DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE THURSDAY, JANUARY 24, 2019, AHMEDABAD, LATE CITY, 22 PAGES IAF worry: In next two years, only 26 fighter squadrons, short by 16 SUSHANT SINGH NEW DELHI, JANUARY 23 IN ANOTHER two years, the IAF will be left with an alarmingly low 26 squadrons of fighter aircraft against an authorisation of 42 — even if all the scheduled supplies, including of Rafale and Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas, are completed on time. Around the same time, the Pakistan Air Force will have 25 fighter squadrons while China’s PLA Air Force is estimated to have the capacity to bear 42 squadrons against India. The Indian Express has reviewed official documents, which show that while the IAF currently has 30 fighter squadrons, the number will slip to 26 in 2021 and 2022. By then, six squadrons of the old Soviet-era MIG aircraft will be decommissioned, and only one squadron of the French Rafale and another of the HALmanufactured LCA Tejas will be additionally inducted. The number is projected to rise to 30 by 2027, with four more squadrons of LCA Tejas. The contract for these 83 LCA Tejas Mark1A is yet to be signed between the IAF and HAL. At current projections, documents show, the number of fighter squadrons will come down to 21 by 2037 and 19 by 2042. To offset the shortfall, the plan is to have 18 squadrons of LCA Tejas Mark1 and Mark2, and six squadrons of a foreign fighter aircraft for which an initial inquiry was issued last year. IAF spokesperson, Group CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 `8 lakh income sole criterion for 10% EWS quota in Gujarat EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE Cabinet meet under CM Vijay Rupani finalised modalities GANDHINAGAR, JANUARY 23 THE BJP government in Gujarat has decided to keep the upper cap of Rs 8 lakh annual family income as the sole criterion to avail the 10 per cent reservation in higher education and government jobs for the economically weaker sections (EWS) among the general category. The government had earlier announced to implement the quota from January 14. At a cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, in Gandhinagar on Wednesday, the government finalised the modalities for implementation of the 10 percent EWS reserva- INSIDE REVENUE DEPT LISTS DOS AND DON’TS OF USING SOCIAL MEDIA P 3 tion in the state. Notably, the Centre’s law on the 10 per cent EWS quota has made others ceiling provisions for availing quota benefits besides Rs 8 lakh annual family income. As CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 `4.00, WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 PRIYANKA NAMED AICC GEN SECY IN CHARGE OF EAST UP, SCINDIA OF WEST THE EDITORIAL PAGE Rahul gets sister organisation Sign of party chief’s failure and family’s chokehold: BJP MANOJ C G & MAULSHREE SETH NEW DELHI, AMETHI, RAE BARELI, JANUARY 23 ENDING THEprotracted will-shewon’t-she speculation within and outside the Congress — one also fuelled by the family — Priyanka Gandhi Vadra Wednesday formally joined her party’s politics, the eighth member ofthe NehruGandhi family to do so. Congress president Rahul Gandhi appointed her AICC general secretary for Uttar Pradesh East signalling the party’s intention to go all out in this year’s Lok Sabha elections in the crucial Hindi heartland state. Drawing a cricketing analogy, Rahul said the Congress would no longer “play on the back foot.” Priyanka, significantly, will manage party affairs in eastern Uttar Pradesh that accounts for around 40 Lok Sabha seats and is a BJP stronghold that includes the Varanasi constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Gorakhpur, the home turf of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Modi and Yogi are two key pivots of the BJP’s election machinery that hopes to repeat 2014 against the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party combine announced last week. For organisational purposes, the Congress divided UP into two and appointed Jyotiraditya Scindia as general secretary in charge of the other half — the Western region. Having lost the Chief Ministerial race in Madhya Pradesh to Kamal Nath, it was always expected that Scindia would land a key organisational role. And getting one on par with Priyanka certainly boosts his LIZ MATHEW NEW DELHI, JANUARY 23 Sonia waited for Rahul Gandhi to establish himself, induct his sister rather than impose her on the party. Express file THE BJP on Wednesday said Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s entry into active politics was an indication of Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s “failure” and the party’s “dynastic politics”. Hours after the Congress’s announcement, while interacting with party workers from Maharashtra, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said: “Family is party for some parties, but for the BJP, party is the family”. While BJP leaders, in their official reactions, targeted “dynastic politics” in the Congress, some of them privately admitted that her entry would “alter the optics in favour of theCongress at the national level”. Responding to a question on how the BJP could be projected as a party with a difference during his video conference with NOT THE EVM AGAIN BY S Y QURAISHI PAGE 10 Jaitley return may be delayed, Goyal to fill in CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Arun Jaitley, Piyush Goyal GOVT & POLITICS New X-factor in 2019, signal to UP voter that Congress risking its big trump card MANOJ C G NEW DELHI, JANUARY 23 ON THE GROUND, YET TO SINK IN PAGE 9 THE EDITORIAL PAGE SHE WILL HAVE TO ANSWER: WHERE IS YOUR CV? PAGE 10 stock. Priyanka, who is abroad now, is expected to take charge in the first week of February. Ghulam Nabi Azad, who was AICC general secretary in charge of UP, was reassigned to Haryana. “The Congress party is fighting a battle of ideology. The Congress is not going to play on CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 FOR the record, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra routinely denied any interest in a role larger than helping brother Rahul and mother Sonia work in their Lok Sabha seats Amethi and Rae Bareli. But with SP and BSP keeping it out of the alliance and the BJP announcing 10% quota for the unreserved poor, the Congress had to think out of the box — to stay in the game. Party insiders said that after the tri-state triumph, leaders had urged Rahul Gandhi to do “something” in UP. He is said to have assured them of a “440-Volt jolt.” How electrifying Priyanka’s induction will be is anybody’s guess but two things are clear: BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY One, her entry has told the UP voter that the Congress is serious about its fight in the state, against the BJP and in the face of the SP-BSP combine, so serious that it has risked its biggest trump card; two, it has told the voter outside UP that the stakes for Rahul have gone up with another Gandhi at the Congress’s high table. For the Congress, eastern UP isn’t exactly friendly terrain. Ofthe 21 seats it had won in 2009, 15 were from eastern UP but in 2014, it drew a blank except for the two family seats. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Varanasi and Yogi Adityanath’s Gorakhpur will be under her watch. Many in the party feel that as Sonia Gandhi, battling ill health, prepares to withdraw, her 47year-old daughter is the one to CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, JANUARY 23 SIGNALLING THAT Arun Jaitley’s return from the US, where he is undergoing treatment, could be delayed, President Ram Nath Kovind has temporarily allocated the Finance Ministry to Piyush Goyal, who is currently Minister of Railways and Coal. In a communique issued Wednesday, Rashtrapati Bhavan stated that Jaitley has been designated as “Minister without portfolio” until he is able to “resume” work. Jaitley had left for the US after the winter session of Parliament CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 WORLD 6 INDIANS DEAD, 6 MISSING IN FIRE ON SHIPS OFF RUSSIA P 14
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