CHENNAI THURSDAY MAY 09, 2019 `5.00 PAGES 26 LATE CITY EDITION DID ETIHAD’S 2014 INVESTMENT IN JETPRIVILEGE VIOLATE FDI NORMS? The Enforcement Directorate is probing the possibility of FDI norms violation in the Abu Dhabi airline’s investment in Jet 22 E.D. SUMMONS JET OFFICIALS TO EXPLAIN DEAL SPICEJET TO START BUSINESS CLASS Etihad Airways picked up 50.1% stake in JetPrivilege Private Ltd, which operated Jet Airways’ frequent-flier programme in 2014 for `900 crore, while FDI norms allow stake only up to 49 per cent. The ED has summoned senior officials of Jet Airways next week to explain the conditions of the deal to get more clarity on the issue | P15 Meanwhile, low-cost carrier SpiceJet has introduced SpiceBiz, its business class offerings, on some routes from May 11 ■ SpiceJet’s business class seats come with 2 by 2 cabin, gourmet meals and beverages, priority check-in and boarding, lounge access and enhanced baggage allowance ■ NUMBER OF AIRCRAFT SPICEJET HAS TAKEN OVER FROM JET AIRWAYS CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOGGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Whiff of post-poll pact making in the air All options on table; KCR reaches out to Cong, but there is trust deficit; GOP already mending fences with BSP, SP NAVEEN KUMAR A Delhi girl is challenging you, Priyanka tells Modi “I was born in the city. I have seen every bylane.... A Delhi girl is openly challenging you. Contest the last two phases on notebandi, GST, women’s safety and unfulfilled promises to the youth,” says Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, challenging Modi during her Delhi roadshow Deal maker back in business Opposition alliance lubricant Chandrababu Naidu is at it again. He met Congress chief Rahul Gandhi before flying to Bengal to address rallies with mercurial Mamata Banerjee SHEKHAR YADAV AAP maligned the image of the aam aadmi. The trust of crores of youth has been broken. Their political experiment ended in failure. Congress too is responsible for this nakampanthi model Narendra Modi L A L I T H A R A N J A N I @ Madurai Blistering attack on Arvind Kejriwal govt Attacking the Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi, Modi said: “Delhi is witnessing the nakampanthi model of governance. The people who had come to change the country, got changed themselves. They supported the tukde-tukde gang and strengthened India’s enemies.” Regional parties jockeying for space Modi lobs a Viraat ball R I C H A S H A R M A @ New Delhi Polling in the last two phases of the general elections - 118 constituencies in 15 states and UTs - is yet to happen but murmurs of post-poll alliances are already in the air. Though Congress is keeping its cards close to its chest and maintaining that everything would depend on the final arithmetic on May 23, regional players have already started hobnobbing to ensure the grand old party doesn’t become a dominant partner after the verdict is out. Telangana Chief Minister a n d Te l a n g a n a R a s h t r a Samithi founder K Chandrashekar Rao set the ball rolling in the South by meeting his Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan. He also reached out to Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and DMK chief M K Stalin - both allies of the Congress. In March this year, Rao had met West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as well to form a nonCongress and non-BJP led fede r a l g ove r n m e n t at t h e Centre. His is not the only outreach for alliance formation. CPI (M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury met senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel last week. And Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu met Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday. Naidu is also campaigning in West Bengal for the TMC. Officially, Congress leaders say everything will depend on the post-poll numbers but privately they admit they have learnt from past fiascos, so all options are on the table. For instance, similar to its Karnataka experience where it acted EXPRESS READ UK court denies bail to Nirav Modi for 3rd time Fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi was denied bail by a UK court on Wednesday for the third time, though his lawyers offered to double his security amount to 2 million pounds. Modi had previously offered 1 million pounds as security | P13 Rahul tenders apology to SC for Rafale jibe Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday tendered an unconditional apology in the Supreme Court for wrongfully attributing his ‘chowkidar chor hai’ remark to the court. He also sought closure of the contempt proceedings against him | P11 FOR COOUM: PARK BUILT, REMOVED swiftly to support the JD(S) after the Assembly results this year, the Congress will be prepared to move quickly on new alliances and has already started ascertaining different post-poll scenarios. “There are over 100 seats where elections are yet to be held and alliances will depend once we have the numbers,” said a top party functionary adding that an , assessment has been done on all possible 2019 scenarios that could emerge after the results are out. The Congress failed to form governments in Goa, Manipur and Meghalaya despite bagging the highest number of seats in the Assembly elections there. As for KCR, he is trying to send feelers to the Congress for a post-poll alliance, but GOP sources cite the issue of trust deficit against him. P9 LOK SABHA ELECTION 3 ICU patients die during power outage at Madurai GRH EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @New Delhi PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday launched a blistering attack on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for not implementing the Centre’s initiatives, including the national health protection scheme, in Delhi and termed it nakaampanthi (non-performance). Responding to the Opposition’s accusation that the BJP was using security forces to gain political mileage, Modi said it was the then Congress prime minister Rajiv Gandhi who used Navy aircraft carrier INS Viraat and its staff to go on a family vacation. Ridiculing the AAP, Modi said the party came to power in Delhi with the promise of ush- ering in change in the country and revolutionising politics, but ended up changing itself. Referring to the non-implementation of the Ayushman Bharat Yojana besides 10% reservation in government jobs and higher education for the economically weaker sections in the general category in Delhi, Modi said AAP is denying the benefits of Central schemes to the poor in the city . He was addressing his first election rally in the Capital. All seven seats in Delhi go to polls on May 12. Targeting the Gandhi family , Modi said Rajiv had used Navy staff and helicopter for a family vacation. “INS Viraat was made to host his family and foreign guests when they were enjoying holidays for 10 days.” Congress is talking about nyay (justice) but who will render justice to the victims of 1984 anti-Sikh riots? IN less than 15 minutes, three patients in ward number 101 — the Neuro Intensive Care Unit — at the Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH) died on Tuesday night during a power outage caused by heavy rain in the city Relatives of the de. ceased, who had been on ventilator support, alleged that the machines stopped working during the outage. However, the hospital claimed the ventilators had continued to function through battery back-up that is supposed to last for two hours. The deceased were identified as G Ravindran (52) of Ayan Karisalkulam village in Srivilliputhur, M Mallika (58) of Poonchuthi village in Melur and P Palaniammal (60), resident of Ottanchathiram. According to relatives of the deceased, the annexe block (Trauma Care Centre) of GRH suffered a power outage from 5.30 pm till 7.15 pm on Tuesday, plunging the hospital in darkness. “The hospital generator too failed and the patients were left in darkness,” said Ravindran’s brother-in-law P Pandi Muniyappan. Mallika’s sonin-law A Ganesan said, “During the power outage, my mother-in-law suffocated and was declared dead minutes later, despite efforts to resuscitate her.” Pandi Muniyappan said doctors and nurses in the ward attended to patients with mobile phone torches. ‘PATIENTS DIED OF CARDIAC ARREST’ Ravindran and Mallika had been admitted at GRH on Monday while Palaniammal was admitted on Sunday. GRH dean Dr K Vanitha said the patients died after developing cardiopulmonary arrest, “a common cause of death in patients with head injuries”. As relatives agitated, autopsies were performed on all three and a detailed report was submitted by the Dean to the Health Secretary Beela Rajesh. Ganesan and Pandi Muniyappan alleged the ventilators stopped functioning during the outage, disrupting supply of oxygen to the three patients, leading to their deaths. GRH Dean Dr K Vanitha admitted the generator stopped functioning. “But, the ventilators, which are equipped to function to a maximum of two hours using battery backup, in the absence of power supply, worked during the power outage,” she said. Mallika died at 6.55 pm, Ravindran at 7 pm and Palaniammal at 7.05 pm, she added. P7 Bizarre TN twist: EC fails to reset EVMs, seeks repoll EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai ADMITTING to a serious blunder, the election commission (EC) on Wednesday said that officials had forgotten to reset EVMs before they were used in certain polling booths in the State during the Lok Sabha elections and Assembly bypolls on April 18. This means that the votes polled during the mock polls conducted an hour ahead of actual polling would have also been counted. Chief Electoral Of ficer Satyabrata Sahoo told report- ers that because of this lapse, repolling in 46 polling booths across the State had been recommended to ECI. The CEO’s explanation came a day after election officials brought 50 EVMs to Theni without any prior announcement. After a major furore over the unannounced transfer of the machines, Sahoo told media the EVMs were transferred only because repolling was being mooted in 46 booths. The reason he cited for the repolling was the lapse on the part of poll officials who had forgotten to reset and clear the data in EVM shifting: Violation of SOP? Parties feel there are violations of the Election Commission’s Standard Operating Procedure in the manner in which EVMs were shifted from Coimbatore to Theni on Tuesday night. P5 the EVMs ahead of the polls. “To check whether EVMs are working properly, mock polls were conducted before the start of polling. It has been found that presiding officers failed to clear the votes registered in EVMs or VVPAT or both in 46 polling booths,” he said. He said this was noticed after returning officers noticed discrepancies in the records of VVPAT and EVMs in some polling booths. However, he refused to divulge details of which booths or constituencies the anomaly was detected in and where repolling had been recommended. He merely said the 46 booths were spread over 15 Lok Sabha seats and 13 districts. He said the report recommending repolling in 46 booths was sent to the ECI on April 29. It was up to the ECI to decide in which booths repolls were needed. Some booths in Assembly se gments which faced bypolls were also recommended for repoll, he said. DMK chief M K Stalin reacted sharply to this. “After shifting EVMs without prior intimation to political parties, poll officials admit lapses. EC should give a detailed report on discrepancies in 46 booths,” he said. INDIAN SUMMER Tickets for Blue’s World Cup games costlier than England’s N I R U PA M A V I S W A N AT H A N @ Chennai THE Langs garden park, constructed in 2010 as part of the Cooum river restoration project, has now been taken down, ironically, for the same Cooum river restoration project. According to Corporation of Chennai officials, the stretch would be replaced with greenery. While nine new parks and cycle tracks have been planned as part of the Cooum eco restoration project, it is learnt that reconstruction of the Langs garden park, is not a part of the project’s proposal. The Langs garden park was constructed after evict- ing and relocating close to 500 families who had lived on the banks of the river. The park, along with two others on Dams road and Swami Sivananda Salai, was constructed by the DMK government and was inaugurated by then deputy Chief Minister MK Stalin. When Express visited the spot, only the name board remained of the park and the space had been used for the formation of bunds, as part of the Cooum river restoration project. “The benches as well as other overgrown foliage, had to be cleared for the bunds to be formed,” a Public Works Department offiP7 cial told Express. JUMBO TROUBLE No elephant for this year’s Thrissur Pooram? AT R E Y O M U K H O PA D H YAY Less than 2% remains @ Chennai WITH less than a month to go before India begin their World Cup campaign against South Africa on June 5, tickets of matches featuring the Men in Blue are disappearing fast in England. India fixtures, including the ones against Pakistan and England, are almost sold out. In some venues, tickets involving Virat Kohli’s team are costlier than England matches. In Southampton, fans have to pay more for the India-South Africa game than the EnglandWest Indies match. Each ticket in the Hotel Box for this India game costs £699+VAT as compared to £599+VAT for the England game. In the Rooftop Hamper at the same venue, these figures are £349+VAT as Hospitality box tickets for the India-South Africa match at Southampton are costlier than the England-West match at the same venue. According to websites, less than 2% of tickets remain for India’s matches against Pakistan, England and Australia. against £299+VAT. Over the years, it has been seen that an overwhelming majority of spectators at cricket World Cups are travelling Indians, which explains the differential pricing. Even the IndiaSri Lanka game at Leeds is going to be a more expensive experience in certain sections of the stands than the EnglandSri Lanka fixture at the same venue. Tickets in the Premier Suite section in the hospitality box cost £499 for the India game, compared to £349 for the England match. India’s nine group league games are spread across six venues. Other than the New Zealand (Nottingham, June 13) and Sri Lanka (Leeds, July 6) games, websites are showing less than 2% of tickets are remaining for other games. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Thrissur/T’puram THRISSUR Pooram, Kerala’s famed annual temple festival, is staring at a crisis with elephant owners deciding not to lease out jumbos for the festival. The move is to protest against the authorities’ decision to ban celebrity tusker Thechikottukavu Ramachandran from the event. The Kerala Elephant Owners Federation said they would stop leasing jumbos from Saturday sending the , state government into a tizzy . Kudamattam (change of colourful umbrellas) performed atop elephants, is the main attraction of the Pooram, which starts next Monday . “There’s a concerted move to phase out parades of elephants at temple festivals, churches and mosques in the name of enforcing registration for them,” said the Federation’s president P Sasikumar. It is Thechikottukavu Ramachandran who pushes open Vadakkumnathan Temple’s south gate, which is followed by Kudamattom. The ban on Thec h i k o t t u k av u R a machandran is said to be in response to a letter written by a forest officer to Thrissur collector that the jumbo has killed 12 people in the past and its presence at Pooram was ‘undesirable’. Meanwhile, Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran has called a meeting of elephant owners on Thursday to resolve the matter.
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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