CHENNAI THURSDAY NOVEMBER 21, 2019 `5.00 PAGES 26 LATE CITY EDITION GOTABAYA NAMES BROTHER MAHINDA AS SRI LANKAN PM Lankan presidency and prime ministership now concentrated in the Rajapaksa family credited with crushing Tamil rebels FOR 1ST TIME, TWO BROTHERS AT HELM MINORITY GOVT WITH RANIL’S SUPPORT With Mahinda Rajapaksa set to take over as PM today, Sri Lanka will, for the first time, have two controversial brothers at the helm. Mahinda’s appointment as premier comes after Ranil Wickremesinghe announced his resignation on Wednesday, following his party candidate Sajith Premadasa’s humiliating defeat in the recently-held presidential election ■ ■ Rajapaksa’s party doesn’t have a majority in the Parliament. Thus, the new PM must depend on Ranil’s party to form a minority government until a snap poll is held, possibly, next year The current parliament—elected in August 2015 for a five-year term—can’t be dissolved by the president until March 2020 | P9 74-yr-old MAHINDA BECAME LANKA’S YOUNGEST PARLIAMENTARIAN IN 1970 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 Will carry out nation-wide NRC: Shah Home minister assures Parliament that there will be no discrimination on the basis of religion E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi THE controversial National Register for Citizens (NRC) process will be carried out across the country, Home Minister Amit Shah said on Wednesday He also told Parliament . that the exercise will be done again in Assam, along with the entire country, adding “no one from any religion should be worried”. Responding to several questions on the controversial exercise in the Rajya Sabha, Shah asserted that there would be no discrimination on the basis of religion. Even as Shah made a country-wide pitch for the NRC process, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said she will never allow NRC in her state. When asked to give clarifications over his statement on proposed Citizenship Amendment Bill of giving citizenship to all except Muslims, Form special law for Sabarimala, SC tells Kerala EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi / T’Puram THE Supreme Court on Wednesday pulled up the Kerala government for ignoring its directive in August to formulate an exclusive legislation for the administration of the Sabarimala temple. The bench headed by Justice N V Ramana asked the state to finalise the law and place it before the court by the third week of January . The direction came in response to a petition filed by the Pandalam Royal family on various issues concerning the temple. The bench noted the state government has so far produced only draft amendments in the TravancoreCochin Hindu Religious Institutions Act. “This is not enough. There is need for a new, exclusive law for Sabarimala,” it said. Kerala Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran said the state was yet to receive details of the court’s direction and a decision would be made after consultations. The draft law proposes to give one-third representation to women in the temple advisory committee. The court asked how this is possible when various aspects of women’s entry are under review. Lawyer Jaideep Gupta, representing Kerala, said only women above 50 years would be included if the seven-judge bench rules against allowing women of all ages into the CONTINUED ON: P8 temple. Won’t allow it in Bengal: Mamata West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee lashed out at the Centre on Wednesday over NRC and reiterated that she will never allow its exercise in her state. “I will never allow NRC in Bengal as long as I am the chief minister,” she asserted EXPRESS READ Gang robs train passengers In a case of brazen daylight robbery, a group of robbers snatched gold chains, mobile phones and cash from passengers travelling on Chennai - Jaipur weekly express on Tuesday | P3 HC asks reason for release The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has sought a status report from the government asking on what basis the Melavalavu case convicts were considered for remission | P5 RBI sacks DHFL board, appoints administrator Mumbai: The RBI placed DHFL under an administrator Wednesday and said the resolution process for the lender will start soon. Ex-IOB chief R Subramaniakumar is the administrator for DHFL | P15 Birthday girl, 2 friends killed in road accident E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai A birthday bash planned for a 15-year-old girl ended in tragedy after she and two of her friends were killed in a road accident on Tuesday night. Police say four teenagers, one girl and three boys, were riding on a single bike, without wearing helmets, when the accident happened. All the youngsters are residents of Riding on the Perumbakkam. It was Anu’s (15) wrong side birthday, and she had gone to MamalThe four youths were lapuram along with her friend Billy riding a single bike (19) and two others who have not yet on the wrong side of been identified. “While returning, the road when a they stopped at a petrol station,” tempo hit their bike. said a police officer. “From there, to avoid taking a UPolice suspect Billy and Anu were in a turn, they started riding in the relationship. wrong direction. They were crossing towards the median when a tempo rammed their bike.” The accident happened around 11.30 pm. Passersby informed the police and rushed the group to hospital. Billy, Anu, and a third person were declared brought dead. The fourth is in critical condition. Police are trying to identify the other two teens as they had no ID on them. Billy has an assault and chain snatching case against him. Shah said the Centre accepts that refugees — Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Christians, Sikhs and Parsis — who left Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan due to religious atrocities in those countries should get Indian citizenship. The Union minister, however, pointed out that there is no provision in the NRC, which says that people from other religions will not be included in the register. “People from all religions who are Indian citizens will be included. There is no question of any discrimination on the basis of religion. NRC is a different process and the Citizenship Amendment Bill is different,” Shah clarified. In a written reply to whether NRC provides citizenship to immigrants of six non-Muslim faiths, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kishan Reddy said, “NRC is a register containing details of Indian citizens. On its own, it does not provide citizenship to any foreigner including illegal migrants.” In Assam, the NRC process was carried out as per the SC order, Shah said adding that when the updating process will be implemented in the entire country, Assam will also be included. Meanshile, Himanta Biswa Sarma, the finance minister of Assam, said that the state government has requested the Centre to reject the recently published NRC. No one should be worried... It is just a process to get everyone under the NRC - Amit Shah, Home Minister ORDINANCE OUT BJP, OPPOSITION FLAY INDIRECT POLLS FOR MAYOR E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai A day after the State Cabinet met to decide on mayoral elections, the State government on Wednesday promulgated an Ordinance to elect heads of local bodies indirectly . The decision was criticised by opposition parites as well as the ruling AIADMK’s ally the , BJP . Defending the decision, the Ordinance reasoned that an indirect election would ensure stability . “It is considered that if indirect election is conducted for electing mayor/chairperson, there will be stability and collective responsibility among the heads of urban local bod- ies and all the elected councillors and local bodies will be able to function in a harmonious way it read. ,” BJP State spokesperson SR Sekar said the Ordinance was against democratic principles and that no democractic force would welcome it. ‘Ulterior motive’ “Perhaps the move is aimed at preventing sharing of mayor posts with allies. If the ruling party has guts, it should conduct direct elections to the Mayor posts,” he said. However, Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar defended the decision saying that said there was nothing new in P4 indirect election. In big privatisation drive, govt puts BPCL on the block E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi THE Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Wednesday gave the green signal for the privatisation of three public sector enterprises: blue-chip oil marketing company Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL), the Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) and cargo transport major Concor. The Cabinet also approved reducing the government’s stake in select PSUs to below 51% while retaining management control. According to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the government will divest its entire stakeholding in BPCL (53.29%) and SCI (63.75%), MAJOR RELIEF while selling off 30.8% of its 54.8% FOR TELCOS stakeholding in Concor. To provide some Full management control will be relief to financially transferred over to a “strategic distressed telecom buyer” in all three cases. service providers, The only exception will be in the the Cabinet has case of BPCL’s Numaligarh Refinapproved the ery which will be carved out of the , deferment of oil marketing firm and retained by spectrum auction the government, she said. instalments for The CCEA has also approved the the financial years sale of PSUs Tehri Hydro Developof 2020-21 and ment Corporation India and North 2021-22 | P15 Eastern Electric Power Corporation to state-run power sector major NTPC. The government’s shareholding in the three PSUs slated for privatisation is worth a cumulative `84,213 crore going by their current market capitalisation, with the stakes going on sale worth an estimated `75,750 crore. The Centre may fall short of its revenue targets for the year owing to consistent shortfalls in GST collections and give-aways in corporate taxes,. The finance ministry is consequently stepping on the gas to meet its disinvestment targets, analysts say . “The resources unlocked by the strategic disinvestment of these CPSEs would be used to finance the social sector and developmental programmes of the Government,” said a statement from the ministry adding, , “It is expected that the strategic buyer/ acquirer may bring in new management, technology investment for , the growth of these companies and may use innovative methods for their development”. The Centre has a disinvestment target of `1.05 lakh crore for the current fiscal year 2019-20 and had surpassed its `80,000 crore target for the previous fiscal. Maha govt with Sena coming soon: Cong, NCP R I C H A S H A R M A @ New Delhi THE wait for a government in Maharashtra may soon end as the Congress and NCP on Wednesday said the two parties and the Shiv Sena have “in principle agreed” to form a government in the state. How soon? Sources say before the first phase of the Jharkhand Assembly elections begins on November 30. The Congress and NCP are scheduled to hold a series of meetings this week to give a final shape to the gover nment for mation. Talks are also being held with the Shiv Sena to ensure that a government is formed at the earliest. Sources said the chiefministership will rotate between the NCP and Sena under the new agreement. The Congress will get the post of deputy CM. “The government cannot be formed in the state without the three parties coming together and all three have agreed in principle to give a stable government,” NCP spokesperson said. “We’ll ensure oath-taking ceremony happens before Nov 30. That will hurt the BJP in Jharkhand polls,” P9 an NCP leader said.
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