tirupati l sunday l june 20, 2021 l `12.00 l PAGES 24 l anantapur EDITION hardline cleric elected Iran’s next president Ebrahim Raisi was on Saturday declared the winner of Iran’s presidential election that saw a record low voter turnout A harsh critic of American policies Raisi, who won 62% of the votes, is from the ultraconservative camp that deeply distrusts the US, and has criticised outgoing leader Hassan Rouhani after Washington pulled out of the nuclear deal. Raisi has backed the ongoing talks to save the deal. However, analysts say his hardline stance would make it tough for the US to extract any major concessions from Iran ■ 48.8% Comes to power at a tough time ■ ■ Raisi was a member of the “Death Commission” that secretly executed thousands of opposition prisoners in 1988 He comes to power at a time when Iran is battling job losses and a spiralling inflation, both of which have sparked discontent He is seen as a possible successor to Iran’s supreme leader | P9 Was the voter turnout in the election held on Friday 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 NC, PDP, Cong say will decide on attending meet with PM after intra-party deliberations J&K statehood buzz as Modi calls all-party meeting E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E @ Srinagar / New Delhi Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair an all-party meeting with at least 14 politicians from Jammu and Kashmir, including four former chief ministers and four deputy CMs, in the national capital on June 24, triggering speculation that restoration of statehood is on the cards. The move comes weeks before the second anniversary of scrapping of J&K’s special status and its bifurcation into two Union Territories. According to sources, the meeting’s agenda also includes delimitation process and elections. According to sources in Srinagar, PDP chief and former J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti was the first to receive the invitation. She has convened a meeting of the party’s Political Affairs Committee in Srinagar on Sunday to decide whether to participate. As a goodwill gesture, the government on Saturday released Mehbooba’s maternal uncle Sartaj Madni, who was under detention for nearly six months. Farooq Abdullah and his son Omar Abdullah of the National Conference, and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad are the other three former CMs invited. Union Home minister Amit Shah will also attend the meeting, the first such exercise since the Centre abrogated J&K’s special status. Political commentator Noor Mohammad Baba said the Centre is under pressure to soften its Kashmir policy due to both internal and external factors. “There are more strategic factors. Kashmir is not like any other place in India. It is being watched. The UN agencies are also keeping an eye on the situation,” he said. Govt to conduct EAPCET from August 19 to 25 At Home with Covid PLUS 12 PAGES @ Vijayawada After creating a record by vaccinating over six lakh people in a day during Tika Utsav in April, the State government is now planning to break its own record by administering the Covid-19 vaccine to nearly 10 lakh beneficiaries on Sunday . All arrangements are in place for the mega vaccination drive to be held from 7 am to 6 pm across the State tomorrow. District Collectors are overseeing the last minute arrangements for the success of mega vaccination drive. Women with children aged below 5 years and other priority groups in the 45 plus category will be vaccinated during the drive. According to a senior official in the Health Department, 56.63 per cent of people aged above 45 andhra pradesh June 18 June 19 Fresh cases 6,341 5,674 Recoveries 8,486 8,014 Deaths 57 45 Samples tested 1,07,764 1,03,935 E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Tirumala The Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) has decided to regularise the services of contract employees within 90 days. A decision to this effect was taken at the meeting of TTD Trust Board held under the chairmanship of YV Subba Reddy on Saturday. A committee has been formed to chalk out modalities to regularise the services of contract employees. Briefing mediapersons about the decisions taken by the TTD With gradual unlocking underway in many states, a third wave is inevitable in the next six to eight weeks if Covid-appropriate behaviour is not strictly followed, AIIMS chief Dr Randeep Guleria warned on Saturday . Authorities should keep in mind human behaviour while unlocking, he said, adding that it should be done in a graded manner. “As we have started unlocking, there is again a lack of Covid-appropriate behaviour. We don’t seem to have learnt from what happened between the first and the second wave. Again crowds are building up... people are gathering,” Dr Guleria said, warning that it’s just a matter of time before Covid cases shoot up again. “It all depends on how we go ahead in terms of Covid-appropriate behaviour and preventing crowds,” he added. With the main challenge being vaccination, the increase in the gap after the last meeting of the present Trust Board, Subba Reddy whose tenure as the chairman , ends later this month, said regularisation of services of Potu workers and other contract employees was a long-pending demand. “The issue has been taken to the notice of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and a final decision will be taken in this regard by October,” he said. He thanked the Chief Minister of dosage in Covishield “may not be bad”, he said in an interview to a news channel. He said the country will require mini-lockdowns in areas that witness a spike in cases and positivity rate beyond 5%. He emphasised that people would be vulnerable unless they are vaccinated. The focus should on ‘testing, tracking, and treating’ in hotspots, he added. Emphasising the need to be careful as the virus is mutating, he said, “When there is a huge increase in the number of cases, shortage of (hospital) beds follows. The strategy should be multi-pronged—we have to make sure fresh cases don’t rise. Any healthcare system globally will tend to collapse with the unprecedented rise in the infections.” On whether India needs to rethink the gap between two doses of Covishied, he said, “Nothing is written in stone. We will have to look at new strategies. But we need to have strong data to take that decision.” NATIONWIDE june 18 june 19 EXPRES READ Telangana lifts lockdown completely Hyderabad: The lockdown in Telangana has been completely lifted with immediate effect, while all categories of educational institutions will be reopened from July 1. The State Cabinet, which held an emergency meeting under the chairmanship of K Chandrasekhar Rao on Saturday, took these decisions. All restrictions imposed during the lockdown will no longer be valid. Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths Jab-o-meter Take your shot 62,480 88,977 1,587 60,753 97,743 1,647 June 18 29,84,172 doses June 19 33,00,085 doses Total doses: 27,23,88,783 tribute to the legend Name sports awards after Milkha Singh Ashok Kumar I knew the legendary Milkha Singh personally because of my father, Major Dhyan Chand. Every time we met, he would enquire about his health. We had a practice camp in Chandigarh before the 1975 World Cup, which we won. Being an official of the Punjab Sports Department, Milkha sir would often visit us. He was a man of few wo ds, but always ensured we got the r best of facilities. One day he invited a few senior players for lunch. I was one of them. Given his keen eye on dining table etiquettes, we all had to use forks and knives. Most of us were not habituated to this, especially me. I somehow years have been administered at least one dose of Covid vaccine so far. Now, the target is to cover the remaining 43.4 per cent of that category. As on date, 5.63 lakh of 18.55 lakh mothers of children aged below five years have been given the first jab. One lakh doses of Covishield each has been dispatched to Visakhapatnam, East Godavari, Krishna, Guntur and Anantapur, along with 5,000 doses of Covaxin each. Other districts have been supplied 55,000 to 60,000 doses of Covishield and 5,000 doses of P3 Covaxin each. TTD to regularise contract employees within three months E x p r e s s ne w s s e r v i c e @ New Delhi @ Vijayawada WITH THIS ISSUE E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e 3rd wave in 6 weeks if covid norms ignored: AIIMS chief E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e The Common Entrance Test for admission into engineering, agriculture and pharmacy courses for the academic year 2021-22 in Andhra Pradesh will be held from August 19 to 25. With admissions into the medical stream being done through the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET), the previous Engineering, Agriculture and Medical Common Entrance Test ( E A M C ET ) h a s n ow b e e n changed as Engineering, Agriculture and Pharmacy Common Entrance Test (EAPCET). The APSCHE has prepared the EAPCET-2021 schedule and submitted it to Education Minister A Suresh. A notification for EAPCET will be issued on June 24. Applications for EAPCET can be submitted through online from June 26. The last date for submission of applications withP4 out late fee is July 25. Govt aims to create a new record by vaccinating 10 lakh beneficiaries today managed, without getting noticed. He accompanied us to a couple of felicitation functions after we won the World Cup. He was with the team in Mumbai when we were feted. Age difference and his seniority mea t we n interacted formally on most occasions. Mo t of our cons versations c tred on my faen ther, who us to address him ed as ‘Mil h ’. I lost my eldest k e brother Brijmohan Singh a couple of months ago. The demise of Milkha sir saddens me again. He and Balbir Singh Sr were the pillars of Indian sports after Independence. Unfortunately we lost both in a , short span of time. It’s time we gave them the recognition they deserve. We should name national sports awards after them. These legends inspired generations of athletes in the country and we must pay them back. Tributes pour in after legends die, but we should honour them during their lifetime. I am not complaining, but this will improve the sports culture in our country If athletes start . getting recognition, more will start pursuing sports as a career. I can only say he will keep inspiring Indian athletes for many years to come. Ashok Kumar former India hockey , captain and World Cup winner , spoke to Firoz Mirza for reposing faith in him and all the members of the Trust Board, TTD officials, employees and others for their cooperation, which helped him implement some innovative measures for the benefit of pilgrims during his tenure as chairman. Though the TTD faced hard times due to the Corona-19 pandemic for the past one and a half years, it has taken up several development works, he said. Subba Reddy stated that the first thing they did after assuming charge was to give priority to common pilgrims by limiting categories of L1, L2 and L3 in the VIP Break Darshan System. Usage of plastic was completely banned to make the hill shrine a plastic-free zone. To ward off the ill effects of Covid, the TTD had taken up several spiritual programmes in the last 14 months at Nada Neerajanam Mandapam at Tirumala, which were telecast live on Sri Venkateswara Bhakti P4 Channel (SVBC). Darshan for more pilgrims likely With the decline in Covid cases, the TTD is likely to allow more number of devotees for darshan in the coming days. “About 5,000 pilgrims are being allowed a day for darshan now. The number will be raised to 15,000 pilgrims a day,” TTD Chairman Subba Reddy said.
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