Wednesday, February 6, 2002, Chandigarh, India

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Amarinder’s open letter to Badal
Chandigarh, February 5
The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief, Capt Amarinder Singh, in an open letter to the Punjab Chief Minister, M Parkash Singh Badal, posed him 10 questions on various issues, including the rivers water and his personal property.

Populist manifestoes ignore real problems
Chandigarh, February 5
Without sparing a thought about Punjab’s dipping fiscal status, almost all political parties in their respective manifestoes have resorted to populism, promising sops, concessions and freebies to various sections of the electorate to win their support.

Parties overlooking villagers’ issue
Chandigarh, February 5
Political parties have been overlooking an important emotional issue common for 357 villages spread across Kharar, Morinda and Banur Assembly constituencies in Punjab located in the vicinity Chandigarh.

CM blames Cong for Punjab woes
Sangrur, February 5
Mr Parkash Singh Badal addressed an election rally organised in support of Mr Sanmukh Singh Mokha, SAD candidate from Sangrur, at the new Grain Market here today.

Lion versus sacrificial goat
Lambi (Muktsar), February 5
The electoral contests between the Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, who is also the SAD chief, and his political opponent in this constituency have often been described as a fight between the lion and the sacrificial goat, with the latter always meeting its predictable end at the hands of the former.

Fatehgarh Sahib


The 917 candidates in the fray

Punjab constituencies



Right time to grab MC land
Fatehgarh Sahib, February 5
The election time has become a boon for those who encroach upon the municipal land in Sirhind constituency, courtesy politicians and municipal officials.

Flouting EC rules, employees canvass
Chandigarh, February 5
Flouting the Election Commission's guidelines on conduct of government employees during an election, hundreds of Punjab Government employees are actively participating in the election campaign for their favoured candidates. And in a run-up to the Assembly elections, attendance in various departments, boards and corporations is increasingly becoming thin.

Jaspal Bhatti, the fake election commissioner, asks the candidates to begin the mud-slinging match at a street play organised by Nonsense Club in Sector-17, Chandigarh, on Tuesday.Poll mud-slinging, Bhatti style
Chandigarh, February 5
To keep the voters on their heels, Jaspal Bhatti’s Nonsense Club is back with yet with another blow on the present electorate system — this time on the declining standard of the poll campaigns adopted by various parties for the forthcoming Punjab Assembly elections.

Jaspal Bhatti, the fake election commissioner, asks the candidates to begin the mud-slinging match at a street play organised by Nonsense Club in Sector-17, Chandigarh, on Tuesday. — Tribune Photo Pankaj Sharma

Cops trained to combat biological weapons
Intensive training to combat hi-tech terrorism including chemical and biological terrorism, coupled with upholding the human rights are part of the syllabus at the Punjab Police Academy where NGOs, IAS and IPS officers are trained.


Sushma plays Hindu-Sikh unity card
Bathinda, February 5
The Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting and senior BJP leader, Ms Sushma Swaraj, played the Hindu-Sikh unity card while addressing an election rally in support of the SAD-BJP alliance candidate, Mr Chiranji Lal Garg, here last night.

In video: The BJP, facing a tough political competition in Punjab, uses Union ministers Shahnawaz Hussain and Sushma Swaraj to spearhead the election campaign in Malerkotla district.
(28k, 56k)

Capt Amarinder Singh shows the Congress manifesto at a function in Patiala.Where royalty mingles with the masses
Patiala, February 5
Once a city of maharajas and maharanis which still addresses the erstwhile royalty by the same name, Patiala is seeing a demystifying of the royal legend through a “Maharani’’ who is making an all-out effort to blend with the people minus the royal tag.

Capt Amarinder Singh shows the Congress manifesto at a function in Patiala.

Tohra promises ‘clean’ govt
Amloh, February 5
After a whirlwind tour of Chamarthal Kalan, Ranghari, Jhambala, Bhari Panchan and Tandha Badha with his team of supporters, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra president, SHSAD, addressed a well-attended rally at Badhouchi Kalan village held in favour of Panthic Morcha candidate, Mr Harnek Singh Dhiwana, contesting from the Amloh (Reserved) Assembly segment.

Ambika not in race for CM post
Balachaur, February 5
“I am not in the race for chief ministership,” says Mrs Ambika Soni, general secretary of the AICC, maintaining that her “only vested interest was that the present SAD-BJP government should be voted out of power"”.

Temple issue bait to garner votes: Buta Singh
Phagwara, February 5
Former Union Home Minister and Congress stalwart Buta Singh last night alleged that the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the BJP were using the temple issue as a bait to garner Hindu votes and misleading the public, particularly the NDA partners.

Situation fluid in Ferozepore
Ferozepore, February 5
The Congress vote bank in the city constituency appears to be in a state of uncertainty. The voters foresee a battle for supremacy between Mr Sukhpal Singh Nannu, the adopted son of BJP MLA Girdhara Singh, and Mr Bal Mukand Sharma of the Congress, who enjoyed a Cabinet berth in the government of the late Beant Singh.

A foreign-returned social worker
Sangrur, February 5
Before entering into the current Assembly poll fray as a Congress candidate from Sangrur Assembly segment, he was known as a social worker in the district. About four years ago, he set up the Umeed Khanna Foundation, a social organisation with pilot project “Health at the doorstep”.

Bir Devinder tainted, says Cong rebel
SAS Nagar, February 5
Striking a rapport with the rural voters, a dissident Congress leader, Mr Balbir Singh Sidhu, who is contesting the Assembly elections from the Kharar seat as an Independent candidate, today listed the development works undertaken by him in the area in the past five years.

Show of strength at Sohi’s rally

Door-to-door campaign by Kanwaljit’s kin

Reports on rly overbridge ‘true’



MC men prevented from removing flags
Bathinda, February 5
Employees of the local Municipal Council (MC) engaged in removing flags and other election-related material from government property in the city are finding it difficult to do their job due to the opposition of supporters of political parties.

It is langar time for rural voters
Patiala, February 5
Elections couldn’t have come to the state at a better time for the ruralites. The farmers as well as landless labourers are participating in the elections with gusto on a daily diet of “langar’’ and “daaru’’.

LHRI split on case against Bhattal
Bathinda, February 5
Mr Jatinder Rai Khattar, former president of the District Bar Association and Organising Secretary, Lawyers for Human Rights International (LHRI), has said the corruption case registered against former Punjab Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal should be withdrawn as she is innocent.


3 cops shifted for flouting poll code
Rampuraphul, February 5
In an unprecedented move, the district police authorities today transferred three police officials, including two station house officers (SHOs) of two police stations falling in this Assembly segment for allegedly violating the code of conduct. The Punjab Power Minister, Mr Sikander Singh Malooka, is facing a tough fight from a youth leader, Mr Gurpreet Singh Kangar, in this segment.


Missing man found murdered
Jalandhar, February 5
Panic spread among residents of the city when Amarnath (40), who had been missing for the past two days, was found murdered in the fields at Khurla Kingra village this evening. This is the second murder in the past three days here.

Illicit liquor seized in Lambi 
Lambi (Muktsar), February 5
Six residents of the home constituency of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, from where he is contesting in the coming Assembly elections also, have been booked under the Excise Act for possessing illicit liquor allegedly to be used to woo the voters.


Participants exult at the conclusion of the inter-varsity youth festival on Tuesday. GND varsity wins overall trophy
Amritsar, February 5
Host Guru Nanak Dev University maintained its supremacy in cultural filed by retaining the overall championship in the All-India Inter-varsity National Maharaja Youth Festival-2002 which concluded here today. It also won music and theatre trophies.

Participants exult at the conclusion of the inter-varsity youth festival on Tuesday. — photo Rajiv Sharma

Students protest against alleged harassment
Patiala, February 5
Saru Rana, a student of Fine Arts department of Punjabi University, who has alleged harassment by the university authorities, today protested outside the Fine Arts Department along with her mother and dozens of university students.

Gallery with a difference
Patiala, February 5
A view of the botanical photo gallery in Punjabi University, PatialaThere is every reason for Patiala’s Punjabi University to be proud of its latest addition. It is the only university in India to set up a botanical photo gallery recently. The gallery displays over 600 photographs of diverse plant species — sacred, diseased, medicinal, poisonous, common and endangered — as also of famous scientists involved in botanical research. The gallery, with an aesthetic design, offers an ambience reminiscent of an art gallery.

A view of the botanical photo gallery in Punjabi University, Patiala

Cultural team arrives from Tripura
Patiala, February 5
A 34-member cultural team from Tripura, under the aegis of the North Eastern School Student Cultural Exchange programme arrived here today.

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