C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S

22 first-timers win in Mohali poll
Many stalwarts fall; turnout 71 per cent
Kulwinder Sangha

An old woman being taken to a polling booth in Mohali on Sunday.
An old woman being taken to a polling booth in Mohali on Sunday.
— Tribune photo by Vicky Gharu

Mohali, July 30
Voters set the seal on change by toppling stalwarts among former councillors and ushering in 22 new faces in the municipal elections held here today.

The polling remained peaceful with the voter turnout at a surprising 71 per cent for a town which, by and large, showed indifference to the electioneering. Allegations and counter-allegations by contestants and their supporters marked the day. 

It was a day of shocks as many a candidate in the hotly contested poll to the 31-seat Municipal Council turned out to be a dark horse, sweeping away erstwhile councillors who were almost sure of scoring a hat trick of wins in civic elections here.

Winners and nearest rivals

The following are the wardwise results (number of votes got by the winner and the nearest rival in brackets).

Ward 1: Kiran Bansal (737); and Gurbachan K. Nanda (355).
Ward 2: Rajinder Prasad (710); and Jaswinder Singh (530).
Ward 3: Bharat Bhushan Maini (1,744); and Mohinder Chopra (716).
Ward 4: Manjit Kaur (857); and Indu Sehgal (542).
Ward 5: Gurmukh Singh (1,124); and Ravinderjit Singh (1,011).
Ward 6: Rajinder Singh (1,634); and Amrik Singh (1,071).
Ward 7: Gurpreet Kaur (963); and Amarpal Kaur (919).
Ward 8 Harmanpreet Singh (1,072); and N.K. Marwaha (868).
Ward 9: Gian Chand Aggrawal (549); and J.S. Gujral (358).
Ward 10: Harvinder Kaur (1,033); and Ginder Kaur (720).
Ward 11: Phoolraj Singh (1,188); and Nirmal Kaushal (759).
Ward 12: Kuljit Singh (520); and Sarwan Singh (475).
Ward 13: Parkash Wati (583); and Biasa (384).
Ward 14: Mohanbir Singh (859); and Jaswant Singh (641).
Ward 15: Gurnam Bindra Singh (1,158); and Kulwant Singh (1,106).
Ward 16: Amteshwar Kaur (1,254); and Rajinder Kaur (471).
Ward 17: Amrik Singh (1,341); and Kulwant Singh (1,113).
Ward 18: Sukhminder Singh (825); and Harbhajan Lal (611).
Ward 19: Raj Rani (473); and Ranjana (444).
Ward 20: Rishiv Jain (547); and Balwinder Singh (505).
Ward 21: Gurmeet Singh Walia (967); and Surinder Singh (333).
Ward 22: Prabhjot Kaur Sodhi (799); and Sukhwant Kaur (713).
Ward 23: Paramjit Singh (1,478); and Gurinder Singh (438).
Ward 24: Mukandi Singh (1,077); and Sukhdev Singh (880).
Ward 25: Baljit Kaur (668); and Pritam Devi (410).
Ward 26: Harpal Singh (1,059); Paramdeep Singh (807).
Ward 27: Kuljit Singh Bedi (1,155); and Surjit Singh (769).
Ward 28: Kuldeep Kaur (839); and Usha Rani (522).
Ward 29: Suresh Kumar (665); and Lakhwinder Singh (407).
Ward 30: Amrik Singh (818); and Balraj Singh (499).
Ward 31: Usha Rani (847); and Daljit Kaur (596).

As the results of the elections were declared tonight, anxious candidates and their supporters, who had thronged the main building of the council in Sector 68, heard in near disbelief that none of the five two-time civic poll winners — Mr Kulwant Singh, former council chief, Mr N.K. Marwaha , Mr Amrik Singh Mohali, Ms Indu Sehgal and Ms Manmohan Kaur — made it to the prestigious council.

As many as 22 first-timers triumphed. Mr Gian Chand Aggrawal, who had at one time remained a councillor but was not in the previous civic body, was also victorious. As many as 10 councillors in the previous House met their Waterloo in the poll.

Among the victorious candidates were Mr Gurnam Bindra Singh (Ward 15), Mr Kuljit Singh Bedi (Ward 27), Mr Rajinder Singh (Ward 6); Mr Phool Raj Singh (Ward11); Mr Bharat Bhushan Maini (Ward 3).

Of the 46 women candidates who set out to make their mark in the poll arena, 11 were pitch-forked by voters into the new House of the council.

A newcomer to Ward 15 and sole rival to Mr Kulwant Singh, Mr Gurnam Bindra Singh, crossed the finishing line, ahead by a mere 52 votes. Mr Kulwant Singh secured 1,106 votes against his rival’s 1,158 votes. It was a close win by a contestant reportedly backed by Congress leaders.

In Ward 6 there appears to have been a split in votes as neither Ms Manmohan Kaur nor Mr Amrik Singh Mohali had agreed to withdraw in the other’s favour despite an appeal by leaders of the Shiromani Akali Dal. The seat went to Mr Rajinder Singh, who garnered 1,634 votes. His nearest rival, Mr Amrik Singh Mohali, obtained 1,071 votes.

Among the other prominent losers were Mr Ghansham (Ward 2), Mr Surjit Singh Garewal (Ward 27) and Ms Daljit Kaur (Ward 31).

An interesting win was by a husband wife duo, Mr Rishiv Jain (Ward 20) and Ms Raj Rani (Ward 19).

Nine councillors in the previous civic body did not contest the poll this time.

Although all 125 candidates in the fray contested as Independents for the 31 seats, their political support in many cases was unclear as no party had formally put out a list at the hustings of the candidates it was propping up in the poll. However, political observers said at least six candidates enjoyed the support of the SAD-BJP combine. At least 17 candidates who have found a berth in the new Municipal Council here reportedly had the support of senior Congress leaders. Some winners are likely to be adopted by various parties in a bid to gain power in the council.

Earlier the counting of votes took place at the booths set up in the wards. The results were finally compiled at the council building in Sector 68 and announced by the Electoral Registration Officer-cum-SDM, Mr Sandeep Hans. 



Complaints of bogus voting
Our Correspondent

Mohali, July 30
Complaints of bogus voting were received from various wards in the elections to the local municipal council here today.

As the polling progressed during the day, charges and counter-charges were levelled among candidates and their supporters regarding bogus voting.

At least, eight persons were handed over to the police by poll officials on charges related to bogus voting.

Mr H.S. Nanda, Election Observer, said the polling was more or less peaceful .There were complaints of bogus voting from various wards following which prompt action was taken. There were also complaints from voters that when they arrived to cast their vote, they found that some other person had already done so in their name, he added.

He said in Ward 24, in particular, several complaints were received.

Long queues of voters were seen at many polling booths . Even elderly persons, carrying walking-sticks or assisted by a relative or friend, were seen going towards booths to cast their votes.

A round of various wards by this correspondent showed that till around mid-day nearly 50 per cent polling had been recorded at some booths though at many others the figure was much lower.

Proper arrangements had not been made for the elderly to cast their votes. There were complaints from people that their vehicles were not allowed to go close to the polling area by the police and they were compelled to walk an inconvenient distance in the oppressive heat.

Wheelchairs were also not easy to come by. A voter in Phase 3BI pointed out the poor condition of the wheelchair on which his elderly mother was made to sit .

At some places, voters and candidates’ supporters had parked cars, scooters and other vehicles on the roads, creating a hindrance to traffic.

Five persons who had allegedly come to cast bogus votes were detained at Gian Jyoti Public School ( Ward 6 ) and one at Shivalik Public School (Ward 2) . They were handed over to the police.

In Ward 20, a resident of Kharar, Lakshmi, was prevented by the poll supervisory staff from voting. It is alleged that she wanted to vote in the name of Ms Paramjit Kaur (voter no. 1433) .

In Ward 13, a bogus voter, a resident of Geiga Majra, was detected at a booth set up at government school in Phase IX. He was taken away by the police.

At one of the four booths set up at Gian Jyoti Public School, the number of voters was not much in the morning but picked up after 10.30 a.m. As many as 291 out of 799 votes had been polled till 11 a.m.

At Shastri Model School in Phase I (Ward 3 ), long queues of voters were seen. At a booth in Ward 7 as many as 430 out of 998 votes had been cast till 11.45 a.m. In Ward 15, a surprising 60 per cent polling had been recorded at one of the booths by 1.10 p.m. At booth 61 (Ward 19) set up at Government School in Phase XI as many as 565 out of 1,084 votes had been cast by 12.35 p.m. 



Peaceful polling, 4 held
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 30
The local police got full marks today with the municipal council elections passing off peacefully.

While the police booked and arrested four persons for impersonation, at least 20 others were also picked up following allegations of bogus voting and were being questioned.

A minor spat between candidates was reported from the booth at Gian Jyoti School. Some supporters of a candidate raised slogans during polling at one of the booths.

However, no other untoward incident that breached the peace was reported throughout the day. The police had deployed 528 persons through the township in 100 polling stations for elections to the 31 wards.

However, the police refused to take action against the complaints regarding bogus voting. “We can book a person only when a complaint is given by the presiding officer. The polling agents first complain to the presiding officer who then forwards that complaint to us. We received four complaints from the presiding officers and the impersonators were immediately booked and arrested,” explained Mr Naunihal Singh, SSP, SAS Nagar.

The police has arrested Lakshmi a resident of Kharar, Sandeep, a resident of Phase IX, Parveen, a resident of Ganganagar and Jaswinder Singh, a resident of Chunni Khurd under Sections 171 of the IPC. 



Illegal structures outside
‘lal dora’ to get exemption

Rajmeet Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
In a populist move, the Chandigarh Administration is all set to exempt hundreds of unauthorised structures outside the ‘lal dora’ of 12 villages of Chandigarh from the domain of the Periphery Act.

An enormous exercise to identify such structures before issuing a formal notification was in the final stages, sources told the Chandigarh Tribune. Initially, 12 villages of the total of 18 villages would be given the relief.


Constructions outside the limits of ‘lal dora’ and within a radius of between 300 metres and 500 metres to be exempted from the Periphery Act.

Move to benefit more than 35,000 families.

Major constructions in Hallomajra, Kaimbwala, Daria and Palsora to benefit

Villages to be included in Municipal Corporation in phases.

This move would benefit more than 35,000 families which have constructed houses outside the ‘lal dora’ and on whose heads the Damocles’ sword of the Periphery Act was hanging.

The final modalities like ‘khasra’ numbers to be exempted and planning of the remaining area to “acquired” were being worked out. The planning of the villages was being done as per the projected population of about 3.40 lakh 2021.

For the past over one month, the revenue staff under the guidance of the Deputy Commissioner had been engaged in identifying the area under construction. The entire exercise was kept under wraps.

It is learnt that the ‘pherni’, an area of between 300 metres and 500 metres radius outside the village, would be brought under the new scheme.

The khasra numbers on which the unauthorised construction was more than 50 per cent would be left out during acquisition and the remaining areas which had less construction would be acquired. “The other structures on acquired land could be left out under Section 5 A of the Land Acquisition Act. But it would only be after the notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act,” said an official.

A senior official said the villages would be included in the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (CMC) in phases. Apart from residential units, structures housing shops and factories would also benefit.

Though there was no planning on the area to be acquired, the Administration would require lakhs of rupees to acquire the land which could be about 1000 acres.

Sources said a similar scheme was drafted during the tenure of a previous UT Administrator, Lt Gen J.F.R. Jacob (retd) but it did not mature as then the Member of Parliament (MP) did not have an upper hand in the decision making.

It could not be confirmed whether any development charges would be levied for regularising the constructions. The Administrator’s sub-group on ‘development of villages’ has suggested that a proper scheme should be evolved for the development of areas outside the village ‘phirnis’.

The ‘lal doras’ have been frozen since the 1950s when the consolidation or ‘chak bandi’ was carried out. In Chandigarh, rapid urbanisation and paucity of land forced lower middle class people to build homes in areas outside the ‘lal dora’. Interestingly, had the ‘lal dora’ been extended, the cost of development would have to be borne by the Administration.



New directions issued on
Senior Citizens Savings Scheme

Ruchika M. Khanna
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The Ministry of Finance has now issued directions that senior citizens, who are Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) cardholders, cannot invest in the Senior Citizens Saving Scheme, 2004, even if they are income tax assessees in India.

The ministry, on recommendations of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), has also said that the Income Tax Department cannot recover the tax under this scheme from the banks, if the depositor has already paid the tax.

The new directions clarify that the senior citizens (PIO) cannot even become joint account holders under this scheme, though they can become nominees. However, these nominees cannot continue the account in case of death of the depositor.

These directions were issued after a PIO cardholder had expressed her desire to invest in the scheme, and the Department of Posts had referred the case to the Ministry of Finance.

The ministry has also said that in cases where the depositors have already paid the income tax for the years (2004-05 and 2005-06) as advance tax or self assessment tax, this tax cannot be recovered by the Income Tax Department from the banks. However, this would hold true only in those cases where the depositors have furnished evidence of tax deduction at the banks.

It may be noted that earlier the Income Tax authorities had directed the banks to pay the tax along with the interest and penalty for those senior citizen depositors ( whose income is taxable), even if they have not deducted the tax.

Under this scheme, the depositors are exempt from tax if the aggregate amount of interest credited / paid during a financial year is not more than Rs 1 lakh (for male) and Rs 1. 35 lakh (for females). It was earlier clarified that senior citizen depositors who did not have a taxable income can furnish a declaration form Form 15 H ( if the depositor's age is 65 years or above) and Form 15 G (if the depositor is less than 65 years of age). 



Panel to take up Mahajan’s plea on plot conversion
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The application for the conversion of plot No. 115, Industrial Area, submitted by BJP local unit president Yash Pal Mahajan has neither been accepted nor rejected by the Chandigarh Administration.

The application will come up for consideration in the next meeting of the screening committee.

Following the controversy regarding the plot being resumed, the Chandigarh Administration had sought a detailed report on the status of the site.

A senior official in the administration said the plot for which Mr Mahajan had applied for conversion was never resumed in 1985 and the building on the plot did not conform with the laws.

While perusing the case of violations against the plot, the Estate Office had inadvertently mentioned it as plot No. 215, which never existed. The orders of the Estate Office were never withdrawn.

After this, the case was put on the back burner. The officer concerned was transferred and the error was never corrected.

This meant that the Estate Office never initiated resumption proceedings against plot No. 115.

Deputy Commissioner R.K. Rao confirmed that plot No. 115 was never resumed and report regarding the same had been sent to the administration.

Mr Mahajan said the site was never resumed. “My application has been considered and I have got the confirmation from the administration,” he claimed.

He further said since the entire building was being demolished, there was no question of any violation.



Baba Balak Nath Mandal office-bearers
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
A general body meeting of Shri Sidh Baba Balak Nath Seva Mandal Sector 29-A, was held here today. Its office-bearers were elected unanimously under the chairmanship of Mr Parshottam Dass Mahajan.

Its governing body office bearers are : president - Mr R.P. Chhokar; vice-president - Mr Lachhaman Dass; general secretary - Mr S N Prasher; Assistant general secretary - Mr Ujjaggar Ram Musafer; organising secretary - Mr Chaman lal, propaganda secretary - Mr V K Chadha; treasurer - Mr O P Gupta and auditor - Mr Sat Dev Sood.

Its executive body members are: Mr Mangat Ram Sharma, Mr Murari lal, Mr Prem Chand Sharma, Mr Ram Parkash, Mr Romesh Sachdeva, Mr Kamlesh Chander Patpatia, Mr J S Rana, Mr Gurdev Singh Rana and Mr Daljit Singh.



Manch plants saplings
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
The local Uttarakhand Yuva Manch today commemorated its 13th foundation day by planting more than 100 saplings of different species at Chaudhary Bhopal Singh Stadium, Sector 45, here.

Mr Vijay Rana, councillor of Ward No. 10, inaugurated the plantation programme by planting a sapling of ‘‘Ashoka’’. Mr Rana lauded the efforts of organisation in creating environmental awareness among the masses. Mr Rana highlighted the consequences of global warming and ever decreasing groundwater table.

General secretary of the organisation Mohan Singh Thapliyal said the manch would continue with its steps to protect environment.

Mr Praveen Rawat, president of the manch, was also present.



Kumaon Sabha plants saplings
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
To help promote awareness among people to plant more trees to keep the City Beautiful clean and pollution free the local chapter of the Kumaon Sabha, planted more than 100 saplings on the premises of Government High School, Khudda Lahora, and Government Model Middle School, Khuda Jassu here today.

Hundreds of women volunteers took part in this noble cause, according to the president of the sabha.

Later while addressing a gathering, Mr Ravi Grover, Principal, Govt High School, Khudda Lahora, and Ms Swaran Kaur, Sarpanch, exhorted the people to set an example by contributing to the cause and keep the environment free from pollution.



40 mobiles stolen from shop
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 30
Thieves decamped with 40 mobile phones after breaking into a shop in Sector 22 here on Saturday night.

Mr Manpreet Singh of City Portrait, Sector 22, lodged a complaint reporting the theft of the mobile phones. He told the police that the theft came to light this morning when he went to open his shop and found the locks broken. He informed the police and soon a police team reached. The police called forensic and Central Forensic Science Laboratory experts to examine the spot.

A case of theft was registered in this regard.

PO held

The police arrested a proclaimed offender (PO), Dalip Kumar, of Milk Colony, Dhanas, from the city following information on Saturday. He was declared PO by a local court in 2002, after he remained elusive following the registration of a criminal case on November 20, 2002.

Held with ganja

The police arrested Ram Barg Patil of Kaimbwala village from a road leading to the village on the allegation of carrying 4 kg of ganja on Saturday. A case under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act was registered in this regard.

Held with smack

The police arrested Radhy Shyam of Maloya Colony on Saturday from near the cremation ground in Sector 25 while allegedly carrying 4 gm of smack. A case under Section 21 of the NDPS Act was registered.

Motor cycle stolen

Mr Subhash Kumar of Police Colony, Sector 26, reported to the police alleging that his Bajaj Pulsar motor cycle (CH-03-V-8037) was stolen from Sector 19. A case of theft was registered.


The police on Sunday arrested Rinku of Bhaskar Colony, Sector 25, for allegedly indulging in gambling at a public place. The police recovered Rs 750 from his possession.

In another incident, Raju of Hallo Majra village was held from near his residence on the allegations of gambling on Saturday. The police recovered Rs 3500 from him.

Two separate cases under the Gambling Act were registered in the Sector 11 and Sector 31 police stations in this regard.



Body found

Chandigarh, July 30
The body of a 70-year-old unidentified woman beggar was found at a bus stop in Industrial Area here this afternoon. The police ruled out the possibility of foul play terming it to be a case of natural death.

Giving details, sources said the body, reportedly, bore no visible injury marks. A police officer inspecting the spot said, “Though the exact cause of death could only be ascertained after the post-mortem, in all probability it seemed that the woman might have died of old age following some ailment.”

According to eye-witnesses, the woman was seen roaming in the area. She used to sleep at the bus stop. Meanwhile, the police has initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC. TNS



1 held for firing at ‘ahata’ owner
Tribune News Service

Mohali, July 30
The police has booked two persons for allegedly trying to kill a person yesterday. One of the accused Manjit Singh has been arrested.

According to the police, the complainant Krishan Lal runs an ‘ahata’ and the owner of a neighbouring wine shop, Manjit Singh, a resident of Sector 44, Chandigarh was drinking liquor with another person Surjit Singh there when the incident took place.

The two had an argument over an issue with Krishan Lal. Manjit Singh took out his revolver and began shooting bullets at Krishan Lal threatening him with dire consequences.

A case under Sections 307, 506, 34 of IPC and 25/27/54/59 of the Arms Act has been registered. 



Biz Clips

Air fare: Singapore Airlines has announced special fares from Amritsar to various destinations in South East Asia and Australia. A press note said the airlines was offering tickets on concession for destinations like Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Sydney. TNS

Extended: The State Bank of India has extended its scheme for encouraging the use of ATM-cum-debit cards by a month, till August 15. An press note said under the scheme the cardholders could get cash back incentive by using the cards at merchants establishments at Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula. TNS

Contest: Airtel today announced the launch of “Airtel Daily Maalamal” contest for its prepaid and postpaid subscribers in Punjab. Subscribers can win daily cash prizes as well as a grand prize through the contest. TNS



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