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I N ..D E T A I L
Saturday, July 25, 1998
|BJP to contest for Deputy
Tribune News Service
NEW DELHI, July 24 A contest for the Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker is in offing with the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee deciding to field a BJP candidate for the post.
Briefing newspersons about a meeting of the BJP and its allies this morning, the Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Mr Madan Lal Khurana, said the Prime Minister, who was authorised by the BJPs allies and alliance partners to take a decision on the Deputy Speakers issue, told the meeting that a BJP candidate would be fielded for the post.
Asked about the date of the election, Mr Khurana said the Lok Sabha Speaker, Mr G.M.C. Balayogi, would draw up the schedule.
Mr Khurana said since the Congress had fielded its candidate for the Speakers post, it could not claim the Deputy Speakers post.
If a consensus on the name for the Deputy Speakers post had been reached among the allies and the BJP, the minister said the Prime Minister had been authorised to decide the candidate.
However, sources said the MP from Dhanbad in Bihar, Mrs Rita Verma, was emerging as one of the front runner for the post among the names which were being seriously considered by Mr Vajpayee. Other names in discussion include former Deputy Speaker, Mr S. Mallikarjunaiah, Chandigarh MP, Mr Satyapal Jain and the Lok Sabha MP from Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh, Dr L.N. Pandey.
Mrs Verma has an edge over the others, as the BJP leadership is said to be of the view that being a woman, she alone would be in a position to effectively counter the argument of the Congress which is projecting Mr P.M. Sayeed,who represents minorities, for the post. Mrs Verma, who has been in the panel of presiding officers of the Lok Sabha, is considered competent to meet the challenge of the post. A minority candidate can be effectively countered by a woman candidate, a BJP leader said.
Mr Mallikarjunaiah had almost lost the race as he hailed from Karnataka and Mr Balayogi was also from a southern state, a BJP senior leader said. At one stage, the name of the former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr Shanta Kumar, was also considered but sources said he himself opted out of the race.
Earlier, Mr Khurana said the 15 leaders of the BJPs allies and alliance partners reiterated their decision to authorise Mr Vajpayee to take a decision. The Trinamool Congress and the Samata Party, who did not attend the meeting today morning, had conveyed their decision in this regard to the Prime Minister. The Trinamool Congress leader, Ms Mamata Banerjee, could not attend the meeting as she was in Calcutta, Mr Khurana said.
Mr Dalip Ray from the Biju Janata Dal, Mr Prem Singh Chandumajra and Mr G.S.Tohra from the Akali Dal, Mr Madhukar Sarpotdar from the Shiv Sena, Mr Dalit Ezhimalai from the PMK, Mr R.Muttiah from the AIADMK, Mr Kishan Singh from the HLD (R), Mr Surinder Singh from the Haryana Vikas Party, Mr K.Ramamurthy from the Rajiv Congress, Mr Yerran Naidu from the Telugu Desam Party, Mr R.K. Hegde from the Lok Shakti and Mrs Maneka Gandhi, Independent, attended the meeting, Mr Khurana said.
|USA snaps scientific ties
WASHINGTON, July 24 (PTI) The USA which has asked seven Indian scientists to return home and is contemplating similar action against many more, has ordered suspension of all Department of Energy and National Laboratory-financed interactions with India and Pakistan except for humanitarian assistance.
Even university programmes funded by the Department of Energy may continue dealing with institutions and individuals from the two countries only after approval from the headquarters, according to the direction issued by the Energy Secretary Federico Pena.
The sanctions imposed to deny India any possible scientific aid for its nuclear, missile and military programmes already cover over 60 institutions and departments and more are likely to be added after a review. These also cover two Pakistani entities.
Mr Pena has directed suspension of all activities, including visits involving Indian and Pakistani foreign nationals from nuclear institutes and related bodies as also suspension of all high-level visits from the USA to India and Pakistan besides hosting of high-level delegations from these countries.
A press release from the Energy Department said that exceptions could be made in "cases of special urgency or merit (for example, some long-standing international collaboration in basic science that benefits the USA.
Support from the Energy Department and national laboratory for research and scholarly activities of Indian and Pakistani nationals from non-sensitive categories including support provided indirectly through US universities may continue till further notice.
The Pena memorandum said the administration was preparing specific guidelines on implementation of the sanctions and any additional actions that might result from such guidelines would be communicated separately.
Meanwhile, a militant non-proliferator, Leonard Spector, who is Director of the office of Arms Control and Non-Proliferation, has been given the charge of providing guidance on specific cases for carrying out these directions.
One Indian scientist has been "suspended" and about 10 more may be sent home from the United States Energy Department, while seven scientists are affected in the US National Institute of Standards under the non-proliferation directives following the Indian nuclear explosions, spokespersons of these institutions told PTI.
More such scientists could be affected in other US government institutions or organisations.
There may be more suspensions or expulsions, depending on directives under review by the State Department.
"At the Department of Energy, we have suspended the work of one Indian scientist. We are in the process of reviewing the work in the research of various Indian and Pakistani scientists who are affiliated with organisations on the list (of institutions with which collaboration is to be suspended)," Department of Energy spokesperson Carmen MacDougall said.
The latest step comes in the backdrop of the USA suspending all Department of Energy and National Laboratory financed interactions with India and Pakistan except for humanitarian assistance.
"We believe at this point only a handful of people will be affected. It means less than 10."
"However, we are still in the process of reviewing the research. The sanctions are not against people. The sanctions are looking at those organisations on the list," MacDougall said.
Michael Newman, spokesman for the National Institute of Standards, said, "(so far) we have had one researcher who was affiliated with the Bhabha Nuclear Research Centre. He has gone home.
"Another gentleman whose research was being completed this month anyway, is getting ready to go home."
"There are five others that the State Department has indicated it wants to suspend ties with. They have been asked to leave before the end of August 31. They are with the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research and the Indian Institute of Technology," he said.
BANGALORE: Clinton administrations action in asking seven Indian scientists to leave the USA, in what is seen as a punitive action for Indias nuclear tests, has come under fire from the countrys top scientists who have described it as "unjustified and unwarranted".
The scientists, who spoke to PTI, were unanimous in condemning the US move which, it is reported, may also affect 75 Indian scientists working in the American research laboratories on exchange and fellowship programme.
"Scientists have never been treated so badly not even during the cold war period", Prof C.N.R. Rao of the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research said.
"I used to go to many conferences in the USA and all were eager to meet scientists from the erstwhile Soviet Union even at the height of cold war. Now, without cold war, this is happening (US action)", he said.
Mr Rao, who headed a scientific advisory committee to the late Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, said there was no need to be alarmed by the US action, which he described as a "small aberration". He, however, said the impact on the countrys science and technology scene would be great if the USA, which had the worlds biggest scientists pool, came up with further measures against Indian scientists.
Commenting on the development, the Director of Indian Institute of Science (IISC), Prof G. Padmanabhan, said the "US government has become paranoid".
|Pandemonium in Haryana Assembly
No-trust motion against Speaker
Tribune News Service
CHANDIGARH, July 24 Pandemonium prevailed in the Haryana Vidhan Sabha today when the entire Opposition pressed for immediate discussion on its motion to remove the Speaker and the latter insisted that he would deal with the motion in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and the rules of the House.
The trouble started as soon as the Speaker, Prof Chhattar Singh Chauhan, called Mr Bhagi Ram (HLDR) to resume the discussion on the Budget after zero hour.
The Leader of the Opposition, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, said the entire Opposition comprising 36 MLAs (22 of HLDR, 12 of the Congress and two Independents) had submitted a motion for removal of the Speaker who should first take a decision on that before taking up other business of the House.
Mr Chauhan said the motion was submitted at 9.30 a.m. and he would deal with it as per the law. He said under Article 179-C of the Constitution an advance notice of at least 14 days was must.
However, the Opposition wanted Mr Chauhan to follow the precedent set by him in the previous session when he had allowed the motion to be taken up without insisting on the notice period.
For a considerable time the entire Opposition was on its feet saying that since they had no confidence in the Speaker, the motion should be taken up immediately. Soon a verbal clash ensued between Mr Chauhan and the former Leader of the Opposition, Prof Sampat Singh, who was named by the Chair.
However, when the member refused to leave the House the Speaker adjourned it for 10 minutes. A meeting of leaders of various parties with the Speaker was held in his chamber. The adjournment was extended for 20 minutes.
When the House reassembled, leaders of various Opposition parties urged the Speaker to allow Mr Sampat Singh to participate in the proceedings of the House. Certain ruling party members like Mr Karan Singh Dalal, Agriculture Minister, and Mr Attar Singh Saini, Parliamentary Affairs Minister, opposed the Opposition plea. Surprisingly, Mr Ram Bilas Sharma, Education Minister and the Leader of BJP Legislature Party, ignored the Speaker's invitation to speak. Ultimately, the Speaker allowed Mr Sampat Singh to come in the House. The member expressed his gratitude to the Speaker for this gesture.
As the Speaker again called Mr Bhagi Ram to resume the discussion, Mr Sharma stood up and appealed to the Opposition to withdraw its motion to remove the Speaker. Mr Chautala and other Opposition leaders firmly rejected Mr Sharma's appeal.
After again calling Mr Bhagi Ram, Mr Chauhan left the House to the Deputy Speaker, Mr Faqir Chand Aggarwal. However, Mr Chautala said till a decision was taken on their motion, the Opposition would not allow any other business to be conducted. Mr Aggarwal insisted that Mr Chauhan had called a meeting of party leaders in his chamber after the House was adjourned for the day and the discussion on the Budget was to be resumed.
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