P U N J A B    S T O R I E S



Anti-incumbency spells doom for Cong
SAD MPs meet in New Delhi today
P.P.S. Gill
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 13
Of the 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab, the SAD has bagged eight, the BJP three and the Congress first two.

Some factors are clear that led to the rout of the Congress. One, overt and covert in-house infighting and dissensions and the BSP going alone in all 13 constituencies. Two, a strong anti-incumbency factor, coupled with voters’ anguish over the government’s single-track, anti-corruption drive and the vitriolic ad blitzkrieg. Three, “combative and negative” governance and letting loose police on the people and introducing politics of hatred, vendetta and revenge.

The votes polled by the BSP candidates in all 13 constituencies and the margins with which the Congress candidates have lost, provides a clear indication that had the two joined hands or had Capt Amarinder Singh “managed” the BSP, the outcome would have been different. The Chief Minister failed to learn from Mr Badal, who had successfully “managed” the BSP leadership to SAD advantage.

The SAD-BJP leadership considers the poll outcome as a “referandum” against the Amarinder Government. The echo demanding the resignation of Capt Amarinder Singh on “moral” grounds is already reverberating. In fact, the SAD-BJP alliance is not alone in making this demand. Deputy Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, too, has demanded that Capt Amarinder Singh should quit.

Meanwhile, Mr Parkash Singh Badal has called a meeting of the newly elected MPs in New Delhi tomorrow to review the evolving political situation in the country and draw up a strategy for Punjab.

The SAD is upbeat for having trounced the Congress in over 90 Assembly segments. Mr Badal has said that this is a “silent revolutionary step against the Congress misrule and oppression in the past two-and-a-half years. The government smacks of arrogance and vindictiveness”. The fusion of factions of Badal and late Gurcharan Singh Tohra had also helped SAD to perform better. The two had separately contested 1999 Lok Sabha elections.

Those who believe that the political survival of Capt Amarinder Singh may now become difficult forget that the Chief Minister will get a breather because of CPM leader Harkishan Singh Surjeet. In the past, there was no demand raised by Mr Surjeet which the Chief Minister had not accepted.

As Congress surveys the post-election scenario, rummages through the debris left behind by SAD-BJP a damage-control exercise is under way. Capt Amarinder Singh is believed to be busy preparing a strategy to counter moves of the rebels, contain dissent and ensure good governance.

One of the proposals to meet Ms Bhattal’s onslaught is to seeking the resignations of all ministers and reconstruct a new-look compact Council of Ministers in conformity with the new constitutional amendment which limits the size of a ministry to 15 per cent of the total membership of the Vidhan Sabha. This is to be done across the country by July 7 next.

With this spectre, can Punjab afford not to mobilise additional resources to sustain its frail financial health? The Budget (2004-05), is yet to be presented. The Punjab Plan Resource Committee, headed by Dr S. S. Johl, has submitted its report suggesting the mopping up of at least Rs 2,555 crore in one year. It has warned that the failure to do so will adversely affect the state’s economy,”.


Bhattal blames CM, Hanspal for Cong rout
Sarbjit Dhaliwal
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 13
Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal today opened a front against Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Punjab Congress President Mr H.S. Hanspal.

Blaming them for the ‘humiliating’ defeat suffered by the Congress in the Lok Sabha elections, Mrs Bhattal in an interview with The Tribune said: “Both Capt Amarinder Singh and Mr Hanspal were ‘katil’ (killers) of the Congress party in the state. Both have made former Chief Minister Badal a hero.” All focus on Badal, badla and badali policy proved harmful for the ruling party, she added. While Mr Badal’s son, Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, won with a margin of over 1.35 lakh votes, the Chief Minister’s wife won with a small margin of 23,600. Who was responsible for it? Certainly, it was Capt Amarinder Singh, who waged a long battle against Mr Badal.

Reacting strongly to the Chief Minister’s statement at Patiala that dissidence was responsible for the party’s defeat, Mrs Bhattal said the failure of the Chief Minister and the state Congress President on all fronts was responsible for the drubbing.

Mrs Bhattal said both had been painting a rosy picture before the party high command. “A few months ago, when we camped in Delhi and brought various matters about the non-functioning of the state government to the notice of the party high command, Capt Amarinder Singh and Mr Hanspal hedged the issue by misleading the top leadership of the party”, Mr Bhattal said. A coterie was running the state government without involving senior ministers or party leaders.

When asked to enlist the reasons for the massive defeat, Mrs Bhattal, said no planning was done by the Chief Minister and the State Party President to contest the elections. Both were working in tandem without consulting any other party colleague. The Chief Minister was interested only in the victory of his wife.

When the Congress was in the thick of electioneering, Capt Amarinder Singh brought Mr Harminder Singh Gill, whom she described as a hardcore Khalistani, in the Congress fold. The acceptance of Mr Gill in the Congress not only demoralised the party rank and file, but also distanced urban voters from the Congress “It was a wrong step taken at a crucial time for which the party had to pay a heavy price,” she said.

Dancing to the tunes of Capt Amarinder Singh Mr Hanspal had lost his functional independence as the President of the state unit long back.

Senior Congress leader Manmohan Singh, had asked Capt Amarinder Singh to give free water and electricity to farmers as promised but in vain. Pensions were stopped. The Chief Minister followed such anti-people policies which annoyed all sections, Mrs Bhattal said.


The results


Total votes polled 1559191


Manish Tiwari (Congress) 244282

Sharanjit Singh (SAD) 262086

Rabinder Singh (BSP) 14669

Sadhon Singh (SP) 1896

Balwant Singh of (LBP) 135983

Manjit Singh (BGTD) 892

Ravinder Kumar (J&KNPP) 1395

Abdul Shakoor (Ind) 385

Satnam Singh (Ind) 872

Karnail Singh (Ind) 662

Jasdev Singh (Ind) 493

Dr Janardan Prasad Singh (Ind) 1514

Daljinder Singh (Ind) 1313

Balwant Singh (Ind) 1319

Bobby (Ind) 2803

Mohinder Lal (Ind) 3847

Rashpal Singh Gill (Ind) 4811

Varinder Kumar (Ind) 4700


Total votes polled 1220263


Devi Dass (BSP) 69188

Naresh Gujral (SAD) 311156

Rana Gurjit Singh (INC) 344619

Balkar Singh (BGTD) 3342

Vijay Kumar Hans (DBSP) 1288

Sandeep Jeraith (Ind) 1591

Hameed Masih (Ind) 2078

Kuldip Singh (Ind) 836

Kulbhushan Singh (Ind) 1837

Manohar Lal (Ind) 2088

Vinay Jallandhari (Ind) 3716


Total votes polled 1177798


Santosh Chaudhary (INC) 225628

Charanjit Singh Atwal (SAD) 324512

Pawan Kumar Tinu (BSP) 157637

Harbhajan Lakha (SMSP) 3139

Jagir Singh (BGTD) 2128

Hans Raj (Ind) 7103

Harbans Singh (Ind) 2380


Total votes polled 1283152


Sarabjit Singh SAD (M) 113490

Kushalya Chaman Bhawra (CPI) 260752

Gurnam Singh (BSP) 31727

Paramjit Kaur Gulshan (SAD) 323394

Parminder Singh (DBSP) 5429

Bhagwant Singh (CPIML) 7505

Sham Lal (Ind) 2908

Hari Singh (Ind) 2568

Gurpreet Singh (Ind) 6689

Jasbir Singh (Ind) 8733


Total votes polled 1423513


Parneet Kaur (INC) 409917

Hargopal Singh (BSP) 39331

Kanwaljit Singh (SAD) 386250

Gurnam Singh SAD (A) 11496

Gurbachan Singh (SSP) 3356

Ranjit Kaur (BGTD) 933

Harbans Singh (Ind) 924

Karishna Dahri (Ind) 1585

Jaipal (Ind) 1924

Darshan Singh (Ind) 2992

Binder Kaur (Ind) 2535

Ram Isher Singh (Ind) 5460

Ram Saroop (Ind) 6070


Total votes polled 1261371


Sukhbir Singh Badal (SAD) 475928

Karan Brar (INC) 340649

Nirmal Singh (LJSP) 4448

Ashok Kumar JD (S) 1080

Gurlal Singh SAD (M) 10857

Navneet Kumar (SHS) 3064

Kulwant Singh MB (S) 1675

Sukhbir Singh Brar (Ind) 2735

Harmel Singh (Ind) 7501

Sant Ram (BSP) 45207


Total votes polled 1340977


Sukhdev Singh Libra (SAD) 347631

Bhag Singh SAD (M) 27393

Man Singh Manhera (BSP) 78191

Shamsher Singh Dullo (INC) 313994

Lehmbar Dass (BGTD) 1889

Sawinder Singh (Ind) 2650

Sucha Singh (Ind) 3276

Surjan Singh (Ind) 15197


Total votes polled 1300853


Jagmeet Singh Brar (INC) 345563

Zora Singh Mann (SAD) 357102

Dhian S. Mand SAD (M) 7548

Mohan Singh Phalian Wala (BSP) 101921

Anoop Singh (LJSP) 2443

Som Parkash (BGTD) 742

Mathura Dass (PSS) 878

Inderjit Zeera (Ind) 27941

Ashok Kumar (Ind) 772

Ajay Denial (Ind) 995

Gursewak Singh (Ind) 772

Des Raj (Ind) 995

Nardev Singh (Ind) 1819

Paramjit Singh (Ind) 2486

Mohinder Jit Singh (Ind) 5495

Vardev Singh (Ind) 8697


Total votes polled 1211438


Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa (SAD) 286828

Simranjit Singh Mann SAD (M) 216898

Arvind Khanna (INC) 259551

Mangat Rai (BSP) 38515

Sukhdev Singh Barri (Ind) 2449

Daljit Singh (Ind) 1673

Mohammaad Shamshad (Ind) 8872

Baljinder Singh (Ind) 2631

Sukhdev Singh (Ind) 14289

Avtar Singh (Ind) 2046

Mit Singh Sehjara (Ind) 3366


Total votes polled 1201515


Vinod Khanna (BJP) 387612

Sukhbansh Kaur Bhinder (INC) 362629

Brij Mohan Julka (BSP) 16651

Balkar Singh (BGTD) 3858

Balkar Singh (SSHP) 3858

Ramesh Kumar (PBLP)1690

Kewal Krishan (Ind) 969

Devinder Singh Saini (Ind) 3277

Neeraj Joshi.(Ind) 1645


Total votes polled 1132832


Darshan Singh Mathu (CPM) 185444

Gurdev Singh (BGTD) 2787

Harmseh Lal (Ind) 3416

Avinash Rai Khanna (BJP) 289815

Ajit Singh Parmar (SJPR) 7511

Chartanjit Singh Channi (BSP) 156270

Sahdu Singh (Ind) 3883

Kuldip Rai (Ind) 6565


Total votes polled 1289594


Raghu Nandan Lal Bhatia (INC) 286566

Navjot Singh Sidhu (BJP) 384814

Ram Sharan Pal (BSP) 17423

Sanjiv Kumar (Ind) 1043

Surinder Kumar Khosla (Ind) 2356

Harbans Lal (SP) 1001

Baldev Singh Rathore (Ind) 2023

Gita (BGTD) 840

Satpal Singh (Ind) 1291

Ramesh Talwar (Ind) 5718

Rahmat Masih (Ind) 3482

Tarn Taran

Total votes polled 1169088


Sukhwinder Singh Sukh Sarkaria (INC) 308252

Ratan Singh Ajnala (SAD) 364646

Ravel Singh (BSP) 14725

Manoj Kumar Duggal (Ind) 2911

Rajwant Singh (BGTD) 1535

Sukhjinder Singh (Ind) 1095

Tarlochan Singh (Ind) 15090

Babu Ram (Ind) 1847

Rajinder Rikhi (Ind) 7274


Imposing power charges cost Cong dearly, says CM
Our Correspondent

Patiala, May 13
Admitting that the Congress has been virtually swept out from Punjab, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has said that he fully accepts the verdict of the people. He also said that he would come out strongly against the dissidents in the party. He was addressing a press conference.

The Chief Minister said his party was thinking of providing free power and water to the farmers who constituted nearly 70 per cent of the vote bank. He referred to the example of the new Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, Mr Y.S. Rajashekhar Reddy, who, he said, secured a massive victory in the state on his promise of providing free power and water to the agriculture sector.

Admitting that one of the basic reasons for the poor performance of the Congress in Punjab was to impose power charges, he said he would be constituting a committee which would study the feasibility of providing free electricity and water to the farmers.

The other reason for the fiasco was the improper distribution of old-age and widow pensions. The process would be overhauled soon, he added.

Capt Amarinder Singh referred to the “unholy troika” of Mr Arun Jaitley, Mr Pramod Mahajan and Mr Tarlochan Singh, Chairman of the National Commission for Minorities, who, he said, were openly hobnobbing with the Congress dissidents. He said he had information that the three were also funding dissidence in the state in a big way on the directions of Mr Parkash Singh Badal.

The Chief Minister added that once a Congress government was installed at the Centre, he would ask the new Finance Minister to initiate action against the Badal family through the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and other Central Government agencies.

In a direct reference to the Deputy Chief Minister, Mrs Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, he said he would be writing to the Congress President, Mrs Sonia Gandhi about the dissident activities of Mrs Bhattal and would also seek action against her. He said earlier, Mrs Bhattal had spread dissidence only in the legislative party but now she was threatening the very existence of the Congress party in the state.

Addressing the conference just after the results of all the 13 constituencies of Punjab flowed in, he asserted that the good governance that he was providing was being offset by the dissident activities of the Deputy Chief Minister. Taking exception to such “mala fide” intentions, he said he was in the process of getting reports from all party MPs who had lost. These would be forwarded to Mrs Sonia Gandhi for taking strict action.

The Chief Minister added that Mrs Sonia Gandhi had received a feedback on the activities of Mrs Bhattal before the elections and despite the Congress President’s warning, Mrs Bhattal kept on fanning dissidence and that, too, in a big way. It had harmed the party’s electoral prospects.

Taking pot shots at Capt Kanwaljit Singh, the Chief Minister said when the Akali government came to power, Punjab was under a debt of Rs 1,600 crores, but when the Akalis left, the debt had increased to Rs 72,000 crores. This was due to the flawed fiscal policies of Capt Kanwaljit Singh during his tenure as the state Finance Minister. He added that when he was the Home Minister in the Barnala government, he was responsible for initiating operation Blackthunder that led police commandoes to storm the Golden Temple.

He reiterated his government’s stand that all the police officers who were shifted at the instance of the Election Commission would soon be posted back. He added that the commission had acted hastily on frivolous complaints made by Mr D.S. Cheema, an office-bearer of the SAD.

He added that his government had completed the election process in a free and a fair manner. He congratulated the bureaucracy and the police for this achievement.

The Chief Minister hinted that some ministers in his Cabinet may have to go because of their “inept” performance in the elections and also because he would have to downsize his government by July 2.


Verdict against Congress, says Badal
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, May 13
Mr Parkash Singh Badal, former Chief Minister of Punjab and President of the SAD, has demanded that the Congress Governmental led by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, should quit office on moral grounds following a humiliating defeat of the Congress in the Lok Sabha elections in Punjab. If Capt Amarinder Singh has got any morality, he should resign and seek a mandate again, said Mr Badal.

While thanking the people of the state for reposing confidence in the SAD-BJP combine and rejecting the Congress for its “anti-people” policies during its more than two years’ rule in the state, Mr Badal said voters had also rejected the corruption charges levelled by Capt Amarinder Singh against senior SAD leaders, including himself and his son, Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, general secretary, SAD.

Talking to mediapersons here today, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, who had arrived here today to congratulate the people of the Faridkot parliamentary constituency, lambasted Capt Amarinder Singh for “committing excesses” on the people of the state alienating all sections of society.


Sukhbir defeats Brar by big margin
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, May 13
Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, general secretary, SAD, was declared elected today from the Faridkot parliamentary constituency by defeating his nearest rival, Mrs Karan Brar, daughter-in-law of former state Chief Minister, Mr Harcharan Singh Brar, the Congress candidate by a margin of 1,35,279 votes.

Declaring the final result here today. Mr Hussan Lal, District Returning Officer-cum- Deputy Commissioner, Faridkot, said the winning candidate got 4,75,928 votes whereas Mrs Brar secured 3,40,649 votes. The other eight candidates who had also entered the fray performed as follows: Mr Kulwant Singh Mool Bharti (S) 1,675, Mr Sukhbir Singh Brar( Independent) 2,735, Mr Nirmal Singh (Lok Jan Shakti Party) 4,448, Mr Harmel Singh (Independent) 7,501, Mr Sant Ram (BSP) 45,207, Mr Ashok Sathi Janata Dal (S) 1,080, Mr Gurlal Singh.

Akali Dal (Mann) 10,857 and Mr Navneet Kumar (Shiv Sena) 3,064. Except the SAD and the Congress candidates, the other lost their security deposits.


SAD workers celebrate victory
Our Correspondent

Fatehgarh Sahib, May 13
With the declaration of results from both Sirhind and Amloh Assembly constituencies of the district falling in the Ropar (R) parliamentary constituency, SAD leaders and workers celebrated the victory of SAD candidates in the state, particularly of Sukhdev Singh Libra Ropar (R). However, the swing in favour of the Congress at the Centre hampered their enthusiasm. In the Sirhind Assembly constituency, a total 80,252 votes were polled. Mr Sukhdev Singh Libra of the SAD got 34,702 whereas his rival Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo of the Congress polled 25,676 votes. The SAD candidate took the lead of 9026 votes from his nearest rival Mr Dullo. Similarly, in the Amloh Assembly constituency, Mr Libra polled 45,398 votes, whereas Congress candidate Mr Dullo 40,994 votes thereby winning with a margin of 4404 votes.

Talking to The Tribune in front of the counting hall at Bassi Pathana, Mr Kirpal Singh Libra, a former Chairman of PUNSUP, and Mr Didar Singh Bhatti, senior SAD (B) leaders, said the landslide victory of SAD in the state was a verdict against the working of the Congress government. They said the people voted against the Congress and its anti-people policies.

Later, the SAD leaders and workers from the district celebrated the victory of SAD candidates from the state and took out processions.


Rival Akalis fail to make impact
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 13
The results of the Lok Sabha elections will have a direct fallout on the general elections of the SGPC scheduled to be held on July 11, even as they have established the supremacy of Mr Parkash Singh Badal, president of the SAD.

Despite the onslaught by leaders of rival Akali factions, the segment-wise (Assembly constituencies) results brought cheer to the SAD chief as the Akali –BJP candidates performed well. Though the newly formed All-India Shiromani Akali Dal led by Mr Ravi Inder Singh and SAD (New Delhi) extended financial and moral support, the performance of rival Akali candidates failed to make any dent on SAD (Badal) candidates.

Though Akali stalwarts, including Mr Ravi Inder Singh, Mr Parmjit Singh Sarna and Mr Prem Singh Lalpura, former SGPC chief, campaigned for the outgoing MP from Tarn Taran, Mr Tarlochan Singh Tur, his security deposits were forfeited. Mr Tur could get little more than 15,000 votes.

Though the AISAD has taken the lead in announcing the two candidates for the elections of the SGPC, these parties are unlikely to perform well.

Interestingly, the Congress had swept all Assembly constituencies of Gurdaspur during the previous Assembly elections, but the victory of Mr Vinod Khanna, a common candidate of SAD-BJP, has given a signal that SAD candidates could perform well during SGPC elections too.

The Sikh voter also ignored the appeals of radical Panthic outfits like Shiromani Khalsa Panchayat which had sought votes for the AISAD and SAD (Amritsar) candidates.


SAD PAC meeting tomorrow
Our Correspondent

Faridkot, May 13
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has convened a meeting of its Political Affairs Committee and newly-elected members of Parliament from Punjab at New Delhi on May 15 to prepare its strategy.

The meeting will also discuss national political scenario after the election.


Supporters celebrate Preneet’s win
Ravi Dhaliwal

Patiala, May 13
Highly euphoric. The expression aptly summed up the mood of hundreds of supporters of Ms Preneet Kaur as the news of her victory over her main rival and SAD candidate Capt Kanwaljit Singh by over 20,000 votes trickled in.

Ms Preneet Kaur, brimming with enthusiasm the moment she heard the final result, said her first priority would be to thank the party workers. She rubbished Capt Kanwaljit Singh’s allegations that her victory was made possible by the use of government machinery.

People thronged the CM’s residence as the family members of the new MP, apparently sensing a victory much in advance, had pitched tents in the lawns. Even lower and middle rung district-level leaders could be seen swarming the place and offering sweets to the winning candidate. For once, royalty opened its gates to the rich and the poor alike as the CM and the MP thanked the felicitators. The people did not waste the opportunity to get clicked alongside the new MP. Ms Preneet Kaur said she would focus on the Ghaghar project, besides ensuring that villages in Lehra, Sunam and Samana areas got proper drinking water supply.

If waves of joy swept the corridors of the imposing residence of the Chief Minister’s wife, the mood was gloomy in the SAD camp. Capt Kanwaljit Singh was present at the main counting centre at the Polo Ground when the grim reality of losing struck him. Trying to put up a brave face, he immediately addressed an impromptu press conference where he squarely blamed Mr Prem Singh Chandumajra for his debacle. He said the former MP had vigorously campaigned for the CM’s wife during the past few days. He also threw hints that he was not satisfied with the result of the Samana Assembly segment from where his partyman S.S. Rakhra was the sitting MLA.

The allegations made by the SAD nominee against Mr Chandumajra were vehemently denied by the later who said he would approach the SAD president to seek disciplinary action against Capt Kanwaljit Singh. He said the results of two segments — Sunam and Samana — considered to be traditional Akali strongholds, were not favourably inclined to him and added that he would inquire into what exactly had gone wrong. At Sunam the Congress led by nearly 2000 votes, while at Samana, the ruling party captured more than 15,000 votes. Capt Kanwaljit Singh said he had dared to take on the CM’s wife and added that he had repeatedly complained to the Election Commission against the blatant misuse of government machinery. He said he would go to every nook and corner of the constituency to thank workers of his party, whom he said had “done a remarkable job to pose a stiff challenge to the Congress candidate”.


Cong supporter fires shots in the air
Our Correspondent

Zirakpur, May 13
A Congress supporter fired two shots in the air after hearing the news of Ms Preneet Kaur’s victory over Capt Kanwaljit Singh, a Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) candidate, from the Patiala parliamentary constituency, here today.

According to residents of the area, the man fired two shots in the air around 12.15 pm when a TV channel aired the news of Ms Preneet Kaur’s victory.

However, the Dera Bassi SHO denied having received any such report.

SAD workers in the subdivision were joyous when they heard that Capt Kanwaljit Singh had established lead over Ms Preneet Kaur in the Banur segment. Capt Kanwaljit Singh had got 56816 votes from the Banur segment, while Ms Preneet Kaur could get only 42,932 votes.

However, the joy of Congress supporters, who were feeling disappointed over Capt Kanwaljit’s lead over Ms Preneet Kaur, knew no bounds after the final results of the Patiala seat went in favour of the Congress. They distributed sweets and bursted crackers to celebrate the victory of their leader.


Secularism has won: ex-MP
Our Correspondent

Patiala, May 13
A former Member Parliament and in charge of Mrs Preneet Kaur’s election campaign, Mr Sant Ram Singla, has termed the win of the Congress candidate as a ‘victory of secularism’.

In a press statement, Mr Singla, who is also the Chairman of the Punjab Mandi Board, said all-round development in the Patiala parliamentary constituency by Mrs Preneet Kaur ensured her victory. He said the people had reposed their confidence in the Congress.


Libra wrests Ropar seat from Dullo
Tribune News Service

Ropar, May 13
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) candidate and Gurcharan Singh Tohra loyalist, Mr Sukhdev Singh Libra today wrested the Ropar parliamentary seat from the outgoing MP, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo of the Indian National Congress (INC). Mr Libra, who got 44 per cent of the total polled votes, defeated Mr Dullo, his nearest rival, by a margin of 33637 votes.

While Mr Libra attributed his victory to the wisdom of the people of his constituency and the personality of Gurcharan Singh Tohra, Mr Dullo attributed his defeat to the BSP factor pointing out that the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) had eaten into his vote bank. The BSP candidate, Mr Maan Singh Manhera, who got 9.9 per cent of the total votes, said he was happy with his performance as this was the first time that the BSP has fought elections on its own in the state.

Mr Libra got 347631 votes out of the total 790261 valid votes cast while Mr Dullo got 313994 votes. Mr Manhera gathered 78191 votes and Mr Bhag Singh Surtapur of SAD (Mann), managed to secure 27393 votes. Among the independent candidates only Mr Surjan Singh Rahi, supported by Akali Dal rebel Ravi Inder Singh was able to save his deposit, securing 15197 votes. Mr Lehmbar Das of the BGTD got 1889 votes, Mr Sawinder Singh got 2650 votes, and Mr Sucha Singh, another independent, got 3276 votes.

Mr Libra polled more votes than Mr Dullo in seven of the nine Assembly segments that constitute the Ropar parliamentary seat. The highest winning margin, of 12461 votes in favour of Mr Libra was registered at the Samrala Assembly segment. Here, Mr Manhera also managed over 7500 votes. At Chamkaur Sahib, Mr Libra got 10028 votes more than Mr Dullo and Manhera secured over 5000 votes. At Sirhind, even as Mr Manhera gathered over a lakh votes, Mr Libra got 9026 votes more than Dullo. At Nabha and Amloh Mr Libra won with a margin of over 4000 votes in each of the assembly segments. Here Mr Manhera also managed to get over 2.1 lakh votes in these two constituencies.

While Mr Libra managed to win neck and neck fights in Dhuri and Kharar, Mr Dullo won the photo finish at Khanna, the home town of both the main candidates, by a margin of 1280 votes. A big relief for Mr Dullo whose wife Mrs Harbans Kaur is the MLA there.

Declaring the final results at 4.30pm, the Deputy Commissioner, Ropar, Mrs Seema Jain, handed over the winner’s certificate to Mr Libra who, along with his supporters, waited at her office for over four hours. He had arrived at the DC complex at noon when the first set of results started coming in and it became clear that Mr Libra was leading in majority of the assembly segments.

Talking to The Tribune, Mr Libra said that he would be working for the development of his constituency and his priority would be to create employment opportunities for the youth. Surrounded by family members and Akali leaders from Mohali, Kharar, Ropar, Mr Libra thanked his voters for his win. ‘‘I have been blessed by Tohra and it is because of his stature and personality that I have won,’’ he added.

‘‘The BSP candidate has over 75000 votes while my margin with Mr Libra is about 34000. The BSP has clearly eaten into my vote bank. And the reason why people have preferred the BSP over the Congress is for any one to see. We have failed to pay the Dalits their due as old age pensions and as part of the shagun scheme. We have also not been able to implement the 85th amendment properly,’’ Mr Dullo said.


Dullo polled more votes in Morinda segment
Our Correspondent

Kharar, May 13
Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, Congress candidate for the Ropar Lok Sabha seat, got the maximum number of votes in the Morinda-68 segment.

Mr Dullo won by 8,751 votes. He polled 39,398 votes while Mr Sukhdev Singh Libra, SAD candidate and nearest rival, got 30,647 votes in the segment.

The counting for 135 polling booths in the area started at 8 a.m. at Government Polytechnic, Khooni Majra, near here, and was completed in 10 rounds.

The BSP candidate, Mr Man Singh Manhera, was third in the race by securing 7,883 votes. Mr Surjan Singh Rahi of the Akali Dal (Taksali) got 4,382 votes while Mr Bhag Singh Surtapur, Shiramani Akali Dal (Mann) candidate, secured 2,327 votes. Among Independents Mr Sucha Singh polled 439 votes, Mr Swinder Singh 328 votes and Mr Lehambar Singh 240 votes.

Though the counting of votes was finished before 10 a.m., the result was not declared even by 11 a.m.

Violation of EC’s order

No one, including mediapersons, was allowed to carry cell phones into the counting hall but a son of Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Minister for Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development and Fisheries, Punjab, was seen carrying a mobile phone into the hall in violation of the orders. Moreover, he was seen talking on the phone while strolling in the hall in the presence of police officials there.

Libra’s victory celebrations

Mr Rajbir Singh Padiala, vice-president of the Punjab unit of the SAD, celebrated the victory of Mr Sukhdev Singh Libra from Ropar constituency. He took out a procession through the main bazar of the township in an open Gypsy followed by a motorcade, which finally left for Ropar. Party supporters could be seen dancing at many points in the town in this connection.


Libra got more votes in Kharar segment
Our Correspondent

Mohali, May 13
Mr Sukhdev Singh Libra, SAD candidate for the Lok Sabha seat, got the maximum number of votes in Kharar-69 segment of the Ropar Parliamentary constituency.

Mr Libra won in this segment by a margin of 1503 votes. He secured 46,527 votes while his nearest rival Shamsher Singh Dullo, Congress candidate, got 45,024 votes.

The counting of votes began at 8 a.m. at Shivalik Public School and the work was completed in 13 rounds. Mr Libra was leading in eight rounds. while Dullo was ahead in five rounds.

Me Man Singh Manhera of the BSP secured, 8,466 votes while Mr Bhag Singh Surtapur of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Mann) got 2,438 votes.

Mr Surjan Singh Rahi of the Akali Dal (Taksali) was able to get, 1,299 votes. Among the Independents Mr Sucha Singh secured 371 votes, Mr Lehambar Singh 333 votes and Mr Swinder Singh 263 votes.


Zora Singh tides over rebel factor
Jupinderjit Singh and Anirudh Gupta
Tribune News Service

Ferozepore, May 13
Tiding over the Inderjit Singh Zira factor, the SAD-BJP candidate, Mr Zora Singh Mann, has become the first leader to strike a hat-trick in this parliamentary constituency. He has won for a record third consecutive time. After being neck and neck with Congress candidate Jagmeet Singh Brar in the pre-poll analysis and in several rounds of counting, Mr Mann defeated him by 11,539 votes, one of the lowest victory margins here.

The victory margin would have been bigger had the two sons and a nephew of Mr Mann did not contest the poll as Independent candidates. The contesting of poll by these three had remained a mystery as they were canvassing for Mr Mann and there was no infighting within the family. Mr Mann’s sons, Mr Vardev Singh and Mr Nardev Singh, polled 8,697 and 1819 votes, respectively while his nephew, Mr Gursewak Singh, got 772 votes. The family however lost Rs 30,000 in the bargain as they had to forfeit their security deposit.

As reported earlier in these columns, the outcome of the poll was based more on the spoilsport factor of rebel Akali leader Inderjit Singh Zira and BSP candidate Mohan Singh Phallianwala. While Mr Zira did not do much damage to the SAD-BJP combine as he could secure only 27,941 votes out of which more than 18,000 were in the Zira and the Dharamkot areas, Mr Phallianwala upset all the calculations by securing 1,01921 votes. He took away Dalit and Rai Sikh votes from the Congress kitty.

The voters proved wrong the pre-poll analysis regarding Mr Phallianwala, who, it was estimated, would secure less than 80,000 votes. His performance in the Jalalabad and the Guruharsahai constituencies, where he secured over 57,000 votes, did not allow the Congress to take a winning lead as was being expected.

Infighting within the Congress did not seem to have much effect on the poll outcome as Mr Brar trailed in the Fazilka Assembly constituency. If the Congress high command decides to implement its pre-poll threat of taking the losing Congress MLAs to task, then Dr Mohinder Rinwa will be in trouble. He is said to be closer to the Bhattal camp. He was, however, seen canvassing actively for Mr Brar.

The Congress got a lead in Balluana, Abohar, Jalalabad, Guruharsahai and Ferozepore city but could not get a substantive lead from here to balance the loss in Zira and Dharamkot which have traditionally gone to the Akalis. Mr Mann got an unassailable lead of over 23,000 votes from these places.

The SAD-BJP combine would have do some thinking in the Ferozepore city area where they trailed by almost 4,000 votes. Mr Sukhpal Nannu, BJP MLA from the city, is likely to face the music.

The victory of Mr Mann is also being viewed as a reflection of the NDA’s peace moves with Pakistan. Though the NDA failed to get a majority at the Centre, its policies seem to have gone down well with the people living near the Indo-Pak border.

The announcement of opening the Hussainiwala border by January 1, 2006, by Mr Arun Jaitley few days before the elections also made them swing towards the BJP, it is being said.


Why Bhatia lost to Navjot Sidhu
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 13
Mr Navjot Sidhu, cricketer-turned-commentator-turned-politician, who was initially dubbed as a political novice and an outsider by his Congress rival, Mr R.L. Bhatia, won the Parliamentary seat from this border constituency with a margin of over 1 lakh votes as the latter had failed to contribute much for his constituency even though he had won from here for a record six times.

Mr Bhatia, who had a stint as the Minister of state for Foreign Affairs and also enjoyed top slots in different fields being an MP, was reported to more interested in foreign affairs than nurturing his own constituency.

Mr Bhatia had launched his election campaign much earlier as the BJP had taken a long time in announcing the candidature of Mr Sidhu. But he could not garner much support from voters this time due to his “non-performance” in the past.

Second factor which led to the defeat of Mr Bhatia was the ‘Soni factor’. Mr Om Parkash Soni, Chairman, Punjab Agro, and Independent MLA, who had joined the Congress at behest of Capt Amarinder Singh, did not support Mr Bhatia.

Despite public announcements that Mr Soni would actively campaign for the party’s candidate, Capt Amarinder Singh failed to convince him to support Mr Bhatia.

The CPI, which has considerable influence in Amritsar, also did not campaign for Mr Bhatia. Earlier, Mr Bhatia had not campaigned for the CPI candidate from Amritsar during the Assembly elections.


Access to people is Atwal’s priority
Our Correspondent

Phagwara, May 13
Mr Charanjit Singh Atwal, who won the Phillaur (Reserved) Lok Sabha seat as the joint SAD-BJP-BKU candidate today, told this correspondent here that a direct access to his constituents, development of education and Bet areas and the completion of unfinished projects would be among his priorities.

Thanking the voters and supporters, the Atwal family said issues related to the youth would also be addressed.

Mr Atwal is the first SAD candidate to win a from Phillaur. It is a traditional Congress citadel. In between, it had also been won by CPM, Bahujan Samaj Morcha and BSP.

Mr Atwal is BA L.L.B and was a schoolteacher before becoming an advocate. His first political stint as MLA from Dakha was in 1977-1980. Then he became MP from Ropar from 1985-89 and MLA from Kum Kalan from 1997-2002. He was Deputy Leader of the SAD Parliamentary group in the Lok Sabha, Speaker of the Punjab Assembly and Vice-Chairman, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association of 54 countries.

Meanwhile, perturbed over the fall of her bastion, Mrs Santosh Chowdhary, two-time Congress MP from Phillaur rued that it was a sin to serve with honesty. Though bowing before the “fatwa” of the people, a saddened Chowdhary asserted that she had worked on merit for the people of the constituency by rising above party politics. “I had left no stone unturned for the development of the constituency and topped all MPs of Punjab in the thirteenth Lok Sabha by spending 99.17% of my MPLAD fund,” she said.

Mrs Sonia Gandhi, AICC President, had addressed an election rally for Mrs Chowdhary here on May 3 but the inner contradictions of the Congress proved costly her. Her father-in-law, the late Chowdhary Sunder Singh had also represented Phillaur seat twice. Her husband Chowdhary Ram Lubhata is MLA from Sham Chaurasi, an Assembly segment of Phillaur.

“Though I have lost, it is an achievement that I had got 1,60,000 votes,” said Mr Pawan Kumar Tinu, BSP candidate from Phillaur. In the last Lok Sabha poll the BSP had got 94,000 votes. This time they had improved, claimed Mr Tinu while commenting upon his defeat.

Thanking the voters, Mr Tinu declared that the BSP would continue to struggle for achieving its mission of Dalit upsurge and empowerment.


Poll staff not paid honorarium
Tribune News Service

Bathinda, May 13
Even as the results of this Parliamentary constituency have been declared, several polling officials, including some Class-I officers, have not been paid honorarium by the returning officer.

In a written complaint to the State Election Commission, these officials, including 14 Class-1 officers, have alleged that the authorities concerned had not paid heed to their grievances.

The officials, belonging to various departments of the state government, had been assigned poll duties by the Deputy Commissioner-cum-Returning Officer. They had attended compulsory rehearsals also.

Mr K.A.P. Sinha,Returning Officer, when contacted said he was not aware that officials had not been paid honorarium.

Information gathered by TNS revealed that the district authorities had not received the grant to making the payments. Payments would be made whenever the grants were received, said an official. Interestingly, many employees, who had performed poll duties during the zila parishad and block samiti elections during 2002 have also not been paid the promised honorarium till date.


Destitute kids trust in thick of controversy
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 13
The Bhai Dharam Singh Khalsa Trust, established for destitute children, is again in the eye of the storm. The police is keeping a close watch on the working of the trust after its name figured in the preliminary interrogation of four associates of the Babbar Khalsa, who were arrested by the Majitha police yesterday. The trust is being run for children of slain terrorists.

Mr R.P.S. Bajwa, SSP, said that during the interrogation the four accused had disclosed that Ms Sandip Kaur, wife of Dharam Singh Kashtiwal, a slain terrorist of the Babbar Khalsa, was working as a conduit of Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) chief Wadhawa Singh Babbar and recieving funds from him for running the trust.

Earlier, when she was running the trust in Patiala, the police had reportedly registered a number of cases against her. However, she had refuted the allegations.

According the SSP, Ms Sandeep Kaur was motivating gang memners to revive militancy in Punjab. He also alleged that she was in touch with the Babbar Khalsa chief and had provided arms to the accused. He also alleged that she had arranged the marriage of a terrorist’s sister Darshan Singh, a militant.

The orphanage has over 100 children, mostly girls who were provided free education, uniforms, food and accommodation by the trust. The trust is operating from a rented house in the the Dashmesh Avenue locality near Guru Nanak Dev University.

Reacting against the claims of the Majitha police, Ms Sandeep Kaur said if she was getting funds from Wadhawa Singh, she did not had to ask anyone for donations. Ms Sandeep Kaur said the trust did not even have beds for children.

She denied knowing any one of the militants arrested by the police and said she said had only attended the marriage of Darshan Singh and not arranged it.

Ms Sawinder Kaur, a worker in the trust, lamented that the police was unnecessarily harassing them.

“We are not affiliated to any political party. We lost our dear ones in terrorism. How can we allow our children to follow the same path”, she questioned.


PSGPC publishes material on Pak gurdwaras
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 13
The Pakistan Sikh Gurdwara Parbandak Committee (PSGPC) has published diaries, the Nanakshahi calendar, a table diary and a booklet on Sikh shrines in its country. Mr Harpal Singh Bhuller, president of the international Bhai Mardana Yadgari Kirtan Darbar Society said this after receiving the calendar and other paraphernalia from the PSGPC today.

The PSGPC had come into existence in 1999. The SGPC under the presidentship of Bibi Jagir Kaur debarred jathas from visiting Sikh shrines in Pakistan. The fact that the PSGPC was headed by a Muslim and would manage the funds offered to gurdwaras did not go well with the SGPC as it wanted control over the Pakistan gurdwaras. The next SGPC president, however, lifted the ban.


Unbundling not to affect employees, assures PSEB Secretary
Our Correspondent

Patiala, May 13
A deputation of the PSEB S/C Power Engineers and Officers Association today met the Secretary PSEB, Ms Jaspreet Talwar, in connection with the unbundling of the board and its impact on the service conditions of SC officers and reservation policy.

The president of the association, Mr S.K. Paul, said at present they were posted in disproportionate strengths in various wings of the board and added that they apprehended the change in their inters-seniority after the formation of companies as had been done in the case of erstwhile Haryana State Electricity Board. Ms Talwar assured them that there would not be any change in their inters-seniority.


Air Marshal Tyagi visits Air Force station
Tribune News Service

Bhisiana (Bathinda), May 13
Air Marshal S.P. Tyagi, AOC-in-C, WAC, today visited various operational units and formations at the local Air Force station. The Air Marshal also saw the recently inducted operational equipments at the base.

In press note issued here today, Sqn Ldr Sudhir Ayachit, station PRO, said Air Marshal Tyagi, who arrived today on his two-day visit, accompanied by his wife, Mrs Vandana Tyagi, president, Air Force Wives Welfare Association (Regional).

He also took an aerial survey of the base in a micro- light aircraft and flew a sortie in a MIG-21 aircraft.

The Air Marshal interacted with all personnel at different levels and exhorted them to maintain complete operational preparedness to meet any future challenge.


Police makes no headway in Kharar firing case
Our Correspondent

Kharar, May 13
The police has made no headway in the case of firing in which an SAD worker was injured on the day of elections at Dabali village, about 10 km from here.

Mr Pritpal Singh was shot at and seriously injured by two scooter-borne persons while he was distributing poll slips near a polling station set up at Dabali village.

The injured had lodged a complaint with the police against three persons of the village. They were Gurnam Singh, alias Gama, Surinder Singh and Charan Singh.

Mr Jasdev Singh, DSP, said today that no arrests in the case had been made so far.

The doctors attending on Pritpal Singh had said a lung of Mr Pritpal Singh had been pierced in the attack.


Posting orders issued
Our High Court Correspondent

Chandigarh, May 13
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has issued posting orders of 46 recently appointed Punjab Civil Service (Judicial) officers as Civil Judge (Junior Division)-cum-Judicial Magistrate in various parts of Punjab.

According to information, some transfers have also been carried out.

Mr Pushwinder Singh has been transferred from Amritsar to Patti. Mr Roshan Lal Chauhan has been shifted from Faridkot to Moga. Ms Mandeep Kaur has been transferred from Ferozepore to Abohar while Ms Rajwinder Kaur has been posted from Hoshiarpur to Dasuya.

Mr Lalit Kumar Singla has been transferred from Jalandhar to Phillaur while Mr Krishan Kumar Bansal has been transferred from Jalandhar to Nakodar. Mr Satpal has been posted to Rajpura from Patiala.

Among the new appointees, Mr Tejinder Bir Singh has been posted at Jalandhar, Mr Amarinder Singh at Ropar, Mr Gopal Arora at Fatehgarh Sahib, Ms Jagdeep Kaur at Bathinda, Mr Hira Singh at Bathinda, Mr Gurnam Singh Dhillon at Jalandhar and Mr Arun Kumar at Ropar.

The other new appointees include Mr Krishan Kumar Singla (Ludhiana), Mr Vijay Kumar (Faridkot), Mr Kamaljeet Singh (Jalandhar), Ms Lakhwinder Kaur (Patiala), Mr Shatin Goyal (Ludhiana), Mr Rajneesh (Patiala), Mr Daljeet Singh (Amritsar), Mr Tarn Taran Singh (Amritsar), Ms Manisha Jain (Patiala), Mr Avtar Singh (Hoshiarpur), Mr Balwinder Kumar (Bathinda), Ms Rajwinder Kaur (Ludhiana), Mr Revdeep Singh (Sangrur), Mr Sumit Ghai (Amritsar), Mr Manoj Kumar (Ludhiana), Mr Parminder Singh (Amritsar), Mr Krishan Kant Jain (Ludhiana), Mr Shiv Mohan Garg (Amritsar), Ms Sonia Kinra (Patiala), Mr Randheer Verma (Jalandhar), Ms Sangeeta (Ferozepore), Mr Deepak Kumar Chaudhary (Jalandhar), Mr Puneet Mohan (Ferozepore), Mr Charanjit Arora (Gurdaspur) and Ms Rajni Chhokra (Ludhiana).


Fake currency seized, two held
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, May 13
The Ajnala police under Majitha police district seized Rs 23,000 in fake currency and arrested two persons in this regard here today. The police has also seized a .12-bore double-barrel gun and 250 gm of opium from one of the accused.

The accused have been identified as Daljinder Singh, alias Jinda, a resident of Rattoke village, and Gurlal Singh, a village under the Khemkarn police station in Tarn Taran. The police has registered a case under Sections 489A, 489B and 489C of the IPC, 25, 54, 59 of the Arms Act and 18, 61, 85 of Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.

Mr R.P.S. Bajwa, SSP, Majitha, told this correspondent that Ajnala police got information that Daljinder Singh used to smuggle fake currency from Pakistan and was coming to Ajnala. The police laid a naka and arrested the accused with fake notes of Rs 12,000. The police also recovered .12 double-barrel gun along with 10 and 11 live cartridges of .12 bore and .9MM respectively besides 250 grams of opium.

The police conducted a raid and nabbed Gurlal Singh, another accomplice of Daljinder near Bohria village under Tarn Taran police district. Fake currency of Rs 11,000 was seized from him.


Employee caught taking bribe
Our Correspondent

Jalandhar, May 13
An employee of the Punjab Waqf Board today was allegedly caught accepting a bribe of Rs 1500 for clearing the case of a Mukerian farmer.

Mr Tulsi Ram, Senior Superintendent of Police (Vigilance), in a press note issued here today revealed that Daljit Singh of Mansoorpur village in Mukerian, in his complaint, alleged that Amir Hassan, who was posted in the Rent Collector Office of the Board at Dasuha was demanding Rs 1500 for clearing his file.

A trap was laid and Amir Hassan was caught red- handed in the presence of shadow witnesses. A case under various Sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act has been registered.


4-year-old girl killed
Our Correspondent

Abohar, May 13
A four-year girl was killed and her body thrown in the shrubs here last evening. Sources said some boys playing cricket near the office of the Market Committee in the Grain Market here spotted a bag lying near the shrubs. The victim could not be identified, initial reports said.


Theft in nurses’ hostel

Amritsar, May 13
A theft case was reported in a hostel for nurses here today. The complaint was registered by two nurses, who were on the night duty at the time of the theft.

However, no case has been registered as the hostel authorities have not yet given the details of the stolen articles to the police. — OC


Computer applications made compulsory
Our Correspondent

Patiala, May 13
Punjabi University has taken a landmark decision to introduce computer applications as a compulsory subject for all BA and B.Sc. students from the coming academic session.

An official statement said following the recommendations of the College Development Council and Principals’ Conference, a committee comprising Dean Academic Affairs, Dean College Development Council, Registrar, Principal, Government Mohindra College, Government College for Women, Guru Nanak College, Budhlada, and Dr G.S. Lehal, Professor, Computer Science Department met yesterday under the chairmanship of Vice-Chancellor Swarn Singh Boparai. The meeting decided to implement the recommendations of the above bodies for introducing this subject. The other modalities for the above programme were also worked out by the committee, especially constituted for this purpose.

Mr Boparai said with the introduction of computer applications as a compulsory subject, the students of Punjabi University would now be ahead of students of other universities in the region. By virtue of their exposure and compulsory training in the field of computer applications, the students will be prepared for coping with new challenges and requirements of the job market. This move would create about 300 posts of lecturers in computer science in affiliated colleges, he added.

Students will now study six subjects at the degree level. The three compulsory subjects will be English, Punjabi and computer applications.


Painting exhibition on philosophy of Gurbani
Our Correspondent

Patiala, May 13
To commemorate the 400th Parkash Utsav of Sri Guru Granth Sahib, students of the Fine Arts Department of Punjabi University organised an exhibition of paintings on the philosophy of Gurbani ‘Reservoir of the pious souls’ here today.

The exhibition was inaugurated by Vice-Chancellor Swarn Singh Boparai. Appreciating the artistic vision and spiritual sense of the concept, he said these panoramic compositions were the translations and transformations of mentally and emotionally absorbed subjects.

According to Dr Saroj Sharma of the Fine Arts Department, Gurbani, the spiritual poetry, has holy music in its compositions and the paintings are the celebrations and festivities of the forms. These countless melodies and visions of the silent mind express the struggle of the soul and the body for liberation. The radiance of faith in the holy preceptor removes the illusion from the artist’s mind and he paints his canvas to dive in the ocean of tranquility. These lyrical, profoundly-beautiful and sensitively-felt paintings are the dialogue between the mystical world of the artist and the outer world.

Dr Anil Narula, Dean and Head of the Fine Arts Department, said the exhibition which had 34 paintings based on Gurbani conceptualised and prepared by the students of the Fine Arts Department would be exhibited till May 18.


Thapar graduate clears Civil Services exam
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 13
Asra Garg, a resident of Patiala, and a graduate from the Thapar Institute of Engineering and Technology, has cleared the Civil Services examination this year. He told the TNS here today that his parents cherished the desire of their son becoming a civil servant.

Asra’s father is a professor at Government Mohindra College, Patiala, while the mother is a school lecturer at Kalyan. He owes his success to his parents' motivation.


Mr, Miss CMTR declared at farewell party
Our Correspondent

Kharar, May 13
A farewell function was organised by first-year students of the Centre for Management, Training and Research (CMTR) here.

Dance items, songs and skits were performed by students to entertain the outgoing class. Titles were given to each student of the outgoing class who were later presented momentoes.

A contest for declaring Mr and Miss CMTR was also organised which comprised various questions-and-answer rounds. While Ms Simrit Jagdev was crowned Miss CMTR, Mr Suneet Sharma was crowned Mr CMTR.

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