Sunday, March 18, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Rebels in touch with Cong?
S.P. Sharma
Tribune News Service

Shimla, March 17
Are the seven rebels of the ruling BJP maintaining a contact with the opposition Congress here?

Chief Minister, P.K. Dhumal today said that he had information that one of the dropped minister went to meet the Congress Legislature Party leader, Mr Virbhadra Singh, at his residence here a few days ago. However, Mr Virbhadra Singh did not pay much attention to the two visitors.

Mr Dhumal, was hopeful that the current turmoil caused by the seven rebels would be resolved before March 26 when his budgetary proposals would be put to vote in the Vidhan Sabha.

Mr Dhumal said here today that the misunderstandings would be settled with the efforts of certain senior leaders of the BJP high command.

He said that there was nothing which could not be settled through mutual negotiations and whatever the high command decides on the matter will be acceptable to him.

He did not rule out reinduction of the rebels in his ministry following talks with them, but that will depend on the situation.

Mr Dhumal said that he was not negotiating with the rebels at any level and has left the matter to the high command. No one from the high command has contacted him over the issue so far.

He said nothing had happened from his side which could provoke the seven legislators to again raise a banner of revolt against him. They had been meeting him and getting things done after the first revolt of November last was settled.

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