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Tamil Nadu

Bengaluru teen Sohil Shah wins MRF F1600 race, pole positions for Arjun Balu, Rithvik Thomas

Sohil Shah
Sohil Shah
Bengaluru teenager Sohil Shah made the best of the pole-position start to notch a fine win here today in the premier MRF F1600 category and head the leaderboard in Round 4 of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Car Racing Championship at the MMRT that had a delayed start owing to the rains in the morning.
 
Due to the late start, only two of the four races scheduled for the day could be completed. The remaining races would be added to the six slated for tomorrow which will have an early start 8.15 am. It was a difficult day with changing weather conditions leading to several changes in the schedule.
 
In the day’s other action, Mumbai’s Saurav Bandyopadhyay took the honours in the Ameo Class race while Coimbatore ace Arjun Balu of Race Concepts (01:51.474) and team-mate Bengaluru’s Rithvik Thomas (01:59.425) grabbed pole positions in the Indian Touring Cars and the Super Stock categories, respectively.
 
The lights-to-flag win today was Sohil’s third success in a row, having won the last two races in the previous round last month. With three more races scheduled for this category tomorrow, Sohil heads the championship with 81 points, well clear of Mumbai’s Nayan Chatterjee (63).
 
The finish to the six-lap race (reduced from eight laps), which Sohil dominated while enjoying a commanding lead, was under the safety car which came out following an incident on Lap 5. As the safety car came in on the last lap, Sohil, rolled his car over the finish line ahead of Chennai’s Sandeep Kumar and Manav Sharma (Faridabad).
 
“I enjoyed a good lead through the race until the safety car period. We all bunched up behind the safety car, and I played it safe before crossing the finish line,” said Sohil who has taken a “gap year” after completing the 12th standard.
 
Further down the grid, Nayan Chatterjee (Mumbai) who was leading the championship coming into this round, and Vishnu Prasad (Chennai) received 30-second penalties for overtaking under yellow flag, denying them any points.
 
The results (Provisional):
 
MRF F1600 (Race-1, 6 laps): 1. Sohil Shah (Bengaluru) 1 (11mins, 26.939secs); 2. Sandeep Kumar (Chennai) (11:28.164); 3. Manav Sharma (Faridabad) (11:28.569).
 
Volkswagen Ameo Class (Race-1, 6 laps): 1. Saurav Bandyopadhyay (Mumbai) (11:38.169); 2. Shubhomoy Ball (Bengaluru) (11:42.374); 3. Pratik Sonawane (Pune) (11:43.025).
 
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Chetan Shivram shows nerves of steel, wins Rally of Coimbatore

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Team Akshara’s Chetan Shivram rode on his overnight lead to emerge triumphant in the Rally of Coimbatore, Round 2 of the Champions Yacht Club FMSCI Indian National Rally Championship here on Sunday.
 
Going into the second and final day with a mere four-second lead over Suhem Kabeer (Privateer) and a 19-second lead over Younus Ilyas (Race Concepts), Chetan Shivram (with brother Dilip Sharan by his side) showed nerves of steel to win the overall INRC title as well as his INRC 3 category. 
 
He enjoyed a bit of luck as his main challenger, Suhem (with Jeeva Rathnam), got stuck in slush in the day’s first stage itself. Suhem lost 6 minutes to slip out of the main reckoning though he could hold on to the third place in INRC 2 class.
 
Chetan, however, couldn’t breathe easy as another Suhem’s JK Tyre teammate, Younus, was hot on his heels. Younus kept pace with Chetan in all three stages of Day 2, even winning a couple. In the end, though, Younus had to settle for the second place on the INRC podium, falling just 04.600 seconds short. 
 
It was good enough for Younus (& Harish Gowda) to take the top prize in INRC 2. Team Champions’ Dean Mascarenhas (Shruptha Padival) showed typical grit to claw up to the tenth place, climbing 32 places after a stroke of misfortune on Day 1 had condemned him to the bottom of the table. He was the standout driver on Day 2, even taking the second position in INRC 2.
 
Team Champions’ Fabid Ahmer (with Sanath G) was equally impressive, matching the leaders in every stage to rise from his overnight fifth place. He clinched the overall third place and took the second place in INRC 3 for a remarkable double.
 
“We went flat-out in the first stage today as the gap between us and Fabid was really narrow. So we decided to try and increase the gap first and then play safe,” an elated Chetan remarked. “Suhem lost a lot time in that stage, making it just a little easy for us. He added.
 
In INRC 4, Vaibhav Marate (and Arjun SSB) maintained their winning streak, scoring a fairly easy win for the second consecutive time.
 
Result
INRC Overall
1) Chetan Shivram & Dilip Sharan – 1:33:51.700hr; 2) Younus Ilyas & Harish Gowda – 1:33:56.300 hr; 3) Fabid Ahmer & Sanath G. – 1:34:54.400 hr
INRC 2
1) Younus Ilyas & Harish Gowda – 1:33:56.300; 2) Dean Mascarenhas & Shruptha Padival – 1:28:33.800 hr; 3) Suhem Kabeer & Jeeva Rathinam – 1:40:17.000hr
INRC 3  
1) Chetan Shivram & Dilip Sharan – 1:33:51.700hr; 2) Fabid Ahmer & Sanath G. – 1:34:54.400 hr; 3) Aditya Thakur & Virender Kashyap – 1:35:57.700 hr
INRC 4
1) Vaibhav Marate & Arjun SSB – 1:38:27.000hr; 2) Manoj Mohanan & Francis Sachin – 1:39:36.300 hr; 3)Rakshith Iyer & Chandrashekar – 1:40:17.000
FMSCI /SUV Challenge
1)Lokesh Gowda & Sudhindra B.G; 2) Gagan Karumbaiah & Thimmu Udapanda; 3) Sanjay Agarwal & Smitha N
 
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Tamil Nadu: DMK's Kathir Anand wins Vellore LS seat

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The DMK on Friday won the Vellore Lok Sabha seat with its candidate D. M. Kathir Anand defeating his AIADMK rival.
 
According to the Election Commission, Anand had polled about 4.85 lakh votes as against AIADMK's candidate A.C. Shanmugam who had polled about 4.77 lakh votes.
 
With this victory, the DMK has now increased its number of members in Lok Sabha to 24, while the party-led front has gathered 38 of the state's total 39 seats.
 
In a statement issued here, DMK President M. K. Stalin said the DMK is now the third largest party in the Lok Sabha.
 
Saying 'victory could be delayed but not denied', he thanked the Vellore voters.
 
Counting of votes for the Vellore seat began on Friday morning. The poll was held on August 5.
 
Throughout the counting, Shanmugam and Anand took leads alternately.
 
DMK spokesman T. K. S. Elangovan said the low victory margin may be due to the announcements made by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami "which were in violation of the model code of conduct". The CM had even made a promise to bifurcate the Vellore district, he added.
 
Elections to the Vellore parliamentary seat were due on April 18 during the polling in the state for the Lok Sabha elections but was rescinded after Rs 10 crore were seized allegedly from DMK leaders in the district.
 
The AIADMK campaign was led by Chief Minister Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, while Stalin led the campaign for Anand.
 
DMK activists on Friday celebrated the victory by bursting crackers and distributing sweets.
 
IANS
 

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Motor racing: MMSC delivers another first – night sessions at MMRT circuit

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The Madras Motor Sports Club made history on Wednesday as it took the first baby steps towards full-fledged night racing in the future at the MMRT by conducting a four-hour floodlit test session, the first of its kind in India,  that attracted over 100 participants, a clutch of “supercars”, including a Rolls Royce Phantom, first-timers and battle-hardened professional racing drivers in the fully-prepared racing cars, all of whom gave the initiative a thumbs-up.
 
The first-timers were all excited at the rare opportunity to drive on the track at pace in the night. The professionals, like former Formula 1 racer Karun Chandhok, Aditya Patel, Chetan Korada, Arfath Mohammed, Karthik Tharani, Ishaan Dodhiwala and ex-rally driver Ranjit Ballal suggested improvements in the lighting while hailing  MMSC’s efforts to provide another dimension to motor racing in India.
 
Karun Chandhok, who has raced at night at Le Mans and F1 testing in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi, said: “I think what they (the MMSC) have done is very good. We should do more of these events as they will whet the appetite of the people for the sport. I did a few laps here tonight.
 
“The visibility was much better than I expected. Everyone at the club knows the areas to improve. I think, night racing is entirely doable with saloon cars, but with single-seaters, I think there is still a lot of work to do. A huge amount of investment is required to get the level of lighting up to what you need for single-seaters. Aditya (Patel) and I raced each other in saloon cars and were doing 1:55.4, 1:55.0. That is the pace what people do during the daytime. So, it shows the level of lighting is good to race at night with a little improvement.”
 
The night session was conducted in a full-fledged racing environment with temporary floodlight towers in place at select locations, besides Marshals manning the posts around the circuit and other safety precautions.
 
All the participants attended a mandatory pre-session briefing by MMSC Vice-President and former racer Vicky Chandhok on racing regulations and safety. The first-timers were taken around in a convoy behind the Safety Car to learn the racing lines before being allowed to drive at pace. Helmets for the drivers was compulsory. Volkswagen Motorsport provided race-spec Polo, Vento and Ameo cars on hire while some participants opted to drive their own vehicles.
 
MMSC president Ajit Thomas said: “It is a very exciting evening for us. Globally track days are a great way to get people interested in the sport and we realised that with the hot weather in Chennai we needed to do something different. It is the first time that we opened the track up for people to drive at night which makes sense in Chennai. The weather is great and the atmosphere is fantastic. We have some temporary lighting in place as a test, but if we are going to do this on a long-term basis, we will be getting a higher grade lighting on the track. The response has been great with a cross-section of drivers – beginners and professionals.
 
“Based on this response and interest, we are hopeful of running a few events. Initially, maybe more track days, some short events and then endurance races. As far as the costs are concerned, the MMSC has always been constantly ploughing back funds, both from the club and the Trust (the Madras Motor Race Trust) for the overall development of the sport. We have already invested heavily (about Rs 20 Crores) in upgrading the track, the paddock and various facilities and racing equipment. So, going forward, I think we can manage night racing in the future.”
 
An elated Vicky Chandhok said: “I go strictly by the reactions of the participants. The fact that they are smiling ear-to-ear is really important for me. Going by the lap times of the pro drivers, they have matched those done during the day. We will have to make the lighting a bit brighter. Overall, it is nice to see people having a great time here. We are trying to make motorsport fun and develop more fans to come here and enjoy themselves as against serious, hardcore racing.”
 
Former racer and rally champion Harish Samtani applauded MMSC’s latest initiative. “No question that this is a brilliant idea. Globally, night racing, F1 for instance, is catching up. It brings a different paradigm in motorsport. Of course, this is just the beginning. I have spoken with the drivers, both the pros and the newbies. They like the format. It is now up to MMSC to set up a proper, safe lighting environment where one can do serious racing. Definitely, it (night racing) is here to stay.”
 
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Rajiv Sethu makes it four wins in a row, double for Anish Shetty, Venkatesan

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Rajiv Sethu (Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing) showed why he is arguably India’s top racing rider at the moment by scrambling to a heart-stopping win, his fourth in a row in the Pro-Stock 165cc class, as the third round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship concluded at the MMRT here.
 
K Y Ahamed brought some cheer for TVS Racing on a day dominated by Honda as he topped the premier 301-400cc class by a comfortable margin to move within three points of his team-mate Deepak Ravikumar (101 points) on the leaderboard. Ravikumar finished third today behind yesterday’s Race-1 winner, Rahil Shetty (Sparks Racing).
 
Also hogging the limelight were Bengaluru-based Anish Shetty (Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing) and Chennai’s Venkatesan I (Moto Maniacz Racing) who both achieved a double this weekend in the Pro-Stock 201-300cc and Novice (Stock 165cc) categories, respectively, while Ryhana Bee (Sparks Racing), also from Chennai, took the honours in the Girls race.
 
Sethu, who is growing in stature with each outing and scored a double win in the previous round, held off a late-charging KY Ahamed (TVS Racing) despite a bad start and issues with his bike as the duo crossed the finish line in close formation within one-hundredth of a second between them. Sethu’s team-mate and fellow-international, Sarath Kumar, completed the podium. The victory took Sethu to the top of the leaderboard with 100 points, ahead of Jagan Kumar of TVS Racing (94) and Sarath Kumar (93).
 
The Honda ace, who again failed to capitalise on a pole-position start, yielded ground to seven-times National champion Jagan Kumar who was quick off the grid from third position and built up a commanding lead. However, in the third of the eight-lap race, Jagan retired due to engine issues and Sethu forged to the front with Ahamed hot on his heels. The pair fought tooth and nail and were almost inseparable at the finish line.
 
Shetty, in notching his third win in a row, cemented his position at the top of the championship in his category with 90 points. Shetty again led a 1-2-3 finish for his team like yesterday with Abhishek Vasudev and Aravind Balakrishnan in tow in that order.
 
Chennai’s Ryhana Bee, with the win today, her second in three rounds, took a sizeable lead in the championship with 68 points. Defending champion and team-mate Ann Jennifer crashed in the last of the five laps after Ryhana overtook her. Alisha Abdullah (Alishaa Racing) was second followed by private entrant Nivetha Jessica who is now second on the leaderboard with 42 points ahead of Ann Jennifer (40) with two more rounds to be run in the coming weeks.
 
Later, Md Mikail, the 15-year old from Chennai, won his second race of the weekend riding the FIM Moto3-spec NSF 250R in the Idemitsu Honda India Talent Cup, putting in a hot lap of 01:47.974, in the process.
 
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Polling begins in TN's Vellore Lok Sabha constituency

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Polling began on Monday in Tamil Nadu's Vellore Lok Sabha constituency to decide the electoral fate of 28 candidates, said the Election Commission.
 
The main fight is between the ruling AIADMK's A. C. Shanmugam and the DMK's D. M. Kathir Anand.
 
The NMK led by Seeman has also fielded Deepalakshmi as its candidate.
 
The Vellore seat comprises six Assembly segments -- Vellore, Anaikattu, Kilvaithinankuppam, Gudiyattam, Vaniyambadi and Ambur.
 
There are over 1,400 polling booths.
 
The election to the seat, originally scheduled for April 18, was postponed after Rs 10 crore cash was seized from DMK leaders in Vellore district. Three months later, this became the central point of the AIADMK's campaign targeting the DMK.
 
The absence of progress in these cases has increased the voters' apathy in the elections.
 
While rescinding the poll, the EC had said that it was "fully satisfied" that the electoral process in Vellore had been vitiated on account of unlawful activities on behalf of DMK candidate Kathir Anand and some of its workers.
 
The DMK-led front won 37 of the 38 Lok Sabha seats in Tamil Nadu, polling for which was held on April 18.
 
The AIADMK campaign for Vellore was led by Coordinator and Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam and Joint Coordinator and Chief Minister E. K. Palaniswami.
 
On the other hand, DMK President M. K. Stalin led the campaign for party candidate Anand.
 
IANS
 

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Double delight for Honda in National Motorcycle C'ship

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Midway into the season, IDEMITSU Honda Racing India riders blazed their way to twin victories in both PS 165 and PS201-300cc classes in Round 3 of the MRF MMSC FMSCI National Motorcycle Racing Championship.
 
After hauling in victory in both PS165 and PS201-300 classes on Saturday, IDEMITSU Honda Racing India riders repeated their performance with 5 more podiums, including 2 victories. 
 
Grabbing 10 podiums, including double wins by Rajiv in Pro-Stock 165 and Anish in Pro-Stock 201-300 in this round, IDEMITSU Honda Racing India now leads in all 3 standings (team, rider and manufacturer) in both the classes.
 
Despite his first position start in Sunday's PS 165cc race, Rajiv got pushed back to the 5th spot in the first lap itself. However, after a crash of another rider in lap 3, Rajiv climbed up in hot pursuit of the lead rider. 
 
The next 5 laps saw him maintain his cool and shave off seconds with the leader. It was finally in the last lap that Rajiv's smart manoeuvre in last turn pushed him ahead as he finished first with total lap time of 16:07:022 - a mere 0.010 seconds ahead of Ahamed.
 
Meanwhile, Sarath rounded up the podium for IDEMITSU Honda Ten10 Racing team with his 3rd podium finish. Rajiv now leads the championship with 100 points, winning all 4 races that he took part in.
 
INMRC - ProStock 201-300cc
In its debut season in the ProStock 201-300cc class, the rider trio from IDEMISTU Honda Racing India team dominated the ranks for the seond day as well. Hubli boy Anish Shetty maintained his momentum in the race to finish 1st, stopping the clock at 16:13.776 and grabbing his third win in this class. Completing the podium were Bengaluru boy Abhishek V. (2nd) and local lad Aravind B. (3rd).
 
IDEMITSU Honda India Talent Cup - NSF250R
Sunday's 8 lap race saw Mikail notching up his second win this season. The race saw multiple back and forth between Kritik Habib and Mikail before 15-year-old Mikhail from Chennai overpowered the Karnataka boy with a 3-second lead (total lap time 14:48:615). Completing the podium was Kavin at 3rd position.
 
IDEMITSU Honda India Talent Cup - CBR150R
The action-packed race led by the Gen-next riders saw Samuel Martin, Lal Nunsanga and Deepak Kumar completing the podium. Bengaluru boy Samuel Martin fought neck-to-neck with Lal Nunsanga and took the first position with a timing of 00:13:15, pushing Mizoram boy Lal Nunsanga to the 2nd position. Following them was Chennai boy Deepak Kumar securing the 3rd position.
 
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Rajiv Sethu records third win in a row, season’s maiden success for Rahil Shetty

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International rider Rajiv Sethu (Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing) notched his third win in a row in the Pro-Stock 165cc class while Hyderabad’s Rahil Shetty (Sparks Racing) kept his nerves and wits to pull off a brilliant victory in the premier Pro-Stock 301-400cc category on the second day of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship Round 3 at the MMRT here today.
 
Also scoring impressive wins on the day in the National Championship were Bengaluru-based Anish Shetty who led a podium sweep for Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing in the Pro-Stock 201-300cc category and Venkatesan who topped the Novice (Stock 165cc) race.
 
Sethu, who missed the first round due to international commitments, is in a catch-up mode in the championship stakes, and his hat-trick of wins took him to third on the leaderboard with 75 points behind TVS Racing’s Jagan Kumar (94) and team-mate Sarath Kumar (78) going into tomorrow’s second race.
 
The trio was involved in a thrilling battle that went down to the wire with Sethu, having overcome a poor start from pole position, managed to get past seven-times National champion Jagan on the last lap for a well-deserved win while Sarath followed the TVS Racing ace home. Less than a second separated the three podium finishers.
 
Equally superb win was that of 21-year old Rahil Shetty who battled not just his rivals but also his own error-filled riding before squeezing past TVS Racing pair of Deepak Ravikumar and KY Ahamed in the last lap. “I made too many mistakes today, but somehow managed to pull through,” said a relieved Shetty who started on P3. Despite the second-place finish, Ravikumar continues to lead the championship in this category with 86 points, followed by Ahamed (73) while Shetty (35) is placed seventh.
 
Racing on the same grid as the 301-400cc bikes, Bengaluru-based Anish Shetty logged his second consecutive win with team-mates Abhishek Vasudev and Aravind Balakrishnan following him home. Today’s win took Anish’s tally to 65, well ahead of Mathan Kumar of Erula Racing (47) and Vasudev (45).
 
Earlier, in yet another close race, Venkatesan also registered his first win of the season in the Novice class after battling Mohan Babu (Rockers Racing) and Abhimanyu Gautam (Sparks Racing) over six laps. Lakshmipathy Balaji (Alpha Racing) missed out on the podium by a whisker as the four crossed the finish line covered by less than a second. Abhimanyu, though, continues to head the leaderboard with 80 points, trailed by Venkatesan (73) and Mohan Babu (57) going into the second race tomorrow.
 
Results:
 
National Championship:
 
Pro-Stock 301-400cc (Race-1): 1. Rahil Pillari Shetty (Sparks Racing) (11mins, 41.443secs); 2. Deepak Ravikumar (TVS Racing) (11:41.990); 3. KY Ahamed (TVS Racing) (11:42.201).
 
Pro-Stock 201-300cc (Race-1): 1. Anish Shetty (Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing) (12:11.667); 2. Abhishek Vasudev (Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing) (12:20.100); 3. Aravind Balakrishnan (Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing) (12:20.245).
 
Pro-Stock 165cc (Race-1): 1. Rajiv Sethu (Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing) (12:01.973); 2. Jagan Kumar (TVS Racing) (12:02.073); 3. Sarath Kumar (Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing) (12:02.833).
 
Novice (Stock 165cc) Race-1 (6 laps): 1. Venkatesan I (Motomaniacz Racing) (13:06.397); 2. Mohan Babu P (Rockers Racing) (13:06.447); 3. Abhimanyu Gautam (Sparks Racing) (13:06.628).
 
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Pole position for Sivanesan Sethu, Anish Shetty; Ryhana Bee top qualifier among girls

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Sivanesan Sethu pulled off a stunning flying lap to lead a 1-2 for TVS Racing in the Pro-Stock 301-400cc category qualifying session as the third round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship got off to a storming start at the MMRT here today.
 
Sivanesan, clocked a sizzling 01min, 54.325secs followed by team-mate and fellow-Chennai rider K Y Ahamed (01:54.871), with Hyderabad’s Rahil Shetty of Sparks Racing (01:55.001) completing the front row for tomorrow’s race.
 
Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing, led by Bengaluru riders Anish Shetty (01:57.384), and Abhishek Vasudev (01:59.890), and Chennai’s Aravind Balakrishnan (02:00.969), qualified for the top three spots in that order in the Pro-Stock 201-300cc class.
 
Championship leader Ryhana Bee of Sparks Racing (02:11.216), team-mate Ann Jennifer (02:12.189) and Speed Demonz Racing’s Lani Zena Fernandez (02:14.007) were the top three qualifiers in the Girls category.
 
Lighting up the day’s proceedings was a bunch of teenagers, led by 15-year-old Mohammed Mikail from Chennai, who scorched the track in the Idemitsu Honda India Talent Cup riding the FIM Moto3-spec NSF 250R bikes. All the eight riders comfortably went under two minutes in the qualifying session, with Mikail grabbing pole position (01:48.949), ahead of two other Chennai riders, 14-year old Kavin Samaar Quintal (01:50.345) and 16-year old Varoon Sadasivam (01:51.198). Charan Thangavel, also from Chennai, who finished eighth and last, timed 01:56.828.
 
Meanwhile, Rajiv Sethu  (Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing), who scored a double in the previous round, but is trailing team-mate Sarath Kumar by 13 points and championship leader Jagan Kumar (TVS Racing) by 26, set the early pace in the Pro-Stock 165cc class by topping the only free practice session, with a flying lap of 01:59.956.
 
Jagan, a seven times national champion, had a disappointing run with a 02:03.413 to come in ninth as against his team-mate K Y Ahamed who was second quickest in 02:00.848, ahead of Yashas RL (Idemitsu Honda Ten10 Racing, 02:01.414). However, the riders are expected to clock better timings in the qualifying session tomorrow.
 
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Ex-Maldives VP detained at seaport, not allowed entry in India

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Former Maldives Vice-President Ahmed Adeeb has been detained at Tuticorin port while he was reportedly trying to enter India illegally as a crew member of a tugboat.
 
The Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday that Adeeb has "not been permitted entry into the country" since he did not possess valid documents.
 
Adeeb was detained after his tugboat was intercepted by the Coast Guard near the coast of Thoothukudi in southern Tamil Nadu.
 
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, answering a query on the issue, said: "There are designated entry points through which foreigners are allowed entry into India. The entry is facilitated on the basis of appropriate valid travel documents.
 
"In the instant case, since he was not entering India through a designated entry point and did not possess the valid documents, he has not been permitted entry into India."
 
Adeeb reportedly attempted to pass off as a crew member of the Virgo 9 tugboat.
 
An eyewitness shared a video of the apparent arrest.
 
Acting on a tip-off that the boat that went with nine people to Maldives was returning with 10 people, authorities stopped the tugboat that was on its way to the Tuticorin port. On interrogation, it was found that the additional person was Maldives' former Vice President Adeeb.
 
According to Maldives news website 'RaajjeMV', Adeeb began his journey to India on July 27, via a tugboat. He was detained a day later, on July 28.
 
"A crew member of the tugboat he was travelling in has confirmed Adeeb's arrest to RaajjeMV, adding that he is currently under India's Bureau of Immigration's custody," it said.
 
Adeeb is facing trial in several cases including one related to an alleged plot to assassinate the then Maldives President Abdulla Yameen and for possessing firearms.
 
While Adeeb was sentenced to 33 years in prison over various charges including terrorism and corruption, he was freed earlier this year.
 
Prior to this, the former leader was granted medical leave to travel to India. Officers of the Maldives Police Service and Maldives Correctional Services had accompanied him on this trip.
 
Adeeb returned to Maldives on July 6.
 
After he was granted permission to travel, the Maldives Supreme Court ordered authorities to seize his passport.
 
While the state has appealed the rulings that led to Adeeb's release, Supreme Court ordered Maldives Immigration to withhold Adeeb's passport until the court reaches a decision in the cases against him.
 
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Ex-Maldives Vice-President on boat questioned by Indian officials

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Former Vice-President of Maldives Ahmed Adeeb who was on board a cargo tugboat off Tuticorin coast in Tamil Nadu is being questioned by Coast Guard and immigration officials, said a police official on Thursday.
 
"The cargo tugboat Virgo 9 had gone to Maldives from Tuticorin port earlier. On its return trip Adeeb seems to have boarded the ship. The officials of Coast Guard and immigration department are questioning him. The ship is yet to come to the port," the police official told IANS over phone.
 
On getting information of an additional member onboard from the shipping agent in India, Indian officials boarded the cargo vessel and are questioning Adeeb.
 
The officials are trying to gather how Adeeb got into the vessel and other details.
 
The cargo vessel Virgo 9 is registered in Singapore with a gross tonnage of 181 tonnes.
 
Adeeb was the Vice-President of Maldives in 2015. Later that year, he was removed from the position by a no-confidence vote.
 
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Chennai doctors extract 526 teeth from 7-year-old's mouth

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Doctors have extracted an astounding 526 teeth from the mouth of a seven-year-old boy in a rare surgery performed at the city's Saveetha Dental College and Hospital, doctors said.
 
Suffering from a rare case of "compound composite ondontome", the boy was brought to the hospital with a swelling in his lower right jaw.
 
"The parents first noticed the swelling when the boy was three years old. But they didn't bother much as the swelling wasn't much then and the boy did not cooperate with investigative procedures either. 
 
"Later as swelling increased, the parents brought the boy to our hospital," said P. Senthilnathan, Professor, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the hospital on Wednesday.
 
He said an X-ray and CT-scan of the boy's lower right jaw showed a lot of rudimentary teeth following which the doctors decided on the surgery.
 
"We opened up the jaw after administering general anaesthesia and saw a bag/sack inside it. The sack, weighing about 200 grams, was carefully removed and was later found to contain 526 teeth -- small, medium and big sized," Senthilnathan said.
 
Though some were very tiny particles, the doctors said, they had the properties of teeth. It took five long hours for the doctors to remove all the minute teeth from the sack. "It was reminiscent of pearls in an oyster," the doctors said.
 
"The boy was normal three days after the surgery," said Pratibha Ramani, Professor and Head of the Department, Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology.
 
According to the doctors, this is the first ever case documented in the world in which in an individual has been found to have so many minute teeth. 
 
IANS
 

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Seven Indian fishermen arrested by Sri Lankan Navy

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Seven Indian fishermen were arrested by Sri Lankan navy on Sunday for allegedly poaching in the island nation's waters, officials said.
 
Fishermen from Rameswaram and nearby places were near the Katchatheevu island - handed over to Sri Lanka by India several years back - when a Sri Lankan navy patrol arrested seven Indian fishermen and seized their boats.
 
Located in the narrow sea dividing the two countries, Katchatheevu has rich marine life in the waters surrounding it.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 

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Vishnu, Chirag sparkle on Day 1 of JK Tyre-FMSCI National Racing Championship

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Ace racer Vishnu Prasad and young Chirag Ghorpade sparkled on Day 1 of the 22nd JK Tyre FMSCI National Championship here on Saturday, winning their races in contrasting styles.
 
Syed Muzammil Ali proved to be the other hero of the day, cruising to victory in the first round of support race, the JK Tyre Suzuki Gixxer Cup.
 
In the revamped opening round of the championship, the focus was on younger talent and they didn’t disappoint with as many as 27 lining up for their first real shot at glory.
 
Fourteen-year-old Chirag from Bengaluru, and Momentum Motorsports, was the most impressive, taking the pole position in the morning and winning his first race in the Novice Cup.
 
Chirag clocked 13:37.912 minutes to beat the aggressive field by 0.338, leaving his teammate Aaroh Ravindra and Mohamed Ryan (MSport) fighting for the other two places on the podium.
 
The youngster, who exhibited speed and skill, brought in his 14th birthday in style, winning Race 2 as well. Aaroh was left chasing him in this race too but Parikshit Dardhalli (DTS Racing) upstaged Ryan for the third place.
 
The Formula LGB 4 boasted of a star-studded grid, with seven national champions in the fray. The race began as a three-way tussle between Vishnu (MSport), Rohit Khanna (Dark Don Racing) and Ashwin (Dark Don Racing).
 
Ashwin shot into the lead, going past MSport’s Sohil Shah who began on pole at the first opportunity. He hung on to the lead all the way to the final lap. But the safety car, that came out a couple of hours earlier, hurt his momentum and saw him slip to the third place.
 
Vishnu and Rohit exhibited great speed to overtake him and claim the first two positions.
 
Muzammil Ali, another Bengaluru lad, was unstoppable in the Gixxer Cup, shining in the practice rounds, grabbing the pole in the qualifiers and winning the race too. Tanay Gaikwad (Pune) and Amul Angadi (Coimbatore) clinched second and third place in a 31-strong grid.
 
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Rajiv Gandhi assassination convict Nalini released on parole

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One of the convicts in the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's assassination case, S. Nalini, was released from Tamil Nadu's Vellore jail on one-month parole on Thursday.
 
The Madras High Court on July 5 had granted a one-month parole to Nalini on her plea for a six-month parole to make arrangements for her daughter's wedding.
 
Nalini argued her case in person.
 
The court had stipulated that Nalini should not meet politicians and media.
 
In her plea, Nalini said every life convict was entitled to one month of ordinary leave after completing two years in prison and she had not taken the leave even once during the past 27 years she had spent in jail.
 
Besides Nalini, the six other convicted in the case are her husband V. Sriharan alias Murugan, A. G. Perarivalan, T. Suthendraraja alias Santhan, Jayakumar, Robert Payas and Ravichandran.
 
All the seven convicts have been in prison since 1991 after a female Tamil Tiger suicide bomber blew herself up while meeting Gandhi at an election rally near Chennai.
 
IANS
 

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Ex-Tirunelveli Mayor, husband & maidservant killed

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Former Mayor of Tirunelveli Uma Maheswari, her husband Muruga Sankaran, and their maidservant were hacked to death on Tuesday, said the police.
 
A DMK member, Maheswari was elected the first female Mayor of Tirunelveli in 1996. 
 
According to the police, some unidentified persons came to Maheswari's house in the evening and committed the crime.
 
IANS
 

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Double for Sohil Shah in MRF F1600,Maiden ITC win for Ishaan Dodhiwala

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Bengaluru schoolboy Sohil Shah completed a fine double in the premier MRF F1600 category as the third round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Car Racing Championship drew to a close at the MMRT here today.
 
Elsewhere, VW Motorsport’s Ishaan Dodhiwala from Hyderabad notched his maiden win in the Indian Touring Cars (ITC) class after his team-mate Karthik Tharani was disqualified for a couple of infringements and subsequently banned for one race, while Bengaluru’s Rithvik Thomas (Race Concepts) chalked up his third win of the season in the Super Stock category.
 
Other winners of the day were Viswas Vijayaraj (DTS Racing) in the Formula LGB 1300 race and Mumbai’s Saurav Bandyopadhyay who took the honours in the Volkswagen Ameo Class.
 
The saloon car race was fiery with Tharani being disqualified for his violations. The stewards subsequently slapped a one-race ban which will take effect for the next round of the championship scheduled for August 16-18. Consequent to the disqualification, team-mate Dodhiwala was declared winner followed by Nikanth Ram (ARKA Motorsports) and Arjun Balu (Race Concepts).
 
The stewards, following the post-ITC race hearing with Tharani, ruled: “The competitor was called to give the explanation as to why he ignored the ‘drive through’ penalty board for five laps and ignored the ‘black flag’ for the remaining three laps of the race.
 
“In view of the fact that the competitor is a highly experienced driver and he is also a driver-trainer, the Stewards were of the opinion that exemplary sanctions should be imposed on this driver and a sentence of not being permitted a start in the next race of this championship (One race only).”
 
Ireland’s Lucca Allen completed a double by winning both the Formula 4 SEA races to make up for disappointing outings in yesterday’s double-header.
 
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BHEL bags order for reactor side equipment of Kudankulam Units 3&4

Logo of BHEL.
Logo of BHEL.
The public sector Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) today said it had secured an order for erection work of reactor side equipment of 2x1000 MWe (Units 3&4) Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project in Tamil Nadu, being set up in cooperation with Russia.
 
Valued at Rs. 486 crore, the order has been placed on BHEL by Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL), a press release from the company said.
 
For the same project, BHEL had earlier secured an order for erection work of Turbine Generator (TG) island. BHEL has also successfully executed the erection work of TG island for Units 1&2 at Kudankulam.
 
This is the first time BHEL is lending its capabilities for erection of reactor side equipment manufactured by another supplier. With this, the company has expanded its footprint in the nuclear sector, the release said.
 
"BHEL is an established EPC leader for both thermal and nuclear power projects. 12 out of 18 operating Pressurized Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) in the country are equipped with BHEL-supplied steam turbine generator sets, accounting for 74% of the installed capacity. BHEL is also currently executing turbine generator packages for 4 units of 700 MWe, 2 units each at Kakrapar and Rawatbhata," the release added.
 
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MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Car Racing Championship from Friday

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With a clutch of innovative initiatives on the horizon, the third round of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Car Racing Championship gets underway at the MMRT here on Friday,  featuring 14 races.
 
The programme includes races in the two single-seater categories, the MRF F1600 and the Formula LGB 1300, besides the popular saloon cars – the premium Indian Touring Cars and Super Stock classes – and the Volkswagen Ameo Class which has been accorded National Championship status. Running concurrently will be four Formula 4 SEA races.
 
While even as the National Championship season is in full swing, promoters Madras Motor Sports Club are planning to initiate a slew of long-term plans that include night racing, the first of its kind in India.
 
Taking an overview of this weekend’s races, Chairman of the Championship Vicky Chandhok said: “We are offering a racing menu with variety this weekend. Beginning with the junior level Formula LGB 1300 leading up to the MRF F1600 which is the first step towards Formula racing, besides of course the saloon cars. We will see a galaxy of foreign and Indian racers this unique weekend when MMSC hosts both international and National racing championship at our very own circuit. So, plenty of action for sure.
 
“Going forward, we at the MMSC, in keeping with our efforts to move with the changing times, plan to introduce night events with racing under lights. With a view to evaluate the possibilities of night racing, we have planned a test session on Wednesday, August 7, from 18:00 hrs. to 23:00 hrs  
 
Primarily, this first session will be only for saloons with headlights mandatory. Depending on the testing, we will expand it to the 1300cc single-seater cars as well. 
 
Further, for the next round (August 16-18), we plan to run the races in anti-clockwise direction. The response, thus far, has been tremendous.”
 
The MRF F1600, a proven platform for young aspirants looking to break into international arena, will be running to full grid with four races scheduled, while the Formula LGB 1300, an excellent option for those graduating to single-seater racing, has again attracted 20-plus entries.
 
The two categories in the saloon cars, ITC and Super Stock, will be run on combined grid, and as in the previous round in Coimbatore last month, competition is expected to fierce with the factory-supported turbo-powered Volkswagen Vento cars likely to extend their domination.
 
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Saravana Bhavan owner dies in Chennai hospital

P Rajagoptal (Photo: IANS)
P Rajagoptal (Photo: IANS)
The founder of the Saravana Bhavan chain of South Indian restaurants P. Rajagopal, who surrendered last week to serve a life term for a murder committed decades back, died here on Thursday morning in a private hospital, police said.
 
The 71-year-old, dubbed the "Dosa King", was shifted to a private hospital here on Tuesday on the orders of Madras High Court from government Stanley Hospital where he was being treated in the prison ward.
 
Rajagopal had arrived in an ambulance with an oxygen mask strapped to his face after the Supreme Court turned down his request to delay his sentence on medical grounds. 
 
Sentenced to life term for the murder of his employee, Prince Santhakumar, Rajagopal surrendered before a court here on July 9 after the apex court dismissed his petition, seeking more time for surrender.
 
Sent to prison, he was admitted to the government hospital later the same day after complaining of giddiness.
 
Rajagopal had also sought that he be exempted from being sent to jail and his hospitalisation be treated as a deemed jail term. The court had refused the plea.
 
The case that goes back to the 1990s, had attracted considerable attention both in India and abroad. 
 
Rajagopal allegedly wanted to marry a woman, on the advice of his astrologer.
 
At the time, Rajagopal had two wives and the young woman, then in her twenties, rejected him. She married Santakumar in 1999. The prosecution told the court Rajagopal threatened the couple in 2001 and demanded they end the marriage.
 
Days after the couple went to the police, Santhakumar was kidnapped and killed. His body was found in the forests.
 
The founder of the restaurant chain popular in the country and overseas, Rajagopal was sentenced by a sessions court to a 10-year jail term on charges of killing Santhakumar.
 
He had appealed in the Madras High Court, but it upheld his conviction while enhancing the sentence to life imprisonment. The conviction and sentence were upheld by the apex court in March and he was supposed to surrender on July 7 to begin his term.
 
He moved the apex court to delay the beginning of his term, citing ill health, but got no relief from it.
 
IANS

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A R Rahman returns with Vikram's next

A R Rahman  (File photo: IANS)
A R Rahman (File photo: IANS)
Music maestro A R Rahman returns as a composer with Tamil superstar Vikram's next film, currently known by its working title as "Vikram 58".
 
The makers released a special poster on Saturday welcoming Rahman on board for the project, to be directed by Ajay Gnanamuthu. Vikram is collaborating with Ajay for the first time with this film.
 
The project is slated to go on the floors in August and the makers plan to release it in April 2020.
 
The film aims to capture a pan-Indian market, catering to not just Vikram's huge Tamil fan base, but also to the Hindi and Telugu audience. Produced on a massive scale in association with Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, the project will include several big-ticket names in its cast and crew.
 
A first-look poster was unveiled in May, and while most details about the project are being kept under wraps, the buzz is that Vikram plays a photographer in the film.
 
The actor currently awaits the release of the Tamil action thriller "Kadaram Kondan" and he also has a project with Mani Ratnam lined up.
 
In a recent media interaction, Vikram confirmed signing Ratnam's next, a film adaptation of the Tamil epic novel, "Ponniyin Selvan".
 
IANS
 

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Special water train to reach Chennai on Friday

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A special 50-wagon train carrying water from Tamil Nadu's Vellore district will reach Chennai on Friday afternoon, a Southern Railway official said.
 
According to the official, each wagon has capacity of 50,000 litres of water. 
 
The train was flagged off from the Jolarpettai station in the morning.
 
State Ministers were likely to be present at the inauguration of the unloading of the water at Villivakkam station here.
 
Earlier, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami had announced the state government's plans to transport 10 million litres of water daily by rail from Jolarpettai to meet the needs of parched Chennai.
 
He said a sum of Rs 65 crore had been allocated for this purpose.
 
Currently the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (Chennai Metro Water) is supplying about 525 million litres per day (MLD) in the state capital. The water from Jolarpettai will augment the existing supply.
 
While the Cholavaram (full capacity 1,081 mcft) and Redhills (full capacity 3,300 mcft) reservoirs and Chembarambakkam lake (full capacity 3,645 mcft) that supply water to Chennai have run dry, 16 mcft water is left in the Poondi reservoir (against a full capacity of 3,231 mcft), according to Chennai Metro Water.
 
IANS

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Kovind to visit Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh from July 12-15

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President Ram Nath Kovind will be on a four-day visit to Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh from today.
 
Tomorrow, the President will present LL.D. (Honoris Causa) degrees to Justice (Retd) P. Sathasivam, former Chief Justice of India, and currently Governor of Kerala; Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde, Judge of the Supreme Court of India; and Justice Vijaya Kamlesh Tahilramani, Chief Justice of the Madras High Court, at a special convocation of the Tamil Nadu Dr Ambedkar Law University in Chennai. 
 
On July 14-15, the President will visit the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh and witness the launch of Chandrayaan-2 lunar mission being undertaken by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), an official press release added.
 
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Saravana Bhavan owner Rajagopal surrenders, sent to jail

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Saravana Bhavan restaurant chain owner P. Rajagopal, who has been convicted and sentenced to a life term in a murder case, was finally lodged in jail on Tuesday after he surrendered before a court in Chennai.
 
Rajagopal surrendered hours after the Supreme Court refused to give time for him to surrender in the case of the murder of his employee, Prince Santhakumar.
 
He came to the Additional Sessions Judge's court here in an ambulance with an oxygen mask fixed and appeared before the judge in a wheelchair.
 
Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court refused to grant any relief to Rajagopal, who sought extension of time to surrender citing medical grounds.
 
The apex court queried Rajagopal's counsel that if he was so ill, then why did he not mention his illness during the hearings, while declining any relief to him.
 
Rajagopal, 71, also sought that he be exempted from being sent to jail and his hospitalisation be treated as a deemed jail term. The court did not agree.
 
Rajagopal, founder of the restaurant chain popular in the country and overseas, was sentenced by a sessions court to a 10-year jail term on charges of killing Santhakumar, whose wife he wanted to make his third wife. 
 
When the woman refused the proposal, he ordered her husband killed.
 
He appealed in the Madras High Court, but it upheld his conviction while enhancing the sentence to a life imprisonment. The conviction and sentence were upheld by the apex court in March and he was supposed to surrender on July 7 to begin his term.
 
He moved the apex court on Monday to delay the beginning of his term on July 7, citing ill health.
 
IANS
 

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RS nominations of MDMK's Vaiko, six others accepted

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The suspense over MDMK General Secretary Vaiko's candidature for the July 18 Rajya Sabha election in Tamil Nadu ended on Tuesday as his nominations were accepted.
 
Some doubts were raised about the acceptance of his nomination papers as Vaiko was recently sentenced to a one-year jail term by a special court here in a sedition case.
 
An ally of DMK in the recently-concluded Lok Sabha polls, the MDMK was allotted one Rajya Sabha seat as a part of the alliance agreement.
 
According to a statement issued by K. Srinivasan, Returning Officer and Assembly Secretary, a total of seven nominations were accepted and four were rejected.
 
As there were apprehensions about his nomination not being accepted, Vaiko had asked DMK President M. K. Stalin to field an alternate candidate from his party.
 
Accordingly, N. R. Elango of the DMK had also filed his nomination which was also accepted. He is likely to withdraw from the race.
 
The other contestants are: M. Shanmugham and P. Wilson (both DMK), A. Mohammed John and N. Chandrasekaran (both AIADMK) and Anbumani Ramadoss of PMK.
 
The AIADMK has 123 MLAs in the 234-member Tamil Nadu Assembly, while the DMK has a strength of 101. DMK ally Congress has seven MLAs, there is one Independent member, while two seats are vacant.
 
The elections are being held to fill up the vacancies caused by the retirement of five Rajya Sabha members -- T. Rathinavel, V. Maitreyan, K. B. Arjunan, R. Lakshmanan (all AIADMK), and D. Raja (CPI) -- and the resignation of DMK's Kanimozhi following her win in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
 
IANS

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