Monday, February 11, 2002, Chandigarh, India

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PM sharpens rhetoric on terrorism threat
Bathinda, February 10
In an attempt to blunt the corruption plank of the Congress, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, today sharpened his rhetoric regarding the threat perception to the country from terrorism. He appealed for votes on the plea of maintaining Centre-state cooperation, which had contributed to the development process in Punjab.

PM to ‘intervene’ in inter-state disputes
Jalandhar, February 10
The BJP today indicated that the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, would take the initiative to solve the long-pending inter-state disputes between Punjab and Haryana after the completion of the ongoing poll process in Punjab.

PM will solve river issue: BJP President
Jalandhar, February 10
The BJP today indicated that Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee would take the initiative to solve the long-pending inter-state disputes between Punjab and Haryana after the completion of ongoing poll process in Punjab.

Tohra down, but not out
Patiala, February 10
Tohra village may not be seeing the same crowds as when former SGPC chief Gurcharan Singh Tohra ruled the district, but he still has a loyal band of followers who see him off at 7 a.m. sharp from his house.

Votes ke liye candidate kuchh bhi karega
Zira, February 10
Innovations have been galore in the fortnight-long aggressive electioneering featuring not only the top notch political leadership of the country but also stars of both the music and tinsel worlds.


The 917 candidates in the fray

Punjab constituencies



No ‘voter cards’ for ‘mini-Bharat’ residents
Chhehrata (Amritsar), February 10
Unity in diversity prevalent here has given the status of “mini-Bharat” to this satellite town of Amritsar which is only 16 km from the Indo-Pak border. Though 55 residents of Chhehrata were killed during bombardment by Pakistan in 1965, it continues to be the second home to thousands of migrants.

Campaigning ends today
Chandigarh, February 10
On the penultimate day of the fierce poll campaign for elections-2002, the ruling Akali-BJP combine made yet another effort to tilt the scales in its favour by having the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, address a poll rally in Bathinda today.


Rai Sikhs hold the key in Jalalabad, Guru Har Sahai
Jalalabad, February 10
Unlike other areas in the state, caste factor is still alive in the Jalalabad and Guru Har Sahai constituencies of Ferozepore district. The Rai Sikhs hold the key as a majority of the population here is dominated by them. In Jalalabad, out of 1,50,753 voters, more than 75,000 belong to this community.

Triangular contest in Zira
Zira, February 10
There is no single party bastion in this constituency. The voters do not seem to be in a mood to reveal their opinion at this juncture. When the election campaign is in full swing. It may be because two Akali stalwarts of the area, the sitting MLA, Mr Inderjit Singh Zira, and a former minister, Mr Hari Singh Zira, are both contesting on the Panthic Morcha and the SAD ticket, respectively. 

Rebels ensure multi-cornered contest
Talwandi Sabo, February 10
This Assembly segment, housing the fifth Takht of Sikhs, Takht Shri Damdama Sahib, located in the farthest corner of south Punjab, bordering Haryana, is likely to witness a multi-cornered contest as both official candidates of the Congress and SAD, Mr Harminder Singh Jassi, sitting MLA, and Mr Mohan Singh Bangi, respectively, are facing rebels.

Rebels may play spoilsport
Kharar, February 10
A four-cornered contest has emerged in this key constituency of Kharar where the Congress candidate, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, the SAD candidate, Mr Kiranbir Singh Kang, the Panthic Morcha candidate, Mr Rajbir Singh Padiala and rebel Congress leader, Mr Balbir Singh Sidhu, are locked in a close fight.

Afghani wife, unpopular secretary
Patiala, February 10
The erstwhile princely town of Nabha is witnessing a triangular contest with an Afghani wife, a ‘‘Secretary’’ who no one likes and a grassroot leader who is squirming in the new party he helped launch in the State after leaving the Congress being the main factors at play.

Election scene hots up in Banur
Dera Bassi, February 10
It was a day of rallies in Banur, a key constituency of the state, for the February 13 Assembly elections. Thousands of supporters of three political parties — the Shiromani Akali Dal, the Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party — and an Independent candidate organised massive rallies.

Sukhbir: weigh up our performance
Sardulgarh (Mansa), February 10
Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, a Rajya Sabha member and General Secretary of the SAD (B), while addressing an election rally for the party nominee, Mr Balwinder Singh Bhunder, here today called upon the people to compare the performance of the Badal government with that of the previous Congress governments before casting votes.

Sekhon’s man eludes arrest
Ferozepore, February 10
The police has failed to arrest a local Municipal Commissioner, Mr Joginder Singh, alias Jindu, against whom a case was registered in the cantonment police station on Friday.

Manmohan projects Singla as FM
Bathinda, February 10
A former Union Finance Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, while addressing a rally here late last night blamed the SAD-BJP alliance for the poor state of the Punjab economy and asked the people to vote for Mr Surinder Singla.

CM: alliance alone can deliver the goods
Gurdaspur, February 10
Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, while addressing a rally here today in favour of Mr Munawar Massih, SAD-BJP candidate for the Gurdaspur Assembly constituency, accused the Congress of depriving Punjab of adequate power, drinking water, railway lines and other projects during its long stint in power.

Amarinder vows to probe Badal’s assets
Kapurthala, February 10
Capt Amarinder Singh, President of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, has announced that the Congress, if voted to power, will form a commission of eminent jurists to inquire into the huge wealth and property “amassed” by Mr Parkash Singh Badal, Chief Minister, and his family.

Prof Darshan Singh KhalsaDarshan Singh dares Badal to open debate
Phagwara, February 10
Prof Darshan Singh Khalsa, a former Jathedar of Akal Takht, today dared the SAD President and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to an open debate and claimed that he would prove that during Mr Badal’s five-year rule, he and his party had proved neither to be custodians of Sikhs and the Panth nor of Punjab but only of “parivarwad” (family fiefdom) and nepotism.

Pretty Priety pulls people
Bhawanigarh, February 10
Film actress Priety Zinta and Kunal Goswami, film actor and son of renowned film personality Manoj Kumar, drew crowds at a Congress rally here today, organised to boost the election campaign of Mr Arvind Khanna, the Congress candidate for the Sangrur Assembly constituency.

Poonam, Govinda lend glitz
Jalandhar, February 10
To counter the poll strategy of the BJP to invite film stars like Vinod Khanna for attracting crowds at rallies in Punjab, the Congress today formally had former Miss India and film actress Poonam Dhillon and Govinda campaigning for its candidates in the state.

Film actress Poonam Dhillon addresses a Press conference at Jalandhar on Sunday. 
— PTI photo 
Film actress Poonam Dhillon addresses a Press conference

Gharuan hopeful of victory
SAS Nagar, February 10
A former Congress minister, Mr Harnek Singh Gharuan, who is contesting as an Independent, today dismissed reports of his withdrawing from the elections. Talking to mediapersons, he said certain vested interests were spreading rumours against him.

Banking on youngsters
Sangrur, February 10
The youth are a force to reckon with as the election fever in Punjab reaches a zenith. The cynosure of all political parties looking for propaganda and publicity sans investment, the youth are having a ball absorbing the various hues of life in the spectrum of the elections as they campaign for candidates and rub shoulders with the party top brass.

Dejected students seek negative voting
Ludhiana, February 10
Notwithstanding hectic electioneering and crisp campaign styles adopted by the political parties, the youth of this region consider Punjab elections to be of little significance. 

Sons of 2 Akali stalwarts in fray
Chandigarh, February 10
The Sunam and Dhuri Assembly constituencies of this district are the centre of attraction in the current Assembly elections as sons of two Akali stalwarts, Mr Surjit Singh Barnala, Governor, Uttaranchal, and Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Union Cabinet Minister, are contesting from there.

Five Congressmen expelled
Chandigarh, February 10
The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief, Capt Amarinder Singh, today ordered the expulsion of five office-bearers, including a district president, for their anti-party activities, including opposition to official party candidates in the February 13 Assembly elections.

Congressman joins SAD
Amritsar, February 10
Shiromani Akali Dal led by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today got a shot in the arm when a senior Punjab Congress leader and Chairman, Punjab Dalit Council, Mr Amrik Singh Marari joined SAD along with hundreds of his supporters.

Uma Bharti campaigns in Sangrur
Sangrur, February 10
Ms Uma Bharti, Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, today called upon the Punjabis to not let the Congress come to power in Punjab keeping in view that it had sown the seeds of terrorism in the state about 20 years ago.

  • DUTY

Poll activity hits municipal work
Amritsar, February 10
Workers of different political parties, especially Municipal Councillors, seem to be in a fix with residents of their areas asking for ‘‘special ’’ favours in return for their votes. Many of those who are contesting the forthcoming Assembly elections are also expected to try their luck in the next municipal council polls.


Seven killed in road mishap
Ropar, February 10
Seven persons were killed when a Tata Estate collided with a truck coming from opposite direction near Bharatgarh, about 20 km from here, yesterday, police sources said here today.Top

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