|N A T I O N|
|NE talks to take time: Advani
NEW DELHI, Dec 6 The Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani, has said that while peace was re-established in Nagaland following ceasefire, the ongoing talks of the Centre with the insurgents could take time to yield results.
Samata tie-up with BJP to continue: Nitish
PATNA, Dec 6 The alliance between the Samata Party and the BJP would remain "intact" despite differences over issues like the common civil code, the Babri mosque case and liberalisation, Railway Minister and senior Samata leader Nitish Kumar said here today.
|Thakre flays govt on insurance issue
NEW DELHI, Dec 6 BJP President Kushabhau Thakre has criticised the Central Government for opening up the insurance sector without consulting the party and said the BJP was opposed to foreign equity participation in the insurance sector.
|Fodder scam case: Bihar not
cooperating, CBI tells SC
NEW DELHI, Dec 6 The Bihar Government is not cooperating with the CBI in the investigation of the Rs 950 crore fodder scam case in which former Chief Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav is an accused, the CBI has informed the Supreme Court.
plea to close probe rejected
not for increased punishment
worker gets justice after 13 years
Council censures two newspapers
NE talks to take time: Advani
NEW DELHI, Dec 6 The Union Home Minister, Mr L.K. Advani has said that while peace was re-established in Nagaland following ceasefire, the ongoing talks of the Centre with the insurgents could take time to yield results.
Mr Advani said the BJP government inherited the situation and apparently was not in agreement with the approach adopted by previous regimes in tackling the situation.
Terming the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) and the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) as the most dangerous of insurgent groups operating in the North-East, the Home Minister said the present government continued with the ceasefire.
He said the government was engaged in a dialogue with the NSCN (I-M faction) and hopes to wear off the resistance despite the thrust of the insurgents on independence.
"It is a situation we have inherited, the Home Minister remarked.
Mr Advani was talking to a group of newspersons on board a special aircraft on his way back to Delhi from Aurangabad yesterday.
The BJP-led coalition government has appointed Mr Swaraj Kaushal, MP, to negotiate with the NSCN and he held talks with them in Bangkok during July this year.
Later the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee had met the leaders of the NSCN (I-M) faction in Paris on his way back to India after attending the UN General Assembly during September this year.
Mr Vajpayee met the factions President, Mr Isak Chisi Swu, and its General Secretary, Mr Thuingaleng Muviah during which it is understood that the Prime Minister had told the two leaders that the government was prepared to hold meaningful political dialogue within the framework of the Constitution and the question of secession of Nagaland was non-negotiable.
The ceasefire, pending political discussions for a final resolution of the Naga problem, came into effect during the United Fronts Government rule on August 1 last year. After periodic extensions, the BJP-led government extended it for one year.
On the talks with the Bodos, while the existing pact was drawn up between the Centre, Assam Government and the Bodo groups, the initiative from the state government was missing.
Mr Advani said it may be ironical but perhaps people in the state would prefer rule of the Centre and also blamed the Congress for attempting to run the political system there primarily with the aid of money. This, he said, had corroded the process.
Samata tie-up with BJP to continue: Nitish
PATNA, Dec 6 (PTI) The alliance between the Samata Party and the BJP would remain "intact and strong" despite the differences over contentious issues like the common civil code, Babri mosque demolition case and liberalisation, the Railway Minister and senior Samata leader Mr Nitish Kumar, said here today.
"Samata will continue to be an ally of the BJP-led coalition government and our alliance with the BJP, particularly in Bihar, is intact and vibrant," Mr Kumar told the state-level conference of the Samata Seva Dal.
He said the coalition government at the Centre, led by Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, was "not pursuing any personal agenda of the BJP but is working on the basis of the National Agenda for Governance formulated with consensus among allies".
Mr Kumar denied reports that intra-party differences existed in the Samata Party.
"We are united, vibrant and strong enough to rid the people of the state of the corrupt and ineffective RJD regime."
Reiterating that his party was not averse to creation of a separate Vananchal state out of Bihar, Mr Kumar expressed confidence that the Centre would largely compensate the losses likely to accrue by providing "a special financial package" for all-round development in rest of Bihar.
Mr Kumar charged the ruling RJD with trying "to whip up passions" by opposing the Centres move to divide Bihar.
The Railway Minister asked the RJD President, Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav, to explain to the people of Bihar "in what circumstances the RJD had ensured passage of a resolution in the state legislature seeking creation of a separate Jharkhand state."
He said the resolution was adopted by the state legislature when the RJD president was holding the office of Chief Minister.
Referring to the debacle of the BJP-Samata combine in November 25 by-elections in four state Assembly constituencies of Adapur, Purnea, Sheohar and Koderma, the Samata leader charged the ruling RJD with having manipulated the results by misusing state machinery and grabbing booths.
Thakre flays govt on insurance issue
NEW DELHI, Dec 6 (PTI) BJP President Kushabhau Thakre has criticised the Central Government for opening up the insurance sector without consulting the party and said the BJP was opposed to foreign equity participation in the insurance sector.
Noting that the party was given "absolutely no indication" that this was in the offing, Mr Thakre said in an interview to "The Week that "till yesterday we were saying something, and now our government is doing just the opposite. The Finance Minister gave a specific assurance to Parliament that there will be no foreign equity in insurance."
Mr Thakres views on the insurance regulatory authority Bill, likely to be introduced in Parliament next week, come amidst controversy over reported differences between BJP-led coalition government and the RSS on the issue.
"Those who are in the government may have their own compulsions. But when they are doing something which goes against a specific recommendation of the party, it is always prudent to consult the party before doing it", Mr Thakre said.
Underscoring the need for better coordination between the government and the party, Mr Thakre said, "the government should also listen to the party and the party should try to understand what are the compulsions of the government.
Analysing the partys drubbing in the assembly elections, the BJP chief said in public perception the BJP was responsible for improper handling of price rise notwithstanding the arguments in the political circle whether the Centre, the state government or vagaries of weather was responsible for the price spiral.
"The lesson I draw from the defeat is that people are so alert that they only look at their immediate problems, they dont think of long term problems. Both the government and the party have to consider the immediate problems. What you want to do 10 years later no one is interested, he said.
Stating that the government had done many good things also but they were overshadowed, he said "I am not surprised that we lost. I am surprised that despite these very adverse circumstances, 42 per cent people voted for the BJP.
Kashmir inseparable part of India: PM
NEW DELHI, Dec 6 (PTI) Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee has categorically ruled out third party mediation on the Kashmir issue and asserted that bilateral dialogue with Pakistan is sufficient for solving all problems.
Kashmir is an inseparable part of India since 1947 when Pakistan sent there partisans and terrorists to take over the state using force. Then Kashmir joined India of its own free will, he observed in an interview to a Polish publication, Gazetta Wyborcza.
Asked whether he had ever thought how Mahatma Gandhi would have solved this problem, Mr Vajpayee said, Mahatma Gandhi was still alive then.
He said several issues, including Jammu and Kashmir, were being discussed as part of the composite dialogue process started by India and Pakistan. I am convinced that the bilateral dialogue is sufficient for solving all problems.
Defending the Pokhran nuclear tests, he said these were undertaken in view of the deteriorating security conditions and in the national interest of India.
Mr Vajpayee said after the tests which were necessary for further research, India announced a moratorium on further tests. Now, we are holding talks (mainly with the USA) so that the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty can be implemented by September, 1999.
He described as
minimal the impact of US sanctions imposed on
India after the nuclear tests. The sanctions are
not painful but unjust because by carrying out the
nuclear tests. We did not violate any international
NEW DELHI, Dec 6 (PTI) The Bihar Government is not cooperating with the CBI in the investigation of the Rs 950 crore fodder scam case in which former Chief Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav is an accused, the CBI has informed the Supreme Court.
Appearing for the CBI, Additional Solicitor-General C.S. Vaidyanan-than while opposing the bail plea of Yadav, Jagannath Mishra and four others said, The Bihar police is not executing the arrest warrants against six IAS officials who are wanted in connection with various scam related cases.
We are getting little or no cooperation from the state government, Mr Vaidyananthan said.
These submissions were made during the hearing of bail pleas of the fodder scam accused, whose bail pleas were rejected by the Patna High Court on November 10.
The CBI had also said that Yadav, now shifted from a guest house at Patna to Beur Central Jail in judicial custody, was the de-facto Chief Minister of Bihar.
Mr Vaidyanathan had said, Threats were being given to witnesses, both telephonically and personally, not to make statements against politicians in the case.
Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav had resigned from the chief ministership in the wake of the CBI chargesheeting him in the Fodder scam cases and his wife Rabri Devi was elected as the Rashtriya Janata Dal Legislative Party leader to take over the chief ministership.
CBI counsel had complained that the two chief ministers while being lodged at the guest house were given all facilities and a large number of guests used to call on them everyday.
The court on December 4 had adjourned the hearing on the bail petitions of the accused till December 18 while directing the CBI to furnish all documents relied by it against the accused in the fodder scam cases.
Mr Vaidyanathan had said that the documents numbering around 70,000 pages would be filed before the trial court on or before December 17.
The court would also hear a petition filed by Vivek Sharma bringing to courts notice several facilities being provided to Yadav and Mishra while being lodged in Beur Central Jail.
CBI plea to close probe rejected
NEW DELHI, Dec 6 (PTI) A Delhi court yesterday rejected the CBIs request for the closure of the probe into alleged forging of a letter purportedly written by Mr V P Singh in November, 1987, to the then President, Giani Zail Singh, about former Union Minister Arun Nehrus role in the Bofors gun deal.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) R K Gauba, asking the CBI to probe the matter further said: I am not satisfied with the the investigation. The role of Syed Ashraf, former Congress leader from Karnataka, has not been properly investigated into.
The matter was referred to the CBI by Mr V P Singh in July, 1990, when he was the Prime Minister after the said letter was forwarded to him by former Deputy Prime Minister Devi Lal, seeking inquiry against Mr Nehru for his alleged role in the Bofors deal and former Union Minister Arif Mohammad Khans role in phosphoric acid purchase.
The controversy arose when Mr Devi Lal, who had fallen apart from Mr V P Singh, raised the issue against Mr Nehru and Mr Khan in July, 1990.
In his communication to Mr V P Singh, Mr Devi Lal had enclosed the said forged letter of November 26, 1987, saying he suspected Mr Nehrus role in the Bofors gun deal on the basis of it.
However, Mr V P Singh had denied of writing such a letter and asked the CBI to probe the matter.
Mr Devi Lal had said Syed Ashraf personally delivered the letter to his Private Secretary K K Deepak sometime in July, 1990.
The court said the CBI should have thoroughly probed the motive behind Mr Ashraf personally delivering copies of the letter in this manner and the role of Bangalore-based advocate M Shantha, who as a notary had attested the copies.
The notary public cannot be allowed to get away simply by explanation that she may have been too busy to understand the nature of documents, especially when those attested by her are found to be prima facie forged, Mr Gauba observed.
In its investigation report the CBI concluded that it could not be established who forged the letter and from where it had originated.
Handwriting experts could not give any definite opinion about the photocopy of the signature purporting to be of Mr V P Singh or even about the typewriter used for the said forgery, the agency report said.
Sushma Swaraj: the face value
"My leaders were looking for a universally acceptable face": this is how Mrs Sushma Swaraj answered the question, 'Why have you been chosen to replace Mr Sahib Singh Verma as Delhi's Chief Minister at this juncture?' The election was knocking at the door. Mr Madan Lal Khurana could be a good choice if Sahib was to be given the marching orders....
Mrs Swaraj's "sultanat" proved short-lived for her and distressing for the Bharatiya Janata Party. But most people were convinced by the fact in her reply her face her universally acceptable face. After her reluctance to switch on her charm, immensely enhanced by her winsome oratory and wit, she did precisely what her leaders wanted. The face does matter. Travel back in time and meet Christopher Marlowe.
"Was this the face
that launched a thousand ships,
One cannot be facetious about this daughter of Haryana.
She took her assignment seriously and won her Assembly seat. Many onion-seekers of Hauz Khas wiped the tears on their faces and voted for her. But they did not vote for her party. Her leaders saw an autumnal face at the onset of winter.
Mrs Swaraj tends to look at the rout of the BJP in Delhi not quite with her "universally acceptable face". And she has her reasons. She has not been rehabilitated at the Centre. Her Information and Broadcasting Ministry has gone to a less impressive person, Mr Pramod Mahajan. Her additional charge of Communications has been passed on to Mr Jagmohan. Both of them are practically Delhiites. The area of statelessness is represented by Mr Madan Lal Khurana, a Delhi man. Why has the BJP shut its door on her at the Centre? Listen to Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee: "Unhone usme (in the ministry) ruchi nahin dikhayi!" And then read what Mrs Swaraj has to say: "I met Vajpayeeji this (Saturday)morning and he asked me to quit the Assembly seat." Then make your own judgement.
Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit is happy. So is Dr Kiran Walia, who was defeated by Mrs Swaraj in Hauz Khas. But, surely, the former Chief Minister cannot be expectedly jubilant. Her leaders will make her the party's spokesperson or try to mollify her otherwise. But her parliamentary constituency too is in South Delhi. She has been victorious twice. All who know something about her fighting spirit also know that the proverb, "a good face needs no paint", remains true in her case. She has not written off her future.
Jethmalani not for increased punishment
NEW DELHI, Dec 6 (PTI) Urban Affairs Minister and noted criminal lawyer Ram Jethmalani today said the enhancement of punishment for a crime was no solution to reduce its rate.
"Enhancing the punishment will not help in reducing the crime," Mr Jethmalani said at the valedictory function of a three-day all-India seminar on judicial reforms organised at the Vigyan Bhavan here.
Mr Jethmalanis statement assumes significance as in the recent past both the Prime Minister and the Home Minister had expressed their view in public meetings for awarding capital punishment to persons convicted of committing rape.
"If enhancing punishment could reduce the crime, then the rate of murders committed in the country would have decreased," he said.
He criticised the
judiciary for showing indiscipline by equating certain
directive principles like right to health and education
with fundamental rights.
Woman worker gets justice after 13 years
MUMBAI, Dec 6 (PTI) In its first verdict on sexual harassment at the workplace, the Mumbai High Court has ordered Saudi Arabian Airlines to reinstate with full benefits a customer services agent who was dismissed 13 years ago with full benefits.
Mr Justice B.N. Srikrishna of the court, in a recent judgement, upheld a labour courts order reinstating Shehnaz Mudbhatkal with full back wages including all attendance benefits with effect from July 25, 1985.
The Judge also ordered the airline to pay Rs 10,000 as costs to Shehnaz.
The judgement assumes significance because it is for the first time in the country that a high court has passed a detailed order on sexual harassment.
Press Council censures two newspapers
NEW DELHI, Dec 6 (PTI) The Press Council of India has censured two newspapers for violation of the norms of journalistic conduct and reprimanded several others directing them to publish clarification or rejoinders of complaints against them.
While Amar Asam and Devaman Samachar have been censured by the council, the newspapers which attracted admonition are Mid Day (Mumbai), Ajit (Jalandhar), Agradoot (Raipur), Rashtriya Hindi Mail (Bhopal), Tarun (Chhattisgarh) and Amar Ujala (Meerut).
The council adjudicated 51 complaints of which 12 were against the authorities for curtailing freedom of the Press and 39 against newspapers for a breach of the journalistic conduct, a PCI press note said here yesterday.
The complaint of J K Dateline against the Jammu and Kashmir Government was dismissed as the council was convinced that the paper had committed irregularities to defraud the exchequer by changing only the front page resulting in delisting of the publication from government advertisements.
|400 kg Mandrax seized
AHMEDABAD: Officers of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Ahmedabad zonal unit have seized 400 kg of methaqualone (Mandrax) powder, worth over Rs 10 crore in the international street market. Acting on a tip off, DRI officials laid a trap and after a week-long operation, intercepted a truck on the Gujarat highway near Ahmedabad. A search of the vehicle led to the recovery of the Mandrax powder, sources said. The truck was on its way to Surat from Bhopal. The powder was to be converted into tablets before being smuggled out of India. UNI
Indian vaccine best
6 killed in
Naxalite killed in
discharged in case
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