CMYK THURSDAY www.thestatesman.com 04 APRIL 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 P6 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. Maximum and minimum temperature likely to be around 35-26 degree celsius, respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.93% Min. 52% Max: 35.1°C (+0.2) SUN RISES 05:26 hrs MOON RISES 04.58 hrs Min: 26.1°C (+1.3) SUN SETS 17:53 hrs MOON SETS 17:05 hrs TEMPERATURE New moon on 5 April THUMBNAILS A child supporter joins the saffron brigade during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rally at Brigade Parade Ground in Kolkata on Wednesday. BISWAJIT GHOSHAL Mumbai Indians score 170/5: Riding Hardik Pandya's blitzkrieg, Mumbai Indians creamed 29 runs in the final over to reach 170 for five against Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League in Mumbai on Wednesday. Sent into bat, Suryakumar Yadav compiled a half century to lay the foundation for the hosts at the Wankhede Stadium. Yadav, who hit eight fours and a six, also put on a half century stand with Krunal Pandya. BHU ex-student shot dead on campus: An s expelled Banaras Hindu University student Gaurav Singh was shot dead outside a hostel on the campus, police said on Wednesday. Paramilitary men were deployed on the campus and the university shut after the attack by some youths on a motorcycle. The police have lodged an FIR against four people, including BHU's chief proctor Royana Singh. Four others have been detained for questioning. India set to grow at 7.2 %, says ADB: India's growth is set to pick up and is expected to grow at 7.2 per cent in the current fiscal on strengthening consumption, Asian Development Bank said in its flagship report released on Wednesday. “Growth slowed from 7.2 per cent in fiscal 2017 to 7 per cent in 2018, with weaker agricultural output and consumption growth curtailed by higher global oil prices P8 and lower government expenditure.” Brunei’s harsh sharia laws take effect: Brunei on Wednesday introduced harsh new sharia laws, including death by stoning for adultery and gay sex, despite a storm of global criticism from politicians, celebrities and rights groups. The tough penal code in the tiny country on tropical Borneo island -- ruled by Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah -- fully came into force following years of delays. The laws make Brunei the first place in East or SE Asia P9 to have a sharia penal code. UNAVOIDABLE ANATHEMA NAJIB GOES ON TRIAL OVER SCANDAL KOVIND’S CALL P10 P6 P12 Modi and Mamata clash in Bengal Modi says Mamata is slowing down development, Congress manifesto is an exercise in hypocrisy; CM rubbishes allegations Mamata calls PM ‘expiry babu’ STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE SILIGURI, 3 APRIL Soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi called chief minister Mamata Banerjee a "speed-breaker" at the BJP election rally here, the latter responded from another part of north Bengal by branding Mr Modi as "expiry pradhan mantri” and “expiry babu whose term has already expired.” Miss Banerjee was addressing a political rally at Dinhata in Cooch Behar this afternoon. She came down heavily on the PM and challenged him to engage with her in a public debate on all the issues. "You (read Mr Modi) are a liar. Empty vessels sound much. You did nothing for the people," Miss Banerjee said. On the chit fund scam on which Mr Modi branded “Didi's people” as “lootera,” the CM said that she can produce documents showing how “his man, the deputy CM in Assam,” took money from the Saradha group. She also claimed that her government arrested the chit fund owner and made arrangements to provide relief to the duped depositors. As the PM mentioned two names “Jagai and Madhai” to describe the Bengal government run by “the aunt-nephew com- Modi calls Didi a ‘speed breaker’ STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA/KAOWAKHALI (SILIGURI), 3 APRIL rime Minister Narendra Modi today launched a blistering attack on chief minister Mamata Banerjee and the Congress terming Miss Banerjee as a “speed-breaker” and the Congress manifesto released yesterday as “dhakosla” (hypocritical). He also bracketed the Trinamul chief with the Congress since “both foisted dynastic rule in the state and at the Centre respectively.” Addressing mammoth election rallies at Brigade Parade Ground and at Siliguri, Mr Modi confessed in a sarcastic vein that he had failed to develop West Bengal the way the Centre could do in the rest of the country during the past five years because of a “speed-breaker in the state known as Didi (Miss Banerjee)”. "The rate of development in West Bengal is not on a par with that at the national level. The reason is Didi,'" Mr Modi said. "Didi does politics by banking on poor people. She wants people to stay below the poverty line so that she can do politics. If the poor become rich, politics will stop," Mr Modi said, adding, "Not only Trinamul, but also the Left and even Congress did politics banking on the poor people." Tearing into the Con- P bine”, Miss Banerjee she used both the names to describe the tacit understanding between the CPIM and the Congress. On Mr Modi’s charge of not implementing central government schemes, Miss Banerjee claimed that Ayushman Bharat project was “bogus.” “Why will the state bear 40 per cent cost for it ? The state has launched the Swastha Sathi, a similar health project, of its own," she said. She also claimed that the Centre's project for peasants was nothing new and that the state has done the same much earlier. She also said that the BJP had been spending huge sums of money for election campaigning. “It spends Rs 100 to 200 crore in each public rally,” she claimed. Referring to Mr Modi’s epithet of “speed-breaker”, Miss Banerjee said : "Aage Delhi Samla, Tarpar Dekhis Bangla (First you handle Delhi, then you will eye Bengal....)" SEE ALSO INSIDE PAGE EC seeks I&B report on NaMo TV as Opp cries foul STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 3 APRIL The Election Commission has issued a notice to the Union information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry, seeking a report on NaMo TV ~ launched recently ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections ~ after Opposition parties including the Congress and the AAP cried foul over this channel being allegedly violative of the EC's Model Code of Conduct (MCC). The EC reportedly issued the notice to the I&B secretary yesterday evening, giving the ministry time till Friday evening to submit a report on the NaMo channel. The Commission would consider the report before taking a call whether the channel was violative of the MCC. The Congress has reportedly accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of "mocking and trampling upon democratic norms by brazenly running NaMo TV". It has asked the EC to end this “misuse” of media that sought to undermine the mandatory level-playing field during elections. The 24-hour NaMo TV channel, also called "Content TV", was said to have been launched on 31 March ~ three weeks after the MCC came into force. It carries PM Modi's image as its logo. It is available on various DTH and cable TV platforms. It is dedicated to broadcasting PM Modi's election rallies and speeches and BJP leaders' interviews. The Congress has complained to the EC against the BJP dispensation for its alleged "misuse" of Doordarshan in broadcasting PM Modi's speeches and for using NaMo channel as a "political tool" for electioneering. The AAP has also reportedly complained to the EC against NaMo channel, asking "Can permission be granted to a party to have its own TV channel even after the model code is enforced? If no permission was given by the ECI, then what action has been taken?” The Arvind Kejriwalled party, in its complaint to the EC, also asked if the BJP had approached the Media Certification Committee, established to certify content and cost of a telecast. Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a rally at Brigade Parade Ground in Kolkata on Wednesday. DILIP DUTTA PRESS TRUST OF INDIA VISAKHAPATNAM, 3 APRIL she would like to become the prime minister, Mayawati, however, said things would be clear when results of the general election are declared on May 23. The BSP is contesting Lok Sabha and state assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh in alliance with the Jana Sena, the CPI and the CPI(M). As part of the alliance, the BSP is contesting three Lok Sabha seats out of the 25 in the state and 21 assembly seats of the total 175. Flanked by Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan at the presser, Mayawati said people “want a change” at the national level. “They want a party in power that takes care of their welfare. They want our country safe,” she said. She pointed out that her party had garnered the third-largest vote share in the 2014 election, after the BJP and the Congress. Asked if there's a need for a “Third Front”, the BSP chief replied it would become clear when the election results come out. “In the 2014 election, BJP promised big things. But it did not fulfil the promises in five years,” she said, adding that the ruling party has diverted people's attention from those promises to “other issues”. On the Congress, she said people rejected the party that has remained in power for the longest time “because it failed to honour its promises” and the BJP “took advantage of it”. “Last time the BJP promised Congress has always bowed its head before terrorism,” Mr Modi said. “This chowkidar (Modi) of yours is standing as a great wall between national security and the Congress's ploys,” he asserted. Mr Modi said the Congress had a history of going soft on terror and cited the repealing of anti-terror laws such as TADA and POTA by Congress governments in the past. Congress manifesto promised job creation, addressing the issue of farm distress, introducing a single, moderate GST rate and giving Rs 72,000 per annum to poor families as its key areas of focus. Modi also hit out at Cong alleges cash for vote in Arunachal Govt: Jet Airways is operating 28 planes US okays sale of 24 Seahawks to India NEW DELHI, 3 APRIL PRESS TRUST OF INDIA WASHINGTON, 3 APRIL Opposition leaders for using “anti-India” language and said it was due to the fear over their unsteady political ground. “When our soldiers inflicted wounds in Pakistan, the pain was more felt by Didi and other Opposition leaders,” the PM said. Mr Modi alleged that just as the dynastic politics of the Congress had “ruined the nation in the last 60 years, the aunt-nephew (Mamata Banerjee and Abhishek Banerjee) government has also ruined Bengal in the past seven years. This JagaiMadhai government of West Bengal has tortured the innocent people of the state and looted the money NEW DELHI, 3 APRIL The Congress on Wednesday alleged that a “cash for votes” scam was busted in Arunachal Pradesh with the recovery of Rs 1.8 crore in cash from Chief Minister Pema Khandu's convoy and asked the poll panel to register a case against Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as the chief minister and his deputy. Accusing the BJP of using “money power” to woo voters in the northeast, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said Rs 1.8 crore was allegedly recovered from the chief minister's convoy in Pasighat around midnight, hours before Modi was to address a rally there on Wednesday morning. SEE ALSO INSIDE PAGE Rs 15-20 lakh for each poor family. Now the Congress is talking on the same lines. It is promising Rs 72,000 per year. “The Congress should remember, when Indira Gandhi was in power she had started the 20-point programme in the name of Garibi Hatao. Kya garibi hati (Was poverty eradicated)?” Mayawati asked. She said the BSP always talked less and believed in delivering more. If BSP gets an opportunity at the Centre, it will work for the poor and the unemployed, irrespective of their caste. “We will give top priority to them. And farmers have multiple problems and we will try to get rid of them,” she said. PAWAN KALYAN BACKS MAYAWATI AS PM, PAGE 4 CMYK of the poor people through chit funds," he said. Regarding the “Modi hatao" slogan of the Opposition, Mr Modi said that the Congress and other parties keep urging the people to “remove Modi”. “But what wrong has Modi done ? Is it a sin to give the poor homes, gas, toilets. If the answer is ‘yes’, then I must admit I have committed the sin. In five years, the impossible has become possible," Mr Modi claimed. Addressing a rally in Siliguri, Mr Modi said the Gorkhas need not worry as the National Register of Citizens (NRC) would not affect them. "A rumour is being spread centring around the NRC and the Gorkha people. From this podium, I want to tell all Gorkha brothers and sisters that the NRC would not harm them, there is no question of any loss (for them)," he said. In the same breath Mr Modi said: "Innocent citizens are being punished here, and we have to give a reply to this.” Praising the contribution of the Gorkha people in the country, Mr Modi said: "Mamata Didi’s boat is broken now." PTI adds: The Congress claimed PM Modi and the BJP were “rattled” after its manifesto promised to ensure justice to the people and that the PM's “frustration” was evident in his address to rallies. gress, Mr Modi said the party’s manifesto was but a “dhakosla patra” (hypocritical document) which “will expire on May 23 (the date of the Lok Sabha election results). He accused the Congress of speaking the language of Pakistan as it sought to dilute AFSPA in terror-affected ares. “Those who ruled India for 60 years are saying they will remove the armour of the defence forces. The Congress, in its manifesto, which is full of lies, has promised to remove the law (AFSPA) that protects our forces in terror-affected areas.Removing this will actually help Pakistan. The Maya hints at her PM ambition Hinting at her prime ministerial ambition, BSP chief Mayawati said Wednesday she would use the experience she has gained as UP chief minister to give the “best government” at the Centre “if we get an opportunity”. She said she has been Uttar Pradesh chief minister four times. “I have a lot of experience. I will use that experience at the Centre and work for people's welfare,” the Bahujan Samaj Party supremo said at a press conference here. “If we get an opportunity at the Centre, we will adopt the UP pattern and give the best government in all aspects. At all levels, a good government,” she asserted. Asked if NO-WIN KOHLI EXPLAINS HOW HE FAILS Cash-strapped Jet Airways is operating 28 planes, including 15 aircraft in the domestic routes, Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola said on Wednesday. Earlier in the day, Kharola said that less than 15 planes of the airline were flying. Jet Airways, where the lenders are set to take control as part of a debt resolution plan, on Tuesday disclosed that it has grounded 15 more aircraft due to non-payment of lease rentals. Asked about the active fleet of Jet Airways, Kharola, on the sidelines of an aviation conference in the morning, said, “yesterday, it was 28”. When told that the airline has announced grounding 15 more aircraft, he said that then the current fleet would be “less than about 15”. \In the evening, Kharola clarified to PTI that Jet Airways is operating around 28 planes and out of them, about 15 are operating in the domestic routes. On the sidelines of the conference here, the civil aviation secretary also said that Jet Airways' ability to fly international operations needs to be “examined”. In the afternoon, a DGCA spokesperson said Jet Airways continues to fly 28 aircraft as on date. The US has approved the sale of 24 multi-role MH60R Seahawk maritime helicopters to India at an estimated cost of USD 2.6 billion, the State Department has announced, boosting the Indian Navy's anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare operations as China expands its presence in the Indian Ocean. Designed for hunting submarines as well as knocking out ships and conducting search-andrescue operations at sea, the Lockheed Martin-built helicopters, would replace India's aging fleet of Britishmade Sea King helicopters. The US on Tuesday notified the Congress that it has approved sale of 24 MH-60R multi-mission AGENCIES helicopters. BJP drops Somaiya ; fields former Congressman against Sonia PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 3 APRIL The BJP on Wednesday dropped its sitting MP Kirit Somaiya, whose name was opposed by ally Shiv Sena, as its candidate from Mumbai North East and also announced its nominees for the Lok Sabha election against key opposition leaders like Sonia Gandhi of the Congress and SP's Akhilesh Yadav. The BJP has pitted wellknown Bhojpuri actor and singer Dinesh LalYadav against Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav from Azamgarh. It has fielded Prem Singh Shakya against Yadav's father Mulayam Singh Yadav from Mainpuri. The BJP has named Dinesh Pratap Singh, a local strongman who had left the Congress to join it last year, as its candidate against Sonia Gandhi in Rae Bareli. The seat has long been a bastion of the Gandhi family with the former Congress president representing it in Lok Sabha since 2004. The party has replaced sitting Machhlishahr MP Ram Charitra Nishad with V P Saroj. On Mumbai North East constituency, Shiv Sena had been bitterly opposed to Somaiya's candidature. And the BJP's decision to replace him with Manoj Kotak underscores its keenness to keep its Hindutva ally in good humour. Somaiya, an old BJP hand and one of its leading speakers on economic issues in Parliament, had been a trenchant critic of the Sena. The BJP named Chandra Sen Jadun as its candidate from Firozabad. The SP had won from Azamgarh, Mainpuri and Firozabad in 2014, with members of its ruling Yadav family emerging victorious. With the latest list of candidates, the BJP has named its nominees on 383 Lok Sabha seats for the election to 543-member House.
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