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PM’s visit an election stunt, says Badal
Saiflabad (Sultanpur Lodhi), September 9
The Shiromani Akali Dal chief, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, termed the proposed visit of the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, to Punjab later this month as an election stunt.
SAD chief Parkash Singh Badal, Mr Navjot Singh Sidhu, BJP MP and Dr Upinderjit Kaur, MLA from Sultanpur Lodhi during a party rally at Saifalabad village in Kapurthala district SAD chief Parkash Singh Badal (R), Mr Navjot Singh Sidhu, BJP MP (C) and Dr Upinderjit Kaur, MLA from Sultanpur Lodhi during a party rally at Saifalabad village in Kapurthala district on Saturday.
— Tribune photo by Pawan Sharma

Badal, Bibi meet Balbir
Jalandhar, September 9
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and former SGPC chief, Bibi Jagir Kaur, held a meeting with Mr Balbir Singh, member, Political Affairs Committee, here today.



EARLIER STORIES

Youth hostel in limbo for 17 years
Jalandhar, September 9
Nearly 17 years ago a plan to set up a youth hostel in the district was approved by the state government. The project is yet to materialise. It has fallen in the political and bureaucratic no man’s land.

3 missing from seva kendra
Phagwara, September 9
Mystery shrouds the disappearance of three youths getting religious education from a local Seva Simran Kendra here today.

Problems for service providers
Jalandhar, September 9
The newly appointed Service Providers (Doctors) at rural dispensaries are upset over the Health Department’s apathy.

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PM’s visit an election stunt, says Badal
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Saiflabad (Sultanpur Lodhi), September 9
The Shiromani Akali Dal chief, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, termed the proposed visit of the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, to Punjab later this month as an election stunt.

Addressing a public gathering at Saiflabad village in the Sultanpur Lodhi Assembly constituency today morning, Mr Badal said the Prime Minister’s visit to the state was an attempt to attract electors as he was scheduled to lay foundation stones of some developmental projects right before the Assembly elections.

Former Punjab Chief Minister said if Mr Manmohan Singh was sincere about the development of the state, then he would have laid the foundation stones earlier and not before the elections.

Terming the Congress anti-Punjab party, Mr Badal alleged that it had done nothing for the people of the state. It was responsible for the Operation Bluestar and the anti Sikh-riots in 1984.

Mr. Badal said two former non-Congress Prime Ministers – Mr Inder Kumar Gujral and Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee - had done much for the state.

While Mr Gujral had waived the Punjab loan, Mr Vajpayee gave Rs 100 crore for the tercentenary celebrations of the Khalsa.

Mr Badal alleged that price of essential commodities had increased manifold during Capt Amarinder Singh’s rule. Rates of petroleum products and pesticides had also jumped while the minimum support price (MSP) for wheat and paddy was not increased accordingly.

The SAD chief said instead of starting new public-oriented schemes, Capt Amarinder Singh government withdrew the Shagun scheme, where Dalit families were given Rs 5,100 for the marriage of their daughters.

Mr. Badal appealed to the public to vote again for former minister, Dr Upinder Jit Kaur from the Sultanpur Lodhi constituency.

Mr Navjot Singh Sidhu, BJP MP, in his traditional style, said as he used to hit the ball for a six now the public should hit Capt Amarinder Singh’s government for a six.

He said under the Congress government, the loan on Punjab had increased to Rs 62,000 crore from Rs 26,000 crore.

The Sultanpur Lodhi MLA, Dr Upinder Jit Kaur, former SGPC chief, Bibi Jagir Kaur, and SAD district chief, Mr Raghbir Singh, also spoke on the occasion. Later, Mr Badal and Mr Sidhu addressed public rallies at Tibba Mandi, Paramjitpur and Dalla Mandi under the Sultanpur Lodhi constituency.

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Badal, Bibi meet Balbir
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, September 9
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) President, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, and former SGPC chief, Bibi Jagir Kaur, held a meeting with Mr Balbir Singh, member, Political Affairs Committee, here today.

Akali leaders were tightlipped about it but party sources said Mr Badal discussed the party’s future strategy and sought suggestions to improve the performance in the Doaba region in the forthcoming Assembly elections.

The meeting is considered crucial as rumours were rife in the recent past that Mr Balbir Singh was going to re-join the Congress after the PPCC chief, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, and other senior Congress leaders met him two months back.

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Youth hostel in limbo for 17 years
Deepkamal Kaur
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, September 9
Nearly 17 years ago a plan to set up a youth hostel in the district was approved by the state government. The project is yet to materialise. It has fallen in the political and bureaucratic no man’s land.

It is the bone of contention between the Municipal Corporation, Jalandhar and CPWD, construction agency. Not only that, but egos of politicians also hit the project.

There was a ray of hope when Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, then Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports, laid the foundation stone for its inauguration at Burlton Park on April 7, 2003. There has been no headway since.

Land measuring one acre was earmarked for the project and a grant of Rs 36.75 lakh has already been received by the CPWD, construction agency, from the Government of India.

According to sources, there has been a tiff over the construction work. The lease deed had been executed by the Municipal Corporation, so its officials wanted the construction work be handed over to it instead of the CPWD.

Since, the changeover could not be possible, the Municipal Corporation cancelled the lease deed once. It was later withdrawn after the matter was brought to the notice of the Secretary, Local Bodies.

The MC officials then asked the CPWD to get the construction drawings passed. The necessary fee of Rs 70,000 is said to have been deposited by the CPWD with the MC but the case is still pending.

Sources also revealed that the local MC officials were not taking interest as the stone erected at the site was by Mr Kang, who was in the rival faction of the party from Ch Jagjit Singh, Minister for Local Bodies. Since the stone also does not bear the name of any local minister or Mayor or MC official, the project has been put on the back burner.

With abundant youth activities in cultural and sports meets, the need for the hostel is felt. Officials said many times programmes involving night stay had to be cancelled for lack of provision to accommodate youth from distant places.

Recently, there also has been a proposal to shift the site near the hockey ground. The existing site which falls on the main road is a prime location which the MC officials want to take back and instead allot land somewhere in the interior of the park.

Mr S.S. Johl, Commissioner, MC, could not be contacted for his comments.

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3 missing from seva kendra
Tribune News Service

Phagwara, September 9
Mystery shrouds the disappearance of three youths getting religious education from a local Seva Simran Kendra here today.

According to sources, brothers, Ajit Singh and Narender Singh, along with Harpal, residents of Dehra Dun, were getting training to perform religious congregations from the kendra located at Gurdwara Bhai Kanhaiya Ji for the past one year.

Brijpal Singh, father of Ajit Singh and Narender Singh and Mam Chand, fathers of and Harpal, who reached Phagwara yesterday evening, said their sons had left for Phagwara on Thursday after a week’s holiday at their homes in Dehra Dun. Brijpal Singh said his sons telephoned him that night, saying they had arrived safely.

Brijpal said that he later called his sons at about 10 pm at the Kendra; he was told the trio had not reached the centre.

Brijpal Singh and Mam Chand, lodged a complaint with the Phagwara police regarding disappearance of their sons.

The fathers, with the help of kendra authorities, searched the local railway station and bus stand. The Railway police had also been informed about the disappearance.

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Problems for service providers

Jalandhar, September 9
The newly appointed Service Providers (Doctors) at rural dispensaries are upset over the Health Department’s apathy.

The service providers of Nawanshahar, Hoshiarpur, and Kapurthala districts held a meeting here yesterday presided over by Dr Aslam Parvez, president, Rural Medical Service Providers’ Association. He said the government was giving a step-motherly treatment to them as they were recruited on contract. Absence of ‘decent service’ conditions make it difficult for them to work properly, he added. — TNS

 

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