DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2019, AHMEDABAD, LATE CITY, 20 PAGES Principal, VP quit after Gujarat college says no Mevani event EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE AHMEDABAD, FEBRUARY 11 A DAY after the management of the HK Arts College in Ahmedabad declined permission to use the college auditorium for an annual function where Vadgam independent MLA Jignesh Mevani was invited as chief guest, the incharge principal of the college, Hemantkumar Shah resigned on “moral grounds”. Shah tendered his resignation to the Brahmchari Wadi trust, which runs the college. He said there has been no response from the trust. Hours later, the college’s in-charge vice-principal, Mohanbhai Parmar resigned too, citing similar reasons. While Shah, currently head of the Economics department at HK Arts College, has worked for over 15 years, Parmar has been with the college for the last decade. Both were in-charge of their respective posts for the last four months. Speaking to The Indian Express, Shah said: “I am a lover of an individual’s freedom and not acted as a principal of the college. I received a letter from the trustees at 4 pm yesterday (Sunday) cancelling permission for today’s event. The only reason given to me for declining permission to use the auditorium was that it is due to the current political situation. But I want to ask, what is that situation?” The trust’s secretary, Ambrishbhai and a trustee Balkrishna Doshi could be contacted for comment. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Shah dials Uddhav who talks of old formula and more tickets for Sena House panel summons Twitter CEO, may call other platforms too KARISHMA MEHROTRA & LIZ MATHEW NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 11 THE PARLIAMENTARY Committee on Information Technology Monday decided to summon Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and top company officials to appear before it on February 25, it is learnt. The committee also resolved to summon officials from other social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp and other tech platforms on the issue of “Safeguarding Citizens Rights on Social/Online News Media Platforms”. The decision to summon top Twitter executives comes after the microblogging platform declined to send Dorsey or global executives to appear before the parliamentary committee Monday and sent instead officials from Twitter India. Sources said the parliamentary committee did not call CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY Hazarika’s son slams Bill, puts Govt on notice on Bharat Ratna How Centre moves far outweighs award... display of short-lived cheap thrills:Tej ABHISHEK SAHA GUWAHATI, FEBRUARY 11 TWO DAYS after Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tributes to Bhupen Hazarika and took a swipe at previous governments for delaying the Bharat Ratna conferred posthumously on the celebrated singer this Republic Day, Hazarika’s son Tej, protesting the “painfully unpopular” Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, put the government on notice Monday, saying the Bill was “actually undermining” his father’s “documented position” and “would in reality be in direct Was awarded Bharat Ratna on Republic Day opposition to what Bhupenda believed in his heart of hearts”. “Bharat Ratnas and longest bridges, while necessary, will not promote the peace and prosperity of the citizens of India. Only Bill undermines his documented position. It would be in direct opposition to what Bhupenda believed in his heart of hearts” — TEJ HAZARIKA SON OF BHUPEN HAZARIKA just popular laws and foresight on the part of leadership will. Numerous media journalists are now asking me whether or not I will accept the Bharat Ratna for my father. I go on record here to answer that A), I have not received any invitation so far there is nothing to reject, and B), how the Center moves on this matter far outweighs in importance the awarding and receiving of such national recognition — a display of short-lived cheap thrills,” Tej Hazarika, who is based in the US, said in an email statement to The Indian Express. When his comments were CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Quitting last act in long story of disregard: Stats panel ex-chief NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 11 BJP keen but ally pushes hard NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 11 BJP PRESIDENT Amit Shah dialled Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray Monday as a part of his efforts to finalise a seat-sharing agreement well before Lok Sabha polls. The Sena chief, according to sources, sought a return to the 1995-formula to share Maharashtra Assembly seats with the BJP, when the Sena contested 169 of the 288 seats, while the BJP had fought 116. Then, the two parties had secured a total of 138 seats — the Sena 73 and the BJP, 65 — and formed their first coalition government in the state, headed by Manohar Joshi of the Sena and supported by independents and others. Apart from the quota of seats, ‘CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT BILL PAINFULLY UNPOPULAR’ ENS ECONOMIC BUREAU DECISION 2019 PRADEEP KAUSHAL `4.00 WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 Not having shared the best relations with the Sena post-2014, BJP chief Amit Shah is trying to win back their trust and support before the Lok Sabha polls. His phone call to Uddhav underlines as much his sense of urgency as his keenness to finalise a deal. The allies, too, have sensed it and are, therefore, pushing him as hard as they can. this arrangement would mean that the Sena would choose the chiefminister in the event ofboth CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 EVEN AS the government responded to the controversy over withholding a National Statistical Commission (NSC) employment survey for 2017-18 by calling it a draft report, P C Mohanan, who resigned as the acting Chairman of the NSC in protest over the delay in releasing the survey, has said that questioning the report is perhaps the first step in the standard government response. According to Mohanan, the next step possibly would be to refer the report and its methodology to a committee of experts, only to delay the findings. “...it was the NITI Aayog and not the Chief Statistician whose ON THE ROAD Congress president Rahul Gandhi, general secretaries Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Jyotiraditya Scindia and UPCC chief Raj Babbar in Lucknow, Monday. Vishal Srivastav REPORTPAGE 9 WORLD CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 THE EDITORIAL PAGE BECAUSE DATA IS A PUBLIC GOOD BY P C MOHANAN PAGE 10 TOP PENTAGON OFFICIAL VISITS AFGHANISTAN AMID PEACE PUSH PAGE 13 2 wks before Rafale announcement, Anil Ambani met French Defence officials SUSHANT SINGH NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 11 IN THE fourth week of March 2015, about a fortnight before Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the procurement of 36 Rafale fighter aircraft from France, businessman Anil Ambani visited then French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian’s office in Paris and had a meeting with his top advisors, The Indian Express has learnt. The meeting was attended by Le Drian’s special advisor JeanClaude Mallet; his industry advisor, Christophe Salomon; and his technical advisor for industrial affairs, Geoffrey Bouquot. Ambani’s meeting was described by Salomon to a top official of a European defence company as “confidential and planned as you can imagine with very short notice”. Ambani, according to an official who was briefed on the meeting, expressed his wish to work with Airbus Helicopters on both commercial and defence helicopters. He is also said to have mentioned a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) “in preparation and the intention to sign during the PM visit”. When Ambani visited the French Defence Minister’s office, it was known that Prime Minister Modi would make an official visit to France from April 9-11, 2015. Subsequently, Ambani was part of the PM’s delegation during the visit where the deal for 36 Rafale aircraft was announced by Modi and then Ambani visited office of then French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian CONG, BJP TRADE CHARGES ON RAFALE THE BJP and Opposition parties continued to trade charges over the Rafale deal Monday inside and outside Parliament. While the Congress, citing a report, accused the Centre of dropping provisions for anti-corruption penalties days before the aircraft deal was signed, the BJP said the Congress was “lying on a daily basis on the Rafale deal, in the hope that some allegations would stick”. P 9 French President Francois Hollande in a joint statement issued by the two sides. Incidentally, Reliance Defence was incorporated on March 28, 2015, in the same week as this meeting. Emails sent to the official spokesperson of Le Drian last week did not elicit any response. Emails sent to Ambani’s Reliance Group have also gone unanswered. 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.