Wednesday, July 16, 2003, Chandigarh, India

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Populism versus economic issues
Choice before Punjab
Chandigarh, July 15
Tomorrow’s Cabinet meeting to review the financial position of Punjab is likely to set the agenda for two important meetings — one between Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission K.C. Pant on July 24 and the other with the World Bank mission team on appraisal of the economic and fiscal reforms on July 28.

News analysis
New anti-Cong axis takes shape
Chandigarh, July 15
A new anti-Congress axis comprising the Shiromani Akali Dal, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the BJP seems to have started taking shape in Punjab, if the content of the speech delivered by senior BSP leader and the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Mayawati here today is any indication.

Plan to check exploitation by NRI grooms
Chandigarh, July 15
The Punjab Parliamentary Secretary for NRI Affairs, Mr Ravinder Singh Sandhu, here today said that the state government in consultation with the Central Government, was preparing a blueprint to check the exploitation of young Punjabi women at the hands of NRI grooms and their families.

Chohan to expose Badals’ anti-Panth activities
Jalandhar, July 15
The Khalsa Raj Party chief Dr Jagjit Singh Chohan today said that establishment of the “Khalsa Raj” and “Khalistan” was final political goal of the Khalsa Panth.



Hanspal asks Badal, son to resign
Sunam, July 15
Mr H.S. Hanspal, president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee, today asked Mr Parkash Singh Badal and his son Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal to resign from all political posts and membership of legislative bodies as they had amassed assets worth thousands of crores of rupees, disproportionate to their known sources of income.

Residents seek merger of villages
Chak Fateh Singh Wala, July 15
In 1998 the then Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, divided Chak Fateh Singh Wala, the village of his in-laws, into two villages to make his two brothers-in-law sarpanches. The newly carved out village, Har Joginder Singh Nagar, was named after his father-in-law Har Joginder Singh.

Education grants in crores not utilised
Chandigarh, July 15
Has the Punjab Government squandered the money given by the Centre for qualitative improvement of education in the state? The Education Department has not been able to utilise grants of more than Rs 200 crore during the past three years.

1 dies in custody; natural death, says police
Muktsar, July 15
Even as Suresh Kumar, a Dalit youth, died in police custody yesterday while he was being taken to the Medical College at Faridkot for treatment, Mr Surinder Pal Singh, SSP, Muktsar, has claimed that deceased, who was arrested in a case pertaining to smuggling of narcotics, died a natural death.


Bir Devinder warns two Cong leaders
Kharar, July 15
Mr Bir Devinder Singh, Deputy Speaker of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha and local MLA, today warned that any unnecessary interference of two local Congress leaders in his constituency would not be tolerated.

Brig Kahlon joins SAD
Amritsar, July 15
Brig K.S. Kahlon (retd), a former Director, Sainik Welfare Board, Punjab, has joined the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) along with several ex-servicemen. After putting in 33 years of service in Indian Army, Brig Kahlon served as Deputy Director-General, NCC, Uttar Pradesh too.


High Court
Cross-examination concludes
Chandigarh, July 15
Former Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee President Bibi Jagir Kaur’s cross-examination concluded before Mr Justice Amar Dutt of the high court today. The case will now come up for examination of other witnesses on Wednesday.


Shahpur Kandi hydel project to be given to private sector
Patiala, July 15
The Punjab Government has decided to commission the Lehra Mohabbat second stage thermal project through a joint venture between the Punjab State Electricity Board and the Power Financial Corporation even as it had decided to award the commissioning of the Shahpur Kandi hydel project to a private company.

Anti-encroachment drive from today
Abohar, July 15
The sub-divisional civil and police authorities have decided to launch an anti-encroachment drive from tomorrow with assistance from staff of the Municipal Council. NGOs have also been requested by the administration to join the drive.

Action against Afghana ‘unjust’
Chandigarh, July 15
Several Sikh scholars, representing various organisations, today said that the Sikh clergy’s decision to excommunicate Canada-based Panthic writer Gurbax Singh Kala Afghana from the Panth for his alleged ‘blasphemous acts’ was “unjust and violative of the very fundamentals of Sikhism”.

Revamp working of Social Securities Dept, says minister
Amritsar July 15
Expressing dismay over the performance of the Social Securities Department responsible for disbursing pensions under its welfare schemes, Ch. Jagjit Singh Minister for Local Government, Parliamentary Affairs and Labour and Employment, said the credibility of this department had suffered.

Bodies continue to surface in canals
Bathinda, July 15
With the recovery of one more unidentified body today from a distributory near Kanakwal village in Talwandi Sabo subdivision in the district, the number of bodies recovered from various water bodies, including canals, distributaries, water channels and lakes, dotting this area in the past three and a half months has reached 17.

Record of sarpanch’s poll summoned
Amritsar, July 15
The State Election Commission has reportedly summoned the record pertaining to the election of a sarpanch from the SDM (Baba Bakala) and the presiding officer of the block.

Govt awaiting report on octroi
Pathankot, July 15
Ch Jagjit Singh, Local Body Minister, Punjab, has said the government was awaiting the report of panel set up to explore the possibilities of which could replace octroi. Talking to the mediapersons here today he said the report was expected to be submitted to the government within two months.

Dalits’ stir still on in village
Mansa, July 15
The dharna by the Dalits of Dalel Singh Wala village of the district entered its third day yesterday with no let up in steam. Mr Jai Singh Phillaur, national coordinator of the Dalit Dasta Virodhi Andolan, joined the dharna yesterday and addressed the Dalits.

Docs seek immunity under Section 88
Patiala, July 15
The Punjab unit of the Indian Medical Association, today urged the state government to grant immunity to doctors under Section 88 of the IPC from any offences in the event of death of a patient during the course of treatment in hospitals.

Woman seeks probe into husband’s murder
Bathinda, July 15
Ms Simerjeet Kaur, widow of Babu Singh, a resident of Bhucho Khurd village, who was murdered under mysterious circumstances on June 29, the day of polling for panchayat elections, has urged the police authorities to investigate the case properly so that the murderers of her husband could be identified and arrested.

Moga was Rup Lal Saathi's citadel
Mr Rup Lal Saathi (86), a veteran Socialist and a former member of the Punjab Legislative Assembly, who died in a Ludhiana hospital yesterday, belonged to a rare brand of politicians for whom "probity in public life" was the guiding principle. No public function in Moga town was ever considered complete without his presence.


Ghana national held with fake passport
Amritsar, July 15
The Immigration Department at Wagah yesterday nabbed a Ghana national, Iogin Ilanoulao Pen for allegedly possessing a fake passport.


NAAC training programme opens at GND varsity
Amritsar, July 15
“The higher education in Punjab will have to be revamped to make institutions in the state compete with the best institutions in the country”. These views were expressed by the NAAC (National Assessment and Accreditation Committee) team at the northern region training programme held at Guru Nanak Dev University here today.

No Syndicate meeting yet on engineering college
Patiala, July 15
The Punjabi University authorities have failed to hold a meeting of the Syndicate to present the complete details on the new University College of Engineering opened by it despite an assurance given in this regard to the august house.

Ex-officer honoured for contribution to university
Patiala, July 15
The Punjabi University Old Students Association honoured Prof Daljit Singh, a former Director, Youth Welfare, Punjabi University, Patiala, at a function held here last night.

Farid school kids win world dance contest
Bathinda, July 15
The team of students of the local Baba Farid Public School got first position in the World Dance Competition held in North Wales, England, a few days ago. Students of about 60 countries participated in the competition and Prince Charles was chief guest at the prize distribution function.


All not well with ST collection in Punjab, says Kashyap
Patiala, July 15
Punjab Chief Secretary Rajan Kashyap said today that sales tax collection in Punjab vis-a-vis Haryana proved that there was more corruption in Punjab than in the neighbouring state.


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