CMYK TUESDAY www.thestatesman.com 15 SEPTEMBER 2020 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |` 5.00|LC* KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR DICHOTOMY IN NEPAL SUGA WINS PARTY VOTE FOR JAPAN PRIME MINISTER ‘PARLIAMENT MUST SEND SOLIDARITY MESSAGE TO TROOPS’ P9 WEATHER Partly cloudy sky. One or two spells of thundershower. Temperature will be in the range of 35-28 degrees Celsius. P6 P5 Monsoon session: 30 MPs test positive for Covid-19 RAINFALL: 0.1mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY For the first time, LS members sit in RS chamber as Parliament meets amidst pandemic Max.91% SNS& PTI TEMPERATURE Min. 63% Max: 34.6°C (2) Min: 27.8°C (2) SUN RISES SUN SETS 05:23 hrs 17:41 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 01:47 hrs 15:34 hrs New moon on 17 September THUMBNAILS Health workers conduct Covid-19 testing of security personnel, at the Vidhan Sabha. In the Capital on Monday. SUBRATA DUTTA Kolkata Metro back on track after 5 months: Kolkata Metro rail services resumed on Monday after a gap of more than five months, a senior official said. The regular services were suspended on 23 March due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Special trains, however, were run for NEET aspirants and their guardians on Sunday. “Services have resumed at 8 a.m. and around 3,000 people have commuted in the first two hours,” Kolkata Metro Railway General Manager Manoj Joshi said. He said all safety protocols like social PAGE 3 distancing are being followed. Inflation rate: Retail inflation softened slightly to 6.69 per cent in August as price rise in some food items eased, though wholesale inflation inched up to a five-month high of 0.16 per cent on costlier manufactured goods, official data showed on Monday. The consumer price index (CPI) based retail inflation was at 6.73 per cent in July, which has been revised downwards from the earlier estimate of 6.93 per cent, as per data released by the National Statistical PAGE 8 Office. ‘Lockdown prevented up to 29 lakh Covid cases’ NEW DELHI, 14 SEPTEMBER round 30 MPs and more than 50 employees of Parliament have tested positive for Covid-19, sources said on Monday. All parliamentarians and staff of the secretariats of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha had undergone mandatory Covid-19 tests before the start of the monsoon session. As per the reports of these tests, around 30 MPs and over 50 employees of the secretariats tested positive for coronavirus, the sources said. All those who have tested positive have been asked to stay in quarantine and they did not come to Parliament. In a first, some Lok Sabha members attended the House proceedings on Monday while seated in the Rajya Sabha chamber as Parliament met for the Monsoon session amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. Speaker Om Birla said in Lok Sabha that rules and procedures have been eased to allow Lok Sabha members to sit in the upper house and Rajya Sabha members occupy seats in the lower house due to social distancing norms. While Lok Sabha is meeting between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Monday, Rajya Sabha will assemble between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday onwards, Rajya Sabha will meet in the morning and Lok Sabha in the afternoon. A All parliamentarians and staff of the secretariats of both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha had undergone mandatory Covid-19 tests before the start of the monsoon session He said as part of the procedures, the chambers of the two Houses and the galleries where members are seated will be considered as part of Lok Sabha when the House proceedings are on. He said this is perhaps for the first time that such an arrangement had been put in place. Birla said members do not have to stand while speaking as part of the new procedures put in place to contain the spread of the coronavirus. In a lighter vein, he said some may find it difficult to speak while sitting. While nearly 200 members were present in the Lok Sabha chamber, a little over 50 were seated in the visitors’ gallery located above the main chamber. When the House met at 9 a.m., the number of members present was less. But the numbers went up when the House reassem- All those who have tested positive have been asked to stay in quarantine and they did not come to Parliament Unlike in the past, there were no Opposition protests in the Well of the House, which is otherwise a usual occurrence on day one of the session as soon as the House assembles bled at around 10.20 a.m. after a one hour adjournment after paying tributes to former president Pranab Mukherjee, a sitting MP and 13 former members who died in the recent past. Unlike in the past, there were no Opposition protests in the Well of the House, which is otherwise a usual occurrence on day one of the session as soon as the House assembles. A giant TV screen in the Lok Sabha chamber showed very few Lok Sabha members were occupying seats in the Rajya Sabha chamber. Benches which usually accommodate six members had a numbered sitting plan for only three. Glass-like plastic shields of varied sizes were installed in front of benches to protect members from the coronavirus. The shield also covered part of the members’ sides. India overtakes Brazil to record highest number of Covid-19 recoveries in world SNS & PTI NEW DELHI, 14 SEPTEMBER India on Monday overtook Brazil to register the highest number of Covid-19 recoveries in the world at 37,80,107, according to Johns Hopkins University data. According to data, 19,625,959 people around the world have recovered from the coronavirus infection while the total number of Covid-19 cases across the world are 29,006,033 and the total number of deaths reported globally stands at 9,24,105. Johns Hopkins University, which has been compiling Covid-19 data from all over the world, put India in the number one position in terms of the number of recovered coronavirus cases at 37,80,107, followed by Brazil at 37,23,206 cases and the US at 24,51,406 cases. According to the Union Health Ministry, India’s recovery rate has touched 78 per cent reflecting the increasing number of high recoveries per day. “Around 77,512 patients have been discharged in the last 24 hours. The total recovered cases are 37,80,107. The gap between recovered cases and active cases is consistently increasing. This has touched nearly 28 lakh today (27,93,509),” the Health Ministry said in a statement. The Ministry further said that Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have recorded around 60 per cent of the total recovered Covid cases. Nearly 60 per cent of the total number of Covid-19 cases are from five states ~ Maharashtra (21.9 per cent), Andhra Pradesh (11.7 per cent), Tamil Nadu (10.4 per cent), Karnataka (9.5 per cent) and Uttar Pradesh (6.4 per cent), the ministry said. Out of the 92,071 new cases, Maharashtra continues to contribute a high number and has reported more than 22,000 new cases in a day. Andhra Pradesh has contributed more than 9,800 new cases, it said. Of the new 1,136 deaths, nearly 53 per cent are concentrated in the three states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Uttar Pradesh. These are followed by Tamil Nadu, Punjab and Andhra Pradesh. More than 36 per cent of deaths reported on Sunday are from Maharashtra (416 deaths), the ministry said. According to the ICMR, a cumulative total of 5,72,39,428 samples have been tested up to 13 September with 9,78,500 samples being tested on Sunday. The total number of active coronavirus cases in India stands at 9,86,598 as on date while the number of Covid-19 cases in the country stands at 48,46,427. Active cases is consistently increasing, and now stands at 27,93,509. The front seats of the Treasury benches on the right of the Speaker’s podium were occupied by Prime Minister Narendra Modi sitting on a seat marked as number one, Defence minister Rajnath Singh on seat number 2 and Agriculture minister Narendra Singh Tomar on seat number 3. The front seats of the Opposition benches were occupied by T R Baalu of the DMK and Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury of the Congress. National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah was seated in the second row of the Opposition benches. As soon as the Prime Minister entered the House, he was greeted with claps and “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” slogans. Modi greeted members, including those from the Opposition, with folded hands. All the members were KOLKATA, 14 SEPTEMBER Acting upon the Global Advisory Committee’s suggestion, chief minister Mamata Banerjee today introduced the concept of open-air Durga puja pandals to prevent the spread of Covid. The issue would be placed at a meeting that will be held with the various Durga Puja committees on 25 September, Miss Banerjee said. Barring the portion that hosts the idol of Maa Durga and her entourage, the entire pandal should be constructed in such a manner that has open space and is airy. If the pandal is a closed structure and Many are saying that the Corona is over but one should be very cautious as it is unknown whether the pandemic will increase its impact or not. We should continue wearing masks, using hand sanitisers and maintaining social distancing norms crowded then it will increase the chance of spreading the infection. “The Global Advisory committee suggested holding the puja in an airy and spacious area as a precautionary measure. The pandemic situation will remain for the time being so we have to be cautious,” said Miss Banerjee after holding a video conference with the committee. Without naming any party, Miss Banerjee said that many are saying that the Corona is over but one should be very cautious as it is unknown whether the pandemic will increase its impact or not. “We should continue wearing masks, using hand sani- Union Health minister HarshVardhan on Monday told the Lok Sabha that the nationwide lockdown had helped prevent up to 29 lakh coronavirus cases and 78,000 deaths in the country. “The nationwide lockdown, a bold decision by the government, is testimony to the fact that India collectively stood up to manage Covid-19. It has been estimated that this decision prevented 14-29 lakh cases and 37,000 to 78,000 deaths,” Vardhan said. The four months of the lockdown were used to create additional health infrastructure, strengthen resources, and produce critical elements like PPE, masks and ventilators in India, the health SNS minister said. wearing masks. Some were also seen wearing face shields, including Trinamul Congress leader Kalyan Banerjee. P12 Lok Sabha quashes Question Hour; Opp parties fume PRESS TRUST OF INDIA NEW DELHI, 14 SEPTEMBER Lok Sabha on Monday adopted a motion to do away with Question Hour and private members’ business during the Monsoon session, which is being held amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Criticising the move, the Opposition led by the Congress said that Question Hour is the “golden hour of the House”. Leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, said that the argument and rationale that has been put forth by Parliamentary Affairs minister Pralhad Joshi is far from convincing. He said the Question Hour is recognised as an essence of parliamentary democracy and executives are accountable and answerable during the Question Hour. In such an extraordinary situation, if the House is running, “why Question Hour is singled out,” he asked. “We get chance to raise issues of common people. Question Hour is simply a golden hour of the House,” he said, adding by doing way with this, the government is trying to suppress this democratic practice which has been followed since Independence. Moving the motion, Joshi said the Lok Sabha session is being held in extraordinary circumstances amidst the Covid-19 pandemic and this House resolves that starred questions and private members’ business may not be brought before it for transaction during the session. AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said the Question Hour and private members' business are cornerstone of democracy and it is very SAFETY FIRST The Question Hour is recognised as an essence of parliamentary democracy and executives are accountable and answerable during the Question Hour. In such an extraordinary situation, if the House is running, why Question Hour is singled out ADHIR RANJAN CHOWDHURY LEADEROFTHECONGRESSINLOKSABHA much essential for the existence of parliamentary democracy. “I urge the Speaker not to allow the executive to encroach on the territory of the legislature. It is a shameful day,” he said. He also requested for a division, which was not accepted by Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla. Manish Tewari (Congress) said this is the only time when the opposition can hold the government accountable. TMC MP Kalyan Banerjee said the Question Hour is an integral part of the basic structure of parliamentary procedure and “we cannot destroy that part”. Today, the government has pressure to pass Bills, he said. “We also have our views to express,” he said adding, “kindly do not take away this advantage. It will take the entire glamour, 50 per cent glamour of running Parliament,” he added. There are so many ways to question the government and it is not running away from discussion and “we are going to reply to all questions which you are going to raise,” Joshi said. Bhushan pays `1 fine, files review plea against conviction NEW DELHI, 14 SEPTEMBER 48,46,427 9,86,598 92,071 77,512 79,722 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. MONDAY 14 SEPTEMBER 2020 Gym personnel prepare to welcome back fitness seekers after permission was granted to re-open them in the Capital, after a six-month hiatus. DEEPAK Mamata bats for open-air puja pandals ARUNIMA GHOSH NEW DELHI, 14 SEPTEMBER FRESH TWIST IN FOOTBALL’S SORDID STORY tisers and maintaining social distancing norms. Some are spreading fake news saying Covid is over and trying to take out rallies. Law should take its course,” she said. It may be mentioned here that the BJP leaders have claimed that Corona has gone and alleged that the state government was enforcing lockdowns to prevent them from holding political rallies. Stressing that the Covid treatment process in the state was very good, Miss Banerjee said that the committee too appreciated it and has asked the government to be more careful before reopening schools and colleges. Reiterating that treatment is provided free of cost to Covid patients, Miss Banerjee said that the discharge rate of patients in Bengal is 86.40 per cent, which is much higher in comparison to the national average of 77.93 per cent. Bengal today recorded a single-day spike with 3,211 Covid cases and 58 deaths due to infection, taking the total case count to 2,05,919 and death toll to 4,003. 86 per cent of the deaths in the state are due to comorbidities. The CM said that the bed occupancy rate is 32.36 per cent. Again, the positivity rate is 8.21 per cent against the national rate of 8.53 per cent, she added. CMYK Kangana leaves for Manali, calls PoK analogy ‘bang on’ PRESS TRUST OF INDIA MUMBAI, 14 SEPTEMBER Actor Kangana Ranaut on Monday left Mumbai for her home state Himachal Pradesh, saying she has been terrorised with “constant attacks and abuses” and declaring that her analogy comparing the city with Pakistan occupied Kashmir was “bang on”. The actor, whose comments triggered a spat with Maharashtra’s ruling Shiv Sena, arrived in the city from her home in Manali last week for a short visit. On the same day her office here faced action for “illegal” alterations by Shiv Sena-led Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), following which she moved the Bombay High Court which stayed the demolition. “With a heavy heart leaving Mumbai, the way I was terrorised all these days constant attacks and abuses hurled at me attempts to break my house after my work place, alert security with lethal weapons around me, must say my analogy about POK was bang on(sic),” Ranaut wrote on Twitter. The 33-year-old said the protectors had declared themselves to be “destroyers” and were working towards dismantling democracy. Advocate Prashant Bhushan on Monday filed a review petition in the Supreme Court, challenging its verdict convicting him for criminal contempt of court by making derogatory statements against the judiciary through tweets. On 12 September, Bhushan had moved a plea filed in the apex court seeking a right of appeal against his conviction, to be heard by a larger and a different bench. The top court had imposed a token penalty of Re 1 on Bhushan, which he deposited in the court on Monday. Addressing the media, Bhushan said that paying the fine does not mean he had accepted the verdict and he would file a review plea to contest his conviction. Bhushan argued that tweet number 2 tends to convey that “the judges who have presided in the apex court in the period of last six years have a particular role in the destruction of Indian democracy and the last four CJIs had a more particular role in it.” “This might well be the impression that the tweet in question seeks to convey, but the Court doesn’t, in fact, show, or even attempt to show, how the holding of this opinion constitutes contempt of court. This is an error apparent on the face of the judgment,” said Bhushan in the 444-page review plea. Bhushan insisted that the court had erroneously held him guilty of contempt, as the fair criticism of a judge and the judiciary is protected by Article 19 (1)(a) of the SNS Constitution.
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