SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


image
N A T I O N

Savarkar, Uma issues rock House
New Delhi, August 20
Both Houses of Parliament were adjourned ahead of schedule today with members of the Congress and the RJD seeking to turn the tables on the BJP demanding the resignation of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharti following a reported court warrant against her even as the Opposition stuck to its demand on an immediate apology by the Petroleum Minister for “showing disrespect” to freedom fighter Veer Savarkar.

Azad meets Advani on Savarkar issue

Uma’s brother starts dharna
Bhopal, August 20
Chief Minister Uma Bharati’s elder brother and former BJP MLA Swami Prasad Lodhi started a dharna at Roshanpura Naka in the heart of the city today, demanding the removal of three ministers who, he said, were blatantly involved in corruption.


Schoolchildren participate in a march organised by the Youth Congress on the occasion of the 60th birth anniversary of Late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi
Schoolchildren participate in a march organised by the Youth Congress on the occasion of the 60th birth anniversary of Late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in New Delhi on Friday. — PTI.

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS

PM to stress on manifesto at AICC meeting
New Delhi, August 20
The Congress election manifesto and the UPA government’s National Common Minimum Programme (NCMP) will be reflected in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s speech and the deliberations at tomorrow’s AICC meeting.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi talks with Mr L.K. Advani Congress President Sonia Gandhi talks with Mr L.K. Advani, Leader of the Opposition, at the unveiling of the statue of Rajiv Gandhi on his 60th birth anniversary in New Delhi on Friday. — Tribune photo by Mukesh Aggarwal

BJP noise in House aimed at poll: CPM
New Delhi, August 20
The BJP and the Shiv Sena came in for sharp criticism from the CPM today for its “mindless” and irresponsible” decision to disrupt Parliament proceedings with an eye on the Maharashtra assembly elections to be held later this year.

EARLIER STORIES

 
Railway Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav purchases the first ticket after inaugurating the railway reservation centre at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi
Railway Minister Laloo Prasad Yadav purchases the first ticket after inaugurating the railway reservation centre at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi on Friday. — PTI

Parsi women greet each other on the occasion of Parsi new year
Parsi women greet each other on the occasion of Parsi new year in Ahmedabad on Friday.
In video (28k, 56k)

ISI trying to revive terrorism in Punjab
New Delhi, August 20
As part of its strategy to create disturbance in India, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) continues to put pressure on Pakistan-based pro-"Khalistan" militants to revive terrorist activities in Punjab, an official report has revealed.

Ex-Manipur CMs urge Centre to initiate talks
New Delhi, August 20
As the situation in Manipur remained grim with the people continuing their protest, demanding the withdrawal of the Armed Police Special Protection Act (APSPA), former Manipur Chief Ministers Rishang Keishing and Radhabinod Koijam today urged the Centre to initiate a dialogue immediately with the agitators and the insurgent groups.

House panel labels MEA ‘careless’
New Delhi, August 20
The Standing Committee on External Affairs has pulled up the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on several counts, including “lingering on” with projects, adopting a “careless approach” towards budget and failing to promote Hindi internationally.

CPM panel to probe charges against Sikdar
Kolkata, August 20
The CPM state committee at its meeting here today set up a high-power committee to probe the charges framed against CPM MP Jyotirmoyee Sikdar for allowing the use of her hotel at Salt Lake for immoral purposes in which her husband, Avtar Singh, and nine others were arrested on Sunday.

Arun Kumar new DG of Coast Guard
New Delhi, August 20
Vice-Admiral Arun Kumar Singh today took over as the new Director-General, Coast Guard, succeeding Vice-Admiral Suresh Mehta, who had been appointed as the Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff.

Videos
Sonia Gandhi flags off mobile primary health care clinic.
(28k, 56k)
My Bollywood Bride is all set to hit the theatres.
(28k, 56k)
Ken Ghosh's Fida releases today.
(28k, 56k)

Top









 

Savarkar, Uma issues rock House
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 20
Both Houses of Parliament were adjourned ahead of schedule today with members of the Congress and the RJD seeking to turn the tables on the BJP demanding the resignation of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Uma Bharti following a reported court warrant against her even as the Opposition stuck to its demand on an immediate apology by the Petroleum Minister for “showing disrespect” to freedom fighter Veer Savarkar.

Both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were adjourned for the day as both members of the Opposition and Treasury benches resorted to slogan shouting countering each others’ demands.

Members of the BJP and the Shiv Sena demanded an immediate apology from Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar for showing “disrespect” to freedom fighter Veer Savarkar.

Members of the Congress and the RJD countered by raising slogans against the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister against whom a warrant had reportedly been issued by a court in Karnataka in a nine-year-old case for allegedly making a provocative speech.

Both members of the Shiv Sena and the BJP were on their feet as soon as zero hour started in the Lok Sabha demanding an apology from the Petroleum Minister shouting slogans “Long live Veer Savarkar”.

The RJD members on the other hand shouted slogans “Uma Bharti ko Giraftar Karo (Arrest Uma Bharti)”.

Despite repeated requests by Speaker Somnath Chatterjee to maintain decorum, members from both sides were adamant with their demands.

As nothing could be heard in the din, the Speaker adjourned the House at 2 pm. Similar scenes were witnessed when the House reassembled and it was adjourned first till 3.30 pm and later for the day.

In the Rajya Sabha, the Congress and the RJD members were up on their feet flashing a fact-sheet on a criminal case involving the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister.

With members of both sides relentless with their demands, Deputy Chairperson K. Rehman Khan adjourned the House till 2.30 p.m. After the House reassembled, similar uproarious scenes continued. As nothing could be heard in the din, the House was adjourned for the day.

Top

 

Azad meets Advani on Savarkar issue
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 20
The ruling UPA today moved to resolve the stalemate on the Veer Savarkar issue in Parliament when Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad met Leader of the Opposition L.K. Advani.

BJP spokes person Sushma Swaraj said Mr Advani had conveyed to Mr Azad that the Opposition would accept nothing less than an assurance to restore the Savarkar’s quotation in ‘Swatantra Jyoti’ on the premises of Cellular Jail in Port Blair.

“The House can function in a normal manner the moment the government accepts the demand,” she added.

Ms Swaraj said Savarkar’s plaque was removed at the behest of Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar and the government had to reverse it.

The BJP was not opposed to the inclusion of Mahatma Gandhi’s quote in the ‘jyoti’ plaque, as suggested by the minister, she added.

Top

 

Uma’s brother starts dharna
Our Correspondent

Bhopal, August 20
Chief Minister Uma Bharati’s elder brother and former BJP MLA Swami Prasad Lodhi started a dharna at Roshanpura Naka in the heart of the city today, demanding the removal of three ministers who, he said, were blatantly involved in corruption.

Mr Lodhi was removed by the Chief Minister from the post of Chairman of the state Civil Supplies Corporation on August 13 following charges of corruption and illegalities levelled against him in a report prepared by former Managing Director of the corporation Ashok Shah.

He told reporters at the dharna site that his agitation would continue till PWD Minister Kailash Vijayvargiya, Commerce and Industry Minister Kailash Chawla and GAD Minister Gauri Shankar Shejwar were removed. He said that he had already submitted to the party leadership the evidence of corruption against them.

Top

 

PM to stress on manifesto at AICC meeting
Anita Katyal
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 20
The Congress election manifesto and the UPA government’s National Common Minimum Programme (NCMP) will be reflected in Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s speech and the deliberations at tomorrow’s AICC meeting.

The programmes, policies and priorities listed in these two documents form the thrust of the composite political, economic and foreign affairs resolution, which will be moved by Defence Minsier Pranab Mukherjee and seconded by Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh and External Affairs Minister K. Natwar Singh.

All resolutions which are to be adopted at tomorrow’s meeting were discussed at an extended meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) tonight.

Congress sources said this omnibus resolution contains a sharp attack against the communal underpinnings of the BJP and the RSS ideology, virtually endorsing Mr Arjun Singh’s strong position on the urgent need of taking on communal forces. Not just the BJP but the NDA’s allies have also come in for indirect attack for extending support to communal forces.

The UPA government’s NCMP is now the party’s new mantra. A copy of the NCMP is being distributed to all 1600 delegates who will be attending the AICC meeting

Dr Manmohan Singh’s speech, it is learnt, will lay special emphasis on the contents of this document and also elaborate on the implementation of this programme. The Prime Minsiter’s speech is expected to dwell on the issue of governance and reiterate the importance of accountability.

Although general and philosophical in nature, the Prime Minister’s speech, according to his aides, will also explain how the government plans to tackle problem states like Jammu and Kashmir and the North-East. Given the tense and volatile situation in Manipur, Dr Singh is expected to make a pointed reference to this state.

Since the AICC meeting is dedicated to late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, two resolutions — one highlighting his vision and acheivements and another on his pet programme on Panchayati Raj instiutions — are also to be adopted. The resolution paying tribute to Rajiv Gandhi is to be moved by Water Resources Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunshi while the second will be moved by Panchayati Raj Minister Mani Shankar Aiyer.

As this is the first AICC meeting to be held after the installation of the Congress-led UPA government, a fourth resolution extolling party President Sonia Gandhi’s leadership and her supreme sacrifice in declining the Prime Minister’s post will be moved by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y. Rajshekhar Reddy.

Ms Sonia Gandhi’s opening address will set the tone for the discussions while her concluding remarks will provide direction to the cadres for the coming Assembly elections in five states.

Top


 

BJP noise in House aimed at poll: CPM
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 20
The BJP and the Shiv Sena came in for sharp criticism from the CPM today for its “mindless” and irresponsible” decision to disrupt Parliament proceedings with an eye on the Maharashtra assembly elections to be held later this year.

Addressing a press conference, CPM leader Nilotpal Basu said: “We have not heard a single question pertaining to the people being raised by the Opposition ... questions like inflation and petroleum price hike are being consistently raised by the Left parties, who are steadfastly supporting the government. It was the Left parties’ intervention that led to the restructuring of taxes on oil prices.”

On the V. D. Savarkar issue, he said they were “holding the House to ransom” despite the government and Union Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar giving their explanation.

Top

 

ISI trying to revive terrorism in Punjab
S. Satyanarayanan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 20
As part of its strategy to create disturbance in India, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) continues to put pressure on Pakistan-based pro-”Khalistan” militants to revive terrorist activities in Punjab, an official report has revealed.

The report, prepared by the Union Home Ministry, says there are enough intelligence inputs in this regard.

“Pakistan continues to provide sanctuary on its soil to leaders of important Pro-Khalistan militant outfits, Babbar Khalsa International (BKI), headed by Wadhawa Singh; Khalistan Commando Force (KCF-P), headed by P. S. Panjwar; International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF-R), headed by Lakhbir Singh Rode; Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF), headed by Ranjit Singh, alias Neeta; and Dal Khalsa International (DKI), headed by Gajinder Singh,” the report says.

“The pro-Khalistani elements based elsewhere are also reported to be in touch with the pro-Khalistan militants in Pakistan for the revival of militancy in Punjab,” it added.

The BKI, ISYF, KCF (P) and the KZF continue to be banned under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002. The BKI and the ISYF have also been banned under the UK Anti-Terrorism Act, 2000. They have been included in the list of terrorist organisations by the European Union also.

The report notes that although no terrorist-related incident has been reported from Punjab during 2003-04, a few terrorists have been arrested by the state police and some arms and ammunition were seized from them.

Top

 

Ex-Manipur CMs urge Centre to initiate talks
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 20
As the situation in Manipur remained grim with the people continuing their protest, demanding the withdrawal of the Armed Police Special Protection Act (APSPA), former Manipur Chief Ministers Rishang Keishing and Radhabinod Koijam today urged the Centre to initiate a dialogue immediately with the agitators and the insurgent groups.

They suggested the sanction of an economic package by the Centre to set the political dialogue for peace in motion in the strife-torn north-eastern state.

Mr Keishing, a Rajya Sabha member of the Congress, and Mr Koijam, a Janata DalU) leader, made the proposal at a meeting with Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil here.

The Home Minister assured them that the government, which had already declared its preparedness to talk to any person or group, would seriously consider the proposal, Mr Keishing told mediapersons.

During the meeting, Dr Koijam said the government should also take initiatives for raising a Manipur battalion in the Indian Army as a part of the efforts to narrow down the divide between the Army and the local people and also to bring the community into the mainstream.

Mr Keishing said the initiation of dialogues and sanctioning of an economic package for Manipur’s development would help in establishing peace in the state. He alleged that though similar measures were taken by the previous NDA government while dealing with the Naga insurgents, no attention was paid to Manipur. 

Top

 

House panel labels MEA ‘careless’
Rajeev Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 20
The Standing Committee on External Affairs has pulled up the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on several counts, including “lingering on” with projects, adopting a “careless approach” towards budget and failing to promote Hindi internationally.

The committee also notes the “silence” of the passport offices in Jalandhar and Mumbai after informing the MEA about the availability of land almost a year ago for the construction of regional passport offices (RPO) there. The report, tabled in Parliament today, notes that the MEA’s plan to shift all RPOs from rented premises to owned premises is not making much headway. The MEA is paying an annual rent of Rs 8.82 lakh for the Jalandhar RPO.

The committee has also pulled up the MEA for not doing enough to promote Hindi internationally, particularly when the ministry faced no constraints in its drive to make Hindi an official language of the United Nations and advised the ministry to achieve this target in a definite time-frame.

The committee has expressed its “shock” over the fact that out of more than 160 missions/posts abroad only six have appointed six Hindi officers and only one translator.

The committee also took a serious view of the MEA’s delay in projects. “Lingering on with projects and setting new target dates and deadlines have become a routine with the ministry, as is evident in the case of the Washington Cultural Centre, the Brasilia project, the Videsh Bhavan project, the Doha project and so on.”

The committee has come down heavily on the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) in the promotion of cultural diplomacy, saying the ICCR is groping in the dark.

On the budgeting process, the report says replies to the List of Points sent by the committee on various subjects during the examination of the demands for grants of the ministry were furnished by the ministry on August 6, which means more than four months after close of the last financial year. In some cases only likely estimations of the actual expenditure have been furnished. “Such a careless approach and attitude towards an important exercise like the budget is highly deplorable,” adds the committee.

Top

 

CPM panel to probe charges against Sikdar
Our Correspondent

Kolkata, August 20
The CPM state committee at its meeting here today set up a high-power committee to probe the charges framed against CPM MP Jyotirmoyee Sikdar for allowing the use of her hotel at Salt Lake for immoral purposes in which her husband, Avtar Singh, and nine others were arrested on Sunday.

The committee will also probe as to how the land allotted to Mrs Sikdar from the Chief Minister’s VIP quota for setting up a sports healthcare institute could later turn into a hotel.

It has been alleged that state Sports Minister Subhas Chakaborty had influenced the then Chief Minister, Mr Jyoti Basu, in granting her a piece of land in Sector 5 for setting up the institute and a five cuttah plot in Sector 3 for building her residence after she won a gold medal in the Asiad. But Mrs Sikdar instead of setting up the institute built a hotel.

Top

 

Arun Kumar new DG of Coast Guard
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 20
Vice-Admiral Arun Kumar Singh today took over as the new Director-General, Coast Guard, succeeding Vice-Admiral Suresh Mehta, who had been appointed as the Deputy Chief of the Naval Staff.

A product of the National Defence Academy (NDA), Vice-Admiral Arun Kumar Singh was the Controller, Personnel Services, Naval Headquarters, before this posting.

The senior-most submariner Vice-Admiral Arun Kumar Singh had earlier as Rear Admiral and Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Submarines) authored the 30-year Submarine Construction Plan. He was also responsible for the modernisation of the submarine force.

He was commissioned on January 1, 1969.

Top

 

12 fishermen feared dead
Our Correspondent

Kolkata, August 20
A trawler carrying 13 fishermen was caught in the deep sea, about 140 km from Haldia port, this morning during a cyclone.

One fisherman was later found by the Coastal Guards but the remaining 12 are feared to have been drowned, according to a report received here.

The trawler belonged to the Andhra Government and the fishermen went out for fishing last night. 

Top

 

CRPF cover for rly teams in J&K
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 20
The 143 Battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has been asked to provide security to the survey/construction teams of Indian Railways in Jammu and Kashmir.

CRPF Director-General J. K. Sinha said to ensure the effective management of internal security, more than 86 per cent of the CRPF had been deployed in Jammu and Kashmir, north-eastern states and states tormented by left-wing extremism. The CRPF had been providing effective security cover to Amarnath yatris and the yatra had remained free of any untoward incident so far, Mr Sinha said.

Top

 
BRIEFLY

TMC ex-MP, wife join Cong
Kolkata:
Former Trinamool Congress MP Sudip Bandopadhyya and his actress wife, Ms Naina Das, a TMC MLA, along with 3000 followers joined the Congress (I) on Friday at a function organised at Mahajati Sadan on the occasion of Rajiv Gandhi’s birth anniversary. Congress MLAs and the party’s working president, Mr Pradip Bhattacharyya, were there to welcome Mr Bandopadhyya. — OC

Crop failure not likely: Pawar
New Delhi
: The country was unlikely to face any shortfall in most of the crops during 2004-05 due to initial scanty rainfall, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar informed the Rajya Sabha on Friday. He said barring the losses in some bajra-sowing areas in Rajasthan and edible oil crops in central India, the output of other crops would be sufficient. — TNS


Top

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |