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Vishal Rambani

Vishal Rambani is an assistant editor covering Punjab. A journalist with over a decade of experience, he writes on politics, crime, power sector, environment and socio-economic issues. He has several investigative stories to his credit.

Articles by Vishal Rambani

Uncertainty looms over Cong sitting MPs Sadiq, Dimpa’s candidature

Both, along with other Punjab MPs, had met the former Congress president Sonia Gandhi on April 5, however while the names of MPs Manish Tewari, Dr Amar Singh, and Gurjeet Singh Aujla were included in the list, Sadiq and Dimpa missed the bus

Sadiq currently represents the Faridkot segment, while Dimpa is a parliamentarian from the Khadoor Sahib segment. (HT file)
Updated on Apr 16, 2024 07:44 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Ex-CM Channi to contest from Jalandhar, Khaira is Sangrur pick in Congress’ list of six candidates for Punjab

Congress unveils its Punjab Lok Sabha candidates, including Sukhpal Singh Khaira in Sangrur, setting up a fierce battle against AAP and Akali Dal candidates.

Sukhpal Singh Khaira will face off against sitting MP Simranjit Singh Mann of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), AAP candidate and minister Gurmeet Singh Hayer, as well as Iqbal Singh Jhoonda of the Shiromani Akali Dal
Updated on Apr 15, 2024 08:02 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Guava orchard scam: VB seeks Punjab govt approval to act against IAS, PCS officials

Sanction has been sought under Section 17-A of the PC Act against IAS officers Vipul Ujjawal and Rajesh Dhiman and PCS officer Jagdeep Saigal among others

Sanction has been sought under Section 17-A of the PC Act against IAS officers Vipul Ujjawal and Rajesh Dhiman and PCS officer Jagdeep Saigal among others.
Updated on Apr 07, 2024 07:54 AM IST

Liquor meant for sale in Gurdaspur, Bathinda smuggled into ‘dry’ Bihar

Of the total liquor seized in Bihar in the past three months, 41% has been manufactured in Punjab and 7% in Haryana. This hints at pilferage of liquor and extra neutral alcohol (ENA) -- primarily used as a base for spirits and alcoholic beverages -- from distilleries, which are being monitored through CCTV cameras 24X7 by the excise officials

Liquor meant for sale in vends across Punjab’s Gurdaspur and Bathinda districts is being smuggled into Bihar, which was declared a dry state in April 2016
Updated on Apr 07, 2024 07:30 AM IST

Hit by high-profile defections, Congress set to fall back on heavyweights in Punjab

Likely to field Dharamvira Gandhi against Preneet in MP, Sukhpal Khaira in Sangrur, former CM Channi in Jalandhar

With the state expected to see a multi-cornered contest as no major party has entered an alliance here, the Congress is also hoping to cash in on the division of votes. (HT File)
Updated on Apr 02, 2024 08:00 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Lodge FIR against DSP, 2 other cops for implicating PCS officer in graft case, ays Punjab home department

All three cops were posted in the vigilance bureau when the trio conspired with two private transporters to implicate the PCS officer on graft charges

Lodge FIR against DSP, 2 other cops for implicating PCS officer in graft case, ays Punjab home department
Updated on Apr 01, 2024 07:46 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Four Punjab Cong MPs scotch speculation on BJP switch

Jakhar during a press conference in Chandigarh, had said: “Anything can happen, you never know”, while replying to a question if Tewari could join BJP in the coming days

In another development, Punjab Congress welcomed back former two-time MLA Luv Kumar Goldy and former cabinet minister Malkit Singh Birmi into the party fold. (HT photo)
Updated on Mar 29, 2024 06:30 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

ED summons 3 Punjab officials over excise policy

After Delhi CM Kejriwal's arrest, ED turns to Punjab, summons officials linked to excise policy. Opposition seeks ED probe into state's liquor policy.

The enforcement directorate has sent a letter to the Punjab government to ask its officers to join the probe
Updated on Mar 28, 2024 08:26 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Drugs and graft case: More trouble for Punjab Police DIG Inderbir as co-accused turns approver

In a fresh trouble for 2007-batch IPS officer deputy inspector general (DIG) of police Inderbir Singh, a Tarn Taran court has declared one of the co-accused --- suspended deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Lakhbir Singh Sandhu --- as an approver in a drugs and corruption case of 2022

Deputy inspector general (DIG) of police Inderbir Singh.
Updated on Mar 22, 2024 07:06 AM IST

Navjot Sidhu back in the IPL commentary box, not playing ball for LS polls

Before he joined politics two decades ago, Sidhu, 60, was a popular cricket commentator, known for his one-liners and witty remarks

Navjot Singh Sidhu will return to commentary duties in IPL 2024. (File photo.)
Published on Mar 19, 2024 04:01 PM IST

Lok Sabha polls: Sidhu’s googly for Punjab Congress, joins IPL as commentator

This rules out his contesting LS elections as the party was planning to field him from Patiala in a likely contest against outgoing MP Preneet Kaur, who quit the Congress to join the BJP last week.

Cicketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu has bowled another googly, leaving the Congress in a tizzy as he announced his joining the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 season as a commentator. (ANI file photo)
Updated on Mar 19, 2024 02:59 PM IST

Two years of AAP govt: Free power powers populism in Punjab

The Aam Aadmi Party had in July 2022 implemented its poll promise of providing 300 units of power free to each consumer every month. Since then it has directly benefited 88% consumers to the tune of ₹11,500 crore.

Almost 90% of Punjab’s households got zero electricity bills last month. Of the 38 lakh consumers billed by the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL), 33.5 lakh got zero bill for electricity consumption. (HT File)
Updated on Mar 16, 2024 08:30 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Two years of AAP govt: Punjab’s fight against corruption on course

The VB unearthed the foodgrain transportation scam, the Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC) plot scam, transport department illegal verification scam besides the forest department scam

The VB filed a chargesheet against Punjab Police deputy inspector general Inderbir Singh, while cases of two more IPS officers are being investigated. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Updated on Mar 16, 2024 08:24 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

With Preneet’s exit, Cong struggling to find ‘suitable’ candidate from Patiala

With sitting MP Preneet Kaur, now suspended from the party, set to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday, the grand old party is finding it hard to find a suitable candidate from the Patiala seat for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls

MP Preneet Kaur.
Updated on Mar 14, 2024 06:46 AM IST

Punjab VB probing PPAs sends teams to private thermal plants after government nudge

Probing PPAs signed during the decade-long Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) regime between 2007 and 2017 is one of the main poll promises of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and CM Bhagwant Mann-led government after getting assent to the Bill scrapping the Punjab State Vigilance Commission Repeal Bill, on October 25 ordered VB to start the probe afresh

Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB), tasked with probing the alleged inflated power purchase agreements (PPAs), has started the physical assessment of constructions and equipment at the private thermal plants which contribute to fixed costs
Updated on Mar 12, 2024 08:30 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Bacchus lovers cheer as IMFL prices to be slashed by 20% in Punjab under Excise Policy 2024-25

Punjab government is looking to increase the check on smuggling of cheaper alternatives from other states in the Excise Policy 2024-25

Punjab unveiled its Excise Policy 2024-25. (HT File)
Updated on Mar 10, 2024 08:34 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Punjab vigilance files chargesheet against DIG Inderbir in 2 bribery cases

DIG Inderbir is already in the thick of controversy as he was indicted by a Supreme Court-appointed inquiry committee, led by Justice Indu Malhotra (retd), for dereliction of duty, causing a breach in the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s security during his Punjab visit in 2022. Inderbir was then posted as DIG Ferozepur. The case has been moved for major punishment.

2007-batch IPS officer, deputy inspector general (DIG) of police Inderbir Singh is the first DIG-rank IPS officer in Punjab Police to be indicted by the VB in two cases. (HT File)
Updated on Mar 08, 2024 09:00 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

40% of urban couples opting for IVF due to effects of pollution and environmental degradation, says health minister

Punjab health minister says 40% of urban couples turn to IVF due to environmental degradation. MLAs call for laws to protect environment and assess crop damage.

Punjab health minister Dr Balbir Singh
Updated on Mar 08, 2024 08:10 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

RDF withheld: Punjab banks on centrally sponsored schemes for rural devp

Finance minister Harpal Cheema said the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government is committed to provide all-round development for the rural population, by providing basic amenities and creating rural employment and rural livelihood, and an allocation of ₹3,154 crore has been made towards this.

With nearly <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>5,500 crore Rural Development Fund (RDF) stuck in a legal wrangle, Punjab will be banking on Centrally Sponsored Schemes, such as Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, 2005, Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana etc, for rural development. (HT File)
Updated on Mar 06, 2024 08:28 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

10% of Punjab budget to go towards power subsidies

Out of the total outlay of ₹2.04 lakh crore for the upcoming fiscal, a whopping ₹20,477 crore will go towards power subsidies in the form of free electricity to farmers and domestic users, and subsidies for industrialists.

Presenting the state budget on Tuesday, Punjab finance minister Harpal Singh Cheema said, “Our government is committed to our “Annadatas” (farmers) and as a gesture of our continued support to them, we have allocated <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>9,330 crore towards power subsidy for agriculture.” (PTI)
Updated on Mar 06, 2024 08:22 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Faulty district survey reports delayed environmental clearance for mining, says Punjab mining department report

The mining department says faulty district survey reports (DSRs) were prepared by a private firm which has been blacklisted

The report further said that this caused a huge loss, amounting to crores of rupees in revenue to the state government and stalled the mining work in Pathankot and Ropar for more than one and a half years.
Updated on Feb 27, 2024 07:48 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Allotment of industrial plots: Punjab govt grants nod to prosecute 6 ex-PSIEC officials

The Punjab government has granted prosecution sanction against six officials of the Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC) into the alleged irregularities in the allotment, regularisation, and bifurcation of industrial plots

The Punjab government has granted prosecution sanction against six officials of the Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC) into the alleged irregularities in the allotment, regularisation, and bifurcation of industrial plots.
Updated on Feb 23, 2024 08:06 AM IST

Eyeing poll dividends AAP government in Punjab goes soft on farmers

As per reports, as the farmers started their mobilisation to Delhi, the Punjab government gave clear instructions to the district administration not to stop them and ease their movement to the border

Farmers during their protest at Shambu Border on Wednesday. (Ravi Kumar/ HT)
Updated on Feb 15, 2024 09:10 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Four-time Cong MP Preneet Kaur set to join BJP

Preneet Kaur, a prominent face of the Congress in the royal city, is set to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) next week. Presently, suspended by the Congress for alleged anti-party activities, Preneet openly supports the saffron party in her stronghold, Patiala.

Four-time Patiala MP Preneet Kaur, a prominent face of the Congress in the royal city, is set to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) next week. (ANI File Photo)
Updated on Feb 13, 2024 08:24 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Punjab panchayat elections likely after Lok Sabha polls

As the government is already gearing up for parliamentary polls, the elections for panchayats will be held after the Lok Sabha elections in Punjab. The Panchayati Raj Act also provides a provision for holding elections within six months from the completion of the term of a panchayat.

With the poll bugle for the Lok Sabha elections having been sounded, Punjab is likely to hold general elections for the Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) after the parliamentary elections. (HT File Photo)
Updated on Feb 07, 2024 08:48 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

11 players from Punjab given PCS, PPS jobs

Indian women’s cricket team skipper was appointed as DSP again after she was stripped of the rank in 2018 owing to a fake degree

CM Bhagwant Mann giving appointment letter to Indian women’s cricket team skipper Harmanpreet Kaur in Chandigarh on Sunday. (Sourced)
Updated on Feb 05, 2024 07:48 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

Banwarilal Purohit resigns as Punjab governor, UT administrator; cites ‘personal reasons’

In a short letter to President Droupadi Murmu, Banwarilal Purohit cited personal reasons behind tendering his resignation.

Punjab governor Banwarilal Purohit at the Parliament House complex during the Budget session in New Delhi on Friday. (PTI)
Updated on Feb 04, 2024 08:18 AM IST

Punjab governor Banwarilal Purohit resigns over personal reasons

In a short letter written to the President of India, Banwarilal Purohit, 83, cited personal reasons behind tendering his resignation

Banwarilal Purohit with Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann. (File Photo)
Updated on Feb 03, 2024 04:10 PM IST
By, Chandigarh

Punjab Congress suspends Navjot Sidhu’s Moga rally organisers

PPCC president Amarinder Singh Raja Warring had warned of strict action against leaders’ indiscipline several times. However, action has been taken against only the event organisers and not Sidhu, against whom a report had been sent to the party high command too.

Former PPCC president Navjot Singh Sidhu addressing rally in Moga. (HT file)
Updated on Jan 28, 2024 06:34 AM IST
By, Chandigarh

2020 graft case: After 4 yrs VB gets nod to prosecute assistant excise and taxation commissioner Rajesh Bhandari

Assistant excise and taxation commissioner (AETC) Rajesh Bhandari, who was posted at the Shambhu barrier in the excise and taxation department’s (mobile wing), was arrested on January 15, 2020, by the VB sleuths after his driver was caught accepting a bribe on his behalf in Chandigarh.

A VB official, who did not wish to be named, said the bureau after completing the investigation wrote to the financial commissioner taxation, on March 13, 2020, seeking permission for prosecution
Updated on Jan 17, 2024 08:50 AM IST
By, Chandigarh
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