MONDAY www.thestatesman.com 30 APRIL 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |`3|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P4 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky with possibility of rain or thunderstorm or dust storm. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 39 and 28 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY RESURGENT DAREDEVILS FACE SUPER KINGS TEST P12 P16 P6 Rahul tears into Modi at Cong rally All villages in India on power map, says Modi INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 29 APRIL Predicts Congress win in Karnataka polls, return to power in 2019 Max.62% Min. 27% Max: 40.4°C (+2) SUN RISES 05:41 hrs MOON RISES 19.17 hrs Min: 27.6°C (+4) SUN SETS 18:56 hrs MOON SETS 06:40 hrs TEMPERATURE POMPEO IN SAUDI ARABIA, TALKS IRAN, GULF DISPUTE WILL BE KING, NOT KINGMAKER: KUMARASWAMY BSP PLANS COUNTER MOVE AGAINST BJP’S DALIT OUTREACH THUMBNAILS Kolkata Knight Riders batsman Chris Lynn plays a shot during the Indian Premier League Twenty20 match against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Bangalore on Sunday. Lynn, with an unbeaten 62, helped KKR beat RCB by six wickets. AFP (P16 ) J&K rape charge: Three CRPF personnel were suspended and an FIR registered after a 24year-old woman alleged she was wrongfully confined and raped by one of them inside a camp in Jammu. The woman alleged that accused filmed the sexual assault and threatened to release the video on social media if she disclosed the incident to police or someone else, officials said. The woman, from Poonch district, lodged a complaint on Saturday alleging she was taken inside the camp by three CRPF men, P6 and raped by one of them on 10 March. Syria clashes: Rare clashes broke out Sunday between Syrian regime forces and a USbacked alliance in the east of the country, killing six alliance fighters, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said. State news agency SANA said the army seized control of four villages from the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces in Deir Ezzor province, where the Kurdish-led alliance has been fighting the Islamic State jihadist group. The SDF and Russian-backed Syrian government forces are conducting parallel but separate offensives against IS in the oil-rich province. Deb summoned: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has summoned Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb over his controversial statements. A senior BJP leader said Deb has been summoned to meet Modi and BJP president Amit Shah on 2 May in Delhi. Deb, who took charge of Tripura last month, has made several remarks which have triggered widespread criticism, saying, among others, that Internet and satellite communication existed during the Mahabharata era and questioning the crowning of Diana Hayden as Miss World in 1997. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 29 APRIL L aunching a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi,Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday along with top party leaders including his predecessor and mother Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hit out at the silence by nation's “chowkidar”, as he described the prime minister, on issues of graft and weakening of institutions. Addressing his party's 'Jan Aakrosh' rally, Gandhi scion said the prime minister also did not speak on the case of the death of judge BH Loya and agrarian distress. “Modi ji did not speak a single word on Doklam during his visit to China. What kind of prime minister is he?” asked Gandhi at the rally held at Ramilia Maidan here. Further targeting the prime minister, Gandhi sought to compare the performance of the governments led by his party with that of the Modi dispensation at the Centre. “Prime Minister Modi gave unemployment, 'Gabbar Singh Tax' (the term the Congress coined for the Goods and Services Tax to target the government), BJP MLA inflicted atrocities on women (Unnao rape case) in his tenure,” Gandhi said. Gandhi claimed the Congress united all sections of society and spread love in 70 years unlike the BJP, which allegedly attacked Dalits and minorities. Gandhi charged that farmers were under stress, but their loans were not written off by the government, which, he added, waived of debts of corporate houses. “I met him on the agrarian issues. But he did not listen to us,” he charged. Gandhi exuded confidence that his party will emerge victorious in Karnataka, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh assembly polls and defeat the BJP in the 2019 general elections. He said that the Congress will respect veteran and young leaders of the party alike and that it will allow different views to emerge. He was apparently refer- ring to the remarks of senior party leader Salman Khurshid, who had recently said that Congress had the blood of Muslims on its hands.The party had distanced itself from Khurshid's views. Gandhi also hailed Congress workers, saying they have laid down their lives for “truth and the country” and described them as “sher ka bachha” (lion cubs). Accusing the Modi government of “betraying” the people by not keeping its promises and alleging that corruption had taken“deeper roots” since it came to power, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi said the government has left no stone unturned in undermining institutions and targeting political rivals by misusing central agencies. She also made a reference to the “serious crisis” that had gripped the top judiciary, Cashback to biz, discounts for consumers going digital on anvil PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 29 APRIL The government is working on a proposal to incentivise digital transactions by providing cashbacks to businesses and price benefits to consumers, a source said. As per the proposal being worked out by the Revenue Department, consumers paying through the digital mode would be offered a discount over the maximum retail price. The discount would be capped at Rs 100. Businesses, on the other hand, could get a cashback based on the quantum of turnover through the digital mode. The proposals to encourage digital transact- ions are likely to be placed before the GST council, chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and comprising state ministers, on 4 May. According to the source, the issue of providing incentive for digital transaction was discussed at a meeting held in the Prime Minister's Office. During the meeting, three possible modes of incentivising businesses to go in for digital transactions were discussed. Apart from cashbacks, a proposal to allow businesses to obtain tax credit on the basis of turnover obtained through digital mode was also discussed. This would have worked like the input tax credit mechanism where- in businesses can credit for taxes paid on raw materials. Besides, the option of allowing businesses to offset their GST liability up to a threshold for using digital transactions was also deliberated. The source said the Revenue Department has zeroed in on the option of cashback to businesses based on a threshold of digital transaction. This would be easier to implement and cannot be misused by unscrupulous elements. As a matter of precaution, the department will ascertain the veracity of the digital transactions reported by the businesses and then credit the cashback to their bank account. saying it had never happened before. Sonia Gandhi claimed all sections of the society were unhappy and angry with the government as none of the promises made to them were fulfilled. In her 10-minute address, she said unlike truth prevailing in the past, today falsehood, hatred and violence were ruling the roost. She cautioned the people to remain alert in the “sensitive” phase that the country was passing through. “WhathappenedtoModiji's slogan 'Na khaunga, na khane dunga' (would not take bribes, nor let anyone do so) as the roots of corruption have become deeper under his watch,” she said. Sonia Gandhi charged the government with muzzling dissenting voices and dividing communities with an eye on electoral gains. Pakistani 26/11 lawyer removed LAHORE, 29 APRIL Pakistan's Interior Ministry has abruptly removed the chief prosecutor from the Mumbai terror attack case for “not taking the government line”, an official said today, in a major setback to India's efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice. The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) Special Prosecutor Chaudhry Azhar, who had been representing as chief of prosecution in the Mumbai attack case since 2009, from the high-profile case, an official of the FIA said. Azhar developed differences with the government over the “manner” the case was being pursued, PTI the official said. DETAILS ON PAGE 12 All villages in India have now been connected with electricity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Sunday. On Saturday evening, Leisang village in Manipur's Senapati district became the last village to be connected to the national power grid. As per official data, there were 18,452 villages without electricity in the country at the time of Modi's taking office in May 2014. "Electricity reached all Indian villages on Saturday," Modi said in a tweet. "Yesterday, we fulfilled a commitment due to which the lives of several Indians will be transformed forever!," he said in another tweet. The work of bringing power to India's nearly 6 lakh villages had been undertaken under the government's Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana. The government has set the next target of providing electricity connections to over 4 crore rural and urban households by March 2019 under the Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (Saubhagya) initiative. But just because all villages are connected to the grid does not mean all Indians have access to power. The government considers a village electrified if it has basic electrical infrastructure and 10% of its households and public places including schools, local administrative offices SEOUL, 29 APRIL North Korea promised to close its atomic test site next month and invite US weapons experts to the country, Seoul said on Sunday, as US President Donald Trump expressed optimism about securing a nuclear deal with the secretive regime. The reported pledge from Kim Jong Un follows weeks of whirlwind diplomacy that saw the leaders of North and South Korea agree to pursue the complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula during a historic summit between Kim and the South's President Moon Jae-in on Friday. “Kim said, during the summit with President Moon, that he would carry out the closing of the nuclear test site in May, and would soon invite experts of South Korea and the US as well as journalists to disclose the process to the international community with trans- parency,” Seoul's presidential spokesman Yoon Young-chan said. “Kim said 'the US feels repulsive about us, but once we talk, they will realise that I am not a person who will fire a nuclear weapon to the South or the US or target the US,” according to Yoon. “If we meet often (with the US), build trust, end the war and eventually are promised no invasion, why would we live with the nuclear weapons?'” The remarks are likely to be seen as a sweetener ahead of Trump's own planned summit with Kim, which the US leader said would take place “in the next three or four weeks”. Trump vowed to do “the world a big favour” by achieving a nuclear deal with the regime at a campaign-style rally in Michigan to cheers and chants of “Nobel! Nobel!”. Trump has been eager to play up his role in achieving a breakthrough with Pyongyang through what the White House has called a “Maximum Pressure Campaign” consisting of tough rhetoric, strengthened global sanctions and diplomatic efforts to further isolate the authoritarian regime. “If we would have said where we are today from three or four months -- months ago, do you remember what they were saying? 'He's going to get us into nuclear war, they said,'” Trump told supporters in Washington Township, north of Detroit. He added: “No, strength is going to keep us out of nuclear war, not going to get us in!” But he also sounded a note of caution, saying he was prepared to walk away if US demands for North Korea to relinquish its atomic arsenal were not met. His remarks came as extracts from an interview with his new Secretary of State Mike Pompeo were released. Washington's chief diplomat told ABC News he had a “good conversation” with Kim during his secret visit to Pyongyang over the Easter weekend, adding that the North Korean leader was “prepared to... lay out a map that would help us achieve” denuclearisation. Trump held phone calls yesterday with both Moon and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, declaring “things are going very well”, as CBS News reported that Mongolia and Singapore are the final two sites under consideration for his meeting with Kim. It was unclear whether North Korea would host US experts at its Punggye-ri underground testing site before or after the summit. Kim slammed speculation during his meeting with Moon that the test site was already unusable after Pyongyang conducted its largest ever nuclear test there last September. “Some people are saying that we are terminating a test site that is already useless, but, as they will see once they visit, there are two more tunnels (in the test site) that are even big- and health centres have power. Some, however, said on Twitter their villages had yet to be electrified despite the government's claim. “No. Not every village yet,” said Twitter user Dilip Gupta, identifying his village in a district of Uttar Pradesh. “Over the course of years my native place has been expecting electricity every year, but it hasn't arrived yet.” Asia's third-largest economy has been held back for years by a power shortage, with industries having Photograph tweeted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi of workers carrying power equipment to Leishang village in Manipur to cope with blackouts and hospitals forced to rely on diesel-run generators for backup. The World Bank said in a report last year that globally 1.06 billion people had no electricity, with India and Nigeria topping the list of most power-deficient countries. Reacting to the Prime Minister’s claims, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said that it was Congress that electrified 97 per cent of villages in the country but “did not boast”. “On 26th May, 2014; only 18,452 villages were without electrification. BJP Govt took 46 months to complete this at at an average of 4,813 villages per year. This is – ‘celebrating inefficiencies’ & taking ‘fake credit’ for Congress work,” he said on Twitter. J-K Deputy CM resigns ahead of Cabinet reshuffle today PRESS TRUST OF INDIA JAMMU, 29 APRIL Ahead of a Cabinet reshuffle on Monday, Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh on Sunday night tendered his resignation to pave the way for state Assembly Speaker Kavinder Gupta to take over the post in the PDP-BJP government led by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. BJP's state unit chief Sat Sharma, MLAs from Kathua and adjoining Sambha Rajiv Jasrotia and Devinder Kumar Manyal are among the BJP faces who will be inducted into the state government as Cabinet ministers, officials said. “I have resigned from the N Korea to shut N-test site, invite US experts t AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE The government considers a village electrified if it has basic electrical infrastructure and 10% of its households and public places including schools, local administrative offices and health centres have power ger... and they are in good condition,” he said, according to the South's presidential spokesman. Last year, Pyongyang carried out its sixth nuclear test and launched missiles capable of reaching the US mainland. Its actions sent tensions soaring as Kim and Trump traded personal insults and threats of war. Washington is pressing for the North to give up its weapons in a complete, verifiable and irreversible way. Pyongyang is demanding as yet unspecified security guarantees to discuss its arsenal. On Saturday North Korea described its summit with the South as a “historic meeting” that paved the way for the start of a new era. The official KCNA news agency carried the text of the leaders' Panmunjom Declaration in full and said the encounter opened the way “for national reconciliation and unity, peace and prosperity.” post to pave the way for a new deputy chief minister in the state,” Singh told PTI. The PDP will have Mohd Khalil Band, MLA from Pulwama, and Mohd Ashraf Mir, MLA from Sonwar, as Cabinet ministers, while the BJP will upgrade Sunil Sharma, at present Minister of State for Transport, to the rank of a Cabinet minister, the officials said. BJP MLA from Doda Shakti Raj will also be sworn in as Minister of State tomorrow at the oath-taking ceremony, which will be attended by senior BJP leaders, including national general secretary Ram Madhav and Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office Jitendra Singh, they said. Governor N NVohra will administer the oath of office and secrecy to the new ministers at the Convention Centre at 12 noon. The officials said the function is being held at the Convention Centre instead of the Raj Bhavan as the Jammu and Kashmir government has already shifted its base to summer capital Srinagar as part of the bi-annual darbar move. Indian, Pak troops in joint exercise for first time STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 29 APRIL In probably for the first time ever since they achieved independence, troops from India and Pakistan will be part of a multination counter-terror exercise in Russia in September, which will also be joined by China and several other countries. The military exercise is being held under the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), which is viewed largely as a counter to NATO, officials said. They said the military drill will be held in the Ural mountains of Russia and almost all SCO member countries will be part of it.They said the main aim of the exercise, Peace Mission, will be to enhance counter-terror cooperation among the eight SCO member countries. The officials said India's participation at the exercise was confirmed by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during a meeting of SCO Defence Ministers meeting in Beijing last week. It will be for the first time since Independence that India and Pakistan will both be part of a military exercise, though the armies of the two nations have worked together in UN peace keeping missions, they said. The SCO was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the Presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan,Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan were admitted as observers of the grouping in 2005. Both the countries were admitted as full members of the bloc last year.
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