|Sunday, February 6, 2000,
Politics family business in
Panel conducts traffic survey
Small units seek hike in tax
Politics family business in
CHANDIGARH, Feb 5 Politics is family business in Haryana. Come elections, and the members of the influential political families of the state gear up to take the plunge to give a boost to their careers.
Mr Devi Lal, Mr Bansi Lal and Mr Bhajan Lal, three heavyweights of Haryana politics, have all brought their sons into politics. Mr Devi Lal accompanied his son, Om Prakash Chautala, Haryana Chief Minister, when the latter went to file his papers from Rori. Mr Abhay Chautala, son of Mr Om Prakash Chautala, was also present and thus three generations of the Devi Lal clan assembled at Rori even as the Chief Minister told his supporters that the "basic aim of the family is to serve the masses and not to grab power".
Former Congress Chief Minister Bhajan Lal's son, Chander Mohan, is seeking re-election from Kalka, while Mr Kuldip Bishnoi, Mr Bhajan Lal's other son, has vacated the Adampur seat as the "Chaudhri sahib" is himself contesting from this stronghold of him once again.
Similarly, HVP leader Bansi Lal, also a former Chief Minister, will contest from Bhiwani, while his son, a former Lok Sabha member, is the HVP candidate from Tosham in Bhiwani district. Mr Bansi Lal's son- in-law Mr Somvir Singh is also seeking reelection from Loharu on the HVP ticket. Even the estranged sons of political heavyweights are showing a knack for joining politics in the wake of elections. Mr Ranbir Mohindra, son of Mr Bansi Lal, and Mr Devi Lal's son, Mr Ranjit Singh, will both fight elections from separate constituencies on the Congress ticket.
Mr Randip Surjewala, Mr Inderjit Singh, Rao Narinder Singh, Ms Renu Poswal, Mr Zakir Hussain, etc., are some of the other names of the Congress list who are siblings of politicians.
While the Congress has the maximum number of candidates who are offsprings or relatives of politicians, the ruling INLD comes to a close second in this regard. The INLD candidates for Barwala, Bahadurgarh and Dabwali are all related to local heavyweights, just like the party supremo, Mr Chautala, who likes to tell people that "the blood that is running in his arteries is that of Chaudhri Devi Lal".
The BJP has none of this variety and is, perhaps, because the party does not have much of a base in Haryana and it is yet to throw up political heavyweights. In any case the saffron party is hand in glove with parties that practice 'dynastic politics'.
The predominance of the political families in Haryana, according to Professor P.S. Verma of Panjab University, shows the feudal milieu prevailing in the state. The practice of pushing close relatives into politics in Haryana dates back to as far as 1937 when Mr Devi Lal, then underage, erected his brother, Sahab Ram, for fighting the provincial elections. The respected Sir Chhotu Ram, who did not have a son, had initiated his daughters into politics, Prof Verma said.
Dr Pradeep Kumar of the university said the phenomenon of political families also show that children of politicians want to take up politics as a profession. "Just like a doctor's son becomes a doctor, or a filmstar's son a filmstar, they want to become politicians", he said, adding. "It is absolutely professional". It is up to the people to reject or embrace this breed".
Incidentally, the Sarb
Hind Shiromani Akali Dal (SHSAD), which otherwise has a
negligible presence in Haryana, has decided to make
"dynastic politics" as its main poll plank in
Haryana. A key SHSAD leader, Mr Prem Singh Chandumajra,
when asked whether this slogan will be successful in
Haryana, replied that they had chosen it because it could
be hurled against all major parties of Haryana.
Panel conducts traffic survey
PANIPAT, Feb 5 The committee appointed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court to ascertain the implementation of its directions regarding traffic regulations has conducted a survey of Karnal, Panipat and Sonepat districts. On a public interest litigation filed by Mr Nimit Kumar, the High Court had issued comprehensive directions for the states of Haryana and Punjab and the Union Territory of Chandigarh to regulate and control traffic there.
The Court Commissioner, Mr Harsimran Singh Sethi, told TNS that though efforts had been made by Haryana and Punjab to implement the HCs directions, yet they were not satisfactory. Mr Sethi said lack of traffic police staff in Haryana was one of the reasons why the HCs directions could not be implemented properly. He said the government was now considering to create a separate traffic wing in Haryana.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court in its order had directed the state governments to introduce refresher courses for the traffic police and other enforcing agencies. It had issued directions regarding the vehicles of the educational institutions such as training and refresher courses for drivers and conductors of school buses, traffic guidelines such as making wearing of helmets mandatory for two-wheeler drivers and pillion-riders, banning of musical horns, provision of proper bus stops indicating due demarcations and sign boards, provision for separate lanes for buses and other heavy vehicles, removal of hoardings, neon signs and advertisement boards facing the highways, main roads, side roads and lanes.
The team then took a round of the city and examined the traffic situation. Mr Sethi himself checked the driving licences of some drivers, asked bus conductors to show the first-aid kits and stopped a few two-wheeler drivers for not wearing helmets.
SONEPAT (FOC): A seven-member official team of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, headed by Mr H.S. Sethi, a commissioner of the court conducted a raid at the general bus stand of the Haryana Roadways here on Friday evening and inspected a number of buses plying between here and other places in various states.
According to official sources, the officials also checked the licences of the drivers and conductors and inspected the first-aid boxes with them. They also talked to the travelling public and sought information about the facilities being provided to them by the Haryana Roadways authorities.
Many passengers complained about the poor condition of the buses and non-plying of the buses according to the time schedule laid down on the time-table affixed at the bus stands in the district.
Mr Sudhir Rajpal, Deputy
Commissioner, Mr K.P. Singh, Senior Superintendent of
Police, Mr Dharam Pal, SDM, Mr H.C. Jain, General
Manager, Haryana Roadways, Sonepat depot, and Mr Hardeep
Singh Doon, DSP Headquarters, accompanied the officials.
Small units seek hike in tax
AMBALA, Feb 5 It is essential that favourable conditions be provided for the speedy and healthy growth of the tiny and small-scale sector, a memorandum to be submitted by the Haryana Chamber of Commerce and Industry to the Union Finance Minister, Mr Yashwant Sinha, states.
Tiny and small-scale units are exempted from the payment of central excise duty to the extent of turnover of Rs 50 lakh. "We suggest that this limit be increased to Rs 1 crore keeping in view the inflation and other pressures of multinational companies and organised sector for the survival of small units," a press note quoting the memorandum states.
The memorandum states tiny and small scale units should be induced to manufacture components of quality and precision so that large-scale manufacturers accept these components instead of the imported ones. "Earlier, there was a scheme of Government of India to provide additional benefits of 5 per cent modvat provided large units make purchases from tiny and small-scale ancillary units. It worked very well, but later on it was withdrawn. We request you to introduce this scheme again with the added qualification that 5 per cent extra modvat facility be availed by large-scale manufacturers only if the payments to these ancillary units of tiny and small-scale sector are remitted within 60 days' time, failing which they will not be able to avail this benefit," the memorandum states.
Simplification of the central excise laws is essential while dealing with the tiny and small scale units, the memorandum adds.
It further states that in spite of the fact that the small scale and tiny sector has almost 45 per cent share of total industrial production in the country, lending from the banks is available to them to the tune of 22 per cent. It is a well known that the tiny and small-scale sector does not have any equity to be floated in the share market. Therefore, it is extremely important to lend these sectors not only in time but also adequately.
Governor accepts two
CHANDIGARH, Feb 5 Haryana Governor Mahabir Prasad today accepted the resignation of Food and Supply Minister Jaswant Singh from the Om Prakash Chautala-led ministry.
Raj Bhavan sources said the resignation was accepted after a recommendation was received from Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala here today.
Mr Jaswant Singh was among the 10 ministers who had resigned yesterday. The resignation of eight others were accepted yesterday itself on the recommendation of Mr Chautala.
The resignations of Mr Jaswant Singh and the Cultural Affairs Minister Mr Ram Sarup Rama, both of the HVP earlier, were not accepted as their resignation papers were not with the Chief Ministers recommendation.
The 10 ministers had resigned as they were not nominated for the Assembly elections by the INLD. The INLDs partner, the BJP, also reportedly put pressure on the former to secure the resignation of these ministers.
Two ministers, Mr Jaswant Singh Bawal and Mr Vinod Marya, had resigned earlier, while Ms Krishna Gahlawat was dropped from the ministry last month.
The eight ministers
whose resignations were accepted yesterday were Mr Mohd
Akram Khan, Mr Narender Sharma, Mr Om Prakash Jain, Mr
O.P. Mahajan, Mr B.S. Mehta (all five Independents), Mr
Subhash Chaudhry and Mr R.K. Saini, both from the HVP,
and Mr Azad Mohammed of the INLD.
Nehra predicts Cong
wave in Haryana
FATEHABAD, Feb 5 A former Haryana minister, Mr Jagdish Nehra says he sees a wave in favour of the Congress in Haryana. Mr Nehra, who is contesting the forthcoming Assembly election from the Bhattu Kalan Assembly constituency on Congress ticket, was talking to mediapersons here today. He was accompanied by the Congress candidate from Fatehabad, Mr Jai Narayan Varma, and the Block Congress president, Mr Arvind Sharma.
Mr Nehra, who is pitted against the Haryana Finance Minister, Mr Sampat Singh, alleged that the Om Prakash Chautala government had failed to live up to the expectations of the people of Haryana. He said the only achievement of the INLD government had been its wholesale announcements only. But the people, the minister said, expected performance and were not interested in the mere announcements.
The former minister termed the state government as anti-farmers. The Chief Minister who claimed to be the champion for the cause of the farming community had failed to provide remunerative price of the crops to the farmers. He said due to the government's indifferent attitude towards farmers, they had to resort to distress sale of their paddy and cotton crops. He added that the whole business in the state had collapsed as it was an agriculture-based economy. He said the people were fed up with the present INLD government. The government, he said, had increased the costs of all agriculture inputs, including diesel and urea, while the farmers had to sell their produce at lower rates.
The former minister also criticised the state government on the law and order front and said it had failed to provide safety to its residents.
Mr Nehra came down heavily on the BJP and said that due to wrong policies of the BJP government at the Centre, middlemen were ruling the roost, while the poor were suffering. The INLD, he said, too could not get itself away from the responsibility of this situation.
The Congress leader said that under these circumstances, the people of the state were looking towards the Congress to form the next government after the elections. The Congress' victory, he said, was a foregone conclusion now.
Mr Nehra exuded
confidence about his victory from the Bhattu Kalan
constituency. He brushed aside the allegations that he
was an outsider and added that he had worked a lot for
the development of the Bhattu Kalan area while he was a
SYL top priority: CPM
ROHTAK, Feb 5 The CPM has criticised the INLD and the BJP for "exploiting" the crucial SYL issue in its election manifesto released here today.
Calling upon the people to defeat the INLD-BJP alliance in the forthcoming elections, the manifesto has also castigated the Congress for its failures that had paved the way for a "communal and pro-imperialist party like the BJP to capture power at the Centre.
Explaining the salient features of the manifesto, the state CPM Secretary, Mr Inderjit Singh, said the INLD and the BJP had done little to resolve the SYL issue although they held power at the Centre and shared it in Punjab and Haryana. The CPM, he said, favoured delinking of territorial issues from the river waters issue.
The party has made a scathing attack on the policies of liberalisation and privatisation, highlighting in detail the affects of these policies on different areas like agriculture, health, education, employment, public distribution system, media and culture.
The CPM has described the style of rule in Haryana as "feudal and autocratic perpetuating corruption".
"Disregard for democratic and trade union rights of the toiling masses and non-accountability of elected representatives towards people has become the order of the day."
The party has alleged that leaders of ruling parties in the state have amassed properties.
It has charged the INLD-BJP alliance with installing party functionaries as Vice-Chancellors in universities who were misusing powers for perpetuating interests on campuses.
Condemning the practice of defections en masse the party has demanded that the anti-defection law be amended to make it statutory for a defector to resign his or her seat.
The party has refrained from making tall promises. Instead it has expressed its resolve to continue its struggle on vital issues affecting the people within and outside the state Assembly. These issues have been enlisted in the shape of a demands charter in the manifesto.
65 candidates left in fray
SONEPAT, Feb 5 After the scrutiny of nomination papers 65 candidates have been left in the fray for contesting the Assembly elections from six Assembly constituencies Baroda (R), Gohana, Kailana, Sonepat, Rai and Rohat in the district.
According to official
sources, the number of candidates in each of the
constituencies is Baroda (R) 7; Gohana
24; Kailana 8; Sonepat 6; Rai
The nomination papers of at least 12 candidates were rejected yesterday on technical grounds. These included Mr Raj Singh Dalal (BSP) and Mr Chiranji Lal Sharma (Congress-Dummy) from Sonepat. The Election Commission had already debarred Mr Dalal from contesting any election.
In the Gohana Assembly constituency, the nomination papers of Dr Kulbir Singh Sangwan of the INLD and Mr Ranbir Singh of the BSP have been rejected and the nomination papers of an INLD and a BSP nominee have been rejected from the Kailana Assembly constituency.
In the Rai Assembly constituency, the nomination papers of Ms Krishna, Mr Dharambir, Mr Bijender, Mr Surinder and Mr Suresh have been rejected.
Meanwhile, the district and police administration have geared up to ensure free and fair Assembly elections in the district. The holders of arms licences have been directed to deposit their arms in the police stations within three days otherwise their licences will be cancelled by the authorities concerned.
According to Mr K.P. Singh, SSP, as many as 1,534 licences had been deposited with the police in the district so far.
The District Magistrate,
Mr Sudhir Rajpal, today enforced an order prohibiting the
defacing of any property by the candidates and supporters
in the district. Anyone violating the order will be
liable to get six months imprisonment along with a fine.
HVP leader quits, joins Cong
ROHTAK, Feb 5 The HVP received a setback today when one of its prominent local leaders and a member of the Municipal Council, Mr Narender Rana, left the party and joined the Congress here.
Mr Rana, who has been associated with the HVP for the past several years, announced his decision in the presence of the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) president, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, at a function held at Mr Hooda's residence.
Mr Hooda welcomed him to the party. Mr Rana, who had also been a former district president of the youth wing of the HVP, said the Congress was the only party which could ensure proper development of the town and bring political stability in the state.
Speaking on the occasion Mr Hooda said the Congress was all set to overthrow the Chautala government. He said and would be able to keep away all other political forces which the INLD-BJP alliance would not get any response this time as both the parties had been exposed and the "unholy alliance" had been worked out as a last resort by the two parties.
Follow model code, candidates
AMBALA, Feb 5 The District Electoral Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner, Ambala, Mr Ram Niwas, has asked the candidates contesting Assembly elections from the Ambala City, Ambala cantonment, Mulana, Naraingarh and Naggal constituencies to follow the Model Code of Conduct as directed by the Election Commission.
In a press note here
today, Mr Niwas said that the candidates would not be
allowed to hold public meetings and use the public
address system without the prior permission of the SDM
concerned or the Electoral Officer of the constituency.
He said that some specific places had been identified
where they could hold rallies. Every candidate had to
submit his election campaign expenses twice in the week
in the election office and the candidates can not use
more than three vehicles at a time and submit the details
of the vehicles being used.
Hooda warns rebels
CHANDIGARH, Feb 5 The Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) chief, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda said today that disciplinary action would be taken against the Congress members who would challenge the party's official nominees in the Assembly poll to be held on February 22.
"They should not violate the party discipline as well as the pledge taken by them at the time of applying for the Congress ticket to not contest against the official candidate in the event of denial of nomination", Mr Hooda said in a statement today.
He appealed to all those Congress members who have filed their papers other than the officially approved candidates to withdraw their candidature. The HPCC chief reminded the disgruntled members that only one person could be given the ticket for a particular seat, and urged them to work wholeheartedly for the success of the official candidates.
Six withdraw papers
CHANDIGARH, Feb 5 Only six persons withdrew their nominations today for the February 22 elections to the 90-member Haryana Assembly, leaving 1,195 contenders in the fray.
The last date for withdrawal is February 7.
According to reports reaching the election office here, two persons withdrew their nomination papers in Karnal, two in Pataudi and one each in Kiloi and Jhajjar.
Bhajans promise to electorate
PANCHKULA, Feb 5 Former Chief Minister of Haryana Bhajan Lal, promised to make Kalka and Panchkula as the number one towns of the state if the Congress was voted to power in the forthcoming assembly elections on February 22.
Mr Bhajan Lal reiterated the claim while addressing rallies organised in support of his son and the Congress candidate from the Kalka seat. He accused the Chautala government of dragging the state to the elections which, he said, was unwarranted and would result in an additional financial burden of about Rs 50 crore.
Seeking support, he promised to eradicate unemployment along with improving the condition of roads and bridges of the area. Mr Bhajan Lal addressed gatherings at HMT Pinjore and Rajiv Colony and was accompanied by Mr Chander Mohan, Mr Laxman Das and Mr Vijay Bansal of the Congress.
BJP candidate visits
AMBALA, Feb 5 The Bharatiya Janata Party candidate for the Ambala Cantonment Assembly segment, Dr K. D. Sharma, today visited Govind Nagar, Durga Nagar, Ram Nagar and other adjoining areas.
Dr Sharma spoke about the contribution made by the BJP for the welfare of the residents of the area. He said that the nullah constructed from behind the SD College diggi through Housing Board Colony and going towards Hathi Khana Mandir on to the Tangri river was the fruit of the effort of senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj, a press note said.
He pointed out that after being elected, the BJP MP, Mr Ratan Lal Kataria, gave Rs 30 lakh towards the development of the area and several schemes proposed by him, had been accepted.
30 INLD video vans to cover
CHANDIGARH, Feb 5 The INLD has pressed 30 video vans into service to cover all the 90 Assembly segments going to the polls in February 22.
Each van has a projector and a screen to show films on development works carried out by the INLD government.
A press note quoting, Mr Dharambir Singh, Office Secretary of the INLD, stated this today.
The statement refuted
allegations of the HPCC chief, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda,
that the INLD was misusing government machinery for
publicity and violating the model code of conduct, and
claimed that INLD had a team of dedicated workers who had
already launched a massive publicity campaign to apprise
people of the achievements of the six-month-old
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