SINCE 1928 It’s now or never for IndIa: eX-aussIe batsman Jones Pg 28 maratha quota Is vote bank polItIcs REG. NO. MCS/048/2018-20; RNI NO. 1541/1957 M.P.C.S office Mumbai-400001 Fast News NON-SUBSIDY LPG IS TO COST RS 133 LESS NEW DELHI: Non-subsidised or market priced LPG rates have been cut by a steep Rs 133 per cylinder to reflect fall in international oil rates and strengthening of the rupee. It will now cost Rs 809.50 per 14.2-kg cylinder in Delhi. As against this, a 14.2-kg subsidised LPG cylinder will cost Rs 500.90, down by Rs 6.52. The price reduction has come soon after six consecutive monthly hikes in rates since June. RAMDEV BOOK BAN: SC ISSUES NOTICE NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to Yoga guru Ramdev on a plea by a publisher challenging the Delhi High Court's verdict restraining sale and publication of a book purportedly on his life. The high court had passed the restraining order after Ramdev claimed that the book had defamatory content. The apex court has listed the matter for further hearing in first week of February next year. AZHAR WILL HEAD TELANGANA CONG NEW DELHI: Former Congress MP Mohammed Azharuddin was on Friday appointed working president of the party in Telangana, days ahead of assembly elections in the southern state. Azharuddin was a former captain of the Indian cricket team and his career came to an abrupt end when his name cropped up in the infamous match-fixing scandal in 2000 and was banned by the BCCI for life. However, the Andhra Pradesh High Court in 2012 declared the life ban on him as illegal. SHAW IS OUT OF FIRST TEST SYDNEY: Indian opener Prithvi Shaw was on Friday ruled out of the first Test against Australia after suffering an ankle injury during the ongoing tour game against Cricket Australia XI. His injury is a massive setback for the visitors as the 19-year-old was expected to open in the first Test beginning December 6 at Adelaide. With Shaw unavailable, KL Rahul and Murali Vijay will be India's openers in the first Test. The BCCI did not name any replacement for the Mumbai teenager. Shaw suffered the left ankle injury while attempting a catch at the boundary ropes. TAILPIECE KOHLI FLAWLESS LIKE ‘MONA LISA’ Team India skipper Virat Kohli, whose recent form has been ravishing, is getting rave reviews in the Australian press. Which is rare because Aussies are seldom charitable in their assessment of cricketers from the Indian subcontinent. But being likened to the greats of the game is one thing; what former Australian cricketer Dean Jones had to say really took the cake: he said that Kohli is flawless like the famous masterpiece Mona Lisa. While there is no denying the artistic merit of the masterpiece, Mona Lisa is also known for her enigmatic smile. But Kohli, with his arsenal of amazing cover drives and whips through mid-wicket, is hardly enigmatic. Jones had a word of caution, too: he warned the hosts against provoking Kohli during the upcoming series, pointing out that the Indian captain 'thrives on confrontational situations'. "Do not talk or provoke him. Make him your best mate." QUOTE Rahul Gandhi is my captain. It is he who sent me to Pakistan. Rahul Gandhi is the captain of the captain (Amarinder Singh) also. – NAVJOT SINGH SIDHU `2 EDIT workIng wIth nawazuddIn huge thIng for me: sanya Pg 24 GROWTH BLUES RATTLE BJP, NOW Pg 8 FPJ NEWS SERVICE New Delhi There is bad news. One, the economic growth is weakening in the run-up to the general election. It has tapered off to 7.1 percent in the JulySeptember quarter, dragged down by slower consumer spending and farm growth. The growth is still faster than China’s 6.5 percent in the same quarter, but a climb down from the more than two-year high of 8.2 percent in the June quarter. Some economists expect the slowdown to stretch on to the election, and beyond. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had, in a conciliatory gesture towards the Shiv Sena, offered it the posts of deputy speaker of the assembly and deputy chairman of the council last week. While Sena’s Vijay Auti, three-time member of the legislative assembly from Parner, Ahmednagar district, was elected unopposed as deputy speaker of the assembly on Friday the last , day of the winter session, the chairman of the council and Nationalist Congress Party leader Ramraje NaikNimbalkar did not bring up the issue of election of his deputy for the entire day . This, despite Fadnavis’ request to NCP chief Sharad Pawar to ensure that election to this post be held. Now, the House has been adjourned sine die till February 18, next year. Leader of Opposition Dhananjay Munde revealed that Fadnavis had insisted on holding the election. “The CM had reportedly threatened to complain to the governor, Ch Vidyasagar Rao, about Nimbalkar and the NCP if they would not hold the election for the post,” said Munde. The CM called Pawar and requested him to instruct Nimbalkar to hold the poll. However, Pawar said he would stand behind Nimbalkar to ensure that the post did not go to the Sena, said Munde. Disappointed Sena leaders claimed this move had exposed NCPs anti-women face. CONTD. ON P6 Secondly the fiscal target , picture is not too rosy: the full-year deficit target of Rs 6.24 lakh crore was breached at October end. This was mainly on account of lower revenue collections, showed government data, reflecting deterioration in public finances. The government has budgeted to cut fiscal deficit to 3.3 per cent of GDP in 201819 from 3.53 per cent in the previous financial year. If revenue collections pick up in the remainder of the year, the government may still meet its target. If not, the government may be under pressure to prune expenditure. According to Reuters, the GDP data shows a decline in growth of the farm sector and consumer spending, raising fears that slower rural wage growth could hit growth in the second half of the fiscal year ending in March 2019. The gross domestic product figure was “disappointing”, Subhash Chandra Garg, economic affairs secretary was , cited as saying by PTI. CONTD. ON P6 FPJ POLITICAL BUREAU Mumbai Inspired by the Maratha reservation Bill, which was passed by the State Assembly on Thursday the , All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen is likely to move the high court and demand a quota for Muslims. AIMIM legislator Imtiyaz Jaleel contended on Friday that the Muslim community meets most of the parameters cited by the State Backward Class Commission. Three government-appointed commissions -- Sachar, Ranganath Mishra and Mehmood-ur-Rehman -- had recommended quota for Muslims, Jaleel pointed out. Earlier in the day when the , issue was raised in the Assembly Chief Minister De, vendra Fadnavis made it JK HOUSE DECISION IN COURT FROM OUR BUREAU New Delhi Underwater Dubai, Mumbai rail link? FPJ NEWS SERVICE Abu Dhabi UAE is dreaming big these days – from Hyperloop and driverless flying cars to an underwater rail network, stretching all the way to Mumbai from Fujairah. The underwater rail concept already has a few takers with a UAE company showing keen interest in the project. This company is even talking about freshwater flowing from India to the UAE and oil being exported back through a pipeline. ‘‘This is a concept. We plan to connect Mumbai with Fujairah through ultra-speed floating trains. The project aims at boosting bilateral trade. There will be export of oil to India from Fujairah port and import of excess water from Narmada River. In addition, other GCC partners can also resort to export and import," Abdulla Alshehhi, the founder-owner of the National Advisor Bureau Limited consultancy firm, said at the UAE-India Conclave which was recently held in Abu Dhabi. Alshehhi’s consultancy firm based in Masdar is a breeding ground for start-ups. He is the same man who had proposed the UAE Iceberg project, which aims at bringing icebergs from Antarctica to solve CONTD. ON P6 THOUGHT FOR THE DAY Honesty, faithfulness, civility and balance of mind help to maintain stability in human relations. A writ petition was registered by the Supreme Court on Friday challenging the , dissolution of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly by Governor Satya Pal Malik, seeking an ex parte stay on his "illegal" act. The dissolution came just as the National Conference, People's Democratic Party (PDP) and Congress had joined hands to form the government and make public their claim on twitter. None of the parties, however, chose CONTD. ON P6 “If the demands concern backward castes, which have embraced Islam but are not yet out of the caste matrix, the commission can be asked to conduct a study. The govt will then act upon its recommendations” Brahma Kumaris ED summons Robert Vadra in land scam AGENCIES / New Delhi The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned Robert Vadra, brother-in-law of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, in connection with its money laundering probe in a land scam case in Bikaner, officials said Friday . They added that Vadra was asked to appear before the investigating officer of the case next week and this was the second summons issued to him for recording his statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The officials said that as Vadra did not appear before the investigating officer when the first summons was issued earlier in November, the second summons have been issued to him. The central probe agency had registered a criminal case in connection with the deal in 2015, taking cognisance of a clutch of FIRs and chargesheets filed by the Rajasthan police after the local tehsildar of Bikaner complained about alleged forgery in the allotment of land in the area, considered sensitive due to its proximity to the Indo-Pak border. The ED, it is understood, wants to grill Vadra about the operations of a firm -- Ms Skylight Hospitality Private Limited -- allegedly linked to him, which had purchased CONTD. ON P6 NCP blocks Sena Inspired MIM to move bid to secure post HC for Muslim quota FPJ POLITICAL BUREAU Mumbai Sunrise: 06:55 am Sunset: 05:56 pm Vol. 62 No. 184 | SATURDAY | DECEMBER 1, 2018 | 28 Pages EDITIONS : MUMBAI*, PUNE, INDORE, BHOPAL www.freepressjournal.in twitter.com/fpjindia Growth tapers off as PM gears up for polls; fiscal deficit target breached on account of lower revenue collections A fall in food prices has hit rural incomes, which in turn has dampened sales of consumer durables and other products. Farmers are in distress because of soaring operating costs and plunging produce prices. The distress spilled into the national capital on Friday with tens of thousands of farmers and rural workers marching to Parliament on Friday. WEATHER 360C. 200C. clear that the constitution does not provide for religionbased quota. “If the demands concern backward castes, which have embraced Islam but are not yet out of the caste matrix, the commission can be asked to conduct a study The govern. ment will then act upon its recommendations,” he added. The erstwhile CongressNCP government in the State had granted five per cent quota to Muslims in education, as well as 16 per cent caste reservation to Marathas. However, the government could not establish its case in court and the move fell through. The Fadnavis government brought in the legislation afresh, but solely for the Maratha community without , any mention of Muslims. CONTD. ON P6 SC rejects plea of 350 soldiers challenging FIRs lodged against them in disturbed areas No immunity for army men in AFSPA area FROM OUR BUREAU / New Delhi The Supreme Court on Friday refused to provide immunity to the Army and Central paramilitary forces in areas covered by the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA). In other words, criminal acts in the garb of fighting the militants will not be provided a shield. The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act gives special rights to security forces in carrying out various operations in "disturbed" areas. With that, the Bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Uday U Lalit dismissed the plea of over 350 soldiers against the CBI, which had registered FIRs against them. The army men had claimed that such action by the CBI demoralises the military and paramilitary forces and holds them back from carrying out their duties in the sensitive areas. The court also pulled up the Centre coming out in support of the petitions and contending that the FIRs had demoralised the forces. When Solicitor General Tushar Mehta pleaded on behalf of the government that a mechanism is needed to ensure that the hands of soldiers do not shake while fighting terrorism, the Bench shot back: "Who has stopped you from coming out with a mechanism? These are issues for you to discuss and not for the court." CONTD. ON P6 Parsi objections overruled — CM FADNAVIS Decks cleared for Metro III line, stay on tunnelling vacated NARSI BENWAL / Mumbai Clearing the decks for the controversial Metro III line connecting Colaba and SEEPZ via Bandra, the Bombay High Court on Friday vacated a stay it had earlier imposed on its tunnelling work. The ruling comes as a major breather for the Maharashtra government and the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (MMRCL). A division bench of Chief Justice Naresh Patil and Justice Makarand Karnik turned down a bunch of petitions filed by some Parsi priests and members of the community The community had . challenged tunnelling work on the apprehension that it would have an adverse impact on the heritage structures of two fire temples in south Mumbai. Of the two, the Atash Behrams is 188 years old while the other is 122 years old. The station near these temples will be Kalbadevi. The community in its plea claimed that the tunnelling work will desecrate the holy fires and also dry the holy waters in the wells. The bench had initially stayed tunnelling work and at the same time asked VJTI to study the apprehensions of the community and file a report. The expert body accordingly submit, ted its report recommending construction work but with continuous monitoring of the work. Referring to the report, CJ Patil said, “In view of the report, we find no reason to extend the stay Thus, MMRCL can . now carry on with its tunnelling work.” “But there must be continuous and strict monitoring to ensure that the work does not damage the structures in question,” CJ Patil added. CONTD. ON P6 Warning of impending 8.5-strong quake in Himalayas DOOM AND GLOOM IANS Bengaluru Growing warnings by scientists of an impending high-magnitude earthquake in the Himalayas have got further credence from yet another study by Indian researchers. The new study, led by seismologist CP Rajendran of the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research in Bengaluru, says the "enormous stacking up of strain in the region portends at least one earthquake of magnitude 8.5 or more in one of the overlapping segments of the central Himalayas anytime in the future". According to the study, published in "Geological Journal", the researchers critically evaluated existing databases along with the data from two newly explored locales, to determine the timing of the last faulting event on the frontal thrust of the central Himalayas. The analysis, the researchers say "compels us , to conclude that a great earthquake of magnitude 8.5 or more that occurred between years 1315 and 1440 had unzipped a stretch of about 600 km in the central Himalayas. After this massive earthquake, the frontal thrust covering parts of India and eastern Nepal has remained seismically quiet for 600 to 700 years, implying enormous build-up of strain in the region. An earthquake of magnitude 8.5 or more is overdue in this part of the Himalayas, given the longelapsed time. Considering this potentially high seismic risk, a quake will be particularly catastrophic for a region marked by an ever-growing population and unhindered expansion of the built-up environment. So, poor preparedness is now way to meet this contingency .