villupuram l sunday l january 16, 2022 l `12.00 l PAGES 24 l city EDITION Amid surge in covid cases, ec extends ban on rallies On a day India recorded over 2.6 lakh new Covid cases, the EC put roadshows on hold in the five poll-bound states till Jan 22 allows indoor meetings with 300 people ‘ensure compliance with covid norms’ Though the Election Commission on Saturday extended the ban on physical rallies including padayatras by a week, it has granted some relaxation to political parties. It has allowed them to conduct indoor meetings as long as there was a “maximum of 300 persons or 50% of the capacity of the hall or the prescribed limit set by the State Disaster Management Authority” ■ ■ The poll watchdog, criticised for inaction during the second wave, held virtual meetings with health ministries and chief secretaries of UP, Goa, Manipur, Punjab and Uttarakhand It has asked parties to follow Covid norms and asked state and district administrations to ensure compliance with them JAN 22 EC WILL REVIEW PANDEMIC SITUATION AND ISSUE FRESH INSTRUCTIONS IN A WEEK 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 OBC, SC names dominate BJP’s UP list 44 OBC, 19 SC candidates in first list of 107 names for initial two phases; 20 sitting MLAs dropped M ANISH ANAN D @ New Delhi THE Bharatiya Janata Party’s first list of 107 candidates for Uttar Pradesh, including chief minister Yogi Adityanath from his traditional Gorakhpur constituency, unveiled the BJP’s mega outreach to other backward classes (OBC) and scheduled castes (SC) with 59% of the nominees for the initial two phases of polls hailing from these two categories. The party also sent out a loud message that it is unfazed by the desertion of big OBC names, denying tickets to 20 sitting MLAs, or one-fourth of the first list. Sixty-three sitting MLAs have been fielded again. By nominating the CM from Gorakhpur, not Ayodhya as was widely speculated, the BJP brass also put its stamp on the leadership of the UP polls clear, tasking Yogi to defend the eastern front and reserving the temple pivot exclusively for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Gorakhpur is a saffron bastion, the party having won from there for decades. While announcing the first list on Saturday, Union minister and the BJP’s election in-charge for UP Dharmendra Pradhan said the party would contest the elections in alliance with the Apna Dal and the Nishad Party. The BJP has withheld the name of one candidate for the first phase of polls in 58 constituencies and seven out of the 55 seats in the second phase. Sticking with the strategy to give the BJP a big OBC makeover, the party fielded 44 candidates from the caste groups in the first list, besides 19 from the SC category . Ten women candidates also found a place in the first list of candidates, which included former Uttarakhand governor Baby Rani Mourya from Agra constituency, where she had previously been a mayor. The list also included Deputy CM Keshav Prasad Maurya from Sirathu in Prayagraj district. The BJP has affirmed its trust in Adityanath’s ministers, making it clear that the saffron outfit will be seeking a positive mandate for Team UP . P7 State to install Pennycuick statue in UK Bhim Army chief not to ally with SP Bhim Army chief Chandra Shekhar Aazad, whose Azad Samaj Party was in talks with Akhilesh Yadav’s SP, has now said he will try to form a third front. Reports said there was a rift over the number of seats. “We thought this is a new SP. We wanted unity of the bahujans and we were banking on him (Akhilesh), but yesterday we felt that our hopes had been shattered,” Aazad said on Saturday | P8 hit the ground running Two persons gored to death in jallikattu in TN, as 480 bulls took part in the event in Tiruchy on Saturday and 1,356 bulls participated in Madurai events over the past two days | MK Ashok Kumar TN revises Covid rules, only high-risk contacts need test K V N a v ya & NIR U PA M A V @ Chennai As the total number of active cases in Tamil Nadu touched 1.31 lakh, with 23,989 cases being recorded in one day the State government on Sat, urday issued a revised testing protocol which makes testing of contacts of positive cases mandatory only for those determined as high-risk based on age or comorbidities. While Chennai recorded its highest single-day spike of 8,978 cases on Saturday, Puducherry’s test positivity rate (TPR) shot up to 51.75 per cent with 1,213 samples testing positive out of 2,344 tested in past 24 hours ending 10 am on Saturday. Chennai also had 54,685 of active cases, nearly half of the State’s total, and its TPR has surged from 3.3 per cent on January 1 to 28.6 per cent. Tamil Nadu’s TPR was 15.3 per cent. Jab-o-meter Take your shot Jan 14 49,33,612 doses Jan 15 57,29,760 doses Total: 1,56,63,10,110 As per the revised guideline, people who must be compulsorily tested include those with symptoms like fever, sore throat, loss of taste/smell, high-risk contacts, individuals undertaking international travel and those arriving from abroad. Admitted patients may not be tested more than once a week and no emergency procedure like surgery must be delayed due to lack of test. Asymptomatic patients undergoing surgical/non-surgical invasive procedures, including pregnant women who are hospitalised, should not be tested unless it warrants a test. “Asymptomatic contacts need not be tested as it ensures that those with symptoms and risk get tested quickly and get medical aid. TN is geared up for the rise in number of cases and there is no need for panic,” said a Health Department official. P4 NATIONWIDE jan 14 jan 15 tamil nadu jan 14 jan 15 Fresh cases 2,64,202 2,68,833 Fresh cases 23,459 23,989 Recoveries 1,09,345 1,22,684 Recoveries 9,026 10,988 Deaths 315 402 Deaths 26 11 on his terms Now, Kohli steps down as Test captain v e n k ata k r i s h n a B @ Chennai THE mood in the dressing room was already sombre on Friday. Even as the squad was coming to terms with the series defeat, Virat Kohli broke the news that he would no longer continue as Test captain. Twenty-four hours later came the confirmation. “Seven years of hard work, toil and relentless perseverance to take the team in the right direction. I’ve done the job with absolute honesty and left nothing out there. Everything has to come to a halt at some stage and for me as Test Captain of India, it’s now,” Kohli, who will walk away as India’s greatest Test captain in terms of wins (40), tweeted. Only four months after relinquish- ing the T20 captaincy in order to give himself “space to be fully ready to lead the Indian team in Test and ODI cricket”, Kohli has had enough. Within the team, the reaction was one of shock, even if it is not something that came out of the blue. In fact, ever since a few senior players expressed reservations over his authoritative style of functioning, those in the dressing room have revealed how the 33-year-old has seldom been his usual self. The tussle with board officials, too, contributed to Kohli’s decision. Apart from the disagreement with BCCI president Sourav Ganguly over the manner in which he was sacked as ODI captain, it is learnt that board officials have stopped communicating with him. In simple terms, he no longer enjoys the backing of the BCCI. But Kohli stepped down on his terms. That he no longer had his mentor, Ravi Shastri, also made the decision a lot easier. He leaves a huge void to fill as the Test team, unlike the limited-overs side, doesn’t have a ready-made captain in waiting. Either K L Rahul or Rohit Sharma is likely to be the new captain. P11 H a r p r e e t B a j w a @ Chandigarh The Punjab Congress stuck to the one-family one-ticket formula and dropped four sit, ting MLAs in the first list of 86 candidates announced on Saturday Among the promi. nent names on the list were CM Charanjit Singh Channi from Chamkaur Sahib and state Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu from Amritsar (East). The list has Sidhu’s stamp as Malavika Sood, sister of actor Sonu Sood, and singer Sidhu Moosewala were fielded from Moga and Mansa, respectively Both had joined the party . recently following Sidhu’s lobbying. Sources said there was disagreement on eight seats between Sidhu and the CM as both wanted tickets for their supporters. But, Sidhu appears to have prevailed. Channi was seeking a poll ticket for his younger brother from Bassi Pathana but the sitting MLA has been retained. Channi was also pushing for Nimisha Mehta from Garhshankar but Punjab Youth Congress leader Amarpreet Lally was picked instead. The party has given tickets to several relatives of senior leaders. Among them are Sandeep Jakhar, the nephew of former state unit president Sunil Jakhar, and Mohit Mohindra, the son of Cabinet minister Brahm Mohindra. Further, two MPs managed to get seats for their sons. All Cabinet ministers have been retained in the first list that has nine women candidates (10.4%) and 15 new faces. A senior party leader said the list reflected Sidhu’s formula. As a result, a dozen leaders who wanted tickets for their relatives, including Channi and a few sitting Cabinet ministers, were denied the privilege. express read WITH THIS ISSUE Meet the Pawrents e x p r e s s n e w s s e r v i c e @ Chennai The Tamil Nadu government will install a statue of Colonel John Pennycuick, British engineer who built the Mullaiperiyar Dam, in his native town of Camberley in England, announced Chief Minister MK Stalin. Tamils in Camberley have obtained permission from St Peter’s Church for installing the statue at a park. In a statement, Stalin said, “I am happy to make this announcement about the statue on his birth anniversary.” He recalled how Pennycuick built the dam, which is considered the lifeline of many southern districts amidst hindrances, by spending his own money . Because of Pennycuick’s hardwork, the Mullaiperiyar Dam was completed in 1895, said Stalin. The dam caters to the irrigation and drinking water needs of the people in Theni, Dindigul, Madurai, Sivaganga, and Ramanathapuram. At present, 2,19,840.81 John Pennycuick acres of land are irrigated through this dam. When the British government was not in a position to extend funding for the Mullaiperiyar Dam, Pennycuick sold his ancestral properties in England and completed the dam’s construction, he added. Stalin added that Tamils in the southern districts have been celebrating his birth anniversary every year and also offer pongal to him. On June 15, 2000, former CM M Karunanidhi unveiled Pennycuick’s statue at the PWD complex in Tallakulam in Madurai. A memorial too has been built at Lowercamp in Theni. TN has been taking legal steps to increase the water level to its full storage capacity said Stalin, adding , that his government would never give up its right over the dam. Cong first list for Punjab has Sidhu stamp, no ticket for CM’s brother PLUS 12 PAGES TASMAC nets over `317 crore on Pongal; Madurai tops charts Jaishankar seeks early release of Indian fishermen held by Lanka Chennai: Liquor worth over `317 crore was sold at TASMAC shops across Tamil Nadu on January 14, Pongal day. The single-day sale was more than twice the amount raked in on New Year’s Eve. Between January 12 and 14, Tasmac netted a revenue of `675.19 crore. Sources said big sale was recorded on Friday as it is followed by two dry days Thiruvalluvar Day and full lockdown on Jan 16. Madurai zone topped the sales, netting `68.76 crore, followed by Tiruchy, with `65.52 crore on Pongal. The outlets may have good sale on Monday too | P4 New Delhi: Foreign minister S Jaishankar on Saturday held discussions with Sri Lankan finance minister Basil Rajapaksa on projects by India that would strengthen the economy of the island nation and sought an early release of detained Indian fishermen on humanitarian considerations. During the meeting, Jaishankar conveyed that India has always stood with Sri Lanka, and will continue to support that country in all possible ways for overcoming the economic and other challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs said | P7
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