C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


HC gives Admn 3 months
Wants it to decide on construction of dwelling units for UT staff

Chandigarh, April 4
The Punjab and Haryana High Court today set a three-month deadline for the Chandigarh Administration and other respondents to take a decision on constructing dwelling units for its employees and other unsuccessful applicants.

As the case came up for hearing this morning, Justice Surya Kant and Justice Lisa Gill directed the Administration and the Chandigarh Housing Board to consider the claim of the unsuccessful applicants within this period.

The significance of the directions can be gauged from the fact that the petition has been filed by 412 petitioners. They were seeking directions to the respondents to provide or construct the dwelling units under the “Self-Financing Housing Scheme 2008 on Leasehold Basis for 99 years for Employees of the Chandigarh Administration” for them and the other unsuccessful applicants.

Giving reasons, they said the scheme was “formulated keeping in view the dire need of the employees who have no house in Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula, and also the fact that the need for the house has been found wholly genuine by the authorities of the respondents themselves”.

Going into the background, they said one of the petitioners made a representation to the authorities for providing a house. Despite finding the demand for the house genuine, effective steps were not taken in the matter.

“Initially, when the scheme was formulated, 28 acres and 17.5 acres in Sectors 52 and 56 were earmarked. However, later on, to meet the demand for houses, 11.795 acres and 16 acres in Sectors 53 and 56 were earmarked. The number of stories was increased from four to six. Despite land being available, they are not taking any step to consider the demand for the houses,” they asserted.

412 petitioners

As the case came up for hearing on Friday morning, Justice Surya Kant and Justice Lisa Gill directed the Administration and the Chandigarh Housing Board to consider the claim of the unsuccessful applicants within three months. The plea has been filed by 412 petitioners.



Three-year-old boy falls into water tank in Pinjore, dies
Hina Rohtaki
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 4
A three-year-old boy died after he fell into an uncovered water tank at a construction site in Shiv Colony, Pinjore, in Panchkula district last evening.

The body of the victim, identified as Mani, was found floating in the water tank. He had lost his parents two years ago in a road accident. Since then, Mani was being brought up by his paternal uncle, Mainpal, in Dharampur Colony, Pinjore.

Surprisingly, even after the tragedy, nobody, including the local police, bothered to cover the water tank. The stagnant water in the tank had algae all over it.

The victim had gone out to play in the afternoon yesterday. When he did not return till the evening, Mainpal and his family members started looking for him.

"While searching for him, we saw a shirt floating in the tank. It was then that we realised it was Mani. We informed the police, who reached the spot," said Raj Kumar, a relative. He said, “Mani was the only son of his parents, who had died earlier.”

The victim was taken to the Kalka Civil Hospital, where he was declared brought dead.

Several plots where work is under way at Shiv Colony have such water tanks, which are used for construction purposes. All of these are uncovered. Residents say despite repeated complaints in this regard, the police failed to take action.

The local police were initially reluctant to book anyone for the boy’s death. Inspector Lalit Kumar, SHO of the Pinjore police station, said, "The tank was not in a public place. We are conducting investigations only under Section 174 of the CrPC.

When Chandigarh Tribune spoke to Deputy Commissioner of Police Ashwin Shenvi in this regard, taking a serious note of the incident, he immediately ordered the SHO to register a case against the plot owner for negligence, resulting in the child's death.

"A case has been registered under Section 304-A of the IPC against the plot owner," Shenvi said. 



Free pick-&-drop facility for senior citizens
Amit Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
In a bid to ensure a good turnout in the coming Lok Sabha elections, the UT Election Department will offer free pick-and-drop facility to senior citizens who would have nobody at home to ferry them to the polling station.

Senior citizens, who have no means to reach the polling station, can avail of the facility from the Election Department.

UT Joint Chief Electoral Officer Tilak Raj said senior citizens having a genuine problem would be provided the facility for which they would have to inform the department well in advance.

He said the senior citizens could contact the department on helpline numbers 0172-2700322 and 1950. “The senior citizens will have to inform the department a day earlier about the time they want to cast the vote following which a vehicle will be sent to their house and they will be ferried to the polling station and dropped back,” he said.

The official said the elderly who are ill and not in a position to reach the polling station on their own will also be provided with an ambulance. A special room will be provided to senior citizens at polling booths where they can wait for their turn to cast their vote.


UT Joint Chief Electoral Officer Tilak Raj said senior citizens having a genuine problem of mobility would be provided the facility for which they would have to inform the department in advance.



Chandigarh Votes 2014
‘I have responded to the needs of the city’
The Congress candidate for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat wants a fundamental change in the system of governance by having a metropolitan council. The sitting MP is in favour of more planned cooperative housing societies and against high-rise buildings

Congress candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal is in favour of developing the city on the pattern of the NCR. He feels changes in building bylaws need to be made through participative democracy.

At an interactive session ‘Chandigarh Votes 2014’ at The Tribune office, moderated by Executive Editor, The Tribune, Kanwar Sandhu, Bansal talks about his plans for the city if voted to power

Why should people vote for you?
— Kanwar Sandhu

‘There is a definite change’

I have a done a lot for the city. The role of the Member of Parliament (MP) is multi-functional. Many people advocate that a MP’s job is only to speak in Parliament. It is achievements versus things that one is not able to do. Basic issue is development. What ever I have done is in favour of all. Development is never stopping, it is an evolving process. I have been responding to the needs of the city. Whether it is social or physical infrastructure of the city, tremendous augmentation and has been done. Most of the people want decent way of living. People living in the city may not appreciate, those who come from outside after a few years see a definite change.

In Chandigarh, participatory democracy is missing. Stake holders are not consulted while taking decisions and public servants or bureaucrats do not serve but govern. The representation made to the UT Administrator, Adviser to the Administrator and chairman of the CHB regarding need-based changes, parking and traffic problems are not dealt with properly.
— PC Sanghi, chairman, Sector Welfare Federation

Need to have metropolitan council and not Legislative Assembly’

I will agree to an extent. Given the system of government we have, all the UTs, other than Delhi and Puducherry, face a similar problem. Officers are appointed by the Government of India. Since the Government of India thinks that the UTs are a separate entity, the officers take the decision at their whims and fancy. There is a need to have fundamental change in the system of governance by having a metropolitan council and not Legislative Assembly. The Assembly will burden the people with taxation. In a metropolitan council, there will be 30 elected members, one elected as the chief executive councillor and others as executive councillors with executive authority. Barring law and order, tertiary health care, taxation, higher education and concerns of the Master Plan should remain with the Chandigarh Administration, rest everything should pass on to the metropolitan council.

Why no big private hospitals were envisaged for the city? For healthcare needs, why do I need to go to Mohali?
— Dr Neeraj Nagpal, convener, Medico-Legal Action Group

‘Cost of treatment remains a constraint at big pvt hospitals’

Chandigarh was never planned to be a big city. A large number of people from Mohali, Panchkula and Zirakpur come to the city government hospitals for treatment. But if some sections of people consider hospitals in Mohali better than those here, they can go there. Cost of treatment remains a constraint for a larger section of people and so there was more emphasis on government hospitals. I do not disagree with the idea of having a private multi-specialty hospital in the city. But the cost of treatment cannot be controlled.

A lot of development work has been done at Modern Housing Complex. However, the issue of the rail underbridge at the level-crossing in Mani Majra has been causing a lot of inconvenience to residents.
— Col. Gursewak Singh, secretary of Citizens Welfare Association, Mani Majra, Chandigarh

‘The rail underbridge has already been approved’

The rail underbridge at the level -crossing on the road connecting Chandigarh and Mani Majra has already been approved. I, as a Railway Minister didn’t have to pursue it with the Ministry, as I had to take the decision. I took personal interest in the project and expedited it. I even took it up with the UT Administration. Several months after pursuing the matter, the Administration was able to get ready with the design. Unfortunately, it was later discovered that there are around seven service lines in the area, which had to be shifted before constructing a rail underbridge. And since there are many shops near and around the underbridge, it will be a narrow one.

The bureaucracy in Chandigarh is very arbitrary which never empathises with people. How long we should wait for the citizen charter to get implemented?
— Nirmal Dutt, chairman of the CHB Resident Federation

‘Citizens’ charter should be implemented right away’

The citizens’ charter should be implemented right away. The UT Administration has given an assurance to the government of India that they are bringing the citizen charter and this was the feedback the government got from many places. It was after that we thought of bringing a law on the delivery of services that the officers are bound to follow. However, that again could not be passed as Parliament could not function for the full session. As soon the new Parliament will be in place it will have to be re-introduced and since it is already drafted, the law won’t have to be referred to the standing committee. All the officials will be bound to follow it otherwise they will be liable for penal action.

As far as the allowing the need-based changes in CHB houses are concerned, there is need to have a fresh look at the issue. There has to a distinction between “need” and “greed”. I will prefer disbanding of the CHB and go for group housing societies as allow better utilisation of space. I am in favour of allowing three -storeyed houses and not multi-storeyed buildings.

The VAT being imposed on UT traders is not on a par with that paid by traders in Punjab and Haryana. We are losing out customers to neighbouring cities. What do you plan for it?
— Charanjiv Singh, president, Chandigarh Beopar Mandal

‘Goods and service tax proposal is the ultimate solution’

About uniformity of taxes, I feel that the goods and service tax proposal is the ultimate solution. Once implemented, it will bring all states, UTs on par with one another. The service tax is the highest source of income for the government and it will serve the purpose of both sides.

How can we control the mushrooming of private educational institutes and also enhance the quality of higher education in the country? What is your vision for the education in the city?
— Professor Ronki Ram, Senator and a former PUTA president

‘Education should be imparted by govt and not sold by pvt players’

I always advocated that education should be imparted by the government and not sold by private players as it is not a commodity. Investment in education is only 6 per cent of the GDP, which is far below the desired funds. Which is why, the private investment is bridging the gap. The government ordered reservation of 25 per cent seats for all EWS students in public schools as part of the contribution of private players to the education sector. I feel that it will not be feasible for any government to bear the burden of funds required for higher education in the country. I believe the city will fail to get its due status in education because the Akali Government in Punjab withdrew their consent, at the last moment, for making Panjab University as the Central University.

In Chandigarh, there is a conflict of aspirations. Certain sectors want the city to remain horizontal while certain other sectors in the periphery want it to grow vertical. What is the vision for Chandigarh? This is the political cross road for you to make the decision. Will you push for change in the Master Plan or will you leave it as such?
— Raj Chengappa, Editor-in-Chief, The Tribune

‘Chandigarh has limitation of size’

Though I have been wanting to make Chandigarh a world-class city, Chandigarh has limitation of size. So we cannot have everything here what we wish to have. We need to have the best possible. The quality of life here should be good. But again it has to be inclusive. Chandigarh is a city of middle-class people. And their needs are to be met with accordingly. For youngsters, for instance, I suggest that studio apartments should be constructed. If the decision was left to me, I would have disbanded the Chandigarh Housing Board (CHB) and encouraged cooperative housing societies - the job which would have be done easily by the government. Either the CHB or cooperative housing should construct the studio apartments for young professionals. There were proposals also to start the studio apartments in IT Park, but that had to be scrapped as I found that in the name of apartments, the area was being used for real estate purposes. The Master Plan doesn’t have much significance even though it is being discussed intensively. But I am not in favour of high-rise buildings. At least Phase 1 sectors should not be touched. The buildings are not too old but are not designed properly. But the area will remain limited. It gives aesthetic look to the city which is currently missing. Other phases certainly need restoration. If you allow changes, it will lead to inconvenience of people. We already have no space to park cars. The changes should be allowed up to three floors. Underpasses are a good solution to the city’s traffic problem.

To tackle overcrowding, which leads to inconvenience to patients in our three city hospitals - we talk about referrals and back referrals as a solution. But till date, we do not have any concrete system of inter-connectivity between the three hospitals - no common helpline and no coordination. What do you plan for this?
— Ritika Jha Palial

‘We need another hospital here’

I think we are not talking about back referrals here but I agree with you. Coordination is needed here. The PGIMER may be having telemedicine arrangements with other smaller hospitals in the region, but we do not have any such two-way communication between hospitals in the city. What we need is another hospital here. A trauma centre will be constructed in Sector 53. So far, only the boundary wall has been constructed. That centre will be a priority for me. It will come up not just as a trauma centre but a multi-specialty hospital. We have a 100-bedded hospital in Mani Majra and 50-bedded one will come up in Sector 45. But that is not enough. The condition of our dispensaries has been dismal over the years. But now that the charge of dispensaries is with the municipal corporation, the elected representatives will be answerable to the people.

You are calling Gul Kirat Panag and Kirron Kher as ‘outsiders’ during your canvassing in the city, but how do you justify the tag “outsiders” attached to the two?
— Aarti Kapur

‘They have said more about me’

Though I have said that but they have said much more about me. It is being said that Pawan Bansal has completely failed in the last 15 years. If I were to say the same thing for them that they have done nothing in the field of acting would it be fair? It has taken them years of hard work to reach where they are in the field of acting. And would that celebrity status of theirs in Bombay entitle them to be on par with others? No. It is a matter of fundamental basic difference. My experience in my field has come with a passage of time. I have worked here. I have spent 40 years here and I know more than 80,000 people directly here. I can identify them. Before I chose to contest from Chandigarh, I spent 70 years here. I know every corner of the city. Can any of them identify colonies and villages around the city? What my learned opponent from the BJP said the other day “Chandigarh needs more water pipelines”. When somebody asked her how many pipelines lead to the city, she refused to answer.

Given the land constraints in Chandigarh, you have been advocating the NCR concept for Chandigarh. What do you have to say on it?
— Rajmeet Singh

‘Develop city on the lines of NCR and come up with Chandigarh capital region’

I think for this the coordination committees of the states should meet at a higher level, so that planning can be done. The Chief Ministers of Punjab, Haryana and the Administrator of Chandigarh should meet frequently to discuss the issue. The political will is lacking. Only the governors of the two states and the UT Adviser are looking into it. Chandigarh should be developed on the lines of the NCR and come up as the Chandigarh capital region.

What will you do to bring about an improvement in the efficiency of the Chandigarh Police? Is there a need to transfer police officers out of Chandigarh?
— Aneesha Sareen

‘Chandigarh Police better than forces of many other states’

The Chandigarh Police, though not fully efficient, are still better than the forces of many other states. There have been blind murder cases that have been solved. As far as the question of transferring out of officers is concerned it cannot be answered in two words. It is a larger issue. There are people who think that no-one should come on deputation to the city while certain others feel that those on deputation should be merged into the system.


Kirron Kher for film city in UT
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
"I want a hi-tech 'Media and Film City' in Chandigarh, said Kirron Kher, BJP candidate for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat while addressing a session on 'Chandigarh Votes: Aspirations' organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) & Yi Tricity Chandigarh Chapter at its Northern Region Headquarters in Sector 31 today.

"The film city will attract Punjabi and Bollywood filmmakers. At present, directors have to travel to Mumbai to get sound mixing, editing and dubbing done. It will boost the city's economy by generating employment and will also bring Chandigarh on national and global map as a preferred filming and shooting destination," she emphasised.

Sharing her vision for the city, she said she would work to retain the old character of the city.

She said the city should have services such as healthcare, education, IT, banking, telecom and hospitality.

"Our city needs underpasses, underground/multi-level parking lots and flyovers," she said.

On the status of the health sector in the UT, she said, "Premier institutions such as the PGI, Sectors 16 and 32 hospitals are overburdened with patients from Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan. To cater to the health needs of patients from the city, there is a dire need to develop primary and secondary healthcare services. Actor Anupam Kher campaigned for Kirron in the city today.



BJP put on notice
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
Returning officer Mohammed Shayin has issued show-cause notices to the BJP. The party has been accused of using foul language during its rally at Sector 34. The Congress had filed two complaints against BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and the party general secretary Aarti Mehra.

In his first complaint, Congress vice-president DD Jindal alleged that Modi had violated the code of conduct. He had used defamatory language against Congress candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal during the BJP's Bharat Vijay Rally. Modi had said, “Bhrashtachaar ke Pawan ko yahi par gaad do. Usey jaane mat do. Yahin per rok do.” While Aarti Mehra said: “Majboori ka naam Mahatma Gandhi." The returning officer has served notices on the president of the local unit of the party, Sanjay Tandon, seeking his explanation within three days. 

AAP in trouble

The returning officer has issued a show-cause notice to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) stating that the material printed by the party did not have the name and address of the printer. As per rules, it is mandatory to print the name of the printer on all pamphlets and banners.

Bagful of promises

BSP candidate Jannat Jahan-ul-Haq launched a door-to-door campaigning Sector 38 on Friday. She assured residents of tiding over their problems on a priority basis. She said she was aware of the residents' problems. Jannat urged voters to make the right choice.

Reaching out to people

Aam Aadmi Party's candidate Gulkirat Kaur Panag on Friday held a yatra. She met residents of Sectors 37, 38, 39 and 40 and asked them to read the party's national manifesto which was released on April 4. Gul said, “While most parties are make tall promises, we are focusing on time-bound administration, execution and development." Gul also interacted with ex-servicemen and advocates. 

spreading Awareness

The UT Election Department with the help of an NGO staged plays on ‘Bina Kisi Parlobhan Ke Vote Dalen’ at Bapu Dham Colony and Mauli Jagran on Friday. The play aimed at exhorting residents to exercise their right to vote on April 10. Awareness about Electronic Voting Machine and None of the Above (NOTA) was created in rural areas.



Ballot papers in Braille
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
The UT Election Department has got ballot papers printed in Braille Signage for the visually impaired.

"While the ballot will have a list of candidates, stickers having the number of each candidate will be pasted against the election symbol on the EVM, which the voter can read via Braille and vote," officials said.

The officials stated that None of the Above (NOTA) is also included in the Braille sheets. The ballot papers will be sent to all 519 polling booths across the city.

Electors, who have not transposed their votes from Colony No. 5, can cast their vote at polling stations of Colony No.5 where they were registered earlier.

Rs 10 lakh found in car

The static surveillance team found Rs 10 lakh, a .32 bore revolver and six live cartridges in an Audi (HR-26BT-0009) near Hotel JW Marriott, Sector 35. Occupants of the car have been identified as Anmol Bajaj, a resident of Parshant Vihar, New Delhi, and Sonu Singh of Kairu village, Bhiwani district, Haryana. The flying squad team of the East Division impounded a truck loaded with 150 boxes of wine. 



Teachers divided over extending support
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
The Government Teachers Union (GTU) and the UT Cadre Educational Employees Union are at loggerheads.

While the former says it will support a candidate who fulfils its demands, the latter has decided not to vote for Congress candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal.

As the elections are nearing, the unions are trying to cash in on the opportunity in order to catch the attention of contestants.

President of the UT Chandigarh Education Federation Union (CEFU) Swarn Singh Kamboj stated that more than 5,000 employees, including contractual, outsourced, part-time teaching and non-teaching staff of all educational institutes and other government set-ups, have decided not to support Pawan Kumar Bansal.

Kamboj alleged: "The Congress candidate has failed to keep his promises. The employees are being made to suffer."

When asked if the union would support any other candidate, he replied: "We have not decided anything so far."

At a meeting held by the state executive committee of the Government Teachers Union (GTU) today, the members decided to extend support to any candidate who would assure them of fulfilling their demands.

Union president Dr Vinod Sharma said, "The members want central pay scale and service condition for UT employees, land for housing society for employees of the UT Administration and abolition of contract system. Any contender who promises to meet these demands will get our vote."

Banking on opportunity

At a meeting held by the state executive committee of the Government Teachers Union (GTU) on Friday, the members decided to extend support to any candidate who would assure them of fulfilling their demands.

Bansal receives flak

More than 5,000 employees, including contractual, outsourced, part-time teaching and non-teaching staff of all educational institutes and other government set-ups, have decided not to support Congress candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal.



Mystery shrouds cop’s death
Was deployed at Punjab minister’s residence in Sector 2; suicide not ruled out
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
A Punjab Police constable died under mysterious circumstances at the residence of a Punjab minister in Sector 2 here on Thursday night.

Mangal Singh (45), a constable with Sec-82 Battalion of the Punjab Police, died on the spot after being hit by a bullet fired from his SLR rifle. The constable was on guard duty at the residence of Punjab MLA and Minister for Industry and Commerce, Technical Education and Industrial Training, Madan Mohan Mittal.

Preliminary investigations by the police revealed that the victim had a long conversation with his wife before he shot himself.

The deceased, a resident of Fazilka, is survived by his wife and three children — a daughter and two sons.

The police said they would be recording the statements of the victim’s wife to inquire into the incident. “It could be either a case of suicide or accidental death. We are investigating,” said Inspector Harjit Kaur, SHO, Sector 3 police station.

The incident occurred at around 1 am and on hearing the gunshot, other officials of the Punjab Police rushed to the spot and found Mangal lying in a pool of blood.

He was rushed to the Government Multi Specialty Hospital, Sector 16, where doctors declared him brought dead.

After collecting circumstantial evidences, the body was sent for post-mortem examination.

Samples of blood and the gun have been sent to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL).

Fact file

  • Constable Mangal Singh (45) died on the spot after being hit by a bullet fired from his SLR rifle.
  • The constable was on guard duty at the residence of Punjab MLA and Minister for Industry and Commerce, Technical Education and Industrial Training, Madan Mohan Mittal.



ambala votes 2014
Cong leaders upset as Selja gives poll campaign a miss
Bipin Bhardwaj
Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 4
Congress leaders are peeved as the two-time MP from Ambala, Kumari Selja, canvassed for the party candidate from Chandigarh but stayed away from the election campaign of the party's candidate from Ambala constituency.

Congress sources said not only Selja but her close associates, including District Congress president Mukesh Malhotra, were also not supporting Raj Kumar Valmiki, the party’s candidate for the Ambala constituency.

Selja, who was elected as MP from Ambala in 2004 and 2009, claimed that she was not invited by the Congress candidate for campaigning in Ambala.

While Valmiki was not available for comments, Panchkula MLA DK Bansal claimed that Selja should come and campaign for the party candidate putting aside differences, if any.

Ravinder Rawal, a former chief of the Panchkula civic body, said Selja had set a wrong trend by ignoring the party candidate. “The Congress high command held Selja in high regard and nominated her to the Rajya Sabha. She should have appealed her supporters to vote for Valmiki instead of shying away from the constituency," said Rawal.



Poll expenditure under close watch: Mohali DC
Our Correspondent

Mohali, April 4
To conduct fair elections on April 30, various arrangements have been made and close monitoring of the expenditure incurred by political parties and candidates is being done, stated District Electoral Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner Tejinder Pal Singh Sidhu during a meeting with nodal officers and expenditure monitoring teams.

KK Parsaad, expenditure observer deputed by the Election Commission of India, convened the meeting.

Sidhu said various teams were monitoring implementation of model code of conduct as well as expenditure incurred by political parties and the candidates.

The candidates were not allowed to spend more than Rs 70 lakh on campaigning.

Parsaad said directed the monitoring teams to send a daily task report and closely monitor the election expenses incurred by political parties. He also directed that videography of meetings and rallies should be done. However, care should be taken that public was not harassed.

He said he could be reached at 01881-220459, 89684-32368, 01881-220453 (fax) and expobserverrupnagar@yahoo.com if anyone wanted to give information relating to the election expenditure.

He said prior approval was mandatory for publishing any advertisement in the print and electronic media.



Fed up with political drama, false assurances, say students
Tribune News Service

Young voters at Home Science College in Sector 10, Chandigarh.
Young voters at Home Science College in Sector 10, Chandigarh. Tribune photo: Manoj Mahajan

Chandigarh, April 4
Several students of Government Home Science College, Sector 10, here are fed up with the political drama and the false assurances given by the contesting candidates and have decided not to vote.

Vanika Chopra raised an issue as to which political leader is serious about working for the welfare of the country. “If you talk about the development in the past more than six decades, we have a miserable record,” she said. Vanika is planning to settle aboard as according to her, successive governments have failed to do much for the city as well as the country.

Harlivleen Kaur said: “We are lucky that we get the option to reject candidates. Though I am a first-time voter, seeing the performance of the candidates, I have decided to exercise the ‘none of the above’ (NOTA) option”.

Bhagya felt that the political parties were making a mockery of the democratic system in the country by misusing it for their vested interests. These Bollywood stars can’t be trusted. They are good to talk but have no knowledge about the system in which they have to work after getting elected to power, she said.

Pooja is enjoying the campaigning ‘tamasha’ presented by the Lok Sabha candidates on the streets of the city for the past 15 days. The youth of the city are well aware that they are not going to get anything from these elections, except for false assurances and huge promises for the future of the city.

Anju said: “A drastic change is required for a stupendous development. If in the end, we get the same corrupt representative, what is the use of polling?”



Mulajam Sangharsh panel holds protest in Mohali

Mohali, April 4
The Mulajam Sangharsh Committee, Mohali, organised a protest today in support of various demands. The protest was held in response to a call given by the Punjab and UT Employees Sangharsh Committee, which comprises several bodies.

The protest was held at the GMADA- Education Board Chowk where slogans were also raised against the failure of the government to implement their demands.

The protesters said a 16-point charter of demands should be implemented by April 17, failing which a state-level protest would be held in Bathinda on April 18.

The protesters’ demands included regularisation of the services of employees working on a contractual basis; payment of 10 per cent DA from July 2013 to January 2014; payment of 30 per cent arrears and various allowances under the Fifth Pay Commission; setting up of the Sixth Pay Commission and grant of 10 per cent interim relief till its report was submitted; and merging of 50 per cent of DA with the salary. — OC



Students hold protest

Chandigarh, April 4
Students of Shri Dhanwantry Ayurvedic College today staged a dharna against the Panjab University (PU) for not issuing roll numbers for examinations for the academic year 2013-14.

The students alleged that that college management claimed that they have got the PU affiliation for all batches while the fact was that last month, the PU, in a syndicate meeting, had cancelled the affiliation. — TNS



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