TheIndian EXPRESS LATECITY, 18 PAGES, JAIPUR, `4.00 ● THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY JOURNALISM OF COURAGE TIT-FOR-TAT ATTACKS ON STATUES Prime Minister seeks action against vandals, BJP in damage-control mode Home instructs states, says hold SPs, DMs accountable LIZ MATHEW & RAHUL TRIPATHI MORE STATUES TARGETED AS A bust of Jan Sangh founder Syama Prasad Mookerjee was vandalised in Kolkata Wednesday, allegedly by Left supporters in response to the razing of a Lenin statue by BJP supporters in Tripura, and a Periyar statue was attacked in Tamil Nadu Tuesday night, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stepped in to condemn the acts of vandalism and directed that strict action be taken against those responsible. Worried over the political fallout and aware that such acts were “taking the sheen off” its spectacular victory in Tripura — the swearing-in of the new governmentislikelyFriday—theBJP leadership too initiated a damage-control exercise, warning state units and instructing them to take immediate measures in the wake of the acts of vandal- ■ A bust of Syama Prasad Mookerjee was vandalised in Kolkata on Wednesday, allegedly by members of an ultra-Left student outfit. NEW DELHI, MARCH 7 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY INSIDE ● CONGRESS GOOD SHOW CONTINUES IN LOCAL BODY BYPOLLS, PAGE 5 Police guard a Lenin statue in Kolkata Wednesday. Partha Paul ■ B R Ambedkar’s statue was vandalised in Meerut district on Tuesday night. The local authorities said a “new and even bigger” statue had been installed. FULL COVERAGE, P 5 ismandthedamagingpublicutterances of some party leaders. BJP sources said both Modi andShahwere“furious”overthe developments, given that these incidents took place after the Prime Minister had hailed the BJP’s victory in the Left bastion of Tripura as a win over the “pol- itics of violence”. Shah, sources said, took strong exception to remarks made by BJP national secretary H Raja in which he suggested that statues of Periyar, founder of the Dravidian movement in Tamil Nadu, could be pulled down — hours after Raja’s Facebook post, a Periyar statue was vandalised in Vellore and two men arrested. Askedif hewouldtakeaction against Raja, Shah told The Indian Express: “No, there will not be any action against him.” But BJP leaders said the incidents as well as the statements have “not only taken the sheen off theBJP’sspectacularvictories in the north-eastern states including Tripura” but have the “potential to spoil the party’s electoral efforts in the southern states”. In Tamil Nadu, where the party has been exploring ways to expand its base by finding a strong ally and wooing CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 BCCI keeps Shami contract on hold after Karnataka Lokayukta wife alleges domestic violence, adultery stabbed, attacker held SHAMIK CHAKRABARTY KOLKATA, MARCH 7 THE COMMITTEE of Administrators (CoA) running the BCCI Wednesday held back Mohammed Shami’s contract after his wife, Hasin Jahan accused him of domestic violence and adultery, which Shami has denied. The fast bowler is a regular in the Indian test and lim- Attempt to defame me, says Shami ited-overs teams. Sources said the Supreme Court-appointed CoA which announced new contracts and compensation packages on be- half of the BCCI for 26 Indian team players Wednesday, will verifyfactsbeforetakingacallon Shami’s new contract. “Mohammed Shami’s contracthasbeenheldbackbecause of reports coming in today. The CoA does not know the truth of theentirethingandwantstoverify this. Somebody can say this is a personal issue and the BCCI contract is entirely professional, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE BENGALURU, MARCH 7 KARNATAKA LOKAYUKTA P Vishwanath Shetty, 73, was stabbedatleastthreetimesinhis office here on Wednesday, by a man who had reportedly met him earlier with complaints of negligence and corruption. The assailant, identified as Tejaraj R (35), a resident of Tumkur, was arrested after he was overpowered by the Lokayukta staff. According to the police, Shetty, a retired judge of the Karnataka High Court, was stabbed in the stomach. He was rushed to the Mallya Hospital, where he was reported to be “out of danger”. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Attacker has been identified as Tejaraj R from Tumkur Andhra denied special status, TDP walks out of Government TDP will decide on NDA alliance later EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, HYDERABAD, MARCH 7 HOURS AFTER Finance Minister ArunJaitleyWednesdaysaidthe Centre would not be able to grant Andhra Pradesh “special status”, Chief Minister and Telegu Desam Party (TDP) chief NChandrababuNaiduaskedtwo ministers in the NDA cabinet to resign.NaidusaidtheTDPwould decidelaterwhethertocontinue as a partner in the NDA alliance. Naidu asked two TDP ministers in the NDA Cabinet, Union Civil Aviation Minister P Ashok Gajapati Raju and Y Satyanarayana Chowdary, Minister of State for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences, to resign Thursday morning. “As a matter of courtesy I tried to inform Prime Minister Narendra Modi but he was unable,”Naidusaid.Afterateleconference with TDP MPs, senior ministersandsomeMLAs,Naidu said he was “forced” to take the decision after Jaitley declined AP’sdemandfor“specialstatus”. Earlier Wednesday, Jaitley has said the Centre was willing to provide the “monetary equivalent” of a special category state to Andhra Pradesh but could not grant“specialstatus”,whichwas restrictedonlytothenorth-eastern and three hill states by the 14th Finance Commission. Jaitley’s comments came hours after Naidu told the Andhra Pradesh Assembly that there was no question of compromise on the issue and he would continue to fight to protect the interests of the state. “Time and again, we have told the Centre that Andhra Pradesh needs help because afterbifurcationwehavebeensuffering due to revenue loss. I have gone to Delhi 29 times but to no avail. I am anguished over the denialof specialstatustoAndhra Pradesh. What is this humiliation and injustice to the state? It is a matter of self-respect of Andhra people and the Centre should fulfil the assurances made during bifurcation of the state,’’ Naidu said. Jaitley said he agreed with the assessment that Andhra Pradeshwassufferingfinancially after Telangana was carved out of the state and the government would honour each and every commitment made by the Centre at the time of bifurcation. “Obviously, when the division took place, AP was unwilling, Telangana wanted the division. 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