TheIndian EXPRESS LATE CITY, 16 PAGES, KOLKATA `5.00/EX-KOLKATA `6.00 (`12 IN NORTH EAST STATES & ANDAMAN) ● 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’ WEST BENGAL P3 ● ‘THERE IS PANIC’: CM SETS UP PANEL TO PROBE ROTTEN MEAT RACKET ● STF VISITS RFI TO RECREATE CRIME SCENE IN ARMS SMUGGLING CASE ANANTHAKRISHNAN G 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. The bench of Justices A K Sikri, S A Bobde, N V Ramana, Arun Mishra and A K Goel “dismissed” the plea of Partap Singh Bajwa and Amee Harshadray Yajnik “as withdrawn” after senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing for the two MPs, maintained he would not proceed with the matterif he wasnotgivenacopy of the order by which the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 the bench to remind Sibal that he had started with the caveat that his sole aim was to uphold the dignity of the judiciary and not to malign anyone and that hisrefusaltoarguethematteron meritscouldgivetheimpression that “there is something else” to the petition. “You must give me the order. Only then will I be able to decide whether I should proceed or not...Yourlordshipsmusttellme who constituted the bench and give me a copy of that order so that I can challenge it,” Sibal said as Justice Sikri told him “this will leadnowhere.Youmustproceed on merit”. “It can’t be a secret order,” Sibal said. “If you want to proceed, argue on merits,” Justice Sikri told him. “In that case, I will withdraw the petition,” Sibal replied. Openinghisarguments,Sibal said the Chief Justice of India, who is the Master of the Roster, could not have allotted it to a five-judge bench by means of an administrative order. But this was opposed by Attorney GeneralKKVenugopal—hewas appearing for Venkaiah Naidu — who cited judicial precedents to underline that the CJI had the power.Thebenchalsoremarked that there did not appear to be anyexplicitprovisioninlawpreventing the CJI from listing it directly before a Constitution Bench. On Monday, the petition was mentioned before a bench of CONTINUEDONPAGE2 Shah rules out early Lok Sabha polls, says consensus a must for joint elections ANANTHAKRISHNAN G NEW DELHI, MAY 8 RAVISH TIWARI BENGALURU, MAY 8 BJP PRESIDENT Amit Shah Tuesday dismissed suggestions that the 2019 Lok Sabha polls may be advanced and indicated thatsimultaneouselectionsmay 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-ledgovernmentwasconsidering the option of advancing elections. The Lok Sabha elections 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 Chhattisgarh later this year, especially with Prime Minister Narendra Modi advocating simultaneous polls. In an interview to The Indian Express(page6),Shahsaid:“The PM has put forth an idea (of simultaneous elections) before the country. And he has welcomed a public debate on this. This issue will progress further onlyafteralawisenactedandall parties extend support. The Election Commission will also havetohearit.Onlythencanthis thing move forward.” Shah said: “If all politicalpar- ‘NO CHANCE OF A FRACTURED VERDICT’ FULL INTERVIEW, PAGE 7 DECISION 2018 KARNATAKA BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY ‘A few men gone wild killed my son... CM asked for forgiveness’ CHENNAI, MAY 8 CONTINUEDONPAGE2 Mallya loses assets case to Indian banks in UK court ADITI KHANNA 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 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 NIRUPAMA SUBRAMANIAN ties unite tomorrow, it can be done tomorrow. It requires an amendment to the RP Act (The order freezing Mallya’s assets andupheldanIndiancourt’sruling that a consortium of 13 Indianbankswereentitledtorecoverfundsamountingtonearly 1.145 billion pounds. Thevictoryforthebankswill enable them to enforce the CONTINUEDONPAGE2 What you have done is sheer contempt, CJI warns Centre over Cauvery delay “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 toaresortinGulmarg,washiton 13 Died hours after a stone hit him on the head. PTI MORE REPORTS PAGES 6, 10 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 EXPRESS NETWORK P4 ● Jaitley: Cong’s impeachment motion against CJI misconceived 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 family on the Kashmir vacation. All through the journey back 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 AyodhyainIndia,bothkeyplaces intheRamayanatourismcircuit. A development project for Janakpur, with India providing financial and developmental assistance,mayalsobeannounced. The move to connect the birthplacesof RamandSitaisset to appeal to the BJP’s core constituency as the country heads to Lok Sabha elections next year. Besides Janakpur, Modi will alsotraveltoMuktinathtemple,a revered site for the Sri Vaishnava sect, which holds the key to election results in parts of Karnataka. Modiisscheduledtovisitthetemple on the morning of May 12, whenKarnatakaissettovote. 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 neighbouring country in August and November 2014. OnMay11,Modiisscheduled CONTINUEDONPAGE2 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 of their Kashmir tour, soon after theysetoutforsightseeinginthe morning. CONTINUEDONPAGE2 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 should have framed the scheme. It can’t go on like this. What you have done is sheer contempt,” a three-judge bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud told Attorney General K K Venugopal when he sought more time, on behalf of the Centre, to finalise the draft scheme. In its February 16 verdict, the Supreme Court had asked the Centre to frame the Cauvery management scheme, which also includes creating the Cauvery management board, within six weeks for smooth release of water from Karnataka to Tamil Nadu, Kerala and 8 THEEDITORIAL PAGE Puducherry.Ithadsaidthedeadline would not be extended. “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 one and had even led to riots in the past, Venugopal said, adding that this was one reason why the Centre had sought time to implement it after the elections. Naphade sought to know if the government was afraid of CONTINUEDONPAGE2 A curious friendship BY CHRISTOPHE JAFFRELOT & HAIDER ABBAS RIZVI BENGAL PANCHAYAT ELECTIONS Accept nomination papers sent via email, high court tells SEC EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE 18SEATSINBIRBHUMNOLONGER‘UNCONTESTED’ THE CALCUTTA High Court on Tuesday directed the State Election Commission (SEC) to accept nomination of panchayat poll aspirants sent via email within the extended April 23 deadline. The court, which was hearing a CPM petition, specified that its order pertained only to the names listed in the party’s petition. Kolkata:FollowingtheCalcutta High Court order to the SEC on acceptingnominationsof CPM workers sent via email, Birbhum zilla parishad, which was won unopposed by the Trinamool Congress, will now see a contest for 18 seats. CPM leader Ramchandra Dom said, “It is an unprecedented verdict which has opened doors for our candi- KOLKATA, MAY 8 CONTINUEDONPAGE2 datestoparticipateinthepolls.” Trinamool Congress Birbhum president Anubrata Mondalsaid,“Wehavealready received certificates from SEC that we have won all the seats in the zilla parishad uncontested. Now, we have no idea what the legal complexities will be... But how can there be an election if we have won the seats uncontested?” ENS ● 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 part in “small joint protest rallies” against the Trinamool. On April 28, at a protest rally in Ranaghat’s Majhergram village, CPM MLA Rama Biswas and party workers were seen walking with BJP workers and leaders. “It was a spontaneous protest rally by people. Apart from BJP and CPM, Congress workers too were present,” 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 Poll graffiti at Mollahad village in Karimnagar, Nadia gram panchayat seats and 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. “Itistruethatinmanyplaces, CPM, BJP and Congress workers have entered into an understanding. This is apart from the unofficial understanding CONTINUEDONPAGE2
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