YK MYK WOMEN ARE PLAYING A LEADING ROLE IN GRASSROOTS DEMOCRACY OPINION Rs. 5 RANCHI MONDAY, 8 MARCH, 2021 PG-12, YEAR—10, ISSUE—302 (RNI NO: JHAENG / 2012 / 44137) WEATHER TODAY MAX 34 C MIN 19 C HEATED DEBATE LIKELY IN RS AS OPPN PLANS TO CORNER GOVT NATION Morning India Pawar blames PM for neglecting farmer’s issues MITHUN CHAKRABORTY JOINS BJP RALLY IN KOLKATA Reveals how Dhoni was made captain in 2007 SANJAY SAHAY Sky will be clear. AT A GLANCE COVID PANDEMIC IN ENDGAME IN INDIA: HARSH VARDHAN NEW DELHI: Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan stated on Sunday that the Covid19 pandemic which brought the whole world to its knees is in the endgame here in India, given that the people adhere to three steps. "We are in the endgame of the COVID-19 pandemic in India and to succeed at this stage, we need to follow three steps - Keep politics out of the COVID-19 vaccination drive, trust the science behind Covid-19 vaccines, and ensure our near and dear ones get vaccinated on time," he said. BLAST KILLS 18 IN SYRIA'S HAMA HAMA: The explosion of two mines, planted by terrorists, in the east of Syria's Hama province killed at least 18 people on Sunday, state-run news agency SANA reported. The blast also injured three other people. According to SANA, the incident occurred in the Wadi Al-Azib area of Hama not far from Salamiyah city. CORONA METER INDIA TOTAL CASES: 1,12,23,981 TOTAL DEATH: 157,838 WORLD TOTAL CASES: 117,191,869 TOTAL DEATH: 2,601,652 RANCHI: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar on Sunday criticised Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi and the BJP for allegedly ignoring the farmer’s demands despite the latter’s prolonged agitation on the borders of Delhi. He also blamed the BJP for spreading communal feelings in the country. Addressing state-level worker’s meet of his party at Harmu ground in Ranchi on Sunday, Pawar said the PM has time to attend elections rallies in West Bengal and performing other works but he and his party have no time to address the issue of farmers who are staging agitation on the outskirts of New Delhi for past 100 days demanding the withdrawal of farm laws. The NCP chief said that the entire BJP organisation including the PM, home minister Amit Shah, chief ministers and over 50 leaders are campaigning in Bengal to dislodge Mamata Bannerjee-led government, which has done good work during the last five years. He said that the central Sharad Pawar at NCP rally in Ranchi on Sunday. government is also using the administrative machinery against the opposition parties, adding the enforcement directorate and the CBI are being misused in this regard. In an important revelation, Pawar spoke on how MS Dhoni, who has led the Indian team to new heights, became captain of the Indian team. He said that during the England tour in 2007, captain Rahul Dravid approached him and expressed a desire to step down from the post. Pawar said that Dravid reasoned that the responsibility of the captain was affecting his batting. Pawar said that when he asked Sachin to take China talks peace, partnership, prosperity with India NEW DELHI/BEIJING: China on Sunday talked peace, partnership and prosperity with India, insisting that it is committed to settling the boundary dispute with New Delhi through dialogue and consultations. After troops of both countries disengaged along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh last month, New Delhi had warned Beijing over a week ago that it was not in the interest of either side to prolong the remaining boundary issues. At his annual press meet, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Sunday said that the right and wrongs of what happened in the border area last year are clear, so are the stakes involved. "It again proves initiating confrontation will not solve the problem. Returning to peaceful negotiation is the right way forward," he said. China's position, he said, is very clear. "We are committed to settling the boundary dispute through dialogue and consultations," he said, adding that at the same time the Xi Jinping regime has resolved to safeguard its sovereign rights and interest. The foreign minister said, "China and India are each other's friends and partners and not threats and rivals. Both need to help each other succeed instead of undercut- CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTER WANG YI ting each other, we should intensify cooperation instead of harboring suspicion over each other." The boundary dispute, an issue left from history, is not the whole story of the ChinaIndia relationship, he said. "It is important that the two sides manage the dispute properly and at the same time expand and enhance cooperation to create enabling conditions for settlement of the issue." Following the disengagement along the LAC in Pangong Tso area, there has been no progress over other disputes in Gogra-Hot Springs area, Demchok and Depsang plains. However, on Sunday, Wang said it falls on both sides to solidify existing consensus, strengthen dialogue and communication and improve the various management mechanisms. over the responsibility the latter also refused. Sachin, however, suggested the name of Dhoni for the post. While mentioning that residents from Jharkhand, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and other states come to Maharashtra for livelihood he said the people of Jharkhand have played a major role in building his state. While seeking support for NCP, Pawar assured that his party would be always ready to solve their problems Prafull Patel said that NCP has to become a dominant force in Jharkhand adding it is possible with honest efforts. INDIA ORDERS ASSAM RIFLES TO PREVENT INFLUX FROM MYANMAR KOLKATA: The Union Home Ministry has asked the paramilitary Assam Rifles to prevent any Myanmar national from crossing into Indian territory and push back any found attempting to cross over. The Assam Rifles guards the India-Myammar border in the northeast, while the BSF guards the border with Bangladesh. Top sources in the paramilitary force said that the "instructions from the top" was clear and unambiguous -- no Myanmar national should be allowed to enter India without valid visa or travel permit. The IndiaMyanmar border has a Free Movement Regime (FMR) which allows tribes living along the border to travel 16 km across either side without visa restrictions and on a simple permit issued by local authorities. There are over 250 villages with over 300,000 people living within 10 km of the border who frequently cross through 150 small and large formal and informal crossings. Swiss Open: Sindhu loses in final BASEL: Reigning badminton world champion P.V. Sindhu on Sunday crashed to a 1221, 5-21 defeat to Spanish Olympic champion and world No. 3 Carolina Marin in the final of the Swiss Open Super 300 tournament. Sindhu, who came into the final without dropping a game, matched the Spaniard in the opening exchanges of the first game. Marin took a 2-0 lead early on after which Sindhu made it 2-2. However, after 6-6, Marin started putting distance between herself and her opponent. Sindhu kept her in her sights, however, and Marin was leading 11-8 at the interval in the first game. Marin then came into her own in the second half of the first game, racing to a 15-8 lead before Sindhu pulled two points back. The threetime world champion, how- ever, had her foot on the pedal now and went on to get nine game points with a 20-11 lead.Sindhu managed to win one more point but a backhand error in the next game allowed Marin to take it 21-12. Marin was imperious in the second game, winning the first five points on the trot before a loose backhand gave Sindhu her first point. Sindhu then won the next point with an inch-perfect smash down the line after which Marin raced all the way to lead 11-2 at the interval. She continued winning points after the break until it was 14-2 when Sindhu nibbled back a point. However, the latter would get her next two points only after Marin had reached 19 after which the Spaniard got to a whopping 15 match points. SEE SPORTS Bengali Film Superstar Mithun Chakraborty greets Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a public rally at Brigade Parade Ground in Kolkata on Sunday. TMC’S ‘KHELA’ OVER: PM KOLKATA: In a sharp rebuttal to Trinamool Congress' 'Khela Hobe' (Game On) slogan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that because of the corruption and loot in Mamata Banerjee's government, her party's game is over and the BJP's lotus will bloom in West Bengal. Addressing a public rally in Kolkata's Brigade Parade Ground, the Prime Minister said 'Didi' Mamata Banerjee changed over the years, and not is being 'controlled' by somebody. "Nothing is hidden. Bengal knows everything. But this Khel (game) will not continue. Khel Khatam hona chahiye (this game must stop)...TMC ka Khela khatam, Vikas Shuru (TMC's game is over, development has started)...vote for BJP fearlessly, vote against bad governance," the Prime Minister said. Taking a dig at TMC, he said people of the opponent party are experienced people and play a lot. "They have done innumerable corruption and looted the people of Bengal. They have even loot- ed the relief money sent for Amphan cyclone." He said that TMC did "Tolabaazi, syndicate, commission cut" during its tenure, and the ruling party during its tenure did so many scams that a 'Corruption Olympics' game can be organised here. "You have played with the hard-earned money of the people and their lives," he said. "I have known Didi for ages. She is not the same person who raised her voice against the Left.” ALSO SEE PG 7 KOLKATA: National Award winning Bollywood actor Mithun Chakraborty on Sunday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)'s mega show at Kolkata's iconic brigade parade ground. Chakraborty arrived at the ground at around 12 noon and was welcomed by the BJP's National General Secretary Kailash Vijayvargi and other state leaders. Sources said while coming to the rally, Chakraborty's car was stopped midway near Bowbazar as BJP supporters spotted the superstar sitting in his white SUV. Former Trinamool Congress leader and former Union Minister Dinesh Trivedi, who had joined the saffron camp recently, also arrived at the mega show. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to arrive at the ground at 1.45 p.m. aboard a chopper from the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) airport.