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New Delhi, Mar 18 (PTI) Following are the top stories at 5 PM: NATION: DEL7 VIRUS-LD CASES India adds 35,871 fresh COVID-19 cases, biggest single-day jump in 102 days New Delhi: India on Thursday recorded 35,871 new COVID-19 cases, the highest single-day rise in over 100 days, which took the infection tally to 1,14,74,605, according to Union health ministry data.

DEL32 PM-FARMER-LETTER Continuous efforts being made to remove impediment in farmers' journey from 'seed to market': PM New Delhi: Continuous efforts are being made to remove every small and big impediment in the way of farmers' journey from 'seed to market' and to ensure the progress of agriculture, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has told a farmer from Uttarakhand in a letter.

CAL13 WB-PM-RALLY Mamata's appeasement politics behind infiltration: Modi Purulia: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday attacked West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for pursuing 'appeasement and vote bank politics' which were responsible for infiltration.

DEL12 INDIA-KUWAIT-TALKS EAM Jaishankar holds talks with Kuwaiti counterpart New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday held wide-ranging talks with his Kuwaiti counterpart Sheikh Ahmed Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah to elevate bilateral relations.

PAR6 RS-QUESTIONS-TWITTER-PRASAD Any attempt to create 'imperialism of internet' by few companies unacceptable: Ravi Shankar Prasad New Delhi: Union Communications and Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Thursday told Rajya Sabha that any attempt to create 'imperialism of internet' by a few companies would not be tolerated. PAR10 LS-GADKARI-2NDLD VEHICLE POLICY Vehicle scrapping policy will be 'win-win' policy; to reduce pollution: Gadkari New Delhi: Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday said the vehicle scrapping policy will be a 'win-win' policy that will help improve fuel efficiency and reduce pollution.

DEL15 RSQ-LAW-AIJS Govt bats for All India Judicial Service New Delhi: A 'properly framed' All India Judicial Service (AIJS) on the lines of other all-India services such as IAS and IPS is important to strengthen the overall justice delivery system, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

DEL34 DL-VIRUS-KEJRIWAL Number of people vaccinated in Delhi each day to be raised from 40,000 to 1.25 lakh: Kejriwal New Delhi: Asserting that the recent rise in COVID-19 cases in the national capital was not a cause of worry, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday announced the number of people vaccinated in Delhi each day will be raised from around 40,000 to 1.25 lakh.

MDS5 KL-POLL-SUDHAKARAN Not to contest against Kerala CM, says K Sudhakaran Kannur: In a setback to the Congress in Kerala, senior party leader K Sudhakaran on Thursday said he would not contest against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in Dharmadom constituency in northern Kannur district.

CAL2 WB-POLL-ISF-CANDIDATES Bengal polls: ISF fields candidates from across religions, castes Kolkata: The ISF, led by Furfura Sharif's influential cleric Abbas Siddiqui, has fielded candidates cutting across religions and castes for the West Bengal assembly elections, in a bid to prove its secular credentials.

LEGAL: LGD2 SC-ELECTORAL BONDS SC to hear on Mar 24 plea against opening of window for sale of electoral bonds New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear on March 24 a fresh plea seeking a direction to the Centre and others to not open any further window for sale of electoral bonds during pendency of a PIL pertaining to funding of political parties and alleged lack of transparency in their accounts.

LGD11 DL-COURT-PUSHKAR No definite opinion on cause of Sunanda's death, Tharoor tells court; seeks discharge New Delhi: Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, accused in a case related to his wife Sunanda Pushkar's death, has told a Delhi court that he should be discharged as various investigations have been conducted by experts but they have not given a 'definite opinion on the cause of death'.

LGD1 DL-HC-ELECTION-MASK COVID-19: Plea in HC to direct Centre, EC to debar candidates canvassing without masks for polls New Delhi: A plea has been filed in the Delhi High Court seeking direction to the Centre and Election Commission to debar campaigners and candidates from canvassing either permanently or for a stipulated time if they repeatedly violate the mandatory masking guidelines issued by the poll panel in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

FOREIGN: FGN14 VIRUS-UN-INDIA India expected to register largest increase in child and maternal deaths in South Asia in 2020 amid COVID-19 disruptions: UN United Nations: India is projected to register the greatest increase in the number of deaths among children under 5 in South Asia in 2020 as well as the highest number of maternal deaths as the COVID-19 pandemic disrupts the country's health services, a UN report has said. By Yoshita Singh FGN13 US-SENATOR-LD INDIA Top US Senator urges Defence Secy to discuss India's plan to buy Russian S-400 system and rights issues during visit Washington: An top American Senator has urged US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin to take up with the Indian leaders the issue of India's plan to purchase Russian S-400 missile defence system and concerns on human rights issues during his visit to New Delhi this week. By Lalit K Jha PTI TDS TDS