CMYK www.thestatesman.com MONDAY FIND US ONLINE 15 APRIL 2019 Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |` 5.00|LC* KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P2 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. Maximum and minimum temperatures will be around 36 and 26 degrees Celsius respectively RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 88% P5 HAMILTON SHINES IN FORMULA ONE’S 1000TH RACE P9 P11 ‘Won’t let Abdullahs, Opp to move SC again on vote verification Muftis divide India’ SNS & AGENCIES The two families have destroyed lives of three generations, says Modi Min. 59% TEMPERATURE Max: 35.3°C (N) SUN RISES 05:17 hrs MOON RISES 13.48 hrs UNDERWATER APPEAL: SAVE OUR OCEANS ‘ATTEMPT ON TO DESTROY CONSTITUTION’ CONGRESS 'NYAY' SCHEME RECIPE FOR SCAM Min: 26.0°C (+1) SUN SETS 17:57 hrs MOON SETS 02:14 hrs Next moon quarter on 16 April THUMBNAILS President Ram Nath Kovind paying floral tributes to Babasaheb Ambedkar, on the occasion of his birth anniversary, at Parliament House, in the capital on Sunday. SNS Libya fighting: Fighting near Tripoli has killed 121 people since strongman Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive earlier this month to take the Libyan capital, the World Health Organisation said. In clashes between Haftar's forces and those of the UN-backed Government of National Accord, both sides have proclaimed “advances” but neither appears to have made substantial progress on the ground. NEW DELHI, 14 APRIL SP SHARMA Raising doubts over the credibility of EVMs, a number of opposition parties Sunday said they will move the Supreme Court again to demand verification of at least 50 per cent of votes by paper trail. Opposition parties, including the Congress, Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Samajwadi Party, CPI and CPI(M), jointly addressed a press conference to highlight the issue of transparency in the election process and protection of voter rights with a call to “save democracy”. Delhi Chief Minister and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of “programming” electronic voting machines to win the Lok Sabha elections, while his Andhra Pradesh counterpart Chandrababu Naidu said 21 political parties have demanded verification of VVPAT paper trails of 50 per cent of the EVMs. Naidu on Saturday had met Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora to raise the issue of EVM malfunctioning. The demand by the parties comes in the peak of the election season.The first of the seven phases of the Lok Sabha polls was held on April 11. The Supreme Court ashing out at the Abdullah and Mufti clans, Prime Minister Narendera Modi on Sunday said they would not be allowed to succeed in their designs to divide the country and appoint a separate Prime Minister in Jammu and Kashmir. Modi also criticised the Punjab chief minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, for skipping yesterday’s government function to pay tributes to the martyrs of Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar whereVice-PresidentVenkiah Naidu was present. Modi was addressing an election rally in Kathua which is part of the Udhampur Lok Sabha constituency where Jitendera Singh, minister of state in the PMO, is the BJP candidate. Modi also snubbed the Congress for allegedly being part of the bid of the Abdullahs and Muftis to disintegrate Jammu and Kashmir from India. Mr Modi accused the Abdullah and Mufti families of having destroyed lives of three generations in Jammu and Kashmir. “The bright future of Jammu and Kashmir can be ensured only after they are thrown out of power L NEW DELHI, 14 APRIL Resign offer: Union Steel Minister Chaudhary Birender Singh, a prominent Jat leader of BJP in Haryana, Sunday said he has offered to resign from the cabinet and from Rajya Sabha as his son has got a Lok Sabha ticket and he wants to send across a message against dynasty politics. The announcement, made by the 73-year-old minister during a press conference at his official residence here, followed selection of his son Brijendra Singh as the BJP candidate from Hisar in Haryana. The leader said he has informed BJP's president Amit Shah about his resignation offer and it was up to the party chief to take the final call. JAMMU, 14 APRIL by the people. They can bring their entire clan into the field, can abuse Modi as much as they want but they won't be able to divide this nation. “The NC and PDP are threatening to separate Kashmir from India. But their threats are hollow. I want to tell these dynasts of Kashmir that they didn't inherit the state from their parents. J&K is an integral part of India,” he said. “I want to tell the Abdullahs and the Muftis that I would not allow them to break this country. Congress won't mend its ways as their blood has been infected and this is not the original Congress of the freedom struggle era”. Congress wants to withdraw the Army from J&K and hold unconditional talks with terrorists, separatists and Pakistani proxies. Congress also wants to dilute the Armed Forces Special Power Act (AFSPA) and demoralise our security forces. Army has been a source of minting money for the Congress through the defence deals as a result of which the party has lost the trust of the people, he said. Mr Modi said, “It's a new India, we will go deep into terror hideouts to eliminate terrorists. But it was strange that while the nation feels proud of the surgical and air strikes, the Congress got rattled, he said. He praised the electorate of Baramulla for coming out in strength to cast their votes during the first phase of polling on 11 April, giving a befitting reply to terrorists and separatists who had called for a poll boycott. Cong raises ruckus over ‘trunk' in PM's chopper PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Electoral bonds: A whopping 99.8 per cent of donations received by political parties was through electoral bonds of the highest denominations ~ Rs 10 lakh and Rs one crore -between March 2018 and January 24, 2019, revealed data obtained under the RTI Act. Donors purchased bonds worth Rs 1,407.09 crore of which Rs 1,403.90 crore were in the highest denominations of Rs ten lakh and Rs one crore during the period. Mehbooba, Omar tweet reminders KATHUA (J&K), 14 APRIL. The Congress Sunday demanded a probe into the alleged transportation of a “suspicious black trunk” in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's helicopter during his visit to Chitradurg in Karnataka for poll campaign. Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma asked the prime minister to come clean and said the Election Commission should inquire into the contents of the “trunk”. He said the Congress' Karnataka unit has already filed a complaint with the Election Commission in this regard. The prime minister had addressed an election rally in Karnataka's Chitradurga on April 9. “We saw there were three more choppers escorting the prime minister's helicopter. After landing, a black trunk was taken out and whisked away in a private car which was not part of the SPG carcade,” he alleged. Sharma suggested there was cash stashed in the trunk. “What was there in the trunk. If there was no cash in it, let there an inquiry be held.” The party also played a video clip claiming that the purported trunk, after being unloaded from the PM's helicopter, was shipped to a private Innova car and taken away. Sharma also asked Modi to give an account of his fiveyear rule to the people of the country as a tribute to Dr B R Ambedkar on his birth anniversary. “The Prime Minister is trying to control and change Former chief ministers Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of bashing their families in pre-election rallies and then sending envoys to stitch alliance with them after elections. Reacting to Modi's remarks in Kathua, Mehbooba tweeted: “Why does PM bash political families pre elections & then sends his envoys to stitch alliances with the very same parties? NC in 99 & PDP in 2015.Why do they choose power over Article 370 then? BJP with its noxious agenda of banishing Muslims & minorities wants to divide India". Abdullah tweeted: “We have to rid J&K of these two political families,” says Modiji in 2014 & then promptly goes & makes not one but TWO members of the Mufti family CM of J&K. In 2019 Modiji says “we have to rid J&K of these two political families”. AnotherjumlaModiji? SNS Leaders of Opposition parties during their meeting in New Delhi on Sunday. RITIK JAIN Monday directed the Election Commission to increase random matching ofVVPAT slips with EVMs to five polling booths per assembly segment, from one at present, in the Lok Sabha polls, saying it will provide greater satisfaction not just to political parties but the entire electorate. Opposition parties, including the Congress, have been demanding that all votes polled through EVMs be verified with at least 50 per cent voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPATs). A VVPAT is intended as an independent verification system for voting machines designed to allow voters to verify that their vote was cast correctly and will help detect any possible election fraud or malfunction of EVMs. Kejriwal claimed that people were losing faith in EVMs and the election pro- SPINNING A WEB the narrative because he has no courage the face real issues,” he alleged. Raising the issue of Rafale, Sharma asked Modi to make public the minutes of a meeting held last year between him and former French president Francois Hollande on the fighter jet deal. “Why is he (PM) silent on his role in Rafale scam? Make the minutes of the meeting between Prime Minister and former French president Francois Hollande on the Rafale deal public by tomorrow. As there has been a controversy, it would help settle it once for all,” he said. The Prime Minister in his “desperation to win has done enormous disservice to the nation by dragging in the Armed Forces for Partisan political propaganda”, Sharma further alleged. Imran Tahir (4 for 27) helped CSK beat KKR in their IPL match at Eden Garden in Kolkata on Sunday. BISWAJIT GHOSHAL Objective narrative about Pakistan needed: Envoy Jet pilots not to fly from today MUMBAI, 14 APRIL PRESS TRUST OF INDIA Pakistan is hoping for re-engagement with India after the Lok Sabha polls as structured dialogue will help the two countries understand mutual concerns, resolve disputes and build the edifice of durable peace and security, the High Commissioner said NEW DELHI, 14 APRIL Pakistan is hoping for “reengagement” with India after the Lok Sabha polls as structured dialogue will help the two countries understand mutual concerns, resolve disputes and build the edifice of durable peace and security, Pakistani High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood has said. In an interview to PTI, Mahmood, who has been appointed Pakistan's next Foreign Secretary, also said there was a need for an “objective” narrative about Pakistan in India which could facilitate peaceful, cooperative and good neighbourly ties. “We hope for re-engagement after the elections in India. Diplomacy and dialogue are indispensable,” he said. The comments came nearly six weeks after India's military planes struck a terrorist training camp in Pakistan's Bal- cedure. These are raising a question mark on the country's democratic structure, he said. Congress leaders and senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Singhvi also attended the conference, with Singhvi saying opposition parties will approach the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the EC for counting of at least 50 per cent of the VVPAT slips with the EVMs in every assembly segment. Sibal said, If the EC will ignore this issue then we will take other measures. We will not sit quietly. We will approach the Supreme Court.” Singhvi said the opposition parties will carry out a nationwide campaign on the issue of discrepancies in EVMs and alleged that the EC was not doing enough to address the issue of EVM malfunctioning. akot and Pakistan's subsequent counter-offensive. The flare up triggered fears of a war and countries like the US and China played a role in de-escalating tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours. Mahmood said diplomacy and dialogue are indispensable to improve ties between the two neighbours and that engagement was the only option to understand mutual concerns and ensure peace, prosperity and security in the region. “Sustained engagement and structured dialogue would enable the two countries to understand mutual concerns and differences, resolve outstanding disputes and build the edifice of durable peace, security and prosperity in the region,” Mahmood said. Mahmood left for Islamabad on Sunday after nearly a 19-month long tenure as Pak- istan's envoy to India. He is expected to take up his new assignment on Tuesday. He also said that there was a need for a review about the narrative on Pakistan in India. “There is also a need to review the narrative about Pakistan in India. A narrative is needed that captures the reality in Pakistan objectively and more fully. A narrative that also helps recognise opportunities for peaceful, cooperative and good neighbourly relations,” he said. “We must strive for stable peace, equal security and shared prosperity for ourselves and the region,” the envoy added. In signs of easing tensions, Pakistan around two weeks back announced that it was releasing 360 Indian prisoners, mostly fishermen as a “goodwill gesture. The initiative was followed by Pakistan High Commission here granting visas to 2,200 Sikh pilgrims from India to facilitate their participation in the annual Baisakhi celebrations in Pakistan. Over two weeks after the Balakot strike, India and Pakistan held talks to finalise the modalities for setting up a corridor linking the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistan's Kartarpur with Gurdaspur district in Punjab. Asked about the Kartarpur corridor project, the Pakistani High Commissioner said Islamabad was committed to CMYK completing the physical infrastructure on its side. “The government of Pakistan is proceeding in full measures to complete the physical infrastructure on its side and it is hopeful that the modalities will be mutually agreed between the two sides in good time before November 2019,” he said. In a major initiative last November, both India and Pakistan agreed to set up the Kartarpur corridor to link the historic Gurdwara Darbar Sahib ~ the final resting place of the Sikh faith's founder Guru Nanak Dev ~ to Dera Baba Nanak in Gurdaspur. Kartarpur Sahib is located in Pakistan's Narowal district across the river Ravi, about four kilometres from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine. In another significant move in May last year, India and Pakistan agreed to adhere to the ceasefire agreement along the Line of Control after a spate of cross-border firings between the two sides along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir. The relations between India and Pakistan remained tense since 2016. Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had travelled to Delhi to attend Modi's oath taking ceremony and the Indian premier had in December 2015 made a stopover in Lahore to greet his counterpart on his birthday. However, the ties nosedived following a string of cross-border terror attacks in 2016 and India's subsequent surgical strikes. After the terror attack on Pathankot airbase in January 2016, India had announced that it will not engage in talks with Islamabad until it stops cross-border terrorism. The sentencing of alleged Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav to death by a military court in April 2017 further deteriorated bilateral ties. Around 1,100 pilots of the crisis-hit Jet Airways' pilots body National Aviator's Guild (NAG) have decided not to fly from 10 am Monday in protest against “non-payment of salary dues”, a source said Sunday. The airline, however, said its flight schedule would not be impacted by the action of its pilots' union. The pilots, along with engineers and senior management, have not received salaries since January. The debt-ridden carrier also has not paid March salary to employees of other categories. “As on today, we have not been paid for nearly threeand-a-half months and we don't know when we will be paid. So we have decided to go ahead with our call of noflying from April 15. All 1,100 pilots of the NAG will stop flying from 10 am Monday,” said PTI the Guild source.
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