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Punjab Govt
May 21, 2008


Strong Punjab contingent for 'India Calling' in Canada
High Commissioner calls on CM



:Punjab will send a strong and high- powered delegation to represent the state at the India Calling Conference in Canada from June 14 to 19 this year. The Conference is being organized at Vancouver and Toronto.
The delegation, to be led by a Cabinet Minister, would comprise leading lights from the world of trade, commerce, industry, agriculture, education, literature, healthcare, infrastructure development, NRI welfare and information technology.

The decision was taken after the Canadian High Commissioner in India, Mr. David Malone called on the Punjab Chief MinisterMr. Parkash Singh Badal here this morning.

Disclosing this, Mr Harcharan Bains, Media Advisor to Punjab Chief Minister said that although this year's Conference would focus on Education, ICT, Alterative Sources of Energy and Life Sciences, Punjab would use this opportunity both to showcase the advances made by the state in various spheres of development as well as to step up the state government's bonding with the Punjabi Diaspora in Canada. In addition, the delegation would also seek to attract material and intellectual inputs from different fields to reinforce its own thrust towards achieving global standards for the people of the state, said Mr. Bains.

Meanwhile, the Punjab Chief Secretary, Mr. Ramesh Inder Singh has said that the composition of the delegation would also reflect the state government's efforts towards fully implementing the decisions taken at the NRI Sammelan held at Chandigarh and Jalandhar earlier this year. One of the decisions taken at the Sammelan was to hold 'Sangat Darshans' to redress the problems of the NRIs at the places of their settlement. The state government would tie up with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Northern Region in constitute the delegation, said the Chief Secretary.

In the morning's meeting, the High Commissioner made a strong plea for increased inter-low of what he called "human synergies" between the people of Punjab and Canada. Mr. Malone said that there was a ' a whole world of opportunities in various fields for the people of the two regions for through constructive collaboration.' The High Commissioner was accompanied by Consul General Ms. Helen Economo Amundsn and Trade Commissioner Service Mr. Gurbans Sobti of local Consulate General of Canada.

Mr. Bains said that the Chief Minister and the High Commissioner saw a lot of merit in the vision offered by the organizers of the Conference who chose the Canadian soil for hosting the Conference as they felt that Canada and India have a lot of common interests. Canada is home for more than one million people of Indian origin, a majority of them Punjabis who have led from the front in the world of politics, business, industry and education.

The Chief Minister said that since both Canada and Punjab are strong and growing economies, the two can work together for integrated development, especially as they shared a large number of strengths and weaknesses. It may be recalled that Canada is a part of NAFTA, a free trade area consisting of more than 450 million people; and it has an internationally competitive tax and fiscal regime. As such, Punjab saw an opportunity in expanding bilateral trade and investment with the entire zone through Canada, said Mr. Bains.

Mr. Badal also asked the High Commissioner to set up some mechanism in his country to facilitate tie-ups between educational institutions here and reputed places of learning in Canada, like the University of Saskatchewan and the premier educational institutions of British Columbia and Ontario to impart quality education to our youth. Mr. Malone said that his stress would be in evolving a mechanism for channeling the Punjabi students to only the accredited and acclaimed places of learning in his country. He also offered to explore the possibility of training courses for the Punjab teachers in disciplines in which Canada was known to be a world leader.
Principal Secretary to Chief Minister DS Guru and Commissioner NRI Affairs AS Chhatwal also attended the meeting.



Chandigarh May 21, 2008

The State Election Commission, Punjab today ordered to shift DSP Bagha Purana and SHO Samalsar (Moga) immediately and postponed the general elections to seven Gram Panchayats in five districts, which were scheduled to be held on 26th May in the state. Besides two election officers has been removed.

Disclosing this here today a spokesman of the State Election Commission, Punjab said that the Commission has ordered the DIG Ferozpur to shift Joginder Singh DSP Bagha Purana and Gurpiar Singh SHO Samalsar to the stations where they could not interfere in the smooth conduct of elections. It was complained to the Electoral officers by the representatives of huge cluster of villages that Sh. Joginder Singh Deputy Superintendent of Police Baga Purana and Sh. Gurpiar Singh Station House Officer, Smalsar were blatantly acting in a partisan way. So much so, it has also been alleged that large scale violence was engineered by the above officials during the Block Samiti and Zila Parishad elections. The residents of the area in strength have made a grave apprehension of violence.

The Commission feels that the incumbency of these officials at their respective posts in the face of grave resentment of voters was not conducive to a free and fair conduct of elections in the areas under their jurisdiction. Accordingly, The Deputy Inspector General of Police, Ferozepur Range and Senior Superintendent of Police, Moga has been directed to shift both to the places where they could not interfere in the smooth conduct of elections and compliance report be sent the Commission by 22.05.2008 positively.

He added that the polls to eight Gram Panchayats namely Gram Panchayat Bhattian and Gram Panchayat Mand Jodhwal both Block Machhiwara, district Ludhiana, Gram Panchayat Ranjitgarh district Gurdaspur, Gram Panchayat Dera Baba Jaimal Singh, Beas district Amritsar, Gram Panchayat Village Karamgarh district Muktsar and Gram Panchayat Bilaspur, and Gram Panchayat Deena Sahib in district Moga have been postponed and fresh election schedule would be communicated separately.

The Commission has directed the District Electoral Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner, Amritsar to remove Shri Harpal Singh Returning Officer Baba Bakala who has acted in a wrongful and negligent manner and thus eroded the sanctity of election. It was alleged that he had rejected the nomination papers of Gram Panchayat Dera Baba Jaimal Singh, Beas district Amritsar without any substantial reason.

He added that the Commission has also ordered the District Electoral Officer-cum-Deputy Commissioner, Moga to appoint new Returning Officer in block Nihal Singh Wala immediately and initiate disciplinary action for imposition of major penalty against the erring Returning Officer Block Nihal Singh Wala, who had committed the gross irregularity by rejecting the nomination papers of 12 candidates on frivolous ground that nomination papers were received after the prescribed time was over.

The Commission has also directed all the District Electoral Officers-cum-Deputy Commissioners, Additional District Electoral Officers-cum-Additional Deputy Commissioners (Dev.) in the State that counting for all Zila Parishad / Panchayat Samiti zones/ constituencies, where polls had been held but counting was postponed, would be carried out on 27.05.2008 at 11.00 AM. Further, counting for all zones/ constituencies of Zila Parishads/ Panchayat Samitis where elections were postponed, and scheduled to be held on 26.05.2008 would also be done on 27.05.2008 at 11.00 AM.



Chandigarh May 21, 2008
Naginder Singh

The Election Commission of India has directed that all the
electors in 19-Amritsar South Assembly Constituency, who have been issued their Elector Photo Identity Cards (EPICs), shall have to produce these cards to exercise their franchise, when they come to the polling stations for voting at the current bye-election to the Legislative Assembly. The Election Commission has also directed that such residual voters, whose names are there on the electoral rolls but who have not received their EPICs, may be permitted to use alternative ID documents. The documents specified by the Commission are:
(i) Passports,
(ii) Driving Licenses,
(iii) Income Tax Identity (PAN) Cards,
(iv) Service Identity Cards with photograph issued to its employees
by State/Central Government, Public Sector Undertakings or Public Limited Companies,

(v) Passbooks issued by Public Sector Banks/Post Office and Kisan
Passbooks (Accounts opened on or before 31-3-2008),

(vi) Property Documents such as Pattas, Registered Deeds, etc,
(vii) Ration Cards issued on or before 31-3-2008 with photograph,
(viii) SC/ST/OBC Certificates issued by competent authority on or
before 31-3-2008,
(ix) Pension Documents such as ex-servicemen's Pension Book/Pension
Payment Order, ex-servicemen's Widow/Dependent Certificates, Old
Age Pension Order, Widow Pension Order,

(x) Freedom Fighter Identity Cards,
(xi) Arms Licenses issued on or before 31-3-2008,
(xii) Certificate of Physical Handicap by Competent Authority issued
on or before 31-3-2008,
(xiii) Air Force/Navy/Army personnel identification cards with photograph.
It is clarified that any document, as enumerated above, which is available only for the Head of Family, shall be allowed for the purpose of identification of other members of the family provided that all the members come together and are identified by the head of the family.
For those electors who have been issued EPICs, but are not able to produce it, any of the above mentioned alternative documents which has photograph of the elector on it, shall be accepted for their identification.




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