DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE TUESDAY, APRIL 16, 2019, AHMEDABAD, LATE CITY, 20 PAGES `4.00, WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 72-HR BAN FOR YOGI, AZAM; 48 HRS FOR MAYA, MANEKA EC wants Vellore polls cancelled: money used to sway votes ABANTIKA GHOSH, ARUN JANARDHANAN & RITIKA CHOPRA RAFALE: CONTEMPT PLEA After SC prod, EC cracks whip on Adityanath, Maya, Khan, Maneka NEW DELHI, CHENNAI, APRIL 15 IN WAKE of cash seizures from DMK leaders over the last two weeks, the Election Commission (EC) Monday recommended to President Ram Nath Kovind that elections in the Vellore parliamentary constituency be cancelled. It cited the suspected use of money power to influence voters. Vellore is scheduled to go to polls with the rest of Tamil Nadu on April 18. It is unclear whether the two Assembly seats, Ambur and Gudiyattam, under the Vellore LS seat, facing bypolls will also be countermanded or go as planned on Thursday. Rashtrapati Bhavan received the EC’s proposal Monday night. The recommendation, The Indian Express has learnt, will be shared with the Law Ministry for its views on Tuesday. However, cancellation is imminent since the President, in this case, has little choice but to accept the EC’s proposal. Once notified by the President, Vellore will be the first Lok Sabha seat to have had its elections countermanded over abuse of money power. The EC, in 2017, had countermanded elections to the Dr Radhakrishnan Nagar Assembly seat in Tamil Nadu twice. In April 2016, during the TN Assembly elections, the EC postponed polls in Aravakurichi and Thanjavur, after cash running into crores was recovered from sites belonging to persons close to the AIADMK. In 2012, elections to two Rajya Sabha seats in Jharkhand were scrapped for the same reason. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, APRIL 15 Agar Congress ko Ali par, Sapa-Baspa ko Ali par vishwas hai, hame bhi Bajrangbali par vishwas hai” — YOGI ADITYANATH, Muslim samaj... vote baantna nahin... ek tarfah vote BSP, SP, RLD ke umeedwaron ko vote dekar kaamyab banana hai” Uski asliyat samajhne mei aapko 17 varsh lag gaye, mein 17 din mei pehchan gaya ki inke neeche ka jo underwear hai woh khaki rang ka hai” Agar meri jeet Musalmano ke bina hogi... phir Musalman aata hai kaam ke liye, phir mein sochti hoon rehne hi do, kya fark padta hai” UTTAR PRADESH CHIEF MINISTER — MAYAWATI, BSP PRESIDENT — AZAM KHAN, SP LEADER — MANEKA GANDHI, UNION MINISTER BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY CJI bench to poll panel: What are you doing about it?... answer, or we will get Chief Election Commissioner here EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, LUCKNOW, APRIL 15 DECISION 2019 FULL COVERAGE PAGE 4, 6, 8 ON THE day it was asked searching questions by the Supreme Court on the action taken against leaders for provocative speeches during the poll campaign, the Election Commission Monday invoked its extraordinary powers to temporarily ban four political leaders — UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, BSP chief Mayawati, Union Minister Maneka Gandhi and SP leader Azam Khan — from campaigning. While Adityanath and Khan were barred for three days (72 hours) starting Tuesday morning, Gandhi and Mayawati cannot campaign for two days (48 hours). The punitive action was taken against the BSP chief for appealing directly to Muslim voters in Saharanpur and Bareilly districts during a joint rally of the BSP-SP alliance on April 7. Adityanath was punished for his “Ali and Bajrangbali” remark at a Meerut rally on April 9 and the “green virus” comment which was a reference to Muslims. Maneka Gandhi was barred for saying, at a meeting in Sultanpur on April 11, that she will not be inclined to help Muslims if they do not vote for her. Khan was punished for the “indecent and repugnant” remarks he made April 14 against BJP’s Rampur candidate Jaya Prada. While Adityanath, Mayawati and Gandhi were given an opportunity to explain their conduct, the Commission acted directly against Khan citing his past conduct and the fact that he hadn’t “changed his ways of campaigning” and was still “indulging in using very objectionable language in election campaigning”. Condemning remarks by Mayawati and Adityanath, the Commission, in a stronglyworded order, noted that such public utterances “contaminate the electoral process” and have the “propensity to polarise the elections”. On Gandhi, the EC said that her statement, apart from being violative of the In 2014, Shah, Azam faced ban THIS IS only the second time that the EC has imposed a temporary ban on a political leader’s election campaign. In 2014, the poll panel had barred now BJP president Amit Shah and SP leader Azam Khan for making inflammatory speeches in defiance of notices already issued to the two leaders. The ban on Shah was lifted only after he apologised. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 WORLD ASSANGE TRIED TO SET UP CENTRE FOR SPYING AT EMBASSY: ECUADOR PRESIDENT CHINA: BACK PAK’S ‘GREAT EFFORTS’ IN FIGHTING TERROR PAGE 15 THE EDITORIAL PAGE IN FOCUS HOW TO FUND ELECTIONS West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee takes a photograph of the crowd at a rally in Murshidabad on Monday. Express BY ASHOK KHEMKA PAGE 10 Gujarat plan: Own playground a must for new primary schools RITU SHARMA AHMEDABAD, APRIL 15 THE GUJARAT government has now made it mandatory for anyone starting a new private primary school to own the land on which it will be run, and for the school to have a playground within its campus. The rules, which were already applicable to high schools and higher secondary schools, have now been extended to primary schools too. New schools cannot be run on rented premises. Seen as the biggest reform measure in the state’s school pol- PAGE 1 ANCHOR Will give a full reply, says Cong Gandhi’s comments, saying it amounted to violation of the Model Code of Conduct. Prasad even played a video clip before reporters in which Gandhi can be heard saying “Supreme Court ne clear kar diya hai ki chowkidarji ne chori karwai (Supreme Court has made it clear that chowkidarji got the theft done)”. Earlier, the bench said: “We make it clear that this Court had no occasion to record any view or finding or make any observation as allegedly attributed to the Court by the respondent... what was decided by this Court was a purely legal question of admissibility of certain documents to which objections were raised by the learned Attorney General.” It said “no views, observations or findings should be CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 BJP chiefs in Himachal Pradesh and Kerala: Two speeches, ‘abuse & hate’ SHIMLA, THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, APRIL 15 SPORT PAGE 18 THE SUPREME Court Monday sought an “explanation” within a week from Congress president Rahul Gandhi following a plea seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against him for allegedly attributing to the top court certain remarks in its Rafale matter order. It was hearing a plea by BJP leader Meenakshi Lekhi who contended that Gandhi, while referring to the court’s April 10 order rejecting the Centre’s objections to the admissibility of certain documents submitted by review petitioners, had attributed his own statements about ‘chowkidar chor hai’ to the court ruling. After the bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjeev Khanna clarified that it had not made any such observation, Union Minister and BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad asked the Election Commission to take “serious cognisance” of KAVITA UPADHYAY & SHAJU PHILIP CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 WORLD CUP TEAM: DINESH KARTHIK IN, RISHABH PANT OUT Misquoting apex court: SC asks Rahul to explain, BJP says he lies The Indian Express reported last December, how schools flouted playground norms icy, the Gujarat government has brought in an amendment to the Bombay Primary Education Rules, 1949 to introduce the mandatory clause for private school managements to “own and possess” the land for the school building and playground, in both urban and rural areas. The rules came about because private schools were constructing buildings on playgrounds, or the playgrounds were as far as 4 kmaway from the school building, thus leaving no space for any kind of physical activity for children, and turning schools into matchbox-like structures. CONTINUED ON PAGE 7 EXPLAINED NEW DELHI, PUNE, APRIL 15 WHAT THE BLACK HOLE PHOTOGRAPH TELLS US PAGE 6 INSIDE STONE PELTING ON MEHBOOBA’S CONVOY, 1 INJURED PAGE 9 Satti (left) and Pillai workers at Ramshehar in Solan district which falls under the Shimla (SC) Lok Sabha constituency, Satti said Sunday: “Manch ke upar se Narendra Modiji ko chor bol rahe hain. Chowkidar chor hai. Bhaiya teri ma ki zamaanat hui hai. Teri apni zamaanat hui hai. Tere jije ki zamaanat hui hai. Narendra Modi ki na zamaanat hui, na case bana, na kisi ne saza di. Tu kaun hota hai judge ki tarah chor bolne wala (Onstage, he has been calling Prime Minister Narendra Modi a thief. He has been saying CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Monsoon to be near normal this year: IMD EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE SIMPLY PUT AS THE Election Commission suspended four top political leaders for a few days over their campaign speeches that allegedly “contaminated” the poll process, two new speech videos emerged which the Opposition flagged for alleged hateful and abusive content. Delivered on Sunday by BJP chiefs of Himachal Pradesh and Kerala, these speeches triggered complaints to the Election Commission. While Himachal BJP chief Satpal Singh Satti referred to a purported Facebook post to use the word “ma......d” in the context of Rahul Gandhi, his Kerala counterpart made a derogatory reference to Muslims. Addressing a meeting of BJP AMID FEARS of a subdued monsoon this year due to a developing El Nino condition over the Pacific Ocean, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Monday said that rainfall as a whole during the fourmonth monsoon season would be ‘near-normal’. In the first long-range forecast for this season, the IMD said rainfall was likely to be 96% of the long period average, or LPA. The LPA, defined as the average of monsoon rainfall over a 50year period between 1951 and 2000, for the country is 89 cm. The IMD also said the possi- bility of rainfall being excessive or ‘above normal’ was very low. The forecast of 96% is at the lower end of the band in which rainfall is classified as ‘normal’. “The good news is that 2019 will have a near normal south west monsoon seasonal rainfall between June-September of 96% of the long term average, with a model error of plus or minus 5%,” M Rajeevan, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, said at a press conference. While there are several factors that influence the Indian monsoon, the surface temperature in equatorial Pacific Ocean is among the most important. As of now, waters in that region of the Pacific Ocean, off the west coast of South America, are 10-YR REPORT Year Forecast Actual (%) (%) 2018 97 91 2017 98 95 2016 106 97 2015 88 86 2014 93 88 2013 98 106 2012 96 93 2011 95 102 2010 102 102 2009 93 78 Source: IMD, Pune slightly warmer than normal, a condition called El Nino, that is known to suppress rainfall over India during the monsoon season. But Rajeevan said El Nino was not too big a concern as of now. “There are prevailing conditions of a weak El Nino, but we don’t believe this will affect the monsoon adversely. In any way, there is no established one-onone correlation between El Nino and the Indian monsoon. The sea surface temperature conditions over the Pacific and Indian oceans are being monitored continuously,” he said. “Overall, the country is expected to have well-distributed rainfall which will be beneficial to Indian farmers during the Kharif season,” he said. IMD Director General K J CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Poll refrain in TN’s knitwear hub: Few jobs, rising costs, GST PRABHA RAGHAVAN TIRUPUR, APRIL 15 INSIDE A gated complex in Tirupur, knitwear manufacturer and exporter CBC Fashions (Asia)’s one-storey unit is seemingly teeming with employees. Yet, amidst the whirr of sewing machines and the flurry on the expansive shop floor, it is easy to miss the lines of unmanned ‘Brother’ machines. Some of these machines sit covered in fabric atop tables in a section where the lights have been switched off - all labelled “idle”. “A few of these machines are only required for specific kinds of stitching, but the rest are idle because we don’t have tailors to work them,” says the unit’s manager, G Manickam. In another part of the city, at an eight-person garment stitching work unit, Kavya Garments, a few ‘Juki’ machines are stacked against a wall of the one-room unit and the thin layer of dust shows how long they, too, have been idle. Tirupur, known as the ‘knitwear capital’ of the country, DECISION 2019 has a growing labour problem. Yet, there is a disagreement over whether this problem is one of a shortage of workers or a shortage of jobs. As Tirupur gears up to vote Thursday, underemployment and rising living costs, coupled with the continuing impact of policy measures such as GST, especially on small-scale manu- At a garment manufacturing unit in Tirupur facturers, is difficult to miss across the city. Kavya Garments owner Dhandapani, who has laid off nearly half his tailors due to a dip in demand, says there isn’t enough work in the city’s once vibrant textile industry. A few tailors knock on his doors almost every day looking for work, and the sight is becoming common at work units like his. “If you want to find out how many people are currently looking for jobs in this industry, all you have to do is put up a vacancy sign with your phone number and you’ll get at least 100 calls by the end of the day,” he says. While some larger garment units, especially those producing for export, say there aren’t enough workers for jobs like stitching, cutting, checking quality and ironing, workers claim that there isn’t as much work to do now. The shortage of workers in the region, has left leaving medium and larger garment manufacturers dependent on migrant labourers argues CBC’s managing director, T R Vijaya Kumar, who is also the general secretary of the Tirupur Exporters’ Association. “Every” export house in Tirupur is facing a 30% shortfall in labour, up from 20% two years ago, he says. This shortage is among the reasons that several garment companies in the region have shifted their units from Tirupur to other cities, states and even countries. CBC has shifted half its production staff to Madurai, where there are enough workers to run two shifts and produce two times more than what he makes in Tirupur. CONTINUED ON PAGE 7 Ahmedabad
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.