DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE FRIDAY, JULY 23, 2021, KOLKATA, LATE CITY, 14 PAGES I-T searches premises of Dainik Bhaskar Group, daily points to its Covid reporting ENS ECONOMIC BUREAU NEW DELHI, JULY 22 B S Yediyurappa in Bengaluru on Thursday. PTI JOHNSON T A BENGALURU, JULY 22 KARNATAKA CHIEF Minister B S Yediyurappa dropped further hints on Thursday of his impendingresignationoncetheBJP government in the state completesitssecondyearinoffice on July26.Yediyurappaalsorefused tonamehislikelysuccessor,saying the decision has been left to the leadership in Delhi. "Two months ago, I had suggested thatIshouldresign as CM in order to give an opportunity to someone else. Whether I am in power or not, I must bring the BJP to power for the next few yearsbystrengtheningtheparty. I have decidedtotraveltoall corners of the state to strengthen the party,'' said the Karnataka Chief Ministeraheadof aCabinet meeting that's considered to be his final as CM. "I will not provide any suggestionsonwhoshouldbemade (the new chief minister). It is left to Central leaders. I will not suggest any names and it is not necessary. Even if any names are sought, I will not recommend anyone. Please wait for July 25 and we will see what has to be done,'' Yediyurappa said, adding that he is awaiting a signal from the BJP to decide his next move. The Karnataka CM is reported to have made the statement in order to avoid any political repercussions that may follow the announcement of a newCM–especiallyintheevent of a non-Lingayat candidate being picked to replace the Lingayat CM. In the Cabinet meeting held onThursday, fourproposals pertaining to the Shimoga region, CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 THE INCOME Tax Department conducted searches Thursday at the offices of the Dainik Bhaskar Group across the country for alleged tax evasion, officials said. The searches were conducted at the residential and office premises of its promoters across 32 locations in Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Delhi, Rajasthan and Gujarat. No official statement was issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), but tax officials confirmed the searches against the media group. Governmentsourcessaidthe allegations relate to “huge tax CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 PegasusstallsParliament again,TMCMPtearsdenial statementofIT minister AttempttomalignIndiandemocracy, examineissueonfacts,saysVaishnaw ESHA ROY NEW DELHI, JULY 22 Outside the Dainik Bhaskar office in Noida during the raids on Thursday. Tashi Tobgyal CHANNEL ALSO SAYS PUNISHED FOR COVID REPORTS PAGE 4 `5.00/EX-KOLKATA `6.00 (`12 IN NORTH EAST STATES & ANDAMAN) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM REPEATED ADJOURNMENTS IN RAJYA SABHA THE PEGASUS row continued to rock Parliament with Union InformationTechnologyMinister Ashwini Vaishnaw on Thursday making a statement in the Rajya Sabha denouncing reports that the spyware could have been used to snoop on Opposition leaders, activists and others, and the Opposition forcing repeated adjournments of the House. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 E E X P L A I NE D Amid exit buzz, BSY says he will follow party decision SINCE 1932 Opp may step up ● pressure WITH THE Pegasus row threatening to derail the first half of the Monsoon session of Parliament, reports of more names on the alleged snoop list could galvanise the Opposition into stepping up its demand for a probe. New in snoop list: Anil Ambani, CBI ex-director EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, JULY 22 PHONES USED by industrialist AnilAmbani,formerCBIDirector AlokVerma,andtwoothersenior officers at the agency — former special director Rakesh Asthana andformeradditionaldirectorA K Sharma — were potential targets of surveillance using the Pegasus spyware, according CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Opp slams bid to ‘stifle’ media; agencies doing Infra to build-up, 2020 sequel doesn’t match up to ‘original’ Games of 1964 their work, says Govt EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, JULY 22 HOURS AFTER the Income Tax Department conducted searches at the premises of the Dainik BhaskarGroup,theOppositionhit out at the government Thursday, calling it a “brazen attempt” to “scare the media” and “suppress the voice of truth”, and a “brutal attempt to stifle democracy”. Countering the allegations, Information and Broadcasting MinisterAnuragThakursaidthere isnointerferenceinthefunctioning of government agencies. “Agencies are doing their work. We are not interfering in that. Secondly, I want to say that completeinformation should be taken. Many times because of lack of information, many issues come up which are far from the truth,” Thakur told reporters. At least three Opposition Chief Ministerscriticisedthegovernment over the I-T searches. West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC leader Mamata Banerjee, in Twitter posts, describedtheI-Tsearchesasan“attack on journalists and media houses” and “another brutal attempt to stifle democracy”. She said Dainik Bhaskar “bravely reported” the way Prime Minister Narendra Modi “mishandled the entire Covid crisis and led the country to its mosthorrifyingdaysamida raging pandemic”. Condemning “this vindictive act that aims to suppress voices that bring out the truth”, she urged the media to “stay strong”. Her Rajasthan counterpart Ashok Gehlot was also scathing in his criticism, calling the I-T searches “a brazen attempt to suppress the voice of media”. He said the Modi government “cannot tolerate even an iota of criticism”. “By indulging in such actions andgaggingmedia,theModigovernment wants to convey the messagethatifthemediadoesn’t CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 EXPRESSAT OLYMPICS MIHIR VASAVDA TOKYO, JULY 22 AKIRATOKAIRINistalkingabout his I-was-there moment. “I was sitting on the second corner so had a great view of the pole vault,” he begins. Nothing about Tokairin sug- Akira Tokairin, 83, says the buzz is missing this time gestsheis83yearsold.Heclimbs mountains, won a masters giant slalom competition last winter, passionatelyfollowsrugby,talks in a firm tone and rattles off stories from 47 years ago as if they took place yesterday. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY Farmers start stir at Jantar Mantar, govt says has ‘open mind’ JIGNASA SINHA & ASHNA BUTANI NEW DELHI, JULY 22 FOR THEfirst timesincethe vandalismatRedFortonJanuary26, a small group from among the farmers camping at Delhi's borders were allowed to enter the city to commence a protest at Jantar Mantar on Thursday. Outside Parliament, Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that if farmer unions pointed out their objections to the provisions of the three farm laws they were protesting against, the government would be ready to discuss them with an “open mind”. “The whole country knows that the agriculture reform laws are in the interest of farmers, Farmers at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi . Abhinav Saha beneficial for the farmers, providingoptionstothefarmers,increasing their income and freeing them from legal clutches,” Tomar, who was the lead negotiator for the government in 11 rounds of unsuccessful talks with the protesters, told reporters. “As far as the farmer unions’ CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 EXPRESS NETWORK AMNESTY REBUTS CLAIM BY BJP P4 Phone-tapping: Gehlot OSD summoned by Delhi Police Lokesh Sharma EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE JAIPUR, JULY 22 THE DELHI Police Crime Branch has summoned Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s officeron-special-duty (OSD), Lokesh Sharma, in connection with the phone-tapping case. Sharma has been asked to appear at the Crime Branch office at 11 am on July 24, in connection with an FIR lodged by Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on March 25 this year. In his complaint, Shekhawat had accused Sharma and others of criminal conspiracy and “unlawfully intercepting telegraphic signals (telephonic conversation).” When contacted by The Indian Express, Sharma confirmed that he had received the notice on Wednesday. However, he is unlikely to go for questioningasthematterisalreadybeing heard by the Delhi High Court, wherehehadsoughtquashingof the FIR. On June 3, the court had stayedanycoerciveactionbythe Delhi Police against Sharma until further orders. The next hearing is on August 6. Last month, the Delhi Police Crime Branch had also issued summons to Congress chief whip Mahesh Joshi, asking him to appear before it on June 24. Joshi skipped the summons citingseveralreasons,includingthe ongoing case in the High Court. Joshi had termed it “political CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Kolkata
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