THURSDAY www.thestatesman.com 23 JUNE 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 NETANYAHU AGAIN? NITISH BACKS NDA’S PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE DESPITE DIFFERENCES P5 WEATHER PARTLY CLOUDY SKY. STRONG SURFACE WINDS (SPEED 20-30 KMPH) DURING THE DAY. THE MAXIMUM AND MINIMUM TEMPERATURES WOULD BE AROUND 38 AND 25 DEGREES CELSIUS RESPECTIVELY. RAINFALL: 0.7 mm RELATIVE HUMIDITY P6 Max: 37.2°C (-1) SUN RISES 05:25 hrs MOON RISES 01:59 hrs Min: 24.3°C (-4) SUN SETS 19:23 hrs MOON SETS 14:23 hrs THUMBNAILS Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, Mallikarjun kharge,KC Venugopal, Sachin Pilot and other leaders at a satyagraha against the ED questioning Rahul Gandhi and Agnipath Scheme, at AICC HQ, in New Delhi on Wednesday. ANI Naveen Patnaik meets Pope in Vatican City: Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik met Pope Francis in Vatican City on Wednesday. He is leading a high-level delegation to Rome and Dubai. The delegation is scheduled to visit the World Food Programme (WFP) headquarters in Rome to share Odisha's "transformational journey" in food security and disaster management. On Tuesday, the CM paid tribute to freedom fighter Mahatma Gandhi at the MG Memorial Statue at the Piazza Gandhi in Rome. AGENCIES KABUL, 22 JUNE Eknath Shinde claims backing of 46 MLAs, including several Independents B eleaguered Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, whose government is facing a crisis due to a revolt within his party, said on Wednesday that he was willing to hand over his resignation to the rebel MLAs who can take it to the Raj Bhavan. Thackeray, who posted a video message on Facebook, said he was also willing to quit as party chief if there is a demand from party workers. Noting that a section of party MLAs was gunning for his ouster, he said instead of going to Surat, they could have conveyed their feelings to him. The crisis faced by Shiv Sena-led government deepened on Wednesday as state cabinet minister Eknath Shinde claimed that he has the support of 46 MLAs, including six to seven Independent MLAs. Thackeray said he was willing to resign if this was the demand of the party’s Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai. ANI Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde in Guwahati. ANI MLAs. “If any MLA wants me to not continue as the CM, I am ready to take all my belongings from Versha Bungalow to Matoshri,” he said. “I am ready to give my resignation to the MLAs, they should come here and take my resignation to Raj Bhavan. I am ready to leave the post of Shiv Sena party head also, not on the saying of others but my workers,” he added. Thackeray said it is not about numbers but how many are against him and he will leave if even one person or MLA is against him. “If you (MLAs) say, then I am ready to leave the CM post... It's very shameful for me if even a single MLA is against me,” he said.Referring to the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) alliance, Thackeray said when all three parties came togeth- er in 2019, NCP leader Sharad Pawar told him that he had to take the responsibility of the CM post. “I didn’t even have prior experience. But I took the responsibility. Pawar and Sonia Gandhi helped me a lot, they kept their faith in me,” he said. “But when my own people (MLAs) don't want me what I can say. If they had something against me, what was the need of saying all this in Surat, they could have come here and said this to my face,” he said. Taking a dig at the rebels, he said the Shiv Sena is rooted in Hindutva and is the same party as it was when run by its founder Balasaheb Thackeray. The Shiv Sena had earlier issued a letter to party MLAs asking them to be present at a meeting at 5 p.m. today (Wednesday) noting that those not present will be considered to be out of the party. Following Thackeray’s Facebook address, Shinde said that it was essential for the Shiv Sena for its survival to get out of the "unnatural alliance". Shinde also said that the rebels’ numbers will rise. “Right now we have 46 MLAs with us, including 67 Independent MLAs. This number will rise in the time to come. As of now we have neither received any proposal from BJP nor are we holding any talks with them,” Shinde said. “As far as the current political situation is concerned, I would say that we are Balasaheb Thackeray's Shiv Sainiks and will continue to be Shiv Sainiks. As of now, we are not holding any talks with Shiv Sena or the CM. We have not decided on the future course of action,” he added. Forty MLAs led by Shinde arrived at a luxury hotel in Guwahati this morning. (See Pg5) FACT FILE WEATHER WOES TOTAL CASES 4,33,31,645 ACTIVE CASES 81,687 NEW CASES Mandaviya to chair review meeting: Amid rising Covid cases in the country, sources have now learned that Union health minister Dr Ma- nsukh Mandaviya will chair a review meeting with the core team of experts on Thursday. Sources have also confirmed that the meeting will be held in physical format tomorrow afternoon. He had urged States/UTs to strengthen the surveillance and focus on genome sequencing for identifying P3 new mutants/variants in the country. Landslide-hit travellers rescued in J&K 12,249 NEW RECOVERIES 9,862 TOTAL DEATHS 5,24,903 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. WEDNESDAY 22 JUNE 2022 Boatmen are seen ferrying tourists across the Dal lake during a cloudy weather, in Srinagar on Wednesday. ANI MUMBAI, 22 JUNE STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE JAMMU, 22 JUNE Following distress calls, the Army on Wednesday evacuated to safe locations more than 300 travelers, including 100 women and children, who were among hundreds of people stranded on the 270 kms strategic Jammu~Srinagar highway due to landslides and shooting stones triggered at several places due to incessant rain. Army has been deployed to assist the civil administration for rescuing the travelers stranded since last evening. Army troops provided food and medical aid to the stranded people. Cold wave condition was being experienced across Jammu and Kashmir because of unseasonal snowfall at higher reaches. Kashmir valley experienced coldest June day in at least past 48 years. Electric supply in many areas has been hit due to damage to the power supply infrastructure. Army’s help has also been sought by the district administration of Rajouri where some migratory shephards at high pastures were “struggling for their survival” due to bad weather and incessant rains. Schools have been shut because of rains, landslides and snow. A powerful earthquake struck a mountainous region of eastern Afghanistan early on Wednesday, killing around 1,000 people and injuring 1,500 more in one of the deadliest quakes in decades, the state-run news agency reported. Officials warned that the toll may still rise. The most affected areas are in Spera District in Khost Province, and Barmala, Ziruk, Naka and Gayan districts in Paktika Province. “We have over 1,000 dead and over 1,500 wounded. Many villages were destroyed,” Amin Huzaifa, the head of the culture and information department of Paktika province, told Sputnik news agency. The quake, measuring 6.1 on the Richter Scale, occurred around 1.30 a.m. local time, the official said.He said that many of the victims are from the Gayan district of the province. According to local officials, helicopter and rescue teams have arrived in the area. Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid said that an emergency cabinet meeting was held today to discuss assistance for the people affected by the earthquake. The disaster posed a major test for the Talibanled government, which seized power last year as the US planned to pull out from the country and end its longest war. Neighbouring Pakistan’s Meteorological Department said the quake’s epicentre was in Afghanistan’s Paktika province, some 50 kilometers southwest of the city of Khost. Buildings were also damaged in Khost province, and tremors were felt some 375 kilometres away in the Pak- In this photo released by a state-run news agency Bakhtar, Afghans look at the destruction caused by an earthquake in the province of Paktika, Afghanistan on Wednesday. AP The earthquake was of magnitude 6.1 at a depth of some 51km, according to seismologists Tremors were felt across more than 500km of Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. Witnesses reported feeling the quake in Kabul as well as Pakistan's capital, Islamabad The disaster poses a major test for the Talibanled govt, which seized power last year istani capital of Islamabad. Footage from Paktika showed men carrying people in blankets to waiting helicopters. Others were treated on the ground. The death toll given by the Bakhtar News Agency was equal to that of a quake in 2002 in northern Afghanistan. Those are the deadliest since 1998, when a 6.1 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tremors in Afghanistan’s remote northeast killed at least 4,500 people. In Kabul, Prime Minister Mohammad Hassan Akhund convened an emergency meeting at the presidential palace to coordinate the relief effort, and Bilal Karimi, a deputy spokesman for the Taliban government, wrote on Twitter to urge aid agencies to send teams to the area. The “response is on its way,” the U.N. resident coordinator in Afghanistan, Ramiz Alakbarov, wrote on Twitter. That may prove difficult given the situation Afghanistan finds itself in today. After the Taliban swept across the country in 2021, the U.S. military and its allies fell back to Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport and later withdrew completely. Many international humanitarian organizations followed suit because of concerns about security and the Taliban’s poor human rights record. The Italian medical aid group Emergency, which still operates in Afghanistan, said it sent seven ambulances and staff to the areas closest to the quake zone. “The fear is that the victims will increase further, also because many people could be trapped under collapsed buildings,” said Stefano Sozza, country director for Emergency in Afghanistan. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif said his nation would provide help. CBI books DHFL promoters in India's digital economy to be `34,615 cr UBI banking fraud worth $1 tn by 2025: PM Modi AGENCIES Loaded trucks headed towards Kashmir caught in landslide on highway. SNS Delhi recorded 928 cases & three deaths in last 24 hours P12 Afghanistan hit by deadliest quake in decades; 1,000 dead Ready to quit as CM, Sena chief : Uddhav MUMBAI, 22 JUNE Min. 56% INDIA ALL-ROUNDER RUMELI DHAR ANNOUNCES RETIREMENT P10 SNS & AGENCIES Max.81% TEMPERATURE ‘BILL COSBY SEXUALLY ABUSED TEENAGER IN 1975’ The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday registered fresh cases against Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Ltd (DHFL) erstwhile promoters Kapil Wadhawan and Dheeraj Wadhawan for defrauding a consortium of banks led by Union Bank of India for Rs 34,615 crore, the biggest banking fraud in the country. CBI has filed an FIR. A senior CBI official informed that searches are underway in 15 locations in Mumbai involving DHFL. The FIR reads that as per the forensic report submitted by KPMG, the Emails obtained by them show that the aforesaid loans/ICDs were disbursed in A senior CBI official informed that searches are underway in 15 locations in Mumbai involving DHFL. favour of the promoter controlled/related/connected entities by DHFL under instructions of the promoters Kapil and Dheeraj. A part of the money was diverted to companies controlled by the erstwhile promoters, Kapil Wadhawan and Dheeraj Wadhawan and Sahana Group, where they also have prima facie financial interest. It further reads that Kapil Wadhawan, Dheeraj Wadhawan, the promoters of DHFL, in conspiracy with others, including public ser- vants, induced the DHFL Consortium Banks to sanction and disburse the loans/ advances/subscription in NCDs aggregating to Rs 42,871.42 crore, dishonestly and fraudulently misappropriated such public funds raised by the said DHFL and diverted the same to the DHFL Group entities/Sahana Group Entities/other parties named above through sanction of fraudulent loans to such entities without due diligence, without obtaining adequate securities, through falsification of books of accounts and deliberately and wilfully defaulted on the loans/advances availed from the DHFL Consortium Banks, thereby causing a wrongful loss of Rs 34,814.88 crore to the DHFL Consortium Banks. STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 22 JUNE India's digital economy will become worth $ one trillion by 2025, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today, adding the kind of digital transformation that was happening in India has never been witnessed anywhere in the world. Addressing the BRICS Business Forum, he said India was expecting 7.5 per cent growth this year, making it the fastest economy. “We have adopted the ‘mantra’ of Reform, Perform and Transform...the performance of the Indian economy through this approach is quite evident,” he added. Modi said technology-led growth was the pillar of India's economic recovery post the pandemic. “We are supporting innovation in every sector. India, he said, has the best ecosystem for innovation and this was reflected in the growth of the start-ups in the country.The PM said India has formulated innovation-friendly policies in sectors like space, blue economy, green hydrogen, clean energy, Geo special and data. Startled Murmu commits to work according to Constitution ASIAN NEWS INTERNATIONAL NEW DELHI, 22 JUNE BJP-led NDA's presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu on Tuesday said she was surprised to learn about her candidature and was unable to believe it and noted that she will work according to the powers of the President enshrined in the Constitution of India. Speaking exclusively to ANI over the phone, she said she will reach out to members of the electoral college for their support. “I am surprised, I was not able to believe it. I am thankful, do not wish to speak much (at this stage),” Droupadi Murmu, a former Jharkhand Governor, said. "Whatever powers are there I am surprised, I was not able to believe it. I am thankful, do not wish to speak much (at this stage) She started her political career as Rairangpur NAC vice-chairman Droupadi Murmu is the first presiden- tial candidate from Odisha of a major political party or alliance In 2007, the Odisha assembly honoured her with 'Nilakantha Award' for best MLA If elected, she will be the first tribal President of India and the country's second female President. of the President in the Constitution, I will work accordingly," she said in response to a query about her priorities if she is elected as president. Asked about the contest with opposition parties on Tuesday declaring former union min- NDA's Presidential candidate Draupadi Murmu offers prayers at Rairangpur Jagannath Temple, in Rairangpur on Wednesday. ANI ister Yashwant Sinha as their presidential nominee, she said there are candidates in the fray and she will seek the support of MPs and MLAs. “There are candidates. Our work is to go to people, reach out to the members of the elec- toral college and seek their cooperation.I will request all parties, states for support,” she said.Murmu was on Tuesday declared BJP-led NDA's presidential candidate. She is a former Odisha minister. Droupadi Murmu is the first presidential candidate from Odisha of a major political party or alliance. She continues to break barriers and was the first woman governor of Jharkhand. She served as Jharkhand Governor from 2015 to 2021.Coming from a poor tribal family in a village of Mayurbhanj, a backward district in Odisha, Droupadi Murmu completed her studies despite challenging circumstances. She taught at Shri Aurobindo Integral Education Centre, Rairangpur. Born on June 20, 1958, she pursued BA at Ramadevi Women's College Bhubaneswar. Droupadi Murmu was a member of the Odisha Legislative Assembly from Rairangpur between 2000 and 2004. As a minister, she held portfolios of Transport and Commerce, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries. Patnaik backs Murmu: Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday appealed to all MLAs in the state to support Draupadi Murmu. "Appeal all the members of Odisha Legislative Assembly, cutting across party lines, to extend unanimous support to elect the daughter of #Odisha - Smt #DraupadiMurmu to the country's highest office," he tweeted. India, he said, has continued its effort toward ease of doing business even in the midst of the pandemic. The PM said the government was also working on making policies and procedures transparent and stable. India was also making huge progress on infrastructure and has formulated a national plan for this purpose. PM to visit Germany for G7 Summit: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will leave for Schloss Elmau in Germany later this week at the invitation of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz for the G7 Summit under the German Presidency on 26-27 June. During the summit, the PM is expected to speak in two sessions that include Environment, Energy, Climate, Food Security, Health, Gender Equality and Democracy. He will hold bilateral meetings with leaders of some of the participating countries. He appealed to the BRICS Business Forum to set up a platform where start-ups from the five-member countries could exchange views. ED accepts Sonia’s request to defer her questioning STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 22 JUNE The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has accepted the request of Congress chairperson Sonia Gandhi to defer her questioning in connection with National Herald case. She was to be questioned on 23 June. As the ED has accepted her request, now she will be given a new date to get her statement recorded. Congress President Sonia Gandhi today wrote to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) seeking the postponement of her appearance before the agency by a few weeks in the National Herald money-laundering case.“Since she has been strictly advised rest at home following her hospitalisation on account of Covid and lung infection, Congress President Sonia Gandhi has written to ED today seeking the postponement of her appearance there by a few weeks till she has recovered completely,” Congress Communication in-charge Jairam Ramesh tweeted. She was discharged from the Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in New Delhi on Monday. She was admitted to the hospital on 12 June with Covid complications.Earlier, Sonia was asked to appear before the ED on 8 June in connection with the moneylaundering case.
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