Violence During Local Body Poll Campaign in UP
China fires fresh salvo in border dispute
Dalit girls burnt alive for ‘brother’s crime’ in UP
Now, low-flying chopper miffs Jairam Ramesh
Cold conditions intensify in Punjab and Haryana
Man detained for ‘link’ to blast let off
Technical glitch halts launch of GSAT-5P
Medical ethics hit new low
US was worried about Third Front in power: WikiLeaks
Understanding reached on
stapled visa issue: Envoy
Violence During Local Body Poll Campaign in UP
Lucknow, December 19
The battle to capture the zila panchayat elections in the state took another ugly turn around midnight in Pratapgarh when the BSP supported candidate for Block Pramukh, Mukesh Shukla, and the entourage of Raja Bhaiya clashed near Kunda police station.
Following a named FIR filed by Shukla against Raja Bhaiya, his supporters and several other Samajwadi Party leaders, the district police immediately swung into action and arrested eleven people around 3 a.m. and are hunting for the remaining. Among those arrested is SP’s chief whip in Lok Sabha Shailendra Kumar, MLC and cousin of Raja Bhaiya Akshay Pratap Singh alias Gopalji, MLA Vinod Kumar Saroj and several others. Pratapgarh SP confirmed the arrests.
Addressing a hurriedly convened press conference this morning, Leader of Opposition in state Assembly Shivpal Singh Yadav condemned the arrest of his party men and announced a statewide dharna tomorrow to protest against what he described as the ruling party’s “high handedness” to capture the zila panchayat elections by terrorising the SP leaders and party men.
Speaking to the media in Etawah, SP President Mulayam Singh Yadav said that CM Mayawati was indulging in such undemocratic behavior, as she was well aware that her party had lost the confidence of the people and that the Samajwadi Party was on its way back.
Lashing out at the district administration for acting at the behest of the ruling party, Yadav said, “Pratapgarh Superintendent of Police and District Magistrate would be made to pay for this unwarranted action.”
Defending the action of his government, BSP state president and minister Swami Prasad Maurya alleged that the unruly Samajwadi Party representatives had the audacity to chase and fire at the BSP-supported block pramukh candidate inside the Kunda police station where they had ran for shelter. “Our government took immediate action as it is bound to protect the law and order situation,” said Maurya.
Meanwhile, clashes were reported between SP and BSP-supported candidates of block pramukh from Urai in Jaluan district as well as in Unnao district.
China fires fresh salvo in border dispute
New Delhi, December 19
Xinhua’s reference to the border issue was based on an official briefing by Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Hu Zhengyue on Premier Wen’s visit to India. China has also been questioning the status of J&K for the past two years by issuing stapled visas to Indian residents of the state. Now, it has omitted some 1,600 km border separating J & K from Xinjiang and Tibet from the boundary length.
There has been no official reaction from New Delhi to the latest salvo fired by Beijing, but sources wondered why China was yet again seeking to create a controversy over the border issue. The two countries have committed themselves to settling the border issue through peaceful talks at an early date.
The 14th round of talks between the Special Representatives (SRs) on the border issue was concluded just last month, sources noted. Sources also drew attention towards Premier Wen’s remarks in New Delhi during his visit that the boundary issue was a ‘historical legacy’ and it would not be easy to completely resolve it. Asked if the Chinese move was aimed at questioning India’s sovereignty over J & K, sources said it appeared to be so.
Dalit girls burnt alive for ‘brother’s crime’ in UP
Moradabad, December 19 However, DIG Ashok Kumar has denied the involvement of a mob in the incident. “Prima facie, this is a case of accident or suicide. However, we are investigating the matter,” he said. Rajo has alleged that the police have refused to register her complaint in this connection despite that she had identified 12 people who were part of the mob. The DIG has denied that the victims’ mother approached the police to file a complaint. The victims’ brother Rakesh, who worked as a sweeper here, has been accused in the case of the murder of a woman and her 10-year-old daughter for robbery on December 9 here. While Rakesh is absconding, his brother Rajesh was arrested by police. Dalit activists today staged protest demonstrations and took out a march from Ambedkar Park here to the place where the bodies have been kept for post mortem. — PTI
Moradabad, December 19
However, DIG Ashok Kumar has denied the involvement of a mob in the incident. “Prima facie, this is a case of accident or suicide. However, we are investigating the matter,” he said. Rajo has alleged that the police have refused to register her complaint in this connection despite that she had identified 12 people who were part of the mob.
The DIG has denied that the victims’ mother approached the police to file a complaint. The victims’ brother Rakesh, who worked as a sweeper here, has been accused in the case of the murder of a woman and her 10-year-old daughter for robbery on December 9 here. While Rakesh is absconding, his brother Rajesh was arrested by police. Dalit activists today staged protest demonstrations and took out a march from Ambedkar Park here to the place where the bodies have been kept for post mortem. — PTI
Bhubaneswar, December 19
Ramesh, in his letter to Patel Saturday, said he had received a complaint regarding a low-flying helicopter over the Satkosia tiger reserve. "It is learnt that this has happened twice in the area in November 2009 and September 2010," the letter said.
"As you are aware, such low flights over wildlife habitats amount to 'hunting’ under the Wildlife (protection) Act, since it causes disturbance to wild animals,” said the letter, a copy of which is also in possession of IANS.
“The state authorities have lodged a complaint with the Air Traffic Management Unit, Civil Aviation Department, Kolkata in this regard,” Ramesh wrote.
“I would very much appreciate your intervention in the matter. An advisory from your end to all concerned for avoiding such low flights over protected areas would immensely help conservation,” the environment minister said.
In a separate letter, Ramesh has also sought the intervention of Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in the matter.
Ramesh wrote the letters after Biswajit Mohanty, secretary of the Wildlife Society of Orissa, wrote to the ministry about the alleged movement of helicopter over the tiger reserve. Oriya daily Sambad had reported earlier this month that Baijayant Panda, a Lok Sabha MP of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) representing Kendrapara constituency, flew in a chopper at a low height over the reserve without taking permission from wildlife authorities.
Although it did not say when the incident took place, the report said local residents and officials had seen the chopper fly over the reserve. — IANS
Chandigarh, December 19
Amritsar remained coldest in the region with a minimum of 3.3°Celsius. Chandigarh recorded its coldest night of the season at 5.4°C while in Karnal mercury dipped 3 degrees below normal to settle at 4°C.
Besides intense cold, fog in morning disrupted normal life at several places, including Karnal, Patiala, Rohtak, Amritsar, Ludhiana and Hisar, by reducing visibility to a few metres only, officials said.
Hisar recorded a low of 4.7°C, followed by Ludhiana at 4.8°C. Ambala settled at a low of 4.5°C, which was two notches below normal, whereas Patiala in Punjab shivered at a 5.9°C. — PTI
Lucknow/New Delhi, Dec 18
The modus operandi might have been used in Varanasi blast which left two persons, including a child, dead after a bomb exploded at a 'ghat' where the evening prayers were on, sources said. The authorities were not able to find any triggering mechanism used in the explosive material and an in-depth forensic examination was carried out.
The examination showed that the explosive material used in the Varanasi blast was ammonium nitrate with RDX used in little quantity to act as a booster. The investigators were trying to ascertain the triggering mechanism used in detonating the bomb as this forms a crucial evidence in getting the tell-tale sign of terror group.
What came as a surprise to the forensic scientists as well as security agencies was the presence of sulphuric acid in a few places at the blast site, the sources said.
Joining the dots together, the security agencies were of the opinion that the terror module, which carried out the blast at Varanasi, had used a mixture of ammonium nitrate, RDX as a booster and sulphuric acid kept in a test tube, whose drops fell on the explosive material, as a triggering mechanism, the sources said.
The same kind of techniques were used by Lashkar-e-Toiba's bomb expert Abdul Karim "Tunda" while carrying out a spate of bomb explosions in late 1990s in Uttar Pradesh. This also gave rise to suspicion that the Indian Mujahideen could have established a base in Bangladesh where Tunda had developed an association, sources said.
Mumbai, December 19
Suhaib Nadim Siddique was picked up by CISF officials from the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport yesterday after the anti-terrorist squad (ATS) and city police informed airport authorities about the name of the person against whom a call was received, police said.
CISF and immigration authorities could not figure out the person but detained one Siddique whose name was similar to that mentioned by the caller.
Siddique, a resident of Thane district in Maharashtra, was intercepted and detained from the check-in counter when he was on his way to board a plane to the Gulf, police said.
Sources said the ATS was quick to inform its counterpart in Uttar Pradesh but seemed to have backtracked later when nothing was found against the detained person during preliminary questioning.
“He has been let off today. It has been found that he has nothing to do with the Varanasi blast. Siddique's profile did not match with that of the person wanted in the blast,” Deputy Police Commissioner Satyanarayan Chaudhary said.
The blast in Varanasi left two persons dead and scores injured. — PTI
Technical glitch halts launch of GSAT-5P
Bangalore, December 19
The launch has been “postponed due to a minor leak in one of the valves of the Russian Cryogenic stage, observed during the pre-countdown checks”, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said in a statement posted on its website.
In view of the problem, the 29-hour countdown sequence that was to commence at 1100 hrs today has not been authorized by the Launch Authorisation Board. The board met at Sriharikota this morning to review the results of pre-countdown checks.
The revised schedule for the launch would be firmed up after ascertaining the cause for the leak, remedial actions and due verifications.
While the ISRO’s standard configuration for the GSLV (geosynchronous launch vehicle) is a height of 49 metres and 414 tonnes in weight at lift-off, the rocket that was to be launched on Monday stands 51 metres tall and weighs 418 tonne.
The height and weight of the launcher was increased in view of additional strength of the Russian cryogenic engine having enhanced fuel quantity and thrust. The GSAT-5P, weighing 2,310 kg, is also heavier than any other satellite launched by the ISRO before.
ISRO reverted back to the use of Russian cryogenic engine after the GSLV launched with an indigenous cryogenic stage failed and fell into the sea minutes after the lift off in April this year. Earlier, GSLV-F02 (powered by Russian cryogenic stage) carrying INSAT-4C satellite plunged into the Bay of Bengal in July 2006.
While ISRO has been using Russian cryogenic engines in its GSLV missions, Russia has refused giving the know-how of cryogenic engine technology to India following US pressure.
GSAT-5P is an automatic receiver and transmitter of communication or broadcast signals. Successful launch of the satellite will take the ISRO’s transponder capacity to around 235 from 200 in orbit now. With 24 C-band transponders and 12 extended C-band transponders, GSAT-5P is meant for augmenting communication services currently provided by Indian National Satellite System.
Medical ethics hit new low
New Delhi, December 18 Following large-scale violation of the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Act 2002, the MCI has observed several doctors were claiming employment as medical teachers in more than one medical college at the same tome - a fact revealed during college inspections. The Dental Council of India in May 2009 forwarded the details of 102 medical teaching doctors who were found working in more than one college. The CAG itself noticed 18 cases of impersonation from the database of the MCI for the period 2004 to 2009. Although the MCI during the said period of five years ordered the removal of 128 medical teachers/doctors temporarily on various ground, 38 of them were found to be still working in medical colleges during the period when their names were meant to have been deleted from the medical register. It has been revealed in the CAG findings that lack of publicity against the said removals led to acts of indiscipline on the part of delinquent doctors, 65 of whom faced removal from the register for more than two years.
New Delhi, December 18
Following large-scale violation of the Indian Medical Council (Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Act 2002, the MCI has observed several doctors were claiming employment as medical teachers in more than one medical college at the same tome - a fact revealed during college inspections. The Dental Council of India in May 2009 forwarded the details of 102 medical teaching doctors who were found working in more than one college.
The CAG itself noticed 18 cases of impersonation from the database of the MCI for the period 2004 to 2009. Although the MCI during the said period of five years ordered the removal of 128 medical teachers/doctors temporarily on various ground, 38 of them were found to be still working in medical colleges during the period when their names were meant to have been deleted from the medical register.
It has been revealed in the CAG findings that lack of publicity against the said removals led to acts of indiscipline on the part of delinquent doctors, 65 of whom faced removal from the register for more than two years.
New Delhi, December 19
In an assessment on February 12 that year, the US Embassy here had said that while the Congress and the BJP would not come to power on their own, "the worst scenario for the US-India relationship would be one in which a 'Third Front' forms a government that excludes both the Congress and the BJP.
"Under those circumstances, the Communist parties will likely wield great influence in a coalition," an Embassy cable released by whistle blower web site Wikileaks said. — PTI
STATE of the CONGRESS
Imperatives of coalition politics at the Centre need not deter Congressmen in the states from dreaming big. It was an intriguing message sent out on Sunday by Congress leaders from the party's 83rd plenary session on the outskirts of New Delhi. Could it mean that state units would be free to forge regional and opportunistic alliances with smaller and regional parties ? Or was it meant to convey that come what may, the party would revive and re-invent itself and go it alone ?
It is often difficult for a national party to reconcile regional aspirations and ambition. While Congress leaders in Andhra Pradesh may find all the justification to concede the demand for a separate Telangana, it is difficult for the Congress to take any decision in haste due to its possible repercussions elsewhere. A national party must perforce put the interests of the country above everything else.
But while the Congress gropes for a way forward and seeks to get its act together, it does need to reflect on its role in the states where it is not in power. A lack of clarity and an aversion to take up and uphold both just causes and national interest have led to a loss of credibility from which it is finding difficult to recover.
In Tamil Nadu, the Congress is content to play second fiddle. Since the Congress lost power in TN in the wake of anti-Hindi agitations spearheaded by the DMK, it has not been able to regain its lost ground. Besides the lack of a charismatic leader in the state and factional feuds, the party had lost touch with regional sentiments due to the wide gap between the people and party leaders.
While Congress leaders often hail former AICC president K Kamaraj as the model for Congress rule and promise to revive his memory, they gloss over the fact that Kamaraj spent the final days of his life, fighting Indira Gandhi. None of the leaders who were close to Kamaraj is associated with the present Congress party.
But a large section of people in Tamil Nadu had great admiration for Indira Gandhi. Her twenty-point programme, her image as a great leader who strengthened Indian defence, economy, science and technology and the country's image in the international arena, is still recalled by people. She is also remembered as a kind mother who appreciated the sentiments of Tamil people and her Sri Lankan Tamil policy is still admired even by strong opponents of the Congress.
But the failure to recall Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's association with Indira Gandhi and to claim the rightful legacy of the latter is one of the reasons for the decline of the party in the state.
The attitude of the central leadership which sacrificed the interests of the party in Tamil Nadu to increase its Lok Sabha tally, also contributed to demoralisation among party cadres.
When the DMK split in 1972, Congress leaders were hopeful of staging a comeback in Tamil Nadu. However, the split and the formation of the AIADMK pushed the Congress to the third place, with a vote share of around 20 per cent.
Since then, the party is using this vote share to align with one of the Dravidian parties, who are content to allocate most of the Lok Sabha seats to the Congress and in return, retain most of the Assembly seats for themselves.
However, when it formed an alliance with Jayalalithaa's AIADMK in 1991, it accepted one-third of Assembly seats again. Jayalalithaa was catapulted to power with a thumping majority, following a sympathy wave following the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi.
The Congress is also seen to be supporting Karnataka or Kerala in the Cauvery and Mullaiperiyar water disputes. Even as the DMK continued in the UPA cabinet which was accused by Tamil groups of supporting Mahinda Rajapaksa's genocidal government, it managed to neutralise people's anger by claiming to to be opposed to the Centre's policies and decisions. It was the Congress, however, which suffered.
The party secured over 14 per cent votes in the 2009 elections. This vote share is sufficient for it to cause a major swing. So, both the AIADMK and DMK are eager to have an alliance with it. The minorities and SC communities are with the Congress still. But, the upper caste voters are with the AIADMK now, while the BC votes, which form the majority in Tamil Nadu, are split between the AIADMK and DMK.
But the party no longer has an identity of its own. Its stand on most of the issues affecting the people's mind are not known.
Similarly, in Maharashtra the party is unable to take advantage of a splintered opposition. The BJP-Shiv Sena alliance is frayed and the split in the Sena has hurt the alliance. The NCP remains a regional force. But still, the Congress has made no headway.
In fact in the just concluded elections to the Kalyan-Dombivli municipality Raj Thackeray's MNS took the second place after the Shiv Sena-BJP despite the Congress contesting in alliance with the NCP. Power struggles within the party continue to weaken the party.
Prithviraj Chavan who replaced Ashok Chavan as Maharashtra's Chief Minister in the wake of the Adarsh Housing Society scandal, is seen by his colleagues in the state Congress party as an import from Delhi with a tenuous hold in state politics.
Chavan's assumption of the top job was clearly inauspicious. Ajit Pawar, the ambitious nephew of Nationalist Congress Party supreme Sharad Pawar, pushed his way to the post of Deputy Chief Minister.
The new Chief Minister has had to yield some ground within weeks of taking over. Noted social worker Anna Hazare forced him to set up a commission to probe the setting up of the Lavasa hill station near
Pune. With Sharad Pawar being the main backer of Lavasa, Chavan's political survival entirely depends on how the commission goes ahead with the job.
Though he is seen as a clean politician, Chavan is not immune to the pressures of leading a national party in a major state like Maharashtra. Over the years Maharashtra has emerged as a major contributor to the Congress party's finances and this has put successive Chief Ministers at the mercy of the powerful builders' lobby.
Chavan, like his predecessors , continues to hold the urban development portfolio seen as a cash cow in a state whose cities are undergoing rapid development. Within weeks of taking over , Prithviraj Chavan's government overrode objections from urban town planners and other experts to award a bonanza to builders in Mumbai's suburbs. By paying a token fee, developers in suburban Mumbai were allowed 33 percent more area to build upon. The bonanza for builders is estimated at several thousand crore rupees in the current financial year alone.
In Bihar, the party has never been able to recover since its failure to stop the infamous Bhagalpur riots in 1989, which was accentuated by its failure to take resolute action against the culprits. Its strength in the state Assembly sunk this year to an all-time low with just four of its candidates managing to win in the House with a strength of 243. Although Bihar elects 40 members of the Lok Sabha, Congress has just two seats from Bihar.
A further nail in the Congress coffin was driven by the emergence of Lalu Yadav and his slogan of social justice. The demolition of the Babri mosque alienated the Muslims and completed the isolation of the Congress in the state.
Gradually the Congress came to depend so much on Lalu's popularity for its electoral prospects that it was branded as a 'B'team of RJD. The party was content with that status till the last Lok Sabha elections when Lalu and his new found ally Ram Vilas Paswan decided to push it further down to the status of their 'C' team.
Finding no other alternative, the Congress decided to contest all the 40 Lok Sabha seats. But it could not find suitable candidates for all the seats, forcing it to fall back on discredited politicians having criminal antecedence like Sadhu Yadav and Pappu Yadav. Even that did not help because of infighting and with virtually no organisation at the grassroots.
Uttar Pradesh was once the pocket borough of the Congress and the Nehru-Gandhi family. But despite nursing of their own constituencies by Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, and frequent visits by them to the state, party leaders were forced to concede that it indeed has no 'Mission 2012' for UP, a tacit admission that it has given up hopes of putting up a fight in the Assembly election.
The much-publicised first transparent election to choose the president of the central region of the Youth Congress took a lot of time and energy. Tarun Patel made history in more ways than one- he was elected in a long drawn election and then suspended soon thereafter for indiscipline when he got locks in the Youth Congress office broken to make room for his new team.
The ambitious statewide yatras announced to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the Congress also turned into a major embarassment. Scheduled across the state, covering every assembly segment, they were meant to remind the people of the state's contribution to the first war of independence and the freedom movement. They were also meant to resurrect unsung local heroes.
However, the yatras flagged off with much fanfare by AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi on April 14 never really took off and had to be cut short or abandoned mid way. First it got embroiled in controversies in several places as district level leaders engaged nautch girls and other hired entertainers to attract and retain crowds in the sweltering heat. Obviously this did not go down well with the senior leaders. Finally the yatras were cut short.
The second phase in November also failed to arouse much interest and were cut short as Congress leaders scrambled to explain that people were busy with the panchayat elections and the wedding season. The grand public rally to be addressed by the Congress president Sonia Gandhi in Allahabad to mark the culmination of the yatras also remained a non event, coming as it did on November 25, a day after the party's debacle in Bihar.
The result of the two by polls to the assembly seats of Nidhauli Kalan in Etah and Lakhimpur Khiri in November, therefore, came as no surprise. In both the places the Congress candidates lost their deposits, coming third and fourth respectively.
Such examples from other states, specially the bigger states, can be multiplied to highlight the plight of the grand,old dame.It would be a pity though if a great institution with a glorious past flounders. The country needs a strong, liberal, secular and nationalist party, in power or in opposition.It is time for Congress leaders to rise to the occasion and put their house in order.
Nelson Ravikumar in Chennai, Shiv Kumar in Mumbai, Shahira Naim in Lucknow
Allies: Sensitivity of coalition partners, tantrums and mood-swings and the sheer unpredictability of Mamata Banerjee, Karunanidhi and Sharad Pawar appear to cramp both Congress and the government.
Corruption: The messy affairs of the Commonwealth Games, 2G spectrum allocation, Adarsh Housing Cooperative etc. have made the government and the party vulnerable to charges of condoning corruption.
Credibility: The party is seen to be balancing the agenda for the aam-aadmi with patronage to crony capitalism. Its failure to control food inflation and reform the PDS have hurt people where it hurts most. And its passive stance vis-à-vis Ayodhya verdict has led to further disillusionment among the minorities.
Drift: After beginning with a flourish, the UPA II government seems to have floundered. With ministers speaking out of turn and voicing their opinion on all issues, the government appears adrift with nobody seemingly in control.
Dynasty: With Sonia Gandhi widely believed to be the power behind the throne and Rahul Gandhi accused of shirking both responsibility and accountability, the party is vulnerable to charges of dynastic rule.
Gen Y: Despite Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi’s personal initiative, there is no indication of the party winning over the youth , or for that matter the Youth Congress at the vanguard of change.
High-command: The party has been battling the practice of leaving all decision-making to the ‘high-command’. With decision-making centralised in a coterie, inner-democracy and discipline within are casualties.
Infighting: Almost every state unit appears divided with leaders talking and working at cross purposes. The party has neither been able to enforce discipline nor to bolster the organisation at grassroots.
Leaders with mass base: The party is virtually bereft of leaders with mass base. Leaders like Pranab Mukherjee, P Chidambaram or A.K. Anthony—or the younger leaders like Sachin Pilot or Jyotiraditya Scindia do not seem to have the appeal or ability to deliver their respective states.
Organisation: While party general secretary Rahul Gandhi's visits to the homes of the poor attract TV coverage and headlines, the party's ministers, MPs and MLAs are seldom in touch with grassroots.
Perception: Congress is fighting the perception that real power rests with Sonia Gandhi, prompting her to endlessly endorse the Prime Minister. This has strengthened the impression that the PM and the PMO is weak.
Values: While partymen ritually put on the Gandhi cap, Khadi or dutifully operate the spinning wheel, whenever occasion demands, the party has failed to promote and cultivate a culture of austerity and Gandhian values.
The Indian National Congress was founded in 1885 by prominent members of the Theosophical Society. Among the founders were Allan Octavian Hume, Dadabhai Naoroji, Womesh Chandra Bonnerjee and Mahadev Govind Ranade. The party went from strength to strength and spearheaded the freedom struggle, boasting a membership strength of 15 million at one time.
Sonia Gandhi took over as Congress President in 1998 from Sitaram Kesri, old party loyalist and long-term treasurer. A section of the party broke away in protest and formed the Nationalist Congress Party. But since then the NCP has reconciled to Sonia's foreign origin. Narasimha Rao and Rajiv Gandhi were both Prime Minister and Congress President. The first Congress president was W.C. Bonnerjee in 1885. He was again elected president in 1992. In pre-independence days, the party elected the president every year. On Sunday the term of the president was extended from three years to five.
It is interesting to note that while as many as five Muslims held the post of Congress President in pre-independence days, not a single Muslim has held the post since Independence. Hasan Imam (1918), Hakim Ajmal Khan (1921), Maulana Mohammad Ali ( 1923), Maulana Abul Kalam Azad ( 1923 special session and 1945) and M.A. Ansari ( 1927) held the post before Independence.
The Congress has always found it difficult to defend the imposition of Emergency by Indira Gandhi, the failure of the state to stop the anti-Sikh riots after her assassination, the remark by Rajiv Gandhi that it is inevitable that the earth would shake when a mighty tree is felled and the accusation that bidding was used to distribute seats by the party. The party is accused on the one hand of appeasing Muslims while the minority community accuses it of doing not quite enough for them.
Beijing, December 19 The issue of issuance of stapled visas to residents of Jammu and Kashmir, which has raised concerns of sovereignty and integrity of India, figured prominently during the bilateral talks between PM Manmohan Singh and Wen. Speaking at a prime time show on the state-run CCTV here, Jaishankar said stapled visas was one of issues that "caught a lot of attention" during the visit of Wen.—
The issue of issuance of stapled visas to residents of Jammu and Kashmir, which has raised concerns of sovereignty and integrity of India, figured prominently during the bilateral talks between PM Manmohan Singh and Wen.
Speaking at a prime time show on the state-run CCTV here, Jaishankar said stapled visas was one of issues that "caught a lot of attention" during the visit of Wen.— PTI