CMYK TUESDAY www.thestatesman.com 25 SEPTEMBER 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 P8 SENSEX 36,305.02 -536.58 WEATHER Sultry weather with rain /thundershower likely in afternoon/evening. Max-min temp likely to be 35-28 degree celsius, resp RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY P10 NIFTY 10,967.40 -175.70 ` vs $ 72.63 -43 PAISE Min. 57% Max: 35.0°C (+3) SUN RISES 05:27 hrs MOON RISES 17.55 hrs Min: 27.1°C (+1) SUN SETS 17:31 hrs MOON SETS 05:23 hrs Full moon today THUMBNAILS Tribals blocked the railway track in support of their demands at Balichack in West Midnapur on Monday. RANAJIT GHARA Rupee dives 43 paise, Sensex tanks 537 points: The rupee struggled to make headway after a two-day climb and backtracked to end sharply lower by 43 paise to 72.63 against the US dollar after crude prices soared ahead of impending US sanctions on Iran. The 30-share Sensex tanked 536.58 points or 1.46 per cent to settle at a two-month low of 36,305.02, logging its biggest single-day loss since February 6. P8 Second NK summit soon, says Trump: President Donald Trump says a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is likely to take place “quite soon.” Speaking at the United Nations, Trump says the relationship with the country whose leader he branded last year as “Little Rocket Man” is much improved. He said Monday: “It was a different world. That was a dangerous time. This is one P10 year later, a much different time.” Sikkim gets airport: Dedicating Sikkim's first airport at Pakyong to the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday his government is committed to make the Northeast an “engine of India's growth story” and lamented the “slow pace” of development in the region under the previous governments. With the inauguration of the greenfield airport, the country currently has 100 airports. Daler Mehndi singing at a Sufi concert to pay tribute to late PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee and help for Kerala Flood Victims, organised by HOOOK, at Siri Fort Auditorium in the capital on Sunday Night. SNS P9 GOLD 29,620.00 +85.00 P11 SILVER 37,450.00 +250.00 BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 80.53 +1.73 Rafale row continues Kashmir talks: India ready, Pak for peace to be on the boil STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 24 SEPTEMBER ith the raging row over the Rs 59,000 crore India-France Rafale fighter jet deal continuing to be on the boil, the principal Opposition Congress and the ruling BJP have remained locked in a war of words, exchanging fire over what has now snowballed into an international controversy. A high-level Congress delegation today met the Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) K V Chowdary to demand a probe into alleged corruption in the Rafale deal. This meeting took place days after a Congress delegation met the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) to press for its audit report on alleged irregularities in the Rafale deal and its tabling in Parliament. The Congress delegation submitted a detailed memorandum to the CVC, accusing the Narendra Modi government of allegedly causing loss to the public W exchequer and endangering national security by bypassing the State-run Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for offset contract in favour of industrialist “friends” without any experience of manufacturing aircraft. “Rafale scam has now emerged as India's biggest defence scam. Tracks of corruption are getting unravelled by the day with repeated disclosures getting no answers from the defence ministry of the government of the day," the Congress memorandum reportedly charged. “The government is bound to disclose the price of 36 (Rafale) aircraft to scrutiny by CVC in light of the serious allegations of corruption and loss of money to public exchequer. We, therefore, request the CVC to undertake its statutory duty by examining record threadbare, so that corruption, crony capitalism, violation of law and procedure, and loss to public exchequer is brought out as the earliest,” the memorandum stated. The delegation comprised senior Congress leaders including Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ahmed Patel, Anand Sharma, Kapil Sibal, and Randeep Surjewala among others. Speaking to reporters, Anand Sharma alleged: "Rafale scam was an arbitrary decision of PM Modi, who without any mandate from the Cabinet Committee on Security decided to do away with the three important things of the original tender for purchase of 126 planes: (a) transfer of technology, (b) HAL as a partner of Dassault to manfucture 108 planes, and (c) the approved price of Rs 526 crore per aircraft that went up to Rs 1,670 crore." A French aerospace giant Dassault is the manufacturer of Rafale aircraft. The Rafale controversy has snowballed in the wake of former French Presi- Modi congratulates Solih on poll victory, leaders to work together STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 24 SEPTEMBER Within hours of Abdulla Yameen, the pro-China President of the Maldives, suffering a humiliating defeat in the elections in the archipelago, Prime Minister Narendra Modi telephoned Opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih and congratulated him on his victory in the hustings. The PM conveyed his good wishes for the strengthening of democracy, peace and prosperity in the Maldives under Solih’s leadership, the External Affairs Ministry said. Solih thanked Modi for his greetings and good wishes. The two leaders agreed to work closely together to further strengthen the close, friendly and good neighbourly relations between the two countries. Earlier on Monday, India said the election results reflected the Maldives commitment to the values of democracy and the rule of law. New Delhi also hoped the Maldivian Election Commission would officially confirm the result at the earliest. The final results in the election would be announced on 30 September. “We welcome the successful completion of the third presidential election process in the Maldives which, according to preliminary information, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has won,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said. “We heartily congratulate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on his victory and hope that the Election Commission will officially confirm the result at the earliest,” it said. Reports from Male said Solih won the election, defeating Yameen, who had become a major source of irritation for India because of relentlessly pursuing Beijing’s agenda in the island nation. He borrowed hundreds of millions of dollars from China for controversial infrastructure projects in his country, much to the discomfiture of India. Yameen often faced strident criticism, especially from India, for jailing his opponents. India’s ties with the Maldives came under strain after President Yameen declared Emergency on 5 February. (See also P9) Injured Navy sailor rescued PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI/KOCHI, 24 SEPTEMBER Indian Navy sailor Abhilash Tomy was rescued from the Indian Ocean near Australia in a multi-nation operation on Monday, three days after he suffered a grievous back injury when a powerful storm hit his boat while he was on a solo race around the world, Navy officials said. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the commander is “conscious and doing okay” after his ordeal. Tomy, 39, who was sailing as part of the Golden Globe Race (GGR) - a solo sailboat race around the world -- drifted in the sea for three days TIGER IS FINALLY OUT OF THE WOODS, ROARS TO THE TOP Congress-BJP war of words rages, Opposition demands CVC probe Max.90% TEMPERATURE COURT SUMMONS SHARIF KAVANAUGH FACES SECOND ASSAULT ALLEGATION JAITLEY TO MEET CHIEFS OF PSU BANKS TODAY before he was rescued by French fishing vessel Osiris, officials said. His boat Thuriya was hit by a deadly storm, about 1,900 nautical miles from Perth, Australia, on Friday. The main mast of his boat was ripped off by around 15-metre high waves, they said. Navy spokesperson Capt D K Sharma said French fishing vessel Osris, assisted by Indian Navy's P8I surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft, reached close to Thuriya around 1130 hrs (IST) and carried out a successful rescue operation using a small boat. “Cdr Tomy was rescued by a boat and rescue team from Osiris. The rescue team shifted Cdr Tomy in a stretcher from Thuriya to Osiris using their Gemini boat. He has been reported to be conscious and has been provided with initial medical care,” he said. Capt Sharma said Osiris proceeded to rescue a second sailor whose boat was also damaged in the storm. Thereafter, the French vessel will move to take shelter at Ile Amsterdam, about 100 nautical miles north of the rescue position. The island has a small hospital. Indian Naval ship Satpura has been sent to bring the commander, a Kirti Chakra awardee, back to India. The Australian Rescue Coordination Centre in Canberra coordinated the rescue mission in cooperation with many agencies, including the Australian Defence Department and the Indian Navy. According to rescue officer Phil Gaden in Australia, Tomy had a severely injured back. “We believe that he's very severely restricted in his ability to manoeuvre, his mobility is affected, Gaden said. CMYK dent Francois Hollande's recent explosive statement on the deal's offset aspect, reportedly made to the French investigative website Mediapart that the Indian government proposed Anil Ambani's firm Reliance Defence as Dassault's offset partner in the Rafale deal and that France did not have a choice in it. Both the Indian and French governments have however distanced themselves from the selection of Anil Ambani's firm as Dassault's partner, claiming that it was Dassault's commercial decision. Dassault has also stated that the decision to partner with Reliance was its own. Hitting back, the BJP gunned for Congress president Rahul Gandhi, alleging that Gandhi was involved in an "international conspiracy" in a nexus with Hollande to "sabotage" the Rafale deal and that the Congress chief wanted it to be scrapped to help a firm linked to his businessman brother-inlaw Robert Vadra. PRESS TRUST OF INDIA LUCKNOW, 24 SEPTEMBER The government is ready for dialogue with “everyone” on Kashmir issue, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday, days after India cancelled a foreign minister-level talks with Pakistan. Singh, however, asserted that terrorism in Kashmir Valley is “Pakistansponsored”. “I think the (Kashmir) matter will be resolved. We are ready to talk to everyone,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of the Central Zonal Council here. The home minister said as far as terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir is concerned, all security agencies are working in coordination. The home minister said as far as terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir is concerned, all security agencies are working in coordination. “Terrorism in Kashmir is Pakistan-sponsored,” he said. India on Friday had called off a meeting between the foreign ministers of the two countries in New York, barely 24 hours after agreeing to the engagement, citing the brutal killings of three policemen in Jammu and Kashmir and Islamabad releasing postage stamps “glorifying” Kashmiri militant Burhan Wani. PTI adds from Wash- ington: India's reluctance to hold talks with Pakistan will not stop Islamabad from closing doors on its efforts to promote peace in the region, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said, days after New Delhi cancelled the foreign minister-level meeting in New York. Addressing a news conference at the Pakistan Embassy in Washington on Sunday, Qureshi said India used incidents that happened in July to cancel peace talks that it agreed to in September. “India is reluctant, we will not close our doors,” Qureshi said.“Hiding away from issues will not make them disappear. It will not improve the situation in Kashmir,” he was quoted as saying by the Dawn.
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