KOCHI l SUNDAY l SEPTEMBER 27, 2020 l `8.00 l PAGES 24 l LATE CITY EDITION INDIA EXTENDS $15 MN TO LANKA TO PROMOTE BUDDHIST TIES It announced during a virtual summit between PM Narendra Modi and Lankan counterpart Mahinda Rajapaksa on Saturday GRANT TO FACILITATE CULTURAL EXCHANGES The grant will help construct and renovate Buddhist monasteries in Sri Lanka, facilitate archaeological cooperation and reciprocal exposition of the Buddha’s relics, a government press release said. Besides, it will also help facilitate cultural exchanges and greater engagement between the Buddhist scholars and clergy in the two countries ■ Virtual MODI CALLS FOR DEVOLUTION OF POWERS ■ During the summit, Modi called for the full implementation of a constitutional provision by the new Sri Lankan government to ensure devolution of powers to the minority Tamil community The two leaders also discussed ways to boost maritime security cooperation and strengthen trade and investment ties SUMMIT WAS 1ST MEETING OF THE TWO LEADERS SINCE RAJAPAKSA BECAME PM 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 LIFE: CBI tightens screws, Vigilance loses relevance Mission South imprint in BJP’s new central team Vigilance to return files to the LSG Department once preliminary probe is over. P4 Ram Madhav dropped, Tejaswi Surya in, Kerala gets two slots, Tamil Nadu left out KPCC president Mullappally Ramachandran claims CM Pinarayi Vijayan will end up behind bars if the CBI conducted a meticulous probe. P4 Finding itself trapped in the midst of investigations by four Central agencies, the CPM is all set to launch a major political offensive. P4 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE THE Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday overhauled its national team of officebearers, making radical changes in how souther n states are represented by promoting young leaders such as Tejaswi Surya and dropping veterans like Ram Madhav. With his new team, BJP chief J P Nadda has signalled his party’s search for new growth regions. The set of national general secretaries, known to be the core of the party’s leadership, has seen major changes, with Nadda dropping Ram Madhav, Murlidhar Rao and Anil Jain. According to party sources, Madhav may find a berth in the next Cabinet expansion. And Muralidhar Rao was dropped because he could not attract the Velama community, which supports the ruling TRS in Telangana. D Purandareshwari, C T Ravi and Dilip Saikia are the new general secretaries, representing Andhra Pradesh, Kar nataka and Assam, respectively . D K Aruna (Telangana) as vice-president is another notable appointment from the South. Aruna joined BJP from the Congress before the Assembly elections in 2019. Karnataka-based Ravi’s appointment is seen as the BJP’s continued efforts to gain a strong foothold in Vokkaligadominated Old Mysuru region, where the Congress and the JDS have a strong presence. First-time MP Surya is seen as an outspoken young leader who connects with an urban demographic. BJP general secretary (organization) B L Santosh’s imprint is said to be clear in both these appointments. Kerala, which did not have any representation earlier, have got two slots in the new team — AP Abdullakutty as vice-president and Tom Vadakkan national spokersperson. Both are from the minority communities. Curiously, both are recent defectors from the Congress. Sources said the central leadership has sent out a clear message to the factionridden Kerala BJP . Odisha has got two national spokespersons with Aparajita Sarangi given the task along A P Abdullakutty New Delhi: More than 82 per cent of individual taxpayers faced TDS mismatch problems in the last three years resulting in disallowance of refund and the creation of avoidable harassment of taxpayers, a latest report by the Comptroller and Auditor General said. The actual reasons for it could not be ascertained because of nonsubmission of the relevant data. P7 WITH THIS ISSUE THE GREAT IMMUNITY BAZAAR PLUS 12 PAGES A J AY K A N T H @ Kochi THE Vigilance probe ordered by the Kerala Government into the LIFE Mission Project at Wadakkanchery in Thrissur has lost its relevance with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) launching a probe after registering a case invoking the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA). The Central agency took a case on its own on Friday three , days after the Vigilance was asked to probe the bribery al- Tom Vadakkan The rejig: Who’s in, who’s out OLD Kerala A P Abdullakutty (Natl V-P) Tom Vadakkan (Natl Spokesperson) Andhra Pradesh GVL Narasimha Rao D Purandareshwari (Natl spokersperson) (Natl Gen-Secy) Ram Madhav (Natl Gen-Secy) Satya Kumar (Natl Secy) Telangana D K Aruna (Natl V-P) P Muralidhar Rao (Natl Gen-Secy) Dr K Laxman (OBC Morcha Natl President) Karnataka Tejasvi Surya (Yuva Morcha Natl President) C T Ravi (Natl Gen-Secy) *B L Santhosh (Natl Gen-Secy) B L Santhosh (Natl Gen-Secy) Rajiv Chandrashekhar (Natl spokesperson) Tamil Nadu H Raja (National secretary) Nil Odisha Baijaiyant Jay Panda Baijaiyant Jay Panda (Natl vice-president) (Natl vice-president) Sambit Patra (Natl spokesperson) Sambit Patra (Natl spokesperson) Suresh Pujari (Natl secy) Aparajita Sarangi (Natl spokersperson) Biseswar Tudu (National secretary) * Represents Delhi with seasoned Sambit Patra. Team Nadda has strong thrust on Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Karnataka, Kerala and Telangana, but Tamil Nadu — which goes to polls next year — is surprisingly left in the cold. While party sources in Tamil Nadu expressed shock at the decision, as it comes barely a month after Nadda praised the state unit’s work, state general secretary Professor R Srinivasan sought to downplay the snub istration of a case. The CBI has registered a case under Section 154 of CrPC which is all that legally required to launch a detailed probe to book the offenders,” said Kerala High Court former judge B Kemal Pasha. Former director-general of prosecution T Asaf Ali said there was no point in ordering a Vigilance inquiry into the incident in which a transfer of funds had taken place from abroad for a state-government project violating Central stat● More on P4 utes. Bineesh land deals: Agency sends letter to dist registrars Pakistan PM Imran Khan raised the Kashmir issue in his address to the UN, saying he stands for a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue. First Secretary in India’s Mission to the United Nations, Mijito Vinito walked out of the hall while Khan’s video message was being played. “The only dispute left in Kashmir relates to the part of Kashmir that is still under illegal occupation of Pakistan,” India said in its right to reply statement. NEW Nil register a case or not based on that. The CBI has registered the case under the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), which is the specific legal procedure to conduct a criminal investigation into the incident. “This is not a case for a state agency like Vigilance to probe. In fact, the Vigilance probe is an eyewash. The state government can always reject the preliminary report saying there are no specific details warranting reg- INDIAN DELEGATION STORMS OUT AS PAK PM RAISES KASHMIR PITCH FOR U.N. REFORM How long will you keep us out: Modi to UN PUSHKAR BANAKAR @ New Delhi PRIME Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday sought a greater role for India at the UN, asking how long the country of 1.3 billion people will be kept out of the body’s decision-making structure. In his virtual address to the United Nations General Assembly, Modi said, “For how long will India be kept out of the decision-making structures of the United Nations? “When we were weak, we did not trouble the world. When we were strong, we didn’t become a burden on the world. Till when do we have to wait?” the prime minister asked in his opening remarks. Seeking an expanded role for India, Modi highlighted that the ideals of UN and India’s main principles are similar. “Vasudaiva Kutumbakam has echoed in the UN halls many a time,” the prime minister said. Modi also made a strong push for UN reforms and the much-delayed expansion of the powerful Security Council. “Today people of India are con, cerned whether this reformprocess will ever reach its logical conclusion,” he said, adding that every Indian today, while seeing the contribution of India in the world organisation, aspires for India’s expanded role in the United Nations. The prime minister lashed out at the world body over its response to the Covid-19 pandemic. “Over the last 8 to 9 months, the whole world has been battling the pandemic of Shiromani Akali Dal ends 23-year alliance with NDA over agri bills HARPREET BAJWA @ Chandigarh DAYS after Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Harsimrat Kaur resigned as Union Food Processing Industries minister from the Modi Cabinet in protest against the farm Bills, the party on Saturday pulled out from the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), ending its 23-year alliance with the BJP . The decision was announced by SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal late on Saturday after holding a core committee meeting of the party here. “The highest decision-making body of the Shiromani Akali Dal core committee at its emergency meeting here tonight decided unani- EXPRESS READ CAG: 82% individual taxpayers harassed legations and deals with the UAE-based charity organisation Red Crescent related to the state’s `20-crore housing scheme for the homeless. Legal experts say, in this particular case, a Vigilance inquiry does not fit in because the role of the state government itself is under scanner. Vigilance inquiry is only a process of preparing a preliminary report as per the Vigilance manual, giving the state the power to decide whether to Reform in responses, in processes, and in the very character of the UN is the need of the hour — PM Modi FILES TO BE RETURNED mously to pull out of the BJP -led NDA alliance,” he announced. Badal said the Centre’s “stubborn refusal” to give statutory legislative guarantees on minimum support price (MSP) and its continued insensitivity to certain issues such as excluding Punjabi as official language in Jammu and Kashmir are behind the move. SAD is the oldest ally of the BJP, having allied with the then Bharatiya Jana Sangh for the first time during Assembly elections. It joined the coalition in 1998 and had remained a member since. SAD is the third ally to break away from NDA since the coalition came to power in 2014 after TDP and Shiv Sena. ADIEU BALU SIR SPB laid to rest with full police honours E X P R ESS N E WS S E RV I C E @ Chennai LEGENDARY playback singer and Padma awardee S P Balasubrahmanyam, known as SPB or Balu sir, was laid to rest with police honours on Saturday morning, amid an outpouring of condolences from fans across the world. The singer’s son, S P Charan, performed the funeral rites amid Vedic chants by priests. The City Armed Reserve Police Personnel, as a mark of honour, then gave a gun salute and 24 personnel fired three rounds in the air before the body was lowered into a pit at his farmhouse at Tamaraipakkam near Red Hills. Flower petals were showered on the body and crystal salt strewn around inside the pit before its closure. Earlier, the body was briefly brought to his residence in He will live until the world exists, there is no end for him (SPB)... our friend is with us, through music Around 500 personnel were deployed to manage the visitors near the farm at Tamaraipakkam near Red Hills on Saturday | ASHWIN PRASATH Nungambakkam before being taken to the farmhouse. With policemen marching along, the body was brought on a bier to the burial spot from an enclosure earmarked for people to pay homage and perform rituals. Around 500 personnel were deployed to manage the visitors near the farm. Since Sat- Bharathiraja, director urday morning, Balasubrahmanyam’s friends and fans poured in to pay their last respects. Balasubrahmanyam died of cardio-respiratory arrest at a private hospital on Friday where he , was admitted on August 5 after testing positive for Covid-19. He tested negative on September 4. the coronavirus. Where is the United Nations in this joint fight against the pandemic? Where is its effective response?” he asked. Modi highlighted how India has helped other countries combat the pandemic. More than 150 countries received essential medical supplies from Indian pharma companies, Modi said. The prime minister noted that India’s vaccine production has reached phase III and once complete will help the world beat Covid-19. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Kochi THE Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is probing the money trail in the smuggling of gold through the diplomatic channel, has sent a letter to all district registrars, seeking details of the of immovable assets owned by Bineesh, the son of CPM state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan. In the letter sent on September 11, the ED also directed that since these properties are under investigation, any transaction of these assets must not be done without informing the agency . ED suspects the properties owned by Bineesh are part of the proceeds of the P4 crime.
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