RISING COVID GRAPH Single-day rise in fresh cases soared past 8,000 on Saturday 2,922 chennaI l sunday l june 12, 2022 l `12.00 l PAGES 24 l late city EDITION Fresh cases in Maharashtra, 1,745 of them in Mumbai alone, where active cases are at fivemonth high 17 2.5 Districts in India, of which seven are in Kerala, are reporting a weekly Covid positivity rate of over 10% Daily TPR (in per cent) 2 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 Surprise gain for BJP in photo-finish Mamata seeks to lead Setback for Congress in Haryana as Ajay Maken loses; BJP wins three seats in 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 dis- qualified by the Election Commission. Following Bishnoi’s cross-voting, the Congress expelled him from all party posts. The 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. In the 90-member state assembly, 89 MLAs cast their votes. Of these, Congress MLA Kiran Choudhry’s vote was Ready Covid treatment infra, CM tells officials W I T H T H I S I SSU E Punjab Blood and Booty PLUS 12 PAGES 3 parties fight for credit as CM opens 2 new flyovers S Sent h i l Ku m a r @ Coimbatore Who gets the credit when a flyover is put to use in Tamil Nadu? Well, looks like everyone. For a State known for acrimonious debates, personal slander, and brinkmanship in political discourse, it was a spectacle of sorts in Coimbatore on Saturday as three major political parties — the DMK, AIADMK, and BJP — celebrated the inauguration of Ramanathapuram-Sungam and Kavundampalayam flyovers in unison — albeit for different reasons. As DMK’s minister V Senthil Balaji flagged off vehicles on the flyovers inaugurated by CM MK Stalin through videoconference from Chennai, AIADMK MLAs distributed sweets, and a BJP legislator hoisted her party flag nearby . An agreement on constructing the Ramanathapuram-Sungam flyover within 24 months was signed on March 7, 2019, between a private contractor and the then AIADMK government. The construction agreement for Kavundampalayam flyover was inked between a private company and the State on March 8, 2019. The project was to be completed in 22 months, sources said. While the minister said improving infrastructure is pivotal for the growth of industrial cities like Coimbatore and CM Stalin would continue to offer such historic projects to Coimbatore, AIADMK MLA Amman K Arjunan said nearly 90% of construction work for both the flyovers was completed during the AIADMK regime and only 10% of the work was done by the DMK government. Coimbatore South MLA Vanathi Srinivasan, who came to the venue with her supporters, hoisted a BJP flag and said the flyover was built with funds sanctioned by the Centre. P4 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 cancelled as she “wrongly cast her ballot”. With this, the total number of votes became 88 as independent MLA Balraj Kundu had already decided to abstain from voting. In a nail-biting finish, Panwar and Shama, who was primarily sponsored by the Jan- nayak Janata Par ty and supported by the BJP were re, spectively declared elected. The value of votes polled by the BJP was 3,600. Panwar received 36 first-preference votes while Sharma got 23. The vote value of the Congress was 2,900. In Maharashtra, the BJP won three out of the six seats up for grabs in the bitter contest that went down to the wire, with Piyush Goyal, Anil Bonde and Dhananjay Mahadik emerging victorious. From the ruling MVA coalition, Shiv Sena’s Sanjay Raut, NCP’s Praful Patel and Congress’ candidate Imran Pratapgarhi made it to the Upper House. P8 Hate speech protest turns deadly; 2 killed in Ranchi e x p r ess r e a d Chennai: Amid the rising number of Covid-19 cases in Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister MK Stalin held a review meeting on Saturday to discuss containment strategies. He told officials to ready treatment facilities, and asked the departments concerned to work together to curb the spread of the infection | P4 BJP’s strength down to 92; Cong gains 3 E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi Security personnel stand guard in an area of Ranchi on Saturday | PTI West Bengal BJP president arrested Kolkata: BJP’s West Bengal unit president Sukanta Majumdar was arrested on Saturday afternoon when he was on the way to violence-hit Howrah district, police said. “Majumdar was trying to travel to Howrah where prohibitory orders under section 144 of the CrPC have been clamped,” a senior police officer said. Two persons were killed and 24 others injured during protests in Ranchi against derogatory comments on Prophet Muhammad on Saturday The . two were shot and died while undergoing treatment in hospital, police said. In West Bengal, violence continued in Howrah. Protesters clashed with the police and several houses were set on fire. Around 60 people have been arrested so far. Internet services have been suspended Chennai airport plans to expand across Adyar, targets 60 mn pax C S h i v a k u m a r @ Chennai Chennai airport could be expanded across the Adyar River to handle 50 to 60 million passengers per annum (MPPA) and a masterplan will be prepared for this within six months, said airport director Dr Sharad Kumar. The airport is looking to hire a consultant to prepare the masterplan for the next 50 years. “Airport expansion will happen parallelly, along with the proposed second airport,” he said. “Modernisation of the airport will enable it to handle 35 million passengers. It will be expanded later to handle 50 to 60 million passengers,” the director said. “We will build terminals and cargo complexes. We should have the handling capacity before demand peaks.” Sources said the State government is clear that even if the city gets a new airport, the old one will function so investments are not wasted. Despite being one of India’s busiest airports, the Chennai airport, which is spread across 1,317 acres, is one of the smallest major airports in the country The . airport has two runways — the main one parallel to GST Road and the other one running perpendicular to it. P5 Multi-level car parking Sources said the airport will get a multi-level car parking (MLCP) facility and a `2,000-crore integrated terminal. Trial runs of the MLCP facility are scheduled to begin next month. The new terminal is expected to be ready by August and functional by October in parts of the Murshidabad district till June 14. In UP, the police have arrested a total of 227 people from various districts in connection with Friday’s violence. With Friday’s protests drawing condemnation, many Muslim groups like the All India Muhammadi Mission, a Lucknow-based outfit of Sufi scholars, asked the Muslims to avoid “confrontation”. Meanwhile, authorities demolished a multi-storey building owned by a close aide of the main accused in the June 3 Kanpur violence. Oppn’s prez poll fight, calls 22 leaders for talks 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 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. M a m at a ’s m ove, 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. Sonia is one of the invitees for the meeting—a significant development given that relations between the Congress and TMC had soured ahead of the recent Goa Assembly polls. INVITEES 1. Arvind Kejriwal (CM, Delhi) 2. Pinarayi Vijayan (CM, Kerela) 3. Naveen Patnaik (CM, Odisha) 4. Kalvakuntla Chandrashekar Rao (CM, Telangana) 5. M K Stalin (CM, Tamil Nadu) 6. Uddhav Thackeray (CM, Maharastra) 7. Hemant Soren (CM, Jharkhand) 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, Samajwadi Party) 14. Sharad Pawar (president, NCP) 15. Jayant Chaudhary (national president, RLD) 16. H D Kumaraswamy (former CM of Karnataka) 17. H D Deve Gowda (MP, former PM of India) 18. Farooq Abdullah (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)
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