Saturday, December 1, 2001, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Bed-ridden Badal clears 2-cr projects
Prashant Sood
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 30
Even though he is away from the campaign trail in Punjab, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has been making and renewing bonds of a different kind during his stay at Ganga Ram Hospital here. Union Home Minister L.K. Advani described Mr Badal as a “brother” while recording his remarks in the visitors’ book and it is after a long time that the Chief Minister is spending days together with his family.

During his stay, Mr Badal has been visited by leaders he would not have otherwise encountered in the coming months. Apart from senior Panthic Morcha leader Gurcharan Singh Tohra, whose visit was noted for another possible patch-up between the two senior Akali leaders in view of the coming Assembly elections, Mr Badal has been visited by his political adversaries, former prime ministers, chief ministers, union ministers, political leaders, religious heads, civil servants and his admirers from different parts of the country.

While almost all leaders wished Mr Badal a speedy recovery, Mr Advani, who called on the Chief Minister a few days after he was admitted to the hospital, said he had come to see his brother. “To see my brother,” Mr Advani wrote in the visitors book. Mr Badal’s friends and admirers in his party, SGPC and his constituency have also recorded their sentiments. “We hope that you serve the Panth, Punjab and the country with even more vigour,’’ wrote an SGPC member from Amritsar, while another noted that the people of Punjab were eager to see Mr Badal back. Messages have also been received from the USA.

Though the fracture in the left femur upper-end had temporarily forced Mr Badal out of the campaign trail, the Chief Minister seems keen to pick up his pace soon. He has already started holding meetings of senior officers and resumed the sangat darshan programme. At yesterday’s meeting, the first since he was hospitalised, projects worth Rs 2 crore were cleared and at today’s meeting projects exceeding Rs 2.5 crores were expected to be cleared.

“The Chief Minister is expected to be in Chandigarh by December 5,” said Mr Harcharan Bains, Information Adviser to the Chief Minister. But it will be a fortnight before Mr Badal is able to resume active campaigning, persons close to the family said.

Apart from meeting the visitors, the Chief Minister has been devoting more time to prayers in the past few days. A ‘path’ was also held at the hospital on Gurpurb today and ‘prasad’ was distributed among those present.Back

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