|Tuesday, February 22, 2000,
Congress, INLD closely placed
BJP activist hurt in clash with
BJP mood upbeat after PM's rally
BSP leader killed in mishap
Hectic activity on poll eve
BJP workers damage
25 villages to boycott poll
Selja, Hooda woo voters for Cong
Chautalas prestige at stake
deserted as poll keeps lawyers busy
Triangular contest in Barwala
Bhajan Lal predicts landslide
Dixit for realism in Indias
Schemes launched in Sonepat
Schoolboy crushed to death
Congress, INLD closely placed
GHARAUNDA, Feb 21 A close contest is in the offing for the three Assembly seats in Karnal and Panipat districts. The seats are Gharaunda, Asandh and Neolatha. During the 1996 elections, two of the three seats were wrestled by the Samata Party now named the INLD by Mr Om Prakash Chautala. Only the Neolatha seat was won by the Haryana Vikas Party candidate, Mr Vijender Kadyan. Later, he switched loyalties to the Congress after the ouster of Mr Bansi Lal from power.
On the eve of election day this time the contest seemed closely poised between the Congress and the INLD.
The Gharaunda seat was won by Mr Ramesh Kashyap of the BJP in the initial stages, but the Supreme Court later declared elected Mr Ramesh Rana of the INLD, on an election petition filed by Mr Rana. In the division of seats between the INLD-BJP alliance, this seat was allotted to the INLD again. This caused a lot of resentment in BJP cadres here. From the INLD side once again Mr Rana has been nominated. He has been running a vigorous campaign in the area and is mostly depending on the Jat, Rajputs and the Kashyaps voters in the area. Mr Chautala had also addressed meetings in his support here.
The Congress has staged a sensational comeback during this election. The Congress candidate, Mr Rajinder Kalyan, has gained ground during the last few days. His father Mr Multan Singh was earlier a legislator from Gharaunda. Mr Kalyan was nominated at the last moment. In the caste configuration here Mr Kalyan is likely to poll the votes of Rors, Gujars, Kashyaps, Brahmins, Lohars and Backward Classes. In the initial stages his campaign suffered because of division in the Congress ranks. But of late, the Congress has closed ranks and main Congress leaders in the area have started backing his candidature. This has improved the position of Mr Kalyan tremendously. The Independent candidate, Mr Jai Pal Sharma who is supposed to enjoy the confidence of Mr Bhajan Lal seems lagging behind in the campaign.
In the Neolatha seat which falls in Panipat district, a tough fight has emerged between Mrs Parsanni Devi of the Congress and Mr Satvir Kadyan of the INLD. The Neolatha constituency is basically a Jat dominated constituency where the caste considerations seem to be swaying the voters minds.
While Mr Kadyan is depending on the support of Jat voters who are in a dominant position here, Mrs Parsanni Devi, who is also a Jat is depending on Brahmins, Gujjars and Backward Class votes. But it is the Backward Class voters who can tilt the balance of power and their support will determine the fate of any candidate. There are about 66 villages in the constituency and the main thrust of the candidates compaigning is to win over the rural votes. While Mr Kadyan is a resident of the area, the Congress candidate, Mrs Parsanni Devi, also belongs to the same area. Both Mrs Parsanni Devi and Mr Kadyan have each won this seat once.
The Congress is also focussing its attention on winning over the Jat voters. The Congress candidate has been assuring the villages that she would create more employment opportunities in the area and take care of its development.
In the Neolatha constituency, it is the Jat voters, who have been calling the tune and even determining the course to be followed by the Dalits. But this time, the situation is radically different as Mrs Parsanni Devi is also quite popular with a strong section of Jats in the area. Of course, she had to face opposition from different sections of Congressmen who were the claimants to Congress ticket. But ultimately all of them have now reconciled and have started backing the Congress candidate. Therefore, if Mrs Parsanni Devi is able to tilt a section of Jat voters along with Backward Classes and Brahmins in her favour, she is likely to turn the tables. But on the other hand, the INLD has always been a favourite here. Therefore, it is not easy to disturbed the INLD applecart.
The BSP has nominated Mr Ranjit Singh Ror as its candidate. There is a considerable number of Ror Voters in the area. Mr Ranjit Singh, who at one time enjoyed the confidence of Mr Devi Lal and also fought from the Karnal Parliamentary seat, is now concentrating on Ror as well as a section of Jat voters. In any case, he does not enjoy much support among the Dalits even though he is fighting on BSP ticket. The contest, therefore, has boiled down between the Congress and the INLD.
In the Asandh constituency, Mr Kishan Panwar of the INLD is out to make a hat-trick. He had won from this reserve constituency twice as a candidate of the now INLD. This time also, he is counting more on the Jat and Sikh voters who are in a pre-dominant position here. The Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal also canvassed in his support among the Sikh masses along with Mr Chautala, Mr Panwar is, therefore, hopeful that if the Jats and Sikhs combine together, he would be able to repeat his success story.
But he still has some
hurdles to cross as the Dalit voters in the area are
upset with him. The Congress nominee here is giving him
sleepless nights as she has created a major dent in the
Dalit voters of the area and is popular among the
Punjabis, Rors, Brahmins and some other small sections.
Hence it is not smooth sailing for the INLD in this
constituency which was once considered its stronghold.
BJP activist hurt in clash
with Congress workers
PANCHKULA, Feb 21 A worker of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Mr Vijay Kumar, was injured in a reported scuffle in Rajiv Colony here today, even as tension mounted in the colony which has already been identified as sensitive area for elections.
According to the spokesperson of the BJP, trouble erupted when a few BJP workers caught their Congress counterparts distributing dummy ballot papers in the colony. They managed to nab a culprit and take him to the police. In the process, one of their workers was injured and admitted to the General Hospital, Sector 6.
Later, they took him to the police station in Sector 16 where he along with a few others, in the police presence, beat up BJP workers. The spokesperson said that the police stood back and watched the incident and did not intervene in the matter. She alleged that the problem arose because the police had failed to act and also because the Congress workers were misleading the voters in the colony and tempting them by offering liquor and money. Three complaints of the BJP have been lodged with the police station.
However, contrary to these claims, the Congress alleged that the BJP workers tried to kidnap two of their party workers in broad daylight. The spokesperson of the Congress said that Mr Krishan Pal Jain, a worker of the party and president of the colony, was distributing the ballot papers and explaining these to the voters when a couple of BJP workers arrived on the scene and informed him that two persons from the Election Commission had come to see him.
Suspecting foul play, Mr Jain said that he would not go. However, they managed to corner him and take him to a parked car. Meanwhile, Mr Ravinder Rawal, waiting for him outside the colony, was also surrounded by the BJP workers and pushed into his car. His mobile phone was also taken away. While this was happening, Mr Jain managed to give the BJP workers the slip and ran away. The workers, instead, took away Mr Rawal.
In Sector 17, Mr Rawal saw a police control room (PCR) vehicle coming in his direction and waved to it, appealing for help. It was then that the car with BJP workers and Mr Rawal was brought to the police station.
The Duty Magistrate, Mr Dilbagh Singh, said that it was at the police station that all the BJP workers got together and tried to beat up Mr Rawal. He added that the police intervened and shut Mr Rawal in the bathroom to save him. Later, Mr Rawal filed a complaint charging BJP workers of trying to kidnap him.
However, the drama did not end with that. Around 3.30 p.m., another worker of the BJP came crying for help at the police station where he informed that a Congress worker had forced him to close down his shop and later beaten him up. Agitated BJP demanded additional police presence in the colony which was made available and patrolling in the area was stepped up.
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Monga, said that he would ask the Duty Magistrate of the area and the Superintendent of Police to brief him on the incident and would take appropriate action in this case.
BJP mood upbeat after PM's
AMBALA, Feb 21 Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers in Ambala are in an upbeat mood after the rally of Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, held here yesterday.
The BJP workers are of the opinion that the Prime Minister's rally would go a long way in ensuring victory at the hustings, voting for which will take place tomorrow.
According to the BJP candidate for Ambala Cantonment, Dr K. D. Sharma, the rally has made a significant difference to his electoral prospect. "It is a big boost which would help me win. Also, after the rally, several persons have again decided to come back to the party fold," he said.
He observed that the
decision to shift the venue of Mr Vajpayee's rally from
Ambala cantonment to Ambala City would not have any
effect "as Mr Vajpayee's rally in Haryana is more
than sufficient to encourage the party workers and see
that we win." The arrival of Punjab Chief Minister
Parkash Singh Badal and Haryana Chief Minister on the
dais added to the glamour, another worker added.
BSP leader killed in mishap
AMBALA, Feb 21 A road accident which claimed the life of the President of the youth wing of Naggal of the Bahujan Samaj Party, Sajjan Singh, led to the traffic being blocked in Ambala city.
The accident, which took place on the eve of the Assembly elections, was given a political colour. The incident took place when the car in which Sajjan Singh was travelling, met with an accident near Ballana village past night. Two other occupants, Mr Jagtar and Mr Mangat, were seriously injured in the accident while Sajjan Singh died.
The BSP activists held a dharna at Manav Chowk on the Ambala-Hisar road, blocking traffic on it. They alleged that the accident had taken place deliberately and a candidate who was in the electoral fray was allegedly behind the accident.
Hectic activity on poll eve
PANCHKULA, Feb 21 The Community Centre at BEL Colony, Sector 14, was the scene of hectic activity as polling officials for the 289 centres began assembling here since morning today. These officials were sent with electronic voting machines by late afternoon to various places for the elections scheduled for tomorrow.
Out of the 28 booths in the Morni area, eight can not be reached on vehicles. At these booths, the administration sent guards of the Forest Department along with the officials. Also, the remaining officials bound for Morni were sent in special vehicles along with employees of the Forest Department who were familiar with the terrain. They carried all the required election-related material with them. This information was given by Mr S.K. Monga, District Magistrate and Deputy Commissioner.
In all 26 supervisors, on duty, were required to report the arrival of polling officials in the areas assigned to them. The 12 Duty Magistrates who took charge of their respective areas today have been given the task of maintaining law and order there and checking violations.
Also, the police and the home guards will also keep watch at the polling booths along with the forest guards at a few places. Moreover, additional force will be deployed at the eight sensitive polling stations of Baddgodam, Rattpur, Gaddi, Koraha, Karrol, Bataur, Barwala and Rajiv Colony.
Voters will be required to carry their photo-identity cards with them according to the directions of the Election Commission. They may also make do with the driving licence, passport, ration card, tax documents, bank or post-office passbook, kisan pass book, electricity bill, chulha tax bill or any other similar document to prove their identity.
The Superintendent of Police, Mr Sudhir Chowdhary, said adequate police arrangements had been made in the district and nakas had been set up at several points to ensure the smooth conduct of the poll.
"The administration has mostly avoided putting women on duty for elections. However, in unavoidable circumstances, they have been put on duty at polling booths in their vicinity to ensure that they are not put to any inconvenience," Mr Monga said.
AMBALA: The District Administration has made elaborate security arrangements for peaceful polling in the five Assembly constituencies of Ambala district. As many as 5,56,201 persons will use their franchise on Tuesday in 753 polling booths. Forty two candidates, including around 12 independents in five constituencies, are in the fray.
The Superintendent of Police, Mr Navdeep Singh Virk, said besides routine security arrangements at polling booths, seven patrolling parties,led by a DSP-level police officer in each constituency, would be deployed.
Meanwhile, the police
has made special security arrangements for the Naggal
constituency, where a former state President of the Youth
Congress, Mr Nirmal Singh, and a senior leader of the
Youth Wing of the INLD, Mr Jaswir Malour are contesting
the Assembly election.
BJP workers damage
HISAR, Feb 21 AngryBJP workers today allegedly damaged at least four vehicles belonging to the supporters of Mr Om Prakash Mahajan who was contesting as an independent candidate from here. The immediate provocation was the sporting of flage and the photographs of Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala by Mr Mahajans supporters.
The trouble started yesterday when Mr Mahajan claimed that the INLD high command had granted him permission to use the party flags and CMs photographs. Even the district spokesman of the INLD, Mr Rajmal Kajal, confirmed Mr Mahajans statement.
Mr Mahajan claimed that he had been assured of the support by the Chief Minister at a recently held meeting here.
However, the INLD-BJP alliance candidate from here, Dr Kamal Gupta, called a press conference today and denied Mr Mahajans claims. He also circulated a signed statement of Mr Kajal.
The BJP workers impounded at least four vehicles belonging to Mr Mahajan, while carrying green flags and posters of Mr Chautala. The vehicles were brought to the BJP election office. Dr Gupta said he had written to the election commission seeking action against Mr Mahajan for misleading the voters.
The BJP candidate claimed that it was an act of frustration of Mr Mahajan to mislead the public by claiming Mr Chautalas support. He pointed out, Mr Devi Lal and Mr Chautala had come in his support. "What else should prove that they support me only".
25 villages to boycott poll
NARNAUL, Feb 21 The district police today arrested Shradha Nand, a sarpanch of Khatoti Kalan village, fearing that he might create disturbance during the election on February 22 in this Assembly constituency.
More than 17,000 voters of 25 villages in this constituency had boycotted the poll a month back and put forward their demands of filling the Hamidpur Dam with canal water construction of ponds in the villages and provision of drinking water facility in the area. The inhabitants had decided against allowing any candidate to campaign or to open his office in the area and for that they had submitted a resolution to the Deputy Commissioner. But, the district administration has failed to convince the villagers.
However, Gahli, Budhwal, Thanwas, Pavera, Sehlang, Ghataser, Nangal Dargu, Nain, Mohalla Jamalpur and Mohalla Purani Mandi, have been identified as most sensitive villages by the police.
In Ateli constituency Sobhapur, Sihma, Mandi, Bachaud, Gujarwas, Molra, Bihali, Rata Kalan, Bochadia, Dulothjat, Ateli Mandi, Chandipura, and Bhungarka, villages have been declared sensitive.
Selja, Hooda woo voters for
SIRSA, Feb 21 A former minister and AICC member Selja Kumari, while addressing an election meeting at Nathusari Chopta in Darba legislative constituency yesterday said the constitution given to us by Baba Bhim Rao Ambedkar is as sacred to us as the Geeta and the Ramayana.
She claimed that only Congress had honoured the backward people while all others parties had "exploited" them. She urged the voters to support the Congress candidates and usher in a terror-free rule in the state.
Haryana Congress President Bhupinder Singh Hooda also appealed to the voters to vote without any fear.
He accused Chautala government of misleading the people of the state and said any pro-farmer government could not accept a hike in diesel prices when the farmers were not being given appropriate support rates for cotton and paddy.
Chautalas prestige at stake in
AMBALA: It is a do-or-die situation for Mr Nirmal Singh (Cong) and Mr Jasbir Mallaur (INLD) in the Naggal Assembly constituency of the district. Both sides have pulled all stops to ensure the victory of their respective candidates. For the INLD it is a matter of personal prestige for its supremo, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, to prevent Mr Nirmal Singh from re-entering the Haryana Assembly.
Mr Nirmal Singh is equally determined to defeat the designs of the INLD. He has been contesting elections from Naggal since 1982. He lost only once in 1987. In the last Assembly elections he won as an Independent by a margin of about 20,000 votes. He concluded his campaign by organising a big rally in the Ambala grain market as a show of strength. His rally was in response to a similar rally organised by Mr Mallaur before filing his nomination papers.
Mr Mallaur depends upon the development works undertaken by the Chautala Government and the anti-incumbency factor against Mr Nirmal Singh. He says that the INLD vote bank as well as those who are against Mr Nirmal Singh will ensure his first entry into the Assembly.
Mr Nirmal Singh, on the other hand, depends upon the Scheduled Caste and Backward Classes, which, he says, have been frightened by INLD workers. He has a committed support base. He is seeking votes by projecting himself as a Chief Ministers candidate.
The administration feels that the Naggal constituency is sensitive and is keeping its fingers crossed. Interestingly, the election offices of the Congress and the INLD are adjacent on Hissar road. To avoid any clash, the police has set up a post between the two offices.
Kalka is another assembly segment falling in the Ambala Lok Sabha constituency which is witnessing a keen contest between Mr Chandra Mohan (Cong) and Mr Shyam Lal Bansal of the BJP, who is supported by the INLD. Mr Chandra Mohan, who won from here in 1993 and 1996, depends upon the development of the area undertaken during the chief ministership of his father, Mr Bhajan Lal. He expects support from all sections of society.
Mr Bansal is banking upon the traditional support base of the BJP and the INLD. He is also hopeful of getting a big response from his community, which has considerable presence in the constituency.
Much depends upon the Gujjar vote. Though Mr Jagdip Choudhary, younger brother of the influential INLD leader of the area, Mr Pradeep Choudhary, is contesting on the BSP ticket, he is not likely to make it a triangular contest, despite the fact the Gujjars usually vote for a candidate of their clan.
Mr Bhajan Lals prestige is at stake in Kalka.
In the Ambala Lok Sabha constituency it is once again Vajpayee versus Sonia. Sonia held a public meeting at Jagadhari on Saturday Mr Vajpayee addressed an election meeting at Ambala on Sunday. Both parties claim that the visits of their respective leaders have improved the prospects of their candidates.
Ambala cantonment is witnessing an electoral battle between the sitting Independent MLA, Mr Anil Vij, and Dr K.D. Sharma of the BJP. Mrs Sudershan Dua of the Congress made a late entry. A former President of the Ambala DCC (Urban), Mr Arjun Lal Kalra, and the media coordinator of the party, Mr Ashok Jain, claimed that all partymen were now working for Mrs Dua.
Ambala city is witnessing a triangular contest between Mrs Kiran Bala Jain (Cong), Mrs Veena Chhibber (BJP) and Mr Nirmal Vij (BJP rebel). Mrs Jain is seeking votes of her community by telling it that she was the first woman member of the community to be nominated in the state by a national party years after two veteran leaders, Mrs Lakhwati Jain and Mrs Om Prabha Jain, faded out ot politics.
A former minister, Mr Phool Chand Mullana (Cong), is also involved in a triangular contest with Mr Risal Singh, the sitting INLD MLA, and Mrs Kusam Sherwal (BSP) in the Mullana (reserved) constituency.
Chhachhrauli, too, is witnessing a triangular contest among Mr Kanwarpal (BJP), Mr Amir Hassan (BSP) and Mr Akram Khan (Ind). The Congress has fielded Mr Naresh Kamboj, a new face, and the HVP nominee is Mr Arjun Singh.
Jagadhari is likely to have a multi-cornered contest. The BJP nominee, Mr Rameshwar Chauhan; Mr Bishan Lal Saini (BSP) and Mr Subhash Choudhary, a former minister and now contesting as Independent, are trying to keep Dr Ram Prakash (Cong) out of the fight. The Congress nominee is also facing two rebels, Dr Om Prakash Sharma and Mr Bal Krishan Goel.
Aman Kumar Nagra (BSP), Mr Deep Chand (Cong) and Mr Balwant Singh (INLD) are fighting among themselves for the Sadhaura (reserved) constituency. An INLD rebel, Mr Ramji Lal, a former MLA; and Mr Anil Kumar, son of a former BJP MLA from here, Mr Bhag Mal, are also in the field.
Courts deserted as poll keeps
BHIWANI, Feb 21 As many local lawyers are participating in the elections, this has affected the work in the courts.
The Bhiwani Bar Association has a strength of 430 lawyers, and at least half of the members are busy in campaigning for various parties and have stopped coming to the court, said Mr C P Sharma, a member of Bar Association here.
Mr Ranbir Singh Mohindra and Mr Vasudev Sharma of the Congress party, Mr Rishiram Sharma of the BJP and Mr Shashi Ranjan Parmar of the INLD are among the professionally active lawyers who are contesting the polls on next Tuesday. Their friends are actively helping them out in the electoral battlefield.
Mr Jagan Nath of the Congress, Mr Surender Singh and Mr Somvir Singh of the Haryana Vikas Party (HVP) and even the HVP supremo, Mr Bansi Lal, are enrolled as the members of the Bar here, though they are not active. Nevertheless, they, too, have following among the lawyers.
"Normally, on an average 5 per cent of the cases are adjourned daily, but since the elections have been announced, the number of adjournments have shot up to 50 per cent", said Mr Sri Kishen, who is attached as a Reader to the Chief Judicial Magistrate at the district courts here.
While the criminal cases are taken care of by the assistants, civil cases have been more affected by the absence of the lawyers, he said.
Mr Rajender Singh and Mr Om Prakash, who are working as private typists in the court premises, said that their meagre incomes have gone down by a half since the announcement of the elections. "We used to make about Rs 150 per day, now we can manage to earn only Rs 75", the typists said.
The litigants, who come
from remote places, also feel disheartened when they come
to know that their cases have been adjourned. "I got
a date after a long wait, now after coming all the way to
Bhiwani, I am being told to wait for another date",
said Virender Singh, a villager from Badhra.
Triangular contest in Barwala
BARWALA, (Hisar), Feb 21 This rural Assembly segment is in for a keen and tense contest mainly between the Congress candidate, Mr Jai Prakash, and the INLD-BJP alliance candidate, Ms Promila Barwala. Meanwhile, the Independent candidate, Dr Annant Ram Barwala is also a strong contender. The stakes are high for the Congress candidate.
Mr Prakashs political career has seen swift ups and downs. A staunch follower of Mr Devi Lal during earlier years, he shot to fame as the leader of the Green Brigade, and later became a union minister in his mid-thirties in the VP Singh government. With the passage of time like so many other Devi Lal followers, he parted ways with Mr Chautala. He joined hands with Mr Bansi Lal and became an MP from Hisar in 1996. But severed ties with Mr Bansi Lal sons. In 1998 he contested elections as a Haryana Gana Parishad candidate. He had floated the party before elections. Later, he joined the Congress. This time he was interested in contesting from Jind, but got the party nomination from Barwala.
Given the considerable clout of the local MP, Mr Surinder Singh Barwala, and the INLD, things are going to be more than tough for Mr Jai Prakash here. Along with this the Independent candidate, Dr Annant Ram Barwala, is also cutting into his support base among Backward Classes and Scheduled Castes.
Barwala was represented by an Independent candidate, Mr Relu Ram Punia, in the dissolved house. He is not contesting this time and is supporting the official INLD candidate Ms Promila Barwala, the wife of Hisar MP Surinder Barwala.
However, Mr Jai Prakash has managed to maintain cordial relations with almost all the leaders in the faction-ridden Congress. His election rallies have been addressed by senior leaders like Mr Arjun Singh.
This has given added confidence to the Congress candidate. He is trying to cash in on the initial resentment among people on the nomination of Ms Barwala as the INLD candidate.
The label of being an "outsider" is another big hurdle in the way of the Congress candidate. But it has not dampened his optimisim.
Ms Promila Barwala is also equally confident that the INLD-BJP alliance will sweep the elections in the state. She claims that she did not need to campaign so hard, but only does for the love of the people, who have elected her husband twice to the Parliament.
Meanwhile, Dr Annant
Ram, an Independent candidate, is counting on the work he
did during Mr Bansi Lals time. He was denied a
ticket by the HVP this time, which went to Mr Ravi Lamba.
His performance will have an impact on the overall result
in this constituency.
Bhajan Lal predicts landslide
HISAR, Feb 21 The former Chief Minister, Mr Bhajan Lal, today claimed that the Congress was heading for a landslide victory in Assembly election in Haryana.
Addressing a Press conference here he said win the Congress would, a two-thirds majority in the elections. He claimed that the people had realised that the INLD-BJP alliance had proved a disaster. The people were upset over the performance of the Chautala government.
The senior Congress leader ruled out any change in the party leadership in case the electoral results go against the Congress. He said, Ms Sonia Gandhi was the best available choice in the Congress and she had no alternative.
Mr Bhajan Lal denied any factionalism in the party in Haryana. He claimed the overwhelming public response in the Congress meetings, perticularly those addressed by Ms Gandhi, reflected the unity in the party.
Mr Bhajan Lal refused to say who would be the next Chief Minister in case the Congress formed the government. The decision would be taken by the party high command after consultations with the elected MLAs, he added.
Asked as how could the
Congress improve after the poor performance in the Lok
Sabha election, he said the Congress had to face the
wrath of the people as it supported the Bansi Lal
government, which the people did not want.
DSP for each
pensioners in Punjab
Devi Lal seeks
votes for Chautala
Dixit for realism in
GURGAON, Feb 21 Indias policy with regard to Pakistan should be based on realism, with clear cut objectives keeping the countrys strategic interest as the goal, according to the former Foreign Secretary, Mr J.N. Dixit.
Delivering a memorial lecture on Indias relation with Pakistan organised here today by Lt. Atul Katarya Memorial Trust, Mr Dixit, who was also Indias High Commissioner in Pakistan, said there should be no place for emotions while formulating the countrys policy. Given Pakistans warped obsession with India, only divine intervention and sustained efforts on our part to exhaust it of its hostile inclinations would be able to make it eschew mischievous designs, he added.
He said he did not foresee normalisation of relation between the two neighbours for the next about 10 years. However, he said this was not to make out a case that the country should be averse to talks with Pakistan for bettering the relationship and bilateralism was a potent mechanism to bring a thaw in the relationship.
He upheld the successive governments stand against any kind of mediation by a third party between the two countries. The countrys past experiences on the issue was bitter and the response of the third party could very well be anticipated. At the same time he said the country should maintain a "calculated indifference" to the rhetorics from the other side, even while being fully alert.
He said the Pakistans misadventure in Kargil was not a sporadic military operation but a strategic military act with an intention to shift the Line of Control. The operation was to bring the LoC in dispute with an agenda beyond Jammu and Kashmir. By succeeding in its game plan, they had thought of initiating an international debate on the legal position on Indias possession of other parts of Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan has designs to foment trouble in the North East and some parts of other states, including Uttar Pradesh.
He said Pakistan has launched multi-pronged offensive against India.
In response to a
specific question, he said the country should not be
worked up at the Bill Clintons proposed visit to
Pakistan during his tour to South Asia. If the President
goes to Pakistan it would only reveal the country
importance to the USA in the framework of its strategic
interest. In any case Pakistan has been its ally in its
Asian policy. As for us we should also be bussinesslike
in our approach to Mr Clintons visit to India.
Schemes launched in Sonepat
SONEPAT, Feb 21 The district administration has undertaken a number of schemes to give a face-lift to the city.
Mr Sudhir Rajpal, Deputy Commissioner, said here today that these schemes included the removal of enchroachments on municipal and public land, widening and repair of all main and interior roads, constructing pavements, planting of saplings on both sides of the main roads, and construction of road dividers.
The Deputy Commissioner said he had sought the cooperation of various social and voluntary organisations.
He added that the district administration had taken several measures for improving the drinking water and sewerage systems in the city.
The Deputy Commissioner
stated that the Uttri Bijli Vitran Nigam had also taken a
series of steps to improve the power supply system and
strengthening the transmission lines in the city and
elsewhere in the district.
Schoolboy crushed to death
ROHTAK, Feb 21 A schoolboy was crushed to death by a train on the Circular Road level-crossing here this morning.
According to information, the victim identified as Sahil (15), was going to the school on a two-wheeler and while trying to cross the closed level-crossing he was crushed to death by a train passing from there. Sahil, was student of a ninth standard at the local DAV Public School.
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