Pondy state voters list


March 13 2002

The Dept of Elections which has finally published the voters’ list relating to all the 30 Assembly segments in Pondicherry and displayed them in the premises of registration and assistant registration officers, has also arranged for publication of the list in a few other office premises.

An official communication said these lists would be accessible for a week from today for the public at transport, civil supplies and registration depts, municipalities and commune panchayats, collector’s office, all taluk offices and also at the village administrative offices besides the Govt Romain Rolland Library.

Pondicherry has 21 constituencies while Karaikal has 6, Mahe has 2 and Yanam has 1 constituency.

The total voters strength has been finalised at the end of a special revision which has projected a picture of 6,70,459 of which women are 3,42,515 and men voters are 3,27,944.

DMK walkout from Tamil nadu Assembly

Chennai (Tamil nadu)

March 15 2002

The DMK, the Congress Jananayaga Peravai and the Dalit Panthers of India walked out of the Tamil Nadu Assembly today, irked over certain remarks made by C. M. Jayalalithaa against former transport minister and now DMK MLA K Ponmudi.

Jayalalithaa said the transport department, under the charge of Ponmudi during the DMK regime, was "ruined" because of his "inept and inefficient" handling, pushing it to the bottom.

"The dept was like a garland caught in the hands of a monkey," she said and repeated it again, despite protests from the DMK benches and counter-protests from the treasury benches.

"Ponmudi is unfit to criticise the new govt, especially the transport dept," she said raising her voice, much to the delight of the treasury benches.

As Ponmudi rose to make some submission, he was shouted down by the ruling party members.

Leader of the Opposition K Anbazhagan rose to say that the remarks of the Chief Minister against the former minister "really hurt us" and there was no point in their remaining in the House and led his members out of the House.

Carved stones handed over to PrimeMinister's special envoy


March 15 2002

Sponsors of Ram temple movement today performed a symbolic religious ceremony to donate two carved stones for their proposed temple here to a special envoy of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in a peaceful but anti-climax end to their year-long programme.

Amid unprecendented security and chanting of `Jai Sri Ram' by a couple of hundered Ram bhakts, the `shila daan' was performed by Ram Janambhoomi Nyas president Ramchandra Das Paramhans, who handed over the two carved stones to Shatrughan Singh, in charge of the Ayodhya cell in the Prime Minister's Office.

In a last minute change of programme, the handing over of the two stones was done after a brief `puja' at Digambar Akhara, the residence of Paramhans, more than a kilometre away from the acquired land near the disputed site and half a km away from the originally planned spot at Ramkot Mohalla.

The first stone was given to Singh, who flew in from Delhi shortly before the ceremony which was held an hour and fifteen minutes behind the scheduled auspicious time at 2.15 p.m.

Shortly later VHP said the handing over of the stones to a Central Govt official indicated the Government's acceptance in principle of construction of a Ram temple in the disputed land.

Paramhans refused to give the stones to Faizabad divisional commissioner A K Gupta and had demanded that the Prime Minister send a special emissary.

The idea of giving the second stone was even dropped but angry Ram devotees forced VHP leader Ashok Singhal to accept their demand that the second stone be also handed over.

With the Supreme Court banning any religious activity on the acquired land weighing heavily on both the administration and the temple protagonists, hectic negotiations continued till the last minute.

Police probing into Panchayat chief's murder case


Mar 15 2002

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has said the police was investigating all possible angles into the murder of Iduvai Panchayat president Rathnaswamy of CPI(M) who was lynched by an unidentified gang Tuesday night near Tiruppur town.

Chief Minister assured that the culprits would be arrested soon. She also said that a case under Section 302 of the CrPC had been registered and added that the FIR did not identify the culprits.

Speaking on call attention motion, CPI(M) member Karunakaran said that Rathnaswamy had earned the goodwill of various political parties and the people due to his good work. Further, he said Rathnaswamy had been elected as Panchayat member for the second time due to the goodwill earned by him.

The C. M. informed that the local political parties had called for a bandh in Iduvai today and the situation was under control. The Iduvai Panchayat president was found murdered in Tiruppur.

The body of Rathnaswamy was found hanging from a tree with a handbill stuck near it stating several reasons for his killing. It is said that the straight-forward functioning of the Iduvai Panchayat chief had not gone down well with some persons.