SINCE 1928 HAMILTON RULES CHINESE GRAND PRIX Pg 17 LEAVE ELECTORAL BONDS ALONE `2 REG. NO. MCS/048/2018-20; RNI NO. 1541/1957 M.P.C.S office Mumbai-400001 Pg 8 FPJ NEWS SERVICE New Delhi A conspiracy theory swirling , around a mysterious black box offloaded from PM’s chopper, was doing the rounds on social media for the last few days. At its core is a 14-second video clip that shows a "mysterious" black trunk being carted away in a hurry from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's chopper from a private helipad in Chitradurga and being deposited in a waiting Innova SUV . On Sunday the video was , tweeted by the Congress. Not just that, its Karnataka unit has complained to the EC. “The Election Commission should enquire into what was in the box and to whom the vehicle belonged,” said KPCC president Dinesh Gundu Rao in a tweet. Although the video had been in circulation on the internet for quite some time, KPCC levelled the accusations on Satur- day while Modi was campaigning in coastal Karnataka. In Delhi, Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma asked the prime minister to come clean and said the Election Commission should inquire into the contents of the "trunk". "We saw there were three more choppers escorting the prime minister's helicopter. After landing, a black trunk was taken out and whisked away in a private car which was not Sunrise: 06:25 am Sunset: 06:52 pm ALIA BHATT WANTS TO GO TO HOLLYWOOD Pg 14 THOUGHT FOR THE DAY Vol. 62 No. 297 | MONDAY | APRIL 15, 2019 | 18 Pages EDITIONS : MUMBAI*, PUNE, INDORE, BHOPAL www.freepressjournal.in twitter.com/fpjindia Cong moves EC on mystery black box on Modi chopper EDIT WEATHER 340C. 250C. part of the SPG cavalcade," he alleged. Sharma alleged that the trunk may have contained money "What was there in the . trunk? If there was no cash in it, let an inquiry be held," he said. Sharma pointed out that whenever the Prime Minister or other Cabinet Ministers travel to various locations for election campaign, EC officials check their vehicles. "This rule is applicable on the Prime Minister too. There should an investigation, as nothing is out of the purview of the SPG, which accompanies the Prime Minister everywhere. But an exception was made in the case of this box. Where was the box transported," Sharma asked. The BJP trashed the opposition's allegations saying these are baseless. "The Congress -which is synonymous with corruption -- should come CONTD. ON P9 Jet pilots to stop flying from today FPJ NEWS SERVICE New Delhi At least 1000 pilots and engineers of the cash-strapped Jet Airways have decided to stop flying from midnight, thus grounding the airline, a senior official of the National Aviators Guild -- the Union for Jet Airways pilots -- told TV channels. A formal announcement is expected after a meeting on Monday . "The flights will stop from midnight, the meeting will be held tomorrow," said Captain Karan Chopra, Head of the National Aviators Guild. The pilots and engineers of the Jet Airways have not been paid for three months and the government should step in now, he said. "Unemployment is an election issue... In another day or two, more than 20,000 people in Jet Airways would be jobless,’’ he added. A spokesperson of Jet Airways, however, said the CONTD. ON P9 The Spiritual Path is more complicated than the Amazon. The Guru has already been through the 'forest'. Follow the guidance of the teacher to avoid getting hurt. Maneka will give grades to voters, in ‘D’ category you get just crumbs Master Choa Kok Sui FPJ NEWS SERVICE Sultanpur A day after Maneka Gandhi was caught on camera asking Muslim voters to barter their vote for jobs, she has announced an ‘ BCD’ grading A system to classify voters and accordingly reward them after elections. According to Maneka, those villages which cast 80 per cent votes for the BJP will be in category ‘ ’. Those which cast A 60 per cent votes will be category ‘B’. Those villages in which Maneka loses and record less than 50 per cent votes will come in category ‘C’. Finally come those villages, which record less than 30 per cent votes in her favour; they will be in category ‘D’. As per the grading system, the villages will be prioritised EVMs are back on Azam Khan in below-the-belt khaki remark Opposition radar 6 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 Rampur FPJ NEWS SERVICE New Delhi Harping on the credibility of EVMs, in the backdrop of the glitches reported in the first phase on April 11, a number of opposition parties on Sunday said they will move the Supreme Court yet again to demand verification of at least 50 per cent of votes by paper trail. The Congress, the TDP , the Samajwadi Party the , CPI and the CPM jointly addressed a press conference to highlight the issue of transparency in the election process and protection of voter rights with a call to "save democracy". Delhi Chief Minister and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal accused the BJP of "programming" electronic voting machines to win the Lok Sabha elections, while his Andhra Pradesh counterpart Chandrababu Naidu said 21 political parties have demanded verification of paper trail of 50 per cent of the EVMs. Naidu on Saturday had met Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora to raise the issue of EVM malfunctioning. The demand by the parties comes in the peak of the election season. The Supreme Court last Monday had directed the Election Commission to increase the random matching of VVPAT slips to five polling booths per assembly segment, from one at present, saying it will provide greater satisfaction not just to political parties but the entire electorate. Opposition parties, including the Congress, have been demanding that at least 50% votes polled through EVMs be verified. Kejriwal claimed that people were losing faith in EVMs and the election procedure. These are raising a question mark on the country's democratic structure, he said. Congress leaders and senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Abhishek Singhvi also attended the conference, with Singhvi saying opposition parties will approach the Supreme Court. "Questions were raised after the first phase of elections but we don't think the EC is paying adequate attention. If you press the button for X party vote goes to , Y party VVPAT display . lasts only 3 seconds, instead of 7 seconds," Singhvi said. ‘‘The so-called all-party meet is nothing but a confession of defeat. CONTD. ON P9 Senior Samajwadi Party leader and former minister Azam Khan on Sunday muddied the political waters by raving about a ‘khaki’ underwear while ranting about his rival Jaya Prada and former colleague. The rant went somewhat like this, as per an NDTV report. "Many allegations were made against me by the current BJP candidate (Prada). I had to swear by my dead mother that they are false. I am not a coward. If I had said it, I would have accepted it in front of you. I want to ask you, should one stoop so low in politics? This person who has sucked the blood of Rampur for 10 years -- I had chaper- oned that person to Rampur, leading her by the finger. I familiarised the person with the streets of Rampur. I didn't let anyone touch the person or even use filthy language. You made the person your representative for 10 years. But the difference between us, O people of Rampur, O people of Shahbad, O people of India, is that you took 17 years to recognise the person, and I realised in just 17 days that the underwear the person wears is khaki," the Samajwadi Party leader said at a rally in Rampur, in the presence of party chief Akhilesh Yadav . Khan has been sparring with Prada ever since she joined the BJP She had won . from Rampur on a Samajwadi Party ticket in the With the flamboyant Congress leader Shashi Tharoor facing a possible defeat in Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha seat, senior party leaders have started abandoning him. A few days ago, an exasperated Tharoor, who is seeking re-election, dashed off a detailed letter to AICC general secretary Mukul Wasnik, listing the local committees which have not been cooperating with him during the campaign. Subsequently the AICC rushed Con, gress party's Nagpur constituency can- HOT SEAT didate and All India Kisan Congress chairman Nana Patole as an observer to Thiruvananthapuram. Patole will station himself in the city till the completion of polls and will oversee the election campaigning. Patole is a former BJP MP from Bhandara-Gondiya constituency in Maharashtra and had then defeated senior Congress leader Praful Patel. He later became a critic of Narendra Modi and joined the Congress in 2017. The party has fielded him in Nagpur against sit- Marathas sulk in underdeveloped Marathwada QUAID NAJMI Mumbai Despite giving a Deputy Prime Minister, a Lok Sabha Speaker, several Union Ministers, four Maharashtra Chief Ministers and a Deputy Chief Minister, the Marathwada region remains the most backward in the state. As the eight Lok Sabha constituencies - Beed, Hingoli, Jalna, Latur, Nanded, Osmanabad, Parbhani - go to polls on April 18 and Au- 2004 and 2009 Lok Sabha elections, but was shunted out in 2010 over allegations of antiparty activities. She had at that time aligned herself with Amar Singh, who had fallen out with Mulayam. Firoz Khan, another Samajwadi Party leader, had also made misogynistic remarks against her in a video that emerged recently It allegedly . showed him as saying that Jaya Prada would enthral the people of Rampur with "ghungaroos and thumkas", and the evenings in Rampur "will become colourful" this election season. Prada broke down at a public rally last week, saying that Azam Khan has also derisively referred to her by a similar term (‘Nachnewali’). CONTD. ON P9 SPOTLIGHT rangabad on April 23 - the dominant Marathas strain their eyes for the promised development of their lands that has eluded them since Independence. Besides, the region is plagued by chronic drought due to scanty rains, insufficient irrigation facilities and lack of water for both humans and animals, problems of unemployment and absence of any major industries. One possible reason for this is that the powerful political lobbies from adjoining western Maharashtra have dominated over the Marathwada leaders and most chose to succumb instead of fighting back, leaving the area neglected for years. "Even a powerful Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh could barely grapple with the western Maharashtra chieftains and do little for his region. As a consequence, all major industries, domestic or for- ting MP Nitin Gadkari. Patole will have his hands full as over 20 local committees in the constituency have not been actively participating in Tharoor's campaigning. Tharoor, in fact, named a local and influential committee president who did not even respond to his call despite trying him 16 times on mobile. With a series of poll surveys showing Tharoor on a sticky wicket, Congress leaders have started keeping away from campaigning. There is another angle, too. He was parachuted to ThiruvananCONTD. ON P9 thapuram eign investments, and jobs kept going to western Maharashtra," said veteran political commentator A. Shaikh of Aurangabad. Ditto with the father-son Chief Minister duo - the late Shankarrao B. Chavan and Ashok Chavan, or the first Chief Minister Yeshwantrao B. Chavan who later went onto become India's Deputy Prime Minister, and also the late Gopinath Munde, a former Deputy Chief Minister and Union Minister. CONTD. ON P9 TAILPIECE Modi: Wave is even stronger than in 2014 KATHUA: The Modi wave lashing the country is now stronger than what it was in 2014 when he stormed to power, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared on Sunday "I . have gone around the country I now see a ... more powerful wave than in 2014. All the surveys are suggesting that the BJP is winning three times more seats than the Congress in the Lok Sabha," the Prime Minister thundered at an election rally here. "The chances of survival for the Congress is very difficult," he said. Three prickly issues as India pick 15 for World Cup OVER TO CRICKET’S WISE MEN AGENCIES New Delhi The five wise men of Indian cricket, led by MSK Prasad, will meet in Mumbai on Monday to pick the squad for the 2019 World Cup in England. While most of the players pick themselves, thanks to their consistent show in recent times, there are three main areas of concern that the selectors need to take a call on when they sit down to pick the 15-member squad. One prickly issue is the muchdebated number four slot; two, whether Rishabh Pant or Dinesh Karthik go as the second wicketkeeper behind MS Dhoni; and, finally, will the team pick a fourth pacer or an additional third spinner, considering that the wickets will be on the slower side at this time of the year in England. First things first. The team management may continue with the recent experiment of playing Vijay Shankar at the number four slot with Rahul being drafted as the official back-up opener as well as the answer to all the other top-order batting slots, if and when any of the other bats- man in the top line-up is injured or out of form. Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar has also spoken about how Rahul can fit into any position in the batting order considering he is an opener and that his IPL form is something that cannot be ignored. The rest of the batsmen pick themselves with Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma starting at the top, followed by Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav. Hardik Pandya fits in as the all-rounder who will also be looked at as a finisher. Now, the dilemma of the second wicket-keeper. This is another position that the selectors need to resolve. They need to decide whether to pick Dinesh Karthik or Rishabh Pant. While Pant the batsman is seen to have the X-factor that is needed to provide the push in the later stages of the game, Karthik is considered a more experienced campaigner and one who would be able to keep calm on the big stage like the World Cup. After this come the bowlers and while the spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal pick themselves, the pace bowling attack will undoubtedly have Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami. CONTD. ON P9 [DEFINING] M MENT JOSHI’S GREAT BETRAYAL LETTER TO ADVANI A FAKE MUMBAI | THURSDAY | MARCH 14, 2019 Tharoor left by local leaders to fend for himself SHANKAR RAJ / Thiruvananthapuram for developmental work based on the category they fall in, reports India Today .com. ‘‘So, when the development work begins, 80 per cent of the schemes will cater to category ‘ ’ villages.’’ In other A words, those in category ‘D’ or at the bottom of the barrel will be left with the crumbs. Maneka said that they had implemented this grading system in Pilibhit as well. She further shared a phone number with the crowd and said that they could talk to her directly . Her latest home-spun system for making voters accountable comes just a day after a video went viral on social media which showed Maneka telling a group of Muslims to vote for her in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, or else they would not receive any help when she is a Member of Parliament. Maneka was addressing a gathering in Uttar Pradesh's Sultanpur, where she is contesting on a BJP ticket, adds India Today .com LOK SABHA ELECTION 2019 A letter purportedly written by former BJP President Murli Manohar Joshi and addressed to LK Advani went viral on social media. The letter gives Joshi and Advani’s assessment of the number of seats the BJP will be able to win in the general election; 150 as per Joshi and 120 as per Advani. “The BJP will get barely 8-10 seats in the first phase, which had 91 constituencies in 20 states in its thrall,’’ the purported letter said. Interestingly, the letterhead carried Member of Parliament Joshi’s name and bore his signature, apart from a watermark of the ANI news agency. In the letter, Joshi also laments that his and Advani’s silence is betrayal of the people of the country. (‘‘You silenced me in the previous meeting, I will silence you in the next, but isn’t it betrayal of people of the country?’’) The letter turned out to be fake. The news agency ANI later confirmed that no such letter exists. “Screenshots of BJP MP Murli Manohar Joshi’s statement on his letter head is circulating on WhatsApp and Twitter with an ANI watermark. No such letter exists. This is fake,” ANI clarified in its tweet. Joshi did not bother to comment. ‘DRAMA’ GIRL LEANS ON DHARAM Dharmendra Popular film actor on Sunday repeated his famous dialogues from the Hindi blockbuster "Sholay" as he campaigned here for his wife Hema Malini in the Lok Sabha elections. The still charismatic Dharmendra appealed to voters to ensure the Bhartiya Janata Party candidate's victory. Mathura goes to the polls on April 18. Addressing BJP supporters, Dharmendra praised the Narendra Modi government. persistent demands, he On repeated his famous dialogues from "Sholay". He called himself a farmer and appealed to local farmers to strengthen the BJP. Hema Malini was with him during meetings and at many interactions in Goverdhan area. Dharmendra promised to return to the region after Hema Malini's victory and have food at a farmer's home. Earlier, Hema Malini tweeted: "Today is also a special day for me! Dharamji is here in Mathura to campaign for a whole day on my behalf." The actress' campaign has been inspiring jokes and memes galore on social media. Her farm woman avatar, wherein she joined farmers and tried her hand at cutting the wheat crop in this region in Uttar Pradesh, invited not just scorn from the opposition but also the tag of ‘drama girl' over the 'dream girl' she has been known as. FATHER SISTER IN CONG, WIFE IN BJP A month after Ravindra Jadeja's wife joined the BJP the , cricketer's father and sister joined the Congress in Gujarat on Sunday in the presence of party leader and Patidar quota spearhead Hardik Patel. Jadeja's father, Anirudhsinh, and sister, Nainaba, joined the Congress at an election rally in Kalavad city of Jamnagar district. Jadeja hails from Jamnagar and the Congress candidate for Jamnagar Lok Sabha seat, Mulu Kandoriya, was also present. The Chennai Super Kings all-rounder's wife, Rivaba, had joined the BJP on March 3 in Jamnagar in the presence sitting MP Poonamben Maadam, who was renominated by the saffron party. Hardik Patel was expected to be fielded by the Congress from Jamnagar, but the Patidar leader's chances were scuttled after the Supreme Court had on April 2 rejected the plea to stay his conviction in a case in which he was sentenced to two years in jail.