12022017-TTC-01.qxd 2/12/2017 1:14 AM Page 1 123 established in 1881 vol. 137 no. 42 | sunday, february 12, 2017 chandigarh | gurgaon | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | 34 pages | ~5.00 | regd. no. chd/0006/2015-2017 64% turnout in UP’s first of 7 phases Bad loans legacy Stray incidents of violence in Meerut, Baghpat; Som’s brother carries pistol, detained Tribune News Service Lucknow, February 11 Except for sporadic violence in Meerut and Baghpat, polling for the first phase of the seven-phase elections in Uttar Pradesh today was largely peaceful with an overall voter turnout of 64.22 per cent, which is likely to go up after the final tally. Speaking to the media, Uttar Pradesh Chief Electoral Officer T Venkatesh said the polling percentage was marginally higher than in 2012 and 2014. He did not give the figures of the voter turnout on the corresponding seats during the 2012 Assembly polls. He said the percentage recorded today was higher than the 58.62 overall turnout recorded in the state then. The turnout in the 2014 Lok Sabha poll was 59.12 per cent. “The participation (of voters) has been exemplary,” said Deputy Election Commissioner Vijay Dev. The polling was held for 73 seats spread over 15 districts of western Uttar Pradesh. At stake is the fate of 839 candidates, 77 of them women. The CEO did not give details of the incidents of violence in Meerut’s Kithore and Sardhana. But sources said the cavalcade of Samajwadi Party minister and candidate from Kithore, Shahid Manzoor, was attacked with bricks by a mob believed to be BSP supporters. issue, says Patel RBI Governor urges banks to lower lending rates Tribune News Service & PTI People queue up to cast their vote during the first phase of the UP Assembly elections in Kairana on Saturday. REUTERS In Sardhana, where Muzaffarnagar riot accused Sangeet Som is the BJP candidate, the police detained his brother Gagan Som for carrying a pistol inside a booth. Gagan reached the polling booth at 9 am. He was frisked by security personnel who found the pistol in his possession. He was detained. Talking to the media, Som said the administration should initiate action against his brother, if the report was true. Incidentally, the polling percentage in both Kithore and Sardhana was as high as 70 per cent. A report from Baghpat said 10 persons were injured in a clash in the city’s Baghu Colony. In yet another incident, RLD workers “obstructed” Dalit voters from casting their vote in Looyan village, leading to a clash. An FIR was lodged against three persons. The polling percentage at Noida’s Gautam Buddha Nagar was the lowest (51 per cent). Fatehabad in Agra dis- trict recorded the highest percentage at 71.18. Residents of Guretha, Sultanpur and Lakshimpur villages in Sikandra Rao constituency (Hathras district) did not cast their vote in protest against having been denied a river bridge on the Hathras-Aligarh border. The first phase of polling will decide the electoral fortunes of Pankaj Singh (from Noida), son of Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh; Congress Legislature Party leader Pradeep Mathur (Mathura) against whom BJP spokesman Srikant Sharma is in the fray; Mriganka Singh (Kairana), daughter of BJP MP Hukum Singh; and controversial BJP MLAs Sangeet Som (Sardhana) and Suresh Rana (Thanabhawan). RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s son-in-law Rahul Singh (SP) is contesting from Sikandrabad and Sandeep Singh, grandson of Rajasthan Govenor Kalyan Singh, from Atrauli constituency. New Delhi, February 11 Reserve Bank of India Governor Urjit Patel today attributed the banks grappling with high bad loans to legacy issues, saying they are mostly on account of credit facility provided for long-gestation projects before 2011-12. The banks faced the problem of non-performing assets (NPAs) earlier too, but it was only recently that the issue had been recognised, he said. Patel said sectors in which bad loans had emerged over the years pertained to longgestation projects, which were mostly funded before 2011-12. “Therefore, by definition, this proportionate amount is a legacy issue, although the recognition and reporting of these have taken place only recently,” the RBI Governor said. This as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said he expected the RBI to cut interest rates but respected its decision to maintain the rates. “All finance ministers have a perpetual desire of lower rate but at the end of the day, we all respect the decision that the RBI takes,” he said after his customary address to the RBI board meeting post-Budget. Jaitley said a legal and executive framework to deal with NPAs had been put in place by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, MoS Arjun Ram Meghwal (L) and RBI Governor Urjit Patel (R) at the customary post-Budget meeting. PTI ELECTORAL BONDS AFTER TALKS WITH RBI: JAITLEY ❝ The (electoral bonds) scheme will be (implemented) after discussing with the RBI as to which is the designated bank, what is the duration of the bond, at what period of time, for how long it should be open before every election. Arun Jaitley, FINANCE MINISTER ANSWER QUERIES ON CASH DEPOSITS BY FEB 15 New Delhi: The I-T Department has extended the date for replying to the queries on cash deposits during the demonetisation period to February 15 and asked people to declare details of cash donations or gifts of ~20,000 or more to reduce the chances of further scrutiny. PTI the government as its resolution was an ongoing process. Jaitley said bad loan figures had increased owing to emergence of some new NPAs or loans that have been continuing. Congress leader Veerappa Moily had recently raised the issue in Parliament and said the NPAs’ figure had grown since 2014. The RBI Governor, meanwhile, encouraged banks to reduce lending rates to push credit demand in laggard segments as banks had benefited from influx of low-cost deposits and previous repo rate cuts. As in other states, Punjab to Judges’ appointment Sasi targets Governor as OPS give power rates for next 3 yrs delay not ‘govt fault’ camp draws minister, 4 MPs Vijay C Roy Tribune News Service Chandigarh, February 11 Taking a cue from other states, Punjab is set to introduce multi-year tariff (MYT) regime for electricity for three years, beginning next fiscal. The Punjab State Electricity Regulatory Commission (PSERC) today said tariff for 2017-18 would be announced in consultation with the new government. Indicative tariff for financial years 2018-19 and 2019-20 too would be announced. With the MYT, the consumer, especially commercial establishments, would have a fair idea of what to expect in the next three years. Also, the KEY SUGGESTIONS OF REGULATORY PANEL ■ Cross-subsidy must be reduced to give a fillip to large-supply industries having a huge workforce ■ To boost power consumption, tariff should be inversely proportionate to consumption ■ A review of old power purchase agreements (PPAs); PSERC has issued directions to PSPCL to check viability of termination of PPAs with high rates and sell surplus power outside the state distribution company would be able to plan its business keeping in view the likely retail tariff for the control period. The PSERC will determine the power tariff for 2017- 18 and tentatively for the next two years on the basis of a three-year trajectory of expected revenue, expenditure and losses submitted by continued on page 7 Bengaluru, February 11 Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad today said any pendency in appointments couldn’t be laid at the door of the government because the Memorandum of Procedure for appointment of judges had been sent to the judiciary. Responding to a query on interference in selection of judges at an event here, Prasad said it was a misconception as BJP members went to jail for the freedom of the judiciary. “Please remove this misconception, we (our party) went to jail for the freedom of the judiciary. However, the Supreme Court itself has said the existing system of appointment of judges needs improvement. We are working in that context. Judges of the 1950s, 1960s were excellent,” he said. He also said the allusion that the Prime Minister could be instrumental in the election of the President, the Vice President, the Chief Election Commissioner, the Comptroller and Auditor General but not judges, has to be challenged. Prasad said before the existence of collegium system, India had produced judges of caliber like Justices Krishna Iyer, Hidayatullah, Gajendra Gadkar and Patanjali Shastri. “Can those advocating the collegium system as superior come up with appointments of that caliber?” he asked. — PTI Chennai, February 11 O Panneerselvam today got a boost, with an MLA and four MPs of AIADMK joining him after deserting VK Sasikala who threatened to hold protest tomorrow while targeting Governor Vidyasagar Rao for the delay in swearing her in as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. Sasikala, the AIADMK general secretary who met the MLAs supporting her at a retreat near here, said tonight that the delay by the Governor in inviting her to form the government appeared to “facilitate a split in our party.” Earlier in the day, she wrote to the Governor, asking him to take steps immediately to ❝ It appears such delay is happening to facilitate split in our party…We can be patient only to a limit but beyond that we will decide what we will do. VK Sasikala, AIADMK GEN SECY swear her in at the earliest. She said she was ready to parade the party MLAs supporting her before him. Her outburst came as MLA and School Education Minister K Pandiarajan and four MPs — PR Sundaram, K Ashok Kumar, V Sathyabama and Vanaroja — switched over to the Chief Minister’s camp, pledging their support to him amid mounting pressure from the party cadres and apparent public sentiment. Party veteran C Ponnaiyan, party spokesman and minister in the MGR Cabinet, also drove to Panneerselvam’s house and offered his support. After these switchovers, Panneerselvam camp now has seven MLAs, including him. In the 235-member Tamil Nadu Assembly, AIADMK has 135 MLAs. — PTI Radha Soami sect head recovering fast ‘World’s heaviest’ at 500 kg in Mumbai for surgery Talks indecisive, Jats Tribune News Service Mumbai, February 11 Eman Ahmed, 36, who has been billed as the “world’s heaviest woman” by global media for weighing 500 kg, today reached Mumbai for weight-loss surgery. Ahmed, who hails from Egypt, was brought to India this morning by a specially equipped EgyptAir aircraft. After the aircraft landed at the Mumbai International Airport at 4.10 this morning, it was wheeled to the cargo bay from where Eman was wheeled into a specially equipped truck, which was then brought to the Saifee Hospital in South Mumbai under police escort. At the hospital, a crane was employed to hoist Eman’s bed into the ward where she will undergo bariatric surgery in the next few days, according to doctors at the hospital. Dr Muffazal Lak- Chandigarh, February 11 Radha Soami Satsang Beas sect head Baba Gurinder Singh Dhillon is recovering fast in Singapore and is expected to be back shortly, reliable sources told The Tribune here today. Sources said the spiritual leader had complained of gastro issues and dehydration during his visit here on Thursday. “After consultation with doctors, he was taken to Fortis Hospital in Mohali for requisite examination on Thursday evening,” they informed. Meanwhile, the spiritual leader’s personal doctor in Singapore advised him complete examination, following which he flew to Singapore on Friday afternoon as a case of extreme precaution, added the sources. won’t halt protests Shiv Kumar Tribune News Service Malik says field officers vitiating atmosphere Geetanjali Gayatri Tribune News Service Eman Ahmed, ‘heaviest’ woman in the world, at a Mumbai hospital on Saturday. A crane hoisted the bed carrying the patient into the ward. PTI dawala, the bariatric surgeon who is attending on Eman, said she will undergo multiple surgeries over the next six months. Dr Lakdawala had been treating Eman at her home in Egypt’s Alexandria city, an official from the Saifee Hospital said. Doctors here say Eman has been confined to her house for the last 25 years because of her weight. She has suffered a number of medical complications on account of her weight, say doctors. She has already suffered a stroke resulting in paralysis of her right arm and leg. Eman also suffers from type 2 diabetes, hypertension, hypothyroidism, has severe obstructive and restrictive lung disease and is unable to speak coherently. According to officials, Saifee Hospital doctors Aparna Govil Bhasker, an advanced laparoscopic and bariatric surgeon, and Kamlesh Bohra, senior intensivist, accompanied Eman to Mumbai. Her sister, Shaimaa Ahmed, was also on the flight. EgyptAir officials said the aircraft was equipped with emergency equipment. Sources say modifications to the hospital premises have been carried out in order to accommodate Eman. Doctors at the facility even ran a campaign to raise Rs 50 lakh to get her transported to India. Today’s issue consists of 34 pages, including eight-page Spectrum and four-page Jalandhar Tribune. Chandigarh, February 11 Talks between the officers’ panel appointed by the Haryana Government and the All-India Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti in Panipat today remained “cordial but inconclusive”. The Jats will, therefore, continue to hold dharnas. No date has been fixed for the second round of talks, Chief Secretary DS Dhesi, who heads the officers’ committee, said. The meeting lasted threeand-a-half hours. The Jats were led by UP leader Yashpal Malik, who hit out at certain field officers in Rohtak, Kaithal and Hisar, alleging they had been “vitiating” the atmosphere by denying or delaying permission for dharnas and threatening sarpanches. “We have told the panel that video-recording of dharnas must stop, if there is to be another round of talks. We submitted a seven-point charter. One of our key demands is police cases against Jats during the 2016 stir be dropped. Till our demands are met, the dharnas will continue,” Malik said, adding the the ball was now in CM’s court. The committee is learnt to have told the Jat delegation that the government had already dropped 70 per cent cases and the remaining cases “will be placed before the government”. Sources said the issue was ticklish on which the CM alone could take a call. continued on page 7 related reports page 4
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