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October 31, 2001 - November 1, 2001

'With choodiyan we also wear kada' Thursday, November 1, 2001

News Source:Times News Network
SOMNATH: Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Wednesday warned Pakistan against any kind of "mischief" on Indian soil and asserted that any adventure would be repelled in the same way.

In a clear reference to President Musharraf's recent remarks on television against Indian aggression, when he had said that Pakistanis had not worn bangles, Vajpayee said, "With 'choodiyan' we also wear 'kada' (a solid metal bracelet worn by men). Though we do not speak such language, we will not be cowed down by any kind of threat."

Addressing a large gathering here after unveiling the Morarji Ghat and participating in the golden jubilee celebrations of the rebuilding of Somnath temple, Vajpayee said, "So far we have maintained restraint, but at the same time we have kept our Army on alert and our scientists ready to meet any kind of eventuality. We will protect the integrity of India at any cost."

Vajpayee said, "Kashmir is an integral part of India and will continue to be so despite best efforts by subversive elements to divide India. In 1947 India was divided but it will not be divided again." He dubbed the first division "unfortunate".

"India is united and ready to face any kind of challenge", Vajpayee said. 'Let no one have any kind of doubt on this." Warning Pakistan and all those indulging in terrorist and divisive activities, Vajpayee pointed out, "All those who tried to demolish the Somnath temple failed to accomplish their mission. The same fate awaits those who try to divide India into groups."

Paying glowing tributes to Sardar Patel on his 125th birth anniversary, he said, "Had Sardar Patel not been there India would not have been united. The British wanted to divide India into 500 small states, but it was due to the efforts of Sardar that India is united today."

Praising the people of Gujarat who had withstood five natural calamities during the past five years, Vajpayee said Gujarat had resolved to move ahead and reconstruction of Kutch after the quake was an example of Gujarati resilience. "The people of Gujarat have not learnt to accept defeat in any sphere of life."

Remarked Vajpayee, "Gujarat has been reconstructed in a manner similar to the reconstruction of Somnath temple each time it was attacked."

Playing to the galleries, and responding to demands made by Chief Minister Modi, Vajpayee said the Centre would provide aid for developing tourist centres in the state. The region had been demanding broad gauge rail connection to Somnath and the work would be completed soon.

Union home minister Advani said the British had not only given freedom to India and Pakistan but also sown seeds of division. Yet, India could withstand it, which was its was united and integrated as a nation.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]

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Sanjay Joshi as new BJP national secretary Wednesday, October 31, 2001

News Source: Times News Network
AHMEDABAD: In a move that will have immense implications for the ruling BJP and is bound to please Chief Minister Modi, Gujarat BJP's all-powerful organisation secretary and RSS nominee in the state, Sanjay Joshi, has been elevated to the post of BJP national general secretary.

Modi had held the post before his triumphant return to the state as CM. The move may help Modi gain better control of the party unit in Gujarat though it will create a void in the organisation.

A bachelor and engineering graduate, Joshi had replaced Modi as the state organisation secretary when the latter was banished from the state at the behest of then chief minister Keshubhai Patel. Soon, he established complete control over the party with the blessings of the RSS and the BJP leadership.

Though many see it as an elevation for Joshi, it is a fact that many BJP leaders were gunning for him after the party's successive defeats in panchayat and municipal polls, and the recent by-elections to Sabarkantha Lok Sabha and Sabarmati Assembly constituencies.

Joshi's exit will leave a void in the BJP at a time when another general secretary, Gordhanbhai Zadaphia, has been inducted as home minister into the Modi ministry. This leaves the third secretary, Jayantibhai Kevat, to assist state BJP chief Rajendrasinh Rana in organisational work.

Though Joshi's new assignment has been hailed by those owing allegiance to the Sangh Parivar, the rival group has viewed it as a punitive step, saying the high command has finally held someone in the organisation responsible for the party's waning popularity.

Another theory doing rounds in BJP circles is that national BJP president Jana Krishnamurthy did not wish to reinstate Venkaiah Naidu in the organisation and was in search of an alternative which he found in Sanjay Joshi, whose proximity to senior leader Advani is well known.

Joshi had carved a niche for himself in Gujarat by making serious efforts to secure 117 seats in the Assembly elections in 1998 and 20 seats in the Lok Sabha polls held a year later. He preferred to function from behind the scene, unlike his flamboyant predecessor, and was one of the most elusive politicians as far as the media was concerned.

Operating from his cubicle at the BJP headquarters in Khanpur, Joshi kept a close watch on political developments and used to be quite curt with dissidents, be it Jaspal Singh or Suresh Mehta.

Joshi was seen as a rock-solid supporter of Keshubhai and helped him stay firmly in saddle till the recent charge of guard. He had a major role in Gandhinagar when Modi was sent from New Delhi to replace Keshubhai. It was only because of his considerable influence over party legislators that a rebellion was averted.

When contacted, state BJP chief Rajendrasinh Rana said, "Sanjaybhai was a role model of value-based politics and will shine at the central level."

The national BJP president has also appointed Mansukhbhai Vasava, a tribal leader from South Gujarat as secretary, Dr Devendra Pradhan as vice-president and Sukumar Nambiar as treasurer.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]

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PM to visit Somnath on Nov 01 Wednesday, October 31, 2001

AHMEDABAD: Prime Minister Vajpayee will visit Somnath on Wednesday to be the chief guest at the concluding function of the Somnath Jyotirling Pran-Pratishtha Golden jubilee celebrations.
During his hectic schedule, between 11.30 am and 1.30 pm, the prime minister will have a 'darshan' of the Somnath temple and will garland the statue of Sardar Patel. He will also address a gathering on the occasion.
Vajpayee will unveil the foundation stone plaque at the Morarji Desai ghat and will dedicate a drinking water pipeline project for the benefit of Somnath pilgrims. Morarji Desai had helped immensely in the development of Somnath. His last relics were immersed in Trivedi Sangam at Prabhas. The Somnath Trust has decided to renovate and rename Triveni ghat as Morarji ghat.
Various programmes were organised during the Golden Jubilee year. On May 13, while launching the Golden Jubilee celebrations, Union home minister Advani released a commemorative volume called 'Shree Somnath: Yugvarti Punarnirman'. Now on the day of the Golden Jubilee concluding function, the prime minister will release the Golden Jubilee publication of 'Shri Somnath: Sanskriti-Tirthnirman'.
Both these volumes were edited by Vishnubhai Dave and contains authentic information on the history of Somnath and Prabhas, information on the reconstruction of the Somnath temple and the present and future development of Somnath Tirth.
Former president Rajendra Prasad had performed the Jyotirling Pran-Pratishtha ceremony on May 11, 1951, which was held under the 'acharyapad' of Tarktirth Laxmanshastri Joshi. A Marathi book called 'Shree Somnath Tirth', written by the late Gautambua Pathak, contains the vivid narration of the Jyotirling Pran-Pratishtha ceremony performed in 1951 under Tarktirth Laxmanshastri Joshi.
The Shree Somnath Trust has prepared and printed its first Gujarati edition to be released by Vajpayee, which is a historic reference volume of the original material. Kishore Pathak, son of Gautambua Pathak, will also be present on the occasion.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]

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Dance programmes planned at Somnath Wednesday, October 31, 2001

News Source: Times News Network
AHMEDABAD: Renowned dancers Sonal Mansingh, Darshana Zaveri, Parul Shah and Aavishkar Group will participate in the Nrityotsav-Shardotsav to be held at Somnath on the occasion of the Golden jubilee celebration of Shree Somnath Jyotirling Pran-Pratishtha Mahotsav on Wednesday and Thursday.
Shree Somnath Trust has undertaken to develop Krishna Nijdham Prasthan Tirth covering two sacred places association with the last phase of the Avtar of Lord Krishna namely Bhalka-Tirth and Dehotsarg. In this context, the trust has planned to hold Nrityotsav and Shardotsav in this Hari-Har Tirth coinciding with the concluding ceremony of the Shree Somnath Jyotirling Pran-Pratishtha Golden Jubilee Celebrations. TheNrityotsav and the Shardotsav will be held under the joint auspices of cultural departments of government of India and government of Gujarat and the Shree Somnath Trust.
On Wednesday, Sonal Mansingh will present 'Jay Somnath' Nrityanjali along with her dance troupe. Aavishkar dance group will present devotional folk dances of Gujarat and Anuradha Paudwal known as a devotional singer will present Shivanjali programme of devotional songs.
On Thursday, which is the Sharad-Purnima day, Darshana Zaveri, of the Zaveri sisters fame, who are known for Manipuri dances will perform 'Maharas and Manipuri dances' along with dance troupe. Prof. Parul Shah of the Anjali memorial committee, Vadodara along with Aruna Choksi will present 'Shri Antaryami' programme of dance, ras and garba depicting Lord Krishna's life.
The Nrityotsav and the Shardotsav will be held near Digvijay Dwar behind the Sardar Vallabhbhai statue in Somnath. The chairman of Shree Somnath Trust Dineshbhai Shah will preside over these functions, while Union home minister L K Advani and Chief Minister Narendra Modi will be the guests of honour.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]

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Prisoner gives escorting policeman the slip Wednesday, October 31, 2001

AHMEDABAD: Two policemen have been arrested in connection with the escape of a dreaded drug trafficker who was sentenced to life imprisonment and lodged at Sabarmati jail.
The Shahibaug police arrested armed head constable Kesrisinh Fatehsinh Solanki and armed police onstable Sudhakar Naranbhai Karajkar for allegedly 'facilitating' the getaway and booked them for negligence on duty.
Mohammad Hanif Mohammad Siddiq escaped from police custody from near civil hospital where he had been brought for a routine check-up on Monday afternoon.
He was arrested by the city crime branch in 1998 for trafficking of 'charas'. He was sentenced to life imprisonment four months back.
A complaint was lodged at the Shahibaug police station by Assistant Sub-inspector Kanabhai Nathabhai who was escorting him from jail. The policeman stated that Mohammad Hanif escaped from the road opposite the Old PG hostel in a waiting Maruti van with three persons inside.
Sources say the prisoner reportedly expressed a desire to go home and was to be taken there when he fled around 11.40 am.

News Source : The Times of India [India's best Newspaper]

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