More support for VeerendrakumarTHIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala State committee of Janata Dal (Secular), which has pledged its support to M.P. Veerendrakumar, who was ousted from the party by its national leadership, on Sunday claimed that eight more Karnataka MLAs had declared their loyalty to Mr. Veerendrakumar. His supporters would hold the national executive committee meeting of the party here on December 22, followed by the national council meeting the next day, State general secretary Varughese George said in a press release. - Special Correspondent

Mandakini mournedTHIRUVANANTHAPURAM: CPI State secretary Veliyam Bhargavan has condoled the death of Mandakini Narayanan, one of the leading figures of Naxalite movement in Kerala. In a statement here on Sunday, Mr. Bharghavan said the death of Mandakini Narayanan had deprived Kerala of a social and political activist who was uncompromising in her fight to uphold the human values she believed in. She became a part of Naxalite movement along with her husband Kunhikkal Narayanan and daughter K. Ajitha right from the time of birth of the movement in the State. She had boldly faced many hardships. She stood with the Communist movement throughout her life, he added. - Special Correspondent

CPI flays HC orderTHIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Communist Party of India (CPI) State council has said that the High Court order banning politics on the campus was against the democratic principles. In a statement here on Sunday, the CPI said the High Court order was against the guidelines the Supreme Court had given for students' organisational work. The Supreme Court had upheld the students' right for organisational work and the validity of union elections on the campus on its basis, the statement added. In a country where a citizen gets the voting rights at the age of 18, asking the students to keep out of organisational work and politics was undemocratic. The campus without politics would to turn into a haven for antisocial elements, the CPI said. - Special Correspondent

Minister's directiveKOZHIKODE: Health Minister P.K. Sreemathy has said that all doctors in the State health sector on unauthorised leave would be asked to report for duty immediately. Those who fail to report for duty would be terminated and fresh appointments would be made in their place, Ms. Sreemathy said. She was speaking at a function organised to inaugurate the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Kozhikode Medical College. - Staff Reporter

Spirit seizedPALAKKAD: A police team led by Kozhinjampara Sub Inspector Shaji seized 12,355 litres of spirit, estimated to cost Rs.22 lakhs in the open market, from a truck carrying tomato at Pazhaniyar Palayam on Sunday morning. The police acted on a tip-off. Though they managed to seize the vehicle, the driver and cleaner of the truck ran away, the police said. - Staff Reporter

BKMU meetingPALAKKAD: The national council meeting of Bharatiya Khet Mazdoor Union (BKMU) will be held at the conference hall of the district committee office of the Communist Party of India (CPI) from December 19 to 21. Over 100 national council members from different parts of the country will be attending the three-day meeting. This is the first time that the national council meeting of the BKMU is being held in Kerala. - Staff Reporter

Cancel pact with ADB: M.V. RaghavanPALAKKAD: The former Minister and general secretary of the Communist Marxist Party (CMP), a constituent of the Opposition United Democratic Front, M.V. Raghavan said here on Sunday that the agreement Kerala had signed with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) for loans to five Corporations should be cancelled if it was signed without the knowledge of the Chief Minister. Talking to presspersons here on Sunday, the CMP leader said the Chief Minister should either cancel the agreement or resign his post. As head of the Government, it is his constitutional right to know about such important contracts entered by the Government with a foreign bank, he said. Staff Reporter

Plea to regulate education sectorTHRISSUR: Babu M. Palissery, MLA, has called for steps to check commercialisation of education. Inaugurating `Swasraya-2006,' a cultural programme organised by Sal Sabeel School to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the formation of the State, Mr. Palissery said free education for all, initiated by the E.M.S. Namboodiripad Government, had paved the way for the State's development. "Education widened the Malayali's horizon and took him to every corner of the world," he said. V.K. Sreeraman, cine actor, and writer C. J. Anto, president, Kaiparambu panchayat, and Sobhana Sudhakaran, Principal of the school, also spoke. Staff Reporter