Monday, August 27, 2001, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S



Armed assailants injure couple
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, August 26
Four unidentified armed men last night seriously injured a couple by entering their house at Malakpur Chalailan village, 5 km from here. Interestingly some villagers were on ‘thikri pehra’ and a police party was on patrolling duty in the village at that time. After the assailants left the house, the injured woman managed to come out of the house and cried for help. Villagers rushed for help and informed the police, who took them to a hospital.

Ms Karamjit Kaur (30), who is admitted in the local Civil Hospital, told Ludhiana Tribune that she along with her husband, Mr Tarsem Singh (35), was sleeping in their house when at 11.30 p.m. someone knocked at the door. When she asked who was there, someone replied: “I am Prem Singh”. She said: “As Prem Singh is younger brother of my husband, so I opened the door”. As soon as “I opened the door, four armed men, two of them with covered faces, started beating them and one of them stabbed her. Another man stabbed her husband. She said they hid themselves under the bed. “As soon as they left the house considering that we were dead, I managed to come out and cried for help”, she said.

A resident alleged that earlier in the day these four persons, wearing ‘khakhi’ uniform, had come in a car to her house thrice and had enquired about Prem Singh, the younger brother of her husband. She said: “As Prem Singh is a driver with a transporter of Mandi Gobindgarh and was away, they were informed that he was not at home.” She said assailants were not known to her, but she could identify them by face.

The villagers who brought them to the hospital said on the condition of anonymity that when this incident took place, a police patrolling party was present in the village and they were instructing the villagers, who were on “thikri pehra”, to remain alert. They said as soon as the police party reached the other corner of the village, the “thikri pehra” volunteers heard the cries of the women and they made an announcement on the village gurdwara loudspeaker and the villagers came out for help. Later, the police reached the spot and took them to hospital. Villagers apprehended that it was the handiwork of some policemen.

Sources said Prem Singh was also beaten up 10 days ago and was also handed over to the Mandi Gobindgarh police, but the police denied this.

As neither the SSP nor any other police official, including the SHO, were available for comments, the Additional SHO of the police station, Sirhind, said it was not a case of robbery or looting rather it seemed a case of personal enmity as nothing was found missing from the house. A case under Sections 307, 452, 324, 506 and 34 of the IPC has been registered.


Death cuts short wait for ITI certificate
Five-year wait for 50 girls
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 26
For five years, she kept making the rounds of the government ITI at Jagraon for obtaining the certificate of diploma in electronics, which she had passed in 1996, little realising that one day she would lose her life. This is what happened to Baljit Kaur, a resident of Mullanpur Dakha, who met with an accident near Gurdwara Nanaksar two days back while making yet another visit to the institution for getting the certificate, required for securing a job.

At the face of it, it could be termed a simple case of death in an accident, but for the 14 others who had completed the course along with her and were seeking the same certificate since July 1996, the death occurred due to the undue and unjustified delay in the issuing of the certificate. The group is not the only one in the pursuit of the certificates. About 50 other girls who had passed out from the ITI have also been making rounds of the institution, but to no avail.

Talking to Ludhiana Tribune, Rajanpreeet Kaur, one of the affected girls, said they passed the course in July 1996 but for reasons unknown to them, the institution had not provided them with the certificates. The students said they had only provisional certificates and no good company or organisation was willing to give them jobs.

The students said they failed to understand that when they had passed the course, what problem was blocking the issuing of the certificates to them.

The parents of another girl said the marriage prospects of their daughter were in jeopardy as she could not get employment because of the certificate and was not able to get a good match because of being un- employed.

While the ITI authorities could not be contacted, the girl students said the authorities had told them that they had sent their case to the Punjab Technical University and would remind it again.

The students also urged Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, Technical Education Minister, to intervene in the matter.


Detention case: HC’s directive to police
D. B. Chopra

Ludhiana, August 26
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the district police to “look afresh” into the complaint of a resident of Talwandi Kalan village, near here, who was allegedly detained illegally by the Ladhowal police for 10 days in June last.

Mr Puran Parkash Singh who approached senior district police officers after his release from detention and complained against the SHO, Ladhowal, had to seek the court’s intervention after failing to get any action initiated on his complaint.

Mr Puran Parkash Singh submitted before the court that he had been cultivating 5 acres of land bearing khasra Nos 26/25,17,16,15 and 14 at Talwandi Kalan village since 1980 and had sown crops till day on the said land.

He further stated that one Billu Ram, son of Mr Amar Nath of the same village, and Mr Charan Dass, the village Sarpanch, went to forcibly dispossess him of the said land. And on June 10 last, Mr Charan Dass, Mr Tarlochan Singh, member of panchayat, along with Billu, Head Constable Avtar Singh and two Home Guard personnel forcibly entered his house in the presence of his father Mr Swaran Singh and after beating him up took him to the police post at Ladhowal which was under the charge of Mr Paramjit Singh. He was detained at the police post from June 10 to 16 and throughout the period of detention, he was pressurised to give up the possession of the land and was set free only after the police obtained his signatures on some blank papers.

Mr Puran Parkash Singh further submitted before the court that immediately after coming out of illegal custody, he approached the Senior Superintendent of Police on June 18 with his complaint against his detention, but till date no action had been taken.

The court was further informed that by forcibly entering his house and keeping him in wrongful confinement, the accused had committed offences punishable under Sections 323,343,348,452 and 120-B of the IPC. The court was requested that since police officials were involved in the case, it would be in the interest of justice that the case was handed over some senior police officer for investigation.


Police begins pre-poll exercise
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 26
While speculation is rife in the media about early Assembly elections in the state and the SAD-BJP leaders have been denying it vehemently, the Ludhiana Police, in a curious move, has began police exercise for the conduct of the elections.

With the scheduled elections still six months away, the launching of the election preparation exercise by the police has re-fuelled speculation about the early Assembly elections. Incidentally, Mr Natha Singh Dalam, state Public Relations Minister, had yesterday announced at a function here that there was no move to have early elections and these would be held on schedule in February next year.

According to sources, the district police authorities have directed the SHOs of all police stations to collect information about the number of booths in the area. The SHOs have also been directed to categorise the booths and different areas in their jurisdiction in non-sensitive, and highly sensitive categories.

The entire information is to be collected immediately and submitted to the authorities by August 29. Sources revealed that SP (Operations) also held a meeting of the SHOs two days ago.


Groups come to blows, six held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 26
Two groups involved in a property dispute came to blows at the Salem Tabri police post here this afternoon. The police personnel at the post were caught unawares at the turn of events, but, fortunately, they acted in time to prevent the groups from using some sharp-edged weapons in the fight, which they had brought with them.

The police arrested and booked at least six persons under Sections 107 and 151 of the IPC. These include Parkash Chand and Harbhajan Singh, leaders of the two groups.

According to the police, the incident took place when the Salem Tabri police officials called Parkash Chand and Harbhajan Singh to the police post for effecting a compromise between them to end a dispute over a plot between them.

The move took an ugly turn when the persons involved came to the police post with a number of supporters as well as sharp-edged weapons. The police was mediating between them on the compromise, but tempers flared up. Soon, the warring parties came to blows and the scene developed into a free-for-all.


Home delivery of food a non-starter
Kamal Kishore Shankar

Ludhiana, August 26
The scheme introduced by many local restaurants of delivering food on discount at the doorstep of Ludhianvis is not viable.

Some restaurants have started providing free home delivery while some offer a discount. The scheme has been introduced because of the heavy rush during peak hours in the restaurants. This affects the sale of these eateries which cannot exceed a particular limit unless there is no home delivery facility.

With the home delivery facility, the rush in the restaurants can also be reduced. Keeping in mind the benefits of the scheme, some restaurants are offering free home delivery, with a discount of upto 50 per cent on certain items.

But it appears that the scheme of delivering food on discount at home has flopped. This is because the attitude, convenience and culture of the city. Most of the residents of the city are so used to eating out that they can wait for a couple of hours in front of famous jam-packed restaurants rather than waiting for a while at home to have the same food. Perhaps, they are so keen to eat out that they can have food at the cost of their health.

The lack of recreation facilities in the city is the other reason for the rush in the eateries and low response to the home delivery scheme. People do not have good places to freak out. Unlike other metropolitan cities, the city lacks recreation facilities. There are a few amusement parks or places where one can visit with the family to have fun. These amusement parks are far off from the city and it takes more than half an hour to go there.

The other reason is less working women and more housewives in the city. These women prefer eating out to any other option of recreation because in this way, they get rid of cooking and serving food to the family. Getting food from a restaurant at the doorstep is not viable for them as they will lose the only opportunity to spend some time out with their family.

Having and serving lavish food and drinks have remained a part and parcel of the culture of the city. In good old times, Ludhianvis were famous for having costly and quality food and drinks. The culture still prevails in the city. 


Impatience cost him dear
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 26
A labourer who could not wait for six hours for getting discharged from a local hospital, landed himself in such a trouble that now he will have to remain at the same hospital for more than 40 days.

According to the sources, Balak Nath, a labourer from Pakhowal village, was admitted to the hospital by his employers about three days ago. He was reportedly suffering from nausea and breathlessness after spraying insecticides in the fields.

The attendants who had come to take him back the village yesterday were asked by the doctors to wait till the evening, as he was kept under observation. The impatient labourer thinking that the doctors will not let him go with his employers jumped out from the ward, which was incidentally on the third storey of the building, and broke his knee, ankle and also fractured his collar bone.


Non-Sikhs stake claim to SAD ticket from
Ludhiana (West)
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 26
The non-Sikh component of the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) has staked its claim to the party ticket from the Ludhiana (West) constituency for the coming Assembly elections in the state.

A joint meeting of the Aggarwal Pratinidhi Sabha, Punjab, Ludhiana Dharamshala Committee, Chintpurni (HO Ludhiana) and Antarrashtriya Sahyog Parishad (Bharat) placed on record its appreciation for the SAD-BJP coalition government for development works being carried out in Punjab and the ongoing sangat darshan programmes to redress the grievances of the masses. These programmes should be continued in future as well, the participants strongly felt.

Addressing the meeting, speakers, Mr Ved Parkash Gupta, Mr Sanjay Bansal and Mr Devinder Gupta expressed their gratitude to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for opening the doors of the party to members of the Hindu community in a big way. “The Hindu community has also responded to the gesture of the ruling SAD (B) leadership.”

The office-bearers of the participating bodies urged the party leadership to nominate a non-Sikh as party candidate from the Ludhiana West Assembly segment in the city, which was predominantly a non-Sikh area. They further said noted businessman and social figure Mr Amrit Lal Aggarwal, who had joined the SAD (B) with more than 500 other intellectuals and professionals here in the presence of Mr Badal, should be allotted party ticket from this area.

A delegation of these organisations would soon meet Mr Badal, who also heads the party, to impress upon him the need for nominating a non-Sikh for the party ticket from the city.

Meanwhile, the Aggarwal community, in close coordination with several trade bodies, would launch a campaign to bring the non-Sikh population under the fold of the ruling SAD-B. According to Mr Amrit Lal Aggarwal, a director of the Ludhiana Aggarwala Cooperative House Building Society, the campaign, to be run under the patronage of Punjab Law Minister Chiranji Lal Garg, would be formally launched on August 30 at Amrtisar after paying obeisance at Darbar Sahib and Durgiana Mandir.


Abolition of octroi to hit BJP’s image’
Manoj Kumar
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana August 26
The Punjab Government’s proposal to abolish octroi is hanging fire for the past many days. The government is dithering to take a decision as the fall in taxes after abolishing about Rs 400 crore annual octroi duty would virtually stop the development work in the state. The state Chief Secretary, Mr N.K. Arora, in a recent meeting held here admitted that only 10 per cent of the state’s Budget was spent on development work. After the abolition of the octroi, the state would have to virtually take loans to pay the salaries of its workers. The critics say the state should learn a lesson from the UP, Rajasthan and other states, where the local bodies have become bankrupt after the abolition of octroi.

The Punjab Municipal Workers Federation in a meeting held here has urged the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, not to yield to the undue pressure from the SAD’s alliance partner — BJP in the larger interest of development of urban sector. It has warned the BJP that the withdrawal of octroi would have adverse effect on the party’s prospects in the ensuing elections, due to the impact on the development work in the urban area. Could the party afford to antagonise its urban vote bank who would suffer after the withdrawal of the octroi duty? asked the federation.

The Ludhiana Municipal Corporation which collects about Rs 130 crore annually from the octroi, is also opposing the withdrawal of the duty. The councillors of the ruling as well as the Opposition party, privately admitted that the corporation would not be able to maintain the water supply, sewerage and roads after the abolition of the duty. Even today, only 65 per cent of the city’s total population was getting regular drinking water, and due to lack of funds the corporation could not take development work in the neglected areas.

No doubt, the industrialists here are pressuring the BJP and the Akali Dal to take the withdrawal decision at the earliest to improve their competitiveness in the market, but they are not ready to make any contribution to improve the infrastructure in the state. The Chief Secretary had also warned that they would have to contribute to run the education and health system in the state. The government was not in a state to run these on its own. However, no industrial or trade association has come forward to propose any alternative method to compensate the state loss suffered exchequer.

The economists in Punjab Agricultural University and Panjab University, Chandigarh, admit that the octroi duty was a retrogressive tax which was causing losses worth crores of rupees to the transporters and industry in the form of traffic jams and wide-spread corruption, however, the government should not withdraw the duty without any alternative tax to compensate the local bodies, which were solely dependant on that tax.

The municipal workers unions from the neighbouring towns of Jagraon, Khanna, Samrala have also opposed the proposal. The unions, having mostly Scheduled Castes members have warned the state government about any subsequent retrenchment of the workers. The BSP has also opposed the proposal on the plea of workers’ retrenchment and the adverse impact on the development work in the slum colonies, where most of the population belonged to the lower castes, was residing.

The Punjab Municipal Workers Federation has warned the SAD-BJP government not to take any decision regarding the abolition of octroi at the eleventh hour of election otherwise they would be forced to teach the alliance a befitting lesson.


Shiv Sena lashes out at BJP
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 26
Mr Pawan Sharma, spokesman, Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray), and Mr Sandip Mittal, president of the Ludhiana district unit of the party, today lashed out at the BJP for its silence on the issue of the return of Wassan Singh Zaffarwal and Dr Jagjit Singh Chauhan to India.

In a strongly-worded press statement issued here, the Shiv Sena leaders said this silence on the part of the BJP would cost the party dearly in the forthcoming Assembly elections next year. The party had been sharing power in the state with the Akali Dal led by Mr Parkash Singh for the past four and half years. Why did it not think of abolishing octroi all this time?, they asked.

The Shiv Sena leaders further stated that since ruling party ministers were now realising that they would have to go to the public at last, they were feeling exasperated.

Mr Pawan Sharma disclosed that the party would organise a big rally at Moga on September 23 which would be presided over by the state President Mr Pawan Gupta. After the Moga rally, such rallies would be held all over the state.


IHRO to take up Zira brothel case
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 26
The International Human Rights Organisation (IHRO) has decided to take up the Zira brothel house case with the Punjab State Human Rights Commission to check the menace of flesh trade in the state. The organisation is of the opinion that the trade is prevailing in almost every district and subdivisional towns of the state under police patronage.

Ms Inderjit Kaur, secretary of the women’s wing of the IHRO, said in a press note here yesterday that the decision to this effect was taken at a meeting here on Friday that was attended by the wing’s chairperson, Dr Kanwaljit Kaur, and Mr A.S. Randhawa among others.

Representatives of the Zira action committee were also invited to the meeting who presented a documentary evidence suggesting that a particular woman was running a brothel in her residence in Zira, she added.

The Deputy Commissioner, meanwhile, had served an externment notice to the woman under the Suppression of Immoral Trafficking Act, 1956, and she had been put under surveillance for six months, she added.

The IHRO women’s wing will take this matter with the PSHRC, the State Women’s Commission and the DGP, Punjab, urging them to take legal action against the guilty and ask all deputy commissioners to find out such brothels in a bid to putting an end to the menace.

Meanwhile, the IHRO activists and the Punjab Sikh Lawyers Council at a condolence meeting expressed sympathy and solidarity with the aggrieved family on the demise of industrialist Sardar Mohan Singh Grewal, a promoter of a number of social and educational institutions and organisations, including the IHRO. 


Amnesty move by Centre draws flak
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 26
The move by the Union Government to grant general amnesty to police officers guilty of police excesses in Punjab during militancy period was a welcome gesture but the underlying intention of the ruling NDA in the Centre and the SAD-BJP combine in Punjab, to draw political mileage was reprehensible, said Mr Varun Mehta, Chairman, Indian Youth Anti-Terrorist Front in a press statement here recently. He said the statement made by the Union Home Minister, Mr Lal Krishan Advani, was to win back the shrunken mass base of the BJP in Punjab in the wake of assembly elections.

Mr Mehta observed that a large number of officers, who had played significant role in elimination of militancy from this border state, were being harassed by self-styled human rights bodies and involvement in ‘false and fabricated’ cases, ever since the SAD-BJP came to power in Punjab. The governments, both in Centre and in Punjab, had been completely indifferent to the pathetic plight of such police officers till now but suddenly when the assembly elections were at hand, the move to grant amnesty had been initiated to cash on the sympathy of the masses.


Cancellation of WTO agreement sought
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 26
The Rural Labour Struggle Committee, Ludhiana, held a public rally at Jodhan village near here on Friday. Addressing the rally, Mr Tarsem Jodhan, a former communist MLA, said the government’s anti-people and anti-labour attitude had made life miserable for the masses and all sections of society were distraught with the current regime. He said there have been many changes in leadership but no change in the policies. All of them were pursuing the same policies which needed to be changed in fact for the betterment of the people.

Mr Jodhan said while the Congress plunged the country by signing the GATT agreement, the NDA government had kow-towed to the World bank and signed the WTO. He said the present government was implementing the WTO verbatim and before the stipulated period.

Mr Raghbir Singh Benipal, general secretary, Kisan Sangarsh Committee, in his address, expressed solidarity with the labourers. Com. Amar Nath, state general secretary, Lal Jhanda, FCI Palledar Union, also supported the demands of the labourers.

All these allied unions would fight for the cancellation of the GATT agreement, free electricity to the very poor, subsidised ration shops for labourers, free education and health services. Other demands include unemployment allowance in the absence of work.

Later, a march was taken out by the rallyists through the village in support of their demands.


Govt accused of paralysing PDS
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 26
Mr Parminder Mehta, President, District Youth Congress (I) Urban, today accused the state government of paralysing the Public Distribution System (PDS) against the interests of the poor and the labourers.

Mr Mehta was addressing a meeting of Congress workers in Industrial area “A” here which was organised by Mr Nek Chand, a leading activist of the Youth Congress.

He said nearly 10 lakh labour population of the city had to buy kerosene at Rs 20 to 25 per litre against the PDS price of Rs 8.90 and there were no stocks of subsidised wheat or rice at the ration depots. He said it was intriguing that in a big city like Ludhiana, the government had issued only about 100 yellow cards. He said the Punjab Government had made tall promises about making subsidised foodgrains available at all ration depots, but had in fact failed to do so.

Mr Mehta announced that hundreds of Youth Congress workers would participate in the death anniversary function of late Congress Chief Minister Beant Singh at Kotli, his native village, on August 31.


Beauty business in villages

Pakhowal (Ludhiana), August 26
The desire to look beautiful has caught the fancy of rural women, if the mushrooming of beauty clinics and parlours in villages is any indication. The villages in the district are having more and more of beauty parlours run by the local women themselves.

A survey by Ludhiana Tribune in some villages revealed that the parlours were doing a brisk business and more women were venturing into this trade. The new parlours are better equipped than the earlier ones. In Pakhowal, a small village, there are more than seven beauty parlours. Although poor cousins of the urban ones in regard to fancy items, yet they have all knick-knacks like bangles, fairness creams, clips and artificial jewellery to entice clients.

“Beauty has always been an obsession with the women. The various television channels showing beautiful women in various advertisements have made them more eager to look beautiful. The village girls, now like their urban counterparts, have beauty parlours at their doorsteps. They feel quite happy visiting them,” said

Sunita, a beautician. She not only runs a beauty parlour but also trains village girls to start their own parlours.

Though the village parlours have a long way to go before they compete with the city parlours, yet a beginning has been made. AA


Faulty laying of premix alleged
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, August 26
Mr A.K. Bhandari, general secretary of the Society for Public Cause, a forum for voicing common problems of the people and to focus public attention on various ills plaguing the society, has complained of faulty laying of premix in Kitchlu Nagar under the 24 acre scheme.

Residents of Kitchlu Nagar allege that laying of premix was carried out on August 7 by the Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana. After only three days, grass appeared on that premix which obviously meant that proper groundwork was not done. Moreover, the laying of premix had not been done as per plan, said Mr Bhandari.


Special drive to check drug trafficking
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 26
The Jagraon police has announced the launching of a special drive to check the menace of drug abuse in the Jagraon police district.

Announcing this in a press release, the SSP, Mr Balkar Singh Sandhu, said the drug menace was a point of concern in the subdivision. The police has decided to erect special check posts at different villages and their location would be shifted regularly in order to dodge the drug-smugglers, he added.

Announcing the formal launch of the drive here on Friday, the police said it had launched a test drive since August 21 and had attained good results. The press release said at least 15 persons had been arrested so far with huge quantity of poppy-husk, illicit liquor.


Function to honour bank employees held
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 26
Punjab and Sind Bank in a function organised here on Saturday honoured the staff members of its SalimTabri branch for best achievement of target in District Ludhiana.

The bank raised its deposits to Rs 30 crore and also opened more than 340 new accounts in the last financial year.

The bank also launched three new schemes for senior citizens, students and farmers. The branch organised a customer meet while celebrating its silver jubilee year (1976-2001).

Under the special deposit scheme for senior citizens, persons above 60 years of age will be given 0.5 per cent extra interest on deposits. They can also get three demand drafts without any service charge below Rs 5000. No service charges will also be levied on outstations cheques worth less than Rs 3,000 during one month.

Under the scheme, student loans up to Rs 15 lakh can be availed for any type of education course from 10+2 onwards. Similarly, a new scheme for purchase of the two-wheelers by farmers has been launched, which has been put under priority sector.

Mr Trilok Singh, DGM, stated that the PSB had excelled among all other banks in the district. It had credit plan of about 1,819 crore during 2000-2001.

Dr K.S. Aulakh, Vice-Chancellor, PAU, appreciated the work of the PSB in developing agriculture in the state.

According to Mr Gurmit Singh, Manager, the branch has a business of about 30 crore. The branch provides services to nine prominent villages and Salim Tabri area.

All the previous managers of the PSB Salim Tabri branch were also honoured on this occasion.


Workshop on energy management
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 26
Nearly 50 representatives from 30 companies in the region attended one-day workshop on ‘Energy management’ held here on Friday. It was organised by the Confederation of Indian Industries.

The day-long workshop covered diverse aspects of energy management, including audit methodology, centrifugal pumps, fans and blowers, air-compressors, boilers and stem systems, electrical motors and lighting.

Earlier welcoming the participants, Mr S.P. Oswal, Chairman, Punjab State Council, CII (Northern region), spoke about the importance of energy conservation practices. He said in the situation of persistent shortage of energy resources, it had become imperative of effectively utilisation and management of energy resources. 


Implement labour laws in private sector’
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, August 26
The Punjab unit of the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) has urged the state government to implement labour laws in the private sector. Mr Balwant Rai Kapoor, president of the Punjab INTUC, in a meeting of the workers held here, said,‘‘ The state government should ensure the implementation of the Factory, ESI, Provident Fund, Gratuity, Bonus and Minimum Wages Acts in the private sector.’’

He alleged that the state government had illegally directed the Labour Department not to conduct any raids in the factories and the labour and factory inspectors were getting monthly bribe from factory owners. The Badal government had proved to be anti-worker, anti-government employees and anti-farmers as members of these sections were committing suicides due to starvation and unemployment.

He appealed to the Congress high command that no ticket should be given to the corrupt politicians or to such candidates who were involved in civil or criminal cases and had been convicted. The speakers demanded 25 per cent tickets to the senior INTUC leaders in Punjab Assembly elections to boost the morale of trade union leaders who had devoted their whole life to the betterment of the working class and the Congress.

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