BHUBANESWAR l sunday l FEBRUARY 14, 2021 l `8.00 l PAGES 24 l LATE CITY EDITION rohit gives india edge Spectators are back. Opener Rohit Sharma did not disappoint them with a classy 161 as India posted 300/6 against England Fans The second India-England Test is the first international event to allow fans back into the stadium since the pandemic. Though only 50% capacity was allowed, the atmosphere was electrifying Toss India opted for a turner to take the toss out of the equation. Luck went Virat Kohli’s way this time and the hosts chose to bat. With 300 on board, they were comfortably placed on Day One Partnership Two batsmen under pressure — Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane — steered India out of trouble with a 162-run stand for the fourth wicket. Rahane scored a patient 67 before getting out 1st Pitch Although it doesn’t resemble a dust bowl, run scoring is getting harder with the top layer already showing signs of breaking up. If England crumble, the match could be over in less than 5 days Rohit Sharma scored a classy 161 on the first day of the second Test in Chennai on Saturday | BCCI | P11 This is the first time Kohli has been dismissed for duck by a spinner 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 Combative Nirmala calls Rahul ‘Doomsday man’ E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi In a scathing counter-attack on Rahul Gandhi for his relentless targeting of the government over the farm laws and the LAC standoff with China, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sithraman on Saturday dubbed the former Congress president “Doomsday man for India”. During her reply to the Budget discussion in the Lok Sabha, Sitharaman said the former Congress chief was constantly insulting constitutional func- tionaries and institutions, betraying a lack of belief in a democratically elected parliamentary system. He had joined the “break India fringe group” and was continuously creating false narratives to demean India, the minister alleged. The Congress “makes allegations, uses abusive language, but when under parliamentary procedure they have to respond to... they only shout and walk out”, the minister added. Responding to the allegations of the government promoting crony capitalism, she asserted that the Hum Do, Hamare Do jibe that Gandhi had been taking on the government was more apt for his family. “In banks, you did phone banking and left huge NPAs. This is one tendency, create institutions and use them for Hum Do Hamare Do and at the end of the day keep accusing others” said a combative Sitharaman. willingness to amend farm laws means they are flawed Attempts were made to give the farmers and their agitation a bad name but the Republic day violence has only strengthened it, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh told Harpreet Bajwa | P7 Right to protest anywhere is not absolute, says SC E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Villagers line up to cast their votes in the Phatuseneri panchayat polls conducted by AP on Saturday; AP police and revenue officials monitoring the polls | Express AP goes ahead with polls in Kotia, furious Opposition targets govt E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar/Jeypore The ongoing dispute with Odisha over claiming rights on bordering villages and the Supreme Court notice to it on the issue notwithstanding, the Andhra Pradesh government on Saturday went ahead with the panchayat elections for the Phatuseneri village in Koraput district. Around 60 per cent polling was recorded in Phatuseneri village where election was conducted amid tight security Po. lice and revenue officials from Andhra Pradesh were deployed in the panchayat as villagers stepped out to cast their votes early in the morning. Of the 1,025 voters enrolled, 615 cast their votes for the posts of sarpanch and eight ward members in the village. The polling was held peacefully, said Sunabeda SDPO Niranjan Behera, who was monitoring the situation in the panchayat along with other senior police officers. The Andhra Pradesh government had announced panchayat elections to Phatuseneri, Talaganjeipadar and Phagunaseneri by including the villages in its Salur block Odisha among bottom 3 states in RT-PCR tests E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar Odisha has cut a sorry figure in terms of conducting RT-PCR tests for detecting coronavirus infections with the State remaining among the bottom three large states of the country where such tests, considered gold standard for Covid-19 diagnosis, have been abysmally low. As per the data tabled in the Parliament, the number of RTPCR tests for detection of Covid-19 cases in Bihar, Telangana and Odisha is less than 20 per cent (pc) of total tests carried out till February 9. While the share of RT-PCR tests is only 19.7 pc in Odisha, it is lowest 14.79 pc in Bihar and 15.52 pc in Telangana. Of the total 75,76,249 tests con- E x p r e s s r ea d BJD MPs meet Union Min over bylaws Bhubaneswar: A delegation of BJD MPs on Saturday met Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi and demanded immediate withdrawal of the heritage bylaws framed by the National Monuments Authority (NMA) for Ananta Basudev and Brahmeswar temples in Ekamra Kshetra here | P3 Shah assures J&K statehood with a rider New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah told the Lok Sabha on Saturday that statehood to Jammu and Kashmir would be restored but only after development is put back on track. The Lok Sabha passed the J&K Reorganisation (Amendment) Act, which seeks to merge the existing cadre of the Union Territory with AGMUT | P8 Changes in strategy at Tapovan tunnel Tapovan (Uttarakhand): After toiling in vain for nearly six days, rescue teams have changed strategy. They were trying to drill a hole on the floor of Tapovan tunnel which was intended to be 12 metres deep and 75mm in diameter | P7 ducted in Odisha, only 14,92,264 were through RT-PCR and the rest 60,24,881 were rapid antigen tests (RATs). This despite the repeated instructions by the Centre for conduct of at least half the tests through RT_PCR methods so that more cases can be detected and the spread can be slowed down through appropriate measures. States like Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan have performed stupendously well on this aspect with 98.61 pc and 98.05 pc RT-PCR tests respectively The total number of . tests conducted in Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan are 1.57 crore and 53.42 lakh respectively . Uttar Pradesh has conducted highest 2.93 crore tests, including 1.27 crore RT-PCR and 1.6 crore RATs. Six other states have so far tested more than one crore samples each. Seventeen states and UTs have carried out more RT-PCR tests than the national average of 49.06 pc. They include Karnataka, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Sikkim. According to the reports laid in the Lok Sabha, Odisha witnessed a significant rise in the positivity rate in July, August, September and October last year. While the test positivity rate (TPR) was highest 10 pc in July, it was 8 pc in September, 5.6 pc in October and 5.2 pc in CONTINUED ON: P5 August. The number of RT-PCR tests for detection of Covid-19 cases in Bihar, Telangana and Odisha is less than 20 per cent (pc) of total tests carried out till February 9. The share of RT-PCR tests is only 19.7 pc in Odisha Data tabled in Parliament of Vizianagaram district. The success of Andhra Pradesh government in conducting the elections in disputed villages has evoked strong reaction with BJP and Congress targeting the Naveen Patnaik government. The Opposition parties staged a road blockade on National Highway 26 passing through Koraput to protest the failure of the State government in stopping the elections in disputed areas. Both the BJP and Congress attacked the BJD government for failing to resolve the dispute and ensure Odisha estab- lished its rightful claims on the villages despite being in power for 21 years. The BJP demanded the Chief Minister to convene an all-party meeting ahead of the budget session of the Assembly to discuss the contentious issue. Describing Saturday’s elections in some border villages of Koraput, Ganjam, Rayagada, Malkangiri and Gajapati districts as a major intelligence failure of the BJD government, State BJP president Sameer Mohanty alleged, “The Chief Minister has betrayed the trust of people by succumbing to the domineering Andhra CONTINUED ON: P5 Pradesh.” Reiterating that prolonged protests can’t be at the cost of continued occupation of public spaces as they affect the rights of others, the Supreme Court has dismissed the review petitions challenging its October 2020 verdict on the Shaheen Bagh protests. A bench of justices S K Kaul, Aniruddha Bose and Krishna Murari rejected the plea filed by 12 persons seeking a review of its October 2020 verdict, which held public spaces can’t be occupied indefinitely “(The) . constitutional scheme comes with a right to protest and express dissent but with an obligation to have certain duties. The right to protest can’t be anytime and everywhere. There may be some spontaneous protests but in case of prolonged protest, there can’t be continued occupation of public place,” P8 the bench held. WITH THIS ISSUE Royal Revivers PLUS 12 PAGES
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