Monday, August 5, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

BJP to make public guidelines on pump allotment
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 4
Under attack from the Opposition on the issue of petrol pump allotments, BJP President Venkaiah Naidu has asked Petroleum Minister Ram Naik to make public the guidelines and procedures followed in such allotments.

“The minister will be making a statement in Parliament. I have also told him to make public the procedure, guidelines and practices so far,” Mr Naidu said here today.

The government had come under attack in Parliament in the wake of reports alleging that the Petroleum Ministry had misused its powers to favour partymen and their relatives, a charge rebuffed by the party.

The party maintains that the allotments were made by a three-member panel headed by a former high court judge and the discretionary quota was used only for the benefit of Kargil widows.

Mr Naidu today formed a committee headed by party general secretary and former UP Chief Minister Rajnath Singh to study the drought and flood situation in different parts of the country and suggest remedial measures.

The committee, with Mr Rajnath Singh as convener, will have as members MP and former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kailash Joshi, former Gujarat Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel, the party’s farmers’ wing (Kisan Morcha) president Mahadev Shivankar and Leader of Opposition in the Karnataka Assembly Jagdish Shettar.

Talking to reporters, Mr Naidu said the central leadership of the BJP was thinking of restructuring the organisation in some states.

He said consultations with the party’s senior leaders and MPs would start from tomorrow.

He said that the BJP was not under pressure from the RSS but asserted that its “fraternal relations” with the Sangh Parivar would continue.

“There is no pressure on us from the RSS. It is an independent organisation, so are we. There are differences of perception on some issues and we will work as per our ideology and agenda,” Mr Naidu told reporters here.

Meanwhile, the office-bearers of the BJP National Council today decided to hold zonal-level meetings throughout the country from this month to disseminate the message of the ‘Delhi Pledge’ — a document adopted at yesterday’s National Council meeting.

The first zonal meeting would be held at Bangalore on August 27 and 28, followed by Bhopal on September 4 and 5, Kolkata on September 7 and 8 and Jaipur on September 11 and 12.

The National Council members met the Prime Minister to apprise him of the efforts to be made to take the ‘Delhi Pledge’ to every part of the country.

The Bangalore zonal meeting would be attended by party representatives from Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Kerala and the Andaman and Nicobar and the Lakshdweep islands.

The party hopes to conduct state and district-level meetings in the country by March 2003. Gujarat has been excluded from the exercise because of elections.


PM for greater party-govt coordination
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 4
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today called for greater coordination between the party and the government.

At a luncheon meeting with the BJP office-bearers, Mr Vajpayee said the government had done good work and it was the party’s responsibility to take the message to the grass-roots level. Mr Vajpayee asked the party to ensure that the benefits of development reached the common man and there was greater interaction between the party and the government.

The meeting was part of the ongoing exercise to galvanise the party ahead of the crucial Assembly elections in 10 states.

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