CMYK THURSDAY www.thestatesman.com 21 MARCH 2019 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 20 |` 5.00|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR ENTER THE LOKPAL GST COUNCIL-LIKE BODIES MUST FOR RURAL UPLIFT P6 P8 SENSEX 38,386.75 +23.28 NIFTY 11,521.05 -11.35 AGENCIES LONDON, 20 MARCH WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. Maximum-minimum temperature will be around 34-25 degree celsius, respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.95% Min. 46% Max: 32.7°C (-2) SUN RISES 05:40 hrs MOON RISES 18.13 hrs Min: 24.1°C (+1) SUN SETS 17:48 hrs MOON SETS 05:56 hrs TEMPERATURE Full moon today THUMBNAILS EU fines Google $1.7 b: European Union regulators have hit Google with a 1.49 billion euro ($1.68 billion) fine for abusing its dominant role in online advertising. It's the third time the commission has slapped Google with an antitrust penalty, following multibillion-dollar fines resulting from probes into two other parts of the Silicon Valley giant's business. P9 Sawant wins trust vote: Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Wednesday proved the majority of his BJP-led government in the Assembly, comfortably winning a floor test in the House. When Deputy Speaker Michael Lobo asked for division of votes, 20 MLAs supported the confidence motion in the two-day old govP2 ernment, while 15 legislators opposed it. 4 acquitted in Samjhauta case: A special court at Panchkula (Haryana) on Wednesday acquitted Swami Aseemanand and three others in the Samjhauta train blast case that left 68 people, mostly Pakistanis, dead in 2007. All the four accused, Naba Kumar Sarkar alias Swami Aseemanand, Lokesh Sharma, Kamal Chauhan and Rajinder Chaudhary have been acquitted. Nirav Modi, the main accused in the USD 2 billion PNB scam case, has been arrested in London where a court on Wednesday remanded the fugitive diamantaire in custody till March 29, saying there are “substantial grounds” to believe that he would fail to surrender if granted bail. “Nirav Deepak Modi, 48, was arrested on behalf of the Indian Authorities on Tuesday in Holborn,” the Metropolitan Police said in a statement. His arrest came days after a London court issued an arrest warrant against him in response to a request by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for his extradition in a money laundering case. Modi was produced before the Westminster Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, where he contested his extradition to India. District Judge Marie Mallon, presiding over the hearing, said that she was not inclined to accept Modi's bail plea due to the “high value amount” attached to the allegations against him and that he would have “every incentive” to evade surrendering before the court. There are substantial grounds to believe that you would fail to surrender before the court if bail were to be granted,” the judge noted. Modi, dressed in a plain white shirt and trousers, appeared in the dock where he spoke only to confirm his name and also to formally decline consent to be extradited to India. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), representing the Indian authorities in court, told the court that Modi was wanted in India for fraud and money laundering amounting to the tune of USD 2 billion. Under UK domestic law, the CPS said he is liable on charges of conspiracy to fraud, which has a maximum jail term of seven years, and conspiracy to conceal, which could result in anywhere between seven, 10 and life term in jail. “We do object to bail because there are substantial grounds to believe the requested person (Modi) would fail to surrender,” said Barrister Jonathan Swain, appearing for the CPS and on behalf of the Indian government. Modi's legal team was GOLD 30,685 -120.00 BRENT (OIL IN $) $67.61 00 PRESS TRUST OF INDIA JAMMU, 20 MARCH ealing an alliance after days of hectic parleys, the Congress and National Conference on Wednesday announced they will fight two and one Lok Sabha seats respectively, while agreeing on a “friendly contest” on the rest three constituencies of Jammu and Kashmir. In a joint press conference here, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad and NC chief Farooq Abdullah said that while the Congress will contest on the Jammu and Udhampur seats, the National Conference will fight from Srinagar. There will be a “friendly contest” between the two parties on the Baramulla, Anantnag and Ladakh seats, Abdullah said. “I will contest from the Srinagar seat,” he told the press conference. “We had a give-and-take and nobody should be under illusion that one party lost or the other won during the agreement.” State Congress chief Gulam Ahmed Mir and AICC General Secretary Ambika Soni were also present at the press conference. The state sends six Lok Sabha MPs. “Friendly contest means that we will not go hard against each other and at the same time will make a joint effort to defeat the opponents. Whether they (NC) win or we, it will make no difference because the (seats) will add to the national kitty,” Azad said. Had the two parties entered the fray separately in Jammu, he said, it would have benefited the BJP “And in Kashmir, . if we fought separately, it is difficult to transfer votes.” He said, “We have some MLAs in Anantnag and Baramulla and (by friendly contest) we will be able to maintain our Mayawati not to contest LS elections S ED to sell Nirav paintings, cars NEW DELHI, 20 MARCH The Enforcement Directorate will sell 173 paintings and 11 vehicles “beneficially owned” by Nirav Modi after it obtained permission from a special court in Mumbai on Wednesday, officials said. The same court, they said, also issued a non-bailable warrant against his wife Ami after ED recently filed a supplementary charge sheet underlining her role in the USD 2 bilPTI lion PNB scam. headed by Barrister George Hepburne-Scott and his solicitor, Anand Doobay, is the same legal expert hired by former Kingfisher Airlines boss Vijay Mallya in his extradition proceedings against India in the UK courts. Modi's team made their case for bail, offering 500,000 pounds as security and an offer to adhere to stringent conditions. “He strongly contests all the allegations and is prepared with comprehensive arguments to support his case...his legal team has had months contact with the extradition squad and expressed his willingness to cooperate,” Hepburne-Scott said. It emerged in court that Modi was arrested from a Metro Bank branch in London by uniformed officers on Tuesday, when he went there to open a new bank account. A bank clerk alerted Scotland Yard as a result of the “high publicity” surrounding the case and Metropolitan Police officers arrived to execute the arrest. PRESS TRUST OF INDIA AHMEDABAD, 20 MARCH didates are finalised by the party's central election committee. Asked if the party has urged Advani to contest from the Gandhinagar seat, Chopra said, “Neither has the party approached him nor has he approached the party so far.” A section of Gujarat BJP leaders is of the view Advani may himself decide not to contest the elections due to the age factor. Advani did not SILVER 38,000 -150.00 J&K alliance sealed: Cong gets 2, NC 1; friendly contest on 3 LS seats Assembly polls deferred as state sought 70,000 troops PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 20 MAR CH The Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections were deferred as the state administration asked for over 70,000 paramilitary troops for conducting simultaneous polls, a demand which could not be acceded to, officials said Wednesday. A home ministry official said the Jammu and Kashmir administration's demand of about 717 companies of paramilitary personnel could not be met as a large number of forces would be required across the country for general elections. A company of paramilitary comprises about 100 personnel. The state electurf.” The alliance has been finalised in national interest and will strengthen the secular forces in J&K as the state faces threat from Pakistan, Azad said. “Live and let live.” The Rajya Sabha MP said he himself and other leaders of his party would campaign for Abdullah in Will he, won't he? No decision yet on Advani contesting Lok Sabha polls Suspense remains on whether BJP patriarch L K Advani will contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls or hang up his boots. The 91-year-old, who served as home minister and deputy prime minister of the country, has won the Lok Sabha election from Gandhinagar seat six times. Advani, credited for crafting the BJP's rise to a pre-eminent position in the late 80s and 90s after it won just two Lok Sabha seats in 1984 Lok Sabha polls, has remained on the sidelines since he voiced his reservations on the nomination of Narendra Modi as the party's prime ministerial candidate in 2014. Asked whether Advani was keen on contesting the poll considering his age, his personal secretary Deepak Chopra told PTI, “It is not yet decided...he will decide when something (offer) comes.” Party sources said there is no age bar for candidates and winnability will be the criteria when can- P11 P2 ` vs $ 68.83 +13 PAISE Nirav Modi arrested in UK, remanded in custody till 29 March FIFA PLAYING WITH FIRE IN WEST ASIA ‘ALLIANCE TALKS CAN CONTINUE AFTER POLLS’ make any representation to stake claim for his traditional Gandhinagar seat before the BJP observers here. “At his level, we do not need to do this,” Chopra said. Advani brought a paradigm shift in Indian politics through his Rath Yatra in 1992 in support of the Ram temple in Ayodhya and played a key role in the BJP's evolution. State BJP spokesperson Bharat Pandya said the final decision about Gandhinagar will be taken by the party's parliamentary board. “Only the parliamentary board of the party can decide if Advaniji will fight or not,” he said. A section of party workers has demanded that a national leader like president Amit Shah should contest from Gandhinagar seat in place of Advani, sources said. “During our meeting with party leaders and workers, no local leaders submitted their bio-data to contest the polls from Gandhinagar seat. They have demanded that our national leader should contest from here,” BJP observer for Gandhinagar seat Nimaben Acharya said. After contesting the Lok Sabha polls from Gandhinagar seat for the first time in 1991, Advani retained the constituency in 1998, 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014. Advani did not contest the elections in 1996 citing the Babari Masjid demolition case against him. However, former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee contested from the seat as well as from Lucknow, and won. Advani became the face of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement that shaped, and continues to define the saffron party's electoral and political fortunes. It was under Advani's leadership that the BJP grew from a fringe party to a contender for power. Although Advani was the BJP's prime ministerial candidate in 2009, the party lost. Before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP made Modi, Advani's one time loyalist, its prime ministerial candidate, a move which apparently did not go down well with the party veteran. Advani was made a member of 'margdarshak mandal' (group of mentors) after the BJP came to power in 2014, seen as an attempt to ease him out of any key decision-making process. PM attacks Congress: In a sharp attack on the Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused it of insulting key institutions like Parliament, judiciary, media and the armed forces when it was in power and targeted the party over “dynastic politics”. CMYK tions may be held anytime after the Parliamentary polls, the officials said. Meanwhile, two candidates filed nomination papers for the Jammu-Poonch parliamentary constituency on Wednesday, an official spoesperson said. Syed Aqib Hussain filed his nomination as the candidate of Independent People's Party and Rajiv Chuni filed the nomination as an independent, the spokesperson said. He said the two candidates filed their nomination papers before returning officer and deputy commissioner, Jammu, Ramesh Kumar. On March 18, the ECI issued notification for two LS seats in the state. the Srinagar constituency, which the NC patron currently represents. Abdullah also appealed to the Congress to exhibit magnanimity and reach out to like-minded parties in other parts of the country to safeguard the secular character of the nation. “We have to keep our nation secular. Try hard in other places and reach an understanding (with other parties). We have to make this nation stronger and keep it secular and equal for everyone,” Abdullah told the Congress. The country is faced with dangers from Pakistan and other neighbouring countries and the people living on the border in J&K are the worst sufferers of the animosity between India and Pakistan, he said. “If there is peace between the two countries, the first beneficiary will be the people of the state.” He said secular parties need to come together because communal forces only strengthen Pakistan, China and “our enemies of the nation and weaken the country from within”. Azad appealed to the people of Jammu to vote for strengthening secularism and isolating communalism. “A communal India cannot face any nation but secular India can fight any country in the world.” Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir BJP alleged the Congress conceded to the National Conference's (NC) proseparatist agenda. Azad said they were not working for the BJP “We . have an alliance with like minded parties at five or six places, it (BJP) has alliance at over 40 places.” LUCKNOW, 20 MARCH Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati on Wednesday announced that she will not contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, but kept open the option of fighting a parliamentary byelection later. “In view of the present circumstances and the need of the country and the interests of the party, the movement and the public, it is the need of the hour that I do not contest the Lok Sabha polls. And this is the reason that I have decided not to contest the Lok Sabha polls,” Mayawati said here. The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister asked party workers to not get disheartened with her decision. “When I became Uttar Pradesh CM for the first time in 1995, I was not a member of either UP Assembly or Council. Similarly is the provision at the Centre where a person has to be a Lok Sabha/Rajya Sabha member within six months of holding office of a minister or PTI the PM.’’ Congress may go it alone, but leaves 5 LS seats for LF in south Bengal STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, 20 MARCH The blame for the failure of seat-sharing in the forthcoming Lok Sabha election was laid at the door of CPI-M-led Left Front by Congress today. While the PCC leaders iterated their decision to go it alone in the state, it decided not to contest five seats in south Bengal as a goodwill gesture to the front for its decision not to contest four seats won by Congress in 2014 LS polls. It was now for the CPI-M to take a call on the matter, senior Congress leader Pradip Bhattacharya said during the day. "The seat sharing talks failed as CPI(M) and Left Front were not keen on a formal alliance and wanted a seat sharing deal for this election," he said. "We were not ready for such an arrangement" the Rajya Sabha MP said. " We refuse to forge a seat sharing deal by compromising our dignity,” Bhattacharya said. There is no question of going back on the list of candidates for 11 seats in the state that Congress announced on Monday night, he said adding While the PCC leaders iterated their decision to go it alone in the state, it decided not to contest five seats in south Bengal as a goodwill gesture to the front for its decision not to contest four seats won by Congress in 2014 Lok Sabha polls. The Congress had on Monday night announced candidates for 11 seats in the state, including Raiganj and Murshidabad which the CPI(M) had won in 2014. that the party will fight the coming Lok Sabha polls on its own in the state. "By setting a deadline for the Congress, the front chairman seems to be giving a whip to us," Bhattacharya said. “As CPI(M) has decided not to contest elections in the four seats that we had won last time, we too have decided not to contest in five seats - Diamond Harbour, Bishnupur, Tamluk, Arambagh and Asansol in south Bengal and we are waiting for the Left to take a call on the matter as soon as possible,” he said. The front announced candidates for 13 more Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal on Tuesday, taking the total number of its contestants to 38. The Left Front, however, kept its door open for seat sharing talks with the Congress till Wednesday evening by not declaring nominees in four seats which the national party had won in the 2014 general elections. Reacting to LF's time limit till this evening, Bhattacharya said: “We don't believe in such threats and ultimatum”. The Congress had on Monday night announced candidates for 11 seats in the state, including Raiganj and Murshidabad which the CPI(M) had won in 2014.
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