SP candidates announced

NELLORE: The Samajvadi party has announced its candidates from two Assembly constituencies in Nellore district. They are P. Radhakrishnamurthy Yadav (Nellore) and B. Aruna (Sarvepalli).

BJP dharna

Cuddapah: Bharatiya Janata Party functionaries staged a dharna in front of the Duvvur MRO's office in Mydukur constituency on Wednesday demanding that the mandal be declared drought-affected. The BJP district joint convenor, P. Lakshmi Reddy; the constituency unit vice-president, A.V. Subbaiah; the mandal unit convenor, Srinivasulu Reddy, and the Duvvur mandal parishad president, Obaiah, participated.

Festivals draw devotees

NELLORE: A large number of devotees took part in the ongoing Brahmostavams of Talpagiri Ranganathaswamy temple, at Nellore. Meanwhile, the `Rottela Panduga' (festival of bread) at Barashaheed Dargah, at Nellore, continues to draw devotees from all over the State. This is a festival mainly known for its participation by people belonging to various religions.

Community lunch

KURNOOL: A community lunch was organised at Dargah Latif Laubali here on Tuesday in connection with Moharrum. The Chief Editor of Rahnuma-e-Deccan, Syed Vicaruddin, and Mir Akbar Ali Khan Saheb of Secular Democratic People's Party, New Delhi, organised the programme.

Free medical camp

KURNOOL: A retired professor of the chest diseases department of Kurnool Medical College, G. Kullayappa, will conduct a free asthma and allergy camp for the poor every last Saturday of the month at Gowri Gopal Hospital. In a statement, he urged patients to enrol for treatment at the free camp.

Hundreds line up for Congress ticket

HYDERABAD: Hundreds of aspirants seeking Congress ticket for Assembly seats thronged the District Congress Committee offices all over the State on Wednesday, the third and final day for issue of applications. About 5,000 applications have been sold, according to reports from districts, reaching the Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) headquarters, Gandhi Bhavan here.

Prominent among those who took applications on Wednesday were Y. S. Rajashekar Reddy, former Congress Legislature Party leader from Pulivendula, D. Srinivas, president of APCC from Nizamabad, G. Chinna Reddy, convener of Telangana Regional Coordination Committee from Wanaparthy, Jalagam Venkat Rao, son of former Chief Minister, J. Vengal Rao from Sattupalli and N. Rajyalaxmi, wife of former Chief Minister, N. Janardhan Reddy from Atmakur.

The heavy rush today was attributed to the aspirants' belief that Tuesday was inauspicious. In Hyderabad, there was rush at the City Congress Committee office and the Ranga Reddy District unit in Gandhi Bhavan.

Shiv Sena to enter fray in State

HYDERABAD: The State unit of Shiv Sena has announced that it will field candidates for 100 Assembly and 10 Lok Sabha seats in the State in the coming elections.

Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday, M. Shiv Kumar Yadav, State general secretary, said the Shiv Sena executive president, Uddhav Thackeray, along with other senior leaders would participate in the campaign. A meeting of the executive was scheduled for March 5 to finalise candidates and also release the party manifesto, he said. The Shiv Sena in the State would go to the polls on its own. "The BJP which claims to be a champion of the Hindutva, cause has deviated from the path. Now, we are the only party working for Hindus and their interests," Mr.Yadav said.

Ex-College Service Commission chief seeks BJP ticket

TIRUPATI: The former Chairperson of the A.P. College Service Commission, M.D. Narayana Naidu, today threw his hat into the ring for the Rajampet Lok Sabha seat on behalf of the BJP. Mr. Naidu, a close aide of the TDP founder, N.T. Rama Rao, had joined the BJP bandwagon three years ago after strained relations with the Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu.

The National Democratic Alliance Government has already appointed him a member on the National Scheme Sanctioning Committee coming under the Ministry of Rural Development. In his application submitted to the BJP's Rayalaseema observer, P.V. Chalapathi Rao, a copy of which was also faxed to the national president, M. Venkaiah Naidu, Mr. Narayana Naidu said that his 12-year stint as the SVU's NSS Director which helped him develop contacts with grassroot functionaries in the region.

Naxals gun down former vice-sarpanch, TDP activist

ONGOLE: People's War naxalites gunned down Ankampally Sesaiah (36), former vice-sarpanch of Kalanuthala of Pedaraveedu mandal and destroyed a wine shop at Papinenipally of Ardhaveedu mandal in Prakasam district late last night. About 15 armed naxalites entered the village and approached Mr. Sesaiah when he was watching Moharram programme. They took him to the village outskirts and shot him dead. In a letter left behind in the name of Sagar, secretary of the CPI(ML)--People's War Nallamala East Area Committee, naxalites said they would kill Telugu Desam and BJP leaders if they did not resign from their parties.

A report from Kurnool said People's War naxalites shot dead a TDP activist identified as Mahesh at Singavaram village in Bandi Atmakur mandal of Kurnool district on Wednesday night.

Five armed extremists descended on the village around 8 p.m. and shot dead Mr. Mahesh. The victim was also president of the local milk producers union.

NTRUHS entrance test

VIJAYAWADA: The NTR University of Health Sciences announced here on Wednesday that the entrance test for the post-graduate medical admissions for the year 2004 would be held in the second week of April.

Issue of SSC hall tickets from tomorrow

HYDERABAD: Hall tickets and nominal rolls for both regular and private candidates of the SSC public examination will be issued from March 5 at the office of the SSC Board at Abids. The Director of Government Examinations, D. Ravindranath, has appealed to all the heads of institutions of secondary schools in twin cities and Rangareddy district to take the material, a press release said.

Rs. 100 crores for excellence in agricultural varsities

HYDERABAD: An amount of Rs.100 crores is being provided during the 10th Plan to create excellence in select areas of agricultural universities, according to J.C. Katyal, Deputy Director-General (Education), Indian Council of Agricultural Research. Inaugurating a two-day national-level meeting of directors of advanced studies at the Home Science College here on Wednesday, he said investment in human resources development should take precedence over infrastructure. The Vice-Chancellor, Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University, spoke.

Eight-month-old girl abandoned

NIZAMABAD: An eight-month-old baby girl was reportedly abandoned by her parents on the premises of the APSRTC bus stand on Wednesday. Reports said police personnel manning the outpost at the bus stand saw the baby lying near the platform number 17. They later admitted the girl in the district headquarters hospital.

State police take custody of two charged in stamp scam

BANGALORE: The Andhra Pradesh police have taken the custody of two accused in the fake stamp paper racket.

Highly placed officials said Jacob and Sarju, who had been arrested by the Stamp Investigation Team (STAMPIT) for their alleged involvement in the racket, were taken away from the Central Jail in Parappana Agrahara by the Andhra Pradesh police.

A special police team from that State was in the Bangalore on Tuesday to execute the warrant and seek custody of the two accused.