kannur l saturday l november 14, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION India’s exports dip 5.12% in Oct; trade deficit narrows After recording positive growth in September, exports fell in October, dragged by petroleum products, gems & jewellery Trade deficit narrows to $8.7 billion Export commodities that recorded negative growth in October included petroleum products (-52%), cashew (-22%), gems and jewellery (-21%) and leather (-17%). Imports also fell by 11.53% to $33.6 billion on a yearon-year basis. According to government data released on Friday, trade deficit in October narrowed to $8.71 billion against $11.75 bn a year ago ■ 114% Imports, too, decline in tandem ■ During April-October 2020, exports declined 19% to $150 billion, while imports fell 36% to $182 bn over same period a year ago. Oil imports dipped a whopping 38.52% to $5.98 billion in October After contracting for six straight months, India’s exports had risen by 5.99% to $27.58 billion in September Year-on-year percentage change in exports of rice in October 2020 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 EXIT KODIYERI Steps down as CPM state secretary citing health issues; move comes day after son Bineesh lodged in jail Isolated and hurt, he retires E x p r e s s N e w s S e r v i c e @ T’Puram The ruling CPM blinked for the first time after being bombarded with a barrage of corruption allegations for several months when party state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan stepped down from the party post on Friday Though he cited the impend. ing next course of medical treatment for his leave of absence, it is clear that the clinching factors were the impending local body elections and his son Bineesh Kodiyeri’s incarceration in a Bengaluru jail in a money laundering case related to a drug trafficking ring. The party accepted his request and gave LDF convener A Vijayaraghavan the charge of party state secretary. It is learnt that party general secretary Sitaram Yechury was also in favour of Kodiyeri staying away for the time being. The Opposition was quick to latch on to the development and demanded Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s resignation, stating that his office has become the epicentre of all corrupt deals under the LDF government. Pushed to the wall over a slew of charges in the gold smuggling case and the Bineesh episode, both the CPM and the Left government were exploring ways to wriggle out of the crisis. The CPM state and central leaderships, however, had asserted that there was no need for Kodiyeri to quit. With the Bineesh issue worsening day by day, Kodiyeri finally took the decision to step down in view of the upcoming elections. Sources said he consulted Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in this regard. On Friday, he informed the party senior leaders about his decision to go on leave. At the available politbu- express read Vigilance to approach court to quiz Sivasankar T’Puram: The vigilance team probing the LIFE Mission scam will approach the special court in Ernakulam on Tuesday with a petition seeking the custody of M Sivasankar, former principal secretary to the Kerala chief minister, for interrogation. The vigilance had arraigned Sivasankar as the fifth accused in the LIFE Mission case. ‘Ganesh Kumar’s secy threatened approver’ Kasaragod: Actor and MLA K B Ganesh Kumar’s secretary, M Pradeep Kottathala, has been booked for threatening an approver in the actor abduction and assault case. Bekal police, investigating the case, submitted a report to Hosdurg court identifying Kottathala as the person who made threatening calls to Vipin Lal, the key approver in the case. ANI L S @T’Puram Kodiyeri Balakrishnan | FILE PICture at a glance CPM politburo member since 2008 Party state secretary since 2015 State home minister from 2006 to ‘11 Vijayaraghavan a stop-gap arrangement at best? Kodiyeri Balakrishnan sought the party leadership’s permission to take leave for medical treatment. The decision is in no way linked with the Bineesh Kodiyeri case M V Govindan, CPM central committee member T’Puram: Though A Vijayaraghavan, given his humble beginnings and seniority in the party, would have been an ideal choice to officiate as the CPM state secretary in place of Kodiyeri Balakrishnan, the recent slew of political controversies makes him a surprising choice. The party is likely to have chosen him as a temporary arrangement aimed at the civic polls. He could be replaced before the next assembly elections. P4 ro meeting, he raised the matter and pointed out that in view of the polls, the party needs a full-time secretary . Though Prakash Karat asked him to continue, Kodiyeri insisted on taking leave. Following this, the central leadership directed the state unit to give the charge to another leader. An official statement said the party secretariat approved Kodiyeri’s request for leave of absence from his position for further medical treatment. The duration of leave was, however, not mentioned. ● More on P4 “I’m addressing you as the party secretary not as Bineesh’s father. When , it comes to choosing between the interests of the party and an individual, the party’s interest reigns supreme. Bineesh is just an individual and allegations have been made against this particular individual,” s a i d a n e m o t i o n a l Ko d i ye r i Balakrishnan after the party secretariat meet last Friday . Just a week after, he chose to step down, being hurt and isolated within the party The Kerala CPM’s smiling . face was under tremendous pressure. Though health issues were cited as the reason for going on leave, it’s obvious that the controversies plaguing Bineesh did play a major role in his taking the call to step down in his second tenure as party secretary . A moderate face in the party and acceptable to all, Kodiyeri suddenly found himself isolated in the party in a way A year ago when allegations . had cropped up against his elder son, Kodiyeri had offered to step down, but the party rejected his offer. But this time around, though the party made it clear that he need not quit, senior leaders made their displeasure evident. Sources said Kodiyeri was pained at the indifference shown by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on the Bineesh issue. The CM even distanced himself when the ED had raided Bineesh’s house. Responding to queries, Pinarayi said he could not comment on the matter without ● More on P4 knowing facts. Buzz on BJP naming Dalit leader as deputy chief minister in Bihar R a j e s h K u m a r T h a k u r @ Patna Amid buzz that the BJP may opt f o r ve t e r a n D a l i t l e a d e r Kameshwar Chaupal as the new deputy chief minister instead of incumbent Sushil Kumar Modi, the Bihar NDA held its first meeting after the elections on Friday . The speculation strengthened after hundreds of supporters of Chaupal raised slogans demanding his elevation as deputy CM, upon his arrival at the Patna airport. Chaupal is one of the 15 members of a trust set up on the directions of the Supreme Court to construct a Ram temple at Ayodhya. He was also accorded the rare honour of performing the first Shilanyas — laying the first brick in the foundation for the construction of a Ram temple in NDA leaders opined. Ayodhya on November 9, 1989 — As for Sushil Modi, the specuas part of the Sangh Parivar’s so- lation is he could be sent to the cial engineering. He Rajya Sabha on the coined the slogan seat that fell vacant af‘Ram with Roti’, meldter the demise of LJP ing faith with founder Ram Vilas livelihood. Paswan. Howeve r, C h ie f Propping up Chaupal Minister Nitish Kucould also help the BJP m a r m ay n o t b e build a Dalit vote bank comfortable with a to occupy the space vanew deputy. “Sushil cated by LJP chief Kameshwar Chaupal Modi may not have a Chirag Paswan. For wide vote bank but he his part, Chaupal said is well experienced in running he had no official word on any ministries like finance,” some new assignment within the government or the party . Sushil Kumar Modi may not Later in the day Nitish submit, have a wide vote bank but he is ted his resignation. An NDA well experienced in running meeting on Sunday will take the ministries like finance process of government formaNDA leaders tion forward. Church row Upset with govt, Orthodox faction pulls out of talks E x p r e s s N e w s S e r v i c e @Kottayam In a major setback to the ruling LDF ahead of the local body elections, the Orthodox faction of the Malankara Church has decided to withdraw from the peace talks initiated by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan alleging that the state government and the Ernakulam collector were unilaterally favouring its rival Jacobite faction in the Kothamangalam church dispute. In a press meet convened at the headquarters of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (MOSC) at Devalokam here, the Orthodox faction authorities came down heavily on the government and officials. They alleged that they suspect that the Jacobite faction and government machinery are colluding with each other to achieve their common goal. The Orthodox faction’s outburst follows an affidavit that was submitted in the Kerala High Court on Thursday by the additional chief secretary of home department and Ernakulam collector in connection with the Kothamangalam church takeover. “We view the actions of the additional chief secretary and the district collector were a subversion of truth and denial of justice to the Orthodox Church. This is a stand against the Church. With this, the role of the bureaucracy in the political movement a g ainst the Or thodox Church has become evident. The Church wants to know whether the additional chief secretary submitted the affidavit with the chief minister’s knowledge or not,” said Yuhanon Mar Diascoros, Orthodox Episcopal Synod secretary . “Members of the Church have the wisdom to realise that the gov- ernment, which has been proclaiming that it is with the believers in matters of faith, seeking time to implement court orders only in the Church case is with an eye on the elections,” said the metropolitan. “The state government and the Ernakulam collector are unilaterally taking a stand in favour of the Patriarch faction. This is a challenge to the apex court of the country It is dubious that the state . home department, which is not a party to the Church dispute case, submitted the affidavit in connection with the Kothamangalam ● More on P5 church.” Pak violates ceasefire pact, jawans among 11 killed in fierce shelling Pak troops resorted to intense shelling on Friday morning after Ahead of the onset of winter and Indian soldiers foiled an infiltration forecast of two-day snowfall in the attempt of militants in the Keran upper reaches of Jammu & Kashmir, sector. the Line of Control witnessed heavy This was the second infiltration shelling on Friday as Pak troops vio- attempt by militants at the LoC lated the ceasefire agreement in within a week. On Sunday, three multiple sectors, killing five Indian army men were killed in action in soldiers and 6 civilians and injuring the Machil sector. a few others. Friday’s intense artillery firing Eight Pakistani soldiers were re- caused panic among border resiportedly killed in dents and many retaliatory firing by fled to safer places the flare-up Indian forces. The to escape shells. Army later released Apart from the videos showing imUri sector, Pakistan Pakistan mense damage to troops breached Occupied Pakistani infraborder ceasefire in Kashmir structure along the Gurez Dawar, Keran, and LoC including bun- Keran Naugam sectors, kers, ammunition too. loc dumps and terror- Sultan Daki Defence spokessrinagar Uri ists’ launch pads. man Colonel Rajesh Baramulla Depu- Balkote Kalia said Pakistaty Commissioner ni troops used morHaji Peer Ghulam Nabi Itoo tars and other told TNIE that Paweapons and delibkistani troops breached ceasefire in erately targeted civilian areas. the Uri sector in the afternoon and “Our troops also gave a befitting targeted army positions and civil- response. We caused substantial ian areas. They resorted to heavy dama g e to Pakistan Ar my’s firing and mortar shelling in differ- infrastructure and inflicted heavy ent sectors of Uri including Kamal- casualties on them,” Colonel Kalia kote, Charanda, Sultan Daki, Bala- said. kote, etc. Some of the shells landed An army official said Pakistan is in civilian areas, causing casualties attempting to push as many as miliand damage to property . tants into J&K before closure of in“This was the worst shelling in filtration passes by snowfall in the the Uri sector in the last five to six winter to foment trouble in the milyears,” the DC said. itancy-hit region. FAYA Z WANI @ Srinagar J&K pilgrims can trek to Sabarimala shrine without masks, says Devaswom Minister Exemption based on protocol for those engaging in intense physical activities, says Kadakampally Surendran
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