08012019-TTC-01.qxd 08-01-2019 01:28 Page 1 13 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | vol.3 no.8 | 20 pages | ~4.50 | regd.no.chd/0006/2018-2020 established in 1881 | tuesday, january 8,2019 CHIDAMBARAM QUIZZED OVER LAUNDERING PAGE 7 GOVT PEGS GDP GROWTH AT 7.2% IN CURRENT FISCAL PAGE 12 /thetribunechd ! late city EVMS TAMPER-PROOF, SAYS CEC SUNIL ARORA BACK PAGE /thetribunechd www.tribuneindia.com Modi drives caste sentiment up Recast citizenship BillgetsCabinetnod Cabinet approves 10% quota for upper class poor over and above 50% cap Cong questions To be re-introduced in LS today Tribune News Service timing of move WHO IS ELIGIBLE New Delhi, January 7 Executing a deft political move on the eve of the 2019 Lok Sabha poll, the Narendra Modi government today cleared a Bill to amend the Constitution allowing 10 per cent quota for economically weaker sections among those who are not covered under any of the existing reservation categories in government jobs and educational institutions. The draft Bill in this regard received approval of the Union Cabinet chaired by PM Narendra Modi. The ruling coalition enjoys majority in the House and by moving the Bill on the last working day of winter session, it makes a political statement. The Bill is expected to be introduced by Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot and the BJP hopes his status as a member of Scheduled Caste would assuage the “swarn jatis (upper castes)” whose wrath is understood to have resulted in the downslide of the BJP in the recent Assembly elections in the Hindi belt, especially in Madhya Pradesh. It also takes forward the long-pending demand of the RSS that insists on reservation based on economic criterion. Annual family income below ~8 lakh Agriculture land holding below 5hectare A POLL GIMMICK, SAYS SINGHVI Why did you (Modi govt) not think of this for four years and eight months? So obviously thought of as poll gimmick three months before the model code. You can’t exceed 50% maxima so it is done Residential plot below 200 sq yds to posture that you tried. Abhishek Singhvi, CONG SPOKESPERSON in non-notified municipality Residential house below 1,000 sq ft A MASTERSTROKE: UNION MINISTER The issue of reservation caused a lot of conflict between Dalits and Savarnas. My demand has always been for 25 per cent reservation for the upper caste poor, 10 per cent is a good initiative. It is a masterstroke and Modi is a strong batsman. Residential plot below 100 sq yds in notified municipality Ramdas Athawale, UNION MINISTER AND DALIT LEADER CPM ITSELF WANTED IT: KERALA CM The Centre has taken the decision keeping in mind the Lok Sabha elections… The CPM earlier itself wanted reservation for the economically weaker people among higher castes. Pinarayi Vijayan, KERALA CM RS TO SIT FOR ADDITIONAL DAY FOR DEBATE New Delhi: The Rajya Sabha will sit for an additional day till January 9 to debate the new Bill which proposes 10 per cent reservation in jobs and education to poor sections among the unreserved categories. RS Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu accepted a government proposal in this regard. The Lok Sabha is, however, expected to be adjourned sine die on Tuesday. The proposed quota will be over and above the existing 50 per cent reservation enjoyed by the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes, taking the total quota to 60 per cent. It is not clear how the Supreme Court bar of 50 per cent ceiling is to be addressed. The Bill is needed as the Constitution does not provide for reservation on the basis of economic condition. It envisages amendment to Articles 5 and 6 of the Constitution. Giving details as to how the economically weaker sections will be defined in the Bill, a senior government BJP OPPOSED IT DURING UPA: JAT MAHASABHA The BJP had opposed it when the UPA tried to reserve seats for Jats. Majority of Jats in Punjab, Haryana, UP and Rajasthan are small farmers. While we support move, I hope there is political will to see it through. Kushaldeep Singh Dhillon, PUNJAB CHIEF OF ALL INDIA JAT MAHASABHA functionary said those with “annual family income below Rs 8 lakh” and “agriculture landholding below 5 hectare” will be eligible for this quota. Other criteria include residential plot below 100 sq yds in notified municipality and 200 sq yds in non-notified municipal area, they said, adding that the residential house should be below 1,000 sq ft. With this move, the BJP hopes to woo back its core voters and also throw off guard the lead Opposition Congress, which has been trying to corner the party-led government at the Centre by continued on page 7 Tribune News Service Tribune News Service New Delhi, January 7 Stumped by the Modi government’s move to introduce 10 per cent quota for the economically weak among the unreserved categories, the Congress welcomed it, saying the party had always been for empowering the poor without altering the existing quotas. Congresss media chairman Randeep Surjewala said, “We have always supported reservation for the economically poor sections, irrespective of caste, community or creed. Without interfering with the constitutional mandate of reservation given to Dalits, tribals and Backward Classes, we have been for empowering the poor not covered under marginalised categories and reservation for them in jobs and education.” Even so, the Congress questioned the intention of the ruling BJP behind the move at the fag-end of its five-year tenure and mulling a related constitutional amendment Bill on the last day of the Winter Session of Parliament. Congress leaders pointed out that former AICC general secretary Janardan Dwivedi was the first to talk of casteless reservation. continued on page 7 New Delhi, January 7 With a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) adopting and placing it before Parliament, the Union Cabinet today approved the redrafted Citizenship Amendment Bill for its re-introduction in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, sources said. The Bill seeks to provide Indian citizenship to nonMuslims from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan. A meeting of the Union Cabinet, chaired by PM Narendra Modi, cleared the Bill which was expected to be tabled in the Lok Sabha tomorrow, an official privy to the development said, adding that it was first introduced in Parliament in 2016. Large sections of people in Assam and other north-eastern states have been protesting against the Bill, saying it would nullify the 1985 Assam Accord under which any foreign national, irrespective of religion, who had entered the state after 1971, should be deported. The fresh Bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, to grant nationality to people from minority communities — Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians — from Afghanistan, AGP PULLS OUT OF ASSAM COALITION Guwahati: In more ally trouble for the BJP, the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) on Monday pulled out of the BJP-led ruling coalition in Assam over the Citizenship Bill. The decision to snap ties will, however, not affect the stability of the Sarbananda Sonowal-headed government. The AGP has 14 MLAs in the 126-member Assembly while the BJP has the support of 74 MLAs. PTI Bangladesh and Pakistan after six years of residence in India, instead of 12, even if they don’t possess proper documents. This was an election promise of the BJP in 2014. It is also learnt that eight influential student bodies of the North-East, besides more than 40 socio-cultural organisations of Assam, have called an 11-hour state-wide “bandh” tomorrow in protest against the Centre’s move. The JPC report was prepared with a majority vote as Opposition members had opposed the move to grant citizenship on the basis of religion saying it was against the Constitution. The Congress, Trinamool Congress, CPM and a few other parties have been opposing the Bill. REUTERS IN BRIEF SC contempt notice to Anil Ambani over unpaid dues New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to Reliance Communication Ltd (RCom) Chairman Anil Dhirubhai Ambani and others on a plea filed by Ericsson India Pvt Ltd for allegedly not clearing its dues of ~550 crore after selling its assets to Reliance Jio. PAGE 12 SC to decide CBI Director Alok Verma’s fate today New Delhi: The SC is set to decide the fate of CBI Director Alok Verma as a three-judge Bench will on Tuesday pronounce its verdict on his petition challenging the Centre’s decision to divest him of all powers and send him on leave. PAGE 7 Decorated Army officer attacked, three arrested Mumbai: Lt Col Anup Joseph Manjali (36), a Kirti Chakra awardee attached with 12 Bihar Regiment, was allegedly assaulted by three men on a motorcycle here, police said on Monday. The three were arrested later. The officer had killed three ultras in J&K in 2012 when he was posted with the RR. PTI No photography Privilege notice inside Golden against Nirmala Temple complex for ‘misleading’ Amritsar, January 7 The SGPC has banned videography and photography on Golden Temple premises. The SGPC has put up boards inside the complex, saying: “Photography and videography are strictly prohibited in the precincts of Sachkhand Sri Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple), the spiritual centre of the world.” SGPC additional manager Rajinder Singh Ruby said the decision had been taken to avoid “disturbance”. However, there was no clarity on whether the devotees would be allowed to carry their smartphones on the premises. “We’ve just got orders to put up the boards prohibiting photography inside the complex,” he said. — TNS New Delhi, January 7 The Congress today moved a privilege notice against Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for allegedly “misleading” the Lok Sabha during the debate on Rafale deal. Congress’ KC Venugopal submitted a breach of privilege notice against Sitharaman that Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said was “under my consideration”. Venugopal accused Sitharaman of misleading the House on two counts. “She told the House that Rs 1 lakh crore worth orders were given to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) which is false… During her reply on Rafale deal on Friday, she also misled the House by claiming that the Supreme Court has approved the government’s stand on pricing of jets and purposefully avoided to inform the House that the court in fact has said that it will not go into pricing details of the jets,” said Venugopal. — IANS more on page 7 MLA Khaira to announce new outfit today HISTORY DOWN UNDER 71 521 YRS on and 12 attempts surpassing Rahul Dravid’s 1203 after, India becomes first balls in 2003-04 series team from subcontinent RUNSby Rishabh to win a series 2-1 Down Under Pant was the RUNS Cheteshwar second highest, Pujara scored making him 1st Indian keeper to from 1258 balls, score Test century in Australia 350 IND RUNS SCORED 2029 BATTING AVERAGE 32.72 WICKETS 70 BOWLING AVERAGE 25 AUS 1723 24.61 61 Chandigarh, January 7 Bholath MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira will float a political party tomorrow (Tuesday). Addressing a press conference here, he said the Punjab Democratic Alliance, comprising seven MLAs sup12 ATTEMPTS porting him, the Lok LATER... Insaaf Party, BSP and Indian team celebrates suspended Patiala MP 2-1 series win on Day 5 Dr Dharamvira Gandhi, of the fourth Test against formed last month, Australia in Sydney would meet to take a call on Monday. on the Lok Sabha elections. Khaira, who resigned from AAP on Sunday, sought an amendment to the antidefection law, saying: “We don’t want AAP to lose the Leader of Opposition post to the Akalis. I want a national Congratulations debate on the anti-defection to @imVkohli & law.” Claiming he was prehis Indian Team pared for any election, he on winning their first ever said he was waiting for the series in Australia. They outplayed @CAComms in all departments. Very well deserved. Glenn McGrath 33.59 REPORT PAGE 14 Mom-in-lawbackinjail,17 yrsaftermurder Sure of win, Capt against truck On testimony of victim’s son, then a minor, HC cancels bail bonds of five with AAP, but keeps door ajar Saurabh Malik Tribune News Service Chandigarh, January 7 Nearly 17 years after a Sangrur woman was murdered, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has, among other things, relied upon her son’s testimony, then a minor, to cancel bail bonds before sending her mother-in-law and four other relatives back to jail to undergo the remaining part of their life sentence. Her husband’s plea for enhancement of sentence and fine slapped on his mother and other convicts, however, did not find favour with the Bench of Justice Rajiv Shar- ma and Justice Harinder Singh Sidhu, which ruled that the case did not fall in the category of "rarest of rare." The victim, Gurmeet Kaur, was in the kitchen on April 21, 2002, and her 15-year-old son was present too when her mother-in-law Ranjit Kaur sprinkled kerosene on her. Another accused, Gurmel Kaur, set her on fire by hurling a matchstick. The victim tried to flee. But accused Tripatinder Pal Singh blocked her way, even as Ranjit Singh and Jatinder Singh egged him on. She was taken to the Sangrur Civil Hospital with 70 to 80 per cent burns where her state- ment was recorded. She eventually died on June 27, 2002. During the course of the trial, husband Gurkirpal Singh told the court that there was a dispute regarding land inherited by his mother and that he had often demanded his share, but to no avail. Speaking for the Bench, Justice Sharma asserted the victim's son was an eyewitness and gave the “natural sequence of the crime”, disclosing the manner in which his mother was set on fire. He was a minor and his statement was recorded after judging his ability to answer questions correctly. “Statement of a minor witness can always be taken into consideration, but with caution. It is not the case of the appellants that he was tutored by the prosecution,” Justice Sharma said. Rejecting the suicide theory, Justice Sharma said there was no merit in the contention of the appellants that the victim had ended her life. There was no reason for her to commit suicide. The dying declaration was voluntary and reliable. “All the appellants are on bail. Their bail bonds are cancelled. They be committed to jail to undergo their remaining part of sentence”, the Bench ruled. Aditi Tandon NO FUNDS FOR KARTARPUR YET: CM Tribune News Service New Delhi, January 7 Congress president Rahul Gandhi is expected to discuss potential alliances with state unit leaders and party’s core committee members at a meeting here on January 9. Ahead of the meeting, he met Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, AICC state in-charge Asha Kumari and PCC chief Sunil Jakhar in the capital to take stock of election preparations in Punjab. All three told The Tribune that the issue of alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Today’s issue is of 20 pages, including four-page Bathinda Tribune. New Delhi: The Punjab CM said the state government had not received any funds so far for acquiring land to build infrastructure on the Indian side of the Kartarpur corridor whereas Pakistan had started work on their end. He trashed allegations by PM Modi on Punjab's loan-waiver scheme for farmers. Punjab was not discussed. Nor was it part of the agenda. They, however, said the Punjab Congress had conveyed to the leadership earlier that it was not in favour of a truck with AAP . Punjab leaders today put the ball in Rahul Gandhi’s court with Amarinder Singh saying the final decision rested with the high command, depending on the national perspective and electoral compulsions. “The issue of alliance with AAP didn’t come up today. But our stand on this has been clear for long and was conveyed to the Congress leadership much earlier. Punjab Congress doesn’t want any alliance with the defunct AAP in Punjab. We will win all 13 Lok Sabha seats in the state. continued on page 7 Phoolka to form group At a press conference, HS Phoolka, the AAP MLA from Dakha who resigned recently, said he would form a group to end "politicisation of the SGPC". Justice Kuldeep Singh would be the patron of the group. TNS Punjab Speaker’s decision on his Vidhan Sabha membership. “We don’t want byelections in Punjab as the state is already under a debt of Rs 2.50 lakh crore.” He flayed the Amarinder government on “police raids” on the houses of kisan leaders, demanded compensation with interest for cane farmers and closure of toll plazas. The Speaker has not yet received any official intimation on Khaira’s resignation from AAP while Phoolka’s resignation is still under consideration. The Speaker’s office said, “Phoolka has not submitted his resignation in the prescribed format.” —TNS
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).