Thursday, April 19, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Congress Tehelka continues
NDA wants JPC probe into Sonia's KGB ‘links’
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 18
For the second day running today, an unrelenting Opposition led by the Congress did not allow substantial business to be transacted in Parliament by insisting on a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the Tehelka expose, forcing adjournment of both the Houses.

In a re-enactment of the scenes witnessed yesterday in the Lower House, agitated members of the Congress trooped into the well of the House after question hour, shouting slogans, “We want JPC” and “Leepa poti band karo” (stop the whitewash).

There was virtual din as the ruling NDA members sought to counter the Opposition by waving copies of an English daily that carried a statement of Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy, accusing Sonia Gandhi and her family members of having links with the KGB and demanding a JPC probe into it.

Despite the Speaker, Mr G. M.C. Balayogi, repeatedly asking both the ruling and Opposition members to take their seats and to allow the proceedings, members of both sides indulged in slogan shouting.

As the members continued to disrupt the proceedings, the Speaker adjourned the House for the day.

The Rajya Sabha was also adjourned for the day as the members of the Opposition, spearheaded by the Congress, rushed to the well of the House, demanding a JPC probe into the Tehelka expose.

In the Upper House, the Congress went a step further by asking for the resignation of the NDA government.

Soon after the question hour, which was completed without any major hitches, the Congress demanded that its member, Kapil Sibal, be allowed to ask certain clarifications over the statement made by the Leader of the House and Minister of External Affairs, Mr Jaswant Singh, yesterday.

The Congress said Mr Jaswant Singh had yesterday told the House that the government had asked the Congress what kind of probe it wanted. But it had never come forward with a proposal for a JPC inquiry into the issue.

When some members of the main Opposition party stood up to say something on the issue, the ruling NDA members made a vociferous protest which led to wordy duels between the two sides.

There was virtual din as the opposition and the treasury benches resorted to slogan shouting, forcing the Chairman, Mr Krishan Kant, to adjourn the House till 2 p m.

When the House reassembled after lunch, Congress members, led by Mr Oscar Fernandes, Mr Santosh Bagrodia, Mr Aimaduddin Khan and Ms Frida Topno, rushed to the well shouting slogans, “NDA sarkar chor hai, NDA sarkar istifa do”.


Prithvi being ‘inducted’ into IAF

New Delhi, April 18
Prithvi missiles are being inducted into the Indian Air Force (IAF), Defence Minister Jaswant Singh said today.

In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, he said during 2000-2001, eight successful flight tests of missiles had been conducted which included one test each of Prithvi and Agni-II and two each of Trishul, Akash and Nag. UNI

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