MADURAI MONDAY SEPTEMBER 26, 2022 `9.00 PAGES 12 LATE CITY EDITION CHANDIGARH AIRPORT TO BE NAMED AFTER BHAGAT SINGH Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday announced the decision in his monthly Mann Ki Baat radio broadcast A TRIBUTE TO THE FREEDOM FIGHTER: MODI ■ Sept 28 END TO YEARS-LONG DISPUTE OVER NAME The prime minister called it a “tribute to the great freedom fighter”. Naming the airport after Bhagat Singh has been a long-pending demand of the Punjabis. “Finally our efforts paid off. On behalf of entire Punjab, we welcome the decision of naming the Chandigarh airport after Shaheed Bhagat Singh ji,” Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann tweeted ■ Modi’s announcement follows years of controversy over naming the international airport, which serves both Punjab and Haryana While Punjab mooted Bhagat Singh’s name, Haryana had wanted to honour late RSS ideologue Mangal Sein. It was only last month that they agreed to name the airport after Bhagat Singh BHAGAT SINGH’S 115TH BIRTH ANNIVERSARY CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOGGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Gehlot loyalists revolt against high command NO SECOND STINT Rohatgi declines Centre’s offer to make him AG Refuse to pass resolution paving way for Sachin Pilot as successor Congress MLAs loyal to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot taking a bus to go to Assembly Speaker C P Joshi’s residence, in Jaipur on Sunday | PTI R A J E S H A S N A N I @ Jaipur THE Rajasthan Congress on Sunday night witnessed a fullblown rebellion against the high command, with the faction loyal to Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot refusing to accept the decision to anoint Sachin Pilot as the successor. The unwilling Gehlot has been directed to step down as he is the Gandhi family’s choice for the party’s national presidentship, nominations for which began on Friday . Instead of attending an Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting called at 7.30 pm at Gehlot’s residence to decide on the change of guard, they trooped to the house of Assembly Speaker C P Joshi to ‘tender their resignation’. The high command had deputed AICC observers Ajay Maken and Mallikarjun Kharge to oversee the meeting. “102 MLAs are with us. Will they listen to us or the other 10-15 MLAs?” Gehlot loyalist and minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas questioned. While Gehlot first said he would hold both responsibilities of chief ministership and party president, Rahul Gandhi showed the red card, citing the principle of one-person, onepost. Gehlot then lobbied for C Trainee cadet found dead in B’luru, six IAF officers charged with murder E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi SIX officers of the Indian Air Force were booked for murder after a 27-year-old trainee officer, Ankit Kumar Jha, was found dead in one of the rooms of the Bengaluru Air Force Technical College (AFTC) on September 21, a day after his training was terminated. A case was registered at Gangammana Gudi police station in Karnataka after Ankit’s brother Aman Jha filed a complaint on Thursday The six suspects, . whose names reportedly figure in the seven-page suicide note left by Ankit, are of the ranks of Air Commodore, Group Captain and Wing Commander. Aman accused the six officers of murder and claimed that they had tampered with the evidence. He has also demanded that the autopsy of Ankit’s body be put on hold as the case needs to be probed by the CBI. The officers are yet to be arrested. “The postmortem report will ascertain the cause of the death. The statements of the suspects can indicate why the deceased took the extreme step,” said a police officer. Speaking to this newspaper, a cousin of Ankit, Richa Thakur, too, alleged that he was murdered. “He was under severe mental trauma as disciplinary action was taken against him. He was also terminated in July . While talking to me over the phone, Ankit told me that he was being forced to sign certain documents.” Ankit’s training was terminated on September 20 as per the recommendations by a Court of Inquiry, which was constituted after a fellow trainee filed a complaint against him, the Indian Air Force said in a press release. P Joshi as his successor, but both Rahul and his sister Priyanka insisted on picking Pilot for the hot seat. To facilitate the decision, the CLP meeting was expected to issue a one-line resolution authorising the party president to name its new leader. But Khachariyawas said, “all 102 MLAs are angry and will resign. Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi should understand the feelings and sentiments of the MLAs. The proposed resolution is not acceptable to the MLAs.” Independent MLA Sanyam Lodha said the new chief minster should be one from 102 MLAs who stayed in hotels for 38 days to save the Congress government two years ago. Alluding to Pilot, he said, those who tried to topple the Congress cannot be accepted as the chief minister. In July 2020, Pilot along with 18 party MLAs had rebelled against Gehlot. The Congress has 108 members in the 200-member Assembly It also has the support of 13 . Independents. Earlier in the day there were , reports of over 20 MLAs and ministers gathering at the residence of another Gehlot loyalist, minister Shanti Dhariwal, to formulate their strategy . EXPRESS READ TN girl held for sharing videos of hostel mates Madurai: The Madurai police have arrested and remanded a doctor and his girlfriend for allegedly sharing pictures and videos of the girl’s hostel mates. Police have arrested Dr Ashik, of Kamuthi of Ramanathapuram, and his girlfriend Janani, a BEd student of a college in Madurai, under IPC and IT Act | P4 IN a new trend in engineering admissions, more top-ranking Tamil Nadu students are choosing private engineering colleges over government colleges, with one private college even trumping Anna University’s CEG and MIT campus colleges for the top choice of general category students in the first round of counselling that ended on Sunday . Sri Sivasubramaniya Nadar (SSN) College of Engineering, which has 487 seats under general category, has managed to fill 428 seats in the first round. While the private college has managed to fill 87.89% of seats, Anna University’s CEG and MIT campus colleges have filled only 86.82 % and 85.58% seats, respectively Only 83.87% seats . in (Central ElectroChemical Research Institute) CECRI, affiliated to Anna University, have been filled after first round of counselling. Usually, Anna University’s REPRESENTATIVE PHOTO Opposition leaders O P Chautala, Sharad Pawar, Nitish Kumar, Tejashwi Yadav, Sitaram Yechury and Sukhbir Singh Badal being garlanded at a rally to mark the birth anniversary of former deputy PM Devi Lal, in Fatehabad on Sunday | PTI Wait for Cong polls to take unity talks forward: Sonia to Nitish, Lalu P R E E T H A N A I R @ New Delhi HOURS after he gave a call to build a strong Opposition front that included the Congress, to take on the BJP Bihar Chief Minister and , JD(U) head Nitish Kumar held talks with Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi here on Sunday RJD patriarch Lalu Yadav accom. panied him. “We have to bring all Opposition parties together to defeat the BJP. The Congress is in the process of electing its new president and Sonia Gandhi told us that we will meet after the election,” NiNo big deal: tish later said. Sushil Modi He added that there was broad agreement “These regional on Opposition unity parties have only a but a concrete action few seats in Lok plan can be formulatSabha and they ed only after the Conwon’t dent BJP’s g ress presidential prospects in 2024. polls. “We will hold We will secure more seats than last time,” further talks after the Congress organisasaid senior BJP tional polls,” he said. leader Sushil Modi Lalu said, “without the Congress, there would be no alliance. All of us have to come together to remove BJP from the country .” This was Nitish’s first meeting with Sonia after he walked out of the BJP alliance in Bihar. Lalu, too, was meeting Sonia after a gap of five years. Speaking to this newspaper, JD(U) leader K C Tyagi said Nitish will strive to bring all disparate parties together, including Naveen Patnaik’s BJD. “Nitish doesn’t believe in political untouchability He is planning to trav. el to Odisha and West Bengal to meet Mamata and Naveen,” said Tyagi. Forge main front, says Bihar chief minister E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi PROMINENT Opposition leaders on Sunday gave a fresh unity call ahead of the 2024 general election at a massive rally organised by the INLD in Haryana’s Fatehabad to commemorate the birth anniversary of the party’s founder Devi Lal. Trinamool, TRS, Bihar Chief MinisDMK no-show t e r N i t i s h Ku m a r urged the Opposition “Since West Bengal to build a ‘main front’ and Tamil Nadu CMs of all parties, includMamata Banerjee ing the Congress, to and M K Stalin skipped it, Telangana defeat the ruling BJP while ruling out a CM K Chandrashekar third front. Rao felt it wasn’t He also stayed in deimportant enough to nial on entering the participate,” a party prime ministerial source said race. “I am not a PM candidate. There is also no question of a third front. There should be one front, including the Congress and the Left,” he said, adding that they had even requested the Congress to participate in the rally . Not just the Congress, major parties like Telangana Rashtra Samithi and Trinamool Congress gave the rally a miss. However, NCP patriarch Sharad Pawar, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, CPI (M)’s Sitaram Yechury and SAD boss Sukhbir Singh Badal participated. Pawar, Yechury and Badal echoed Nitish saying the need of the hour is for everyone to come together to dislodge the BJP . TN violence: DGP warns of NSA case, Centre seeks report Ola hikes autorickshaw and cab fares in TN Chennai: Six months after increasing minimum fare, cab aggregator Ola has now introduced convenience and access fees to jack up the minimum fare for 1.5-km ride by up to `110. For a distance of 1.5 to 2.5 km, Ola auto fare has now gone up to `130. The old rate was `55 to `65. CEG, MIT, and CECRI are the most preferred colleges by top rankers in the first round of counselling. Top scorers usually prefer government colleges over private ones because of lower fee and better quality of faculty But the scenario is dif. ferent this time. Surpassing many government colleges, private colleges, including those that have not made it to the NIRF rankings or are not among the top ranking colleges in NIRF, have emerged as the 30 most preferred colleges this year. Apart from SSN, a few other top picks are Chennai Institute of Technology (CIT) and PSG Institute of Technology . CONTINUED ON: P5 SENIOR advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who was expected to make a comeback as the Attorney General of India on October 1, on Sunday declined the Centre’s offer of the post. It was unclear why he turned it down. With incumbent Attorney General K K Venugopal’s term ending on September 30, the Centre, earlier this month offered the post to Rohatgi. Had he accepted the offer, it would have been his second stint as the attorney general. Soon after the Narendra Modiled Central government came to power in 2014, he was appointed as India’s 14th attorney general. After Rohatgi’s three-year term ended in 2017, Venugopal succeeded him. Ve n u g o p a l ’ s first term ended in 2020, after which he was twice given extensions. He had refused to accept further extension, citing “personal reasons”. While turning down the offer, Rohatgi, said that he was grateful that the Centre offered to appoint him as the country’s top law officer. Rohatgi, a veteran lawyer, has appeared in several high profile cases in the apex court as well as high courts across the country. Notably, he appeared for the Special Investigation Team (SIT) in the Supreme Court, which had heard a plea by Zakia Jafri pertaining to the 2002 Gujarat riots. Rohatgi, who is known for his benevolent submissions was appointed as Additional Solicitor General in 1999 and continued in that role till the first UPA government came to power in 2004. S JAISHANKAR SEES ‘SHIFT’ ON ISSUE OF U.N. REFORMS The foreign minister pointed to both the US and Russia calling for the expansion of the UN Security Council to include India during the ongoing UNGA session. “We’ve got some tailwind behind us. Now we have to see what we can make of it,” he said | P9 E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E TN engg admission: Toppers choose pvt colleges over Anna univ, govt institutes B I N I TA JA I SWA L @ Chennai E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi @ Chennai/Madurai/Coimbatore AFTER a series of molotov cocktail attacks across the State, DGP C Sylendra Babu on Sunday warned that those disturbing public peace will be booked under the National Security (NSA) Act. Meanwhile, Union Minister of State for MSME Bhanu Pratap Singh Verma said the Union government has sought a report from the Tamil Nadu government on the violence and action will be taken based on the report. Verma was speaking to reporters after attending a BJP’s executive committee meeting in Ramanathapuram on Sunday . The DGP, in a statement, said 250 suspects have been interrogated so far and over 100 of them are still being questioned. “We have also arrested a few and seized their vehicles,” the statement said. In connection with stone pelting during protests against NIA raids on Popular Front of India premises, 19 have been arrested, the statement said. Police have also booked cases against petrol bunk owners who sold petrol in bottles and bunks have been directed not to sell fuel in bottles. Fresh incidents of miscreants hurling bottles filled with kerosene have been reported in Salem and Kanniyakumari on Sunday The Salem city police have arrested . two people, including the district president of the SDPI party after kerosene-filled bot, tles were hurled at the house of an RSS member in Salem city in the wee hours of Sunday Early on Sunday petrol bombs were . , also hurled at the house of Kalyanasundaram, a businessman and BJP supporter, in Kanniyakumari. IIT JEE + CBSE + NEET Class 11 & 12 BUY ANY 3 Recorded Video Courses for IIT JEE & NEET GET 5000 worth Test Series FREE Scan the QR code to get the OFFER 9600100090 / 9600100020
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