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November, 2008


Tewari comes to rescue of dyeing units

Ludhiana. 29.Nov.2008

Secretary All India Congress Committee and spokesman Manish Tewari today criticised the Punjab Pollution Control Board for ordering closure of several dyeing units in Ludhiana. He expressed shock as how the PCB could take such a harsh decision making it appear as if these dyeing units were responsible for the entire pollution in the city.

The senior Congress leader expressed his support to the aggrieved dyeing unit holders and assured all sort of assistance including legal and otherwise to them to counter the problem. Tewari said, he had been told that the dyeing units were not the only polluting agents in Ludhiana. In fact most of the pollution was caused from the waste disposal of the municipal corporation.

Tewari said, while saving and safeguarding the environment was the paramount responsibility of the state and the individuals, but closing down the units was no solution. He pointed out, it would lead to several other problems as it will also effect other industries. The best course would be to set up a large treatment plant. Moreover, he said, he had learnt that the industrialists had voluntarily decided to regulate the disposals and ensure that only treated wastes were let out into the drains.

The AICC secretary expressed surprise as what was the BJP doing. He said, while the Akalis' hostility towards the industry was understandable, the BJP would always proclaim itself to be the champion of the rights of the industry and trade. He said, the BJP having failed to safeguard the interests of the dyeing units should ask its legislators to resign.

Tewari clarified, he did not want to defend any erring unit. But at the same time the law of justice demands that everyone must be given the chance to be heard. Taking arbitrary decision only smacks of a dictatorial mindset that only betrays hostility towards industry. (eom)

Bhattal addresses election rally's in delhi

Delhi November 24, 2008
Onkar Saini

Though Assembly elections are being held in Delhi and other states of India, politicians of all hues from Punjab will be playing a dominating role in these elections directly or indirectly. The Leader of opposition in Punjab Bibi Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, has already jumped into the election arena of Delhi. People came out in impressive numbers today to attend rallies addressed by Bibi Rajinder Kaur Bhattal.

Addressing election rally's Today at Moti Nagar,Hari Nagar, Tilak Nagar and Rajouri Garden assembly seats Bhattal said that BJP in Delhi in past and NDA in centre has failed on all fronts. There are thousands of Development projects in Delhi were launched and completed by Congress Government during past 10 years. BJP has misled people on all fronts. Voters of Delhi and other states will once again elect congress party back to power. Bhattal advised the BJP and Alkali dal president, to shun the politics of opportunism and cautioned them against be fooling innocent people by stirring up sentimental issues. Bhattal further said that Congress was the only secular party which stood for fighting the fundamentalist and fissiparous forces.

She said his party was committed to providing good governance, proper development and employment in country. Appealing to the party workers and leaders to work hard and rise above any sort of factionalism, she said the sole aim of all of them should be to work for the victory of the party in the Assembly election and forthcoming parliamentary elections. The Congress was all set to form the government at the centre once again and the party would sweep the elections in Delhi and other states, she claimed.

Thousands of Congress supporters, a large number of them youth braved the heat to be present at the rally, which was attended by Bibi Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, Smt Anjali Rai MLA ( Moti Nagar ), Shri Ramesh MLA ( Hari Nagar ) , Smt Anita Babar MC ( Tilak Nagar ) , Shri A. Dayanand Chandela and many other Congress Leaders and social Organizations.

Onkar Saini SEC PPCC said after Delhi Bibi Rajinder Kaur Bhattal is heading towards Rajasthan for election campaigns.

Tewari flays govt for mortgaging prime land

Ludhiana, November 21, 2008
Pawan Dewan

Secretary and spokesman of the All India Congress Committee Manish Tewari today flayed the state government for mortgaging the prime properties of the city for procuring funds for the development in the city and suburbs.

Reacting to the reports of the government to mortgage various properties and land to generate funds, Tewari pointed out, the state government had failed to generate enough funds for development. He said, the SAD-BJP government was pushing the state towards the bankruptcy which was evident the way it (the government) was selling or mortgaging the properties.

The AICC secretary pointed out, this land was the property of the general public and the future generations. "We need this much of space for our future generations", he remarked, while adding, for the future development programmes this government seems to be hardly bothered about leaving any space.

The senior Congress leader said, the SAD-BJP government cannot unilaterally go ahead with such major decisions where in it has been putting at stake the future of the state. HE said, the government should focus on comprehensive policy measures that would generate revenue without compromising the state interest. "IN case the SAD-BJP government is allowed to run the way it is selling off everything we will not be having any space for parks, tube-wells and other public utilities", he pointed out, while urging the Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal not to suffocate the cities for populist measures.

Tewari also criticized the government for failing the farmers in providing the tube-well connections under Own Your Tube-well (OYT) scheme. He said, the government through the Punjab State Electricity Board had made the farmers to deposit Rs 25,000 each for this scheme. But months have passed and no connections have been provided. He said, about one lakh farmers from across the state had deposited the amount and the board was not providing the connections. Some farmers had taken loan for getting their own tube-wells in the hope they might be able to reap a good harvest and pay back the debts. Tewari expressed surprise as how the government could treat farmers like this and still claim to be their well wisher. (eom)

Congress holds rally at Bhaini in Jagaraon

Ludhiana, November 17, 2008

The Congress held a public rally at village Bhaini in Jagaraon area today. The rally was addressed among others by the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president, Mohinder Singh Kaypee, secretary All India Congress Committee (AICC) and spokesman, Manish Tewari and the local MLA Gurdeep Singh Bhaini.

Addressing the rally the PCC president criticized the all round failure of the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharitya Janata Party alliance government in the state. He claimed that by holding so many 'sangat darshans', the Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal was trying to divert the public attention from his government's total failures. He pointed out, the state had almost turned bankrupt so much so it had not sufficient money to pay the salaries of its employees.

Speaking on the occasion, the AICC spokesman, Manish Tewari highlighted the various achievements of the Congress government at the centre under the leadership of Dr Manmohan Singh. He remarked, it was a matter of pride and honour for all the Indians in general and the Punjabis in particular that Dr Manmohan Singh had proved to be such a successful Prime Minister of the country. He said, Dr Singh was the most popular leader in the country and was like by everybody alike. Tewari said, the Congress was all set to form the government at the centre once again and the party would sweep the elections in Punjab.

Bhaini, while expressing his gratitude to the people of the area for their overwhelming support to the Congress promised that they would continue to do so in the future also. He assured Kaypee and Tewari total commitment of the people of the area towards the Congress.

At a separate function at the RK Senior Secondary School, Jagaraon organized in memory of Lala Lajpat Rai, Tewari recalled his (Rai's) services and sacrifice towards the freedom of the country. Tewari was accompanied by former MP Gurcharan Singh Galib also.

RS Senior Secondary School was founded by Lala Lajpat Rai in memory of his fater Ram Kishen Roy. (eom)

Inadequate functioning of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha in Punjab

Chandigarh, Nov. 19, 2008
Surinder Singh

The following is the text of letter sent to Hon'ble Speaker Vidhan Sabha quoting rule 14-A of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha requiring a minimum of 3 sessions and 40 sittings in one financial year.

To, 19-11-2008
S. Nirmal Singh Kahlon

Hon'ble Speaker
Vidhan Sabha

Subject: Request to summon Vidhan Sabha as per Rule 14-A of Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha by Sukhpal Singh Khaira, MLA Bholath

Dear Sir,

Furtherance to my letter dated 26-09-08 regarding inadequate functioning of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, I am referring to Rule 14-A of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business. As per the above rule, the Vidhan Sabha must have at least three sessions with not less than 40 sittings in one financial year. I had earlier pointed out that the present 13th Vidhan Sabha has held 5 sessions since its constitution and has met for 29 sittings, consuming a total time of 110 hours and 3 minutes or 6603 minutes of the present Govt.'s tenure. Percentage wise merely 0.8% time has been consumed of the total duration that the present SAD-BJP Govt. has been in office. If we further carefully analyze the working of the Vidhan Sabha in the previous year of 2007, the Vidhan Sabha has held three sessions with only 15 sittings and the total time utilized is only 56 hours and 16 minutes, which is only 0.65% of the time of total governance of the present regime. It is highly impossible to debate, discuss and deliberate on issues related to the welfare of the people of Punjab in this meagre time.

Recently the Congress Legislature Party met on the 17th November 2008 and has demanded through a unanimous resolution, an urgent session of the Vidhan Sabha to discuss vital issues of the people. As per Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business as quoted above requiring a minimum of 3 sessions and 40 sittings in any given year, the demand made by the CLP is justified.

It is also pertinent to mention that we have never debated issues such as education, health, unemployment, female foeticide, awareness against drugs, traffic management and presently grave financial crises being faced by the state. Therefore in order to debate these issues, I urge and support the demand of the Congress Legislature Party to summon an emergency session of the Vidhan Sabha. I also request that in future regular sittings of the Vidhan Sabha be held in accordance with the rules quoted above. Being the custodian of the August house, I feel that sentiments of the opposition would be respected in the interest of our state.

Thanking you

With Regards,

Sukhpal Singh Khaira, MLA Bholath

Badal blackmail the Sikhs in order to win elections and gain state power

November 15, 2008
Sukhpal Singh Khaira
MLA Bholath

The Akali's led by S. Prakash Singh Badal have abandoned the Panthic agenda and important demands related to Sikh community. This is abundantly clear from the reply that I have received for my question through Vidhan Sabha. To my question the govt. has admitted receiving the draft of All India Gurudwara Act from Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India for comments on 15-09-1999. On whether the state govt. has sent its suggestions or comments there is a clear 'No'.

Enactment of an All India Gurudwara has been one of the major demands of the Akali's. It was incorporated in the Anandpur Sahib Resolution, it figured in all important dialogues that the Akali's had with representatives of the Central Govt. This demand has always been part of all important documents or charter of demands whenever given to the Govt. of India. But when it comes to clinching of issues Mr. Badal and his party have never seized opportunities or probably they never were interested in solving issues. In more than 50 years of his political career Mr. Badal cannot claim to have achieved any meaningful demand of the Sikhs or of Punjab.

When it comes to public consumption or playing to the galleries Mr. Badal and his son never miss an opportunity to criticize the Congress party for not accepting the demands of the Sikhs. To remind Mr. Badal he was very much CM in 1999 when the state govt. received the draft for suggestions for enactment of the All India Gurudwara Act. The then Govt. of India was headed by Mr. Vajpayee and the NDA. If the Akali's were genuinely serious about the formation of an All India Gurudwara Act, why Mr. Badal did not send comments on the draft during his previous regime? And why the proposal continues to gather dust even today? The truth is that all agitations and 'Morcha's' launched by the Akali's were only stepping stones to power, once in saddle the fate of all demands is the same as stated above. Issues such as transfer of Chandigarh, left out Punjabi speaking areas and federal structure or more powers to states were only issues to emotionally blackmail the Sikhs in order to win elections and gain state power.

The reason why Capt. Amarinder is popular with Sikh masses is because he tactfully resolved the SYL issue merely with the stroke of a pen, for which the Akali's got thousands arrested and many killed. Lust of power is such in the mind of Mr. Badal that he opposed the Rajiv- Longowal accord in 1985 primarily because S. Surjit Singh Barnala was to become the Chief Minister and not Mr. Badal.

There is complete disillusionment and disenchantment in the minds of Sikhs about the politicized malfunctioning of the SGPC. The SGPC is facing rampant corruption, favoritism, nepotism and extreme political interference. 'Sarbat Da Bhala', the motto of the SGPC has taken a back seat. 'Dharam Parchar', opening of educational and health institutions particularly in the rural Punjab are no more on the agenda of this body. The appointment and removal of various Jathedar's of Akal Takhat Sahib conducted in the recent past has cast a shadow of doubt in the minds of Sikhs besides lowering the image of the Jathedar's. It is in this context that there is a pressing demand of Haryana Sikhs for creation of a separate Gurudwara Committee. The Sikhs in Haryana feel completely disillusioned when it comes to fulfillment of their aspirations by the SGPC.

There is an urgent need to depoliticize the sacred body of SGPC which has been achieved through a historic struggle by our elders. As stated earlier that the Akali's have now abandoned the Sikh agenda and thus in the process have no moral right to call themselves the sole representative voice of the Sikhs across the globe. Promoting singers like Hans Raj Hans on the pedestal of Akali Dal are signs of shedding its Sikh identity and character. It is well known that Sh. Hans Raj believes in worship of living God and has got himself installed as head of 'Lal Badshah' shrine at Nakodar.

Therefore in order to restore the confidence of the Sikhs there is a dire need to hand over the reigns of the SGPC to renowned Sikhs from various fields such as Retired Judges, Educationists and Historians, Retd. Army Generals, Doctors and other eminent Sikh intellectuals.

Misleading, slanderous and malicious campaign launched by the SAD-BJP govt.

November 13, 2008
Sukhpal Singh Khaira
MLA Bholath

The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee takes strong exception to the misleading, slanderous and malicious campaign launched by the SAD-BJP govt. at the cost of Public exchequer. Huge govt. sponsored advertisements appearing in many newspapers today are yet another bundle of lies to divert the attention of people. The advertisement issued by Water Supply and Sanitation Dept. is not only misleading but criticizes the previous Congress govt. in the following phrase "Congress govt. left you in tears of despair, we replaced the tears with waters of hope." If the advertisement had been issued by the SAD from party resources it was another matter, but having issued such an ad at the cost of people's money in order to gain political mileage shows how frustrated and unsure of their performance the Akali's are.

The ad highlights a World Bank Scheme for a Rural Water Supply and Sanitation project worth Rs 1280 Crores. Firstly this project was sanctioned by the previous Congress govt., Secondly the Govt. of India which is headed by Dr. Manmohan Singh is instrumental in getting World Bank's help, why then the Akali's are trying to take undue credit? The govt. talks of reducing the contribution of General category households from Rs 1500 to Rs 800 and the S.C category from Rs 1500 to Rs 400. The deceptive part of the campaign is that it is not the households that have to contribute, it could be the Gram Panchayats, NRI's, NGO's or individuals that have to contribute 10% of the cost of Water Works project in general areas and 5% of the cost in Bet, Kandi, water logged and international border areas. The negative part of this World Bank Scheme is that not many Panchayats are willing to contribute their share of 10% or 5%, if the Gram Panchayat or NRI's cannot contribute how do you think individual households would? Such propaganda claiming credit for this Rs 1280 Crore project has been going on by this govt. for the last one and a half years but there are no taker's and it has not been implemented in even one Panchayat. Although a few Panchayats in Punjab have come forward for availing this Water Works project but none is at any concrete state.

Infact the SAD-BJP govt. has found an easy way to utilize govt. funds to criticize its political opponents merely because Lok Sabha elections are around the corner. Aware as the Akali's are that there is strong resentment in every segment of the society and that the Congress is heading for a clean sweep in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections, hence the SAD-BJP govt. is resorting to this cheap political gimmickry.

Keeping in view such violations by the state govt., I urge the Election Commission of India to immediately take serious cognizance of this politically motivated propaganda being unleashed in Punjab at the cost of Public exchequer. The state govt. must be censured and taken to task for this factually incorrect and politically aimed propaganda.

Tewari alleges nexus between govt, big colonizers at the cost of farmers

Ludhiana, November 13, 2008

Secretary All India Congress Committee (AICC) and party spokesman, Manish Tewari today alleged that there was a nexus between the big colonizers and the government at the cost of common farmers. In a statement issued here today, Tewari said, the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bhartiya Janata Party government in the state had evolved a new policy for setting up of the housing colonies for providing benefit to big colonizers.

He pointed out, now the government had made it mandatory that no private colony would be less than 100 acres in area. This has obviously provided undue monopoly to the big colonizers. No small scale colonizer is now allowed to set up the housing colony.

Tiwari said, this has hit everybody the worst. While the houses would no longer be available at competitive prices because of the monopoly of the big colonizers, on the other hand the farmers will also not be able to sell their land easily. Now they would be at the mercy of the big colonizers who will arbitrarily decide the rates for which they buy the land for farmers and sell plots to people for the housing purposes.

The AICC secretary also pointed out, earlier the Congress government used to provide NOC to the colonizers at the rate of Rs 3 lakhs per acre, while now it is 43 lakh per acre. He said, he had reports that the vested interests were working in connivance with the government to dupe everybody including the farmers who are forced to sell land the big colonizers at throw away prices and the common people who are forced to purchase plots at huge prices.

The Union Minister of State for Home, Dr Shakeel Ahmad in Ludhiana

Ludhiana, Nov. 11, 2008

The Union Minister of State for Home, Dr Shakeel Ahmad has said, the country was well prepared to check any sort of terrorism. While refusing to get into any controversy about any acts of terrorism including that of Malegaon, Ahmad said, the government was handling all the issues on the same plane.

Union Minister of State for Home, Dr Shakeel Ahmed and AICC spokesman being felicitated in Ludhiana on Monday evening by Pawan Dewan and Yogesh Dewan.

In an informal conversation with a select group of reporters at the residence of senior party leader Pawan Dewan here last evening, the Minister pointed out, the law was taking its own course and no leniency was being shown anywhere. He however, criticized the attempts of certain communal forces who were trying to glorify some terrorists. He warned, such things would only encourage terrorism of different sorts.

Ahmad, who is also the spokesman of the AICC said, the Congress was all set sweep the elections in different state scheduled in the months of November and December. He said, the people had been appreciative of the performance of the Manmohan Singh government. He said, the party was quite optimistic about improving upon its previous tally in the parliament and was all set to form the government.

Manish Tewari, who accompanied Ahmad said, in Punjab also the Congress was set to break all the previous records as the people were quite fed up with the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bhartiya Janata Party government. He said, the Congress will win all the 13 seats in Punjab this year.

Later Ahmad was felicitated by senior party leaders including Pawan Dewan, Milkiat Singh Birmi, Krishen Kumar Bawa, Yogesh Dewan, freedom fighter Rajinderpal Syal and youth Congress leader Akshay Bhanot.