KAPIL SIBAL Union minister for science and technology versus MULAYAM SINGH YADAV Uttar Pradesh chief minister
"The Constitution is our Gita. Such a government cannot continue under the provisions of the Constitution."
"The move to dislodge my Government is against the very spirit of the Constitution. I'll fight to save democracy."
EPILOGUE: As always, what happens in Uttar Pradesh today will impact Delhi tomorrow.
"The Congress is more worried about its own existence than about the people of Uttar Pradesh. It is simply trying to mislead the people there."
Rajnath Singh, BJP president
"The Congress would like to have its own nominee as the new President, pliable and ready to do their bidding, unlike the present incumbent, who has a mind of his own."
J. Jayalalithaa, AIADMK supremo
"If millions of people are on the wrong side of the law, it means that the law is bad."
S. Jaipal Reddy, Union urban development minister
"My first preference is Essar, my second preference is Essar, my third preference is Essar."
Arun Sarin, CEO, Vodafone
"I am deeply humbled and touched by the thought (of the presidency). But I am not worthy of such a distinguished position."
Amitabh Bachchan, actor
THE BUZZ OF THE WEEK
Former UN under secretary-general Shashi Tharoor need have no regrets about losing out on the top job. His immense diplomatic skills are likely to be used by the UPA Government which may offer him a posting in South Block.
STAYED: By the Supreme Court, the death sentence of Santosh Kumar Singh, held guilty for the rape and murder of Priyadarshini Mattoo.
DIED: Pandit Bishan Dass Sharma, 83, Sangeet Natak Akademi award winner and one of Delhi's oldest instrument-makers who invented the transistor sitar, tamboori, swarsangam, Rikhi veena, Mohan veena and Vishwa veena.
CHALLENGED: By the Bihar Government in Patna High Court, the acquittal by a CBI court of RJD supremo and Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav and his wife, former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi, in a disproportionate assets case.
WON: By the Services, a total of 59 gold medals in the 33rd National Games in Guwahati. They clinched gold in men's hockey and also in basketball.
Tigers Back on the Prowl
NETTED: The coast guard displays seized ammunition
DELHI Recent seizures by the Indian Navy, the Coast Guard and police indicate that Sri Lanka's embattled Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) may go back to using Tamil Nadu as a logistics base for raw material for improvised explosive devices (IED).
On February 14, the Coast Guard intercepted an LTTE boat and apprehended three cadres carrying grenades, ammunition and liquid chemicals in eight 55-litre drums, meant for fashioning IEDs. A day earlier, the navy had intercepted a fishing vessel carrying over 800 kg of IED-making equipment bound for Sri Lanka. Across the Palk Straits, the Lankan Navy caught seven similar shipments from India in the past 10 months, the highest in recent times.
The 55,564 sq km area between the Palk Straits is among the most heavily guarded Indian coastline. "In the past few years, the LTTE has been dependent on south India only for medicines as they have had other sources like Cambodia, Laos, South Africa and Ukraine to procure arms and ammunition," says security analyst B. Raman. But reverses against the Sri Lankan forces, tighter international action and more pro-active sea patrolling means traditional supply routes have become difficult to access.
More disturbing are reports of the Tigers tapping Naxalite arms suppliers and activating an underground network of logistics suppliers across the country. Last month, the Mumbai Police arrested Miraj Shahib Ismail, a trader from Null Bazar who had reportedly supplied the guerrillas with five tonne of steel ball bearings to be used in IEDs. He was part of a chain of five suppliers stretching to Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu. While the security agencies need to be complimented, they must not become complacent. The Tigers never are.
-By Sandeep Unnithan
FUTURISTIC AGENDA: Manmohan and Yumkella
DELHI Development diplomacy is back on India's global agenda. On February 15, the Vienna-based United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) unveiled its first global centre for South-South Industrial Cooperation in Delhi to facilitate closer ties with India.
"We have chosen India to be the first destination for the South-South Centre and we are confident that India's technical expertise in fields such as information technology can be used for the benefit of developing countries in Africa and other regions," Kandeh Yumkella, director-general of UNIDO told INDIA TODAY.
Yumkella, who launched the centre along with the Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath, said that the centre may help India's political diplomacy to regain support amongst countries of the developing world. The idea was first mooted when Yumkella met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Nath in March 2006. It was with the personal commitment of the prime minister that the centre is being opened here.
Interestingly, Manmohan was the secretary-general and commissioner of the South Commission in Geneva in the late 1980s.
For starters, the co-operation may pave the way for India's contribution in areas like it, renewable energy, low cost housing and automobile components to reach out to close to 90 developing countries. It may also help the Government's larger scheme of nurturing a support base amongst countries of Africa and Latin America, which will be instrumental when India contests for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council in 2010 as well as for a permanent seat at the high-table.
-By Saurabh Shukla
AHMEDABAD A Bajrang Dal worker, Babubhai Patel alias Babu Bajrangi, has threatened multiplex theatre owners with dire consequences if they screen Parzania, a film on a Parsi couple whose son went missing in this city during the 2002 Gujarat riots, without his "clearance".
The Gujarat Government has assured complete protection to theatres during the screening. But theatre owners are not very keen to screen the film because Parzania is expected to fetch poor business.
Bajrangi is one of the accused in the Naroda Patiya massacre of Muslims by a Hindu mob during the riots. He is popular as a "rescuer" of Hindu girls who elope with Muslim boys, earning him a Robin Hood kind of image amongst the Hindu community.
Bajrangi says, "After a turbulent period, Gujarat is on the path to progress. This film appears to be an attempt to destroy peace by inflaming communal passions." Rahul Dholakia, the director of Parzania, retorts: The Gujarat Government is scared of the Bajrang Dal. They don't want to screen a film that they think will create riots. Cinema is always the effect of riots, not the cause of it." A real war indeed.
-By Uday Mahurkar
OBJECT OF DESIRE
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