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Dilution of poll promises: Cong to take on SAD
Chandigarh, March 15
Adopting a tough stand against the ruling SAD-BJP combine, the Punjab Congress today made it clear that it would take on Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for any dilution of or deviation from promises he had made in his party’s poll manifesto and for stopping any development work initiated by the previous Congress regime.
Amarinder Singh and Rajinder Kaur Bhattal speak about the Congress decision to take on the SAD on the dilution of pre-poll promises in Chandigarh on Thursday Amarinder Singh and Rajinder Kaur Bhattal speak about the Congress decision to take on the SAD on the dilution of pre-poll promises in Chandigarh on Thursday. — Tribune photo by Pradeep Tiwari



Amarinder behind Cong defeat: Bitta
Bathinda, March 15
In a significant development which could trigger a crisis of sorts in the Punjab Congress, Maninderjit Singh Bitta, chairman, All India Anti-Terrorist Front, while dubbing former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh as a " leader of terrorists" claimed that attempts made by the latter to implement the Khalistan agenda turned out to be the main reason for the defeat of party candidates in the recently held Assembly elections.

5 languages, 130 minutes as 113 members take oath
Chandigarh, March 15
Five languages, including Urdu and Sanskrit, along with the official languages of Punjabi, Hindi and English, were used by 113 members of the 13th Punjab Vidhan Sabha to take the oath of affirmation at the opening session of the House that lasted a little over 130 minutes here this afternoon.

Dimpa may surrender
Sends CD for filing bail application
Amritsar, March 15
Even as the Majitha police continued to conduct raids on possible hideouts of Jasbir Singh Dimpa, absconding former Congress MLA on the second consecutive day, reports indicated that he might surrender before the police if he fails to secure anticipatory bail from the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Saini’s posting as VB chief to be challenged
Chandigarh, March 15
In what can be the first indicator that the Congress would play the role of an effective opposition, some party leaders are filing a PIL in the Punjab and Haryana High Court challenging the posting of IG Sumedh Singh Saini as Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) director by the new SAD-BJP government. They will also challenge the removal of the previous chief director Izhar Alam, who is now DGP (Prisons).

Revised transfer policy for teachers on cards
Chandigarh, March 15
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has asked the school education department to formulate a revised transfer policy for teachers in schools so that students were not put to any inconvenience, especially due to the mid-session transfers.

Depts heads told to probe cases
Embezzlement during Congress rule
Amritsar, March 15
The Punjab government has instructed heads of various government departments to look into cases of alleged embezzlement during the previous Congress regime. Sukhbir Singh Badal, Member of Parliament and acting president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), said here yesterday whosoever was found responsible for the misappropriation of public money would be dealt with according to law.


SGPC calls emergency meeting
Amritsar, March 15
Agitated over the move of the Haryana government to constitute a separate gurdwara committee, Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee chief Avtar Singh Makkar has decided to call an emergency meeting of its executive body to discuss the next course of action.

Curbing drug trade first priority: Aulakh 
Chandigarh, March 15
Curbing the availability of narcotics in Punjab will be the first priority, said director-general of Punjab police N.P.S. Aulakh after taking charge here today. In a chat with mediapersons after joining duty, Aulakh said narcotics was ruining the youth of the state. The easy availability of drugs had to be curbed. When told that reports had been received that Punjab had become the hub of the drug trade, Aulakh said: “ We will curb it”. Since he has worked in the Border Security Force as special DG, he is well aware of suspected cross-border drug trade routes.

Left parties deplore police ‘savagery’ at Nandigram 
Jalandhar, March 15
The CPM-led West Bengal government is under fire from four major Left parties of Punjab for the incident of police firing at Nandigram. Expressing their anguish over the police ‘savagery’ at Nandigram, these parties have decided to oppose the anti-people policies “being implemented in the Centre, in West Bengal and other states.” As many as 15 innocent persons have fallen prey to the police bullets and dozens others got injured at Nandigram.

Accused tehsildar sacked after 14 yrs
Ludhiana, March 15
Justice finally has caught up with tehsildar Hansa Singh, who was dismissed from services by the government recently. He was found guilty of conniving with a person who sold off 96 bighas (20.2 acres) of forest land in Bharatgarh village of Chamkaur Sahib tehsil, in 1993, when he was posted as a naib-tehsildar there.

House maid alleges police harassment
Amritsar, March 15
A case of alleged physical and mental harassment of a poor woman by the local Civil Lines police has come to light. This case has come only within a week of the statement issued by Chief Minister Punjab Parkash Singh Badal in which he had clearly announced that no woman would be brought to police station for investigation.

DC’s intervention settles toll row for time being
Hoshiarpur, March 15
With the intervention of Mr D.K.Tiwari, Deputy Commissioner, here the dispute between the transporters of build, operate transfer (BOT) roads, the Balachaur-Dasuya and the Hoshiarpur-Tanda and owners of toll plazas for charging of prescribed toll for passing toll plaza on every trip, has been solved for the time being.

PSEB to buy power from Kerala plant
Patiala, March 15
To tide over the acute power shortage in the state in summer, the PSEB is planning to buy power from the Kerala-based National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) plant. The board is planning to buy about 150 MW of power from the plant at a cost of about Rs 7.25 per unit that includes Rs 6.80 per unit as generation cost and the rest wheeling charges.

Takht Hazur Sahib set to get facelift with medicinal plants
Chandigarh , March 15
Venue for the tercentenary celebrations of Guru Granth Sahib’s consecration and Guru Gobind Singh’s ‘parlok gaman’, Nanded in Maharastra is all set to get a facelift with medicinal and other plants grown with the advice of a senior Punjab IAS Officer.

Bridge over Chaki in a month
Mirthal (Pathankot), March 15
After The Tribune highlighted grievances of residents of over 60 villages that had been cut off from the district headquarters following washing away of a pantoon bridge on Chaki rivulet near here, the local administration today swung into action.

National conference at SLIET today
Sangrur, March 15
A two-day national conference on "Design, dynamics and manufacturing" will be organised on March 16 and 17 at Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology (SLIET), Longowal.

Pet project of Amarinder in jeopardy
Patiala, March 15
The heritage hotel of former chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh is in jeopardy. The project, located in Baradari, the green area in the heart of the city, is facing public acrimony.

Dang seeks health insurance for ragpickers
Amritsar, March 15
Former MLA Satyapal Dang today urged the municipal corporation to issue free identity cards to ragpickers working within the municipal limits of Amritsar besides introducing a health insurance scheme, for which the entire premium should be paid by the corporation.

Demands of arhtiyas accepted
Chandigarh, March 15
Accepting the main demand of the Federation of Arhtiya Associations, Punjab, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today announced to issue licences to kutcha arhtiyas by market committees on a permanent basis, doing away with the practice of renewal after every three years.

Seminar on female foeticide
Fatehgarh Sahib, March 15
Society for the Development of Poor and Needy People, in collaboration with Nehru Yuma Kendra, organised a seminar on female foeticide at village Khera in the district. Sant Baba Ajit Singh Ji Hansali wale was the chief guest, while P.H. Vaishnav, former chief secretary of Punjab and chairman SOSVA presided over the function.

Demand conceded
Chandigarh, March 15
The minister for animal husbandry, Gulzar Singh Ranike, today conceded the demand of veterinary pharmacists for release of salary from January, 2007 onwards and to cancel the transfers of veterinary pharmacists done some time ago. A private company had offered to set up a chicken processing plant in the border district of Tarn Taran. — TNS


Daler case: Next hearing on April 2
Patiala, March 15
The hearing of a case, involving singer Daler Mehndi, in the additional district and sessions court, Patiala, has been adjourned till April 2. Yesterday, the judicial magistrate summoned Daler for framing of charges against him. The singer, however, filed a revision petition against the summoning in the court. Daler’s council is contending that his summoning should be quashed.

Pop star Daler Mehndi with his lawyer in Patiala on Thursday. — Tribune photo by Rajesh Sachar
Pop star Daler Mehndi with his lawyer in Patiala on Thursday


DC assumes charge

Officers reshuffled
Chandigarh, March 15
Ordering a minor reshuffle of IAS Officers, the Punjab government today posted Arun Goel secretary, housing and urban development vice A.R. Talwar, who has been posted principal secretary, health and family welfare department. Som Parkash has been posted as chief administrator, PUDA and in addition, he has been given charge of administrator, Anandpur Sahib Urban Development Authority. — TNS


NRI couple robbed


GND varsity to give thrust to research
Amritsar, March 15
To promote research and quality higher education, Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) has earmarked 44 per cent of its Budget of Rs 107.19 crore for the improvement of infrastructure of teaching, allied teaching and research departments. The university has created research development fund for this purpose and Rs 3 crore had been transferred to this fund from the reserve fund of the university.

Polytechnics’ youth festival starts
Bathinda, March 15
The annual youth festival of government polytechnics of Punjab and Chandigarh commenced at Government Polytechnic here today. More than 40 colleges across Punjab and Chandigarh are taking part in the three-day meet which was inaugurated by Deputy Commissioner Rahul Bhandari.


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