CMYK FRIDAY www.thestatesman.com 01 JUNE 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 ALL’S NOT WELL IN SRI LANKA’S UNITY GOVERNMENT POMPEO HOLDS TALKS WITH KIM YONG CHOL GRAND JURY INDICTS WEINSTEIN ON RAPE CHARGES P10 P9 Fresh bypolls blow for BJP Oppn snatches Kairana from BJP to score 11/14 in bypolls; limits BJP and allies to just 3; TMC wins Maheshtala AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 31 MAY RAINFALL: 3.2 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY NEW DELHI, 31 MAY Min. 58% TEMPERATURE Max: 36.2°C (N) SUN RISES 04:52 hrs MOON RISES 19.47 hrs Min: 30.0°C (+3) SUN SETS 18:15 hrs MOON SETS 06:09 hrs Moon phase: Third quarter on 7 June THUMBNAILS School children take part in an awareness rally as part of observation of World No Tobacco Day at Shovabazar in Kolkata on Thursday. AIKANTIK BAG Sanjita Chanu fails dope test: Dope shame returned to haunt Indian weightlifting as two-time Commonwealth Games champion Sanjita Chanu tested positive for a banned anabolic steroid and she was provisionally suspended by the international federation. International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) said on its website that Sanjita, who had won a gold in the women's 53kg category in the recent Gold Coast CWG, has tested positive for testosterone. “As a consequence, the Athlete is provisionally suspended in view of a potential anti-doping rule violation,” IWF stated. Dealing a blow to the ruling BJP opposition parties , today emerged victorious in 11 out of 14 bypolls while limiting the saffron party and its allies at just three and snatching the high-profile Kairana Lok Sabha seat in Uttar Pradesh. With prestige at stake in every single bypoll in the run-up to the 2019 general elections, the opposition leaders latched onto today's results across 11 states to claim sliding popularity of the Narendra Modi-led government, even as the BJP asserted that the PM would decide the outcome of the Lok Sabha polls next year. Opposition leaders saw a big boost for strengthening non-BJP unity with the ruling party losing the Kairana Lok Sabha seat in politically important UP to a united Opposition after a communally-charged election campaign, as well as the Bhandara-Gondiya Lok Sabha constituency in Maharashtra. The BJP retained another Lok Sabha seat from Maharashtra, Palghar, where it had faced its own ally Shiv Sena but the Opposition could not put a united fight. BJP's Rajendra Gavit won the seat, defeating Shiv Sena's Shrinivas Wanaga. Shiv Sena chief Uddhav BJP plays down losses NEW DELHI, MAY 31 Thackeray, however, alleged “discrepancies” in counting of votes for Palghar. In Nagaland, the fourth LS seat for which bypoll was held on Monday, went to BJP's ally Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party. While the LS bypoll results were equally divided at 2-2 between the BJPled alliance and the opposition parties, figures for the 10 assembly bypolls came as a big setback for the ruling party which could win just one (in Uttarakhand). The Congress bagged three (in Meghalaya, Karnataka and Punjab) and other parties got six ~ JMM two in Jharkhand; CPI (M), SP, RJD and Trinamool one each in Kerala, UP Bihar and , West Bengal, respectively. The Congress also won one assembly seat in Maharashtra without contest ED registers AIr Asia case: After the CBI, the ED has registered a criminal case of moneylaundering against Air Asia officials and others for allegedly trying to manipulate government policies through corrupt means to get international licence for its Indian venture Air Asia India Limited, officials said. The central probe agency has invoked the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) to probe if alleged tainted funds were used to create illegal assets and it has taken cognisance of the CBI FIR to lodge its own case. The agency, they said, will go into the money trail of the accused and the entire deal. NEW DELHI, 31 MAY The country’s economy strengthened in the January-March quarter, growing at a pace closer to potential and setting the stage for a tighter monetary policy. The GDP growth stood at 7.7 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2017-18 compared with 6.1 per cent in the same period last year, and a revised 7 per cent in the quarter ended December 2017, according to data released by the Central Statistics Office on Thursday. For the full financial year, GDP growth stood at 6.7 per cent compared with 7.1 per cent last year. Briefing the media after the GDP data came out, Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg said the government will maintains FY19 growth K'taka portfolios: JDS to get finance, Congress home PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 31 MAY After days of hectic negotiations over the sharing of portfolios in Karnataka, the alliance partners have decided that finance will go to the JD(U) and the home department to the Congress, highly placed sources in the parties said today. The leaders of the two parties have held five rounds of talks here since yesterday to finalise the portfolio sharing arrangement between the partners. Sources said Congress president Rahul Gandhi is on board over the portfolio sharing agreement and has spoken to leaders over the phone from the United States, where he travelling with his mother Sonia Gandhi who has gone for a medical check-up. The power-sharing arrangement between the alliance partners is being finalized and is in the final stages, the sources added. The decision after all other parties withdrew their candidates. The party, which retained RR Nagar assembly in Karnataka and another in Meghalaya, termed the bypoll results as the people's mandate against four years of Modi’s rule and the beginning of the end of the BJP regime. “The writing on the wall is clear. The BJP's exit and success of the Congress and its allies are guaranteed,” Congress leader PramodTiwari told reporters. The results appeared more marked against the BJP after taking into account the parties that had held these seats earlier. While the BJP alliance retained two LS seats ~ one in Maharashtra and another in Nagaland ~ it lost two others ~ UP's Kairana and Maharashtra's Bhandara-Gondiya. The BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said the party will analyse the cause of defeat in the two LS seats. In assembly seats, the BJP and its allies failed to retain Noorpur in UP and Shahkot in Punjab, while Congress, CPI (M), Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and Trinamul Congress retained their respective seats. The BJP retained Tharali in Uttarakhand, but lost Noorpur in UP SP's Nae. emul Hasan trounced BJP's Avni Singh in Noorpur. In Bihar, RJD won minority-dominated Jokihat by defeating BJP ally JD(U) by a huge margin. A buoyed TejashwiYadav of RJD said chief minister Nitish Kumar, who dumped the RJD and Congress last year to join hands with the BJP to form a new coalition government in the state, should resign if he has The BJP today played down the outcome of the bypolls, saying people do not vote for a prime minister or chief minister in such elections but are driven by local issues and asserted that the party will win 2019 general polls. However, the party said it will analyse the cause of the defeat in one Lok Sabha seat each held by it in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra attacked the Congress saying it has been reduced to a peripheral player in national politics. “As far as the Congress is concerned, though it has every rights to criticise in a democracy, the fact is the opposition party been reduced to a peripheral player in Indian politics today.” PTI some conscience left. BJP leader and Union home minister Rajnath Singh said one has to take two steps backward before a big leap and the BJP is “going to take a massive leap.”AAP leader and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said the results reflect the anger against the Modi government. The UP results came as the biggest upset for the BJP with the joint opposition candidate, RLD's Tabassum Hasan, winning in Kairana. The seat had fallen vacant after death of the BJP candidate Mriganka Singh's father, Hukum Singh. Former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav called the results “a defeat of divisive politics” and congratulated all opposition parties for the results. CPI-M leader Sitaram Yechury said BJP's loss at its “laboratory of communal and hate politics”, Kairana, clearly showed that people did not accept the ruling party's politics but warned that the loss could push the RSS-BJP to spread communal tensions to consolidate the “Hindutva votebank”. In Punjab, Congress' Hardev Singh Ladi wrested Shahkot from the Shiromani Akali Dal.Trinamul's Dulal Das won Maheshtala bypoll in Bengal, defeating BJP's Sujit Kumar Ghosh. The Left came third. In Kerala, Left's Saji Cheriyan won Chengannur bypoll. JMM retained Silli and Gomia seats in Jharkhand. In Gomia, JMM's Babita Devi defeated AJSU nominee Lambodar Mahto, while BJP came third. In Silli, JMM's Seema Mahto defeated AJSU chief Sudesh Mahto. Delhi High Court today granted senior Congress leader and former Union minister P Chidambaram interim protection from arrest till 3 July in the INX Media corruption case being investigated by the CBI. Justice A K Pathak asked Chidambaram to join the CBI's questioning and cooperate in the investigation as and when called by the agency. The court also sought the CBI’s response on Chidambaram's anticipatory bail plea. It listed the matter for further hearing on 3 July, directing that the investigating agency will not arrest him till then. Appearing for Chidambaram, senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Salman Khurshid assured the court that he will cooperate with the CBI. Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the CBI, opposed the anticipatory bail plea for Chidambaram, saying he was merely summoned by the CBI for questioning and that he should have first approached the trial court for relief instead of the high court. The judge, however, said that either the ASG should make a statement that the CBI will not arrest him till the next date of hearing, or the court would grant him SNS such a protection. GDP growth 7.7 per cent in Q4 Rahul rakes up ‘scam’ STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE Pakistan FATA merger: Pakistan President Mamnoon Hussain on Thursday signed a landmark constitutional amendment Bill to merge restive tribal region along the Afghan border with the northwestern province of KhyberPakhtunkhwa, bringing an end to the 150year-old British-era arrangement. The Bill was passed by the National Assembly, the Senate and KP Assembly before being sent to the President for formal approval. The Bill amends several Articles of the Constitution including Article 1 that defines the territory of the Pakistani federation. P11 Chidambaram gets interim protection from arrest Partly cloudy sky. Rain/thundershower likely to occur in some areas. Temperature will be in the range 34-27 degrees Celsius Max.83% ANDERSON MAKES LIGHT OF THE PLIGHT OF POMS on when to make the formal announcement would depend on the leadership of the two parties, they said. Congress general secretary in-charge of Karnataka K C Venugopal and JD(S) secretary general Danish Ali will travel to Bengaluru to hold further talks with their state leaders before finalizing the arrangement, the sources said. We have held five rounds of talks with each other and have decided that the JD(S) will get the Finance portfolio. I will be now travelling to Bengaluru to hold further talks within our party, Danish Ali told PTI. He said he would meet both chief minister H D Kumarswamy and former prime minister H D Deve Gowda. Leaders of the two parties, including Ali as well as the Congress' Ahmed Patel, Ashok Gehlot and Venugopal, met at the residence of senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad for talks. forecast at 7.5 per cent. He said he doesn't see oil prices impacting growth and that fiscal deficit will be within 3.5 per cent target. Union Finance Secretary Hasmukh Adhia tweeted, “The constant increasing trend of quarterly GDP numbers in the Four-Quarters of 2017-18 at 5.6%, 6.3%, 7% and 7.7% indicates that the structural measures of reforms undertaken by Government is now bringing rich dividends in the form of higher GDP Growth Rate.” The manufacturing sector grew at 9.1 per cent versus 8.5 per cent in the quarter ended December 2017. The construction sector grew at 11.5 per cent compared with 6.6 per cent in the quarter ended December 2017. Adhia added, “What is most noticeable is the increase in the Growth Rate of GVA of Manufacturing Sector in the last two Quarters of 2017-18 at 8.5% and 9.1% at constant price. We would like to believe that GST has given a big boost to the Industrial Sector.” The faster pace of growth in the latest quarter might also strengthen expectations for a rate hike by the Reserve Bank of India in its next policy review. Analysts believe that the combination of a weaker currency and surging oil prices is a threat not only for the current account deficit, but also inflation. However, the disruption caused due to destocking of inventories and haphazard implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the blow of demonetisation significantly lowered the country’s economic growth in the first two quarters. The GDP growth in the financial year 2017-18 was 6.7 per cent, lowest in the Narendra Modi-led BJP era. in An-32 spares deal STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 31 MAY Seizing on a media report about alleged scam in India's defence deal with Ukraine for purchase of spares for military transport aircraft, Congress president Rahul Gandhi Thursday demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should take immediate action against the guilty defence ministry officials. In a statement posted on Twitter, Gandhi said: "Ministry Of Defence, India (MODI) officials, accused of making millions of $'s in kickbacks via Dubai by Ukrainian Govt. in AN32 deal. Modi ji, as our self proclaimed chokidar, I urge you to take immediate action against your corrupt MODI officials. #BJPDefenceScam." ‘India, Singapore ties 'warmest and closest’ PRESS TRUST OF INDIA SINGAPORE, 31 MAY Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed the “warmest and closest” relationship between India and Singapore, saying the future is a world of unlimited opportunities and the two lions (countries) shall step into it together. Modi, who arrived in Singapore on the last leg of his threenation tour earlier today, said that the defence relations between the two countries are among the strongest and the two sides are building a “partnership of our age.” “When India opened up to the world and turned to the East, Singapore became a partner and a bridge between India and ASEAN. Political relations between India and Singapore are among the warmest and closest. There are no contests or claims, or doubts,” Modi told the Indian diaspora at a Business and Community Event at Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre here. “It is a natural partnership from a shared vision. Our defence relations are among the strongest, for both. My Armed Forces speak with great respect and admiration for Singapore's Armed Forces. India's longest continuous naval exercise is with Singapore,” he said, highlighting the deep defence ties. He said that in international forums, the two countries speak in one voice in the cause of a rulesbased order, sovereign equality of all nations, and free and open pathways of commerce and engagement.“It is a partner- ship at the front-line of India's global engagement. Singapore is both a leading investment source and destination for India. Singapore was the first country with which we signed a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement,” Modi said. “On the foundations of this extraordinary heritage, the wealth of our human links and the strength of our shared values, India and Singapore are CMYK building a partnership of our age. It is a relationship that truly meets the test of strategic partnership,” Modi said, amid applause. He said that India will work with Singapore to bring the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to early conclusion. He also said the India-Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement has been reviewed and the two sides will work to further upgrade it. “As India's engagement with the region grows, Singapore will remain a gateway to ASEAN and the broader East,” he added. Modi said that in many area of India's development priorities, Singapore is a key partner: smart cities, urban solutions, financial sector, skills development, ports, logistics, aviation and industrial parks. “So, India and Singapore are contributing to each other's prosperity. And, now we are building new partnerships for the digital world,” he said, adding they will be the bridge of innovation and enterprise between India, Singapore and ASEAN. Ukraine is said to be probing alleged Rs 17.5 crore kickbacks via a Dubai bank in India’s purchase of spares for the IAF's An-32 aircraft Ukraine is said to be probing alleged Rs 17.5 crore kickbacks via a Dubai bank in India’s purchase of spares for Indian Air Force (IAF)'s transport aircraft An-32 in which the Ukrainian anti-graft body suspects the involvement of Indian defence ministry officials. The agreement was signed for the supply of An-32 spares between a Ukrainian state-run company and Ministry of Defence (Air Force Headquarters) on 26 November 2014. According to the report, the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NAB), on 13 February 2018, sent a "request for international legal assistance" to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs via the Indian envoy in Kiev, seeking identification of the defence ministry officials who were part of the process of sealing this deal. The All India Congress Committee also raked up the scam, asking the "BJP-led government at the highest levels", especially Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, to respond. AICC spokesman Manish Tewari told reporters that the Modi government should make public details of the contract and not sweep it under the carpet "as was the case” in the Rafale fighter jet deal. No bids received for Air India stake sale PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 31 MAY In a major setback to the Air India disinvestment process, the government said no initial bids were received for the proposed strategic stake sale of the debt-laden airlines by the deadline today. The deadline for submission of Expression of Interest ended today. “As informed by the Transaction Adviser, no response has been received for the Expression of Interest floated for the strategic disinvestment of Air India,” the Civil Aviation Ministry said in a tweet. “Further course of action will be decided appropriately,” it added. EY is the transaction adviser for the process. The government has proposed to offload 76 per cent equity share capital of the national carrier as well as transfer the manage- ment control to private players. The transaction would involve Air India, its low cost arm Air India Express and Air India SATS Airport Services Pvt Ltd. The latter is an equal joint venture between the national carrier and Singaporebased SATS Ltd. Earlier this month, the government had extended the EoI submission deadline to May 31 from the previous date of May 14. The qualified interested bidders were to be intimated on June 15. The ailing airline's total debt stood at over Rs 48,000 crore at the end of March 2017. In April, both IndiGo and Jet Airways had said that they would not be participating in the Air India disinvestment process. IndiGo was the first to evince interest in Air India disinvestment when the government had mooted the plan last year.
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