18032018-TTC-01.qxd 3/18/2018 1:26 AM Page 1 123 established in 1881 vol. 2 no. 75 | sunday, march 18, 2018 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | 30 pages | ~5.00 | regd. no. chd/0006/2018-2020 /thetribunechd Beant killer Tara jailed till death Chandigarh: The district court on Saturday sentenced Jagtar Singh Tara to life imprisonment till natural death for assassinating former Punjab CM Beant Singh in 1995. He has also been directed to pay ~25,000 as fine. The sentence was pronounced inside the Model Jail in Burail, where a special court was set up. INSIDE Mauritius Prez quits over bungling charge Port Louis: Mauritius President Ameenah GuribFakim resigned from the ceremonial position on Saturday amid accusations of financial impropriety that triggered a dispute between her and the PM. “She decided to resign to prevent a constitutional crisis. She doesn’t want the country to suffer,” her lawyer said. PTI Can cross border to save Kashmir: HM New Delhi: Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said security forces can cross over the Line of Control, if needed, to protect country’s territorial integrity. “We not only secure India internally but can also cross border, if needed, to protect the country,” he said. PTI Today’s issue is of 30 pages, including eight-page Spectrum. /thetribunechd AAPMLAs’ no to Delhi invite today PM: Input costs to be worked out for MSP Says ‘many people spreading rumours’ Not granted ‘full’ autonomy, 14 may walk out Vishav Bharti Tribune News Service Chandigarh, March 17 Livid at national convener Arvind Kejriwal’s apology to former Akali minister Bikram Singh Majithia, a section of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs in Punjab, including Leader of the Opposition Sukhpal Singh Khaira, Kanwar Sandhu and HS Phoolka, has decided to stay away from a meeting called by Punjab affairs incharge Manish Sisodia in Delhi on Sunday. They are considering forming a regional party, if need be. One of the MLAs, who did not want to be named, said 14 MLAs, led by Khaira and Sandhu, were of the view that the only option before them was to quit AAP and form a political outfit to safeguard Punjab’s interests. Sources said while Talwandi Sabo MLA Baljinder Kaur, Kotkapura MLA Kultar Singh Sandhwan and Sunam MLA Aman Arora had rejected the idea of a new party, Sarabjit Kaur Manuke, Jagraon MLA, and Amarjeet Singh Sandoa, who represents Ropar, had sought more time to decide. Dirba MLA Harpal Singh Cheema did not attend the MLAs’ meeting. A senior leader said for recognition as a separate group in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, they wanted the sup- port of at least 17 MLAs. “It is a big step. We want at least 17 MLAs on our side.” Sandhu, the party MLA from Kharar, in a statement, claimed they had in December last year asked the leadership to allow autonomy to state units. “The proposal on autonomy, if implemented in toto, can avert a split in the party. Khaira too is on board on this. “It should be full autonomy, which means the state unit should have its own constitution, membership, structure, funding and manifesto. We will have our own president and working committee,” he said. Phoolka, Dakha MLA, urged party legislators to seek “autonomy” for the state unit rather than setting up a separate outfit. This, he said, would serve the state’s interests best. “In Punjab matters, total independence and on national issues, go by national leadership,” he tweeted. Meanwhile, Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh has described Arvind Kejriwal’s apology to Bikram Singh Majithia as “an antic that not only reflects AAP national convener’s political inexperience, but also appears to be a desperate attempt to reduce the burden of defamation cases against him before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.” At a function in Delhi, he said: “This is no way for a CM to behave, irrespective of his lack of experience.” Tribune News Service Former AICC chief Sonia Gandhi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi embrace at the 84th Plenary Session of the party at Indira Gandhi Stadium in New Delhi on Saturday. TRIBUNE PHOTO: MUKESH AGGARWAL Cong: Ready for pre-poll alliances to dislodge BJP Wants ballot papers back, defectors barred from polls Aditi Tandon Tribune News Service New Delhi, March 17 The Congress today endorsed pre-poll electoral alliances with like-minded parties to defeat the BJP and the RSS in the 2019 General Election. A resolution, adopted unanimously by a voice vote at the 84th Congress plenary here today, stated that the party would “adopt a pragmatic approach for cooperation with all like-minded parties and evolve a common workable programme to defeat the BJP-RSS in the 2019 elections”. At its Panchmarhi session in 1998, the Congress had decided to go it alone. Revising its stand at the 2003 Shimla session, it had opted for poll alliances to keep communal forces at bay. In her address today, former AICC chief Sonia Gandhi described the results of the Shimla line as spectacular. “Post Shimla, we achieved in 2004 what many thought was impossible,” she said. The resolution also mentioned going back to the ballot paper on account of apprehensions on the integrity of EVMs. It described PM Narendra Modi’s “one nation, one election” idea a “constitutional impracticality” and sought a national consensus on the issue. The resolution was moved by Congress Lok Sabha leader Mallikarjun Kharge and seconded by MP Rajiv Satav. Terming the anti-defection law “insufficient” to curb the menace, the party called for legislative measures to disincentivise defections, suggesting that “those defecting should be barred from contesting for six years”. In the recent state elections, the Congress saw the BJP walking away with many of its leaders, turning the tide in its favour. continued on page 7 New Delhi, March 17 Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said all input costs would be included while fixing the minimum support price (MSP) of various crops. Addressing the Krishi Unnati Mela, he said the Centre had decided that for all notified crops, the MSP would be at least one-and-ahalf times the cost to help double farm income by 2022. The government was working with states to ensure they get the benefit of the support prices, he said. “For this purpose, the cost will include elements such as labour, rent for machinery, cost of seeds and fertilisers, revenue being given to state government, interest on working capital, and rent of leased land,” Modi said. He also said that many people were spreading rumours regarding MSP and creating a gloomy atmosphere. Meanwhile, he also asked farmers to grow more oilseeds to reduce the country’s dependence on imports of cooking oil. Urging farmers to reduce the consumption of urea by at least half by 2022, he asked them not to burn crop residue as it led to air pollution and affected soil fertility. The PM also laid the foundation stone for 25 Krishi Vigyan ❝ The government is continuously working to tackle the challenges faced by the agriculture sector in a holistic manner… It is also reforming agri-marketing to enhance farmers’ income. Narendra Modi, PRIME MINISTER RAHUL: FORGET PR DAZZLE, GIVE DATE Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday asked PM Narendra Modi to specify exactly when he was going to fulfil his promise of fixing the minimum support price for crops at 1.5 times the production cost. In a tweet after Modi said confusion was being spread about the Budget decision to fix the MSP, Gandhi took a dig at the Prime Minister, asking him to “forget about the PR dazzle of government machinery in his speech” at Krishi Unnati Mela. IANS Kendras, launched an e-marketing portal for organic products and gave away the Krishi Karman Awards and Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Krishi Protsahan Puraskar. more on page 7
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