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NDA wins in Orissa, Haryana; BJP checkmated in Bihar
The BJP's allies in the National Democratic Alliance looked set, as expected, to win comfortably in the Assembly elections in Orissa and Haryana, while the BJP found itself checkmated in Bihar where the NDA allies were deemed to be unstoppable against Mr. Laloo Prasad Yadav's presumably sinking Rashtriya Janata Dal.

 Mamata spares passengers, hikes freight rates
There has been no increase in passenger fares in the Railway Minister, Ms. Mamata Banerjee's maiden Budget. However, freight rates have been increased by five per cent to mobilise an additional Rs. 600 crores but Ms. Banerjee has spared essential commodities such as foodgrains, sugar, edible oils, kerosene, cooking gas, magazines, medicines, fruits and vegetables from this increase. Keeping up her populist stance, Ms. Banerjee, during the course of her presentation in the Lok Sabha today, said she had no ``moral right'' to hike passenger fares in the absence of commensurate amenities to passengers. A major thrust to information technology, innovative methods of income generation and a generous package for West Bengal were the other highlights of the 2000-2001 railway Budget.

SC stays HC order in TANSI case
The Supreme Court today stayed the judgment of the Madras High Court discharging the former Chief Minister and AIADMK supremo, Ms. Jayalalitha, from the two `TANSI deal cases'. The special court (III) in Chennai had been directed to proceed with the trial including her as an accused in the two cases.

Rly. Budget not tabled in RS
For only the second time in the history of Parliament, the Railway budget could not be tabled in the Rajya Sabha today after it was presented in the Lok Sabha.

N-issue at the centre of Indo-U.S. ties: Talbott
While the efforts are on to find ``commonality of views'' on the non-proliferation agenda, the Clinton administration is making the point that there are a number of other areas that the United States and India could cooperate. But the bottom line was that the agreement on the nuclear issues, which is now seen as ``unfinished business'' was necessary if the bilateral relationship is not to be constrained, including in area of sanctions.

Court ruling on Judge
In an unprecedented order, a special court today declared the absconding suspended Judge, Mr. J. W. Singh, the underworld don Chota Shakeel and his associate `Pydhonie' as proclaimed offenders in a case of alleged extortion filed against them.

Pak. claim dismissed
India today dismissed as `rubbish' Pakistan's claim of Indian troops crossing the Line of Control (LoC) in Kotli sector and being involved in killing of 14 civilians.

Assurance to lawyers
The Prime Minister, Mr. A.B. Vajpayee today assured the legal fraternity that his government would not implement the amendments to the Civil Procedure Code without hearing the views of the lawyers.

People's mandate was for autonomy: Farooq
The Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, has asserted that the mandate given to him by the people in 1996 was for restoring greater autonomy.

Clinton will stop in Lahore
The U. S. President, Mr. Bill Clinton, will make a brief stop at Lahore airport at the end of his trip to India ``to prop up pro-western forces in Pakistan,'' the Washington Times reported today.

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