Monthly Archives: APRIL 2017


Not in favour of ‘Erasing’ British Rule Remnants: Capt
01.04.17 - team pt
Not in favour of ‘Erasing’ British Rule Remnants: Capt



Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Saturday ruled out a Spain-like Historical Memory Law to ‘erase all remnants of cruel and humiliating British colonial rule’ in the state. 
 
The Chief Minister made this clear in response to questions from media persons regarding the proposal of state Finance Minister Manpreet Badal to bring in such a legislation to formally condemn British rule and destroy its remains.
 
Talking to media persons after the installation of senior Congress leader Lal Singh as chairman of the Punjab Mandi Board, Captain Amarinder Singh said that as a historian himself he did not believe in wiping out history but in learning from it. By changing the name of Akbar Road, one India could not wipe out the existence of Emperor Akbar, said the Chief Minister, making it clear that he was not in favour of the kind of legislation that Manpreet had propounded.
 
The Chief Minister said these could be Manpreet's personal opinion but he would look into any such legislation as and when it is formally brought to his notice. At the moment it was in realm of media reporting only, he said, pointing out that history can neither be changed nor rewritten. It is a part of India’s past, from which we have already learnt our lessons and moved forward, he said, adding that he was personally not in favour of tampering with history, be it good or bad.
 
Replying to another question, the Chief Minister said the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) was likely to release the pending Cash Credit Limit (CCL) for the state on Monday. He disclosed that he had personally called up Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday night regarding the issue. Jaitely had assured him that he had taken up the issue with the RBI authorities and the issue was likely to be resolved on Monday, said Captain Amarinder. Though wheat had started arriving in a few mandis around Ferozepur the volume was currently very low, said Captain Amarinder, assuring smooth and hassle-free procurement of the farmers’ produce.
 
The Chief Minister reiterated his commitment to wiping out the drugs menace from the state in four months. While nobody involved in drug trafficking would be spared, at the same time innocent youth who were on drugs would be detoxified and rehabilitated soon to enable them to lead a normal life with self-respect and dignity. He asserted that IG Harpreet Singh Sidhu, entrusted with the task of eliminating drugs from the state, had already taken the charge as Chief of the Special Task Force (STF) and given a free hand to rid Punjab of drugs, which were a slur on its rich and glorious heritage.
 
Referring to the precarious financial condition of the state, the Chief Minister said he was confident that with prudence and peoples’ cooperation, the state would soon come out of the financial crisis. Underlining the need to cut costs and generate revenue through out-of-the-box thinking in order to revive the state’s economy, Captain Amarinder said his government was preparing a blueprint of revive the economy and the same would be unveiled soon.
 
The Chief Minister promised thorough investigation into all cases of funds bungling and financial misappropriation committed in any ministry, department or Board by the previous SAD-BJP alliance government. All those found guilty in such scams would be brought to the book according to the law of the land, he added.
 
Earlier, Lal Singh, during an interaction with the media, expressed gratitude to Captain Amarinder Singh for bestowing enormous responsibility upon him as Chief of the Mandi Board, thereby reposing enormous trust and confidence in him. Lal Singh assured Captain Amarinder Singh that he would leave no stone unturned to ensure smooth, fair and hassle-free procurement of wheat in a transparent manner. Lal Singh said Mandi Board was one of the six agencies engaged in wheat procurement and, as the Board’s chief, he would personally monitor the procurement operations across the state.




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Ghost of Tohra Strikes - Badungar quits in a huff, Badal Sr may take over SGPC?
01.04.17 - Team PT
Ghost of Tohra Strikes - Badungar quits in a huff, Badal Sr may take over SGPC?



BREAKING ON April 1: In a massive faultline eruption in Akali Dal turf, SGPC President Kirpal Singh Badungar today quit his post after an ugly spat with SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal at a function here in memory of late Akali Dal leader Gurcharan Singh Tohra.

Unconfirmed reports in Akali circles said former Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal, who is currently unemployed, may be asked to head the SGPC. "The SGPC has a budget of hundreds of crores, so there is little chance of Badal declining the offer,” said an Akali Dal insider.
 
Sources said Badungar’s failure to come up with a plan to commemorate the death anniversary of Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra rankled the Akali Dal leader who took Badungar to task at a gurdawara in Bahadurgarh in Patiala. 

Sources close to the former Deputy Chief Minister said the Congress government’s move to mark the day with a state level function could have been pre-empted had Badungar risen to the task. Instead, Akali Dal was forced to play catch up by hurriedly organising a number of events to recall the contribution of Tohra who remained the head of the SGPC for a record 27 years, often termed as one of the most influential and controversial Sikh leaders of the 20th century. 

Incidentally, in the past, the SAD invariably organized a function every year on Tohra’s anniversary at his native village Tohra, and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal used to attend it. 

Tohra’s adopted daughter, who claimed the legacy of the veteran leader, quit the SAD last year after she was denied a ticket, and joined the Aam Aadmi Party for one, but eventually lost to Harinder Pal Singh Chandumajra of the SAD.

With Badungar found sleeping on the job, and the certified Panth Rattan leader’s legacy remaining no one’s priority, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh saw it as a strategic move to blindside the Akalis. 

As a result, the Congress government announced a State Level Function in the memory of Tohra at his village. The move took Sukhbir Singh Badal by surprise who then quickly moved to plan a function at Gurdawara Nauvin Patshahi, Bahadurgarh in Patiala. It was at this function where Badungar got into a tiff with the former Deputy CM and quit on the spot.

An insider said the tiff began when a panthic appointee Punjabi University professor quoted a statement by Badungar that he was made the SGPC chief after Intelligence officials told the Badals that his appointment will boost the chances of SAD winning in Assembly elections.

When Sukhbir asked Badungar to clarify this statement, Badungar initially tried to play it down and instead sought to raise the issue of an alleged apology by a dera head. Later, as Sukhbir remained insistent on seeking a clarification, Badungar lost his cool and announced he will resign. 

Sources said that top Akali Dal leadership will try to impress upon Badungar that there is no such thing as self-respect or pride in the Akali Dal’s working arrangements and therefore he should continue in his post, but if he does not relent, SAD patron Parkash Singh Badal will be requested by the non-working committee of the party to undertake this seva. 

Akali leaders said top chartered accountants are now busy to understand SGPC’s budget and resources since Badals are likely to ask the most important question on April 1 – how many crores? 

Sources said some senior newspaper editors were watching the developments with interest, drooling over the prospects of hundreds of advertisements from  mohalla-level jathedars to congratulate and thanks Parkash Singh Badal for agreeing to do so much more seva even in his 90’s but were left disappointed and cheated when they found out that it an April Fool’s joke. Besides, there are not enough crores in any case to convince a leader so senior.




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A PUNJAB TODAY EXCLUSIVE: Amarinder govt gulps pride, eats humble pie to serve Rs 5 meal, courtesy SGPC
01.04.17 - ekjot singh
A PUNJAB TODAY EXCLUSIVE: Amarinder govt gulps pride, eats humble pie to serve Rs 5 meal, courtesy SGPC



CAUGHT IN A piquant situation where it finds itself incapable of living up to its election promise of providing a wholesome meal for Rs 5, the Amarinder Singh government has now reached out to the most unlikely quarters – the SGPC.
Top sources among the army of advisors crowding the second floor of Punjab Civil Secretariat said the government has pleaded with the SGPC that since the religious body provides free meals or langar, it might as well do so through the infrastructure of the public sector. 

The Punjab Government is ready to pay the SGPC Rs 5 for every meal. Sources said Captain Amarinder Singh, who counts many dera heads among his supporters, may also personally reach out to these votebanks cum holy crowd-pullers to bail out the government. 
 
Egged-on by Prashant Kishore, the Congress had made the promise of Rs 5-meal in its election manifesto but now finds itself in the soup. "Atta-dal ka bhaav maloom ho gaya sarkaar ko, iss liye problem ho gayee hai,” said an advisor sheepishly. 

Sources said the decision to gulp down the embarrassment at having to plead with the SGPC for help was taken at a working dinner where royale cuisine was served from a platter.

"Once we are in the government, we tend to develop a taste for humble pie. Most politicians survive by eating their own words, so it was not difficult to put aside our pride and go to the Akalis with folded hands. After all, it is all for the poor people of the state. If there are no poor, then there will be no freebies, and then who will vote for us,” a senior minister said.

Three bonafide members of royal coterie said they also plan to approach the karseva babas, adept at cladding unprecedented amounts of marble and gold on various religious shrines, to help break the mafia’s grip over sand and bajri business. 

"In fact, Prashant Kishore’s Yale-Harvard team might be asked to work with the karseva babas to develop a Punjab-specific business model where regular and acceptable level of commission could be fixed and monopoly ensured without enraging the people to the extent to which Akalis had taken the game,” said a senior officer helping the government to calibrate cut-levels.

Punjab Today confirms that its information has been gathered in the best traditions of April 1 bread and butter journalism where humble pie is served from a platter, even when royals crowd the table. Enjoy the free news langar, at least we are not asking for even Rs 5 per story.




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