L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Mystery shrouds PAU student’s death
Was found unconscious in hostel room
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 27
Gurpreet Singh, a student of BSc IIIrd year (Agriculture) from Punjab Agriculture University (PAU), died after allegedly consuming some poisonous substance in his hostel room today.

SHO of the PAU police station, Lovedeep Singh, said: “The police came to know about the incident at around 9 pm through the DMCH. Gurpreet Singh, a resident of Dhimawali village in Faridkot, was supposed to go on a trip to Goa with friends on Monday night. When he did not respond to his friends’ calls, they went to his room and found froth coming out of his mouth. They informed parents of Gurpreet about the incident and got him admitted to the DMCH where doctors declared him brought dead.”

A friend of Gurpreet disclosed that he was a reserved man and had returned from his village yesterday only. “The mother of Gurpreet had made frantic calls to him, but he was not picking up the phone. She, then, rang up a few of his friends to enquire about his whereabouts. Friends of Gurpreet went to his room (number 960 and found him lying unconscious on his bed. He must have consumed something, but we are not sure, as there wasn’t any suicide note. He was admitted to the DMCH, but the doctors declared him brought dead,” the friend added.

The body of Gurpreet was handed over to his parents after a post-mortem examination. A case has been registered in this regard. Dean Student Welfare, PAU, Dr DS Cheema said: “The police is investigating this unfortunate incident, let it come out with the facts.”


Poll code effect: Rs 93 lakh unaccounted money seized
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 27
The civil and police departments of the district have seized Rs 90 lakh from a few persons, who failed to divulge the source of money they were carrying. The local income tax department has already been informed about the seized money. The officials of these departments, while adhering to the model code of conduct in the state, had seized Rs 42 lakh alone from nine persons in Jagraon out of Rs 90 lakh.

While directing parties and candidates to religiously follow the model code of conduct, Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tewari said today that those found carrying amount above Rs 1 lakh in cash would have to show documents regarding the money transaction.

He said fresh voters could fill Form 6 and hand it over to the returning officer or the district election officer for getting voter cards from January 2 to January 4. After January 4, the software would not pick any fresh names. “In the Ludhiana district, there are 14 constituencies with 20,96,493 registered voters and persons who have not been able to get their voter cards made, can avail this opportunity,” the Deputy Commissioner added.

He said nine teams had been constitutes, who would ensure that there was the enforcement of the code of conduct in the district. Among these, two teams would keep a watch on all events like rallies and nominations etc. One team (flying squad) would conduct the raids. The Static Surveillance Team (SST) would keep a tab on

the inflow of liquor, cash (attached with elections). Two teams would look into such complaints.

Meanwhile, the Static Surveillance team, recently constituted by the District Electoral Officer and the police department, has recovered Rs 3 lakh from Harsimran Singh today. SHO of the Dugri police station, Kulwant Singh, said Harsimran Singh, a resident of Gill village, drove Swift Car from which the amount was recovered.



Unaccounted Rs 1.2 crore seized
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Khanna, December 27
Acting on the directions of the Election Commission, Khanna, the police has recovered Rs 1 crore 20 lakh as unaccounted money during different nakas in the district, today.

The SSP Khanna Mandeep Singh Sidhu while talking to The Tribune said Rs 45.50 lakh were recovered in Samrala sub-division, Rs 40.30 lakh in Khanna sub-division and Rs 34.55 lakh in Payal sub-division.

He informed that the election commission has banned the carrying of cash more than the one lakh and those who were arrested with the cash failed to show valid documents and sources of money.

He said that the biggest haul of Rs 30 lakh was from a single person in Payal sub-division.

The SSP also informed that the income tax department was informed about the incident. If the person shows valid documents, he or she will be let off after proper verification. Nobody will be harassed, he added.



Stop harassing industry: CICU
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 27
Avtar Singh, General Secretary, Chamber of Industrial and Commercial Undertakings (CICU), in a press statement issued here today urged the Commissioner Police, the Election Commission and the Punjab Chief Minister to immediately put an end to such checkings on roads.

This is having an adverse affect on the business as the hosiery buyers from neighbouring states of Punjab generally carry cash to purchase hosiery goods.

“This action of the local police, under the garb of code of conduct is intimating and harassing the business community and this needs to be stopped immediately. Lakhs of rupees seized by the police officials within two days during the checkings, must be handed over to owners, he added.



GLADA official told to pay Rs 15,000
Delay in giving info under RTI Act
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 27
Taking strong note of the delay caused by the accounts officer of the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) Shiv Kumar Sharma, who is also the designated Public Information Officer (PIO) under the RTI Act, in providing the required information under the Act to an applicant, the State Information Commission has slapped a penalty of Rs 15,000 on him.

In the orders pronounced by the State Information Commissioner on December 20, 2011, in the case (CC - 1925/11) it has further been directed that the amount of penalty be deducted from the salary of the PIO and deposited in the state treasury under the relevant head. “An attested copy of the receipt challan be produced before the commission for record,” the State Information Commissioner ruled before parting with the order.

Rohit Sabharwal, an RTI activist, had filed an application with the GLADA demanding information on the violations of schedule of clauses of various schemes or building bylaws from January 1, 2000; whether the violations still existed or else had been compounded or demolished; and action taken against the defaulters.

When the respondent agency (GLADA) failed to provide the information within the stipulated period as provided in the RTI Act, and the appeal filed with the appellate authority under the Act also failed to have any effect, Sabharwal filed an appeal with the State Information Commission for further necessary action.

Taking up the complaint on the earlier date of hearing on November 16, 2011, the State Information Commissioner had recorded that as per assertion made by the GLADA, complete information spread over 84 pages had been provided to the applicant. Counsel for the complainant while seeking time to study the information supplied by the GLADA authorities pointed out that the information had been unduly delayed.

On December 20, 2011, the Commission imposed a penalty of Rs 15,000 on PIO Shiv Kumar Sharma.



Road ‘damaged’ after construction in 5 days
Residents allege use of sub-standard material
Gurminder Singh Grewal

Khanna, December 27
The use of sub-standard material by Nagar Council, Khanna, came under the scanner when a road leading from Spring Dale Public School to near Marianwala roundabout, a stretch of nearly a half kilometer was seen damaged within five days after the its construction.

The road was constructed from the budget of grants, which were sent to the municipal committee from the government. Sources said that the budget of the road was more than Rs 7 lakh. The residents of the area had complained of about the matter on December 15. It is pertinent to mention here that the construction of the road started in the first week of December, 2011.

When a correspondent visited the area, the residents and alleged that they had raised objections on the material used by the contractor, who was constructing the road. The residents also alleged that they filed a complaint on December 15 this year after five days of the construction, that the concrete had come out at various points and there were some potholes. But nobody paid heed to it, alleged the residents. One of the residents said when they went to the municipal committee for lodging a complaint regarding in this regard, the functionaries of the municipal committee misbehaved with them. The residents alleged that the sub-standard material was used in the construction that resulted in the potholes of the road in just five days after its construction.

When Gurminder Singh Lalli, former vice-president of municipal committee, Khanna, and two times councilor from the congress was contacted, he said that a high level enquiry can unearth the nexus of the functionaries and the contractors who charged high price but used sub-standard materials in the construction. He also demanded a stern action against the contractor who constructed it.

While when the independent councilor, Vijay Sharma, was contacted in this regard, he raised question on the utilisation of the grants by the functionaries of the municipal committee, Khanna.

When the president of the municipal committee, Khanna, Iqbal Singh, was contacted, he said that a layer of tarcoal will be 
laid on the road and a fine road will be constructed after few months. He also said that no payments will be made to the contractor until he constructs the road as per the specifications.

The president added that the road developed potholes due to winter season. The president also claimed that after the winters, once again a layer of tarcol will be added.



Colleges organise NSS camps
Tribune News service

Ludhiana, December 27
On the third day of a seven-day NSS camp at SCD Government College, Ludhiana, the volunteers observed communal ‘Harmony Day’ by visiting many religious places.

In the second-half of the day, various teams of the volunteers painted the black boards of the Government Elementary School, Partap Singh Wala, and white washed the walls of the school. In the evening, programme, coordinator, prof BS Wadhwa addressed the volunteers and the villagers.

He appealed them to shun the drug-addiction and for the corruption free society.

GHG Khalsa College

A seven-day NSS camp was organised at GHG Khalsa College of Education, Gurusar Sudhar. The camp was organised from December 20 to 26. A total of 96 regular students and four non student volunteers participated in the National Service Camp. The main theme of the camp was "Save Earth Save Environment".

AS College, Khanna

AS College, Khanna, organised a seven-day National Service Scheme (NSS) camp.

The camp started on December 21 at Saloudin village where the volunteers performed cleanliness drive in the village school and health centre. Over 84 volunteers participated in the camp.



‘High-protein diet not good’
Can increase uric acid during winter, say doctors
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 27
With the winter setting in, “Punjabies” love to savour high-protein food, including “saag”, cabbage, spinach and milk products, especially butter, dry fruits and alcohol.

But such a diet can increase one’s uric acid.

Without caring much about it, people keep relishing a high-protein diet and when the winter is over, they approach doctors with complaints of joint pain. Dr RS Sodhi, Medical Superintendent, and head of the orthopaedician department of Shri Guru Teg Bahadur Charitable Hospital, said, “We receive 40 per cent to 50 per cent such patients during winter. As they consume less water, kidneys do not remove excessive uric acid from the body. It gets accumulated in the form of gouts.”

He added that excessive intake of alcohol and sudden exertion also led to the formation of gouts.

Dr HS Gill, senior consultant, orthopaedics department, SPS Apollo Hospitals, and president of the Punjab Orthopaedics Association, said, “Leafy vegetables relax our taste buds, but increase the uric acid. Pulses (with external cover) and alcohol should be avoided. Those having an increased level of uric acid should consume more fluids at least 8 to 10 glasses of water a day. It helps release the excessive uric acid from the body through urine.”



Now, women employees to get leave for childcare
Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News service

Ludhiana, December 27
Women employees in government departments will now be able to take leave for childcare. According to a government notification, now women employees, who have children aged less than 18 years, can claim 365 leaves in their service period.

The notification says that the leave is only applicable for the welfare of two children. These leaves can be claimed in case of examination and illness of a child. Documentary proof of illness is mandatory for availing these leaves.

An employee can take more than one term for availing this leave. But she can take only three terms in one calendar year. One term must comprise a minimum of 15 leaves. Women employees are pleased after hearing the news. Harjit Kaur, a government teacher said, "It is hard to believe that the government has permitted the child-care leave. I personally believe that women employees required these leaves for the proper care of children".

"Bringing up children well is crucial, especially in their formative years. I think it is a progressive and thoughtful decision by the government," said Pawandeep Kaur, teaching in a government school.

"I welcome the decision of the government but it seems that it is a political decision to attract women voters. We needed these leaves because it is a challenge for working women to take proper care of both family and job " said Radhika, an employee of the Municipal Corporation.



School Notes
Folk dance marks annual function

Ludhiana: GNI Public School, BRS Nagar, organised its annual function Vibgyor-2011 last evening. Students participated in various cultural activities. A choreography on female foeticide was performed by them. Different folk dances depicting Punjab’s culture and western dances were also performed by students. Prizes were distributed among athletes. Principal Bhupinder Bedi read out the annual report. Distinguished writer Dr Gurbhajan Singh Gill presided over the function.

Career fair

BCM School, Dugri, organised a career fair to apprise students of the available career options offering an array of paths. Different institutes like Ludhiana Group of Colleges, CT Group, GGI, Pinnacle, Xplora, Canadian University, IIFT, AIHT, RIMT, ABC Tutorial, Animation participated in it. The fair was visited by students and parents.

Dance contest

KG students of Kundan Vidya Mandir participated in a song and solo dance competition. They danced to the tune of Rajasthani, Punjabi and Haryanavi folk songs. Chehak Jam of LKG bagged the first prize, while Sonakshi Mahajan and Ishita Arora of UKG shared the first prize. Preet Inder and Nabhay Verma from LKG, Sana Jam and Kaavish Babbar from UKG won the first prize. — TNS



Surgical camp at DMCH

Ludhiana, December 27
DMCH will be organising a special New Year indoor surgical camp from January 1 to January 31 in the OPD block from 9 am to 2 pm.

Secretary of the hospital’s managing society Prem Kumar Gupta said such camps helped patients avail medical facilities.

He said patients would be examined for various ailments during the camp.

He added that those visiting the hospital in January would be entitled to 20 per cent discount on mammography, dexa scan, spirometry, axial biometry and ultrasound. — TNS



‘Workers in pvt sector not even paid minimum wages’
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, December 27
The Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) today observed that despite immense growth of the economy and a GDP growth rate of 8.5 per cent, the benefits were not reaching the working class, which remained a neglected lot.

INTUC national president Ambati Krishnamurthy cited a report of the National Commission of Enterprises to assert that the condition of the workers in the unorganised sectors remained unchanged over the last decade.

“Employment has grown, but in the unorganised sector, the workers remain a poor and a neglected lot,” he observed.

Coming down heavily on the employers in the private sector, the INTUC chief alleged that the workers in the private sector were not even paid the minimum wages fixed by the government while other facilities like medical and education to the workers and their family members, both in the organised and unorganised sectors, remained a far cry.

Making a fervent plea with the government to take up the pending demands and the issue of providing relief to the workers in the government undertakings and the private sector on priority basis, he called for curbing inflation and bringing prices of essential commodities under control.



poll code
To evade EC, clients ‘bribe’ agencies
Cite domestic needs for withdrawing huge amount from banks
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, December 27
Following a ban imposed by the Election Commission on carrying of money above Rs 1 lakh without documents, officials at various branches of commercial banks have started monitoring cash transactions being undertaken by their clients.

Having already maintained a register to monitor huge transactions, the officials have become particular in asking their clients the reason behind withdrawals and source of money being deposited.

Those requiring transfer of unaccounted money, instead of taking risk of being caught by the Election Commission teams, prefer paying “extra” bucks to agencies engaged in money transfer.

In a majority of cases, clients cited “domestic purpose” as the reason for withdrawal.

Overcautious clients have started carrying updated passbooks with them to substantiate their claim.

An official of a bank said a majority of their clients were initially reluctant to disclose the reason behind the withdrawal of huge sums.

A real estate dealer admitted that their clients from other towns and cities, who earlier used to carry huge sums in their cars, have started insisting on making payments in their offices only.

“Though in a majority of cases, the money is withdrawn from one or the other bank, they don’t want to land themselves in trouble by carrying huge sums,” the dealer added.



Karwal urges Bains to return to SAD fold
Had decided to contest as an Independent candidate
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 27
Two days after Youth Akali Dal district president Simarjit Singh Bains announced that he would be contesting the upcoming Assembly elections as an independent candidate, the SAD has already started sending feelers to the youth leader.

Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, who recently joined hands with the Akali Dal and is now party candidate from Mohali, visited Kanwaljit Singh Karwal’s house in Model Town area this morning. Karwal is close to Bains and openly announced on December 25 that he would support Bains’s candidature.

While confirming Ramoowalia’s visit, Simarjit Singh Bains said the leader came to meet him. “But it was just a personal visit and I would not comment further on it.”

However, sources close to Bains said Ramoowalia had called up Bains on his mobile phone last evening and had sought to meet him.

“This morning, he tried to persuade Bains to withdraw his decision and come back to the party fold by supporting Hira Singh Gabria. But Bains told him clearly that it was testing times for him and that he would contest the upcoming state Assembly elections at any cost. Ramoowalia stayed at Karwal’s house for around 15 minutes and later left for Fatehgarh Sahib,” said sources.

Balwant Singh Ramoowalia could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.



Teachers irked over untimely transfers
Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 27
Large-scale transfers of teachers in government schools in the mid of the session has fumed resentment among affected teachers. They lamented that the transfer orders have been issued at the wrong time to adjust certain teachers.

Incidentally, the director general of school issued the transfer orders on the day the election code of conduct came into force.

The transfer orders have been issued in different districts of the state.



More HIV positive cases surface
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 27
After becoming aware about AIDS, more patients are pouring in to get themselves tested for HIV positive. Recently, a number of fresh cases have been detected. This was revealed by Dr US Sooch, Ludhiana District programme officer of the Punjab State AIDS Control Society.

Sooch said," The number of counselling and testing Centres have increased from 71 in 2008-2009 to 189 in 2011-2012 (till Ocotober). Similarly, those who have doubt about being HIV positive are also coming forward to get themselves tested and thus more are being detected with the virus."

In 2008-2009, People who approached ICTC for testing were 1,67,307, in 2009-2010 it increased to 2,28,094. In 2011-2012 (till October) it was 1,93,635. And 4,954 people have been found HIV positive in 2008-2009, 5,351 in 2009-2010 and in 2010-2011 5,425. However, in 2011-2012(till October) it was 3,433. As the data was collected till March so more HIV positive cases were expected to pour in, he said.

Estimated HIV/AIDS cases in India are 2.30 million and estimated adult cases in Punjab as per the estimation of 2009 is 56,298.



illegal hoardings
MC set to take action against violaters
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 27
Even though the model code of conduct has come into force in the state, the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation is all geared up to take action against illegal political hoardings in the city. “All political hoardings at public places are illegal and I will personally make sure all of them are removed,” said MC Commissioner Malwinder Singh Jaggi.

The MC has formed three teams each in all four zones of the city and a total of 85 officials have been deputed to check illegal political hoardings. The civic body has also passed orders that if any illegal hoarding was seen on the streets or buildings, the MC would get an FIR registered against those flouting rules.

Ever since the code of conduct has been imposed in the state, a total of 2,779 such hoardings have been removed in the district, which include 122 of SAD, 207 of Congress, 62 of BJP, 118 of BSP, 2130 of Shiv Sena and 140 of others. These hoardings were removed by various teams of the MC, Municipal Committees, Municipal Council’s, Improvement Trust and the Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority.

A senior district administration official informed that notices had been sent to respective political parties. “We will charge Rs 5 per hoarding as expenditure of the respective political parties,” informed the official.

Jaggi informed that if any political party put up a hoarding at a public place, it would be considered illegal and an FIR under the Defacement of Public Property Act and the Representation of Peoples Act would be registered against the violators.

“If any person puts up a hoarding on a private building, he should have a no objection certificate issues by the building owner, and the MC should be informed about it so that this information could be sent to the returning officer concerned. In case of unipoles along the roads, the contractor should provide complete information about the hoarding with the MC so that it could be added to the expenditure,” said Jaggi.



3,000 villagers threaten Assembly poll boycott
Say govt did nothing to develop area
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, December 27
As many as 3,000 residents of Agwar Lopo village situated on the outskirts of Jagraon have declared to boycott the coming Assembly elections in the state slated to be held on January 30 next year.

The villagers are angry over the lack of development in the area.

They said neither the ruling SAD-BJP coalition nor the Congress government had done anything for the development of the area. Irked over the continuous delay in various development works, the villagers have now decided to boycott the Assembly elections.

“No government has paid any attention towards the development of our village. The leaders of both the parties have been promising us to construct a stadium in the village for the past many years. But their promise has not materialised so far,” said Nirmal Singh, a resident of the village.

Other demands of the villagers include proper cleanliness, re-carpeting of roads and streets of the village, which are in a bad condition, and construction of a primary health centre.

“We have met many leaders of the ruling party and requested them to construct a stadium. Even Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, during his Sangat Darshan programme in Jagraon in May, had promised us of issuing a grant for the construction of the stadium, but nothing concrete has been done so far and we are feeling cheated at the hands of politicians,” lamented Paramjit Singh, another villager.

The villagers have also decided to do the remaining works on their own with the help of some NRIs of the village.



SAD fields Ranjit Singh Talwandi from Khanna constituency
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 27
The Akali heavyweight Talwandi family has finally got a breather after Ranjit Singh Talwandi, son of veteran Akali leader and former SGPC president Jagdev Singh Talwandi, has been announced as the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) candidate from the Khanna constituency. Talwandi’s who had always contested from the Raikot constituency, had to leave their home turf after Raikot became a reserved constituency post delimitation.

The family hopes for a win from Khanna this time as Bikramjit Singh Khalsa, son of veteran Akali leader Basant Singh Khalsa, had defeated Congress heavyweight Shamsher Singh Dullo from the same seat during the last Assembly elections. Khalsa had contested from this constituency for the first time, while Dullo had represented this constituency twice.

Khalsa has now become the party candidate from Raikot, while former Lok Sabha deputy speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal from Payal. Both Payal and Raikot constituencies became reserved after delimitation, while Khanna, which was a reserved constituency, is now a general constituency.

The Talwandis, who are a known name in the state political circles, were trying to get a seat from the Khanna constituency, ever since Raikot became reserved.

A party insider said that earlier, they tried for a seat from Amargarh in Sangrur, but after some opposition from local Akali leaders there, they shifted their focus on Khanna.

“Talwandis are one such family in Akali politics, which cannot be ignored during the elections. That is why, the Akali Dal decided to field them from Khanna. Even Charanjit Singh Atwal was trying hard for getting a party ticket for his son Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal, first from Raikot and later from Adampur in Jalandhar. But now Raikot seat has been given to Bikramjit Singh Khalsa, while the party has fielded Pawan Kumar Tinu from Adampur,” said a senior Akali leader requesting anonymity.

Speaking to The Tribune, Ranjit Singh Talwandi, an ex MLA from Raikot, said that Talwandi family has been serving the Sikh “panth” for a long time. “It is our third generation with the Akali Dal. Now that I have been given the party ticket, I will win it comfortably because all people know about the Talwandi family and their service to the people.” Ranjit Singh Talwandi was elected as an MLA from Raikot in the 2002 Assembly elections.



Gabria confident of win despite divided house
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 27
A day after the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) stood divided in the city when Youth Akali Dal district president Simarjit Singh Bains’s announced his candidature as an independent against cabinet minister Hira Singh Gabria from the Atam Nagar constituency, Gabria today claimed that he was confident of a win, even if Simarjit contested against him.

Breaking his silence today, Gabria further said, "Our party has already adjusted Bains by giving a ticket to his elder brother Balwinder Singh Bains, an SGPC member, from Ludhiana South. But then Simarjit wanted another ticket for himself from the Atam Nagar constituency. Even I have never asked for more than one ticket from the Akali Dal because tickets are given to candidates who deserve and can win," said Gabria while speaking to The Tribune today.

"I am contesting from Atam Nagar because my party gave me this opportunity and being the Youth Akali Dal district president Simarjit should have also supported me. Similarly, I would have supported his brother Balwinder Singh Bains from Ludhiana South. But I wonder as to why Simarjit took this step and I have already brought it to the notice of the party high command. Now its up to them to take whatever decision they want," said Hira Singh Gabria.

Gabria further said that some people think that it’s a single person who wins any election. "But they must understand that in every election, it’s the party that wins," said Gabria.

Yesterday, Simarjit, who terms "mantri" Gabria as "corrupt", had addressed a press conference declaring himself an independent candidate from the Atam Nagar constituency.



BJP to contest on three urban seats
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, December 27
After intense lobbying for bartering some of the existing seats that the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) had won, or unsuccessfully contested in the 2007 Assembly elections, the party leadership seems to have finally convinced its senior coalition partner - the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) to leave the Ludhiana West Assembly segment for the BJP in exchange for some other seat.

Otherwise considered a SAD-B bastion, it was only once in 1977 Assembly polls when the then Janata Party nominee and an activist of the Bhartiya Jansangh A. Vishwanathan had successfully contested from this seat defeating Joginderpal Pandey of the Indian National Congress.

Sources in the BJP said, the Ludhiana West Assembly seat had almost been allocated to the BJP quota and in all probability the party nominating its former state president and presently vice-chairman of Punjab State Planning Board Rajinder Bhandari to contest from this seat.

However, a few other BJP activists, some of them having strong links with the RSS, have also staked their claim to the party ticket from Ludhiana West. The names doing the rounds include LIT chairman Madan Mohan Vyas, former president of Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha and a member of the executive Kamal Chatley and Arunesh Mishra.

Following delimitation and a significant change in the geographic and electorate profile of the constituency, Punjab Health and Family Welfare Minister Sat Pal Gosain of the BJP, who now represents Ludhiana East, will now seek a party ticket from the Ludhiana Central segment. And with his stature and standing in the party, he apparently faces little or no opposition.

It is the third seat for the BJP in the city - Ludhiana North, presently represented by Harish Bedi (BJP) that is witnessing a virtual scramble for the party nomination. Bedi's candidature is being challenged by senior deputy mayor Parveen Bansal, a popular face in the city, while party district president Rajiv Katna also seems prepared to throw his hat in.



Youngsters unhappy with present politicians
Seek inclusion of young and fresh faces
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 27
Although the right to vote is the biggest democratic tool, but urban youth in the city has not shown much interest in politics. The indifference stems from "lack of decent choice of candidates", vote-bank politics.

Mention politics and many of them cringe their nose. "I don't like politics. Who has the time for knowing about who says what? ", says 21-year-old Harleen Kaur pursuing engineering degree in the city.

Many like Ridhima studying at GADVASU ask, "Who should we vote to power?" there is hardly any choice left as most of the parties and candidates are corrupt and incapable. Even social activist like Anna Hazare who raises voice against corruption has to struggle," she remarks.

"One party comes in power and manipulates the system to fill its coffers while the other party is spineless does nothing except name-calling and infighting. So it is better not to vote," concurs Rajdeep Singh, pursuing BA. "At least I won't have the guilt of having voted in favour of someone who would create problems in future," he adds.

Some who are concerned about the state of affairs complain lack of constructive issues and foresight. Sumeet Inder Singh, second year student from a veterinary college, said that none of the governments had been taking any steps to improve higher education or create job opportunities for the youth.

Many youngsters have not even got their voter cards made. "It isn't my job to get the voter card made," says Girish, pursuing graduation. His batchmate Ravish Kumar says, voter card is an additional proof of identity after driving license rather than a tool for casting vote.

Rohini Bhardwaj had voted two years back. For many like her, it's more of a perfunctory thing to do. "What difference does it make eventually? All parties are the same," she says.

Some of students however feel that educated politicians are lacking. "If there are young and educated candidates I will definitely vote. But still there is still a long way to go I think," said another student.



Body found
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 27
An unidentified body of a migrant labourer was found near Gunda Nullah in Meharbaan area here today.

Meharbaan SHO Mahinder Singh said the body recovered today was of a migrant labourer, aged 24.

“The man must have died about three days ago. We have kept the body at the mortuary for identification,” said the SHO.

He added that a diary was recovered from the deceased.

“We tried to call up persons mentioned in the diary, but could not get through anyone. We are probing the matter. Things will be more clear once we are able to speak to someone,” he said.



Jail inmate dies
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, December 27
Madan Lal Bhasin (77), an inmate at the Central Jail here, died last night after prolonged illness.

Jail Suprintendent JK Sharma said that several cases under Section 420 were registered against the deceased. He was admitted at PGI, Patiala, and the Jail Hospital here.He was also suffering from diabetes.

"When his condition deteriorated last night, we took him to the hospital but on the way Madal Lal died. His family members have been informed. Cases under Section 420 were registered against Bhasin at Yamunanagar and Ludhiana", said Sharma.



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