NEW DELHI 14 MARCH 2021 SUNDAY `9 PAGES 24 facebook/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard https://epaper.morningstandard.in PLUS: 12 PAGES Silver Linings Playbook Speaking to the Heart EXCLUSIVE VOICES Team Work Makes for Dream Work MAGAZINE Zoom Out of the Fatigue Zone TJS George Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty Shankkar Aiyar Ravi Shankar The Trailblazer at 75 Anand Neelakantan Gautam Chintamani Neil McCallum Sheila Kumar Raising the Dessert Bar SADHGURU SPEAKS The Winter Soldiers The 112 Ways of Shiva BJP bosses firm up candidates, set to come out with all guns blazing Party’s CEC wants to accommodate defectors, to release names in a staggered manner E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi A brick structure being erected by the agitating farmers for shelter at the Singhu border in New Delhi | SHEKHAR YADAV Haryana cops book farmers for construction on road EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chandigarh/New Delhi THE Haryana Police have booked farmers for allegedly constructing concrete structures and digging a borewell near Singhu towards Kundli on National Highway-44. The Singhu border near Delhi is the venue where hundreds of farmers have congregated in protest against the farm laws. Sources said the state police have registered two cases against the farmers. The first has been registered under the National Highway Act and Sections 283 and 431 of the IPC on the complaint of Anand Sharma, NHAI project director. Sharma has stated that “some unidentified people” have put up illegal structures on NH-44 in front of Malwa Motors, obstructing NH-44. He had sent pictures of the illegal construction to the police. The second case has been registered under the National Highway Act and Section 188 of the IPC on the complaint of We are not constructing any permanent structure. We plan to install solar panels to save the farmers from the summers Harinder Singh Lakhowal, General secretary of BKU (Lakhowal) Pawan Kumar, secretary Municipal Committee, Kundli. He has alleged that despite the ban order, far mer Karam Singh of Bathinda has dug a borewell in a field near the KFC Mall near NH-44. He did not stop digging when the municipal engineer told him to. Harinder Singh Lakhowal, general secretary of BKU (Lakhowal), said, “We are not constructing any per manent structure. We plan to install solar panels to save the farmers from the summers”. Labourers can be seen constructing permanent structures on the roadside at various places at Singhu border. There are four double-storey houses which are being built at the border. The masons have come from Punjab. Farmers at the protest sites in Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur are much fewer in number as many have returned to their villages for harvesting. “Many have gone back to their villages, the main reason being commencement of harvesting season. If we do not harvest our crops, then this agitation will not sustain, so that is on priority. But few days after Holi the crowd will swell at the protest site” said a BKU member. Small wood pyres for ‘Holika dahan’ have been set up to celebrate Holi at the end of the month. Elections in West-Bengal have become the talking point amongst the groups, with farmer leader Rakesh Tikait in the state asking the people to vote against BJP . “The government has not provided power connections. We need to use small fans for which we use solar panels as the energy source,” said farmer Rahul from Western UP . WITH the full-fledged election campaign set to take off from Sunday, the BJP Central Election Committee on Saturday met to finalize names of the remaining candidates in the poll bound states. The meeting was preceded by two days of marathon meetings at the residence of the party chief J P Nadda for each poll bound state. While details of the meeting were not immediately available, it is understood the CEC approved the lists of candidates for all the states. The party is expected to release them in a staggered manner in the coming days, leaving the scope for a few last-minute changes to accommodate important leaders from the ranks of the Opposition parties, sources said. The meeting was chaired by Nadda and attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, union home minister Amit Shah, defence minister Rajnath Singh and other members. The BJP chief held a long meeting with Kerala leaders till late on Friday evening. The party plans to go aggressive in the state with professionals and Christian leaders imported from the ranks of the Congress. The meeting was attended by Shah, the party’s organisational secretary B L Santosh and other senior functionaries. “All important leaders, including a few Rajya Sabha MPs, besides known faces in the state will contest the Assembly elections. The BJP is keen to make a base among the Christians and the party will be willing to welcome key leaders from the community from the ranks of the Congress, with whom informal communication has been going on for a while,” said a Medha Patkar (R) with Bharatiya Kisan Union spokesperson Rakesh Tikait and farmer leaders under the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Kolkata on Saturday | PTI Assam leaders prepare final list Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal, state minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and state unit chief Ranjeet Kumar Dass held talks to finalize the names of about 20 constituencies. senior BJP functionary . The BJP brass remained in huddle at Nadda’s residence where the core groups of Assam and West Bengal also held extensive deliberations. “The BJP CEC will approve the list of candidates for the last six phases of the Assembly elections in West Bengal,” state unit chief Dilip Ghosh told reporters on Saturday . The saffron outfit will field a large number of turncoats from the ruling Trinamool Congress and the Left in West Bengal, with party leaders arguing that gaining cadre strength with such imported leaders would be key in the polls. BJP is keen to make a base among Christians and is willing to welcome community leaders from the Congress, with whom informal communication has been going on for a while —Senior BJP functionary Defeat BJP for ruining farmers, says Tikait EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Kolkata SAMYUKTA Kisan Morcha leader Rakesh Tikait asked voters of election-bound West Bengal to not vote for the BJP as the new farm laws had ruined the future of farmers. Addressing a mahapanchayat in Nandigram on Saturday, he said: “The new farm laws will ruin the future of farmers. Crops are not being purchased at MSP. We appeal to not vote for the BJP as it robbed the entire country. Vote for candidates who can defeat the BJP .” Nandigram has become the epicentre of Bengal’s fierce electoral battle as CM Mamata Banerjee is contesting against her once-trusted lieutenant Suvendu Adhikari, who had defected to the BJP . Tikait was received by Trinamool Congress leader Dola Sen at the airport from where he left for Nandigram in East Midnapore district. Without naming Adhikari, Tikait criticised political leaders who DGCA DIRECTIVE BRIGHTSIDE MASK IT OR GET DEBOARDED FROM FLIGHT EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi PASSENGERS who refuse to wear face masks properly or follow distancing rules during a flight despite being warned are likely to be put on the no-fly list for a period ranging from three months to two years. There are part of the new guidelines that have been issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation amid a rising number of cases in most parts of the country . Airlines have been instructed to deboard passengers who refuse to comply with Covid-19 rules before a flight takes off. Such passengers must be handed over to security personnel if they refuse to abide by the instructions even after sufficient warning. The aviation regulator said, “In case any passenger on board an aircraft refuses to wear mask or violates the protocol for passengers even after repeated warnings during the course of the flight, such passenger may be treated as an ‘unruly passenger’ and the procedure in respect of handling such unruly passenger as provided in CAR shall be followed by the concerned airline.” India’s civil aviation rules for unruly passengers allow airlines to put people on a no-fly list for varying durations - three months for verbal abuse, six months for assault, and two years or more when life-threatening behaviour is involved. The circular said the passengers will have to wear masks and maintain social distancing norms at all times during air travel, adding the mask shall not be moved below the nose except under exceptional circumstances. The chief airport security officer and other supervising officers must personally ensure the rules are followed, it said, directing the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and police personnel posted at the entrance of the airport to ensure that no one is allowed to enter the airport without wearing a mask. switched political parties ahead of the elections. Castigating the BJP’s rice collection initiative, the farm leader said, “They are collecting rice not to open a community kitchen. The BJP has no fund crisis. They are trying to collect votes in the name of collecting rice.” Banerjee extended support to the farm movement by staging a sit-in demonstration at the Delhi border. TMC leaders said the visit of far m leaders would benefit the party “The . nation is witnessing the farmers’ protest in the borders of Delhi. Nandigram and Singur, where SKM leaders will address a rally are the state’s ag, ricultural zones. Tikait’s appeal will have an impact on elections,” a TMC leader felt. Balbir Singh Rajewal, Gurnam Singh Chaduni, Darshan Pal, Yogendra Yadav, Yudhbir Singh, Manjit Singh and Himanshu Tiwari are also in Bengal to hold rallies under the banner of the West Bengal P7 Kisan Mahapanchayat. AN IDEA CHANGES LIVES IN THE HILLS Forest range officer Medhavi Keerti is helping women in Uttarakhand’s Bhadrigaad to think out of the box and increase their earnings by smart marketing of local produces | P5 I N T E RV I E W THE BURNING TRAIN Fire breaks out on a coach of Dehradun-Delhi Shatabdi Express near Kasro station in Dehradun on Saturday. Police confirmed that there were no casualties and all passengers were safe. Railway officials said the fire was caused by a short circuit | PTI BANKING ON WORK TO BE VOTED BACK TO POWER Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal thinks work done by the BJP government will prompt people of the state to vote them back to power. Accusing Congress of not doing anything, he says that opposition parties are spreading rumours about CAA. He sounds confident that schemes launched by them will win them the votes of tea SARBANANDA workers, while saying that the emergence of new SONOWAL entities Asom Jatiya Parishad and Raijor Dal will Chief Minister of Assam not pose a threat to BJP. FULL INTERVIEW ON P7 Govt to introduce steps to prevent misuse of data EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi IN a bid to check the alleged unfair business practices by large e-commerce players such as Amazon, Flipkart and e-Bay, the Centre on Saturday proposed that they desist from deploying algorithms to promote a select few sellers or offering deep discounts only to a small group of vendors. According to the draft e-commerce policy, which was discussed at an inter-ministerial meeting held by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade on Saturday, all vendors regis- tered on their platforms must be treated equally . While the draft policy seeks to tighten the noose around large e-commerce players, it also offers several measures to safeguard consumer interest, counter misleading sales and regulate data usage. “Consumers have a right to be made aware of all relevant details about the goods and services offered for sale including country of origin, value addition in India, and any other such information which may be necessary for making an informed decision at the pre-purchase stage,” it said. While the draft policy has not named any company, it said that “in the interest of the Indian consumer, and the local startup ecosystem, the government will aim to ensure that there are more service providers available, and that network effects do not lead to creation of digital monopolies misusing t h e i r d o m i n a n t m a rk e t position”. According to a commerce ministry official, the policy will prevent monopoly by large e commerce companies like Amazon. “There have been many reports and complaints of these firms excluding sellers by denying them equal platform, refusing to provide transparency in data sharing and evading some of the foreign investment rules,” said an official. EXPRESS READ Air quality commission dissolved in 5 months NEW DELHI: The Central government’s Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and adjoining areas has been shut down within five months of its constitution. The commission, established by the Centre last October, has shut down due to lapsing of the ordinance under which it was set up. Union Environment Secretary R P Gupta said since the ordinance was not introduced in Parliament within six weeks of its convention, it has lapsed. “An ordinance has to be introduced within six weeks of convening of Parliament,” he said | P4
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