The Bhartiya Kisan Union chief, Mr Ghasi Ram Nain, today denied any differences in the BKU leadership over the issue of extending support to seven Congress nominees in the Lok Sabha elections.
The Congress is heading for majority in the Lok Sabha elections, claimed Mr Sajan Jindal, elder brother of the Congress nominee from Kurukshetra parliamentary seat, Mr Naveen Jindal, while addressing a press conference here today.
Over 100 out of 1,600 constables, who were selected for the police department during Mr Bhajan Lal’s tenure, but their appointment was quashed by a court during the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala’s regime, declared their support to Congress candidate, Naveen Jindal. He was contesting from Kurukshetra.
campaigns for Kaka
The Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) state President, Mr Sher Singh Badshami, threw an open challenge to candidates of opposition parties in the Kurukshetra parliamentary constituency to come on one platform for an open debate on issues they wish to discuss publicly.
Though there has been an increase in the number of women electors in Haryana, there has been a noticeable decline in the percentage of women exercising their franchise during the past 10 general elections in the state.
The Congress received another setback when Mr Sanjay Sharma, alias Monty, a youth leader of the Congress joined the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) in the presence of Mr Abhay Singh Chautala here today.
The INLD is using official machinery and taking recourse to unethical means to affect the outcome of elections in the Kurukshetra parliamentary constituency from where Mr Abhay Chautala, son of the Haryana Chief Minister, is contesting.
The Kamboj Mahapanchayat held yesterday at Dera Baba Bhummanshah in Sangarsadha village of the district ended in confusion because of infighting on extending political support. Mahapanchayat was called for deciding support to a political party in Lok Sabha elections. Inside Babudom
Sunil Ahuja next Chief Secretary of Haryana
Chandigarh, May 2
Unlike its neighbour Punjab, Haryana has been maintaining both the tradition and convention of nominating its seniormost “available” bureaucrat to head the civil administration in the state. Leaf from history
Philadelphia Hospital, 125 years of service
AMBALA: Philadelphia Hospital of Ambala City has a 125-year-long history of service. An effort for providing medical care to the local populace began in 1880 with the arrival of a missionary, Dr Jessica Carleton.
As many as 85 cases were settled at a Lok Adalat organised in the district courts here yesterday. Most of the cases pertained to compensation for motor vehicles accidents, marital disputes, and civil matters.
Errors in papers: panel set up
Sonia promises justice, employment
Ambala, May 2
Addressing a rally at Gandhi Maidan in Ambala Cantonment, Mrs Gandhi said politics in the country was passing through a crucial phase and the people must decide whom to vote for after much thought.
“The present government has upset the whole system. Holding of elections are part of a democracy and governments come and go. But the actual problem is that politics is now being pursued only for government formation. However, the Congress has always had a wider viewpoint and history is created through politics,” she said.
Mrs Gandhi, who arrived nearly three hours behind schedule, said the BJP as well as the party in power in Haryana were seeking votes only for ruling over people. “A government can only be formed with the support of the people and the government must work for you,” she said.
She stated that poll promises must be fulfilled. “People have seen the Congress rule and they know about the supreme sacrifice made by Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.
We have always given priority to Dalits, farmers, women, marginalised and downtrodden people. We have never allowed injustice to take place,” she said.
Mrs Gandhi asked, “How can other parties compete with us? Ever since we gained Independence, the Congress has strived for overall development, which has been its long-term vision. The Green Revolution and the telecommunication revolution came about through our effort,” she said.
She stated that the Green Revolution needed special mention since the farmers of Haryana had made a major contribution in bringing about the revolution.
Mrs Gandhi stated that the Congress had kept all its promises. “During the last Lok Sabha elections, Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee had promised corruption-free government, besides employment for one crore youths in a year. But in return, people got unemployment, corruption and price rise,” she said.
She observed that the tenure of the BJP-led NDA government had been a saga of scams. “The lifelong savings of lakhs has been lost, dreams of youths have been shattered, farmers are facing problems and women’s issues have not been addressed,” she said. “Despite all this, Mr Vajpayee is seeing a ‘shining’ country. People are being misled,” she added.
Mrs Gandhi claimed that except the Congress, no other party could bring about prosperity in the country. She promised social justice, employment, equal development of villages and cities and women’s empowerment.
Former Haryana minister Nirmal Singh said the Congress was going to come to power under the leadership of Mrs Gandhi. “We all want to see her as the Prime Minister,” he said.
Congress candidate Kumari Selja said the Ambala Lok Sabha seat had been “blessed” with the arrival of Mrs Gandhi. “Ever since I began campaigning, people wanted her to visit Ambala. The demand of the people has been met. During her visit to Haryana recently, Mrs Gandhi had reached out to people,” she said.
“We recently toured Gujarat, where we saw women singing, “Abki bari bahu hamari, nahin chahiye Atal Bihari’,” she said.
Kumari Selja said the BJP was baffled by the tremendous response received by Mrs Gandhi during her tours. “Mr L.K. Advani always seems keen to travel on a Rath Yatra, which received lukewarm response from the people.
HPCC president Bhajan Lal said, “We must ensure that Kumari Selja wins the Ambala seat.”
He said four generations of the
Gandhi family had relentlessly served the people. “No other party can
match their effort,” he said.
No differences in BKU, says Nain
Rohtak, May 2
Addressing a news conference here he said the decision to back the Congress was taken after he was assured that the party supported the union’s main demands. He claimed that the party supported the BKU’s demands for remunerative minimum support price for all crops and insurance cover for farmers against natural calamities.
Mr Nain said the Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, had betrayed the farmers and unleashed a reign of terror against Haryana’s farmers during the agitation for remission of arrears of power bills. Nine farmers were killed in police firing and senior union leaders were jailed.
It was at this juncture that the Congress supported the farmers and participated in their struggle. The Congress nominee for the Rohtak Lok Sabha seat, Mr Bhupinder Singh Hooda raised a fund for helping families of the farmers killed in firing and gave Rs 1 lakh to each affected family.
Mr Nain said it was on these considerations that the union decided to back the Congress. He said he would campaign for all seven Congress candidates about whom the union had already taken a decision. The union would take a decision on the remaining three seats soon.
Referring to a statement by Mr Jagwant Singh Hooda opposing the union decision, he said Mr Hooda was not even a member of the union. He claimed that Hooda was never elected as an office-bearer of the union.
He said Mr Ram Phal Kandela’s opposition to the Congress was meaningless since he had disassociated himself from the union after his detention.
for majority, says Jindal
Yamunanagar, May 2
When mediapersons pointed out that there
was a chance of hung Parliament, Feroze Khan said that it would be a
disaster for the country. Mr Khan said he was offered Congress ticket
from Ajmer, Jodhpur and even from Chandni Chowk, New Delhi, but he
declined because he was not interested in politics. But he has regard
for the Congress, which has served the country for more than four
100 ‘dismissed’ cops to support Congress
Kurukshetra, May 2
Later, addressing an election meeting in the Ajranakalan village, Mr Jindal assured the people that he would serve them if given a chance. However, the Congress if came to power, would give employment to about 1 crore unemployed youths every year, he added.
Mr Navin Jindal, denied the allegations levelled by INLD state president, Sher Singh Badshami that Mr Navin Jindal and his father, Mr O.P. Jindal, had violated the Code of Conduct by alluring and bribing the electorate. He also announced the construction of 4,000 dharamshalas in the constituency.
Haryana Pradesh Youth Congress (HPYC), state president,
Satwinder Singh Sandhu, HPYC general secretary, Vivek Bhardwaj, HPYC
Kurukshetra district president Jalesh Sharma, HPYC, Kurukshetra district
general secretary, Mr Virender Chauhan and HPYC, Pehowa Block President,
Karanveer Rana also accompanied him.
Karnal Congress leader expelled
Chandigarh, May 2
The president of the Haryana Pradesh Congress Committee, Mr Bhajan Lal, took this action because Mr Sharma was contesting as an Independent candidate from the Karnal Lok Sabha constituency against the party’s official candidate, Dr Arvind Sharma.
In another development, the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee has said that persons responsible for releasing an advertisement “Punjab Today is Congress Today” are attacking the freedom of the Press.
statement issued here claimed that the Punjab Today TV channel was
telecasting the real picture of the voters’ mood in the state, which was in favour of the Congress.
Surender campaigns for Kaka
Yamunanagar, May 2
He said the BJP and the INLD supported each other for four years and the Haryana Vikas Party was the only party, which opposed the present regime. Even the Congress was a silent spectator, he added.
Mr Surinder Singh was campaigning here yesterday for the HVP’s nominee from Kurukshetra constituency, Mr Jatinder Singh Kaka.
Mr Surinder Singh said Bhiwani and Kurukshetra Lok Sabha seats would decide the future of Haryana and the party winning from these two seats would form the next government in the state.
Mr Kaka, said being a local
candidate, the people of the constituency would vote for him. Mr
Joginder Singh Chawla who contested Yamunanagar by-election in 2002,
also urged the people to vote for the HVP.
INLD dares opposition nominees for debate
Kurukshetra, May 2
Addressing a press conference, near here, he lashed out at the Congress candidate, Mr Navin Jindal, for lodging complaints with the Election Commission (EC) against the INLD candidate, Mr Abhay Chautala, for alleged misuse of official machinery and fear of rigging during the poll, stating that Mr Navin Jindal and his father, Mr Om Prakash Jindal, who was an industrialist, had been violating the Model Code of Conduct by alluring the electorate by way of distributing laddoos during their election meetings and announcing the construction of 4,000 dharamsahalas in the constituency.
Mr Badshami said the Election Commission should take cognizance of these activities of the Congress candidate.
The INLD state chief alleged that the opposition candidates were making false and wild allegations as they had sensed defeat and were trying to create an atmosphere of chaos among the electorate.
Mr Badshami asked Mr O.P. Jindal to tell the electorate what he had done during his term as Member of Parliament from the Kurukshetra parliamentary constituency.
To a question, the INLD chief
said the party had not enrolled any film star as a primary member and
those who were campaigning in Haryana were friends of the INLD
Women voter turnout on decline in Haryana
While almost 70 per cent women cast their vote during the 1967 general election when the newly created state went to the polls for the first time, the women voter percentage in the 1999 elections was just a notch above 58.
Further, there has never been a single occasion during the state's electoral history when the women outnumbered their male counterparts in exercising their franchise. Declining voter turnout among women is largely attributed to socio-economic factors and feudalism prevailing in society.
According to data available in the electoral office, there are over 56.52 lakh women electors in Haryana. There has been an increase of about six lakh women voters since the 1999 elections. The number of total electors in the state has increased from about 1.1 crore to about 1.23 crore.
"While the general increase in the number of electors in the state since 1999 is about 11 per cent, the number of women since has increased by almost 13 per cent," an electoral official said. "Despite this, their turnout is relatively low," the officer added.
While just about 58 per cent of women voted in 1999, the turnout of men voters was over 72 per cent. In 1967, when there were just over 14 lakh women voters, the turnout was over 69 per cent, while among men it was about 75 per cent.
While the lowest-ever turnout among women voters in the state was during the 1999 elections, the highest was in 1977 when it crossed the 70 per cent mark.
has always been a wide margin between the turnout among women and men
voters, the narrowest margin was during the 1996 elections when 68.76
per cent women voted compared to 71.95 per cent men.
Cong leader joins INLD
Yamunanagar, May 2
Mr Puran Chand, vice-chairman and block president of the BSP, Krishna Devi, a senior leader of the BSP and sarpanch of Mamidi, Mr Satpal, district secretary of the Haryana Vikas Party and member of block samiti and Mr Banwari Lal Passi, a senior leader of the Congress left their parties to join the INLD.
Chautala addressed 24 election rallies in his one-day tour of
Yamunanagar and the adjoining areas where he received an overwhelming
response and support of different organisations and associations.
Jindal moves EC against Abhay
Kaithal, May 2
This was stated by Mr Naveen Jindal, Congress candidate, while addressing mediapersons here last night. Mr Jindal said he had apprised the Election Commission of the situation and requested it to deploy Central forces to ensure free and fair elections.
Mr Nain criticised the “anti-farmer” policies of
the Haryana Government and the NDA government at the centre. He said NDA
government failed to check prices of agricultural inputs and did not
increase the minimum support prices of agricultural produce.
Kamboj Mahapanchayat ends in pandemonium
Sirsa, May 2
A crisis arose in the Mahapanchayat when an announcement to support the Congress was countered by slogans by persons who alleged that the political contact committee constituted to take this decision had sold itself out to the Congress. The situation become tense when Haryana Seed Development Corporation, Chairman Subhash Kamboj said that the dignity of this religious place should be maintained and everybody should be left free to vote for the party of his choice. Immediately after his address he came out of the stage where he and his supporters had a heated exchange with the organisers. The exchange of hot words resulted in a scuffle. Mr Kamboj left the place. However, his car windscreen was broken.
Kambojs constitute a handsome vote bank. On this occasion various speakers from this platform called upon the Kamboj community to ensure the defeat of the ruling party and narrated the atrocities inflicted on the members of this community by them during the land movement. Chairman of the Haryana Seed Development Corporation Subhash Kamboj, however, appealed to the community not to turn this platform into a political battlefield. He expressed his opinion that a place like ‘Dera’ should not be used for political purposes and decisions about political support must be left to the individual choice.
Former Haryana Minister Dr Kamla Verma while highlighting the achievements of the Central Government, accepted the mistake of the party in supporting the Chautala government. She said that Chautala government came to power with the support of the Kamboj biradari and it is the duty of this community to throw them out of power. However, former minister Subhash Chaudhary held the BJP also accountable for not raising their voice against the oppressors during the movement.
The president of the Kamboj Sabha Prem Singh called upon the community to show unity in announcing their political support.
But when former
minister and convener of political contact committee Hajaar Chand Kamboj
announced that after their interaction with the Biradari it is decided
to support Congress candidates from Sirsa, Ambala, Kurukshetra and
Karnal other community leaders and workers started protesting against
this. Immediately after this Sahabram Kamboj of the HVP came on the mike
and protested against this decision which was supported by a large
number of gathering raised pro-BJP and pro-Vajpayee slogans. The
Mahapanchayat ended in confusion.
Municipal ex-chief joins Congress
Karnal, May 2
At a function held last night Mr Gupta announced to support the
Congress candidate. During the last Assembly elections, he contested
from Karnal as an Independent.
Chandigarh, May 2
When the present Chief Secretary, Mr Avdhesh Narain Mathur, retires on June 30 this year, his batch-mate, Mr Sunil Ahuja, is all set to take over from him. Although Mr M. Shankar is also of the 1967 batch, the state government is unlikely to recall him from the Government of India where he is Secretary in the Ministry of Rural Development.
Incidentally, both Mr Shankar and Mr Ahuja superannuate on the same day, exactly a year after Mr Mathur retires.
In Punjab, the practice of naming the seniormost civil servant as Chief Secretary was broken by Mr Beant Singh when he named Mr Ajit Singh Chatha the Chief Secretary. Since then, it has become a practice to overlook the top officers. Both Mr Parkash Singh Badal and Capt Amarinder Singh as Chief Ministers followed the trend set by their predecessor.
Intriguingly, both Punjab and Haryana are yet to have a woman as the Chief Secretary. In Punjab, when Mr Jai Singh Gill (1968 batch) was recalled from deputation with the Centre, the name of Mrs Gurbinder Chahal (1967 batch) was under consideration.
She became the second Financial Commissioner Revenue after Mrs Shyama Mann whose subsequent claim to the top post was overlooked as her husband and batch-mate, Mr R.S. Mann, was picked by Mr Badal for the post in 1997.
The earliest possible when Haryana or Punjab can look forward to
a woman Chief Secretary is June, 2005, when, besides Mr Dhanendra Kumar,
now Secretary with the Government of India, the next three seniormost
officers in Haryana will be all women — Ms Komal Anand and Ms Reva
Nayyar (both of 1968 batch as of Mr Dhanendra Kumar) and Ms Meenaxi
Anand Chaudhary (1969 batch).
Leaf from history
AMBALA: Philadelphia Hospital of Ambala City has a 125-year-long history of service. An effort for providing medical care to the local populace began in 1880 with the arrival of a missionary, Dr Jessica Carleton. She started with a small dispensary in two rooms in a narrow alley and over the years the hospital grew. Medical Superintendent Sunil Sadiq says Philadelphia Hospital received its name from the Presbyterian Church women of the city of Philadelphia in the USA, who contributed money for the original building. According to a note of the Commission on Ecumenical Mission and Relations of the United Presbyterian Church in the USA, when the hospital was first opened, very strict purdah was observed and no man was allowed inside the building. Citing old reports, the note states, “When Dr Percy Paul first came, it took much tact and persuasion on the part of Dr Ivanoel Gibbins to get the consent of any husband. He (the patient’s husband) only agreed after a solemn promise was made that a cloth would be placed over his wife’s face whenever the male doctor came into the ward. When Dr Paul was to operate, it was agreed that he would not appear until the patient was well
anesthetised. The nurses were always ‘sh-sh-ing’ for fear that the sound of a man’s voice in the scrub-room would send a female temperature
skyhigh.” However, in 1944 the hospital was thrown open to men in wards as well as in daily clinics. Dr Everett Murray in 1952 joined as the first full-time male doctor on the staff. Dr Sadiq says that parts of the old building still stand on the rear side of the hospital complex. “Over the years, we have expanded so that we can serve more people. Our effort is to reach out to the community for their
medicare,” he says. — TNS
AMBALA: Philadelphia Hospital of Ambala City has a 125-year-long history of service.
An effort for providing medical care to the local populace began in 1880 with the arrival of a missionary, Dr Jessica Carleton.
She started with a small dispensary in two rooms in a narrow alley and over the years the hospital grew.
Medical Superintendent Sunil Sadiq says Philadelphia Hospital received its name from the Presbyterian Church women of the city of Philadelphia in the USA, who contributed money for the original building.
According to a note of the Commission on Ecumenical Mission and Relations of the United Presbyterian Church in the USA, when the hospital was first opened, very strict purdah was observed and no man was allowed inside the building.
Citing old reports, the note states, “When Dr Percy Paul first came, it took much tact and persuasion on the part of Dr Ivanoel Gibbins to get the consent of any husband. He (the patient’s husband) only agreed after a solemn promise was made that a cloth would be placed over his wife’s face whenever the male doctor came into the ward.
When Dr Paul was to operate, it was agreed that he would not appear until the patient was well anesthetised.
The nurses were always ‘sh-sh-ing’ for fear that the sound of a man’s voice in the scrub-room would send a female temperature skyhigh.”
However, in 1944 the hospital was thrown open to men in wards as well as in daily clinics.
Dr Everett Murray in 1952 joined as the first full-time male doctor on the staff.
Dr Sadiq says that parts of the old building still stand on the rear side of the hospital complex. “Over the years, we have expanded so that we can serve more people.
Our effort is to reach out to the community for their
medicare,” he says. — TNS
Lok Adalat settles 85 cases
Fatehabad, May 2
Mr R.N. Bharti, Chief Judicial Magistrate, Fatehabad, told mediapersons that 10 cases of the accidents claims were settled by the Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mr Randhir Singh; the Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mr R.K. Sondhi, settled six cases of accident claims; and the Additional District and Sessions Judge, Mr O.P. Verma, settled nine cases of accident claims.
In the lower courts, Mr Bharti himself disposed of six
civil cases, eight criminal cases and 17 summary cases, while Ms Ritu
Y.K. Behl settled eight criminal cases and 32 civil cases.
Errors in papers: panel set up
Sirsa, May 2
Dr Dahiya said the university received several complaints
about question papers of economics, political science and sociology of
the third year, computer application and cost accounting of B.Com-III,
economics and English A of BA-I and chemistry of B.Sc.-I. These
complaints had been referred to the expert committee and the answer
books of these papers would be evaluated according to the decision to be
taken by this committee. This had been done to ensure that no student
suffered because of the errors in question papers, he added.