04022017-TTC-01.qxd 2/4/2017 1:13 AM Page 1 13 established in 1881 saturday, february 4, 2017 chandigarh | gurgaon | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | vol. 137 no. 34 | 36 pages | ~5.00 | regd. no. chd/0006/2015-2017 VOTE’S ON TODAY 117 SEATS ON OFFER PARTY-WISE CANDIDATES PUNJAB SAD+ BJP 117 BJP 23 8 am to 5 pm:Punjab fate in 9 hrs AAP+ LIP 117 Chandigarh, February 3 Polling for Punjab’s 117 Assembly seats will be held tomorrow. In all, 1.98 crore people will be eligible to vote in the high-stake elections, the first after the Narendra Modi government’s demonetisation move. The ruling SAD-BJP which , is battling anti-incumbency, is locked in a tough contest with the Congress and new entrant Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Counting will take place on March 11. AAP which won four Lok , Sabha seats in 2014, has plunged into the contest in a big way with its convener Arvind Kejriwal criss-crossing large parts of the state, attacking the Badal family over alleged corruption, drug menace and law and order. On the other hand, the SAD-BJP and the Congress have accused AAP of flirting with extremists and labelled Kejriwal an “outsider”. With the youth (18-39 years) comprising more than 50 per LIP# 5 TOTAL ELECTORS MALE 1,05,03,108 FEMALE 93,75,546 SAD INC AAP BSP APP CPI IND 94 116* 112 110 78 23 304 *Capt Amarinder contesting two seats #Lok Insaaf Party THIRD GENDER 415 TOTAL Largest constituency GILL (SC) Most voters DERA BASSI 2,35,330 Least voters BHOLATH 1,28,761 Rural voters 1.33 CRORE Urban voters 65.36 LAKH Young voters (18-39 yrs) 1.02 CRORE 1,98,79,069 Total candidates 1,145 Women in fray 81 Seat with max candidates 18 SANAUR Seat with most women candidates 4 GHANAUR Least number of candidates 5 AMRITSAR BYPOLL: 14 LAKH TO VOTE Over 14 lakh voters will also take part in the byelection to the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat that fell vacant after the resignation of PPCC chief Capt Amarinder Singh in protest against the apex court’s verdict on Punjab’s riverwaters. cent of the electorate, their votes will be crucial for any party to win. It is this section that AAP has tried to attract. In the contest are 1,145 candidates, including 81 women and a transgender. Among the key candidates are CM Parkash Singh Badal, the oldest contestant, and Devinder Singh Ghubaya, the youngest; PPCC chief Capt Amarinder Singh, Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal, his estranged cousin Manpreet Singh Badal, former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu, Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann and Ludhiana MP Ravneet Singh Bittu. One lakh jawans from Punjab Police and paramilitary forces have been deployed to ensure free and fair polls. While 83 seats are in the general category, 34 are reserved. Of the total 22,615 polling stations at 14,177 places, 786 have been identified as ‘critical’. Also, 23 constituencies have been declared ‘sensitive’. Approximately 5,500 localities, covered by 4,000 polling stations, have been identified as ‘vulnerable’. Carrying cellphones inside polling stations is banned, as is ferrying voters. As many as 23,000 EVMs will be used for polling. Also, 4,000 EVMs have been kept in reserve along with VVPATenabled machines. The latter enable the voter to check whether the vote has been cast for the candidate that he/she has opted for. These will be put to use in 33 Assembly constituencies. —TNS goa too votes today page 7 CORNERED, AKALI HALQA CHIEF, SON FLEE | CM RESTS, CAPT FEELS PEOPLE’S PULSE P2 | CLASHES OVER LIQUOR P3 ❝ EVMs 23,056 BALLOT UNITS 22,615 CONTROL UNITS KHEM KARAN FATEHGARH SAHIB May auction spectrum of Aircel: SC Satya Prakash Tribune News Service New Delhi, February 3 To recover ~20,000 crore bank debts, the Supreme Court today threatened to auction the spectrum allotted to Aircel if Maxis Group owner Malaysian businessman T Ananda Krishnan and other officials of the company didn’t honour the summons issued to them. A three-Judge Bench headed by CJI JS Khehar, however, refused to stay a Delhi special court’s February 2 order discharging the Maran brothers — Dayanidhi and Kalanidhi — in a money laundering case relating to the Aircel-Maxis deal. It asked Special Public Prosecutor Anand Grover to file an amended petition which would be taken up on Wednesday. The Bench made it clear that accused Krishnan and Maxis official Ralph continued on page 7 POLLING STATIONS 22,615 Sukhbir Singh Badal, KISSA KURSI DA: Officials on election duty go through the last-minute instructions and preparations on the eve of Punjab polling in Dera Bassi on Friday. TRIBUNE PHOTO: VIJAY MATHUR ‘Bad bank’ a possible solution for NPAs: FM New Delhi, February 3 Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday said setting up a “bad bank”, which is a kind of an asset reconstruction company to buy non-performing assets of banks at market price, could be a possible solution to deal with the festering problem of NPAs. “It (bad bank) is also a possible solution. We will take it on board for discussion,” Jaitley said here at the post-Budget interaction with India Inc. The Economic Survey 2016-17 has suggested establishment of a “bad bank” to deal with the NPA issue. “The problem has consequently continued to fester: NPAs keep growing, while credit and investment keep falling. Perhaps it is time to consider a different approach — a centralised Public Sector Asset Rehabilitation Agency that could take charge of the ❝ Badal Sahib alone can The small step that provide the best leadership AAP took to bring about a to Punjab in conjunction decisive change in Punjab with the Centre. has now Don’t let transformed divisive forces into a people’s succeed. revolution. NEW ~100 NOTES SOON Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India will soon put into circulation new ~100 notes similar in design to Mahatma Gandhi Series2005 notes, with inset letter R in both number panels. All ~100 notes issued in past will continue to be legal tender. PTI REDEEM ELECTORAL BONDS WITHIN DAYS: FM Mumbai: Seeking to arrest the flow of unaccounted cash into the coffers of political parties, the just introduced electoral bonds will be bearer bonds and have a tenure of a few days, the Finance Minister has said. The bonds, which will resemble a promissory note and not an interest-paying debt instrument, will be sold by authorised banks. PTI largest, most difficult cases, and make politically tough decisions to reduce debt,” the survey noted. However, Jaitley added he did not want to comment in detail as he did not want the honest taxpayers’ money to be used for such a structure which will buy the NPAs, which have been created by tax evaders. “We want the banking mechanism also to be pro-active and major debtors to take a pragmatic approach to resolve their NPAs,” he added. On the issue limiting the anonymous cash donation to a political party from the earlier Rs 20,000 to Rs 2,000, Jaitley said though the step gives the donor the option of remaining anonymous, both ends of the transaction will happen through the banking system. — IANS GSTDraftbills nextmonth P20 SAD PRESIDENT Arvind Kejriwal, AAP CONVENER NEET-2017 to be counted as first attempt, clarifies CBSE Tribune News Service New Delhi, February 3 In a major relaxation for students who have already exhausted their three permitted attempts at the undergraduate medical entrance exam, the government today said attempts prior to the 2017 edition of the common test won’t be counted and all such students can sit for the exam this year. “Attempts by candidates for All India Pre Medical Test/National Eligibility-cumEntrance Test prior to 2017 should not be counted and accordingly appearance in NEET-2017 will be counted as the first attempt for all the candidates irrespective of their previous attempts in AIPMT/NEET. It is notified for all concerned that NEET2017 will be counted as the first attempt for all candidates,” the CBSE said today. ❝ It was prescribed that candidates who have availed permissible three attempts will not be able to apply for NEET-2017. But, the MCI has clarified that the attempts made prior to 2017 should not be counted and accordingly this year’s appearance will be counted as the first attempt for all candidates — A CBSE statement The advisory was issued after the CBSE in its January 31 NEET notification said candidates would only be allowed three attempts at the test. The CBSE had then not clarified which attempts will be counted since NEET as an all-India common test was held for the first time only last year. “It was prescribed that the candidates who have already availed permissible three attempts will not be able to apply for NEET-2017. The Department of Health, however, has communicated that the MCI has clarified that the attempts made by candidates for AIPMT/NEET prior to 2017 should not be counted and accordingly, appearance in NEET-2017 will be counted as the first attempt for all the candidates, irrespective of their previous attempts in AIPMT/NEET,” CBSE said. Changes have already been made in the online application forms of the CBSE. The Board said all candidates who could not fill up the application form due to the condition of three attempts will now be able to fill their application form. ❝ Radical forces are threatening to plunge Punjab into darkness. Vote for a stable, experienced govt that will protect your rights. Capt Amarinder Singh, PPCC CHIEF SC: Regulate pvt coaching centres New Delhi, February 3 Expressing concern over mushrooming of private coaching institutes across the country, the Supreme Court on Friday asked the government to consider framing a policy to regulate them. A Bench headed by Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said such a policy was needed to check commercialisation of education. Private coaching institutes could not be shut down but they could certainly be regulated, it added. During hearing on a PIL filed by Students Federation of India, the Bench observed that entrance examinations alone should not be the sole basis for admission to engineering and medical colleges. It suggested that 60 per cent weightage should be given to entrance examination, while making it clear it was a policy matter which only the government could decide. — TNS Forces Tribunal set to get teeth Jawan treks 75 km on snow with mother’s body Amendment Bill to arm it with powers to get orders implemented Vijay Mohan Tribune News Service Chandigarh, February 3 About a decade after the Armed Forces Tribunal Act, 2007, was passed by Parliament, the judicial body is finally set to be armed with powers to get its judgments and orders implemented. The Armed Forces Tribunal (Amendment) Bill is listed for consideration and passage before Parliament in the Budget Session, sources said. Besides providing powers of civil contempt, it enhances the retirement age of AFT members and abrogates the system of re-appointment. This gives some hope to defence litigants in whose favour decisions have been passed by the AFT, but the orders were not being implemented by the defence services or the Ministry of Defence (MoD). Though the AFT possesses powers of criminal contempt — empowering it to take action against any misbehaviour by an individual — it was not vested with civil contempt powers due to which its orders were not implemented. The amendment, initiated in 2012, was referred to a Parliamentary Committee, where it was opposed by the Army. The amendment Bill also proposes to enhance the retirement age of the AFT chairperson and judicial members to 67 years from 65. The period of appointment has also been enhanced to five years from four. Advocate Maj Navdeep Singh — on whose PIL the Punjab and Haryana High Court had earlier directed the Tribunal to take coercive action against authorities for noncompliance of its decisions — said if enacted, the Bill would provide security of tenure and more stability to members since officers against whom AFT orders are to be passed form part of the re-appointment selection committee. The Chandigarh Bench of AFT has been without any judicial member since the retirement of Justice Surinder Singh Thakur in September last year, bringing all judicial work to a standstill. After five-day wait for chopper, sets off on foot with relatives for her burial in frontier Kupwara village Srinagar, February 3 An Army man with the help of his relatives trekked 75 km through snow-covered mountains to carry his mother’s body home to her village in frontier Kupwara district. After an arduous and highly risky non-stop walk for about 12 hours, the soldier finally laid to rest his mother at their ancestral graveyard in Chitarkote village last evening. Sakina Begum, mother of Mohammad Abbas, died on January 28 due to some heart-related complication at her son’s official accommodation at Pathankot. The next day Abbas managed to get the body of his mother to Chowkibal in Kupwara district on way to his VILLAGERS PROTEST Chitarkote villagers on Friday protested against the administration, accusing it of ignoring the plight of the bereaved family. Locals demanded construction of a tunnel on Sadhna Top en route to Karnah to make the road motorable through the year. “Had the road been open round the clock, we would not have to go through a nightmare. We had to trek with the body from Rangwar to Chitarkote,” said Iqbal Ahmad, Sakina Begum’s body being carried for burial to her native village. a relative of the deceased. OC native village in Karnah, which is cut off from the rest of the state due to massive accumulation of snow. Abbas approached the Kupwara district adminis- tration for a helicopter so that he could take his mother’s body back home. For five days, he waited but the inclement weather and intermittent snowfall did Today’s issue consists of 36 pages, including four-page The Tribune Trends, four-page Real Estate and four-page Jalandhar Tribune. not allow operation of choppers in the area. Finally, with the support of a few relatives and village men, the soldier yesterday decided to trek through the high-altitude snow-bound mountains over Sadhna Top with the body of his mother lugged over four shoulders. Officials said they had made all efforts to arrange a chopper and it could be made possible only yesterday. They said by the time a chopper was arranged, the relatives of the deceased had set off for the journey on foot. A defence spokesman said the Army had provided all assistance for transportation of mortal remains of the mother of the soldier. “All assistance was made available by the unit of the jawans as well as by other Army units en route,” said defence spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia. — PTI/TNS
The Tribune, now published from Chandigarh, started publication on February 2, 1881, in Lahore (now in Pakistan). It was started by Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia, a public-spirited philanthropist, and is run by a trust comprising four eminent persons as trustees.
The Tribune, the largest selling daily in North India, publishes news and views without any bias or prejudice of any kind. Restraint and moderation, rather than agitational language and partisanship, are the hallmarks of the paper. It is an independent newspaper in the real sense of the term.
The English edition apart, the 133-year-old Tribune has two sister publications, Punjabi Tribune (in Punjabi) and Dainik Tribune (in Hindi).