Parkash Singh Badal
Parkash Singh Badal

No alternative except
to re-install BJP
Govt, says Badal

HOSHIARPUR, Apr 25: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today said that there was...more

Mulayam Singh Yadav
Mulayam Singh Yadav

SP extends unconditional
support to Basu-led Govt

NEW DELHI, Apr 25: Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav today extended...more

Certain elements
holding high offices
supporting militants

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, Apr 25: Sacked naval chief Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat today...more

Lakshmi, Ramalingaya
gets Lifetime

Achievement Award

HYDERABAD, Apr 25: Evergreen actress Lakshmi and veteran actor Allu Ramalingayya.....more

‘Ties depend on DMK’s support to BJP’, says CPI

COIMBATORE, Apr 25: The CPI today said that it would be forced to.....more

Laloo Prasad Yadav
Laloo Prasad Yadav

Differences within
RLM widen

NEW DELHI, Apr 25: Differences within Rashtriya Loktantrik Morcha (RLM)..more

CPI(M) appears to
keep option open

NEW DELHI, Apr 25: The CPI(M) today appeared to...more

Forces led by Vajpayee
are united: Jain

CHANDIGARH, Apr 25: Satya Pal Jain, whip of BJP Parliamentary Party in....more

No alternative except to re-install BJP Govt, says Badal

HOSHIARPUR, Apr 25: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today said that there was no alternative now, except to re-install Vajpayee Government at the Centre as all the opposition parties, including the Congress, had miserably failed in their attempts to form an alternative Government, inspite of their best efforts.

Talking to mediapersons at village Chabewal, 12 km from here, Mr Badal alleged that Congress and other opposition parties had created political instability in the country for which people would not forgive them.

Mr Badal said, that now the President should invite Mr Vajpayee to form the Government to lift the country from the ongoing political crisis. (UNI)

SP extends unconditional support to Basu-led Govt

NEW DELHI, Apr 25: Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh yadav today extended unconditional support to marxist leader Jyoti Basu heading an alternative Government and appealed to Congress to support it from outside.

Basu is the most acceptable leader and our party will extend unconditional support to him, Yadav told a press conference here.

Asked what if the Congress declined to accept his suggestion, Yadav said if Basu did not head a coalition Government, then the country could face a mid-term poll.

The SP chief chose to attack the Congress once again accusing it of failing to check the growth of communal forces. This is the best chance to stop such forces. All parties should accept Basu as Prime Minister, he said.

Yadav said he had no bitterness and hatred towards the Congress but only ideological differences with that party.

Asked about his differences with RJD president Laloo Prasad Yadav, who favoured a Congress-led alternative, Yadav said I do have differences with Laloo Yadav on this issue but these will have no effect on the Rashtriya Loktantrik Morcha.

I am confident that ultimately Laloo Yadav will not object to Basu’s leadership, he said.

Former Gujarat Chief Minister Shankersinh Vaghela of Rashtriya Janata Party, a constituent of the RLM, was also present at the press conference.

Yadav said that he has full faith that the CPI(M) politburo would approve Basu’s name for Prime Ministership and all Left Front leaders including Harkishan Singh Surjeet would agree to the choice.

Replying to questions, he said Congress party should give outside support to an alternative formation of secular forces keeping in view the larger interests of the country which was passing through trying situation.

Lauding AIADMK supremo Jayalalitha for bringing down the Vajpayee Government, Yadav said his party had intensely debated the political situation for the last three days and decided that mid-term poll should be averted at this juncture and communal forces prevented from grabbing power at all cost.

Lashing out at BJP’s performance in the last 13 months, the Samajwadi Party chief said the economy had suffered an all-round setback, relations with neighbours like Pakistan and China soured and India isolated in the comity of nations.

Yadav criticised BJP for allowing passage of the Patents and the Insurance Regulatory Authority Bills which, he said, would permit entry of foreign companies in the insurance sector. BJP’s swadeshi slogan has now transformed to videshi, he alleged. (PTI)

Certain elements holding high offices supporting militants

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, Apr 25: Sacked naval chief Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat today cautioned that arms running in the Andaman Seas and elsewhere with the blessings of "certain people holding high offices" would have serious implications for India’s security as extremists in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir had links with these groups.

Participating in a meet-the-press programme of the Press Club here, he said the extremists groups were coordinating with each other and any attempt to allow the "friendly groups" to carry on their business would seriously affect the country’s security.

He said when the navy was told to stop operations against arms runners in the Andaman seas, he himself had told Defence Minister George Fernandes that such operations were routine and mandatory and they need not inform any person in the Ministry.

Alleging that the Defence Minister was following his own agenda and foreign policy, he said it was strange that despite the country having economic, political and military cooperation with certain neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka, assistance was being offered to insurgent groups there. Admiral Bhagwat said it was high time that the country took stern against against such forces. The seriousness of the matter was evident from the fact that two Prime Ministers were assassinated within seven years. "We are not in the politics of violence, but we are in a parliamentary democracy".

Stating that terrorists had no religion, he alleged that underworld don Dawood Ibrahim had links with certain Sangh Parivar outfits. "Not a single property belonging to the Shiv Sena was damaged in the Bombay riots", he added.

Claiming that narco-terrorism was flourishing in the country with the assistance of certain groups, he said it was strange that the Vohra Committee had not mentioned a single person who had connection with such groups. (UNI)

Lakshmi, Ramalingaya gets Lifetime Achievement Award

HYDERABAD, Apr 25: Evergreen actress Lakshmi and veteran actor Allu Ramalingayya received Lifetime Achievement Awards at a glittering star studded 46th filmfare awards (South) nite here last night.

The awards were given away by Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, N Chandrababu Naidu at Lalith Kala Thoranam.

Ch Ramoji Rao, Chairman of Eenadu Group and Ramoji Film City won the special award instituted this year for outstanding contribution to the film industry.

‘Anthapuram’ (Telugu), ‘Natpukkaga’ (Tamil), ‘Thayi Saheba’ (Kannada) and ‘Chinthavishtayaya Shyamala’ (Malayalam) bagged awards for best films.

Girish Gasaravalli Director of ‘Thayi Saheba’ and Jayamala, who enacted the role of Narmada Thayi, received the best director and actress awards respectively. Ramesh bagged the best actor award for ‘hoo male’.

Venkatesh (best actor for Ganesh), Soundarya (best actress for Anthapuram), Krishna Vamsi (best director for Anthapuram) and Mani Sharma (best music for Choodalani Vundi) were the winners in Telugu category.

In Tamil section, Sarath Kumar (best actor for Natpukkaga), Kousalya (best actress for Pooveli), Cheran (best director for Desiya Geetham) and A R Rehman (best music for jeans) received the awards.

Balachandra Menon (best actor for Samantharangal), Manju Warrier (best actress for Kanmadam), Sreenivasan (best director for Chinthavishtayaya Shyamala), Vidasagar (best music for summer in Bethlehem) received the award for Malayalam films. (PTI)

‘Ties depend on DMK’s support to BJP’, says CPI

COIMBATORE, Apr 25: The CPI today said that it would be forced to reconsider its relations with the DMK if the latter continued to support the BJP in Tamil Nadu.

The CPI’s Tamil Nadu unit secretary R Nallakannu addressing a press conference here said, continuance of alliance between the CPI and the DMK solely depended on the DMK’s support to the BJP

He urged the DMK president and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, M Karunanidhi, not to support the BJP any further.

Asked whether the CPI would join the AIADMK front if the DMK preferred to support the BJP at the national level, Nallakannu said ‘it all depends.

To another question, he said the CPI was still part of the DMK-led front. (PTI)

Differences within RLM widen

NEW DELHI, Apr 25: Differences within Rashtriya Loktantrik Morcha (RLM) on the issue of Government formation appeared to have further widened today with Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president Laloo Prasad Yadav making a veiled attack on Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Mulayam Singh Yadav for queering the Congress pitch.

There should not be such a talk (opposing Congress to form minority Government) as it will dilute efforts at forming an alternative Government and encourage communalism.....Those who talk like that should shun this attitude, Laloo Prasad Yadav said without naming Mulayam.

The SP leader, who is opposing formation of a Congress Government, is in favour of veteran Marxist leader Jyoti Basu heading a Third Front coalition.

On the other hand, the RJD leader is openly supporting Congress president Sonia Gandhi in her efforts to form a minority Government.

Laloo Yadav told reporters only Congress and its leader Sonia Gandhi can provide a secular and stable Government and none else. There is no change in our party’s stand and we stick to it.

He welcomed CPI-M leader Harkishen Singh Surjeet’s statement that Congress must take initiative in Government formation even if it is a coalition and it should be supported by all (opposition) parties.

The RJD leader said he had no objection to Congress forming a coalition Government, but if that party wants to form a minority Government, his party will support it to keep BJP out. (PTI)

CPI(M) appears to keep option open

NEW DELHI, Apr 25: The CPI(M) today appeared to keep its option open on West Bengal Chief Minister Jyoti Basu heading a coalition Government but asked the Congress to first take the initiative in forming an alternative even if it is a coalition.

After a three-hour meeting of the CPI-M (M) politburo, party general secretary Harkishan Singh Surjeet said in reply to repeated questions on the party’s rejection of Basu’s candidature for leading a coalition in 1996 that the situation now is totally different. The thrust is to keep the BJP out.

However, remaining equivocal, Surjeet asked the Congress to take initiative in forming a Government even if it is a coalition saying there is no other way to establish a stable Government.....The Congress should not hesitate from forming Government under its leadership.

He said the demand for making Basu the Prime Ministerial candidate now had nothing to do with reality .... As they (opposition) have not brought forward any suggestions about having a stable Government.

How can they (opposition) ensure a formation? Surjeet said when asked about Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav’s demand to make basu the Prime Minister.

Surjeet’s remarks came shortly after Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav extended unconditional support to Basu heading an alternative Government and said if the veteran Marxist leader did not head a coalition Government, then the country could face a mid-term poll.

CPI leader Indrajit Gupta and A B Bardhan met Surjeet immediately after the CPI (M) politburo meeting and told reporters later that the possibility of a non-Congress coalition headed by basu could not be ruled out.

The possibility of a coalition led by the left was being examined, they indicated and said nothing is ruled out.

The Congress Working Committee (CWC) held an emergency meeting this afternoon to discuss formation of an alternative Government in the light of CPI (M)’s assertion that only the Congress can provide a stable alternative.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi is scheduled to meet President K R Narayanan this evening and so are CPI (M) leaders Basu and Surjeet.

Basu and Surjeet are also slated to call on Narayanan this evening and the CPI (M) politburo is to meet again thereafter.

Meanwhile, the BJP today attacked efforts to instal a Communist-led Government and expressed the hope that President K R Narayanan would not accept such an arrangement.

BJP spokesman Venkaiah Naidu told reporters here that the CPI-M neither got five per cent of the total votes nor did it constitute a quorum in the Lok Sabha and efforts to prop up a Communist Government would be an attempt to play fraud on the nation. (PTI)

 

Forces led by Vajpayee are united: Jain

CHANDIGARH, Apr 25: Satya Pal Jain, whip of BJP Parliamentary Party in Lok Sabha, today urged President K R Narayanan to invite Atal Bihari Vajpayee again to form Government as the "secular forces" have failed in reaching a decision to form a Government at the Centre.

"All the opposition parties in Parliament joined hands to defeat the BJP Government by one vote under the slogan of unity of secular forces," Jain told a gathering of Defence Services Civilian Pensioners Welfare Association here.

However, "during the last few days they have failed to reach a decision about the formation of the Government," Jain said adding the Congress and other parties, including CPM, CPI, BSP and SP, owe an explanation to the people of the nation for `creating’ a political uncertainty in the country. (PTI)

 

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