DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA MONDAY, JANUARY 7, 2019, PUNE, LATE CITY, 14 + 4 (NEWSLINE) PAGES JOURNALISM OF COURAGE `5.00 WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 Rajnath gets manifesto, Jaitley publicity duty in BJP’s collective front for LS polls Party shows has sabka saath, senior leadersget signal LIZ MATHEW NEW DELHI, JANUARY 6 Post threats, Marathi conclave withdraws invite to Nayantara STEPPINGUPitspreparationsfor the Lok Sabha polls, the BJP Sunday appointed Home Minister Rajnath Singh chairman of its manifesto committee and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was named the head of the publicity committee. TransportMinisterNitinGadkari will lead a team to coordinate with social and non-governmental organisations. After giving senior leaders key election responsibilities in the states, the BJP also announced Sunday 17 groups ahead of the 2019 polls, with an emphasis on communication. Signalling that the crucial elections will be fought with cooperation from all leaders, party president Amit Shah has distrib- A Delhi BJP Dalit outreach, with “5,000-kg samrasta khichdi”, in the Capital on Sunday. Prem Nath Pandey PAGE4 uted responsibility to almost all senior and key leaders. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has been given chargeof thecontentgeneration team,LawMinisterRaviShankar Prasadwilloverseetheactivities of the media group. The social mediacommitteewillbeheaded by party secretary Shyam Jaju, WHILE UNDERSCORING that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has touched various sections of society with its welfare schemes and programmes, the new appointments have signalled that the BJP now wants its senior leaders to fully engage in communicating this to the electorate in the run-up to the LS polls. The BJP leadership has also tried to ensure that a wide cross-section of society is represented in the committees for the elections to emphasise its campaign slogan of sabka saath, sabka vikas. whoalsoleadsthegroupforpublicity material distribution. The Rajnath Singh-led manifestocommitteehasUnionministers Arun Jaitley, Nirmala Sitharaman, Thaawar Chand Gehlot, Ravi Shankar Prasad, Piyush Goyal, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, K J Alphons, Kiren Rijiju, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Nayantara Sehgal was to inaugurate event on Jan 11 Get citizenship Bill or Assam BJP should prepare goes to Jinnahs: BJP’s Sarma to contest all 48 seats VIVEK DESHPANDE ABHISHEK SAHA DAYS BEFORE the inauguration of the 92nd Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan at Yavatmal, the organising committeeonSundayrevokeditsinvite to noted English litterateur Nayantara Sehgal. Sehgal (91), a Sahitya Akademi awardee, was invited toinauguratethethree-dayconclave on January 11 more than a monthagoandshehadaccepted the same. On Sunday, the organisers announced that she had been requested not to come “as they were unable to fulfil their commitment to have her at the function due to some unavoidable reasons”. The organisers said that the threat issued by somelocalactiviststhroughmedia to disrupt the proceedings had forced them to take the call. The conclave is being organised jointly by Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Mahamandal and Yavatmal’s Dr V B Kolte Sanshodhan Kendra Ani Vachanalay — the local organisers of the event. While Chief MinisterDevendraFadnaviswill preside over the inaugural function, local BJP MLA Madan Yerawar is the chairman of the welcomingcommittee.Theconclave is to be presided over by poet Aruna Dhere. Somedissentingvoiceswere being heard from some quarters against holding of the conclave at Yavatmal. Leading the charge was Devanand Pawar, a Congress leader and a farm SENIOR ASSAM minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Sunday that if the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, which is opposed in the state by large sections, is not passed, Assam will go to the “Jinnahs”. “People are concerned that wearetryingtobringsomebody (outsiders), which is false. Without that Bill, we are surrendering ourselves to the philosophy of Jinnah... This is a fight betweenJinnah’slegacyandIndia’s legacy,” Sarma, the BJP’s Northeast face, said at a press conference here. The Bill essentially proposes to make minority (or nonMuslim) immigrants from three neighbouring countries, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, eligible for Indian citizenship. The Centre is set to bring the Bill before Parliament, andspeakinginSilcharonFriday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi calledit“atonement” of themis- NAGPUR, JANUARY 6 CONTINUEDONPAGE2 EXPRESS NETWORK TEJASHWI MENDS FENCES WITH TEJ PRATAP AHEAD OF SEAT TALKS TODAY PAGE 4 in Maharashtra: CM Will win 40 LS seats even without alliance, says Shah; Sena hits back GUWAHATI, JANUARY 6 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE MUMBAI, JANUARY 6 A protest against BJP over the Citizenship Amendment Bill, in Guwahati Sunday. PTI CENTRENOTIFIESPANEL4 takes of Partition. TheBillisseentobeviolating the 1985 Assam Accord that, simply put, says that any immigrantwhocameintothestateafter the midnight of March 24, 1971, would be identified as a foreigner. Asked about this on Sunday, Sarma said, “Let the AssamAccordbeviolated,butlet us not go to Jinnah. You have to In Odisha, how a jobs revolution is giving rural poor a fresh start SAMPAD PATNAIK BHUBANESWAR, JANUARY 6 IT TOOK Poonam Kumari three months to turn her life around from an unemployed high school graduate to an internationally awarded coffee ‘brewmaster’. And it started when her father, a truck driver, decided to move his family to Odisha from Bokaro in Jharkhand. InKhordhadistrict’sJatni,she heard about the state government’s skill programme under the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushal Yojana (DDUGKY). She trained for three monthsin2015incoffeemaking and currently earns Rs 20,000 a month at a Café Coffee Day in Thane. Mother to a ten-monthold baby, she plans to enrol all TRACKING CHANGE» EVERY MONDAY For all Change stories, log on to www.indianexpress.com/change Witness Change? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org her four siblings in Odisha’s skill development centres under DDU-GKY. A 2014 rural youth employmentschemeundertheMinistry of Rural Development (MoRD), the DDU-GKY has been spearheading a quiet revolution in Odisha. Poonam is one example amongthousandswhoseskilldevelopment has helped the state win the best performer under DDU-GKY for two years in a row. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 determine between the Assam Accord and Jinnah. Which way will you go?” When a reporter asked if he meant Muslims by “Jinnah”, he replied that he had said “Jinnah” and not named any community. Sarma added, “The Bill itself will strengthen us, but rumours are being spread about it. If the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 AMID GROWING uncertainty over a pre-poll alliance with the Shiv Sena, BJP national president AmitShahandMaharashtraChief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Sundayaskedpartyworkerstobe preparedtocontesttheLokSabha polls solo in the state. While interacting with party workers in Latur, Fadnavis said, “We(BJP)shouldnowprepareto contest all 48 seats.” Shah, who was presiding over the meeting, told workers: “TheBJPwillgoontowin40(out of the 48 seats) in Maharashtra even without an alliance.” “Yuti hogi toh saathi ko jeetayenge, nahin toh patak denge (If the alliancematerialises, we will ensure victory for their candidates,otherwisewewilltrounce Accidental PM: Firm tied to director faces UK tax fraud charges them),” he added. In the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the BJP had contested 26 seats in Maharashtra, leaving the remaining 22 for the Sena. While the BJP had won 22 seats, Sena had won 18. “Even if the alliance (with Shiv Sena) does not happen, we will win 40 seats,” Fadnavis reiterated. Late evening, Shiv Sena, in an official statement, said: “Let therebeafight.Maharashtrawill show them (BJP) their place.” The statement, which was attributedtoapartyspokesperson, added, “The BJP national president’sarrogantremarkshaveexposed his party’s stand. It is now clear (to us) that the BJP does not want to ally with those who believe in Hindutva.” It further contended that the “tongues of BJP leaders had begun slipping” ever since Shiv CONTINUEDONPAGE2 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY KHUSHBOO NARAYAN MUMBAI, JANUARY 6 VRG DIGITAL Corporation Pvt Ltd, a company linked to Vijay Ratnakar Gutte, the director of the film The Accidental Prime Minister, is not only facing charges of violating Indian tax laws but also allegedly indulged in “circuitous transactions” with afewdomesticfirmsto“defraud” the British Film Institute and claim tax rebates in the United Kingdom, according to court filings seen by The Indian Express. The British Film Institute is the principal agency for certification of a film as British. Under the UK Creative Industry Tax Reliefs, the British government allows up to 25 per cent tax concession for films qualifying as Still from film. Release Jan 11 British films. To qualify as one, production companies should bewithintheUKcorporationtax netand at least 10 per cent of the expenditure in making the film should be spent in the UK. The tax relief is available on the actual expenditure incurred in the UK or 80 per of total filmmaking expenses, whichever is lower. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 THE EDITORIAL PAGE CARRYOVERS FROM 2018 BY VIKRAM MEHTA PAGE 8 FARMER DISTRESS Cane arrears up to Rs 11,000 cr, set to mount before polls In UP, Maharashtra, sugar mill owners fail to pay farmers govt-fixed prices PARTHA SARATHI BISWAS & HARISH DAMODARAN MAHARASHTRA PUNE, NEW DELHI, JANUARY 6 HARDLY TWO months into the start of crushing operations for the new sugar season, mills in Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra have piled up almost Rs 11,000 crore in payment dues to farmers. The arrears could peak towardsApril,justwhenvotingfor the ensuing Lok Sabha elections takes place. The two states account for almost 75 per cent of the sugarcane grown in the country. According to the latest data from the Maharashtra government’s Commissionerate of Sugar, mills in the state, as on December 31, were to have paid growers Rs 7,450.90 crore for cane at the “fair and remunerativeprice”orFRPof aboutRs245 per quintal declared by the Centre for the 2018-19 season (average rate, after deducting harvestingandtransportcharges from field). But they had only managed to pay Rs 2,875.37 crore, which translates into arrears of Rs 4,575.53 crore. It is worse in Uttar Pradesh, where mills are still to pay Rs 1,770.18 crore out of the total Rs 35,463.68 crore value of cane supplied by farmers in the 201718 season (October-September). PAWAR WARNS OF ‘MASS REVOLT’ PAGE 3 BITTER HARVEST MAHARASHTRA ■ Mills were to pay Rs 7,450 crore by Dec 31 ■ Managed to pay Rs 2,875 cr UTTAR PRADESH ■ Till Jan 4, mills bought cane worth Rs 10,000 cr ■ Arrears so far at Rs 6,123 cr For the current season, they have, till January 4, bought cane worth Rs 10,051.02 crore at the stategovernment’saveragestate “advised” price or SAP of around Rs 320 per quintal. Out of this, they were to pay Rs 7,210.11 crore within the stipulated 14day period from the date of cane CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Clock ticking, Naga talks stuck for long over issue of symbols SUSHANT SINGH NEW DELHI, JANUARY 6 AS THE tenure of the NDA government at the Centre nears completion, there is no progress on negotiations for a peace accordwithNagaarmedgroups, with talks stuck for almost a year due to an intransigent position taken by the Naga side on ‘symbolic’ issues, such as a separate flag. As reported by The Indian Express on April 26, 2018, ‘substantive’ issues had been resolved between the two sides and a draft agreement was ‘almost ready’ by then. But a change in Naga position has led to apprehensions that any gains madesince2014willbelostwith a change in political dispensation at the Centre. Contacted by The Indian Express,theCentre’sinterlocutor and Deputy National Security Advisor, R N Ravi, said: “I would not like to comment on it as we are engaged with the peace process.” Ravi has been closely associated with negotiations with Naga groups for decades, first in various capacities as an Intelligence Bureau officer and later as the Centre’s interlocutor in July 2014. He signed the framework agreement with the NSCN-IM in August 2015. Sources said the current logjam is largely due to the Church, whichhastakenaleadroleinarticulating the Naga political position in the past year. The Church has argued that symbols are integral to the identity of the Nagas, and that Naga identity would not be safe without them. It is politically unviable for the Centre to accept demands such as a separate Naga flag, even though, sources said, it has agreed to guarantee protection of the Naga identity. But if these changes can be brought later through a democratic political process, the Centre would have no objection, sources explained. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 In Pak jail, a few good men, oil skimmed off food for sale fuelled Ansari’s hopes PAGE 1 ANCHOR SAGAR RAJPUT & TABASSUM BARNAGARWALA MUMBAI, JANUARY 6 HAMIDANSARIhastwored,velvet paper boxes that serve as reminders of his time in Pakistan. The hand-made boxes, now in a glass show-case in his suburban Mumbai drawing room, contain bracelets, a rosary, a pen and a keychain that he fashioned out of beads during his prison term. “I learnt it, just like cooking, in prison,” says Hamid, 33. Three weeks since returning to India after six years in jail for illegally entering Pakistan, he is just back after meeting friends. His oiled hairhasthinned,hiscomplexion darker than when he was 27, but the smile returns easily to his face. “A few days ago, I went to a friend’s place in Andheri. My mother kept calling to check on me,” he grins. Fauzia Ansari, 59, straightens in her chair. “I get restless every time he leaves the house,” she admits. In November 2012, the IT engineer and MBA graduate had left home saying he was going to KabulforajobinterviewatKabul airport. A week later, he had enteredPakistan,inthehopeof rescuing a 25-year-old Khattak tribal girl he had befriended via Facebook.Overvirtualchats,she had narrated that her parents were forcibly marrying her off, aspartof atribalpunishmentfor a crime by her male relatives. His visa denied, he had plannedtowait,butoncehewas in Kabul, his web friends in Pakistan told him hundreds crossed the border with ease every day. Hamid decided to enter Pakistan through Torkham, two hours from Kohat, where the young woman lived, shift her to a friend’s house, and return to Afghanistan in two days. On November 14, 2012, he wasarrested,andhandedoverto Military Intelligence and the ISI. Hewouldgoontobeimprisoned in a military jail in Peshawar for Hamid Ansari with his family on arrival in Mumbai. File three-and-a-half years. At the Peshawar prison, Hamid was in solitary confinement on charges of espionage. “They would make me stand for a week during interrogation and not allow me to sleep. Sometimes they would make me sit for days. I couldn’t digest myfood,Iwouldvomit,loseconsciousness,” he recollects. His underground cell was always dark. “I could not differentiate between day and night.” Father Nihal Ansari says they tried to lodge a missing person’s complaint at the Versova police station but were asked to wait three months, until his visa expired. “For three years, the Pakistangovernmentdidnotauthenticatehispresence,”hesays. There are many heroes in Hamid’s story: advocate Qazi Muhammad Anwar, advocate RakshandaNaz,aPakistanijour- nalist, activist Jatin Desai, perhaps even the girl he fell in love with—he’scertainsheplayedno role in informing the agencies. Advocate Naz told The Indian Express that she gave a statementinhisfavourwhenofficials visited her. Hamid never met her, however. In 2015, he was shifted to another military prison in Peshawar. Unknown to him, a Pakistanijournalistwastryingto tracehim,athismother’sbehest. In 2014, she visited all his friends inKohat,spoketothepolicemen who arrested him, and visited the girl’s house. The journalist filed an application with the Supreme Court’s Human Rights Cell on behalf of Fauzia. On August 19, 2015, days before the hearing, she was kidnapped in Lahore, to be found two years later, in 2017. Months after her disappearance, in December 2015, Hamid was presented at the military court. “I was given a defending lawyer but he backed off. I was handcuffed and blindfolded and left to defend myself. They did not even provide a paper and pen,” Hamid says. Meanwhile,Fauziacontinued toemailPakistaniofficials,visitthe Ministry of External Affairs and Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi. In 2015, she came across Advocate Qazi MuhammadAnwarandhumanrightsactivist advocate Rakshanda Naz. 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.