Thursday, April 18, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Oppn stalls LS, RS proceedings again
Tribune News Service

Lok Morcha rally
Left to right: Somnath Chatterjee, Mulayam Singh Yadev, Harkishen Singh Surjeet, A. V. Bardhan and H. D. Devegowda (former Prime Minister) during the Lok Morcha rally against Narendra Modi at Jantar Mantar in the Capital on Wednesday. 
— Tribune photo Mukesh Aggarwal 

New Delhi, April 17
A determined Opposition continued to hold fort in Parliament today for the third day forcing adjournment in both the Houses on the issue of removal of the Narendra Modi government in Gujarat.

Both Houses were adjourned within minutes of assembling as the vociferous Opposition members did not let any business to be transacted.

Samajwadi Party members also accused the BJP of indulging in horse-trading for the formation of a BJP-BSP government in Uttar Pradesh.

A key ally of the BJP in the coalition government, the TDP, remained adamant on the removal of the Gujarat Chief Minister and the party leader, Mr K. Yerrannaidu, and other members of the Telugu Desam Party were seen supporting the opposition stir.

Members of the Shiv Sena, a partner of the NDA, displaying garlands of onions and one of them wearing a cap with onions tied on it moved to the front benches demanding immediate lifting of ban on the export of the commodity since its price had crashed due to surplus production.

In the Rajya Sabha, opposition members patiently waited for the new members to take oath and immediately after that they were on their feet demanding a discussion on the Modi issue under Rule 170.

Even when BJP leader Keshubhai Patel was swearing to uphold the Constitution, Congress member Suresh Pachauri told him to “teach this to Mr Narendra Modi”.


People’s Front begins stir for Modi’s dismissal

Popular singer Shubha Mudgal
Popular singer Shubha Mudgal (R) during a rally demanding the dismissal of Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Wednesday.  — PTI photo

New Delhi, April 17
Intensifying its pressure for the removal of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the wake of large-scale communal violence, the People’s Front today assailed the Vajpayee government for not sacking Mr Modi and decided to go all out to confront “communal and fascist” forces.

Soon after Parliament was adjourned on the Gujarat issue for the third consecutive day, leaders of the front, comprising Samajwadi Party, Left parties and Janata Dal (Secular), marched in a procession and addressed a rally near Jantar Mantar demanding the removal of Mr Modi.

Senior Front leaders including Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav (Samajwadi Party), Mr Harkishan Singh Surjeet (CPM), Mr A.B. Bardhan (CPI) and former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda (JD-S) accused the BJP government in Gujarat of conniving with “communal and fascist forces”.

They also attacked Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee for making “oscillating statements” regarding minorities and on what had happened in Gujarat.

The rally was part of a nationwide campaign launched by the Front to mount pressure on the government for Mr Modi’s ouster and oppose immediate Assembly elections in the state.

Exhorting people to be united against the communal forces, Mr Yadav, also the front convener, said it was a national issue and not a simple law and order problem pertaining to a particular state.

“We all should be ready to face the challenges thrown by the communal and fascist forces who have no faith either in Judiciary, Parliament, or any other constitutional forum”, he said, adding that even they rejected the report by NHRC on violence in the state.

Mr Gowda, who gave a graphic picture of what had happened in Gujarat, criticised Mr Vajpayee for his remarks that Godhra carnage had led to widespread violence in Gujarat and demanded why those responsible for Godhra incident were not being exposed.

Accusing the BJP-led government of throttling democracy, he held Mr Modi responsible for the unabated violence in the state and sought his immediate removal to restore normalcy in the state.

Left leaders, including Mr Surjeet and Mr Bardhan charged the BJP with playing “politics of religion” after its defeat in various elections. PTI

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