The Hindu Important Articles 23 May 2018

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# Final Congress-JD(S) deal to be hammered out today
Kumaraswamy invites Rahul, Sonia to swearing-in scheduled for tomorrow Janata Dal (Secular) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy on Monday met Congress president Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi to invite them for the swearing-in ceremony of the coalition government in Bengaluru on Wednesday and finalise the details of the government formation, including ministerial berths.

Sources confirmed to The Hindu that the final deal would be hammered out on Tuesday in Bengaluru but the Congress is likely to get the Speaker’s post, besides the two deputy Chief Minister posts it is seeking, given that its numbers are double that of the JD(S). The parties are also likely to set up a coordination committee and draft a common minimum programme.

“I wanted to show my respect and regards to the Gandhi family. That’s why I came here. I requested their presence at the oath-taking ceremony, and both of them agreed to be present,” Mr. Kumaraswamy, Karnataka’s Chief Minister-designate, told reporters outside Mr. Gandhi’s residence after the meeting.

“Rahulji cleared the modalities to be done. He has given permission to Karnataka general secretary K.C. Venugopal to discuss all those matters and finalise everything,” was the JD(S) leader’s response, when reporters asked him if the Congress had demanded two Deputy Chief Minister posts and the Speaker’s position from his party.

Meeting cordial: Rahul

To dispel any impression of a discord, Mr. Gandhi took to Twitter to talk of a ‘cordial’ meeting.’

“I had a warm and cordial meeting this evening, in Delhi, with Shri H.D. Kumaraswamy ji. We discussed the political situation in Karnataka and other matters of mutual interest. I will be attending his swearing-in as CM of Karnataka, on Wednesday, in Bengaluru,” Mr. Gandhi said on Twitter.

For the Congress, the government formation exercise will be a fine balancing act. While the party wants its fair share and, at least, half-a-dozen ministerial berths more than the JD(S), it also wants to project itself as a party willing to accommodate regional players with an eye on an anti-BJP front ahead of the 2019 battle.

# Will double the benefits for Kapus, says Jagan
‘Will not make unrealistic promises on reservation’
The YSR Congress Party would give the Kapus twice what the Telugu Desam government gave them, party president Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy said on Monday.

Addressing a public meeting at Tadepalligudem in West Godavari district as part of the Prajasankalpa Yatra, Mr. Jagan said the TDP had promised to give the Kapus Rs. 1,000 crore a year but managed to give just Rs. 1,100 crore in four years.

TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu promised them reservation, the Rajakas the SC status and the fishermen and the Boyas the ST status but kept mum on granting reservations.

He would not promise reservations to any community but would try to get them for communities that were backward.

He was a person who did not promise anything he could not do but would give the Kapu Corporation double what the TDP had promised, he said.

‘W. Godavari neglected’

Mr. Jagan said the West Godavari voters elected all TDP MLAs but the government had not done anything for it. Even the roads in the district were in a horrible condition.

Though Mr. Naidu did not give the people anything, he gave the MLAs special training in corruption, rowdyism and even manhandling women, he charged.

He said the reason behind behind Mr. Naidu’s frequent visits to the Polavaram dam site was to keep close track of the commissions due to him.

He recalled how his father Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy had sanctioned Rs. 68 crore for underground drainage in Tadepalligudem and Rs. 30 crore was spent. The present government could make only very little progress in the last four years.

# Nipah virus claims one more life in Kozhikode
State and Centre join hands to counter outbreak
The Central and State government authorities as well as the medical community have stepped up efforts to contain the threat of a possible outbreak of the Nipah virus infection, which has so far claimed at least four lives in Kozhikode district.

One more person died due to the suspected infection of the virus on Monday. She has been identified as Lini, a 31-year-old nurse, attached to the Perambra taluk hospital. Lini was under treatment at the intensive care unit of the Institute of Chest Diseases of the Government Medical College Hospital, Kozhikode. She was on duty when one of the deceased had undergone treatment at the taluk hospital.

Her body was not handed over to relatives for fear of viral infection and was cremated at the electric crematorium, West Hill, with the consent of the family.

Since May 5, three persons from a family at Sooppikkada village in the Changaroth grama panchayat limits, near Perambra, have died so far due to virus encephalitis and myocarditis. Three others, including the taluk hospital nurse, who were in close contact with the deceased, too have died in the past few days. The cause of one of them has been confirmed as Nipah viral infection. Till now, at least nine persons are under care and scrutiny for suspected infection. Also, three nurses who had attended on the virus-afflicted at EMS Memorial Cooperative Hospital, Perambra, have been admitted to the government medical college hospital with fever symptoms.

NCDC team

They were initially at the Perambra taluk hospital. The lab results of the fiancee of one of the dead persons, who is undergoing treatment at Amrita Institute of Medical Science, Kochi, have proved negative.

Meanwhile a team from the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), which visited the area, termed it the “third major outbreak in the country”.

After inspecting Sooppikkada village in Changaroth grama panchayat near Perambra, the native place of the deceased, Sujeet Kumar Singh, Director, NCDC, told the media that the infection and the subsequent deaths were “a little bit unusual” and “a cause for concern.”

He said that the earlier outbreaks, reported in two places in West Bengal, were linked to Bangladesh, where it had been reported earlier. However, that was not the case in Kerala. Dr. Singh said that a lot of panic had been created in the village and residents had left the place.

# 3,000 families marooned in Tripura floods
6 dead in landslips due to heavy rain in past four days
Flash floods marooned at least 3,000 families in Tripura, where incessant rain triggered mudslides that have killed six people, including three of a family, in the past four days.

Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb declared financial assistance for the victims’ families. Shelter has been provided in 36 makeshift camps.

Many areas submerged

Several localities in Agartala were submerged. Low-lying areas were the worst affected, requiring evacuation of people. Officials said the flood situation became grim owing to torrential rain in the hills of north Tripura, the source of all major rivers of the State. A portion of the Assam-Agartala National Highway was also flooded, disrupting normal traffic. Schools have been declared closed at several places.

Tripura Education Minister Ratan Lal Nath inspected some flood-affected areas. “I have instructed the authorities to provide all support to people marooned in flood water,” he said.

District officials on Monday said the National Disaster Response Force, fire services, defence personnel and volunteers were jointly working to help the affected people.

Water receding

Officials said that the flood waters had started receding in West Tripura, Gomati, Khowai and Sipahijala districts of the State.

The two major rivers of Tripura, Gomati and Haora, were also flowing below the danger level, they said.

However, around 17,480 people were still housed in relief camps in the four districts, State Disaster Management Authority officer Sarat Das said.

“There was no report of any fresh flood from any part of the State and the river Haora is flowing at 9.48 m, well below its danger level of 10.50 m. River Gomati is flowing at 19.80 m, while its danger level is 21.50 m,” Mr. Das said.

“Many people have returned to their homes. But, flood waters have not receded entirely from their houses and living conditions are yet to be restored,” District Magistrate of West Tripura, Sandeep Namedo Mahatme said.

Meanwhile, the local meteorological department said rainfall and thunderstorms were likely to occur in all districts of the State during the next 24 hours.

# Non-bailable warrants against Nirav Modi
CBI court takes cognisance of chargesheet filed by the agency in PNB case; summons issued to all the arrested accused
The CBI court on Monday took cognisance of the chargesheet filed by the agency in the Punjab National Bank scam and issued non-bailable warrants against Nirav Modi, his brother Neeshal Modi, and Subhash Parab, an executive in Nirav Modi’s group of companies.

The chargesheet names three of Nirav’s firms — Diamond R US, Stellar Diamond, Solar Exports — and senior PNB staffers K.V. Brahmaji Rao and Sanjiv Sharan (both : executive directors), Nehal Ahad, general manager, and Usha Ananthasubramanian, who was then CEO and MD (she is now in a similar position at Allahabad Bank).

The court issued summons to all the arrested accused in the case and posted the matter to June 1.

The charge sheet says the PNB employees abused their positions as public servants and ‘fraudulently and dishonestly’ issued a large number of letter of understanding (LOUs) without any sanctioned limit and without obtaining 100% cash margins . This was in connivance with Nirav Modi, Hemant Bhatt (authorised signatory of many of Nirav’s firms), and Vipul Ambani, a president of Firestar International. The CBI says that from February 2, 2017, to March 23, 2017, Gokulnath Shetty, a now-retired deputy manager of PNB (currently in judicial custody) issued 150 LOUs with due dates from January 25, 2018, to and April 20, 2018, on behalf of the three firms, based on which the firms obtained Buyers Credits from overseas branches of Allahabad Bank, Axis Bank and Bank of India.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had issued a circular on August 3, 2016, about cyber-security controls, advising banks to get their SWIFT infrastructure audited and ensure strict vigilance on SWIFT transactions.

These warnings were brought to the notice of Ms. Ananthsubramanian, Mr. Rao, Mr. Sharan and Mr. Ahad.

# Bihar parties seek a ban on Bhagwat
Bihar Opposition parties have asked the ruling NDA government not to allow the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat to visit Bihar. Mr. Bhagwat is scheduled to arrive in the State on Tuesday, his fourth time in the last 12 months, to participate in an RSS camp.

“We demand that Mr. Bhagwat’s entry into Bihar be banned… Chief Minister Nitish Kumar should be vigilant as there was tension in various districts of the State after his visit in February this year,” said State Congress leader and Party MLC Prem Chandra Mishra.

Alliance partner RJD too questioned Mr. Bhagwat’s frequent visits to Bihar. “Is it a coincidence that his recent visit had left a trail of communal tensions in different parts of the State?,” asked RJD leader Bhai Birendra.

However, ruling party leaders wondered how the government could stop someone from visiting the State. “It’s a democratic country and no one can be barred from visiting any place,” said a JD(U) leader, preferring anonymity. The RSS chief will reach Patna on Tuesday morning and leave for Nawada to participate in a training programme for RSS workers.

# CPI(M) nod for Yechury’s attendance
The CPI(M) Polit Bureau on Monday endorsed party general secretary Sitaram Yechury’s participation in the swearing-in of Janata Dal(S) leader H.D. Kumaraswamy as Chief Minister in Bengaluru on Wednesday.

Just nine months ago, the CPI(M) had skipped the “BJP Bhagao, Desh Bachao ” rally organised by RJD chief Lalu Prasad in August.

“The decision not to attend Lalu Prasad’s rally was taken before the party congress and the change in the political line,” a Polit Bureau member said.

On Wednesday, the entire Opposition leadership will be present at Mr. Kumaraswamy’s swearing-in.

Mr. Yechury batted for a regional front, saying that such a coalition of regional political parties would be much more representative. “This is not the first time it is happening. It happened when the United Front government was formed and again in 2004 when the UPA government was formed after the election. What is India but a collection of all these diversities. This sort of a coalition is what I would call maturation of Indian democracy. Our social diversity is reflecting in Indian politics. This coming together, with a minimum common programme is what India’s future should be,” he said.

Source:- The Hindu

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