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Embarrassment for Badal government as top functionary begins fast

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Amritsar, Punjab’s Parkash Singh Badal government had to face an embarrassment on Saturday when Chief Parliamentary Secretary Navjot Kaur Sidhu started a fast-unto-death, saying her assembly constituency was being neglected in terms of development.

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indianexpress.com

Sidhu, the wife of cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu and a sitting Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislator from Amritsar-east constituency, started the fast near the Bhandari Bridge in this Sikh holy city along with her supporters.

That Navjot Kaur Sidhu chose to begin her fast-unto-death on the occasion of the 69th Independence Day has further embarrassed the Badal government.
“I have started the protest to get funds and projects for my constituency,” Navjot Kaur Sidhu told the media at her protest site.
Navjot Kaur Sidhu had, in recent months, raised the issue of neglect of her assembly constituency and non-release of funds several times but failed to get any favourable response.
Navjot Kaur Sidhu, a doctor by profession, is entrusted with the work of the health department as a chief parliamentary secretary.

The post of a chief parliamentary secretary is junior to a minister but carries most of the perks, privileges and protocol associated with a minister.

The Shiromani Akali Dal and the BJP have been running an alliance government in the state since 2007.

On being asked about the protest started by the chief parliamentary secretary, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal dismissed the issue saying “the SAD-BJP alliance was an everlasting one and it was an unflinching bond”.

Former Amritsar MP and BJP leader Navjot Singh Sidhu had also announced a fast-unto-death in Amritsar in September 2013 to protest against the apathy of the Badal government towards the Amritsar Lok Sabha constituency.

He was the sitting MP of Amritsar at that time. However, the fast was called off at the last moment after Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and then BJP president Rajnath Singh intervened and pacified him.

(IANS)

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Concerned Over The Rise of Drug Usage In The State: Himachal Governor

A three-day horse trade-cum-exhibition was organised before the beginning of the Lavi Fair.

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There are countless mothers who have been constantly tormented by drug-dependent adolescent children. Pixabay

Himachal Pradesh Governor Acharya Devvrat on Sunday expressed concern over the rise in drug addiction, particularly among the youth in the state, and called for concerted efforts to tackle the menace.

“Effective steps have been taken by the government and police administration, but we all need to work together in this direction,” he said at the inauguration of the centuries-old Lavi Fair in Rampur town, which was once a centre of barter trade with Tibet.

He called upon the people to promote natural farming. The state government has made a provision of Rs 25 crore to promote natural or organic farming to produce chemical-free food.

The 400-year-old Lavi Fair has undergone a sea change with the rural folk’s changing lifestyles and aspirations, resulting in a greater sale of gadgets and automobiles than traditional items such as farm implements, livestock and dry fruits.

Himachal
‘The traders from across the border have stopped coming’ Pixabay

The fair dates back to the time when Raja Kehari Singh of Rampur Bushahr state signed a treaty to promote trade with Tibet.

Rampur, 120 kilometres from state capital Shimla, was once a major trade centre as it is located on the old silk route connecting Afghanistan, Tibet and Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir.

“People have stopped buying farm implements, horses and sheep. Now, they prefer to shop luxury goods like television sets and automobiles,” trader Ishwar Goyal told IANS.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur will preside over the concluding session of the fair on November 14.

Another trader Deepak Negi said Rampur was a centre of trade before the 1962 India-China war.

The traders from Tibet used to bring raw wool, butter, herbs and leather products and bartered them for wheat, rice, farm implements and livestock.

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Rampur, 120 kilometres from state capital Shimla, was once a major trade centre as it is located on the old silk route connecting Afghanistan. Pixabay

“Now, the traders from across the border have stopped coming. Indian multinational companies come here to sell their products. The fair has largely lost its relevance,” he added.

A three-day horse trade-cum-exhibition was organised before the beginning of the Lavi Fair. The main attraction during the exhibition were the Chamurthi horses – an endangered species known as the ‘Ship Of the Cold Desert’. Being a surefooted animal, it is mainly used for transporting goods in the Himalayas.

Also Read: Quitting Junk Food May Cause You to Suffer Withdrawal Symptoms Similar to Drug Addition

The Chamurthi horse traces its origin to the Tibet region. In India, it’s bred in the villages of Himachal Pradesh bordering China.

The fair sees several folk artistes from Punjab and Himachal Pradesh perform. (IANS)