Tuesday, October 29, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

SAD dharnas across state
Tribune Reporters

Malout/Gidderbaha, October 28
Announcing the launch of jail bharo morcha in a peaceful manner from November 15, SAD President Parkash Singh Badal today urged party workers to mobilise 25 volunteers from each village of the state to begin a fight for justice against the alleged atrocities and terror unleashed by the Congress government.

“As the ‘Raja’ (Amarinder Singh) has crossed all limits and has backtracked on promises made to people by the Congress in its manifesto, time has come when one should fight against the injustice as preached by Guru Gobind Singh” Mr Badal said, addressing party workers at a dharna staged in front of the SDM’s office here today in protest against the decision of the state government to charge farmers for electricity and water.

He said if the need arose, farmers of other states would also be requested to join the morcha.

He alleged that SGPC members were being harassed by the police to put pressure on them to cast their votes in favour of the Congress in the SGPC elections.

Former Union Minister Sukhbir Badal said Capt Amarinder Singh had become “dukh mantri” instead of “Mukh Mantri” as he was burdening people with taxes.

“The modalities of the morcha will be discussed and announced within a few days. The modalities will be worked out by a team of senior party leaders. After that, people will be given the programme to join the morcha,” Mr Badal said.

He alleged that Capt Amarinder Singh had cheated almost all sections of society. Octroi had been reimposed and taxes on essential commodities, including fertilisers and pesticides, had been increased manifold. A cut had been made in the salaries of employees, he added.

HOSHIARPUR: Workers of the SAD staged a dharna and a rally in front of the district court here on Monday in protest against the alleged anti-farmer and anti-Dalit policies of the Amarinder government.

Mr Tikshan Sud, MLA, Mr Hans Raj Nakra, president of the district unit of BJP, Ms Vinod Chadda, president of the mahila wing of the SAD, and several others condemned the Punjab Government for withdrawing the facility of free water and power supply to farmers, the shagun scheme and reimposing octroi.

They also demanded the release of Rs 30 as bonus per quintal to the farmers for the last paddy crop along with a bonus for the current paddy and compensation of Rs 5000 per acre to drought-hit farmers.

PATHANKOT: The Congress government led by Capt Amarinder Singh has brought the state to the brink of disaster in eight months. No development activity is taking place in the state except on projects already started by the previous government. This was stated by Master Mohan Lal, former Minister, while addressing BJP-SAD activists in leaders in front of the SDM’s office.

Criticising the campaign against corruption, he said the drive was one-sided and partial and meant to harass SAD-BJP leaders.

Several leaders spoke on the occasion and submitted a memorandum to the SDM Pathankot.

To avoid any untoward incident, a large number of policemen had been deputed in the area.

ROPAR: About 100 SAD activists led by Mrs Satwant Kaur Sandhu, MLA from Chamkaur Sahib, held a dharna on Monday here against the alleged “anti-farmer” and “anti-people” policies of the Amarinder government.

Speakers criticised the functioning of the government and dubbed it “anti-Dalit”, “anti-farmer and “anti-people”.

LUDHIANA: As part of the statewide SAD protest against the “anti-people” policies of the Congress, SAD workers and leaders of the district unit staged a rally in front of the mini-secretariat here. Addressing the protesters, the leaders flayed the government for “betraying” the trust of people by not honouring poll promises. The government had stopped all development activities in the state but was blaming the SAD for emptying the coffers, they said. The sole aim of the government was to frame SAD leaders and workers in false cases. Grants to villages which had SAD sarpanches had also been stopped, they said.

TARN TARAN: Hundreds of SAD workers staged a dharna in protest against the policies of the government. They were addressed by Mr Gulzar Singh Rainke, MLA, among other leaders.

AMRITSAR: The SAD and the BJP held a joint dharna at the district complex here along with hundreds of their supporters who raised slogans against the “selective harassment” by the Congress government. Among those who addressed the rally were Mr Sardool Singh Sham, district SAD (Urban) president Rajmohinder Singh Majitha and Col Amrik Singh (retd), district head of the BJP.

JALANDHAR: Workers of the SAD organised a dharna at the local district administrative complex but it failed to evoke good response in the absence of BJP leaders and presidents of the district (Rural and Urban) units of the SAD. SAD district Rural chief Ajit Singh Kohar is in the Central Jail, while his Urban counterpart Partap Singh has reportedly gone underground in view of the “pressure” tactics of the government for the forthcoming SGPC poll. Addressing the gathering, Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, a former Speaker, alleged that the Congress government was implicating Akali workers and leaders.

PATIALA: A dharna was organised in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s office here by SAD leaders and workers against the “unfair policies” of the Congress government. Protesters led by Samana MLA Surjit Singh Rakhra and former MP Charanjit Singh Walia said the deductions from employees’ salaries should be stopped and the bonus announced earlier should be given in one go instead of three instalments. The demands also included waiver of loans taken by farmers and declaration of the MSP for sugarcane.

BATHINDA: As part of a statewide agitation, SAD members staged a dharna near the office of the SDM. Speakers alleged that Chief Minister Amarinder Singh was setting personal scores with his political opponents. They said farmers of the state were facing a shortage of water, but the Chief Minister was giving water to Rajasthan.

MANSA: Workers of the SAD staged dharna at Mansa, Budhlada and Sardulgarh subdivisions in front of the offices of the SDMs in support of their demands.

Mr Balwinder Singh Bhunder, Sardulgarh MLA, alleged that the government had hushed up a rice export scam involving Rs 9,200 crore.

FARIDKOT: More than 1,000 workers and senior district leaders of the SAD staged a dharna in protest against the alleged atrocities committed by the government on Akali leaders, beside its failure to fulfil its poll promises.

Mr Mantar Singh Brar, MLA, Kotkapura, said the victory of the party in the forthcoming SGPC elections was a prestigious issue and nobody would be allowed to interfere in its religious affairs. He also criticised Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, SHSAD President, and his coterie for seeking a “help” from the Congress government to “wrest control” of the SGPC.

FATEHGARH SAHIB: A large number of SAD workers led by Mr Didar Singh Bhatt and Mr Gurpreet Singh Bhatti, Akali leaders, held a dharna in front of the office of the SDM here and at Bassi Pathana falling in the Sirhind constituency.

Mr Gurpreet Singh Bhatti, district president of the Youth Akali Dal, in his address urged the youth to come forward and highlight the anti-public policies of the government.

GURDASPUR: Hundreds of SAD and BJP workers held a dharna in protest against the withdrawal of concessions to farmers and levy of 4 per cent sales tax on pesticides.

SAMANA: About 700 Akali workers of this area staged a dharna at the SDM’s office complex on Monday in protest against the policies of the government. The gathering was addressed by S. Surjit Singh Rakhra, MLA, and Mr Nirmal Singh, MLA, Shutrana, among others. They said the government had betrayed the farmers.

They said if Parkash Singh Badal was arrested, the government would have to face dire consequences.

SUNAM: Hundreds of SAD activists under the leadership of Mr Parminder Singh Dhindsa, MLA, staged a dharna in front of SDM’s office in support of their demands, including the release of Rs 30 per quintal as bonus to paddy growers, withdrawal of electricity cess on the agriculture sector, abolishment of octroi and reintroduction of shagun scheme.

Mr Dhindsa also demanded the release of Rs 5,000 per acre as compensation to the drought-hit farmers.

NAWANSHAHR: A large number of SAD-BJP workers of the subdivision staged a dharna in front of the SDM’s office in protest against the “vindictive” politics of the Amarinder government. Earlier, the SAD activists gathered at Gurdwara Singh Sabha and reached the site in procession. They also submitted a memorandum.

KHANNA: A dharna was staged in front of the local civil courts complex by Khanna and Payal circles of the SAD against the anti-people policies of the government and police atrocities.

Ms Satwinder Kaur Dhaliwal, former MP, said the government had failed on all fronts.

AMLOH: Activists of the SAD held a dharna which was presided over by Mr Swarn Singh Chinarthal, district president of the party, in front of tehsil complex here. He said a meeting would be held on November 10 at the local office.

Leaders also criticised the policies of the government.

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