TUESDAY www.thestatesman.com 20 JULY 2021 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |` 5|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR ASSAD RIDES HIGH P6 P5 Generally cloudy sky. Light rain/ thundershowers. The maximum and minimum temperatures would be around 32 and 24 degrees Celsius respectively. Opposition prevents PM from introducing newly-inducted ministers RAINFALL: 0.38.4 Mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 26.5°C (-8) SUN RISES 05:37 hrs MOON RISES 15:42 hrs Min: 24.2°C (-3) SUN SETS 19:19 hrs MOON SETS 02:24 hrs THUMBNAILS PM Narendra Modi arrives at Parliament House. Ask sharpest questions: PM to MPs The disruption by Opposition members drew sharp criticism from PM who accused them of being unable to digest the fact that a large number of new ministers are women, Dalits, tribals and OBCs. Members from Congress and Trinamul Congress raised placards demanding the withdrawal of “black laws” on agriculture. Both Houses eventually adjourned without transacting much business on the first day Prime Minster Narendra Modi has made an appeal to MPs and political parties to ask the sharpest and toughest of questions to the government during the Monsoon session of Parliament which began on Monday. Speaking to reporters, PM Modi asserted that the government should also be allowed to respond to the Opposition questions. Modi also made it clear that he looked forward into having meaningful discussions in Parliament regarding the Covid pandemic that has since claimed lives of over 1 lakh in India and lakhs across the world. The PM further said he had urged all floor leaders to to attend a detailed briefing on the Covid pandemSNS ic by him Tuesday evening. SNS & PTI A parliamentary staff looks for cover as it rains on the first day of the Monsoon Session of IANS Parliament, in New Delhi, on Monday. Incessant rains pound Delhi: A man drowned in a flooded underpass in southeast Delhi on Monday, a day of heavy rain that caused waterlogging and traffic snarls in many parts of the city. As weary Delhi’ites resigned themselves to another rained out day, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal held out the promise of a better tomorrow with a world class drainage system soon. (P2) NEW DELHI, 19 JULY P Bus accident in Pakistan claims 30 lives: At least 30 people were killed, mostly labourers who were going to their hometown to celebrate Eid-ul Azha, and over 40 others injured on Monday when a passenger bus collided with a trailer truck on a highway in Dera Ghazi Khan district of Pakistan's Punjab Province. (P9) Microsoft Exchange email hack caused by China : The Biden administration on Monday blamed China for a hack of Microsoft Exchange email server software that compromised tens of thousands of computers around the world earlier this year. The administration and allied nations also disclosed a broad range of other cyberthreats from Beijing. (P10) arliament’s Monsoon session began on a fiery note on Monday as the Opposition, protesting over a host of issues including farm laws and fuel price hike, prevented Prime Minister Narendra Modi from introducing newly-inducted Union ministers, a customary practice. The disruption by Opposition members drew sharp criticism from Prime Minister Modi who accused them of being unable to digest the fact that a large number of new ministers are women, Dalits, tribals and those from other backward classes. The Prime Minister said he expected members of the House to show enthusiasm by thumping their desks to welcome the ministers, most of whom have come from backward and rural backgrounds with many being children of farmers. In Rajya Sabha too, Opposition members, some of them in the Well, raised slogans forcing repeated adjournments. Expressing anguish over the conduct of the protesting Opposition members, Modi questioned their mentality behind their behaviour of not allowing him to introduce women, Dalit and scheduled tribe MPs who have been made ministers. As the Opposition members continued their uproar, Modi laid the list of newlyinducted ministers on the table of the House. The new Leader of the House and Union minister Piyush Goyal said it was a tradition since the times of first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru that new ministers are introduced to the House. When Speaker Om Birla asked PM Modi to introduce the new ministers, Leader of Congress Party in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said his party has given notices to discuss issues including economy and (rising) prices. Members from Congress and Trinamul Congress raised placards demanding the withdrawal of “black laws” on agriculture. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Patel said the Prime Minister should be allowed to introduce the ministers as per convention and the issues can be raised later. The Speaker appealed to the Opposition members to not disrupt the proceedings as it is the tradition for the Prime Minister to introduce new ministers to the House. Criticising the Opposition for not allowing the Prime Minister to introduce the new ministers, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said it was happening for the first time in his 24 years of parliamentary career. The House also paid tributes to 40 former mem- P12 Pegasus row: Congress, Centre exchange barbs SNS & AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 19 JULY HIGHLIGHTS Min: 92% TEMPERATURE F1 CONDEMNS RACIST ABUSE OF HAMILTON P9 Fireworks on 1st day of Monsoon session WEATHER Max: 100% SOUTH KOREAN PREZ TO SKIP OLYMPICS JOURNEY HAS JUST BEGUN: SIDHU bers who passed away in recent months. As Speaker Birla started making obituary references, he asked Opposition members to leave the Well and return to their seats at least during obituaries. The members then returned to their seats. Earlier, four newly elected members~ Maddila Gurumoorthy (YSR Congress), Mangal Suresh Angadi (BJP), M P Abdussamad Samadani (IUML), Vijayakumar (Congress) ~ took oath as the House convened after a gap of nearly four months. Lok Sabha was eventually adjourned without transacting much business on the first day of Parliament’s Monsoon session as the Opposition, protesting over a host of issues, disrupted proceedings through the day. Electronics and Information Technology Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw made a statement amidst the din on Pegasus affair, terming media reports about snooping on several people as an attempt to malign the Indian democracy. Accusing the government of "treason" and compromising on national security over the Pegasus spyware issue, the Congress Monday demanded the sacking of Home Minister Amit Shah and a probe into the "role of Prime Minister" Narendra Modi in the matter. Addressing a press conference here, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala held Shah responsible for the Pegasus spying issue and said his party's first demand is his dismissal from the post he occupies. He said Congress would take all Opposition parties on board over the issue and decide whether to ask for a judicial or parliamentary probe in the matter. Union Home Minister Amit Shah called it "a report by disrupters for the Our first demand is the immediate sacking of Minister of Home and internal security Amit Shah and a probe into the role of the Prime Minister RANDEEP SURJEWALA AMIT SHAH CONGRESS CHIEF SPOKESPERSON UNION HOME MINISTER obstructers". Alleging that the report was timed to cause disruptions in parliament, he even used a phrase his critics have often used to target him: "Aap chronology samajhiye (understand the chronology)." IT and Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnav also dismissed media reports on the use of Pegasus software to snoop on Indians, saying the allegations levelled just ahead of the Monsoon session of Parliament are aimed at maligning Indian democracy. The variant is also around 40-60 per cent more transmissible than its predecessor, Alpha variant, and has already spread to more than 80 countries NEW DELHI, 19 JULY The Delta variant was primarily responsible for the second wave of Covid-19 in the country, accounting for over 80 per cent of new cases, Dr N K Arora, co-chair of Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium said, underlining that the cases may go up if a new, more infectious variant comes. The variant is also around 40-60 percent more transmissible than its predecessor, Alpha variant, and has already spread to more than 80 countries, including the UK, the US and Singapore. The Delta Plus variant~ AY.1 and AY.2 ~ has so far been detected in 55-60 cases across 11 states, including Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Madhya Pradesh and is being studied for its transmissibility, virulence, and Crowded Taj Mahal complex amidst Covid pandemic, in Agra on Monday. People wait to receive a dose of Covid vaccine at a centre, in Jammu on Monday. vaccine escape traits, Dr Arora said, according to a Union Health Ministry statement. “The B.1.617.2, a variant of Covid-19 known as the Delta variant, was first identified in October 2020 in India, and was primarily responsible for the second wave in the country, today accounting for over 80 percent of new Covid-19 cases,” he said. Dr Arora said current vaccines are effective against Delta variant as per the studies undertaken by ICMR on the issue. Meanwhile, AIIMS Director Randeep Guleria has warned that the third wave of Covid-19 can happen in six to eight weeks if Covid-appropriate behaviour is not followed. He stressed the need for stricter surveillance and areaspecific lockdowns in case of a significant surge. He added that 'if COVID-appropriate behaviour is not followed, the third wave can happen in six to eight weeks.' Delhi cases: Delhi recorded ‘Baahubalis’: PM; Over 40 cr got jab PRESS TRUST OF INDIA 3,11,44,229 4,21,665 38,164 38,660 4,14,108 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. MONDAY 19 JULY 2021 36 fresh Covid-19 cases, the lowest single-day rise in over a year, and three more fatalities on Monday, according (P 2) to a health bulletin. NEW DELHI, 19 JULY Vaccine is given in the ‘baahu’ (arm) and those who take it become ‘Baahubali’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday and asserted that over 40 crore people have become ‘Baahubali’ (strong) in the fight against coronavirus. Addressing reporters ahead of the start of the session, Modi also said the inoculation programme in the country was moving forward at a fast pace. “Vaccine is given in ‘baahu’ (arm), and those who take it become ‘Baahubali’. The only way to become Baahubali to fight against corona is to get vaccinated. More than 40 crore people have become Bahubali in the fight against Modi wishes Deuba on his PM-election Hospitals becoming large industries: SC STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 19 JULY NEW DELHI, 19 JULY Prime Minister Narendra Modi today telephoned Sher Bahadur Deuba to congratulate him on his election as the Prime Minister of Nepal and reportedly assured the latter of an early resumption of Covid vaccines to the Himalayan nation. In a tweet, Modi said, “Spoke with Prime Minister @DeubaSherbdr to convey my congratulations and best wishes.” The Ministry of External Affairs said recalling the unique and millenia-old linkages that underpin the special friendship between India and Nepal, the two leaders agreed to work together to enhance bilateral cooperation in all areas. In a suo motu case concerning fire tragedies in Covid-19 hospitals across the country following incidents in Rajkot and Ahmedabad, the Supreme Court on Monday said that hospitals have become large industries thriving on human distress, and it is better they are closed. The apex court added that state governments can provide better hospitals, instead of permitting private hospitals to operate from small residential buildings. Pulling up the Gujarat government for extending the deadline for hospitals in connection with building use permissions, a bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud The Supreme Court was hearing a suo motu case concerning fire tragedies in Covid hospitals across the country following incidents in Rajkot and Ahmedabad The apex court added that state governments can provide better hospitals, instead of permitting private hospitals to operate from small residential buildings. The top court observed that hospitals are thriving on human distress and it is better they are closed and M.R. Shah said: “Hospitals have become large industries now based on human distress and we cannot let them prosper at the cost of lives. Let such hospitals be closed”. The bench observed that one patient had recovered from Covid and had to be released the next day, but he died due to fire, and also two nurses were burnt alive. “These are human tragedies which have unfolded before our eyes! Then, we go on extending time for these hospitals,” he said. The bench said hospitals have become a real estate industry, and instead of providing succour to patients in distress, it is widely felt they have become money minting machines, which fleece patients. Justice Chandrachud responded, there is no point in condoning lapses of these nursing homes which are not supposed to be in those buildings in the first place. Jus- tice Shah added if any recommendation is made, you see to it that corrective measure is taken. “Let the state provide those facilities and Covid care centres. We can’t have them in these small residential buildings”, said the bench. Referring to a government notification that hospitals do not have to adhere to the norms till June 2022, the bench said: “Once a mandamus is there, it cannot be overridden by an executive notification like this! You now give a carte blanche and say hospitals don’t have to adhere till 2022 and people will continue dying and be burnt.” The top court told the Gujarat government to withdraw the notification giving relaxation to hospitals. In a suo motu statement in Lok Sabha, Vaishnav said that with several checks and balances being in place, "any sort of illegal surveillance" by unauthorised persons is not possible in India. “A highly sensational story was published by a web portal yesterday night... The press report appeared a day before the Monsoon session of the Parliament. “This cannot be a coincidence. In the past similar claims were made regarding the use of Pegasus on WhatsApp,” the minister said. RISKY BUSINESS Delta variant accounts for 80 p.c. of new cases Those who get vaccinated become SNS & PTI This is a report by the disrupters for the obstructers. Disrupters are global organisations that do not like India to progress. Free vaccine campaign covers 30-40 cr in 24 days Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Monday said it took 85 days to inoculate 10 crore people against Covid-19, while due to the “vaccine for all, free vaccine” campaign, it took only 24 days to reach 30-40 crore vaccination coverage. The new phase of universalisation of Covid vaccination started from 21 June. coronavirus,” he said. The Prime Minister’s remarks triggered reactions from netizens, who referred to the South Indian hit movie Baahubali which had a very strong protagonist. Tagging Modi’s remarks, a Twitter user said, “Makes sense~ there are 2 parts to Baahubali dose 1 and dose 2. Corona virus is like katappa and will attack again from behind. We can’t be careless as in real life, there would be no sequel,” tweeted another user. Noting that the pandemic has engulfed the whole world, Modi said he wants that there should be a meaningful discussion regarding the pandemic on high priority. “We want a discussion in the House as well as outside the House with all the floor leaders. I am constantly meeting the chief ministers and all kinds of discussions are happening in different forums. So I also want to meet the floor leaders as House is going on and it will be convenient and we can talk about it (the pandemic) face-to-face,” he said. Have great respect for Father Stan’s work: HC PRESS TRUST OF INDIA MUMBAI, 19 JULY The Bombay High Court, while hearing posthumously the appeals filed by late Jesuit priest Stan Swamy in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, on Monday said he was a wonderful person and the court had “great respect” for his work. The observations were made by a bench of Justices S S Shinde and N J Jamadar that had also presided over Swamy’s medical bail plea on 5 July, when the HC was informed about the 84-yearold priest’s death at the Holy Family Hospital here that day following a cardiac arrest. “We don’t have time nor- mally, but I saw the funeral service (of Swamy). It was very gracious,” Justice Shinde said. “Such a wonderful person. The kind of service he has rendered to the society. Legally, whatever is there against him is a different matter,” he said. The bench also referred to the criticism that the NIA and the judiciary had received following Swamy’s death. It expressed regret over how, in several cases, undertrials languished in prisons waiting for the trial to begin. The bench also said it had ensured to remain fair while passing orders on Swamy’s medical bail plea and on the pleas filed by his co-accused in the Elgar Parishad case. AGENCIES SC asks Kerala to file response over easing of curbs for Bakrid The application was filed in the matter in which the top court had last week taken suo motu cognisance of UP government’s decision to allow Kanwar Yatra amid pandemic STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 19 JULY The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Kerala government to file its response during the day on an application against the three-day relaxation in Covid-19 restrictions in the state in view of the upcoming Bakrid festival. Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan announced the concessions on 17 July and said that in view of Bakrid (Eid-ul-Azha) being celebrated on 21 July, textiles, footwear shops, jewellery, fancy stores, shops selling home appliances and electronic items, and shops selling essential items shall be allowed to open on 18-20 July from 7 am to 8 pm in category A, B and C areas. In D category areas, these shops can function only on 19 July, he had said. The areas have been categorised based on test positivity rate. The matter came up for hearing in the apex court before a bench of Justices R F Nariman and B R Gavai, which also took note of the affidavit filed by Uttar Pradesh government which said that no Kanwar Yatra will be allowed this year in the state due to the pandemic. The Covid-19 caseload in Kerala continues to remain high with the state recording 9,931 fresh cases on Monday. With this, the total cases reported from the state pushed to 31,70,36.
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