KOchi 20 october 2013 SUNday `5 pages 28 late city edition CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BANGALORE ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELGAUM ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIMOGA ■ TIRUCHY ■ www.newindianexpress.com Lapses in Selection of Candidates Led to 2011 Defeat: VS r a da r by N V Ravindranathan Nair T’puram: Velikkakathu Sankaran Achuthanandan, popularly known as VS, is turning 90 on Sunday. The Opposition Leader is the only surviving comrade among the 32 central committee members who walked out of the undivided CPI to form the CPM after ideological schism rocked the Left movement in 1964. The ever-defiant communist patriarch has always been in news for his penchant for opening many war fronts simultaneously and fighting like a oneman army. Even on the very eve of turning 90, VS is not mincing words on various organisational issues, though the Indian skipper M S Dhoni plays a shot en route to his unbeaten 139 in the 3rd ODI in Mohali which Australia won by 4 wickets on Saturday | PTI P14 NE Monsoon by Tuesday T’Puram: Conditions are favourable for the arrival of the north-east monsoon over Kerala around October 22, the Met Department has forecast. P5 Jawans Hurt in Pak Firing Jammu: Pakistani troops opened fire and pounded 14 Indian posts and civilian areas in Jammu with mortar shells overnight, leaving two BSF jawans hurt. Meanwhile, a suspected Pakistani intruder was arrested in Samba. P7 UP Hooch Toll Touches 35 Azamgarh: With 13 more deaths, the toll in the hooch tragedy in several villages of Uttar Pradesh’s Mubarakpur area on Saturday climbed to 35, even as Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav suspended five excise officials. Unnao Gold Hunt Continues Unnao (UP): Excavation by archaeologists continued here for the second day on Saturday to hunt for the “dream” 1,000 tonnes golden treasure supposed to be buried under the ruins of a 19th century fort. Maldives Vote Called off Male: Police in the Maldives forced the postponement of Saturday’s presidential polls, declaring the vote illegal in a decision that sparked international concerns. P12 2-yr Ban for Berlusconi Rome: An Italian court ordered a twoyear ban from Parliament and polls for scandal-tainted ex-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. P12 express poll of the day Will middleman Guido Ralph Haschke’s arrest help unravel the choppergate scam? Yes 35% no 65% Today’s question: Does the PMO’s defence of coal block allocation to Hindalco sound convincing? SMS TO 54646 www.newindianexpress.com ‘I didn’t donate blood for Indian soldiers’ Achuthanandan revealed that he hadn’t defied the party line not to donate blood for Indian soldiers during the 1962 Indo-China war. He said the report of his donating blood was a lie spread by K P R Gopalan, who later turned to the Naxal movement. The party had dropped VS from the central committee, citing that he had donated blood for soldiers in violation of the party diktat. This is the first time VS has made a revelation on the issue in many decades. “Actually KPR who wanted to persuade comrades to quit the party and join Naxals came to the Poojappura central jail to meet us. But we had no sympathies for him. I was the convener of the jail committee. It was KPR who unleashed the false propaganda,” he said. The party line was that border issues between India and china should be settled through discussions. CPM Politburo has forbidden him from making any public statement that will show the party in a poor light. Excerpts from an exclusive interview he gave to Express: Q: Voters in Kerala are known to shift loyalties to the UDF and LDF in each election. But in 2011, the electorate had apparently wished to give the LDF another chance but you lost by a narrow margin of three seats. Do you still believe that the CPM’s state leadership Allocation to Birla Firm was Appropriate: PMO Manmohan Singh approved the coal block allocation to Kumar Mangalam Birla-owned Hindalco on the basis of merits of the case placed before him by Santwana Bhattacharya New Delhi: In an attempt to clear the air vitiated by the slanging match between former Coal Secretary P C Parakh and the CBI, probing irregularities in the coal block allocation, and the loaded conjectures on who was the “competent authority” mentioned in the 14th FIR, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on Saturday declared that Manmohan Singh had been “satisfied” with the decision to allocate two coal blocks in Odisha to Hindalco, the aluminum major owned by top industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla, as it was “appropriate” and “based on merit”. In an unusually assertive statement issued with a long Annexure, the PMO said “the Talabira coal block allocation (to Hindalco) is a case where the final decision differed from the earlier recommendation of the Screening Committee, and this was done following a representation received in the Prime Minister’s Office from one of the parties (K M Birla, who is Parakh Worked for Firm That Got Block New Delhi: Former Coal Secretary P C Parakh, who was named by the CBI in an FIR, had joined three private firms after retirement, raising questions over his role in Navbharat Power, one of the companies that’s now under the scanner after getting a block. later mentioned in the annexure), was referred to the Ministry of Coal”. But while not denying the Manmohan-Birla meeting, the PMO also sought to rather subtly under- line that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, as the head of the government, did get letters and a representation from the industrial house as well as Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on the issue, but the actual decision on the allocation of the coal mine was made by the Coal Ministry. In other words, the policy approval acknowledging merits of the Hindalco was given by the PM/ PMO but the actual decision was not his or the PMO’s. “The PM was satisfied that the final decisions taken in this regard was entirely appropriate and were based on merits of the case placed before him,” the PMO statement said. It also clarified that it was putting the exact sequence of events leading up to the allocation of Talabira coal block to Hindalco overturning the Screening Committee decision to give to the two PSUs, Neyveli Lignite and Mahanadi Coalfields, in public domain, not to influence the course of the CBI investigation. Shadowy Arab Billionaire behind US Ship by Yatish Yadav New Delhi: An American ship carrying sophisticated arms and ammunition off the western Indian coast. A mercenary shipping company and its Saudi billionaire owner who lives in the vicinity of Wall Street. A multi billion dollar anti-piracy industry in the Indian Ocean that has become the new “Iraq” after the Americans pulled out of Baghdad, shutting off the massive greenback pipeline to private security agencies like Halliburton whose mercenaries helped US troops fight locals in the treacherous alleys of Falluja and Kandahar. The story of MV Seaman Guard Ohio, currently docked at Tuticorin under the watch of the the Navy and the Coast Guard, is one that Wilbur Smith could easily have penned. The ship is owned by AdvanFort, the private maritime security company that remains tightlipped about the lack of proper documentation for the 35 sophisticated assault rifles and over 5,000 rounds of ammunition found aboard the vessel. What was the ship doing in Indian waters? “What was the objective and purpose of the ship staying in Indian waters? There is not much piracy near our maritime borders. I think some big scandal is happening out there, and we have to find out that” said former Vice Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral K K Nayyar said. The incident raises questions over the unregulated business practices and methods adopted by the shady operators involved in private maritime security. The owner of the ship, UAE-based businessman Samir Farajallah, operates in the war shadow. More: P7, 10 UPA to Introduce Islamic Banking to Woo Muslims by Cithara Paul New Delhi: With the full faith that the minorities will get it a majority in 2014, the UPA Government is pulling out all stops to introduce Islamic banking into the country’s banking system. Islamic banking complies with Islamic law (Shari’ah) and is guided by Islamic economics. Islamic law prohibits the collection and payment of interest.It also disallows investing in businesses that are consid- ered unlawful, or ‘haraam’, like selling alcohol, pork or pornography. The RBI Governor who is now the UPA’s posterboy of economic revival, the suave MIT-educated, former IMF economist Raghuram Rajan recommended the introduction of Islamic banking in 2008. Islamic banking lobbyists within the government are making deft moves to follow through since Rajan is now in the driving seat. Though the matter comes under the Finance Ministry’s ambit, K Rehman Khan, the Minister for Minority Affairs, is the driving force behind Shari’ahbased economics. Khan has been a staunch supporter of Islamic banking ever since he became the minister and had met Rajan immediately after he took over as RBI boss last month. “The new RBI chief was very positive on the subject’’ said a source in the Ministry. According to him, the RBI chief made it clear to the minister that the decision is more political than financial. The Ministry, hence, is preparing a blue print on Islamic banking [ It is natural for others to have fears about an initiative titled islamic banking. Our effort would be allay them — an official in the finance ministry explaining its positive outcomes to be circulated among stakeholders. “It is natural for others to have apprehensions about an initiative titled Islamic banking. Our effort would be allay these fears,’’ said an official. Though the Prime Minister, the Planning Commission boss Montek Singh Ahluwalia and P Chidambaram are in favour of the Shari’ahbased system, others in the government need to be convinced. More: P10 didn’t want to retain power? A: There were lapses in the choice of candidates. In many of the seats, including sitting seats, we fielded candidates without taking social realities into account. In Thrissur district we lost two sitting seats only because of the wrong choice of candidates. In a constituency like Vattiyurkavu where the Nair community has a majority, a candidate like Cheiryan Philip, who had already been defeated in four elections, was fielded to gift the seat to K Muralidharan. Q: In Kannur district, a traditional Left bastion, the LDF lost five seats. A: The defeat in Kannur also has to be seen in this light. The main reason for the defeat was that we couldn’t work in unison to ensure victory. A self-critical analysis should have taken place. More: P6 Music Orphaned as Master Leaves GoM Studies T Terms of Reference Express News Service Express News Service Thalassery: Padmashri K Raghavan Master, 99, the patriarch of Malayalam film music, is no more. It was about 4.20 am on Saturday the legendary music maestro who would have turned 100 on December 2 breathed his last, leaving millions of music lovers in tears. He was admitted to the Tellicherry Cooperative Hospital on Friday evening after he felt difficulties in breathing. He is survived by daughters Veenadhari, Chithrambary, Vagheeswary and sons Muraleedharan and Kanakambaran. His wife Yasodha had died earlier. Master’s body was brought to his home ‘Saravana’ near the Jagannath Temple here where political leaders and ministers and hundreds of people from various walks of life paid their last respects. The body will be kept at BEMP Higher Secondary School from 11 am to 2 pm on Sunday for the public to pay homage. The cremation will be held at the Municipal Centenary Park at 3 pm. New Delhi: Amid protests by TDP MPs, the Group of Ministers (GoM) on Saturday discussed the terms of reference for the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and asked Secretaries of Central departments to coordinate with state government officials and prepare a detailed report on the issue. Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said his ministry had received about 2,000 emails which were being segregated departmentwise so that the departments could handle the suggestions in them. The meeting also set the new deadline of November 5, 2013 for political parties and individuals to send their suggestions. Defence Minister A K Antony could not attend the meeting of the ministerial panel which will meet again on November 7. Earlier, four TDP MPs gheraoed Shinde outside his ministry and asked him to discuss the bifurcation with Seemandhra people before holding the meeting. K Raghavan (1913-2013) Master was born to M Krishnan and Kuppachi on December 2, 1913 at Thalayi near here. One of his uncles took him to Mumbai after he completed third forum. But he had to leave Mumbai for Chennai in search of a job in the music industry. He got employed in AIR, Chennai and in 1950 he was transferred to Kozhikode where he got acquainted with writers such as Uroob and P Bhaskaran which was a turning point in his career. He entered Malayalam cinema music through ‘Neelakkuyil’ in 1954. The songs in this movie made him a trendsetter in Malayalam cinema. More: P4
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