chennai l tuesday l december 29, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 20 l late city EDITION virat KOhli headlines ICC’s players of decade honours India captain wins Sir Garfield Sobers award for the best Male Cricketer of the Decade. Named ODI Player of the Decade too. Beats De Villiers, sanga to top award Dhoni wins spirit of cricket award Kohli beat R Ashwin, Joe Root, Kumar Sangakkara, Steve Smith, AB de Villiers and Kane Williamson for Player of the Decade award. 66 out of his 70 international centuries came in this decade. He was also the batsman with most fifties (94), most runs (20,396), besides having the maximum average (56.97) among players with 70 innings | P15 ■ ■ MS Dhoni won the ‘ICC Spirit of Cricket Award of the Decade’, chosen by fans for his gesture of calling back England batsman Ian Bell after a bizarre run out in the Nottingham Test in 2011. Steve Smith was chosen the Test Cricketer of the Decade, while Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan bagged the top prize in T20Is. one Kohli is the only player to make it to three ICC teams of the decade 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 Tackling Covid BJP State president L Murugan calls on Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami at the Secretariat in Chennai on Monday EPS: people won’t accept coalition E X PRESS NEWS SER V I C E @ Coimbatore/Chennai REAFFIRMING the AIADMK’s political position that steered the party’s campaign launch a day earlier, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said on Monday that the people of Tamil Nadu would not accept a coalition government in the State. Responding to queries from reporters in Coimbatore, Palaniswami said that an alliance would be formed under the AIADMK umbrella, and that its manifesto for the 2021 polls would be released soon. On why the BJP was yet to announce a chief ministerial candidate, he said that the poll dates were yet to be announced and that could be the probable reason. “The AIADMK has announced its CM candidate as we have already commenced our election campaign,” he added. ‘Ties still strong’ Earlier in the day, BJP State president L Murugan clarified that the party’s alliance with the AIADMK would remain strong. He, however, evaded questions on the ruling party’s “no power share” stand after the elections. He simply stated: “You will get answers to such queries within a few days.” Murugan was addressing a press conference at the BJP headquarters in Chennai after meeting the Chief Minister at the Secretariat. The meeting assumes significance as it took place a day after the AIADMK kick-started its election campaign with a clear message to the saffron party that it would not be in any power sharing arrangement. However, Murugan said that his meeting with the Chief Minister was for a different reason — “to hand over documents of a signature campaign that carried around 50 lakh signatures in support of the National Education Policy 2020”. The State unit of the BJP had conducted the campaign in support of the Centre’s new educational policy . The Federation for National Education Policy comprising re, tired vice-chancellors and educationists, numbering around two lakhs, had signed in this campaign. continued on: p4 Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami held discussions with District Collectors on Monday to discuss the ongoing Covid-19 prevention measures Palaniswami expressed concern that people were now taking the pandemic lightly as the number of cases have been declining steadily in Tamil Nadu. He also asked district officials to remain extra vigilant during the forthcoming New Year and Pongal festivities According to the health bulletin issued by the Directorate of Public Health, among the 93 contacts of the 13 positive returnees, 77 tested negative, and the result of one person was still awaited Full story: p5 Modi mediation to address Kerala’s decades-old Malankara church dispute E X PRESS NEWS SER V I C E @ Kochi A raging church dispute in Kerala that has defied solution despite the Supreme Court’s speaking orders and the state government’s mediation attempts, landed at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s doorstep on Monday Representatives of the Orthodox faction met . Modi in New Delhi, seeking resolution to the decades-old row in Kerala’s Malankara Church, while the Jacobite faction will meet him on Tuesday to present their side of the story “The meeting . was cordial and the Prime Minister promised us to work towards an amicable solution,” said Orthodox Church synod secretary Metropolitan Mar Diascoros. Mizoram Governor P S Sreedharan Pillai, who has been holding parleys with both factions to end the dispute, said a clear picture would emerge after the talks with the Jacobite faction on Tuesday . It’s a 100-year-old dispute and there are certain contentious issues. The PM is making a sincere effort to resolve the issue P S Sreedharan Pillai 50 mn vaccine doses ready for delivery on govt nod, says Serum E X PRESS NEWS SER V I C E @ New Delhi Fifty million doses of the Covishield vaccine are ready, Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India (SII), said on Monday adding that he hopes to get the emergency use authorisation in India soon. Poonawalla’s statement comes days after the SII, the Indian manufacturing and clinical trial partner for the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, submitted additional data to the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation. According to industry sources, India is likely to give the green light at the same time as the UK which reportedly looks at January 4 to roll it out. Covishield is being tested on about 1,700 individuals in India as part of a multi-country phase-3 trial of the vaccine, which has shown 70% efficacy on an average in two different dosing regimens. In response to a query on how much of the readied stockpile will India get, Poonawalla said, “India has such a large population that we will probably end up giving the majority of those 50 million doses to India first.” Poonawalla also said that after the company receives the required regulatory approval, it will be up to the government to decide “how much they can take and how fast”. Speaking about production targets, he said SII will produce around 300 million doses of Covishield by July next year. On the availability of the vaccine in the coming months, Poonawalla said the first six months of 2021 may see a shortage globally . SII launches indigenously developed pneumonia vaccine New Delhi: Serum Institute of India on Monday launched the country’s first indigenously developed pneumococcal vaccine PNEUMOSIL for children in the presence of Union health minister Dr Harsh Vardhan Wednesday date set for fresh talks Farmer unions accept govt invite; no meeting ground yet on the three contentious reform laws H a r p r e e t B a j w a @ Chandigarh The sixth round of talks between the government and the agitating farmers will be held on Wednesday, with the Centre sending a formal invite to 40 kisan unions on Monday Later, the unions con. veyed their consent. Union Agriculture Secretary Sanjay Aggarwal’s letter referred to the response of the unions on December 26 accepting the Centre’s offer for talks and invited them to Vigyan Bhawan in Delhi at 2 pm on December 30 for the dialogue. He reiterated the Centre’s commitment to find a ‘logical resolution’ with an open mind and clear intention. “During this meeting, the concerns of farmers regarding three farmer laws, system of procurement on MSP, ordinance 2020 on Air Quality Management in Na- tional Capital Region and Adjoining Areas besides amending the draft Electricity Amendment Bill 2020 would be discussed in detail,” the one-page letter stated. But arriving at a common ground would not be easy as the farmer unions want nothing short of the repeal of the three laws, while the Centre is willing to make amendments but not take the roll back road. When the Samyukt Kisan Morcha, an umbrella group of 40 farmer unions, had on Saturday written to the government proposed talks on December 29, it had laid out a stiff four-point agenda beginning with the modalities for repealing the three farm laws. The Centre’s letter on Monday mentions the other three points flagged by the unions but skirts the repeal part. Bharatiya Kisan Union (La- Farmers during their agitation, at Ghazipur border in New Delhi on Monday | PTI ‘Pawar wanted to do it’ Agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar said former PM Manmohan Singh and agriculture minister Sharad Pawar wanted to bring farm reforms during UPA rule, but couldn’t due to political pressure khowal) general secretary Harinder Singh Lakhowal said, “we decided to attend the December 30 meeting, as we do not want to give the government any chance to say that the farmers backed out of discussions. However, there is no change in our demands.” Reacting to the vandalisation of over 1,500 telecom towers in Punjab so far, Lakhowal said, “we did not give any call to cut power supply to towers of a specific mobile company, as it would affect studies of students at the time of the pandemic. We only requested people to get their mobile numbers ported to any other mobile operator in protest.” As for the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee, it found the Centre’s letter cleverly worded while not willing to discuss the full agenda proposed by farmers. P9
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