SUNDAY www.thestatesman.com 09 SEPTEMBER 2018 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16+4 | `5 |LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR A CENTURIES-OLD DOUBLE FLUTE-SHAPED INSTRUMENT IS FINDING NO TAKERS AMONG THE YOUTH IN PAKISTAN THERE’S A MELLIFLUOUS SYNERGY BETWEEN SUPERLATIVE WORLD WINES, DIVERSE GLOBAL MUSICAL RENDITIONS AND SENSUOUS RHYTHMS P1 WEATHER Generally cloudy sky with light rain/thundershowers. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 34 and 25 degrees Celsius respectively. Shah predicts larger haul for BJP in 2019 RAINFALL: 1.8 MM RELATIVE HUMIDITY Modi govt working to make India, Cong seeking to break India: BJP chief Max. 93% PRESS TRUST OF INDIA TEMPERATURE Max: 33.6°C (0) SUN RISES 06:04 hrs MOON RISES 06:24 hrs Min. 66% Min: 25.5°C (0) SUN SETS 18:34 hrs MOON SETS 18:33 hrs THUMBNAILS Lokesh Rahul plays a shot during play on the second day of the fifth Test match against England at The Oval in London on Saturday. India were reeling at 174/6 at stumps in reply to England's first innings score of 332. AFP (P16) Bridge restrictions: In the wake of the Majherhat bridge collapse, the West Bengal government on Saturday restricted all kinds of goods vehicles from plying on four bridges in Kolkata, specifically, the Bijan Setu, Tollygunge Circular Setu, Arabinda Setu and Belgachi bridge, all of which serve as major connectors in their respective areas, in addition to issuing a notification banning movement of 20 wheelers throughout the state. Kolkata Police issued a separate letter in this regard to Kolkata Port Trust saying that heavy vehicles would not be allowed to enter or exit from the port area. Kolkata police also said that repair work on the four bridges P5 would start soon. Hardik fast: Patidar leader Hardik Patel's indefinite fast demanding reservations for his community and farm loan waiver entered the 15th day Saturday as he continued his agitation from a hospital bed. Patel, who began his hunger strike from 25 August, was admitted to a hospital Friday after his health deteriorated. Loktantrik Janata Dal leader Sharad Yadav and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader and former Union minister A Raja visited Patel at the hospital and extended support to him. Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti spokesperson Manoj Panara said that Hardik's fast would P4 continue until all their demands are met. Pakistan EAC resignation: London-based economist Imran Rasul has become the second member of the new Pakistan government's Economic Advisory Council (EAC) to resign in protest against the exclusion of US-based academic Atif R Mian who was told to step down from the body due to a backlash over his Ahmadi faith. Another EAC member, Asim Ijaz Khwaja, professor of International Finance and Development at the Harvard Kennedy School, had earlier said he was resigning from the council following Mian's exclusion. The Pakistan government on Friday withdrew the nomination of Mian from the newly-constituted panel, apparently under pressure from hardliners. P7 NEW DELHI, 8 SEPTEMBER T he Narendra Modi government is working for “making India” whereas the Congress is working for “breaking India”, BJP president Amit Shah said Saturday, asserting that his party will return to power in 2019 with a majority bigger than what it got in 2014. In a blistering attack on the Opposition in his inaugural address at the party's two-day national executive meeting, he said the proposed “maha-gathbandhan” (grand alliance) of the BJP's rivals is an illusion and myth, and will make no difference to its fortunes. Shah sought to build a narrative about his party around the theme of development, especially targeting the poor, and nationalism, while painting the Opposition as those sympathising with “urban Naxals” and working for “breaking India” in its frustration over electoral losses. Briefing reporters on Shah's speech in the closeddoor meeting, Union minister Nirmala Sitharaman said he termed the Opposition as “disruptionists” and that it no longer seems to be representing the voice of the people, in apparent reference to the no-confidence motion brought by opposition parties in Lok Sabha in the Monsoon session.With many political watchers suggesting that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) may find it hard to repeat its 2014 feat, Shah said it will handily win in 19 states where it is in power and also emerge victorious in states BJP leader LK Advani, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and finance minister Arun Jaitley during the BJP national executive meeting. SUBRATA DUTTA Shah to lead party in LS polls NEW DELHI, 8 SEPTEMBER BJP president Amit Shah, whose three-year term ends in January next year, will lead the party in the Lok Sabha election in 2019 and its organisational polls are likely to be suspended till then as it focuses on the electoral challenge ahead, party sources said. A party leader said organisational polls in an election year have often been deferred in the past as well to allow the incumbent president, his team of office-bearers and workers to focus fully on polls. The party sources said on the sidelines of the BJP national executive meeting that Shah will lead the organisation into the Lok Sabha polls, scheduled for April-May next year. The issue was discussed in the meeting of office-bearers, they said. Shah had replaced Rajnath Singh as the party president soon after it came to power in May 2014 as Singh quit his post following his inclusion in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Cabinet. He was then elected as the president in January 2016. PTI such asWest Bengal, Odisha and Telangana due to “antiincumbency” factor against the regional parties in power there. “We will return to power strongly and with a good majority. We will win with a bigger majority than what we got in 2014,” Sitharaman quoted him as saying. The BJP had won 282 seats out of 543 in the 2014 parliamentary election. Top party leaders, including Prime Minister Naren- Yogendra Yadav detained in TN PRESS TRUST OF INDIA TIRUVANNAMALAI, 8 SEPTEMBER Swaraj Abhiyan leader Yogendra Yadav was detained in Chengam, in Tiruvannamalai district on Saturday when he was on his way to express solidarity with farmers protesting against the proposed Salem-Chennai Expressway project, police said. Yadav tweeted that he was “manhandled” and pushed into a police van. “We came on the invitation of Movement Against 8Lane Way. We were prevented from going to meet farmers, phones snatched, manhandled and pushed into police van. Firsthand experi- ence of police state in TN,” he said. Yadav said he had come here for conducting a fact finding about acquisition when he was stopped from proceeding. In another tweet, he said he had been lodged with some others in a marriage hall. The Rs 10,000 crore eight-lane expressway connecting Salem and Chennai is being opposed by a section of farmers and landown- ers who do not want to part with their land. DMK leader M K Stalin has condemned the “arbitrary detention. “The DMK strongly condemns the arbitrary detention of @_SwarajIndia chief @_YogendraYadav who supported farmers affected by #ChennaiSalemExpressway project,” he tweeted. The “intolerant” AIADMK government will pay the price for denying people the democratic right to dissent and protest, Stalin added. The project, a Central initiative being implemented by the state government, aims to bring down the travel time between Salem and Chennai. dra Modi and chief ministers of party-ruled states, were in attendance as Shah asserted that it will return to power on the basis of the government's performance, Modi's charismatic leadership and its organisational strength. Shah also touched on the issues of National Register of Citizens (NRC) and triple talaq bill while making a passing reference to his rivals’ attack on the party over Dalit issues but avoided the topics of oil price rise and reported upper castes anger over the BJP's support for pro-Dalit laws. Speaking for the first time on the raging controversy over the arrest of several activists on the charge that they helped Naxals, he praised Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who was present, for the police action. Opposition parties such as the Congress are playing vote bank politics over the issue, he said. Fuel prices continue upward spiral; petrol crosses `80/l in Delhi PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 8 SEPTEMBER Petrol price in the national capital Saturday crossed the Rs 80 mark for the first time ever as rupee depreciation made imports costlier. Petrol price was Saturday raised by 39 paise a litre and diesel by 44 paise per litre, according to price notification issued by state fuel retailers. The increase pushed the petrol price in Delhi to Rs 80.38 per litre. Diesel rate touched its highest level of Rs 72.51 a litre. In Mumbai, a litre of petrol costs Rs 87.77 and diesel comes for Rs 76.98, the notification said. Fuel prices in Delhi are the cheapest among all metros and most state capitals due to lower taxes. Mumbai has the highest tax rates among the metros. Opposition parties have called for a nation-wide 'Bharat Bandh' on Monday to protest against the spiralling fuel prices. The spike in prices has renewed calls for cut in excise duty but Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has remained non-committal, saying international oil prices are volatile and have not shown any linear movement. Since mid-August, petrol price has risen by Rs 3.24 a litre and diesel by Rs 3.74 per litre as rupee hit record low against the US dollar, making imports costlier. This is the biggest increase in rates in any fortnight since the daily price revision was introduced in mid-June last year. Central and state taxes account for nearly half the retail prices of these fuels. On Tuesday, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram had tweeted: “Relentless rise in prices of petrol and diesel is not inevitable. Because the price is built up by excessive taxes on petrol and diesel. If taxes are cut, prices will decline significantly.” The Centre currently levies a total excise duty of Rs 19.48 per litre of petrol and Rs 15.33 per litre on diesel. On top of this, states levyValue AddedTax (VAT) ~ the lowest being in Andaman and Nicobar Islands where 6 per cent sales tax is charged on both the fuels. Mumbai has the highestVAT of 39.12 per cent on petrol, while Telangana levies the highest VAT of 26 per cent on diesel. Delhi charges a VAT of 27 per cent on petrol and 17.24 per cent on diesel. The Central government had raised excise duty on petrol by Rs 11.77 a litre and that on diesel by 13.47 a litre in nine installments between November 2014 and January 2016 to shore up finances as global oil prices fell, but then cut the tax just once in October last year by Rs 2 a litre. This led to its excise collections from petro goods more than doubling in the last four years ~ from Rs 99,184 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 2,29,019 crore in 2017-18. States saw their VAT revenue from petro goods rise from Rs 1,37,157 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 1,84,091 crore in 2017-18. P 10 Art 35A: NC threatens LS, Assembly polls boycott JAMMU, 8 SEPTEMBER Hardening his stand on the issue of Article 35A, National Conference (NC) chief and MP Farooq Abdullah on Saturday said that the party will not contest the next year’s parliament and assembly elections if attacks on the special rights and position of Jammu and Kashmir continued unabated. Farooq had onWednesday said that the NC would not contest the coming panchayats and urban local body elections unless the Centre takes effective steps for protection of Article 35A of the Constitution which is facing legal challenge in the Supreme Court. He told media persons during the observations of the 36th death anniversary of his father Sheikh Abdullah in Srinagar that the NC would also not contest the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. Farooq said his party was not running away from polls, but wanted the Centre to do justice with the people of J&K first and take effective steps for the protection of the state's special position. Farooq alleged that the intentions of the Centre were not right.“They never were” The NSA has said that . a separate constitution for Jammu and Kashmir is an aberration. I want to tell him from this stage that if the constitution is an aberration, then this accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India is also an aberration," he said. "If the government of India doesn't stand up to protect our special rights and separate constitution then we would boycott assembly and parliament elections as well," SNS he said. DETAILS ON PAGE 4 DMK slams Centre's 'electoral dictatorship' PTI CHENNAI, 8 SEPTEMBER The DMK launched a frontal attackontheBJP-ledCentralgovernment on Saturday, accusing it of running an “electoral dictatorship” and vowed to“defeat” the national party's “saffronisation dreams”. A meeting of the party's district secretaries, MPs and MLAs held under its president MK Stalin said the party was ready to “pay any price” to uphold Constitutional values.The meeting, the first one to be headed by Stalin following his August 28 elevation as party chief, faulted the Centre on issues ranging from demonetisation, Rafale deal, NEET and the prevailing economic situation.“The BJP government is ignoring the interests ofTamil Nadu, affecting plurality and promoting commu- nalism, even as human rights activists and those opposed to the BJP are being painted as antinationals,” a resolution adopted in the meeting said. The resolution titled “Will reject BJP's saffronisation dreams” charged that media critical of the BJP government is being“intimidated” while Dalits and minorities were being targeted in many places. An“undeclared emergency” was, therefore, in place, it said. “TheBJPhasinstalledanelectoral dictatorship and has been running an anti-people government for the last four years,” the Dravidian party charged. Such an “electoral dictatorship” was challenging Parliamentary democracy, it added. The DMK also charged the BJP with controlling institutions like the Election Commission,ITDepartmentandCBI, adding “there is a crisis” even in the judiciary, referring to the outburst by four senior Supreme Court judges earlier this year. While demonetisation was announced in“haste,” the GST which was rolled out last year was a “goof-up”, it said, and referred to the falling value of the Indian rupee against the US dollar,leadingtoriseinfuelprices and increasing current account deficit.These had severely hurt the economy, the party added. DMK will never allow BJP's “communal” designs to take shape in the state and will “pay anypricetoupholdthePreamble of the Constitution,” it said. Training its guns on the state government led by archrival AIADMK, the DMK charged that the former had become the “epitome of corruption” and vowed to unseat it. It announced state-wide protests against the government on 18 September. It called for the dismissal of state Health Minister C Vijayabaskar and removal of police chief TK Rajendran, on whosepremisestheCBIhadconducted searches on Thursday in connection with the Gutka scam, relating to alleged payoffs by a manufacturer. The meeting also demandedimmediatereleaseoftheseven convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, following a direction from the Supreme Court that the state Governor can consider the mercy plea of one of them, AG Perarivalan. Hindus have no aspiration of dominance: Bhagwat Amnesty flays UP govt for PTI CHICAGO, 8 SEPTEMBER Hindus have no aspiration of dominance and the community will prosper only when it works as a society, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has said and urged the community leaders to unite and work for the betterment of the mankind. Addressing a gathering of some 2,500 delegates attending the second World Hindu Congress here, Bhagwat said one of the key values to bring the whole world into a team is to have controlled ego and learn to accept the consensus. The second World Hindu Congress marks the commemoration of the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda's historic speech at the Parliament of theWorld's Religions in 1893 in Chicago. "If a lion is alone, wild dogs can invade and destroy the lion. We must not forget that.We want to make the world better. We have no aspiration of dominance. Our influence is not a result of conquest or colonisation, he said. Bhagwat said a sense of idealism is good and described himself not as "anti-modern", but as "pro-future". He sought to describe Hindu dharma as "ancient and post-modern". "Hindu society will prosper only when it works as a society," he said at the conference inspired by the Hindu principle 'Sumantrite Suvikrante' or 'Think Collectively, Achieve Valiantly'. "One of the key values to bring the whole world into a team is to have controlled ego and learn to accept the consensus. For example, Lord Krishna and Yudhishtra never contradicted each other," Bhagwat said. In this context, he alluded to the war and politics in the Hindu epic Mahabharata, and said politics cannot be conducted like a meditation session, and it should be politics. "To work together, we have to accept the consensus.We are in a position to work together," Bhagwat said. He urged the conference attendees to discuss and evolve a methodology to implement the idea of working collectively. He said the Hindu society has the largest number of meritorious persons. "But they never come together. Coming together of Hindus in itself is a difficult thing," he said. He noted that Hindus had been suffering for thousands of years because they forgot to practice its basic principles and spiritualism. "We have to come together," Bhagwat said, noting that all the people need not to register under one umbrella. He noted that Hindus had been suffering for thousands of years because they forgot to practice its basic principles and spiritualism. Addressing the congress on the theme drawn from the Mahabharat, 'Think Collectively, Act Valiantly,' Bhagwat highlighted the need for such an action, and how Hindus should work together. He said in Hindu dharma, even a pest is not killed, but controlled. "Hindus don't live to oppose anybody.We even allow the pests to live. There are people who may oppose us. You have to tackle them without harming them," Bhagwat said. SP Kothari, chair of WHC, said he and many speakers attending the conference received calls and petitions from organisations and individuals to withdraw from the Congress on the ground WHC or some of its organisers are "socially and religiously divisive." 'failing' Muzaffarnagar victims IANS NEW DELHI, 8 SEPTEMBER Amnesty International on Saturday castigated the Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh for doing little to ensure justice and rehabilitation for the survivors of the 2013 Muzaffarnagar communal violence. On the fifth anniversary of the deadly riots in Muzaffarnagar district that claimed at least 60 lives and displaced over 50,000 people, the Amnesty International India blamed the state government's apathy for seven gang-rape survivors still awaiting justice and the displaced continuing to look for rehabilitation. "The Uttar Pradesh government has forgotten the riot survivors of Muzaffarnagar and Shamli. The state has done very little to redress the injustice they have faced. The government's attempt at rehabilitation and compensation has been woefully inadequate", said Asmita Basu, Programmes Director, Amnesty International India. She said justice remained elusive for the seven gangrape survivors who have received little assistance from authorities to rebuild their lives and livelihoods. "There has not been even one conviction in any of the seven cases so far. In 2016, one of the survivors died during childbirth," she said. Quoting one of the survivors, a mother of five, Amnesty India said the victims have lost all hope of getting justice and are now hoping for survival of their families. "Their rapists are out in the open for years now.Women are scared to pursue their cases and they cannot be blamed for this. There are media reports of compromises being made and of money being offered...We need to understand the realities in which these women have survived all these years. They are scared and have lost all faith in the system," said Rehana Adeeb, an activist working with the survivors. The rights body said an overwhelming majority of families in resettlement colonies lack access to basic services like clean drinking water and drainage facilities.
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