EC looks on as poll code crumbles
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 29
With the Amritsar South bypoll round the corner, political parties are making their best efforts to woo the voters. However, in their enthusiasm, they are conveniently forgetting to adhere to the poll code. Worse, the ‘violations’ have failed to bother the Election Commission (EC).

On Tuesday, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal visited the assembly segment with over two dozen official red beacon vehicles. He also made an announcement that the proposed Central University would not be shifted from Amritsar, as stated earlier.

The chief spokesman of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee Bir Devinder Singh said his party was contemplating filing a complaint with the EC regarding gross violation of the election code by SAD.

The EC and its organs have virtually turned a blind eye to the large-scale laying of roads, installation of water pumps and electricity work, despite enforcement of the election code of conduct in the wake of the forthcoming assembly elections of Amritsar (South), slated to be held on April 22 .

The voters of the constituency were surprised over the full scale development when they saw sudden “magnanimity” shown by the local municipal corporation in carrying out developmental works. The million dollar question - where did the money come from - is tormenting the voters.

People wonder whether the corporation has passed the “resolutions” in back dates to woo the voters. Since the sudden announcement of the Amritsar bypoll has come as a “bolt from the blue” for the ruling party, the local administration has to find some midway to carry out the long pending developmental works. The works, which could be done despite a number of representations, were started overnight.

The work on the laying of the roads and setting up of tube wells in various areas of the south constituency is going on at a fast pace even though the code of conduct has come into effect from April 16.

The residents of Amritsar, especially tourists, have been criticising the local administration for “the worst roads” even though the state government had allocated Rs 100 crore for developing Amritsar as the most attractive religious tourist place in the country.

A visit to the Sultanwind road showed that a number of bulldozers were pressed into service to lay the roads on war footing.

Since the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee has yet to finalise its candidate due to the ongoing wrangling, it has not shown much interest to send missives to the election commission against the violation of the code. 



Twin protests choke Bhandari Bridge, Hall Gate areas
Sanjay Bumbroo
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 29
A major clash was averted in the city as the district administration did not allow members of the Christian Front to organise a protest rally at Hall Gate here where Hindu organisations held a dharna to protest against the ‘conversion’ of Hindus by the Christian Front.

The Christian Front held a dharna at Bhandari Bridge on the Amritsar-Attari road in protest against the disruption of their religious congregation by the Bajrang Dal and other Hindu organisations in the Ranjit Avenue area a few weeks ago.

Anwar Masih, president, Christian Front, while addressing the protesters, demanded action against the persons responsible for interfering in their religious matters. He warned that they would be forced to intensify the stir if no action was taken against them.

Meanwhile, Rakesh Madan, spokesman for the Bajrang Dal, addressing the protesters who included members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and other organisations, besides Bajrang Dal, said they were not opposed to holding any religious function in the city. He said they were opposing the conversion attempts by a section of the Christian Front. They condemned the conversion of poor Hindus who were lured by the front members.

The traffic was disrupted for over two hours at Bhandari Bridge and the Hall Gate area and the police had a tough time in diverting the traffic through other areas of the city. The commuters, especially children, had to face inconvenience.

Madan, while lashing out at the police authorities for allowing members of the Christian Front to carry lethal weapons during the protest rally, said the police would be responsible for any untoward incident in future.



Services Club agog with hectic election activity 
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, April 29
With elections round the corner, Services Club, one of the oldest social clubs in the holy city, is witnessing hectic activity these days.

Two major groups of the club, situated in Ram Bagh, are vying to establish their supremacy over the 73-year-old club, elections for which are scheduled to be held on May 11.

The last date to file nominations is April 30. The papers would be scrutinised on May 2. The last date for withdrawal of nominations is May 4. The result of elections would be declared on May 11 itself.

According to sources, a keen contest is expected in the poll, especially with new permutations and combinations emerging each passing day.

Dr Adlakha and Chhina group, which wrested power from Sandhu group around two-and-a-half-year ago, is once again trying to take over the reins of the management of the historic club and has launched a vigorous campaign to woo the members to vote for their team of executives led by former IPS officer S S Chhina.

The other members of the group, include Subash Arora (vice-president), BM Vinaayak (honorary secretary), Tejinder Singh Arora (joint secretary) and Dr RPS Boparai, Dr Kanwaljit Singh, AK Malik, Dr JP Singh, Tarlochan Singh, Ajay Sen and V K Mehta as executive members.

On the other hand, Dr Sant Parkash Singh Dhillon, supported by former president Sarabjit Singh Sandhu, has filed his nominations for the president post. Other members of his team are JS Wadhawa (vice-president) Amritpal Singh Sandhu (secretary) and Prem Jaitly (joint secretary). The executive members include PS Grover, SS Khurana, Dr Vibhakar Sharma, Rajesh Soi, HS Gill and Kuldeep Singh Sandhu.

The ruling group of Dr Adlakha and Chhina are harping on the works done during their regime. They have further promised to enhance promotion of sports and cultural activities, besides improvement of quality in every sphere of the club.

Dr Dhillon said they have one-point agenda of providing better management. He said the club was surviving because of the members. He said if all the 1,800 members come together at club, there would be no place for them to even stand.



Yukta pins hopes on ‘Memsaheb’
P.K. Jaiswar

Amritsar, April 29
“From a shy girl, I have matured into a woman owing to the odds of life and the hardships that I had to undergo in the film industry. Now I am ready to face any kind of challenge,” said former Miss World and Bollywood star Yukta Mookhey.

She said the long break from films taught her a lot, especially about India, its history, society and the people. She was here to inaugurate Beams, a speciality hospital for women.

Making a comeback after more than half a decade, Yukta is very hopeful about her new movie “Memsaheb”, which is already facing delay and is due to be released in June this year. “I hope the people would appreciate my role and the movie which is based on the 1984 riots,” she said and added that she was looking forward to the release.

“Anjali Memsaheb” is what her character is called in the movie. It is about a family which is looted and killed during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, leaving behind a child.

Giving details about her role, she said the child was left in a brothel in Mumbai where she was forced to become a prostitute and later she became a supermodel.

“The role is very challenging and intense,” Yukta says.

The film focuses on the problems faced by the women in society and has a message that violence is not the solution for suffering and forgiveness is the right way for this purpose.

The charming model-turned-actor made her debut in “Pyaasa” opposite Aftaab Shivdasani. The film sunk without a trace at the box office, but her role was appreciated. She is still pretty optimistic regarding some exciting offers in her kitty.

Yukta wanted to work with Bollywood director Yash Chopra, who, she says is every Bollywood girl’s dream.

Besides, she is also keen to work with young and talented directors likeMadhur Bhandarkar and Apoorva Lakhia.

Meanwhile, founded in 1995, the Guinness world record holder hospital Beams opened its second branch in the holy city (after Mumbai). Dr Rakesh Sinha of the hospital, interacting with the media, said the health institute planned to open 10 more such hospitals all over India in the next two years. He said only major surgeries, like fibroids, which affected almost 30 per cent of the Indian women, would be conducted at Amritsar.



Truly South-East Asia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 29
Beautiful handcrafted furniture, artifacts, lamps, lights, wall panels, mirrors, contemporary Asian home decor and other housewarming gifts from Indonesia and Thailand will be on display during a two-day exhibition to be held here from May 6.

The exhibition to be organised at the local Blue Moon hotel will also display a variety of Buddha figures and panels in different shapes and poses. The products, imported from Thailand, are mainly made of wood and are finished with lacquer and small mirrors of different colours.

There are consoles, tables, cabinets, mirrors, lights, lamps and vast variety of accessories for home decoration.

Talking about the products, Tara Rana said there is a huge range in seating from Indonesia and the material used is of the highest quality of rattan, water hyacinth, banana leaf and grass with a combination of teak wood. She said Rattan and water hyacinth are some of nature’s strongest materials and would not splinter or break and is ideal for making furniture.



Phone shift
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, April 29
Telephone numbers of level 229 in E-108 would be shifted to EWSD main exchange Katra Sher Singh in a phased manner due to technical reasons with immediate effect. This was revealed by a BSNL spokesman here today. He said the telephone numbers would remain same and customers having STD facility are requested to change their STD locking secret code.

In case of any difficulty they can contact SDE (traffic) 9417981815 or SDE (EWSD) 94178 03323. 



Market Buzz
S.Kumars plans 30 new retail outlets
Our Correspondent

Amritsar, April 29
Reid and Taylor, a division of S.Kumars Nationwide Ltd, plans to open 250 retail outlets across the country. Out of these, 30 would be in Punjab. This was revealed by company’s marketing president Ashwani Misra.

He said the company had a turnover of Rs 400 crore and the planned outlets would retail woolen fabrics and garments.

He said, “We would soon launch a winter collection with 8,000 new designs next month”. The range has been designed keeping fashion aspirations of young 
generation in mind, he added.

Joint venture

Airhostess training school Flying Cats has tied up with Active Solutions Consulting Group (ASCG), England, under which the students have been enrolled with the UK-based cabin crew online company.Centre head Neelu Gauri said the new joint venture was launched by ASCG group director Donahue Cortes and Flying Cats CEO Aditi Srivastav.

She said the tie-up would give more exposure to the students. The training school had also tied up with Holland-based KEUNE for training students in beauty, makeup and hair, she added. 



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