|HOME | ELECTION | REPORT|
|October 13, 1999||
Akalis opt of Cabinet, spark speculation
The National Democratic Alliance seems to have developed cracks with senior Akali leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, who was to take oath as a Cabinet minister, not turning up for the swearing-in ceremony. This has sparked speculation.
Dhindsa, a Rajya Sabha member, received a letter of invitation early this morning informing him about his appointment as a Cabinet minister.
The October 12 letter, signed by Cabinet Secretary Prabhat Kumar and addressed to Dhindsa, said, ''As desired by the prime minister, I am writing to say that the President has been pleased to appoint you as a Cabinet minister... The President will administer to you the oaths of office and of secrecy.... Kindly make it convenient to arrive at Rashrapati Bhavan 15 minutes earlier than the time (1030 hours)''.
However, Punjab Chief Minister and Akali Dal-Badal president Parkash Singh Badal, addressing a press conference, denied there was any differences between his party and the Bharatiya Janata Party. ''We have opted out of the government like the Telugu Desam Party and the Indian National Lok Dal.''
The Akali Dal-B had two ministers in the previous government -- Surjit Singh Barnala as Cabinet minister and Sukhbir Singh Badal as minister of state. However, both had lost the Lok Sabha election and the party could send only two relatively junior members to the Lok Sabha.
Dhindsa, who was also present at the press conference, said, ''There were many factors which dissuaded me from joining the Cabinet.'' He, however, did not specify them.
He refused to comment when asked whether he was not offered the ministry of his choice. According to party sources, Dhindsa was offered the programme and implementation ministry. The Akali Dal was insisting on food and fertilisers ministries, held by Surjit Singh Baranala in the previous government.
ELECTION 99 |
SINGLES | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | HOTEL RESERVATIONS | WORLD CUP 99
EDUCATION | PERSONAL HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | FEEDBACK