DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE TUESDAY, APRIL 16, 2019, KOLKATA, LATE CITY, 16 PAGES SINCE 1932 `5.00/EX-KOLKATA `6.00 (`12 IN NORTH EAST STATES & ANDAMAN) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM 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 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,theElectionCommission (EC) Monday recommended to President Ram Nath Kovind that elections in the Vellore parliamentary constituency be cancelled. It cited the suspected useof moneypowertoinfluence 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. Therecommendation,TheIndian 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 littlechoicebuttoaccepttheEC’s proposal. Once notified by the President,Vellorewillbethefirst 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 inAravakurichiandThanjavur,after cash running into crores was recoveredfromsitesbelongingto persons close to the AIADMK. In 2012,electionstotwoRajyaSabha seatsinJharkhandwerescrapped for the same reason. 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 CHIEF — AZAM KHAN, SP LEADER — MANEKA GANDHI, UNION MINISTER CJI bench to panel: What are you doing about it?... answer, or we will get CEC EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, LUCKNOW, APRIL 15 ON THE day it was asked searching questions by the Supreme Court on action taken against leaders for provocative speeches duringtheelectioncampaign,the ElectionCommissionMondayinvoked its extraordinary powers to temporarily ban four political leaders — UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, BSP chief Mayawati, Union Minister Maneka Gandhi andSPleaderAzamKhan—from campaigning. While Adityanath and Khan were barred for three days (72 hours)startingTuesdaymorning, Gandhi and Mayawati cannot campaignfortwodays(48hours). The punitive action was taken against the BSP chief for appealing directly to Muslim votersinSaharanpurandBareilly districtsduringajointrallyof 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 SultanpuronApril11,thatshewill notbeinclinedtohelpMuslimsif theydonotvotefor her.Khanwas punished for the “indecent and repugnant” remarks he made April 14 against BJP’s Rampur candidate Jaya Prada. While Adityanath, Mayawati BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY 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 objection- able 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 ModelCodeof Conduct,wasalso a corrupt practice under Section 123 of the Representation of the People Act. All four leaders have been barred from “holding any public meetings, public processions, publicrallies,roadshowsandinterviews, public utterances in media (electronic, print and social media etc.) in connection with ongoing elections” during thebanperiod.Whilethebanon CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 In 2014,Shah, Azamfacedban 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. WORLD ASSANGE TRIED TO SET UP CENTRE FOR SPYING AT EMBASSY: ECUADOR PRESIDENT PAGE 13 THE EDITORIAL PAGE HOW TO FUND ELECTIONS IN FOCUS West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee takes a photograph of the crowd at a rally in Murshidabad on Monday. Express In Raiganj, 89-year-old leads protest against poll violence RAIGUNJ, APRIL 15 EIGHTY-NINE-YEAR-OLD Rani Kar looks frail, but is a woman of indomitablespirit.ThisLokSabha polls, she has taken it upon herself to make sure that people can exercise their right to vote without fear in West Bengal’s Raiganj, which goes to polls on Thursday. Itallbeganin2017whenRani failed to cast her vote in the civic polls because of violence at the booth.Sharingdetails,shesaid,“In thelastcivicpolls,Iwenttoalocal primaryschoolaround10am.My neighbours were also there. The 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 “SupremeCourtneclearkardiya 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 observationasallegedlyattributedtothe 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 By BJP chiefs in Himachal Pradesh and Kerala, two speeches: ‘abuse & hate’ SHIMLA, THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, APRIL 15 FIRE ENGULFS NOTRE-DAME CATHEDRAL RAVIK BHATTACHARYA THE SUPREME Court Monday soughtan“explanation”withina 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 certaindocumentssubmittedby review petitioners, had attributed his own statements about ‘chowkidar chor hai’ to the court ruling. After the bench of Chief Justiceof IndiaRanjanGogoiand 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 SPORT PAGE 14 Misquoting apex court: SC asks Rahul to explain, BJP says he lies EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 WORLD CUP TEAM: DINESH KARTHIK IN, RISHABH PANT OUT RAFALE: CONTEMPT PLEA Rani Kar at her home in Raiganj. Partha Paul booth was crowded. We were waiting in the queue when some goons lobbed crude bombs. Everyone panicked and started running. I had to return home. I was disappointed and angry that I could not vote. I decided that I must do something about it.” The 2017 civic polls and the 2018 panchayat polls in West Bengal witnessed violence and the Opposition alleged that peoplecouldnotvoteatmanyplaces. The incident Rani witnessed took place at Collegepara Government-sponsoredPrimary School. Her husband, a freedom fighter,whodiedin2007,haddonated the land and founded the primary school. “I wasat home when the idea of a human chain struck me. Initially, I had doubts if anybody wouldbothertolistentome.Then Ispoketomysonandsomeneighbours. They supported me and I decided to go ahead with my plan,” said Rani. On April 11, a day before the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 EXPLAINED NEW DELHI, PUNE, APRIL 15 WHATTHEBLACK HOLEPHOTOGRAPH TELLS US PAGE 6 INSIDE NALANDA JOURNALIST’S SON KILLED, FIVE DETAINED PAGE 10 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 nazamaanathui,nacasebana,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 BY ASHOK KHEMKA PAGE 8 ON A day the Election Commissionsuspendedfourtop politicalleadersforafewdaysfor theircampaignspeechesthatallegedly “contaminated” the poll process, two new speech videos emerged that the Opposition flaggedfortheirallegedlyhateful 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 derogatoryreferencetoMuslims. 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 monsoon 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 betweenJune-Septemberof 96% of the long term average, with a modelerrorof plusorminus5%,” M Rajeevan, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences, said at a press conference. While there are several factors that influence the Indian monsoon, the surface temperatureinequatorialPacificOceanis amongthemostimportant.Asof now, waters in that region of the Pacific Ocean, off the west coast 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 of South America, are slightly warmerthannormal,acondition 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 andtheIndianmonsoon.Thesea surface temperature conditions over the Pacific and Indian oceansarebeingmonitoredcontinuously,” 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 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 workthem,”saystheunit’smanager, G Manickam. In another part of the city, at an eight-persongarmentstitchingworkunit, KavyaGarments,afew‘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, underemploymentandrisinglivingcosts,coupled withthe 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 nearlyhalf histailorsduetoadip in demand, says there isn’t enough work in the city’s once vibrant textile industry. A few tailorsknockonhisdoorsalmost 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 youhavetodoisputupavacancy sign with your phone number andyou’llgetatleast100callsby the end of the day,” he says. While some larger garment units,especiallythoseproducing for export, say there aren’t enough workers for jobs like stitching,cutting, checkingquality 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, upfrom 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.CBChasshiftedhalf its production staff to Madurai, where there are enough workerstoruntwoshiftsandproduce two times more than what he makes in Tirupur. 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.