HIGHLIGHTS AT 12.30 PM

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New Delhi, Feb 22 (PTI) These are the top stories at 12.30 pm: NATION MDS10 PD-NARAYANASAMY-RESIGN Puducherry CM Narayanasamy and ruling Congress-DMK MLAs resign Puducherry: Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy and his cabinet colleagues besides ruling side MLAs in the Union Territory resigned on Monday after the government lost the confidence vote sought by him in the face of its depleted strength of 11 against the opposition's 14 in the House.

DEL 15 PM-DEF-BUDGET India committed to enhancing capabilities in defence manufacturing: PM New Delhi: India had an age-old experience in making arms and military equipment but after Independence this capacity was not strengthened, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday, asserting that now the country is committed to enhancing its capabilities in defence manufacturing at a fast pace.

DEL9 VIRUS-LD CASES COVID-19: Active coronavirus cases surge to 1,50,055 New Delhi: India's total tally of COVID-19 cases surpassed 1.10 crore with 14,199 new infections being reported in a day, while active cases registered an increase for the fifth consecutive day, according to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Monday.

BOM4 MH-HC-VARAVARA RAO-BAIL Elgar case: Varavara Rao gets interim bail for 6 months Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Monday granted interim bail for six months to ailing poet Varavara Rao on medical grounds.

CAL2 WB-CBI-COAL-RUJIRA Rujira responds to CBI notice, asks team to visit residence on Tuesday Kolkata: Rujira Banerjee, the wife of TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee, Monday responded to the CBI's summons in the alleged coal pilferage scam and asked the central agency to send its team to her residence for examination on Tuesday, officials said.

LGD3 SC-AMAZON SC notice to Future Retail, others on Amazon's plea New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday sought responses from Future Retail Ltd and others on Amazon's plea against the Delhi High Court direction to maintain status quo on the Future-Reliance deal.

DES9 UP-LD-BUDGET Rs 5,50,270 cr UP budget presented in Assembly to make state 'atmanirbhar' Lucknow: With a target of making Uttar Pradesh 'atmanirbhar', the Yogi Adityanath government on Monday presented a Rs 5,50,270.78 crore budget for 2021-22 in the state Assembly.

FOREIGN FGN12 CHINA-LD US China asks US to stop 'smearing' CPC, halt support to 'separatist forces' in Tibet, HK, Xinjiang Beijing: China on Monday urged the US to stop 'smearing' the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) and it’s one-party political system, lift sanctions on trade and halt Washington’s backing of 'separatist forces” in Taiwan, Tibet, Hong Kong and Xinjiang. By K J M Varma SNE