Chandigarh confidential: Homeless in the City

The Leader of Opposition in the Punjab Assembly is not only fighting the government but also some of his own.

Written by Express News Service | Published: July 30, 2012 6:53:50 am

Homeless in the City

The Leader of Opposition in the Punjab Assembly is not only fighting the government but also some of his own. With his predecessor Rajinder Kaur Bhattal not vacating the house allotted to him,Sunil Jakhar is homeless just three months after his ascent to the top job. Jakhar’s woes have even reached the party high command in New Delhi. A much-concerned close aide of Congress president Sonia Gandhi could not help but ask him on his visit to 10,Janpath,if he has been successful in getting a home. The gentleman that Jakhar is,he would not like to dislodge a woman who has made the government residence a home by adding many comforts. So,he is instead eyeing the residence of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s former principal secretary D S Guru,who is holding on to his sprawling bungalow sans any post. As for Badal not being persuasive enough and asking Bhattal to move out of his neighbourhood,it is anybody’s guess.

seeking financial help from govt

Guess who is shedding copious tears before the Punjab chief minister these days? None other than an illustrious vice-chancellor of an illustrious university of the state. The V-C is said to be at his tethers end in not having managed to get any grant from the government for the university. The university,he told the CM,is bankrupt and there is no money to pay the salaries. To add to the impact of his statement. he also allowed tears to stream down his pain-fraught face. The CM,who is himself facing a bankrupt state,was unmoved by the sudden show of emotion. All that he could do was to ask the V-C that his university should look for ways to earn for itself.

Learning a lesson

Bubby Badal,who is a relative of the Badals and had also been the vice-president of Youth Akali Dal,has posted on his Facebook page — “I have been wondering why is that these days politics has grown to be such a expensive profession. To contest in an election and have a reasonable chance of success…requires at least 3-4 crores…how come these same elections were fought and won by people who did not have money power but still they won because they were the darlings of the masses …till around 20 years back that was the case….my question is that since now elections have grown so expensive…can a poor or middle class person still hope to win elections these days…my reading is that if people are absolutely 100 per cent sure of a candidate’s honesty and integrity…he will win without spending in the election…’’. Hope he gets the party ticket next time and learns from his reading.

Acting does him in

An MLA was caught by his workers on the wrong foot when a few of them asked for help by calling the local police. The MLA “called” up the local police and on the phone,acted as he was slamming the SHO. “Why are you harassing the people and not listening to the genuine complaints?’’ he asked on phone. But suddenly,his phone rang while he was reportedly speaking to the SHO. The result: The workers stormed out of his office vowing to teach the MLA a lesson in the next elections.

CRPF guards police HQ

Security has been tightened at the Punjab Police headquarters. Now,while entering,vehicles are stopped and scanned. Also,at all entry points within the building,commandos have been deployed to check any unauthorised entry. Two personnel each of CRPF have been deployed along with Punjab Police commandos to guard a couple of floors. Now it is paramilitary guarding Punjab cops.

Labour pains for Hooda

Thanks to the ongoing labour unrest in Haryana,Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda appears to be having lots of “labour pains” these days,as the plant of one of the top MNCs operating in the state — Maruti Suzuki — continues to remain shut ever since violence erupted in Manesar. Despite the meetings between Maruti’s top management and Hooda in New Delhi,last week,the company has so far not decided to resume operations at Manesar. All thanks to the “rowdy” labourers,who created chaos,resulting in the death of a senior company official. Maruti’s management is still not convinced with the assurances given by the state police forces. Besides,workers in a medical equipment manufacturing firm in Gurgaon,has also alleged that there is no electricity and water supply for over two months at the plant. The All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) has sought the Prime Minister’s intervention into labour unrest in Haryana. It has even announced a two-day bandh across the country to protest against exploitation of workers by the industry.

Breaking news through meters

TO evade queries of mediapersons,Punjab State Power Corporation (PSPCL) Limited Chairman K D Chaudhary has thought of an interesting reply. The moment any mediaperson asks him about the reason for long power cuts,he says: “I am planning to give frequency metres to all journalists. That way,you all can see the frequency at any given time. Tripping happens when frequency goes below 49.7 hertz. So,the meters will give you information and your will come to know the reason behind power cut at any given time.”

Not speaking out

Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal called for a special meeting to take stock of development works,at the Ludhiana circuit house on Friday. The heads of several government departments,however,were not very happy with the meeting. A number of them wondered whether the Speaker of the Vidhan Sabha can call such meetings. They said that he should confine himself to the Vidhan Sabha or to his own constituency. However,no one dared to question him during the meeting.

Question of jurisdiction

Recently,the Chandigarh Police had transferred to the Amritsar police a case,in which a man was allegedly abducted in Thailand and ransom amount was to be paid to a Chandigarh-based man. The reason cited for referring the case to the Amritsar police was that the ransom call was answered at the Golden Temple by the victim’s father. “In my long career,I have not seen such a case. The Amritsar police has nothing to do with the case. I fail to understand why the case has been forwarded to us. Only because the ransom call was received at Amritsar? This is quite strange. The man belongs to Anandpur Sahib. His son was allegedly kidnapped in Thailand. The man who has been alleged to receive the ransom money is based in Chandigarh,” said Amritsar Commissioner of Police R P Mittal. The father of the “abducted man” rued that he was being made to shuttle between Chandigarh and Amritsar while time was running out as the abductors had threatened to kill his son if a ransom of Rs 13 lakh was not paid. “Now,I am being told that case will be marked to the Ropar police,as our address on the passport is of Anandpur Sahib,” he added.

Security for judge

On Thursday,the Chandigarh Police — for reasons best known to it — withdrew security guards given to Special CBI Judge in Chandigarh. The judge,sources say,refused to “apply” for security as was insisted upon by a senior police officer. The judge was “requested” to give in writing that he wants security,but he refused. Interestingly,the security was restored the very next evening.

Footing the bill

Who pays the food bill of over 1000 of people during Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s five-day “thanks giving” tour of Dasuya,as neither government nor party fund was provided for the purpose. The result: The poor common man,who is already reeling under huge taxes levied by the government,bore the tour’s expense. This time,the victims were the people who run gas agencies,petrol pumps and ration depots among others because the government had asked the food supply department to pay for the expense. Now,the department — which controls these agencies — is forcing agency owners to either to bear the expense or face the music. A gas agency owner in Hoshiarpur district said that the officials have been extracting money from them to meet the food bill of Badal’s entire contingent — including several dozens security personnel,guests and several state and local leaders among others. “We are paying food bill of around 300 to 400 people daily,” said one.

Sidhu’s perfect match

Anyone who thought that Navjot Singh Sidhu cannot be stopped when he starts speaking should meet his wife,Navjot Kaur Sidhu. Amritsar MLA and a chief parliamentary secretary,Kaur is bubbling with so much of enthusiasm that she is having problems containing it. Kaur held her second press conference recently and gave a monotonous lecture on — noise pollution. After showing uncharacteristic patience for the first 40 minutes,during which,Kaur painstakingly took journalists through every page of an ultra boring write up on noise pollution,most journalists protested and tried to stop her. But not the one to give up and seemingly used to two people speaking at the same time,Kaur continued unfazed even after her voice was almost lost in the ensuing din. The subject of the press conference — noise pollution — however,remained relevant all through.

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