|N A T I O N|
|Cabinet expansion: Vajpayee
NEW DELHI, Oct 14 Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee was consulting allies on the expansion of the Union Cabinet which could take place before the assembly elections, the BJP said today.
Sushma goes on patrol
DELHI, Oct 14 Having declared itself a nuclear
weapons state India should not stop short of developing a
credible deterrent and should seek de-facto recognition
as a nuclear weapon state on its own terms, Mr K.C. Pant,
convener of the task force on the National Security
Council said here today.
tops in asthma cases among kids
alumnus is envoy to UAE
seeks time to study affidavit
can practise: SC
ruling on insurance
warrants through Interpol against businessman
meets PM on AP plan outlay
Cabinet expansion: Vajpayee consults allies
NEW DELHI, Oct 14 (PTI,UNI) Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee was consulting allies on the expansion of the Union Cabinet which could take place before the assembly elections, the BJP said today.
"No date has yet been fixed for Cabinet expansion" but Mr Vajpayee was having discussions with allies regarding Cabinet expansion, party Spokesman Krishan Lal Sharma told reporters here.
He said the expansion could take place before the assembly elections but no specific date has been finalised.
Asked on the induction of former Delhi Chief Minister Sahib Singh Verma into the Union Council of Ministers, he said "it is the prerogative of Prime Minister".
Mr Verma would campaign for the party in the coming assembly elections in four states as a "loyal soldier of the party", Mr Sharma said.
Bharatiya Janata Party President Kushabhau Thakre today appointed a ten-member election management committee for the ensuing assembly polls in Rajasthan, MP, Mizoram and Delhi.
Party general secretary M. Venkaiah Naidu has been made its convener.
Other members of the committee are Mr K. Jana Krishnamurthi, Mr V.P. Goyal, Mr J.P. Mathur, Mr K.N. Govindacharya, Mr Narendra Modi, Mrs Sumitra Mahajan, Mr Sanghapriya Gautam, Mr Arun Jaitley and Padmanabhacharya.
Mr Pramod Mahajan, former political adviser of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, has been excluded from the 10-member committee.
Mahajan was also left out of the central election committee which had been earlier constituted by Mr Thakre for the coming assembly elections in Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Mizoram.
Asked why Mr Mahajan had
been left out of the committee, party spokesman Krishan
Lal Sharma said "no MP who is not an office-bearer
has been included in the committee. Sumitra Mahajan and
Sanghapriya Gautam are party general secretaries",
Sushma goes on patrol
NEW DELHI, Oct 14 The Chief Minister of Delhi, Mrs Sushma Swaraj, has decided to tone up the Delhi Police.
Mrs Swaraj said that beginning Wednesday night each minister in her Cabinet would patrol the city in the night. "Every night there would be a minister patrolling the streets, so that there is no shortcoming," she said.
"I have already spoken to the Union Home Minister, Mr L. K. Advani, who has assured me that he would also undertake patrolling during the night since the Delhi Police comes under the Centre," Mrs Swaraj said.
The first casualty of the new proactive approach was the Station House Officer of an East Delhi Police Station who was reportedly found absent from work last night.
The SHO of Kalyanpuri Police Station, Mr Anjani Kumar, was suspended by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr Balaji Srivastava, after Mrs Sushma Swaraj reached the police station and found that the SHO was "unwilling" to come to the police station.
Mrs Swaraj today told newspersons that she decided to take "action" against the SHO after she found that he was not attending to his patrol duty.
The Chief Minister of Delhi had said on the first day of taking charge that she would improve the law and order situation in the Capital saying she would patrol during the night "so that the residents of Delhi can sleep in peace."
She had gone to East Delhi district and stopped at Kalyanpuri police station where she found all staff members on duty except for the SHO. She was told that the SHO was off duty. However, in the daily diary it was written that he was on patrol duty.
She directed the night shift officer to call the SHO on the wireless and accompanied the shift officer to the wireless room. The SHO replied that he would reach the police station within 10 minutes. However he did not turn up. Thereafter, Mrs Swaraj called Balaji Srivastava, Deputy Commissioner of Police, East Delhi who arrived quickly.
She reportedly waited for the SHO till 4 A.M. and at her instance the DCP ordered his suspension.
There will be no blackout,
NEW DELHI, Oct 14 Delhi Chief Minister Sushma Swaraj today assured the residents that there would be no blackout in the Capital even as the (NTPC) threatened to snap power supply to Delhi for non-payment of dues totalling over Rs 1000 crore.
Mrs Swaraj stated that a meeting of senior officials of the Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB) would be held on Friday to find a solution to the impending crisis.
Senior DVB officials said that their organisation was facing a resource crunch and would not be in a position to pay the NTPC dues within the notice period.
The DVB officials were closeted in meetings for most part of the day to find a way out to the power crisis which could emerge if the NTPC snaps the power supply to the Capital.
The DVB has to pay Rs 1,175 crore and a surcharge of Rs 544 crore. Against a monthly billing of Rs 110 crore, the DVB had recently opened a letter of credit (LoC) in favour of the NTPC for Rs 90 crore. And the outstanding dues were equivalent to nine to 10 months of bills raised by the NTPC.
If the NTPC snaps power supply to the Capital, the 840 MW coal-fired Dadri power station, which meets the citys power requirements, will come to a grinding halt.
India must build N-deterrent: Pant
NEW DELHI, Oct 14 (PTI) Having declared itself a nuclear weapons state (NWS) India should not stop short of developing a credible deterrent and should seek de-facto recognition as a nuclear weapon state NWS) on its own terms, Mr K.C. Pant, convener of the task force on the National Security Council said here today.
A de facto acknowledgement of India as a NWS is what is required and it should get reflected in the areas of economic sanctions, dual use technology denials and full scope atomic energy safeguards, said the former Defence Minister.
Releasing a book, Indias nuclear deterrent Pokhran II and beyond, Mr Pant said Indias security considerations were now being understood much better by the international community than in May, when the tests were carried out.
Referring to the timing of the tests, which came in for sharp criticism, Mr Pant said it was timely. If the option had not been exercised then the chances of exercising it would have progressively diminished and an open option that is never exercised is a closed option.
In a similar vein, Ms Arundhati Ghose, Indias Ambassador at the Geneva talks on CTBT, said the country was not obliged to explain its security considerations and in a nuclear world, such weapons were instruments of security.
While Mr Pant said all governments (read parties) had supported Indias nuclear programmes in the last 50 years, both Ms Ghose and he regretted that the debate on the issue was now being politicised.
This is unfortunate, they said.
The book, a compilation of articles by well known researchers, has touched upon all aspects of the nuclear debate, Mr Pant noted suggesting that it was necessary for the issue to be taken to the public.
Commenting on Indias future nuclear options, she said joining any of the non-proliferation regimes would amount to acceptance of the emerging unipolar pyramidal world order.
I am innocent, says Salman
JODHPUR, Oct 14 (PTI) "I am innocent and I am being implicated in the poaching case without any reason," says actor Salman Khan, now in remand here for allegedly hunting protected wild animals.
"I myself love wild animals. How can I shoot them?" asked Salman Khan who is accused of shooting two black bucks and a chinkara as reporters met him on his way to the office of the Conservator of Forests, where he spent his second night in detention yesterday.
Salman was remanded in the custody of forest officers till October 16 by the magistrate court here yesterday to facilitate detailed investigation of the case in which four other Mumbai cinestars had been named.
Looking calm and serene, the matinee idol said he was fully cooperating with the investigation, adding, however, that he was also "feeling confused".
The actor had to be content with an ordinary cot and bare furniture in the makeshift living room created inside the forest office for his remand. The only concessions to luxury were clean mattresses, a desert cooler and friendly guards.
The actors younger brother Sohail Khan has arrived here to take care of his brothers case while the film unit, which was here for the shooting of Hindi film "Hum Saath Saath Hain" left Jodhpur last night following Salmans detention.
Meanwhile tension prevailed in some parts of the city with supporters of Salman Khan trying to hold a demonstration violating prohibitory orders. About 200 supporters of the matinee idol tried to assemble near the stadium ground to hold a rally in support of the movie star but dispersed after police officials and local elders intervened.
NEW DELHI: The World Wide Fund for Nature-India (WWF-India) on Wednesday advocated social boycott of those allegedly involved in the recent killing of endangered black buck and chinkara near Jodhpur.
Urging all concerned to take a serious note of the crime, the WWF said it had written to the Ministries of Environment and Forests and Information and Broadcasting, the film industry, Doordarshan and other media agencies to "enforce a voluntary boycott of the individuals involved in the crime".
"There is enough
evidence that the arrested cinestar had accomplices who
are equally responsible for the killings," it said.
"Exemplary action is also called for against all
those who have abetted the crime."
Shekhawat does volte-face
SRIGANGANAGAR, Oct 14 By declaring that there was the possibility of seat adjustment with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Rashtriya Lok Dal for the coming assembly elections in Rajasthan slated for November 25, BJP Chief Minister Bhairon Singh Shekhawat has done a volte-face.
Mr Shekhawat, in the last general election, did not accede to the demand of SAD for fielding its candidate from this reserved parliamentary constituency.
Mr Shekhawat in the last Lok Sabha elections reportedly argued with the president of state unit of SAD that the party should give up its claim over this seat in favour of the BJP as SAD had no traditional presence in the state.
The poor performance of the BJP in the last Lok Sabha elections when it could win only seven seats out of the total 25 parliamentary seats of state and recently 14 MLAs joining the Congress seem to have forced Mr Shekhawat to change his stand.
On October 3, Mr Shekhawat made a categorical statement at Jodhpur that the BJP could consider seat adjustment with the Samata Party, SAD and the Rashtriya Lok Dal for ensuing assembly poll. These three parties are allies of the BJP at the Centre.
Party sources said the central BJP leadership at an informal meeting with SAD and Rashtriya Lok Dal leaders had offered the Karanpur Assembly segment to SAD and the Sangria segment in Hanumangarh district to the Rashtriya Lok Dal.
However, the SAD leadership had conveyed that the party would like to have a fair share in seat adjustment as there were about four lakh Punjabi voters out of 13 lakh voters of all 11 assembly segments of this parliamentary constituency.
Union Industries Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal while talking to TNS said SAD would contest the forthcoming assembly elections in Delhi and Rajasthan on the party symbol. He said so far SAD had not claimed any seat from the BJP formally.
On the other hand, the BJP workers at a meeting at Muktsar in Punjab recently had been told by their leaders the Karanpur seat could be given to SAD.
Sources said the BJP was laying special stress on the 66 assembly segments (out of the total 200 assembly segments of state) bordering Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh in the coming elections. For this task, the BJP leadership had engaged the party rank and file of these five states for carrying out the election campaign of the party candidate who would fan out in all 66 assembly segments from November 1.
To pocket the maximum number of bordering assembly segments into its kitty, the BJP leadership was also on the lookout for new faces who had potential to win the elections.
Our Correspondent adds: According to Akali Dal sources, Mr Surjit Singh Kang, president of the Rajasthan unit of SAD, has laid claim on five Vidhan Sabha seats to field Akali candidates from there. The state unit president has reportedly urged Mr Parkash Singh Badal, SAD chief and Punjab Chief Minister, to press the BJP leadership to allocate Karanpur, Kesrisinghpur, Sangaria, Pilibanga and Suratgarh to the party.
According to sources close to the state BJP, the party is likely to give Kesrisinghpur and Karanpur to SAD in the adjustment of seats.
The Rashtriya Lok Dal led by Mr Om Parkash Chautala has also reportedly sought four to five seats, including Sangaria, but the settlement is likely to be made on two seats. The BJP would field its candidates for the remaining seven seats in Sriganganagar and Hanumangarh Vidhan Sabha elections slated for November 25.
Karanpur, Kesrisinghpur, Sangaria, Suratgarh, Pilibanga and Vijaysinghnagar segments of Sriganganagar and Hanumangarh districts are believed to be Sikh dominated. Punjabis in general and the Sikhs in particular make up 40 to 45 per cent of the population of the area.
According to a survey conducted last year by the BJP state government 7,35,418 voters in the state have registered Punjabi as their first language. About 3.5 lakh Punjabis constitute the voters of Sriganganagar parliamentary segment out of about 12.5 lakh voters in total and they have balance of power in many areas.
It is common knowledge
that Sikh voters in certain pockets of this area are
largely behind SAD and vote in accordance with its
directive. The BJP believes if Akali leaders from Punjab
pitch in during the election campaign, this could turn
things around significantly in Sriganganagar, Hanumangarh
and Bikaner districts.
Delhi tops in asthma cases among
NEW DELHI, Oct 14 At least 30,000 children in Delhi suffer from pollution related diseases. The largest number of asthma cases among children in India are in Delhi. By the turn of the century, most children will have to be on anti-asthma drugs, said Mr Ramesh Menon, Executive Producer, News and Current Affairs, Sahara TV, at a panel discussion organised by the Association of the Victims of Uphaar Tragedy here on Tuesday evening.
Panellists debating on the topic Has Delhi become a gas chamber shared the view the pollution on Delhi roads posed a serious threat to the health of its residents.
Mr Bhure Lal, Chairman, Environment Pollution Control Authority, pointed out the 3,000 tonnes of toxic emitted into Delhi everyday resulted in poor air quality, which was hazardous to public health.
He said the estimated annual inflow of about seven lakh persons into the Capital put a burden on the civic infrastructure. They are taxing the civic amenities which remain unchanged, he added.
He said India made a rather belated decision to use lead-free petrol as compared to Austria, the USA and Japan.
Mr Lal said research by the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, the Patel Chest Institute and Maulana Azad Medical College has confirmed a co-relation between the coronary obstructive airway diseases and the atmospheric pollution in Delhi.
He suggested use of eco-friendly fuel, catalytic converters and lead-free petrol to maintain the quality of air.
Ms Sunita Narain, Deputy Director, Centre for Science and Environment, attacked the government for its inaction and secrecy in addressing the crisis resulting from pollution.
She pointed out the Pollution Control Board was only measuring the suspended particulate diesel matter (SPMD). What is more important is the size of the particulate matter, she said.
PU alumnus is envoy to UAE
NEW DELHI, Oct 14 Mr K.C. Singh has been appointed Indias Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.
A 1974 batch Indian Foreign Service officer, Mr Singh is at present working as official spokesman of the Foreign Office.
An alumnus of Government College, Chandigarh, and the English and Law Faculties of the Panjab University, Mr Singh served as Deputy Secretary to President Giani Zail Singh.
He has held important positions in the Foreign Office Joint Secretary in charge of administration, establishment, external publicity and as the governments Chief Passport Officer.
A keen golfer, Mr Singh, whose family hails from Chandigarh, has been posted in Indian missions in Turkey, Egypt and the Consulate General in New York.
United Arab Emirates, with its capital at Abu Dhabi, comprises seven states Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm-al-Qaiwain, Ras-al-Khaimah and Fujairah.
Gill seeks time to study affidavit
NEW DELHI, Oct 14 (PTI) Former Prasar Bharati chief S.S. Gill, who has challenged the Prasar Bharati ordinance, today sought time from the Delhi High Court to study the government affidavit before arguing on his plea for issuing notices to former Information and Broadcasting Minister Sushma Swaraj and her deputy Mukhtar Abas Naqvi.
Mr Gills counsel Niti Rakshit submitted before the Division Bench of Justice R.C. Lahoti and Justice C.K. Mahajan that a copy of the affidavit was supplied to them only today and they would require some time to study it before arguments.
The Bench, while issuing notices to the Centre and Prasar Bharati Corporation (PBC) last month, had fixed today as the date for arguments on the maintainability of the notices to Ms Swaraj and Mr Naqvi, saying the court would like to satisfy itself whether notices could be issued to them or not.
Attorney-General Soli Sorabjee told the court that he was ready to argue the matter today itself.
Senior advocate Ashwani Kumar had sought early hearing on a petition by former Rajya Sabha MP Virendra Kataria, seeking quashing of the ordinance, but the court adjourned the hearing for December 14.
This was an attempt to defeat the process of legislation foisting the rule of ordinance, the petitions claimed.
The Bench had issued notices on Mr Gills plea to Cabinet Secretariat, the Ministries of Information and Broadcasting and Law and Justice and PBC.
Hakims can practise: SC
NEW DELHI, Oct 14 (UNI) In a significant judgement, which will benefit lakhs of hakims, vaids and registered medical practitioners all over the country, the Supreme Court has upheld notifications, issued by several states, permitting them to practise allopathy along with the Indian system of medicines since they are registered in the state medical registers.
A three-judge Bench
comprising the then Chief Justice M M Punchhi, Mr Justice
K T Thomas and Mr Justice S S M Quadri, after perusing
the Bombay, Punjab, Rajasthan and Maharashtra Medical
Acts, which regulate the maintenance of the register of
medical practitioners and the entitlement to practice
allopathic medicines, held that the bar in Section
15(2)(B) of the Indian Medical Council Act, 1956, would
not apply to them since they were registered under the
laws in force in the states.
SC ruling on insurance
NEW DELHI, Oct 14 (UNI) The Supreme Court has ruled that under clause 4 (B) of the Life Insurance Policy, the date of the policy is the date on which the policy had been issued and not on which the risk under the policy had commenced by way of allowing dated back.
The ruling was given by a three-Judge Bench comprising the then Chief Justice M.M. Punchhi, Mr Justice G.B. Pattnaik and Mr Justice A.P. Misra while disposing of an appeal in the case of the Life Insurance Corporation of India and another versus Dharam Vir Anand.
The Bench said in the
present case the respondent (father of a deceased minor
girl, who was insured under the policy) would be entitled
only to the sum equal to the total amount of premium paid
under the policy without any interest in as much as the
death of the assured (due to suicide) had occurred before
the expiry of three years from the date of policy
March 31, 1990.
Arrest warrants through Interpol
NEW DELHI, Oct 14 (PTI) A city court has issued arrest warrants through Interpol against an absconding Delhi-based private firm managing director, who allegedly defrauded the Minerals and Metals Trading Corporation (MMTC) to the tune of Rs 2.61 crore and 12 kg of gold during 1991-94.
Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Prem Kumar issued the NBWs against J.B.S. Bakshi, Managing Director of Delco Precigene Jewellers Pvt Ltd and asked the CBI to get it executed through Interpol as the accused was reportedly staying in the U.K.
The NBWs are open and without any date of return so that the same can be sent to all countries, including the U.K., where the accused is reported to be residing at 27, Livingston Road, Southall, Middlesex, London.
A red corner alert notice along with Bakshis photograph had already been sent to the Interpol division of the CBI, the agency informed the court yesterday.
The company, registered as 100 per cent export oriented unit with the MMTC, availed gold loan and packing credit facilities but after obtaining the facilities it exported studded gold jewellery to different countries, the CBI alleged.
The company sent 31 consignments during 1991-92 on account of the MMTC but the sale proceeds to the extent of Rs 1.58 crore were not remitted to the MMTC, the CBI said.
Naidu meets PM on AP plan outlay
NEW DELHI, Oct 14 (PTI) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu today met Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and discussed the political situation in the wake of threats from some coalition partners to withdraw support to the BJP-led government at the Centre.
Mr Naidu, who is in the capital since yesterday for finalisation of his states plan outlay, told reporters that he also discussed various developmental projects during his 45-minute meeting with Mr Vajpayee.
He said he requested the Prime Minister to announce the policy on internet service providers (ISP) for quick promotion of information technology (it).
Referring to the killing of eight Congress workers in the state yesterday, Mr Naidu said a local feud led to the tragedy. He had instructed the police to take firm action against the culprits.
|SC appoints panel to
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today appointed a medical board to examine the state of health of media baron Ashok Jain to enable the court to decide whether bail granted to him by the Bombay High Court in FERA violation cases could be cancelled or not. In its order, the court said: Before dwelling into the allegations by the petitioner in the plea against the respondent seeking cancellation of the bail granted to him by the high court, we would like to ascertain the respondents state of health in view of the submissions that he needs a heart transplant immediately. The directive was issued by a three-Judge Bench comprising Mr Justice M.K. Mukherjee, Mr Justice S.P. Kurdukar and Mr Justice K.T. Thomas during the resumed hearing of a special leave petition by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) against the impugned high court order. UNI
6 killed in mishap
Special aid for
Dasarath Deb dead
Speakers PA held
Cong to renominate
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