Minister forgets to salute
Power Minister Gurpreet Singh Kangar was the chief guest at the Republic Day function held at Bathinda on Saturday. The minister, after hoisting the tricolour, forgot to give a salute to the nation’s pride. It caused a major embarrassment for the district administration but despite noticing it on the podium they didn’t dare to apprise the minister of his mistake. It is not for the first time that such goof-up took place. Earlier a minister had even hoisted a reversed flag on such occasion
R-Day or I-Day?
Inviting an embarrassment for the Bathinda Municipal Corporation on the eve Republic Day celebrations, some roundabouts in the city were decorated with the congratulatory messages on Independence Day. Noticing the glaring negligence of the MC authorities, some journalists of the city held a debate on the issue, which was put live on social media. Finding the media persons pasting slap of shame in public, the MC authorities hurriedly swung into action and launched a damage control exercise under which they not only removed the flex banners but also putting the onus on some advertisement contractor.
Dhumal missing from rally banner!
The organisers of Chief Minister Jai Ram Takur’s public meeting at Rehan in Kangra district on Sunday last ignored picture of former Chief Minister PK Dhumal in the poster. Interestingly, photographs of state BJP president Sat Pal Satti, Kangra MP Shanta Kumar and Union Health Minister JP Nadda were displayed along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and national BJP president Amit Shah, but the photograph of Dhumal was missing. On his Facebook post, one of the supporters of Dhumal had asked the organisers, ‘What they wanted to prove by removing Dhumal’s photograph from the party’s poster.’ However, some of the BJP’s sensible leaders tried to hush-up the issue. They said that it could be negligence on part of the organisers, may not be intentional. A staunch supporter of Dhumal has said that BJP’s present leadership in power is harvesting what Dhumal had sown during the past two decades. If the present leadership ignores him, the result will be clear in the Lok Sabha polls
VVIP helicopter short of fuel!
Was it a fact that the helicopter deputed with the Chief Minister Jai Ram Takur for the VVIP duty faced shortage of fuel early last week? It was the talk of the town in the hilly state, when the Chief Minister had to cut short his tour to Nagrota Bagwan last week from Bilaspur and came back to Shimla. Next day, he completed his programme through ‘online’ conferencing for making announcements and dedicating many programmes. How the things are managed by the official machinery or the personnel deputy for the Chief Minister? The service-provider of the VVIP helicopter or the officials of the state government are tight lipped over the issue saying that the Chief Minister knows all this, and those who are making enquiry have no concern with the issue.
Jallianwallah Bagh tableau on Rajpath
In the centenary year of Jallianwallah Bagh massacre, Punjab displayed a Republic Day tableau themed on it, which also depicted the monument in Amritsar built in memory of the victims. Also known as the Amritsar massacre, the horrific incident, still evokes memories of the watershed moment in the independence struggle. On April 13, 1919, the British forces led by Brigadier General Reginald Dyer ordered shooting a group of unarmed civilians, who had gathered at an enclosed place for meeting. Having blocked the exit point, the troop was told to shoot at them, killing a large number of people. Many had jumped into a well to escape shooting and lost their lives. The front portion of the tableau displays the memorial, commemorating the sacrifices of martyrs. The middle and rear portion bring to life the tragic happening at the Jallianwallh Bagh with depiction of people running helter-skelter seeking safety.
Fast-track road projects
The Congress-ruled Punjab government want the infrastructure development projects in the state to be “fast-tracked” by the Union Road, Transport and Highways Ministry in light of 550th birth anniversary of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev. Chief Minister Aamarinder Singh has written to Union Minister for Shipping, Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari, urging him to fast-track road infrastructure development projects in the state. The chief minister has sought the minister’s personal intervention particularly in expediting the Kartarpur Corridor project, given its historic and religious importance. He urged the minister to declare Beas-BatalaDera Baba Nanak Road as national highway and also to upgrade it to a four-lane road in view of the 550th Prakash Purb celebrations
Punjab pitches for big investments
In its maiden presence at the World Economic Forum summit here in Switzerland, Punjab has made a strong pitch for investments to fast-track industrial development of the state. Representing the state here at a number of official sessions, sideline events and bilateral meetings with prospective investors and international organisations, Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Badal pitched his state as a great place to do business in with a supportive ecosystem. “Punjab has come to Davos for the first time and the reason for that is the realisation that the state needs to expand on its industrialisation after the GST regime impacted the competitive edge it enjoyed in the agriculture and foodgrain sector,” Badal told media in an interview.
CM on 2019 polls
Terming Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s entry into politics as a “masterstroke”, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh Friday said it would change the political equations not only in Uttar Pradesh but the entire country. Launching the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee’s Jan Sampark Abhiyan here, he assured Priyanka Gandhi Vadra of full support by the state party cadre to realise Congress chief Rahul Gandhi’s dream of an inclusive India. The Punjab chief minister also asserted that the Congress president will be the the next prime minister of the country. Priyanka’s entry marked the fulfilment of a long-pending demand of the Congress workers and all party members, across cadre, a party release quoting Amarinder Singh said.
Development authority for Anandpur Sahib
A development authority for Anandpur Sahib will be set up to execute the development plans in the wake of the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev in November. An announcement in this regard was made by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh here, an official release said. Acceding to the demand of Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana KP Singh, the chief minister said the development authority would be formed to chalk out and execute the development plans in a systematic and planned manner. He said the authority would be established on the pattern of Dera Baba Nanak Development Authority.
Residential plots to homeless Dalit families
Seeking to meet the Congress’ 2017 poll promise, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh announced allotment of one lakh plots of over 1,300 square ft each to homeless Dalit families in the state. Announcing his decision, the chief minister said in the first phase of the allotment, at least 10 plots of five ‘marlas’ each would be allotted to homeless scheduled caste families in each village, where land is available with the village panchayat. O n e marla is equal to over 272 square ft of land. Where the panchayat land is not available, the allotment would be done in the second phase after arranging the land, said an office.
PAIC mega food park
Union Food Processing minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal Sunday urged Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to intervene and expedite completion of PAIC’s mega food park in Ludhiana. In a letter to Singh, she said work on the Punjab Agro Industries Corporation mega food park at Ladhowal in Ludhiana was “delayed inordinately” and that officials should be directed to complete the balance work at the earliest to add value to farm produce and create much-needed job opportunities for youth. Badal stated in her letter that a review meeting taken by her at the park site on January 11 had revealed that PAIC had not been able to come out with a tender for spiral freezer and dehydration line for seven months and that the same had been tendered two days before her visit. “�is is the first park of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries in which a private unit will come up even before the park becomes operational,” the Bathinda MP wrote. She said no progress was being made despite the fact that she had held regular meetings to monitor the work and even kept the chief minister posted about the same.
Vow to become teetotaller
Senior AAP leader and Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann said he has left taking liquor on his mother’s advice. Mann, who is often criticised by political opponents for “excessive drinking,” earned high praise from party supremo Arvind Kejriwal for giving up alcohol. “My political opponents often level accusations against me, saying ‘Bhagwant Mann takes liquor and remains intoxicated day and night’. Brothers, it always pained me when I saw old videos of myself on social media where I was being defamed,” Mann said, at a rally here. He said he has left drinking from January 1 and that he hopes to shun liquor for the rest of his life. “I admit I used to take liquor occasionally. But my political opponents maligned me. Today my mother is here. She had told me that people defamed me excessively on the television and then asked me to stop taking liquor. Now they cannot defame me,” said Mann, who is set contest the Lok Sabha elections from Sangrur seat again. In 2016, the suspended AAP MP Harinder Singh Khalsa had complained against Mann to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, requesting her to change his seat in the Parliament as Mann, who sat next to him, was stinking of alcohol.
Those who left were opportunists’
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo Arvind Kejriwal hit out at those who recently left the party, calling them “opportunists” who were greedy for posts and tickets. Kejriwal, who launched his party’s campaign for upcoming Lok Sabha polls in Punjab by addressing a rally here, also attacked the Congress-led state government and said it had “betrayed” people as it failed to deliver on its poll promises. Senior AAP leader and Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and the entire state unit leadership, including Harpal Cheema and Aman Arora, also attended the rally. “Some people left AAP few days back. Our political opponents started saying AAP has begun to disintegrate. Nobody in the country has the courage to disintegrate the party,” he said.
‘Debt waiver scheme not enough’
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh Thursday acknowledged that his government’s debt waiver scheme was not enough to assuage the sufferings of debt-ridden farmers and hit out at the Centre for “failing” to extend any help for beleaguered growers. Noting that his government’s loan waiver scheme was only a temporary solution to the problems of the distressed farmers, Singh said the Centre had to step in if a permanent solution to their plight had to be found. He said his government would also soon come out with a loan waiver scheme for landless labourers, who were also reeling under a huge debt burden. The chief minister was addressing a gathering after launching the third phase of the state government’s farm debt waiver scheme, an official statement said. “The loan waiver scheme is not enough to alleviate all sufferings of the state’s farmers,” Singh said, adding loan amounts of many farmers were more than what his government was currently waiving.Lashing out at the NDA government, he accused it of “failing” to come to the rescue of farmers and said that farmer suicides would continue in Punjab and other states if the Centre did not become sympathetic to the community. inherited a debt of Rs 2.08 lakh crore.
CONTRIBUTED BY DAILY POST TEAM
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