Wednesday, December 27, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Talwandi apologises  
Reappointment of Puran Singh

From Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

Fatehgarh Sahib, Dec 26 — The supremacy of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in his party as well as the alliance government came to the fore at the historic Jor Mela here today, with Shiromani Committee President Jagdev Singh Talwandi apologising for reappointing Giani Puran Singh as Head Granthi of Harmandar Sahib and state Bharatiya Janata Party President Brij Lal Rinwa declaring full faith in him as indisputed leader of the alliance.
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has a word with Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi as Capt Kanwaljit Singh looks on at the SAD meeting.

The manner in which the Shiromani Committee President ate humble pie at the conference to mark the martyrdom of the two Sahibzadas-Fateh Singh and Zorawar Singh-, spoke of the hold the Chief Minister exercises in the SGPC. Mr Talwandi said, ‘’I have taken only one decision (apparently referring to the reappointment of Puran Singh) after taking over. For this, I seek forgiveness and assure that I will henceforth take important decisions only in consultation with Badal (Chief Minister) and the SGPC Executive ‘’ , he added.

The SGPC President also made it clear that the Shiromani Akali Dal and not the Shiromani Committee was supreme in all Panthic matters. In a mild criticism of decision of former SGPC President Jagir Kaur of not sending any jathas to Pakistan, he said it was a wrong move.

State BJP President Brij Lal Rinwa, who has reported to have criticised the corrupt functioning of the government recently , said he had been wrongly quoted by the press and that he had not made any such statements . He also made it clear that Mr Badal was not only the Chief Minister of the state but also leader of the Akali-BJP alliance .

The Chief Minister on the occasion targeted the Congress party as well as Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal President Gurcharan Singh Tohra. He said former Prime Minister Narasimha Rao had signed the death warrant of the farmers by singing the World Trade Organisation treaty. He said the same treaty was being welcomed by the Punjab Pradesh Congress President, Capt Amarinder Singh. He accused Mr Tohra of helping the Congress by forming a separate outfit, adding that it was a sin to align with the Congress.

State Finance Minister Kanwaljit Singh urged that direct subsidy be given to the farmers. He said the farmers could be given a bonus as a direct subsidy by the central government above the market price of the foodgrain commodity. He said if this was not done, the prices of fertilisers and pesticides should be fixed at the international rates.

A resolution released on the occasion condemned the appointment of administrators to oversee the functioning of Hazoor Sahib in Maharashtra and Patna Sahib in Bihar. It asked both governments to remove the administrators immediately. It also asked the Chief Minister to take the matter up with the Prime Minister for speedy resolution.
While the Akali Dal (Badal) conference was clearly the biggest one , the conference of the Tohra Dal and the Congress vied with each other for next place followed by the Mann faction. At the stage of the Tohra faction, its President Gurcharan Singh Tohra said third front should be formed to take on both the Akali Dal (Badal) and the Congress. He also warned the RSS to desist from its ‘’nefarious ‘’ activities in Punjab. He also alleged that the state BJP President had made a hue and cry against the government to get his man adjusted in the Cabinet .
Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra and Mr Subramaniam Swamy look on as Mr Prem Singh Chandumajra addresses the SHSAD meeting.

The Akali Dal (Amritsar) President Simranjit Singh Mann urged the minorities to unite on a single platform . He also demanded the immediate release of Sikh youths interned in various jails in the country besides the formation of a commission to tackle the problems of government workers. Simranjeet Singh Mann occupies the stage of the Akali Dal (Amritsar) meeting. 



Badal misleading on WTO: Cong
From Our Correspondent

FATEHGARH SAHIB, Dec 26 — The Congress is all set to take over the state and defeat the Akali Dal in the next election as the people are fed up with the present corrupt government, said Capt Amarinder Singh, president of the PPCC, while addressing a massive gathering at political conference of his party at Shaheedi Jor Mela here today.
He said the Congress would constitute a committee to suggest ways on how to bail the state out of the fiscal wreck and improve the condition of the farmers and the weaker sections of society.

Lashing out at the Badal-led Akali government, he said the government had failed on all fronts and was unnecessarily increasing the sales tax, excise and octroi.
Capt Amarinder Singh (with garland) waves to the crowd at the Congress meeting
Capt Amarinder Singh (with garland) waves to the crowd at the Congress meeting

He said Mr Badal was misleading the people regarding WTO as neither he nor his Finance Minister knew anything about the WTO.

He said there is a provision in the WTO agreement that if any nation feels that its interests are adversely affected, it can withdraw after six months’ notice. He challenged Mr Badal to pass a resolution in this regard and to urge the Centre to withdraw from the WTO.

He said if the Congress came to power, a commission would be constituted to probe the corruption done by Mr Badal and his family members and bureaucrats.

Mr Surinder Singla, former MP, and senior Congress leader Bir Devinder Singh also highlighted the failures and corruption of the government.

Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar, senior leader, were conspicuous by their absence.Back

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