SUNDAY www.thestatesman.com 22 MAY 2022 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 | `5.00 |LC* KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR NO END IN SIGHT TO CONGRESS’ PROBLEMS DU PROFESSOR ARRESTED OVER GYANVAPI MOSQUE POST, GETS BAIL P5 AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY TOPPLES MORRISON’S GOVT P7 P11 Rain/thundershower very likely to occur.Temperature will be in the range of 35-23 degrees Celsius. Centre: Fuel prices cut, subsidy on LPG RAINFALL: 011.4 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY Excise duty slashed by RS 8 per litre on petrol & Rs 6 per litre on diesel Max.90% ASIAN NEWS INTERNATIONAL WEATHER TEMPERATURE Min. 47% Max: 35.1 °C (0) Min: 28.6 °C (+2) SUN RISES SUN SETS 04:54 hrs 18:12 hrs MOON RISES MOON SETS 23:42 hrs 09:53 hrs New moon on 30 May THUMBNAILS After heavy rainfall and thunderstorm in Kolkata on Saturday. SNS Centre to commemorate 250th birth anniv of Raja Ram Mohan Roy: Under the aegis of ''Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav (AKAM)'', the Ministry of Culture is commemorating the 250th birth anniversary of Raja Ram Mohan Roy from Monday till 22 May 2023.The inaugural ceremony will take place at the Raja Ram Mohan Roy Library Foundation, Salt Lake and at the Science City Auditorium.Union Minister of Culture, Tourism, and Development of North Eastern Region G. Kishan Reddy, and Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar will be gracing the ceremony on Monday. (Pg 3) Goyal to lead Indian delegation at WEF: Union minister of commerce & industry Piyush Goyal will lead ''Team India'' at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos from 23-25 May. The Indian delegation will include Mansukhlal Mandaviya, minister of health & family welfare and Hardeep Singh Puri, minister for petroleum & natural gas, housing & urban affairs besides the chief ministers and ministers of six states, viz. Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Telangana (Pg 5) along with senior officials. NEW DELHI, 21 MAY n a significant step aimed at providing relief to people from high prices of petrol and diesel, the Centre on Saturday announced a reduction in excise duty on petrol by Rs 8 per litre and on diesel by Rs 6 per litre. Making the announcement in tweets, finance minister Sitharman said that the move will have a revenue implication of around Rs 1 lakh crore per year. The minister, who made several other announcements aimed at curbing inflation said subsidy will be provided on cylinders under Ujjwala scheme. She urged states to also reduce VAT on petroleum products to give relief to the common man. The government had similarly reduced excise I It is always people first for us! Today's decisions, especially the one relating to a significant drop in petrol and diesel prices will positively impact various sectors, provide relief to our citizens and further Ease of Living PRIME MINISTER NARENDRA MODI duty on petrol and diesel in November last year on the eve of Diwali. It had reduced excise duty on petrol by Rs 5 a litre and on diesel by Rs 10 a litre. “We are reducing the Central excise duty on Petrol by Rs 8 per litre and on Diesel by Rs 6 per litre. This will reduce the price of petrol by Rs 9.5 per litre and of Diesel by Rs 7 per litre. It will have revenue implication of around Rs 1 lakh crore/year for the government," Sitharam said. “I wish to exhort all state governments, especially the states where reduction wasn't done during the last round (November 2021), to also implement a similar cut and give relief to the common man," she added. The minister said that this year the government will give a subsidy of Rs 200 per gas cylinder (up to 12 cylinders) to over nine crore beneficiaries of Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana.“This will help our mothers and sisters. This will have a revenue implication of around Rs 6100 crore a year," she said.The minister also referred to the Ukraine conflict and said in addition of the fertilizer subsidy of Rs 1.05 lakh crore announced in the budget, an additional amount of Rs 1.10 lakh crore is being provided to help the farmers. “Despite rising fertilizer prices globally, we have protected our farmers from such price hikes. In addition to the fertilizer subsidy of Rs 1.05 lakh crore in the budget, an additional amount of Rs 1.10 lakh crore is being provided to further cushion our farmers," she added. Sitharaman said the Narendra Modi government is devoted to the welfare of the poor. “We've taken a number of steps to help the poor and middle class. As a result, the average inflation during our tenure has remained lower than during previous governments," she said. The Minister said that notifications with specific details on the announcements are being issued by the Centre. The government data earlier this week showed that the wholesale inflation in India surged to 15.08 per cent in April from 14.55 per cent in the previous month due to a sharp jump in the prices of fuel, metal, food and non-food articles and chemical products. FACT FILE PAYING TRIBUTE TOTAL CASES 4,31,34,145 ACTIVE CASES 14,996 NEW CASES 2,323 NEW RECOVERIES 2,346 TOTAL DEATHS 5,24,348 Congress President Sonia Gandhi and party General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra at Vir Bhumi pay tribute to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on his death anniversary,in the capital on Saturday. SNS UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. SATURDAY 21 MAY 2022 Bengal recorded 32 cases and zero deaths EAM takes dig at Rahul’s Jammu tunnel mishap: Rescue op ‘arrogant’ remark on IFS called off after recovery of 10 bodies INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 21 MAY JAMMU, 21 MAY Reacting to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's barbs that the Indian Foreign Service has completely changed and has become arrogant, external minister Dr S. Jaishankar on Saturday said that yes, the Indian Foreign Service has changed and they follow the orders of the Government. Jaishankar said that the change in the Indian Foreign Service is a reflection of confidence. In a tweet the External Affairs Minister said, "Yes, the Indian Foreign Service has changed. Yes, they follow the orders of the Government. Yes, they counter the arguments of others". The Minister said that it is not called arrogance, it is called defending national interest. "It is called confidence. And it is called defending The 3-days long rescue operation was called off on Saturday after search teams retrieved all ten bodies of labourers who were buried under debris of a road tunnel that collapsed on Thursday night in the Ramban district of Jammu. Police said the recovered bodies have been shifted to District Hospital Ramban and their identification is underway. The rescue operation is being called off, added the police. The police has registered an FIR against the construction company.Rescue operations were launched soon after the under-construction tunnel collapsed, but bad weather hampered the search. Body of a labourer from West Bengal was recovered on Friday afternoon from debris Dominica govt withdraws case against Choksi NEW DELHI , 21 MAY Fugitive diamantaire Mehul Choksi on Saturday got relief from the Commonwealth of Dominica where he was charged with illegal entry by the police. The prosecution of Dominica decided to withdraw/discontinue the legal proceedings in the illegal entry case against him. “Choksi is pleased that the Dominican Government has today dropped all charges against him for unlawful entry in May 2021. By doing so they now recognise that there was never any case against him. ANI national interest (sic)," the Minister said. No, it's not called arrogance," Jaishankar said. At the 'Ideas for India' conference in London, Gandhi had slammed the BJP led government on multiple fronts. He also criticised the Indian Foreign Service. “I was talking to some bureaucrats from Europe and they were saying that the Indian foreign service has completely changed, they do not listen to anything. They are arrogant... There is no conversation," Gandhi said. Five of the labourers who died were from West Bengal, two were from J&K, one from Assam, and two were from Nepal of the tunnel on the JammuSrinagar national highway. Other bodies were recovered today. Three seriously injured persons were rescued out of the debris. Teams of Army, NDRF, SDRF, Police and local QRTs were engaged in the rescue operations. Five of the killed labourers were fromWest Bengal, one from Assam, two from Nepal and two from J&K. A portion of the front side of the tunnel at Khooni Nullah suddenly collapsed taking the labourers unawares. The adit tunnel of T3 caved in late night on Thursday trapping about a dozen labourers of Sarla Construction Company who were working at the site. The labourers who went missing after the collapse were; from West Bengal; Jadav Roy (23), Gautam Roy (22), Sudhir Roy (31), Dipak Roy (33) and Parimal Roy (38). Shiva Chowhn (26) Assam, Nawaraj Chowdhury (26) Nepal, Kushi Ram (25) Nepal, Muzaffar (38) and Israt (30) both from J&K. Two labourers hospitalized are; Vishnu Gola (33) Jharkhand and Ameen (26) J&K. NEW DELHI, MAY 21 Prime Minister Narendra Modi today interacted with the Indian contingent for the recently held Deaflympics as he hosted them at his residence. In the best-ever performance, the Indian team won 16 medals including 8 Gold medals in the Deaflympics, held in Brazil.Union minister Anurag Singh Thakur and Union minister Nisith Pramanik were also present on the occasion.During his interaction with the athletes, Modi said the athletes have brought pride and glory to the nation. Interacting with Rohit Bhaker, senior member of PM Narendra Modi interacts with Indian Deaflympics contingent, in New Delhi on Saturday. ANI the contingent, he discussed his way of dealing with the challenges and his way of assessing his opponents. Rohit also told the Prime Minister about his background and inspiration for getting into sports and staying for so long at the highest level. Modi noted the continued zeal in the player and his rising performance with advanc- ing age. Wrestler Virender Singh narrated his satisfaction in finding opportunities and competition in the deaf community. He noted his medal winning consistent performance in Deaflympics since 2005 and complimented him for his desire to excel. The Prime Minister appreciated his position as a veteran and also as a keen learner of the sport. “Your will power inspires everyone. Country’s youth and sportspersons both can learn from your quality of consistency. Reaching the top is difficult but more difficult is to stay there and keep trying to improve,” he said. Shooter Dhanush also credited his P12 Ahead of Quad meet, India calls for ‘immediate’ ceasefire in Ukraine STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 21 MAY Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's much-anticipated meeting with US President Joe Biden in Tokyo on 24 May, India today called for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Ukraine, saying “diplomacy and dialogue” was the best path to resolve the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Briefing reporters on the PM's 23-24 May visit to Japan, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra today said the PM would take part in the Quad Summit on 24 May along with the American leader and the prime ministers of Japan and Australia. Dismissing criticism of the Quad by certain countries especially China, he said it was a grouping of countries rooted in democracy, pluralism and market economy. Beijing has been quite vocal in its criticism of the Quad, saying its main objective was to contain China's rise. The summit All eyes will be on the meeting between Modi and the US President since New Delhi has not openly criticised Moscow, much against the wishes of the American administration would focus on peace and stability in the Indo-pacific and the Covid-19 vaccine initiative of the four Quad countries. He indicated that the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine arising from the ongoing war and the situation in Afghanistan and Sri Lanka would also figure prominently during the summit. More than the Quad Summit, all eyes will be on the meeting between Modi and the US president since New Delhi has not openly criticised Moscow or stopped oil purchases from Russia, much against the wishes of the American administration. The Ukraine issue is likely to come up in a big way at the Modi-Biden meet. “Our position on Ukraine is amply clear and has been reiterated many times. Right from the time when hostilities began (in February), we asked for an immediate cessation of hostilities and dialogue remains the best policy to move forward in this regard,” Kwatra said.The foreign secretary stated that the two leaders would focus on further strengthening the multifaceted Indo-US relationship which has acquired momentum and depth in recent years. Modi would also have a bilateral meeting with Japanese PM Fumio Kishida. The foreign secretary said the two leaders would continue their discussions on deepening bilateral economic cooperation, including trade and investment, clean energy and cooperation in India's Northeastern states. A bilateral meeting was also expected with the new PM of Australia, where voting was going on today. In biggest victory yet, Russia captures Mariupol ASSOCIATED PRESS POKROVSK,21 MAY In what would be its biggest victory yet in the war with Ukraine, Russia claimed to have captured Mariupol after a nearly three-month siege that reduced much of the strategic port city to a smoking ruin, with over 20,000 civilians feared dead. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported to President Vladimir Putin the “complete liberation” of the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol — the last stronghold of Ukrainian resistance — and the city as a whole, spokesman Igor Konashenkov said Friday. There was no immediate confirmation from Ukraine. Russia’s state news agency RIA Novosti quoted the ministry as saying a total of 2,439 Ukrainian fighters who had been holed up at the steelworks had surrendered since 33 dead as strong winds, rain lash Bihar PATNA, 21 MAY As many as 33 people in the 16 districts of Bihar died on Friday due to the storm and lightning.Chief minister Nitish Kumar has announced a financial aid of Rs 4 lakh to kin of people who lost their lives in the incidents. The chief minister's office said that after assessing the crop and house damage, instructions will be given to provide assistance to the affected families. The storm that occurred in the city on Thursday, has destroyed several houses.The intensity of the storm was such that even the roofs of several houses were blown away, while some electric poles fell off and ANI trees were uprooted. After best-ever-performance, PM hosts Deaflympics contingent STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE PRAGGNANANDHAA STUNS CARLSEN AGAIN family support for his continued quest for excellence. Shooter Priyesha Deshmukh, told about her journey, support of her family and coach Anjali Bhagwat. Jafreen Shaik, Tennis also talked about support of her father and family. She expressed her happiness on interacting with the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister said that apart from being the synonymous with the prowess and capability of the daughters of the country, she is a role medal for the young girls. The Prime Minister also noted that “due to our champions that this time’s Deaflympics have been the best for India!” Monday, including over 500 on Friday. As they surrendered, the troops were taken prisoner by the Russians, and at least some were taken to a former penal colony. Others were said to be hospitalized.The defense of the steel mill had been led by Ukraine’s Azov Regiment, whose far-right origins have been seized on by the Kremlin as part of an effort to cast its invasion as a battle against Nazi influence in Ukraine. Russia said the Azov commander was taken away from the plant in an armored vehicle. Russian authorities have threatened to investigate some of the steel mill’s defenders for war crimes and put them on trial, branding them “Nazis” and criminals. That has stirred international fears about their fate. The steelworks, which sprawled across 11 square kilometers (4 square miles), had been the site of fierce fighting for weeks. The dwindling group of outgunned fighters had held out, drawing Russian airstrikes, artillery and tank fire, before their government ordered them to abandon the plant’s defense and save themselves.The complete takeover of Mariupol gives Putin a badly needed victory in the war he began on 24 February. SEE PG 10 KCR meets Akhilesh, Kejriwal in Delhi ahead of Presidential election STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE HYDERABAD, 21 MAY Ahead of the Presidential elections Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao on Saturday held a meeting with Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav at the former’s residence in the national capital and discussed the current national issues and later joined Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal to tour a school and Mohalla clinic run by the AAP government in Delhi. Mr Rao’s long meeting with Mr Yadav over lunch which went for almost two hours assumes significance in the light of the upcoming Presidential poll as the former has been trying to unite the Opposition parties and put together an alternate agenda, sans the Congress, in order to take on the BJP at the Centre. The term of the current incumbent Ram Nath Kovind will end on 25 July; the elections to be held next month will test the Opposition unity prior to the General Elections of 2024. However, officially the chief minister’s office maintained that the two leaders were discussing various issues related to national politics. Mr Yadav was the first political leader Mr Rao met after undertaking “his national tour” followed by Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. He is also slated to meet former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda and social activist Anna Hazare in the upcoming week. Along with Mr Kejriwal the Telangana chief minister today visited a Sarvodaya School where he was welcomed by deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia following a tour of the Moholla clinic. Telangana government has started basti dawakhanas in Hyderabad modelled on the Mohalla clinic run by the AAP government. Tomorrow Mr Rao is scheduled to visit Chandigarh to distribute cheques of Rs three lakh each to the families of the farmers who died during the year long agitation against farm laws. He will be accompanied by Mr Kejriwal and Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Singh Mann. Later, Rao is also slated to visit West Bengal and Bihar to extend monetary assistance to the families of the jawans killed in the Galwan Valley. Rao had already spoken to Bengal chief minister Miss Mamata Banerjee over phone some time back and RJD leader Tejaswi Yadav had flown to Hyderabad to meet him. Mr Rao has met Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin, his Maharashtra counterpart Uddhav Thackeray and that of Kerala Pinarari Vijayan.
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