JAB-O-METER TAKE YOUR SHOT September 10 56,91,552 doses September 11 64,49,552 doses TOTAL DOSES: 73,73,67,313 NATIONWIDE SEP 10 SEP 11 Fresh cases 34,973 33,376 Recoveries Deaths 37,681 32,198 260 308 STATEWIDE SEP 10 SEP 11 VISAKHAPATNAM SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 12, 2021 `12.00 PAGES 24 LATE CITY EDITION DJOKOVIC EYES HISTORIC 21, MEDVEDEV STANDS IN WAY DANIIL MEDVEDEV NOVAK DJOKOVIC SERB’S NOTICE FOR MORE RECORDS Novak Djokovic looks to win record 21st Grand Slam title, faces Russian Daniil Medvedev in Sunday’s US Open ﬁnal MEDVEDEV HOPES TO BE THIRD TIME LUCKY After beating Tokyo 2020 gold medallist Alexander Zverev in semis, the World No 1 is seeking his fourth US Open title and 21st Slam that will take him above all-time record he shares with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. He could be the oldest US Open champ since Ken Rosewall at 35 in 1970 and can complete calendar Grand Slam, first male player to do so since 1969 | P11 ■ Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths Samples tested ■ Medvedev, the 2019 US Open runner-up, beat Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 to reach his third career Slam final The final is a rematch of February’s Australian Open final won by Djokovic in straight sets. In head-to-head, Medvedev trails Djokovic 3-5. LIVE ON STAR SPORTS NETWORK: 1.30am (Monday) 1,608 1,107 6 67,911 1,145 1,090 17 49,581 20-10 DJOKOVIC’S WIN-LOSS RECORD IN MAJOR FINALS 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 CID files FIR in `321-cr fibernet project ‘scam’, names 18 as accused APPOINTMENT Sudden move comes after state unit flags concerns over Patidars tilting towards AAP Sameer to succeed Das as new CS EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE VIJAY RUPANI RESIGNS AS GUJ CM AHEAD OF ELECTIONS NEXT YEAR @ Vijayawada @ Vijayawada took place in awarding the tenders for the AP FiberNet phase-1 project. THE Crime Investigation DeKrishna Prasad, who was partment (CID), which regis- appointed as member of the tered a First Information Re- tender evaluation committee, port (FIR) two months after it had colluded with Tera Softwas entrusted with investiga- ware represented by its mantion into alleged irregularities aging director Tummala Gopin awarding tenders for the AP ichand, some officials of the FiberNet Project, APSFL and the State had named 18 pergovernment to enAPSFL CHIEF sons, including Vesure that the `321 COMPLAINS muri Hari Krishna crore tender was The CID took over Prasad, the then awarded to Tera investigation member of the GovSoftware though it following a erning Council of l a c ke d r e q u i r e d complaint filed by e-Governance Auqualifications, the AP State FiberNet thority, Electronics CID said. Limited Chairman and IT Agency and On July 11 this P Goutham Reddy. Innovation Society, year, Energy SecreEnergy Secretary and K Sambasiva tary Srikant NaguRao, the then VC Srikant also issued lapalli issued an oran order directing and MD of Infrader directing the the ADG of CID to structure CorporaAdditional Director probe the matter tion of AP Limited General of CID to in(INCAP), as accused vestigate the irreguin the scam. larities in the fibernet project The CID took over investiga- and submit a report to the tion following a complaint government. filed by AP State FiberNet Besides Krishna Prasad and Limited (APSFL) Chairman P Sambasiva Rao, the CID had Goutham Reddy. In the FIR also named Tera Software registered on September 9, the chairman SSR Koteswara Rao, CID stated that the APSFL managing director Gopichand Chairman had submitted a re- and six directors as accused in P4 port on irregularities, which the scam. @ Mumbai SPECIAL Chief Secretary (Planning and Resource Mobilisation) Sameer Sharma was appointed as the new Chief Secretary He is also currently . Vice-Chairman of the Institute of Leadership, Excellence and Governance. The 1985 batch IAS officer will take charge from the incumbent Aditya Nath Das, who is due to retire from service on September 30 aft e r h i s t h re e month extension comes to an end. Though there is a provision to seek another three month extension for Das, the State government did not do so. Sharma, who is due to retire from service on November 30 this year, is likely to get an extension. An academician, Sharma was on Central deputation till recently. He returned to the State cadre in July this year after serving as the Director General of the Indian Institute of P4 Corporate Affairs. IN an unexpected move, Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani resigned on Saturday . While Rupani said his decision was in tune with the BJP’s tradition of regularly changing workers’ responsibilities, sources claimed his exit came as the state unit did not want to contest the 2022 polls under him. Sources added BJP state chief C R Patil had recently told the central leadership the party should not fight the 2022 polls under Rupani as the crucial Patidar base was eroding due to the entry of the Aam Aadmi Party . Also, Rupani had been criticised for his handling of the Covid-19 second wave. There were reports of him not being in sync with state unit chief C R Patil, who tightened his grip on the party following creditable show at the block panchayat and local body elections in March this year. His exit is seen as both an attempt at course correction and tackling anti-incumbency ahead of polls. EXPRESS READ Heavy rains pummel Delhi, inundate airport New Delhi: Heavy rains pummelled Delhi on Saturday, inundating the Indira Gandhi Airport. Videos posted by travellers on social media showed people wading through Terminal 3. Aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said the area was cleared in 30 minutes | P7 Karnal farmers call off stir as govt orders probe Chandigarh: Farmers agitating at the mini-Secretariat in Karnal called off their protest on its fifth day after the state on Saturday ordered a probe into last month’s police-protester clash. Besides, the government sent the IAS officer in the eye of the storm, Ayush Sinha, on forced leave | P8 WITH THIS ISSUE DEADLY DILEMMAS RITUALISTIC FAREWELL A day after Vinayaka Chavithi festival, a young boy brings the idol of Lord Ganesh for immersion, at the beach in Visakhapatnam on Saturday | G SATYANARAYANA NREGS dues: No deadline extension E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ Vijayawada PLUS 12 PAGES THE Andhra Pradesh High Court has made it clear that it cannot extend the deadline for the State government to clear the bills pending for development works executed under MGNREGS. On August 23, the High Court gave two weeks time for clearing the pending bills to contractors. Though the government was supposed to clear the NREGS dues by September 6, the panchayat raj department filed a petition two days ago seeking extension of the deadline by another eight weeks. While dealing with hundreds of petitions filed before it seeking directions to the government to clear the NREGS dues, the HC ordered clearance of the bills without extending the deadline. P4 QUALITY SERVICES Simhachalam temple gets ISO certificate EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE @ Visakhapatnam SRI Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Devasthanam at Simhachalam has been awarded ISO 9001: 2015 certificate for maintaining high quality standards in running the temple. The certificate was received by Simhachalam temple Executive Officer MV Suryakala from Minister for Tourism Muttamsetti Srinivasa Rao here on Saturday . Speaking on the occasion, the Tourism Minister said the ISO certificate was given to Simhachalam Devasthanam based on parameters such as amenities for pilgrims, employ- ee services, cleanliness and greenery, besides promoting Hindu dharma and culture. He said the Centre had already sanctioned `54 crore for Simhachalam temple under the Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive IN THE RACE S U D H I R S U R YA W A N S H I (PRASAD). The development works which got delayed due to the second wave of Covid-19, will be launched soon. Emphasis will be laid on development of accommodation and other pilgrim amenities. The possibility of launching the Annadanam programme again will also be studied. Efforts are also being made to resolve the long pending Pancha Gramala issue of the temple, he said. Food and safety audit is going on now in Simhachalam Devasthanam. The temple EO hoped that Sri Varaha Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy Devasthanam will also get an ISO certificate for maintaining quality standards in food and safety . `54-cr aid from Centre The Centre had sanctioned `54 crore for Simhachalam temple under the Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive. The development works of the temple under PRASAD will be launched soon, said Tourism Minister M Srinivasa Rao The BJP legislature party is expected to meet on Sunday to elect a new leader. Prominent names doing the rounds are Patil, deputy CM and Patidar leader Nitin Patel and Union minister Parshottam Rupala. A BJP leader said, “Rupani is not popular with the cadre and is perceived to be a meek CM. His Gujarati is also not good. Rupani’s speeches have become the laughing stock among the youth,” a senior leader said. Besides the shift of the Patidars to AAP the prospect of a , large percentage of other voters, too, tilting towards the AAP and the Congress had become real, the leader added. Sources said Union minister Mansukh Mandaviya, a Patidar, is a front-runner for the Chief Minister’s post. Lakshadweep Governor Praful Khoda Patel is also said to be in the race for the CM’s post 3RD CM TO LOSE JOB Rupani’s exit is the third change the BJP has effected in state leaderships in as many months. Before him, the Chief Ministers of Karnataka and election-bound Uttarakhand were changed by the party Gujarat Congress in disarray due to delay in decision-making RI CHA S HARMA @ New Delhi THE sudden resignation of Vijay Rupani has deepened the worries of the Congress ahead of next year’s state polls. While Congress leaders termed Rupani’s exit as a reflection of the BJP-led government’s failure in tackling the pandemic and other pressing matters, there’s concern within the grand old party about its own state of affairs. Several Congress leaders expressed concern that a delay in decision-making by the high command on several issues, including key appointments in the state unit, could dent the party’s poll prospects. Gujarat Congress leaders said a change of face in the BJP ahead of elections could be a game changer for the ruling party “The BJP . will bring someone who will revive the party’s electoral fortunes not only in 2022 assembly elections but also for 2024 Lok Sabha polls. It should worry leaders in Delhi as our state unit is in complete disarray and we still don’t have a full-time party chief, Leader of Opposition and AICC in-charge of the state,” said a senior Gujarat Congress leader. CONTINUED ON P8
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12-09-2021 of The New Indian Express-Vishakapatnam