SATURDAY www.thestatesman.com 26 JANUARY 2019 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16+4 |`5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P8 SENSEX 36,025.54 -169.56 NO END TO US SHUTDOWN AS BILLS REJECTED ‘BJP WILL REMAIN THE NO. 1 PARTY’ PRE-POLL ANGST P9 NIFTY 10,780.55 -69.25 P12 ` vs $ 71.17 -10 PAISE ‘Priyanka had thought of it’ FIRE-SPEWING YADAV GUIDES VIDARBHA INTO RANJI FINAL GOLD 31,190.00 +85.00 P16 SILVER 39,000.00 00.00 BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 60.87 -0.22 CBI books Hooda in fresh land scam Agency teams conduct searches at 20 locations in Delhi and Gurgaon PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 25 JANUARY I WEATHER Moderate to dense fog in the morning. Partly cloudy sky and haze/ smoke thereafter. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 19 and 7 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: 5.6 MM RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.100% Min. 70% TEMPERATURE Max: 18.6°C (-4) SUN RISES 07:12 hrs MOON RISES 23.38 hrs Min: 10.7°C (+2) SUN SETS 17:55 hrs MOON SETS 11:38 hrs THUMBNAILS Saina sails into semi-finals: Saina Nehwal hardly f broke a sweat on way to her second consecutive semifinal of the season but P V Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth lost their respective quarterfinals to bow out of the Indonesia Masters badminton tournament in Jakarta on FriP15 day. MNF threatens to withdraw support: Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga said on Thursday that the ruling Mizo National Front would not hesitate to snap ties with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) if the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is not revoked. CM said they were making efforts to ensure defeat of the bill. Malayalam film director attacked: National award-winning Malayalam film director Priyanandanan was allegedly attacked with cow dung water near Thrissur Friday, days after he courted controversy over an objectionable Facbook post on Sabarimala women's entry issue, police said. Police registered a P10 case and arrested an RSS worker. SC upholds insolvency code: “The defaulters' paradise is lost” and the economy's rightful position has been regained, Supreme Court said as it upheld the constitutional validity of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code. SC said, “Flow of financial resource to the commercial sector in India has increased exponentially as a result of financial debts being repaid”. SNS & PTI BHUBANESWAR, 25 JAN Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday said his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra's entry into politics was not sudden as she had decided to play a role in the party after her children grew up.The decision on the timing of Priyanka's political plunge was taken some years ago. She was delaying it because of the children, he said, replying to a question at an interactive session here.“Now her children are grown-ups.While one of them has entered university, another too has grown up. Therefore, she decided to join politics,” he said. On Priyanka's political role, Gandhi said her main job is to revive the Congress in Uttar Pradesh. No decision on her role outside that state has been taken.Priyanka Gandhi Vadra plunged into active politics onWednesday and was made AICC general secretary for Uttar Pradesh East in a move reflecting the party's intent to go full throttle in the northern state in the run-up to the parliamentary polls. Stating that he and Priyanka share a strong bond, the Congress president said “both of us have SC to examine quota law STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 25 JANUARY The Supreme Court today agreed to examine the validity of the constitutional amendment law providing 10 percent reservation in jobs and education to economically weaker section of upper caste people, even as it refused to stay the contentious measure. A Bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna issued a notice to the central government on a batch of petitions challenging the validity of the Constitution (103 Amendment) Act, 2019, which provides for grant of quota in jobs and education to the general category poor. TURN TO P 7 been through hell together” as he recalled the assassinations of his grandmother Indira Gandhi, father Rajiv Gandhi and subsequent political upheavals in the family. “These incidents have brought us closer. Everybody thinks all is easy for us but we have seen some very hard situations. That has brought us together,” Gandhi said. About the equation between them, he said, “If we are sitting in separate rooms and you ask us the same questions, 80 per cent of the time you will get the same answer.” The Congress president said both he and his sister believe in giving space to each other and there is a constant give and take and spirit of reciprocity between the two when it comes to their personal relations. “We have a lot of conversation,” he added. Gandhi accused Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik of being remote-controlled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as regards the chit fund scam and promised farm loan waiver, if his party was voted to power in the state.Rahul visit is being seen as a step to boost the morale of the party cadres in the state. n fresh trouble for former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, the CBI has booked him in a case of corruption in the 1,417 acres land acquisition exercise in 2009 in Gurgaon, and carried out searches at 20 locations, officials said on Friday. The CBI teams started searches at 20 locations in Delhi and Gurgaon, including the residence of Hooda in Rohtak. The agency has also named Additional Chief Secretary Haryana Trilok Chand Gupta, who was then chief administrator, HUDA along with 15 builders in the case, including DLF, Emaar MGF, Buzz Hotels, Ansals among others. Their official premises were searched during the operation in the morning. The case was registered on the directions of the Supreme Court on November 1, 2017 where the central investigating agency was entrusted to probe alleged irregularities in the acquisition process of 1,417 acres of land between 2009 and 2012 for sector 58-63 and 65-67 in Gurgaon on June 2, 2009, they said. The government had issued notification for the acquisition of 1,417.07 acres of land situated at sector 58 to 63 and 65 to 67, Gurgaon on June 2, 2009, the agency said. Subsequently, another notification was issued for acquisition of 850.10 It’s nothing but political vendetta: Haryana ex-CM PRESS TRUST OF INDIA ROHTAK, 25 JANUARY Former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda called the CBI raids against him on Friday “political vendetta” to suppress his voice. CBI teams raided his house here and several other premises in Delhi and the National Capital Region in connection with alleged land irregularities during the Congress leader's tenure as chief minister. It's nothing but political vendetta. They want to suppress my voice, in which they will not succeed, he told reporters after the Central Bureau of Investigation officials left his home. He said he fully cooperated with the officials, adding, They found nothing. “They took a copy of an income tax return filed by my nephew a long time back,” he said. “Nothing was found against me,” he added. “I am from a family of freedom fighters, even the British could not suppress us, he said. He acres on May 31, 2010, the officials said. It emerged during the preliminary enquiry that the purpose of Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) Chandra says his empire is in a financial mess PRESS TRUST OF INDIA MUMBAI, 25 JANUARY Essel Group chairman Subhash Chandra Friday said his company is in a financial mess and has blamed the same for the aggressive bets on infra, which has gone out of control since the IL&FS crisis and also the acquisition ofVideocon's D2H business. Apologising to lenders, Chandra also alleged that some negative forces are out to sabotage his efforts to raise money through a strate- gic sale in the flagship company Zee Entertainment Enterprises. The admission incidentally came after Zee shares tanked a whopping 26.43 percent on the BSE to Rs 319.35 Friday, while other group company shares like DishTV plunged 32.74 percent to Rs 22.60. In an open letter, Chandra did not disclose the exact quantum of debt, limiting himself to say that rolling over debt has been difficult since the IL&FS crisis and the group has been able to honour its loan commitments till December. “I am compelled to apologise to our bankers, NBFCs and mutual funds, since I believe that I have not lived up to your expectations, despite the best of my intentions,” Chandra said in the letter. He urged lenders not to react in “an anarchical manner’’. Perform sacred act of voting: Kovind PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 25 JANUARY With Lok Sabha elections round the corner, President Ram Nath Kovind Friday gave a clarion call to people to perform the “sacred act” of voting, emphasising this year's polls should be seen as a “once-in-a-century moment” that will shape the India of the remainder of the 21st century. Observing that an election is not just a political exercise, Kovind said it is a collective call to wisdom and a collective call to action, adding the ideas and idealism of our democracy will come into force to elect the 17th Lok Sabha. In his customary address to the nation on the eve of the 70th Republic Day, the President said development of the country cannot be completed without a salute to the “spirit of inclusiveness and plu- ralism which rests on a “tripod of diversity, democracy and development”. “This country belongs to each of us and to all of us every group and every community, every region and every identity. It belongs to every citizen and every individual. India's pluralism is its greatest strength and its greatest example to the world. “The 'Indian model' rests on a tripod of diversity, democracy and development. We cannot choose one above the other; we must have all three and we will have all three,” he said in the address that was telecast and broadcast across the country. Referring to the general elections that are due before June, the President said it will be the first when voters born in the 21st century will contribute to electing a new Lok Sabha. The election represents the diverse and singular urges of the people and the Republic of India, he said. “This makes the very act of voting a sacred act. Please perform this act. Who the voter chooses to vote for is up to him or her, I would only request all eligible voters to go out and vote. “Our country is at a key juncture. In some respects this is as critical and formative a period as the late 1940s and early 1950s. Decisions and actions of today will shape the India of the remainder of the 21st century. As such, this is not just a once-in-a-generation moment it is a once-ina-century moment,” he said. The President said this elec- tion, in which the ideas and idealism of democracy will come into full force, is only a milestone in the journey towards fulfilling the aspirations of the people and building a developed India. While appreciating the role of successive generations in nation building, the President reminded the people that “our voyage is far from complete.” “There are still waters to cover, still gaps to fill and still tears to wipe.” “We have to recalibrate our yardstick of achievement and success from quantity to quality; from a literate society to a knowledge society; from a nation that has room for all segments and all communities to a family that invokes, encourages and celebrates the uniqueness and potential in each person each daughter and each son,” he said. PM: ‘India on way to becoming 5th largest economy’ NEW DELHI, 25 JANUARY Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday said India is on the way to becoming the fifth largest economy in the world and the government is taking reform measures on a “daily basis” to further improve investment climate in the country. Speaking at the India-South Africa Business Summit here, he said India is the world's fastest-growing major economy and the government is committed to building a 'New India' with next generation infrastructure. At USD 2.6 trillion, the Indian economy is currently ranked sixth in the world behind the US, China, Japan, Germany and the UK.The PM listed government flagship (SEE PAGE 10) initiatives. PTI said that he would fight his battle himself. “I know the legal process and have full faith in the judicial system,” he said. Lashing at Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, he said, “The CM gives statements against me without facts.” Hooda was to address a Congress rally in Jind Friday in favour of Randeep Singh Surjewala, a senior party leaders who is contesting in an assembly by-poll there. “I will not be able to attend the rally now,” he said, adding he is confident that the party will win. The Jind by-poll on Monday follows the death of Indian National Lok Dal MLA Hari Chand Middha. for acquisition of land for ensuring availability of developed land at affordable prices to the public at large and to the economically weaker sections of the society, has not been achieved. The agency alleged that private builders entered in criminal conspiracy with the then chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Chief Administrator Trilok Chand Gupta with an intent to cheat land owners. In pursuance of the conspiracy, notifications for acquisition of land were issued by the government triggering panic sale of land to private developers at a much cheaper rates than the prevalent market prices, they said. A large chunk of land was of no use to HUDA still it was covered in government notification, they said. The developers used their influence to get licences issued for pockets which were not useful for HUDA and those lands were released from acquisition process, they said. The government had issued notification for the acquisition of total area of 1,417.07 acres in 2009 and 850.10 acres in 2010, they said. It has further been revealed that during the notification period, approximately 616.40 acres of land was released in favour of developers. Other builders booked by the agency include R S Infrastructure, Martial Builcon, Marconi Infratech, Commander Realtors, SU Estates Pvt Ltd, Krrish Buildtech, JMD Ltd, Gupta Promoters, H S Realty, DSS Infrastructure and Sana Realtors. CJI sets up new Const Bench for Ayodhya STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 25 JANUARY Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi today reconstituted the fivejudge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court that will hear Ayodhya's Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid land title dispute case from 29 January. The Bench was reconstituted as Justice U U Lalit, who was a member of the original Bench, recused himself on 10 January after reportedly expressing disinclination to participate in the hearing any further as he had appeared as a lawyer for ex-Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh in a related matter “sometime in the year 1997”. The new Constitution Bench on the Ayodhya issue comprises of CJI Gogoi, Justice S A Bobde, Justice D Y Chandrachud, Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice S A Nazeer. Justice N V Ramana, who was also in the Bench which last heard the matter on 10 January, is also not included in the reconstituted Bench. Justice Bhushan and Justice Nazeer are the new members in the Ayodhya Bench. Fourteen appeals have reportedly been filed in the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, which, delivered in four civil suits, had ruled that the 2.77-acre disputed Ayodhya land be divided equally between three parties ~ the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla. Pranab, Nanaji & Hazarika conferred Bharat Ratna Pranab Mukherjee AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 25 JANUARY Former President Pranab Mukherjee, Bharatiya Jana Sangh leader late Nanaji Deshmukh and noted singer late Bhupen Hazarika have been conferred the country's highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna, an official statement today said. The Bharat Ratna have been awarded after a gap of four years. Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and founder of Banaras Hindu University Madan Mohan Malviya were given the award by the Narendra Modi government in 2015. Deshmukh and Hazarika have been selected for the Bharat Ratna posthumously. Mukherjee, fondly known as 'Pranab Da', was President of India between 2012 and 2017. PM Narendra Modi said Mukherjee is an outstanding statesman of present times who has served the nation selflessly and tirelessly for decades, leaving a strong imprint on the nation's growth trajectory. “His (Mukherjee) wisdom and intellect have few parallels. Delighted that he has been conferred the Bharat Ratna,” Modi tweeted. Referring to Deshmukh, Nanaji Deshmukh Bhupen Hazarika Modi said his stellar contribution towards rural development showed the way for a new paradigm of empowering those living in our villages. Praising Hazarika, Modi said his songs and music are admired by people across generations. “From them radiates the message of justice, harmony and brotherhood," the PM said. “He (Hazarika) popularised India's musical traditions globally." The 83-year-old Mukherjee, who was also known as the quintessential Man Friday of the Congress, joins the elite club with Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Rajendra Prasad, Zakir Hussain andVV Giri who had been conferred the coveted award. Expressing gratitude over the award, Mukherjee said: "It is with a deep sense of humility and gratitude to the people of India that I accept this great honour #BharatRatna bestowed upon me. I have always said and I repeat, that I have got more from the people of our great country than I have given to them." From 2004, Mukherjee went on to head three crucial ministries ~ External Affairs, Defence and Finance ~ and became the first occupant of the Rashtrapati Bhavan to have this distinction. Last year, Mukherjee had drawn flak from certain quarters for attending an RSS function in Nagpur. Congress president Rahul Gandhi congratulated Mukherjee. “Congratulations to Pranab Da on being awarded the Bharat Ratna. The Congress party takes great pride in the fact that the immense contribution to public service and nation building of one of our own, has been recognised and honoured,” he tweeted. Deshmukh was associated with the RSS since 1928 till his death in Satna, Madhya Pradesh, in 2010 at the age of 94. He was known for starting the chain of RSS-inspired schools throughout India. He was one of the founding members of the Bharatiya Jan Sangh which later evolved as the Bharatiya Janta Party. Hazarika was an iconic playback singer, lyricist, musician, singer, poet and filmmaker from Assam. A recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi award (1987), Padmabhushan (2001) and Padma Vibhushan (2012posthumously), Hazarika was also awarded the Dada Saheb Phalke award.
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