Tuesday, June 20, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Babu Parmanand sworn in
Tribune News Service

CHANDIGARH, June 19 — Babu Parmanand was sworn in as the 12th Governor of Haryana by the Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, Justice A.B. Saharya, at a simple, but elegant ceremony here today.

The swearing-in ceremony was attended by the Chief Ministers of Haryana and Punjab, Mr Om Prakash Chautala and Mr Parkash Singh Badal; their ministerial colleagues; the Union Minister of State for Home, Mr I.D. Swamy, Judges of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and senior officers of Haryana, Punjab and the Union Territory of Chandigarh.

BJP leaders were present in a large number. Prominent among them were Mr Narendra Modi, General Secretary of the BJP; Mr Ram Bilas Sharma, a senior Haryana BJP leader; Mr Krishan Pal Gujjar, Leader of the Haryana BJP Legislature Party; Mr Rattan Lal Kataria, BJP M.P. and Secretary of the All-India BJP Scheduled Caste Morcha, Mrs Veena Chhibber and Mrs Sarita Narayan, both Haryana BJP MLAs; Mr Manohar Lal Khattar, General Secretary of the Haryana BJP; Mr Balramji Dass Tandon, a senior Punjab BJP leader and minister; and Mr Gian Chand Gupta, former Mayor of Chandigarh.

The Leader of Opposition in the Haryana Vidhan Sabha, Mr Bhajan Lal, and the MP son of the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Ajay Singh Chautala, were also present.

Mr Badal was flanked by Mr Bhajan Lal and Mr Chautala.

In a brief chat with newsmen Babu Parmanand said his priorities would be as defined in the oath of office. He would endeavour to protect and safeguard the Constitution and law. He said since Haryana had a stable government, he would have an easy tenure.

He would work for the achievement of the national goals of education and health for all. He said he would raise these issues during the Governor’s conference scheduled for next month in Delhi.

Babu Parmanand, who had been a Speaker of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, said the issue of autonomy for that State was meaningless because Jammu and Kashmir already enjoyed a special status under Article 370.

He said Jammu and Kashmir had a separate Constitution and a separate flag. Hence the demand for greater autonomy for the State as put by the ruling National Conference had no meaning.

The new Governor said since the press was the fourth pillar of democracy, there was a need for a greater coordination between the executive and the press.

Born in a poor family of Sarore village in R.S. Pura tehsil of Jammu district on August 10, 1932, Babu Parmanand did his masters in Economics. He passed his LL.B. examination from Aligarh Muslim University in 1958-59 in first division.

He joined politics to “serve the downtrodden” and was elected to the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly for the first time in 1962 and remained as the member of the House for five terms.

He remained the Minister for Social Welfare and Transport in the G.M. Sadiq’s cabinet in 1967, the Minister for Local Bodies, Housing and Cooperation in the Mir Qasim’s cabinet in 1972 and was elected Speaker of the Assembly in 1980. He also remained the Finance and Power Minister under Dr Farooq Abdullah in 1982.

The Governor wife Mrs Sudesh Kumari, is a teacher by profession and belong to Jalandhar.



Vaidya denies he was witness

NEW DELHI, June 19 (PTI) — Former Indian cricketer Prashant Vaidya today denied to the CBI that he was a witness to any commotion over Kapil Dev’s offer to Manoj Prabhakar in 1994.

“I have denied the statement made by Prabhakar and I have nothing to do with the match-fixing... I have not been witness to any commotion between the two players,” Vaidya told reporters after deposing before the CBI for over two hours.

Vaidya, who arrived at the CBI headquarters around noon, was questioned by the Special Crime Branch over his statement made on a video tape, secretly filmed by Prabhakar.

Vaidya along with wicketkeeper Nayan Mongia was named by Prabhakar as being witness to the commotion resulting from his angry rejection of the alleged offer by Kapil Dev to underperform in a one-day match during the 1994 Singer Cup in Sri Lanka.

Asked about his conversation with Prabhakar on the video tapes, Vaidya said: “I am not aware of having said any such thing.”

However, he replied in the negative when asked by reporters whether he was planning to sue Prabhakar for defamation.

Meanwhile, the CBI was planning to re-examine former team manager Ajit Wadekar and the examination was likely to take place in Mumbai, agency sources said here.

Wadekar’s examination was needed after the submission of video tapes, filmed by former all-rounder Manoj Prabhakar and submitted to the agency on May 27.

Wadekar, in his earlier deposition, had denied that Prabhakar had approached him after Kapil Dev’s alleged offer of a bribe of Rs 25 lakh to underplay against Pakistan in 1994, a charge denied by Dev.

The CBI also began re-examining of bookies here and in Mumbai to establish the role of Mukesh Gupta named by disgraced former South African captain Hansie Cronje before a commission.

Some bookies questioned in Mumbai and Delhi were being re-examined to establish the role of Gupta who is on the “run”, the agency sources said, adding raids were carried out in parts of the capital to trace him.

Mukesh Gupta is alleged to be a key player in the match-fixing scandal in which Cronje had admitted to having received $ 80,000 in two instalments.

In a related development, the Income Tax (IT) department has began investigations into records and returns of leading cricketers and BCCI officials, whose names surfaced during the on-going match-fixing controversy, IT sources said. 

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