Monthly Archives: MARCH 2016


'The burden is over' : Dr. Navjot Sidhu announces resignation from BJP; "Whose burden? BJP's?? ", quips Harcharan Bains
31.03.16 - pt team
'The burden is over' : Dr. Navjot Sidhu announces resignation from BJP;



Chief  Parliamentary Secretary and BJP MLA from Amritsar East, Dr. Navjot Kaur Sidhu today announced on Facebook her resignation from Bharatiya Janata Party.
 
Her post on Fb just says 'Finally , I have resigned from BJP. The burden is over'
 
It may be mentioned here that during last few months she has said many times that she would quit the BJP if it joins hands with the SAD in the upcoming 2017 Assembly elections.
 
The SAD however preferred not to react seriously to the development.  Asked to comment on Mrs Sidhu's  "the burden is over"  remark, the SAD General Secretary and Advisor to Chief Minister on National Affairs  Harcharan Bains quipped ," Did she say the burden of the BJP ? Then, My sister is right , as always. The burden is indeed over. She can't be talking about her own burden,  because I know she is too brave a girl to keep carrying a burden which she doesn't like. If it was indeed her burden that she meant, then I don't know why  she was  carrying it for so long against the dictates of her conscience. In a serious vein, though,  it is an internal matter of the BJP. I hope the news is wrong "
 
During a press conference in November last year she launched a scathing attack over the functioning of civic authorities, she alleged there was no vision for development in Amritsar and public money was being wasted away.
 
At that time when asked whether she would join AAP, she said options for her and her husband Navjot Singh Sidhu, who is also a member of the BJP, were open. "We have not yet decided what to do in the next elections. We have our own ideology, if they (AAP) like it, they can follow it,” she said.
 
Speculations are rife that AAP, which is devoid of a popular face in the state, might project the flamboyant cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Sidhu as party’s Chief Ministerial candidate for 2017.
 
"Navjot has not yet been entrusted with any responsibility by the BJP in the state. As far I am concerned, I have been a BJP worker for the last five years. If the BJP joins hands with the SAD again, I will not contest for the alliance,” she had said.
 
Navjot Singh Sidhu stopped being politically active ever since he was "denied” the ticket by the BJP for the Amritsar seat during the Lok Sabha elections last year. He apparently paid the price of taking on the ruling Badal family, who he accused of scuttling his pet projects.
 
According to a The Tribune report at that time she also endorsed AAP MP Bhagwant Mann’s challenge to Deputy CM Sukhbir Badal. Mann has dared Sukhbir and other leaders to take a dope test.
 




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Badal pays floral tribute to Jasdev Singh Sandhu
31.03.16 - pt team
Badal pays floral tribute to Jasdev Singh Sandhu



Jathedar Jasdev Singh Sandhu was an ‘Encyclopedia of Sikhism and Akali Politics’ as he had a green memory and even remembered the events which happened almost 20 to 50 years before this was stated by the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal while addressing a massive gathering during a function to mark death anniversary of veteran Akali leader at Kauli, Patiala today. 
The Chief Miniater said Sandhu was the multi faceted personality and played a pro active role in the spread of education in every nook and corner of the state. Badal also lauded the contribution of Sandhu family especially his son Senior Akali leader Tejinder Pal Singh and daughter-in-law Anoopinder Kaur in serving the people of the state with full dedication and commitment.

Prominent amongst others who were present on the occasion included Cabinet Minister Surjit Singh Rakhra, Lok Sabha MP Prem Singh Chandumajra, MLAs Virender Kaur Loomba and Harpreet Kaur Mukmailpur, former President SGPC Jathedar Kirpal Singh Badungar, former Minister Ajaib Singh Mukhmailpur, Chairman District Planning Committee Mohinder Singh Lalwa, Chairman of Zila Parishad Jaspal Singh Kalyan Deputy Commissioner Rambeer Singh and Senior Superintendent of Police Gurmeet Singh Chauhan.




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Free Tirath Darshan Yatra train schedule announced for April
31.03.16 - pt team
Free Tirath Darshan Yatra train schedule announced for April



Punjab Government has announced Mukh Mantri Tirath Darshan Yatra Train schedule for the month of April, 2016.
 
Disclosing this here today a spokesman of the Punjab Government said that the train for Jalandhar Cantt. Constituency would depart from Jalandhar Cantt. on 3rd April for Nanded Sahib, For Fatehgarh Sahib train would depart from Sirhind on 6th April, For Chabbewal constituency train would depart from Hoshiarpur on 10th April, For Ghanaur Constituency train would leave from Rajpura on 13th April, For Ludhiana (West) constituency train would depart from Ludhiana on 17th April, For Bathinda Urban area train would leave from Bathinda on 20th April, For Khemkaran area train would leave from Patti District-Tarntaran on 25th April, For Chamkaur Sahib area train would leave Morinda (Rupnagar) on 27th April.

The spokesman further said that for Varanasi, train would depart from Bathinda for people hailing from Bathinda Urban constituencyon 5th April and from Hoshiarpur on 21st April for devotees of Hoshiarpur, Chabbewal and Shamchurasi constituencies. 




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Badal seeks rare war artefacts from Army Chief for War Heroes Memorial at Amritsar
30.03.16 - pt team
Badal seeks rare war artefacts from Army Chief for War Heroes Memorial at Amritsar



Chief of the Army Staff General Dalbir Singh Suhag today assured fulsome support and cooperation to Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for providing rare war artefacts to the state government for exhibiting them in the upcoming Punjab State War Heroes Memorial and Museum at Amritsar.
 
General Suhag, who called on the Chief Minister at his residence this evening, was apprised by Badal that the Punjab State War Heroes Memorial and Museum at Amritsar was all set to be commissioned soon. He said that this world class, state of the art project costing Rs. 130 crore would cover the entire military history kaleidoscope spanning two thousand years of greater Punjab. Badal said that the memorial was a befitting tribute to the valor and supreme sacrifices made by soldiers and the officers of the Armed forces in the gallantry service of the nation.
 
The Chief Minister said that this first of its kind war Memorial to be built in the entire country. He said that for giving a zing to this upcoming memorial a number of rare war artefacts were required by the state government to exhibit the same in the memorial and this Badal sought General Suhag’s intervention in this regard.
 
Flagging up another issue, the Chief Minister asked General Suhag to give a suitable project to the state on the commemoration of 350th birth anniversary of tenth Sikh Master Sri Guru Gobind Singh in consonance with Guru’s martial spirit in and around Sri Anandpur Sahib.  He also invited General Suhag to visit Maharaja Ranjit Singh Armed Forces Preparatory Academy and Mai Bhago Armed Forces Preparatory Institute for Girls set up by the state government to impart quality training to boys and girls to join the Defence services. Badal also pleaded for giving a passage to the residents of more than 15 villages around Jalandhar Cantonment, who were experiencing lot of hardships due to construction of boundary wall by the Army authorities. He apprised the General that these residents had been using the passage within the Cantonment since long.
 
Taking part in deliberations General Suhag highly appreciated the Chief Minister for reposing immense trust in the capability and acumen of senior retired Army officers, which was evident from the fact that these astute personnel adored the top positions as administrative heads of several prestigious institutions across the state. He also thanked the Chief Minister for giving grant of Rs 1 crore for the Sainik School Kapurthala. General Suhag assured the Chief Minister that all the issues raised by him would be sorted out on the top priority.    
 
Prominent amongst other present in the meeting included Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Mr. SK Sandhu, Special Principal Secretary to Chief Minister Mr. KJS Cheema and Commander of Western Command Lieutenant General KJ Singh.
 




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Punjab ‘ghar wapsi’: Hindu groups woo Sehajdhari Sikhs
28.03.16 - By Divya Goyal*
Punjab ‘ghar wapsi’: Hindu groups woo Sehajdhari Sikhs



WITH THE Rajya Sabha passing a legislation barring Sehajdhari Sikhs from voting in the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) elections, Hindu organisations have launched a campaign, including on social media, asking the 70 lakh-strong community to "identify with their origins and join Hinduism”.
 
While the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has started "village-level interactions” to "enlighten” Sehajdhari Sikhs, a little-known outfit called Hindu Nyay Peeth has started distributing pamphlets in some villages of Ludhiana and Bathinda to convey that Hinduism was "always open” for them.
 
"The interactions have started in rural Punjab and soon seminars will be held at the grassroot-level to tell Sehajdhari Sikhs that they are not different from Hindus. We have no problem with Sehajdharis remaining in Sikhism, if they get respect and rights but if not, they should turn towards their origin. There is no need to get forcefully converted to Christianity or Islam,” said Sukhpal Singh, national executive member, VHP.
 
On March 16, the Rajya Sabha passed the Sikh Gurdwaras (Amendment) Bill 2016, excluding the Sehajdharis from voting in the fiercely contested SGPC elections, mostly won by the Shiromani Akali Dal and its allies. The Bill is expected to come up in Lok Sabha next month.
 
The amendment is expected to cap a long legal battle that the Sehajdhari Sikh Federation (SSF) had mounted against the Centre, state governments of Punjab and Haryana and the SGPC. A petition on the issue, filed by the SSF against the SGPC, is pending in Supreme Court.
 
The SSF has described the Bill as an "RSS-BJP plot” to divide the Sikh community. Sehajdharis are those who follow Sikhism but without being Amritdharis, or baptised.They do not adopt the baptismal vows of the Khalsa panth initiated by Guru Gobind Singh. They might be born in Hindu, Sikh or other families but follow Sri Guru Granth Sahib. For instance, they describe themselves as Sikhs but mostly maintain short hair.
 
One of the pamphlets, being distributed by Hindu Nyay Peeth, states that Hindus and Sikhs are "two sides of the same coin”. Written in Hindi, it goes on to condemn the amendment, but says the exclusion has "strengthened the [Hindu Nyay Peeth] stand that Sikhs are "fundamentally” Hindus, and that the "doors of the organisation are always open to them”.
 
Parveen Dang, Hindu Nyay Peeth spokesperson, said the organisation will be reaching out to Sehajdhari Sikhs in every village of Punjab. "We are ready to take them back in our fold. A conversion ritual will not be required as they are Hindus by origin. When the SGPC is rejecting them, we will give them their rights,” said Dang.
 
However, many Sehajdhari Sikhs have condemned this campaign,  maintaining that they are Sikhs, not Hindus. SSF president Paramjit Singh Ranu said, "Sikhism is an entirely different community and not same as Hindusim. But it is a slap on the face of Akali Dal… because of its support to the anti-minority agenda of the BJP, Hindu organisations are calling us ‘rejected’ and want us to join Hinduism. Sikhs are being divided, which is extremely unfortunate.”
 
When contacted, SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar said, "Hinduism and Sikhism are entirely different but Sehajdhari Sikhs cannot be allowed to vote in SGPC polls. Only Amritdhari Sikhs can vote.”
 
Major Singh, sarpanch of Dhurkote village where the pamphlets were distributed, said, "I am a Sehajdhari Sikh. Just because we are not Amritdharis, no one can snatch right of being a Sikh from us. The SGPC, for its own political benefits, is throwing us out and Hindu organisations are wooing us to increase their numbers. We are Sikhs by birth and shall remain so till death.”
 
(Courtesy : *The Indian Express)




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