HYDERABAD THURSDAY NOVEMBER 26, 2020 `7.00 PAGES 18 LATE CITY EDITION DIEGO ARMANDO MARADONA. OCTOBER 1960-NOVEMBER 2020 The world of sports and the world in general suffered perhaps the shock of the year: Argentine football great no more DEATH CAUSED BY HEART ATTACK Known the world over for leading his country to victory in the 1986 Mexico World Cup almost single-handedly, Maradona was suffering from various ailments for many years. The latest one saw him undergo brain surgery at a Buenos Aires hospital earlier this month. According to an unnamed source close to him, the cause of his death was heart attack. ■ 34 PEOPLE’S CHOICE: THE BEST PLAYER EVER ■ In a glittering and controversial career, his second goal against England in the 1986 World Cup quarterfinal is widely regarded as the best in the history of the international game. In a poll conducted by FIFA in 2000, Maradona was chosen Player of the Century, pushing Brazil’s Pele to the 2nd spot | P13 GOALS IN 91 MATCHES FOR ARGENTINA. SET UP MORE THAN HE SCORED 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 CM alerts cops on communal tension ahead of polls EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad AHEAD of the GHMC election, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Wednesday directed the police to take stern action against those trying to foment communal trouble in an attempt to derive political mileage. At a review meeting on law and order at Pragathi Bhavan here, he said the State government will give freedom to police in this regard. “Unruly forces, which are in deep despair, are conspiring to trigger communal clashes. Be careful of such forc- es,” he told the police officials. “The State government has specific information about the plans of the unlawful forces. The priority of the government is to protect the law and order situation in the State and in Hyderabad,” Rao said and asked the police officers to deal with the divisive forces with an iron hand. The Chief Minister said some forces have been trying to derive political mileage by driving a wedge among communities during the GHMC election. “They are using social media to spread communal venom. They are provocative and taunt other commu- Hyderabad is the heart of TS. We should not let these forces have a free run of the city and not allow them to spread hatred. Don’t spare even the ruling party workers if they use religion in their campaigning — KCR, Chief Minister nities. Peace-loving Hyderabadis do not care about their false campaigns on social media. Even though some forces have tried to stoke communal flames, there is not much response from the people. Later, these divisive forces understood that they could not even win the GHMC election by distributing money. Now, they are trying to win by resorting to clashes,” Rao said. He pointed out that some forces have been trying to create disturbances in Karimna g ar, Warangal and Khammam, after which they make it an issue in the election. “They are trying to create problems in Hyderabad by splashing communal paint on even innocuous issues. Some people are trying to create ugly scenes near religious places. They are trying to divide the people. They have even planned to create trouble in the city so that the officials do not conduct the GHMC election. The government has specific information on their plans to foment unrest,” the Chief Minister said. Rao said Hyderabad has earned a reputation of being a safe city The primary responsi. bility of the government is to protect its over 60 lakh people in three police commissionerates, he said. Communal slugfest rages on as leaders bicker over memorials EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Hyderabad Fire officials rescue people affected by the flood due to incessant rains at Velacherry in Chennai on Wednesday | ASHWIN PRASATH NO CALM BEFORE THE STORM 1.21 lakh people given shelter in 1,370 relief camps across Delta districts, public holiday today in 16 districts of TN and in Puducherry EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Chennai IT has been a nail-biter, as the severe cyclonic storm Nivar kept shifting its movement and patterns throughout Wednesday, keeping public and disaster-management officials waiting in anticipation. It weakened and gained intensity on multiple occasions, and is expected to make a landfall post Wednesday midnight. At 8.30 pm on Wednesday the , storm was about 80 km eastsoutheast of Cuddalore, and about 160 km away from Chennai. It was moving northwestward at 14 kmph. Heavy to very heavy rainfall has been predicted in the Delta districts, northern parts of the State including Chennai, and in Puducherry . By 10.30 pm, according to the officials, the storm will intensify and wind speeds exceeding 120 kmph, gusting to 145 kmph, can be felt during the landfall. Cuddalore received the highest rainfall ahead of the cyclone, at 98 mm, followed by Puducherry at 82 mm, and Chennai and Karaikal at 69 mm each. Several areas of Chennai witnessed waterlogging despite high-technology machinery being deployed to clear out blocks. Low-lying areas and former lake-beds that have now turned into habitations witnessed flooding. The airport was shut for 12 hours and small aircraft were moved to safer spots. Even before the actual storm hit, the city lost 80 trees to rain and strong winds. “A total of 1.21 lakh persons belonging to 34,389 families have been given shelter in 1,370 relief camps in Delta districts,” said minister RB Udhayakumar, who met the media late in the evening. “Two Naval ships have been roped in from Visakhapatnam, and are stationed off Tamil Nadu coasts, to deal with emergencies.” The minister said that 1.89 per cent of cellphone towers in the State have been affected by rains. “Of a total of 22,017 towers in the State, 286 have been affected. However, since there is no disruption caused to the Optical Fibre Cable network, communication channels remained open in all areas.” Of the 1,600 feeders of the electricity board, only 91 are under repair due to water stagnation and others are functioning well,” the minister added. In Nagapattinam, a district ravaged by cyclones, Gaja and Ockhi, in the recent past, the fishing community was immersed in worry and prayers for the storm to pass with minimal damage. “We have not seen the waves rise this high ever before,” said Lakshmanan, a fisherman from Thirumullaivasam. “We faced severe losses during the last two cyclones and have just started rebuilding our lives. We cannot afford to lose once again,” he said. Most fishermen along the coast have brought their boats to the land using tractors, to minimize the damage. A rubble mound wall under construction at Tarangambadi was thrashed down by tides earlier in the day . The locals made an appeal to the State to increase the wall’s height and width to avoid damage in the future. In Thanjavur and Tiruvarur, farmers got minor relief when the Met department announced that the storm was moving northward. They are hoping the damage caused to standing crop and stored produce would be miniREPORTS: P7 mal. PLAYING on the raw emotions of the people, political leaders, for the second day on the trot, made communally sensitive statements, sending the political temperatures soaring ahead of the GHMC election. On Wednesday, BJP State president Bandi Sanjay Kumar gave a scathing reply to AIMIM MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi, who had challenged the State government of having the guts to pull down the memorials of former Prime Minister late PV Narasimha Rao and former Chief Minister late NT Rama Rao on Necklace Road. Sanjay Kumar said if these memorials are demolished, BJP workers will pull down Darussalam, the MIM headquarters at Aghapura in Old City. Not to be outdone, TRS working president KT Rama Rao also jumped into the fray, slamming the AIMIM leader. “Just a while ago, Akbaruddin Owaisi had demanded that NTR Ghat and PV Narasimha Rao memorial be demolished. Is it your ancestral property? If you demolish PV Narasimha Rao and NTR’s statues or their memorials, within two hours, if necessary BJP workers will demolish , your Darussalam. Do you have the guts to demolish the memo- rial of PV Narasimha Rao, who strove to develop Hindu dharma. Do you have the courage to demolish the NTR statue?” Sanjay Kumar asked. Trouble started when Akbaruddin Owaisi taunted the TRS government about targeting the underprivileged, while allowing encroachments on water bodies. He asked it to, instead, demolish PV Ghat and NTR Ghat which he termed as encroachments on the Hussainsagar. Speaking at a rally in Erragadda, he said, “Hussainsagar was once spread across 4,700 acres. Today , the area has shrunk to 700 acres. What happened to the remaining 4,000 acres? It went in Necklace Road, to make the samadhis of Narasimha Rao and NTR.” CONTINUED ON P4 INTERVIEW Modi had said in the Bihar election that a State can develop when there is the same party govt at the Centre and in the State. This is applicable even to the GHMC poll – KT Rama Rao, MAUD Minister TRS working president KT Rama Rao gestures during an interview with The New Indian Express team at his Banjara Hills residence in Hyderabad on Wednesday | VINAY MADAPU KTR DRIVES HIS POINT HOME WITH PM’S DOUBLE-ENGINE IDEA V V B A L A K R I S H N A @ Hyderabad PAYING back Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his own coin, TRS working president and MAUD Minister KT Rama Rao mooted the concept of “doubleengine” gover nance in the GHMC election. Recalling Modi’s recent slogan in the Bihar election — “doubleengine” government — Rama Rao said: “When the State government and the GHMC have the same party rule, the city too will develop.” He also recalled Modi’s “vocal for local” slogan. “We (TRS) are locals, elect us,” Rama Rao called upon the voters, in an exclusive interview with TNIE at his Banjara Hills residence. Asked about the growth of the BJP in Telangana, Rama Rao said: “I do not care about the growth of the BJP. MIM is our rival in the GHMC election and I am sure that the TRS will defeat MIM candidates in 10 to 12 divisions of the Old City he said. He ,” exuded confidence that the TRS would win on its own by getting a respectable number of divi- sions. “Both the Mayor and Deputy Mayor will be from the TRS,” he said. Objecting to BJP State president Bandi Sanjay Kumar’s surgical strike on the Old City Rama , Rao wondered what the Centre has done in the last six years with regard to the Rohingya. How could they enter the country and who gave them Aadhaar cards, he asked. “Talk to the Defence Minister or Union Home Minister on the Rohingya,” he advised Sanjay Kumar. INTERVIEW ON P4 DOES PLEA HAVE SOMETHING EXTRAORDINARILY SPECIAL? Media can be gagged only if there is real and substantial risk of prejudice. “Is there something extraordinarily special in the plea that such orders had to be passed?” Dhavan asked SC lifts Andhra HC’s media gag order on Amaravati land scam E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi A Supreme Court bench on Wednesday vacated a media gag order issued by the Andhra Pradesh High Court on reporting about a first information report (FIR) filed by the state’s Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) in the Amaravati land scam case. The case became a hot potato as the FIR names former advocate general Dammalapati Srinivas and two daughters of a senior apex court judge. However, the bench did not lift the high court’s stay into the ACB probe. A three-judge bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan issued notice and slated the matter for final hearing in January last week. It also asked the high court not to decide on Srinivas’ writ petition till it (SC bench) adjudicates the matter. During the hearing, senior advocate Rajeev Dhawan, appearing for the Andhra government, argued that the interim high court order barring probe and gagging the media, couldn’t have been passed at all. The writ petition by Srinivas, Dhavan said, alleged malafide but offered nothing on record to corroborate it. “This was an entirely a political writ petition against the CM and this government,” he emphasised. Pointing to suspicious transactions involving Srinivas and others, Dhavan said, “Should such a complaint be investigated or not? This is the simplest question here.” Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the former A-G, said, “My client is targeted because he was appearing for the (former) CM. This case reeks of malafide. This is worse than Emergency CBI did not . do anything. My reputation is being damaged.” CONTINUED ON P9, MORE ON P7 EXPRESS READ ‘Jallikattu’ is India’s official Oscar entry Kochi: Malayalam feature film ‘Jallikattu’ has been selected as India’s official entry for the International Feature Film category at the 93rd Academy Awards, the Film Federation of India announced on Wednesday. It was chosen from 27 entries Prefix ‘0’ to call mobile numbers New Delhi: Starting January 15, you will need to prefix ‘0’ to mobile numbers if you are calling from a landline. The move is to free up sufficient numbering resources for future use, the Department of Communications said Congress loses its best backroom crisis manager R I C H A S H A R M A @ New Delhi AHMED Patel’s demise couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Congress, which is struggling to deal with the revolt by a group of veteran leaders seeking radical changes in the party . His death could, however, pave the way for organisational and generational changes in the party . Patel, 71, who passed away in a Gurugram hospital on Wednesday following complications related to Covid-19, was known for his political acumen to take everyone, including the warring young and old guards, together. According to sources, he worked hard to settle the internal strife within the party till his last. When voices were raised against the party high command, Patel ensured to reach out to the dissenting leaders who wrote to party chief Sonia Gandhi. Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot was candid to say that in the current situation, Congress will miss Patel even more. Senior Congress leader AHMED PATEL AUG 21, 1949 NOV 25, 2020 P Chidambaram said, “Whence do we find another like him?” When the Rajasthan political crisis was at peak, Patel was holding back-channel talks to manage the situation arising out of rebellion by Sachin Pilot. He was part of the three-member committee that looked into i s s u e s b e t we e n P i l o t a n d Gehlot. Patel was part of all major decision-making committees in the Congress. “The road to 10 Janpath (Sonia Gandhi’s official residence) passes through 23 Mother Teresa Crescent (Patel’s residence),” said a senior leader. KCR CONDOLES LEADER’S DEATH Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao expressed shock over the death of senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel. In a message on Wednesday, he recalled his association with Ahmed Patel and conveyed his condolences to members of the bereaved family
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