The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Nation at a Glance

TN censure motion ends in anti-climax

Chennai: A censure motion against the Jayalalithaa government’s decision to increase the price of rice under the public distribution system ended in anti-climax after the Congress, the move’s main sponsor, did not press for a vote, reports our special correspondent.

After more than two hours of acrimonious debate, Congress legislature party leader S.R. Balasubramoniyan said the Opposition’s intention was not to slam the Tamil Nadu government but to make it roll back the hike. “As the government is sticking to its guns, we are walking out in protest,” Balasubramoniyan, who was the first to give notice on the motion and spoke last after food minister Dhanapal’s reply, said. The Assembly erupted as he led party members from the House, with DMK legislators on their feet and those of the PMK, the CPI and the CPM also trooping out.

Speaker K. Kalimuthu immediately declared that since the Congress leader, who was the first to sponsor the motion, had walked out, “I rule that the motion is not pressed.”

Apart from Balasubramoniyan, Ponmudi of the DMK, the PMK’s G.K. Mani, CPM leader J. Hemachandran and the CPI’s G. Palanichamy spoke on the motion. Their common refrain was that Jayalalithaa, during her Andipatti byelection campaign and later in the Assembly also, had assured that price of rice under PDS will not be tinkered with.

“Can the sanctity of that assurance be violated'” they asked and said the hike, coming on top of a drought, has made it “unbearable for the toiling masses”. Jayalalithaa contended that Tamil Nadu was still the only state which sold rice at Rs 3.50 per kg for the first 10 kg of entitlement for family card holders.

Gurdwara member suspended

Chandigarh (PTI): The Punjab government “suspended” Dara Singh, a member of the Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission (sgjc) after he was allegedly caught at a police post during a brawl with two persons in an “inebriated condition” outside the commission office in Amritsar on Tuesday night.

Chief minister Amarinder Singh denied the allegations of the Shiromani Akali Dal spokesman that Dara Singh was whisked away or kidnapped from the commission’s office by some policemen in plain clothes.

Singh said a showcause notice was also being issued to Dara Singh for his removal from the commission as he was a government nominee.

He is amongst the three (Dara Singh, Kashmir Singh and Raghbir Singh) whom my government had reinstated after the Congress came to power”, he said. Singh added: “You cannot allow such a man to enter into a brawl on the roads of Amritsar”. Two persons had come to influence him in connection with a case, he said.

2 die as trolley, Shatabdi crash

Dehra Dun (PTI): Two persons were killed and two hurt when a tractor trolley collided with the New Delhi-Dehra Dun Shatabdi Express at an unmanned level crossing near Hardwar.

The accident happened between Aithal and Pathri stations around 11.15 am when the trolley got entangled with the engine. It was retrieved with gas cutters.

Hi-tech warships

Mumbai (PTI): The country’s first hi-tech Talwar-class warship, being constructed at St Petersberg in Russia, will be delivered by year-end, naval chief Admiral Madhavendra Singh said. “There is a slight delay in delivery of the warship as it has to be fitted with the latest state-of-the-art equipment,” Singh said. The trials have already been conducted in the Gulf of Finland.

Akali fraud case

Moga (PTI): An Akali Dal leader was arrested for a case of fraud against a finance company. Pandit Bhoom Raj, was charged with producing fake registration certificates and some other documents while taking money from the company to buy buses.

UP civil services

Allahabad (PTI): Allahabad High Court has directed the Uttar Pradesh Public Service Commission not to declare the final result of the PSC examination, 2001 and also not proceed on results of the preliminary test of combined state lower subordinate services examinations, 2002, till further orders. A division bench gave the direction on two writ petitions challenging the scaling system by UPPSC. It asked the UPPSC to file counter-affidavits.

Saudi driver ban

Dubai (PTI): Saudi Arabia has decided to ban expatriates, including Indians, from driving taxis within six months to provide jobs to Saudi nationals. The decision was taken by the Saudi de facto ruler Crown Prince Adullah Bin Abdul Aziz. The premier and commander of the national guard has given authorities six months to implement the order after which “no foreigner would be allowed to drive taxis under any circumstances.” The move will render jobless thousands of Indian expatriates currently work as limousine and other taxi drivers.

The Haryana state legal services authority will involve students from ninth to 12th standards for imparting legal literacy and awareness in their respective surroundings. They will be acquainted with legal aspects of evils like dowry and communal strife too.

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