nagapattinam l wednesday l april 07, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 14 l city EDITION N V Ramana appointed next CJI, to take oath on April 24 Senior-most Supreme Court judge Justice Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana was on Tuesday appointed as the next Chief Justice of India To remain chief justice till August 26, 2022 Justice Ramana will take over as the 48th CJI on April 24 and will retire on August 26, 2022. He has dealt with several high-profile cases in the apex court. A five-judge constitution bench headed by him had in March last year declined to refer to a larger seven-judge bench a batch of pleas challenging the Constitutional validity of the Centre’s decision to abrogate Article 370 ■ April 23 Was chief justice of delhi hc for a year Born on August 27, 1957 into an agricultural family in Andhra, Ramana was enrolled as an advocate on February 10, 1983. He was appointed a permanent judge of the AP High Court on June 27, 2000, elevated as the Chief Justice of Delhi HC on September 2, 2013 and appointed a Supreme Court judge on February 17, 2014 When incumbent Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind Bobde will retire 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 Undeterred by Covid, over 4.51 cr people exercise their franchise with special arrangements to ensure physical distancing; polling largely peaceful, and less than 1% EVMs failed, says CEO Over 70% vote in State B A n b u s e lv a n @ Chennai The sudden surge in Covid cases over the past several weeks did not prevent Tamil Nadu from coming out to choose its next government, as the State recorded 71.79 per cent polling, largely in keeping with the tradition of staying well above the 70-mark. In 2011 and 2016, the State recorded an impressive voter turnout of over 78 per cent and 74 per cent respectively Of the 6.29 crore eligible vot. ers in the State, 4.51 crore exercised their franchise. Though the Election Commission framed new rules and provided a few extra facilities to maintain social distancing — for instance, a whopping 88,937 polling booths were set up this time as against 66,316 in 2016 — there were reports from across the State of voters not using them. This election also took a big leap in improving transparency by ensuring that VVPAT machines were installed at all polling booths, a first in Assembly elections. However, complaints about malfunctioning EVMs and VVPAT machines were reported. As many as 559 VVPAT machines, 174 ballot units, and 134 control units had to be replaced. “The failure rate was hardly one per cent, and the entire election went off peacefully said Chief Electoral Officer ,” Satyabrata Sahoo. Asked about Opposition’s allegations that some VVPATs were showing only one particular party’s symbol no matter INSIDE what button was pressed on the EVM, Sahoo said the allegations were “false”. While a TV channel reported a booth-capturing attempt in Velachery Sa, hoo dismissed it saying no such incident happened. Asked about the complaint filed by Thondamuthur DMK candidate Karthikeyan Sivasenapathy claiming he was being , prevented from entering a booth, Sahoo said he had sought a detailed report from the DEO. However, he maintained that the incident was a law and order problem and everything is under control. Similarly on the , complaints of tokens being issued by political parties to voters, Sahoo said reports are being sought from officials concerned. Explaining the security measures for the EVM units, which will have to be protected in strong-rooms for the next one month, Sahoo said three-tier, round-the-clock security has been arranged till votes are counted on May 2. “We have set up 75 centres for counting of votes,” he added. Polling began on a brisk note on Tuesday, with 13.8 per cent polling being recorded between 7 and 9 am. The poll percentage then rose to 26.29 by 11 am, 39.61 by 1 pm and 53.35 by 3 pm. In the next two hours, it increased to 63.60 per cent, and ended at 71.79 per cent by 7 pm. “We received the polling data from presiding officers via mobile phone. The final data, to be released on Thursday, and will be slightly higher,” said Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo. Physical distancing goes for a toss Express News Service @ New Delhi The Centre on Tuesday warned the next four weeks are going to be very critical as the Covid-19 situation is worsening faster than it did during the first wave. The Union health ministry also stressed the need to ramp up vaccination while indicating that the age cap for taking the jab won’t be relaxed anytime soon despite it being demanded by some states, since vaccine available is “finite”. Even Western countries have conducted vaccination in phases, Union health secretary Rajesh Bhushan reasoned. “The basic aim is to reduce death through vaccination. The other aim is to protect your healthcare system. The aim is never to administer the vaccine to those who want it but to those who need it.” NITI Aayog Member (Health) Dr V K Paul said Covid-appropriate behaviour like wearing masks and staying away from crowds have to be followed in a campaign mode. However, that awareness is yet to sink in, going by the crowds in poll bound states. Officials said the situation can still be controlled with people’s participation. Maharashtra, Punjab and Chhattisgarh still remain states of maximum concer n. Given their population, the number of deaths being reported by Punjab and Chhattisgarh are a cause of extreme concern, Bhushan pointed out. However, Maharashtra, Gujarat and West Bengal top the vaccine administration charts. As many as 96,982 new cases were reported in a span of 24 hours on Tuesday morning. Pandemic fails to dampen poll mood in Pondy Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, DMK president MK Stalin and MNM chief Kamal Haasan pose after casting their votes on Tuesday | PJawahar/ DEBADATTA MALLICK Highest poll percentage Kallakurichi Namakkal Ariyalur Karur Dharmapuri the Bottom five Chennai Chengalpattu Tirunelveli Coimbatore Ramanathapuram 78.00% 77.91% 77.88% 77.60% 77.23% 59.40% 62.77% 65.16% 66.98% 67.16% Victims of impersonation cast tendered votes A handful of people across the State were shocked when they went to vote, since they were told that their votes had already been cast by someone else. They were then allowed to cast ‘tendered votes’ | P6 Did hundreds of names vanish from electoral roll? At Harbour constituency, at least 400 people, mostly Muslims, were not allowed to vote since their names were not on the electoral roll at the booth. But many of their names were on the online electoral roll | P6 BJP’s Vanathi Srinivasan accused of bribing voters Candidates of the MNM, Congress and NTK accused BJP’s Vanathi Srinivasan of trying to influence voters in Coimbatore South. They said BJP workers gave out tokens to distribute cash for votes later | P6 Ajith, Vijay take ‘masked’ route to ‘ride’ home a point? As actors Ajith and Vijay went to vote, their fans got busy decoding the symbolism behind their accessories and outfits. While Ajith wore a black mask with red straps, Vijay rode a red-and-black bicycle | P2 Destitute persons join the exercise I P4 Work-from-home brings more votes I P4 @ Kolkata/Guwahati/Kochi Amid sporadic violence and high voter turnout, the third of the eight-phase West Bengal elections concluded on Tuesday in three southern districts, known to be the ruling Trinamool’s forts. In Assam, polling in the third and final phase crossed 80% and the process was by and large peaceful although there were some stray incidents of violence. Kerala recorded a high voter percentage (74.02%), though it was a tad less than the previous Assembly elections in 2016 (77.35%). In West Bengal, actorturned-BJP candidate Papia Adhikary in Uluberia South was manhandled by alleged Trinamool supporters when she went to meet an injured party worker in a hospital. On the flip side, Trinamool candidate Sujata Mondal in Arambagh, Hooghly wife of , BJP MP Saumitra Khan from Bishnupur, who defected to the ruling party two months ago, was surrounded and chased away by alleged BJP supporters. Her security guard, too, was allegedly assaulted. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee alleged that the Central forces were intimidating her party’s workers and accused the Election Commission of hav- Voter flies in from Singapore I P4 Drop in oxygen Tarun Bajaj is new supply kills two revenue secretary, Covid patients? Ajay Seth in DEA S i n d u j a Ja n e @ Chennai Two Covid patients — a 50year-old woman and a 64-yearold man — died at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH) around midnight on Monday allegedly , because oxygen supply was disrupted. They passed away while medical oxygen was being unloaded from tanker lorries, sources said. However, RGGGH dean Dr E Theranirajan said the oxygen supply was not cut. “There was a difference in pressure between the alreadyexisting liquid oxygen and the oxygen being unloaded from the tanker lorries. Instead of eight, it dropped to five. The pressure was transmitted to the oxygen line. Oxygen supply was not cut. When there was a pressure difference, the staff checked, and it was corrected within five minutes,” he said. P7 In a major bureaucratic reshuffle in the Union finance ministry, the government on Wednesday appointed economic affairs secretary Tarun Bajaj as revenue secretary and brought in Bangalore Metro chief Ajay Seth as the new secretary in the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA). Bajaj, a 1988-batch Haryana-cadre IAS officer who has served in the PMO, has played a big role in the govTarun Bajaj ernment’s ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ package. Seth, a 1987-batch IAS officer of the Karnataka cadre, became the managing director of Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation since 2018. He has also served in Ajay Seth the health & family welfare and the finance departments in the state. Seth is returning to central deputation after 13 years. He was an advisor with Asian Development Bank from 2004 to 2008. Prior to that, he had held the post of director in the economic affairs department. Voters queue up at a polling station during the third and final phase of Assam Assembly elections, in Guwahati on Tuesday | PTI ing turned a blind eye to it. In Assam, the police had to use force when two groups of people clashed over some issues at a polling station in Golakganj constituency in Dhubri district. At Guptipara in Bilasipara West constituency also in Dhubri dis, trict, a group of people attacked security personnel over the distribution of free masks. The police restored o r d e r by r e s o r t i n g t o caning. In Kerala, the Sabarimala issue dominated the day’s political discourse, with the LDF and the UDF trading charges over whom Lord Ayyappa would support during polling. 6 Faculty of Engineering and Technology NIRF Rank : 28 (2020) NAAC : A++ (2021) E x p r e s s N e w s S e r v i c e @ New Delhi India Inc wary as US moots global minimum corp tax WHile the US is leading an international effort to create a global minimum tax on corporate profits, India Inc says the move will have not have any impact on India. On Monday US Treasury Secre, tary Janet Yellen called for a global minimum tax that would apply to multinational corporations, regardless of where they locate their Express News Service After a first few hours of brisk voting in Puducherry, sparking expectations that the polling percentage would cross 90, the figure settled at 81.64 by the end of the day Of the 1,934 . Covid patients in the region, 510 turned up to vote in accordance with the safety protocol. The Assembly elections in the Union Territory began at 7 am on Tuesday except at a few , booths, where EVMs suffered glitches that were later rectified. In first four hours, the polling percentage crossed 20, and by 3 pm, it crossed 66. Yanam recorded the highest polling percentage of 91.27, while Raj Bhavan recorded the lowest — 73.24. The Union Territory has 10,04,507 eligible voters, and 1,558 polling booths were set up to ensure not more than 1,000 were at each. A total of 1,558 control units, 1,677 polling units and 1,558 VVPATs were used. Speaking to the media after voting at the Government Girls French School on Mission Street, former chief minister and senior Congress leader V Narayanasamy said, “We are fighting this election against religious and communal forces. Our promises of loan rebate and government jobs have received a good response.” P3 flight of capital E x p r e s s N e w s S e r v i c e @ New Delhi Assam, Kerala poll over, sporadic violence in West Bengal Phase III Safe & smooth B a g a l a v a n P e r i e r B @ Puducherry Covid patients step out to cast votes Next 4 weeks to be very critical, jab age cap won’t be lifted soon, says govt 4EVMs, 4 VVPAT machines found at Trinamool leader’s house, poll official suspended headquarters. “Together, we can use a global minimum tax to make sure the global economy thrives based on a more level-playing field in the taxation of multinational corporations,” she said, adding that it would prevent a “race to the bottom” in which countries cut tax to entice companies. She said this is aimed at “making sure that govern- ments have stable tax systems that raise sufficient revenue to invest in essential public goods and respond to crises.” With the EU and the IMF also supporting the move, experts believe countries like India that have cut tax to attract multinational companies would come under pressure to raise rates. On September 20, 2019, India had announced a massive tax rate cut, lowering the base corporate tax rate to 22% from 30%, and to 15% from 25% for new manufacturing companies. However, India Inc thinks it is not an easy idea to implement. “It is easier said than done. It will be like asking countries to give up their global competitive edge,” said a senior member of the Confederation of Indian Industry . B.Tech. 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