Monthly Archives: MARCH 2018

Did Modi say anything "frivolous" about Amarinder Singh?
03.03.18 - S Pal
Did Modi say anything

IN REMARKS THAT left much of the media stunned, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday that Congress had little control over Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh who has been functioning like an "independent soldier." 

But one should have been stunned about anyone being even slightly surprised by  the Prime Minister's remarks.

In fact, the only debatable phrase that Modi used about Amarinder Singh was "independent," chuckled a senior journalist.

Just a day before Modi chose to underline the ideological distance between Amarinder Singh and the Rahul Gandhi-led Congress on most issues, Punjab Today had carried a detailed story enumerating the points of differences.

In fact, just hours before Modi delivered his victory speech after the BJP's emphatic victory in Tripura, in Punjab Today had carried yet another story that argued: "Amarinder Singh, with a little nudge by the Enforcement Directorate, has firmly walked into the saffron camp, reminding us of his nationalist positioning with his articles and stances regularly."

"Punjab yeh us ko apna maante hain, na yeh un ko apna maante hain..woh swatanter fauji hai," Modi said, referring to the distance between Amarinder Singh and Congress.

(Rough translation: "In Punjab, the Congress does not even consider their CM as their own. He marches on like an independent soldier.")

While Amarinder Singh accused Modi of making "frivolous statements” and said he was trying to create a wedge between him and the Congress, the Chief Minister's own public positions and stances are for anyone to judge. 

Amarinder said the Congress "has full faith in my leadership & vice versa." 

Narendra Modi's public taunting of Congress has a context, as repeatedly pointed out in various reports by Punjab Today. In fact, some of his stances on the most crucial issues are much closer to the BJP, RSS than even Akali Dal's Parkash Singh Badal-Sukhbir Singh Badal duo.

Both Amarinder and Badal have been maintaining a stoic silence on many sensitive issues.

Unlike Rahul Gandhi's and Congress' spokespersons' near daily utterings, statements, tweets, Amarinder Singh has not uttered a single word against Love Jihad, Ghar Wapsi, Anti-Conversion Bill, Mohd Akhlaq/Pehlu Khan killings, lynchings, harassment of anyone travelling with cows or other cattle, or young protectors of Indian traditions browbeating young men and women on Valentine’s Day.
Amarinder Singh has never uttered a single word against Love Jihad, Ghar Wapsi, Anti-Conversion Bill, Mohd Akhlaq/Pehlu Khan killings, lynchings, harassment of anyone travelling with cows or other cattle. His comrade in this lovefest with the saffron are the Badals.

Amarinder Singh's public stances are a matter of record. He wrote an article in the Indian Express to argue that the Army Major who strapped a Kashmiri citizen on the bonnet of his jeep as a human shield should be celebrated and awarded. (

In another article in The Tribune, Amarinder Singh argued for a free hand for the army in Kashmir. (

Amarinder Singh was in lockstep with the Narendra Modi dispensation, completely keeping out his own party leadership, when it came to dealing with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

In fact, Rahul Gandhi did not so much as even squeak when it came to meeting Trudeau while Amarinder Singh and BJP's Ram Madhav made so much song and dance about it.

Not for nothing did Modi say "na yeh us ko apna maante hain, na yeh un ko apna maante hain."

But is he a "swatanter fauji?" That's a question one can answer only when you take the Enforcement Directorate out of the equation.
"It is not PM Modi who is driving a wedge between Amarinder Singh and Congress or Rahul Gandhi. Amarinder has walked far away from anything resembling the Congress' core ideology. Forget a wedge, there is an abyss between his stances and the Congress line peddled by the party's national spokespersons," said a political analyst.

(Please Read | A visit that helped Amarinder complete a journey The saffronisation of a man who signed the most separatist of the documents.)

Disclaimer : and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.


Most shared Punjab Today articles: 

OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties: The Coordinated Silence of Amarinder Singh & Badals


A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA - Trudeau came to Punjab, pushed Amarinder closer to BJP, then called him a liar

JASPAL ATWAL CONTROVERSY: Mr. Ujjal, will you throw some light on this too?   




OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES - Karze Ne Layee Ikk Hor Kisan Di Jaan...

PNB Scam: Who is Nirav Choksi and what he is doing In the name of God?

Congress upset due to Priyanka’s cleavage on calendar 

RENUKA'S LAUGHTER: Thank you for your guffaws. We needed this non-violent weapon.

MR CLEAN to PAKKE DHEETH: How Punjab’s Congress hurt Brand Rahul Gandhi? 


PUNJAB FARMERS AND IPL CRICKETERS - Finally, they can stand like equals

Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION. My teacher is not alive, but you please call it off!

SUKHBIR IS RIGHT – On 97th anniversary  Panth Khatre Vich Hai. Where does this threat come from?

THE LOOT THAT RAJASTHAN COMMITTED – An insult bigger than Bollywood’s Padmawati! 


NO TIME TO READ THIS STORY? – That’s OK - Please do not feel guilty 

BAD, BAD WOMAN! – Punjab’s top playwright slams woman complainant against Langah


RELAX! ALL 30 WERE DERA PREMIS – Panchkula says something stinking about its conscience

PUNJAB: AN IDEA IN SEARCH OF WORDS: Punjab, more than a poster boy of progress or a renegade from modernity


Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.

— Team PT

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CM holds pre-budget discussions with Congress MPs & MLAs
01.03.18 - TEAM PT
CM holds pre-budget discussions with Congress MPs & MLAs

CHANDIGARH: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday announced his government’s decision to set aside Rs 128 crore every month for disbursement of old age pension, while assuring that distribution of free mobile phones to youth would commence this year.

Reiterating his government’s commitment to the implementation of every single manifesto promise of the Congress, the Chief Minister said as many as 150 promises had been fulfilled in the first year itself and the remaining were also in the process of execution.

Amarinder was addressing the Congress MPs and MLAs during pre-budget discussions, the first of its kind, here. Before the meeting commenced, the MPs and MLAs observed a minute’s silence in memory of former cabinet minister Sardool Singh Bandala, father of sitting MLA Sukhwinder Singh Danny, as well as the wife of Mandi Board chairman Lal Singh.

The Chief Minister reiterated that loans for 10.25 lakh of the total 17.5 lakh farmers in the state would be settled by November this year, with 1 lakh farmers set to be provided debt relief certificates at a state level function this month itself. He further disclosed that the March 11 job mela will see employment being provided to 40,000 youth.

He also shared with the members some details of his government’s plans to celebrate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev ji, disclosing that he had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for grants for the programme. He had also requested former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh to chair the organising committee for the event.

The pre-budget discussions, spread through the day, saw various significant ideas emerge for the revival of the state’s shattered economy, which the incumbent government had inherited from the previous SAD-BJP regime.

In response to a request for sanctioning of Rs 5 crores for the completion of Beant Singh Memorial in Chandigarh, the Chief Minister said he will take up the matter with the Punjab Governor and Chandigarh Administrator, since the project was located in the UT.

Earlier, initiating the discussions, Health Minister Brahm Mahindra welcomed the initiative by the Chief Minister, while lashing out at the Akalis for criminal wastage of the hard-earned money of the people of Punjab, pointing out that Rs 4500 crores were wasted on Sangat Darshans.  He was supported by the other members, who also hailed the Chief Minister’s democratic step in convening the meeting.

Finance Minister Manpreet Badal lamented the pitiable financial state of Punjab, which the government was trying to improve through various steps to generate revenue. The state government, he said, was also negotiating with the Government of India on the Rs 31,000 cr loan agreed by the Akalis, to the detriment of the state.

The Finance Minister disclosed that the PIDB had released Rs 550 Crores for pending ongoing development works. Money will also be released for the completion of all pending works in villages and cities in this budget, he assured the members.

PPCC president Sunil Jakhar said the budget should be a low-investment but high-impact one, and should present the vision of the government and its roadmap for manifesto implementation.

Amid various suggestions from the MPs and MLAs for the development of their respective constituencies, Partap Singh Bajwa called for a white paper to be released by every department on the misdeeds of the previous government.

The MLAs and MPs were unanimous in favour of greater coordination between the elected representatives and the bureaucracy to bring in more connect between the government and the people.

Suggestions from the elected representatives ranged from waiver of debts of SCs/STs to expediting the implementation of the Shagun scheme, as well as clearance of pending free Atta Dal supplies.

A proposal for creation of MLA LAD Fund was also mooted, while some members wanted regular discussions with their respective DCs and SSPs.

Members also sought higher allocation of funds for the vital education and health sectors, railway links, water conservation projects, crop diversification, installation of tubewells, clearance of pending cane dues, drainage and canal clearing ahead of the monsoons, and development of border areas.

Investments were also sought to boost the transport segment to facilitate the citizens of Punjab, with a suggestion to launch more deluxe buses to earn revenue for the state exchequer. Suggestions for administrative changes to streamline development work in various regions also came up from some members.

There were also suggestions related to formulation of a time-bound policy for the reclamation of government property, as well as for regularisation of illegal colonies.

Besides, 72 party MLAs, the meeting was also attended by Cabinet Ministers Brahm Mohindra, Manpreet Singh Badal, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Sadhu Singh Dharamsot and Aruna Chaudhary, Razia Sultana (both State Ministers)

Others present during the discussions included Members of Parliament Sunil Jakhar and Chaudhary Santokh Singh besides Rajya Sabha Members Partap Singh Bajwa and Shamsher Singh Dullo.

Apart from these, Senior Advisor to CM Lt. General (Retd.) TS Shergill, Media Advisor to CM Raveen Thukral, Chief Secretary Karan Avtar Singh, Chief Principal Secretary to CM Suresh Kumar, ACS Home NS Kalsi, ACS Housing & Urban Development Vini Mahajan, ACS Cooperation DP Reddy, ACS Agriculture Viswajit Khanna, Principal Secretary to CM Tejveer Singh, Special Principal Secretary to CM Gurkirat Kirpal Singh, Principal Secretary Finance Anirudh Tiwari and Principal Secretary Rural Development & Panchayats Anurag Verma.

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Need to restore faith of investors for transforming Punjab into an industrial giant: Sidhu
01.03.18 - TEAM PT
Need to restore faith of investors for transforming Punjab into an industrial giant: Sidhu

CHANDIGARH: "The Punjab Government under the visionary leadership of the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh considers it an article of faith to make Punjab stand tall among the highly industrialised states of the country and for that to happen the faith of the investors need to be restored regarding which the government is sparing no effort.” This was disclosed by the Local Government, Cultural Affairs and Tourism Minister, Punjab, Navjot Singh Sidhu while laying the foundation stone of the ASSOCHAM Regional Headquarters which would come up at Mohali.

Outlining his vision for putting economy of the state on firm footing, the minister said that the Punjab Government is ready to facilitate ASSOCHAM for the growth of the state on all development centric parameters. He further said that additional sources of income need to be generated to propel Punjab into the top league and the ASSOCHAM could prove to be a vital link in this.

Describing the focus on the Service and Manufacturing sectors of great significance, the minister said that any roaring economy of the world keeps these areas in prime focus always and cited the success stories of the USA, Germany, England and Singapore as the main examples to drive home his point.

Sidhu further said that Gurgaon which was an isolated place from industrial development point of view a few decades ago has now become the industrial propeller and said that he sees no reason why Punjab cannot occupy the same place of pride.

Dwelling more on the development front, the minister said that the tremendous potential that the sectors of tourism, small and medium industries, creation of landbanks, food processing, aerospace, defence manufacturing, tactical textiles hold needs to be harnessed to the utmost extent possible besides making technical advancements in tune with the changing times to galvanise Punjab into a booming economy.

Turning his focus to the Single window system, Sidhu batted for streamlining it so as to facilitate the setting up of industrial infrastructure and mentioned Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka where various incentives and facilities to accelerate industrial growth have been provided.

In his address on the occasion, Sandeep Jajodia President Of ASSOCHAM said that Punjab is a nursery of entrepreneurs and need of the hour is to concentrate on skill development to tap the potential that the state holds. He also favoured forging partnerships with the technical education institutions of the state.

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