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N A T I O N

Karnataka Crisis
BJP-JD(S) MLAs paraded before Prez Pratibha
New Delhi, November 6
Karnataka appears to be moving towards the first-ever saffron party-led coalition government in the South as 125 MLAs belonging to the BJP, the JD(S) and Independents today submitted a memorandum to President Pratibha Patil. They asked for revoking President’s rule in the state for paving the way for installation of a popular government.

LTTE Issue
AIADMK to move SC for TN govt dismissal
Chennai, November 6
The opposition AIADMK in Tamil Nadu today said that it would move the Supreme Court, seeking the dismissal of the DMK government, as Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi allegedly supported the banned Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Gujarat Polls
Minority demands 14 seats from Cong
Ahmedabad, November 6
Ticket seekers from the minority community have demanded at least 14 tickets from the Congress in the Gujarat Assembly elections to be held on December 11 and 16.





EARLIER STORIES




Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi meets a group of people from Rajasthan during the janta darbar at the Congress head office in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi meets a group of people from Rajasthan during the janta darbar at the Congress head office in New Delhi on Tuesday. — Tribune photo by Mukesh Aggarwal

PM to leave for Moscow on November 11
New Delhi, November 6
The ministry of external affairs today took a rather unique step of announcing the Prime Minister’s forthcoming visit to Russia (November 11-13) through a press release, rather than a standard press briefing by the foreign secretary or secretary (west) in the ministry.

Immigration
Canada expands services
New Delhi, November 6
Indian immigrants to Canada will now be able to negotiate better jobs and pay packets commensurate with their skills.

Petition filed against Bachchan
Lucknow, November 6
A petition was filed before the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court against Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan for his TV advertisements during the state Assembly elections, claiming crime rate in Uttar Pradesh was much less compared to the other states.

‘Multi-party polity helps inclusiveness’
New Delhi, November 6
A multi-party federal political system, which is accommodative to regional and sectional identities, helps in ensuring inclusiveness, renowned economist Lord Meghnad Desai said here today.

Uma’s party suffers setback, 3 join BJP
Bhopal, November 6
In a major blow to Uma Bharti’s Bhartiya Janshakti Party (BJS), its three top leaders, including Madhya Pradesh party chief Raghunandan Sharma, today quit the party and join BJP, their parent outfit. Their decision came close on the heels of the party’s miserable performance in the Lanji Assembly bypolls.

Attack on scribes: Builder remanded
Patna, November 6
Mukesh Singh, one of the main accused in last Thursday’s attack on journalists by ruling JD-U MLA Anant Singh and his men, was remanded to judicial custody for 13 days today.

Police Recruitment Scam
Ruckus in UP Assembly
Lucknow, November 6
Samajwadi Party members today created pandemonium in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly demanding immediate reinstatement of over 17,000 dismissed police constables by the Mayawati government in the state.

Minister resigns over girl’s kidnapping
Lucknow, November 6
In a major setback to the Mayawati government, Food Processing Minister Anand Sen Yadav resigned today following allegations of his involvement in the disappearance and subsequent death under mysterious circumstances of a 22-year old woman, Shashi, who was a Dalit law student of Faizabad.

Pay fixation after due diligence cannot be challenged: SC
New Delhi, November 6
The Supreme Court has held that the doctrine of “equal pay for equal work” is applicable only among persons similarly situated in all respects and scales fixed after due diligence cannot be challenged.

Justice Sodhi: Bofors case was toughest
New Delhi, November 6
Justice R.S. Sodhi of the Delhi High Court, who in recent times emerged as a strong judge as was evident from his ruling in high-profile cases like Priyadarshani Mattoo and Jessica Lal murders resulting in conviction of let-off accused, said today that politically sensitive Bofors case was the “toughest” for him to handle.

Marriage party assaulted over dowry demand
Meerut, November 6
Villagers, infuriated over a dowry demand by the father of two grooms getting married to two sisters here, held the marriage party captive and fired at police who intervened, killing a constable and injuring six others.

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Karnataka Crisis
BJP-JD(S) MLAs paraded before Prez Pratibha
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 6
Karnataka appears to be moving towards the first-ever saffron party-led coalition government in the South as 125 MLAs belonging to the BJP, the JD(S) and Independents today submitted a memorandum to President Pratibha Patil. They asked for revoking President’s rule in the state for paving the way for installation of a popular government.

The President assured that all steps would be taken according to the Constitution but refrained from giving any timeframe, BJP vice-president M. Venkaiah Naidu said.

Meanwhile, Karnataka Governor Rameshwar Thakur said that final report on political situation had been submitted to home minister Shivraj Patil which is going to be the basis for revoking President’s rule.

“I have submitted my final report with recommendations,” Thakur told newspersons without divulging what the report contained.

The delegation, led by the chief ministerial nominee B.S. Yediruppa and JD(S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy, handed over the memorandum along with the signatures of 129 MLAs to stress its majority in the 224-member House.

The letters of support by individual MLAs given to the Governor were also furnished to the President.

Four of the 129 MLAs - H.D. Revanna, Merajudin Patel, B.C. Patil and Puttie Gowda - did not accompany the delegation, citing personal reasons. Despite difference of views within the government over handling of the situation in Karnataka, the view that the Centre should not come in the way of formation of the coalition government in the state appears to have prevailed and President’s rule may be lifted soon, sources said.

The government was divided over the issue. While one view was that the BJP should not be allowed to form the government, the other view was that nothing should be done to give a handle to the saffron party to exploit the crisis politically.

The coalition government would eventually fall under the burden of inner-contradiction of the two parties, the view that pleaded for allowing the formation of the government in the state contended. After meeting the President, leaders criticised the Governor and the Centre for delaying government formation and accused the Congress of playing dirty politics after failing to engineer defection in the JD(S).

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LTTE Issue
AIADMK to move SC for TN govt dismissal

Chennai, November 6
The opposition AIADMK in Tamil Nadu today said that it would move the Supreme Court, seeking the dismissal of the DMK government, as Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi allegedly supported the banned Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Reacting to Karunanidhi's remarks that he had condoled the death of LTTE political chief S.P. Tamilselvan as "Tamil blood was flowing in his body", Jayalalithaa, in a statement here, said the Chief Minister, by supporting the banned organisation, had committed an act of "treason" and was now trying to divert the issue by raking up Tamil sentiments.

She said Karunanidhi, who had assumed office as Chief Minister on the basis of the Indian Constitution, could no longer continue in office after he openly offered support to a banned outfit. "This is against the Constitution and an act of treason," she said.

Jayalalithaa, who had demanded the dismissal of the DMK government, said "as the Centre has not taken note of the seriousness of the issue, the AIADMK has no option, but to approach the Supreme Court”.

Seeking to differentiate the condolence paid by Karunanidhi and her alliance party leader Vaiko on the killing of Tamilselvan, she said the Chief Minister's poetic euologisation of the LTTE leader could not be compared with that of Vaiko, as the latter had not taken any oath to assume office as Chief Minister or holding any government post.

Dismissing as ridiculous reports that she had no concern for the Tamils, as she was a Kannadiga, Jayalalithaa, asserting that she was a "Pachai Tamizhachi" (a true Tamil), said she and the AIADMK had great concern for the Sri Lankan Tamils and always wished that they lead a peaceful life.

"The difference between us and Karunanidhi is that we support the Tamils in Sri Lanka, while the DMK leader supports the outlawed LTTE," she alleged. — UNI

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Gujarat Polls
Minority demands 14 seats from Cong

Ahmedabad, November 6
Ticket seekers from the minority community have demanded at least 14 tickets from the Congress in the Gujarat Assembly elections to be held on December 11 and 16.

The demand has brought the Congress under pressure as the minority community voters this year have more options available in the form of Bahujan Samaj Party and New Socialist Movement, who have also decided to contest the elections.

“We had put forward a demand before the party leadership that tickets should be given to Muslim candidates in at least 14 constituencies where the population of the community is more than 35 per cent,” Gujarat Congress vice-president J.V. Momin said.

“Representation of the minority community has gone down to just five MLAs from the community at present in the 182-member Assembly,” he said.

“Our population is more than 35 per cent in around 14 constituencies which included Kalupur, Shahpur, Jamalpur, Balasinor, Siddhpur, Mangrole, Bhuj, Abdasa and Vankaner,” Momin said. The community's population is around 14 per cent in the state. — PTI

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PM to leave for Moscow on November 11

New Delhi, November 6
The ministry of external affairs today took a rather unique step of announcing the Prime Minister’s forthcoming visit to Russia (November 11-13) through a press release, rather than a standard press briefing by the foreign secretary or secretary (west) in the ministry. It is understood that even though just four days remain for the Prime Minister to leave for Moscow, his official delegation has not been finalised yet.

Russia is apparently miffed with India’s growing proximity to the United States at a time when Washington is firmly pursuing its European Missile Shield programme which Moscow is opposed to.

The latest diplomatic chill in Indo-Russian relations came about last month during external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee’s visit to Moscow when his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov did not give him an appointment even though he was in Moscow at the relevant time. To make matters worse, Mukherjee was frisked at the Moscow airport on his return home and he was even made to remove his shoes to facilitate a thorough search. The MEA has never denied that Mukherjee was subjected to frisking and body search at the Moscow airport.

Another demonstration of a dip in Indo-Russian ties came last week when the acting secretary of the Russian Security Council, Valentin Sobolev visited India from October 28- November 1. The Russian security council chief’s visit was in response to national security advisor M K Narayanan’s visit to Russia (October 27-28). Normally such high level visits are announced by the MEA, but in this case the MEA did not issue even a one-line press release.

However, officials here believe that these are minor irritants and the two countries will eventually iron out their small differences and the PM’s forthcoming visit will provide a platform for it. Several bilateral agreements are expected to be signed between the two countries during Singh’s forthcoming visit.

The visit will be in continuation of annual summit meetings between India and Russia, institutionalised since the first visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to India in October 2000. There is ongoing dialogue and exchange of views between the two governments on various issues of mutual interest. The external affairs minister met the Russian foreign minister on October 24 in Harbin (China) on the sidelines of India-Russia-China trilateral foreign ministers meeting and on August 1 in Manila on the sidelines of ARF / EAS meetings.

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Immigration
Canada expands services
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 6
Indian immigrants to Canada will now be able to negotiate better jobs and pay packets commensurate with their skills.

Recognising India as one of the three main source countries for skilled workers, Canada today announced expansion of services to help immigrants from India have their professional credentials assessed and recognised in Canada as quickly as possible through Foreign Credentials Referral Office (FCRO).

The FCRO was launched in May following consultations with provincial and territorial governments and other key stakeholders.

As a step in this direction, Canada’s minister of citizenship and immigration Diane Finley announced here the opening of the new office of the Canadian Immigration Integration Project (CIIP).

To ensure that newcomers to Canada succeed in getting jobs they deserve, the Canadian government will offer similar orientation sessions free of cost in Gujarat and Punjab on a rotational basis. 

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Petition filed against Bachchan

Lucknow, November 6
A petition was filed before the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court against Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan for his TV advertisements during the state Assembly elections, claiming crime rate in Uttar Pradesh was much less compared to the other states.

The petition was filed by Braj Bhushan Dubey of Ghazipur district, on whose right to information application, chief information commissioner Justice M.A. Khan had already issued a notice to Big B on October 15.

The Big B had played the lead in a series of TV campaigns on the crime situation during the previous government. The high court would hear the case on November 13. — UNI

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‘Multi-party polity helps inclusiveness’
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 6
A multi-party federal political system, which is accommodative to regional and sectional identities, helps in ensuring inclusiveness, renowned economist Lord Meghnad Desai said here today.

Pointing out that single-party federations like the USSR and Yugoslavia had disintegrated, Desai, addressing the plenary session at the fourth International Conference on Federalism, said a stable political system should have the ability to accommodate diverse identities and still be able to function efficiently.

Referring to the question posed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the inaugural session yesterday whether a multi-party model with coalition governments at the Centre was capable of providing and reflecting the unity of purpose that nation-states have to often demonstrate, Lord Desai said, “Such questions arise when the going gets tough.”

“Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh) should not worry so much. The beauty of the Constitution is best known when the things are not so easy,” he said admitting that in a multi-party model decisions may take long but are more inclusive.

“It is like vehicular traffic, it is smooth on highways and expressways while it is not so smooth in city limits,” he said.

Former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam advocated a region-oriented approach to development in a federal set-up. He said developmental schemes and solutions to problems needed to be region-based, because our resources, climate and terrain have unique features and cultures.

“The states should work to their core competence and complement one another. Overall planning at the central level should focus on regional development,” he added.

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Uma’s party suffers setback, 3 join BJP

Bhopal, November 6
In a major blow to Uma Bharti’s Bhartiya Janshakti Party (BJS), its three top leaders, including Madhya Pradesh party chief Raghunandan Sharma, today quit the party and join BJP, their parent outfit. Their decision came close on the heels of the party’s miserable performance in the Lanji Assembly bypolls.

A former Jan Sangh worker, Sharma, who had been working closely with the fiery sanyasin to build BJS, told reporters that the move to quit BJS and join BJP was made after the disagreement with Bharati about her party opening a front against Gujarat CM Narendra Modi.

“I believe that Modi is the true leader of Hindus. With the BJS working against him, it was difficult to support Modi while remaining in the party,” Sharma, who along with state BJS general secretary Satish Khurana and Vaicharik Cell leader Anil Chawla accepted the primary membership of BJP, said. — PTI

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Attack on scribes: Builder remanded

Patna, November 6
Mukesh Singh, one of the main accused in last Thursday’s attack on journalists by ruling JD-U MLA Anant Singh and his men, was remanded to judicial custody for 13 days today.

Mukesh Singh, a prominent builder, who was arrested yesterday by the police, was presented before the court of chief judicial magistrate Raghwendra Singh, who remanded him to judicial custody.

The builder was sent to high-security Beur jail where the other two accused, MLA Anant Singh and his private bodyguard Bipin Singh are already lodged.

Meanwhile, the CJM posted for tomorrow the hearing of the regular bail petition filed by the builder. — PTI

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Police Recruitment Scam
Ruckus in UP Assembly

Lucknow, November 6
Samajwadi Party members today created pandemonium in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly demanding immediate reinstatement of over 17,000 dismissed police constables by the Mayawati government in the state.

Raising the issue through an adjournment motion, SP members trooped into the well of the House and disrupted the functioning after state Parliamentary affairs minister Lalji Verma said the matter was sub-judice and the constables were dismissed after several irregularities were found in their appointments.

The SP members raised anti-government slogans and demanded immediate withdrawal of the dismissal order of the constables and action against the police officials by the government.

Leader of the opposition and former chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav alleged that poor youth have been deprived of jobs while the honest police officials have been punished in the name of recruitment scam.

He also questioned the appointment of ADG Shailja Kant Mishra as the chairman of the probe committee who had recommended dismissal of the constables and punishment of 25 senior IPS officials.

Tension ran high when the treasury bench objected to certain statements of Yadav claiming that the opposition leader was trying to terrorise the BSP members.

Yadav also pointed out that it was unfortunate that the probe committee head had charged women recruits with compromising with their dignity to get jobs in police wireless (radio) service.

Verma said 42 out of the total 61 service boards have been cancelled by the government on the recommendation of the probe committee after large-scale irregularities were detected during the selection process. He assured that the government was impartial and not against any caste or religion.

Uttar Pradesh Assembly was today adjourned sine die after a brief four-day winter session. — UNI

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Minister resigns over girl’s kidnapping
Shahira Naim
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, November 6
In a major setback to the Mayawati government, Food Processing Minister Anand Sen Yadav resigned today following allegations of his involvement in the disappearance and subsequent death under mysterious circumstances of a 22-year old woman, Shashi, who was a Dalit law student of Faizabad.

Mayawati recommended a CBI inquiry into the matter. She also forwarded the resignation letter to Governor T.V. Rajeswar.

In a damage control exercise cabinet secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh, speaking to the media, claimed that the minister and MLA from Milkipur in Faizabad had resigned on “moral grounds” to ensure an impartial inquiry. “There is no evidence to implicate him in the case or even raise a finger against him,” maintained the cabinet secretary.

Defending himself while talking to a news channel hours before he was made to resign 35-year-old Yadav declared himself to be “innocent”. He charged the Samajwadi Party with hatching a political conspiracy to frame him.

Shashi had gone missing on October 22, when she did not return home from Saket P.G. College, where she studied law. She was the daughter of Yogender Prasad, a BSP worker from Anand Sen’s constituency.

Next day her father lodged a complaint with the Ayodhya police station regarding her disappearance.

She was reportedly close to the minister and “often spoke to him over the telephone for hours” the father claimed while speaking to a news channel.

According to a UP government press release Prasad in his complaint had initially charged Vijay Sen Yadav with kidnapping his daughter. He had also said that the minister’s driver frequented his house.

The official release said that Prasad had alleged that the driver had kidnapped his daughter with the help of a woman called Seema. He had also mentioned a few mobile numbers including that of Seema.

The press release pointed out that only on November 5 did Prasad accuse Milkipur MLA Anand Sen Yadav of conspiring to kidnap his daughter.

Anita, younger sister of Shashi, confirmed before a news channel that there had been a tiff between the minister and her sister over “some matter” and she had overheard her sister threatening the minister of “depriving him of his lal batti car”. On the fateful day a car reportedly being driven by the minister’s driver had picked Shashi up from near the college, said the girl’s father. The driver was later arrested.

The driver who was taken under police custody after the cancellation of his bail reportedly told the police that Shashi had taken her life by jumping into river Gomti in Sultanpur. The police are still trying to verify the statement. No body has been recovered so far.

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Pay fixation after due diligence cannot be 
challenged: SC

New Delhi, November 6
The Supreme Court has held that the doctrine of “equal pay for equal work” is applicable only among persons similarly situated in all respects and scales fixed after due diligence cannot be challenged.

Employees cannot complain of pay disparities if their scales have been fixed by a pay revision commission after due diligence, a Bench comprising Justice S.B.Sinha and Justice Harjit Singh Bedi said while deciding a matter related to an employee of the National Gallery of Modern Art.

"If a scale of pay in a higher category has been refixed keeping in view the educational qualifications and other relevant factors by an expert body, no exception thereto can be taken," the apex court said on an appeal filed by the Centre.

Misconduct by advocate under scanner

The issue of professional misconduct by advocates has come under the Supreme Court scanner, with the Rajasthan High Court filing a petition against a lawyer who allegedly walked away with a pending case file and passed it on to his client.

The High Court, through its deputy registrar Mahendra Kumar Sharma, has approached the apex court, seeking severe action against the lawyer and questioned the Bar Council of India's (BCI) decision to let him off with just a warning.

"The respondent deserves no leniency. Even after committing the grave misconduct, he tried to give false explanation instead of tendering unconditional apology," the petition, filed through Sunil Jain, stated.

Describing advocate Lalit Kumar Bhandari's action of removing the file without official permission as "grave misconduct" and "gross negligence", the high court said the BCI's order needed to be reviewed, as it appeared to have set a wrong precedent. — PTI

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Justice Sodhi: Bofors case was toughest
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 6
Justice R.S. Sodhi of the Delhi High Court, who in recent times emerged as a strong judge as was evident from his ruling in high-profile cases like Priyadarshani Mattoo and Jessica Lal murders resulting in conviction of let-off accused, said today that politically sensitive Bofors case was the “toughest” for him to handle.

Justice Sodhi spoke out his mind on the important cases heard by him to mediapersons on the eve of his retirement. He retires tomorrow after putting on eight years of service in the high judiciary.

He had acquitted three Europe-based Hinduja brothers - G.P. Hinduja, S.P. Hinduja and P.P. Hinduja - of their alleged role in the Rs 64 crore Bofors pay-off scam case.

The three brothers were tried separately than the other accused, including Italian businessman Ottavio Quattarocchi due to the CBI failure to get him and other foreign accused extradited to India.

“It was tough for me to deliver the judgement of Bofors case when the entire world was watching me,” Justice Sodhi said.

The CBI had not preferred any appeal in the Bofors case judgement in the Supreme Court, which is still seized of a PIL questioning the CBI’s inaction in not moving the apex court in the appeal.

Justice Sodhi said handling of the Bofors case was a “difficult” task for him as it required “browsing” voluminous documents procured by CBI from various sources abroad.

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Marriage party assaulted over dowry demand

Meerut, November 6
Villagers, infuriated over a dowry demand by the father of two grooms getting married to two sisters here, held the marriage party captive and fired at police who intervened, killing a constable and injuring six others.

The incident occurred last night at the marriage ceremony of the two daughters of one Asif, who had already paid a dowry of Rs 52,000 and two motorcycles. But a demand for a car and Rs two lakh was made during the ceremony, senior superintendent of police Jyoti Narayan said.

Enraged over the demand, the villagers who had come to attend the marriage, locked the marriage party in a room and beat them up leaving them with bloody faces.

The SSP said when the police was informed about the incident and came to the rescue of the captive guests, they were fired at by the villagers in which one constable was killed and six of them were injured. — PTI

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