TUESDAY www.thestatesman.com 02 APRIL 2019 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |`5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P3 WEATHER Mainly clear sky. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 35 and 16 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.70% Max: 33.7° (0) SUN RISES 06:10 hrs MOON RISES 05:14 hrs Min: 17.6°C (-1) SUN SETS 18:39 hrs MOON SETS 16:04 hrs P5 FB removes 687 pages, accounts linked to Cong Min. 25% TEMPERATURE PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 1 APRIL THUMBNAILS India launches EMISAT, 28 foreign satellites: India scripted history by succesfully launching EMISAT, a military satellite, and 28 foreign nano satellites on-board its polar rocket from Sriharikota Monday, in a complex mission which marked many a first for ISRO. The 28 co-passenger satellites belong to Lithuania, P7 Spain, Switzerland and the US. Hardik moves SC: Congress leader Hardik Patel on Monday moved the Supreme Court challenging the Gujarat High Court order rejecting his plea to stay his conviction in the 2015 Vispur rioting case. His petition is likely to be mentioned on Tuesday for urgent hearing and his lawyers would seek stay of the March 29 HC order. Plea to stay Modi biopic dismissed: Delhi High Court on Monday dismissed a petition seeking stay on the 5 April release of PM Modi's biopic till the general election results are out. A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice A J Bhambhani refused to entertain the PIL which had also urged the ECI to act against the alleged violation of MCC. REIWA- A NEW IMPERIAL NAME AFTER ABDICATION ‘COALITION GOVTS HAVE DONE BETTER THAN MODI SHOW’ RAHUL REFUSED TO TIE UP WITH AAP: KEJRIWAL In a major crackdown on the use of fake accounts to criticise opponents, Facebook Inc Monday removed 687 pages and accounts linked to the Congress and a smaller number of what appeared to be proBJP accounts, saying they were indulging in “coordinated inauthentic behaviour” on the social media platform. The action to remove Facebook and Instagram accounts, just days before the first phase of polling for the general elections, led to a war of words between the ruling BJP and the main Opposition party with the former calling the move a “desperate” attempt to claim support and the latter disowning the accounts. While accounts/pages linked to the Congress party appeared to be large in number, the following or reach of pro-BJP accounts was several times more. Along with removing Congress-linked pages, Facebook also shut down 103 pages, groups and accounts originating in Pakistan and linked to employees of the Inter-Ser- P12 China attacks US move for taking the matter directly to UNSC PRESS TRUST OF INDIA BEIJING, 1 APRIL C NEW DELHI, 1 APRIL The Supreme Court on Monday asked 21 opposition leaders to file within a week their reply on the Election Commission's affidavit on their plea seeking counting of at least 50 per cent of VVPAT slips in Lok Sabha and assembly polls. In its affidavit EC has said that any further increase in the sample size of verification from the existing norm of one polling booth per assembly segment would lead to very negligible gain in the confidence level, which is way above 99.99 per cent. It has said that 50 per cent VVPAT slip verification as sought by opposition leaders in each assembly segment of a Parliamentary or Assembly Constituency on an average shall enlarge the time required for counting to about six days. The 21 Opposition leaders had sought that VVPAT slips of at least 50 per cent of voting machines in each assembly constituency be checked randomly during Lok Sabha polls. PTI hina on Monday claimed that “positive progress” has been made on designating Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar as a 'global terrorist' by the UN and accused the US of scuttling its efforts by taking the matter directly to the Security Council, setting a “bad example”. Two weeks after China put a hold on a French proposal to list Azhar under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the Council, the US on March 27 circulated a draft resolution to the powerful 15-nation Council to blacklist Azhar and subject him to a travel ban, an assets freeze and an arms embargo. China last week defended its repeated attempts to block the listing of the Jaish-e-Mohammad chief as a global terrorist and refuted the US allegation that Beijing's action amounted to protecting violent Islamic groups from sanctions. “After the application for designation of Azhar was proposed (in the 1267 committee), China is in close communication and coordination with various parties and made positive progress. The US knows that very well,” Foreign Ministry spokesman NEW DELHI, 1 APRIL The Supreme Court on Monday expressed unhappiness over several thousand declared foreign nationals absconding and amalgamating with local population in Assam, and summoned the state's Chief Secretary to appear before it on April 8. Accusing Assam government of“playing with the court”, the apex court also termed the reply filed by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) as an “exercise in futility” and sought to know as to how the persons, declared foreigners by the tribunal, have amalgamated with the local population. “What is your govern- ment planning to do to trace those people who have merged with the local population,” said a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi. “You (Assam government) are saying that the declared foreigners have gone untraceable. How do you intend to identify them and deport them,” the bench, also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna, asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the state government. The top court was hearing a PIL filed by activist Harsh Mander, through advocate Prashant Bhushan, on the plight of foreigners in detention centres.The plea alleged that they are kept in detention indefinitely just because they are not Indians and are treated as “ille- gal aliens”. At the outset, the bench referred to the figure provided by the government that about 91,609 people have been declared as illegal foreigners by tribunals and out of them, 72,486 were absconding and around 900 persons are in kept in detention centres presently. “You have given the figure as to how many have been declared foreigners and how many are there in the (detention) centre.Where are the rest.You say that they have amalgamated with the local population,” the bench STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE MUMBAI, 1 APRIL Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi opened his election campaign for National Democratic Alliance or NDA with a scathing attack on Mr Sharad Pawar saying the Nationalist Congress Party president has opted out of contest because he read the writings on the wall accurately that odds are heavily stacked against him. In his first rally in Maharashtra’s Wardha city, Mr Modi said once the Maratha strongman was now unable to hold his party together.NCP is fast losing from his control as his nephew and other satraps are trying to assume the control. The party is beset with internal feuds, alleged Mr Modi who was often cheered by a huge audience. He was accompanied by Mr Nitin Gadkari, Union minister and chief minister Mr Devendra Fadnavis. After NCP the PM targeted Congress. For the first time he he hit back at the main Opposition Congress for raising the "bogey " of Hindu or saffron terrorism which he asserted never existed and was invented by Congress as a vote bank ploy. "Today Congress fears of fielding its nominees in Hindu dominated constituencies", he added. Mr Pawar ostensibly withdrew from contest saying he would prefer his grandson Parth to fight in his place. Parth is son of Mr Ajit Pawar who is keen on stepping into his uncle's shoes. NCP president has been consistently speaking about fighting from Madha in Sholapur district. BJP-Shiv Sena alliance today received a head start with PM launching its campaign 2019 for 48 Parliament seats. They won 42 in 2014. Maharashtra will vote in four phases. Mumbai with six seats will go to hustings on 29 April. Analysts say voters look forward to a rally in the city that will see Mr Modi and Shiv Sena chief Mr Uddhav Thackeray addressing from the same platform. Mr Thackeray has not only mellowed but often praises the PM in his Saamna paper. Recently he wrote an edit "Modi hai to mumkin hai". That is with Modi around everything is possible. On the other hand NCPCongress are yet to finalise nominees for key seats such as Pune which is the home district of Pawars. The seat has gone to Congress which with ally NCP organised a roadshow with thousands of workers raising anti-Modi slogans. They marched on Pune streets without the candidate who is yet to be declared by the Congress leadership in Delhi. PTI adds: Responding to Modi's remarks, the NCP hit back, saying the party knew how to respect elders in its fold unlike Modi's BJP which unceremoniously dropped someone as senior as party patriarch L K Advani. NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said Modi attacked Pawar out of frustration after seeing what he claimed was an empty rally ground at Wardha. “And on top of that, Pawar saheb is president of the (NCP) party. People are seeing what treatment you (Modi) have meted to your leader Advani saheb, who brought you into politics, made you chief minister, made you a leader,” Malik said. Yogi’s remark ‘Modi ji ki sena’ triggers row GHAZIABAD, 1 APRIL Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath described the Indian Army as “Modi ji ki sena” (Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Army) during an election campaign for the BJP here. Hitting out at Opposition parties over a host of governance issues Sunday, Adityanath said what was “impossible” for the Congress, Samajwadi Party and the BSP is possible under the BJP rule. The UP CM’s remark calling Indian Army Modiji ki sena triggered a controversy drawing flak from Opposition PTI parties. Geng Shuang told a media briefing here on Monday. Asked to clarify whether the progress he meant was to resolve the vexed issue of listing Azhar, Geng said, “Yes. The US knows that very well”. However, he did not elaborate. China has so far blocked the move four times in recent years. On March 13, it blocked a proposal by France and backed by the US and the UK, in the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee, saying Beijing wanted more time to study the case. A hold on the proposal would also provided time and space for the relevant parties to hold talks after the Pulwama terrorist attack, the Chinese foreign ministry said. Following this, the US directly moved a resolution in the UN Security Council on March 27 to blacklist Azhar which China said amounted to undermining the 1267 Committee. India handed over a dossier to the Acting High Commission- er of Pakistan in New Delhi on February 27 with specific details of Pakistanbased terror group JeM's complicity in the Pulwama attack that killed 40 CRPF personnel on February 14 and the presence of JeM terror camps and its leadership in Pakistan. Pakistan has already said that it has not found any link between the JeM and the Pulwama terror attack and demanded more information/evidence from India. Monday's comments by the spokesman was the first time Beijing spoke of progress to resolve the Azhar issue. “We believe under the current circumstances forcing a draft resolution at the Security Council is not a constructive move and set a bad example,” Geng said. Lashing out at the US for taking the Azhar issue to the UNSC from the 1267 Committee which also functioned under UNSC framework, Geng claimed India, Pak scramble jets PTI ANKARA, 1 APRIL asked, adding that it was the reason for which it wanted the chief secretary to appear. The bench told Mehta that it had asked the top officer to remain present and asked, “who exempted him from personal appearance. We will issue contempt notice”. The court, which hinted that it may issue warrants against the Chief Secretary, later took note of the undertaking by Mehta that the top officer would appear as and when asked and fixed the case for hearing on April 8. “Tushar Mehta, Solicitor General, undertakes that the Chief Secretary of the state of Assam will be personally present in the court on the next date fixed and will remain present in the court until required. ’’ Modi attacks Pawar, NCP returns fire support from majority of UNSC members to China's stand that the issue should be resolved by the 1267 Committee. “We hope various parties will meet each other half way and continue to properly solve this issue under the 1267 Committee framework. Last Friday, UNSC members exchanged views on the US proposed draft resolution. The majority believes that efforts should be made to solve the issues under 1267 Committee framework,” he said. “They are not in favour of forcing the draft resolution. China has been working with various parties and is making progress. The US knows that very well and yet, it insists on pushing the Security Council to adopt the draft resolution,” he said. “This cannot be justified and is not in accordance with the rules and practices of the Security Council. It is setting a bad example that will only complicate the matter. It is also not conducive for peace and stability in South Asia. China is opposed to this,” he said. To another question about criticism that the US is making hasty efforts to list Azhar by bypassing procedures to benefit BJP in India's General Elections, Geng said the US' stand is not conducive to peace and stability in South Asia. Erdogan’s party suffers upset SC irked over absconding foreigners, summons Assam Chief Secretary SNS & PTI P15 Azhar: China claims 'positive progress' EC affidavit on VVPAT: SC asks Opp to reply vice Public Relations department of the Pakistani military, for similar behaviour but said there was no link between the two set of users. It, however, said the action to snap out accounts and pages was based on their behaviour, not the content they posted. In a rare action against a prominent political party in a country that is home to 300 million users ~ the largest number of users in the world ~ Facebook said its investigation found individuals used fake accounts to disseminate views on local news and political issues and “criticism of political opponents including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)”. It also shared two examples of such posts ~ one that sought support for Congress president Rahul Gandhi by highlighting his idea of universal basic income for the poor, and the other that criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for opposing Congress' plan for giving poor an income of Rs 72,000 a year. “While the people behind this activity attempted to conceal their identities, our review found that it was connected to individuals associated with an INC IT Cell,” Nathaniel Gleicher, Head of Cybersecurity Policy at FaceTURN TO P 7 book, said. WHEN MBAPPE GETS GOING, HIS RIVALS GET THE JITTERS NEW DELHI, 1 APRIL Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling party suffered a major upset Monday after local election results showed it lost the capital Ankara and Istanbul after a decade and half in power. Losing the country's two major cities would be a stunning defeat for Erdogan, whose ability to win at the ballot box has been unparalleled in Turkish history. Erdogan campaigned hard, portraying Sunday's vote for mayors and district councils as a fight for the nation's survival, but the election became a test for his AKP after Turkey slipped into a recession for the first time in a decade. AFP The Indian Air Force on Monday scrambled two Sukhoi-30 fighter jets after sighting a Pakistani drone along the Indo-Pak border in the Khemkaran sector in Punjab, official sources said. Two Pakistani F-16 fighter aircraft were also seen close to the border after the incident. The sources said the Sukhoi-30 MKI jets were deployed soon after the Pakistani unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was seen hovering over the border. The drone soon retreated to the Pakistani side after the jets were scrambled. There have been a series of incidents of Pakistani drones coming close to the Indo-Pak border in various areas in the last four weeks SEE ALSO P 12 Congress hits back at Modi and Yogi STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 1 APRIL The Congress today blasted Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his remarks at his Wardha rally that charged its "scared" leader with "fleeing away" to a constituency not dominated by the majority Hindu community. Without taking his name, PM Modi was referring to Congress president Rahul Gandhi's bid to contest from a second Lok Sabha constituency Wayanad in Kerala besides Amethi in Uttar Pradesh. The Congress accused PM Modi of allegedly undermining democracy and the Constitution by resorting to such divisive and polarising comments.“It is unfortunate that the Prime Minis- ter of India has spoken such words. Unlike PM Modi, who sees the citizens of the country in terms of their communities and not as citizens of India, the Congress sees each of the 135 crore citizens as Indians....By trying to segment the Indian democracy in terms of castes and communities, the PM has insulted our democracy," Congress spokesman Manish Tewari said. Hitting out at PM Modi, Tewari rejected his claim as "lies" that the Congress had coined the phrase “Hindu terTURN TO P 5 ror”. following the Balakot air strikes. Last month, a UAV which intruded into Rajasthan's Ganganagar was shot down by the Army. Also last month, a Sukhoi30 fighter jet of the IAF shot down a Pakistani military drone in Bikaner sector of the Indo-Pak border using an air-to-air missile. Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after IAF jets bombed terror group JeM's training camp near Balakot in Pakistan on 26 February. Pakistan retaliated by attempting to target Indian military installations the next day. However, the IAF thwarted their plans. The Indian strike on the JeM camp came 12 days after the terror outfit claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a CRPF convoy in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama in which 40 soldiers were killed. Wayanad: Rahul vs Vellappally THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, 1 APRIL Thushar Vellappally, chief of the Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS), a constituent of the BJPled NDA in Kerala, will take on Congress president Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad constituency in Kerala. BJP president Amit Shah announced on Monday that BDJS chief Thushar Vallappally would be the National Democratic Alliance’s candidate(NDA) from Wayanad constituency. “I proudly announce Shri Thushar Vellappally, President of Bharat Dharma Jana Sena as NDA candidate from Wayanad,” Shah tweeted. Shah said, “A vibrant and dynamic youth leader, he represents our commitment towards development and social justice.’’The LF would make all efforts to defeat the Congress chief, CPI general Secretary S Sudhakar SNS Reddy said.
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