Prime Minister Indira Gandhi today expanded and reshuffled her Council of Ministers. Among the 11 new entrants, SB Chavan, former Maharashtra chief minister, alone gets cabinet rank and has been given charge of the education portfolio. B Shankaranand, who was in charge of two portfolios — education as well as health and family welfare — will now look after health and family welfare. Bhagwat Jha Azad makes a re-entry into the council of ministers. Bhishma Narain Singh, minister for parliamentary affairs, will look after works and housing also. Maternal aunt of the prime minister, Sheila Kaul, finds a place in the ministry. So does former speaker of the Maharashtra assembly, Shivraj Patil.
The All Manipur Students Union and the All Manipur Students Coordinating Committee, the two groups that are leading the agitation in the state, against the foreign nationals’ issue have called a bandh on October 22 against the government’s decision to go ahead with the matriculation examination. The two groups said that the government had not paid heed to their demands over the foreigners’ issue and also ignored the plight of the flood-affected people in the state.
Peace Plans For Gulf
Iran and Iraq ignored appeals for a four-day ceasefire, pressing the Persian Gulf war into its 28th day. Iran has rejected Pakistani President General Zia’s appeal for a ceasefire during the Haj season. Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has also reportedly drawn up a truce plan.
About 200 men, women and children were killed and 50 per cent houses were destroyed in Farza, a tiny valley north of Kabul, as Soviet MIG-21s pounded the place for sheltering rebels. The fruit orchards and the standing crop were destroyed.
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