Chandigarh, November 8: Strongly condemning the withdrawal of SPG cover from Sonia Gandhi and her children, Rahul and Priyanka, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has demanded immediate revocation of the central government’s 'politically motivated' decision.

Reacting to the announcement of the Centre’s decision, the Chief Minister urged the central government to reconsider its decision, particularly in view of the security scenario currently prevailing in the country, with the terror threat from across the border growing every day.

Considering that Sonia Gandhi’s husband Rajiv Gandhi and mother-in-law Indira Gandhi were assassinated, the grant of SPG cover to the Gandhi family was not a political favour but a necessity, said Captain Amarinder.

By withdrawing the Special Protection (SPG) cover of the Congress President, as well as MP Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the central government had showed extreme pettiness and a total disregard for the safety of a family that had made huge sacrifices for the country, the Chief Minister said.

Recalling the SPG withdrawal of former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh a few months ago, the Chief Minister said neither decision was based on ground reality. The reason given for SPG withdrawal of the Gandhis clearly endorsed this, he said, citing reports indicating that the security review that led to the latest decision had found that the Gandhi family ‘did not cooperate and impeded smooth functioning of SPG by not using the SPG protection on several occasions.’

“Does that justify the withdrawal of the SPG cover from the family,” he asked, adding that if the Centre did feel so strongly about this, it should have taken up the matter with the Gandhis. Not using the SPG protection cannot be interpreted to mean that the security threat that had necessitated the cover in the first place had disappeared, he added.

Captain said that in Punjab, he had ensured continuation of the same security cover to former Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal, and his son and former Deputy Chief Minister, Sukhbir Badal, that they enjoyed while in office in view of the threat they continue to face.




Chandigarh, November 8: Seriously perturbed over reports of the launch of a secessionist, anti-India app by Google, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday directed his officers to take up the matter with the IT giant, even as he urged the Centre to direct the company to take down the controversial app immediately.

The state government has taken up the issue with Google, said an official spokesperson, adding that, acting on the Chief Minister’s directives, DGP Punjab Dinkar Gupta is also coordinating with the central security agencies to tackle the threat triggered by the launch of the ‘2020 Sikh Referendum’ App, just ahead of the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor.

The App, freely available for download on Google Play, is clearly aimed at pushing the ISI agenda of dividing the Sikh community amid the 550th Prakash Purb celebrations of Sri Guru Nanak Dev ji, said the Chief Minister, demanding that the app be immediately taken off.

“How and why Google allowed such an App to be uploaded by a known radical extremist group in the first place is questionable,” said the Chief Minister, expressing shock at the IT company’s irresponsible act in letting this happen. Google should remove the App from its Play store without a minute’s delay if it did not want to be perceived to be supporting an extremist group, he asserted.

The Chief Minister said the development raises serious concerns about the security threat to Punjab specifically, and to India as a whole. The timing of the launch of App indicates a patently sinister agenda by ISI to leverage the opportunity created by the Kartarpur Corridor to divide the Indian Sikh community, said Captain Amarinder, who has been repeatedly cautioning India against the ISI design behind the Pakistani decision to open the Corridor.

Pointing out that the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ), under whose guise the ISI has been pushing Referendum 2020, had been declared as an Unlawful Association under UAPA by the central government some months ago, the Chief Minister said the organisation’s brazen involvement in violent acts had prompted the action against it. However, with the sustained support of ISI, the SFJ continued to push its anti-India campaign, and the Google App was just the latest in the series of tools it was employing to further its agenda, he added.

Underlining the need for India to stay on high alert in the light of the persistent attempts by ISI to destabilize Punjab with its secessionist activities, Captain Amarinder reiterated that extreme caution would have to be exercised on the momentous occasion of the opening of the Kartarpur Corridor. While every Sikh aspired for 'darshan' at the historic Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara, Pakistan should not try to play any games that threaten the integrity and peace of the country.


550thPrakashPurb of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji

Dera Baba Nanak Utsav commences with Spiritual Richness

  • Cooperation Minister Randhawa inaugurates 4 day Utsav

Chandigarh/Dera Baba Nanak (Gurdaspur), November 8:

“The main rationale behind organizing ‘Dera Baba Nanak Utsav’ on the occasion of opening of Sri Kartarpur Sahib Corridor on eve of 550thPrakashPurb celebrations of Sahib Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, is to connect all the sections of the society especially the youth with the philosophy of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji and exhort them to follow these in life.” These views were expressed here today by the Cooperation and Jails Minister, Punjab, S. Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa after inaugurating the utsav. He also said that the opening of the corridor brings to the fruition the long pending wish of the Nanak NaamLevaSangat.

Earlier, S. Randhawa formally inaugurated the 4 day utsav having religious, spiritual and artistic colours. This utsav is being organized by all the institutions of the cooperative sector from 8th-11th November. Despite the heavy downpour that the town witnessed yesterday which sent the arrangements at main pandal and the tented city into a tizzy, the enthusiasm of the vast number of people coming to witness the Dera Baba Nanak Utsav added to the spiritual atmosphere .

In his address on the occasion, S. Randhawa said that apart from the religious, the cultural and artistic presentations are also being showcased in the utsav so as to help connect maximum people with the philosophy of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji. He further added that renowned Poets, Writers, Playwrights are participating in the utsav who would also spread awareness about the all-encompassing philosophy of Sri Guru Nanak DevJi in various educational institutions. He also said that working for the entire humanity in a selfless manner today is the need of the hour and it is the real purpose of commemorating the centenaries of Guru Sahiban.

The 50 ragi artists of Khalsa College, Amritsar started the utsav with the ‘Aarti’ in the praise of flora and fauna recited by Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji. After that, the students of Police DAV School, Amritsar made a mesmerizing presentation of the action song ‘Guru Nanak Mahima’. The play directed by the Shiromani Award winning playwright Dr. Kewal Dhaliwal titled ‘Jagat Guru Baba Nanak’ was also very ably presented highlighting the ideology and life of Sri Guru Nanak DevJi.

In the aftermath of this, the popular folk dance ‘Malwai Giddha’ was presented which captivated the audience. The special feature of the presentation were the ‘Boliyan’ related to Sri Guru Nanak DevJi. The minister on the occasion released 5 books dedicated to the prakashpurb. These were, ‘Kartarpur Karta VaseySantanKePaas’ (Prithipal Singh Kapoor), ‘Guru Nanak-ParamparaAteyDarshan’ edited by Dr. Amarjit Singh, ‘Guru Nanak BaniAtey Punjabi Chintan’ edited by Dr. Naresh, ‘Jithe Baba Pair Dhare’ edited by Dr. KewalDhaliwal and special edition of KaavShastar dedicated to Sri Guru Nanak DevJi.

Among other dignitaries present on the occasion included the Chairman of Punjab Kala Parishad Dr. SurjitPatar, Chairman of Sarbat Da Bhala Trust Dr. S.P.S. Oberoi, MD Markfed Mr. VarunRoojam, MDMilkfed Mr. Kamaldeep Singh Sangha, MD Sugarfed Mr. PuneetGoyal. MD Punjab State Cooperative Bank Limited Dr. S.K. Batish, Coordinator of the utsav Mr. Amarjit Singh Grewal and Mr. Bhagwant Singh Sachar.


  • Punjab Government to facilitate means to increment the income of Fair Price Shop holders-Ashu
  • Vast array of consumables, fresh fruit juices, pickles MARKFED products and 5 Kg LPG cylinders to be sold at Fair Price Shops

Chandigarh, November 8:Coming forward for hand holding of the Fair Price Shop owners, the State government would facilitate the ways and means to increment their income, informed Mr.Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Food and Civil Supplies Minister Punjab in a meeting with the office bearers of Depot Holders Associations at Anaj Bhawan, Chandigarh.

The Minister informed that so far the Fair Price Shop owners distribute only the food grains which fetches them margin money but at the behest of Depot Holders, the Department of Food and Civil Supplies has facilitated their meeting with some companies who would provide them consumables to that they may transform their depots into full fledged Kiryana/Grocery Stores and more articles are made available to Smart Card holders at a reasonable cost.

Mr. Bharat Bhushan said that the representatives of Hindustan Unilever Limited, HPMC (Himachal Pradesh Horticultural Produce Marketing and Processing Corporation. Ltd), Indian Oil Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum have participated in the meeting and shared their offers which include the vast array of consumables, fresh fruit juices and pickles. He said that besides this, the permission has already been granted to sell MARKFED products and 5 Kg LPG cylinders. He said that the companies are willing to work out the modalities with the depot holders and strike a deal with them, with the role of government being galvanising the two.

He said that it has been brought into his notice that the sale of 5 Kg LPG cylinders by depot holders to Rehriwalas and other similar consumers faced some hassles as the local gas agencies poach their customers. This was brought into the immediate notice of the representatives of Indian Oil Corporation who in turn assured to resolve the issue.

Besides the Ration Depot Holders and the representatives of various companies, Ms. Anindita Mitra, Director Food and Civil Supplies Department was present on the occasion.