TUESDAY 27 JULY, 2021 ASSAM epaper.morningstandard.in facebook.com/TheMorningStandard twitter.com/TheMornStandard Karimganj Hailakandi Cachar LAILAPUR MAHARASHTRA RAIN TOLL SWELLS TO 164 Taliye villagers, who lost 84 lives to landslide, not willing to return home PAGE 8 VAIRENGTE Aizwal MIZORAM A CAPITAL VIEW OF NEWS NEW DELHI J8.00 W H O ’ S PAGES 12 Murugesh Nirani, Basavaraj Bommai, C T Ravi, Ashwath Narayan, Pralhad Joshi, B L Santhosh in race to replace him How the drama unfolded I resigned voluntarily. Nobody forced or coerced me to quit. I have decided to work for the party. I will not accept any decorative posts June 6: BSY says he will resign the day the BJP leadership asks him to June 16-18: After many leaders speak openly against BSY, party general secretary Arun Singh holds series of meetings in Bengaluru. Says action will be taken against those speaking against CM B S Yediyurappa BJP not keen on BSY’s CM choice It has reliably been learnt the BJP will not go by the choice of Yediyurappa in choosing the next CM though his son B Y Vijayendra’s political future will be protected BSY resigns, suspense over successor A N U S H A R A V I @ Bengaluru ENDING weeks of speculation, B S Yediyurappa resigned as Karnataka chief minister on Monday , the day his government completed two years in office. The 78-year-old veteran BJP leader became emotional when he announced his decision to quit as tears welled up in his eyes and voice choked with emotion. On the elaborately decorated dais of Vidhana Soudha’s banquet hall where celebrations for his government’s second year anniversary were being held, Yediyurappa gave his farewell speech, recalling his years of struggles, and reminiscing on his hard work for the party before stunning his , supporters with the resignation bomb. “I have decided to go to Raj Bhavan and submit my resignation. I am not sad. I am happy that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP national president JP Nadda gave me an additional two years despite crossing the 75-year-old cap. Words are not enough to thank them. I appeal that all of us work together to build the party,” he said at the end of his emotional speech. With this, the four-time chief minister finally drew curtains on speculation over leadership change in Karnataka. From Vidhana Soudha, Yediyurappa went straight to the Raj Bhavan, where Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot wasted no time in accepting his two-line resignation letter, and issued a statement saying the council of ministers has been dissolved. A complete revamping of the government is on the cards now with the party inclined to appoint four deputy chief ministers to take care of caste and regional equations. OFFERING RELIEF FM directs all PSUs to clear pending dues to MSMEs within 45 days E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi FINANCE Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday said the Centre is deeply concerned about the delay in payments to MSMEs and steps have been taken to ensure that all dues are paid within 45 days. Responding to a question in the Lok Sabha on government dues to the MSME sector, Sitharaman said she is “personally monitoring it”. “I have reviewed it from the point of view of central government and various departments which owe money to the MSMEs. We have made sure that standard, as per rule 45 days, be not crossed and all dues be paid from the government side to the MSMEs,” Sitharaman said. The finance minister clarified that the pendency is also on the part of state governments and state PSUs. Sitharaman also said the Centre is actively encouraging MSMEs to use the Trade Receivables Discounting System (TReDS) platform from which “these payments can be discounted”. In January Union minister Ni, tin Gadkari had said delayed payments to the MSME sector was becoming a huge problem and the Centre was planning a new law to make it mandatory that MSME receivables are paid within 45 days. On Monday the FM also intro, duced a Bill in the Lok Sabha to provide a pre-packaged resolution process for financially stressed MSMEs. The Bill will replace the Ordinance, which came into effect from April 2021 to help small enterprises. The law allows for a prior bankruptcy-resolution agreement between a creditor, such as a bank, and an investor without initial approval from the National Company Law Tribunal. The proposed amendments would also help notify the threshold of a default not exceeding `1 crore for initiation of pre-packaged resolution process. The Centre has already prescribed a threshold of `10 lakh for this purpose. On GST relief to the sector, the FM said it’s up to the GST Coucil to take a call. likely to be called on Wednesday or Thursday where a new chief minister will be named. Sources said Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and the party in-charge for Karnataka Arun Singh will oversee the leadership succession in the state government as Central observers. Currently more than half-a-doz, en names for the top post are doing the rounds. They include Mur u g e s h N i r a n i , B a s av a r a j Bommai, Arvind Bellad, C T Ravi, Dr C N Ashwath Narayan, Sunil Kumar, Pralhad Joshi and even B L Santhosh. Party sources suggested that the new chief minister is likely to be named by the end of this week. While he may have resigned as chief minister, Yediyurappa has refused to walk quietly into the sunset, insisting that he will remain in active politics and work for the party . Shah, Nadda meet to devise K’taka strategy Union Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP chief J P Nadda and the state in-charge Arun Singh held extensive meetings in the Parliament complex on Monday. Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Prahlad Joshi was also present in one of the meetings held soon after BSY announced his resignation “I resigned voluntarily Nobody . forced or coerced me to quit. I have decided to work for the party . I will not accept any decorative posts,” Yediyurappa asserted when asked if he would become the governor of a state. The suspense over who will succeed him, however, continues. The BJP Legislature Party meeting is MIRABAI RETURNS July 17: BSY meets PM Narendra Modi July 18: BSY meets BJP national president J P Nadda, denies reports of resignation July 20: Seers from Lingayat and other communities back BSY, warn BJP against leadership change July 22: BSY breaks silence, says high command will send message July 25: BSY hints that he might step down July 26: BSY announces his resignation July 26: Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot accepts BSY’s resignation, dissolves council of ministers. SACK GOVT: CONG The Congress demanded the ouster of the BJP government. There is no benefit for the people if a corrupt CM makes way for another corrupt CM, the opposition party said. All things new and old A pair of 13-year-olds finished 1-2 in a new event, while a 58-year-old walked away with bronze, underlining that age does not matter at the Olympics. A look at action from Tokyo on Monday... Al-Rashidi Momiji Nishiya Redemption time: After a poor individual round, the four mixed team pairs (two in 10m air pistol and two in 10m air rifle) have a chance at redemption. If they tackle the qualifying, they have a good chance to win a medal SHEKHAR YADAV JAB-O-METER Age is just a number: Japan’s Momiji Nishiya and Brazil’s Rayssa Leal, both 13, won gold and silver in women’s skateboarding. The new event has proved to be a smash hit. At 58 years, Abdullah AlRashidi won a bronze in skeet shooting I P11 & 12 July 25 TAKE 38,87,028 doses YOUR July 26 SHOT 57,48,692 doses TOTAL: 44,10,57,103 NATIONWIDE JULY 25 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths JULY 26 39,742 39,361 39,972 35,968 535 416 DELHI JULY 25 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 66 72 02 JULY 26 39 80 01 T H E Kolasib Mamit S Q U A T T E R ? Border conflicts have occurred since Mizoram was carved out of Assam as a Union Territory in 1972 to eventually become a state in 1987 Officials and locals in Assam claim Mizos have been squatting on a 1-3 km stretch of land from the inter-state border There have been several rounds of talks between the two states since 1995 to resolve the issue The official stand of Mizoram is that the boundary should be demarcated based on a notification of 1875 that distinguished the Lushai Hills (present day Mizoram and erstwhile district of Assam) from the plains of Cachar The point of conflict is another British-era notification of 1933 that Assam follows but is not acceptable to Mizoram, which says ancestors were not consulted In 1971, the inter-state boundary was redefined and Mizos say it was done without their knowledge or consent. Much of Mizo land under British rule was included into Assam territory Mizor groups claim that the authorities in Assam have been using ‘illegal Bangladeshis’ to move 10-12 km inside their territory 5 ASSAM COPS KILLED IN MIZO BORDER FIRING P R A S A N TA M A Z U M D A R @ Guwahati AT least five Assam Police personnel were killed and over 50 others, including civilians, injured when the Assam-Mizoram border row flared up on Monday that saw the police of the two states firing at each other. Automatic weapons, including light machine guns, were used by the Mizoram Police in the attack, the Assam government alleged. The injured included Assam’s Cachar Superintendent of Police Nimbalkar Vaibhav Chandrakant and the officer-incharge of a police station in the district. Ironically, while Assam has a BJP government, the ruling party in Mizoram is an NDA ally . “Clear evidences are now beginning to emerge that unfortunately show that Mizoram Police has used Light Machine Guns (LMG) against personnel of @assampolice,” tweeted a horrified Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma later in the day . The incident came amidst a fortnight-long eyeball-to- eyeball confrontation between the two police forces and two days after the CMs of the two states discussed the issue with Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Meghalaya capital Shillong. Shah spoke to the two CMs on Monday and asked them to peacefully resolve the issue. Following his intervention, the Assam Police withdrew from the site. The CRPF is now manning the area. Blaming Mizoram for the flare-up and breaching status quo, an Assam government statement said, “Mizoram began constructing a road towards Rengti Basti in Assam, destroying the Inner Line Reserve Forest in Lailapur area. Simultaneously the Mizoram side also , set up a new armed camp on a hillock next to the camp of the neutral force, CRPF, in the same vicinity .” When Assam officials went to the area to request the Mizoram side not to disturb status quo, “they were surrounded and attacked by a mob of miscreants from the Mizoram side, which was visibly supported by the Mizoram Police.” CONTINUED ON P8 Mamata takes the lead, ex-SC judge to head snoop probe E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Kolkata WITH the Centre blocking Opposition demands to come clean on the Pegasus snoopgate, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee sprang a surprise by setting up an inquiry commission headed by retired Supreme Court judge Madan Lokur into the matter. Coming as it did on the day she arrived in Delhi to explore options of forging Opposition unity, setting up the panel sent an unambiguous message of her being the most strident opponent of Modi rule, thus giving her the right to lead the proposed coalition and sustain the momentum till the next general elections in 2024. Talking to media before boarding a flight to Delhi, Mamata claimed the Centre had used the spyware to tune into a meeting she had with her advisor Prashant Kishor. “He (Kishor) got his cellphone audited and came to know that they (Centre) knew of one of our meetings through Pegasus,” she alleged. “We had hoped that the Centre would form an inquiry commis- sion or a court-monitored probe would be ordered to look into this phone-hacking incident. But the Centre is sitting idle... So we decided to form a Commission of Inquiry to look into the matter,” she said. “Sometimes, you need to wake up some people when they are sleeping. I believe that this small step taken by us (Bengal government) will awaken others... I will request Justice Bhattacharya and Lokur saheb to immediately start the investigation.” She had earlier brandished a taped handset to take a swipe at the Centre, following reports of her nephew Abhishek Banerjee’s name figuring on a list of potential targets. The BJP, however, was not amused, with its IT cell chief Amit Malviya tweeting, “Why are we even surprised that Mamata Banerjee has constituted a commission to probe bogus Pegasus Project? Her priorities have always been warped. If only she had shown such alacrity to probe postpoll violence and probe several Covid scams in Bengal.” Cranking up pressure on the govt The West Bengal chief minister’s move is likely to be seen as an attempt by her to force the Centre’s hand to order a wider probe as the potential targets in the list include people from several states. Revenge travel: Rise in Covid cases Textbooks on Constitution to instil ‘true nationalism’ among visitors sparks worry in J&K CHHATTISGARH INITIATIVE E J A Z K A I S E R @ Raipur IN a fractious ideological battle over ‘your-versus-my nationalism,’ the Chhattisgarh government has come out with school textbooks on the Constitution to “inculcate a feeling of true nationalism through a better understanding of our values and ethos.” The state-owned Chhattisgarh Textbook Corporation has begun distributing the books, Bharat Ka Samvidhan, to primary-level students and ‘Hum Bharat Ke Log’ for the higher classes. For Eng- lish medium schools, the books are titled, ‘We The People’. The Bhupesh Baghel government had taken a decision to introduce the Constitution as part of learning in schools from the new academic session. “It is a first-of-its-kind initiative. The Congress believes in inculcating belief in secularism and values as enshrined in our Constitution in order to counter false and distorted nationalist sentiments propagated by vested political interests on social media. The Bharat Ka Sanvidhan will cater to 27 lakh students enrolled from class 1 to 5 and ‘Hum Bharat Ke Log’ to over 15 lakh students from class 9-12, free-of-cost,” said Shailesh Nitin Trivedi, chair man of the Corporation. The books contain basic and essential information on the Constitution described in a clear and lucid way so that even parents can find it worth reading, said Trivedi, who is also the Congress media chief. The State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) has drafted both books. These books are being distributed in all 48,326 government schools having around 40 lakh students. “The books cover the basic principles of the Constitution, besides the ideals behind the Preamble that forms the core. The languages, themes and pictorial means can enable the students to easily grasp the spirit of our Constitution,” said Alok Shukla, principal secretary (school education). F AYA Z W A N I @ Srinagar THOUGH Jammu and Kashmir has seen a dip in Covid cases of late, there has been a rise in proportion of visitors testing positive compared to the population of the Union Territory as a whole. For instance, between July 1 and July 25, 4,697 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in J&K. Of this, 410 (or 8.72%) are travelers from other states. In July the visitors accounted , for only 1.77% of all Covid cases in the Kashmir Valley . Of the 23,302 people tested positive in June, 777 were travelers. That’s 3.33%. In May 1,10,550 cas, es were reported. About 1.77% of the cases were travelers. “After drop in positivity rate and decline in Covid hospitalization, we have re-opened. However, with the travelers testing positive, it means that there is some sort of surge going on outside and they are sneaking in,” Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) chief Dr Nisar-ul-Hassan said. Call for tough measures The DAK president said a negative Covid report not before 48 hours should be made mandatory for the travelers. “And the travelers should be tested at entry points and given entry only after testing negative.”
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