications wing of the Shiv Sena, Gulbarga-Bidar. He told presspersons here on Sunday that in an electoral democracy, parties had to make all kinds of attempts to get votes. The feeling that his party was anti-Muslim was false propaganda. "If we had anything against Muslims, we would have shown that when we ruled Maharashtra for four-and-a-half years. There was not a single Hindu-Muslim clash that period," he said. Mr. Selukar refused to react to a question on the Dalai Lama's efforts to resolve the Ayodhya issue through talks, saying that his party high command would take a stand on it. He said the Shiv Sena would carry out a Statewide struggle against bad roads in Karnataka. "When an equal number of road development programmes are implemented in Karnataka and Maharashtra, and a similar sum spent on roads in both the States, why is that the roads in Maharashtra are world class, while those in Karnataka are not good?'' he asked.

Bommai, Gowada urged to unite

By Our Special Correspondent

HUBLI Jan. 11. Basavaraj Horatti, All-India Progressive Janata Dal leader and MLC, has appealed to S.R. Bommai, AIPJD President, and H.D. Deve Gowda, President of Janata Dal (Secular), to be prepared to make sacrifices to achieve the object of merger of the two factions. "One of you must make sacrifices in the interests of workers who have supported you," Mr. Horatti told them in a letter written in the context of the efforts to bring about unity ending in failure in the past Mr. Horatti had recently organised a meeting of Janata Dal workers to settle the merger issue once and for all. He stressed the need for acting fast on the issue. Only if the Janata Dal remained united was there a possibility of it returning to power in the State. "This is the truth, and this is what the thousands of workers want," he told the two leaders.

Vachana Sahitya Sammelan

By Our Special Correspondent

GULBARGA Jan. 11. The first Akhila Bharatha Vachana Sahitya Sammelan will be held here for three days from March 12, according to the chairman of the reception committee, Siddarama Sharanaru Beladal, who is the chief of the Basava Yoga Ashrama at Kounta in Bidar district. At a press conference here on Sunday, he said the reception committee, at its first meeting, decided to invite the President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, to inaugurate the event. M.M. Kalburgi, former Vice-Chancellor of Kannada University, Hampi, would be invited to preside over it. The Governor, T.N. Chaturvedi, the Chief Minister, S.M. Krishna, writers, and heads of Veerashaiva maths would be invited to participate. He said the vachanas by the sharanas of the 12th Century preceded a silent revolution which brought about a social change. It was the first attempt to establish a casteless society. The seer said it was unfortunate that the vachanas, which preached communal harmony, work culture, peaceful coexistence among people, and the need for a casteless society, had not been popularised.

`Horekanike' to be received from January 13

UDUPI JAN. 11. The "Horekanike" offered by devotees for the Paryaya will be received from January 13 to 17.

The Chief Coordinator of the Paryaya Committee, N.B. Vijay Ballal, told presspersons on Sunday that devotees from different parts of Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts had come forward to provide vegetables, coconuts, pulses, and foodgrains for "Mahasantharpane" (mass feeding) to be held as part of the Paryaya Mahotsava. The items provided by devotees would be brought in a grand procession from Govinda Kalyan Mantap to the Sri Krishna Temple. The procession would pass through Joddu Katte, Diana Circle, Old Post Office Road, Ideal Circle, and Tenkapete, he said.

Vishwapriya Tirtha Swamiji, junior seer of Admar Math, would receive the vegetables and foodgrains at the temple. These items would then be stored at the Ananteshwara School and Kadekoppala storehouse, he said.

CME on urology

MANGALORE JAN. 11. Yenepoya Medical College is organising a continuing medical education (CME) programme, "Urology Update 2004" at Deralakatte near here on January 20.

A press release said three experts would speak on the subject.

Alumni get-together

MANGALORE JAN. 11. The annual get-together of the alumni of St. Aloysius institutions will be held on January 12 at the college grounds.

A press release issued here said there would be entertainment programmes and competitions in the evening.

Tusks recovered

CHIKMAGALUR JAN. 11. Forest officials seized two elephant tusks weighing 25 kg. and valued at Rs. 2.60 lakh near Sangameshwarapet on Saturday.

The tusks, which were removed from an elephant reportedly killed by poachers in Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary, were found hidden in a manure pit, it is said.

Acting on a tip-off, forest officials raided a coffee estate and recovered the tusks. Four persons arrested in this connection have been remanded in judicial custody. A case has been registered.

Man held on murder charge

SIRSI JAN. 11. Police arrested Vinayak Gundu Siddeshwar Naik (26) on Saturday in connection with the murder of Pandurang Revankar, cashier at a petrol bunk in Nilekani.

Police said they seized a hammer, a knife, and Rs. 8,450 from the accused, who, they said, was an employee of the bunk.

They said Vinayak had confessed to the crime.

Eye check-up for drivers

BELLARY Jan. 11. A free eye check-up camp was held for the drivers of heavy vehicles as part of the Road Safety Week here. The camp was organised at the lorry terminal by the traffic police, in association with Lions Club Cantonment.

Vandana Kulkarni, eye specialist, tested the eyes of the drivers. S.P. Tavargi, Additional Superintendent of Police, who inaugurated the camp, said 3,000 people died and 28,000 were maimed every year in accidents in the State. He urged the drivers to avoid over-speed, rash and negligent driving, and drunken driving, and not to carry passengers in goods vehicles.

Annual day of school

Bidar Jan. 11. Amrit Pal, Superintendent of Police, said here on Saturday that the Guru Nanak Dev Public School was doing well because there was strong synergy among teachers, students, and parents. He was speaking at the annual day function of the school.

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