'No VHP hand in setting question paper'



GANDHINAGAR: First it defended a question paper that had reference to Nazism and killing of people, and now the state government has stood up in defence of the VHP, following state Congress chief Amarsinh Chaudhary's remark that the VHP had a hand in framing questions for the controversial HSC English paper.

The statement, issued on Wednesday after a two-hour long Cabinet meeting here, tried to counter the Congress allegation. "By spreading such canards about the VHP, Amarsinh Chaudhary is, in fact, providing leadership to a handful of anti-Gujarat elements who do not want peace in the state." The statement warned that the Congress leader will have to "suffer for this".

Chief minister Narendra Modi is learnt to have sought state education minister Anandiben Patel's report, at the Cabinet meeting, on how such a question paper was allowed to be distributed, leading to considerable embarrassment to the state government which is already reeling under all-round criticism for the failure on the law and order front.

Even while pointing out that the question was "not political", but had only "grammatical overtones," Anandiben agreed that it was a mistake to have asked such a question in such sensitive times. But, she clarified that no ill was meant as the question paper was set way back in September and cleared by an official committee that is supposed to finalise each word of a question paper.

"During the two-hour-long Cabinet meeting, Anandiben took nearly half- an-hour answering examination related issues," said a senior minister. Soon after the meeting, spokespersons Purshottam Rupala and IK Jadeja, issuing the government statement, described Amarsinh's "uncalled for statement" as "an effort to destabilise the sensitive situation in Gujarat."

The strongly worded statement says, "Amarsinh and his party want to ensure that peace does not return in Gujarat. That is the reason why he has been giving such a statement. He should know, the Gujarat government's prestige will not be affected by his divisive efforts. He has no one but himself to blame if he becomes a victim of the people's wrath at a later stage."

"The Congress has been helping extremist elements by provoking the minority students not to appear in the examinations. Gujarat's 1.2 crore students have placed complete faith in the peace process unleashed by the government by appearing in examinations at various levels. Even the minorities are angry with the Congress for its attitude," the statement added.

Attack on Dalit youth in Bellary

BJP holds minister responsible

DH News Service


The State BJP, which has termed the attack on a Dalit youth in Bellary as a pre-planned one, has demanded the ouster of Minister of State for Rural Development & Panchayat Raj M Divakar Babu from the council of ministry holding him responsible for the assault.

Vinod Kumar, who was beaten allegedly by the followers of Mr Divakar Babu on April 14 in Bellary, is undergoing treatment at Manipal Hospital here. Vinod's left thumb finger has been chopped off and he has suffered fracture in the left leg and on the right shoulder. The BJP, which has taken up the cause of Vinod, who is also a BJP worker, has decided to launch an agitation throughout the State if Chief Minister S M Krishna fails to dismiss Mr Babu from the council of ministry. BJP leader Jagadish Shettar is scheduled to launch the agitation on April 26 in Bellary.

Vinod, who is a `pygmy' collector, told media persons who visited him at the hospital that he was assaulted by the followers of Mr Babu on Dr Ambedkar Jayanti day when he was witnessing a function organised to lay foundation for construction of houses under the Valmiki Ambedkar Awas Yojana. "Some persons led by Narayanarao alias Mundlur Chitti, who is the president of Ashraya committee in Bellary, chased me and brutally attacked me. The Minister (Babu) was very much present when I was being attacked," he charged.

Subadramma, the mother of Vinod who was also present, said, "I am a widow and I am totally dependent on Vinod to run the family. I have two more children. We are afraid to return to Bellary."

Legislators S Suresh Kumar and Ramachandre Gowda and BJP City unit president S Prakash, who took media persons to the hospital, said the Minister should be immediately arrested as his name figured in the FIR filed by the police. Mr Suresh Kumar said Chitti, who had been externed, had obtained court stay to live in Karnataka. Chitti had attacked Vinod and other BJP workers because they raised slogans in favour of Prime Minister A B Vajpayee, he said.

Mr Ramachandre Gowda said a judicial inquiry should be ordered into the incident.

CoD probing Bellary incident: Minister


"Chief Minister S M Krishna has already referred the Bellary incident to the CoD. I wonder why the BJP is still politicising the issue", reacted Minister Divakar Babu on the charges levelled by the BJP against him.

When Deccan Herald sought his reaction, Mr Babu, who was in Belgaum, said the BJP workers didn't want the government to carry out the programme without the presence of its union ministers as the housing scheme was partially sponsored by the Centre.

"When the BJP workers didn't allow the government to conduct the foundation laying function, naturally the Congress workers were enraged and they retaliated", he said.

The Minister said, "Mr Allum Veerabhadrappa and MP Basavanagouda were also seated on the dais along with me. I fail to understand why I have become the target. Even the city municipality vice-president, who belongs to the BJP, was on the dais."

`E.U. concerned about possible escalation'


By Vaiju Naravane

PARIS APRIL 25. The French and Spanish Governments today responded to statements made by the spokesman of the Ministry of External Affairs, Nirupama Rao, asking foreign countries to refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of India.

Spain holds the current rotating presidency of the European Union and Louis Arias of the Spanish Foreign Ministry told The Hindu: "We have not yet received the communiqué issued by the Indian Government and I do not know what it says."

When this correspondent quoted the Indian statement stating that some foreign countries and missions in Delhi were creating the impression of playing a partisan role, which could affect the friendly relations between India and the E.U. as well as with the European countries, Mr. Arias replied: "Of course, we recognise it as an internal matter. We have already conveyed our condolences and our respects to the Indian Government. However, we must underline that the E. U. remains concerned about a possible escalation, which could create tensions in the region.

In Paris, the Foreign Affairs spokesman, Francois Rivasseau, told this paper: "On the events in Gujarat, there was a declaration by the E.U. in its General Affairs Council and a communiqué issued by the Spanish presidency of the EU. I think the E.U. presidency in Madrid has explained to India's representative what our position was about that report and I would like to insist that this was an internal report. You will understand that as there are 15 E.U. countries, the report circulates. When the Indian embassy in Paris writes a report on the political situation here, we don't find that disquieting and we would not think of commenting on it. So we would not like to comment on the report."

Rally by Save India Front


New Delhi, 25th April, 2002

The Save India Front is poised to stage the biggest rally at Ramlila Ground, New Delhi on 2nd May, 2002 at 10 A.M. comprising of secularists, patriots, intellectuals and common people of the country.

The convenor of the Save India Front, Mr. Udit Raj (Ram Raj) - Chairman of the All India Confederation of SC/ST Organizations, said that whatever untowards and ghastly incidents are happening in Gujarat are creation of Sangh Parivar and Mr. Narender Modi's Government. This is going to affect every citizen of the country. Whatever barbaric incidents happened in Goddhra on 27th February,2002, were condemned it in the strongest possible terms. He said that the guilty must be punished without delay. After that whatever inhuman, barbaric and heinous events viz. murder of Muslims, rape, house burning and destruction of property are being committed, have surpassed all possible dirtiest events after Independence. Mr. Narender Modi has already justified commission of such barbaric acts while saying that every action has its reaction, hence incidents happenings after Goddhra are justifiable. According to his logic, the R.D.X. (Bomb) incident of 1993 in Mumbai was reaction to destruction of Babri Mosque in 1992. The violence and atrocities are still in spate because they are serving the interest of Hindutva forces. The V.H.P. and Bajrang Dal are enticing and forcing dalits against Muslims so that it becomes a conflict between Muslims and Dalits.

The co-convenor of the Save India Front, Maulana Mahmood Madani - General Secretary of Jamiat Ulema-E-Hind, said that propaganda is going on branding Muslims as Aliens and outsiders, perhaps either because these propagandists do not have sense of history or doing it with ulterior motive to serve their own interests at the cost of country's interest. Today's Muslims are as old as others are and at least they had been living before Aryans came to this country and only subsequently converted to Islam. The Jamiat Ulama-E-Hind fought against the division of the country and will continue to do so. So far efforts made against Communalism have not made enough impact and that is why the Save India Front with all like minded forces goes for big protest so that divisive forces are defeated and demoralized. This organization is non-political and it will include every body for the sake of unity, integrity and communal harmony in the country.

The Save India Front is determined to go ahead with some of demands like:

1. Stop the killings of Muslims in Gujarat, remove Narender Modi, resettle the riot affected, ban RSS, V.H.P. and Bajrang Dal and like organizations and punish the guilty.

2. The present Indian Constitution should not be changed.

3. Stop the economic loot in the country by Multi-National and Indian companies, provide reservation to dalits, backwards and Muslims in private sector and stop sale of Government Companies.

4. Provide reservation in higher judiciary and in other fields to dalits, Muslims and backwards.

5. Without evidence, stop propaganda and nuisance against Muslims Institutions and Madrasas.

6. Sangh Parivar should desist from claiming to represent whole Hindu communities in order to terrorise minorities because they do not have support of all dalits, progressive Hindus, many Hindus religious leaders and institutions and backwards.

Mayawati to be sworn in as CM on Monday http://www.deccanherald.com/deccanherald/apr26/ibsp.htm

BJP, BSP strike deal on UP govt

New Delhi, April 25 (PTI & DHNS)

Sorting out their differences before the crucial vote in Parliament on the Gujarat issue, the BJP and the BSP today struck a deal in the formation of a coalition government in Uttar Pradesh. The new ministry would be sworn in by Monday with Ms Mayawati as Chief Minister.

The two sides are understood to have resolved the problems agreeing not to have a deputy Chief Minister's post which became a matter of controversy after BSP supremo Kanshi Ram had ruled out such a post and the BJP leaders resenting it. While the Speaker's post will go to a BJP nominee, there will be no rotation of the Chief Minister's post, two issues that dogged the previous coalition between the two parties.

The hammering out of the deal assumes significance in the context of a scheduled voting in Lok Sabha on April 30 on the Opposition censure motion on the Gujarat situation in which the BSP's 13 MPs are expected to vote with the government. A day of hectic politicking began with a meeting at Home Minister L K Advani's residence which was attended by BJP President Jana Krishnamurthy, UP unit President Kalraj Mishra, former Chief Minister Rajnath Singh and former Minister Lalji Tandon. This was followed by a 90-minute meeting at Ms Mayawati's residence between her and Mishra and Tandon. Significantly former Chief Minister Rajnath Singh, who was present at the meeting with Advani, kept away from the talks with BSP leaders. Ms Mayawati and the two BJP leaders later told reporters that "all issues were discussed. Everything has been finalised and it would be announced at an appropriate time through a joint press conference."

A senior BJP leader said the party wanted to end the uncertainty in the state and a coalition government would be in place in "two or four days". On the question of Deputy Chief Ministership, both sides said it was a media creation and never an issue between the two parties. "Neither BSP nor BJP ever talked about deputy chief ministership. It was a media creation," they said.

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Published on:April 26, 2002
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