TUESDAY www.thestatesman.com 29 JANUARY 2019 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |`5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR SUBTLE, SALUTARY ‘COUNTRY SUFFERS FROM ODOMOS SYNDROME’ P5 SENSEX 35,656.70 -368.84 WEATHER Shallow/moderate fog in the morning. Mainly clear sky and gusty winds likely to prevail during the day. Cold wave conditions likely to prevail at isolated pockets. Tomorrow’s maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 19 and 5 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.94% Max: 18.9°C (-4) SUN RISES 07:11 hrs MOON RISES 02.33 hrs ` vs $ 71.10 +7 PAISE P9 GOLD 31,555.00 +345.00 ‘Minimum income guarantee for poor’ RAIPUR, 28 JANUARY Min: 05.5°C (-3) SUN SETS 17:58 hrs MOON SETS 12:54 hrs THUMBNAILS Artistes perform during the Bharat Parv event, organised by the Government of India as part of the Republic Day celebrations, at the Red Fort in the Capital on Monday. AMARJEET SINGH Chinese rights lawyer jailed for ‘subversion’: Prominent Chinese human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang was sentenced on Monday to four and a half years in prison for state subversion, sealing the fate of another attorney swept up in a 2015 crackdown. Wang, 42, who defended political activists and victims of land seizures, disappeared in the sweep -- known as the “709” crackdown -- aimed at courtroom critics of Communist authorities. He was charged in January 2016 P13 with subversion. SC to hear plea on compensation for gas victims: The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear in April the Centre's plea seeking Rs 7,844 crore as additional fund from the successor firms of US-based Union Carbide Corporation, now owned by Dow Chemicals, for giving compensation to victims of the 1984 Bhopal Gas Tragedy. A bench headed by CJI said it would hear the central government's curative petition for enhanced compensation P6 for the victims in April. Lalu, wife and son granted bail in IRCTC scam: RJD chief Lalu Prasad, his wife Rabri Devi and son Tejashwi Yadav were on Monday granted bail by a Delhi court in a money laundering case related to the IRCTC scam. The accused were not arrested by the agency during its investigation and were also granted bail in a separate case filed by the CBI in relation to the scam. Though Prasad has been granted bail in the both the cases, he will remain in jail as he is servP4 ing punishment. Prasad urges SC for early Ayodhya decision: Union Minister for Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad on Monday disapproved of the slow pace of hearing on the Ayodhya title suit in the Supreme Court, and appealed to it for an “expeditious decision” as had been done in the matters related to adultery and SabariP5 mala temple. C ongress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday promised his party would ensure “minimum income guarantee” for every poor person if it comes to power at the Centre, echoing the 'Garibi Hatao' ('Remove Poverty') slogan coined by his grandmother Indira Gandhi during the 1971 general elections that she won. Gandhi described as historic the Congress' decision announced by him while addressing a 'Kisaan Abhaar Sammelan' in Raipur to express gratitude to Chhattisgarh's people, particularly farmers, for voting the party to power in the state after 15 years. Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram also termed as “historic” Gandhi's announcement, saying it will mark a turning point in the lives of the downtrodden. The announcement comes four days ahead of the interim budget to be presented by the Narendra Modi government before the Lok Sabha polls due before June this year. It also follows the NDA government's decision to give 10 per cent quota to the economically backward section in the general category and a likely announcement of a relief package for farmers grappling with falling prices of their crops and to tackle distress in the farm sector. The BJP said Gandhi's assurance is like its “hundreds of other announcements” which were not meant to be implemented and an “off the cuff ” announcement made “without any preparation or any provision for funding or proper agenda”. “The Congress has decided to take a historic decision...The Congressled government is going to give minimum income guarantee. This means, every poor person in India will have a minimum income. This means there will be no hungry, poor people in India (any longer),” Gandhi said. Asserting that he gets done what he says, Gandhi added the minimum income guarantee would be implemented across the country. Later, he tweeted, “We cannot build a new India while millions of our brothers & sisters suffer the scourge of poverty.” “If voted to power in 2019, the Congress is committed to a Minimum Income Guarantee for every Cong MP Mausam Noor joins TMC ahead of LS polls STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 28 JANUARY Dealing a blow to the Congress its MP from Malda North Mausam Benazir Noor today joined the Trinamul Congress and she is to contest the coming Lok Sabha poll from the same constituency onTrinamul ticket.The Congress’ Malda MLA Isha Khan Chowdhury, Ghani Khan’s nephew, will contest the Malda North seat as the Congress candidate. Niece of the late Congress leader ABA Ghani Khan Choudhury, Ms Noor metTrinamul supremo and chief minister Mamata Banerjee at state secretariat Nabanna and formally joined the party. Ms Noor is one of the members of the Khan Chowdhury clan. Ghani Khan Chowdhury had been a pillar of the Congress, especially in Malda. She is a second-term MP of the Congress which had won four of 42 LS seats in the state in the last Lok election. This is the first time that a Congress MP defected to theTrinamool after it formed government in the state in 2011. “I am inspired by Didi (Mamata). I'll work under her guidance for the development of the state. We have to fight against the BJP and I am quite confident that the TMC will win all the 42 seats in the state in the coming LS poll,” Ms Noor told the media. “Trinamul Congress in Malda, a stronghold of Congress, is getting stronger,” she said. Asked whether her uncle Abu Hasen Khan Chowdhury, Congress MP from Malda South, may follow in her footsteps and join the Trinamul, she said : “It will be decided later.” The Trinamul chief said : “Our main aim is to oust the BJP from the Centre.” Shocked over the development the Congress accused the Trinamul of trying to finish it off and paving the way for the “communal” BJP in the state. “TMC's claim that it wants to fight the BJP and strengthen secular forces in Bengal and India is bogus and this poaching of our MP is the biggest example of it. TMC is trying to finish the Congress,” PCC chief Somen Mitra said. “If someone wants to leave the Congress and join some other party how can we stop him or her ? When I met our party president Rahul Gandhi last year I told him to talk to Mausam as she might switch over to the TMC,” he said. “We knew Mausam was in touch with the TMC leadership, but after the Congress' victory in the three Hindiheartland states, she aid that she would be with the Congress and there is no question of joining the TMC,” said another senior state Congress leader. P15 SILVER 39,950.00 +950.00 BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 60.64 -1.00 HDK offers to quit even as Cong moves to pacify him Congress president ‘s election vow echoes Indira’s Garibi Hatao slogan SNS & PTI Min. 51% TEMPERATURE P8 NIFTY 10,661.55 -119.00 THE MAN SCRIPTING THE SAURASHTRA SUCCESS STORY PAKISTAN IN AN ELECTION YEAR poor person, to help eradicate poverty & hunger. This is our vision & our promise,” he said in his tweet. “We don't want two Indias. There will be one India, and in that India, the Congress will give minimum income to every poor person. No government in the world has done this till now. The Congress is going to do that, it will be a historic feat,” Gandhi said at the rally. The BJP-led Union government wrote off Rs 3.5 lakh crore worth of loans of 15 big industrialists but “did not waive the loans of the country's farmers. Rahul Gandhi on Monday alleged that the “Goa audio tapes”, cited by the Congress to attack the Centre on the Rafale issue, were authentic and the state's Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar is in possession of“explosive secrets” that give him power over Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Gandhi's sharp attack came days after the Congress cited an audio tape in which Goa minister Vishwajit Rane was purportedly heard telling an unidentified person that Parrikar has Rafale files. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE BENGALURU, 28 JANUARY T he Congress moved fast today to pacify an angry chief minister, H D Kumaraswamy, after he offered to step down even as the alliance party’s MLAs and ministers criticised the functioning of the JDSCongress coalition government under him. Some Congress legislators even went on to claim that as far as they were concerned, senior party leader, Siddaramiah, was their chief minister. Siddaramiah, the former chief minister, made a quick attempt to diffuse the situation by asserting that there was no question of wearing the mantle again. He also acknowledged that it was necessary to rein in party MLAs, something which he wanted the JDS to do too. A visibly irked Kumaraswamy had said that there was a limit to his patience and that he was ready to step down if “my style of functioning is not acceptable,” adding that he did not want to stick to the chair. Yesterday,two Congress ministers including MTB Nagaraju and C Puttarangashetty , had said at a public function that Sid- HD Kumaraswamy Siddaramaiah daramaiah was their chief minister. In addition Bengaluru Development Authority chairperson, also a Congressman, ST Somashekhar, voiced similar views ,even charging that under Kumaraswamy, the IT capital was not witnessing any development .This apart, several Congress MLAs have been asserting that Siddaramiah should have continued as chief minister for a second term. The former chief minister, who ruled the state between 20142018 , failed to get his party enough numbers to form the government on its own in last year’s Assembly polls. The party has 80 MLAs in a House of 224 with the JDS accounting for 37. The BJP with 104,could , not get the required 113 seats to form a government. The Congress-JDS formed a coalition government . Siddu allegedly misbehaves with Mysu- ru woman: Former Karnataka chief minister, Mr Siddaramiah, was seen behaving badly with a woman from the Varuna constituency in Mysuru with videos showing him talking rudely to her besides snatching the microphone that she was holding. The agitated woman’s only fault appeared to be that she complained that Yatindra , the local MLA and Siddaramiah’s son, was not available in the constituency and nobody was attending to the problems she was facing. Jamlar,the woman concerned, is learnt to be the former vice president of a taluk panchayat. The former chief minister was in the constituency in connection with a public function. Siddaramiah was also seen shouting at the woman even as his supporters and Yatindra,who were with him ,tried to calm him down. Hegde draws fire over slur AGENCIES BENGALURU, 28 JANUARY Barely a day after making his “the hand that touches a Hindu girl should be eliminated" remark, Union minister Ananth Kumar Hegde today called the Karnataka Congress chief“a guy who ran behind a Muslim lady”, drawing fire from Congress president Rahul Gandhi who said the BJP leader was “unfit” to be a minister and should be sacked. Hegde attacked Karnataka Congress chief Dinesh Gundu Rao, whose wife is a Muslim, after Rao criticised Hegde for his yesterday's provocative statement and questioned him about his achievements. During a meeting of Hindu JagaranVedike, aVHP-affiliated youth organisation, Hegde had said, “If a hand has touched a Hindu girl, then that hand must not exist.” Condemning Hegde's remark, Rao tweeted:“What are your contributions for Karnataka's development? All I can say for sure, its deplorable that such people have become ministers and have managed to get elected as MPs.” In a counter-attack onTwitter, Hegde said,”I shall definitely answer this guy “@dineshgrao's queries, before which could he please reveal himself as to who he is along with his achievements? I only know him as a guy who ran behind a Muslim lady.” Blasting Hegde, Gandhi said, “This man is an embarrassment to every Indian. He's unfit to be a Union Minister and deserves to be sacked.” Rao also slammed Hegde for his remarks, saying he has stooped to such “low levels so as to bring in personal issues”. WINNING STREAK Ambati Rayudu during the 3rd one-day international cricket match between New Zealand and India in Mount Maunganui on Monday. India clinched series with a seven-wicket win. AFP (REPORT ON PAGE 16) FM promises all support to PSU banks; RBI chief meets bankers ‘Cong should support SP-BSP alliance’ PRESS TRUST OF INDIA LUCKNOW, 28 JANUARY NEW DELHI, 28 JANUARY The government will give all support to banks, finance minister Piyush Goyal said today. At a time when banks are saddled with high non-performing assets and reeling under one scam and the other, Mr Goyal discussed with heads of sate-owned banks steps to promote lending to MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) and agriculture sectors. "We are going to see a far more vibrant, proactive and profitable banking sector in the days to come" the minister said. The minister also promised all kinds of support to public sector banks and expressed confidence that they would become more vibrant and profitable in the days to come. Mr Goyal, who recently took charge as an interim finance minister, met the CEOs (chief executive officers) of public sector banks to take stock of the banking sector and discuss ways to improve their financial health. “We have discussed measures to promote MSME loan, housing loan and agriculture lending,” Mr Goyal told reporters after the meeting. Ahead of the monetary policy review, Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das on Monday met heads of public sector banks and conveyed to them the regulator's expectation from the banking sector. PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Samajwadi Party supremo AkhileshYadav Monday said that if the Congress vows to fight against the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls, it should support the SP-BSP alliance. The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister also welcomed Priyanka Gandhi's entry into active politics. When asked about the 'Priyanka factor' being termed as a masterstroke of the Congress, Akhilesh said, If the Congress vows to fight against the BJP, which is an expert in spreading lies, it should support our (SP-BSP) alliance. We have already spared two seats Raebareli and Amethi for them. The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister was responding to questions during an interview to PTI here. His remarks assume significance in the light of Congress president Rahul Gandhi's comment that he has due regard and respect for both Akhilesh and Mayawati and there was no animosity against them. Rahul had also said his party won't play on the backfoot and added, “We will play on the front foot, be it Gujarat or Uttar Pradesh”. Asked about the appointment of Priyanka Gandhi as incharge of Uttar Pradesh East, Akhilesh said, I welcome her entry in active politics. Youth should join active politics for making the new India”. On theYogi Adityanath government's decision to hold cabinet meeting in Kumbh in Prayagraj, Akhilesh reminded the BJP of the connection of Kumbh to Kannauj, the Lok Sabha constituency represented by his wife Dimple Yadav. "It was Raja HarshVardhan, whose capital was in Kannauj which started the tradition of 'daan' in Kumbh. He used to come here and give 'daan'. If the BJP government is serious about development of the state, it should tell what it has done on its own except schemes launched in my regime," he said. Akhilesh, who took a holy dip in Sangam ~ confluence of rivers Ganga, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati ~ in Prayagraj said that in his regime Kumbh arrangements were made and that too by Muslim leaders and officers. Shiv Sena claims Maha ‘big brother’ status, BJP hits back PTI MUMBAI, 28 JANUARY Amid strains in their ties, the Shiv Sena Monday said it is the“big brother” in the alliance with the BJP in Maharashtra and will remain so, an assertion that could cast a shadow on sharing of seats between the NDA partners for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls. Reacting to Shiv Sena's assertion, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said the BJP does want an alliance with the Sena but was not desperate for a tie-up. Speaking to reporters after a meeting chaired by party chief Uddhav Thackeray, the Sena's Rajya Sabha MP and chief whip in Parliament, Sanjay Raut, said the party also wanted the income tax exemption threshold to be raised from the existing Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 8 lakh. “Shiv Sena is the big brother (in the alliance with BJP and other parties) in Maharashtra and will continue to be so,” Raut asserted. “There is no proposal from the BJP to form any alliance with the Shiv Sena. Those who wish to forge an alliance with us are talking about it. We are not waiting for any proposal to be offered to us,” he added. Till 2014, the BJP and Sena, allies for long, had an understanding under which the former would contest a larger share of Lok Sabha seats and the latter would get a greater number of Maharashtra Assembly seats to fight. In this way, both parties donned the role of elder and younger sibling in the general and state polls in their political “brotherhood”. The 2014 Assembly polls, however, ended this“sibling” agreement as the BJP on the , back of a strong Narendra Modi wave and contesting alone, won 122 seats against the Sena's 63 in Maharashtra. The BJP went on to form a government in the state under Fadnavis and the Sena had to contend being the junior partner.
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