SINCE 1928 UMESH YADAV BURST HELPS BANGALORE STAY AFLOAT Pg 20 Reg. No. Mcs/048/2018-20; RNI No. 1541/1957 POLLS OVER, PETROL METER TICKING AGAIN NEW DELHI: Despite the spike in international crude rates, the oil PSUs had kept the rates unchanged for nearly three weeks. But two days after the Karnataka election wound up, refineries lost no time in announcing the new petrol and diesel prices. The new petrol rates for metro cities are: Rs 74.80 (Delhi), Rs 77.50 (Kolkata), Rs 82.65 (Mumbai) and Rs 77.61 (Chennai). Diesel prices are: Rs 66.14 (Delhi), Rs 66.68 (Kolkata), Rs 70.43 (Mumbai) and Rs 69.79 (Chennai). With this, diesel prices have touched a record high while petrol is at a 56month peak. In the last 19 days, the prices remained constant despite fluctuations in international crude rates. Interestingly, Brent crude oil prices increased by about $3 (Rs 200) per barrel during this period when fuel prices in India remained unchanged. On April 23, the day before the last change in the prices of fuel in India, crude oil prices were around $74.50 per barrel. By May 11, a day before voting in Karnataka, the prices had increased by 3.7 per cent to about $77.50 per barrel. Interestingly, the oil PSUs had refused to acknowledge that there was any directive to keep the prices static in a bid to help the ruling BJP in the Karnataka elections. In fact, just last month Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had denied reports of a directive to State-owned oil firms to absorb at least Re 1 a litre hike by not raising prices in line with cost. Result: According to report in a leading news agency, stateowned oil marketing companies are estimated to have lost about Rs 500 crore as they absorbed the higher cost resulting from the spike in international oil rates and fall in the rupee against the US dollar. Attacking the ruling government, former Finance Minister Chidambaram took P. to his Twitter handle and wrote: “There we go again. More taxes on petrol and diesel, more burden on the consumer. The Karnataka election was only an interval”. RETAIL INFLATION IS UP 4.58 PERCENT NEW DELHI: New Delhi: Reversing the declining trend of three months, retail inflation inched up to 4.58 per cent in April and may prompt RBI to harden stance at the monetary policy review next month. The Wholesale Price Index (WPI) based inflation too rose to 3.18 per cent in April mainly on account of a spike in fuel prices. Retail inflation rose on account of rise in prices of cereals, meat, fish and fruits. As per Central Statistics Office (CSO) data, retail inflation was 4.28 per cent in March and 2.99 per cent in April last year. PRE-MONSOON RAIN LIKELY IN SOME PARTS STAFF REPORTER/MUMBAI: The state may get some respite from the searing heat with the IMD predicting pre-monsoon showers in parts of the state, including Konkan, Madhya Maharashtra, Marathwada and Vidarbha. However, the forecast is only of isolated rain. A few places in Konkan and Madhya Maharashtra have already received some rainfall in the last 24 hours. Sangli got 30mm and Kolhapur, Miraj and Shirur 10mm each. The thunderstorm activity is due to the excessive heat and not specifically due to any weather system, said an IMD official. MODI AD SPEND THUS FAR IS RS 4,300 CRORE MUMBAI: The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has so far splurged a whooping Rs 4,343.26 crore only on advertisements and publicity through different media, it has been revealed under RTI an activist said. Significantly, owing to allround criticism of the government, there was a small reduction in the massive ad spending -- almost Rs 308 crore in 2017. EDIT 350C. 270C. Sunrise: 06:08 am Sunset: 07:02 pm BELIEVE IN ENTERTAINING THROUGH ‘COMMERCIAL STUFF’: ARJUN Pg 16 THOUGHT FOR THE DAY We cannot control the environment around us, but we can control our perceptions completely. Vol. 62 No. 16 | TUESDAY | MAY 15, 2018 | 20 Pages EDITIONS : MUMBAI*, PUNE, INDORE, BHOPAL www.freepressjournal.in twitter.com/fpjindia IRANI IS OUT OF I&B, GOYAL TO MIND FINANCE FOR JAITLEY Pg 8 Rathore gets independent charge of I&B; Ahluwalia gets electronics FPJ NEWS SERVICE / New Delhi In an abrupt but minor Union cabinet rejig, Smriti Irani has been moved out of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, which was recently involved in an embarrassing episode over the National Film Awards involving President Kovind. The President had reportedly written to the Prime Minister to protest at her ham-handed handling of the event. Smriti was also embroiled in a controversy over her diktat on fake news, which the Prime Minister had to roll back after media outcry . Smriti will now be taking care of only the Textile ministry She had earlier been . Congress upbeat but is taking no chances KARNATAKA FPJ NEWS SERVICES Bengaluru The Congress party is taking no chances in Karnataka, having been outmaneuvered in Goa and Manipur. Top leaders, including Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ashok Gehlot, have rushed to Bengaluru on the eve of counting of votes. Azad has been party incharge of Karnataka in the past and is said to enjoy good relations with former PM and JD(S) leader HD Deve Gowda. With most pre-polls surveys predicting a hung house, JD(S) is being seen as the kingmaker. Hours before the results, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah was getting hints of a possible change of guard from within his own party "There . are at least half a dozen chief ministerial candidates in our party said G Paramesh," wara, a senior Congress leader from Karnataka, confirming that he too was in reckoning. "Of course, since the last election, I have been portrayed as an alternative or one of the chief ministeri- al candidates... let me also take a chance," the politician, who heads. If the Congress wins Karnataka, it will find the year end Assembly polls in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh a relatively easier proposition. This will set the tone for the 2019 general elections and determine the changing political contours of an anti-BJP formation. It may also pitchfork Rahul into a pole position. In the unlikely event of the BJP snatching Karnataka, bolstered saffron forces will start looking at the other Southern states beyond the Vindhyas. A belligerent BJP may then even consider going for a snap Lok Sabha poll in December along with the Assembly elections in three states. The Karnataka campaign had largely become a political slugfest – perhaps the dirtiest ever – between Rahul and PM Modi/Amit Shah combine. But it may be blessing in disguise as Rahul has been able to break away for his peter pan image of a CONTD. ON P6 shunted out of the HRD ministry in 2016. Smriti had cancelled her trip to Cannes where Indian film industry has a strong presence. This was the first indication that something was amiss. She had recently at a lecture describe broadcast news landscape as a spectator sport in which rush for grabbing eyeballs has reduced everything to ‘headlines competing with hashtags’. GOYAL TO MAN FINANCE The other big takeaway of the reshuffle is that Union Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal has been given the additional charge of Union Finance Ministry until Arun Jaitley has fully recovered from his kidney transplant. (The surgery was successfully carried out on Monday and Jaitley’s condition is believed to be stable.) CONTD. ON P6 4 years on, Shashi faces abetment of suicide rap FROM OUR BUREAU New Delhi More than four years after his wife Sunanda Pushkar's mysterious death on January 17, 2014, Kerala's Congress MP Shashi Bhushan Tharoor was on Monday made an accused and charged with cruelty in marriage and abetment of suicide. The Delhi Police filed the much-delayed chargesheet, which runs into 3,000 pages, in the court of the Metropolitan Magistrate. Sunanda, who had married the former union minister in 2010, was found dead in a suite of a 5-star hotel here, days after she had publicly accused her husband of having an affair with a Pakistani journalist. She was 52 at the time of her death. After a reported quarrel on a flight from Kerala, Sunanda, daughter of a late colonel and born in Sopore in Jammu and Kashmir, left Tharoor at Delhi airport and checked into the hotel where she died two days later. The police had initially claimed she was poisoned and registered a murder case in January 2015, without naming any suspect, but the case took a turn after it interrogated Tharoor. The police now say they have no proof of murder but it was evident Sunanda had been driven to suicide; she had not been eating or even leaving her hotel room, the charge-sheet reportedly says. Police sources said the couple fought frequently and Sunanda had been taking depression pills without prescription. The case got all charged up when the government at the Centre changed from Congress-led UPA to BJPled NDA. BJP MP Subramanian Swamy had been relentlessly pursuing the case with a couple of TV channels giving it disproportionate coverage. Responding to the charges, Tharoor tweeted that he has taken note of "the filing of this preposterous charge sheet" and intends to contest it. ‘‘No one who knew Sunanda believes she would ever have committed suicide, let alone abetment on my part. CONTD. ON P6 tims were returning home from their native place in Kankavali, Sindhudurg district. According to the police, the suburban train had halted between Borivali-Kandivali stations at a signal when the four decided to get off the train, so that they could reach home quickly . “ As they hopped off and were crossing the railway line, they were run over by another suburban train coming from the opposite direction,” stated the Press release. The bodies of the four youths -- Sagar Chavan (23), Saiprasad Chavan (17), Manohar Chavan (17) and Dattaprasad Chavan (20) -- were found between Kandivali and Borivali stations. They had all gone to Sagar’s hometown Sindhudurg for a marriage function. According to police officials, they received a call at 5.38 am from Kandivali railway station about the mishap. While three bodies were lying in a heap, one was found nearby . Meanwhile, even as the post-mortem report is awaited, the family members of the deceased have alleged that they suspect this to be a case of murder. All the four have a single injury on the back of the head, it is pointed out. CONTD. ON P6 4 cousins mowed down on tracks STAFF REPORTER / Mumbai DATTAPRASAD SAIPRASAD Four youths from the same family were mowed down by a train when they were crossing the railway track in north Mumbai early on Monday morning. But family members have alleged that they suspect this to be a case of murder. A senior official said that the incident took place around 5.30 am when the vic- PM should mind his MANOHAR SAGAR language, Kovind told FROM OUR BUREAU New Delhi Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Rajya Sabha Opposition leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Khare and a dozen other Congress leaders have written to President Ramnath Kobind to caution Prime Minister Modi against use of unwarranted threatening and intimidating language against Congress that does not behove the position of the prime minister. Their reference was to Modi's poll address at Hubli in Karnataka on May 6, warning the Congress leaders of dire consequences if they cross the limits. "Congress ke neta kaan kholkar sun lijiye. Agar seemaon ko par karoge to ye Modi hai, lene ke dene pad jayenge." Enclosing the video clip in a 2-page letter, they said such a threat violates the oath of office that the PM takes. "It is unthinkable that in our dem- Shiv Shahi A/C buses earn Rs 1.71 cr in just 10 days! STAFF REPORTER / Mumbai “Congress ke neta kaan kholkar sun lijiye. Agar seemaon ko par karoge to ye Modi hai, lene ke dene pad jayenge." ocratic polity the Prime Min, ister as head of the Government would utter words which are threatening and intimidating in content and a public warning to the leaders and members of the main opposition party i.e. the Indian , National Congress." "The threat held out by the Prime Minister to the Congress leadership deserves to be condemned....The words CONTD. ON P6 In a major boost to state transport, the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) has earned nearly Rs 1.71 crore within 10 days by providing services to the public through its Shiv Shahi buses. A MSRTC senior official said that due to this success they have started a new bus service from Mumbai to Ratnagiri. The new services too are all booked well in advance up to May 16. “We have added 30-seater A/C buses from Mumbai to Kolhapur,” added an official. Currently MSRTC is run, ning 1,113 services along 202 routes in the state out of which 751 Shiv Shahi buses are plying in the state, of these, 20 buses offer sleeper services. “The corporation will get another 1,249 buses by the year-end. So a total of 2,000 Shiv Shahi buses will be operating in the state. CONTD. ON P6 His Holiness Radhanath Swami Maharaj PHOTOS BY BL SONI Fast News PRAGMATISM ON BOTH SIDES WEAThEr Abhijnan Chakraborty with the principal of Podar School, Santacruz; he is first in the country in 12th ISC board Mumbai students top merit list of ICSE, ISC Swayam 1st in ICSE STAFF REPORTER Mumbai Students of Mumbai have topped both the ICSE (Indian Certificate of Secondary Education) and the ISC (Indian School Certificate) board examination, the results of which (Class 10 and Class12) were declared on Monday . Swayam Das of St Mary’s School, Koparkhairane, Navi Mumbai, secured the first rank in ICSE (Class 10) by scoring 99.40 per cent marks. Another student, Anokhi Mehta of Jamnabai Narsee School, Juhu, secured the second rank with 99.20 per cent marks. Interestingly Das did , not attend any coaching class but concentrated on solving question papers of previous years. He had earlier topped the Maharashtra zone in Olympiad. Vedika Manek of St Gregorios School, Chembur, scored the third rank with 99 per cent marks; given that her living conditions are hardly hospitable, it was a grand achievement. “My house is small and there is a lot of commotion in the neighbourhood. I would sit in the corner of my house and study My parents . have been very supportive, as I even took up swimming to balance my focus on studies.” In ISC (Class 12), Abhijnan Chakraborty of Lilavatibai Podar High School, Santacruz, and Tansa Shah of The Cathedral and John Connon School, Fort, secured the first rank by scoring 99.50 per cent marks. Says Chakraborty “I prepared , throughout the year with a regular pattern of studying consistently I . want to pursue Chemistry now, as the syllabus and the board has given me a lot of opportunities for learning.” Shah, however, had a different approach. “I was flexible in my study pattern and did not study for a marathon 12 hours. I balanced my studying time with other activities. I want to pursue law in the future.” Priya Khajanchi and Rakshita Deshmukh of Lilavatibai Podar High School, Santacruz, secured the second rank with 99.25 per cent marks. Priya’s brother said, “My sister focussed on her studies with utmost concentration.” Rewati Shitole of Sulochanadevi Singhania School, Thane, and Akansha Gupta of Bombay Scottish School scored the third rank with CONTD. ON P6 Rewati Shitole Tansa Shah Vedika Manek Seven students have topped the Class 12 exam with an identical score of 99.5 % Plea to end hold of in-house pharmacies AGENCIES New Delhi The Supreme Court on Monday sought a response from the Centre, states and Union Territories on a PIL alleging patients are compelled to buy medicines from in-house pharmacy stores of hospitals and are prevented from buying them in the open market. The two-judge bench also issued notice to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the governments of all states and Union Territories. The PIL filed by a practicing lawyer has contended that patients admitted in private hospitals are being made to suffer considerable financial loss through the forced purchase of drugs from in-house pharmacies. These stores sell drugs at a much higher price than other stores that usually offer discounts over MRP (maximum retail price). The petitioner has sought directions to the governments to ban this malpractice and protect the interests of the buyers of medicines, medical devices and implants and medical consumables. The advocate said as of now, "there is no law or policy framework" to prevent the misuse, fleecing and looting by hospitals. The governments have left the people in the unscrupulous hands and regressive regime of the hospitals. The governments, despite being aware of all these malpractices, have shut their eyes and ignored the interest of the patients which they are bound to protect. These acts are "against humanity morality and the , right of the citizens to live a pactors; from here, it is moved to the dumping grounds. The existing contract had ended last week on May 8. So, the BMC invited fresh bids and Kaviraj MBB emerged as the lowest bidder. Incidentally Kaviraj MBB , has links to Kaviraj Infratech, which has been blacklisted in the nullah desilting scam. The BMC, however, insists that the two companies have different directors and hence should be treated as separate entities. “The decision was taken after seeking legal opinion. So, now that they are the lowest bidder, we are obliged to give them the contract,’’ said a solid waste management department official.The civic body had floated tenders to transport 650 metric tonnes of garbage per day from the dignified and respectable life", the petitioner pointed out, adding that it is also obligatory on the part of the governments to provide best and affordable healthcare to the citizens. The advocate also said the governments should ensure that notice boards are put up at appropriate and prominent places in the hospitals and the hospital pharmacies that the patients and their attendants have the choice to purchase medicines from the vendor of their choice. CONTD. ON P6 Tainted contractor bags garbage order STAFF REPORTER Mumbai The BMC standing committee on Monday passed a proposal to appoint a previously blacklisted contractor’s new firm to transport garbage to the dumping grounds.The proposal pertains to transport of garbage, which is brought to the Mahalaxmi refuse transfer centre by mini com- refuse station at Mahalaxmi to the dumping grounds at Kanjurmarg, Deonar and Mulund. The garbage contract is for Rs 6.5 crore. Ironically the , matter had been raised in the standing committee meeting where it was pointed out that another company of the contractor Kaviraj MBB has been already blacklisted.