RISING COVID GRAPH Single-day rise in fresh cases soared past 8,000 on Saturday 2,922 KOZHIKODE l Sunday l june 12, 2022 l `12.00 l PAGES 24 l city edition Fresh cases in Maharashtra, 1,745 of them in Mumbai alone, where active cases are at fivemonth high 17 2.5 Daily TPR (in per cent) 2 Districts in India, of which seven are in Kerala, are reporting a weekly Covid positivity rate of over 10% 2.13 2.26 1.62 1.67 1.03 0.89 1 2.41 1.5 0.5 JUN 4 5 1.21 6 7 8 9 10 11 Active cases: June 1: 18,386 | June 11: 40,370 Total cases: 4.32 crore, Total fatalities: 5,24,757 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 CM talks tough as protests mount; tight security, curbs fan public fury Pinarayi says none can intimidate govt Police bandobast proof CM fears people, says Cong E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @Kottayam/Kochi Toddler goes missing, found after 12 hours in rubber plantation Two-and-a-half-year-old Mohammed Farhan, son of Kollam natives Fathima and Ansari, went mysteriously missing from home around 5.30pm on Friday. He was found after 12 hours by 7.15am on Saturday. P2 W I T H T H I S I SSU E Punjab Blood and Booty PLUS 12 PAGES The revelations by gold smuggling accused Swapna Suresh kept the political pot boiling in the state on Saturday with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan asserting that none could intimidate the government. At the same time, workers of opposition parties greeted him with black flags in Kottayam and Kochi, where he attended events. The tight security measures by the police to keep agitators at bay and the alleged ban on black attire, including facemasks, also triggered widespread protests. Commuters were hit the hardest as traffic was diverted at various locations to ensure safe passage for the CM. A huge police posse was also deployed along the CM’s route, which prompted Leader of Opposi- ‘We became complacent, and it hurt us in 2021’ Thodupuzha Inspector V Vishnu Kumar removes the lookout notice pasted by Muslim Youth League workers in front of the police station on Saturday | Shiyami tion V D Satheesan to say that the CM tightened security fearing people’s ire. Inaugurating the 56th annual state conference of Kerala L eader of Opposition V D Satheesan has said the UDF lost the 2021 assembly polls as it got misled by the victory in LS elections. “Then we won due to so many national factors. But we got carried away by that victory and became complacent,” he said during an interaction as part of Gazetted Officers’ Association in Kottayam, Pinarayi said the government won’t bow to pressure from forces that are against public interests. “These ‘Pippidi’ (tricks) will not work with us. The government will not be shaken by these,’’ he said. “The LDF and government trust people and will go ahead with welfare projects undeterred,” he said. He said people reelected LDF with increased representation in the assembly so that the government could perform better. On the controversy over the derogatory statements by nowsuspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma about Prophet Muhammed, Pinarayi, without naming P C George, referred to the strict action taken against the ex-MLA on the hate speech cases. He also slammed the media for the ‘undue coverage’ of news against the gov● More on P5 ernment. Police to use Saritha to checkmate Swapna the ‘Express Dialogues’ series. Satheesan said in the past one year, Congress studied its strengths and weaknesses and also that of its adversaries. “We now have clarity on everything. T hat clarity helped us win in Thrikkakara with a huge margin,” he said. Satheesan also refuted the theory that Congress won Thrikkakara as it was a UDF citadel. “By that logic, we should have won in Vattiyoorkavu and Konni bypolls. Both were our bastions. We won Thrikkakara because we worked very hard as a team,” he said. Satheesan said the chief minister, 20 ministers and 60 MLAs camped in Thrikkakara for a month. “We countered all these and secured a bigger majority than before,” he said. Didi seeks to lead Oppn’s prez poll fight E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi/Kolkata With the Presidential election set to be held on July 18, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday wrote to 22 opposition leaders to attend a meeting convened by her at her New Delhi residence on June 15 to present a joint strategy . In the letter, Mamata called for a strong and effective opposition comprising “all progressive forces” to resist the “divisive force”. She said the meeting is to discuss strategies for a “fruitful confluence” of Opposition voices. “At a time when our democracy is going through troubling E X PRESS REA D KSRTC tour packages fetch G5 cr in 7 months Within seven months of their launch, budget tour packages of KSRTC have become a hit. The cash-strapped carrier has plied more than 1,400 trips and earned over J5.5 crore in the period. It is now planning to introduce such services across the state. It has been organising tours in association with tourism and forest and wildlife departments to Munnar, , Nelliampathy, Munroethuruthu and MunnarWagamon, besides trips for Wayanad Jungle Safari and other places. P2 ‘Avoid opulence in Loka Kerala Sabha’ The LDF government has come under flak from the Opposition over the third edition of Loka Kerala Sabha (LKS) scheduled to be held on June 17 and 18 in Thiruvananthapuram. The Opposition has alleged the event is steeped in corruption. The UDF has urged the LDF government to avoid opulence and only then would they cooperate with the LKS. In the last LKS held in early 2020, the Opposition had boycotted it under the aegis of the then Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala. times, I believe that a fruitful confluence of opposition votes is the need of the hour to echo the deprived and unrepresented communities,” she wrote. Mamata’s move, coming days after Congress leader Sonia Gandhi reached out to the Opposition leaders on fielding a common presidential candidate, is being seen as an attempt by her to take a lead role in the negotiations. Mamata is trying “to tell the Congress that it can’t be the leading force for the opposition coalition. The invite has been sent to opposition parties— AAP, YSRCP, and TRS—that the Congress may not be willing to ally with,” said an opposition leader. INVITEES 1. Arvind Kejriwal (CM, Delhi) Samajwadi Party) 2. Pinarayi Vijayan (CM, Kerela) 14. Sharad Pawar (president, NCP) 3. Naveen Patnaik (CM, Odisha) 15. Jayant Chaudhary 4. Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao (CM, Telangana) 5. M K Stalin (CM, Tamil Nadu) (national president, RLD) 16. H D Kumaraswamy (former CM of Karnataka) 6. Uddhav Thackeray 17. H D Deve Gowda (MP, former 7. Hemant Soren (CM, Jharkhand) 18. Farooq Abdullah (CM, Maharastra) 8. Bhagwant Singh Mann (CM, Punjab) 9. Sonia Gandhi (president, INC) 10. Lalu Prasad Yadav (president, RJD) 11. D Raja (general secretary, CPI) 12. Sitaram Yechury (general secretary, CPIM) 13. Akhilesh Yadav (president, PM of India) (president, JKNC) 19. Mehbooba Mufti (president, PDP) 20. Sukhbir Singh Badal (president, Akali Dal) 21. Pawan Chamling (president, Sikkim Democratic Front) 22. K M Kader Mohideen (president, IUML) In past year 1.72L ineligible beneficiaries surrender ‘priority’ cards M S V i d ya n a n d a n @ T’Puram Ineligible beneficiaries in the priority list of the public distribution system are poised to pay a heavy price. As the government’s window for voluntary surrender of cards ended on April 30, any ineligible beneficiary identified afterwards will be penalised, said food and civil supplies department. Food and Civil Supplies Minister G R Anil on Saturday said that the voluntary disclosure started one year ago had a good response with 1.72 lakh card surrendering their cards and switching to non-priority category . The priority section of PDS are those bracketed in the Central government-supported Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority Household (PHH) categories. They are eligible for highly subsidised items. Part of the success of the voluntary disclosure programme was the parallel examination of ra- tioning officers on suspicious cards. Those found ineligible were asked to surrender their cards. Aadhaar seeding helped in detecting 25,000 people living in the border areas who simultaneously possessed ration cards issued by the governments of Tamil Nadu or Karnataka. “Any ineligible beneficiary spotted after April 30, either through inspection or voluntary disclosure will have to pay the market price of goods collected along with a fine. We suspect more of them because many ration card holders have not participated in Aadhaar seeding. Only 97.6 of the 92.55 lakh cardholders have linked Aadhaar,” said a source in the food minister’s office. So far, 2.53 lakh new priority ration cards were issued under the present government. Another one lakh eligible beneficiaries will get their cards shortly. A large number of eligible families have applied for inclusion in the priority list. Kerala’s PDS Total beneficiaries: 92,55,615 Priority cards (AAY plus PHH): 40.67 lakh 97.6 pc of cards are Aadhaar linked 1,72,312 ineligible cards shifted from priority to nonpriority sector in one year Any ineligible beneficiary spotted after April 30, either through inspection or voluntary disclosure will have to pay the market price of goods collected along with a fine A source T’Puram: The team probing the conspiracy behind the recent allegations by Swapna Suresh began the inquiry by recording the statement of solar scam accused Saritha S Nair as a witness. The move comes as a phone call between her and P C George, ex-MLA and the second accused in the case, about Swapna was aired by some news channels. P5 Target me, not those around me, says Swapna Swapna Suresh suffered a bout of fits while interacting with reporters in Palakkad on Saturday. In an emotional outburst moments before, she said she stood by her statement to the court. “Why do you hurt those around me. Hurt me alone... kill me so that the story is over. I am not well. Give me a chance to live,” she said, before fainting. P5 Full conversation on P4 Surprise gain for BJP in Haryana, Maharashtra E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi AFTER night-long suspense, the BJP emerged victorious with surprise wins in the fiercely contested Rajya Sabha elections in Haryana and Maharashtra, where results were delayed due to allegations of voting malpractices. In Haryana, BJP-backed independent candidate Kartikeya Sharma defeated Congress leader Ajay Maken. The media baron’s win was thanks to two Congress legislators — Kuldeep Bishnoi who voted against his party’s candidate and Kiran Choudhary whose vote was disqualified by the Election Commission. Following Bishnoi’s cross-voting, the BJP’s strength down to 92; Cong gains 3 The BJP’s strength in the Rajya Sabha has fallen from 95 to 92 while the number of Congress members has gone up from 29 to 31 after results of the Rajya Sabha elections Congress expelled him from all party posts. BJP bagged the second seat from Haryana as well, with Krishan Lal Panwar being declared the winner. The results were declared around 2.30 am on Saturday after counting was put on hold for nine hours. Counting began only after the BJP’s petition to the Election Commission seeking cancellation of two Congress votes was rejected. P7 Hate speech protest turns deadly; 2 killed in Ranchi E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Saturday ordered a high-level probe into the violence over hate speech by BJP functionaries that rocked Ranchi and left two young boys dead and 24 injured. The state capital has been blanketed by heavy police cover to make sure that the violence doesn’t recur. In West Bengal, violence continued in Howrah. Protesters clashed with the police and several houses were set on fire, a senior officer said. Following this, the government suspended Internet services in parts of Murshidabad district till June 14. In UP the police have arrest, ed a total of 227 people from various districts in connection with Friday’s violence. With Friday’s protests drawing condemnation, several Muslim groups like All India Muhammadi Mission, an outfit of sufi scholars based in Lucknow, asked the Muslims to avoid any “confrontation”.
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