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DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

India, Pak to discuss panel on conventional weapons
The Defence Secretary of Pakistan, Lieut-Gen Hamid Nawaz, and Pakistan High Commissioner to India Aziz Ahmed call on Union Minister for Defence Pranab Mukherjee at his office in New Delhi New Delhi, August 5
India and Pakistan are expected to discuss the establishment of a joint experts group on conventional weapons during the next round of talks between the Foreign Secretaries of the two countries slated for early next month in New Delhi. Reports emanating from diplomatic circles point out that a proposal to this effect has been put forward by Pakistan.
The Defence Secretary of Pakistan, Lieut-Gen Hamid Nawaz, and Pakistan High Commissioner to India Aziz Ahmed call on Union Minister for Defence Pranab Mukherjee at his office in New Delhi on Thursday. — Tribune photo by Mukesh Aggarwal

BJP nets 8 parliamentary panels
New Delhi, August 5
After two days of hard bargaining, the NDA and the UPA today agreed on names for various parliamentary committees with the Opposition BJP bagging eight key parliamentary panels, including Finance and Home.





EARLIER STORIES

 

Cong-NCP pact on Maharashtra poll
New Delhi, August 5
Despite stray noises to the contrary, the Congress today formally announced its decision to contest the coming Maharashtra assembly elections in partnership with the Sharad Pawar-led NCP and the RPI factions with whom it already has an electoral pact.

WB Govt gets Centre’s missive
Rejection of Dhananjay’s mercy plea
Kolkata, August 5
The West Bengal Government today received a formal communication from the Union Home Ministry giving a green signal for executing the death penalty of Dhananjay Chatterjee, according to the Jail Minister, Mr Biswanath Chowdhury.

Haryana floods engineered by Punjab: Chautala
New Delhi, August 5
Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala today accused the Amarinder Singh government in Punjab of “deliberately causing breaches” in inter-state canals leading to floods in Haryana.

Hemkund Sahib pilgrims stranded at Joshimath
Dehra Dun, August 5
Over 3,000 pilgrims on their way to Hemkund Sahib and back are still stranded at Joshimath in Chamoli district. The pilgrims, mostly from Punjab, have been trapped at Joshimath for five days now, Disaster Management Department officials said.

Security tightened at US Embassy
New Delhi, August 5
The Delhi police today tightened security at the US Embassy and the American Centre in view of fears of a terrorist attack. Due to the threat, the embassy was closed for public today.
In video (28k, 56k)

Jaya cautions PM on ferry service to Colombo
Chennai, August 5
The Tamil Nadu Government is headed for a showdown with the Union Shipping Ministry headed by Mr T.R. Balu over the proposed ferry service to Sri Lanka from the state.

Court reprieve for Union Minister
Hyderabad, August 5
Union Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, who found himself in a bind over the non-bailable warrant issued here yesterday, has received a reprieve from the court. The fifth Metropolitan Magistrate, who has been hearing the case, allowed the recall petition filed by Mr Rao today.

Censors ban documentary on Gujarat
Mumbai, August 5
The Central Board of Film Certification has banned “Final Solution”, a documentary on the Gujarat riots of 2002. Mr Rakesh Sharma, Director of “Final Solution”, said the ban came at a time when the documentary was set to be released in foreign countries.

HC orders medical colleges to specify ‘honest’ fee
Mumbai, August 5
The Bombay High Court today asked 24 medical colleges, which have challenged the fee structure suggested by the state-appointed Jahagirdar Committee, to come up with an "honest" amount that could be charged from a student for the course.

Trade unions to observe protest day on Aug 20
New Delhi, August 5
A national protest day would be observed on August 20 by the Left parties affiliated trade unions and independent federations to press for their seven-point demand, which includes 12 per cent interest on Employees' Provident Fund.

Thackeray takes credit for free power to farmers
Mumbai, August 5
Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray has taken the credit for the Maharashtra Government’s decision to give free power to farmers. One day after Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde waived electricity charges to farmers from July 1, Mr Thackeray lauded the move in a comment published in party mouthpiece, Saamna.

Inter-ministerial groups formed
New Delhi, August 5
To ensure better implementation of policy initiatives as envisioned in the National Common Minimum Programme, the government has constituted different inter-ministerial groups.

Videos
 After "Jism" and "Aetbaar," John and Bips will now be seen in Tanveer Khan's "Madhoshi," which was earlier titled "Mumkin."
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Artists lament sliding popularity of fine arts in Kashmir.
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India, Pak to discuss panel on conventional weapons
Girja Shankar Kaura
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 5
India and Pakistan are expected to discuss the establishment of a joint experts group on conventional weapons (EGCW) during the next round of talks between the Foreign Secretaries of the two countries slated for early next month in New Delhi.

Reports emanating from diplomatic circles point out that a proposal to this effect has been put forward by Pakistan, but India was still to react to it either officially or unofficially. The proposal was apparently put forward by the Pakistani delegation during the last round of Foreign Secretary-level talks held here on June 27-28.

Even as India and Pakistan today resumed the Defence Secretary-level talks after a gap of seven years to discuss the demilitarisation of Siachen Glacier, the move from Pakistan on the EGCW is quite significant. Especially as it appears to be a move by Islamabad to test New Delhi’s seriousness regarding the ongoing composite dialogue between the two countries.

The proposal for the EGCW has apparently been made to ward off any threat that may emanate from the existing level of armed forces and their disparity. As far as conventional weapons and the armed forces’ strength go, India is far ahead of Pakistan, which is also a reason of worry for Islamabad.

As per the proposal, the EGCW will function on the same pattern as the experts group on nuclear capabilities. The proposal also has an outline for the functioning of the group and the parameters in which it will operate.

Experts here agree that the Pakistani proposal for the EGCW is a ploy to test Indian approach to the present round of talks. India is expected to be prepared with its reply towards the proposal by the next round of talks between the Foreign Secretaries.

Both India and Pakistan are keen on ensuring sustained peace in the region. This is the reason that all efforts are being made and proposals are being forwarded as part of the composite dialogue. The latest round of talks between the two Defence Secretaries on Siachen Glacier may not yield the desired results, but will be another step towards establishing better relations between the two countries.

The talks earlier in the week on trade and tourism initiatives were also aimed at progressing overall talks. The teams engaged in talks would be submitting their reports to the respective governments on the conclusion of the current series for an assessment and formulation of strategy for future talks.

Earlier in June, two countries had a slew of meetings that included the first ever round of talks on nuclear confidence building measures (CBMs). The two delegations identified areas of convergence. They also exchanged views on their respective security concepts and nuclear doctrines and agreed to elaborate and work towards CBMs.

New Delhi’s basic approach was to understand Pakistan’s nuclear doctrine and related issues and develop measures that reassure and not take away confidence. The Indian strategy was to send out positive signals and allay any apprehension of nuclear conflagration in South Asia.

In another round of talks later, India and Pakistan agreed on a number of fresh and forward-looking confidence building measures in the fields of communication, humanitarian, diplomatic, sports and people-to-people contacts . This was during the two-day Foreign Secretary-level talks.
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BJP nets 8 parliamentary panels
Satish Misra/S. Satyanarayanan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 5
After two days of hard bargaining, the NDA and the UPA today agreed on names for various parliamentary committees with the Opposition BJP bagging eight key parliamentary panels, including Finance and Home.

With just six working days left for the Budget session to reconvene after three weeks of recess on August 16, the NDA is understood to have informally requested the government to consider the extension of recess by a week so that Parliament could meet on August 23 to enable the committees to have at least 10 working days to study the Budget proposals pertaining to various ministries.

Although there was no formal confirmation about the NDA’s request, sources in the ruling combine confirmed that there was an informal request to this effect.

As per the agreement reached between the UPA and the NDA with the consent of Lok Sabha Speaker and Rajya Sabha Chairperson, the BJP will head panels attached to the ministries of Home, Commerce, Science and Technology (all attached to Rajya Sabha) and Finance, External Affairs, Social Justice and Empowerment, Coal, Mines and Steel, Chemicals and Fertilizer and Rural Development (all attached to Lok Sabha), sources said.

There was a delay in the constitution of committees due to a deadlock between the UPA and NDA over the heading of the standing committees attached to Home, Finance, Human Resource Development and External Affairs.

The NDA wanted that Chairmanship of these four committees be given to the Opposition, as during the NDA regime these committees had gone to the then Opposition i.e. the Congress. But, the Congress was not willing to give the Chairmanship of Finance, HRD and External Affairs. Finally it agreed to that effect after the NDA agreed to leave its demand for heading the committee attached to the HRD, sources said.

The tentative list of leaders to chair the panels from the BJP’s side is Sushma Swaraj (Home), Murli Manohar Joshi (Commerce), B.C. Khanduri (Finance), Sumitra Mahajan (Social Justice and Empowerment), Kalyan Singh (Rural Development), Anath Kumar (Coal, Mines and Steel), Lakshminarayan Pande (External Affairs) and Ananth Geete (Chemicals and Fertilizers). The standing committee attached to Science and Technology will be headed by a member belonging to the AIADMK, sources said.

Twenty-four standing committees and consultative committees are being constituted to discuss budgetary grants for various departments before the House resumes the Budget session on August 16.

Of these, 16 are to be headed by members of the Lok Sabha and the rest by Rajya Sabha MPs.

It would now be interesting to know whether the UPA would be inclined and Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee would also agree to the extension of recess of the Budget session by a week.

Sources said, Mr Chatterjee is likely to leave for the Commonwealth Parliamentarians Conference on September 4 and any delay in the resumption of the session would mean curtains will be drawn on the session only on September 10 instead of the scheduled September 3. The conference, to be held in Ottawa, Canada, begins on September 1 and ends on September 9.

Since Deputy Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal is scheduled to leave for the conference on August 28 and will be back only on September 10, any extension of the session beyond September 3 would raise a question on who will chair the Lok Sabha.
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Cong-NCP pact on Maharashtra poll
Anita Katyal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 5
Despite stray noises to the contrary, the Congress today formally announced its decision to contest the coming Maharashtra assembly elections in partnership with the Sharad Pawar-led NCP and the RPI factions with whom it already has an electoral pact.

The Congress and its allies are expected to kick off their joint election campaign by the beginning of September but Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s day-long trip to Maharashtra on August 11 will set the tone for the crucial battle ahead. Mrs Gandhi will be the star campaigner in this election, the first electoral test for the UPA Government after it came to power at the Centre.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, state unit president Prabha Rau and Margaret Alva, AICC General Secretary in charge of Maharashtra, met Mrs Sonia Gandhi today to brief her about the ground situation in the state. The decisions on alliances and the party president’s tour were finalised at this meeting.

In keeping with the party’s line, “Congress ka haath, aam aadmi ke saath,” Mrs Gandhi will specifically visit the drought-hit areas in the state and Nandurbar where large number of infants died due to malnourishment. Mrs Gandhi will also address the closing session of an NSUI meeting in Nagpur, clearly an effort at enthusing the cadres.

Talking to presspersons after this meeting, Mrs Alva and Mrs Rau remained non-committal about a tie-up with Mayawati-led BSP, which managed to garner a substantial chunk of Dalit votes in the Vidharbha region in the recent Lok Sabha poll. “There are no talks on with the BSP right now.....but all are options are open,” they maintained.

Mrs Alva said that the Congress and the NCP will shortly depute senior leaders from their respective parties to negotiate seat-sharing.

On its part, the Congress has drafted four AICC secretaries - B.K.Hari Prasad, Ajay Maken, Major Ved Prakash and Bharat Solanki - for the Maharashtra elections. Mrs Alva said they would be touring different parts of the state and after they submit their reports, the AICC would convene a strategy session by August 18 so that the campaign is set to roll out by next month.
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WB Govt gets Centre’s missive
Rejection of Dhananjay’s mercy plea
Our Correspondent

Kolkata, August 5
The West Bengal Government today received a formal communication from the Union Home Ministry giving a green signal for executing the death penalty of Dhananjay Chatterjee, according to the Jail Minister, Mr Biswanath Chowdhury.

Dhananjay Chatterjee will be hanged to death at Alipore Central Jail after 21 days of obtaining the “execution warrant” from the Alipore court, which initially gave him the death penalty for raping and killing Hetal Parekh, the 14-year schoolgirl on March 5, 1990, said the Jail Minister.

The minister said the matter had been referred to the Judicial Department for observing the necessary legal formalities for executing the death sentence.

On the other hand, the APDR and some other human rights commissions have decided to move the Supreme Court again for condoning the death penalty.

Meanwhile, the lone hangman, Nata Mallick, has threatened not to execute the death sentence to Dhananjay Chatterjee unless his grandson was immediately given a job in the government. He alleged despite several promises he had not been absorbed in the government job and was still treated as a casual employee after doing the job of hangman since Independence. Saying that he was now too old to act as a hangman, Nata Mallick said he had groomed his grandson as a successor who should be treated as a government employee.

The Jail Minister said Nata Mallick’s demand would be referred to Cabinet for consideration.

UNI adds: This impoverished family in the village of Kuludihi in West Bengal’s Bankura district is in a state of mourning. A visit to their home revealed scenes of desperation and mourning with his terminally ill parents struggling to find words to express their helplessness.

The plight of Dhananjay’s family, for whom the rapist was the sole earning member, had drawn the sympathy of villages who are helping the family in whatever way they can.

The Block Development Officer of Chhatna has sent more than 250 kg of wheat to the family members. The Chhatra Nagarik Committee has also sent 51 kg of rice to them.

Dhananjay’s septuagenarian parents are now petitioning the ultimate arbitrator, God, to save their son’s life.
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Haryana floods engineered by Punjab: Chautala
Prashant Sood
Tribune New Service

New Delhi, August 5
Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala today accused the Amarinder Singh government in Punjab of “deliberately causing breaches” in inter-state canals leading to floods in Haryana.

The Chief Minister, who met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh this evening to complain against the Punjab Government, later said action of the Congress government in neighbouring state could lead to a “reaction”.

Mr Chautala demanded that a meeting of the National Integration Council should immediately be convened to discuss the recent steps taken by Punjab, including its legislation to abrogate water sharing agreements with the neighbouring states.

He said four persons had so far been reported killed in the floods in the state, while seven had gone missing.

Recalling Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh’s statements about Punjab not in a position to release water to Haryana through SYL canal, Mr Chautala said 10,000 cusecs of water was now flowing through the canal into Haryana.

He said 50 villages in Amabla had been affected by floods leading to loss of crores of rupees. The Chief Minister said the Narwana branch canal had been damaged at several places due to excessive flow.

Mr Chautala said with bodies of cattle floating in sources of drinking water, there was a risk of epidemic.

Coming to SYL canal issue, the Chief Minister said he had asked the Centre to abrogate the Punjab Legislation as more states “could enact similar laws threatening the federal structure of the country”. He said some states had already started emulating example of Punjab.

Mr Chautala announced compensation of Rs 50,000 each to the next of kin of those killed in floods and special measures to assess the loss of crops and cattle to farmers.

Asked about the response of Prime Minister, Mr Chautala said he was “very concerned”.

To a question, the Chief Minister said he had not raised the SYL issue with the Prime Minister today. Hoping that the SC ruling on the Presidential reference in SYL canal case would go in Haryana’s favour, the Chief Minister expressed confidence that the Centre would obey the SC ruling. “The canal will be built,” he said.

Mr Chautala’s meeting with the Prime Minister lasted nearly 25 minutes.
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Hemkund Sahib pilgrims stranded at Joshimath
Tribune News Service

Dehra Dun, August 5
Over 3,000 pilgrims on their way to Hemkund Sahib and back are still stranded at Joshimath in Chamoli district. The pilgrims, mostly from Punjab, have been trapped at Joshimath for five days now, Disaster Management Department officials said. Of the 4000 pilgrims stranded initially, a few hundred left through the traditional trekking route.

Those with vehicles, however, would be able to leave only once the road is cleared in a couple of days, the Commissioner, Garhwal, Mr Subhash Kumar, said. Those on two wheelers might be able to leave by tomorrow, he added. The pilgrims were comfortable at Joshimath as all arrangements had been made for them, Mr Subhash Kumar said.

Incessant rain in the region led to mudslides at several places, blocking the national highway between Peepalkoti and Hemkund Sahib on July 31, official sources said. The mudslides took place at more than two places, including Tangri and Patalganga, officials said.

Regular bus services are available from Telani for those coming down through the trekking route from Patalganga, 50 km from Hemkund Sahib, officials said. This is the second time in this yatra season that the road to Hemkund Sahib has been blocked with debris from mudslides.
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Security tightened at US Embassy
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 5
The Delhi police today tightened security at the US Embassy and the American Centre in view of fears of a terrorist attack. Due to the threat, the embassy was closed for public today.

Barring public dealing, the mission functioned normally and all employees reported for duty. The embassy yesterday announced that its visa section, immigration office and the American Library would be closed for public today due to “security concerns”.

The security was put on maximum alert after the authorities at the American Mission were warned of the attack by the US Homeland Security Department.

The mission had been warned against a suicide attack or a bomb explosion at these locations today. The authorities had also been warned that the inputs were specific about Delhi.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) Anita Roy, who confirmed the security threat, said additional security measures were in place for today only as per the request.

The American Embassy here added that the visa applicants with appointments scheduled on August 5 will not require to make fresh appointments and the embassy will make efforts to see them as soon as resources permit.
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Jaya cautions PM on ferry service to Colombo
Arup Chanda
Tribune News Service

Chennai, August 5
The Tamil Nadu Government is headed for a showdown with the Union Shipping Ministry headed by Mr T.R. Balu (DMK) over the proposed ferry service to Sri Lanka from the state.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa in a letter to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, has strongly opposed the proposed ferry service between Thoothukudi and the Colombo in view of the threat posed by the LTTE.

Ms Jayalalithaa said according to intelligence reports the possibility of a dissident LTTE leader infiltrating into Tamil Nadu could not be ruled out. There could be resumption of arms and drugs transit by LTTE men throughout the state, she cautioned

She wrote: “The Government of India must also take into account that the entire Thoothukudi coastline is porous and the availability of a cheap ferry service would further give a fillip to drug smuggling apart from attracting potential asylum-seekers.”

She said the strategic security concerns for India, both internal and external, far outweighed the advantages of the ferry service the benefits of which in terms of trade would be minimal and largely symbolic.

She reminded Dr Manmohan Singh that because of the terrorist acts perpetrated by the LTTE even on Indian soil, the earlier government at the Centre had deferred the reintroduction of the ferry service.
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Court reprieve for Union Minister
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, August 5
Union Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, who found himself in a bind over the non-bailable warrant issued here yesterday, has received a reprieve from the court. The fifth Metropolitan Magistrate, who has been hearing the case, allowed the recall petition filed by Mr Rao today.

Suspending the earlier warrant, the court has asked the Union Minister to appear before it on September 15 in connection with the fraud case filed by a few dissidents of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi.

The allegations against Mr Rao relate to the deposits he had collected from the party ticket aspirants during the last Assembly elections. The dissidents accused Mr Rao of making money from hopefuls, knowing very well that he would have an alliance with the Congress and hence would not be able to field candidates for all 107 seats in Telangana.

The court had issued the non-bailable warrant when Mr Rao failed to respond to a summons on May 16 and later on August 4.
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Censors ban documentary on Gujarat
Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, August 5
The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has banned “Final Solution”, a documentary on the Gujarat riots of 2002.

Mr Rakesh Sharma, Director of “Final Solution”, said the ban came at a time when the documentary was set to be released in foreign countries. “The ban will deprive Indian audiences of an opportunity to see the film,” Mr Sharma said.

In its reply to Mr Sharma’s application for a certificate for the CBFC wrote back saying that the “film promotes communal disharmony among Hindu and Muslim groups and presents the Gujarat riots in a way that it may arouse communal feelings and clashes among Hindu Muslim groups. It attacks on the basic concept of our republic i.e. national integrity and unity. Certain dialogues involve defamation of individuals or body of individuals. The entire picturisation is highly provocative and may trigger unrest and communal violence. State security is jeopardised and public order is endangered if this film is shown,” according to excerpts of the letter released to the media by Mr Sharma.

“Final Solution” has already been acclaimed abroad. It won two awards at the 54th Berlin International Film Festival, At the Hong Kong film festival, the documentary won the Humanitarian award for outstanding documentary.
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HC orders medical colleges to specify ‘honest’ fee

Mumbai, August 5
The Bombay High Court today asked 24 medical colleges, which have challenged the fee structure suggested by the state-appointed Jahagirdar Committee, to come up with an "honest" amount that could be charged from a student for the course.

Chief Justice D S Bhandari and Mr Justice D Y Chandrachud asked the colleges to give the barest minimum amount they would need to charge a student and kept the matter for the next hearing on August 10.

The Bench directed the list be given to the amicus curiae (lawyer to assist the court) Janak Dwarkadas before August 10 for consideration.

On August 3, the court asked the Mr Dwarkadas to file a list of colleges that had adhered to the Fifth Pay Commission and those who had contested that their expenditure was not taken into the account while fixation of fees by the Jahagirdar Comittee. The proposed fee structure was being opposed by the private colleges on the ground that unlike government colleges they did not get subsidies. — PTI
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Trade unions to observe protest day on Aug 20
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 5
A national protest day would be observed on August 20 by the Left parties affiliated trade unions and independent federations to press for their seven-point demand, which includes 12 per cent interest on Employees' Provident Fund (EPF).

"We have decided unanimously to observe a national protest day on August 20," AITUC General Secretary Gurudas Dasgupta told mediapersons here.

The meeting, convened by unions like CPM-backed CITU, CPI-affiliated AITUC and RSP-supported UTUC, raised issues like the hike in petroleum prices and also in the FDI in civil aviation, insurance and telecom and pitched for 12 per cent EPF interest.

He said the government should re-examine the decision on 8 per cent interest on the special deposit schemes, PPF, GPF and other small savings scheme. Asked whether the unions would resort to strike if their demands were not met, he said: "We have no such intention. If we want to strike, we will give notice to the concerned authorities."
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Thackeray takes credit for free power to farmers
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, August 5
Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray has taken the credit for the Maharashtra Government’s decision to give free power to farmers. One day after Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde waived electricity charges to farmers from July 1, Mr Thackeray lauded the move in a comment published in party mouthpiece, Saamna.

“Till now I believed that only Shiv Sainiks follow my directions, but I was surprised to see that it is now being adhered to by even the Congress-led coalition,” Mr Thackeray said.
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Inter-ministerial groups formed
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 5
To ensure better implementation of policy initiatives as envisioned in the National Common Minimum Programme (NCMP), the government has constituted different inter-ministerial groups.

The Secretary, Planning Commission, will chair the task groups, which will have secretaries of various ministries as members. A time frame of three months has been set for the groups to submit their respective reports.

A task group has been formed specifically to address the issues pertaining to the growing regional imbalances. It will suggest ways and means to remove the disparities in plan allocations.
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PM briefs Kalam on Thai summit

New Delhi, August 5
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today called on President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam and briefed him on the recent BIMSTEC summit in Bangkok.

The meeting lasted for an hour, according to Mr S M Khan, Press Secretary to the President. Dr Manmohan Singh also briefed Dr Kalam on his bilateral discussions with the Thai and other BIMSTEC leaders in Bangkok. — TNS
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Shinde meets Sonia

New Delhi, August 5
Maharashtra Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde met Congress president Sonia Gandhi today to discuss strategy for the coming Assembly elections in the state.

AICC general secretary Margaret Alva and state PCC chief Prabha Rao were also present during the meeting.

Mr Shinde left for Mumbai after the meeting. — TNS
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Bhopal Mayor removed
Our Correspondent

Bhopal, August 5
If the Congress-led UPA Government at the Centre has removed Governors owing allegiance to the BJP, the BJP Government in Madhya Pradesh has started removing Congress Mayors of the Municipal Corporations in the State.

Bhopal Mayor Vibha Patel was removed yesterday by the government and BJP corporator Chandramukhi Yadav named as the Mayor in her place.
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BRIEFLY

3 get life term for murder
JALGAON:
A local court has sentenced three persons to life imprisonment in connection with the murder of a youth in May, 2002. The three were sentenced to life imprisonment on Wednesday for murdering Sachin Sursingh Patil on May 15, 2002. Sachin along with his friends was returning to Jalgaon from Paldhi when the three waylaid him and attacked him with sharp-edged weapons and killed him. — PTI

Thungon fails to appear in court
NEW DELHI:
Former Union Minister of State P.K. Thungon on Thursday failed to appear before a Delhi court in a case of corruption registered by the CBI five years ago. Thungon, instead, moved an application before the Special Judge praying that he be exempted from appearance on Thursday as he was busy in political activity in Arunachal Pradesh where the Assembly polls is due. As the judge was on leave, his application was posted for hearing on August 12. — PTI
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