Tuesday, February 12, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Kila Raipur Assembly declared sensitive
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
Apprehending violence in Kila Raipur, the Election Commission has declared the entire Assembly segment as sensitive. The commission has already issued guidelines and instructions to state election officials to take preventive measures to ensure fair and peaceful elections in the constituency.

It may be recalled that the Panthic Morcha candidate from here, Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, had written to the commission demanding that the Assembly segment be declared “sensitive”. Communal tension prevails in the area owing to the pasting of certain posters depicting scenes from the 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

It is reliably learnt that the decision was taken on the basis of information provided by the intelligence wing of the state police. Besides, three other constituencies of the state, including Adampur in Jalandhar district and Jalalabad and Guru Har Sahai in Ferozepore district, have also been declared as “sensitive” Assembly segments.

Kila Raipur is all set to witness a close contest with the Panthic Morcha candidate, Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, and the Congress candidate, Mrs Gurdial Kaur Khangura, making the task of the sitting MLA and Minister for Technical Education Jagdish Garcha very difficult. Both Mr Grewal and Mrs Khangura have accused Mr Garcha of supplying illicit liquor in villages falling in the Assembly segment, besides engaging criminal elements.

Intelligence reports have hinted that the contest in Kila Raipur is fast turning into a battle between the pro-Garcha and anti-Garcha liquor cartels. Mr Garcha’s brother, Mr Mann Singh Garcha, is a leading liquor contractor of the state with several foes who seem bent upon settling old scores. The electoral outcome in this constituency will have a direct bearing on the liquor business in the state, the auctioning of which will take place next month.

A letter sent to the Jagraon police by the Inspector-General of Police, election cell of the Punjab police, said reliable intelligence feedback showed that campaigning in the Kila Raipur constituency had intensified due to which better policing in the area had became a must. The Kila Raipur Assembly segment falls in Jagraon police district.

Acting on the directions, SSP Balkar Singh Sidhu today held a special briefing of the Punjab Police and para-military forces in Kila Raipur. According to sources, more police force has been deployed in the area. The Jagraon police has now posted at least three more cops at each polling booth, besides increasing the strength of patrolling parties.

The number of villages to be patrolled by a police party have been curtailed. Para-military forces have been re-briefed and stationed at places where they can reach a disturbed area within minutes.

The Kila Raipur constituency is witnessing an intense struggle with free supply of liquor and cash. Novel promises like computers for each village have been made. A number of villages have remained tension-ridden with supporters of some candidates burning posters, banners or flags belonging to different parties.

Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal has thanked the EC for declaring the entire Assembly segment as “sensitive”.


Candidates’ wives battle it out, too
Shivani Bhakoo

Inderjeet Makkar 

Nirmal Bhatia

Vijay Dhanda

Ludhiana, February 11
While men candidates are toiling it out in their own way, their wives are not lagging behind in their efforts to make them successful. Not only wives, but also daughters, sisters and even daughters-in-law have been canvassing.

Ms Vijay Rai Dhanda, wife of an Independent candidate from Ludhiana West, Mr Harish Rai Dhanda, has been canvassing door to door and contacting residents to listen their views. “I am not telling them to vote for him (Mr Dhanda). I am asking them to just attend one of his rallies and listen to his views. If they will be convinced, they will definitely favour him,” believes Ms Dhanda.

“I am 100 per cent hopeful that he will win. I have done door-to-door campaigning at Gurdev Nagar, Sarabha Nagar, Civil Lines, Atam Nagar and slum areas. It is really unfortunate to see the miserable condition of people living in slum areas. Nothing has been done so far for them, they have always been given step-motherly treatment”, remarks Ms Dhanda.

Ms Vandana Johar, daughter-in-law of Mr Harnam Das Johar, Congress candidate from Ludhiana West, says: “The corruption has increased and the industrial city has suffered a major setback all these years. The party is familiar with the problems of residents and we are very positive to get a good response. Recently, we organised a ‘jago’ to seek residents’ support.”

Ignoring her family and small kids, she has been campaigning at Model Town, Kitchlu Nagar, Tagore Nagar, Shakti Nagar, Sarabha Nagar and Gurdev Nagar.

Ms Pawan Pandey, wife of Mr Rakesh Pandey, Congress candidate from Ludhiana North, says: “Occasionally I go with my husband for campaigning. I have been attending women’s meetings and it is good to see the positive response of the public towards the Congress.”

Ms Nirmal Bhatia, wife of the SAD-BJP candidate from Ludhiana North, Mr Pran Bhatia, says: “I am giving all support to my husband. I go with him for canvassing. My husband is a hard worker, he can never say no to anyone. I believe in him and I am sure people will trust him as he will not betray them.”

All three daughters-in-law of Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, SAD-BJP candidate from Ludhiana West, have been supporting and doing door-to-door canvassing for their father-in-law. Ms Ravinder Kaur, Ms Inderjit Kaur and Ms Manjit Kaur along with several party workers have been covering all areas of the constituency. “We have personally approached the public and almost all areas have been covered. Residents of Model Gram, Model Town Extension, Sarabha Nagar, Gurdev Nagar and Civil Lines have been inclined towards the party,” said one of them.


Way to voter’s heart is through stomach!
D. B. Chopra

Ludhiana, February 11
It is about three in the afternoon when the Deepak Cinema road witnesses some unusual activity. Opposite Society Cinema, at a roadside election office of a Congress candidate (Mr Rakesh Pandey), there is a small crowd comprising rickshaw-pullers, residents and children from nearby Nalli mohalla and, of course, hungry passersby who have stopped at the sight of free distribution of sweetened rice.

Nearly a dozen chairs arranged on three sides of a big table are vacant as men are busy distributing the meal. Seated on chairs are a couple of children holding party flags on sticks. A patriotic song, ‘Jab ghayal hua Himalaya, khatre mein padi azadi’ is being played to attract the attention of passersby. Within minutes, the roadside ‘langar’ is over. The place again becomes deserted and the children carrying flag sticks run away to their homes to play with their latest acquisition.

On the opposite side of the road towards Deepak Cinema is located the roadside election office of the SAD-BJP combine candidate, Mr Pran Nath Bhatia. Under a huge canopy are seated 10 candidate-supporters. Just then an autorickahaw hired by the candidate for propaganda which is duly fitted with a PA system, comes to a halt in front of the roadside election office.

While patriotic songs blare from the Congress office, one of the men seated on a chair gets up and picks up the microphone. Soon he starts thundering at his opponents.

“Dukki tikki chack diyange, dhaun te goda rakh diyange”, he says with a flourish.

At the same time, a cycle-rickshaw fitted with a PA system and decorated with flags and banners appears in front of Calibre Plaza. Leading a small procession of supporters are six men. The rest of the procession comprises women. One of the leading men (not the candidate himself) clad in white, his hands folded, looks around anxiously, his eyes searching for a familiar face. A couple of bystanders rush to shake hands with the man.

At the rear of the procession, a young woman holds a microphone. “Mohar kithe laani hai, panje uppar lani hai’ is her chant. The accompanying women also raise slogans. And the small procession marches on towards Mata Rani Chowk.

The desperation of propagandists engaged by various political parties is evident. The electioneering din subdues at dawn, much to the relief of residents.


Liquor sold after deadline
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
In utter violation of the orders of the District Magistrate, a number of liquor vends remained opened in the evening today and continued to sell liquor.

Despite the fact that the Deputy Commissioner, Mr S.K. Sandhu, had ordered the closure of all liquor vends after 5 p.m. following the orders of the Election Commission, the vends at various places took advantage of rain and sold liquor after the deadline.

A Tribune team which went around the city after 5 p.m. noticed that shutters of some of the vends were partially down and liquor was being sold from under the shutters or small windows. A vend near Arti Cinema was selling the bottles through a window.



PAU seeks explanation from canvassing staff
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
The authorities of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) today sought the explanation from the PAU Teachers Association and PAU Employees Union for openly supporting and canvassing for certain candidates.

The authorities today asked in writing for explanation from Dr M.A. Zahir, Dean, College of Basic Sciences, president of PAUTA, Dr Hari Singh Brar, and the president of the Employees Union for openly supporting some candidates in violation of service rules of the PAU.

Their replies are expected by tomorrow. The action has been initiated as the Deputy Commissioner-cum-Returning Officer, Mr S.K. Sandhu, had asked the Vice Chancellor of the PAU to seek explanation from them for canvassing openly for certain candidates.

The DC had given the directions after certain news reports had stated that PAU teachers and employees were actively participating in election rallies. Explanations were sought as per the service rules of the PAU under which teachers were not supposed to support a candidate openly.

The action was expected as for the last many days teachers of the PAU were seen openly canvassing for candidates. Dr Zaheer was present in the rally of Mr Harish Rai Dhandha, an independent candidate from Ludhiana West.



It’s development vs experience
Ravi Inder S. Makkar

Machhiwara, February 11
As the election day approaches near, the position of various political parties is becoming clearer. Prominent candidates from this Koomkalan constituency include Mr Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal of the SAD-BJP-BKU (Lakhowal), Congress’s Ishar Singh Meharban, Dr Harjinder Singh Jakhu of the Panthic Morcha and BSP’s Inderjeet Singh.

The candidates are trying to lure voters one way or the other, yet the real fight seems to be between Mr Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal and Mr Ishar Singh Meharban. Undoubtedly, the latter is closely associated with the people of the area. He represented this segment in the Beant Singh government. Yet Mr Iqbal has an edge over Mr Meharban.

It would be worthwhile to mention that Mr Atwal is the son of Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, Speaker, Punjab Vidhan Sabha, who got Rs 350 crore sanctioned for the development of this constituency. Voters of this segment feel indebted to Mr Atwal and are willing to vote in favour of his son.

In their campaign, whereas Mr Meharban holds the SAD-BJP government responsible for corruption, Mr Atwal reminds the voters of massive development work in the area.

A veteran Congress leader, Mr Jagir Singh Dard, is campaigning for Mr Atwal. “I have not left the party, but biased and wrong policies of the party have compelled me to take this extreme steps,” he explains. So, much so a cousin of Mr Meharban, Mr Tara Singh, is supporting Mr Atwal.


‘Govt provided relief to industry’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 11
With the conviction that simplification of taxation laws was a precondition for providing any relief to trade and industry, the SAD-BJP government had taken several effective measures to make the tax structure less cumbersome and transparent. The ruling combine had further made many promises to continue the process for cutting down procedural wrangles and to make the tax structure hassle free.

This was stated by Mr Ashok Juneja, general secretary, Legal Cell, BJP, Punjab unit, while addressing series of meetings with members of trade and industry here during electioneering for party candidates contesting Assembly poll.

He charged the Congress government with giving effect to complicated tax laws, which were difficult to comply with, merely to promote corruption and cause harassment to the trade and industrial community. In addition, the cumbersome tax structure had a counter effect and resulted in massive evasion of taxes.

Mr Juneja, while focussing on relief measures announced by the ruling combine, said summary assessment scheme for sales up to Rs 40 lakh, deemed assessment scheme, abolition of sales tax forms 22 and 22-A, doing away with barriers, tax exemption for ‘halwais’ and abolition or reduction of sales tax on many items of daily use like computers, sports goods, gold and silver ornaments, cooking gas, tractor and combine parts had benefited the traders and general public alike.

He observed that step for abolition of octroi had been widely hailed and it had resulted in bringing additional relief to the public. Not only the government had fulfilled a major poll promise, but it had also stood by its commitment to make good the loss of income to the Local Bodies after the octroi was done away with. It was only due to release of adequate funds by the government to all Local Bodies that development projects, both ongoing and planned, had not suffered, Mr Juneja added.



Campaigning comes to close
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
Campaigning for the February 13 Assembly elections came to a close today with all contesting candidates and the political parties making last-minute efforts to woo the voters. Although the din and noise that usually accompanies the campaigning has come to an end, the candidates are now concentrating on personal contact with the voters.

On the other hand, the district administration has also prepared for the elections with all arrangements finalised. The Deputy Commissioner Ludhiana, Mr S.K. Sandhu, who is also the District Electoral Officer, said that all arrangements had been finalised and the polling staff had already been deputed in all polling booths. He also said that the district administration had made all necessary security arrangements to ensure smooth and peaceful polling.

On the last day of the campaigning, several political rallies were organised in different parts of the district with film actress Hema Malini remaining the star attraction. She addressed party rallies in support of the Akali-BJP alliance candidates at Doraha in Payal, Sahnewal in Ludhiana Rural and near the Civil Hospital in Ludhiana East Assembly segments. She tried to touch emotional chords telling people, “I am your daughter-in-law and have come to you for your votes”.

Most of the candidates after completing the campaign, claimed that they had got a tremendous response from the voters and hoped that they would win.

Addressing a press conference, a Congress candidate, Mr Harnam Dass Johar said, he was sure of making it to the Assembly this time as his main rival Mr Avtar Singh Makkar had already lost the electoral battle due to the infighting. He also announced that one of the nephews of Mr Makkar, and an activist of the Sikh Students Federation had left the SAD and joined the Congress.

Similar claims were made by the Independent candidate from Ludhiana West, Mr Harish Rai Dhanda. He claimed that he had found a mood for change among the public as they were fed up with the run-of-the-mill politicians.

Mr Milkiat Singh Birmi, Congress candidate from Ludhiana Rural, claimed that he was set to win with this time a record margin. He claimed, his main rival, Mr Amrik Singh Aliwal of the SAD was way behind him and hoped that the division in Akali votes would add to his chances of victory.

Another Congress candidate, Mr Surinder Dawer from Ludhiana East, claimed that he would break the myth of Mr Satpal Gosain’s invincibility. Mr Gosain, the BJP candidate, has won continuously for two terms.

A former Delhi Finance Minister and leader of the Opposition in Delhi Legislative Assembly, Mr Jagdish Mukhi, who campaigned for the BJP candidates here, claimed that the BJP would win both the seats the party was contesting in Ludhiana. He claimed that he had received a good feedback from the voters who had reposed faith in the leadership of the Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal.



Khangura complains against ‘defamatory’ posters
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
Close on the heels of controversy over pasting of posters depicting 1984 anti-Sikh riots in various parts of the Kila Raipur constituency, another poster giving alleged details of the past of Ms Gurdial Kaur Khangura, Congress candidate from the constituency, has sparked off a row.

In a complaint sent to the Election Commission, Ms Khangura has taken strong exception to the posters giving ‘false’ details about her personal life. Complaining that the fabricated stories amounted to hitting below the belt, she has sought action against the persons responsible for defaming her in such a manner.

While Ms Khangura had alleged that Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, SAD candidate from the constituency, was behind the pasting of such posters, sources close to Mr Garcha have vehemently denied the alleged involvement. A key campaigner of Mr Garcha said the complaint was false as they were not behind the making or pasting of the posters.

Police sources said the Jagraon police was also examining the development though no direct complaint had been made to them in this regard. A police official said they had learnt about the posters and had also removed some of these. The police was awaiting directions of the Election Commission to take further action in this regard. The official suggested that the senior police officials examining the posters may also take some action on their own.

The latest posters have given a new twist to the election scene in this sensitive constituency. It has also initiated personal attack against a candidate, which is completely in violation of the directions issued by the Election Commission.



Govinda ‘dances’ to Cong tunes
Says bahu (Sonia) has become beti of the nation
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
Filmstar Govinda entertained thousands of people with his dance numbers which were sprinkled with brief, but regular comic dialogues from his own movies. For a while it looked as if the entire old city had converged on the Daresi Grounds, venue of the Congress rally organised by the Pradesh Youth Congress in support of party candidates in Ludhiana. In the past when the city was not so congested, Daresi was always used as a venue for massive political rallies with all great leaders from Pandit Nehru to his daughter Indira Gandhi and Jai Prakash Narayan having addressed thousands of people here.

Although the organisers had done a lot of hard work to make it a disciplined show, yet there were some acrimonious scenes as the crowds tried to reach the stage again and again. The police had a tough time to control the excited fans of Govinda. They had to wave their lathis all through the two hour show, making Govinda intervene regularly “please do not resort to lathi charge as they have come only with love and affection”. He cautioned, “If a lathi hits any of my fans, it will directly strike my heart and hurt me deeply”.

Govinda’s dress looked slightly incoherent with the job he was assigned. He was dressed in a black suit with cream coloured shirt and cream coloured tie. Although the dance troupe, giving him the company, did change its attire regularly, Govinda remained dressed in the same suit all through the show.

Besides dancing and a little comedy, Govinda ‘acted’ within his brief perfectly. He started with praising motherhood, sublime and great, he went on, nothing could match the grace, dignity and also the power of mother, which he then dubbed as ‘Ma Shakti’, while relating it to the Congress President, Ms Sonia Gandhi, whom he called Ma Shakti.

Building up the argument for the case he was supposed to plead, he said, “Ms Sonia Gandhi is our daughter-in-law and it is not the daughter, but the daughter-in-law who becomes the real owner of the house and commands the household affairs”. His speech turned philosophic, to remove the “misconceptions among the people about Ms Sonia Gandhi’s foreign origin”. “She has adopted India as her home, like any other daughter-in-law in India”, Govinda submitted before the strong crowd that mostly consisted of the youth and working class (the migrant labourers), in a bid to clear the impression of “being foreign”.

His brief praise for Ms Gandhi gradually merged into his own popular number, “Jahan paaon mein payal, hathoon mein kangan, aur ho mathe pe bindiya, it happens only in India”. Some of the dancers in his troupe were dressed like the workers of the Congress Seva Dal with white khadi kurta pajamas and Gandhi caps. As the programme progressed, the patriotism gradually gave way to music, dance and dialogues. And probably it was what exactly the audience wanted. Hundreds of people shouted for their choice numbers to be played and danced at. And the entire crowd seemed to run amuck as he started dancing on “Apne deewane ka karde bura haal re, ki akhiyoon se goli mare ladki kamal re”.

And the organisers could not have expected more. An excited president of the District Youth Congress, Mr Pawan Dewan, who was the organiser of the show, claimed that Govinda had moved people, physically and mentally. Others at the stage included the AICC Secretary, Mr B K Hariprasad, Indian Youth Congress general secretaries, Mr Anil Bharadwaj and Mr Jagat Singh, Mr Ketan Patel, the Punjab Youth Congress president, Mr Devinder Singh Babbu, local Congress candidate, Mr Rakesh Pandey, the DCC president, Mr K K Bawa, Mr Amarjit Singh Tikka, Mr Akshay Bhanot, Mr Ashwani Sharma and others.


Cong wraps it up with ‘chetna march’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 11
The District Congress Committee (Urban) today organised a ‘chetna march’ in the city to mark the conclusion of electioneering for the Assembly elections to be held on Wednesday. Led by the acting president of the DCC, Mr Krishan Kumar Bawa, the march commenced from the Jagraon bridge and paraded through the Old GT Road to conclude again at the starting point.

Addressing the rally, Mr Bawa exhorted them to leave no stone unturned to ensure the victory of Congress candidates. “Each voter wants to rid the state of the ruling combine, which has proved to be a thoroughly corrupt and inefficient government,” he remarked. He expressed confidence that the electorate of Punjab would cast their votes in favour of the Congress to pave the way for installation of an efficient and clean government.

Mr Prahlad Singh Sahni, Congress legislator from Delhi and observer for the city, said the party workers were in high spirits and the kind of response from the masses left no body in any kind of doubt about the victory of the Congress.

Prominent among others present at the rally were Mr Prahlad Singh Sahni, Mr Amar Nath Bharti, Mr Gurbhej Singh Chhabra, Mr Om Parkash Malhotra, Mr Devinder Kanwar, Mr Virender Gandi, Mr Ravinder Sehgal, Mr K.K. Arora, Mr Subhash Kharbanda, Mr Ravinder Singh Grewal, Mr Rajinder Rana and Mr Jatinder Sikand.



Candidates make last-ditch effort to woo voters
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, February 11
“A sweeping victory for the Congress is a foregone conclusion and the tremendous response of the electorate is ample indication that people have made up their minds for a change of government in Punjab”, said former Punjab Assembly Speaker and Congress candidate from Ludhiana West Harnam Das Johar while addressing meetings in the constituency on the last day of electioneering.

Focussing on the policies of the SAD-BJP government, which he termed as anti-people, Mr Johar observed that the people were disenchanted with the ‘non-performance’ of the government which had led to further rise in prices, rampant corruption and deterioration in law and order.

Congress activists and close supporters of Mr Johar organised a scooter rally and a couple of meetings with prominent members of business and industry to muster support for the party.

On the other hand, the SAD-BJP candidate from Ludhiana West, Mr Avtar Singh Makkar, claimed that several key activists of the ruling combine, including Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon, President, Youth Akali Dal, Mr Sat Pal Bhandari, Mr Anil Sarin, Mr Rajinder Bhandari, Mr Sunil Mehra, Lala Lajpat Rai, member, Rajya Sabha, and Mr Madan Mohan Vyas, Chairman, Improvement Trust, carried out hectic campaigning. Mr Makkar was weighed against coins at elections meetings at Model Gram, Harnam Nagar, Model Town and Gill Road.

Mr Pran Bhatia and Deputy Speaker of Punjab Assembly Mr Sat Pal Gosain, BJP nominees in the fray from Ludhiana North and Ludhiana East, respectively, went door to door in Harcharan Nagar, Daresi Road and Chhawni Mohalla. The visits evoked an enthusiastic response.

Mr Om Parkash Kohli, General Secretary, BJP and a party MP, and Deputy Mayor Santosh Aneja convened separate meetings of BJP workers in Ludhiana North to canvass support for the party candidate.

Mr Gosain conducted a whirlwind tour of Naulakha Colony, New Shivaji Nagar, Indira Colony, Vijay Nagar main road, Nirankari Mohalla, Janakpuri, Ganesh Market, Amarpura, Khud Mohalla, Kidwai Nagar, Post Office road, Kucha Harnama Das and Prem Nagar. Harping on the development-oriented policies of the government, he asked the people not to be misled by the Congress propaganda, which was nothing but a “desperate bid to come back to power”.

The Congress nominee from Ludhiana East, Mr Surinder Dawar, campaigned in several localities and his supporters took out a scooter rally to mobilise support for the party. Mr Ramesh Joshi, convener, urban development cell of the PPCC, addressed a Congress rally in Amarpura Colony in support of Mr Dawar.



Samrala set for direct contest
Our Correspondent

Khamano, February 11
Direct contest is expected in Samrala constituency between Jathedar Kirpal Singh Khirnia, SAD candidate, and Mr Amrik Singh Dhillon of the Congress. Although there are four other candidates in the constituency — Gurtejpal Singh Bhagwanpura of Panthic Morcha, Kulwant Kaur of BSP, Kamaljit Puri of Shiv Sena and Swarn Kumar of Nationalist Congress, the SAD and Congress candidates are the main contestants. Family members of Jathedar Khirnia and Mr Dhillon are playing a key role in convincing the voters. Flags, banners and posters can be seen all over the constituency.

About 117 villages, two cities, Samrala and Khamano, fall in Samrala constituency and there are 12,4708 voters. In the last election in 1997 there were 11,0558 voters and about 81,000 votes were polled. Congress candidate Amrik Singh Dhillon polled 37,078 votes against Akali candidate who secured 35,659 votes thus defeating him with a margin of about 1400 votes. Akali Dal (Mann) and BSP alliance candidate Mr Bagli got about 5,500 votes.

This time the contest is very tough. Jathedar Khirnia’s strong point is his rapport with people and his contribution in development of the area.

Congress candidate Amrik Singh Dhillon had won the seat at a time when Akali candidates had won most of the seats in the state. Cap Amarinder Singh has also addressed a rally in favour of Mr Dhillon.

However, in the midst of campaign it is being alleged that both the candidates are spending lakhs of rupees and liquor is being distributed in a big way to woo the voters.



Accessories can enhance your car’s look
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 11
Ever since the finance schemes have facilitated buying of cars, every Tom, Dick and Harry possess a car. Seeing a large number of cars of different colours and shades running bumper-to-bumper, the one that stands out is the one that has outstanding accessories. One surveying the cavalcade of cars notices that many owners wish to be individualistic and spend thousands of rupees to make their cars standout. They begin from number plates. They are fitted with blue nuts and give out light. Fancy fog lights are a necessity for those who travel a lot.

The lower body of the car has a part of scenery in soothing colours pasted on it. The windscreen is partially pasted with a green or blue or even purple screen to offer protection from the sun. Those who love their car, cover the windscreen with sunscreens to protect the dashboard from discoloration and to some extent for the car to remain cool. Owners take pride in decorating their cars with stuffed and soft toys and little fancy gee-gaws hanging from the rear-view mirror. Latest are pieces of wood cut in abstract shapes and soaked in aromatic oils. They emit a strong aromatic smell and are supposed to relieve stress.

Though not widely available in the city are the aerosol sprays, when sprayed after sitting in a hot car can lower the temperature of the car considerably and thus makes the air-conditioning of the car more effective, which in the normal course of time would take a long time to make the air-conditioning effective. Then fancy steering wheel covers can provide a cushion for fingers. Many get installed a knob in the steering wheel and manoeuvre the car with the knob. The horns can be mighty fancy, either three pipe horns or pressure horns. Some daring ones get police sirens installed to clear the traffic when in haste.

Want to enjoy the rain in the moving car. No problem! Get installed rain wipers on your window panes which allow to lower the window pane a few inches without the rain bothering you. On the outside the door handles can have chrome covers to add glamour and four tiny reflectors near the handles can make other drivers spot your car from a distance.

The stereo systems have mind boggling variety and those who can afford have the best speakers, tweeters, amplifiers with little lights flickering in the dashboard. A console can be fitted to store your tapes or cassettes. The slick mobile stands are not only functional but also decorative. The car seat covers can be of infinite variety. If you have to travel a long distance, then fix beaded body covers as they touch the important points of the body and keep the driver alert.

On the exhaust can be fixed lights that not only makes it look beautiful but also changes the sound of exhaust to make it different from others. Then warning music jarring as well as pleasant can be fitted with the reverse gear that warns others of your move. Many get written slogans of different sorts to catch attention.

The gizmos and accessories are becoming hugely popular. The latest the model, more the accessories and more the attention they get.



Valentine’s party held
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 11
The Lodhi Club organised a Valentine’s Day party at the lawns of the club here last evening. The musical extravaganza was attended by over 2,000 people.

Mr B.M. Mahajan, general secretary, in a press statement today said party lovers danced for over two hours to various tunes played by DJ Bhanu. A cultural programme and fireworks were also organised on the occasion.

Mr and Mrs Harvinder Singh won the prize for best dressed couple. Mr and Mrs Manu Jain were declared best dancing newly-wed couple. Mr Abhijeet Garg was chosen best dancing male, while Ms Ashneet Bakshi became the best dancing female. Mr Sanjiv Bharti won the bumper draw.



A clarification

MR A.S. Chawla, general secretary, Sutlej Club, has clarified in a press note that a function organised by him for Congress candidate Harnam Das Johar on February 6 at his residence was a personal affair and not organised in his capacity as an office-bearer of club. He also said the function was organised at his residence in Gurdev Nagar and not on the club premises.


Bharti promises efficient services
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
Mr Rakesh Mittal Bharti, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of the Bharti Enterprise, has said that Air Tel will try to provide best possible mobile telephone services to its consumers in the state.

Addressing a function after inaugurating a showroom on the Chandigarh road here today, Mr Mittal said Air Tel services had established an unparalleled reputation across the country. He stated that they had a great desire to come and serve to the people of Punjab. “It is the best home coming”, he said, on his visit to Ludhiana. He belong to Ludhiana and started the business from here.

Mr Mittal also presented first mobile phone to Mr Aneesh Dhawan on the occasion. Among others present on the occasion included Mr I.B. Mehra, CEO, Bharti Mobile Ltd, Mr S.M. Jalota, Mr Vipan Gupta Bitta and Mr Sandeep Jalota.

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