YK MYK BIG JOLT FOR CONGRESS AS JITIN PRASADA JOINS BJP OPINION Rs. 3 KOLKATA THURSDAY, 10 JUNE, 2021 PG-08, YEAR—8, ISSUE—26 (RNI NO: WBENG / 2014 / 56803) ICC TEST RANKINGS: KOHLI, PANT, ROHIT REMAIN IN TOP TEN SPORTS Morning India Bengal Chief Minister promises to rally opposition-ruled States behind agitating farmers Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) president Rakesh Tikait (L) with TMC leader Yashwant Sinha at a meeting with Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at Nabanna on Wednesday. MI NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA: In a move that may take her political battle against the BJP into the Hindi heartland, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday promised to rally opposition-ruled States in support of the agitating farmers, and said she aims to "remove the Narendra Modi Government from power". At a meeting with farmer leaders led by Rakesh Tikait and Yudhvir Singh here during the day, the TMC chief said that there should be a platform where States could converse on policy issues. "Bulldozing States is not good for the federal structure," she said. The farmer leaders had come to elicit her support for their agitation against the farm laws passed by the BJPled Central Government and in favour of a nationwide law bringing in a guaranteed Minimum Support Price (MSP) for agricultural crops. Banerjee's support for the north India-based farmers' unions comes within days of the Trinamool Congress announcing that the party would spread its footprints outside Bengal's geographical boundaries. The Bhartiya Kisan Union led by Tikait and Singh had supported the 'No vote for BJP' campaign ahead of the Bengal Assembly elections and have plans to extend that in other upcoming State elections as well, including in Uttar Pradesh which the saffron party rules in alliance with smaller parties. Banerjee announced after the meeting that her "support for the farmers' movement will be there" and added in an obvious jibe at the Centre that "India is hungrily waiting for policies which help in fighting COVID-19, assist farmers and industry." The Chief Minister rhetorically asked, "...why is it so difficult to talk to the farmers?" She was referring to the breakdown in communication between the Centre and the farmers who have been camping at Delhi's borders for over six months against three farm laws passed by the Parliament. The agitators feel the new laws will commercialise agriculture without adequate protection to small farmers from exploitation by large retail chains and industry. "The BJP rule has been disastrous for all sectors from healthcare to farmers to industry. India is suffering...we are facing both natural and political disasters," said Banerjee, who has been reaching out to other opposition-led States in trying to forge a united front against her perceived grievances against the Centre. The Chief Minister said that the agriculturist leaders have requested her to talk to other State leaders on the farmers' issue and organise a dialogue with farmers' unions. "The farmers' movement is not just for Punjab, Haryana or Uttar Pradesh. It is for the whole country," she said. TMC vice president and former Union finance minister Yashwant Singh, who was also present at the meeting, said, "It is necessary to stop the trend towards commercialisation of farming. We are with the farmers...we want the three laws to be withdrawn and a new law on MSP brought in." Banerjee's support for the agitation which has drawn on the farming community in rural north India, is being viewed as a Why should Centre, not States, distribute vaccine to private hospitals: Mamata MI NEWS SERVICE KOLKATA: Alleging that the Narendra Modi Government is not following the spirit of federalism, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday wondered why the Centre kept to itself the right of distribution of 25 per cent Covid-19 vaccines to private hospitals and not to the States. The Prime Minister had on Monday announced that the Centre has decided to buy 75 per cent of jabs from vaccine makers for free supply to States, while private sector hospitals will continue to procure the remaining 25 per cent. Banerjee said that she opposed the imposition of Goods and Services Tax (GST) on medicines, equipment and vaccines required for the treatment of Covid-19. Addressing a press meet at the State Secretariat 'Nabanna' after meeting leaders of agitating peasants, she said that from "Covid to farmers", the BJP-led Central Government has pushed the country into serious crisis. "The Centre has said that it will directly provide 25 per cent of vaccines to private hospitals. Why by the Centre? The State implements the pol- icy of the Centre in a federal set-up," she said. Taking a dig at the Prime Minister, she said, "He only knows how to speak against States. He only knows about divide and rule. Why is there no word by the PM about withdrawing 5 per cent GST on Covid vaccines?" Banerjee said that the Prime Minister did not think about spending Rs 34,000 crore from PM Cares Fund to fully vaccinate the people of the country in all these days. Had the Centre taken up the free vaccination drive in this period, "we would not have to lose so many citizens in the age group of 18-45 years", she claimed. "What happened to the promise by Modi before the Bihar elections about free vaccination to everyone? So many months elapsed afterwards," she said. The Bihar Assembly election was held in three phases in October-November last year. "The PM should not take credit for the free vaccine policy of the Centre now and should explain what happened in all these days," Banerjee said. The CM said that two crore people were inoculated in Bengal and the State Government spent Rs 200 crore to procure vaccines. potential boost for the stir which has been flagging in recent weeks. Yudhvir Singh, general secretary of the BKU, said ahead of the meeting, "We want to congratulate Mamata Banerjee for her electoral victory and to elicit her support for the move to give farmers a fair MSP for their crops." Singh said he wants States to come up with MSP for fruits, vegetables and milk products. The lack of a specified MSP and glut in produce often leads to farmers suffering from extremely low prices which results in huge losses, often leading to farmer suicides in many parts of the country. Banerjee has a long history of being involved with farmers' stir. She had earlier built up her challenge against the Left Front Government in Bengal leading agitations in Nandigram and Singur against moves by the then State administration to compulsorily acquire land from farmers for a chemical hub and a car factory respectively. Analysts speculated that the TMC, which wants to spread to other parts of the country, may be hoping to gain a political foothold in the Hindi heartland by handholding the farmers' movement and taking advantage of the opposition vacuum in the country. Banerjee's statement that she will remove Modi from power had earlier been made during her election campaign for the Bengal Assembly elections held in March-April this year, where she had promised that she would take the political battle to Delhi. Since her landslide victory, there have also been talks of her becoming the opposition face for the 2024 general elections, a question to which she has not given any answers yet. WEATHER TODAY MAX 30 C MIN 26 C Rainfall may occur. AT A GLANCE COURT DISMISSES SUSHIL KUMAR’S PLEA FOR HIGH PROTEIN DIET NEW DELHI: Delhi's Rohini Court on Wednesday dismissed wrestler Sushil Kumar's petition seeking a high protein diet and special supplements in prison. Kumar is currently in judicial custody as the prime accused in the Sagar Dhankar murder case. Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Satvir Singh Lamba in the order said the alleged special foods and supplements appear to be only the desires and wishes of the accused/applicant and are not in "any manner the essential need or necessity" for him. "Hence, the prayer of the accused/applicant in the present application is not maintainable. CORONA METER INDIA TOTAL CASES: 2,91,58,317 TOTAL DEATH: 3,55,128 WORLD TOTAL CASES: 174,883,944 TOTAL DEATH: 3,766,284 Govt nod for construction of 3.61L houses under PMAY-U NEW DELHI: The Central government on Wednesday gave approval to 708 proposals for construction of 3.61 lakh houses under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Urban (PMAY-U)-- another move with the objective of providing pucca houses to all eligible beneficiaries of Urban India by 2022 with the vision of 'Housing for All'. The decision was taken at the 54th Meeting of the Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee (CSMC) under PMAY-U held here. The meeting was attended by 13 states and the Union Territories (UTs). This was the first CSMC meeting during the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic. These houses are proposed to be constructed across beneficiary led construction and affordable housing in partnership verticals. With this, as on date, the total number of sanctioned houses under PMAY(U) is now 112.4 lakh and so far, 82.5 lakh have been grounded for construction of which 48.31 lakhs have been completed and delivered. Total investment under the mission is Rs 7.35 lakh crore, which has Central assistance of Rs 1.81 lakh crore of which Rs 96,067 crore of funds have been released. MI NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI/KOLKATA: The Leader of Opposition in Bengal Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi here on Wednesday and discussed the political situation in the State along with other issues. It is believed that the meeting lasted for around 45 minutes, during which Adhikari had a detailed discussion with the Prime Minister on the political situation in the eastern State, including the latest developments, among other issues, sources said. As per sources, Adhikari briefed the Prime Minister about the violence 'unleashed' against the BJP workers and the 'atmosphere of fear' created for the saffron cadre in Bengal. On Tuesday, Adhikari had met Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP chief JP Nadda in the national capital. Sources said that Adhikari had apprised Shah and Nadda about the sentiments prevailing in the saffron cadre after the unsuccessful attempt to dislodge the Mamata Banerjee-led Government in the Assembly polls conducted in March-April this year. The COVAXIN phase 3 full trial data will be made public in July Biotech will apply for full licensure for COVAXIN®," Bharat Biotech informed ANI on Wednesday. Regarding the efficacy of the vaccine, Bharat Biotech said that, "Vaccine efficacy refers to the ability of a vaccine to bring about the intended beneficial effects on vaccinated individuals in a defined population under ideal conditions of use. When it comes to efficacy and safety, the efficacy data of Covaxin have been reported at overall efficacy is 78 per cent and efficacy against hospitalizations is 100 per cent." The company said, "Whole virus Inactivated vaccines have demonstrated one of the IMA WRITES TO ICMR AGAINST BABA RAMDEV NEW DELHI: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) on Wednesday wrote to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) against yoga guru Baba Ramdev alleging him of making "Unprovoked demeaning and prejudicing utterances against modern medicine". "We are therefore seeking your indulgence as the statutorily authorized 'custodian' of modern medicine in the interest of the medical profession and medical professionals.” best safety records globally." There are already several approved inactivated vaccines against Polio, Japanese Encephalitis, Rabies, Hepatitis NEW DELHI: The Defence Ministry on Wednesday approved Rs 498.8 crore to support startups and innovation in the defence manufacturing sector. Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar said that the step is a big boost to startups in defence. He stated that the approval will give a big boost to become self reliant in the defence manufacturing sector. Sanjay Jaju, Additional Secretary heading Defence Production, stated on social media "The Scheme with budgetary support of Rs 498.8 crore for iDEX aims to support 300 startups and 20 partner incubators over next five years to produce functional prototypes and foster innovation in Defence." Suvendu apprises Modi about situation in Bengal BHARAT BIOTECH NEW DELHI: Hyderabadbased vaccine manufacturer Bharat Biotech, which is carrying out its phase 3 trial will publish the data in July following that the company will be applying for the full licensure of COVAXIN. "It is critical to understand, and further emphasise the Phase-3 data will first be submitted to Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), followed by peer-reviewed journals, with a timeline of 3 months for publication, and as communicated earlier COVAXIN® phase 3 results full trial data will be made public during July. Once data from the final analysis of phase III studies are available, Bharat DEFENCE MINISTRY APPROVES RS 498.8 CR FOR STARTUPS, INNOVATION A, and several vaccines under development such as Chikungunya, Zika, Dengue and Polio. In a recent preliminary pre- peer-reviewed study about vaccine efficacy report, Bharat Biotech has clarified that it has undergone and will continue to undergo the most intensive safety and efficacy monitoring in Indian vaccines history. "A recent comparative report on an evaluation of immunogenicity responses to spike protein after the first and second dose of Indian manufactured vaccines study had lots of flaws. The journal that stated the comparative report said more antibodies produced by Covishield than COVAXIN®[?]. This is not a peer-reviewed publication, nor do it a statistically and scientifically designed study. The study design and conduct reflect an ad hoc analysis, rather than a predetermined hypothesis," the company said. The indigenous whole virion inactivated SARS-Cov-2 virus vaccine company has also said that Covaxin will even undergo the phase 4 trials to check the real-world effectiveness of the vaccines. "Bharat Biotech is also doing phase 4 trials to check on the real-world effectiveness of the vaccines, and to ensure its vaccine met every rigorous scientific standard for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorization," the company added. BJP's Central leadership had called Adhikari to Delhi following which he had reached the national capital on Monday night. After meeting with Shah, Adhikari had tweeted: "Discussed several matters and sought blessings for Bengal. Honourable HM assured, he was and he will be there for Bengal always." Later on Tuesday evening, Adhikari met Nadda at his residence. "Glad to meet the Honourable National President of BJP JP Nadda Ji. Discussed critical issues of Bengal and their solutions. Be rest assured that the party is beside each and every karyakarta all the time," he had tweeted after the meeting. Efforts on to comply with new norms, details in a week: Twitter to govt NEW DELHI: Days after the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) sent its final notice to Twitter over the microblogging platforms compliance to the new IT norms, the US-headquartered company has told the government that it is making efforts to comply with the regulations and will share the details for the same in a week's time. In a letter to the ministry, the company has said that it remains committed to serving the people of India by providing a platform to facilitate public conversation in the country. Twitter noted that as per the new guidelines, it has appointed a Nodal Contact Person and a Resident Grievance Office on a contractual basis.