Chandigarh Confidential: Record-breaking wheat – daily

The Punjab government is breaking its own records of wheat procurement every day.

Written by Express News Service | Published:May 21, 2012 3:40 am

The Punjab government is breaking its own records of wheat procurement every day. About a week ago,the state announced that it had recorded the highest wheat procurement. Once this was announced,the government did not rest at that. Every day as procurement kept going up,the state kept repeating that a new record has been set. It would be advisable if at the end of the season,they finally send a word to the Guiness Book of Records to record the feat once and for all.

Chhota Parivar,Sukhi Parivar

Punjab’s Parivar Number One — the chhota parivar,sukhi parivar comprising Parkash Singh Badal,Sukhbir and Harsimrat have been landing up at the residences of several union ministers cutting across party lines in Delhi in the last couple of weeks. The Parivar’s purpose was to remind them of promises made to the state and the largesse that could come to Punjab from their ministry’s kitty. The moot point — within the state,the Badal clan never forgets to mention Centre’s step-motherly attitude towards Punjab. And in the power capital,Parivar Number One meets the ministers and does the honey talk,much to the chagrin of the state Congress leaders.

Haryana PR in overdrive

The public relations department of the Haryana government is in overdrive. From “breaking news”,the department has moved to another level — “break the press release”. With no time for translation,the SMSs rushed to correspondents of English dailies read “arrest in nakli notes case” and inquiry into “karan” leading to death of “4 mazdoor “. Three times came the evidently truncated SMS — “FC Krishan Mohan”. Till the time of going to press,there was no news about what the department wanted to convey about the senior officer.

Waiting for hafta to end

A very senior officer of Punjab Police,who happens to be the only one not promoted to the rank of DGP,seems to be living in a world of his own. The state’s police chief apparently promised to undo the damage done to his career in a week’s time. Two months later,the aggrieved officer is still waiting for the “hafta” to end and to don the coveted stars of the rank that he has missed till now.

Hooda’s diagnosis

A politician and that too of the stature of Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda — enjoying his consecutive second term as the CM — knows how to woo voters on any occasion and in any condition. Last Thursday,when the entire media was flashing news about Hooda having been hospitalised the previous night,the chief minister appeared at a Youth Congress function and addressed the gathering. Spreading a message to his concerned “fans”,he quipped: “While a section of the media reported that I had suffered from chest pain and was thus hospitalised,some others have mentioned that my blood pressure has shot up. It is true that I have pain in my chest,but it is for the people,for whose welfare,I and my government are committed to.”

INLD opens its poll cards?

The INLD top brass,including former chief minister Om Prakash Chautala and his MLA son Ajay Singh Chautala,are quite busy these days,holding public meetings across the state. However,the father-son duo,wherever they go,has a set agenda of items that they refer to while slamming the ruling state Congress. While Om Prakash Chautala slams the Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led government on two major issues — wheat procurement and power crisis in Haryana — Ajay Chautala has been entrusted with the task to slam Congress on the law and order situation in the state. It appears that the INLD has already drafted its poll-agenda for the next Vidhan Sabha polls.

Much more to do

Punjab DGP Sumedh Singh Saini should add a few more must ‘Dos’ in his orders for his officials. Saini asks his officials to crack down on drug smugglers and his men get to work earnestly by arresting petty small-time drug peddlers. Many would like to urge Saini to ask his officials to solve the cases of murders that are still awaiting investigation and trial.

Report card

While taking a jibe on Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s repeated demand from the Centre and corporate houses to open state-of-the-art Super Specialty Cancer Hospital & Research Centre in the state,particularly in the Malwa region,some environmentalists said that first of all,the chief minister should set right his house first. Instead of working hard to bring the cancer hospital to state,he should nip the causes of cancer here. “Badal had said many a times that the government was committed to curb the growing menace of cancer but can he show us any path breaking steps that had been taken to curb the causes of cancer till date?” asked one.

Take it easy

Once again it is election time and ticket aspirants from all parties are trying hard to polish their CVs to get tickets for the municipal corporation polls. For a change,BJP has kept Rs 1,000 as the fee for an application form and it has really worked well. Apart from generating revenue,non-serious candidates are not applying for tickets. In Ludhiana alone,the BJP will contest on 37 wards and because of the fee,they have received only 200 applications. Its alliance partner SAD has no announced no such fee and thus,for the 38 wards,they have received more than 450 applications by now. Irrigation Minister Janmeja Singh Sekhon,who is the observer for Ludhiana MC,admits that it is difficult to screen the forms as many non-serious ones have also applied. Same goes for the Congress as well — over 500 have applied.

Raat gayi baat gayi

Much before the announcement of the date of municipal corporation elections,protests in Ludhiana streets have already begun. Congress workers burnt the effigy of MLA Surinder Dawar accusing him of promoting the names of his favourites and also threatened that if tickets were not distributed in a proper manner,they will face the consequences. A cool Dawar,however,said: “It is election time,so burning of effigies is normal. Out of 20,only one can be given ticket. So,the rest will show their anger. But don’t worry,it is just a half-day matter. Raat gayi baat gayi.”

Namesake advisers

The press-note happy Department of Public Relations in Haryana has three media advisers based in Chandigarh for Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. However,hardly any of them do their part in providing a link between the state and the media. Two out of the three mostly mushroom around the chief minister during his press conferences and public functions and then disappear. The third one,who was originally appointed for Hooda since he first took over,is currently in the service of Deepinder Singh Hooda,whose lengthy press notes keep the junk box of the journalists full. A public relations employee,quipped: “Kam sara hum karein,in teeno ki toh maujan hi maujan.”

No Har-yarana

Acknowledging the callousness of its own Police officers may well be acceptable to Punjab,but a compliment for its neighbouring state of Haryana seems to be a little difficult to digest. Having failed to file a response in a habeas corpus,senior Punjab Police officers — summoned by the high court — were nervously awaiting their dressing down when the Bench remarked that situation in Haryana was a little better. Immediately pouncing on the “compliment”,Punjab Advocate General Ashok Aggarwal,on a lighter note,said: “I agree this case is startling but I am sure our co-brother can be no better than us.” The two SSPs waiting for strictures,finally managed to smile as all lawyers and litigants sitting in the court could not control their laughter.

Badal Junior
on backfoot

Last week,Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal held a marathon meeting of the top brass of the police force. He made a long,winding speech on how the image of the force has taken a beating and major remedial measures and behavioural changes were in order. An officer mentioned the transgresses of a former state DGP,who had sat through the entire process of land-grabbing for himself in the premier vicinity of Chandigarh. Embarrassed and caught unawares,Badal Junior had no option but to retort that such officers must be “thrown out” of the force.

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