HUBBALLI SUNDAY MARCH 28, 2021 `8.00 PAGES 24 CITY EDITION OVER 90 KILLED IN MYANMAR IN BLOODIEST DAY OF PROTEST JUNTA REITERATES PROMISE TO HOLD ELECTION Touted as a flashpoint, the Armed Forces Day event saw junta leader Min Aung Hlaing calling the protests as acts of ‘terrorism’. In his speech, Hlaing reiterated a promise to hold elections, without giving any time-frame. Eight countries — Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand — sent representatives to the event, while Russia sent a minister The reprisal, coinciding with the 76th Armed Forces Day, came barely 24 hours after media warned that agitators could be shot in the head MILITIA KILLS NINE IN RETALIATORY STRIKE ■ ■ The Karen National Union, an ethnic armed group, said it had overrun an army post near the Thai border, killing 10 people, including a lieutenant colonel, and losing one of its fighters Skirmishes took place in Sagaing, Yangon, Mandalay and Lashio. A one-year-old baby was shot in the eye with a rubber bullet | P9 269 ESTIMATED NUMBER OF PROTESTERS KILLED SO FAR IN THE MILITARY CRACKDOWN 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 Bengal sees 80% turnout 79.9% Polling percentage 30 CONSTITUENCIES* (5 districts — all seats in Purulia and Jhargram districts; parts of West Midnapore, Bankura, East Midnapore districts) 2016 RESULTS# 3% less than 2016 as most migrant workers didn’t return to cast vote ■ TMC: 27 | ■ Cong: 2 ■ E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Kolkata Left Front: 1 in seats where polling was held on Saturday # A robust 80% voter turnout was recorded in the first phase of Assembly polls in West Bengal on Saturday . The polling was expected to be much higher but it turned out to be around 3% less than that of the previous Assembly polls. Rising Covid-19 cases and the failure of migrant workers — who had left the state after public transport was thrown open following a prolonged lockdown — to return to exercise their franchise are the major reasons for the drop in turnout. A senior TMC leader said absence of migrant workers might hurt their chances. “It was expected Bengalis working in other states will support us because of the hardships they faced due to the lockdown,’’ he said. For an example, in 2016, Jhargram constituency had recorded 86% 2018 polling, but this time, the figure dropped to 80.55%. The BJP believes it has an upper hand as it had won most of the Parliamentary seats in the region in the 2019 general elections. Voting was held in 30 Assembly segments out of 294 with 191 candidates in the fray Over 70 lakh electorates were on . the rolls to exercise their franchise. The 30 seats that went to polls on Saturday included all the 18 constituencies that had voted in the first phase in 2016, too. Assam, which also went to polls on Saturday, recorded 76.89% turnout in the first phase for 47 seats. Analysts attributed the high turnout to competitive politics. “Last time, the aspirational votes resulted in high turnout. This time, it is due to the competitive politics,” political analyst Akhil Ranjan Dutta P7 of Gauhati University said. * Total constituencies: 294 I F this is a war of ideas, and not a mere electoral mudwrestling match of the usual sort, then Nandigram is the epicentre. It’s a placename that has already seared itself into the pages of Indian political history. But that was a decade ago, when it was an outlier. In 2021, Nandigram offers a different picture — a small, sharp-focused microcosmic picture of West Bengal politics as it’s being played right now. The people of Nandigram are divided. Along voting lines— which can be a euphemism for ‘along religious lines’. They are also pulled by contrasting loyalties: their allegiance to ‘Dada’ and ‘Didi’. The latter needs no explanation. Mamata Banerjee is Didi for not just Nandigram — which votes in the second phase of a @ Bengaluru RESIDENTS of Bengaluru can soon hope to have clear property documents. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) budget for 2021-22, which was presented on Saturday notes that , the civic body is collaborating with the Revenue Department of the State Government for conversion of all ‘B’ Khata properties to ‘ ’ Khata. A Palike Administrator Gaurav Gupta said, “This will translate into a more transparent system and result in orderly growth of the city .” The Khata is a property ownership document, based on which taxes are computed. It includes location, size of the property, owner’s name, built-up area and details. With the expansion of the city, many illegal construction were brought under the jurisdiction of the civic body and hence, a separate register was maintained to collect taxes from such properties, and these came under B Khata. Essentially a , piece of property with ‘B’ Khatha is a non-BBMP approved construction and banks are hesitant to extend WHAT’S IN THE BUDGET BUDGET OUTLAY SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT BBMP ZONES FOOTPATHS ROAD UPGRADATION EDUCATION INCENTIVE FOR SSLC TEACHERS UPLIFT OF 1,200 PARKS LAKE MAINTENANCE D9,286.80 CR D1,622 CR D2,000 CR D20 LAKH D473 CR D84 CR D2 LAKH D214 CR D31 CR loans on such properties. A proposal to have a single type of Khata was taken up in last year’s budget too. It is now in the final stages and will be a reality soon. This will help bring uniformity in property tax collection, BBMP officials added. In July 2019, the BBMP had written to State Government to convert over 3.80 lakh properties in the city from ‘B’ Khata to ‘ ’ Khata to A increase the corporation’s revenue. In February 2021, twelve formers mayors submitted a letter to the civic body asking to clear all hur- TAXES HAVE NOT BEEN INCREASED THIS YEAR dles in converting ‘B’ Khata properties to ‘A’ Khata. The proposal was stuck with the State Government as the Supreme Court was hearing the matter along with Akrama Sakrama Scheme, wherein the government plans to legalise some types of illegal properties. Gaurav Gupta said that he take into consideration the former mayors’ proposals on Khata conversion. In the budget speech, he said, “More details will be shared once it is finalised and the necessary orders are put in CONTINUED ON: P3 place.” @ Bengaluru Voters undergo thermal scanning at a polling station in Jhargram, Bengal, on Saturday | PTI long-drawn poll process — but for all of West Bengal, even India to some extent. Dada is Suvendu Adhikari, her Nandigram custodian-turned-challenger. Suvendu may not yet have at- WEST BENGAL SANTWANA BHATTACHARYA @ Nandigram tained the eminence of a ‘Dada’ for the larger Bengal polity, but there’s no doubting his stature here. Anything that has happened or not happened in Nandigram has his stamp on it. That’s not counting his cutouts, popping out from amidst crop- land, smiling at passing vehicles with a chutzpah that’s almost breathtaking, bordering on arrogance in a qualitative way. Suvendu and the Adhikari family have a close relation with these farmlands of Nandigram. He is credited with spearheading the Bhumi Uchhed Pratirodh Committee—now, that one committee not only ensured the chemical hub planned by the then Buddhadeb Bhattacharya government never materialised, it virtually led to the ‘uchhed’ (uprooting) of the 34-year-long Left Front government in Bengal. In that election and in the years that followed, Suvendu became the Dada, replacing the Left’s Laxman Seth. It’s as if he has now come to claim ownership of the very croplands he once struggled to save. EXPRESS READ No yardstick for dying declaration: SC New Delhi: The Supreme Court has said that there can be “no rigid standard or yardstick” for acceptance or rejection of dying declaration, which can form the basis for conviction if made voluntarily. Covovax trials begin: Poonawalla New Delhi: Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla on Saturday said clinical trials of Covid vaccine Covovax have begun in India and the firm hopes to launch it by September this year. P7 K’taka Covid curve rising sharply, 2.8k new cases in a day E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Bengaluru KARNATAKA is now inching towards recording 3,000 Covid-19 cases a day with the state re, porting 2,886 fresh cases on Saturday. The number of active covid cases in the state crossed 20,000 after nearly three months. The last time Karnataka witnessed more than 20,000 active cases was in the second week of December. Bengaluru accounted for about 63% of the cases with 1,820 fresh cases and 14,671 active cases. Meanwhile, Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar warned people that the state’s positivity rate has gone up to 2.68%, which is higher than the national rate. He also hinted at more restrictions and stringent action for violations in the coming days. “Eight to 10 states have more active cases and Karnataka is one among them. People should exercise caution. I have requested the CM to take necessary measures to prevent spread of infection in schools and educational institutions. The CM himself will take P4 action in this regard,” he added. PANDORA’S BOX Centre’s ‘meddling’ affecting states’ unity: Minister EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Mysuru SURPRISING as it may seem, this barb didn’t come from the Opposition. Amid arguments around Central interference in State subjects, it was none other than a minister in BJP-ruled Karnataka who called out the Union Government for “encroaching” upon subjects in the State and Concurrent Lists of the Constitution, leaving Karnataka and other states like Tamil Nadu at a disadvantage. Minor Irrigation Minister J C Madhuswamy, who was recently relieved of the Law and Parliamentary Affairs ministry, minced no words when he said that the “authoritarian policies” of the Central Government has hurt the unity between states and is fuelling regionalism in the country. For good measure, he even asked Bengaluru South MP and party colleague Tejasvi Surya, who was present at the event, to raise the issue in Parliament. “We should have become liberalised with progression. Instead, it is becoming centralised. The policy of pulling down progressive states to the level of under-developed ones is similar to the policies of Indira Gandhi, claimed that he was an ex-servicemen, alleged that the Congress leader had sent his daughIN a curious turn of events, ter to Goa with money He also . family members of the woman hoped that the police will provide in the purported sleaze them adequate protecCD involving former tion and requested their minister Ramesh Jarkidaughter to return. holi, have accused KarThe woman’s brother nataka Pradesh Consaid, “She had come gress Committee home on February 5, and , president D K Shivakuspent good time with the mar of using her for his family for a couple of “dirty politics”. days. But she has not I have nothing The woman’s parents to do with the been in contact for 20 and her brother, who apdays and her phone has CD case. Let peared before the Speremained switched off.” them cial Investigation Team investigate the This came even as the (SIT) in Bengaluru on case as per law woman released a fourth Saturday, spoke to the and punish the video statement seeking guilty media and hit out at protection for her famiShivakumar for “using ly members and stated D K Shivakumar, a girl from the ST comthat she was feeling torKPCC president munity” for his polititured to the extent that cal gains. Stating that they have she wanted to end her life. given all evidence about ShivaMeanwhile, a group of Conkumar’s involvement to the SIT, gress workers tried to barge the family pleaded with the po- into Jarakiholi’s residence in lice to ensure her safe return. Sadashivanagar around 7.30 The SIT on Saturday video- pm on Saturday and shouted recorded the statements of the slogans against him, demandfamily and also in written for- ing his arrest. They were taken mat over five hours. into preventive custody and The woman’s father, who later released. FULL REPORT: P4 EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE VOTERS TORN BETWEEN DADA AND DIDI B’LURU CIVIC BODY PLANS TO CONVERT ALL ‘B’ KHATAS TO ‘A’ EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE CD-gate: Woman used as pawn in politics, say parents BENGAL PHASE 1 which we ourselves criticised then,” he said at a seminar on ‘National Integration and Regional Freedom’, hosted by the Akhila Bharatiya Sharana Sahitya Parishad in Mysuru on Saturday . To buttress his argument, he cited the examples of NEET and CET, alleging that students from Karnataka and in-service doctors wanting to pursue higher education are at disadvantage while students from other states populate institutions CONTINUED ON: P3 here. Education is a State subject, and yet it was interfered with. As a result, many from the north are populating medical seats here while leaving several seats vacant, which should have gone to locals. This will trigger a dearth of specialist doctors J C Madhuswamy, Minor Irrigation Minister CONTINUED ON: P7 REFORM DYNAMICS The second day of the ThinkEdu Conclave saw Principal Economic Advisor Sanjeev Sanyal speak about ego not coming in the way of fixing the flaws in reform policies. In another session, the higher education secretary said the Centre may alter the criteria to qualify for Institute of Eminence tag | P5 WITH THIS ISSUE CHASING THE TRUTH PLUS 12 PAGES
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