January 25, 2007

Ballot replaces bullet... but the scars remain

Varinder Walia and Gurbaxpuri
Manochahal,(Amritsar),January 24
The ballot has replaced the bullet. Kin of slain militants, who propagated the boycott of the February 1992 elections, have now plunged into electioneering. They now feel that the ballot is the best weapon to bring about a change, not the bullet.

Saurabh Malik and Gurbaxpuri
Tarn Taran, January 24
Peace and tranquility, exterminated by militants in the border villages of Tarn Taran, may have come alive with the restoration of normalcy in the state, but the left-alone victims in the once bullet-ridden areas are still struggling for survival, and their rights.

Sujjan Singh with an amputated hand along with his family at Naushera Dhalla village in Tarn Taran Sujjan Singh with an amputated hand along with his family at Naushera Dhalla village in Tarn Taran — Tribune photo by Pawan Sharma 

Sukhbir Badal is star of Chandumajra poll rally
Moonak (Sangrur), January 24
The SAD candidate for the Lehra Assembly constituency, Mr Prem Singh Chandumajra, filed his nomination papers in the office of the Returning Officer, Mr Zora Singh Thind, here today. His wife Balwinder Kaur also filed her papers.

Badal’s affidavit not displayed
Malout, January 24
Even as the Election Commission is making all-out efforts to ensure free and fair elections in the state, its instructions are being reportedly ignored here.

Mahesh Inder files papers; Lambi gets hot
Malout, January 24
Congress candidate from the high-profile constituency of Lambi Mahesh Inder Singh Badal today filed his nomination papers here amidst cheers of his supporters. He lead a 10-km procession before filing his papers.

code uncode
Malooka comes with convoy of 300 vehicles

Bathinda, January 24
A former SAD minister, Mr Sikander Singh Malooka, a former PCS officer, Mr Ajaib Singh Bhatti, and a former IAS officer, Mr Amarjeet Singh Sidhu, today filed their nomination papers from the Rampura Phul, Nathana and Talwandi Sabo Assembly constituencies, respectively, amid violation of the Model Code of Conduct.

Saathi to contest as Independent
Moga, January 24
Disgruntled over the denial of ticket by the Congress, Mr Vijay Saathi has decided to contest the elections as an Independent from the Moga constituency.

Parties pay lip service to youth welfare
Never mind the party in power, liquor trade grows & so does addiction
Chandigarh, January 24
There could be no bigger loss for a prosperous state like Punjab, than losing its young men to the vices of addiction. Irrespective of their ‘public welfare’ rhetoric - for both the incumbent Congress government and their Akali predecessors- maximising revenue from the liquor trade has been their USP.

Readying for another akhara
Gurdaspur, January 24
A former minister and BJP nominee from the Pathankot Assembly constituency, Mr Mohan Lal, begins his day from an “akhara”. Despite a hectic schedule because of the elections, he still finds time early in the morning to exercise and wrestle in the akhara for at least one hour every day. Talking to The Tribune at his akhara, Mr Mohan Lal, who was coaching his junior wrestlers, said coming to the akhara was his daily routine for the past 40 years.

The BJP nominee from Pathankot, Mr Mohan Lal, wrestling in his akhara. — Photo by Jangi
The BJP nominee from Pathankot, Mr Mohan Lal, wrestling in his akhara.

Stakes high for Dera Sacha Sauda
Bathinda, January 24
With the Congress fielding Mr Harminder Singh Jassi, a relative of Dera Sacha Sauda head, from the Bathinda Assembly seat, the electioneering has picked up steam here.

Singla faces rebels’ wrath
Amritsar, January 24
On the first day of his campaigning, Finance Minister Surinder Singla today faced the wrath of voters when he tried to convince Mr Joginder Pal Dhingra , District Congress President not to contest as rebel candidate from Amritsar North.

Cong leader Lalli joins SAD
Chandigarh, January 24
Mr Jaipal Singh Lalli, senior Congress leader, joined the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) at a function held in Budhlada, Mansa district, on Wednesday.

Tikshan Sood
Tikshan Sood, 
BJP nominee
Charanjit Singh Channy
Charanjit Singh Channy, Cong nominee

(In)fighting a tough battle
Hoshiarpur, January 24
With the BJP announcing its candidate from here, the battle lines have finally been drawn for a direct contest between the Congress and the BJP.

Show of strength by Tota Singh
Moga, January 24
The SAD candidate from the Moga constituency, Jathedar Tota Singh, today filed his papers here today. It was a show of strength by the Akali leader who arrived outside the office of the SDM along with a large number of his supporters.

Show of strength by Sidhu
Mohali, January 24
It was a show of strength by Congress candidate from the Kharar Assembly constituency Balbir Singh Sidhu and his supporters at a rally organised at Dasehra ground here today.

Three file papers from Rajpura
Rajpura, January 24
Three candidates filed their nomination papers from the Rajpura Assembly constituency here today.

BJSP candidate claims Balmik Sabha support
Mohali, January 24
Bhartiya Jan Shakti Party’s Anil Kumar, contesting the Punjab Assembly elections from the Kharar constituency, today claimed the support of some representatives of the Balmik Sabha.

Saini goes past Badal
Ropar, January 24
Rebel Congress leader Amarjit Singh Saini today filed his nomination as Independent candidate from the Anandpur Sahib Assembly constituency here today.

Rakesh files papers, dissidence evident
Dera Bassi, January 24
Local flavour was missing from the cavalcade of Congress candidate Rakesh Sharma, who filed his candidature from the Banur Assembly constituency here this afternoon.

Observers to stay at Raj Bhawan
Mohali, January 24
The three election observers appointed for the Kharar, Banur and Morinda constituencies will stay at the Punjab Bhawan, Sector 3, Chandigarh.

JD(U) decides to campaign for SAD, BJP 
New Delhi, January 24
The Janata Dal (United) yesterday announced that it would campaign for the

Seera files papers
Barnala, January 24
Mr Harinder Singh Dhillon Seera, state vice-president of the Youth Congress, today filed his nomination papers as an Independent from this constituency.

January 24, 2007

SC order on Sidhu will boost SAD-BJP fortunes
Chandigarh, January 23
Today’s decision of the Supreme Court of India, allowing former Indian cricketer and former Lok Sabha MP from Amritsar Navjot Singh Sidhu to contest the ensuing Punjab Vidhan Sabha elections, will have a major impact on the electoral fortunes of the SAD-BJP alliance.

Sidhu confidant gets ticket
BJP celebrates with sweets

Capt Kanwaljit promises tax-free regime
Dera Bassi, January 23
Putting his populist foot forward, the former Finance Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, today promised a zero tax regime besides promising a host of sops to all sections of society if the SAD-BJP alliance was voted to power in the February 13 Assembly elections.

Dullo files papers; says wife his poll manager
Khanna January 23
The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president, Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, today filed the nomination papers from the Khanna (reserved) constituency as a Congress candidate. He was accompanied by his wife, Ms Harbans Kaur Dullo, the sitting MLA from here. She filed the papers as the covering candidate.

Kang invokes divine help
Chandigarh, January 23

It’s barely seven in the morning but the flurry of activity at Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang’s residence in the ministers’ complex here is comparable to a household hosting a Punjabi wedding.

Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang pays obeisance at the Mansa Devi temple before filing his nomination from the Morinda constituency on Tuesday. — Tribune photo by Pradeep Tewari
Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang pays obeisance at the Mansa Devi temple before filing his nomination from the Morinda constituency on Tuesday

PPCC secy Harry joins SAD
Ghanaur/Gharam (Patiala), January 23

Encouraged with the defection of former PPCC secretary Harry Mann to the SAD today, its general secretary Sukhbir Singh Badal claimed that atrocities committed on people had triggered a wave of defection in the Congress rank and file.

Former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Mr Harinder Pal Singh (Harry Mann) and Mr Sukhbir Badal at a party meeting in Patiala on Tuesday. — Tribune photo by Rajesh Sachar
Former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Mr Harinder Pal Singh and Mr Sukhbir Badal at a party meeting in Patiala

BKU: One body, two voices
Chandigarh, January 23
While the Bharti Kisan Union led by Mr Balbir Singh Rajewal has extended support to the Shiromani Akali Dal headed by Mr Parkash Singh Badal, the faction headed by Mr Bhupinder Singh Mann has announced it will back Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh and his party in the Assembly elections.

Pathankot to vote for district status
Pathankot, January 23
For a long time, people here have been demanding district status for the town. Demand continues to persist, so do promises by leaders. There have been several agitations, including an immolation attempt, in this regard.

Poll revives Goindwal’s dreams
Goindwal Sahib (Tarn Taran), January 23
Twenty-six years have lapsed since a master plan was finalised for developing Goindwal Sahib as the country’s first industrial nucleus complex. Yet, for realising the dream, successive governments at the Centre and the state have turned no stones, except for the foundation stone laid down by India’s former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

I will not support Balbir Sidhu, says Gharuan
Mohali, January 23
“I will not support Mr Balbir Singh Sidhu, Congress candidate from the Kharar constituency, for the Punjab Assembly elections as he is allegedly involved in the distribution of liquor and other intoxicants among the people, especially the younger generation, during election rallies,” stated Mr Harnek Singh Gharuan, former Congress minister, at a press conference here today. He was accompanied by Mr Bharat Bhushan Maini, former senior vice-president of the Mohali Municipal Council, among others.

Cavalcades choke road traffic

Gurdaspur, January 23
Political heavyweights from this district, including Pratap Singh Bajwa (Kahnuwan), his brother Fateh Jung Singh Bajwa (Sri Hargobindpur), Mr Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa (Qadian) and Nirmal Singh Kahlon (Fatehgarh Churian), filed their nomination papers today.

Dancing to parties’ tune
Jalandhar, January 23
As the Assembly elections draw near, small-time singers and dancers are in a great demand, especially from political parties eager to entertain the public with peppy numbers. As big names like Sabjit Cheema, Harbhajan Mann and Malkit Singh generally avoid performing in rural areas, these small-time singers are preferred to draw village folks.
"This time dancers are also in demand. Dressed in gorgeous costumes, they attract the public with their performances, mostly based on folksongs and parodies on film songs," says Mr Jatinder Pal Singh of Raja No. 1, a Ludhiana-based musical group.

Cong nominee files papers
Ropar, January 23
Exhibiting his show of strength by a huge procession of party workers and supporters, sitting Congress MLA Ramesh Dutt Sharma today filed his nomination papers from the Anandpur Sahib Assembly constituency here before the Returning Officer, Ropar, Mr Parminder Singh Gill, this evening.

Cong candidate files nomination
Rajpura, January 23
Mr Hardyal Singh Kamboj, Congress candidate from the Rajpura Assembly constituency, today filed his nomination papers at the office of the SDM, Mr APS Virk, who is also the Returning Officer.

317 more file nominations
Chandigarh, January 23
As many as 317 candidates today filed their nominations for the Assembly elections. They include stalwarts of the ruling Congress and the Opposition Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal).

Mann files papers as Independent
Mohali, January 23
Tarlochan Singh Mann today filed his nomination papers from the Kharar constituency as an Independent candidate. Before coming to Mohali to file his papers he held a rally at Kharar.

Clueless, Elephant in trouble
Jalandhar, January 23
Factionalism within the BSP, ouster of its senior leaders, death of party founder and stalwart Kanshi Ram and its resultant downfall is likely to prove advantageous to the Congress in the Doaba region.

On foot or cycle, they too are in the race
A BSP rebel, Mr Kesar Singh, on way to file his nominations for the Nabha Assembly constituency; and Mr Kashmir Singh of the CPI  with his supporters on Tuesday
A BSP rebel, Mr Kesar Singh, on way to file his nominations for the Nabha Assembly constituency; and (right) Mr Kashmir Singh of the CPI (ML New Democracy) with his supporters on Tuesday. — Tribune photographs

‘Candidates must refrain from defacing public property’
Mohali, January 23
Defacement of public property by the candidates will not be allowed during the Punjab Assembly elections in the district. Orders to this effect were given by the Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Returning Officer, Mr Tejveer Singh.

Defections galore on CM’s turf
Patiala, January 23
Despite the fact that Patiala is the home turf of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and his wife and MP Preneet Kaur, the maximum number of defections by political bigwigs has been from this very part of the state.

Six quit as chairperson

January 23, 2007

Cong manifesto to skip SEZ issue
New Delhi, January 22
As the controversy over the sensitive issue of special economic zones (SEZs) continues unabated, the Congress has decided it will be wise not to dwell on the matter in the party’s election manifesto for Punjab.

Punjab Votes' 07
Three men trip — Badal, son, Sant

Badal files papers amid code violation
Malout, January 22
A former Chief Minister and SAD president, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today filed his nomination papers from the Lambi Assembly constituency here amid violation of the Model Code of Conduct.

Sukhbir flouts poll code
Gidderbaha, January 22
A case of violation of the Model Code of Conduct came to the fore in Gidderbaha when a helicopter landed in the town to pick up SAD general secretary Sukhbir Singh Badal.

Sant gets notice from RO
Ropar, January 22
The SDM-cum-Returning Officer, Ropar, Mr Parminder Singh Gill, today issued a notice to the SAD patron Sant Ajit Singh. The Sant was accompanied by party workers in a cavalcade of vehicles, when he came to file his papers.

Doesn’t own a car

Amritsar: BJP leaves it to Rajnath
New Delhi, January 22
The Bharatiya Janata Party has authorised its chief Rajnath Singh to name its candidate for the Amritsar Lok Sabha byelection as different leaders from Punjab have started mounting pressure on the party for the party ticket in case former cricketer-turned MP Navjot Singh Sidhu’s application seeking a stay on his conviction is allowed by the Supreme Court.

BSP fields Arjun for LS seat
Amritsar, January 22
The Bahujan Samaj Party today fielded former president of the Durgiana Managing Committee Surinder Arjun from the Amritsar parliamentary seat.

CEO clarifies
Chandigarh, January 22
The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Punjab, Mr Sundram Krishna, had not used the word dirty and bitter while referring to the ongoing campaign for the Punjab Vidhan Sabha elections.

Raghbir Singh with a photograph of landmine victim Balwinder Singh at Naushara Dhalla in Tarn Taran on Monday. Landmine-hit want some space
Naushera Dhalla (Tarn Taran), January 22
Five years have lapsed since a landmine blast in the passive hamlet of Naushera Dhalla in Tarn Taran district blew apart their lives to shreds, yet governments at the Centre and the state have done little to launch an operation to rehabilitate the victims and their families.
Raghbir Singh with a photograph of landmine victim Balwinder Singh at Naushara Dhalla in Tarn Taran on Monday. — Tribune photo by Pawan Sharma

Balbir Singh SidhuBalbir disputes Bir’s claim
Mohali, January 22
Mr Balbir Singh Sidhu, Congress candidate for the Kharar constituency, said today that the leaders, who had been denied the ticket, could be adjusted in various organisations on the basis of their political experiences. He rubbished the allegation that he gave Rs 5 crore to a Congress leader to get the ticket.
Balbir Singh Sidhu

Seelam SohiHer turn: Sohi also calls for ticket review
Zirakpur, January 22
Ms Seelam Sohi, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) general secretary, who has been denied the ticket from the Banur Assembly constituency, may repeat a Bir Devinder in Banur.

Seelam Sohi

Deepa to contest as Independent
Sangrur, January 22
Mr Rajinder Deepa, who was denied the Congress ticket from Sunam, today announced his decision to contest as an Independent.

SAD-BJP set for comeback, claims Kanwaljit
Mohali, January 22
SAD General Secretary Capt Kanwaljit Singh today claimed that the SAD-BJP combine was all set to stage a comeback with two-thirds majority, “as the Congress is reeling under revolt of its leaders and cadre in almost whole of Punjab”.

Manpreet Singh BadalME AND MYSELF
This Badal loves Faiz
Chandigarh, January 22
Besides rural indebtedness, deaths caused by cancer in Malwa area, especially Mansa, Rama Mandi, Lambi, Gidderbaha and adjoining areas, have emerged as a big election issue.

                                                                   Manpreet Singh Badal

Vets: Explain, says CEO
Chandigarh, January 22
Taking note of the posting of veterinarians on poll duty in violation of the ECI order, the Chief Electoral Officer, Punjab, has sought explanation from the Deputy Commissioners concerned and written to other DCs in this respect.

Poll campaign picks up steam
Ghanaur, January 22
With the last date for filing nominations, January 25, drawing close, the election campaign is picking up the momentum in the Ghanaur Assembly constituency.

Mann gets women’s support
Mohali, January 22
Mr Tarlochan Singh Mann, an Independent, today gathered support of women in the area. A number of women, including Mrs Swaranjeet Kaur, president of the Balongi unit of the Mahila Suraksha Samiti, and social worker Kulwant Kaur participated in the poll campaign. They visited various villages like Saneta, Mundi Kharar, Ballomajra, Badmajra, Chhajumajra and Fatehulapur.

district report
Going by voting pattern, Cong needs to watch out
Gurdaspur, January 22
If the last 30-year history of elections in this district is an indication, there is a cause for the Congress to worry. The district has voted in favour of the Congress and the SAD/BJP, alternatively.

DCs asked to ensure fair poll
Fatehgarh Sahib, January 22
Mrs Manisha Nanda, Finance Secretary, Himachal Government, who has been appointed the Election Observer for the Patiala division by the Election Commission of India, held a meeting of all Deputy Commissioners (DCs) of the Patiala division here today to review the arrangements for the coming Assembly elections.

Bunting and a hording of the Congress tied to electric and telecom poles near the office of the District Electoral Officer in Jalandhar on Monday.CODE-UNCODE
Defiance unabated
Jalandhar, January 22
Despite the Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Returning Officer (DRO), Mr A. Venu Prasad, visiting several parts of the city to check violation of the model code of conduct on Sunday, defiance continues unabated.

Bunting and a hording of the Congress tied to electric and telecom poles near the office of the District Electoral Officer in Jalandhar on Monday. — A Tribune photograph

Realtors vanish too
Ludhiana, January 22
Political uncertainty has dampened the spirits of realtors and investors in the state. The latter are keeping their fingers crossed in the anticipation that the new regime, whether Congress or the Akalis, will give a boost to real estate.

Chamkaur Sahib most sensitive
Ropar, January 22
Out of the three Assembly constituencies, Chamkaur Sahib was today declared the most sensitive in the district. Out of 116 polling stations in Chamkaur Sahib, 44 were declared sensitive and hyper sensitive.

First nomination from Banur filed
Dera Bassi, January 22
Mr Jasbir Singh Punsar, BSP candidate from Banur Assembly segment, today became the first candidate to file the nomination papers here.



January 22, 2007

It’s a flag war in Kanuwan
Kanuwan (Gurdaspur), January 21
The rural constituency of Kanuwan is witnessing a tough contest between Congress minister Pratap Singh Bajwa and former SAD minister Sewa Singh Sekhwan. A tour of the constituency revealed that voters here are clearly divided and a flag war is being waged by supporters of the two parties.

Flags of political parties flutter atop roofs in the Kanuwan constituency

Flags of political parties flutter atop roofs in the Kanuwan constituency. — Photos by Jangi

Rebels adamant; issue ultimatum
Gurdaspur January 21
Dissident leaders in the Narot constituency today organised a meeting of their supporters and gave two-day ultimatum to the party. The workers were peeved at the allotment of the party ticket to sitting MLA Rumal Chand.

Rajpura: Stakes high, 55 pc polling booths sensitive
Rajpura, January 21
With stakes high in the Rajpura Assembly constituency, the administration is gearing up to ensure a free and fair poll. In fact, the conduct of a free and fair poll for the constituency is going to be a tough task for the authorities concerned, with 78 of the 142 polling booths being declared sensitive.

Gill on post till polling
Chandigarh, January 21
The new Director-General of Punjab Police, Mr R.S. Gill, will hold the post till the completion of the election process in Punjab. Once the process is completed by March 3, the new government will be at liberty to appoint a new officer.

SAD wants action against PR officials
Chandigarh, January 21
The Shiromani Akali Dal today objected to the alleged use of songs and advertisements prepared by the Public Relations Department of the Punjab Government for the election campaign of the Congress.

shadow boxing
Banur: It’s Kanwaljit versus Venod Sharma
Chandigarh January 21
It is going to be Capt Kanwaljit Singh versus former Haryana Power Minister Venod Sharma in the Banur Assembly segment. Though Mr Rakesh Sharma, son of former Punjab Finance Minister Hans Raj Sharma, is the official candidate from Banur, the prestige of Mr Venod Sharma is at stake in the segment, which was once represented by him in the early eighties.            Capt Kanwaljit Singh

Capt Kanwaljit Singh

angry ones
Bitter Lubanas may dump Congress
Jalandhar, January 21
The Congress has ‘ignored' Hindus and Lubanas while allocating tickets for the forthcoming Assembly elections, say representatives of the two communities. The president of the Bharatiya Dharam Raksha Samiti, Mr Manoj Kumar Nanha, said the Congress had fielded 18 Hindu candidates as compared to 28 last time.

Cong betting on women
Sangrur, January 21
In the seven Assembly constituencies of this district, the Congress has given the lion’s share to women by allotting them four tickets. However, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has not nominated even a single woman candidate in the district.

Bhattal leads liability list
Bathinda, January 21
The Department of General Administration has shot off a missive to all Deputy Commissioners along with a list of ministers and former ministers having liabilities towards the Punjab Government with respect to house building advance and car advance to check information to be furnished by them while seeking election to the Assembly next month.

VP, Babbar stars of Shambhu rally
Ludhiana, January 21
Despite star campaigners like Bollywood actor Raj Babbar and former Prime Minister V.P. Singh coming to address the rally of Mr Shambhu Kumar Singh, a Jan Morcha nominee from for Ludhiana Rural seat, here today, the entire show remained a damp squib.

(From left) Mr Raj Babbar, Mr Shambhu Singh and Mr V.P. Singh at an election rally of the Jan Morcha in Ludhiana on Sunday. — A Tribune photograph
(From left) Mr Raj Babbar, Mr Shambhu Singh and Mr V.P. Singh at an election rally of the Jan Morcha in Ludhiana

Rai Sikh Maha Panchayat decides to oppose Cong
Ferozepore, January 21
The Rai Sikh community which is a large vote bank in this border area, organised “Maha Panchayat” at Megha Rai Utar village here today at which it decided that the community would oppose Congress candidates in various Assembly constituencies of this district.

INLD to campaign for SAD-BJP candidates
Chandigarh, January 21
Indian National Lok Dal leaders and workers today went to Punjab to campaign for SAD-BJP combine candidates for the Assembly elections following a decision taken at a joint meeting of the state executive and the Political Affairs Committee of the party held under the chairmanship of the President, Mr Om Parkash Chautala, here today.

24 former govt employees in fray
Chandigarh, January 21
More than 24 former government employees are in Punjab’s poll fray this time - among then are doctors, teachers and PCS, IAS and IPS officers. There are a few retired Armymen too.

Uma Bharti banking on hung House
Ludhiana, January 21
Firing a salvo at the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Congress, the fire-brand leader of the Bhartiya Janshakti Party, Ms Uma Bharti, today said both these parties had made the state ‘ a den of corruption’ and a hung Assembly alone could rescue the state. She was addressing a meeting of party workers at a local school here today.
Ms Uma Bharti, addresses an election rally in Ludhiana
Ms Uma Bharti, addresses an election rally in Ludhiana on Sunday. — A Tribune photograph

Sidhu extends olive branch
Kharar, January 21
The Congress candidate from Kharar, Mr Balbir Sidhu, yesterday stated that he would go to the houses of all Congress leaders who were not happy with his candidature to pacify them.

Delay: More join ticket race
Amritsar, January 21
The BJP's failure to announce its candidate from the Amritsar North Assembly has resulted in more aspirants joining the ticket race. Supporters of Mr Balramji Dass Tandon, a former Punjab minister, have sent telegrams to the party high command to field him from the constituency.

PPCC secy Mann resigns
Patiala, January 21
Mr Harinder Pal Singh Mann, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee secretary, today resigned from his post and from the primary membership of the Congress. He alleged that the party had been favouring those candidates who had recently shifted loyalties from the SAD while true Congressmen who had stood by the party through thick and thin were being ignored.

Kang welcomes new entrants
Chandigarh, January 21
Mr Jagmohan Singh Kang, Congress candidate from Morinda, today claimed that at least 12 Akali and Bahujan Samaj Party activists along with their supporters joined the Congress under his leadership at Teur village.

Panthic issues take backseat
Gurdaspur, January 21
Panthic issues like demanding votes in the name of the community and blaming the Congress for Operation Bluestar and the 1984 riots that were the main poll plank of the SAD in earlier elections do not figure in the election campaign of the party in this district.

Saini opens election office
Zirakpur, January 21
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) candidate from the Banur Assembly segment, Mr Avtar Singh Saini, today intensified his election campaign with the opening of his election office here today.


January 21, 2007

Virk should be sacked, says SAD
Chandigarh, January 20
The Shiromani Akali Dal today welcomed the Election Commission's decision to transfer Punjab's Director-General of Police, Mr S.S. Virk, saying the party stand demanding his removal had been vindicated. The SAD demanded Mr Virk's sack and prosecution, saying that the highest electoral authority in the country had found him guilty of “corrupt practices and misuse of office.”

Won’t allow things to get dirty: CEO
Chandigarh, January 20
The Chief Electoral Officer, Punj- ab, Mr Sundram Krishna, today asserted that the poll officers were keeping a close watch on the ongoing election campaign for the Punjab Vidhan Sabha elections and no political party would be allowed to turn the campaign dirty.

EC okays four Information Commissioners
Chandigarh, January 20
Decks have been cleared for four Information Commissioners, who were appointed last month by the Punjab Government, for assuming the charge of the office. Informed sources today said the Election Commission had informed the State Government that it had no objection on the issue.

Parties playing politics with ‘siropa’
Youth queue up to receive siropas at a political function in Mandi Ahmedgarh on Thursday. Mandi Ahmedgarh, January 20
Peeved over the misuse of the practice of presenting ‘siropa’ (religious robe of honour) by leaders of almost all political parties of the state, office-bearers of local Sikh organisations have urged the chiefs of the SGPC and Akal Takht to impose restrictions so that the sanctity of the practice was maintained.

Youth queue up to receive siropas at a political function in Mandi Ahmedgarh on Thursday. — Photo by writer

Captain owns just Rs 15,000
Patiala, January 20
In an affidavit submitted to the Returning Officer, the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, today declared that he possessed Rs 15,000 in cash, besides Rs 20,000 as ‘karta” of Hindu undivided family.

Nominations: Number rises to 70
Chandigarh, January 20
As many as 41 candidates filed their nominations today. With this, a total of 70 candidates have filed their papers.

His claim: His father’s Bunny

Mr Jasjit Singh Bunny of the SAD addresses an election meeting in his constituency of Kharar. Mohali, January 20
For someone who is facing his first election, Mr Jasjit Singh Bunny is a confident campaigner.

Mr Jasjit Singh Bunny of the SAD addresses an election meeting in his constituency of Kharar. — Tribune photos by Vicky Gharu

Mrs Dullo silenced
Chandigarh, January 20
Harbans Kaur DulloFrom an excited contender for re-election to a silenced wife, Harbans Kaur Dullo has resigned to her fate, at least for the moment. Till a fortnight ago, she was a firebrand MLA, confident of taking on her husband and Punjab Pradesh Congress chief Shamsher Singh Dullo in the race for ticket. “If he has staked a claim to the ticket, let us see who wins it,” she had said, adding that in no circumstances would she allow Mr Dullo to oust her from Khanna.

Battle from streets to courts, and back
Chandigarh, January 20
With elections round the corner, the battle of wits between Capt Amarinder Singh and Mr Parkash Singh Badal has spilled over from courtrooms to the streets. The bete noires, who have been fighting a legal battle over defamatory advertisements by the Congress against the Shiromani Akali Dal in the 2002 elections, are at it again - taking the people for a ride.

Ropar bridge may turn out to be main poll issue
Ropar, January 20
The bridge over the Sirhind canal is the main cause for concern for residents of Ropar.
Hundreds of commuters are helpless and put their lives to risk while passing through the 125-year-old bridge over the Sirhind canal, which is the main link of Ropar city with National Highway-21 every day here. Over 50,000 people in the city, which falls in Anandpur Sahib Assembly constituency, travel on the bridge daily.

The bridge over the Sirhind canal is the main cause for concern for residents of Ropar. — Tribune photo by Pradeep Tewari

No development work in Kharar: Kanwaljit
Mohali, January 20
A former Finance Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, has said the Kharar constituency will be developed like Banur after the formation of the SAD-BJP combine government in the state.
Lok Jan Shakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan waves to the crowd during an election rally in Patiala on Saturday.
Lok Jan Shakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan waves to the crowd during an election rally in Patiala on Saturday. — A Tribune photograph

SAD’s Kang says cops coercing voters
Amritsar, January 20
Fearing threat to the life Mr Manjinder Singh Kang, former Chairman of the Forest Corporation and SAD candidate from Beas has demanded paramilitary forces for election in the Beas Assembly constituency.

Parallel economy
PR agencies do it all for candidates

Ludhiana, January 20
Candidates doling out promises is a routine during any elections. One segment that offers promises to candidates itself is public relations agencies that are all geared up to win the race of bagging as many accounts as they can. The agencies have begun contacting contestants for various seats, directly as well as through references.

LS ticket: Dullo bats for Majha
Chandigarh, January 20
If Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo, president of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC), has his way, then the Amritsar Lok Sabha ticket should go to a ‘Majhail.’

Preneet Kaur harps on development
Rajpura, January 20
Assembly segments bordering Chandigarh are finally warming up to the campaigning for the Punjab elections. With the last date for the filing of nominations, January 25, drawing close, the electioneering is picking up in the areas.

Hoshiarpur: Cracks appear in BJP
Hoshiarpur, January 20
While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has announced its candidates for a majority of the constituencies it is contesting from, the unusual delay in naming the Hoshiarpur candidate has given credence to reports of severe factionalism in the party here.

BSP goes upper caste
Jalandhar, January 20
Once known for openly speaking against upper castes at its rallies, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has allocated over one-third tickets to persons belonging to these castes for the forthcoming Assembly elections.

Bhattal confidant Dirba joins SAD
Sangrur, January 20
The Congress today suffered a major setback in the Dirba Assembly constituency when Mr Gurcharan Singh Dirba, a close confidant of Ms Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Deputy Chief Minister, Punjab, and two-time Congress MLA from Dirba, joined the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in the presence of Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, secretary-general of the party, and Mr Baldev Singh Mann, SAD candidate from the seat, at Dirba village, about 25 km from here.

Independent candidate wants to make youth drug-free
Mohali, January 20
Ashwani Kumar, an independent candidate from Kharar, was weighed in ladoos by shop owners in the Sohana market, here today. The 26-year-old candidate is a resident of village Sambhalki and is standing for elections for the first time.

Singla makes a strong case
New Delhi, January 20
The battle for the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat is hotting up. With former Lok Sabha MP Jagmeet Singh Brar throwing his hat in the race, his bete noire Punjab Finance Minister Surinder Singla has intensified his campaign for this prestigious seat.

Deepa’s ultimatum to Cong
Sangrur, January 20
An unsuccessful aspirant for the Congress ticket from Sunam, Mr Rajinder Deepa, today announced that he would contest the Assembly elections from the seat as an Independent if the party failed to change the candidate within two days. Mr Aman Arora, younger brother of Mr Deepa's wife, Sonia Deepa Arora, is the party candidate for the seat.

Samra’s overseas fans here
Nakodar, January 20
The NRIs settled in the UK, Canada, the USA and other countries are using the telephone to garner support for Congress candidates here. Some are here campaigning for the candidates.

‘Ravana’ meets ‘Rama’ again
PATHANKOT: Mr Ashok Sharma, sitting Congress MLA from Pathankot, and his arch rival Master Mohan Lal of the Bharatiya Janata Party have always been in opposite roles.

One more files nomination
Mohali, January 20
Ms Ishwar Kaur, a resident of Phase IX here, filed her nomination papers as an independent candidate for the Punjab Assembly elections from the Kharar constituency today. She had earlier contested the municipal elections in July last year but had lost.

January 20, 2007

Finally, CM kickstarts campaign
The Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, with his wife and MP, Ms Perneet Singh, in PatialaHarps on development; Sonia, PM to canvass
Patiala, January 19
The Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, finally kickstarted his campaign today by holding a series of meetings with party workers and others, including members of the district Bar where he sought votes in the name of economic development initiated by the Congress government in the past five years.

A WORD OF CAUTION: The Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, with his wife and MP, Ms Perneet Singh, in Patiala on Friday. — A Tribune photograph

SAD to ask EC to look into ticket ‘sale’ by Cong
Chandigarh, January 19
Shiromani Akali Dal general secretary Sukhbir Singh Badal said here today that charges about the ‘sale’ of Congress tickets under the influence of the land and liquor mafia had vindicated the SAD stance that Chief Minster Capt Amarinder Singh had led the most corrupt government in the history of Independent India.

22 more file nominations
Chandigarh, January 18
As many as 22 candidates today filed their nominations for the coming Punjab Assembly elections. With this, the total number of candidates who have filed their nomination in the first two days has gone up to 28.

IT success: Big talk, little outcome
Chandigarh, January 19
Information Technology (IT) remained Punjab Government’s buzzword in the past five years and is being projected as one of the major achievements of the Capt Amarinder Singh government. But it seems Punjab surpassed neighbouring states in rhetoric alone whereas actual performance as compared to Chandigarh remained low.

Cong riddled with dissent S. S. Dullo"I had put up my point of view about all prospective candidates before the high command. Background of all main aspirants, including charges of corruption, if there were any against a particular aspirant, were explained to the top leadership. The final decision to select candidates for all constituencies was taken by the high command.” 

Cong candidate promises development
Rajpura, January 19
Congress candidate from Ghanaur constituency, Mr Jasjit Singh Randhawa, today intensified his election campaign by opening election offices at Bahadurgarh and Shambu.

Workers unload publicity material at the Congress Bhavan, Sector 15, Chandigarh, on Friday.
Workers unload publicity material at the Congress Bhavan, Sector 15, Chandigarh, on Friday. — Tribune photo by Malkit Singh

One against the other in Cong
Mohali, January 19
Mrs Lakhwinder Kaur Garcha, OSD to the Punjab Chief Minister, today revolted against Mr Balbir Singh Sidhu, president of the Mohali district unit of the Congress, who has been given the party ticket to contest the Punjab Assembly elections from the Kharar constituency.

Atwal campaigns on foot
Phillaur, January 19
Local Congress MLA Gurbinder Singh Atwal visited his constituency on foot after the announcement of his candidature from the constituency. Mr Atwal took blessings from old women of the area, who were waiting for him outside the Sant Sadhu Ram temple.

BJP names six more
Chandigarh, January 19
The Bharatiya Janata Party tonight announced six more candidates for the Assembly elections in the state. With this, the party has announced candidates for 21 seats. Candidates for two other constituencies are still to be named.

Chhina, Chawla get tickets
Amritsar, January 19
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today fielded a Sikh candidate, Mr Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina, secretary, governing body of Khalsa College, who had recently joined the party, from the Amritsar West constituency.

BJSP candidate claims support of Cong, BSP leader
Mohali, January 19
Mr Anil Kumar, who is contesting the Punjab Assembly elections as a candidate of the Bhartiya Jan Shakti Party (BJSP), claimed here today that a Congress leader and her supporters had joined his party.

Two more file papers
Patiala, January 19
Two more candidates filed their nominations for the Punjab Assembly elections, here today.

Terror attack apprehended
Chandigarh, January 19
The Special Protection Group (SPG), which has the task of protecting under-threat VIPs, including many senior politicians, today told the Election Commission officers as well as senior Punjab Government officers involved in the process of holding of coming Vidhan Sabha elections that there are too many VIPs who needed SPG cover in Punjab.

Price rise, jobs main issues
Chandigarh, January 19
Spiralling prices of essential commodities, poor education and health services, corruption in government offices, police excesses, unemployment and rural indebtedness are among the issues that the ruling Congress will have to face in the run up to Assembly elections in Punjab.

Ludhiana: Pending projects weigh on voters’ mind
Ludhiana, January 19
It could have been bridges to voters’ hearts in Ludhiana. But, several incomplete flyovers, considered a must for smooth traffic flow in any densely populated city, would weigh on the minds of the voters.

poll bounty
Encroachments coming up on Senia Road in Fazilka. The land is governed by the Municipal Council.
Encroachers have a field day
Fazilka, January 19
As electioneering gains momentum here, members of the ruling party have devised a novel way to woo the electorate. The local Municipal Council has reportedly allowed around 50 families to encroach upon a piece of prime municipal land, allegedly at the behest of the ruling party.
Encroachments coming up on Senia Road in Fazilka. The land is governed by the Municipal Council.

Ticket in kitty, they now flock to astrologers
Chandigarh, January 19
How can elections in India ever take off without the intervention of omnipresent soothsayers who claim to know it all? Punjab is no different. Despite their names having been cleared by the party high command, many candidates at the hustings for the 117 Assembly segments are doing the rounds of astrologers, vastu shastra experts, babas and oracles before launching their election campaign.


January 19, 2007

A big Cong hand for four Big Bs
Chandigarh, January 18
In Congress, it is all within the families of top few leaders. The two lists released by the party since yesterday are full of brothers, sisters, spouses and sons of the Bhattals, Bajwas, Beants and the Brars.

Jittery Cong men to meet at palace
Efforts to blunt Kohli edge
Patiala, January 18
The local Congress leadership seems to be suffering from election eve blues. Having found itself in a jittery position following the early campaign launched by the SAD candidate, Mr Surjit Singh Kohli, the Congress, under instructions of the Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, and the Patiala Member of Parliament, Mrs Preneet Kaur, has called a meeting of its cadres at the New Moti Bagh palace residence of the Chief Minister here on January 21.

Ballot misuse: EC satisfied with govt reply
New Delhi, January 18
The Election Commission has expressed its satisfaction with the explanation by the officials concerned of the Punjab Government regarding a complaint apprehending the “misuse/manipulation” of postal ballots meant for the Punjab Police.

Virk issue: EC not satisfied with reply
Chandigarh, January 18
The Election Commission is not happy with the “sketchy report” sent by the Punjab Government regarding Director-General of Police, Punjab, S.S. Virk and his family getting concessions for setting up a convention centre near Chandigarh.

Women MLAs: Best figure very slim 9
Chandigarh, January 18
Talk of 33 per cent reservation for women in the legislature notwithstanding, the number of woman MLAs in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha since 1960 has never entered the double figure.

Sultanpur, Bholath SAD citadels
Kapurthala, January 18
The Bholath and Sultanpur Lodhi constituencies of Kapurthala district are considered citadels of the SAD as it has won five of the last six Assembly elections since 1977 on both seats. The Congress could win on these seats only in 1992 when the SAD had boycotted the elections.

Angry ones
Cong faces rebel fury
Rebels rally behind Pinki
Ferozepore, January 18
Voices of dissent have started emanating in this border district after denial of ticket to Mr Parminder Singh “Pinky”, general secretary of the PPCC. He was an aspirant for Congress ticket from the Ferozepore City Assembly constituency.
Arvind Khanna men sulking
Sangrur, January 18
Cracks in the Congress came to the fore here today as almost all loyalists of Mr Arvind Khanna, MLA from Sangrur, who has been denied the party ticket from Sangrur this time, kept themselves away from the venue where the Congress candidate from Sangrur, Mr Surinder Pal Singh Sibia, alias Pammi Sibia, was received on his return from Delhi.
Slogans raised against Dullo
Abohar, January 18
Hundreds of Congress workers, including sarpanches and members of gram panchayats, today gave an ultimatum to the party high command to change the candidate from the Balluana (reserved) constituency by January 22 failing which they would field an Independent.

Don’t like them? Simply reject
Ludhiana January 18
For the first time in the electoral history of India, voters in Punjab will have the option to reject candidates if they so desire. According to election officials, the Election Commission of India has introduced a provision wherein the voters can reject all candidates. This will help gauge the mood of the voter. — Alok Kumar, scholar It will be of no help.  — Mahesh Inder Singh

Rumblings in Majha too
Amritsar, January 18
The Chairman of the Improvement Trust, Tarn Taran, Prof Gurvinder Singh Mammanke, has raised a banner of revolt against the official nominee , Mr Manjit Singh Ghasitpura.

Patch-up Badal talks panel again
Hoshiarpur, January 18
Mr Parkash Singh Badal, SAD chief, today said that if voted to power, his government would constitute a separate commission on unemployment.

Mr Tirlochan Singh (garlanded) and his supporters in Kharar on Thursday. ME AND MYSELF
Ex-serviceman fired up
Chandigarh, January 18
Mr Tirlochan Singh Mann, a 55-year-old resident of Balongi village, is standing as an Independent from the Kharar constituency. An ex-serviceman, Mr Mann joined the Punjab Police later and retired as Assistant Sub-Inspector.

Mr Tirlochan Singh (garlanded) and his supporters in Kharar on Thursday. — Tribune photo by Vicky Gharu

For rural women, the husband decides
Photo by Pradeep Tewari Chamkaur Sahib, January 18
Women in many villages of this reserved constituency have to cast vote in favour of a particular candidate chosen by their husbands in consultation with Panchayat. There are 56,069 women voters in this constituency out of a total of 1.18 lakh voters.

Bhinder faces protege
Gurdaspur, January 18
The Gurdaspur Assembly constituency has a new Congress candidate. Mr P.S. Bhinder, a former DGP and husband of the late Sukhbans Kaur Bhinder, a former Member of Parliament, has been nominated as the Congress candidate from the seat.

Hangers-on back home to celebrate
Gurdaspur January 18
It was celebration time for those who have got the party ticket. Most Congress nominees who had been camping in Delhi for the past two weeks to ensure nominations today returned to their constituencies.

Parminder files papers from Kharar
Mohali, January 18
As the work of issuing notification commenced, only one candidate from Kharar constituency filed his nomination papers for the Punjab Assembly elections at the Municipal Bhawan, here today.

Day 1: Six file nomination papers
Chandigarh: The process of filing of nominations started in Punjab today with six candidates submitting their papers. Two nominations were filed from the Patiala constituency and one each from Assembly segments in Nawashahr, SAS Nagar, Ferozepore and Muktsar districts. No prominent candidate submitted papers.

Holy Campaign
Holy Campaign

2 file papers
Patiala, January 18
The BSP nominee for the Patiala Assembly segment, Mr Paramjit Singh, today filed his nomination papers along with an Independent candidate, Mr Vijay Kumar.

Man booked under NDPS Act launches party
Amritsar, January 18
Mr Jagtar Boxer, who was recently acquitted by the court, has decided to launch a drive against the drug abuse by launching a party-Naujwan Shakti Dal. He is the president of the party.

January 18, 2007

For Cong, old is gold
Bir Devinder, Singla kept in suspense
Chandigarh, January 17
Reposing faith in the old guard, the All-India Congress Committee named a few new faces and replaced some old warhorses with their spouses or siblings in a list of 98 candidates released tonight.

Notification on poll today
Chandigarh, January 17
The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), Punjab, will issue a notification tomorrow to conduct the elections in the state on February 13. This will set the poll process rolling for the 117 assembly constituencies and the Amritsar Parliamentary seat.

Feud delays decision on 19 seats
Chandigarh, January 17
Tickets to several Congress heavyweights have been kept pending by the party high command owing to an intense tug-of-war among various factions within the party.

Badal to file papers on Jan 22
Chandigarh, January 17
The president of The Shiromani Akali Dal, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, will file his nomination papers on January 22. His nephew and member of the political affairs committee Manpreet Singh Badal will also file his papers on the same date at Gidderbaha.

Parties ignore women
Chandigarh, January 17
It seems the political parties dominated by men care two hoots for women. The Left parties, the CPI and the CPM, have announced a list of 45 candidates. However, not a single women figure on the list.

Migrant muscle in Amritsar
Migrants from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are considered an important vote bank in the border district of Amritsar. Some villages in Amritsar have entire panchayats comprising Bihari migrants. They have made Punjab their 'first home'. The sarpanches of Karnala, Dayalpur , Patalpuri, Kharaswala and Galowali are of Bihari origin. They speak chaste Punjabi and their children can write in the Gurmukhi script.

Sarna brothers may dent urban Sikh votes
Chandigarh, January 17
“Our victory in the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) elections is only a trailer of what is going to come in the ensuing Punjab Vidhan Sabha elections,” says Mr Paramjit Singh Sarna, President of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Delhi).

Businessmen go underground
Ludhiana, January 17
Call any prominent businessman or an industrialist, chances are his cell would be switched off or he would be out of station. All due to pressure from political parties and candidates for donations. Potential financiers have started doing the vanishing act, lest they are made to part with their money.

Lok Janshakti Party president Ramvilas Paswan at a party rally in Rama Mandi on Wednesday. LJP to contest 70 seats
Bathinda, January 17
Union Minister and Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) president Ramvilas Paswan today announced that his party would contest the Assembly elections in the state from 70 constituencies.

Lok Janshakti Party president Ramvilas Paswan at a party rally in Rama Mandi on Wednesday. — Tribune photo by Kulbir Beera

Projects: Badal for panel on land rates
Chamkaur Sahib, January 17
The SAD chief, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today launched the campaign for SAD candidate Satwant Kaur Sandhu here. Mr Badal chose to address small gatherings instead of big rallies in this reserved constituency, which is considered an Akali stronghold. Ms Satwant Kaur has won the last two elections from this Assembly constituency.

Rebel Padiala to back Jasjit
Chamkaur Sahib, January 17
In a big relief to SAD candidate from the Kharar constituency, Mr Jasjit Singh, son of general secretary of the SAD Kanwaljit Singh, Rajbir Singh Padiala, a SAD rebel, today decided to support Jasjit. Earlier, Mr Padiala had decided to contest the elections as Independent having been denied ticket from Kharar.

BJP legislator garners support for ticket
Hoshiarpur, January 17
Though the BJP has yet to finalise its candidate for the Hoshiarpur seat, thousands of supporters of Mr Tikshan Sud, BJP MLA, assembled at his residence here today to assure him of their support. They raised slogans in his favour.

Ex-services league not to support any party
Patiala, January 17
The Indian Ex-services League, Punjab and Chandigarh, headed by Lt-Col Chanan Singh (retd), has decided in principle to support individual candidates and not any political party during the Assembly elections in Punjab unlike in the past.

The Bharatiya Jan Shakti candidate from Kharar, Mr Anil Kumar, seeks votes in Mohali on Wednesday.GREENHORN
He banks on SAD, Cong dissension
Mr Anil Kumar of Sector 68, Mohali, is the Bharatiya Jan Shakti Party’s candidate for the Kharar constituency. Standing for elections for the first time, he campaigned for “Uma didi’ in Madhya Pradesh and is the president of the district unit of the party. A builder by profession, 26-year-old Anil is the youngest candidate from an important constituency currently represented by senior Congress leader Bir Devinder Singh in the Vidhan Sabha.

The Bharatiya Jan Shakti candidate from Kharar, Mr Anil Kumar, seeks votes in Mohali on Wednesday. — Tribune photo by Vicky Gharu

Panchayat secy manhandled
Mohali, January 17
The police has booked a resident of Badali village on a charge of manhandling a panchayat secretary working as a booth-level officer in connection with the Assembly elections at Badali village.

48 pc booths in Kharar declared sensitive
Mohali, January 17
Despite there being by and large peaceful polling in the 2002 Assembly and the last Lok Sabha elections in the Kharar Assembly constituency, the police this time seems to have adopted an overcautious approach to the February 13 poll and declared around 48 per cent of the total number of booths as “sensitive” and 8 per cent as “very sensitive.”

Control room for poll set up
Mohali, January 17
In accordance with the directions of the Election Commission, the Mohali district administration has set up control rooms in all three subdivisions in connection with the Assembly elections being held next month.

Publicity material being readied at Ludhiana. It’s poll shine for them
Ludhiana, January 17
For them, election time is an opportunity to make a quick buck. Those dealing in publicity material like banners, bunting, badges, stickers, balloons and posters for candidates are working overtime these days. As the election scene hots up in the state, hundreds of outlets providing publicity-related material have come up here.
Publicity material being readied at Ludhiana. — Photo by Inderjit Verma


January 17, 2007

Sushma wants three tickets for women
Chandigarh, January 16
The top BJP leadership is considering tickets to three women aspirants on the insistence of senior leader Sushma Swaraj. She has told the party high command that it should nominate at least three women candidates for the Punjab Assembly elections.

Badals cajole rebels
Ballian mellows, Pakhoke too
Tarn Taran, January 16
The Shiromani Akali Dal supremo, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, today visited the residence of Mr Alwinderpal Singh Pakhoke, a former working president of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, in an effort to stop him from contesting as a rebel against the official nominee, Mr Harmit Singh Sandhu.

At last, Ballian mellows
Sangrur, January 16
Mr Ranjit Singh Ballian, a former minister in the SAD-BJP government who has been denied the SAD ticket from Sangrur this time again, today decided not to contest as a rebel from Sangrur.

Bhajan’s no disappoints Cong men
Abohar, January 16
Congress workers in the Balluana Reserve constituency are dismayed over the decision by the Bhajan Lal family not to campaign in favour of party candidates in Punjab.

Dharam, Hema to pitch in for BJP
Chandigarh, January 16
The “muscleman” of the Hindi cinema Dharmendra, and the “dream girl” of yesteryear, Hema Malini, will be among several star campaigners and top leaders of the BJP, who will be wooing voters in Punjab.

EC allows teachers to join service
Chandigarh, January 16
The Chief Electoral Officer, Mr Sundaram Krishna, has allowed hundreds of teachers, appointed before December 29 when the Model Code of Conduct was enforced, to join service.

poll chase
Personal touch — Jr Mann’s style

Fatehgarh Sahib, January 16
Mr Emman Singh Mann, SAD (Amritsar) candidate from the Sirhind Assembly constituency, has launched his election campaign, but in a different style. A graduate from an American university, Mr Mann goes to the people alone early in the morning and attends small corner meetings.

SAD (A) candidate Emman Mann holds a corner meeting with voters of his constituency.
— A Tribune photograph

SAD (A) candidate Emman Mann holds a corner meeting with voters of his constituency

Bhai Ranjit Singh not to campaign
Amritsar, January 16
Virtually stung by the drubbing in the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee elections, Bhai Ranjit Singh, former Jathedar of the Akal Takht, has decided not to campaign in the Punjab Assembly elections and the byelection to the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat.

The twice cursed
Thousands of border farmers are facing starvation. The compensation of Rs 2,500 per acre given to them by the Central Government in 1998 has been stopped. There are no takers for such land while land prices elsewhere in the state have skyrocketed. They want their voice heard in the cacophony of electioneering, say Varinder Walia and Gurbax Puri

Parties get the dollar boost
Jalandhar, January 16
This winter is witnessing the maximum homecoming of NRIs to their native villages in Punjab. They are back not just to meet their kin, take care of their land or marry off their children, but to take part in the election process by donating funds to political parties and canvassing.

Weary voters say ‘yes’ to all
Gurdaspur, January 16
Political parties are raising the issues of development and job promises and levelling charges of corruption against each other as their main poll planks.

Poll khol
Babus vanish
Chandigarh, January 16
Even as the state gears up for the elections, senior bureaucrats in Punjab have decided to take it easy and wait for the results to pour in. What otherwise can explain the scant presence of babus in their offices located in the Punjab Civil Secretariat.


January 16, 2007

All they want — A bridge over the river
In the absence of a bridge, residents of Muthianwala are forced to use the ferry to reach the mainland. Muthianwala (Tarn Taran), January 15
In the state revenue record, this non-descript village on the banks of the Sutlej falls in the newly created district of Tarn Taran. However, for the Election Commission, the village is part of the Ferozepore Assembly constituency. For any administrative work, the residents of the village, located near Pakistan border, go to Tarn Taran while they have to cross the river by boat to vote, risking their lives.

In the absence of a bridge, residents of Muthianwala are forced to use the ferry to reach the mainland. — A Tribune photograph

Nirmal, Makhan to get tickets: CM
Chandigarh, January 15
Names of almost all Punjab ministers have been recommended by the Congress screening committee for renomination as party candidates for the Assembly elections in the state.

Tailor-made candidate
Ludhiana, January 15
White is the colour of the election season. Politicians of all parties have switched over to white. And those with sound business sense are making hay while the sun shines - tailoring white kurtas and pyjamas for politicians and their supporters. Harvinder 'Happy' has been doing just this for so many elections. Come elections, and he gets down to business. Tailoring white kurtas for the politicians to give them that immaculate white appearance.

Sarpanch Tejinder Singh with Punjab minister Chaudhary Jagjit Singh at Nijjaran village.Tainted: United colours of Congress, SAD
Jalandhar, January 15
The Congress and the SAD certainly have one thing in common- tainted persons. This is evident from the case of Nijjar village sarpanch Tejinder Singh, who was declared a proclaimed offender in October last. He was arrested from his house in the wee hours on Saturday, hours of his joining the SAD after quitting the Congress.

Sarpanch Tejinder Singh with Punjab minister Chaudhary Jagjit Singh at Nijjaran village. — A file photo

This MLA takes to digging votes
Installs tubewells for encroachers
Ludhiana, January 15
A Congress legislator is doing all to install tubewells for slum dwellers - potential vote bank - on land worth crores under litigation in the HC.

Angry ones Dasuya: 14 BJP bigwigs quit
Hoshiarpur, January 15
The BJP has received a big jolt with four of its block presidents, along with 14 office-bearers, in the Dasuya segment quitting the party. They have resigned from the party membership in protest against Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, state BJP chief, not taking them in confidence while deciding on the candidature of Mr Amarjit Singh Shahi for their constituency.

Ram Lal is Uma party nominee
Chandigarh, January 15
Mr Ram Lal, a former MLA from Narot Mehra in Gurdaspur, who left the Bharatiya Janata Party yesterday, figures in the first list of 12 candidates released by the Bharti Jan Shakti Party of Ms Uma Bharati here today.

Left rules out tie-up with Cong
Chandigarh, January 15
The CPI has said flat “no” for an alliance with the ruling Congress in the Punjab Assembly elections.

Mann raps EC on Virk
Moga, January 15
The president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, has flayed the role of Election Commission stating that it has failed to check violation of the code of conduct in the state.

Divided we fall: Bhatti
Fatehgarh Sahib January 15
The election campaign of Mr Didar Singh Bhatti SAD candidate from the Sirhind constituency, is at its peak, the delay in the Congress list has been a boon for the SAD. All factions of the SAD have declared support for Mr Didar Singh Bhatti and are campaigning for him full steam- holding workers’ meetings, corner meetings and visiting residences of prominent persons in Sirhind and Bassi Pathana towns.


January 15, 2007

Cong panel clears 101 names
Sonia to give final nod; efforts on for tie-up with Left
Chandigarh, January 14
While names of 101 aspirants have been cleared by the scrutiny committee of the All-India Congress Committee for the Assembly elections in Punjab, the party high command has opened the channels of communication with the top leadership of the Left parties to look into the possibility of a tie-up with them on certain seats in the state.

Cong delay — Advantage SAD
Chandigarh, January 14
An unwarranted delay in finalising candidates for the coming Assembly elections by the all-powerful Congress high command has been keeping the ticket aspirants unsure of themselves. The party has virtually been staying away from the electoral battle field since the announcement of the elections more than 16 days ago.

Kanwaljit promises new ‘urban development policy’
Former Finance Minister and SAD-BJP candidate from Banur Capt Kanwaljit Singh during election campaign at Zirakpur on Sunday. Zirakpur, January 14
Bringing economy to the forefront of electioneering in Punjab, the Shiromani Akali Dal(SAD) general secretary and the former Finance Minister, Capt Kanwaljit Singh, today promised a new "urban development policy" if the SAD-BJP alliance was voted to power in the February 13 Punjab elections.

Former Finance Minister and SAD-BJP candidate from Banur Capt Kanwaljit Singh during election campaign at Zirakpur on Sunday. — Photo by J.S. Virdi

Jobs’ issue: Kanwaljit dares Amarinder for debate
Mohali, January 14
SAD general secretary and former Finance Minister Capt Kanwaljit Singh today challenged the Congress to release the list of 20 lakh youth who it had promised to give employment before December 31.

Chahal’s entry a shot in the arm for SAD
Jalandhar, January 14
The success of the SAD chief, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, in persuading a prominent SAD leader, Mr Gurmeet Singh Daduwal, not to oppose the official SAD candidate from Nakodar, Mr Kuldip Singh Wadala, and the entry of a Kapurthala Congress leader, Mr Malwinder Singh Chahal, into the party fold has brightened the SAD's poll prospects in the Doaba region.

Dhillon remains Faridkot nominee
Chandigarh, January 14
President of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Parkash Singh Badal today announced that Mr Kushaldeep Singh Dhillon, sitting MLA from Faridkot, would be the SAD candidate in the coming Assembly elections.

Badal opens poll office
Lambi (Muktsar), January 14
Shiromani Akali Dal supremo Parkash Singh Badal today formally launched his election campaign on his home turf. He expressed his resolve to dislodge the Congress government in the state.

Khanna convenes meeting
Chandigarh, January 14
The president of the Punjab unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, has convened a meeting of all 15 candidates along with their district secretaries, mandal presidents and office-bearers of the state unit of the party in Chandigarh tomorrow.

Mr Satpal Saini BJP faces revolt in Gurdaspur
Sujanpur (Gurdaspur), January 14
The BJP faced a revolt in the Sujanpur constituency today with the former minister, Mr Satpal Saini , holding a meeting of supporters and demanding a change in the party nominee. The BJP in its list announced recently had named Mr Davinder Thakur as party candidate from Sujanpur in place of Mr Satpal Saini.
Mr Satpal Saini

OSD to CM throws hat into the ring
Gurdaspur, January 14
The Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Amardeep Singh Manaepur, has staked claim to the Congress ticket from the Dhariwal Assembly constituency.

Kisan’s no-confidence
The Kisan Sangharsh Committee (KSC) leadership has unanimously decided not to support any party in the coming elections. In debt trap, thousands of peasants are disappointed by mere promises and hollow claims of various political parties, says Mr Kanwalpreet Singh Pannu, convener of the committee. “ We are not going to support any party. But this does not mean that we will boycott the elections.”

Mr Bikram Singh Majithia Banking on family name
A greenhorn in politics, Mr Bikram Singh Majithia (31) promises the voters of Majitha that he would make his constituency as important as Badal- the home constituency of Shiromani Akali Dal supremo Parkash Singh Badal- if the SAD-BJP comes to power! Reason-he is the brother-in-law of Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, general secretary of the SAD.
Bikram Singh Majithia, SAD nominee from Majitha


January 14, 2007

AICC elicits MPs’ views
New Delhi, January 13
The AICC screening committee, tasked with shortlisting the Congress nominees for next month’s Assembly elections in Punjab, had an extended meeting yesterday and specially took the suggestions of members of Parliament from the state on the strategy and criteria for zeroing in on the candidates.

CM: We will wipe out Badals
Muktsar, January 13
The Punjab Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, here today stated that the Congress would go for the political kill of the Badals and ensure that their political existence was wiped out in Punjab in the coming Assembly elections.

Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar, Capt Amarinder Singh and Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo at the Maghi Fair in Muktsar on Saturday. — A Tribune photograph

We are all in it together
Mr Jagmeet Singh Brar, Capt Amarinder Singh and Mr Shamsher Singh Dullo at the Maghi Fair in Muktsar on Saturday.

Out of father’s shadow
Chandigarh, January 13
Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, a shy politician until recently, has emerged as a different kind of rabble-rouser on the state's political scene. For years, he grew politically under the shadow of his father, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, a man with infinite patience.
However, he has now moved beyond his father’s shadow and virtually calls the shots in the SAD.

I call the shots now, papa

Navjot Singh Sidhu Freed, Sidhu plays the hero
Warns ‘hankari’ Raja ‘hun mein aagya han’
Patiala, January 13
Attired in clothes he wore when he entered the jail 36 hours ago, former Amritsar MP Navjot Singh Sidhu walked out of the Patiala Central Jail a free man this afternoon after his lawyers completed formalities in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate. A special courier brought the Supreme court bail documents at midnight, but Mr Sidhu had to wait till this morning to make his exit from the jail. His lawyers submitted a bail bond of Rs 25,000 and a surety of the like amount in the court.

Virtual revolt in SAD
Ticket refusal to Ladal
Ropar, January 13
SAD President Parkash Singh Badal’s announcement to grant party ticket to SAD patron Sant Ajit Singh from Anandpur Sahib Assembly constituency led to a virtual revolt here today by party workers.

SAD harps on police atrocities
Muktsar, January 13
The Shiromani Akali Dal today again highlighted the already set agenda for the elections, promising highly subsidised atta and pulses, filling of all vacancies within six months of coming to power and also a health insurance scheme for farmers, among a slew of other things, at a rally here today.

Rajpura: Khurana’s exit deepens suspense
Rajpura, January 13
With the Congress high command delaying the release of even the first list of party nominees, the race for ticket from the Rajpura Assembly constituency has intensified.

Shambhu on poll tandav
Ludhiana, January 13
Shambhu Singh is bitterly angry. Let down by the Congress for which he claims to have given his blood and sweat, he now wants to get the party defeated from Ludhiana (rural).

Shambhu Singh, Jan Morcha candidate from Ludhiana (Rural)

‘Migrant labourers from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have contributed in great measure to the phenomenal growth of Punjab, and Ludhiana in particular. Still we are not held in esteem.’

Shambhu Singh

For change, Independents on young minds
Chandigarh, January 13
Disenchanted by political giants contesting Assembly elections on promises alone, many electors across the state, particularly youngsters, are this time dabbling with the idea of exercising their franchise in favour of change through Independent candidates.

Hoardings mock poll code
Amritsar, January 13
Big hoardings with pictures of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Ms Sonia Gandhi, and Capt Amarinder Singh, promising development in the border state dot the main road, eclipsing the city landmarks, in gross violation of the Model Code of Conduct. Even the entrance gate to the city has not been spared. The ‘Welcome’ board stands covered with a hoarding of the government, boasting of development works.

BKU (Lakhowal) to back SAD
Abohar, January 13
The BKU led by Mr Ajmer Singh Lakhowal has resolved to support Mr Gurtej Singh Ghuriana, a SAD candidate from the Balluana (reserve) constituency.

Land mafia gets active
Abohar, January 13
With electioneering gaining momentum, land mafia has become active in the region.

Cong victory in Patiala predicted
Patiala, January 13
Mr Gopal Singla, general secretary of the District Congress Committee (Urban), claimed here yesterday that the Congress would win the coming Assembly elections with a big margin from Patiala.

January 13, 2007

Loan: Singla ‘pressurising’ banks on one-time settlement
Chandigarh, January 12
Fearing a backlash from the farming community, the Punjab Government has reportedly “pressurised” commercial banks in the state to introduce a one-time settlement scheme for debt-ridden farmers.

Former Akali minister Chiranjee Lal, who is unhappy at not being given the SAD ticket, explains a point to@@Mr Sukhbir Badal in Bathinda on Friday.
Former Akali minister Chiranjee Lal, who is unhappy at not being given the SAD ticket, explains a point to Mr Sukhbir Badal in Bathinda on Friday. — Photo by Kulbir Beera

No let-up in SAD’s fight against Virk
Chandigarh, January 12
Unruffled by the Chief Election Commission’s rejection of its demand for shifting the Punjab Police chief, Mr S.S. Virk, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has fired yet another salvo at him, accusing him of seeking a “plethora of favours from the ruling party in return for services to be rendered during the Assembly elections.”

Mann to contest from Dhanaula
Ludhiana, January 12
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) today released the second list of 16 candidates here today.

Poll kiosks get rolling
Chandigarh, January 12
As Punjab Assembly elections draw near, members of different political parties are casting ballot in favour of Chandigarh - for equipping them with election material, unanimously converting the city into the state’s supply capital.

Campaigning is gradually picking up steam in Punjab.
SLOW AND STEADY: Campaigning is gradually picking up steam in Punjab. — Tribune photo BY Pradeep Tewari

BJP list: It’s blend of old & new
Chandigarh, January 12
The BJP tonight released its first list of 15 candidates for the coming Assembly elections in Punjab. The BJP will contest 23 seats and so far relied on its old hands, including five former ministers and a Deputy Speaker.

More power is what traders want
Chandigarh, January 12
A rehashed tax structure, abolition of the inspector raj and a greater role in policy-making is what traders in Punjab expect from the government that comes to power after the Assembly elections. Cutting across political affiliations, they look forward to a new more systematic tax regime and less paperwork. They want facilities and concessions on a par with those in the neighbouring hill-states of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttaranchal.

Amarinder, Centre want to kill me: Badal
Jalandhar, January 12
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) supremo, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, has alleged that the Chief Minister, Capt Amarinder Singh, the Congress-led Central Government, the Akali Dal (1920) chief, Mr Ravi Inder Singh, and former Akal Takht Jathedar Bhai Jasbir Singh Rode, want to eliminate him and his son Sukhbir Singh Badal.

Debt trap on big minds
Chandigarh, January 12
Agrarian crisis is the darkest chapter ever written on the heart of Punjab. Defined by a massive rural debt of Rs 23,000 crore and a shrinking rural economy, it is the top concern for the intelligentsia which has been drawing the attention of the authorities towards the plight of farmers and their crumbling support system.

Time for Wadala to regain Doaba base
Jalandhar, January 12
The ensuing Assembly elections have provided an opportunity to member of political affairs committee of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Kuldeep Singh Wadala to restore his lost base.

For them, a bridge too far
Kaniya Hussaini (Jagraon), January 12
Residents of 25 villages on either sides of the Jassowal drain and falling in three Assembly segments - Jagraon, Dakha and Dharamkot (Moga) - are eagerly awaiting visits of candidates for seeking votes from them.

EC orders fresh probe against officers
Chandigarh, January 12
The Election Commission of India has taken the Punjab Government to task for not taking appropriate action against five officials, including two PCS officers, for violation of the code of conduct during the last elections to the Lok Sabha in 2004.

Hindu Suraksha Samiti keen to contest poll
Mohali, January 12
The Punjab unit of the Akhil Bhartiya Hindu Suraksha Samiti has sought permission from the national president of the unit , Mr Sanjeev Bhardwaj, to allow the party to contest the forthcoming Punjab Assembly elections.

January 12, 2007

Natives chip in
NRIs flock back home to canvass for their candidates, writes Saurabh Malik
As the Assembly elections draw near, overseas wings of parties have started campaigning for their stakes in the state. A delegation comprising around 25 non-resident Punjabis has landed in the state to drum up support for their “candidates”. Otherwise also, the candidates and their supporters have launched the process of dropping a line to their acquaintances in alien lands.

poll opera
As usual, sons and sons-in-law
Chandigarh, January 11
Punjab’s power politics is a dynastic soap opera - the main characters of which are a few leading families. A handful families have established their monopoly over the state’s political craft. While these families dictate terms, lesser political mortals abide by their diktats.

home aids
Bibi squads for that one ‘yes’
Jalandhar, January 11
Families of candidates are deeply involved in the campaign business. Kin of SAD candidates have been following hectic schedules ever since the names were announced last week.

Faithful Bairagis feel ignored by Congress
Sangrur, January 11
The Bairagi community, having around eight lakh votes in Punjab, is apparently unhappy with the Congress over the non-allotment of party ticket to any leader from the community for the past several decades.

Migration cuts numbers
Chandigarh, January 11
Is Punjab’s population declining ? Probably no. However, the voters list for the state shows that the number of voters in Punjab has declined when compared to last year.

Students fight drugs-for-vote policy
Amritsar, January 11
With drug abuse already spreading its tentacles in the holy city, residents of Maqboolpura, which has been losing its men to intoxicants leaving behind widows and orphans, have decided to launch a campaign against the distribution of any type of intoxicants to lure voters.

Wait-and-watch over Pakhoke
Amritsar, January 11
The two-day ultimatum, served by supporters of Mr Alwinderpal Singh Pakhoke, a former acting chief of the SGPC to change official nominee from Tarn Taran Assembly constituency has expired and the supporters have adopted a ‘wait and watch’ policy.

SAD (Longowal) to put up 25 candidates
Chandigarh, January 11
The President of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Longowal), Mr Inderjit Singh Zira, said here yesterday that his party would put up candidates on 25 seats in the state and enter into an electoral alliance with like- minded parties on the remaining seats.

January 11, 2007

High stakes, big nerves
Chandigarh, January 10
Mohali is Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh’s flagship of success in Punjab. Lured by exemptions and benefits offered by the Congress government’s mega project policy, a group of companies have poured crores into the area.

BSP’s Second List
A mix of caste and religion

Chandigarh, January 10
The Bahujan Samaj Party today announced names of 30 more candidates for the coming Assembly elections in Punjab. With this the number of candidates announced by the BSP has gone up to 73.

Ticket claimants stumped by Cong observer’s visit
Chandigarh, January 10
A surprise visit by one of the three members of the Congress election committee yesterday left aspirants for the Congress ticket and their supporters in Gurdaspur and Amritsar aghast.

In quest of win, politicians throng temples
Jalandhar, January 10
Historical temples at Baglamukhi and Kamakhiya Devi in Himachal Pradesh have turned out to be the latest spiritual resorts for politicians of all hues, who, are not only thronging the two shrines in a big way, but have started organising yajnas  either to secure party tickets or for their victory in forthcoming polls in the state.

1,034 polling stations ‘very sensitive’
DCs, SSPs told to register FIRs against violators 
Chandigarh, January 10
All Deputy Commissioners and SSPs of districts in Punjab have been told to immediately file an FIR on noticing any election-related offence in their respective areas.

The melody war is on
Crores being spent on campaign through music albums
Chandigarh, January 10
Traditional rivals are ready for war. And as always, both are relying heavily on the power of music to boost their reputation and bring down that of the foes.

Badal case: Court reserves order for January 15
Ropar, January 10
The arguments exchanged between the defence and state counsel during the proceedings of the corruption case involving SAD chief Parkash Singh Badal and his son and SAD general secretary Sukhbir Badal came for hearing before the Special Court Judge, Mr G.S. Saran, here today.

Bhullar likely to join SAD

Like they say, hope never dies
With Assembly elections round the corner, voters have fresh hopes. Demanding a check on inflation, better job opportunities and infrastructure development, they say they will cast their vote for the party most likely to fulfil their aspirations.

It’s just 80 cents a voter in Canada
It is 80 cents a candidate can spend on a voter in provincial elections in Canada. And on an average, the budget of a Canadian candidate for election to the provincial assembly varies between $ 80,000 and $1,00,000.

January 10, 2007

Cong poll observer has ticket aspirants in a tizzy
Gurdaspur January 9
The sudden arrival of the Congress Election Observer here today had the party ticket aspirants in a tizzy. The Election Observer, Mr Santosh Pargadia, who is a Rajya Sabha member from Rajasthan, arrived here even as many ticket aspirants complained that they were not informed about his visit.

JD(U) to contest 11 seats
Hoshiarpur, January 9
The Janta Dal (United) (JD-U) will field candidates from 11 Assembly segments in alliance with the non-Congress and non-SAD (B)-led front in Punjab.

Capt Kanwaljit Singh, former Finance Minister and candidate from BanurIf I win ...
‘Economy top priority’
Putting Punjab economy back on the rails will be my first priority. The five-year misrule of the Amarinder Singh government has put the economy on the downslide with growth rate in state only about 2.4% as against the 8.5% national growth rate.

Capt Kanwaljit Singh, former Finance Minister and candidate from Banur

Disqualify Tota Singh, ex-Cong MLA says
Moga, January 9
Buoyant by his recent success in getting a fine imposed on sitting Akali legislator Tota Singh by the Supreme Court, Mr Vijay Saathi, former Congress MLA, now has sought Mr Tota Singh’s disqualification for six years for the violation of election laws of the country.

Probe sought into code violation
Sangrur, January 9
The district unit of the Democratic Teachers Front (DTF), Punjab, on Monday submitted a complaint to the district administration demanding an inquiry into the alleged “violation of election code of conduct” some days ago in the local Government Senior Secondary School for boys at the time of a farewell party of a teacher who had taken voluntary retirement recently.

Who is watching voters’ interests?
Chandigarh, January 9
Will a registered voter with a photo identity card be allowed to cast his or her vote on February 13?

Khadi — The clear winner so far
Chandigarh , January 9
Just over a month before the Assembly elections in Punjab, so many supporters of different political parties across the state are exercising franchise in favour of khadi.

‘Mulajams’ gear up to grill politicians
Chandigarh, January 9
A beginning is being made by the Punjab Mulajam Sangharsh Committee to ask questions from politicians who will be in the Assembly election fray with regard to their vision and approach to various issues being faced by the state.



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