BHUBANESWAR l wednesday l june 22, 2022 l `9.00 l PAGES 12 l JEYPORE EDITION Assam flood situation grim, nearly 50 lakh people hit NDRF rushed to worst-affected areas Incessant rains since last week have inundated 32 out of 36 districts in the north-eastern state, throwing lives in disarray Over 2 lakh people in relief camps Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Tuesday that four units of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) were rushed from Bhubaneswar to Silchar to carry out rescue operations as the flood situation in Karimganj and Cachar districts worsened due to the rising waters of Barak and Kushiyara rivers following heavy rains ■ ■ The calamity, which has become an annual feature in Assam, has hit 5,424 villages forcing 2,31,819 to take shelter in 810 camps According to the Assam State Disaster Management Authority, a total crop area of 1,13,485 hectares and 33,84,326 animals have been affected while 5,232 animals have been swept away 44 people lost their lives in floods and landslides in Assam since June 14 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 Uddhav faces rebellion from within Sena minister Eknath Shinde leads revolt; wants party to go back as junior ally of the BJP 145 53 5 55 44 288 31 Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray’s government faced it biggest existential crisis on Tuesday with Shiv Sena minister Eknath Shinde revolting along with 3035 party MLAs and Independents and asking the former to form an new government with BJP in the state. To escape disqualification under the antidefection law, Shinde needs the support of 37 party MLAs. Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress are part of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi. Shinde wants the Sena to go back to its former ally and be part of a new government led by former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis. The erosion in the party’s ranks put a question mark over Uddhav’s leadership, more so because Shinde was known to be close to him. As things stand, Uddhav loyalists have been reduced to a minority within his party For, . Party positions 10 S u d h i r S u r ya w a n s h i @ Mumbai Total seats BJP Shiv Sena NCP Cong Others + Independents Uddhav Thackeray Eknath Shinde Simple majority BJP has support of six Ind Eknath Shinde claims the support of 30-35 MLAs. Needs 37 to escape anti-defection law at a meeting he called in Mumbai, only 18 are learnt to have turned up, though Sena’s Sanjay Raut put the figure at 30. Earlier in the day Shinde and , his supporters checked into the Le Meridian hotel in Surat. BJP is the single largest party with 105 MLAs and support of six Independents. It needs 40 more to reach the half-way mark to return to power (see box). In the Rajya Sabha elections, the BJP got support from 123 and in the subsequent MLC polls, its votes ballooned to 134, apparently through cross-voting. Sources said after Sena’s poor performance in the MLC polls, Uddhav called a meeting of his party’s top leaders, including Shinde. He was said to be upset with Shinde for not managing the show despite being giving weighty portfolios of urban development and PWD, and a free hand in the government and the party Shinde has . since been stripped of his position as the Sena’s group leader in the Assembly . BJP sources said Shinde was in touch with its leadership since the last six months. “He supported us in the Rajya Sabha elections and the legislative council polls...We provided logistical support to Shinde upon his revolt. The rooms at Le Meridian were booked by us,” the leader said seeking anonymity . Uddhav tried to reach out to Shinde by sending sent his personal assistant Milind Narvekar to Surat. During the 30-minute meeting Narvekar had with Shinde, the latter spoke to Uddhav and his spouse Rashmi Thackeray over the phone but he did not promise to return back to Sena. Most of the MLAs with Shinde are from rural areas. “They were never entertained by Uddhav and his coterie. Shinde tapped this space to his advantage. He was also apprehensive about the rise of Aditya Thackeray in the party said ,” a person close to Shinde. P7 3 CRPF personnel killed in Maoist attack at Nuapada E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Nuapada/Bhubaneswar BREAKING a long lull in the region, the outlawed CPI (Maoist) killed three Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel in Patadhara Reserve Forest in Nuapada district’s Bhoden block on Tuesday afternoon. The security personnel were part of a road opening party (ROP) between Bhainsadani and Patadhara company operating bases (COBs) when the red ultras surprised them at about 2.30 pm. The incident took place when a platoon of CRPF was combing the area. Since it was raining heavily during the operation, the ultras took advantage of low visibility and fired indiscriminately from a distance of only around 100 metres. The CRPF men retaliated even in the face of mortar bombs used by the Maoists in which three personnel were killed. The Naxals stole two AK-47 rifles and one under barrel grenade launcher from the spot before fleeing. The martyred CRPF men included assistant-sub inspectors Shivpal and Sishupal Singh, and IMFA offers to recruit Agniveers Bhubaneswar: With several Corporates pitching in with support to the Centre’s Agnipath scheme, Odishabased Indian Metal And Ferro Alloys (IMFA) Limited has announced to give preference to the Agniveers after completion of their tenure in the Armed forces. Managing Director of IMFA Limited Subhrakant Panda said the Agnipath scheme is a unique initiative which gives youth an opportunity to serve the country and then join the general workforce having imbibed certain skills. “I welcome it wholeheartedly. Industry will be more than willing to take on board Agniveers after completion of tour of duty given their unique training and skill set. IMFA will give preference to them in recruitment,” he added. constable Dharmendra Kumar Singh. Shivpal hailed from Haryana while Sishupal and Dharmendra were from UP and Bihar respectively. The State Government announced an ex-gratia of `20 lakh each for next of kin of the three. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who is currently in Rome, expressed grief over the incident. South Western Range DIG Rajesh Pandit rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation. Nuapada SP Pratyush Diwakar and senior officers of CRPF reached the spot, while combing operation was intensified in the area with more teams of CRPF and Special Operation Group (SOG) on their way . DGP Sunil Kumar Bansal said the operation will continue in the area to trace the Maoists and asserted that the sacrifice of the martyrs will not go in vain. Though Nuapada district is still listed under the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) scheme, the district had not witnessed any major Naxal violence in the last 10 years. In May 2011, at least 10 police personnel including an Additional SP rank officer of Chhattisgarh were killed in a landmine explosion followed by heavy firing by Maoists in Sunabeda Reserve Forest. Patadhara, where a CRPF company base has been set up, is barely 7 km from Chhattisgarh border. According to sources, Maoists were opposed to the CRPF camp for quite some time. Earlier, they had put up posters in Chhattisgarh area opposing the camp and warned people to not support the CRPF. Commandant of 216 Battalion in Nuapada, Rajes Vatsa informed that while three security personnel were killed, there is no report of other securitymen receiving injuries in the incident. He also said that Maoists must have suffered casualties as they found blood stains at the spot. NATIONWIDE June 20 June 21 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths odisha Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 12,781 8,537 18 9,923 7,293 17 june 20 june 21 46 28 0 53 20 00 Jab-o-meter Take your shot June 20 11,31,327 doses June 21 10,50,571 doses Total doses 1,96,44,19,344 Presidential poll Murmu is nda pick R a je s h K u m a r T h a k u r @ New Delhi FORMER Jharkhand governor Draupadi Murmu is all set to become the first tribal woman to hold the highest office of the Republic, as the 64-year-old emerged the consensus Presidential candidate of the BJP-led NDA late on Tuesday evening. This paper was the first to report on June 10 that she was leading the Presidential race in the NDA. Sharing the news after deliberations at the BJP parliamentary board, attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Union minister Nitin Gadkari and other senior leaders, BJP national president J P Nadda said, “We wanted to take a woman candidate from east India, especially from the tribal community. After consultation with allies and others, we have decided to field Murmu.” Nadda said Murmu’s life has been dedicated to the service of the nation and upliftment of the downWho is trodden, adding that prefDraupadi erence has been given to a Murmu? woman tribal candidate for An arts graduate the first time. “She has rich from Ramadevi administrative experience Women’s College and had an outstanding guin Bhubaneswar, bernatorial tenure. I am she worked as an confident she will be a asst professor in great President of our naSri Aurobindo tion,” he added. Integral Soon after Murmu was Education and named as the BJP-led Research Centre, NDA's presidential candiRairangpur. She date, Prime Minister Modi joined BJP in 1997 said she has devoted her life to serving society and expressed confidence that she will be a "great President". Born in 1958 in a poor tribal family in Odisha’s Myurbhanja district, Murmu rose to her present stature after struggling through ups and down throughout her life. She was the first governor to complete a five-year term in tribal-dominated Jharkhand (2015-2021). She also served as the minister for commerce and transports in the BJP-Biju Janata Dal coalition government in Odisha from 2000 to 2002. Sinha is Oppn choice for Prez E x p r e ss N e ws Se r v i c e @ New Delhi OPPOSITION leaders on Tuesday decided to field former Union minister Yashwant Sinha as their joint candidate for Presidential polls. Sinha’s name came up after NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, former Jammu & Kashmir chief minister Farooq Abdullah and ex-West Bengal governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi declined the Opposition’s invite to run for President. “We are happy to announce that we have unanimously chosen Yashwant Sinha as the common candidate of the opposition parties for the presidential election, which will take place on July 18, 2022,” Congress leader Jairam Five regional Ramesh said while reading out a joint statement parties skip after the meeting. meeting “We regret Modi governCongress, NCP, ment made no serious efTMC, CPI, CPI-M, fort to have consensus on SP, NC, AIMIM, a presidential candidate,” RJD and AIUDF said Ramesh. attended the Indicating that his name meet on Tuesday. was finalised with his conFive regional sent, Sinha tweeted, “Now parties — TRS, time has come when for a BJD. AAP, SAD larger national cause I and YSRCP — must step aside from the stayed away from party to work for greater the meeting opposition unity Soon af.” ter that tweet, Sinha technically quit the Trinamool Congress as vicepresident expressing gratefulness to TMC chief Mamata Banerjee. Sinha, who switched over to the TMC from the BJP, was Union finance minister from 1990-1991 under then prime minister Chandra Shekhar. He also served as the external affairs minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government from 2002 to 2004. He quite the BJP in 2018 and joined the TMC after a short gap. express read Ailing elephant dies after being rescued Sambalpur: Battling for life since the last five days, the ailing tusker which had sought refuge in a pond at Samplahara in Badasahi range died hours after it was brought out of the water body on Tuesday. DFO Vishwanath Neelannavar said the 12 -year-old elephant could not be saved as it did not respond to treatment. The tusker had stopped eating since its treatment started | P4 Three service chiefs brief PM on Agnipath Odisha govt lauds Agnipath, may moot policy for jobs E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Bhubaneswar Amid protests over the Agnipath scheme, Odisha has become the first non-BJP ruled State to welcome the initiative that aims to recruit soldiers below the rank of commissioned officers into the three services of the armed forces for four years on contract. Minister of State for Home Tusharkanti Behera on Tuesday said Agn i p at h w i l l p rov i d e youths job opportunities after matriculation at the age of 18 and make available a very disciplined and trained youth for various sectors. “Youths are opposing its process because it does not guarantee a permanent job after four years. The Centre has made some changes in the scheme and the tri-services are also coming up with solutions to address the concerns. Hopefully, it will be r e s o l ve d s o o n , ” h e t o l d mediapersons. The State junior Home Minister said though no policy deci- sion has been taken to recruit Agniveers after their de-induction from the Armed forces, Odisha government may take steps to provide employment opportunities to the disciplined workforce. “Agnipath is a new scheme and the discipline and skills that Agniveers gain during the fouryear of service will make them eminently employable. There is reservation for NCC certificate holders for recruitment in Odisha Police. Similar provisions can be made for the Agniveers and the State government will take a policy decision at the right time,” he said. On protests in different parts of the country against the scheme, Behera said, the Centre has announced 10 per cent (pc) reservation for Agniveers in the jobs offered by the Union Home and Defence ministries and other sectors. The Ministry of Home Affairs also promised that Agniveers will get three more years exemption from the age limit of the scheme to join CAPFs and Assam Rifles, he said. Stand at ease PM Narendra Modi at a mass yoga session to celebrate the 8th International Day of Yoga, at Mysore Palace in Mysuru | Udayashankar S New Delhi: Army chief General Manoj Pande, Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari and Navy chief Admiral R Hari Kumar separately met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday and briefed him about the progress on Agnipath. It is learnt the three service chiefs apprised Modi of the overall induction process and the steps being taken for the successful rollout of the scheme CBI may look into AAP govt’s new liquor policy S h a h i d F a r i d i @ New Delhi Former president of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee and BJP leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa recently filed a complaint with the CBI accusing the Delhi state government of implementing an excise policy that “extended wrongful gains and favour to liquor wholesalers in Delhi… at the cost of state’s revenue”. Sirsa sought a probe against Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who was the head of the Group of Ministers that drafted the new excise policy, and some government offi- cials “who have customized and enacted the policy to reap wrongful gains”. He said “the policy has been drafted and implemented with the following persons acting as aide: Mr Manoj Rai, Mr Manish Sosodia, Mr K Gehlot, Mr Satyendra Jain, Mr Arava Gopi Krishna and several other unknown ministers in connivance with one Mr Dinesh Arora and Mr Vijay Nair, who have been actively involved in layering…” the deal. In his complaint on June 7, Sirsa also accused Sisodia of holding a meeting at his Delhi residence on 30.05.22 with Pun- jab excise and taxation officials to draft a similar policy for Punjab. Sirsa said the meeting at Sisodia’s residence was attended by Varun Runjan, excise and taxation commissioner, Punjab, Kap Sinha, financial commiss i o n e r, taxation, Punjab, Naresh Dubey, Vijay Nair, AAP Member of Parliament Raghav Chadha and Punjab excise minister Harpal Cheema. Sisodia did not respond to a detailed questionnaire sent to him by this newspaper on June 14. On June 20, however, a response, purportedly to the questionnaire, was received on WhatsApp by this correspondent from Pritam Pal Singh, Media Communication Advisor to Chief Minister of the Government of the National Capital Territory, Delhi. The response read as follows: “Aam Aadmi Party’s response — All the allegations leveled herein are completely baseless and politically motivated. Delhi government’s new excise policy increased tax revenue by over `3,000 crore in just one year. This money was earlier going into the pocket of BJP leaders who were controlling the liquor mafia across Delhi. Seeing their illicit income be (sic) stopped, the BJP is making huge hue and cry.”
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