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 ■ ■ chennai l wednesday l july 21, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 20 l late city EDITION Oppn, govt spar over ‘hiding’ deaths E x p r e ss N e ws Se r v i c e @ New Delhi The Opposition on Tuesday accused the BJP-led government of ‘hiding’ the exact number of Covid deaths, saying the official figures reflect only a fraction of actual fatalities. The parties, led by the Congress, also panned the Centre for the inordinate delay in vaccinating people and demanded to know the preparedness for the third wave of the pandemic. During the discussion on the management of Covid-19 in the Rajya Sabha, members demanded that the Centre provide correct data of Covid-19 deaths. Alleging large-scale under-reporting of Covid deaths, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge said the Centre declared victory over Covid when people were still dying, and conducted huge elec- tion rallies. “India has 6.38 lakh villages. If even five people die in a village due to Covid, it comes to 21 lakh and may go up to 52 lakh. But the government claims 4-5 lakh only he said. ,” TMC MP Dr Santanu Sen said if the Centre was so concerned about Covid-19 management, why did it decide to have an eightphase election in West Bengal. In its response, the Centre said Nobody died of oxygen shortage! Believe it or not, not a single it compiles and puts out data sent by state governments and that it hasn’t asked any state to suppress Covid fatalities. Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya said vaccine production is being ramped up to cover all eligible population in the country . Later in the day major opposi, tion parties barring the Congress participated in the all-party meeting on the Covid situation. P9 A total of 188 crore Covid vaccine doses needed to inoculate 94 crore 18+ population state reported Covid death due to oxygen shortage, Centre told Rajya Sabha on Tuesday However, there was unprecedented demand for medical oxygen during the 2nd wave. Peak demand touched 9,000 mt compared with 3,095 mt during the 1st wave Two out of three VACCINE SUPPLY Centre expects 187 crore doses will be available during Jan- Dec 2021 56% of jabs given from May 1-July 15 were in rural vaccination centres Indians may have been infected with Covid virus, says ICMR’s latest serosurvey Covishield: 11-12 cr doses per month Covaxin: 3.5 cr doses per month from Aug Jab-o-meter Take your shot July 19 47,77,697 doses July 20 31,79,469 doses Total doses: 41,52,25,632 NATIONWIDE july 19 july 20 Fresh cases 38,164 30093 Recoveries Deaths 38,660 45,254 499 374 tamil nadu july 19 july 20 Fresh cases 1,971 1,904 Recoveries Deaths 2,558 28 2,439 30 Parliament’s Pegasus paralysis United Oppn decides to stall both Houses till govt comes clean on it R i c h a S h a r m a @ New Delhi Chief Minister MK Stalin inaugurates various projects at the Investors Conclave in Chennai on Tuesday. Meanwhile, he also launched Single Window Portal 2.0, with over 100 services spread across 24 departments for existing and new investors | ashwin prasath ‘Aiming at trillion dollar State economy by 2030’ E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E @ Chennai “Our aim is to turn TN into a one trillion dollar GDP economy by 2030 and to make this State the most-favourable investment destination in the whole of South Asia,” Chief Minister MK Stalin said on Tuesday Speaking on the occasion . of the signing of 35 Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs), Stalin said, “I promise the investors that the doors of Tamil Nadu will remain open. Your vision will be translated into action. We have created that atmosphere here.” The pacts, with a cumulative investment of `17,141 crore, were inked on the sidelines of the Investors’ Conclave, in Chennai and propose to provide employment opportunities for 55,054 persons. The Chief Minister also laid the foundation for nine projects, with an investment commitment of `4,250 crore and jobs to 21,630 persons, while inaugurating five projects with an investment commitment of `7,117 crore that would provide express read Transfer counselling for teachers soon: Min Tiruchy: Minister for School Education Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi said that teacher transfer counselling will be held soon, after getting a go-ahead from CM Stalin. “Owing to Covid, transfer counselling could not be held. Now, as teachers have been asked to come to school, we can make use of it.” ENS Panel studying Indian culture to be revamped Madurai: In reply to the questions raised by Madurai MP Su Venkatesan in the Parliament on Monday, on the committee constituted to study the Indian culture, the Union Ministry of Culture has said that it has decided to reconstitute the committee, which was alleged to lack diversity | P4 SC raps Kerala over Bakrid relaxations New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday rapped the Kerala government over relaxations granted for Bakrid. The SC observed that pressure groups, religious or otherwise, cannot interfere with the most precious Fundamental Right to Life of all the citizens of the country | P7 Nothing is done on cleaning up politics: SC New Delhi: “Nothing is ever done and nothing will ever be done,” the Supreme Court said on Tuesday, while reserving its order on a plea seeking contempt action against several political parties for noncompliance of the court’s directions aimed at decriminalising the polity 6,798 jobs. Totally `28,508 crore investment , has been ensured for 49 projects, that would open up employment opportunities for 83,482 persons. The industrial units would come up in the districts of Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi, Dindigul, Virudhunagar, Madurai, Pudukkottai, Karur, Erode, Coimbatore, Salem, Tiruppur, Krishnagiri, Ranipet, Tiruvallur, Chengalpattu, Cuddalore and Tiruvannamalai. Some of the important pacts signed include a `6,000-crore investment by JSW renew EnergyTwo for setting up two 450-MW wind power plants; `837-crore from Avigna to set up an Industrial Park in Madurai that will generate 1,395 jobs; `1,800-crore investment by German-based ZF Wabco that will generate 5,000 jobs; `1,200-crore investment by Singapore-based Capita Land to set up a data centre generating 100 jobs; `5,317-crore by Vikram Solar generating 4,738 jobs; and `1,700-crore investment by AG&P Pratham, among others. P4 A united Opposition on Tuesday decided to continue paralysing Parliament demanding that the Modi government come clean on Israeli spyware Pegasus, following an expose on its possible use to snoop into smartphone conversations of loads of politicians, journalists and other prominent persons. Leaders of Opposition parties in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha met before Parliament’s proceedings began and agreed to keep up the pressure on the Centre to reveal whether it is part of Peagsus’ clientele, since the NSO group, which owns the spyware, claims it sells it only to vetted governments. With new revelations suggesting that Pegasus could have been used to topple the JD(S)-Congress coalition government in Karnataka led by H D Kumaraswamy, the Congress felt the matter will resonate in the House. Congress Chief Whip in Lok Sabha K Suresh said the Opposition will collectively continue to protest inside both Houses from Thursday Parliament is closed . on Wednesday to mark Bakrid. While the Lok Sabha was adjourned for the second successive day without transacting any business following protests from the Opposition, there was consensus on Rajya Sabha taking up a short discussion on the management of the pandemic. “Discussion in Rajya Sabha was agreed upon under special circumstances keeping in mind the importance of the matter. Non-participation would have been projected as the Opposi- Congress behaviour irresponsible: Modi Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday criticised the Congress for its ‘irresponsible behaviour’ of disrupting Parliament because of its negative mindset, while urging members of the BJP Parliamentary Party to proactively combat the Opposition | P9 Amazon Shuts down NSO Group’s accounts Amazon Web Services (AWS) said it has shut down the accounts linked to Israeli surveillance firm NSO Group, which owns military-grade spyware Pegasus. “When we learned of this activity, we acted quickly to shut down the relevant infrastructure and accounts,” said an AWS spokesperson tion being unsympathetic to people who have suffered due to the pandemic,” said a senior Congress leader. Also, when the Business Advisory Committee meeting convened by Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu agreed to take up the Covid debate, the expose on the possible destabilisation of the Kumaraswamy government had not been revealed, the leader said. “We will not allow Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha to function till the Pegasus issue is discussed in the House. Today is different as Rajya Sabha took up discussion on Covid-19 as the Centre does politics on the issue. Pegasus is the Number 1 issue and it is a national security issue, so no compromise on that,” said Derek O’Brien, Trinamool’s Rajya Sabha floor leader. He said the repeal of three farm laws is also topmost on the party’s priority list, adding they would continue pressing it in Parliament. Did spyware help BJP snatch govt from HDK? E x p r e ss N e ws Se r v i c e @ Bengaluru Illegal surveillance may have helped the BJP topple the JDS-Congress coalition government in Karnataka in 2019, a digital media outlet reported on Tuesday . Then Karnataka coalition government’s deputy CM G Parameshwar, personal secretaries of then Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and former CM Siddaramaiah, and a gunman working with former PM H D Deve Gowda were among Activists on list those whose phones Names of activists and were tapped, the anti-caste leaders, website claimed in including former JNU its third tranche of leader Umar Khalid and r e p o r t s o n t h e Anirban Bhattacharya, Pegasus spyware. figure as potential targets While the report could not es- of Pegasus. The others tablish these phones were infect- include Ashok Bharti and ed since they did not undergo Bela Bhatia | P9 digital forensic testing, personal secretaries of Kumaraswamy and Siddaramaiah, Gowda’s gunman and Parameshwar confirmed they were using the phones. Congress leaders, including Siddaramaiah, held a press conference in New Delhi demanding a judicial inquiry into the matter. He said that Congress will hold a nationwide ‘Raj Bhavan Chalo’ campaign, demanding a judicial inquiry into the scandal.
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