CHENNAI SATURDAY MARCH 06, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 12 VELLORE EDITION PANT PAINTS MOTERA RED Rishabh Pant cracked his first hundred at home to steer India clear of trouble against England on the second day of 4th Test BOSS MAN PARTNERSHIP TOP CRUMBLE All-rounder Washington Sundar and Pant added 113 runs for the seventh wicket. They came together at 146 for 6. Sundar stayed unbeaten on 60 while Pant was out before close of play India’s top-order once again failed to live up to expectations. Though Rohit Sharma played well, others including Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane & Cheteshwar Pujara did not last long With a pacer short, both Ben Stokes and Jimmy Anderson worked overtime. Off-spinner Dom Bess was off mark. Skipper Joe Root had to step in to help Jack Leach share the burden 3 ENGLAND TOIL The wicket-keeper batsman started cautiously to reach his half-century off 82. He brought up 100 in the next 33 balls to help India take an 89-run lead with three wickets in hand Rishabh Pant celebrates his hundred against England in the fourth Test in Ahmedabad on Friday | BCCI | P13 THIS IS PANT’S THIRD HUNDRED IN 33 INNNINGS 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 POLITICAL CHURN AS PARTIES GET BATTLE READY ‘Insulted’ TN Congress wants to fight polls alone S K U M A R E S A N @ Chennai IN what could be the end of long-time, but strained, friendship, the DMK and Congress may go different ways in this Assembly polls. The State unit of Congress, according to sources, wants to contest polls alone. A final decision on the matter would be taken by the party’s national leadership. State Congress leaders, it is said, feel “insulted” by DMK, which is offering very few seats for the par ty in the alliance. The decision was taken in an internal party meeting held on Friday, after TNCC chief, KS Alagiri, made an emotional speech. Accepting the numbers offered by DMK would amount to destroying Congress in TN, Alagiri reportedly said at the meeting. He, hence, appealed for another leader from the party to come forward to conduct talks with the DMK. In his speech, Alagiri also elaborated how the grand old party’s strength kept dwindling — one election after another — since it got into an alliance with Dravidian parties. Congress got 114 seats in 1980, in the DMK alliance. From there, the allocation plummeted to 61 in 1984, when it contested as part of the AIADMK combine. In 1989, Congress decided to contest alone and won 26 seats. By 2001, however, the number of seats contested reduced drastically to a mere 14. While elaborating these numbers, Alagiri got so emotional that he choked up, causing an uproar among those seated, who demanded that Congress contest this elections alone. AICC in-charge, Dinesh Gundu Rao, who was present at the meeting, remained silent all through these developments. He made no attempts to placate the aggrieved cadre. It has been learnt that the DMK leadership is planning to wait for one more day, and take a decision based on how the national leadership of Congress reacts. DMK’s RS Bharathi dismissed the issue as an attempt by Congress leaders to placate unhappy aspirants. The ripples of this strain was felt in Puducherry where DMK , — which has been feeling that it’s weighed down by Congress — is trying to woo NR Congress into its Secular Democratic Alliance. SUN SETTING ON ALLIANCE? P4 ‘DMK TRYING TO REDUCE CONG’S PROSPECTS’ Chennai: Actor-turned-politician and Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) chief, Kamal Haasan, took a dig at the DMK while campaigning in Kolathur on Friday. “They call us, MNM, as B-team of the BJP. But, who is really trying to eat into the seat allocation for the Congress party? Who is trying to reduce the national party’s prospects here? Who is really the B-team?” Here’s a list of candidates announced by AIADMK on Friday P R O N A B M A N D A L @ Kolkata Edappadi K Palaniswami Edappadi AIADMK leaders Edappadi K Palaniswami and O Panneerselvam greet cadre after the party announced its first list of candidates on Friday, ahead of the Assembly elections | ASHWIN PRASATH AIADMK RELEASES FIRST LIST OF CANDIDATES T M U R U G A N A N D H A M @ Chennai THE ruling AIADMK on Friday released its first list of six candidates, including Chief Minister and the party’s joint coordinator, Edappadi K Palaniswami, and Deputy CM and AIADMK coordinator, O Panneerselvam, for the Assembly elections, scheduled for April 6. All the six candidates will be contesting the polls from their current constituencies. A decision in this regard was taken during a party meeting in Chennai on the day Soon after the list was . made public, the cadre gathered at the party headquarters and distributed sweets. They also cheered when Palaniswami and Panneerselvam emerged out of their chambers, and waved the victory symbol. New Delhi: International oil prices rose after OPEC and its allies ignored India’s plea to ease production control, with Saudi Arabia asking New Delhi to instead use oil it bought at rock bottom rates last year. Brent crude on Friday rose 1% to $67.44 a barrel after the OPEC and its allies agreed not to increase supplies in April awaiting more substantial recovery in demand. CVe Shanmugam Villupuram Shanmuganathan Srivaikuntam After we come to power we will create Vidhan Parishad to accomodate senior and experienced leaders. We could not accommodate everybody especially those above the age of 80 years S Thenmozhi Nilakkottai (SC) E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi Pinarayi had a role in gold smuggling, HC told LIKE A TON OF BRICKS Agitators with bricks amid clash with police during a demonstration against the house arrest of Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, in Srinagar on Friday | PTI Shocker as foreign, Indian cadets get physical at Indian Military Academy FOR the first time in the prestigious Indian Military Academy’s (IMA) history, groups of Indian and foreign trainee cadets got into a major scuffle, with reports suggesting at least three Indian cadets were admitted in a military hospital here with injuries. The IMA has ordered a probe into the incident that happened on the intervening night of March 3/4. “A case of scuffle involving Gentleman Cadets undergoing pre-commission training at Indian Military Academy, Dehradun has occurred on night 03/04 March 2021. The case is be- Palaniswami and Panneerselvam will be contesting from Edappadi and Bodinayakkanur seats, respectively Incidentally all the six candi. , dates belong to different communities. The other candidates whose names feature in the first list are -Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar (Royapuram), Law Minister CVe Shanmugam (Villupuram), SP Shanmuganathan (Srivaikuntam), and S Thenmozhi (Nilakkottai). Palaniswami and Panneerselvam, also interacted with secretaries of 73 party districts about selection of candidates and other related issues. With its arch-rival, DMK, planning to field strong candidates against the entire sitting Cabinet, the AIADMK, too, is weighing pros and cons P4 of each ticket aspirant. D Jayakumar Royapuram THE Trinamool Congress on Friday announced candidates for 291 of the 294-Assembly seats, fielding young and new faces including actors and sportspersons. TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee will fight from Nandigram in East Midnapore district. The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha will be given three seats. Of the 291 TMC candiates, 114 are new faces, which works out to over 39%. The party has dropped octogenerian MLAs. Finance minister Amit Mitra and technical education minister Purnendu Basu will not contest. Besides, As many as 28 sitting MLAs, including five ministers, have been left out. “We are fielding 51 women candidates, up from 45 in 2016 Assembly elections,” said Mamata. Among the candidates are nine actors, two sportspersons and a retired IPS officer. The decision to give women more tickets is a calculated strategy to tap the rise in women vote share. “According to the final list released by the Election Commission, women voters in Bengal form 49% of the total. The gender-ratio improved from 956 in 2019 to 961,” said a TMC leader Notably the number of minority candidates has been reduced , to 40 from 57 in 2016. But at the same time, the party has given 79 tickets to those hailing from the scheduled caste (SC) community even though only 68 seats are reserved for the category It means, . SC candidates will contest on TMC tickets in 11 Assembly constituencies, which are not reserved for any category . Fielding SC candidates in unreserved seats will send a message to Dalit voters and those belonging to the Matua community, whom the BJP is desperately trying to woo, said a leader. The BJP had enjoyed Matuas support in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. “Since the saffron camp failed to fulfil the promise of giving Matuas citizenship by implementing the CAA, Mamata took this move to bring back Dalit support,” said a leader of the ruling party . Seventeen candidates from scheduled tribe (ST) community also also been given tickets when Bengal has 16 seats reserved for STs. Tribal film actor Birbaha Hansda will contest from Junglemahal’s Jhargram constituency which is not reserved for ST. , Mamata Banerjee OTT norms weak, need strong law to police content, says SC Saudi asks India to use ‘cheap’ oil to cool prices V I N E E T U PA D H YAY @ Dehradun O Panneerselvam Bodinayakkanur PRE-POLL GUSTO EXPRESS READ Kochi: Customs informed the Kerala High Court that Swapna Suresh, prime accused in the gold smuggling case, has stated that foreign currency was smuggled at the instance of the CM and Speaker | REPORT ON P5 Fewer minorities, 40% new faces in Didi’s list COUNTDOWN TO APRIL 6 ing investigated and followed up as per regulations governing the academy said the official state,” ment by the academy. However, there was no official word on the hospitalisation. The two groups got physical after a heated argument. The foreign cadets were possibly from a country or countries that were part of the former Soviet Union, said sources. Aghast IMA veterans said they couldn’t recall any such flare-up in the past. Major (Retd) Masroof Raza, who was posted in the adjutant branch of the IMA from 1987-89, which deals with foreign cadets, said, “To my memory nothing of this scale has been heard since Independence. I am sure there will be an inquiry and accountability will be fixed with adverse action against those responsible.” “Minor scuffles between foreign cadets have been known but anything like this between foreign cadets and Indian cadets is unheard of till now of course,” Major Raza added. Lt Gen V K Chaturvedi (Retd) said such matters of discipline are always viewed seriously and appropriate action taken. THE Supreme Court on Friday said the Centre’s guidelines to regulate the functioning of digital platforms are weak as they don’t offer any mechanism to block objectionable content or stipulate penal provisions for those who violate the norms. A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan noted the rules were more in the form of an advisory , and not law. “These rules do not talk about prosecution or punishment in case of a violation. It cannot be done without a legislation,” the bench told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre. The court was hearing a plea by Aparna Purohit, India head of Amazon Prime, for anticipatory bail in connection with FIRs against her over the controversial web series Tandav. There are two FIRs filed against Reprieve for Purohit SC gave Amazon Prime India head Aparna Purohit interim protection from arrest but directed her to cooperate with police investigation her — one each in Greater Noida and Lucknow. The hearing also witnessed sharp exchanges between Mehta and senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing Purohit. On the court’s remark on Thursday that some over-thetop (OTT) platforms were showing even pornography, Rohatgi said it is not true. “There is no such thing on Amazon Prime and Netflix. I see them every evening. There is no such content,” Rohatgi said. “The Bench meant pornographic,” said Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Central government. “I see so many shows. There is no por no g raphy,” Rohatgi averred. On Thursday, the Supreme Court had expressed concern over adult content on some OTT platforms, saying there should be a mechanism to prevent such programmes being streamed. Urban India increasingly getting slouchy The outcome of a comprehensive national survey in 2017-18 on the risk of Indians picking up lifestyle diseases conveyed a pretty grim picture. The takeaways: 51.7% 52.4% urban adults physically inactive (30.9% in rural India) physically inactive urban women (36.1% in rural areas) 8.9 gm/day salt consumed by men 7.1 gm/day 2 SERVINGS PER DAY Average consumption of fruits and/or vegetables 5 SERVINGS WHO’s recommendation average salt intake by women Men often took extra salt before having food adults used one or other form 28% of tobacco daily 31.7% of them were in rural areas 20.5% in urban India 21.1 years mean age of initiation of tobacco Covid cases in TN on a rise ahead of polls E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Chennai COVID cases in Tamil Nadu continues to increase with the State reporting 543 fresh cases and five deaths on Friday With . this, the State’s total case load has risen to 8,53,992 and the death toll has reached 12,513. Chennai alone reported 225 cases on the day . According to the State Health Bulletin, active cases in the State currently stand at 3,954, while a total of 8,37,525 people have been discharged so far. As many as 562 people were discharged on Friday . Cases have been on an uptrend since February 25, with the daily count going above the 500-mark from the sub-400 levels. During the same period, cases reported in Chennai, too, rose from 168 to above 200. 15.9% of respondents consumed alcohol 81.1% of adults were lifetime abstainers of alcohol (97.3% women and 66.1% men) 22.2 mean age of initiation of alcohol use 40.2% of adults 18–69 year age group had a clustering of three or more risk factors like daily tobacco use, inadequate fruits and/or vegetable intake, insufficient physical activity etc
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