YK MYK INDIA’S ‘WORLD’S PHARMACY’ TAG IS FACING A THREAT OPINION KOLKATA MONDAY, 5 APRIL, 2021 PG-12, YEAR—7, ISSUE—317 (RNI NO: WBENG / 2014 / 56803) MAX 36 C BUSINESS Morning India Rs. 3 WEATHER TODAY PSU BANKS MAY HAVE TO TAKE RS 2K CR HIT AFTER SC ORDER Mamata Banerjee promises safety, education for all MIN 24 C Jaya Bachchan lands in Kolkata to campaign for TMC MI NEWS SERVICE Sky will be clear. AT A GLANCE GITA PRESS PRESIDENT RADHESHYAM KHEMKA DIES VARANASI/GORAKHP UR: The president of Gita Press, Radheshyam Khemka, passed away in Varanasi following a brief illness, his family members said on Sunday. He was 87. Khemka died on Saturday afternoon and his last rites were performed at the Harishchandra Ghat, they said. He was under treatment at a private hospital in Ravindrapuri. Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the death of Khemka, noting he remained active in various social services throughout his life. Modi noted that Khemka took Sanatan literature to the masses. APRIL 6 POLLS: CAMPAIGN ENDS IN TN, ALL EYES ON POLLING CHENNAI: The high octane campaign for the April 6 Tamil Nadu Assembly elections ended on Sunday at 7 pm, with the stage now set for the polling on April 6 which will decide whether it will a hat-trick of terms for the AIADMK or the return of DMK after a decade in opposition. As many as 3,998 candidates, including Chief Minister K Palaniswami, his deputy O Panneerselvam, DMK President MK Stalin, AMMK founder TTV Dhinakaran, actor and Makkal Needhi Maiam founder Kamal Haasan, Naam Tamizhar Katchi leader Seeman and BJP state unit chief L Murugan are in the fray. CORONA METER INDIA TOTAL CASES: 1,24,94,207 TOTAL DEATH: 1,64,688 WORLD TOTAL CASES: 131,519,007 TOTAL DEATH: 2,861,645 Mamata Banerjee campaigns for TMC candidate and Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee in Baruipur on Sunday. MI NEWS SERVICE HOOGHLY: Amid election campaigning in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday stressed that she works collaboratively with both Hindu and Muslim communities and will ensure safety and education for all. Speaking at a public gathering at Khanakul Library Ground, Banerjee said: "I work together with Hindus and Muslims, safeguarding your security, society, education and workplace is my responsibility." Lashing out at the rival Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for urging voters to vote against Muslims, the Chief Minister commented: "When there is a flood, do we see that the water is entering a Hindu's house or a Muslim's house? The water enters every house. We all live together, eat together, and together we save each other's lives." "I am a Hindu woman. I ask Hindus and Muslims to live together, fight together. Do not get divided," she appealed. During the public gathering, Banerjee recalled that a Muslim man beat her, pinning the blame on the Left government for the incident. "In another instance, a Muslim man saved me from getting shot in the head by putting his hand in front," she added. "Remember, this is how societies save each other," she remarked. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo called on the BJP to provide free gas, while slamming it for privatisation. "They are closing down rails, coal, BSNL, privatising LIC and shutting down banks," she reiterated. The Chief Minister also Mamata Banerjee campaigns for TMC candidates in South 24-Parganas on Sunday. called for women to become polling agents, daring the BJP to attempt an attack on them. "BJP left out the names of 14 lakh Bengalis. Have you forgotten? They made the police vote in Assam, police conducted raids there and terrified the citizens. Don't worry in Bengal because I am here," she said. She also targeted BJP's party logo - the lotus, calling it a 'rotten' flower. "It is a rotten, bloodied flower. This is not Ma's flower. That is rotten. Do not vote for it. Voter for 'joraphool' (twin flowers TMC logo)," she added. PM STRESSES ON FIVE-FOLD STRATEGY Testing, Tracing, Treatment, COVIDappropriate behaviour and vaccination NEW DELHI : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that the five-fold strategy of Testing, Tracing, Treatment, COVID-appropriate behaviour and vaccination, if implemented with seriousness and commitment, would be effective in curbing the spread of the pandemic. While chairing a high-level meeting to review the COVID19 situation and the vaccination program, PM Modi said the country needs to continue Jan Bhagidari and Jan Andolan for COVID-19 management. “For sustainable COVID-19 manage- PM Narendra Modi at a high-level meeting to review the COVID related issues, on Sunday. ment, awareness of the com- ANI munity and its involvement is paramount and there is a need to continue Jan Bhagidari and Jan Andolan for COVID-19 management. He mentioned that the five-fold strategy of Testing, Tracing, Treatment, COVID-appropriate behaviour and vaccination if implemented with utmost seriousness and commitment, would be effective in curbing the spread of the pandemic,” he said. According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s office on Sunday, a special campaign for COVIDappropriate behaviour with emphasis on 100 per cent mask usage, personal hygiene . Banerjee also extended her wishes to the Christian community on the occasion of Easter, while repeating her move to pass a football to the crowd at the gathering as a sign of her 'Khela hobe' campaign. After a high-voltage battle between Banerjee and her former ministerial colleague Suvendu Adhikari, the next phase of the West Bengal elections will take place on April 6. The phase will cover 30 seats from the districts of South 24Parganas, Howrah and Hooghly. EC transfers 3 police officers MI NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA: The Election Commission has directed the transfer of SP Alipurduar Amitabha Maiti, DCP Chandannagar, Hooghly Tathagata Basu and Deputy SP (Industrial) Diamond Harbour police district Mithun De with immediate effect. The Commission in its direction addressed to the West Bengal Chief Secretary stated that Mithun De shall be kept “Awaiting Posting Orders” while the other officer being transferred out shall not be given any election-related posting”. KOLKATA: Actor-politician Jaya Bachchan landed in Kolkata on Sunday to campaign for Trinamool Congress (TMC) candidates for the ongoing Assembly elections. According to TMC sources, the Samajwadi Party MP will stay in Bengal from April 4 to April 8 to campaign for TMC candidates.On Monday Jaya Bachchan will campaign for Arup Biswas contesting the elections from Tollygunge constituency. The constituency is set to witness a tough fight as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded Union Minister and party MP Babul Supriyo from there. The latest development comes days after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wrote a letter to Opposition leaders including Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav "for a united and effective struggle against BJP's attacks on democracy and the Constitution" and suggested that a meeting be held after the polls to "deliberate the issues and chart out a plan of action".The letter has been sent to several Opposition leaders includ- ing Congress president Sonia Gandhi, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy, DMK leader MK Stalin, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, Samajwadi Party leader Akhilesh Yadav, CPI(ML) leader Dipankar Bhattacharya, National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti. The Trinamool Congress chief said that there is a need to present a credible alternative to the people of India. TRAI CONSIDERS SURVEY TO ASSES IF TARIFF PLANS MEET CUSTOMER NEEDS Telecom regulator TRAI is planning to conduct a consumerfacing survey to assess if tariff plans offered by operators are meeting actual requirements of varied categories of users, a top official said. BUSINESS EC terms Mamata's claim of disruption at Unverified intel input drove forces into Maoists’ deadly trap Nandigram booth as 'factually incorrect' MI NEWS SERVICE BIJAPUR: Over 1,000 police personnel drawn from CRPF’s elite CoBRA unit, and the state police’s District Reserve Guard (DRG) and Special Task Force (STF) walked into a deadly trap of Maoists in deep jungle in a rebel-dominated patch in Chhattisgarh’s restive Bastar, purely on an unverified intelligence input that top ultra leader Madvi Hidma was holed up at a hilly site along with his colleagues. But the input was basically a well-planned trap of the Maoist guerrillas as they gunned down 22 security personnel and walked away with their weapons too. The casualty figure could further CPRF personnel carry mortal remains of jawan who was killed in an encounter with Naxals. rise as at least 31 security personnel sustained multiple injuries and were airlifted to Raipur for better medical attention. The lengthy gunfight between Maoists militants and security personnel broke out on Saturday at a remote hilly site in Bijapur district, close to Sukma district border in sprawling Bastar division where Maoists are attempting to run a de facto government in deep forests since late 1980s. “Guerrillas armed with heavy weapons including rocket launchers were waiting for security personnel contingent... once a larger team of the search operation approached a hill, the militants who were positioned on top of the hill started spraying bullets in a flash from three sides,” a local DRG policeman who was part of the search team told IANS. The attack site is located roughly 500 km south of state capital Raipur. NEW DELHI: In a strongly worded rejoinder to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the Election Commission has rejected her claim about the presence of outsiders at a polling booth in Nandigram as "factually incorrect" and "devoid of substance". In a letter to Banerjee on Saturday, Election Commission (EC) Secretary General Umesh Sinha also said: "It is being separately examined whether happenings of April 1 merit any action under Sections 131 and 123(2) of RP (Representation of the People) Act and/or Model Code of Conduct." Section 131 deals with penalty for disorderly conduct in or near polling stations, while Section 123 (2) pertains to "undue influence, that is to say, any direct or indirect interference or attempt to interfere on the part of the candidate or his agent, or of any other person with the free exercise of any electoral right. The letter did not specify to whom it was referring to with regard to taking possible action. The EC sent the letter to Banerjee, who is the Trinamool Congress chief, in response to a complaint filed by her on April 1, when polling was held in Nandigram, alleging irregularities in the polling process. In its point-by-point rejoinder, the EC said Banerjee’s letter regarding booth capturing and the presence of outsiders at a polling booth in Boyal was "preceded by a massive coverage all over the country... which showed dozens of audio-visual shots of your being in this polling station and literally hurling an avalanche of allegations on some officials working with the Government of West Bengal itself, paramilitary forces and eventually the Election Commission". Citing reports received from the ground, including from its Observers, the poll body said, "It is selfevident from the perusal of all the reports that the allegations mentioned in your hand-written note are factually incorrect, without any empirical evidence whatsoever and devoid of substance." ‘Sankalp Se Siddhi’: A transformation for India’s tribal ecosystem NEW DELHI: ‘Sankalp se Siddhi’- a village and digital connect drive -- aims to aid a complete transformation of the tribal ecosystem across the country till mid-July this year. The sole purpose of the drive is to help disadvantaged tribal sections of the society. Starting from April 1 this year, this 100-day drive will entail 150 teams, 10 in each region, from Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED) and state implementation agencies or mentoring agencies or partners) visiting 10 villages each. At least 100 villages in each region and 1,500 villages in the country will be covered in the next 100 days. “The main aim of this drive is to activate the Van Dhan Vikas Kendras in these villages,” said Ministry of Tribal Affairs. TRIFED under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs launched the ‘Sankalp se Siddhi’ drive following the success of the Village and Digital connect initiative. The regional officials across of TRIFED across the country went to identify villages with a significant tribal population and supervised the implementation of the various programmes and initiatives earlier in 2021 under the Village and Digital connect initiative. Among all of TRIFED’s initiatives that have been put in place to help the disadvantaged tribal sections of the society, the scheme, Mechanism for Marketing of Minor Forest Produce (MFP), through minimum support price (MSP) and development of value chain for MFP that provides MSP to gatherers of forest produce and introduces value addition and marketing through tribal groups and clusters and Van Dhan Vikas Kendras (VDVK) has found widespread acceptance across the country. Especially during the pandemic in 2020, the VDVK scheme has emerged as a panacea for the tribals, said the Ministry. “The objective of the MSP for MFP scheme is to establish a framework for ensuring fair prices for the tribal gatherers, primary processing, storage, TRIFED under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs launched the ‘Sankalp se Siddhi’ drive following the success of the Village and Digital connect initiative. The regional officials across of TRIFED across the country went to identify villages with a significant tribal population and supervised the implementation of the various programmes and initiatives earlier in 2021 under the Village and Digital connect initiative. transportation while ensuring sustainability of the resource base addressing the problems tribals are facing such as perishable nature of the produce, lack of holding capacity, lack of marketing infrastructure, exploitation by middlemen, and timely government intervention.” Once VDVK scheme is activated in 1,500 villages, the Ministry said sales of approximately Rs 200 crore is expected during the next 12 months. “The visiting teams will also identify locations and shortlist potential VDVKs for clustering as TRIFOOD, and SFURTI units as larger enterprises.” “They will also identify tribal artisans and other groups and empanel them as suppliers so that they can have access to larger markets through the Tribes India network - both physical outlets and TribesIndia.com,” said the Ministry.