Super Novak Novak Djokovic demolished Russia’s Daniil Medvedev in straight sets (7-5, 6-2, 6-2) to win Australian Open This is World No 1 Djokovic’s ninth Australian Open title. He is yet to lose a final in Melbourne Djokovic is now two titles behind Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal’s record of 20 kollam l monday l February 22, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 28 l city EDITION 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 Kerala govt failed to curb Covid spread, says Yogi Govt which laughed at his state earlier has now become a laughing stock before world, says UP CM as he launches BJP’s poll campaign G e o r ge P o i k ay i l @ Kasaragod The BJP’s election campaign in the state began with a bang as party firebrand leader and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath flagged off its statewide rally — Vijaya Yatra — in Kasaragod on Sunday . The rally was by far the biggest campaign launch compared with the UDF’s Aishwarya Kerala Yatra and the LDF’s Vikasana Munnetta Jatha, and Adityanath’s presence in Kasaragod pumped up the 15,000-strong crowd decked up in saffron. Adityanath highlighted his government’s law against ‘love jihad’ and measures to contain Covid and raised the issue of joblessness in an attempt to knock the LDF government from its pedestal. In his 18-minute broadside against the CPM-led LDF, he Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath being welcomed by BJP leaders at the launch of K Surendran’s Vijaya Yatra in Kasargod on Sunday | Express said the Kerala government has become a laughing stock before the world as it has failed to curb the spread of Covid. “Earlier, the government of Kerala and the chief minister here used to laugh at the health infrastructure of Uttar Pradesh. But now Uttar Pradesh has fewer than 2,000 active Covid cases in a population of 24 crore,” he said. Even the World Health Organisation appreciated the efforts of the Uttar Pradesh government, he said. “But why is Covid not controlled in Kerala... Today the world , is laughing at Kerala for failing to control Covid,” he said. The BJP’s Vijaya Yatra is being led by party state president K Surendran. It will touch 100 of the 140 constituencies of Kerala and culminate in Thiruvananthapuram on March 7 Adityanath said the Kerala High Court had in 2009 drawn attention of the state government to ‘love jihad’ and asked it to bring in a law to curb it. ● More on P4 express read Job aspirants threaten to launch indefinite fast New curbs in Pune amid rise in Covid-19 cases LDF seat-sharing talks inconclusive T’Puram: Job aspirants figuring in PSC rank lists, who have been protesting in front of the Secretariat, have threatened to launch an indefinite fast from Monday evening if the government does not issue a favourable order by then. Pune: In view of a spike in Covid19 cases in Pune, the district administration has decided to enforce certain curbs, including restriction on movement of people from 11 pm to 6 am for non-essential activities, a senior official said on Sunday T’Puram: The LDF constituents met at AKG Centre on Sunday to decide on seat sharing for the assembly polls. But the talks were “inconclusive”, sources said. “No solution could be arrived at” after Jose K Mani and NCP stuck to their demands of 15 and 4 seats. CM’s office to review deep-sea fishing deal E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has ordered a review of the MoU signed between Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC) and US firm EMCC International India Pvt Ltd on deepsea fishing. The `2,950-crore project had courted a controversy after Sonia raps Centre over fuel prices E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi The Congress on Sunday intensified its attack on the Centre over the spiralling fuel prices with interim party president Sonia Gandhi writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing his government of choosing to ‘profiteer’ off people’s misery and urging him to follow his Raj Dharma by partially rolling back excise duty on fuel. The government’s act of raising prices continuously for 12 days was ‘little less than a brazen act of profiteering’ with fuel prices at a ‘historic and unsustainable high’, she said. “What baffles most citizens, is that the international crude prices have increased only moderately she added. ,” Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala alleged corruption in the deal. It is learnt that the chief minister has directed his office to examine the MoU. “The chief minister has called for the file. Further comments can be made only after studying it,” said a senior officer of the CMO. The scrutiny it is learnt, , would cover the legal validity of the agreement and whether it is against the government’s fisheries policy If the lat. ter is proved, the KSINC management will be held responsible for it. Responding to the allegations, the chief minister had recently hinted that Chennithala accessed certain documents pertaining to the project through KSINC managing director N Prasanth. The officer was Chennithala’s private secretary when he was the home minister in the previous UDF government. Fisheries Minister J Mercykutty Amma has reportedly sought action against Prasanth. The minister also raised concern over proceeding with the project which may lead to protest by ● More on P2 the fisherfolk. 2 more MLAs resign, Pondy govt set to fall D e b j a n i D u t ta @ Puducherry A day ahead of the trust vote in Puducherry, the fall of V Narayanasamy’s Congress-led government appeared imminent as two MLAs — one from the Congress and another from its ally the DMK — resigned on , Sunday With this, the strength . of the ruling front has fallen to 12, compared to the Opposition’s 14. The Congress MLA from the Raj Bhavan constituency, K Lakshminarayanan, who is also parliamentary secretary to the Chief Minister, said he quit as the party didn’t give him due recognition, causing him to feel “cheated”. He is likely to join the NR Congress, which has tied up with the BJP . DMK MLA D Venkatesan, from Thattanchavady constituency also tendered his resig, nation to Speaker VP Siva- CM to reveal stance at assembly today After meeting Congress and DMK MLAs and receiving their suggestions on Sunday, Puducherry CM Narayanasamy said he would reveal his government’s stand on the floor of the House on Monday kozhunth, saying he couldn’t serve his constituency as his hands were tied. He is likely to join the BJP The V Naraya. nasamy government now has the support of 12 MLAs, including the Speaker, while the Opposition’s 14 include three nominated MLAs. Of the 26 MLAs in the House, the Congress has nine, DMK two, and one is an Independent. As for the Opposition, the NR Congress has seven, AIADMK four and three are nominated MLAs who are BJP function● More on P5 aries. BJP to woo farmers and tribals New Delhi: With the Opposition breathing fire, the BJP on Sunday sought to present an effective counter ahead of a string of assembly elections over the next three years. Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked the party to work for organisational expansion, while the BJP leadership prioritised its focus on farmers, tribals and women as catchment areas. He was speaking at the BJP national office-bearers’ meet here. WITH THIS ISSUE THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST 28 PAGES, INCLUDING YOUR 16 OF edex LIFE COACH (TABLOID)
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