|Thursday, March 23, 2000,
conveys stance on CTBT
elected unopposed to RS
mania grips MPs
against killings today
250 m US package for water, energy
coalitions in Pondicherry
|Netaji probably dead: daughter
MUMBAI, March 22 Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was not a fascist or a Nazi but had to shake hands with them in his mission to set the country free from the British, says his daughter, Dr Anita Bose-Pfaff.
Dhindsa seeks security
Congress conveys stance on CTBT
NEW DELHI, March 22 The Congress today conveyed its perception on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and bilateral relations with Pakistan to the visiting US President Bill Clinton, which appeared to be an echo of the official stand of New Delhi.
During a 15-minute meeting with the US President, the Congress chief Ms Sonia Gandhi, emphasised the need for India to maintain a minimum nuclear credible deterrence in view of its security concerns and said outstanding problems with Pakistan could be solved only through bilateral dialogue.
Briefing reporters, the
partys media chief, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, said Ms
Gandhi told the US President that any dialogue with
Pakistan should be within the framework of various
international understandings India had with the country,
including the Shimla Agreement.
Eight elected unopposed to RS
PATNA, March 22 (PTI) Eight candidates, including Mr S.S. Ahluwalia (BJP), Mr Mahendra Prasad (RJD) and Mr Phalguni Ram (Congress), were declared elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha from Bihar after the deadline for withdrawal of nominations for the biennial poll expired this evening.
Former Union Minister and JD-U leader Kamla Sinha withdrew her papers today leaving eight in the field for as many seats.
Besides Mr Ahluwalia, Mr Prasad and Mr Phalguni Ram, others who made it to the Rajya Sabha are Kumkum Rai and Mr Vijay Singh Yadav of the RJD, Mr Ravishanker Prasad (BJP), Mr R.K.Anand (JMM-S) and Mr Rajiv Ranjan Singh (Samata).
Mr Sinha withdrew her nomination on the reported pressure from NDA leaders to pave the way for unopposed election of their four other candidates.
Earlier, 23 candidates, six each from Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, four from Gujarat and one from Haryana, were elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha on March 18.
The stage, however, is
set for the by-election to the lone Rajya Sabha seat from
Bihar on March 29 with Vendhamma Berio of the RJD and
former BPCC treasurer and NDA-supported Independent Rajni
Ranjan Sahu remaining in the fray.
Clinton mania grips MPs
NEW DELHI, March 22 There was Clinton mania at the Central Hall of Parliament today when the President came visiting to deliver a talk to the joint sitting of Parliament.
He was full of charisma and the elected representatives of the people of India literally fell head over heals to shake hands with a person who is described as the worlds most powerful leader.
As he began to leave the historic venue after a 35-minute address to the parliamentarians, the President made a pleasant gesture of shaking hands with MPs lined up along the aisle.
This turned out to be his folly as a large number of MPs, who were not within his reach, resorted to minor acrobatics to reach him. One MP was seen walking up the benches to reach the US President while another nearly made a dive to shake hands with him.
A stage came when there was a virtual stampede in the Central Hall and as he came near the exit door he was virtually mobbed by an army of admirers. An exasperated Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Mr Pramod Mahajan, was at one stage heard shouting at the members to leave the President alone.
The Vice-President, Mr Kishan Kant, and the Lok Sabha Speaker, Mr G.M.C.Balayogi, were left behind in the melee as the President was carried away by the mob.
He was simply irresistible, an MP commented even as a fellow woman member talked of her resolve not to wash her hands for the next few days as she had managed to shake hands with the US President. Even actor-turned politician Vinod Khanna, who himself is used to such adulation, was seen extending his hands over the shoulders of fellow MPs to reach Mr Clinton.
An enterprising member even managed to drape Mr Clinton with a tri-coloured angavasthram and the President appeared happy to have it.
Even members who
normally speak against the US policies were seen swooning
over the charismatic man. A former Punjab MP, Mr Surinder
Singla, attributed the overwhelming response of the
members to the natural spread of warmth and hand of
friendship by the visiting President.
Bandh against killings today
NEW DELHI, March 22 The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) has called for a Delhi bandh tomorrow in protest against the killing of 36 innocent Sikhs in Kashmir.
The DSGMC has decided to give Rs 51,000 to the families of those killed and Rs 11,000 to those injured in the incident, the acting president of the committee, Mr Baldev Singh, said today.
The decision to observe Delhi bandh was taken at a meeting today in protest against the killings and to share the grief with the families who lost their members in the incident, he said.
He said all schools, colleges run by the DSGMC and its offices will remain close tomorrow as a mark of protest.
He described the killings as an act of ethnic cleansing and the worst since the 1984 anti-Sikh riots. This is the first time that Sikhs have been targeted by militants in the decade-long strife in Kashmir.
The Delhi Sikh Pratinidhi Sabha, which has also called for a bandh tomorrow, said the traders and other professional bodies had been requested to join the bandh.
The All-India Anti-Terrorist Front (AIATF) today blamed Pakistan for the killings.
The chairman of AIATF, Mr Maninderjeet Singh Bitta, said the ghastly act was a result of Islamabads design to foment trouble in India.
In a memorandum submitted to the Pakistan High Commission, Mr Bitta said Islamabad was never interested in peace with India.
He said India had forwarded a hand of friendship to Pakistan by way of Mr Vajpayees Lahore bus ride, which was, however, returned in the form of Kargil intrusions by Islamabad.
Several Kashmiri migrant organisations today demanded the immediate sacking of the Farooq Abdullah government in Jammu and Kashmir alleging that it had failed to cope with the rising militancy.
Protesting against the massacre, coordinator of Panun Kashmir, Mr Yuvraj Raina, said the killings were yet another example of inept handling by the Abdullah administration.
The president of Kashmiri Samiti, Mr G. L. Gadoo, said the killings by Islamic fundamentalists exposed the state and Central Governments claim that the situation in the valley was returning to normal.
Meanwhile, the Delhi unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) has said it will begin a series of protests from tomorrow against the mass killing of Sikhs by Pakistani-backed militants in Kashmir even as it flayed both the Centre and (the) state government for a serious security failure.
Akali and BJP activists will hold a dharna (sit-in protest) at Teen Murti tomorrow and a demonstration in front of the Pakistani High Commission on Friday, the president of the Delhi unit of the party, Mr Avtar Singh Hit, said today.
$ 250 m US package for water, energy
AGRA, March 22 (PTI) US President Bill Clinton today said that New Delhi and Washington must work together to protect environment and pledged nearly $ 250 million in aid from various agencies for clean energy and water projects in India.
Indias economic growth has put pressure on environment. More and more environment problems are no longer national problems. They are global ones, he said after an agreement was signed between the two sides on energy and environment.
We do not have to choose between economic opportunity and environmental protection. But we do have to choose between the future of sustainable development of our children with clean water, sanitary conditions, energy efficiency and clean air and future in which we give it up simply because we refuse to take necessary decisions to preserve them, he said.
The agreement signed between External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh and US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright envisages the creation of a joint consultation group on clean energy and environment to foster greater bilateral cooperation.
Mr Clinton said while $ 200 million would be made available through import-export bank for clean energy projects, another $ 45 million had been earmarked by the US Agency for International Development for promoting clean energy production and use in India.
Besides, $ 50 million have been sanctioned to promote clean energy throughout South Asia.
Unsteady coalitions in Pondicherry
PONDICHERRY, March 22 (UNI) Given the inherent complex political situation in the union territory of Pondicherry, marked by toppling of governments through defections, coalition governments have been a short-lived affair.
But, Mr P.Shanmugham, who assumed office as Chief Minister, heading the sixth coalition government, has a distinct advantage of facing the Assembly elections due in April next year if he is able to carry his coalition partners along with him without inter-party differences, though his government will be in office for a little over one year.
The previous DMK-led government was in office for three years and 10 months and was the second coalition to have a long tenure, before it was pulled down by the Tamil Maanila Congress and the CPI.
The DMK-CPI ministry headed by Mr M.O.H.Farooq in 1969 was the only coalition to have the longest tenure, two months short of a full five-year term.
An AIADMK-CPI coalition government led by Mr S.Ramassami had the dubious distinction of being in office for just 22 days.
Netaji probably dead: daughter
MUMBAI, March 22 (UNI) Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was not a fascist or a Nazi but had to shake hands with them in his mission to set the country free from the British, says his daughter, Dr Anita Bose-Pfaff.
The professor of economics and expert in international relations also pointed out that her father was not a Communist as he had formed the Forward Bloc rather than aligning with Left forces after leaving the Congress following differences with senior leaders.
Netaji was a devout Hindu and believed in spiritualism and his ultimate aim and goal was to serve the nation, she said at a function organised by the Maharashtra unit of the All-India Forward Bloc and the Netaji Subhas Research Institute at the Dr D.Y. Patil Academy of Education. He was a tremendous personality and a totally secular man, she added.
Dr Bose-Pfaff, to a query on Partition, said he would never had allowed this to happen. He and Mahatma Gandhi could have prevented Partition. This would also have averted the Kashmir problem, she said.
To a query whether
Subhas Babu was still alive as it was believed, she said:
I do not think so. However, she said that the
recent commission set up by the Centre to probe the
details of his death would come out with concrete
evidence. We cannot have commissions after
commissions, she said.
Dhindsa seeks security for Sikhs
NEW DELHI, March 22 The Union Minister for Urban Areas and Rural employment security for the Sikhs residing in Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of yesterdays massacre of 35 in Chatsinghpura in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir.
Taking part in a meeting of the National Democratic Alliance here today, Mr Dhindsa, who visited the area yesterday, recounted the nightmarish experience of the innocent villagers.
He said the government assured that adequate steps would be taken to protect the residents and also promised to hold a separate meeting with people concerned on the issue.
Naxalites die in encounter
AIDS going out
of control: expert
amok, kills 5
5 killed in road
KSRTC told to
Eunuchs take to
Mob sets two
Board seeks ban
on cow slaughter
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