Friday, March 16, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

I didn’t take any gift, says Addl Secy

New Delhi, March 15
Additional Secretary L.M. Mehta, the seniormost official in the Defence Ministry to figure in the Tehelka tapes, today claimed that he had not received any gift nor issued any order for trial evaluation of hand-held thermals.

Mehta, a senior Haryana cadre IAS officer, said issuance of any communication for trial evaluation from the Ministry of Defence was a matter of record, adding: Scrutiny of the files will speak for itself.”

Charging with maligning him and doing irreparable damage to his reputation, Mehta said from December 1999 to October 2000, he had nothing to do with the Ministry as he was posted as Director-General, Employees State Insurance, in the Ministry of Labour.

“On my rejoining the Ministry of Defence in October 2000, I have no concern with procurement in the Army and therefore there cannot be any question of my entertaining any request from any aspiring vendor in the trial evaluation of the associate army equipment,” Mehta said here. PTI


Cong ready for pact with Mamata

New Delhi, March 15
The Congress today said it was ready to enter into an alliance with the Trinamool Congress following the latter’s withdrawal from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

Congress Chief Whip Priyaranjan Dasmunshi said the decision of Trinamool leader Mamata Banerjee to resign from the NDA government would have a “better impact” on both her party and her future electoral prospects in West Bengal against the Left Front government.

Acting President of the BJP Jana Krishnamurthy said Ms Banerjee’s resignation was prompted by the Assembly elections in West Bengal.

KOLKATA: The Trinamool Congress has unilaterally cancelled its electoral alliance with the BJP for the Assembly elections in the state.

West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee President and CWC member Pranab Mukherjee said: “I welcome the decision of the Trinamool chief”. PTI

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