kottayam l tuesday l November 30, 2021 l `7.00 l PAGES 12 l city EDITION Parag Agrawal to replace Twitter CEO jack dorsey Agrawal, the micro-blogging site’s chief technology officer and an IIT Bombay graduate, gets Dorsey’s endorsement Jack Dorsey | AFP Parag Agrawal | twitter Agrawal was key for the turnaround Dorsey’s tumultuous leadership Jack Dorsey, a Twitter co-founder who returned to the helm in 2015 and acted as a stabilising force inside the iconic Silicon Valley firm, heaped heavy praise on Parag Agrawal, a veteran techie of Microsoft and Yahoo. “Parag has been behind every critical decision that helped turn this company around,” Dorsey said in a message posted on Twitter ■ ■ Some big investors have questioned Dorsey’s leadership, as he is CEO of both Twitter and payments firm Square, a public company Agrawal has been Twitter’s CTO since 2017. He takes over as CEO and a board member, effective immediately. Meanwhile Bret Taylor, Salesforce.com COO, has been named Chairman | P9 Mar 21, 2006 World’s first Tweet, by Dorsey, read: ‘just setting up my twttr’ 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 Fresh guidelines for flyers as WHO warns of ‘very high’ Omicron risk E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi The Union health ministry announced new guidelines for air travellers on Monday as the World Health Organization warned that the new coronavirus variant Omicron poses a “very high” risk globally . The new guidelines for arrivals in India, which come into effect from December 1, mandate that they first submit their 14-day travel history and a negative RT-PCR report on the Air Suvidha portal before boarding their flight. As reported on Sunday trav, ellers from at-risk countries will be tested on arrival at airports, which will be in addition to the Covid-19 test taken 72 hours before departure. For travellers from countries not in the at-risk group, 5% in each Jab-o-meter Take your shot Nov 28 42,04,171 doses Nov 29 70,85,126 doses Total: 123,15,68,149 flight will be randomly tested. The at-risk countries include the European Union nations, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Hong Kong and Israel. Meanwhile, the United Nations expressed concerns over NATIONWIDE nov 28 nov 29 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 8,774 8,309 9,481 9,905 621 236 stateWIDE nov 28 nov 29 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 4,350 5,691 19 3,382 5,779 59 the isolation of southern Africa, where Omicron was first detected, as more countries prohibited travel from that region. In a related development, the health ministers of the Group of Seven countries began an emergency meeting over the variant. Japan said on Monday it would bar entry of all foreign visitors, following similar announcements by Israel and Morocco. Portugal, Spain and Scotl a n d h ave re p o r t e d n ew P7, 12 Omicron cases. Health workers deployed at airports A passenger arrives at London’s Heathrow Airport on Monday | AP T’Puram: In the wake of the increasing concern about Omicron variant, travellers who reach Kerala from “countries at-risk” will have to undergo a 14-day home quarantine as insisted by Centre, Health Minister Veena George has said. The state government has deployed health workers at the airports and they will arrange quarantine facilities, she said. P5 Farm laws stubble burnt in 8 mins Opposition demand for discussion on repeal bill disallowed; LS, RS adjourned for the day M ANISH ANAND a n d RICHA SHAR M A @ New Delhi for the best shot Jayasurya and Anna Ben take a selfie after receiving the state awards for the best actor and actress, respectively, from Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at Nishagandhi auditorium in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday | B P Deepu Maoists to deploy more armed cadre to strengthen Western Ghats presence Jose K Mani elected Rajya Sabha member M P P r a s h a n t h @ Kozhikode KERALA Congress (Mani) leader and LDF candidate Jose K Mani was elected the Rajya Sabha member on Monday after he polled 97 votes. His opponent Sooranad Rajasekharan of the UDF got 40 votes. One LDF vote became invalid. It is the second tenure for Jose in the upper house of Parliament after he switched to the LDF. Of the total 140 votes, 137 were polled. While CPM’s T P Ramakrishnan and P Mammikutty did not turn up as they are under treatment for Covid, Congress’ P T Thomas stayed away due to health reasons. UDF’s Mani C Kappan cast his vote wearing a PPE kit as he is recovering from Covid. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Opposition Leader V D Satheesan and Speaker M B Rajesh cast their votes during the first hour of polling. Maoists are planning to strengthen their presence in the areas coming under the Western Ghats Special Zonal Committee by redeploying their armed cadre from other parts of the country . Such a strategy is being contemplated in view of the depleting number of cadre of the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) after a series of encounter killings, arrests and surrenders, and to counter the intensified efforts from the Kerala Police to get Maoists surrendered, said sources. The number of members of PLGA — the armed wing of the CPI (Maoist) — has come down to 14 from around 40 in 2015. Over the years, two central committee members, many zonal committee members and cadre from the lower ranks were either killed or arrested. The Bhavani Dalam (squad) of the Maoists has been completely decimated after the encounter at Manjakkandy in Palakkad in October 2019. Rajan Chittilappalli, who was leading the Urban Bureau, was arrested in December 2020, and Raghavendra, the link between the zonal committee and central committee, was picked up from Kannur on November 6 this year. Maoist movement in Western Ghats is passing through the worst patch in its history . The resources are dwindling and the morale of its workers Worst phase Maoist movement in Western Ghats is passing through the worst patch in its history The number of members of People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army —the armed wing of the CPI (Maoist) — has come down to 14 from around 40 in 2015 Over the years, two central committee members, many zonal committee members and cadre from the lower ranks were either killed or arrested has hit rock bottom. To top it all, the police have been vigorously pursuing its surrendercum-rehabilitation programme. Observers say the Maoists have the history of redeploying their cadre when they confront adverse situations or as part of certain strategies. Erstwhile CPI-ML (People’s War) had withdrawn their cadre from the North Telangana area after police action was intensified. The cadre were later redeployed to strengthen the movement in the Dandakaranya region. There was a plan to bring some cadre from other parts of the country when a new guerrilla zone in south India came into being around 2011. It was believed that the presence of experienced cadre could give an impetus to the fledgling movement in the Wester n ● More on P5 Ghats. ‘khaki arrogance’ High court on Pink cop’s treatment of 8-yr-old Court made the observation while considering a plea by the girl seeking action against the cop, who mortified her and father on a public road by accusing them of theft | P4 E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @ T’Puram Showing great urgency to wash its hands of the three contentious farm laws that have burnt its fingers, the government on Monday got Parliament approval for its repeal bill within minutes, brushing aside demands for a debate. With that, the three laws entered the dustbin of history. The Centre managed to get the proverbial monkey off its back after a year. When the legislations were rammed through in Parliament last year, the Centre had claimed they would usher in revolutionary reforms that would change the fate of agriculture and farmers in India. While NDA floor managers claimed there was no precedent for discussion on repeal bills, leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury argued that records since 2014 show both Houses had dis- cussed such legislations. The process began at 12.07 pm when Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla asked Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar to present item number 14, Farm Laws Repeal Bill, 2021, which proposed negating the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act. By 12.10 pm, Lok Sabha passed the bill by voice vote and adjourned for the day amidst sloganeering by the Opposition, whose members stayed put in the well of the House demanding a discussion on the bill. Two hours later, Rajya Sabha passed the bill in five minutes flat. Leader of the Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge, who was allotted two minutes to make The Trinamool Congress will emerge the main anti-BJP political force in national politics, TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee said in the party’s working committee meeting on Monday . She directed the party MPs to act accordingly during the winter session of Parliament. “The thumping majority of the TMC in the recent Assembly polls showed clearly that no one can challenge the BJP other than our party Many speak. 5.5 hrs: Spirited debate in Lok Sabha on the three contentious bills on Sept 17, 2020; passed by voice vote. Shiromani Akali Dal walks out of the NDA in protest 2 hrs: Debate in Rajya Sabha on Sept 20, 2020; bills passed by voice vote 3 mins: Time taken by Lok Sabha to approve the repeal bill on Nov 29, 2021 5 mins: Was all Rajya Sabha required to pass the repeal bill on Nov 29, 2021 his point, attacked the Centre for alleged “deaths of 700 farmers during the year long agitation against the farm laws”. Last year, Lok Sabha had witnessed a spirited debate on the laws for five-and-a-half hours 12 Oppn RS MPs suspended, expect stormy session today RICHA SHAR M A @ New Delhi The second day of the Winter Session of Parliament on Tuesday is expected to be stormy with the Opposition and the Centre on a collision course over the suspension of 12 Rajya Sabha members. Six MPs from the Congress, two each from Trinamool Congress and Shiv Sena, and one each from CPI and CPM were suspended on Monday for the rest of the session for their ‘unruly’ conduct in the previous session in August. The MPs suspended under Rule 256 are: CPM’s Elamaram Kareem; CPI’s Binoy Viswam; Phulo Devi Netam, Chhaya Verma, Ripun Bora, Rajamani Patel, Syed Nasir Hussain and Akhilesh Prasad Singh of the Congress; Dola Sen and Shanta Chhetri of TMC, and Priyanka Opposition leaders staging a protest in the Rajya Sabha on Monday | PTI Chaturvedi and Anil Desai of the Shiv Sena. As soon as Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi moved the motion to suspend the MPs, Opposition members rose to protest the move, which led to the House being suspended for the day . Calling the suspension un- Trinamool to be main Opposition party, so act like one, Didi tells MPs E x p r e s s Ne w s Se r v i c e @ Kolkata clocking it ers in the meeting echoed the same in their speeches,” said Derek O’Brien, national spokesperson of TMC. He said the next working committee meeting would be held in Delhi. The TMC, which recently enrolled many leaders from other parties, especially the Congress, in Goa, Tripura, Meghalaya and Haryana, plans to expand its footprint outside Bengal ahead of the 2024 LS polls. “We hope the defection from other parties will send a negative message to the vote-bank of the affected political outfits but will work in favour of the TMC. As a result, in the states where the Congress was main opponent of the BJP, our party will get elevated to the saffron camp’s main contender,” said a TMC leader, adding that there would be more defections in the coming days. fortunate and unwarranted, a joint statement issued by 14 opposition parties said their floor leaders will meet on Tuesday to discuss future strategy “to resist authoritarian decisions of the government and defend parliamentary democracy”. The TMC was not a signatory to the statement. According to sources, the suspended MPs are planning to meet Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu and apologise for their behaviour. If the suspension is not revoked, the Opposition may boycott House proceedings on Tuesday . Many of the suspended MPs termed it as “murder of democracy” where they are being punished for raising people’s voice in the House. “We were not even called to explain our stand,” said an a gitated Chaturvedi. express read RBI supersedes board of Reliance Capital New Delhi: The Reserve Bank of India on Monday superseded the board of Anil Ambani’s Reliance Capital and said it will initiate insolvency proceedings. This is the third major non-banking financial company against which the RBI has begun bankruptcy proceedings in recent years | P10 RBI proposes digital currency as bank note New Delhi: The Union finance ministry said on Monday it has received a proposal from RBI to include digital currency under the definition of a ‘bank note’. during which Shiromani Akali Dal leader Sukhbir Singh Badal announced his decision to walk out of the ruling NDA alliance in protest. Rajya Sabha, too, had discussed the bills for about two hours. In his brief remarks on Monday, Tomar regretted that the government could not convince the agitating farmers about the benefits of the laws, reiterating claims that the Congress-led previous governments had also argued for agrarian reforms. DMK leader Tiruchy Siva said the repeal bill was circulated as supplementary business, but was not even discussed in the day’s Business Advisory Committee meeting. Earlier in the day leaders of , 11 Opposition parties met at Kharge’s office in Parliament to formulate a strategy on matters to be taken up for debate. The Trinamool Congress and the Aam Admi Party abstained. Kerala’s GST dream falls apart W HEN India ushered in the Goods and Service Tax (GST) regime on July 1, 2017, among the enthusiasts was Kerala’s then finance minister Thomas Isaac. He believed GST would provide the state better resources because of the consumerist nature of its society. In fact, the first Pinarayi Vijayan government’s stand on GST was in contradiction with the position of CPM which said uniform taxation would be a threat to the country’s federalism. Isaac changed his position a year later as he analysed the tax flow over the first few months and realised the extent of loss. The new tax regime clipped the state’s wings of autonomy for taxation, and thus curtailed its attempt to increase tax revenue. The state now has the authority to increase only fuel tax and liquor tax. But over the last few years, the government increased both these taxes to an extent that further raise will not be practical. The second part of ‘Mess in the Making’ series examines the challenges faced by the state in mobilising tax revenue and non-tax revenue. P2
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