The Hindu Important Articles 20 May 2018

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# Karnataka House to decide Yeddyurappa’s fate today
Ultimately this is a numbers game, Supreme Court says, ordering a floor test
Hardly 24 hours after a pre-dawn hearing saw the Supreme Court allowing BJP leader B.S. Yeddyurappa to be sworn in as Karnataka Chief Minister, the court on Friday ordered a floor test to be held at 4 p.m. on Saturday to decide whether he commands majority in the House.

‘Proof of the pudding’

Justice A.K. Sikri, who led the three-judge Bench, said: “Ultimately this is a number game and the proof of the pudding is in the floor test.”

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, for Mr. Yeddyurappa and two BJP MLAs, made a statement that Mr. Yeddyurappa would not take any major policy decision till the floor test was conducted.

Justice Sikri remarked: “Anyway you will be busy with other things.”

The Bench, also comprising Justices S.A. Bobde and Ashok Bhushan, brushed aside protests by senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi about having the floor test.

Quotes WhatsApp joke

Mr. Rohatgi said the “Congress has their members locked up in Kochi, whereas I have to gather my flock.”

“There is a joke doing the rounds on WhatsApp that a resort owner has written to the Governor saying he has 117 MLAs with him and wants to form the government,” Justice Sikri quipped.

“But no floor test tomorrow… This is not fair,” Mr. Rohatgi pressed on. Justice Sikri stood firm, saying the “floor test should be tomorrow, this way nobody gets any time” amid fears expressed by the Congress-JD(S) combine of poaching. “We are not going by any political party,” Justice Sikri said. “Whichever the party, the final decision will be taken on the floor of the House,” Justice Bobde added

The court ordered a pro tem speaker to be chosen immediately to conduct the confidence vote on May 19. The court directed the Karnataka Director General of Police to ensure the safety of MLAs. “We …ask the DGP to provide security to all MLAs and videography of the floor test as we did in the Jharkhand case,” the court said.

# Uday Express to be flagged off from Coimbatore on June 10
The double-decker day train to run between Coimbatore and Bengaluru
The much-awaited Utkrisht double-decker air-conditioned yatri (Uday) Express will be flagged off from Coimbatore on June 10 by Union Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain.

A communiqué received by the Southern Railway General Manager R.K. Kulshreshta, from the Office of the Minister, on Friday said “the Minister will inaugurate Train No. 22665/22666 Uday Express on the Coimbatore-Bengaluru-Coimbatore section and 16191/16192 Antyodaya SF Express on the Tambaram-Tirunelveli

-Tambaram section on June 10”.

Train No. 22666 Coimbatore-Bengaluru Uday Express will leave Coimbatore at 5.45 a.m. to reach Bengaluru at 12.40 p.m and in the return direction train no. 22665 will leave Bengaluru at 2.15 p.m to reach Coimbatore at 9 p.m. The trains will have stoppages at Tirupur, Erode, and Salem.

Food vending machines

The coaches will have automatic food vending machines besides a pantry. It has colourful exteriors and swanky interiors. The train will have 14 coaches, of these four will have pantry.

The exterior of the coaches will have vinyl wrapping to prevent graffiti.

The coaches have a seating capacity of 120, and those with pantry will have 104 seats. The coaches will have WiFi, GPS-based Passenger Information System through LCD display, diffused LEDs, and solar reflective coating on the roof.

The speed test of the train was conducted during the third week of December 2017 between Coimbatore Railway Junction and Somanakkanpatti Railway Station near Vellore.

During the speed test, the coaches were loaded with 16 tonnes of Rail Neer from Coimbatore to check its weight carrying capacity with maximum speed.

The Minister during his two-day visit to Kerala and Tamil Nadu will also flag off Train No. 16355/16356 Kochuveli-Mangaluru Antyodaya Express at Cochin, dedicate the Punalur-Shencotta gauge converted section for traffic and also inaugurate a new station building at Changanassery in Kerala on June 9.

# Police question Kejriwal for 3 hours in CS assault case
‘CM was cooperative but evaded many questions’
The Delhi police on Friday posed around 70 questions to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over three hours in connection with the alleged assault on Chief Secretary Anshu Prakash in February.

Two lawyers of the Aam Aadmi Party were also present at the Chief Minister’s camp office in the Civil Lines area during the questioning by a six-member team led by Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (North) Harendra Singh.

“He was cooperative during the investigation, but evaded many questions. The replies to some of the questions were not satisfactory. If required, we will question him again,” said the Additional DCP.

The proceedings were video-recorded by the police but a copy will not be provided to Mr. Kejriwal because the law does not allow it, he added.

Police sources said that among other things, the Chief Minister was asked about the decision to convene the late-night meeting with Mr. Prakash on February 19, the sequence of events that led to the alleged assault and what ultimately triggered it.

On February 23, a police team had examined the CCTV system installed at the CM’s residence and seized the hard disk. While the forensic report is still awaited, the police had found during investigation that the assault was pre-planned and that Mr. Kejriwal’s Private Secretary Bibhav Kumar had directed a party volunteer to call the MLAs. On Friday, the Chief Minister was asked if he knew about it.

# PRC to be headed by ex-bureaucrat
Asked to submit report within 3 months
The State government has constituted the first Pay Revision Commission (PRC) after the formation of Telangana headed by retired bureaucrat C. R. Biswal for the employees. Coming a day after Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao’s assurance to employees, the PRC will have retired IAS officers C. Umamaheswara Rao and Mohammad Ali Rafat as members.

Three-month time

The commission has been mandated to give its report within three months of the date of assumption of charge, Chief Secretary S.K. Joshi said in the order issued late on Friday evening.

The PRC had been mandated to evolve principles governing the structure of emoluments and the conditions of service of various categories of employees of the government, local bodies and aided institutions, non-teaching staff of various universities, work-charged employees and full-time contingent employees that had financial bearing.

It should examine the extent to which the existing dearness allowance should be merged in pay and evolve consequent new set of pay, besides suggesting the mode of fixation of pay in the revised pay scales.

# Green corridor may take heavy toll on trees
NHAI claim on project disputed
Around 6,400 trees are likely to be felled and lands measuring about 2,560 hectares are to be acquired for the proposed eight-lane access-controlled greenfield corridor to be laid between Chennai and Salem at a cost of Rs. 10,000 crore, according to a presentation made by the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) before the Union Environment Ministry.

However, environmental activists claimed that the number of trees that would face the axe could run into a few lakhs.

The proposed alignment of the 277-km-long ambitious project, which was announced jointly by Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari in Chennai in February this year, is to pass through Kancheepuram, Tiruvannamalai, Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri and Salem districts.

6,400 trees to be hit

In its presentation at the meeting of the Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) of the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in Delhi earlier this month, the NHAI along with its EIA consultant for the project, stated: “About 6,400 trees are likely to be affected due to the proposed right of way (RoW) of 90m. Efforts will be made to minimise the tree loss by restricting tree-cutting with formation width.”

The tentative length of affected forest area along the proposed alignment is about 13.290 km with about 120 hectares of affected forest area considering the right of way (RoW) of 90 m.

# One MLA will return home: Kumaraswamy
“One of the two missing MLA-elects from the Congress camp, who have been hijacked by my BJP friends, will return home (back to the party) tomorrow in Bengaluru,” Janata Dal (Secular) State president and former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy said on Friday.

# BSF jawan, 4 civilians killed in Pak shelling
One BSF jawan and four civilians were killed in 11-hour continuous firing and shelling by Pakistani troops on the International Border in Jammu on Friday, a day ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Kashmir. Three militants were shot dead by the Army in the Valley, the first time since it halted operations two days ago as part of the Centre’s Ramzan ceasefire.

Source:- The Hindu

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