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Events 2000

 Two killed in A.P. police firing
Two persons were killed when police opened fire on Opposition demonstrators protesting against the power tariff hike in Hyderabad today, while the 40-odd Congress MLAs who had been on a fast for the past 11 days called it off saying that the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr. N. Chandrababu Naidu, did not respond to ``Gandhian method of protest''.

BJP claims credit for NDA Govt. stability
The alchemy by which the Bharatiya Janata Party converted a fractured mandate in 1999 into a stable NDA Government led by Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee, was the theme song of the political resolution adopted unanimously by the party's national council session here today.

Bail granted to 51 'Veerappan aides'
On expected lines, the Principal and Sessions Judge, Mr. Rajendra Prasad, today approved granting of bail to 51 detenues, supposed to be associates of the forest brigand, Veerappan.

Vajpayee is fine, says the PMO
``There is nothing wrong with Mr. Atal Behari Vajpayee's health, except the troublesome knees'' was the mantra chanted by one and all in the Vajpayee establishment in response to questions about the Prime Minister's health.

TRAI relief to STD users
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India(TRAI) today announced significant reductions in international and national long distance call charges. The new rates will be effective from October 1 this year till March 2002, said a TRAI news release.

Laxman statement on Muslims hypocritical: Cong.(I)
The Congress(I) today reacted caustically to the new BJP president, Mr. Bangaru Laxman's statement on his party's plans to woo Muslims. Briefing newspersons the Congress(I) spokesperson, Mr. Anand Sharma said ``there could not have been a more hypocritical and blatantly communal statement by a political party''.

Minor Cabinet expansion likely
It seems that there are plans to undertake a small Cabinet expansion soon. Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders in the Government, who attended the party's national council session here have confirmed that the expansion could take place ``before the Prime Minister's visit to the United States,'' which is scheduled for early September.

Decks cleared for formation of three new States
With the President giving his assent to the States Reorganisation Bills, decks have been cleared for the formation of three new States of Chattisgarh, Uttaranchal and Jharkhand, carved out of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar respectively.

Gopal set to leave for forest
Crucial documents from the Karnataka and Tamil Nadu Governments were reached to the emissary-journalist, Mr. R.R. Gopal, late tonight to facilitate his immediate departure from Chennai to the Sathyamangalam forests, to negotiate the release of the Kannada actor, Mr. Rajkumar, and three others held hostage by the brigand, Veerappan.

Dausa bypoll on Sept. 29
The Election Commission will hold byelections to the Dausa Lok Sabha seat in Rajasthan and for eight Assembly seats in eight States on September 29.

WB loan for telecom
The Department of Telecommunications' ponderous process of allocating frequency to private telecom companies is expected to get a face-lift from a World Bank loan which was signed recently by the Government.

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