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Government move voted down

By Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, FEB. 4. The Government suffered an embarrassment in the Rajya Sabha today when a determined Opposition forced a `division' and voted down the introduction of a Bill on Allahabad University alleging that the timing was an "election gimmick." The move for leave to introduce the Bill to declare Allahabad University an institution of national importance was defeated by 69 votes against it and 52 in favour.

"The motion is negated," the Chairman, Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, declared even as the Treasury and Opposition benches continued to trade charges.

As soon as the Human Resource Development Minister, Murli Manohar Joshi, rose to introduce the Bill, several Opposition members, including Janeshwar Mishra (Samajwadi Party), Arjun Singh and Pranab Mukherjee (both Congress), Saroj Dubey (Rashtriya Janata Dal) and Nilotpal Basu of the CPI (M), were on their feet saying it smacked of impropriety. The Lok Sabha was to be dissolved in two days and legislation could not be passed now, they argued. Mr. Mishra said there were several issues that needed consideration such as the recognition to the 11 colleges affiliated to the University. The Opposition charged Mr. Joshi with trying to gain mileage out of the issue even though he knew well that the Bill could not be sent to the Joint Parliamentary Committee as all [committees] were being dissolved. "We support the Bill fully, but the timing and the manner in which it is being introduced is highly objectionable,'' said Mr. Mukherjee.

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