Monday, February 25, 2002, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Congress wins 8 seats, SAD 4
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Mr Surinder Dawer (Congress) Ludhiana East

Mr Rakesh Pandey (Congress) Ludhiana North

Mr Harnam Dass Johar
(Congress) Ludhiana West

Mr Milkait Singh Dakha 
(Congress) Dakha (reserve)

Mr Amrik Singh Dhillon
(Congress) from Samrala

Mr Ranjit Talwandi (SAD-B) Raikot

Mr Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal (SAD-B) Kum Kalan

Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha
(SAD-B) Kila Raipur

Mr Milkait Singh Birmi
(Congress) Ludhiana Rural

Mr Bhag Singh Mallah

Mrs Harbans Kaur Dullon (Congress) Khanna

Mr Tej Prakash (Congress) Payal 

Ludhiana, February 24
The Congress today staged a comeback in Ludhiana district claiming eight of the total 12 seats, while sweeping all four urban seats of the Ludhiana city. It improved its tally by five seats in comparison to the previous elections held in 1997, when it had won three seats only. While it took away six seats from the ruling Akali-BJP alliance or the Panthic Morcha, it conceded one seat of Raikot to the Shiromani Akali Dal, where its candidate and the sitting MLA, Mr Harmohinder Singh, lost to Mr Ranjit Talwandi, a son of former SGPC President, Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi.

Besides three former MPs and two former ministers, other prominent losers included the Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Assembly, Mr Satpal Gosain, who lost to Mr Surinder Dawer by a margin of 13,249 votes in Ludhiana East.

The result was surprising, as it was considered to be a close contest. Mr Gosain has been representing the segment continuously for the last two terms. While Mr Dawer polled 32,016 votes, Mr Gosain could manage 18,767 votes only. Three former MPs who lost from Ludhiana include Mr Amrik Singh Aliwal from Ludhiana Rural, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bullara of the Panthic Morcha from Ludhiana West and Mrs Satwinder Kaur of the SAD from Khanna. Two former ministers include Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal and Mr Isher Singh of the Congress from Koomkalan.

Senior Panthic Morcha leader, Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, also lost from Kila Raipur, where the sitting MLA and the Minister for Technical Education, Mr Jagdish Singh Garcha, defeated Bibi Gurdial Kaur Khangura by 6579 votes. Mr Grewal came third, while former MLA and rebel CPM leader, Mr Tarsem Jodha, finished fifth with just over 3,000 votes.

It could not have been better for the Congress in Ludhiana city, where it won all four seats. Mr Rakesh Pandey retained the Ludhiana North seat by defeating Mr Pran Bhatia of the BJP by a margin of 22,872. This is his fourth consecutive win, including one in byelections, from here.

A former minister, Mr Milkait Singh Birmi of the Congress, took away the Ludhiana Rural seat from Mr Hira Singh Gabria, with a massive margin of over 30,000 votes. In a multi-cornered contest, Mr Birmi polled 60,638 votes. Mr Birmi’s has won by the largest margin in the district. Mr Amrik Singh Aliwal of the SAD, Mr Gabria of the Panthic Morcha and Mr Gurmail Pahalwan, a Congress rebel and the BSP candidate polled 30535, 30305 and 18787 votes, respectively. Ludhiana Rural is the largest Assembly segment in Punjab, with over 3.5 lakh voters.

Prominent among others who won today, include former Minister and Speaker of the Punjab Assembly Mr Harnam Dass Johar, a former Minister, Mr Milkait Singh Dakha, Mr Jagdish Garcha. Mr Johar defeated Mr Avtar Singh Makkar of the SAD by a comfortable margin of 16,600 votes in Ludhiana West. While Mr Johar got 36,006 votes, Mr Makkar secured 19,406 votes. Mr Harish Rai Dhanda, an Independent candidate and the president of the District Bar Association Ludhiana also put up a good show by polling about 9,000 votes. Ludhiana West was represented by Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal in the last Assembly.

The Congress also took away Khanna, Dakha and Payal seats from the SAD and the Panthic Morcha. In Khanna, Mrs Harbans Kaur Dullo of the Congress defeated Mrs Satwinder Kaur Dhaliwal of the SAD by a margin of 9,635 votes. Mrs Dullo, who is wife of the Congress MP, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, secured 41,578 votes against Mrs Dhaliwal’s 31,943. Mr Randhir Singh Libra of the Panthic Morcha and Mr Ram Singh of the BSP polled 4,088 and 4,941 votes, respectively. The seat was represented by Mr Bachan Singh Cheema of the SAD in the last Assembly.

From Payal, Mr Tej Prakash, a son of former Chief Minister Beant Singh defeated Mr Jagjiwan Pal Singh of the SAD by a margin of 7,601 votes. While Mr Tej Prakash secured 42,282 votes, Mr Jagjiwan Pal Singh polled 34,681 votes. Mr Kripal Singh of the Panthic Morcha got 5,918 votes.The seat was represented by Mr Sadhu Singh Kattani of the SAD.

Mr Ranjit Talwandi of the SAD ousted Mr Harmohinder Singh of the Congress by a margin of 6399 votes in Raikot constituency. Mr Talwandi polled 44375 votes, while Mr Harmohinder Singh got 37976 votes.

In Koomkalan, Mr Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal of the SAD defeated Mr Ishwer Singh of the Congress by 2,606 votes. Mr Atwal polled 45,026 votes against 42,420 of Mr Ishwer Singh. The segment was represented by Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, Speaker in the Punjab Assembly. While his son contested from here this time on the SAD ticket, he had shifted to Kartarpur, where he lost to Chaudhary Jagjit Singh of the Congress.

Mr Bagh Singh Mallah of the SAD retained the Jagraon seat by defeating Mr Darshan Singh Brar, a rebel Congress candidate contesting independently, by a slim margin of 1,557 votes. The Congress candidate from here, Mr Paramjit Singh Sibia, lost his security deposit polling just 6,312 votes. However, Mr Jagjit Singh Lopon of the Lok Bhalai Party secured 21,010 votes from here.



Cong workers beat drums!
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
Quite expectedly it was a mood of celebrations in the Congress camp here after the results started pouring in from various Assembly segments in the district. The party improved its tally from three to eight seats in the district with all four city segments going to its kitty. On the other hand, it was a mood of disappointment and despondency in the ruling SAD-BJP alliance, which lost five seats against those it had won in 1997.

Since the counting process was quite fast as votes had been polled by Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) with trends becoming available within half an hour of the start of counting. Jubilant supporters of the Congress started converging on counting centres. Hundreds of supporters of Mr Surinder Dawer gathered in front of Arya College, where counting was in progress.

Interestingly, while the results were yet to be declared, supporters distributed pamphlets thanking voters for getting Mr Dawer elected to the Assembly. One of the supporters claimed that the pamphlets had been printed well in advance as they were confidant about the victory. Mr Satpal Gosain, who was considered to be a heavyweight, congratulated Mr Dawer. He left the counting centre much before the results were declared.

It was all the same at other counting centres of the city, with the Congress workers being seen everywhere. They were carrying life-size cutouts of the Congress president, Ms Sonia Gandhi, the PPCC president, Capt Amarinder Singh, and big banners and flags. They were shouting slogans in support of Capt Amarinder Singh and local candidates.

The District Congress Committee president, Mr K.K. Bawa, was probably the most excited man today. Having won all four seats in the urban segment, he met all candidates, besides other personally extending his greetings to them.

Other senior youth Congress leaders including Mr Pawan Dewan and Mr Amarjit Singh Tikka also expressed confidence that the new government led by Capt Amarinder Singh would come up to the expectations of the people.

Amidst the widespread jubilations there was slight disappointment also over the defeat of Mr Harmohinder Singh from Raikote. He had defeated Mr Ranjit Talwandi in 1997. But this time, Mr Talwandi, son of the former SGPC chief, seemed to avenge the defeat well.

Similarly, Mr Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal, who was declared elected from the Koomklan Assembly segment, could not conceal his disappointment after learning about the defeat of his father, Charanjit Singh Atwal, from Kartarpur against Chaudhary Jagjit Singh of the Congress.

Mr Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal of the Panthic Morcha, who lost from Kila Raipur, said he accepted the verdict of the people with all humility.

A local BJP leader, Mr Chaman Lal Chaitely, attributed the defeat of the alliance to the poll survey by a private television channel.



Detailed results

Congress candidate Harbans Kaur Dullo defeated her rival SAD candidate Bibi Satwinder Kaur Dhaliwal with a margin of more than 9,500 votes.

Ms Harbans Kaur Dullo got 41,414 votes against 31,866 votes of Ms Dhaliwal. Ram Singh Gogi, candidate of BSP, got 4,940 votes, Randhir Singh Libra of Panthik Morcha got 4,061 votes, the candidate of Shiv Sena got 288 votes, Lok Dal 177, Lok Bhilai Party got 1,639 votes while two independent candidates got 679 and 550 votes, respectively.

It may be mentioned here that one voting machine was out of order and votes of that machine had not been counted. The Returning Officer, Mr Pardeep Sabharwal, talked with Election Commission authorities on telephone and declared the result in favour of Ms Harbans Kaur Dullo with the permission of Election Commission as the votes of defective EVM were much less than the margin.

DORAHA: The Congress candidate from Payal, Mr Tejparkash Singh, won the election by getting a total of 42,282 votes, with a difference of 7,601 votes from his nearest rival Mr Jagjiwan Pal Singh Gill (SAD) who got 34,681 votes. Mr Kirpal Singh Libra, the panthic morcha candidate, got 5,918 votes and the Independent candidate Mr Hardev Singh Jarg, got 1,976 votes. The BSP candidate, Ms Nirmaljit Kaur secured 1,594 votes. The total votes of the Payal constituency were 12,5906 out of 8,6451 were polled, said Mr Jaskaran Singh, SDM, Payal.

AMLOH: Mr Sadhu Singh of the congress have been declared from 78-Amloh (R) constituency by a margin of 18,750 votes. The votes polled: Mr Sadhu Singh 45,383, Mr Gurdev Singh (SAD) 26,633, Mr Harnek Singh (Panthic Morcha) 13,309, Mr Mann Singh BSP 11,140 and Mr Surjit Singh (Shiv Sena) 625.



Man given drug-laced tea, robbed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 24
Mr Satish Gupta, 55, a resident of Bhagwan Dass Nagar in the Salem Tabri area and who works as a manager at a book shop, was robbed of Rs 35,000 by a youth after he was given some drug-laced tea at the local railway station on Friday night.

According to information, Mr Gupta had to catch a train for Delhi in connection with the business of his employers and he reached the railway station at around 11.45 pm. Soon he was accosted by a youth in his mid-twenties who told him that he was also going to Delhi on a business trip. By the time the train from Jammu Tawi to Delhi arrived at the station, the young man had won Mr Gupta’s confidence. And soon after both of them boarded the train. The young man brought two cups of tea and offered one to Mr Gupta which he accepted. But soon after taking tea, Mr Gupta started feeling drowsy and he decided to cancel the proposed journey in view his ‘deteriorating’ condition. Expressing concern at his condition, the youth also got down the train. When Mr Gupta fell unconscious, the youth allegedly took way Rs 35,000 and a woolen shawl.

A rickshaw-puller dropped him at his residence while he was unconscious at around 3 am. His family members rushed him to the hospital where his condition is stated to be stable.

On the other hand, employers of Mr Gupta have lodged a report against him for ‘misappropriating’ the money, while Mr Gupta’s son, Tarun Gupta, has termed the allegation as baseless.

Six nabbed: The police on Saturday claimed to have arrested six members of a robbers’ gang while they were allegedly planning to commit a robbery in the city. The Focal Point police, on a tip-off, raided a place in the area and arrested Rajesh Kumar, a resident of UP, Manoj Kumar, a resident of Doburji village, Bhupinder Singh, Jatinder Kumar, alias Rinku, Amrik Singh, alias Chhinda, all residents of Amritsar, and Jatinder Jain, a resident of Jain Colony. The interrogation of the accused, the police claimed, led to the recovery of a .32 bore ‘desi’ pistol along with two cartridges, a knife, three colour TV sets, two Hero Honda motor cycles, a Yamaha motor cycle and an LML Vespa scooter. A case under sections 399 and 402 of the IPC and the Arms Act has been registered against the accused.

Migrants held: The Basti Jodhewal police has booked two migrants on charge of stealing a VCR and a TV set. According to information, the migrants had ‘hired’ the set from a shop in New Subhash Nagar, falling under the Basti Jodhewal police station, on Friday night. But both of them packed up their belongings and the ‘hired’ set and reached the railway station at around midnight to catch a train for home. Some GRP personnel on duty got suspicious and when interrogated the migrant duo confessed to the crime. Later, they were handed over to the police.

Case registered: Indresh, a resident of Dashmesh Nagar, who sells burgers on a rehri in Transport Nagar, was stabbed by a customer on Friday. According to information, two customers ordered burgers. When he asked for payment, one of the them tried to stab him in the stomach with a knife. A case has been registered at the Division No. 6 police station, but none of the accused has been arrested so far. The injured has been admitted to the Civil Hospital.

Man injured: The Sadar police station has registered a case under Section 325 of the IPC on the statement of Mr Harpreet Singh, a resident of Lalton Khurd village, against the conductor of a bus. The complainant had alleged that the conductor pushed him out of the bus as a result of which he fell on the road and was injured.

Illicit liquor seized: The Kotwali police on Friday arrested Dinesh, alias Kalu, a resident of the Ghanta Ghar area, and seized bottles of illicit liquor from his possession.

The Shimla Puri police also arrested Avtar Singh, a resident of Preet nagar, on Friday and seized 12 bottles of country-made liquor from his possession. Both the accused have been booked under the Excise Act.



Fake passport racket
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 24
The Focal Point police today booked a resident of Koomkalan village on a charge of making fake passports. The police has booked Avtar Singh under Section 420, IPC. The accused, however, could not be arrested so far despite some raids conducted by the police last night.

A Focal Point police official said they had booked the man on charges of making fake passports and selling these at a price. The police claimed to have seized some documents regarding the case and hoped that the arrest of the accused could expose a wider net.

Sources said the local police had been receiving information from the past several weeks about the activities of such persons issuing fake passports to the needy persons and earning a handsome amount in return. However, in abscence of concrete evidence, no action could be taken against anyone. They added that some agents at the local passport office might be involved directly or indirectly in the issuing of fake passports but no conclusive proof had been found so far.


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