HYDERABAD MONDAY AUGUST 24, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 28 LATE CITY EDITION CENTRE ISSUES NORMS FOR FILM SHOOTING AMID COVID Govt on Sunday released standard operating procedures to resume production activities put on ice due to Covid-19 SOME EXEMPTIONS FOR ACTORS The SOP includes steps like social distancing and mandatory use of masks for cast and crew, except for actors in front of camera. Production aspects like scenes, sequences, positions of crew members, meal timings etc must be planned in advance to ensure distancing. Spitting is prohibited and all cast and crew members are required to follow respiratory etiquettes ■ SOP FILM FRATERNITY WELCOMES THE MOVE ■ Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said thousands of people depend on the movie industry for jobs, and as such, the resumption of production activities is crucial Members of film fraternity, including filmmakers Boney Kapoor and Ashoke Pandit, welcomed the government’s decision WAS PREPARED IN CONSULTATION WITH UNION HEALTH AND HOME MINISTRIES 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 Sonia offers to step down; CWC meet today 23 leaders demand an active, publicly visible chief for party; Rahul still unwilling to take over: Sources Demand for a party rehaul at this critical juncture would be detrimental to its interests... Sonia Gandhi should continue to helm the Congress as long as she wants R I C H A S H A R M A @ New Delhi Amarinder Singh, Punjab CM The entire Congress party in Karnataka stands by the leadership of Sonia Gandhi and the Gandhi family D K Shivakumar, president, Karnataka Congress BUZZ ON A K ANTONY There are chances of A K Antony coming at the helm of the party, according to some Congress leaders in Kerala. State Congress leaders feel if Rahul declines to take up the role, then likelihood Antony will emerge as the next president She (Sonia) has always taken challenges head on. But if she has made up her mind, Rahul Gandhi should come ahead and be the party head Ashok Gehlot, Rajasthan CM We all Congressmen want to assure you (Rahul Gandhi) that millions of Congress party workers have complete faith in your leadership Bhupesh Baghel, Chhattisgarh CM Reports of Sonia Gandhi resigning from the post of Congress interim president are false Randeep Singh Surjewala, Congress spokesperson SONIA Gandhi offered to step down as interim Congress chief on Sunday, a day before the crucial Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting, after 23 leaders shot off a letter seeking a change in leadership. According to sources, Sonia told General Secretary Organisation K C Venugopal to convey this to the party leaders who wrote the letter. As per party rules, the Congress chief has to send resignation to the CWC. Sources said Sonia will do so on Monday at the meeting. Following the dissent letter by a group of senior party leaders, several party men including Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot and Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Bhagel, as well as several state Congress chiefs rallied behind the Gandhis. They called upon Rahul Gandhi to take over the reins if Sonia wants to step down. However, sources said Rahul Gandhi is unwilling to lead the party. They added added that at the CWC, Sonia will be requested to continue to lead the party while a process is rolled out to look for a new chief and restructure the organisation starting with the CWC. Sources further said the letter was leaked a day before the CWC because many senior leaders feel sidelined as Rahul continues to call the shots in all major party decisions. He, along with sister Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra, also attacked party leaders for not supporting the former party chief for taking on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “They want the matter to be discussed in the CWC and a process for organisation restructuring to be rolled out soon,” said a senior party leader. Sonia, took over as interim chief on August 10, 2019, after Rahul stepped down taking responsibility for the party’s Lok Sabha debacle. “She was reluctant and was convinced to lead the party for the time being while the party would start the process to look for a new party chief but that did not happen,” said a senior party leader. Sacked party leader Sanjay Jha, who had initially raised an alarm about such a letter being sent to Sonia, Sunday said around 300 Congress leaders from all over the country, representing all regions and states are signatories to the letter, over and above the 23 seniors already in the public domain. The issue of leadership vacuum was raised by several party leaders at various foras and even during a parliamentary party meeting with Sonia last month. Leaders who have written to Sonia include senior leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Anand Shar ma, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Kapil Sibal, Manish Tewari, Mukul Wasnik, Shashi Tharoor, Prithviraj Chavan and P J Kurien. The dissenting group also included former ministers Anand Sharma and former Haryana CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda. Most state units want Sonia or Rahul to lead the party EXPRESS NEWS SERVI CE @ Kochi / B’luru / Hyderabad / Vijayawada/ Bhubaneswar/ C’garh CONGRESS units in most states back the Nehra-Gandhi family . Terming the demand for leadership change untenable, Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh said the Gandhis were the only universally recognizable face of the Congress. In Karnataka, party state unit president D K Shivakumar and Legislature Party Chief Siddaramaiah lashed out at the 23 senior party colleagues who sought change in leadership. Congressmen in AP requested Rahul Gandhi to take over as party chief once again. “Rahul Gandhi is the only person capable of countering the RSS and BJP forces,” said APCC chief Sake Sailajanath. Many party leaders in Kerala, too, prefer Rahul -- an MP from Wayanad -- as Congress president, though some feel party veteran AK Antony would make it if Sonia resigns and Rahul doesn’t step in. In Odisha, a majority of Congressmen feel the party cannot survive without a Gandhi at the helm. Congressmen in Telangana said they would back Rahul in case Sonia steps down. “Rahul’s has leadership mettle. His record of fighting with Narendra Modi on several issues makes him the automatic choice for the leadership position,” Said Congress Legislature Party leader Bhatti Vikramarka. I-T to clamp down on A-G refuses to approve contempt plea against unexplained income, Swara Bhaskar, petitioner approaches S-G plans higher penalties K A N U S A R D A @ New Delhi E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi IF you have done heavy cash withdrawals, large cash transfers or enjoyed luxury holidays after 2016, be ready with proper documentation because the income tax (I-T) department is likely to seek an explanation. Sources say, the I-T department is gearing up to clamp down on tax evaders and is mulling steep penalties for higher-than-disclosed income and unexplained expenditure as well as cash transactions. “While we will protect honest tax payers, starting this year the department will closely monitor any incident of tax evasion in I-T return form with strict penalties,” said a senior official. He explained that if someone has withdrawn or deposited heavy cash, spent large amounts on luxury holidays that don’t match with one’s income, or has spent a lot on credit card, it will be open to close scrutiny. If there is mismatch between the income disclosed and savings or expenditure, it could result in penalties going as high as 83%. If the tax department detects undisclosed saving, cash at home, gold jewellery or other valuable article, the value of such items will be deemed as the income of the taxpayer under Sec 69A of Income Tax Act. 2,384 WITH THIS ISSUE AFTER Attorney General KK Venugopal dismissed a plea to initiate criminal contempt proceedings against actor Swara Bhaskar for her comments on Supreme Court’s verdict in the Ayodhya dispute, the petitioner on Sunday approached the Solicitor General, Tushar Mehta. In a letter to Mehta, Usha Shetty the petitioner says, she respectfully differs with the reasons given by the Attorney General of India Attorney General K K Venugopal in a letter to Shetty noted that Bhaskar’s comment appear to be “a factual one and is a perception of the speaker. The comment refers to the judgment of the Supreme Court, and is not an attack on the institution. This does not offer any comment on the Supreme Court itself or say anything that would scandalise or lower the authority of the Supreme Court.” In February while attend, ing an event in Mumbai, Bhaskar reportedly said, “We are living in a country where the Supreme Court of our country states that the demolition of Babri masjid was unlawfully and in the same judgment rewards the same people who brought it down.” COVID CASES AND 11 DEATHS RECORDED IN TELANGANA P4 THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST YOUR LIFE COACH 28 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID) Apex Council meet on water sharing issues postponed E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Hyderabad The second meeting of Apex Council scheduled for August 25 to resolve the Krishna and Godavari river water sharing issues between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh has been postponed. According to an order issued by the Ministry of Jal Shakti, the meeting was postponed due to unavoidable circumstances and the new date will be intimidated soon. The postponement of the meeting is learnt to have been necessitated after Chairman of the Apex Council and Union Minister of Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat tested positive for Covid-19 recently . DEEP DEVOTION A devotee carries Lord Ganesh idol for immersion in Hussainsagar in Hyderabad on Sunday | S SENBAGAPANDIYAN MORE EFFECTIVE Bharat Biotech gets nod for Covaxin trials through skin V NI L ESH @ Hyderabad HETERO DRUGS TO CONDUCT PHASE IV TRIALS The CDSCO also gave permission to Hyderabadbased Hetero Drugs, along with two other pharma companies, Mylan and Cipla, to conduct the Phase IV clinical trials of their version of the Covid-19 drug, Remdesivir HYDERABAD-BASED vaccine manufacturer Bharat Biotech has received permission from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) to take up clinical trials of its Covid-19 vaccine candidate, Covaxin, to be administered through the intradermal route. While the company’s vaccine candidate is already under clinical trials at 12 centres across the country, it is being administered through the intramuscular route in which the vaccine is delivered by injection into the muscles. Vaccine administration via the intradermal route means the vaccine will be delivered by injection into the dermis, which is the layer beneath the outer layer of skin (epidermis). According to the WHO, intradermal technique is ‘dose-sparing’, which means it consumes less vaccine than the intramuscular delivery method. It also helps in reducing per-injection cost of vaccines and is also found to be more effective in inducing immune response. According to the minutes of the meeting held in New Delhi on August 13, of the Subject Expert Committee (SEC) for Covid-19 under accelerated approval process, Bharat Biotech presented its proposal for conduct of Phase I/II clinical trials of Covaxin by intradermal (ID) route. It also presented animal toxicity data of the vaccine candidate generated through the intradermal/intraperitoneal route along with the interim safety data from Phase I study of the vaccine through the intramuscular route. While the SEC recommended for grant of permission to conduct clinical trials through the intradermal route, it laid down two conditions — the trial sites should be different from the sites where the present clinical trials are going on for the vaccine through the intramuscular route and that the subject should be followed up for six months for clinical and antibody titer assessments. CRUCIAL TO PROBE HYD VR DEVELOPER’S STATEMENTS MIGHT UNLOCK SSR’s CASE M O U L I M A R E E D U @ Hyderabad THE statements of Hyderabad-based Virtual Reality (VR) developer Sidharth Pithani, who worked as creative manager for late Bollywood star Sushant Singh Rajput, might unlock the mystery that shrouds the death of the actor. Sidharth Pithani also worked in Telugu films and had a role in a Telugu film Chiru Godavalu. After working for Chiru Godavalu, Sidharth Pithani alias Budha Ramana came in contact with late Sushant and they had a close association. Since then, Sidharth used to work for Sushant as his creative manager for his films and look after Sushant’s business activities as well. When Sushant died, Sidharth and others were at the actor’s residence and Sidharth was allegedly the first person to inform the police about the actor’s death. According to sources, Sidharth is even now one of the witnesses in the actor’s death case. The officials of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), who are investigating the case in Mumbai, are understood to have contacted their counterparts in Hyderabad and inquired about the background of Sidharth and his financial status. They seem to suspect that Sidharth may be knowing a lot about the financial affairs of Sushant. “The entire case of actor’s death is being investigated by a special team of the CBI in Mumbai. If they want information, we will provide it but we are not associated with the case in any way sources said. CONTINUED ON P5 ,” POETRY IN GOLD Mughal era gold coins fetch `43.5 lakh in Oz auction A I H I K S U R @ Hyderabad TWO rare Mughal era gold coins, which were once in possession of an important personality in the Nizam’s administration during the pre-Independence period, were recently auctioned for `43.5 lakh in Australia. The square gold coins, weighing around 14 grams each and minted in Lahore in 1607 (1017 AH), were auctioned on July 30 by Australia-based Noble Numismatics Pty Ltd. The description of coins in the catalogue available on its website reads, “A heavy special 25 per cent overweight presentation type issue from the early part of his (Jahangir’s) reign.” “The issue has poetic couplet on the reverse (in Persian). It reads: He made the face of money to shine with hues of sun and moon”, together with mint formula zarb Lahore, it adds. Although the auction description says that the coins were held by a ‘Taraporevala who was the financial advisor to the Nizam’, historians feel that the description is wrong, and that it was instead in possession of Captain B S Taraporevala of the Nizam’s Army There . The square gold coins, which weigh around 14 grams each and have poetic couplet on the reverse, were minted in Lahore in 1607 was indeed a Taraporevala — Khan Bahadur C B Taraporevala, in the Nizam’s administration who was a financial advisor or accountant to the last Nizam. “Accountant Taraporevala had nothing to do with the coins. It is Capt Taraporevala who had one of the biggest coin collections in the country,” Mohammad Safiullah of the Deccan Heritage CONTINUED ON P5 Trust said.
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