Tuesday, Aug 13, 2002
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He was flown in here from Chennai after the Madras High Court gave him permission to vote and was mobbed by journalists and photographers when he alighted from a police jeep at the Parliament complex.
Despite efforts by the mediapersons to get some ``byte'', Mr. Vaiko remained tight-lipped.
The Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Pramod Mahajan, who accompanied the MDMK leader, said Mr. Vaiko had been barred by the High Court from talking to the media.
The MDMK leader, dressed in his usual white shirt, dhoti and black shawl, was accompanied by the MDMK Ministers at the Centre, M. Kannappan and Gingee Ramachandran.
Earlier, when waiting reporters inquired when Mr. Vaiko would exercise his franchise, Mr. Mahajan said, ``it is easy to go to jail but difficult to come out.''
Sahib Singh stable
The Union Labour Minister, Sahib Singh, went to the Parliament House this morning in an ambulance to cast his vote in the election after his doctor gave him a clean chit but advised three-weeks' rest.
The Minister, who was admitted to the Apollo Hospital on Saturday following a thoracic-spinal fracture, was declared ``stable'' today.
``Mr. Singh is doing well. His condition is stable and he is performing all his duties. In a case of thoracic spinal fracture, which is a minor injury, no surgery is required. The patient has only been advised to take complete rest,'' his doctor said.
Though, Mr. Singh is performing all his Parliamentary duties, the doctors who are keeping a check on his health have advised him to remain in hospital for at least a week.
Mr Singh, an MP from Delhi Sadar, suffered injuries in his back during an accident while returning from Faridabad on Saturday.
Of the 788 members of the Electoral College for the Vice-President, 22 members, including the singer, Lata Mangeshkar and journalist, Narendra Mohan Gupta, failed to turn up for the voting here today. Nine out of 11 Trinamool Congress members abstained from voting in protest against the division of Eastern Railways. Last-minute efforts by the NDA to persuade the Trinamool leader, Mamata Banerjee, to vote in favour of the NDA candidate failed. The Prime Minister's emissary,Vijay Goel, who met Ms. Banerjee at Jantar Mantar, where she was holding a dharna, failed to convince her. Mr. Goel had requested her to talk to the Prime Minister but Ms. Banerjee refused to do so.
Ajit Panja and another Trinamool member voted.
Prominent absentees included film actress, Shabana Azmi, Mrinal Sen, S. Owassi of MIM of Andhra Pradesh and Pappu Yadav. Simranjit Singh Mann and Jayant Rongpi boycotted the elections.
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