SINCE 1928 DHONI’S ALTERCATION SETS WRONG PRECEDENT Pg 22 ELECTORAL REFORMS CRYING FOR ATTENTION REG. NO. MCS/048/2018-20; RNI NO. 1541/1957 M.P.C.S office Mumbai-400001 Fast News COURT RESTRAINS ARCELOR MITTAL The Supreme Court on Friday restrained steel manufacturing giant Arcelor Mittal from acquiring Essar Steel India and ordered status quo on the March 8 order of the National Company Law Tribunal approving Arcelor's bid for Essar. The Arcelor's acquisition of Essar would have allowed Arcelor owner Lakshmi Mittal to begin its operations in the Indian steel market. The apex court order is bound to delay Mittal's plan to buy the steel mill, which can produce 10 million metric tonne annually. DGCA SOS TO PMO ON JET The Director General of Civil Aviation and the Civil Aviation Secretary have sought an urgent meeting on Jet Airways with Nripendra Mishra, principal secretary to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The move came after Union Minister Suresh Prabhu on Friday directed Civil Aviation Secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola to review issues concerning Jet Airways, which has been operating with less than 10 planes. The two main issues confronting the airline are the loss of jobs and at the prospect of higher airfares, if Jet Airways collapses. The airline has extended the suspension of its international flights till Monday. The government rules call for an airline to have at least 20 planes for operating international operations. The deadline for submission of Expression of Interest for Jet Airways also closed on Friday. HIGHEST RUSSIAN AWARD FOR MODI PM Modi has been conferred Russia’s highest civilian award – the Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle' -- for promoting a special and privileged strategic partnership between the two countries. Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed the decree to award the PM, its embassy tweeted. The award comes days after the United Arab Emirates announced 'The Order of Zayed' for PM Modi. A Russian official said the 'Order of St Andrew the Apostle' is awarded to prominent statesmen, public figures and those working in the fields of science, culture and arts in recognition of their exceptional services. The order can also be awarded to foreign heads of state. The foreign awardees thus far include President of China Xi Jinping, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Geydar Aliev. The award ceremony is usually held at the St Andrew Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace. BILL TO PUT INDIA ON PAR WITH NATO A bipartisan group of half a dozen influential American lawmakers has reintroduced an important legislation in the House of Representatives which seeks to advance the US-India strategic relationship. If enacted, the legislation would ensure that the US State Department treats India as a NATO ally for the purposes of the Arms Export Control Act. It would send a powerful signal that defence sales to India should be prioritised according to US-India Strategic Partnership Forum, which had worked on this important legislation. AYODHYA PUJA: SC DISMISSES PLEA "You will never let this country remain in peace," the Supreme Court said on Friday while dismissing a plea seeking permission to carry out religious activities in nine ancient temples situated on the undisputed acquired land adjacent to Ram JanambhoomiBabri Masjid site at Ayodhya. The bench was hearing an appeal filed against the January 10 order of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court, which had dismissed the plea seeking its nod to offer prayer in the nine temples there and had also imposed a cost of Rs 5 lakh on the petitioner. `2 EDIT Bonds to stay but SC needs funding details The Supreme Court on Friday directed all political parties to provide to the EC in a sealed cover by May 30 details of donations received in the form of electoral bonds and the identity of the donors. The directive is expected to bring transparency to anonymous poll funding. Refusing to stay for now the contentious electoral bonds scheme, the court gave the direction in an interim order. The political parties were also directed to give details of the bank account of the donors. The order was given on a petition filed by an NGO--Association of Democratic Re- Sunrise: 06:27 am Sunset: 06:52 pm STOP CLICKING TAIMUR’S PICS: SAIF TELLS PAPARAZZI Pg 20 THOUGHT FOR THE DAY Vol. 62 No. 296 | SATURDAY | APRIL 13, 2019 | 22 Pages EDITIONS: MUMBAI*, PUNE, INDORE, BHOPAL www.freepressjournal.in twitter.com/fpjindia Pg 12 PAISA & POLITICS AGENCIES New Delhi WEATHER 330C. 240C. forms -- challenging the validity of the scheme. The ADR had also sought a stay on the issuance of electoral bonds or that at least the names of the donors be made public to ensure transparency in the poll process. The order was welcomed by opposition parties as a step towards bringing transparency to political funding. A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna also rejected the Centre's contention that the apex court should not interfere with the scheme at this stage and examine whether it has worked or not only after the ongoing general elections. CONTD. ON P11 Sakshi one up, warns of bad karma FPJ NEWS SERVICE Unnao Sakshi Maharaj, BJP's Unnao candidate, is one up on his Union Minister Maneka Gandhi. On Friday made an absurd statement at an election meeting -- that those who won't vote for him in the election will attract "bad karma". "When an ascetic comes at your door, seeking alms, pleading, and if his pleas are not heeded to, he might walk away with your good karma and hand over his bad karma," the leader said at an election meeting, elaborating on his divine displeasure theory . "If you ensure my victory I , will work for you, otherwise do 'bhajan-kirtan' in temple," he further warned, insisting that he was only citing sacred scriptures. Taking a serious note of the controversial comments, CONTD. ON P11 Leaders are those who make others aware of their own personal responsibilities. Barter vote for jobs, Maneka to Muslims Brahma Kumaris FPJ NEWS SERVICE Lucknow Union Minister Maneka Gandhi on Friday made a mockery of her party’s much touted slogan -- ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ -- by telling Muslims in Sultanpur to vote for her if they wanted jobs. The EC has taken cognisance of the matter and asked Maneka to explain her remarks. Almost chiding the Muslims at a public rally she said , that she would not accommodate them if they did not vote for her. Extolling the virtues of ‘saudebaazi,’ she further said that Muslim voters need to understand that it was a give and take relationship. ‘‘I am winning. I am winning because of the support and love of people. But if my victory is without Muslims, I Military veterans seek President’s intervention in protecting apolitical 6 nature of armed forces; of the 150 signatories, some back out Now, it is Modi’s Sena versus veterans won't feel that good. Then, dil khatta ho jayega. Then when a Muslim comes to me for work, I will think let it be, how does it matter? It's all give and take, isn't it? We aren't all sons of Mahatma Gandhi, are we? It's not that we keep on giving and then lose in the election. This vic- EVMs cannot be hacked: Ex-CEC KOLKATA: Former Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla has given a thumbs up to the EVMs to be used in the upcoming general elections, arguing that the equipment cannot be hacked or manipulated as they are not accessible through external machines and are kept under the surveillance of senior government officials. THE FREE PRESS JOURNAL FPJ NEWS SERVICE New Delhi A controversy is raging over a letter allegedly written by 150 military veterans to President Ram Nath Kovind expressing outrage over the "use" of the armed forces for "political purposes. Among these veterans are three former army chiefs, four former navy chiefs and a former air force chief. Some of the veterans named in the missive later said that they were not signatories to the letter, a claim that was lapped by some of the TV channels to suggest that it was part of the Congress poll propaganda. Former Army Vice-Chief Lt Gen M L Naidu was among those who said his consent was not taken before listing his name as one of the signatories. Air Chief Marshal NC Suri, in turn, said he did not agree with whatever has been written in the letter. ‘‘We have been misquoted,’’ he told ANI. Adding to the confusion, former Army chief General SF Rodrigues told ANI, "Don't know what it (the purported letter) is all about…It is a classic manifestation of fake news." However, when contacted, several veterans, including former Army chief Gen Deepak Kapoor and Gen Shankar Roy Chowdhury acknowl, edged writing the letter. The President – who is also the Commander-in-Chief – has been urged in the letter to take all necessary steps to direct political parties to desist from using the military mili, tary uniforms or symbols, and any actions by military formations or personnel, for political purposes or to further their political agendas. Sources at the Rashtrapati Bhavan denied receiving any letter supposedly written by the veterans which is circulating in the media. Citing Rodrigues and Suri, who have denied signing the letter, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman called the allegations "fake". "It is absolute- Modi’s Pradhan Yeh mantri bhi kabhi Sevak is a take-off graduate thi… on Nehru’s phrase Congress moves EC against wilful falsification of educational qualifications by Smriti Irani AGENCIES Nanded In a blistering attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena President Raj Thackeray said on Friday that the term 'Pradhan Sevak was first coined by India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. He said that at the Nehru Memorial Museum in Teen Murti Bhavan in New Delhi, there is a plaque in which Pandit Nehru's quote is prominently embossed: "Is desh ki janata hamein Pradhan Mantri na kahe, pratham sevak kahe." "But he (Modi) has merely changed 'pratham sevak' to 'pradhan sevak'," Thackery pointed out amidst thunderous applause at regular intervals during his campaign speech for the Congress-led 56-party 'Mahagathbandhan' here. "You (Modi) will keep on FPJ NEWS SERVICE New Delhi abusing Nehru and Indira Gandhi, but still you copy them… Past five years you have only lied to the country on everything," Thackeray roared. He also touched on Modi's oft-repeated allegation that nobody from the Congress family went to visit Bhagat Singh when he was in jail awaiting the gallows during the freedom struggle. CONTD. ON P11 Union Minister Smriti Irani has been hauled up by the Opposition for her flip-flop on her educational qualification. Irani, who had been rubbishing the Opposition's claim that she is not a graduate, on Thursday accepted that she had enrolled for an undergraduate course in Delhi University but did not complete it The Congress has alleged that the BJP leader submitted contradictory affidavits to the Election Commission and deliberately falsified her educational qualifications; so, her nomination for the Amethi Lok Sabha seat be cancelled. The party has also asked the EC to initiate criminal proceedings against Irani for the filing a false affidavit, which attracts up to six months' imprisonment, and/or a fine. The party said that the discrepancy in Irani's affidavit is a serious matter and a "corrupt practice". "This isn't a joke, this is serious matter. People are being fooled. This is a corrupt practice, her nomination should be cancelled. One who can fool voters does not have the right to get elected. BA, B.CoM, Yale... Modiji, save the nation later, inform us about your and Smriti's degree first," Con- gress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said. Earlier, Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi took a dig at Irani, parodying a wildly popular television serial "Kyunki Saans Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi" that starred the Union Minister before she joined politics. Chaturvedi also called Irani a "serial liar". "We have no issue with the fact that Smriti Irani is not a graduate. The issue here is that she has lied repeatedly on oath and to the courts. People of India will see through these lies and give a befitting political reply to a ''serial liar''!" she said. Irani hit back at the Congress over its allegations, saying she will continue to work hard for Amethi no matter what the opposition party leaders say . "Ek mantri bhi kabhi graduate thi (a minister was also a graduate once), this is a new film and series running in the country Congress ," spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told reporters outside the EC’s office. Cong-JD (S) future hinges on HDK’s son Nikhil’s victory COALITION CAPERS SHANKAR RAJ Bengaluru When Janata Dal (Secular) entered a post alliance with Congress after Assembly elections in 2018 and went on to form a shaky government, CM HD Kumaraswamy had said nothing will happen to his ministry till the Lok Sabha polls. Now that the polls are round the corner in Karnataka, the alliance is showing signs of a break-up. Two factors would con- tribute to this process - defeat of HDK's son Nikhil in Mandya and, secondly, the sudden drop in numbers in the Assembly if the three sitting MLAs of the Congress manage to win the Lok Sabha elections. But key to survival of the government will be the outcome in Mandya, a key seat in the sugarcane belt. Nikhil, like his role in his forthcoming film Abhimanyu, is fighting a losing battle to Sumalatha Ambareesh, the widow of actor- hero Ambareesh who lorded over the entire sugarcane belt. It is almost certain that Nikhil will lose. Sumalatha, an accomplished actor, has been gaining popularity and the backing of the numerous fans of Ambareesh, for whom he was a god figure. Nikhil's defeat will rattle the JD(S)-Congress alliance. Kumaraswamy loves his son and will not take the defeat lightly To . make matters worse, if his brother HD Revanna's son Prajwal manages to win from Hassan, Kumaraswamy will be a shattered man. Kumaraswamy propped up his son in a bitter family rivalry to inherit the JD(S) mantle for the next generation. Nikhil's defeat will thus change even family equations within the JD(S) parivar comprising grand old patriarch HD Deve Gowda, his sons HDK and Revana and, now, grandchildren Nikhil and Prajwal. If Nikhil is defeated, it will be not surprising if Kumaraswamy resigns, and throws the coalition into a disarray That will . lead to end of the coalition in Karnataka. CONTD. ON P11 [DEFINING] M MENT IT’S OFFICIAL: NO CONG TIEUP WITH AAP MUMBAI | THURSDAY | MARCH 14, 2019 ly condemnable that names were mentioned without taking permission," she said. The letter cites several examples of the military being used for political purposes, including Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath referring to the armed forces as "Modiji ki Sena" and the display of cut-outs of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman at political events. Meanwhile, the Congress on Friday moved the Election Commission against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah for allegedly "dragging" the armed forces into politics. tory will happen with or without you. And you have to spread the word on this," Maneka told the gathering, as the video shows. The three-minute speech went viral on social media and sparked outrage for its blatantly communal content. Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala demanded that the Election Commission register an FIR against her and cancel her nomination, while party leader Sanjay Jha slammed Gandhi and termed the statement as 'scandalous'."SCANDAL! Naukri ek sauda hai, says BJP's Maneka Gandhi. Dear Demographic Dividend India, now you know why India has unemployment, jobs crisis. For the BJP providing , jobs is a deal; you have to help them first, to get a job. CONTD. ON P11 LOK SABHA ELECTION 2019 After months of parleys, the Congress on Friday made it official and final -- that it will have no alliance with Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi. The two parties had almost sewn up a pact in Delhi - four seats for AAP and three for the Congress -- party leader PC Chacko said. He refuted the AAP claim and said his party chief Rahul Gandhi had pushed for the alliance. "The Congress president had given me the clearance to go and discuss the issue with AAP The political necessity . is we should come together and defeat the BJP Chacko told ," reporters. The AAP was, however, adamant that along with Delhi, the two parties should also have tie-ups in Haryana and Punjab, it is claimed. "It is neither practical, nor feasible. Otherwise, even today, we are ready for an alliance with AAP ." BJP MOVES EC AGAINST RAHUL The BJP on Friday moved the Election Commission seeking action against Rahul Gandhi for his "abusive" and "completely untrue" comments against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. After the apex court on Wednesday allowed leaked documents to be relied upon by petitioners in the Rafale case, Gandhi had claimed that the court has "accepted that PM Modi was a thief". MORE STRINGENT SEDITION LAW Attacking Congress over its poll promise to repeal the sedition law if elected to power, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said here that the BJP government would make the law even more stringent. "The Congress is saying that they will repeal the sedition law. I want to ask you all, should we forgive those Anti-nationals who are trying to rip through the unity and social fabric of our country?" he asked. SCINDIA GETS GUNA, TEWARI ANANDPUR The Congress on Friday fielded former union ministers Jyotiraditya Scindia and Manish Tewari from Guna (Madhya Pradesh) and Anandpur Sahib (Punjab), respectively. With this, the party has announced 386 candidates for the Lok Sabha elections. Tewari had backed out from contesting from his Ludhiana Lok Sabha seat in 2014 citing health reasons. He was initially seeking the party ticket from Chandigarh, where the party has fielded former railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal. SHAH SEES A POLITICAL PLOT BJP president Amit Shah on Friday described the recent Naxal attack in Dantewada, where a Chhattisgarh BJP MLA was killed, as a "political conspiracy" and sought a CBI probe into it. "Mandavi's wife has demanded a CBI probe into the attack. If the chief minister (Bhupesh Baghel) does not want to hide anything, then he should get the incident probed by a central agency. A neutral probe should be carried out into the attack," he said. RABRI DEVI’S BOMBSHELL Former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi on Friday dropped a bombshell claiming that poll strategist Prashant Kishor had met her husband Lalu Prasad with the proposal that the RJD and Nitish Kumar's JD (U) merge and the new entity thus formed declare its "prime ministerial candidate" ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. If Kishor denies having met Prasad with such a proposal, he is speaking a "blatant lie", she said. "I got infuriated and asked him to go away as I had no trust left in Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar following his betrayal," the RJD national vice-president, who is also the leader of the opposition in the legislative council, told a regional news channel here. SPEAK LESS ON RAFALE, SENA TO BJP The Shiv Sena on Friday advised its ally BJP to "speak less" on the Rafale deal, cautioning that unwanted statements may increase troubles for the national party. The Sena also said the ban on NaMo TV could have been avoided had the BJP been satisfied with the coverage being given to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's campaign rallies on electronic channels. PM LOOK-ALIKE FROM VARANASI Abhinandan Pathak, who resembles Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Friday said that he will be contesting the Lok Sabha elections as an Independent candidate from Varanasi. Earlier in the day, Abhinandan Pathak filed his nomination as an Independent candidate from Lucknow; he will also be contesting against BJP leader and Home Minister Rajnath Singh.