YK MYK WEATHER TODAY MAX 28 C MIN 18 C PROTECTING INDIA CONSTITUTION IS SACRED DUTY OF ALL DEMOCRATS OPINION Sky will be partly cloudy. KOLKATA THURSDAY, 26 NOV, 2020 PG-12, YEAR—7, ISSUE—189 (RNI NO: WBENG / 2014 / 56803) SENIOR CONGRESS LEADER AHMED PATEL PASSES AWAY AT 71 NEW DELHI: Senior Congress leader and the party's top strategist Ahmed Patel died in a Gurugram hospital on Wednesday due to multi-organ failure. He was suffering from complications related to COVID-19. Patel (71), who was critical for a few days, was admitted to the Medanta hospital in Gurugram on November 15 after he developed complications. His son Faisal said he died at 3.30 am. PG 7 BANKING OPS TO BE HIT TODAY DUE TO STRIKE CHENNAI: Banking operations will be affected across the country on Thursday with about 4.5 lakh bank employees joining the nationwide strike called by the central trade unions, said a top official of the AIBEA. PREFIX '0' FOR ALL LANDLINE TO MOBILE CALLS FROM JAN 15 NEW DELHI: From January 15, callers will have to dial numbers with prefix '0' for making calls from landline to mobile phone. Announcing the decision, the communications ministry said the move would free up sufficient numbering resources for future use, and nearly 2,539 million numbering series are expected to be generated as a result. There will be no change with respect to dialling numbers for fixed-to fixed, mobileto-fixed. CORONA METER INDIA TOTAL CASES: 9,227,682 TOTAL DEATH: 134,808 WORLD TOTAL CASES: 60,275,210 TOTAL DEATH: 1,418,320 SPORTS Morning India Rs. 3 AT A GLANCE IND VS AUS: NOBODY CAN FILL DHONI'S BOOTS, SAYS RAHUL Jail IG orders probe into Lalu audiotape case SANJAY SAHAY RANCHI: The BJP has demanded an inquiry and legal action against RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, convicted in the fodder scam and lodged at RIMS Director's bungalow, after an audio clip related to him has surfaced. Lalu is purportedly speaking to BJP MLA Lalan Paswan in Bihar from his camp jail in Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) asking him to abstain from voting during the Bihar Speaker's elections on Wednesday. Amidst the political outcry, Inspector General (prisons) Birendra Bhushan has ordered Birsa Munda Central jail authorities to carry out an inquiry into the incident. Bhushan has also asked the district administration to conduct an investigation at their level. Bhushan said, "I will report the matter to the home secretary if any truth is found." It may be stated here that in the audio Lalu is allegedly offering the BJP MLA a ministerial post after Mahgahthbandhan comes to power. Lalu who is undergoing jail term in fodder scam cases is prohibited from using mobile phones. He is presently lodged in Kelly bungalow in RIMS for treatment of various ailments. BJP leader Babulal Marandi said that luring a BJP MLA over the phone amounts to horse-trading. The state government should immediately register a criminal case in this connection, he stated, adding Lalu should be shifted to another place. Marandi said that the manner a convict is being given such liberty shows that there is no law and order in the state. Marandi appealed BJP, RJD fight over audio clip of 'Lalu's telephonic talk with MLA' PATNA: Amid the election of a new Bihar Assembly Speaker on Wednesday, the ruling BJP and opposition RJD were involved in a political slugfest over an audio clip of an alleged telephonic talk of jailed RJD leader Lalu Prasad with an NDA MLA. While the BJP claimed that Lalu Prasad was luring National Democratic Alliance MLAs with ministerial posts, the opposition RJD rubbished the charge and even questioned the authenticity of the said clip. Even as the audio clip was circulating on the social media, MLA Lallan Paswan -- who features on the clip -- vouched for its genuineness on Wednesday. Paswan is the BJP MLA from Pirpaiti in Bhagalpur district. "Everything is recorded. I thought everybody is congratulating me on the victory, so they are also going to do the same," he said, adding that he was at Sushil Kumar Modi's residence when he received the call. that the High Court and the Supreme Court should take suo moto cognizance of the issue. BJP state president Deepak Prakash said the BJP has been raising the issue of flouting of jail norms by Lalu for past many days, adding the facts have also come out now. After failing to form a government in Bihar, Lalu has turned Jharkhand into a place for hatching conspiracy to topple the NDA government in a neighboring state. The state government should hold an inquiry into the incident or else BJP workers would take to the street. Meanwhile, a BJP leader is gearing up to file a PIL in the High Court in this regard on Thursday. BJP state spokesman Pratul Sahdeo said that he would write to the home ministry for inquiry if the state government fails to act on the issue. It may be stated here that the phone number on which Lalu supposedly talked to Paswan belongs to one of his sewadars Irfan Ansari. Ansari is the main link between Lalu and the visitors at the RIMS. Ansari was made the state general secretary of RJD a few months back. ED files supplementary prosecution complaint against firms NEW DELHI: Enforcement Directorate (ED) has filed a Supplementary Prosecution Complaint under Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) before the Special Judge (PMLA), Ranchi against M/s Classic Coal Construction Private Ltd, M/s Classic Multiplex Private Ltd and their directors namely Dilip Kumar Singh and Kumar Pranav in a case of bitumen scam in Jharkhand. The prosecution complaint has been filed before the Court with a prayer for the confiscation of attached properties totalling Rs 1.83 crore apart from awarding punishment to the accused persons. The attached assets include three immovable properties in the form of commercial property and residential property, both at Ranchi and a plot in Ramgarh, held in the name of M/s Classic Coal Construction Pvt, Ltd., M/s Classic Multiplex Private Ltd and the erstwhile Managing Director of the Company, late Pawan Kumar Singh, according to an official release. ED initiated investigations under PMLA on the basis of four FIRs and charge sheets filed by ACB, CBI, Ranchi under sections 120B, 420, 468, 471 of IPC, 1860 and section 13 (2) r/w 13(1) (d) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 against M/s Classic Coal Constructions Pvt. Ltd. and its directors Pawan Kumar Singh, Dilip Kumar Singh, 22 Engineers of RCD Department, Government of Jharkhand and two others. Ignoring the mandate to procure bitumen from the Govt. undertaking oil companies viz. HPCL, IOCL, BPCL, etc., the directors of the company submitted 492 fake/forged invoices pertaining to HPCL, Ramnagar, West Bengal, to the RCD Dept. showing procurement of 4,630 MT of bitumen for road works and got payment in connivance with the departmental engineers on strength of these fake/forged bills to the tune of Rs 6.88 crore. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee in a public meeting at Bankura Sunuk Pahari on Wednesday, MHA rejects lockdown possibilities, issues SOPs NEW DELHI: In the wake of ongoing Covid-19 cases, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Wednesday issued a 19-point Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) giving nod to states and UTs to impose local restrictions if necessary. The SOPs, part of a month-long guidelines issued by the MHA, will be effective from December 1 and will remain in force up to December 31. States and Union Territories (UTs) have been allowed to impose night curfew but "shall not be allowed impose any local lockdown outside the containment zones, without prior consultation with the Centre". Staggered office timings and othe suitable measures shall be implemented in the cities with the positivity rate Covid-19 infection rising in Bengal KOLKATA: The COVID-19 toll in West Bengal rose to 8,172 after 51 more people succumbed to the disease on Wednesday, the bulletin released by the state health department said. The tally mounted to 4,66,991 with 3,528 fresh cases of infection were reported from different districts of the state, it added. The discharge rate bettered to 92.95 per cent after 3,605 recoveries were registered in the state. Accordingly, the active cases stood at 24,752. Since Tuesday, 44,631 samples have been tested in the state, it added. 316 DEFEAT VIRUS, 237 NEW CASES IN STATE RANCHI: The State on Wednesday reported 237 cases of Covid-19 taking the total tally to 108158. Among the samples tested positive, 92 cases were reported from Ranchi, 5 from Chaibasa, 1 from Koderma, 38 from Jamshedpur, 3 from Palamu, 12 from Ramgarh, 11 from Deoghar, 18 from Bokaro, and 3 from Saraikela. Medical Staff collects the swab sample in Mumbai on Wednesday. ANI in 10 per cent so as to ensure social distancing. The MHA has also not restricted any inter-state or intra-state movement. People above 65-years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women and children below the age of 10 years have been adivsed to stay home while advising the general public to use Aarogya Setu mobile application. The district authorities have been asked to carefully demarcate containment zones considering prescribed MoHFW guidelines. The authorities have also been asked to notify the list of con- tainment zones on the website of respective district collectors. While only essential activities shall be allowed in the containment zones, strict perimeter control will be there to ensure that there is no movement of people, except for medical emergencies and for maintaining supply of essential services. There shall be intensive house-to-house surveillance by surveillance teams formed for the purpose. Testing shall be carried out as per prescribed protocol. Listing of contacts shall be carried out in respect of all persons found positive, along with their tracking, identification, quarantine and follow up of contacts for 14 days (80 per cent of contacts to be traced in 72 hours). MORE ON PG 5 Lakshmi Vilas Bank will cease to exist from tomorrow Cabinet nod for amalgamation with DBS Bank India CHENNAI: From November 27, the 94-year-old Karurheadquartered Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB) will cease to exist officially and be amalgamated with DBS Bank India Ltd, a subsidiary of DBS Bank, Singapore. The Central government on Wednesday notified in the official gazette that the Lakshmi Vilas Bank Limited (Amalgamation with DBS Bank India Limited) Scheme, 2020 will come into force on November 27. As announced earlier by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in its draft scheme of amalgamation, the Central government has notified: "On and from the appointed date, the entire amount of the paid-up share capital and reserves and surplus, including the balances in the shares or securities premium account of the transferor bank, shall stand written off." "On and from the appointed date (November 27, 2020), the transferor bank shall cease to exist by operation of this Scheme, and its shares or debentures listed in any stock exchange shall stand delisted without any further action from the transferor bank, transferee bank or order from any authority," the notification states. As per the amalgamation scheme, all the employees of the LVB shall continue in service and be deemed to have been appointed in DBS Bank India at the same remuneration and on the same terms and conditions of service, as were applicable to such employees immediately before the close of business on November 17 - the day when the LVB board was superseded and an administrator was appointed. A university should support local products, says PM Modi NEW DELHI: At the centennial foundation day celebrations of the University of Lucknow, Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggested why the university could not do an analysis of local skills, courses related to local products and skill development in the district. Prime Minister Modi also released a special stamp and Rs 100 coin to commemorate the Centennial Foundation Day of the University of Lucknow. Speaking through video conference, PM Modi said, "I am told that new research centres have been established by the University. But I want to make some suggestions: Why shouldn't the university analyse local skills and courses related to local products and skills development in districts falling under its academic limits?" "The university can do research on local products and modern solutions needed for value addition. Branding, marketing, and strategies related to the management of the local products can be part of your course," he said. "This will also help the government in policymaking and the goal of one district, one product will be realised with this," he said. The Prime Minister also spoke about working as per the available potential. He said, "The problem that had been with us was that we do not realise our potential. One such example is the Raebareli Rail Coach Factory. Many years ago investment was done, infrastructure was made and announcements were made to make rail coaches. But for many Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses during the Centennial Foundation Day of the University of Lucknow, through video conferencing in New Delhi on Wednesday. years only denting and painting work was going on there. The coaches were made in Kapurthala. In Raebareli, painting and other finishing work was done. The factory had the potential to manufacture coaches but work was not done accordingly." "After 2014, we changed the thought process and way of working and the result was that within months, the first coach was made and now hundreds of coaches are getting ready every year. Uttar Pradesh will be proud as in near future the world's biggest rail coach factory will be the Raebareily rail coach factory," the Prime Minister added. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday expressed his condolences over the demise of veteran Congress leader "THE UNIVERSITY CAN DO RESEARCH ON LOCAL PRODUCTS AND MODERN SOLUTIONS NEEDED FOR VALUE ADDITION. BRANDING, MARKETING, AND STRATEGIES RELATED TO THE MANAGEMENT OF THE LOCAL PRODUCTS CAN BE PART OF YOUR COURSE," HE SAID. Ahmed Patel in the wee hours of Wednesday. The Prime Minister said that Patel's role in strengthening the Congress party would always be remembered. In a tweet, the Prime Minister said that he has spoken to Patel's son Faisal and expressed condolences. "Saddened by the demise of Ahmed Patel Ji. He spent years in public life, serving society. Known for his sharp mind, his role in strengthening the Congress Party would always be remembered. Spoke to his son Faisal and expressed condolences. May Ahmed Bhai's soul rest in peace," PM Modi tweeted. Senior Congress leader Patel, who was undergoing treatment at a Gurugram hospital after testing positive for the COVID19, breathed his last after multiorgan failure in the wee hours of Wednesday, his son Faisal confirmed. In a tweet, Faisal said that the Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat died at 3.30 am on Wednesday.