CMYK www.thestatesman.com THURSDAY FIND US ONLINE 8 FEBRUARY 2018 Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 20 |` 5.00|LC* KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P9 SENSEX 34,082.71 -113.23 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky with mist in the morning. Max and min temp likely to be 32 and 19 degree celsius, respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Min. 27% Max: 32.1°C (+4) SUN RISES 06:12 hrs MOON RISES 00.04 hrs Min: 17.7°C (+1) SUN SETS 17:29 hrs MOON SETS 11:39 hrs TEMPERATURE P9 NIFTY 10,476.70 -21.55 First moon quarter on 10 February THUMBNAILS Jhulan takes 200 ODI wickets: India's veteran pacer Jhulan Goswami (photo) added another feather to her illustrious cap by becoming the first woman cricketer to take 200 ODI wickets. Goswami achieved the feat during the second ODI between India and South Africa in Kimberley. The 35-year-old, playing her 166th ODI, dismissed opener Laura Wolvaardt for her 200th scalp. Interestingly, the first male cricketer to pick 200 ODI wickets, was also an Indian -- the great Kapil Dev. Separatists call for Valley shutdown: The Hurriyat leadership has called for two days shutdown in the Kashmir valley on the death anniversary of Afzal Guru and Maqbool Butt respectively on 9 and 11 February. The top separatists, Syed Alishah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik have asked the people to observe complete shutdown on two days. Afzal Guru was hanged in Tihar Jail on 9 February after being convicted for his role in the terrorist attack on Parliament in 2001. Congress president Rahul Gandhi today accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of protecting those behind alleged corruption in the Rafale deal and said he needs to answer the country on questions posed to him on it and on farmers and jobs instead of making allegations in Parliament. Rahul Gandhi made the accusation while reacting to Modi's speech in the Lok Sabha, which, he dubbed as a “political and campaign speech”. “We expected a vision. Instead we got a visionless election speech. It didn't have the gravitas or maturity you would expect of the prime minister,” he said in a statement. Echoing Rahul Gandhi's views, Congress Parliamentary Party leader Sonia Gandhi asserted that the Prime Minister has said nothing new and he is repeating old things. “People are interested about their jobs, they want to know about their future,” she said after Modi's reply to the debate in the Lok Sabha on the motion of thanks on the president's address. The Congress chief also accused the prime minister of being obsessed with the Congress party, saying it is doing disservice to the nation by not focussing on its future. “We are happy with the prime minister to be obsessed with the Congress party, but it is a disservice for our prime minister to spend so much time on the Congress and so little on the future of the nation. “The nation has reposed its trust in the prime minister. It expects the prime minister to respond with seriousness towards its problems,” he said in his first official statement.Describing the prime minister's speech as a “political and campaign” speech, Rahul Gandhi said Modi seems to have forgotten that he is the prime minister and not an opposition leader. Alleging that something wrong has happened in the Rafale jet deal with France, the Congress chief noted that the country has to understand that the prime minister talked about corruption and had said he will launch an attack on it. “But in the Rafale deal, there has been corruption and the prime minister is protecting those who have done corruption,” Rahul Gandhi alleged without elaborating. “He made a political speech, a campaign speech, but did not speak on the issues before the country...The prime minister talked for one hour, but did not utter a single word about the Rafale deal... “Questions are being asked by the country from the prime minister, but he is not answering... here (in Parliament) you have to give answers and not ask questions to the country instead,” he said outside Parliament. According to Rahul Gandhi, the prime minister can talk against the Congress party at a public meeting, but not in Parliament where he needs to answer questions posed to him by the country. “He is right in talking about the Congress party, but this is not the place to raise it. You can raise this issue at a public meeting, but not here. Here, you have to answer to the country. You are not to make accusations here... “Every time there is a speech about Congress party and leaders of Congress party and about Narendra Modi,” he said. Gandhi said the nation is faced with three criticial problems of jobs and employment, agriculture with lack of government support breaking the will of farmers. P12 SILVER 38,650.00 -350.00 BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 66.81 -0.05 PM launches tirade against Cong in Parl In both Houses Modi guns for Congress and Nehru-Gandhi family STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 7 FEBRUARY nleashing a blistering assault on the principal Opposition Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday accused the party and its leaders of having failed the country over several decades of their seamless rule, contrasting its "failures, corruption, incompetence and petty outlook" with his government's "accomplishments, big ideas and vision" on various fronts. Throughout the PM's over 90-minute reply in the Lok Sabha to a debate on the motion of thanks on the President's address, Congress members were in the Well, shouting slogans and waving placards, demanding that promises made to Andhra Pradesh following its bifurcation be fulfilled. They were also questioning the Rafale fighter aircraft deal. PM Modi however remained unfazed and carried on with his tirade, rebuffing the Congress's allegations against his government on various issues including youths' employment and farmers' distress.He charged that Andhra Pradesh has been suffering due to "hasty decision" of the previous U Congress-led UPA government to bifurcate the state in 2014 for "political gains". The Congress had similarly partitioned India at the time of Independence for its "selfish interests", Modi alleged. Slamming the Congress for questioning his democratic credentials, he said instead of focusing on the welfare of the people the Congress "for decades devoted all their energies in singing paeans to one family (Nehru-Gandhi family)". "The interests of the nation were overlooked just for the interests of one family. If your direction and intentions had been right, then the country would have developed to another level,” he claimed. Going after Jawaharlal Nehru, Modi claimed that Sardar Patel had not been given the reins of leadership despite being favoured by the majority within the Congress. He said if Sardar Patel had been the country's first Prime Minister, then a part of Jammu and Kashmir would not have been in Pakistan's control. Apart from citing the recent "coronation" of Rahul Gandhi as Congress president, the PM also questioned Rahul's meeting with Chinese officials during the Indian troops's stand-off with the Chinese army in Dokalam. Projecting his government's "all-round achievements" , PM Modi reeled off figures. He claimed that his government has an "overarching vision" for the country's development while the Congress had worked with a “petty mind”. The "biggest tunnel on land, the biggest tunnel under sea, the fastest train and the biggest gas pipe line" were being built by his government, he said. PM Modi described the existing several lakh crores of non-performing assets RBI lowers growth forecast; rates unchanged CAPTAIN’S KNOCK AGENCIES AND SNS MUMBAI, 7 FEBRUARY SC cancels Goa mining lease: The Supreme Court on Wednesday cancelled 88 mining leases in Goa that were renewed by the state government in 2015 just before the Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act mandated the auction of mining leases. Cancelling the leases that were renewed for 20 years from 2007, a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said the Goa government will examine the applications for mining P2 leases afresh in accordance with the law. PM's wife injured, her relative killed in accident: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's wife Jashodaben was injured and her relative was killed when their car rammed into a truck in Rajasthan's Chittorgarh, police said. Jashodaben did not suffer any major injuries in the accident in which four other people travelling with her were also injured,SHO Parsoli Shyam Singh said. The deceased was identified as Basant Bhai Modi (67), a relative of Jashodaben, who died while undergoing treatment. GOLD 29,140.00 -270.00 Rahul targets Modi again over Rafale deal SNS & PTI HOW ABOUT A TEST PAY THAT STOPS TWENTY20 EXODUS? P3 ` vs $ 64.28 -4 PAISE NEW DELHI, 7 FEBRUARY Max.89% INDIA, JAPAN TO COLLABORATE IN ROBOTICS TOUGHEST US SANCTIONS ON NORTH KOREA KIM SISTER TO VISIT S KOREA IN HISTORIC VISIT Virat Kohli after his century during the ODI match against South Africa on Wednesday. AFP The Reserve Bank today lowered the economic growth projection for 201718 to 6.6 per cent, but said that it will accelerate to 7.2 per cent in the next financial year as the rollout of GST stabilises and credit offtake improves. The statement issued after the 2-day meeting of the 6-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Reserve Bank of India also said that recapitalisation of public sector banks along with resolution of stressed assets under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) will create demand for fresh investments. “GVA (Gross Value Added) growth for 2017-18 is projected at 6.6 per cent,” it said. In the December policy review, MPC had forecast that the GVA would expand by 6.7 per cent. In line with expectations, the MPC of RBI maintained staus quo with regard to key interest rates. The repurchasing or repo rate at which it lends to commercial banks stays at 6 per cent although one of the dissenting members Mr Michael D Patra wanted it to increase it to 6.25 per cent in view of elevated pressure on consumer price index linked inflation not only in the second half of the current FY 2017-18 but also in the next fiscal 2018-19. The MPC has raised its CPI estimate for second half from 4.3-4.7 per cent to 5.1 per cent citing increasing crude oil prices globally and possible fiscal slippage on account of certain proposals in the Budget 201819 that was presented to Parliament on 1 February. Regardless of few hard observations mostly related to upside risk to consumer inflation and fiscal slippages as revealed in the recent budget, RBI pol- icy stance remained "neutral". The MPC not only revised its CPI outlook but also lowered its estimate of GVA or gross value added for the current year from 6.7 per cent to 6.6 per cent and for next fiscal projected at 7.2 per cent from earlier 7.3 per cent to 7.4 per cent. The MPC in its first comments on the Budget underlined the potential impact of fiscal slippage and new norms for minimum support price of MSPs for kahrip crops on CPI. The upside risk to inflation could be checked by positives such as credit offtake, economic growth picking up and improving capital goods production and large mobilisation from primary market. RBI Governor Mr Urjit Patel said inflation is likely to be shaped by crude oil prices and non-industrial raw material prices. Nasheed snubs China, asks India to play role of liberator AGENCIES COLOMBO/MALE, 7 FEBRUARY Exiled former president Mohamed Nasheed today asked India to play its role of “liberators” and intervene militarily to resolve the ongoing political turmoil in Maldives, in a rebuke to China which has opposed military intervention and called for dialogue to resolve the crisis. China has warned against any military intervention in the Maldives, saying such a move would further complicate the situation in the island nation where embattled President Abdulla Yameen, who is closely allied with Beijing, declared a state of emergency on Monday and arrested two top judges. “Saying 'resolve things internally' is akin to asking us to escalate the revolt, which can lead to chaos. Maldivians see India's role positively: in '88 they came, resolved the crisis, and left. They were not occupiers but liberators. This is why Maldivians look to India now,” Nasheed tweeted today. Nasheed, whose Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) functions from Colombo, had appealed for India's help yesterday. “We would like the Indian government to send an envoy, backed by its military, to free the judges and the political detainees, including former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, from their detention and to bring them to their homes. We are asking for a physical presence,” Nasheed said in a tweet. In 1988, the then president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom had sought India's help to defeat a coup by mercenaries. India responded to his call and dispatched troops to the Maldives to restore order in the country. Most of the Indian soldiers returned home after order was restored in the island nation. A security personnel stands guard on the streets of the Maldives capital Male on Wednesday. The Maldives president welcomed an SC move to reinstate the convictions of political prisoners. AFP The picturesque Indian Ocean archipelago, which has seen a number of political crisis since the ouster of its first democratically-elected president Nasheed in 2012, plunged into a political chaos on Thursday when the apex court ordered the release of nine CMYK imprisoned opposition politicians, maintaining that their trials were “politically motivated and flawed”. Concerned over political crisis in Maldives, India, which is monitoring the situation very “closely”, yesterday said it was “disturbed” on the declaration of the emergency by the Maldivian government and described as a matter of “concern” the arrests of the chief justice and political figures there. Weighing its options in the fast deteriorating crisis in the Maldives, China has asked political parties in Maldives to find a solution without external intervention after UN, the US and India stepped pressure on Yameen to implement the Supreme Court ruling of setting the detained opposition leaders free. “The current situation in Maldives is its internal affairs. China follows the principle of non-interference in the inter- nal affairs of others,” China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said today. Maldives' Supreme Court Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and another judge, Ali Hameed, were arrested hours after President Abdulla Yameen declared a state of emergency. The remaining three judges of the Supreme Court last night amended an order to release nine high-profile political prisoners, including Nasheed. In a statement, the judges said they were revoking the order to release the prisoners “in light of the concerns raised by the President”. The amendment to the ruling by the Supreme Court on February 1 also omits the part that says the case against the Supreme Court judges was not received by the Judicial Services Commission (JSC). President Yameen today welcomed the court's move to reinstate the convictions of political prisoners. (P10) (NPAs) as “sin” of the UPA regime. "NPAs are cent per cent a responsibility of the previous government. Banks were pressured and the chosen few close to the ruling camp were given loans," he said. He charged that the Congress had given wrong figures as NPAs during the UPA rule stood at 82 per cent and not 36 per cent as they had claimed and that the total advance extended by banks had then risen from Rs 18 lakh crore to Rs 52 lakh crore. Rejecting the Opposition's charge that his government has failed to generate jobs for youths, Modi said the Opposition-ruled states of West Bengal, Kerala, Odisha and Karnataka have themselves stated that altogether one crore people have been given employment there. The Lok Sabha adopted the motion with a voice vote after Opposition parties including the Congress, Trinamul and the Left staged a walk out charging that the PM did not address the issues raised by them. In the Upper House, Modi said his camp has got inspiration of "Congressmukt (free) Bharat" from Mahatma Gandhi who had wished the dissolution of the Congress following Independence. Modi pitched for simultaneous Assembly and LS polls. No breach of Aadhaar data, says govt NEW DELHI, 7 FEBRUARY Countering Opposition criticism of the Aadhaar in the wake of the report in the media about Aadhaar data being easily accessible, IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told the Lok Sabha on Wednesday that there has been no breach of Aadhaar data and a majority of the country's people trust the scheme as it is completely safe. Replying to a spate of supplementaries on it during Question Hour, he described Aadhaar as a game changer and that as of now 120 crore people have the Aadhaar cards and 57 crore bank accounts were linked with it, which resulted in saving Rs 57,000 crore which otherwise would have been pocketed by some unscrupulous elements. The minister said Unique Identification Authority of India has a well-designed, multi-layered robust system in place and the same is being constantly upgraded to maintain the highest level of data security and integrity. "The UIDAI has adequate legal, organisational and technological measures in place for the security of the data stored with UIDAI," he said. Prasad said data protection measures have also been mandated for the requesting entities and ecosystem partners. "Government is fully alive to the need to maintain highest level of data security, privaSNS cy.’’
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