08022018-TT-01.qxd 2/7/2018 10:35 PM Page 1 13 established in 1881 thursday, february 8, 2018 haryana chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | vol. 138 no. 38 | 16 pages | ~4.50 | regd. no. chd/0006/2018-2020 /thetribunechd /thetribunechd PM:All wrongs Cong doing Launches all-out attack in Parliament; says party divided India Tribune News Service Rocket takes car into space SpaceX’s Starman mannequin (above) is seen inside founder Elon Musk’s red Tesla Roadster sports car in space with earth in the backdrop. SpaceX launched the mannequin in a spacesuit and roadster into space on the first test flight of the world’s most powerful rocket Falcon Heavy The electric-powered car is outfitted with a high-data storage unit containing Isaac Asimov’s science fiction book series, the Foundation Trilogy. The roadster, with words “Don’t Panic” written on the dashboard, is supposed to be sent into solar orbit, on a path taking it as far from Earth as Mars. AFP/PTI REPORT ON BACK PAGE RBI keeps policy rate unchanged Mumbai: The Reserve Bank of India on Wednesday kept interest rates unchanged for the third time in a row, saying that higher government spending would accelerate inflation, and warned of risks from wider fiscal deficit. The six-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), headed by RBI Governor Urjit Patel, retained the repurchase or repo rate at 6 per cent and reverse repo rate at 5.75 per cent. REPORT ON PAGE 12 Kin: Jeetendra ‘sexually assaulted me’ Shimla: Veteran Bollywood actor Jeetendra was on Wednesday accused of sexually assaulting his cousin, who has come forward to file a police complaint 47 years after the alleged incident. Shimla SP Omapaty Jamwal confirmed that a complaint had been received. “The DGP office has forwarded a complaint for further action.” As per the complaint, the incident took place in January 1971, when the victim was 18 and Jeetendra 28. It happened when he “arranged” for the victim to join him from New Delhi to Shimla on the set of his movie without the complainant’s “awareness”. The victim claimed that on the night they reached Shimla, Jeetendra came to the room in an inebriated state, joined the two beds and sexually assaulted her. Jeetendra, now 75, is a well-known name in the Hindi film industry. The complainant has urged the police to keep her identity a secret. TNS/AGENCIES New Delhi, february 7 Launching an all-out attack on the Congress in both Houses of Parliament, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today blamed the grand old party for all ills afflicting the country. It was because of the wrong policies of successive Congress governments since 1947 that India lagged behind even those countries that “attained freedom after us”, he said. He was replying to a discussion in the Lok Sabha on the motion of thanks to the President’s address. Assailing the Congress, he said, “This is the same party that divided India. For decades, one party devoted all its energy in singing paeans to one family. The interests of the nation were overlooked for the interests of one family.” Claiming that Partition was the result of the Congress’ wrong policies, he said, “Not a single day has passed when the country has not suffered due to the poison sowed by you.” He went on to add that had ‘MAHATMA WANTED CONG-MUKT BHARAT TOO’ This is the same party that divided India... Mahatma Gandhi had said since the country has got Independence, now Congress is not required. This Congress-mukt Bharat was Gandhi's dream. We are trying to follow the path Narendra Modi, PRIME MINISTER JUST A VISIONLESS POLL SPEECH: CONGRESS PAGE 7 Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel been the first Prime Minister, a part of Kashmir would not have been under Pakistan control. Claiming that the Congress was solely responsible for the huge NPAs of banks, Modi said when he took over in 2014, the situation was alarming. On paper, “the bank NPAs were shown as 36 per cent, but later it was found that these were actually 82 per cent”. “I decided not to speak about it, but make efforts to fix these, as it involved a huge risk to the country’s economic ecosystem. Today, I am speaking on the issue, China warns against military help MALDIVES CRISIS Says Indian intervention will further deepen imbroglio Beijing, February 7 China today warned against any military intervention in the Maldives, saying such a move would further complicate the situation, amid repeated calls for India’s military intervention by exiled former President Mohamed Nasheed to resolve the political crisis. The Indian Ocean island nation plunged into a political chaos last week when the country’s Supreme Court ordered the release of nine high-profile political prisoners, including Nasheed, maintaining that their trials were “politically motivated and flawed”. Nasheed, who is currently in exile in Sri Lanka, had yesterday tweeted that India PLAY ROLE OF LIBERATORS: NASHEED TO INDIA Saying ‘resolve things internally’ is akin to asking us to escalate the revolt, which can lead to chaos. Maldivians see India’s role positively: in 1988, they came, resolved crisis, and left. They were not occupiers but liberators. This is why Maldivians look to India now ❝ Mohamed Nasheed, EXILED FORMER PRESIDENT should send an envoy, backed by its military, to release judges and leaders of political parties detained by President Abdulla Yameen. Asked to comment on Nasheed’s call to India, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said: “The international community should play a constructive role on the basis of respecting the Maldives sovereignty instead of taking measures that could complicate the situation.” Asked how the situation could be resolved internally when Yameen has arrested the judges as well as former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, Geng said relevant parties should find a solution internally. “We believe they (have) wisdom and capability to address the situation independently,” he said. Geng skirted a question on whether China was asking Yameen to hold talks to resolve the crisis. He also sought to refute allegations by the Maldives Opposition parties that China was backing Yameen because he had approved several Chinese projects and signed the controversial Free Trade Agreement with China during his visit to Beijing in December. China views the Maldives as key to its Maritime Silk Road project in the Indian Ocean as it has acquired the Hambantota port in Sri Lanka and Djibouti. — PTI as now we have been able to largely bring the situation under control,” he added. Modi criticised the Congress over the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, alleging it did so only for “political” considerations and without any preparation. Modi said, “When we speak about creating new states, we remember the manner in which Atal Bihari Vajpayee created Uttarakhand, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. He showed how farsighted decision-making is done.” In the Rajya Sabha, Modi hit out at Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who had questioned the efficacy of the Ayushman Bharat scheme. He said it was not proper to relate it with such health schemes in the USA and other foreign countries, as the socio-economic condition in India was different. Responding to Congress questioning the concept of “New India”, he said even Mahatma Gandhi wanted winding up the Congress after Independence. “Congressmukt Bharat was the vision of Mahatma Gandhi. I am only following in his footsteps,” he said. Responding to another charge by the Opposition that the government is “not a gamechanger, but name changer”, Modi said his government was “aim changer” as it was working to achieve targets within a deadline. Questioning the Opposition for criticising the government for jail provision for erring husbands in triple talaq Bill, he said, “You do not remember this when a Hindu goes to jail.” On simultaneous LS and Assembly polls, he urged parties to collectively address the issue. He said this was also mooted by former President Pranab Mukherjee. Rafale deal charge unfounded: MoD Says demand for price disclosure ‘unrealistic’ Tribune News Service New Delhi, February 7 The Ministry of Defence today issued a rather unusual statement responding to political allegations around the Rafale fighter jet deal. Terming the allegations as “unfounded”, the ministry apportioned the blame on the Congress for not taking a decision during its tenure. Interestingly, two years after it told Parliament a part of the price of the jet stood at Rs 670 crore, the government today termed the demand for disclosure of price tag as “unrealistic”. The Congress had yesterday alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was try- ing to cover up a scam. The MoD said: “Unfounded allegations are being made regarding the 2016 inter-governmental agreement to procure 36 Rafale aircraft in fly-away condition from France.” The statement said normally the allegations would not have merited a response but for the serious damage being caused by the misleading statements. “Under the 10-year tenure of the previous government, an earlier initiative of 2002 to meet requirement of the Indian Air Force for augmentation of its fighter strength ran aground,” it said. continued on page 7 edit: Secrecy on Rafale Akalis raise ‘Tytler sting’ , Naidu allows Tribune News Service Muslims have ‘no business’ to be here: Katiyar New Delhi, February 7 BJP MP Vinay Katiyar, who is known for making controversial remarks, today said Muslims have “no business” to stay in India and that they should settle in Bangladesh or Pakistan. The former Uttar Pradesh BJP chief claimed that Muslims had divided the country “on the ground of their population”. Since they were responsible for Partition, there was no need for them to stay in India, he told television news channels. The founder chief of Bajrang Dal and two-term Rajya Sabha MP whose , tenure ends in April, was responding to AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi’s remark in the Lok Sabha that those calling Indian Muslims Pakistanis should be criminally prosecuted. — PTI New Delhi, february 7 The Shiromani Akali Dal today raised the issue of the alleged “confession” by Congress MP Jagdish Tytler about “killing” 100 Sikhs during the 1984 riots. Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu rejected objections by Congress leader Anand Sharma that “rules were being broken” and that a “subjudice matter” could not be ❝ No rule is being allowed to be violated as long as I am here. They have a serious issue. They have every right to raise it in the House. Venkaiah Naidu, RS CHAIRMAN raised during Zero Hour, allowing Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa to elaborate on the “new evidence” in the CD. At the same time, he said Dhindsa’s reference to the particular person (Tytler) and to former PM (Rajiv Gandhi) would not go on record. “We have been discussing in this House issues that have been sub-judice for years together. It is everybody’s knowledge,” he said. Regarding authenticity of the CD, Naidu said Akali members showed him the CD. “It is not my duty to see the CD. I told them to authenticate it. He (Dhindsa) said it on the floor of the House that he is submitting the same CD with authentication to the House. So, I don’t find any objection to that,” he said. As Dhindsa, whose notice under Rule 267 was converted into Zero Hour submission by continued on page 7 Sukhbir: Relationship with BJP permanent Ruchika M Khanna Tribune News Service ❝ This political relationship has helped to keep the Sikhs and Hindus together, after the neighbouring country tried to create communal unrest Sukhbir Singh Badal, SAD PRESIDENT Chandigarh, February 7 A day after party MP Naresh Gujral “cautioned the BJP to carry along allies” in the NDA government, Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal today said their relationship with the BJP was permanent. “Our relationship with BJP is a time-tested one, and there is no clash. It’s a relationship that emerged to keep the democratic forces together in Punjab, which borders a hostile country like Pakistan,” he said. Gujral had yesterday asked the BJP to treat its allies with honour and respect, cautioning that the next government at the Centre is likely to be a coalition government. Sukhbir told The Tribune that Gujral had only pointed out that whatever commitment BJP made to its allies should be fulfilled. “He was talking in reference to the relations between BJP and Telugu Desam Party. We have no clash of ideology and even the political space occupied by both alliance partners in Punjab and other Punjabi-speaking areas is different, thus we complement each other,” he said. Though cracks had been growing ever since the Narendra Modi-Amit Shah dispensation took over the reins, this was the first open criticism by an SAD leader of BJP’s treatment of its allies. Sukhbir, interestingly, is already preparing ground for SAD contesting over 50 Assembly seats in Haryana. Nigel (right) amongst fake concrete birds on the Mana Island off the Wellington coast. FILE ‘World’s loneliest bird’ dies in NZ Wellington, February 7 New Zealand wildlife lovers are mourning the death of a gannet named Nigel, dubbed “the loneliest bird in the world” due to the absence of any feathered friends on his island home. Instead, the seabird, also known as “no-mates Nigel”, spent years living among a colony of fake concrete birds set up by conservationists in a bid to attract wildlife. The anti-social avian fell in love with one of the decoys on Mana Island, off the Wellington coast, and was seen preening, nestling and even trying to mate with it. “Nigel chose to live on Mana, and we know he was happy there because he could have left any time and didn’t,” Department of Conservation ranger Chris Bell said. “It was odd behaviour for a gannet, but every group has their individuals.” Bell found Nigel’s body lying next to his stony sweetheart late last month and believes he died of old age. Sadly, Nigel may have died just as the fake colony was having its desired effect, with Bell reporting that three gannets began visiting Mana in late December. Bell said Australasian gannets like Nigel, while not endangered, needed nesting sites that were not vulnerable to introduced pests such as rats and stoats. “Gannets are extremely social birds and they decide on where to live based on that,” he said. “The decoys are our way of telling passing-by gannets that this place is safe.” He said the three gannet newcomers were now regular visitors and may yet set up a colony that could act as Nigel’s legacy. — AFP
The Tribune, now published from Chandigarh, started publication on February 2, 1881, in Lahore (now in Pakistan). It was started by Sardar Dyal Singh Majithia, a public-spirited philanthropist, and is run by a trust comprising four eminent persons as trustees.
The Tribune, the largest selling daily in North India, publishes news and views without any bias or prejudice of any kind. Restraint and moderation, rather than agitational language and partisanship, are the hallmarks of the paper. It is an independent newspaper in the real sense of the term.
The English edition apart, the 133-year-old Tribune has two sister publications, Punjabi Tribune (in Punjabi) and Dainik Tribune (in Hindi).