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Singers take offence
Demand apology from SAD candidate Dhillon for calling Ramoowalia lowly kavishar
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 11
More than 24 Punjabi singers, comedians and other stage artistes today lambasted SAD candidate from Ludhiana Lok Sabha seat Sharanjit Singh Dhillon for what they termed as derogatory remarks against the art of ‘kavishari’ with reference to the Lok Bhalai Party chief and former Union Minister Balwant Singh Ramoowalia.

Addressing a news conference here, the Punjabi artistes asked the SAD supremo Parkash Singh Badal to tender a public apology for slanderous observations of his party functionary failing which the entire fraternity of Punjabi singers and artistes would oppose the SAD candidates in the coming Lok Sabha elections.

The artistes maintained that they had felt hurt and were anguished over Mr Dhillon describing Mr Ramoowalia, his political opponent in the electoral battle, as a lowly kavishar, who sang for petty rewards. Describing Mr Dhillon as a mentally ‘bankrupt’ person, they maintained that singers and other artistes were not robbers or beggars but they were entertainers, making a significant contribution to create a healthy and happy society.

Those present at the news conference were Hakam Bakhtriwala, Ranjit Kaur, Hardev Mahinangal, Nirmal Sidhu, Sukhwant Sukhi, Tejwant Kittu, comedians Santa-Banta, Yudhvir Manak, Tejinder Babbu, Dolly, Kuldip Kaur, Gurpreet Randhawa, Harneet Neetu, Pradeep Alam, Bobby Pandher, Ashok Khushdil, Jita Puar, Pargat Khan, Dharam Preet, Sukhpal Pali, Vir Devinder, Pritam Bala, Harpal Singh Thathewala, Pradeep Sooba, Balwinder Binda, Chamak Chamkila, Swarn Sonia, Paramvir Singh, Sarbjit Mangat and Harpreet.

Meanwhile, speaking at a function held to mark the opening of an election office at Haibowal in the Ludhiana Rural Assembly segment, Mr Ramoowalia said the government headed by Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee would be remembered as a government of scams. Referring to the coffin scan, stamp paper scam, Judeo scam, Bangaru scam, petrol pump scam, UTI scam and several other financial bunglings of the government, he said Mr Vajpayee expected the masses to fight against corruption but at the same time he was providing shelter to corrupt elements in the ruling coalition.

He further charged the NDA government with betraying the people and making false promises. The commitment of the government to give employment to one crore persons every year, turned out to be a crude joke on the unemployed youth. The SAD, an ally of the NDA, was also equally responsible for this, Mr Ramoowalia added.



Galib swears support to Tiwari
Johar, Dawer hold rallies
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 11
Senior Congress leader and former Member Parliament from Ludhiana, Mr Gurcharan Singh Galib is likely to join the campaign of the party candidate from Ludhiana parliamentary constituency, Mr Manish Tiwari. This follows a telephonic conversation between the two in the morning today. The two were supposed to meet in the morning today, but could not as Mr Tiwari got busy in an election meeting.

Confirming to The Tribune that they talked to each other for quite some time, Mr Galib said, Mr Tiwari had telephoned him and wanted to meet him. He said, “I told him you are always welcome and I am there to support you”. Mr Galib added that they may be meeting in a day or two.

Mr Galib’s joining the campaigning of Mr Tiwari remains a matter of time only. Mr Galib reiterated that he had never deviated from the party line irrespective of his personal preferences. “Whatever responsibility the party gives me I will try to discharge it in letter and spirit, without claiming anything in return”, Mr Galib said.

Earlier, there was uncertainty over his joining Mr Tiwari’s campaign. He had reportedly desired to campaign either in Patiala or Rajasthan. However, he has reportedly been directed by the party leaders to campaign for Mr Tiwari.

Meanwhile, the Higher Education Minister, Mr Harnam Dass Johar today joined the election campaign after his return from abroad. He held a well attended meeting at Abdullahpur Basti, which falls in his assembly segment, Ludhiana West.

Yesterday, the Ludhiana East MLA, Mr Surinder Dawer organised a meeting in his Assembly segment, where Mr Tiwari was weighed against coins.

Addressing these meetings, Mr Tiwari thanked the party leaders and workers for their unfailing support.



Manish Tiwari weighed against coins
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 11
The Congress candidate for Ludhiana Lok Sabha seat Mr Manish Tiwari called upon the electorate to throw out the ‘corrupt’ Akalis and vote for the Congress in the ensuing elections in order to strengthen the hands of Ms Sonia Gandhi and to reinstall a Congress government at the Centre.

Addressing a public meeting organised by Block Congress Committee No 6 at New Cycle Market on Gill Road here last evening, he said the top Akali leaders, including former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, who were facing charges of corruption and vigilance probe for amassing disproportionate assets, were now talking of clean governance. “The memory of the people is not that short and they very well remember the kind of governance provided by the erstwhile SAD-BJP government.”

The Congress nominee was weighed against coins at this occasion and the meeting was attended, among others by the party legislator, Mr Surinder Dawar, the city Mayor, Mr Nahar Singh Gill, Mr Bhupinder Singh, Mr Chanchal Singh, Mr Sanjay Talwar, Mr Rakesh Parashar, all councillors and Mr Ramesh Joshi, Secretary, PPCC.

Mr Tiwari charged the then Badal government with betraying the interests of Punjab for its political motives and failure to provide relief to the state by way of remission of heavy debts and other of financial assistance despite the fact that the party was an ally of the NDA government at the centre. Mr Tiwari vowed to work for development of trade and industry in the mega city and to bring relief to the weaker sections, if given a chance to serve the constituency.

He refuted the propaganda by his political opponents that he was an outsider. The former president of Indian Youth Congress maintained that having been born and received his early education in this district, his family had deep roots here and his maternal grandfather had remained an elected representative from the district many a times. Mr Tiwari further defended his candidature from Ludhiana in the face of the ruling NDA alliance fielding persons like Vinod Khanna and film star Dharmendra from Gurdaspur and Bikaner Lok Sabha seats, respectively.

Addressing the meeting, the Congress legislator, Mr Surinder Dawar, exhorted the party workers to propagate the policies and programmes of the party to the masses and mobilise them in support of the Mr Tiwari in order to ensure his victory. He fervently asked the councillors, office bearers of the district, block and ward units as well the front organisations like Mahila Wing and Youth Congress to step up the campaigning.

Mr Dawar, while focusing on the achievements of the Congress government in Punjab, claimed that the government had vigorously pursued the agenda of development and had strived to provide a clean governance. The successive Congress governments at the centre had also taken the nation towards a path of progress, peace and prosperity in the past. He asserted that it was the Congress party alone which could provide a clean, secular and progressive governance and at the same time safeguard the rights of the minorities and weaker sections.



Police forces workers to shift rally venue
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 11
Hundreds of workers belonging to various industrial groups today staged a massive demonstration to protest against the high ‘handedness’ by the management of various industrial groups. The workers alleged that they were being denied their democratic rights and forced to take to the streets.

The demonstration organised by the Punjab unit of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) was earlier scheduled to be held at Chhater Singh Park near Bus Stand. The police did not allow the workers to gather there. The venue of the demonstration was shifted to the local office of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) adjacent to Bus Stand.

The state secretary of the CPM, Mr Sukhminder Singh Sekhon claimed that the CITU had given due notice to the district administration as well as the police for organising the workers’ convention. It alleged that due to the propaganda of the management that the workers might gherao its members, the police prevented the workers’ meeting.

Among others who attended today’s convention included the Punjab working president of the CITU, Mr Vijay Mishra, secretary Mr Dev Raj Sharma and Mr Tarlochan Singh, member national council of the CITU.

Mr Sekhon maintained that the workers were fighting for their genuine rights. He said, the Hero Group of Industries had issued charge sheet to about 60 employees. He stated that the workers were prepared to face the charges. “But the group is not prepared to allow them to join their duties”, he said, while observing that it simply amounted to denying them the right to explain. He pointed out, mere serving of charge sheet does not mean that the workers stand dismissed from the services.

The CITU leader said, the workers who had been served the charge sheet were of the fault of having submitted a memorandum to the labour commissioner at Chandigarh. He said, this was their democratic right and they had not committed any indiscipline. The management was acting in an arbitrary manner by denying the democratic rights to the workers.

He said, they were scheduled to meet the Labour Commissioner on April 15 after which further course of action would be decided. He said, “the workers did not want to go on strike but the management was not allowing them to work”.

However, a spokesman for the company maintained that the workers had gone on strike of their own. He claimed that the production in the factory was normal and the consignments were being dispatched daily. He denied the allegations of the workers that they were being forcibly kept out of work.

The labour unrest in Ludhiana during the last six months has been a cause of concern for the industry. Ludhiana has never witnessed labour unrest. The way various labour unions have been orchestrating strikes, protests and demonstrations does not auger well for the industry.

While the earlier strike at the Bhogal Sons and the Avon Cycles, two leading industrial groups, was spearheaded by the Congress backed Indian National Trade Union Congress, the current strike is being led by the CITU.



New turn to Orient Cinema dispute
Police books present owner
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 11
The ownership dispute between two persons over the Orient Cinema and some other prime property in the city took a new turn today when the Sarabha Nagar police registered a case against Kamaljit Singh, who is at present running the cinema hall, situated on prime piece of land in Bhai Randhir Singh Nagar.

The case was registered on the orders of the Judicial Magistrate (First Class), Mr Jaspal Verma. Complainant Paramjit Singh of Sant Fateh Singh Nagar, Dugri, here had made a direct complaint to the court seeking the registration of the case against the accused claiming that the police had not taken any action on his complaint.

Sources said the complainant had alleged that since the accused wielded strong influence because of that no action was being taken against him.

According to the FIR, Kamaljit Singh, his wife Sukhmeet Kaur and son Ishdeep Singh, all residents of Rajguru Nagar, had been booked under Sections 420, 467, 468 , 471 and 120-B IPC.

They had been accused of a conspiracy to cheat the complainant by forging his signatures and documents to grab his property.

Kamaljit Singh, however, claimed to Ludhiana Tribune that the allegations were false as he was the rightful owner of the property. He claimed he had all documents supporting his ownership. He also claimed that some cases were already going on against the alleged complainant. ‘‘The fresh case is just a retaliatory measure’’ he added.

He said he came to know about the court action only today and would be seeking a hearing. ‘‘We are applying for a cancellation of the FIR and revoking of the orders.’’ he said.

The dispute between the two families had been going on for the past some time. A few days ago the rival parties had even clashed with each other resulting in injuries to Kamaljit Singh. 



Punwire staff hold rally 
Our Correspondent

Khanna, April11
Around 250 employees of the Punjab Wireless Systems Employees Union organised a protest rally here to press the authorities to fulfil their demands.
The employees, under the leader ship of Mr Shahid Ahmed and Mr Bahal Singh, president and general secretary of the union, respectively, gathered at Prem Bhandari Park. They took out a procession and staged a dharna in front of the house of MP Shamsher Singh Dullo, who is also a member of the core committee constituted to resolve the Punwire dispute. 



Electrical goods markets to remain closed
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, April 11
Electrical goods markets in Sadar Bazar and Pindi Street that fall in the city zone will remain closed on April 14 due to the Baisakhi festival. The decision was taken by the Ludhiana Electrical Merchants Association here today, said its press secretary Jasmeet Singh.


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