www.thestatesman.com THURSDAY FIND US ONLINE 8 FEBRUARY 2018 Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16+4|` 3|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P5 SENSEX 34,082.71 -113.23 WEATHER Mainly clear sky. Mist in the morning. The maximum and minimum temperatures are likely to be around 24 and 7 degrees Celsius respectively RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 83% Min. 23% Max: 24.8°C (+1) SUN RISES 07:04 hrs MOON RISES 01:51 hrs Min: 08.5°C (-1) SUN SETS 18:16 hrs MOON SETS 12:16 hrs TEMPERATURE 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. P7 NIFTY 10,476.70 -21.55 GOLD 29,140.00 -270.00 P16 SILVER 38,650.00 -350.00 BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 66.81 -0.05 PM launches tirade against Cong in Parl Rahul targets Modi again over Rafale deal STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 7 FEBRUARY Hitting back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi ~ who made a scathing attack on the Congress and its trackrecord during his reply in Parliament to the motion of thanks on President's address ~ Congress president Rahul Gandhi dismissed the PM's reply as "election campaign speech", maintaining that he did not address any of the "real issues" being raised by the principal Opposition party. Talking to reporters after PM Modi delivered a 90-minute tirade against the Congress in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, Rahul said Modi seemed to forget that "he is not the Opposition leader, but Prime Minister". "PM made a political speech, a campaign speech, but did not speak on the issues before the country," he charged. Rahul said PM Modi "only delivers his speech about Congress, its leaders and about Narendra Modi". He said the PM may make such a speech in public rallies, but "in Parliament he is supposed to respond to queries posed by the Opposition, and not level allegations at them". Rahul said PM Modi evaded the three-four major issues ~ "how to provide jobs to the country's youths, what future do SACHIN URGES BCCI TO RECOGNISE BLIND CRICKET BODY P13 ` vs $ 64.28 -4 PAISE In both Houses Modi guns for Congress and Nehru-Gandhi family STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 7 FEBRUARY U 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 Congress-led UPA government to bifur- ‘The Prime Minister talked for one hour, but did not utter a single word about the Rafale deal in which there has been corruption and the PM is protecting those who have done corruption’ the distressed farmers have, and whether there is a scam in the Rafale fighter jet deal". Alleging wrongdoing in the Rafale deal with France, the Congress chief said, "The Prime Minister talked for one hour, but did not utter a single word about the Rafale deal in which there has been corruption and the PM is protecting those who have done corruption." He said, "We had three clear questions : You changed the contract in Paris, did you ask the Cabinet Committee on Security and what price have you paid for the aircraft," adding "This is the biggest deal for the backbone of the Air Force, but defence minister (Nirmala Sitharaman) says we will not tell the country as it is a secret." He said the Congress party is only asking questions, but not getting answers from PM Modi. "Please answer whether you changed the deal yourself. Whether you paid more or less and whether you took permission that you were supposed to take. It is simple. But answers are not coming." Instead of talking about farmers and providing them right prices and waiving of their debt, the PM was harping on bamboo and honey bees, Rahul added. Echoing her son, Congress Parliamentary Party leader Sonia Gandhi said PM Modi was "merely repeating old things" but "people are interested about their jobs and want to know about their future". cate the state in 2014 for "political gains". The Congress had similarly partitioned India at the time of Independence for its "selfish interests", Modi alleged, adding "Not a single day has passed when the country has not suffered due to poison sowed by you (Congress)". 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" on various development and welfare fronts, 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 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 P7 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, P6 who died while undergoing treatment. MERKEL ACHIEVES BREAKTHROUGH IN COALITION DEAL YOGI PULLING OUT ALL STOPS FOR INVESTORS' MEET KARNI SENA BACKS BRAHMINS’ PROTEST ON ‘MANIKARNIKA’ Virat Kohli after his century during the third ODI match against South Africa on Wednesday that (P15 ) India won. 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 roll-out 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 cur- rent 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 2018-19 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 policy 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 Indi- Former Maldives president Mohamed Nasheed at a press conference in Male. an soldiers returned home after order was restored in the island nation. 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 FILE on Thursday when the apex court ordered the release of nine 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 internal 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. 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 (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. Modi said his government has been working to boost the development of sectors including infrastructure, education and health to ensure “ease of living” for people. He charged that the Opposition has been projecting it in a "negative light" and spreading "falsehood" to create a sense of disappointment among the people. Rejecting the Opposition's charge that his government has failed to generate jobs for youths, Modi said the Opposition-ruled states ofWest Bengal, Kerala, TURN TO PAGE 7 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 eco-system partners. "Government is fully alive to the need to maintain highest level of data security, privacy.’’ SNS
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