PUNJAB CHIEF SECRETARY REVIEWS SECURITY
FOR PANCHAYAT ELECTIONS
CHANDIGARH, MAY 19, 2008
The Punjab Government has geared up the security and law &
order machinery in the state to ensure peaceful conduct of ensuing
Panchayat elections and bye-election for Amritsar (South) Assembly
Constituency in a free and fair manner.
Reviewing the security arrangements in a high level meeting
Sh. R.I. Singh, Chief Secretary said that conducting elections
in more than 12 thousand panchayats peacefully was a gigantic
task and a major challenge for Punjab Police. He expressed confidence
that the Punjab Police would stand up to the challenge. He further
said that the resources of the state police should be optimally
utilized to ensure conduct of these elections in a way that it
should become an example for other states to emulate.
Briefing the security arrangements for these elections, Punjab
DGP Sh. N.P.S. Aulakh informed that elaborate security arrangement
have been made through out the state with a special emphasis on
sensitive areas. He said that he had already convened a meeting
of Zonal IGs, Range DIGs and SSsP to review the security arrangement
and directed them to maintain law and order at every cost for
ensuring the completion of this democratic process in a most orderly
and fair manner.
He further said that besides general elections duties the field
officers have been directed to strengthen patrolling and laying
of nakas on important and vulnerable points.
He assured the Chief Secretary for undertaking effective security
and preventive measures for smooth, fair and peaceful conduct
of these elections.
ELECTION COMMISSION SUSPENDS TWO ROs
AND AN ARO POLLS TO TWO GRAM PANCHYATS POSTPONED
Chandigarh May 19, 2008
The State Election Commission has suspended two Returning Officers
(ROs) and an Assistant Returning Officer (ARO) and directed the
respective District Electoral Officers to initiate action for
imposition of major penalty as they have acted in an extremely
negligent and careless manner and obstructed the conduct of polls.
Due to the missing of nomination paper files of candidates in
two Gram Panchayats under these ROs, the Commission has ordered
to postpone the polls to these Panchayats.
Disclosing this here today a spokesman of the Election Commission
Punjab said that Mr. Satpal RO Block Mamdot and SDE of Water Supply
and Sanitation Department and Mr. Avtar Singh, ADO Veterinary
Hospital Machhiwara and Mr. Jagdish Kumar were appointed as Returning
Officer and Assistant Returning Officer respectively of Pawat
(Cluster) have failed miserably in the performance of their duties.
They have been extremely negligent and careless and have resulted
in loss of the nomination paper files and they have, thus, obstructed
the conduct of polls.
The Election Commission has ordered the respective appointing
authorities to immediately put them under suspension and initiate
action for imposition of major penalty. District Electoral Officer-cum-Deputy
Commissioner, Ferozepur and Addl. Deputy Commissioner (Dev.),
Ludhiana would ensure that the competent authorities of the officials
to be intimated to take action and send a report to the Commission
on action taken.
The District Electoral Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner, Ferozepur
had reported that Mr. Satpal SDE-cum-RO, Block Mamdot received
two nomination files relating to Mr. Sukhwant Singh Village Theh
Gujar and Mr. Ramesh that were found missing. Mr. Satpal on 16.05.2008,
had received 226 nomination papers till late in the night and
having no place for proper and safe custody of the files, he left
the same on the table. Further, on 17.05.2008 on checking it was
found that the above mentioned two nomination paper files were
missing. Both the files were related to Gram Panchayat Teh Gujjar
The Station House Officer, Police Station Mamdot, had been asked
to register a complaint. Since the nomination paper files of two
candidates of Gram Panchayat Teh Gujjar were missing, therefore,
there was no alternative except to countermand and postpone the
polls. Fresh date for poll would be intimated separately.
In another case the Sub Divisional Magistrate, Samrala had reported
that the concerned Returning Officer, Mr. Avtar Singh and Mr.
Jagdish Kumar Assistant Returning Officer of Village Pawat (Cluster)
were receiving nomination papers on 16.05.2008 which was the last
date for filing nomination papers. They have intimated the Block
Development and Panchayat Officer, Machhiwara on 17.05.2008 that
the nomination files related to Gram Panchayat Ratipur and in
respect of Mr. Ajit Singh, Lachhman Singh, Harpreet Singh and
Smt. Manjit Kaur were found missing at the time of counting the
files in the evening. They have also approached the police on
18.05.2008 for filing a FIR.
On the recommendations of concerned officers, the Election Commission
has ordered that as the nomination paper files of four candidates
of Gram Panchayat Ratipur Block Machhiwara Tehsil Samrala have
also been found missing therefore, there was no alternative except
to countermand and postpone the poll. Fresh date for poll would
be intimated separately.
BUMPER CROP SAVED BILLIONS IN FOREIGN
ON RS. 13000 CRORE TO PUNJAB FARMERS : SUKHBIR
Chandigarh May 19, 2008
Shiromani Akali Dal president and Member of Parliament Mr. Sukhbir
Singh Badal today asked the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh
to pass on to Punjab farmers the benefit of Rs. 13000 crore saved
in foreign exchange as a result of the record wheat procurement
for the central pool from the state. This amount, he said, was
the difference between the procurement price paid to the Punjab
farmers and the amount that the centre was ready to spend on importing
"This is no presumptive figure either. The Union Minister
for Agriculture Mr. Sharad Pawar had actually announced the government's
intention to buy wheat from the international market to ensure
food security for the country as the centre apprehended a drop
in production and procurement in the country," said Mr. Sukhbir
Singh in a letter to the Prime Minister, adding that it was also
high time the country had a national policy on agriculture
Backing his demand with substantive figures, Mr. Badal said
that wheat procurement from the state this year had already crossed
the Ten Million Metric Ton mark and the final figure could be
even more than thirteen crore quintals. For this, the government
had paid the Punjab farmers only Rs. 11, 5000 crores. This works
out to a saving of over Rs. 13000 crores for the Government of
India at the prevailing international prices. It may be recalled
that India had imported wheat for Southern states earlier this
year at Rs 1800 per quintal. Accounting for the usual overheads,
the price actually translated into Rs. 2000 per quintal whereas
Punjab farmers have been paid half that price for the wheat contributed
by them to the national kitty, said Mr. Badal.
The SAD president further said that the Punjab farmers had a
legitimate claim on the money saved through bumper crop and procurement
in the face of adverse agricultural ecology, including depletion
in the land and water resources. "The Punjab farmers have
surprised everyone by coming out with unprecedented production.
But this," said Mr. Badal, "cannot go on for ever. Punjab
needs to replenish and rejuvenate its irrigation system and preserve
the fast dwindling health of its soil. Massive in puts are also
needed for agricultural research for evolving new techniques to
improving production without putting any extra burden on arable
land." For all these reasons, said Mr. Badal, it is imperative
that the money saved through the sweat and toil of the farmers
be used only for the betterment of the farming profession.