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NEWSMAKERS: 16-30 April 2002

Senior Congress leader and AICC general secretary GHULAM NABI AZAD has been appointed as the President of the Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC), Jammu and Kashmir. Before being shifted to Kashmir Azad was a general secretary of All India Congress Committee in charge of UP, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. According to information this change has been made to strengthen party’s position in that state. The longest-serving member of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) Azad replaces Mohammad Shafi Qureshi who had earlier resigned as PCC chief. Elected to the Upper House from J&K, Azad’s Rajya Sabha term expires on 23 November this year. There have been speculations whether Azad will remain a member of CWC or not. His ‘demotion’ is believed to be because of the failure of Congress party in the recent UP Assembly polls. 

Senior BJP leader and former union minister SIKANDER BAKHT has been appointed Kerala's new governor. His tenure in the Rajya Sabha expired on 9 April this year and he did not find a place in the party's Rajya Sabha nominations. The eighty-year-old Bakht, a prominent Muslim face of the BJP, entered politics by joining the erstwhile Congress (O) and reached the saffron camp through the Janata Party by joining it on its formation in 1977. When Vajpayee & Co parted ways with the Janata Party and formed the BJP, the new incarnation of Jana Sangh, Bakht opted to stay with the saffron brigade. And thereon, he rose to become party's national vice-president and the leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha. He also was a member in the ministry of Morarji Desai and that of Vajpayee, which lived only 13 days in 1996.

With tears in their eyes, the district magistrate, professors, heads of the various departments, teaching and non-teaching members of staff bade adieu to the Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University MUHAMMAD HAMID ANSARI on 31 March, one day before the expiry of his term, in the traditional manner by pushing his car with their hands from VC lodge to the exit-gate. University treasurer Nawab Ibn Saeed of Chhatari said that it was after a long time in Aligarh’s history that a VC has been seen off with such an honour. Hamid Ansari handed over the charge to the newly elected Pro Vice Chancellor M Salimuddin on 30 March who will work as VC till the appointment of new VC (see the related report below).
Before leaving the university, the VC in his message to the students told them to be ready to accept challenges in the global village where low standard is nowhere accepted. He further said that the circumstances are unfavourable but reminded them that these are the real testing times and that they can find their way out despite these temporary and artificial difficulties as thousands of AMU alumni have done.
Senior teachers, provosts and students were also present in a large number to bid farewell to the VC at the end of 22 months of interaction. PROF M SALIMUDDIN has been appointed Pro Vice Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University.

A well known scientist and professor at the Department of Bio-Chemistry of AMU Dr M Salim obtained M Sc and Ph D from AMU. 16 researchers have completed their Ph D theses under his guidance and more than 60 of his research treatises have been published in various esteemed journals and magazines in India and abroad. He has twice been head of the Department of Bio-Chemistry and has also been the Dean of the Faculty of Life Sciences.

The life of MUHAMMAD ASLAM BHURE has been in peril after the historic verdict of the Supreme Court, regarding disputed and undisputed Ayodhya land, which made Aslam a hero overnight. Aslam Bhure has been receiving threatening calls. He has given a written complaint to police commissioner in this regard. The PC has assured his and his family’s security.

ABRAR AHMED of Congress and SK K AHMED of CPIM have been elected members of Rajya Sabha from Rajasthan and West Bengal respectively.

General secretary of Nationalist Congress Party’s Madhya Pradesh unit MOHAMMAD RAISWALI has resigned form the party’s primary membership protesting against its stand over the support to the anti-terrorism bill.

The following Muslim candidates won won the Delhi Municipal Corporation (MCD) elections held on 24 March: FARHAD SURI, SHABNAM JAHAN, ZAMIR AHMED MUNNA, RAZIA SULTANA, ZAMEER AHMED, SHALU MALIK (Congress), SYED NISAR HUSSAN, TALAT JAHAN (Janata Dal [secular]) and ASIF MOHAMMAD KHAN (Independent). 


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