FRIDAY www.thestatesman.com 22 JULY 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 GAUTAM ADANI NOW FOURTH RICHEST ON FORBES LIST ‘PUNJAB WILL BE SOON FREE OF GANGSTERS, DRUG PEDDLERS’ P3 WEATHER GENERALLY CLOUDY SKY. LIGHT TO MODERATE RAIN/THUNDERSHOWERS. THE MAXIMUM AND MINIMUM TEMPERATURES WOULD BE AROUND 33 AND 25 DEGREES CELSIUS RESPECTIVELY. ITALY’S DRAGHI RESIGNS P8 P10 SINGHRAJ GETS 2 GOLD MEDALS IN PARA-SHOOTING WORLD CUP P12 Murmu is 15th President of India The former Jharkhand governor will be the first tribal to be elevated to the top office RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max: 98% Min: 68% TEMPERATURE Max: 33.1°C (-2) SUN RISES 05:38 hrs MOON RISES 01:06 hrs Min: 24.5°C (-3) SUN SETS 19:18 hrs MOON SETS 14:09 hrs THUMBNAILS SUBRATA DUTTA/SNS STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 21 JULY School children hold on to iron cables as they cross a nearly-collapsed bridge at Banola area of ANI Mendhar in Poonch district on Thursday. 'Airlines can't charge additional fee for issuing boarding pass': The Civil Aviation Ministry said on Thursday that airlines can't charge any additional fee for issuing boarding pass at check-in counters in airports. Many Airlines currently charge a fee of Rs 200 if a passenger wants the boarding pass to be issued at the check-in counter instead of going for web check-in."It has come to the notice of the MoCA (Ministry of Civil Aviation) that airlines are charging additional amount from the passengers for issuing boarding passes," the ministry said. 60 pilots, 150 cabin crew failed breath analyzer test: A total of 60 pilots and 150 cabin crew members tested positive following the breath analyzer (BA) test in the last two and a half years. Breath Analyzer tests are conducted to ensure aviation safety is not compromised due to the consumption of alcohol by pilots and cabin crews. N DA nominee Droupadi Murmu was today elected as the 15th President of India after she trounced joint Opposition candidate and former Union minister Yashwant Sinha, thus becoming the first-ever leader from the tribal community to hold the highest constitutional post in the country. Murmu secured victory in the Presidential poll on Thursday after the third round of counting as out of the 3,219 valid votes counted , she bagged 2,161 while Opposition's nominee Yashwant Sinha got 1,058. The former Jharkhand governor will take oaths of office and secrecy on 25 July with the tenure of outgoing president Ram Nath Kovind ending on 24 July. Out of 736 electors com- VOTE SHARE Droupadi Yashwant Murmu Sinha 64% prising 727 MPs and nine MLAs permitted by the Election Commission to vote at the Parliament house, 728 (719 MPs and nine MLAs) cast their votes in the presidential election held on 18 July. The total turnout at the Parliament House was 98.91 per cent. Celebrations erupted across the country as soon as Murmu's victory in the presidential election was announced by the Rajya Sabha Secretary General. The 64-year-old Murmu hails from India’s poorest but the resource-rich state of Odisha. She spent her childhood in Mayurbhanj district and used to work as a teacher. She earlier served as India keeping watch on Chinese activity near Doklam STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 21 JULY Reacting to reports that China was making inroads close to the Doklam plateau, India today asserted that it kept a constant watch on all developments having a bearing on the country's security and took all necessary steps to safeguard the same. ''We will take all possible steps for the security of the nation,'' Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said at a media briefing. New satellite images have indicated that a Chinese hamlet that was constructed 9 km east of the Doklam plateau, the place Indian and Chinese forces clashed in 2017, is now fully populated, with cars parked at virtually every residence. The village, which Beijing refers to as Pangda, is notable for being fully inside Bhutanese territory. On the military-level talks held between India and China held on Saturday over the stand-off in eastern Ladakh, the spokesperson pointed out that the two sides have already issued a joint statement. India, he said, would like disengagement of troops, followed by disengagement, which would help in normalisation of ties between the two countries. India desired more diplo- 36% matic and military-level meetings to resolve the stand-off. The India-China joint statement on the 16th round of the Corps Commander level meeting held at the Chushul-Moldo border meeting point on the Indian side stated that the two sides reaffirmed that the resolution of remaining issues would help in the restoration of peace and tranquility along the LAC in the Western Sector and enable progress in bilateral relations. In the interim, the two sides agreed to maintain the security and stability on the ground in the Western Sector. The two sides agreed to stay in close contact and maintain dialogue through military and diplomatic channels and work out a mutually acceptable resolution of the remaining issues at the earliest. the governor of Jharkhand from 2015 to 2021. She was the longest-serving governor of the mineral-rich state which came into existence in 2000. Her political journey began when she was elected as a councillor from Rairangpur in 1997. She then contested successfully on BJP tickets and became MLA from Rairangpur in 2000 and then in 2009. From 2000 to 2002, the 64-year-old was made minister of state with independent charge for Commerce and Transport in the Odisha government, which was run by a coalition of BJP and the regional party BJD. Then from 2002 and 2004, she was given the Fisheries and Animal Resources Development portfolio. She had also served as the vice-president of BJP’s Scheduled Tribes Morcha in Odisha between 2006 and 2009 and was elected party president in the Mayurbhanj district several times. Sinha congratulates Murmu NEW DELHI, 21 JULY Yashwant Sinha, the Joint Opposition candidate, today congratulated his rival Droupadi Murmu on her victory in the presidential election, saying he hoped like every Indian that she would function as the''Custodian of Constitution'' without fear or favour on becoming the 15th President of India. ''I join fellow countrymen in extending best wishes to her,'' he said and thanked the leaders of Opposition political parties for choosing him as their consensus candidate in the election. He also thanked all members of the electoral college who voted for him in the election. Despite the outcome of the election, Sinha, a former Union minister, said he believed it has benefited Indian democracy in two Several senior Congress leaders and workers were detained as they staged demonstrations in different parts of the country today to express solidarity with party chief Sonia Gandhi who appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the National Herald case. Carrying placards in support of Sonia, the Congress workers shouted slogans against the Modi regime alleging that the ruling dispensation was indulging in political vendetta against its adversaries and misusing government agencies. Party leaders and activists started converging at the AICC headquarters in New Delhi early in the morning to hold protest demonstrations. The Delhi Police had a tough time controlling the protestors at several places and had to divert traffic on major routes. Among those who were detained while demonstrating were Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and P Chidambaram, Ajay Maken, Manickam Tagore, KC Venugopal, Adhir Ranjan Chaudhry, Shashi Tharoor, Sachin Pilot, Harish Rawat. "All Congress MPs and CWC Members have courted mass arrest outside our Party HQs in a show of collective solidarity with Congress President Sonia Gandhi, a target of Vishguru's political vendetta. We are being taken away to a police station in Old Delhi evidently," said party communication incharge Jairam Ramesh. The Opposition parties, meanwhile, released a joint statement condemning the BJP for "misusing'' central agencies. "The Modi government has unleashed a relent- STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 21 JULY Prime Minister Narendra Modi today congratulated Droupadi Murmu on her election as the 15th President of India, saying India has scripted history and she has emerged as a ray of hope for Indian citizens, especially the poor, marginalised and the downtrodden. Modi visited Murmu soon after the results in the presidential election were announced. He presented a bouquet of flowers to the next president and spoke to her for about ten minutes. BJP chief J P Nadda was also present at the meeting the PM had with Murmu. ''At a time when 1.3 billion Indians are marking Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, a daughter of India hailing from a tribal community born in a remote part of eastern India has been elected our President!'' Modi tweeted. The PM noted that Murmu Trinamool to abstain from voting in Vice Presidential poll SNS & AGENCIES KOLKATA, 21 JULY In a big blow to Opposition unity ahead of the vice-presidential polls, Trinamool Congress (TMC) General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee on Thursday said that the party will abstain from voting in the upcoming Vice Presidential poll scheduled on August 6. The decision was taken on Thursday afternoon at a meeting chaired by party supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, which was attended by 33 out of the 35 Trinamool MPs. "Each member was given the opportunity to present his/her views in front of the Chief Minister. Thereafter, 85 per cent of the MPs present at the meeting voiced in favour of abstaining from voting in the Vice Presidential poll," Trinamool's national General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee told media persons after the meeting. He said while the question of supporting NDA nominee Jagdeep Dhankhar does not arise, Trinamool has strong objections to the opposition parties announcing the candidature of Margaret Alva as their candidate without con- Cong holds nation-wide protests against ED quizzing Sonia STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 21 JULY important ways. First, it brought most Opposition parties on a common platform. This, he said, was indeed the need of hour and appealed to them to continue Opposition unity beyond the presidential poll. Second, he said that in the course of his election campaign, he tried to highlight views and concerns of the Opposition on major issues before the nation and the common people. In particular, Sinha said he voiced strong concern over the ''blatant and rampant weaponisation'' of the ED, CBI, IT and even the office of the governor against the Opposition parties and their leaders. These institutions, he alleged, were also being misused to engineer defections and topple Opposition-run state governSNS ments. Murmu a ray of hope for poor, marginalised & downtrodden:PM Modi less vendetta against political opponents through misuse of investigative agencies by targeting prominent leaders of various parties. We will intensify our fight against the anti-people Modi Sarkar," said the statement signed by over a dozen parties. Apart from New Delhi, the Congress workers staged demonstrations in various state capitals and other major cities like Patna, Jaipur, Nagpur and Jammu. Congress MPs also held protests in Parliament against the Central government over the questioning of their party chief. The Congress MPs marched from Gate No 2 to the Gandhi Statue in the Parliament House. The protest was organised soon after the Upper House was adjourned till 12 amid Opposition ruckus. ED grills Sonia for over 3 hours: Sonia Gandhi today appeared before the ED in connection with the National Herald case. Accompanied by her daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Sonia reached the ED office in the national capital a little after noon accompanied by her security guards. the national capital. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also arrived at the ED office. Her questioning began around 12:30 pm after the completion of some formalities like verification of summons and signatures on the attendance sheet. The ED recorded Sonia's statement for two hours and ended the session for the day. sulting the Trinamool leadership or Mamata Banerjee. "Discussions were on with us over some probable names as the opposition candidate. But we were surprised in the manner in which suddenly a meeting of some opposition parties was convened at the residence of NCP chief Sharad Pawar after which the name of Margaret Alva was announced as the opposition candidate. "We have nothing against Margaret Alva. Mamata Banerjee shares a good relationship with her. But the point is her name was announced without consulting the Trinamool leadership," said Abhishek Banerjee. When asked if Trinamool's decision will adversely impact the anti-BJP opposition unity in the country, Abhishek Banerjee said that opposition unity is not that fragile and it doesn't depend on voting in the Presidential or Vice Presidential polls. Meanwhile, just before Dhankhar was declared V-P candidate, Mamata Banerjee had a three-hour meeting with him at the Darjeeling Governor's House along with Assam CM Hemanta Biswa Sarma. Dhankhar will face Opposition candidate veteran Congress leader and former Union minister Margaret Alva in the August 6 Vice Presidential election. NCP chief Sharad Pawar announced on Sunday, "We have unanimously decided to field Margaret Alva as our joint candidate for the post of Vice President." The decision came after the opposition party leaders met in New Delhi at Sharad Pawar's residence to select a joint VP candidate. ‘Govt blocked 94 YouTube channels, 19 social media accounts in 2021-22’ SNS & AGENCIES NEW DELHI, 21 JULY Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur said on Thursday that in 2021-22, the min- istry took strong action against YouTube channels working against the interest of the country. Responding to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Thakur said the ministry acted against 94 YouTube channels, 19 social media accounts and 747 URLs and got them blocked. "These actions were taken under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act," he said. The minister added that the government acted strongly against agencies working against the sovereignty of the country by spreading fake news and propaganda on the internet. has been an outstanding MLA and minister. She had an excellent tenure as Jharkhand Governor. He said he was certain she would be an outstanding president who would lead from the front and strengthen India's development journey. He also thanked all those MPs and MLAs across party lines who supported Murmu’s candidature in the election. ''Her record victory augurs well for our democracy,'' he added. It was Modi's personal decision to field Murmu in the election to the highest constitutional post in the country. Soon after she was nominated as the NDA's presidential candidate, Modi expressed confidence that she would be a "great President" in view of her performance as the Governor of Jharkhand. The PM was also impressed with her understanding of policy matters and compassionate nature. India reports 21,566 new COVID-19 cases in last 24 hours NEW DELHI ,21 JULY India recorded 21,566 fresh COVID-19 infections in the last 24 hours, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare informed on Thursday. With the new infections, India's active caseload currently stands at 1,48,881. The daily positivity rate was recorded at 4.25 per cent while the weekly positivity rate was at 4.51 per cent. The Ministry further said that the current recovery rate from COVID-19 infection in the country is at 98.46 per cent as India saw 18,294 recoveries in the last 24 hours, which took the total recoveries to 4,31,50,434. Under the nationwide vaccination drive, India has administered a total of 200.91 crore vaccine doses against the Covid-19 infection, which included 92.77 crore second doses and 6.34 crore precaution doses. In the last 24 hours, India administered 29,12,855 COVID-19 vaccine doses. SNS & AGENCIES FACT FILE TOTAL CASES 4,38,25,185 ACTIVE CASES 1,48,881 NEW CASES 21,566 NEW RECOVERIES 18,924 TOTAL DEATHS 5,25,870 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. THURSDAY 21 JULY 2022 Delhi recorded 649 cases and 1 death
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