2019, March, Newsletter

India Newsletter Mar 31, 2019

NEWS TO SHIPS BY NEWS ACCESS INDIA – SUNDAY, MARCH 31, 2019

FRONT PAGE NEWS

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NDA OUT IN STRENGTH FOR SHAH NOMINATION

With top leaders from the BJP and its allies sharing the stage, BJP president Amit Shah Saturday filed his nomination papers for the Lok Sabha election from Gandhinagar in Gujarat.

Before that, Shah addressed a rally and conducted a roadshow in Gandhinagar in a show of strength to demonstrate that the NDA was strong and “united” against the Opposition alliance.

Shah had a much bigger assembly than Modi did when he filed his nomination papers in 2014. Top leaders of the BJP’s alliance partners Shiv Sena, Akali Dal and LJP, apart from two former party presidents, Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari, accompanied Shah.

Uddhav Thackeray said that while the Shiv Sena and BJP had some differences, they had the same ideology. “Amitbhai came home and when we sat together there were no differences. We have removed all our differences…our ideology is Hindutva. My father (Balasaheb Thackeray) used to say ‘Hindutva is our breath’. If our breath stops, how will we live?”

WHY CAN’T MODI BE HAILED FOR AIR STRIKES, ASKS RAJNATH

Facing criticism for indulging in a credit war for the air strikes in Balakot, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said if former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi can be credited for creation of Bangladesh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi should also be congratulated for the action against terrorists.

Addressing a public meeting in Gandhinagar, Singh also hit out at Congress president Rahul Gandhi for calling him a “thief” and urged the people to “punish” him democratically.

“Those who are saying that Balakot air strikes are being politicised and the PM is being credited have forgotten that the Army divided Pakistan in 1971 war and created Bangladesh. Our leader Vajpayeeji had hailed Indira Gandhi in Parliament. The entire country was doing so,” he said. After 40 CRPF troopers were killed in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir, the PM showed strong determination to take the revenge, he said.

Referring to Rahul’s “chowkidar chor hai” jibe at the PM, Singh said: “Under Modiji’s leadership, the country has become world’s sixth-largest economy but irony is that the Congress president is using abusive language against our PM. I would appeal to the people that those using such abusive language against the PM should be dealt with democratically.”

The Home Minister said the Congress leader was calling the PM a thief but the reality was that he was “pure” and had not even a single allegation of corruption.

IF ARTICLE 370 GOES, J&K’S LINK TO UNION ALSO GOES: MEHBOOBA MUFTI

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Saturday reminded Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley that the Indian Constitution extended to the state through Article 370, and that removing the guarantees provided in the Constitution would “force us to reconsider whether we would like to continue with you or not”.

On Thursday, Jaitley wrote in a blog: “Article 35A, which is constitutionally vulnerable, is used as a political shield by many but it hurt the common citizen of the State the most.”

Addressing party workers in Srinagar, Mufti said, “The mainstream parties in Jammu and Kashmir have to consider under what law they are going to contest these elections. Because the Indian Constitution extends to J&K through Article 370. If you remove this bridge, then how will you take oath upon the Constitution of India?”

She warned that J&K’s relationship with India would have to be rebuilt, based on fresh conditions. “Are you ready to set fresh conditions for joining the Indian Union (if Article 370 is abrogated)? Perhaps we will have to decide again, whether we want to stay with you or not? Under what conditions will you ask a Muslim-majority state to join India?”

Jaitley, she said, needed to understand “that this is not easy, and if you remove Article 370, your connect with J&K is also over”.

On Friday, National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah had questioned Jaitley’s assertion that Article 35A has been “hurting” the interests of the common people by blocking the economic development of J&K. He had said that J&K was a part of India “based on this special status”.

PULWAMA ATTACK A GIFT TO BJP BEFORE POLLS: A S DULAT

The terror attack on a convoy of CRPF personnel in Pulwama was a gift to the BJP ahead of the elections, former R&AW chief A S Dulat said on Saturday.

Speaking on the sidelines of Asian Arab Awards 2019 organised by the Indian Economic Trade Organisation in Hyderabad, Dulat said, “It was a gift to the BJP ahead of the general elections and India had the right to carry out the surgical strike on terror camps in Pakistan. I have said this earlier also, and I am saying this now, the Pulwama terror attack was a gift by Jaish-e-Mohammed to (Prime Minister) Modi. As elections were due, it was expected that there would be a retaliation. It was inevitable that something would happen. The surgical strike deep in Pakistan was alright.’’

Dulat said that nationalism should be looked at in a broader perspective, and where patriotism is enough, there should be no emphasis on nationalism. “Nationalism can lead to war. We should talk with Kashmiris and that is the way forward,’’ he said, adding former PM Manmohan Singh came very close to signing a peace treaty with Pakistan.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS

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‘JeM A VENOMOUS ARM OF ISI’: AFGHAN VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE

Afghan vice presidential candidate, former intelligence chief and interior minister Amrullah Saleh has called for a regional effort to fight terrorism of the kind represented by Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) leader Masood Azhar, calling it a “venomous arm” of Pakistan’s spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

“…whether China does or doesn’t see him as a terrorist, he is a terrorist,” Saleh said in an email interview from Kabul, when asked about China putting a technical hold on a resolution designating Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN Security Council’s 1267 sanctions committee that focusses on the fight against terrorism.

“See, when they attack India or Afghanistan they [ISI] use this tool [terrorism] and then survive behind deniability themselves. Although it is not sticking anymore, it is perceived as a second deterrence in the hands of the Pakistani establishment,” Saleh said.

He quoted former US chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Michael Mullen’s description of the Haqqani network as a “virulent arm” of ISI.

He added: “ I believe the whole infrastructure of terrorism which breeds and operates out of Pakistan is a virulent arm of ISI. Either we convince Pakistan to delink itself from them, which is next to impossible, or we work together to cut this venomous arm.”

TRUMP ‘TOLD’ KIM TO SHIP N-WEAPONS TO U.S.

On the day that their talks in Hanoi collapsed last month, U.S. President Donald Trump handed North Korean leader Kim Jong-un a piece of paper that included a blunt call for the transfer of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons and bomb fuel to the United States, according to the document.

Trump gave Kim both Korean and English-language versions of the U.S. position at Hanoi’s Metropole hotel on February 28, according to a source familiar with the discussions. It was the first time that Trump himself had explicitly defined what he meant by denuclearisation directly to Kim. A lunch between the two leaders was cancelled the same day. While neither side has presented a complete account of why the summit collapsed, the document may help explain it.

The document’s existence was first mentioned by White House National Security Adviser John Bolton in television interviews he gave after the two-day summit. Bolton did not disclose in those interviews the pivotal U.S. expectation contained in the document that North Korea should transfer its nuclear weapons and fissile material to the United States.

The document appeared to represent Mr. Bolton’s long-held and hard-line “Libya model” of denuclearisation that North Korea has rejected repeatedly.

It probably would have been seen by Kim as insulting and provocative, analysts said.

THE REST

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EC NOTICE TO RLYS OVER ‘CHOWKIDAR’ CUPS

For the second time in a week, the Election Commission has issued a show-cause to the Railways over the violation Model Code of Conduct (MCC), asking it to explain its position on the use of paper tea cups in a train with “Main Bhi Chowkidar” slogan.

Sources in the EC said the Railways have been asked to explain the prima facie violation of the model code. It has also been asked to explain the person responsible for it.

The Railways had said on Friday they had withdrawn the cup and penalised the contractor soon after the matter came to light after the cup’s image tweeted by a passenger went viral.

The EC is learnt to have invoked the “party in power” clause of the poll code in the case as it could be averred that party in power is using government transporter for election publicity.

NISHAD PARTY EXITS, BIG BLOW TO SP-BSP

Says Akhilesh’s party did not follow alliance dharma, starts courting BJP soon after separation

The anti-BJP alliance in Uttar Pradesh led by the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party received a setback after a key OBC partner, the Nishad Party, ditched them allegedly for not following “alliance dharma” and within hours moved towards stitching a deal with the BJP.

The changing equations hold significance as it was the Nishad Party’s Pravin Nishad who snatched the prestigious Gorakhpur Lok Sabha seat from the BJP’s grip in a byelection last year on a SP symbol with the support of the BSP.

Pravin Nishad is the son of Nishad Party chief Sanjay Nishad.

Announcing the break-up on Friday evening, Mr. Sanjay Nishad said party workers and core committee were upset that the Nishad Party did not find any mention in the posters, banners or letters issued by the alliance in its campaign.

WHAT THE MAOISTS’ SECRET DOCUMENTS SHOW

The Maoist brass are worried about the qualitative fall in their ranks and their organisation’s vulnerability to “information based attacks”, and foresee no change in government policy irrespective of who wins the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, according to “rare” documents seized late last year from a camp run by the CPI (Maoist) in Dantewada.

Security sources say that these “self-assessment” documents are important because of their length — the CC “sandesh” has 18 pages and the CMC document 32. They also include military roadmaps, they said.

The “sandesh” to cadre, dated August 17, 2018, states: “The enemy is many times stronger than us. They are in the stage of strategic offence and we are at the stage of strategic defence… In the last four years, after many efforts there has been an increase in recruits, but despite this all in all, the extent of our overall power has decreased. The quality of our forces have decreased. The new cadres are not being able to handle the immediate circumstances. Their experiences and awareness is low.” However, it also notes: “In 2013, according to a direction by our Central Committee… in some areas Leadership Training Programmes (LTP) and Military Leadership Training Programmes (MLTP) are giving good experience and leadership qualities.”

On the Lok Sabha elections, the message in Hindi states that the BJP “may be successful and if they come to power, “SAMADHAN” will continue”. On the other hand, it says, “If the Congress is successful in making a Mahagathbandhan, then too that government will work towards the extinguishing of revolutionary movements, and there will be no big difference in policy.” Among the counter-measures it advocates is convincing people to back Kashmiri, Naga, Manipuri, Assamese separatism and other autonomy movements, and support the fight for separate states of Bodoland and Gorkhaland.

BENGALURU: BJP CANDIDATE TEJASVI SURYA GETS COURT ORDER TO GAG PRESS

The BJP’s candidate from South Bangalore, 28-year-old Tejasvi Surya, has got a temporary injunction from a Bengaluru court against reporting “defamatory” news about him. The court order bars 49 media outlets including English and Kannada newspapers and TV stations as well as social media giants like Facebook and Google from publishing “false, malicious and derogatory” news about Surya.

Surya had approached the city civil and sessions court after “me too” tweets and messages emerged on social media, which were also picked up by the Congress and mainstream media. The Karnataka Mahila Congress also wrote to the state women’s commission seeking an inquiry into social media messages from a young woman who hinted that Surya has a dark side to him.

BJP INSULTED MY FATHER, OTHER VETERANS: SONAKSHI

Days after actor-politician Shatrughan Sinha met Rahul Gandhi and is likely to join the Congress, daughter Sonakshi Sinha on Friday said he should have “moved on” from BJP long back as he did not get the respect he deserved.

Sonakshi said joining Congress is his choice and she believes the veteran actor will be able to do good work with the party.

The actor said it was high time that Sinha left BJP. “Being such a senior leader and having such a vast knowledge, being a member of the party from the beginning, from the time of Jayprakash Narayan ji, Atal ji, LK Advani ji, my father has a lot of respect within the party.

IN A BID TO STAVE OFF MASS LEAVE, JET AIRWAYS TO PAY ITS EMPLOYEES DECEMBER SALARIES

In a bid to stave off a proposed mass leave by a section of pilots and aircraft maintenance engineer, Jet Airways on Saturday said it will soon pay the remaining December salaries to employees.

In an email to employees, Jet’s chief executive officer Vinay Dube said: “You also have our commitment that the Board of Directors and the management team are working as fast as possible to implement the resolution plan agreed with the consortium of Indian lenders to quickly restore the much-needed stability to our operations and build a sustainable future for the airline.

“These are complex processes and it has taken longer than we had expected and as such we are only able to remit your remaining salary for December 2018. We realise that this remittance does not lift the financial hardship that each of you are facing and we do not take your sacrifices for granted.”

The call for non-cooperation was given by members belonging to the Jet Airways pilots’ union who decided to refrain from operating flights if their dues and clarity on the company’s resolution plan were not given by March 31.

SHANGHAI BECOMES WORLD’S FIRST DISTRICT WITH 5G COVERAGE

Shanghai claimed on Saturday that it has become the world’s first district using both 5G coverage and broadband gigabit network as China seeks to establish lead over the US and other countries in the race to develop next generation cellular mobile communications.

5G is the next generation of cellular technology with download speeds that are 10 to 100 times faster than 4G LTE networks.

Apart from speed, 5G also enables high-definition transmissions in real time (which means low latency) and will bolster development in the internet of things industry.

SULTAN AZLAN SHAH CUP 2019: INDIA LOSE FINAL IN SHOOT-OUT

South Korea stunned favourites India 4-2 in the shoot-out to lift the Azlan Shah Cup hockey title after the five-time champions conceded an equaliser in the final quarter of the summit clash on Saturday.

Going into the title clash, World No 5 India were clear favourites to lift their sixth Azlan Shah title against the 17th ranked Koreans. And the Indians started in the right earnest, taking the lead early through Simranjeet Singh’s field strike in the ninth minute.

The Koreans, thereafter, kept the Indian forward line under tight vigil.

Korea’s efforts finally paid dividends in the 47th minute when they were awarded a penalty stroke. The Indians went for the video referral but the penalty decision stayed and Jang Jong Hyun made no mistake in drawing parity for his side.

In the shoot-out, the Indians missed their first, fourth and fifth attempts and converted just two, while the Koreans just missed their third strike to win the thrilling contest 4-2 and lift the crown for the third time in the history of the invitational tournament.

IPLKL RAHUL’S 71 ANCHORS KINGS XI PUNJAB TO EASY WIN OVER MUMBAI INDIANS

KL Rahul played the role of a sheet anchor to perfection as Kings XI Punjab returned to winning ways with a comfortable eight-wicket victory over Mumbai Indians in an IPL encounter here Saturday.

Rahul was unbeaten on 71 off 57 balls with KXIP reaching the 177-run target in only 18.4 overs. This was KXIP’s second win in three games while MI lost their second game out of three.

Rahul played second fiddle to perfection till the dashing Chris Gayle and the flamboyant Mayank Agarwal were at the crease but upped the ante when it was required.

IPL: DC BEAT KKR IN SUPER OVER THRILLER

Paceman Kagiso Rabada defended 10 runs in the Super Over to steer Delhi Capitals to a thrilling victory over Kolkata Knight Riders after the home side made heavy weather of a run chase on Saturday.

Chasing 186 to win, Delhi Capitals were set up nicely by Prithvi Shaw’s 99 off 55 balls but they could not score six runs from the last over, bowled by chinaman Kuldeep Yadav, who held his nerves to give KKR a chance to steal a win.

The Capitals ended their run chase at 185 for 6 in 20 overs, taking the match to Super Over.

The home side managed just 10 runs in the Super Over bowled by paceman Prasidh Krishna but Rabada executed yorkers perfectly to deny KKR. He removed dangerous Andre Russell with a perfectly placed yorker and did not allow other batsmen, including captain Dinesh Karthik, to free their arms.

KKR needed five off the final ball but managed just one.

Both the teams have won 2 of their 3 respective matches.

KRUNAL PANDYA’S ‘MANKADING’ WARNING TO AGARWAL WINS OVER TWITTER

Saturday’s match between Mumbai Indians and Kings XI Punjab witnessed some high voltage moments, but what Twitter remembers best was Pandya’s act of not ‘mankading’ Agarwal. Agarwal stepped out of the crease during the game, but Pandya gestured then let him off. Agarwal smashed 43 off 21 balls, helping the kings win their first match on the home turf.

This is the second time that the controversial cricket move has found itself making headlines. Ravichandran Ashwin’s ‘mankading’—dismissing the non-striking batsman for stepping out of the crease—of Jos Buttler started a fiery debate about the practice about it not being in the “spirit of the game”. Ashwin defended himself saying his action wasn’t against the game’s rules.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

“There is no security in this life, only opportunity.” – Douglas MacArthur

OFF TRACK

There are some children in a class naming animals and they come across a picture of a deer.

So the teacher asks Bobby, “What is this animal called?”

“I dunno,” claims Bobby.

The teacher says: “I’ll give you a hint, it’s what your mother calls your father.”

The boy thinks for a minute and then says, “Oh that’s what a son of a bitch looks like!”

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