TheIndian EXPRESS LATE CITY, 20 + 4 (NEWSLINE) PAGES, PUNE, `5.00 ● FRIDAY, MARCH 9, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE CHANDRABABU NAIDU SPEAKS TO PRIME MINISTER TDP pulls out ministers from Centre, but softens stance to keep lines open When in responsible position, they (BJP) have to balance things, face such situations, says TDP ANANTHAKRISHNAN G LIZ MATHEW NEW DELHI, MARCH 8 NEW DELHI, MARCH 8 13 A DAY after he announced his party’s decision to walk out of the government at the Centre over the denial of special category status to Andhra Pradesh, TDP leader and Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday evening and, shortly thereafter, two TDP ministers submitted their resignations. But there were indications P Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Y Satyanarayana Chowdary in Parliament. Praveen Jain, Anil Sharma that the TDP had not burnt bridges or severed all links with different from that of cooperated with the Centre but the BJP and the Prime Minister. Naidu the spirit of cooperative federalAfter resigning their posts, Chandrababu Union Civil Aviation Minister Wednesday evening. While an- ism is missing”. EXPLAINED P Ashok Gajapathi Raju and nouncing his party’s decision, But Gajapathi Raju and Minister of State (Science and Naiduhadcalled“theattitudeof Chowdary treaded carefully Technology and Earth Sciences) the Centre towards Andhra Thursday evening, calling the Y Satyanarayana Chowdary, Pradesh... very hurtful and in- developments “unfortunate”. Minister of State for Science and sulting” and warned that “resig- Chowdary said even the Technology and Earth Sciences, nation of the two Union minisCONTINUED ON PAGE 2 were careful with their state- tersisthefirststep...Wewilltake ments and did not target the a call on whether to stay with Prime Minister. NDA as a partner or not when MORE REPORTS Their tone was was very thetimecomes.Wehavealways PAGE 7 11 THEIDEASPAGE Ongoing systematic attempt to alter JNU's character by forcing changes Tripura rolls out saffron red carpet for first BJP govt ESHA ROY AGARTALA, MARCH 8 IT’S BEING touted by the BJP as one of its biggest ceremonies of a chief minister taking oath, and the largest swearing-in function in the northeast. With the BJPIPFT combine ending the Left’s 25-year rule in Tripura, Prime MinisterNarendraModiiskeepinghispre-electionpromisethat he will be present at the oathtaking ceremony of BJP’s first chief minister in the state. While the ceremony will begin at 10 am Friday, the Prime Minister is scheduled to arrive at the Agartala airport at noon. He willreachthevenue,themassive Assam Rifles grounds, a stone’s throw from the Raj Bhavan, directly from the airport. This is a departure from oath-taking ceremonies in Tripura that have so Biplab Deb will take oath as Chief Minister Friday. Abhisek Saha fartakenplaceattheRajBhavan. Apart from Modi and party president Amit Shah, the list of BJP leaders attending the ceremony — Biplab Deb, 48, will take charge as Chief Minister with JishnuDebbarmaashisdeputy— isimpressive.VeteranleadersLK ZEESHAN SHAIKH Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi are to be accompanied by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Defence Minister Nirmala SitharamanandMoSHomeKiren Rijiju,whoattendedNeiphiuRio’s oath-takinginNagalandThursday, willalsoarrive. PARTHA SARATHI BISWAS BEIJING, MARCH 8 Apart from the BJP’s central ministers,22chiefministersfrom BJP-ruledstateshavebeeninvited for the ceremony. Vasundhara Raje, Vijay Rupani and Shivraj SinghChouhanareamongthe15 whohaveconfirmedattendance. The chief ministers of all northeastern states — Assam’s Sarbananda Sonowal, Manipur’s N Biren, Meghalaya’s Conrad Sangma and Nagaland’s Rio — will also be there. “Only Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu cannot come since there is a bypollinthestate,’’saidTripuraBJP prabhari Sunil Deodhar. The list may increase later as more confirmations arrive. Shah arrived Thursday along with general secretary Ram Madhav and Assam leader Himanta Biswa Sarma, who oversaw the Tripura elections. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 12 THE EDITORIAL PAGE SHUBHAJIT ROY NEW DELHI, MARCH 8 France India’s new Russia? BY C RAJA MOHAN 14 WORLD VIOLENCE CONTINUES IN LANKA PUNE, MARCH 8 Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Thursday. AP equal two but 11,” Wang said at a press conference in Beijing. As reported by The Indian Express on March 2, the government, while underlining that this is a “very sensitive time” for bilateral relations with China, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 MAHARASHTRA’S AGRARIAN distress,itseems,showsnosigns of abating. The latest worry for thestategovernmentistheissue of lending by private moneylenders,whichseemtobegrowing at an alarming rate. According to the Economic Survey of the state, lending by private moneylenders has seen a whopping 28 per cent increase inthelastoneyearevenascredit bycooperativebanksshowasignificant dip. Since the enactment of the Maharashtra Money Lending (Regulation) Act 2014, the state governmentkeepsatabonlending by private moneylenders throughissuanceof licences.The commissionerate of cooperation, which issues such licences, also keeps a tab on lending and repayment by such private players. Private moneylenders generally are the go-to person in rural areas, where access to institutional credit is low. The survey, which was published on Thursday, notes a significant rise in lending by such players. As of March 31, 2017, 10,95,701 loanees availed loans worthRs1,614.76crorefromprivate moneylenders in the state. This was a 28.7 per cent increase from the Rs 1,254.97 crore lent by private players by the end of March2016when10,56,273loanees had turned to them. Interestingly, there has been no significant increase in the number of licensed moneylenders in thelasttwoyearswith2017noting12,214activelicencesagainst 12,208 licences by the end of March 2016. The increase in lending by non-institutional players comes in the backdrop of a dip in lending by both commercial and cooperative banks. Figures in the Economic Survey show scheduled commercial banks disbursed 124.9 per cent of their targets for agriculture and allied sectors in 2016-17 but, till September 2017, they had disbursed just 33.6 per cent of their targets for the current financial year. In the cooperative sector, the picture is equally worrisome as the 31 district central cooperative banks (DCCBs) have been recording a steady dip in their loan outlays. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ● PAGE ONE ANCHOR GAURI LANKESH CASE: SUSPECT BOOKED HALL FOR EVENT LINKED TO SANATAN SANSTHA JOHNSON T A MADDUR (MANDYA), MARCH 8 LAST NOVEMBER, the man under arrest for his alleged involvement in the killing of journalist Gauri Lankesh organised a “sabha” of Hindu activists in a wedding hall at his home town Maddur in Karnataka. Thesabhawasajointventure of the Hindu Yuva Sena’s Maddur unit — headed by K T Naveen Kumar, the 37-year-old who was arrested in Bengaluru last month — and the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, a sister BY UNNY concern of the Sanatan Sanstha based in Goa’s Ponda. A report on the sabha at the Annapurneshwari Kalyana Mandir — with the Karnataka co-ordinator of HJS Guruprasad Gowda and the Sanstha’s Suma Mangesh in attendance — was posted on the Sanstha’s official website sanatan.org with a December 20, 2017 dateline. As investigations progress in the Lankesh case, there is growing evidence that Kumar was closely involved with the radical Sanstha, which has been linked in Maharashtra — by the CBI and aMaharashtrapoliceSIT—tothe Naveen Kumar at a Hindu Yuva Sena event in Maddur THE SUPREME Court Thursday set aside the Kerala High Court order annulling the marriage of Hadiya, a 25-year-old Hindu woman who converted to Islam two years ago, to a Muslim man and said she was free to “pursue her future endeavours in accordance with the law”. “Considering the arguments advanced on both sides, in the factsof thepresentcase,wehold that the High Court should not have annulled the marriage between appellant No.1 Shafin Jahan and respondent No.9, Hadiya alias Akhila Asokan, in a Habeas Corpus petition under Article226of theConstitutionof India,” said the order issued by a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justiceof IndiaDipakMisra. ”She (Hadiya) appeared before this Court on November 27, 2017, and admitted her marriagewithappellantNo.1.Inview of the aforesaid, the appeal stands allowed. The judgment Hadiya with Shafin Jahan and order passed by the High Court is set aside. Respondent No.9,HadiyaaliasAkhilaAsokan, is at liberty to pursue her future endeavours according to law,” stated the bench. The court also said the National Investigation Agency (NIA) can go ahead with its probe into a so-called “larger conspiracy” behind the alleged forced religious conversion of Hadiya and others in Kerala. “We clarify that the investigations by the NIA in respect of any matter of criminality may continue in accordance with law,” said the bench, also comprising Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 India-Seychelles security pact ‘details’ on Internet set off alarm China responds: Dragon ECONOMIC SURVEY and elephant must not As lending by rural banks dips, fight, but dance together farmers turn to moneylenders DAYSAFTERIndiareachedoutto China and advised Indian officials to skip events organised by the Tibetan government-in-exile, Beijing on Thursday asked New Delhi to shed “mental inhibitions” and “mutual suspicion” to improve bilateral ties. Using one of the most oft-repeated metaphors for India and China, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said it was time for the Chinese dragon and Indian elephant to dance together rather than fight each other. “The Chinese dragon and the Indian elephant must not fight each other but dance with each other. If China and India are united, one plus one will not BUSINESS AS USUAL Why Andhra, Centre can’t agree on special status Enforced decline SC strikes down HC order: NIA can probe, but Hadiya free to live her life shootingof rationalistsNarendra Dabholkar,69,inPuneonAugust 20,2013,andGovindPansare,81, inKolhapuronFebruary16,2015. The CBI has named a senior member of the Sanstha, Dr Virendra Tawade, as a key conspirator in the Dabholkar murder. Two missing activists of the Sanstha, Sarang Akolkar and Vinay Pawar, are suspected to be the shooters in the case. The Sanstha has also been linked to the Pansare killing by the Maharashtra SIT. Lankesh, a 55-year-old journalist-activist who had been CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 SETTING OFF alarm bells in New Delhi, details of purported security pacts between India and Seychelles have surfaced on the Internet along with a YouTube video, complete with maps and location of proposed facilities. There has been no official wordfromthegovernmentsofar onthetextsdoingtherounds.But these documents have surfaced weeks after outgoing Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar visitedtheIndianOceanislandin January this year to seal a renegotiated security deal. The2018agreementissaidto beamoredetailedandimproved version of the 2015 pact signed 2015 pact during PM visit was revised in Jan this year betweenthetwocountrieswhen Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Seychelles. The documents on the Internet, said to be texts of both agreements, were suspected to havebeenleakedthisweekfrom Seychelles. On Tuesday, SeychellesPresidentDannyFaure was quoted by Seychelles News Agency as telling the national as- sembly:“Assumptionbelongsto Seychelles and Seychellois. Land onAssumptionhasnotbeensold or leased to the Government of India.” Developinginfrastructureon Assumption is a key piece in India’s proactive maritime strategy as it counters China’s moves in the Indian Ocean region. “The 2015 agreement was a very basic agreement with key areas outlined. Following renegotiation,alotof theconcerns from the Seychelles side was accommodated in the revised text of the agreement in January 2018. The new text also spelt out specifics and the nitty-gritties in greater detail,” sources said. Unlikein2015whenthejoint project monitoring committee CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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