kottayam l Sunday l february 21, 2021 l `8.00 l PAGES 24 l city edition Osaka rules Aus Open, wins fourth Grand Slam title The Japanese needed 77 minutes to sweep past Jennifer Brady of the US in straight sets 6-4, 6-3 in women’s final sunday blockbuster: the men’s final shining star destined for more Novak Djokovic will play for his 18th Grand Slam title while his opponent Medvedev will play for his first when they meet in the Australian Open final on Sunday. Djokovic leads Daniil Medvedev 4-3 in head to head. However, Medvedev seems to be in form with a 20-match winning streak since October — Djokovic too had been one of the casualties | P11 ■ ■ ■ The 23-year-old becomes only the third player after Monica Seles and Roger Federer to win her first four major finals She had won 2018 US Open, the 2019 Aus Open & 2020 US Open Her win sparked celebration in corona-hit Japan. An astronaut tweeted ‘congratulations’ from international Space Station two Osaka will rise to two in world ranking on Monday 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 Toolkit doesn’t sow disaffection, Disha tells HC E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi An online ‘toolkit’ is merely a ‘resource document’, it does not ‘sow disaffection’ and there is no evidence to show the toolkit on farmers’ protest is responsible for the violence on January 26, activist Disha Ravi told a Delhi court on Saturday as she sought bail. “If highlighting the farmers’ protest globally is sedition, I’m better (off) in jail,” Disha said through her lawyer in cour t, which will give its decision on the bail on Tuesday . The bail plea was strongly opposed by the Delhi Police, which alleged that Disha was preparing the toolkit with those advocating Khalistan and she was part of a global conspiracy to defame India and create unrest in the country in the garb of the farmers’ protest. “This was not just a toolkit. The real plan was to defame India and create unrest here,” the police told additional sessions judge Dharmender Rana. The prosecution also submitted that Disha deleted WhatsApp chats, emails and other evidence and was aware of actions she could face. PM: Centre, states must together work for devpt Modi urges setting up of district export promotion councils the liberalisation of geospatial data, adding had it been Saying that the youth can- done a decade earlier “there not wait for development any would have been a Google longer, Prime Minister Naren- from India.” dra Modi on Saturday asked He suggested the synchrothe states to embark on the nisation of the Union and r e f o r m j o u r n e y. state budgets for mulSpeaking at the sixth tiplier effect. gover ning council Modi dwelt at meeting of the Niti length on India’s bid Aayo g, the prime to become a global minister exhorted manufacturing hub, chief ministers to sug g esting states align state budgets should set up district with the Union budgexpor t promotion et, asking them to councils, while idenwork on their respectifying one product tive pipeline of infraeach for exporting. As a structure projects, be- government, we “T here’s an all also have to sides setting up task round eagerness to honour this forces to lessen compush forward with pliance burdens for enthusiasm, the economic developenergy of the the people and ment. The youth of private sector businesses. the country cannot Narendra Modi, Modi said private wait,” Modi said. The Prime Minister enterprises, which Centre, he said, weedhave shown much ened out 1,500 redunthusiasm, should be em- dant laws and urged all states braced by the states for accel- to do likewise. Niti Aayog erated development. “The Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar focus should be on ease of do- later said the CMs gave many ing business for the interna- actionable inputs on which it tional audience,” said Modi, w o u l d w o r k w i t h t h e while making a mention of ministries. M A N IS H A N A N D @ New Delhi ‘Allow govts to function’ E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik criticised the trend to politicise policy decisions, while his Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar made his case for a ‘one nation, one rate’, as he sought rationalisation of electricity cost. They were addressing the sixth Governing Council meeting of the Niti Aayog. Andhra Pradesh CM Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy reiterated the demand for special status for his state, while his Rajasthan counterpart Ashok Gehlot sought focused attention on efforts for employment generation and improved healthcare infrastructure. “The kind of atmosphere where every incident or every action of the government is given political angles is a threat to the pace of development and peace in the country,” Patnaik said, echoing the NDA line that protests are being orchestrated. 10th round of talks begins, reps to pick up the thread M ayan k S i n g h & P u s h k a r B ana k a r @ New Delhi As the 10th round of IndiaChina corps commander-level talks were held on Saturday to disengage troops from other friction points along the line of actual control (LAC), sources indicated that the special representatives of the two countries on the boundary dispute were likely to meet soon. Sources said the two special representatives, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, will meet to iron out the differences in the per- ception of the LAC. The two special representatives last held a video conference in June last year, setting the ball rolling for the disengagement. They have been in touch ever since, sources said. The 10th round of talks is being held between Lt Gen P G K Menon and Chinese Major General Lin Liu. “The modalities of the disengagement will be dependent on agreements the two sides will reach during the talks,” a senior Army officer said, adding it was important that a politico-military will to act was demonstrated. EXPRESS READ Talks fail, PSC job aspirants’ stir to go on T’Puram: After discussions with the government representatives failed on Saturday, the job aspirants figuring in the PSC rank list decided to continue their protest saying they have not got any assurance in writing. This was the first discussion initiated by the state government with the protesters. | P5 W ITH THIS ISSUE That Gut Feeling PLUS 12 PAGES Deal pics emerge, min washes hands of it E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @T’Puram ESCALATING his corruption charges against Fisheries Minister J Mercykutty Amma over a deep-sea fishing deal with a US-based company Op, position Leader Ramesh Chennithala on Saturday released purported photos of a meeting between the minister and representatives of the firm as evi- dence to supplement his allegations. Responding to the allegation, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said neither the government nor any government department had signed such a contract. Of ficials with the Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC) signed the MoU without his knowledge, he said. Meanwhile, accusing Chennithala of trying to mislead the fishing community, Mercykutty said the state cannot legally hand over rights of deep-sea fishing to private entities, as only fishermen were authorised to engage in it. I can’t be held responsible for some officer’s P4 actions, she said.
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