chennai l Sunday l June 20, 2021 l `12.00 l PAGES 26 l late city 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 | P11 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 and Congress will decide whether to attend the meet after internal 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 Delhi 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 Union Territories. The meeting’s agenda includes delimitation process and elections, officials said. PDP chief and former J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti 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 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. Both the National Conference and the Congress said they will decide on attending the meet after internal consultations. Union Home minister Amit Shah will also attend the meeting, the first such excercise 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. It is being watched. The UN agencies are also keeping an eye on the situation,” he said. P10 Vandalur Zoo to test all lions for CDV infection PLUS 12 PAGES 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 of dosage in Covishield “may not be bad”, he told a news channel. He said the country will require mini-lockdowns in areas that witness a spike in cases and E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Chennai EVEN as Tamil Nadu is in the process of containing the second wave of the pandemic, the government is already making preparations to tackle that third wave that is suspected to affect children more than before. The paediatric specialty treatment facilities across hospitals in the State are being strengthened, Health Minister Ma Subramanian announced on Saturday “Exclusive . facilities for paediatric care, with oxygen support, will be installed @ Lucknow/New Delhi Ending speculation on former bureaucrat A K Sharma’s induction into the Yogi Adityanath cabinet in UP the , BJP’s state unit appointed him as its vice president on Saturday . Shar ma’s appointment, with the crucial Assembly election just eight months away is seen as an attempt to , both bolster the party’s reach among the upper caste in eastern UP and execute the leadership’s poll strategies in the state. Sharma, who joined the party five months ago and was elected as an MLC shortly afterwards, is close to Prime Minister Modi. He played a key role in managing the Covid situation in PM Modi’s constituency Varanasi. The Varanasi Model of Covid-19 management was appreciated by the PM on several occasions. Sharma’s elevation was among a in all government hospitals,” he said. “As per the instructions of Chief Minister MK Stalin, this is part of the preparedness efforts for the coming days.” With experts across the country saying that a third wave is possible, the minister said, measures are being taken to keep the infrastructure ready in case there’s a surge among children being infected. “Even UPHCs and district government hospitals will be readied to handle cases,” he said, adding that in the past one month, the State has added flurry of organisational appointments made by party’s UP unit president Swatantra Dev Singh, hours after meeting BJP president J P Nadda and national general secretary B L Santhosh in New Delhi. Sharma’s appointment comes weeks after the leadership sent a two-member team, comprising Santhosh and former Union minister Radha Mohan Singh, to Lucknow to review the party’s organisational strength ahead of the Assembly election. The visit was followed by Yogi landing in New Delhi and meeting Modi, home minister Amit Shah and J P Nadda. Speculation was rife that Sharma would be given a high position in the UP cabinet, a scenario Yogi was opposed to, fearing it could potentially create dual power centres, sources said. A 1988 batch IAS officer of Gujarat Cadre, Sharma is a Bhumihar Brahmin, a community with sizeable influence in many eastern UP districts. NATIONWIDE june 18 june 19 EXPRES READ Assam to implement 2-child policy Guwahati: Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday said his government will gradually implement a two-child policy for availing of benefits under specific schemes funded by the state. The proposed population control policy will, however, not be applicable in all the schemes in Assam immediately as many of the benefits are offered by the central government, Sarma said. 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 33,72,742 doses Total doses: 27,62,55,304 t r i b u te to t h e l e g end 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 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.” Focus on improving paediatric care ahead of 3rd wave: Min E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e Leaving nothing to chance, the Arignar Anna Zoological Park is planning to test all the Asiatic lions for Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) and has procured 50 imported vaccines to cover all the big cats in the park. So far, two lions from the park had tested positive for the CDV . The nine-year-old lioness, Neela, and 19-year-old Raghav had contracted the virus. Based on the available evidence, Neela died more due to Covid, while Raghav, who tested negative for Covid, is normal and is exhibiting no typical severe symptoms of CDV like , muscle twitching, seizures etc. Another lion, Pathbanathan, had died of Covid, earlier this week. Naga Sathish Gidijala, Deputy Director of Vandalur Zoo, told Express, “We had a very detailed discussion with the Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS) on CDV . It cannot be called an outbreak. It’s only been incidental.” P4 At Home with Covid E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Modi aide elevated as BJP vice president in U.P. SV KRISH N A CH A ITA N YA @ Chennai WITH THIS ISSUE Third wave to hit India in 6-8 weeks if Covid norms ignored: AIIMS chief 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 tamil nadu Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths june 18 8,633 19,860 287 june 19 8,183 18,232 180 79,000 oxygen beds. He further said that doctors who were part of the ‘Amma’ Mini Clinics, opened by the previous AIADMK government, are now in Covid-19 duty “Once the . cases come down, we will put them back to mini clinics. Presently, vaccination camps are being held there,” he said. On Saturday, Tamil Nadu recorded as many as 8,180 fresh cases and 180 deaths, taking the total caseload to 24,14,680 and the toll to 31,105. Chennai recorded 468 cases on the day, and Coimbatore and Erode added another 1,014 and 933 cases to their tally, respectively . Meanwhile, as many as 18,232 people were discharged upon recovery, according to the health bulletin issued by the Directorate of Public Health, taking the total number of active cases in the State to 78,780. ‘Preparation for coming days’ Health Minister Ma Subramanian said that exclusive facilities for paediatric care, with oxygen support, will be installed in all the government hospitals in the State. “This is part of preparedness efforts for the coming days, as per the Chief Minister’s instructions,” said the minister
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