visakhapatnam 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 Locals inspect the damages caused by the earthquake Paktika on Wednesday | pti 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 first and second year students failed to clear the Intermediate Public Examination (IPE) in the academic year 2021-22. Education Minister Botcha Satyanarayana released the intermediate results for general and vocational courses on Wednesday . First year SECOND year 4,45,604 4,23,455 Students who appeared for the exam 2,41,591 2,58,449 Students who passed 69% 72% Highest pass percentage in Krishna dist 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,too, 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 in 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, only 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 his 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 vote 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 whip. Four more our Shiv Sena cadre,” After shifting the 34 in Guwahati the resolution alleged. rebel MLAs to Guwa“The Sena is a party Another hati from Surat overwith strong ideology night, Shinde sought to chartered plane and was formed for consolidate his posi- with four Sena fighting for the rights tion, as the party brass MLAs arrived in the Marathi manoos. Guwahati on in Mumbai called a legSince the last two-andislative party meeting Wednesday to a-half years, our party join the rebel and threatened to inand its leadership comShiv Sena voke the anti-defection promised on its princilaw. Shinde’s group ap- legislators who ples. Severing the allipointed Bharat Goga- reached the city ance with the BJP has wale as the new party earlier, sources 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 CM Uddhav Thackeray after vacating his official residence 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. “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 be the first Maharashtra CM who spoke on Hindutva in the state Assembly . I am not a person who will stick to 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 P7 rebels’ heartstrings. 4-phase plan Wadhawans booked `15,000-crore in `34K cr fraud case Adani Green Sudhakar Shetty along with other accused conspired to cheat the banks. The FIR THE CBI has registered a also names Amaryllis Realcase against Dewan Housing tors LLP, Gulmarg Realtors Finance Corporation pro- LLP Skylark Buildcon, Dar, moters Kapil Wadhawan, shan Developers, Sigtia ConDheeraj Wadhawan and oth- structions, Creator Builders, ers for defrauding a Township DevelopBandra consortium of 17 ers, Shishir Realty, Books banks to the tune of Sunblink Real Es`34,615 crore, maktate and other unDHFL allegedly ing it the biggest known persons inmaintained as b a n k i n g f r a u d many as 1,81,664 c l u d i n g p u b l i c probed by the agen- ghost retail loan servants. cy Following regis- accounts having . The accused altration of the case legedly cheated the liability of over on June 20, the CBI consortium by si`14,000 crore, on Wednesday car- which were kept phoning off loans ried out searches in a parallel set after creating shell on 12 properties of companies. of accounts t h e a c c u s e d i n database known The audit of Mumbai. DHFL account as ‘Bandra The CBI action Books’, officials books showed the follows a complaint firm allegedly comsaid from the Union mitted financial irBank of India, leader of the regularities, diverted funds, 17-member consor tium fabricated books, round which had extended credit tripped funds to “create asfacilities to the tune of sets for Kapil and Dheeraj `42,871 crore between 2010 Wadhawan” using public and 2018. The complaint al- money. Both are in judicial leged that the Wadhawan custody in connection with brothers and DFL director 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 gender 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 Goutham Reddy candidate (YSRC) Ahead of the by-election on Thursday, officers set up polling Margin: 22,276 stations in 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 issue. Besides the 400-odd police force in the district, an additional 750 officers have been deployed | P4 human trafficking brahma kumaris 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 in a span of 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 she 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, re- Year 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 spectively, 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. Break-down of applications filed to avail aid Received Disposed Pending All Human All Human All Human crimes Trafficking crimes Trafficking crimes Trafficking 146 0 47 0 381 0 42 0 28 0 7 0 59 1 37 1 22 0 128 1 46 1 75 0 Officials and other stakeholders, including NGOs, attribute the lesser number of applications to poor awareness among the victims on the compensation. 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 aid. Lack of standard operating procedures, inadequate coordination among the police, shelter homes and Department of Women and Children in educating the victims, too, have led to the abysmal P5 number of applications. 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 plant 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 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 brand Novotel 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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23-06-2022 of The New Indian Express-Vishakapatnam