'Take action within time limit'

VELLORE, JULY 6. The Tamil Nadu Government should take action within a ``reasonable time limit'' against the police officials who assaulted the DMK president and the two Union Ministers, Mr. Murasoli Maran and Mr. T. R. Baalu, during the arrest of Mr. M. Karunanidhi in Chennai in the wee hours of last Saturday, Mr. P. Chidambaram, TMC Democratic Forum founder, told newspersons here today.

Asked about the remark by the Chief Secretary, Mr. P. Shankar, that ``there is no time limit to comply with the Centre's order'' issued in the wake of the recent incidents, Mr. Chidambaram said that for everything there was a reasonable time limit.

``The DGP should be on the side of law,'' he said when he was asked to comment on the statement of by Mr. A. Ravindranath that he would stand by the police officers.

``Why should the State Government withdraw the cases against Mr. Maran and Mr. Baalu if it was convinced that they had assaulted the police?'', Mr. Chidambaram asked.

Defending the recall of Ms. Fathima Beevi as Governor, Mr. Chidambaram said she had committed a ``fault'', sending to the Centre the report of the Chief Secretary ``word by word'' as hers instead of giving an independent report on the circumstances which led to the arrest of Mr. Karunanidhi. She had acted without understanding the Constitution.

Commenting on UTI the decision to suspend the sale and repurchase of US-64 shares for six months, the former Union Finance Minister said it caused concern. The Centre should intervene to protect the interests of millions of small investors. It ought to have carefully monitored the functioning of the UTI.

Mr. Chidambaram, who earlier addressed a district workers meeting of the TMC DF, said a majority of the workers in 20 districts he toured so far had expressed themselves in favour of converting the forum into a political party.

A decision would be taken after meeting the workers in the remaining 10 districts. To a question, he said the forum would contest the local body elections in alliance with ``like-minded parties''.