Rebels cause Congress’ debacle in city,
BJP records impressive gains
Sanjay Bumbroo & Ashok Sethi

The rebel Congress candidates dealt a severe body blow to their party in two of the four city constituencies where they caused their rivals, both candidates of the BJP, to triumph. The victories came in Amritsar (Central) and North assembly constituencies proving the skeptics right once again.

The media and the pollsters had correctly predicted that rebels will cast their shadow on the polls and it led to the ouster of former deputy speaker Darbari Lal from Amritsar (Central) constituency and Jugal Kishore Sharma, former chairman of the Amritsar Improvement Trust, from Amritsar (North)..

The rank and file of the party squarely blamed the party high command for its inability to counter balance the impact of the rebel candidates in the closely contested elections to the state assembly.

SAD rebels, however, were totally marginalized and they failed to make any impact on voters in the border belt which was hit by militancy in the eighties. The rebel SAD candidate and secretary, SGPC, Raghbir Singh, met his nemesis as he failed to create any impact on the polls. All the three SAD rebel candidates, Jagteshwar Singh Majitha from Majitha and Harindeer Singh Honey Randhawa from Ajnala, backed by Panthic Morcha lost their security deposits.

The voting pattern of the Amritsar (Central) constituency indicates the BJP has been able to retain its vote bank. It comes as a surprise to political analysts. Laxmi Kanta Chawla had been able to improve her tally by mere 700 votes while here arch rival Prof Lal lost 10,000 votes to the rebel candidate Arun Kumar Pappal thereby paving the way for the victory of the firebrand BJP leader Chawla. She would be entering the assembly for the third time during her three decade- long political career.

During the 2002 assembly elections, Prof Lal had polled 24,868 votes while Chawla had got 18,115 votes. The rebel proved the spoilsport for the Congress nominee who managed to secure 10,217 votes.

Similarly, the Amritsar (North) constituency which witnessed a triangular contest proved to be a Waterloo for the official Congress nominee Jugal Kishore Sharma who had been defeated because of the Congress rebel candidate Yoginder Pal Dhingra. He cut into his vote bank thus making it possible for Anil Joshi, BJP protégé of Navjot Singh Sidhu and considered to be a green horn in politics, to romp home.

The Congress vote got divided between the official and rebel Congress candidates. Joshi defeated his nearest Congress rival by more than 14,000 votes.

The Congress candidate from the West constituency, Om Parkash Soni, created history of sorts in the Majha belt by achieving a hat -trick in his third outing from the constituency. He defeated his nearest BJP rival and a novice in politics, Rajindermohan Singh Chhinna, who had recently joined the party by 13,130 votes.

Interestingly Soni had won the last two elections as Independent candidate. The SAD-BJP had put up a joint Jat Sikh candidate to conquer Soni’s stronghold.

The NDA alliance had inducted major political fire power to oust Soni who managed not only to retain his vote bank but expanded his base by securing 60969 votes more than the last vote count of 45331.

The CPI candidate, Amarjit Singh Asal, came third in the contest with the erosion of the communist vote.

The Sikh-dominated constituency of the Amritsar (South) saw the ascendancy of SAD candidate, Raminder Singh Bularia, who defeated the sitting Congress MLA, Harjinder Singh Thekedar, by a huge margin of about 24,000 votes. The vote bank of Congress candidate shrunk considerably while as Bularia consolidated his base and forged ahead securing with54,632 votes.

In the semi-urban reserved constituency, Verka, the SAD candidate Dalbir Singh, managed to avenge his defeat in the last elections by securing an impressive victory by 18,000 votes against the congress nominee Dr Raj Kumar.

Redeeming the fortunes of the Congress party in the border belt, the formidable Congress nominee and Chairman of Punjab Mandi Board, managed to secure impressive victory over two-time Akali MLA, Vir Singh Lopoke, by more than 8,000 votes. During the last elections S. S Sarkaria had lost by mere 3,500 votes He not only consolidated his vote bank but also managed to dent the Akali bastion.

Political analysts ascribed his solitary victory in the border belt of this district to his devotion to the development of the constituency.

The Shiromani Akali Dal was able to create a major dent in the rural constituencies of this border district by winning three and losing one to Congress in the elections held on February 13.

The notable loss came from Rajasansi constituency where Sukhbnder Singh Sarkaria of Congress emerged victorious by defeating the two-time SAD MLA, Vir Singh Lopoke, by more than 8,000 votes.

In a neighboring constituency of Ajnala , Amarpal Singh Boney of SAD, avenged his defeat against Harpartap Singh Ajnala, the sitting MLA, by more than 10,000 votes. Ajnala had won the last byelections by defeating Boney two years back.

The only cabinet minister from Jandiala constituency in the border belt Sardool Singh Bandala tasted defeat from his arch rival Malkit Singh by a margin of more that 12,000 votes and managed to redeem his position as he lost the last elections against Mr Bandala by 8,000 votes.

The notable winner from the Attari reserve constituency, Gulzar Singh Ranike of SAD, was able to retain the seat by defeating his nearest rival Rattan Singh of the Congress by over 19,000 votes. In the previous election Ranike had defeated Rattan Singh by more than 24000 votes.

A close relation of Sukhbir Badal and SAD candidate, Bikramjit Singh Majithia, in his maiden debut won the election by defeating Sukhjinderraj Singh Lalli of the Congress by 23,000 votes.

In the last elections, Sawinder Singh Kathunangal had defeated Akali candidate Rajmohinder Singh Majithia by merely 2,000 votes. Majitha made a strong dent into the Congress vote bank by securing 20,000 more votes than the SAD’s last elections.



Include Bhai Vir Singh museum on ASI list: Intellectuals
P.K. Jaiswar

The Punjabi Writers Cooperative Society on Tuesday sought the inclusion of Bhai Vir Singh Memorial Museum situated on the Lawrence Road in Amritsar to be included in Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) list.

In a communiqué to the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, and the Chief Minister of Punjab, Dr Biram Singh Ghuman and Dr Charanjit Singh Gumtala, president and managing director, respectively, of the society, said the museum which was the residence of Bhai Vir Singh should be included on the ASI list in similar way as that of the residences of many Indian leaders and scholars, including Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and President Dr Rajinder Prasad.

They said Bhai Vir Singh also known as father of modern Punjabi literature and recipient of Padam Bhushan award had made tremendous contributions in the field of writing popular poems, novels and books. They said the museum was well preserved and houses his books, spectacles, pens, flowers, vases and some other goods of daily use, besides the furniture.

Dr Ghuman and Dr Gumtala urged the district administration to include a special programme on Bhai Vir Singh during the annual Amritsar Heritage Festival, besides organising an annual flower arrangement competition on his birth anniversary (December 5).



University Notes
Commerce and business management lifts trophy
Tribune News Service

The commerce and business management department of Guru Nanak Dev University bagged the overall championship trophy during Jashan-2007 which concluded in Amritsar on Tuesday.

The architecture department stood runners-up, while the law department remained third.

Parminder Singh of the law department was declared best dancer in the men’s section, while Amrin of the commerce and business management was adjudged the best dancer in the women’s section.

Congratulating the winners, Dr Jai Rup Singh, vice-chancellor, advised the artistes to participate in the cultural and sports activities in addition to studies for the overall personality development.

Results: Collage: architecture department; Cartooning: architecture; Sketching: commerce and business; Painting: physics; Rangoli: physics; Geet/Gazal: music; Folksong: law; Group Shabad/Bhajan: applied chemistry; Poetry: Hindi; Extempore: social science, Debate: CBM; Quiz: English; Twisted News: CBM; Histrionics: architecture; Notanki: law; Skit: law; Choreography: architecture; Western Dance: architecture; Bhangra: CBM; Creative Dance: applied chemical sciences and technology; and Giddha: architecture department.


The Chinese Embassy in collaboration with the university will organize a six-day exhibition on “Snow Land”, showcasing the snow clad scenic beauty of Tibet in the second week of March.

The exhibition of photographs will depict the real situation of Tibet, which has an ancient history, beauty and magic with rapid development as well as the scenery and custom unique to the snow land plateau.

Approximately 100 best photographs selected from 247 photographs clicked by the photographers of world repute will be displayed.

A spokesman for the university said the Chinese Ambassador to India would be the guest of honour.


Dr M. Natarajan, a scientist from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi, has delivered lectures on “Applications of information and communication technology to library and information science” to students in Library and Information Science.


The following were elected office-bearers of the Guru Nanak Dev University Workers Union: president: Darbara Singh; vice-president: Shamsher Singh; general secretary: Jaspal Singh; joint secretary: Buta Singh; and cashier: Mani Ram. The executive members are: Ram Lal, Rattan Singh, Satnam Singh, Malook Singh, Balwinder Singh, Dharam Singh, Kirpal Singh, Ajit Singh, Jasbir Singh Aulakh and Prag Datt.


The university will organise a seminar on “Recent trends in electronics and communications” on the campus on March 2.

The seminar is being organised by the department of electronics technology and sponsored by the All-India Council of Technical Education.

According to Dr Derick Engles, Professor and Head of the Electronics Technology, Dr Pawan Kapoor, Director, Central Scientific Instruments Organisation (CSIO), Chandigarh, will deliver the keynote address on “Sensor networking and applications”.

Dr M.L. Singh said the seminar is intended to provide a common platform to the industrialists and academics to exchange research ideas and give exposure to the latest in electronics technology. 



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