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VHP seeks change in democratic system
Shimla, April 8
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad has called for a change in the democratic system in the country, which it said did not reflect the majority opinion and allowed all sorts of people, including anti-social elements, to occupy seats of power.
Acharya Giriraj Kishore, senior vice-president of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, addresses a press conference in Shimla on Thursday.
Acharya Giriraj Kishore, senior vice-president of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, addresses a press conference in Shimla on Thursday. ó Photo by Anil Dayal

Cong for disinvestment of loss-making
units only
Surgani (Chamba), April 8
The Congress party is in favour of public sector and will not disinvest public sector undertakings which are earning profit but it can think of privatising the undertakings, which either are in the red.

Decision on Thakurís re-entry into BJP
on April 15
Hamirpur, April 8
The fate of Mr Narendra Thakur, former district BJP chief, will be decided on April 15 at a meeting of the mandal unit of the party to be held here. Mr Thakur has filed an application with the party for readmitting him into its fold.

Kaushal back in Cong fold
Hamirpur, April 8
The Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee has readmitted Mr Prem Kaushal, former president of the Mewa Congress Committee, with immediate effect. Mr Kaushal had been expelled from the party after the last Vidhan Sabha elections.



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EARLIER STORIES

 

HVC to contest all four seats
Hamirpur, April 8
Mr Deepak Sharma, General Secretary of the Himachal Vikas Congress, here said yesterday that the party would contest all four Lok Sabha seats in Himachal Pradesh. However, if need arose it would have electoral adjustment with the Congress only.

5 held for possessing illicit liquor
Kangra, April 8
The Kangra police arrested five persons, including two women for allegedly dealing in the illicit liquor trade and seized 1,50,750 ml of country-made liquor, 53,640 ml English wine, 5000 ml illicit liquor and 850 gms of charas from the possession of the arrested persons in this district during the last 24 hours.



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VHP seeks change in democratic system
Tribune News Service

Shimla, April 8
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has called for a change in the democratic system in the country, which it said did not reflect the majority opinion and allowed all sorts of people, including anti-social elements, to occupy seats of power.

Acharya Giriraj Kishore, Senior Vice-President of the VHP, said it had taken 50 years to make it mandatory for candidates to declare their assets and their criminal antecedents. The country had not been ruled by the majority all these years as parties with 40 to 45 per cent votes managed to form the government under the system, he added.

No minimum qualifications had been prescribed for contesting elections, as a result of which it was the permanent bureaucracy which ruled the roost, he said. He said the time had come for the people to ponder over whether the present system was relevant. In his view, a change was urgently required and the issue should be debated widely to rectify the faults.

He said the Muslim community should not be accorded minority status as under the United Nations charter, only a community which accounted for less than 10 per cent of the population could be deemed as a minority. Muslims were ethnically not different from Hindus as they had converted to Islam later, he added. The two communities had common forefathers and heritage which could not be disowned, he further said. He said the absence of a common civil code was leading to social imbalances and creating a chasm between different communities. A common civil code was essential for a just, equitable and above all, secular society, he stated.

The Hindu leader maintained that the foreign origin of Ms Sonia Gandhi was not an emotional issue, but one involving the security of the country. A foreigner could not be allowed hold high offices and countries like the USA had a law to debar them, he said.

He expressed the hope that work on the Ram temple at Ayodhya would commence over the next 18 or 24 months. The case was being heard on a daily basis by the Allahabad court. He claimed that archaeological evidence had established the existence of a Hindu shrine dating back to 3,000 BC at the site and the VHP was confident of a favourable verdict. There was also a possibility of consensus on the issue as Muslims feared that the court verdict could lead to digging up of other disputed sites and they might agree to hand over the site for a Ram temple, he stated.

He made it clear that the VHP would not support any political party in the Lok Sabha poll and its workers would help individual candidates on the basis of its Hindu agenda. The main issues included in the agenda were construction of a Ram temple, abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution, enforcement of a common civil code, ban on cow slaughter, restoration of Hindu shrines taken over by the government back to the community and maintaining the sanctity of holy rivers and pilgrim centres. It also called for throwing Christian missionaries out of the country and end to infiltration from neighbouring countries.
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Cong for disinvestment of loss-making units only
Our Correspondent

Surgani (Chamba), April 8
The Congress party is in favour of public sector and will not disinvest public sector undertakings which are earning profit but it can think of privatising the undertakings, which either are in the red.

Talking to newspersons at Surgani township last evening, Mr Virbhadra Singh, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister said that Jawaharlal Nehru had shown path of socialism to the country and the Congress believed in this path.

The Chief Minister stated that the Himachal Government was keen on undertaking hydroelectric projects on equity participation like the Nathpa-Jhakhri Hydroelectric Project so that Himachal could get long-term advantages besides 25 per cent share of revenue, 12 per cent free power generated from the projects and other benefits for the state.

The Chief Minister asked the Union Ministry of Energy to revise the memoranda of understanding (MoU) to include equity participation in the Kol Dam and Parvati hydroelectric projects.

Although the Himachal Government had already made it clear that if the projects and industries proposed to be executed in the state, the employment to local people would have to be ensured whereas functioning of the projects already in operation in the state was not satisfactory, the Chief Minister lamented.

Earlier the Chief Minister addressed a conference of the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) at Surgani, election rallies and public meetings at Bhalei, Salooni in Chamba district.

The Chief Minister was accompanied by Kangra Lok Sabha nominee Prof Chander Kumar, Mrs Asha Kumari, Education Minister, and other Congress leaders of Chamba district.
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Decision on Thakurís re-entry into BJP on April 15
Our Correspondent

Hamirpur, April 8
The fate of Mr Narendra Thakur, former district BJP chief, will be decided on April 15 at a meeting of the mandal unit of the party to be held here. Mr Thakur has filed an application with the party for readmitting him into its fold.

Mr Thakur was expelled from the party after 1998 elections when his sister-in-law Urmila Thakur was given the party ticket. In the 2003 elections, too, he had contested from the Hamirpur assembly seat and was mainly instrumental in the defeat of Mrs Urmila Thakur.

Insiders in the party said a majority members of the Hamirpur mandal unit were against readmitting Mr Narendra Thakur into its mainstream. They feel that the entry of Mr Thakur would harm its cause and provide no benefit to it in the coming elections.

Moreover, Mrs Urmila Thakur would not like to readmit his brother-in-law into the party due to the reasons that once he was admitted, he would again claim the party ticket from Hamirpur assembly seat. Mrs Thakur was keen to get the party ticket due to her proximity with national and state party leaders.
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Kaushal back in Cong fold

Hamirpur, April 8
The Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee has readmitted Mr Prem Kaushal, former president of the Mewa Congress Committee, with immediate effect. Mr Kaushal had been expelled from the party after the last Vidhan Sabha elections.

In a letter to Mr Kaushal, Mr Kuldip Singh Rathore, General Secretary of the party, stated that his expulsion had been revoked as per talks held with Mr Ashok Gehlot, party in charge for Himachal Pradesh.

Mr Kaushal is a confidant of the Chief Minister. There are reports that the expulsion orders were revoked following persuasion by Mr Ram Lal Thakur, party candidate from Hamirpur. ó OC
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HVC to contest all four seats
Our Correspondent

Hamirpur, April 8
Mr Deepak Sharma, General Secretary of the Himachal Vikas Congress, here said yesterday that the party would contest all four Lok Sabha seats in Himachal Pradesh. However, if need arose it would have electoral adjustment with the Congress only.

Talking to reporters here yesterday afternoon, he said that the party would not have any truck with the BJP as this party had betrayed the HVC.

Mr Sharma said that talks were on with the Congress leaders at the National level for seat adjustment between the Congress and the HVC.

He said that the HVC would field Mr Sukh Ram from Mandi, Mr Vijay Joshi or Mr K.K. Kaushal from Hamirpur, Mr Amar Nath Kaushal from Shimla and Sanjeev Guleria.
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5 held for possessing illicit liquor
Our Correspondent

Kangra, April 8
The Kangra police arrested five persons, including two women for allegedly dealing in the illicit liquor trade and seized 1,50,750 ml of country-made liquor, 53,640 ml English wine, 5000 ml illicit liquor and 850 gms of charas from the possession of the arrested persons in this district during the last 24 hours.

Kangra district police chief S. Zahoor H. Zaidi told The Tribune that Asha Kumari, a resident of Trasoo near railway station, Kangra Mandir, was arrested in a raid today and police recovered 5,000 ml of illicit liquor and 850 gm of charas from her possession. The police has registered a case under the Excise and NDPS Act.

He said Ajit Singh, a resident of Watra village, and Jai Singh, a resident of Nayalee village, were arrested yesterday from Dhera police station area. The police has registered two separate cases under the Excise Act.

The SSP said Srawna Kumari, a Bengali woman, was arrested from Thavi village falling under Nurpur police station last night under the Excise Act following a raid. The police recovered 4,500 ml country-made liquor from her possession.

In another raid Kamal Singh of Vayee village, falling under Baijnath police station, was arrested under the Excise Act and 3,750 ml country-made liquor was recovered from his possession yesterday.
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Education board staff protest against chief
Our Correspondent

Dharamsala, April 8
Employees of the HP Board of School Education today held a gate meeting and raised slogans against the chairman, Mr B. R. Rahi. The employees are agitated at the delaying attitude being adopted by the chairman with regard to their demands.

The protesting employees accused the chairman of deliberately delaying the filling up of posts and withholding benefits like pension and promotions. Talking to mediapersons, the chairman said he had already taken up the matter of pensions and promotions with the state government and got the green signal to fill the vacancies but due to imposition of the model code of conduct was unable to do anything. 
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