India is threatened by secessionists, religious and caste violence, squabbling politicians, and an economic crisis made worse by the Gulf War, President Ramaswami Venkataraman said. In his opening address to the new session of Parliament in New Delhi, the president said: "You are meeting at a time of great stress and challenge." The chamber was half-empty due to a boycott by opposition parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Janata Dal and the two main Communist parties. The BJP said it was protesting postponement of the budget for the financial year beginning April 1. Janata Dal and the Communists said they objected to the president's "arbitrary dismissal" last month of the government in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.
From Times Staff and Wire Reports
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