Covid spread becomes faster No indiscriminate use of Covid pill Average R-value (number of people a Covid patient can infect) touched 1.64 on Jan 10 from 0.95 on Dec 2 — an increase of 73% in 40 days Molnupiravir has not been included in national treatment guidelines owing to safety concerns 17 states have R-value greater than the national average bhubaneswar l wednesday l january 12, 2022 l `9.00 l PAGES 12 l late city EDITION Yogi minister quits, BJP loses OBC heavyweight Expected to join SP; 3 MLAs loyal to him also resign from party N a m i ta B a j pa i @ Lucknow IN a major setback for the BJP, senior OBC leader and labour minister in the Uttar Pradesh government Swami Prasad Maurya quit his post on Tuesday citing ideological differences and the alleged negligence of the Yogi Adityanath government towards the backward classes, farmers, youth and small traders. Later, three MLAs supporting him — Brajesh Prajapati, Roshan Lal Varma and Bhagwati Sagar — also quit the party. Maurya claimed more BJP legislators would leave the party. “The edge of my blow would be felt in the days to come with a series of resignations from the BJP,” he said, adding that he would announce his future course of action on January 14. Maurya also resigned from the BJP and is expected to join the Samajwadi Party (SP) along with his supporters. Meanwhile, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav tweeted an undated photograph of him with Maurya, saying, “We welcome the leader of social justice and equality in SP .” The development came on a day when UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath, deputy CM Keshav Prasad Muarya and Bid to stitch Oppn pact in five states NCP chief Sharad Pawar is trying to cobble together a joint Opposition alliance in the poll-bound states, though the Congress officially rejected TMC’s overtures in Goa | P8 state BJP chief Swatantra Dev Singh met the party’s top leadership in Delhi to finalise the names of candidates for the upcoming state polls. According to sources, Maurya was in touch with the SP chief and the two discussed the political future of Maurya’s daughter Sanghmitra, a BJP MP from Badaun who had in 2019 defeated Akhilesh’s cousin Dharmendra Yadav. BJP insiders said Maurya wanted to contest the upcoming polls from a seat other than his constituency Padrauna. He also sought a ticket for his son Ashok and two dozen partymen close to him. However, the BJP’s top leadership did not respond favourably . Maurya and the three MLAs had switched over to the BJP from the BSP in 2016 ahead of P8 the 2017 polls apex court registry sitting on CBI plea in Maran case Remember the MTNL rip-off by Dayanidhi Maran when he was Union telecom minister? He had a secret and un-billable telephone exchange that had 756 multimedia highspeed lines installed at his homes in Chennai and linked to Sun TV illegally. For years, the Marans tried to misuse even the judicial process to delay the trial, but now it is on in full steam. Nine months ago, the CBI moved the SC for permission to launch further probe so as to add Sun TV as accused, but the registry is yet to list it for hearing. Will judicial delay let the Marans off the hook, wonders S Gurumurthy Page 7 FOR LORD’S KITCHEN A worker unloading clay pots to be used for making ‘abadha’ at Ananta Basudev temple in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday | biswanath express read Versatile actor Mihir Das passes away at 64 Bhubaneswar: The Odia film industry lost yet another gem with the demise of veteran actor Mihir Das on Tuesday. He was 64. He is survived by his son and daughter-in-law. His wife Sangita Das had passed away in 2010. The actor was suffering from kidney ailments for the last one year and hospitalised recently | P2 Pig heart beats in first human Washington: In a medical first, doctors transplanted a pig heart into a patient in a lastditch effort to save his life and a Maryland hospital said on Monday that he’s doing well three days after the highly experimental surgery | P12 Vig lands in rooftop pool of constable Baripada: A Vigilance team which raided the premises of a police constable of Mayurbhanj on Tuesday stumbled upon a rooftop swimming pool in his Baripada residence apart from a string of properties which the man in question, Nihar Ranjan Dandapat, is alleged to have owned | P4 Five-phase panchayat polls from Feb 16 to 24 sides, no physical rally of political parties, probable candidates or any other THE panchayat elections in Odisha group will be allowed, he said and added will be held in five phases from Febru- that no victory procession after the ary 16 to 24 in strict compliance with counting will also be permitted. Covid-19 norms. The SEC advised political parAnnouncing the poll schedule, ties and candidates to conduct State Election Commissioner their campaign as much as pos(SEC) Aditya Prasad Padhi said sible through digital, virtual and that voting will be held on Febmedia platforms and mobileruary 16, 18, 20, 22 and 24 from 7 based mode instead of physical Schedule electioneering ensuring strict am to 1 pm. The results will be 5 phases declared on February 26, 27 and compliance to Covid safety Feb 16, 18, 28. Counting will be held at the norms. Besides virtual cam20, 22, 24 block offices this time after paigning, door to door canvasscompletion of all phases and ing will also be allowed. A maxiResults not at the booths as earlier. mum of five persons including Feb 26, 27, 28 With the announcement of the candidate will be allowed Polls the polls, the model code of conduring door to door campaign853 duct will come into force with ing, he added. zilla parishads immediate effect. Elections will The SEC warned that if a canbe held to 853 zilla parishads, didate or political party violat6,794 6,794 panchayats and 91,913 ed Covid-19 guidelines, they are panchayats wards. Over 2.79 crore voters liable for prosecution under 91,913 will exercise their franchise. suitable provisions of the Diswards Elections will be held to 1,616 aster Management Act, 2005. gram panchayats on February Stating that only fully vaccinat16, 1,514 on February 18, 1,382 on ed persons with negative RTFebruary 20, 1,254 on February PCR or rapid antigen test will voters 22 and 22,935 on February 24. be allowed into the counting Issuing Covid guidelines for centres, Padhi said that restricthe poll, the SEC said that no road show, tions would be relaxed or made more padayatra, cycle, bike or vehicle rally stringent taking the prevailing situation will be allowed during the campaign. Be- into consideration. CONTINUED ON: P5 E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar 2.79 cr Odisha, AP Chief Secretaries meet, agree to resolve border disputes, inter-state issues E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar AMID the continuing dispute over ownership of Kotia group of villages, the Odisha government on Tuesday made it clear to Andhra Pradesh that a joint demarcation committee of both the states at district-level would define the border area where maps are clear and not under dispute. The Chief Secretaries of both the states had a virtual conference over inter-state issues including the border dispute on Tuesday This is the first . official level meeting between the two states following the decisions taken in the meeting between Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and his Andhra Pradesh counterpart YS Jagmohan Reddy here on November 9, 2021. They had agreed to work closely on resolving various inter-state issues with the dispute over the Kotia group of villages topping the agenda. Other major issues like inter-state transportation, road connectivity fill, ing of the teaching posts in Odia and Telugu medium schools and colleges operating in both the states, and setting up of Odia Language Chair in Dr BR Ambedkar University at Srikakulam and Telugu Language Chair in Berhampur University were mutually agreed to be carried forward. Chief Secretary Suresh Mahapatra highlighted the need for road commu- nication to Swabhiman Anchal from Andhra side. He said that the area was well connected through Gurupriya Setu and the Maoist issues were curtailed significantly from the Odisha side. He said road communication from Andhra side would add to ending the problem of Left Wing extremism in the area. Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary Sameer Sharma welcomed the proposal and agreed to construct five major roads from the Andhra side. Managing directors of OSRTC and APSRTC would meet shortly for finalising the terms and conditions of reciprocal transport agreement between CONTINUED ON: P5 the two states. These states include Bihar (2.08), UP (2.03) and all five southern states. Maharashtra, MP, Chhattisgarh, Bengal and Jharkhand also have R-value over 1.64 Contraception must for three months for both men and women taking the pill; otherwise, the child born may have genetic disorders It can cause defects in a developing fetus and it may affect the reproductive system in youngsters | P7 Jab-o-meter Take your shot Jan 10 82,76,158 doses Jan 11 76,68,282 doses Total doses 1,53,70,44,657 NATIONWIDE jan 10 jan 11 Fresh cases 1,79,723 1,68,063 Recoveries 46,569 69,959 Deaths 146 277 odisha Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths Jan 10 Jan 11 4,829 414 0 7,071 752 01 CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI ■ ■
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