Tuesday, January 15, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Remit loans, demands BKU
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, January 14
The Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) has blamed wrong and anti-farmers policies, being pursued by the government, for pathetic conditions of farmers. The factors like unremunerative prices of farm produce, unrealistic prices of farm inputs and agricultural machinery and high interest rates of agricultural loans were the main culprits for deteriorating economic condition of farmers, which at times forced them to commit suicides.

This was stated by Mr Ajmer Singh Lakhowal, President, BKU, in a press note here today. He further charged the government with callousness in taking necessary steps to prepare the farming community to effectively deal with the global competition in the wake of WTO. “In order to make the agriculture a viable profession and to enable the farmers to survive in the changed scenario, it is imperative that all farm loans are remitted and further the farmers be provided all facilities and assistance on a par with developed countries so that they are able to pay back their debts in time”.

Hailing the government move to declare the Ramgarhia community as a backward class, the BKU urged that the Jat community should also be given this concession on the pattern of Rajasthan and Delhi.

Mr Lakhowal, taking strong exception to erratic power supply to farm sector, remarked that even though the government claimed to provide free power for tubewells, no power supply was available in villages.

Meanwhile, a meeting of the state executive of the BKU is convened here tomorrow, which will discuss in detail the strategy for the ensuing Assembly poll. “The BKU, which is the biggest representative body of the farmers, will support only those political parties which make all pending demands of the farmers a part of their manifesto”, Mr Lakhowal asserted.


Discrimination in appointments alleged
Our Correspondent

Mandi Gobindgarh, January 14
Interviews for appointment of ETT/JBT and B.Ed. teachers for 7,230 vacant posts were conducted by the selection committees formed in each district as per the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court in August last year, the merit lists were sent to the DPI (Primary) for approval. On the basis of merit lists, the B.Ed. teachers were given appointment letters and they joined their respective schools, in all districts of the state except Fatehgarh Sahib district.

The selection committee of this district was first in the state to compile the result of selection and that too in ink contrary to fears of foul play afterwards, but the approval of highups had not been accorded till date. Mr Jagtar Singh president, and Mr Inderjit Singh, general secretary of the Unemployed Teachers’ Front of this district stated to the mediapersons here today that they had been going to the DPI (Pry.) Education Minister Tota Singh continuously but now they were told that the case had been sent to the Chief Election Commissioner for approval.

It is surprising that the selection list had been submitted before that of other districts but the approval was delayed in spite of the fact that Mr Bachittar Singh, chairman of the selection committee and District Education Officer, Primary, was called to Chandigarh many times but he had to come back emptyhanded, later on he was transferred from the post of DEO (Primary) to that of a lecturer at Ludhiana. Sources attribute the delay in approval due to the alleged political pressure to get some names included in the list which the DEO declined, consequently he was transferred as lecturer from this post. The DPI (Primary) was not available for comments.

A delegation of unemployed teachers will meet the DPI at Chandigarh on Tuesday, in case the list of selected candidates is not released by then, the front leaders said “We shall file a contempt of court case in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, immediately against the DPI and other concerned for not implementing the court directions.”

The DEO (Primary) said she had got no list as yet from the DPI and appointment orders would be issued without delay as soon as it reached.

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