Chitleen K Seth was part of Hindustan Times’ nationwide network of correspondents that brings news, analysis and information to its readers. She no longer works with the Hindustan Times.
Articles by Chitleen K Sethi
Jalandhar Bishop Franco Mulakkal, who is accused of raping a Kerala nun, is among the most powerful Christians in Punjab. Wooed by political parties across the board, the 54-year-old bishop commands great spiritual influence over Catholic Christians in the state.
The comptroller and auditor general’s performance audit of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Punjab, has found that from 2011-2016, over Rs 1,350 crore meant for the implementation of the scheme was not released while at least Rs15 crore was spent in excess for purchasing uniforms and books. It also revealed that 1,170 primary schools were running with a single teacher in the state.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) legislators, who had staged a walkout on the second day of the session, once again protested and stormed the well of the House and raised slogans against the speaker in the last 10 minutes of the session.
Punjab’s former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal was talking to mediapersons after taking oath as an MLA in the office of the assembly speaker on Monday afternoon. Accompanied by his son and former deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal — who also took oath in the speaker’ room — Badal said his government had accepted the “fatwa” of the courts and removed all CPSes.
Congress MLAs have long given up the tradition of wearing white ‘pagris’ and on Friday they had chosen more “sacred” colours for their headgear. Chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh wore a beige ‘pagri’, a shift from his favourite light pink or light blue. There were others who completed the palette — Sukhjinder Randhawa chose light peach, Rana Gurmeet Sodhi chose bright pink, Pargat Singh donned dark purple and Balbir Sidhu chose magenta. Charanjit Channi sported a red ‘pagri’ and some even wore orange.
Aam Aadmi Party leader Harvinder Singh Phoolka, who won the Punjab assembly seat from Dakha, has been chosen as the leader of opposition in the 15th Vidhan Sabha. Sukhpal Singh Khaira, state legislator from Bholath, will be the party’s chief whip.
A day before Capt Amarinder Singh takes oath as Punjab chief minister on March 16, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal will meet his party’s newly elected 20 legislators and senior leaders in Delhi on Wednesday to select the leader of opposition in the Punjab assembly.
A day after facing a crushing defeat in the Punjab assembly elections, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Sunday decided to hold a meeting of its MLAs after Holi to finalise the leader of Opposition in the Vidhan Sabha. The name will be announced before March 16, the day the chief minister will be sworn in.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) party appears to have lost a winning battle in Punjab, and the reasons are not difficult to assess.
For the first time, the new Punjab assembly will have a two-pronged Opposition with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) sharing the benches with their bête noir, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).
The Aam Aadmi Party’s national ambitions have taken a huge hit as the party failed to match its own expectations in Punjab and drew a blank in Goa.
Updated on Mar 11, 2017 11:59 PM IST
Hindustan Times, New Delhi/Chandigarh/Panaji | ByJatin Gandhi/Chitleen K Sethi/Nida Khan
A host of reasons counteracted the hype over the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) chances of winning the 2017 assembly elections in Punjab — the foremost being infighting, losing its campaign novelty as it started too early, and lack of knowledge about local traditions and nuances.
In a major policy decision, the Punjab government has asked village panchayats across the state to use one-third of the village common land (shamlat land) for planting trees. The state has around 1.5 lakh acres of village common land, a large part of which is used for cultivation.
The Punjab vigilance bureau (VB) has initiated five separate probes into allegations of embezzlement of gram panchayat funds by village sarpanches and panches across Punjab. While two of these probes pertain to panchayats in Ferozepur district, one each is from SAS Nagar, Amritsar and Patiala districts.
Punjab has voted already, and the results are a month away, but the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is still on the warpath. The party has launched a statewide ‘AAP protects EVMs’ drive as part of which 15,000 volunteers of the party will keep a watch on strongrooms where the electronic voting machines (EVMs) have been kept till the counting day, March 11.
He may be desperate to lead the nation into a new world “jahan gham bhi na ho, aansoo bhi na ho” but Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal instead of posting pictures of AAP voters bringing in the much promised revolution in Punjab on polling day, ranted against the Election Commission, blaming, you guessed it, Prime Minister Narendra Modi for its “biased functioning”.
The nail biting Punjab election finale today has most poll experts and punters setting their odds on who will win. With the rapidly changing ground situation, a thrilling contest among SAD-BJP, Congress and the newbie AAP is on the cards.
An interview with Sanjay Singh, the AAP’s Punjab affairs in-charge, on poll eve in the state. He says: “People of Punjab have given overwhelming response to our campaigning, even in the absence of a CM face. They want to bid good riddance to a government that promotes drugs and goondaism.”
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday accused AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal of allegedly helping “forces” seeking to push Punjab back into militancy, prompting a sharp retort from the Delhi chief minister in a high-voltage end to campaigning in the state.
In an unusual move four days before Punjab goes to the polls, Union minister and Badal bahu Harsimrat Kaur Badal made a desperate appeal to voters to consider her family’s “sacrifice” during the decade-long Akali rule only to be trolled on social media by Aam Aadmi Party supporters, who wanted people to give the ruling family “much-needed rest for the next 10 years”.
With barely five days to go for the high octane assembly polls, campaigning has touched its crescendo in Punjab. Parties in the fray are not leaving any chance to pin each other down. The result: Barbs are flying thick and fast, and so are allegations.
Updated on Jan 31, 2017 09:35 AM IST
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | ByChitleen K Sethi, Chandigarh
He might not be the favourite, but is still the defending champion in what is fast becoming the most thrilling electoral match in Punjab’s history, and Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal is giving it his best shot.
Nearly at an hour’s drive from Patiala, this non-descript village, part of Sanaur assembly segment, bears a festive look. It’s election time and the walls of the houses are splashed with Akali blue-yellow posters bearing list of achievements accomplished in the past three months.
Six months ago when 34-year-old Satbir Singh Khatra was made the halqa in-charge of Patiala Rural, replacing Kuldeep Kaur Tohra, the daughter of Akali stalwart late Gurcharan Singh Tohra, it was clear that the winds of change had begun to blow in the jathedar-driven party.
Simranjit Singh Mann, 71, has a skip in his step. As he settles in a chair to address a press conference on Friday, announcing the first set of candidates his party Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) will field in the coming assembly polls, his eyes gleam with hope.
As the poll fever catches up in Punjab despite cash crunch, political outfits are facing another crunch—of candidates. A large number of parties and outfits are interested in fielding candidates in the high-stakes polls. But the hunt for suitable candidates is becoming quite an exercise, at least for the new and lesser-known outfits.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Punjab has made a fresh appeal for donations to contest the forthcoming assembly polls. However, unlike earlier, this time the party will be keeping its list of donors a “top secret”. The AAP, which had taken a high moral stand on the issue of maintaining absolute transparency regarding its finances, has decided, for the time being, to keep all the information guarded.
The declaration of the chief ministerial candidate by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Goa that goes to polls almost at the same time as Punjab has brought the focus back on the big question – who will be party’s CM candidate in Punjab?
Hard-working, straight-talking CM who brought militancy to an end in the state met with a violent end. But his family continues to thrive in the business of politics
In what smacks of a case of backdoor admission of thousands of students in Punjab’s private polytechnics, the Punjab State Technical Education Board has in the past fortnight “updated” its students’ database, adding “missing entries” of nearly 6,000 students.