SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
image
N A T I O N

Financial powers misused by Army: CAG
New Delhi, July 11
Pointing to misuse of the special financial powers delegated to Army Commanders, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India yesterday said funds meant for operational requirements were used to procure things like golf carts for golf courses maintained by the Indian Army at certain places.

PM heads panel on infrastructure
New Delhi, July 11
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has constituted a Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure under his chairmanship.

Will study Pak dossier and then react: India
New Delhi, July 11
India tonight reserved comment on Pakistan's contention that it had completed investigation into Mumbai terror attacks, saying it would react after studying the details of a dossier, which Islamabad promised to handover.

Noose tightens around MLA in rape case
Hyderabad, July 11
Noose is tightening around the opposition TDP MLA TV Rama Rao over the rape case against him with the police claiming that there was prima facie evidence that he attempted to molest a student of a nursing college owned by him.




EARLIER STORIES

Maya to be chargesheeted soon, SC told
New Delhi, July 11
The CBI has informed the Supreme Court that it would soon file a chargesheet against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati in a corruption case relating to the rise of her assets from Rs 1 crore in 2003 to Rs 50 crore in 2007.

Rahul to visit Lucknow on July 25
Lucknow, July 11 Amethi MP Rahul Gandhi will be present along with other newly elected Congress members to the Lok Sabha at a public function in Lucknow on July 25.

M’rashtra Poll in charge
BJP replaces Modi with Munde
Mumbai, July 11
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi will not be in charge of the BJP's election campaign for the assembly poll in Maharashtra later this year.

BJP veering towards Right of Centre
New Delhi, July 11
The BJP is slowly veering towards “Right of the Centre” away from its communal rhetoric and trying to shed its image of a Hindu party.

Hooch Tragedy
Mallya blames Gujarat liquor policy

New Delhi, July 11
Liquor-baron Vijay Mallya today virtually asked the Gujarat government to lift prohibition in force in the state.


Family members mourn their relatives, who died after consuming hooch on Tuesday, at a burial ground in Ahmedabad on Saturday. — Reuters
Family members mourn their relatives, who died after consuming hooch on Tuesday, at a burial ground in Ahmedabad on Saturday.

 





Top








 

Financial powers misused by Army: CAG
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 11
Pointing to misuse of the special financial powers delegated to Army Commanders, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India yesterday said funds meant for operational requirements were used to procure things like golf carts for golf courses maintained by the Indian Army at certain places.

CAG said the GOC-in-C, Western Command, Chandimandir, sanctioned in May 2006 the procurement of five “Electric Multi Utility Vehicles” (motorised carts) under the Army Commander’s special financial powers.

These vehicles were required for transporting aged/handicapped patients in the military hospitals. These carts were received by the Research and Referral Hospital, Delhi. Three motorised carts were issued to Command Hospital, Western Command, Chandimandir, and one each was issued to military hospitals at Amritsar and Jammu. The three motorised carts received by Command Hospital, Chandimandir, were allocated to Shivalik Environmental Park and Training Area (SEPTA). CAG says this is another name for the golf course at Chandimandir.

The ministry, in their reply in September 2008, denied the issue of shifting golf carts to the golf courses and stated that these were being used in the hospitals. The denial by the ministry was contrary to the documentary evidence. Audit examination showed that in November 2006, the executive secretary, SEPTA, wrote to Mahindra stiller auto trucks that the three electric golf carts supplied by the firm had been further issued to the Army Golf Courses at Ambala and Jalandhar and that the firm should liaise with the above golf courses for maintenance and repair of these golf carts.

Similarly, the CAG says the GOC-in-C, Western Command, sanctioned in March 2008 the procurement of 22 “track alignment reconnaissance vehicles” (TARVs) for Rs 1.01 crore under the Army Commander’s special financial powers.

CAG says scrutiny of the purchase order and the specifications indicated that the vehicles supplied in the name of TARVs were actually golf carts of the brand name “Club Car”.

The audit noticed that the 22 vehicles received in March 2008 were issued to nine Engineer Regiments. These regiments, apart from their normal duties were responsible for the maintenance of golf courses (Amy Environmental Park and Training Area) at Chandimandir, Ambala, Jalandhar and Amritsar, etc.

The ministry, in September 2008, replied that the commercially available golf carts facilitated noiseless reconnaissance in close proximity of the enemy and helped in quick laying of track material, which enhanced operational capability of Engineer Regiments.

CAG said it found that four of the 22 vehicles were actually handed over to SEPTA and there were no documents to show that these vehicles were ever used for laying of track in operational areas.

Top

 

PM heads panel on infrastructure
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 11
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has constituted a Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure under his chairmanship.

The committee will include Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Agriculture, Food & Civil Supplies, Consumer Affairs & Public Distribution Minister Sharad Pawar, Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee, Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, New and Renewable Energy Minister, Farooq Abdullah, Urban Development Minister Jaipal Reddy, Transport and Highways Minister Kamal Nath, Communications & Information Technology Minister A Raja, Rural Development Minister CP Joshi, Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation Minister. Kumari Selja, Shipping Minister GK Vasan and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal.

In addition, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, MoS in the PMO Prithviraj Chauhan, and Praful Patel, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, will be special invitees to this committee, according to official announcement.

This committee will promote and monitor the pace of infrastructure development in the country, which the Prime Minister has indicated as his key priority area.

There were already subtle indications from the government that it was about to take steps to ensure smooth and fast-paced progress on the infrastructure front. In fact often times the Prime Minister has indicated his exasperation with certain ministries like Roads and Power where the pace of progress in the last government was pretty slow.

On the other hand, he has also shown his appreciation of those who he felt were moving fast enough and that incidentally included the then Railway Minsiter Lalu Prasad, now suddenly out of favour with the present dispensation under the same Prime Minister.

Top

 

Will study Pak dossier and then react: India

New Delhi, July 11
India tonight reserved comment on Pakistan's contention that it had completed investigation into Mumbai terror attacks, saying it would react after studying the details of a dossier, which Islamabad promised to handover.

External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vishnu Prakash said India's Charge d'affaires in Islamabad Manpreet Vohra met Pakistan's Interior Adviser Rehman Malik this evening in connection with the latest developments.

Malik had promised that a dossier on investigations by Pakistan would be made available to India, the spokesman said.

“Once we have received the dossier and studied it, we will comment on it,” Prakash said.

Earlier, Malik said Pakistan had completed investigations and the trial of five persons arrested in connection with 26/11 attacks would begin soon.

Malik also said the delay in investigations was not due to Pakistan but India which, he said, did not give material fast. Pakistan's dossier contains 15 more questions regarding the attack. — PTI

Top

 

Noose tightens around MLA in rape case
Suresh Dharur
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, July 11
Noose is tightening around the opposition TDP MLA TV Rama Rao over the rape case against him with the police claiming that there was prima facie evidence that he attempted to molest a student of a nursing college owned by him.

After recording the statements of five girl students, all hailing from Kerala, the West Godavari district police has informed the AP State Human Rights Commission (APSHRC) about the prima facie evidene against the legislator.

The commission chairman B Subhashan Reddy had sought a report from the district police, who were investigating the case before it was transferred to the CID. The commission has also directed the CID to submit a report about the case by August 3.

“Our investigation revealed that the incident took place and the matter has been referred to the CID,” the Narsapur DSP P Venkata Rama Reddy said.

Rao, a Dalit legislator representing Kovvur Assembly constituency in West Godavari district, is in the dock following allegations of rape against him by students of a nursing college run by him in Nidadavolu town.

A group of five girl students had met the state Home Minister P Sabita Indra Reddy last week, along with their parents, and lodged a complaint against the MLA, accusing him of sexual harrassment.

While one student said she was raped by the legislator, another alleged that he had twice attempted to rape her.

The students of TVR College of Nursing in Nidadavolu town complained to the minister that the legislator had locked them in a room and threatened them with dire consequences if they spoke out after he was booked for murder and rape on June 18. They said an associate of the legislator forcibly put them in a vehicle and sent them to Chennai.

They alleged that the rape and the attempts to rape took place in March and April but they were scared to speak out.

As the issue triggered a political storm with the TDP alleging conspiracy to malign its legislator, the Congress government promptly ordered a CID probe into the incident.

Claiming that he was innocent, Rao went on an indefinite fast here, along with his family members, seeking justice. The hunger strike was foiled by the police.

Top

 

Maya to be chargesheeted soon, SC told
R Sedhuraman
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, July 11
The CBI has informed the Supreme Court that it would soon file a chargesheet against Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati in a corruption case relating to the rise of her assets from Rs 1 crore in 2003 to Rs 50 crore in 2007.

Mayawati has claimed that her assets had grown mainly due to the donations from her party workers during her birthdays and on other occasions.

The case, which was to come up for hearing in the apex court on Monday, would now be listed after two months in view of the agency's clarification.

The CBI has been questioning Mayawati in the past two years, while the BSP supremo has alleged that the case was politically motivated. According to the agency, her explanation was not satisfactory and as such, it would file a chargesheet. The agency has also registered a case against Mayawati on October 5, 2003 in the Rs 175 crore-Taj heritage corridor scam at the instance of the apex court.

Top

 

Rahul to visit Lucknow on July 25
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, July 11
Amethi MP Rahul Gandhi will be present along with other newly elected Congress members to the Lok Sabha at a public function in Lucknow on July 25.

Announcing this at a press conference UP state Congress president Rita Bahuguna Joshi said at this public felicitation AICC representatives, MLAs, PCC elected members, president of the district Congress committees would be present.

In the first week of August the party’s state coordination committee will also be held in Lucknow in which Rahul is expected to guide the party in deciding the future course of action.

Top

 

M’rashtra Poll in charge
BJP replaces Modi with Munde
Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, July 11
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi will not be in charge of the BJP's election campaign for the assembly poll in Maharashtra later this year.

Presiding over a session of the local unit of the BJP, its President Rajnath Singh announced today that state leader Gopinath Munde would handle the party's election campaign.

Under Modi, the BJP bagged just nine seats as against the 13 seats it held after the 2004 elections. Worse still, the party's candidates lost in constituencies where Modi campaigned.

The BJP's decision to back Munde is seen as an endorsement of a moderate leader on electio eve. Only last month, Munde reportedly challenged Maneka Gandhi's contention at a party forum that Muslims did not vote the for the BJP and hence there was no need to pay heed to the community's demands.

Top

 

BJP veering towards Right of Centre
Faraz Ahmad
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 11
The BJP is slowly veering towards “Right of the Centre” away from its communal rhetoric and trying to shed its image of a Hindu party.

Leader of Opposition LK Advani tried hard in the run-up to the general election to project an image of a moderate, widely acceptable to all communities --- someone in the mould of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. But he failed eventually, with party President Rajnath Singh virtually reiterating all the time commitment to Hidnutva and reminding of the commitment to construct the Ram temple in Ayodhya.

But today a Rajnath camp follower, too, disdainfully dismissed the hard line saying, “You cannot have a responsible national party speak the Varun Gandhi language.” This is from some whose leader, Rajnath Singh, went in the midst of election campaign to visit Varun in jail when he was interned for his inflammatory speech against Muslims.

Already Advani camp followers like Arun Jaitely have been counselling moderation and feel that Advani’s campaign against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh annoyed and angered the core BJP voter, which went against the BJP in the last elections. Another Advani adviser, Sudheendra Kulkarni, went many steps further and blamed both Varun Gandhi and RSS rhetoric for their electoral debacle.

In the national executive, the BJP’s two prominent Muslim leaders, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Syed Shahnawaz Husain, blamed Varun Gandhi’s hate speech for the consolidation of Muslim vote against the BJP. They, too, clearly had Advani’s support.

The BJP has not come out with any cogent line since the national executive. But obviously there appears to be a rethink in the party. Now some middle-level leaders are mentioning the Christian Democrats of Europe and how the BJP ought to mould itself after the European Right Wing parties whose opposition to their rival centrist parties is restricted mainly to economic issues.

This, party sources said, may become necessary in the long run if the BJP has to aim at India developing into a two-party or two-pole democracy with the BJP leading one pole and the Congress the other. Interestingly, when the BJP was founded in 1980 under Vajpayee, he had advocated the line of moderation and some accommodation of Muslims, too, within its ranks.

That is why he had made Sikander Bakht an office-bearer in the BJP. But after the BJP got just two seats in 1984, it changed track from 1986 under Advani and pursued hard Hindutva, which gave them huge dividends, taking the party strength to 182 in the Lok Sabha.

Now with its tally slowly coming down, there is a rethink in the BJP.

Top

 

Hooch Tragedy
Mallya blames Gujarat liquor policy

New Delhi, July 11
Liquor-baron Vijay Mallya today virtually asked the Gujarat government to lift prohibition in force in the state.

Saying that “blanket prohibition has never worked in this free world”, Mallya, in the wake of recent hooch tragedy in the state, said his United Breweries Group was ready to work with the state government in revisiting its alcohol beverage policy. So far 122 people have died after drinking spurious liquor in various parts of Ahmedabad.

However, the Gujarat government today reacted sharply to Mallya’s statement, describing it as “unfortunate and coming at a wrong time”. — PTI

Top

 





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |