The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Advani seeks end to media row

Chennai, Nov. 13: The deputy Prime Minister today indicated his displeasure at the Tamil Nadu Assembly’s action against six journalists, minutes after he shared a dais here with chief minister Jayalalithaa.

Talking to reporters after inaugurating the Seventh National Conference on E-Governance, L.K. Advani said: “I am optimistic that the matter would be sorted out.”

Asked if the Centre would request the state to get the Assembly to withdraw its imprisonment sentence passed against the journalists, he said the government could not directly or indirectly “ask a legislature to do this or do that”.

Advani’s sharp reply implied that something was brewing as the Prime Minister, before leaving for Russia, had said the Centre would ask the governor to send a report on the developments.

Madras High Court today granted interim bail to DMK MLA Paruthi Ilamvazhuthi, who was sentenced to 30 days’ simple imprisonment on November 7 in a separate case involving breach of privilege of the House. The former deputy Speaker was given bail on a habeas corpus petition filed by party treasurer Arcot . Veerasamy.

Advani did reserve some praise for the state’s “excellent performance on the e-governance front”.

Jayalalithaa, facing countrywide protests over the Assembly resolution, was the picture of sobriety throughout the inaugural session. She did briefly chat with Advani on the dais a number of times.

Advani said more than Rs 100 crore had been sanctioned this year to buy computers in various states.

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