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29 Tamil Nadu fishermen detained by Sri Lankan navy

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi voicing concern at recurring instances of such arrests

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New study reveals why eating without hunger can harm your health <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaUS deporting not just students, but tourists and businessmen to India, says external affairs ministryIndiaActress-turned-politician Rupa Ganguly West Bengal BJP’s women’s wing chiefIndia29 Tamil Nadu fishermen detained by Sri Lankan navyIndiaAssam Police to launch ‘Citizen Portal’ from January 1IndiaMeet the 13-year-old boy selected for National Bravery AwardIndiaIndia will not get financial aid from United Kingdom beginning 2016 <!– /.block –>

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RSS pracharaks as BJP’s state unit chiefs – exceptions or new trend?

A party leader said earlier RSS pracharaks came to the BJP generally as organisational secretaries. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was one of the first pracharaks to hold a government post as chief minister and Kushabhau Thakre, also a pracharak, was party president. From 2004, more pracharaks entered the party fold. Once a pracharak joins the party, he has to give up the “veya patra” or statement of expenditure, as advance money is given to pracharaks for monthly expenditures.

Amita Shah

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Coastal road clears major hurdle, Fadnavis thanks PM Modi <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaAmritsar: Nine killed, 15 injured in accident as bus hits motorised cartIndiaNarrow escape for 171 passengers of AI flight as dog strays on runwayIndiaNoida jinx will keep Akhilesh Yadav away from meeting PMIndiaMaharashtra: Sales tax on kidney-related medicines waived offIndiaDelhi govt suspends two officers; 200 colleagues threaten to go on mass leaveIndiaUP girl students barred from hockey, cricket, football <!– /.block –>

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Ram Temple will be built with court’s order: Union Minister Mahesh Sharma

Sharma had yesterday clarified the BJP’s stance on the issue of construction of Ram Temple, saying his party and the government had already given their opinion that people of the country want the temple to be constructed as soon as possible.

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Balco unions want PM Narendra Modi’s help to bail out local aluminium makers <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaMadras High Court rejects plea to book those projecting women in bad tasteIndiaCounting of votes for six MLC seats in Telangana underwayIndiaInfosys vows to take stringent action against rape accusedIndiaIconic Marathi poet Mangesh Padgaonkar passes awayIndiaIntelligence alert on terror attack by Lashkar-e-Taiba targetting PM Modi, ParliamentIndia11 women, one man convicted for stripping, parading woman naked <!– /.block –>

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Gopal Subramaniam agrees to head DDCA probe panel; asks AAP govt to televise inquiry proceedings

Earlier, the Delhi assembly at a special session passed a resolution to set up a commission of inquiry to probe the alleged irregularities in the working of the DDCA. Kejriwal also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to sack Jaitley for his involvement in the matters of the city’s cricketing association. Jaitley, who headed the DDCA for years, however, has rejected the allegations levelled against him.

Prabhati Nayak Mishra
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No LPG subsidy for tax payers earning over Rs 10 lakh <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaTamil Nadu: Construction work on APJ Abdul Kalam’s memorial to begin todayIndiaMoral police fails to dampen New Year revelry in KashmirIndiaDelhi: December 30 dry run for odd even ruleIndiaTwo South Mumbai women seek medical help for obsessive shoppingIndiaGopal Subramaniam agrees to head DDCA probe panel; asks AAP govt to televise inquiry proceedingsIndiaGrimmer details of Dadri lynching emerge, meat found from Mohamad Akhlaq’s home was goat’s <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>Is India’s GDP really growing at 7.5%?<!– /.block –>No LPG subsidy for tax payers earning over Rs 10 lakh<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Formulate common population policy, redefine minority: Union Minister Giriraj Singh

The party (Congress) held Parliament “hostage” and tried to block the Narendra Modi’s efforts to put the country on the fast track of development, he said.

PTI
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<!– /.block –>Remove Modi to save India, remove Mamata to save West Bengal: Sitaram Yechury <!– /.block –>
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Remove Modi to save India, remove Mamata to save West Bengal: Sitaram Yechury <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaIndian Muslims don’t let their children get radicalised by ISIS: Rajnath SinghIndiaLok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan pitches for new Parliament buildingIndiaCongress says ‘odd-even’ scheme a Muhammad Tuglaq-like act from KejriwalIndiaIndia, Pakistan and Bangladesh can become a ‘federation’: Ram Vilas PaswanIndiaFormulate common population policy, redefine minority: Union Minister Giriraj SinghIndiaRemove Modi to save India, remove Mamata to save West Bengal: Sitaram Yechury <!– /.block –>

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Narendra Modi-Nawaz Sharif bonhomie takes dialogue process to higher levels

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s birthday diplomacy in Lahore on Friday, that took even the well-glued senior government mandarins by surprise and provoked the opposition to slam it as “adventurism”, seems to be auguring well for the country in deriving some tangible results in the key problem area of cross-border terrorism.The quickened pace of developments that started with Modi-Sharif meeting on the sidelines of Paris climate summit on November 30, leading to secretive talks between national security advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and his Pakistan counterpart Lt. Gen (Retd.) Nasir Khan Janjua in Bangkok on December 6, followed by external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj’s Pakistan visit and a tete-a-tete with Sartaj Aziz, is now leading to foreign secretary-level talks on January 15 under the new nomenclature of Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue.The foreign secretary-level talks, for which S Jaishankar is expected to head to Islamabad, will work out the modalities and schedule of the meetings under the dialogue including peace and security, CBMs, Jammu & Kashmir, Siachen, Sir Creek, Wullar Barrage/Tulbul Navigation Project, economic and commercial cooperation, counter-terrorism, narcotics control and humanitarian issues, people-to-people exchanges and religious tourism.The firming up of modalities are expected to lead to structured NSA-level talks later next year.While union home ministry remains clueless about the status of its role in the talks, the comprehensive bilateral dialogue seems to have taken the scope of cross-border terrorism out of its purview as it will now be discussed at the level of NSAs, instead of home secretary-level talks that existed well within its domain during composite dialogue.While, some see it as diminishing role of the union home ministry in issues related to Pakistan that directly impact country’s internal security situation for which it is solely accountable. It seems that the ministry’s role now would be limited to hold talks on narcotics smuggling and ceasefire violations at the borders, said sources.However, according to sources in the intelligence agencies, stepping up the level of cross-border terrorism to NSA is expected to put more pressure on Pakistan to speed up the trial of perpetrators of 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, dismantling of terror camps in the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) and reining in banned Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed.”The government has done well by letting NSA Ajit Doval handle the cross-border terrorism in its entirety. Doval is an old and expert hand and knows Pakistan too well. Given the international pressure, he is capable of extracting more from Pakistan than any other person in the government. We now expect to see gradual building up of pressure on Pakistan to deliver in matters related to Mumbai trial, Dawood’s deportation and squeezing terror groups by acting on their finances and training camps,” said sources.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

AAP, BJP hit out at Vadra for remarks on even-odd scheme

Defending Vadra’s remarks, Congress spokesperson Tom Vaddakan said he is expressing the view of the citizens of Delhi and “rightly so, when there is no operational facility available in terms of transport, in terms of metro and the last mile factor and the connectivity is not there.” He said while the disabled and patients are exempted by AAP government, the doctors are not. Judges are permitted but lawyers are not.”If democracy is to be throttled in this way and the provisions of aadm aadmi is all about ‘khas aadmi’ by these VIP exemptions, questions will be asked by people of Delhi,” Vaddakan said. Vadra in his facebook post has said, “Odd and Even ways !! Creating parallel lists of exemption, is complete hypocrisy. If a law is implemented in the interest of the people, we all must adhere, and not be VIPs.”The Delhi government has announced a scheme of allowing vehicles of even and odd numbers alternatively on Delhi roads in its bid to control pollution in the national capital, but has come out with exemptions for VIPs. The scheme is to be enforced from January 1.

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<!– /.block –>Is Nawaz Sharif putting PM Modi over Kashmir, questions Hafiz Saeed <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaReality Check: Don’t expect much from Indo-Pak talks in January, says Sartaj AzizIndiaTamil Nadu elections: PMK says it will give Dy Chief Minister post to BJPIndiaDelhi govt’s odd-even formula to be a failure: Sheila DikshitIndiaNDA wants to honour all who fought for the country: Ravi Shankar PrasadIndiaVypam scam: Dummy candidate among two get 3-yr jail for forgeryIndiaShiv Sena Punjab asks PM Narendra Modi to apologise for going to Pakistan <!– /.block –>

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Kolkata: One dead, 150 shanties gutted in Dum Dum Park fire

Bidhannagar Corporation Mayor Sabyasachi Dutta, said three medical teams have already reached the spot to extend medical assistance. “The teams will there for the night. We have arranged for an alternate shelter in a marriage hall in the area for the affected people. Blankets and food have also been sent. A detailed assessment of the damage will be done tomorrow and all assistance will be provided to rebuild the dwellings,” Dutta said.

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<!– /.block –>Watch: When Gautam Gambhir snubbed MS Dhoni <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaReality Check: Don’t expect much from Indo-Pak talks in January, says Sartaj AzizIndiaTamil Nadu elections: PMK says it will give Dy Chief Minister post to BJPIndiaDelhi govt’s odd-even formula to be a failure: Sheila DikshitIndiaNDA wants to honour all who fought for the country: Ravi Shankar PrasadIndiaVypam scam: Dummy candidate among two get 3-yr jail for forgeryIndiaShiv Sena Punjab asks PM Narendra Modi to apologise for going to Pakistan <!– /.block –>

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NDA wants to honour all who fought for the country: Ravi Shankar Prasad

“The Central government is studying the legal implications and trying to remove the hurdles in the way of holding jallikattu,” he said. The sport, conducted traditionally co-inciding with the harvest festival of Pongal, held in mid-January, has been banned by the Supreme Court last year and there have been demands for steps to lift the ban.

PTI
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<!– /.block –>South Africa v/s England: Steyn gets his mojo back but England hold firm <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaReality Check: Don’t expect much from Indo-Pak talks in January, says Sartaj AzizIndiaTamil Nadu elections: PMK says it will give Dy Chief Minister post to BJPIndiaDelhi govt’s odd-even formula to be a failure: Sheila DikshitIndiaNDA wants to honour all who fought for the country: Ravi Shankar PrasadIndiaVypam scam: Dummy candidate among two get 3-yr jail for forgeryIndiaShiv Sena Punjab asks PM Narendra Modi to apologise for going to Pakistan <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>EPL 2015: Liverpool does a huge favour to Manchester City and Arsenal<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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In yet another life-saving mission, Coast Guard rescues eight crew members from distressed ship

All crew members were examined by the medical team of Coast Guard and found to be fit. The dhow is being monitored by ICGS Samrat and rescued crew are being brought to Mumbai, the spokesperson said.

PTI
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<!– /.block –>40 crore in unorganised sector to get social security smart cards from Centre: Labour Ministry <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaLG Najeeb Jung questions legality of DDCA probe, Arvind Kejriwal hits backIndiaDelhi emerging as global transit hub for drugs by courier and postIndiaPunjab Congress leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira joins AAP; hits out at Rahul, AmarinderIndiaPM Narendra Modi personally touched by Nawaz Sharif’s welcomeIndiaDiplomats hail move but with cautionIndiaNawaz Sharif gets birthday hug from Narendra Modi in Lahore; surprise move stuns even PM’s own party <!– /.block –>

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Here’s what the American media said about PM Modi’s Lahore stopover

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, leader of the opposition Peoples Party of Pakistan, welcomed the Prime Minister’s surprise stoppage at Lahore. “Constant engagement is the only way to resolve all outstanding issues,” he wrote on Twitter.

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<!– /.block –>Chennai’s trade group AIEMA seeks special fund from Centre for flood-hit businesses <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaLG Najeeb Jung questions legality of DDCA probe, Arvind Kejriwal hits backIndiaDelhi emerging as global transit hub for drugs by courier and postIndiaPunjab Congress leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira joins AAP; hits out at Rahul, AmarinderIndiaPM Narendra Modi personally touched by Nawaz Sharif’s welcomeIndiaDiplomats hail move but with cautionIndiaNawaz Sharif gets birthday hug from Narendra Modi in Lahore; surprise move stuns even PM’s own party <!– /.block –>

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UP CM Akhilesh Yadav sacks minister Ompal Nehra after he asks Muslims to help build temple

“Where can a Ram temple be built if not in Ayodhya? It is an emotional issue. In Mathura, where we worship Krishna, how can there be a mosque there. Muslims should think about it and in fact come forward for Kar Seva (voluntary work) and say build the temples at these places. We should not fall in their (VHP’s)trap,” Nehra has said in Bijnore.

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Also ReadIndiaLG Najeeb Jung questions legality of DDCA probe, Arvind Kejriwal hits backIndiaDelhi emerging as global transit hub for drugs by courier and postIndiaPunjab Congress leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira joins AAP; hits out at Rahul, AmarinderIndiaPM Narendra Modi personally touched by Nawaz Sharif’s welcomeIndiaDiplomats hail move but with cautionIndiaNawaz Sharif gets birthday hug from Narendra Modi in Lahore; surprise move stuns even PM’s own party <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>West Indies dismiss danger-man Warner, Australia 70-1 in second Test<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Punjab Congress leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira joins AAP; hits out at Rahul, Amarinder

He also said CBI failed to find out anything “wrong” against IAS officer Rajender Kumar so far.

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<!– /.block –>PM Narendra Modi personally touched by Nawaz Sharif’s welcome <!– /.block –>
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Also ReadIndiaLG Najeeb Jung questions legality of DDCA probe, Arvind Kejriwal hits backIndiaDelhi emerging as global transit hub for drugs by courier and postIndiaPunjab Congress leader Sukhpal Singh Khaira joins AAP; hits out at Rahul, AmarinderIndiaPM Narendra Modi personally touched by Nawaz Sharif’s welcomeIndiaDiplomats hail move but with cautionIndiaNawaz Sharif gets birthday hug from Narendra Modi in Lahore; surprise move stuns even PM’s own party <!– /.block –>

<!– /#sidebar-second –>Delhi emerging as global transit hub for drugs by courier and post<!– /.block –> <!– /#content_bottom –>
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Diplomats hail move but with caution

Sumitra Kumar, senior research fellow at the premier strategic think-tank – Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA) — however, is apprehensive about Nawaz Sharif’s manoeuvrability with regard to terror elements given that the Punjab provincial government has over the last few years been allocating considerable funds in its annual budget for the Jamaat ud Dawa. “Even faced with the improbability of making much headway on terrorism and Kashmir in the resumed dialogue, it is still important for India to engage with Pakistan. If India hopes to be taken seriously by the international community it should be seen to be managing its relationships with the neighbours earnestly,” Kumar said. Also, continuing the dialogue might tend to weaken the anti-India elements in Pakistan, he said. Besides, the experience of the last 18 months during which the dialogue was interrupted twice has brought both governments to the view that if any forward movement has to be made in improving relations they can only resort to a dialogue and nothing else,” said Kumar, an expert on Pakistan and military affairs.

dna Correspondent

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Also ReadIndia6.2 magnitude quake rocks northeast Afghanistan; tremor felt in Delhi, parts of North IndiaIndiaNo takers among doctors for paramilitary forcesIndiaDelhi emerging as global transit hub for drugsIndiaTwo major defence deals that couldn’t fructify during Narendra Modi’s visit to RussiaIndiaNow for the real talks: India, Pakistan Foreign Secretaries to meet on January 15IndiaAll you need to know about PM Modi’s sudden Pakistan visit <!– /.block –>

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With Pak visit, Modi’s foreign policy circle is complete

Ever since Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister, he has been insisting on Foreign Policy and it has been on the top agenda. He has already visited almost 55 States but was criticised for not having visited Pakistan. In fact, in the earlier Indian government between 1998 to 2003, Atal Bihari Vajpayee had visited Pakistan twice in 1999 and 2002, once before and after the Kargil war. He was the one who constituted the process of peace building with Pakistan. So it was expected that Modi would carry forward the same legacy.So Modi’s visit to Pakistan was not spontaneous, it was a well decided and pre-determined sort of move, but was obviously kept out of media glare as there was tremendous public pressure and in a way India had to break the ice.Another important reason we have to look at is that Modi first visited Russia followed by Afghanistan and then Pakistan. In the last six months, India has been growing close to the United States of America (US) and Russia is getting closer to Pakistan so that made India look at relations with Russia from a whole new perspective. India has a very crucial role to play in Afghanistan, which is being opposed by Pakistan and to avoid this, India has to normalise it’s relations with Pakistan. This will be necessary to maintain balance on regional and international issues.In the last one year, Modi may have realised that cutting off the peace process and breaking ties with Pakistan did not yield any result. On the contrary, it ultimately increased the importance of the military in Pakistan and not of the political executive.India’s policy to keep its neighbours in confidence cannot be completed until and unless it normalises its relations with Pakistan. The ultimate reality is that there is no alternative solution for resolving Kashmir, Siachen and Sir Creek issues which have been pending for decades. Initiating the talks is the only solution to find the remedy for all pending issues with Pakistan.Since Russia and China are getting closer to Pakistan the triangle that is emerging from their relations, if developed, can be disastrous to India. So it is important for India to neutralise that aspect also. Hence Modi’s visit was well-planned in the order it took place, that is, Russia, Afghanistan and Pakistan. With this the foreign policy circle is completed, which had been left incomplete by the UPA government.One more important aspect to be considered in the Kashmir issue is that just talking to the political executive is not enough, but the army, that is, the top military generals have to be involved in it. India-Pakistan policy is not being decided and dictated by the political executive but by the army. Army plays a very crucial role in framing Indian, Pakistani, American and Israeli policy. So it is important to involve the army in talks and also to take it into confidence.The ice between the countries has been broken, a very positive development and the hope is that it will continue.-As told to dnaThe author is a foreign policy analyst<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Now for the real talks: India, Pakistan Foreign Secretaries to meet on January 15

Today, in a surprise move, Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Lahore and greeted his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on his birthday. They held talks and decided to open ways for peace for the “larger good” of the people of the two countries.

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Also ReadIndiaChristmas festivities grip nationIndiaWhy PM Narendra Modi’s ‘impromptu’ Pakistan visit is significant IndiaPM Modi, Jaitley victims of political intolerance: RamdevIndiaEco-sensitive zones to sink by 60% of Western Ghats?IndiaCongress remarks on PM Modi’s Lahore visit unfortunate, BJP hits backIndiaWill Modi’s Pak visit lead to action against terror, Dawood, Saeed: Sena, VHP <!– /.block –>

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PM Modi visits Vajpayee’s house, greets him on his birthday

Earlier, Modi hailed Vajpaye as a leader who distinguished himself in every role, while greeting him on his birthday. “Birthday greetings to our beloved Atalji. We salute this great personality who provided exceptional leadership to India at a crucial time,” the PM had tweeted earlier in the day.
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Congress remarks on PM Modi’s Lahore visit unfortunate, BJP hits back

BJP on Friday hit back at Congress over its suggestions that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Pakistan was “pre-arranged” at an industrialist’s initiative, and said it was “unfortunate” that the country has an opposition like it which sees negative in all “positive efforts”.Welcoming Modi’s visit which has taken the country by “pleasant surprise”, BJP said the Prime Minister has taken a bold step and only a strong leader like Modi can do so.”Such an allegation by Congress is absolutely incorrect and in bad taste. This is unfortunate that the country has an opposition like this today. People have hopes from Modi and he has in a short span of time brought about a paradigm shift in India’s relationship with the outside world,” party secretary Shrikant Sharma said.Modi decided to go to Lahore after his Pakistani counterpart extended an invitation to him which he accepted, Sharma said. Calling it an “out of box” initiative, Sharma said Modi had been taking such steps and cited his decision to invite the head of governments of the SAARC countries and his meeting with Sharif in Paris recently.He recalled that BJP stalwart and the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had also taken a similar exercise with his Lahore bus journey. Modi has been of the view that there should be easy and informal relations among SAARC countries like what exist between the EU and ASEAN nations, he said, adding that this is besides the conventional diplomacy.Sharma also cited Modi’s initiative in building an alliance of Solar energy-rich countries at Paris climate change conference to buttress his point. Congress leader Anand Sharma criticising Modi’s visit said, the meeting between Modi and Sharif was “pre-arranged” by a businessman. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Watch: PM Narendra Modi greeted by PM Nawaz Sharif at Lahore airport

A PM House spokesman here said the Indian premier would stay in Lahore for about two hours. A PML-N source told PTI that Sharif had invited Modi to attend the marriage of his granddaughter Mehrun Nisa which is taking place today at the Sharif’s Raiwind palatial residence. “I cannot confirm but there are chances that Modi goes to Raiwind and holds meeting with PM Sharif at his residence,” he said.

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A Christmas Miracle: Twitter reacts to Narendra Modi’s ‘impromptu’ Pakistan visit!

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PM Modi’s Pakistan visit path-breaking departure from protocol-driven politics: BJP

“We had the Ufa statement which was focused on our primary concern that is terrorism. There were hiccups after that. Then we had the Bangkok talk. Our Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj visited Pakistan. “If the two countrioes can try to have a positive approach and work out a relationship that brings peace not only between them but to the entire region and therefore to the world, then that is something that should be welcomed,” he said.

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Modi in Pakistan: PM Modi’s Lahore visit ‘step in the right direction’, says J&K CM Mufti Mohammed Sayeed Sayeed hoped that the meeting between the two leaders will provide the much-needed momentum to the Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue for peaceful resolution of all issues between the two countries.
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Keep it up: PM Narendra Modi tells ITBP squad at Kabul Embassy in Afghanistan

A Christmas Miracle: Twitter reacts to Narendra Modi’s ‘impromptu’ Pakistan visit!

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Schools in India like factories churning out products: Madhavan Nair

He also advocated the need for exposing school students to the challenges of science and technology and fostering the scientific temper in them. “Though we have a large human resource base, we will cut a sorry figure in front of other nations if we don’t pay attention to these,” Nair said.

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Keep it up: PM Narendra Modi tells ITBP squad at Kabul Embassy in Afghanistan

A Christmas Miracle: Twitter reacts to Narendra Modi’s ‘impromptu’ Pakistan visit!

Modi in Pakistan: Here is how separatists are reacting to PM Narendra Modi’s surprise visit to Lahore
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From NJAC to Yakub Memon: Top cases that rocked Supreme Court in 2015

It rejected pleas seeking death penalty for Vikas and Vishal Yadav, serving 30 years jail term for brutally killing Nitish Katara in 2002. It simultaneously dismissed appeals of Yadav against the conviction and agreed to hear the limited issue as to whether the jail-term awarded to them was fair or just.

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Keep it up: PM Narendra Modi tells ITBP squad at Kabul Embassy in Afghanistan

A Christmas Miracle: Twitter reacts to Narendra Modi’s ‘impromptu’ Pakistan visit!

Modi in Pakistan: Here is how separatists are reacting to PM Narendra Modi’s surprise visit to Lahore
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Updates: PM Modi leaves for Lahore for unexpected Pakistan visit, after speech at Afghan Parliament

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The relations between India and Pakistan witnessed some positive developments after chill for several months.

Modi

PM Narendra Modi has left for Lahore airport from Kabul, on an unexpected and impromptu visit to Pakistan. He will meet Nawaz Sharif there.Earlier, In a surprise development, it had been announced that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have a stop over in Lahore, to meet his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif there on Friday afternoon.Modi was in Kabul on Friday, inaugurating the Afghan Parliament building and delivering a speech. Modi announced scholarships for 500 children of nartyred Afghan security forces.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Related Read: LIVE Updates: PM Modi addresses Afghan Parliament, announces 500 scholarships for childrenModi on Friday greeted his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif on his birthday and wished him good health.”I wish the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr Nawaz Sharif on his birthday and pray that he remains in wonderful health,” Modi, tweeted.The relations between India and Pakistan witnessed some positive developments after chill for several months. The two countries recently decided to launch a comprehensive dialogue after Modi and Sharif met in Paris.

7th Pay Commission: Five states ask Modi government to ‘go slow’ on salary hikes

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“Punjab’s finances are under stress and the burden of the Pay Commission’s recommendations will certainly have an impact… Our officials have informally taken up the matter with the Centre,” confirmed Punjab Finance Minister PS Dhindsa.

Arun Jaitley and AK Mathur

Five states have asked the Narendra Modi government to go slow on the implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission’s recommendations, says a report in Indian Express.The five states are West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Odisha. These states have asked for more time before being able to absorb pay hikes as recommended by the Commission, due to their financially delicate situation.”There are several states who have approached the Prime Minister’s Office, Cabinet Secretary and Niti Aayog, seeking more time in implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission’s report,” said a government official to Indian Express.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Seventh Pay Commission, headed by Justice AK Mathur, submitted its report to the government last month, recommending 23.55% overall hike in pay, allowances and pensions of government employees with effect from January 1, 2016. This means the Centre’s salary bill will increase by Rs 1,02,100 crore in 2016-17.”Punjab’s finances are under stress and the burden of the Pay Commission’s recommendations will certainly have an impact… Our officials have informally taken up the matter with the Centre,” confirmed Punjab Finance Minister PS Dhindsa.”Normally they (states) adopt the Centre’s recommendations. This is the normal procedure, but it certainly depends upon their (states’) financial health. Some of the states have not even implemented the Sixth Pay Commission’s recommendation,” Justice Mathur told The Indian Express.”Some of the states may have suggested (delayed implementation) to the government, but I don’t think the Government of India is in a bad position,” he said.When contacted, Odisha’s Additional Chief Secretary (Finance Department), R Balakrishnan said: “At this stage, we don’t want to comment on it.”The West Bengal government has set up its own Pay Commission to determine the hike. It is expected to be on the same lines as enumerated by the Centre.Meanwhile, the Union finance ministry has set up an implementation cell for processing and implementing accepted recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission.

PM Modi wishes Atal Behari Vajpayee on birthday, to visit ailing ex-PM today

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Modi tweeted a poem written by Vajpayee in 1946 which was published in a daily owned by Madan Mohan Malviya.

PM Narendra Modi

AFP photo
PM Narendra Modi, who is currently on a visit to Afghanistan, wished former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee on his birthday and said he would visit the ailing Vajpayee in the evening after returning from Kabul.
“Be it as a party leader, Parliamentarian, Minister, Prime Minister, Atal ji distinguished himself in every role. This is his speciality,” Modi said on Twitter.Modi tweeted a poem written by Vajpayee in 1946 which was published in a daily owned by Madan Mohan Malviya.Modi also wished Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif on his birthday.”I wish the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr Nawaz Sharif on his birthday and pray that he remains in wonderful health.”Related Read: PM Modi arrives in Kabul, to inaugurate Afghanistan’s Parliament building built by India

PM Modi to inaugurate Afghanistan’s Parliament building built by India

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PM Modi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani are expected to issue a joint statement after holding talks.

Narendra Modi and Ashraf Ghani

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Kabul on Friday morning, a day after signing 16 major agreements in Russia. The Prime Minister will inaugurate Afghanistan’s Parliament building, which has been built by India.The PM’s day-long visit, his first to Afghanistan, since taking office – was not officially announced for security reasons, says NDTV, with several specific threats against Indian targets being received and some being foiled.Modi will address a joint session of the two Afghan Houses in the new Parliament complex.The Parliament building project was started by India in 2007 as a mark of friendship and cooperation to help rebuild Afghanistan after the wars. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>PM Modi and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani are expected to issue a joint statement after holding talks. PM Modi is also expected to meet former Afghan President Hamid Karzai.India has invested around $2 billion in aid and reconstruction in Afghanistan and trained scores of officers.India delivered three of four Russian Mi-25 helicopter gunships to Afghanistan on Thursday.Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday wrapped up his two-day visit to Russia, during which the two countries signed 16 pacts to expand cooperation in various sectors, including nuclear and defence.It is learnt that Prime Minister Modi was heading towards the Afghan capital Kabul from Moscow. The Kabul visit has not been officially announced but Modi was expected to make a stop-over in Kabul on his way back home.In Kabul, he is expected to inaugurate the new building of the Afghan Parliament constructed by India at a cost of about $90 million. During his stay in Russia, Modi held annual summit talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin and underlined the need for the world to unite against terrorism “without distinction and discrimation between terrorist groups and target countries.”As part of the 16th annual India-Russia Summit, Modi and Putin held a one-on-one meeting before they were joined by their respective delegations. Earlier in the day, Modi laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a war memorial dedicated to Soviet soldiers killed in World War II, in Moscow.Last night, Modi was hosted for a private dinner and held a private tete-a-tete with Putin at the Kremlin. The meeting took place hours after Modi arrived in Moscow to a red carpet welcome.

India, Russia to unite against terrorism: PM Modi

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Prime Minister Modi also highlighted the agreement between the two nations on the manufacture of Kamov 226 helicopter in India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday expressed condolences for the loss of lives in the terrorist attack on Russian aircraft and said that the two nations believed that the world must unite against terrorism, without distinction and discrimination between terrorist groups and target countries. “Mr. President, I have great respect and appreciation for our strategic partnership. It has been a source of strength and success for India. As I look to the future, I see Russia as a significant partner in India’s economic transformation and in shaping a balanced, multi-polar world,” Prime Minister Modi said while delivering a join-statement with Russian President Vladimir Putin. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Modi also highlighted the agreement between the two nations on the manufacture of Kamov 226 helicopter in India and said that it was the first project for a major defence platform under the Make in India mission. “The pace of our cooperation in nuclear energy is increasing. We are making progress on 12 Russian nuclear reactors at two sites,” Prime Minister Modi said. While addressing the joint-statement, Russian President Putin also noted that India has allotted one more ground for a nuclear power plant of Russian design. “Russia assists in building several power generating units at the Kudankulam nuclear plant,” he said, recalling that the first unit that was commissioned here in June 2014. “Russian specialists plan to get down to building power units No. 3 and No. 4 there shortly and talks on building units No. 5 and No. 6 are underway,” he added.

DDCA scam: Kirti Azad seeks PM Narendra Modi’s intervention

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A day after his suspension, defiant Azad maintained that his fight was only against ‘corruption’ in the DDCA and not against any individual.

Member of Parliament Kirti Azad, who was expelled from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over his tirade against Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in connection with irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), on Thursday sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervene into the matter. He said he would seek a court-monitored probe into the alleged DDCA irregularities. Speaking to reporters here, Azad said he would file a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in his personal capacity on the DDCA issue, and warned that people ‘will be in trouble’. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after his suspension, defiant Azad maintained that his fight was only against ‘corruption’ in the DDCA and not against any individual. He asked for ‘specific reasons’ for the disciplinary action against him by the party. Azad earlier said he would respond to the suspension notice today with the help of party leader Subramanian Swamy. “Have received notice, will respond to it. Subramanian Swamy has told me that he will help me in drafting reply to the notice,” Azad told the media here.Meanwhile, BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has confirmed that he would assist Azad in replying to the notice. “I confirm this that I will assist Kirti Azad on the draft notice from the party. I know him since when he was a boy. I was a good friend of his father. Further, I will say he is still member of BJP. I have every right to assist him. I don’t think party should lose such a honest person like him,? swamy told ANI. The BJP had yesterday suspended its Darbhanga MP Kirti Azad.

Modi in Russia: Congress slams PM Modi over national anthem faux pas

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The party also attacked the Prime Minister on the issue from the official AICC podium.

In a blistering attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for walking past the guard of honour while Indian national Anthem was being played in Moscow, the Congress on Thursday said he has “forgotten” what it sounds like due to his frequent foreign visits and the nation was “deeply hurt” over the “unprecedented” incident. “Modi signs on National Flag and violates Flag Code. Now walks away when Indian National Anthem is being played in Russia. Unprecedented! “Nationalism BJP/Modi “Ishtyle”. Any comments from Modi Acolytes?,” AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh tweeted.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said on Twitter,”Spending so much time abroad seems to have made PM forget what the Indian National Anthem sounds like. He walked in Moscow as Anthem played!” Party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said it was “sad that Russians had to remind Modi that he has to respect his anthem. Bhakts got much to say?”Also read: PM Narendra Modi walks during national anthem upon his arrival in MoscowThe party also attacked the Prime Minister on the issue from the official AICC podium. “Finally, the nation is shocked and deeply hurt at what we see on television the PM walking away while the national anthem was being played in Moscow. “These are matters of grave national sensitivities and we believe particularly that when the Prime Minister abroad represents the whole nation, these sensitivities must always be respected,” party spokesperson and former Law Minister Ashwani Kumar said at the Congress briefing.In an unusual incident, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had yesterday begun to walk past the guard of honour presented on his arrival in Moscow for a summit meeting with President Vladimir Putin even while the national anthem was still being played and had to be pulled back by a Russian official. After the Prime Minister stepped onto the tarmac, a Russian official made a gesture with his hand which appeared Modi misinterpreted and started walking. However, another official stopped Modi from walking following which he stepped back and stood in attention.

DDCA row: Subramanian Swamy raises questions over Kirti Azad’s suspension from BJP

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Azad has sought intervention of the ‘margdarshak mandal’, comprising Advani, Joshi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh, which was formed by BJP president Amit Shah after he took over the party reins

Subramanian Swamy

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Thursday appeared to question the party’s decision to suspend Kirti Azad for attacking Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over the DDCA row, asking whether cricket fell within the purview of party discipline.”Kirti issues are 1 — is cricket affair within the purview of party discipline. 2 — due to SC case on BCCI, is party decision amenable in court,” Swamy said on twitter. His tweet came as BJP veterans L K Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Shanta Kumar and Yashwant Sinha went into a huddle over developments in the party in the wake of Azad’s suspension.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Azad has sought intervention of the ‘margdarshak mandal’, comprising Advani, Joshi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh, which was formed by BJP president Amit Shah after he took over the party reins. The four leaders, who had virtually revolted against the Modi-Shah team after BJP’s drubbing in Bihar Assembly election last month, are learnt to have discussed the situation arising out of Azad’s suspension.Cracking the whip, BJP had on Wednesday suspended its MP, who has been leading a campaign against Jaitley on alleged corruption in DDCA, charging him with indulging in anti-party activities and accusing him of “colluding” with Congress and AAP to bring it into “disrepute”.

Russian President Vladimir Putin hosts PM Modi for private tete-a-tete; to hold talks later today

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The talks between the two countries, bound by “special and privileged strategic ties”, have been taking place alternately in Moscow and New Delhi since 2000.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Wednesday.

PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on Wednesday hosted by Russian President Vladimir Putin for a private tete-a-tete at Kremlin during which the two leaders touched upon issues of mutual interest for both countries. The meeting took place hours after Modi arrived here to a red carpet welcome. Putin also hosted a private dinner for Modi.”Building Druzhba-Dosti over dinner. President Putin hosts a private tete-a-tete for PM,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted along with pictures of the two leaders shaking hands.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Modi and Putin will hold 16th India-Russia annual summit talks on Thursday at the Kremlin following which the two sides are expected to sign a number of pacts to expand cooperation in a number of key areas including defence, nuclear energy, hydrocarbons and trade.The talks between the two countries, bound by “special and privileged strategic ties”, have been taking place alternately in Moscow and New Delhi since 2000.In the nuclear energy sector, India is expected to offer a site in Andhra Pradesh to set up units five and six of Kudankulam nuclear power plant. The new plants will be in sync with broad principles of ‘Make in India’ initiative and a decision in this regard is likely to be finalised tomorrow. It is expected that both countries will seal a number of defence deals as well.Last week, India’s Defence Ministry’s top acquisition council had cleared the purchase of Russian S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems at an estimated cost of Rs 40,000 crore and there may be an announcement of the deal tomorrow besides a few others.Besides bilateral issues, Modi and Putin are likely to deliberate on a number of global issues having political dimensions including the situation in Syria and ways to tackle terrorism. It will be Modi’s second summit with Putin who had travelled to New last year for the 15th India-Russia Summit.

Modi in Russia: Prime Minister gets red carpet welcome in Moscow; key deals to be sealed

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Stepping up economic engagement and further expanding ties in strategic areas are likely to be the centrepiece of the 16th India-Russia annual summit talks between Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inspecting a guard of honour on his arrival at Vnukovo-2 Airport in Moscow on Wednesday.

PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Moscow on Wednesday to a red carpet welcome on his first bilateral visit to Russia during which both countries are set to seal a raft of deals in key sectors like defence, nuclear energy and hydrocarbons to boost their robust and close partnership. On his arrival, the Prime Minister was accorded a guard of honour at the Vnukova II airport amid light drizzle and overcast conditions.”Reached Moscow. A series of programmes await in this short but very important visit,” Modi tweeted both in English and Russian.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Stepping up economic engagement and further expanding ties in strategic areas are likely to be the centrepiece of the 16th India-Russia annual summit talks between Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday.The two leaders are set to deliberate on various global issues such as the situation in Syria and tackling the threat of terrorism as well. It is expected that a number of major pacts including to ramp up cooperation in defence and nuclear energy sectors will be finalised. Russia has been India’s biggest supplier of arms though New Delhi has started buying more military hardware from the US in the last few years.Last week, India’s Defence Ministry’s top acquisition council had cleared the purchase of Russian S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems at an estimated cost of Rs 40,000 crore and there may be an announcement of the deal tomorrow besides a few others.In the nuclear energy sector, India is expected to offer a site in Andhra Pradesh to set up units five and six of Kudankulam nuclear power plant. The new plants will be in sync with broad principles of ‘Make in India’ initiative and a decision in this regard is likely to be finalised on Thursday.Setting the tone for the visit, the Prime Minister, before his departure for Moscow, said Russia remained one of India’s “most valued” friends in the world and that he was “very optimistic” about outcomes of the talks with Putin on Thursday.”Our relation with Russia is unique, covering almost every field of human endeavour,” Modi said.The talks between the two countries, bound by “special and privileged strategic ties”, have been taking place alternately in Moscow and New Delhi since 2000.”I am very optimistic about the outcome of this visit. History is witness to the close ties India and Russia have had over the decades. Russia remains one of India’s most valued friends in the world,” Modi said.He said, “My visit will deepen the cooperation between India and Russia in the economic, energy and security spheres.We also want to increase cooperation in science and technology, mining among other sectors. Trade ties between India and Russia can increase even further, to benefit not only our two nations but also the world.” Tomorrow Modi and Putin will interact with a group of Indian and Russian CEOs in Kremlin. With Russia’s economy badly hit by the Western sanctions in the wake of the Ukraine crisis, Putin is keen to expand economic ties with India which, on the other hand, has been expressing keen interest in participating in oil and gas exploration projects in the Eurasian country.Energy-starved India, the third largest oil importer after the US and China, has been pushing for greater involvement in major gas and oil exploration projects in Russia. Russia is one of the top oil producers globally and has huge reserves of natural gas. The volume of current bilateral trade between the two countries is around USD 10 billion and both sides are aiming to take it to USD 30 billion over the next 10 years. The Prime Minister’s engagement in Moscow also includes addressing a gathering of ‘Friends of India’ and around 3,000 people are expected to attend the event tomorrow.At the event, Modi will be greeted by cultural programmes, ‘Abhinandan’ and ‘Abhivyakti’. ‘Abhinandan’ envisages performance of Indian art forms by Russian artists. It will display the popularity of Indian cultural traditions in Russia and its importance of inter-cultural understanding.’Abhinandan’ will commence with a Shloka recital and a creative rendering of Vande Mataram by Russian Brahmakumaris, followed by continuing sequence of brief Kuchipudi, Kathak and Dandiya Raas. The programme will conclude with all artistes coming on stage for a musical enactment of Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s poem ‘Geet Naya Gata Hoon’ rendered by Lata Mangeshkar.’Abhivyakti’ will be an attempt to articulate and convey an authentic image of Indian traditions, history and culture by Russian artistes and enthusiast. The event, organisers said, will be a reflection of the feeling of brotherhood and amity that exists between the people of India and Russia.The Prime Minister will visit Russia’s National Crisis Management Centre (NCMC) here tomorrow. The NCMC is a multi-level coordination centre designed to provide inter-agency coordination and alert the people about the threat of emergency situations.Besides bilateral issues, Modi and Putin are likely to deliberate on a number of global issues having political dimensions including the situation in Syria and ways to tackle terrorism. It will be Modi’s second summit meeting with Putin who had travelled to New last year for the 15th India-Russia Summit.India is also likely to push for a Free Trade Agreement with the Eurasian Economic Zone and is sharing details of study it conducted in this regard. Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, without giving specific details, had said yesterday that both Modi and Putin will deliberate on enhancing cooperation in defence and nuclear energy speheres.On whether India will request Russia to share details on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, he had said the issue had figured during External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s recent visit to Moscow. “Let’s wait and see what happens. I do not prejudge the Russian response till we get it,” he said.

PM Modi optimistic about Russia visit; hopes to deepen economic, energy and security ties

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“My mind goes back to 2001. I had just assumed charge as Gujarat CM and had accompanied Atal ji to Russia. This was, perhaps, one of the first India-Russia annual Summits, a practice that goes on till date,”said Modi.

Ahead of his two-day Russia visit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday expressed hope that the visit would deepen bilateral ties between the two nations.”Today I will commence my visit to Russia, my first bilateral visit after we formed the Government. I am very optimistic about the outcome of this visit. History is witness to the close ties India and Russia have had over the decades. Russia remains one of India’s most valued friends in the world,” he said in his Facebook post.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”My mind goes back to 2001. I had just assumed charge as Gujarat CM and had accompanied Atal ji to Russia. This was, perhaps, one of the first India-Russia annual Summits, a practice that goes on till date,”he added.He further asserted that his visit would deepen the cooperation between India and Russia in the economic, energy and security spheres.Also read: Here is PM Modi’s post on Russia visit”We also want to increase cooperation in science and technology, mining among other sectors. Trade ties between India and Russia can increase even further, to benefit not only our two nations but also the world,” he said.Prime Minister Modi pointed out that the visit would witness extensive deliberations with President Vladmir Putin.”There will be an interaction with Russian businesspersons to invite them to invest in India. I will also attend a ‘Friends of India’ programme. I am certain that this visit will substantially take forward the already strong people to people ties between our nations,” he said.Also read: In Russia, Narendra Modi will regale 3,000 ‘friends of India’Prime Minister Narendra Modi will embark on a two-day visit to Russia on Wednesday for annual summit talks with President Vladimir Putin that is aimed at further expanding the special and privileged strategic ties with a particular focus on nuclear energy, hydrocarbons, defence and trade.After the talks on Thursday, the two “time-tested” partners are likely to ink a number of pacts in a range of sectors including nuclear energy and defence. The talks between the two countries at the highest level have been taking place alternately in Moscow and New Delhi since 2000.Besides bilateral issues, Modi and Putin are likely to deliberate on a number of global issues having political dimensions including sthe ituation in Syria and ways to tackle terrorism.

Madhya Pradesh: Rs 7 lakh cash under bed, five iphones, 20 foreign watches found in clerk’s house

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Acting on a tip-off, sleuths of Lokayukta Police raided the house of Narendra Gangwal and recovered jewellery, foreign watches, five Iphones.

Lokayukta Police on Saturday raided the residence of an Assistant Grade-II clerk, posted at the Collectorate office here, and unearthed huge amount of wealth, including assets over Rs 60 lakh and Rs 7 lakh cash, highly disproportionate to his known sources of income.Acting on a tip-off, sleuths of Lokayukta Police raided the house of Narendra Gangwal and recovered jewellery worth Rs 10 lakh, papers of land worth Rs 55 lakh, 20 foreign watches, five Iphones and details of a bank locker (documents), beside Rs 7 lakh cash that was hidden beneath a bed, Lokayukta Inspector Basant Shrivastava said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Raids were also conducted simultaneously at his residence in Neemuch and Mandsaur districts.Shrivastava said sleuths conducted the raid at a time when Gangwal was planning to leave for Goa on a vacation. He had also taken loan from various banks, amounting to Rs 10 lakh.Two kgs silver and 250 gram gold ornaments were recovered from the bank locker, the officer said, adding that Gangwal also owned a car.In Mandaur, team of Lokayukta Police recovered ornaments worth Rs 10 lakh and documents related to bank accounts and a locker, which will be opened later.Further investigations in the matter are on, he added.

Obama, Modi have strong, productive relationship: US official

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“It was a quite extraordinary fact that within the space of four months there were two head of the state visits, one first to the United States in September of 2014 and then Prime Minister Modi invited the President to India just four months later in January,” the official said.

US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have developed a strong and productive relationship between them, a top American climate change official has said.”President Obama and Prime Minister Modi have a very, strong and productive relationship, not just on climate change but broadly,” Todd Stern, the US Special Envoy on Climate Change said yesterday.”It was a quite extraordinary fact that within the space of four months there were two head of the state visits, one first to the United States in September of 2014 and then Prime Minister Modi invited the President to India just four months later in January,” the official said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Thereafter the two leaders have been close communications with each other. “They met on the margins of the UNGA in New York and they met on the first day of the Paris meeting,” Stern said.According to Stern the meeting was a very warm and positive, cordial and detailed.”In fact, they talked so long that they were both supposed to go and did go finally, but they were a little bit late to the announcement of this big Mission Innovation idea on R&D that both well, the United States, India, China, many other countries ultimately were part of,” the US official said.”So I think, that the call later, sort of more towards the end, was a check-in call to see how we were doing and to urge us all on together toward a successful conclusion. And I think it was done in that spirit, not in the spirit that there was some specific thing that had to be done before the agreement could get completed,” Stern said.

India to offer site in Andhra Pradesh to Russia for nuclear plants

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The two countries are likely to sign an agreement for the two units with provisions for involvement of India’s private sector in the project including in supply of various components.

Vladimir Putin and Narendra Modi
File Photo

India is expected to offer a site in Andhra Pradesh to set up units five and six of Kudankulam nuclear power plant by Russia in sync with broad principles of ‘Make in India’ initiative and a decision in this regard is likely to be finalised during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Moscow this week. The two countries are likely to sign an agreement for the two units with provisions for involvement of India’s private sector in the project including in supply of various components. “We will follow principles of ‘localisation’ as per Make in India initiative for setting up Kudankulam nuclear power plant five and six,” sources said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> They said a site in Andhra Pradesh has been finalised for the project in line with government’s policy for ensuring optimum use of the available nuclear sites in various states to accommodate more atomic reactors. Incidentally, Centre has already shortlisted the Kovvada site to build a project with the assistance of US-based nuclear vendor, GE-Hitachi Nuclear Energy. Modi is scheduled to visit Russia from December 23-24 to hold an annual summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. Russia has been a key partner of India in the civil nuclear energy sector. In the last summit between Modi and Putin, it was decided that Russia will build at least 12 nuclear reactors in India by 2035. In April last year, India and Russia had signed an agreement to build units 3 and 4 of the Kudankulam project at a cost of Rs 33,000 crore. However, work on the ground is yet to start. The units 3 and 4 are be coming up in Tamil Nadu’s coastal district of Tirunelveli. Earlier this month, Nikolai Spasskiy, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Rosatom – the Russian counterpart of the India’s Department of Atomic Energy, visited India and he is believed have discussed with DAE brass about various aspect of the proposed pact for Kudankulam 5 and 6. Units 5 and 6 of VVER technology are expected to be of the same MW like units 1-4, but the cost details of the project are yet to be finalised. The government is constructing six reactors in new projects like Jaitapur (EPR 1000×6) in Maharashtra built with French technology, Kovadda in Andhra Pradesh (1000MW x 6) and Mithi Virdhi in Gujarat.

BJP’s Pawar play catches Shiv Sena, Congress off guard

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Assembly to recall contributions of NCP leader as state’s four-time chief minister on Monday.

Sharad Pawar

The BJP’s policy of running with the hare and hunting with the hounds has again caught its principal opposition party at the centre, Congress and its troublesome alliance partner in the state, Shiv Sena off guard. After Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared dais with NCP president Sharad Pawar on the occasion of the latter’s 75th birthday celebrations in Delhi – which kept Congress chief Sonia Gandhi undecided till the previous day of the function on whether to attend the function or not – both BJP and NCP have now come together to hold a separate session in the Assembly on Monday to recall the contributions by this Maharashtra’s four-time chief minister.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The business advisory committee, which met on December 16, decided to schedule subject of congratulating Pawar for completing 75 years as business of the House. The BAC has decided to take up the motion to congratulate Pawar for discussion on Monday and leaders from all the parties would recall contribution of the Maratha strongman in his five-decade long public life. One of the BJP leaders, on the condition of anonymity, said it is not a coincidence that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and the Lok Sabha speaker (who is also from BJP) attended the Delhi function, and the state assembly now deciding to take up a congratulatory motion. dna has learnt that NCP leader Ajit Pawar and chief minister Fadnavis have discussed the issue in the CM’s cabin more than once and the motion has been taken up for Monday. The BJP leader made it clear that it was well a strategy of the party. Underlining Pawar’s image of a wily politician, who is capable of changing strategies and loyalties, will help party keep its opponents – read Shiv Sena – in check. “No one knows what Pawar would do next,” he pointed out. The BJP leader pointed out that it was not without reason that Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Baramati and lauded Pawar, saying he takes Pawar’s advice on state matters almost every month over phone. He recalled finance minister Arun Jaitley’s visit to the Baramati too, when the latter, praising Pawar, remarked that country needs to develop 100 cities on lines of Baramati. The leader pointed out that even chief minister Fadnavis, along with minister Girish Bapat, had visited Baramati and now state assembly would be congratulating Pawar.

ISIS top on discussion agenda at top cops’ conference

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The expansion of ISIS and the threat it poses to the country through radicalisation of country’s youths are topmost on the minds of police officers who have gathered here for the annual three-day conference organised by the Intelligence Bureau.

Terrorism, ISIS and the threat they pose through radicalisation of youths were the key issues discussed today on the second day of the annual conference of DGs and IGs of police here.Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh were also present throughout the day and attended various sessions, officials said. The police officers discussed ways to stop radicalisation of youths and the concrete steps needed to prevent the spread of dreaded terror group ISIS. The expansion of ISIS and the threat it poses to the country through radicalisation of country’s youths are topmost on the minds of police officers who have gathered here for the annual three-day conference organised by the Intelligence Bureau.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sessions were also held on the topics including police reforms, better inter-state policing, reforms at police station level, steps to bring competitive spirit between police officers, bringing uniformity in police uniforms across India.There was a marathon four-hour-long session about the past and present terrorism situation in the country where the data about all the major terror strikes of the last ten years was placed before the top cops for deliberations.Presentations were also made, including one on how to tackle situations arising from natural calamities like the earthquake.Gujarat police gave a presentation on disaster management, relief work and steps taken after the 2001 earthquake here, and another presentation on relevance of social media in policing and issues related to cyber security.Apart from the DGPs and IGs of all the states and Union Territories, heads of NIA, CBI, IB, Narcotics department and various police training academies are attending the conference. DGs and IGs of para-military forces such as BSF, CRPF and CISF too are present.

Modi in Kutch: PM reviews security scene, women safety at police meet

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On the second day of the conference, the Prime Minister attended various theme-based sessions where officers shared insightful presentations.
File Photo
PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday reviewed country’s security situation, especially on terrorism and women safety, with top police officers and took briefing from them during the annual conference of DGPs and IGs being held in Kutch. On the second day of the conference, the Prime Minister attended various theme-based sessions where officers shared insightful presentations.Earlier in the morning, the Prime Minister attended the morning Yoga session along with the delegates and Directors General of Police (DGPs) and Inspector General (IGs) of Police from various states and central police organisations. He also witnessed the sunrise at the white Rann.Theme-based presentations on various aspects of policing marked the day as the Prime Minister joined the deliberations, an official statement said. Modi observed and listened to the interactions on security-related matters including terrorism, cyber-security, digital technology, women’s safety and disaster management. The presentations, break-out sessions and interactions over meals were scheduled for a total of 13 hours on Saturday.Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Ministers of State for Home Kiren Rijiju and Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary were present during the sessions.On the inaugural day of the conference yesterday, the Home Minister had raised serious concerns over radicalisation of youths through social media and other online forums. He had said the activities of dreaded terrorist group ISIS have been witnessed in India and their is concern over radicalisation of youths through social media and other online forums. Singh had also said the ISIS has been trying to enhance its foothold in India’s neighbourhood — in Bangladesh and Afghanistan.”It is a fact that the ISIS activities have increased globally and India is not isolated from it. Besides, there are problems of radicalisation of youths through social media and other online forums,” he said and sought concerted efforts to tackle the problem.

Intolerance issue was part of motivated campaign: Jitendra Singh

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Lashing out at some of the litterateurs and artists, who recently returned their awards, Singh said that a true writer or artist will never think of returning award and try to live up to the credentials of the award bestowed upon him.

Jitendra Singh (BJP)

The issue of ‘intolerance’ was part of a motivated campaign as the minorities in the country were safer under the Narendra Modi-led government, Union minister Jitendra Singh said on Saturday.”The controversies in the name of intolerance are a part of a motivated campaign, and never before the minorities were so safe as they are now under the Narendra Modi regime,” Singh, Minister of State in the PMO, said while addressing public meeting in R S Pura today. After the Modi government took over at the Centre, a number of independent news agencies had put forth the inference that the Muslim community felt most safe under the BJP-led regime because it was more sensitive to their sensibilities, he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The present government and the BJP follows a policy of “justice for all, appeasement to none” based on the principles of equality and true secularism, in contrast to the political parties for whom secularism is practiced by convenience, he said. Lashing out at some of the litterateurs and artists, who recently returned their awards, Singh said that a true writer or artist will never think of returning award and try to live up to the credentials of the award bestowed upon him.”It is for this reason that immediately after independence, a number of eminent writers from minority community came forward to constitute Progressive Writers Forum and opposed the partition of sub-continent,” he said.Singh announced setting up of a Kendriya Vidyalaya in the vicinity and said a proposal will be submitted for establishing a Government of India-aided skill development center to generate employment for the youth.He assured the local MLA of all support to get the bottlenecks cleared for pending works like construction of Panchayat Ghar and upgradation of local High school which pertains to the state government. Lauding the role of minorities, particularly the Sikh community, for standing up bravely for the cause of Jammu during the times of adversity, Singh said that the Labana community comprises an essential component of the state’s social fabric and he will take up their demand for Other Backward Community (OBC) status with Centre whenever their representatives visit Delhi.

National Herald case: Congress leaders attack BJP, workers protest throughout country

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It’s a political vendetta led by, I am saying with a sense of responsibility, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Swamy is only a small cog in this entire wheel of conspiracy,” Surjewala alleged.

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad

Trading guns at each other over the National Herald issue, Congress today alleged that the Modi government was indulging in political vendetta while BJP claimed that it is a legal matter and the opposition party has been trying to give a wrong impression to the people.Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi are scheduled to appear before a magistrate today in connection with the National Herald case.Raising questions about the government’s action, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said if it was not indulging in “political vendetta” then why Subramanian Swamy, who was the complaintant in the case, has been given ‘Z’ category security and only on Friday, a “Cabinet minister’s house” in Delhi’s Lutyen’s Zone.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Related Read: LIVE National Herald case: Sonia, Rahul Gandhi to appear in court; Congress meets at Azad’s houseHe also raised questions about statements made by senior BJP ministers on the issue to support his contention that the government was indulging in “political vendetta” and also referred to the removal of the previous Enforcement Directorate Chief.”It’s a political vendetta led by, I am saying with a sense of responsibility, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Swamy is only a small cog in this entire wheel of conspiracy,” Surjewala alleged.He, however, emphasised that his party and the leadership have complete faith in the judiciary, its processes and will fight the legal battle in court.”We will fight the legal battle in accordance with the law and we will fight the political battle with the Modi government both inside Parliament and also by being the voice of 125 crore people of this country,” Surjewala said.He said that since his party leadership has faith and respect the court processes, workers also have been advised not to gather outside the court in Delhi. BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao, meanwhile, said that initially the Congress party’s attempt was to build pressure and give an opinion to the people that this was some kind of administrative action or political vendetta by rivals.But the court order has “nailed all these absurd allegations. They have even tried to use or mortgage their political and parliamentary strength to get some kind of relief in the court of public opinion by building up political pressure. But the reality is, this is a legal case,” Rao said.

Indian culture inclusive, accommodative: Rajnath Singh

The Union Home Minister said the attacks on Churches in Delhi and elsewhere in the recent past were an aberration and he wondered why these series of attacks happened only around the election time.

Rajnath Singh
File Photo

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh assured the Christian community of protection in the country and added that India has always welcomed all religions with open arms.Singh, who was addressing the gathering at the Christmas celebrations under the auspices of the Catholics Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), said that the nation will remain an inclusive and accommodative society. The Union Home Minister said the attacks on Churches in Delhi and elsewhere in the recent past were an aberration and he wondered why these series of attacks happened only around the election time.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Conveying the greeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Singh said that the NDA government always stood by the side of the Christians in the country. Singh further went on to ask community leaders to contact him directly if they faced any injustice in the country.Christianity arrived in India almost the same time when it spread to Europe, he said.

Jayalalithaa writes to PM Modi, seeks Rs 1,550 crore for scholarships to SC, ST students

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r. She has mentioned in the letter that the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment could not disburse the amount due to insufficient fund allocation to it.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa on Thursday sought the release of central share of Rs. 1550 crores towards disbursement of post matric scholarships to students belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the state. In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, she has said the amount includes arrears of last year. She has mentioned in the letter that the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment could not disburse the amount due to insufficient fund allocation to it.She has said, to help the poor students to proceed with their post-matric education, the fund needs to be released at the earliest. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

PM Narendra Modi betraying people, says Former Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot

On the National Herald issue, Gehlot said that Modi’s intention was not good.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
Former Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of betraying the people of the country by not fulfilling the promise of containing “sky-rocketing inflation”.”PM Modi has been exposed. The common man is under the burden of sky-rocketing inflation. Crude oil prices reduced in international market but the benefit was not passed on to the people, instead excise duty was increased,” Gehlot said.He also accused the government of protecting Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje in the Lalit Modi controversy.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Hardik Patel is a youth and he was booked in Gujarat under charges of sedition whereas this action should have been taken against Rajasthan CM Raje. But unfortunately, no action is being taken against her,” he said, while alleging that the Modi government was targeting Congress leaders.”It is not possible without the nod of PM Modi. This trend is very dangerous,” he said.On the National Herald issue, Gehlot said that Modi’s intention was not good. “National herald issue shows the difference between words and deeds of PM Modi,” Gehlot alleged.

Just ahead of deadline, Shiv Sena does a U-turn for a smart Mumbai

Sena has listed a total of 14 suggestions, which it wants to be considered for getting Mumbai included in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project. While MNS too came out with conditional support, Congress-NCP combine and the SP stood their stand and opposed the proposal.

The city has crossed the first hurdle to transform itself into a Smart City.Thanks to last-minute U-turn and conditional support by Shiv Sena, the BJP was able to get the Smart City proposal endorsed in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) council before Tuesday’s 5.30 pm deadline. Sena has listed a total of 14 suggestions, which it wants to be considered for getting Mumbai included in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project. While MNS too came out with conditional support, Congress-NCP combine and the SP stood their stand and opposed the proposal.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The BMC administration has sent the approved proposal to Central government, with recommendations. However, it’s the Centre’s prerogative to decide whether these suggestions should be considered or not. Apprehensive Sena leaders have reiterated that the party would not mind going back on its support if its proposals are not considered. Interestingly, Centre will offer Asia’s richest and biggest municipal corporation a total of Rs500 crore over a period of five years to turn Mumbai into a Smart City. BMC’s yearly budget is more than Rs33,000 crore, and the civic body annually spends more than Rs150 crore to clean its nallahs and drains alone. Until Monday evening, Shiv Sena had strongly opposed the proposal saying the city will suffer as private sectors will enter the city’s administration and eventually nullify the role of BMC. Sena also objects to having a CEO for the city, which is mandatory as part of the proposal. However, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had made clear his party’s stand in the Legislative Assembly on Monday and in the evening Manoj Kotak, BJP leader in the BMC handled the negotiations at Mayor’s Bungalow at Shivaji Park, Mumbai. Uddhav Thackeray was also present in the meeting. On Tuesday, when the Mayor tabled the proposal, Yashodhar Phanse, chairman of the Standing Committee of the BMC took first chance to speak and made a total 13 suggestions to be included in the Smart City proposal. Sunil Prabhu, MLA from Dindoshi and a corporator from Goregaon added one more suggestion before expressing Sena’s formal support to the proposal. “The suggestions are made to ensure that the company set up through ‘Special Purpose Vehicle’ (SPV) does not take over the powers of the civic body and corporators. Presently, all the policy decisions are taken in the BMC only after approvals of the elected members in various committee,” pointed out Sunil Prabhu. Phanse said his party will back out on support if its conditions are not met. “We will not be a part of the Smart City concept if our conditions are not considered,” said Phanse. Meanwhile, Sandeep Deshpande, MNS party leader in the BMC also announced his party’s conditional support for the proposal. “We have put forth three important suggestions which should be included to ensure that civic administration’s role is not diluted,” said Deshpande.

CBI raids: Delhi CM Kejriwal trying to ‘hide something’ from CBI, says MoS PMO Jitendra Singh

Kejriwal on Tuesday vowed to continue the fight against the ruling dispensation till his last breath and dared Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said that he was not at all scared of the CBI raid.
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dna Research & Archives
Taking on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over his statement that the CBI raided his office looking for the DDCA files related to graft cases in which Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is involved, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office (MoS PMO) Jitendra Singh on Tuesday said he suspect of the AAP convener trying to hide something from the investigating agency since he is making a big a hue and cry about it.”The raids which were conducted today at 14 different spots simultaneously, out of which two spots belong to officers working in the secretariat of the Chief Minister. If the Chief Minister is making such a big deal about it, one would rather suspect that it is he who has something to hide and when he says that they were fishing some files which would go against the members of the present government at the Centre,” said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I would rather suspect the other way round. May be he was afraid or still apprehensive that there are certain files, he needs to keep hidden and afraid of being let out. The CBI is an autonomous body. The Narendra Modi government have ensured the independence and autonomy of CBI,” he added.Kejriwal on Tuesday vowed to continue the fight against the ruling dispensation till his last breath and dared Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said that he was not at all scared of the CBI raid.”The raid was conducted to look for the files of DDCA (Delhi and District Cricket Association) in which Jaitley is involved in graft cases. I want to tell Modi ji, you scared other people through CBI, but you have no idea what Kejriwal is made up of. I will keep fighting till my last breath for the country,” Kejriwal said.The CBI has registered a case against Kejriwal’s Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar for allegedly favouring a firm in getting contracts from Delhi Government. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), however, hit back at Kejriwal for his unwarranted criticism of Prime Minister Modi following the CBI raid and alleged that a ‘nervous’ Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo is demeaning the PMO with his baseless allegation.Refuting Kejriwal’s allegation on the raid on Chief Minister’s office, the CBI has said that the raid was conducted on the Principal Secretary’s office following a warrant.

Kerala CM Oommen Chandy, ministers meet PM Modi, discuss Mullaperiyar issue

he rising water level in the Mullaperiyar dam due to rains is causing concern over the dam’s safety as five Kerala districts are downstream.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a meeting with Chief Minister of Kerala, Oommen Chandy in Kerala on Tuesday.

PTI
Raising the Mullaperiyar Dam issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Tuesday demanded that the Centre initiate chief ministerial level talks between Kerala and Tamil Nadu, involved in a dispute over the century-old reservoir.Chandy, who met the Prime Minister along with some of his cabinet colleagues at the Thiruvananthapuram Airport and spent about 15 minutes, also pressed for a second dam across Mullaperiyar to replace the ‘structurally week’ reservoir.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The dam is located in Kerala but operated and managed by Tamil Nadu. The rising water level in the dam due to rains is causing concern over the dam’s safety as five Kerala districts are downstream. Chandy later told reporters that the PM assured that he would “sympathetically” consider their various pleas. This is the second time Chandy had taken up the issue with Modi, who wrapped up his two-day visit to the state this evening. Chandy had recently met the PM in Delhi and discussed various issues of the state, including the dam issue.Setting aside the controversy over his exclusion from the statue unveiling function of R Sankar, Chandy handed over a memorandum to the Prime minister on the various demands of the state, including the FACT Package, setting up an All Institute of Medical Sciences in Kerala and upgrading of Regional cancer centre as National cancer centre. The Chief Minister said Kerala also should get one more smart city besides Kochi.Talking about the delay in completion of 500 km Gail pipeline across the state due to land acquisition issues, he said land had been acquired for laying the pipeline up to 350 km. The issue of rubber farmers, reduction of air fares to gulf were also discussed with the Prime Minister, he said. The Prime Minister later left for Delhi and was seen off by Kerala Governor, P Sathasivam, Chandy and other dignitaries.

Modi in Kerala: Youth Congress workers arrested for waving black flags at Prime Minister

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As the PM’s motorcade was reaching the venue of a function where Modi later unveiled the statue of former chief minister R Sankar, the YC workers managed to wave the black flags and also released in air some balloons tied with black flags despite the presence of police personnel in large numbers.

PM Narendra Modi in Kerala on Monday.

PTI
Four Youth Congress activists were arrested on Tuesday in Kollam for waving black flags at the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s motorcade on Tuesday evening in protest against exclusion of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy from a statue unveiling function.As the PM’s motorcade was reaching the venue of a function where Modi later unveiled the statue of former chief minister R Sankar, the YC workers managed to wave the black flags and also released in air some balloons tied with black flags despite the presence of police personnel in large numbers.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Youth Congress activists were protesting the exclusion of Chandy from the statue unveiling function. A group of activists also held a fast in front of Sankar’s statue at Chinnakada in the heart of Kollam town. Youth wing workers of RSP also protested.Mahila Congress members took out a march to the venue of the function by covering their mouth with black band.

PM Modi visits Sivagiri mutt in Kerala; pays tribute to Sree Narayana Guru

Accompanied by a group of sanyasins of the mutt, Modi spent about a few minutes at the Sivagiri hillock, located around 50 kms away from Thiruvananthapuram, and offered obeisance at the ‘maha samadhi mandapam’, the final resting place of the legendary Guru.

PM Narendra Modi at Sree Narayana Guru Mahasamadhi in Sivagiri

Image courtesy: ANI Twitter handle
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday visited the Sivagiri Mutt, a revered spiritual centre established here by the renowned 20th century saint- social reformer Sree Narayana Guru, and paid respects at his samadhi.Accompanied by a group of sanyasins of the mutt, Modi spent about a few minutes at the Sivagiri hillock, located around 50 kms away from Thiruvananthapuram, and offered obeisance at the ‘maha samadhi mandapam’, the final resting place of the legendary Guru.The Prime minister also touched the feet and took the blessings of swami Prakashananda, Sree Narayana Dharma Sangham Trust President and the senior most swami of the mutt. In a brief speech at the Mutt, the Modi said he was happy to get the blessings of this ‘Pavithra sthal’ (holy place) and that of saints here which has given him strength to work for the Dalits, backward and marginalised sections of the society.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A quality of the Hindu religion was that whenever there is lot of evil prevailing, great people are born to save the society. Narayana guru had awakened and united the people to fight against untouchability and other ills in the society, he said. Modi also remembered the contributions of Adi Sankara, the early eighth century philosopher, who consolidated the doctrine of ‘Advaita’ philosphy.Established by Narayana Guru who propagated the message of ‘One Caste, One Religion and One God for Mankind’, the Sivagiri Mutt is a major spiritual-cum-pilgrim centre of the backward Ezhava community in Kerala.Modi, on his maiden visit to the Mutt after becoming Prime Minister, planted a sapling at the campus. He also unveiled a bilingual plaque of ‘Daiva Dasakam’, a universal prayer song penned by Guru, to mark the centenary of its composition.The Prime Minister went round the ‘Vaidika Mutt’ in the Sivagiri campus, a more than 100-year-old building where Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore had met the Guru. He also offered prayers at nearby Sarada Mutt, a temple, dedicated to Goddess Sree Sarada (the Goddess of Knowledge), which had been consecrated by Guru. Modi had earlier visited Sivagiri in April, 2013 when he was Chief Minister of Gujarat.AICC chief Sonia Gandhi is scheduled to visit the Mutt later this month as part of the annual Sivagiri pilgrimage.

PM Modi still haunted by nightmares of Delhi debacle: AAP

Responding to the BJP’s demand of an apology over the un-parliamentary language used by Chief Minister Kejriwal for Prime Minister Modi, Vishwas said the language of the critics will improve if the ruling dispensation functions properly at the Centre.
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PTI
Advising Prime Minister Narendra Modi to come out of the nightmares of the humiliating defeat in the 2014 Delhi Assembly polls, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Kumar Vishwas on Tuesday said that the ruling dispensation at the Centre should allow the state government to function and not pose a hurdle.”Principal Secretary Rajender Kumar to bahana hai, Kejriwal nishana hai. (Rajender Kumar is just an excuse, Kejriwal is the target). Why didn’t they conduct the raid at Rajender’s department if they came to know about some incident? The CBI did not go to the education department. The CBI is conducting the raids at the Chief Minister’s office where Arvind Kejriwal had signed the files yesterday and was about to sign them today,” Vishwas said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The Prime Minister is not understanding that this is not Gujarat. It is the capital city where people from all the 29 states come and live. He should come out of the nightmare of 66 seats won by AAP in Delhi Assembly elections and should let the state government function,” he added.Responding to the BJP’s demand of an apology over the un-parliamentary language used by Chief Minister Kejriwal for Prime Minister Modi, Vishwas said the language of the critics will improve if the ruling dispensation functions properly at the Centre.Addressing a press conference earlier, Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhayay said that his party would launch a ‘pol-khol abhiyan’ against the AAP for the next 48 hours.”He should be ashamed of the kind of language he is using against the Prime Minister. This is not the language of democracy,” he said.”The CBI is an independent agency; it is doing its work. The CBI must be having some proofs that is why it has raided on several places,” he said.Kejriwal earlier claimed that the CBI raided his office at the behest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He also went as far as to call the Prime Minister a ‘coward and a psychopath.’The CBI has registered a case against Kejriwal’s Principal Secretary Rajender Kumar for allegedly favouring a firm in getting contracts from Delhi government.”FM lied in Parliament. My own office files are being looked into to get some evidence against me. Rajender is an excuse,” tweeted Kejriwal.Refuting Kejriwal’s allegation on the raid on Chief Minister’s office, the CBI has said that the raid was conducted on the Principal Secretary’s office following a warrant.

Talks with Pakistan is ‘to try and turn course of history’, says PM Modi

Speaking to India’s top military commanders on board the country’s largest aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, Modi said “we are engaging Pakistan to try and turn the course of history, bring an end to terrorism, build peaceful relations, advance cooperation and promote stability and prosperity in our region.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inspecting a guard of honour during a welcome ceremony in Kochi on Tuesday.

PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said resumption of talks with Pakistan was to “try and turn the course of history” and to bring an end to terrorism but made it clear that the neighbouring country would be judged by its commitment on terrorism. Modi also asserted that India will never drop its guard on security as he admitted that there are many challenges and barriers on the path.Speaking to India’s top military commanders on board the country’s largest aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya, Modi said “we are engaging Pakistan to try and turn the course of history, bring an end to terrorism, build peaceful relations, advance cooperation and promote stability and prosperity in our region.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”There are many challenges and barriers on the path. But the effort is worth it because the peace dividends are huge and the future of our children is at stake. So, we will test their intentions to define the path ahead. For this, we have started a new NSA-level dialogue to bring security experts face to face with each other. But we will never drop our guard on security and we will continue to judge progress on their commitments on terrorism,” he said.This is the first time that Modi has spoken on the relations with Pakistan after the two countries announced the re-engagement under bilateral comprehensive dialogue last week.The announcement came after Modi had met his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the climate change summit in Paris on November 30 where the two also agreed to hold NSA-level talks.Addressing the first ever Combined Commanders Conference to be held outside the national capital, the Prime Minister warned against “reckless” nuclear build up and continuing military modernisation and expansion. Modi said “our neighbourhood is most critical for our future and for our place in the world.”But ours is a difficult neighbourhood with the full spectrum of security challenges. We see terrorism and ceasefire violations, reckless nuclear build-up and threats, border transgressions and continuing military modernisation and expansion. The shadow of West Asian instability is becoming longer,” he said.Modi said beyond that, “our region is marked by uncertain political transitions, weak institutions and internal conflicts. And, major powers have also increased their engagement in our land and maritime neighbourhood,” he said.Modi said that India is also pursuing closer relations with China to harness the full potential of the country’s economic partnership.”We will aim to address outstanding issues, maintain stability on the border and develop greater mutual understanding and trust in our overlapping neighbourhood,” he said.The Prime Minister also spoke about the relations with China and said he believes that India and China can engage constructively across the complexity of their relationship as two self-assured and confident nations, aware of their interests and responsibilities.”We will continue to strengthen our defence capabilities and infrastructure, engage our neighbours more closely and strengthen our regional and global partnerships, including in maritime security,” he said.Noting that in a world of rapid changes, India faces familiar threats and new ones, Modi said the country’s challenges cover land, sea and air at the same time.”It includes the full range, from terrorism to conventional threat to a nuclear environment,” he said.He said that India is confident that its defence forces are prepared to deter and defeat any misadventure.”Our strategic deterrence is robust and reliable, in accordance with our nuclear doctrine, and our political will is clear,” he asserted.Modi said that the country needs capabilities to win swift wars for we will not have the luxury of long-drawn battles.”We must re-examine our assumptions that keep massive funds locked up in inventories. As our security horizons and responsibilities extend beyond our shores and borders, we must prepare our forces for range and mobility,” he said.The Prime Minister stressed that “the armed forces must fully incorporate the power of digital networks and space assets into our capabilities.””Equally, we must be prepared to defend them, for they will be the first targets of our adversaries. And networks must be seamless and integrated across agencies and forces, and are precise, clear and quick in response,” he said.Modi said that old rivalries can play out in new theatres such as space and cyber.”And new technologies offer us new ways to be more effective against both traditional and new challenges,” he said adding that “we in India must be ready for the present and prepare for the future.”The Prime Minister noted that Kochi is at the head of the Indian Ocean and at the crossroads of India’s maritime history.”India’s history has been influenced by the seas. And the passage to our future prosperity and security also lies on this ocean. It also holds the key to the fortunes of the world,” he said.

Now, pregnant woman in Shakur Basti slum faces hospital’s apathy

“At first the hospital refused to take the case, they chased her away. Then later one lady came and got the woman admitted in the hospital,” said Sri Ram, one of the residents of Shakur Basti slums.

People collect their belongings after a demolition drive carried out by railways in Shakur Basti of Delhi on Sunday.

PTI
With residents of Delhi’s Shakur basti slums being forced to live on the streets after their shanties were razed to the ground during a demolition drive by Indian Railways, a woman gave birth to child in the wee hours of Monday, battling freezing cold and apathy by hospital staff.The residents of the slums alleged that the local hospital refused to admit the pregnant lady and even asked her to go to a private hospital.”At first the hospital refused to take the case, they chased her away. Then later one lady came and got the woman admitted in the hospital,” said Sri Ram, one of the residents of Shakur Basti slums.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Around 1.30 am, a girl child was born to one of my relatives. First the hospital refused to admit her and then later they admitted her,” said another resident, Lakhan.The residents also said that hospital later admitted the woman after intervention by the media.”They chased the pregnant woman away, when we asked them to give medicine they asked us to go to a private hospital. They came back, and then the ambulance took her away after we complained to media,” said Gulab.Last week, around 500 slums were razed by Railway authorities as part of their demolition drive.Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi had on Monday visited the razed Shakur Basti slums and promised them that he would extend every help possible to alleviate them of their problems. He had accused the Delhi government and the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Centre for the razing of the slum and asserted that the law had been clearly broken during the demolition.The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led Delhi Government had questioned the timing of Railways? action and asked why proper arrangements to rehabilitate the dwellers was not made before their houses were demolished.

Modi govt constantly humiliating non-BJP CMs, alleges Congress

Party’s senior spokesman Anand Sharma said that Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy was not the only Chief Minister “insulted” by the Centre.

PTI
Amid the row over “insult” to Kerala Chief Minister, Congress on Monday made a scathing attack on the Narendra Modi government charging it with constantly “humiliating” non-BJP Chief Ministers and also attempting to “destabilise” Congress governments.Party’s senior spokesman Anand Sharma said that Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy was not the only Chief Minister “insulted” by the Centre.”There are complaints against the Prime Minister from other State government’s also. On Sept 27, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddharamiah was not invited to Indo-German conclave in Begaluru.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was not invited to a function concerning a Metro between Delhi-Faridabad where the Prime Minister was the chief guest, he recalled. He alleged that Governors appointed by BJP – all RSS supporters, are getting involved in day to day running of government, which was beyond their mandate.Turning to the Kerala issue, he claimed that the letter that is being circulated by BJP is written after the Chief Minister had been asked to recuse himself from the event by the Officer on Special Duty of the Prime Minister. He said that the Chief Minister did not wanted to embarrass the Prime Minister and he wrote the letter after the OSD asked him whether he agreed to recuse himself from the function.”Despite talking about co-operative federalism, they are constantly slighting non-BJP Chief Ministers….They are attempting to destabilise Congress governments”, he said without elaborating.

PM Narendra Modi accuses UDF and CPI(M) of looting Kerala

Likening the third force to the ‘third eye’ of Lord Shiva in this temple town, where the famous Wadakunathar Temple for Shiva is located, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it would destroy the “evils” of the two fronts, an apparent reference to the Congress-led UDF and CPI(M)-led Left Front.

PTI
On his first visit to Kerala after assuming office, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a strong attack on the ruling Congress-led UDF and the CPI(M), accusing them of indulging in “loot” of the state by turns during their tenure in power and hiding their “sins”. Addressing a public meeting organised by the party, he referred to the BJP’s success in the local bodies election last month and asserted it has emerged as the “third force” in Kerala that will replace the two fronts in the next year’s Assembly elections and transform the state’s fortunes.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Unfortunately, Kerala’s politics is such that two coalitions have been ruling the state and looting its people. One coalition comes to power and loots. People get angry every five years and throw it out and another coalition comes. This cycle has been continuing so far. Both the coalitions are busy hiding each other’s sins and then continue with their loot. Now the people of Kerala need not get angry any more. A third force has emerged in Kerala. It is like Lord Shiva’s third eye, which will destroy the sins and free the state from the evils and corruption. The emergence of the third force will change Kerala’s future and bring prosperity and peace in the state,” Modi said.Likening the third force to the ‘third eye’ of Lord Shiva in this temple town, where the famous Wadakunathar Temple for Shiva is located, he said it would destroy the “evils” of the two fronts, an apparent reference to the Congress-led UDF and CPI(M)-led Left Front.The Prime Minister, who was on his first visit to Kerala after assuming office, was addressing a public meeting organised by his party at the Thekkinkadu ground in front of the temple where the annual world-famous Pooram festival is conducted. Looking at the good crowd and its response, Modi said the gathering is an indication that Kerala has decided to bring a “change” by electing BJP to power in the next elections.Referring to the dominance of the two rival fronts in Kerala for decades, Modi said in a state where social reformers like Sree Narayana Guru had fought and removed social untouchability, a climate of political untouchability is still prevalent in Kerala.”This untouchability is carried to such lengths and those opposed to their political ideology are harassed and sometimes physically eliminated. Their (fronts’) thinking process is such,” he said.Modi said that at least over 200 BJP workers have been killed in the last 50 years just because of ideological differences.”If you see the political history of any state in India, Kerala is probably the only one where in the last 50 years BJP has suffered political vendetta and probably no other party has suffered that much like in Kerala,” he said.The Prime Minister the BJP worker in Kerala stands tall and is a shining example of commitment and perseverance to the party workers throughout the country.”I tell BJP men everywhere to look at the dedication of BJP workers in Kerala. There is no victory in sight, no power or positions in sight. But they have been fighting for the nationalist cause. After every election, the only review they used to undertake is to check whether they have retained their deposits, whether the defeat margin is bigger or smaller than the previous results,” he said.

Shiv Sena attacks Union govt; says Smart City project is ploy to centrally control Mumbai

Coming down heavily on the project, the ruling alliance partner said it is an attempt to create a new “underworld” and thereby impose a “parallel administration.”

Shiv Sena also alleged that PM Narendra Modi’s flagship project favoured capitalists, traders and builders and that providing Rs 500 crore over five years for Mumbai, that has an annual budget of over Rs 34,000 crore, is of no use.
File Photo
PTI
Terming the ‘Smart city’ project of the Union government as “unconstitutional” and “illegal”, the Shiv Sena on Monday alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship scheme is a ploy to have central control over Mumbai.Coming down heavily on the project, the ruling alliance partner said it is an attempt to create a new “underworld” and thereby impose a “parallel administration.””Every city has a different problem. The formation of a special purpose vehicle with funds from the state government and the municipal corporation would be a private company that would control the municipal corporation, and the city would thus be finally controlled by the Centre,” the Sena said in an editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”If someone from the Centre is controlling a city, it is a kind of dictatorship. Controlling a city through companies by bypassing the elected municipal corporation is illegal and unconstitutional…It is like creating a new underworld and imposing a parallel government,” it charged.The Sena further alleged that the project favoured capitalists, traders and builders and that providing Rs 500 crore over five years for Mumbai, that has an annual budget of over Rs 34,000 crore, is of no use.”Mumbai gives taxes worth Rs 1.5 lakh crore to the Centre every year. If the Centre uses even 25 per cent of this money for the city, not only Mumbai but the entire Maharashtra would become a smart state,” the editorial said.”We cannot let Mumbai become a servant of multi-national companies in the name of Smart City and let them decide on the development and taxes. Today power is being snatched from the people and cities are going in the hands of the rich. If this is a back-door ploy to Centrally administer Mumbai, then people should see Shivaji with a sword in his hand,” the Sena said.It also said that those wanting to implement the proposal should first visit the memorial of 105 martyrs who sacrificed their lives for a united Maharashtra.

India, Pakistan PMs decided in Paris to resume NSA-level talks, says Sushma Swaraj

Regarding her visit to Pakistan last week to attend the Heart of Asia conference and to her engagements with the Pakistan leadership, Swaraj said that the announcement for the commencing of a comprehensive bilateral dialogue between India and Pakistan was made through a joint statement issued on December 9.

Image Courtesy: Ministry of External Affairs

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday told members of the Lok Sabha that both Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif had decided during their meeting in Paris, France, to resume dialogue at the level of National Security Advisors.Delivering a statement in Hindi in the Lower House, Swaraj said, “PMs (India-Pakistan) decided to resume NSA -level talks after they met in Paris recently.”Regarding her visit to Pakistan last week to attend the Heart of Asia conference and to her engagements with the Pakistan leadership, Swaraj said that the announcement for the commencing of a comprehensive bilateral dialogue between India and Pakistan was made through a joint statement issued on December 9.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>She also informed the House that India had played a positive role at the Heart of Asia Summit.On the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, she informed members of the Lok Sabha that the Indian Government had categorically told the Pakistan Government that there was a need to expedite trial and bring those involved in the horrific incident that claimed 166 lives to justice.During an 30-minute discussion following the statement, thirteen Members of the Lok Sabha by and large welcomed the Indian Government’s decision to restart the talks and the dignified way in which Swaraj had led the Indian delegation in the engagement with their Pakistani counterparts, but some said that it was procedural achievement moving forward that needed to be converted into actionable results on the ground. They insisted that India’s vital interests needed to be protected at all costs.They also flagged their concerns over the issue of cross-border militancy and terrorism, and asked whether the Pakistan Government had given concrete assurances to the Indian delegation that these sorts of incidents would be stopped and acted upon firmly should they occur.After the 30-minute intervention, Swaraj said that it was not at all her intention to deliberately delay in giving a statement on her visit to the Parliament, and categorically said that as of now, ‘nothing has changed on the ground’, and it would be erroneous at this point in time to think so.She also said that the political status of Jammu and Kashmir had not been raised or discussed in Islamabad, and added that the joint statement issued on December 9 clearly mentions that the region was only mentioned in the context of NSAs dealing with the issue of terrorism.She also took exception to the remark that the current Indian Government was engaged in a ‘flip-flop’ exercise with Pakistan. She reminded members of the Lower House that back channel dialogue has been ongoing at various places around the world to find a way to formalise the talks process. Such talks had taken place during the UPA regime in places like Thimphu and Havana and there was no secrecy or third country involvement in these back channel talks, she added.All issues would be taken up during the next round of dialogue, she said, and hopefully with an element of trust on both sides.Earlier, delivering a similar statement in the Rajya Sabha, Swaraj maintained that the talks between India and Pakistan would mark the beginning of peace and development in South Asia.Though most of her statement was drowned out by raucous opposition protests over the state of lawlessness in Punjab and a demand for the dismissal of the Prakash Singh Badal-led state government, Swaraj expressed the hope that re-engaging with Pakistan under a ‘Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue’ will mark beginning of peace and development as continued estrangement was a hurdle to peace and prosperity in the region.The suo motu statement on her visit to Islamabad last week and the recent developments relating to bilateral ties between the two neighbours, also mentioned the fact that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had discussed with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the sidelines of the environment conference in Paris of the need to “again re-engage with each other.She said, there was also a “sharp awareness” that principal obstacles to the growth of ties, especially terrorism, would have to be clearly and directly addressed.Swaraj said initiatives on trade and connectivity, people-to-people exchanges and humanitarian issues would contribute to welfare of the entire region and promote better understanding and mutual trust.She said the government accords the highest priority to the country’s security and building an environment of peaceful, cooperative relations with neighbours, including Pakistan.She also said foreign secretaries of both countries have been tasked to work out modalities and schedule of the meetings under the new dialogue.The External Affairs Minister said the government will take all steps, including through diplomatic channels in order to meet any security threat.Swaraj said both India and Pakistan have condemned terrorism in all of its manifestations and resolved to cooperate to eliminate this menace.She said New Delhi has been assured that steps are being taken to expedite the early conclusion of the 26/11 Mumbai trial.

Low-key birthday for Manohar Parrikar; Congress says BJP insensitive to flood victims

Prominent BJP leaders led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi wished Parrikar on the occasion.

Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar being felicitated by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on the occasion of his 60th birthday at a function at Campal, Panaji on Sunday.

PTI
A public reception sans fanfare marked the 60th birthday of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar here today amid presence of senior ministers, even as the Congress accused top BJP brass of being “insensitive” towards the victims of Chennai floods. Congress had sought cancellation of the event in view of the Chennai deluge.Earlier in day, prominent BJP leaders led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi wished Parrikar on the occasion.”Wishing Manohar Parrikar & @drharshvardhan on their birthday. They are admired for their simplicity & hardwork. I pray for their long life,” the Prime Minister tweeted.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Parrikar’s cabinet colleagues including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman also took to twitter to wish Parrikar. Parrikar, former chief minister of Goa, celebrated the day with family and friends in morning at his private residence in Taleigao near here.In the evening, a reception was held at Campal Ground here where about 50,000 people turned up. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, AYUSH Minister Sripad Naik, state chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar were present on the dais.On the occasion, Parrikar remembered his wife Medha who passed away in 2001 following illness, a little before Parrikar became the Chief Minister of Goa for the first time.”Who was supposed to be 55 (this year), she (Medha) left me at 40,” Parrikar said while referring to the Hindi song ‘Jab tum hoge saath saal ke’ which was played ahead of the beginning of the formal reception. Parrikar said that people never allowed him to feel his wife’s absence. “I am at this position due to love given by people of Goa,” he added.Hailing Parrikar, Gadkari said the former was following politics as an “instrument for bringing socio-political reforms”. “He (Parrikar) has maintained the same profile in public life right from the day he entered politics till date,” said Gadkari.The birthday bash had run into controversy with the Congress accusing the state government of using public money to organise the event. The CM had refuted the charge. The event turned out to be simple one with only a pandal covering the ground to mark the programme. No cultural programme was held on the occasion.Addressing the gathering comprising the BJP leaders and workers, Parrikar hailed the role of defence forces during the Chennai deluge, saying the coordination between the Army and Air Force was commendable.”When Chennai was receiving unprecedented rains, I coordinated and made sure that Army and Air Force rush there. The coordination was commendable,” Parrikar said.Meanwhile, the Congress said the “grand” event shows the BJP’s “insensitivity” towards the victims of Chennai floods.”Despite of all our requests to the BJP leadership both at the state and national level including the PM, the grand birthday bash was held in the city today. This proves the insensitivity of BJP leaders towards Chennai flood victims and those bravehearts who lost their lives protecting the country,” said Congress’ state unit spokesman Sunil Kawathankar.”It seemed more like it was an desperate attempt of state BJP to reinstate the lost glory of their government and moreover to rebuild the loss of confidence amongst Goans in their leader Mr. Parrikar keeping in view the 2017 Assembly elections,” he added.

Japan and India sign bullet train deal

India agrees to buy a high-speed bullet train from Japan, in an attempt to transform its creaking rail system.

Netaji Photo: Subhas Chandra Bose’s nephew says Narendra Modi has promised to unravel mystery

Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s grand-nephew Chandra Bose on Sunday said the NDA Government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is committed to unravel the mystery behind the disappearance of Netaji, adding that he will be meeting the Prime Minister to raise the issue since the latter is going to Russia by end of this month.

File Photo
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s grand-nephew Chandra Bose on Sunday said the NDA Government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi is committed to unravel the mystery behind the disappearance of Netaji, adding that he will be meeting the Prime Minister to raise the issue since the latter is going to Russia by end of this month.”If we have to find the truth on Netaji’s disappearance, we need to approach the Russian authorities to really find out who this Tashkent man (Netaji look-alike who appeared with Shastri) was. I think the NDA government is sincere and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is committed to unravel the mystery of the liberator of India, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose,” Chandra Bose told ANI here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We are going to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 16 to present a book, The Bose brothers and Indian independence. During our discussions, we will again raise the issue because we understand that the Prime Minister is going to Russia by end of December. We would request him to take up the issue with Russian President. President Putin must be requested to open erstwhile KGB files. Till such time the erstwhile KGB files are not declassified and put on the public domain, we will not be able to find conclusive evidence to establish the fact of Netaji’s presence in Russia,” he added.Bose also said that the death of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri ‘still remains a mystery’.”Lal Bahadur Shashtri’s grandson Sanjay Nath Singh had told me that when Shastri ji visited Tashkent, on the last day(Jan 11, 1966), Shastri ji had called Sanjay’s mother and told her that he had met somebody in Russia and will disclose his identity once he is back, and the people of India would be elated to know about this person. It is very unfortunate that Shastri ji expired only an hour after the telephonic conversation. This still remains a mystery who that person was,” he said.Netaji researchers have produced a forensic face-mapping report by a British expert that has found strong resemblance between Bose and a man photographed with former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri during the Indo-Pak peace talks in Tashkent in 1966.The photograph is being held as evidence that Netaji didn’t die in the plane crash in Taihoku in 1945 and validates a recent claim by Shastri’s grandson Siddharth Nath Singh that Shastri had met someone who was considered an icon back home, while in the Soviet Union.Meanwhile, the Modi government has begun the process of declassification of Netaji files and the first batch of 33 files were handed over to the National Archives in October and would be made public on January 23, 2016, Netaji Subhash Chandra’s birth anniversary.

Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar hails COP21 climate pact, says it could have been better

“This is historic because it was not easy that all countries will agree to a reasonable ambitious deal. This has given a new hope, a new lease of life,” he said.

Prakash Javadekar

India on Sunday hailed as ‘historic’ the adoption of a legally-binding pact seeking to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius but said the deal could have been more ambitious had the developed nations shouldered more historical responsibilities.Noting that the agreement acknowledges and recognises the development imperatives of India and other developing countries, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said the accord also supported their right to development and their efforts to harmonise development with environment, while protecting the interests of the most vulnerable.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Today is a historic day. What we have adopted is not only an agreement but a new ‘chapter of hope’ in the lives of 7 billion people. Mahatma Gandhiji used to say that ‘we have not inherited earth from our ancestors, but we have it on loan from future generations,” Javadekar said.”This is historic because it was not easy that all countries will agree to a reasonable ambitious deal. This has given a new hope, a new lease of life,” he said.Related Read: PM Modi hails COP21 climate agreement as victory of justice, path towards ‘greener future'”We have today reassured our future generation that we all together will mitigate the challenge posed by climate change and we will give them a better future,” the Minister said at the plenary session after the agreement was adopted, ending 13-days of tough negotiations.Javadekar, however, also said the agreement could have been more ambitious as the actions of developed nations are “far below” than their historical responsibilities and fair shares. “The actions of developed countries are far below their historical responsibilities and fair shares. We have in the spirit of compromise agreed on a number of phrases in the agreement,” he said.Javadekar said the conference also witnessed the launch of the historic International Solar Alliance under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi which he termed as “path breaking” in providing unprecedented boost to solar energy development.He said that India was happy that the agreement has “unequivocally” acknowledged the imperative of climate justice, which reflects common sentiment and has based itself on the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities.”The agreement also acknowledges the importance of sustainable lifestyles and sustainable consumption patterns. We are also happy that the agreement differentiates between the actions of developed and developing countries across its elements,” Javadekar said.Noting that India has consistently said that the path to climate ambition must be paved with equity, he said that the accord has recognised it.

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