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Chennai Hyderabad March 15, 16 Highlights: TN records 836 fresh cases, 4 deaths

Tamil Nadu Telangana Coronavirus Assembly Elections 2021 March 15, 16 Highlights: According to a bulletin released by the Health and Family Welfare Department of Tamil Nadu, 1,83,49,379 samples from the state have been tested till date.

By: Express Web Desk | Chennai, Hyderabad |
Updated: March 17, 2021 9:10:40 am
An aerial view of Kamarajar Salai and Marina Beach in Chennai.

Tamil Nadu Telangana Assembly Elections COVID-19 March 15, 16 Highlights: Tamil Nadu recorded 836 positive cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the state tally to 8,60,562. Among these, Chennai reported 317 positive cases, bringing the city’s total to 2,39,131. The state recorded four deaths on Monday, putting the state toll at 12,551. All four had succumbed due to comorbidities. A total of 553 patients were discharged following treatment, taking the total number of recoveries to 8,42,862.

The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) has promised that they will urge the Centre to withdraw the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) if they are elected back to power in the upcoming assembly elections. The announcement was made by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami while releasing his party’s election manifesto comprising 160 promises which included providing free washing machine and solar gas stoves to ration card holds, conferring citizenship to Sri Lankan Tamils living in camps, providing government jobs to one in each family with no one already in it, reducing the petrol and diesel price, etc.

Follow Chennai Hyderabad March 17, 18 Live Updates

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Catch the latest news in Chennai and Hyderabad as we bring you live updates on Tamil Nadu Elections 2021, COVID-19 vaccination, COVID-19, lockdown 6.0 and phase 6 of the unlock across Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and more through the day. Also read Karnataka Bengaluru news

18:31 (IST)16 Mar 2021
Change in pattern of train services between Tamil Nadu and other states

The East Coast Railway has notified changes in the pattern of trains services between Tamil Nadu and other states.

Extension of festival special trains

  • Train No. 02839: Bhubaneswar - Dr. MGR Chennai Central Weekly Superfast Festival Special Train on Thursdays will be extended on April 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29; May 6, 13, 20 and 27 and July 3, 10, 17 and 24.
  • Train No. 02840: Dr. MGR Chennai Central – Bhubaneswar Weekly Superfast Festival Special Train on Fridays will be extended on April 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30; May 7, 14, 21 and 28 and June 4, 11, 18 and 25.
  • Train No. 02898: Bhubaneswar – Puducherry Weekly Superfast Festival Special Train on Tuesdays will be extended on April 6, 13, 20 and 27; May 4, 11, 18 and 25 and June 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29.
  • Train No. 02897: Puducherry – Bhubaneswar Weekly Superfast Festival Special Train on Wednesdays will be extended on April 7, 14, 21 and 28; May 5, 12, 19 and 26 and June 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30.
  • Train No. 08496: Bhubaneswar - Rameswaram Weekly Superfast Festival Special Train on Fridays will be extended April 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30; May 7, 14, 21 and 28 and June 4, 11, 18 and 25.
  • Train No. 08495: Rameswaram - Bhubaneswar Weekly Superfast Festival Special Train on Sundays will be extended on April 4, 11, 18 and 25; May 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 and June 6, 16, 20 and 27.
  • Train No. 02859: Puri- Dr. MGR Chennai Central Weekly Superfast Festival Special Train on Sundays will be extended on April 4, 11, 18 and 25; May 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 and June 6, 16, 20 and 27.
  • Train No. 02860: Dr. MGR Chennai Central – Puri Weekly Superfast Festival Special Train on Mondays will be extended on April 5, 12, 19 and 26; May 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31 and June 7, 14, 21 and 28.
  • Train No. 02869: Visakhapatnam – Dr. MGR Chennai Central Weekly Superfast Festival Special Train on Mondays will be extended on April 5, 12, 19 and 26; May 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31 and June 7, 14, 21 and 28.
  • Train No. 02870: Dr. MGR Chennai Central - Visakhapatnam Weekly Superfast Festival Special Train on Tuesdays will be extended on April 6, 13, 20 and 27; May 4, 11, 18 and 25 and June 1, 15, 22 and 29.
  • Train No. 02845: Bhubaneswar- Bangalore Cantonment Weekly Superfast Festival Special Train on Sundays will be extended on April 4, 11, 18 and 25; May 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 and June 6, 16, 20 and 27.
  • Train No. 02846: Bangalore Cantonment - Bhubaneswar Weekly Superfast Festival Special Train on Mondays will be extended on April 5, 12, 19 and 26; May 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31 and June 7, 14, 21 and 28. 
17:42 (IST)16 Mar 2021
Video of AIADMK nominee R Viswanathan handing out cash to voters surfaces, complaint filed

Former minister and AIADMK candidate from Natham constituency (Dindigul district) R Viswanathan was allegedly caught on camera distributing cash to voters.

In a video of the alleged act, Viswanathan is purportedly seen taking out currency notes from his pocket and distributing them to voters. In the first half of the video, a group of women is seen standing in a row and an alleged AIADMK cadre appears in the frame putting currency notes on each of their plates.

The women had gathered to give a traditional welcome (aarti) to Vishwanathan, who campaigned extensively in the constituency on Sunday.

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16:59 (IST)16 Mar 2021
AIADMK launches LED screen campaign to woo voters

The ruling AIADMK in Tamil Nadu has sought to make effective use of technology and launched a campaign through LED screens mounted on four-wheelers to reach out to voters and highlight its various welfare initiatives.

AIADMK's Chennai Zone IT Wing Secretary 'Aspire' K Swaminathan said the party plans to take the effort to every nook and corner of the poll-bound state, where elections to 234 Assembly seats are due on April 6.

The LED campaign will highlight the government's work during the corona pandemic, besides rival DMK's "atrocities" against people, he said in a release. (PTI)

16:04 (IST)16 Mar 2021
Hyderabad: Rs 8.5 cr worth drugs seized, three including police constable held

Three persons, including a police constable, allegedly involved in the manufacturing and supply of Alprazolam, a prohibited synthetic drug, were arrested by the Cyberabad police Monday. About 140 kg of Alprazolam, worth around Rs 8.5 crore in the market, was recovered from them, said police.

The arrested persons were identified as Gudikadi Linga Goud, a 36-year-old proprietor of Dr. Goud Laboratories in Hyderabad, Murududdi Vinod Kumar(27), car driver, and Maduri Ramakrishna Goud (36), a police constable at the Armed Reserve Headquarters in Medak district of Telangana.

Linga Goud is a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry. “Due to his family’s traditional profession of selling toddy, he was aware of how toddy was made more potent using tablets of drugs like Alprazolam. Taking advantage of his education, he soon started procuring raw material from different pharma companies and processed the same in the pharma company of his friend Kiran at Vijayawada,” PV Padmaja, DCP (Balanagar) told the press.

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14:52 (IST)16 Mar 2021
Kamal Haasan begins campaign in Coimbatore South

Makkal Neethi Maiam (MNM) Chief Kamal Hassan launched his election campaign early on Tuesday by going around the Coimbatore South Constituency, where he is contesting the assembly polls next month, and interacted with voters.

Hassan began the day by meeting citizens along the Race course road, a posh locality in the city, and engaged with morning walkers and joggers, party sources said. The 66-year-old actor then visited a gymnasium in Ramanathapuram, set up by late film producer Sandow MMA Chinnappa Thevar and demonstrated his prowess in Silambattam, a traditional martial arts of Tamil Nadu with a long cane. 

Later, he interacted with the public at a road side tea shop, to understand their problems and garner support. 

In a bid to reach out to people of various communities, the MNM founder also visited a fish market in Ukkadam area and discussed local issues with the people.

Meanwhile, members of Coimbatore Jewellery Manufacturers Association submitted a memorandum to Hassan seeking among other things establishment of a gold jewellery park in Coimbatore. (PTI)

14:05 (IST)16 Mar 2021
Thanjavur school cluster: Nine parents test positive, total count reaches 66

Nine parents tested positive for Covid-19, days after 56 students a teacher from a government-aided school in Ammapettai village near Thanjavur district were found positive.

Speaking to Indianexpress.com, Thanjavur district collector M Govinda Rao said all of them are asymptomatic and the district administration is taking steps to curb the spread at the earliest. “We mapped around 24 villages from where these 56 students come to the school. So far 1,083 primary and secondary contacts of the students were tested and nine of them were found to be positive for the virus. We have brought them to the government hospital and we are doing contact tracing for them as well. We are doing this testing, contact tracing, isolation as a chain reaction. We are monitoring the entire process, we are testing all the students and the faculty in the surrounding areas. The schools have been closed, it will be reopened after the results. We came across reports about positive cases in other schools, we are gathering the data,” he said.

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13:24 (IST)16 Mar 2021
TN polls: Movable assets of OPS, Dhinakaran go up

Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam has declared total assets valued at Rs 61.19 lakh, up from the Rs 33.20 lakh in 2016, according to his election affidavit submitted as part of the nomination for the April 6 Assembly polls in the state. All of the assets were movable and he had no immovable assets in his name, which was the case in 2016 as well, Panneerselvam said.

The assets included three four-wheelers and he declared his source of income as salary earned as deputy CM and from his wife's agricultural income. His liabilities were Rs 65,55,411 he owed to his wife. His wife's immovable assets were valued at Rs 4.57 crore while the immovable property was Rs 2.63 crore, he stated in his affidavit.

Similarly, the assets of Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK) leader TTV Dhinakaran also went up, from the Rs 16.73 lakh in 2017 to Rs 19.18 lakh in 2021. According to Dhinakaran's poll affidavit, the value of his immovable assets remained at Rs 57.44 lakh which he had declared in 2017.

His dues included Rs 28 lakh to the central government on account of imposition of penalty under FERA and liabilities in dispute included Rs 34.46 crore from AY 1989-96 pending before the IT Appellate Tribunal in Chennai. His liabilities were Rs 14.25 lakh. The movable and immovable assets of his wife were Rs 7.66 crore and Rs 2.43 crore, respectively while her liabilities stood at Rs 5.82 crore, Dhinakaran stated in the affidavit. (PTI)

12:40 (IST)16 Mar 2021
Thol Thirumavalavan interview: ‘BJP has no stake in people’s lives… Talking religion and God alone won’t help’

Thol Thirumavalavan is the president of Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) party, which has allied with the DMK for the polls. VCK has six MLA candidates in the fray.

Speaking to Indianexpress.com, Thirumavalavan said making VCK a political and cultural movement for social change is the aim of the party. "That is our main agenda. Electoral politics is key to achieving those dreams. We have been part of elections since 1999, and the growth of my party or Dalit politics is also a reflection of my life. Social media campaigns are just for hype; it is all about sharing posts and memes to build a perception. It gives a pseudo feeling that everything revolves around you."

"But you see, the ground reality is different. An example of this is the BJP. They have no base in Tamil Nadu as they are a communal party based on religion. Their base is in the RSS movement which is against social justice. They had alliance with the DMK, then AIADMK, and they have contested alone too. In the last two decades, they have been making attempts and still couldn’t make any progress because they have no stake in the lives of people, they don’t address people’s problems. Talking religion and God alone won’t help when your politics is hatred towards minorities", he said.

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11:37 (IST)16 Mar 2021
237 fever clinics conducted in Chennai Monday

The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) conducted 237 fever clinics in Chennai on Monday. A total of 17,857 people attended the clinics, with swabs collected from 101 people who were identified with ILI symptoms, while others were provided with medication for minor ailments.

The most number of camps were held in Tondiarpet (Zone 4) where 39 camps had been set up, while Manali (Zone 2) had the least with three camps.

10:50 (IST)16 Mar 2021
Insider trading in Amaravati: Andhra CID asks Naidu to appear before it on March 23

The Andhra Pradesh Crime Investigation Department (CID) on Tuesday issued notice to former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu to appear before it in connection with its investigation into alleged insider trading in Amaravati. CID officials visited Naidu’s residence in Hyderabad and served him the notice under Section 41 of the CrPC.

The CID also issued notice to Dr P Narayana, who was minister for Municipal Administration and Urban Development during the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) regime. The CID has asked both Naidu and Dr Narayana to appear for questioning on March 23.

TDP spokesperson B Umamaheshwara Rao said the YSRCP government was being vindictive and revengeful, and dismissed the allegations of insider trading.

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10:33 (IST)16 Mar 2021
AIMIM announces candidates for TN polls

The Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM on Monday announced candidates for the three seats it is contesting in the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections.

The party named T S Vakeel Ahmed (Vaniyambadi), B M Aminullah Ahmed (Krishnagiri) and M Mujib ur Rahman (Sankarapuram) as its candidates, AIMIM said on twitter.

The AIMIM has tied up with TTV Dhinakaran's AMMK for the Tamil Nadu elections. (PTI)

10:04 (IST)16 Mar 2021
Ahead of assembly polls, AIADMK says will urge centre to withdraw CAA

The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) has promised that they will urge the Centre to withdraw the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) if they are elected back to power in the upcoming assembly elections.

The announcement was made by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami while releasing his party’s election manifesto comprising 160 promises which included providing free washing machine and solar gas stoves to ration card holds, conferring citizenship to Sri Lankan Tamils living in camps, providing government jobs to one in each family with no one already in it, reducing the petrol and diesel price, etc.

AIADMK’s announcement over CAA drew sharp criticism from DMK. The opposition said AIADMK is trying to fool people with such double-standards. “If the AIADMK members had not voted in favour of the law three years ago, the law wouldn’t have passed in the Rajya Sabha test. I don’t know how the party is having no shame in making such an announcement, do they think the people of Tamil Nadu are fools?” a senior DMK leader said.

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09:40 (IST)16 Mar 2021
220 flights to fly between Chennai and major cities today

A total of 220 flights will be operated between Chennai and major cities today, with 111 arrivals and 109 departures scheduled at the Chennai International Airport.

09:19 (IST)16 Mar 2021
TN reports 836 fresh cases, 4 deaths

Tamil Nadu recorded 836 positive cases of COVID-19 on Monday, bringing the state tally to 8,60,562. Among these, Chennai reported 317 positive cases, bringing the city’s total to 2,39,131. The state recorded four deaths on Monday, putting the state toll at 12,551. All four had succumbed due to comorbidities. A total of 553 patients were discharged following treatment, taking the total number of recoveries to 8,42,862.

As of Monday, the number of active COVID-19 cases in Tamil Nadu is 5149. Till date, 5,19,869 males, 3,40,658 females and 35 transgenders have tested positive for the virus in the state.

According to a bulletin released by the Health and Family Welfare Department of Tamil Nadu, 1,83,49,379 samples from the state have been tested till date, with 64,829 samples having been sent yesterday. There are 257 COVID-19 testing facilities in the state, out of which 69 are government and 188 are private facilities.

09:15 (IST)16 Mar 2021
Welcome to today's live blog

Good morning!
Welcome to the live blog from Chennai and Hyderabad where we bring to you the latest updates on Tamil Nadu elections 2021, COVID-19 vaccination, COVID-19 in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, UK COVID-19 virus in Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and more across Chennai and Hyderabad throughout the day. Follow the blog to stay up to date with the states in real time.

18:19 (IST)15 Mar 2021
No resentment among disciplined BJP cadres over candidate selection: Murugan

BJP Tamil Nadu unit president L Murugan on Monday said there was no question of any resentment among party workers over the selection of candidates for the ensuing assembly elections as it had disciplined cadres.

Replying to a question regarding the reported dissent over the selection of P Saravanan in Madurai North constituency, he told reporters at the airport in Coimbatore that the BJP cadre, following strict ideology and discipline and always supported the decision taken by the party leadership.

“There is no resentment among the cadres as they are disciplined. Sometimes, the candidate is selected considering the background, strength and political work,” Murugan said.

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18:00 (IST)15 Mar 2021
Kamal Haasan files nomination from Coimbatore South

Seeking to make his maiden electoral foray from this Western Tamil Nadu city, Makkal Needhi Maiam founder Kamal Haasan on Monday filed his papers from Coimbatore South constituency for the April 6 Assembly polls, where he will be taking on the BJP and Congress.

Hassan, the chief ministerial candidate of his MNM-led three party alliance, filed his nomination before the returning officer in Central Zone office this afternoon.

The actor-politician, who has been critical of both the DMK and AIADMK, is fighting on the plank of corruption and good governance. He later told reporters that though there were 234 constituencies in Tamil Nadu, he chose Coimbatore to contest the elections since it was close to his heart.

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17:28 (IST)15 Mar 2021
Elephant hit by train on TN-Kerala border; seriously injured

A male elephant walking along a railway track was seriously injured when an express train hit it near Pudupathi under Madukkarai forest range in Coimbatore on Tamil Nadu-Kerala borer early on Monday, railway sources said.

The elephant, about 20 years in appearance, was hit by the Thiruvananthapuram-Chennai Express from behind around 1.30 am, despite the train driver applying brakes on noticing it, they said. Railway personnel, alerted by the driver, and some locals, who rushed there after hearing some noise, informed the forest department.

Two veterinarians found injuries in the front leg, abdomen and rear part of the elephant which was lying on one side after falling to the ground under the impact of the mishap, and given first aid, they said. A crane has been requisitioned to lift the elephant and assess injuries on the other side following which the further course of action would be taken.

It was suspected the elephant could have come to the area after taking bath and drinking water in Walayar river in Kerala.

Local people said despite a warning board in the area, particularly in Walayar-Ettimadai railway section, to move slowly in view of crossing of elephants especially in the early hours, the train drivers some time don't slow down, leading to such accidents. (PTI)

16:56 (IST)15 Mar 2021
Tamil Nadu polls: AIADMK forced us to quit alliance, says DMDK treasurer Premalatha

DMDK treasurer and wife of actor Vijayakant, Premalatha, has alleged that Chief Minister Edappadi-led AIADMK forced them to quit the alliance by delaying seat-sharing talks.

Addressing reporters a day after the party signed a poll-pact with AMMK, Premalatha said TTV Dhinakaran will be their chief ministerial candidate and their alliance will emerge victorious in the upcoming elections.

“We had four rounds of talks with the AIADMK committee but nothing materialised. They were the ones to initiate talks through BJP and we formed the alliance. Even during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, they signed the deal with us at the last moment, giving us four seats,” she said.

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16:52 (IST)15 Mar 2021
Vanathi Srinivasan: A popular candidate from an unpopular party

Among the candidates for Tamil Nadu announced by the BJP national leadership on Sunday, a candidate with the highest poll prospects is someone liked by her many rivals too: Vanathi Srinivasan, 50, standing from Coimbatore South.

Where top BJP Tamil Nadu leaders are known for their provocative remarks using the religion card to consolidate votes, Vanathi, the national president of the party’s Mahila Morcha, has refrained from such messaging. In the 2016 Assembly polls, Vanathi had become known for her innovative campaign ideas such as “Coffee with Vanathi”, “Ask Vanathi” etc.

Among all the BJP candidates in Tamil Nadu, Vanathi is among the best placed to win, due to her popularity and good image. The alliance with the AIADMK will help overcome the hurdle of her association with the national party that is seen as running a hegemonic Centre and is unpopular in large parts. The BJP, in fact, had used Vanathi to open channels with AIADMK Chief Minister Edapaddi K Palaniswami at the peak of the political crisis in 2017 in the party during Jayalalithaa’s long illness and subsequent death.

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DMDK treasurer and wife of actor Vijayakant, Premalatha, has alleged that Chief Minister Edappadi-led AIADMK forced them to quit the alliance by delaying seat-sharing talks. Addressing reporters Tuesday, a day after the party signed a poll-pact with AMMK, Premalatha said TTV Dhinakaran will be their chief ministerial candidate and their alliance will emerge victorious in the upcoming elections.

READ | Tamil Nadu polls: AIADMK forced us to quit alliance, says DMDK treasurer Premalatha

“We had four rounds of talks with the AIADMK committee but nothing materialised. They were the ones to initiate talks through BJP and we formed the alliance. Even during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, they signed the deal with us at the last moment, giving us four seats,” she said.

For assistance on COVID-19-related queries and mental health support in Chennai, citizens can contact the Greater Chennai Corporation's (GCC) COVID-19 helpline 044 46122300 | Citizens can find the nearest GCC-facilitated COVID-19 fever clinic here | For lodging rain-related complaints and assistance during the monsoon, citizens can contact the GCC's monsoon helplines 044 25384530 or 044 25384540 or the control room 1913 (available 24x7)

Chennai Hyderabad March 12 Highlights

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