TUESDAY FIGHT HAS REACHED A DECISIVE TURN 06 Union Home Amit Shah also chaired a high-level meeting at Jagdalpur on the LWE. Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, senior officials of the police and the CRPF were present in the meeting. Later, he said the assault has brought the fight to a decisive turn. APRIL, 2021 epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard IN THE NEWS T O D AY INDIA Relief for BSY The Supreme Court on Monday stayed trial proceedings against Karnataka CM B S Yediyurappa in an alleged corruption case relating to de-notifying land acquired for a government housing project in Bengaluru during his previous term as chief minister in 2011. A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde stayed the January 5 order passed by Karnataka HC restoring the criminal case against Yediyurappa and two others. Earlier, the top court had stayed their arrest while taking up Yediyurappa’s appeal against the HC order. Record heat in March March was third warmest in 121 years in terms of monthly average maximum temperature, the IMD on Monday said. The IMD, in its review for the month, said the observed monthly average maximum, minimum and mean temperature for the country as a whole during March this year are 32.65 degrees Celsius, 19.95 degrees Celsius and 26.30 degrees Celsius, respectively, against the normal 31.24 degrees Celsius, 18.87 degrees Celsius and 25.06 degrees Celsius based on the climatology period 1981-2010. Oxygen only for hosp The Indore administration on Monday asked local oxygen manufacturers to stop production of industrial grade oxygen and supply the gas only for medical use to treat serious Covid-19 patients. The administration issued an order in this regard in view of the rising cases of Covid-19 in Indore, Madhya Pradeshs worst coronavirus-hit district. Besides, it regulated the sale and purchase of Remdesivir and Tocilizumab, the key injections used in treatment of Covid-19 patients. A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS NEW DELHI J8.00 PAGES 12 Busiest election day today NEW POLICE CAMPS IN THEIR LAIR ANGERED MAOISTS EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE S A N A S H A K I L @ New Delhi Third phase voting in Assam and Bengal, single-phase poll in Kerala, TN and Puducherry TUESDAY will mark the busiest day of the election season with Assam, Kerala, Puducherry Tamil Nadu and Bengal go, ing to polls. Assam will witness the third and final phase of voting, while it’s a single-phase for Kerala, TN and Puducherry For Ben. gal, it’s the 3rd of the 8th-phase voting that will end on April 29. The results will be declared on May 2. In Bengal, 205 candidates are fighting for 31 seats. Among the prominent contestants are Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee and journalist Swapan Dasgupta. In Assam, 337 candidates are vying for 40 Assembly constituencies. The Congress-led grand alliance may have an edge as most of the constituencies going to polls on Tuesday are dominated by Bengali-speaking Muslims, who are known to support the grand old party . In Kerala, 957 candidates are contesting in 140 seats. The ruling CPM-led LDF hopes to retain power by breaking the state’s famed ‘incumbency jinx’, while the Congress-led UDF is confident of winning a comfortable majority Meanwhile, . the NDA is eyeing the kingmaker position by bagging seats in double-digits. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, former CM Oommen Chandy and Metro Man E Sreedharan are among the big names in the fray . Tamil Nadu is where the largest number of candidates — 3,998 — vying for 234 seats. The main fight is between the ruling AIADMK-BJP alliance and the DMK-Congress coalition. In Puducherry , 324 candidates including 35 women are P7 vying for 30 seats. DID YOU KNOW? If your name is not on the voters list, there is no way you can cast your ballot But if you find that someone has already cast your vote, then ask for a ‘tender vote’ and exercise your voting right after satisfactorily establishing your identity with the presiding officer SECTION 144 CR PC IN ALL 31 SEGMENTS The EC decided to impose Section 144 CrPC in all 16 constituencies in South 24 Parganas, Howrah and Hooghly Poll officials prepare to board a ferry for election duty in Kamrup district | PTI Assam: 171 votes cast in booth with 90 voters; five suspended E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ Guwahati A glaring discrepancy was found in Assam’s Dima Hasao district after the Election Commission found that 171 votes were cast at a booth that had only 90 registered voters. Haflong had voted in the second phase on April 1. The district election officer suspended five poll officials of the booth, set up at 107(A) Khotlir LP School, and proposed a repoll. The opposition Congress has already demanded repolling at the booth. “The Presiding and 1st Polling officer, in their statements, have admitted that they allowed the voters registered against the main polling station to cast their votes in the auxiliary polling station,” a press release from the EC said. Stating “dereliction of duty”, the EC suspended sector officer Seikhosiem Lhangum, presiding officer Prahlad Ch Roy first , polling officer Parameswar Charangsa, second polling officer Swaraj Kanti Das and third polling officer Lalzamlo Thiek with immediate effect. “As per the valid electoral roll, there are only 90 electors in this polling station...total 181 votes were cast at polling station No 107-A on April 1, 2021,” the EC said. The irregularities came to light during the scrutiny of the presiding officer’s diary and other documents. Earlier, the poll officials had courted controversy by ferrying EVMs in a car belonging to a BJP leader. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE Biden faces anger More Americans disapprove than approve of how President Joe Biden is handling waves of unaccompanied migrant children arriving at the U.S.Mexico border, and approval of his efforts on larger immigration policy falls short of other top issues suggesting it could be a weak point for the new administration. A new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research also shows that solving the problem of young people at the border is among Americans’ highest immigration priorities: 59% say providing safe treatment of unaccompanied children should be a high priority. @ Mumbai BRIDGING THE GAP Indian Railways has completed the arch of the world’s highest bridge over the Chenab in Jammu and Kashmir | EXPRESS HOURS after the Bombay High Court ordered a CBI probe into the damning allegations of extortion against Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, the minister finally put in his papers. Till now, Deshmukh had brazened it out though he was locked in a bruising controversy, with former Mumbai Police commissioner Parambir Singh alleging the minister had set a monthly target for police officers to extort `100 Farmers’ wrath halts BJP poll bandwagon in 2 states H A R P R E E T B A J W A @ Chandigarh WITH less than a year left for the assembly elections in Punjab, the ruling Congress, Aam Aadmi Party and Shiromani Akali Dal are already gearing up for the contest. However, the BJP is facing severe public backlash in view of the ongoing protest against the farm laws. On Sunday, Union minister Som Parkash had to face the ire of farmers as they tried to stop his vehicle near the BJP district office in Hoshiarpur where he had gone for a meeting with party workers. Farmers also waived back flags at the BJP leader. Recently, state vice-president Parveen Bansal was gheraoed by farmers in Barnala and had to be shifted to the circuit house for a while. Last week, BJP MLA from Abohar Arun Narang was allegedly thrashed and his clothes torn by a group of farmers at Malout in Muktsar district. During the civic polls, BJP leaders were not allowed to campaign. Punjab BJP President Ashwani Sharma and former union minister Vijay Sampla faced farmers’ ire at many places including Kapurthala, Moga, Jalandhar, Amritsar. Sharma’s car w a s a t t a c ke d n e a r Hoshiarpur. Still, the party’s state unit is trying to garner some support via public gatherings. “We will be organising two to three pro- grams daily In May we will be . , organising a big rally in either Ludhiana or Jalandhar,” said Dinesh Kumar, organising secretary of Punjab BJP . In neighbouring Haryana, protests against the BJP-JJP and Independent MLAs who support the government have intensified. CM ML Khattar, Deputy CM Dushyant Chautala, ministers, MLAs and MPs are facing the ire of agitating farmers. Last week, Chautala was not allowed to come out of the airport for two hours. 24x7 vaccination in many Delhi centres to check virus surge D E L H I TESTING STATUS 43,960 RTPCR/CBNAAT/ TrueNat tests conducted 20,043 RAT conducted 1,49,71,759 Total tests done so far 7,87,987 Tests per million ist areas such as Pamed, Minpa, Galgam, Tarrem, WHEN Union Home Minis- Tippapuram, Usoor. Of these ter Amit Shah on Monday 24 camps, four camps were said that the Maoists at- opened in February at Tartacked out of desperation to rem, Mukram Nala, Elarcounter new security camps madgu and Galgam. opened in their core areas, “What we are doing is bihe described the possibility furcating and then trifurcatthat many security experts ing Maoist areas. Being able were apprehending for the to have camps in forward arpast few months. eas such as Galgam, Tarrem After the 2017 Burkapal and Minpa, allows us to encounter, security launch area domiforces are employnation exercises in Period of ing various strateplaces we have nevunrest gies to counter the er been to in such From April (in influence and strong numbers. which the movement of This is hurting the Tadmetla and Maoists. Maoists as they are A remarkable Burkapal attacks being confined in happened) and attempt was to increasingly smallslowly increase the May till the onset er sectors. Saturpenetration of the of monsoon, is the day’s encounter is period when security forces in a pushback against LWE areas by grad- Maoists are most this lasso that we active. ually opening up have been tightennew police and ing around them,” paramilitary camps. This a source in the state’s intelwas done mainly to cut down ligence department said. the area of Maoist influence Another official said govgradually to a minimum. ernment’s decision to make By expanding the network transfer of tendu patta onof security camps around line has hurt their ability to the Sukma-Bijapur border, make essential purchases. paramilitary forces in con- “All such measures have juction with the police are dealt a serious blow to the slowly tightening the noose Maoists, which are already around the Maoists. grappling with an aging From 2017, 24 new camps leadership and drying up reP8 were opened up in core Mao- serves of recruits.” HC orders CBI investigation, Maha Home Minister quits INTERNATIONAL Jordan plot foiled Jordanian authorities said they foiled a ‘malicious plot’ by a former crown prince to destabilise the kingdom with foreign support, contradicting the senior royal’s claims that he was being punished for speaking out against corruption and incompetence. Faced with rival narratives, the United States and Arab governments quickly sided with Jordan’s King Abdullah II, reflecting the country’s strategic importance in a turbulent region. In Raipur, Union Home Minister Amit Shah pays homage to CRPF jawans martyred in the Bijapur ambush by Maoists | PTI COV I D WATC H STATUS OF CASES Today Cumulative TOTAL +VE CASES 3,548 6,79,962 RECOVERED 2,936 6,54,277 DEATHS 15 11,096 ACTIVE CASES -14,589 PATIENT MANAGEMENT Total beds Occupied Vacant HOSPITAL 6,203 2,975 3,228 CARE CENTRE 5,525 34 5,486* HEALTH CENTRE 82 49 33 7,983 HOME ISOLATION *5 beds of CCC are occupied by persons under quarantine including travellers who came by Vande Bharat Mission and Bubble flights Source: Delhi health bulletin | April 5 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi WITH the fourth wave of Covid pandemic hitting the national capital, the Delhi gover nment has made the vaccination drive open for 24 hours at one-third of the vaccination centres in government hospitals. Starting from Tuesday April , 6, the operational time of vaccination centres in several Delhi government hospitals has been increased for 24 hours. “In order to accelerate the pace of vaccination, it has been decided that the timings of vaccination centres should be further increased. It is hereby ordered that w.e.f April 6, 2021, one-third of the vaccination sites in all Delhi government hospitals will function for 24 hours. All these health facilities will ensure deployment of adequate manpower to ensure smooth functioning,” read an order. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterating his demand to relax the vaccina- tion norms and include people of all ages under the ambitious immunisation drive. “The past few weeks have seen a rapid increase in the number of infections. This suggests that we must move the vaccination campaign forward in a swift manner,” wrote Kejriwal in his letter to Modi. Earlier, the Delhi government had said if the Centre relaxed the norms and allowed mass vaccination program, then Delhi would be able to vaccinate all of its residents in a short span of three months. crore from various businesses on his behalf. With the Bombay High Court observing that the charges against Deshmukh were serious, warranting a thorough probe, his party, the NCP realised his continuation , i n t h e g ove r n m e n t w a s untenable. “There is a legitimate public expectation of a free, fair, honest and impartial inquiry into such allegations which have surfaced in the public domain,” the court observed. The CBI will submit its report in 15 days. FUME HC TAKES KEJRIWAL GOVT TO TASK OVER PENDING SALARIES After the court order, Deshmukh rushed to meet his party president Sharad Pawar. Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar joined them later. “It was decided that the Bombay High Court order is serious. Hence, it will not be right for Deshmukh to continue as home minister. Once he steps down, he can approach the Supreme Court,” a source said. It emerged that NCP MP Supriya Sule and party’s state president Jayant Patil were not in favour of sacking Deshmukh, but Sharad Pawar overruled them to limit damage to P8 the party’s image. Getting salaries and pension is a fundamental right of employees or retirees, says the Delhi HC. Non-availability of funds is no ground to not pay salaries and pension on time, it asserts | P5 MIDDLEMAN IN RAFALE DEAL KICKS UP NEW ROW M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi THE newly inducted Rafale fighter jets flew into a fresh storm with a French online journal claiming that manufacturer Dassault Aviation paid 1 million euro to an Indian middleman as gift after the `58,000 crore government-to-government deal in 2016 for 36 jets for the Indian Air Force. The suspect payment was detected by French anti-corruption agency, Agence Française Anticorruption (AFA), during audit, revealed Mediapart. It identified the recipient as Defs y s S o l u t i o n s, a g roup run by a Gupta family, including Sushen Gupta, who has been under investigation over his role in the AgustaWestland VVIP chopper scam. The report kicked up a political storm with Congress demanding a thorough probe and the BJP rejecting charges of cor ruption as completely baseless. AFA inspectors came across the suspect payment of 508,925 euros under the head gifts to clients, for which Dassault produced an invoice from Defsys. Mediapart, citing the AFA report, said, “This invoice, which related to 50% of the total order (1,017,850), was for the manufacture of 50 (mega sized) models of the Rafale C, with a price P7 per unit of €20,357.”
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