tirupati l thursday l december 03, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l anantapur EDITION India invites Boris Johnson as 2021 Republic day chief guest Prime Minister Narendra Modi reportedly extended the invite to the UK premier during a telephonic conversation on Nov 27 Can’t confirm, says British High Commission However, a British High Commission spokesperson said that the mission cannot confirm or deny the news. “We can’t confirm one way or the other. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is keen to visit India as soon as possible,” the official said. Modi is likely to travel to London next year for the G-7 summit. An invitation for the same was extended to him by Johnson ■ 2020 UK foreign secy may also visit India ■ Acting British High Commissioner to India Jan Thompson had recently said Johnson and British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab would make an in-person visit to India in the next few months “Had an excellent discussion with my friend @BorisJohnson on roadmap for India-UK ties in next decade,” Modi tweeted on Nov 27 Republic day chief guest was Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro 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 Shah to meet Amarinder before fresh talks today ‘Marshals’ manhandling’ by TDP MLAs to ethics panel Govt to offer new proposal; unions seek special Parliament session E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi The Union government is likely to come up with a fresh proposal to resolve the current stalemate during talks with farmer unions on Thursday, even as the agitators, while claiming that more people will join their protest, demanded a special session of Parliament to repeal three contentious farm sector reform laws. The decision to make a revised proposal was taken at a meeting Union home minister Amit Shah had with colleagues Narendra Singh Tomar and Piyush Goyal at his residence on Wednesday, a day after the government’s talks with farmers ended inconclusively . The government is keen on resolving the issue quickly, sources said. Ahead of the talks, Shah is expected to meet Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday morning to discuss the way forward, said sources. For his part, agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar again appealed to the farmers to end their protests. “I appeal to the farmers to end their protests and arrive at a solution Transporters’ turn to threaten strike The All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) has called for a strike in support of the agitating farmers. “Starting December 8, we will halt the movement of supplies in entire North India including Delhi, J&K, Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan,” it said through discussions. Also, people of Delhi have to show patience. The government understands that they are facing difficulties,” he said. As for the farmers, they kept up their belligerence, warning the Centre against attempting to sow discord among their ranks. Contrary to the narrative being built by the government, their campaign was not limited to farmers from Punjab, they sought to emphasise. Labelling it as a movement of farmers from across the country the union leaders said , Thursday’s meeting with Tomar and Goyal would have wider representation from their side. “The government tried to show this is just a movement of farmers from Punjab.... We have also decided that farmer leaders from all over the country should participate in the talks,” said Darshan Pal, president of the Krantikari Kisan Union. He also demanded that the government call a special session of Parliament to repeal the three farm sector laws. Protesting farmers also announced that on Saturday they , will burn effigies of the Modi government and those of corporate biggies like Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani. “We’ll burn effigies in every district of Maharashtra on Thursday and in Gujarat on Saturday. Thursday is the last chance for the government to take a decision to repeal the laws, otherwise this movement will become huge and the government will fall,” warned Pratibha Shinde of the Lok Sangharsh Morcha. Earlier, leaders of 32 farmer unions met at Delhi’s Singhu border to draw up a list of sticking points in writing on the three laws, as requested by the government. The list will be presented to the government on Thursday . We expect that the Polavaram Project Authority (PPA) will recommend 2017-18 price level for Centre’s approval. Funds to the tune of `26,585 crore for land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement (LARR), `7,174 crore for civil works and `4,124 crore for power component are needed for the project completion YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, Chief Minister E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @Vijayawada Stating that the Polavaram Irrigation Project works will be completed on a war-footing without a deviation of even a millimetre in the dam height or its storage capacity Chief Min, ister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy asserted that the government will focus on land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement Kerala govt bars young women in Sabarimala TWO years after it allowed two young women to visit the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple following a Supreme Court verdict, the CPM-led Kerala government and the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) seem to have changed their stance on women’s entry to the hill shrine. The portal launched by the TDB in association with the Kerala Police for online services, like virtual queue for darshan, says that “females and other gender (trans) less than 50 years and above 65 years won’t be allowed.” The state government had earlier said children below 10 years and those above 65 years won’t be permitted due to Covid restrictions. TDB, which manages the temple, had argued before the five-member constitution bench of the Supreme Court in February 2019 it was against discriminating anyone based on their biological attributes. The government had also opposed the review petitions @ Vijayawada filed against the September 28, 2018 verdict that allowed women’s entry at the temple. Hindu Aikya Vedi, which had launched a fierce protest against entry of young womens in the temple, termed the move a political gimmick in view of the upcoming local body and Assembly polls. However, the TDP chose to distance itself from the new decision saying the portal is managed by the police. The new guidelines evoked angry response from activists. “This exposes the double stand of the Left government,” said Bindhu Ammini, one of the two women who managed to enter the temple in the dead of the night on January 2, 2019 with police escort. (LARR) to store water as per the Central Water Commission (CWC) guidelines. He reiterated that the project cannot be completed unless the latest rates were approved and said that the ‘mess’ in approval of the revised cost estimates (RCE) had its genesis in the special package and the subsequent Union Cabinet resolution accepted by the previous Chandrababu Naidu government. Vaccination next week in UK, Russia The UK on Wednesday became the first country in the West to approve a Covid-19 vaccine, leapfrogging over the US and Europe to grant emergency use authorisation to a jab developed jointly by US pharma major Pfizer and German firm BioNTech. Vaccination is set to begin early next week. Hours later, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered universal vaccination with the homegrown Sputnik V. “Let’s agree on this — you will not report to me next week, but you will start mass vaccination,” Putin reportedly told Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova. UK’s approval came just 23 days after Pfizer released the first data from its phase 3 trial. While it showed 95% efficacy against Covid, the sticking point was the need to store it at -700C. The UK has so far bought 40 million doses of the vaccine, enough to inoculate 20 million or about 30% of the population, as two shots per person are needed to develop immunity . The World Health Organisation (WHO), too, is examining Pfizer’s data. A WHO emergency use listing would allow countries to authorise it for national emergency use and open the door to its international supply . NGT dismisses AP’s review petition on Purushottapatnam Lift Irrigation Scheme E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e M a n o j V i s w a n at h a n @ Kochi Nine TDP MLAs were suspended for the day as they disrupted the proceedings while the CM was speaking. Though the TDP has a strength of 23 in the House, four of them have distanced themselves from the party. Members like Nandamuri Balakrishna and Ganta Srinivasa Rao were conspicuous by their absence. The principal bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has dismissed the review application filed by the Andhra Pradesh government in the matter of environmental clearance for Purushottapatnam Lift Irrigation Scheme. The tribunal, in September, had asked the State government to “ensure compliance The Chief Minister, during a short discussion on Polavaram project on the third day of the winter session of Assembly on Wednesday alleged that former , CM Chandrababu Naidu tried to reduce a national project to a State project by accepting curtailment of the project cost at 2013-14 price level. Revealing the documents related to the correspondence between the Centre and the State, he noted that the Union Cabinet meeting had agreed to fund the entire cost of the project in May 2014. However, the Chief Minister added that on September 8, 2016, the Union Finance Ministry issued a statement that the Centre would bear the cost of the 100 per cent remaining works of the irrigation component as on April 1, 2014 as part of the special package. immunity race @ New Delhi Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham Pontiff Sri Vijayendra Saraswathi Swamy visits Tirumala temple on Wednesday | Express Nine TDP MLAs suspended Will focus on LARR of Polavaram: CM E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e Seer’s grace Taking exception to the manhandling of Marshals by some TDP members while they were being physically moved out of the House after their suspension on Tuesday, Assembly Speaker Tammineni Sitaram on Wednesday said the issue will be referred to the Ethics Committee for submission of a report after looking into the matter. The Ethics Committee is headed by YSRC MLA Ambati Rambabu. with statutory clearances before going ahead with the project” and also constituted a committee to assess the “extent of damage to be caused” and the “compensation” to be paid to the affected people. The State government filed a review petition on September 9 and the NGT conducted the hearing on the same on November 27. “By way of the present review application, the State of AP is practically seeking re- hearing by asserting that the project is not an irrigation project. We are unable to accept the submission. The order sought to be reviewed was passed after due consideration of the rival contentions. Rehearing is not permissible in review proceedings. Accordingly the review application is , dismissed,” chairperson of the bench Adarsh Kumar Goel said, in the order uploaded on December 1. Selective amnesia on universal shots? S u m i S u k a n ya D u t ta @ New Delhi The Union government’s announcement on Tuesday that the entire population will not be given the Covid-19 shot is a major deviation from its earlier stance, as in one of the first meetings on the vaccination chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June, it had clearly stated “that vaccination must be affordable and universal — no person should be left behind.” It also goes against the declared objective of most developed countries that have already announced universal vaccination. While the US, Australia and European Union have said they will provide free vaccination to all, some other countries such as the UK and Canada have prebooked vaccine doses in excess of their population. Following the meeting chaired by Modi on June 30, the government had issued a statement that mentioned four guiding principles that would form the foundation of the national effort of Covid-19 immunisation. “First, that vulnerable groups should be identified and prioritized for early vaccination, for example doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, non-medical frontline corona warriors, and vulnerable people among the general population..,” it Continued on P7 said. express read US court blocks two H-1B regulations by Trump `416 cr sanctioned for River Godavari clean-up In a relief to thousands of Indian professionals, a US court has blocked two H-1B regulations proposed by the Trump administration to restrict the ability of American companies to hire foreign employees | P9 Rajamahendravaram: Godavari clean-up project got a financial boost of `416 crore with Union Jal Shakti Ministry sanctioning the sum under the National River Conservation Plan of NRCD, said MP M Bharat here on Wednesday. AP police get 5 awards at 68th SKOCH Summit AP Police won the awards for their outstanding performance in implementing digital initiatives big fish ACB unearths `3 crore assets from Nellore APSPDCL SE E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Nellore In a big catch, ACB sleuths on Wednesday unearthed alleged disproportionate assets to the tune of `3 crore, which include foreign currency and investment in a private firm, from the possession of the Superintendent Engineer of Andhra Pradesh Southern Power Distribution Company Limited (APSPDCL) in Nellore. The ACB sleuths conducted simultaneous raids at seven places, including the residence, office and other places of K Vijay Kumar Reddy, SE, APSPDCL Senior Engineer Office, Nellore. According to an official release, the alleged disproportionate assets in the name of Vijay Kumar and his family members include two residential houses valued at `1.44 crore, five house sites measuring around 3,834.66 square yards amounting to above `78 lakh, agriculture lands at four places measuring 13.81 acres valued at `42.54 lakh, a four-wheeler and a two wheeler. Vijay Kumar had also invested `50 lakh in Simhapuri Ferro Alloys Limited in 2010. Apart from these assets, the SE possessed foreign currency includ, ing 120 Thai Bahts, eight Chinese Yuans and 43 US Dollars. According to the ACB sleuths, Vijay Kumar joined the erstwhile AP State Electricity Board as an assistant engineer. In 1997, he was promoted as as- sistant divisional engineer and as divisional engineer in 2006. He was made an SE in 2017. His other assets include more than `59,000 cash, gold worth `25 lakh, bank balance of `45 lakh and silver worth `50,000. “The disproportionate assets are worth `3 crore,’’ the release said, adding that Vijay Kumar will be produced in the Special Court for ACB cases.
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