18022021-TTB-01.qxd 2/18/2021 12:34 AM Page 1 13 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | vol.141 no.48 | 12 pages | ~5.00 | regd.no.chd/0006/2021-2023 established in 1881 SOUTH AFRICA’S DU PLESSIS RETIRES FROM TESTS SPORT /thetribunechd GOVT APPROVES ~12,000-CR MFG PUSH FOR TELECOM GEAR BUSINESS /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com thursday | 18 february 2021 Cong sweeps civic poll, Capt taller Wins six of 7 corpns I Mohali result today I Akalis lose Bathinda | BJP routed amid farm stir Jupinderjit Singh TOTAL SEATS 2,165 Tribune News Service Chandigarh, February 17 The Congress today registered an overwhelming victory in the Punjab municipal elections by pocketing around 67 per cent seats of seven municipal corporations and 109 municipal councils and nagar panchayats. The BJP which went alone , in any election for the first time in the state, stood last, losing badly even in its strongholds. The party had fielded 1,000 candidates. Though the party ruling the state usually posts better results in civic elections, the ongoing farmers' stir created extra interest in the people's verdict this time. The counting of votes for the Mohali Municipal Corpo- CONG SAD IND AAP BJP 1,484 294 278 57 47 BSP 5 CONG SINGLE LARGEST PARTY IN MOGA ■ In its first outing alone in Pun- jab politics, the BJP which field, ed 1,000 candidates, ends up at the bottom in the result tally ■ Congress emerges single Congress workers celebrate poll victory at Phillaur, Jalandhar. TRIBUNE PHOTO: MALKIAT SINGH ration would be held tomorrow as re-polling was held in two wards today. The election results declared today put the Congress way ahead of other parties. With victory in 1,484 of the 2,165 wards of various municipal bodies, the Congress got clear majority in six of the seven corporations, including Bathinda (Akali bastion) and largest party bagging 20 of 50 seats in the Moga corpn Gurdaspur/Pathankot area (BJP stronghold). It emerged Continued on page 9 edit: Cong makes clean sweep OPPN SPEAK AAP VOTE SHARE UP ❝ Our base in urban areas has expanded. The party vote share has risen. Will be stronger by 2022. Harpal Singh Cheema, LOP CONG ON WAY OUT ❝ Despite repression, we have emerged a force to reckon with. It is clear the Congress will be gone in 2022. Sukhbir Badal, SAD PRESIDENT DEMOCRACY KILLED ❝ The worst day for democracy... It’s Congress’ moral defeat. The party resorted to blatant misuse of official machinery to win. Ashwani Sharma, BJP PRESIDENT IN BRIEF Bengal minister hurt in bomb attack BAHARAMPUR: West Bengal Minister Jakir Hossain was seriously injured after unidentified attackers hurled bombs at him in Murshidabad. PTI Covid test for flyers from UK, SA, Brazil NEW DELHI: From February 22, all passengers coming from or transiting through the UK, South Africa and Brazil will be tested for Covid-19. TNS Jatha to Pakistan refused permission AMRITSAR: RAHUL TAKES AIM AT PM IN PUDUCHERRY BACK PAGE The MEA has denied permission to a Sikh jatha that was to leave for Pakistan on Thursday for the centennial of the Nankana Sahib massacre. INSIDE THE TRIBUNEINTERVIEW: CAPT AMARINDER SINGH, PUNJAB CM ‘Mandate for liberal policies’ L AUDING the voters, CM Capt Amarinder Singh, in an interview with Rajmeet Singh, said the people had voted for development, peace and stability and against regressive and divisive policies. Excerpts: ■ How do you view the results? A clear endorsement of our policies and a validation of our stand on key issues, including farm laws. The Congress has delivered on its promises over the past four years. ■ Do you think farmers’ stir had bearing on the outcome? The issue has touched the entire nation. With its largely agrarian society, Punjab is affected more than many other states by the Centre’s anti-farmer stance. The issue has exposed the apathy of the BJP and its former ally SAD and even AAP People . have realised that a vote for any of these parties would be a vote against Punjab. ■ How do you rate SAD, AAP performance? Pathetic. Neither of these parties is even a close second to the Congress. Their fluctuating stand on the farm laws and farmers’ stir has made matters worse for them. ■ What’s message for BJP? The clear message is mend your ways or be ready to be wiped out of the Indian polity. Continued on BACK PAGE ‘Rail roko’ today, security up Tribune News Service Chandigarh, February 17 On the call of the Sanyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), farmers protesting against the three farm laws are gearing up for tomorrow’s “rail roko” protest. Even as the farm unions have called for a peaceful protest, security forces have been put on alert to avoid any untoward incident. In a video, BKU (Charuni) chief Gurnam Singh Charuni asked the farmers to assemble at designated spots in their respective districts and make the protest a success. “As decided by the SKM, trains will be stopped from 12 pm to 4 pm on February 18. I appeal to all farmers to fix one point in their districts and assemble at that spot. We have to ensure that the protest is held in a peaceful manner,” Charuni said. 20 addl RPSF companies deployed nationwide TRANSIT BAIL FOR NIKITA New Delhi: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday granted three-week transit bail to alleged “toolkit” case conspirator Nikita Jacob. Jacob now has time to move the appropriate court in Delhi for anticipatory bail. TNS SWORD- WIELDER HELD Ghazipur: Maninder Singh, who was allegedly seen swinging swords at the Red Fort during the violence on Republic Day, has been arrested. TNS Additional Divisional Railway Manager (Operations), Ambala division, Pankaj Gupta said: “We have been apprised of the locations where the farmers will block the tracks. We have made arrangements accordingly.” The Northern Railway has stressed that no train has been cancelled or diverted in the region. The Railways has deployed 20 additional companies of the Railway Protection Special Force across the country. BADAL BASTION BATHINDA FALLS TO CONGRESS BJP LOSES STRONGHOLDS GURDASPUR, BATALA ON CAPT’S HOME TURF, CONG WINS 66 OF 92 WARDS TIKSHAN SUD’S WIFE LOSES IN HOSHIARPUR CONGRESS WINS ALL SEATS IN FEROZEPUR MC 17 CANDIDATES DRAW A BLANK IN KOTKAPURA INSIDE Foreign Secy holds ‘fruitful’ talks with Russian diplomats Moscow, February 17 Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Wednesday had “fruitful and productive” meetings with top Russian diplomats on bilateral issues as well as regional and global issues of mutual interest and the two sides discussed ways to further strengthen the bilateral special and privileged strategic partnership. Shringla, who arrived in Moscow on his first foreign visit this year, called on Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and conveyed greetings of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. “They discussed the wideranging special & privileged strategic partnership between #India and #Russia and ways to further strengthen it,” the Indian Embassy tweeted. BACK PAGE On foreign envoys’ table: Some politics, art & pottery Ambassadors meet newly elected DDC chiefs, artisans Tribune News Service A delegation of 24 foreign ambassadors on Srinagar visit. PTI New Delhi, February 17 Twentyfour foreign envoys who arrived in Jammu and Kashmir on a two-day visit got a flavour of the Valley today as they engaged with district development council (DDC) representatives, writers, potters and calligraphers among others. The envoys from Asia, South America, Europe, Africa and some OIC member states, who will be leaving DELIMITATION MEET TODAY, NC TO SKIP Ahead of the first meeting of the Delimitation Commission for Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday, the National Conference said it would not be part of the proceedings. INSIDE for Jammu tomorrow, wound up their day in Srinagar after an interaction with Kashmiri artisans and influencers. Writer-poets were also present at the Dal Lake conven- tion hall, where the engagement was arranged. The visiting ambassadors were seen taking interest in local arts and crafts with some even wondering why women in the Valley had not taken to pottery in a big way as in Europe. Earlier today, the envoys visited Magam in Budgam district to speak to the winners of the recent DDC elections. Foreign envoys have visited J&K twice in the past since the abrogation of Continued on page 9 Ramani let off, court junks MJ Akbar’s suit New Delhi, February 17 Saying that a woman has the right to voice her grievance before any platform even after decades, a Delhi court on Wednesday acquitted journalist Priya Ramani in a defamation case filed by former Union Minister MJ Akbar over allegations of sexual harassment. Delivering the judgment being hailed as a watershed moment for the #MeToo movement, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ravindra Kumar Pandey said: “A woman cannot be punished for raising voice against sexual abuse on the pretext of TOUGH, CHALLENGING TRIAL ❝ The case was very difficult and challenging in respect of the defences taken. Probably the most important case of my life. Rebecca John, PRIYA RAMANI’S LAWYER defamation as the right to reputation cannot be protected at the cost of the right to life, dignity and equality.” “Most women who suffer abuse do not speak up because of social stigma…The Indian women require freedom and equality,” the court noted. Continued on page 9 GOVT: FLOODS NOT DUE TO CHAR DHAM PROJECT New Delhi: The Centre on Wednesday denied before the Supreme Court that the Char Dham road widening project had anything to do with the recent Rishiganga valley disaster in Uttarakhand. BACK PAGE SC IMPLEADS JAMIAT IN ‘LOVE JIHAD’ PLEA New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind to become a party to petitions challenging laws passed by some BJP-ruled states to check unlawful conversion for inter-faith marriages. BACK PAGE
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.
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