|P U N J A B||
Monday, August 9, 1999
PMs rally unnerve Cong
to roll back policy
11 man SGPC panel to
epidemic in Bathinda
front hits campaign trail
passes of peacefully
Traffic jams at rail barriers
for changes in final list
"ISI agents" arrested
to be used in Badal's seat
|Chautala visits Golden Temple||Greeb Congress to contest all 13 seats|
Crowds at PMs rally
LUDHIANA, Aug 8 The massive gathering AT the Prime Ministers rally held here yesterday to kickstart the BJP-led National Democratic Alliances election campaign for the elections to the Lok Sabha slated for next month has caused alarm and anxiety in Congress circles here.
Although Congress leaders here are trying to dismiss the rally as a "government-sponsored show" which will not have much impact on voters because it has been held so early in the poll campaign, the fact remains that a move has been initiated to bring Mrs Sonia Gandhi too to Ludhiana as a countermeasure to the Akali-BJP rally.
Ludhiana is the biggest city of Punjab and is located in the centre of the state. It is, therefore, quite convenient for the political parties to bring people from all over for a rally. In the last elections held in February, 1998, Mrs Sonia Gandhis only poll rally in Punjab was staged in Ludhiana.
The gathering at yesterday's rally was big by any standards and certainly one of the biggest witnessed in Ludhiana in recent years. The crowd, consisting of both Sikhs and non-Sikhs, which had gathered here from all over the state, heard the Prime Minister with rapt attention and responded with cheers and shouts of "bole so nihal, sat sri Akal" whenever he made a point in his inimitable style. The topic which he dwelt on for the most part in his speech was Kargil, the jawans valour and sacrifices and Pakistans perfidy all which went down well with the gathering.
While the Prime Minister himself made no mention of the foreign origins of the Congress chief, others who addressed the rally including Punjab Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal, his Haryana counterpart, Mr Om Parkash Chautala and national general secretary of the BJP, Mr Narendra Bedi, concentrated their firepower on this Achilles heel of the Congress. It is thus clear that the election strategy of the BJP and its allies is that while the Prime Minister will concentrate on the Kargil victory both in the battlefield and on the diplomatic front, others in the party will attack the foreign origin of Mrs Sonia Gandhi.
According to Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib, former Congress MP and a frontrunner in the race for the Congress ticket for Ludhiana parliamentary constituency, Mrs Sonia Gandhi is expected to tour Punjab three times during the election campaign when she will address six meetings. Efforts are being made to bring her to Ludhiana.
However, the problem
facing the Congress election managers is that Mrs Gandhi
has indicated that she would not like to tour places
visited by her during the last elections. That
effectively rules out Ludhiana. Mr Galib, however, says
that they are trying to get around the problem by
organising a rally at Jagraon, which, although away from
Ludhiana, forms part Ludhiana parliamentary constituency.
to support Brar
BADAL (Muktsar), Aug 8 Relatives of the SAD President and the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, have decided to support Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar, a prospective candidate of the Congress from the politically important Faridkot parliamentary constituency in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections scheduled to be held on September 5.
Mr Sanjam Singh Dhillon, sarpanch, Badal village, who is a close relative of Mr Badal told TNS that Mr Teja Singh, an uncle of the Chief Minister, would inaugurate the election office of Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar at Lambi tomorrow.
He said along with Mr Teja Singh, Mr Maheshinder Singh Dhillon and other senior members of Mr Dhillons family would also announce their open support for Mr Jagmeet Brar in the coming elections.
Mr Paramjit Singh Lalli, who is also closely related to Mr Badal had already announced his joining the Congress in the 1996 Lok Sabha elections when Mr Kanwaljit Kaur, daughter of Mr Harcharan Singh Brar, Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal and Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar contested against each other.
Political observers here are attaching great significance to the event. They feel that the declaration of open support to Mr Brar by Mr Teja Singh, who commands respect and a large following in the area, will influence the outcome of the elections from this parliamentary seat.
Mr Sanjam Singh Dhillon had given a severe jolt to Mr Badal when he defeated Mr Joginder Singh Gaggi, a SAD candidate in the last panchayat elections, despite stiff opposition.
Brars re-entry benefit SAD?
KOTKAPURA, Aug 8 Will rejoining of Mr Mantar Singh Brar, who had won the last Assembly election from this segment as rebel Akali candidate, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) benefit the party candidate Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal in the ensuing Lok Sabha election?
This is being debated hotly by the rank and file of the SAD and the Congress party and influential voters of the Faridkot constituency comprising, Faridkot, Moga and Muktsar districts.
In the 1998 Lok Sabha elections, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Punjab Chief Minister and SAD president, received a set back when Mr Mantar Singh Brar announced his support to the then Congress candidate, Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar. Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, who emerged winner was the SAD candidate.
With the support of Mr Mantar Brar, Mr Jagmeet Singh got 5500 votes more than Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal in this Assembly segment in 1998 Parliamentary elections Mr Mantar Brar defeated Akali candidate, Mohinder Singh Brar in 1997 Assembly elections with handsome margin.
The rejoining the SAD of Mr Mantar Brar has changed political arithmetic in the Faridkot constituency where Mr Jagmeet Brar and Mr Sukhbir Badal will lock horns again.
Sarpanches, Panchayat members heads of business bodies and prominent workers of the SAD of Kotkapura and Panj Grian Assembly segments raised a banner of revolt when Mr Parkash Singh Badal allowed Mr Mantars entry back into the party last month.
Though Mr Badal got a partial success in pacifying the agitated party workers including Mr Mohinder Singh Brar but they conveyed Mr Badal that they would not work with Mr Mantar Brar for campaigning for Mr Sukhbir Badal.
Mr Mohinder Singh Brar, a senior Akali leader told The Tribune that they would set up separate election offices and hold separate meetings in Kotkapura and Jaitu area from Mr Mantar Brars for campaigning for Mr Sukhbir Badal.
He pointed out that entry of Mr Brar into party would not benefit much as Mr Mantar Singh Brar had lost his mass base in the last two and half years. He added that all supporters of Mr Mantar Singh Brar who worked for him in 1997 Assembly elections had developed strong political equations with Mr Jagmeet Brar. So Mr Mantar would not be able to get votes for Mr Sukhbir Badal.
He claimed that he himself along with his supporters would ensure that Mr Sukhbir polled more votes than Mr Jagmeet Brar in the forthcoming elections.
Mr Mantar, on the other hand said that he would work for strengthening the party base in the area and to ensure the victory of Mr Sukhbir Badal with massive margin. He added that he had no differences with any one and would work for the achieving victory for Mr Sukhbir Badal in Mind.
Mr Jagmeet Brar who is related to Mr Mantar Brar said that Mr Mantar Brar by joining the SAD again had harmed his (Mr Mantar) political carrier as it was a habit of Mr Badal to use every tactic to seek support for Mr Sukhbir Badal.
Chautala to roll back policy
JALANDHAR, Aug 8 Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala today said that all inter-state issues between Punjab and Haryana would be solved across the table and if required, the guidance of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee would be sought for long-running problems.
Talking to the media here today in his first visit to Jalandhar after becoming Chief Minister Mr Chautala blamed Congress governments at the Centre for creating inter-state disputes saying Punjab was the elder brother and the two states had no "dispute". He was replying to a question on whether the two states be able to resolve their problems now as Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, Punjab, has good relations with him. Mr Chautala made it clear that he had very cordial relations with Mr Badal and would even welcome suggestions from the press on inter-state issues.
He said that central governments of the Congress should have constructed the Sutlej-Yamuna link canal years ago but had instead complicated the issue by setting up commissions instead while issues kept lingering. He said it was unfortunate that surplus Ravi-Beas waters were flowing into Pakistan while Haryana was deprived of a share. Simultaneously Punjab had been facing problems due to excess water.
Mr Chautala said that he had assumed the office of Chief Minister at a time when the working of the state administration had already been adversely affected by the previous government of Mr Bansi Lal and the code of conduct was in force and had political partners to consult on various issues. He said that an enquiry would be ordered into the circumstances under which former chief minister Bansi Lal had issued damaging annual confidential reports to senior officers of the state administration. He had already asked these officers to suggest ways by which their annual confidential reports could be rectified.
Replying to a question on power sector, Mr Chautala said that his government was not in favour of privatisation introduced by the previous government in the sector and all such decisions would have to be reviewed, he added.
When asked whether the BJPs outside support would be sufficient to keep him in power Mr Chautala said that it was upto the BJP but hinted that he would appreciate the BJP joining the council of ministers.
Mr Chautala blamed the Congress for engendering a situation leading up to hung parliaments saying it did not fulfil the aspirations of the people in the country. He opposed the Congress on the issue of nominating Mrs Sonia Gandhi for the post of prime minister saying India was not a country of mother-in-laws and daughter-in-laws, but of children who loved their motherland. He said the basic issue was whether to have a foreigner as prime minister or not. He said his party had a proposal to bring a resolution in Parliament to this effect but it could not materialise in time.
The Haryana Chief Minister paid obeisance at Devi Talab Mandir in the city. The president of the managing committee of the mandir Mr A.P. Saigal presented a saropa and memento to Mr Chautala.
SGPC panel to meet Sharif
AMRITSAR, Aug 8 In a significant development, Home Minister L.K. Advani has written to the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee to send a list of 11 delegates to visit Pakistan and meet Mr Nawaz Sharif to try and persuade him to disband the Pakistan Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee headed by a former chief of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
This was in response to the communication of the SGPC to the Union Home Ministry on the subject. It is pertinent to mention here that the SGPC chief Bibi Jagir Kaur and Mr Parkash Singh Badal Chief Minister Punjab and President Shiromani Akali Dal, had also taken up the matter with the central government. The SGPC stopped sending Jathas to Sikh shrines in protest against the formation of the PGPC and both Bibi Jagir Kaur and Mr Badal had alleged that the Sikh shrines were being used to engineer anti-India propaganda during the visits of Sikh jathas to Pakistan.
Talking to TNS, Mr Kulwant Singh, Secretary SGPC said that the issue of sending jathas to Pakistan would be taken up in the executive committee of the SGPC to be held here next week. He said that the names of delegates who would meet Mr Sharif would also be decided by the SGPC chief.
However Mr Kulwant Singh said that jathas would probably begin going to Pakistan on the birthday of Guru Nanak Dev in November.
However, if Mr Sharif did not concede there request (to disband PGPC) the advance party of the SGPC, which usually makes arrangements for langar etc for the pilgrims, would not go to Pakistan. In that case the PGPC would have to make all such arrangements.
It may be mentioned here
that the SGPC had lodged strong protests with the
Pakistan Government through the Centre when its advance
team was not allowed to make arrangements for langar
(community kitchen) in Sikh shrines on its previous visit
and SGPC employees were humiliated by PGPC officials.
Jaundice epidemic in Bathinda
BATHINDA, Aug 8 The Hepatitis-A and Hepatitis-B seem to have become permanent companions of the residents of this district as more and more patients of these diseases have been reporting to private as well as civil hospitals for the past many months.
After invading many parts of the district, Hepatitis-A and Hepatitis-B have now started gripping this and Goniana town thanks to supply of dirty water by the respective municipal councils.
Official sources said eight cases of jaundice had been detected in one street alone behind the bus stand, the ward represented by the President of local Municipal Council, Mr Bhupinder Singh Bhullar.
All the eight patients have been given treatment by the civil hospital authorities in their respective dwellings while the Municipal Council authorities have asked the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board to take other necessary steps to check the spread of jaundice in the city.
In Goniana town, located 11 km from here, about 26 cases of jaundice have been detected in the last two weeks and a fear has gripped the residents.
The residents of Goniana in the absence of adequate facilities in the government hospital there are reporting to private hospitals here where they are getting expensive medical care.
Mr Bhupinder Singh Bhuller, President, local Municipal Council, told TNS that drinking water had become dirty due to mixing of sewerage water as the pipes of those residents who had taken unauthorised connections were leaking.
Mr Avtar Singh Skehon, Senior Medical Officer (SMO), Civil Hospital, Goniana, said jaundice had spread in the town due to mixing of drinking water with sewerage water as drinking water pipes ran parallel to each other.
In the last few months,
a number of cases of Hepatitis-B have been reported from
Faridkot Kotli, Mandi Kalan and Mehraj villages. Two
cases of Hepatitis-B were detected in the Central Jail
here in the past.
Tohra-led front hits campaign trail
MOGA, Aug 8 (PTI) The parallel Akali front today launched its electoral campaign from the Faridkot parliamentary constituency, from where Shiromani Akali Dal President and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badals son and Union Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal is seeking re-election.
The front led by Jathedar Bhai Ranjit Singh and former SGPC chief Gurcharan Singh Tohra vowed to "save Punjab from the Badal family".
The speakers at the rally here, Bhai Ranjit Singh, Bhai Jasbir Singh Rode (chief of SAD-Panthic), Mr Kuldeep Singh Wadala (President SAD-Democratic), Mr Simranjit Singh Mann (President SAD-Amritsar), Mr Lal Singh Sulehani (Senior Vice-President, Punjab BSP) and Mr Harbhajan Lakha, former MP called upon the electorate to reject the SAD-BJP alliance in the coming parliamentary elections.
The speakers also attacked the Congress for Operation Blue Star and the anti-Sikh riots.
Bhai Ranjit Singh later opened the election office of the front candidate from the constituency against Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, Mr Harcharan Singh Rode.
Bhai Ranjit Singh said as convener of the front, he had approved the candidature of 10 candidates and would do so for the remaining three seats within the next two days.
Mahapanchayat passes of peacefully
KAPURTHALA, Aug 8 The mahapanchayat, in which thousands of persons, including members of the zila parishad, block samiti, sarpanches, panches, lawyers, lambardars participated, passed off peacefully at Nadala village today in spite of prohibitory orders imposed by the district administration within a radius of 100 metres around Gurdwara Bauli Sahib at the village, the venue of the mahapanchayat.
Mr Sukhpal Singh Khera, Secretary of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, convened the meeting of prominent parsons of the Bholath constituency being represented by Bibi Jagir Kaur, President, SGPC, to highlight the non-development of the constituency.
Thousand of persons of the area violating the prohibitory orders marched to the gurdwara but the mahapanchayat could not be held as the gurdwara management had organised a path since morning. Heavy police forces was deployed at Nadala village and around the gurdwara.
Mr Khera, Mr Pritam Singh Sikhri, Chairman, block samiti, Nadala, Mr Jarnail Singh, ex-chairman, block samiti and a Congress leader, led the march.
After paying obeisance at the gurdwara, they returned to the bus stand, Nadala, where they held a conference.
Mr H S Dhaliwal, Subdivisional Magistrate, Mr Munish Chawla, SP (Headquarter), Mr S S Bains, Additional Deputy Commissioner and Mr Joginder Singh, DSP, Bolath subdivision, told mediapersons that no one had violated the prohibitory orders as people had come to gurdwara to pay obeisance.
The resolutions passed at the mahapanchayat, alleged that Bibi Jagir Kaur had abdicated her responsibility as the elected MLA of the area and in her absence a coterie of corrupt persons led by a relative of Bibi Jagir Kaur was inflicting atrocities on political opponents.
Traffic jams at rail barriers
PATIALA: The Delhi-Bathinda railway line crossing, which passes through this city dividing it virtually into two parts, has become a major hurdle in the flow of smooth traffic.
Massive traffic jams occur daily at all railway barriers whenever they are pulled down to enable the train to pass. Not only the precious time of commuters is wasted, several accidents and skirmishes are caused at the sites.
There are five main railway barriers in the city Phatak No. 18 just outside the railway station, No. 19 in front of the District Courts, No. 20 in Baradari Gardens, No. 21 on the Rajbaha road and, finally, Phatak No. 22.
The problem is more acute at Phatak 19, 21 and 22 though it is increasing day by day at the others also.
These three spots cause several traffic jams because employees, school children, college-going youths, business persons or consumers have to cross the line more than once daily. The pressure on these roads is increased by the flow of heavy traffic like buses and trucks throughout the day.
A major off-shoot of the traffic jams at these railway barriers is the immediate concentration of traffic at roundabouts and crossroads after the barriers are lifted. At these places, the roads are also damaged.
The released traffic gets jammed again at Children's Memorial Chowk where roads coming from the railway barriers Nos. 21 and 22 meet. The increasing pressure of these jams is telling on the roads. Unfit to carry such constant weight, the road around this roundabout has started wearing out. Huge cracks and potholes have already appeared at these places.
Deputy Commissioner J.S. Bir said an attempt had been made to remove the choking of traffic by widening the roads at the railway barriers. Traffic lights had been installed at various places. Even traffic policemen were posted at the railway barriers and the affected roundabouts to regulate the traffic flow.
All this had, however, failed to produce the desired results. Mr Bir said the only solution seemed to be the construction of a bridge, either over or under one of the railway barriers.
He said the PWD had made a project for the construction of an underbridge at Railway No. 22, but due to the paucity of funds and opposition by shopkeepers of the busy and posh market near the railway barrier, the project could not take off.
He said the administration was making parleys for getting funds for the project and work would start once the money was received.
The Railway Barrier No. 22 shopkeepers have their own reasons for opposing the project.
Mr Joginder Singh Kohli, president of the Shopkeepers Association, said the market was one of the most sought-after and popular places for residents. "If an underbridge or overbridge is constructed, the entire business, show and glow of the place will vanish", he argued.
Mr Pritam Singh, vice-president of the association said the shopkeepers had suggested the construction of a railway overbridge or underbridge at Phatak No. 21 so that their business was not affected. But the district administration was adamant on undertaking the project here.
The Deputy Commissioner, however, justified the project saying the underbridge would not be so wide that shops on the pavement in front of them were affected. An overbridge or underbridge at Barrier No. 21 was suitable due to some technical problems. Moreover, he said, the rush was more on Barrier No. 22 than on No. 21.
As the railway line can
neither be shifted nor alleviated to pass over the road,
construction of an underbridge or overbridge at one of
the barriers seems to be the only solution. But due to
the paucity of funds, the controversy continues and
commuters continue to suffer traffic jams daily.
Amarinder for changes in final list
JALANDHAR, Aug 8 (PTI) Within hours of the finalisation of Congress candidates for Ferozepore, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Amritsar, the Congress high command seems to have come under immense pressure from camps led by those whose names were not in the list and a re-thinking is on regarding these seats, top party sources said.
Punjab Congress President Amarinder Singh met party President Sonia Gandhi last night, reportedly to impress upon her to make certain changes in the list of 11 candidates as the party has left two seats for the CPI and the CPM.
Sources said while former MP Umrao Singhs name was finalised for Jalandhar and that of businessman Sudhir Nagpal for Ferozepore, the issue had been re-opened by the high command as a number of representations had been made in the past 48 hours.
While former MP Balbir Singh was a strong contender for the Jalandhar Lok Sabha seat nomination, former Chief Minister Harcharan Singh Brar was in the race for Ferozepore seat.
Sources said the Umrao camp was vehemently opposing any last minute change regarding his nomination. Mr Nagpal was a close aide of former Union Minister Balram Jakhar who was also in the race for Ferozepore seat.
Sources said candidates whose names had already been reported in major sections of the media as the "final list nominees might take the plea that any last minute re-thinking and changes would portray the party in poor light.
In New Delhi, Congress spokesman Kapil Sibal said all names for the first list of party candidates were decided last night but its release was being deferred till Monday as the final decision was still pending on few seats in the list which would include candidates from a number states and union territories.
Others whose names were cleared were Amrinder's wife Parneet Kaur (Patiala), Jagmeet Singh Brar (Faridkot), Shamsher Singh Dullonnangal (Ropar), Santosh Chaudhry (Phillaur), Gurinder Kairon (Tarn Taran), Sukhbans Kaur Bhinder (Gurdaspur) and Charanjit Singh Channi (Hoshiarpur).
Earlier, PPCC president had publicly opposed leaving any seat to the CPI or the CPM but apparently the Congress high command decided otherwise.
Capt Mandeep Singh cremated
JALANDHAR, Aug 8 Capt Mandeep Singh of 49 Armoured Division Regiment, who was killed in Kupwara area of Jammu and Kashmir on August 6 in counter insurgency when terrorists stormed an Army camp of 4 Rashtriya Rifles, was cremated with full military honours here today.
His father, Mr Kanwaljit Singh, lit the pyre and army bugglers sounded the last post.
A contingent of Army personnel reversed the arms and then saluted the brave soldier by firing a volley of shots into the air.
A student of DAV College and Khalsa College, here 30-year-old Mandeep Singh is survived by his wife, Rajwinder Kaur, and daughters, Gulgul and Bani, besides his parents and two younger brothers, Davinderdeep Singh and Inderdeep Singh.
Leaders cutting across political lines paid tributes to the martyr.
People from different walks of life lined the 2 km route from the captain's residence at Civil Lines to the Model Town cremation ground to pay their last respect to the soldier who died fighting militants.
His mother, Mrs Ravinder Kaur, was seen being consoled by women who thronged the cremation ground.
Brig Surjit Singh, Sub-Area Commander, Brig P.K. Grover, Vajra Corps, laid wreaths on the body of the martyr, besides other senior army officer, JCO'S and jawans.
UNI adds: Commissioned in 49 Armoured Division in 1991, Mandeep Singh, Known as "Harry" to his friends, was presently attached with 4, Rashtriya Rifles.
He was body builder who had taken part in competitions of Mr Punjab and Mr Jalandhar during his college days.
Two "ISI agents" arrested
GURDASPUR, Aug 8 (UNI) A Pakistani and a Bangladeshi nationals have been arrested by the Pathankot police in the Army area of the Pathankot town suspecting the duo to be agents of Pakistans Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) agent.
SSP Varinder Kumar here today identified the accused as Mohammad Aslam of Lahore in Pakistan and Mohammad Khial of Laxmipura in Kishoreganj district in Bangladesh.
Mr Kumar said when a police patrol found them sitting at the gate of 21 Sub Area of Army in Pathankot town last night, they had neither any documents of entry into the country nor gave any satisfactory reply to police queries.
However, Mohammad Khial said he had gone to Pakistan in search of work and came into contact with Mohammad Aslam who brought him along to India via Jammu and Kashmir.
The police officer said the accused were suspected to be on "espionage mission" to collect information about Army locations and its maps.
He said both accused had been arrested under the Indian Passport Act and Foreigners Act, pending deeper investigation into the objective of their entry into India.
EVMs to be used in Badal's
MUKTSAR, Aug 8 (PTI) A total of 1.56 crore voters will exercise their franchise in the 13 Lok Sabha seats of Punjab polling for which will take place on September 5. A top state Election Department official has said.
Altogether 18,215 polling stations will be set up for the purpose and more than 1.25 lakh presiding and polling officers will be appointed for manning them, state Additional Chief Electoral Officer Usha Sharma told reporters here yesterday.
Ms Sharma said that out of the 13 constituencies, the Patiala, Faridkot and Tarn Taran seats will see the use of electronic voting machines (EVMs) for the first time in Punjab.
In these three constituencies, 5,500 EVMs will be provided at 4,122 polling stations for 36 lakh voters in accordance with the guidelines of the Election Commission, she said.
Ms Sharma said with the use of EVMs, there would be no scope for rejection of votes and a voter could easily exercise his or her franchise by pushing a button.
Chautala visits Golden Temple
AMRITSAR, Aug 8 Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala visited this holy city briefly yesterday evening and paid obeisance at the sanctum sanctorum of the Golden Temple to seek blessings on assuming office. He was accompanied by Haryana Finance Minister Sampat Singh.
Mr Chautala, who drove straight from Ludhiana to the Golden Temple was presented with a 'siropa' (robe of honour) and honoured by the SGPC at the information centre. The SGPC President, Bibi Jagir Kaur, presented shawls and photographs and replicas of the Golden Temple to Mr Chautala and Mr Sampat Singh in the presence of SGPC office-bearers, officials, senior staff members, Punjab Minister for Animal Husbandary, Dr Rattan Singh, Akali and BJP MLAs and district officials.
Mr Chautala later paid homage to martyrs of Jallianwala Bagh by placing a wreath at the "flame of liberty" and went to Durgiana Temple to pay obeisance there. He later left Jalandhar by road.
Greeb Congress to contest all
ROPAR, Aug 8 The All-India Gareeb Congress will contest all 13 Lok Sabha seats in the state. It will field young persons as candidates of having good educational qualifications.
In a press statement here, Dr Devinder Sharma, secretary-general of the party, said a five-member Candidates Selection Committee had already been formed. The members of the committee were Mr Prabhjit Singh Ahluwalia, national president of the party, Dr Devinder Sharma, Mr Bhupinder Pal Singh Sandhu, Ms Surinder Kaur Tiwana and Mr Lal Chand Rao.
AICTE directive to Shivalik
Pharmacy college on admissions
NANGAL, Aug 8 The All-India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) has banned admissions in the local Shivalik College of Pharmacy. With yesterday being the last day for admissions Shivalik College of Pharmacy was denied permission for admitting students on the direction of the AICTE. Here AICTE has stopped the admission in the college according to sources on basis of objection that the college did not have own building and well-equipped library.
The college has been amidst controversy since its take over by the Punjab Government. It was set up by the local Municipal Council in 1983 for technical education in the area. General Shivalik College and Pharmacy College existed in the same building owned by the Municipal Council till May 1997 when General Shivalik College was taken over by the government.
The Pharmacy Council of India is considering to abolish the diploma course in pharmacy by the turn of century.
The president of the council, Mr Rakesh Sharma, said the council did not have Rs 2 crore to construct the building and the college did not benefit the locals. He was not in favour of upgrading the college. The sources in the pharmacy college said that an alternative to keep the college running was to allocate a few vacant rooms in the General Shivalik College to the Pharmacy College.
The authorities of
Government Shivalik College do not have extra room for
the Pharmacy College. The Pharmacy College was bound to
vacate our building as per our agreement with the
Municipal Council and there is no chance of our giving
them any extra rooms to them, the authorities said.
Bitta renounces seat to work
NABHA (Patiala), Aug 8 Former Indian Youth Congress President Maninderjit Singh Bitta today said he would not stand for election or for any office till all members of the families of Kargil martyrs were provided jobs.
Talking to newsmen here, Mr Bitta said though the high command had sounded him for the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat he had declined to contest as he wanted to devote his time to ensuring jobs and other facilities for the families of Kargil martyrs. He said he had already toured various states and met affected families in this regard.
"Mr Bitta said the anti-terrorism front, of which he was the head, would also honour families of Kargil martyrs as well as families of policemen who had laid down their lives for the country at a state-level function to be held in the first week of October here.
Talking of the Kargil
crisis, he said while the valiant efforts of Army
personnel were praiseworthy, there had been serious
intelligence lapses. Senior Army officials responsible
for the lapses should be held accountable for them.
Annual convention of
AMRITSAR, Aug 8 Annual convention of the Punjab State Pensioners and Senior Citizens Welfare Association was held under the presidentship of Mr Avtar Singh Afat, president, here today. The chief guest was Dr Baldev Raj Chawla, Deputy Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha.
Homage was paid to the Kargil martyrs. Mr Vir Singh Lopoke, Mr Gulzar Singh Ranike and Mr Sat Paul Dang, former MLA while addressing the convention assured their support to the demands of the pensioners, which included setting up a committee to remove the anomalies in the revised pension rules, and accepting of all demands recommended by the Fourth Pay Commission.
The meeting also demanded payment of gratuity based on pay, including DA, drawn at the time of retirement. Medical allowance of Rs 500 per month, travelling allowance to all family pensioners and reimbursement to pensioners having chronic diseases, was also sought.
Representatives of the district administration also participated in the convention assuring redressal of grievances and problems of the pensioners on a priority basis.
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