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Leh Times 02 to 07 April 2014


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Modi is one among SP will foil BJP’s political three, says Advani game plan, says Mulayam

Addressing his first rally for the 2014 election, senior BJP leader L.K. Advani on Monday sought to place his party’s prime ministerialcandidateNarendraModiinthesameleagueastwootherBJP Chief Ministers, Shivraj Singh Chouhan of Madhya Pradesh and Raman Singh of Chhattisgarh, saying the Gujarat Chief Minister was not the only one to have scored a hat-trick of electoral wins. “Our Modiji isn’t the only one who has scored a hat-trick in elections. Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Raman Singh have also been elected thrice like him,” said Mr. Advani, who no longer enjoys the authority he once did in the party, campaigning in Ahmednagar. TheBJPveteran,whodidnotwanttocontestfromtheGandhinagar seatagain,waslookingatBhopalasanoptionwhereMr.Chauhan, known to be close to him, calls the shots. Interestingly, none of the top BJP leaders from Maharashtra was present at Mr. Advani’s rally in Shevgaon, which is part of the Ahmednagar constituency, from where sitting MP Dilip Gandhi is seeking re-election. Quite aware that his statements would be closely watched at the public forum, Mr. Advani, however, went on to say that Mr. Modi would form the government at the Centre, which will change the face of India. Speaking about his 1990 Rathyatra demanding a Ram temple at the site of the Babri Masjid, Mr. Advani pointed out that it was Mr. Modi who accompanied him at the time. While praising former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s administration, Mr. Advani attacked PrimeMinister Manmohan Singh as being a person with a post but without any power. “We formed three new States, but problems like Telangana never arose. Despite economic restrictions imposed by America after the Pokhran blasts, we never let inflation get out of hand,” he said. “Had he [Mr. Vajpayee] got one more chance in office, we would

have completed the project of connecting rivers for the benefit of farmers,” he added. Mr. Advani, who did not refer to the late Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray during his entire speech, returned to pay tributes to his memory after ending his address. TheShivSenaleadershiphadreportedlyconveyeditsunhappiness totheBJPoverMr.Modi’somissiontomentiontheSenafounder’s name in his Mumbai rally a few months ago.

LUCKNOW, ;Stating that the Samajwadi Party will foil the Bharatiya Janata Party’s political game plan in Uttar Pradesh in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, the party supremo Mulayam Singh on Monday declared that if the BJP lost in the State, Narendra Modi would be unable to become the Prime Minister. Mr. Singh admitted that the BJP had posed a challenge, but he was quick to add that the SP would prevent it from achieving its objective. Mr. Singh was at the SP headquarters on Monday where two lesser-known Muslimorganisations—theSunniUIema Council and the All India Muslim Jogi Samaj—pledgedtheirsupportintheLok Sabha polls. Addressing the gathering, the SP president said the BJP and the Congress would fail to get a majority in the elections. He cautioned the Muslims against the BJP and the Bahujan Samaj Party who, he said, had “strong ties,” as wellastheCongress,whoserolehas“been suspicious.” Reiterating his commitment and that of the SP towards the Muslim cause, Mr. SinghsaidthepartyhadsupportedMuslimsforthesakeofjustice,andtheminoritycommunityhadalwayssupportedthe

SP. Even as he recounted the measures taken by the SP government for the welfare of Muslims, Mr. Singh lauded them for playing a significant role in freedom struggle. Infact,supportoftheSunniUlemaCouncilandAllIndiaMuslimJogiSamaj,was purportedly drummed up in the wake of the Rashtriya Ulema Council (RUC) president, Maulana Aamir Rashadi Madni’s decision to contest against Mr. Singh in Azamgarh. The SP spin doctors

were quick to claim that a split had occurred in the Rashtriya Ulema Council. The purported split was denied by a RUC spokesman. Meanwhile,amidreportsofQuamiEkta Dal (QED) having approached the SP for putting up a common candidate against the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi in Varanasi, State PWD Minister, Shivpal Singh Yadav, on Monday re-affirmed his party’s stand of contesting from Varanasi.

Petrol price Lavrov, Kerry agree to push constitutional reform in Ukraine cut by 75 paise

NEW DELHI,;The price of petrol was today cut by 75 paise per litre,thefirstreductioninfivemonths,whilethealreadyunpopular monthly hike in diesel rates was put off during the election season.Thereduction,effectivemidnighttonight,excludeslocal sales tax or VAT and the actual cut will be higher, varying from city to city.The price of petrol was last increased by 60 paise on March 1 and will cost Rs 72.26 a litre in Delhi, down 90 paise from Rs 73.16 at present. In Mumbai, the fuel will cost Rs 80.89 a litre against Rs 82.07 currently. Indian Oil Corp, the nation’s largest oil firm, said since the last revision in petrol prices, there has been a dip in international oil rates and the rupee has strengthened against the dollar. “The combined impact of both these factors has resulted in reduction in price of petrol, the benefit of which is being passed on to consumers through price decrease of Re 0.75 per litre, excluding VAT,” it said. However, state-owned oil firms will not raise diesel prices by the monthly 50 paise a litre decided in January last year as the loss on the fuel has dipped below the threshold of Rs 6 a litre because of the twin factors. “Theunder-recoveryondieseliscurrentlyRs5.93perlitrewhich

“The under-recovery on diesel is currently Rs 5.93 per litre which is below Rs 6 a litre, which is the interim subsidy cap recommended by the Expert Group 2013 of Dr Kirit Parikh. is below Rs 6 a litre, which is the interim subsidy cap recommended by the Expert Group 2013 of Dr Kirit Parikh. “Hence,theissueofmonthlypriceincreaseisunderconsideration of the Government and the matter has been referred to the Election Commission. A decision regarding revision of diesel retail price shall therefore be taken on receipt of further advice by the Government in this context,” IOC said. Since January 2013, diesel rates have risen by Rs 8.33 over 14 monthly installments. Besides diesel, oil firms lose Rs 34.43 a litre on kerosene sold through the public distribution system and Rs 505.50 on every 14.2-kg cylinder of domestic cooking gas. The price of petrol was last cut on November 1, when it was reduced by Rs 1.15 a litre, excluding local taxes. LossesonkeroseneandLPGhavedeclinedfromRs36.34alitre and Rs 605.50 per bottle, respectively, at the beginning of the month.“During 2013-14, IOC has suffered an under-recovery on sale of three sensitive products of around Rs 73,000 crore (industry around Rs 1,41,000 crore),” the statement said. The movement of prices in the international oil market and the rupee-US dollar exchange rate are being monitored closely and developing trends will be reflected in future price changes, IOC added. (PTI)

MOSCOW ; Russia and the United States have agreed to work for a diplomatic solution in the Ukraine crisis through an “inclusive constitutional reform,” the two country’s top diplomats said after their meeting in Paris. Emerging from four-hour talks at the Russian embassy in the French capital late on Sunday Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry summed up the essence of their agreement in remarkably identical statements even though they spoke at separate press encounters.After stating that Russia and the U.S. differed on the causes of the crisis in Ukraine, Mr. Lavrov and Mr. Kerry said they had agreed on the importance of «finding a diplomatic solution» towards four priority goals: - assure minority and language rights; - disarm irregulars and provocateurs; - launch an inclusive constitutional reform; - hold free and fair elections. The verbatim identical statements would suggest Mr. Lavrov and Mr. Kerry had put their agreement in writing. While the constitutional reform came closer to the end of the announced list of priorities, it is clearly by far the most important part of the Russian-American agreement. However, as often is the case with such agreements, the devil is in the detail. Moscow and Washington seem to have different views on what should be the end result of the constitutional reform process. Mr. Lavrov stated in no uncertain terms that Ukraine should transform itself from a unitary state into a federation with broad autonomy rights for its regions. Mr. Kerry, for his part, insisted that it is up to Ukrainians to decide "what kind of definitions work for them." "It’s not up to us to make any decision or any agreement regarding federalisation," Mr Kerry said. Mr. Lavrov, while agreeing that "nobody can impose any configuration on Ukrainians," made it clear that federalisation was the only way to prevent Ukraine from splitting along the east-west fault lines. "The west, east and south profess rather opposite values. In order for Ukraine to function as a single state, all its regions without exception must strike compromise," Mr. Lavrov said.

The new Ukrainian government has angrily rejected federalization, saying it would amount to “complete capitulation of Ukraine, its dismemberment, and the destruction of Ukrainian statehood.”The U.S. opposes the federal structure for Ukraine for the same reason as Kiev does – the reform would give Russian-speaking eastern and southern regions veto power over a possible decision by the central government to join NATO or the European Union.It remains to be seen who gets the upper hand in the constitutional reform battle, but Russia has

masterly played its hand at the Paris talks. Hours after Mr. Kerry voiced “strong concern” about “very large Russian force” near Ukraine’s borders that is “creating a climate of fear and intimidation” and sternly demanded from Mr Lavrov the “drawdown and redeployment” of the forces, Ukrainian media reported that Russia had begun pulling back its troops from the Ukrainian border.This enables Mr. Kerry to claim diplomatic success, which could well be the main purpose of the Russian force buildup in the first place.

Russian PM’s Crimea visit angers Ukraine

SIMFEROPOL (Crimea): Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev flaunted Russia’s grip on Crimea by flying to the region and holding a government meeting there on Monday, angering Ukraine and defying Western demands to hand the peninsula back to Kiev. The Ukrainian government denounced the visit, a few hours after the latest round of crisis talks between Russia and the United States ended inconclusively, as a “crude violation” of the

rules of diplomacy.Russia said it had pulled some troops back from near Ukraine’s eastern border, a move that could ease tension in the worst East-West standoff since the Cold War. The Defence Ministry said a motorised infantry battalion was being withdrawn from the region. A battalion numbers between 300 and 1,200 men. However, Medvedev’s visit taunted Western leaders by underlining their inability to force President Vladimir Putin to

relinquish Crimea, seized after the overthrow of Russianbacked Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich and annexed on March 21. Accompanying Medvedev, outspoken Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin - targeted by Western sanctions - left no doubt about the symbolism of the trip, saying on Twitter: “Crimea is ours. Basta!” Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed by telephone ways of stabilising Ukraine and another former Soviet Republic, Moldova. A Kremlin statement quoted Putin as calling for a comprehensive solution that would be a “blockade” on Moldova’s breakaway region of Transdniestria. Soon after landing in Crimea’s main city of Simferopol with several members of his cabinet, Medvedev held a government meeting attended by Crimean leaders and outlined moves to revive the region’s struggling economy. “Our aim is to make the peninsula as attractive as possible to investors, so that it can generate sufficient income for its own development,” he said, sitting at a large desk with Russian flags behind him. “And so we have decided to create a special economic zone here. This will allow for the use of special tax and customs regimes in Crimea, and also minimise administrative procedures,” he told the meeting, broadcast live on Russian state television. In comments that made clear Russia had no plans to give back the region, he set out moves to increase wages for some 140,000 state workers in Crimea, boost pensions, turn the region into a tourism hub, protect energy links, end reliance on Ukraine for water and improve its roads, railways and airports. In comments that made clear Russia had no plans to give back the region, he set out moves to increase wages for some 140,000 state workers in Crimea, boost pensions, turn the region into a tourism hub, protect energy links, end reliance on Ukraine for water and improve its roads, railways and airports.

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