CHennai 19 may 2014 Monday `3.00 pages 42 LATE CITY edition CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BANGALORE ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELGAUM ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIMOGA ■ TIRUCHY ■ www.newindianexpress.com Advani Set to be Speaker, Modi NDA Boss Ask Prabhu Post your questions on website www.newindianexpress.com and Prabhu will answer them r a da r Refugee Camp to be Shifted Vellore: The special camp for Sri Lankan Tamil refugees at Chengalpattu in Kancheepuram district would soon be shifted to the defunct sub-jail, which is under renovation, in Cheyyar town in Tiruvannamalai district. P4 N-scientist Srinivasan Dies Chennai: Veteran nuclear scientist and Padma Bhushan recipient, N Srinivasan (84), died on Sunday after cardiac arrest. He is survived by wife, daughter and son, an official release here said. P4 Cops Seize US-made Pistol Villupuram: Police officers on Sunday morning seized a US-made pistol from a four-member gang on the VillupuramPuducherry national highway. The quartet fled the spot on seeing the patrol bikes. P4 17 Nursing Schools Headless Chennai: With counselling around the corner, it has emerged that 17 government nursing schools in the State are functioning without principals, the posts lying vacant for a few months to a year. There are 23 government-run nursing schools with over 3,000 students. P3 Sushma continues to play hardball; PM designate tries to placate M M Joshi; Gujarat Bhawan, Delhi HQ of RSS turn hubs of hectic political activity as lobbying continues for plum positions Express News Service New Delhi: A day after his victory march in Delhi and thanksgiving Ganga Aarti in Varanasi, Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi made the national capital his base, holding parleys with all senior leaders before he announces his Cabinet in the coming days. Efforts were on to get the senior trio of L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Sushma Swaraj on board over the government formation as the BJP, which secured absolute majority, would not want to suffer embarrassment at the outset. In the series of meetings, the most significant one came on Sunday afternoon, when Modi went to meet patriarch Advani. Sources said Advani’s role as Speaker was almost final with decks cleared for Modi to become the chairman of the NDA alliance. The next meeting of the BJP parliamentary party is scheduled for Tuesday, where Modi will be formally elected as the leader. On the same day, the BJP will hold talks with its Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi and senior BJP leader L K Advani during their meeting in New Delhi on Sunday | PTI allies to formally endorse Modi as the PM. Sources said the issue of NDA chairman has to be settled before the meeting, as currently Advani holds the post of working NDA president. Being the NDA chief would give the PM-designate complete control over issues related to alliance partners. With the task of finding a suitable role for senior leaders becoming a cause of worry within the party, Modi also drove to Murli Manohar Joshi’s house and met the veteran. Sushma Swaraj, who shares an uneasy relation with Modi and was learnt to be reluctant to become a part of the Cabinet, went to meet senior RSS functionaries in the capital. Sources, however, said all senior leaders, including Sushma, Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Nitin Gadkari and M M Joshi were likely EC Gives List of MPs to Prez New Delhi: Election Commission officials on Sunday called on President Pranab Mukherjee and handed over the list of 543 newly-elected members of the Lok Sabha that will enable him to initiate the formal process of government formation. 42 pages, including 20 pages of EDEX (TABLOID) AND 6 OF CITY EXPRESS express poll of the day Will a Priyanka takeover save the Congress party? no 86% Express News Service Chennai: With the bitterly fought Lok Sabha elections over and the results declared, the BJP on Sunday warmed up to Chief Minister and AIADMK general secretary J Jayalalithaa. The top brass of the party — Prime Minister designate Narendra Modi and BJP president Rajnath Singh — called Jayalalithaa over the phone and congratulated her for her massive victory in the Lok Sabha elections in Tamil Nadu. Jayalalithaa’s telephonic conversation with the top two BJP leaders assumes significance at this juncture as the saffron party, which secured enough seats to form the government on its own, needs the support of the AIADMK to pass important bills in the Rajya Sabha where it has a dimin- Loyalists of M K Stalin holding a demonstration demanding that he withdraw his resignation, outside his house in Teynampet on Sunday. Shortly thereafter, he complied | P JAWAHAR SMS TO 54646 www.newindianexpress.com I do not want to discuss anything about Alagiri. I don’t consider him my son You (the MEDIA) are the reason FOR DMK’S LOSS — m karunanidhi, DMK chief LPG Blast Kills Couple, 2 Kids, Another critical by J Santhosh Chennai: The DMK on Sunday saw a familiar script play out. The party’s heir-apparent M K Stalin, who virtually seized control of the party just months ago, tendered his resignation from all party posts, owning moral responsibility for the party’s disastrous performance in the Lok Sabha election. However, hours later, his father and party patriarch M Karunanidhi rejected the resignation on the ground that the party needed Stalin’s services. After news of Stalin’s offer to quit emerged late in the morning, party leaders went into a huddle, with Karunanidhi meeting senior leaders like Durai Murugan, S Jagatrakshagan, E V Velu and Ponmudy. Stalin supporters also made the most of the attention, and staged a demonstration outside Karunanidhi’s house, demanding that the resignation be rejected. Durai Murugan addressed the media later in the evening at Stalin’s residence. “Stalin has offered to resign. Our leader has said this is not the need of the hour and that the party needs his services. So, Stalin has agreed not to insist on his resignation,” said Durai Murugan. Stalin’s offer to step down caught even his staunchest loyalists by surprise, and dmk men Beat up mediapersons DMK chief M Karunanidhi placed the blame for the party’s dreadful performance in the LS polls on the media. Soon, supporters of M K Stalin unleashed an attack on mediapersons, injuring at least one reporter and two lensmen, and damaging equipment. P5 many headed to his residence as soon as they heard about it. “He didn’t discuss it with us. We would have prevented him. I heard of his resignation just minutes back and am rushing to speak to him in person,” said an MLA, considered a long-time Stalin loyalist. Full Coverage: P5 Nitish to Take Final Call Today as Lawmakers Press Him to Stay On by Ajay Kumar Patna: Legislators of Janata Dal (United) on Sunday unanimously requested Nitish Kumar to continue as chief minister. Nitish had resigned on Saturday taking moral responsibility after the humiliating defeat of his party in the Lok Sabha election. However, Nitish later told the agitated MLAs that he would reconsider his decision and would make an announcement on Monday. Senior party leader and ished presence. In his call to the Chief Minister, Modi thanked Jayalalithaa for greeting him on his victory and congratulated her for her remarkable success in the State. The AIADMK chief wished Modi a successful tenure as prime minister. During the conversation, the PM-designate assured Jayalalithaa that there would be absolute cooperation between the Central and State governments. The Chief Minister also greeted Rajnath Singh on his party’s landslide victory in the elections. On May 16, Jayalalithaa had sent a congratulatory letter to Modi wishing him and the government under his leadership the very best and expressed hope that there would be an era of meaningful cooperation between the Centre and State. by Shyam Balasubramanian New Delhi: Unlike in 2009 when it crashed within minutes, it was a smooth operation this time when the Election Commission website recorded 45 crore hits on the morning of the vote count on Friday, making it the highest number of hits on any Indian website ever in a single day. Today’s question: Will the BJP be able to replicate its success in the Bihar Assembly election? to be a part of Modi’s Cabinet. The BJP will also keep in mind the crucial caste and alliance equations while forming the Cabinet. The hectic weekend also saw RSS camp office, Keshav Kunj, and Gujarat Bhawan, where Modi is staying, become the nerve centres of intense political activity. Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, party general secretary Ananth Kumar and Lok Jan Shakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan met Modi at the chief ministerial suite of the Gujarat Bhawan. His Man Friday Amit Shah also called on him. Other party leaders who are lobbying for plum posts in the Modi government went to the RSS camp office making it a near-parallel power centre. The key visitors included Venkaiah Naidu, Kalraj Mishra, Harsh Vardhan, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Uma Bharti, B S Yeddyurappa, M M Joshi and Smriti Irani. “I have come to meet the seniors. The RSS never gets into things like Cabinet formation,” said Naidu after his visit. More: P9 Stalin Resignation Drama ends in Hrs Record Hits on Poll Website Yes 14% BJP Brass Greets Jaya, Vows Harmony in Ties former minister Narendra Singh’s resolution to elect Nitish again as the leader of the legislative party was backed by all party legislators in the meeting on Sunday. According to party sources, Nitish himself is not keen to return as chief minister and asked MLAs to allow him to work for the party as it would help it regain power in the next Assembly poll. Before the meeting, JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav said Nitish’s resignation is final and he will not go back on it. This led to some senior leaders’ names being floated as the possible successor. Outside the meeting place, a large number of Nitish supporters were seen asking legislators to pressure him to withdraw his resignation. Slogans were also raised against Sharad Yadav and another dissident leader and former minister Ramai Ram was heckled. Even during the meeting, some party leaders asked Sharad Yadav to take moral responsibility for the crushing defeat in the election. Meanwhile, senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi, calling the move of Nitish a political stunt, said, “There is nothing new in it, Nitish Kumar is fond of resigning. Party MLAs would reelect him and he will withdraw his resignation claiming he was under pressure from them.” Modi, along with some senior party leaders called on Governor D Y Patil to brief him on the current political situation in the State. “We have requested the governor to physically verify the MLAs who are extending support to Nitish Kumar’s minority government,” said Sushil Modi. However, the Ministry of Home Affairs has advised the Governor not to dissolve the Assembly immediately and to explore the possibility of forming a government. The MHA has also sought a report from the governor on the political developments in the State. The day also witnessed reports of a possible alliance between the RJD and JD(U) which was later denied by Lalu Prasad Yadav. Political observers feel Lalu and Nitish, both poster boys of the Mandal era, are feeling marginalised in the State politics and are exploring new equations. In another development, three RJD MLAs, who had earlier deserted the party and joined the JD(U), tendered their resignation to help Nitish get a majority in the House. Samrat Chaudhary, Ram Lakhan Ram Raman and Javed Iqbal submitted their resignation letters to Speaker Udai Narayan Choudhary. Chennai: A couple and two girls, aged six and 11, were killed in a fire caused by an LPG leak in a house at Maraimalai Nagar near Chengalpattu on Saturday. Two other children, a four-year-old girl and a nineyear-old boy, suffered severe burn injuries and are undergoing treatment in a hospital in Chennai. The accident took place when the couple, Venkatesh (44) and Thiripurasundari (43), returned home to Nandan Street around 7 pm after visiting a temple in Panruti along with their child Iswarya (6). Eyewitnesses said three children from the house opposite came over to the house when they saw their playmate Iswarya. No one realised that an LPG cylinder was leaking and the house was filled with the highly inflammable gas. “Venkatesh switched on the fan soon after entering the house. That triggered the fire and within a second the entire house was engulfed in flames,” said Sivaprakash, a relative of the family. The locals could do little to help the six as they were unable to brave the flames and enter the house. “We were helpless as the house was on fire. Once the firemen got here, they doused the fire and got them out,” said Subbaiya, father of the other three children. All six were referred to the Kilpauk Medical College Hospital but the doctors could do little to save them. Venkatesh, Thirupurasundari, Iswarya and Durga (one of the three children from the opposite house) succumbed to their injuries on Sunday morning. Malavika (4) is said to be in a serious condition, while her brother Balasubramanian (9) is undergoing treatment, but out of danger.
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