|Wednesday, February 9, 2000,
India cool to Pak offer
NDA manifesto promises
I vetoed Kargil-type operation:
Remarks on Almatti: SC discharges
President releases T.N.
4-cornered contest in
Respite for Chadha
Harsh Budget likely
India, Indonesia for deeper ties
Advanis clean chit to Naveen
HCs can cancel bail: SC
Life term for 6 in Leelavathi case
India cool to Pak offer
NEW DELHI, Feb 8 (PTI, UNI) India today sought to downplay Pakistan military ruler General Pervez Musharrafs offer to meet Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, asserting there was no change in New Delhis stand for the resumption of dialogue with Islamabad.
India has maintained that Pakistan has to create the right atmosphere which included the cessation of cross-border terrorism and stopping of hostile propaganda against India for holding any meaningful dialogue with it.
"There was nothing new in what he said," a foreign office spokesman told reporters when asked about General Musharrafs direct offer made in an interview telecast on Doordarshan last night.
"On all points raised in the interview, we have said what we have to say from time to time. There is no change in our position," the spokesman said.
New Delhis cool response clearly indicated that Mr Vajpayee was in no hurry to meet General Musharraf.
Last year, following the then Pakistani premier Nawaz Sharif expressing his desire to meet Mr Vajpayee in an interview to a leading English Indian daily, India had given a quick positive response with Prime Minister shortly thereafter embarking on the historic bus journey to Lahore. The Vajpayee-Sharif meeting had resulted in the Lahore declaration.
However, months later, Pakistans intrusion in Kargil had shattered the trust and confidence, making India wary of Pakistani overtures for having the dialogue, officials said.
Meanwhile refuting the assertion of General Musharaff that the taped conversations with his deputy General Mohammed Aziz on the Kargil conflict were doctored, India today said "it is authentic.
Reacting to General Mushharaffs comments in an interview to the Doordarshan last night, a ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesman said: "It is authentic. The tapes were played in the presence of external Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh to the media.
NDA manifesto promises new Bihar
PATNA, Feb 8 (UNI) The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) today promised that it would announce a new industrial policy within six months and expedite early trial of corruption cases, if it was voted to power.
In its common election manifesto, which was released here, the alliance reiterated its commitment to improve law and order and said transparency in the government departments would be maintained to end corruption and responsibility fixed for any corrupt practices.
The manifesto promised that roads connecting all villages would be developed within one year of the alliance coming to power and power sector spruced up for self-sufficiency within a record time. The new industrial policy would focus on better opportunity for the new entrepreneurs and bring the state in the countrys industrial map.
The NDA government would also see that basic necessities of food, clothing and houses were provided to the poor and needy and priority would be given for the eradication of poverty from the state.
Laying stress on curbing extremism, the alliance said developmental schemes in the affected areas would be expedited and policies in the Naxalite belt would be made more effective by providing sophisticated arms and ammunition to the security personnel.
Laying stress on education and health for all in their manifesto, the alliance promised better medical facilities to the poor and give equal opportunity in the education field.
I vetoed Kargil-type operation: Benazir
NEW DELHI, Feb 8 (PTI) Former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has said she vetoed a Kargil-type operation proposed by military top brass during her regime in 1996.
"The proposal was put to me at Pakistan army general headquarters in front of about 50 to 60 officers in the beginning of 1996. But I vetoed it," Ms Bhutto told BBC World Service radio tonight.
Asked whether it was a fact that the then Pakistan Army Chief of Staff had come to her with the proposal of the Kargil sort, pushing either Pakistan-based Kashmiri militants or Pakistani regular forces through the Line of Control, she replied: "I was given a briefing with maps, screens, slides, and at the end I vetoed it".
Without elaborating why she had not given the nod, Ms Bhutto advocated an "open border" policy with India on Kashmir.
Remarks on Almatti: SC discharges CM
NEW DELHI, Feb 8 (PTI) Karnataka Chief Minister S.M. Krishna was today discharged by the Supreme Court from contempt proceedings initiated against him for his remarks on the Almatti dam over the Krishna river despite an express ban by the court against any such remarks.
Mr Krishna, who was present before a five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Mr Justice S.B. Majmudar, expressed his sincere regret in an affidavit, saying his statements about the dam on January 23 "were not justified" but the remarks were innocent and in no way deliberate. The Bench said: "We accept the statement made in the affidavit. Proceedings against the contemnor closed."
In a four-page
affidavit, Mr Krishna said at the Meet-the-Press
programme organised by Bangalore Press Club in connection
with the completion of 100 days in office of his
government: "I did speak about Almatti and this was
to refute allegation in some quarters of the Opposition
in Karnataka that our government was not protecting the
interests of the state adequately in the Almatti matter
and were going to compromise with the dam at a lower
Tributes paid to former envoy
NEW DELHI, Feb 8 Rich tributes were paid to T N Kaul, former foreign secretary and Indias Ambassador to the U.S.A. and the erstwhile Soviet Union, here today on the occasion of his birth anniversary.
Kaul died following an accident in Rajgarh last month. "Following the ideas and ideals for which he stood for will be the best way to pay tributes to the distinguished diplomat," said the former Union Finance Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh.
Recalling the valuable contributions made by Kaul, the former Finance Minister said "The veteran diplomat has left an impeccable mark in the art of Indian diplomacy."
Kaul dreamt of having an academic centre of excellence in Chandigarh and was instrumental in setting up the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID), Dr Singh said.
He was a life-member of the governing body of the CRRID and Chairman of the editorial board, "Man and Development", (an international quarterly) published by the Centre.
The Ambassador of Russian Federation, Mr Alexander Kadakin, said "Kaul was the most popular Indian diplomat Moscow has had till date."
"He was popular not only amongst politicians and diplomats, but also among the intelligentsia, media, and the artists," he said.
4-cornered contest in
THANA BHAWAN (Muzaffar-nagar), Feb 8 This Jat-dominated constituency is likely to witness a fierce fight between the BJP and the Lok Dal, led by Mr Ajit Singh. Although there are 10 candidates in the field, the fight seems to be confined between the Samajwadi Party, the BJP, the Lok Dal and the BSP. The seat was vacated because of the election of Mr Amir Alam Khan to Parliament during the recent parliamentary poll. Mr Khan had won the Kairana parliamentary seat on the Lok Dal ticket supported by the Congress. He, therefore, resigned from the Thana Bhawan Assembly constituency. Mr Khan had won from this constituency on the Samajwadi Party ticket. Later he had switched loyalties to the Lok Dal.
In the previous Assembly poll, Mr Khan had polled 61,000 votes against 58,000 polled by Mr Thakur Dharampal of the BJP. The BSP candidate, Mr Chand Singh, had polled 35,000 votes and was placed at the third position.
In the present contest, the BJP has put up Mr Dharampal, the Samajwadi Party, Thakur Jagat Singh, the Congress, Mr Babu Singh, the Lok Dal, Ms Musharat Begum, the BSP, Mr Shiv Kumar Kashyap, the Jansatta Party, Mr Karan Singh, the Rashtriya Jankranti party candidates, Kalyan Singh, Mr Ranbir Saini, and two Independent candidates, Mr Opender Pappu and Mr Salamtullah Khan. The BJP has started its campaign in all earnest and its state President, Mr Om Prakash Singh, had given a call to the BJP workers to join the poll campaign. Mr Kalyan Singh of the Janakranti Party had also visited the constituency and addressed two meetings in the area. He accused the BJP of cashing in upon the achievements of his government. He alleged that the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee was out to spread casteism in the party and was propagating the cause of higher castes. He accused Mr Vajpayee of hatching a conspiracy against him to oust him from the chief ministership. The Lok Dal has also started its campaign and Mr Ajit Singhs son addressed a number of meetings in the area.
The BJP had sent a team of its ministers to stay put in the constituency to enlist the sympathy of the voters. Two of the ministers, Ms Gulabo Devi and Mr Baleshwar Tyagi, are visiting each village to seek votes.
In all, there are 2,25,332 voters in the constituency. Out of these, the Jats who constitute 22,000 voters are in near majority. There are 15,000 Thakurs and 30,000 Sainis. Besides, there are 16,000 Kashyap Rajputs.
There is a sizeable number of Muslim voters also in the constituency. The alignment between Muslims and Jats is likely to help the Lok Dal candidate. The Lok Dal candidate has an added advantage in the support of Mr Khan. Besides, both the Kairana and Muzaffarnagar parliamentary seats were won by the Lok Dal-Congress-axis candidates in the previous parliamentary poll. The Lok Dal candidate, Ms Musharat Begum, being a Muslim is likely to poll a fair chunk of Muslims votes. Women voters are also supporting her. In addition, Mr Khans personal influence will also help her.
Although the BJP candidate had lost the previous election with a very small margin, yet he is likely to suffer because of an anti-establishment sentiment against the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh. Besides, the Jats, who in the past elections used to support the BJP, have of late distanced themselves from the party. The situation is likely to prove disadvantageous for the BJP. However, the BJP is likely to poll Thakurs votes en block.
The BSP candidate, Mr Kashyap, is also in a position to give a strong fight. As there are 16,000 Kashyap Rajput votes, the BSP stands to benefit. The position of Mr Kashyap could be further strengthened if Ms Mayawati is able to tilt the support of a section of Muslims in the partys favour.
Another factor is the attitude of the Backward Classes and Scheduled Caste voters. The Backward Classes, so far, seem to be inclined towards Mr Kalyan Singh. Therefore, the BSP is not in a position to claim total support of the Backward Class voters. Much depends upon how Ms Mayawati plays her cards. The Samajwadi party is also banking upon the support of Thakurs and Muslims. The party feels that there is every likelihood that Muslims will support Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav and thus the Samajwadi Party will make a strong dent in the vote bank of Muslims.
The situation so far is very hazy as the voters are not giving out their minds very easily.
As the Muzaffarnagar
area is crime-prone and communally sensitive, the
administration has taken strong measures to curb
undesirable activities. Official sources told TNS in
Muzaffarnagar that out of 133 polling stations, 39 had
been declared extra sensitive, 24 sensitive and 70
normal. The administration has given directions to the
field staff that no undesirable activity in the area
should be tolerated and the guidelines of the Election
Commission should be strictly followed. The polling will
be held on February 17.
Respite for Chadha
NEW DELHI, Feb 8 (UNI) A CBI court today cancelled its non-bailable warrant against Win Chadha after the former Bofors agent submitted an undertaking that he would appear before it on March 21, next date of hearing in Rs 64-crore payoff case.
Additional Sessions Judge Ajit Bharihoke cancelled the arrest warrant after Chadhas counsel Ritu Singh Mann gave it in writing that her client was willing to come to India even if the United Arab Emirates (UAE) refused to give him visa to enable his return to Dubai.
The judge issued the
order despite the CBIs opposition to withdrawal of
the non-bailable warrant as there was no guarantee that
Chadha would abide by his undertaking. He, however, made
it clear that it was the last chance to the accused.
Harsh Budget likely
NEW DELHI, Feb 8 The government would not shy away from taking tough decisions to overcome the economic challenges, the Union Finance Minister, Mr Yashwant Sinha, said while hinting at a harsh budget on February 29.
"We must not duck
these challenges, failing which we will continue to
trundle along like we have done in the past decade",
Mr Sinha said in his address after giving away the
National Award for Excellence in Corporate Governance for
1999 to Infosys CEO, Narayana Murthy.
President releases T.N. Kauls book
NEW DELHI, Feb 8 (PTI) "He was not just a diplomat but a policy-maker" is perhaps one of the best compliments T.N. Kaul could have ever hoped for.
Releasing Kauls "A Diplomats Diary (1947-1999)" on his 87th birth anniversary today, President K.R Narayanan said: "I pay my tribute to him who was my guru in foreign service.... He was not just a diplomat but a policy-maker who influenced shaping of our policy towards China in a crucial phase. Though he was not an ambassador to that country, he still played a vital role".
In a lighter vein he added: "I did not get his dynamism, but his enthusiastic view is with me".
The diary, as the cover suggests, deals with "the tantalising triangle China, India and the USA", as it lucidly explores Sino-US and Sino-Indian relations, China and Indo-Pak relations and China in the midst of a revolution in the early 50s.
A fair sprinkling of
personal anecdotes gives deep insights not only into the
wherewithals of what a career as a diplomat entails, but
also sheds important light on the crucial issues which in
some manner or the other, determined the policies of the
India, Indonesia for deeper
NEW DELHI, Feb 8 India and Indonesia today laid the foundation for revitalising the historical ties between the two countries as the visiting President Abdurrahman Wahid held important discussions with Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.
The Indonesian President was very receptive to the Prime Ministers idea of bilateral cooperation for exploitation of natural gas in Indonesia, a spokesman for the Ministry of External Affairs said, briefing newspersons about the talks.
Mr Wahid said experts of the two countries could meet to discuss bilateral cooperation in this field, the spokesman said.
The meeting between Mr Vajpayee and Mr Wahid lasted for about 40 minutes during which the two leaders along with their respective delegations held wide-ranging discussions on regional, global and issues of mutual concern with special focus on deepening and intensifying economic ties.
The two sides signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation in tourism in the presence of the two leaders. Under the MoU, signed by the Tourism Minister, Mr Anant Kumar and the Indonesian Foreign Minister, Mr Alwi Shibab, the two countries have decided to initiate steps to increase tourist arrivals to both countries and encourage wider distribution of visitors to various tourist destinations in both countries.
The two sides agreed to
exchange information relating to incentives for tourist
agencies and holding of conventions and exhibitions. The
two countries also decided to establish a working group
to facilitate the implementation of the MoU.
Advanis clean chit to Naveen
BHUBANSEWAR, Feb 8 (PTI) Senior BJP leader L.K. Advani today virtually gave a clean chit to BJD President Naveen Patnaik, who had recently expelled party strongman Bijay Mohapatra from the party.
Whatever has happened (in BJD) is good for the BJP-BJD alliance, he told mediapersons at the airport here. He was here to begin his two-day election campaign in Orissa.
Asked specifically if he approved the expulsion of Mr Mohapatra, Mr Advani said it was an internal matter of that party and the BJD leadership had to sort that out. "There is no question of my approving or disapproving anything," he said.
Stating that he was aware of the differences between the two BJD leaders and that Mr Mohapatra had earlier talked to him about this, Mr Advani, however, said "I was surprised over the development and I had no inkling about that".
HCs can cancel bail: SC
NEW DELHI, Feb 8 (PTI) In a significant ruling, the Supreme Court today held that high courts on their own (suo motu) had power to cancel bail granted to a person, and anybody could move the courts for exercise of this power in matters of public interest.
"There is no
barrier either in Section 439 of the Criminal Procedure
Code or in any other law which inhibits a person from
moving the high court to have such powers exercised suo
motu," a Division Bench comprising Mr Justice K.T.
Thomas and Mr Justice D.P. Mohapatra said.
Life term for 6 in Leelavathi case
MADURAI, Feb 8 (UNI) All the six accused in the sensational CPM, councillor Leelavathi murder case were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment by the first Additional District Sessions Judge-cum-Chief Judicial Magistrate here today.
Delivering the verdict, the Judge, A R Ramalingam, also imposed a fine of Rs 100 each on them failing which they should undergo another one week of simple imprisonment.
Madurai Corporation Councillor Leelavathi was hacked to death on April 23, 1997 by the relatives of one, Valli, of the ruling DMK, who had unsuccessfully contested the corporation elections.
Shakeel aide arrested
for Ganga yatra
Grass books draw crowds
7 held for
assault on teacher
|| Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
| Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh Tribune | In Spotlight |
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
| 119 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |