tirupati l thursday l june 23, 2022 l `9.00 l PAGES 12 l late city EDITION Biden calls for 3-month suspension of fuel tax US President Joe Biden has also called on states to suspend their own gas taxes or provide similar relief, the White House said Consumers to save 3.6% at the pump Move to salvage prez’s low ratings The federal tax on gas is 18.4 cents-a-gallon, while it is 24.4 cents on diesel. In his speech to Congress on Wednesday, Biden will suggest suspending fuel tax till September, the White House said. If the benefits are fully passed on to consumers, it will translate into 3.6% saving at the pump. Biden also called on energy firms to accept lower profit margins to raise oil production ■ White House had been considering a gas tax holiday for months, but held off till now over concerns how Congress will take it. The latest move comes at a time when Biden’s ratings have taken a battering as inflation soared to its highest level since the 1980s and the national average gas price has reached $5 per gallon $10 billion Estimated cost of the three-month tax freeze to the federal government CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOgGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI Shinde rejects Uddhav’s CMship offer Pawar tries to play peacemaker; chief minister issues emotional appeal to the rebels; vacates official residence Rebels ‘elect’ him Sena legislative party leader S u d h i r S u r ya w a n s h i @ Mumbai 1,000 dead in deadly Af quake 1,500 people have been injured and many villages destroyed in the deadliest earthquake in Afghanistan in more than two decades The 6.1-magnitude quake struck around 1.30 am local time, catching many in their sleep Its epicentre was in Paktika province in eastern Afghanistan, not very far from the Pak border Tremors were felt in Pakistan and India as well The toll may rise as many people are still trapped beneath the debris and rescue works are hampered by a lack of machinery Experts blame poor building quality and high population density for the high toll | P9 Over three lakh inter pupils fail to clear exam E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada Over three lakh intermediate first and second year students failed to clear the examination in the academic year 2021-22. Education Minister Botcha Satyanarayana released the intermediate results for general and vocational courses on Wednesday . First year 4,45,604 Students who appeared for the exam 2,41,591 Students who passed SECOND year 4,23,455 Students who appeared for the exam 2,58,449 Students who passed 3,69,019 Total students who failed It was declared that while 54% of the 4,45,604 first year students passed, 61% of the 4,23,455 second year students cleared the public exam. The minister attributed the low pass percentage to the Covid pandemic that has disrupted education systems across the country. It may be noted that exams for intermediate stuJab-o-meter Take your shot June 21 10,50,571 doses June 22 30,20,119 doses Total: 112,91,49,871 dents were conducted for the previous academic year, but all the students were declared passed. Earlier this month, the results for SSC exam were also released and over two lakh Class X students failed to clear it. Girls outperformed the boys once again as 60% girls in the first year and 68% in the second year passed the exam as against 49% boys from the first year and 54% in second year cleared it. The highest of 72% second year students, who passed, were from Krishna district while Kadapa recorded the lowest pass percentage of 50%. For vocational courses, 45% first year students and 55% second year students cleared the exam. The intermediate public examination was conducted between May 6 and 25 and a total of 8,96,059 regular stream students and 72,299 in vocational stream appeared for the exam. The Board of Intermediate Education announced that there will be a provision for the all pupils to apply for recounting and seek a scanned copy cum re-verification of valued P4 answer scripts. NATIONWIDE June 21 June 22 Fresh cases Recoveries Deaths 9,923 12,249 7,293 9,862 17 13 With the Uddhav Thackerayled government in Maharashtra wobbling following a massive revolt in the Shiv Sena, NCP chief Sharad Pawar on Wednesday tried to save it by suggesting rebel leader Eknath Shinde be made the new chief minister to contain the haemorrhage, but the latter promptly rejected the offer. With the writing on the wall, Uddhav vacated Varsha, his official residence in south Mumbai, and left for his family’s Matoshree bungalow in Bandra. Pawar, the chief architect of the three-party Maha Vikas Aghadi, called on Uddhav along with Supriya Sule and housing minister Jitendra Ahwad and proposed that the chief ministership be offered to Shinde while Uddhav stays as party president. His logic was the CM post is part of Shiv Sena’s quota and must stay that way . But Shinde, whose rebel group has numerical majority among lawmakers in the Shiv Sena, rejected the offer, saying has action was in the larger interests of the party, adding there will be compromise with the Hindutva ideology . Earlier in the day, Uddhav made an emotional webcast ap- Atmakur to poll today 2,13,400 VOTERS 14 No of candidates rebels sought to paint the Uddhav government as corrupt, A day after the Shiv Sena sacked pointing to the serious allegarebel leader Eknath Shinde as tions against jailed Aghadi the head of the party in the Ma- leaders Anil Deshmukh and Naharashtra Assembly, his loyal- wab Malik. “The Congress and ists appointed him as the par- the NCP are using their office ty’s legislative party leader and and power to undermine the named a new party base and foundation Four more our Shiv Sena cadre,” whip. After shifting the 34 in Guwahati the resolution alleged. rebel MLAs to Guwa“The Sena is a party Another hati from Surat over- chartered plane with strong ideology night, Shinde sought to with four Sena and was formed for consolidate his posi- MLAs arrived in fighting for the rights tion, as the party brass the Marathi manoos. Guwahati on in Mumbai called a leg- Wednesday to Since the last two-andislative party meeting a-half years, our party join the rebel and threatened to inand its leadership comShiv Sena voke the anti-defection legislators who promised on its princilaw. Shinde’s group ap- reached the city ples. Severing the allipointed Bharat Goga- earlier, sources ance with the BJP has wale as the new party had a tremendous negsaid whip replacing Sunil ative impact on the votPrabhu. ers and party cadre at Shinde claimed he had sup- large,” the resolution read. port of 40 Sena MLAs and that It added that the party’s leadnumbers will go up by and by If . ers were facing tremendous Shinde can prove he has 37 of pressure from their electorate. them with him, then they will “We have been subjected to lot escape the defection law. of criticism for being part of A resolution adopted by the this corrupt government.” E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Mumbai Video grab of rebel Shiv Sena leader Eknath Shinde in Guwahati on Wednesday | pti peal saying he was ready to resign as both CM and party head if the rebels meet him face to face and ask him to do so. But after the speech, Sena leader Sanjay Raut tweeted that they will fight till the last moment. Uddhav admitted that during the pandemic and due to his spinal surgery he could not in, teract with party lawmakers earlier, but was now meeting them. He lauded Pawar and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, with whose party the Sena is in an alliance, saying they were very cooperative and kind. “I am ready to resign as the CM. Our rebelling MLAs should choose a CM from amongst themselves. The CM should be from Shiv Sena... Why speak from Surat and Guwahati, please come to Mumbai and talk to me. If you do not want to The by-election to the Atmakur Assembly constituency will be held under tight security on Thursday meet me, at least call and convey your thoughts,” he said. Rebutting Shinde’s charge on compromising with Hindutva, Uddhav said: “Aditya Thackeray recently went to Ayodhya with Shinde. Hindutva is part of Shiv Sena. I may the first Maharashtra CM who spoken on Hindutva in the state Assembly I am not a person who . will stick with the CM’s chair. I have already written the resignation letter,” said Uddhav adding that he would not like anyone voting from his party against him in the floor test. Uddhav said he was pained that his own people were saying he should not be the CM. He claimed he was not worried about the numbers. “Numbers are not important, people are,” he said trying to tug at the rebels’ heartstrings. 4-phase plan Wadhawans booked `15,000-crore in `34K cr fraud case Adani Green DFL director Sudhakar Shetty along with other accused entered into a crimiTHE CBI has registered a nal conspiracy to cheat the case against Dewan Housing banks. The FIR also names Finance Corporation pro- Amaryllis Realtors LLP Gul, moters Kapil Wadhawan, marg Realtors LLP, Skylark Dheeraj Wadhawan and oth- Buildcon, Darshan Developers for defrauding a ers, Sigtia ConBandra consortium of 17 structions, Creator Books banks to the tune of Builders, Township `34,615 crore, makDevelopers, Shishir DHFL allegedly ing it the biggest Realty, Sunblink maintained as b a n k i n g f r a u d many as 1,81,664 Real Estate and othprobed by the agen- ghost retail loan er unknown percy Following regis- accounts having sons including pub. tration of the case lic servants. liability of over on June 20, the CBI The accused al`14,000 crore, on Wednesday car- which were kept legedly cheated the ried out coordinat- in a parallel set consortium by sied searches on 12 phoning off loans of accounts properties of the database known after creating shell accused in companies. The auas ‘Bandra Mumbai. Books’, officials dit of DHFL acThe CBI action count books showed said follows a complaint the alleged finanfrom the Union Bank of In- cial irregularities, diverted dia, leader of the 17-member funds, fabricated books, consortium which had ex- round tripped funds to “cretended credit facilities to the ate assets for Kapil and tune of `42,871 crore be- Dheeraj Wadhawan” using tween 2010 and 2018. The public money Both are in ju. complaint alleged that the dicial custody in connection Wadhawan brothers and with previous fraud cases. E XPR E SS N E WS S E RVIC E @ New Delhi 1,06,021 Male voters 1,07,368 Women voters 11 3rd genders 279: Polling stations | 131: Vulnerable stations | 1,500: Police personnel Major contenders 2019 Election 2,08,990: YSRC: Mekapati Total voters Vikram Reddy 1,72,288: Turnout BJP: Gundlapalli 82.44: Polling % Bharat Kumar Winner: Mekapati TDP did not field a Gautam Reddy candidate (YSRC) Officers set up polling stations ahead of the by-election in Margin: 22,276 Atmakur constituency, on Wednesday | Express Full story on P4 express read Meet Lejumol, the new boss of 44 elephants High alert in K’seema as govt may rename dist Kochi: Guruvaryur temple’s famous elephant camp, Punnathur Kotta, has got its first woman manager in its 47-year history. C R Lejumol, who took charge on Wednesday, will be responsible for the upkeep of 44 elephants, which were donated by devotees of Lord Krishna | P5 Kakinada: Konaseema police are on high alert as the district may be renamed after BR Ambedkar on June 24. The State Cabinet, which will meet on Friday, might take a decision on the same. Besides the 400-odd police force in the district, an additional 750 officers have been deployed | P4 brahma kumaris human trafficking Murmu’s spiritual calling at Mt Abu 2,219 victims in AP, only two get aid R a j e s h A s n a n i @ Jaipur A wave of excitement swept across the normally sedate Brahma Kumari spiritual fraternity after learning that Droupadi Murmu was set to be the country’s new President. For, Murmu has been a follower and a regular visitor of the Prajapita Brahma Kumari Spiritual University at Mount Abu in Rajasthan. The meditation technique she learnt from them helped her overcome grave personal tragedies in her life, as she unfortunately lost both her sons and husband within just five years. Murmu’s life has been full of struggles, hail as she does from the Santhal tribal community in Odisha. When one of her sons, Laxman, died in an acci- File photo of Droupadi Murmu (C) at the Brahma Kumari HQ in Rajasthan dent in 2009, she went into depression. That was when she went to the Brahma Kumari headquarters to learn Raja Yoga meditation from the sisters there, informed the executive secretary of the institute, B K Mrityunjay . He said Murmu was able to somehow come out of the shock, but then in 2013, her second son, too, died in an acci- dent. And a year later, she lost her husband. “These tragic accidents brought an earthquake in her life, but she held the strings of spirituality so tightly that life got the strength to bear the adversities. She has a deep connection with spirituality and is constantly in touch with the headquarters of our institute,” Mrityunjay said. During an event at the Mt Abu centre, Murmu said, “I come here because brothers and sisters are very dear and I take their positivity and vibrations because the atmosphere here is different.” Many at Mt Abu recall her as saying that “when people change by taking advantage of the value-based education of this institution, then India will rise again. K a r a n a m K a lya n K r i s h n a K u m a r @ Vijayawada OF THE 2,219 victims of human trafficking rescued between 2016 and 2020, only two were awarded compensation to aid their rehabilitation, the State Legal Services Authority (SLSA) has revealed. The victims, both from Kurnool, were provided compensation in 2017-18 and 2018-19, respectively, SLSA said in a response to a query made under the Right to Information Act by Sanjog, a Kolkata-based non-profit. The central government has been allocating funds to the State government for compensating the victims through the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA). In fact, applications made to DLSA were in single digits from 2015 to 2019. Though the SLSA has been working towards creating public awareness by holding several seminars annually, not many have come forward seeking the Compensation provided by APSLSA (as on June 15, 2022) 2021 2020 2019 2018 Total Sanctioned Year J1,62,80,000 J2,93,92,624 J1,11,49,627 J2,09,50,000 J7,77,72,251 Utilised J7,79,00,00 J1,52,30,000 J41,94,136 J93,80,000 J3,65,94,136 0 0 0 0 0 Applications compensation. Officials and other stakeholders, including NGOs, attribute the lesser number of applications to poor awareness among the victims. Though the SLSA has been working towards creating public awareness by holding several seminars annually , not many have come forward seeking the compensation. A research study on ‘Compensate Victims’, published by Sanjog in 2020, held the lack of awareness responsible for human-trafficking victims not seeking the compensation. Lack of SOPs, inadequate coordination among the police, shelter homes and Department of Women and Children in educating the victims, too, have led to the abysmal number of apP5 plications. Project gets SIPB approval E x p r e s s N e w s Se r v i c e @ Vijayawada The 3700 MW pumped storage project of Adani Green Energy was given a nod at the State Investment Promotion Board (SIPB) meeting held under the chairmanship of Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Wednesday . The `15,376 crore project is expected to generate 4,000 jobs. The first phase will be taken up in 2022-23 at a cost of `1,349 crore, second phase in 2023-24 with `6,984 crore, third phase with `5,188 crore and the final phase will be completed in 202526 with `1,855 crore. The MoU for the project was exchanged between the government and the firm on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos. Besides, approvals were also given for various green energy projects, including a 1000 MW plant in Kadapa, 1200 MW in Parvathipuram and 500 MW project in Sathya Sai districts. A nod was also given for the setting up of a garment manufacturing industry by Punctuate World Pvt Ltd at a cost of `50 crore in Pulivendula and Kopparthi. The unit is expected to create 4,200 jobs. An approval was also given for establishing a shrimp processing industry at Mellavelli Food Park in Krishna district at a cost of `150 crore by Avisa Foods Pvt Ltd. The Board also gave clearance for the setting up of a hotel (VVPL) at Tirupati under the Novotel brand with an investment of `126.48 crore. A total of 300 direct jobs and 2,700 indirect jobs are expected to be created. Further, the government has decided to transform Kopparthi electronic park into a textile region apparel park to develop a mega integrated textile region and apparel park in 1,200 acres for producing quality products P4 at an cost.
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