N C R   S T O R I E S


Repoll on Sonepat booths ordered
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 11
On the recommendation of the returning officer of Sonepat Parliamentary constituency, Mr M R Anand, the Election Commission has ordered for repoll on two booths—booth No. 126 in village Rasoi of Rai Assembly constituency and booth No. 81 of village Baroda in Baroda (Reserve) Assembly constituency..

It is pointed out that the Congress candidate, Dharampal Singh Malik and BJP nominee and sitting MP Kishan Singh Sangwan had lodged complaints with the returning officer, alleging booth capturing at a number of booths, including the above two.

In the complaints, it was alleged that nearly a dozen anti-social elements captured the booth No 126 in village Rasoi and forcibly cast the votes for the INLD candidate Krishna Malik. The presiding officer also submitted in writing to one election observer about the booth capturing.

Regarding the polling booth in village Baroda, it was alleged that the PSO of the DGP M S Malik, Bhoop Singh Mor had indulged in booth capturing. The returning officer assured them for necessary action in the complaints and recommended for repoll after review the situation.

Meanwhile, according to official information, the average polling in all the nine assembly segments during yesterday’s polling has been recorded at 65.38 per cent, the highest percentage of 71.05 per cent in Baroda (Reserve) Assembly constituency and the lowest being 57.48 per cent in Bahadurgarh Assembly segment.

The percentage in other seven assembly segments of this Lok Sabha seat are 67.50 in Gohana, 68.18 per cent in Kailana, 60 per cent in Sonepat Assembly segments, 65.20 per cent in Rai, 61.88 per cent in Rohat, 67.01 per cent in Julana and 70.15 per cent in Safidon Assembly constituency.

Speaking to the ‘NCR Tribune’, the RO said elaborate security arrangements would be made for tomorrow’s repolling. He claimed the polling was by and large peaceful.

Polling officer dies on duty

Mr Jeewan Dass, a polling officer, died after a heart attack while he was on duty at a polling booth in Tihar Malik village, about 20 km from here last evening. According to a report, the polling officer suffered chest pain and collapsed in the booth. He was rushed to the local civil hospital but died after two hours.

Dass was a superintendent in Quality Marking Centre of the District Industries Centre (DIC). He belonged to Ashok Nagar (kutche quarters) in the city.


For LS hopefuls, it’s time to unwind now
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 11
With the big day over for the NCT of Delhi’s Lok Sabha aspirants, it was time to do little things today. The INC candidate in the Chandni Chowk Parliamentary constituency, Mr Kapil Sibal, lifted some weight off his head, literally–by going for a haircut.

“It’s now time for doing the little things which one could not have cared for in the past one month,” said Sibal, who is locked in a keen contest against Smriti ‘Tulsi’ Irani of BJP.

Another INC candidate, Ajay Maken, who is contesting against Union Culture and Tourism Minister Jagmohan, slept till 8 am, a luxury he could not afford before. Maken was also happy to receive his daughters when they returned from school. “Now I am sitting with my laptop reading letters from the public,” said the relaxed Speaker of Delhi Legislative Assembly, who had launched an interactive website for his campaign.

The party’s South Delhi candidate and lawyer RK Anand, whom political analysts have written off against BJP heavyweight VK Malhotra, was apparently not as relaxed as his other colleagues. “I am waiting for day after tomorrow (day of counting),” he said. Anand’s rival Malhotra was taking a “complete rest”.

Sibal, who as his party’s spokesman attended interviews in TV studios after yesterday’s polling, also met with his election agents today to prepare for counting. “One big day is over but another is coming,” said Sibal, who received friends and relations who had “come from all over the country”.

The BJP candidate in the Sadar parliamentary constituency, Mr Vijay Goel, was relaxing by listening to music, reading newspapers and spending quality time with his family. “The polling is over and I am totally relaxing now,” he said. Asked whether he was not feeling nervous as the exit poll predictions show that his INC rival Jagdish Tytler has an edge, Mr Goel said, “I am not nervous as I know the result is positive for me. I have won elections thrice earlier and never felt nervous.”

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, whose son Sandeep is a candidate in East Delhi, spent time with her grandchildren after a hectic polling day. Sandeep relaxed with his daughter.


Elite losing faith in polling: Psephologist
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 11
The New Delhi constituency, with about 45 per cent people exercising their franchise, witnessed the lowest turnout as compared to the remaining six constituencies in NCT of Delhi while experts see it as decline of faith in the system especially among the elite.

“In the posh constituencies of New Delhi and South Delhi, the turnout was moderate with about 45 and 46 per cent voters, respectively, casting their votes in the Lok Sabha polls. It shows that elite people are losing faith in the system,” a psephologist, Navin Surapaneni, from the Centre for Media Studies, said.

The turnout crossed 50 per cent mark only in the Sadar and Chandni Chowk constituencies where 54 and 52 per cent of the voters, respectively, cast their votes. In East Delhi, Outer Delhi and Karol Bagh, about 46, 47 and 48 per cent voters turned to vote in the respective constituencies, he said.

Dismissing the notion that the temperature, which soars to a maximum of 41.4 degree Celsius, having any role in the moderate turnout, a well-known psychologist Dr Sameer Parikh said, “Generally, heat does not hold voters from casting their votes but it could slightly affect people in the upper literate class.”

Low or moderate turnout reduces the margin of victory and generally favours the party in power, whereas high turnout generally goes against the party in power as the anti-incumbency wave brings more voters to the polling booths because they want a change in the government, he said.

Low turnout is also witnessed when people think that “nothing would change even if they use their vote,” Parikh said.

On the moderate turnout in the New Delhi constituency where ‘demolition man’ Jagmohan of the BJP is fighting against INC’s Ajay Maken, psephologist Surapaneni said, “As about 63 per cent voters in the constituency are government employees, the moderate turnout could be because they might have used a three-day off from their offices for a vacation.”

“About 55 per cent voters not coming to the polling booths also reflects erosion of faith of the people in the system.

They simply do not trust any political leader irrespective of any party he belongs to,” he said.

In the last elections, the Bhartiya Janata Party recorded a clean sweep by winning all the seven seats from the Capital.


Large-scale tampering with voters’ list in Noida
Parmindar Singh

Noida, May 11
Most of the candidates were allegedly guilty of violating the code of conduct here. There was also a large-scale tampering with the voters’ list.

However, most of them are winning, or so they claim. While BJP’s Ashok Pradhan said he will win hands down the Khurja seat, Congress candidate, a retired IAS Devi Dayal said he would solve all local problems when he entered the Lok Sabha.

BSP’s Ravi Gautam, UP’s former Revenue Minister who had left the BJP during ‘Save Gautam Budh Nagar district’ campaign, alleged large-scale tampering with the voters’ list. The list made available to the candidates, does not tally with that of the presiding and polling officers. Numerous cases have come to light where the names of voters were missing by tens and even by hundreds, he said.

One retired Army colonel, who did not find his name in the voters’ list, was so livid at the authorities, that he was seen trying to burn his voters ID card, “What use is this ID card? The whole set-up and machinery responsible for such incidents is shameful. They make you sweat a lot even for making a photo ID card,” he grumbled.

To cap it all, even Union Minister Arun Shourie did not find his name in the voters’ list when he had gone to cast his vote in a ‘baraatghar’ in Sector 41. Armed with his ID card, the soft-spoken Shourie had checked in at 10 am.

And all the candidates were guilty of having violated the code of conduct. They had all barged into the polling stations and even polling booths, in their own style.

Congress candidate Devi Dayal had gone into a polling centre in Adarsh Junior School Sector 12 along with his activists on the pretext of knowing if the EV machines were giving any trouble? There they had an argument with the supporters of another candidate.

Similarly, BJP’s Ashok Pradhan along with his supporters had also gone to a number of polling booths. Though the security personnel had stopped him at each polling centre, he ignored them and entered the centres prohibited for him.

Even BSP candidate Ravi Gautam and his supporters did not lag behind in violating the election code of conduct.

Supporters of political parties in the villages had brought lunch for the government officials manning polling centres in most of the villages.


Sadar recorded the highest turnout;
New Delhi the lowest
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 11
The Election Commission (EC) has said that the voter turnout in Monday’s polling in NCT of Delhi was recorded at 47.11 per cent. The corresponding figure in the 1999 Lok Sabha election was 43.54 per cent.

The EC said that the Sadar Parliamentary constituency recorded the highest turnout of voters. The lowest was recorded in the New Delhi constituency.

Sadar, where Union Minister of State for Sports Vijay Goel of BJP is pitted against Jagdish Tytler of INC, recorded maximum turnout of 57.62 per cent.

The Chandni Chowk Parliamentary constituency followed the Sadar constituency at 53.05 per cent. In Chandni Chowk, Kapil Sibal of INC is pitted against Smriti Irani of BJP.

The New Delhi constituency recorded the lowest turnout of 44.94 per cent. Here Union Tourism and Culture Minister Jagmohan is facing Speaker of Delhi Legislative Assembly Ajay Maken.

In the Karol Bagh (Reserved) Parliamentary constituency, 49.42 per cent voters came out to cast their ballot while in South Delhi, 47.44 per cent voters turned up.

In the South Delhi Parliamentary constituency, RK Anand of INC is pitted against VK Malhotra of BJP. In Karol Bagh, it is Krishna Tirath of INC versus Anita Arya of BJP.

The Outer Delhi constituency, where Union Labour Minister Sahib Singh Verma is contesting against Sajjan Kumar of INC, 46 per cent polling was recorded.

In East Delhi, where the main contestants are three-time Member of Parliament Lal Bihari Tewari of BJP and Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit’s son Sandeep, 45.61 per cent voters turned up. Though the turnout in the Capital was much below the national average of 55 to 58 per cent, it showed an improvement of three-odd per cent from the 1999 Lok Sabha poll turnout.


AICC observers make list of non-performers
Bijendra Ahlawat
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, May 11
With the election steam over and the candidates waiting for the counting process to start certain political parties and candidates have started analysing the work done by their leaders and workers towards their success and cornering the non-performers. The Congress party is one of those which has taken the lead in this respect.

The observers appointed by the Pradesh Congress Committee and the AICC have reportedly prepared a list of the leaders and workers who allegedly stayed away from canvassing and campaign work of the party candidate.

It is an open secret that the announcement of the Congress nominee from the Faridabad seat was made at the last moment reportedly due to opposition from certain quarters within the party to allot the party ticket to Mr Avtar Singh Bhadhana although the party leaders and Mr Bhadhana himself deny any rift or infighting in the party over the issue. Several leaders and workers owing allegiance to a former Chief Minister stayed away from the campaigning of the official candidate. Some of them have even been charged with helping other candidates.

According to details available, the party observer overlooking the campaign has prepared a list of at least 14 prominent leaders and workers of the party here, which include an HPCC secretary, two former ministers and members of the PCC.

The names in this list include that of Mr Mahender Pratap, Mr Azmat Khan, both former ministers, and dozens of other local leaders who are considered staunch supporters of the HPCC chief, Mr Bhajan Lal. Rao Dharampal, MLA from Sohna and party observer for this constituency, when contacted confirmed that he had prepared and submitted a list of leaders and workers from here who had allegedly failed to work actively in support of the party candidate.

Help and feedback was reportedly sought from the party nominee and the DCC in preparing the list. This development is likely to fuel infighting and counter-allegations between various factions of the party, said a party worker.

Meanwhile, the district president of the women’s cell of the party, Ms Sharda Rathaur, whose name is also rumoured to have been included in the list, has claimed that it was wrong and unjustified if her name had been included in the list. She said she had worked in support of the party candidate and had even organised a public meeting at one of the prominent villages of Ballabgarh subdivision in support of Mr Bhadhana. She said if such a move had been made against the loyal workers like her then it could be ‘political mischief’ played by certain people in the party who were jealous of her popularity.

This could be aimed at affecting the chances of ticket aspirants in the next Vidhan Sabha poll.


Poll observers in Sonepat receive 45 complaints
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 11
All three Central observers appointed by the Election Commission of India in Sonepat parliamentary constituency for ensuring peaceful, free and fair Lok Sabha elections are reported to have received as many as 45 complaints about booth capturing, rigging and assaults on the polling day between 8 am and 4 pm yesterday.

According to a report, they also took action promptly in some cases and the investigations in the rest of the cases were in progress.

Meanwhile, the Baroda police have registered a case against seven persons, including four brothers, in connection with the violent incidents in the village. The culprits include Mehar Singh, Ram Chander, Jashbir and Rajkunwar, all brothers, Ashok and Jatinder. The police are still investigating into the case. However, no arrest has been made in this connection.

According to another report, the Baroda police have also registered a case against two persons, including Sandeep, in connection with the alleged murder of Raj Kumar, alias Raja, of the same village. The victim, it is stated, was an accused in a case of murderous assault and involved in an election related violence case.

Old enmity is stated to be the cause of the alleged murder on the polling day.

Meanwhile, Mr Rajiv Jain, general secretary of the Haryana Vikas Party, has accused the district and police administration of working in favour of the ruling INLD nominee, Mrs Krishna Malik, who is the wife of the former DGP, Haryana, Mr M. S. Malik.

Talking to mediapersons here today, he alleged the booth capturing and rigging were the main causes of bogus polling and the Election Commission should take serious note of the complaints and order re-polling in the entire Sonepat parliamentary constituency for safeguarding democracy in the country.


8.5 lakh cast vote in Mahendragarh constituency

Rewari: As many as 8,48,903 voters out of a total electorate of 14,14,407 exercised their franchise in the Mahendragarh parliamentary constituency yesterday. These included 4,66,691 male and 3,82,212 female voters, according to the Returning Officer, Mrs Neerja Shekhar.

The assembly segmentwise break-up of the voters (who exercised their franchise yesterday ) is as follows : Rewari segment : 91,495 which include 50,604 male and 40,891 female voters. Bawal segment (R) –93,242 including 50,564 male and 42,678 female voters. Jatusna segment : 1,02,193 comprising 54,391 male and 47,802 female voters. Mahendergarh segment-95,583 including 51,502 male and 44,081 female voters.

Ateli segment—90,751 which include 49,280 men and 41,471 women electorates. Narnaul segment—81,116 comprising 44,956 male and 36,160 female voters. Gurgaon segment—- 1,19,115 including 67,913 male and 51,202 female electorates. Pataudi segment (R) – 90,635 which include 49,577 male and 41,058 female voters. Sohna segment – 84,773 comprising 47,904 male and 36,869 female voters.


Cases of bogus polling reported
Wrestlers kidnap scribes, cops say it happens in elections

Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 11
More than 12 pahalwans armed with country-made pistols kidnapped some journalists, kept them for nearly an hour behind a polling booth at village Murthal.

However, they were released when a large contingent of police force led by Superintendent of Police Kuldeep Sihag and DSP Ashok Saini reached at the polling booth. But interestingly, no action was taken against the wrestlers who escaped one by one from the spot without any fear of the police. Even the DSP also reportedly remarked before the mediapersons “Bhai Chunao mein to aisa hota hai” (brother, it happens in the elections).

According to information, when a team of mediapersons reached at polling booth No 15 and 17 in Government Senior Secondary School Murthal, they reportedly witnessed some kind of atmosphere of fear among the voters.

When they were talking with the presiding officers of the booths, they were reportedly surrounded by nearly 36 persons, mostly appearing like pahalwans, and were forcibly taken behind the wall of polling booth. The mediapersons when resisted it, they were threatened to keep quite branding pistols and knives at them. The police personnel on duty remained mute spectators.

However, one of the mediapersons from a national Hindi daily under the pretext of nature call went a distance away and inform the incident to his bureau chief on mobile. The bureau chief immediately informed the SP on mobile.

On receiving information, the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mr P. Ashok Saini, was the first to reach on the spot. On seeing him and the police, the mediapersons were released. When the mediapersons demanded action against the anti-social elements who were, then also standing outside the polling booths, the DSP made the above remarks.

Meantime, the SP along with police forces reached there and on seeing the SP, they escaped one by one from the spot.

The persons from the village present on the occasion Ramesh, Fateh Singh and Satish remarked that had the police been interested, it could have easily taken the anti-social elements into custody. “The pahalwans have kept the booth captured for many hours, and despite complaints to all concerned authorities, no action was taken.”

They also reported that the pahalwans were moving along with the son of a leader of the ruling party. In another incident, both the tyres of the motorcycle of a Gannaur-based reporter of a national Hindi daily were deflated by the SHO of Gannaur police station despite showing him the press card by the reporter. The reporter was on way from Panchi-Jatan to Gannaur for election coverage the mediapersons have planned to lodge a complaint to the SP against the SHO.

Many voters who are residing temporarily in Sonepat, but their votes are in their villages, could not go to their villages as the ban on plying of vehicles was strictly enforced in the town by erecting police at every crossing in the town.

According to another report, the polling recorded in the EVM at village Rankali in Julana area of the parliamentary constituency, reported higher than the list of the votes polled held by the presiding officer.

According to officer’s list, as many as 1,079 votes were polled till the closing of the polling, but total polling of 1,079 were recorded in the EVM. The BJP workers, who reportedly obtained a signed list of votes polled from the presiding officer, lodged a complaint of bogus polling with the election authorities.


Can Khurja verdict spring a surprise?
Our Correspondent

Noida, May 11
The result of the Khurja Lok Sabha seat may come as a pleasant surprise for some and shock for others. The intelligence agencies sleuths are also reported to have come to the conclusions, which could disturb the apple cart of some.

It was generally believed that there was a direct contest between BJP and BSP. At many places BJP, BSP, Congress and SP-LD candidates were seen in a direct combat. In the circumstances, it is pointed out that while near equals were slogging it out; a third candidates may come from behind and claim the crown. After all the battle, which had been drawn on party lines initially, was fought on the caste and religion cards. Upper casts, Gujjars, Yadavas, Dalits and Muslim voters were wooed in each pocket borough of the constituency.

Each politician enters the arena with the hope to win and maintains his claim of victory till the results are out. None of the candidate had a clear issue to build his claim and campaign on, so there was no wind in anybody’s favour. It is a close contest, none of the candidates having a clear advantage. The gap in victory and defeat will be very narrow, observer feels. As many as 40 per cent voting has also indicated that there will be a division of votes in the quadrangular contest this time.


BJP candidate’s brother tears cop’s uniform
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 11
The police registered a case against Jaipal Singh Sangwan, the brother of BJP candidate Kishan Singh Sangwan, on the charge of tearing off the uniform of a police constable and obstructing peaceful polling at booths 69 and 70 in the Sanatan Dharam School here yesterday.

According to reports, Jaipal Singh Sangwan, who is also an IAS officer, was arrested after a complaint was made by the police constable to the Superintendent of Police, who ordered the registration of a case against Mr Sangwan.

Further investigations related to the matter are on. It is, however, not yet known whether the arrest of Mr Sangwan has been made or not.

It is stated that one of the polling agents spotted some policemen pressurising the electorate in favour of the ruling INLD candidate and he informed about this to the BJP candidate from his mobile telephone. Mr Sangwan is reported to have sent his brother to the site for verification and for making a complaint to the authorities concerned. When he reached the site, a fight took place between the policeman and Mr Sangwan.

In another incident, the Kundli police have registered a case against some unidentified wrestlers, who are reported to have threatened the election staff by showing pistols at a polling booth set and indulging in bogus voting, at the government school in Rasoi village in this district. The culprits immediately drove away the vehicle on which they had come to the polling station before the arrival of the police.

Similar complaints were received from Murthal and Baroda villages also, where re-polling has been ordered by the authorities concerned. It is, however, not yet known when re-polling in these villages will take place.


Technology Day
Two scientists awarded for rapid HIV detection
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 11
Two scientists from the Delhi University’s Biochemistry Department were awarded for developing a technology to detect the dreaded HIV infection rapidly through an assay, which does not require any instrument, electricity or even a drop of water.

The invention is among those selected today for Technology Day Awards on the occasion of the Technology Day.

The scientists, Prof VK Chaudhary and Dr Amita Gupta, were also jointly selected for WIPO Gold Medal by the National Research Development Corporation, a body under the Ministry of Science and Technology, for the invention.

The simple and rapid test, whole blood agglutination assay or naked eye visible agglutination assay (NEVA), for the detection of anti-HIV antibodies in the blood, can be performed anywhere and test results can be seen with the naked eye, a release from the NRDC said.

An innovator from Delhi, MM Arif is also among those selected for his development of multipurpose design cutting, sizing, embossing machine, the release said.

The Prize Award Committee also selected Dr Kanika Trivedy from the Central Sericultural Research and Training Institute, Mysore, as the best woman inventor of the year 2004 for her invention process for extraction of ecdysteroid (sampoorna) from plants for the WIPO gold medal.

The gold medals are sponsored by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). Other innovations and inventions that have been selected for the awards include an improved mild steel handloom for weaving matting (geo-textiles), cotton stripper machine, on-line property prediction system for hot rolled coil (OPPRESS), corrosion inhibitors/metal passivator additive for lubricant, grease and fuel application from waste refinery streams and novel method for in-situ balancing of rotors, the release said.


Shoe trader shows rare honesty
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, May 11
A shoe trader in the main bazaar set an example of honesty today when he returned a bag containing Rs 1 lakh to a customer who had come to his shop in the morning.

According to information, a customer visited the Hem Boot House owned by Mr Hemchand Bansal. After buying some articles, the customer left the shop, forgetting his bag.

There was heavy rush in the shop at that time. Around noon when there were no customers, Mr Hemchand spotted a bag lying at a counter. He checked it and found cash in it.

He kept the bag in safe custody, hoping that the customer would be back soon.

In the afternoon, the distressed customer returned to inquire about his bag. He heaved a big sigh of relief when the shop owner took out the bag and placed it before him. The man thanked the shop owner profusely. The incident is the talk of the town today and the shop owner is winning plaudits for showing rare honesty.


Homage paid to philanthropist
Our Correspondent

Bhiwani, May 11
Eminent philanthropist, educationist, poet and philosopher and patron of the local Halwasia Vidya Vihar, Purushottam Dass Halwasiya, was paid homage at a condolence meeting held on the school premises today. Halwasia passed away on Sunday. Members of the management, staff and students observed two minutes’ silence in memory of the departed soul and expressed their grief. Former minister and industrialist Ram Bhajan Agarwal and the manager of the school, Mr Madan Lal Goel, who attended the condolence meeting, shared their cherished moments spent with the late Mr Halwasia. Mr Halwasia had started Halwasiya Bal Mandir in 1962 and it soon converted into a plus two institution. Born on May 9, 1921, he established several institutions and was associated with various educational, religious and social institutions like the Haryana Charitable Society, the Haryana Chhatra Parishad and the Haryana Mitra Mandal. Local Vaish Model School, Bal Mandir and Vidya Vihar remained closed today. 


‘Physicians, lawyers and engineers should
enter politics’
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 11
Dr Malay Chaudhuri is the Founder-Director of the Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM) here, which is often described as one of the largest academic movements in the country. After completing his PhD and acquiring his DSc in Economics from Berlin, he moved over to India as a faculty in some of the leading management institutions - XLRI Jamshedpur, XIM Bhubaneshwar and IIM Bangalore. He was also the Founder-Director of IMT Ghaziabad. In the mid-nineties, he started Manav Seva Kendras, a Rural Development Programme, under the aegis of IIPM. The MSKs operate in the fields of education, poverty alleviation, health and women empowerment in various underdeveloped belts of rural West Bengal and Orissa. In 2001, he launched his political party, the Bharatiya Manavata Vikas party (BMVP) with the key agenda of promoting various human development programs carried out by the MSKs.

What was your idea behind forming a political party?

In the mid-nineties, I started the Manav Seva Kendras, as a part of IIPM’s Rural Development Program. Gradually with time, as these kendras started gaining prominence, in terms of size and acceptability amongst the rural masses, the local administration started posing obstacles to its progress.

This was the time, when I realised that, without any political affiliation, I would not be able to sustain my developmental programmes. Thus, Bharatiya Manavata Vikas party was formed in Delhi.

From Delhi to Orissa - why did you choose Orissa to launch your political career?

There are two reasons for choosing Orissa to launch our political activities. Firstly, since we have been working in various rural belts of Orissa for over a decade, hence, we were assured of a strong cadre of campaigners, who can speak the local language with ease, thereby helping us to deliver our message to one and all.

Secondly, we do not posses a deep-rooted political ambition of ruling a state for the sake of making money at the cost of social development. Instead, we are here as missionaries of human development. It is striking to note that Orissa is today the most underdeveloped and poverty-stricken state in the entire nation. Over 47 per cent of people in the state are below poverty line. We believe that if we can bring about a significant social change in Orissa, which is today considered one of the poorest states in India, then we believe, we can very well bring about a similar change for India, tomorrow.

What are the key points of BMVP’s election manifesto for Orissa?

If we are voted to power, we have pledged to considerably alleviate poverty from Orissa to the extent of removing the possibility of any family living below the poverty line. In our nine-point election manifesto, we have promised to make available 40 kg of rice at Rs 2 per kg for five-member families below the poverty line and create job opportunities for a minimum of two family members for at least 250 days a year and Rs 150 per month to each unemployed person. We have also promised insurance cover for untimely death of earning family members and free medical treatment, inclusive of surgery, for all.

Other issues addressed in the manifesto includes, education, legal system, public welfare and roads and sanitation.

What should be India’s objective and agenda for growth?

Our agenda should be to abolish unemployment in rural as well as in urban areas. This will increase purchasing power of the people at the bottom. Strictly speaking, I am concerned with macro management of the Indian economy. An accelerated rate of growth of GDP is possible through a well-planned income distribution policy, which ensures uninterrupted growth of purchasing power in keeping with increased national income. I am also concerned with creating social safety net for the people who are thrown out of market.

As such, policies should be advocated, which ensures redistribution of growing national income in favour of bottom 80 per cent. This will not only enhance growth of GDP from the current around seven per cent to 14 per cent in the coming years. If this growth of national income is employed for building social safety net, there will be not a single family below poverty line in the next 5 years.

What do you feel about the entry of management gurus in Indian politics?

This was expected. Why only management professionals, all the intelligentsia of the society - physicians, lawyers, engineers and the rest should enter politics. When we have a well-read and well-spoken breed of individuals at the helm Indian politics, then we can seriously think of a concerted growth of the Indian economy.



Ncr briefs
Ex-BJP councillor held for booth capturing
Our Correspondent

Noida, May 11
Former councillor Pradeep Chauhan and his two companions were arrested for attempting booth capturing in Kela Bhatta area yesterday evening.

Chauhan was also booked for threatening the government official (on official duty) and for disturbing peace in the area. Chauhan and his companions were detained in the kotwali under IPC 151.

According to City Magistrate, Mr Sarwjeet Ram, reports were received at 4 pm yesterday that agents were forcibly trying to get votes cast in a booth in that area and were intimidating the officials on duty. When the City Magistrate reached the booth, he found BJP’s former councilor, Chauhan, and his two companions disturbing the peace in the area. They were arrested and dispatched to Kotwali police.

Soon after that, the BJP MP and candidate for Hapur seat, Ramesh Chander Tomar, reached the kotwali along with his supporters and raised slogans in front of the police station.

Needy students to get books, scholarships

New Delhi: Textbooks and stationery will be distributed free among needy students by Tarun Mitra Parishad, a well known social service organisation, in its 29th annual textbooks distribution function on May 16, at Pearey Lal Bhawan, here.

President of the Parishad, Ashok Jain, said that Minister of Education of Delhi S. Arvinder Singh Lovely will

inaugurate the function and Dr A K Walia, Minister of Delhi for Finance will be the chief guest. Swadesh Bhushan Jain, executive President of Punjab Kesri, shall preside over the function and Padam Jain will be the chairman, reception committee.

Manoj Jain, general secretary, disclosed that more than 500 needy students will get textbooks, help books, stationery and 120 needy/handicapped will be given scholarships of Rs 1,500 each. Among needy students, 12 meritorious students will be honoured with Silver Medals. The students will also present cultural programmes on the occasion. TNS

Rickshaw puller crushed to death

Sonepat: A rikshaw puller died when a Tata 407 knocked down him near MIE area in Bahadurgarh today. The deceased has not been identified yet. Driver of the vehicle also fled from the spot along with his vehicle.

In another incident, two persons received burn injuries when the fuel tank of a truck caught fire on a truck body building shop near Paranala road in Bahadurgarh. According to information, a shop mechanic was welding some part of the truck near the tank when it burst suddenly. One Satish received about 60 per cent burns while welder also injured in the incident. Both were admitted to Delhi Nursing home in the town. OC


Hospital ‘fleeces’ patient
Our Correspondent

Noida, May 11
One Dinesh Rav has accused the Director of Prague Hospital, Noida of having forcibly squeezed a payment from him. He said while he was working in a ‘baraat ghar’ on April 27, a door had fallen on him fracturing his hand.

The village pradhan, Mr Ishwar Singh, and his brother Ram Raj, had taken him to Prague Hospital. Dr B. P. Singh had settled an amount of Rs 12,000 for Dinesh’s treatment out of Rs 10,000 were deposited by his brother and medicines for Rs 9,000 were also procured.

But hospital authorities had demanded another Rs 10,000, which he refused to pay. At this, he was made as a captive in the hospital and was deprived of food and medicines. When villagers in Chhalera learnt about it, they marched to the hospital gate and demonstrated in front of the hospital. The villagers had raised slogans against hospital and its proprietors. Dr B. P. Singh and his wife said they would be able to resolve the matter amicably.


MCD pays tribute  to Asaf Ali

New Delhi: The Municipal Corporation of Delhi today paid tribute to Asaf Ali, the great freedom fighter, on the occasion of his 115th birth anniversary. The Mayor, Mr A. R. Verma, garlanded his statue at Asaf Ali Road near Delhi Gate. The Mayor said that Asaf Ali wanted to see Delhi as a progressive and clean city. He was elected municipal councillor continuously for two decades. He was widely respected for his knowledge about Delhi and its multifarious problems and their solutions. He was a fearless, free and frank social worker.


Enforcement officials held for taking bribe

New Delhi, May 11
The Anti-corruption branch has arrested two officials of the Enforcement Branch of the Delhi Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 2,000 each.

The accused persons, who were identified as Head Constable Samay Singh and Constable Nav Rang, were arrested from outside the office of the Delhi Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, opposite Tis Hazari Court building, while accepting bribe from complainant Mahinder Kumar, a resident of Pahar Ganj. The officials had demanded Rs 2,000 from the complainant, who works with a commission agent at Idgah Road Mandi, for not challaning and impounding their vehicles. TNS


Two crushed to death by DTC bus
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 11
Angry public today damaged four DTC buses and a private bus in the Janakpuri area after a DTC bus crushed two scooterists to death in the Janakpuri area this morning. The public also seriously injured the DTC driver Hem Chander (48), resident of Najafgarh who has been admitted in the DDU hospital for treatment.

The victims who have been identified as Muskin (32) and Dilshad (19), both residents of Om Vihar, died on the spot. The police said that the DTC bus route No 761 plying between Azadpur and Manglapuri hit the scooterists in the Janakpuri, T-point area. After the incident, an angry public caught the driver and injured him seriously besides damaging the windows of four DTC buses and a private bus.

One shot dead in wedding reception

One person was shot dead last night, after a businessman shot him from his licensed weapon, during a wedding reception in the Raja Garden area of West district.

The deceased has been identified as Rajender Singh (28), resident of Vishnu Garden and an employee in a factory in Maya Puri area. The accused, Mukesh Gupta, has been arrested and his licensed weapon was seized by the police.

The police said that Rajender had gone to a wedding reception of one Sukwant, where Mukesh also came to attend the function. It was during the reception when both Rajender and Mukesh got into an altercation over some issue and Mukesh whipped out his licenced weapon and shot Rajinder in his head.

The victim was immediately rushed to a private hospital where he was declared brought dead.


Motorcycle stolen

Sonepat: A motorcycle, parked outside a polling booth at Gumar village, was stolen last evening.

The owner of the motorcycle, Mr Satyapal, went to the polling booth to cast his vote after parking the bike. When he returned, he found it missing. Mr Satypal had come from Gurgaon to the village to exercise his franchise.

Meanwhile, the orders of the district magistrate, Mr M R Anand, banning the assembly of five or more persons, carrying of firearms within 200 metres of the booths and plying of vehicles, were flouted with impunity. Similarly, the order regarding the closure of all shops on the polling day was also given the go-by. OC


HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | National Capital |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |