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October 4, 2001 - October 4, 2001

Wary minorities prefer to wait and watch Thursday, October 4, 2001


HMEDABAD: Badly treated in the Keshubhai Patel regime, minorities in the state are playing safe and refraining from saying anything about the man who will tomorrow be Gujarat's chief minister, knowing his temper, strong biases and, of course, his RSS roots.

But as reality dawns, Modi emerges as a 'dangerous man' for them. They are already feeling less secure, and ask in disbelief, "Is it confirmed? Narendra Modi is CM?"

Ahmedabad youth president of the Bahujan Samaj Party Mohammad Irfan Shaikh says, "Compared to Keshubhai, Modi will prove a bigger danger for Muslims."

"At least Keshubhai's strings were in someone else's hand but Narendra Modi is his own master," he adds.

The infamous vitriolic tongue too has also not gone notice. "He will have to be more careful about what he says," says JV Momin. "As organisational chief, he could afford irresponsible utterances, but now in such a responsible position, he should be guarded," he suggests.

Badruddin Shaikh has not directly dealt with Modi, but has heard of his being a hard-liner. "He will have to change his attitude if he wants peace in the state," he says.

"By changing a man you cannot change a party's ideology," observes United Christian Forum's Samson Christian, who has spear-headed the Christian agitation against sporadic attacks on the community in Gujarat.

According to him, even when Keshubhai was directly involved in their crisis, he failed to deliver. "It is too premature to judge and we will only wait and watch," he says.

"Mohra badalne se ravaiyya to nahin badalta," (By changing the pawn you cannot change the attitude), remarks Gujarat zone president of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Mohammad Shafi Madni. Madni feels that not just the minorities but "the entire public had been harassed by the BJP and they don't stand a very good chance in Gujarat".

While many dismiss the change as the party's internal matter, there are views that suggest that Modi will first have to win the confidence of his own men and then move on to minorities and the rest. "Things are different when you rule a state, you have to keep in mind the economical and the law and order situation," says Momin.

Modi or Keshubhai, experience has told the minorities that the BJP is anti-minorities. We just want our rights and justice, just don't violate them", is the fervent plea.

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

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Rajkot in brief on Oct 4 2001 Thursday, October 4, 2001

oman commits suicide
RAJKOT: The widow of a Kargil martyr committed suicide on Tuesday apparently as a result of harassment by her in-laws. According to the Jetalsar police, Rasilaben, widow of Dhansukh Bhuva was killed during operation in the Kargil war, committed suicide as she was being harassed by her in-laws on the issue of aid given to her.
Infant raped
A 20-year-old youth raped a two-and-a-half-year-old girl at Ambedkarnagar. The youth h as been identified as Khalifa Rasul Ansari, while the girl was Shabana. The culprit lured her to a isolated place and raped her. The police have arrested Rasul and were interrogating him.
IT event
The Arvind Maniar Institute of Information Technology has decided to hold a IT event for three days between October 5 and 7. Children will be encouraged to take advantage of the event in morning hours from 9 am to 1 pm. The general public will be allowed to visit the show between 4 pm and 10 pm

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Colleges refuse admission on converted NRI seats Thursday, October 4, 2001

AHMEDABAD: Some self-financed engineering and pharmacy colleges are blatantly flouting a government order and refusing to admit students on seats converted from NRI to the payment category at the centralised admissions process. They have refused to accept fees till all litigations regarding NRI seats in the Gujarat High Court are resolved.

The move has put officials at the Centralised Degree Admissions Committee (CDAC) in a fix as students and parents come back to them when college officials turn them back. Worried parents flit in and out of the committee office at the L D College of Engineering as they can't understand why the college won't take their fees when the committee has cleared the admission.

There are nearly 330 NRI seats in the 30 self-financed institutions running degree and diploma courses. With another 320 seats in government colleges, the state has 650 such seats out of which only 13 have so far been filled by genuine NRIs. The rest have to be converted into payment seats.

Officials say according to a government order of September 5, which is following a Justice B C Patel judgment, all NRI seats not filled by genuine NRIs should be converted into payment seats. Self-financed institutions, which have moved High Court against the order, say they will go bankrupt if they don't get the extra revenue. Such institutions include all five engineering colleges of the Charutar Vidya Mandal at Vallabh Vidhyanagar and a couple of pharmacy colleges.

The technical education department has already issued letters to all colleges saying ction will be taken against them if they continue to not take fees. They are also planning to send contempt of court notices if the colleges don't give heed to it.

Confusion has been created by single bench judge Justice Rekha Doshit's order on September 7 which said NRI seats should be filled by the special NRI committee that was constituted by the government. However, officials say that such a committee would become functional only if vacant NRI seats are filled with students sponsored by NRIs. If the seats have to be shifted to the payment category, the committee does not come into the picture. All litigation has now been clubbed together and is being heard by Chief Justice D M Dharmadhikari so that the matter can be resolved once and for all.

The voice of dissent comes from Charutar Vidhya Mandal chairman C L Patel who believes self-financed colleges have not been heard adequately in the court. He also believes that the entire self-financed concept would fall apart if they don't get the extra income from NRI seats. "The mathematics is quite simple," Patel says. "If an NRI seat, which brings in Rs 2.5 lakh ($ 5,000) each year, is converted into a regular payment seat charging Rs 40,000, each institute will lose Rs 6 lakh per course each year. If I have seven courses, I lose Rs 42 lakh each year. Over four years, I would lose about Rs 2.4 crore, something no institution can afford. Why would we run the colleges if we have to bear such heavy losses?" he adds.

Patel also pooh poohs the argument that the conversion is part of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) norms. "The AICTE norms clearly state that the state governments have to fix the rules on how the vacant seats have to be filled. Accordingly, the colleges should be allowed to fill the seats as they wish. In fact, this is the practice in other states like Maharashtra and Karnataka, which are reaping the benefits for the last many years."

However, officials at CDAC say neither have they received a new order from the government nor has the High Court ordered a stay on the NRI seats for the colleges to not accept fees. They are, however, hoping that all litigations are resolved before the admission processes are completed so that seats are not wasted away.

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

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Charisma is what young ones expect in politicians Thursday, October 4, 2001

VADODARA: They may be the generation next kids who freak out in the fast life and chill out in jeans, but when it comes to their politicians most of them are happy with older leaders _ if they have the charisma and the required leadership qualities. Some, on the other hand, prefer young blood to lead the nation and bring in a certain dynamism in managing the country. Here is what some of the MSU students think:

Sushil Dobra, TY BCom
Political leaders should be young so that they are dynamic in thinking. Older politicians tend to be too tolerant and slow in reaction. Younger politicians should be given a chance to lead so that they get experience. There were many charges of corruption against Keshubhai, and yet he was never questioned. Demanding his resignation is a good move. He was ineffective as a leader. The need of the hour is to have a dynamic young CM as well as PM. Prime Minister Vajpayee is too patient with Pakistan, and instead of dealing strongly with cross-border terrorists Indians have remained calm. This is mainly due to the older generation at the helm. The youngsters believe in quick and direct action. We need young politicians to take India into the future.

Dhwani Master, TY BSc
Age should not be the factor in choosing a leader. Education, experience and calibre should be the deciding factor. A older politician has more experience and would be rational in his thinking than a younger one who might be rash.

Dinesh Nishad, FY BCom
Experience is important for all posts at the top. I believe the age of the politician is not important, but if he is experienced he would be a better leader. It is not necessary that politicians have to be young.

Hritu Maheswari, FY BCom, girls' college
Experience is important. A young and dashing leader is not enough. Atal Behari Vajpayee is old but he is a seasoned politician, and is therefore able to manage the country. Age is not important, calibre and experience is necessary.

Milind Sandanshu TY BCom
Political leaders in India are old as they do not get a chance to lead when they are young. They should be given a chance to prove their mettle as leaders when they are young. Younger politicians can sustain and grow with more hands-on experience.

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

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Modi elected BJP legislature party chief Thursday, October 4, 2001

GANDHINAGAR: Narendra Modi was unanimously elected leader of Gujarat BJP legislature party at its meeting held here on Thursday morning.

Outgoing Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel proposed the 51-year old BJP leader's name for the post and was seconded by Suresh Mehta.

Patel had earlier submitted his resignation to Governor Sunder Singh Bhandari at 3.30 pm on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day he had agreed to support party general secretary Narendra Modi as his successor bringing to an end the race that began over the weekend.

Bhandari later told newsmen that the resignation had been accepted, but he asked Patel to continue till alternative arrangements are made.

Patel, who was sworn in chief minister for a second term on March 4, 1998, quit after being asked by the party high command in the wake of reverses in the recent bye-elections to Sabarkantha Lok Sabha seat and Sabarmati Assembly Seat.

He had become chief minister first time in March, 1995, but had to quit in October the same year following a revolt by Shanker Singh Vaghela.

Patel, who was fiercely opposed to Modi as his successor after being asked to quit in the wake of by-election defeats, agreed to propose the latter's name at the BJP legislature party meet here Thursday convened for electing the new leader.

"Party comes first, individuals come next. I will support Modi as chief minister," Patel told reporters after discussions with central party observers Kushabhau Thakre and Madan Lal Khurana who had come to ensure a smooth transition.

Modi, a friend-turned-foe of the outgoing chief minister, was seen holding Patel's hands as if in gratitude after news was out that Patel had been brought around.

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

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