CMYK TUESDAY www.thestatesman.com 16 APRIL 2019 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 16 |` 5.00|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR P3 TIGER OUT OF THE WOODS AND ROARING P9 P7 P12 Four leaders slapped with campaign ban WEATHER Hot and humid day; maximum and minimum temperatures likely to be around 36 and 27 degree Celsius respectively. RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max. 90% UP CM Yogi Adityanath, SP leader Azam Khan barred from campaigning for 72 hours; Mayawati, Maneka Gandhi for 48 hours SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 15 APRIL Min. 58% TEMPERATURE Max: 35.6°C (N) SUN RISES 05:16 hrs MOON RISES 14.51 hrs IMF MAY DELAY BAILOUT PACKAGE TO PAKISTAN CHINA’S CHANGING SOUTH ASIA STRATEGY TECH EDGE WITH INDIA IN BALAKOT STRIKE: IAF CHIEF Min: 27.4°C (+2) SUN SETS 17:57 hrs MOON SETS 03:02 hrs Next moon quarter on 16 April THUMBNAILS Flames and smoke are seen billowing from the roof at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris on Monday. The colossal fire caused a spire to collapse and threatens to destroy the entire masterP9 piece and its precious artworks. AFP Bengaluru airport hikes user fee: Flying out from the Bengaluru airport will be costlier from Tuesday following the airport tariff regulator Aera allowing it to revise upwards the user development fee (UDF) for four months by a massive 120 per cent. n a first, the Election Commission on Monday imposed a nationwide campaign ban on Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath for 72 hours and on Union minister Maneka Gandhi and Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati for 48 hours from Tuesday for their “provocative” communal remarks, which it said had the “propensity to polarise the elections”. A 72-hour campaign ban has also been imposed on Samajwadi Party's Azam Khan for his alleged “khaki underwear” jibe against BJP actor-politician Jaya Prada, who is his rival in Rampur Lok Sabha seat. The allIndia ban on all four leaders ~ two from the ruling BJP and two from opposition parties ~ comes into force from 6.00 a.m.Tuesday. While Adityanath, Mayawati and Gandhi were found guilty of violating the model code, the EC said Khan not only violated the poll code, he also disregarded its November 2013 directive asking politicians to desist from “deeds or actions construed as being repugnant to the honour and dignity of women”. For the first time a panIndia ban has been imposed on politicians, while any restriction on a chief minister and a Union minister is unprecedented. While there was no I immediate reaction from Adityanath, Mayawati alleged the order has been passed “under pressure” and it would be remembered as a “black day” in the EC's history. She has faced action for appealing to Muslims to not vote for the Congress to avoid their anti-BJP votes getting divided.Her alliance partner and SP chief AkhileshYadav asked the EC whether it is capable of issuing similar directives to the prime minister to stop him from asking for votes in the name of the Army. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks asking first-time voters to dedicate their vote to those who carried out the Balakot air strike are under examination of the poll panel. The poll authorities in Maharashtra's Latur, where he made the speech, have told EC that prima facie the comments are violative of its orders asking parties against using the armed forces in their campaigns. The EC order to bar Adityanath and Mayawati came soon after the Supreme Court asking the poll watchdog about the action it has initiated against them. However, a senior EC functionary said the commission had examined the two issues on 14-15 April, and came up with the final decision after lots of deliberation as it felt a clear message needed to go out to the politicians. In its order, the commission said it “strongly condemns” the impugned statement made by the UP chief minister and “censured” him for “misconduct”. Rafale: SC asks Rahul for explanation PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 15 APRIL The Supreme Court Monday directed Congress president Rahul Gandhi to give an explanation by 22 April for “incorrectly” attributing his 'Chowkidar Narendra Modi chor hai' remarks to its verdict in the Rafale case and said it will consider a criminal contempt petition filed against the opposition leader. The court gave the direction on the petition filed by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi in which she has accused Gandhi of attributing some observations to the apex court which was not in the 10 April Rafale judgment on admissibility of certain 'leaked' documents as evidence. Stating that it will consider the criminal contempt petition, the court made it clear that the remarks made by Gandhi in public have been “incorrectly attributed” to the court. Posting the matter for further hearing on 23 April, the court also said politicians should not attribute any findings or views to the court in their speeches. Reacting to the direction, the Congress said it will provide an explanation to the Supreme Court while the BJP asserted that the top court has exposed Gandhi's “lie”. Finance minister Arun Jaitley accused Gandhi of “manufacturing” a court order for political propaganda and asserted that the 'right to free speech' is not 'right to falsehood'. BJP chief Amit Shah also attacked Gandhi for “lying” over the court order on the fighter jet purchase deal. Lekhi, a sitting Lok Sabha MP from New Delhi constituency, had moved the court, alleging that Gandhi attributed his personal remarks to the top court and tried to create prejudice. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Lekhi, told the court that a gross case of contempt was committed Jet crisis: Banks meet, no word on funding, board to meet today PRESS TRUST OF INDIA MUMBAI, 15 APRIL Jet Airways' survival remained under serious threat after its lenders Monday deferred a much-anticipated decision to provide emergency funds to the carrier following a marathon meeting, even as its pilots' union appealed to the lenders and the prime minister to save the airline. Jet Airways chief executive Vinay Dube in an internal communication said the lenders could not decide on the emergency funding and that the board of the airline will meet Tuesday to take a call on the future. Jet Airways has only seven planes, including six turbo propelled ones used for shorter hauls, flying at present, way below its peak of 123 planes in December. “As you are aware, we have been working with the lenders to secure interim funding for our operations. The interim funding has not been forthcoming thus far, and as a result we have extended cancellation of international operations until April 18... The current status of our engagement with the lenders and other related matters shall be placed before the board tomorrow morning, where the management will seek guidance from the board on the next steps forward,” Dube said in a mail. Jet Airways pilots' union, the National Aviators Guild had Sunday deferred a decision to strike from today, saying that it wanted to give more time to the airline. On March 25, the airline's board had approved 'the debt resolution plan', under which SBI-led consortium would provide an emergency loan of Rs 1,500 crore and in turn acquire majority stake, following which founder chairman Naresh Goyal and wife Anita would leave the airline and pare his stake to around 25 pe cent. But banks have disbursed only under Rs 300 crore in small tranches, citing procedural delays. This left the airline cancelling hundreds of flights as it failed to pay the lease rentals. “We were expecting some cash support at Monday's meeting but the lenders have told the airline that they are not going to provide any funds for now...We are disappointed,” said a source in the pilots' union. by Gandhi. Rohatgi said Gandhi had come out in the public to make a remark that the “Supreme Court in its judgment said ”Chowkidar Narendra Modi chor hain”. The bench said, “You were right to the extent we never said what has been brought in the petition. We will seek clarification”. The Congress president had on 10 April claimed that the apex court has made it “clear” that Prime Minister Narendra Modi “committed a theft”. His remarks came after the court, which last December cleared the Modi government of allegations of irregularities over the Rafale deal with France, on 10 April said it will hear a review petition on the basis of some 'leaked' documents, referred to by the petitioners who have demanded a probe. It had dismissed the government's preliminary objections claiming “privilege” over them. Using its constitutional powers, the EC barred him from “holding any public meetings, public processions, public rallies, road shows and interviews, public utterances in media (print, electronic and social media) in connection with the ongoing elections for 72 hours (three days) from 6.00 am on April 16.” In another order, the EC censured and “strongly” condemned Mayawati for her remarks, and barred her from campaigning for two days. On different ban periods for the leaders, a senior EC official said, “It is for the second time that Adityanath has been issued a show cause notice. On April 5, he was asked to be 'careful' in future, following his 'Modiji ki sena' remarks. Besides, Khan had faced a similar ban in 2014 for campaigning in UP .”“However, this is the first show cause and action against the BSP president ... The severity of the action is, therefore, different,” he said. Adityanath was served the notice for his speech at a rally in Meerut, where he compared the Lok Sabha elections to a contest between 'Ali', a revered figure in Islam, and 'Bajrang Bali' (a name for Hindu god Hanuman). The EC said it is convinced that Adityanath made a “highly provocative” speech which had the “tone and tenor” to aggravate existing differences or create mutual hatred between religious communities. Top court to examine ambit of ‘toothless’ EC’s powers SNS & PTI So what about Mayawati. She was supposed to reply to you (poll panel) by April 12. She has not replied till today. What does the law permit you to do in such cases. Answer us. NEW DELHI, 15 APRIL The Supreme Court Monday expressed displeasure over the Election Commission not taking quick action against politicians for communal and hate speeches during election campaigning and decided to examine the ambit of its power following a submission that it was “toothless”. The top court, which got irked after not getting specific answers to its queries on the powers of the poll panel to deal with errant leaders spewing venom, even threatened to ensure the presence of the Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) before it within half-anhour. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi took up the cases of alleged communal speeches of BSP leader Mayawati and UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath and asked about the actions taken so far against them while deciding to examine the statutory powers of the poll panel to deal with the violations of the model code of conduct (MCC). “So what about Mayawati. She was supposed to reply to you (poll panel) by April 12. She has not SUPREME COURT BENCH replied till today. What does the law permit you to do in such cases. Answer us,” said the bench, also comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna. The EC counsel said: “The power of the EC in this behalf is very limited. We can issue notice and seek reply but we cannot de-recognise a party or disqualify a candidate...we can only issue advisories and in case of a repeat offence, register a complaint.” Reacting sharply, the bench said, “So you are basically saying you are toothless and powerless against hate speeches.” It then said that besides sending a notice, an advisory and a criminal case can be filed only against such leader. The court then decided to summon a representative of the EC at 10.30 a.m. on Tuesday to examine the contention that the poll panel has limited legal Cup squad: Experienced Karthik trumps young Pant A NEW YEAR MUMBAI/NEW DELHI, APR 15 Students at a function to mark Poila Baisakh,the first day of the Bengali New Year, at Santiniketan in Birbhum on Monday. RAJA BHAKAT Take informed decision on biopic bar, SC tells poll panel Cong-AAP alliance: Rahul, Kejriwal play blame game NEW DELHI, 15 APRIL STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 15 APRIL The Supreme Court Monday directed the Election Commission to re-examine its earlier order and take an informed decision on banning pan-India release of the biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi after watching the full movie. The court directed the poll panel to take a decision by 19 April and submit its report in a sealed cover to the court. The court order came after senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the film producers who have challenged the EC's ban on the biopic's release till the current general elections are over, said the poll panel has taken the decision based just on watching the promo, PTI not the entire movie. powers to deal with hate speeches of politicians during electioneering. The bench said: “It would like to examine whether the power of the EC was circumscribed to deal with the violations of the MCC by leaders through alleged hate speeches.” The EC swung into action after the court's observations and barred the two leaders from campaigning. While Adityanath was barred for 72 hours, Mayawati has been barred for 48 hours. The two have also also been “censured” by the poll panel. The court was hearing a PIL filed by an NRIYoga teacher based in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, seeking a direction to the EC to take “strict action” against political parties if their spokespersons make remarks based on caste and religion in the media in the run up to the general elections. Amid the continuing flipflop-flip involving the AAP and the Congress over the question of their tie-up for the Lok Sabha polls in Delhi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi and AAP convener and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal today engaged in a blame game, trading barbs while accusing each other of blocking the possibility of their alliance. Firing a salvo at the AAP camp, Gandhi charged Kejriwal with doing a "U-turn" on the issue of their alliance in the national capital. Returning fire, Kejriwal rejected that there was any "U-turn", asserting that their alliance talks were continuing. Amid their public spat on Twitter, there were reports that CMYK the two sides were still "engaged” in taking the alliance talks forward and would meet again on Wednesday in this regard. The Wednesday meeting over the Delhi seat-sharing would reportedly involve senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, AAP leader Sanjay Singh, and even NCP chief Sharad Pawar in the role of a "mediator". This evening, Gandhi tweeted, "An alliance between the Congress & AAP in Delhi would mean the rout of the BJP The Congress is willing . to give up 4 Delhi seats to the AAP to ensure this. But, Mr Kejriwal has done yet another U turn! Our doors are still open, but the clock is running out," adding a hashtag "#AbAAPkiBaari". Hitting back, Kejriwal tweeted in Hindi stating: "What U-turn. Talks were still continuing." He told Gandhi, "Your tweet shows that a tieup is not your desire but only an alliance pretension. I am pained that you are resorting to such statements. Today, the crucial issue is to save the country from the Modi-Shah threat. Unfortunately, you are helping Modi by dividing antiModi votes in Uttar Pradesh and in some other states." Congress leader in charge of Delhi, P C Chacko said: "AAP is suggesting alliance on 18 seats beyond Delhi. Let us come together in Delhi first. Rahulji said our doors are open, it should be done... Whatever decision is reached in one state cannot be replicated in the same way in other states.” The Congress has been saying that any alliance should be confined to Delhi. Dinesh Karthik Monday returned to India's World Cup squad after 12 years, trumping Mahendra Singh Dhoni's heir apparent Rishabh Pant in a selection move that will be debated for a long time. The second wicketkeeper was the sole bone of contention for the marquee event starting in England and Wales on 30 May and the 33year-old Karthik's experience of 91 ODIs gave him the edge over the 21-year-old Pant, according to the fivemember selection panel headed by MSK Prasad. Karthik, the oldest Indian player in terms of international debut (three months before Mahendra Singh Dhoni in September 2004), was also part of the Indian squad during its disastrous 2007 World Cup campaign. He, however, missed the bus in the 2011 and the 2015 editions. In the squad that was announced Monday, Dhoni will be playing his fourth 50-over World Cup. Kohli will play his third edition while Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were all a part of the 2015 edition. It was a more or less predictable 15-member squad picked by the national selection committee with another notable inclusion being Tamil Nadu's seam bowling all-rounder Vijay Shankar, who is expected to be used as a floater in the batting order, especially at number 4. Squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Vijay Shankar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Dinesh Karthik, PTI Ravindra Jadeja.
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