CMYK MONDAY www.thestatesman.com 23 JULY 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 P3 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky. A few spells of rain likely. Temperature will be in the range of 32-26 degrees Celsius RAINFALL: 18.5 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.95% TEMPERATURE Max: 29.1°C (-3) SUN RISES 05:05 hrs MOON RISES 14.47 hrs GST RATES SLASH DONE WITH EYE ON ELECTIONS: PC AIRPORT SUICIDE ATTACK MARKS DOSTUM RETURN NRC DRAFT: NO REASON FOR PANIC, SAYS RAJNATH P10 RICH PACE POOL IS INDIA’S TRUMP CARD P2 Rahul to be Cong’s PM face for 2019 elections Congress Working Committee authorises Gandhi to forge alliances with other parties Min. 87% SNS & AGENCIES Min: 26.6°C (0) SUN SETS 18:22 hrs MOON SETS 01:21 hrs Moon phase: First quarter on 24 July THUMBNAILS Lakshya Sen poses on the podium after winning the men’s singles gold medal at the Asian Junior Championship in Jakarta on Sunday. BADMINTON ASSOCIATION OF INDIA/TWITTER Lakshya feat: Lakshya Sen on Sunday became only the third Indian shuttler to secure a gold medal at the Asia Junior Championships after defeating reigning world junior champion Kunlavut Vitidsarn of Thailand in straight games in the finals at Jakarta. The sixth seeded Indian from Uttarakhand, who had won a bronze medal in the last edition of the competition, notched up a 21-19, 21-18 upset win over Vitidsarn in the summit clash that clocked 46 minutes. Lakshya has been sensational in the tournament as he stunned second seed Chinese Li Shifeng, fourth seed Indonesian Ikhsan Leonardo Imanuel Rumbay in the semifinals and top seed Vitidsarn in the final. Pak suicide bombing: A former provincial minister and senior leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf was killed when a suicide bomber blew himself up near his car in the troubled Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, police said. kramullah Gandapur, a candidate for the provincial assembly seat from PK-99 constituency, was on his way to an election meeting when the bomber targeted his vehicle in Dera Ismail Khan district. Gandapur had sustained critical wounds in the suicide blast and was rushed to a Peshawar hospital by helicopter, but succumbed to his injuries during treatment. Cong on triple talaq bill: The chief of the Congress women's wing has said the party would support the instant triple talaq bill if the Centre includes a provision of alimony in it. All India Mahila Congress president Sushmita Dev alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party government was trying to strike a quid pro quo over the passing of the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill and the women's reservation bill. “We were never against the instant triple talaq bill. But the bill, in its present form, would be harmful to the interests of the Muslim women. It should have a provision of alimony for the victim,” Dev said. NEW DELHI, 22 JULY s the Congress gears up for the Lok Sabha polls slated for next year, the extended Congress Working Committee on Sunday authorised Congress president Rahul Gandhi to forge an alliance with like-minded parties to take on the BJP . Rahul Gandhi was also announced as the party's face and Prime Ministerial candidate. The decision to forge state-to-state alliances as also a larger alliance was taken at the meeting of an extended Congress Working Committee, also attended by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, which discussed a poll strategy with a heavy focus on farmers, youth, women, minorities, backward classes and other weaker sections. The decision about Rahul’s being the final word on alliances came amid perceptions that Sonia Gandhi had a wider acceptability among present and potential allies and was better placed to negotiate with them. In addition to the party’s preparations for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, the CWC A Congress president Rahul Gandhi speaks at the Extended Congress Working Committee meeting on Sunday. SNS also discussed its readiness to take on the BJP in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh - where elections will be held at the end of this year. It also discussed Mizoram where elections are due this year. With the party having suffered electorally due to "indiscreet remarks" of some of its leaders close to elections, Rahul emphasised on "gravitas of the language and conduct" and to keeping the party line in mind while making statements. While he asked party workers not to leave any stone unturned to oust the "failed" Narendra Modi government, party sources said several leaders stressed the need to strengthen the party at the booth-level, and outpace the BJP in poll management. Announcing the decisions on alliances, Congress spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala said the party president was also authorised to form a small committee for the purpose, if needed, as well as campaign committees and other panels for the 2019 elections. Sources said Gandhi is likely to form a committee with a leader from each state to get feedback on alliances. At the meeting, senior party leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram gave a detailed presentation on how the party Terrorists involved in cop’s murder killed in encounter STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE JAMMU, 22 JULY All three Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Tayyiba terrorists involved in yesterday’s kidnapping and torture to death of a J&K Police constable, Mohammad Saleem Shah, were on Sunday killed in an encounter with security forces in Khudwani area of Kulgam in south Kashmir. One of the three terrorists was a Pakistani national, Muawiya, who was involved in several civilian killings in Kashmir. The other two were local Kashmiris, identified as school dropout Suhail Dar and Mudassar, belonging to Kulgam district. Saleem was kidnapped on Friday night from his home in Mutalhama village Saleem was kidnapped on Friday night from his home in Mutalhama in Kulgam and his mutilated body with severe torture marks was found Saturday near Redwani Payeen in Kulgam and his mutilated body with severe torture marks was yesterday recovered from a nursery near village Redwani Payeen of the district. Saleem had joined the police in 2016 and was posted in the police lines at Pulwama. He was a member of a security force team that had some time ago killed Adil Pathan, a Pakistani commander of Jaish- e-Mohammad. He was the sole breadwinner of his family of six, said senior police officers. Police said that security forces in the wee hours launched searches at Redwani area in Kulgam following credible inputs about presence of the terrorists in a cluster of houses. As the security forces advanced, the hiding terrorists fired, resulting in a brief encounter in which the terrorists were killed. The kidnapping and killing of Saleem occurred a few days after another policeman, Javed Dar, was abducted and killed while home on leave, and nearly a month after an Indian Army soldier, Aurengzeb, was similarly kidnapped and killed in Shopian district. could be strengthened with the help of allies in various states. Sources said that Chidambaram highlighted that the Congress is strong in 12 states and with the help of its allies, it can forge a formidable front for the next general election. The issue of alliances, which is crucial for Congress to come to power again, saw "widespread discussion at the CWC meeting," said Surjewala, adding that Rahul told the meeting that he will negotiate in this regard “without compromising on the interests of Congress” as also the national interest and had no hesitation in forging a “larger alliance”. Asked about the party's stance on West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee's call to people to give all 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state to Trinamul Congress, Surjewala said her statement should not be taken as final posture. Asked if Rahul Gandhi will be face of the election, he said: "Congress will fight this election under the stewardship, leadership and by putting forward our leader Rahul Gandhi. On that we neither have a doubt, nor we have any second thoughts. "Naturally the people of India will decide once the Congress becomes the sin- gle largest party, touches the magic figure of 200 or more... Naturally the Congress president will be the only face to be projected. Meanwhile, in her remarks at the meeting, Sonia Gandhi cited "the reign of despair and fear heaped upon India's deprived and poor" and said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rhetoric "shows his desperation reflecting that reverse countdown of Modi government has begun". She said the people of the country have to be rescued from a “dangerous regime” that is “compromising” India’s democracy. Manmohan Singh said the BJP-led NDA was unlikely to reach the average growth rate achieved by the UPA government. The CWC also decided to support the demand for special category status to Andhra Pradesh, while Surjewala said it identified some core issues affecting people ~ farmers' distress, unemployment, performance of economy, "atrocities" on Dalits, tribals, and women, "indifference" to OBCs, "failure on foreign policy", continued disturbances in Kashmir, "lack of institutional integrity" and the situation in the northeast ~ and decided to build a mass movement. P12 Gandhi doubles down on Rafale deal scam charge PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 22 JULY Congress president Rahul Gandhi today maintained that the controversial Rafale jet deal “smells like a scam” and accused defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman of doing a “flip-flop” on the secrecy clause. Gandhi also attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issue, alleging he “squirms” when asked about the prices of the fighter aircraft. “Our Defence Minister said she would, but now she won't. She flip flops between it's-not-a-secret & it's-a-BIG-secret. The PM squirms when asked about the price of RAFALE and refuses to look me in the eye. Sure smells like a scam. #RAFALEscam (sic),” he tweeted. Gandhi's fresh attack on the government over the deal comes two days after he told Parliament during the debate on no-confidence motion that the French president had conveyed to him that there was no problem in sharing details relating to the Rafale deal, contrary to what the government has been saying. “The Defence Minister has clearly spoken an untruth,” he had said. Referring to Prime Min- ister Modi, he had said, “I can see him smiling. There is a touch of nervousness. He is looking away, not looking into my eyes.” The truth is that Modi is not a “chowkidar” (guard) but a “bhagidaar” (collaborator) in the wrong-doings, the Congress chief had said. “I personally met the French president and asked him if there is such a pact between the French and Indian governments. The French president told me that there is no such pact between the French and Indian governments,” Gandhi had said. “This is the truth, and he told me that I have no objection to it (details of Rafale deal) being made public, you can tell it to entire India.” Prime Minister Modi had called these charges as “distortion of truth”. After Gandhi's claims, the French government had issued a statement, saying a security agreement it concluded with India in 2008 legally binds the two countries to protect the classified information relating to operational capabilities of defence equipment. However, it did not clarify whether the provisions of the pact restrict the Indian government from disclosing price details of the Rafale deal. HOMEWARD BOUND During the Bahuda Yatra (return car festival) in Puri on Sunday. SNS India reaches out to Africa with PM’s 3-nation trip Ghastly murders send STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 22 JULY Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday begins a five-day, three-nation tour of Africa to Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa which will see India reaching out first bilaterally and then multilaterally under the BRICS umbrella to the continent. "The visit to Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa will further strengthen our relations with the African continent," the external affairs ministry said in a statement. Over the last few years, there has been significant engagement in various fields with African countries. There have been 23 visits to Africa by the President, Vice President and Prime Minister in the last four years. "Africa has been the top priority of India's foreign policy," the statement said. Cooperation in defence and agriculture will be Modi's priorities during his bilateral visits to Rwanda and Uganda before he goes to South Africa for the annual Brazil, Russia, India China, South Africa (BRICS) Summit. This will be Modi's second visit to mainland Africa after he visited Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya in 2016. Modi will reach Rwanda on July 23 in what will be the first ever Prime Ministerial visit from India to the East African nation. India elevated its ties with Rwanda, seen as an important gateway to eastern Africa, to that of a Strategic Partnership in January last year. Briefing the media, T.S. Tirumurti, Secretary (Economic Relations) in the External Affairs Ministry, said India will open its first mission in Rwanda very soon. India's current High Commissioner to Rwanda has residence in Kampala, Uganda. Rwanda is also a recipient of Indian lines of credit of nearly $400 million and of Indian training and scholarship programmes. During Modi's visit, two more lines of credit are expected to be signed ~ one of $100 million for industrial parks and a similar amount for agriculture and irrigation. "We expect agreements to be concluded in the areas of defence, dairy cooperation, leather, agriculture and culture," Tirumurti said. In Rwanda, Modi will visit Rweru model village to gift 200 cows as part of a programme overseen by President Kagame wherein the poorest families get dairy cows from the government and the first female calf born of the cow is gifted to a neighbour to promote brotherhood. From Rwanda, Modi will reach Uganda on July 24 in what will be the first bilateral visit by an Indian prime minister in 21 years. Tirumurti said training and capacity building had been the focus of defence cooperation between India and Uganda. India has an Indian military training team stationed in Jinja since 2010. Apart from calling on Ugandan President Yowei Museveni and holding delegation-level talks, Modi will take part in an India-Uganda joint business event and address the Ugandan parliament, the first ever by an Indian Prime Minister. He will also address members of the Indian community in Uganda. "We expect to extend two lines of credit for the first time to Uganda of $141 million regarding electricity lines and sub-stations and $64 million for agriculture and dairy production," Tirumurti said. From Uganda, Modi will travel to South Africa on July 25 on the third and last leg of his visit. Besides the BRICS Summit, Modi will also hold a bilateral meeting with President Cyril Ramaphosa, who assumed office in February. CMYK South Africa is organising the 10th BRICS leaders' Summit under the theme "BRICS in Africa: Collaboration with Developing Countries for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in the Fourth Industrial Revolution". The Prime Minister, along with other BRICS leaders, will participate in the restricted session, plenary session, leaders' retreat, outreach with leaders from Africa and outreach with leaders from the global South. In the BRICS-Africa outreach, those invited include Rwanda, Uganda, Togo, Zambia, Namibia, Senegal, Gabon, Ethiopia, Angola and the African Union Chair. In the BRICS-plus outreach, the invited countries of the global South include Argentina, Turkey, Indonesia, Jamaica and Egypt. On the sidelines of the BRICS Summit, Modi will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping. This will be the third meeting between the two leaders this year. shockwaves in Siliguri SANKHA GHOSH BAGDOGRA, 22 JULY The gruesome murder of a married couple at Bagdogra sent shockwaves across Siliguri today. Forty-year-old Ajay Khushuwa and his wife Mina were sleeping in separate rooms on the first floor of a three-storey building at Pradhannagar under the Upper Bagdogra gram panchayat, when they were hacked to death last night. Their bodies were recovered by police this morning. Ajay owned a catering business, and also provided waiters and waitresses to hotels and functions. “Khushuwa was found lying on a single bed in the dining hall. It appeared that the killer hit him on the back of his head. Mina, 35, was in the bedroom with her two children. She was also murdered with a sharp weapon, while her face was disfigured later and made beyond recognition. Her four-year-old son Vivan and three-month-old daughter were sleeping with her. They were found sleeping in a pool of blood on the bed," a police officer said. A pall of gloom descended on the entire area. It is learnt that an employee working under Khushuwa, Uday Pradhan, first found the bodies. "We had an assignment at a hotel last evening, and after its completion, we went to his house. I called him on his phone several times, but it went unanswered. I then went to the first floor and found them murdered," Mr Pradhan said. Police said they are investigating the case, and looking into whether business rivalry or personal reasons were involved. Details on Page 13
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.