DAILY FROM: AHMEDABAD, CHANDIGARH, DELHI, JAIPUR, KOLKATA, LUCKNOW, MUMBAI, NAGPUR, PUNE, VADODARA JOURNALISM OF COURAGE MONDAY, APRIL 25, 2022, NEW DELHI, LATE CITY, 16 PAGES PANCHAYATI RAJ DIWAS PM reaches out to J&K via infra push, inaugurates projects worth Rs 20k cr Tells Valley youth: ‘You won’t suffer way your parents did’ ARUN SHARMA PALLI (SAMBA), APRIL 24 PM Narendra Modi with J&K LG Manoj Sinha and Panchayati Raj Minister Giriraj Singh at Palli village, Sunday. PTI ANISHA DUTTA & MANOJ C G NEW DELHI, APRIL 24 AMID DISCUSSIONS with the Congress leadership and indications that election strategist Prashant Kishor could join the party, the Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC) has finalised its contract for the 2023 Assembly elections with K Chandrashekar Rao’s Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), the Congress’s opponent in Telangana. Kishor was in Hyderabad Saturday and Sunday — a day after he had a one-to-one meeting with Congress president Sonia Gandhi — holding marathon meetings with Rao and the TRS leadership. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 THE WORLD EMMANUEL MACRON IS RE-ELECTED FRANCE PRESIDENT UKRAINE PRESIDENT PUSHES FOR MORE WEAPONS PAGE 12 INAUGURATING Astringof projects in Jammu and Kashmir as part of a strong infrastructure push, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday assured the youth of Kashmir Valley that they “will never face the kind of sufferings” their parents and grandparents faced in the past. The newly launched projects worth Rs 20,000 crore —which PMModiinauguratedfromvillage Palli in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir — include the Banihal-Qazigund road tunnel that is expected to reduce travel time between Jammu and Srinagar by two hours, and a 500 KV solar power plant at Palli. Foundation stones were laid for theRattleandKwarhydelprojects on river Chenab, and the DelhiAmritsar-Katra Expressway, among others. Referringtoachangeinwork culture in the Union Territory, Demand up, govt procurement of Punjab wheat hits 15-yr low E E X P L A I NE D While Kishor meets Cong, his I-PAC seals deal with rival TRS ANJU AGNIHOTRI CHABA JALANDHAR, APRIL 24 GOVERNMENTWHEATprocurementinPunjabissettofalltoa15year low, with private purchases likely to cross five lakh tonnes (lt) for the first time since 2007. This comesonthebackofrisingexport anddomesticmarketdemand,fuelled by the Russia-Ukraine war, and lower crop yields due to the abnormal spike in temperatures from mid-March. Governmentagencies,includingtheFoodCorporationofIndia, had bought 83.49 lt of wheat in thecurrentrabimarketingseason (April-June)asofSundayevening. “Going by the daily market arrivals, which have clearly slowed Private purchases likely to cross five lakh tonnes for first time since 2007. File down,totalprocurementmaynot evenreach100ltthistime,”asenior Punjab Mandi Board official told The Indian Express. Government wheat purchases from Punjab — which is alsothelargestcontributortothe thePM,speakingontheoccasion of Panchayati Raj Diwas, said that there was a time when a government filefromDelhi used to take two to three weeks to reach Jammu and Kashmir. “Today,Ifeelhappythata500KV CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 THE EDITORIAL PAGE CAPITALOUTREACH PAGE 8 BUSINESS AS USUAL BY UNNY Why this may not be ● bad news WHEAT PROCUREMENT from Punjab falling below 10 million tonnes for the first time since 2007 isn’t a bad thing. It marks the re-entry of private players in the state’s grain trade. But it may also put pressure on government stocks and derail largescale export plans. Centralpool—hitarecord132.14 lt in the 2021 season. The last CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 INSIDE UKRAINE FOCUS AS 8 EUROPE LEADERS VISIT INDIA PAGE 6 Only 3.8 lakh 3rd jabs, half of them in last 4 days KAUNAIN SHERIFF M NEW DELHI, APRIL 24 ONLY 3.87 lakh people in the 1859 age group have taken the “precautionary”thirddoseof the Covid vaccine since it was rolled out for this category on April 10, according to Union Health Ministry data. But significantly, the data show that over 51 per cent of these doses were administeredinthelastfourdays,coin- `6.00 (`8 BIHAR & RAIPUR, `12 SRINAGAR) WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM SINCE 1932 At a Delhi vaccination centre. Over half of vaccines for 18-59 group were given in states with metros. File cidingwithanuptickincasesand re-introduction of mask mandates in key cities such as Delhi. According to the data, 3,87,719 third doses were administered across the country in the 18-59agegroupover the last 14 days — including 1.98 lakh from April 20 to April 24. Apart from Delhi, UP and Haryanare-introducedthemask mandate last week following a slight uptick in cases. Thisapart,theMinistry’sdata show that over half of the total numberof thirddosesforthe1859 group were administered in states with large metro areas. The data also show that the third-doseuptakehasdippedfor the priority group too, including frontlineandhealthcareworkers, afterhavingstartedonahighduringtheOmicronsurgeinJanuary. Health officials, who are part of the Centre’s Covid immunisationmonitoringteam,attributed CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Privatised airports: Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand back TN on revenue share SOUMYARENDRA BARIK & PRANAV MUKUL NEW DELHI, APRIL 24 AMID THE intensifying Centrestatetussleovereconomicissues, amovebytheDMKgovernment in Tamil Nadu to seek revenue share from privatised airports andequityagainstlandprovided by the state for building new airports is finding resonance in other Opposition-ruled states. Congress-ruledChhattisgarhand the JMM-led government in Jharkhandhavenowcomeoutin supportofTamilNadu’sproposal. The Centre has not officially commented on the plans being drawn by states but Central officialshavesignalledanunwillingness to accede to the states’ demand, stating that it could potentially hamper the “sentiments of privatisation”. Tamil Nadu’s proposal is stated in its new industrial policy. “This is very logical. When you give it (land) to a Government of India enterprise, you are becoming a partner and that is your asset. When that assetisbeingtransferredtoanother party, and especially when that partyisaprivateparty—onlyone partner cannot get the share,” T S Singh Deo, Chhattisgarh's Minister of Panchayat and Rural Development,HealthandFamily Welfare and Commercial Tax, told The Indian Express. “Thestategovernmentisalso a stakeholder and should get its share depending on the capital that was put up at the time of constitution of this project. That is absolutely how things should be,” he said. SpeakingtoTheIndianExpress, Jharkhand’s Finance Minister Rameshwar Oraon said: “The land belongs to the state and the activity also takes place in the state...so in such a situation, if we gettherevenueshare,ourincome will also rise. We will support such a demand. All land belongs to the government, it belongs to the state, we have given it to the government...they should share revenue with the state government in case it is privatised.” However, the Centre is of the view that whenever a new airportisbuiltoranexistingoneupgraded, the state derives economic benefits from the infrastructure. “One is the direct economic activity that benefits the entire CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 Hanuman Chalisa row: Lawmaker couple hit with sedition charge VALLABH OZARKAR Gogoi in Vadodara on Sunday. Bhupendra Rana Expression of views on social media vital to democracy: ex-CJI Gogoi ADITI RAJA VADODARA, APRIL 24 FORMER CHIEF Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi Sunday said freedom of expression “is a vital part of democracy” so long as it does not cross the ‘lakshman rekha’ of public order and morality. He was expressing his views on police action on social media posts byindividuals,inthewakeof the arrest of Vadgam MLA Jignesh Mevani. Mevani was arrested by the Assam police on Thursday in connection with an allegedly defamatory tweet against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. When asked if police action againstindividualsforsocialmedia posts was a sign of intolerance, Gogoi told The Indian Express, “I am not aware about the specific case of the Gujarat MLA but expression of views – now on social media – is a CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 MEVANI SENT TO JUDICIAL CUSTODY, COURT JUDGEMENT TODAY PAGE 10 MUMBAI, APRIL 24 A DAY after Independent lamakercoupleNavneetandRavi Rana were arrested in connection with the Hanuman Chalisa controversy, the Maharashtra governmentSundayinvokedthe sedition law against them. The Bandra Metropolitan Magistrate Court in Mumbai Sunday sent Navneet, who is an MP, and Ravi, an MLA, to judicial custodyfor14days,rejectingthe police’s plea for custody. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 MP Navneet Rana and MLA Ravi Rana at a police station on Sunday. Ganesh Shirsekar SEDITION CHARGE AND BOMBAY HC P 6 ‘Inflation will probably surprise us on the upside... could lead to higher interest rates’ PRASHANT JAIN EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND CIO, HDFC ASSET MANAGEMENT CO. 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