March 18, 2021 8:28:36 am
The Big Story
Warning of a “second peak” of the Covid-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called on states to take “quick and decisive steps”, including increasing the pace of vaccination and paying special attention to the surge being reported in small cities. As many as 70 districts have reported a 150 per cent increase in the number of cases over the past few weeks, the Prime Minister said. He also flagged the wastage of vaccine doses and urged states to aim for zero wastage.
Only in the Express
Himanta Biswa Sarma is the BJP’s Northeast face and senior Assam minister, who is among the top leaders spearheading the party’s campaign in the state. In an interview with The Indian Express, Himanta spoke on why the BJP constantly targets AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal, the Congress alliance with AIUDF and why the CAA and NRC won’t affect the outcome of this election.
From the Front Page
The woman at the centre of the Karnataka sex CD scandal has been missing since March 2, her father said in a police complaint. He has also claimed that she has been abducted from her PG accomodation in Bengaluru and was being held captive at a secret location.
Health authorities have called for more Covid-19 samples from Maharashtra to be sent for genome sequencing to ascertain whether a new, faster-transmitting mutant is behind the record high of 23,179 cases reported on Wednesday. The silver lining, health officials said, is the much lower hospitalisation and death rates as compared to last year.
A year into the pandemic, the manufacturers of critical medical equipment find themselves in a tough spot as the boom time has slowly evaporated and demand slipped. Amongst the worst hit are the makers of ventilators, who are now staring at huge inventories, a saturated market and, for some, deep financial crisis.
After Sachin Waze’s arrest by the NIA in the Ambani security scare case, Param Bir Singh’s removal as Mumbai Police commissioner seemed a foregone conclusion. Why? Well, from the point of view of the Uddhav Thackeray-led ruling coalition, it was bad if Singh did not know what the junior inspector was doing, and worse if he did.
A minimum basic income every month, a student credit card with a Rs 10 lakh limit, monetary help of Rs 10,000 for small and marginal farmers — these were some of the promises made in the Trinamool Congress’ ambitious manifesto released by West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee ahead of the Assembly polls.
In the fray of the Tamil Nadu elections is an alphabet soup of parties flowing seamlessly from one alliance to another. There is the AIADMK alliance, the DMK-led group, and even Kamal Haasan’s MNM and its alliance partners AISMK and IJK. But come poll day, it may be virtually an AIADMK vs DMK battle, with leaders across the political spectrum saying the two parties will together mop up 80% of the votes.
In West Bengal’s Bankura, the face of the BJP is 30-year-old Chandana Baury, one of the poorest nominees in the poll race, by way of assets. The wife of a daily wage worker, until recently Baury only dreamt of having a toilet. “The Trinamool is corrupt,” Chandana claims. “It has not done any development work, pocketed all the money that Modiji sent for welfare schemes.
Win the toss, bowl first and win the match seems to be the mantra for success in the subcontinent. And it is not without reason that cricketer Dinesh Karthik believes that both the Indian and English captains should practice winning tosses.
Delhi Confidential: Health Minister Harsh Vardhan’s long-winding reply to the discussion on Budget in Lok Sabha ended up testing the limits of the house. In fact, Speaker Om Birla had to interrupt him towards the end to say “thank you, mantriji”, rare during reply by a minister.
Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.