DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE MONDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2018, AHMEDABAD, LATE CITY, 16 PAGES `4.00, WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 VHP’S DHARMA SABHA IN DELHI ED SENT NOTICE TO FIRM NOV 29 EXPLAINED Law for Ram temple only option, those in power must keep promise: RSS’s Joshi LALMANI VERMA NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 9 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY Govt could have planned note ban better: Kotak TWO DAYS before Parliament meets in its Winter Session, RSS sarkaryavah Suresh ‘Bhaiyaji’ Joshi told a rally of Hindu religious leaders and their followers in Delhi that a law to build the Ram temple in Ayodhya was now the “only option”, and the “ruling dispensation” should deliver on its commitment. Hansdevacharya Maharaj, a prominent religious figure from Haridwar, told the gathering that the sants would not allow Narendra Modi to leave the post of Prime Minister before the BJP had fulfilled its promise to build the Ram temple. Sunday’s gathering was much bigger than the similar Dharma Sabhas that the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has organised in Nagpur, Ayodhya, Bengaluru, and E ● Both pressure, support The RSS, VHP and sants want to keep the pressure on the government as the Winter Session begins. The pledge by the participants at the Dharma Sabha to not let Narendra Modi leave before he has built the Temple, is a statement of support for him, even if put indirectly. VHP supporters on a bus in Delhi on Sunday. Abhinav Saha Mumbai in recent weeks to press for the construction of the temple in Ayodhya. The crowd, which senior Delhi Police officers said could be in the range of 1.5 lakh to 2 lakh-strong, choked the heart of the capital, and impacted traffic up to several kilometres from the venue of the rally in Ramlila Maidan. Participants wearing saffron caps and waving saffron flags climbed RELATED REPORT, PAGE 3 on to the roofs ofbuses, and raised slogans of“Jai Shri Ram” and “Ram Mandir wahin, Babri kahin nahi (Temple at the site, and no mosque)” both during the fourhour event and on the streets. In a democracy, “satta” (state power) is not supreme but it plays an important role, Suresh Joshi said in his speech to the Dharma Sabha. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 THE EDITORIAL PAGE MUMBAI, DECEMBER 9 GENDER EQUALITY TO FOOD SECURITY BY BINA AGARWAL PAGE 8 WORLD TRUMP SAYS JOHN KELLY WILL LEAVE AT END OF YEAR PAGE 10 GUJARAT THE DAY BEFORE DAY 5 BJP MP DEMANDS DALIT MEMBER IN PARTY PANEL PAGE 3 India’s Virat Kohli celebrates the dismissal of Australia's Peter Handscomb on the penultimate day of the first Test against Australia in Adelaide, Sunday. AP DETAILS, PAGE 14 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Bullet kills teen in Morbi clash EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE RAJKOT, DECEMBER 9 A TEENAGE BOY was killed by a stray bullet and three others, including a 12-year-old girl, sustained bullet injuries after two groups clashed over an old dispute in Kalika Plot area of Morbi town late on Saturday evening. Police said that the boy was hit People protest at Morbi police station, Sunday. M Ravi by a bullet while he was playing on the street. He died in a Rajkot hospital, hours after he was admitted there. Police, which have not filed any FIR in connection with the violence, denied any communal overtones linked to the incident and said that the clash was the result of hostilities between two families. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Cash in commercial properties takes real estate investment to 10-year high PRANAV MUKUL NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 9 PRIVATE EQUITY (PE) funds invested $7.1 billion in real estate in 2017 — the most in 10 years — despite the stress in the sector following the November 2016 demonetisation exercise and implementation of GST in PVT EQUITY INVESTMENT IN REAL ESTATE Year 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Number Amount of deals ($ billion) 162 72 116 118 83 72 7 1.3 2.9 4.6 2.1 2.3 Year Number Amount of deals ($ billion) 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018* 90 107 94 78 53 2.4 5.3 5.4 7.1 5.1 *Till Nov end; Source: Venture Intelligence CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 PAGE 1 ANCHOR Facing probe by UPA govt, Jignesh Shah’s firm rented farmhouse owned by Rahul, Priyanka Rental routine, UPA took decisive action against firm, Shah... Modi facing defeat, running smear campaign: Congress KHUSHBOO NARAYAN PRESS TRUST OF INDIA THE OUTCOME of the controversial demonetisation drive would have been “significantly better” if “simple things” like introducing Rs 2,000 currency notes were avoided, banker Uday Kotak has said. The executive vice chairman and managing director of the fourth largest private sector lender Kotak ‘Why would Mahindra you Bank has also introduce said small Rs 2,000 businesses are notes?’ File in a difficult situation at present, and has welcomed the government focus to revive the sector. On demonetisation, he said the outcomes would have been different if it was planned well. “I think we would have had Indira Gandhi farmhouse in Mehrauli, Delhi. Gajendra Yadav SUJALAM SUFLAM JAL SANCHAY ABHIYAN Holes in Gujarat’s water drive — no tenders, misuse of silt: Study AVINASH NAIR ANAND, DECEMBER 9 IN JUNE this year, after a monthlong water conservation campaign — Sujalam Suflam Jal Sanchay Abhiyan Yojana — had come to an end, the Gujarat government patted its back, saying that the Rs 345-crore campaign exceeded its target by 110 per cent. However, the preliminary findings of a study carried out by researches ofInternational Water Management Institute (IWMI), a global non-profit, scientific research organisation, has found glaring discrepancies in the campaign, ranging from politicians influencing the selection of sites for desilting, absence of tenders, misuse of excavated silt and disparity in wages paid to the workers under MGNREGA. The Sujalam Suflam Jal CM Rupani at one of the desilting sites in Rajkot. File IN GOVT’S CLAIM OF 110% RESULT TARGETED ACHIEVED 16,616 45,000 2,126 18,220 2.64 lakh 18,605 Number of works Workers employed JCBs/tractors used Sanchay Abhiyan Yojana was launched before the onset of monsoon by Chief Minister Vjay Rupani at Ankleshwar on May 1. The government had claimed that Sujalam Suflam Abhiyan was the “biggest water conservation drive” in the country that would help “tackle shortage of CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 MUMBAI, DECEMBER 9 RAISING QUESTIONS of propriety, Rahul Gandhi, then Congress vice president, and sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra rented their 4.69-acre farmhouse in Delhi to Jignesh Shah-promoted Financial Technologies (India) Ltd in early 2013 when the Congress-led UPA government was investigating National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL), a company promoted by FTIL, for alleged market irregularities. The rent agreement between FTIL and Rahul and Priyanka, is dated February 1, 2013, almost 10 months after NSEL received a show-cause notice for alleged violation of norms. The NSEL scam became public in July 2013 and the agreement was ended in October 2013, two months before the lease would have expired on December 31, 2013. Both FTIL and the Congress said that this was a routine busi- ness transaction. Responding to a questionnaire from The Indian Express, the Congress said that the UPA at the Centre and the Cong-NCP government in Maharashtra had, in fact, taken “decisive civil and criminal action” against FTIL, Shah and other entities associated with him. These included Shah’s arrest. On November 29, the Enforcement Directorate wrote to FTIL (now called 63 Moons Technologies Ltd) seeking details of its agreement with the Gandhis, The Indian Express has confirmed. Jignesh Shah-promoted FTIL signed an 11-month lease agreement to rent Indira Gandhi Farm House in Mehrauli at a monthly rent of Rs 6.7 lakh. FTIL also gave an “interest free deposit of Rs 40.20 lakh vide two separate cheques of Rs 20.10 lakh”, respectively to Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi. The company wanted to use the farmhouse as a guesthouse for its guests and CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 After a BJP MP backed accused, another takes aim at murdered SHO Wants police to probe cow slaughter AMIT SHARMA ‘Policemen posing a hindrance to CM’s dream’ MEERUT, DECEMBER 9 DAYS AFTER a BJP MP came out in support of the main accused in the killing of SHO Subodh Kumar Singh following a brutal attack by a mob over the alleged killing of cows in Bulandshahr, another MP from the party has chipped in, this time to point fingers at the slain policeman. Meerut MP Rajendra Agrawal told The Indian Express Sunday that the team investigating the violence last Monday should also check whether the SHO became a target because the station under his charge allegedly failed to check cow slaughter and cattle smuggling. “Whatever has happened in Bulandshahr on December 3 leading to the death of the Siana Station House Officer in mob lynching is highly deplorable. But the probe team should also include within its purview why EXPRESS NETWORK BULANDSHAHR POLICE OFFICER SHUNTED OUT IN LATEST GOVT MOVE PAGE 4 no action was taken by the SHO in connection with the FIR lodged regarding cow smuggling at the Siana police station before the violence,” Agarwal said. “If cow slaughter has been declared by UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath as a serious crime, then we will have to look into the working of police CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 How 1 Woman Reached Out To 500, Raised An Agro Company SHAJU PHILIP MALAPPURAM, DECEMBER 9 TILL ABOUT six years ago, Yasmin Arimbra was a school dropout who had never even been to a bank. Today, the 35year-old manages an agriculture produce company, helms a special school for differently abled children and is pursuing a graduate degree. But then, Yasmin’s story of change is not about her. It’s about how she took 500 other women along with her in this remark- able journey from conservative Thennala panchayat in Malappuram, a Muslim-majority district in north Kerala, to the headlines of the local newspapers. Yasmin is now the managing director of Thennala Agro Producing Company, which has 374 women farmers as shareholders who are engaged in paddy cultivation as well as marketing the “Thennala’’ brand of rice. “Many criticised me, asking whether a woman should engage in such activities. I did not bother about these protests from TRACKING CHANGE» EVERY MONDAY For all Change stories, log on to www.indianexpress.com/change Witness Change? Write to us at email@example.com orthodox elements in my community. Also, men from the villages under our panchayat scoffed at our paddy cultivation because they saw it as a lossmaking activity,” she says. These days, it’s not just the Yasmin Arimbra (right) with women farmers at Thennala in Malappuram. Their company produces, sells rice Shaju Philip “men from the villages” that are applauding Yasmin and her band of women. Says James George, deputy general manager, National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), Malappuram: “This achievement under the leadership of Yasmin is remarkable. From housewives, they have become farmers, entrepreneurs and decision makers of their company.” Yasmin traces the turning point to 2012, two years after she became a member of Kerala’s Kudumbrashree Mission, an umbrella collective of women self-help groups working with the state government for empowerment and poverty eradication. “In 2012, I was elected chairperson of the panchayat-level unit under Kudumbashree. At the time, it had 500 women as members but none was engaged in any productive activity. Besides, with most of the men employed in the Middle East, the region had vast tracts of uncultivated paddy fields,’’ says Yasmin. “In early 2013, I took the women into the fields. Most of them were from BPL (below poverty line) families, and they were put into 126 clusters with each unit having four members. They were asked to take 1-3 acres of paddy field on lease from owners for cultivation,” she says. “By 2013, we had managed to get 126 acres of land... that grew to 522 acres. The project was backed by the local office of the Agriculture Department, the district office of NABARD and the Kudumbashree district mission,” says P Sarojini, another shareholder in the company. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
Indian Express Limited is an Indian news media publishing company. It publishes several widely circulated dailies, including The Indian Express and The Financial Express in English, the Loksatta in Marathi and the Jansatta in Hindi.