The Centre has appointed S K Ray, former chief justice of Orissa High Court, to probe the spirit scandal involving Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The decision has been made despite the fact that both states have appointed inquiry commissions for the purpose. Ray has been asked to submit his report in six months. He will enquire into how large quantities of molasses from sugarcane factories in Tamil Nadu were diverted for conversion to rectified spirit resulting in losses to the state’s exchequer. He will also be looking into the illegal movement of the rectified spirit from Tamil Nadu to Kerala in June 1979. Chief Ministers of Kerala and Tamil Nadu said that the commissions formed by their states will continue their work.
Turmoil in Manipur
Rishang Keishing is back as Manipur Chief Minister. Manipur Congress (I) head T K Gunadhaja said that the governor was convinced that the party would be able to form a government. Keishing is said to have given the governor the names of 35 MLAs who support him. The governor had also asked K Chaoba of the People’s Democratic Front to give a list of MLAs supporting him. But he sent a letter saying that there was no question of sending a list since the governor was intentionally supporting the installation of a Congress (I) ministry.
Bani Sadr vanishes
The Iranian President Abolhassan Bani Sadr has vanished from public view, apparently on the run from his fundamentalist colleagues. Even his relatives and friends had no idea about his whereabouts.
Chinese Communist Party Chairman Hua Guofeng has been released from the Central Party school after eight months of political education. Hua, who is also the president of the school, has not been seen as sufficiently repentant of his “leftist errors” and is likely to be replaced soon.
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