CHENNAI l TUESDAY l NOVEMBER 12, 2019 l `4.00 l PAGES 14 l VELLORE EDITION ALIBABA’S SINGLES’ DAY SALES HIT $1 BILLION IN 1 MINUTE Within one minute and eight seconds of the event going live on Monday, gross merchandise value touched RMB 7 billion ($1 bn) PREVIOUS RECORD BROKEN BY AFTERNOON 2 LAKH BRANDS FROM 78 COUNTRIES ON OFFER Alibaba Group Holding Ltd on Monday kicked off the Global Shopping Festival at 0000 hours as per Chinese time. The 24-hour shopping event hit a record $31.82 billion in sales by afternoon local time, crossing its previous record of $30.8 billion in 2018. By afternoon, the number of delivery orders also exceeded 1 billion, the Chinese e-commerce giant said ■ ■ Over 2 lakh brands from 78 countries and regions participated in the event this year, with one million new products on offer The world’s biggest shopping festival is also referred to as Singles’ Day because its date 11/11 (November 11) consists of four ‘ones’, representing four singles 55% CHINA’S SHARE IN GLOBAL E-COMMERCE MARKET 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 Cong no-show, Sena loses game. Next up NCP Failure to get letters of support grounds Shiv Sena’s ambition of leading the new govt; Ajit Pawar gets next opportunity to show his cards A B H I J I T M U LY E @ Mumbai THE political pendulum swung wildly on Monday with the Shiv Sena losing the plot by failing to produce letters of support from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Congress within the 7.30 pm deadline, and Governor Bhagat Singh Koshiyari inviting the NCP to take its shot at government formation. Maharashtra appears to be heading for President’s Rule, as the Governor is going through the motions of giving each party a chance, as he is Constitutionally mandated to do, but offering a very slim window. The day began with the Sena officially exiting the NDA, with its minister in the Modi cabinet, Arvind Sawant, putting in his papers. The NCP then got into a huddle though its leaders complained that the 24-hour time frame was too short. The party concluded its meeting by noon and said it shall hand over its letter of support to the Sena only after the Congress does so. The drama then shifted to Jaipur where most of the Congress MLAs from Maharashtra have been lodged. Sources said quite a few of them were in fa- vour of joining a Sena-led government. But the party high command was not okay with it. The scene then shifted to Delhi where all prominent Congress leaders from Maharashtra began a meeting with the Congress Working Committee around 4 pm. Though aware of the 7.30 pm deadline, the Congress could not make up its mind by then. “The party will have further discussions with the NCP said a bland ,” statement issued by the Congress after the meeting. In Mumbai, a Sena delegation led by Aditya Thackeray reached Raj Bhavan to express its willingness to form the government and sought three more days to produce the letters of support from the allies. However, the Governor rejected the request. According to Congress sources, the deal got stuck as they failed to reach a consensus on the Assembly Speaker and ministerial berths. Senior Congress leaders Ahmed Patel, Congress org a n i s at i o n s e c re t a r y K C Venugopal and Maharashtra in charge Mallikarjun Kharge will meet NCP chief Sharad Pawar in Mumbai on Tuesday Pawar has . time till 8.30 pm to show his ability to form the government. UDDHAV’S CALL TO SONIA NCP to consult allies Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray IN a shocking response, social activist Mugilan told the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Monday that he was abducted from train by some persons on February 15, and that the “abductors” threatened him to “stop working against Sterlite”. In the affidavit submitted in the sexual assault case against him, the activist said after being abducted, he was confined to a R I C H A S H A R M A @ New Delhi DESPITE pressure from a majority of the Congress MLAs and even a section of the central party leadership to support a Shiv Sena-NCP government in Maharashtra, the Congress put off a decision in order to “have further discussions with the NCP” because Congress chief Sonia Gandhi had apprehensions about supporting the Sena, a party that is at the opposite end of the ideological spectrum. Sources said Sonia had se- room and thrashed frequently. son had died in a road accident,” “They (abductors) asked me to Mugilan claimed. “Nearly after a stop working against Sterlite and month, they left me in a village in told me that they would an unconscious state give me anything I want where a nomadic group if I did so. They also nursed me back to health. threatened to embarrass Devastated by the false me in public and forcibly news about my wife and injected drugs to keep me son, I wandered with the in unconscious state,” he nomads for two months said. in Jharkhand and later Mugilan “They showed me a travelled to several States newspaper clipping wherein it before reaching Tirupati Railway was mentioned that my wife and Station where I raised slogans PROTESTING students of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) clashed with the Delhi Police on Monday as thousands of them hit the streets against the steep fee hike and imposition of new rules, leaving Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ stuck at the university’s convocation venue for over six hours. Students started gathering outside the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE), the venue for the JNU’s convocation, which was attended by Vice President Venkaiah Naidu. While Naidu left shortly before the protest began, Nishank lingered on and got stranded. A special task force was later deployed to clear the road for Nishank’s vehicle to exit. The protest escalated as the day prog ressed with ang ry crowds of students trying to push through a wall of anti-riot police personnel to approach the venue. Several blockades put up by the police were also broken by the protesting students, who started their march towards the AICTE, about 3 km away from the university’s s o u t h D e l h i c a m p u s, around 11.30 am. While Nishank met the students and said he would try to address their demands quickly the , protestors insisted on meeting the V-C as well. “Due to the 999% fee hike, the university today faces an unprecedented crisis,” the JNU Students Union claimed. With the situation remaining fluid, the state BJP’s core committee decided to wait and watch the developments as they rapidly unfold Why Sonia didn’t want to shake hands with Sena vere reservations about being on the same side as the Sena although almost all party MLAs, whom she met individually favoured the idea. , The MLAs’ contention was if this opportunity was not grabbed with both hands, it would open up the possibility of some leaving the party to join hands with the BJP But, sources said, . Sonia would have none of it, refusing to take a call. “The Congress president was apprehensive about sup- porting a Sena-led government. It was Sharad Pawar who insisted on joining the alliance. The party asked him to work out a deal,” said a senior Congress leader. Sources said the NCP chief put pressure on the Congress high command through Ahmed Patel. “It was Pawar who insisted that some Congress MLAs write to Sonia to lend support to the alliance,” the sources added. Pawar’s push split the Congress down the middle, with and was brought to TN before being handed over to CB-CID,” he summed up. Mugilan also claimed that he was not given an opportunity to depose these “facts” before the Judicial Magistrate in Karur. Justice G R Swaminathan, who received the affidavit adjourned the case to November 13. The affidavit was filed after the judge had directed Mugilan to explain where he was during the five months he was missing. Protest by JNU students leaves minister stranded E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @New Delhi Wait-and-watch mode After getting the Governor’s offer letter, the NCP said it will talk to its allies and revert. Whether that included the Sena was not clear ‘Kidnapped, thrashed for working against Sterlite’ E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Madurai EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray spoke to his Congress counterpart Sonia Gandhi over the phone, but did not get any committment. The Congress described it as a courtesy call. Sonia said she would consult her party MLAs before taking any call NCP leader Ajit Pawar state leaders and the MLAs ranged against the central party leadership. Sources said while senior Maharashtra leader Ashok Chavan, Prithviraj Chavan and PCC chief Balasaheb Thorat were inclined to support Sena-NCP, Sonia and Maharashtra incharge Mallikarjun Kharge opposed it. “Some MLAs even suggested that the party should join the Sena-NCP government as lending outside support leaves party MLAs vulnerable to poaching,” said a Congress MLA who met Sonia. FACTORY OUTPUT IIP SEES STEEPEST FALL IN 8 YEARS INDIA’S factory output as measured by the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) contracted 4.3% in September — the worst since October 2011 — compared with 4.6% expansion in September 2018, dragged by a recession-hit manufacturing sector. Economists blamed low demand for the shrinking industrial numbers. “Demand side weakness hit the informal sector some time back. Now it is spreading to the organised corporate sector. IIP reflects the organised sector’s growth,” said Dr Pronab Sen, former chairman of the National Statistical Commission. According to Devendra Kumar Pant, chief economist and senior director at India Ratings & Research, economy is facing a structural growth slowdown originating from declining household savings and low agricultural growth, which is feeding into low wage growth in rural areas. Despite a series of recent policy reform measures, which included a cut in corporate taxes and sectorspecific packages for automobiles and realty experts , don’t see a major turnaround in the next few months. According to Pant, IIP growth in October 2019 is also likely to be in the negative territory . Dr Sen said, “We need to look at rural and unorganized sector growth stimulants which would result in increase in employment and demand.” DEEPENING SLOWDOWN JNU students staging a protest over various issues, in New Delhi on Monday | PARVEEN NEGI DEMAND TO SACK V-C, ROLLBACK FEE HIKE The protesting students had three demands: reconvene hostel rules meeting in the presence of student reps and revoke all regressive fiats pertaining to clothing and timings; rollback the 999% fee hike from `2,740 to `30,100 annually; and sack Vice Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar NEGATIVE GROWTH IN 17 OUT OF THE 23 SECTORS IN THE MANUFACTURING BASKET Mining -8.5% -3.9% @ Chennai THE Madras High Court on Monday granted conditional bail to Jayagopal, accused in techie R Subhasri’s death due to an illegal flex board, and his brotherin-law Meghanathan. The court directed Jayagopal to pay `50,000 for the treatment of poor patients. On September 12, Subashri, fell on the road after being knocked off her twowheeler by an illegal banner installed for the marriage of Jayagopal’s son, and was run over by a truck. Both the accused, Jayagopal and Meghanathan, on October 24 withdrew their bail petitions filed before the High Court and filed fresh bail applications which were heard by Justice C V Karthikeyan on Monday . The judge granted the bail on condition that Jayagopal deposit `50,000 into the account of Stanley Medical College and into the account of the Dean, Adyar Cancer Institute. The Judge further said Jayagopal should stay out of Chennai until the final report is filed before the Jurisdictional Judicial Magistrate by the traffic investigation wing. EXPRESS READ E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi Second consecutive month of contraction in industrial output Jayagopal gets bail, slapped fine of `50,000 OUTPUT SLIPPED Manufacturing -2.6% Electricity Highest negative growth in manufacturing of motor vehicles, trailers and semitrailers at (-)24.8%, followed by furniture manufacturing at (-)23.6% Amid condolences, Seshan cremated Chennai: Amidst a flood of condolences from political leaders cutting across party lines, bureaucrats and citizens, the mortal remains of TN Seshan, former Chief Election Commissioner, were cremated on Monday | P5 Centre starts process for Ayodhya trust New Delhi: The Centre on Monday began the process of forming a Trust to handle Ram temple construction. A team of senior bureaucrats from various ministries, including Home and Finance, will decide on the make-up of the trust and the rules by which it will function | P7 Moody’s cuts global outlook to negative Rating agency Moody’s, which recently downgraded India’s growth outlook, on Monday cut its global sovereign outlook for 2020 from ‘stable’ to ‘negative’. It said trade tensions and disruptive politics will slow growth worldwide | P11 OVER THE TOP ‘Head’ master asks salons to ban trendy haircuts to students NEW INNINGS Justice AP Sahi was sworn in Chief Justice of the Madras High Court on Monday. Governor Banwarilal Purohit administered the oath of office. Chief Minister Edapaddi K Palaniswami and his Cabinet colleagues were present | P JAWAHAR IF there’s a thin line separating discipline from moral policing, it’s probably this. A school headmaster in Tirunelveli has issued a ‘notice’ to all salons, requesting them not to offer trendy or stylish haircuts to school students _ such as box cuts, one-side cuts, and spikes to name a few. While it’s normal for schools and colleges to impose rules on students, with regard to dress code, hygiene, and hairstyles, it’s for the first time that hairstylists are being told to enforce such rules. The man who took the extra effort to police haircuts is Srinivasan, the headmaster of a Government Higher Secondary School here. On Monday, he distributed the notice to all salons ‘Discussed with parents’ “We conducted a meeting and also discussed the issue with parents,” HM Srinivasan said. “This will help in personality development of students.” TAPAS RANJAN S R E E M AT H I M @ Tirunelveli and barbershops between Chinthamani and Courtallam. It says:“Disciplining students is not just the job of teachers, but also of the society . Hairstylists play a major role in transforming looks and habits of students. We request hairstylists to give students haircuts which are suitable to the environment and not of their (students’) choice.” P5
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