Wednesday, November 1, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Ajit Jogi to be first Chhattisgarh CM

RAIPUR, Oct 31 (UNI) — All-India Congress Committee spokesman Ajit Jogi was today unanimously elected leader of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) in the new state of Chhattisgarh.

This was announced by central party observer Ghulam Nabi Azad soon after a two-hour meeting of the CLP, attended by 41 of the 48 party MLAs here. Mrs Prabha Rau, another party observer and in charge for Madhya Pradesh affairs, was also present.

The seven party MLAs who abstained from the meeting, were said to owe allegiance to former Union Minister V.C. Shukla, who was also in the race for the Chief Minister’s post. They were Mr Agni Chandrakar, Mr Vidhan Mishra, Mr Ganesh Shankar Vajpayee, Mr Madan Gopal Singh, Mr Gulab Singh, Mr Dharamjit Singh and Mr Dhana Ram Sahu.

Mr Jogi’s name for the top post was proposed by outgoing senior minister and former Speaker Rajendra Prasad Shukla and seconded by Mr Mahendra Bahadur Singh.

According to official sources, Mr Jogi will take the oath alone, shortly after the swearing in of the first Governor at 12.15 p.m.

They said Mr Jogi would form his Council of Ministers later after consultations with the party high command.

Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijay Singh was reportedly booed by some Congress workers at Mr Shukla’s farmhouse here today.

Immediately after the Chhattisgarh Congress Legislature Party meeting in which party spokesman Ajit Jogi was unanimously elected the CLP leader, Mr Digvijay Singh, accompanied by the party General Secretary, Mrs Prabha Rau and party observer Ghulam Nabi Azad had visited Mr Shukla.

According to eyewitnesses, some irate workers allegedly stopped the vehicle at the second gate and showered abuses at them. They allegedly attempted to manhandle the Chief Minister, who tripped in the process.

After a half-an-hour meeting with Mr Shukla, Mr Digvijay Singh, when approached by newspersons, denied that any such incident had taken place. “Better ask the owner of the house”, he said.

PATNA: Newly appointed Governor of Chattisgarh Dinesh Nandan Sahai said on Tuesday that his priority would be to win the confidence of the people and discharge his constitutional duties in an impartial manner.


UP ministers retain portfolios

LUCKNOW, Oct 31 (PTI) — All 85 ministers in the erstwhile Ram Prakash Gupta government today retained their portfolios as Chief Minister Rajnath Singh kept the crucial Home Department with himself while allocating work among his ministers.

Besides Home, Mr Rajnath Singh, who assumed office on October 28, would have Administration, Appointment and Civil Aviation.

In all, he had kept 15 portfolios with himself, an official spokesman said.

“The Chief Minister has also kept the portfolios held by four ministers hailing from Uttaranchal, who have not been included in the ministry, with himself,” he said. Mr Naresh Agarwal of the Loktantrik Congress Party, a key constituent of the BJP-led government, retained the Power portfolio.

Mr Rajdhari Singh of the Samata Party, another alliance partner, got the Forest Department he held in the Gupta government.

The Chief Minister yesterday said he would talk to allies before allocating portfolios and asserted there was no communication gap between him and constituents of his government. “I will speak to alliance partners,” he said referring to the LCP demand to maintain balance in allocation of portfolios. 

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