Read The Hindu Important Articles 13 November 2018
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# Rafale deal not done in a hurry: Centre
Defence procurement procedure was fully followed, SC told
The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) approved the procurement of the 36 Rafale jets well over a year after the Indo-French Joint Statement to acquire the aircraft “as quickly as possible” was issued, said a government note in the Supreme Court on the Rafale deal.
The Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2013 mandates that acquisitions worth over Rs. 1,000 crore should be first cleared by the CCS.
Since 2002, over 1,100 contracts valued at Rs. 7.45 lakh crore were successfully concluded using the DPP structure, introduced after the Kargil War.
The note, submitted earlier to the court and made public on Monday as per a court order of October 31, claimed that DPP 2013 was “completely followed.”
The document showed that the CCS approved the signing of the Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) for procurement of the 36 jets only on August 24, 2016 — well over a year after the Indo-French statement of April 10, 2015, which the note said conveyed an “intent” to acquire the jets in a fly-away condition.
The approval of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), the highest body for defence procurement, was taken on May 13, 2015. Again, a month after the Indo-French statement.
The government said the DAC approval was taken “as stipulated in the DPP.”
The note said the joint statement was issued after the Government of India conveyed to the French government about the “critical operational necessity” for Multi-role Combat Aircraft for the Air Force. This necessity, it said, was triggered by the “extremely critical” combat potential of the Air Force caused by a three-year stalemate.
The situation was due to “unresolved issues” over man-hours and contractual obligations between HAL and Dassault Aviation over the production of 108 Rafale jets, of a total 126, to be inducted in the Air Force as part of an earlier proposal.
# Congress fights to save alliance
First list of 50-60 likely today in the backdrop of resentment among partymen
On the day when the Election Commission issued the notification for the Assembly elections to Telangana, the Congress party was still grappling to finalise its candidates as it had to weather the pressure from various sections within the party and concede the never ending demands of the alliance partners.
The scene once again shifted to New Delhi after the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee President N.Uttam Kumar Reddy, who held last minute consultations with the alliance partners – the TDP, TJS and CPI leaders to assuage their hurt feeling of neglect, along with AICC in-charge R.C. Khuntia met the party’s central leadership. The duo met screening committee members and later held two rounds of discussion with party President Rahul Gandhi. At the end of the meeting, it was decided that the first list of around 50-60 names of Congress candidates would be announced on Tuesday. There is serious differences on finalising the names of candidates for at least 20 seats that includes dispute within the aspiring candidates and disagreement between the alliance partners on the seats to be shared.
If the Congress sources are to be believed, the party’s central leadership was not pleased with the manner in which a section of the senior leaders were putting undue pressure to concede tickets to their family members. There was also serious objection by the BC leaders, who felt that they were being given a short shrift in the selection. Serious concern among the Congress leaders was over the seats that would be allotted to the the TDP, TJS and the CPI.
A senior TPCC functionary pointed out that CLP leader K.Jana Reddy was insisting on the Miryalaguda seat for his son while former Minister D.K.Aruna was hell bent on wresting the Makthal seat for daughter.
# Jagan resumes yatra in Vizianagaram
Identity cards made must for leaders, activists
Identity cards had been made mandatory for the all YSRCP leaders, activists and local people who would like to walk along with its president Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy who resumed his ‘Praja Sankalpa Yatra’ on Monday in Payakapadu village of Makkuva mandal of the Saluru Assembly constituency of Vizianagaram district.
Mr. Jagan was forced to suspend his padayatra after the attack on him in the Visakhapatnam airport.
In the backdrop of criticism over the alleged lapses in safety measures, the Police department put three-tier security cordon for Mr. Jagan during his yatra which covered Makkuva, Melapuvalasa, Mulakkayavalasa and others.
Following instructions by Vizianagaram SP G. Palaraju, the display of the identity card had been made compulsory even for prominent leaders of the party. The police personnel were also asked to wear their identity cards when they were on duty. Mr. Jagan maintained studied silence in spite of the media’s repeated attempts to know his reaction to the attack. Party leaders said he would react only at scheduled public meetings.
Joint Action Committee leaders of the Backward Classes Margani Nageswara Rao and his son Bharat joined the YSRC in the presence of Mr. Jagan. So did Chittoor TDP leaders Konda Sitamma and Konda Siddarth.
YSRCP leader and former MLA Bhumana Karunakar Reddy said the people were ready to teach a lesson for the TDP government in the next general elections. He claimed that Mr. Jagan was able to overcome all the conspiracies and the physical attack with the blessings of the people.
He hoped that Mr. Jagan would complete his pada yatra both in the Vizianagaram and the Srikakulam districts without any further break in spite of his ill-health and pain in the shoulder.
# Heavy rain forecast in six districts
Cyclone Gaja gathers strength over Bay of Bengal
The weather office has issued an yellow alert indicating isolated heavy rainfall for Kottayam, Idukki, and Palakkad districts on November 15 and 16 under the influence of cyclonic storm Gaja gathering strength over the Bay of Bengal.
An orange alert indicating isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall has been issued for Malappuram district and yellow alert for Pathanamthitta and Wayanad districts on November 16.
A weather advisory for fishermen issued by the Met Centre here has warned of squally weather and rough seas.
Fishermen are advised not to venture into the central part of south and central Bay of Bengal on the November 12 and 13 and into southwest and adjoining westcentral Bay of Bengal from November 13 to 15. Fishermen out at deep sea have been directed to return to the coast.
By Monday evening, Gaja lay centred over westcentral and adjoining eastcentral and southeast Bay of Bengal about 720 km east-northeast of Chennai and 800 km east-northeast of Nagappattinam.
According to the India Met Department, the storm is very likely to move west-southwestwards and intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm during the next 24 hours and maintain the intensity over the subsequent 24 hours.
Crossing TN coast
Thereafter, while moving west-southwestwards, it is likely to weaken gradually and cross Tamil Nadu coast between Cuddalore and Pamban as a cyclonic storm by the forenoon of November 15.
# Over 60% polling recorded in Chhattisgarh first phase
Voters ignore Maoist boycott call, turn up in large numbers
Chhattisgarh voters on Monday ignored the Maoist call to boycott the election and turned up in large numbers for the first phase of polling in 18 constituencies.
Chief Electoral Officer Subrat Sahoo said 60.49% polling was recorded in the partly extremist-dominated seats. While this was about 5% lower than the last Assembly election, the percentage might go up when final figures came in, he said.
‘Expected to go up’
“Polling is continuing and the figure is expected to go up. It could end up around 70%,” Mr. Sahoo said around 7 p.m. Polling was peaceful and people voted in areas where they had almost never exercised their franchise earlier.
“Booths which used to poll five or 10 votes earlier have recoded higher polling,” Mr. Sahoo said.
“In Palamguda, deep inside core Maoist areas in Sukma district, 44 persons voted for the first time. In Mulad and Nilabhaya in Dantewada, 10 and 19 persons voted respectively,” he said. In one of the Maoist-controlled areas in Chintagufa in Sukma district, polling was unusually high.
The high polling percentage, deep inside Maoist areas, however, is questioned by some of local non-governmental observers. “It is surprising, have to check the final figures,” one local observer said.
“However in some places, owing to Maoist vote boycott call, polling is nil,” Mr Sahoo said.
Improvised Explosive Devices [IEDs] were recovered from Dantewada, Sukma and Bijapur earlier in the day. While no major incidents were reported, at least two constables were injured in IED blasts.
One of the villagers of Perpa village near Kirandul in Dantewada district said that “many villages have voted” in his area. Cholnar, Tikanpal, Kallepal, Madri are some of the nearby villages where the villagers voted in large numbers, he said. However many of the adjacent villages in Dantewada– like Madkamiras, Gumiapal, Hiroli, Samalwar, Purangal and another half a dozen villages– the turnout was very low or nil.
While one village could vote, the other could not and that remained the trend of the day in partly Maoist dominated seats.
In many areas in Kanker district voters did not come out to vote, the local residents said.
“Overall it was peaceful. Some of the extreme interior areas could not vote, while many villages came out to vote,” said K Saji, Dantewada district secretary of Communist Party of India [CPI].
One percent of EVM machines and 1.9% of VVPATs were replaced which is “much lower” than earlier years, an EC official added.
# BJP MLA vows to quit over goons joining party
Anil Gote says he will submit resignation to Speaker on first day of winter session
Protesting against the Bharatiya Janata Party’s decision to allow goons and miscreants to join the party before elections, Anil Gote, party MLA from Dhule, announced on Monday that he would be resigning from his post. Mr. Gote also said that he would not be campaigning for the BJP in the upcoming civic elections in Dhule.
Mr. Gote said, “Despite my strong opposition, the BJP’s State leadership is facilitating the entry of a number of goons to the party. They told me that goons will become saints after joining the party. Had it been just one person, I would have accepted this explanation. But at present, gangs of goons are joining the BJP.” He said that the BJP would soon turn out to be a party that housed the largest numbers of goons.
The Dhule Municipal Corporation is slated to go for elections in the next few weeks. Two days ago, Mr. Gote, despite being the local MLA, was denied an opportunity to speak at a rally organised by the party as part of its election campaign.
He was allegedly manhandled on the stage in the presence of BJP State president Raosaheb Danve, Irrigation Minister Girish Mahajan and Tourism Minister Jaikumar Rawal. On the same day, Mr. Danve welcomed to the BJP the Sonar father-son duo, who are accused of brutally beating a police officer in 2013 and being involved in criminal activities.
Mr. Gote said, “I will be making the statement [on resignation as MLA] inside the State Assembly on the first day of the winter session and submit my resignation to the Speaker. I cannot work for goons.” He, however, added that he would remain an activist of the BJP and decide soon on floating an independent local front to take on his party in the civic polls.
They told me that goons will become saints after joining the party
BJP MLA from Dhule
# No early hearing in Ayodhya case, says SC
‘Appropriate Bench will hear it in Jan.’
The Supreme Court on Monday refused to entertain a plea for an early hearing in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case.
Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said the court had already directed the case to be put up before an appropriate Bench in January to fix the date for hearing the appeals. “We have already passed the order. The appeals are coming up in January. Permission declined,” he said, rejecting an oral mentioning by advocate Barun Kumar Sinha, representing the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha.
On October 29, the court had clarified that the decision on when to start hearing the appeals would be decided by an “appropriate Bench” before which the matter would come up in January.
# DKMUL to launch jeera masala buttermilk
Dakshina Kannada Cooperative Milk Union Ltd. (DKMUL) will launch its buttermilk in a new flavour, jeera masala, on Wednesday. In addition, it will release its existing Suvasitha flavour milk in cast polypropylene bottles (CPPs) to the market on the same day.
# Bengaluru welcomes winged visitors
The migratory season is here and winged visitors from foreign lands have started making the green landscapes and waterbodies around the city their home. Among the land birds, enthusiasts can spot various species such as greenish leaf warblers and bright reed warblers, flycatchers and golden orioles. The revived Jakkur, Saul Kere, Yelahanaka, Kaikondrahalli and Madiwala lakes are some of the places to head to this birding season.
# SC decision crucial for govt, protesters
The Supreme Court decision on a batch of writ petitions on its verdict, granting unrestricted entry for women to Sabarimala temple, scheduled on Tuesday would be quite decisive for the State government, as well as the United Democratic Front, the BJP and Sangh Parivar organisations that are spearheading an agitation.