BJP State chief to be elected on October 31

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The election of the State president of the BJP is tentatively scheduled for October 30 and 31. However, efforts are on to bring about a consensus. If consensus cannot be achieved, nominations will be received on October 30 and the polling held on October 31. It is also possible that the Central leadership might postpone the polling date to arrive at a consensus. Several names are being suggested for the post including that of P.K. Krishnadas, O. Rajagopal, C.K. Padmanabhan and K.P. Sreesan. Special Correspondent

Selected for film festival

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Saira, directed by Biju, has been selected for screening in the competitive section of the 30th International Film Festival being held at Sao Paulo in Brazil from October 20 to November 2. A total of 114 films from 32 countries have been selected to this section of the prestigious film festival of Latin America. Saira has already been screened and reportedly received acclaim in the Kazan and Athens film festivals. Special Correspondent

LPG backlog to be cleared

KOCHI: Oil companies will take steps to clear the backlog of LPG refills within 10 days. This decision was taken at a meeting of oil company representatives here on Friday. The meeting was convened by the Deputy General Manager, IOC, the State-level coordinator for the oil industry in Kerala. Staff Reporter

Ravi's assurance on minority rights

KOTTAYAM: Minority rights are fundamental to democratic principles and authorities have no right to trample on them, Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi has said. Speaking on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Changanasserry Archdiocese, the Union Minister reiterated the Government's commitment to protect minority rights and expressed anguish over the attempts from certain State Governments to intimidate minorities in the name of conversions. Staff Reporter

Cataract Free Programme opened

KOLLAM: Labour Minister P.K. Gurudasan on Saturday inaugurated the "cataract free coastal sector" programme organised by the Rotary Club of Quilon West End. Club president Praveen S. Dev said that the programme to help the poor in the coastal areas free themselves from cataract would be implemented through 15 free cataract camps to be held in different coastal locations of the district during October and November. The programme is being implemented in association with the Sasthamcotta M.T.M.M. Hospital. Staff Reporter

Cake icing competition

KOLLAM: A cake icing competition for bakeries in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Alappuzha districts is being organised at Ezhukone near here on Sunday by the Master Line Bakery Services. The organisers said that the aim of the even is to improve the quality of the bakery industry. The competition venue is Hotel Nila Palace. Staff Reporter

Applications invited

KOLLAM: The TKM College of Engineering invites application for admission to the part time B.Tech. courses. The courses are computer science and engineering, electrical and electronics engineering, civil engineering and mechanical engineering. Application forms are available at the college. The last date for the receipt of applications is October 31. Staff Reporter

Film club inaugurated

KOZHIKODE: Film-maker Ranjith inaugurated a film club of the Calicut Press Club at a function here on Saturday. Mr. Ranjith said the club formed with the aim of introducing films across the world would help in development and growth of film culture. A new film aptitude would develop by knowing more about films made across the world. `Cyclist,' by Iranian film-maker Makhmalbaf was shown after the inauguration.

Staff Reporter

Man arrested, diamonds seized

Thrissur: The police arrested Martin, 26, of Plakkal House in Adattu on Saturday from Punkunnam. Rs.26,000 and 26 diamonds were recovered from him. He was wanted in several cases, the police said. Staff Reporter

Gold theft case: five held

Thrissur: A five-member gang wanted in a gold theft case was arrested by the Highway police on Saturday.

The car (KL7AE 1751) they were travelling in was also seized.

The arrested were Dhaneesh, 24, of Panakkottam in Perinjanam, Sanal, 29, of Thekkedathu in Lokamaleswaram, Unnikrishnan, 25, of SN Puram in Karekkatt, Shijil, 27, of Thayyil in Edamuttom, and Nasar, 27, of Velayil in Kaipamangalam.

According to the police, two members of the gang allegedly robbed a grocer of a 3.5 sovereign gold chain at Valappad on Friday.

The members of the gang were travelling to Kozhikode with the chain when they were arrested. Staff Reporter

National award for PMA

PALAKKAD: The Palghat Management Association (PMA) has received the National Award for Good Performance (2005- '06) instituted by the All-India Management Association. This is the fifth time PMA has won recognition for its performance. Staff Reporter