TheIndian EXPRESS LATE CITY, 16 + 4 (NEWSLINE) PAGES, PUNE, `5.00 ● WEDNESDAY, MAY 9, 2018 ● WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM ● DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE CHALLENGE TO VENKAIAH NAIDU’S ORDER NottoldwhoformedSCbenchtohearCJI impeachmentmatter,MPswithdrawplea 5-judge bench tells Sibal to argue on merits, agrees this is ‘unprecedented’ ANANTHAKRISHNANG NEW DELHI, MAY 8 TWO CONGRESS MPs, who had moved the Supreme Court challenging Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu’s April 23 decisiontorejecttheimpeachment notice against Chief Justice of IndiaDipakMisra,withdrewtheir petitionTuesdayfollowingsharp exchanges with a five-judge benchwhichdidnotanswertheir query on who constituted the bench to hear their matter. ThebenchofJusticesAKSikri, S A Bobde, N V Ramana, Arun MishraandAKGoel“dismissed” the plea of Partap Singh Bajwa andAmeeHarshadrayYajnik“as withdrawn” after senior advocateKapilSibal,appearingforthe two MPs, maintained he would notproceedwiththematterifhe wasnotgivenacopyof theorder by which the matter was allocated to the bench. The court asked him to argue the petition before it on merits, but Sibal declined to do so and said he was withdrawing it. Sibal appeared in SC for two Congress MPs. Praveen Khanna The exchanges even forced thebenchtoremindSibalthathe had started with the caveat that his sole aim was to uphold the dignityofthejudiciaryandnotto malign anyone and that his re- fusaltoarguethematteronmeritscouldgivetheimpressionthat “there is something else” to the petition. “Youmustgivemetheorder. OnlythenwillIbeabletodecide whether I should proceed or not... Your lordships must tell me who constituted the bench and give me a copy of that order so that I can challenge it,” Sibal saidasJusticeSikritoldhim“this will lead nowhere. You must proceed on merit”. “It can’t be a secret order,” Sibal said. “If you want to proceed, argue on merits,” Justice Sikri told him. “In thatcase,Iwillwithdrawthepetition,” Sibal replied. Openinghisarguments,Sibal said the Chief Justice of India, who is the Master of the Roster, couldnothaveallottedittoafivejudge bench by means of an administrative order. But this was opposed by AttorneyGeneralKKVenugopal —hewasappearingforVenkaiah Naidu—whocitedjudicialprecedents to underline that the CJI had the power. Thebenchalsoremarkedthat theredidnotappeartobeanyexplicitprovisioninlawpreventing the CJI from listing it directly before a Constitution Bench. On Monday, the petition was mentioned before a bench of Justices J Chelameswar and S K Kaul. CONTINUEDONPAGE2 Shah rules out early LS polls, says consensus a must for joint elections ANANTHAKRISHNANG NEWDELHI,MAY8 DECISION 2018 KARNATAKA RAVISHTIWARI BENGALURU, MAY 8 BJP PRESIDENT Amit Shah Tuesday dismissed suggestions thatthe2019LokSabhapollsmay be advanced and indicated that simultaneous elections may not be feasible next year since a political consensus is yet to be formed on the issue. “No,” was Shah’s firm response to a question from The Indian Express on whether the BJP-led government was considering the option of advancing elections.TheLokSabhaelections are due next summer and there have been suggestions that they may be clubbed with a clutch of Assembly elections slated in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarhlaterthisyear,especially with Prime Minister Narendra Modi advocating simultaneous polls. In an interview to The Indian Express (page 6), Shah said: “The PM has put forth an idea (of simultaneouselections)beforethe country. And he has welcomed a ‘NO CHANCE OF A FRACTURED VERDICT’ FULL INTERVIEW, PAGE 6 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Mallya loses assets case to Indian banks in UK court ADITI KHANNA NIRUPAMA SUBRAMANIAN CHENNAI, MAY 8 “WHY DID they kill my little brother? He never hurt anyone,” criedSangeethaassheembraced thefreezerboxinwhich22-yearold R Thirumani’s body was brought home from Srinagar. On Monday, Thirumani, who was travelling with his parents 10 Banks hope to recover over $1.5 bn from him LONDON, MAY 8 EMBATTLED LIQUOR tycoon Vijay Mallya, who is undergoing an extradition trial in a UK court over fraud and money-laundering charges levelled by Indian authorities, Tuesday lost a lawsuit filed by 13 Indian banks in the UK High Court seeking to collect from him more than US$ 1.55 billion. Judge Andrew Henshaw refused to overturn a worldwide order freezing Mallya’s assets andupheldanIndiancourt’sruling that a consortium of 13 Indianbankswereentitledtorecoverfundsamountingtonearly The father of R Thirumani reaches Chennai with his son’s body Tuesday. The youth died in Srinagar Monday after the family, visiting Kashmir, was attacked by stone-pelters. PTI ‘A few men gone wild killed my son... CM asked for forgiveness’ public debate on this. This issue will progress further only after a law is enacted and all parties extend support. The Election Commission will also have to hear it. Only then can this thing move forward.” Shah said: “If all political parties unite tomorrow, it can be done tomorrow. 1.145 billion pounds. The victory for the banks will enable them to enforce the Indian judgment against Mallya’s assets in England and Wales. The worldwide freeze prevents Mallya from removing any assets from England and Wales upto that value or to dispose of, deal with or diminish the value of his assets in or outside this jurisdiction upto the same value. What you have done is sheer contempt, CJI bench to Centre over Cauvery delay Died hours after a stone hit him on the head. PTI MORE REPORTS PAGE 5 PM gift for Nepal: Bus to Ayodhya from Janakpur WORLD SHUBHAJIT ROY NEW DELHI, MAY 8 CALLING IT ONE-SIDED, TRUMP WALKS OUT OF IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL MAHARASHTRA P3 ● DUMMY CANDIDATE RACKET: TWO MORE ARRESTED CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 toaresortinGulmarg,washiton the left of his head by a stone during a protest at Narbal on the outskirts of Srinagar. He was admitted to a hospital where he succumbed to injuries. Late Tuesday, his body lay on the porch, just outside the front door of their house at Muthapudupet in Avadi, a Chennaisuburb.Hiselderbrother Ravikumar stood there silently. He had not accompanied the IN HIS third visit in four years to Nepal on May 11-12, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to announce a direct bus service between Janakpur in Nepal and Ayodhya in India, both key places in the Ramayana tourism circuit. A development project for Janakpur, with India providing financial and developmental assistance, may also be announced. The move to connect the birthplaces of Ram and Sita is set to appeal to the BJP’s core constituency as the country heads to Lok Sabha elections next year. Besides Janakpur, Modi will also travel to Muktinath temple, a revered site for the Sri Vaishnava sect, which holds the key to election results in parts of Karnataka. Modi is scheduled to visit the temple on the morning of May 12, when Karnataka is set to vote. Modi and Nepal’s Prime Minister K P Oli are also scheduled to jointly inaugurate the Arun-III, a 900 MW power project. This is Modi’s third visit as Prime Minister — he visited the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 family on the Kashmir vacation. All through the journey back from Srinagar, Thirumani’s mother Selvi had not been told that her son had died. She had been injured in the incident, too, and needed stitches on her ear. Today, she cried wordlessly. Thirumani’s father Rajavel, who works at the Avadi Ordnance Factory, said the incident took place on the third day CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 TICKING OFF the Centre that it was in “sheer contempt” of court by not acting on the ruling on the Cauvery river water matter, the Supreme Court Tuesday directed the Secretary, Ministry for Water Resources, to appear before it on May 14 with the draft of the Cauvery management scheme drawn up by the Union government. “By now, the authority shouldhaveframedthescheme.It can’t go on like this. What you have done is sheer contempt,” a three-judgebenchofChiefJustice ofIndiaDipakMisraandJusticesA M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud told Attorney General K K Venugopal when he soughtmoretime,onbehalfofthe Centre, to finalise the draft scheme. In its February 16 verdict, the Supreme Court had asked the CentretoframetheCauverymanagement scheme, which also includescreatingtheCauverymanagementboard,withinsixweeks for smooth release of water from Karnataka to Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry. It had said the deadline would not be extended. 8 THEEDITORIAL PAGE “Wedonotwanttocomeback tosquareone.Oncethejudgment has been delivered, it has to be implemented,” the bench said as the Centre sought more time to implement the order. TheCJIpointedoutthatthere were drinking water problems etc that needed to be addressed and told the Attorney General “you can’t abdicate your obligation... It’s your duty to implement the scheme”. Senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, appearing for the Tamil Nadu government, told the bench that “we have been taken for a ride by the Centre on one pretext or another”. Venugopal said the draft was before the Cabinet but had not been ratified yet as the Prime Minister and others were busy with the Karnataka assembly elections. The issue was a very sensitive oneandhadevenledtoriotsinthe past, Venugopal said, adding that this was one reason why the Centrehadsoughttimetoimplement it after the elections. Naphadesoughttoknowifthe government was afraid of implementing the Supreme Court order fearing violence. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 A curious friendship BY CHRISTOPHE JAFFRELOT & HAIDER ABBAS RIZVI PALGHAR LOK SABHA BYPOLLS Shiv Sena names late BJP MP’s son, Fadnavis fields Congress turncoat SHUBHANGI KHAPRE MUMBAI, MAY 8 THE SHIV Sena on Tuesday fielded Srinivas Wanga, son of late BJP MP Chintaman Wanga, as its candidate for the Palghar Lok Sabha bypoll in Maharashra. Hours later, the BJP announced former Congress minister Rajendra Gavit as its candidate - setting the stage for a bitter showdown between the two alliance partners in the state. The Palghar bypoll, scheduled on May 28, was necessitated following the death of Chintaman Wanga in January. Last Thursday, Wanga's wife Jayashree Chintaman Wanga and two sons — Srinivas and Prafulla — had joined Sena, alleging injustice by the BJP. Following this, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had said that BJP was considering to field Wanga's family members for the bypoll. He had alleged that the decision was conveyed to Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, who had then said his party won't field a candidate. Gavit, a tribal leader, formally joined the BJP at the party headquarters in Mumbai in the presence of Fadnavis. Speaking to mediapersons, Fadnavis said on Tuesday: "Come what may, we will win the elections... The BJP's victory will be a real tribute to Chintaman Wanga." On BJP fielding a Congress candidate, Fadnavis said: "The BJP has always inducted and promoted good candidates. Gavit is a senior tribal leader, who is committed to the development of the tribal belt. He had played an important role in the creation of Palghar district." CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ● PAGE ONE ANCHOR IN POCKETS OF WEST BENGAL, SAFFRON AND RED QUIETLY SHARE SPACE RAVIK BHATTACHARYA KOLKATA, MAY 8 THEY ARE bitter rivals, locked in a violent turf war in Kerala, sparing no opportunity to display their contempt for each other on every forum across the country. But in pockets of West Bengal, where the panchayat polls will be held on May 14, saffron and red are quietly sharing space to face a common enemy — the blue of Mamata Banerjee’s TMC. In Nadia district, 130 km north of Kolkata, election graffiti on walls have the lotus symbol of the BJP and the hammer-and-sickle of CPM on the same side along with the names of candidates and a common appeal. One such image at Mollahad village in Karimnagar seeks votes for Sumitra Mondol of CPM in the gram panchayat, and Bikas Mondol and Ajit Roy of BJP for the panchayat samiti and zilla parishad. It’s not just graffiti. In Burdwan’s Purbashali, BJP leaders claim that local CPM leaders have even invited them to take partin“smalljointprotestrallies” against the Trinamool. On April 28,ataprotestrallyinRanaghat’s Majhergram village, CPM MLA Rama Biswas and party workers were seen walking with BJP workers and leaders. “It was a spontaneousprotestrallybypeople. Apart from BJP and CPM, Congressworkerstoowerepresent,” said Biswas. In Nadia, BJP and CPM leaders admit that some of their workersare“joininghandsatthe grassroots level”. They say this is needed to counter “Trinamool’s terror”,especiallywhenthepolls have been postponed once followingallegationsof violenceby the ruling party. “For people at the grassroots level, it is practical for all parties tojoinhandsagainstTrinamool’s terror.SincetheBJPhasemerged as the biggest opposition, many are coming to us from different parties, including CPM. In Purbasthali, CPM leaders are calling us for joint protests. This time, despite the terror and attacks, we have been able to file nominations in over 25,000 gram panchayat seats and Poll graffiti at Mollahad village in Karimnagar, Nadia around 30,000 seats overall,” saidSayantanBasu,BJPstatesecretary. “Our party line is clear. We are maintaining equal distance from the Trinamool and the BJP. Butitistruethatinafewpockets, ourpeoplearejoininghands.We are trying to talk to them and make them understand. But this is because of the unprecedented violence and reign of terror by the ruling party. In seats where we do not have candidates, we are supporting independents. Overall, the BJP and Trinamool are playing a game in Bengal, creating space for each other,” says Sujan Chakraborty, CPM central committee member. CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury dismissed suggestions of unofficial links with the BJP as “motivated rumours, canards and lies... being spread by TMC which has a deal with BJP on communal polarisation and on saving its corrupt”. Reacting to a report, Yechury posted in a series of tweets Tuesday on his official handle: “We categorically deny any such understanding and remain opposed to both the BJP and TMC... BJP and TMC are two sides of the same coin...” But local leaders on both sides say that apart from pocketsindistrictslikeBurdwan,East and West Midnapore, this unusual affinity is clear in Nadia — in areas like Karimpur, Tehatta, Ranaghat and Mahisbathan. In Karimpur block, out of 144 gram panchayatseats,BJPdidnotfield candidatesin37whereCPMand independentcandidatessubmitted nominations. “At the grassroots, it is a fight for survival. Therefore, political ideologieshavetakenabackseat. It’s not just the CPM, the Congress too has joined hands with us. In our protest rallies, CPM and Congress workers are seen together. This is because all the opposition supporters and leaders and their rallies are beingattackedbyTrinamoolworkers. Should our workers worry aboutideologyorsurvival?”said JagannathSarkar,BJP’sNadiadistrict president. According to Congress leaders, there is a separate “tacit understanding” between their party and the CPM, including in Malda and Murshidabad — both Congress strongholds. “It is true that in many places, CPM, BJP and Congress workers have entered into an understanding. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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