DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE MONDAY, JANUARY 7, 2019, KOLKATA, LATE CITY, 16 PAGES SINCE 1932 `5.00/EX-KOLKATA `6.00 (`12 IN NORTH EAST STATES & ANDAMAN) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM 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 EXPRESS NETWORK KHAIRA QUITS AAP, TO FLOAT NEW OUTFIT PAGE 7 THE EDITORIAL PAGE CARRYOVERS FROM 2018 BY VIKRAM MEHTA PAGE 8 Ready for CBI probe, people will teach BJP a lesson: Akhilesh MAULSHREE SETH LUCKNOW, JANUARY 6 A DAY after the CBI searched more than a dozen locations across Delhi and Uttar Pradesh in connection with an illegal mining case that allegedly involves Samajwadi Party leaders, former UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav Sunday said the BJP has shown its “true colours” and that the CBI can never help anyone win elections. Targeting the BJP, Akhilesh said that the CBI is being used to thwart the SP-BSP alliance in the state. “It is a question of just 100 days. After 100 days, all of us will be before the public. The CBI is not going to win an election for anyone.TheCBIisgoingtoaskus questions and we will answer but the public is going to decide andtheyarereadytoteachthem (BJP) lessons,” he said. Amid reports of an alliance without the Congress, Akhilesh said that the BJP was using the CBI just like the Congress did it in the past. “I am happy that the BJP has shown its true colours. I will get the chance to meet the CBI again. One chance was given by the Congress and now another chance has been given by the BJP,” he said. He said that an announcement on seat-sharing with the BSP will be made in about a week’s time. “What do we have? All we can do is enter an alliance andgobeforethepublic.Butthose whowanttostopus,whatdothey have?TheyhavetheCBI?”hesaid. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY 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 PAGE5 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 Get citizenship Bill or Assam Clock ticking, Naga goes to Jinnahs: BJP’s Sarma talks stuck for long over issue of symbols ABHISHEK SAHA GUWAHATI, JANUARY 6 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- SUSHANT SINGH NEW DELHI, 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 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 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 her four siblings in Odisha’s skill development centres under TRACKING CHANGE» EVERY MONDAY For all Change stories, log on to www.indianexpress.com/change Witness Change? Write to us at email@example.com 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. Last week, the Odisha Rural Development and Marketing Society (ORMAS), which oversees the scheme, was invited by theCentretobethefirstNational ResourceOrganisation(NRO)for skills. Official data show that Odishaby2017-18trained71,179 BPL rural youth over three years, of which 53,819 have been placed with different industries. InApril,Odishawasdeclaredthe best-performing state in the DDU-GKY for the same year among all states except “northeast and hilly region”. According to B N Das, Executive Director of ORMAS, youth trained and placed in Odisha were highest among all states,accountingfor25percent of the national target. “We are also the first state to have a full software tracking system for DDU-GKY implementation that monitors every aspect from attendance during training andtrackingcandidatesforupto one year after placement,” he CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ASTHEtenureoftheNDAgovernmentattheCentrenearscompletion, there is no progress on negotiationsforapeaceaccordwith Naga armed groups, with talks stuck for almost a year due to an intransigentpositiontakenbythe 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, the Centre’s interlocutor and Deputy National Security Advisor, R N Ravi, said: “I would not like to comment on it as we are engaged with the WORLD 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 wouldnotbesafewithoutthem. 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 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 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 croreinpaymentduestofarmers. The arrears could peak towards April,justwhenvotingfortheensuing 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). 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 delivery. But payments so far have been just Rs 2,857.03 crore, MUMBAI, JANUARY 6 PAGE 13 EXPRESS NETWORK SIGNAL TO SENA, FADNAVIS, SHAH HINT MAY GO ALONE PAGE 7 PAWAR WARNS OF ‘MASS REVOLT’ PAGE 5 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 with the resulting arrears at Rs 4,353.08 crore, and Rs 6,123.26 crore overall. In Maharashtra, as many as 74 of the 181 operational factories haven’t paid any money till now in the ongoing season. The bulk of these are in the southern districts of Kolhapur, Sangli and Satara,wherethesugarrecovery rates, at 12-13 per cent of cane crushed, are way above the state average of 11.25 per cent or so. “Normally, we pay the FRP as a first instalment to farmers within14daysof theirsupplying cane. Depending upon the factory’s earnings from sugar and CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Accidental PM: Firm tied to director faces UK tax fraud charges KHUSHBOO NARAYAN WHITE HOUSE, OPPN TRADE BLAME AS TALKS FAI TO END SHUTDOWN NEW TARGET IN CHINA’S CAMPAIGN AGAINST UIGHURS: THEIR THINKERS EXPRESS NETWORK 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 British films. To qualify as one, production companies should Still from film. Release Jan 11 bewithintheUKcorporationtax net and at least10 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. Aremandapplicationfiledby theDirectorateGeneralof Goods and Services Tax Intelligence (DGGSTI) in a local court said that VRG Digital Corporation, Bombay Casting Talent Management Pvt Ltd (BCTMPL), a Bohra Bros Group firm, and HorizonOutsourceSolutionsundertook circuitous transactions to show higher quantum of money invested by BCTMPL into The Accidental Prime Minister. Bohra Bros is one of the producers of the film. The transactions, according to the remand application, were undertaken to “defraud” the British Film Institute to access the tax rebate. Vijay Gutte, the son of sugar baron Ratnakar Gutte, was on the board of VRG Digital till November 2018. The DGGSTI had arrested Gutte on August 2 and he is currently out on bail. Contacted by The Indian Express, Gutte said the tax relief was claimed by submitting genuine papers and the producers have followed the necessary CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 In Pak jail, a few good men, oil skimmed off food fuelled Ansari’s hopes PAGE 1 ANCHOR SAGAR RAJPUT & TABASSUM BARNAGARWALA WEST BENGAL WILL RESIST IF GOVT TRIES TO FOIL STRIKE, SAY TRADE UNIONS MAMATA-AS-PM REMARKWAS SARCASTIC: DILIP PAGE 3 MUMBAI, JANUARY 6 HAMID ANSARI has two handmade velvet paper boxes as reminders of his time in Pakistan. Now kept in a show-case in his suburban Mumbai home, the boxescontainbracelets,arosary, 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 Hamid Ansari with his family on arrival in Mumbai. File 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 he smiles easily. “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 Kabulforajobinterview.Aweek later, he had entered Pakistan through Torkham, in the hope of 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. On November 14, 2012, Hamid was arrested, and handed over to Military Intelligence and the ISI. His first stint was in a military jail in Peshawar for three-and-a-half years, where he was kept 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 my food, I would vomit, lose consciousness,” he recollects. His underground cell was always dark. “I could not differentiate between day and night.” In 2015, he was shifted to another military prison in Peshawar. Unknown to him, a Pakistani journalistwastryingtotracehim by this time, at his mother’s behest.In2014,shevisitedthegirl’s house and then filed an application with the Supreme Court’s Human Rights Cell. On August 19, 2015, though, she was kidnappedinLahore,and remained missing for two years. 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,” Hamid says. Meanwhile, in 2015, Fouzia got in touch with Advocate Qazi Muhammad Anwar and human rights activist advocate Rakshanda Naz. In 2016, Hamid finally received his first-ever visitor at Peshawar Central Jail — Naz. She remembers his perplexed expression when she introducedherself.“Irealisedthere were people working for my cause,” he says. Eventually, Hamid’s prison life took a routine — the cell would be opened between 11 am and 2 pm. He would wash his utensils and clothes, cook and bathe. To earn money, he says, “Hum tadke ka tel jama karke bechte the (He would collect used oil from food and sell it to other prisoners).” 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.