The farmers’ agitation remained the top news on Thursday evening. A meeting between their representatives and the government was on in Delhi, while more traffic restrictions were thrown in to keep thousands of protesters from crossing the national capital’s borders.
In politics, superstar Rajinikanth said he would launch his political party in January, while the TMC shut the door on its rebel leader Suvendu Adhikari. Cyclone Burevi was likely to cross Tamil Nadu in the next two hours and flood its coastal areas.
There was, however, some good news on the coronavirus front — Randeep Guleria, AIIMS chief and member of the national task force on Covid-19 management, said he was hopeful of the vaccine’s emergency use approval by December-end.
Here’s a detailed look at what’s making headlines at 7 pm on Thursday.
AT MEET WITH GOVT, FARMER LEADERS DECLINE LUNCH
More traffic restrictions were put in place along Delhi’s borders to keep protesting farmers from marching in, while a meeting between their representatives and the government at Vigyan Bhavan was on to break the standoff over the three farms laws that the Centre passed in September.
Farmer leaders, however, declined the central government’s offer for lunch during their meeting with Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar. They said they had brought their food. Thursday was the 8th day of the ‘Delhi Chalo’ protest march called by farmer unions from across the country, particularly from Punjab and Haryana.
Thousands of farmers continue to camp on Delhi’s borders, demanding that the Centre withdraw its three new farm laws or assure Minimum Support Price (MSP) in writing. Earlier in the day, former Punjab Chief Minister and SAD leader Parkash Singh Badal, who was one of NDA’s strongest allies, decided to return his Padma Vibhushan award in protest against the farm laws.
TMC SHUTS THE DOOR ON SUVENDU ADHIKARI
The TMC has shut the door on rebel leader Suvendu Adhikari, party MP Saugata Roy told India Today TV. Saugata Roy said that Suvendu Adhikari is now a “closed chapter” for the TMC.
Reportedly, the last straw for the TMC was Suvendu Adhikari hitting out at Prashant Kishor, who has been strategising the 2021 Bengal election campaign for the TMC. Several TMC leaders have raised questions over Prashant Kishor’s role in the functioning of the party.
“Prashant Kishor is a strategist for election engineering, speaking against him is not good,” said Saugata Roy. “TMC MLAs are hitting out at the party. If they speak against him or Didi (Mamata Banerjee), we have enough loyalists to fight and win,” Saugata Roy added.
RAJINIKANTH TO LAUNCH POLITICAL PARTY IN JANUARY, FORMAL ANNOUNCEMENT ON DEC 31
Putting an end to speculation, superstar Rajinikanth on Thursday said he will launch his political party in January 2021, and the formal announcement regarding the same will be made on December 31.
Addressing the media, he said that his plans were affected because of the coronavirus pandemic and he did not want to be careless.
Saying that the time has come to transform Tamil Nadu, the superstar said, “Will work as much as possible for the people. If we don’t do it now change will never happen.”
He also said his victory in politics will be the victory of the people. He said, “It all depends on the people of Tamil Nadu. If I win when I enter politics, it will be the people’s victory.”
He thanked everyone for their support, and said, “I would like to thank everyone for their support.”
Rajinikanth said, “We will surely win assembly polls and give an honest, transparent, corruption-free, and spiritual politics. A wonder and miracle will definitely happen.”
He had announced his entry into politics on Dec 31 in 2017.
‘HOPEFUL OF COVID VACCINE EMERGENCY USE APPROVAL BY DECEMBER-END’
With Covid-19 vaccines in the final stages of testing in India and the government working on a vaccine distribution plan, Randeep Guleria, AIIMS chief and member of the national task force on Covid-19 management, is hopeful of a coronavirus vaccine by the end of this month or early January.
“In India, we now have vaccines which are in their final trial stage. Hopeful that by the end of this month or early next month we should get emergency use authorisation from Indian regulatory authorities to start giving the vaccine to the public,” Dr Randeep Guleria told news agency ANI on Thursday.
CYCLONE BUREVI: RAINFALL IN TAMIL NADU, COASTAL AREAS LIKELY TO BE FLOODED
Cyclone Burevi is likely to generate a storm surge of about 1-m height above astronomical tide. The storm surge is very likely to flood low-lying areas of south coastal Tamil Nadu (Ramanathapuram, Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli and Kanniyakumari) during the time of landfall, the Ministry of Earth Science has said.
In its latest bulletin, IMD has said Cyclone Burevi lay close to Pamban and has an associated wind speed of 70-80 kmph gusting to 90 kmph.
It added that Cyclone Burevi will move across the Pamban area during the next three hours and will cross the south Tamil Nadu coast between Pamban and Kanniyakumari tonight and early tomorrow morning.