CMYK WEDNESDAY www.thestatesman.com 30 JANUARY 2019 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |` 5.00|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P10 SENSEX 35,592.50 -64.20 WEATHER Mainly clear sky with mist/fog in the morning. Max-min temperature likely to be around 24-13 degree celsius, resp. P9 NIFTY 10,652.20 -9.35 ` vs $ 71.11 +1 PAISA George Fernandes passes away at 88 RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Min. 33% Max: 24.3°C (-2.4) SUN RISES 06:16 hrs MOON RISES 01.38 hrs Min: 17.1°C (+2.4) SUN SETS 17:24 hrs MOON SETS 13:00 hrs P2 GOLD 31,720.00 +165.00 P11 SILVER 40,150.00 +200.00 BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 60.44 +0.51 Centre moves SC for ‘surplus’ Ayodhya land SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 29 JANUARY SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 29 JANUARY THUMBNAILS Relief for SRK: Shah Rukh Khan has been absolved of the charge of being a beneficiary of a benami property in the beach town of Alibaug in Maharashtra as an appellate Authority under the law has “revoked” the attachment order of the I-T Department, calling it baseless and coloured. The Authority slammed the I-T department for the order against Khan and a company-- in which he, his wife Gauri Khan are shareholders-- in Feb 2018. George Fernandes, a lifelong socialist despite his political adventurism that included Cabinet posts in two ideological opposite governments where he ousted Coca-Cola in 1977 and oversaw the Kargil war in 1999, died on Tuesday. He was 88. Fernandes was suffering from Alzheimer's disease, which had forced him out of the public eye for several years, and had recently contracted swine flu, his long time associate, Jaya Jaitly, said, adding that he died at his residence here. Fernandes, who was born to a Christian family in Mangalore, Karnataka, burst into national limelight when as a firebrand trade unionist in Mumbai he organised a Railways strike in 1974 that brought the country to a standstill. Ironically, he became the Railways minister in 1989 under V.P. Singh's National Front coalition government, comprising mostly Left leaning parties. Despite being a staunch critic of the RSS, Fernandes joined the BJP-led NDA government under Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 1998 and 1999, in which he was appointed the defence minister. Under his stewardship India fought the Kargil war in 1999. It was also during his tenure that India conducted nuclear test at Pokhran in 1998. Leaders cutting across party lines, including the President, the PM and the West Bengal Governor, mourned Fernandes’ death. West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee tweeted: “Very saddened at the passing away of former Defence Minister and much admired trade unionist’’. Rahul meets Parrikar, enquires about his health PRESS TRUST OF INDIA PM’s advice to parents: Parents should not treat the “report cards” of children as their “visiting cards” or expect them to fulfil their unfulfilled dreams, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he interacted on Tuesday with around 2,000 students, teachers and parents. He encouraged parents to be a factor of motivation and encouragement for their children. “I would request parents, do not expect your children to fulfil your unfulfilled dreams’’. P3 Jet Airways grounds 3 planes on lease rental default: Crisis-ridden Jet Airways was on Tuesday forced to ground three of its Boeing 737 planes due to non-payment of lease rentals, leading to cancellation of around 20 domestic flights, said a source. With three more planes taken out of operations, the number of aircraft on ground due to non-payment of lease rentals by the carrier stands at six in the last two days, the source added. Lokpal search panel holds first meeting: An eight-member search panel formed to select members of anti-corruption ombudsman Lokpal on Tuesday held its first meeting, nearly four months after it was set up by the Modi government, officials said. The committee, headed by former Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai, is understood to have discussed modalities related to the appointments of the chief and members of the Lokpal. tirring the Ayodhya cauldron just ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the Narendra Modi government today moved the Supreme Court to seek modification of its 2003 order in order to allow it to return to original owners the 67.390 acres of “nondisputed” acquired land around the disputed Ram Janambhoomi-Babari Masjid site in Ayodhya. The 0.313 acre plot on which the Babari Masjid stood before it was torn down by Hindutva zealots on 6 December 1992 was within the 2.77 acre-disputed premises. After the destruction of the Babari Masjid that triggered Hindu-Muslim riots across the country leaving a few thousand people dead, the then Congressled central government had acquired 67.703 acres of land, including the 2.77 acres disputed land, in Ayodhya through a legislation in 1993. The Ram Janambhoomi Nyas, a trust to promote construction of Ram Temple, is the owner PANAJI, 29 JANUARY Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday met Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar at the state Assembly complex here and enquired about his health. Parrikar, 63, who has been suffering from a pancreatic ailment, heads the BJP-led government in the coastal state. The meeting comes a day after Gandhi alleged that the “Goa audio tapes”, cited by the Congress to attack the Centre on the Rafale issue, were authentic and Parrikar was in possession of “explosive secrets” that give him power over Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Gandhi arrived in the Assembly premises around noon, soon after the House was adjourned following Goa Governor Mridula Sinha's address, which was boycotted by Congress members. After his arrival, the Congress president went to meet the chief minister in his chamber in the Assembly complex. Gandhi later went to the Opposition lobby in the Assembly to meet Congress MLAs. He held a meeting with them for 10 minutes before leaving. The Congress chief refused to talk to waiting mediapersons, say- The meeting comes a day after Congress president Rahul Gandhi alleged that the Goa audio tapes, cited by the Congress to attack the Centre on the Rafale issue, were authentic and Parrikar was in possession of ‘explosive secrets’ that give him power over Prime Minister Narendra Modi ing, “I am getting late.” Leader of Opposition Chandrakant Kavlekar, who accompanied Gandhi to meet Parrikar, said, “It was a courtesy visit to enquire about Parrikar's health. There was no discussion other than enquiring about his health condition.” Kavlekar said Rahul Gandhi had an informal discussion with Congress MLAs in Goa as he would be arriving here next month to address party workers. Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi were on a private visit to the coastal state. Goa's Town and Country Planning Minister Vijai Sardesai dubbed the Congress chief's visit to Parrikar as a “positive development in politics”. Shah slams ‘2G’, ‘3G’ and ‘painting’ STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE CONTAI, 29 JANUARY during the UPA-2 regime, Mr Shah said the Opposition party wanted to indulge in more corruption now with the induction of the “third G~ Priyanka G”. Stating that the Congress and the ruling Trinamul Congress (TMC) in West Bengal were two sides of the same coin as both parties were run by dynasties, the BJP chief said just as Mr Rahul Gandhi had assumed the reins of the Con- POLITICALLY SIGNIFICANT MOVE The government had acquired 67.703 acre, including the 2.77 acre, through legislation in 1993. S Next moon quarter on 1 February BJP president Amit Shah today launched a blistering attack on both the Congress and the Trinamul Congress accusing the two parties of pursuing dynastic politics and promoting corruption. In the same breath he referred to the appointment of Priyanka Vadra Gandhi as Congress general secretary and raked up the issue of alleged purchase of Trinamul chief Mamata Banerjee’s paintings by the Saradha chit fund operator to buttress his claim that the BJP alone could offer a “majboot” (strong) government after the coming Lok Sabha poll. “The Congress had brought the “third G” into the fray after the two “G”s ~ Sonia G and Rahul G ~ to indulge in more corruption,” Mr Shah told a public rally here. Referring to the 2G scam WHEN SOLSKJAER HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD Move comes even as apex court is set to hear 14 appeals against 2010 Allahabad HC order Max.78% TEMPERATURE UP CABINET MEETS AT KUMBH, MINISTERS TAKE DIP PAK SC UPHOLDS ACQUITTAL ORDER UK LAWMAKERS BACK MAY’S BREXIT DEAL CHANGE PLAN gress from his mother so also in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had her nephew Abhishek Banerjee to take charge of the TMC after her. “Are you all aware of Mamata Banerjee's qualities? She is a very good painter. Even if someone is a great painter, how much would his paintings cost? (Rs) 10,000, (Rs) 20,000, (Rs) one lakh or (Rs) 10 lakh. But her paintings were bought by chit fund owners for crores of rupees,” Mr Shah alleged. “So, will the chit fund owners ever be arrested if the person, whose paintings they had brought, is the CM, he asked.’’ He said the TMC government was not only changing the names of various development projects initiated by the Modi-government, it was also trying to claim credit for the Central schemes. Trinamul Congress women’s wing president and minister of state for health Chandrima Bhattacharya told The Statesman she has sent a legal notice on behalf of the party to Mr Shah for making “false statements” against the Trinamul Congress chief. In the legal notice, it was stated that Mr Shah would either have to prove what he had stated at today's meeting at Contai or he would have to apologise in public for making politically wrong statements. CMYK The Ram Janambhoomi Nyas (RJN) is the owner of as much as 42 acres of the acquired non-disputed land. The application filed by the BJPled NDA government on Tuesday claimed that only 0.313 acre land on which the disputed structure stood before the demolition was disputed portion of the land. of about 42 acres of the acquired non-disputed land. The BJP-led central government has been facing growing pressure from the RSS and other Sangh Parivar and Hindutva groups to move swiftly on the Ayodhya front. The government's politically-significant move might result in some form of construction of a Ram temple by these groups outside the disputed site if the handover is allowed by the apex court. The Centre's move came even as the apex court is set to hear 14 appeals against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, which had ruled that the 2.77-acre land be divided equally between three parties ~ the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla. On 25 January, Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi had reconstituted the five-judge Constitution Bench to hear the Ayodhya land title dispute case. In its 33-page application filed in the top court today, the Centre sought modification of its 31 March 2003 order to permit it to to return 67.390 acres of “non-disputed” surplus/superflous land around the disputed Ayo- dhya site to the original owners. The apex court had then ordered the Centre to maintain the “status quo” with regard to the entire land including the non-disputed acquired land in Ayodhya. The Centre's application claimed that only 0.313 acre of land was disputed. “The applicant (Centre) is filing this application seeking permission of this court to permit the applicant to fulfil the duty to revert/restore/hand over the excess/superfluous land acquired under the Acquisition of Certain Areas of Ayodhya Act, 1993,” it said. Congress questions plea timing NEW DELHI, 29 JANUARY The Congress on Tuesday questioned the timing of the Centre's application in the Supreme Court on the Ayodhya matter seeking permission to return undisputed “surplus” land to its original owners, saying people will decide on the intent of its “sudden” move which has come merely two months before the general elections. The Opposition party, however, said that it has “no opinion” on the plea for a change in status quo that has been maintained for 16 years and it was a matter between the Supreme Court and the Centre. The BJP said the government's plea could pave the way for construction of PTI a Ram temple.
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