Saturday, June 30, 2012

புதுச்சேரியில் கோயில் யானைக்கு சிகிச்சை

புதுச்சேரியில் கோயில் யானைக்கு சிகிச்சை

பதிவு செய்த நாள்: ஜூன் 30,2012,06:46 IST

புதுச்சேரி: புதுச்சேரி மனக்குல விநாயகர் கோயில் யானைக்கு கால் அழுகல் நோய் ஏற்பட்டுள்ளதாக வனத்துறை டாக்டர்கள் தெரிவித்துள்ளனர். 

புதுச்சேரியில் உள்ள மனக்குல விநாயகர் கோயில் யானை லட்சுமி(18). இந்த யானைக்கு கடந்த 20 நாட்களுக்கு முன் கால் அழுகல் நோயால் அவதியுற்றது கண்டுபிடிக்கப்பட்டது. 

இ‌தனடிப்படையில் லெட்சுமிக்கு சிகிச்சை அளிக்க வன‌த்துறை கோயில் அதிகாரிகளிடம் பரிந்துரைத்தனர். 

சிறப்பு கால்நடை டாக்டரிடம் ஒப்படைக்கப்பட்டு சிகிச்சை மேற்கொள்ள நடவடிக்கை எடுக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது.


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TN likely to ban 'blessings' by elephants


First Published: 03 Aug 2010 10:57:56 AM IST

CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu government is likely to ban the age-old practice of elephants 'blessing' pilgrims in temples.

Wildlife officials have asked temple authorities to put an end to the practice as trainers torture the elephants, compelling them to 'bless' pilgrims, sometimes leaving them injured.

Moreover, elephants like humans suffer from diseases like asthma and tuberculosis and it might spread to pilgrims, the authorities said.

Chief wildlife warden R Sundarajaru had recently issued a circular instructing the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR and CE) department, which is maintaining temples, to stop the practice.

The ban might also reduce stress on the jumbos. The Wildlife department had been conducting "relief camps" for elephants for a month every year to relieve them from stress.

These camps are being conducted at the elephant sanctuary at Mudumalai forest in Nilgiris district, where the department had a training centre for jumbos.


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Tamil Nadu may ban 'blessings' by temple elephants

Press Trust of India | Updated: August 03, 2010 13:45 IST

Chennai: Tamil Nadu government is likely to ban the age old practice of elephants 'blessing' pilgrims in temples.

Wildlife officials have asked temple authorities to put an end to the practice as trainers torture the elephants, compelling them to 'bless' pilgrims, sometimes leaving them injured.

Moreover, elephants like humans suffer from diseases like asthma and tuberculosis and it might spread to pilgrims, the authorities said.

Chief wildlife warden R Sundarajaru had recently issued a circular instructing the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR and CE) department, which is maintaining temples, to stop the practice.

The ban might also reduce stress on the jumbos. The Wildlife department had been conducting "relief camps" for elephants for a month every year to relieve them from stress.

These camps are being conducted at the elephant sanctuary at Mudumalai forest in Nilgiris district, where the department had a training centre for jumbos.

The elephants were being fed with nutritious food along with medicines to prevent the animals from contracting diseases like tuberculosis. These camps, run for the past seven years, had proved successful, the authorities said.

Wildlife department had also asked temple authorities not to keep the elephants on concrete floors as it would damage the foot of the animals.

HR and CE officials said they were discussing the ban.

"Any decision should not hurt the religious sentiments of the pilgrims," they said.

Meanwhile, Hindu Bakta Sabha, a religious outfit, had opposed the ban.

Murugavel, one of the office bearers of the Sabha said getting blessing from elephants is considered sacred for Hindus and any move to ban it would be against religious sentiments.


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Monday, June 25, 2012

Handwriting plays havoc in Civil Judges examination

Handwriting plays havoc in Civil Judges examination


MADURAI, June 25, 2012

Examiners struggle to decipher answers written by aspirants to judicial post

Learning to write in a neat and, more importantly, legible handwriting is a must even in the era of computers and objective type examination patterns.

This fact has been amply proved in the recently held Civil Judges recruitment examination conducted on the basis of essay type questions for better assessment of the candidates' suitability to the nature of the job.

According to sources in the Madras High Court, which conducted the examination on its own without the assistance of Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission, one of the most difficult tasks faced by the examiners (District Judges) as well as supervisors (High Court Judges) was to decipher the "awful" handwriting of the candidates.

One of the aspirants to the post had recently filed a writ petition in the High Court seeking revaluation of his answer script. Armed with a copy of the answer sheet, he claimed to have been originally awarded eight marks for the answer given by him to question number 2 in Law Paper-II. But the number '8' was overwritten with a zero thereby making him fail in that paper. During the hearing of the case, a Division Bench of Justices N. Paul Vasanthakumar and M. M. Sundresh said that they could not understand anything of what the petitioner had written.

They asked the petitioner's counsel to read the answer. But he too could not. Then, the answer script was circulated among two other lawyers who also failed to read the lengthy answer beyond two lines.

When the counsel suggested that the petitioner himself could be asked to read the answer given by him, the judges rejected it by stating that legible handwriting was a sine qua non (essential element) of written examinations as the candidates could not be allowed to sit next to every other examiner and explain their answers at the time of evaluation.

Ultimately, the Bench dismissed the writ petition on the ground that the recruitment notification does not provide for revaluation of answer scripts.

The court sources went on to state that the examiner had actually awarded zero marks to the candidate after a careful analysis of the answer which was deciphered after much toil and found to be totally incorrect.

As per question number two in Law Paper II, the candidates were asked to frame issues and write a judgement in a fictitious civil dispute. Though the question clearly stated that the suit must be presumed to have been filed within four months of entering into a contract, the writ petitioner had answered that the suit was liable to be dismissed as it was barred by limitation (the period within which a case could be filed).

"A suit will be barred by limitation only if it is filed after three years. But by exhibiting utter ignorance of law, the candidate had written a wrong answer that the case had to be dismissed on the ground of limitation. He deserves nothing more than zero marks not only for his illegible handwriting but also for giving a factually wrong answer," the source added.


BCI Resolution: Lawyers must renew Bar License every 5 years

BCI Resolution: Lawyers must renew Bar License every 5 years

Bar & Bench News Network

Jun 07, 2012

The Bar Council of India has on June 1, 2012 passed a resolution making it compulsory for all lawyers to renew sanads (license to practice) every five years, reports TOI.
Bar & Bench spoke to BCI Chairman Manan Kumar Mishra. He confirmed that the BCI has made it mandatory for the lawyers to renew their licenses every five years. All the lawyers are required to renew their licenses within 6 months from the date of passing of the resolution i.e. June 1, 2012. Mishra also said that a minimum fee of Rs. 600 will be charged every 5 years out of which Rs. 200 will go to the BCI and the remaining will go to the State Bar Councils.
Mishra, talking about the reason for this decision, said, "A large number of lawyers enroll with the bar councils and then later get involved in other private services, businesses etc. Therefore, this renewal process will help us keep a check on such lawyers and maintain a record of all lawyers".
Mishra also told that the State Bar Councils are also facing lot of difficulty in implementing the various welfare schemes for practicing lawyers
Mishra further said, "It has been reported to BCI that 5-10 percent of lawyers practicing in various courts hold fake law degrees. This will help us eliminate such fake lawyers".
As per this resolution, advocates will be required to furnish their details on a performa. Advocates are required to fill up Application form for Renewal prescribed by the BCI in two copies. One copy of the same should be furnished to the State Bar Council and one copy should be sent to the BCI.
Recently, the BCI has also proposed to construct a new BCI web-portal to provide online database of law students, teachers and institutions imparting legal education in the country. According to the BCI, if law students and teachers are registered with the BCI through the proposed web-portal, fake degree holders will not be able to enroll themselves on the Rolls of State Bar Councils.


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Lawyers to renew licence every 5 years

TNN Jun 7, 2012, 05.29AM IST

PUNE: The Bar Council of India has passed a resolution making it mandatory for lawyers to renew their sanads (licence to practise) every five years.

The decision, taken on June 1, is to ensure that lawyers don't get engaged in private services, said Manan Kumar Mishra, BCI chairman, at a press conference here on Wednesday.

As per the resolution, lawyers will have to pay Rs 600 as renewal fees within six months, otherwise they will not be entitled to practise in the country.

According to Mishra, a large number of lawyers do private services, businesses, etc after obtaining sanads from the respective state bar councils. This should stop as the councils were facing difficulty in implementing welfare schemes for practicing lawyers.

The BCI is the apex registering and licensing authority in the country. It governs the working of all subsidiary state-level bar councils and is a statutory body constituted under the Advocates Act, 1961.

Vitthal Konde-Deshmukh, chairman of the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa, said he would inform all the district bar associations in Maharashtra and Goa, which have 1.27 lakh lawyers, about renewal of the sanads after receiving a copy of the BCI resolution.


Saturday, June 23, 2012

171 LPG consumed per year by Vice President Residence

குடியரசு துணைத் தலைவர் வீட்டில் ஒரு ஆண்டுக்கு 171 சமையல் கியாஸ் சிலிண்டர்கள் 

Posted by: Mathi

சனிக்கிழமை, ஜூன் 23, 2012, 10:21 [IST]

டெல்லி: குடியரசு துணைத் தலைவர் ஹமீத் அன்சாரி ஓராண்டில் தமது வீட்டில் 171 சமையல் கியாஸ் சிலிண்டர்களை பயன்படுத்தி இருப்பதாகக் கூறப்படுகிறது.

பொதுவாக வீடுகளுக்கு விநியோகிக்கப்படுகிற சமையல் கியாஸ் சிலிண்டர்களைப் பொறுத்தவரையில் ஒரு சிலிண்டர் வாங்கி 21 நாட்கள் கழிந்த பிறகுதான் அடுத்த சிலிண்டருக்கு பதிவு செய்ய முடியும். ஆனால் இந்த விதிமுறைகள் அனைத்துமே குடியரசு துணைத் தலைவர் உள்ளிட்ட பிரபலங்களுக்காக மீறப்பட்டிருக்கின்றன.

ஓர் ஆண்டில் அதிக சமையல் கியாஸ் சிலிண்டர் பயன்படுத்தியவர்களின் பட்டியலின்படி பார்த்தால், டெல்லி பிருதிவிராஜ் சாலையில் உள்ள பிரபல தொழில் அதிபர் நவீன் ஜிண்டாலின் இல்லத்துக்கு 369 சிலிண்டர்கள் விநிநோகிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளன. ஒரு நாளைக்கு ஒரு சிலிண்டருக்கும் அதிகமாக பயன்படுத்தி இருக்கிறார்கள்.

குடியரசு துணைத் தலைவர் ஹமீது அன்சாரியின் அதிகாரபூர்வ இல்லத்தில் 171 சிலிண்டர்களும், அமைச்சர் பிரணீத் கவுரின் வீட்டில் 161 சிலிண்டர்களும், டெல்லியில் உள்ள உத்தரகாண்ட் முதல்வர் விஜய் பகுகுணாவின் வீட்டில் 83 சிலிண்டர்களும் பயன்படுத்தப்பட்டு உள்ளன.

பாரதீய ஜனதா மூத்த தலைவர் ராஜ்நாத் சிங்கின் வீட்டுக்கு 80 சிலிண்டர்களும், முன்னாள் மத்திய மந்திரி எம்.எஸ்.கில் வீட்டுக்கு 79 சிலிண்டர்களும், பாரதீய ஜனதா எம்.பி. மேனகா காந்தி, காங்கிரசைச் சேர்ந்த சுரேஷ் கல்மாடி ஆகியோரின் வீடுகளுக்கு தலா 63 சிலிண்டர்களும், சமாஜ்வாடி தலைவர் முலாயம் சிங்கின் வீட்டுக்கு 58 சிலிண்டர்களும், ஐக்கிய ஜனதாதள தலைவர் சரத்யாதவின் வீட்டுக்கு 49 சிலிண்டர்களும், பகுஜன் சமாஜ் தலைவர் மாயாவதி, லோக் ஜனசக்தி தலைவர் ராம்விலாஸ் பஸ்வான் ஆகியோரின் வீடுகளுக்கு தலா 45 சிலிண்டர்களும், ராஷ்டிரீய ஜனதாதள தலைவர் லாலு பிரசாத்தின் வீட்டுக்கு 43 சிலிண்டர்களும், முன்னாள் மத்திய அமைச்சர் ஆ.ராசாவின் வீட்டுக்கு 42 சிலிண்டர்களும் சப்ளை செய்யப்பட்டு இருக்கின்றன.

English Summary: The government says IOC , HPCL and BPCL will lose Rs 43,000 crore selling subsidised LPG cylinders and so the government is now looking to cap LPG cylinders per family at 6. But our parliamentarians and MPs are misusing these LPG subsidies.


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Ministers, industrialists among top LPG consumers in Delhi


NEW DELHI, JUNE 22: Too much subsidised cooking gas (LPG) is being consumed by country's VVIPs, according to the transparency portal launched on Friday by State-owned oil firms.

The Vice-President, Mr Hamid Ansari's official residence in New Delhi consumed 171 subsidised LPG cylinders in the year to May 31, while the Minister of State for External Affairs, Ms Preneet Kaur, used up 161 cylinders.

The Uttarakhand Chief Minister, Mr Vijay Bahuguna used 83 refills of 14.2-kg cylinder at his Mathura Line residence in the national capital, BJP leader Mr Rajnath Singh consumed 80 cylinders and former Union Minister Mr M S Gill 79.

The portal showed that industrialist Mr Naveen Jindal's 6, Prithvi Raj Road residence in the capital received 369 refills, or more than one cylinder a day, through two LPG connections — one in name of his father late Mr O.P Jindal and another in name of Ms Radha Devi Rawat.

The Oil Minister, Mr S Jaipal Reddy, who launched the portal so that people can track their bookings as well as see if someone was jumping the queue to get a replacement before him, got 26 refills or more than two per month. As per norms, general public is not allowed to book a refill within 21 days of delivery of a cylinder.

"This (large number of refills) shows I am a popular leader," Mr Reddy said in lighter vein. "I get so many visitors everyday... sometimes 200 to 300. Naturally, consumption will be high."

While the same argument may be true for most of the public figures, there might also be instances of dealers fraudulently showing bookings in certain names and actually diverting the subsidised bottles to commercial establishments.


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Politicians, industrialists among top LPG consumers in Delhi

Press Trust of India | Updated: June 23, 2012 14:20 IST

Politicians, industrialists among top LPG consumers in Delhi

New Delhi: Too much subsidised cooking gas (LPG) is being consumed by country's VVIPs, according to the transparency portal launched today by state-owned oil firms.

Vice President Hamid Ansari's official residence in New Delhi consumed 171 subsidised LPG cylinders in the year to May 31, while Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur used up 161 cylinders.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna used 83 refills of 14.2-kg cylinder at his Mathura Line residence in the national capital, BJP leader Rajnath Singh consumed 80 cylinders and former Union minister M S Gill 79.

The portal showed that industrialist Naveen Jindal's 6, Prithvi Raj Road residence in the national capital received 369 refills, or more than one cylinder a day, through two LPG connections - one in name of his father late OP Jindal and another in name of one Radha Devi Rawat.

Oil Minister S Jaipal Reddy launched the portal so that people can track their bookings as well as see if someone was jumping the queue to get a replacement before him. He himself got 26 refills or, more than two per month.

As per norms, general public is not allowed to book a refill within 21 days of delivery of a cylinder.

"This (large number of refills) shows I am a popular leader," Mr Reddy said in lighter vain. "I get so many visitors everyday... sometimes 200 to 300. Naturally, consumption will be high".

While the same argument may be true for most of the public figures, there might also be instances of dealers fraudulently showing bookings in certain names and actually diverting the subsidised bottles to commercial establishments.

Commercial users are supposed to buy the fuel at market rate which is Rs. 396 higher than the price of the subsidised unit. 

Besides providing a history of refills ordered and delivered to consumers in the country, the transparency LPG portal lists out high consumption consumers. A majority of the top 100 consumers of LPG in the national capital are politicians.

The Oil Ministry in a statement said reports suggesting misuse of subsidy, based on number of LPG cylinders supplied as per consumption data from LPG Transparency Portal were factually incorrect.

"As per the current rules and regulations there is no limit on the number of cylinders consumed by any individual," it said.

To rationalise consumption of subsidised LPG cylinders, the ministry has proposed to limit their use by supplying a fixed quota per household as well as making rich ineligible for receiving subsidised cylinders.

"While this proposal is under consideration, the launch of LPG Transparency Portal is another initiative that intends to bring about transparency in the entire LPG supply chain by providing access to LPG supply data to all the LPG consumers and civil society," the statement said.

"It is expected that proactive use of this portal will bring about efficiency in LPG supplies, thereby enabling the ministry to improve the supply of subsidised LPG to its citizens," it added.

BJP MP Maneka Gandhi got 63 refills in the year, the same number as Suresh Kalmadi of Congress. SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav consumed 58 refills at this residence in the national capital.

BSP chief Mayawati used 45 bottles, the same as Ram Vilas Paswan. JD-U's Sharad Yadav received 49 cylinders, Syed Sahanawaz Hussain (BJP) 56, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot 45, Lalu Prasad Yadav (RJD) 43 and former telecom minister A Raja used up 42 cylinders.


Friday, June 22, 2012

MGR Vs. Sivaji Ganesan: The duo dominates Indian Cinema


Publication: THE TIMES OF INDIA, Chennai, Date: Jun 10, 2012, Section: Times City, Page: 4


Kamini Mathai | TNN

In the real world, it's been more than a decade since Sivaji Ganesan passed away, and more than two since M G Ramachandran died. But to their fans, the actors are still alive in spirit, the movies still make them laugh and cry. And, surprisingly, the rivalry between the fans of the two actors continues just as it was in the 1950s and 60s.

If you ask the fans of the two superstars of Tamil cinema to stand together for a photograph, the answer is a firm no. "We cannot pose with the fans of 'the other person'," says Murali T, 51, who works for a bank, and a Sivaji fan. "They are our enemy," says V S Shiva Perumal, 45, a hard core fan, or as he says, devotee of MGR.

To the two groups, the boundary lines are clear. Sivaji's fans always thought of him as a class act; to MGR's fans he still is a mass hero.

For Sivaji fans, the movies make the man. All 305 of them. "We love the movies. They are excellent and his acting is impeccable," says Murali, who adds that the fans recently got together to form a Nadigar Thilagam Film Appreciation Society. It plans to screen Sivaji movies every month and bring together the artists who worked in them to analyse them further.

Murali says that because the fans are only there for the movies, that are screened every two months at Shanti Theatre, the actor finds new fans. "While most fans are in their 40s and 50s, you have others still in their teens," he says. Almost as if the fan-dom is inherited.

Like Anirudh V Rangarajan, a class 10 student from Vidya Mandir, who was introduced to Sivaji movies by his father. "When 'Karnan' was re-released this March, I saw it seven times. The first time, because my father asked me to go, but the other six because I loved it," says Anirudh.

In the world of the MGR fan, it's not so much the actor that they adore, but the man of action. So, even though he was hero in only 136 films, they are enough to teach you lessons for life, they say. Ask them about his movies, and you are given an earful about the great man he was. "Did you know that up until the day he died, the kitchen fire in his house was never put out? He gave food to everyone and provided us messages to follow from his films – don't tell lies, honour your parents. We watch his movies to learn about MGR," says Perumal, who runs a printing press.

Unlike the Sivaji club, where the movies are screened once a month and usually at the actor's family-run theatre Shanti, MGR's movies run to houseful shows every week in several theatres across Chennai. While Sivaji's movie screenings are a more sober affair, with fans greeting each other politely, at the theatres showing MGR movies, there are firecrackers, paal abhishekams, dancing and music. "You would think it was a new movie releasing," says S Vijayan, fan and editor of a monthly on the life of MGR.

"Sometimes, the prints of the movies are so bad that you cannot even tell what is happening on the screen. But that has not stopped us from whistling, dancing and shouting out the dialogues," says Perumal. They are now gathering funds to restore some of the old prints. "A few are in such bad shape that we are at risk of losing them forever," he adds.

At this point, the Sivaji fan, politely interjects that the reason for the extra fervour in the MGR theatre is that most fans have political aspirations. "They want to get in good with the All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) as MGR is the party's founder," says a Sivaji fan.

The MGR fan doesn't try to hide his aspirations. "We wouldn't mind being recognised for the work we do," says Perumal. "We gave out pamphlets in support of the AIADMK in the last elections, which we are sure contributed to the win," he adds.


MGR And Sivaji Ganesan Continue To Entertain Audiences With Their Onscreen Exploits And Offscreen Charm

The duo may have had an on-screen rivalry but behind the scenes they were known to admire each other. At a public gathering, MGR referred to Sivaji as his 'thambi', and as chief minister, he showed a foreign delegation the Sivaji movie 'Thillaanaa Mohanambal' as he felt it best showcased Tamil culture.

MGR always stood for the upliftment of the poor in his movies

Sivaji had no overall theme in his movies, which is why he failed in politics. But he believed in the script and acted in a variety of roles, from a murderer to a patriot

The star actors acted in only one movie together; In 'Koondukili' (left), Sivaji played the villain


Every week is a party for the MGR fans, but the 'devotion' pervades every moment of their lives, insist the fans. "We never say his name, just call him thalaivar," says one fan. "When his movies are shown on TV, we make sure we are dressed properly and sit in a respectful manner, even if we are in our own homes. We feel he is watching us," says another.

Young fan of Sivaji Ganesan, Anirudh Rangarajan

While Sivaji's fans always prided themselves in their maturity, one could say they were a little more excited than usual during the release of the thespian's movie 'Karnan' in its digital format this March. All the women who came for the show on May 1, what would have been the actor's 60th wedding anniversary, were given thalis and turmeric to celebrate the happy occasion.




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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

கலாம் பதவியைத் தேடவில்லை, பதவிதான் அவரைத் தேடி வந்தது!

கலாம் பதவியைத் தேடவில்லை, பதவிதான் அவரைத் தேடி வந்தது! 

புதன்கிழமை, ஜூன் 20, 2012, 14:54 [IST]

Posted by: Sudha

2002ம் ஆண்டு அப்துல் கலாம் குடியரசுத் தலைவரானபோது அந்தப் பதவிதான் அவரைத் தேடி வந்தது. அவர் பதவியைத் தேடிப் போகவில்லை என்று கூறியுள்ளார் முன்னாள் மத்திய வெளியுறவு அமைச்சரும், மூத்த காங்கிரஸ் தலைவர்களில் ஒருவருமான நட்வர்சிங்.

இதுகுறித்து ஹிண்டு பத்திரிக்கையில் அவர் எழுதியுள்ள கட்டுரையிலிருந்து சில பகுதிகள்...

தனது சுயசரிதை நூலில், மறைந்த பி.சி.அலெக்சாண்டர் கூறுகையில், எனக்கு குடியரசுத் தலைவர் பதவி கிடைக்காமல் போனதற்கு நடவர்சிங்தான் காரணம் என்று கூறியிருந்தார். 2002ம் ஆண்டு குடியரசுத் தலைவர் பதவி அவருக்குக் கிடைக்காமல் போனது குறித்து இப்படி அவர் கூறியிருந்தார். மேலும், அப்போதைய பிரதமரின் (வாஜ்பாய்) முதன்மைச் செயலாளராகவும், தேசிய பாதுகாப்பு ஆலோசகராகவும் இருந்த பிரிஜேஷ் மிஸ்ராவையும் அவர் சாடியிருந்தார். நானும், மிஸ்ராவும் சேர்ந்துதான் அலெக்சாண்டருக்குப் பதவி கிடைக்காமல் செய்து விட்டதாக அவர் வருத்தப்பட்டிருந்தார்.

உண்மையில் இது நகைப்புக்குரியது. நாங்கள் இருவரும் தனியாக நிறுவனம் எதையும் நடத்தவில்லை. குடியரசுத் தலைவர் தேர்தலில் பல வழிமுறைகளை கடைப்பிடித்தாக வேண்டியது அலெக்சாண்டருக்கே தெரிந்திருக்கும்.

ஆனால் அலெக்சாண்டர் ஒரு நல்ல மனிதர். அருமையான சிவில் சர்வன்ட் ஆக இருந்தவர். அதேசமயம் எதையும் கணக்குப் போட்டுப் பார்த்து நடைபோடக்கூடியவர்.

அவருக்கு 1992ம் ஆண்டு துணைக் குடியரசுத் தலைவர் பதவி கிடைக்க நான் கடுமையாக முயன்றேன். ஆனால் அது ஈடேறவில்லை. இது மறைந்த பிரதமர் நரசிம்மராவுக்கு நன்றாக தெரியும். அந்த ஆண்டு ஜூலை மாதம் தேர்தல் நடந்தது. தேர்தலுக்கு ஒரு வாரத்திற்கு முன்பு எனது வீட்டில் ஒரு டின்னர் வைத்தேன். அதில், அடல் பிகாரி வாஜ்பாய், கே.ஆர்.நாராயணன், ஷீலா தீட்சித் உள்ளிட்டோர் கலந்து கொண்டனர். சந்திரேசகர் டெல்லியில் இல்லாததால் வர முடியவில்லை.

முதலில் வாஜ்பாய்தான் வந்தார். அப்போது கே.ஆர்.நாராயணன் அவருக்குப் பின்னால் வந்து கொண்டிருந்தார். அதைப் பார்த்த எனது மனைவி, வாஜ்பாயிடம் சென்று முனுமுனுத்த குரலில், நீங்கள் நாராயணனை ஆதரிப்பீர்களா என்று கேட்டார். அதைக் கேட்ட வாஜ்பாய் ஆமாம் என்று கூறுவது போல தலையை அசைத்தார்.

டின்னரின்போது நாராயணனுக்கு எதிரே வாஜ்பாய் அமர்ந்திருந்தார். நான் அப்போது வாஜ்பாயின் தீவிர ரசிகன். அவர் மிக அருமையான மனிதர், அதி புத்திசாலித்தனமானவர். நான் நேரடியாகவே வாஜ்பாயிடம் கேட்டேன், குடியரசுத் துணைத் தலைவர் பதவிக்கு நாராயணனை நிறுத்தினால் உங்களது கட்சி ஆதரிக்குமா என்று. அதற்கு வாஜ்பாயும், ஆதரிப்போம் என்று நேரடியாகவே பதிலளித்தார்.

இதையடுத்து டின்னர் முடிந்ததும் நான் அலெக்சாண்டரிடமும், பிரதமரிடமும் இதைத் தெரிவித்தேன். அதைக்கேட்டு அலெக்சாண்டர் ஒன்றும் பேசவில்லை. பிரதமர் நரசிம்மராவ், நான் சொன்னதை மனதில் வைத்துக் கொள்வதாக தெரிவித்தார்.

உண்மையில் நரசிம்மராவும் சரி, அலெக்சாண்டரும் சரி கே.ஆர்.நாராயணை பெரிதாக எடுத்துக் கொள்ளவில்லை. ஆனால் அடுத்த 24 மணி நேரத்தில் நாராயணனை யாராலும் தடுக்க முடியாது என்பது தெரிந்து போயிற்று. அவர் குடியரசுத் துணைத் தலைவரானார். ஐந்து ஆண்டுகள் கழித்து குடியரசுத் தலைவராவும் உயர்ந்தார்.

1997ல் தான் நாம் சுதந்திரம் வாங்கி 50 ஆண்டுகளை பூர்த்தி செய்திருந்தோம். அந்த சமயத்தில் தலித் ஒருவர் குடியரசுத் தலைவரானது பெருமையான, பொருத்தமான விஷயம்.

ஏமாற்றத்தில் இருந்த அலெக்சாண்டரை 1992ம் ஆண்டு மகாராஷ்டிர ஆளுநராக நியமித்தார் நரசிம்ம ராவ். 97ல் மீண்டும் ஆளுநரானார். 2002ம் ஆண்டு ஓய்வு பெற்றார்.

ஆளுநர் பதவியிலிருந்து வெளியே வந்த அலெக்சாண்டர் 2002 குடியரசுத் தலைவர் தேர்தலில் போட்டியிட விரும்பினார். இதுகுறித்து அவர் தனது சுயசரிதை நூலில், நானாக பதவிக்கு ஆசைப்படவில்லை. தேசிய ஜனநாயகக் கூட்டணிதான் என்னை அழைத்தது என்று கூறியுள்ளார். அதற்கு அவருக்கு முழு உரிமை உண்டு. ஆனால் வியப்புக்குரிய ஒன்று என்னவென்றால் அவர் காங்கிரஸ் கட்சியை பயன்படுத்திக் கொள்ள நினைத்ததுதான்.

அலெக்சாண்டரை தேசிய ஜனநாயகக் கூட்டணி வேட்பாளராக்க முடிவு செய்திருப்பதை அறிந்த காங்கிரஸ் தலைவர் என்னையும், மன்மோகன் சிங்கையும் அழைத்து, நடக்கும் நிகழ்வுகளை மிகவும் உன்னிப்பாக கவனிக்குமாறு கேட்டுக் கொண்டார். நாங்களும் அமைதியாக வேடிக்கை பார்க்க ஆரம்பித்தோம்.

அப்போது குடியரசுத் தலைவராக இருந்த கே.ஆர்.நாராயணன், எங்களை அழைத்துப் பேசினார். அப்போது அவர் கூறுகையில், நான் மீண்டும் போட்டியிட விரும்பவில்லை என்றார். அதேசமயம், தேசிய ஜனநாயகக் கூட்டணியின் வேட்பாளராக அலெக்சாண்டர் போட்டியிட்டால் நான் போட்டியிடத் தயார் என்றார். அது எங்களுக்குக் குழப்பத்தைக் கொடுத்தது. அதேசமயம், நாராயணனுக்கு காங்கிரஸ் தலைவரின் ஆதரவு அப்போது இல்லை.

எங்களுக்கு அப்போது இரண்டு தெளிவுகள் தேவைப்பட்டன - ஏன் தேசிய ஜனநாயக் கூட்டணி நாராயணனை எதிர்த்தது, காங்கிரஸ் தலைவர் ஏன் அலெக்சாண்டரை ஆதரிக்கவில்லை என்பதே அது.

நான் அப்போது பிரிஜேஷ் மிஸ்ராவுடன் நல்ல தொடர்பில் இருந்தேன். அவர் பல காரணங்களைக் கூறினார். முக்கியக் காரணம் என்னவென்றால் நாராயணனின் உடல் நிலை. அவருக்கு அப்போது பக்கவாதம் வந்திருந்தது. இரு கால்களும் கிட்டத்தட்ட செயலிழந்த நிலையில் இருந்தன.

மேலும் நாராயணன், பிலிப்பைன்ஸ் நாட்டுக்குச் செல்ல வேண்டிய பயணத்தை விரும்பவில்லை, ரத்து செய்தார். அதேசமயம், தனது மகள் தூதராக இருந்த ஸ்வீடனுக்கு செல்ல விரும்பினார். மேலும், 2002ம் ஆண்டு ஏப்ரல் 2ம் தேதி டெல்லி வந்த மேகவதி சுகர்ணோபுத்திரியை அவர் வரவேற்க மறுத்தார். அது கடமையிலிருந்து தவறிய செயல் என பிரிஜேஷ் மிஸ்ரா விமர்சித்தார்.

அலெக்சாண்டரை காங்கிரஸ் தலைவரை ஆதரிக்க மறுத்ததற்கு அரசியல் தான் காரணம். தனிப்பட்ட காரணம் என்று எதுவும் இல்லை. அலெக்சாண்டர் தேசிய ஜனநாயகக் கூட்டணியின் வேட்பாளர். அவரைப் போய் எப்படி காங்கிரஸ் ஆதரிக்க முடியும் என்பது காங்கிரஸ் தலைவரின் வாதம்.

மேலும், நாராயணனும் சரி, அலெக்சாண்டரும் சரி, இருவருமே கேரளத்தவர்கள். ஒரு கேரளத்தவர் குடியரசுத் தலைவராக இருந்த நிலையில் மீண்டும் ஒரு கேரளத்தவரையே தேர்வு செய்ய காங்கிரஸ் தலைவர் விரும்பவில்லை.

இப்படி அடுத்தடுத்து நிகழ்வுகள் வேகமாக போய்க் கொண்டிருந்தன. 2002ம் ஆண்டு மே 19ம் தேதி பிரதமர் வாஜ்பாயை காங்கிரஸ் தலைவர் சந்தித்துப் பேசினார். அப்போது நாராயணனை நாங்கள் ஆதரிக்க முடிவு செய்திருக்கிறோம் என்று வாஜ்பாயிடம் காங்கிரஸ் தலைவர் தெரிவித்தார். ஆனால் வாஜ்பாயோ, நாராயணனை மீண்டும் குடியரசுத் தலைவராக்க நாங்கள் விரும்பவில்லை என்றார்.

இந்த நிலையில் பக்கவாத சிகிச்சைக்காக ஊட்டி போயிருந்த நாராயணன் மே 22ம் தேதி டெல்லி திரும்பினார். அவரை காங்கிரஸ் தலைவர் சந்தித்து, 2வது முறையாக உங்களைத் தேர்ந்தெடுக்க காங்கிரஸ் விரும்புவதாக தெரிவித்தார். 2 நாட்கள் கழித்து பிரதமர் வாஜ்பாய், நாராயணனை சந்தித்து அடுத்த ஐந்து ஆண்டுகளுக்கு நீங்களே தொடர தேசிய ஜனநாயகக் கூட்டணியில் ஆதரவு இல்லை என்று கூறினார்.

இதற்கிடையே நாராயணன் மீண்டும் பதவியில் நீடிக்கும் ஆர்வத்தை வேகப்படுத்த ஆரம்பித்தார். இதனால் குழப்ப நிலை ஏற்பட்டது. இருப்பினும் தனக்கு வேகமாக ஆதரவு குறைவதைக் கண்ட நாராயணன், பதவியிலிருந்து ஓய்வு பெற முடிவு செய்தார். அதை உறுதிப்படுத்தும் விதமாக குடியரசுத் தலைவர் பதவிக்கு மீணடும் கே.ஆர்.நாராயணன் போட்டியிட மாட்டார் என்று குடியரசுத் தலைவர் மாளிகையிலிருந்து அறிக்கை வெளியானது.

இதற்கிடையே, துணைக் குடியரசுத் தலைவராக இருந்த கிஷன் காந்த் குடியரசுத் தலைவர் பதவிக்கு நிறுத்தப்பட்டால் ஆதரிப்பதாக காங்கிரஸ் தலைவர் தெரிவித்தார்.

ஜூன் 8ம் தேதிதான் மிக முக்கிய நாள். அன்று பிரிஜேஷ் மிஸ்ரா எனக்குப் போன் செய்தார். தன்னை வந்து சந்திக்குமாறு அவர் கோரினார். அவரை பார்த்தபோது, குடியரசுத் தலைவர் பதவிக்கு கிஷன் காந்த்தை தேசிய ஜனநாயகக் கூட்டணி ஆதரிப்பதாக தெரிவித்தார். மேலும் என் முன்னிலையிலேயே வாஜ்பாய்க்கும் அவர் போன் செய்தார். அவரிடம், நட்வர்சிங் இங்கே இருக்கிறார். கிஷன் காந்த்துக்கு காங்கிரஸின் ஆதரவை அவர் உறுதிப்படுத்தியுள்ளார் என்றார்.

மேலும், பிரதமர் ஒரு மதிய உணவு நிகழ்ச்சிக்கு ஏற்பாடு செய்துள்ளதாகவும், தேசிய ஜனநாயகக் கூட்டணித் தலைவர்கள் அதில் பங்கேற்பதாகவும், அவர்களிடம் அவர் ஒப்புதல் பெறவுள்ளதாகவும் தெரிவித்தார். இதை முடித்த பின்னர் மாலையில், பிரதமரும், காங்கிரஸ் தலைவரும் கிஷன் காந்த்தை நேரில் சந்தித்து முடிவைத் தெரிவிப்பார்கள் என்றும் மிஸ்ரா தெரிவித்தார்.

இதை நான் உடனடியாக காங்கிரஸ் தலைவரிடம் தெரிவித்தேன். கிஷன் காந்த்துக்கும் ஏற்கனவே இது தெரிவிக்கப்பட்டு விட்டது. இந்த நிலையில் அன்று மாலை 3 மணியளவில் உடனே வந்து தன்னை பார்க்குமாறு அழைத்தார் பிரிஜேஷ் மிஸ்ரா. அப்போது அவர் என்னிடம் கூறுகையில், தேசிய ஜனநாயகக் கூட்டணித் தலைவர்களிடம் கிஷன் காந்த்தை நிறுத்த போதிய ஆதரவு கிடைக்கவில்லை என்றும் இதுதொடர்பாக பிரதமர் எடுத்த தீவிர முயற்சிகள் பலனளிக்கவில்லை என்றும் கூறினார்.

இதையடுத்து அலெக்சாண்டரின் பெயர் மீண்டும் முதலிடத்திற்கு வந்தது. எனக்கு என்ன பேசுவது என்று தெரியவில்லை. இந்த புதிய திருப்பம் குறித்து காங்கிரஸ் தலைவரிடம் தெரிவித்தேன். ஆனால் அலெக்சாண்டர் குறித்த காங்கிரஸ் தலைவரின் கருத்தில் மாற்றம் ஏற்படாது என்பதும் எனக்குத் தெரியும்.

இந்தநிலையில் தேசிய ஜனநாயகக் கூட்டணி தன்னைக் கைவிட்டது குறித்து அறிந்து உடைந்து போனார் கிஷன் காந்த். அவருக்கு அது பெரும் அதிர்ச்சியைக் கொடுத்தது. அடுத்த ஒரு மாதத்தில் அவர் மாரடைப்பு ஏற்பட்டு மரணமடைந்தார். நான் அவரது வீட்டுக்கு போனபோது கிஷன் காந்த்தின் 104 வயது தாயார் தனது மகனின் தலையை எடுத்து தனது மடியில் கிடத்தி அழுதபடி இருந்த காட்சி என்னை உலுக்கி விட்டது.

அலெக்சாண்டர் பெயர் மீண்டும் முதலிடத்தில் வந்த நிலையில் திடீரென, முலாயம் சிங் யாதவ், அப்துல் கலாமின் பெயரைப் பரிந்துரைத்தார். அது முற்றிலும் யாருமே எதிர்பாராத ஒரு பெயர். கலாமை சாதாரண முறையில் கூட யாரும் பரிந்துரைத்திருக்கவில்லை, அவர் ஒரு 'டார்க் ஹார்ஸ்' கூட கிடையாது. ஆனால் அவர்தான் கடைசியில் குடியரசுத் தலைவரானார். அவர் பதவியைத் தேடி வரவில்லை, பதவிதான் அவரைத் தேடிப் போனது.

டெல்லியில் பதவியேற்க கலாம் வந்தபோது, பிரமோத் மகாஜன் அவரைச் சந்தித்தார். இரண்டு கோரிக்கைகளை அவர் கலாமிடம் வைத்தார் - காலர் வைத் கோட் போட்டுக் கொள்ள வேண்டும், ஹேர்ஸ்டைலை மாற்ற வேண்டும் என்பதே அது. அதைக் கேட்ட கலாம் கூறினார், மிஸ்டர் மகாஜன், காலர் வைத்த கோட் ஓ.கே, ஆனால் ஹேர்ஸ்டைலை மாற்றுவது குறித்து பேச்சுக்கே இடமில்லை என்றார் சிரித்தபடி.

English Summary: Former Union external affairs minister Natwar Singh has said that, A.J.P Abdul Kalam's name was proposed by Mulayam Singh Yadav in 2002. He also said that, his was a totally unexpected name. But Kalam, who was not even considered a dark horse, made it to Rashtrapati Bhavan. He did not seek the office. The office sought him, he added.


Also read the related stories in THE HINDU

The year of the dark horse


June 19, 2012

SQUARED OFF: A.P.J. Abdul Kalam came to Rashtrapati Bhavan after K.R. Narayanan was persuaded to opt out of a second term and Vajpayee failed to win support for Krishan Kant, a situation which brought P.C. Alexander back in the reckoning. Photo: P. V. Sivakumar
SQUARED OFF: A.P.J. Abdul Kalam came to Rashtrapati Bhavan after K.R. Narayanan was persuaded to opt out of a second term and Vajpayee failed to win support for Krishan Kant, a situation which brought P.C. Alexander back in the reckoning. Photo: P. V. Sivakumar

P.C. Alexander. Photo: V. V. Krishnan
P.C. Alexander. Photo: V. V. Krishnan

Krishan Kant. Photo: Mohammed Yousuf
Krishan Kant. Photo: Mohammed Yousuf

K. R. Narayanan. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar
K. R. Narayanan. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

After much political bargaining, the 2002 presidential election produced a winner in A.P.J. Abdul Kalam — he did not seek the office; the office sought him

In his autobiography, the late P.C. Alexander holds me responsible for denying him the presidential chair in 2002. He also takes several swipes at Brajesh Mishra, at the time Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister and National Security Adviser. He states that the two of us colluded to keep him out without the knowledge of our political leaders. This is laughable. The two of us were not running a private enterprise. We were following instructions.

P.C. Alexander was a good man. He was an outstanding civil servant. He was also ambitious in a calculating way. I went all out to support his bid for the Vice-President post in 1992 with the knowledge of Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao, whose candidate Alexander was. A week before the election in late July, I hosted a dinner at my Vasant Vihar residence. My guests included Atal Bihari Vajpayee, K.R. Narayan, Shiela Dikshit and Vithal Gadgil. Chandra Shekhar could not attend as he suddenly had to leave Delhi.

Vajpayee was the first to arrive. When my wife saw Narayanan walking in, she asked Atalji in a whisper if he would support Narayanan. He nodded his assent. At dinner Atalji sat opposite Narayanan. I have been a staunch admirer of Atalji. He is devoid of guile and malice. I put a straight question to him — if Narayanan was a candidate for the Vice-President's post, would his party support? After a pause he said it would. Immediately after dinner I telephoned Alexander and the Prime Minister. Alexander did not take me seriously but the Prime Minister listened and said he would keep in mind what I had said. Both Narasimha Rao and K. Karunkaran thought poorly of Narayanan, as did Alexander, but within 24 hours it became clear that Narayanan was unstoppable. Five years later Narayanan entered the Rashtrapati Bhavan.1997 marked 50 years of Independence. It was in the fitness of things that a Dalit should be the Rashtrapati.

In 1992, Narasimha Rao appointed Alexander Governor of Maharashtra. In 1997 he managed to get a second term that ended in 2002. In his autobiography he writes that he did not seek the presidentship but was invited to do so by the NDA. This, to say the least, is disingenuous.

In his pursuit of the presidential chair he displayed an extraordinary lack of political judgement. He became the NDA's candidate. That he was free to do. What was astonishing was his taking the support of the Congress for granted. The Congress president had asked Dr. Manmohan Singh and me to keep an eye on the fast moving developments related to the election of the President. We did so discreetly and quietly. President Narayanan said when we met him that he was not sure if he would seek a second term. A little later he said he would contest if Alexander was the candidate of the NDA. This lack of clarity was disconcerting. Nevertheless he had the full backing of the Congress president.

Political stands

Two issues need clarification — why the NDA was opposed to Narayanan and why the Congress was not supporting Alexander. I was in close touch with Brajesh Mishra. He gave several reasons, the main being Narayanan's poor health. Narayanan had probably had a stroke and lost mobility of both legs. It was given out that he had viral fever. The President had refused to go on a state visit to the Philippines but had no objection to going to Sweden where his daughter was the ambassador. He also refused to meet Megawati Sukarnoputri on April 2, 2002. This, Brajesh said, was dereliction of duty.

The Congress president had nothing personal against Alexander, who had served her mother-in-law for over three years. The objection was political. How could the Congress support the candidate of the NDA? It was as simple as that. The second reason was that both President Narayanan and Alexander hailed from Kerala. One Kerala man could not follow another. Other States too had claims.

Events were moving fast. The Congress president met Prime Minister Vajpayee at 7 Race Course Road on May 19. She confirmed that Congress supported President Narayanan. The Prime Minister told her that the NDA was unable to agree to a second term for Narayanan. President Narayanan returned to Delhi on May 22 after undergoing Ayurvedic treatment at Ootacamund.On May 28 the Congress president called on him to renew her support for a second term. Two days later Prime Minister Vajpayee saw the President and told him that the NDA was not in favour of his continuing for another five years.

Alexander, in his book, writes, "At this stage a totally unforeseen development took place, which contained all the ingredients of a palace plot — the sudden projection of Vice-President Krishan Kant as a candidate for the Presidential elections. The principal characters behind this new move were Natwar Singh and, most unexpectedly, Brajesh Mishra, principal secretary to the Prime Minister".

For a man of Alexander's experience and stature to make such a preposterous observation does not do him credit. Chandrababu Naidu's support for Krishan Kant was not a secret. Krishan Kant had been Governor of Andhra Pradesh. He was on intimate terms with Naidu.

Throughout his laboured narrative he relentlessly hammers in his theme — 'Natwar and Brajesh' were hell bent on eliminating him from the race. Both Brajesh and I were following instructions. Alexander keeps harping that we were flouting the policies of our leadership. It is fantastic nonsense to talk of the 'Natwar-Brajesh duo' acting on our own.

He even quotes India Today, which carried a story that a deal had been made — "Krishan Kant for President and Natwar Singh for Vice-President." No one bought that story because it was pure fiction. Alexander laments, "How such a major decision could be taken independently by Mishra and Natwar and then hurriedly communicated to Kant and through him to Naidu without consulting the top leaders of the NDA baffles one's imagination. Equally baffling was the fact that Natwar Singh could convey such a major decision without the concurrence of the CWC." He should have known that I was a member of the CWC and kept the Congress president informed on day to day developments. I was also meeting the Vice-President several times a day.

To suggest that both of us were working on our own and carrying on a vendetta against Alexander is too outlandish. His whining and self-righteousness was out of character but it was, at the time, all too visible. Normally he conducted himself with dignified restraint. We all have our bad days. At a crucial time in his life Alexander was not fortune's favourite.

President Narayanan's dithering did not help matters. Uncertainty was creating confusion. Finally he was persuaded to opt out. A three-line statement was issued from Rashtrapati Bhavan. "There have been recent media reports suggesting that President K.R. Narayanan may be the candidate for the Presidential election of 2002. This is to clarify that he is not a candidate." It took much time to draft these three lines. The draftsmen were distinguished political pundits from the right and the left.

The Congress declared support for the Vice-President. It was now evident that Alexander's chances had receded. The NDA realised this.

The crucial day was June 8. Brajesh telephoned me in the forenoon asking me to meet him in his office in South Block. He informed me that the NDA supported Vice-President Krishan Kant. In my presence he telephoned Atalji. 'Natwar is here and confirmed Congress support for Krishan Kantji." Brajesh told me that NDA's decision to support the Vice-President would be taken at a lunch being hosted by the Prime Minister. The others at the lunch would be M/s Advani, Jaswant Singh, George Fernandes and Pramod Mahajan. This would be a formality. In the evening the Prime Minister and the Congress president would meet the Vice-President to convey their decision.

I immediately informed the Congress president. Krishan Kant was already aware of this decision, through Naidu. At about 3 p.m. on June 8 Brajesh asked me to see him urgently. When I met him he said that the Prime Minister had not succeeded in convincing his lunch guests to opt for the Vice-President. P.C. Alexander was back in the reckoning. Here we had a situation which combined high-voltage muddle and mess. I told Brajesh that I would immediately convey what he had told me to the Congress president, but I was certain she would not change her mind about Alexander.

When Krishan Kant learnt of the NDA abandoning him, he was stunned and devastated. He died of a heart attack a month later. The Congress president arrived at the Vice-President's house to pay homage. The saddest sight was seeing the 104-year-old mother sitting with her son's head on her lap. There is no greater tragedy in life than for parents to cremate their children.

A.J.P Abdul Kalam's name was proposed by Mulayam Singh Yadav. A totally unexpected name. But Kalam, who was not even considered a dark horse, made it to Rashtrapati Bhavan. He did not seek the office. The office sought him.

When Kalam arrived in Delhi to take his oath, Pramod Mahajan met him, requesting — it is said — that he get some closed-collar coats made and change his hair style. Kalam said, "Mr. Mahajan, closed-collar coats yes. Hair style not negotiable." 

(K. Natwar Singh is a former Minister of External Affairs)


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