KOCHI l MONDAY l JULY 22, 2019 l `7.00 l PAGES 34 l LATE CITY EDITION AI STOPS PROMOTIONS, HIRINGS TO PREP FOR DISINVESTMENT Air India has frozen promotions of its employees and recruiting of new personnel to pave the way for stake sale, reports say INVITE FOR BIDS TO GO OUT PRETTY SOON ■ 10,000 GOVT WANTS TO WRAP IT UP BY DIWALI Having failed to sell stake last year, the government is working on a war footing to make it happen this time. The carrier’s books of accounts till July 15 have been closed and those financials will be used while seeking bids. Consulting firm EY will soon finalise the preliminary information memorandum to invite Expression of Interest from prospective bidders ■ The government is looking to complete the Air India stake sale in the next four to five months. Air India is currently making a revenue of I15 crore everyday “We will try to finish it off by Diwali, if not before,” said DIPAM Secretary Atanu Chakraborty THE NUMBER OF PERMANENT EMPLOYEES IN AIR INDIA 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 K’taka endgame today, dice heavily loaded against HDK Kudamattam Rebels stay firm, coalition govt short on numbers to survive confidence vote A N U S H A R A V I @ Bengaluru Thousands throng the Sree Vadakkumnathan Temple premises in Thrissur on Sunday for the Aanayoottu ritual, considered a sacred offering to Lord Ganesha. As it rained suddenly and the devotees opened their umbrellas, the scene at the Pooram venue resembled that of kudamattam. As many as 53 elephants enjoyed the feast, held every Karkkidakam | A SANESH | P5 Rain continues to unleash fury The state, especially its northern and central parts, received heavy rain on Sunday. Two people drowned while thousands were shifted to relief camps. The Met Department has issued red alert in three districts for Monday 2 Vadakara in Kozhikode received the highest rainfall of 17.34 cm in 24 hours ended on 8.30 am on Sunday cases of drowning reported on Sunday — one from Kottayam and the other from Kollam. A person was found missing in Ernakulam Holiday for schools in Kannur, Kozhikode and parts of Kottayam on Monday 1,142 people have been shifted to relief camps Heavy winds with speed reaching 40-50 kmph are likely along and off the Kerala coast RED ALERT Red alert has been issued by the Met Department in Kozhikode, Wayanad and Kannur districts on Monday and in Kannur and Kasaragod on Tuesday P3, P5 Dear ones aboard ships, anxious kin feel at sea EXPRESS READ Chandrayaan 2 launch to take place at 2.43pm Chennai: One week after the Chandrayaan 2 launch was called off, the countdown has started again. At 2.43 pm on Monday, the spacecraft is expected to embark on a 3.84-lakh-km journey on-board rocket GSLV-Mk III. E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Kochi DEEPENING diplomatic crisis between Iran and the West has brought concerns to three families in Kerala, as they wait anxiously for the details of their dear ones on the ships in custody of the West Asian nation and Britain. While one Keralite works in ‘Stena Impero’ seized by Iran, the other two are aboard Iranian vessel ‘Grace I’ detained by Britain. There is information that three m o r e M a l ay a l e e s are aboard both ships, but it is yet to be Indian confirmed. The Keralite aboard nationals are among the the British flagged 23 crew vessel has been identimembers of f i e d a s D i j o Pap pachan, 26, of Thek- Stena Impero kenath near Cochin seized by Iran amid University campus at escalating Kalamassery while tensions in the two on board the the Gulf Iranian vessel are Ajregion mal K K, 27, a native of Wandoor in Malappuram, and Prajith Purshothaman, 32, of Udma in Kasaragod. “It was on Saturday morning that the shipping company officials from Mumbai informed us about the incident. Dijo had contacted us over phone on Friday but we haven’t heard , from him since then,” said his father T V Pappachan. “We’ve apprised the P2 BIG PICTURE A look at the Indian fishing industry amid the dwindling catch in Indian waters with a special focus on Kerala 18 OPEN SPACE Express readers debate campus politics in Kerala in the backdrop of the stabbing incident at University College, Thiruvananthapuram P4 WITH THIS ISSUE THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST YOUR LIFE COACH 34 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex + 4 PAGES OF KOCHI EXPRESS state government of our concern. We’re hopeful the government will do the needful for our son’s safety .” As per the information passed on by Dijo, the captain and another senior officer of the British vessel too are Keralites and they hail from Fort Kochi and Tripunithura, respectively . “We don’t have any more details of them. Of the total 23 staff on board the vessel, 18 are IndiCM wants ans,” he said. Ajmal’s brother MoCentre to hammad Shareef K K intervene said: “We’ve been in Chief Minister touch with Ajmal. He Pinarayi last contacted us on Vijayan has Saturday night and asked the said everything was Union safe. The captain and Government top officers have been to take all arrested by Gibraltar possible authorities.” measures for Purshothaman, fathe safety of ther of Prajith, said the crew, his family was not too including wor ried about his Keralites, on son’s safety because board the the ship was not hiseized British jacked by Somalian oil tanker pirates. “Now, with international attention on the ship and crew, he’ll be safe,” he added. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has asked the Centre to take all possible measures for the safety of the crew. “I understand that your ministry is making interventions in the matter,” P5 Pinarayi wrote. KEEPING IN MIND NEW REALITY Evolution, agitation to rebuild CPI: Raja R I C H A S H A R M A @ New Delhi D RAJA, the first Dalit to take over as CPI general secretary, is hopeful of re-energising the party by “unleashing” a series of agitations against the government and evolving, keeping in mind the new reality . The party registered one of its worst performances in the recent Lok Sabha elections, winning just two seats in Tamil Nadu and failing to open its account even in Kerala. Raja hails from Vellore district in Tamil Nadu. Acknowledging that people are moving away from the CPI, Raja says efforts need to be made to instil confidence in the minds of the masses about the party At the same time, the . party needs to evolve in the new situation to fight fascist forces, he adds. “We will unleash movements and agitations. The party must be re-energised and rejuvenated at all levels. We must reach out to the younger generation, women, Dalits, adivasis and minorities. The gover nment is pursuing retrograde economic and social policies that will affect the masses,” says Raja, a two-term Rajya Sabha member. His term in the Upper House ends this week. The 70-year-old, who took over from Sudhakar Reddy after he stepped down following ill-health, emphasised the need to strengthen the communist movement. “There’s a need to launch a united campaign by all secular democratic left forces. We all will do serious evaluation and plan state-wise strategy he said. ,” IN May 2018, the Congress and the JD(S) came together to keep a 104-seat strong BJP out of power. Thirteen months on, with an floor test staring them in the face, the chances of the H D Kumaraswamy-led coalition surviving are bleak. On Monday, the Legislative Assembly will reconvene, not just to discuss the motion of confidence moved by Kumaraswamy but in all , likelihood, to also complete the process of the trust vote. The BJP has had full attendance on both the days the House was in session last week while the coalition scrambled to get its numbers together. With 15 MLAs of the coalition refusing to vote in favour of the government, two Independents withdrawing support and the lone BSP MLA dilly-dallying on his stance, the attrition is becoming pronounced. The longer the wait for the trust vote, the faster the coalition seems to be losing ground. Breaching two deadlines set by Governor Vajubhai Vala has only added to its troubles. After much wooing, the coalition was able to get just one rebel MLA — Ramalinga Reddy — to attend the session and assure support to the government. Given the current numbers, the BJP is far ahead of the coalition, threatening to send it home packing. A saving grace for the partners is that they are now assured of the BSP MLA voting in favour of the gover nment after party chief Mayawati’s directive. Two independent MLAs — R Shankar and H Nagesh — are all set to add to the multiple petitions already pending before the Supreme Court on the political crisis in Karnataka. They want the floor test to be conducted on Monday without any more delay . In a last-ditch attempt to woo to at least 11 MLAs holed up in Mumbai, Kumaraswamy made a public appeal. “I would like to appeal to such MLAs who have gone away from us to please attend the legislature session and narrate how the BJP took them away forcefully,” he said. His appeal came even as the Congress was in a huddle, with its legislature party chief Siddaramaiah having deliberations with the remaining MLAs at a private resort in P6 Bengaluru. The JD(S) has agreed to sacrifice the CM’s post and give it to the Congress if it would help the govt from falling D K Shivakumar, Cong BSP MLA TO BACK GOVT Amid buzz over BSP’s lone MLA in the state N Mahesh abstaining because of lack of directions from the top, party boss Mayawati is understood to have instructed him to support the trust vote in Karnataka
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