MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE Prime Minister Narendra Modi is among Time magazine’s 100 most influential people 2020 list, released on Wednesday Kamala Harris CEO of Alphabet Inc WARANGAL THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 24, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 12 CITY EDITION Megan Thee Stallion: American rapper, singer and songwriter Giannis Antetokounmpo: Greek professional basketball player for the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association Ravindra Gupta Julie K Brown: American Indian-origin investigative journalist with the biologist Miami Herald PIONEERS TITANS Sundar Pichai CEO of Alphabet Inc Dwyane Wade: American former professional basketball player MacKenzie Scott: American novelist, billionaire, and venture philanthropist Jerome Powell: Chairman of the Federal Reserve ICONS B L AC K L I V ES M AT T E R F O U N D E RS ARTISTS Lina Attalah Bilkis Shaheen Bagh protester Alicia Garza Patrisse Cullors Opal Tometi Co-founder and chief editor of Mada Masr, an independent online Egyptian newspaper Ayushmann Khurrana Bollywood actor Michael B. Jordan: American actor and producer Selena Gomez: American singer, songwriter, actress, and producer Ali Wong: Stand-up comedian, actress, and writer Xi Jinping Chinese president Donald Trump US President Angela Merkel Chancellor of Germany Nancy Pelosi Speaker, House of Reps Narendra Modi Prime Minister of India Joe Biden US Presidential candidate John Roberts US Supreme Court Chief Justice Yousef Al Otaiba UAE’s ambassador to the US TIME’S FIVE CATEGORIES: PIONEERS, ARTISTS, LEADERS, TITANS & ICONS 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 Dassault yet to fulfil Rafale offset obligations, says CAG Opposition parties mount pressure against farm Bills | P7 PM Modi meets CMs of 7 states to review Covid situation | P8 HC relief for Arun Shourie in alleged divestment scam in Rajasthan | P8 Rly MoS Suresh Angadi dies of Covid-19 New Delhi: Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi, 65, on Wednesday succumbed to Covid-19. He was undergoing treatment at AIIMS, Delhi after testing positive for the coronavirus on September 11 IPL MATCH TODAY vs Royal Challengers Bangalore will face Kings XI Punjab in their second match in Dubai on Thursday. Bangalore have won their opening match while Punjab lost their first in a Super Over. Opener Devdutt Padikkal will be on focus again for Virat Kohli’s men, while leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi will the one to watch out for for Punjab. ODDS: KXIP 6/5 RCB 8/11 LIVE: STAR SPORTS1/ HOTSTAR @ 7.30PM M AYA N K S I N G H @ New Delhi Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and other Opposition leaders before addressing the media, after a meeting with President Ramnath Kovind over the recent farm sector reform bills, in New Delhi on Wednesday | PTI RS clears 15 bills in 2 days amidst Oppn’s boycott Parliament’s nod to labour code revamp bills; 50 laws approved in both Houses; session over R I C H A S H A R M A @ New Delhi OVER 100 per cent productivity in a truncated monsoon session. That is a landmark the Rajya Sabha could have been proud of had the situation been normal. But the target was achieved amid the absence of the Opposition, which has been boycotting the session since Tuesday over the suspension of eight members from the House for unruly behaviour. As many as 15 weighty bills were passed between Tuesday and Wednesday in the space of nearly seven-and-a-half hours in the Upper House. In other words, one bill every 30 minutes. Legislative agenda wrapped up, both Houses were then adjourned sine die. As for the Opposition, it held a silent march on Parliament’s premises over three farm sector reform bills and later met President Ramnath Kovind to request him return the “unconstitutional” legislations. Eighteen political parties had earlier written to Kovind expressing concern over the manner in which the farm bills were passed in the House of Elders. However, in view of the Covid-19 situation, only Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad got to meet the President. In just 10 sittings, the Rajya Sabha passed as many as 25 bills. An equal number of bill were passed in the Lok Sabha. POLITICAL NEXUS Deepika gets NCB’s call; Bihar top cop takes VRS E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Mumbai THE politics surrounding the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput got curiouser on Wednesday as the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) summoned a few Bollywood A-listers, including Deepika Padukone, for questioning and Bihar Director General of Police Gupteshwar Pandey sought voluntarily retirement amid speculation on a JD(U) ticket for the forthcoming elections. Pandey had stoutly defended the Nitish government’s demand for a thorough probe into the death of Bihar-born Rajput and the role of girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty in it. The NCB probe into the Bollywood-drug nexus is a fallout of Rajput’s death. It has asked Padukone to appear before it on Friday and Sara Ali Khan and Shraddha Ka, poor on Saturday Rakul Preet Singh, Rajput’s talent man. ager Shruti Modi and designer Simone Khambata have been directed to appear before the NCB on Thursday . 2,296 COVID POSITIVE CASES RECORDED IN TELANGANA TAKING THE TOTAL TO 1,77,070. THE STATE ALSO WITNESSED 10 DEATHS | P4 “The productivity of the House during this session has been 100.47 per cent,” Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said in his valedictory address. Prominent among the eight bills cleared in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday were three on labour code reforms, despite floor leaders of 12 Opposition parties jointly urging Naidu not to let them pass without proper discussion. “These bills affect the livelihood of crores of workers across the country It will be a great blot on . our democracy to have these bills pass unilaterally today the Oppo,” sition wrote. Referring to it, Naidu cited precedents when business was taken up as per schedule and bills approved during boycott or walkout by some members. Naidu said had the letter suggested the postponement of the bill by stating the Opposition members would attend the House later, he would have discussed the request with the government. But there was no such assurance, so he decided to go ahead with the bills, he said. Replying to the debate on the three labour reforms bills, minister Santosh Gangwar said the labour reforms will provide a transparent system to suit the changed business environment. As for the Lok Sabha, it “registered 167 per cent productivity, spending 68 per cent of the time on the legislative business,” said Speaker Om Birla. BMS hits out at Modi govt for passing labour bills EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi THE Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), an RSS affiliate, on Wednesday hit out at the Centre for ignoring its objections to the labour reform bills. It accused the BJP-led government of pandering to the whims of corporates while turning a blind eye to the needs of employees. “The BMS and other trade unions had given detailed objections to the previous draft of the Industrial Relations Code. None of the objections raised by the BMS and other trade unions as well as the recommendations of PSCL (Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour) in favour of workers was considered in the revised draft,” said BMS secretary-general Vrijesh Upadhyay . He alleged the Industrial Relations Code is tilted too much in favour of employers and bureaucrats. “The last-minute mutilations will adversely affect industrial peace in the country. Some impor tant changes like that on standing orders were not even discussed in the consultation process, which is a violation of the ILO Convention 144 ratified by Indian Parliament,” he added. The BMS said the new law is a clear attempt to diminish the role of trade unions. The Sangh said the decision to allow companies with up to 300 employees to fire workers and close down units without government permission will promote “ease of closing busin e ss, n ot e ase of d o i n g business”. THE Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) on Wednesday questioned India’s offset policy and came down heavily on foreign vendors for not fulfilling their offset commitments. In its report titled ‘CAG’s Performance Audit Report on Management of Defence Offset’, the national auditor pointed out that French aerospace major Dassault Aviation and European missile maker MBDA, which supplied armaments for the Rafale jets, have not yet discharged their 30% offset obligation. India received the delivery of the first batch of five Rafale fighter jets from the French manufacturer on July 29. They were formally inducted to Indian Air Force on September 10. The total worth of Rafale deal is `59,000 crore. Opposition parties had alleged irregularities in the fighter jet deal. “In many cases, it was found ACB arrests Malkajgiri ACP for amassing illegal assets worth `70 crore ing to 55 acres of agriculture land at Anantapur, four plots admeasuring 1,960 square yards The Anti-Corruption Bureau in front of Cyber Towers in (ACB) sleuths on Wednesday Madhapur, two other house detained Malkajgiri Assistant plots, one commercial G+3 Police Commissioner (ACP) Y building at Hafeezpet, two housNarasimha Reddy for es, `15 lakh cash in allegedly possessing bank accounts, two huge properties disbank lockers and inproportionate to his vestments in real known sources of estate. income. The searches by The value of the asthe special teams are sets is estimated to be still going on at all 25 about `70 crore. A few places, the sources years ago, Narasimsaid. ha Reddy played a Narsimaha Reddy, role in the alleged enwho worked as Uppal Y Narasimha Reddy, counter of notorious Inspector a few years Malkajgiri ACP chain snatcher Talla ago, was recently proShiva. moted to the rank of According to ACB officials, Deputy Superintendent of Posimultaneous searches were lice (DSP) and was working as conducted at 25 places, includ- ACP of Malkajgiri in the Raing the residences of his friends hackonda police commissionerand relatives in Mahendra Hills ate. He was a member of the in Secunderabad, Warangal, team that chased and killed noJangaon, Nalgonda, Karimna- torious chain snatcher Talla gar and Anantapur in Andhra Shiva in an “encounter” in Pradesh. Narsingi police limits. During the searches, the ACB BENAMIS HELP ACB UNCOVER officials found documents relat- NAGESH’S ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES | P3 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad TS jailbirds can have e-Mulaqat with kin soon JAGAN OFFERS ‘SILK VASTRAMS’ TO SRIVARU Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy offered a pair of ‘silk vastrams’ to Lord Venkateswara on the auspicious occasion of Garuda Seva on Wednesday B K A R T H E E K @ Hyderabad AFTER a long wait of over six months, the State Prisons Department is making efforts to provide e-Mulaqat services to prisoners via video conference. The kin who desire to avail e-Mulaqat have to register on the ‘ePrisons’ national web portal indicating the date and time by providing the applicant’s and the prisoner’s details. Though these online services are a boon for prisoners longing to see their family and friends, officials feel that it might be a difficult tool for illiterate prisoners and their families. According to sources, as of now, the video call facility is available only in the three central prisons located at Cherlapally, Chanchalguda and WaCONTINUED ON P4 rangal. that the foreign vendors made various offset commitments to qualify for the main supply contract but later, were not earnest about fulfilling these commitments,” the financial watchdog said in its report. Giving example of the Dassault Aviation, the CAG said, “In the offset 4 contract relating to 36 Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft, the vendors Dassault Aviation and MBDA initially proposed (September 2015) to discharge 30% of their offset obligation by offering high technology to DRDO.” But they have not confirmed the PAGE 5 technology transfer till date, it observed. DRDO wanted to obtain technical assistance for the indigenous development of engine (Kaveri) for the Light Combat Aircraft Tejas. Till date, the vendor has not confirmed the transfer of this technology, it said. As per the deal, the company has to invest 50% of the worth of the deal back in India as offset obligations. The investment amounted to around `30,000 crore for which a numbers of Indian firms, including Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence, were chosen. This became a major controversy since the company was totally new in this sector. India adopted the offset policy for defence capital purchases in 2005, according to which all capital purchases above `300 crore through imports will have the foreign vendor invest at least 30% of the value of the purchase in India. Police seize a gun, kit bags and other material after exchange of fire with Maoists on Wednesday Two women among three Maoists killed in Cherla EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad IN yet another blow to the outlawed CPI (Maoist) in Telangana, three Maoists including two women were killed during an exchange of fire with police forces in the Bhadradri Kothagudem district on Wednesday . Police recovered an 8 mm rifle, material used for blasting and other incriminating material and a kit bag from the spot located at Chennapuram forest area in Cherla. The forces are continuing combing operations, Superintendent of Police, Kothagudem, Sunil Dutt said. The identities of the deceased are yet to be established. On September 3, one Maoist who was the guard of senior Maoist leader Haribhushan, was shot dead in an encounter at Gundala in the district. In Kumrambheem Asifabad district, police gunned down two Maoists in an “encounter” with them in Kadamba forest area recently . CONTINUED ON P5 REGISTRATION FREE Non-agri land owners to get maroon pattadar passbooks EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad CHIEF Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Wednesday announced that all those who have non-agricultural property would be issued maroon-coloured pattadar passbooks. The measure will help in elimination of land disputes in future, besides providing total security to the properties held by middle class and poorer sections of society under the new Revenue Act that has been brought forth recently . The Chief Minister, during a review meeting held at Pragati Bhavan on the implementation of new Revenue Act and on making entries of non-agriculture property in Dharani portal, appealed to the people to have the details of their houses, plots, flats, farm houses in villages, municipalities and corporations entered in the Dharani portal without paying any fee. He made it clear that, going forward, even if an inch of land has to be transferred from one person to another and registered, it has to be done only through Dharani por- tal. He cautioned the people that if they do not have the details of their properties uploaded on Dharani portal, they may face difficulty in future in transferring them to their children. He said that the lands on which the poor had built houses would be regularised without any further delay. This would provide security for their land besides helping them raise loans from the banks. CONTINUED ON P2
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