CMYK FRIDAY 17 MARCH 2023 Pages 12 |` 5.00|LC www.thestatesman.com KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR CBI FILES FIR AGAINST SISODIA IN FBU CASE AMERICA’S INDIFFERENCE P6 WEATHER Mainly clear sky with fog/mist in the morning. Maximum and minimum temperatures likely to be around 28 °C and 17 °C respectively. P5 P8 Max. 93 % Rahul ready to clarify on his Two pilots killed in Army helicopter remarks, BJP wants apology crash in Arunachal Min. 42 % Max: 31.9 °C (-2) SUN RISES 05:46 hrs MOON RISES 01:16 hrs Min: 25.6 °C (+3) SUN SETS 17:46 hrs MOON SETS 12:1 hrs Parl proceedings hit for 4th straight day STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 16 MARCH New Moon on 21 March Congress leader Rahul Gandhi during a press briefing, at the party headquarters, in New Delhi on Thursday. SNS STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 16 MARCH nder attack from the ruling dispensation for his remarks on democracy in India during his recent UK visit, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi today said he wanted to clarify his position in Parliament tomorrow but wondered if he would be allowed to speak. “In the morning, I went to Parliament and spoke with the Speaker (Lok U THUMBNAILS The Government and the Opposition continued to clash in Parliament over Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's UK speeches and the controversies linked to the Adani Group, leading to both Houses being adjourned without any business for the fourth consecutive day on Thursday. The Government has been insisting pm an apology by the Congress leader over his remarks on Indian democracy in the UK, while the Congressled Opposition is sticking to its demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the allegations of financial irregularities against the Adani Group. Both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha met for a few minutes in the morning and after adjournments at 2 p.m. Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla asked members to maintain order in the House and discuss issues of policy and public welfare but there was no peace. Mr Birla said Parliament was the temple of democracy and there should be no comments about it. He asked members to resume their seats, and offered to give them time to speak. Sabha) that I want to speak. Four ministers of the government had levelled allegations against me so it's my fundamental right to speak,” he told the media. Shortly afterwards, BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad, at a media briefing, said his party would continue its nationwide campaign against Mr Gandhi until he apologised for his remarks in the UK. “We were under the impression that Rahul will apologise today for his remarks demeaning Parliament but he has not done that,” he said. The Congress MP who , appeared in Parliament for the first time today after he made the remarks in the UK, alleged that the government was “scared” over the Adani issue and, therefore, enacting 'tamasha' (drama) in Parliament and outside. He said he had raised questions about the relationship between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Adani group but there was no response from the government. Referring to his expunged speech in Lok Sabha in the first half of the ongoing Budget Session, he claimed that he had stated everything in his speech which was already in the public domain.“The idea is that in the speech that I delivered in the Parliament House a few days ago on Adani and his relationship with PM Modi, I asked questions. The entire speech was expunged. There was nothing in that speech that I had not carved from the public record, from the newspapers, statements of various people. But it was expunged," he said, further suggesting that the entire issue of demanding an apology from him was a “distraction”. “The entire matter is about distraction. I feel that they will not let me speak in Parliament because the main question is still on the table. What is the relation between Adani and PM Modi and why are the defence contracts being given to him?” Mr Gandhi asked. Hitting back at Mr Gandhi, Ravi Shankar Prasad, a former Union minister, said the Congress leader had asked the US and the UK to take notice of the falling standards of democracy in India. “Rahul has made it a habit to belittle the country and its democracy...he owes an apology to the nation,” Mr Prasad added. Continuing stir, Opp MPs form human chain President Droupadi Murmu with Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan visits INS Vikrant to interact with the officers and sailors onboard, in Kochi on Thursday. ANI Joint virtual inauguration of India-Bangladesh B Friendship Pipeline: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the India-Bangladesh Friendship Pipeline on 18 March via video-conference. This is the first cross-border energy pipeline between India and Bangladesh, built at an estimated cost of Rs 377 crore, of which the Bangladesh portion of the pipeline built at a cost of approximately Rs 285 crore, has been borne by India under grant assistance. Tejashwi to join CBI probe on 25 March STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 16 MARCH Opposition MPs on Thursday staged a protest outside Parliament by forming a human chain, reiterating their demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the Adani issue. Carrying placards, MPs from different political parties shouted slogans against the Modi government demanding a JPC to probe into the Adani row. The human chain was formed amidst an impasse between BJP and the Opposition that continued on the fourth consecutive day of the second phase of the Budget Session of Parliament with charges being traded over the allegations against the Adani group and Rahul Gandhi's recent remarks in London. Meanwhile, Congress workers also held a protest in the National Capital over the Adani row and demanded a JPC probe into it.Earlier in the day, Trinamul Congress (TMC) MPs entered the Well of the Rajya Sabha with a black cloth tied around their mouths as they registered a unique protest which led to the adjournment in both Houses. A similar protest was seen in Lok Sabha as well. The Opposition has been raising the Adani Govt okays defence proposals worth `70,500 cr STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI , 16 MARCH NEW DELHI, 16 MARCH Bihar Deputychief minister Tejashwi Yadav on Thursday assured Delhi High Court that he will join the CBI investigation on 25 March for questioning in connection with the land-for-jobs scam case. MrYadav's lawyer assured the court after noting the submissions of CBI that "at this point of time, there is no endeavour to arrest him". During arguments before Delhi High Court, senior advocate Maninder Singh appeared for Mr Yadav and submitted that CBI has been calling him while the Budget session is underway. “I can appear through Video Conferencing. I am constantly telling them that I am a resident of Bihar. I m been served with three summons by the agency in just a few days,” Mr Singh said, representing Mr Yadav. AGENCIES The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), at its meeting under the chairmanship of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, today accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for capital acquisition amounting to over Rs 70,500 crores under the Buy Indian IDDM (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured) category. Out of the total proposals, the Indian Navy's proposals constitute more than Rs 56,000 crores, which largely include indigenous BrahMos missiles, Shakti Electronic Warfare (EW) systems, and Utility Helicopters. While this additional procurement of BrahMos missile system will enhance the maritime strike capabilities and anti-surface warfare operation, the addition of utility heli- Out of the total proposals, the Indian Navy's proposals constitute more than Rs 56,000 crores, which largely include indigenous BrahMos missiles, Shakti Electronic Warfare systems, and Utility Helicopters copters will multiply the operational readiness of the Indian Navy in the domain of Search and Rescue operations, Casualty Evacuation, Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Relief (HADR), etc. The accordance of AoN for Medium Speed Marine Diesel Engine under the Make-I category is a significant step as, for the first time, India is venturing into the development and manufacturing of such engines indigenously to achieve self-reliance and leverage the capabilities of the industry towards the goal of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’. To keep pace with the emerging technologies and counter the adversaries on the Western and Northern front, the necessity of the new weapons and their integration with the delivery platforms was felt by the government. To achieve the same objectives, the DAC accorded approval to the Indian Air Force’s proposal for Long Range StandOff Weapon (LRSOW) which will be indigenously designed, developed and integrated on SU-30 MKI aircraft. For Artillery modernisation, in addition to the ongoing Dhanush Gun System and K-9 Vajra-T Gun System, AoN for procurement of 155mm/52 Caliber Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS) along with High Mobility Vehicles (HMVs) and Gun Towing Vehicles (GTVs) for the Indian Army was accorded by the DAC. It also accorded AoN for procurement of Advance Light Helicopters (ALH) MK-III from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) for the Indian Coast Guard. The Helicopter will be able to carry a suite of surveillance sensors which will enhance the surveillance capabilities. It will also give full night capability and Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) capability for operations of the Indian Coast Guard. With today's approvals, the total AoN granted for Capital Acquisition in 202223 is over Rs 2.71 lakh crores, out of which 99 per cent of the procurement will be sourced from Indian industries. Such quantum of indigenous procurement is expected to galvanise the Indian industries towards achieving the goal of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’. Supreme Court reserves verdict in Shiv Sena case STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 16 MARCH The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its verdict on a batch of cross-petitions relating to the Shiv Sena-centric political crisis in Maharashtra as the Uddhav Thackeray faction of the party urged the court to restore the status quo ante, contending that the then Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had acted beyond his powers in administering oath of office as chief minister to Eknath Shinde and earlier asking Uddhav Thackeray to face a floor test. A five-judge Constitution bench of Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, Justice M.R. P12 Cong leader says ‘will speak in Parliament if allowed’, claims govt was scared over Adani issue RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY TEMPERATURE NIKHAT STARTS WITH A BANGS ‘INDIA RANKS 6TH GLOBALLY IN R&D INVESTMENT’ Shah, Justice Krishna Murari, Justice Hima Kohli and Justice P S Narasimha reserved the order on the conclusions of the arguments by both the sides, including by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta who appeared for Mr Koshyari, that were spread over nine days starting on 21 February. The issues on which arguments were advanced in the course of the hearing included the validity of Mr Koshyari’s decision to ask former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to face a floor test, then asking rebel faction leader Eknath Shinde to take oath as Chief Minister and in a way recognising the Shinde faction as a group. Another question was whether a faction with a backing of a section of the members of the legislative party alone could be termed as a party. Also coming under consideration was the power of the Speaker to act under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution and whether he could be inca- pacitated from taking action under the anti-defection law if a notice seeking his removal from his office is pending. Linked to this was the question of whether the 2016 Supreme Court judgment by a five-judge Constitution Bench in the Naban Rabia case (relating to a 2016 political crisis in Arunachal Pradesh), which had ruled that a Speaker stands disabled to act under the 10th Schedule to curb defection requires to be revisited and referred to a larger seven-judge bench. Prior to the hearing on the main matter that had commenced on 21 February, the Constitution Bench had a three-days hearing on whether 2016 judgment in Nabam Rabia requires reconsideration by a larger seven-judge constitution bench. However, on 17 February, the bench said that it would consider this aspect along with the other issues arising in the main matter. The tenor of the hearing and the observations that came from the Bench particularly by Chief Justice Chandrachud in the course of the hearing yesterday were not comforting for the then Governor. In today’s hearing both senior advocate Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Manu Singhvi argued that in parliamentary democracy, it is the political party that holds primacy and not the faction of a political party. CMYK issue and demanding a JPC probe into the Hindenburg-Adani report. The party's MPs in both Houses wore black cloth around their faces and entered the Well even before the Presiding officers arrived.They kept pointing towards the Treasury benches and shouted: “BJP Ministers and MPs are not allowing the opposition to speak. Not allowing the opposition to express themselves.” A pilot and co-pilot died after their Cheetah helicopter flying on an operational sortie crashed on Thursday. The wreckage of the aircraft was found near Village Banglajaap East of Mandala. ANI SNS & AGENCIES ITANAGAR, 16 MARCH Two pilots were killed after an Indian Army Aviation Cheetah helicopter crashed near the Mandala hills area in Arunachal Pradesh on Thursday, officials said. A search operation was carried out by the Indian Army, Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and police after the crash. “Both the pilots involved in the crash have lost their lives,” said Army officials. Earlier, Public Relations Officer (PRO), Defence Guwahati Lt Col Mahendra Rawat had said the Army's Cheetah helicopter, on an operational sortie, was reported to have lost contact with the Air Traffic Controller at around 9:15 am on Thursday. It was reported to have crashed near Mandala, West of Bomdila. “Five search parties of the Indian Army, SSB and IndoTibetan Border Police (ITBP) were immediately launched. The wreckage of the aircraft was found near Banglajaap village East of Mandala. With regret, we inform that the pilot and the co-pilot of the helicopter lost their lives in the accident," said the Defence PRO. "A Court of Inquiry is being ordered to ascertain the cause of the accident," he added. According to Arunachal Pradesh Police, the Army chopper lost contact midway and could not be located while it was en route to Missamari from Senge village. At around 12:30 p.m. villagers from Bangjalep under Dirang police station informed that a crashed chopper had been found. Police said the area has no signal and the weather was extremely foggy with a visibility of 5 metres. SEA POWER India, Australia, Canada, the United States, France, Japan and the United Kingdom, participated in the multilateral cooperation exercise 'LA PEROUSE' in the Indo-Pacific to strengthen interoperability between the partner navies on 13 and 14 March. ANI Kavitha skips ED summons citing pending plea before apex court STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE HYDERABAD, 16 MARCH BRS MLC Kalvakuntla Kavitha did not appear before the Enforcement Directorate today for questioning in connection with the Delhi Liquor policy scam, citing the writ petition she has filed before the Supreme Court which was listed for hearing on 24 March. Ms Kavitha, daughter of Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao, urged the agency to defer proceedings till the apex court gives appropriate order and directions. The ED subsequently issued fresh summons to her for 20 March. Instead of appearing physically in answer to the agency’s summons, Ms Kavitha sent the BRS general secretary Soma Bharat Kumar with the documents sought earlier by ED and a six-page-long letter addressed to assistant director Jogender of the probe agency. “I... have reasons to believe and a grave appre- hension that the inquiry/investigation being carried out may not have the sanctity of law and my expectation of a free, fair or impartial inquiry or investigation has been severely impaired,” wrote Ms Kavitha in her letter, citing her complaints which led her to approach the Supreme Court. Ms Kavitha had time and again asserted in public that she would comply with the law after her name surfaced in the Delhi Liquor policy scam. However, she approached the apex court a day before to quash the summons and restrain the probe agency from taking any coercive action against her.
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