|Friday, February 11, 2000,
End hostilities before talks: PM
NCW to meet Advani on
Hold DSGMC poll on May 12: HC
Tamil Nadu CM favours consensus
Move to replace Pak President?
BJP for raising IT exemption limit
Musharraf must change
Jatiya rejects OASIS
Netizens back govt move on statute
Govt clarifies on devolution of
Munde, others court arrest
End hostilities before talks: PM
SAMBALPUR (Orissa), Feb 10 (PTI) Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee today ruled out any possibility of a dialogue with Pakistan unless Islamabad stopped cross-border terrorism.
Pakistan should also take steps to help restore trust and confidence between the two countries, Mr Vajpayee said addressing an election meeting here.
Stating that he went to Lahore to restore cordial relations, Mr Vajpayee said instead of reciprocating his gesture Pakistan began the Kargil intrusion.
"You are sending terrorists into India and at the same time you want to have talks with New Delhi," he said adding initiative from both sides was essential to revive talks.
The Prime Minister said the previous governments had succumbed to international pressure on the nuclear issue, "but we cannot compromise on the issue of countrys security".
He said certain major international powers initially clamped economic sanctions against India after the Pokhran nuclear test. "But now they are admitting that there is a security risk for India and hence it has the right to make nuclear weapons", he added.
Asserting that the country would not bow down before any power, the Prime Minister said his government had successfully managed the economy despite the sanctions.
Mr Vajpayee said his government was formulating legislation to check corruption at high places and would include the Prime Minister in its ambit.
"Catching a small fish and leaving the bigger ones is against justice. Hence we are including the top posts and even Prime Minister, if involved in corruption, will not be spared," he said.
Appealing to the people to install a BJP-BJD government in the state after the elections, Mr Vajpayee expressed his gratitude for the mandate given by the people in favour of the combine during the last Lok Sabha elections.
"You have changed your kurta (shirt) and now you must change the pyjama (pant)," he said.
NCW to meet Advani on
NEW DELHI, Feb 10 The National Commission for Women (NCW) plans to meet Union Home Minister L.K. Advani to challenge the "precedent" set by the Uttar Pradesh Government during the shooting of the film "Water".
Sources in the NCW told TNS here today that the commission and women groups, under the leadership of the NCW Chairperson, Mrs Vibha Parthasarthy, would seek an appointment with Mr Advani to apprise him of the sentiments of Indian women.
This decision is said to have been taken at the end of two-hour long talks between the lead actresses of the film, Shabana Azmi and Nandita Das and about a dozen women organisations at the NCW here. The meeting was chaired by the NCW Chairperson.
The director of the film Deepa Mehta, could not attend the meeting as she was away to Bhopal to explore the possibility of shooting the film in Madhya Pradesh.
A statement issued here today by the NCW said that the Uttar Pradesh Governments action was a violation of the basic fundamental rights of all citizens, including right to equality, right to live with dignity and right to freedom of mobility within the nation.
organisations who were represented at the meeting were
the All-India Democratic Womens Association, the
Guild of Service, the All-India Womens Conference,
the National Alliance of Women Organisations, the Joint
Womens Programme, the Kali for Women, the Sakshi,
the Ankur, the National Federation of Indian Women and
the Centre for Social Research. Theatre director Anuradha
Kapoor and social activist, Shantha Hariharan were also
present at the meeting.
Hold DSGMC poll on May 12: HC
NEW DELHI, Feb 10 The election to the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) will be held on May 12.
The Delhi High Court today set aside the earlier order of fixing the elections for the DSGMC on February 19 and allowed the present executive to complete its tenure.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice S.N. Variaya and Mr Justice Cyriac Joseph passed the order that the poll should be held on May 12 positively under the supervision of the retired High Court Judge Jaspal Singh.
The Bench passed the order on an appeal filed by the DSGMC against the Single Bench order last month fixing the elections in February.
"The elections shall not be postponed for any reason whatsoever," the Bench observed.
The Bench directed the DSGMC, headed by Paramjit Singh Sarna, to "undo" any changes made in the governing bodies of the educational institutions run by the committee, including the appointments and termination of employees, reminding that the court in an interim order in July last year had "restrained" it from any such action.
"Make sure that there will be no change, even appointment and termination of the staff, or else we will issue contempt notice against it," the court warned.
Rival Akali group, headed by president of the Delhi unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) Avtar Singh Hit and the DSGMC are engaged in a legal battle over the last years controversial poll to the body.
Avtar Singh had alleged that Sarnas group captured the DSGMC at a meeting "reconvened" by a senior vice-president after the "official" meeting called for electing the committee on May 12, 1999, was adjourned by the then DSGMC president Jaswant Singh Sethi following "violent" incidents before voting.
The court while endorsing the Single Judge Bench order appointing advocate D D Singh as the observer to assist Justice Jaspal Singh (retd) in conducting the elections, directed the DSGMC to pay them Rs 12,000 and Rs 25,000 respectively for their services.
The observer was also directed to intimate the result of the election to the court immediately.
Senior advocate H.S. Phoolka had informed the court that the DSGMC was planning to start a law college this year and Delhi University had been approached in this regard. However, the Bench clarified that starting "new classes do not mean any change" in an institution.
It also said the guidelines laid down in the interim order regarding the maintenance of accounts by the present DSGMC, would continue till the fresh election.
CHENNAI, Feb 10 (UNI) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi has urged Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to forbid the government servants from joining "social organisations" having links with political parties, through a consensus.
In a letter to Mr Vajpayee yesterday, copies of which were released to the press today, Mr Karunanidhi, whose party Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) is a partner in the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre, said granting permission to the government servants to join organisations like the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) on the plea that an organisation was social, would tend to open the Pandoras box.
Referring to the controversy that had erupted on the issue of permitting government servants to join the RSS by the Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh Governments, he said: "This will set a precedent for political parties to create their own outfits under the pretext of social character to attract the government servants into their folds".
"Definitely, it will affect the administrative structure nurtured over a period of time and allow inroads into the disciplined forces like police, defence and other important services", he remarked.
Allowing the government
servants to join "different organisations"
would lead to unnecessary problems, Mr Karunanidhi said
pointing out that the employees were bound by the
constitution and responsible to the governments.
Move to replace Pak President?
NEW DELHI, Feb 10 (UNI) Speculation that Pakistans military ruler Gen Pervez Musharraf may be looking for a replacement for President Rafiq Tarar before courts pronounce their verdicts in cases against deposed Premier Nawaz Sharif, have been strengthened by an Awami National Party (ANP) leaders claim that he had been offered this post soon after the military took over.
Mr Tarar was fielded as the ruling Muslim Leagues presidential candidate in December 1997, allegedly due to his close ties with the Sharif family. While the rumours about the next incumbent did the rounds, General Musharraf visited Peshawar and met just one politician ANP leader Ajmal Khattak.
Mr Khattak has now
revealed that the General came to him with the offer of
presidency if his party supported the seven-point agenda
which General Musharraf had announced as the
justification for his coup.
BJP for raising IT exemption limit
NEW DELHI, Feb 10 (PTI) The BJP today sought increase in the exemption limit for income tax in the coming Budget from the existing Rs 50,000.
"I am quite sure that the Finance Minister will take into account the demand for higher income tax exemption and do the needful," party vice-president Jana Krishnamurthy told reporters here.
Musharraf must change attitude
CHENNAI, Feb 10 (PTI) India today said the question of granting asylum to the 17th Karmapa Lama, Ugyen Trinley Dorji, who arrived in India on an unknown mission, would be decided within the ambit of Panchsheel.
Answering a question at a press conference here, Union Minister of State for External Affairs Ajit Kumar Panja said that officials had interviewed the Tibetan Buddhist religious leader to ascertain his intention in travelling to India.
"After ascertaining his intention, we will do whatever is possible within the four walls of Panchsheel," he said.
India should consider the fact that the Karmapa was still a minor and a respected religious leader recognised by China, he said, adding, "Under the circumstances, we will let the dust settle down, find out his intentions and then decide,".
Mr Panja said Gen Pervez Musharrafs status as Pakistans leader was a stumbling block in the efforts to normalise relations with that country.
Mr Panja said General Musharraf should change his threatening posture towards India. "He is baring his teeth and showing red eyes.
Playing down any threat of a nuclear attack from Pakistan, he told reporters that India was prepared to deal with any situation. "They had learnt lessons thrice in the past. If they try it again, 100 crore Indians will teach them a lesson again", he asserted.
Mr Panja, who was on a visit to the Regional Passport Office, also did not attach any significance to the massive military exercises by Pakistan across the border.
Asked if India would exert pressure on US President Bill Clinton to declare Pakistan as a terrorist state during his visit, he said there was no need to exert any pressure. "We are convinced that Pakistan must be declared a terrorist state," he added.
Asked how relations could be normalised by getting Pakistan declared as a terrorist state, Mr Panja said it did not mean that the doors for holding negotiations were closed.
Meanwhile, Sino-Indian relations had not been impaired by the escape of the Karmapa to India and the bilateral ties have, infact had acquired a much-required stability and maturity in a crucial year, diplomatic sources here said.
Jatiya rejects OASIS report
NEW DELHI, Feb 10 (PTI) Labour Minister Satya Narain Jatiya today said that the key recommendations of the Old Age Social Income Security (OASIS) report were not favourable under the existing system.
"The key recommendations submitted in the OASIS report are not conducive under the existing system," he told reporters on the sidelines of a seminar organised by ASSOCHAM here.
The committee headed by Mr S.A.Dave had recommended, among other things, management of PF and pension funds by professionals with market-linked returns instead of a fixed rate of return under the current system.
The minister said the board of trustees of the pension and provident fund (PF) were capable of managing the funds.
He also said the
government had appointed a second labour commission in
order to study various aspects associated with organised
and unorganised labour forces. The commission was
expected to submit its report within two years.
Netizens back govt move on
NEW DELHI, Feb 10 The Union Governments plan to review the Constitution without disturbing its basic structure has received an overwhelming support from netizens in an opinion poll conducted on the Prime Ministers Office website.
The poll, conducted last week on www.pmindia.nic.in, saw 81 per cent of votes in favour of the review while 19 per cent were against it.
The website launched by the Prime Minister on January 26 this year had recorded 11,58,782 hits till February 8, an official release said.
"On an average, more than 80,000 hits are being registered on the website everyday since its launch," it said.
The theme for this weeks opinion poll on the website is "Is Prime Minister right in insisting that there can be no meaningful talks with Pakistan till cross-border terrorism ends?"
The website offers among
other things biographical and pictorial details of the
present and past prime ministers, details of the
functions of the PMO, a virtual tour of the Prime
Ministers Office, voting on current issues and a
facility to write to PMO.
Govt clarifies on devolution of taxes
NEW DELHI, Feb 10 (PTI) The government said today that it had decided in principle to enhance devolution of central taxes to states beyond 29 per cent to offset revenue loss to states due to modifications in the recommendation of the Tenth Finance Commission.
The suitable enhancement had been necessitated as states were set to lose about Rs 2000 crore following the Cabinet decision on Tuesday to modify the Tenth Finance Commission recommendation to devolve 29 per cent of net proceeds of central taxes instead of gross proceeds.
A Finance Ministry clarification came in the wake of misleading reports that states were to lose Rs 2000 crore in the wake of the modification in the Tenth Finance Commission recommendation by the Cabinet.
The decision would be effected only after Parliament passes the 85th constitutional amendment Bill which the Cabinet has decided to reintroduce in the Budget session of Parliament.
The 85th Constitutional Amendment Bill, which provides for the implementation of this alternative scheme of devolution of central taxes, was first introduced in the 12th Lok Sabha. But the Bill lapsed due to dissolution of the 12th Lok Sabha.
The decision to change gross to net proceeds has been taken to maintain consistency between Articles 270, 279 and 280 of the Constitution.
A Finance Ministry release said the recommendation of the Tenth Finance Commission was to freeze the share of 29 per cent for 15 years.
Munde, others court arrest
MUMBAI, Feb 10 (PTI) Former Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Gopinath Munde today courted arrest along with several other leaders and activists of the BJP after they staged a "rasta roko" at Andheri here as part of a state-wide agitation against "rising prices of essential commodities".
BJP workers were
agitating all over the state against escalating prices of
goods and commodities under the public distribution
system and demanded immediate payment to cotton growers,
party sources said.
Laloo locks horns with
DANAPUR, Feb 10 The city is in the grip of poll fever that has spread across the state capital, Patna. The reason is not far to seek in the politically-conscious Bihar the RJD chief and former Chief Minister, Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav is in the fray.
This was the constituency Mr Laloo Prasad chose to give up in 1995, after he won from two constituencies, the other being Raghopur, across the Ganga.
Interestingly, the person the RJD chief fielded as his substitute in the 1996 byelection, Mr Ramanand Yadav, has turned out to be his challenger on the BJP ticket this time around. The duel between the former friends will be decided on Saturday.
"If the polling is free and fair then we will have no problems" said a BJP campaigner in Danapur, and went on to add nonchalantly "booth capturing by the ruling party cannot be ruled out, especially in 120 of the 174 booths in rural segments."
RJD supporters are quick in dismissing these statements as "wails of a party that is losing."
While the result of Danapur will have to wait for nearly three weeks, the RJD and the BJP or better still the National Democratic Alliance are leaving nothing to change.
Senior NDA leaders like Mr Ram Bilas Paswan and Mr Sharad Yadav have turned to campaign for their new-found ally, the RJD chief has brought in CPM leader Mr Harkishen Singh Surjeet, and Bihar Chief Minister Mrs Rabri Devi is doing her bit for her husband.
In a constituency of over two lakh, Yadavs are dominant and Mr Laloo Yadav hopes to encash on his ability to convince people that if elected, the Chief Minister can be their representative.
Yet, Mr Ramanand Yadav,
one time Laloo supporter has been MLA from neighbouring
Patna, who broke away from his mentor filed papers this
time as an Independent, the BJP adopted him. The reason
being that Mr Vijay Singh Yadav who defeated Mr Raman
Yadav, in the 1996 by poll was suspected to be hobnobbing
with the RJD. Eventually Mr Vijay Yadav, who filed papers
from Danapur, as an Independent retired in favour of Mr
Yadav. Though the Congress has a candidate in Sashi
Shekhar Prasad, the contest is between the RJD and the
BJP, and Danapur is once again in focus.
Campaigning for first phase ends
PATNA, Feb 10 (UNI) The curtains came down on campaigning for the first phase of elections in 108 Assembly constituencies, mostly in the extremist-dominated areas of South Bihar, today.
Poll-related violence in Bihar, has already started taking its toll with the torching of vehicles of candidates in southern parts of the state and gunning down of a Congress leader in Hazaribagh.
Given the fact that the state had recorded a steep rise in incidence of poll-related violence in the current decade, the Election Commission has taken precautionary measures for an incident-free poll in the state. The poll boycott, called by several banned outfits, necessitated a larger security umbrella during the polls.
State Home Secretary U.N.Panjiyar told UNI that 400 companies of central forces had been allotted this time against the demand of 800 companies. As many as 100 companies had already been deployed in the ultra-dominated areas to launch a combing operation in those areas before the polls.
In the last Assembly poll in 1995, held in five phases, more than 800 companies of central forces were deployed with static armed forces stationed at all the polling stations.
More than 60 people, including 40 security personnel, lost their lives in the worst ever poll violence during the 1999 Lok Sabha polls held in the state. Landmine blasts, which took more than 50 lives in that poll in the Naxalite-dominated Palamau, Hazaribagh , Chatra, Rohtas and Lohardagga districts, had put a big question mark on the poll security arrangement of the state government.
In the 1998 Lok Sabha election, the state created a record of sorts with the commission ordering repolling in 4942 booths out of nation-wide repoll in 6520 booths.
In all 44 people, including security personnel, were killed in pre-and post-poll violence. Altogether 1700 cases were registered in connection with the election process and 35,840 patrolling parties deployed to prevent any untoward incidents.
In the 1996 Lok Sabha elections, the state witnessed 42 deaths and more than 1400 police cases were lodged.
The much touted Muslim-Yadav combination, the mainstay of the RJDs vote bank and alleged negligence of the minorities, have been an important issue. The opposition parties claim that the RJD had "betrayed the sentiments of the minority community and took them for a ride by donning the cap of the secularism".
The issue of filing of nomination papers by some history sheeters contesting the elections as Independent candidates, allegedly with the support of mainstream political parties, may also become a major issue.
Interestingly Almost all the major political parties have been plagued by bickerings over distribution of tickets with activists not wholeheartedly canvassing for their respective parties.
JD (U) MP refuses to campaign
NEW DELHI, Feb 10 (UNI) Former Union Ministers and Janata Dal (U) MP, Jai Narain Prasad Nishad, yesterday said that he would not campaign for the National Democratic Alliance nominees because the parties had ignored the claims of most backward classes and minorities in allocating seats for the coming assembly poll in Bihar.
He said he would float his own party in the event of his expulsion from the JD (U) but would continue to support the Vajpayee government.
Capt Nishad who is convalescing after an open heart surgery, told reporters here that there were several instances of people with criminal background given ticket and nepotism was all pervasive.
The former Environment Minister, who won his Lok Sabha seat as a Samata Party nominee, chose to remain in JD(U) after the Samata declined to merge into it. It sent a wrong message to the people on the eve of elections.
The chances of the NDA forming the government had dwindled, he said.
He said there was
discrimination among the distribution of ticket by the JD
(U). While other JD(U) MPs were given a choice to field
four candidates in their constituencies, he could
nominate only two.
Army to assist
5 BJP members
marking schemes available
Stolen cars on
turns film writer
Lawyers to go on
strike on Feb 24
Twelve kg of
dip at Sangam
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