|Saturday, February 19, 2000,
concerned over fiscal policy
Civic poll in Haryana on April 2
HC notice to FCI in contract case
Bandh to protest traders
Congress wave in Haryana: Singla
CHANDIGARH, Feb 18 The Haryana Congress claimed today that the state was witnessing a Congress wave in the Assembly elections, and the party was heading for a big sweep.
The AICC spokesperson for the Haryana Congress, Mr Surinder Singla, said the people of Haryana had realised that no non-Congress government, whether formed by a coalition or by a single party, was stable and they were now sick of frequent elections. The mood of the party workers, who had been demoralised after the last Lok Sabha elections, was upbeat at the response of the people.
Asserting that it was not ordained by destiny that Mr Om Prakash Chautala of the INLD should rule the state for long, Mr Singla said that the INLD leader was bound to be thrown into the dustbin of history after the Assembly poll. People had not been misled by the mask worn by Mr Chautala in the past few months. They had realised that Mr Chautala's core character was that of a sectional leader.
Accusing Mr Chautala of being anti-farmer, Mr Singla said the INLD leader had conveniently forgotten his promise of free water and free power after coming to power. Mr Chautala had accepted meekly a hefty increase in the diesel prices, and he would again give in to the another dose of a big rise in the prices of fuel likely to be proposed in the coming Union Budget. Mr Chautala's promises could not be taken seriously.
The Congress leader said the BJP was an "opportunist party". It first entered into an alliance with Mr Bansi Lal and then with Mr Chautala. Even in the INLD-BJP alliance nothing was smooth as the two parties were working to harm each other.
He said Mrs Sonia
Gandhi's visit to Haryana tomorrow would electrify the
state and consolidate the voters behind the Congress.
Media reports suggesting a clear majority for the INLD
were misleading and far from ground reality.
BSP confident of victory
PANCHKULA, Feb 18 The national leader of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Mr Kanshi Ram, said that the Dalit community did not have money in its pocket but was a big vote bank, which had been exploited by every political party time and again. He said this while addressing a public rally to mobilise support for the party candidate from the Kalka constituency, Mr Jagdeep Chaudhary, in Sector 16, here today.
He said that the BSP was tired of being deceived by parties working with their own political motives and hence had decided to fight the election on its own strength in the state. ''We have chosen not to form an alliance with any of the parties and instead work out our own strategy in this election,'' he stated.
Mr Kanshi Ram added that in his opinion democracy was still not flourishing in the country owing to concentration of power in the hands of the elite. ''In our country democracy cannot be successful till the reigns are in the hands of the rich. The rule of the upper class has to go and that of the bahujan samaj come in for us to be called democratic,'' he opined. He added that 80 per cent of the population was from the bahujan samaj and other related castes.
Taking serious view of the candidates fielded by the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party, Mr Kanshi Ram said that their candidate, Mr Chaudhary, was a well-read man with service to the community as his motto.
Mr Chaudhary said that he was in for a tough fight since he had Mr Chander Mohan, son of a former Chief Minister, on the one hand, and Mr Sham Lal Bansal, a heavyweight of the business community, on the other. He said that in spite of this he believed that he was likely to emerge as a winner and was banking on the votes of the community.
A ragi doled out songs on important political issues and made mockery of the election scenario.
The curtain came down on
the rally with a couplet from Mr Kanshi Ram. He said:
''Chalega haathi, uddegi dhool, na rahega panja, na
rahega phool'', making reference to the fact that their
candidate would emerge victorious leaving the Congress
and the BJP behind.
Bhajan foresees a harsh Budget
PANCHKULA, Feb 18 In view of an expected harsh Budget, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) insisted on holding the assembly elections before it was presented to ensure that they were not completely wiped out from the states where elections were going on, Mr Bhajan Lal, a former Chief Minister of Haryana, said while addressing a press conference and a Congress rally at Barwala here today.
He said that the budget would be a traumatic experience for the common man and that the party was giving confusing signals to keep up the ambiguity till it was actually tabled. ''However, if the Chief Minister is strong and acts tough, the party cannot impose inconsiderate demands on the people but with Mr Om Prakash Chautala anything and everything can be expected,'' he said.
He said that voting the BJP-INLD alliance to power would not ensure a stable government since alliances were ''infamous'' for not working out. ''No amount of understanding between the parties helps and especially when the BJP is involved. It changes partners at the drop of hat and has its own axe to grind,'' he said.
Detailing the development programmes likely to be carried out in the constituency, he said that education would be given top priority. A medical college, an engineering college and a regional centre of Kurukshetra University would be opened. Alongside, health facilities would also be developed and a hospital on the lines of the PGI in Chandigarh would come up.
The beautification drive of the sectors would be undertaken, occupants of houses would be allowed to develop land in front their houses and there would be no power cuts as was the trend during the regime of the two Chief Ministers previously. Also, a uniform tax policy would be adopted in the state in line with that prevailing in Chandigarh and efforts to have uniformity in the entire northern region would also be made. Plots would be carved out for jhuggi-dwellers to make Panchkula a model town.
Reacting to a statement on the state getting help from the Centre only if Mr Chautala led the government made by the Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Mr Pramod Mahajan, Mr Bhajan Lal said: ''If need be, we will shake the entire set-up of the Union Government and that such threats did not hold any water.''
Later, he addressed a rally along with Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal at Barwala. Addressing the gathering, he stated that the state had seen two Chief Ministers in four years and absolutely no development. The prohibition policy of the Bansi Lal government was a money-minting game and the Chautala government came to power by default.
Mrs Bhattal and Mr Pawan
Valecha, Vice-President of the District Congress
Committee, appealed to the voters to cast their vote in
favour of the Congress candidate for an allround
development of the constituency. Mrs Bhattal added that
if the Congress formed the government, Mr Chander Mohan,
was likely to be a minister.
Bhajans plea to voters
AMBALA, Feb 18 Former Chief Minister Bhajan Lal has urged the people of Haryana to support the Congress candidates for the all-round development of the state. He was addressing a public meeting in Barara village in Mulana Assembly constituency, 30 km from here, in support of Mr Phool Chand Mulana today.
He said Mr Bansi Lal and Mr Om Prakash Chautala had disappointed the people of the state as development works initiated by them had not been completed. He said the decision of total prohibition of Mr Bansi Lal was not a practical one. The state had to suffer a huge financial loss for it.
Criticising Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, he said in the last Lok Sabha elections he had assured the people to provide power for 24 hours. But he had done nothing in this regard. He said the farmers of the state had also suffered as they did not get the proper price of paddy and sugarcane this year.
He said if the Union
Government imposed tax on the income of the farmers, the
Haryana Congress would launch a state-wide agitation.
Discard corrupt elements:
ROHTAK, Feb 18 Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister and senior BJP leader Pramod Mahajan has called upon the people of Haryana to get rid of "defectors" and "corrupt" politicians, because of whom the state politics has been suffering from "aaya Ram-gaya Ram" syndrome. He was addressing an election meeting in support of the local BJP candidate, Mr Manish Grover, at Bhiwani stand here yesterday. Mr Mahajan said the forthcoming state Assembly elections slated for February 22 provided a good opportunity to the electorate of the state to discard corrupt political elements. It is always better if the states are governed by the same parties or alliances which are in power at the Centre; he added.
Giving a "veiled" caution to the state electorate, the Union Minister said the state would get funds for undertaking developmental works and welfare schemes only, if an INLD-BJP coalition was voted to power in the state Assembly elections.
The meeting was also
addressed by BJP district unit president Pradeep Jain.
Mahasangh to back INLD-BJP
ROHTAK, Feb 18 The Haryana Karamchari Mahasangh has extended support to the INLD-BJP candidates in the February 22 assembly elections scheduled for February 22.
Prominent functionaries of the Mahasangh, Mr Dhara Singh (president), Mr M.L. Sehgal, general secretary, Mr Baldev Singh, senior vice president, and former president, Mr S.D. Kapoor in a joint signed statement issued here today said that the Mahasangh was supporting the INLD-BJP because the Chautala government had not only stopped the victimisation of the employees by the Bansi Lal government but had also restored the honour and dignity of the employees.
The statement said the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, reinstated 34 nurses, four leaders of the HVPN, police commandos and nearly 1000 suspended employees. The services of these employees, they said, were terminated by the Bansi Lal government.
They claimed that the
Chief Minister had, on December 25, agreed to implement
"recommendations of" Fifth Pay Commission to
the employees working in boards and corporations, bonus
and review of the reorganisation the state electricity
board. But these announcements could not be made because
the model code of conduct had come into force due to
BSP predicts hung Assembly
CHANDIGARH, Feb 18 The Haryana unit of the BSP has claimed that it will have a key role to play in the formation of the government after the Assembly elections in the state.
The senior vice-president of the party, Mr Jagpal Singh Choudhary, said the elections were likely to throw up a hung Assembly and the balance would be with the BSP, which, he said, was poised for "extraordinary" gains in the state. If the strength of the BSP in the new house would be greater than that of the BJP.
Asked with which party
the BSP would align after the elections, Mr Choudhary
said the issue would be decided by the party President,
Mr Kanshi Ram, in consultation with newly elected MLAs.
Candidate ploughs back donations
SONEPAT, Feb 18 In a bid to woo the electorate, an Independent candidate Mr Dev Raj Dewan from the Sonepat seat has adopted the novel device of returning garlands of currency notes to the electorate of arrears where they had been presented.
This makes him the first candidate who returns the money given to him for development of the area concerned.
Mr Dewan, has a record
of never having accepted any money offered to him by the
electorate ever since he was elected to the Haryana
Vidhan Sabha in 1996 elections.
133 polling booths sensitive
ROHTAK, Feb 18 The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Rajesh Khullar, said here today that more policemen would be deployed at sensitive polling booths to instil confidence among voters.
He said that 133 polling booths spread over 71 villages in the district had been identified as sensitive. Of these, 35 were in 18 villages of the Rohtak Assembly constituency, 29 in 17 villages of Kiloi, 30 in 15 villages of Meham, 22 in 10 villages of Hasangarh and 18 in 11 villages of the Kalanuar (SC) constituency.
The police had seized 10 vehicles which were being used without permits in electioneering. A vigil being maintained to ensure peaceful elections in the district.
The candidates had been
advised not to put up hoardings or banners without
permission. Hoardings, banners and posters put up
unauthorisedly at Ambedkar Chowk, Church Road,
Post-Office Road, Civil Road and Subhash Chowk had been
Special poll meeting today
SONEPAT, Feb 18 The district administration has taken a series of measures to conduct free, fair and peaceful assembly elections and to enforce the model code of conduct.
Mr Sudhir Rajpal, Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Electoral Officer, told mediapersons here today that he has convened a special meeting at Panchayat Bhavan tomorrow to apprise the candidates and their representatives about the latest instructions of the Election Commission for abiding the model code of conduct. The three central observers, he said, would also attend the meeting.
He said the central observers were staying at the PWD (B&R) Rest House and their telephone numbers were Mr Anoop Mukherjee, 46,672; Ms R. Tempo, 41,775 and Mr T. Haopik, 45,732. Mr T. Haopik had been appointed as accounts observer by the Election Commission for all six assembly constituencies in the district.
According to the Deputy
Commissioner any information or complaint about the
violation of the model code of conduct by the candidates
or their supporters, could be sent through the faxed or
phone No. 41775.
INLD comfortably placed
JIND, Feb 18 The Indian National Lok Dal Bharatiya Janata Party alliance appears to have a decisive edge over the Congress in most assembly segments in Jind district. Despite some misunderstandings about INLD support to the BJP candidate in Jind, the two partners appear to have buried the hatchet in the face of the challenge posed by the Congress.
In the high profile Narwana constituency, Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala appears to be comfortably placed against Randeep Surjewala of the Congress. This is despite the fact that Surjewala enjoys a good reputation among voters. Moreover, he has launched a vigorous campaign to ensure re-election. He defeated Mr Chautala in 1996. But Mr Chautala is so confident of victory that he has decided not to campaign personally in Narwana. The Congress candidate in turn has great expectations from tomorrows rally of the Congress president Ms Sonia Gandhi.
In Uchana Kallan, another chief ministerial candidate Mr Birender Singh of the Congress enjoys an edge over Mr Bagh Singh of the INLD. Mr Birender Singh, a former HPCC president is seeking re-election from here. Although a good credible candidate among most of the one common grouse against him is that he is inaccessible as he mostly stays in Delhi.
Mr Bagh Singh had been facing some opposition from Des Raj of his own party, who was expecting ticket from here. However, the party leadership managed to rein him in and he is now supporting Mr Bagh Singh, which has strengthened his position. The HVP candidate Mr O. P. Nain, also has influence in select pockets. Since he may cut into the votes of both the Congress as well as INLD candidates, he may not make any major difference.
Jind is the only constituency, where the BJP and INLD are fighting against each other. Although having been expelled from the party, the Independent candidate Mr Gulshan Baradwaj technically continues to be the INLD candidate, since he has been allotted the party symbol. The seat had otherwise been allotted to the BJP, which has fielded Mr Rameshwar Dass Gupta from here.
Mr Baradwaj and Mr Mange Ram Gupta are locked in a keen contest here and the position of Mr Baradwaj has been strengthened, due to the complete support from INLD cadres. This has placed the BJP candidate Rameshwar Dass in a difficult position. The sitting MLA, Mr Brij Mohan Singhla, who joined the Congress on the eve of elections in Chandigarh and has kept himself aloof from the campaign.
In Julana, Mr Sher Singh a retired Inspector General of the Border Security Force is placed against Surajbhan Kajal of the INLD. Mr Kajal is trying to capitalise on Mr Singhs lack of experience in politics. Mr Singh also may face difficulties on account of Parminder Dhull, a prominent Independent.
Julana was represented by Mr Satya Narian Lather, who had also joined the Congress before the elections. Mr Lather mostly stays in Uchana and has been campaigning for Mr Birender Singh. Another notable candidate from here is Mr Samudr Singh Lather, who may not be able to make any decisive impact.
Like in a number of other places, the Congress candidate in Rajaund, Mr Satvinder Rana faces the challenge of rebel candidates Mr Dayanand Sharma and Mr N.K. Goyal. Mr Rana is the sitting MLA from here. The presence of rebels may ultimately help the INLD candidate Ram Kumar Katwal.
In Safidon, the sitting
MLA, Ramphal Kundu of the INLD is facing his traditional
rival Bachan Singh Arya. There are no rebels from here.
Mr Kundu is banking upon the work he did during his
previous tenure, particularly during the last six months.
Once again the Congress candidate is facing problems from
Kamal Sharma, a rebel candidate. Mr Sharma was earlier
allotted the ticket but later it was given to Mr Arya.
Party with a difference
GURGAON, Feb 18 The Samajwadi Jan Parishad,which has for the first time fielded one candidate in Haryana, one in Orissa and 10 in Bihar in the current round of assembly elections, today stated in a press note that it will make endeavours to root out corruption in public life and introduce public-oriented politics in Haryana.
Addressing newsmen here the senior leaders of the Samajwadi Jan Parishad, including its founding member and noted socialist Bhai Vaidya said the party, to begin with,would concentrate in South Haryana.The fielding of its nominee, Mr Harpal Singh, from the Gurgaon Assembly segment of South Haryana, was to "register its token presence".The party has decided to begin its activities in Haryana immediately after the Assembly elections.
The party, which was floated four years ago,has set up its units in 10 States. Prof. Devender Singh, a resident of South Haryana has been made the convenor of the unit in Haryana. A resident of Rewari district, Mr Yogendar Yadav, who is a social scientist from the Centre for the Studies of Developing Societies and a noted political analyst, is one of the national secretaries of the party.
Bhai Vaidya, who is also a former minister of Maharashtra, said the moves and the nominees of the party was backed by the senior socialists of the country. He expressed concern at the total neglect of South Haryana by the powers that be and the culture of "Aaya Ram Gaya Ram" practised in politics in the state. He said that he was shocked to see the amount of money being pumped in by some of the candidates in the Gurgaon Assembly segment to influence the voters. Also, he said that he was taken aback with the caste based politics resorted to by all the former Chief Ministers, Mr Bansi Lal, Mr Bhajan Lal and Mr Devi Lal and their sons. Incidentally, he along with his party leaders have come here to canvass for Mr Harpal Singh.
They said some of the areas which needed immediate attention in Haryana was the sinking water table, shortage of academic institutions, electricity and water and discrimination against the youth of the area for employment in government jobs.
They expressed concern
over all the political parties silence over the
issue governments efforts to privatise the power
sector during the election campaign. Apparently,the style
of campaign that the party nominee has adopted comes as a
refreshing change from the fanciful tactics resorted to
by various candidates in Gurgaon. Prof. Devender Singh
said since the party was trying to introduce value based
and people-oriented politics in Haryana, it was resorting
to "conscious campaigning". This included
cutting out on flamboyancy in electioneering. Also, as
the party meant business and has eyes on the future, it
was trying to appeal to the people cerebrally. To this
effect 15,000 copies of the partys statements of
its aims and objectives and a kind of postmortem on the
states politics and its effect on polity have been
circulated among the masses. Equal number of copies will
be distributed by February 22, the date of polling in
Haryana, he added.
Badal campaigns for INLD
TOHANA (FATEHABAD), Feb 18 The Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today flayed the Congress, blaming it for all ills of the country. He was addressing a public meeting along with his Haryana counterpart Mr Om Prakash Chautala.
Claiming a wave in favour of the INLD-BJP alliance in Haryana, Mr Badal urged the people to vote for the alliance and teach the Congress a lesson. He claimed that since 1987 when the Congress lost 85 seats, it was for the first time that the people were again in a mood to teach the party a similar lesson.
The Punjab Chief Minister reminded the people that it was the Congress, supported by Ms Jayalalitha, which brought down the Vajpayee government. "Now the Vajpayee government and the Chautala government were there to remain for five years, he said, while claiming it would be in the interest of the people of the state.
Mr Badal did not touch the sensitive issue of the Satluj-Yamuna link canal. He said the two states were like two brothers and the mutual bonds would further be strengthened after Mr Chautala comes to power. "It is for strengthening of these bonds only that I have come here, he said.
Mr Badal addressed a series of meetings in various constituencies including Pehowa, Ratia and Nathusari Chopta.
Speaking on the
occasion, Mr Chautala claimed, "the Congress would
be wiped out in these elections. We will improve our Lok
Sabha record, he said. The Chief Minister pointed out
that the Congress had fielded 10 candidates, who had been
defeated in the Lok Sabha elections. They will again be
defeated in the Assembly elections to enable them to
contest the forthcoming panchayat elections, he said,
while sending the crowd into fits of laughter.
Naidu woos voters for Chautala
UKLANA (Hisar) Feb 18 Haryana Chief Minister Om Parkash Chautala and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidus relationship is hereditary. It was 13 years ago when Mr Naidus father-in-law, late Mr N.T. Rama Rao, campaigned for Mr Chautalas father, Mr Devi Lal. And subsequently, Mr Devi Lal had almost walked away with 85 of the 90 Assembly seats.
But, at least, they have one more thing in common. Their hostility towards the Congress. Obviously, because of their circumstances. This was reflected in the speeches of the two during their campaign trail in Haryana. Mr Naidu went a step further.
He said the Constitution Review Committee should take up the issue of preventing the persons of foreign origin from occupying top posts in the country. Mr Naidu lambasted the Congress for all ills.
While rushing towards the helicopter, as he was supposed to address another public meeting, he told reporters that it was wrong on the part of the opposition parties to oppose the constitutional review just for the heck of it.
Mr Naidu was presented with a Haryanavi, rather than the INLD, green turban by the people, besides the garlands of currency notes. As he alighted from the helicopter, accompanied by Mr Chautala, a strong crowd of about 10,000 persons welcomed him with a thunderous applause. The language appeared to be no barrier as was evident from frequent cheers.
He sought to draw many parallels between the INLD and the Telugu Desam Party, as both stood for a federal India, besides farmers welfare.
He made a passionate appeal to the people to ensure that Mr Chautala is re-elected. He warned people against the Congress which, he said, was not only facing ideological bankruptcy, but also leadership bankruptcy.
Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala sought to strike an emotional cord. He pleaded with the people: "I am begging for your votes, exactly like a beggar, not for myself, but for the sake of Haryana, for its farmers, for the self-respect of women, for the pension of the elderly, for the employment of youth..."
He went on to add: "like in the Lok Sabha elections when everybody forgot all caste and other identities and voted for the INLD-BJP alliance, this time you will vote for us to build a new too Haryana" amidst a generous applause coming from the crowd.
This small town, which
falls in the Barwala Assembly segment, was prepared up
well for the occasion by INLD workers and arrangements
were supervised by the Hisar MP, Mr Surinder Barwala
personally. His wife, Ms Promilla Barwala is pitted
against Mr Jaiprakash of the Congress. It was a good
morale-booster for the INLD candidate given the presence
at the rally. Notwithstanding some earlier resentment
over her nomination, the entire INLD cadre has geared up
itself to ensure her victory.
Cong rebel on a strong wicket
KARNAL, Feb 18 This historic city of Nawabs is poised to break from tradition in the coming Assembly poll in February 22. Thus far the historic city named after Lord Karna has gravitated between the BJP and the Congress. Only once, in the joint-Punjab era soon after Independence was one Mr Noon Saheb elected as an Independent from Karnal city.
But in the present election an Independent looks likely to sway voters over the Congress and BJP nominees. There are four independents in the field. Of them Mr Jai Prakash Gupta a former Haryana Minister has a clear edge. Mr Jai Prakash Gupta, who has been a Congressman all along is riding a sympathy wave on being denied the Congress ticket at the last minute.
He had even filed his nomination papers as a Congress nominee on February 2 after the Congress high command in Delhi gave him the green signal.
He minces no words in telling voters that his ticket was bartered for a heavy price by the Congress high command.
Of the 32 candidates who applied for the Congresss Karnal ticket, not one was found suitable and the party allotted the ticket to Mr Suresh Kumar Gupta a resident of Methloda in Panipat district.
Voters seem to have taken umbrage at the attempt to foist an outsider on them giving a boost to Mr Jai Prakashs campaign.
He is also cashing in on developmental works done as a Minister in the Bhajan Lal Cabinet and prior to that as Chairman, Haryana Agricultural Marketing Board. when he initiated a net work of roads through Karnal city.
His campaign got a shot in the arm when the Karnal Sikh Sangat yesterday unanimously resolved to support him. Several other associations have also declared their support for Mr Jai Parkash.
The BJP has nominated Mr Satish Kalra, an RSS activist, who can claim the backing of about 20,000 confirmed supporters, the majority of the fellow RSS member. They are running a well-oiled campaign.
In the 1996 poll, Mr Shashi Pal Mehta of the BJP had polled over 36,000 votes besting Mr Jai Prakash Gupta then of the Congress, who polled over 28,000 votes. But much water has flown under the bridge since. The party is now faced with the anti-incumbency factor because of its sharing power with Mr Bansi Lal and because in its hey-days, it did little for voters. Even after Mr Chautala came to power, the party could not firmly put forth a clear stand.
Thus although Mr Kalra being a new face with unblemished image he had nothing to flaunt either and must bank on the strength of party.
The Vajpayee factor, which was crucial during parliamentary elections is no longer operative as the Assembly poll is dominated by local factors. But a last minute consolidation of votes could yet upset the calculations of Mr Kalras opponent.
The third candidate to reckon with is Mr Suresh Gupta an Independent. Mr Suresh Gupta was Chairman of Karnal Municipal Council and a municipal councillor for a number of years.
He too is hopeful that he will ride in on the crest of work done while he was council president. He too was a contender for the Congress ticket but also claims he was denied the ticket at the last moment. He fought on the Congress (Tiwari) ticket during the 1996 poll and polled over 14,000 votes.
Mr Gupta is also banking on the support of his biradari the Bania community. But Bania voters seem to be divided.
The fourth major
candidate, Mr Suresh Kumar Gupta of the Congress is
plagued by numerous disadvantages. For one too much time
has been taken to explain to voters that he was not an
outsider and pacifying estranged Congressman.
Even till today, ordinary Congress workers are shying
away from his campaign and he must pin his hopes on
traditional Congress voters. Nor has his campaign been
boosted by any star campaigner other than Mr Rajesh
voters to boycott poll
refuse to boycott poll
directions to voters
Cong gets more
Ramoowalia concerned over fiscal
FATEHABAD, Feb 18 Former Union Minister and a Rajya Sabha member, Mr Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, has expressed concern at the likely effects of the new economic policies being pursued by the Atal Behari Vajpayee Government at the Centre.
Mr Ramoowalia, who was here in connection with the election campaign of the CPM candidate from Fatehabad, Mr Krishan Swaroop, was talking to this correspondent today.
Mr Ramoowalia said the way this government was opening the doors for the multinational companies (MNCs), an unbridled system will ensue, which would lead to a total ruins of the small farmers and the common man. He said the profits of the MNCs would spiral at the cost of the poor and it would become almost impossible for a common man to make his both ends meet.
The former chairman of the National Minorities Commission, alleged that suddenly funds had become available in abundance for the personality projection of certain leaders. This, he said, was not without any motive. He said under a gameplan, constitutional review was being sought. Leader like Mr Shanta Kumar and Mr Murli Manohar Joshi have been given the charge of advocating presidential form of government for the country. For this, he alleged communal sentiments of the people were also being aroused.
Mr Ramoowalia advocated, that the present parliamentary form of democracy was best suited for a country like India but it was the gameplan of the MNCs to introduce presidential form of government so that they succeed in installing a government of their choice through personality projection. As the members of Parliament were to come under public pressure. The MNCs do not want to let this system continue. He alleged that the whole exercise was meant to deny the common man its role in the system.
Mr Ramoowalia also
expressed concern at the deteriorating standard of
education in the country. He expressed apprehensions that
the government was going to increase fees in the academic
and professional colleges considerably after March 31,
2000. This, he said, would deny the poor the chances of
higher studies. Mr Ramoowalia said it was the duty of an
elected government to ensure quality education for its
citizens, but it was matter of deep concern, that
education was not government's priority. He said the way,
the things were going, quality education would become a
prerogative of a very few people who had money and the
dropout rate from schools would increase considerably. He
alleged that those at the top of the system were amassing
wealth through corruption. He said degeneration in
politics had been witnessed in the recent year. Earlier
there were allegation that certain politicians offered
shelter to opium and poppy husk trafficker, but now some
influential politicians of Haryana and Punjab were
themselves involved in the illicit trade. Mr Ramoowalia
also expressed concern over the recent trend of dynastic
rule that had found favour with the politicians in this
part of the country.
Civic poll in Haryana on April
CHANDIGARH, Feb 18 Elections to 19 municipal councils, 59 municipal committees and the Municipal Corporation Faridabad, will be held on April 2.
A notification to this effect was issued by the State Election Commissioner, Mr T.D. Jogpal, here today.
Nomination papers will be accepted from March 2 to 6. Scrutiny will take place on March 7. Any revision against the decision of the returning officers could be filed before the Deputy Commissioner concerned between March 8 and 10. The D.C.s will decide the revision petitions on March 11. The nominations could be withdrawn up to March 13. The election process will be completed by April 7.
Mr Jogpal said here today that nearly 32 lakh urban voters would exercise their franchise in about 2,400 polling stations to elect 1,357 members of the civic bodies. Over 12,000 employees would be put on poll duty.
The state election commission has raised the expenditure limit for the candidates. For municipal committees the limit has been raised from Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000; for municipal corporations the limit goes up from Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000. For the Faridabad municipal corporation the expenditure limit has been raised from Rs 25,000 to Rs 40,000.
For panches the expenditure limit is now Rs 3000 against Rs 2000 earlier; for sarpanches the limit is Rs 8000 as against Rs 5000; for the panchayat samiti members the limit has been raised from Rs 20,000 to Rs 30,000 and for the zila parishad members it will be Rs 75,000 as against Rs 50,000.
The poll commission is still awaiting the issuance of a notification by the Haryana Government under sub-section (1) of Section 211 of the Haryana Panchayati Raj Act, 1994, in the absence of which elections to the panchayati raj institutions cannot be held.
Mr Jogpal said 316 members of the 19 zila parishads would be elected. The voters would elect 2,426 members of the 114 panchayat samitis. Besides this, for 6017 panchayats, elections for as many sarpanches and 54,346 panches would also be held. To enable 86 lakh rural voters as many as 80,000 employees would be on duty at 16,000 polling stations.
The panchayat elections were to be held before January 15, 2000, and that of the civic bodies before February 3, 2000. The Faridabad municipal corporation poll was due before December 23, 1999. However, due to writ petitions filed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court the elections could not be held.
As per the directives of
the Supreme Court, the panchayat elections are to be held
before March 31, 2000, and that of the civic bodies
before April 7.
HC notice to FCI in
CHANDIGARH, Feb 18 A Division Bench to the Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notice of motion of the Food Corporation of India and other respondents on a writ petition filed by Mr Krishan Lal, president of the Truck Union Killanwali (Sirsa), challenging the award of handling & transportation contract for Mandi Dabwali to R.R.S. Chautala & Co without following the proper procedure.
The petitioner has alleged that the FCI favoured R.R.S. Chautala & Co by awarding contract at the rate of 186 p.c. above the schedule of rates (ASOR) whereas he was willing to execute the same contract at 110 p.c. ASOR. However, he was not allowed to compete and the contract was awarded in a hush hush manner in violation of public policy causing a loss of Rs 58.00 lakhs per year to the public.
The grievance of the petitioner was that most of the contenders for the contract were kept in the dark and were misled by the FCI authorities who wanted to favour the respondent.
The petitioner was deliberately misled and was not issued the tender form on the false pretext that the tender had been cancelled. Even the complaints made by the petitioner in this regard to the higher FCI officers were ignored and the public has been made to suffer a huge financial loss.
After hearing counsel
for the petitioner, the Bench comprising Mr Justice S.S.
Sudhalkar and Mr Justice J.S. Khehar issued notice of
motion to the respondents for May 31.
Bandh to protest traders
REWARI, Feb 18 Traders observed a bandh here today in protest against the brutal murder of young trader, Narain Das Wadhwa ( 38 ) a partner of Wadhwa Trading Company.
Thousands of shopkeepers and others attended his funeral today.
According to sources, Narain Das left home at about 9 a.m. on Sunday (Feb 13) to raise money from his retailers in Tijara, Tapukara, Bhiwadi and Dharuhera.
He had collected around Rs 50,000 when he was last seen at Dharuhera at about 6.30 p.m. It is suspected that he was kidnapped, robbed and stabbed to death and his body thrown into a nearby canal from where it was recovered last evening.
A postmortem was
conducted in the Civil Hospital here this morning after
which the body was cremated.
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