M A I N   N E W S

Hola Mohalla Bytes
Badal sings the bias tune
Lalit Mohan
Tribune News Service

Anandpur Sahib, March 21
As usual the political conferences at the Hola Mohalla celebrations were just blame games. While the top leadership of the SAD accused the Congress of bias against Punjab, Congress leaders claimed that the entire development in the state had taken place during their stint in power at the Centre.

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal while addressing a gathering of SAD workers here blamed the successive Congress governments at the Centre for discriminating against the state. The list of alleged discriminations included the industrial package, quota for Punjab youths in the Army, state waters given to other states and transfer of Chandigarh. He claimed credit for getting funds released from the Union government for development.

Later, while responding to queries from newsmen, the Chief Minister said chairmen of market committees would be appointed soon. However, the appointment of chairmen of other departments were being kept pending as an economy measure.

The Chief Minister also announced a development package for Anandpur Sahib. He said in the next one year all roads, lighting systems, drinking water facilities in town would be upgraded. The government had also approved Rs 45 crore for the construction of Saran Pattan bridge over the Sutlej, Rs 8 crore for bridge over the Sirhind canal at Ropar and new road link between Anandpur Sahib and Mohali airport.

President of the SAD Sukhbir Badal lambasted the recent move of the Union government to ban procurement of foodgrains through private companies and traders. He said the step of the Union government was derogatory and anti-farmer. If the government stopped private traders from procuring foodgrains in state mandis, the SAD would resort to agitation, he added.

Minister for cooperatives Kanwaljit Singh said recent loan waiver announced by the Union government would benefit very few farmers in the state. The government should waive loans of farm labourers and other farmers who are tilling custodian lands. The government should give a package to save small farmers of the state from the clutches of private money lenders.

Interestingly, none of sitting ministers of the BJP participated in the political conference of the ruling party held here today. The BJP MP from Hoshiarpur Avinash Rai Khanna and chief parliamentary secretary Nand Lal were the only representatives of the party in today’s conference.

The SGPC president Avtar Singh, Baldev Singh Bhunder and Gurdev Singh Badal were among the other SAD leaders who addressed the rally today.



Bhattal takes on Capt again
Tribune News Service

Anandpur Sahib, March 21
Infighting in the Congress came in the open today. President of the PPCC Rajinder Kaur Bhattal took swipe at Amarinder Singh when questioned about the latter’s allegation that she was soft on the ruling SAD-BJP combine.

In chaste Punjabi she replied to Amarinder’s allegations, saying that “chaj tab bole chanani ki bole’ (persons with lesser ills can speak but can a person filled with ills say anything?).

She also said she had informed the party high command about the statements of the former Chief Minister in the media. Now it was for the party high command to take action in the matter.

Her views were endorsed by union minister for tourism Ambika Soni. She said there were directions from the party high command that its leaders should express their opinion only on a party platform.



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |