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The Bofors gun booms again
'Who is Quattrocchi? He is Sonia's friend. It is no secret in Delhi that this Italian ran his own durbar including interfering in issues of national interest to India.... What gave this obscure Italian so much power and influence that even Cabinet ministers lined up for his attention?' Chitra Subramaniam's new revelations on the kickbacks scandal.

Keep Ayodhya on backburner for 20 years: Jaya
''The AIADMK will fight tooth and nail to prevent a foreigner being pushed to the forefront of Indian politics," thunders the party supremo.

Fear hits Telangana as Naxals call for poll boycott
Fear spreads in the Naxalite-dominated Telangana areas. And the police brace up for the challenge as the banned People's War Group plans to ruthlessly enforce its poll boycott call in Andhra Pradesh

'In the last seven years nearly 5 million Biharis have left the state'
'I have known Laloo for the last 30 years. In fact, I know him better than any RJD leader. I know his plus and minus points. And that is the reason why we have been able to gain in Bihar.' Sushil Kumar Modi, the BJP leader who led the campaign against Laloo Yadav in the fodder scam case, in an eloquent interview.

Arjun Singh punctures Rao's claim
The Congress Working Committee member has denied that he drafted the P V Narasimha Rao government's reaction to the Babri Masjid demolition.

Arjun Singh, Karunakaran, Vohra and V C Shukla in Congress list
The controversy over the Mukundapuram constituency in Kerala has been sorted out.

Gujral not a registered voter from Jalandhar, claims rival
If he was truly a resident of Jalandhar, why did Gujral sell his ancestral property and register himself as a voter in Patna, asks Umrao Singh.

Gujral to visit Jalandhar to shore up support
While one local politician is backing the prime minister, another is categorically against Gujral.

Congress, SP, RPI come together in Bombay to take on BJP-Sena
In a move that could pose a stiff challenge to the Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena alliance in the metropolis, the Congress has for the first time agreed to contest only three out of the six seats in Bombay, leaving two to the Samajwadi Party and one to the Republican Party of India.

A secular, honest and representative govt
That, and much more, is what the United Front promises

Clash of Yadavs creates scare in Sambhal
The spectre of poll violence looms large over Sambhal constituency in western Uttar Pradesh, where Defence Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav has locked horns with his friend-turned-foe D P Yadav, contesting on a Bharatiya Janata Party ticket.

Congress vote bank will 'swing' fortunes in TN
The 'swing factor', put at a safe 35 per cent, and the 'traditional Congress vote bank' will make or mar electoral results in Tamil Nadu.

Sikhs will vote against Congress: Babbar
The All India Shiromani Akali Dal (Babbar) today claimed that Sonia Gandhi's apology and the denial of Congress tickets to party leaders H K L Bhagat, Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar will not bring the Sikh voters back to the party's fold.

BJP announces 20 more candidates
This takes the number of seats it would contest on its own to 387.

Things you need to know about BJP candidates
Twentysix of 'em are ladies, six belong to minorities, 17 are doctors...

Gujarat Congress members flay tie-up with Vaghela
Former ministers, MP, and MLAs have warned that the alliance is not acceptable to them.

Nothing but a tamasha
Govind Nihalani and Saeed Mirza, known for their hard-hitting socio-political movies, say voters seem to have little 'real choice' in the coming election.

'We have to change our system to fight the evils of the cash economy'
Tax consultant H P Ranina on the fiscal challenges confronting the next government.

'They just make promises -- until they are elected'
Farmer Madhavrao Patil, on leaders and politicians.

It is not politics but economics that should engage the nation's attention
Astrologer K N Rao foresees a financial emergency.

Maharashtra: Sena to field Vikhe-Patil in Ahmednagar
Tamil Nadu: AIADMK manifesto assures minorities' rights protection
Rajasthan: Poll results on the Net

Sonia issues tickets as the Congress train chugs along
By the time the process of ticket distribution is over, Sonia would have nominated nearly 150 candidates considered quite loyal and close to the Gandhis.

Who's afraid of the press, asks Sonia
But she stayed only 15 minutes at a Congress-organised iftaar and mingled mostly with diplomats, claiming she had other pressing engagements.

'Mr Rao started off as a Bhismapithamaha, became Dhithirashtra in the middle and ended up as Shakuni'
'Mr Kesri is not a PLU -- that is a person like us. But don't forget that he is more representative of India than either you or me.' Congress joint secretary Jairam Ramesh in a lively encounter on the Rediff Election Chat.

Rao had no role in Babri demolition: Pranab
The Congress today maintained that the former prime minister Rao had no role in the conspiracy to demolish the mosque and the denial of party ticket to him had nothing to do with the episode.

Keshubhai Patel tells NRI supporters to hold back cheques
His terms: chief ministership if the BJP wins the Gujarat assembly election, and more seats for the Patels.

Sparks fly as four editors jump into poll fray
With four Oriya newspaper editors contesting the Lok Sabha election, a war of words threatens to break out, adding colour to the campaigning in Orissa.

Ex-minister Pant quits Congress
A senior minister in the Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi governments, he has now decided to support his wife, who will contest the Nainital seat on a BJP ticket.

EC gets court notices over poll survey curbs
The Rajasthan high court today issued show-cause notices to the Election Commission on a petition filed against the panel's directives on the publication or broadcast of exit poll surveys.
Bangalore MP Ananth Kumar is the first candidate to launch a website.

36 Punjab villages threaten to boycott polls for a bridge across the Ravi
For constituents of four-time MP Sukhbans Kaur Bhinder, it has been a bridge too far.

40 per cent of polling booths are sensitive in MP
The sensitive polling stations were in Naxalite-prone areas in Bastar, Rajnandgaon, Mandla and Balaghat districts, places bordering Uttar Pradesh and tribal areas in Khargone district.

Ex-bureaucrat Dharmadhikari joins the fray in Pune
The Pune Lok Sabha constituency now has the Shiv Sena-BJP alliance backed Suresh Kalmadi, Vithal Thupe (Congress), Namdeo Dhasal (Dalit Panther), Anna Joshi (Independent) and Dharmadhikari (Independent) in the fray.

Parties square up for the battle of Gwalior
The BJP, the BSP, the Congress in fray, but seat likely to go the maharaja's way.

Sarangarh seat: Congress bastion
This seat reserved for the scheduled caste has been held by Parasram Bharadwaj since 1980.

Nominations hit 18-year low in Rajasthan
A record low of 291 people have filed their nominations for the February 16 Lok Sabha poll for the 25 seats in Rajasthan.

'Everyone is corrupt; I don't think there is anyone here who is good and fair and honest'
Satish Dharma Patil on what he expects from this election and the politicians.

Andhra Pradesh:Telugu Desam misusing official machinery: Upendra
Gujarat: JD to contest 15 LS, 100 assembly seats
Tamil Nadu: CPI-M rejects TMC's appeal
Tripura: Congress changes candidates

Heat and dust: the story of how parties face up to electioneering
The Congress election campaign, apart from Sonia Gandhi's tours, seems dispirited; the BJP is behaving like the future belongs to it; while the UF is still deciding who will go where.

Sonia Gandhi wows Rohtak as Kesri toes her line
The rousing reception accorded to Rajiv Gandhi's widow seemed acutely embarrassing for Sitaram Kesri.

Tytler, Bhagat, Sajjan Kumar denied tickets
The Congress has denied Lok Sabha tickets to three party stalwarts from Delhi -- Jagdish Tytler, H K L Bhagat and Sajjan Kumar -- tainted for their alleged involvement in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

You cannot convert a nark raj into a Ram rajya in 15 days: Gill
Coming down heavily on his critics, the Chief Election Commissioner said they tend to overlook the gigantic task faced by the Election Commission.

Talks must settle Babri row: Vajpayee
Only if talks fail should legislation be considered, says the BJP leader.

Kanshi, Mayawati, Arif Khan in BSP list for Uttar Pradesh
Other BSP candidates include former Union minister Brahm Dutt and Akbar 'Dumpy' Ahmed.

Vijayshanti joins BJP
The BJP's Andhra Pradesh unit has received a shot in the arm with leading Telugu star Vijayshanti finally joining the saffron brigade.

Anti-LDF fever runs high among Kerala farmers
The disenchantment is at its peak among roughly one million small and marginal rubber growers who are facing a severe crisis because of the unprecedented fall in rubber prices.

Sonia has partially improved Congress chances, says V P Singh
The former prime minister nevertheless predicts a hung Parliament with all the attendant political instability.

Pune ex-MP Anna Joshi quits BJP
Even after formally resigning from the party, Joshi told reporters at a hurriedly convened press conference that 'the doors for negotiation with the BJP leadership were open.

Union ministers injured on eve of poll; security to be beefed up
On Tuesday, Union ministers M Arunachalam and D Adityan were attacked by a violent mob.

Bombast and banter, but minus the demagoguery
' "Babar was a Mongol, not an Indian,'' goes one, "The Muslims can pray in any mosque they like, we will assure them this,'' goes another, and so on, culminating in the vision for Ayodhya.' Ayaz Memon joins Bal Thackeray on the campaign trail.

'Does Sonia want to save the DMK and the TMC?'
Congress rebel and Jayalalitha ally Vazhappadi Ramamurthy, in a typically aggressive interview.

'100 % literacy should be the government's priority'
Educationist Dr M S Gore on the issues that confront candidates and the electorate.

'We have learnt to justify corruption, which is the worst thing that can happen to a country'
Novelist Sivasankari glances at leaders and politicians.

Andhra Pradesh: BJP fields Krishnam Raju from Kakinada

Pak will step up terror tactics in J&K to disrupt poll: IB
Home ministry sources said the ISI's game-plan was to prevent the Indian authorities from pulling out companies of security forces from the border belts for deployment at polling stations across the country.

Congress fields Satish Sharma from Amethi, leaves Aligarh for Kesri
Party spokesperson Ambika Soni also announced Sonia's hectic poll tour from February 2 to 5.

Star wars in Andhra Pradesh
The ruling Telugu Desam Party has roped in a battery of comedians -- Rajendra Prasad, Brahmanandam and Babu Mohan -- for its election campaign. The Bharatiya Janata Party is not far behind. But the Congress has been left high and dry, with all its stars ditching the party.

United Front disunited in states
United they may stand, but divided they poll. That in a line is the story of the UF as it prepares for the last lap.

Apologise for Babri?
What about Kashmiri pandits, asks BJP.

Water for blood
Vajpayee disappoints hardliners, eshewing aggression and discussing only his party's positive points.

'Elections are won on hawa, not on the work an MP does'
'The BJP's plank is stability, but they are fooling the people. When you talk to them privately they themselves say they can't form a government on their own.' Bombay Congress boss Murli Deora, in his most eloquent interview yet.

Sorry for Blue Star, '84 riots, says Sonia
Sonia Gandhi kicks off poll campaign in Chandigarh with veiled apologies.

Sena-BJP to back Kalmadi...
...If he damns Congress and Pawar in writing.

Janata Dal announces fresh batch of candidates
Highlights of the list are Gujral from Jalandhar, Deve Gowda from Hassan, Sharad Yadav from Madheopur and Ram Vilas Paswan from Hajipur.

UF votes risk being divided
Miffed JD in Tamil Nadu walks out of UF.

Samata drops its defences for Bihar-friendly Paswan
The Samata Party has adopted a soft attitude towards the railway minister although it is fighting Janata Dal candidates elsewhere in Bihar.

Karunakaran godfathers new axis in UDF against Antony
The new group comprises two Congress splinters, the Communist Marxist Party and the Janadipatya Samrakshana Samiti -- all bitter because they weren't allotted any seats to contest.

Former Indian hockey captain joins BJP
Ajit Pal Singh has captained the Indian team thrice.

A five-year government is what's sought by voters
Dr N Bhaskara Rao on what Poll-98 holds for India.

'Only if the Congress comes to power will we have a government which lasts five full years'
Bhoopalan, a tea shop owner in Sriperumbudur, on what he expects from this election and the politicians.

Andhra Pradesh: BJP, Lakshmi Parvathi reach seat accord
Andhra Pradesh: NTR's son-in-law joins BJP
Bihar: Severe jolt for RJD as minister quits
Goa: Khalap keeps options open
Karnataka: J H Patel breathes easy again, wins trust vote
Karnataka: Congress nominates former CM Veerappa Moily
Maharashtra: BJP fields Kakade against Pawar
Maharashtra: RJD to contest 2 seats in Bombay
Tamil Nadu: DMK fields Sarat Kumar from Tirunelveli
Tamil Nadu: TMC announces 5 more candidates
Tripura: CPI-M, JD to contest against each other


Senior Congressmen shocked as Kesri denies ticket to Rao
As the party president blurted out that the former prime minister would not be given a ticket to contest the Lok Sabha poll, Congress Working Committee member Pranab Mukherjee said a final decision has not yet been taken.

Unjust, unfair to blame me for Babri demolition: Rao
Rao's reaction came a couple of hours after Kesri held him morally responsible for the incident.

Congress promises stability, secularism and new economic agenda
The party manifesto promises a special package for the minorities -- including the setting up of a ministry for minorities -- to woo the Muslims.

'I don't think Sonia will contest the election'
Sharad Pawar, in a brief encounter.

'Making Kesri Congress president was like giving a knife to a monkey'
'In the Congress, every day it was an effort to be close to Rao, Kesri or Sonia Gandhi. For instance, if you are not on Sonia's side in the Congress now, your marketshare is gone. This stooping down before different leaders is not there in the BJP.' Aslam Sher Khan, in an exclusive interview.

Khalap denies BJP's Bofors charges
The Union law minister has denied that the United Front government was deliberately withholding the findings of its investigation in the Bofors gun deal.

45 per cent of polling booths declared sensitive in UP
About 54,000 of the 123,074 polling stations have been declared as sensitive and hyper-sensitive in Uttar Pradesh.

Congress apology won't convince TN Muslims
The Tamil Nadu Muslims are more concerned about their own security and insecurities. It is these fears that need to be attended to, and a mere apology for the Babri mosque demolition -- given by the Congress -- will not satisfy them.

Vajpayee vows to settle Hindu-Muslim disputes
Addressing a rally in Kanpur, the BJP's prime ministerial nominee woos the Muslims again.

V P Singh defends Sonia
It is not fair to draw her name into the contentious Bofors issue, the former prime minister said.

'It is wrong to assume that the DMK-TMC combine can do a repeat of 1996'
The CPI-M is adamant on going it alone in Tamil Nadu.

Travels with the Millennium Man
The chief minister is beleaguered by the "widow syndrome" of Indian politics -- he is required to ward off not one but two. Sunil Sethi hits the campaign trail with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.

'The BJP thinks it can sell Vajpayee in the market. But nobody is there to buy that commodity'
'Parliamentary democracy in India has entered into a new phase or new era, in which coalition governments have come to stay at the Centre. In this era you have to project policies, programmes and manifestos of the political parties. Not individuals.' CPI national secretary Doraiswamy Raja tells The Rediff Election Chat.

BJP will snatch a sensational victory
K N Rao resumes his astrological forecasts.


India heads for hung Parliament: CMS poll survey
The BJP will get between 235 and 245 seats. Sonia Gandhi's appearance on the campaign trail will improve the Congress tally. The United Front will hover around the 120 mark.

Govt not disclosing even what it can on Bofors, says BJP
The BJP's two top election campaigners today carried the battle over the Bofors payoffs scandal into the Congress and UF camps.

Reject Gujral's nomination from Punjab: Shanti Bhushan
The prime minister, alleged the former Union law minister, was trying to bribe voters by waiving off a Rs 21.14 billion loan to Punjab.

Sonia relives the Indira image at Maharashtra hamlet
For the largely adivasi crowds at Nandurbar, her rally brought the dynasty just that much closer.

Vajpayee promises to change governor's role
The BJP's prime ministerial nominee, however, skirts all controversial issues, though the disputed shrine was just a few kilometres from the venue of his rally in Varanasi.

Verdict on Rajiv assassination just five days away
All eyes are now on the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act court in Madras. Hearing the case for nearly five years, the court is scheduled to pronounce its verdict on January 28.

EC gives observers teeth, simplifies expense-filing method
They can now halt vote-counting or the declaration of results. And the candidates need present their accounts for inspection only once every three days.

BJD-BJP alliance runs into rough weather
The much-publicised political alliance between the Biju Janata Dal and the Bharatiya Janata Party in Orissa is in trouble.

Samata manifesto wants foreign-borns kept off high office
George Fernandes justifies the proposal by saying that it is not directed at any one person, and anyway all developed nations have such laws.

Gujral continues his Akali affair despite UF criticism
The prime minister shared the dais for the second day with ruling Akali Dal leaders at election meetings in Jalandhar's Kartarpur and Nakodar.

Andhra Pradesh: Naidu demands 'wages for good work' as crowd turns restive
Andhra Pradesh: Talks with NTR-TDP break down, BJP to go it alone
Andhra Pradesh: Minister, film-maker in TDP's second list
Bihar: SP announces 14 candidates
Karnataka: Deve Gowda to contest from Hassan
Karnataka: Patel rules out dissolution of assembly
Madhya Pradesh: BJP denies ticket to Sakhlecha
Maharashtra: SP chief joins BJP


Corporate poll fund set up to end slush money
Senior Supreme Court advocate Dinesh Vyas, who heads the trust, refutes rumours that the Tatas are behind the bid to clean up electoral funding by corporates. All major political parties, barring the Left Front, welcome the move.

Sonia unhappy over Laloo giving peanuts to Congress in Bihar
In the battle of Yadavs, Sonia would rather be allied with Mulayam than Laloo.

Make Bofors papers public, Vajpayee tells PM
The BJP's prime ministerial candidate launches his election campaign.

BJP's star move: Vinod Khanna from Gurdaspur
The actor says his decision to join politics came about when he decided, "It was time that people like us made a stand and took part in things actively."

Sex scandal hits Congress campaign in Orissa
The Congress, already facing a stiff challenge from Naveen Patnaik, has suffered a further erosion in its credibility with a sex scandal erupting in the coastal town of Kenderapara.

Sonia sells Congress, even as Kesri fails to join her
Only the Congress has the solutions to the nation's problems, she tells Ranchi crowds.

Vaghela's HAMDOST no patch on earlier KHAM votebank: Keshubhai Patel
The former Gujarat chief minister pooh-poohs claims that the BJP will not form the government this time.

Congress facing trouble on all fronts in Kerala
The party finds itself under a state of siege.

Gujral woos Christians
The prime minister reiterates his commitment to preserve the well-being of India's minorities.

Naidu seeks to revive NTR's pet theme
The ruling Telugu Desam Party has begun harping on atma gauravam (Telugu self-respect) to counter the Sonia Gandhi factor at the hustings.

Arunachal: Only three voters in India's smallest booth
Assam: Split in AGP
Bengal: Aiyar meets Sonia, sparks speculation on Trinamool-Congress ties
Gujarat: RJP releases second list
Gujarat: Atmaram Patel joins JD
Orissa: RJD to contest 13 seats
Tamil Nadu: CPI-M to contest six seats


Sonia to decide Rao's fate
The Congress has decided to leave the decision to nominate its controversial leaders P V Narasimha Rao and Balram Jakhar to the party's star campaigner.

Miffed Rao under pressure to turn to Sonia
Another battle seems likely in the Congress.

BJP in fix over web site
The only Indian political party present on the Internet, the BJP site has got publicity for all the wrong reasons. And its prime ministerial candidate Atal Bihari Vajpayee is hard put issuing statements to get out of the mess.

BJP will contest 375 seats
Ranga Kumaramangalam, Som Pal and Ram Dhan, who joined the party recently, get tickets from Tiruchirapalli, Baghpat and Lal Ganj respectively.

EC slaps curbs on opinion polls
Chief Election Commissioner M S Gill says no result of opinion polls should be published or telecast after 1700 hours on February 14 up to half an hour after the close of polling on February 28.

SP fields Muzzafar Ali against Vajpayee in Lucknow
The man who made Gaman and Umrao Jaan will take on the BJP leader who is seeking re-election to the Lok Sabha from Lucknow.

I did not betray Quit India movement, says Vajpayee
The former prime minister says he is pained at the attempts being made by some to paint him as a British collaborator.

Film star Gautami joins BJP
Gautami, who has acted in 95 films in Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada and Hindi, will not contest the election.

Nominations open in 13 more states
Nominations opened on Wednesday in 13 more states besides five Union Territories, including Delhi, for the election to the 12th Lok Sabha and five state assemblies.

Kashmiri pandits to reiterate demand for separate homeland
They would back any political party in the coming election which supported this demand.

Andhra Pradesh: Lakshmi Parvathi launches her campaign
Assam: Mahanta asks for additional security forces
Bihar: No surprises in Samata Party's first list
Gujarat: BSP to contest six assembly seats
Karnataka: Ex-ministers will return to JD if Deve Gowda is expelled
Manipur: NSCN threatens govt officials against poll duty
Meghalaya: UDP announces third list of candidates
Orissa: BJD, BJP finalise seat-sharing
Tamil Nadu: Karunanidhi tells Left to settle for two seats
Uttar Pradesh: No unity with BSP, says Mulayam


He wants to be prime minister!
The dimunitive defence minister who until a few years ago could not comprehend anything beyond his hometown, Etawah, has begun to look beyond his horizons. And as a pragmatic politican, he is trying to do away with every hurdle in his path.

Congress will go full throttle on reforms: Sonia
But her party, she says, will keep the interests of the poor and downtrodden in mind.

Counting of votes to begin on March 2
Counting of votes in the entire country, except three parliamentary constituencies in Jammu and Kashmir and two in Meghalaya, has been advanced by six days.

Rao missing from Congress's second list
The party's second list of 48 candidates does not include the former prime minister.

J B Patnaik lobbies for Rao
The Orissa chief minister may lobby Sonia Gandhi to clear Rao's name for the Behrampur seat.

Front partners to have common as well as separate manifestoes
The United Front's common manifesto will list the 18-month-old government's achievements and its unfinished agenda.

Jaya springs a surprise with her list
The AIADMK supremo's decision to field over-the-hill film star Ramarajan for the Thiruchendur parliamentary constituency has taken political circles by surprise.

Nominations open in two states
Poll notification issued for first phase, nominations open in Tripura and Meghalaya.

Presidential form is best for India, says Farooq
India, which no longer has charismatic leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, should go in for the Presidential form of government, says the J&K chief minister.

Gujral to start campaign on Thursday
From Jalandhar with BSP chief Kanshi Ram's blessings.

UP govt revokes BSP MLAs's postings
The Election Commission had taken a serious view of the appointments which were in violation of the Model Code of Conduct.

Bengal is unique
It is the only state in which the non-Congress party has captured more seats than the Congress in each of the last seven Lok Sabha elections.

Assam: Showcause to EC over debarring 400,000 voters
Assam: AGP fields Mahanta's wife
Bihar: State JD chief protests over 'unfair list'
Haryana: 19 villages in Sirsa to boycott polls
Karnataka: Three ministers quit Patel ministry
Karnataka: Jalappa quits Union Cabinet
Karnataka: Advani, Hegde joint meet in Bangalore on Jan 31
Karnataka: Bangarappa ties up with BSP


Sonia shocks Congress
Panic seems to be spreading in the Congress after Sonia Gandhi raked up the Bofors and the Babri mosque issues at her election meetings. As worried Congressmen assert that the issues would boomerang on the party, Congress president Sitaram Kesri summoned an urgent meeting.

Bofors papers won't be made public: Gujral
The prime minister has asserted that his government would not fall prey to the Congress's ploy or the Bharatiya Janata Party's pressures to make the Bofors papers public.

Congress not to apologise over Babri demolition
The wily Congress president has struck again. The party will not apologise to the Muslims over the Babri mosque issue, but accept responsibility for its demolition. Kesri feels this would seal former prime minister P V Narasimha Rao's fate -- who was in power when the mosque was razed -- besides bringing the community to the party fold.

BJP takes stock of Sonia effect on campaign
The party is officially not willing to make much of Sonia's campaign. All the same, it feels her presence in the electoral arena should not be underestimated.

'The Indian Congress has turned into Italian Congress'
On the first day of his campaign, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray lashed out viciously at the Congress and its star-campaigner Sonia Gandhi, saying the party should be 'ashamed' of itself for bringing in an 'Italian woman'.

Pestilence drives Andhra farmers to suicide
More than 44 cotton growers have committed suicide in Andhra Pradesh, landing media-savvy and hi-tech Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu in an embarrassing situation on the eve of the Lok Sabha election.

Sonia's second lap of campaign from Tuesday
Sonia will cover Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Assam, Bihar, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Gujarat during the three-day tour.

Kanshi Ram decides not to contest
Instead, he will devote himself fully to campaigning. And strive to get 'maximum BSP candidates elected'.

CPI-M announces candidates
Bar seven members of the dissolved Lok Sabha, the Communist Party of India-Marxist has renominated all its former Parliamentarians for the coming election from Assam, Kerala and West Bengal.

TDP announces first list of candidates
Four Union ministers and two film personalities included with second list around the corner.

Bihar: Advani promises separate state of Vananchal
Gujarat: Parikh to contest from Dhandhuka
Karnataka: Hegde no threat to JD: CM
Kerala: Antony confident of victory
Orissa: Biju Janata Dal, BJP differences may help Congress
Tamil Nadu: AIADMK to contest 23 seats
Uttar Pradesh: EC orders UP govt to cancel BSP MLAs's appointments to state corporations


Empty coffers threaten Sonia's campaign
Her hefty tour bills have added to the worries of a virtually bankrupt Congress party. On Friday, Sitaram Kesri convened an unusual meeting of top Congress leaders to chalk out a strategy to tackle the grave funds crunch.

Priyanka may contest from Amethi
Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav seems keen on extending her support.

'Muslims will not vote for Congress'
Though the party has promised to create a ministry for the minorities and provide them with job reservations, few Muslims seem to be convinced.

Former Congressmen feel stifled in BJP
Three weeks after they flocked to the party, some former Congressmen have been left in the lurch by the saffron leadership.

Sonia's charisma sways Congress in Kerala
Former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi's widow Sonia has conclusively demonstrated her charisma, at least among Congressmen, when she presided over a mammoth rally at the Marine Drive promenade yesterday in Kochi.

BJP, SP gain as panic spreads in Congress, BSP
Come election time, and every party worth its name in Uttar Pradesh begins wooing members of rival groups. But never was the activity as intense as it is this year.

Jammu and Kashmir: 27 assembly segments declared'hypersensitive'
Karnataka: Jalappa quits Janata Dal, to join Congress
Kerala: CPI announces 4 names for LS poll
Maharashtra: Kalmadi to begin campaign on Sunday
Maharashtra: Sena undecided about Seshan


Crowd cheers though Sonia takes the beaten track
Just her third political speech. And former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi's widow Sonia seems to have already run out of issues which would catch her rivals and the media napping.

Congress leaders in Kerala unanimous in support of Sonia
She flayed communalism, attacked weak leadership, by named no one other than her late husband whom she extolled.

No compromise on CMP, Left promises
The common manifesto, which the Left Front has brought out, is an indicator of the major role it would play in rectifying the UF's mistakes. It frowns on public sector disinvestment, privatisation of insurance companies, foreign investment and import liberalisation.

Tushar Gandhi takes the plunge into politics
The Mahatma's descendant becomes Samajwadi Party candidate to fight the killers of his great-grandfather, "who I now see in the form of the ruling Shiv Sena-BJP combine in Maharashtra."

BJP, Congress use Sivagiri issue to trouble LDF in Kerala
The agitation against the government's takeover of the Mutt is likely to cut into the LDF votebank.

BJP heading for comfortable majority in Gujarat assembly poll: CMS
According to the poll conducted by the independent Centre for Media Studies, the BJP can expect to win between 110 and 120 seats in the 182-member assembly by collecting a little over 39 per cent of the votes.

Andhra Pradesh: Congress capable of taking on Telugu Desam by its horns says Vijayabhaskara Reddy
Assam: Ruling alliance announces four candidates
Bengal: BJP, Trinamool finalise seat-sharing
Jammu and Kashmir: JD to contest all 6 seats
Karnataka: Hegde may not contest
Maharashtra: Janata Dal to support RPI


Sonia dares govt to make Bofors papers public
''Five Opposition governments have come and gone, and still the truth remains to be revealed,'' former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi's widow thundered at Bangalore. ''As you all know, my husband was a victim of malicious and slanderous allegation in the Bofors case.''

No truck with Congress, no way: Surjeet
Of course, the UF will come back to power, but there won't be any more playing along with the Congress. And the CPI-M will decide whether or not to join the government then, says the Marxist veteran.

Surjeet to mediate between JD, SP
The CPI-M leader has been asked to settle the Janata Dal-Samajwadi Pary seat-sharing row in Uttar Pradesh.

MP CM stalling BSP's tie-up with Congress: Kanshi Ram
The BSP chief said Digvijay Singh considered the BJP a lesser evil since that party did not believe in having a tribal chief minister.

UP council poll results boost BJP's morale
The BJP has secured 25 out of the 39 legislative council seats in the Uttar Pradesh. "This shows that we would achieve our target of 65 Lok Sabha seats in UP," said party's national executive member, Dr Jagdish Shettigar.

Kochi prepares for Sonia's coming
At the huge Marine ground in Kochi, Special Protection Group personnel are supervising the erection of an 8-feet long, 12-feet wide stage -- this is from where Sonia Gandhi would address the Kerala electorate on Friday.

RJD promises autonomy to CBI
Releasing the Rashtriya Janata Dal's election manifesto, former Bihar chief minister Laloo Yadav said his party would increase the plan outlay for agriculture and rural development.

Women face stiff battle in Lok Sabha
Forever on the fringes, women in all Lok Sabhas have always remained below eight per cent of the total House strength.

Rajasthan: JD, SP fight over seats

Stories from January 1-January 15
Stories from December '97