CMYK MONDAY www.thestatesman.com 05 MARCH 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |` 5.00|LC* KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P10 WEATHER Mainly clear sky in the morning. Later, partly cloudy sky. Max & min temp 35/24 degree celsius, respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY P16 Min. 29% Max: 36.5°C (+5) SUN RISES 05:54 hrs MOON RISES 20.59 hrs Min: 23.6°C (+3) SUN SETS 17:42 hrs MOON SETS 08:13 hrs THUMBNAILS 'Hindu woman elected to Pak senate in historic first': Kirshna Kumari Kolhi from Pakistan's Sindh province has become the firstever Hindu Dalit woman Senator in the Muslim-majority country, the Pakistan People's Party has said. Kolhi, 39, from Thar is a member of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari-led Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). She was elected Senator on a minority seat from Sindh. The PPP awarded her the Senate ticket. Her election marks a major milestone for women in Pakistan. Tripura BJP MLAs to elect leader tomorrow SHILLONG, 4 MARCH PP president Conrad Sangma met Meghalaya Governor Ganga Prasad this evening and staked claim to form the government in the state with the support of 34 MLAs in the 60-member Assembly. Meghalaya threw up a fractured mandate yesterday with the ruling Congress emerging as the largest party, marginally ahead of its rival, the National People's Party (NPP), an ally of the BJP at the Centre and in Manipur. “We met the Governor and submitted a letter of support from 34 MLAs ~ 19 of the NPP, six of the United Democratic Party (UDP), four of the People's Democratic Front (PDF), two each of the Hill State People's Democratic Party (HSPDP) and the BJP and an Independent,” 40-yearold Sangma told reporters outside Raj Bhavan here. The NPP leader is the youngest son of former Lok Sabha Speaker (L) P A Sangma who died in 2016. N AGARTALA, 4 MARCH Conrad Sangma Mukul Sangma He was elected a Member of Parliament in a by-election from Tura constituency after his father's death. A delegation of three Congress leaders -- Kamal Nath, Ahmed Patel and C P Joshi -- had yesterday staked claim to form the government in the state at a meeting with the Governor. “We met the Governor and sought his invitation to the single largest party to be called first to form the government as per convention,” former Union minister Nath had told PTI. The Congress won 21 seats out the 59 that went to polls last month. The party is 10 seats short of a simple majority. The Congress has been in power in the state for the last 10 years. The Congress this time got eight seats less than in the last elections. The BJP , which drew a blank in the last elections, bagged two seats. Outgoing Chief Minister Mukul Sangma had contested and won the elections from two seats. He will have to give up one seat. Nagaland: The issue of government formation in Nagaland took a new turn today with both NDPP leader Neiphiu Rio and outgoing Chief Minister T R Zeliang of the NPF staking claim to form the government with the support of a majority of the MLAs in the 60-member Assembly. Governor P B Acharya gave both the leaders 48 hours time to submit the signatures of the MLAs supporting them. Earlier in the day, the Governor said Rio, who claimed the support of 32 MLAs, had the majority and should form the government. Newly elected MLAs of the BJP and its ally IPFT in Tripura will meet here on March 6 to elect their leader, state BJP president Biplab Deb said today. The BJP has 35 MLAs and the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT) has eight. Union minister Nitin Gadkari will be present at the meeting, Deb told PTI. He said Prime Minister Modi and many other Union ministers are likely to attend the oath-taking ceremony. The elections in 59 seats of the 60-member Assembly were held on Feb 18. Earlier today, CM Manik Sarkar submitted his resignation to the Governor following the PTI poll debacle. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE LUCKNOW, 4 MARCH For the first time in almost 25 years and in a politically significant move to take on the Bharatiya Janata Party, arch political rivals Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party have decided to come together in the upcoming Lok Sabha by elections in Gorakhpur and Phulpur in Uttar Pradesh. Though an official announcement about the proposed electoral understanding is yet to be made either by BSP president Mayawati or SP chief Akhilesh Yadav, reports quoting BSP's zonal coordinators have said that the party cadres have been asked to support the SP candidates in Gorakhpur and Phulpur. The BSP is not contesting the bypolls. This move is in tune with Mayawati's decision to not contest the Assembly and Lok Sabha bypolls. This has been her stand ever since the BSP lost power in Uttar Pradesh in 2012. However, the Congress has announced its candidates for the two by elections, slated for March 11, which means that it will not be a part of a broader NEW DELHI, 4 MARCH The second part of Parliament's Budget Session is likely to begin on a stormy note with the Congress and other opposition parties set to raise the issue of multi-crore financial scams involving public-sector banks in both the Houses. The Houses of Parliament will meet tomorrow after a month-long recess in the session. Opposition parties would seek an answer from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on how the Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud and other banking scams took place and how the government failed to stop them. The government, on its part, is seeking to counter the opposition's offensive by bringing the Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill. The legislation, once passed, will grant powers to the government to attach assets of persons declared fugitive. This will include benami assets too. While the opposition has not planned any joint strategy so far, it is likely to meet in a day zonal coordinator Ghanshyam Chandra Kharwar at a BSP workers meet in Gorakhpur on Sunday. The Gorakhpur district president of Samajwadi Party, Prahlad Yadav was present at the meeting. The forthcoming bypolls are crucial for the ruling BJP , which would want to retain both the seats, as well as for the Opposition parties, mainly, the SP and the BSP , which would like to stop the BJP's juggernaut. The poll outcome is equally important for Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, who was five times MP from Gorakhpur before he resigned from the seat after taking over the top post. Phulpur was represented by deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya. Both the bypolls have been necessitated by the resignation of Yogi Adityanath and Maurya. PRESS TRUST OF INDIA MUMBAI, 4 MARCH Cancer patients at a kite flying programme to observe International Childhood Cancer Day, celebrations of which kicked off on 15th February, At Mohur Kunj in Kolkata on Sunday. DILIP DUTTA Opposition set to corner Govt in Parliament on financial scams SNS & PTI alliance of Opposition parties. Results will be declared on March 14.The decision to support the Samajwadi Party candidates has been conveyed to the BSP workers by the coordinators of the party in Gorakhpur and Phulpur. BSP's zonal coordinator Ashok Gautam said in Allahabad on Sunday that in order to defeat the BJP the BSP , workers have decided to support and vote for the SP candidate Nagendra Singh Patel in Phulpur. Gautam said the decision has been taken on the instructions of the BSP president Mayawati. Gautam, however, reportedly made it clear that the BSP will not share the dais with the SP leaders during campaigning in Phulpur. In the Gorakhpur bypoll, the BSP will support SP's Pravin Kumar Nishad. The announcement to this effect was made by the party's CBI grills Karti and Indrani HIGH HOPES . Nearly 87 crore bank accounts seeded with Aadhaar: A month before the expiry of the deadline, around 80 per cent of bank accounts and 60 per cent of mobile connections have been linked with national biometric identifier Aadhaar, according to a senior official at UIDAI. The government has mandated submission of the 12-digit unique identity number by every bank account holder by March 31, 2018 to weed out unaccounted wealth. Aadhaar linking with PAN has also P8 been made mandatory. Mamata backs KCR for national role: West Bengal chief minister Miss Mamata Banerjee on Sunday called up her Telangana counterpart Mr K Chandrashekar Rao and said that she fully supports his call for a qualitative change in the country’s politics. “Hum aap se ek mat hai. Hum aapke saat rahinge, (I agree with you. We will be with you)”, she was quoted as saying to Mr Rao. Alongside former Jharkhand chief minister Mr Hemanth Soren telephoned Mr Rao and told him that the latter should play a key role in politics. P12 BSP likely to back SP in Conrad meets Guv, UP Lok Sabha bypolls stakes claim for govt SNS & PTI First quarter of moon on 13 March SPRINTER IN THE VORTEX OF A STORM P10 Claims support of 34 Meghalaya MLAs; Rio, Zeliang stake claim in Nagaland Max.92% TEMPERATURE MARKLE TO BE BAPTISED BEFORE WEDDING SURPRISES GALORE GERMANY PARTIES STRIKE COALITION DEAL or two to chalk out a plan for the Parliament session. Sources said that while the financial sector and banking scams would dominate the proceedings in both Houses, issues related to crime against Dalits and women, farmers, the economy and unemployment would also raised by the opposition benches. The second part of the session would primarily see discussions on the demand for grants for various ministries. The opposition would also press for a debate on a number of contentious matters and important issues confronting the country. The government has listed a few bills for consideration and passage in both Houses. In the Lok Sabha, it intends to bring The Payment of Gratuity (Amendment) Bill, 2017, and The Specific Relief (Amendment) Bill, 2017, tomorrow, and The Dentists (Amendment) Bill, 2017, on Tuesday. In the Rajya Sabha, the government has listed The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, 2017, and The State Banks (Repeal and Amendment) Bill, 2017, for the first day of the session. Congress leaders said that they would soon be holding a meeting with other opposition parties to chalk out a joint strategy for the session. The aim is to corner the government unitedly and demand answers from it on various issues which it has evaded in the past, a leader from the party said. CPI leader D Raja said the issue of PNB fraud will be taken up and the new bills that the government proposes to bring would also be discussed. “We will demand answers from the government on how the fraud happened. The banking sector is in a deep crisis and its credibility is under stake,” he told PTI. Raja also said that issues pertaining to atrocities and crimes against Dalits and women, which he claimed were on the rise, would also be taken up. He, however, said the finan- cial crimes will be the highlight of the session. TMC leader Derek O'Brien said his party is for a debate and a discussion in Parliament, and would evolve a joint opposition strategy soon. “We will coordinate with other opposition parties to expose this BJP government that has not delivered on their promises. I don't want to name any particular issue as there are many. We have issues for every day in Parliament,”he said. O'Brien also claimed that the BJP had gone “overboard” with its victory in Tripura. “If you look at the bypoll results of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Odisha, it is very clear that their tally will come down,” he said. The TMC leader claimed that Prime Minister Modi will not deliver his address from the Red Fort in 2019. “If their target is West Bengal out target is Red Fort. BJP did not win Tripura, the Left surrendered it,” he said. Union minister Manoj Sinha has blamed the Congress-led UPA dispensation for the Rs 12,700 crore scam at the Pun- CMYK jab National Bank (PNB). “The country knows the corrupt elements,”he told reporters on the sidelines of a programme here yesterday. Without taking the name of diamond trader Nirav Modi, who is at the centre of the PNB scam, the Minister of State for Railways said, “A letter by former Union finance minister P Chidambaram recommending loan for the person who had fled the country has become public... “The Narendra Modi government is working in a transparent manner, and all those who are involved in the fraud will soon be behind bars,” he asserted. Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi of Gitanjali Group have been accused of defrauding the Punjab National Bank of Rs 12,700 crore. The CBI filed the first FIR in the scam on February 14 against Nirav, his wife Ami, brother Nishal, uncle Choksi and his firms Diamond R US, Solar Exports and Stellar Diamond. The agency had stated that the fraud involved an amount of around Rs 6,400 crore. Karti Chidambaram, arrested in the INX Media case, was today brought to the Byculla prison here and confronted with Indrani Mukerjea as part of the CBI's probe into the matter, a senior official said. Karti Chidambaram, the son of senior Congress leader and former Union minister P Chidambaram, was brought to the jail in central Mumbai around 11.15 am by a six-member team of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), he said. The official said Karti Chidambaram and Mukerjea were brought face-toface and questioned by the CBI team for about four hours. Mukerjea, a former director of INX Media (P) Ltd, is lodged in the jail in connection with the Sheena Bora murder case. After the questioning, the CBI team left the prison along with Karti Chidambaram and headed towards the Mumbai airport. While entering the prison, Karti Chidambaram waved at the media persons who had assembled outside the high security prison. Karti Chidambaram and Mukerjea were questioned by the CBI as a part of its probe in the INX Media deal in which the former allegedly received kickbacks. The doors of the prisons were shut and no other person from outside was allowed to enter the premises when the two were questioned, the official said. The CBI team came out of the prison around 3.15 pm and a smiling Karti Chidambaram waved again at the media persons while standing on the footboard of a car being used by the agency. He was asked by the CBI officials to get down from the footboard before they left the jail premises. Karti Chidambaram was arrested by the CBI on February 28 after a confessional statement was given by Mukerjea before a magistrate. He was sent in a five-day CBI custody on March 1. Karti Chidambaram, 46, was arrested at Chennai airport on his return from the United Kingdom, in connection with the FIR lodged on May 15 last year alleging irregularities in Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clearance to INX Media for receiving overseas funds worth about Rs 305 crore in 2007 when his father was the Union finance minister. It is alleged that Karti had received funds to the tune of Rs 10 lakh in the case, officials had earlier said. The fresh evidence in the case, which triggered his arrest, was based on the statement of Mukerjea, who recorded it under section 164 of CrPC before a magistrate on February 17. The CBI alleged that Karti Chidambaram also received money from INX media to scuttle a tax probe. The firm was owned at the time by former media baron Peter Mukerjea and Indrani, who are currently in jail on charges of murdering Indrani's daughter Sheena Bora. The Enforcement Directorate has also registered a money laundering case. The CBI and the ED had carried out a series of searches at the houses and offices owned by the Chidambarams.
The Statesman is one of India's oldest English newspapers. It was founded in Kolkata in 1875 and is directly descended from The Friend of India (founded 1818). The Englishman (founded 1821) was merged with The Statesman in 1934. The Delhi edition of The Statesman began publication in 1931. The Statesman Weekly is a compendium of news and views from the Kolkata and Delhi editions. Printed on airmail paper, it is popular with readers outside India. The Statesman (average weekday circulation approximately 180,000) is a leading English newspaper in West Bengal. The Sunday Statesman has a circulation of 230,000.