CMYK MONDAY www.thestatesman.com 11 MARCH 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 DEMOCRACY, DPRK STYLE BREXIT DEAL RETURNS TO UK PARLIAMENT P10 WEATHER Mainly clear sky. Maximum and minimum temperature will be around 32 and 23 degrees Celsius respectively RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.94% TEMPERATURE Max: 31.1°C (-1) SUN RISES 05:49 hrs MOON RISES 08.44 hrs ADMIRAL’S CAUTION P9 P6 Assembly elections for Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Odisha simultaneously with LS polls; counting on 23 May Seven-phase polling in West Bengal NEW DELHI, 10 MARCH Min. 34% Next moon quarter on 16 March THUMBNAILS Australia’s Ashton James Turner plays a shot during the fourth one-day international cricket match against India at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali on Sunday. An unheralded Turner (84 n.o. off 43 balls) took an experienced Indian attack to the cleaners with some unbelievable hitting, helping Australia chase down a record breaking target of 359 runs and level the five-match series. Pakistan’s FATF plea: Pakistan has asked the president of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to remove India as co-chair of the AsiaPacific Joint Group, a regional associate of FATF, fearing that New Delhi’s presence on the panel could hurt its prospects of earning a reprieve from the global terror financing watchdog. Pakistan, which is presently on the FATF’s ‘grey list’, has been desperately trying to avoid being black-listed by the Paris-based P4 global terror financing watchdog. The much-awaited electoral battle of 2019 will begin on 11 April, with polling for the seventeenth Lok Sabha elections to be held over seven phases till 19 May, followed by counting of votes on 23 May, the Election Commission announced on Sunday. Assembly polls in Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal, Odisha and Sikkim will also be held simultaneously, the EC said. However, elections for the Jammu and Kashmir assembly, which was dissolved after the ruling coalition between the BJP and the PDP fell apart, will not be held along with the Lok Sabha polls. The schedule for the state assembly polls and byelections would be the same as the schedule of the corresponding Lok Sabha constituencies, said Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora while giving details. This is the first time that the Election Commission would use VVPAT (Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail) machines in all polling stations. The voter would also see the image of the candidate he has voted for in the VVPAT. Announcing the polling schedule, the CEC said the first phase would be held on 11 April, second on 18 April, third on 23 April and fourth on 29 April, fifth on 6 May, sixth on 12 May and seventh phase on 19 May and the counting of votes for all seven phases covering 543 Lok Sabha constituencies STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 10 MARCH The Lok Sabha polls in West Bengal will be held in seven phases. State chief electoral officer Ariz Aftab said that on 11 April, the first phase of polls, two north Bengal constituencies ~ Cooch Behar and Alipurduar ~ will go for polling. The second phase, on 18 April, will cover three constituencies ~ Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling and Raigunj. The third phase will be on 23 April and the remaining three constituencies of north Bengal ~ Balurghat, Malda North and South along with two south Bengal constituencies ~ Jangipur and Murshidabad ~ will go for polling. On 29 April, the elections will be held in eight constituencies of south Bengal ~ Behrampore, Ranaghat, Krishnanagar, Asansol, Burdwan (East), Birbhum, Bolpur and Burdwan (Durgapur). The fifth phase is on 6 May and seven constitu- Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora, along with Election Commissioners Ashok Lavasa (L) and Sushil Chandra (R), addresses a press conference to announce the schedule for the Lok Sabha elections. SNS would take place on 23 May. In the first phase, 91 constituencies will to go to polls; 97 constituencies in the second phase; 115 constituencies in the third; 71 in fourth phase; 51 in fifth phase; 59 in sixth; and 59 in the seventh phase. With the announcement of Lok Sabha polls, the EC told the Centre and state governments to bring the Model Code of Conduct into immediate effect till the polling process is over. This time, nearly 90 crore voters, nearly 1.5 crore of them between 19-20 years old, would exercise their franchise. The Commission would set up nearly 10 lakh polling stations all over the country. The Commission would take up violations of Model Code of Conduct (MCC) very seriously and would ensure that strict action is taken against those violat- ing it, the CEC said. On the misuse of money power, the Commission would soon appoint Special central expenditure observers, some of them retired senior officials of CBDT, PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Lesser-known Jaish-eMohammed terrorist Mudasir Ahmed Khan, alias 'Mohd Bhai', has been identified as the brains behind the audacious terror strike in Pulwama that left 40 CRPF personnel dead on February 14, officials said on Sunday. Piecing together evidence gathered so far, security officials said that 23-yearold Khan, an electrician with a graduate degree hailing from Pulwama district, arranged the vehicle and explosives used in the terror strike. A resident of Mir Mohalla of Tral, Khan joined the Jaish-e-Mohammed sometime in 2017 as an over- ground worker and was later drawn into the JeM fold by Noor Mohammed Tantrey, alias 'Noor Trali', who is believed to have helped in the revival of the terror outfit in Kashmir Valley. After Tantray was killed in December 2017, Khan disappeared from his home on January 14, 2018 and has been active since then. Suicide attacker Adil Ahmed Dar, who blew his explosive-laden vehicle next to a bus in a CRPF convoy on February 14, had been in constant contact with Khan, they said. After completing his graduation, Khan did a oneyear diploma course as electrician from an Industrial Training Institute (ITI). The eldest son of a labourer, Khan is also believed to be involved in the terror strike at the army camp in Sunjawan in February 2018, in which six personnel and a civilian were killed. His role has also come under lens in the Lethpora attack on a CRPF camp in January 2018 that left five CRPF personnel dead. The National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is probing the February 14 terror attack, had carried out searches at the residence of Khan on February 27. A Maruti Eeco minivan was used in the Pulwama terror attack and it was bought by another Jaish-eMohammed operative just 10 days before the strike. The operative, identified as Sajjad Bhat, a resident of Bijbehara in south Kashmir, is on the run and is believed to have become an active militant now, they said. LS polls: BJD pledges 33 pc women’s quota STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE I call upon all the National Parties that they should be true to their words, and must follow what they are propagating for women empowerment KENDRAPARA, 10 MARCH The ruling party in Odisha, the Biju Janata Dal, became the first political party in the country to announce that it will provide a quota of 33 per cent to women candidates in the ensuing Lok Sabha polls. Chief minister Naveen Patnaik announced the BJD’s decision to field 33 per cent women candidates in the 21 Lok Sabha seats in Odisha in the coming elections and called upon all the national parties to follow suit. “ I call upon all the National Parties that they should be true to their words, and must follow what they are propagating for women empowerment,” he said. Playing the women card to the hilt, the chief minister said “this announcement at Kendrapara, the sacred land of Lord Baladevjew, will create history in the journey of women encies will go for polling ~ Bonga, Howrah, Hooghly, Uluberia, Serampore, Arambagh and Barrackpore. On 12 May, eight parliamentary constituencies ~ Ghatal, Tamluk, Contai, Jhargram, Medinipur, Bankura, Bishnupur and Purulia ~ will vote. On 19 May, the two constituencies of North and South Kolkata will go for polling along with Jadavpur, Mathurapur, Diamond Harbour, Joynagar, Barasat, Basirhat and Dum Dum. TMC party general secretary, Firhad Hakim, said: “The election schedule was deliberately devised in such a way that the minorities, who fast during Ramzan, will find it difficult to vote standing under the scorching sun. But the people of Bengal will vote and take this as a challenge.” Trinamul leader Mamata Banerjee, meanwhile, is to hold a meeting of her party’s election committee on Tuesday after which she is expected to announce the names of her party’s candidates. the CEC said. “I assure you that Commission would implement MCC in letter and spirit,” he added. The CEC said the Commission has also decided to deploy three special obse- rvers, former IAS officer, Noor Mohammad, former DG CRPF A S Gill and former tourism secretary Vinod Jutsi, who served the Election Commission at a very senior level for nearly seven years. The election will pit the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance against several Opposition parties, including the Congress, the Left and regional forces which are continuing to work out a grand alliance to minimise a division of votes against the Narendra Modi-led ruling combine. The BJP has succeeded in working out a seat-sharing formula with some new allies and several old partners, even making concessions to them in states like Bihar. However, the opposition parties are yet to arrive at a deal in several states. While the NDA hopes to make history by returning to power for a second full term, the Opposition wants to unseat the Modi government by raising questions on its performance on a host of issues, including economic growth, employment, corruption and social harmony. After suffering losses in assembly polls in three states recently, the BJP believes that its Lok Sabha poll campaign is back on track due to a host of decisions, including 10 per cent quota for the general category poor, money transfer to farmers and presentation of a populist budget. What has injected further confidence into the NDA fold is the fronting of the nationalist plank in the poll campaign after the Pulwama terror attack, which killed 40 CRPF personnel, that was followed by the Indian Air Force's strikes on terrorist camps in Pakistan. 23-year-old electrician brains behind Indians among 157 dead in Ethiopia plane crash Pulwama terror attack: Officials SRINAGAR, 10 MARCH Tibetans at a rally to mark the 60th anniversary of their National Uprising Day, in New Delhi on Sunday. RITIK JAIN P12 7-phase poll battle begins 11 Apr SNS & AGENCIES Min: 22.8°C (+1) SUN SETS 17:44 hrs MOON SETS 21:46 hrs MANDHANA ACHIEVES CAREER BEST SPOT IN T20IS NAVEEN PATNAIK ODISHA CHIEF MINISTER empowerment in India”. The chief minister also invoked his father, the late Biju Patnaik, saying the announcement at the ‘Karma Bhumi’ of Biju Babu that Odisha will send 33 per cent of women to Parliament in the coming Lok Sabha election is befitting as it was Biju Babu who was the first to introduce reservation for women in panchayats, much before the Constitutional amendment in this regard. Patnaik, while addressing a rally of Women SHG group members of Mission Shakti at Baruo on the outskirts of Kendrapara town, noted that he was leading the country in sending women to Parliament. “Late Biju Babu had shown the way to the entire nation by enforcing 33 per cent reservation for women in the three-tier gram panchayat bodies and urban local bodies when he was the chief minister of the state in the nineties. “In 2012, the state government had enhanced it to 50 per cent in panchayati raj institutions. Taking it forward, the state government, for the first time, had passed a resolution in Odisha Legislative Assembly to provide 33 per cent reservation to women in both the parliament and state legislatures. I have sent a proposal to all national parties and chief ministers in this regard,” he said. If India is to lead the world, and if India is to be an advanced nation like America and China, CMYK then women empowerment is the only answer, he said. Patnaik, however, did not make any such announcement for the assembly polls which is slated to be held along with the Lok Sabha polls. Odisha's 147member assembly has 12 women MLAs at present. The Opposition Congress and BJP were quick to lash out at what they termed as a “ political gimmick”. OPCC chief Niranjan Patnaik pointed out that Naveen Patnaik had never uttered a word on the Women Reservation Bill for all these years and just before election he is indulging in such stunts. BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra asked: “Why didn’t he include the assembly tickets also? Clearly it is doublespeak of the chief minister.” Patra went on to refer to the rising instances of crimes against women in Odisha with the chief minister holding the home portfolio. Rescue team members walk past collected bodies in bags at the crash site of an Ethiopia Airlines Boeing 737 near Bishoftu, in Ethiopia, on Sunday. AFP AGENCIES BISHOFTU/NEW DELHI, 10 MARCH A Nairobi-bound Boeing 737 crashed minutes after an early-morning takeoff from Addis Ababa Sunday, killing all eight crew and 149 passengers on board, including four Indians, tourists, business travellers, and at least one delegate to a UN meeting. Amid a global stream of condolences, many gathered in tears at Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, as the victims' identities started to emerge. People from 35 countries were on board flight ET 302 when it ploughed into a field 60 kilometres southeast of Addis Ababa on what the airline's CEO Tewolde GebreMariam labelled a “very sad and tragic day”. An eyewitness told AFP the plane came down in flames. “The plane was already on fire when it crashed to the ground. The crash caused a big explosion,” Tegegn Dechasa recounted at the site, littered with passenger belongings, hu- man remains, and airplane parts around a massive crater at the point of impact. The Boeing 737-800MAX was brand new, delivered to state-owned Ethiopian Airways on 15 November, said the carrier, Africa's largest. The plane is the same type as the Indonesian Lion Air jet that crashed last October, 13 minutes after takeoff from Jakarta, killing all 189 people on board. Foreign governments said tourists, business people, doctors, and a Kenyan football official were among the dead. In New Delhi, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj confirmed that four Indians, including a UN consultant attached with the Environment Ministry, were among those killed in the plane crash. Shikha Garg. a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) consultant attached with the Environment Ministry, was on board, on her way to attend a UN Environment Programme meeting in Nairobi. Mrs Swaraj said the Indian Embassy in Ethiopia has informed her that the other deceased Indian nationals are Vaidya Pannagesh Bhaskar, Vaidya Hansin Annagesh, and Nukavarapu Manisha. Ethipian Airlines said the plane had taken off at 8:38 a.m. (0538 GMT) from Bole International Airport and “lost contact” six minutes later. It came down near Tulu Fara village outside the town of Bishoftu. Ethiopian Airlines said Kenya had the largest number of casualties with 32, followed by Canada with 18, Ethiopia nine, then Italy, China, and the United States with eight each. Britain and France each had seven people on board, Egypt six, and Germany five. Twelve countries in Africa and 14 in Europe had citizens among the victims. Asked if the pilot had made a distress call, CEO GebreMariam said “the pilot mentioned that he had difficulties and he wants to return. He was given clearance” to turn around. Ethiopian and American investigators will probe the crash, said GebreMariam.
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