DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE MONDAY, MARCH 8, 2021, AHMEDABAD, LATE CITY, 16 PAGES BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY `4.00, WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 FIRST, MASSIVE RALLY IN KOLKATA Modi targets Mamata: TMC game of corruption over, time for real change Predicts Mamata’s ‘protest scooty’ will topple in Nandigram, says development begins now His Brigade tune: win-win with Didi once, Sonar Bangla a constant SANTANU CHOWDHURY KOLKATA, MARCH 7 Deadlock resolved, DMK gives 25 seats to Congress ARUN JANARDHANAN CHENNAI, MARCH 7 AFTER A week-long deadlock in seat-sharing negotiations ahead of the elections, the DMK on Sunday allotted 25 Assembly seats and the Kanyakumari Lok Sabha constituency to the Congress. DMK chief M K Stalin and TamilNaduCongressCommittee chief K S Alagiri signed a formal pact at the DMK’s headquarters in DECISION Chennai. Alagiri later 2021 said unity of TAMIL secular forces NADU was the most important factor in the current political situation. “Our alliance holdsgreatsignificanceatatime whentheBJPisspreadingitsideology like an epidemic. What they(BJP)didinPuducherrywas the same -- sending a Lt. Governor to interrupt and stop FROM PROMISES of rejuvenatingBengalandbringingjobsand investment to targeting Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over her nephew's alleged corruption, her government's policies, and her party's slogans, Prime Minister Narendra Modi found many ways to pitch the BJP for over an hour at a massive election rally in Kolkata on Sunday. “This time they (TMC) are saying 'Khela Hobe' (Let us play). They are indeed very experienced players, and know how to play,” the Prime Minister said. “People of Bengal have been looted through corruption and scams.EvencycloneAmphanrelief funds were looted. You (TMC) have indulged in tolabazi (extortion),syndicates,andcommission-cuts. You have done so many scams that an Olympic Games on corruption can be organised,” he said. “You have played with the hard-earned money of the peopleandwiththeirlives.Youhave closed down tea gardens. You have left the state debt-ridden. There is corruption even in government jobs. This game cannot go on forever and must stop. Didi, TMC ka khela shesh (TMC's game is over). Khela khatam, vikas shuru (The game is over, development begins now).” CONTINUED ON PAGE 11 RAVIK BHATTACHARYA KOLKATA, MARCH 7 Prime Minister Modi addressing a rally at Kolkata’s Brigade Parade Ground on Sunday. Express Ujjwala to jumla...who can be bigger syndicate than Modi-Shah: Mamata EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA, MARCH 7 AS PRIME Minister Narendra ModiattackedMamataBanerjee and her government at his first campaign rally in West Bengal, the Chief Minister countered him with her own huge rally in Siliguri, calling him a “liar” and demanding an explanation for the high prices of auto fuels and cooking gas. “Prime Minister will have to Mamta Banerjee at a rally in Siliguri Sunday. Express answer why the prices of LPG, petrol and diesel are being increased. Otherwise, you have to leave,” she said. After riding an electric scooter in Kolkata on February 25 – a protest that Modi mocked in his speech at Brigade Parade Ground – Mamata walked with a cardboard cutout of a cooking gas cylinder on Sunday. The padayatra, which began from Siliguri's Darjeeling More around the time Modi started to CONTINUED ON PAGE 11 THE PRIME MINISTER, who predicted on Sunday that the game was over (“khela shesh”) for the TrinamoolCongress,hadin2014 invited voters to choose a winwinof Narendra Modi in Delhi and Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata. “Aapke DECISION dono haath 2021 mein laddu,” he WEST told an election BENGAL rally at the same Brigade Parade Ground in 2014. By the time the West Bengal Assembly elections came round twoyearslater,Modiwastargeting Mamata over the Saradha scam and attacking the “syndicate culture” in the state. And as he talked of Pulwama-Balakot during his reelection campaign in 2019, the Prime Minister accused “Didi and her friends” of “speaking CONTINUED ON PAGE 11 CONTINUED ON PAGE 11 EXPRESS NETWORK LEADERS LIKELY TO MEET MARCH 12 Days before Quad, Beijing to Delhi: Not rivals…don’t undercut each other We are friends, shed mutual suspicion: Foreign Minister JARKIHOLI: ACTIVIST SEEKS TO WITHDRAW COMPLAINT MANSUKH HIREN DEATH: ATS FILES CASE OF MURDER PAGE 10 SHUBHAJIT ROY NEW DELHI, MARCH 7 AS NEW DELHI prepares to participate in the first ever meeting of the leaders of the Quadrilateral grouping likely on March 12, Beijing Sunday said that China and India should stop "undercutting" each other, shed mutual "suspicion" and create "enabling conditions" by expanding bilateral cooperation to resolve the border issue. Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi made these remarks at his annual press conference in Beijing – seen as a signal to New Delhi as it plans to join the Quad meeting this week between Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Joe Biden, Japan PM Yoshihide Suga and Australian PM Scott Morrison. Wang was speaking on the sidelinesof theannualsessionof the National People's Congress, China's Parliament. Beijing views the Quad with suspicion.Threeyearsago,Wang CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ‘Because of our small efforts, lives could be saved’: AMC’s women staff work tirelessly RITU SHARMA AHMEDABAD, MARCH 7 FORAMBEN PATEL, 33, an AuxiliaryNurseMidwife(ANM), working at Nikol Urban Health Centre (UHC) run by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC), has been working tirelessly for a year. She is among over 14 per cent of the over 2,500 women health workers of the AMC infected with Covid-19 in the line of duty. As per the data accessed by TheIndianExpress,of over2,900 medical staff at AMC’s urban health centres, over 2,500 are women health staff, including medicalofficers,physicians,surgeons,radiologists,pharmacists, lab technicians, staff nurses, Xray technicians ASHA and ANM workers. Among them, more than 360 were infected with coronavirus. An ANM for the past three years, Foramben was on Covid CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Public health officer Dr Sandhya Gohil and ANM worker Foramben Patel at AMC’s Arogya Bhavan. Nirmal Harindran 2 arrested for THE EDITORIAL PAGE ‘opposing sister’s A SLOWER RECOVERY inter-caste BY JAHANGIR AZIZ marriage’ after PAGE 8 father files case EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE RAJKOT, MARCH 7 AFTER THEY allegedly objected to their sister’s proposed marriage with a man from outside their caste, a builder and an assistant professor were arrested by Amreli town police on Saturday. They were later released on bail. Builder Pruthviraj Manjariya and Bhagirath Manjariya, an assistant professor with Saurashtra University, were arrested after their father, Nankubhai Manjariya filed a complaint against them. In his complaint, Nankubhai,whoretiredasasenior police inspector (PI) in 2004, statedthathisdaughterUma(35), theyoungestofhisthreechildren, hasdecidedtomarryamanfrom anothercaste. “SheholdsdegreesinEnglish literature,lawandcivilengineering… The level of education among the Kathi community is negligible and highly-educated boys are a rarity as formal education isn't given importance… Both my sons are pressuring me to marry off my daughter to INSIDE FARMERKILLSSELF ATTIKRI,8THSINCE PROTESTBEGAN PAGE 7 Internet imperialism by select few is unacceptable: Prasad P15 AASHISH ARYAN NEW DELHI, MARCH 7 THE GOVERNMENT will no longer accept “Internet imperialism”bya“selectfew”technology companies of the world and will ensure that they respect local ideas,culture,traditions,andsentiments, Union Information TechnologyMinisterRaviShankar Prasad told The Indian Express. The comments by Prasad, also the Law Minister, come in the backdrop of new guidelines for social media intermediaries announced by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY). “Any kind of Internet imperialismbyaselectfewisplainlyunacceptable. If the internet is a global phenomenon, it has become so because it has empoweredpeopleacross.Ithascrossed boundariesofthephysicalworld. There is an extraordinary evolutionofinternetdemocracy.There isaneedtorespectit,”Prasadsaid. Prasadalsosoughttoaddress CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 THE EXPRESS INTERVIEW RAVI SHANKAR PRASAD MINISTER OF IT, LAW & JUSTICE ‘Only 20 Indian firms are worth billion dollars. How will they fight evil, big-tech guerrillas? Govts must act’ VIJAY SHEKHAR SHARMA FOUNDER & CEO, PAYTM PAGE 12 India-Pak thaw faces early test: visas for T20 World Cup NIRUPAMA SUBRAMANIAN & DEVENDRA PANDEY MUMBAI, MARCH 7 AMONG THE first tests of whether the latest thaw along theLineof Control(LoC)willlead to wider easing of tensions between India and Pakistan will be in another arena where the two remain bitter rivals: cricket. An official source in Pakistan told The Indian Express that the country's cricket board wants a “guarantee” from the BCCI that the Government will grant visas to Pakistani fans to watch the T20 World Cup to be played in India later this year. Official sources in India said that if there are no “incidents” that would upset or bring the ceasefire agreement at the LoC toanend,thereareplanstoopen upcricketandothersportingties between the two countries. Meanwhile, Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ehsan Mani has already written to the International Cricket Council (ICC) asking it to ensure that apart from the team and the squad, visas are granted to all “stakeholders” and others interested in watching the matches. The T20 World Cup is to be held in October-November, but the PCB wants an early “Indian guarantee” that Pakistani audiences, as well as journalists and board officials, will be granted visas. “If visas are not guaranteed, then PCB will ask ICC to shift the venue from India,” the source said. During media CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 14-day quarantine, events cancelled: New virus outbreak in Europe strands Indian rider & horse PAGE 1 ANCHOR MIHIR VASAVDA NEW DELHI, MARCH 7 TEST, TRACE and isolate is the strategy. There's a 14-day quarantine, frequent thermal scanning too. But this time, it's the outbreak of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) among horses in Europe that is the reason. And caught in the middle of it are Tokyo Olympics-bound Indian horseman Fouaad Mirza and his mare, Dajara 4. “It is serious. The virus is spreading like wildfire. It is very contagious and there have been casualties,manyof thematcom- Asian Games medallist Fouaad Mirza and his mare Dajara 4 are set to compete in the Tokyo Olympics. Express petition venues,” Mirza, who is set to become the first Indian rider to compete at the Games since Sydney 2000, told The Indian Express. The International Equestrian Federation,whichgoesbytheabbreviationFEI,saidonitswebsite that the virus originated in Spain'sValenciainthethirdweek of February. Since then, it has infected close to a hundred horses and, according to data available as of March 5, killed nine. Seven countries have confirmedEHV-1cases,sofar:Spain, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and Qatar. A case has been reported in the USA, too, but the FEI said it was not linked to the current outbreak in Europe. Consequently, the world body said that based on the “science provided by epidemiologists”, it has cancelled events in Europe for four weeks at least “due to the rapid evolution of a veryaggressivestrainof theneurological form” of the virus. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Targeting horses THE OUTBREAK of Equine Herpes Virus — EHV-1 strain -- comes amid the Covid pandemic that has already put Europe's health apparatus under severe strain. EHV can be transmitted via close contact, coughing and through the air from horse to horse up to a distance of five metres. Ahmedabad
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