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Pure Politics

The Economic Times, Bengaluru, Saturday, 25 April 2015

A DAY

India, Pak
Lock Horns
over Kashmir
New Delhi|Islamabad: India
has termed
as most unfortunate Pakistans
reference to the Kashmir issue at the Asian
African summit in Jakarta, an official in New
Delhi said. "It is most unfortunate that Pakistan
has once again chosen
to use an international
forum such as this to
make tendentious remarks about the state of
Jammu and Kashmir,
which is an integral part
of India," the Indian external affairs ministry
said in a release on
Thursday.

Nirbhaya
Fund Lying
Unused
New Delhi:
As much as
`. 1,273.31
crore is lying
unused under Nirbhaya Fund set
up two years ago in the
wake of December 16
gangrape incident, Parliament was informed
on Friday. Replying to a
question in Lok Sabha,
women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi said a total
amount of `. 3,000 crore
was allocated to Nirbhaya Fund in 2013-2014,
2014-15 and 2015-16.

Govt Committed to Bigger Pictorial


Warnings on Tobacco, Says Nadda

Home Ministry to Shift Case of Attack


on Army Convoy in Arunachal to NIA

New Delhi: Government on Friday expressed its commitment to increase the size of pictorial warnings on
tobacco products even as it rebutted the controversial
remarks by two BJP members of a parliamentary panel questioning if there is a link between smoking and cancer.
Health Minister JP Nadda told the Lok Sabha that the government
will see to it that the size of the health warnings are increased.

New Delhi: The Home Ministry will shift the case of an


attack on an Army convoy in Arunachal Pradesh to the
National Investigation Agency. Three Army personnel
of the 4 Rajput Regiment were killed and four injured
when suspected NSCN insurgents had ambushed an Army vehicle
in Arunachal Pradeshs Tirap district on April 2. This is a serious
case and will be shifted to NIA soon, a home ministry official said.

Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat dances with singer Kailash Kher. PTI

GOVT CONFIDENT ABOUT GETTING PARTIES ON BOARD

GST Bill Introduced


Amid Opposition
Opposition insists that the bill be referred to standing committee, stages walkout

4 Get Death
Penalty for
Rape, Murder
Srinagar: A
court in
Kashmir
sentenced
four men to death on
Friday after they were
convicted of the rape
and murder of a 14year-old girl which
sparked protests across
the region. The four convicts, including two locals and two migrant labourers from West
Bengal and Rajasthan,
had been found guilty
earlier this month of the
2007 killing near the de
facto border with Pakistan, known as the Line
of Control (LoC).

Lokayukta
Seeks Report
on Bar Scam
Thiruvananthapuram: The
Lokayukta
has directed
the Vigilance and AntiCorruption Bureau to
submit a confidential report to it on the present
status of investigation in
the bar licence bribery
scam by June 22. The direction was given on a
complaint by Khalid
Mundappilly, seeking a
directive to the VACB to
register cases against
ministers allegedly involved in the scam in the
wake of a confidential
statement before the magistrate by Kerala State
Bar Hotel Owners Association Working President
Biju Ramesh that bribes
were paid to ministers.

After missing several deadlines, 3 Cheetal


choppers sent to Kabul ahead of Ghani visit

Our Political Bureau

Manu.Pubby@timesgroup.com

New Delhi: Finance Minister


Arun Jaitley on Friday moved the
Goods and Services Tax Bill in the
Lok Sabha for consideration, braving a prolonged wrangling with the
Opposition over procedure. Almost the entire Opposition raised
technical objections and insisted
that the bill be referred to the
standing committee.
Given that GST is a Constitution
amendment bill that requires twothirds support in both the Houses
and with Congress looking keen on
returning the compliment to BJP
for blocking the same bill when it
was in power, the government will
need deft political management, especially in Opposition-dominated
Rajya Sabha, to ensure the bills
passage. The government has exuded confidence in its ability to push
the bill through in both Houses by
next week despite the majority of
Opposition parties staging a walkout in the Lok Sabha.
Even as Jaitley exhorted all sections of the House to jointly back
the bill by citing how GST could offer a win-win situation for the
states in earning more revenues
and by showcasing the legislature
as the best example of co-operative federalism on display, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi was seen
actively encouraging party members to press for referring the bill to
the standing committee, a demand
that was backed by most Opposition parties including governmentfriendly parties AIADMK and BJD.
Later in the day, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said his party
was not against GST, which is our baby but warned the Centre of consequences it could face (in the Rajya

New Delhi: India has delivered


three military choppers to Kabul
weeks ahead of the first visit by Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani to New Delhi since taking over
charge. The three Cheetal helicopters, which are unarmed and have
a utility role, have been ready for
delivery with India since June last
year but several deadlines were
missed as the two nations were
looking for an appropriate occasion for the handing over.
However, it now seems that India sent the choppers in a low key
affair to Kabul earlier this month
with Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh informing Parliament that they were
quietly dispatched on 9 April.
These helicopters have been
test flown and accepted by Afghanistan pilots on 15th April,
the minister said in a written reply to P Nagarajan in Lok Sabha.
Sources said India had been
looking for a significant visit or
occasion to send the helicopters
over as a symbol of friendship to
Afghanistan but several deadlines passed by due to a certain
lack of response from the other
side. The three choppers, manufactured by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), were to
be earlier sent across in August
while another deadline of December was also discussed.
Afghan pilots and technicians
have been trained on the choppers that are suited for operations from high altitude regions
as well as difficult terrain and
unprepared landing areas.
Security related ties with Afghanistan have been on a low

GOOD DEAL: Jaitley sought support of all sections of the House by citing
how GST could offer a win-win situation for states in earning more revenues

BACKCHANNEL TALKS

Jaitley is in
talks with chief
ministers such
as Mamata Banerjee,
JJayalalithaa, Navin Patnaik & leaders such as
Sharad Pawar and some
Janata Parivar parties to
muster support

Sabha) if the bill is pushed without referring to the standing committee.


Congress leaders are debating
whether they should eventually let
the bill sail through, citing the party's principled support to the bill or
whether it should hold back the legislation for a while as it did with the
insurance bill. There are indications that apart from trying to engage Congress and allies, Jaitley is
also in back-room negotiations with
CMs such as Mamata Banerjee, J
Jayalalithaa, Navin Patnaik and
leaders such as Sharad Pawar and
some Janata Parivar parties to mop
up support. GST needs to be ratified
by at least half the number of states
too to become a law.

PRIVATE MEMBERS BILL PASSED AFTER 45 YEARS

WITH MAESTRO: Prime


Minister Narendra Modi with
Pakistani ghazal singer
Ghulam Ali in New Delhi. PTI

India Delivers
Three Choppers
to Afghanistan

TWEET-O-METER
The Best
Political Tweets
Only in ET

Devendra Fadnavis
@Dev_Fadnavis
In a review meeting with
secretaries, yesterday,
directed to prepare a
comprehensive policy
soon to stop farmer suicide
shazia ilmi
@shaziailmi
shameful conduct by Aap
leaders. They will stoop to
any level to get mileage.
Ruthless and utterly unscrupulous.

Train Soldiers
from N Korea,
Palestine: MoD
The Defence
Ministry has said
that soldiers
from North Korea and Palestine figure
among the 65 friendly nations whose defence personnel come to India for
training. India has trained
close to 12,500 soldiers
from across the world in the
past three years in various
capacities and roles. The nations that have send across
soldiers include China, the
US, South Korea and Japan
as well.
since Ghani took over last year.
A much discussed weapons
package for the nation which
involved both transfer of weapons, increasing the capacity of
the Afghan forces by setting up
maintenance centers and providing equipment through Russia has since been put on the
freezer.

ANIRBAN BORA

ALL IN

Baijayant Jay Panda


@PandaJay
I welcome #GST introduction in the Lok Sabha, but
am rushing back to Odisha
due to a major fire in my
constituency, 60+ homes
destroyed
Kiran Bedi
@thekiranbedi
Is an apology enuf for persistent disruption+ huge
public inconvenience
+causing death for script?
gone wrong?

CHIEF MINISTER SIDDARAMAIAH GETS BREATHER

RS Forms United Front to


No BBMP Polls for Now
Pass Transgender Rights Bill
Opposition BJP to challenge HC judgement in Supreme Court
Our Bureau

Govt is unlikely to move it as an official bill owing to certain impractical aspects


RakeshMohan.Chaturvedi
@timesgroup.com

New Delhi: Rajya Sabha, which


has been a divided house on most
issues in the last few days, came together on the issue of ensuring
rights to transgenders by unanimously passing a Private Members' Bill an event that last took
place 45 years back.
Though the Bill would not become
law until the government decides to
move an official Bill, the gesture was
touching and instantly became a
talking point. However, there are indications that this may be the end of
the issue as government sees a lot of
impractical aspects in the Bill and
will not bring a government Bill on
it. The Rights of Transgender Persons Bill, 2014 moved by Tiruchi Siva of DMK was passed after discussion in which the House expressed
support to the cause. The Bill is
aimed at providing for the formulation and implementation of a comprehensive national policy for ensuring overall development of the
transgender persons. It is after 45
years that a Private Members Bill

HARD TO IMPLEMENT

What was seen in the


Rajya Sabha was a sense
of the House that it supports the cause. But there
are some impractical aspects in the Bill due to
which it cannot be implemented in letter and spirit
NIRMALA SITHARAMAN

Commerce and Industry Minister

has been passed... It envisages that a


national commission with statutory
powers on the lines of the National
Commission for SCs, STs and women should be established for transgenders, Siva said outside Parliament House after passage of the Bill.
The last time a Private Members'
Bill was passed in Rajya Sabha was
in 1970. The Bill also states that there
should be reservations for transgenders in educational institutions
from primary level up. However, this
Bill would not become a law as unlike a government Bill a Private
Members Bill does not go to the other House after passage. It will become law only if the government
moves a Bill on the issue. Minister
of State for Corporate Affairs Nirmala Sitharaman lamented that
there are certain impractical aspects due to which it cannot be
moved as a government Bill.
Government is sensitive to the
rights of transgenders and what
was seen in the Rajya Sabha was a
sense of the House that it supports
the cause. But there are some impractical aspects in the Bill due to
which it cannot be implemented in
letter and spirit, she said.

Bengaluru: The Karnataka High


Court on Friday set aside the
March 30 ruling by a single Judge,
which asked the State Election
Commission to complete the process of elections to Bengalurus
civic body, BBMP, by May 30. The
development came as a big relief
to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah
whose government has been trying to postpone the BBMP election ostensibly to restructure the
civic body.
The division bench of the HC
comprising Chief Justice DH
Waghela and Justice Rammohan
Reddy set aside the March 30 order of Justice BV Nagarathna,
and directed the state government and the State Election Commission to hold polls to the BBMP
as provided under Article 243U of
the Constitution. The state government and the State Election
Commission should perform
their duties and constitutional
obligations so as to ensure within
time, reconstitution of BBMP in
accordance with the law to sub
serve the underlying object of the
74th amendment of the Constitution, the division bench wrote in
its 25-page judgement.

Law Minister TB Jayachandra and CM Siddaramaiah during the special


session to discuss BBMP trifurcation Bill at Vidhana Soudha (file photo)

What changed the whole scenario in the opinion of the bench


was the April 18 notification of
the government superceding the
BBMP elected council under Section 99 of the Karnataka Municipal Corporations Act, 1976.
I am very happy the judgement
has gone in our favour. The judiciary has correctly interpreted the
Constitution and the law. This
will pave the way for restructuring BBMP and help us provide
good governance to Bengalureans, state Law Minister TB
Jayachandra told ET.
The Opposition BJP has, howev-

er, decided to challenge the judgment in the Supreme Court.


It is unfortunate that the people
of Bengaluru are being denied
their rights to elect their representatives as per the desires of the
Constitution. We will seek justice
for the citizens of Bengaluru by
knocking on the doors of the Supreme Court, BJP spokesperson
and former law minister S Suresh
Kumar said.
The State Election Commission
is also consulting its legal team to
explore the option of challenging
the high court verdict in the apex
court.

SINISTER PLAN IN THE MAKING?

PLACING A SAFETY NET

Narcotics in Pak Boat may


Have Been to Fund Terror

Rajnath Wants National Counter IED


Policy to Check Pilferage of Explosives

DipanjanRoy.Chaudhury
@timesgroup.com

New Delhi: Government officials


suspect that narcotics worth hundreds of crores found in a Pakistani
boat seized off Gujarat coast earlier this week was perhaps meant to
finance terror with institutional
backing even as Islamabad has
blamed New Delhi for not sharing
information on the vessel.
Government sources told ET that
while it is too early to say whether
cross-border terror groups had any
sinister design and that interrogation of the crew members only
could reveal the truth, the motive
behind smuggling drugs could have
been to finance terror.
Indian Navy and Coast Guard had,
in a joint operation, seized a boat
carrying 232 kg of heroin, with estimated street value of `. 600 crore, and
eight Pakistani crew members on

Monday. In an earlier incident, on


December 31, a Pakistani fishing
boat burst down after an Indian
Coast Guard vessel chased it down.
The vessel was suspected to be carrying explosives and terrorists on
board.
A senior government official said
both the newly seized boat and the
earlier vessel that blew itself up
had alleged institutional backing
from Pakistan. Some media reports claimed that both boats had
the same handlers.
Both police and intelligence agencies will interrogate the eight crew
members found on board. Diplomatic sources told ET that two incidents
involving Pakistani boats within a
span of five months indicate motive
and design of encouraging terror.
Indian security agencies, however,
are yet to gather such information
and are now trying to ascertain the
entire picture and intention of these
boats, sources said.

Seeks to plug gaps in transportation & storage of explosives to keep them out of reach of terrorists & Naxals
Aman.Sharma@timesgroup.com

New Delhi: Union Home Minister


Rajnath Singh has ordered the formation of a National Counter Improvised Explosive Device (IED)
policy to check the pilferage of explosives and detonators that are
landing in undesirable hands like
Naxals and terrorists leading to
IED attacks.
A senior Home Ministry official
said aim of the new policy is to assess the problem of pilferage of explosives and detonators, establish
the gaps in the present system of
their transportation and storage
and give tasks to various agencies
and central and state departments
to stop the pilferage. This leakage
is the biggest cause for terror attacks. The Home Ministry, Depart-

ment of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) and the state


governments need to work together on a policy to stop this, the ministry official said. He added that
the policy will look at the prospect
of ensuring that the state police
acts promptly on any requests for

security escorts from licensed explosive manufacturers and states


would be told to mandatorily provide armed police guards and protection to trucks transporting explosives in the country.
The
licencees/manufacturers
will also be asked to ensure GPS /

Vehicle Tracking System on all


their vans carrying explosives or
detonators.
The Explosive Rules, 2008 had
stipulated that armed police
guards must be requisitioned in
certain sensitive areas notified by
the government when explosives
are transported. But the pilferage is still taking place and it
seems states and the licensees are
not complying with the rules, the
ministry official said. Renewal of
licenses and any issue of new explosives licenses are expected to
be tied to such compliance.
The Home Ministry had told the
Parliament in 2011 that over 57000
kilograms of Ammonium Nitrate
and nearly five lakh detonators
have been pilfered away from various government establishments
in the three previous years.