17022021-JTR-01.qxd 2/16/2021 11:21 PM Page 1 c m y b Jalandhar TRIBUNE SPRING ARRIVES IN HUES OF YELLOW IN SCHOOLS, COLLEGES PAGE 2 Array of activities such as prayers, kite-flying and cultural activities liven up the city on Basant Panchami. FORECAST MAINLY CLEAR SKY DIA MIRZA & VAIBHAV REKHI’S WEDDING WAS INTIMATE AFFAIR PAGE 3 Actress Dia Mirza tied the knot with bizman Vaibhav Rekhi on Monday in presence of close friends and family. MAX 25°C | MIN 10°C | YESTERDAY MAX 20°C | MIN 9°C SUNSET WEDNESDAY 6:16 PM OPRAH TO INTERVIEW PRINCE HARRY AND MEGHAN MARKLE Winfrey will first speak with Markle about stepping into royal life and how she handles life under the public eye. SUNRISE THURSDAY 7:06 AM All set for counting of votes today CIVIC BODY POLL Congress upbeat but fears split of votes at some constituencies Deepkamal Kaur HEAVY SECURITY OUTSIDE STRONGROOMS Tribune News Service Jalandhar, February 16 As counting of votes for the civic body poll held on February 14 will commence today at 9 am, leaders of ruling Congress seemed somewhat more confident of making it this time. However, they were wary of some wards where candidates of all other parties, including Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), besides Independents were in the fray. In Jalandhar, the fact that only 59 per cent of the seats (65 out of 110 wards) were contested by Congress on its symbol has somehow reflected that its leaders were not able to impress upon the candidates to contest on party’s name. Not a single symbol of Congress was taken in Adampur, Alawalpur and Nurmahal. Saffron outfit on sticky wicket The BJP which was through, out seen on a sticky wicket, had just 17 candidates from eight local bodies from Jalandhar, none from Kartarpur, Lohian and Mehatpur. A prominent BJP leader said, “Our party has nothing to lose as we got only a few months to work on individual identity. The MC elections are actually a litmus test for Congress, AAP and Akalis, who are backing farmers against the agri bills.” Like most leaders of his party, BJP spokesperson Monty Sehgal said, “We were not allowed to ■ After polling for six municipal councils and two nagar panchayats in Jalandhar on Sunday, electronic voting machines (EVMs) were stored in strongrooms set up by the administration at eight locations in the district. Heavy security had been deployed outside each strong room. ■ ADC (D) Vishesh Sarangal said the counting centres had been set up in the vicinity of the strongrooms. “The sites of strong rooms will house the counting centres and duties for STRONG ROOM Adampur Alawalpur Kartarpur Nakodar Nurmahal Phillaur Lohian Khas Mehatpur campaign or even open our offices. We still fail to understand as to what kind of election it was. The funniest part was that Congress was seen backing Independents while remaining in power.” Litmus test for AAP, SAD The result of elections, however, would be a report card for Aam Aadmi Party, which saw its bubble bursting in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls in Jalandhar. The party had the maximum number of contestants from its symbol fighting on as many as 72 wards. The party had changed its local leadership and made many changes ahead of the election. Its Delhi-based leaders also campaigned quite actively ahead of polling. Akali leaders were also not shunning their confidence. Gurpartap Singh Wadala, SAD leader from Nakodar, said, “Even though it was a very nasty conduct of elections by Congress, we are confident of making it to halfway mark on both seats of my constituency – Nakodar and Nurmahal, where we will form our councils.” SADbacked candidates, however, had not taken party symbol in even a single ward of either of the two MCs. “It was our well-calculated strategy. Our 16 out of 17 candidates in Nakodar fought the election on ‘tractor’ symbol and one got ‘letter box’. In Nurmahal, our 12 out of 13 candidates got ‘table’ as symbol and one took ‘bat and ball’. So, it will be pretty obvious and we expect the scene to be clear by 10 am. I will be making it to the counting centre myself to oversee the process,” said Wadala. In contrast, Congress fielded as many as 15 candidates on party symbol from 17 seats of Nakodar, but none in Nurmahal. Close fight in Adampur In Adampur, election was PAGE 4 counting staff have been allocated. Besides, two observers who have been in the town, there will be one micro-observer at each of the eight counting centres,” he said. ■ While two strongrooms have been set up in the city, six have been set up in the respective rural areas. The two in the city include those for Alawalpur in the office of Chief Agriculture Officer, Ladowali Road, and for Kartarpur at Government College of Education, Ladowali Road. COUNTING CENTRE GSSS (Boys) Adampur Office of Chief Agriculture Officer, Ladowali Road Govt College of Education, Ladowali Road AS Sen Sec School, Nakodar BDPO Office, Nurmahal GSSS (Boys), Phillaur GSSS (Boys) Lohian Khas GN National College for Boys, Nakodar fought fiercely between Darshan Karwal-led Congresssupported group and Pawan Tinu-supported group. While Congress did not take any party symbol in Adampur and Alawalpur, Akalis had five candidates on party symbol ‘scales’ and eight on ‘table’. In Adampur, the entire Karwal group contested on ‘tractor’ symbol. Pawan Tinu said, “Our rivals tried to scare our candidates by indulging in violence. Our candidate’s husband faced a murderous attack three days ahead of voting and got discharged yesterday. Still, we are hopeful of making it. Even if we win seven of 13 seats in Adampur, it will be our council. I being an MLA have a vote in it. Our rivals need to make it to at least eight, which will not be that easy for them. Rest, a few hours are left and things will get clear.” A sweetshop owner in Adampur said, “We are making laddoos in huge quantity for tomorrow. Whatever be the results, our laddoos will be sold.” A day before polls, Kartarpur Congress MLA was all smiles, “I already have one uncontested winner. Even in the remaining 14 wards, there are no SAD or BJP contestants on symbol.” WEDNESDAY | 17 FEBRUARY 2021 | JALANDHAR Micro-observers deployed in Nawanshahr Tribune News Service Nawanshahr, February 16 Preparations for counting of votes in Nawanshahr have been completed. The administration has deployed microobservers and security arrangements have been foolproof around the counting centres. Voting was held on 47 seats in Nawanshahr, Rahon and Banga on February 14. A counting centre has been set up at RK Arya College, Nawanshahr. In Banga, votes will be counted at Guru Nanak College, Girls. Government Senior Secondary School, Rahon, has been made a counting centre for Rahon. The counting for 19 wards (37 booths) of Nawanshahr will be done in five rounds, while for 15 wards of Banga, the counting will be held in three rounds. In Rahon, there will be two rounds of counting for 13 booths. Additional Deputy Com- missioner (Development) Amardeep Singh Bains said training of staff deployed at the counting centres has already been done. “We have deployed micro-observers at the counting centres,” said Bains. SSP Alka Meena said the police personnel will be on their toes. Candidatespeak Former chief of Nawanshahr council, Lalit Mohan Pathak Ballu, had grabbed media attention when he left Congress and contested as an Independent candidate under ‘Sanjha morcha’ from Ward No. 12. The ward had also been declared sensitive. Congress had fielded Rohit Chopra from Ward No. 12. Ballu said, “I am confident of my win. I have remained chief for five years and have always worked towards the development of Nawanshahr. After my victory, I will pay attention towards pending works,” he said. A counting centre in Nawanshahr. 10 counting centres set up in Hoshiarpur MC officials announce to Our Correspondent Hoshiarpur, February 16 District is all set for counting of votes on Wednesday for 92 wards of seven nagar councils, two nagar panchayats and 50 wards of municipal corporation, Hoshiarpur. For municipal corporation Hoshiarpur, the counting of votes for 50 wards start at 9:00 am at JR Polytechnic College, Hoshiarpur. For seven municipal councils the counting will be happen at different centres setup across the district. For Dasuya’s 15 wards, counting will be held at Guru Teg Bahadur Senior Secondary School, Dasuya. For Tanda’s 15 wards, counting will take place at Government Senior Secondary School (boys) and the counting for municipal council Mukerian’s 15 wards at SPN College, Mukerian. ACTUALLY FACTUALLY As many as 600 candidates are vying in 142 wards with a total number of 2,22,799 voters to decide their fate. The poll percentage of Hoshiarpur municipal corporation was 63.09%, while 71.57% voting was recorded in Mukerian, 68.18% in Dasuya, 73.47% in Gardhiwala. Similarly, 75.60% voting was registered in Hariana Nagar council, 80.69% in Sham Chaurasi, 69.96% in Urmar, 73.79% in Garhshankar besides 70.75 and 74.44% in nagar panchayats Mahilpur and Talwara, Police personnel guard counting centre at JR Govt Polytechnic. respectively. For Gardhiwala’s 11 Wards, Khalsa Senior Secondary School, Garhdiwal, has been fixed as the counting place. For 13 wards of Garhshankar counting BAM Khalsa College is the choice. For Hariana municipal council’s 11 wards counting will be held at GGDSD College Hariana and for nine wards of Sham Chaurasi Guru Nanak College for Women has been opted for counting. For by-elections of nagar panchayat Mahilpur’s two wards, counting will be held at Sardar Baldev Singh Senior Secondary School (boys) and for one ward of Talwara’s, counting will be held at Shah Canal Head Works. With requisite administrative and security arrange- ments everything is set for smooth process of counting of votes at 10 different locations across district for total of 142 wards, where as many as 600 candidates of different parties and Independents are vying. Speaking on security, DCcum-District Election Officer Apneet Riyait said more than 200 officials of district administration had been deputed to ensure everything goes fluidly. Meanwhile, SSP Nanjot Singh Mahal said more than 800 police personnel along with officers had been deployed to ensure there is law and order in the district. “A team of police personnel under an inspector rank officer had been deployed at every counting location, being supervised by the DSP rank officers,” he said. Non-functional streetlights put commuters’ lives at risk Tribune News Service Jalandhar, February 16 While dense fog is engulfing the region these days, non-functional streetlights on the Jalandhar-Amritsar highway are causing huge inconvenience to the commuters. Despite being an accident-prone stretch, the authorities have turned a blind eye towards the issue. Accidents have become a regular feature on the route connecting Bidhipur and Kartarpur. The streetlights on the stretch have not been working for over an year. Owing to the dense fog, last week nearly half a dozen vehicles met with accidents on the national highway, near Gorayan, leaving one person dead. “It is a risky affair to commute on the NH 1, which connects Delhi with other states, in foggy conditions due to defunct streetlights,” said Sandeep Kumar, a commuter. The most affected routes include Chuggiti over- bridge to Kartarpur. The Maqsudan bypass is one of the busiest areas in the city and commuters usually take the route to reach Amritsar and the nearby areas. Kamaljot Singh, a security guard at a c m y b factory, said, “Passersby and commuters face a tough time on the stretch that connects Suranussi and Bidhipur due to defunct streetlights. Recently three persons, including a couple, had lost their lives in a car accident.” A truck driver rammed his vehicle into a divider near the NIT campus three days ago. “Despite being a basic necessity, we are deprived of streetlights. Nothing has been done despite apprising the authorities of the issue,” said a labourer, who commutes on the road to reach his factory early in the morning. Mayor Jagdish Raja stated that the highway did not fall under the jurisdiction of the Municipal Corporation, hence the National Highways Authority of India was responsible for the task. ‘boycott’ House meeting Say can’t bear false accusations against them Tribune News Service Jalandhar, February 16 Two days before MC General House meeting, the department officials today said they would not attend the meeting. They have announced to boycott and gave a letter to MC Commissioner Karnesh Sharma. Reason: They always feel ‘insulted’, as they get accused in every meeting and cannot bear councillors’ questioning them in front of everyone at the meeting. In the letter, the wing officials have mentioned that they all decided to boycott the meeting. Notably, this time, only one agenda will be there in the meeting where the advertisement ad hoc committee chairman Neerja Jain will be presenting a report, exposing the alleged involvement of the officials in the scam in its installation. This has perturbed the MC Department officials as they said this was an insult and they would not accept people maligning their image. “In the report which will be presented in the agenda, the points have been mentioned without any proof. There is a direct attack on the MC officials in the report, which is wrong and unacceptable,” the letter reads. It has not happened for the first time. In the year 2018 as well, in the ongoing General House Meeting at the MC Complex, the questions MC officials submit a memorandum to MC Commissioner in Jalandhar. NOT THE FIRST TIME ■ In the year 2018 as well, in the ongoing General House meeting on the MC Complex, the questions asked to a building inspector did not go down well with officers of various branches, which had resulted in a dramatic move as the latter boycotted the meeting, which left the Mayor, councillors and others present on the occasion shocked. It had happened for the first time in the history of the Municipal Corporation. asked to a building inspector during did not go well with officers of various branches, which had resulted in a dramatic move as the latter boycotted the meeting which left the Mayor, councillors and others present there shocked. It had happened for the first time in the history of the Municipal Corporation. To this, the officials after boycotting the meeting, said they would only answer every question in written to the House. Mayor Jagdish Raja had then called upon the meeting with the ‘upset’ officials. One of the officials requesting anonymity said, they are always questioned in a way as they have committed a crime. “We can give answer in written, but not in a way where we get insulted in front of everyone,” the official said. Mandeep Singh, Superintendent from Tehbazari Department, said everything is negative in the meetings. “It’s like we are in a court and people accuse us. This is not right, which is why we have taken the decision,” he said.
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