MONDAY EFFECTIVE JAN 1, THE DECISION-MAKING POWERS ON MILITARY POLICY REST WITH XI JINPING-LED CENTRAL MILITARY COMMISSION (CMC) 04 SWEEPING WAR POWERS TO XI IN CHINA’S NEW DEFENCE LAW JANUARY, 2021 epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard RIGHT TO MOBILISE MILITARY, CIVILIAN ASSETS POLL MATH State Council – China’s cabinet – will have a no say in defence as the revisions place sweeping powers into the hands of CMC to mobilise both military and civilian resources to defend its assets in China and abroad. ‘Disruption’ and protection of ‘development interests’ added as grounds for mobilising and deploying troops and reserve forces OWAISI REACHES BENGAL PAGE 8 A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS Nod to Covaxin triggers concern, political joust Bharat Biotech’s candidate yet to finish phase 3 trial, points out Oppn; bid to ridicule scientific community, says Nadda @ New Delhi POSITIONING FOR POWERPLAY Junglemahal vote share (LS poll) BJP TMC PURULIA 2014 7.15% 38.87% 2019 49.33% (+42.18) 34.19% (-4.68) BANKURA 2014 20.31% 39.1% 2019 49.2% (+28.92) 36.5% (-2.6) BISHNUPUR 2014 14.11% 45.5% 2019 46.25% (+32.14) 40.75% (-4.75) MIDNAPORE 2014: 14.26% 46.5% 2019: 48.62% (+34.36) 42.32% (-4.19) AGP stronghold Upper districts Central districts A medic conducts a dry run of Covid-19 vaccination on a health worker, at the Government Rajindra Hospital in Patiala on Sunday | PTI has not been reviewed in the case of Covaxin. Tharoor warned that the approval is premature, saying Covaxin’s use should be avoided as it could be dangerous. Union ministers Hardeep Singh Puri and Giriraj Singh took potshots at the Opposition. “Our in-house cynics M/s Jairam, Tharoor & Akhilesh are behaving true to form,” tweeted Puri. While Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and BSP head Mayawati lauded the scientific community SP chief Akhilesh , Yadav, who on Saturday said he would not take a ‘BJP vaccine’, adviced the government on Sunday to avoid a cosmetic approach. As for CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury, he called for full disclosure of data of the P4&7 trial phases. GOVT’S CASE “COVAXIN is more likely to work against newer variants like N501Y Variant (UK variant) & any other that may arise due to antigenic drift as it contains immunogens (epitopes) from other genes in addition to those from Spike protein,” says Harsh Vardhan Covaxin is based on whole inactivated coronavirus; only 7 per cent persons receiving 6 microgram dose had mild symptoms Data shows it not only produces antibodies but also sensitises ‘CD4 T lymphocytes that imparts durable immune response, says Vardhan S I D D H A N T H A M I S H R A @ New Delhi NDRF personnel undertake rescue operation at the crematorium where the roof collapsed due to heavy rain on Sunday | PTI Roof collapse kills 23 at Ghaziabad cremation ground N A M I TA B A J PA I @ Lucknow TRAGEDY struck a cremation ground in Ghaziabad where 23 people were killed when the roof of a shelter collapsed on Sunday With more than 40 peo. ple injured, the toll is likely to soar further, said district administration sources. President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expressed grief over the loss of lives. According to Ghaziabad district magistrate Ajay Shankar Pandey over 40 people were rescued from , under the rubble. Rescue and relief work was being carried out by district administration and the National Disaster Response Force team, he said. “We have started a probe I express my and we’ll take strict action condolences to the against those found responsi- near and dear ones ble for the tragic incident,” of those who lost their lives in this Anita C Meshram, Meerut accident, and also Divisional Commissioner, hope for a quick told media persons. recovery of the injured The incident took place in Muradnagar town when Narendra Modi, around 100 people had gath- Prime Minister ered to attend the funeral of a resident of Dayanand Colony, who had died on Saturday As the last rites were being performed, . the roof of the newly constructed shed came down crashing due to rains. While some managed to save their lives by running away from the spot, dozens got trapped in the rubble. The police and administration teams arrived at the spot on receiving information and pulled out those buried under the debris. The injured were rushed to Ghaziabad District Hospital. Of those who lost their lives, eight were yet to be identified. CONTINUED ON P4 P R A N A B M O N D A L & P R A S A N TA M A Z U M D A R @ Kolkata/Guwahati CALL them spoilers, proxies or B-teams, with Assembly elections in West Bengal and Assam just months away, two political parties have thrown their hat in the ring, one in each state, with the sole aim of damaging bigger and more established players. While the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) has declared that it will contest the West Bengal elections, not for the Tinsukia Dibrugarh Sivasagar Jorhat Nagaon 2 YEARS Time taken by the National People’s Congress to pass the law Golaghat AGP in 2016 elections contested 26 seats WON 14 Seats won by AGP in Upper and Central Assam 9 first time though, newbie Asom Jatiya Parishad (AJP) has entered the fray in Assam. Most do not give them any chance and say they will be mere also-rans. But they are expected to be crucial tools in the hands of the serious contenders to play the role of a spoiler. The JMM is expected to damage the chances of the BJP, benefiting the Trinamool Congress, as both are expected to vie for the votes of tribals, among whom the BJP has made major inroads recently . The AJP could do the same to the Asom Gana Parishad, a BJP ally and this could be to the ad, vantage of the Congress. Like the AGP the new party’s leader, ship comes mainly from former activists of the All-Assam Students’ Union with regionalism its ideological mooring. Political circles in both the states believe the JMM and the AJP have been propped up by the Trinamool and the Congress respectively to do what the All-India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen did to the Rashtriya Janata Dal in Bihar last year. In the closely contested Bihar elections, Asaduddin Owaisi’s party contested 14 seats in the Muslim-dominated areas, winning five and hurting the RJD. Why the BJP believes the JMM is a Trinamool proxy is not far to seek. In the 2016 Assembly elections, the Jharkhand party contested 23 seats, 14 of them in the tribal-dominated districts Jhargram, Purulia, Bankura and West Midnapore, popularly called Junglemahal. CONTINUED ON P8 Tear gas shells fired at farmers in Haryana ahead of talks today E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi A day before the next round of talks between the protesting farmers and the Centre, a major clash took place on the Delhi-Jaipur highway at Rewari when the Haryana Police tried to stop a group of farmers from marching to Delhi. A group of young farmers from Rajasthan and Haryana, who had been camping at the service lane on the highway near Bhudla-Sangwari village in Rewari, were joined by protesters from the Tikri border. They have been camping there after the police had earlier stopped them from proceeding towards Delhi. On Sunday evening, the group removed the police barricades and started moving towards Delhi. On reaching Masani barrage near Dharuhera town, they were stopped by the police. As the farmers tried to remove the barricades, the police resorted to lathi-charge and firing tear gas shells and also blocked the service lane of the highway to stop the farmers from marching ahead. A tractor-trolley with blankets and quilts stored inside caught fire during the clash but the blaze was doused by the farmers. Some farmers sitting inside jumped off Including ‘development interests’ provides legal grounds for launch of war to defend national interests. The CMC is in charge of making national defence policy and principles, while the State Council becomes a mere implementing agency | P9 SPOILERS THREATEN TO MUDDLE POLL PLAY IN BENGAL AND ASSAM ASSAM Kamrup Kamrup Metro PAGES 12 J8.00 Electorate in Scheduled Tribes 27% Junglemahal Scheduled Castes & OBCs 35% Gujarat: AAP to contest all seats in local polls, releases 1st list AIMING to expand its footprints nationally, the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party on Sunday announced to contest all seats in the upcoming local bodies polls in Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Releasing the party’s first list of 504 candidates in Ahmadabad, Delhi MLA and AAP’s national spokesperson Atishi said the residents of Gujarat were looking for an alternative as the BJP had been in power in the state for many years. Elections to the local bodies — municipalities, municipal corporations, district and taluka panchayats — in Gujarat are likely to be held in February. “The AAP will contest on all seats in the local bodies’ polls in the state for the first time. With this, the party will enter the electoral politics of Gujarat as a strong alternative to the BJP. AAP will work to remove the BJP from power,” said Atishi. “Not just the local bodies’ polls, but AAP will also contest the Vidhan Sabha elections as well as other polls,” she added. The party held a road show in Ahmedabad after releasing the list of candidates. With the AAP spreading its organisational reach, the party hopes to counter ‘Gujarat Model’ with ‘Kejriwal Model’ of governance. Recently it select, ed a young face, Gopal Italia, as president of its Gujarat unit to lead the campaign in the upcoming civic polls. Gulab Singh, party MLA from Matiala in Delhi, who is party co-incharge in the state, had earlier inaugurated the ‘ AP Mohalla Clinics’ A P5 in Ahmedabad. NEW DELHI JHARGRAM 2014 9.73% 54.6% 2019 44.56% (+34.83) 43.72% (-10.88) EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE REGULATORY approvals to a couple of coronavirus vaccines on Sunday set off a political slugfest, with a section of the Opposition questioning the nod to Bharat Biotech’s homegrown Covaxin, since it is yet to complete phase 3 trials. While Congress leaders sought full disclosure of Covaxin’s data, BJP chief J P Nadda tore into the Opposition for coming up with “wild theories” to “ridicule” the accomplishments. The Congress remained divided, with chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala hailing the scientific community, but deputy leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma, Jairam Ramesh and Shashi Tharoor asking searching questions on the haste in according approval to Covaxin. The Congress troika demanded Union health minister Harsh Vardhan’s explanation on why mandatory protocols and verification of data had been done away for Covaxin. Soon enough, Vardhan reacted sharply, saying: “Disgraceful for anyone to politicize a critical issue”. Sharma, who heads the Parliamentary panel on the Ministry of Home Affairs, which had deliberated on the Covid-19 management plan, noted that the data on safety and efficacy WEST BENGAL AIMIM chief meets an influential cleric to discuss possibility of an alliance PROVIDES LEGAL GROUND TO LAUNCH WAR DELHI COVID WATCH STATUS OF CASES RECOVERED DEATH ACTIVE CASES TOTAL +VE FOUR MORE FARMERS DIE, TOLL CROSSES 50 Today 708 14 -424 Cumulative 6,11,243 10,585 5,044 6,26,872 PATIENT MANAGEMENT Four more farmers died on Sunday, two each at Singhu and Tikri borders, due to cardiac arrest, taking the toll past 50. The deceased at Singhu were Shamsher Singh from Sangrur district of Punjab and Kulbeer Singh from Sonipat district of Haryana, The farmers who died at Tikri border hailed from Bathinda in Punjab and Jind in Haryana. Total beds Occupied Vacant H OS P I TA L 14,067 1,942 12,125 CARE CENTRE 7,922 51 7,732* H E A LT H C E N T R E 562 27 535 *139 beds of CCC are occupied by persons under quarantine including travellers who came by Vande Bharat Mission and Bubble flights 2,600 HOME ISOLATION TESTING STATUS 39,217 RTPCR/CBNAAT/TrueNattests conducted today 29,542 Rapid antigen test conducted today Haryana Police fired tear gas shells on the highway in Rewari when farmers tried to remove barricades and march towards Delhi on Saturday | PTI the trolley to save their lives and also managed to take out an LPG cylinder. Due to the clash, the highway was blocked resulting in long queues of vehicles, causing huge inconvenience to commuters. In another incident, the farmers clashed with police in Punjab’s 88,76,518 Sangrur as they tried to disrupt state BJP chief Ashwani Sharma’s meeting with the party’s district president Randeep Deol at his residence. The protesters tried to remove the barricades and lay siege to Deol’s house. A few farmers were injured when the police lathiP4&7 charged the protesters. Total tests done so far 4,67,185 Tests per million CONTAINMENT ZONES AS ON DATE: 3,623 Source: Delhi health bulletin | January 3 SOAR AAP LOOKS TO SPREAD ITS WING BEYOND DELHI The Arvind Kejriwal-led party is now looking at fresh pastures with the party brass deciding to contest assembly polls in four states apart from local body polls. But political watchers feel the renewed vigour to capture national space by the AAP is premature PAGE 5 NO END TO MISERY A man wades through rainwater at a camp in Ghazipur border where the farm protest entered 39th day on Sunday | PARVEEN NEGI MP drafting law to make vandals pay up for damages E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Bhopal TAKING a leaf out of UP’s book, Madhya Pradesh is drafting a stringent law with a provision to auction the properties of stonepelters to recover damages caused to public property or individuals. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s decision comes close on the heels of three incidents of clashes between two communi- ties during the Ram temple fundraising processions taken out in Ujjain, Indore and Mandsaur districts. “Their act not only causes damage to properties but also poses a risk to lives. While peaceful protests are the right of the citizens, vandals and arsonists have to be severely dealt with,” he said. When introduced, MP will become the second state after UP to have such a law. Taking a stern tone against stone-pelters, Chouhan said, “This law will empower the State to even confiscate and auction properties of violent elements to recover the loss inflicted by them through vandalism.” Communal clashes had rocked the Malwa-Nimar region — known as both the stronghold of the RSS and the hotbed of the banned SIMI — last month. On December 26, a fundraiser procession was pelted with stones at Begum Bagh in Ujjain. Over a dozen persons were arrested, some of whom were slapped with the National Security Act. Three days later, a similar procession came under attack in Indore district. The same day another inci, dent was reported during a procession in Mandsaur district.
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