L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Govt staff seize buses for NDA rally
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
Government employees seized buses for tomorrow’s NDA rally in contravention of the model code of conduct here today. The holding of buses started at Dana Mandi in the evening, even as private transporters rued that they were being given paltry sums for ferrying workers to the rally.

Bus operators told The Tribune that a number of government employees reached their offices asking them to provide buses at a cost lower than what was demanded.

Failing this, they were threatened action by the department concerned in some manner or the other.

They said during Rahul Gandhi’s rally organised today, they were paid Rs 4,500 for a regular bus and Rs 2,500 for a mini bus. The Akalis had, however, ordered them to accept Rs 1,500 for a mini bus and Rs 2,500 for a large bus.

Chhaiber Singh, president of the mini bus operators union, Jagraon, said it was sad that they were being paid very little for their services. “This is dictatorship. For their show of strength, we would be made scapegoats. We will not take it lying down,” he said.

He added that he was sending a number of buses from Jagraon to ferry workers to Ludhiana, but was not doing so happily.

“We had to do it. Otherwise our bus drivers would have been harassed on one pretext or the other,” he said.

JS Grewal, mini bus operators’ president, Ludhiana, said government employees had visited them this morning and asked them to send buses to Dana Mandi in the evening.

“We told them that the rally was in the morning yet they wanted the buses in the evening. Thanks to a rally of the ruling party, we are going to face losses tomorrow,” rued Grewal.

He said this was commonplace during elections. “The ruling party thought they could do anything. A supporter of a minister came to me in the afternoon and asked me to send 200 buses. I am helpless. I cannot do anything,” he said.

Commuters in different parts of the district, too, are in for inconvenience tomorrow on account of this for there will be very few buses to ferry passengers.


Rahul captures young voters
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
Youngsters formed the bigger portion of the gathering waiting to hear Rahul Gandhi, general secretary of the Congress, who came here in support of Manish Tewari here today.

Not just clapping to the words of the leader, the youth also tapped to the performance of Punjabi singer Babbu Mann. His remix of hits, including “Pind pehra lagda”, had the youngsters dancing and asking for more.

Rahul arrived late, well beyond the expected time of 11 am, because of his prior appointments at Moga and Jalandhar.

The tin sheds in the grain market were full and the security tight. Rahul shook hands with a long queue of party leaders, even talking to some, before he took the centrestage.

The speeches of all leaders, including Rahul Gandhi and Manish Tewari, concentrated on the fact that they were seeking vote in name of Manmohan Singh, a Sikh leader.

The Sikhs who were only 2 per cent of the country’s population, were doing exceptionally well in different arena, including military, business and overseas, Rahul said.

Rahul said: “The BJP had proved to be a party only of a select group of rich. Remember last time they gave the unfounded slogan of ‘India Shining’. People in reply during elections told them that India was not shining. They make big promises. Manmohan Singh never makes false promises. He only says we will work in best the interest of the country.”

“Dr Manmohan Singh has shown his public commitment by starting the minimum 100 days employment scheme. The waiver of Rs 70,000 crores on farming loans is a major step benefiting hundreds across the country,” he said.

Manish Tewari said “people only have a choice to make between Dr Manmohan Singh and LK Advani. At the same time, if they rejected Manmohan Singh, there was no other leader in sight, definitely not Advani”.

Mohsina Kidwai, party observer, said “the public had to make choice between a stable peace-loving government of public interest by the Congress, on one side and the narrow minded self-interested groups, on the other”.



NDA bigwigs in city today
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
A galaxy of NDA leaders will descend on the city tomorrow to participate in a rally being organised to garner votes for BJP-SAD combine in the state as well as the SAD candidate from Ludhiana.

The leaders who will address the rally include BJP’s prime ministerial candidate LK Advani, party president Rajnath Singh, and Chief Ministers of all BJP and NDA-ruled states.

Chaudhari Ajit Singh, Chander Mohan Potawari, Jaswant Singh, Venkaiah Naidu, Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Om Parkash Chautala, Manohar Joshi, Nitish Kumar, Narendra Modi, BS Yeddyurappa, Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Raman Singh, Prem Kumar Dhumal, Parkash Singh Badal, BC Kahaduri, Gopinath Mundey, Sushil Modi, Sukhbir Badal, Balbir Punj and Rajinder Bhandari will also address the rally.

It will be the final mega rally of the NDA. Chairman of the organising committee Satpal Gosain said all arrangements had been finalised for the rally.

“Such a show of strength will help us garner victories on all seats in the state,” he said, adding that a special stage had been erected to accommodate the galaxy of national leaders. Over one lakh people are expected to take part in the rally.

A special media centre has been set up to provide facilities for the media. He appealed to people to come to listen to their leaders.

The NDA leadership will raise the issues of price rise, poverty, unemployment.

He said the rally had been planned to save people of the state from the “anti-people and anti-poor” Congress regime.

Gosain added that separate seating arrangement for women had been made at the venue.



1 killed, 6 hurt in accident
Our Correspondent

A victim, Ravinder Singh, admitted to a hospital in Ludhiana on Saturday.
A victim, Ravinder Singh, admitted to a hospital in Ludhiana on Saturday. Photo: Inderjeet Verma

Mandi Ahmedgarh, May 9
Timely action by the police and passersby saved the lives of six members of a marriage party who were seriously injured when the vehicle carrying them collided with a truck near Bajidke Khurad on the Raikot-Barnala road, near here, today. However, one person died in the incident.

The Barnala police has registered a case under Sections 279, 304 A, and 427 of the IPC against Nimma of Gharam village, the driver of the truck.

Tarandeep Singh of Bathinda, Ravinder Singh, Jaspal Singh, Gurlabh Singh, Loverpreet Singh and two others were seriously injured when their Tavera (PB 03 P 3177) collided with a speeding truck (PB 11 AE 8318) coming from the opposite direction, near Bajidke Khurad.

After receiving information about the mishap, a police team led by SHO Sukhdev Singh reached the scene and rescued the injured with the help of passersby.

Profusely bleeding injured were shifted to hospitals at Barnala and Ludhiana. Doctors at the Ludhiana hospital declared Taranjit brought dead. Investigations revealed that the Tavera collided with the truck while saving a two-wheeler.

The driver of the truck fled the scene after the accident.



Depicting forms of nature
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
Art binds Navpreet and Mani Nandini as both share a common passion for paintings. “Kaleidoscope”, the title of the show, itself speaks not only of the changing patterns of colours, but also the forms of nature and human relationships around us.

Both, through the medium of their canvas and colours, have depicted this with remarkable effort.

Vijay Rai Dhanda, educationist and philanthropist, inaugurated the show. Navpreet, wife of an Army officer, got an opportunity to visit various places. “Whenever I visit new places I click the pictures and later paint them on canvas.

Though I am an ardent photographer also, painting has always been my first love. Someday I will also put a photography exhibition,” she added.

Covering various realms of life and human relationships, Mani, an artist and an art teacher from Noida, has skillfully used the semi-realistic figurative style to depict the intensity and variety in the relationships, which was deeply observed over the years by the artist in her.

“I have a keen interest in expressing the little moments of charm in relationships and love to draw and colour human figures in brilliant colours,” she added. Navpreet says she owes this vitality to the culture of Punjab, which has been in her heart.

“The human emotions that I have painted are mature and show the growth from physical to metaphysical,” she added. She has not limited herself to one medium but has successfully experienced with pastels and acrylics other than oils. The exhibition was a synthesis of human and nature forms.

The exhibition is on at Aafreen Art Gallery, Gurdev Nagar, till May 10.



Farmers stage protest
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, May 9
On a call given by the SAD (Amritsar) and the Kirti Kisan Union, farmers of the area staged a protest at Jagraon here today. They were protesting against the exploitation of farmers by certain commission agents.

They also burnt the effigies of Kamaljit Singh Malla, chairman, market committee, Jagraon, and Rajinder Singh Dalla, secretary, market committee.

They earlier staged a dharna outside the market committee office here and held a march through the busy markets of the city.

They protested against the authorities for failure to take action against a commission agent of Dalla village, near here, who was found involved in overweighing of farmers’ produces last month.

The farmers also opposed the nomination of a commission agent to the post of chairman of the market committee, as it had been formed to stop the exploitation of farmers at the hands of commission agents.

All-India Farm Labour Association president Hardev Singh Sandhu, district president of Kirti Kisan Union Tarlochan Singh Jhorran, Tarlochan Singh Dalla of SAD (A), Gurcharan Singh Accharwal, Inderjit Singh Dhaliwal, Avtar Singh Rasulpur, Balwant Singh Hathoor, Gurdial Singh Dangian addressed the protesters.



SAD looks to do it the 9th time
Sheetal Chawla
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
The SAD has been dominating the Ludhiana Lok Sabha seat since Independence, for, the party has won the seat eight times out of 14 general elections held so far.

Soon after Independence, the SAD, under the leadership of Master Tara Singh, launched an agitation demanding Punjabi “Suba” and there was confrontation between the Congress government in Punjab and at the Centre.

In 1956, an agreement was reached between the Akalis and the government and the state was divided into two regions.

Regional formula was given as a solution to the Punjabi Suba issue.

Under the formula, the Congress and the Akalis jointly contested the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha elections in the state.

In the first general election of 1952, Lal Singh (Akali) was elected. In 1957, Ajit Singh Sarsadi, although an Akali, fought election on the Congress ticket and won from the city seat.

From 1962 onward, there was a bitter contest between the Congress and the Akalis for political domination in the state.

In 1962 general election, Kapur Singh was elected on Akali ticket from Ludhiana. Kapur Singh was known for his demand for the creation of a Sikh homeland.

In 1967, the Congress put up Devinder Singh Garcha as its candidate from Ludhiana. His father Shamsher Singh Dhandari had been elected as MLA on the Akali ticket in 1952.

Garcha succeeded in defeating the Akalis in two successive elections to the Lok Sabha i.e. in 1967 and 1972.

In 1977, there was an anti-Indira Gandhi wave in the country because of imposition of emergency in the country.

Jagdev Singh Talwandi, the then president of the Akali Dal, defeated Garcha by over one lakh votes.

In the mid-term poll to the Lok Sabha in 1980, after the fall of the Janata Dal government at the Centre under Morarji Desai and Charan Singh, Garcha wrested the seat.

In 1985, elections were held to the Vidhan Sabha and the Lok Sabha in Punjab and Mewa Singh Gill was elected to the Lok Sabha from Ludhiana on the Akali ticket, defeating Joginder Paul Pandey by 134 votes.

Joginder was killed by militants in 1986. Pandey was a senior leader of the Punjab Pradesh Congress and father of Rakesh Pandey, former minister in the Amarinder Singh government.

During the general election in 1989 after the fall of Chandra Shekhar government, Rajinder Kaur Bulara was elected from the city seat as Akali candidate.

In 1992, elections were held in the state for the Vidhan Sabha and the Lok Sabha after seven years of President’s Rule in the state. The SAD boycotted the elections and Gurcharan Singh Galib was elected Member of Parliament from Ludhiana Lok Sabha seat.

In 1996/1998 elections, Amrik Singh Aliwal was elected twice on SAD ticket. In 1999 elections, Gurcharan Singh Galib was again elected on Congress ticket.

In 2004, Sharanjit Singh Dhillon was elected on SAD ticket.



Remarks on Beant Singh
Cong men burn Tewari’s effigy
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
Several Congress leader today burnt the effigy of Congress nominee from Ludhiana Manish Tewari for his remarks against former Chief Minister Late Beant Singh here today.

The leaders, including Rohit Sabharwal, Narendra Makkar, Bir Partap Singh, Ashwini Johny, Rohit Arora and several others, said Manish had insulted the slain leader by his remarks and more so by not seeking forgiveness at his tomb.

Calling him an arrogant leader, they said he was more in love with his arrogance than the people of Punjab. They said he had no respect for the leaders of the Congress based in Ludhiana and also released a pamphlet appealing people not to vote for him in the elections.

They threatened that if he would not seek forgiveness for the remarks against Beant Singh, then he would have to summon even agents for polling booths from Delhi and he would lose by a margin of 1 lakh votes.



Women chip in for their kin
Kanchan Vasdev
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
Women relatives of candidates these days are busy sweating it out for them to be a winner. Canvassing by fair sex has added a new dimension to the elections in Ludhiana Parliamentary constituency where daughters, daughter-in-laws and sister-in-laws of the SAD candidate GS Galib and mother of the Congress nominee, Manish Tewari have hit the roads to garner votes for their candidate.

Galib's daughter, Gurpreet Kaur, daughter-in-law, Paramvir Kaur, and sister-in-law and Tewari's mother, Dr Amrit Kaur Tewari are leaving no stone unturned in the sunny days to make them win.

“People in the city are warm. I realised this when I came out on the streets. Being a woman, I get a special treatment everywhere, ’’ said Gurpreet.

She said she had covered many areas, including the old city. Several times her sister-in-law and aunt too visited people with her and at times, she went alone.

‘‘We are getting a very good response. People really shower their love. Everybody welcomes us to their homes,’’ she added.

Manish's mother is also campaigning for more than a month. She is going from door-to-door and also addressing various meetings.



All set for May 13 election, says DEO
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
Deputy Commissioner-cum-District Electoral Officer Gurkirat Kirpal Singh today said all arrangements had been made in the district for the conduct of free and fair elections for the parliamentary constituency on May 13.

The officer said around 12,000 polling staff had put on duty in the district. To supervise the election process, 212 supervisory officers had been put on duty.

These officers have been allotted 10 to 12 polling stations each. They will tour and cover polling stations in their sector.

He said 321 micro observers had also been appointed to supervise sensitive polling stations and 140 digital cameras would be installed.

He added that two rehearsals would be conducted on May 10 and and fourth and final rehearsal on May 12.

The polling parties would be dispatched to respective polling stations.

The election campaigning would end on May 11 at 5 pm and polling would be held on May 13 from 7 am to 5 pm.

Counting would be conducted on May 16 at two places — Punjab Agricultural University and Satish Chander Dhawan Government College for Boys.

He said the counting of 60- Ludhiana East, 61-Ludhiana South and 62-Atam Nagar would be conducted at Gymnasium Hall of PAU; 63-Ludhiana Central, 64-Ludhiana West ,65-Ludhiana North at SCD Government College for Boys; 66-Gill, and 70-Jagraon at Examination Hall of the PAU and the counting of 68-Dakha would be conducted Sukhdev Bhawan of PAU.

He added that there were 14 Assembly constituencies in district.

Of these nine constituencies are part of the Ludhiana parliamentary constituency i.e. 60-Ludhiana East, 61- Ludhiana South, 62-Atam Nagar, 63-Ludhiana Central, 64-Ludhiana West ,65-Ludhiana North, 66-Gill, 68-Dakha and 70-Jagraon.

The remaining five constituencies are part of Fetehgarh Sahib seat i.e. 57-Khanna, 58-Samrala, 59- Sahnewal, 67-Payal and 69-Raikot.



Docs’ body to back candidates promoting public health
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
Considering the neglect of the public health sector both at the state as well as at the Centre level, members of the PCMSA have pledged to cast their vote for the candidates taking up the issues, including allocation for proper budget for medicines and other equipments in government hospitals.

Dr Hardeep, state president of the PCMSA said considering the expansion of Ludhiana and its population which had crossed 30 lakh, there was a dire need to upgrade the civil hospital, Ludhiana.

"The sub-divisional civil hospitals in the district are catering to nearly 1.5 lakh population, which makes it mandatory to upgrade the civil hospital and also add three satellite civil hospitals," Dr Hardeep added.

The association has already given a proposal to the state government regarding the satellite hospitals.

PCMSA president also pointed that latest medicines were missing in the civil hospitals, adding that allocation of meager funds makes it impossible for the committees to buy new drugs prescribed by private hospitals. "Irrespective of the party, the candidate who promises to seriously take up the issues will be the choice of the PCMSA doctors," he added.

The association members further stated that they had extended support to the doctors contesting in different constituencies in the state.

Another member of the association referred to the apathy of the politicians who spoke about the welfare of the common and the poor without addressing to their primary needs like healthcare services.



UPA responsible for rising prices: Gabria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
“The UPA government is responsible for rising prices of essential commodities and decreasing job opportunities,” this was stated by Tourism Minister Hira Singh Gabria while addressing an election meeting in Model Town.

He said the poor had to sleep with empty stomach. Farmers were committing suicides, corruption was at its peak, Indian youth was fighting with unemployment and inflation touched an all time high.

He added that people are tired with the policies of the UPA government and are waiting for May 16 to get rid of the Congress. He said pro-Badal wave was strong in Punjab, which was indicated by the heavy turnout of the voters in the four Lok Sabha constituencies.

He requested the voters to support Gurcharan Singh Galib, so that he could win this seat. The meeting was organised by Bhupinder Singh. Councillor Harbhajan Singh Dang and councillor Manvinderpal Singh Makkar also addressed the rally.

Another rally was organised by Dang in Ward no. 47. He requested people to vote for the SAD-BJP candidate for the all-round development of the state and Ludhiana.

He said time had come to change the government which was sleeping when terrorists attacked Mumbai and other places.

Two new election offices in Model Gram and Haibowal were also opened by Kamaljit Singh Dua, Soni Galib, Madan Lal Bagha and MLA Darshan Singh Shivalik.



Galib vows to tackle pollution
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
SAD-BJP candidate from Ludhiana constituency Gurcharan Singh Galib addressed a series of election meetings in ward Nos. 15, 18, 12, 17 and 9. He said he had been serving the city for the past 50 years and was committed to its overall development.

“We have made a big plan to modernise Ludhiana and new projects have already been initiated. Ludhiana is the biggest city of the state, but has been suffering from pollution. The SAD is committed to fighting the deadly effects of environmental pollution and treats this issue as one of paramount importance.”

Taking inspiration from Gurbani, the SAD would put the issue on the top of its priority and start a multi-dimensional revolutionary movement for preservation of environment, he added.

For this, all legal constitutional and political steps would be taken to ensure that those who indulged in polluting the environment were dealt with as criminals.

He added: “I will make all efforts to make Ludhiana a pollution-free city, with orderly traffic and beautiful roads and parks.”

He further added that during the five-year regime of the Congress, nothing had been done for the development of the city or the state, where as the SAD-BJP government had ensured development of the city and the state during its two years of governance.

The BJP has intensified its election activities to garner support for the May-10 rally.

A scooter rally was organised from the Clock Tower up to division No. 3 and many meetings were organised in ward No. 9.

Addressing meetings, Satpal Gosain said the NDA government after gaining power at the Centre would work for the welfare of all segments of the population.



Tewari dubs Galib non-performer
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
Congress candidate has Manish Tewari said that the city needed a dedicated representative who could raise the concerns of the constituency in Parliament and work for the development of society.

Addressing election meetings, Tewari said Galib kept mum in Parliament for 10 years and failed to get anything done for this constituency.

Tewari questioned Galib on his talk of clean image. He asked him to disclose the details of the money he had utilised from the MP Local Area Development Fund during his tenure.

Tewari said finding Galib incapable and an abject non-performer, the Congress denied ticket to him in 2004.

He added that people could well analyse the future of the Akali Dal who had fielded a candidate rejected by the Congress five years ago.

Tewari also asserted that the Congress would give a befitting reply to leaders of state’s ruling Akali-BJP alliance who had been harassing and tormenting Congress workers.

The meetings were organised at Bhaura village by Harish Khullar and Satish Mehra, Chawni Mohalla by Kishan Kharbanda and Pawan Kharbanda and Vikas Nagar by Anil Bagga and Hasraj Gagat.

Prominent among those present included former state minister Rakesh Pandey, councillor Anil Malhotra, Sanjay Talwar, Jasbir Singh Chadda, Ashok Prashar, Amarjit Singh Tikka and Parminder Mehta.



Rahul’s visit keeps cops on toes
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
Though the NSG ensured adequate security arrangements for the election campaign of AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi, the city police remained on its toes in the wake of spate of shoe attacks on political leaders in the recent past.

Rahul was in the city to seek support for his party nominee Manish Tewari, even as the police kept its fingers crossed for the smooth conduct of the election rally.

An official said they were concerned as Rahul had breached the security cordon in the past to reach out to the public. In such a scenario, ensuring security became the top priority for the police, said the official.

Apprehension was evident on the faces of the top brass of the police department.

“Political equations and its trends are changing. Now politicians are more concerned about spoiling the political rally of the rival party rather than garnering support for their own party candidate. Even media is sensationalising such incidents.

Hurling of a shoe can create such an uproar,” said an official requesting anonymity. The police had made a shoe-proof plan for such star campaigners in order evade embarrassment.

The gap between the public and the stage had been extended from 45 feet to 60 feet so that a shoe could not reach the campaigners.

The police was also gearing up for the real test tomorrow, as the city will witness the biggest show of strength by the NDA as 10 top leader will arrive to support their party nominee GS Galib.

Besides, top police officials of the state will be present on the occasion. The police is facing the dual pressure of controlling the mob and keeping a tab on anti-social elements.



I raised issues in Parliament: Dhillon
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
Sitting MP Sharanjit Singh Dhillon today accused Congress nominee Manish Tewari of indulging in “baseless and slanderous campaign against him and fooling the people and electorate of Ludhiana”.

Addressing a press conference here today, Dhillon said he was not in the favour of slander and negative campaigns but he could not keep quiet and tolerate this.

“I want to let everybody know so as to what all I have done and spoken in the Lok Sabha during the past five years,” said Dhillon, while showing documents supporting his claims of active participation in Lok Sabha.

He said he raised a lot of issues regarding Punjab in general and Ludhiana in specific during his short stint in Lok Sabha. The Congress government in Delhi did not pay any attention to these issues.

“On August 22, 2007 I raised the issue of shifting of the Baddowal ammunition dump from its present location through a debate but the Defence Minister and the government did nothing about it.

On March 9, 2006 during the General Budget debate, I raised the issue of subsidy for Ludhiana’s small-scale industries so that these units could get the raw material at subsidised rates. But the government again kept silent on the issue and instead extended the concession to the neighbouring state,” he said.

Similarly on August 26, he talked about the ex-servicemen. He said disabled ex-servicemen should be given same facilities as the other ranks.

He said he had also raised the issues of farmers, industry, ex-servicemen, ammunition dump, etc. in the Lok Sabha. “I will not take the negative campaign against me,” he said, adding that he wanted to ask Tewari if he had done anything for Ludhiana except lying.

In the past few years he had been lying of getting an international airport for Ludhiana at Laddowal that could never see the light of the day.

Chief Parliamentary Secretary Harish Rai Dhanda, SGPC member BS Bains and many other leaders were also present.



Stargazers storm rallies for glimpse
Manav Ghuman
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
While Bollywood stars have been descending on the city to campaign for their respective party candidates, people seem to be more interested in catching a glimpse of their favourite stars than hear about what they have to say about the party they have been campaigning for.

And precisely due to this, stars like Shah Rukh Khan have declined to campaign for any political party. “I refused to campaign for any party as people will be more interested in seeing me rather than listen to what I will say,” Shahrukh Khan told a TV channel during an interview.

Recently, Sunny Deol and Jitendra were victims of fan frenzy here when they had come to promote SAD candidate Gurcharan Singh Galib. They, however, failed to reach the venue of the election rally.

Their car was mobbed by hundreds of fans, as a result of which the two stars had to leave the place without attending the rally. “I got to see Suuny Deol in flesh and blood for the first time in my life. People jostled with each other to have a glimpse of the stars.

Nobody was interested in the rally. A sea of humanity descended the venue just to have a look at the stars,” added Kulwinder Singh, a mechanic by profession.

The other star who drew crowd’s attention was Mahima Chaudhary. She was here to campaign for Congress candidate Manish Tewari.

Interestingly, a group of youngsters who had come to the rally was unaware of the party that was organising it. They had just come to see the actor.

“It was like a dream come true. We could have never had a chance to get a glimpse of the star otherwise. Thanks to these political rallies that stars come amidst the common man,” adds the group from Shimla Puri.

With Sanjay Dutt expected to campaign for the Samajwadi Party tomorrow, the fans are eagerly awaiting the star’s arrival.



Poll Duty
NCC, NSS cadets in quandary
Lovleen Bains

Ludhiana, May 9
As a list of students especially boys who are NCC cadets and NSS volunteers have been demanded from the institutions by the security department, students are in a panic as they fail to understand why they should be asked to perform election duty especially when they are already over burdened with studies.

“As per the orders, we have to sacrifice two full days for the election duty and get nothing in return.”

“It’s my final year and if I am asked to attend the duty, it will be difficult for me to cover up the vast syllabus in a very little time,” said a final year student.

One such NCC cadet who is studying in BA (II) said: “It is awful that while standing we are forced to do election duty which is simply a waste of our precious time.”

The principal of a local college said since they were asked to submit the list of the students for election duty, they had no other option but to do the needful.

An educationist, too, has demanded serious exemption of these students from performing any such election duty, if it is at the cost of their studies.

SSP Khanna clarified that authorities still have to work out whether these students would be deployed for the election duty or not.

Moreover, no student, preparing for exams would be made to do any election duty.



Varsity’s payment procedure upsets examiners
Lovleen Bains

Ludhiana, May 9
The internal and external examiners, deployed by Panjab University during practical examinations, are dissatisfied with the mode of payment by the university. They allege that it is not only delayed, but also abound in discrepancies

The remuneration given to these examiners, whether internal or external, is delayed to the extent that it arrives after a year and in some cases after two years. The examiners said the payment was made through cheque, the amount of which was Rs 47, Rs 53, Rs 94, and so forth.

The cost of transaction was Rs 50, which sometimes exceeded the total amount. Moreover, the cheque could be cashed only from the State Bank of India in Ludhiana.

An examiner said, “I teach in Khanna. I received a cheque for Rs 47. To get it cashed, I will have to spend double the amount on travel and to open an account. On top of this, I will also have to pay the transaction amount.”

The examiners said many times there were spelling mistakes in the cheques, due to which they faced difficulties at the time of cashing.

The examiners said, the payments should be made at the examination venue only. They said by the time the remuneration arrived, most of the employees had left the institutes. “ Because the amount is not much, the cheques keep lying in the college and the employees never bother to visit the place especially to collect their cheques,” they added.

The examiners further said the university should send a collective cheque for an examiner so that he or she benefited after paying the transaction amount.



Outstation duties have PAU women staff fuming 
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
The employee union of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU) is up in arms against the district administration for assigning election duties to women employees. They said as the male employees were on the job, there was no need to put women on election duties.

Women could have been asked to perform duties in the city itself, in case of an emergency, but they should not have been sent to outstations like Jagraon, Machhiwara, Khanna and Samrala.

Harbans Singh Mundi, president of the union, said it was decided earlier to exempt women from poll duties. However, when the list from the district administration was received, names of women employees were also mentioned. A delegation of employees had met the then Deputy Commissioner, Vikas Garg, to discuss the issue.

"We were given assurance that women employees will either be kept reserved or they will be asked to perform their duties in the city itself. However, as per the recent list, around 60 women employees of the university have been asked to perform election duties, out of which around 20 have been sent outside of the city," said Mundi.

Kamaljit Kaur, employee at the basic sciences department, said she was asked to perform election duty at Jagraon. "I was told about it during the rehearsals at Government College for Women on Wednesday. Although, I am reluctant to go, I have no other option but to report on duty tomorrow," she said.

Meanwhile, Labh Singh, tehsildar, when contacted said because of staff shortage, women employees from various departments had been asked to perform duties. More than 3,000 women employees had been delegated work in the constituency. "It is not we who decide about the allocation of duties.

The Election Commission (National Information Centre) has developed a software for this purpose. Employees should realise their moral duties towards the nation and must not crib," he said.



In-laws set woman on fire
Tribune News Service

Khanna, May 9
The Khanna police today booked husband and his parents for killing his wife and demanding dowry from the newly married woman.

The deceased Neelam, a resident of Kurukshetra, was married to Sanjeev Kumar of Malaud, a few months ago. She received burns in her in-laws house, a few days ago, and was undergoing treatment at CMC, Ludhiana,. She died late last night.

Father-in-law Kasturi Lal, mother-in-law Rama and brother-in-law Gurpreet have been booked by the police for demanding dowry and killing Neelam.



Bag containing Rs 3 lakh snatched
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
As the police was busy providing security to the star campaigner of the Congress, Rahul Gandhi, snatchers had a field day today.

Two youths snatched a bag containing Rs 3 lakh in cash from a collection agent and fled the scene near Deep Hospital in Model Town here.

The incident took place this morning when the victim, Kuldeep Singh, was heading towards ICICI Bank in Model Town to deposit the collected cash.

According to Kuldeep, when he reached a street near Deep Hospital, a youth who was standing against the wall pushed him down from his motorbike and grabbed the bag containing the cash.

“By the time I could react, another youth arrived on a motor cycle and both fled the scene,” said Kuldeep Singh.

The police was probing the matter till the filling of the report.



IPL Fever
Dhaba owners left high and dry
Charu Chhibber
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, May 9
Dhaba owners of the city have started feeling the heat of Indian Premier League (IPL) fever as cricket-crazy Ludhianvis prefer to remain glued to their TV screens during their "business hours" than to venture out to satiate their appetite.

Those who go out in the evenings, prefer those eating joints and clubs that have king-size screens to telecast the IPL matches, leaving the dhaba owners high and dry.

Kartar Singh, who runs a Punjabi dhaba in Chaura Bazaar market said: "Ever since the IPL has kicked off, our business has gone for a toss. Most of our clients, who come here during evening hours, have stopped coming as the matches are telecast between 4 pm to 12 am and they do not want to miss out on the action."

He added, "Those are our peak business hours. We have small premises and do not have a television set, which is the biggest reason that our client inflow during the rush hours has dried up."

Another local dhaba owner Shyam Sunder, who runs his dhaba near Aarti Chowk rued, "IPL matches have led to a sharp decline in customer footfall to the dhabas as most dhabas cater only to the appetites of the customers.

I guess it’s time for us to add attractions like a television set to ensure customer inflow even when special programmes or events are being telecasted."

Even those dhabas that have TV sets have witnessed a decline in the number of customers due to the IPL matches.



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