tirupati l thursday l september 29, 2022 l `9.00 l PAGES 12 l anantapur EDITION Centre extends free ration scheme for poor by 3 months The scheme to give 5 kg of wheat or rice free of cost to 80 crore poor every month will now run through December 31, 2022 PRE-POLL DECISION TO BOOST BJP’S PROSPECTS 4% hike in Da, dr for central govt staff The Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana was launched in April 2020 to help the poor. The scheme, which has been extended multiple times in the past, was to end on Friday. The latest move comes ahead of the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh elections. It had good recall value for the BJP in the previous round of state polls early this year | P7 ■ ■ In another decision, the Cabinet increased the dearness allowance and dearness relief by 4% effective July 1, 2022, benefiting 41.85 lakh central govt staff and 69.76 lakh pensioners The combined impact on the exchequer on account of dearness allowance and dearness relief would be `12,852.5 crore per annum `44,762 cr Cost of extending the free ration scheme by three more months 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 PFI, 8 affiliates banned for five yrs, SDPI spared Home ministry notification says the outfit has links with global terror groups like ISIS E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ New Delhi The Centre on Wednesday banned the Popular Front of India (PFI) for five years, less than a week after the National Investigation Agency conducted countrywide raids and arrested hundreds of its leaders and activists primarily across Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and the Northeast. The PFI later put out a statement saying it stood disbanded after the ban, adding as “lawabiding citizens of the country , we accept the decision”. Curiously, the government chose not to include the PFI’s political front, the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), on its list of banned outfits. The proscribed affiliates and fronts of the PFI are the Centre are Rehab India Foundation, Campus Front of India, Junior Front, All India Imams Council, National Confederation of Human Rights Organisation, National Women’s Front, Empower India Foundation and Rehab Foundation, Kerala. They all were outlawed under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). Claiming that investigations have established a hub and spoke relationship between the PFI and its associates, a notification issued late on Tuesday night by the home minstry said they were pursuing a secret agenda to radicalise a particular section of the society to undermine democracy . Pointing out that the UP Kar, nataka and Gujarat governments had already sought its ban, the notification warned that any delay in curbing the Police deployed outside PFI office in Coimbatore | S Senbagapandiyan PFI could be used by it to “continue its subversive activities”, “encourage and enforce terror based regressive regime”, “radicalise a particular section of society” and “aggravate activities which are detrimental to the integrity security and sov, ereignty of the country”. Some of the founding members of the PFI were leaders of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). The government claimed the PFI has linkages with Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh. Besides, it said it has found a “number of instances of international linkages of PFI with global terrorist groups like Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)”. The Centre will set up a tribunal within 30 days to adjudicate whether or not there is sufficient cause for declaring the PFI an ‘unlawful association’. While the BJP hailed the ban, several opposition leaders demanded similar action against the RSS. Cong ress leader Jairam Ramesh said his party has always been against all forms communalism. The CPM and the AIMIM criticised the ban though they said they were against its objectives. lord’s celestial ride E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Wednesday clarified that the Centre had not changed any plans regarding the establishment of South Coast Railway (SCoR) zone with Visakhapatnam as its headquarters. The clarification came after media reports stating that the Centre was stepping back from establishing the new railway zone emerged after Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla conducted a high-level meeting in Delhi on Tuesday on the pending issues between Andhra Pradesh and TelangaP5 na. MAYA N K SI N G H @ New Delhi THE Centre on Wednesday appointed Lt General Anil Chauhan (Retired), a former eastern Army commander and director general of military operations, as the next Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). He will also function as Secretary to Government of India, Department of Military Affairs with effect from the date of his assumption of charge, a governmetn release said. Since his retirement from service in May last year, he has been serving as Military Advisor in the National Security Council Secretariat headed by NSA Ajit Doval. The appointment comes nine months after the post fell vacant following the death of former CDS in a helicopter crash on December 8, 2021 in Coonoor, Tamil Nadu. The government had widened the CDS selection pool in June this year to include three-star officers who haven’t attained the age of 62 at the time of appointment. Lt General Chauhan is 61. Expert in counter-insurgency operations On the second day of Srivari Brahmotsavams, the presiding deity of Malayappa Swamy was taken out on Chinna Sesha vahanam on Wednesday | Madhav K Centre refutes SCoR ‘rumours’ 9 months on, retired Gen Anil Chauhan Up game or forget party is govt’s pick for Chief of Defence Staff ticket, Jagan tells 27 MLAs Lt Gen Chauhan has extensive experience in counter-insurgency operations in Jammu & Kashmir and North-East India. He also played a significant role in bolstering India’s overall combat readiness along the Line of Actual Control in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim sectors Congress suspense continues, Gehlot to meet Sonia today S h a h i d F a r i d i @ New Delhi The suspense over the Congress presidential candidates moved to the penultimate day of filing of nomination papers, as the widely expected meeting between party president Sonia Gandhi and Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot got postponed to Thursday . Gehlot was closeted with his confidants right through the day at Jaipur and was expected to arrive in Delhi late in the night. As suspense over whether or not Gehlot would agree to re- ‘To express sign as CM to file his nomina- feelings of tion papers continued, names loyalists’ of other Congress probables started doing the rounds. Right “The CM is going to Delhi to on top of the list was that of former chief minister of Mad- express the hya Pradesh Digvijaya Singh, feelings of 102 who shares a close personal MLAs, as their equation with Rahul Gandhi. guardian, with Gandhi family loyalist Ambika the party Soni, considered close to Sonia, leadership,” minister Pratap could also be on the ballot. Others include the party’s Khachariyawas said top Dalit leaders like Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, AICC general secretary Mukul Wasnik, former Maharashtra chief minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and former Haryana president of Congress Kumari Selja. Party treasurer Pawan Kumar Bansal’s name is also being mentioned as a possible contender. On Wednesday Sonia Gandhi consulted Ambi, ka Soni and A K Antony, who was called from Kerala where he is leading a retired life, on the Rajasthan crisis. She was advised to meet Gehlot one last time to try and iron out the differences. The two central observers — Ajay Maken and Mallikarjun Kharge — shielded Gehlot in their report after returning from Jaipur where they were not able to meet the party MLAs loyal to the CM. These MLAs opposed to the high command’s plan to replace Gehlot with his former deputy Sachin Pilot and refused to sign a resolution authorising Sonia to pick the successor. services disrupted Patients forced out of health centre as govt fails to pay rent S T r i m u r t h u l u @ Amalapuram Even as the State government has been working towards providing medical services at people’s doorsteps, paucity of funds has been a hurdle in implementing the initiative. Patients could not avail treatment at the Urban Primary Health Centre (UPHC) in Mummidivaram as it was locked since Tuesday evening. It has been reported that the owners of the building, housing the healthcare facility, locked the premises as rent for eight months was not paid. While a building for the UPHC is under construction, the healthcare centre has been temporarily operating out of a rented house for the past 15 months. A sum of `15,000 is paid as rent per month. The owners—Rajamani and wife Sannaboyina Chandramma—claimed that they been requesting the government authorities concerned to pay the rent for the past couple of months but in vain. “With no other option left, we had to lock the premises,” they said. P5 I met the owners and requested them to unlock the facility. We assured the couple of clearing five months’ rent within a week, but they demanded us to clear eight months’ arrears Dr Bharatha Lakshmi, DMHO The age limit for CDS is 65 with no fixed tenure defined. Born on 18th May 1961, Lt General Chauhan was commissioned into the 11 Gorkha Rifles of the Indian Army in 1981. He is an alumnus of the National Defence Academy Khadakwas, la and Indian Military Academy Dehradun. , He will be the first Lt General and only the second officer to become the CDS. In a career spanning 40 years, Lt Gen Chauhan has held several command, staff and instrumental appointments and had extensive experience in counter-insurgency operations in Jammu & Kashmir and North-East. He was awarded the Param Vishisht Seva Medal, Uttam Yudh Seva Medal, Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, Sena Medal and Vishisht Seva Medal. power play high court relief for t’gana Telangana HC termed the Centre’s order asking the State power utilities to pay AP for electricity supplied in the past as prima facie illegal as it had not heard TS discoms before issuing the said order | P4 E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada YSRCP President and Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Wednesday identified 27 legislators and directed them to up their game in conducting the ‘Gadapa Gadapa Ku Mana Prabhutvam’ (governance at doorstep) programme. Jagan held a workshop with party MLAs and regional coordinators to take stock of the implementation of the programme. This is the third time in four months that the YSRC chief has met the party leaders to guide them to achieve the target of securing all 175 Assembly seats in the State. During the meeting, Jagan reportedly pulled up at least 27 MLAs, including some of his cabinet colleagues and former ministers, for not carrying out the programme in the right spirit. While it has been learnt that Jagan named the underperforming MLAs, former minister Perni Venkataramaiah (Nani) denied the same. “Some of you need to perform better. I share good relations with all those who have stood by my side and I don’t want to lose anyone of you,” Jagan expressed. Six months before the Assembly elections, a survey would be conducted and only leaders who have people’s support would be given tickets, he asserted. Stating that there are no shortcuts, Jagan directed the party leaders to take part in the programme for at least 16 days in a month to tell the people about the government’s welfare initiatives. “As 87 per cent households in the State are beneficiaries of our welfare schemes and we have fulfilled 98.4 promises by disbursing `1.71 lakh crore, winning all 175 seats is not impossible. You have to cover all the houses when you go to village and ward secretariats,’’ Jagan emphasised. He also wanted the MLAs to resolve people’s problems during their visits using the funds sanctioned to village and ward secretariats. “Elections are 19 months away and since politics is our chosen field, we have to follow the action plan,” he said added that the next review meeting will be held in the first or second week of December.
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