DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE SATURDAY, JUNE 12, 2021, NEW DELHI, LATE CITY, 20 PAGES A RED initiative appears in today’s edition of The Indian Express. These pages are an initiative of the marketing solutions team of The Indian Express Group and contain content paid for by advertisers. These pages should be read as an advertisement. WORLD EQUATIONS CHANGE IN POST-POLL CHURNING Another Bengal upset for BJP: Mukul Roy and his son return to Trinamool Mamata hails return, says old always gold; Roy says no one can stay there RAVIK BHATTACHARYA, ATRI MITRA & SANTANU CHOWDHURY KOLKATA, JUNE 11 G-7 NATIONS PLEDGE 1 BILLION VACCINE DOSES FOR WORLD DELTA VARIANT 60% MORE CONTAGIOUS, REDUCES VACCINE EFFECT: UK EXPERTS JUNK 60 MN DOSES MADE IN BALTIMORE PLANT: FDA TO J&J PAGE 14 EXPLAINED INDIA AND G-7: THIS YEAR AND EARLIER PAGE 13 A LITTLE over a month after the TMC stormed back to power for a third straight term in West Bengal, BJP national vice president Mukul Roy, who left Mamata Banerjee and her party in2017toengineeraseriesof defections in the run-up to the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections, returned to the TMC fold, saying “the situation in Bengal BJP” is suchthat“noonecanstaythere”. Welcoming Roy and his son Subhranshu, former MLA from Bijpur, back into the party, Banerjee, addressing a press conference at Trinamool Bhawan in Kolkata, said: “Mukul amader purono paribar er chhele. Ghorer chhele aaj ghore firlo. Oke chomke dhomke agency dekhiye ottyachar koreche (Mukul has been part of our family. The prodigal son has returned. Agencies were used to threaten and harass him). He will play an important role, the role he played earlier. He was not satisfied working with them (BJP). Therefore, he returned to his old party. Old is always gold.” Seniorleadersof theTMC,includingthenewgeneralsecretary andBanerjee’snephewAbhishek, were with the Chief Minister at the Trinamool Bhawan to announce Roy’s return — he is the most important leader to leave the BJP after the drubbing in the Assembly elections. “During the polls, Mukul never said anything against our party. Those who betrayed us and criticised our party like anything, we will not accept them. Wewillconsiderpeoplewhoare sober. We will not consider peoplewhospreadbitterness.There are hardcore and softcore," Banerjee said, responding to a query on defectors who now wish to return. Roy, on his part, said: “BJP korte parbo na. BJP korte parlam na (I could not remain with the BJP). That is why I am back in TMC. In the present situation in BengalBJP,noonecanstaythere. I will tell you all in detail later.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 NEW DELHI, JUNE 11 PUBLICATION OFcrucial phase 3 trial data of Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin,whichwilldetailtheefficacy of the indigenous Covid vaccine developed by ICMR and Bharat Biotech, will done in the next “7-8 days”, according to Dr V K Paul, who heads the country’s Covid task force. Paul said the data will be published in a peer-reviewed journal, “go beyond” information submitted so far to the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), and reveal findings from “follow-ups” of the clinical trial. The announcement came on the day the US FDA recommended that Covaxin makers apply for full authorisation instead of seeking Emergency Use Authorisation(EUA),therebydelaying a rollout of the vaccine in that country. Paul said the US decision will not have any regulatory impact NEW DELHI, JUNE 11 Roy with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee (right) Friday. Partha Paul Advantage Mamata: Snubbed by the BJP, Roy’s exit was waiting to happen LIZ MATHEW, RAVIK BHATTACHARYA & SANTANU CHOWDHURY NEW DELHI, KOLKATA, JUNE 11 FORMANYintheBJP,MukulRoy's exit on Friday did not come as a surprise, with party leaders sayingtheresentmentandunhappinesshadbeenbrewingforawhile E — with the last straw being the BJP choosing Suvendu Adhikari as Leader of Opposition in the West Bengal Assembly after the recent elections. While Adhikari only joined the BJP in December 2020, Roy crossed over from the TMC in 2017,atthetimeNo.2intheparty. Roy's exit also betrays the differences at the top in the state BJP, between those originally belonging to the ● party and those who came over from the TMC. BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya, given the charge of Bengal, is believed to CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 NEW DELHI, JUNE 11 BHARATBIOTECH’Seffortstoreceive fast-tracked emergency approvals for Covaxin in the US have faced a setback, with the Americandrugregulatorrecommending that the vaccine be put through the process for a full authorisation instead. However, the decision to not considerCovaxinfor Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) in the US is unlikely to have any bearing on the WHO’s ongoing review of the Indian Covid vaccine for EmergencyUseListing(EUL), according to experts. It will also have“nobearing”onIndia’sown vaccination programme. Ocugen, Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin partner in the US, “will no longer pursue an Emergency Use Authorization” of the vaccine in that country, the Americanclinical stagebiopharmaceutical company told Nasdaq on Thursday. The US Food and Drug Administration(FDA),initsfeedback regarding Ocugen’s “master file” for Covaxin, had recommended that the company pursue a Biologics Licence Application (BLA) “instead of an EUA application”. The FDA had requested “additional information and data” regarding the vaccine. Ocugen CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 DOESN’T MEAN THERE IS A PROBLEM WITH THE VACCINE ITSELF EXPLAINED, PAGE 13 Part of force for 30 years, can’t doubt your own: SC on Param Bir Singh plea EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, JUNE 11 SAYING IT was “shocking” that former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh, who has “served the state” for over 30 years, didn’t “trust the functioning of (his) own state”, the Supreme Court on Friday allowed him to withdraw his plea PAGE 1 ANCHOR Ex-Mumbai top cop takes back plea to move case outside Maharashtra seeking transfer of all inquiries against him to an independent agency outside Maharashtra. Appearing for Singh before a vacation bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and V Ramasubramanian, Senior Advocate Mahesh Jethmalani saidthatwhiletheBombayHigh Court had ordered a CBI probe into the allegations of extortion levelled by Singh against former state Home Minister Anil Deshmukh, there was an attempt to subvert the process. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 WITH THE falling Covid curve givingsomebreathingspaceand the announcement of vaccine procurement dialing down some tension between the Centre and states, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is learnt to be engaged inanextensive “discussion and consultative” exercise within the government on the task and the road ahead. BJP president J P Nadda, Home Minister Amit Shah and many other ministers dropped in at the PM’s 7, Lok Kalyan Marg residence Friday evening. Though there was no official word, this meeting — that ran into hours and ended late Friday night — is significant as it also comes after interactions betweenthetopleadershipandUP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Last week, Modi held a set of free-wheelingmeetingswithtop BJP office-bearers. He is also, sources said, meeting his Ministerialcolleaguesinsmallgroups. WhilehehasheldCabinetmeetingsthroughvideo-conferencing, thesearein-personandathisresidence. Moreover, while Cabinet meetings have a pre-set agenda, these are “free-wheeling,” and many have gone on for hours. The focus, sources said, has been on working out a roadmap on vaccination and ensuring that unlike the last time, the falling Covidcurvedoesnotleadtoalowering of guard. But Ministers declinedtodiscusswhattranspired. “The PM keeps meeting Ministers and taking feedback. What’s the big deal? Don’t link these to speculation of a Cabinet reshuffle,” said a Minister. Achhaaiyan, buraaiyan…sab par charcha (positive, negative, all are discussed),” said another Minister.Asourceclosetoathird minister said that these meetingswere“administrative”innature even as they dealt with “matters of policy and to-do lists” with vaccines as one focus. Coming after the party’s defeat in West Bengal following a high-octanecampaignledbythe CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Gujarat govt praises NREGA: ‘lifesaver’ for migrants who came back after lockdown No emergency use, US FDA asks Bharat Biotech to obtain full approval PRABHA RAGHAVAN Reset signal as the wave abates: PM Modi sounds out leaders, Ministers EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE Efficacy data from phase 3 trials of Covaxin will be published in 7-8 days: Covid task force chief KAUNAIN SHERIFF M NADDA, SHAH, MINISTERS MEET PM Renewed political thrust ahead of UP Assembly elections; meetings discuss ‘to-do lists’, with vaccines as the focus EXPLAINED RUSSIA NATIONAL DAY `6.00 (`8 BIHAR & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 Vaccination for 18-44-year-olds in Pipan village outside Ahmedabad Friday. Nirmal Harindran France backs India, asks G-7 to lift export curbs on vaccine materials SHUBHAJIT ROY NEW DELHI, JUNE 11 BACKING INDIA’S demand, FrenchPresidentEmmanuelMacronhascalledonG-7countriesto lift restrictions on export of criti- BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY calrawmaterialsusedintheproduction of Covid-19 vaccines. Addressing a press conference ahead of the G-7 meeting which began in Cornwall, UK, on Friday, Macron said: “As we know, there have been export bans from several G-7 member countries, which have blocked production in other countries, andsometimesblockedproductioninmiddle-incomecountries, essential for the production of vaccines for poorest countries. I take just one example, India. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Travel, ads, overtime: List for Central depts to cut costs MAHENDER SINGH MANRAL NEW DELHI, JUNE 11 ADVERTISEMENTS, PUBLICITY, overtimeallowance,rewards,domestic and foreign travel expenses,minormaintenancework —thesearesomeoftheareasthat theUnionFinanceMinistrywants all Government ministries and departmentstotargetfora20per cent expenditure cut. The list of suggestions have been sent to all secretaries, and financial advisers of ministries and departments. The Finance Ministry, however, has clarified that“expenditurerelatedtocontainment of the Covid-19 pandemic is excluded from the scope of this order”. Trenches being dug for water conservation near a village in Surendranagar district as part of MNREGA. Bhupendra Rana/File AVINASH NAIR AHMEDABAD, JUNE 11 IN A report released by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani last week, the state government has hailed the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) as a “lifesaver” for migrant workers who had to return to theirvillages in Gujarat following the Covid-19 lockdown last year. Thereportalsosaysthatagriculture “cushioned” migrant workers, and the government should “prioritiseagriculture”as a solution to the crisis. Citingspecificexamplesfrom villages in the predominantly tribal district of Dahod among others, the report says the state governmentshould“re-strategise MGNREGA”—aschemelaunched bythepreviousCongress-ledUPA government in 2006 — as a solutionforpost-Covidruralrecovery, and should “include skill-mapping,long-termriskcoverageand income assurances”. The report, Implications of Covid-19 on Gujarat on energy, emissions, climate and developmental perspectives, has been CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 ECONOMY IL&FS EX-CHAIRMAN PARTHASARATHY IS ARRESTED PAGE 15 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Brooms, threats, rumours: Bihar’s Tika Express runs into hurdles SANTOSH SINGH PATNA, JUNE 11 THE ‘TIKA Express’ drive launched by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on June 3 is making slower progress than the Bihar government perhaps expected. While the initiative is meant to speed up vaccination in the state among the 45-plus age group, officials are spending a lot of their time trying to convince villagers to take the shots. Often, they are being forced to return without managing to vaccinate anyone despite putting in hours at a spot, Health Department officials said. Under the exercise, 839 vehicles—21ofwhichwerelaunched by the CM — have spread out across the state, with health officials, auxiliary nurse midwives, ASHA and anganwadi workers, UNICEFandCareIndiaactivistson board,alongwithlocalinfluencers such as mukhiya, sarpanch, PDS dealers, imams and priests. Till June 9, just over 60 lakh people out of the estimated 3.19 crore(roughly18%)inthe45-age group had been vaccinated in the state. The total number of those vaccinated in the state stands at 1.14 crore. SiddharthSinghof CareIndia, who spent a week in the tribal and Scheduled Caste villages of Laxmipur and Gidhaur blocks, says their experience was “mixed”. In February, The Indian Express had reported fudging of Covid testing data in these two blocks of Jamui district. Singh says that while villagers came forward willingly at Ratanpur in Gidhaur, the Manjhi and Yadav settlements in Tari Paharpur village of the block Health officials administer vaccines at Gidhaur, Jamui. Express showed huge resistance. “An elderly woman told us, ‘Pehle apan maiya-bahiniya ke tika dilau (First get your mothers and sisters vaccinated)’,” Singh says, adding that many villagers believe “women become sterile after vaccination”. In a Laxmipur village, the health team was chased away with a broom. At another place, the wife of a man standing in queuetogetvaccinatedtookhim away, Singh recalls. Badki Devi of Manjhi Tola near Purnadih village of Laxmipur says the timing of the vaccination drive makes them suspicious. “When we are actually ill, none of these health workersturnsuptogiveusmedicines.Nowthatwearefine,they have come to inject us,” Devi says, adding, “We will die a natural death or from a disaster, but not from the coronavirus.” BalkishoreTudu,aPDSdealer in Purnadih panchayat, says he tooktheshothimself inthehope that it would convince villagers that the vaccine was safe. “This area has a population of about 2,000people.EventhoughIhave taken the jab, it is very difficult to convince people. But as more and more people take vaccines, they will come forward.” Recently,aTikaExpressteam had to leave Dhaniyatika village after failing to convince anyone. Health officials said they fielded an elderly villager to try to persuade them. But a woman threatened, “We will all assemble on the rooftop if a vaccination team comes.” Laxmipur Medical Officer Dr D K Dhusia said they had been able to vaccinate about 13,000 people in the 45-plus age group CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
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