Writers’ puts police on toes
Biman appeal for unity rallies
More police stations on border
Minister ray of hope in darkness
Vajpayee vows to uphold court order
PM fails to pacify allies
BJP up in arms over Jaipal slur on Atal
SC clarifies puja order
‘Fraud’ fury prompts House debate
MP notice against judges

Calcutta, March 14: 
West Bengal put police on high alert in sensitive pockets across the state in view of the VHP’s decision to go ahead with its programme in Ayodhya tomorrow despite a court order against it.

Writers’ Buildings has instructed the police to prevent any gathering or religious congregation by any community in public places. A close watch is also being kept on the districts bordering Bangladesh.

“We have sent special forces to 15 police station areas in the city identified as sensitive,” said deputy commissioner of police Banibrata Basu. Rapid Action Force contingents are patrolling these areas since this evening. Police are also in touch with paramilitary forces stationed in the state to tackle any eventuality.

“We will be especially alert to prevent anyone from raking up the Ayodhya issue in public tomorrow,” said deputy inspector-general of police Narayan Ghosh.

A strict vigil is being maintained in Taldi, where one person died and several others were injured last Sunday when police opened fire to disperse VHP supporters gathered to hold a yagna. A strong police force has also been deployed in Asansol, where over 90 persons had been rounded up for organising a Ram yagna last week.

Ghosh said the state police had not received any instructions from the Centre following yesterday’s Supreme Court order. The Centre had earlier asked states not to allow kar sevaks to leave for Ayodhya. “We are in touch with the Government Railway Police but there is no evidence of any organised movement of kar sevaks in Bengal,” he added.

In the CPM headquarters at Alimuddin Street, state secretary Anil Biswas said party cadre would organise peace marches across the state, appealing for communal harmony. “We will ensure that there is no provocation from any side,” Biswas said.

Assembly deadlock

Congress Legislative Party chief Atish Sinha’s proposal to adopt an all-party resolution condemning attorney-general Soli Sorabjee’s plea in Supreme Court to allow a “token” worship at Ayodhya fell through as the Trinamul Congress refused to be part of it. “It would have been fitting for the West Bengal Assembly to adopt the resolution, but the Trinamul Congress refused to take part in it,” said Sinha.


Calcutta, March 14: 
A day after the administration banned all rallies for or against the Ayodhya issue in Bengal, Left Front chairman Biman Bose appealed to chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to intervene and allow unity processions across the state tomorrow.

Home secretary Amit Kiran Deb had announced the ban as a precautionary measure. Bose, however, was displeased when party leaders from Nadia informed him this afternoon that the district magistrate was discouraging unity rallies they had lined up for tomorrow.

“We don’t feel the rallies we are organising will create any tension. In fact, they will help defuse it. This is not the time to stay indoors but to take to the streets and protest against the unholy communal forces. The district authorities should cooperate with us in organising these rallies and we are drawing the attention of the chief minister,” Bose told a news conference.

He said a massive padayatra had been planned on March 17.

State CPM secretary Anil Biswas, also present at the news conference, said that at a time when the VHP and the Sangh parivar were bent upon offering puja at Ayodhya it was the need of the hour to group up against these fundamentalist forces.

“So far, we have been able to prevent any untoward incident in Bengal through our unity rallies in the city and districts over the past few days. Now, we must intensify our movement and maintain a strict vigil tomorrow so that the communal propaganda does not make a dent on secular Bengal,” said Biswas.

He said members of many other political parties had participated in the rallies the Front had organised over the past few days.


Calcutta, March 14: 
Expressing concern over terrorist activities in the border districts, chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said more police stations would be set up in areas adjacent to Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. Some new police stations have already been established and more would come up when the funds are available.

Replying to Trinamul Congress MLA Jyotipriya Mullick’s question in the Assembly, Bhattacharjee said guarding the 1,460-km-long border was becoming more difficult in view of ISI-trained terrorists sneaking in.

Bhattacharjee said over 800 infiltrators were pushed back to Bangladesh during the last one year. “Our stand regarding infiltrators is very clear. Under no circumstances will we allow anybody to cross over to our state,” he said.

Bhattacharjee blamed the Centre for ignoring the state’s international border. “We need at least 34 battalions of Border Security Force to guard the borders. But we have been given only 20 battalions. I took up the matter with Union home minister L.K. Advani twice personally. But nothing has been done yet,” the chief minister said.


Calcutta, March 14: 
The Centre has assured power minister Mrinal Banerjee that it would ask the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) to lift supply restrictions on Gridco, which feeds the eastern grid covering Bihar, Orissa and Bengal.

The minister told the Assembly he was expecting a turnaround in the power situation in the districts from today with additional generation from Kolaghat, Bandel and the Durgapur Projects Limited plant.

He said Union power secretary Ashok Basu has promised to look into the matter urgently. The minister left for Delhi this afternoon and is expected to take up the matter with the Union power minister tomorrow.


New Delhi, March 14: 
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee today assured both the Houses that his government will follow in “letter and spirit” the Supreme Court’s order to maintain status quo at Ayodhya. He also ruled out seeking a review of the directive.

He assured a worried Opposition in the Rajya Sabha that “all arrangements have been made to maintain law and order” at Ayodhya tomorrow. “The situation is totally under control. I don’t expect any untoward incident to happen.”

The Centre, however, has not formulated any action plan to deal with any eventuality tomorrow. Vajpayee said there was no need for one.

Abhi jo action hai, woh kya kam hai? (Are the steps already taken not enough?)” the Prime Minister asked.

Reading from a prepared speech in the Lok Sabha, Vajpayee said: “I wish to assure the House that adequate preparations have been made to maintain law and order in Ayodhya and to ensure that the March 13 order of the Supreme Court is adhered to.”

The Prime Minister admitted that after the Supreme Court’s order, the entire 67.703 acres had become disputed.

“Because of this development, a new situation has arisen and the undisputed land has become disputed,” he said, implying that no activity would be permitted in the area.

Vajpayee also ruled out issuing any directive to attorney-general Soli J. Sorabjee — “the question does not arise”, he said.

He stood firmly behind Sorabjee who had come under fire for suggesting that the court allow a symbolic puja on the undisputed land.

“It is the constitutional duty of the attorney-general to interpret a law or a judgment of the court, when asked by the court to do so,” Vajpayee said.

He stood by the NDA stand that Ayodhya was not part of the ruling alliance’s agenda, but added a rider. “Just because the BJP has joined the NDA … (does) not mean it has left the Ayodhya issue altogether,” Vajpayee said.

In his quintessential style, he took on the Opposition for frequently alleging that the VHP was influencing the government’s actions.

“The amount of excitement generated about the VHP itself went to show that it indeed has a locus standi.” He said it was not necessary for all organisations to contest in elections to prove their popularity. “Certainly not the religious organisations,” he added.

The Prime Minister underlined the need for a dialogue between communities, saying it was absolutely necessary to encourage non-political organisations to take part in the process as the government alone could not tackle all the problems confronting the country.

He said there were two ways of resolving the Ayodhya dispute. One, through a mutual agreement, and two, through a judicial verdict. He also lauded the efforts of the Sankaracharya of Kanchi.

“We should encourage the path of tolerance and cooperate with organisations which promote it,” he added.


New Delhi, March 14: 
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s statement in Parliament today clarifying the government’s stand on Ayodhya failed to convince the BJP’s allies.

Far from satisfied with the explanations of attorney-general Soli J. Sorabjee and the Prime Minister, they are now waiting for D-day tomorrow.

Before his statement in the Lok Sabha at 12 noon, Vajpayee telephoned Telugu Desam chief Chandrababu Naidu, to say that the attorney-general’s submission before the Supreme Court reflected his personal interpretation and not the government’s viewpoint.

“I spoke to the Prime Minister this morning. He told me that the attorney-general did not consult the government (before seeking permission from the Supreme Court for a symbolic puja),” Naidu said.

The Desam chief said he told Vajpayee to ensure that status quo was not disturbed at any cost. “As Uttar Pradesh is now under the control of the Centre, it is fully responsible to implement the court order,” he said.

Naidu said Sorabjee’s submission favouring symbolic bhoomi puja, was incorrect and that such a stand had created “doubts in the minds of the people and political parties”.

The Prime Minister’s bid to mollify his allies did not appear to have had the intended effect. Desam leader K. Yerran Naidu, Trinamul Congress chief whip Sudip Bandopadhyaya, Janata Dal (United) leader Devendra Prasad Yadav, National Conference member Mohammed Ali Naik and the Samata Party’s Prabhunath Singh met twice to discuss Vajpayee’s clarification and the Ayodhya issue. They will meet again tomorrow to take stock of the situation.

After the meeting, Yadav demanded that action should be taken against the attorney-general if he had deviated from the government stand. “We are not satisfied with the Prime Minister’s statement,” he added.

DMK deputy leader Durai Murugan told the Tamil Nadu Assembly today that his party would “reconsider” continuing in the NDA if it feels that the alliance is adopting “double standards” while upholding the secular principles vis-a-vis the Ayodhya issue.

Yerran Naidu said he would discuss Vajpayee’s statement with his boss later in the day. He said his party wanted to ensure what happened yesterday was not repeated as it was an NDA government and not a BJP one. Sudip Bandopadhyaya said that in view of the volatile situation at Ayodhya, all should exercise restraint.

All Bihar MPs belonging to the Samata Party, the JD(U) and the Lok Janashakti Party will have a separate meeting tomorrow to discuss the BJP’s bid to sneak in the Hinduvta agenda into governance.


New Delhi, March 14: 
Minutes after Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s statement that his government would implement the Supreme Court ruling on Ayodhya in letter and spirit, the Lok Sabha plunged into pandemonium over Congress MP Jaipal Reddy’s remarks against the Prime Minister.

Reddy had termed Vajpayee’s remarks a “humungous fraud” being played on the country. The “unrepentant” Congress leader, who said there was nothing “unparliamentary” in his action, made these remarks outside Parliament after the chair reserved a ruling for tomorrow.

Reddy accused the BJP and its allies of creating a controversy to “muzzle” the debate over Ayodhya.

“Since the Sangh parivar’s diabolical agenda has been exposed, they seek to deflect and digress attention and muzzle debate as it was impossible to defend its (government’s) sins and actions and face discomfited NDA partners,” Reddy said.

Reddy said his expression may have been strong, but strong words were needed to convey what was experienced yesterday. “I am an unrepentant person,” he declared.

The Congress spokesman, who bagged the best parliamentarian award, said: “To the best of my understanding and knowledge, saying that someone (was) playing a fraud is not unparliamentary. I stick to my formulation. However, it is for the presiding officer to take a view in the matter,” Reddy said.

The treasury benches and the Opposition exchanged heated words in the Lok Sabha when Reddy accused Vajpayee of making a statement which, he said, far from dispelling the clouds over the VHP’s plans to perform a symbolic puja had compounded them.

As Reddy accused Vajpayee of playing a fraud on the nation, angry NDA members surged towards the well. Former Prime Minister Chandra Shekhar tried to play peacemaker, asking Reddy to withdraw his remark, but the Congress MP remained unfazed.

Agitated BJP and NDA members then began shouting slogans, asking Reddy to withdraw his comment.

As the din continued, Deputy Speaker P.M. Sayeed adjourned the House till 2 pm.

However, Sayeed was faced with a similar crisis after lunch and was left with no option but to call it a day.


New Delhi, March 14: 
The Supreme Court today clarified that its earlier order prohibiting “religious activity of any nature by anyone” covers in its sweep the entire stretch of 70-odd acres, including the disputed area and the acquired land around the Babri masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi site.

The three-judge bench of Justices B.N. Kirpal, G.B. Pattanaik and V.N. Khare clarified this as its earlier order had mentioned “Revenue plot numbers 159 and 160 in village Kot Ramchandra”.

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas interpreted this to mean that they could hold the puja on a plot other than these two specified in the order.

The acquired land of 67.703 acres is spread over several revenue plots in the area. The judges in the modifying order said the words “in various plots” will occur in place of plot numbers 159 and 160. This has now put a stop to any religious activity by anyone in the “status quo” area, including the one where the mosque was demolished as well as the adjacent land acquired by the Centre.

Earlier in the morning, the judges summoned attorney-general Soli J. Sorabjee to carry out the modification to the order.

The modified order now covers the land mentioned in the “schedule” to the Acquisition of Certain Areas at Ayodhya Act, 1993, popularly known as the Ayodhya Act.

However, no order would affect the regular pujas routinely held in about 14 temples situated in the area.

Sorabjee said there were 14 temples already existing on the acquired land and daily pujas were going on.

He submitted that the order should not restrain the pujas being performed for years in those temples.


New Delhi, March 14: 
Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker P.M. Sayeed has an unenviable job tomorrow. He has to give his verdict on a word used randomly by politicians across party lines — “fraud”.

The House erupted in fury over the word today and, for a change, members from the ruling coalition are swearing to stall it again if the presiding officer is unable to decide whether the use of the word is parliamentary or not.

Trouble began immediately after Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee completed his statement clarifying attorney-general Soli Sorabjee’s submission before the apex court yesterday. Senior Congress leader Jaipal Reddy said the “Prime Minister played a humungous fraud on the nation yesterday....”

Soon after, members from the treasury benches sprang up demanding an apology from Reddy, saying he had used an unparliamentary word.

The BJP struck a strident note saying it would not allow the House to function tomorrow unless Reddy apologises, but the Congress member stuck to his stand that there was nothing unparliamentary in “fraud”.

The deputy speaker has convened a meeting of leaders of major parties tomorrow morning to find a way out.

CPM sources said their leader Somnath Chatterjee had used the word “fraud” in his speech yesterday and Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav had used its Hindi equivalent “dhoka”.

However, the BJP members did not object. Only Congress “abuses” seem to irritate the saffron camp, said an Opposition leader.

While a debate on “fraud” was raging inside and outside the House, senior BJP leaders and Cabinet ministers Arun Jaitley and Pramod Mahajan were busy getting a compendium of unparliamentary words, which included “fraud” in its various incarnations.

According to an extract from a compilation of such expressions from various sources, including Assemblies and from the UK and Canadian House of Commons, the word “fraud” is not considered parliamentary.

Among the unparliamentary expressions listed other than “fraud” are:

Fraud and a fiddle

Fraud? Total


Fraudulent character (of a Bill)

Freelance demagogue

Friend of enemy of this country

Friend of Hitler

Friendship does not mean that I should give my wife to the communists

Frivolous (with reference to remarks of the members)

Frog in the well

Froggies in a pond




Gadarene Swine

Gall and venom

Gang of three musketeers

According to the Hindi compilation, dhoka, dhoka aur galat, dhoka dena, dhoka dene wala, dhokadhadi ka bat karte hain, dhokabazii, dhokabaz and dhobi ka kutta are fraud-related words that are unparliamentary.

But whatever may be the fate of “fraud”, the BJP leadership has found it a good digression from the government’s predicament on Ayodhya.

“How can Reddy make such remarks? We will stick to the demand for an apology from him,” said a BJP leader.

However, a senior Cabinet minister said at the end of the day, the Congress may not apologise and the heat will die down in a day or two.


New Delhi, March 14: 
A day after the Supreme Court gave its verdict against “shila puja”, a BJP member of Parliament today gave a notice of breach of privilege in the Lok Sabha against three judges of the apex court for allegedly showing “disrespect” to the House.

During the hearing on the Ayodhya issue yesterday, Rajya Sabha member and senior advocate R.K. Anand, appearing for the All-India Babri Masjid Action Committee, interrupted the submissions of attorney-general Soli Sorabjee several times.

This prompted the three-judge bench to say: “This is no Parliament Mr Anand, that you can interrupt anybody at anytime. Allow the attorney to speak and you will get time when the court requires your assistance.”

Sheesh Ram Singh Ravi, the BJP member from Bijnor, said the judges had shown “disrespect to the highest seat of democracy” by some remarks they made during the hearing.


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