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   Some critics of the government... (December 18, 1990)

Some critics of the government have been saying that the government have been saying that the government is not tacking such important problems as Punjab, Kashmir, Ayoudha. This may be partly true, but it is not because the government is not concerned about these, it is because it has so many more improtant problems to deal with first.

For instance, at a cabinet meeting held yesterday to consider urgent steps to be taken to contain the terrorists in the state, before the prime minister could say Simaranji Singh Mann, a minister intervened and said: "Let us first consider the more urgent issue in hand of transferring Mr. Suresh Mathur, secretary of the ministry of information and broadcasting, to the post of secretary of the department of industrial development, in place of Mr. A.N. Verma, who should be made member secretary of the planning commission."

Since this was a more urgent matter, it was discussed and passed. Then the prime minister said: "Next, let us take up the question of Kashmir, should we invite Farooq Abdullah to take charge?"

A minister said: "Before that, could I request urgent priority in the matter of Mr. B.K. Goswami, director general, tourism, being transferred as secretary in the department of civil supplies. And, while we are at it, Mr. M. Godbole, secretary, petroleum and natural gas, may be considered for the post of secretary food processing industry."

Mrs. Maneka Gandhi raised her hand. "Mr. Mahesh Prasad, secretary of the ministry of environment and forests, may please be transferred as secretary of the ministry of information and broadcast in place of Mr. Suresh Mathur, and be replaced by Mr.R. Rajamani, at present director general of the council for the advancement for people's action and rural technology."

After the cabinet has discussed and approved the transfers in true democratic fashion, the prime minister said: "Let us now discuss what fresh measures may be taken to curb the violence in Hyderabad, Agra, Ahmedabad, Kanpur, etc." Mr. Yashwant Sinha said: "Yes, but before that ther is the top priority matter of appointing Mr. R.K. Dang, additional secretary of the ministry of programme implementation, as secretary of the department of mines, replacing Mr. P.K. Lahiri, who may be made revenue secretary."

Mr. Devi Lal said: "Before the cabinet takes up routine matters, I want Mr. K. Ardhanareeswaran, special secretary, commerce, to be made secretary of the ministry of textiles in place of Mr. R.K. Dhar."

By the time all these matters were concluded, it was late in the night. However, several urgent matters remained to be considered, including the appointment of Ms. Usha Vohra, officer on special duty with the national commission of women, Mr. P.S. Bhinder, acting director general of the CRPF, Mr. Mozza Razza, chairman of trade fair authority, Mr. Sovan Kanungo, additional secretary of the department of economic affairs.

So the prime minister decided to continue the cabinet meeting through the night. "Let nobody say that this government does not work," he said.

 
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