Thursday, December 13, 2001, Chandigarh, India




National Capital Region--Delhi

THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
H A R Y A N A

Sonia accepts Bhajan Lal’s choice as rally venue
Chandigarh, December 12
Equations in the Haryana Congress are poised for a big change following the decision of the AICC President, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, to address a party rally at a place of Mr Bhajan Lal’s choice.

DC says no to roadblocks
Kaithal, December 12
Road blockades will not be allowed by protesters, and the administration will be very tough with those indulging in such activities.

Chautala’s iftar party tomorrow
Faridabad, December 12
Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala will host an Iftar party. It will be the third such party hosted by him after he took over in 1999.

CPM slams govt for coffin scam
Rohtak, December 12
The Haryana CPM has described as shameless the alleged irregularities in the purchase of coffins and defence equipment by the government during the Kargil conflict.

Haryana Cong to protest against POTO
Chandigarh, December 12
Haryana Pradesh Congress President, Bhupinder Singh Hooda has strongly reacted to the utterances of certain BJP leaders that those who are opposing POTO are anti-national.

Ex-DGP Ramesh Sehgal dead
Chandigarh, December 12
A former Director-General of Haryana Police, Mr Ramesh Sehgal, died at his Panchkula residence this morning after a long illness.



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EARLIER STORIES
 

HUDA auction at Rohtak
Chandigarh, December 12
The Haryana Urban Development Authority has decided to auction commercial sites and built-up booths at Rohtak on December 18.


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Sonia accepts Bhajan Lal’s choice as rally venue
Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
Equations in the Haryana Congress are poised for a big change following the decision of the AICC President, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, to address a party rally at a place of Mr Bhajan Lal’s choice.

According to sources in the camp of the former Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition, Mrs Gandhi will address a public rally at Hisar on December 22. Though no announcement has been officially made yet, sources at 10, Janpath (Sonia’s residence) have confirmed this to the Bhajan Lal camp.

There has been a general impression that the equation of Mr Bhajan Lal with the party high command is not what it used to be between him and former Prime Minister, P.V. Narasimha Rao. The impression was strengthened when despite Mr Bhajan Lal’s strong opposition, the party high command favoured another term for Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda as chief of the Haryana Congress.

However, Mrs Gandhi’s acceptance of Mr Bhajan Lal’s invitation to address the proposed Hisar rally will certainly boost the morale of his followers, who had been sulking for several months over what they perceived as “continuous marginalisation” of their leader in party affairs.

As far as the Hooda camp is concerned, Mrs Gandhi’s decision will certainly come as a blow to his followers, though it may not weaken his position in the party immediately.

According to informed sources, the AICC General Secretary in charge of Haryana affairs, Mrs Mohsina Kidwai, had convened a meeting of four senior Haryana Congress leaders, Mr Hooda, Mr Bhajan Lal, Mr Birender Singh and Mr Shamsher Singh Surjewala, last week to decide the venue of the rally to be addressed by Mrs Gandhi.

The sources say different leaders suggested various venues. While Mr Hooda favoured Panipat, Mr Bhajan Lal’s choice was his home district of Hisar. If Mr Birender Singh seemed inclined for Narnaul which is in the Ahir belt, Mr Surjewala was either for Jind or Hisar. The party high command, the sources say, opted for Hisar today.

The immediate fallout of Mrs Gandhi’s decision will be confined to the Haryana Congress alone. It is too early to hazard a guess about what impact Mrs Gandhi’s visit would have on Haryana politics, vis-a-vis the ruling INLD, though supporters of Mr Bhajan Lal had been claiming that the day their leader was given due respect by the high command, countdown for the Chautala Government would begin.

The Hooda camp may draw some consolation that the Hisar rally will be organised under the banner of the Pradesh Congress Committee. But the fact remains that the Hisar rally will be known as the Bhajan Lal rally as was the experience with the Bhiwani rally of March last, which too was held under the auspices of the PCC. Barring Mr Bhajan Lal, all other leaders were virtually not allowed to speaker by a section of the audience. 

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DC says no to roadblocks
Our Correspondent

Kaithal, December 12
Road blockades will not be allowed by protesters, and the administration will be very tough with those indulging in such activities. Stating this here today, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Phateh Singh Dagar, said roads were meant for the smooth flow of traffic and not for staging dharnas.

Addressing mediapersons, the Deputy Commissioner said it had become a tendency of agitators to block roads and cause inconvenience to public. To check this, the police had registered criminal cases against agitators, indulging in road blockade, on five occasions in the recent past, he said.

Mr Dagar said only restricted power would be made available to the villages where more than 90 per cent consumers had not cleared their electricity bills. But at the same time, the state government had extended the interest and surcharge waiver scheme for the consumers till December 31, to enable them to pay the bills. He clarified that before restricting power supply to any village, a lok adalat would be held there to provide an opportunity to the consumers to get discrepancies in their bills , if any, rectified. He said the arrears of bills of Khurana village alone amounted to Rs 3 crore and steps were being taken to motivate villagers to clear their bills. He said if the villagers availed of the waiver scheme and made the payment in time, the amount of arrears would come down considerably.

The Deputy Commissioner sought public cooperation through media to enlighten public about bans imposed on polythene and smoking at public places. He said steps were being taken to check the plying of unauthorised maxi-cabs, rash driving and overloading. The ongoing construction work of the local judicial complex would be completed before March 31, 2002, which would pave the way for the shifting of the district courts, he added.

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Chautala’s iftar party tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, December 12
Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala will host an Iftar party. It will be the third such party hosted by him after he took over in 1999. The venue for the party will be Utawar village in Hathin subdivision of this district and will be held on December 14. The iftar party assumes significance in view of the coming Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh. The INLD has already announced its decision to contest from Western Uttar Pradesh. In such a situation, an iftar party could help in generating goodwill, a local leader said.

The district administration is working hard to organise it. About 15,000 guests were likely to attend the party, according to organisers. Over 2,500 cards have already been sent to national and state leaders, ambassadors and bureaucrats. Names of leading Muslim personalities figure on the list.

The Shahi Imam, the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and Union Minister, Shahnawaz Hussain, besides ministers from Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh are also among the invitees. A huge pandal is being erected at the venue which has been divided into 16 sectors and spread 10 acres. A special stage has also been set up.

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CPM slams govt for coffin scam
Our Correspondent

Rohtak, December 12
The Haryana CPM has described as shameless the alleged irregularities in the purchase of coffins and defence equipment by the government during the Kargil conflict.

Mr Inderjit Singh, state secretary of the party, said national security remained seriously threatened under the Vajpayee government as there was nothing in the name of morality when it came to corruption and taking kickbacks.

Mr Inderjit Singh said the pretence of patriotism created through the media to cash in on the sentiments of the people for the elections after the Kargil conflict had been exposed now.

The CPM alleged that the Defence Minister and top brass of the Army under the patronage of the Vajpayee government were indulging in acts of treason.

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Haryana Cong to protest against POTO
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
Haryana Pradesh Congress President, Bhupinder Singh Hooda has strongly reacted to the utterances of certain BJP leaders that those who are opposing POTO are anti-national.

Mr Hooda said that the NDA Government at the Centre has brought this ordinance with draconian provisions to gag the Opposition. The Haryana Congress will organise a protest dharna at Kaithal on December 14 against POTO. On December 15 it would organise chaupal meeting in five villages of Yamunanagar under its “Chaupal ki Ore” programme.

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Ex-DGP Ramesh Sehgal dead
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
A former Director-General of Haryana Police, Mr Ramesh Sehgal, died at his Panchkula residence this morning after a long illness.

Mr Sehgal, an IPS officer of the 1963 batch, had been suffering from cancer. He was 61.

A large number of admirers attended the cremation at Manimajra cremation grounds this evening. Wreaths were laid on the body on behalf of the Haryana Police by its Director-General, Mr M.S. Malik, and former Directors-General of Punjab and Haryana Police settled in Chandigarh, Panchkula and SAS Nagar. Several senior police officers based here and surrounding districts of Ambala and Panchkula also paid their respects to Mr Sehgal.

A guard of honour was presented by a contingent of the Haryana Police to its former chief. The Chief Secretary, Mr L.M. Goyal, represented the Haryana Government at the cremation.

Mr Sehgal is survived by his wife and two sons. 

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HUDA auction at Rohtak
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
The Haryana Urban Development Authority has decided to auction commercial sites and built-up booths at Rohtak on December 18.

A spokesman of HUDA said 48 sites for booth and four built-up booths would be auctioned in Sector 1, as many as 27 booths sites and 11 built-up booths would be auctioned in Sectors 2 and 3. Similarly, 16 sites of booths would be auctioned in Sectors 2,3 and 4.

Thirty five built-up booths would be auctioned at modern complex at Old Senior Secondary School. Thirty built-up booths would be auctioned in commercial urban estate.

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Area under water irrigation up
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
A survey conducted by the Haryana State Minor Irrigation and Tubewell Corporation (MITC) in 125 water courses located in Kaithal, Sirsa, Fatehabad, Hisar and Bhiwani in both Bhakra and Yamuna commands, has indicated that the area under irrigation showed a significant increase ranging from 111 per cent up wards.

The study found that there was a definite reduction in time for water to reach the tail-end for farmers to get water.

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Coaching classes for Sainik schools
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
The Haryana Rajya Sainik Board will hold free coaching classes for the sons of war widows, widows, ex-servicemen and serving defence personnel of Haryana to prepare them for entrance examination to be held in February 2002 for admission to military or Sainik schools.

A spokesman of the board said that the classes would be conducted at Sainik Parivar Bhawan, Chhachhrauli in Yamunanagar district from January 2 to 28. 

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Patwari held
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 12
The Haryana State Vigilance Bureau has caught Sushil Kumar, Patwari of Aherwan, while accepting illegal gratification of Rs 12,000 from Mr Avtar Singh of Gurusar village of Hisar for entering mutation.

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