BHUBANESWAR SUNDAY MARCH 4, 2018 `6.00 PAGES 28 LATE CITY EDITION SAFFRON FEAST SO, WHAT HAPPENS IN MEGHALAYA? Possibility 1 Congress will form the government with support of non-NPP regional parties Possibility 2 BJP makes its mark on the Northeast political landscape as second-last Left fortress crumbles and Congress gets blank scorecard in two states EXPRESS READ US delays decision on work permit for spouses of H-1B visa holders Washington: The Trump administration has delayed its decision on termination of work authorisation for spouses of H-1B visa holders, in a big relief to a large number of Indian workers and their families. The Department of Homeland Security said it would not take a decision on terminating the work authorisation of H4 visa users, spouses of H-1B visa holders, till June as it needs time to review the economic impact of such a decision. No check on dam water flow to AP Tight security for Plus II exam Malkangiri: MORE than a month has passed since the emergency tunnel gate in Chitrakonda was opened to release water to enable Andhra Pradesh Power Generation Corporation Limited (APGENCO) carry out renovation in the downstream of the dam. But water is flowing out unchecked as the roller bearer of the gate is not working, while technical teams from Odisha have failed to regulate the water flow at the tunnel gate. P4 Bhubaneswar: With the Plus Two examination set to begin from March 6, the Council of Higher Secondary Education (CHSE) is leaving nothing to chance for smooth conduct of the annual examination. Moreover, in the wake of Class X question papers allegedly going viral on social networking sites during the ongoing examination, the authorities seek to be extra vigilant. P2 WITH THIS ISSUE NEW AVATARS PLUS 12 PAGES PDF The Chief Minister relinquishes the works and water resources portfolios held by him since long Housing and Urban Development Minister Niranjan Pujari given charge of Water Resources Steel and Mines Minister Prafulla Mallik rewarded with the Works portfolio Minister of State for Labour and Employment Sushanta Singh given prestigious portfolio of Energy Law Minister Pratap Jena given additional charge of Information and Public Relations World Wildlife Day The Chief Minister dedicated the World Wildlife Day to big cats and called for responsible role of citizens to work together to ensure that the State has more of them. P3 A feast of fruits in Deer Park, Cuttack on the World Wildlife Day on Saturday I RASHMI RANJAN MOHAPATRA Congress being the single largest party should be invited by the Governor to form its govt (in Meghalaya) Kamal Nath, Congress leader 59/60* TRIPURA * Polling in Charilam deferred after death of candidate VOTE SHARE VOTE SHARE Minor reshuffle of Ministry NEW ASSIGNMENTS T R Zeliang, NPF leader and Nagaland Chief Minister E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Bhubaneswar CHIEF Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday effected a minor reshuffle in the portfolios of five ministers. He also relinquished the works and water resources portfolios held by him since long and distributed those among the ministers. Both the water resources and works portfolios were with the Chief Minister since 2004. The changes in the portfolios come days after the BJD’s resounding victory in the bypoll to Bijepur Assembly constituency . The Ministers, who played a key role in the party’s win in the by-election, seem to have been rewarded while two from coastal Odisha have been given charge of additional portfolios. Housing and Urban Development Minister Niranjan Pujari has been given charge of Water Resources which the Chief Minister held for a major period in the last 18 years. However, Industries Department has been taken away from him. Steel and Mines Minister Prafulla Mallik, who was the BJD’s Bargarh district observer in which Bijepur Assembly constituency falls, has been rewarded with the Works port- folio. Minister of State for Labour and Employment Sushanta Singh, who was in the news recently during the Bijepur by-poll, has been given prestigious portfolio of Energy, earlier held by Mallik. Besides, Minister for Health, Family Welfare and Law Pratap Jena has been given additional charge of Information and Public Relations. Besides, higher education minister Anant Das has been given charge of Industries portfolio. Rural Development Minister Bikram Arukha was earlier holding the information and public relations portfolio. With the reshuffle, the Chief Minister will now hold home, general administration and public grievances portfolios. In a twitter post, the Chief Minister congratulated the ministers on their new portfolios and responsibilities. “I am sure they will discharge their responsibilities ably and enhance administration with their verve and leadership to serve the people by ensuring fast-paced development,” he said. Thanking the Chief Minister, Mallik said he is committed to work for the people of Odisha. Health Minister Jena also thanked the Chief Minister. Pujari said he will deliver his duty with sincerity . 60/60 NAGALAND NPF: 27 NPP: 2 NDPP: 17 JD(U): 1 BJP: 12 Independent: 1 7% 8.2% 9.6% BJP 10.8% 11.6% UDP * Polling in Williamnagar countermanded due to killing of candidate We have not parted with the alliance. I hope BJP will join our government. I will welcome it if they join us BJP: 35 CPI(M): 16 IPFT: 8 VOTE SHARE Others 59/60* MEGHALAYA Congress: 21 NPP: 19 BJP: 2 UDP: 6 PDF: 4 HSPDP: 2 NCP: 1 KHNAM: 1 Independents: 3 28.5% Amit Shah, BJP chief T H E N o r t h e a s t i s n ow saffron. The BJP swept the polls in Tripura, bettered its performance in Nagaland, and despite the Congress coming up as the single-largest party the , BJP still holds a chance to for m the gover nment in Meghalaya. Similarly, it is the Christian-majority state will be held by the end of this year. In Nagaland, the BJP has improved upon its performance by a canter. In Meghalaya, where it had no seat, the BJP not only opened its account, but might muster a coalition to keep the Congress out of power through political manoeuvring which it did in Manipur and Goa. 20.6% The victory of the BJP is important in many ways.... It is an endorsement of the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi by the people of the Northeast certain that none of Nagaland’s two major regional players — the ruling Naga People’s Front (NPF) or newly-floated Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) — will or can form the government without the BJP . Mizoram remains the only state in the Northeast where the BJP is yet to make inroads. Assembly elections in NPP @ Guwahati Cong P R A S A N TA M A Z U M D A R Narendra Modi, Prime Minister (addressing BJP workers) NPP Tripura in, BJP to pocket 2 more states? It is a journey from no one to number one, from ‘shoonya to shikhar’ (zero to pinnacle) NPF 39.1% BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav and Tripura BJP chief Biplab Kumar Dev greet the supporters in Agartala after the party’s thumping win in the State Assembly elections on Saturday | RANJAN ROY opposition leader. And for the Left, there is nothing to lift the gloom. All it can look forward to is one more body for post-mortem, especially to decide the ageold question of whether it should have allied with the Congress. Prima facie, it may now be even more difficult to toe the ‘Yechury line’ that favours a secular alliance. Going by the day’s most dramatic results, from Tripura, the Left needs a total reinvention if it is to survive. Manik Sarkar, the lone sentinel in the east for the CPI(M) who was chief minister for two uninterrupted decades, will finally bow out to a mix of ethnic antagonisms, rising aspirations and, crucially the , desire for change. The last sentiment was captured in the BJP’s slogan of ‘Chalo Paltai’ (Let’s Overtur n), voiced by a man ironically named ‘Revolution’, Biplab Deb, now all set to be CM. NDPP 25.5% Possibility 4 BJP-NPP combine will form the government with support of regional parties and Independents TRIPURA, Meghalaya and Nagaland add up to a mere “0.70 per cent of India’s population, equivalent to three Lok Sabha constituencies in Rajasthan”, wrote a dismissive voice on Twitter. But that’s a gross misreading. At the end of a day that saw one stunning sweep, one knifeedge photofinish and one Assembly hanging in the balance, the Northeast had done more than enough to make a deep mark on the national political discourse. The spectacular rise of the BJP in states where it was never given even an outside chance, the crumbling of one of the only two remaining Left fortresses, and the neartotal retreat of the Congress — all three phenomena will have a lasting impact on Indian politics in the run-up to 2019. CPI(M) 42.7% 7.5% IPFT BJP-NPP combine will form the government with support of regional parties The BJP can now realistically look at the Northeast as a collective catchment area — with a significant 25 Lok Sabha seats that can offset potential losses elsewhere. At a symbolic level, it’s also a triumphal, morale-boosting entry into territories that were always seen as the furthest from its cow belt politics. For the Congress, the blank scorecard in two whole states (Tripura and Nag aland) wipes the tentative smile that had come on its visage after Gujarat and the Rajasthan by-polls. Now it goes into the Karnataka election later this year with that much more desperation — and spirits will be low if it cannot strike a few blows in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. On that will also depend the acceptability of Rahul Gandhi — who faced barbs of being “in Italy while Northeast fell” — as a united 14.4% @ New Delhi BJP S A N T W A N A B H AT TA C H A R YA Possibility 3 BJP 43% Congress will form the government with support of non-NPP regional parties and Independents PARLIAMENT BUDGET SESSION BJD to raise Mahanadi, Polavaram, MSP issues E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Bhubaneswar The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) will raise the issues of Mahanadi tribunal, Polavaram project, hike in minimum support price (MSP) of paddy during the second phase of budget session of Parliament beginning March 5. Issues related to Odisha’s interest were discussed at the meeting of the BJD Parliamentary Party presided by Chief Minister and party president Naveen Patnaik at Naveen Nivas here on Saturday BJD members of both Lok Sabha and . Rajya Sabha attended the meeting. It was decided that the BJD MPs will demand deployment of more Central forces in Odisha to tackle increasing Maoist activities in the State. Besides, the Chief Minister asked the MPs to meet the Railway Minister to pursue demands of Odisha relating to railway projects, Prasanna Acharya, BJD Rajya Sabha member said. The meeting decided that BJD MPs will raise Odisha’s demand to bring the State under one rail- We will demand to way zone as well as expedite various rail- expedite the process of setting way projects in the State. up Mahanadi “We will demand to expedite the proTribunal to resolve cess of setting up Mahanadi Tribunal to the river water resolve the river water dispute with dispute with Chhattisgarh,” BJD Parliamentary par- Chhattisgarh ty spokesman and Lok Sabha member Kalikesh Singhdeo said. Though consti- Kalikesh Singhdeo, tution of the tribunal on Mahanadi river BJD MP water dispute has been announced by the Centre, the process is yet to start. This apart, the BJD MPs will put pressure on the Centre to stop construction of Polavaram project, he said. The BJD MPs will also raise the State’s demand to raise the minimum support price (MSP) of paddy to `2,930 per quintal from the existing price of `1,550 per quintal. Though it was announced by the Centre in the 2019 budget that the MSP will be raised by one and a half times of the production cost, no follow up action has been taken in this regard so far. The BJD would also raise Odisha’s long-standing demand to accord special category status to the State, he said and added that assistance of other States will be sought but BJD will keep maintaining equidistance from the UPA and the NDA.
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