Monday, July 8, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Rly division talks today
Advani hints at another reshuffle in BJP

Ahmedabad, July 7
Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani today said he would discuss the issue of fresh divisions of the Railways with Railway Minister Nitish Kumar tomorrow in New Delhi.

Asked at a news conference here about the objections raised by Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Bannerji over the issue, Mr Advani said no final decision over the issue had been taken yet and hoped that the matter would be settled amicably.

He said West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had suggested the matter should not become controversial unnecessarily.

“The creation of some more railway divisions was already under the consideration and there was nothing new to it.’’

In fact, the Assemblies of Bihar and West Bengal had also passed their respective resolutions and that this fact would also have to be considered, he added.

He asserted that India did not want war but its aim was to “win the war imposed by Pakistan’’ on Jammu and Kashmir where terrorist activities had reduced, but not fully stopped.

“We will take some time to assess the situation there. Reduction in terrorist attacks does not mean intruders are not coming. They may be lying low for the time being,’’ he said.

Replying to questions, he said the government had slowly controlled cross-border terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s language had changed between Agra and Almaty as he was now describing the killing of innocents as an act of terrorism, not freedom struggle. “However, his deeds would have to be observed,’’ he said.

Asked about the proposal for joint patrolling of Indo-Pakistan borders, Mr Advani said since the neighbouring country did not support it, the matter ended there.

Regarding the postponed Gujarat Gaurav Yatra, Mr Advani said it could again be undertaken, if necessary, as it was aimed as a mass contact programme of the BJP in the state.

The yatra, scheduled to be taken out from July 4 on weekends by Chief Minister Narendra Modi and state BJP president Rajendrasinh Rana, was cancelled on July 2. The yatra was aimed at covering most of the 182 Assembly constituencies, apparently as a preparation for the coming Vidhan Sabha poll.

“The yatra was not cancelled under any pressure from the National Human Rights Commission. Chief Minister Narendra Modi himself discussed the issue with the party’s central leadership. The yatra’s aim was good but the Chief Minister felt he would be blamed if any untoward incident happened,’’ Mr Advani said.

Giving a clean chit to Mr Modi for performance, he said, unlike other riots triggered by trivial incidents in the past, the post-Godhra riots were triggered by a “horrendous incident’’. The state government did its best in controlling the riots as soon as possible, but vested interests continued to foment trouble, he added.

Mr Advani indicated another organisational reshuffle in the BJP and said the time might not be ripe for holding the Assembly poll in Gujarat. He said, “We have sent two of our most able ministers (BJP President M. Venkaiah Naidu and Mr Arun Jaitley) for party work and more are likely to follow suit if the need arises.” UNI, PTI

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |