Badal fate hangs in poll balance
Chandigarh: Two persons were killed in clashes between rival party workers during panchayat elections in Punjab on Sunday, reports our correspondent.
Elections were held to 12,396 panchayats, with polls in 100 local bodies deferred for various reasons, including irregularities in voter lists.
The turnout was 80 per cent.
Although panchayat polls are not contested along party lines, leaders belonging to the ruling Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal campaigned for village heads owing allegiance to the two parties.
Both parties are keenly awaiting the results, especially in the light of the recent merger of Gurcharan Singh Tohra’s Sarv Hind Shiromani Akali Dal with the Parkash Singh Badal-led Dal. However, the united Dal could not campaign effectively in the poll run-up because Tohra was ill and Badal preoccupied with the corruption cases brought against him by the Amarinder Singh government.
The Akalis have a strong rural base, which the Congress is trying desperately to dent. A poor showing by either party could decide the future course of state politics.
If the Congress wrests most of the Akali-held panchayats, it will become easier for the chief minister to fulfil his vow to jail Badal. A number of cases have been filed against the Akali chief and vigilance raids were carried out on Badal’s houses on Saturday in connection with a disproportionate assets case.
CBI eye on poet’s mobile calls
Lucknow (PTI): The cbi team investigating the murder of poet Madhumita Shukla, on Sunday searched her house for evidence and turned its focus on the frequent calls she made from her mobile phone to 11 vips in the two days before her murder.
The cbi team searched the residence of the slain poet for clues. Fingerprints were taken and all possible documents and papers searched, sources said.
The sleuths are now concentrating on a printout of Madhumita’s mobile phone calls. The sim card had revealed that in the last couple of days prior to her murder, Madhumita had made frequent calls to 11 people, including politicians, bureaucrats and two journalists.
Sources said these people may also be questioned about Madhumita’s life, her living style and her acquaintances.
On Sunday, former minister Amarmani Tripathi, who was sacked in connection with the murder, flew out of the state capital. He has gone to Delhi, sources at his residence said, and is expected to return in a day or two.
SBI asked to pay damages
Akola (PTI): A district consumer redressal forum has asked the State Bank of India to pay Rs 2,000 as compensation to a customer for deficiency in service.
In a complaint to the Akola district consumer redressal forum, Mihiniraj Narhari said he had taken a loan from the bank for which his house was mortgaged to it in 1992.
After repaying the loan, he filed an application for cancellation of the mortgage. The bank, however, did not take cognisance. SBI said the mortgage was cancelled on October 4, 2002, 19 months after Narhari had filed his application on February 24, 2001.
Ahmedabad (PTI): A case has been registered against the son of minister of state for cow protection and tourism Prabhatsinh Chauhan for allegedly committing fraud. Police said an automobile dealer registered a complaint against Umesh Chauhan for allegedly not paying for a car he had bought from him.
Nashik (PTI): Three engineers of the irrigation department were caught bribing a panchayat samiti member. The anti-corruption bureau caught the three bribing Gyaneshwar Sitaram Bhoye with Rs 10,000 in return for withdrawing a complaint.
Mumbai (pti): Salman Khan will face trial in a sessions court on Wednesday, nine months after the actor rammed his vehicle into a shop, killing one person and injuring four. A key witness will also be examined on that day.
Ghaziabad (PTI): Over a dozen people have succumbed to jaundice and gastroenteritis in the last three days in the district, medical officers said on Sunday. Nine of the victims are from Ghaziabad, where the number of cases have gone up by 1,500, a medical officer said.
Rohtak (PTI): Four members of a family in Jhajjar have been booked by police following the death of a woman married in the family. Raghbir Singh of Farmana village alleged that his daughter, Poonam, had been poisoned to death by her husband and in-laws for dowry.
The banking sector in Madurai has recognised self-help groups of sex workers at the intervention of district collector B. Chandra Mohan. Once reluctant to even permit these groups to open accounts, banks will now offer loan to enable them to quit the trade.