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BEML chief Natarajan suspended

NEW DELHI: Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) chief V.R.S. Natarajan was on Monday suspended by the Defence Ministry in connection with the Tatra case on a CBI recommendation after former Army Chief Gen. V.K. Singh levelled allegations that he was offered Rs 14 crore bribe to clear a deal for 600 trucks.

The move comes a few days after the Defence Ministry issued a show cause notice to the BEML Chief for slapping a defamation notice against Gen. V.K. Singh without its permission.

The decision was taken “following a recommendation by the CBI that he should be kept away from the post to ensure fair investigation,” Defence Ministry spokesperson Sitanshu Kar said, adding that the investigating agency is currently looking into various charges against the BEML chief.

“The charge of CMD has been given to P. Dwarkanath, the senior most functional Director in BEML,” he added. — PTIBack



Think about your situation first, Nitish tells Modi

PATNA: A day after Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi had observed that the ‘castiest’ leaders had pushed Bihar to economic backwardness, his Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar today asked Modi to look at his situation instead of making comments on others. 

“One should think about one’s own situation”, he told reporters in reply to a question eliciting his reaction on Modi’s diatribe against the Bihar leaders. 

Without taking Modi’s name, Kumar referred to two vernacular proverbs to apparently rebuke the former for casting aspersions on others when he himself faced crisis in the party and in public life. 

When asked to elaborate further, the Chief Minister quipped that he was not in the habit of making comments about others and left the mediapersons to interpret his reaction to Modi’s comments on Bihar politicians. 

“It is for you (media) to interpret my comments”, he said. 

Apparently rejecting his Gujarat counterpart’s contention about backwardness and lack of economic development in Bihar, Kumar said the State has been marching on the path of development by taking care of various adversities and problems dogging it over the years. 

“Bihar has been a place of learning since ancient times”, he said in an apparent rejection of Modi’s assessment of the State. 

The Gujarat Chief Minister had at the State BJP executive meeting in Rajkot yesterday attacked the Bihar politicians for their ‘castiest’ outlook and attributed it as the main reason of economic backwardness and lack of development in Bihar. — PTI



SC refuses to stay order on minority sub quota

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday declined to suspend for now the Andhra Pradesh High Court’s verdict quashing 4.5 per cent sub-quota for minorities within 27 per cent reservation for Other Backward Castes (OBC). 

An apex court Bench of Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice J.S. Khehar declined to suspend the operation of the high court verdict, saying the Central government has not placed any material to back up its prayer. 

However, the court adjourned the hearing till Wednesday after Attorney General G. Vahanvati told the court that he would place before it the relevant material. 

Before adjourning the hearing, the court pulled up the Central government for issuing office memorandum providing for 4.5 per cent sub-quota within 27 per cent OBC reservation for the OBC without undertaking any detailed exercise. 

The court asked the Attorney General whether the matter was put up before the National Commission for Backward Communities and the National Commission for Minorities prior to ear-marking 4.5 per cent sub-quota. 

As Attorney General Vahanvati assailed the high court order, the court told him, “How can you fault the high court when you did not place relevant material before it?” 

The high court on May 28 quashed the 4.5 per cent sub-quota created through the issuance of an office memorandum Dec 22, 2011. The court had observed that the issuance of the office memorandum for creating the sub-quota was rooted in religious basis than any other constitutional consideration. — PTI




Mamata: Won't object to Cong's prez choice

NEW DELHI: West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra is in Delhi and will be at the Union Finance Ministry on Monday to hold talks on a financial package for the state. The outcome of the talks, however, could seal Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s Presidential poll chances.

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee is believed to be opposing Mukherjee’s candidature, more so because the latter has expressed his inability to allocate a special financial package to West Bengal, like any other state.

Mamata is reported to have tied her party’s support for Mukherjee’s candidature to a central financial package. Mukherjee had to, yesterday, cut short his West Bengal stay and return to the capital ahead to today’s talks.

The Finance Minister says rules don’t allow him to provide special treatment to any state; also the current economic situation has left little cash to spare. Back




Indo-Pak talks on Siachen begin today

Islamabad: Defence Secretaries of India and Pakistan will begin two-day talks on the issue of demilitarisation of the Siachen Glacier in Islamabad on Monday.

The talks hold significance in view of growing demands that the world's highest battlefield be demilitarised at the earliest.

Defence Secretary Shashikant Sharma yesterday arrived in Pakistan for crucial talks on the military standoff on the Siachen glacier. The Pakistani side will be led by Defence Secretary Nargis Sethi, a close confidant of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

Pakistan Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani and President Asif Ali Zaradari have spoken about the need to resolve the issue.

India has, however, stuck to its known position that no troop withdrawal is possible without Pakistan authenticating current troop positions, delineating the boundary on the map and demarcating it on ground. Back




Air India likely to sack striking pilots

NEW DELHI: A further crackdown on the striking Air India pilots is being contemplated by the management and that 300 pilots could be dismissed with the 35-day-old strike on Sunday showing no signs of being called off.

Around 400 Air India pilots owing allegiance to Indian Pilots Guild (IPG) are on strike since May 7 and the services of 101 pilots have already been terminated.

Sources in the state-owned airline said "tough action" would be taken against the remaining 300-odd pilots and gave indications that they could be sacked.

Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh had on Wednesday said that for him, the strike was over and he did not see any point in the striking pilots coming back.

He has said that the decision to withdraw the stir lay with the pilots "as I had already said that the strike is already over from our side."Back




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