MADURAI TUESDAY APRIL 23, 2019 `6.00 PAGES 14 LATE CITY EDITION CRUDE SHOCK AS U.S. ENDS SANCTION WAIVER FOR INDIA Oil prices soar Brent crude futures rose 3% to $74.31 a barrel on Monday, the highest level since November 2018. US West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 2.7% to $65.71 after hitting $65.87, its highest level since October 2018 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE Trump administration said on Monday it would end sanctions waivers granted to India, China and six other countries that import Iranian oil. The US fiat means these countries cannot buy crude from Iran after May 2, when the exemption expires. This may hit India’s oil bill as crude prices could rise as much as 10 per cent. A costlier oil bill could impact the prices of almost all commodities as trucking and production costs rise in tandem with fuel price. However, the shock will not be felt immediately as India’s fuel costs are decided by oil marketing companies such as Indian Oil, which have already contracted most of their purchases till the middle of this year at fixed rates. “Prices will take time in going up in India but unless the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries ramp up production, global crude prices can be expected to go up,” said Prof M Govinda Rao, former Member of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council. A US State Department statement on ending the waivers said, “The United EXPRESS READ EC orders FIR against Pragya for Babri remark A woman runs for safety with her infant after police found explosives in a vehicle in Colombo | AP Indian toll climbs to eight; 290 overall THE RADICAL FOOTPRINT Little is known about the National Thowheed Jamath, a group previously linked to vandalising Buddhist statues. It is believed to be a splinter of another hardline outfit, the Sri Lanka Thowheed Jamath (SLTJ). SLTJ secretary Abdul Razik was arrested in 2016 for inciting hatred against Buddhists BOMBER’S FAMILY DEAD The wife and sister of the Shangri-La suicide bomber were also killed in a separate blast after a man blew himself up in a two-storey building in northern Colombo — the eighth blast on Sunday. The Shangri-La bomber has been identified as Insan Seelavan, a factory owner Attack involved seven suicide bombers; SL govt suspects foreign terror support EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE THE toll in the Sri Lanka terror attack rose to 290, with at least eight Indians confirmed dead in the Easter Sunday blasts. While no outfit has claimed responsibility for the attacks yet, the Lankan government blamed it on the National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ), a homegrown a radical Islamic outfit, adding it possibly had “international support”. Among the Indians killed, most of them are JD(S) workers from Karnataka. The were perhaps vacationing after Lok Sabha polls got over in their area in the second phase on April 18. At least 37 foreigners were among the dead in the blasts that targeted three churches and three luxury hotels. Danish billionaire Holch Povlsen, the country’s richest man, lost three of his four children. His family too, was in Lanka on , a holiday . Government spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said all seven suicide bombers involved in the blasts were Sri Lankan nationals. And the president’s office cited intelligence inputs to point fingers at unnamed international terror groups aiding the Jamath. The gover nment also sought the resignation of the police chief for failing to act on an alert on NTJ 12 days before the attacks. Tensions remained high on Monday with a bomb det, onating as the police prepared to defuse it near one of the churches targeted on Sunday Police also found as . many as 87 bomb detonators at the Central Colombo bus station in Pettah area — the capital’s ever-crowded business district. So far, 24 people have been arrested. A safe house for the bombers was found in the Colombo suburb of Panadura. The president has appointed a three-member probe panel with a Supreme Court judge as head. The EC has directed the police to file an FIR against BJP Lok Sabha candidate from Bhopal Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur for her remark that she was “proud” to participate in demolition of the Babri Masjid at Ayodhya in 1992 States, Saudi Arabia and UAE… are committed that global oil markets remain adequately supplied.” Last November, the State Department issued 180-day waivers to eight countries including India, China and Japan to give them more time to find alternative sources of oil. The Sensex fell 495.10 points on Monday as markets reacted to news that US waivers were to end. Rafale gaffe: Rahul says sorry to SC IRAN, TURKEY TO DEFY TRUMP DIKTAT ■ Apart from India, the US decision will also affect China, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan ■ Denouncing the US sanctions, Iran said, “Since the sanctions in question are principally illegal... Iran does not attach any value or credibility to the waivers given to the sanctions” ■ India hasn’t officially reacted, but sources said the government is looking at alternative options to source oil. Meanwhile, Turkey said it would not defy the US diktat. “We do not accept unilateral sanctions and impositions on the issue of how we will establish relations with our neighbours,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a plea against the memorial of former Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa at Marina beach in Chennai. The bench headed by CJI refused to interfere with the Madras HC order of January 23 Tik Tok ban: SC sets April 24 deadline for HC The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court to hear a petition challenging the ban on social media platform TikTok by April 24, failing which the ban would be automatically vacated. P6 Not in Chennai, IPL finals moved to Hyderabad New Delhi: The Indian Premier League final scheduled on May 12 was shifted from Chennai to Hyderabad after the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association failed to get requisite permission from the government to open the three closed stands. CONGRESS president Rahul Gandhi on Monday expressed regret over incorrectly attributing his political slogan ‘Chowkidar chor hai’ to the Supreme Court. The court had directed Gandhi to give his explanation by April 22 on a petition filed by BJP MP Meenakshi Lekhi seeking criminal contempt action against him for his remarks. His affidavit said, “The Respondent did not have the slightest or remotest intention to bring the court into the political arena or bring it into disrepute or attribute to it deliberately or wilfully that which the court had not said or meant.” He further stated the statements were made in Hindi in a rhetorical flourish in the heat of the moment. Gandhi added, “It is also clear no court would ever do that and hence the unfortunate references (for which I express regret) to the court order and to the political slogan in juxtaposition the same breath in the heat of political campaigning ought not to be construed as suggesting that the court had given any finding or conclusion on that issue.” A bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi is likely to hear the case on Tuesday . DEEP inside Gulbarga district, in a village between Wadi and Rawoor, Girappa and Basappa, father and son and dual owners of a kirana shop, are engaged in a sparring match. Old man Girappa, attired in his traditional dhoti-kurta and turban, speaks with the charmingly petulant conviction of age. Closing his eyes, as if to an advancing new reality, he declaims that his vote is for the grand old party — that which “always wins here”! Rudely interrupting him from the other end of the shop, shoving aside rows of colourful tobacco, shampoo and washing powder packets strung in front the shop, Basappa pops in his head. “Don’t listen to my father, he knows nothing. We’re Lingayat, and we’ll vote for the BJP.” A shrill battle of words ensues between the two — the election well could have been between the two! — and ends with the father declaring in a resigned tone, “How does it matter if Basappa is my son, he can go wherever he wants!” This could be the zoom-in Phase 3 polls 13 states and 2 Union Territories are going to polls on Tuesday to elect representatives for 116 seats The BJP on Monday fielded former international cricketer Gautam Gambhir from East Delhi. Also, putting to rest all speculation, the party leadership renominated Meenakshi Lekhi from New Delhi TIRUCHY’S PRIDE Tiruchy-native Gomathi Marimuthu gave India its first gold medal of the Asian Athletics Championships on Monday, winning the women’s 800m race. This is the 30-year-old’s first major international medal | PTI ECI removes TN babu from poll work over faith healing charges Former CM Arjun Singh’s son senior Ajay Singh ‘Rahul’ is contesting on a Congress ticket against BJP MP Riti Pathak, who is facing opposition from within party EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Bhopal C UMASHANKAR, a 1990-batch IAS officer from Tamil Nadu cadre, has been removed from the post of General Observer, Lok Sabha elections, in Sidhi segment of Madhya Pradesh following complaints of faith healing activities. Official sources said that despite warnings from election authorities, Umashankar was carrying out faith healing activities at his place of official stay . He has been replaced by Chandrakar Bharti of Himachal Pradesh cadre, according to CEO VL Kantha Rao. “A report was microcosmic portrait of the elections in North Karnataka — the tussle over the Lingayat vote. Its consolidation is something the BJP has worked hard for in this election — its unity is what had been the bulwark for the party in its earlier wins too. Ever since their fellow caste man B S Yeddyurappa’s emergence, the Lingayats have leant towards the BJP in a big way. Siddaramaiah’s gambit of dividing the Veers h a iv a - L i n g aya t community by according them a separate identity is alleged to have been a non-starter in the last assembly elections — it certainly created bad blood. Maybe there’s a counternarrative, but it’s not audible. No one is uttering even a word on it this time round. Even the muttadhipatis have retired into their spiritual sanctuaries, away the rough and tumble of elections. No visits from Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi to Anubhava Mantapa, Bidar, unlike in 2018. Karnataka is perhaps the only state in the country where the regional nomenclature carries the stamp of other states — the North is divided between ‘Bombay Karnataka’ and ‘Hyderabad Karnataka’ — a reminder of old historical maps. Gulbarga (or Kalaburagi), the heart of Hyderabad Karnataka, was once part of the Nizam’s dominions. Its distinct ethnic flavours mean a mere consolidation of the Lingayat vote will not suffice to deliver the North to the BJP. The party is aware of that and is therefore working to penetrate other, 2019 smaller caste and regional vote-blocs — like the Marathas in the Bidar-Belgaum belt as also Brahmin and Rathore votes. The effects of the strategy are visible on the ground, from the roadside tea-stalls to the village chaupals. Mahesh Kulkarni, who like many other farmers in his village grows mostly toor dal and chickpeas (this is India’s pulse belt), is a Maratha who has been assimilated into Kar nataka’s polyglottic landscape. LOK SABHA ELECTION CONTINUED ON PAGE 6 STATES Gujarat Kerala Maharashtra Karnataka Uttar Pradesh Chhattisgarh Odisha Goa West Bengal Bihar Assam Jammu & Kashmir Tripura UNION TERRITORIES Dadra and Nagar Haveli Daman and Diu E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai IN MADHYA PRADESH Sidhi is a ‘hot seat’ Donald Trump, US President AIADMK divided into four teams to ensure win in 4 bypoll seats PA R V E Z S U LTA N @ New Delhi With the announcement of its list of candidates, the Congress has decided to go solo in Delhi, drawing curtains on the possibility of an alliance with the Aam Aadmi Party. Delhi will now witness a three-cornered fight, as the AAP has already named all its candidates, and the BJP is ready for battle. Three-time chief minister of Delhi Sheila Dikshit has been nominated from northeast Delhi constituency, where she will be facing AAP’s Dilip Pandey and incumbent BJP MP Manoj Tiwari. Former Union minister Ajay Maken will contest the New Delhi seat, Jai Prakash Agarwal has been picked for Chandni Chowk, Arvinder Singh Lovely from east Delhi, Rajesh Lilothia from northwest Delhi and Mahabal Mishra from west Delhi. Saudi Arabia and others in OPEC will more than make up the Oil Flow difference in our now Full Sanctions on Iranian Oil ALL GUNS BLAZING Oppn pact possibility over as Cong names Delhi candidates Gauti gets East Delhi INDIA’S AVERAGE PRICE FOR CRUDE PURCHASES AS ON APRIL 19, 2019 Nizam’s Rolls: The Modi Wave Arrives 5 Yrs Late? S A N T W A N A B H AT TA C H A R YA SC rejects plea against Jaya memorial $71.11 sent to the Election Commission of India after a complaint was filed against him. The ECI then removed him from the post,” said Kantha Rao. According to official sources, Umashankar recently visited the Sidhi district hospital complaining of headache. “But there, he was trying to treat fellow patients by blessing them.” When hospital authorities found out, they asked him to take rest. “After that incident, several people started visiting Umashankar at his place of stay in Sidhi for his blessings,” said sources. This is not the first time that Umashankar is court- ing controversy. In 2015, he raised a few eyebrows by preaching his religion in public places. Taking strong exception, the Tamil Nadu government had then directed him not to hold any public religious meetings. Express contacted Umashankar for his reactions, but he refused to comment on the issue. THE election fever isn’t over in Tamil Nadu, yet. The ruling AIADMK is leaving no stone unturned to ensure victory in all four Assembly segments that will face bypolls on May 19 -- Sulur, Aravakurichi, Ottapidaram and Tirupparankundram. After a meeting with the party’s district secretaries on Monday, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam released a statement that said “the entire party machinery” had been pushed to focus on the elections. The AIADMK functionaries had been di- TTV names vided into four groups to monitor election his picks work. Functionaries from 13 party disFormer MP K tricts would look after Sulur while leaders Sukumar and from 14 party districts would manage Aravakurichi. Tirupparankundram would be former MLAs P Mahendran managed by functionaries from 17 party and R districts while Ottapidaram would be handled by those from 11 party districts. Can- Sundararaj are among the didates for these seats are likely to be anfour, apart nounced in a day or two. from Shahul Sources said Deputy Speaker of Lok SabHameed ha M Thambidurai and MR Vijayakumar proposed separate candidates for Aravakurichi while office-bearers in Sulur urged the party top brass to field one of the family members of the late MLA, R Kanagaraj. Similarly, in Tirupparankundram constituency, two ministers from Madurai wanted a family member of the late MLA AK Bose to be fielded while another senior functionary wanted a former MLA to be fielded there.
Express Publications (Madurai) Limited publishes the prestigious English language newspaper The New Indian Express from 21 centres in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Orissa.
Express Publications (Madurai) Ltd. also publishes the Tamil daily Dinamani, Cinema Express (Tamil) and Malayalam Vaarika (Malayalam). Through a sister company, Kannada Prabha Publications Ltd., it publishes the Kannada daily Kannada Prabha.
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