Railway Board Axed
The government sacked the entire Railway board and appointed Mohinder Singh Gujral, general manager of Western Railway, the new chairman. In a dramatic move, the new Railway Minister Kedar Pande summoned the chairman of the board, M Menezes, and two other members to the Rail Bhawan and ordered them to proceed on three months leave. The board consists of five members but there were two vacancies at present. Besides Gujral, Pande named three members to the board. K P Jayaram is now member, mechanical; N N Sarma has been given charge of engineering; and B B Lal becomes member, traffic. One member is still to be named.
Congress for farmers
Sharad Joshi, leader of the Shetkari Sanghatana spearheading the week-old farmers’ agitation in Maharashtra’s Nashik district, has gone on an indefinite fast at the Nasik Central Jail in support of the agitators’ demand for higher price for sugarcane and onions. The opposition parties appeared to be gearing themselves up to intensify the stir next week. Even the local Congress-I has taken sides with the farmers. Maharashtra’s Education Minister Baliram Hire, who is in charge of Nashik district, will lead a Congress (I) delegation to Chief Minister A R Antulay to urge him to concede the agitating farmers’ demand for Rs 300 per tonne of sugarcane.
Jawaharlal Nehru University was closed indefinitely following a continued dharna by the students outside the Vice-Chancellor’s house, demanding revocation of suspension order against a student leader. The acting Vice-Chancellor and rector, K J Mahale, ordered closure since he feared violence. The students have been asked to leave the campus hostel by Tuesday evening. The students have been agitating against the suspension order on Rajan James, a PhD student, since November 4.
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