VILLUPURAM WEDNESDAY MARCH 10, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 12 CITY EDITION AMID CHAOS, TRAI SUSPENDS ANTI-SPAM RULES FOR 1 WEEK The decision follows disruptions in banking, credit card payment and other transactions that involve SMS and OTP generation NEW NORMS USE BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY The disruption happened after telcos implemented the new norms for commercial messages, which came into effect on Monday. The rules aim to curb unsolicited and fraudulent messages. SMSes and OTPs, when sent by banks and payment companies, are checked against the templates registered on the blockchain platform — a process called SMS scrubbing 40 crore TELCOS BLAME PAYMENT COMPANIES ■ On Monday, banking and telcos traded charges over the SMS, OTP disruptions. Telcos blamed it on the payment companies saying they did not register their content template before the deadline ■ “It has been observed that some of the principal entities have not fulfilled the requirements,” Trai also said in a statement MESSAGES FAILED TO DELIVER ON MONDAY, ACCORDING TO MEDIA REPORTS 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 Rawat resigns to ouster, new CM to be named today Dhan Singh Rawat, Baluni, Surendra Bhatt in race; oath taking scheduled for Shivratri day V I N E E T U PA D H YAY @ Dehradun AFTER four days of intense lobbying to save his chair, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat on Tuesday tendered his resignation to Governor Baby Rani Maurya, who asked him to continue in a caretaker position for now. Rawat is the first BJP chief minister to be replaced midstream during the Modi-Shah tenure at the helm. It’s also being read as an indication to other party chief ministers to perfor m or perish. Had Rawat stayed on, he would have completed four years as CM. The BJP’s Uttarakhand legislature party is scheduled to meet at 10 am on Wednesday to selected its new leader. The party’s central observers, including national vice-president Dr Raman Singh and national general secretary Dushyant Kumar Gautam, will oversee the change of guard. Leaders like Dhan Singh Rawat, Anil Baluni, Ajay Bhatt and Surendra Bhatt are in the race to replace Rawat. There is some buzz on the party experimenting with a Brahmin as the new CM, in which case Baluni could be the frontrunner. “Since the party has already given opportunities to Thakurs, it may want to put a Brahmin at the helm to balance the vote bank in the state,” said a source. The oath taking ceremony for the new CM is said to be sched- Golden opportunity Rawat announced his resignation at a press conference. “I am grateful that the party gave me such an opportunity. Only in the BJP a boy who hails from a small village can become CM. It was a golden opportunity of my life,” he said uled on March 11, the auspicious Shivratri day . Sources said the party did not want to go into 2022 state elections with Rawat as its face since at least 22 party MLAs are upset with him. “His kitchen cabinet, including certain ministers and a whole bunch of bureaucrats, exercised too much power. At least one-third of the MLAs were sidelined by the government under his leadership,” said a party insider. However, the immediate trigger is said to be the creation of the Gairsain division — with two districts from Kumaon and Garhwal divisions — without even consulting local MLAs. CHANGING FACES WON’T HELP: HARISH RAWAT “By removing the CM, the BJP has accepted that the government has failed. Changing faces won’t help. The people will punish the BJP for betraying them,” said former Congress CM Harish Rawat “This is a mere change in responsibility. Each worker is given a suitable role. That is why we are the biggest party of the world in the world’s biggest democracy,” said Ajay Bhatt, ex-state BJP head India ticks off UK for holding debate on farm protests, summons envoy P U S H K A R B A N A K A R @ New Delhi Press freedom intact, says Indian mission A day after the UK Parliament held a debate on the farm protests and the three farm laws, the Ministry of External Affairs summoned British High Commissioner Alex Ellis to express New Delhi’s opposition to the “gross interference”. “Foreign Secretary summoned the British High Commissioner and conveyed strong opposition to the unwarranted and tendentious discussion on agricultural reforms in India in the British Parliament. Foreign Secretary made it clear that this represented a gross interference in the politics of another democratic country He advised that British . MPs should refrain from practising vote bank politics by misrepresenting events, especially in relation to another fellow democracy a terse statement from the ,” ministry read. Dismissing aspersions about lack of press freedom in India, the Indian mission in London said, “Foreign media are present in India and have witnessed the events first-hand” Earlier in the day, the Indian High Commission in London dismissed the debate as being based on false assertions and without substantiation of facts. British parliamentarians held the debate on Monday in response to the e-petition initiated by Liberal Democratic Councillor Gurch Singh. UK law mandates that any petition which garners over one lakh signatures must be debated in Parliament. According to a former diplomat, the harsh tone of British MPs indicates India’s handling of the farm protests has not gone down well with them. Another diplomat said that any country can discuss any issue in their Parliaments but it will affect India’s image if a resolution is passed. “If the debate had resulted in a resolution against the government and had there been any government-to-government communication on this, only then it is a cause of worry else such debates keep happening around the world,” he said. THE Central Election Commission on Tuesday axed the West Bengal Director General of Police (DGP) Virendra and replaced him with Neeraj Nayan Pandey ahead of the high-voltage Assembly election contest in the state. It also directed the state government not to give Virendra any post that directly or indirectly related to the conduct of elections. The change of guard came amid concer ns of violence flagged by the BJP . Till now, Pandey was the Additional Director General of Police (organisation), who was part of the CBI team that had probed the Taj corridor scam in 2002- 2003 when he was on deputation. Earlier, the poll panel had removed Bengal’s additional director general of police (law and order). “The ECI is acting at the behest of the BJP Virendra was an . efficient officer. The removal of senior officials will not have an impact on Top TN I-T officer transferred The Central Election Commission also ordered the removal of joint commissioner of Income Tax in Tamil Nadu K G Arunraj - and his immediate attachment with CBDT headquarters EXPRESS READ Election Commission writes to CBDT seeking transfer of Income Tax official from Tamil Nadu Chennai: The Election Commission of India on Tuesday wrote to the chairman of the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to immediately transfer Joint Commissioner of Income Tax, KG Arunraj, from Tamil Nadu. In a letter addressed to the CBDT chairman and accessed by Express, Pankaj Srivastava, Director of the Election Commission of India, said that the said officer is to be attached with the CBDT headquarters immediately, and that a compliance report is to be furnished by 10 am on Wednesday. The move comes after a review of the electoral preparedness in Tamil Nadu by the Election Commission. ENS The British oil firm said it has identified Indian sovereign assets overseas, which it can seize if New Delhi fails to return $1.7 bn that an international arbitration tribunal has ordered after rescinding a retrospective tax demand | P10 Deal done: NR Cong, BJP tie up in Pondy D E B J A N I D U T TA @ Puducherry DAYS after dilly-dallying on whether or not to contest the Puducherry polls in alliance with BJP NR Congress led by N , Rangasamy sealed the deal with the saffron party on Tuesday According to the pact, Ran. gasamy would lead the NDA front in the beach town and the party would contest in 16 of the 30 seats in the UT’s Territorial Assembly . The remaining 14 seats would be shared between the BJP and AIADMK, said Nirmal Kumar Surana, Karnataka BJP vicepresident and in-charge of political affairs in Puducherry. Whether the other ally, PMK, would be accorded any seat would be decided during the seat-sharing talks with the AIADMK, said Surana. However, there was no commitment on the chief ministerial candidate for the alliance. The legislative parties of the NDA will decide on the matter after the elections, he added. Surana further stated: “The NDA will go to the polls highlighting the achievements of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and that of the previous NR Congress government.” Later in the day, media reports claimed that PMK had left the alliance, and was planning to contest the elections alone. The development, surprisingly, could be favourable for Congress, which is desperately hunting for heavyweight candidates to field in elections. As NR Congress will contest in fewer seats than originally planned, a lot of aspirants are now likely to jump to Congress. VIJAYAKANT’S DMDK TO FIGHT POLLS ALONE? S K U M A R E S A N @ Chennai WITH less than a month to polls, actor Vijayakant’s DMDK on Tuesday pulled out of the AIADMK alliance. The decision comes after three rounds of negotiations were held between the parties. Responding to the development, senior AIADMK leader and Fisheries Minister, D Jayakumar, termed it ‘unfortunate’. Meanwhile, when asked if the DMDK would be taken into the alliance led by Makkal Neethi Maiam, if they approach, party chief Kamal Haasan said any like-minded party would be welcomed. Party sources said the DMDK has planned to release its first list of candidates, for at least 75 constituencies, on Wednesday The candidates will mostly be district sec. retaries of the party One of the secretaries said, “If later . we form an alliance with any party our candidates will , withdraw their nominations wherever needed.” The decision to fight the elections alone was taken at a district secretaries meeting held on Tuesday at the party headquarters. DMDK functionaries made strong remarks against the ruling party vowed to win all 234 segments, , P4 and make Vijayakant the Chief Minister. Trinamool Cong sees red as Election Commission shunts out Bengal DGP E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ New Delhi CAIRN ENERGY IDENTIFIES INDIAN ASSETS FOR SEIZING poll result and the Trinamool is all set to retain power,” said Saugata Roy, the party’s MP and spokesperson. Echoing him, Congress Bengal president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said the BJP’s trick to remove efficient officers would not provide electoral dividend in their favour. Bengal is set for a closely watched contest between the ruling Trinamool Congress and a surging BJP, which is hoping to win 200 of the state’s 294 seats. Elections will begin on March 27 and continue till April 29, making it the longest ever polls in the state. The results will be declared on May 2. @ Chennai HOURS after the Tamil Nadu government transferred Superintendent of Police, D Kannan, against whom a complaint was registered by a woman IPS officer for preventing her from lodging a sexual harassment complaint, the Election Commission of India (ECI) directed the State to DAYS TO GO DMK to contest in 174 Assembly seats The DMK has finalised seat-sharing talks with all its allies. The Dravidian major would be contesting in 174 seats in TN | P4 AMMK to release manifesto on Mar 12 AMMK will be releasing the party’s manifesto for the upcoming Assembly elections on March 12 at a public meeting | P4 Fight for basics continue... After having taken a backseat for many years, water and related issues might find a mention in election manifestos this time | P2 CREDITWORTHINESS Banks should penalise crony lending: CEA borrowers. This problem gets accentuated in the context of infrastructure,” he said. CHIEF Economic Advisor Subramanian also suggested (CEA) Krishnamurthy Subra- that the compensation of senmanian on Tuesday said banks ior management in banks must must become more serious be linked to the quality of about allocating capital opti- credit, and there should be a mally and that senior manage- claw-back provision in inment should be penalised for stances of ever-greening of crony lending. loans or zombie lending. “Crony lending is the ele“The board of directors canphant in the room. Financial not be asleep at the wheel,” he sector in India has to said, adding that auditake responsibility tors are the first line of that it is the ultimate defence on this. arbiter of capital and “Auditors cannot say ensure optimal capithis is something they tal allocation,” the cannot do. Data analytCEA said while speakics can do. Zombie ing at a Ficci event. lending and evergreenSubramanian said K Subramanian, CEA ing should be avoided the quality of lending as they lead to suboptihas remained a key challenge mal capital allocation,” he for the banks since the early said. 1990s, especially when it came Subramanian noted that the to large loans in the infrastruc- size of the financial sector reture sector and advised banks mains very small compared to to give loan on creditworthi- the size of the overall economy ness of the company . on any parameter. “Banks need to ensure that “That is mainly because of capital allocation to the infra- the financial sector as a whole structure sector is to credit- is still to figure out a model to worthy borrowers. The Eco- make large corporate loans nomic Survey also highlighted and large infrastructure loans, that the banking sector’s prob- which is a subset of that, in a lems originated from large way that does not lead to nonloans that were not necessarily p e r f o r m i n g a s s e t s , ” h e lent to the most creditworthy explained. EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ New Delhi QUESTION SANITISER Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha spraying hand sanitiser at journalists in an attempt to avoid questions about his cabinet reshuffle, during a press conference in Bangkok on Tuesday | AFP EC orders suspension of SP Kannan EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE 27 place the officer under suspension and to initiate disciplinary action against him. The communication from the ECI, said that the State Home Department through the Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer, had requested the SP’s transfer. Accordingly, he was transferred to a non-election post (SP, Commercial Crimes Investigation Wing). The letter further said the CEO had forwarded the report to the Home Department where a criminal case was registered. “Considering the gravity of the case, the Commission has directed that D Kannan be placed under suspension immediately read the letter. ,” The Commission also directed the Chief Secretary to send the report of the order on Wednesday .
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