Wednesday, January 16, 2002, Chandigarh, India

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PM to campaign in Punjab
Atal Behari Vajpayee
New Delhi, January 15
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee is believed to have kept aside three days to campaign for the Akali Dal-BJP combine in Punjab next month even as intense factionalism continued to manifest itself in the rival camps of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s SAD and the Congress.

EVMs are ‘safe, tamper-proof’
Patiala, January 15
Electronic Voting Machines are safe and tamper-proof as they incorporate a microprocessor that has “burnt-in” software which cannot be altered or replaced, says Mr P.K. Gera, Election Observer for Patiala, maintaining that their use would not only make polling “free, fair and fast” but also ensure that there are no invalid votes.

Code brings change in electioneering
Chandigarh, January 15
The Model Code of Conduct is a unique document evolved by the political parties for themselves. This is, perhaps, a singular contribution by the political system in the country to the cause of fair and free elections.

Panthic Morcha, the third force
Chandigarh, January 15
Consisting primarily of several Akali factions, the Panthic Morcha is trying to project itself as a viable third force in the Punjab politics. The Panthic Morcha has five components, including the Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal led by Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, SAD (Amritsar) headed by Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, Panthic Akali Dal led by Bhai Jasbir Singh Rode, the Akali faction headed by the former Punjab assembly speaker, Mr Ravi Inder Singh and the Sant Samaj.

Fatehgarh Sahib



Traditional Congress stronghold
Jalandhar, January 15
Jalandhar — this heartland of the Doaba region and a traditional stronghold of the Congress since Independence — is likely to witness a direct clash between the SAD-BJP combine and the Congress this time. This was the only district in the state from where the Congress was able to manage victory from four out of 14 seats even during the strong ‘‘anti-Congress’’ wave during 1997 elections. The fifth seat — Adampur — fell in the lap of the Congress when its candidate, Mr Kanwaljit Singh Laali, defeated the SAD candidate by a thin margin of six votes in the November 1998 byelection.

HC tells varsity to file reply
Reports of sexual harassment
Amritsar, January 15
Taking suo motu action on the two reports published in The Tribune regarding cases of sexual harassment, Guru Nanak Dev University has been directed to submit a reply in this regard by January 21. Dr R.S. Bawa, Registrar, GND varsity, said the high court had issued notice of motion to the university and sought a report on the issue.


Pawar offers to field rebel Cong men
Chandigarh, January 15
The President of the Nationalist Congress Party, Mr Sharad Pawar, has jumped into the political arena of Punjab. Today, he established contact with rebel Congressmen offering them to field them in the coming Assembly elections on his party’s symbol.

Badal promises voters more progress
Lambi (Muktsar), January 15
Even as the first ray of the sun was yet to touch Punjab, Punjab Chief Minister and President, Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), Mr Parkash Singh Badal, was out from his ancestral house in Badal village to launch his formal campaign himself in this Assembly segment, today.

Mr Parkash Singh Badal (atop the special vehicle) addresses his first election rally in Lambi (Muktsar) village, the constituency from which he is contesting the election, on Tuesday. — Tribune photo Kulbir Beera

Cheema quits SAD, announces candidature
Fatehgarh Sahib, January 15
A former minister, Mr Randhir Singh Cheema, today resigned from the primary membership of the Shiromani Akali Dal and announced his decision to contest as an Independent candidate from the constituency in protest against denial of SAD nomination to him.

Another peeved Akali minister quits
Hoshiarpur, January 15
Mrs Mohinder Kaur Josh, State Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Punjab, revolted against Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister and President, SAD, in a protest for not allotting party ticket to her from the Sham Chaurasi segment in the coming elections of the state Assembly. Mrs Josh resigned from the state Cabinet and has sent her resignation to Mr Parkash Singh Badal this afternoon.

Rebels’ ultimatum to high command
Bhawanigarh (Sangrur), January 15
Following the denial of ticket from Sangrur to Mr Parkash Chand Garg, a working committee member of the SAD and Chairman of the Punjab Land Development and Reclamation Corporation, two circle Jathedars, 1,100 workers, and Mr Garg himself postponed their decision to resign from the party by a day to give the party high command time to review its decision.

PPCC’s charge against cops
Jalandhar, January 15
The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee has charged the Kapurthala police with misuse of powers by extending “undue” help to Bibi Jagir Kaur, SAD candidate from the Bholath constituency.

Pasla to seek separate poll symbol
Ropar, January 15
Mr Mangat Ram Pasla, leader of the breakaway group of the CPM in the state, will seek a separate election symbol from the Election Commission for his candidates in the forthcoming assembly elections.

Field Dhillon against Badal, say supporters
Chandigarh, January 15
Supporters of Mr Maheshinder Singh Dhillon, who had recently joined the Congress, have urged the party high command to review its decision with regard to the allotment of the party ticket for the Lambi constituency.


Maghi Mela ends on colourful note
Muktsar, January 15
The three-day annual Maghi Mela, organised to commemorate the sacrifices made by 40 “muktas” (liberated ones) while fighting under the command of Mai Bhago against Mughal forces, culminated on a colourful note at Gurdwara Darbar Sahib here today.

Exodus from border areas continues
Ferozepore, January 15
People from the border areas of Ferozepore sector are still migrating to safer places fearing the possibility of a war between India and Pakistan. According to information from the district administration, 1,18,450 persons from 160 villages adjoining the Indo-Pak border in this sector have gone to their relatives while a few have chosen to take shelter in relief camps.

Harassment by PUDA alleged
Bathinda, January 15
Ms Kaushalaya Devi of the city has alleged that despite the stay orders of the court the officials concerned of the Punjab Urban Development Authority had demolished a part of her house and were forcing her to vacate it.

Espionage case accused get judicial remand
Bathinda, January 15
Narpat Singh Rathore, Shanker Parker and Dashrath Singh who were arrested for allegedly taking photographs of vital installations on the longitude and latitude basis on January 10 were today sent to judicial remand till January 29.

Probe ordered into murder
Amritsar, January 15
The police has ordered an inquiry into the murder of Sukhbir Singh Sukh on New Year’s Eve. Mr Jhilmil Singh, DSP, has been made the inquiry officer. The deceased man’s brother, Harjinder Singh, had alleged that the murder of his brother was the handiwork of Harbhajan Singh Brar, his son, Meharban Singh, his wife Sukhjit Kaur and certain others who had earlier been involved in an attack on him.

SGPC may reinstate dismissed staff
Amritsar, January 15
Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee President Kirpal Singh Badungar today indicated that the committee would consider the cases of all 489 employees who were dismissed at the behest of the Sikh Gurdwara Judicial Commission.

Patient’s attendants attack doctor
Phagwara, January 15
A doctor of the local Civil Hospital, Dr Ajay Kumar, was attacked last night by attendants of Nasib Kaur, who died while she was undergoing treatment. The police has registered a case.


Ferozepore steals Citrus Show
Abohar, January 15
Fruit growers of Ferozepore district won the shield at the two-day state level Citrus Show by bagging 70 out of 123 prizes. In all 4,110 entries were received, 3,500 of which were from kinnow growers of various districts of the state. Prizes were given jointly today by Mr N.S. Rattan, Financial Commissioner (Development), and Dr. K.S. Aulakh, Vice-Chancellor, Punjab Agriculture University.


120 Moga booths sensitive
Moga, January 15
The administration has identified 120 of 315 polling stations spread over the Dharamkot, Moga, Baghapurana, Nihalsinghwala and Panjgrain constituencies of this district as sensitive, a police officer said here today. Senior Superintendent of Police Sharad Satya Chouhan said that of the 315 stations, 39 were urban.

Keep check on new mosques, DCs told
Amritsar, January 15
A joint meeting of Deputy Commissioners, district police chiefs of the border area, including Ferozepur, Gurdaspur and Amritsar, presided over by Mr Rajan Gupta, IG (Border) here today decided to keep a close vigil on the activities of suspects in the region.

Govt staff told not to go on leave
Muktsar, January 15
As a precautionary measure, the Deputy Commissioner, Mr Babu Lal, has issued strict guidelines to the heads of department of the district directing them to ensure that employees do not go on leave in view of the Assembly elections.


College staff rally on Jan 23
Ludhiana, January 15
The Managements Federation, the Principals Federation, the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union and non-teaching employees will hold a state-level protest rally at Jalandhar on January 23.

Change in school timings extended
Fatehgarh Sahib, January 15
The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Vikas Paratap, in an order issued here today, extended change in timings of all schools in the district. He had earlier ordered that all government, private and aided schools in the district would be open from 10 am to 3 pm while primary schools would be functional from 10 am to 2 pm till January 15.


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