06012018-CT-01.qxd 1/6/2018 12:42 AM Page 1 c m y b cHANDIGARH TRIBUNE SATURDAY | 6 JANUARY 2018 | CHANDIGARH Highest GER ‘Gold standard’ facility Vaidehi stumbles in semis Chandigarh has highest Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education among all states, UTs. P2 The Railways is launching “gold standard” facility for passengers of Shatabdi Express. P3 Vaidehi Choudhary crashes out of the ITF Juniors Circuit World Ranking (Grade-III) Tennis Championship. P8 FORECAST MAINLY CLEAR SKY | MAX 15°C MIN 6°C | YESTERDAY MAX 13.3°C MIN 8.1°C | SUNSET SATURDAY 5.38 PM SUNRISE SUNDAY 7.20 AM House backs ‘on-notice’ Mohali Mayor 23 of 37 councillors pass resolution in Kulwant Singh’s support; 13 Cong, one SAD member vote against Akash Ghai WASN’T DONE WHEN I WAS CHIEF: MAINI Tribune News Service Mohali, January 5 Lending support to Mayor Kulwant Singh, the MC House today passed a resolution with majority to condemn the government’s yesterday action of issuing him show-cause notice for his removal from councillorship. Of the total 37 councillors present during the House meeting today, including the Mayor, Senior Deputy Mayor Rishabh Jain and Deputy Mayor Manjit Singh Sethi, the resolution was passed by as many as 23 members while all 13 Congress councillors, along with an Akali councillor BB Maini, voted against it. Most members who did not vote for the resolution said they had to support the action of their government. Maini asked why such a resolution was not passed when Rajinder Rana was put under suspension a few years ago when he was president of the Municipal Council in the town. Earlier, SAD member Paramjit Singh Kahlon proposed a resolution against issuance of show-cause notice to Kulwant Singh and action against other officials in the purchase of France-made tree resolution was not passed ❝Why such awas put under suspension awhen Rajinder Rana few Mayor Kulwant Singh, flanked by MC Commissioner Sandeep Hans (right), Senior Deputy Mayor Rishabh Jain and Deputy Mayor Manjit Singh Sethi, is all smiles while presiding over a House meeting in Mohali on Friday. TRIBUNE PHOTO: MANOJ MAHAJAN pruning machine. “Our minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, who himself owns a number of foreign cars, worth several crores each, has all of sudden started singing ‘swadeshi’ song when it comes to purchase of foreign machine, worth Rs 1.80 crore, under the town’s development programme. It is a dirty politics,” said Kahlon. Soon. Deputy Mayor Manjit Singh Sethi and other councillors, including RP Sharma and Harpal Singh Channa, joined Kahlon and demanded passing of the resolution to condemn the government action, stating that Navjot Sidhu’s step insulted the entire House, which had passed the resolution to pur- chase the machine. Kulwant Singh, who was apparently composed, initiated the meeting proceedings with New Year wishes to all. He termed the government action against him as a decision taken in haste. “First, they suspended me. Later, it turned out to be a show-cause notice. This showed that the action was haste and result of dirty politics,” the Mayor said. He added that proper procedure was followed in the purchase of the machine. “If they say that the machine is costly, they should know the difference between a horse and a donkey,” said Kulwant Singh. He said the machine had several features. “The basic years ago when I was president of the Municipal Council in the town. BB MAINI, SAD COUNCILLOR ❞ cost of the main machine, mounted on imported New Holland tractor (costing Rs 28 lakh) is Rs 88 lakh. It has a mowing head with multirotary unit to mow wild growth, which costs Rs 18 lakh. It has signage washing unit with car wash-type rotary brushes worth Rs 16 lakh. Besides, we have paid Rs 58 lakh as taxes on import of the machine,” the Mayor said. He added that he would give a befitting reply to all those behind the action against him in the court as they have tried to defame him. Sethi said cricketer-turnedpolitician Navjot Singh Sidhu tried to hit a six but was caught on the boundary line. MLA Sidhu sees ~1-cr scam in ~1.79-cr deal Mohali, January 5 While Mayor Kulwant Singh and his supporters claimed zero corruption in the purchase of France-made tree pruning machine worth Rs 1.79 crore, Mohali MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu alleged a minimum Rs 1-crore scam. “It is a minimum Rs 1 crore scam in the inflated purchase,” claimed Sidhu while talking to Chandigarh Tribune here today. The MLA claimed that he saw the inquiry report in the case. “A number of irregularities have come to the fore in the inquiry, indicating a big scam. Sidhu said the purchase was part of the table agenda of the House meeting held in January 2016. “They managed to pass a resolution to purchase the machine in the same meeting. The then MC Commissioner, Uma Shankar, did not sign the file in this regard for around seven months. His successor Rajesh Dhiman, who had joined in August 2016, had signed the documents around nine months after passing of the resolution,” said Sidhu. When asked about his role (if any) behind the action against Kulwant Singh, Sidhu said he had nothing to do with it. — TNS Ready for any action if graft charge proved: Kulwant Singh Tribune News Service Mohali, January 5 “I am ready to face any action if anybody proves corruption of even a single penny in the purchase of the French machine,” said Mayor Kulwant Singh. While talking to Chandigarh Tribune, the Mohali Mayor, who has been served a show-cause notice for the alleged inflated purchase, Ritz-borne robbers striking at will in city said the government action (of issuing a show-cause notice to him) was a part of dirty politics. “I would give a befitting reply to all those who were behind the action tarnishing my image in public,” said Kulwant Singh after presiding over the MC House meeting at the MC Bhawan in Sector 68 here today. The Mohali’s first Mayor added that his counsels were already on the job and soon, MOHALI’S FIRST CITIZEN SAYS... Government action nothing but dirty politics No misdoing in machine purchase Order placed after government okayed purchase resolution Was not called/questioned by inquiry official Show-cause notice a result of conspiracy Will move court he would move the local district courts. Kulwant Singh claimed that there was no irregularity in the purchase of the machine. “The machine, which we bought, is much more advanced in features and Chill to intensify: Weatherman working than the ‘jugad’ machines whose rates have been quoted by the government,” said the Mohali Mayor. “We talk of competing with the world. But when it comes to buying technology or advanced machines, we start looking towards cheap things. Can a cheap car give competition to a swanky, expensive vehicle?” asked the Mayor. He claimed that he was well aware of the reasons behind TRIBUNE PHOTO: RAVI KUMAR Tribune News Service Chandigarh, January 5 Three miscreants riding a white Ritz car they had robbed at gunpoint from a cab driver in Chandigarh on December 10 struck yet again on Thursday night. They robbed two persons at gunpoint within a gap of less than a hour. The first incident was reported from the Sector 39/40 light point at around 11.45 pm. The victim, Rakam Singh of Badhmajra village in Mohali, was going home when he was stopped by the miscreants. The accused robbed him of Rs 1,500 and sped away. Sources said the car had a fake registration number of Haryana. The police were informed and a case was registered at the Sector 39 police station. In the meantime, the accused targeted another person. Around 12.20 am, the three miscreants intercepted a biker at the Sector 14/15 continued on page 2 POWER SHUTDOWN CHANDIGARH 10 am to 2 pm: Parts of PGI Colony and Water Works, Sec 12 10 am to 4 pm: Parts of Sec 24, 25 the action against him. “A proper procedure was adopted in the deal. First, the resolution was passed by the House unanimously. Later, it was sent to the state government and was properly scrutinised by the officials there. It was passed at the government level, following which technical and administrative approvals were taken from the authorities concerned before floating an online ten- der in this regard,” said Kulwant Singh. The Mayor also claimed that he was never called/questioned by any official during the inquiry, conducted by the Chief Vigilance Officer (CVO). “I got to know about the action against me only through the government press notes issued yesterday. One could well understand the conspiracy behind it,” said Kulwant Singh. was the person, ❝Iinstrumental in who was making him (Kulwant Singh) Mohali’s first Mayor. If somebody does wrong, he has to face action. BALBIR SINGH SIDHU ❞ Nominated councillors can’t vote in mayoral poll SC defers their case to Jan 15; blow to Tandon camp Sandeep Rana Tribune News Service Visitors enjoy a shikara ride as a kingfisher sits atop a duck boat at Sukhna lake on a foggy Friday morning. The Met Department has predicted no respite from the chill and dip in temperature on Saturday. Surinder Paul, Director, Chandigarh Meteorological Centre, said the sky would remain clear and moderate to dense fog would be witnessed during the morning and evening hours. 14 flights delayed, 3 cancelled, courtesy fog Tribune News Service Mohali, January 5 Fog continued to play spoilsport at the Chandigarh international airport with airlines revising departure timings of several flights. Three flights were cancelled and fourteen flights were delayed on Friday. Particularly affected were operations between Delhi and Chandigarh. IndiGo called off its flight to Delhi at 8 am for Saturday (January 6) after disruption during the past week. Jet Airways revised the timings of three flights and SpiceJet revised the timing of one flight due to dense fog. The cancelled flights today included IndiGo’s flight to Delhi at 8 am, SpiceJet flight to Delhi at 8.40 am and Jet Airways flight to Jaipur continued on page 2 AI FLIGHT ADVANCED, PASSENGER UNAWARE A Jalandar resident, Dr Arun Kochar, said his daughter was among six-seven passengers, who missed their Air India flight from Chandigarh to Mumbai as it was preponed without informing them. Dr Kochar, a cardiologist at Fortis hospital, Mohali, said neither the agent, through whom the ticket was booked, nor his daughter was informed by officials through mail or text message. Air India officials said they had already announced a revision in the flight schedule till January 15 on account of weather conditions. An Air India official said, “We tried to contact passengers on the contact number provided while booking the ticket. We arranged alternative transport for those who missed the flight on Friday.” c m y b Chandigarh, January 5 For the first time, nominated councillors will not be able to vote in the mayoral elections of the local Municipal Corporation, scheduled for January 9, as the Supreme Court today deferred the final arguments in the case to January 15. Mayoral elections are scheduled for January 9. The development has come as a blow to the city BJP president Sanjay Tandon’s group. This seems to have shaken the calculations of the rebel group as eight out of the nine nominated councillors are from the Tandon camp while one is MP Kirron Kher’s loyalist. The BJP is divided in two camps. Outgoing Mayor Asha Kumari Jaswal, who rebelled against the BJP by filing nomination for the post of Mayor against the party nominee Davesh Moudgil, along with 13 other councillors, is in Tandon’s group whereas Moudgil is a close aide of former MP Satya Pal Jain and is in MP Kirron Kher’s camp. Councillors having allegiance to former Union Minister Harmohan Dhawan RAY OF HOPE FOR CONG The development also brightens the chances of Congress nominee Devinder Singh Babla becoming the Mayor as the party will try to benefit from the BJP infighting. “In case, Jaswal withdraws her name, the Congress can repeat history. In 2000, the party had just three councillors and its mayoral nominee Raj Kumar Goel won defeating BJP’s Ranjana Sahi even as the saffron party was in majority in the House,” said a party insider. NUMBER GAME Total votes: 27 (of 26 councillors and an MP, who is an exofficio member) BJP has 20 councillors (includes 14 rebels against official nominee Davesh Moudgil), Congress 4, SAD and Independent one each THE SITUATION AS OF NOW With nine nominated councillors not eligible to vote in the mayoral poll, BJP has only six sure votes as 14 of its councillors have rebelled against the party’s Mayor nominee Congress is likely to go with BJP rebels but will project its own candidate Devinder Singh Babla if BJP rebel Asha Jaswal backs off SAD has extended support to official BJP nominee Davesh Moudgil Lone independent councillor supports the BJP nominee Ex-officio member MP Kirron Kher is expected to vote for Moudgil are also in Kher’s camp. A rebel councillor, said, “It would have been an easy sailing for us if the nominated councillors could vote in the poll. As of now, we have support of 15-plus councillors and will be able to win the poll.” Out of the 14 rebel councillors, three are reportedly indecisive on whom they would vote and might switch sides. On August 23, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had annulled the voting rights of the nominated councillors on a petition of ex-councillor Satinder Singh. Following this, the UT Administration and later nominated councillors moved the apex court against the HC verdict.
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).