NAGAPATTINAM WEDNESDAY AUGUST 26, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 12 CITY EDITION PETROL PRICES HIKED FOR SIXTH CONSECUTIVE DAY The Oil Marketing Companies increased the price of petrol in metros for the sixth consecutive day on Tuesday DIESEL PRICES UNCHANGED SINCE JULY 30 PRICE HIKE ON NINE OF THE LAST 10 DAYS According to the IndianOil website, petrol prices in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai increased to `81.73, `83.24, `88.39, `84.73 per litre respectively. The prices in Bengaluru and Hyderabad were `84.39 and `84.94 on Tuesday respectively. Meanwhile, the diesel prices have stayed the same across all metros since July 30 ■ ■ Oil companies started raising petrol prices on August 16 after a 47-day pause. Prices have gone up on nine of the 10 days since International crude prices rose on Tuesday as storms headed for the Gulf of Mexico shut over half of the region’s offshore production on Monday. Brent rose by 1.86% to $45.97 a barrel `1.3 IS HOW MUCH THE PETROL PRICES HAVE GONE UP IN DELHI SINCE AUGUST 16 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 Congress to address veterans’ concerns ‘DIVISIVE FORCES’ Political storm over Nadda’s allegations Senior leaders who wrote to Sonia say their sole aim was to make the party battle-ready for 2024 polls B A N B U S E LVA N @ Chennai BJP national president J P Nadda’s allegation on Monday that “divisive forces” are getting shelter in Tamil Nadu, has evoked sharp criticism from State political leaders, cutting across party lines. The ruling AIADMK on Tuesday refuted the allegation even though it was primarily aimed at its arch-rival DMK. The fresh churning in the already boiling political pot comes in the backdrop of the BJP facing a backlash from both the AIADMK and DMK over the National Education Policy There were ear. lier instances when the Statelevel BJP leaders had raised allegations of ‘anti-national’ activities against political parties, referring to the projallikattu and anti-Sterlite P4 protests in the State. ANNAMALAI, FORMER IPS OFFICER, JOINS BJP New Delhi: With the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections around the corner, the BJP on Tuesday got a shot in the arm with induction of former Karnataka cadre IPS officer Kuppusamy Annamalai. The man known as ‘Singham’ joined BJP in the presence of party’s national general secretary P Murlidhar Rao | P4 MIRACULOUS ESCAPE A four-year-old boy, Mohammed Bangi, was on Tuesday pulled out alive from the rubbles of a collapsed five-storey apartment at Raigad, Maharashtra. According to police, at least 12 people were killed in the incident on Monday. Many are still trapped under the debris | PTI | P7 Bhushan: SC reserves verdict on punishment K A N U S A R D A @ New Delhi THE Supreme Court on Monday reserved its verdict on the quantum of punishment to be awarded to activist-laywer Prashant Bhushan in the suo-motu contempt of court case for his tweets against the judiciary . The apex court had on August 14 held Bhushan guilty of contempt for his tweets. At the outset of the hearing, a threeJudge bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra asked Attorney General K K Venugopal for his opinion on the quantum of punishment. The A-G submitted that Bhushan should be let off with a warning telling him not to repeat this in future. An unconvinced justice Mishra replied, “If a person says he didn’t make a mistake and he won’t apologise NIA CHARGESHEETS AZHAR, 2 BROTHERS for it despite repeated opportunities, what will be the purpose of saying don’t do it again? It is not about us or him. It is about the institution after all.” He added that it was painful for him to decide the case days before he is due to demit office on September 2. Senior advocate Rajeev Dhavan, representing Bhushan, reminded Justice Mishra that as a judge of the Calcutta High Court, he had let go of Mamata Banerjee after she said all judges were corrupt. This institution must have criticism and not just criticism but extreme criticism. Your shoulders are broad enough,” Dhavan said. He added, “Scandalising the court is ambiguous. Criticism of court is inevitable. Consider the bona fide of the ‘offender’ and then consider the offence.” P7 tional posts. The changes, however, are planned in a phased manner. EVEN though none of the issues Meanwhile, members of the group raised by 23 senior party leaders in who sent the letter on Tuesday said their letter to Congress boss Sonia they can’t be termed ‘dissenters’ as Gandhi was discussed at the Congress their intention was only to strengthWorking Committee (CWC) meeting en the party. The intention behind on Monday, their concerns are writing a letter calling for measlikely to be addressed, sources ures to strengthen the party said. was to ensure that the ConThe All India Congress gress is battle-ready to take Committee (AICC) could soon on the BJP in the 2024 general see organisational changes elections and not to question with a reshuffle planned in the party leadership, Conmany states. Sonia to get gress leader and former Party sources said the reKarnataka CM M Veerappa functional structuring of state units Moily told TNIE. team has already started while a Moily, who was among the thorough revamp of the Sonia Gandhi will leaders who signed the letget a functional AICC is on the cards. ter, said they all have absoThe coming weeks could team, comprising lute faith in Sonia Gandhi. both old and see reshuffle of general secCWC member Anand young hands to retaries and state in-chargSharma said the letter was es. According to sources, help her overhaul written with the best interest the party Jharkhand in-charge R P N of the party “India needs a . Singh, Punjab in-charge strong opposition to confront Asha Kumari, and Chhattisgarh in- the BJP Suggestions for the party’s re. charge P L Punia will either be moved newal made in sincerity are not disto other states or relieved of their sent,” he tweeted. Rajya Sabha MP responsibilities. Vivek Tankha, one of the signatories, A few fresh faces are also likely to agreed. “The letter was a parchment be inducted in the top team while of action to strengthen the party,” he young leaders may be given organisa- said R I C H A S H A R M A @ New Delhi FIRE IN KERALA SECRETARIAT It broke out in the Protocol wing of the General Admin Department | P5 Govt announces more centres for JEE, NEET S A N A S H A K I L @ New Delhi E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi THE Jaish-e-Mohammad had plans to carry out a second terror strike after the Pulwama attack of 2019 but it called it off due to international pressure and India’s aggressive actions like the Balakot strike, according to the National Investigation Agency (NIA). The NIA on Tuesday filed a chargesheet in the ter ror attack which claimed the lives of 40 CRPF soldiers, naming JeM chief Maulana Masood Azhar and two of his brothers Rauf Azghar and Maulana Mohammed Ammar as the masterminds of the attack. According to the NIA, the trio was continuously giving directions and guidance to AMID rising pressure from various quarters to postpone the Joint Entrance Examination (Main) and the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), the Centre on Tuesday decided to increase the number of centres for these examinations to ensure proper social distancing. The National Testing Agency under the Union education ministry which is responsible for organis, ing the tests, said the number of examination centres has been increased from 570 to 660 in case of JEE Main, while it has gone up to 3,843 from 2,546 for NEET. The agency also said that in case of JEE (Main), the number of shifts has been raised from earlier 8-12, and the number of candidates per shift has been reduced from 1.32 lakh to 85,000. The NTA said that to ensure proper social distancing inside the examination halls, the candidates will be seated in alternate seats. The number of candidates per room has been reduced from earlier 24 to 12 now. “For ensuring social distancing outside the examination hall, the entry and exit of candidates has been staggered,” said a statement by NTA Omar Farooq, Sameer Ahmad Dar and Adil Ahmad Dar| PTI Pakistani terrorists who had infiltrated into India for the purpose. The NIA has charged a total of 19 accused for carrying out one of the deadliest attacks in Jammu and Kashmir - seven Pakistanis and 12 locals. While seven of accused have been killed, seven are under arrest and five are abscondP8 ing. MIGRANT WORKERS A long return trip to forget scars of exodus C S H I VA K U M A R @ Chennai SITTING at his home in Uttar Pradesh, Omprakash is anxiously awaiting a bus that would ferry him to Chennai, the very place that he had left a few months ago. A resident of Gorakhpur, Omprakash is desperate to get back to work as he is struggling to feed his family of three children. Like the millions of migrant workers who were left in the lurch when the country went into lockdown on March 24, Omprakash too had a miserable home-coming experience. Talking to Express over phone, Omprakash says he has no alternative but return to Chennai. “In Gorakhpur, there are not enough jobs and they pay `500 a day which is way less. I love my State but have to support my family My daugh. ter is taking online classes and I have to pay her fees,” he says adding that he is waiting for the bus sent by his employer, a real estate developer in Vanagaram, to take him back to Chennai. Meanwhile, the construction sector in Chennai is seeing an uptick as many developers and contractors are trying to bring back the workers from north India to finish the pending works. Locals charging double the rate The developers in Tamil Nadu are desperate to get affordable labour as the local workers are charging high. “Local labourers are charging nearly double and are not that efficient as the migrant workers,” says K Venkatesan, the State secretary of Builders Association of India. Tamil Nadu Covid battle FRESH CASES 5,951 DEATHS 107 TOLL 6,721 The Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) rocket launch station at Sriharikota has resumed work partially to carry out critical and essential activities related to the ambitious Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) project One more private lab, Molecular Diagnosis, a unit of Preethi Hospital Private Limited, Madurai, has been recently approved for Covid-19 testing Government hospitals continue to provide non-Covid treatment. From March to till date, 4,154 pregnant women who tested positive were treated. Further, 37,436 children were provided treatment for various ailments - C Vijayabaskar, Health Minister
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