SATURDAY www.thestatesman.com 13 APRIL 2019 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16+4 |`5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P8 SENSEX 38,767.11 +160.10 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky with possibility of thundery development. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 38 and 23 degrees Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: 0.2MM RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.74% Min. 27% Max: 36.8°C (+1) SUN RISES 05:58 hrs MOON RISES 12:15 hrs Min: 23.2°C (+2) SUN SETS 18:45 hrs MOON SETS 02:20 hrs TEMPERATURE TRUMP CONSIDERED IVANKA FOR HEAD OF WORLD BANK ‘STRONG MOVEMENTS WILL HELP FARMERS’ 30 YEARS OF ANGER! P9 NIFTY 11,643.45 +46.75 RAMSEY BOOMS AS GUNNERS SAVOUR DOUBLE DELIGHT P15 P12 ` vs $ 69.17 -25 PAISE GOLD 30,555.00 -155.00 SILVER 37,350.00 -100.00 Electoral bonds scheme: top court brings in checks SC orders all parties to furnish by 30 May to EC details of funds received through poll bonds THUMBNAILS Russian honour for Modi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been honoured with Russia's highest state decoration, the Order of St Andrew the Apostle, for his role in promoting deeper cooperation between India and Russia. On Twitter, Modi said he was honoured to receive the award and thanked President Putin and the people of Russia. “India greatly appreciates this honour bestowed upon the PM by the Russian President’’, MEA said. Industry growth at 20-mth low: Industrial outm put growth slowed to a 20-month low of 0.1 per cent in February, mainly due to contraction in the manufacturing sector, official data showed on Friday. Factory output, as measured in terms of the Index of Industrial Production (IIP), had grown by 6.9 per cent in February 2018, according to Central Statistics Office (CSO). Meanwhile, India's retail inflation P11 ticked up to 2.86 per cent in March. Cong complains to EC over 'politicisation' of armed forces: The Congress Friday moved the Election Commission against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for allegedly “dragging” the armed forces in the political domain and over Union minister Maneka Gandhi's remarks on Muslims.The Congress also complained to the EC against a web series on Modi, Union minister Smriti Irani's “contradictory affidavits” on her educational qualifications, and malfunction of EVMs. BJP MP moves SC against Rahul: BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi on Friday moved the Supreme Court seeking contempt action against Congress president Rahul Gandhi for allegedly attributing his remarks on the recent Rafale verdict to the apex court. A bench headed by CJI said it will hear the plea on April 15. Lekhi in her plea alleged that Gandhi has attributed his personal remarks to the top court. Pak suicide attack kills 21: At least 21 people were killed and 50 others injured in a suicide bombing at a crowded market in Pakistan's restive Balochistan province on Friday, in an attack believed to be targeting the Shiite Hazara ethnic minority community. Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the attack and ordered an inquiry. The explosion at around 7:35 AM took place at P12 Hazarganj in Quetta. SNS & PTI NEW DELHI,12 APRIL L ifting the veil of anonymity from the central government's political funding scheme, the Supreme Court today directed all political parties to furnish all the details of funds received through electoral bonds to the Election Commission (EC) in a sealed cover by 30 May. The top court, which did not stay the Centre's Electoral Bond Scheme, 2018, however made it clear in its interim order that it would have indepth hearing on 15 April of the pleas of an NGO and the CPI-M since they as well as the Centre and t h e E C h a v e ra i s e d “weighty issues” having “tremendous bearing on the sanctity of the electoral process in the country”. “According to us, the just and proper interim direction would be to require all the political parties who have received donations through Electoral Bonds to submit to the Election Commission of India in sealed cover, detailed particulars of the donors as against each bond; the amount of each such bond and the full particulars of the credit received against each bond, namely, the particulars of the bank account to which the amount has been credited and the date of each such credit,” the apex court said. A Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked the parties to furnish “forthwith” the details of electoral bonds received by them till date. “The details of such other bonds that may be received by such a political party up to the date fixed for issuing such bonds as per the Note of the Ministry of Finance Maneka’s remark at election rally triggers controversy dated February 28, that is May 15, will be submitted on or before May 30. The sealed covers will remain in the custody of the ECI and will abide by such orders as may be passed by the court,” the top court noted in the 19page interim order. The Bench, also comprising Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjiv Khanna, directed the Finance Ministry to tweak the window period for purchasing the electoral bonds and reduce it from present 55 days to 50 days in 2019. According to the Electoral Bond Scheme 2018, notified on 2 January 2018, electoral bonds may be purchased by a person, PRESS TRUST OF INDIA ‘6-7 Jet planes this weekend domestically’ SULTANPUR (UP), 12 APRIL NEW DELHI, 12 APRIL In a controversial remark, Union minister Maneka Gandhi told Muslims to vote for her as they will need her once the Lok Sabha elections are over. We are not Mahatma Gandhi's children that we keep giving and not get anything in return, she said in Muslim-dominated Turabkhani area on Thursday. Gandhi, the BJP candidate from Sultanpur Lok Sabha constituency, claimed she is all set to win and told the Muslim audience that you might need me tomorrow. The Congress reacted strongly with spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala saying she is trying to divide people on the basis of caste and community. I am winning. I am winning because of the help and love of the people, Maneka Gandhi said at Cash-strapped Jet Airways will fly six to seven aircraft on both days this weekend on domestic routes, Aviation Secretary P S Kharola said Friday. He also said the airline has been told to ensure that passenger issues are taken into consideration while it deals with the situation. It has also been told to alert passengers about flight cancellations 48 hours in advance, Kharola said. “Jet had a meeting with bankers. It has put forth demand of funds. It is currently flying 11 aircraft and will fly six to seven aircraft domestically on both days this weekend. We have asked it to take into consideration issues of passengers,” the aviation secretary said. PTI the meeting in Sultanpur, a constituency earlier held by her son Varun Gandhi. But if my victory is without the Muslims, I will not feel very good, she said, adding she will be left with a bitter feeling. If Muslims come for some work after this, I will think why bother, what difference will it make. Suggesting that it was matter of give and take, she added, We are not Mahatma Gandhi's children to keep giving without getting anything in return. The minister asked them to check with the people in Pilibhit, her earlier constituency. SEE ALSO P6 who is a citizen of India. As per its provision, only political parties registered under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, and which secured not less than one per cent of votes polled in the last general election to the House of the People or the Legislative Assembly of the state, shall be eligible to receive electoral bonds. As per the notification, these bonds shall be encashed by an eligible political party only through a bank account with an authorised bank. The NGO, Association of Democratic Reforms, has challenged the validity of the scheme and sought that either the issuance of electoral bonds be stayed or names of donors be made public. The Centre and the EC had taken contrary stands in the top court over political funding with the government wanting to maintain anonymity of donors of electoral bonds and the poll panel batting for revealing names of donors for transparency. The Centre, through Attorney General K K Venugopal, had vehemently supported the scheme saying the pur- pose behind it is to eliminate the use of black money in elections and asked the court not to interfere with it at this stage and examine whether it has worked or not only after the elections. Senior lawyer Rakesh Dwivedi, however, on behalf of EC, opposed the Centre's submissions and said secrecy allowed in the electoral bonds scheme "legalises anonymity". The court said the scheme has been brought after amending various laws like the Finance Act, the Reserve Bank Of India Act, the Representation of the People Act, the Income Tax Act and the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act and it needed detailed examination. “The court, therefore, has to ensure that any interim arrangement that may be made would not tilt the balance in favour of either of the parties but that the same ensures adequate safeguards against the competing claims of the parties which are yet to be adjudicated,” it said. The court extensively referred to the objections of EC to the scheme and the changes made in laws. BRENT CRUDE (IN $) 71.46 +0.63 SC ‘no’ to religious work at Ayodhya undisputed land PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 12 APRIL “You will never let this country remain in peace,” the Supreme Court said Friday while dismissing a plea seeking permission to carry out religious activities in nine ancient temples situated on the undisputed acquired land adjacent to Ram Janambhoomi-Babari Masjid site at Ayodhya.“There will always be something,” said a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna. The bench was hearing an appeal filed against the January 10 order of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court, which had dismissed the plea seeking its nod to offer prayer in the nine temples there and had also imposed a cost of Rs 5 lakh on the petitioner. The apex court, while hearing the appeal, told petitioner Pandit Amar Nath Misra to “stop poking” around with the issue. Misra, who is a social activist, had claimed before the high court that authorities have turned a “blind eye” to the initiation of religious activities in ancient temples which are situated on the acquired but undisputed land in Ayodhya since last 25 years. ‘You will never let this country remain in peace’ SC BENCH HEADED BY CJI JUNKING PLEA FOR WORSHIP AT AYODHYA SITE The apex court recently appointed a panel of mediators headed by former top court judge Justice F M I Kalifulla for exploring the possibility of an amicable settlement to the vexatious land dispute. Spiritual guru and founder of Art of Living foundation Sri Sri Ravishankar and senior advocate Sriram Panchu, a renowned mediator, are the other two members of the panel of mediators. Fourteen appeals have been filed in the apex court against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77-acre land in Ayodhya be partitioned equally among the three parties. LS polls: Cong, AAP gear up to fight on their own in Capital STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 12 APRIL Virtualy sealing the fate of their alliance in Delhi in the Lok Sabha elections, both the Congress and the AAP today asserted that they were set to fight the upcoming polls in all seven parliamentary constituencies of the national capital on their own, even as the two camps blamed each other for the breakdown of their weeks-long alliance negotiations. The All India Congress Committee (AICC) blamed the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP for allegedly seeking to extend such an alliance to other states like Haryana and Punjab, which, it maintained, would not be a "practical" move since "the political situation in every state is different". AICC leader in charge of Delhi, P C Chacko told a press conference that the Congress was "compelled" to go alone in all seven seats, but added that the party was still ready for an alliance with the AAP if the latter restricted the tie-up to the national capital only and took into account the Congress's "strength" in Delhi. Chacko, who has been negotiating with the AAP MP Sanjay Singh on the alliance issue for several weeks, also claimed that going by the two parties' vote percentage in the 2017 municipal polls in Delhi the Congress deserved 3 seats as compared to the AAP's 4 seats. He said Congress president Rahul Gandhi wanted this alliance in a bid to defeat the BJP despite strong reservations of a section of the party's Delhi unit. He also conceded that Delhi presented a "political necessity" for the two parties to join hands, adding "Delhi has the ideal sit- uation in which the Congress and the AAP can come together to defeat the BJP in all the seven seats," he said. Accusing the AAP of "backtracking" from their understanding by seeking to extend the alliance to other states, he claimed the AAP had said onWednesday that it was not ready for a pact in Delhi. "We were willing and we are willing. But since they (AAP) have taken a difficult approach, the Congress is going to fight on its own in Delhi," Chacko said. He also said the Congress's Central Election Committee yesterday discussed the names of party candidates for all seven seats of Delhi, which, he claimed, would be announced in the next couTURN TO P6 ple of days. Veterans’ plea to President for apolitical armed forces SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 12 APRIL Expressing outrage over the “use” of the armed forces for “political purposes”, over 150 military veterans have written to President Ram Nath Kovind to seek his intervention in preserving the apolitical character of the services. The letter, dated April 11, carries the names of eight former service chiefs but two of them -- former Army chief General (retd) S F Rodrigues and Air Chief Marshal (retd) N C Suri -- said they have not signed it. Former Army vice chief Lt Gen (retd) M L Naidu also said his consent was not taken before listing his name as one of the signatories. When contacted, several veterans, including former Army chiefs Gen (retd) Deepak Kapoor and Gen (retd) Shankar Roy Chowdhury, acknowledged writing the letter. Chowdhury said the letter was written expressing sentiments of the military veterans on an important issue. The veterans said they chose to write to the president as he is the custodian of the Constitution as well as the supreme commander of the armed forces. Referring to Rodrigues and Suri denying signing the letter, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman called the allegations “fake”. “It is absolutely condemnable that names were mentioned without taking permission,” he said. The letter cites several examples of the military being used for political purposes, including Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath referring to the armed forces as “Modiji ki Sena” and the display of images of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman at political events. Varthaman was captured by Pakistan after an air combat with India and subsequently released. In their rallies, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a number of BJP leaders have been referring to IAF's Balakot strikes besides mentioning the valour of the armed forces in defending the country. The Election Commission has already taken note of the PM's comments asking firsttime voters to dedicate their votes to those who carried out the air strike in Balakot. “We refer, Sir, to the unusual and completely unacceptable practice of political leaders taking credit for military operations like cross-border strikes and even going so far as to claim the armed forces to be 'Modi ji ki sena',” the veterans wrote. “This is in addition to media pictures of election platforms and campaigns in which party workers are seen wearing military uniforms and posters and images with pictures of soldiers and specially of Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, displayed,” according to the letter. They said such misuse of the armed forces would impinge adversely on the morale and fighting efficiency of the serving men and women in the uniform. “It could, therefore, directly affect national security and national integrity. We, therefore, appeal to you to ensure that the secular and apolitical character of our armed forces is preserved,” the letter says. The veterans urged the president to take all necessary steps and urgently direct all political parties to desist from using the military for political purposes or to further their political agendas”. The letter also lists former Navy chiefs Admiral (retired) L Ramdas, Admiral (retired) Arun Prakash and Admiral (retired) Vishnu Bhagwat as signatories. It mentions the Election Commission's notifications to those violating the model code of conduct, including to Adiyanath, but adds that the actions don't have any impact on the ground. “Indeed a notification has been issued asking for an explanation for those responsible for these statements including from the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh,” the letter says. “However, we regret to state that these do not appear to have resulted in any substantive change of behaviour or practice on the ground,” it adds. In his reaction, Air Chief Marshal (retired) Suri said armed forces are apolitical and they report to the democratically elected government. He added that his consent was not taken before his name was mentioned in the letter.
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