SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

Reddy, Patnaik, Chamling sworn-in
Andhra Pradesh cabinet likely by week-end
YSR ReddyHyderabad, May 20
After steering Congress to victory, YS Rajasekhara Reddy was today sworn-in as Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister for the second consecutive term.

                                               
YSR Reddy
                                                         Second term

72 first-timers in Orissa assembly
Naveen PatnaikBhubaneswar, May 20
The Naveen Patnaik-led BJD government in Orissa will be sworn-in tomorrow. "I have been invited to form the government by Governor MC Bhandare," Patnaik, who called on the Governor at the Raj Bhavan, told reporters.
                                    Naveen Patnaik
                                                        Back in style

Sikkim CM into 4th term
Gangtok, May 20
Pawan Kumar Chamling today took over the reins of Sikkim as its Chief Minister for a record fourth term.
Pawan Chamling (L) being sworn in by Governor BP Singh. Pawan Chamling (L) being sworn in by Governor BP Singh. — PTI




EARLIER STORIES

Just days after Slumdog child star Azharuddin lost his home in the BMC demolition drive, his co-star Rubina Ali found herself homeless as the Railway authorities razed her shanty in Mumbai on Wednesday.
DASHED HOPES: Just days after Slumdog child star Azharuddin lost his home in the BMC demolition drive, his co-star Rubina Ali found herself homeless as the Railway authorities razed her shanty in Mumbai on Wednesday. — Reuters

UPA allies lobby for berths
New Delhi, May 20
With two days to go for the next UPA government to be sworn in, the Congress top brass was today engaged in hectic negotiations with key allies, who are driving a hard bargain for ministries of their choice.

Girls outshine boys in ICSE exams
New Delhi, May 20
Girls surpassed boys in the Class X and XII Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) results announced at 11 am on Wednesday.

India hands over third 26/11 dossier to Pak
New Delhi, May 20
India today handed over to Pakistan another dossier of evidence on the Mumbai terror attacks and hoped Islamabad would now stop looking for lame excuses and conduct a thorough probe to bring to book the perpetrators of the mayhem.

BSP back to ‘woo Dalit’ diplomacy
Lucknow, May 20
Sensing the strong message she received from the state electorate, BSP supremo has virtually dumped her social engineering rhetoric and is back to wooing her core Dalit constituency.

Maharashtra Assembly Poll
Rane backs Pawar, says Cong going it alone makes no sense
Mumbai, May 20
A defensive Sharad Pawar, whose Nationalist Congress Party received a drubbing in the recent Lok Sabha elections, has received backing of a dissident Congress leader Narayan Rane for a tie-up between the two parties for the forthcoming assembly polls in Maharashtra.

Poll analysis
Pro-Maratha stance hit NCP hard
Mumbai, May 20
The Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party's pro-Maratha perception among voters is being blamed for the outfit getting less than half the number of Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra compared to ally Congress.

3 ex-Jharkhand CMs eye ministerial berths
Ranchi, May 20
Three former chief ministers of Jharkhand have extended support to the new United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government and are said to be keen to get ministerial berths.

From dissident to strongman, YSR’s come a long way
Hyderabad, May 20
From carrying the baggage of troubled political past with a tag of “perpetual dissident” to becoming the Chief Minister of the state for a second consecutive term, the doctor-turned- politician YS Rajasekhar Reddy has come a long way.

Rao holds TDP responsible for TRS poor show in AP
Hyderabad, May 20
Daggers are out in the opposition camp in Andhra Pradesh following electoral defeat. The alliance partners of “Maha Kootami” (grand alliance) are now blaming each other for the reversals.

Five get lifer for abducting shoe baron
Kolkata, May 20
Mafia don Aftab Ansari and four others were sentenced to life imprisonment by a court here today for the sensational 2001 kidnap of Partha Pratim Roy Burman, owner of the shoe-manufacturing firm Khadim.

Elena death case: Police gets vital clues
Panaji, May 20
The Goa police may make a headway in the Elena Sukhonova death case with the help of her e-mail address, scribbled on a paper napkin, which was found on the railway tracks few metres away from her body.

Father kills son for not remarrying
Patna, May 20
A man in a village in Bihar’s Bhojpur district declined to carry out his father’s order to desert his wife and marry another woman. The enraged father and other relatives beat the son to death, the police said today.





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Andhra Pradesh cabinet likely by week-end
Suresh Dharur
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, May 20
After steering Congress to victory, YS Rajasekhara Reddy was today sworn-in as Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister for the second consecutive term.

Sixty-year-old Reddy took the oath at a public function held at the Lal Bahadur Stadium in the heart of the city. It was at the same venue that he took over the reins of the state five years ago.

The state Governor, ND Tiwari, administered him the oath of office and secrecy at 6.30 pm as the stadium reverberated with loud cheers from a large number of party workers and admirers.

AICC general secretary Veerappa Moily, state ministers, MLAs, MLCs and other senior Congress leaders attended the function. The Chief Minister was accompanied by his family members.

Reddy alone took the oath today and he is likely to constitute the cabinet later this week. Minutes after the swearing-in, Reddy signed the first set of files pertaining to welfare schemes as promised before the elections.

The first one provides for increasing the quantum of subsidised rice for poor families from 20 kg per month to 30 kg while the second one envisages increasing the duration of free power supply to farmers from the present seven hours a day to nine hours.

Earlier in the day, a delegation of Congress leaders called on the Governor to inform him of Rajasekhara Reddy's unanimous election as leader of the party's newly-elected legislators.

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72 first-timers in Orissa assembly

Bhubaneswar, May 20
The Naveen Patnaik-led BJD government in Orissa will be sworn-in tomorrow. "I have been invited to form the government by Governor MC Bhandare," Patnaik, who called on the Governor at the Raj Bhavan, told reporters.

Patnaik, who held discussion with Bhandare for about 25 minutes, said that the swearing-in ceremony will take place at 11:30 am. The BJD became the first regional party in the state to claim absolute majority winning 103 seats in the 147-member assembly this time. Also, the party won 14 of the 21 Lok Saba seats in the state. This time, several new faces are set to dominate the Orissa assembly as about half of the newly elected legislators would be stepping into the 147-member house for the first time.

At least 72 new MLAs are making their maiden entry in the assembly though some of them had earlier fought electoral battles unsuccessfully. The maximum number of 49 first-timers belong to the ruling BJD. The regional party swept the polls posting a landslide victory by grabbing 103 seats in the assembly. The opposition Congress, whose strength dwindled to 27 from 38 in 2004, would send 14 new faces. Similarly, the BJP, which contested the elections alone after the collapse of its alliance with Naveen Patnaik-led BJD and saw only six of its candidates victorious, would have three newcomers in the 14th assembly.

The lone CPI MLA, Adikanda Sethi, who has won from Chhatrapur, has also tasted his first victory in assembly elections after the Left party entered into a seat-sharing arrangement with BJD. — PTI

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Sikkim CM into 4th term

Gangtok, May 20
Pawan Kumar Chamling today took over the reins of Sikkim as its Chief Minister for a record fourth term.

Governor BP Singh administered the oath of office and secrecy to 59-year-old Chamling and eleven other members of his council of ministers at a ceremony at the Raj Bhawan this morning.

The SDF government led by Chamling has been in power in Sikkim since 1994. In the recently-concluded assembly polls, the SDF vanquished all opposition to snap up the lone Lok Sabha and 32 assembly seats in the state. Chamling himself won the mandate for a record fourth term, completion of which would rival that of Jyoti Basu’s over 23 years in the neighbouring Left-ruled West Bengal.

He also obliterated the joint record he shared with his predecessor Nar Bahadur Bhandari to have ruled the state for 15 years each. The eleven other ministers sworn in were RB Subbha, TT Bhutia, DN Takarpa (former Speaker), NK Pradhan, Dil Bahadur Thapa, SG Lepcha, CB Karki, Dawcho Lepcha, BP Dhungel, Tilu Gurung and Neeru Sewa. Tilu Gurung and Neeru Sewa are the two women representatives in the cabinet. — PTI

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UPA allies lobby for berths
Anita Katyal
Our Political Correspondent

New Delhi, May 20
With two days to go for the next UPA government to be sworn in, the Congress top brass was today engaged in hectic negotiations with key allies, who are driving a hard bargain for ministries of their choice.

Senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee, who also doubles as the party’s chief troubleshooter, held separate consultations with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and DMK supremo M Karunanidhi and Trinamul Congress chief Mamata Bannerjee on portfolio distribution, but the talks proved to be inconclusive. Both allies have staked claim on the same portfolios, which will require some skillful handling by Mukherjee.

Unlike the last time, when the Congress gone out of its way to accommodate demanding allies, is not willing to be so generous this time round. With numbers on its side, the Congress believes it has a clear edge over its partners and will, therefore, deal firmly with what it believes are unreasonable demands.

Karunanidhi, who arrived here last evening with his family members, had a two-hour meeting with Mukherjee and AICC general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad, where the veteran leaders asked for a total of seven ministerial berths, including railways, shipping and transport.

The DMK is particularly keen on shipping, as it wants to push through the completion of the controversial Sethusamundaram project. The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister’s list includes his son M Azhagiri, daughter Kanimozhi and great-nephew Dayanidhi Maran. Karunanidhi and family had met Congress president last night and were in full attendance at this morning meeting of the UPA allies at Gandhi’s 10 Janpath residence. With greater emphasis on accountability and governance, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh does not want DMK minister TR Baalu and A Raja in the new government in view of the corruption charges leveled against them.

Mamata Bannerjee, who has emerged as the largest ally with 19 MPs, is also eyeing key infrastructure ministries. Having held the rail portfolio earlier, she is eager to return to the ministry again. In addition, she is learnt to have asked for shipping and transport as she wants to fast track the development of Kolkata and Haldia ports. In addition, her wish list includes rural development, information technology, health, heavy industries and minority affairs. Congress sources said Mamata was demanding more berths than the DMK on the ground that she had more numbers on her side. She was, however, told, that she could not be treated on par with the DMK, which was an older ally and was an important member of the outgoing government.

It is not clear as to which ministries will go to Sharad Pawar’s NCP, which has nine members. It is learnt that Pawar may not be able to retain both his old portfolios - agriculture and food and consumer affairs. Manmohan Singh does not want ministers to get more than one portfolio. The Congress is keen on wresting the food and consumer affairs portfolio back from the NCP, as it wants to be in the driver’s seat for the implementation of its right to food, an election promise.

If the Congress leadership has to contend with the demands of its allies, it has also to do fine balancing act in accommodating its own partymen. The MPs from states like Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh have high expectations as their numbers have contributed significantly to the party’s total tally of 206 seats.

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Girls outshine boys in ICSE exams
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 20
Girls surpassed boys in the Class X and XII Council for the Indian School Certificate Examination (CISCE) results announced at 11 am on Wednesday.

The Class XII topper, a boy, from the ISC has scored a perfect 99.25 per cent and hails from a school in Kolkata and the ICSE class X topper, a boy, has scored 99 per cent from a school in Mumbai.

There has been an increase of 0.01 per cent this year, 98.05 per cent students have been declared pass in the ICSE exams, while at the ISC level, the pass percentage was recorded at 97.08 per cent, up by 0.04 per cent. This year, 1,08,217 students from 1,493 schools and 52,552 students from across the country appeared for the ICSE and ISC exams respectively conducted in March this year.

Out of the total number of students, who appeared, 98.14 pc girls and 96.90 pc boys have been declared pass in the ICSE exam. In ISC exam, girls have also done better than boys with a pass percentage of 98.18 per cent, while 96.21 per cent boys have been declared pass by the board this year.

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India hands over third 26/11 dossier to Pak
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 20
India today handed over to Pakistan another dossier of evidence on the Mumbai terror attacks and hoped Islamabad would now stop looking for lame excuses and conduct a thorough probe to bring to book the perpetrators of the mayhem.

“The Ministry of external Affairs today handed over to the Pakistan High Commission additional information and details relating to the Mumbai terror attack sought by Pakistan,’’ an official statement said.

According to sources, the third dossier of evidence handed over to a diplomat from the Pakistan High Commission by a senior official of the foreign office includes certified DNA report and statement of Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone terrorist captured during the attacks.

The dossier is said to include replies to all the 10 queries made by Pakistan and certain booklets. India had given DNA reports of the 10 terrorists who carried out the Mumbai attacks to Pakistan on March 13.

But Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik later pointed out that there were discrepancies in the evidence submitted by India.

It later turned out that two DNA reports submitted by India were of the same person and Kasab’s DNA details were missing due to a clerical error.

Sources said India had now addressed all the issue raised by Pakistan, adding it was time for Islamabad to act instead of trying to divert attention yet again.

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BSP back to ‘woo Dalit’ diplomacy
Shahira Naim
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, May 20
Sensing the strong message she received from the state electorate, BSP supremo has virtually dumped her social engineering rhetoric and is back to wooing her core Dalit constituency.

As a first step towards this, she scrapped all the bhaichara (caste) committees formed to enforce the concept of social engineering. While retaining the presidents, she also annulled all the Vidhan Sabha, district and booth level committees.

Clearly worried about the shifting of the Dalit and most backward castes from her party to the Congress and SP, Mayawati announced that these organisational committees would soon be reconstituted, giving a prominent role to the Dalits and most backwards.

Speaking extempore for four hours at the party’s national convention called to review the Lok Sabha election results, Mayawati continuously spoke of the support she had received from the Dalits and how she remained dedicated to them. Going a bit melodramatic, she mentioned that the blood in their veins and the veins of her Dalits brethrens was the same.

While the presence of the media was limited to a photo opputunity and her brief speech regarding the party’s support to the UPA, party insiders informed that not once did she mention the Brahmin-Dalit bhaichara or sarv samaaj rhetroic - her most common refrain during public meetings during the last two years.

Instead, she kept reiterating the Bahujan Samaj and how she was completely committed to the welfare of the Dalits and the most backward castes. Once again returning to her party’s old jargon, she reminded the Dalits and most backwards of how they had historically been exploited by the upper castes.

Undertaking some strategic damage control, Mayawati maintained that the Dalit votes had not moved away from her party but it was the Brahmin, Vaishya and Muslims who did not vote for her, causing this electoral reverse.

Incidentally, the BSP won only two of the 17 reserved seats in the state.

On Monday she had forced 150 chairpersons, vice chairpersons and members of various councils and boards to resign. During the last two years, these political appointments had been made to widen the party’s base.

As part of post-poll review, today she had convened a meeting of the party’s MPs and MLAs where she repeated the same rhetoric. Later in the day, she had called a meeting of the party coordinators - the key functionary in her party. The meeting was on till late evening.

Meanwhile, she reappointed Kunwar Fateh Bahadur as the Principal Secretary, Home. The Election Commission had removed him from the key post during the election, a decision that she had not taken well.

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Maharashtra Assembly Poll
Rane backs Pawar, says Cong going it alone
makes no sense
Shiv Kumar
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, May 20
A defensive Sharad Pawar, whose Nationalist Congress Party received a drubbing in the recent Lok Sabha elections, has received backing of a dissident Congress leader Narayan Rane for a tie-up between the two parties for the forthcoming assembly polls in Maharashtra.

Rane has come out against his rival and former Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, who suggested that the Congress party go it alone in the coming elections. Deshmukh has been carrying a campaign in Mumbai and Delhi stating that the Congress got nothing out of allying with the NCP.

Today, the Pawar camp seems to have hit back from the shoulders of Rane. In a statement released in Marathi daily, Prahaar, owned by Rane, the Shiv Sainik-turned-Congressman asked his colleagues to consider realities before making statements. The Congress, Rane said, polled 19.61 per cent of the votes, while the NCP has got 19.28 percent of the votes in Maharashtra. The BJP and the Shiv Sena bagged 18.17 per cent and 17 per cent respectively, Rane said.

He reasons that if the Congress and the NCP contest on their own, the secular vote-share would be divided. “People who want the Congress to go it alone must understand that nothing will be gained,” Rane said. He further hit out at Deshmukh without naming him saying people out of power tend to talk irresponsibly.

Incidentally, Deshmukh’s successor and present CM Ashok Chavan is also a supporter of the Congress-NCP alliance. Since Deshmukh pitched for the two parties to split up, a number of Congress leaders opposed to Pawar in Maharashtra have called for the two parties to split up.

However, even some of Deshmukh’s supporters feel that the Congress and the NCP would lose heavily in case they go separately. However, Deshmukh's threat to break-off relations with the NCP could force Pawar to make compromises during seat-sharing talks, they feel.

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Poll analysis
Pro-Maratha stance hit NCP hard

Mumbai, May 20
The Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party's pro-Maratha perception among voters is being blamed for the outfit getting less than half the number of Lok Sabha seats in Maharashtra compared to ally Congress.

The perception of a pro-Maratha stance among voters damaged the party's prospects, as other castes, specially OBCs, consolidated against Marathas and favoured Shiv Sena-BICEP alliance in western Maharashtra, NCP sources said. Compared to the Congress tally of 17, the NCP bagged only eight seats, one less than the party's tally during the 2004 elections.

The NCP was expecting to get all Maratha votes from its traditional bastion of western Maharashtra, by endorsing reservation for Marathas ahead of the elections but ended up losing six seats - Shirur, Maval, Ahmednagar, Hatkangale, Kolhapur and Shirdi in the region.

"Some senior party leaders had suggested the party leadership to concentrate on OBCs, who constitute 54 per cent of the state population while Marathas are only 30 per cent," the sources told PTI.

In the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls, the NCP, whose top rung comprises mostly Maratha leadership, was under pressure to approve reservation to the financially-backward among Marathas.

The NCP leader Vinayak Mete led an agitation for reservation and had threatened to oppose the party if the demand was not met. He was expelled from the party but was reinstated just before the elections.

In its election manifesto, the party declared that it favoured reservation for Marathas without touching the OBC quota. "The party's perceived pro-Maratha stance hurt the feelings of other communities, including OBCs and they voted for the Sena-BJP saffron alliance instead," the sources said.

The NCP leaders were vocal on Maratha reservation strategy and encouraged the pro-reservation agitation to woo Maratha voters in Marathwada and Western Maharashtra, the sources said. However, there was resentment among the economically backward Marathas that the demand for reservation like that for OBCs was not met and this had an impact on the NCP's vote share, the sources said.

The Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena got a large chunk of Maratha votes in Nashik, where Sameer, nephew of Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, contested. — PTI

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3 ex-Jharkhand CMs eye ministerial berths

Ranchi, May 20
Three former chief ministers of Jharkhand have extended support to the new United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government and are said to be keen to get ministerial berths.

The decision by Babulal Marandi, the state's first Chief Minister and president of the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P), to support the UPA has surprised many, including party leaders.

Marandi, who quit the BJP in 2006 and formed the JVM-P, was trying to emerge as an alternative to the UPA and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in the state and was part of the Third Front before the polls.

Apart from Marandi winning from Koderma, his party failed to make its presence felt in the Lok Sabha polls. The JVM-P leader met Congress president Sonia Gandhi Tuesday evening and handed over his party's letter of support.

Marandi told reporters in New Delhi that he had extended support to a "stable government at the Centre that can help in the development of the state".

Madhu Koda, another former Chief Minister, who won as an independent candidate from Singhbhum, claimed to have got a call from Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi to support the alliance.

Koda had defeated Congress candidate Bagun Sumbrai. He also met Sonia Gandhi Tuesday evening.

Jharkhand Congress leaders are, however, against Koda being inducted into the Central cabinet.

"Jharkhand Congress is not in favour of inducting Koda in the central government. Congress paid heavily in the state by supporting Koda as chief minister,” a state Congress leader told IANS.

Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief Shibu Soren, who was also Chief Minister, has also announced support to the UPA government. The JMM was a pre-poll partner of the Congress in Jharkhand and won two seats.

Soren won the Dumka Lok Sabha seat and the Jamatara assembly by-poll. Soren's son Hemant Soren reached New Delhi Wednesday to hand over the party's letter of support to the Congress president. In Jharkhand, the BJP won eight seats, JMM two, Congress and JVM-P one each. Two independent candidates won as well. — IANS

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From dissident to strongman, YSR’s come a long way
Suresh Dharur
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, May 20
From carrying the baggage of troubled political past with a tag of “perpetual dissident” to becoming the Chief Minister of the state for a second consecutive term, the doctor-turned- politician YS Rajasekhar Reddy has come a long way.

YSR, as he is popularly known in political circles, became the first Congress CM in the state to steer the party to victory for a second term. His political odyssey has come to symbolise triumph of populism over reforms. YSR’s electoral success is being attributed to a string of populist schemes, including free power to farmers, subsidised rice, weaker-section housing, community health insurance scheme, old age pensions and a massive irrigation mission. Ever since storming to power in 2004 on populist plank, YSR has been totally focused on welfare schemes promised earlier and introduced new ones, like the Rs 2 per kg rice scheme and “Arogya Sri” health insurance for the poor, to consolidate the goodwill.

No wonder then that the people reposed faith in the ongoing welfare programmes and voted for their continuance. Unlike the pro-urban and IT-savvy image of his predecessor N Chandrababu Naidu, YSR positioned himself as pro-farmer, populist politician focused on agriculture and rural development. The ambitious “Jala Yagnam” (irrigation mission) has been the flagship programme of his government aimed at providing irrigation facility to an additional one crore acres over a period of five years.

Unlike several of his predecessors who had to battle infighting and groupism, YSR has emerged as an undisputed leader in the state Congress, enjoying full confidence of the party high command. So complete has been his sway over the party that he was the sole star campaigner of Congress in the recently-held simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. Bagging 33 out of the total 42 Lok Sabha seats, the state unit contributed highest number of MPs to the UPA kitty.

Dubbed by his detractors a ‘perpetual dissident’ in the past, YSR, who never lost an election in his three-decade career, came within the sniffing distance of power on a couple of occasions in the past when the state Congress was synonymous with factionalism but the coveted post had eluded him.

While challenging the leadership of his party CMs in the past, YSR, however, remained loyal to the Nehru-Gandhi family.

He came close to the coveted post when former CM N Janardhan Reddy had to quit following high court strictures in 1992 but his hopes were dashed in the last-minute with the then Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao sending his senior cabinet colleague late K Vijayabhaskar Reddy to take over the reins of the state. The highpoint in his career came in April 2003 when he undertook a gruelling 70-day, 1,500 km-padayatra, covering 11 districts, to highlight the ‘misrule’ of the then TDP government.

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Rao holds TDP responsible for TRS poor show in AP
Suresh Dharur
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, May 20
Daggers are out in the opposition camp in Andhra Pradesh following electoral defeat. The alliance partners of “Maha Kootami” (grand alliance) are now blaming each other for the reversals.

The main opposition Telugu Desam Party, Telangana Rashtra Samithi, CPI and the CPI (M) had formed an alliance with a singular objective of defeating the ruling Congress. Their dream was, however, shattered with Congress returning to power for a second successive term.

Queering the pitch, TRS Chief K Chandrasekhar Rao accused the TDP of being responsible for the defeat of his party candidates in several places. “The expected vote transfer from the TDP cadres did not take place, thereby we lost heavily,” Rao said.

Vehemently denying the charge, senior TDP leader N Janardhan Reddy pointed out that Chandrasekhar Rao could not have won from Mahaboobnagar Lok Sabha seat, if the TDP cadre did not cooperate in the constituency.

“It is not proper on his (Rao’s) part to blame others for his party’s poor performance. He needs to introspect,” Reddy said. The TRS, which has been in the forefront of movement for separate Telangana state, put up a disastrous performance, managing to win only two Lok Sabha seats out of nine it contested and 10 Assembly seats out of 45 contested.

The Telangana party’s hopes of playing a key role in national politics were dashed with the poor performance at the hustings.

On their part, the TDP leaders feel that the alliance with TRS did not work in their favour. “If we had gone to polls on our own, we would have won enough number of seats to come to power,” a senior TDP leader from Telangana region said. The TDP, which made all-out efforts to come back to power, ended up with a tally of 91 seats in the 294-member Assembly and six LS seats out of a total of 42 in the state.

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Five get lifer for abducting shoe baron

Kolkata, May 20
Mafia don Aftab Ansari and four others were sentenced to life imprisonment by a court here today for the sensational 2001 kidnap of Partha Pratim Roy Burman, owner of the shoe-manufacturing firm Khadim.

Delivering the verdict, Additional District Judge of the Alipore Court Biswarup Bandyopadhyay acquitted 17 others chargesheeted in the case for lack of evidence.

Four others, who were jailed for life, were Happy Singh, Aqib Ali, Abdur Rahman Punji and Asabuddin, according to public prosecutor Naba Ghosh.

Five were convicted under Article 364 A of the IPC. They were declared guilty of kidnapping for ransom, wrongful confinement and conspiracy for abduction.

Aftab, the prime accused in the case, was the brain behind the conspiracy hatched in Dubai to kidnap Roy Burman.

Aftab was arrested in Dubai and flown to India after the terrorist attack on the American Center here in 2002. He has already been given the death sentence in the American Center case. — IANS

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Elena death case: Police gets vital clues
Tribune News Service

Panaji, May 20
The Goa police may make a headway in the Elena Sukhonova death case with the help of her e-mail address, scribbled on a paper napkin, which was found on the railway tracks few metres away from her body.

“The Russian authorities (in Mumbai) have been requested to get an access to Elena’s email, which may provide an insight into what was happening in her life during the crucial days ahead of her death,” Vikram Varma, lawyer for the Russian consulate, told PTI. The paper napkin which contained the map route from Baga village to Thivim railway station had Elena’s name and email address written on it.

Varma said the mail inbox or sent items may provide information about Elena’s correspondence to her friends. “It may be able to throw some light in this case helping the police to investigate,” he said.

Vaman Chari, a driver employed with a news channel, had handed over the paper napkin to the Goa police which is probing into the death. “We were going around the tracks for a shoot related to the case and suddenly I found this napkin,” Chari said.

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Father kills son for not remarrying

Patna, May 20
A man in a village in Bihar’s Bhojpur district declined to carry out his father’s order to desert his wife and marry another woman. The enraged father and other relatives beat the son to death, the police said today.

Dharmendra Choudhary, in his late 20s, was killed yesterday, allegedly by his father and other family members in Saropur village of Bhojpur district, 60 km from Patna.

“Dharmendra was beaten to death by his father and others after he refused to remarry,” a police officer said.

Dharmendra’s father-in-law Budhan Choudhary has lodged an FIR at the Piro police station against the father and other family members for the killing.

Budhan said his daughter Anita Kumari married Dharmendra in 2003 and the couple had no children. “Dharmendra’s family members were pressurising him to marry again but he refused time and again as he was happy with his life,” he said.

Dharmendra had a heated conversation with his father and other family members yesterday, after which he was beaten to death. — IANS

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