JAB-O-METER TAKE YOUR SHOT Nov 22 63,98,165 doses Nov 23 68,35,617 doses TOTAL DOSES 1,18,35,73,646 NATIONWIDE NOV 22 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths TELANGANA NOV 22 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths HYDERABAD WEDNESDAY NOVEMBER 24, 2021 `7.00 PAGES 16 LATE CITY EDITION W.H.O. WARNS OF 7 LAKH COVID DEATHS IN EUROPE BY SPRING ‘VULNERABLE GROUPS NEED BOOSTER DOSE’ The World Health Organization’s Europe office said its projections showed the 53-country region could top 2 mn Covid deaths in total DELTA VARIANT A BIG RISK TO THE REGION WHO Europe, based in Copenhagen, also cited the growing evidence of a decline in protection against infection through vaccines. It said a ‘booster dose’ should be given as a priority to the most vulnerable populations. This, however, is at variance with the Geneva-based parent organisation’s position that boosters must be put off to free up jabs for poorer nations ■ Three factors driving the increase are the highly transmissible delta variant of the virus, an easing of restrictive measures like requirements for mask-wearing and physical distancing in places, and large swaths of the European population that remain unvaccinated, WHO Europe said | P12 NOV 23 8,488 12,510 249 7,579 12,202 236 NOV 23 137 172 2 153 157 2 1.5 million CUMULATIVE COVID DEATHS REPORTED IN THE REGION; 4,200 FATALITIES PER DAY 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 Didi draws Cong rebels; to meet PM today 26 new legislative proposals and 3 old ones lined up for the upcoming winter session of Lok Sabha Bill to amend ST list in UP before polls M A N I S H A N A N D @ New Delhi THE BJP’s social engineering for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh elections appears to be taking shape, with the government listing a legislative proposal to amend the list of Scheduled Tribes (STs) for the poll-bound state in the upcoming winter session of Parliament. A similar bill to amend the list of STs in Tripura, where the BJP is facing heat from the Trinamool Congress, is part of the proposed legislative business. In all, 26 new bills and three others that had already been introduced, have been lined up for the forthcoming session. The bulletin released by the Lok Sabha on Tuesday also listed a bill to repeal the three contentious farm laws that were enacted by Parliament last year. While Parliament had earlier this year amended the list of SCs in Tamil Nadu following a recommendation from the state government, a senior minister in the UP Cabinet said the state administration hasn’t yet forwarded any such proposal. He, however, added that Parliament on its own can amend the list of STs in the state to address long pending demands of certain communities. As for Tamil Nadu, Parliament had classified certain castes in the SC category ahead of the Assembly elections in the state. Legal axe to fall on most private cryptocurrencies While Sonabhadra and its adjoining districts of UP have tribal concentrations, there has been a growing demand for the inclusion of fisherfolk in the state in the list of STs. The fishermen community is electorally influential. A N U R A D H A S H U K L A @ New Delhi “The Constitution (Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes) OrTHE Centre plans to bring a der (Amendment) Bill, 2021” seeks bill in the forthcoming winter to amend the list of STs pertainsession of Parliament to proing to UP A parallel one for Tripu. hibit all private cryptocurrenra has been listed in the agenda cies in the country of the official busibut with certain ness for introduction, Indian Maritime exceptions. consideration and Fisheries Bill According to the passing in the Lok Parliamentary bulSabha. An Indian Maritime letin detailing the The BJP’s poll manFisheries Bill, which legislative busitra in UP incidentally , , proposes sustainable ness for the Lok for the 2014 and 2019 development of Sabha, the CryptoLok Sabha elections fisheries in India’s currency and Regand the 2017 Assemexclusive economic ulation of Official bly polls had been the zones and responsible Digital Currency consolidation of the harnessing of fisheries Bill, 2021 seeks to n o n - Ya d av o t h e r in high seas has also “create a facilitabackward classes been listed tive framework for (OBCs), with focus on creation of the ofthe most and extremeficial digital currency to be isly backward castes, which were sued by the Reserve Bank of previously supporting the BSP . India”. With the rival Samajwadi Party While the bill seeks to promaking attempts to stitch a larger hibit all private cryptocurrenpre-poll alliance with smaller parcies in the country, “it allows ties that have distinct caste idenfor certain exceptions to protities, the BJP is trying hard to mote the underlying technoloplay catch-up, knowing full well gy of cryptocurrency and its that multiple caste groups in UP uses”. Notably the bill does not , have the numbers to change the electoral outcome. Centre refuses to procure Rabi boiled rice, Kharif produce decision likely on Nov 26 E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ Hyderabad UNION Consumer Affairs and Food & Public Distribution Minister Piyush Goyal and Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Tuesday made it amply clear that the FCI would not procure Rabi boiled rice from Telangana. However, during a meeting with a delegation of Telangana Ministers, which was led by IT and Industries Minister KT Rama Rao, they said that they would give clarity on the quantum of Kharif rice to be procured from the State on November 26. They also agreed to the suggestion given by the State that the Centre should announce the annual procurement target in advance, according to a press release issued by the CMO. As the Centre decided not to procure Rabi boiled rice, the farmers have to switch over to other use the word ‘ban’. According to sources, a 3-6 month exit period could be offered before preventing the trading, mining and issuing of cryptos so that existing investors have the opportunity to exit after declaring their investment for the purpose of taxation. The Centre had planned to introduce the Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021 in Parliament in the past two sessions, but dropped it due to strong opposition from the Reserve Bank of India, investigative agencies and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, which sought a complete ban on cryptos alleging such digital money is used to fund terrorism etc. Currently there is no regula, tion or ban on the use of cryptocurrencies in the country Ear. lier this month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had held a meeting on cryptocurrencies with senior officials, dropping hints that strong regulatory steps would be taken to deal with the issue. ROW OVER MEET BJP corporators, workers ransack Mayor’s office S BAC H A N J E E T S I N G H @ Hyderabad Telangana IT Minister KT Rama Rao shares a laugh with Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goel during a meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday alternative crops in Rabi. It may be mentioned here that at a recent Maha Dharna, the Chief Minister said that if the Centre says that it would not procure Rabi boiled rice, then the State government would ask farmers not to raise paddy in Rabi season. Ministers KT Rama Rao, S Niranjan Reddy and Gangula Kamalakar along with TRS MPs and Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar met the Department of Food and Public Distribution officials early on Tuesday In the evening, . the Ministers’ delegation held a detailed meeting with Piyush Goyal. Later, Goyal took the delegation to the chambers of Tomar and had another round of meeting there. According to sources, Goyal responded positively to some of the issues raised by Rama Rao. However, the Union Ministers reportedly differed on other issues. EXPRESS READ TRS men tear Independents’ papers Hyderabad: The TRS may be strong enough to win all the 12 MLC seats under the Local Authorities Constituencies, but it is now faced with rebel trouble and the possibility of cross-voting. Things got ugly on Tuesday as followers of TRS leader and sitting MLC Patnam Mahender Reddy tore up the nomination papers filed by Independents | P4 `144 cr assets attached in IMS scam Hyderabad: The ED, on Tuesday, provisionally attached assets worth `144.4 crore belonging to Dr Devika Rani, the then Director of the Insurance Medical Services (IMS), Telangana, and other officials, their family members and suppliers of medicines in connection with their involvement in the IMS scam | P3 IRKED by the GHMC council’s reluctance to hold a meeting to discuss public grievances for nearly five months, scores of BJP corporators and party workers ransacked Hyderabad Mayor Gadwal R Vijayalaxmi’s office at the civic body’s headquarters on Tuesday . The BJP men reportedly barged into the Mayor’s office and damaged the fur niture, destroyed flower pots, cut the cable wires, defaced the GHMC name board, removed the name plates of Mayor and Deputy Mayor and even broke the glass panes. The incident occurred when a large number of corporators and the BJP party workers, carrying placards and raising slogans against the Mayor, gathered at the GHMC head office in the morning to stage a demonstration. However, they suddenly turned violent and went amok, damaging everything in sight and also sprayed black paint on the name boards. CONTINUED ON P3 TERRIBLE TARZAN Zoo staff to rescue as youth tries to jump into lion’s den When we inquired as to why he went into the lion moat area, Sai Kumar did not reply. We checked whether he was drunk, but he wasn’t. He remained silent despite our many queries so we thought it best to hand him over to the local police Senior zoo official An African lion looks up curiously at G Sai Kumar as he sits on a boulder above its enclosure at Nehru Zoological Park in Hyderabad on Tuesday; (inset) Sai Kumar E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @Hyderabad VISITORS to the Nehru Zoological Park on Tuesday, watched in horror when a 31-year-old man managed to climb on to a boulder in the African Lion moat area, and tried to jump into the lion’s enclosure. According to zoo authorities, at around 3.30 pm, a person was crawling across a boulder of the African Lion moat area, where the lions are released in the exhibited enclosure at the park. The video has been widely shared on social media platforms. This is an absolutely prohibited a re a . H oweve r, 3 1 - ye a r- o l d G Sai Kumar, somehow managed to gain entry Visitors who spotted . him, began yelling, asking Sai Kumar not to jump into the enclosure. He did try to jump but zoo staff immediately ar rived at the spot. They caught him, handed him over to the Bahadurpura police station and lodged a complaint. This is not the first time a person had tried to enter a lion enclosure. In 2016, a 35-year-old had jumped into the lion moat area and waded towards the lioness waiting at the shore. He was in an inebriated condition at that time and luckily escaped unhurt. R I C H A S H A R M A @ New Delhi MAHA VIR COL BABU B Santoshi and Manjula, the wife and mother of Galwan hero Colonel B Santosh Babu (R), receive his posthumous Maha Vir Chakra from President Ram Nath Kovind in Delhi on Tuesday. Maha Vir Chakra is the second highest wartime gallantry award | PTI India, US to open up strategic reserves to bring down oil price E X P R E SS N E WS S E R V I C E @ New Delhi IN a coordinated move led by the US, India will release about 5 million barrels of crude oil from its emergency stockpile to bring down the oil prices in the global market. According to sources, the stocks will be released over the next 7-10 days. “We are working on releasing stocks from our strategic reserves in coordination with other nations,” said an official in the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. A White House release earlier in the day said the US would release 50 million barrels of oil from its strategic reserve to bring down energy costs, in coordination with India, China, Japan, South Korea and the UK. The US Department of Energy will release the reserve in two ways — 32 million barrels in the next few months and 18 This is the first barrels as part of a sale of oil that time that India, Congress had previously authorised, which has 38 mn barrels of crude the White House said. Oil prices registered an all-time oil in underground high in 2021, and according to US in- caverns, is vestment bank Goldman Sachs, it releasing its may hit $90 per barrel by the end of reserve stocks this year. India is the world’s thirdlargest oil consumer and importing nation. It has a store of 5.33 million tonnes or about 38 million barrels of crude oil in underground caverns at three locations on the east and west coasts. It includes 1.33 million tonnes of storage at Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh, 1.5 million tonnes at Mangaluru and 2.5 million tonnes at Padur (both in Karnataka). The stock, as per reports, will be sold to refineries of Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd, which are connected by pipeline to the strategic reserves. 1st EVER WEST Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee made some minor acquisitions during her latest trip to Delhi, inducting disgruntled elements from the Congress to expand the national footprint of her Trinamool Congress ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. Sources said her party is in touch with leaders from across the Opposition spectrum, including members of the grand old party’s G23, which had raised a banner of revolt earlier this year over lack of reforms in the Congress. Some of them are expected to switch to the Trinamool in the coming months as it has made its national ambition clear. To help realise the national ambition, election strategist Prashant Kishor has been working with the party on a long term basis. “It is part of the party’s national expansion plan. It was felt that we need to have a national presence if Mamata is to challenge Modi in the 2024 elections,” said a senior Trinamool leader. Mamata is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday and discuss a slew of issues, including the controversial expansion of BSF’s jurisdiction and allocation of central funds for Bengal. With her party MPs meeting home minister Amit Shah on Monday complaining about attacks on its cadre in Tripura, she could flag it, too, during her one-onone with Modi. Javed Akhtar with Mamata Banerjee | PTI
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