SC Ministry Demand
The scheduled caste and scheduled tribe parliamentarians’ convention after its two-day deliberations, has demanded separate ministries at the Centre and in states for implementing welfare schemes. A political resolution adopted by the convention also demanded that they should be given representation in the ministries in proportion to their population. A resolution on land reforms, which generated considerable heat, was adopted with an amendment, which called for nationalisation of all land in accordance with the suggestion made by B R Ambedkar and said land reform measures pending nationalisation should be carried out vigorously.
Defence Minister Jagjivan Ram told a press conference that the government would take a decision “very shortly” on the aircraft to be purchased to replace the ageing fleet of Cannberas and Hunters. The defence minister admitted that the US had refused to allow the Swedish Viggen to be sold to India (the engine of the Viggen is based on American technology and the US can therefore veto its sale abroad). As a result of this curb, the choice has been narrowed down to the British Jaguar and the French Mirage F-I, he said. The minister also said he was unhappy at the controversy raised over the purchase of new aircraft. He was critical of the US over its advice not to purchase the aircraft.
The flood situation in West Bengal recorded an improvement in many places, while new areas like Tamluk in Midnapore and Kolaghat were submerged. About 10,000 people have taken shelter on the embankment in Kolaghat. A group of three villages in Kansha near Durgapur was washed away by the rising Ajoy river. According to reports, no sign or the villages has been left. The villagers are believed to have fled to neighbouring areas.