Haryana Housing Minister Sushma Swaraj was dismissed from the cabinet. Her removal, which came as a climax to her criticism of the promulgation of prohibitory orders at Faridabad some days back, and her subsequent failure to honour the summons of the chief minister, was “effected” by the governor, Harcharan Singh Brar, on the advice of Chief Minister Devi Lal. An official announcement about Swaraj’s dismissal did not divulge the reasons. It only disclosed that the portfolios held by her — housing, jails, architecture, printing and stationery and cultural affairs — have been taken over by the chief minister. Late last week, Swaraj had been divested of the labour portfolio on the plea that she had violated the principle of collective responsibility.
Justice Shah took strong exception to the continued absence of Pranab Mukherjee, who refused to make himself available for questioning for the second day. He issued a warning to all persons who were boycotting the commission’s proceedings. He said that even though at this stage he could not compel them to attend, once there was enough evidence to suggest their involvement the commission of an excess, he would not hesistate to issue legal summons.
The requisitionists have decided to serve notice on the Congress president, Brahmananda Reddy. Explaining the decision, A.R. Antulay, a spokesman for the requisitionists, said: “We gave them a lot of time — almost a month. But they could not produce a formula which would satisfy the majority of the elected AICC members. So we decided to submit the requisition notice as a last resort.” The decision was taken at a meeting at Karnataka Bhavan attended by Devraj Urs, CM of Karnataka, Antulay, F. M. Khan and several others. They also had talks at Indira Gandhi’s house. The requisitionists want Reddi to step down in favour of Mrs Gandhi.