CMYK SUNDAY 26 MARCH 2023 www.thestatesman.com Pages 12 |` 5.00|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR U.P NOW A STATE OF FESTIVALS, NOT MAFIA: YOGI ADITYANATH TRUMP IN THE DOCK P6 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. Temperature likely to be in the range of 33-23 degrees Celsius. RAINFALL: NIL RELATIVE HUMIDITY Min. 37% Max: 32.1 °C (-1) SUN RISES 05:50 hrs MOON RISES 21:9 hrs Min: 23.0 °C (+1) SUN SETS 17:45 hrs MOON SETS 08:0 hrs Full moon on 06 April THUMBNAILS A parrot eats an almond while sitting on a blooming almond tree branch on a sunny day, at Badamwari garden, in Srinagar. ANI Kashmir's rail link with rest of country to be operational by Jan next year, says minister: Union Minister for Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw on Saturday said the Kashmir valley’s rail link with the rest of the country will be completed by January next year and the rail network in the valley will be expanded up to the Line of Control (LoC). Work on the Udhampu-Srinagar-Baramulla rail link was progressing at a fast pace and trains from other parts of the country will start chugging into the valley by January or February next year, he said. Bengal govt issues guidelines for civic volunteers in police duty: Pushed by the Calcutta High Court, the West Bengal police directorate has finally defined the role of civic volunteers in police-related activities and issued guidelines on this count. Under the guidelines issued by the directorate on Saturday, civic volunteers will assist police personnel in traffic management and other related duties on the occasion of special festivals like Durga Puja, Christmas and New Year's Eve, among others. Another major role of these civic volunteers, as per the guidelines, will be in helping and guiding commuters to follow the traffic rules. Tejashwi appears before CBI in land-for-job case STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 25 MARCH Bihar deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav on Saturday appeared before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) here for questioning in connection with the alleged land-for-jobs case, while his sister Misa Bharati appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the same case. Mr Yadav reached the CBI headquarters in the National Capital at around 10:40 a.m. “We have been cooperating with investigative agencies from the beginning. But the kind of political environment prevailing in the country... It is easy to bow down. But it is very tough to fight,” MrYadav said. P4 P11 ‘Disqualified as PM is scared of my next speech on Adani’ Rahul Gandhi clarified that he never made any remark critical of the country abroad Max.76% TEMPERATURE SAUDI-IRAN RAPPROCHEMENT: A VICTORY FOR CHINA’S EFFORTS STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 25 MARCH day after he was disqualified from the Lok Sabha, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi today asserted that he would not back down from asking questions on the relationship between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and billionaire Gautam Adani, wondering who invested Rs 20,000 crores in Mr Adani’s shell companies. Addressing a Press conference, he claimed that he has been disqualified from the Lower House after his conviction by a Surat court in a 2019 criminal defamation case because the PM was scared of his next speech on the Adani issue. Mr Gandhi was flanked by Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel and party general secretaries Jairam Ramesh and K C Venugopal. His sister Priyanka Gandhi was also present at the Press meet held at the AICC headquarters. “This whole drama has A Congress Leader Rahul Gandhi during a Press Conference at AICC HQ in the Capital on Saturday.SUBRATA DUTTA been orchestrated to defend the Prime Minister from the simple question ~ whose Rs 20,000 crores went to Adani's shell companies? I am not scared of these threats, disqualifications, or prison sentences,”Mr Gandhi, who represented Kerala’s Wayanad in the Lok Sabha, said.He said he was not interested in anything but the truth. “I only speak the truth, it is my work and I will keep doing it even if I get disqualified or get arrested. This country has given me everything and that is why I do this,” he said. Mr Gandhi clarified that he never made any remark critical of the country or sought foreign intervention on the issue of democracy in India during his recent visit to the UK.“Some ministers lied about me, that I sought help from foreign powers. But there is no such thing I have done. I will not stop asking questions,” he added.He said he had met the Lok Sabha speaker and also written to him that he must be allowed to speak in the House since four central ministers had spoken about him. However, he was not permitted to do so. “I have said many times that democracy is being attacked in the country. We are seeing examples of this each day. I asked questions in Parliament regarding the relationship between PM Modi and Rahul punished for derogatory speech, not for asking questions: BJP STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 25 MARCH The BJP today rejected Rahul Gandhi's claim that he was disqualified from the Lok Sabha for asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi questions about his relationship with Gautam Adani and said the Congress leader has been punished for his speech on“Modi surname” while campaigning in Karnataka during the 2019 elections.Talking to reporters in Patna soon after Rahul Gandhi's Press conference in New Delhi, senior BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said, the Congress leader made false statements and did not speak on his conviction in the defamation case. Mr Gandhi has been punished for his speech in 2019, Mr Prasad said, Rahul's utterances on Modi's surname were abusive, not critical and the BJP is going to launch a stir against his insult to OBCs RAVI SHANKAR PRASAD BJP LEADER pointing out that Mr Gandhi had stated today that he always spoke thoughtfully which effectively meant whatever he said in 2019 was spoken thoughtfully. Two days after Mr Gandhi’s conviction by a Surat court, Mr Prasad said that no attempts were made to seek a stay on the magistrate court's verdict, claiming that this was intended to encash on Gandhi's conviction in the Karnataka Assembly polls.Mr Prasad said: “Rahul's utterances on Modi's surname ‘Disturbed areas under AFSPA reduced in NE’ STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 25 MARCH Union home minister Amit Shah on Saturday said the Union government has once again decided to reduce the extent of “disturbed areas” declared under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) in Nagaland, Assam and Manipur.The announcement came as the central government extended for another six months the application of the “disturbed area” under the AFSPA in parts of Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh. “A historic day for the Northeast! PM @narendramodi led GoI has once again decided to decrease the disturbed areas in Nagaland, Assam and Manipur under the AFSPA. This decision has been taken on account of significant For the first time in India’s history PM @narendramodi Ji prioritized security, peace and development in the North East. As a result of it, the region today is rapidly heading on the path of peace and development AMIT SHAH UNION HOME MINISTER improvement in the security situation in North-East India,” Mr Shah said in a series of tweets.“For the first time in India’s history PM @narendramodi Ji prioritized security, peace and development in the North East. As a result of it, the region today is rapidly heading on the path of peace and development,” he said. The home minister hailed the PM for bringing a positive change in the lives of the peo- ple of the North-east and connecting the region with the hearts of the rest of India. He claimed that there has been a significant improvement in the security situation in the North-Eastern states and the pace of the development has increased due to the effective steps taken by the Centre. Compared to 2014, there has been a reduction of 76 per cent in extremist incidents in 2022. Similarly, the deaths of security personnel and civilians have come down by 90 per cent and 97 per cent respectively during this period, he said. The Union ministry of home affairs (MHA), meanwhile, extended the AFSPA in eight districts and 21 police station areas falling under five other districts of Nagaland as well as three districts and three police station areas in another district in Arunachal Pradesh after declaring them as "disturbed areas" for a period of six months with effect from 1 April to 30 September this year. Notifications to this effect were issued on Friday. The districts in Nagaland where the AFSPA has been extended include Dimapur, Niuland, Chumoukedima, Mon, Kiphire, Noklak, Phek, and Peren districts. Besides, the AFSPA has been extended in the areas falling within the jurisdiction of 21 police stations in five other districts. Earlier, nine districts and 16 police stations in four other districts of Nagaland had been declared as 'disturbed area' under the AFSPA.In Arunachal Pradesh, AFPSA has been extended in the districts of Tirap,Changlang and Longding, along with three police station areas in Namsai district, bordering the state of Assam. Crisis: FM chairs meet to review functioning of PSBs STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 25 MARCH Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman today chaired a meeting to review the performance of Public Sector Banks (PSBs) on various financial health parameters, and the resilience of PSBs in light of the current global financial scenario emanating from the failure of some international banks in the US and Europe. The meeting was attended by Union Minister of State for Finance Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad; Vivek Joshi, Secretary, Department of Financial Services (DFS); and MDs and CEOs of Public Sector banks.During the review meeting, an open discussion was held with the MDs and CEOs of PSBs on the global scenario, particularly the failure Adani,” Mr Gandhi said. He said he was confident that his disqualification would galvanise the Congress and also unite the Opposition parties. He also thanked the Opposition parties for extending support to him and asserted that going forward, all of them would work together. On the charge that he has insulted the OBCs by his comments about the surname 'Modi' for which he was convicted by the court, the Congress leader said: “I have always talked about brotherhood, this is not about OBCs. The Opposition will benefit the most from the government's panic reaction.” Asked about the BJP seeking his apology over various issues, he shot back; ''My name is not Savarkar, my name is Gandhi and Gandhi does not offer an apology to anyone.”Mr Gandhi has often targeted late Hindutva ideologue V D Savarkar, saying that he helped the British rulers and wrote a mercy petition to them out of fear. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman chairs a meeting to review the performance of Public Sector Banks , in New Delhi on Saturday. ANI of the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and the Signature Bank (SB) along with issues leading to the crisis in Credit Suisse. Sitharaman reviewed the exposure of PSBs to this developing and immediate external global financial stress from both the short and the long-term perspectives.During the PSB review meeting, the finance minister emphasised preparedness along with due diligence through adherence to the regulatory framework by focusing on risk management, and diversification of deposits and assets base.She underlined that PSBs must look at business models closely to iden- tify stress points, including concentration risks and adverse exposures. She also exhorted PSBs to use this opportunity to frame detailed crisis management and communication strategies. The MD & CEOs of the PSBs told the finance minister that they follow best corporate governance practices, adhere to regulatory norms, ensure prudent liquidity management and continue to focus on having robust assetliability and risk management. Further, she was also informed by the PSBs that they are vigilant of developments in the global banking sector and taking all possible steps to safeguard themselves from any potential financial shock. All the major financial parameters indicate stable and resilient PSBs with robust financial health.After detailed deliberations, the finance minister advised PSBs to remain vigilant about the interest rate risks and regularly undertake stress tests. Sitharaman also highlighted that PSBs must leverage the full potential of branches opened in International Financial Services Centres in GIFT City Gujarat to identify international opportunities, including prospects related to Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs).Also, during the course of discussion on the general banking scenario prevailing in the country, Ms Sitharaman advised PSBs to take focused steps to attract deposits given the measures taken by the Government to reduce the tax arbitrage in some debt instruments. CMYK were abusive, not critical and the BJP is going to launch a stir against his insult to OBCs.” He further said, “You have the right to criticise. You don’t have the right to abuse and insult. He (Rahul Gandhi) abused and insulted (a backward community) in a public meeting. The court gave him a chance to apologise. He said he won't apologise.” WOMEN'S WORLD BOXING C'SHIPS: NITU CLINCHES GOLD P12 Modi in K’taka: BJP transformed politics of perception in India Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Bengaluru Metro rail staff during the inauguration of Whitefield (Kadugodi)-to-Krishnarajapuram Metro Line, in Bengaluru on Saturday. ANI STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 25 MARCH Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said in Karnataka the BJP has transformed the “politics of perception” in the country into the “politics of performance”, claiming that the southern State has made up its mind to bring back the BJP's “double-engine government”. Addressing the Vijaya Sankalp Yatre Maha Sangama at Devanagere in the poll-bound state, he said "Our country had been mired in dirty politics for years. What prevailed in the country then was the politics of allegation and blame game. But since coming to power, the BJP has transformed the politics of perception in the country into the politics of performance." Launching a counterattack on the Opposition, the prime minister said: “Karnataka saw and suffered opportunistic and selfish governments for a long time, which affected its progress. That is why a stable government of the BJP is the need of the hour, in the interest of the state's development." “Karnataka has made up its mind to bring back the double-engine government in the state. The BJP has put development on the fast track. Therefore, the need of the hour is for the BJP to return to power in the interest of taking Karnataka to development and prosperity,” he added. In a scathing attack on the Congress, he said: “BJP wants to make Karnataka the driving force for a developed India. However, the Congress sees Karnataka as merely a means to fill the pockets of some of its leaders.” “Congress says 'Modi Teri Qabr Khudegi' but they don't know that the people of Karnataka have a dream, which is 'Modi Tera Kamal Khilega," the PM added. “Our (Karnataka) government has been empowering the Dalits, poor, women and the oppressed sections. Ours has been a pro-poor government," he said. “Karnataka had seen years of governance by selfish and opportunistic alliances. Such governments inflicted grave harm to the state,” he added. Before the rally, PM Modi held a mega road show during which a huge crowd lined the streets chanting his name and showering him with petals.Earlier, the PM inaugurated the Sri Madhusudan Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research at Sathya Sai Grama, Chikkaballapur in Karnataka. Set up by the Sri Sathya Sai University for Human Excellence, the institute will provide medical education and quality medical care completely free of cost to all.
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