Assembly Bypoll
Parties fail to impress voters
Cong image takes a beating
Raman Mohan
Tribune News Service

Hisar, May 22
The Congress government's image took a severe beating during the run up to the byelections from three assembly constituencies. Cornered by the voters rather than the opposition parties, the Congress ultimately used all the influence of the government to bolster its position. Irrespective of the outcome of the polls, the voter has driven home the fact that the Congress needs to overhaul its strategy for the coming Lok Sabha polls and the 2010 assembly polls.

The Congress remained a divided house throughout the campaigning. Party leaders assigned to different constituencies campaigned perfunctorily for different reasons forcing Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda to devote all his energies to these byelections. Hooda had to visit Adampur at least four times during the campaign. His son and Congress MP Deepender Hooda also came calling twice. Hooda'a son-in-law Kunal Bhadu camped here throughout the campaign even though this was inconsequential.

In Adampur the Congress nominee had to summon supporters from Rori in Sirsa district for campaigning for two reasons - a lack of faith in local party workers and also a paucity of workers for smooth campaigning. The use of state machinery was in evidence throughout the campaign. In Adampur villages, electricity poles were erected overnight to woo voters. Several government officers hailing from the constituency and appointed during Bhajan Lal's tenure were placed under suspension. Such measures dented Hooda's image of being a gentleman politician also.

All Congress leaders' promises to open floodgates of development funds if the constituencies returned party nominees also raised questions of administrative and electoral propriety. The chief minister came under severe criticism for what was seen as an attempt to buy votes as well as a veiled threat to stop development in case the Congress lost.

The delay in completion of development projects in the Chief Minister's home town of Rohtak took much of the sheen off the party's poll plank of development under the Hooda government and its promises of speeding up development of the three constituencies. Opposition parties kept asking voters to drive through Rohtak to see the pace of development there.

The Congress strategy to describe the byelections as being unnecessarily forced on the constituents failed to impress voters who openly told party leaders that since they were promising speedy development after the polls, the polls were rather welcome. If anything this projection only served to alienate voters.

Issues of paucity of power and water also affected the party's campaign adversely. The plea that the Hooda government inherited these problems did not cut much ice with the man on the street.

The voters remained unimpressed with the opposition parties' pleadings also. As with the Congress, the INLD, BJP, CPM and ofcourse Haryana Janhit Congress (BL) too failed to impress voters with any real burning issues. This reduced the byelections to just a wait and watch mathematical quiz whose result would be known on Sunday next.

Under the circumstances the outcome of the polls will not be a reflection of the victorious party's strength. The political scene in the state will thus remain hazy for the next few months.



NGO to help Faridabad fight pollution
Ravi S.Singh
Tribune News Service

Faridabad, May 22
Put off by the rampant pollution of environment, a non-government organization, headed by a former MLA from this district Rajinder Singh Bisla, decided to mobilise public opinion to impress upon the administration and the society on the whole on the issue.

The organisation called "Paryavaran sanrakchaan samiti", which was floated about a decade back, expressed the views that the administration and the concerned government bodies have been apathetic to the issue of environment in Faridabad. Consequently, the environmental standards of the entire city and the district as well have fallen far beyond the acceptable norms. It is not without reason that Faridabad is been dubbed as "sinking city" by many, it added. Bisla lamented that large scale poaching of land by the irrigation department has taken place along the Gurgaon canal passing through the district. The area could be used for plantation of trees and saplings. The government, however, appears to be oblivious to the anomalous situation and was doing little to clear the land. The illegal occupation has resulted in grave pollution of the environment caused by the occupiers of shanties and jhugees erected along the sides of canal.

The organisation has also raised an alarm on the pollutants emitted by hundreds of brick kilns located in the villages. They have emerged as one of the greatest air pollutants as their owners use rubber tyres and other offensive stuff for fire works in the chimneys used to bake mud bricks.

It has also taken objection to the functioning of the thermal power station located in the city on ground that it has lasted its shelf life.

Bisla said the plant uses coal for generation of power. As it has completed its shelf life, it was emitting pollutants causing grave danger to air. Another point on which the organisation has decided to take up cudgels is the old and rejected vehicles, which have been disposed from Delhi due to Supreme Court's directive and imported in Faridabad city. Bisla said such incongruities were being enacted right under the nose of the administration and other civic agencies.

The result of the large scale environmental pollution is that the public health has taken a severe beating. In many parts of Faridabad people are suffering from diseases like asthma, cancer skin problems, etc. Bilas claimed his organisation has already charted out a road map, including measures to put pressure on the administration on environmental issues.



All for a cause
Vishal Joshi
Tribune News Service

Karnal, May 22
It was a goodwill gesture by a group of local philanthropists that 12-year-old Jamuna could now hope to lead a normal life. Thanks to the initiative taken by the Karnal-based D.R. Vasudeva Charitable Trust that the underprivileged family was recently was provided a sum of Rs 90,000 for her treatment at PGI, Rohtak.

The bank draft made in the name of medical superintendent, PGI, was given at a simple function early this week at Model Town.

Daughter of a balloon seller, Jamuna has a hole in her heart but her poor family had no means for the operation and other medical expenses. As the hapless family approached certain residents, they geared up to help the ailing girl.

The trust is known for helping the needy, particularly the wards of the widows of the area. As many as 85 children of widows were financially benefited by the trust in the past four years.



Designing dream vehicle
Suman Bhatnagar

Ambala, May 22
As many as six students of Maulana Engineering College have proved where there is a will, there is a way. Final year mechanical engineering students of the college, Anjum Jain, Anubhav Kochhar, Moninder Singh, Chetan Dhiman and Nikhil Dhawan have done their institute proud by assembling a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) recently.

It has an engine displacement of 98 c.c. with maximum power of 7.7 bhp@5600 rpm and maximum torque of 5.0 kgm@5000 rpm. It consists of automatic transmission with a mileage of 25-30 km per hour. The torque generated by the engine has been improved upto five times.

It was a great experience for the students of the college to watch their dreams on wheels. “In today’s world, where cost of the product assumes primary importance and cost saving measures are equally important, this SUV “Thunder” cost merely Rs.30,000,” the students said.

A professor of the mechanical department of the college, Vivek Jain said such practical and adventurous activity encourage the youngsters to realise their dreams. Many reputed firms like Tata Consultancy Services, Oracle Financial Services, Indian Air Force, Caritor International and Simon Carves have recognised their invention and offered them a ‘good offer’.

The chancellor of the MM University, Tarsem Kumar Garg, while appreciating the efforts of the students, said every mechanical trade student had the potential to be an inventor. It was the job of the institution to provide them proper resources and atmosphere to discover some new.



Inside Babudom
HS post divides bureaucracy
Yoginder Gupta
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 22
It is a common saying if you want to know all unpleasant facts about your family, contest elections. These days, the Haryana bureaucracy is saying if an officer wants to relive all his past controversies, he should get his name sponsored for the post of home secretary of the union territory of Chandigarh. In both cases, opponents would dig out facts.

The highly coveted post of UT’s home secretary, which is occupied by a Haryana IAS officer, has been dividing the state’s bureaucracy for the past several years. Whenever a panel of officers is sent to the centre, the aspirants start running down their competitors.

After Krishan Mohan was repatriated to Haryana, a panel of three officers was sent by the state to the UT administration. While the Chandigarh administration recommended the name of a woman officer, the Minister of Home Affairs (MHA) recommended the name of another officer. When the case went to the Prime Minister for final approval, the panel was turned down on the ground that the aspirants had indulged in lobbying.

The state sent a panel of four officers, contrary to the normal practice of three names. It was pointed out by bureaucracy watchers that the first panel was rejected by the PM on the ground of lobbying at the level of the MHA. However, the inclusion of four names in the second panel indicated that the lobbying had started at the initial stage itself.

Out of the second panel, the Chandigarh administration recommended the name of Ram Niwas, chief administrator of the Haryana Agriculture Marketing Board. Sources say several complaints against him reached the MHA, which, after it found no substance, concurred with the UT administration’s recommendation and forwarded the case to the ministry of personnel.

When the MHO approved the proposal of the UT administration, it was hoped that Chandigarh would soon get new HS. But now it is learnt that the ministry of personnel have now received fresh complaints against Ram Niwas. The UT’s wait for its home secretary seems not to end soon.



Dr Mittal takes over as VC
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 22
At last, Bhagat Phool Singh Mahila Vishwavidyalaya, Khanpur Kalan, in Sonepat district got its first regular vice-chancellor (VC) when Dr Pankaj Mittal took over as the VC of the state’s first and only all-woman university three days ago. So far the university was being run by woman bureaucrats, to be exact two, Promila Issar and Anuradha Gupta.

Dr Mittal was joint secretary in the UGC before taking up her Khanpur Kalan assignment. An able educational administrator, Mittal has an experience of 20 years in the higher education policy planning. She has been instrumental in making various plan documents, pay commission reports, regulations on various academic issues, guidelines for various UGC schemes and curriculum revision, among other things.  



From maths to civil service
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 22
An Ambala boy, Rahul Jain, left a promising career of being an international mathematician to successfully compete in the Indian civil service examination, the results of which were out early this week. Among the boys belonging to the Jain community, Rahul has topped the list. His overall rank in the civil service examination result is 154. A jubilant Rahul says, "Undoubtedly, I am happy to have cleared the examination in my first attempt. I have achieved this success by God's grace, the blessings of my teachers and my family members."

Son of a member of the Haryana Staff Selection Commission Ashok Jain, Rahul did his doctorate from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, in mathematics. However, Rahul says he is not taking this selection as the final goal, rather he considers it as a first step towards his lifetime desire to serve the people. "I am looking forward to serve my countrymen. It is indeed a singular honour, yet I feel humbled as the task ahead is going to be challenging," he avers with modesty.  



Movie of the week
Don Muthuswami

Producer: Shakti Samanta
Director: Ashim Samanta
Music: Anu Malik
Cast: Mithun Chakraborty, Rohit Roy, Hrishita Bhatt, Mohit Raina, Anusmriti Sarkar

‘Don Muthuswami’ will be released today at Minerva Cine Complex-Ambala Cantt, Ashoka-Karnal, Naaz-Palwal

What to watch out for: Mithun Chakraborty’s great performance in a lead role, debutant actors, Mohit Raina, Anusmriti Sarkar and Anu Malik’s melodious compositions.

— Dharam Pal





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