Jab-o-meter Take your shot September 17 2,30,30,698 doses September 18 77,25,076 doses Total doses: 80,33,75,147 NATIONWIDE sept 17 sept 18 Fresh cases 34,403 35,662 Recoveries Deaths odisha 37,950 33,798 320 281 sept 17 sept 18 Fresh cases Furious France recalls envoys from US, Australia French President Emmanuel Macron has recalled the envoys after Canberra chose US submarines over French vessels new alliance led to scrapping of deal paris unable to trust canberra The 2016 Australia-France submarine supply deal became redundant on Wednesday after the new Australia-US-UK defence pact offered US tech to Canberra. Paris had called the unilateral scrapping of the $36.50 billion deal an act of backstabbing. Both Washington and Canberra expressed regret over France’s decision and pushed for talks to resolve the row | P9 ■ ■ The row seemed prophetic as China had said the allies risked ‘shooting themselves in the foot’ through the new tripartite deal Withdrawing envoys is the last diplomatic step taken when ties between countries plunge. Another marker of Paris’ fury was its stand that it is unable to trust Canberra in the EU trade deal talks 695 Recoveries Deaths sambalpur l sunday l September 19, 2021 l `12.00 l PAGES 24 l city EDITION 628 719 04 756 06 Sept 24 gala at france ambassador’s house in Washington called off 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 Resigns moments before Congress Legislature Party meeting on his replacement; Sonia to take call on successor ‘Humiliated’ Capt quits, keeps options open Ha r p r e e t B j a w a @ Chandigarh amit bandre Apparently they (the high command) do not have confidence in me and did not think I could handle my job Amarinder Singh, Punjab former CM After four-and-a-half years at the helm, Amarinder Singh stepped down as the Punjab chief minister on Saturday cit, ing continued humiliation by the Congress high command over the past two months. The chief minister resigned moments before a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party , which passed a resolution authorising Congress president Sonia Gandhi to take a decision on Amarinder’s replacement. He did not attend the meeting. “I was humiliated three times by the Congress leadership in the past two months. They called the MLAs to Delhi twice and now they have convened a meeting of the Congress Legislature Party he told reporters ,” after resigning. Amarinder’s fate was sealed when the high command appointed Navjot Sidhu as the state party chief in July Sourc. es said many ministers, MLAs and other leaders had also complained to Amarinder that there was growing anti-incumbency against him. The other complaints were he had failed to curb the drug mafia and his increasing reliance on the bureaucracy Ama. rinder was seen as being inaccessible as he was seldom seen meeting MLAs or reaching out to the public. Although he stressed he had resigned as the chief minister and not from the party, he made it clear he would explore his future options when the time comes. “There is always an option and I will use that when the time comes. At the moment I am still in the Congress,” he said. Despite proximity to Sonia, numbers were stacked against Amarinder R i c h a S h a r ma @ New Delhi The change of guard in Punjab was not an overnight decision and it was in the offing for some time now but the proverbial final straw came after 40 party MLAs wrote to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi seeking a change of guard. With a majority of MLAs not by his side, outgoing Chief Minister Amarinder Singh tendered his resignation, saying he felt “humiliated” over the events in the past two months. “The change was needed. He didn’t have the numbers on his side to pressure the high command to rule in his favour. That was used by Sidhu and With no eye on the field, crooks pocket crores meant for farm equipment subsidy A s i s h M e h ta @ Bhubaneswar Agriculture subsidy amounting to several crores of rupees meant for farm implements under multiple schemes are being pocketed by unscrupulous elements in Odisha. Farmers are found to be getting a small cut while the lion’s share is headed to dealers and others in the chain. The recent investigation by Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Crime Branch has revealed several cases in which farmers received subsidy but never were in possession of the equipment. This effectively meant, no equipment was bought by farmers nor sold by companies which are enlisted for such sale. Noted litterateur Manorama Mohapatra passes away E x p r e s s N e w s S e r v i c e @ Cuttack Eminent litterateur, social worker and former editor of Odia daily ‘The Samaja’ Manorama Mohapatra passed away here on Saturday She was 87 and survived by . two daughters and two sons. Mohapatra complained of chest pain following which she was admitted to SCB Medical College and Hospital where she breathed her last in the evening. Born on June 10, 1934, Mohapatra inherited the mantle of editorship of the Odia daily from her father Dr Radhanath Rath in 1998. Prior to that, she had contributed as a columnist in the daily with analytical and critical analysis of contemporary issues under ‘Jhitipiti Kahe Satakshi’ column. Her father Padma Bhushan Dr Rath was a noted freedom fighter and president of Lok Manorama Mohapatra Sevak Mandal. June 10, 1934 - Sept 18, 2021 Mohapatra has more than 40 books and novels to her credit. Her first book ‘Juar Jeiunthi Uthe’, a collection of revolutionary poems on women empowerment, was published in 1960. Her literary works include ‘Ardhanareeswara’, ‘Baidehi Visarjita’, ‘Sanghatir Samhita’, ‘Shakti Rupena Sansthita’, ‘Roopam Roopam Pratirupam’, ‘Smruti Chandan’, ‘Samay Purusha’, ‘Smritir Naimisharanya’, ‘Arup Aalo’ in Bengali, ‘Ye Prithvi Sarsajjya’, and ‘Uttara Niruttara’. Besides contributing to the fields of literature and social work, she was a famous orator who dominated the space of public speaking for more than CONTINUED ON: P4 60 years. With little to no field verification, the online application process for availing subsidy is being exploited by vested interests which take advantage of lack of physical verification by the Agriculture Department. The EOW had unearthed a scam in which dealers were found to have swindled crores meant towards subsidies of agricultural equipment for farmers. In June, the agency arrested a dealer of Kerala based Redlands Ashlyn Motors Plc and his brother who had uploaded fake engine/chassis numbers of rice transplant machines along with photographs of the beneficiaries on Direct Benefit Transport (DBT) portal. EOW ascertained that machines were never sold to farmers and were shown only on papers while subsidy of ` 1 lakh to ` 1.5 lakh was credited in accounts of 278 farmers. In the second case, two authorised dealers of Bengaluru based Varushapriya Agrotech Private Limited were apprehended this month for allegedly misappropriating subsidy to the tune of ` 6 crore. Over 500 rice transplanters were shown uploaded on the portals and subsidy transferred but none happened on the ground. Investigation revealed that once the subsidies were credited in the accounts of the farmers, the accused of both the cases lured beneficiaries by giving them a cut that ranged from ` 3,000 and ` 40,000. Then they pocketed remaining subsidy from CONTINUED ON: P4 the farmers. MLAs from his camp to show him the door,” said a top Congress leader. It was seemingly a tough decision for Congress president Sonia Gandhi keeping in mind her close association with Amarinder since Rajiv Gandhi’s time. Amarinder spoke to her in the morning after a Congress Legislature Party meeting was called by the party high command, bypassing his authority, and apprised her about his decision to quit. Sources said former party chief Rahul Gandhi and general secretary Priyanka Gandhi-Vadra wanted to replace him but Sonia was holding on to take a final call on it. Coming from a royal family WIT H T H IS ISSUE Return to Sender PLUS 12 PAGES and known for his regal style of living, Amarinder himself had said that he had not met Rahul in the last two years and that he would to talk directly to Sonia. Many a time he had toed a line that was different from the party’s official stand on national issues. Sources said it was Priyanka who had pushed for Sidhu’s elevation as the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee chief in July this year despite strong objections from Amarinder. Since then, Sidhu and Amarinder have been engaged in a battle for supremacy, which ended in the latter’s exit as the chief minister in two months. Full coverage: P7 express read Babul Supriyo defects to TMC Kolkata: BJP’s MP from Asansol and former Union minister Babul Supriyo sprang a surprise on Saturday by joining the TMC ahead of the high-voltage by-election in Bhowanipore. After being dropped from the Union cabinet, he announced his retirement from politics two months ago. He is likely to be nominated to Rajya Sabha | P8 Kabul airport attacker did time in India: IS M P P r a s h an t h @ Kozhikode The Islamic State (IS) has claimed that the suicide bomber, who carried out the August 26 Kabul airport attack that left around 180 people dead, was arrested in Delhi five years ago and deported to Afghanistan after serving time. The claim was made in an article in the fresh edition of the terror outfit’s magazine Voice of Hind. The article said Abdur Rahman al-Logri, a suspected Afghan national, carried out the suicide attack at the Kabul airport. “The brother (Abdur Rahman) was arrested five years ago in India, when he had travelled to Delhi to carry out an istishadhi (suicide) operation”, the magazine said. However, the plan did not materialise as he was arrested under unspecified circumstances and deported. Criticisng the Taliban as deviated sufis, the magazine – run by the IS’ Indian module Ansarul Khalifa Al Hind – claimed more such attacks have been planned to inflict punishment on those who have threatened to eliminate the Khilafah. The IS has in the past claimed Keralites’ involvement in the attacks on gurudwara in Kabul and a prison in Jalalabad in 2020.
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