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Chennai Hyderabad March 31, April 1 Highlights: TN records 2579 fresh cases, 969 reported from Chennai alone

Tamil Nadu Telangana Coronavirus Assembly Elections 2021 March 31, April 1 Highlights: According to a bulletin released by the Health and Family Welfare Department of Tamil Nadu, 1,95,95,368 samples from the state have been tested till date.

By: Express Web Desk | Chennai, Hyderabad |
Updated: April 2, 2021 9:04:26 am
Chennai, Chennai news, Chennai Covid cases, Chennai coronavirus, IT corridor Covid cases, Perungudi Covid cluster, Indian ExpressFrontline workers stand in queue for a health check up before getting inoculated with the Covid-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination camp, organised by Greater Chennai Corporation, in Chennai, Saturday, March 20, 2021. (PTI Photo/File)

Tamil Nadu Telangana Assembly Elections COVID-19 March 31, April 1 Highlights: Tamil Nadu recorded 2579 positive cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the state tally to 8,86,673. Among these, Chennai reported 969 positive cases, bringing the city’s total to 2,48,965. The state recorded 19 deaths on Wednesday, putting the state toll at 12,719. Seventeen of them had succumbed due to comorbidities. A total of 1527 patients were discharged following treatment, taking the total number of recoveries to 8,58,075.

Across districts in southern and central Tamil Nadu, the Edappadi Palaniswami government does not seem to be facing significant anti-incumbency. However, what appears set to cost the CM is his perceived “subservience” before the “Modi-Shah” duo of the BJP. In the AIADMK-led alliance, the BJP has been given 20 seats. In the 2016 Assembly polls, the BJP had got 2.84% of the votes contesting on 188 seats, forfeiting deposits in 180 and winning none.

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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

18:29 (IST)01 Apr 2021
AP CM YSR, wife take coronavirus vaccine

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy and his wife Bharati got the first dose of Covaxin administered in Guntur city on Thursday, marking the launch of the new phase of the COVID-19 vaccination programme. 

The Chief Minister said all persons above the age of 45 years would be administered the coronavirus vaccine in this phase in the next 90 days. The state has targeted one crore people for vaccination in this phase.
"Coexistence with COVID-19 is inevitable, so vaccination is the only way to prevent the infection," Jagan Mohan Reddy said on the occasion. 

He said the village and ward volunteers and Asha workers would undertake a door-to-door survey to ensure that all people above 45 years of age got inoculated. "This programme will be carried out as a yagna," Jagan Mohan Reddy added.

The Chief Minister was kept under observation for a while after taking the vaccine. He then interacted with the doctors, medical staff and ward volunteers. (PTI)

17:58 (IST)01 Apr 2021
Over 7.47 lakh people vaccinated in Chennai till Wednesday

The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) has announced that 7,47,051 people have been vaccinated in Chennai till Wednesday, with 21,652 people having been inoculated on Wednesday alone.

17:19 (IST)01 Apr 2021
Anti-EPS remarks: A Raja debarred from campaigning for 48 hours, delisted as star campaigner

Terming his remarks against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edapaddi K Palanisamy “obscene” and akin to “lowering the dignity of women”, the Election Commission of India (ECI) Thursday reprimanded senior DMK leader A Raja and barred him from campaigning for 48 hours. The EC also delisted his name from the list of star campaigners ahead of the assembly elections scheduled on April 6.

“The commission also advises you to be watchful and not to make intemperate, indecent, derogatory, obscene remarks and lower the dignity of women in future during the election campaign,” reads the ECI order dated April 1 and addressed to Raja. Following a complaint by the AIADMK over his remarks against Palanisamy, the EC had sent a notice to Raja on March 30.

It was last week during campaigning at Chepauk-Thiruvallikeni constituency of Stalin’s son Udhayanidhi Stalin that Raja targeted CM Palaniswami. “While Stalin was born out of a legitimate relationship and a normal delivery, Palaniswami was a premature delivery, born out of an illicit relationship,” he had said.

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16:36 (IST)01 Apr 2021
Telangana: Newcomer versus veteran in Nagarjuna Sagar bypoll; BJP hopes to give tough fight

Going to polls on April 17, byelection to Telangana’s Nagarjuna Sagar assembly constituency is essentially a fight between a 7-time Congress legislator and son of the TRS leader who defeated the former in 2018. The BJP’s performance, which claims to be the main challenger to the ruling dispensation in the next general elections in 2023, will be keenly watched.

The election was necessitated due to the sudden demise of sitting MLA Nomula Narsimhaiah on December 1 last year. While the Congress party was quick to name K Jana Reddy (74) as its candidate on the day the Election Commission of India issued the poll notification, the TRS and BJP chose to name their candidates Nomula Bagath Kumar (37) and Dr. Panugothu Ravi Kumar Naik (36), respectively, only a day before the last date for filing nominations

Bagath Kumar, son of Nomula Narasimhaiah, is an engineer-turned-MBA who is currently practicing as an advocate at the Telangana High Court. Dr. Ravi Kumar Naik, hailing from the ST community, has worked as a government civil surgeon before joining the BJP recently.

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15:54 (IST)01 Apr 2021
Telangana adds 887 fresh COVID-19 cases, 4 deaths

Telangana recorded 887 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, the highest single day spike so far this year, pushing the tally to over 3.08 lakh , while the death toll rose to 1,701 with four more fatalities, the state government said on Thursday.

Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) accounted for the most number of cases with 201, followed by Medchal Malkajgiri (79) and Nirmal (78), it said in a bulletin.

The total number of cases stood at 3,08,776 while with 337patients being cured, the total recoveries were at 3,01,564. The state has 5,511 active cases and 59,297 samples were tested on Wednesday. Cumulatively, over 1.02 crore samples have been tested. The samples tested per million population was over 2.74 lakh, the bulletin said.

The case fatality rate in the state was 0.55 per cent while the recovery rate in Telangana was 97.66 per cent. (PTI)

15:18 (IST)01 Apr 2021
Shah tears into DMK for A Raja’s offensive remarks against TN CM; dubs it ‘anti-women’

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday hit out at the DMK for its leader A Raja’s alleged vulgar remarks against Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami’s mother, saying it showed the party had no regard for women.

The ‘mothers and sisters’ of the state should teach a ‘lesson’ to the DMK in the April 6 Assembly polls, he said.

Addressing an election rally here, Shah charged the DMK with aiming to romp home in the hustings by ‘hook or crook.’ Referring to Raja’s alleged offensive remarks targeted at Palaniswami, leader of the BJP’s ally AIADMK, Shah also slammed the Congress and DMK for corruption and dynasty politics.

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14:45 (IST)01 Apr 2021
Chennai: Corporation steps up measures to reduce spread of COVID-19

With Tamil Nadu polls around the corner, the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) has been taking steps to ensure the spread of Covid-19 in the city is minimal even as the state has witnessed a surge in the number of cases over the past two weeks.

The GCC had intensified testing and vaccination across the city well ahead of the polls. Masks and social distancing have been mandatory, with fines even imposed in T Nagar for violating government Covid-19 rules.

Containment zones were reintroduced last month now across Chennai’s 15 zones. A total of nine streets and six apartment complexes have been sealed till Wednesday as per data provided by the Greater Chennai Corporation.

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14:20 (IST)01 Apr 2021
Fuel prices in Chennai and Hyderabad today

Petrol and diesel prices remained unchanged across the country for the second consecutive day on Thursday, April 1, 2021. The auto fuel prices were last changed on March 30, when petrol fell by 22 paise per litre and diesel slipped by 23 paise in the national capital.

In Chennai, the price of petrol is Rs. 92.58 per litre and that of diesel is Rs. 85.88 per litre.

The price of petrol in Hyderabad is Rs. 94.16 per litre and that of diesel is Rs. 88.20 per litre.

13:41 (IST)01 Apr 2021
No Aadhaar data given to Pondi BJP: UIDAI

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) informed the Madras High Court on Wednesday that no Aadhaar data, more particularly the cell phone numbers of voters in Puducherry, has been furnished to the BJP for campaigning for the April 6 elections.

When a PIL petition from Anand, president of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) came up Wednesday, UIDAI counsel told Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy that no compromise was made on this issue.

The court said India should be able to proudly tell the world that the nation is a successful democracy despite issues like poverty, adding, its image takes a beating whenever malpractices happen in elections.

The counsel representing the Puducherry unit of the BJP told the judges that the party did not steal any mobile phone data. It was collected by its Karyakartas (partymen) over a long period. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it had used innovative methods of sending SMS to voters with a link to join booth level WhatsApp groups.

However, the bench felt that such an innovative method should also have been used after obtaining the permission of the Election Commission, as per the model code of conduct, which is in force. It also said that a level playing field should be created, so that the elections are held freely and fairly.

"We must be able to hold our heads high and tell the world that we are a successful democracy despite many problems such as poverty. The image of our country takes a beating whenever malpractices happen in elections." "We are surrounded by instances such as military junta and dictatorship. We should be proud to be a democracy, despite having been under colonial rule for 200 years and facing several problems even now," the judges added and adjourned the matter by a day. (PTI)

12:57 (IST)01 Apr 2021
186 illegal brick kilns near elephant corridors shut, Madras HC told

As many as 186 illegal brick kilns located close to elephant corridors in the Western Ghats have been shut down, the Madras High Court was told on Wednesday. The government counsel informed this when a PIL petition from animal activist Muralidharan came up before the First Bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy.

According to the petitioner, the illegal mining operation in the Thadagam region in Coimbatore was the sole reason behind the rising number of man-animal conflicts. "The brick kilns and the mining of the red sand for bricks have destroyed important corridors used by the elephants to migrate to contiguous forest areas. This is resulting in elephants moving into human settlements and damaging crops and lives," he said.

Earlier, the Bench had directed the State to take immediate measures to ensure that the brick kilns functioned within the prescribed parameters after obtaining licence from the appropriate authority.

When the matter came up again Wednesday, the counsel representing the Chief Secretary, submitted that a detailed audit was conducted across Somayampalayam, Nanjundapuram and Pannimadai villages in Coimbatore north taluk where it was found that several erring units were in operation.

Recording the submission, the Bench directed the State to file a detailed report and adjourned the matter till April 6. (PTI)

12:09 (IST)01 Apr 2021
241 fever clinics conducted in Chennai Wednesday

The Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) conducted 241 fever clinics in Chennai on Wednesday. A total of 18,585 people attended the clinics, with swabs collected from 132 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 38 camps had been set up, while Manali (Zone 2) had the least with four camps.

11:44 (IST)01 Apr 2021
Hyderabad University offers diploma course in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

The University of Hyderabad (UoH) is offering an online diploma course in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI and ML). The course will be delivered through the Center for Distance and Virtual Learning (CDVL) with the help of the faculty of the School of Computer and Information Sciences (SCIS) and AAIC Technologies Pvt Ltd. This is a one-year online diploma course and the virtual inaugural ceremony of the first batch of the course was held on March 27.

The main aim of the diploma course is to offer a skill-based tailor-made course that can enhance the industry-ready abilities among graduates and working professionals, said the varsity.

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11:21 (IST)01 Apr 2021
Congress calls AIADMK govt a ‘puppet,’ Modi ‘toolkit’

The Congress on Wednesday levelled corruption charges against the ruling AIADMK and assured a fair probe if the alliance led by the DMK in Tamil Nadu, in which it is also a constituent, emerged victorious in the April 6 Assembly polls.

Party general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala claimed that the AIADMK government was a puppet of the Centre.

“After five years of a puppet AIADMK government, which has become a Modi toolkit, nothing more and nothing less, it is a puppet Modi toolkit playing in the hands of Shri Narendra Modi,” he alleged and accused the AIADMK government of surrendering before the Centre.

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10:59 (IST)01 Apr 2021
PM Modi lauds Rajinikanth on winning Dadasaheb Phalke award

Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to congratulate actor Rajinikanth on winning the 51st Dadasaheb Phalke award today.

"Popular across generations, a body of work few can boast of, diverse roles and an endearing personality...that’s Shri @rajinikanth Ji for you" (sic), he tweeted.

10:47 (IST)01 Apr 2021
Rajinikanth honoured with Dadasaheb Phalke award

Actor Rajinikanth has been honoured with the 51st Dadasaheb Phalke award. Confirming the news, Information and Broadcasting minister Prakash Javadekar wrote, “Happy to announce #Dadasaheb Phalke award for 2020 to one of the greatest actors in history of Indian cinema Rajnikant ji. His contribution as actor, producer and screenwriter has been iconic.”

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10:45 (IST)01 Apr 2021
TN extends COVID-19 lockdown till April 30, to effectively implement test-track-treat protocol

The Tamil Nadu government has extended the COVID-19-enforced lockdown till April 30 with existing relaxations and restrictions, and will effectively implement the test-track-treat protocol to contain the spread of the virus, according to an order issued by Chief Secretary Rajeev Ranjan.

According to the order, there was a need to ensure that the RT-PCR tests conducted were uniformly distributed across all districts with adequate testing to be done in districts reporting high number of infections.

On tracking new cases, Ranjan said the new infections detected due to intensive testing need to be isolated and their contacts have to be traced at the earliest and quarantined.

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10:20 (IST)01 Apr 2021
Stop freebies, create infrastructural facilities: HC

Deploring the freebies culture in Tamil Nadu to woo voters, the Madras High Court on Wednesday advised leaders of the political parties to stop this and engage in promoting infrastructural facilities.

The court’s observations came while admitting a writ petition from M Chandramohan from Tirunelveli district praying for a direction to the authorities concerned to convert the reserved Vasudevanallur Assembly constituency into a general one.

“Each party tries to outdo each other in terms of populist promises. If one party promises monthly assistance of Rs 1,000 to women household heads, there is a counter offer of Rs 1,500. It goes on. The result is people started having a mindset that they could make a living out of freebies,” a Division Bench of Justices N Kirubakaran and B Pugalendhi said.

A trend has been created that whoever avails loan from banks does not repay them, expecting waiver of loans during election. In this way, people themselves get corrupted by the political parties. The way in which the parties throw their promises, which are unreasonable and unworkable, are really unwanted.

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09:53 (IST)01 Apr 2021
Anger at BJP singes goodwill for EPS in central, south Tamil Nadu

Across districts in southern and central Tamil Nadu, the Edappadi Palaniswami government does not seem to be facing significant anti-incumbency. However, what appears set to cost the CM is his perceived “subservience” before the “Modi-Shah” duo of the BJP.

In the AIADMK-led alliance, the BJP has been given 20 seats. In the 2016 Assembly polls, the BJP had got 2.84% of the votes contesting on 188 seats, forfeiting deposits in 180 and winning none.

The BJP’s spectre also hangs heavy because, while EPS is seen as efficient and praised for holding the AIADMK together after J Jayalalithaa’s death, there doesn’t seem to be much recall value about his government’s achievements. Lacking both the charisma of Jayalalithaa and the oratory of M Karunanidhi, EPS is failing to put this across.

The minorities — Christians at 6.12% of the population, and Muslims at 5.86% are the largest groups — are also upset over the AIADMK’s alliance with the BJP.

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09:23 (IST)01 Apr 2021
248 flights to fly between Chennai and major cities today

A total of 248 flights will be operated between Chennai and major cities today, with 124 arrivals and 124 departures scheduled at the Chennai International Airport.

09:15 (IST)01 Apr 2021
EC transfers three police officials in poll-bound TN

The Election Commission on Wednesday ordered transfer of three police officials, including two IG ranked officers, in poll-bound Tamil Nadu, following "adverse inputs." 

In a communication to the Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary, with a copy marked to the state Chief Electoral Officer (CEO),the EC directed the transfer of IG Central HM Jayaram, IG West Dhinakaran,and SP Rural Coimbatore Arul Arasu.

The EC directed the transfer of the officials "based on adverse inputs," it said, and also named the replacement for the respective officials. "Jayaram, Dhinakaran and Arul Arasu will be attached to the DGP Headquarters awaiting posting orders" and their posting cannot be done without its permission, the EC said.

Further, the Commission also directed the appointment of A Arun as Police Commissioner of Tiruchirappalli City, a day after it transferred then incumbent J Loganathan. (PTI)

A Raja DMK leader A Raja (File Photo)

Responding to the notice served on him by the Election Commission (EC), DMK leader A Raja Wednesday said he never made any derogatory or defamatory statement against Chief Minister Edapaddi K Palaniswami and the AIADMK as well as the BJP are falsely propagating that he had insulted the CM. “I deny that I made any derogatory or defamatory speeches against the Hon’ble Chief Minister and I made any speech which would demean or defame women or motherhood,” Raja wrote in his response to the notice served by EC.

READ | ‘Never insulted Palaniswami…AIADMK, BJP propagating false facts’: A Raja responds to EC notice

Heat wave conditions are likely to prevail over isolated pockets in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry for the next five days, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) said Wednesday. As per the forecast, since the dry land breeze from north-west is moving towards Tamil Nadu, the temperature may increase 3-5 degree Celsius between March 31 – April 4. The rise in temperature will be felt in Chennai, Kancheepuram, Chengalpet, Vellore, Ranipet, Tirupathur, Thiruvallur, Tiruvannamalai, Villupuram, Cuddalore, Salem, Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri, Kallakurichi, Namakkal, Karur, Tiruchirapalli, Perambalur, Ariyalur, Mayiladuthurai, Puducherry and Karaikal.

READ | Heat wave conditions likely at isolated pockets in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry for 5 days: IMD

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 29, 30 Highlights

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