|N A T I O N|
No need to amend
SC to hear plea on stay of
|Cong split spreading to Vidarbha
NAGPUR, May 22 The split in the state Congress following the expulsion of the Sharad Pawar appears to be spreading to Vidarbha, with two members of the dissolved Lok Sabha, who hail from the region, resigning from primary membership of the party.
Delhi beats other metros
Bihar Congress supports Sonia
Police bias behind riots: report
Kids pressed into service to press
Patients death: docs told to
Give more tickets to women: NCW
Gamang should step
Eating machine from
No need to amend Constitution: Basu
NEW DELHI, May 22 (PTI) West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu is not against Congress President Sonia Gandhi occupying any of the three high posts in the country and has said there is no need to amend the Constitution to prevent persons of foreign origin from holding such posts.
"I don't think that there is any need after 50 years of independence to change the Constitution and restrict the rights of the citizen in any manner. Why should one be afraid if Sonia becomes ... She is an Indian citizen for long years now ... Why should one be afraid that she will build a Holy Roman empire. I don't understand at all", Mr Basu told Zee News in London.
He refused to be drawn into the controversy relating to the expulsion of the three Congress rebels, saying it was an internal matter of the Congress but expressed surprise that Mr Sharad Pawar had objected to Mrs Sonia Gandhi's candidature for the Prime Minister's post.
"When I was there
(in India), he (Pawar) was all for Mrs Sonia Gandhi. They
all unanimously in the Working Committee decided that she
would become the Prime Minister ... Now he wants the
Constitution to be amended," Mr Basu said in an
apparent dig at the Maratha leader.
Rajiv assassination case
NEW DELHI, May 22 (UNI) The Supreme Court will hear on Monday a petition, seeking stay of the execution of the four convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, fixed for June 9 after the confirmation by the apex court of the capital punishment awarded to them by a Chennai Special Court.
The petition is listed before a Vacation Bench Comprising Mrs Justice Sujata V Manohar and Mr Justice S B Majmudar.
The petition was filed on May 21 on behalf of the four condemned prisoners Santhan, S Nalini, her husband Murugan and Arivu by their advocate V Ramasubramanian.
The death sentence awarded to the four accused by the special court was upheld on May 11 by the apex court by a majority of two to one when the court also set aside the conviction of 19 accused on the conspiracy charge and commuted into life imprisonment the sentence of death in case of the remaining three. The Supreme Court Bench comprised Mr Justice K T Thomas, Mr Justice D P Wadhwa and Mr Justice S S M Quadri.
The special court had awarded death sentence to all 26 accused brought before it for trial after convicting them for the offence of conspiracy to kill the former Prime Minister as also under the provisions of the TADA.
It has been contended in the petition that the special court had fixed the hanging of the condemned prisoners on June 9 without even granting them an opportunity of seeking a review of the apex court judgement within the statutory period of 30 days.
It has been prayed in
the petition that the execution should be stayed till the
third week of July when the court reopens after the
summer vacation or till the hearing of the review
petition yet to be filed.
Plan to check N-E infiltration : PM
AIZAWL, May 22 (PTI) The government is considering proposals to set up more checkposts, besides fencing the borders with Myanmar and Bangladesh to check infiltration of foreign nationals in the North-East which is faced with the insurgency problem, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee said today.
He also asserted that his government was committed to secularism and any effort to disrupt harmony among various ethnic and religious groups would be dealt with sternly.
The government was keeping a vigil to ensure that all ethnic and religious groups in the country were treated equally, he told a reception at the Zemabawk helipad here.
Later he told the media that the Union Home Ministry would soon formulate a plan to effectively check infiltration of foreign nationals in the North-East.
Proposals for more checkposts along Mizoram borders with Myanmar and Bangladesh and fencing on the international borders are under active consideration of the Home Ministry, he said.
He however, added that the Governments of India and Bangladesh were trying to increase the volume of border trade.
To a question, he said his government was trying to evolve a consensus on the issue of India signing the comprehensive test ban treaty (CTBT).
On whether his government would sign the CTBT before the September dateline, Mr Vajpayee said the government was seeking a consensus on the issue.
Referring to the development of the state, he announced a package of Rs 20 crore for several central assistance schemes, including communication and power projects, and an industrial growth centre.
The process for establishment of a central university in Mizoram was also in an advanced stage, he said.
The Union Government would help the state administration in implementing the recommendations of the Fifth Pay Commission and also meeting security expenses of the state, he said.
welcomed Mr Vajpayee with the traditional Mizo dance and
song. The Opposition Congress, which boycotted the Prime
Ministers maiden visit, displayed banners which
read Go back Vajpayee and Down with
Cong split spreading to Vidarbha
NAGPUR, May 22 (PTI) The split in the state Congress following the expulsion of the Sharad Pawar appears to be spreading to Vidarbha, with two members of the dissolved Lok Sabha, who hail from the region, resigning from primary membership of the party.
While former Chief Minister Sudhakarrao Naik and Mr Datta Meghe have submitted their resignations, Mr Praful Patel, another member of the 12th Lok Sabha who belongs to Gondia, has remained silent on both issues of Mrs Sonia Gandhis foreign origin and Mr Pawars expulsion.
The Pawar faction is hopeful of roping in Mr Patel, considered to be loyal to the expelled leader.
The split in Vidarbha,
distant from Mr Pawars stronghold of western
Maharashtra, appeared to have an impact on the
partys poll ally, the Republican Party of India,
with two of its leaders expressing divergent views.
Delhi beats other metros in vehicles
NEW DELHI, May 22 (PTI) Delhi roads have more vehicles than the other three metros put together with the number going up steadily, Delhi Lt Governor Vijai Kapoor said yesterday. He said engineers must come up with innovative ideas to cater to the increasing demands on the road system since a higher number of vehicles puts extra pressure on the surface transport.
Addressing a two-day national seminar on "Innovations in bridge engineering", he said emphasis was being laid on the widening of roads, improvement of junctions, providing improved type riding surface, construction of pedestrian subways besides grade spectators.
He said construction work on mass rapid transit system (MRTS) project was being speeded up to ease the pressure on roads.
Bihar Congress supports Sonia
PATNA, May 22 (UNI) Bihar Pradesh Congress Executive Committee today expressed solidarity with the leadership of party President Sonia Gandhi and urged her to continue in the post.
Police bias behind riots: report
NEW DELHI, May 22 (UNI) Lack of political will for taking timely action, inefficiency and communal bias of subordinate rank police officials were responsible for the rising number of communal riots in the country in the post-independence era, according to participants at a symposium on law enforcement.
The symposium on Role of Law Enforcing Machinery During Communal Riot was organised by the Institute of Social Sciences here today. The participants comprised representatives of the minority communities, social activists and police officials, both serving and retired.
They held the political parties responsible for instigating communal tension for vote bank politics. The police lacked professional skills in dealing with the situation and their connivance with local politicians resulted in increasing number of riots.
Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) Tahir Mahmood said though inquiries were ordered promptly into the riots and reports submitted, these were rarely accepted and implemented. He demanded a mechanism for ensuring implementation of the recommendations forwarded by the NCM and other organisations to curb communal violence in the country.
Presiding over the symposium, Mr Shanker Sen, adviser to the National Human Rights Commission and former Director General of National Police Academy, regretted that communal riots were occurring with disturbing frequency in the post-independence era and have become more sinister, vicious organised and diabolical.
Mr Ved Marwah, former Delhi Police Commissioner and a crusader for police reforms, said political motivation was the basic cause of communal riots and all parties use communal tension to further their own interests, regretting that even subordinate level police officials get influenced by communal propaganda. He said proper training was required to change such attitudes.
Linkages between higher police officials and the political leadership, who influence the formers decisions while dealing with riots and lack of motivation to take preventive measures against communal violence were the other reasons, Mr Marwah cited.
Mr Padam Rosha, former
police chief of Jammu and Kashmir and Haryana, stressed
the need for the police to maintain its impartiality and
said impartial and determined police officers backed by
political will have shown that communal disturbances
could be effectively curbed within a few hours, if not
Kids pressed into service to
NEW DELHI, May 22 Several hundred children raising slogans Sonia aunty vapas aao today converged outside the 10, Janpath residence of the Congress President.
The children, including tiny tots, and teenagers, were taken to the venue by enterprising Congress leaders from Delhi and Uttar Pradesh who felt that the presence of children would have an emotional impact on their leader and force her to take back her resignation.
Pandit Nehru loved children and I am sure that Mrs Sonia Gandhi, too, would consider the pleas of the children, the Congress MLA from Hauz Khas, Mrs Kiran Walia, said.
Carrying placards and raising slogans the children were pleased at the prospect of meeting Sonia aunty. Hum Sonia aunty ko kahenge ki aap apna istifa vapas lein, explained young Rajesh Kumar, a student of Meerut Public School.
Late last night, those who were sitting on an indefinite fast were requested to break it. At about 12.30 am, Mr Ahmed Patel told us that Mrs Sonia Gandhi was worried about our deteriorating health. He requested us to break our fast, said the Indian Youth Congress General Secretary, Ms Shobha Oza.
A former MP from Faridabad, Mr Avtar Singh Bhadana, however, said that he had not decided to break his indefinite fast and will sit on fast till such time Mrs Sonia Gandhi does not take back her resignation.
An MLA from Andhra Pradesh, Ms Komireddi Jyothi Devi, was today shifted to a city hospital following deterioration in her health. Also two IYC activists have been shifted to AIIMS after their health deteriorated.
Dr Omesh Saroha, who was
on duty near the 24, Akbar Road Congress headquarters,
said that those Congress workers who were on fast were
most affected. Besides dehydration, they were
suffering from blood pressure problem, headache and heat
stroke, he said.
Patients death: docs told to face trial
CALCUTTA, May 21 (UNI) The Calcutta High Court today directed two eminent city doctors to surrender before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Alipore, within three weeks and face trial in a case where their alleged negligence had caused the death of a patient.
Dr Anuradha Saha, an NIR, died at Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai after she reacted to the steroids she had been given.
A relative had filed a petition, alleging that all three doctors had been negligent and gave her steroids without proper diagnosis.
Give more tickets to women: NCW
NEW DELHI, May 22 (UNI) The National Commission for Women (NCW) has recommended to the Election Commission to link recognition for political parties to their giving more tickets to women candidates.
In a memorandum to Chief Election Commissioner M.S. Gill during a meeting here yesterday, commission chairperson Vibha Parthasarthi said the Election Commission needed to take some concrete steps to enable women to find space in the political decision-making process of the country.
Among these, the NCW suggested that political parties be asked to allot more tickets to women and their recognition by the Election Commission should somehow be linked to this condition.
Also, to enable women to contest elections, a realistic ceiling should be placed on the election expenditure.
A code of conduct should be enforced to disallow candidates with criminal records to contest elections, the NCW suggested. Also, in view of the violence that generally prevailed during electioneering, women candidates should be given special police protection, it added.
Besides members of the
NCW, representatives of various womens groups,
including the All-India Womens Conference, the
Joint Womens Programme, the Mahila Dakshata Samiti,
the YWCA and the National Alliance of Women, met members
of the Election Commission.
Gamang should step down
BHUBANESWAR, May 22 (UNI) Orissa BJP legislature party leader Biswa Bhusan Harichandan today demanded that Chief Minister Giridhar Gamang should step down in the greater interest of the state.
Mr Harichandan told reporters here that the greatest achievement of the Gamang government was that it stayed for 100 days.
He alleged that the Chief Minister had no control over his administration and was incapable of taking any decision owing to instability in the government. There had been a lack of coordination between ministers and secretaries, and development programmes in the state had come to a halt.
Referring to the resignation of the Chief Minister, the BJP leader said instead of handing over the resignation to Ms Sonia Gandhi, Mr Gamang should have sent his resignation to the Governor.
He described as farce and high drama the resignations of Mr Gamang, the pradesh Congress chiefs, ministers and office-bearers in the state, and as an image-building exercise for Ms Gandhi.
It was most unfortunate that the Chief Minister and the Congress leaders in the state had shown loyalty to Ms Gandhi instead of the people and the country. The demonstration and dharna by senior Congress leaders and ministers at the Congress Bhavan here in support of Ms Gandhi was shameful. Their action had lowered the prestige and dignity of the state, the BJP leader remarked.
Eating machine from Thrissur
THRISSUR, May 22 (ANI) He has a record of eating 700 idlis in four hours in an eating competition. His normal daily diet includes 75 idlis or dosas in breakfast and 5 kg of rice with curry or a dozen of bananas in lunch and dinner.
Meet Rapai, or Theeti Rapai, as he is popularly known for his king-size build.
The pot-bellied man, apart from his extraordinary eating habits, is also popular for his friendly nature. Even as a child, his huge build amazed everybody. He used to consume bottles of milk every day to the wonder of his friends and neighbours. His elephantine appetite ill suited the limited means of his poor parents, and his father, Kurien, named him Rapai.
For a person who could not have proper education due to his humble background, Rapai now serves as an attraction for visiting tourists, who marvel at his ability.
Five doctors have taken a keen interest in his eating habits, and in order to find out the medical reasons for this unusual habit, they provide him with a daily breakfast of 75 idlis or dosas and also give him medical care. In return Rapai helps them by doing odd jobs like remitting electricity and telephone bills and depositing money in the bank.
The man with an elephant walk, trademark white dhoti, khaki shirt and an umbrella is a familiar sight for the people of Thrissur.
Rapai has won many eating competitions and has made lakhs of rupees from them. Even at the age of 59, he is ready to accept any challenge. In fact his record of consuming 200 parathas and three buckets of sambar still remains intact.
However doctors have
advised him to ease down his habits, as they say that due
to his heavy body, he can suffer from arthritis. Even now
wherever he goes people throng to see him eat, but he
obliges only if they are ready to pay the heavy bills.
|PWG militants kill
PATNA: Extremists of the Peoples War Group (PWG) shot dead a former Sarpanch Banwari Sharma at Poraiya village in Patna district on Friday, the police said. Nearly 20 PWG extremists, armed with sophisticated weapons, raided the house of Mr Sharma and killed him. PTI
Cop hurt in bomb attack
gunner for rape
pass opened to tourists
3 killed in
ammonia gas leakage
Bal Kendras to
be opened in tribal areas
call off strike
teachers' colleges exams
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