L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S

72 cellphones, arms recovered
Jupinderjit Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
The police has claimed to have solved around 200 cases of snatching and theft with the arrest four members of a gang. An employee of the Municipal Corporation and two mobile phone shop owners were among those arrested by the police.

The accused were allegedly involved in various incidents of snatching mobile phones, purses and gold chains besides looting cash from the glove boxes of scooters. They were also allegedly planning to commit dacoities in the city.

The SSP Ludhiana, Mr A.S. Rai, said a police party nabbed the accused from a model town park. Those arrested were Sanjeev Kumar, alias Sanjeeva, Sunny, Sarabjit and Gurpreet.

They have been booked under Sections 399, 402, 379 and 411 of the IPC and Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act. During interrogation, Sanjeev and Sunny revealed that they had snatched around 150 mobile phones, six gold chains, 25 purses and broke open the glove boxes of around 10 scooters. They used to sell these phones to Sarbjit and Gurpreet.

The SSP said the main gang members were Sunny and Sanjeev Kumar. They had a black Hero Honda motorcycle, but occasionally they used to take scooter and motorcycles from their friends. They used to roam around on the city roads in the evenings and search for the prey. As soon as a target was sighted, they would snatch the purse or the mobile phone. The two also used to change their appearance at times.

While Sanjeev is working with the Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, as a sweeper, Sunny is unemployed. The other two members of the gang, Sarabjit and Gurpreet, are brothers. They run a mobile phone shop. They used to buy snatched mobile phones and gold chains from the accused for further sale.

They used to tell Sanjeeva and Sunny which mobile phone model was required. The gang used to rob around three phones everyday. The gang was active for the past around 10 months. The police has recovered 72 mobile phone of different brands, on Hero Honda Passion motorcycle (PB10AB 8989), one .315 bore pistol and two live cartridges.

The gang used to operate in the entire city, but it was more active in Gill Chowk, Arora Palace, Model Town market, Dugri Bridge road, Mall Road, Sarabha Nagar market, Kitchlu Nagar, Haibowal road, Bus Stand and Feroze Gandhi Market areas.

The SP (City-1), Mr Rakesh Aggarwal, said in case any person had not lodged a case at the time of snatching, he could get it registered now and the police would give back his mobile phone if it was among those recovered from the accused.



Rain fails to lessen poll heat
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
Rain could not deter candidates and their supporters from venturing out for canvassing. As it was the last day of campaigning, candidates and their supporters canvassed till the last minute today.

The candidates were out on the roads even while it was pouring in the city. There was chill in the air, but the candidates and their supporters continued canvassing holding umbrellas in their hand.

Though Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee's rally in favour of the SAD-BJP candidates in the city was cancelled due to inclement weather conditions, the local leaders did not give up and were seen on the roads throughout the day.

Mr Satpal Gosain, BJP candidate from Ludhiana (East), was canvassing in an open jeep while his supporters were protecting him with an umbrella. Having undergone angioplasty some days ago, the never-say-die spirit of the leader did not allow him to stay indoors.

His arch rival and Congress candidate, Mr Surinder Dawar, did not care for the rain. He addressed 12 meetings and went door to door to meet people urging them to vote for him.

Wives of both these candidates were also busy meeting people. Mr Gosain's wife, Ms Bimla Gosain, was campaigning in an open vehicle and Mr Dawar's wife was busy in door-to-door canvassing. Both of them spent the entire day moving around in the constituency.

‘‘It is the last day today. Even if we have to put an extra effort to come out in the rain, it does not make a difference. It would send a message that rain or shine, we are with the people,’’ said Ms Neelam Dawar.

Mr Madan Lal Bagga, an Independent candidate from Ludhiana (North), was busy canvassing in a rickshaw with his election symbol, a plane, tied on it. He remained on the roads throughout the day.

Supporters of Mr Harnam Dass Johar, Ludhiana (West) candidate, were seen carrying his cut-outs on the busy roundabouts. Rain did not deter them, too.

Mr Harish Rai Dhanda, Mr Jagmohan Singh, Mr Rakesh Pandey, Mr Harish Bedi, Mr Malkiat Singh Birmi, Mr Hira Singh Gabria and Mr Gurmel Singh Pehlawan also remained busy throughout the day.



DC’s residence faces threat from Sukhbir Badal
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
If the Shiromani Akali Dal general secretary, Mr Sukhbir Badal, is to be believed, the Deputy Commissioner's residence in the Rakh Bagh area is all set to be demolished and the space to be allocated to the Satluj Club, Ludhiana, if his party comes to power. The announcement was made by Mr Sukhbir Badal during a dinner meeting with the members of the club recently.

Meanwhile, several club members, including the general secretary, Mr Sanjay Arora, have objected to the organising of a political function on the club premises.

Mr Sukhbir Badal had been invited to the club by one of the members and former sports secretary, Mr Varinder Goel. Mr Goel had unsuccessfully contested the last elections for the post of the club general secretary. He happens to be an active member of the SAD.

Despite strong resentment among club members for allowing the club premises for a political function, Mr Sukhbir assured the club management that it would be provided with the land and the Deputy Commissioner's residence would be shifted to some other suitable place.

The club happens to be an officers' club. The Deputy Commissioner is its ex-officio president. The management of the club is also dominated by officers of the district administration. A few office-bearers like the general secretary and other secretaries, like those for sports, food, bar and culture are elected by the members.

Considered to be one of the premier clubs in the North with a total membership of around 3,000, the club has never been identified with any political party. A club member said, “The club culture is basically aimed at bringing unity among the members and not create partisan divisions.” Such functions must be discouraged, he observed.

On the other hand, the club secretary said it was a private party organised by a few club members, without his knowledge. He said had he known about it in advance, he would not have allowed it. Because, he said, it turned out into a mini political rally.

Moreover, had it been a private party, there would not have been any political speeches like those made by Mr Sukhbir Badal and the local MP, Mr Sharanjit Singh Dhillon.



Ludhiana Calling

Guess, who was the happiest when supporters of a Congress candidate distributed laddoos to people in Ghumar Mandi? Not the ones who could contribute to the vote bank, it were kids who had most of the fun. One of them was heard saying, “Kisi ka birthday hai..” (It is someone’s birthday). The kid was little bothered even when his father, a vegetable vendor, clarified that the sweets were not on account of birthday celebration. He preferred to run away to get a few more laddoos.

Where name matters

What's in a name? A lot, if names of the contenders for the Assembly elections from the industrial capital indicate anything. Interestingly, in Ludhiana (East) segment, both Congress and BJP candidates - Surinder Dawar and Sat Pal Gosain, have their names starting with letter S. Similarly, the letter H dominates Ludhiana (West) seat where Harnam Das Johar and Harish Rai Dhanda of the Congress and SAD, respectively, are locking horns. The letter H seems to have quite an importance for the SAD-BJP combine as three of the four candidates put up in the city by these two have their names starting with this letter. They are Harish Rai Dhanda (West), Harish Bedi (North) and Hira Singh Gabria (Rural).

Good news for youngsters

The forthcoming elections have made youngsters happy. The reason has nothing to do with the country’s political set up. Rather, activity on account of elections has shifted the entire media attention to political news and little is being written on Valentine’s Day. “Valentine’s Day used to attract so much media attention that our parents used to analyse each action of ours with suspicion. Thankfully, there is no such thing this time. Even colleges seem to be relaxed and we are expecting to have a lot of fun,” a student remarked.

Cheer up, hosiery industry

When city residents thought it was time to bid farewell to their woollens, the sudden decline in temperature has changed that. This has cheered up the hosiery industry which will be able to clear stocks. The impact of it is being witnessed at the numerous sales at various outlets.

Hogging the limelight

While political candidates run a mad race to ensure their victory in the forthcoming elections, there is a segment of people who are using this time as an opportunity to hog limelight. These are a few residents who drop press notes in newspaper offices, claiming that the opponents of parties they are not supporting are misusing their names. Some even went ahead to state that they were being "blackmailed" as the opposite party was claiming that they were their supporters. Sadly for them, this futile attempt at making themselves "very important" bore little results and failed to get much space in newspapers, too.

The lesser the better

That February has two-three days lesser than other months is joyous to many. In particular, the salaried class, to whom it means not just lesser spending but also an earlier salary. Surprisingly, school goers also feel glad. Less days means you get to the next class sooner. Wish other months too had 28 days, a school kid was heard saying.

All over ‘Dreamgirl’

The work of majority of industrial units came to a standstill for more than two hours with workers continuously asking their employers to excuse them to have a glimpse of “Dreamgirl” Hema Malini. The employers seemed helpless as the "ardent fans" were not ready to listen to them. The venue of her rally was Janakpuri but those working in various factories had come from Shimlapuri, Industrial Area, Sufian Chowk, Sunder Nagar and even Focal Point. An employer when asked the care-taker of his factory not to go as everybody was going, he said, “Dekh lo sahib, ‘Dreamgirl’ ko na dikhakar aap kewal hamara sapna todoge (Sir, by not letting me see the ‘Dreamgirl’ you will be shattering my dream).”


A recent sale at a footwear shop on the Mall attracted a lot of women. The other day a pair of sandals was picked up by two women. Both asked for the same pair. When the salesman said that it was the last one, the women started arguing over the pair of sandals. Suddenly, the daughter of one of the buyers asked her mother to not go in for it as it did not suit her. The other woman who overheard the mother-daughter conversation, also left it by saying that it did not suit her feet, too. — Shveta Pathak, Kuldip Bhatia, Shivani Bhakoo.


Punjab VOTES ’07

Biggest constituency in a multi-cornered contest
Kanchan Vasdev

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
The Ludhiana Rural constituency- the biggest in the state- is in for a direct contest between sitting Congress MLA Malkiat Singh Birmi and SAD candidate Hira Singh Gabria. Two candidates from the BSP and the Rashtriya Jan Morcha may affect the mandate.
The candidates are as follows:

1 Mr Gurmail Singh Pehalwan (BSP)
2 Mr Hira Singh Gabria SAD(B)
3 Mr Malkiat Singh Birmi (INC)
4 Mr Ram Parkash (Nationalist
Congress Party)
5 Mr Parminder Singh (Rashtriya Janta Dal)
6 Mr Sunder Lal (Samajwadi Party)
7 Mr Azad Sharma (Adarsh Political Party)
8 Mr Shambu kumar Singh (Jan Morcha)
9 Mr Gurdeep Singh (Independent)
I0 Mr Gurnam Singh Chauhan (Independent)
11 Mr Hardeep Singh (Independent)
12 Mr Jasbir Singh Thethi (Independent)
13 Mr Kirpal Singh (Independent)
14 Mr Kishori Lal Mehta (Independent)
15 Mr Kunal (Independent)
16 Mr Satwant Singh (Independent)
17 Sheela (Independent)
18 Varinder Singh (Independent)

As many as 18 candidates, maximum in the 12 constituencies of the district, are in the fray affecting the equations, in the constituency with an electorate of around 5 lakh.

Political observers say that nobody in the segment has ever been able to predict the outcome in advance and the seat has been largely fought on the Ramgarhia card. But this time, both arch rivals belong to the same community and it remains to be seen who gets the mandate tilted in his favour.

The BSP candidate, Mr Gurmel Singh Pehalwan, can affect Mr Birmi's applecart as the former is targeting considerable Dalit votes in the constituency. Mr Shambhu Kumar Singh, a joint candidate of the Rashtriya Jan Morcha and the Sanjha Morcha, can also tilt the balance of both the parties.

Mr Shambhu Kumar Singh is eyeing the votes of migrants that amount to around one lakh in the segment. He can tilt Mr Birmi's balance.

At the same time, Mr Shambhu, who is being supported by former MP and former SAD leader Amrik Singh Aliwal can affect votes of Mr Gabria. Mr Aliwal was a strong contender for the SAD ticket from rural but was denied the ticket. He joined the Sanjha Morcha and extended his support to Mr Shambhu.

Mr Aliwal had contested from this constituency in the last elections and had polled 30,535 votes against Mr Gabria's (30,305 votes) when the latter was a SAD (Tohra) candidate.

But Gabria has many reasons to smile also as another strong leader of the constituency, Mr Jagdev Singh Tajpuri, a former SAD leader, has been supporting him this time. He had contested as an independent in 1997.

The BSP candidate, Mr Gurmel Singh Pehalwan, had also polled 18,000 votes when Mr Birmi had won with 60,638 votes in the last elections. His past work at the grassroot level can also affect the mandate.



SAD (A) man will make Ludhiana (W) contest tough
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
Ludhiana (West) constituency is heading for a direct contest between Congress stalwart Harnam Dass Johar and SAD nominee Harish Rai Dhanda.

Mr Johar has won from this seat thrice in 1985, 1992 and 2002. He had, however, lost to Akali leader Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal in 1997.

Mr Dhanda is the first non-Sikh candidate fielded by the SAD. He had contested from this seat as an Independent during the last elections also and had polled 9,000-odd votes. The SAD had denied ticket to him last time.


1. Harnam Dass Johar Congress
2. Harish Rai Dhanda SAD
3. Khraiti Lal BSP
4. Kanwaljit Singh Narula LJSP
5. Jagmohan Singh SAD (SSM)
6. Balbir Kumar BJSP
7. Anant Deep Singh Independent
8. Satish Kumar Independent
9. Gulshan Kumar Independent
10. Jaswinder Singh Independent
11. Davinder Kumar Independent
12. Ruldu Ram Parmar Independent

The fielding of Prof Jagmohan Singh, SAD (A), in this constituency by Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, party supremo, is being seen as a strategic move. Fighting on the Panthic agenda, Professor Jagmohan is targeting urban Sikh votes, a major chunk in this constituency, and can give a tough time to Mr Dhanda.

Mr Dhanda had to overcome some opposition by SAD workers in the constituency initially. He was helped by none other than Mr Parkash Singh Badal, who asked the workers to support him, as he wanted this seat for his party.

Some SAD leaders, especially councillors, were annoyed with Mr Badal for not fielding a Sikh candidate as this seat could be fought on panthic agenda. Later, they came together but still some of them are against him.

Mr Dhanda is promising clean governance and has given a call for a change. He has canvassed in a very strategic manner, touching all sections of society. He has been the Chairman of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Council and had remained president of the Ludhiana District Bar Association for seven years.

On the other hand anti-incumbency factor can go against Mr Johar. He is accused of not doing proper development in some parts of the segment, besides patronising certain slums which constitute his vote bank.

Mr Johar is a Congress heavyweight and has been a Cabinet Minister. He enjoys a good rapport among party workers for calling a spade a spade. Moreover, the Congress has got quite a hold over this part of the city.



Razia’s booklet of achievements
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 11
To enhance integrity of claims made by supporters of the Congress nominee from Malerkotla, Ms Razia Sultana, regarding massive development undertaken by her, a social organization has published a booklet highlighting achievements of the candidate.

The candidate received a shot in arm, with distribution of the brochure among local residents, going a long way in nullifying the negative propaganda made by opposition leaders. As printed material is taken as more reliable, facts and figures about projects undertaken during her tenure have facilitated support from non-political corners.

A perusal of the booklet named ‘Five Years Versus Fifty Years’ published by Muslim Welfare and Development Association shows Ms Razia Sultana as having fetched grants to the tune of Rs 64,91,06,200 for development of the area during her tenure as MLA.

Initiation of a project envisaging hundred percent sewerage and water supply here (5 crore) , a new project at Civil Hospital (42 lakh), construction of a sports complex (16.49 lakh), community hall ward number 7 (10 lakh), Municipal Park (4 lakh) and distribution of huge funds (40 lakh) to various social, cultural and educational associations seemed to have favoured the candidate more.

The candidate claimed to have brought grants to the tune of Rs 1.8 crore during the last week of December, just prior to the notification of the election process. “Though nobody has observed any of my predecessors bringing such a huge grant during his or her term, I succeeded in fetching Rs 1.80 crore from the liberal government during the last week of December, just prior to implementation of the election code,” reads the last paragraph of page 25 of the 32-page booklet.

Punjab Urdu Academy, an education college for the constituency, extension of the Ashirwad Scheme to Muslim families, medical college and nursing school and enhancement of infrastructure, including roads and streets are other avenues where Ms Sultana claimed to have made unprecedented achievement.

“Above all, I understand that I and the publisher of the brochure can face serious consequences in case any of the facts mentioned in it are found to be incorrect at any stage,” expressed Ms Razia Sultana showing gratitude to those social organisations which had come forward to support her after reading the booklet.



“Congress rule must to sustain development”
Mahesh Sharma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 11
Terming the return of the Congress in the state as a prerequisite for completion of the current developmental phase, senior party leaders called upon the residents of Kila Raipur constituency to vote for Mr Jasvir Khangura, the party nominee, who, on winning would inspire more NRIs to contribute in restructuring the infrastructure of Punjab. The call came at an impressive rally organised by the party at Latala village, near here, on Friday.

Addressing the gathering, senior leaders, including Union Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit, asserted that the border state needed at least two consecutive terms of Congress rule for completion of massive developmental projects that were started by the present regime. Such projects need some gestation time and it is only fair that the projects started by the party are allowed to blossom, which can only happen under Congress rule, they pointed out.

"If you wish that the Punjabis should have facilities being enjoyed by residents of Delhi and other UTs and states, you must support Congress candidates in various Assembly segments, including Kila Raipur," said Ms Dixit.Pointing to the unprecedented development of Delhi, she said the UT headed by her had achieved stability only due to able administration by the Congress for two consecutive terms.

Reminding locals that she was a daughter of Punjab, Ms Dixit sought votes for Mr Jassi Khangura, whose induction into the Assembly would send the right signals to other NRIs who wanted to invest heavily in various projects in Punjab. They would have a shining example of how we can benefit from our diaspora abroad, who so far have been avoiding coming here, let alone do social service, she added.

Mr Sushil Shinde claimed that the Congress high command had fielded candidates with a clear image and the party was sure to return to power in the state.

Mr Jasvir Khangura assured that he would leave no stone unturned to supplement development of the area. The area had witnessed unprecedented progress in the past five years and more such activities would be undertaken in case he is voted to power. Our family has been in the service of the people for the past several years and would continue to work for the social and economic upliftment of the area, he promised.

Mr Jagdev Singh Jassowal, former MLA, Mr Mohinder Singh Gill, former president, PPCC and Mr Jagpal Singh Khangura, in charge, Kila Raipur, also spoke on the occasion.



Jassi promises to improve healthcare, education, agriculture
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana February 11
The Congress candidate from the Kila Raipur Assembly segment, Mr Jassi Khangura, today promised to improve the rural healthcare, education and the agricultural sector in his area. In a statement issued here today, Mr Khangura said: "With most of the agriculturalists struggling with strained finances I will endeavour to work with them to improve yields, promote diversification and to protect them from exploitation by brokers.”

He observed that there was an urgent need for augmenting the income of the farmers by encouraging hybrid cash crops, dairy farming, horticulture and floriculture and vegetable farming with back-up of canned packaging industries. He said, "for those with little or no landholding, it is important that we encourage dairy farming in a big way, whilst generating local jobs by promoting industry.” He said for the upliftment of women, it is important that cottage industries at home be promoted.

He said he would work towards making primary healthcare more efficient. Better healthcare must be accessible to all. Service provision will be boosted with a string of healthcare centres, nursing training schools and village-based community health centres.

He pointed out that "nothing works better at alleviating poverty than education, so I will work on a bottom-up approach to ensure ready access to quality education to all, right from the primary school level. I will engage actively with the large NRI contingent that hails from this area to seek their greater participation in village development and social, educational and cultural activities.”

He observed that the NRIs were a valuable resource for India and there was a need to do more to encourage their greater participation in their motherland, be it by investment in equity or industry, charitable, social and educational funding, or by simply being better ambassadors for India. In the near future, we need to consider extending voting and electoral participation rights to Indian citizen NRIs. NRIs can make a good contribution to better governance in India, particularly e-governance, of which most of them have vast experience.

He claimed that his family chose to invest in Punjab during the dark days of terrorism. "Even today our inward NRI investment is amongst the largest in Punjab. Our business experience in Punjab has been very positive,” he revealed. He claimed, "my background in medicine, my Oxford University education, my 40 years overseas exposure and my family's contribution to investment in Punjab are all useful experiences which will allow me to make a positive contribution as an MLA.” He said he shared the vision of the President, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, of making India a developed nation and a superpower by 2020.



DC issues directions to returning officers
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
District Election Officer Ashok Kumar Gupta has directed that all Returning Officers and the supervisory teams to strictly enforce the directions of the Election Commission on the polling day, including that of setting up of polling booths of the candidates, issuing of slips etc. He said 195 supervisory joint teams comprising civil and police officers have been deputed to supervise polling on February 13 from 8 am to 5 pm.

He said no booth would be set up within a distance of 200m from the polling station. Even where more than one polling station has been set up in the same building, there will be only one booth of a candidate for such group of polling. Only one table and two chairs will be allowed at each booth with an umbrella or a piece of tarpaulin to protect the two occupants, he said.

Each candidate wishing to set up such booths will intimate, in writing, in advance to the RO, the names and sr no of the polling stations, where such booths are proposed to be set up by him. Such booths will be used only for the sole purpose of issuing unofficial identity slips to electoral.

The unofficial identity slips will be on plan paper without the name or symbol of the candidate or the name of the party. Only one banner to be displayed with the name of the candidate, his party and election symbol allotted to him will be allowed at each such booth, provided that such banner will not be more than 3 feet by 4/2 feet in length and breadth and no crowds will be allowed to collect at such booths in any circumstances, nor will any person who has already cast his vote at the polling station be allowed to come to the booth, he added.

The persons manning the booths will not cause any obstructions in the way of electors proceeding to the polling stations or prevent them from going to the booths of other candidates or create any hurdles in the right of voters to exercise their franchise according to their own free will, he said.

Mr Gupta said any violation of the above directions will be viewed with the utmost gravity and most stringent action possible under the laws. He warned that if any officer was found to have failed to take prompt and expeditious action to ensure the strict compliance of the above mentioned directions, strict disciplinary action would be taken against him.

The voters who have not been issued with the EPIC can cast their vote on the production of any of the thirteen identification, including passport, driving license, Income Tax Identity (PAN) cards, service identity cards, with photographs issued to the employees by the state/Central government public sector undertaking or public limited company, Passbooks issued by public sector banks/post office and kisan passbooks (accounts opened on or before 31.12.2006), property documents, such as PA, registered deed etc., rations cards issued on or before 31.12.2006 with photographs, SC/ST/OBC certificates issued by the competent authority on or before December 31, 2006, pension documents such as ex-servicemen's pension book/ pension payment order, ex-servicemen's widow/ dependent certificate, old age pension order, widow pension order, freedom fighter identity cards, arms licenses issued on or before December 31, 2006, certificate of physical handicap by the competent authority issued on or before December 31, 2006 and the Air Force, Navy, Army personnel identification cards with photographs.

The DEO also said no candidate will ferry the voters on vehicles on the polling day and vehicles only with permits could be used by the candidates or supporters.



Docs to back party that supports their cause
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 11
The ongoing electioneering for the Assembly polls has witnessed a positive phenomenon, the educated community like doctors have come forward in the open to support some of the deserving candidates, irrespective of their party affiliations.

The medical professionals, are showing great enthusiasm in the election campaign, especially in the Ludhiana West constituency where their significant numbers can tilt the balance of any candidate fighting the electoral battle. Several leading doctors have been in the forefront to canvass support for both Mr Harish Rai Dhanda of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) and Mr Harnam Das Johar of the Congress. 

The IMA wants a commitment from the candidates, that after winning, they would provide subsidised land, electricity for nursing homes and low-cost treatment to patients

According to Dr Gursharan Singh, president of the district branch of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), the office-bearers of the DMC Teachers association, including Dr Navdeep Khiara, Dr Sanjiv Uppal and Dr Balbir Singh Shah, have come out openly in support of the SAD candidate Mr Dhanda. On the other hand, Mr Johar, in a bid to seek support of the medical community, had hosted a dinner at Bassi Hospital in Tagore Nagar here last evening.

Earlier, Mr Dhanda had held a meeting in which a large number of doctors from CMC and DMC had participated. The SAD-B candidate held a position in the governing council of CMC and was confident of a significant support from the medical fraternity.

The IMA chief said, the association, as such, had not come out openly in support of any candidate and maintained that the members would extend support only to those candidates or parties who promised to stand for their cause. He maintained that the parties which sought the support of doctors must come forward and influence the Union government not to impose service tax on the doctors in the ensuing Union Budget.

The IMA also wanted a commitment from the candidates, that after winning, they would provide subsidised land, electricity for nursing homes and low-cost treatment to patients. It also desired a change in the 'Master Plan' of the big towns in the state of Punjab so that the rights of smaller nursing homes were protected.



Campaigning: Rain did not deter them
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, February 11
Despite incessant rain, candidates and their supporters tried their best to make full use of the last day for canvassing. However, the organisers had to cancel some of the scheduled rallies and meetings.

The residents got relief from noise pollution as the operators of sound system avoided exposing their equipment to moisture and showers.

Ms Razia Sultana, Congress nominee from Malerkotla, accompanied by her supporters visited this local town and surrounding villages in the afternoon. Though the managers of the campaign had tried to cancel the scheduled meeting, the enthusiasts impressed upon the candidate to conclude her campaign here. She was weighed against laddoos and coins at many places.

Various social and educational organisations, including Bhagat Ravidass Dharamsala Society, Ahmedgarh Vidya Parcharak Sabha, Jandali Road Welfare Society and Dera Sacha Sauda felicitated her at a function organised at Ravidass Chowk.

Ms Sultana claimed that residents of the area had shown unprecedented enthusiasm during her campaign. “Fortunately, we have been able to make people aware about the policies of the Congress in a wider aspect. Acknowledging the massive development undertaken during the past five years people have decided to send me to the Assembly so that the developmental phase might be continued,” she claimed.

Mr Abdul Gaffar, SAD nominee from here, was also welcomed by party activists at many places. According to Mr Kuldip Karwal, general secretary, youth wing of the party, the local unit had to cancel some of the programs due to incessant rain.



Harish Dhanda’s assurance to sports fraternity

Ludhiana, February 11
Mr Harish Rai Dhanda has promised the sports fraternity that if the SAD-BJP combine is voted to power, he will make efforts to evolve a sports policy in the state. Mr Dhanda, the combine candidate for the Ludhiana West constituency, expressed these views while interacting with sportspersons, organisers and representatives of different sports associations here today.

He assured the gathering that he would strive to make sufficient infrastructure available for sportspersons so that they could prepare themselves for competitions. "I will always be available for the promotion of sports.”

Among those who attended the function organised by Mr Anupam Kumaria, former badminton player included Mr Chaman Lal Malhotra and Mr Ashok Jain (cricket), Mr Hardeep Singh Grewal and Mr Jagbir Singh Grewal (hockey), Arun Dhand, former world veteran champion (badminton), Mr Rakesh Chaudhary and Mr Jai Parkash Dhand. — OSR



7,000 security personnel for poll day
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
Seven thousand police and paramilitary personnel would be deployed to take care of the law and order situation in the district on the day of Assembly elections.

Addressing a press conference, Mr Ashok Kumar Gupta, District Election Officer, said: “To ensure that there are no communication gaps, 195 supervisors will head 195 patrolling teams. This has been done to take care of the problems arising when the number of supervisors one patrolling team had to communicate with was more.”

Earlier, there used to be a supervisory officer from the civil side and patrolling was taken care of by the police. As a result, the geographical area was not coterminous. "This time, the geographical area is coterminous due to coordination between the police and the election office. Comprehensive patrolling will be done and presiding officers will have to contact only one group for any law order problem."

Mr Gupta said each “sensitive” and “very sensitive” booth in the 12 constituencies would have paramilitary deployment.

The DC also announced a ban on the sale of liquor from 5 pm on February 11 to 5 pm on February 13.

SSP A.S. Rai and Jagraon SSP Shiv Kumar Verma were also present on the occasion.



Three observers appointed
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, February 11
District election officer Ashok Kumar Gupta stated that three new observers for Jagraon, Koom Kalan and Kila Raipur, appointed by the Election Commission of India, had arrived here today.

He further said the new observers for Jagraon was Mr Nongsiej (Ph 9914076586), for Koom Kalan it was Mr Corne Lius Ekka (Ph 9914076559), both were staying at PSEB Rest House, while for Kila Raipur the observer was Mr Avinash K. Srivastava (Ph 9914076592), who was staying at Circuit House.

Mr Gupta said any person who wanted to contact them in connection with any complaint or violation of model code of conduct could do so on their mobile phones.



Bliss of motherhood after 12 years
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 11
For Ms Jaspreet (29), wife of a city-based police personnel, the mental agony of more than a decade of not being able to conceive came to end when she delivered a male child on February 2 with the help of assisted reproductive technology (ART) at Dr Ruchika Fertility and Test Tube Baby Centre of Dr Rama Sofat Hospital here.

According to Dr Rama Sofat, the woman was brought to her with complaint of infertility and inability of conceiving even after treatment at several hospitals. "The woman was examined and diagnosed to have ovulatory dysfunction (inability to form eggs, characterised by delayed periods). Her hormonal profile was also found to be deranged."

She said the hormonal problem was corrected medically and ovaries were stimulated to form good quality eggs. Combined efforts by the team of doctors and ART led to successful conception and birth of a male child, she added.

Expressing satisfaction at the successful outcome in the case, Dr Sofat said infertility was a specialised branch of gynaecology that needed a combined approach by a gynaecologist, an IVF specialist and a male infertility specialist.

"It is important to note that a number of patients are able to conceive once their basic problems are managed appropriately and it is only in about 10 to 15 per cent infertile women that relatively expensive and hi-tech treatment like IVF (test tube baby) and ICSA are required," she added.



Birth anniversary of Swami Dayanand celebrated
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 11
BCM celebrated the 183rd birth anniversary of Maharishi Dayanand on the school premises here today. To mark the 183rd birth anniversary of Maharishi Dayanand, founder of Arya Samaj, students and staff of BCM Arya Model Senior Secondary School paid tributes to the clarion of Arya Samaj in the form of speeches, bhajans and poems.

The function was held during the morning assembly in which both students and teachers participated with great enthusiasm. To begin with, Anshika spoke 10 golden rules of the Arya Samaj followed by a speech “Samagra Krariti Ke Doot - Swami Dayanand” by Palak Khurana of Class IV.

A student of Class V-G threw light on the life and teachings of Maharishi followed by a poem Tankara Gaon Hi '.... by Kanika Kamboj.

Then it was the turn of teachers. Ms Anu Sharma recited a poem “Woh Yug Drishta” which highlighted the contributions made by him. Music teacher Manjit Kaur presented a bhajan. A quiz based on the life and teachings of Maharishi Dayanand was also held. Speaking on the occasion, Principal Paramjit Kaur paid tribute to this great son of India and exhorted the students to imbibe his teachings in their lives.



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