City boots out Congress
Reverse swing in district: 2002—Cong 9, SAD-BJP 1; 2007— Cong 1 SAD-BJP 9
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Crowds celebrate as the results pour in
Boo to the Congress: Crowds celebrate as the results pour in 

Having been a Congress citadel for long, Jalandhar city has hit back with a vengeance by routing the Congress completely for the first time.

Out of the four seats -Jalandhar (South) Jalandhar (Central), Jalandhar (North) and Jalandhar (Cantonment)-- falling in Jalandhar city, the BJP bagged three seats. It is a different matter that the fourth seat ,Jalandhar (Cantonment), also landed in its lap in a way as it went to SAD-BJP combine’s candidate Jagbir Brar.

The Congress defeat in Jalandhar city has proved to be humiliating for Congress leaders as two of its top ‘guns’ Avtaar Henry, Jalandhar (North) and Mohinder Singh Kaypee, Jalandhar-(South) fell to BJP candidates K.D. Bhandari and Bhagat Chuni Lal, respectively. Congress’ first timer Tejinder Bittu also suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of BJP old war horse Manoranjan Kalia.

What pinched the Congress more was the fact that its leadership has been heavily banking upon Jalandhar for overall electoral gains considering its past history and record, which, has always been displaying a tilt towards the Congress even during worst times for the party. In the past, Congress may have been routed in rest of Punjab but not in Jalandhar.

What came as a nightmare for the Congress was the defeat of Avtaar Henry at the hands of the BJP first-timer K.D. Bhandari by 4930 votes. Henry’s defeat could fetch big gains for Bhandari within the BJP organizational set-up during next few days.

Interestingly, Henry has represented his seat thrice and without any break, while Bhandari has no experience of assembly poll contest. Bhandari’s following among the business community is said to have hammered out the victory for him.

The Jalandhar (Central) is the one seat of the city which has been the centre of attraction for one or the other reason. One of the factors, which had raised many an eye-brows, was the replacement of old war horse Raj Kumar with Bittu as a candidate by the Congress.

Secondly, with Shital Vij, a prominent industrialist from the city, entering the fray as an independent candidate also proved costly to the Congress as Vij has a vast following in the Hindu-dominated seat. He proved his hold by cornering 11330 votes. The difference between the BJP candidate Manoranjan Kalia and Bittu was of about 19000 votes as Kalia bagged 47221 and Bittu managed 28212 votes. In fact, the ‘indifference of Hindu voter’ in Jalandhar (Central) resulted in damage to the Congress and led to the victory of BJP candidate Kalia.

Another surprise for the Congress was sprung by Bhagat Chuni Lal of the BJP, who humbled Kaypee, a former minister, with a huge difference of about 6000 votes. Poll pundits proved to be wrong in case of both stalwarts Henry and Kaypee as they had been predicting victory of both the Congress big-wigs keeping in view of their electoral track record.

Voters, sources indicated, were upset over prolonged ‘indifference’ of the Congress towards the city. They felt that the city failed to develop along expected lines despite the presence of about half-a-dozen Congress MLAs from Jalandhar district in the Punjab cabinet. Price rise and corruption were two other major issues which went against the Congress in the city. Local issues such as non-completion of the ‘Domoria’ bridge, ill-maintenance of parks and poor health of sanitation in the city also disillusioned the residents with the Congress.

Jalandhar (North)

K.D. Bhandari (BJP) was declared elected defeating his nearest rival Avtar Henry (Cong) by a margin of 4,929 votes.

Jalandhar (South)

Mohinder Singh Kaypee, a former transport minister, was defeated by BJP nominee Chunni Lal by 11,917 votes.

Jalandhar (Central)

Former minister and BJP nominee Manorajan Kalia defeated Congress nominee Tejinder Singh Bittu by 19,762 votes.

Jalandhar (Cantonment)

Gurkanwal Kaur, who was a minister in the outgoing Congress ministry, failed to retain Jalandhar (Cantt) seat. First-timer Jagbir Singh (SAD) defeated her by 16,985 votes.


Sarabjit Singh Makkar of the SAD wrested the seat from Kanwaljit Singh Lally of the Congress by a margin of 10,240 votes.


Amarjit Singh Samra (Congress) retained the Nakodar seat by defeating his near rival Kuldeep Singh Wadala (SAD) by 3,218 votes.


Rajbans Kaur Rana of the Congress won by over 6,200 votes by defeating SAD’s Raghubir Singh.


Bibi Jagir Kaur, a former SGPC chief, suffered a shocking defeat in Bholath at the hands of Congress leader Sukhpal Singh Khera, who was third time lucky against the Bibi.


Congress stalwart and local bodies minister in the Congress government Choudhary Jagjit Singh was defeated by SAD nominee Avinash Chander by 11,069 votes. Choudhary was seeking his sixth term as he already represented the constituency for five terms in a row.


Congress nominee and sitting MLA Gurbinder Singh Atwal was defeated by 5,418 votes by SAD’s Gurdip Singh Bhullar.


Swarna Ram (BJP) defeated Joginder Singh Mann (Cong) by 9,650 votes.

Sultanpur Lodhi

Upinderjit Kaur (SAD) was elected from Sultanpur by defeating Navtej Singh (Cong) by 10,871 votes.



It’s fifty-fifty in Kapurthala
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

It is fifty-fifty for both SAD-BJP alliance and Congress in Kapurthala district as their candidates emerged victorious on two seats each of total four seats here. While Congerss candidates won Kapurthala and Bholath seats, SAD and its partner BJP emerged victorious on Sultanpur Lodhi and Phagwara (SC) seats respectively.

SAD retained its seat Sultanpur Lodhi seat where sitting MLA Bibi Upinderjeet Kaur hit hat trick of her victory. Upinderjeet Kaur (49363 votes) defeated her nearest Congress rival Navtej Singh Cheema (38318 votes) by a margin of 11045 votes.

Upinderjit Kaur (SAD) defeated Rajanbir Singh (Congress) by a margin of 21926 and 5514 votes in 1997 and 2002 respectively from this seat. BJP wrested Phagwara (SC) seat from Congress where Swarna Ram registered his victory. Swaran Ram (47906) registered his victory over his nearest Congress rival Joginder Singh Mann (38301) by a huge margin of 12210 votes.

In last elections in 2002, Joginder Singh Mann (Congress) defeated Swarna Ram (BJP) by a thin margin of 1186 votes in Phagwara. Swarna Ram (50176 votes) defeated Mann (23553) by a huge margin of 26623 votes in 1997 elections.

On the other hand, Congress surprisingly managed to break the SAD citadel in Bholath where its candidate Sukhpal Singh Khaira (48072 votes) defeated former SGPC chief Bibi Jagir Kaur (39208 votes) by a considerable margin of 8864 votes.

Khaira’s victory may be termed as a big achievement for him as Bholath was considered as strong citadels of SAD (B) as it won five of the last six Assembly elections since 1977 on both the seats. Congress could win from these seats only in 1992 when SAD had boycotted elections.

Bibi and Khaira contested against each other for the third time in a row from Bholath. As far as the results of the last two Assembly elections held in 1997 and 2002, Bibi remained victorious both the times. However the margin of Bibi victory narrowed in 2002.

While Bibi secured 53,168 votes whereas Khaira could get only 25,141 votes in 1997. Thus Bibi had registered her victory by a huge margin of 28,027 votes that time. However Bibi, also a former minister, got 41,937 votes and Khaira 30,559 in 2002 and the margin of Bibi’s win was reduced to 11,378 in last elections.

Similarly, Jalandhar MP Rana Gurjit Singh’s wife Rajbans Kaur won from Kapurthala seat by a margin of 6286 votes over her nearest rival SAD candidate Raghubir Singh. While Rajbans was polled 47160 votes, whereas Raghubir could get only 40874 votes. Raghubir Singh (SAD) and Rajbans Kaur (Congress) faced each other for the first time. Rajbans became Congress candidate by default as she had filled her papers as a covering candidate and the papers of official Congress candidate and sitting MLA Sukhjinder Kaur Rana were rejected as several discrepancies were found in her papers.

Sukhjinder (47890) defeated Raghubir (34600) in October 2004 by-election, whereas in 2002 elections Rana Gurjeet Singh defeated Raghubir.



Just a thought
Pinglish on your lips
R. Jaikrishan

She was standing with her son. By the time I walked to her end of the road, it was 8 a.m. Her face today was more creased than yesterday. She was holding her son’s book. I could faintly make out that she was prompting her son in Pinglish (Punjabi English) as and when he got stuck. She waited for her son, a class one student, to board the school bus and wave at her. The son didn’t oblige. With anxiety writ large on her face, she turned homeward.

Would her face been so distraught had the child been studying in Punjabi medium?

Certainly not.

In our mother –tongue, words carry concepts on emotional waves to the heart of the learner. But our education system makes learning difficult by forcing us to translate the learning into the mother- culture. It thereby makes comprehension difficult.

Kannada writer U.R. Ananthamurthy confessed in a talk that he owed his development as a writer to his mother. Recalling his childhood, he said that his father’s sitting room in the front portion of the house used to have a stream of visitors. They would discuss issues of national and international importance. Inside, the kitchen was his mother’s domain. The open space around it used to be abuzz with chatter and titter of neighbours and servants.

Ananthamurthy said that he found the country gossip more engrossing than the serious discussions in his father’s room.

Khushwant Singh also has expressed gratitude to his mother for keeping him informed about goings -on in his household while he was a student in London. He has said that while his father’s letters used to be to the point and business -like, the mother’s epistles were rambling narratives of emotions.

This winter, I had a chance meeting with an NRI Jagroop Singh. His claim to fame is that he overcame his handicap in English in Canada. Being a basketball player he was an average student and would often get re-appear in English in Jalandhar. Now a state legislator there, he speaks correct English .But he is at his humorous best in Punjabi.

There is a consensus among experts that emotional intelligence has a vital role in personality development.

Wouldn’t it be better if all children in our country experience the freedom of learning in their respective mother tongues? Not much would be lost in translation of all course books into state languages. There wouldn’t be need to force “Baba black sheep” …down the children’s throat and make “Twinkle twinkle little stars” wonder at what we are.

I have been chased by many Punjabi writers to discuss their works in these columns. They insisted even after being told that Punjabi was not my mother tongue and I can’t read or write it. Their earnestness surprised me till I had an exposure to Punjabi journalism during the just concluded elections. It was sad to see most Punjabi newspapers palming off ads as news to gullible readers. Trivia seems to have taken centre stage. Some of these chasers were right in saying that being written about in English papers was essential to be noticed by those who matter.

By making Punjabi the medium of instruction in all educational institutions would the youth for all jobs, including the high-powered ones. Our political elite are doing what all they can to keep the Punjabi –English divide alive. They are confusing English with modernity.

While working in Kochi, then Cochin, I couldn’t handle day –to-day affairs without picking up Malyalam literally from the streets. In middle class hang -outs youth would discuss T.S.Eliot and Pablo Neruda in Malyalam . The language scene was no different in Kolkata.

Punjab has had a long and troubled history of language agitation. It got divided on the basis of language not once but twice. There is a large section of Sikhs who want to keep this language in its custody. Then there are people who pride themselves in learning English at all costs because they regard it as a passport for going abroad. Sadly, there is none to use Punjabi as a vehicle of development. Japan didn’t need English to be what it is today.



Young World
Seminar on adolescent behaviour
Tribune News Service

KMV College organised a seminar on adolescent behaviour in the context of changing Indian socio-cultural values. A “nukkad natak” was staged by students on problems and dilemmas confronting adolescents today like failures in examination, lack of parental attention and overprotective attitude of parents.

Dr Sushma Chawla, a gynaecologist and social worker, and Dr H.S. Bedi, Professor, Guru Nanak Dev University, were the main speakers.


To motivate its students, Police DAV Public School organised a felicitation ceremony and gave cash prizes to winners.

As many as 130 students of the school had won medals at CBSE national, north zone and All-India Mahatma Hans Raj Tournament in athletics, swimming, kho-kho, hockey, handball, basket ball, gymnastics and football.


The political science department of the PCM SD College for Women organised a paper-reading contest. Fifteen students read the papers on various topics, including terrorism, human rights, democracy, concept of liberty and sovereignty.

Shefali and Shailza won the first and second prizes, respectively.


Buddhist saint Yen Chen How Rinpoche and his 230 followers witnessed a colourful show at MGN Public School. A Punjabi programme was also showcased.

Mr J.S. Pasricha attended the show along with principal, teachers and students.


College day celebrations were held at Trinity College. A power point presentation was made by the Principal, Father Simon.

Patriotic dance and dandiya enthralled the gathering. Two plays, “Adhoora Sach” and “It’s a Beautiful World”, were also enacted.


The postgraduate department of commerce of Hans Raj Mahila Maha Vidyalaya organised a workshop on “Tax planning and filing of returns”.

The vice-chairman of the Jalandhar branch of the NIRC Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Mr Ashwini Randev, explained the assessment procedure to students.

Annual function

Dhilwan-based institutions, DIPS School, GB Public School and DIPS College for Women, celebrated their annual functions. Tiny tots presented Italian dance and fashion show.

Gurbachan Singh, school chairman, announced cash prizes for the schools.

Literary show

Students of the Kamla Nehru College for Women, Phagwara, bagged an overall trophy in a show organised by the Punjabi Literary Academy, Ludhiana. Anu stood first in the poetry contest. Jaspreet, Ramandeep and Seema bagged the second position in literary quiz. Karamjeet bagged the third position in Punjabi poem poster contest.


A farewell party was organised by students of Class XI for their seniors in Seth Hukum Chand SD Public Senior Secondary School.

A cultural programme was organised. Manju Arora, principal, stressed on the significance of hard work, perseverance and humility.



45 learn kickboxing
Tribune News Service

Nearly 45 coaches and physical education teachers attended a workshop on kickboxing conducted by the Punjab Kickboxing Association in Jalandhar on Saturday.

An international kick boxer and working president of the Indian Association of Kickboxing Organisations (IAKO), Mr S.S. Hari Chandan, explained the rules of the game. Demonstrating kickboxing actions, he explained the criteria for awarding plus and minus points for a particular action.

Mr Chandan, who is the seventh Dan, said kickboxing was meant for all age groups. While juniors could take part in it as a competitive sport, others could adopt in for physical fitness and self-defence.

Video clipping of world champions in aero-kickboxing and musical forms were shown to the participants.

Confident that the game would become a popular and be recognised in the country, he said the School Games Federation of India had already included it in their annual sports calendar.

Regarding the participation of Indians in the forthcoming international competitions, he said IAKO would be fielding the Indian squad in the World Championships in Hungary from May 10 to 13, Belgrade (Serbia) from September 14 to 18 and Portugal from November 21 to 25. He said India would also compete in Indoor Asian Games in Macau in October.

Those present during the seminar included Padam Shree Kartar Singh, Asian Gold medalist wrestler; Mr Gurcharan Singh Dhillon, international wrestling refree; and Mr Gurcharan Singh, secretary, Punjab Kickboxing Association.



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