Wednesday, January 9, 2002, Chandigarh, India

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High command softens stand
Assembly ticket to Cong leaders’ kin
New Delhi, January 8
Amid signs of the Congress high-command getting soft on the demand for Assembly ticket to confidants and relatives, the six MPs today met AICC Tresurer Motilal Vora in the evening today.

Punjab Cong divided on ticket issue
New Delhi, January 8
There is widespread consternation among Congressmen from Punjab that the process of selecting candidates for next month’s Assembly elections in the sensitive border state is being “hijacked” by a select few owing allegiance to PPCC chief Amarinder Singh.

Cong hires chopper to take on Akalis
New Delhi, January 8
If Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal could hit the campaign trail on an improvised vehicle, the Congress will take him on through a helicopter. The state Congress has hired a seven-seater helicopter for PCC chief Amarinder Singh to enable him to campaign in all 117 constituencies.

CPI rejects Congress demand on seats
Chandigarh, January 8
The CPI today rejected the Congress demand to renegotiate the allocation of seats as an alliance partner.
Mr Motilal Vora, Treasurer of the All-India Congress Committee, who is in charge of the party affairs in Punjab, contacted the CPI Secretary, Dr Joginder Dayal, this morning with a request to reopen the agreement reached on the allocation of constituencies to the CPI.

Fatehgarh Sahib



While the fear of war has gripped the region, Punjabis continue to celebrate their festivals with zeal. Kite makers prepare string ahead of the Lohri festival, when kites are flown with gusto.
— Photo Paramjeet Singh Happy

Morcha to continue negotiations with BSP
Rajpura, January 8
The Panthic Morcha will continue negotiations with the Bahujan Samaj Party on the issue of seat adjustment and is likely to scale down its share in the proposed alliance drastically to accommodate the party.

Poll observers for keeping eye on EVMs
Chandigarh, January 8
In a significant decision, the Election Commission has decided to depute election observers from the date election material, including electronic voting machines (EVMs), starts arriving in the state going to the polls next month.

Special girdawari in border areas
Over 1 lakh migrate from Ferozepore district
Ferozepore, January 8
Even as more than one lakh persons residing in areas located near the Indo-Pak border in this district have shifted to safer places along with their head of cattle, the Punjab Government has asked the deputy commissioners to carry out a special girdawari to assess the loss by January 10.


BJP executive member quits
Jalandhar, January 8
Just before the elections, the state unit of the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) today suffered a jolt when its state executive member, Mr Vikram Singh resigned from the primary membership of the party. He quit in protest the party for not taking action against two BJP ministers, who were allegedly involved in human smuggling and money laundering cases.

JD (S) to contest 13 seats
Ludhiana, January 8
The Janata Dal (S), a constituent of the Punjab Lok Morcha, will contest 13 Assembly seats while the rest of the seats will be contested by other parties of the morcha.

Panel to make higher education poll issue
Phagwara, January 8
The joint action committee comprising managements, principals, teaching and non-teaching staff of private colleges will make SAD-BJP ruling combine’s back-tracking on the issue of higher education a poll issue.

Shiv Sena to contest over 50 seats
Jalandhar, January 8
The state unit of Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray) today announced that it would contest over 50 seats in the forthcoming Assembly elections in the state.
Talking to reporters here, Mr Pawan Gupta, state president of the sena, said over 50 seats had already been identified and the list of the candidates and the party’s manifesto would be released by January 19.


Migrant mother delivers baby in open
Muktsar, January 8
Geetu, who has migrated to this town from Bare Ke village located near the Indo-Pak border in Ferozepore district, is both a happy and disappointed woman today.

Geetu wraps up her baby to protect him from the cold.
— Photo Kulbir Beera

Geetu wraps up her baby to protect him from the cold.

DGP visits villages along Zero Line
Ferozepore, January 8
The Director-General of Police, Mr Sarabjeet Singh, along with the DIG, Ferozepore Range, Mr Hardeep Dhillon, and the SSP, Mr H.S. Sandhu, today visited the villages along the Zero Line to take stock of the situation in the wake of the ensuing Assembly elections and the prevailing volatile situation between the two hostile nations.

PUDA directed to pay 2 lakh as compensation
Ropar, January 8
The Ropar District Consumer Forum has directed the Punjab Urban Development Authority to pay Rs 2 lakh as compensation for causing harassment to Mr Jagdish Lal of Kaithal for not allotting the plot at SAS Nagar despite repeated requests.

Councillors allege discrimination
Rampura Phul, January 8
Nine councillors of the local municipal council have alleged that they have not been paid entertainment quota for the past three months. In a joint press note issued here today, the councillors alleged that they were given stepmotherly treatment by the president of the council.

Writers’ Home: impressive  exterior, gloomy interior
Patiala, January 8
Switches fail to answer, geysers refuse to respond, carpets eaten by termite, stinking pillows, stained bedsheets, curtains unwashed for seven years and not a single drinking water source inside the building. All this aptly fits the interiors of the Sahitya Sadan, better known as the Writers’ Home established along with the Headquarters of the Language Department here.

Bhog of Bhattal’s father-in-law held
Sunam, January 8
Cutting across party lines, Mr Joginder Dayal, state secretary of the CPI, Mr Parminder Singh Dhindsa, SAD MLA from Sunam, and Ms Surinder Kaur Longowal of the CPM, and other leaders today paid tributes to the late Jaswant Singh Sidhu, father-in-law of Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, former Punjab Chief Minister, at his bhog ceremony held in Lehragaga near here.

Mann backs scribes
Ludhiana, January 8
Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, president, Akali Dal (Amritsar), today said he would take legal action in defence of journalists, if the Army or the state government took action against mediapersons, who covered movement on border in the recent past.


Waive farmers’ loan, demands BKU (R)
Fatehgarh Sahib January 8
The Bhartiya Kisan Union (Rajewal) today organised a dharna in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office here today in support of its demand to waive loans of farmers.
Mr Bhupinder Singh Mann, national president of the BKU said the farmers were passing through a crisis and their condition had become pitiable. 


Curbs on loudspeakers, public meetings
Bathinda, January 8
District Magistrate R. Venkatratnam has till March 3 imposed restrictions on the use of loudspeakers and assembly of more than five persons in public places and has fixed closing time for the shops under Section 144. CrPC.

22 PCS officers transferred
Chandigarh, January 8
Following directions of the Election Commission in view of Punjab poll on February 13, the state government today ordered transfers of 22 Punjab Civil Services officers who were posted at one place in the state for more than four years.


Teacher not posted despite court order
Gurdaspur, January 8
Ms Inderjit Kaur, one of the four teachers promoted as Centre Headteacher, is still waiting for her posting. It was on October 23 that the promotions and postings were announced. Ms Inderjit Kaur was posted at Gharota, where there was no post of Centre Headteacher.

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