DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA ● REG.NO. MCS/067/2018 - 20 RNI REGN. NO. 1543/57 JOURNALISM OF COURAGE WEDNESDAY, MARCH 10, 2021, MUMBAI, LATE CITY, 14 PAGES `5.00, WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 BJP MLAS MEET TODAY TO CHOOSE SUCCESSOR ` 145 per kilo ` 58 per Dozen LALMANI VERMA WORLD DEHRADUN, MARCH 9 ‘SADDENED’: BRITISH ROYALS END SILENCE ON MEGHAN, HARRY ALLEGATIONS PAGE 10 Rs 45 cr for Tricolours in Delhi Govt’s ‘deshbhakti’ Budget SOURAV ROY BARMAN NEW DELHI, MARCH 9 FIVE HUNDRED high-mast TricoloursacrossDelhi,acurriculumonpatriotisminschools,culturaleventsonthelivesof Bhagat SinghandBabasahebAmbedkar and yoga instructors in colony parks — “deshbhakti” was the “defining feature” of the Delhi government's annual budget for 2021-22, presented on Tuesday. Fornow,thegovernmenthas setasideRs90crorefortheseinitiatives, which will be held not justinDelhibutacrossIndia,said FinanceMinisterManish Sisodia in his Budget speech. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said later that the Budget laid the "foundation" of a vision that will bring Delhi on a par with Singapore by 2047 in terms of per capita income. Terming the Tricolour as the "greatest symbol of our individual identity", Sisodia said the high-mast flags, like the one in Connaught Place, will be installed in such a way that at least one is visible every two kilometres. "All citizens of Delhi, when coming out from their homes even for short distances, will not returnwithoutsentimentsof patriotism and national pride," Sisodia said. He said Rs 45 crore has been set aside in the Budget for the proposed flags. The 207-ft-tall Tricolour at Connaught Place was installed by the Flag Foundation of India, former Congress MP and industrialist Naveen Jindal’s organisation, in 2014. Sisodia proposed a Budget of Rs 69,000 crore for the upcoming year. Last year, he had presented a Rs 65,000 crore Budget, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Kejriwaland Sisodia inNew Delhi,Tuesday. Prem Nath Pandey PAGE 1 ANCHOR Change of guard ahead of Assembly polls next year NINE DAYSbefore completion of four years at the head of a BJP government in Uttarakhand, Trivendra Singh Rawat resigned as Chief Minister Tuesday, sayingthetimehadcometopasson the baton. WithUttarakhandscheduled to goto Assemblypollsnextyear andgrowingdisquietinthestate party unit over his style of functioning, Rawat, who returned from New Delhi Tuesday after meeting BJP president JP Nadda, handed over his resignation letter to Governor Baby Rani Maurya at 4.15 pm. The Governor accepted Rawat’s resignation and asked him to continue on the post until a successor takes charge. A meeting of the BJP legislature party has been called Wednesdaymorningtoelectthe next Chief Minister. Asked about the reason for his resignation, Rawat said: “Yeh samuhik nirnay hota hai aur iska bahut acchha jawab aapko Delhi jaana padega uske liye (A collective decision is made. And for an appropriate answer, you will have to go to Delhi).” Speaking of his past association with the RSS and the BJP, BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY AMBANI SECURITY SCARE Rawatexpressedgratitudetothe BJP for giving him an opportunity to serve Uttarakhand as Chief Minister for four years. “Party discussed and collectively took a decision that I should hand over this opportunitytosomebodyelse.Ninedays are left for completion of four years (of his government),” he said. Highlightingkeydecisionshe took as Chief Minister, Rawat said whoever gets the responsibility Wednesday will continue the schemes. “I have my best wishes for him,” he said. Thataleadershipchangewas imminent became evident last CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Trivendra Singh Rawat after resigning, in Dehradun on Tuesday. PTI DIPANKAR GHOSE NEW DELHI, MARCH 9 FROM CENTRALISATION of power to composition of his Cabinet,high-handednessof the bureaucracy to growing anti-incumbency — these were among the factors that led to BJP’s TrivendraSingh Rawat resigning as Uttarakhand Chief Minister on Tuesday, with the party likely to announceareplacement soon. Sources in the BJP said that while the party had been aware of the growing dissent against Rawat’s leadership for a while, the decision to drop himwasfirmed upafter thevisit Indo-Bangla bridge gives N-E India its closest link to seaport Entireregionbeingdevelopedastradecorridor:PM;Hasinapromisessupport DEBRAJ DEB BANGLADESH AGARTALA, MARCH 9 IN THE run-up to the celebrations marking 50 years of the birth of Bangladesh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina inaugurated Tuesday the 1.9 km-long Maitri Setu, a border bridge connecting Tripura and other states in the NorthEast to the port of Chattogram. The bridge over the river Feni linksSabroominsouthTripurato Ramgarh in Bangladesh, from where Chattogram is barely 80 kmaway.ThisprovidestheNorthEast its nearest link to a seaport. Prime Minister Modi, who inaugurated the bridge via vir- Dhaka Agartala Chattogram Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the video conference on Tuesday. ANI tual mode, said: “The connectivity through this bridge will strengthen our cordial relations with Bangladesh, boost trade relations, and help the North-East states grow. Not only in India, but this project will also im- prove connectivity in Bangladesh and increase economic opportunities.” He said the entire region – between Eastern India, NorthEast India and Bangladesh – is being developed as a trade MaitriSetu(SabroominTripura andRamgarhinBangladesh) corridor. He said the Integrated Check Post at Sabroom – its foundation stone was laid Tuesday and it will be the second ICP in Tripura -- will function as a full-fledged logistics hub with warehouses CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Mamata: Fought alone in Nandigram, don’t teach a Brahmin to be a Hindu pari nijer naam, bhulbo nako Nandigram (I can forget my NANDIGRAM, MARCH 9 name, but never forget Nandigram).” SHE IDENTIFIED herself as a WithNandigramsettobethe “Hindu Brahmin” and chanted mosthigh-voltagecontest of the versesfromtheChandiPath,said coming Assembly election, beshe need not be told tweenMamataBanerjee about Bengal by “people and her former close coming from Rajasthan aide Suvendu Adhikari, and Gujarat”, made tea the Trinamool chief on at a roadside stall, cited Tuesday held her first the work done by her in DECISION meeting in the conher previous constituency after the dec2021 stituency Bhabanipur, laration of the polls. WEST and declared, “Bhulte CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 BENGAL EXPLAINED,PAGE11 Behind exit: concentration of power, rule of officials, growing anti-incumbency INDIA ` 118 per kilo Rawat quits as Uttarakhand CM, says collective decision taken in Delhi TRIPURA ` 90 per kilo ATRI MITRA Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram on Tuesday. Express of BJP vice president Raman Singh and Rajya Sabha MP Dushyant Gautam to the state on March7,wheretheymet MLAs, RSS leaders and the Chief Minister. They told The Indian Express that the decision to remove Rawat had “almost certainly” been taken even CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Farmers reap twin bounty: Bumper rabi, good prices HARISH DAMODARAN & GOPAL KATESHIYA NEW DELHI, RAJKOT, MARCH 9 AFTERMANYyears,Indianfarmers are benefitting from both bumper production and remunerative prices, even as harvesting and marketing of rabi (winter-spring) crops have taken off. That’s good news for the economywhenagricultureistheonly sector expected to grow by 3 per cent amid an overall 6.5 per cent contractionin2020-21--andfor the NDA government facing unrelenting protests over its farm reform laws. Mustard is quoting at Rs 5,150 per quintal in Rajasthan’s Alwar mandi, which is higher than Rs 3,650 at this time last year and also the government’s minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 4,650. Roughly a quarter of the crop -- including in the main mustard belt of eastern Rajasthan (Alwar, Bharatpur, Dausa, Jaipur, Tonk and Sawai Madhopur), northern Madhya Pradesh (Bhind, Morena, Gwalior, Sheopur and Shivpuri) and southern Haryana (Bhiwani, Mahendragarh and Rewari) -- has already been harvested, with the rest to be completed over the next ten days. “The crop has been good due tofavourableweatherandno significant incidence of disease (white rust, sclerotinia stem rot and alternaria leaf spot) or pests (aphids),” P K Rai, head of the DirectorateofRapeseed-Mustard CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Police officer Vaze used vehicle till Feb 5, says Hiren’s wife MOHAMED THAVER MUMBAI, MARCH 9 THE WIFE of Mansukh Hiren, whose body was recovered from a creek days after his vehicle was found outside industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s residence in Mumbaiwithgelatinsticksanda threat letter inside, has told Maharashtra's Anti-Terrorism Squadthatherhusbandwasmurdered and that she suspected the role of Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Vaze in his death. Inherstatement,VimlaHiren allegedthatVazehadbeenusing the vehicle from November last year till February 5. She claimed that Vaze had told her husband togethimself arrestedintheterror scare case and allegedly assuredthathewouldbebailedout in a few days. Vaze was the investigating officerintheterrorscarecasebefore being replaced. “I believe my husband was murdered and I suspect Sachin Vazewasinvolvedinthemurder. And hence I request the matter should be investigated thoroughly,” Vimla said in the statement. The statement, submitted on Sunday, is part of the FIR reg- The vehicle was found parked outside the Ambani residence on Feb 25. File istered by the ATS in connection with the death of Hiren (46), a Thane resident. The ATS is also probing a complaint lodged by Hiren before his death that the vehicle, a Mahindra Scorpio, was stolen from Vikhroli on February 17. On Monday, the NIA took over the investigation into the terror scare on February 25 outsideAmbani'sresidenceinSouth Mumbai. On Tuesday, Leader of Opposition Devendra Fadnavis read out parts of Vimla's statement in the state assembly and demanded the arrest of Vaze. The BJP leader also alleged that Hiren'slastlocationwasnearthe CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 DELKAR SUICIDE After govt announces SIT probe, abetment case against UT administrator SAGAR RAJPUT & VISHWAS WAGHMODE MUMBAI, MARCH 9 TWO WEEKS after the death of Mohan Delkar, MP from Dadra and Nagar Haveli, in Mumbai, the Marine Drive police on Tuesday registered a case of abetment to suicide against the administrator of the Union territory,PrafulKhodaPatel,andsix others. Delkar was found hanging in a room at Hotel Sea Green South in Marine Drive on February 22. He had left a 15-page suicide note in which he had named Patel, the police said. Officials further said that he had also named the collector and superintendent of police. Theabetmentcasewasregistered after Delkar's son Abhinav made a statement to the police. "I had come to Mumbai and met the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister of Maharashtra. They assured me thattheywillhelpin giving justice to my family," Abhinav told The Indian Express. The son then went to Marine Drive police station at 5 pm, where his statement was recorded till 10 pm by Assistant Commissioner of Police Pandurang Shinde and an FIR was registered. The FIR came hours after the Maharashtra government announced in the state Assembly thataSpecialInvestigationTeam (SIT) would be set up to probe the suicide. The announcement came after Opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis raised the issue of the death of Mansukh Hiren --whosebodywasfoundinacreek days after his vehicle was found outside industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s house with gelatin sticks and a threat letter inside - CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Month later, DDCs in J&K stand up to protest: no status or power ARUN SHARMA & BASHAARAT MASOOD JAMMU, SRINAGAR, MARCH 9 LEAVINGTHECentreandtheJ&K administrationred-faced,membersof thenewlyelectedDistrict Development Councils from all parties, including the BJP, boycotted a two-day training and workshop programme in Jammu Tuesday and jointly staged a demonstration seeking better status and facilities. Theimmediatetriggerforthe protestwastherevisedwarrantof precedence issued Monday that placed DDC chairpersons on par withadministrativesecretariesor divisional commissioners, vicechairpersons with vice-chancellors of universities and members with district magistrates. But the agitation captured the growing anxiety among members, who were elected two-and-a-half months ago, about “lack of powers” in the councils that are being showcased by the Centre as the first stepforJ&Ktoreturntothepolitical mainstream. The Indian Express spoke to several newly elected DDC members cutting across party lines in Jammu and the Valley and found a groundswell of anger and despair about the lack of clarity -- from the delay in formulating norms to being ignored by the local administration and lack of basic office space. “It has been a long time since we took oath but the government is yet to delegate powers to us. In fact, the Government has failed to even formulate rulesandregulationsfortheDDC councils towork.Therehasbeen Protesting DDC members in Jammu on Tuesday. Express no ground work prior to these elections,” said Bari Andrabi, the DDC chairperson for Pulwama. Andrabi, a PDP member, contested the election for the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD). Monday's order, for instance, made it clear that the new protocol for DDC members, including their chairpersons and vice chairpersons, “is meant purely for state and ceremonial occasions’’. “We will not talk with anybodyunlesstheGovernment revokes the revised warrant of precedence,’’ senior BJP leader and Jammu DDC chairperson Bharat Bhushan said. “The administration has insulted us by lowering the status of DDCs and its members. Where are the powers Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised before the first DDC elections? The Government has adopted the Puducherry model of Panchayati Raj and there,DDC chairpersons enjoy the status of Cabinetministersandvicechairpersons of Ministers of State,’’ Bhushan said. The latest order has fixed the monthly honorarium of a DDC chairperson at Rs 35,000, a vice chairperson at Rs 25,000 and a member at Rs 15,000, including Rs 1,500 as travel allowance and Rs 500 for telephone charges. But another BJP leader and chairperson of Samba DDC, Keshav Dutt Sharma, accused the Government of being “discriminatory”. “While the heads of Ladakh Hill Development Councils in Leh and Kargil districts have been given status of Cabinetministers,DDCchairpersons in J&K have been equated with administrative secretaries CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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