PTI COIMBATORE MONDAY JUNE 24, 2019 `5.00 PAGES 30 LATE CITY EDITION 14 DEAD AS PANDAL FALLS DUE TO WIND, RAIN IN RAJ VILLAGE Dozens more were injured on Sunday after the tent collapsed, trapping those attending a Ram Katha event in Barmer district ELECTROCUTION OR STAMPEDE? TENT HOVERED IN AIR BEFORE COLLAPSE Hundreds were attending the religious programme that was held at a school ground in Jasol village in Barmer. Reports said that some of those killed were electrocuted due to generators, even as the tent collapse triggered a stampede. Locals who rushed to rescue the victims “felt electric current in the structure of the pandal”, according to PTI ■ ■ The reason for the deaths will only be clear after postmortem, police said. Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot has ordered a probe A video showed the man leading the Katha asking people to leave just as the pandal hovered in air for a few seconds before falling. The Katha started on Saturday and was to continue till June 30 10 KILLED DUE TO LIGHTNING, THUNDERSTORM AND RAIN IN BIHAR CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOGGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Local Trinamool leaders commit in writing to return bribes P R A N A B M O N D A L @ Kolkata WHEN West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee launched internal cleansing in her Trinamool Congress five days ago, asking party leaders to refund the cut money — euphemism for bribe — they collected from beneficiaries of the government’s welfare schemes, she couldn’t have imagined it would open a Pandora’s box. For, elected members in mu- nicipalities and gram panchayats have been facing hundreds of people lining up at their doorstep seeking refund ever since. Public anger peaked on Sunday at two places, with agitators forcing local leaders to give written declarations that they would refund the money they took as commission. Angry villagers surrounded the houses of elected gram panchayat members at over 15 places in south Bengal on Sunday. At Oushgram in East Burdwan, local Trinamool leader Ujjwal Mondal admitted he had taken `8,000 to `10,000 from the beneficiaries of gover nment WIDOWS NOT SPARED Mamata Banerjee was furious when she learnt that her party’s local leaders demand a bribe of `2,000 to `3,000 from each widow for releasing her monthly pension of `1,000, a leader said DYNASTY MARTIN LOUIS After shake up, BSP again Maya family property WITH THIS ISSUE THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST YOUR LIFE COACH 30 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID) party leaders in Nanoor of Birbhum district, too, faced similar public anger. Manimala Bagdi, a pregnant panchayat member of Fulur panchayat in Birbhum, had to flee her home fearing attack by villagers from whom her party’s leaders had extorted money. Her husband Dalim said, “We are poor and know nothing about cut money Local Trina. mool leaders requested me to field my wife as a candidate on the seat reserved for women.” In the run up to the Lok Sabha polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had made Trinamool’s extortion a major political plank. Senior Trinamool leaders saw in Mamata’s instructions an admission of corruption within the party. “She realised corruption will hurt the party in the civic body elections in 2020 and Assembly elections in 2021,’’ said a senior Trinamool leader in Kolkata. Water is what the doc ordered Tiruparankundram MLA Dr Saravanan is ensuring free supply to 20 villages Puzhal lake Avadi CHENNAI N A M I TA B A J PA I @ Lucknow TILL about a few years ago, dynasty was a dirty word in the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). No longer. Unveiling her succession plan, BSP chief Mayawati on Sunday anointed her brother Anand Kumar as the party’s vice-president and nephew Akash Anand (24) as the BSP’s national coordinator. Akash is being seen as her heir apparent who would eventually take over the party reins. This is the second time Mayawati has appointed her brother as veepee. Anand Kumar got the top post first in October 2017. But seven months later, on May 26, 2018, she axed him as she was pilloried by charges of promoting her family . After the drubbing in the Lok Sabha elections, Mayawati has apparently sought to brazen it out, by perpetuating dynasty at the BSP national convention here on Sunday. At a twohour meeting of parties leaders and workers, the BSP chief also appointed JD(S) turncoat Danish Ali, party MP from Amroha, as leader of the BSP in the Lok Sabha. BSP won just 10 of the 38 Lok Sabha seats it contested in UP . The fresh appointments came ahead of by-elections to 12 Assembly seats in Uttar Pradesh, as the party has decided to contest them unlike in the past when the BSP gave them a miss. Even in the Gorakhpur, Phulpur and Kairana bypolls last year, the BSP had extended support to SP candidates instead of fielding its own nominees. In fact, the SP-BSP-RLD grand alliance found its genesis in the 2018 bypolls. schemes for running his party’s ‘welfare activities’ in the area. Mondal had to give it in writing that he would refund the money At Mangalkot near. by, three panchayat members — Kalimoy Ganguly, Apurba Ghosh and Raghunath Mondal — were similarly forced to give an undertaking in writing. Over 50 villagers demonstrated before another panchayat member Jhilik Dutta at Sonamukhi in Bankura. Two Adyar river ...PIPERS OF CHENNAI Every year, when Chennai struggles to quench its residents, wells in fields around Kovilambakkam lake come to the rescue Tens of private tankers, equipped with pipes extending nearly 1-km, draw water from here and sell it in the city The practice continues this year too, though number of tankers has reduced 200 fee t rad ial roa d Kilkattalai lake Kovilambakkam lake Water-starved PHCs send pregnant women to GH M S T H A N A R A J @ Tiruchy SEVERAL pregnant women visiting public health centres in Thuraiyur, Manapparai and Vaiyampatti areas of Tiruchy for delivery are being sent to Government Hospitals located 10-15 km away due a severe shortage of water. Around 11 public health centres in these three areas are struggling to m e e t t h e i r d a i ly w at e r requirement. As a result, most of the centres are asking patients seeking admission to head to government hospitals located farther away The worst hit among these . are the 4 public health centres in Thuraiyur. With bore-wells having dried up, several centres here are using funds from the NRHM to buy water from private suppliers. Still, the quantity is not enough to meet the needs of all in-patients, says officials. Practitioners say most of the cases that public health centres deal with are child births. “Without sufficient water supply, dealing with deliveries is difficult. We attend to as many deliveries as possible, depending on water supply said a PHC ,” worker. “Government hospitals are managing the situation with bore-wells. It’s the public health centres in remote villages that are really hit by the current crisis,” said an official source. TENANCY TROUBLE Man meets woman on roadside, fined `10K | P4 Actors turn up to vote for SIAA elections | P5 Shah-led BJP show of strength in WB in July | P9 Oh landlord! where is my house? E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Coimbatore IMAGINE going on an outing, knowing that the roof over your head is also protecting your material belongings, but returning only to find that you are no longer welcome. This is what happened to V Maheswari, a resident of Sakthi Garden in Kavundampalayam, after she locked the house and went out on an outing. When she returned, the house had a new owner and her belongings were missing. Outraged that the owner had sold off the house without even bothering to check with her — that the sixyear lease agreement was alive and kicking was beside the point — Maheswari knocked at the doors of the Saravanampatti police station, which booked two persons on Friday . Maheswari in her petition said that she had leased the house at Vinayagapuram Saravanampatti from Ganesh Shankar for six years. She had locked the house with her belongings inside and gone outstation recently. Upon her return, she found that one Daniel had bought the house and her belongings were nowhere to be found. She claimed before leaving the house, she had locked `1.5 lakh, 16 sovereigns and electronic gadgets inside. Based on her complaint, the Saravanampatti police registered a case against the duo (buyer and seller) under sections 427, 380 and 406 of the IPC. How matters stand Currently, two water tankers of 12,000-litre capacity each are being operated. Soon one more vehicle of 9,000 litre would be deployed V I N O D H A R U L A P PA N @ Madurai THE constant refrain of the electorate that “they come once every five years and then forget about us” is being negated by a newly-elected MLA from Tiruprankundram, Dr Saravanan. A doctor by profession, Saravanan has come as an oasis of relief for the people of 20 villages battling water shortage by offering free water to Surakulam, Sambakulam, Valayankulam, Valayappatti, Eliyarp at t i a n d N a l l u r a m o n g others. Saravanan finds no merit in blaming the officialdom for the crisis, but chooses to focus on doing his bit. “When I took the initiative, even the government officials were supportive. They even suggested a few villages where I could channel my efforts,” the MLA said. T h e wo rk s c o m menced on Friday last with the ambitious aim of reaching out to 40 villages. “We have covered 20 villages within three days. The remaining vil- lages too would be supplied water. Currently we are operating , two water tankers of 12,000-litre capacity each. Soon, I shall try to deploy one more vehicle of 9,000 litre capacity,” said Saravanan. Parrying questions on whether the outreach had political undercurrents, he said, “I have taken the initiative of my own accord. Though the high command had instructed to reach out to the masses, I knew there would be such questions raised.”
Express Publications (Madurai) Limited publishes the prestigious English language newspaper The New Indian Express from 21 centres in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Orissa.
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