Saturday, January 5, 2002, Chandigarh, India 

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Punjab election scene hazy
Chandigarh, January 4
The Punjab poll scene is hazy. Political parties are busy stitching coalitions. The rough patches on the political quilt still show. No one really knows which politician is on whose side. Power brokers are active players. In every party there is a scramble for seats. 

Single-name suggestions in Punjab Cong disapproved
New Delhi, January 4
The entire list of Congress candidates for Punjab is unlikely to be cleared today with the Central Election Committee members not agreeing to many of the recommendations of the Screening Committee.

Axe falls on Bhattal supporters
Chandigarh, January 4
It appears that by sealing an electoral agreement with the CPI today, the President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, Capt Amarinder Singh, has succeeded in clipping the wings of his opponents in his own party.

CEO yet to receive reply on transfers
Jalandhar, January 4
While the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee dubbed the proposed appointment of the three PCS officers by the Punjab Government as OSDs at their home district Amritsar for assisting the Amritsar district administration for tackling the migration stirred by the war-like situation on border as an act of blatant violation of the model code of conduct, the office of the Punjab Chief Electoral Officer has not received any reply to its query about the proposed appointments from the state government so far.

Fatehgarh Sahib



Graft poll issue for Oppn, but cops record fewer cases
Chandigarh, January 4
While the Congress and other Opposition parties, including the Communists, want to make corruption a major issue in the coming Assembly elections, the Punjab police claims a steep decline in corruption cases in the state.

Minister denies Vikram Singh’s charges
Jalandhar, January 4
Even as the Hoshiarpur police chose to be tight-lipped about the controversy surrounding the Punjab Minister of State for Excise and Taxation Tikshan Sood and his complaint against Bajrang Dal chief Vijay Singh, Mr Sood today said he was not involved in any human-trafficking scam and he was being targeted by BJP leader Capt Vikram Singh for some personal and political reasons.

Punjab to recruit 11,000 Home Guards
Chandigarh, January 4
With war clouds forming over the sub-continent, Punjab has projected a requirement for 11,000 additional Home Guard volunteers for its three border districts of Gurdaspur, Amritsar and Ferozepore, it is learnt.


Good response to vikas yatra
Abohar, January 4
The “sadbhavna vikas rath yatra” was given a rousing reception in the home town of the state BJP president, Prof B.L. Rinwa, on its arrival here last evening. The yatra was received by Minister for Forests Surjit Kumar Jiyani and local MLA Dr Ram Kumar Goyal at Balluana village on the Malout-Abohar road where hundreds of party workers from rural areas had been waiting for three hours.

I never opposed unity move: Dhindsa
Ludhiana, January 4
The Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers and secretary-general of the Shiromani Akali Dal, Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, today denied that he was at any stage opposed to the rapprochement between the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and former SGPC chief, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra.

Badal harps on development
Phagwara, January 4
“What the SAD-BJP government has done for Punjab during its five-year rule was not done in the past 100 years and what the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, gave to Punjab on November 18 was not given during the past 50 years,” said Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal while addressing a gathering here last night. “Going by our performance, the February 13 poll verdict is a foregone conclusion as it will go in our favour,” said Mr Badal atop a specially designed bus.

AISSF to back SAD, BJP
Chandigarh, January 4
After a meeting at the Punjab Bhavan today, the All-India Sikh Students Federation headed by Dr Manjit Singh Bhoma announced its support for the SAD-BJP combine in the coming Assembly elections. The federation also passed a resolution in this second.

SAD workers oppose ticket to sitting MLA
Bathinda, January 4
Workers of the Shiromani Akali Dal, including two members of the SGPC and two presidents of the circle units of the party, at a meeting held at Pakka Kalan, 40 km from here, today passed a verbal resolution urging the President of the SD, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, not to give ticket to sitting MLA, Makhan Singh from Pakka Kalan Assembly segment.

BSP move to reduce poll expenses
Bathinda, January 4
To check the misuse of money power in the elections, the Bahujan Samaj Party leadership has decided to carry out its entire campaign on bicycles and urge the electorate to give Re 1 each as election fund.

BKU to decide poll strategy on Jan 15
Ludhiana, January 4
The Bharatiya Kisan Union will extend support to any political party in the ensuing Assembly elections in Punjab only after making sure that the party pursues pro- farmer policies and agrees in principle to accept and implement all pending demands of the farming community.

Rashtriya Raksha Dal to contest poll
Chandigarh, January 4
The Rashtriya Raksha Dal, a political outfit of ex-servicemen registered with the Election Commission of India, has decided to contest the coming Punjab Assembly elections by fielding its candidates from those segments which have substantial population of ex-servicemen.

Cong dissidents face expulsion
Abohar, January 4
Former Union Agriculture Minister Bal Ram Jakhar has said if any worker opposes the official candidates of the party, he will be expelled from the Congress immediately and the door for him will remain closed for ever. Mr Jakhar said this here yesterday.

CPM releases list of 11 candidates
Chandigarh, January 4
The Punjab unit of the CPM today released the first list of its 11 candidates for the state assembly elections.


Border migration continues
Gurdaspur, January 4
Panic continues to grip residents of border area villages in the district in view of heavy concentration of armed forces on India and Pakistan border. Fresh exodus of population has started and more than 12 families have already shifted from Shahsherpur village in Dorangla sector. The families have reportedly shifted to safer places on the directions of the Army.

Army officers tour Fazilka villages
Fazilka, January 4
Major-Gen R.N. Suryavanshi, GoC, has undertaken a tour of border villages of sensitive Fazilka sector and assessed the preparedness of the Army. He was accompanied by Brig S.K.S. Rana.

Experts caution industries
Ropar, January 4
Due to heightened terrorist activities in the region, the chemical and other hazardous industries in the region have been asked to take precautionary measures against bomb threats.

Octroi ordinance made into Act
Chandigarh, January 4
In an undertaking before the Punjab and Haryana High Court in the octroi abolition case, Punjab’s Advocate-General Hardev Singh Mattewal today stated that ordinance pertaining to the matter has been converted into an Act.

  • Notice to EC in DC transfer case

Pioneer of coop movement
Chandigarh, January 4
Mr Surjit Singh Puri, a former Chief Secretary of Punjab, who died on December 30 in New Delhi, belonged to the 1949 batch of the IAS (Punjab cadre) and was one of the pioneers of the cooperative movement in the country. Regarded by his colleagues and subordinates as a perfect gentleman and distinguished bureaucrat, Mr Puri held several prestigious positions at the Centre, including Union Textiles Secretary, Union Agriculture Secretary and Secretary, Planning Commission. He also had a stint as the country’s Ambassador to the EEC.

PSGPC unacceptable, says Badungar
Amritsar, January 4
Prof Kirpal Singh Badungar, president of the SGPC, has said the existence of Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee is unacceptable to the Sikhs as it was formed in violation of the agreement signed between both the countries.

‘Probe functioning of State Chemical Lab’
Patiala, January 4
The PCMS Association has demanded a judicial inquiry by a sitting High Court judge into the functioning of the Punjab State Chemical Laboratory at Patiala, where reportedly hundreds of viscera samples of post-mortem cases are under examination in the open in the backyard of the laboratory, as reported in a section of the Press.

Banking services paralysed
Barnala, January 4
Normal functioning of the local branches of the State Bank of Patiala, Punjab National Bank, Punjab & Sind Bank, Central Bank of India and Oriental Bank of Commerce was paralysed as employees of these banks observed stay-and-cease-work in their bank branches on Friday on a call given by the All-India Bank Employees Association.

Hijacking case: court asks for record
Patiala, January 4
The IC-814 hijacking case underway in the court of the Designate Judge, Anti Hijacking Act, today took a new turn with the defence asking that the record of negotiations between the hijackers, United Nations diplomats and Indian diplomats, be furnished to the court.


Team to check quality of road construction
Chandigarh, January 4
On the receipt of information regarding “poor quality of construction” of rural roads in the Tanda area of Mukerian division of Hoshiarpur district. Mr Sarvesh Kaushal, Special Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister and Secretary, PWD (B&R), has ordered the collection of samples of materials used and checking of adherence to specifications by a team headed by the Chief Vigilance Officer, PWD (B&R).

DC tells officials to stay vigilant
Fatehgarh Sahib, January 4
Keeping in view the tension at the border and to impart training to volunteers and NGOs in first aid in the district, a civil defence unit headed by ADC (G) at district head- quarters and at subdivisions headed by SDMs have been set up, according to Mr Vikas Partap, Deputy Commissioner, who addressed a meeting of joint planning committee to review the arrangements for internal security.


3 killed in road mishap
Fazilka, January 4
Three persons, including two family members of BSF personnel, were killed while four others were injured in a road accident on the Fazilka-Ferozepore road, near Amir Khas village last evening.


Filling of posts raises controversy
Patiala, January 4
Filling of posts during the fag end of the academic session and after promulgation of the model code of conduct in the state prior to the Assembly elections has raised a controversy in Punjabi University with its Vice-Chancellor, Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia, being accused of making appointments on the dictates of the ruling party.

Convention on higher education
Chandigarh, January 4
A Joint Action Committee of 172 non-government aided and unaided colleges has decided to hold a state level convention on “Save Higher Education” on January 10, at Panjab University Law Auditorium.


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