COIMBATORE l monday l March 08, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 32 l LATE CITY EDITION IPL dates out: MI vs RCB opener on April 9, final on may 30 Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Kolkata to host matches. First match in Chepauk, final at Motera all matches in neutral venues Though the tournament will take place in India, none of the teams will get to play at their home ground as only six venues are to be used. To reduce travel, the IPL has introduced a caravan format with two cities paired together. Chennai & Mumbai legs will happen from April 9 to 25. Delhi & Ahmedabad from April 26 to May 8. Bengaluru & Kolkata from May 9 to May 23 ■ five to be held behind closed doors ■ The tournament which will run for 52 days will witness 11 doubleheaders. The afternoon matches will begin at 3.30 PM, while the evening match will start at 7.30 PM Crowds won’t be allowed in any of the venue as the IPL wants to maintain a strict bio-bubble | P11 No of IPL titles for Mumbai Indians. The most for any team 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 DMK & Cong seal deal, but at what cost? Bengal development Modi set a 25-year goal for powering Bengal to the pinnacle of the development index after the state votes BJP to power, by the time India celebrates its Independence centenary in 2047 Mithun Chakraborty seeks blessing from PM Narendra Modi after joining the BJP, at a rally in Kolkata on Sunday | PTI Modi, Didi snipe at each other to deflect charges Both trade allegations on running syndicates, misleading electorate P r a n a b M o n d a l @ Kolkata Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday launched a broadside against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee ahead of the state elections for grooming nephew Abhishek Banerjee as her successor, saying, “Bengal’s people had elected you a decade ago as their Didi. But you remained an aunt of your nephew all the time.” Poking her for a recent scooter ride in protest against the hike in fuel prices and tying it to her decision to contest from Nandigram, he said he should not be blamed if the two-wheeler meets with an accident in the constituency of East Midnapore district. dially convinced other parties of the situation. It shouldn’t have dragged the alliance talks, and in the end, allocated very few seats to other parties. All our alliance partners, except the TVK, have been with us for the last four years. The agreements should have been completed last December. If that was done, our candidates would be electioneering in their constituencies now,” a former DMK MLA said, on condition of anonymity . He conceded that things S K u m a r e s a n @ Chennai Addressing a massive rally in Kolkata’s Brigade Parade Ground Modi accused Mamata of treating everyone against her as an enemy “You are not . only Bengal’s daughter, you are also India’s daughter. A few days ago, you rode a scooter and the people of the country prayed you ride safely Had you . fallen off, the state where the scooter was manufactured would have become your enemy You veered the direction of . your scooter towards Nandigram from Bhowanipore. I am a well-wisher of everyone. If your scooter meets with a mishap there, then what can I do?’’ he figuratively said. While Modi reiterated the charge of Trinamool goons running corrupt syndicates, Mamata attacked him and Union home minister Amit Shah, saying it is they who are part of a syndicate. “Narendra Modi and Amit Shah are the only syndicate in India. Fuel prices increased, Covid happened but the PM was nowhere to be found,’’ she said after a protest march in Siliguri against the steep hike in LPG refill price. She also alleged that Modi was peddling lies to mislead the electorate. Yesteryear actor Mithun Chakraborty joined the BJP and shared the dais with Modi. He likened himself to a deadly snake: “Don’t mistake me for a harmless snake, I am a cobra, I can kill people with a bite.” After six days of hectic parleys and speculation, the Congress on Sunday finally inked a poll pact with the DMK, but not without a nagging feeling among DMK cadre that the delay in finalising the deal and the bad blood spilt in the process, may return to haunt the alliance. As per the agreement, the grand old party will contest 25 Assembly seats and the Kanniyakumari Parliamentary seat, where bypolls will be held on April 26. “The DMK should have cor- Increased caution as cases rise Health Secretary J Radhakrishnan has attributed the surge in Covid-19 cases to family and workplace clusters, and has told the department to review the availability of beds and prepare for a spike in cases. Here’s a look at the top stats on Sunday fresh cases 251 new cases in Chennai Zero new cases in Ariyalur, Kallakurichi, Sivaganga, Tirupattur districts 22 districts reported fewer than 10 cases Deaths TOLL Business travellers visiting TN for less than 72 hours are exempt from home quarantine norms total cases 567 1 12,518 8,55,121 Source: Directorate of Public Health 2020 29 DAyS TO GO @ Bengaluru A day after six ministers in the B S Yediyurappa Cabinet got a gag order issued against media in the ‘sex for job’ scandal, activist Dinesh Kallahalli, whose complaint against BJP leader Ramesh Jarkiholi led to the latter’s resignation, wrote to the police, seeking to withdraw it. Kallahalli said he was distancing himself on ‘moral grounds’ as former CM H D Kumaraswamy had alleged `5 crore had changed hands in the case. The police received the petition from the activist’s advocate but told him they could not stop the investigation at this stage. The police, who are yet to register an FIR, are making efforts to trace the woman in the tape. A senior officer said they will consult legal experts and summon Kallahalli, if required, before deciding on the future course. Send Ponnar to Delhi, shah urges Kumari residents Will corruption plank appeal to voters in TN? | P2 Weavers float political party in Coimbatore | P2 Fighting to keep our ideology alive | P4 Puducherry: In another blow to the grand old party in Puducherry, State Congress Committee working president AKD Arumugam quit the party and joined the NR Congress on Sunday night in the presence of party president N Rangasamy. Arumugam has joined the long list of defectors, which includes former minister Namassivayam, MLAs and party functionaries who switched over to either the BJP or NR Congress. An hour before he joined the NR Congress, Congress State president, AV Subramanian, said Arumugam had been dismissed from the party. THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e High-voltage campaign E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e Now, AKD Arumugam quits Congress, joins Rangasamy WITH THIS ISSUE manding 41 seats, while the DMK reasoned that its ally’s strike rate was only 20 per cent, even if it were to get 41 seats, like in the last Assembly election. Veteran journalist A Raghavendra contrasted this with how the AIADMK inked poll pacts with the PMK, which until recently was protesting against the State government seeking separate reservation for Vanniyars, and the BJP, which was initially reluctant to announce Edappadi K Palaniswami as the combine’s CM face. Continued on P4 New twist as activist wants to withdraw Jarkiholi plaint Ramesh Jarkiholi Inside BIHAR could have been handled better. Fearing that alliance parties’ cadre now won’t campaign wholeheartedly for the combine, the former MLA said, “As of today (Sunday), 90 per cent of the seat-sharing talks are over, but I don’t know how the onthe-ground campaign activities will come along.” While explaining that it all boils down to the gameplan, he conceded that, “The DMK should contest in maximum seats to prevent BJP’s back-door strategies.” The Congress had been de- YOUR LIFE COACH 32 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID) @ Nagercoil Union Home Minister Amit Shah greets the crowd at a road show in Nagercoil on Sunday | V KARTHIKALAGU ‘People’s enthusiasm makes me confident’ Aim to take lotus symbol door-to-door Chance to strengthen TN’s voice in Parliament Shah said that it is the enthusiasm he saw in the people that made him confident about the victory of AIADMK-BJP-PMK alliance in the Assembly polls Amit Shah stated that the BJP started the campaign to take the Lotus symbol door-to-door. He also garlanded a statue of Congress leader and former chief minister K Kamaraj A win for Pon Radhakrishnan would strengthen the voice of Tamil Nadu in Parliament, the Union minister said, adding that New Delhi is in need of a leader like him The vibrant shade of saffron descended on this quaint seaside cape on Sunday, colouring the electoral ground with the same hue as the mild morning sun, when Union Home Minister, Amit Shah, flew down to engage with the people of the district. Campaigning for Pon Radhakrishnan, the BJP candidate for the Lok Sabha byelections, Shah’s rally became a spectacular road show at Nagercoil in the district. He travelled in an open jeep, waving to the delirious crowd, amid cries of “Bharat Mata ki Jai” and “Vetrivel Veeravel”, the latter being dedicated to the Tamil deity Lord Muruga, , all along appealing to the people to “send Ponnar (Pon Radhakrishnan) to Delhi”. Kanniyakumari residents’ celebrations reached a fever- ish pitch when Shah reached the district, all the way from Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala to launch BJP’s ‘Vetri Kodi Eandhi Velvom’ campaign. During the campaign, which saw the participation of tens of scores of people, Shah exuded confidence that the NDA alliance of AIADMKBJP-PMK would form the next government. As part of this campaign, Shah visited 11 houses in Suchindram along with Pon Radhakrishnan and BJP State chief L Murugan and distributed pamphlets featuring the commitments and policies of the AIADMK-BJP alliance. Claiming that a win for Pon Radhakrishnan would strengthen the voice of TN in Parliament, Shah said Delhi needed a leader like him and urged the people to elect him in the upcoming LS by-election in Kanniyakumari. W o m e n ’ s d a y s p e c i a l : Sw i mm i n g a g a i n s t t h e t i d e Finding peace in cemetery & laying stigma to rest Braving odds to beat bonded labour M S a b a r i @ Salem Reluctance to spend time in a cemetery is common. But for P Seetha, the Corporation graveyard at Salem actually gives her a peace of mind. It also happens to be her workplace, where she has buried about 10,000 bodies in the past 20 years. It all began at the age of 13, when as a Class 8 student, Seetha saw her mother immolate herself after a quarrel with her father. Unable to bear the loss, she spent sleepless nights at her hometown, Pethanaickenpalayam, in Salem district. A few days later, she came to Salem to meet her grandmother, who worked at the Corpora- P Seetha buries a body at the TVS Burial Ground in Salem | Special arrangement tion graveyard, better known as the ‘TVS Burial Ground’. Her grandfather’s family had been employed at the graveyard for generations. “My grandmother often told me to go to school, but I refused as I got peace of mind at the graveyard. I started helping her with her work, and have kept at it for the past 20 years. I’ve even buried bodies at midnight, and am not afraid. I don’t believe in ghosts. I’ve been at the graveyard at night, but have never felt anything unusual,” Seetha says. She explains that she’s not interested in marriage as she’s witnessed what happened to her mother, and is reminded of it when she has to bury bodies of newly-married women. “I’m often unable to sleep after burying the bodies of children and teenage girls.” As for the challenges she faces, Seetha says, “Bodies that are sent after post-mortem examinations are difficult to bury as we have to remove the plastic they are wrapped in.” P5 SUSH M I T HA RA M A K RISH N A N @ Chennai About a decade ago, Amulu remembers being curled up on the sand outside her tarpaulin tent after being kicked by her boss. This happened moments after her boss took a burning log of firewood and burned her then 14-year-old daughter’s palm. Her husband was hit by a cane used to hit cows for jumping to their defence. “All this happened because my daughter, who suffered a fever that day, left work at 4 pm instead of 8 pm,” Amulu says. Along with four other families, hers was bonded into labour at a wood-cutting unit near the Chennai airport. Bringing her daughter to that unit was her biggest mistake, she rues. “We discontinued our daughter from Class 8 because our owner said my other children, who were barely toddlers then, couldn’t do enough work. He A SHG under Makkal Kattral Mayyam meets in Kancheepuram | Express went to my village with my husband and brought my daughter here,” she says. Her family of six stayed in a house, with a metal roof and plastic sheets, located in the marshes and bushes in Pallavaram. Amulu and her husband chopped wood and her children dethorned it. Every week, the five families had to chop 12 tonnes of wood. Each family was paid `200 a week. “At the marshes, leeches bored through our clothes and bit us, and at night, it was mosquitoes. We had neither water nor electricity. We bathed once in three days and were lucky if we had water to cook three days in a row,” she says.
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