MONDAY www.thestatesman.com 12 MARCH 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |`3|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P6 WEATHER Clear sky. Mist in the morning. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 34 and 16 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY P12 PAES IS BACK IN THE MIX FOR DAVIS CUP P16 P13 Xi set to rule China for life as Parl scraps term limit Low to moderate polling in LS bypolls in UP, Bihar First Chinese leader after founder chairman Mao to remain in power lifelong Max.84% Min. 26% Max: 33.0°C (+4) SUN RISES 06:33 hrs MOON RISES 03.50 hrs Min: 16.4°C (+2) SUN SETS 18:28 hrs MOON SETS 13:54 hrs TEMPERATURE NEPAL PM WINS VOTE OF CONFIDENCE TRUMP SEES SUCCESS IN UPCOMING N KOREA TALKS KHILJI’S CHARACTER REMINDS ME OF AZAM KHAN: JAYA PRADA THUMBNAILS Shooting gold: Young Akhil Sheoran (in photo) clinched the gold medal in men's 50m rifle 3 position with plenty to spare as India continued their superlative run at the ISSF World Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico. Sheoran, thus, became the fourth young Indian shooter to win a medal on ISSF World Cup debut. This was after the likes of Shahzar Rizvi, Manu Bhaker, Mehuli Ghosh and Anjum Moudgil had put India on top of the medal standings with their performances over the last week. Sheoran's gold was India's fourth of the competition and makes it almost certain that the country would finish on top of the medals tally. Shoes thrown at Sharif: An Islamic seminary student on Sunday hurled shoes at Pakistan's ousted PM Nawaz Sharif during a function at a seminary, a day after a religious extremist blackened the face of Foreign Minister Khwaja Asif with ink. Sharif was about to address a gathering at a seminary in Lahore when the student lobbed shoes at him which hit his shoulder. Video footage of the incident showed Sharif, 68, visibly shaken. The student along with his accomplice also jumped on stage where Sharif was standing and chanted slogans praising Mumtaz Qadri, the murderer of former Punjab governor Salman Taseer. AGENCIES BEIJING, 11 MARCH C hina's rubberstamp parliament on Sunday allowed President Xi Jinping to rule indefinitely, perhaps for life, as it ratified a contentious constitutional amendment to abolish the two-term presidential limit, making him the most powerful leader since Chairman Mao Zedong. The amendment to give 64-year-old Xi an indefinite term effectively ended the collective leadership system followed by the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) to avert a dictatorship from emerging in an otherwise one-party state akin to the era of Mao which witnessed the most brutal events like Cultural Revolution resulting in the killings of millions of people. Set for his second fiveyear term as president this month, Xi, the most powerful leader in recent decades heading the CPC and the military, will now be the first Chinese leader after founder chairman Mao to remain in power lifelong. The National People's Congress (NPC) has kept its reputation as the rubber stamp parliament for its routine approval of CPC proposals by voting exactly to the official script. The amendment removing the term limits for the president and the vice president was approved by the NPC with 2,958 in favour, two against and three abstentions, official media reported. The two votes of dissent apparently had official sanction to show a semblance of diversity. For today's vote, the NPC chose to follow paper ballot system instead of hand raising and electronic voting. Xi stood up first at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing to cast his paper ballot in a red box. The first Constitution of China was enacted in 1954. The current Constitution has been in place since 1982 and has undergone four amendments in 1988, 1993, 1999 and 2004. The removal of the term limit was regarded as the biggest political change in the one-party system which has remained in force in China since 1949. Ahead of the vote by deputies in the NPC, the seven member Standing Committee - the topmost body of the CPC - unanimously approved the amendment to abolish the presidential term limits. Observers say the con- leaders of the party. His predecessors - Jiang Zemin who was in power from 1993 to 2003 and Hu Jintao from 2003 to 2013 stepped down as the General Secretary of the party as well as president after a widely followed rule as well as a convention of two terms to promote collective leadership system in the one-party state. Xi, a 'princeling' and son of a vice premier, who was vice president under Hu, took over all the three posts in 2013 and subsequently emerged as the most powerful leader of China after Mao with little or no resistance in the party. The president's post is largely ceremonial while the real power rests with the CPC General Secretary and Chairman of the Military Commission, the overall military high-command. But the president is the only one with a formal limit of two terms - introduced by late paramount leader Deng Xiaoping to prevent another lifelong dictatorship after Mao's rule. The NPC also endorsed another constitutional amendment to enshrine Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era into the country's Constitution. This would make Xi the only leader after Mao and his predecessor Deng whose thoughts were written into the Constitution. It would place him above the rest of the leaders of the party. Voters wait to cast their ballots for the Phulpur Lok Sabha seat on the outskirts of Allahabad on Sunday. AFP PTI LCKNOW/PATNA, 11 MARCH Low to moderate polling was on Sunday recorded in the Lok Sabha by-elections in Uttar Pradesh's Gorakhpur and Phulpur and Bihar's Araria, being viewed as yet another test for the BJP ahead of the general elections next year. While 47 per cent of the voters exercised their franchise in Gorakhpur, where UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath cast his ballot, the turnout in Phulpur was lower at 38 per cent, the state election office said. The state recorded an overall polling of 42 per cent in the two seats, Joint Chief Election Officer R C Rai said. Fifty-seven per cent polling was registered in Araria, Bihar's Chief Electoral Officer Ajay V Nayak said. In the Bhabua and Jehanabad Assembly constituencies in Bihar, where bypolls were also held, the voter turnout was PTI MUMBAI, 11 MARCH SNS Gujarat’s Dalit icon Jignesh Mevani, now an independent MLA, has once again been detained by the police. This time for protesting against the Government’s decision to hand over the Civil Hospital in Dahod to a private pharmaceutical company. Jignesh was leading a protest against handing over the Civil Hospital in the tribal district of Dahod to the Zydus Cadila pharmaceutical company which, the residents allege, has started charging high fees from the patients, mostly tribals. The Civil Hospital at Dahod, the headquarters of the tribal district by the same name, was handed over to Ahmedabad-based Zydus Cadila pharma in October last year for starting a medical college. Locals have alleged that the hospital run by the Zydus Cadila does not have any doctors with MBBS degree and the only seven doctors working there are homoeopaths. Apart from charging high fees the hospital charges even for the blood supplied by the Red Cross for free, said some of the protesters who joined Mevani in the protest. Over 35,000 farmers from across Maharashtra, who embarked on a 'Long March' from Nashik on March 6 to press their various demands, arrived here on Sunday. Apart from opposition parties, Shiv Sena, a partner in the ruling BJP-led coalition, too has vocally supported the agitation. The government reached out to farmers, promising to meet their demands, but farmers' leaders said they will press on with Monday's protest at the Vidhan Bhavan (Legislature Complex). The farmers, led by Leftaffiliated All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), are demanding, among other things, proper implementation of the Maharashtra government's loan waiver scheme. Braving scorching heat, they have covered around 180 km on foot in six days. The protesters will halt at the Somaiya ground in suburban Chunabhatti on Sunday night, and set out for Vidhan Bhavan in south Mumbai, where the Budget session is underway, on Monday. “We will gherao (lay siege to) the Vidhan Bhavan tomorrow to demand a complete loan waiver, fair price for farm produce, implementation of the Swaminathan Commission's recommendations, compensation for hailstorm-affected farmers among other things,” Kisan Gujar, president of the state council of AIKS, said. “Today, our number is over 35,000. Over 20,000 farmers from other parts of the state will join tomorrow,” he said, adding the farmers were also protesting against land acquisition for projects PM for concessional financing of solar projects SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 11 MARCH Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday called for concessional financing and less-risky funds for solar projects to raise the share of solar power in the energy basket, provide cheaper electricity and cut carbon emissions. Speaking at the founding conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA), he said India will generate 175 gigawatts (GW) of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2022. This would be more than double the present renewable energy capacity and would be enough to overtake renewable expansion in the European Union for the first time. Modi, the chief architect of ISA that seeks to bring together 121 nations, presented 10 action points including making affordable solar technology available to all nations, raising the share of electricity generated from photovoltaic cells in the energy mix and fram- 54.03 per cent and 50.06 per cent respectively, he said. A poll official in UP said there were complaints of electronic voting machine malfunctioning at a few booths, but the EVMs were promptly replaced without affecting the polling. The reason behind the lower than expected turnout in the high-stakes polls in UP the country's , electorally most significant state with 80 Lok Sabha seats, was said to be a lack of enthusiasm among voters who are now looking forward to the general elections next year. The bypolls were necessitated after Adityanath and Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya vacated their Lok Sabha seats after getting elected to the state Legislative Council. After casting his vote in Gorakhpur, Adityanath said the BJP was getting widespread support. TURN TO PAGE 5 Mevani held for protest against Thousands of farmers to gherao Maha legislature hospital in private hands AHMEDABAD, 11 MARCH 25 trapped in TN forest fire: A sudden forest fire trapped around 25 students on a mountain climbing training camp on Sunday in Kurangani hills in Theni district of Tamil Nadu with 12 being rescued so far. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who was approached by Chief Minister K Palaniswami for help to rescue them and been in touch with Theni District Collector, said 10-15 students were making their way to the foothills (after being rescued). In a sreies of tweets she said two helicopters of the IAF from its Sulur base near Coimbatore were being sent to assist in the rescue operations. stitutional amendment in effective paves the way for China's transition from being a one-party state to a one-leader state with Xi, described by some as an “Emperor”, to remain in power in the foreseeable future. Xi, christened as “lingxiu” - a leader with highest prestige, is aggressively pushing China's military modernisation to make the world's largest army a mightier force capable of winning modern wars. The proposal of a limitless tenure for Xi has sparked worldwide concerns specially in China's neighbourhood. For India, observers say, Xi's continuation will have particular significance, especially in the backdrop of last year's 73-day-long Dokalam standoff where Chinese troops tried to build a road in the area claimed by Bhutan to reach close to India's narrow corridor connecting its northeastern states. Under Xi, China has poured billions of dollars into India's neighbourhood in projects like ChinaPakistan Economic Corridor traversing through PoK, projects in Nepal, Sri Lanka and Maldives, raising India's strategic stakes. The CPC has justified scrapping of term limits for Xi saying that it is aimed at strengthening coordination between the party, the military and the country and dismissed concerns of the return of Mao-era dictatorship as “groundless”. Significantly, today's amendment also removed term limits for the vice president. The inclusion of the vice president was notably aimed at reinforcing Xi's support base as his trusted lieutenant, 69-year-old Wang Qishan, is tipped to take over the post despite a widely-followed convention by Chinese leaders to retire after 68 years of age. Wang headed the dreaded anti-graft campaign carried out by Xi since he began his first term in 2013. The NPC in the next few days is also set to ratify new names for all top government posts. The entire Chinese government is set to change, including the entire cabinet. Xi began his second five-year term as General Secretary of the CPC and Chairman of the Central Military Commission last year after the once-in-fiveyears congress of the party endorsed him for a second term. Two five-year tenures were permitted for top ing regulations and standards to support the initiative. He said better and cheaper solar technology should be easily available to all nations. “We have to increase the share of solar in energy mix,” he said. Also, innovation has to be encouraged so as to provide solutions to different needs. “We have to provide concessional financing and less-risky funds for solar projects,” he said. The ISA's major objectives include global deployment of over 1,000 GW of solar generation capacity and mobilisation of investment of over USD 1 trillion into solar energy by 2030. Regulatory aspects as well as standards have to be framed which will expedite adoption of solar solutions, Modi said, adding that consultancy support has to be development for putting up bankable solar projects in developing countries. Stressing on inclusiveness, he said a vast network of centres of excellence has to be created. Solar energy policy has to be to looked at in totality for development so that it can contribute to achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs), he said. “We have to strengthen ISA Secretariat and make it more professional.” Modi called for rising above narrow private goals to make collective effort for the betterment of the mankind. He said India has launched the “world's biggest renewable energy programme with a target to generate 175 GW of electricity from renewable sources.” Of these, 100 GW is to come from solar and 60 GW from wind. “Of the target for solar energy generation, we have already achieved 20 GW installed solar power,” he said. India needs some USD 83 billion between FY2018 and FY2022 to meet its 175 GW target, according to industry estimates. Electricity from renewable sources is cheap, reliable and clean. Besides providing an alternative to polluting coal-based electricity generation, photovoltaic (PV) has big potential to power irrigation and reduce the use of back-up diesel generators. At present, the country's renewable energy installed capacity is 63 GW. Solar and wind power tariffs have dropped to an all-time low of Rs 2.44 per unit and Rs 3.46 per unit, among the lowest in the world. China is targeting over 360 GW of renewable capacity generation during the period. As a demonstration of India's commitment to ISA, Modi said 500 training slots will be created for member countries and a solar technology mission will be started to lead R&D in the sector. To supplement solar energy generation, India has distributed 28 crore LED bulbs in the last three years which have helped save USD 2 billion and 4 GW of electricity, the prime minister said. ISA, headquartered in Gurgaon near here, is now a treatybased inter-governmental organisation that was established following the Paris Declaration as an alliance dedicated to the promotion of solar energy among its member countries. The Prime Minister said of the 121 countries associated with ISA, 61 have joined the alliance and 32 have ratified the Framework Agreement. Indian 'vedas' have since thousands of years considered sun as at soul of the universe and a nourisher of life. “We have to look at this ancient balanced and all-encompassing philosophy when when we today look for ways to deal with the challenge of climate change,” he said. Modi had in a speech at London's Wembley Stadium in 2015 proposed the idea of an inter-governmental organisation comprising of 121 countries, which lie either completely or partly between the two tropics, with an aim to promote solar energy. ISA was launched by him at the India Africa Summit in New Delhi and the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in October 2015 and November 2015, respectively. such as high-speed railway and super-highways. “Though we have been approached by the government officials advising us not to stay near the Vidhan Bhavan for long, everything will depend on how the government deals with our demands,” Gujar said. From the government's side, Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan, who is also guardian minister for Nashik district, met farmers' leaders in Mulund as the march entered Mumbai, and assured that most of their demands will be TURN TO PAGE 5 met. Have forgiven father’s killers, says Rahul SINGAPORE, 11 MARCH Congress president Rahul Gandhi has said he and his sister Priyanka Gandhi have “completely forgiven” his father Rajiv Gandhi's killers as they find it “difficult to hate people”. During an interaction with IIM alumni in Singapore, Gandhi spoke about the assassination of his grandmother Indira GandhiandfatherRajivand said that it was a price that the family knew they had to pay. “We knew that my father was going to die.We knew that my grandmother was going to die. In politics, when you mess with the wrong forces, and if you stand for something, you will die,” he said in a video. When asked if he and his sister Priyanka had forgiven his father's killers, Gandhi said:“we somehow, (we have) completely...in fact, completely (forgiven PTI them).”
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