L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Poll shadow on wheat procurement
Tribune Reporters

Ludhiana, April 27
As most employees of the Punjab Mandi Board are busy with election duties, wheat procurement at mandis is going on at a snail’s pace. Besides, unpredictable weather has led to late arrival of wheat in mandis compared to the last year. According to the Punjab Mandi Board, wheat arrival in 101 mandis of the district is 5,54,139 Metric Tonne (MT), of which only 2,28,317 MT has been lifted. Of the total grain arrival, 5,38,231 MT has been purchased by various government agencies.

“The staff in Bathinda, Jalandhar, Ferozepur and some other districts had been exempted from poll duty. In Ludhiana, exemption has been extended to select departments. It has been after a long time that the Lok Sabha elections have coincided with the procurement season,” said a Punjab Mandi Board employee.

It was also learnt the district administration has not put the Mandi Board staff on rigorous election duty. “But if staff from other districts can be exempted from poll duty, then why not us?” questioned another employee.

Narinderpal Singh Tiwana, District Mandi officer, said the procurement of wheat is going on at a good pace. “About 66 per cent wheat arrival has been recorded so far. Last year, the total arrival in mandis of Ludhiana district was around 8.6 lakh MT. Every day, we are receiving about 90,000 quintals of wheat in our mandis,” he said.

Officials oversee procurement

Khanna: C. Viswanath, Chairman-cum-Managing Director, Food Corporation of India, Headquarters, New Delhi, visited the local Grain Market to oversee the wheat procurement operations. He was accompanied by Sudhir Garg, Executive Director (N), FCI, Zonal Office (North), Noida; DS Grewal, Secretary (Food), Punjab; and Kumar Rahul, General Manager (R), FCI, RO, Punjab.

Viswanath interacted with farmers and arhtiyas. A deputation from the Roller Flour Millers and Traders also met him. He also held a meeting with all agency heads and directed them to ensure timely payments to farmers whose produce had been procured.


Road dug up in the middle to sink submersible pump
Kuldip Bhatia

Ludhiana, April 27
Hundreds of residents of Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar, developed by the Ludhiana Improvement Trust (LIT), have been made to suffer for the last several days as the main road in Block E has been dug up right in the middle for installing a submersible pump right. To make the matters worse, a water supply pipe burst a little distance away during the installation of an electricity pole by the staff of the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited.

The local residents said damage caused to the recently carpeted road due to illegal digging and accumulation of water on the road were reported to the LIT authorities as well as to the officials of the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board (PWSSB) but there was no response so far.

Arvind Sharma, a functionary of the Residents Welfare Society, said part of the main road in Block E had been dug up and badly damaged by an SCF owner. "No permission for digging or installation of a submersible pump has been obtained by the person concerned," he alleged.

Water supply to the surrounding areas has been affected, said the residents, adding that the authorities of the LIT and the PWSSB have not taken their complaints seriously.

The office of the Trust is located about 150 metres from the site of illegal digging but the matter came to the notice of LIT officials only when repeated complaints were lodged with them.

Buta Ram, a sub-divisional engineer of the LIT, said they would take action as per the law against the SCF owner. Repair of the damaged water supply pipe is also being undertaken by the PWSSB, he added.



Young voters wait for D-day
Anupam Bhagria
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 27
The countdown for the Lok Sabha elections in the state is about to end and first-time voters are quite enthusiastic to participate in the biggest exercise of democracy. The state will go to the polls on April 30. The Ludhiana constituency has 65,227 young voters in the age group of 18 to 19 years, who will exercise their right to franchise for the first time.

Akshay Grover, a BSc (Economics) student, said: "The opportunity to cast vote fills me with a feeling of responsibility. I will definitely cast my vote. Even a single vote can make a difference. Earlier, I was thinking of pressing the “NOTA” (None Other Than Above) button but after discussing it with my father, I have decided to vote for a new candidate."

Usually, youngsters keep craving there is nothing good in the country. But with the efforts of the media and awareness campaigns run by the District Election Office, there is a sea change in their approach to elections.

Dr Akash Batta, who is doing internship at the DMCH, said: ''Owing to some reason, I could not get my vote prepared on time. I wish my name is there in the voter list so I can vote for the candidate of my choice."

Ratanpal Singh Kocchar, an MBA student, said: "My NRI brother Prabhdeep Singh Kochhar and my sister-in-law Gurnimrat Kaur are here these days. Three of us will exercise our right to franchise for the first time. I feel we should bring about the change by electing the leaders of our choice."

Meanwhile, to motivate voters to exercise their right to franchise, the district administration organised a marathon from Guru Nanak Stadium to Rose Garden. It was flagged off by Rajat Aggarwal, District Electoral Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana. Aggarwal said efforts were being taken by the district administration to increase the voting percentage this time and we expected 85% polling on April 30. Many officers, including general observer SP Thakur, Police Commissioner Sanjeev Kalra were also present.



Slow lifting worries farmers, arhtiyas
Our Correspondent

Jagraon, April 27
After much delay in the arrival of wheat at grain markets due to late harvesting amid bad weather conditions, the arrival of wheat has peaked in the past few days. However, the lifting of wheat does not match procurement.

The slow lifting of wheat at the local Grain Market, which is the second largest grain market in Asia after Khanna, has left thousands of farmers as well as arhtiyas (commission agents) worried. Similar is the situation at the grain markets in rural areas where several thousand tonne of wheat has been waiting to be lifted.

More than 22,850 tonne of wheat crop has been brought to 16 grain markets located in the Jagraon area since the beginning of harvesting. Till Friday, around 19,700 tonne of wheat had been procured by various procurement agencies while 3,130 tonne of produce is yet to be procured. According to sources, only 3,900 tonne of wheat has been lifted from these grain markets so far. More than 15,000 tonne of wheat is waiting to be lifted.

Anxiety was writ large on the faces of farmers as well as arhtiyas at the local Grain Market.

They complained only about 35 per cent of the total wheat purchased by the procurement agencies had been lifted from the grain markets even after more than two weeks of the beginning of procurement process.

The slow pace of lifting has increased their worries amid this unpredictable weather.

Rajinder Singh, a commission agent, said the lifting of purchased wheat had been too slow. "The lifting of wheat purchased by procurement agencies has been slower this time. A huge stock of wheat purchased one week ago is still waiting to be lifted. We are bound to suffer losses if the purchased wheat gets wet in rain.

"Amid such unpredictable weather, the authorities concerned should speed up lifting," said Rajinder Singh.

Jagraon Market Committee secretary Jaswinder Singh said the procurement had been quite smooth and produce is being purchased on a regular basis.

"Lifting process is a bit slow because of a sudden influx of wheat at grain markets in the past some days. We will lift the whole purchased wheat on time. We will speed up lifting to make sure farmers and arhtiyas do not face any kind of problem," said Jaswinder Singh.



Poll duty: Banking to be hit
Shivani Bhakoo
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 27
With about 80 per cent staff of all nationalised banks in the district have been put on election duties, banking is bound to suffer on April 29 and May 1. The District Manager (Lead Bank), Punjab and Sind Bank, MS Jaggi, said today that the banks would be run with a few employees, just one or two persons at some branches, as a majority of the bank employees had been put on election duties.

"The public will suffer as there will be hardly any managers, cashiers, accounts officers, savings managers, credit managers and other officers at the branches. We have requested the higher-ups that holidays should be declared on both April 29 and May 1 to avoid inconvenience to the general public, but it was not accepted," said Jaggi.

In other districts, not all the bank staff has been put on election duties. But Ludhiana being a major district, 80 per cent of the bank staff has been put on election duties. "Clearing at banks will be affected. Private banks have outsourced the work of loading cash at their ATMs while the employees of the nationalised banks themselves do this job. In the absence of employees on the two days, the bank will not be able to reload their ATMs and the public will suffer," said the Manager.

There are 28 nationalised banks with more than 500 branches in Ludhiana district.



Farm varsity takes steps to save Dr Randhawa’s legacy
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 27
To save Dr MS Randhawa's legacy, the library at Punjab Agricultural University would get his handwritten letters and other papers laminated. The library is a mecca for those appearing for varsity as well as competitive examinations. It has a vast collection of books and journals. There is a separate section dedicated to Dr Randhawa's collection of letters, personal diaries, books and other such material.

"As some of Dr Randhawa's letters and other such material were getting damaged, we have now planned to get them laminated. This plan has been aimed at saving the age-old legacy of Dr Randhawa," said a PAU official.

The library has having more than 3.5 lakh documents. It is open from 9 am to 9 pm on all working days. A reading hall with a sitting capacity of 40 is open even on holidays.



4 diarrhoea cases reported
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 27
Following the instruction of Deputy Commissioner Rajat Aggarwal, a team, comprising the District Health Officer and the District Epidemiologist from the Civil Surgeon’s Office and other staff, visited Street No. 2 and 3 in Fatehgarh Mohalla where a few cases of diarrhoea were reported.

"Four patients of diarrhoea were admitted to the hospital today. One of them was discharged after treatment. During the health team’s visit to Fatehgarh Mohalla, no new case was detected. Chlorine and ORS packets were distributed among residents. Situation is under control. Regular camp and survey in the area will be held," said Civil Surgeon Subhash Batta.



Ludhiana scan
Medical camp

Maa Bhagwati Club organised a free eye and dental check-up camp at Ranjit Modern Senior Secondary School. Eye surgeon Dr Ramesh and dental surgeon Dr Survesh Arora examined around 600 patients.

NGO promotes voting

Young Indians’ Ludhiana chapter is organising a campaign, "Show the ink, see prices sink” to encourage people. Under the campaign, discounts will be offered to voters on various brands. People just need to show the ink mark on their finger to avail themselves of the discounts at various stores that have joined the campaign.

Body flays Ramdev

The Bharatiya Valmiki Adi Dharam Samaj (BHAVADAS) has stated that Baba Ramdev should not be termed as a yoga guru after his controversial statement about the dalit community. This announcement was made during a meeting headed by senior leader Prabhu Ratnakar Ji Maharaj. Also, workers of the BSP missionary burnt an effigy of Ramdev at Jalandhar Bypass under the leadership of Ramanjeet Lali.

Personality development

With the theme "Control your thoughts and manage your life", first personality and life skills development programme was organised by Manas Foundation. Dr Rajeev Gupta was the key speaker at the event. Participants attending the programme were between the ages of 20 to 35 years. The event focused on eliminating negative thoughts and bringing in positive thoughts.

Birth anniversary

Akal Khalsa Welfare Society is organising a series of functions to commemorate the birth anniversary of fifth Sikh guru, Guru Arjun Dev. These functions started on April 24 and will continue till May 2 at Gurdwara Guru Arjun Dev Satsang Sabha at Samrala Chowk.

Master cadre resent poll duty

A meeting of Master Cadre Punjab was held on Sunday. Members expressed their resentment towards the election duty. They demanded that they should be given paid holiday on days they carry out election duty. Dharamjit Singh, president of the union, said those who have been assigned duties of block-level officer are not getting a day off on Sundays.

World Malaria Day observed

On World Malaria Day, Fortis Hospital in association with the Municipal Corporation conducted a city-wide awareness campaign. Pamphlets were distributed among residents to make them aware of causes of the disease and ways to prevent it. The MC also carried out fogging in various areas.

Dr Charanjeet Uppal, MC health officer said: “Such initiatives by responsible healthcare providers can definitely make Ludhiana a better city in terms of awareness on deadly diseases. We will ensure that all areas in the city are cleaned properly at the earliest to avoid any health hazards.” Hospital doctors said malaria killed one child somewhere in the world every minute. It infects around 219 million people each year, with an estimated 6.6 lakh deaths, mostly of children in Africa, they said. They said UNICEF aimed to ensure that by 2015, malaria morbidity and mortality are reduced by 75 per cent in comparison with 2005.

Schools oppose admn move

The general body meeting of the Association of the PSEB-Affiliated Schools, Punjab, was held on Sunday. Office-bearers said sewerage and water charges imposed on affiliated schools should be included in domestic category, since schools strived to serve society by eliminating illiteracy. A core committee was constituted to find a solution to various problems discussed.

Awareness drive

Voting is the right of every citizen and everyone must make use of it, said Dr Shalini Gupta, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Desh Bhagat University. Speaking during the voter awareness drive "I Pledge to Vote" and signature campaign on the campus, she said every citizen must vote for suitable candidates. The NSS wing of the varsity, too, organised an awareness drive in several surrounding villages including Salani, Jalalpur, Baronga, Ladpur, Badinpur, Aniya, Bholia, Naraingarh, Haibatpur, Baini, Bhambri, Mashrai Kalan, Mashrai Khurdand and Aladadpur. — TNS



Politicos get a taste of own medicine

Politicians are not in the habit of waiting. They, instead, make others wait. During Narendra Modi’s rally in the city recently, political leaders had a tough time when the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate got late to reach the venue. Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal was seen taking repeated glances at his watch, while sitting on the stage (see picture). An onlooker said, "Now, at least, they will also know what it means to wait.”

A welcome change

In another couple of days, the electorate will decide the fate of the nation; hopefully, for the next five years. Unlike previous Lok Sabha elections, this year there has been a greater stress on creating awareness among voters and educating them on the value of their vote in the democratic set-up of the country. Effective steps have also been taken by the Election Commission of India to motivate voters against getting influenced by drugs, money or other freebies. Various groups of activists, too, have made a significant contribution to this cause, which is a welcome change. However, it would be wrong to say that drugs, money, caste and other considerations will play no role in deciding the preference of a vast majority of the electorate. For the time being, these are evils we have to learn to live with.

Give me a broom at least!

These days party leaders and supporters of all major political parties are not leaving any stone unturned to woo voters. They are approaching the common man in every possible manner. Door-to-door campaigns are being carried out to convince voters that their candidate is the best. Recently, some supporters of the Aam Aadmi Party made the poll pitch for the party candidate at BRS Nagar. The supporters, holding the party symbol broom in their hands during door-to-door campaigning, asked an elderly woman to think wisely before voting. As the supporters were moving to the next house, the woman quipped, "Can you please leave this broom here? Mine is broken and I was thinking of getting a new one from the market.” A supporter did offer the broom to the woman, which she did not accept.

Today’s alert children

A few days ago a political party held a rally late in the evening in the BRS Nagar area. After the rally got over, residents, especially men, got busy discussing the promises made by the candidate. A child, who was observing their discussion, said: "What good can you expect of this candidate when his supporters arranged the power supply for the rally through a ‘kundi’ connection?” All sitting there appreciated the child’s observation. One of the men said: "Sadagi sadh vargi, aakh baaj vargi (simplicity like a hermit, vision like an eagle)."

Contributed by Kuldip Bhatia, Shivani Bhakoo, Manav Mander and Anupam Bhagria



Knitwear Club
Infighting delays elections
Manav Mander
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 27
The elections of Knitwear Club were to be held in April, but the rift between members seems to have overshadowed the event. The elections are held every two years. Since the last elections nothing has been normal in the club.

Earlier, Vinod Thapar used to be the president of the club. But in the 2012 elections, the members elected Darshan Dawar the president and Vinod Thapar the chairman. Following this, two factions emerged in the club, one led by Vinod Thapar and the other by Darshan Dawar.

Six months ago, the factions locked the club and set up offices at different places.

Things took an ugly turn when the dispute reached the court. In August last year, both the groups called the annual general meeting and Darshan Dawar filed a suit in the court quoting that according to the constitution of the court only general secretary could call the meeting with the consent of the president.

Vinod Thapar, chairman of the club, said: "The opposite party has filed a case and now the ball is in their court. If they take back the case, we will conduct the elections," said Thapar.

Darshan Dawar said he was ready for the elections. "Once the Lok Sabha elections are over, I will sit and try to sort out things so that elections are conducted at the earliest," said Dawar.

The MSME is suffering. "The industry is already facing a tough time due to labour and power shortage. We should have been together to solve the problems. The members are indulging in mudslinging, which is very unfortunate," said Santosh Aggarwal, a manufacturer.

Major players in the rift

Two factions emerged in the club, one led by Darshan Dawar (left) and the other by Vinod Thapar after the 2012 poll. Six months ago, the factions locked the club and set up offices at different places. Things took an ugly turn when the dispute reached court.



Should artistes campaign for political parties?
Gurvinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 27
In this election season, many singers and artistes have been participating in political campaigns. We spoke with some people associated with cultural fields to know what they felt about artistes expressing their political opinions openly.

Don’t support openly

Celebrities have a fan following across the political spectrum. By openly associating with a certain party, they naturally alienate some of their fans. In any case, voting takes place in private. So, celebrities should support candidates at a personal level, and not openly express their support for any particular party or candidate.

— Jaswinder Bhalla, actor

Have the right to express opinion

Everyone is associated with one party or the other. People should be vocal about their affiliation. Film stars and singers, too, have the right to express their opinion. Helping the right people get to power is also a service to society.

— Sarabjit Singh Virdi, Punjabi Geetkar Sabha

Parties exploit artistes’ fame

Artistes are admired by all. They must not allow political parties to exploit their fame. Art is a much higher cause and lasts for eternity unlike the five-year term of any government. Artistes only get tarnished by getting embroiled in politics. They must give up their art if they chose to join politics or campaign for anyone.

— Jagdev Singh Jassowal, social activist

Nothing wrong in campaigning

I don’t think it is wrong to campaign for the right people. But, while campaigning artistes are always concerned about antagonising their fans and other parties. Once, even I contested elections as an Independent.

— K Deep, singer

Art is above politics

Artistes should not participate in elections and political rallies. Instead, performing their art, they can strike a chord with people and inspire them to strive for a better society at a much wider scale.

— Nirmal Rishi, actor

Motivate fans to vote

Rather than openly supporting a party, artistes should motivate people to vote. They can be an inspiration for people and can convince them to take part in the democratic process. Singers must urge people to make the right use of their vote.

— Surinder Shinda, singer

Artistes answerable to fans

Artistes are a part of society and they must raise their voice in support of the right people. They must make people aware of individuals working honestly for the betterment of society. But artistes are also answerable to their fans if the elected politicians they sought votes for fail to fulfil promises made during campaigning.

— Ravinder Grewal, singer



Parties mum on green cover
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 27
Candidates are not bothered about the decreasing forest cover and rising pollution levels. Only a few days are left for the Lok Sabha elections, but none of them have raised the issues. Ludhiana has the unenviable distinction of being the pollution capital of Punjab.

The main reason behind this is its vast industry, increasing number of vehicles, decreasing green cover, besides several other factors. Even the existing green cover is being cut down in the name of development.

If a tree is uprooted, saplings are planted to compensate the loss, but still the situation is getting worse with each passing day.

About 900 trees were axed for a project related to the eight-laning of Ferozepur Road (starting from Octroi Post to Sidhwan Canal). However, to compensate for the axed trees, the GLADA authorities, instead of planting saplings in the city, decided to plant those in Gurdaspur, just because they managed to get land at much cheaper prices there. Now, that Ferozepur Road is to be eight-laned (from Sidhwan Canal to Jagraon Bridge), around 1,000 more trees will be axed, which means that the green cover will deplete further.

Khushwant Singh, a resident of Model Town Extension, lamented that none of the candidates had expressed concern over the issue. "The issues concern city residents directly and which is why they need to be addressed by the candidates. None of the candidates have promised anything to redress the problem, which has slowly turned into a social concern," he said.

The city's famous industry should not be the only culprit for this as Ludhiana has the maximum number of vehicles in Punjab. As per a rough estimate from the District Transport Office, around 10,000 vehicles are added to the city roads every 75 days.

With a couple of days left for voting, the candidates do not seem to be bothered about the issue.



Candidates strain their vocal cords
Minna Zutshi
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 27
With barely three days left for the Lok Sabha elections in Punjab, candidates are busy giving last-minute touches to their poll campaigns. Supporters and workers of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) formed a human chain on Ferozepur Road from Jagraon Bridge to Bhaiwala Chowk this evening. The AAP supporters appealed to the passersby to vote for AAP nominee HS Phoolka. They also raised slogans in favour of AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal and against 'corrupt' leaders. Wearing T-shirts with a picture of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, AAP volunteers were seen interacting with commuters at traffic intersections.

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) workers and supporters went to malls to 'connect' with the people visiting the malls.

Supporters of Independent candidate Simarjit Singh Bains, carrying placards displaying prominently the symbol 'letter-box', formed a human chain on Ferozepur Road. They urged the commuters to vote for Bains.

At some chowks and roundabouts, supporters of rival candidates were seen standing next to one another, exhorting the commuters to vote for their respective leaders.

"The candidates are busy with their scooter, cycle, motorcycle rallies and public meetings. The workers and supporters are doing their bit to increase the candidates' visibility vis-a-vis the electorate. Forming human chains on busy roads is one such method," said a political analyst. "The candidates are leaving no stone unturned to register themselves on the mindscape of the voters, particularly the first-time and undecided voters," he added. Meanwhile, Phoolka today sent a copy of the AAP manifesto for Ludhiana to all media offices. It's a detailed policy statement, with a special emphasis on Buddha Nullah and other issues concerning Ludhiana.



Harping on same issues
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 27
Candidates are contesting the Lok Sabha elections on development plank. While Amargarh legislator Iqbal Singh Jhoondan, who is campaigning for SAD-BJP candidate Kulwant Singh, stakes claim to voters in the name of development grants worth over Rs 30 crore, those campaigning for Congress nominee Sadhu Singh Dharamsot maintains that the lion's share of grants came from the Union Government.

Activists campaigning for AAP candidate Harider Singh Khalsa claim that their efforts had prompted the authorities to strengthen the sewerage system.

Acknowledging that successive governments had failed to provide adequate civic amenities to residents, former president Ravinder Puri said SAD legislator Iqbal Singh Jhoondan had brought massive grants for various development projects during his tenure.

"It was on March 6 that Minister, Local bodies, Anil Joshi in a reply to a demand raised by Jhoondan stated that a grant of Rs 25.43 crore had already been sanctioned for strengthening the sewerage system," said Puri, claiming that a team of experts had visited the town for studying the problem.

Former councillors led by Ravinder Puri claimed that residents of the town had extended support to SAD candidate with an expectation that the legislator would be in a position to strike a bargain for the town only if his position improved in terms of votes polled in favour of the SAD candidate.

Candidates keep assuring the residents of repairing roads at Jawahar Nagar, Amarpura, Dhulkot Road, Jandali Road and Dehliz Road every elections.



Non-payment of salaries
Teachers' ordeal far from over
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 27
Teachers of government-aided schools are a harried lot. While teachers of secondary schools have not received their salaries for the past four months, those employed with primary schools have been without pay for the past 10 months. They said they were not able to pay the school fee of their wards.

Davinder Rehan, press secretary, aided teacher union, said it was not a new thing. "Every year, we have to struggle to get our salaries. Last year, we were not paid salaries from October to February," he said.

He said there were seven primary schools in the district and teachers of only one school received their salaries while 50 others were still awaiting their dues. Gurmeet Singh, general secretary, aided teachers union, said primary teachers were without salaries for the past 10 months.

"The grant released by the Education Department on March 31 failed to reach its beneficiaries. There are eight such secondary schools where teachers have not been paid their salaries," said Gurmeet Singh.

A secondary school teacher said: "I had to take loan to pay my son's fee. I have not received salary for the past four months. It has become difficult for us to make ends meet. The government should take steps to solve the problem," he said.



Campaigning picks up steam
Our Correspondent

Mandi Ahmedgarh, April 27
With the polling day nearing, candidates and their supporters have intensified campaigning. Although door-to-door canvassing is yet to pick up, the candidates and segment in-charges of various parties have started interacting with residents during meetings.

Office-bearers of various wings of the SAD, the BJP, the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party, led by Amar Singh Saraon, president, SAD, Surjit Gogna (BJP), Ravinder Puri (former president of the civic body), Ravinder Superfine (Congress), Jatinder Bhola (former president of the Municipal Council) and Raju Dhuri (AAP) are all out to make meetings of their outfits success.

Activists and office-bearers of social, religious and trade organisations can be seen at almost all meetings, irrespective of organisers' political allegiance. Meetings organised to seek support for SAD candidate Kulwant Singh are mostly addressed by legislator Iqbal Singh Jhoondan and office-bearers of the local units of the SAD and the BJP. On the other hand, former legislator Surjit Singh Dhiman addresses meeting being organised in favour of Congress nominee Sadhu Singh Dharamsot. Former minister Jagdish Singh Garcha, legislator Darshan Singh Shivalik, former Congress minister Malkit Singh Dakha and Paramjit Singh Ghawadi have been addressing meetings at various places. While men outnumber women at most of the meetings convened in urban and suburban localities, women compensate poor participation of men in rural areas.



Farm varsity unit an apology for a printing press
Puneet Pal Singh Gill
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 27
The printing press on the PAU campus is in a state of neglect. For the past many years, it has not been upgraded. Now, the authorities have decided to outsource printing work to a private printing press in the city. The press has been a shambles since 1960.

Dr Manjit Singh Kang, former Vice-Chancellor, PAU, said the printing press was declared a dying unit long back.

"When I questioned the staff why it was declared a dying unit, they could not give a satisfactory reply. I had even set up a committee to look into the matter so that the printing press could be upgraded. During my tenure, Changi Kheti magazine was printed there, but now I have come to know that it is being printed at a private printing press," said Dr Kang.

It is learnt that the university publications, including, Progressive Farming and Changi Kheti, are not being printed here.

Dr Kang stated: "The machinery has become obsolete and which is why we are not able to print our publications in-house. Earlier, we had around 60 employees, but now only six employees are left. How can they expect us to work on such machines with short staff?"

During his tenure as VC, Dr Manjit Singh Kang had sanctioned an amount of Rs 17 lakh for upgrading the printing press, but after he left, the work stalled.



Gul to hold rally in Khamano
Tribune reporters

Khamano, April 27
AAP candidate for the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat Gul Panag will organise a roadshow in the town tomorrow. She will garner support for party candidate from the Fatehgarh Sahib constituency Harinder Singh Khalsa. AAP leader Gurpreet Singh Ria said the rally would start from Khamano at 9 am. He said hundreds of youths would take part in the rally.

Bassi Pathana MLA organised a roadshow in support of Akali Dal-BJP candidate Kulwant Singh. The rally started from Khamano Khurd and passed through various areas. The MLA said he had toured all villages and was bowled over by residents' hospitality. He said he was sure of Kulwant's victory. Several local leaders were a part of the roadshow.

Rally by SAD
Khanna: The Youth Akali Dal organised a rally in support of its candidate Kulwant Singh today. A large number of supporters reached the venue for the rally. Kulwant Singh appealed to voters to cast vote for him. He said youngsters should come forward to exercise their franchise. He said the Congress was a party of corruption and scams.



Printing press owner booked
Jaswant Shetra

Jagraon, April 27
The police have registered a case against the owner of Sai Printing Press for printing election material without informing the administration. The case was registered following the instructions of Assistant Returning Officer-cum-Sub Judicial Magistrate (SDM), Jagraon, Apneet Rayat. As per information, election-related material was recovered from the printing press during a raid conducted by the flying squad and static surveillance teams of the Election Commission.

"The teams recovered more than 150 pamphlets and posters of the Aam Aadmi Party candidate from the Ludhiana constituency, Harvinder Singh Phoolka, and Independent candidate Simranjit Singh Bains from the printing press. The police has booked the owner for violating the model code of conduct", said Jagraon SDM Apneet Rayat.

She also appealed to printing press owners to inform the administration about any such thing. The case was registered under Section 127-A of the Public Representatives Act.



Aam aadmi’s anger spills on to road
Mohit Khanna
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 27
A man identified as Amritpal Singh blocked traffic opposite the office of the Aam Aadmi Party today. He said the AAP leaders were trying to implicate him in a false case of selling AAP caps. It was learnt that Amritpal entered into a heated argument with an AAP worker following which he laid down in the middle of the road.

"Since April 23, I have been providing cabs to AAP workers. I have even distributed party caps at roundabouts. Today, I visited the office to get the bills cleared, but I was shocked when instead of paying the dues, the party workers levelled allegations against me. They accused me of selling caps for Rs 15,00, which is not true," said Amritpal.

Soon the police arrived at the scene and managed to convince Amritpal to lift the dharna.

"Now, I am going to the Sarabha Nagar police station to lodge a complaint. I do not want to be implicated," said Amritpal. Refuting allegations, Avtar Singh, officer in-charge for the AAP campaign office, said, "We paid him money and do not know why he is doing all this."



200 pets get anti-rabies shots
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 27
Free anti-rabies and de-worming camp for pets was organised at the veterinary hospital of Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU). The camp held to commemorate World Veterinary Day was inaugurated by Vice-Chancellor Dr VK Taneja.

Dr Taneja highlighted the role of veterinarians in animal welfare. He encouraged veterinarians, teachers and students to work hard to mitigate the suffering of animals.

During the camp, around 200 pets were de-wormed and given anti-rabies vaccine, said Dr PS Mavi, head, Department of the Teaching Veterinary Clinical Complex.

Scientific presentations related to animal welfare were also made. The function was attended by university officials, head of departments, faculty members, undergraduate and postgraduate students and pet owners. Pharmaceutical companies, including Indian Immunologicals and Intas, also sent their representatives to the function.



Bal Bharati School to reduce fee
Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, April 27
Giving heed to protests by parents, Bal Bharati Public School reportedly has decided to reduce the fee by Rs 1,000. School principal Punam Dogra said some parents had asked the authorities to reduce the fee and in turn cut on various activities and facilities being provided to the students. The school, however, had decided to reduce the fee without affecting the facilities being provided after another delegation of parents opposed it, said the principal.

The principal said most of the parents were appreciative of the style of working of the school, and only a handful of parents were behaving “unreasonably”.

Rajinder Ghai, president of the parent's association, however, said the school authorities had been misleading everyone as protesting parents did not meet them.

“We have submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner to take action against the school authorities,” said Ghai.



ML Markan Trophy: Jaish, Deepin star in Ludhiana’s victory
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, April 27
Jaish Jain’s 138-run knock and an equally useful contribution by Ludhiana skipper Deepin Chitkara with the ball (six for 43) helped the hosts seal a comprehensive win by an innings and 41 runs against Hoshiarpur in a match of the Punjab State Inter District Cricket Tournament (U-16) for ML Markan Trophy at Satish Chander Dhawan Government College here yesterday.

After containing the visitors to a moderate score of 171 runs in their first innings, Ludhiana were 141 for 1 at draw of stumps. They resumed the play with Jaish Jain on 68 and Lovish Dhir on 47.

The batsmen chose their shots judiciously and kept the scoreboard moving.

Ludhiana declared the first innings on 325 for 6 after 68 overs.

Trailing by 155 runs, Hoshiarpur started their second essay on a cautious note but they could not sustain for long in the face of consistent and accurate bowling by Deepin. They were all out on a paltry total of 114 runs in 33.1 overs.

Deepin bowled 16.1 overs, six of which were maiden, and gave away 43 runs while capturing six wickets. With this outright victory, Ludhiana secured seven points to take their tally to 16 points after four matches.

Brief score

Hoshiarpur (first innings): 171 all out in 61.5 overs (Jorawar 37, Yuvraj 37, Mohit 22; Deepin Chitkara four for 74, Anmol Sharma three for 44, Vaibhav Kalra two for 8 and Jaish Jain one for 10)

Ludhiana (first innings): 326 (declared) in 68 overs (Jaish Jain 138, Lovish Dhir 89, Shubhamdyal 15; Mohit one for 76, Yuvraj one for 51, Ish two for 42 and Binay one for 21)

Hoshiarpur (second innings): 144 all out in 33.1 overs (Mohit 22, Ish 19; Deepin Chitkara six for 43, Jaish Jain two for 42, Anmol Sharma one for 13 and Vaibhav Kalra one for 14).



Two-day SAI trials from today
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, April 27
Trials to select players in three sports disciplines of handball, weightlifting and table tennis for the local Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) training centre will be held at Guru Nanak Stadium on April 28 and 29.

Rakesh Singh, in-charge of the centre, said these trials will be conducted only for boys. While in handball and weightlifting, both residential and day-boarding categories will be covered, in table tennis boys will be selected under the day-boarding scheme only, he said.

Players who have obtained first four positions (individual events) or first three positions (team events) in the national championship in their relevant age groups or won first or second position in the All-India School Games organised by the School Games Federation or inter-state competitions, inter-zonal meets, All-India Circuit Meet or Federation Cup besides those who have achieved first two positions at the state championship or won first two positions in the district championship of inter-educational institutes can participate in these trials. Aspirants have been advised to bring their sports achievement certificates in addition to three passport-size photographs.



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