M A I N   N E W S

UPA office near Soniaís residence
Anita Katyal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 23
The newly-constituted United Progressive Alliance (UPA) will soon have an address. After inspection of various properties, it has finally been decided to house the UPA office at 2, Motilal Nehru Place.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in consultation with Mrs Sonia Gandhi has also nominated 12 experts as members of the National Advisory Council on the Common Minimum Programme.

AICC Secretary and economist Jairam Ramesh, telecom wizard Sam Pitroda, eminent agricultural economist C H Hanumantha Rao and Dr V Krishnamurthy, who was the first Chairman of Maruti Udyog, are among the experts nominated today as members of the Council. Noted Gandhian D Swaminathan, Jean Dreze of Delhi School of Economics, Jayprakash Narayan, National Coordinator of Hyderabad-based "Loksatta", A K Shiv Kumar, Advisor to UNICEF, and N C Saxena are prominent among other members of the Council.

Eminent social workers associated with non-governmental organisations which have found a place on the key body included Aruna Roy of Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangthan, Rajasamand in Rajasthan, Mirai Chatterjee, Coordinator, SEWA, Ahmedabad and Madhav Chavan of Pratham, Delhi, an official announcement said.

It is learnt that Congress president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi inspected the ten-room sprawling bungalow three days ago. She was accompanied by her daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. The property is located close to her official residence, 10 Janpath, and also meets her security requirements.

The bungalow was vacant for the past six months. Its previous occupants include Rail Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav. Like the United Front which had a separate office on Akbar Road, the UPA has also decided to forge its own identity by setting up its own office. UPA sources said once this office is ready, the meetings of the coordination committee, headed by Ms. Gandhi, will be held here. The outgoing National Democratic Alliance (NDA) did not have a separate office. Its meetings were held at the Prime Minister's residence at 7, Race Course Road. The government has already appointed senior IAS officer Arun Bhatnagar as secretary to the NAC, which is expected to become fully operational by early next month. 


PM to address nation today
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 23
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will make his maiden Address to the Nation tomorrow at 7.30 pm, official sources said today.

The Prime Ministerís Address will be telecast live on Doordarshan both in English and Hindi.

Dr Manmohan Singh has been planning to address the nation ever since the disruption in Parliament by the Opposition on the issue of tainted ministers.

The Opposition created such a ruckus that even the discussion on the motion of thanks to the Presidentís address had to be passed without any debate. The discussion on the motion of thanks gives the Prime Minister an opportunity to reply to the debate on the governmentís policies and programmes.

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