Sunday, May 20, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Samata to reconsider support
Takes exception to BJP role in Manipur

New Delhi, May 19
In a sudden development, the 12-member Samata Party late tonight said that it would hold an emergency meeting on Monday of its national executive committee to reconsider its participation in the NDA government at the Centre.

Announcing this in a press note, Party General Secretary Shambhu Srivastawa, however, did not give any reason for the move.

Party sources, however, said that the move comes in the wake of what Samata Party sees as an attempt by BJP MLAs in Manipur to bring down the Samata Party-led People’s Front Government in the state.

Mr Srivastawa told PTI that the party would hold the national executive meeting on May 21, the day on which Manipur Chief Minister Radhabinod Koijam is to seek a vote of confidence in the state assembly.

The three-month old Koijam Ministry plunged into crisis after the Manipur state Congress Party split and a new outfit supported by the BJP, which, in turn, wanted the Chief Minister’s post.

However, the Samata Party took strong exception to two key NDA partners fighting each other saying it did not augur well for coalition politics.

Sources said in case the BJP toppled the Samata-led ministry in Manipur, the Samata Party in a retaliatory action might withdraw support to the BJP Government of Mr Babulal Marandi in Jharkhand. PTI


Panja calls on PM, Advani

New Delhi, May 19
Former Union Minister Ajit Kumar Panja today met Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Home Minister L. K. Advani amid reports that he alongwith some Trinamool Congress MPs will insist on sitting on the benches earmarked for NDA constituents in the Lok Sabha.

In the political developments in West Bengal, Mr Panja, who is one of the founders of the Trinamool Congress, is critical of Mamata Banerjee’s style of functioning. He also opposed the alliance between the Congress and the Trinamool Congress saying “It intended to benefit the CPM at the cost of the Trinamool Congress.”

Mr Panja shared a platform with Mr Vajpayee during the recent Assembly elections in West Bengal. UNI

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