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OPS gets boost as more AIADMK bigwigs back him in power tussle with Sasikala

Tamil Nadu caretaker Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam received a major boost in his open power tussle with ruling AIADMK General Secretary V. K. Sasikala when one of her key supporters and State Minister K. Pandiarajan and party spokesman and former Minister C. Ponnaiyan crossed over into his camp on Saturday.

 
TN Education Minister Pandiarajan backs OPS
Tamil Nadu caretaker Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam received a major boost in his open power tussle with ruling AIADMK General Secretary V. K. Sasikala when one of her key supporters and State Minister K. Pandiarajan and party spokesman and former Minister C. Ponnaiyan crossed over into his camp today.
 
As Ms. Sasikala moved quickly to keep her flock together amidst reports of growing desertions, three Lok Sabha members, V. Sathyabama of Tiruppur, Ashok Kumar of Krishnagiri and P R Sundaram of Namakkal also threw in their lot with Mr. Panneerselvam today.
 
Ms. Sasikala, on the other hand, voicing concern over the delay by Tamil Nadu Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao in responding to her claim to form the next Government in the state, wrote to him again today, seeking an opportunity to parade before him the MLAs supporting her.
 
Mr. Pandiarajan, the state Minister for School Education and Sports and Youth Welfare, arrived at Mr. Panneerselvam's residence, bringing cheer to the large crowd camping there and which has seen its support base growing slowly in the past few days.
 
The decision of Mr. Pandiarajan, one of the founders of well-known recruitment and consultancy firm Ma Foi, to switch loyalties is significant, given the fact that he was one of Ms. Sasikala's most ardent supporters during the past several days of political crisis in the state.
 
An indication of his impending shift was available from a "tweet" he posted on micro-blogging site Twitter this morning.
 
"Will surely listen to the collective voice of my voters & decide in a way to uphold the dignity of Amma's memory & unity of AIADMK!" he said.
 
Mr. Ponnaiyan said Mr. Panneerselvam was capable of leading the party with discipline and of running a corruption-free government.
 
Mr. Panneerselvam's Twitter handle said that state Rural Industries Minister P. Benjamin would shortly visit him to extend his support to him.
 
In her letter to the Governor, Ms. Sasikala noted that she had written to him on February 5 and February 7, seeking an appointment with him.
 
The Governor met her and nine Tamil Nadu Ministers in the evening of February 9 when she formally informed him of her election as the leader of the AIADMK legislature party last Sunday.
 
O. Panneerselvam
O. Panneerselvam
"... I submitted my elaborate presentation to invite me to form the Government as I have absolute majority. Original letter and true copy of the resolution were also handed over to Your Excellency," she said.
 
"Thus, as it has been seven long days since the Chief Minister Thiru. O. P. Panneerselvam submitted and Your Excellency accepted his resignation, taking the urgency of the situation at hand, I would like to seek an appointment with Your Excellency by today along with all MLAs who extended their support to me regarding further course of action to form the Government," she said.
 
"I believe Your Excellency will act immediately to save the sovereignty of the Constitution, democracy and the interest of the state," she added.
 
Ms. Sasikala addressed her supporters outside Veda Nilayam, the Poes Garden residence of the late Ms. Jayalalithaa, and said, "Amma has given me 1.5 crore party brothers and sisters.When they are with me,the sinister intentions of many will not  harm me."
 
"Amma is confident that I will look after AIADMK with all care," she said.
 
She said the relentless work done by Ms. Jayalalithaa had made AIADMK the third largest party. "Amma is with us now. Our Amma is now showing us the betrayers of our party," she said.
 
"People who think they can separate our party which has 1.5 crore people will only face defeat. Amma won over the hurdles, we are facing the same situation,we will also win over it. I believe in justice and democracy," she added.
Later, Ms. Sasikala drove in a motorcade to the resort where about 120 AIADMK MLAs have been staying for the past few days and met them for discussions on their future course of action.
 
"After meeting the party MLAs, I feel happy," she said. "All the party MLAs are fine and happy."
 
She said the "created time lag", in inviting her to form the government, appeared to be intended to create a split in the party.
 
Ms. Sasikala said she and her supporters were "waiting patiently" till now for a response to their claim, adding that "necessary measures will be taken".
 
Mr. K. A. Sengottayan, who has been appointed as the new chairman of the AIADMK Presidium, told journalists at the resort that all the MLAs there would remain with Ms. Sasikala till the end. "Our only aim is to make her the Chief Minister," he said.
 
However, there has been no indication whatsoever from Raj Bhavan in the past few days on when and how the political stalemate would be ended.
 
Even as the two rival groups continued to swipe and snipe at each other, Raj Bhavan clarified yesterday that the Governor had not sent any report to the President or the Ministry of Home Affairs on the political situation in the state.
 
The clarification came after media reports which said that Mr. Rao, who is the Governor of Maharashtra and is holding additional charge as the Governor of Tamil Nadu, had sent a report to the Centre after his meetings with Mr. Panneerselvam and Ms. Sasikala.
 
"Thiru Ch. Vidyasagar Rao, Governor of Tamil Nadu has not sent any report either to the Ministry of Home Affairs or to the President of India, as reported in some of the media," a statement from Raj Bhavan said.
 
Mr. Panneerselvam, 65, had submitted his resignation last Sunday after Ms. Sasikala, 60, a long-time aide of late Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, was chosen by AIADMK MLAs as the new leader of their legislative party and, therefore, his successor. The Governor accepted his resignation on Monday and asked him to continue in office till alternative arrangments were made. 
 
Mr. Panneerselvam had been sworn in as the Chief Minister in the early hours of December 6, 2016 shortly after the death of Ms. Jayalalithaa, who was both the head of the government and the party supremo.
 
The usually reticent and self-effacing Mr. Panneerselvam made a surprise visit to the memorial of Ms. Jayalalithaa late in the night last Tuesday and then told waiting newspersons that he had been forced to resign and that he was willing to continue as Chief Minister if the people and the party so wished.
 
Ms. Sasikala was widely expected to be sworn in on Tuesday, but the Governor has not yet taken a final view on the situation confronting the state. Mr. Rao, who reached here from Mumbai on Thursday afternoon, met ten-member delegations led by the rivals, Mr. Panneerselvam and Ms. Sasikala, later that day.
 
While Mr. Panneerselvam told the Governor that he was forced to quit as Chief Minister and that he should be allowed to continue and take a floor test in the Assembly, Ms. Sasikala submitted to Mr. Rao a list of about 130 of the AIADMK's 135 MLAs and staked claim to forming the next Government.
 
The Governor is understood to be consulting legal and Constitutional experts and weighing his options.
 
Yesterday, Mr. Rao met State Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan and Director General of Police T. K. Rajendran as well as Chennai Police Commissioner S. George amidst complaints by the Panneerselvam camp that the Sasikala group was holding about 120 MLAs at a nearby resort, many of them against their will.
 
V. K. Sasikala
V. K. Sasikala
DMK working president and leader of the Opposition M. K. Stalin met Mr Rao yesterday and submitted a representation in which he said the state administration could not be allowed to drift any further. He urged the Governor to take steps to ensure that a democratically and Constitutionally valid government was in place at the earliest through a free and fair floor test.
 
Meanwhile, Ms. Sasikala yesterday expelled AIADMK presidium chairman E. Madhusudanan from the primary membership of the party, a day after he threw in his lot with Mr. Panneerselvam. Mr. K. A. Sengottayan has been appointed as the new chairman of the presidium.
 
Mr. Madhusudanan, on his part, wrote to the Election Commission stating that Ms. Sasikala's election as General Secretary of the party was in violation of its rules and urging it to reject her claims in this regard.
 
Mr. Panneerselvam had said on Thursday that he would issue orders to convert Veda Nilayam, the Poes Garden residence of late Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, into a memorial for her. The announcement assumes significance in view of the fact that Ms. Sasikala is functioning from that house.
 
To take this a step further, his camp has launched a signature campaign outside his residence on the proposal.
 
Two days after Ms. Sasikala removed him from the post of AIADMK treasurer, Mr. Panneerselvam on Thursday also wrote to banks asking them to not allow any one to access the party funds without his written permission. He said his removal from the post of treasurer was illegal.
 
Mr. Panneerselvam has been always regarded as a trusted lieutenant of Ms. Jayalalithaa and had stood in for her as Chief Minister twice when she faced crises.
 
Among those who have openly come out to support Mr. Panneerselvam is AIADMK Rajya Sabha member V. Maitreyan and former Tamil Nadu Assembly speaker P. H. Pandian.
 
There has been opposition to Ms. Sasikala's elevation from a section of the public, in social media and from the Opposition in the state. They point to the fact that she has never contested any election and has no administrative experience. They also point to the fact that an appeal against her acquittal in a two-decade-old corruption case is pending before the Supreme Court and its verdict could be delivered as early as next week.
 
Ms. Sasikala and two others were co-accused with Ms. Jayalalithaa in the case, in which they were all acquitted by the Karnataka High Court in May 2015. The two others are her nephew Sudhakaran, who is Ms. Jayalalithaa's disowned foster son, and her close relative Ilavarasi.
 
The Karnataka High Court had allowed Ms. Jayalalithaa's appeal against the verdict of a special court in Bangalore which had, on September 23, 2014, sentenced her to four years in prison and asked her to pay a fine of Rs 100 crore. The special court had sentenced Ms. Sasikala, Sudharakan and Ilavarasi  also to four years in prison and fined them Rs 10 crore each.
 
Ms. Jayalalithaa was admitted to the Apollo Hospital here on September 22 and died on December 5 after a sudden cardiac arrest. Doctors who treated her had told a press conference here on Monday that the AIADMK leader had been treated for septicemia and a host of other medical problems.
 
Mr. Panneerselvam was Finance Minister in Ms. Jayalalithaa's Cabinet and was also handling all the portfolios held by her after she was hospitalised on September 22.
 
He had stood in as Chief Minister for Ms. Jayalalithaa twice in the past. On September 29, 2014, he took over the position when Ms. Jayalalithaa resigned after being sentenced to four years in prison by a special court in Bangalore in a corruption case. Ms. Jayalalithaa returned to office on May 23, 2015, twelve days after the Karnataka High Court acquitted her in the 19-year-old corruption case.
 
He had earlier served as Chief Minister for a brief period from September 21, 2001 to March 1, 2002 after the Supreme Court had declared null and void the action of then Governor Fatima Beevi appointing Ms Jayalalithaa to the position as she had been sentenced to two years rigorous imprisonment in another corruption case. Ms Jayalalithaa was cleared of all charges in 2002 and returned as Chief Minister.
 
Ms. Sasikala's control over the party was in evidence in the manner in which she carried out Ms. Jayalalithaa's last rites and then took hold of the reins of the AIADMK a few days later. Since then, there has been a clamour from a group within the AIADMK that, after being chosen as the new General Secretary, she should also take charge of the Government. Ms. Jayalalithaa held both the posts and they argued that it was better if the same person held both positions.
 
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Panneerselvam's resignation accepted, Sasikala likely to be sworn in on Tuesday

Tamil Nadu Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao on Monday accepted the resignation of Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam and his Council of Ministers and his successor, Ms. V. K. Sasikala, a long-time aide of late AIADMK supremo J. Jayalalithaa, is expected to be sworn in on Tuesday.

V. K. Sasikala
V. K. Sasikala
Tamil Nadu Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao today accepted the resignation of Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam and his Council of Ministers and his successor, Ms. V. K. Sasikala, a long-time aide of late AIADMK supremo J. Jayalalithaa, is expected to be sworn in tomorrow.
 
The Governor requested Mr. Panneerselvam and his Council of Ministers to continue to function until alternate arrangements are made, a press release from the Raj Bhavan said.
 
Mr. Panneerselvam, 65, had resigned from office yesterday after the ruling All India Anna Dravid Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) legislature party met here and chose Ms. Sasikala as its new leader.
 
Ms. Sasikala, 60, is expected to be sworn in as the new Chief Minister of the State tomorrow morning at a function at the Madras University auditorium. 
 
Mr. Panneerselvam had been sworn in as the Chief Minister of the state in the early hours of December 6, succeeding Ms. Jayalalithaa who passed away at a private hospital here late night on December 5.
 
"Chinnamma elected as the AIADMK Legislature Party Leader," the AIADMK had said on micro-blogging site Twitter yesterday. Ms. Sasikala is referred to as "Chinamma" by party workers, just as Ms. Jayalalithaa was called "Amma".
 
It said Mr. Panneerselvam himself, known to be a long-time Jayalalithaa loyalist, had proposed Ms. Sasikala's name as the new leader of the AIADMK legislature party leader.
 
"Chinnamma all set to become the next Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu," the party said.
 
Ms. Sasikala had then made a brief appearance in the balcony of Ms. Jalayalalithaa's residence in Poes Garden here, dressed in a green saree and blouse, the AIADMK's colour, and greeted the crowds gathered outside with a "namaste" and then the "V" sign.
 
She later drove to the AIADMK headquarters where she said that it was Mr. Panneerselvam who had urged her first to take charge as General Secretary of the party and it was he who insisted, first, that she become the Chief Minister of the state. Ms. Sasikala has never held any position in Government before nor has she ever contested any elections.
 
She assured the people that her government would always work for the welfare of the people. "Tamil Nadu Government will follow the principles of Amma," she said.
  
Mr. Panneerselvam, 65, was Finance Minister in Ms. Jayalalithaa's Cabinet and was also handling all the portfolios held by her after she was admitted to the Apollo Hospital here on September 22.
 
Mr. Panneerselvam had stood in as Chief Minister for Ms. Jayalalithaa twice in the past. On September 29, 2014, he took over the position when Ms. Jayalalithaa resigned after being sentenced to four years in prison by a special court in Bangalore in a corruption case. Ms. Jayalalithaa returned to office on May 23, 2015, twelve days after the Karnataka High Court acquitted her in the 19-year-old corruption case.
 
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He had earlier served as Chief Minister for a brief period from September 21, 2001 to March 1, 2002 after the Supreme Court had declared null and void the action of then Governor Fatima Beevi appointing Ms Jayalalithaa to the position as she had been sentenced to two years rigorous imprisonment in another corruption case. Ms Jayalalithaa was cleared of all charges in 2002 and returned as Chief Minister.
 
Ms. Sasikala's control over the party was in evidence in the manner in which she carried out Ms. Jayalalithaa's last rites and then took hold of the reins of the AIADMK a few days later. Since then, there has been a clamour from a group within the AIADMK that, after being chosen as the new General Secretary, she should also take charge of the Government. Ms. Jayalalithaa held both the posts and they argued that it was better if the same person held both positions.
 
Ms. Sasikala, along with her nephew Sudhakaran, who is Ms. Jayalalithaa's disowned foster son, and her close relative Ilavarasi , were  co-accused with Ms. Jayalalithaa in an 18-year-old corruption case, in which they were all acquitted by the Karnataka High Court in May 2015. An appeal against the acquittal is pending before the Supreme Court and its verdict in the matter is awaited.
 
The Karnataka High Court had allowed Ms. Jayalalithaa's appeal against the verdict of a special court in Bangalore which had, on September 23, 2014, sentenced her to four years in prison and asked her to pay a fine of Rs 100 crore. The special court had sentenced Ms. Sasikala, Sudharakan and Ilavarasi  also to four years in prison and fined them Rs 10 crore each.
 
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Sasikala Natarajan set to be new CM of Tamil Nadu

All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) General Secretary Sasikala Natarajan, a long-time friend and companion of late party supremo J. Jayalithaa, is all set to become the new Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu after the party's MLAs met in Chennai and chose her as the leader of its legislature party.

 
Sasikala Natarajan appointed legislative party leader of AIADMK
All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) General Secretary Sasikala Natarajan, a long-time friend and companion of late party supremo J. Jayalithaa, is all set to become the new Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu after the party's MLAs met here today and chose her as the leader of its legislative party.
 
She will succeed Mr. O. Panneerselvam, senior leader of the ruling AIADMK, who was sworn in as the Chief Minister of the state in the early hours of December 6, succeeding Ms. Jayalalithaa who passed away at a private hospital here late night on December 5.
 
"Chinnamma elected as the AIADMK Legislature Party Leader," the AIADMK said on micro-blogging site Twitter. 
 
Ms. Sasikala, 60, is referred to as "Chinamma" by party workers, just as Ms. Jayalalithaa was called as "Amma". It said Mr. Panneerselvam had proposed Ms. Sasikala's name as the new leader of the AIADMK legislature party leader.
 
"Chinnamma all set to become the next Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu," the party said.
 
Ms. Sasikala made a brief appearance in the balcony of Ms. Jalayalalithaa's residence in Poes Garden here, dressed in a green saree and blouse, the AIADMK's colour, and greeted the crowds gathered outside with a "namaste" and then the "V" sign.
 
Ms. Sasikala later drove to the AIADMK headquarters where she said that it was Mr. Panneerselvam who had urged her first to take charge as General Secretary of the party and it was he who insisted, first, that she become the Chief Minister of the state. Ms. Sasikala has never held any position in Government before nor has ever contested any elections.
 
She assured the people that her government would always work for the welfare of the people. "Tamil Nadu Government will follow the principles of Amma," she said.
 
She is expected to meet Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao in the next day or two and stake claim to form the next government in the state.
 
Mr. Panneerselvam, 65, was Finance Minister in Ms. Jayalalithaa's Cabinet and was also handling all the portfolios held by her after she was admitted to the Apollo Hospital here on September 22.
 
Mr. Panneerselvam had stood in as Chief Minister for Ms. Jayalalithaa twice in the past. On September 29, 2014, he took over the position when Ms. Jayalalithaa resigned after being sentenced to four years in prison by a special court in Bangalore in a corruption case. Ms. Jayalalithaa returned to office on May 23, 2015, twelve days after the Karnataka High Court acquitted her in the 19-year-old corruption case.
 
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He had earlier served as Chief Minister for a brief period from September 21, 2001 to March 1, 2002 after the Supreme Court had declared null and void the action of then Governor Fatima Beevi appointing Ms Jayalalithaa to the position as she had been sentenced to two years rigorous imprisonment in another corruption case. Ms Jayalalithaa was cleared of all charges in 2002 and returned as Chief Minister.
 
Ms. Sasikala's control over the party was in evidence in the manner in which she carried out Ms. Jayalalithaa's last rites and then took hold of the reins of the AIADMK a few days later. Since then, there has been a clamour from a group within the AIADMK that, after being chosen as the new General Secretary, she should also take charge of the Government. Ms. Jayalalithaa held both the posts and they argued that it was better if the same person held both positions.
 
Ms. Sasikala, along with her nephew Sudhakaran, who is Ms. Jayalalithaa's disowned foster son, and her close relative Ilavarasi , were  co-accused with Ms. Jayalalithaa in an 18-year-old corruption case, in which they were all acquitted by the Karnataka High Court in May 2015. An appeal against the acquittal is pending before the Supreme Court and its verdict in the matter is awaited.
 
The Karnataka High Court had allowed Ms. Jayalalithaa's appeal against the verdict of a special court in Bangalore which had, on September 23, 2014, sentenced her to four years in prison and asked her to pay a fine of Rs 100 crore. The special court had sentenced Ms. Sasikala, Sudharakan and Ilavarasi  also to four years in prison and fined them Rs 10 crore each.
 
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Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa suffers cardiac arrest in hospital

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, who has been undergoing treatment at the Apollo Hospital in Chennai for the last three months for a lung infection, suffered a cardiac arrest on Sunday evening, the hospital said.

 
Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa suffers cardiac arrest
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, who has been undergoing treatment at the Apollo Hospital here for the last three months for a lung infection, suffered a cardiac arrest this evening, the hospital said.
 
"The Hon'ble Chief Minister of Tamil Nau who is undergoing treatment at Apollo Hospitals, Greams Road, Chennai, suffered a cardiac arrest this evening," the hospital said in a statement late tonight.
 
"She is being treated and monitored by a team of experts, including Cardiologists, Pulmonologists and the Critical Care Specialists," the statement added.
 
The hospital said Ms. Jayalalithaa was on extracorporeal membrane heart assist device and was being treated by a team of expert doctors and critical care specialists.
 
The hospital said Dr Richard Beale from London had also been consulted and he had concurred with the line of treatment by its cardiologists and pulmonologists.
 
"Our prayers are with her and we hope she will recover soon. We request all of you to pray for her good health and well being. The Hon'ble CM is the beloved leader of the masses. Please join us in praying for her speedy recovery," the hospital said in a series of posts on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Tamil Nadu Governor Chennamaneni Vidyasagar Rao, to inquire about Ms. Jayalalithaa's heath.
 
Mr. Rao, who is the Governor of Maharashtra, is holding additional charge of Tamil Nadu, since August 31 following the end of the tenure of Mr. K. Rosaiah. He told Mr. Rajnath Singh that he would leave for Chennai tonight.
 
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Hundreds of workers of Ms. Jayalalithaa's party, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), her supporters and leaders of the party began converging outside the hospital after hearing of the news of her cardiac arrest. Police stepped up security arrangements outside the hospital as a precautionary measure.
 
Earlier in the day, the AIADMK had said that Ms. Jayalalithaa would soon decide when she would leave hospital and return home after doctors had declared that she had fully recovered.
 
The hospital has said several times in the past few weeks that the Chief Minister, called "Amma" by her supporters, was well enough to return home whenever she wanted. Her party said she was involved in taking government decisions and also speaking on occasion to those who were allowed to meet her.
 
Ms. Jayalalithaa was admitted to the hospital on September 27 for treatment of dehydration and fever. Later, there were reports that she was also being treated for a chronic lung infection and that he had been put on respiratory support. Specialist doctors from London and Delhi had been flown in to monitor her condition.
 
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Jayalalithaa returns as Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu

AIADMK supremo J Jayalalithaa was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu in Chennai on Saturday, 12 days after the Karnataka High Court acquitted her in an 19-year-old corruption case and paved the way for her return to the top job in the state for the fifth time after a gap of eight months.

 
Jayalalithaa sworn in as Tamil Nadu CM
 
 
All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) supremo J Jayalalithaa was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu here today, 12 days after the Karnataka High Court acquitted her in an 19-year-old corruption case and paved the way for her return to the top job in the state for the fifth time after a gap of eight months.
 
Tamil Nadu Governor K Rosaiah administered the oaths of offie and secrecy to Ms Jayalalithaa at a ceremony at the Madras University Centenary Auditorium.
 
Along with Ms Jayalalithaa, 67, as many as 28 other Ministers were also sworn in, including Mr O. Panneerselvam, who had functioned as Chief Minister since September 29 after she had been forced to resign following her conviction by a special court in Bangalore in the case.
 
Mr Panneerselvam will be Finance Minister, a portfolio he had held in her previous Cabinet.
 
The Governor had accepted the resignation of Mr. Panneerselvam and his Council of Ministers with effect from the forenoon of yesterday and requested him and his Council of Ministers to function until alternative arrangements were made.
 
Later yesterday, Ms Jayalalithaa, who was elected as the leader of the AIADMK Legislature Party, had called on Mr Rosaiah and staked her claim to form the new government.
 
Ms Jayalalithaa will have to get elected to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly within six months in keeping with Constitutional requirements.
 
Mr Panneerselvam had earlier served as Chief Minister for a brief period from September 21, 2001 to March 1, 2002 after the Supreme Court had declared null and void the action of then Governor Fatima Beevi appointing Ms Jayalalithaa to the position as she had been sentenced to two years rigorous imprisonment in another corruption case. Like this tim, she was then, too, cleared of all charges in 2002 and had returned as Chief Minister.
 
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On May 11, the Karnataka High Court allowed Ms Jayalalithaa's appeal against the verdict of the special court in Bangalore which had, on September 23, 2014, sentenced her to four years in prison and asked her to pay a fine of Rs 100 crore.
 
Mr Justice C R Kumaraswamy said the appeals by Ms Jayalalithaa and the three co-accused had been allowed and that they were acquitted of all charges.
 
Ms Jayalalithaa had also been barred by the special court from contesting elections and that verdict had meant that she had been disqualified as a member of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly and ceased to be the Chief Minister of the state. The acquittal by the High Court meant that Ms Jayalalithaa could return as Chief Minister.
 
The three co-accused who were acquitted along with her are her close aide Sasikala Natarajan, Sasikala's nephew and Jayalalithaa's disowned foster son Sudhakaran and Sasikala's close relative Ilavarasi, who were also convicted in the case and sentenced to four years in prison and fined Rs 10 crore each by the special court.
 
Sasikala was among the more than 3000 people present at the ceremony. Others present included film stars Rajnikanth, Sarath Kumar and Prabhu and industrialists N Srinivasan and A C Muthaiah.
 
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Jayalalithaa acquitted in corruption case, paving way for her return as TN CM

Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa was on Monday acquitted by the Karnataka High Court in Bangalore in an 18-year-old corruption case, clearing the way for her return to the top job in her state.

File photo of J. Jayalalithaa.
File photo of J. Jayalalithaa.
Former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa was today acquitted by the Karnataka High Court here in an 18-year-old corruption case, clearing the way for her return to the top job in her state.
 
The High Court allowed Ms Jayalalithaa's appeal against the verdict of a special court in Bangalore which had, on September 23, 2014, sentenced her to four years in prison and asked her to pay a fine of Rs 100 crore.
 
Reading out the operative part of the judgement at 11 am in the court, Mr Justice C R Kumaraswamy said the appeals by Ms Jayalalithaa and the three co-accused had been allowed and that they were acquitted of all charges.
 
Ms Jayalalithaa, 67, had also been barred by the special court from contesting elections and that verdict had meant that she had been disqualified as a member of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly and ceased to be the Chief Minister of the state.
 
Today's acquittal means that Ms Jayalithaa, supremo of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), can return as Chief Minister.
 
After she had stepped down, senior AIADMK leader O. Panneerselvam was sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on September 29 last year.
 
Mr Panneerselvam, 63, had earlier served as Chief Minister for a brief period from September 21, 2001 to March 1, 2002 after the Supreme Court had declared null and void the action of then Governor Fatima Beevi appointing Ms Jayalalithaa to the position as she had been sentenced to two years rigorous imprisonment in another corruption case. She was later cleared of all charges in 2002 and had returned as Chief Minister.
 
Ms Jayalalithaa, a film star-turned-politician, and the three co-accused persons were accused by the prosecution of amassing assets valued at Rs 66.65 crore disproportionate to their known sources of income from 1991-96 during her first term in office.
 
The special court had sentenced the co-accused -- her close aide Sasikala Natarajan, Sasikala's nephew Sudharakan, who is Jayalalithaa's disowned foster son, and Sasikala's close relative Ilavarasi -- also to four years in prison and fined them Rs 10 crore each.
 
 
Jayalalithaa acquitted by Karnataka HC in corruption case
Celebrations broke out among Ms Jayalalithaa's supporters all across Tamil Nadu as well as outside the high court here, where they had gathered in large numbers.
 
Hundreds of people who had congregated outside her Poes Garden residence in Chennai since early morning burst firecrackers, danced and distributed sweets as soon as news of the verdict by Mr Justice C R Kumaraswamy ame in.
 
Mr Panneerselvam and many of his Cabinet colleagues also turned up to congratulate her.
 
On October 17 last year, Ms Jayalalithaa had been granted bail by the Supreme Court in the case after the Karnataka High Court had turned down her application.
 
Along with her, the apex court also granted bail to Ms Natarajan, Mr Sudhakaran and Mr Ilavarasi.
 
The case was filed in 1997 by the Tamil Nadu government's Department of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) during the tenure of Ms Jayalalithaa's rival and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader M Karunanidhi as Chief Minister.
 
The Supreme Court ordered the case to be transferred to a special court in Bangalore in 2003 on a petition filed by DMK leader K Anbazhagan, who had expressed doubts about a fair trial in Tamil Nadu after Jayalalithaa returned as Chief Minister.
 
The prosecution had alleged that Jayalalithaa had just Rs 3 crore when she took over as Chief Minister for the first time in 1991 and had taken a token salary of just Re 1, but her wealth and that of her three co-accused had grown to Rs 66.6 crore during her five years in office, vastly disproportionate to her known sources of income.
 
The alleged wealth included 2000 acres of land, 30 kg of gold and thousands of sarees. She was also accused of spending more than Rs 5 crore on her foster son's wedding in 1996, though she had claimed that the expenditure was borne by the bride's family.
 
Ms Jayalalithaa had all along maintained that the case was an act of political vendetta by the DMK. Among other things, she had agued that her previous assets were undervalued, her property was overvalued and her income from various sources were not taken into account.
 
In 2011, Jayalalithaa had appeared in the Bangalore court for four days to answer more than 1390 questions posed by the judge.
 
In the Lok Sabha elections last year, the AIADMK had made a near clean sweep in Tamil Nadu, winning 37 of the 39 seats from the state.
 
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SC grants bail to former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa

The Supreme Court on Friday granted bail to former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, who was convicted by a special court in Bangalore on September 27 in an 18-year-old corruption case and sentenced to four years in prison and asked to pay a fine of Rs 100 crore.

File photo of J. Jayalalithaa.
File photo of J. Jayalalithaa.
The Supreme Court today granted bail to former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, who were convicted by a special court in Bangalore on September 27 in an 18-year-old corruption case and sentenced to four years in prison and asked to pay a fine of Rs 100 crore.
 
Along with Ms Jayalalithaa, 66, the apex court also granted bail to her close aide Sasikala Natarajan, Sasikala's nephew and Jayalalithaa's disowned foster son Sudhakaran and Sasikala's close relative Ilavarasi, who were also convicted in the case and sentenced to four years in prison and fined Rs 10 crore each.
 
The Karnataka High Court had, on October 7, rejected Ms Jayalalithaa's bail application. While doing so, Judge A V Chandrashekhara recalled that the Supreme Court had made it clear in the past that corruption cases should be put on the fast track. He pointed out that the apex court had taken a tough stand in such cases and had described corruption as a "violation of human rights".
 
Ms Jayalalithaa and the three co-accused persons were accused by the prosecution of amassing assets valued at Rs 66.65 crore disproportionate to their known sources of income from 1991-96 during her first term in office.
 
The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) supremo had moved the Supreme Court for bail on October 9.
 

 
Jayalalithaa granted interim bail by SC in DA case
The apex court today suspended her sentence and granted her bail after imposing some conditions, including that she would have to submit her paprs for the appeal against her conviction within two months, that is by December 18, and that she would not seek any adjournment of the hearings. 
 
As soon as news of the court's decision to grant her bail came, hundreds of supporters of Ms Jayalalithaa in Chennai and elsewhere broke out into rapturous celebrations.
 
Ms Jayalalithaa, who has been held in prison in Bangalore since September 27, is expected to be released on bail later today or tomorrow. She will remain confined to home in Chennai while she is on bail.
 
The court fixed December 18 as the date to satisfy itself if she had complied with its order.
 
Her counsel Fali Nariman assured the court on her behalf that there would be no act of lawlessness by her party's workers in Tamil Nadu. She had sought bail on the grounds that she was suffering from various ailments and that she was a senior citizen and a woman.
 
Ms Jayalalithaa stood disqualified as a member of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly after her conviction and sentence and had to resign as Chief Minister. She is also barred from contesting elections for six years after she completes her four-year sentence.
 
The case was filed in 1997 by the Tamil Nadu government's Department of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption (DVAC) during the tenure of Jayalalithaa's rival and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader M Karunanidhi as Chief Minister.
 
The Supreme Court ordered the case to be transferred to a special court in Bangalore in 2003 on a petition filed by DMK leader K Anbazhagan, who had expressed doubts about a fair trial in Tamil Nadu after Jayalalithaa returned as Chief Minister.
 
The prosecution had alleged that Ms Jayalalithaa had just Rs 3 crore when she took over as Chief Minister for the first time in 1991 and had taken a token salary of just Re 1, but her wealth and that of her three co-accused had grown to Rs 66.6 crore during her five years in office, vastly disproportionate to her known sources of income.
 
The alleged wealth included 2000 acres of land, 30 kg of gold and thousands of sarees. She was also accused of spending more than Rs 5 crore on her foster son's wedding in 1996, though she had claimed that the expenditure was borne by the bride's family.
 
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The court held that the prosecution had been able to prove that she possessed disproportionate assets of about Rs 53 crore. 
 
Ms Jayalalithaa had all along maintained that the case was an act of political vendetta by the DMK. Among other things, she had agued that her previous assets were undervalued, her property was overvalued and her income from various sources were not taken into account.
 
In the Lok Sabha elections held earlier this year, the AIADMK had made a near clean sweep in Tamil Nadu, winning 37 of the 39 seats from the state and emerging as the third largest party in the House.
 
Elections to the Tamil Nadu Assembly are due in 2016 and unless her conviction is overturned by a higher court, Ms Jayalalithaa cannot contest them.
 
After Ms Jayalalithaa stepped down, senior AIADMK leader O. Panneerselvam was sworn in as the new Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on September 29.
 
Mr Panneerselvam, 63, had earlier served as Chief Minister for a brief period from September 21, 2001 to March 1, 2002 after the Supreme Court had declared null and void the action of then Governor Fatima Beevi appointing Ms Jayalalithaa to the position as she had been sentenced to two years rigorous imprisonment in another corruption case.
 
Ms Jayalalithaa was later cleared of all charges in 2002 and had returned as Chief Minister.
 
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DRI busts diesel smuggling racket, arrests four persons, seizes 14 containers

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The Directorate Revenue of Intelligence (DRI) has busted a major racket involving the smuggling of diesel into the country in the guise of mineral spirit and arrested four persons, including the alleged mastermind and a hawala operator, and seized 14 containers of diesel valued at more than Rs. 1 crore.
 
An official press release said that, on the basis of inputs provided by the Andhra Pradesh (AP) State intelligence Department, the DRI, Hyderabad developed intelligence indicating that diesel is being smuggled into India in guise of mineral spirit by certain operators based in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh and Chennai in Tamil Nadu.
 
The diesel was being brought from Dubai in huge quantities on regular basis through containers at Chennai Port for further illegal sale in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, it said.
 
Simultaneous search operations were carried out by the officers of the DRI, Hyderabad and Chennai with the active support of Andhra Pradesh State intelligence at various places across Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu  from April 17 onwards, it said.
 
The release said the searches conducted at two Container Freight Stations (CFS) in Chennai revealed that 14 containers imported at Chennai Port in the names of SAF Petroleum and Aditya Marine landed at Sanco CFS, Chennai and Gateway CFS, Chennai, where the goods were declared as mineral spirit. 
 
These containers were found to be actually carrying 263.78 MT (3 lakh litres approximately) of diesel. On being questioned, this was admitted by the operators and also confirmed during chemical examination. 
 
Simultaneous searches were conducted across Kakinada and Chennai covering 12 places belonging to operators, importers clearing agents, transportation broker, supervisor, hawala operators and so on, the release said.
 
Diesel is a restricted commodity for import as per the Foreign Trade Policy and allowed to be imported only by the public sector Indian Oil Corproation (IOC) and other oil marketing companies which meet the requirement of Ministry of Petroleum Resolution No. P-23015/1/2001-Mkt and not allowed to be imported by others. 
 
To circumvent this restriction, the operators of diesel smuggling based at Kakinada hatched a plan and started smuggling the fuel in the guise of mineral spirt.
 
They not only imported the restricted item but also declared a much lower value, around 40% of the actual value, thereby evading customs duty on the consignments, it said.
 
The operators had offices in Kakinada, storage yard at Maraimalai Nagar, Chennai and an office front at Guindy, Chennai to facilitate the smuggling and distribution. A relative of one of the operators from Kakinada was looking after the logistics, moving the diesel into the grey markets in Chennai, Kakinada, Ongole and parts of Telangana. 
 
Dummy companies were opened in Dubai to purchase diesel and import it Chennai by creating false documents and invoices. The price difference was being adjusted by payments through hawala channels. 
 
"It is found that in the past these operators have smuggled around 5366 MT (63 lakh litres approx) of diesel valued at around Rs. 17.7 crores, which comes to around 285 containers," it said.
 
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IPL: Chennai Super Kings crush Rajasthan Royals by 64 runs

 
Opener Shane Watson hit a fantastic 106-run knock as Chennai Super Kings (CSK) thrashed Rajasthan Royals (RR) by 64 runs here on Friday to register their third win in four games in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
 
Veteran Australian all-rounder Watson took just 51 deliveries to bring up his third IPL century, guided by nine boundaries and six sixes, to propel Chennai to a massive 204/5 at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium which is the southern franchise's new home venue.
 
In reply, Rajasthan were bowled out for 140 in 18.3 overs as they suffered their second straight loss after winning the first two matches.
 
Put in to bat, Chennai were off to a decent start as openers Watson and Ambati Rayudu (12) shared a 50-run partnership for the opening wicket in 4.2 overs.
 
Medium pacer Ben Laughlin drew first blood for Rajasthan as he sent back Rayudu in the fifth over.
 
Watson was then joined by Suresh Raina and the duo stitched together an 81-run partnership for the second wicket. Raina chipped in with a crucial 47-run knock before falling in the 12th over to a Shreyas Gopal delivery which left CSK on 131/2.
 
K. Gowtham, Stuart Binny and Ben Stokes were severely punished by Raina and Watson. The Australian hit spinner Gowtham for three sixes, while left-arm medium pacer Jaydev Unadkat also got hit for two sixes by the retired international.
 
CSK then lost the wickets of Mahendra Singh Dhoni (5) and Sam Billings (3) with the addition of another 30 runs. It was leggie Shreyas again, who struck to dismiss both the Chennai batters.
 
Meanwhile, Watson kept the scoreboard ticking and added 41 runs with Dwayne Bravo to take CSK past the 200-run mark. Bravo remained unbeaten on 24 runs facing 16 balls.
 
The Australian all-rounder however, fell in the last over but it was too late for Rajasthan as CSK posted a massive 205-run target against them.
 
For Rajasthan, Shreyas was the pick of the bowlers, with figures of 3/20, while Australian Laughlin bagged a couple of wickets conceding 38 runs.
 
During the chase, Rajasthan lost wickets at regular intervals and never looked to be in contention. Their start to the innings was quite poor.
 
Deepak Chahar's away-moving ball was edged to first slip by Heinrich Klassen but Watson dropped the catch coming at his chest height in the second delivery of the first over. However, Shardul Thakur removed the South African, who was bowled in the fifth delivery of the second over, with the visiting side's score at 20.
 
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In the following over, Chahar dismissed Sanju Samson (2) as the Kerala batsman failed to handle a bouncer, managing to touch it with the top-end of the bat.
 
Chahar then dismissed Ajinkya Rahane (16 off 11) when the latter missed the line attempting a cross-bat stroke, leaving his side at 32/3 in 4.3 overs.
 
The writing was on the wall for Rajasthan and a 45-run fourth-wicket stand between Englishmen Ben Stokes (45 off 37) and Jos Buttler (22 off 17) could do little to give them hope.
 
Buttler perished as the ball went up in the air after he failed to time a rising delivery from medium pacer Dwayne Bravo. Imran Tahir took an easy catch to end the partnership, with Rajasthan at 77/4 in 10.1 overs.
 
Bravo then sent back Rahul Tripathi (5) before left-hander Stokes was caught on the leg side by Sam Billings as he tried to slog sweep leg-spinner Tahir. The wicket of Stokes was the  last nail in the coffin for the visitors who were reduced to 111/6 in 13.5 overs.
 
Watson then got the wicket of K. Gowtham (1) and Bravo dismissed Stuart Binny (10) to complete the formalities for Chennai.
 
Brief Scores: Chennai Super Kings: 204/5 (Shane Watson 106, Suresh Raina 46; Shreyas Iyer 3/20) vs Rajasthan Royals: 140 all out in 18.3 overs (Ben Stokes 45, Jos Buttler 22; Karn Sharma 2/13, Dwayne Bravo 2/16, Shardul Thakur 2/18).
 
IANS
 
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After pat on cheek sparks outrage, TN Governor apologizes

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Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit on Wednesday apologized to a woman journalist whose cheeks he patted after a press conference, triggering widespread criticism.
 
In a letter to the journalist, Lakshmi Subramanian, which was circulated to the media, Purohit said: "I wish to express my regret and my apologies to assuage your sentiments that have been hurt."
 
Purohit said: "You had asked a question when we had got up and were proceeding to leave after the close of the press conference (on Tuesday)."
 
"I considered that question to be a good one. Therefore, as an act of appreciation for the question that you had posed, I gave a pat on your cheek considering you to be like my granddaughter," he said.
 
Purohit said he himself has been a journalist for about 40 years.
 
"I do understand from your mail that you are feeling hurt about the incident. I wish to express my regret and my apologiess to assuage your sentiments that have been hurt."
 
Reacting to Purohit's letter, Subramanian tweeted: "Your Excellency, I have with me your letter expressing regret at what happened at the press conference in Chennai... I accept your apology even though I am not convinced about your contention that you did it to appreciate a question I asked."
 
Earlier, Tamil Nadu journalists had demanded an unconditioned apology from Purohit for patting the cheek of Subramanian.
 
Subramanian tweeted a picture in which the Governor is seen patting her cheek at the Raj Bhavan and expressed her shock over his conduct.
 
The Governor met the media to deny as untrue allegations of a so-called sex scandal at a leading university in the state.
 
Journalists promptly drafted a letter informing the Governor that his conduct amounted to a non-bailable criminal offence.
 
"As the Constitutional head of our state of Tamil Nadu, you have crossed the lines of not just basic courtesy but also those of law," read the letter to the Governor.
 
They pointed out that whatever his intention, he had violated the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of Women Act, 1998.
 
DMK Rajya Sabha MP K. Kanimozhi tweeted: "Even if the intention is above suspicion, violating a woman journalist's personal space does not reflect the dignity or the respect which should be shown to any human being."
 
The journalists had sought an unconditional apology from the Governor and an assurance that he will desist from behaving in this manner in future.
 
IANS
 
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TN journalists denounce Governor for 'patting' lady reporter

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Tamil Nadu journalists have demanded an unconditioned apology from Governor Banwarilal Purohit for patting the cheek of a senior lady journalist at the end of a press conference.
 
The journalist, Lakshmi Subramaniam, has tweeted a picture in which the Governor is seen patting her cheek at the Raj Bhavan on Tuesday and expressed her shock over his conduct.
 
The Governor met the media to deny as untrue allegations of a so-called sex scandal at a leading university in the state. 
 
As the press conference ended, the Governor patted the cheek of Subramaniam, triggering outrage. She denounced Purohit's conduct.
 
Journalists promptly drafted a letter informing the Governor that his conduct amounted to a non-bailable criminal offence. 
 
"As the Constitutional head of our state of Tamil Nadu, you have crossed the lines of not just basic courtesy but also those of law," read the letter to the Governor.
 
They pointed out that whatever his intention, he had violated the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of Women Act, 1998.
 
DMK Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi tweeted: "Even if the intention is above suspicion, violating a woman journalist's personal space does not reflect the dignity or the respect which should be shown to any human being."
 
The journalists had sought an unconditional apology from the Governor and an assurance that he will desist from behaving in this manner in future.
 
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CBCID to probe case against college teacher luring students to sex trade

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With political parties demanding a CBI probe into the alleged attempt at sexual trafficking of college students by a professor, the Tamil Nadu Police chief ordered the transfer of the case to the Crime Branch-Crime Investigation Department (CBCID).
 
Considering the importance of the case, the Tamil Nadu Director General of Police (DGP) ordered to transfer the case from Arupukkottai Police Station in Virudhunagar district to the CBCID, a government statement said.
 
On a complaint lodged by R. Ramasamy, Secretary, Devanga Arts College in Arupukkottai, a case has been registered against Assistant Professor Nirmala Devi over attempt to lure some students into sex trade, according to the statement.
 
On the other hand, the Madurai Kamaraj University said it had decided to scrap its proposal to set up a five-member committee to probe the alleged sexual trafficking complaint.
 
In a statement, Vice Chancellor P.P. Chellathurai said: "The university is keen that all details with regard to the incident be inquired into without any bias. Hence the proposal to form an internal committee in the university has been withdrawn."
 
"The high powered inquiry by R. Santhanam, IAS (retd), ordered by the Chancellor will commence forthwith for which the university will be rendering all necessary assistance," he said.
 
Based on the report from the university, Governor Banwarilal Purohit, in his capacity as the Chancellor, had ordered for inquiry by a high powered committee, the statement said.
 
Leaders of political parties, however, came down heavily on the committees set up by the Governor and the Vice Chancellor and demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
 
PMK leader S. Ramadoss said committees appointed by Purohit and Chellathurai to probe an alleged sexual trafficking complaint were not legally valid.
 
Supporting the arrest of the female professor who allegedly tried to lure her students to extend sexual favours to top officials of the university in Tamil Nadu, he said only a CBI probe was only justified.
 
It was on Monday that Governor Purohit and Chellathurai had ordered a high-level inquiry into the matter by the retired IAS officer, Santhanam.
 
But Chellathurai told reporters in New Delhi on Monday that a five-member committee had been constituted to investigate the case.
 
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"Governor Purohit is only a Chancellor of the university. He does not have the power to govern or probe malpractices in the colleges," Ramadoss said, adding only the college management had the power to take action against a professor found to be misguiding the students to take a wrong path.
 
"A shadow of suspicion is on all the top officials of the university and hence Chellathurai can face an inquiry committee but can't set up one," the PMK leader said.
 
Ramadoss said the accused professor's mobile phone call records should be checked to determine others involved.
 
Nirmala Devi, who taught at the Devanga Arts College in Aruppukottai, was at the centre of a storm after audio clips of her talks with some students suggested that they yield themselves to keep the "higher-ups" in the Madurai Kamaraj University happy, so that the college keeps getting facilities. The clips went viral in the social media.
 
Police in Virudhunagar district has questioned her so far.
 
DMK leader M.K. Stalin told reporters that only a Vice Chancellor of a university could set up an inquiry committee and not the Governor in the capacity of the Chancellor.
 
"It is not known why the Governor as the Chancellor acted in this manner. There seems to be some confusion. Only a high court-monitored CBI probe will bring out the truth," he said.
 
IANS
 
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IPL: Kings XI Punjab end Chennai Super Kings' winning run

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Kings XI Punjab defeated Chennai Super Kings by four runs here on Sunday to end the southern outfit's winning run in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
 
Put in to bat first, Punjab wasted their solid start but managed to post a challenging total of 197/7. In reply, Chennai batters failed. 
 
Apart from Ambati Rayudu (49) and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (79 not out), no other batsmen seemed comfortable in front of Punjab's bowlers and went cheaply to lose the game.
 
Big names like Shane Watson (11), Murali Vijay (12), Sam Billings (9) and Ravindra Jadeja (19) failed to score handsomely in a big run chase. Towards the end, Dhoni tried to pull off the things single-handedly but failed and his 44-ball unbeaten innings went in vain.
 
For Punjab, Andrew Tye scalped two wickets.
 
Earlier, Kings XI Punjab failed to make the most of the flying start given by openers Chris Gayle and Lokesh Rahul and settled for 197/7.
 
Rahul (37 runs in 22 balls) and Gayle (63 runs in 33 balls) gave the hosts a rousing start, slamming 96 runs in eight overs. But after their wickets, no other batsman took advantage of it and failed to score runs, thanks to the Chennai bowlers' disciplined bowling.
 
Rahul fell in the eighth over when the scoreboard was reading 96. After adding a few more runs, Gayle also departed, courtesy pacer Shane Watson, in the 12th over. The West Indian batsman slammed seven boundaries and four sixes.
 
Mayank Agarwal (30) and Yuvraj Singh (20), then tried to maintain the pace set by the openers but in the process both departed after a good start. Aaron Finch was out on a golden duck.
 
Karun Nair (29) and skipper Ravichandran Ashwin (14) tried to stretch their team's total to the 200-run mark but failed and departed one after the other.
 
For Chennai, Shardul Thakur and Imran Tahir scalped two wickets each.
 
Brief scores:
Kings XI Punjab 197/7 (Chris Gayle 63; Imran Tahir 2/34) against Chennai Super Kings: 193/5 (Mahendra Singh Dhoni 79; Andrew Tye 2/47)
 
IANS
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Massive protests held against Modi's visit to Chennai

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Massive protests greeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he paid a whirlwind visit to Chennai with a helicopter as the chosen mode of his transport within the city amid a state-wide agitation demanding a Cauvery Management Board (CMB).
 
Black flags and balloons and activists in black shirts and trousers with "Go Back Modi" placards marked the day while protests were also held throughout Tamil Nadu against the Prime Minister's brief visit to the state against the Centre's failure to set up the CMB despite a Supreme Court order. 
 
Black flags were hoisted on homes and business establishments across the state. A political activist said it appeared to be the biggest anti-Modi protest in any state since he became the Prime Minister in May 2014.
 
In a bid to avoid protesters, Modi, who arrived here by a special aircraft in the morning, flew by helicopter to reach Tiruvidanthai in neighbouring Kanchipuram district where he opened the 10th DefExpo organised by the Defence Ministry. From there he took another chopper to come to IIT Madras, in the heart of the city.
 
From there, he took a one-kilometre ride by car to the neighbouring Adyar Cancer Institute for an event. 
 
The Prime Minister walked a few steps from the helicopter to the car that ferried him to the Cancer Institute. As he did so, he encountered some 30 students from IIT Madras who stood silently but held posters demanding a Cauvery Management Board -- an issue which has whipped up emotions in Tamil Nadu.
 
Modi then left by helicopter to the airport before returning to Delhi. 
 
#Go back Modi trended on top as netizens took to the cyberspace to register their protest against the Central government's failure to set up the CMB as directed by the Supreme Court to ensure proper sharing of Cauvery waters between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and other states. 
 
DMK leader M.K. Stalin, on a padayatra of the Cauvery delta areas, wore black shirt and trousers as he protested along with state Congress President Thirunavukkarasar and CPI-M state unit chief Mutharasan.
 
"The Prime Minister may be flying in the air today but he has to come down when the elections come," Stalin said.
 
A black flag was hoisted at DMK chief M. Karunanidhi's residence. The ailing leader wore a black shirt. Black flags were also unfurled at the residences of DK leader Veeramani and MDMK chief Vaiko.
 
DMK MP Tiruchi Siva and leaders of DMK allies wore black dress and marched on the road near the Chennai airport.
 
In the morning outside the Chennai airport, activists of the Federation for protection of Tamil Art and Culture, led by noted film director Bharatiraja and other film personalities like Amir, Gautaman and Vetrimaran protested against Modi's visit. They were arrested.
 
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Vaiko held a black flag protest in Saidapet, Naam Thamizhar Katch convenor Seeman, a film director, was in Pallavaram. Vaiko called Modi a "coward" for choosing to fly. Political leaders Velmurugan and P. Nedumaran were arrested from Alandur metro station in Chennai for holding black flag protests. 
 
Tamil Nadu has been in turmoil since the six-week period for setting up the Board expired, with opposition parties and a host of fringe Tamil groups attacking the Centre, saying the BJP was interested only in winning the Assembly elections in Karnataka. 
 
Even the hugely-popular IPL cricket matches have been shifted out of Chennai to Pune in view of the disturbances on Tuesday.
 
In his speeches at the two functions, Modi avoided any reference to the hot button issue.
 
Modi, who inaugurated the 10th DefExpo organised by the Defence Ministry and later spoke at the Adyar Cancer Insitute in Chennai, did not refer to the demand for setting up of the CMB. 
 
However, at the defence trade fair, he sought to woo Tamils by wishing them a happy new year on Saturday. He also referred to a couplet of Tamil savant Thiruvalluvar in which he had said that knowledge grows with reading just like water springs forth as sandy fount is dug deeper. 
 
Amidst the protests, Chief Minister K. Palaniswami urged Modi to immediately set up the Cauvery Management Board.
 
In a memorandum to Modi, Palaniswami recalled the February 16 Supreme Court verdict that said that a scheme be formulated by the Central government within six weeks to "implement the notified final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal as modified by its judgment".
 
On April 9, the apex court clearly stated that the final order of the CWDT had "merged with the judgment of the Supreme Court", he said.
 
IANS
 
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SpiceJet to add Hubli as its fifth UDAN destination

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Low-cost carrier SpiceJet has said that it would commence operations with effect from May 14 from Hubli in Karnataka, its fifth destination under UDAN, the government's regional connectivity scheme.
 
SpiceJet was awarded Hubli under the second round of UDAN, a press release from the airline said.
 
With the addition of Hubli-Chennai and Hubli-Hyderabad routes, SpiceJet will operate six daily UDAN flights.
 
The airline had launched services on the Mumbai-Porbandar, Mumbai-Kandla, Jaipur-Jaisalmer and Hyderabad-Puducherry routes under the UDAN scheme last year.
 
SpiceJet will be the first airline to connect Hubli-Chennai and Hubli-Hyderabad with direct flights. The airline will also connect Hubli with key metro cities of Bengaluru and Mumbai, both of which are non-RCS sectors, the release said.
 
Hubli, the second largest city in Karnataka, houses the largest number of government offices in the state. Earmarked for the smart city project, it is also a major trading centre for commodities like cotton and iron.
 
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IPL matches to be shifted out of Chennai: Rajeev Shukla

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All the remaining Indian Premier League (IPL) matches of Chennai Super Kings will be shifted out of Chennai to Pune in the wake of Tuesday's violence over the Cauvery waters dispute.
 
"CSK will be asked to move their home matches to Pune as the Chennai police has expressed their inability to to provide adequate security for the remaining matches," IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla told reporters here on Wednesday.
 
Earlier, talking to IANS on phone, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) Chief Executive Officer K.S. Viswanathan said: "We talked to the Chennai's Commissioner of Police over the issue. He suggested we shift the matches as the situation is volatile in the city."
 
"We have put the ball in BCCI's court and the board will now take a call on the issue," he added.
 
Various Tamil groups had demanded that the authorities cancel all IPL matches in Chennai until the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) and Cauvery Water Regulatory Committee (CWRC) as mandated by the Supreme Court are set up the Central government.
 
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Modi to inaugurate DefExpo 2018 in Chennai on Thursday

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the 10th edition of Defence Expo at Tiruvidanthal in Kancheepuram district, near Chennai, tomorrow.
 
The tagline of DefExpo 2018 is “‘India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing Hub” to showcase the country’s capability in the export of defence systems and components. 
 
More than 670 exhibitors including over 150 international exhibitors will take part in the DefExpo. MSME sector will have a fair representation this time of around 15%.
 
Indian participation includes majors like Tata, L&T, Kalyani, Bharat Forge, Mahindra, MKU, DRDO, HAL, BEL, BDL, BEML, MDL, GRSE, GSL, HSL, MIDHANI, Ordnance Factories, and many others. 
 
Major international companies including Lockheed Martin, Boeing (USA), Saab (Sweden), Airbus, Rafael (France), Rosonboron Exports, United Shipbuilding (Russia), BAE Systems (UK), Sibat (Israel), Wartsila (Finland), Rhode and Schwarz (Germany) are among many others participating at DefExpo 2018.
 
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BCCI to take call on shifting IPL from Chennai: CSK CEO

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Chennai Super Kings (CSK) Chief Execuitve Officer K.S. Viswanathan on Tuesday confirmed that the Chennai police have suggested they shift their IPL matches from Chennai amidst the volatile situation over the Cauvery waters dispute.
 
"We talked to the Chennai Commissioner of Police over the issue. They suggested we shift the matches as the situation is volatile in the city," Viswanathan told IANS on the phone.
 
"We have put the ball in BCCI's court and the board will now take a call on the issue," the CEO added.
 
On Tuesday, IPL Chairman Rajeev Shukla had met with the Union Home Secretary at his North Block office in the wake of demands by various Tamil groups and political parties that the IPL Twenty20 matches be suspended in the city until the Cauvery waters dispute is sorted out. 
 
The Tamil groups had demanded that the authorities cancel Tuesday's IPL match in Chennai between Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
 
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L&T-built Offshore Patrol Vessel commissioned for Indian Coast Guard

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The Offshore Patrol Vessel ICGS Vikram, indigenously designed and built by infrastructure and construction major Larsen and Toubro (L&T), was commissioned into the Indian Coast Guard in the presence  of Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre at L&T’s Defence shipyard at Kattupalli near here today.
 
The vessel is the ‘First of Class’ of seven new generation Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) contracted by Ministry of Defence (MoD) to L&T in March 2015, under government’s initiative of ‘Make in India’.
 
Indian Coast Guard Director General Rajendra Singh, Inspector General Rajan Bargotra, Commander Coast Guard Region (East), Mr. S.N. Subrahmanyan, CEO & MD, L&T, Mr. J.D. Patil, Whole-time Director (Defence) and Member of L&T Board, Vice Admiral (Retd) B. Kannan, MD & CEO L&T Shipbuilding, and other dignitaries were present on the  occasion.
 
After its keel was laid in March 2016, ICGS Vikram has been commissioned in a record period of 25 months, including build time, harbor trials and sea trials, a press release from L&T said.
 
“It is a momentous occasion for L&T to become the first private Indian shipyard to deliver an in-house designed Offshore Patrol Vessel to MoD. L&T Shipyards have achieved unmatched stellar delivery performance in prestigious MoD contracts for 54 Interceptor Boats for Coast Guard, Floating Dock project for Navy and now the OPV for Coast Guard,"  Mr. Subrahmanyan, CEO & MD, Larsen & Toubro, said.
 
"This bears testimony to our capabilities and commitment towards Make in India. Over the past decade, we have invested heavily in building state-of-the-art facilities and talent pool for defence manufacturing and are fully geared up with sufficient capacity and financial strength to grow multifold in this sector in coming years.
 
“Given the opportunity and a level playing field, L&T can provide the much-needed impetus to the augmentation of Indian Naval and Coast Guard fleets through in-house design and timely delivery of vessels,” he added.
 
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ICGS Vikram class OPVs are long-range surface ships, equipped to handle helicopter operations and capable of operating in Indian maritime zones including island territories. The role of the OPV is to conduct coastal and offshore patrolling, policing maritime zones, control & surveillance, anti-smuggling & anti-piracy operations with limited wartime roles.
 
Mr. Patil said: “L&T defence shipbuilding capabilities have come of age with over two decades of rich experience in design, engineering and construction of complex defence platforms and three decades of track record in platform specific equipment and systems. On-time commissioning of first of the class OPV ICGS Vikram underlines excellent design and execution capabilities of L&T. In the past one year, 11 new build platforms were launched / delivered by L&T, all ahead or on schedule. Today, L&T is uniquely placed to address complete value chain of Defence Shipbuilding from design to manufacturing of critical ship equipment, modular construction and through life support.”
 
The vessel, which is approximately 97m long, 15m wide, has 3.6m draught, 2,140 T displacement and a range of 5,000 NM. It can attain a sustained speed of up to 26 knots.
 
The OPVs are built with Integrated Platform Management System to enable special control capabilities generally integrated in larger warships like frigates and destroyers. The vessels are fitted with front propulsion pods for providing an ability of high manoeuvrability. The entire design and construction process has been certified by American Bureau of Shipping as well as Indian Registrar of Shipping and overseen by the Indian Coast Guard’s resident team at Kattupalli. Further the harbour and sea trials have been undertaken by the crew of ICGS Vikram, the release said.
 
Vice Admiral (Retd.)  Kannan said: “Achieving ahead of time delivery for a first of cass defence ship called for adoption of modular construction, meticulous planning and deployment of efficiency enabling digital technologies. The experienced workforce of L&T along with its vibrant project management skills achieved a high concurrency between design and production, which enabled realization of an unmatched build period of 25 months from keel laying to delivery; which is expected to be further reduced in the subsequent follow on OPVs.”
 
Commissioning of ICGS Vikram has come in quick succession to handing over of another major vessel Floating Dock (FDN-2) in March 2018 to the Indian Navy for deployment at Port Blair. Out of 54 Interceptor Boats ordered by Indian Coast Guard, L&T has already delivered 38 boats up to two years ahead of schedule and has completed the construction of remaining 16 boats. All these vessels were indigenously designed, developed and manufactured, the release said.
 
Construction of follow-on OPVs is progressing ahead of schedule at Kattupalli shipyard. OPV-2 has been launched and is being readied for harbour and sea trials. L&T is also undertaking various refits and repairs of Naval and Coast Guard vessels, the release added.
 
NNN
 
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IPL: Billings, Watson help CSK pull off heist against KKR

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Sam Billings' 23-ball 56 coupled with Shane Watson's 19-ball 42 helped Chennai Super Kings (CSK) pull off a heist as they beat Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) by five wickets in a thrilling IPL game, held amidst strong protests on the issue of Cauvery waters here on Tuesday.
 
Needing 17 runs in the last over, Ravindra Jadeja 11 (not out) hit a six off R Vinay Kumar to clinch the issue with four runs and one ball remaining as Dwayne Bravo (11 not out) watched from the other end.
 
Chasing 203, Watson and Ambati Rayudu (39 off 26; 3x4, 2x6) gave CSK a dream start before they got out and KKR reined the hosts in with one more wicket.
 
But Billings and skipper MS Dhoni (25 off 28; 1x4, 1x6) kept their chances alive with a 54-run stand for the fourth wicket and after Dhoni got out Billings cut loose.
 
The England top-order batsman brought up his 50 in 21 balls, sweeping Tom Curran (2/39), whom he took for 17 runs in the 15th over, to the leg side to bring up the landmark.
 
Curran got his wicket in the same over but Jadeja and Bravo ensured the job was done.
 
CSK got off to a flying start. Watson made his intentions clear from the off, spanking R Vinay Kumar for two fours and a six in the first over.
 
At the other end, Rayudu (39 off 26; 3x4, 2x6) took a liking to Piyush Chawla, hitting the wrist-spinner for two sixes and a four in the fourth over.
 
The pair added 75 runs for the opening wicket before Watson holed out to Rinku Singh at cow corner trying to pull Curran.
 
After the powerplay, CSK were well on course at 75/1.
 
Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav (1/27) then removed the set Rayudu with a lofted delivery outside off-stump which went to substitute Shivam Mavi at extra cover as the batsman played away from his body.
 
From that point, CSK's surge took a dip and the asking rate started shooting up. Suresh Raina (14), who was dropped by Curran on 6, could not capilatise on it and with cramps affecting him, pulled a Narine delivery to Vinay Kumar at long on.
 
Dhoni and Billings -- given a second life by Robin Uthappa who dropped him at mid off -- fought well.
 
Chawla broke the stand just as the home side looked to be making a fight out of it with a low ball that Dhoni feather-edged to Karthik who took a sharp catch behind the stumps.
 
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The match was not over though with Billings continuing his big hitting before Curran got his revenge on his international teammate as the England batsman holed out to Uthappa at long off.
 
Earlier, Andre Russell smashed an unbeaten 36-ball 88 to help Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) recover from early jitters and post a mammoth 202/6 in 20 overs.
 
There was unprecedented security at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium with a lot of traffic restrictions around the stadium and the arrival of the teams accompanied by tight surveillance. The toss for the game was taken at 7.43 p.m., a delay of 13 minutes.
 
Life in several parts of the city was thrown out of gear after many Tamil outfits staged protests against the holding of IPL matches in Chepauk stadium to demand a Cauvery Management Board from the Centre.
 
Coming to the game, KKR were reduced to 89/5 at one stage after being put in before Russell (1x4, 11x6) took the home team bowlers to the cleaners with some lusty blows.
 
The 29-year-old West Indian all-rounder was at it from the word go and in the 19th over smoked compratriot Dwayne Bravo for three back-to-back sixes.
 
Russell was ably supported by skipper Dinesh Karthik (26 off 25 balls) and Robin Uthappa (29 off 16 balls) at the beginning.
 
Brief scores: Chennai Super Kings 205/5 in 19.5 overs (Sam Billings 56, Shane Watson 42; Tom Curran 2/39) beat Kolkata Knight Riders: 202/6 in 20 overs (Andre Russell 88, Robin Uthappa 20; Shane Watson 2/39)
 
IANS
 
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Russell's 36-ball 88 steers KKR to mammoth 202/6 against CSK

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Andre Russell smashed an unbeaten 36-ball 88 to help Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) recover from early jitters and post a mammoth 202/6 in 20 overs against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in an IPL game, held amidst strong protests on the issue of Cauvery waters here on Tuesday.
 
There was unprecedented security at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium with a lot of traffic restrictions around the stadium and the arrival of the teams accompanied by tight surveillance. The toss for the game was taken at 7.43 pm, a delay of 13 minutes.
 
Life in several parts of the city was thrown out of gear after many Tamil outfits staged protests against the holding of IPL matches in Chepauk stadium to demand a Cauvery Management Board from the Centre.
 
Coming to the game, KKR were reduced to 89/5 at one stage after being put in before Russell (1x4, 11x6) took the home team bowlers to the cleaners with some lusty blows.
 
The 29-year-old West Indian all-rounder was at it from the word go and in the 19th over smoked compratriot Dwayne Bravo for three back-to-back sixes.
 
Russell was ably supported by skipper Dinesh Karthik (26 off 25 balls) and Robin Uthappa (29 off 16 balls) at the beginning.
 
For CSK, Shane Watson returned best figures of 2/39 while Harbhajan Singh (1/11), Ravindra Jadeja (1/19) and Shardul Thakur (1/37) also picked up wickets.
 
KKR lost two wickets in the form of Sunil Narine (12), and Chris Lynn (22) who failed to make the most of a reprieve when Deepak Chahar grassed a difficult catch off Harbhajan's bowling.
 
Narine was sent back by Harbhajan with a tossed up delivery that the West Indian looked to slog down the leg side, holing out to Raina who ran from mid off to complete the catch.
 
Lynn, who flopped in the first game, hit four fours but never looked fluent, finally going for a wild leg-side heave and losing his stumps off Jadeja's bowling.
 
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KKR were scoring at a good pace despite the loss of the openers, riding on Uthappa's big hitting. In the sixth over, Uthappa tonked Jadeja for back-to-back sixes but just when he was looking good for a big score, the Karnataka batsman got run out leaving the team reeling at 81/4. Uthappa punched the ball to covers and hesitated while taking the single allowing Raina, still one of the best fielders around, to effect a sharp direct run out.
 
Nitish Rana (16) had perished before Uthappa, trying to drag a back-of-a-length Shane Watson delivery behind square on the leg side only for keeper Dhoni to take an easy catch behind the stumps.
 
At the halfway stage, KKR were reduced to 89/5 after the losing yet another wicket of little-known Rinku Singh (2).
 
Russell and Karthik then joined hands to stem the rot with the former playing the aggressor's role. 
 
Karthik was adjudged lbw against Watson when the recovery was almost done and despite a Decision Review System (DRS) review, he had to make the long walk back.
 
But there was no stopping Russell who hit Bravo for three successive sixes in the 19th over and finished off in style with another huge six off Shardul.
 
Brief scores: Kolkata Knight Riders: 202/6 in 20 overs (Andre Russell 88, Robin Uthappa 20; Shane Watson 2/39) against Chennai Super Kings. 
 
IANS
 
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IPL: CSK opt to field against KKR

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Amidst strong protests against holding the IPL match on the issue of Cauvery waters issue, the outing between the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) began on Tuesday night amidst unprecedented security for a sport event.
 
After a lot of traffic restrictions around the stadium and the arrival of the teams accompanied by tight security, the toss for the game was taken at 7.43 pm, a delay of 13 minutes. 
 
CSK captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and elected to field first against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League game marred by Cauvery protests here on Tuesday.
 
Life in several parts of the city was thrown out of gear after many Tamil outfits staged protests against the holding of IPL matches in Chepauk stadium to demand a Cauvery Management Board from the Centre.
 
CSK, who rode on Dwayne Bravo's whirlwind 30-ball 68 to beat Mumbai Indians dramatically by one wicket, are playing at home after serving a two-year ban from IPL after the spot-fixing scandal which rocked the cash-rich tournament in 2013.
 
KKR, meanwhile, registered a comfortable four-wicket victory against Virat Kohli's Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in their opening game at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
 
Led by their new captain Dinesh Karthik, the visitors have a fresh look to their team after the IPL auctions.
 
Teams:
 
Kolkata Knight Riders: Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik(w/c), Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Vinay Kumar, Piyush Chawla, Tom Curran, Kuldeep Yadav
 
Chennai Super Kings: Shane Watson, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, Sam Billings, MS Dhoni(w/c), Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Deepak Chahar, Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir, Shardul Thakur
 
IANS
 
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Chennai gripped by protests ahead of IPL clash

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Protests flared in Chennai on Tuesday as people demanding a Cauvery Management Board took to the streets against an IPL match to be played between Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at night.
 
Even as the rival teams made it to the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium - popularly known as Chepauk Stadium - through the back gate, the complex turned into a fortress with the deployment of hundreds of police personnel, many in riot gear. 
 
All roads leading to the stadium also came under a blanket of security to prevent anti-IPL activists from spoiling the show. Groups of protesters kept moving towards the cricket stadium from various lanes shouting slogans.
 
A helicopter circled the sky over the stadium.
 
Police took into custody members of various Tamil groups. Many raised slogans against the Modi government for not constituting the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) and the Cauvery Water Regulatory Committee (CWRC) as mandated by the Supreme Court.
 
Protests on the arterial Anna Salai threw traffic out of gear. 
 
With the match set to start at 8 p.m., some demonstrators released black balloons into the sky in a sign of protest. Also taken into custody were some protesters who tried to lay siege to the cricket stadium.
 
Tamil movie celebrities like director Bharathirajaa also hit the streets demanding justice for Tamil Nadu vis-a-vis Karnataka, the two states which are locked in a dragging row over the river water.
 
Police have said all spectators will be frisked thoroughly before being let into the stadium.
 
On Monday, authorities announced unprecedented security arrangements for the Indian Premier League (IPL) match.
 
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The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) has banned spectators from bringing mobile phones, remote control car-key or any electronic devices, bags, briefcases, pagers, radios, digital diaries, laptops, computers, tape-recorders and even binoculars.
 
The banned list also includes musical instrument, video cameras, digital cameras, crackers, inflammable materials, firearms and ammunition, edibles, thermos flasks, water jugs, bottles, cigarettes, beedis, match boxes, lighters, razors, scissors, mirrors and glass, knifes and batteries.
 
The use of mobile phones, transistors, computers, cameras or any other audio visual recording equipment for recording and for communication the match details, statistics and images has also been prohibited.
 
Tamil Nadu Fisheries Minister D. Jayakumar said it was for the organisers to decide whether to cancel the match or not and it was for the people to decide whether to boycott the match or not.
 
On Tuesday, however, the IPL organisers decided to allow spectators to carry mobile phones into the stadium - when it became clear that a ban on mobile phone would keep people away from the complex.
 
IANS
 
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Security for Chennai IPL match in top gear

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The city police has laid down multi-layered security to prevent any untoward incident during the Indian Premier League (IPL) match between Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) here on Tuesday evening.
 
According to officials, around 4,000 police personnel have been deployed for security.
 
Several fringe elements have threatened to agitate against the IPL match in protest against the central government not constituting the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) and Cauvery Water Regulatory Committee (CWRC) as mandated by the Supreme Court.
 
Protests are being planned near the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chepauk. The situation around the stadium now is calm.
 
A group in the Tamil movie industry, led by Director Bharathirajaa, R.K. Selvamani and V. Sekar, floated an association called Tamil Panpaattu Peravai on Monday here.
 
They told reporters that holding an IPL match when the state was fighting for Cauvery river water was an attempt to divide the youth.
 
Bharathirajaa said they will hold a protest against the match. Some political parties too have called for axing the match.
 
Earlier, DMK leader M.K. Stalin said the organisers of the IPL matches should understand the people's problems. But he said the DMK was not against holding the IPL matches.
 
Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) chief Thol Thirumavalavan had also sought a ban on IPL matches in Tamil Nadu.
 
Spectators have also been told not to dishonour the Indian flag. No food or drink from outside will be permitted.
 
The Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) has banned spectators from bringing mobile phones, remote control car keys or any electronic devices, bags, briefcases, pagers, radios, digital diaries, laptops, computers, tape-recorders and even binoculars.
 
The banned list also includes musical instruments, video cameras, digital cameras, crackers, inflammable materials, firearms and ammunition, edibles, thermos flasks, water jugs, bottles, cigarettes, beedis, match boxes, lighters, razors, scissors, mirrors and glass, knives and batteries.
 
The use of mobile phones, transistors, computers, cameras or any other audio visual recording equipment for recording and for communication the match details, statistics and images has also been prohibited.
 
IANS
 
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IPL: Chennai beat Mumbai by one wicket in thriller

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A heroic effort from Kedar Jadhav at the end helped Chennai Super Kings edged past three-time champions Mumbai Indians by one wicket in the opening match of the 11th Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket tournament here on Saturday.
 
Needing seven runs in three balls, Jadhav (24 not out) who got retired hurt, scooped a six over short fine leg and then slammed a boundary at covers off Mustafizur Rahman to clinch a thriller for his team.
 
Mumbai's middle-order batsman Dwayne Bravo (68 off 30), also played a brilliant innings towards the end but could not took his team to the finishing line as he was dismissed in the second last over by Jasprit Bumrah.
 
Chasing a decent score of 166, Chennai openers started the proceedings on a positive note.
 
Shane Watson (16) played his shots while Ambati Rayudu (22) rotated the strike. But after adding 27 runs in four overs, medium pacer Hardik Pandya dismissed Watson.
 
Incoming batsmen Suresh Raina (4) also struggled in the middle but Rayudu kept on scoring runs at the other end. Soon Raina was also sent packing in the sixth over by Pandya. 
 
In the very next over, Rayudu was sent back to the pavilion by spinner Mayank Markande.
 
Now with scoreboard reading 42/3, middle-order got exposed and batsmen like Kedar Jadhav (14 retired hurt), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (5) and Ravindra Jadeja (12) failed to rise to the occasion and were dismissed cheaply.
 
Towards the end, Bravo smashed the Mumbai bowlers all around the park and also narrowed the gap of runs but lack of support from the other end cost hugely but in the end Jadhav made it easy as he took his team to the finish line.
 
For Mumbai, Markander scalped three wickets while Pandya took two.
 
Earlier, Mumbai Indians posted 165/4 in 20 overs. Suryakumar Yadav (43 off 29 deliveries), Krunal Pandya (41 not out off 22), Ishan Kishan (40 off 29) and Hardik Pandya (22 not out off 20) were the main contributors for the hosts.
 
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After CSK captain Dhoni won the toss and elected to field first, these four Mumbai batsmen helped the hosts recover from a poor start which resulted from the dismissals of openers Ervin Lewis (0) and Rohit Sharma (15) inside 20 runs.
 
While seamer Deepak Chahar got an LBW verdict against Lewis, Sharma was dismissed after a top-edge off veteran medium pacer Shane Watson was caught by Ambati Rayudu at backward point.
 
Ishan and Suryakumar shared 78 runs for the third wicket to pull the hosts out of trouble. But the stand was ended by Australian Watson, who got rid of the latter by having him caught by Harbhajan Singh at deep square leg in the 13th over.
 
Ishan then fell to South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir, leaving his side at 113/4 in 14.4 overs.
 
Thereafter, the Pandya brothers began their partnership. Though the national team star Hardik struggled to get big hits, his elder sibling Krunal dealt some lusty blows.
 
Left-hander Krunal hit two fours and five sixes as his blitz lifted Mumbai to a challenging total at the Wankhede Stadium.
 
Brief scores: Mumbai: 165/4 (Suryakumar Yadav 43, Krunal Pandya 41 not out, Ishan Kishan 40, and Hardik Pandya 22 not out; Shane Watson (2/29), Deepak Chahar (1/13) vs Chennai 169/9 (Dwayne Bravo 68, Kedar Jadhav 24; Mayank Markande 3/23)
 
IANS
 
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