WEDNESDAY INDO-PAK PAIR TO COME TOGETHER AT ACAPULCO 03 MARCH, 2021 Despite tension between India and Pakistan, Rohan Bopanna and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi join hands for ﬁrst time since 2014 epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard ONLY ONE EVENT TO START WITH IN THE NEWS T O D AY The pair, nicknamed ‘Indo-Pak Express’, will be teaming up at the ATP 500 meet in Mexico, slated to be held from March 15-21. “For the time being, we will only be playing in Acapulco,” Aisam said. “Let’s see how it goes.” Bopanna is yet to win a match this year (three losses). P11 INDIA Kappan voice test A Mathura court allowed the STF to take voice sample of Kerala journalist Siddique Kappan, who was booked for sedition after being arrested along with three others while on their way to Hathras last year. The UP police had alleged that the group intended to take benefit of the Hathras gang rape case and foment caste riots. A district government counsel said District and Sessions Judge Anil Kumar Pandey allowed the request of the STF to take voice sample and match signature of Kappan and fixed March 4 for it. Kangana moves SC Actress Kangana Ranaut and her sister Rangoli Chandel have moved the Supreme Court seeking transfer of cases pending against them in Mumbai to a court in Shimla, alleging there would be threat to their lives if the trial proceeds there because of “personal vendetta” of Shiv Sena leaders against them. The actress and her sister said they apprehend that if trial in these cases are conducted in Mumbai, there would be a “material threat” to their life and property as the Shiv Senaled Maharashtra government has been ‘harassing’ them. Probe over tweets A dozen names have come to the fore during a probe into the alleged role of the BJP IT cell in tweets posted by Indian celebrities in response to comments by some global figures on the farmer protest, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said in the Assembly on Tuesday. He maintained the probe was not directed at the tweets by Indian celebrities. Devendra Fadnavis of BJP suggested the MVA government was trying to probe Sachin Tendulkar and Lata Mangeshkar over their tweets after some foreign figures supported the protest against the farm laws. A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS NEW DELHI J8.00 PAGES 12 Ex-PM says it can affect small & medium scale sectors, temporary steps can’t paper over issue E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ T’Puram FORMER prime minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday warned of a looming debt crisis, saying temporary steps taken by the Centre and the Reserve Bank of India cannot paper over the credit problems staring the country in the face. Blaming the BJP government’s ‘ill-conceived’ demonetisation for the country’s high unemployment rate, Manmohan Singh warned that the crisis could adversely affect the small and medium sectors of the industry He . was speaking after inaugurating a development summit, organised virtually by the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Development Studies at Neyyar Dam in Thiruvananthapuram. “Due to the ill-conceived demonetisation in 2016, unemployment skyrocketed and the unorganised sector landed in a shambles. If India’s political and economic philosophy stood for a foundation as envisaged in the country’s Constitution, having a federal set-up and communication between the states, the incumbent Union government is against this. The economy can be revived provided schemes for the poor and the downtrodden are implemented,” he opined. Regarding Kerala, he said even though its social standards are high, due diligence should be given to certain other sectors that require periodic review. he pointed out that the state is facing several hurdles that have to be overcome at a time when the global economic slowdown over the last two to three years has skyrocketed due to the pandemic. Unemployment is high and the informal sector is in a shambles, a crisis precipitated by the ill-considered demonetisation — Manmohan Singh, former prime minister N A M I TA B A J PA I @ Lucknow UTTAR Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday directed officials to invoke the stringent National Security Act (NSA) against four persons involved in the murder of a man who had registered a complaint against his daughter’s molesters in Hathras district. The police said an FIR was registered against six persons, two of whom have been arrested. Main accused Gaurav Songra, who had been released on bail in the molestation case, is absconding. Police said Amrish Sharma of Nozarpur village was shot dead by Songra and his friends following an altercation on Monday. Songra, who allegedly has links with the Samajwadi Party, was reportedly pressuring Sharma to withdraw the molestation case registered in July 2018. Sources said the Songra was arrested and sent to jail in the molestation case, but was out on bail after a month. Both the famil i e s h av e h a d a n i m o s i t y since then. Hathras Superintendent of Police (SP) Vineet Jaiswal said that on Monday the wife and the aunt , of Songra as well as the daughters of deceased Sharma had gone to the village temple. “They had an argument there over the 2018 case. The accused and Sharma also arrived at the temple later and had an altercation,” the SP said. Confirming the development, the deceased’s daughter said Son- gra’s wife and aunt threatened her with dire consequences at the temple. “At around 3.30 pm, when my father returned to our field and was busy in harvesting potato crop, Songra arrived there with his henchmen in a fourwheeler. They parked the vehicle at some distance and approached my father. They fired at him in the head, chest and abdomen, leaving him dead on the spot,” she alleged. The girl said she and her mother were present at the spot when her father was shot dead as they had gone to the field to give him lunch. The others named in the FIR include Lalit Sharma, Rahitash Sharma and Nikhil Sharma. The SP said teams were set up to nab the other accused. More G23 meets in offing, Cong wary of taking action R I C H A S H A R M A @ New Delhi Enough atrocities on women, fumes Akhilesh Slamming the UP government, SP leader Akhilesh Yadav alleged that women had lost hope of justice under Yogi’s rule. “After Hathras ki beti, murder of a father who had complained of molestation of his daughter has taken place… Enough of the atrocities on women; this time the BJP is out,” he tweeted, tagging a video of the deceased’s daughter in which she is asking for justice. EXPRESS READ Massive win for BJP, this time in Gujarat rural polls Ahmedabad: The ruling BJP recorded a massive victory in the local body polls in Gujarat on Tuesday by winning clear majority in all 31 district panchayats as well as in 196 out of 231 taluka panchayats and 74 out of 81 municipalities. While Congress won a clear majority in only one municipality and 18 taluka panchayats, AIMIM and AAP also made their presence felt. In six municipalities and 15 taluka panchayats, no party got clear majority. The BJP’s success followed its ein in all six municipal bodies. P8 THE group of 23 (G23) dissenters in the Congress is planning to raise their pitch against the high command by organising a series of meetings in other states on the lines of the one they held in Jammu recently . With four states and a Union Territory set to face Assembly elections soon, the party leadership is treading cautiously even as the G23 seeks to fan out in Haryana, Punjab and Himachal Pradesh in the coming weeks. “These meetings will be held before the party’s presidential election, which is scheduled by May-end. Anand Sharma has been asked to arrange one meeting in Himachal Pradesh, Bhupinder Singh Hooda in Kurukshetra and Manish Tewari in Ropar or Anandpur Sahib,” said sources, adding that Hooda’s event may spell trouble for the party as he enjoys mass support in Haryana. The party leadership is wary of taking any precipitate action against the rebels ahead of the crucial election. “The build up by these leaders will fizzle out soon. Taking any disciplinary action at this moment (ahead of Assembly elections) will send a wrong signal to people and draw unnecessary attention. If the party does well in the Assembly election under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi, it will automatically subdue the momentum these leaders are trying to build up before the presidential election,” said a party leader. At the Jammu meeting, the dissenters had said that the Congress was getting weaker and they were working to strengthen it. The party has refrained from making any harsh comments and instead urged them to work for strengthening the Congress ahead of the Assembly elections. As it is, the G23 has already weakened as some members are unhappy over a few of them articulating their misgivings in public. Ghulam Nabi Azad’s praise of Modi and Anand Sharma’s critique of the Left-Congress alliance in Bengal coopting the new Indian Secular Front floated by Abbas Siddique are the latest flash points. Farmers to block KMP e-way on March 6, support trade unions E-vehicles by 2030 Sri Lanka has approved a proposal to develop the strategic Colombo Port’s Western Container Terminal under a joint venture with India and Japan for 35 years, weeks after it scrapped a deal with both countries to develop another terminal at the same port. The proposal came after Lanka decided to retract on the previous MoU signed in 2019 on the Eastern Container Terminal. Colombo Trade unions had opposed the proposal of investors from India and Japan, forcing Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to scrap the deal. P9 “The proliferation of digital use would give an impetus to information technology, but it will still hamper the prospects of the tourism sector. The more the pandemic is creating havoc, the challenges faced in the tourism sector are more. The public funding is in a shambles in Kerala and other states, which has led them to seek loans. This will create further issues in budgets,” added Singh. Expressing happiness at the UDF’s “people’s manifesto”, which has promised the NYAY scheme that aims to provide `6,000 per month to the poor households, Singh hoped it would usher in revolutionary changes in the society . Molesters shoot dead girl’s father in Hathras, Yogi orders NSA on accused An Indigo flight from Sharjah to Lucknow made an emergency landing at the Karachi airport on Tuesday morning after a passenger on board fell sick and later died. A Pakistani official said the landing permission was granted after an elderly passenger ‘ identified as 67-year-old Habib ur Rehman fell seriously ill. IndiGo said the passenger could not be revived and was declared dead on arrival by the airport medical team. “We are deeply saddened with the news and our prayers and wishes are with his family,” it added. Lanka port for India THE PAIR HAS PREVIOUSLY WON FIVE TITLES ON THE ATP TOUR India facing debt crisis: Manmohan INTERNATIONAL Emergency landing Volvo says it will make only electric vehicles by 2030. But if you want one, you’ll have to buy it online. The Swedish automaker said Tuesday that it is phasing out production of all cars with internal combustion engines including hybrids. “There is no long-term future for cars with an internal combustion engine,” said Henrik Green, Volvo’s chief technology officer. Volvo’s announcement follows General Motors’ pledge earlier this year to make only batterypowered vehicles by 2035. FIVE H A R P R E E T B A J W A @ Chandigarh POLL BREW Priyanka Gandhi Vadra tries her hand at plucking tea leaves at Sadhuru tea garden in Biswanath, Assam, on Tuesday | TWITTER Emergency was mistake, but we never tinkered basics, says Rahul E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi CONGRESS leader Rahul Gandhi conceded that the Emergency imposed by his grandmother Indira Gandhi was a mistake but added that the party never attempted to capture India’s constitutional framework. “I think that (Emergency) was a mistake. Absolutely that was a , mistake. And my grandmother (Indira) said as much,” Rahul told economist and India’s former chief economic advisor Kaushik Basu during a conversation. The Emergency was imposed for a 21-month period from 1975 to 1977. “There is a fundamental difference between what happened during the Emergency, which was wrong, and what is happening in the country now,” Rahul said. “The Congress party at no point attempted to capture India’s institutional framework and frankly, the Congress party does not even have that capability . Our design does not allow us that and even if we want, we cannot do it.” The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is doing something “fundamentally different” and filling up the institutions of the country with its people, he alleged. “Even if we defeat the BJP in the elections, we are not going to get rid of their people in the institutional structure.” Rahul gave the examples of Kiran Bedi, the former Puducherry L-G, and Manipur Governor Najma Heptulla to buttress his point. NEWBIE ISF MAY SPLIT MUSLIM VOTES OF TRINAMOOL PAGE 8 FARMER unions have announced a five-hour blockade of the Kundli-Manesar-Palwal (KMP) Expressway on March 6, marking the 100th day of protests against the new farm laws on Delhi borders. They have also decided to support trade unions’ agitation against ‘privatisation’ on March 15. The decision was taken after a general body meeting of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha (SKM) at Singhu border on Tuesday Darshan Pal, a sen. ior member of the Morcha, Jio pockets most airwaves; govt to get `20K cr this fiscal India’s first spectrum auctions in five years ended on Tuesday with the government selling `77,815 crore worth of airwaves and Reliance Jio walking away with the lion’s share of winning bids worth `57,122 crore. The expensive 700 MHz and 2,500 MHz band did not attract any buyers said, “On March 6, we have decided on a five-hour blockade of KMP Expressway between 11 am to 4 pm.” The eway connects various protest sites outside Delhi. “We will free the toll plazas.” The other decision includes hoisting black flags on houses and government offices. “We urge protesters to wear black bands that day said Pal. ,” He said the Morcha would mark March 8 as Mahila Kisan Diwas. “All protest sites across the country will witness greater participation of women. We invite women’s organisations and others 20 PER CENT OF SPECTRUM PUT UP FOR AUCTION SOLD Assets on offer Quantum: 2,308.8 MHz Reserve price `3.92 lakh crore Spectrum sold Quantum: 855.6 MHz Total bids `77,815 crore marking International Women’s Day to show their support to the protesting farmers and highlight the contribution of women farmers.’’ Central trade unions are marking March 15 as “antiprivatisation” day. The Morcha will support them and mark the day as “anticorporatisation” day in solidarity with the trade unions. “We’ll also launch ‘MSP Dilao Abhiyan’ across the country . The campaign will be initiated in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. We invite all farmers to join the campaign,” said Pal. COMPANY-WISE BREAK-UP RELIANCE JIO BHARTI AIRTEL VODAFONE IDEA Quantum 488.35 MHz Total amount Quantum 355.45 MHz Total amount Quantum 11.8 MHz Total amount `57,122.65 cr `18,698.75 cr `1,993.4 cr `19,000-20,000 cr to be received by the government from spectrum auctions during the current fiscal year, with the rest to be paid later
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