6

PARLIAMENTARY AND CONSTITUTIONAL  DEVELOPMENTS

(1 JULY TO 30 SEPTEMBER 2000)

Events covered in this Feature are based primarily on reports appearing in the daily newspapers and, as such, the Lok Sabha Secretariat does not accept any responsibility for their accuracy, authenticity or veracity.

    —Editor

INDIA

DEVELOPMENTS AT THE UNION

Monsoon Session of Parliament: The Monsoon Session of Parliament commenced on 24 July 2000. At the end of the session, the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha were adjourned sine die on 25 August 2000. The two Houses were prorogued by the President on 28 August 2000.

Changes in the Union Council of Ministers: On 23 July 2000, the Union Minister of Law, Justice and Company Affairs, Shri Ram Jethmalani, resigned from the Union Council of Ministers.

On 24 July 2000, the Minister of State Independent charge of the Department of Disinvestment, Shri Arun Jaitley, was given the charge of the Office of Minister of State (Independent charge) of the Ministry of Law, Justice and Company Affairs along with Independent charge of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. Shri Arun Shourie assumed the charge of the Office of Minister of State Independent charge of the Department of Disinvestment. The Minister of State in the Ministry of Law, Justice and Company Affairs, Shri O. Rajagopal was given the charge of the Office of Minister of State in the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs. On 1 September 2000, Shri Rajagopal was given additional charge of Railways.

On 29 September 2000, the Minister of State for Agriculture, Shri S.B.P.B.K. Satyanarayana Rao, resigned from Office.

On 30 September 2000, the Prime Minister, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee expanded the Cabinet by inducting two Ministers of Cabinet rank and four Ministers of State. The Ministers and their portfolios are:

Cabinet Ministers: Smt. Sushma Swaraj: Information and Broadcasting; and Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu: Rural Development.

Ministers of State: Shri Satyabrata Mukherjee: Chemicals and Fertilisers; Shri Shripad Yasso Naik: Agriculture; Shri Pon Radhakrishnan: Youth Affairs and Sports; and Shri U.V. Krishnam Raju: External Affairs.

The Prime Minister also reallocated some of the portfolios. The Cabinet Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers, Shri Suresh Prabhu was given the charge of Power. Shri Sunder Lal Patwa was given charge of the Ministry of Mines instead of Rural Development.

The following Ministers of State were given new charges: Shri Syed Shahnawaz Hussain: Human Resource Development; Shri V. Dhananjaya Kumar: Textiles; Shri G.N. Ramachandran: Finance; Shri R. Raja: Health and Family Welfare; Shri Ramesh Bais: Information and Broadcasting; and Smt. Rita Verma: Rural Development.

Death of member: On 12 August 2000, Shri Kuliang Gyatse Bhutia, a Rajya Sabha member belonging to the Sikkim Democratic Front, passed away.

Death of Minister: On 23 August 2000, the Union Minister of Power, Shri P.R. Kumaramangalam passed away. Following this, on 25 August 2000, the Prime Minister, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee took over the charge of the Ministry of Power.

Presidential assent for Bills relating to the creation of new States*: On 25 August 2000, the President, Shri K.R. Narayanan gave assent to the three Statehood Bills passed by Parliament for the creation of the new States of Chhattisgarh, Uttaranchal and Jharkhand.

AROUND THE STATES

ASSAM

Death of MLA: On 21 August 2000, Shri Mohini Basumatary, MLA, belonging to the People’s Democratic Front, passed away.

BIHAR

Minister dismissed: On 10 July 2000, the Minister of State for Cooperation, Shri Lalit Kumar Yadav was dismissed from the Council of Ministers and was also expelled from the ruling Rashtriya Janata Dal.

GOA

Split in CLP(I): On 15 August 2000, the fifteen-member Congress Legislature Party split with five members founding a separate INC (Sheikh Hassan Group).

Death of former Speaker: On 4 September 2000, the first Speaker of the State Legislative Assembly, Shri Pandurang Purushottam Shirodhkar passed away.

GUJARAT

Resignation of MLA: On 26 August 2000, Shri Jatin Osa, MLA, belonging to the BJP, resigned from the Assembly.

HIMACHAL  PRADESH

Minister declared unattached: On 14 July 2000, the Speaker of the Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly, Shri Gulab Singh declared the PWD Minister and Leader of the Himachal Vikas Congress, Shri Mohinder Singh, as an unattached member.

MANIPUR

Death of Minister: On 19 August 2000, the Minister of Higher Education, Shri I. Bheigyachandra Singh passed away.

PONDICHERRY

By-election to the Assembly: On 2 July 2000, the Chief Minister and Congress (I) nominee, Shri P. Shanmugham was elected to the State Assembly from the Yanam constituency.

TMC split: On 20 September 2000, the Tamil Maanila Congress (TMC), a partner in the ruling Congress-led coalition, split with three of the seven MLAs forming a new group.

DEVELOPMENTS ABROAD

CANADA

Death of former Prime Minister: On 29 September 2000, former Prime Minister, Mr. Pierre Trudeau passed away.

FIJI

New Government: On 28 July 2000, a new government took office in Fiji with Mr. Laisenia Qarase as the Caretaker Prime Minister.

ISRAEL

New President: On 9 July 2000, the President of Israel, Mr. Ezer Weizman resigned from office, after facing public criticism over a money scandal.

On 31 July 2000, Mr. Moshe Katzav was elected as the new President.

JAPAN

Prime Minister re-elected: On 4 July 2000, Mr. Yoshiro Mori was re-elected as Prime Minister of Japan.

LEBANON

New Prime Minister: On 4 September 2000, Mr. Rafik-Al-Hariri was elected as the new Prime Minister.

MEXICO

New President: On 3 July 2000, Mr. Vicente Fox was elected as the new President.

MONGOLIA

Political developments: On 3 July 2000, the Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party won the parliamentary elections.

On 27 July 2000, Mr. Nambaryn Enkhbayar was elected as the new Prime Minister.

PERU

Fujimori sworn in as President: On 29 July 2000, Mr. Alberto Fujimori was sworn in as President of Peru for the third term.

SOMALIA

New President: On 26 August 2000, Mr. Abdiqassim S. Hassan was elected as President of Somalia.

SRI LANKA

Dissolution of Parliament: On 18 August 2000, President Chandrika Kumaratunga dissolved the Parliament and fixed 10 October as the date for fresh elections.

SYRIA

New President: On 17 July 2000, Mr. Bashar-al-Assad was sworn in as President of Syria, succeeding his father, President Hafez-al-Assad who passed away on 10 June 2000.