tirupati l tuesday l january 12, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l late city EDITION $ Corporate America decides to pause political donations US business houses are rethinking political contributions in the wake of the Capitol siege by Trump supporters last week Goldman, JP Morgan, Citi halt contributions Political action committees vs e-bonds Goldman Sachs has announced freezing of donations through its political action committee (PAC). JPMorgan, the largest US bank by assets, will halt donations for six months, while Citigroup will put all contributions on hold for a quarter. Meanwhile, some firms like Marriott are pausing donations to Republicans who sought to overturn the election results ■ ■ Blue Cross Blue Shield, Boston Scientific and Commerce Bancshares are taking a targeted approach to donation freezes In the US, companies contribute to political parties or candidates through PACs which make the details public. In India, companies can anonymously pay political parties through electoral bonds $14 bn Estimated money spent during the 2020 u.s. presidential election 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 Govt to bear cost of jab for 3 cr frontliners E x p r e s s ne w s s e r v i c e SC set to issue orders today on setting up a court-monitored committee to address the farmer agitation; raps Centre for sloppy talks, prods it to put contentious legislations on ice for now Stay on farm law implementation? @ New Delhi K a n u S a r d a @ New Delhi The Centre will bear the full expense of vaccinating three crore healthcare and frontline workers in the first phase. This was confirmed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his videoconference call with chief ministers on Monday . “Health workers, both government and private, will be vaccinated first. Sanitation workers, other frontline workers, defence forces, police and other paramilitary forces will also be vaccinated in the first phase,” Modi said. Thereafter, those above 50 years and younger people with serious co-morbidities will be given the vaccine against Covid-19. The PM also told the chief ministers that politicians including people’s representatives such as MPs and MLAs should not try to get the vaccine in the first phase. He also asked states to ensure that no rumours are spread against vaccination as the massive drive kicks off. During his interaction with the CMs, Modi said that apart from the two already-approved vaccines — Covishield manufactured by Pune-based Serum Institute and Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin — four others are in the pipeline. “Our experts have taken all precautions to provide the countrymen with effective vaccines,” he said. The vaccine rollout will begin on January 16 with the help of 61,000 programme managers, 2 lakh vaccinators and 3.7 lakh other vaccination team members, the CMs were informed. The priority of vaccination has been decided as per advice of experts and the scientific community after consultation with the states, he said. The vaccination for Covid-19 has been going on in about 50 countries for past 3-4 weeks. The Supreme Court on Monday indicated that it could stay the implementation of the three contentious farm laws as it came down heavily on the government for insisting on continuing with the laws despite the nearly twomonth-long farmers’ protest in and around Delhi’s borders. A bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde told Attorney General K K Venugopal and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that the government had failed to hold effective negotiations with the protesting farmers, and stressed the need for a courtappointed committee to break the logjam. The bench will pass its order on Tuesday . The court blamed the government for framing the laws without enough consultation. “We do not want to repeat the criticism but we do not believe your negotiations are effective. We are attempting to make the atmosphere conducive by keeping the implementation of the laws in abeyance,” the CJI observed while referring to the suicides by farmers EXPRESS READ NPA situation set to worsen, warns RBI New Delhi: Gross bad loans of banks could swell to 13.5% of total assets under the baseline stress scenario by the end of September 2021, according to an RBI report. Gross NPA of banks was 7.5% in September 2019. However, if the macroeconomic environment worsens, bad loans could rise to 14.8%, it warned. Farmers during their ongoing agitation over the farm reform laws, at the Singhu border in Delhi on Monday | PTI Not even one plea in SC saying laws are good, finds bench Observing that there is not a single petition before the Supreme Court saying the farm laws were beneficial, the bench told the Centre, “It will not help you to say that this was started by the last government. We are discussing constitutionality.” to say that it did not want any blood on its hands, and also voiced concern about the possibility of the protests turning violent. “Who is going to take responsibility for bloodshed if this sabrerattling goes on and results in c o n fl a g r at i o n ? ” t h e b e n ch questioned. Sense of responsibility “We don’t see why there is an insistence on implementation of the laws. It’s our intention to see if we can bring about an amicable resolution. That is why we asked why don’t you put the bills on hold. You want time for negotiation. If there is some sense of responsibility then you will not implement the laws,” the bench said When Venugopal claimed that the laws were based on the recommendations of various expert committees set up by past governments, including those of the UPA, the CJI cut him short. “It will not help to say that some oth- er government started it. We are not on the merits of the laws,” CJI Bobde said. To Venugopal’s complaint that the farmers were being stubborn on their demand to repeal the laws, the CJI said they will be heard by the proposed court-appointed committee. Referring to the bench’s suggestion to stay the legislations, Venugopal requested it not to take such a drastic decision and to wait for some more time before passing orders. But the CJI was in no mood to relent. “Sorry to say, we have to, because you, as the Union of India, did not take responsibility You were not able . to solve the problem. You should have been able to solve the strike, but you did not,” CJI Bobde said. Mehta sought to defend the government when the CJI asked him if the Centre was part of the problem or the solution. The Solicitor General said many organisations had come forward to support the laws as progressive. The bench also made it clear that the protesting farmers would have to move to another site to continue their agitation. Amma Vodi beneficiaries can opt for laptop instead of money, says Jagan Temple attacks: RSS to hold mega protest in Vizag E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Nellore E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e Launching the second edition of Jagananna Amma Vodi scheme at SVGS Colle g e grounds in the city on Monday , Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy reiterated his commitment to ensuring a good future for school-going children. He announced that from the next edition of Amma Vodi, mothers of children pursuing Class IX to XII can opt for a laptop with high-end configuration instead of monetary benefit under the scheme. So the students can attend online classes without any hindrance. Tenders for procuring laptops will be invited soon, he said. Promising Internet connectivity to every village of the State in the next three years, he said English medium education will be imparted in 55,607 Anganwadis (YSR Pre-Primary Schools) from February 1. In the second edition of Amma Vodi, `6,673 crore is being credited into the bank accounts of 44,48,865 mothers, thereby benefiting around 84 Expressing concern over the acts of temple vandalism in Andhra Pradesh, RSS supremo Mohan Bhagwat said the organisation is monitoring the situation and will seek justice for Hindus. The RSS will also seek to check acts of temple vandalism, he told Sri Vishwaprasanna Theertha of Sri Pejawar Mutt, Udupi, when he met him at Poornaprajna Vidyapeeta in Beng alur u on Monday . Bhagwat said the RSS will organise a mega protest against temple vandalism in Visakhapatnam in the first week of February where a number of seers will , be invited to speak. The pontiff also expressed deep concern over temple vandalism. While the Andhra Pradesh government recently constituted a Special Investigation Team to probe the attacks on temples, the vandalism has led to a political slugfest between TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu and AP Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan P4 Reddy he added. , @ Udupi/Bengaluru Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy addresses a public gathering after launching the second edition of Jagananna Amma Vodi scheme in Nellore on Monday | Express lakh children. Jagan said he feels happy seeing the smile on the faces of his 45 lakh sisters across the State and is thankful to the God for giving him an opportunity to help them. “Only education can ensure a bright future of children and every child from poor families should pursue higher education for better career prospects. To make it happen our government launched Amma Vodi,” he explained. Jagan said the Nadu Nedu initiative has started yielding results in strengthening basic infrastructure in government schools. “The student strength in government schools in the State is 42 lakh now, compared to 38 lakh earlier. Around 4 lakh students studying in private schools, got enrolled in government schools with the strengthening of infrastructure and educational standards,” he P5 said. HC suspends PR Poll schedule in view of vaccination E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Monday suspended the panchayat election schedule announced by State Election Commissioner (SEC) Nimmagadda Ramesh Kumar. Hearing the petition filed by SEC files the State government, challenging appeal the SEC’s announcement on holdSEC N Ramesh ing panchayat elections from FebKumar filed ruary 5 to 17, opined that the SEC an appeal had not taken the decision in an against the objective manner. Justice M Ganga Rao, in his ininterim order of the single terim order, ruled that after carejudge of the fully considering the peculiar facts HC suspending and circumstances of the case, the the PR poll court prima facie came to a conschedule clusion that the SEC notified the elections without proper consultations with the State government as per the Supreme Court order. The court found that the SEC also failed to consider the inputs provided to it by the government objectively in proper perspective. It opined that the decision was in violation of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India. The SEC’s decision to conduct elections will certainly hamper and create hindrance to the mammoth vaccination programme taken up by the Centre and to be implemented by the State government to contain Covid-19 and its mutation. In the interest of public health, the SEC orders are hereby suspended, the P4 Judge ruled. China moves troops deployed deep inside Line of Actual Control New Delhi: China recently moved around 10,000 People’s Liberation Army (PLA) personnel deployed deep inside the Line of Actual Control (LAC) on their side, further away from the border. But there was no change in its deployment of troops and equipment on the Ladakh border, where they ingressed into Indian territory. Confirming the development, an Army officer said, “There is no change in troop positions from the Chinese side.” b l o c k - b u s t er t es t Draw of inspiration: Battered Vihari-Ashwin defy pain, odds in Sydney S w a r o o p S w a m i n at h a n @ Chennai Shripad Naik injured Ayush minister Shripad Naik was injured and his wife and personal assistant killed when their car overturned at Ankola in Karnataka on Monday night IT was a day for new heroes. It was a day for unfairly maligned cricketers to remind India of the talent they possess. It was a day for putting bodies on the line to save careers. Weeks after being bundled out for their lowest score ever, they married heart, fight and spirit to outlast the Australian bowlers in a display of guts that will be re- Hanuma Vihari and R Ashwin hug after the match in Sydney on Monday | AFP counted in history books that will chronicle the triumphs of Indian cricket. That too by a bunch that included players who wouldn’t have figured in the XI if everyone was fit. The scoreboard will say Hanuma Vihari remained unbeaten on 23. It will say R Ashwin made an undefeated 39. What it won’t say is they battled their body, the Aussie bowlers and cheap shots from close-in field- ers for over 40 overs to steer India to a draw when that possibility seemingly did not exist after they lost captain Ajinkya Rahane in the second over of the day. While Rishabh Pant and Cheteshwar Pujara played their part, the unbroken sixthwicket stand between Ashwin and Vihari made the difference. They shut out the pain and repelled everything. On Twitter, Ashwin’s wife, Prithi, posted “he could not stand up straight when he woke up this morning”. So he opted to keep stretching in the dressing room, shadow practicing while Pujara and Pant shared a 148-run partnership. By the time he joined Vihari, the latter was limping. Retiring was not an option. So they started to block. They took blows, they flinched, they popped a pill, they opted for extra protective gear when the easier way out was to walk away. Their vigil lasted more than 40 overs. They spoke in Tamil, as the countdown began. Vihari acknowledged how Ashwin kept guiding him during his innings llike an ‘elder brother’. Such was the emotion that “We did not even celebrate towards the end because we did not know what to make out of it,” Ashwin revealed on bcci.tv.
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