|N A T I O N|
ISI plan to disrupt poll
|Charge against ex-CJ
CUTTACK, Aug 28 Giving a new twist to the election of former Chief Justice of India Ranganath Mishra to the Rajya Sabha, Biju Janata Dal youth wing chief Balabhadra Majhi told the Orissa High Court that Justice Mishra had offered him a bribe of Rs 10 lakh for his vote last year.
Cong releases UP, Bihar
Manmohan calls on Sant Waryam
CPM complains about TV Today
Farooq meets Vajpayee
BJP names four for Assam LS poll
Jat Mahasabha unconvinced
ISI plan to disrupt poll
GUWAHATI, Aug 28 (UNI) Union Home Secretary Kamal Pandey today said Pakistan's Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) had planned to disrupt the general election.
Talking to mediapersons here during his whirlwind tour of Assam to review election preparedness, Mr Pandey said the ISI was planning to eliminate senior leaders of the country.
The security forces in Punjab had already unearthed an ISI plot to eliminate Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, Union Home Minister L.K. Advani and Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
He admitted that the ISI was posing a big threat to the elections, saying that all measures had been taken to thwart their sinister designs.
Mr Pandey's visit to the state along with Joint Secretary (North East) Mr G.K. Pillai, assumed greater significance following the arrest of four key ISI agents here besides the haul of 30 kg of RDX from Bangladesh.
He confirmed that the VIPs were the targets of the ISI, but reassured that enough security measures had been taken not only for their safety, but also for a peaceful election all over the country.
Regarding the North-East and more specially Assam, he promised more forces. "The Assam Government has sought additional forces for the election as well general law and order. We are working for it. We are providing force, intelligence and money for modernisation, but it is the police, which has to do the job", he said.
Mr Pandey, however, expressed satisfaction over the security arrangement in the state. "I am happy but regarding additional forces, we too have limitation, we are trying", he stated.
Later, DGP, P.V. Sumant said the state government had asked for forces, specially for Lower Assam, but refrained from saying the exact number of companies due to security reasons.
Mr Pandey emphasised on taking special measures in Lower Assam to ensure that violence did not escalate in those areas in the immediate future.
Later, explaining the position, Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, who was called on by the Home Secretary, said in the last fortnight there were acts of sabotage and violence in Lower Assam and hence special emphasis was given.
militants are targeting communication, major
infrastructure and oil installation. They are basically
targeting the installations to cut off the area",
said the Chief Minister asserting that the situation was,
however, well under control.
Mahajan says he is sorry
NEW DELHI, Aug 28 (PTI) Information and Broadcasting Minister Pramod Mahajan today expressed regret over his reported remarks concerning Mrs Sonia Gandhi and Ms Monica Lewinsky but maintained that he has never equated the two in election speeches in Maharashtra.
"I am extremely pained and anguished at being dragged into an unnecessary controversy," the senior BJP leader said in a statement from Chandrapur in Maharashtra, adding that "if some people have felt hurt.... I am sorry about it".
Mr Mahajan said a general criticism of the Congress for projecting a person of foreign origin as a prime ministerial candidate should not be taken as a personal criticism of that person.
"Having said so, if some people have felt hurt because of this particular report, which is nothing but an inference of a reporter, I am sorry about it," he said.
Mr Mahajan said in his public meetings he had always said that Mrs Gandhi will always be welcomed as Rajivs wife, will get affection as Indira Gandhis daughter-in-law and respect as Congress president.
"But she should never be made the Prime Minister of the country because of her foreign origin. I will continue to say the same thing because making a person of foreign origin Prime Minister of this country is an insult to the Indian nation, including Indian womanhood", Mr Mahajan added.
The Congress yesterday demanded immediate dismissal of Mr Mahajan and a public apology from Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and threatened to launch a nationwide agitation on the alleged remark of Mr Mahajan that if Mrs Gandhi could become Prime Minister of India so could any other foreigner, including Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and even Monica Lewinsky.
The Congress spokesman
Kapil Sibal had told reporters that "to take the
name of the Congress president, a person of the most
impeccable character, in the same breath as that of the
former White House intern displays a singularly perverted
bent of mind."
Charge against ex-CJ
CUTTACK, Aug 28 (PTI) Giving a new twist to the election of former Chief Justice of India Ranganath Mishra to the Rajya Sabha, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) youth wing chief Balabhadra Majhi told the Orissa High Court that Justice Mishra had offered him a bribe of Rs 10 lakh for his vote last year.
He made the allegation while deposing before Acting Chief Justice of the High Court Arijit Pasayat yesterday as a witness in a case filed by defeated BJD candidate A.U. Singhdeo challenging the election of Justice Mishra.
Mr Majhi, a legislator, claimed that on June 17, 1998, Justice Mishra had come to his official residence at Bhubaneswar with a brief case containing Rs 10 lakh.
Mr Majhi also alleged that the former Chief Justice, who was a nominee of the Congress, had approached in the same manner some other BJD legislators to vote for him.
Singhdeo, who had lost the elections by a slender margin of 0.84 votes behind the third Congress candidate Manmatha Nath Das, had prayed the court to declare the election of Justice Mishra and Mr Das as void.
Cong releases UP, Bihar list
NEW DELHI, Aug 28 Former Union Minister K.K. Tewary and Ajay Singh along with the wife of former Union Minister Kalpnath Rai figure in the Congress list of 17 candidates from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh released today.
The Congress, which to contest 14 seats in an electoral understanding with the Rashtriya Janata Dal in Bihar, announced 11 candidates for Bihar and six for Uttar Pradesh.
In Uttar Pradesh, the party has replaced Mr S.L. Balmiki at Ghatampur (reserved) with Mr Askaran Sankhwar and has nominated Mr Ajay Singh from Agra. Mr Ram Nihore Rakesh has been given ticket from Chail (reserved) constituency and Mr Saeedul Hasan has been fielded from Bulandshahar. Ms Sudha Rai, wife of late Kalpnath Rai, is contesting from Ghosi and Mr Prakash Jaiswal has been nominated from Kanpur.
The candidates from
Bihar include Dr Mahachandra Prasad Singh (Maharajganj),
Mr Mubarak Hussain (Katihar), Mr Thomas Hansda
(Rajmahal-ST), Mr Ramesh Hembram (Dumka-ST), Mr Furkan
Ansari (Godda), Mr Shyama Singh (Aurangabad), Mr Rajendra
Prasad Singh (Giridih), Mr Iswari Ram Paswan
(Hazaribagh), Prof K.K. Tewary (Ranchi), Mr Ghanshyam
Mahto (Jamshedpur) and Ms Sushila Karketta (Khunti-ST).
Manmohan calls on Sant Waryam
NEW DELHI, Aug 28 Sikh spiritual leader Sant Waryam Singh, who recently underwent a major bypass surgery in the Capital, today said India had a bright future in the 21st century with the entry of leaders like Dr Manmohan Singh in the service of the nation.
The former Union Finance Minister and the Congress candidate for the South Delhi parliamentary seat, Dr Manmohan Singh, called on Sant Waryam Singh, who is recuperating here after the surgery.
With young people and persons with clean image like Dr Manmohan Singh coming forward for the service of the nation India would have a bright future in the next century, Sant Waryam Singh said.
The days of scams are over. The days of happiness are coming, the spiritual leader said.
Sant Waryam Singh blessed the former Finance Minister success in the general election.
If people like you come forward for the service of the nation, India is bound to do well, Sant Waryam Singh said while blessing the former Union Minister.
The saintly figure underwent a bypass surgery at Escorts Hospital in the Capital on August 10 after doctors in England were hesitant to undertake the operation.
A team of doctors led by Dr Naresh Trehan operated Sant Waryam Singh and the condition of the holy figure is reported to be good.
Sant Waryam Singh will go to the Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust next week. He has appealed to his followers not to assemble near the hospital in large numbers during his stay there.
Dr Trehan, who had come to check the condition of Sant Waryam Singh, was optimistic of a speedy recovery. Sant Waryam Singh thanked the Escorts director for giving him a second lease of life.
The spiritual leader, Sant Waryam Singh, is the founder and president of the Vishav Gurmat Roohani Mission Charitable Trust, Ratwara Sahib, Chandigarh.
Sant Waryam Singh was
initiated into holy knowledge at a young age by Sant
Ishar Singh Rarewale. The sole aim and mission of the
spiritual leader is to spread the teachings of Guru
Granth Sahib through his discourses at religious
congregations, audio-video cassettes and through his
writings. The monthly magazine in Punjabi, Atma
Marg, founded in 1995 by the spiritual leader
disseminates the spiritual knowledge as enunciated in
Guru Granth Sahib.
Army put on alert in Tripura
AGARTALA, Aug 28 (PTI) The Army and paramilitary forces have been alerted in Tripura to curb any offensive by Pakistans Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) in the state, Chief Minister Manik Sarkar has said.
Replying to a call attention notice by opposition Congress MLA Ratan Lal Nath yesterday, Mr Sarkar informed the Assembly that his government had definite information on the ISI plot to create instability in the state.
He said the ISI had taken the initiative to unite two banned insurgent outfits, National Liberation Front of Tripura and All-Tripura Tiger Force in the state.
These outfits, during their operations, were using explosives of foreign origin possibly supplied by the ISI, he said.
Mr Sarkar said the state government had taken all possible steps to check ISI activities and keep the Union Government informed.
The Pakistani intelligence agency had made a blueprint to form a Muslim state in the north-eastern region, he claimed.
CPM complains about TV Today
NEW DELHI, Aug 28 Taking exception to the TV Todays 1998 election coverage on Doordarshan, the CPM has asked Prasar Bharati to ensure that there was no repetition of what happened last time.
In a written communication to members of the Prasar Bharati Board, the CPM General Secretary, Mr Harkishen Singh Surjeet, has pointed out that the entire contents of the programme of TV Today was biased in favour of the BJP and hostile to the parties opposed to the BJP alliance.
Stating that TV Today was being asked to produce the election results programme this year again, Mr Surjeet said the format of the continuous coverage of election results had, apart from panelists coming in for discussions, a pool of experts who had a definite pro-BJP bias.
Farooq meets Vajpayee
NEW DELHI, Aug 28 (UNI) Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah today met Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and discussed with him the latest situation in the state.
Official sources said Dr Abdullah apprised the Prime Minister of the general financial situation in the state in the wake of the decade-long militancy and demanded financial assistance to tide over the crisis.
He also sought additional security forces for deployment during the Lok Sabha elections.
The Chief Minister had met Home Minister L.K. Advani yesterday and held detailed discussions with him on the security situation in the state. He apprised the Home Minister of the steps being taken to ensure peace and security during the coming elections.
Dr Abdullah also sought the Centres help for rehabilitating those who had fled their homes during the Kargil conflict. The Chief Minister, who recently visited Kargil to study the situation there, sought financial assistance for the displaced people.
BJP names four for Assam LS
NEW DELHI, Aug 28 The Central Election Committee of the BJP today nominated four candidates for the Lok Sabha constituencies in Assam.
Party General Secretary Narendra Modi announced here that Mr Ramani Deka, President of the Kisan Morcha, Assam, would contest from Barpeta, and Mr Ram Prasad Sarma, President, Planning and Development cell of the Assam BJP would contest from Tezpur.
Jat Mahasabha unconvinced
JAIPUR, Aug 28 The Jat Mahasabha has rejected Sonia Gandhis assurance to Jats that they would be given reservation after the Lok Sabha elections were over, saying that it had no trust in either the Congress or its leaders.
It may be recalled that Jats who have been traditional voters of the Congress in Rajasthan are currently up in arms against its candidates on the issue of reservation. The bone of contention is the non-fulfilment of promise of providing reservation to Jats despite the same having been repeated in the party manifesto for the Vidhan Sabha elections of 1993 and 1998.
The Jat Mahasabha had
called a massive Jat mahasammelan in Jaipur on August 1
where over 1,00,000 Jats had taken a vow to teach a
lesson to the Congress by ensuring the defeat of its
candidates in the current elections.
|Tamil Nadu MLA dead
TIRUCHIRAPALLI: The ruling Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) legislator, Anbil Poyya Mozhi (48), died of a heart attack at his residence here on Saturday. He is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter. Poyya Mozhi represented the Tiruchirapalli two constituency in the Tamil Nadu Assembly. UNI
Govt bans bandhs
to be released on Sept 3
Geographic turns to India
HC sets aside
election of Mayor
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