TUESDAY www.thestatesman.com 05 FEBRUARY 2019 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |`5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR VENEZUELA: EU NATIONS RECOGNISE GUAIDO AS LEADER DISASTROUS DISTRUST GADKARI ONLY ONE IN BJP WITH SOME GUTS: RAHUL P6 SENSEX 36,582.74 +113.31 WEATHER Mist/shallow fog in the morning. Generally cloudy sky with possibility of very light rain/thundershowers towards evening/ night. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 23 and 10 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.100% TEMPERATURE Max: 23.2°C (0) SUN RISES 07:07 hrs MOON RISES 08.03 hrs ` vs $ 71.80 -55 PAISE Min: 8°C (0) SUN SETS 18:03 hrs MOON SETS 18:30 hrs THUMBNAILS An aerial view shows pilgrims arrive at the Sangam ~ the confluence of the rivers Ganges, Yamuna and mythical Saraswati on eve of the most auspicious day of 'Mauni Amavasya' during the Kumbh Mela festival in AFP Allahabad on Monday Rupee slumps 55 paise: The rupee on Monday dropped by 55 paise to close at 71.80 to the US dollar, the lowest level since 17 December, ahead of the Reserve Bank of India's policy review meet. This is the second straight session of loss for the domestic unit, during which it lost a total 72 paise. Investors were cautious ahead of the next meeting of RBI's Monetary Policy Committee scheduled during 5-7 February. P 11 West Bengal Budget: Taking a cue from the Centre, the West Bengal Budget offered sops for unemployed youths, contractual workers and Asha and Anganwadi workers with an announcement of nine lakh jobs being created last year. Finance minister Amit Mitra presented a Rs 2,37,964 crore Budget with a Rs nine crore deficit and informed that 9.05 lakh employment opportunities were created in the state in 2018. Oppn parties meet EC over EVM concerns: Leaders of 23 Opposition parties petitioned the Election Commission (EC) Monday, demanding that 50 per cent of EVM results should be cross-checked with voter verifiable paper audit trails (VVPATs) before declaring final Lok Sabha election results. Opposition leaders met Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora and Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa, seeking redressal of the issue of alleged tampering of EVMs before Lok Sabha polls. They told the EC the people of the counP5 try doubted the efficacy of EVMs. Shukla takes charge as CBI director: Newlyappointed CBI chief Rishi Kumar Shukla took charge of the agency Monday, when it finds itself locked in a dirty turf war with the Kolkata Police that spiralled into a political slugfest between the Centre and the West Bengal government. Normally, a new incumbent gets a week's time to take charge, but Shukla, who was appointed on Saturday, took the reins of the agency within two days in the backdrop of the CBI tussle with the KP. GOLD 32,085.00 -50.00 SILVER 40,400.00 -100.00 BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 62.70 -0.05 Apex court agrees to give urgent hearing, Calcutta HC declines urgent hearing, Governor sends report to Centre on situation SNS & PTI he Supreme Court on Monday agreed to give an urgent hearing to CBI's plea alleging destruction of electronic evidence related to the Saradha chit fund scam case by the Kolkata Police commissioner and said it will come down heavily on him if he “even remotely” tries to destroy the evidence. The apex court said it will hear on Tuesday probe agency's applications which alleged that an extraordinary situation has arisen in which the top police officials of the West Bengal Police are sitting on a dharna along with a political party in Kolkata. The applications accusing Kolkata Police chief Rajeev Kumar of destroying evidence related to the case and indulging in contempt of court were mentioned by Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta before a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjeev Khanna. The bench declined the SG's plea to hear the two applications on Monday in the post-lunch session. It said during the interregnum it will be open for the SG or any other party to lay before the court any material or evidence to show that any West Bengal authority or police official is planning or trying to destroy evidence related to the case. Taking strong note of Mehta's submission, the bench said “if the police commissioner is even remotely trying to destroy evidence, we will come down so heavily on him that he will regret”. The top court said all material or evidence and additional documents has to be placed before it by means of affidavit. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been sitting on a dharna since 8.30pm Sunday. On Monday she described her sit-in over the CBI's attempt to question Kolkata Police chief as a “non-political” protest. At the outset, the SG said an “extraordinary situation” which has happened yesterday in which CBI officials were arrested in Kolkata and Jt Director, CBI and his family were kept hostage.He said it was under this “extraordinary situation” that the CBI moved these applications apprehending destruction of electronic evidence. He alleged that on Sunday night CBI officers were taken into custody by the Bharati Ghosh joins BJP STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 4 FEBRUARY FormerWest Midnapore SP Bharati Ghosh, who was once said to be close toWest Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, today joined the BJP in the presence of Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and BJP leaders Mukul Roy and Kailash Vijayvargiya. Mrs Ghosh, who was transferred as Commandant ofWest Bengal Armed Police's 3rd Battalion on December 26, 2018, had resigned from the service two days later. After joining BJP Mrs Ghosh with, Parl furore, HM talks tough WB Governor K N Tripathi has submitted a report to Union Home Minister on the situation that unfolded after a CBI team was allegedly obstructed by the police from questioning the CP. NEW DELHI, 4 FEBRUARY West Bengal Police when they had gone to the Kolkata police commissioner's residence for evidence in connection with the probe in the Saradha scam. Mehta said not only were the sleuths arrested, but the residence of Joint Director (East) Pankaj Shrivastav was surrounded by the state police and his family was kept hostage. Even the CBI office at the CGO complex in Kolkata was under siege, the law officer said. When the SG was making the submissions, the bench asked him what was the position on Monday morning to which he replied that senior CBI officials have been released. The joint director through teleconference told media channels about his house being laid under siege and the family being virtual hostage, the SG said. He said there was a need for immediate order as the Kolkata Police commissioner, who has come under the lens of the CBI, is likely to destroy the electronic evidence and material related to the Saradha NEW DELHI, 4 FEBRUARY scam. Mehta said that initially there was a discussion among the concerned officials in the CBI to moved the apex court last night itself but it was decided to wait till Monday morning. The Kolkata CP had not responded to the CBI's repeated summons to join the investigation and “when our team reached to his residence, they were arrested,” he said. When the bench said the CBI officials are no longer under the arrest, the SG replied that on a daily basis FIRs are being registered by the state police against the agency's officials. Meanwhile, Justice Shivkant Prasad of Calcutta High Court refused a plea for immediate hearing following the state government's petition against the CBI's attempt to question city police commisioner, Rajeev Kumar at his residence in connection with chit fund scam cases. Following objection by the Union government counsel, the court refused to give the matter an immediate hearing and listed it for Tuesday. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 4 FEBRUARY out mentioning the name of Kolkata Police chief said how a top cop could sit on a dharna with a political leader yesterday. “This clearly depicted that this person has biased attitude and working for a particular political party,” she said. Hitting out at CM Mamata Banerjee, who sat on dharna by saying “This is a Satyagraha and I'll continue till the country is saved,” Mrs Ghosh said this is not satyagraha but assembling for serving dishonesty. BJP's Kailash Vijaywargiya tweeted, “The BJP continues to grow in West Bengal. ‘’ IANS AHMEDNAGAR, 4 FEBRUARY to autocracy” and added that the BJP-led Maharashtra government was speaking “lies” over the past four years. “For how long will the lies continue? This government has let down the people of the country. The state government’s claims that 90 percent of my demands have been conceded are also false,” the 81-year old said. He rued that now the very same people who benefitted from his agitations in 2011 and 2014 had turned their The face-off between Trinamul chairperson and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and the Narendra Modi-led central government over the CBI-Kolkata Police row rocked both Houses of Parliament today, with the proceedings of the Lok Sabha as well as the Rajya Sabha being washed out amid strong protests by members of Trinamul and other Opposition parties against the Modi government's alleged bid to subvert the Constitution and its federal principles. Making his statement in the Lok Sabha, Union home minister Rajnath Singh talked tough, describing yesterday's Kolkata incidents as "unprecedented" and a pointer to "breakdown of constitutional machinery" in Bengal. In the Lower House, Trinamul members were joined in their vociferous protests by members of the Congress, BJD, NCP , SP and RJD, who spoke out against the Modi government over the Kolkata episode while accusing the Modi government of allegedly misusing central (SEE P 5) agencies. SNS BJP launches all-out attack o on Mamata for ‘shielding CP’ The confrontation between the West Bengal government and the CBI after the latter’s abortive attempt to question the Kolkata police commissioner in the Saradha scam turned into a full-fledged political slugfest on Monday between the BJP and Trinamul Congress chief and state chief minister Mamata Banerjee. There has been a brewing war of nerves between the BJP and the Trinamul Congress after the West Bengal government declined permission to the BJP president Amit Shah to hold state-wide Rath yatras and public meetings besides other political activities allegedly on some pretext or other in the state. The present confrontation between the BJP and the TMC over the CBI move on Sunday to interrogate West Ben- gal Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar, who earlier headed the SIT probing the Saradha scam and is said to be privy to crucial information in the case, and Mamata’s sit-in in defence of the state police chief, has to be seen in the context of these developments, experts said. The BJP on Monday launched an all-out assault on Mamata Banerjee for her defence of Rajeev Kumar. Union Minister and senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad addressing a press conference here targeted Kumar for joining Mamata Banerjee’s ‘satyagraha’ despite being a govern- BJP used me in 2014 polls: Hazare Fasting activist Anna Hazare said on Monday that he was “used by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)” to win the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. “Yes. The BJP used me in 2014. Everybody knows that it was my agitation for Lokpal that catapulted the BJP and also the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to power. Now I have lost all regards for them,” Hazare told the media in his Ralegan-Siddhi village. He said the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi “is only misleading the people of the country and leading the country P15 SC, HC to hear CBI, Mamata pleas today T Min. 54% P12 P8 NIFTY 10,912.25 +18.60 AUSTRALIA THRASH SRI LANKA TO WIN TEST SERIES backs on his demands and nothing had been done to implement them in the past five years. “They keep saying that central and state government ministers will come and discuss the issues with me. But I say no to them as it would confuse the people... (Let) them take firm decisions and give me everything in writing as I have lost faith in their assurances.” To a question, Hazare said that his former associate Arvind Kejriwal - now the Delhi Chief Minister - was welcome to join his current agitation. “But I will not permit him to share the dais with me.” Hazare’s strong remarks came on the sixth day of his indefinite hunger strike and a day after he threatened to return his Padma Bhushan - India’s third highest civilian honour - if his demands were not conceded by the government soon. Last weekend, Nationalist Congress Party spokesperson Nawab Malik called Hazare an “RSS and Sangh Parivar agent”. Hours later, senior NCP leader and former Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar apologized for the remarks. Amid rising concern over his frail health, Hazare said: “Don’t worry. I am fine. The Almighty is with me. Nothing will happen to me for another five days.” ment servant. “What is happening? A police commissioner is sitting on dharna with politicians. What does it mean? By sitting on a dharna, West Bengal Chief Minister is following the footsteps of Arvind Kejriwal (Delhi Chief Minister)," Prasad said, adding, “The total suspicious circumstances surrounding this (development) proves that this police commissioner knows a lot and therefore he had to be saved.” Seeking to turn the heat on Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Prasad cited a tweet of 2014 when Rahul in a statement had pointed out that 20 lakh people lost their hard earned money in the chit fund scam. Hitting back at Mamata for charging the Modi government with murder of democracy, the Union Minister said it was her government that had been indulging in undemocratic methods. CM: Agitation not against any person, but to save India Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during her dharna at BISWAJIT GHOSHAL Esplanade in Kolkata on Monday._ STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 4 FEBRUARY Continuing her sit-in that had begun last night at Esplanade, chief minister Mamata Banerjee today castigated the Narendra Modi-government and asserted her agitation was” not against any individual but to save India.” As she remained on the dais throughout the day, she signed official files and conducted administrative work from the dharna manch. She didn’t attend the Assembly session which passed the Budget. High drama had been witnessed last night when a large team of CBI officials went to the residence of the city Police Commissioner, Rajiv Kumar, for conducting searches and quizzing him in connection with chit fund scams, but were forcibly bundled out by the police. The chief minister also rushed to Mr Kumar’s residence, held a meeting there and eventually announced her sit-in from last night itself in protest against the CBI’s “undemocratic and illegal” act of raiding the CP’s residence “without any warrant”. The CBI, however, insisted it was armed with all necessary documents, but the state administration deliberately denied it entry into the CP’s residence. Miss Banerjee said several national Opposition leaders, including Congress president Rahul Gandhi, contacted her during the day expressing their solidarity with her “fight” against the Modigovernment’s “brand of politics of vendetta and abuse of power. She asserted her sit-in was for “saving the country’s democracy and the Constitution” as the Modigovernment was using the CBI to trample on democracy. “We have now only one-point programme which is to oust Modi and save the country,” she said in the presence of Tejashwi Prasad of the RJD. She alleged that the BJP-led government under Mr Modi was “disturbing every institution of the country, destroying its federal character and using all Central agencies to harass Oppsition leaders.” Ms Kanimozhi, who shared the dais with Miss Banerjee later in the evening, said she had come to express the solidarity of her party, DMK, and its chief M K Stalin with the Trinamul chief in her fight against the “undemocratic, Fascist actions of Mr Modi”. She said the Opposition parties were united and the Modi-government won’t be able to crush the Opposition. “The divisive forces ruing the Centre are interested only in staying in power because they have only lust for power,” Ms Kanimozjhi said. Miss Banerjee said : “The intention of the Central government behind using agencies like CBI, is crystal clear. The 2019 Lok Sabha elections are near and the Modi-government has realised that they are losing ground. After the United India Brigade rally in Kolkata, that witnessed participation of 23 political parties, the BJP government has realised they have bleak chances of coming back to power. Fear has crept into them, making them desperate. TMC supremo Miss Banerjee said theywill continue the sit-in demonstration - a satyagraha - till 8 February. UK Home Secretary orders Mallya extradition over ‘money laundering’ AGENCIES LONDON, 4 FEBRUARY UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid has ordered the extradition of Vijay Mallya on charges of conspiracy to defraud and money laundering offences, the Home Office said on Monday, in a major blow to the embattled liquor baron. The 63-year-old businessman had been found to have a case to answer before the Indian courts by Westminster Magistrates' Court in London on December 10, 2018. Javid, the UK's seniormost Pakistani-origin min- ister, had two months from that date to sign off on that order. The UK Home Office confirmed on Monday that after considering all matters, the minister had signed Mallya's extradition order on Sunday. “On February 3 the Secretary of State, having carefully considered all rele- vant matters, signed the order for Vijay Mallya's extradition to India,” a Home Office spokesperson said. “Vijay Mallya is accused in India of conspiracy to defraud, making false representations and money laundering offences,” the spokesperson added. Mallya is on bail on an extradition warrant executed by Scotland Yard in April 2017 after the Indian authorities brought fraud and money laundering charges amounting to Rs 9,000 crores against the former Kingfisher Airlines boss.
The Statesman is one of India's oldest English newspapers. It was founded in Kolkata in 1875 and is directly descended from The Friend of India (founded 1818). The Englishman (founded 1821) was merged with The Statesman in 1934. The Delhi edition of The Statesman began publication in 1931. The Statesman Weekly is a compendium of news and views from the Kolkata and Delhi editions. Printed on airmail paper, it is popular with readers outside India. The Statesman (average weekday circulation approximately 180,000) is a leading English newspaper in West Bengal. The Sunday Statesman has a circulation of 230,000.