Heat wave sweeps across India

Heat wave sweeps across India New Delhi  - Intense heat wave conditions persisted in large parts of northern, eastern and western India Thursday with temperatures shooting up to 47 degrees Centigrade in some places in the western state of Maharashtra.

At least two persons died in the eastern state of Orissa over the past 24 hours, raising the heat wave toll in the state over the past month to 67, IANS news agency reported.

The mercury has hovered around 45 degrees Centigrade in Orissa for over a week.

New chief for Western Naval Command

 New chief for Western Naval CommandMumbai, Apr 30 : Vice Admiral Sanjeev Bhasin on Thursday took over as the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Western Naval Command from Vice Admiral Jagjit Singh Bedi.

Bedi retired on Thursday after serving 40 years in the navy.

An alumnus of the National Defence Academy, Vice Admiral Bhasin was commissioned into the executive branch of the Indian Navy in January 1972 and obtained expertise in navigation and aircraft direction.

He has served as the commanding officer of the INS Khukri, INS Mumbai and INS Ranjit.

SU-30 MK-I crashes in Rajasthan, pilot killed

SU-30 MK-I crashes in Rajasthan, pilot killedNew Delhi, Apr 30 : A SU-30 MK-I aircraft of the Indian Air Force on a routine training mission crashed 70 kms southeast of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan, today.

The aircraft had taken off from aircraft had taken off from the Lohegaon air base in Pune.

"The crash took place around 10:30 a. m. Both the pilots ejected out of the aircraft. While Wing Commander SV Munje survived the crash, Wing Commander PS Nara succumbed to his injuries," the IAF said in a statement released today.

Yediyurappa confident of BJP winning minimum 8-9 seats in Karnataka

 Yediyurappa confident of BJP winning minimum 8-9 seats in KarnatakaBangalore, Apr 30 : Karnataka Chief Minister B. S. Yediyurappa came with his son, who is contesting elections for the BJP, to cast his vote on Thursday.

Sounding confident of emerging victorious in the polls, Yediyurappa said, "Out of 11 Lok Sabha constituencies, we are going to win minimum 8-9 seats."

Yediyurappa''s son BY Raghvendra is contesting from Shimoga seat.

Polling is being held in 11 Lok Sabha constituencies in Karnataka.

Advani casts his vote in Gandhinagar

 Advani casts his vote in GandhinagarGandhinagar (Gujarat), Apr 30 : Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Lal Krishna Advani cast his vote in Gandhinagar on Thursday.

"The NDA will emerge as the largest coalition in the country. The people will vote for the NDA only," Advani said after casting his vote.

Advani will be seeking a fifth term from Gandhinagar after his victory from this constituency in 1991, 1998, 1999 and 2004.

Kashmiris defy boycott calls to cast their votes

Anantnag, Apr 30 : Defying the boycott call by the separatist faction of Hurriyat led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, residents came out in large numbers to cast their votes in Kashmir on Thursday.

While Srinagar wore a deserted look, in Anantnag residents thronged the polling booths from early morning to cast their votes with hopes of electing a government that would deliver on its promises.

"We want to elect a candidate who will help us and work for the upliftment and development of our region," said Umer Majeed, one of the early voters.

The separatists have called for a 50-hour shutdown in the valley, against the polls.

This is not the first time the separatists have given a call for poll boycott in Kashmir.