|Friday, July 7, 2000,
calls for political discipline
challenges court order
Proposed telecom stir
challenged in HC
Howard coming on July 10
J&K integration not complete:
Sonia accepts Patels
Ilyasi moves HC to maintain
custody of daughter
1 held for car theft
PM calls for political
CALCUTTA, July 6 Inaugurating the birth centenary function of Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee in the city today, the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee stressed the need for strengthening the nation to combat evil forces in the country and outside it.
He called for enforcing political discipline to strengthen multi-party democracy.
Mr Vajpayee, accompanied by the Union Minister of Culture and Tourism, Mr Anant Kumar, was in the city to attend the inauguration of the birth centenary function of Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, one of the founder members of Hindu Mahasabha and Swatantra Party (now BJP) at Netaji Indoor Stadium. He had no other official function. But before returning to Delhi, he met state BJP leaders at Raj Bhavan and discussed organisational problems with them.
He also visited Trinamool Congress leader, Ms Mamata Banerjees house near Kalighat in south Calcutta and enquired about the prospect of forming the municipal board in Calcutta Municipal Corporation and Bidhannagar.
Ms Banerjee requested him to review the decision of closing down five PSUs in Bengal, which has emerged as a major political concern.
Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjees birthday function organised jointly by the Union Minister for Culture and the Centenary Committee, was attended by Railway Minister, Ms Mamata Banerjee and Governor, Mr Biren J. Shah, but boycotted by the Acting Chief Minister and left front leaders.
Instead the left parties staged a sit-in demonstration and protest rally near Raj Bhavan, where Mr Vajpayee spent a few hours, before returning to New Delhi. The demonstration was organised to protest against the decision to close five loss-making PSUs. Workers of the closed units also took part in the six-hour long sit-in.
The Acting Chief Minister, Mr Buddhadev Bhattacharya Mr Jyoti Basu is away to Israel and London), who went to the airport to receive Mr Vajpayee, stayed away from the official function. He explained his absence in a letter stating: "I do not hold the views and political ideas of Dr Mukherjee and hence, I am not attending".
Referring to Mr Bhattacharyas letter, the Prime Minister said "it is unfortunate that the Bengal Chief Minister refuses to attend the centenary function of a great Bengal leader who was above all politics."
We have differences with the CPM, but our leader, Mr L.K. Advani went to attend the funeral of late EMS Namboodiripad. This is the gentlemans gesture of any responsible person. After all, there cannot be any quarrel over a dead person.
Mukherjee as his political guru the Prime
Minister said Dr Mukherjee centenary function would be
observed in a befitting manner all over the country. His
centenary volumes will be published and memorials set up
in Delhi, Calcutta and Kashmir.
Chadha challenges court order
NEW DELHI, July 6 (PTI) Win Chadha, a key accused in the Rs 64-crore Bofors kickback case, today moved the Delhi High Court challenging a trial court order denying him permission to go back to Dubai for treatment.
Mr Justice R.S. Sodhi, after hearing brief arguments by Chadhas counsel Hopal Subramaniam, issued notice to the CBI directing the investigating agency to file its reply by August 1, the next date of hearing.
Special Judge Ajit Bharihoke, holding trial in the Rs 1437 crore Bofors gun deal case, had in May rejected Chadhas application seeking permission to go back to Dubai.
The trial Judge after receiving a report from a board of All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) doctors had said that the institute has all diagnostic and other facilities to treat Chadha.
The eight-member board of AIIMS doctors in its report said "diagnostic and treatment facilities for all ailments from which Chadha is suffering are available at the institute".
Chadha, a former Bofors agent in India, in his appeal before the high court against the special judges order, also pleaded that validity of his passport should be extended from one year to three years and it be made universal.
Meanwhile, contrary to reports about Indias dependence on external sources for supply of Bofors ammunition, the country is indigenously producing shells and fuses and has developed propellants which have a cooling effect on the barrels of the 155 mm Howitzers.
Besides shells, proximity fuses and the propellants, "we have already made over 30 barrels with the new propellants and these have been tested," D. Rajagopal, Chairman of the Ordnance Factories Board, said here.
Stating that the barrels of the original Bofors guns had a tendency to heat up fast, he said "We have developed the propellants which have a cooling effect on them. The barrels also have modular designs to give extra accuracy and thrust."
He said M/s Celsius, previously known as M/s A.B. Bofors, has "shown interest" in coming to India with advanced quality guns.
He also announced that at least 480 130 mm guns, which along with the Bofors were used extensively in the Kargil front, would be upgraded into 155 mm. "We will be upgunning about 480 130 mm guns to 155 mm," Mr Rajagopal said.
A new factory would come
up in Nalanda district of Bihar within the next three to
four years at a cost of Rs 700 crore to produce
propellants for different cannons, including the one with
a bi-modular design for 155 mm guns to fire heavy caliber ammunition.
Proposed telecom stir challenged in HC
NEW DELHI, July 6 (UNI) The Delhi High Court today issued notices on a public interest litigation challenging an indefinite strike call by employees of the Department of Telecom Services (DTS) and the Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL).
Chief Justice Arijit Pasayat and Mr Justice D.K. Jain said the replies must be filed by July 11. Among the respondents are the Ministry of Communications, the Ministry of Labour, the Department of Telecommunications, the Telecom Employees Union Class III, the Telegraph Traffic Employees Union III and MTNL Staff Union.
The PIL by the Movement for Improvement of Landscape Environment and Society (MILES), a non-governmental organisation, said the proposed strike from July 11 would cause enormous loss of production and lead to general deterioration in commerce, trade and industry in the country.
J&K integration not complete: BJP
NEW DELHI, July 6 (UNI) The BJP president, Mr Kushabhau Thakre, today said that Jammu and Kashmir had not yet fully integrated with the rest of the country.
Although Jammu and Kashmir was an integral part of India, there was still a thin wall, in the shape of Article 370 that stood between that state and the country. The struggle for total integration had not been fully settled, he said, while paying glowing tributes to Dr Shyama Prasad Mookherjee at a function at the partys central office today.
He said if Kashmir was an integral part of India, it was again because of Dr Mookherjees sacrifices. He referred to the Kanpur conference of the Jana Sangh where Dr Mookerjee had requested the leaders to support the Praja Parishads movement for total integration of Kashmir with India.
The BJP president said the credit of bringing West Bengal and East Punjab into India went to Dr Mookherjee. It was commonly said that if Jinnah had divided India, Dr Mookherjee had divided Pakistan. "But for him, the entire state of Bengal and Punjab would have gone to Pakistan", Mr Thakre observed.
He said there was need to educate the people of Kashmir on the benefits of total integration. The people of the Ladakh and Jammu areas of Kashmir, who fully supported total integration with India, were being victimised, he felt.
Sonia accepts Patels
NEW DELHI, July 6 Congress President Sonia Gandhi today accepted the resignation of Mr Ahmed Patel as AICC Treasurer a day after he made it public.
Mr Patel had put in his papers upset over the silence of the party high command on attacks against him by a section of the Gujarat Congress.
Mr Patel, who is popular among various sections of the party, refused to withdraw his resignation despite being pressurised by an influential section of the Congress Working Committee of which is an elected member.
Apparently, the decision of Mr Patel to make his resignation public did not go down well with the top leadership which was left with no other option but to accept it.
In a related move, the AICC today issued show-cause notices to three Gujarat Congress Pradesh Committee members Mr Jagdish Thakur, Mr Surendra Rajput and Ms Alka Kshatriya and asked them to explain their conduct within 15 days.
These three members had
taken part in the parallel convention organised by a
faction of the Gujarat PCC where the members attacked Mr
Ahmed Patel and charged that his interference in state
affairs was helping the BJP.
Howard coming on July 10
NEW DELHI, July 6 The visit of Australian Prime Minister John Howard beginning from July 10 will not only help to restore the bilateral ties after the post-Pokhran II setback of 1998 but will also provide a new momentum to relationship.
Briefing newspersons today about the two-day official visit of Mr Howard, the Australian High Commissioner, Mr Rob Laurie said that despite differences continuing over the nuclear disarmament and arms control issues, the Prime Ministers meetings with the Indian political leadership will give a new thrust to bilateral ties.
Mr Howards words are a significant pointer to Australian view on the ties, Mr Laurie said.
Announcing the visit, Mr Howard said on June 20:" Australias links with India have grown considerably over the past 10 years with the opening of the Indian economy. Australia recognises India as an increasingly important player in regional and international affairs, and will pursue with India an enhanced dialogue on economic and strategic issues of mutual interest."
"I will discuss with Mr Vajpayee the potential for broader commercial cooperation and improved trade between India and Australia. Given the size of Indias emerging market there are significant opportunities for Australian companies interested in investing in India, including in the IT and telecommunication sector".
The Australian High Commissioner said Mr Howards visit would signal to the top Indian leadership the governments interest in the relationship.
There has been quiet a consequential engagement in the last few years with most of the running being done by Australians, Mr Laurie pointed out adding that there are significant commonalities between the two countries.
A spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs said the two countries had decided that the bilateral ties would not be held hostage to any single issue.
Talks between Mr Howard
and the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee will be
focused on bilateral, regional and international issues
with emphasis on Pakistan and Fiji where democratic
governments were overthrown by military regimes, the Australian envoy said.
New BJP President on Aug 13
NEW DELHI, July 6 The Bharatiya Janata Party today reviewed the ongoing organisational elections of the party and decided that new party President would be elected on August 13.
The sources said the choice was between present party President, Mr Kushabhau Thakre, and the senior party leader, Mr K. Jana Krishnamurthi. If Mr Thakre does not decline to accept another term, then only Mr Jana Krishsnamurthi would be considered, the sources pointed out.
The election schedule was finalised today at a meeting which was attended by party General Secretaries, Mr K.N. Govindacharya, Mr M. Venkaiah Naidu, Mr Narendra Modi, Mr Sanghpriya Gautam, Mrs Sumitra Mahajan and the Returning Officer, Mr O.P. Kohli and Mr Jana Krishnamurthi. Mr Thakre presided over the meeting.
Mr Thakres two years term as the party President has already expired after he had taken over in May 1998 at the National Council meeting in Gandhinagar.
Till recently, it was being speculated that Mr Thakre might decline to accept another term on health grounds. The party has amended the BJP constitution and has now extended the term of the President to three years.
But now, Mr Thakre has
expressed willingness to go in for another term with only
exception being that the party leadership may still like
to have Mr Krishnamurthi as the Prime Minister, Mr Atal
Behari Vajpayee is from north. Mr Krishnamurthi, being
from Tamil Nadu may help the partys profile in the
southern states where the BJP had made inroads in the
Sena unhappy over portfolio distribution
MUMBAI, July 6 (PTI) Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray today had a meeting with Union Home Minister L.K. Advani and conveyed to him his displeasure over the allotment of "dead portfolios" to three Sena ministers in the Vajpayee government.
Mr Thackeray, who has been expressing reservations about the portfolios given to Manohar Joshi (Heavy Industries), Balasabeh Vikhe Patil (Minister of State for Finance) and Suresh Prabhu (Environment), later told reporters that the Sena leaders would soon call on Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to discuss the issue.
Without showing preference for any particular department, the Sena chief said the Disinvestment portfolio was to be given originally to Manohar Joshi, a decision which was later changed.
Mr Thackeray, whose party is a partner in the NDA government, said despite these differences, the relations between his party and the BJP were friendly and he would not like to adopt any extreme posture on the issue.
He expressed satisfaction over the Union Cabinets rejection of the autonomy resolution passed by the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, saying this was in keeping with the demand of his party.
The meeting was attended by Manohar Joshi, Suresh Prabhu and Gopinath Munde among others.
Ilyasi moves HC to maintain custody of daughter
NEW DELHI, July 6 (UNI) Television serial producer Suhaib Ilyasi today filed a suit in the Delhi High Court for injunction that the custody of his daughter Aaliya should not be disturbed, alleging that politicians and criminals were being contacted to take the child away.
Ilyasi said his sister-in-law Rashmi Singh and mother-in-law Rukma Singh were trying to forcibly take Aaliya away from him and threatening to implicate him on the charge of intimidating witnesses if he did not let them take Aaliya to Canada.
Ilyasi further alleged that Mrs Rashmi and Mrs Rukma were contacting criminals and politicians to help secure custody of Aaliya.
BIMSTEC plans free trade zone
NEW DELHI, July 6 The third ministerial meeting of the BIMSTEC (Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand Economic Cooperation) concluded today with a decision to set up a free trade area (FTA) and build a trans Asian highway from Calcutta to Thailand.
PUNE, July 6 (PTI) Rain or thundershowers are likely to occur at most places in Saurashtra and Kutch, Konkan and Goa and coastal Karnataka, at many places in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Arunachal Pradesh, sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim, Orissa, east Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat region, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Lakshdweep and at a few places in Assam and Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura, Gangetic West Bengal, Vidarbha, Tamil Nadu and interior Karnataka and at isolated places over the rest of the country outside west Rajasthan where the weather will be mainly dry, according to the forecast issued by the central observatory here today.
Heavy rainfall warning: Heavy rain is likely to occur at isolated places in sub-Himalayan West Bengal and Sikkim, South Orissa, Saurashtra and Kutch, Konkan and Goa, Andhra Pradesh and coastal Karnataka during the next 48 hours.
The southwest monsoon
has been vigorous in sub-Himalayan West Bengal and
Sikkim, Saurashtra and Kutch and Konkan and Goa and
active in coastal Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema and coastal
Karnataka. Rain or thundershowers have occurred at most
places in Kerala, at a few places in Andaman and Nicobar
islands, south interior Karnataka and Lakshdweep and at
isolated places in Bihar plateau, Himachal Pradesh, West
Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat region, Madhya Maharashtra,
Vidarbha, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and north interior
Karnataka. Mainly dry weather prevailed over the rest of
Urea scam: 2 SBI officials summoned
NEW DELHI, July 6 (UNI) Special Judge V. B. Gupta today issued summons to two officials of the State Bank of India, South Extension overseas branch, to depose in the court on July 24, as witnesses in the Rs 133-crore urea scam.
The officials summoned
are Mr K L Batra and Mr Sunil Sachdeva. Mr Batra and
another SBI officer Mr S D Malhotra, were arrested in
1997 in connection with the case but later they became
witnesses. Mr Sachdeva was, however, not arrested.
VHP: ISI, churches fanning terrorism
BHUBANESWAR, July 6 (UNI) Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) international Vice-President Acharya Giriraj Kishore today alleged that Pakistans ISI and the churches in India were fanning terrorism and trying to destabilise the country.
Addressing a press conference here Acharya Giriraj demanded that the Centre publish a white paper on the role of churches in terrorist activities, identify the churches as well as the persons indulging in such activities and drive them out of the country.
He said four years ago, the then Union Minister of State for Home had admitted in Parliament the involvement of churches in terrorist activities in the North-East region and said an inquiry had been ordered to find whether a part of the funds received by the churches from foreign countries was utilised for purchasing arms and ammunition for the terrorists.
1 held for car theft
NEW DELHI, July 6 The Delhi Police arrested Ashwini Arya, son of a businessman of Rohtak, on a charge of car theft from MacDonalds Restaurant at Greater Kailash in South Delhi yesterday.
The car a "Lancer" of Express Car Rental Service, was taken to Gurgaon by a driver of the Car Rental Service, from where it was reportedly robbed by the accused, police said.
The accused yesterday went to MacDonalds for dinner, where an employee of the Express Car Rental Service identified it, although its registration number was charged.
VIJAYAWADA, July 6 (UNI)
Andhra Pradesh Congress(I) Committee President M
Satyanarayana Rao, today claimed that as per the first information report (FIR), 90 per cent of those involved
in the rioting in the wake of the bomb blast in a place
of worship belonging to a minority community in Guntur
last month, were supporters of Telugu Desam party general
secretary Lal Jan Basha.
to have 15 family courts
bridge under construction
notes seized, 6 held
2 die as school
bus falls into ditch
for custody death
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