Thursday, September 26, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Nitish announces Kisan Express
Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

Former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, Union Minister for Railways Nitish Kumar
Former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal (fourth from right), Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, Union Minister for Railways Nitish Kumar celebrating the 89th birth anniversary of the late Devi Lal at Jind on Wednesday. — Tribune photo Manoj Mahajan

Jind, September 25
The Union Railway Minister, Mr Nitish Kumar, here today announced the introduction of a new inter-city train, Kisan Express, in memory of former Deputy Prime Minister, Devi Lal, which will run between Delhi and Bathinda via Rohtak, Hisar and Sirsa.

This was one of the announcements made by Mr Nitish Kumar while addressing a big rally here organised by the ruling INLD to celebrate the birth anniversary of Devi Lal.

The Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, too announced several welfare schemes to commemorate the day.

Among the other announcements made by Mr Nitish Kumar were the conversion of the Rewari-Sadulpur-Hisar rail track from metre gauge to broad gauge, doubling of the Delhi- Rohtak-Jakhal rail track, construction of over 30 rail over and under bridges, a new rail line between Rohtak and Jhajjar and introduction of online reservation at Jind, Sirsa, Jhajjar and Panchkula. He said if need be he would bring a supplementary Budget in the winter session of the Lok Sabha to provide financial support to the schemes.

Though the BJP President, Mr Venkaiah Naidu, former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, were among those who were present on the occasion, most of the leaders, barring Mr Chautala, were subdued in criticising their political opponents. They confined themselves to highlighting Devi Lal’s role in making the peasantry a political force in the country.

From the Cauvery water dispute to terrorism in various parts of the country. Mr Naidu blamed the Congress for all ills affecting the country. Describing the Congress as the “naqli” Congress, he said the party had been divided into so many groups that it was not in a position to unseat the Vajpayee government.

To express his gratitude to these leaders for coming here Mr Chautala himself took over the task of stage secretary and invited them to address the mammoth meeting. He also presented them with shawls and framed photographs of Devi Lal.

Mr Badal said Devi Lal’s birthday should be celebrated as “kisan divas” all over the country.

Referring to the rallies being organised by Mr Bhajan Lal these days, Mr Badal said the INLD rally at Jind was bigger than all rallies the former Chief Minister might organise in a year.

The Haryana BJP president, Mr Rattan Lal Kataria, also eulogised Devi Lal. He cut short his speech when the crowd, which had started pouring into the rally ground at 9 a.m. started getting restive around 4 p.m. with Mr Chautala still to speak.

Mr Chautala said today’s rally had been organised at Jind not to get any political mileage as alleged by his political opponents but because Devi Lal had started his campaign to fight for the rights of Haryana in the late eighties from here. Besides highlighting the achievements of his government, he announced many welfare schemes aimed at population control, correcting the declining male-female ratio in the state, giving more facilities to elderly people and to encourage migrating families to educate their children.

The Union Agriculture Minister, Mr Ajit Singh, came for a “special treatment” from Mr Chautala. Describing the UP Jat leader as the “narrow-minded son of a large-hearted father,” Mr Chautala accused him of indulging in cheap politics.

Quoting instances of several schemes sanctioned by various Union Ministries, Mr Chautala said his government knew what to ask from whom. Mr Ajit Singh might have got a berth in the Union Cabinet by “begging,” Mr Chautala said, adding that the former was not in a position to give anything to anyone.

Mr Chautala described Mr Bhajan Lal as “a symbol of corruption”.

Urging the farmers not to be misled by the Opposition Mr Chautala said the Congressmen instigated them to come to the roads so that the INLD could be blamed for firing on them. He assured the farmers that his government would provide them with the maximum drought relief in the country.Back

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