M A I N   N E W S

NDA leaders meet Kalam, seek Lalu’s ouster
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 28
NDA leaders today met President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam to advise Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to remove Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav from the Cabinet.

“We hold the Prime Minister guilty of tainting his own high office first by including criminal elements in the Union Government and now, after the framing of charges against Yadav by the special CBI court in Ranchi, by indefensibly defending his continued inclusion in the Union Cabinet,” the delegation led by NDA Chairman and former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee said in a memorandum submitted to the President.

During their 20-minute meeting with Dr Kalam, the NDA leaders alleged that the UPA government reportedly attempted to “dissuade” Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf from calling on Mr Vajpayee during his recent visit.

Under attack over the Kargil arms procurements, former Defence Minister and NDA convener George Fernandes told the President that in his capacity as the supreme commander of the Armed Forces he had only met their requirements.

He appealed to the President to ensure that Army and civilian officers involved in the procurements were not put in the dock and examined by the CBI and other agencies.

Emerging from the meeting, Leader of the Opposition L.K. Advani told reporters that the leaders apprised the President of the government’s “attitude” towards the Opposition and on the issue of “tainted” Ministers.

The inclusion of “tainted” Ministers, they said, was not only a matter of “political impropriety but also an act of moral transgression which brings, for the first time since India’s Independence, criminalisation into the realm of governance at the Centre”.

“We, therefore, earnestly urge you, as the ultimate defender of the high ideals on which the Indian Republic is founded, to advise the Prime Minister to drop Yadav from his Cabinet without any further delay,” the memorandum stressed.

Besides senior leaders of the BJP and its allies, the delegation also included Mr Yerran Naidu of the TDP.


PM calls on Kalam
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 28
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called on President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam today, barely an hour after NDA leaders met him to seek his intervention for the removal of Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav from the Cabinet.

The current political impasse was among the subjects that came up for discussion.

The meeting, which lasted 45 minutes, was part of a regular interaction between the two leaders, Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson S.M. Khan said. 

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