THIRUVANANTHAPURAM l Sunday l march 21, 2021 l `8.00 l PAGES 26 l late city edition Tokyo organisers say no to fans from abroad In a historic decision, no spectators from outside Japan will be allowed to watch the Olympic Games because of pandemic will hit income but too risky Sharath, Manika qualify in mixed Officials said the risk was too great to admit ticket holders from overseas during a pandemic. Japanese public too was against fans entering the country. About 1 million tickets are reported to have been sold to fans from outside Japan. Organisers have promised refunds. Japan had a budget of $800m through ticket sales -- third largest income source in the Games ■ ■ ■ Sharath Kamal is on a roll. A day after securing Olympic berth in singles, he paired up with Manika Batra for TT mixed spot On Friday, India booked four berths in men’s and women’s singles. The total now stands at five This is the first time mixed-doubles is included in Olympics 4.5m Number of tickets sold to spectators in japan 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 Welfare & happiness in UDF manifesto KEY PROMISES B6,000 monthly aid under NYAY scheme for underprivileged families B2,000 Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and US Secretary of Defence Lloyd James Austin III making Covid-appropriate contact at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi on Saturday | pti Human rights and LAC dominate India-US parleys P u s h k a r B a n a k a r & M aya n k S i n g h @ New Delhi India’s tension with China on the LAC and alleged human rights violation in India were among the major issues that figured in the talks between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and US Defence Secretary Llyod Austin on Saturday . Austin is on a two-day visit to India. This is the first overseas visit by a top functionary of the Biden administration. Sources said Austin told Jaishankar that “as the two largest democracies in the world, human rights and values are important to us and we will lead with these values”. Later, talking to reporters, Austin said, “India is our partner whose partnership we value… Partners need to be able to have those kinds of discussions. And certainly, we feel comfortable in doing that and you can have those discussions in a very meaningful way and still make progress.” The issue of human rights was raised amid global concerns raised over the government’s handling of the farmer protest, alleged persecution of minorities and independent voices being gagged. Ahead of Llyod’s visit, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee had urged him to take up the issue with India. On India-China tension, Austin said the US never thought the two countries were on the brink of a war. During the meeting that lasted an hour, the two leaders also discussed the importance of the Indo-Pacific region and the Afghanistan situation. Earlier, Austin held talks with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and the two countries decided to increase interaction between their armed forces, specifically with the US military commands having their operations into the Indian Ocean Region, Eastern Coasts of Africa and the Gulf. “We have agreed to pursue enhanced cooperation with the US Indo-Pacific Command, Central Command and Africa Command,” Singh said after the meeting. He added the discussions focussed on defence cooperation and expanding military-to-military engagement across services, information sharing, cooperation in emerging sectors of defence and mutual logistics support. monthly aid to housewives in the 40-60 age group who are not beneficiaries of NYAY scheme Priority ration card to everyone; 5kg rice to all white ration card holders 5 lakh houses under LIFE Mission scheme for eligible people ‘No Bills Hospital’ across the state to provide free treatment Aiming to position the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) at the forefront to address “modern societal complexities” and prepare a new leadership, the Akhil Bhartiya Pratinidhi Sabha, the top decision-making body of the organisation, on Saturday unanimously elected Dattatreya Hosabale (66) to s u c c e e d Suresh ‘Bhaiyaji’ Joshi as the next Sarkaryawah (general secretary), a position Joshi served for 12 years. Sharing his thoughts on the road ahead for the RSS, Hosabale said there is a need for an intellectual campaign. “It is time to set right the narrative on India,” he stressed. On the hotly debated issue of ‘love jihad’, he said the organisation will fully support laws to regulate it, while favouring E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Kannur/Thrissur/Munnar THE Election Commission on Saturday rejected the nomination papers of NDA candidates in three constituencies, causing further embarrassment to the BJP which is fac, ing allegations of ‘vote sale’, particularly after the revelations made by RSS ideologue R Balashankar. The nominations of BJP candidates N Haridas (Thalassery) and Niveditha Subrahmaniam (Guruvayur) and AIADMK candidate Dhanalakshmi (Devikulam) were rejected on Saturday during scrutiny as documents were not filed properly . The UDF and the LDF cited the rejection of nominations as proof of the BJP’s secret deal. State Cong chief Mullappally Ramachandran said the rejection points to the under- sidelined in bjp, madhav recalled to sangh Fold M a n i s h An a n d @ New Delhi Six months after he was dropped from BJP’s team of national office bearers, the RSS recalled former national general secretary of the saffron outfit Ram Madhav to its fold. Seen as BJP’s powerful general secretary who shaped , the government’s policy and approach on Jammu and Kashmir, Madhav was sidelined in the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Madhav will now be on RSS’ national executive. Besides Madhav, J P Nadda had dropped another national general secretary P Murlidhar Rao. Both Rao and Madhav were the nominees of the RSS in the BJP, and the names of their replacements will be revealed soon, said sources. inter-caste marriages. He stressed the need for reservation for backward communities. “Hosabale is known for dialogue, and he’s seen as best suited to address the emerging modern societal complexities. In the past, Hosabale deftly responded to issues, including the rights of transgenders,” pointed out Prof Badri Narayan of the GB Pant University of Social Sciences and the au- A DAY after the Left front released its poll manifesto with ‘welfare’ as its key word, the UDF came up with its own version, doing an encore and announcing a few more programmes for people’s wellbeing. In addition, the UDF promised to refor m the Public Service Commission (PSC) and bring in a legislation for Sabarimala, two issues the UDF had used at will to corner the ruling front. Shashi Tharoor, MP, who headed the committee which prepared the manifesto, said the UDF plans to set up a ministry of happiness if voted to power. The LDF had promised to increase its monthly welfare pension to `2,500 in a phased manner while the UDF, on Saturday announced it would in, crease it to `3,000. A welfare pension revision panel modelled on the pay commission has also been proposed. The manifesto, prepared after holding exhausKERALA tive deliberations ASSEMBLY with a cross section ELECTIONS of people in the state, highlights the Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY) scheme. It aims to provide a monthly aid of `6,000 to underprivileged families. The Opposition, Congress in particular, had protested against the state-run LIFE Mission housing project, but the manifesto promises to build five lakh houses under the scheme for eligible people. It also says corruption allega- 2021 THREE OUT OF FRAY N Haridas (BJP) Thalassery Niveditha Subrahmaniam (BJP)Guruvayur Dhanalakshmi (AIADMK)Devikulam standing between the CPM and the BJP . “The CPM and the BJP are involved in friendly contest in many constituencies. The CPM is joining hands with communal forces to retain power. The BJP has fielded weak candidates against CPM in many seats,” Mullappally alleged. Meanwhile, CPM Kannur district secretary M V Jayarajan said the rejection points to the understanding between the BJP and the UDF. The LDF has already raised the allega- tion of a Congress-LeagueBJP tie-up to deny the Pinarayi government a second term. The returning officer for Thalassery constituency rejected the nomination of BJP district president Haridas citing that he has failed to submit the original documents along with the affidavit. During scrutiny, it was found that Haridas had filed only photocopies of the documents. Since the BJP had not fielded any dummy candidate, the NDA has in effect dropped out of the race in Thalassery With . this, the contest will be between LDF candidate and sitting MLA Shamseer and UDF’s M P Aravindakshan. “ T h e n o m i n at i o n w a s rejected on technical grounds. We w i l l m o v e c o u r t against the rejection,” said ● More on P7 Haridas. tion against the scheme will be probed and discrepancies rectified. Plans to set up an automated system to report vacancies in PSC and create advice memo have been announced. Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala released the manifesto — Prosperous Kerala, Global Kerala — in the presence of all UDF allies. Chennithala said that while the state is known for its welfare measures and development programmes, the UDF’s aim is to ensure it also earns a name for itself for world-class infrastructure and corruptionfree governance. “Manifesto is a Bible, Quran and Gita as far as the UDF is concerned. We’re duty-bound to ensure that the claims made in the manifesto are implemented,” said Chennithala. elsewhere Chandy’s son-in-law joins Twenty20 Senior Congress leader Oommen Chandy’s son-in-law Varghese George and Malayalam film director Lal on Saturday joined corporate-backed apolitical organisation Twenty-20. Varghese is the husband of Chandy’s elder daughter Mariya. P4 Dissent deepens in Elathur constituency Kozhikode: The meeting convened by state Congress working president K V Thomas on Saturday to find a solution to the rebel menace in Elathur saw heated exchange of words. The Congress faction in Elathur was invited to the talks at district office. 1,061 candidates in poll fray after scrutiny T’Puram: As many as 1,061 candidates are in the fray in the state for assembly elections after the scrutiny of nominations came to a close on Saturday. As many as 2,180 nominations were filed when deadline for filing papers ended. PLUS 12 PAGES Interview Ramesh Chennithala PEOPLE OF KERALA NEED CHANGE S O VI VIDYADHARA N @ T’Puram OPPOSITION Leader Ramesh Chennithala has termed as a sham the opinion polls that have predicted the return of LDF to power. In an interview to TNIE in the midst of the hectic UDF campaign, Chennithala said people in the state need change and they will definitely vote for the UDF. On the Sabarimala issue, Chennithala said had Pinarayi been sincere, the LDF government should have furnished a revised affidavit in the Supreme Court. Chennithala clarified that the High Command had not specifically asked anyone to contest in Nemom. It was the state leadership which decided the candidature of K Muraleedharan, he said. Chennithala said Pinarayi’s allegation of a CoLe-B pact in the state was aimed at diverting attention from the recent disclosures of a CPM-BJP secret deal. FULL INTERVIEW ON P2 INSIDE sabarimala may decide fortunes in P’thitta I P4 does rahul factor hold sway in poll I P5 parties switch sides, will udf shudder? I P5 Maharashtra home min used Waze to extort money? S u d h i r S u r ya w a n s h i @ Mumbai In a new twist to the bomb scare case near industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s residence, former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh on Saturday accused state home minister Anil Deshmukh of using arrested assistant police inspector Sachin Waze to extort money . In an eight-page letter addressed to CM Uddhav Thack- eray Singh said Waze was given , an extortion target of `100 crore per month. Rejecting Singh’s charges, Deshmukh threatened to sue the exMumbai police chief. He said Singh was levelling false allegations as he faced arrest in the bomb-scare case. Singh said Waze was called to Deshmukh’s residence, where the minister told him to collect `2-3 lakh each from the 1,750-odd bars and restaurants in the city Waze was allegedly . asked to tap into other sources to meet the shortfall. Sharing the transcripts of purported chats with his colleagues, Singh said it was normal for Deshmukh to bypass the brass and channel the course of probes. The ex-CoP said he had kept NCP chief Sharad Pawar and deputy CM Ajit Pawar abreast of the misdeeds. The CM’s office confirmed the receipt of an email from Singh. “We are checking its authenticity and the home department is trying to contact Singh. The letter emailed by Parambir Singh is from an ID different than his official one,” said a press note from the chief minister’s office. express read Customs issues second notice to Kodiyeri’s wife Kochi: Customs, which is probing the dollar smuggling case, has issued a second notice to CPM leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan’s wife S R Vinodhini to appear for quizzing on Tuesday. It was found that she was using one of the six iPhones gifted by Unitac Builders MD to those who helped him secure LIFE Mission contract. P6 thor of Republic of Hindutva. Conversant in several languages, his elevation as the executive head of the RSS is a generational change along with an attempt to connect with the people through discourse, Narayan said. Hosabale, who is a contemporary to key functionaries in the echelons of BJP, has been at ease with them and is forceful in articulating the RSS viewpoints. W I T H T H I S I SS U E Covidology 2021 E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram Poll panel rejects 3 NDA candidates’ nominations; Cong, CPM allege deal RSS gets future-ready, names Hosabale as new general secy A s h w i n i M S r i pa d & M a n i s h An a n d @ Bengaluru/New Delhi Front promises to increase welfare pension to D3,000, set up ministry of happiness, legislation for Sabarimala, reform at PSC ED moves SC seeking to cancel Sivasankar’s bail HOME RUN Indian cricket team poses for photograph with the trophy after winning the T20I series against England in Ahmedabad on Saturday. In the fifth and final match, India won by 36 runs to clinch the series 3-2 | PTI Kochi: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) sought urgent intervention of the Supreme Court to cancel the bail granted to M Sivasankar by the High Court. The ED informed that Sivasankar has been influencing other accused in the gold smuggling case. P7
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