|Sunday, January 16, 2000,
Bhajan Lal to contest from Adampur
Bansi Lal rules out pact with
Rorhi awaits battle royale
INLD, BJP soften stands
Uncertainty over panchayat poll
Crime down in Ambala
12 Cong ex-MLAs to be renominated
BSP to hold rally on Jan 17
Panipat faces rise in TB cases
Woman killed in mishap
Widows stage dharna
Yuva sangathan's plea to govt
Tributes paid to G.L. Nanda
Haryana teachers resent govt
Punia appointed HPCC spokesperson
to contest from Adampur
CHANDIGARH, Jan 15 Even as the ruling Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and the BJP are struggling to formulate a workable alliance, the Congress, in total reversal on its past traditions, is in the thick of the selection process of its candidate for the coming Haryana Assembly elections.
According to informed sources, the Congress Pradesh Election Committee, which has been meeting in Delhi since yesterday, has already cleared the candidate for nearly 20 Assembly constituencies of the 90. The committee members, the sources say, have so far remained above narrow group considerations and have gone by the winnability of the candidates. A few more names are likely to be cleared by the committee tonight.
The committee has recommended to the AICC that all the 12 sitting MLAs should be renominated. Thus Mr Bhajan Lals family once again gets the party ticket for two of its members from Kalka and Adampur. The sources say while from Kalka Mr Chander Mohan, the elder son of Mr Bhajan Lal, will contest the former Chief Minister will himself contest from Adampur in place of his younger son, Mr Kuldip Singh Bishnoi.
Of the three associate members in the dissolved House, the committee has recommended the name of the former minister, Mr Jagan Nath, from Bawani Khera in Bhiwani district. It is yet to take a decision about the other three Mr Dev Raj Diwan from Sonepat, Mr Nirmal Singh from Naggal and Dr Dharambir Yadav from Salhawas.
The name of another former minister, Mr Dharambir, has been recommended from Tosham. Mr Harpal Singh or his son, Mr Paramvir Singh, will contest from Tohana. Mr Anand Singh Dangi will take on the INLD challenge from Meham, while Dr Kirpa Ram Punias candidature has been recommended from the Baroda reserved constituency in Sonepat district.
The other candidates are
Capt Ajay Singh Yadav (Rewari), Mr Randip Singh Surjewala
(Narwana), Mr Birender Singh (Uchana), Mr Dharamvir Gauba
(Gurgaon), Mr Khurshid Ahmed (Nuh), Mrs Kartar Devi
(Kalanaur), Mr Dillu Ram (Guhla), Mr Satvinder Rana
(Rajaund), Mr Jai Singh Rana (Nilorkheri), and Mr
Narender Singh (Ateli).
rules out pact with Congress, BSP
GURGAON, Jan 15 Former Chief Minister of Haryana and Haryana Vikas Party (HVP) supremo Bansi Lal yesterday denied reports published in a section of the Press that there was any move to have an alliance with the Congress or the BSP.
Mr Bansi Lal said he had already announced the decision of his party to contest all 90 seats for the Vidhan Sabha elections independently and the parliamentary board of the party was preparing a list of the candidates to be announced soon for this purpose.
He maintained that the real contest in the ensuing elections would be between his party and the Congress, as the "efforts of the BJP and the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) to befool the people through offering allurements had been thoroughly exposed during the past few months". He was of the view that despite making tempting announcements, Mr Om Prakash Chautala could not win the confidence of the people, as he had come to power by engineering defections.
Mr Bansi Lal chided the Governor of Haryana for asking him to get a fresh vote of confidence in July 1999, just a few weeks after he had won the vote of confidence on the floor of the House on June 25, 1999. He alleged that the decision of the Governor was "misuse of power" as constitutionally there was no need to call the Vidhan Sabha for the next six months.
The former Chief Minister maintained that he had won the vote of confidence on his own by getting 55 votes (including 13 of the Congress and one of an Independent) against 33 polled by the Opposition on June 25. He claimed that neither he nor the Congress had ever given in writing to the Governor that the Congress was supporting his party, after the BJP withdrew its support from the HVP. The result of the vote of confidence was clear that even if the Congress had not voted in his favour, he had won the vote with 42 versus 33 votes jointly polled by the INLD and the BJP.
Mr Bansi Lal said it was a surprise for him when the Governor started consultations with legal and constitutional experts to ascertain their view on the letter written by the INLD and the BJP demanding the dismissal of his ministry, following the announcements made by some Congress leaders that they had withdrawn their support from the HVP, which, in fact, they had never rendered.
He was of the view that constitutional experts must start a debate over the use of power by a Governor in similar circumstances, because in this way the Governor would have to "call the House every third day to ascertain the majority of the government.
In reply to a question, he maintained that the public would not spare defectors from any party in the elections. He said his party would not entertain any of the MLAs who had defected from his party in July 1999, to support Mr Chautala.
Mr Bansi Lal said the main plank of his election campaign would be the initiation and completion of various development projects announced during his previous over three-year term. Commenting on the open darbars organised by Mr Chautala during the past one month throughout the state, he said Mr Chautala had made so many announcements that these could not be fulfilled.
Mr Bansi Lal said the
public was intelligent enough to discriminate between
development work done, under his regime and mere
announcements made by Mr Chautala. He alleged that not
only had Mr Chautala failed to fulfil his promise of
supplying free electricity and water to the farmers, but
the power supply to the agriculture sector was also
awaits battle royale
SIRSA, Jan 15 Mr Devi Lal's son, Mr Ranjit Singh, and former minister Jagdish Nehra are traditional rivals within the Congress. The two hardly miss any opportunity to run down each other.
This time, the occasion was the interviews for the selection of candidate for Rorhi and other Assembly segments in Sirsa district. Both Mr Nehra and Mr Ranjit Singh have applied for the Rorhi Assembly ticket. Chief Minister and Ranjit's brother Om Prakash Chautala has already announced his decision to contest from here.
Both Mr Nehra and Mr Ranjit Singh have represented Rorhi once each. While Ranjit Singh was elected from here in 1987, Mr Nehra won the seat in 1991 and both became minister after their respective victories.
Mr Ranjit Singh announced that he would fight against his brother from the Rorhi constituency after Mr Chautala announced his decision. He has been claiming that in case he is fielded by the Congress, Mr Chautala will either withdraw from here or at least contest from some other "safe" constituency also.
However, Mr Nehra has also been pressing his candidature, saying that he alone can give a better fight to Mr Chautala. While the two "prospective candidates" were being interviewed by central observer, I.G. Sandhi, an MP from Karnataka, their supporters shouted slogans and traded charges. In fact, one aspirant, who had himself come to appear in the interview, remarked: "It is already clear as how much support the Congress candidate will get from workers". He stopped just short of saying that in case Mr Nehra gets the ticket, Ranjit's supporters will ensure his defeat and vice versa. Mr Nehra, who lost to Mr Chautala in 1996, has been accusing Mr Ranjit Singh of working against him (Mr Nehra) in those elections.
Rorhi will make an interesting battlefield, not just because the Chief Minister is seeking re-election from here but also due to the rivalry between two influential Congress leaders in case either of them gets the ticket.
As many as 51 candidates appeared in the interviews for five Assembly segments of Sirsa district. They included Mr Lachhman Dass Arora, Mr Veer Bhan Mehta, Mr Hoshiari Lal Sharma, Mr Rahul Setia, Ms Sunita Setia, Mr K.V. Singh and Mr Mani Ram Kerwal.
The Congress had lost
all five Assembly seats in Sirsa district in 1996. While
the BJP had won the Sirsa Assembly seat, the remaining 4
were claimed by the Indian National Lok Dal in its
previous avtar as the Samata Party. Being the home
district of Mr Devi Lal this has always been a stronghold
for the INLD. The only exception here is Sirsa, which the
party has not been winning since 1987. In the last
Assembly, it was represented by Mr Ganeshi Lal of the BJP
which is likely to be the alliance partner of the INLD.
GURGAON, Jan 15 The leaders of the Indian National Lok Dal and the BJP in Haryana have toned down their tough stands on the sharing of seats for the ensuing assembly elections in the state even as the Congress is all set to renominate all 12 sitting MLAs.
Notwithstanding the bravado and tough talk of the INLD and BJP leaders, the two parties are said to be in search of a face-saving formula on the seat sharing issue. The leaders of both parties are now exercising restraint in criticising each other.
The Haryana Chief Minister and INLD supremo, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, is expected to meet the Prime Minister Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee shortly for finding a solution to the issue. According to sources, he is likely to meet Mr Vajpayee within 48 hours. He had called on Mr Vajpayee this week. Although he claims that he had met the Prime Minister to enquire about his health, the issue of seat sharing between the INLD and the BJP cropped up during the meeting.
Although the BJP leaders in Haryana publicly continue to demand 35 seats, as promised by Mr Chautala before dissolution of the Haryana Assembly, they have left it to the party high command to deal with the INLD.
There are indications that the Haryana unit of the BJP and the INLD will finally meet for an early solution of the issue. There is a possibility of the issue being clinched with about 30 seats being given to the BJP. The INLD may be persuaded to give up its stand on the criteria of a "winning" candidate getting a seat. The INLD is presently rooting for a commitment from the BJP leadership to give up its claim for the post of Deputy Chief Minister, if the INLD-BJP comes back to power.
According to observers, there is now a sense of urgency in the INLD and BJP rank and file with all factions in the Haryana unit of the Congress closing ranks in a bid to face the election unitedly.
The Congress has already began its poll-related exercise. The Election Committee and the Campaign Committee met yesterday to sort out the poll-related issues. Decks are said to have been cleared for renominating all sitting MLAs. However, there are pressures on the Party not to renominate some sitting MLAs.
The State President of
the Congress, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda, is in favour of
giving the ticket to new faces. Also, he is in favour of
candidates who have a clean record. He is keen to
finalise the names of party nominees by January 22.
over panchayat poll
CHANDIGARH, Jan 15 When will elections to panchayati raj institutions in Haryana take place? This continues to be a riddle, notwithstanding the fact that the Punjab and Haryana High Court has issued specific directions to the state government to hold these elections before February end "positively". The State Election Commission is also all set to comply with these directions before the deadline.
The reason? The government appears to be anxious to hold panchayat elections only after the Assembly poll scheduled to be held on February 22. Whether the government will succeed in its gameplan or not is a different matter.
The State Election Commissioner, Mr T.D. Jogpal, asserts that he had done his part of the duty. He says that he wrote to the state government on December 27 itself the date on which the high court had handed down the judgement for issuing the necessary notification, as envisaged under Section 211(1) of the Panchayati Raj Act. This is the mandatory requirement of the statute. Until this notification is issued, the Election Commission cannot proceed.
Section 211(2) of the Act, adds Mr Jogpal, lays down that the State Election Commission and all the authorities concerned will take action to hold elections only after the issuance of the notification by the government.
The State Election Commissioner further adds that he wrote to the Chief Electoral Officer, Mr Bhaskar Chatterjee, also on the same date for making necessary arrangements for ballot boxes. Mr Chatterjee has informed him that since the Assembly has already been dissolved and its elections are to be held shortly, he has urged the Election Commission of India to supply ballot boxes to the State Election Commission for the panchayat elections. The ballot boxes available with the Chief Electoral Officer are needed for the Assembly elections.
"Until now we have not heard anything either from the government or the Election Commission of India. Therefore, we have to keep our fingers crossed until these two agencies do their part of the duty", Mr Jogpal says.
In its judgement the high court had castigated the former Advocate-General of Haryana for misleading the Bench by withholding the constitutional provisions from it about the panchayat elections and for obtaining an order from the court on a "collusion petition" for deferring these elections till June, 2000. The high court had also directed the state government to discharge its constitutional obligation by holding elections to panchayati raj institutions by February-end.
Since this order was unpalatable to the ruling Indian National Lok Dal-BJP combine as it has exposed its gameplan to hold Assembly elections before the panchayat elections, reports had it that the government would challenge it before the Supreme Court. The guessing game continued for several days until the government silently preferred a review petition in the high court last week.
The review petition was returned by the high court registry on a minor technical defect. The government pleader who had filed the review petition had not attached with it an affidavit as was required under the rules.
The Advocate-General of Haryana, Mr M.L. Sarin, now reveals that the amended petition had been preferred on Thursday. Why it was not listed for hearing on Friday was not known. In any case, it may come up for hearing during the next week.
The high court judgement had led to jubilation in Congress circles. These circles felt that they were able to foil the government move to hold panchayat polls after the Assembly elections and gain political mileage.
Mr Randeep Singh
Surjewala, a spokesman and whip of the Congress, who had
filed the review petition for the recall of the high
court order of September 30 postponing the panchayat
elections till June 30, had told mediapersons on December
27 that the Congress stand had been vindicated by the
high court that the constitution had cast a duty on the
government to hold these elections within five years. The
existing tenure of panchayati raj institutions, he had
claimed, was to expire on January 15.
in Ambala range
AMBALA, Jan 15 Crime in the districts of Ambala, Panchkula, Kurukshetra, Yamunanagar and Kaithal, falling under Ambala range, has reduced by almost four times during 1999 in comparison to 1998, said the Inspector-General of Police, Ambala range, Mr Hari Singh Ahlawat.
He disclosed that in 1998, as many as 14,210 cases of different nature were registered in the range while in 1999, the number was only 3553. In 1999, as many as 118 cases of murder registered, the police solved 98.
The police also recovered 63 pistols and 108 cartridges last year.
Mr Ahlawat said in 1999, stolen property worth Rs 3,27,75,368 was recovered in different districts of the range. During the period, 17 vehicles were snatched by miscreants out of which 13 were recovered, he added.
ex-MLAs to be renominated
NEW DELHI, Jan 15 The Haryana Pradesh Election Committee (PEC), which started the exercise of shortlisting candidates for the forthcoming assembly poll, is understood to have agreed to recommend renomination of 12 members of the dissolved House.
The PEC, which met for the first time yesterday, today took up the task of selecting candidates from over 1400 candidates who had applied for party tickets.
Party sources said as per preliminary understanding the PEC would recommend to the Congress Central Election Committee to renominate all those who were members of the assembly, dissolved ahead of five-year term.
In addition, there were reports that the PEC has narrowed down the choice in at least five constituencies, including nomination of the Haryana Pradesh chief, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda from Kiloi, Mr Anand Singh Dangi from Meham, Mr Kripa Ram Punia, Mr Dharambir from Bhiwani and Mr Harpal Singh from Tuhana, the sources said.
The PEC recommendations are expected to be discussed and finalised by the CC which will meet here between January 18 and 21. As per the recommendations of Antony Committee, the selection of candidates for Assembly elections are to be completed at least one month ahead of the date of election. Haryana goes to the polls on February 22.
Meanwhile, the Haryana
Bhavan, the AICC headquarters and the official residence
of a former MP, where the PEC was meeting, is being
thronged by ticket-seekers and their supporters who have
descended here on large number.
hold rally on Jan 17
SIRSA, Jan 15 The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) will decide its future course of action on January 17. This was stated by party's state youth wing vice-president Ranbeer Singh here yesterday.
Mr Ranbeer Singh was here to mobilise the masses for the Bhaichara Badahao rally to be held at Meham on January 17.
faces rise in TB cases
PANIPAT, Jan 15 The incidence of tuberculosis and other respiratory diseases has increased owing to alarming pollution levels in the city. Doctors at the Civil Hospital here say that 30 per cent of the patients coming to the OPDs everyday belonged to the category of chronic pulmonary obstructive diseases having ailments ranging, from ordinary cough to bronchitis, asthma and tuberculosis. There are about 700 tuberculosis patients here.
Mohammad Khaleel, a handloom artisan from Bihar, consumes a lot of "gur" everyday. After remaining exposed to the fibre dust for the past 70 years, working day and night in the poorly ventilated handloom units, Khaleel has developed chronic chest congestion and complains of breathlessness. Known in medical parlance as a victim of interstitial lung disease, Khaleel believes that eating "gur" will help get rid of chest congestion but doctors say that unless he changes his profession and stays away from the fibre pollutants, things will not improve for him.
"There is no permanent treatment for the disease and allergic bronchitis. The patient must get away from the fibre dust first and only then the symptomatic treatment can work", says Dr Jai Prakash Saluja, a physician at the Civil Hospital. Doctors say that prolonged exposure to the fibre dust can lead to asthma.
But it is the growing
number of TB patients that have perturbed the medicos. Dr
Parveen Malhotra, a respiratory disease specialist says:
"My observation is that almost 40 per cent patients
coming to me have TB. It is a misconception that only
people from the lower strata of society are exposed to
tuberculosis. In fact, the disease is now prevalent in
killed in mishap
ROHTAK, Jan 15 A woman was killed and her husband injured when a truck hit them on Gohana road, near here, yesterday.
According to police sources, the deceased, identified as Krishna, wife of the Bhawani Singh of Sanghi village, was going with her husband on a two-wheeler when the accident took place, near Jassia village, about 15 km from here. The police has booked a case against the truck driver, who is a resident of Madina village in the district.
Meanwhile, the police
has booked a person for allegedly stealing a shotgun and
24 cartridges from a house in Model Town here. According
to a complaint lodged by Mahender Singh, the accused,
Ranjit, a resident of Dubaldhan village, stole the gun in
his absence. A case under Section 379 of the IPC has been
KURUKSHETRA, Jan 15 (UNI) A large number of widows from the district staged a dharna in front of the residence of the local MP demanding parity with those whose pension had been enhanced from Rs 100 to 200.
The protestors who gathered at Mrs Kailasho Devi Saini's residence yesterday said while the old-age pension had been doubled, the widows had been denied the raise.
They said the Chautala Government could not discriminate against them on the basis of gender.
sangathan's plea to govt
SONEPAT, Jan 15 The Unemployed Yuva Sangathan, Haryana, has urged the state government to direct industries to provide 80 per cent jobs to local youths in their units to end unemployment.
The demand is contained in a resolution adopted at the first convention of the sangathan held at Ganaur, 16 km from here, yesterday. Mrs Nirmal Chaudhary, an activist of the Congress and founder-president of the sangathan, presided over it. Thousands of jobless youths participated in the convention.
paid to G.L. Nanda
KURUKSHETRA, Jan 16 To mark the death anniversary of former Prime Minister of India Gulzari Lal Nanda a prayer meeting was held at the 'sadachar sathal (samadhi)' on the eastern bank of Brahamsrover here today.
Arora, Deputy Commissioner, Mr Vineet Garg, Registrar,
Kurukshetra University, Mr Girish Arora, Chief Executive
Officer, Kurukshetra Development Board and Dr Shanti
Swroop Sharma, a journalist paid floral tributes at the
teachers resent govt attitude
ROHTAK, Jan 15 The Haryana Federation of University and College Teachers Organisations (HFUCTO) has expressed resentment over the unsympathetic attitude of the state government towards various issues concerning education.In a statement issued here today, Mr Wazir Nehra, convenor of the federation, said the delay in releasing of grants for universities and colleges had put the teachers, in difficult situation.
He alleged that the
government had also failed to remove the anomalies in pay
scales of the teachers despite repeated appeals for the
same. He claimed that the teachers had not received the
revised pay scale arrears. An executive committee meeting
of the federation would be held at Guru Jambheshwar
university, Hisar, on January 23, he added.
appointed HPCC spokesperson
ROHTAK, Jan 15 Mr Pradeep Singh Punia, advocate, has been appointed spokesperson of the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) for the forthcoming state Assembly elections.
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