SPECIAL COVERAGE
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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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N A T I O N

Karunanidhi has few options left
Chennai, May 22
The DMK, which has few options left, on the issue of joining the UPA government, will take some more time, as the party is yet to come to terms with the new situation, in which the Congress, can dictate terms, as it no longer relies on the former's support.

Manmohan — Man of the moment
New Delhi, May 22
Decades ago when Manmohan Singh was studying economics at the Cambridge University, acclaimed Keynesian Nick Kaldor had, unassumingly, predicted his student’s future. “He is ideally suited for the treasury,” Kaldor had written of Manmohan Singh to his friend TT Krishnamachari, the then Finance Minister of India.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh being greeted by BJP leader LK Advani. PMs down the ages
KNOW YOUR PM
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh being greeted by BJP leader LK Advani. Tribune photo: Mukesh Aggarwal


Naveen retains key berths
Bhubaneswar, May 22
After taking over as the Chief Minister of Orissa for the third time in a row, Naveen Patnaik retained key departments like home and general administration with him, while making changes in the portfolios of several ministers.                      
Power feast







EARLIER STORIES

India sends medical team to Lanka
New Delhi, May 22
To provide relief and assistance to the war-hit people in Sri Lanka, India today sent a medical team, along with a large consignment of medicines, for setting up a hospital in the Tamil-dominated northern part of the country.

Tapi Mra first from Arunachal to scale Mt Everest
Guwahati, May 22
Hailing from a remote village in Upper Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh, Tapi Mra, 24, was part of the team that scaled the Mount Everest yesterday. He happened to be the first mountaineer from Arunachal Pradesh to conquer the highest peak in the world.

Major police reshuffle in UP
Lucknow, May 22
In a belated realization, Mayawati is perhaps waking up to the idea that good governance is crucial to sustain electoral gains. Nearly a week after Lok Sabha election results, which clearly indicate the dismal performance of her party, the BSP supreme and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister transferred 34 IPS officers, including 17 district chiefs, on Friday.

Yadav reinstated as Andhra DGP
Hyderabad, May 22
Controversial former Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) SSP Yadav, who was stripped of his post by the Election Commission (EC) for violating the poll code, has been reinstated yesterday.

Militants attack train; 12 hurt
Guwahati, May 22
At least 12 persons, including four policemen, were injured when suspected DHD(J) militants fired upon a security special train between Dijaobra and Langting Railway stations in the violence-affected North Cachar Hill district of Assam today.





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Karunanidhi has few options left
N Ravikumar
Tribune News Service

Chennai, May 22
The DMK, which has few options left, on the issue of joining the UPA government, will take some more time, as the party is yet to come to terms with the new situation, in which the Congress, can dictate terms, as it no longer relies on the former's support.

On the contrary, the DMK government in Tamil Nadu, which has two more years to complete its full term, is totally dependent on the Congress. The ruling party has only 96-members in the 234-member Assembly and the Congress, having 35 members is supporting it from outside. The party did not convene any executive meeting today and no specific time or date was fixed for any such meeting. However, the party leaders are informally discussing the issue and will take some time to decide.

Having pushed the Left parties, PMK and MDMK to the AIADMK alliance, it is difficult for Chief Minister M Karunanidhi to make any alternative arrangement. The party needs 116 members for a simple majority, since four seats in the Assembly are vacant. While it can obtain the support of two Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi members, the party has to seek the support of 18 more members.

The PMK alone has 18 members, but it is very angry with the DMK, since it feels that the ruling party has humiliated the party in many ways. The Left has 15 members and the MDMK three. If the strength of the Left parties is added with the MDMK, it provides the required 18 members. However, the Left parties have no reason to quit the AIADMK front now, while the MDMK has suffered humiliations, splits and losses due to the actions of the DMK.

Even if the party wanted to go for an early Assembly elections, it requires the Congress alliance, since it could not hope to defeat the AIADMK alliance, which has polled more than 40 per cent votes in the Lok Sabha elections, compared to the 25 per cent vote share of the DMK. Karunanidhi, who gave too much importance to his relationship with the Congress, has earned the enmity of many parties and groups in the process.

The DMK has nothing to gain by supporting the Congress from outside. It cannot retain the right to criticise, as any effort to harass the Congress government, will be retaliated by the Congress MLAs, who supporting the DMK government. Under such circumstances, the best option for the DMK will be to accept the offer of Congress and continue in the government.

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Manmohan — Man of the moment
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

Congress supporters celebrate in Bhubaneshwar ahead of the swearing-in of the Manmohan Singh cabinet.
Congress supporters celebrate in Bhubaneshwar ahead of the swearing-in of the Manmohan Singh cabinet. — PTI

New Delhi, May 22
Decades ago when Manmohan Singh was studying economics at the Cambridge University, acclaimed Keynesian Nick Kaldor had, unassumingly, predicted his student’s future. “He is ideally suited for the treasury,” Kaldor had written of Manmohan Singh to his friend TT Krishnamachari, the then Finance Minister of India.

Over the years, the Cambridge Keynesian’s understanding of Manmohan’s economic genius has come true, coming to stay this evening, with the latter assuming second time charge as head of the Treasury Benches in India. In his installation as the 15th Prime Minister today, Dr Manmohan Singh has equalled the feat accomplished only by Jawahar Lal Nehru - that of becoming the Prime Minister for full five years, twice in a row.

There is, however, a difference - while Nehru was a political stalwart, Manmohan wrote history today by being the first non-political man to become the Prime Minister for the second time, that too without ever wining an election.

Call it chance or whatever else, the fact remains that Manmohan’s honesty, probity and intellect earned him a place in the hearts of people which his self-acclaimed competitor LK Advani of the NDA just could not manage. Eventually, it was Manmohan’s image as a man of few words, no-nonsense politician with highly rated credentials as an economist and Prime Minister (one whom US President Barack Obama recently described as a leader of great wisdom) which stood him in good stead.

Add to that his humility - a virtue many consider synonymous with Manmohan, whose firmness as a politician came of age last June when he went ahead with the Indo-US nuclear deal despite the withdrawal of the Left parties. It was a moment that saw Manmohan coming into his own; he had even decided he would not be Prime Minister, were the deal to be shelved.

Sticking to his guns, Manmohan saved the UPA in the trust vote and then led it back to power, securing his niche in the government. His late but firm rebuttal of Advani’s repeated references to him as a “weak Prime Minister” were extremely well taken on the eve of 14th Lok Sabha elections. They showed, once for all, that Manmohan Singh was someone who spoke only when there was a need to speak.

Come to think of it, this man of the moment had nearly quit public life for the love of academics. It was around 1969 when Manmohan had just returned from Cambridge to teach economics at Delhi University. The young economist’s research on India’s trade caught the eye of PN Haksar, who led him into public life.

But the going was not easy. An academic as Manmohan was at heart, he was uncomfortable continuing as economic adviser in the Commerce Ministry, following differences with his minister. That inspired him to return to academics - a desire which destiny thwarted by installing him as chief economic adviser of the Finance Ministry.

There was no looking back after that, but the turning point in Manmohan’s political career came only in 1990 when Narsimha Rao invited him to be Finance Minister. But the economist’s calling tracked him down and put him straight into the union cabinet, where he ushered in economic reforms.

The goodwill of liberalisation helped the UPA pip the NDA despite the latter’s “India Shining” campaign in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections. As if this surprise was not enough came Manmohan’s installation as the Prime Minister by UPA chief Sonia Gandhi.

For the Congress, Manmohan’s obsession with the “aam aadmi” and his commitment to social legislations like NREGA came in handy to inspire faith among people, who brought the party back to power.

PMs down the ages

Jawahar Lal Nehru: Aug 15, 1947 - May 27, 1964
Lal Bahadur Shastri: June 9, 1964 - Jan 11, 1966
Indira Gandhi: Jan 24, 1966 - March 24, 1977
Morarji Desai: March 24, 1977 - July 28, 1979
Charan Singh: July 28, 1979 - Jan 14, 1980
Indira Gandhi: Jan 14, 1980 - Oct 31, 1984
Rajiv Gandhi: Oct 31, 1984 - Dec 2, 1989
VP Singh: Dec 2, 1989 - Nov 10, 1990
Chandra Shekhar: Nov 10, 1990 - June 21, 1991
PV Narasimha Rao: June 21, 1991 - May 16, 1996
Atal Behari Vajpayee: May 16, 1996 - June 1, 1996
HD Deve Gowda: June 1, 1996 - April 21, 1997
IK Gujral: April 1, 1997 - March 19, 1998
Atal Behari Vajpayee: March 19, 1998 - May 22, 2004
Manmohan Singh: May 22, 2004 - till date. — IANS

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KNOW YOUR PM

Born: Sept 26, 1932, in Gah, West Punjab (presently Pakistan)
Married: Sept 14, 1958. Has three daughters —Upender, Daman and Amrit.
Education: M.A., D.Phil (Oxford), D. Litt (Honoris Causa), Educated at Universities of Panjab, Cambridge and Oxford.

Positions Held:
1972-76:
Chief Economic Advisor, Ministry of Finance.
1976-80: Director, Reserve Bank of India; director, Industrial Development Bank of India; alternate Governor for India, Board of Governors, Asian Development Bank, Manila; alternate Governor for India, Board of Governors, International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD).
Nov 1976-April 1980: Secretary, Ministry of Finance (Department of Economic Affairs): member, Finance, Atomic Energy Commission; member, Finance, Space Commission.
April 1980-Sep 1982: Member-Secretary, Planning Commission.
Sept 1982-Jan 1982: Governor, Reserve Bank of India.
1982-85: Alternate Governor for India, Board of Governors, International Monetary Fund (IMF)
1983-84: Member, Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister.
Jan 1985-July 1987: Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission.
Aug 1987-Nov 1990: Secretary General and Commissioner, South Commission, Geneva.
Dec 1990-March 1991: Advisor to the Prime Minister of India on Economic Affairs.
March 1991-June 1991: Chairman, University Grants Commission (UGC).
June 1991-May 1996: Union Finance Minister.
Oct 1991: Elected to Rajya Sabha.
1991-95: Governor for India on the Board of Governors of the IMF and IBRD.
June 1995: Re-elected to Rajya Sabha.
1996 onwards: Member, Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Finance.
Aug 1996-Dec 1997: Chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Commerce.
March 1998 onwards: Leader of the Opposition, Rajya Sabha.
June 2001: Re-elected to Rajya Sabha.
May 2004: Appointed Prime Minister of India. — IANS

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Naveen retains key berths

Bhubaneswar, May 22
After taking over as the Chief Minister of Orissa for the third time in a row, Naveen Patnaik retained key departments like home and general administration with him, while making changes in the portfolios of several ministers.

Patnaik has also kept water resources, works and forest and environment departments with him while allotting portfolios late last night, official sources said today.

The Chief Minister allowed Prafulla Chandra Ghadei to retain finance department while giving him additional charge of excise.

The five other ministers are Raghunath Mohanty, Pramila Mallick, Suryanarayan Patra, Ananga Uday Singh Deo and Debi Prasad Mishra.

Mohanty has been allocated industries, steel and mines and also parliamentary affairs, held by him in the previous Cabinet.

Mallick will look after women and child development department, while Surya Narayan Patro has got revenue and disaster management portfolios.

Deo has been given planning and coordination along with public enterprise department and Debi Prasad Mishra has got higher education, tourism and culture.

BJD secretary general Damodar Rout, whom Patnaik had dropped from his ministry earlier, has been brought back along with Prasanna Acharya and Prafulla Samal.

There are two new faces in the Cabinet — Bikram Keshari Arukh, who was the BJD chief whip in the previous House, and Bijay Ranjan Singh Bariha. — PTI

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India sends medical team to Lanka

New Delhi, May 22
To provide relief and assistance to the war-hit people in Sri Lanka, India today sent a medical team, along with a large consignment of medicines, for setting up a hospital in the Tamil-dominated northern part of the country.

"To help the internally displaced civilians in Sri Lanka, we are sending a 27-member medical team comprising eight doctors with over 25 tonnes of relief material," Brigadier P Sachdeva told reporters here.

India has already established a 110-bed hospital in Pulmoddai town and is going to shift it to the Menik farms area in Vavuniya district, which was liberated from the LTTE.

An Indian Air Force IL-76, captained by Wing Commander HP Kumar, took off with the relief material at around 0930 hours from the Palam air base here and is expected to reach Colombo by the afternoon.

The team includes a surgeon, physician, anesthetist and paramedical staff. About 24 Indian doctors are already present in Sri Lanka.

The relief material is a part of Rs 500-crore package prepared by India for rehabilitation of the Tamils displaced by the war.

Since November 2008, India has provided over 1.7 lakh family relief packs to the war-affected population in Sri Lanka. — PTI

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Tapi Mra first from Arunachal to scale Mt Everest
Bijay Sankar Bora
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, May 22
Hailing from a remote village in Upper Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh, Tapi Mra, 24, was part of the team that scaled the Mount Everest yesterday. He happened to be the first mountaineer from Arunachal Pradesh to conquer the highest peak in the world.

Mra, who had been training hard for last couple of years, was determined to scale the highest peak one day. Earlier, he had sold off his four ‘mithuns’ to gather fund for his expedition to scale Mera peak - the highest among 36 group-B peaks, at a height of 6,654 metre in Nepal. He placed the Tricolour and another flag with the name of Arunachal on it on the peak.

Though some local clubs in Arunachal Pradesh were willing to fund his expedition, a diminutive Mra, who hails from Lemiking in Upper Subansiri district of Arunachal Pradesh on the Sino-India border, chose to bear the expenditure on his own.

He also had climbed the snow-capped 5,000 meter Dadi Kri peak near his village on the India-China border three times along with other climbers and Army personnel.

Since his successful ascent of Mera Peak, Mra was aiming at the attempt on the 8,848 metre Mt Everest. Arunachal Pradesh government had provided substantial financial assistance to Tapi Mra for his adventure.

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Major police reshuffle in UP
Shahira Naim
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, May 22
In a belated realization, Mayawati is perhaps waking up to the idea that good governance is crucial to sustain electoral gains. Nearly a week after Lok Sabha election results, which clearly indicate the dismal performance of her party, the BSP supreme and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister transferred 34 IPS officers, including 17 district chiefs, on Friday.

While the police department did not cite any reason for such a large-scale shifting of officers, insiders believe that the CM was responding to widespread criticism of police ineffectiveness causing extensive discontent among her voters.

Incidentally, the police chiefs transferred today were posted in districts where the ruling party has lost. Some of these districts are Rae Bareli, Unnao, Mainpuri, Maharajganj, Sultanpur, Khiri, Badaun, Sidhdharth Nagar, Balrampur, Fatehgarh, Chandauli and Kashiram Nagar (Etah) that include constituencies where the ruling party lost narrowly or was in number two position.

As part of her continuous review of her party’s performance by meeting with different sections of the party and government, Mayawati today held a meeting with her ministers. She took detailed feedback from ministers in a bid to gauge the cause of her party’s poor performance.

It is believed that she was particularly curious to know the reasons for the party’s defeat in Barabanki where her former Principal Secretary PL Punia won as a Congress candidate by a handsome margin reducing BSP to number three position. In 2004, the BSP had won the seat. She also asked the ministers not to waste time and start preparing for the 2012 assembly election. She advised her ministers to work hard and ensure transparent governance free from corruption.

In a related development, the state government has once again focused on the development of its core Dalit constituency by planning to electrify over 3,500 Ambedkar Gram Sabhas (predominantly Dalit villages) at a cost of Rs 388 crore during this fiscal year.

Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation chairman Navneet Sehgal has directed officials of the corporation to commence work of electrification of the identified gram sabhas.

He said the development of the Ambedkar villages was one of the priorities of the government in which no laxity would be tolerated. The managing directors of the power distribution companies have been asked to apprise the government with the progress of the electrification project.

Sehgal said that the electrification of Ambedkar Gram Sabhas has already started under the third phase, which included 263 Gram Sabhas of Varanasi, followed by 241 of Gorakhpur, 230 of Bareilly, 224 of Faizabad, 220 Kanpur, 203 Moradabad, 175 Meerut and Saharanpur 118.

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Yadav reinstated as Andhra DGP
Suresh Dharur
Tribune News Service

Hyderabad, May 22
Controversial former Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) SSP Yadav, who was stripped of his post by the Election Commission (EC) for violating the poll code, has been reinstated yesterday.

The Congress issued orders appointing Yadav as the DGP with immediate effect. “Yes, immediately,” said Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy when asked by reporters whether Yadav was being brought back.

The EC had ordered the removal of Yadav as the DGP for showering praises on the Chief Minister and the ruling party in violation of the model code of conduct.

The poll panel had appointed AK Mohanty as DGP.

Yadav, a 1972-batch IPS officer, had found himself in trouble following his remarks eulogising Chief Minister during a meeting of police officers in Kurnool in March.

The police boss heaped praises on the Chief Minister for undertaking several welfare measures and displaying “boldness” in sanctioning a record 37,000 posts in the police department.

The opposition parties complained to the EC, alleging that the DGP had clearly violated the code of conduct and demanded his removal from the post.

Even as the matter was under the EC’s consideration, he kicked up a fresh controversy when he left for Singapore on March 15 to participate in an international conference on Homeland Security, without informing the Election Commission.

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Militants attack train; 12 hurt
Tribune News Service

Guwahati, May 22
At least 12 persons, including four policemen, were injured when suspected DHD(J) militants fired upon a security special train between Dijaobra and Langting Railway stations in the violence-affected North Cachar Hill district of Assam today.

An official source informed that the attack took place at around 1-30 P.M. when the security special train was travelling from Lumding Junction in centrakl Assam to to Haflong in the hill district.

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BRIEFLY

27 cops suspended for extortion
LUCKNOW:
As many as 27 policemen in Uttar Pradesh’s Fatehpur district have been suspended from service after being found guilty of extorting money, a police official said on Friday. “Six sub-inspectors and 21 constables were suspended after an inquiry found them guilty of extorting money from contractors, businessmen and shopkeepers,” Additional Superintendent of Police Mata Prasad said. — IANS

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