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Nepal’s KP Oli calls up PM Modi; discusses political situation in Nepal

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday emphasised the importance of finding a durable solution based on consensus to Nepal’s political problems during a telephonic conversation with his Nepalese counterpart K P Oli.Oli called up Modi and briefed him on the political developments in his country, days after the Nepalese Cabinet decided to amend the Constitution to address keys demands of Madhesis, largely of Indian-origin, from the country’s Terai region over proportional representation and constituency delimitation.”Prime Minister emphasised the importance of finding a durable solution to the political problems facing Nepal based on consensus or ‘sahmati’,” an External Affairs Ministry release in New Delhi said, adding that Oli “briefed him on the political developments in Nepal”.According to the Nepalese premier’s press advisor Pramod Dahal, during the 20-minute conversation, Modi invited Oli to visit India. Oli accepted the invitation and said he will pay an official visit to India soon after the situation is normalised, Dahal said.Modi also extended his good wishes to the friendly people of Nepal for the New Year 2016. Oli would visit India before undertaking his trip to China, which was earlier supposed to be his maiden visit overseas, sources in the Nepal government said. The Nepalese Prime Minister extended thanks to Modi for welcoming Nepal government’s move to forward a Bill in the Parliament for amending the Constitution to address the demands raised by the agitating Madhesi Front.During the talk, the two leaders also discussed matters relating to improving relations between Nepal and India, Dahal said. Oli said he wanted to see Nepal-India relations move towards a positive direction while also drawing Modi’s attention towards the obstructions prevailing in the Nepal- India border check-points, according to Dahal.He requested Modi to make arrangements for smoothening the Raxaul-Birgunj check-point, the major trading point between the two countries. In response, Modi said he was always in favour of easing Indo-Nepal border trading points and asserted that India was not creating any obstructions in the movement in the border checkpoint, Oli’s Press Advisor added.Modi told Oli that all the border points except the Raxaul-Birgunj check-point are operating in a normal way and the obstructions were created in the Raxaul-Birgunj point due to continued protests by the agitating Madhesi parties, according to Dahal.Modi also recalled that he had instructed the External Affairs Minister to ensure that medicines reach Nepal through airlifting to avoid their scarcity due to agitations there. The two Prime Ministers also discussed issues relating to bilateral interest on the occasion. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Interlinking roads key to India’s growth: PM Modi

The Prime Minister reiterated that all the policies coined by his government were for the betterment of the nation’s poor.

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Also ReadIndiaOnce accosted for her hijab, 22-year-old woman now teaches Muslim empowermentIndiaInterlinking roads key to India’s growth: PM ModiIndiaPM Modi attacks Congress, asks them to vow to allow Parliament to function in 2016IndiaNCP accuses Manohar Parrikar of ‘interference’ in Goa affairsIndia’Anarchist’ Kejriwal still running party, not government: BJPIndiaMercury settles at sub-zero temp in Kashmir; Leh coldest <!– /.block –>

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Modi govt a failure on all fronts, pursuing vendetta politics: Congress

“The Prime Minister has remained unmoved by agony of the Indian farmer and thousands of suicides failed to move the government to make timely and effective intervention to alleviate their sufferings. This is apparent from the fact that the Prime Minister, who is never tired of travelling, thought it unfit to visit any village or state where a large number of farmers have recently committed suicide,” the Congress spokesperson said.

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Also ReadIndiaDear news channel, how does a rape victim’s ‘Facebook lover’ matter?IndiaOdd-even move only to avoid media glare on MLAs’ salary hike, asks CongressIndiaTelangana DGP denies Hyderabad more prone to ISIS radicalisationIndiaGovernment decides to relax adoption conditions in certain casesIndiaIntolerance Debate 2015: Who is under the radar?IndiaModi govt a failure on all fronts, pursuing vendetta politics: Congress <!– /.block –>

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Watch: Here is what LK Advani said in support of PM Modi’s Pakistan visit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday made a stopover in Lahore to wish his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif on the occasion of the latter’s birthday. During his two-hour stopover, Modi visited Nawaz Sharif’s Jati Umra residence in Lahore. “Looking forward to meeting PM Nawaz Sharif in Lahore today afternoon, where I will drop by on my way back to Delhi. Spoke to PM Nawaz Sharif and wished him on his birthday,” Prime Minister Modi said in a series of tweets moments after inaugurating the new building of Afghanistan Parliament in Kabul.

dna Web Team

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Also ReadIndiaWeekly train between Tirupati and Shirdi flagged offIndiaKeralites back after harrowing experience in Saudi ArabiaIndiaBihar: Two engineers shot dead by unidentified assailants in Darbhanga, 6 detainedIndiaWatch: Here is what LK Advani said in support of PM Modi’s Pakistan visitIndiaKejriwal govt scraps nearly 1,000 autorickshaw permits, suspends 3 officials after alleged scamIndiaCongress wins five seats in Madhya Pradhya urban bodies elections <!– /.block –>

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Except Left, Opposition parties decry PM’s move BJP says it’s pleasant surprise

In Jammu and Kashmir, while both chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and former CM and opposition National Conference working president Omar Abdullah welcomed talks. But Omar called for sustainability in the talks, which should address skewed issues like Kashmir and other disputes once for all. In a statement here, Mufti who is recuperating after a health issue, , Mufti said he was delighted by Modi’s visit. “This is an evolutionary process and step in the right direction. It indicates Prime Minister’s resolve to enter into a long-term strategic partnership with Pakistan,” he stated. His aides recall October 15, meeting with the PM, where Mufti had conveyed that a peace with Pakistan was linked to development and progress in his state. “This initiative, besides being a great step towards improvement of bilateral relations, will also give impetus to the concept of SAARC,” he added.Congress, however, attacked the PM, alleging his endavour was not for promoting India’s national interest or to take forward the roadmap to engage with it on tackling terror but to promote private business interests. In a hurriedly convened press conference, Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma asked what assurances he got on bringing back or punishing perpetrators of 26/11 Mumbai attacks, especially Zakiu Rehman Lakhvi, and on dismantling terror syndicates in Pakistan acting against India.”Questioning the intent behind his visit, Congress rejected claims of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj that the Prime Minister’s move was ‘statesman-like’ and said it was “pre-arranged” by a businessman.”We are very clear that the Prime Minister is there to promote only private business interests and not India’s national interest which should be supreme.”Diplomacy is serious, it must have gravitas and predictability. It cannot be frivolous, otherwise it will implode on Shri Narendra Modi’s face,” he told reporters. “This unannounced visit cannot be termed ‘statesman-like. Diplomacy must have seriousness and gravitas,” he said.The Congress leader questioned how many Prime Ministers or heads of states make such detours to wish birthdays, asking if any Indian Prime Minister has landed in another country in this manner in the last 67 years. He also slammed Modi and BJP for adopting a “hawkish approach” during the UPA government and termed any meeting by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with his Pakistani counterpart as “anti-national”. The JD (U) leader K C Tiyagi said the “friendship and betrayal cannot go hand in hand” “I am stunned and shocked. At this moment, I can think of beheaded Hemraj,” said Tyagi.Describing it a “pleasant surprise”, BJP leader Tarun Vijay called it a best Christmas gift. “PM’s move will help isolate anti-India and anti-peace forces in Pakistan. It will work like a miracle. It has clearly shown, who wants peace in the region and has put onus on other side to reciprocate, ” he said. Another spokesperson Sidharath Nag Singh said the PM’s move was one of out of box diplomatic venture, as he had invited the leaders of South Asia nations to his oath taking ceremony.

dna Correspondent

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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 –>

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 –>

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.

Security in Lahore on high alert ahead of PM Modi’s surpise visit

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Earlier, Foreign Office spokesman Qazi Khalilullah said, “Yes, we have been informed by the Indian High Commission that PM Narendra Modi would stop over in Lahore to meet our PM today. Details are being worked out.”

Pakistani authorities on Friday put security on high alert in Lahore especially around the airport area following the announcement of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s day-long visit to the city.A PM House spokesman confirmed that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will receive his Indian counterpart at the Lahore airport who is expected to reach here around 2.45 PM (local time) from Afghanistan.”PM Modi’s plane is scheduled to arrive at the Lahore airport shortly,” the spokesman said, adding that the Indian premier would stay in Lahore for about two hours. Meanwhile, heavy contingent of police and Pakistan Rangers have reached the Allama Iqbal International Airport and taken charge of the security.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Related Read: PM Modi to make sudden visit to Pakistan today after speech at Afghan Parliament”Security in Lahore has been put on high alert,” a senior police official told PTI. He said police have also been deployed on the adjoining areas of the airport. 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 of Raiwind.”I cannot confirm but there are chances that Modi goes to Raiwind and holds meeting with PM Sharif at his residence,” he said. Earlier, Foreign Office spokesman Qazi Khalilullah said, “Yes, we have been informed by the Indian High Commission that PM Narendra Modi would stop over in Lahore to meet our PM today. Details are being worked out.”Also Read: LIVE Updates: PM Modi addresses Afghan Parliament, announces 500 scholarships for children; promises everlasting friendship

Modi in Russia: PM Modi takes a jibe at Opposition, says ‘some people always count problems’

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Asserting that India is making attempts to resolve these problems, he said ,”results in this direction are now showing up”.

In an apparent swipe at his detractors back home, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said some people only cry about problems while his government was trying to resolve them. “Yes we also face problems but we are not those who will only cry about the problems. We are finding solutions to the problems we face. “There are some people who all the time are engaged in counting problems,” he said while addressing a ‘Friends of India’ event here. Asserting that India is making attempts to resolve these problems, he said ,”results in this direction are now showing up”. While Modi did not elaborate, he was apparently referring to problems being repeatedly highlighted by Opposition parties. His remarks to a gathering of about 3,000 against the backdrop of the NDA government’s attack on the opposition for stalling the crucial reforms legislations like the GST during the just concluded Parliament session. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Modi in Russia: PM Modi invites security partner Moscow to become partner in prosperity

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“The good news is that our trade and business relations are becoming vibrant. A number of Russian and Indian companies are working together,” he added.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is on a two-day visit to Russia for the 16th Annual Summit, on Thursday invited Moscow to become India’s partner in prosperity just as it has stayed a partner in security. Prime Minister Modi, who was addressing the CEO forum, said that Russia would always remain a vital partner of India, not only in energy and mineral resources, but in cutting edge technologies too. “I am here to invite our partner in security to become partner in prosperity also. Russia has and will always be a vital and long-term partner, not only in energy and mineral resources, but in cutting edge technologies too,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The good news is that our trade and business relations are becoming vibrant. A number of Russian and Indian companies are working together,” he added. Prime Minister Modi also said that from the cooperation between the two nations was moving ahead from hydrocarbons ‘to the hardest form of carbon- diamonds’. The Prime Minister also said that Russia had a huge scope of being a part of the Make in India campaign. Russian President Vladimir Putin also said that high tech, innovation, energy, aircraft building, pharma and diamonds were promising areas for India-Russia cooperation. The two leaders also agreed to institutionalise the CEO’s Forum with two meetings annually: one in India and one in Russia. After the talks, the two sides are expected to sign a number of pacts to expand cooperation in key areas including defence, nuclear energy, hydrocarbons and trade. Earlier, the Prime Minister paid his tribute to the famed valour of Russia’s soldiers by laying wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. During the day, Prime Minister Modi visited EMERCOM -the National Crisis Management Centre, NCMC, in Moscow. He was given an overview of the actual functioning and real-time monitoring operations of the Centre. He was also informed in detail about the coordination among various disaster-relief agencies, which is done by this Centre. The space monitoring and 3D modelling capabilities were also explained. The Prime Minister took keen interest in the disaster prevention and response activities being coordinated by the Centre, as well as its global outreach. He described the work being done by the Centre as a great service to humanity.

Got success in reducing influence of ISIS among youth: Manohar Parrikar

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On a query related to alleged involvement of army personnel in a suspected espionage case involving Pakistan’s spy agency ISI, he said “we had to tighten the security (intelligence) which we have already done”.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Thursday said the Centre has achieved success in reducing the influence of terror outfit Islamic State (IS) among Indian youth.”We are trying to reduce the numbers (of youths getting attracted towards the ideology of the IS) and we have achieved success in it,” Parrikar said when asked about influence of the IS on the Indian youth. He was talking to reporters after inaugurating the first cable-stayed bridge on Ravi river at Basholi in Kathua district situated on Dunera-Basholi-Bhadharwah road. On a query related to alleged involvement of army personnel in a suspected espionage case involving Pakistan’s spy agency ISI, he said “we had to tighten the security (intelligence) which we have already done”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the light of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two day visit to Russia and the impending defence deal, Parrikar said that India’s relationship with Russia is not new.”We have never been away from Russia. Our relationship with Russia on the old contracts (Defence) were already there. Though new contracts were less but now they are taken care of,” the Defence Minister said.While speaking at the function, he also said that this year the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) has completely come under the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and its efficiency has increased. “Earlier it was under Ministry of Surface Transport but from this year, it has come completely under MoD. Now we don’t need to go to other ministries to seek funds,” he said. “This is the first BRO project that was finished before time,” Parrikar added.The Defence Minister said new and modern technology was being adopted in the construction of roads and tunnels in Jammu and Kashmir with 20-25 tunnels in the pipeline and a survey to be conducted on the Bhaderwah tunnel as well. Parrikar said the need of the hour was to provide 12 months connectivity to the areas affected by snowfall in winters.Apart from meeting demands of the people, these new routes would be of strategic importance too, he said. “These new routes can also help in the fast induction of the Army besides helping developing these areas,” he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin gifts PM Modi handwritten page from Mahatma Gandhi’s dairy

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Russian President Vladmir Putin on Thursday gifted Prime Minister Narendra Modi a handwritten page from Mahatma Gandhi’s diary.

PM Narendra Modi and President Vladmir Putin

Reuters
Russian President Vladmir Putin on Thursday gifted Prime Minister Narendra Modi a handwritten page from Mahatma Gandhi’s diary.”President Putin gifted me a page from Gandhi ji’s diary containing Bapu’s handwritten notes,” Prime Minister Modi tweeted along with the photograph.”President Putin also gifted an 18th century sword from Bengal, featuring intricate silver artwork. I thank him for the gifts,” he said in another tweet.Prime Minister Modi and Russian President are set to hold the 16th India-Russia Annual Summit talks at Kremlin.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Related Read: PM Modi, Russian President Vladimir Putin to hold talks, sign pacts today on key areas​Prime Minister Modi and the Russian President are expected to discuss topical, global and regional issues and prospects for cooperation in multilateral organisations, primarily at the United Nations, BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).According to TASS, following the talks, a number of bilateral agreements are expected to be inked, in particular on transport, trade, energy and reciprocal trips of the citizens. Economic cooperation will be the focus of the talks.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.Besides bilateral issues, the two leaders are likely to deliberate on a number of global issues having political dimensions including the situation in Syria and ways to tackle terrorism.Prime Minister Modi on his second day of visit to Russia, will start the day by visiting Russian National Crisis Management Center (NCMC) and get an overview of its functioning and how it acts during natural disasters.Apart from the bilateral meetings and issuing a joint statement, the Prime minister will also address at a gathering of friends of India.Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday, received a red carpet welcome on his first bilateral visit to Russia.On Thursday, he will be greeted with twin cultural programmes Abhinandan and Abhivyakti.On the eve of veteran leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s birthday, artists will perform musical enactment of Atal ji’s poem Geet Naya Gata Hoon rendered by Lata Mangeshkar. While Abhinandan will portray the assimilation of India’s performing arts traditions by Russian artistes, Abhivyakti will be an attempt to articulate and convey an authentic image of Indian traditions, history and culture by Russian artistes.

DDCA row: Rahul Gandhi attacks PM Modi over Kirti Azad’s suspension, wants probe

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Rahul said Modi should take action and conduct inquiry into affairs of Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) of which Jaitley was the president for 13 years till 2013.

Rahul Gandhi

Rahul Gandhi on Thursday pilloried Prime Minister Narendra Modi over suspension of BJP MP Kirti Azad who has been leading a campaign against Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on alleged corruption in Delhi cricket body, reminding him of his “na khaoonga na khaney doonga” poll slogan.”During election campaign, Modi spoke about scams and said he would not allow corruption. But now scams are taking place and the latest is the cricket scam, and the MP who raised it has been suspended (from the BJP),” the Congress vice president told reporters on his way back to Delhi after a two-day visit to Amethi.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tearing into the Prime Minister’s promise to root out corruption, the Congress leader said, “Modi used to say ‘na khaoonga, na khaney doonga’ (will not engage in corruption myself, nor will allow others). But today he is silent. People have started losing faith.”Related Read: DDCA row: BJP leader Subramanian Swamy to help suspended MP Kirti AzadRahul said Modi should take action and conduct inquiry into affairs of Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) of which Jaitley was the president for 13 years till 2013.His remarks came a day after BJP cracked the whip and suspended cricketer-turned-MP Azad, charging him with indulging in anti-party activities and accusing him of “colluding” with Congress and AAP to bring it to “disrepute”. A day after winter session of Parliament concluded, Rahul went full throttle against the NDA government and lashed out at the Prime Minister on the issue of unprecedented price rise and took a dig at his foreign tours, saying such trips would not benefit the country.During his stay in Amethi, he addressed some roadside meetings yesterday during which he intensified his attack on the Modi government over price rise, saying ‘achhe din’ have come only for the Prime Minister and not the common man.”The aam aadmi is groaning under unprecedented price rise. It is no achhe din (good times) for them. It is achhe din only for the Prime Minister,” he said. Rahul, who led the opposition attack against the NDA government within and outside Parliament, said only his party was fighting strongly against BJP on the price front.”BJP is responsible for the unprecedented price rise in the country,” he said, adding, “inflation is at its peak. Nothing has been done for farmers and the youth”.He alleged that wherever Modi went for election campaign, he tried to create Hindu-Muslim divide for the sake of votes. Rahul also accused the Centre of meting out “step motherly” treatment to his constituency Amethi.He asked village heads to raise their voice against cancellation of food park and paper mill projects in Amethi and said Congress wanted all welfare schemes of the Centre and the state to be implemented through gram pradhans.He said that after 1989, governments were formed in Uttar Pradesh on caste and religious lines, due to which development took a backseat and the state became backward. “Congress will spring a surprise in the 2017 Assembly polls,” he added.

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.

US President Barack Obama most popular leader in world, PM Modi stands 7th: Survey

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Modi evoked a favourable view from 24 % of people polled throughout 65 countries around the world as opposed to 20 % unfavourable, giving him a score of +4 % in the WIN/Gallup survey for ORB International’s ‘International World Leader Index’.
File Photo
Getty Images
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been voted as the seventh most popular leader in the world in a new poll topped by US President Barack Obama. Modi evoked a favourable view from 24 % of people polled throughout 65 countries around the world as opposed to 20 % unfavourable, giving him a score of +4 % in the WIN/Gallup survey for ORB International’s ‘International World Leader Index’.Modi was however beaten by Chinese President Xi Jinping, who was named the sixth most popular leader but had a higher unfavourable score than the Indian leader — 30 %. Obama grabbed the topmost spot with a score of +30 % with a whopping 59 % in his favour and 29 % unfavourable.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”President Obama is significantly more admired around the world than anyone else,” the survey said.Obama is followed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel (+13 %) with British Prime Minister David Cameron completing the top three with a score of +10 %. Cameron scored a 37 % favourable rating while another 28 % viewed him unfavourably.People in South Asia were the most friendly to the British leader, with 53 % saying they viewed him favourably and just 12 % saying they viewed him unfavourably. He was also popular in the rest of Europe and sub-Saharan Africa, where 44 % of people viewed Cameron favourably.The other leaders that made it to the top 10 include French President Francois Hollande (4th), Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (5th), Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff (8th), Saudi Arabia King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud (9th) and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (10th).

Stung by Modi govt’s ‘cold attitude’, VHP says Ram temple to be made by dharmacharyas, masses

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Almost six months after VHP announced its nationwide drive to collect stones for construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya, two trucks of stones had arrived in the temple city earlier this week, even as police said it was monitoring the situation

AFP
Apparently miffed with the “cold attitude” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi towards the Ram Mandir issue, VHP leaders in Ayodhya said that the temple will be constructed by the ‘dharmacharyas’ (holy men) and masses.”We don’t take directions from Modi. Dharmacharyas use their own wisdom,” Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, president of Ram Janam Bhumi Nyas, who actively campaigned for the construction of Ram Mandir said. Das said that although they were hopeful that the temple construction work would pick up after the return of a Hindu party government, the NDA-led Centre “did not take any interest” in VHP’s Ayodhya movement.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We have thus decided to move forward with our agenda without any help,” he said. Another senior VHP leader Triloki Nath Pandey, seconded Das’s opinion. Pandey, who was awarded a part of Babri Masjid land by Allahabad High Court, said that the VHP never expected any help from the Prime Minister for the temple construction.The temple would be constructed by Dharmacharyas and Hindu masses, he added. Almost six months after VHP announced its nationwide drive to collect stones for construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya, two trucks of stones had arrived in the temple city earlier this week, even as police said it was monitoring the situation.

Shashi Tharoor starts change.org petition to decriminalise homosexuality after setback in Parliament

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Tharoor took to Twitter to share the link to the petition where he requests everyone to sign the petition as the Parliament refused to discuss his proposed Bill.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
After Shashi Tharoor’s private member bill seeking to decriminalise homosexuality was voted out by Lok Sabha last week, the Congress MP has circulated a petition regarding the same.Tharoor took to Twitter to share the link to the petition where he requests everyone to sign the petition as the Parliament refused to discuss his proposed Bill.The petition has been directed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and makes several statements against Article 377 of IPC.”Your sexual preferences, sexuality, and partner should be your choice. Unfortunately Indian law doesn’t think so. Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code gives the state the authority to investigate what’s happening in your bedroom,” is how the petition begins.It goes on to say that the Section 377 is a law that can be used to oppress and harass; it also states that Section 377 is an ‘outdated bill based on Victorian morals’. It asks the people to sign the petition to ‘show the Prime Minister that Indians want Section 377 to be amended.’On December 18, the introduction of the bill seeking to “substitute a new section for section 377 of the IPC” was objected to by BJP member Nishikant Dubey when Tharoor moved it for introduction. Tharoor, however, insisted on going ahead with the introduction of the Bill arguing that Dubey was quoting only “partially” from the Supreme Court judgement. Tharoor pressed for division of votes in which the motion was negated by 71 ‘Noes’ against 24 ‘yes’.The former Union Minister said he “will move the Bill again when the session is convened next to ensure individual privacy is possible”. The bulk of the votes opposing “even the introduction of the Bill” came from BJP, claimed Tharoor, although he also noted that there were “some members” of the ruling party who “seemed to have” voted to allow him to introduce it.

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.

Modi in Russia: Heritage on display in ‘Friends of India’ to greet Prime Minister

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The Prime Minister will address the gathering of ‘Friends of India’ event at the Expo Centre in Moscow. The cultural show, to be performed by Russian artistes, will have two components – ‘Abhinandan’ and ‘Abhivyakti’.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi reviews an honor guard during a welcoming ceremony at Moscows Vnukovo II airport outside Moscow on December 23, 2015.

AFP photo
A cultural performance reflecting popularity of India’s rich heritage and traditions in Russia will be presented to greet Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a public reception in Moscow on Thursday expected to be attended by around 3,000 people. The show will feature artistes staging a musical enactment of Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s famous poem “Geet Naya Gata Hoon” rendered by Lata Mangeshkar just a day before the former Prime Minister’s birthday on December 25.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Prime Minister will address the gathering of ‘Friends of India’ event at the Expo Centre in Moscow. The cultural show, to be performed by Russian artistes, will have two components – ‘Abhinandan’ and ‘Abhivyakti’.’Abhinandan’ – to feature performances by 52 artistes – 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 while portraying the assimilation of India’s performing arts traditions by Russian artistes.’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 the musical enactment of “Geet Naya Gata Hoon”.’Abhivyakti’ is an attempt to articulate and convey an authentic image of Indian traditions, history and culture by Russian artistes and enthusiasts, which resonates in the hearts, and minds of all Indians and well-wishers of India in foreign countries. It is a reflection of the feeling of brotherhood and amity that exists between the people of India and Russia.”‘Abhivyakti’ is dedicated to the expression of goodwill, joy, and enthusiasm aptly represented by our philosophy of ‘Vasudheva Kutumbakam’ that characterises our interaction with the rest of the world,” said organisers.This component of the show would contain performances by 100 artistes and will majorly consist of Namaskaram, Charishnu, Bharatnatyam, Rudra, Pandattam, Khoria, Lavni, Kalina Taal performances.

PM Modi arrives in Moscow for two-day visit; expanding ties in strategic areas key focus

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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 in a Facebook post

Narendra Modi

Image courtesy: ANI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Moscow on Wednesday on a two-day visit during which India and Russia are expected to seal a raft of major deals in defence, nuclear energy and hydrocarbons sectors to further cement their ‘special and privileged strategic ties’.Stepping up economic engagement and further expanding ties in strategic areas are likely to be the centerpiece of the 16th India-Russia annual summit talks, which are the second such between Modi and President Vladimir Putin besides deliberating on various global issues like situation in Syria and tackling threat of terrorism. Setting the tone for the visit, Modi 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 tomorrow.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Our relation with Russia is unique, covering almost every field of human endeavour,” Modi said in a pre-departure statement in New Delhi. 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 in a Facebook post. He further 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.”On the first day of Modi’s arrival in Russia amid Christmas festivities, Putin will host a private dinner for the Prime Minister tonight. The two leaders will interact with a group of Indian and Russian CEOs tomorrow in Kremlin. With Russia’s economy badly hit by the Western sanctions in the wake of Ukraine crisis, Putin is keen to expand economic ties with India, which, in turn, has been expressing keen interest in participating in oil and gas exploration projects in the Eurasian country.The volume of current bilateral trade between the two countries is around USD 10 billion and both sides were 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.He 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 with Putin who had travelled to New Delhi 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 yesterday said that both Modi and Putin will deliberate on enhancing cooperation in defence and nuclear energy speheres. 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.On whether India will request Russia to share details on Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, he 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 had said.

Winter Session was ‘victim of strategies aimed to paralyse Parliament’, says Venkaiah Naidu

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Naidu further said that the ruling dispensation at the Centre was ready to discuss issues but for that the House needed to function; but the opposition did not allow the house to function.

Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs M. Venkaiah Naidu

PTI
Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs M. Venkaiah Naidu on Wednesday slammed the Opposition for not letting the Parliament function; saying just concluded Winter Session became the victim of strategy which was aimed to paralyse it.”The nation is disappointed in the manner in which the Parliament functioned in the Winter Session. The nation needs to be given an explanation by the Congress as to why they did not let the Rajya Sabha function,” Naidu said. “All international agencies are saying that India is most favoured destination for investments, but our friends in the Opposition don’t respect the mandate of the people and are creating obstacles for us,” he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Naidu further said that the ruling dispensation at the Centre was ready to discuss issues but for that the House needed to function; but the opposition did not allow the house to function.”The Congress feels threatened by this Prime Minister and the government and they want to sabotage parliament and democracy,” he added.Claiming that the ruling regime didn’t do anything wrong, Naidu said, “No minister has done anything wrong; no one can raise a finger on us….Something happened in Delhi and District Cricket Association in 2012, and they didn’t let Parliament to function in 2015,” he added.Meanwhile both the houses were adjourned sine die today. The Congress lawmakers continued to disrupt the proceedings over the alleged irregularities in DDCA, demanding the resignation of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.Amid the uproar created by the opposition, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan allowed the question hour.

PM Modi ‘politically forced’ to support Arun Jaitley: Congress

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“If you want to read into the statement, it perhaps very clearly states that the Prime Minister may is forced politically to support Mr. Jaitley,” he added

Taking a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress Party on Wednesday said that the former is ‘politically forced’ to support Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who is under the hammer for irregularities in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA). “In the DDCA case some enquiries have been constituted. So we should all wait and let the enquiry come. It is unfortunate that the Prime Minister is making a statement like this. He never made a statement like this in the case of Sushma ji, Vasundhara Raje or Shivraj Singh Chouhan,” Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit told ANI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”If you want to read into the statement, it perhaps very clearly states that the Prime Minister may is forced politically to support Mr. Jaitley,” he added. He asserted that there is a moral duty of the Finance Minister and it is up to him to take the call. Earlier, in a strong show of support for Jaitley, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the former will come through “with flying colours” against charges of corruption levelled against him by the Opposition.

After Jailtley, Arvind Kejriwal calls for Narendra Modi’s resignation

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Kejriwal told the Delhi assembly that the CBI raided his office to look for a note on the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA). CBI has earlier denied that they had raided Kejriwal’s office.

Mounting a huge pressure on the top brass of BJP, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s resignation a week after the CBI raided the Delhi secretariat.Kejriwal told the Delhi assembly that the CBI raided his office to look for a note on the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA). CBI has earlier denied that they had raided Kejriwal’s office.”I demand Prime Minister Modi’s resignation for the raid he ordered to save Arun Jaitley,” Kejriwal shouted to vigorous thumping of desks by other AAP members in the assembly.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The memory of losing elections in Delhi still haunts the prime minister and his blood boils hearing my name,” Kejriwal said.Kejriwal also alleged in the 50 hours of interrogation that his secretary Rajendra Kumar had to go through in the last six days, Kumar was repeatedly asked about the DDCA’s file and which whistleblower from DDCA had come to meet Kejriwal.”I want to ask Modiji what did the CBI find out after interrogating Rajendra Kumar for so many hours?” he asked, adding that if Kumar is corrupt, he won’t be spared, but if he is honest, he will strongly stand by him. “He is being mentally tortured; his blood pressure has gone up,”said Kejriwal.Kejriwal also called for Jaitley’s resignation because of the alleged large scale financial irregularities reported during his tenure as its head, adding that if he is innocent, he should prove it to the Commission of Inquiry set up by the Delhi government. Jaitley had rubbished all allegations.A DDCA whistle blower used to meet me. That officer told me that there was a meeting of DDCA officials, where Jaitley had told them no not worry about SFIO as he will get it compounded.Kejriwal had accused Modi of constantly interfering in the functioning of the AAP government. “Earlier, he used to say he won’t take bribes and let anyone take bribes. Now it is like I won’t work and won’t let anyone work,”he thundered.He said he had urged Modi to let the AAP government work without interference but he did not agree. “When Modi is out travelling, things function smoothly in Delhi, when he is here, he keeps on interfering in Delhi government’s day-to-day functioning,”Kejriwal alleged.”The CBI said the chief minister was not raided. Only his principal secretary’s office was raided. But they they entered my office and kept on reading a DDCA file,” Kejriwal said. The AAP leader denied accusations that his party had earlier advocated independence for the CBI but had now they are abusing the investigating agency. “Even today we say that the CBI should be independent. And the day it becomes independent, it will not raid Rajendra Kumar… It will send a notice to Modi to ask where you got Rs.10 lakh to buy the suit,”Kejriwal said.The Delhi government also tabled a resolution to set up a Commission of Inquiry to probe alleged corruption in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA). Tabling the resolution, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said gross irregularities had taken place in the DDCA.

Let Jaitley emulate LK Advani on resignation: Congress

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Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad reminded that when Advani’s name cropped in Jain Hawala case, he stepped down from public posts and even contest 1998 election, till the Supreme Court absolved him.

Prime Minister Modi, senior leaders LK Advani, Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu at the BJP parliamentary party meeting
B B Yadav
dna
The Congress and the CPI(M) on Tuesday jumped over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s comment that finance minister Arun Jaitley will come out of the DDCA (Delhi District Cricket Association) corruption charges with “flying colours” in the same manner as Lal Krishna Advani did in the Hawala case.Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad reminded that when Advani’s name cropped in Jain Hawala case, he stepped down from public posts and even contest 1998 election, till the Supreme Court absolved him. Azad and Congress’s deputy leader in Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma said the Congress had not “manufactured” any allegation against Jaitley but it came from his own BJP colleague cricket-turned MP Kirti Azad first in a Press conference on Sunday and then in the Lok Sabha on Monday. If Kirti Azad was levelling false charges, why no minister nor any BJP MP rose to contradict him in the House, they asked pointing out how seven ministers led by Venkaiah Naidu were on their feet when a Congress member referred to the charges in the Lok Sabha.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Referring to Kirti’s claim in the House that the Modi government has already ordered a CBI probe in October into the DDCA functioning from 2008 and 2013 and everybody knows who was its president during those years, the Congress leaders asked the Prime Minister to make public all details instead of carrying on a hush-hush inquiry to help Jaitley.Showing flexibility from its earlier demand of instituting a joint parliamentary committee (JPC), Congress on Tuesday switched to demanding an impartial time-bound court-monitored probe. The leaders said Jaitley should step down during the inquiry for the sake of own dignity and honour and generate a public confidence into such an investigation. They said a lot has come into public domain against him since the CBI raid on Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal’s office to look for report of a probe ordered by him into the DDCA.Azad and Sharma said the inquiry cannot be free and fair if Jaitley continues as the finance minister, particularly when the Enforcement Directorate and Serious Frauds Investigation Office (SFIO) that will be involved in the probe come under his ministry. Surjewala challenged Jaitley to make public the SFIO report in which he claims to have got a clean chit, pointing out that it probes the corporate bodies and no any individuals and that it did indict the corporates involved in the DDCA corruption.The Congress leaders also claimed that Jaitley had the inkling of all wrongs in DDCA from the beginning as he had opposed, as then leader of Opposition, the then UPA government’s move to bring the sports bodies into the purview of the Right to Information (RTI) Act. Surjewala said it were the Congress that wanted to bring all sports bodies under RTI in 2011 when Ajay Maken was the sports minister but it gave up because of no consensus reached. “We did not have the majority in the Rajya Sabha to push for it when then leader of Opposition opposed.”

Narendra Modi, BJP back Arun Jaitley, but silent on Kirti Azad

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke his silence on the DDCA row, describing finance minister Arun Jaitley to be as untainted as party veteran LK Advani was in the Hawala case.At the weekly BJP parliamentary party meeting on Tuesday morning, Modi backed Jaitley, who faces DDCA corruption charges levelled by party MP Kirti Azad. “Congress has made two mistakes. When it levelled allegations against Advaniji in the Hawala case, the whole nation stood by Advaniji against the Congress. Advaniji jitne pavitra hain, Jaitleyji bhi utne hi pavitra hain,” Modi said, according to sources.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Prime Minister said Jaitley will come out with “flying colours” the way Advani did in the Hawala case. He took on Congress saying its strategy was aimed at targeting capable ministers, and referred to its attack on external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and chief ministers Vasundhara Raje and Shivraj Singh Chouhan. “Once we understand this strategy, we have to be ready for a big fight,” he said. This would be done through connecting with people and holding press conferences in each constituency of the 280 party MPs plus one non-BJP constituency each. The MPs have been asked to stay overnight in their constituencies.While he stood by Jaitley, Modi was silent on Azad, who was not present in the meeting. However, later Azad said he had not boycotted the meeting but was away because of a prior engagement.Party president Amit Shah too had come out in support of Jaitley on Monday evening, but not said a word on Azad. Shah’s statement came on Monday evening after Azad had held a press conference on Sunday and a day later spoken against Jaitley in Lok Sabha and then tweeted. The party leadership’s silence had started raising eyebrows.However, the leadership has refrained from reprimanding or sending a show cause notice to Azad, who appeared to be testing the party’s patience.Sources reflect a dilemma in the party on the issue. The BJP had taken a similar approach towards its two other Bihar Mps — Shatrughan Sinha and RK Singh — who have taken on the party leadership. The question is whether the party will take action against Azad, who has left the BJP red faced in waging a battle against one of the most high profile ministers in the Modi cabinet.On Monday, Azad had tweeted challenging Jaitley to sue him too along with other AAP leaders.The row has given ammunition to the Congress which asked Jaitely to follow Advani, who had set the tradition bowing out of public life, till he came out clean. Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad said Modi’s drawing comparison between Advani being absolved in the Jain Hawala case with allegations against Jaitley is significant. “He (Jaitley) should learn lessons from his leader Advani, who abdicated office and didn’t even contest election till he came out clean,” he said. The Congress was also demanding Jaitley to listen to his leader and conscience by quiting office, till investigations are over, he said.The finance minister has in the past been a crusader for accountability and has repeatedly invoked the dictum that Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion”.

BSF plane crash: Delhi Police register FIR

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All the 10 persons on board a small Ranchi-bound BSF plane carrying technical personnel were killed when it crashed near Dwarka and burst into flames just outside the IGI airport here shortly after takeoff, following which the Civil Aviation Ministry ordered an enquiry.

Delhi Police have registered a case in connection with the crash of a Ranchi-bound BSF plane shortly after it took off from IGI Airport in Delhi on Tuesday, killing all 10 persons on board.”We have registered an FIR under Sections 304 A (causing death by negligence), 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) of IPC and investigation has been taken up,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (IGI Airport) D K Gupta. The FIR, against unnamed persons, was registered at the police station in IGI Airport this evening. The matter is being probed by a team supervised by Gupta himself, a senior official said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>All the 10 persons on board a small Ranchi-bound BSF plane carrying technical personnel were killed when it crashed near Dwarka and burst into flames just outside the IGI airport here shortly after takeoff, following which the Civil Aviation Ministry ordered an enquiry. Following the incident, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh briefed the Prime Minister about the crash and rushed to the site, which was also inspected by Delhi Police Commissioner B S Bassi.Aviation sources said the accident happened at around 9.50 am when the twin-engine Superking plane crashed into the airport boundary wall near a railway track and landed in a sewage treatment plant while returning back apparently due to a technical problem five minutes after it took off for Ranchi. The aircraft lost contact with the Air Traffic Control, at 9.50 am, they said. The 10 persons onboard the ill-fated aircraft comprised the pilot, who was a second-in-command rank officer of SIB, the co-pilot, who is a Deputy Commandant, six technicians, one engineer and one crew member.

DDCA row: PM has signalled Arun Jaitley to resign, claims Yechury

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Noting that Advani had resigned after the Hawala scam, he said that Jaitley should understand that the Prime Minister has suddenly remembered the veteran leader when the Finance Minister was facing a problem.

Arun Jaitley

CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury on Tuesday claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has signalled to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to resign in the wake of DDCA row by citing the example of L K Advani in the Hawala case.”By drawing a parallel with Advani, the Prime Minister is giving a hint to Arun Jaitley that he should resign, get himself cleared and come back. I read it as a signal to Jaitley that you also do the same thing”, he told reporters.Noting that Advani had resigned after the Hawala scam, he said that Jaitley should understand that the Prime Minister has suddenly remembered the veteran leader when the Finance Minister was facing a problem.He was asked for his reaction to the Prime Minister’s comments that Jaitley will come out “with flying colours” against charges of corruption levelled against him by the opposition in the same way L K Advani did in the Hawala case.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Asked about reports that bricks and pillars were being brought to Ayodhya for temple construction, he said that there has been consensus that there should be no further activity there and the BJP is also part of that consensus. “If they want to violate it, law should take its course”. On the Juvenile bill, he said that his party wanted the bill to be sent to select committee for threadbare discussion. Instead of the criterion of age, what is important is the type of crime. This was necessary in view of reports that the new recruits to ISIS are between 14 to 15 year old, he said.

Congress pounces on Kirti Azad’s comment to demand Arun Jaitley’s resignation

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Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said no member of the treasury bench, including none of the Ministers, particularly Home Minister Rajnath Singh, controverted the key assertions and revelations made by Kirti Azad.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley coming out of Parliament House in New Delhi on Monday during the winter session.

PTI
Congress on Monday night latched on BJP MP Kirti Azad’s claim that the government had asked CBI in October this year to probe alleged financial irregularities in DDCA to demand immediate resignation of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.”Once it is admitted that BJP government had itself ordered a CBI inquiry against DDCA of a tenure when Arun Jaitley was its President, how can he continue as Finance Minister even for a minute?””As Leader of Opposition, Jaitley had demanded resignation of umpteen Union Ministers on various grounds even without pendency of a CBI investigation. Will BJP and Shri Arun Jaitley now adhere to the same goalpost?” party’s chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala asked.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He said no member of the treasury bench, including none of the Ministers, particularly Home Minister Rajnath Singh, controverted the key assertions and revelations made by Kirti Azad.Besides, he said, BJP has still not acted against Azad for targeting Jaitley.He asked “why is it then that Jaitley is not being sacked by Prime Minister? Will Prime Minister Narendra Modi come forward and answer to the nation on the allegations against his own Finance Minister.””Once Finance Minister himself is under a question, how can we expect transparency of governance in Modi government at all?” he wondered.

‘Modi Jacket’ becoming popular in the country: Kalraj Mishra

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Mishra said government has taken a number of steps to promote and popularise Khadi among people.

‘Modi Jacket’, a half sleeve coat often worn by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has become “very popular” among the people in India as well as in some foreign countries, Union Minister Kalraj Mishra said on Monday.Mishra, Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, said in Lok Sabha that there was a time when ‘Jawahar Jacket, worn by former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, was very popular in India.”Now, the Modi Jacket has become very popular among a cross section of people. Modi Jacket is popular even in foreign countries. Recently, Japanese Prime Minister (Shinzo Abe) had worn a Modi Jacket,” he said during Question Hour.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mishra said government has taken a number of steps to promote and popularise Khadi among people.In reply to a written question, the Minister said the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) was set up in 1956 for the development of Khadi and village industries and for matters connected therewith.KVIC extends financial support for creation of employment opportunities and for marketing of products of khadi and village industries.There were 7050 outlets of Khadi institutions, seven departmental Khadi gramodyog bhavans and one Gramshilpa, he said adding that during 2014-15, Rs 12,513.72 crore worth of products were sold through Khadi stores.Mishra said to renovate the outlets and strengthen the production infrastructure, government has a separate scheme called ‘Strengthening of Infrastructure of Existing Weak Khadi Institutions and Assistance for Marketing Infrastructure’.

Attempts being made to create conditions like 2002: Azam Khan

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Speaking at a programme on Sunday evening to handover financial assistance to 125 girls for their marriage, the Minister attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his statements on protection of cow, and the Ganga.

In an apparent reference to the Gujarat riots, Uttar Pradesh minister Azam Khan on Sunday alleged attempts are being made to create “disturbing” conditions like in 2002, with an eye on upcoming elections in many states.”Attempts are being made to create disturbing conditions as those had emerged in 2002, with a dangerous inclination, keeping in mind the upcoming elections in three states in 2016 and then in UP, in 2017,” the state Cabinet Minister said.Speaking at a programme on Sunday evening to handover financial assistance to 125 girls for their marriage, the Minister attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his statements on protection of cow, and the Ganga.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He again alleged that the BJP has taken massive donation from a “beef exporter”, a charge the party has already denied.He said the BJP had made all efforts in Bihar to garner support on these three issues – cow, the Ganga and the temple – but they received a “historic drubbing”.Khan asked the saffron outfits as to why they have not disclosed the details of the donations collected in the name of Ram Mandir.”Where is the huge amount of money? If the people s money is returned to them, it would help eliminate poverty to a very great extent,” he said.Khan, who is the national general sectary of the SP, today again spoke of his desire to become PM, just days after he asserted he is the “fittest” person to hold the post.”I possess all the capabilities and competence to hold the coveted position. The moment Narendra Modi steps down, SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav himself would propose my name for that post. A proposal for any lesser position shall be an attempt to hurl insult upon me,” he said.”I have already issued a warning to the BJP to vacate the seat for I am coming. You are not capable of defending the country but I would exhibit the way to safeguard it,” he said.The Minister, who was the chief guest at the programme on the occasion of Minorities Day, opined that the Day is being observed at the behest of UNO, which instead of behaving like an independent organisation remained an “enslaved entity” of the US.There are super powers who are engaged in launching exploitation of poverty-stricken countries to augment their economies, he alleged.

Aligarh Muslim University divided over campus visit invite to PM Modi

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The teachers’ association also feels that the university only invites personalities, who have contributed to academia.

Aligarh Muslim University

The split between hardliners and moderates at Aligarh Muslim University widened after Prime Minister Narendra Modi was extended an invitation to the campus. University vice chancellor Lt Gen Zameeruddin Shah (retd), whose association with Modi is more than a decade old, wants to invite Modi on the campus. His idea has met with stiff resistance from Leftist and Islamist ideologues. Shah also met Modi in the capital on Friday.”Modi has not yet instilled confidence in the Muslim community. Moreover, he should have something concrete to offer to the university if at all he wants to visit,” said professor Mustafa Zaida, secretary of the teachers’ association.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The teachers’ association also feels that the university only invites personalities, who have contributed to academia. “Modi has no such contributions. Moreover, there has been no trend of prime ministers visiting the campus. After Jawaharlal Nehru, no prime minister visited the campus. We see no reason behind calling him here,” added Zaida.The university administration is of the view that calling Modi to the campus would not just help in boosting the secular character of the university, but will also bring some additional funding from the Centre, which will bring the university out of the financial crisis.This is not the first time that the PM’s visit to an Islamist university has created resentment in the university. Jamia Millia Islamia’s decision of calling Modi for the annual convocation drew similar criticism. Jamia was critical of Modi’s statement made after the 2008 and Batla House encounter. Modi had then said, “There is a university in Delhi called Jamia Millia Islamia. It has publicly announced that it will foot the legal fee of terrorists involved in act. Go drown yourself. This Jamia Millia is being run on government money and it is daring to spend money on lawyers to get terrorists out of jail. When will this vote bank politics end?”However, VC Zameeruddin Shah feels that the PM is very optimistic about AMU. The VC had met the PM on Friday seeking financial assistance for its Kishanganj campus. “He has assured us all possible support,” he said.

National Herald Case: Congress ‘politicising’ court matter, says BJP

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Sonia and Rahul Gandhi

PTI
Taking strong exception to the burning of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s effigy by Congress workers, BJP on Sunday said the opposition party was “politicising” a court matter and should rather apologise to people for stalling Parliament over the National Herald case.”They are attacking a Prime Minister who is taking all measures to fight corruption. Congress has politicised something that basically Modi has nothing to do. It should apologise to people for its conduct, including stalling of Parliament,” BJP secretary Shrikant Sharma said. Congress should “cooperate” with the government in its fight against corruption, he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rejecting the opposition’s charge of “vendetta politics”, he said all the corruption cases for which it was blaming the government were registered during the UPA regime whether it was Aircel-Maxis case or that of National Herald.Congress’s “celebration” yesterday after its chief Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul got bail in the case made it look like that they had got a “trophy” and not bail. Sonia and Rahul Gandhi had hit out at Modi accusing him of levelling “false allegations” against them and making “full use” of government agencies to “deliberately target” the Opposition.

Juvenile convict in Dec 16 gangrape case walks free; Nirbhaya’s parents protest, get detained

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The freedom for the 20 year-old convict came as parents of the gangrape victim continued their protest for the second day today along with activists protesting against his release and demanding death for him.

Mother of Dec 16 gangrape victim, Asha Devi being detained by police for protesting at India Gate in New Delhi on Sunday

PTI
The juvenile convict in the December 16 gangrape was on Sunday released and sent to an NGO at an undisclosed destination with police no longer guarding him, amid continued protest by the victim’s parents.The freedom for the 20 year-old convict came as parents of the gangrape victim continued their protest for the second day today along with activists protesting against his release and demanding death for him.”We have left him with an NGO,” police sources said. Government sources said when asked two days back whether he would like to go home in Badaun in Uttar Pradesh or to an NGO, he opted for the latter citing security concerns.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi Police on Sunday detained the family members and protestors of Nirbhaya who were protesting against the release of the juvenile convict in the December 16 gang rape case at Rajpath. Nirbahaya’s parents while protesting had asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi as to when justice would be delivered to them. “We demand that the juvenile should not be released. I met the Prime Minister last year but I didn’t get any answer. Today I want to meet the Prime Minister again and I want to ask him when would I get the justice”, Nirbhaya’s mother told the media here. The release became possible notwithstanding the Delhi Commission for Women’s late night effort to stall it failed after the Supreme Court post-midnight held a sitting and refused to stay it. In its order, the Supreme Court declined to stop the release of the juvenile offender and posted the matter before a vacation bench that will hear the matter tomorrow. Swati Maliwal, chairperson of the DCW which had approached the Supreme Court after the Delhi High Court had also declined to stay his release, hoped that since the matter has become sub judice, the government and Delhi Police will not release the juvenile offender.”We are helpless as far as the release is concerned. Our government, whether Centre or state, they only listen to you when you protest and get lathicharged, else they don’t care,” said the victim’s father Badri Singh Pandey.Asha Devi, the victim’s mother said, “All knew that he will be released, so adequate steps should have been taken in the past three years.” The Special Leave Petition filed by DCW against the order of the Delhi High Court refusing to restrain the release of the convict, was referred by Chief Justice of India T S Thakur to the vacation bench.Lawyers associated with the case, including senior advocate Guru Krishna Kumar and Devdutt Kamath, had rushed to Justice Goel’s residence at around 1.30 AM after Maliwal was told by the Registrar that the matter has been assigned to the vacation bench.The grounds which has been taken in the appeal against the High Court order says that no mental assessment of the state of mind of the juvenile offender has been taken into account for his release.Kamath said that there are intelligence reports that even during his stay in the provision home, the convict was unremorseful of his action and he has been further radicalised. So at this stage, it cannot be said that he is not a threat to the society.The SLP has also stated that though the High Court was of the view that there was a need for mental assessment of the convict, there was no direction that before his release the authorities should go for a health and mental assessment of the offender.The convict, who is now 20 years old and was known to be the most brutal of the attackers, was yesterday taken to an undisclosed location from a correction home in North Delhi amid concerns that there was a threat to his life.Delhi government has said it had submitted a rehabilitation plan for the juvenile convict. The government said that as per the plan, a one-time financial grant of Rs 10,000 will be given to the youth and a sewing machine will be arranged for him so that he can rent a tailor shop.The convict along with five others had gangraped and murdered the 23-year-old paramedical student in a moving bus on December 16, 2012, an incident that shook the nation and led to protests in the country.He was sentenced to three years in a reform home ‘Place of Safety’ in north Delhi’s Magazine Road by Juvenile Justice Board, a punishment which drew criticism from several quarters saying it was not adequate and was disproportionate in view of the heinous crime he had committed. There were also demands that he be tried in an adult court.

Six Tamil Nadu fishermen arrested by Lankan navy

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On December 17, four Tamil Nadu fishermen were arrested for fishing near Neduntheevu islet off Lanka.

Representational Image

dna Research & Archives
Six fishermen of Pudukottai district were arrested by Sri Lankan navy while they were fishing near the Lankan coast, authorities said on Sunday.Assistant director of the fisheries department, Sekar, said the fishermen of Jegathapattinam village were fishing at Neduntheevu last night when the Lankan navy arrested them.The fishermen along with their boat were later taken to Kangesanthurai, he added. On December 17, four Tamil Nadu fishermen were arrested for fishing near Neduntheevu islet off Lanka.Chief Minister Jayalalithaa recently sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention in securing the release of 41 fishermen from the state detained in Sri Lanka, besides 56 boats.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

National Herald Case: Sonia, Rahul have got bail, not medal, says Prakash Javadekar

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Reacting to Sonia and Rahul’s barb against Prime Minister Narendra Modi accusing him of levelling ‘false allegations’ against them, Javadekar said, “NDA government has nothing to do with the National Herald case.”

Prakash Javadekar

Union Environment Minister and senior BJP leader Prakash Javadekar on Saturday said the local court has granted bail, not medal, to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi, and he failed to understand why the Congress was in a celebratory mood.”I don’t understand why the Congress is celebrating the bail given by court to Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi. They have got bail, not a medal,” Javadekar told reporters here on the sidelines of an event here, adding that “The court has also found the offence cognisable.” Rahul and Sonia had sought and were granted bail in the National Herald case after the court in Delhi rejected complainant Subramanian Swamy’s opposition to relief for them on the ground that they are influential and can flee the country.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Swamy had lodged a private criminal complaint against the mother and son for cheating, conspiracy and criminal breach of trust. Reacting to Sonia and Rahul’s barb against Prime Minister Narendra Modi accusing him of levelling ‘false allegations’ against them, Javadekar said, “NDA government has nothing to do with the National Herald case.”
Seizing the opportunity, the Congress leadership has turned the legal battle into a political one accusing Modi of deliberatley targeting the Opposition and making full use of the state agencies to do so.This was the first time that the Gandhis appeared before a court in pursuance of the summons issued to them on December 8.

PM Modi greets Goans on occasion of State Liberation Day

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Goa was liberated from 450-year-long Portuguese rule on December 19, 1961 after Indian Army marched in the region.

Narendra Modi

PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday greeted people of Goa on the occasion of the state Liberation Day. “Greetings to the people of Goa on Goa Liberation Day. We salute the courage & bravery of those who were a part of the movement to free Goa,” the Prime Minister tweeted. Goa was liberated from 450-year-long Portuguese rule on December 19, 1961 after Indian Army marched in the region. The day is celebrated as State Liberation Day annually. There were various functions held across the state with the state-level event being organised at the Campal ground where Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar was the Chief Guest. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

National Herald case: Congress workers protest by burning effigy of PM Modi in Lucknow

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The partymen shouted slogans against the NDA government accusing them of framing Congress leaders to harass them and targeting Sonia and Rahul Gandhi in the National Herald case.

Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were granted bail by Patiala House district court on Saturday, December 19, 2015.
File Photo
PTI
Congress leaders and workers on Saturday burnt an effigy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and took out a protest march here against the NDA government, accusing it of falsely implicating leaders of opposition parties including Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi in the National Herald case.Led by Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee president Nirmal Khatri and AICC secretary assistant in-charge of state affairs Prakash Joshi, partymen took out a padyatra from the state party office to General Post Office here to lodge their protest against the Centre.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The partymen shouted slogans against the NDA government accusing them of framing Congress leaders to harass them and targeting Sonia and Rahul Gandhi in the National Herald case. Youth Congress activists here burnt Modi’s effigy at the busy Hazratganj Crossing to mark the protest.Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul today sought and got bail in the National Herald case after a local court rejected complainant Subramanian Swamy’s opposition to the relief for them on the ground they are influential and can flee the country. The case is based on a private criminal complaint lodged by Swamy against them of cheating, conspiracy and criminal breach of trust.

National Herald Case: After getting bail, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi hit out at PM Modi

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Sonia and Rahul, who came straight to the AICC office from the court where they were granted bail in the National Herald case, asserted that they will continue to fight and “not bow down”.

Sonia and Rahul Gandhi

PTI
Congress President Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul on Saturday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi accusing him of levelling “false allegations” against them and making “full use” of government agencies to “deliberately target” the Opposition.Sonia and Rahul, who came straight to the AICC office from the court where they were granted bail in the National Herald case, asserted that they will continue to fight and “not bow down”. “Today we had appeared before the court with a clean conscience. We did what any law-abiding citizen should do. The laws of the nation applies to everyone without any discrimination. I have no doubt that the truth will come out,” Sonia Gandhi told reporters.Coming down heavily on Modi government, the Congress President said, “The present government is deliberately targeting the opposition and making full use of the state agencies to do so. Nobody is going to be scared from it. We will continue our fight.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Making a direct attack on the Prime Minister, Rahul Gandhi said, “Modiji levels false allegations and thinks that the Opposition will bow down, I and Congress party will not succumb.” Referring to the case filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, Sonia Gandhi said that she was totally aware of the intention of the people behind the case. “These people have been trying for long to target us.They will not succeed,” she asserted. Asserting that Congress will continue to fight for the poor, Rahul said, “We will not budge an inch.” The Gandhis were speaking after they were granted bail in the case based on a private criminal complaint lodged by Swamy against them of cheating, conspiracy and criminal breach of trust.Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that the Congress is united in support of Sonia and Rahul. “We will fight. We will give a determined fight,” he said asserting that Congress was a party that stood for certain values and it will not compromise on them.

Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif tells ministers not to make anti-India remarks: Reports

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The ministers and senior officials have been stopped from issuing statements which could damage the peace process, the report said.

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif
File Photo
Getty Images
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has directed his ministers and aides not to make anti-India statements that can affect the recently resumed peace dialogue, according to a media report.”There will be statements only that encourage the dialogue process rather than digging out the past. The Prime Minister has asked close aides and cabinet members to promote peace,” a close aide of Sharif was quoted as saying by The Nation.The measure was taken to let peace process move forward after being set in motion this month. The ministers and senior officials have been stopped from issuing statements which could damage the peace process, the report said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sharif’s aide was quoted as saying that the Prime Minister was optimistic about better ties with India which would benefit the whole region. He said Sharif was annoyed by some statements from India but understands this is not the Indian government’s policy. Sharif, the aide said, wanted to give top priority to Kashmir, terrorism and trade when the two sides sit on the table to discuss peace.Another official was quoted as saying that the Prime Minister and the military leadership were on the same page to make peace with India.”There is no difference of opinion and both agree that there should be no compromise on the stated position on key issues,” he said.Analysts say it was a positive development that Pakistan and India agreed to resume comprehensive dialogue to resolve all outstanding issues. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj visited Pakistan earlier this month during which she called on Prime Minister Sharif and met his Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz.After the meetings, the two countries decided to re-engage under the ‘Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue’. The Foreign Secretaries of Pakistan and India will meet next month to work out the details of the dialogue.

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.

Spare weekends for people, PM Narendra Modi tells ministers

Modi suggested that ministers should travel every weekend to meet people particularly in remote areas. Also he asked ministers to remain in touch with MPs, so they don’t feel isolated and take their views and suggestions.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday evening asked all his ministers to devote their weekends to reach out to people. In his 80-minute interaction with the entire council of ministers, the second since he took over 18-months ago, he told them not to dampen their spirits due to opposition onslaught in the parliament and instead concentrate on their work and coordination. The council of ministers includes all the cabinet and ministers of state.At a time, when the a washout of winter session of parliament is staring at the face of government and the debacle in Bihar elections, PM told his ministerial colleagues to work like messiahs for the poor. He said that their language and work should reflect that they were working for the interest of last man in the queue. Asking them to become an interface between government and people, PM further told them to engage with people and deliver what has been promised.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He also asked them to share their people oriented ideas to be included in the forthcoming union budget by January and also work towards bringing government schemes to people.Modi suggested that ministers should travel every weekend to meet people particularly in remote areas. Also he asked ministers to remain in touch with MPs, so they don’t feel isolated and take their views and suggestions.

Don’t get rattled by Opposition’s ‘stalling tactics’, establish ‘greater connect’ with masses: PM Modi tells ministers

At a meeting of the Council of Ministers at his residence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked the ministers to “feel upbeat” about what the government is doing and “not get rattled” by the attack by the Oppostion, which he alleged was building a “campaign on falsehood”.

NDA ministers will fan out across the country from January to “expose” the Opposition’s “stalling tactics” in Parliament due to which several key bills are stuck and highlight the government’s achievements seeking to project it as “pro-poor”.At a meeting of the Council of Ministers at his residence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked the ministers to “feel upbeat” about what the government is doing and “not get rattled” by the attack by the Oppostion, which he alleged was building a “campaign on falsehood”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>During the meeting that lasted one-and-a-half-hours, the Prime Minister asked his Cabinet colleages to take up the “challenge” of reaching the message about the government’s functioning to people through better connect with them.A detailed plan will be chalked out later but the ministers have been asked to start visiting constituencies from the second week of January and spend at least 30 hours in areas assigned to them.Asking the ministers to periodically review the functioning of their departments, the Prime Minister stressed on the need to bring in innovative ideas for enhanced performance and improve the image of the government.Modi was of the view that effort should be made to increase people’s participation in preparing budget for central government schemes and there should be “no last minute rush” to spend the money at the fag end of a financial year.It was also decided that each minister would undertake a tour of two Parliamentary constituencies to apprise people of the decisioins taken by the Modi government in the interest of the common man since it came to power in 2014.Sources said the Prime Minister was keen that the achievements of the government are taken to people in the simplest possible language.The general view at the meeting was that as the winter session is about to end on December 23, it was time the government concentrated on “exposing” the Opposition outside Parliament.This view came amid broad indications that the government would not be able to get the GST bill passed during the winter session with Congress stalling Parliament on National Herald case and other issues.At a time when the government is facing a combined attack from the Opposition on many issues and a spirited campaign by Congress in particular, the Prime Minister told the ministers that they should be confident as a large number of things have been done for the country during the NDA rule which were not done earlier, the sources said.”Feel upbeat about what we are doing and should not get rattled by the Oppostion attack, which is building a campaign on falsehoods,” the Prime Minister said.The Prime Minister also appealed to his ministerial colleagues to work for the poor and care for them through the schemes.”The government has to work for the poor. They will stand by you. Government should be looked at as one that cares for the poor,” he is learnt to have said.All NDA ministers including allies like Ram Vilas Paswan of LJP and Upendra Kushwaha (RLSP) were present, and so were top BJP ministers like Rajnath Singh, M Venkaiah Naidu and Manohar Parrikar. However, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in the eye of the raging storm over alleged corruption in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) when he headed it, was conspicuous by his absence.The pro-poor pitch of the government comes at a time when it is under increasing attack from Oppostion for allegedly “ignoring the poor and catering to the rich only”.”We have done many good things and many other things are to be done. When you meet people, carry the message to the people,” the Prime Minister said and advised the ministers to keep handy notes to make right points when they communicate with people.He asked the ministers to remain in touch with party workers and meet them every weekend, besides being in regular touch with people.On the North-East, which is a priority area for the Modi government, the Prime Minister asked the ministers to visit the North Eastern states more frequently and come up with inputs for the development of the region.

AAP v/s Jaitley: Here’s what Arun Jaitley has to say about Arvind Kejriwal’s allegations

Free speech is unquestionably a pre-eminent Fundamental Right, but does free speech include the right to speak only falsehood? The Delhi Chief Minister, Mr. Arvind Kejriwal, seems to believe in untruth and defamation, delivered in a language that borders on hysteria.

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Replying to Arvind Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi party’s allegations, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley wrote a blog post titled Falsehood as Free Speech on Facebook bashing Delhi CM, Arvind Kejriwal and rejected charges of corruption. In the post, he claimed that the allegations of corruption were wrong while it was wrong to use the free speech argument to speak falsehoods. He also claimed that the CBI didn’t raid Arvind Kejriwal’s office, that he’d left cricket administration in 2013 and questioned Mamata Banerjee and Nitish Kumar’s support for Arvind Kejriwal. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Full Text of Arun Jaitley’s Facebook post: FALSEHOOD AS FREE SPEECHFree speech is unquestionably a pre-eminent Fundamental Right, but does free speech include the right to speak only falsehood? The Delhi Chief Minister, Mr. Arvind Kejriwal, seems to believe in untruth and defamation, delivered in a language that borders on hysteria. A few days ago, a Secretary of the Delhi Government was searched and arrested after being caught red handed for allegedly accepting a bribe. The CBI had conducted the operation. The Delhi Government welcomed the move.Four days later, another official close to the Chief Minister was searched for an alleged offence which related to the pre-Kejriwal period. The Chief Minister raised two pleas. First, that it violates the federal structure of the Constitution. In addition, the Chief Minister used unacceptable adjectives against the Prime Minister and, second, he questioned the purpose of the search and tried to divert attention by linking it to the Delhi Cricket body rather than alleged corruption of this official.FederalismFederalism is not a one way stream. It is not always that the Union Government challenges the spirit of federalism. A State or a Union Territory, by its unacceptable conduct, can also be a threat to federalism. During the UPA Government, the Delhi Government, with no police or investigative powers, registered an FIR against two Union Cabinet Ministers of the UPA Government for voluntarily implementing a decision of the Cabinet. If State Governments start investigating decisions of the Union Cabinet there can be no greater threat to federalism. Delhi is a Union Territory with no Police powers. I had, on 12th February, 2013, written a blog and, as Leader of Opposition, condemned this violation of federalism by the Union Territory of Delhi.If the Union Government were to consider using against the Delhi Chief Minister the adjectives that Mr. Kejriwal used against the Prime Minister, it would be legitimate to contend that this is not in consonance with the federal spirit. When two Chief Ministers, Mamata Banerjee Ji and Nitish Kumar Babu, supported Mr. Kejriwal, notwithstanding the use of highly objectionable words against the Prime Minister, can it be in consonance with the federal spirit? The two Chief Ministers need to redeem themselves by publicly distancing themselves from Mr. Kejriwal’s vocabulary.Now that the heat and dust of the search of an IAS officer’s room has settled down, it is clear that the search had nothing to do with either the Chief Minister or his room. An official was being searched for an alleged offence in his earlier capacities. The CBI has adequately clarified that. Notwithstanding that, an actually false propaganda is being repeated continuously. Why should the Chief Minister place himself as a shield in front of an official who is facing investigation? Why should two eminent Chief Ministers lend themselves to support the blatant falsehood of Delhi’s Chief Minister?The DDCAIt is a part of propaganda technique to deflect attention when you yourselves are in the dock. Finding himself acting as a shield to cover an officer under investigation, the Delhi Chief Minister has attempted to focus attention on me. He repeats endlessly that I misled the Parliament on the Delhi raid and that he has a series of allegations to make against me in relation to my tenure as President of the DDCA – Delhi’s cricket body. The Congress transiently joined Mr. Kejriwal’s company for the reason that its own leaders are in the dock for more than one reason.Even though I am not concerned with cricket administration since 2013, a Member of Parliament has been writing to various governmental bodies with regard to Delhi’s cricket affairs. The UPA Government seized upon the opportunity and referred the complaints to the SFIO which investigated all his complaints over a period of time and submitted a detailed Report on 21st March 2013. The Report concluded in relation to the DDCA being registered under the Companies Act, that:- “thus, in a nutshell, there are certain irregularities / non-compliance or technical violations, but no fraud (was) noticed as alleged”.These technical and procedural violations were all compoundable and were compounded by Members against whom they were alleged. The SFIO, under the UPA regime, investigated and could not find a shred of evidence against me. No personal allegation was ever made against me nor did I ever feel the need of contradicting it. There are fake allegations such as escalation of cost of construction of a stadium. When work expands, cost escalations are integral. A brand new 42,000 capacity world class stadium was constructed by the EPIL, a public sector body at a total cost of around Rs.114 crores. At the same time, the UPA Government renovated two stadiums. The Jawahar Lal Nehru stadium was renovated at a cost of over Rs.900 crores and Dhyan Chand stadium was renovated at a cost of over Rs. 600 crores. I have felt the need for stating the above in order to counter any unsubstantiated, non-specific allegations. I have left cricket administration in 2013. By referring to some facts of 2014 and 2015, he can’t drag me in.FALSEHOOD AS FREE SPEECHFree speech is unquestionably a pre-eminent Fundamental Right, but does free speech include…
Posted by Arun Jaitley on Thursday, 17 December 2015

Will Sonia Gandhi clean the ‘dirt’ in Parliament, asks Uma Bharti

Replying to questions on cleaning Yamuna, Bharti said under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Ganga and Yamuna rivers would be cleaned but wondered who would clean the dirt inside the House.

Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti, who is engaged in an ambitious task of cleaning the Ganga and Yamun rivers, on Thursday took a dig at Congress in Lok Sabha for disrupting Parliament as she asked whether Sonia Gandhi would take the lead to clean the “dirt” in the House.Replying to questions on cleaning Yamuna, Bharti said under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Ganga and Yamuna rivers would be cleaned but wondered who would clean the dirt inside the House.Pointing towards the Congress members, who were shouting slogans in the Well of the House, she said some day they come with the issue of Arunachal Pradesh, some day they come with the CBI raid on an officer of the Delhi government, some day with some other issue.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Who will clean this dirt. Ma’am (Speaker) will you ensure that this dart will be cleaned? Will the Congress President take the lead in cleaning this dirt,” she asked amidst thumping of desk by BJP members.

Arunachal governor issue stalls Rajya Sabha

The deputy chairman P J Kurien refused to take up the matter saying that role of Governor cannot be taken up by the house unless there is a substantive motion.

On the sixth consecutive day, the upper house got drowned in the din repeatedly and adjourned without conducting any legislative business on the issue of Arunachal governor with Congress alleging why the state assembly’s session was called again in December without taking council of ministers in confidence when it was adjourned till January.The deputy chairman P J Kurien refused to take up the matter saying that role of Governor cannot be taken up by the house unless there is a substantive motion.The Congress got the support of Left parties with CPM member Sitaram Yechury asserting that what was sought to be discussed is the Governor’s action concerning the Legislature. And besides that he CPI(M) has moved a substantive motion too.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>But before the House adjourned on the issue, as a saving grace it took up the matter and discussed tabling supplementary list of business announcing the seventh hike in the Central Excise Duty on petrol and diesel.Raisin the issue, Anand Sharma of Congress questioned the rationale of the hike when international prices of both commodities are on a rapid decline.”When this Government assumed office, the price of crude was around 111 dollars per barrel. Yesterday, the price has fallen to 35 dollars per barrel. In the last financial year, 88 billion US dollars has been the saving on the oil import bill. Petrol was selling, in May last year, in Delhi at Rs 71 and diesel at Rs 63 per litre, when the international price was 110 dollars. Today, the international price is 35 dollars and you are selling the petrol at Rs. 65.You are profiteering,” charged Sharma.Alleging that Modi government has not transferred the benefit of the decline to the people, Sharma retorted, “Are these the ‘Ache Din’ that your Government and the Prime Minister had promised? This is the question. It is also about the fiscal mismanagement. They are trying to save this money to cover up where they have failed.”Sharma also questioned the rationale of supplementary demand to raise Rs 2,300 crore for the ministry of external affairs to be spent for the foreign missions.”Whereas, the Annual Budget of that Ministry has never been more than Rs 3,000 crore or around Rs 3,200-3,300 crore. So, this is profligacy. You need to explain for what purpose you need this extra money to be spent by the foreign missions and that for the visits of the Prime Minister and the profligacy,” said Sharma.The issue was joined in by MPs from CPM, CPI, SP and TMC etc.Responding finance minister, Arun Jaitley explained that one part of the fall in oil prices as a part of proper economic and fiscal planning goes to the consumer; the second part is going to developmental activities, particularly national highways and rural roads, the third part is being consumed by the States by way of VAT. And the fourth part, goes to the oil companies for the reason that when oil companies make international purchases against future purchases, they suffer a huge loss.

When PM Narendra Modi’s gesture evoked applause

As Mann was shouting slogans, he said his throat had dried but nobody was listening. He looked for water on the table of the Lok Sabha secretariat officials in front of the Speaker’s podium. Modi poured water into a glass from a bottle on his table and gave it to Mann, who drank it

Sometimes, even political rivalry does not come in the way of a human gesture. On Wednesday morning a glass of water offered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to AAP’s Bhagwant Mann raised laughter, applause and eyebrows in Lok Sabha, amid the political face-off.It was an unusual courtesy in a House where political acrimony was raising the heat. Mann, who was protesting against the government over the CBI raids on Delhi Secretariat, was in the well of House. Holding a bunch of papers he moved towards the government side, where the Prime Minister was sitting. The Congress members were agitated over the Arunachal Pradesh governor calling a session.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As Mann was shouting slogans, he said his throat had dried but nobody was listening. He looked for water on the table of the Lok Sabha secretariat officials in front of the Speaker’s podium. Modi poured water into a glass from a bottle on his table and gave it to Mann, who drank it. Modi and Mann exchanged smiles and put the glass on the table. Modi then put the lid on the glass.The treasury benches thumped the desks. On the other side, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who missed the scene because the protestors in the well of the House blocked her view, was seen asking others what had happened. When she got to know, she too smiled.

Obama phones PM Modi, thanks his leadership for ensuring success of climate summit

The phone call from the American President came three days after 195 countries reached a deal to attempt to limit the rise in global temperatures.

Bacark Obama dn PM Narendra Modi
File Photo

US President Barack Obama on Wednesday spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanking him for his leadership, saying India played a “critical role” at the climate change summit in Paris which ensured the event was a “historic success.” During the telephone call, “The US President, Mr. Barack Obama, has thanked Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi for his positive role and leadership in the successful outcome of COP 21,” the PMO said. Obama said “India played a critical role in making climate change Paris summit an historic success,” it said. The phone call from the American President came three days after 195 countries reached a deal to attempt to limit the rise in global temperatures to less than 2C at the climate change summit in Paris after two weeks of intense negotiations.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Obama had met Modi on the sidelines of the summit in the French capital and also called him up on the PM’s return to Delhi in the midst of hard negotiations in Paris.

PM Modi offers a glass of water to AAP MP protesting against CBI raids

A smiling Modi offered him the glass of water kept on his table which the AAP member readily drank. The two exchanged smiles before Mann kept the glass on the table and the PM put the cover on it. Several BJP members thumped their desks at the PM’s gesture.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday offered a glass of water to AAP member Bhagwant Mann, who was protesting in Lok Sabha against the CBI raids on Delhi government secretariat where Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal sits.Mann, who was shouting slogans in the Well, felt uneasy and was apparently looking for water on the table of Lok Sabha secretariat officials who sit in the Well.A smiling Modi offered him the glass of water kept on his table which the AAP member readily drank. The two exchanged smiles before Mann kept the glass on the table and the PM put the cover on it. Several BJP members thumped their desks at the PM’s gesture.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mann, thereafter, continued to raise anti-government slogans.Mann, along with several Congress members, were protesting inside the Well soon after the Speaker disallowed their notices of motions to adjourn the Question Hour on various issues including role of Arunachal Pradesh Governor.The Question Hour continued amidst the din.The AAP member from Sangrur constituency in Punjab had been showing a bunch of papers to Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to attract her attention. At one point, the Speaker warned Mann and said his behaviour was “not good”.Mann had then moved to the other side of the Well and was standing near the Prime Minister’s seat when the incident occured.Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, who could not see what had happened as several of her party members were standing in the Well blocking her view, wanted to know what occured. She went into a peal of laughter after getting the details.External Affairs Miniser Sushma Swaraj, seated in the front row along with the PM and other leaders, was also seen laughing.While Mann and Sandhu Singh of AAP, as also some Congress members, were raising slogans in the Well, another party member Dharmveer Gandhi was standing on his bench holding a placard demanding renaming of Chandigarh airport after freedom fighter Bhagat Singh.A furious Kejriwal had yesterday accused the Modi government of targeting him over a day-long CBI raid at the Delhi Secretariat.

CBI raids: BJP lashes out at Kejriwal, to conduct ‘Pol-Khol Abhiyan’

Kejriwal earlier claimed that the CBI raided his office at the behest of Prime Minister Modi. He also went as far as to call the Prime Minister a ‘coward and a psychopath’.

PTI
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday lashed out at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for using unparliamentary language against Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the CBI raided his Principal Secretary Rajender Prasad’s office.”The BJP has taken the decision that it will launch a ‘pol-khol abhiyan’ against the AAP for the next 48 hours and will expose the party on the ground,” Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhayay said.”He should be ashamed of the kind of language he is using against the Prime Minister. This is not the language of democracy,” he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”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. You have made it a hell out of it, stating that the Chief Minister?s office was raided,” he further said.Kejriwal earlier claimed that the CBI raided his office at the behest of Prime Minister Modi. He also went as far as to call the Prime Minister a ‘coward and a psychopath’.”CBI lying. My own office raided. Files of CM office are being looked into. Let Modi say which file he wants?” Kejriwal tweeted.”I am the only CM who dismissed, on my own, a minister n a senior officer on charges of corruption and handed their cases to CBI. If CBI had any evidence against Rajender, why didn’t they share it wid me? I wud hv acted against him,” he said in another tweet.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.

CBI raids: Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Chouhan condemns Arvind Kejriwal’s language

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AAP activists burnt effigies of Union Government at Indore, Gwalior, Rewa, Jabalpur, Guna, Vidisha, Sagar, Ujjain and Raghogarh among other places, a party release said.

Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
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dna Research & Archives
Madhya Pradesh Aam Aadmi Party on Tuesday staged protests against the Centre over CBI’s raid at the office of the Principal Secretary of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal even as Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan decried the language used by Kejriwal against the Prime Minister.AAP activists burnt effigies of Union Government at Indore, Gwalior, Rewa, Jabalpur, Guna, Vidisha, Sagar, Ujjain and Raghogarh among other places, a party release said. AAP national spokesperson and state coordinator Alok Agrawal termed the raid as “vendetta politics”.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, CM Chouhan, reacting to Kejriwal’s statement, tweeted without naming anyone that “we may have difference of opinion but maintaining decorum & mutual respect are pillars of democracy. Sanctity of language is 1st requisite.The office of Delhi Chief Minister’s principal secretary was today raided by CBI in a corruption case following which a furious Kejriwal lambasted the Centre and termed Prime Minister Narendra Modi as “coward” and “psychopath”.

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.

PM Narendra Modi takes a dig at Congress in Kerala

The event was marred by a controversy with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy being told to stay away after being invited at the instance of SNDP yogam chief Vellapalli Natesan who received the prime minister.
File Photo
PTI
With Parliament paralysed, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday launched a blistering attack on the Congress saying its only programme is to “destroy” the country because it cannot reconcile to defeat in the Lok Sabha polls.”Disrupt, Destruct and Demolish” is now the Congress slogan brushing aside President Pranab Mukherjee’s counsel for debate, dissent and decision for Parliament to function, he said in his broadside, a fortnight after he reached out to them in a bid to sort out differences over the GST bill.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Those who have been defeated and sent home are saying now that we have been destroyed we will destroy you (ruling side) too, whatever happens to the country. We will not let Parliament run,” he said in an obvious reference to the Congress’s stalling tactics, especially in the Rajya Sabha, without naming the main opposition party.”They have made a joke of Parliament’s functioning,” he said addressing a gathering at a function organised by Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP), an outfit of the backward ezhava Community whose votes the BJP is hoping to woo in the Assembly elections in the state due early next year.The event was marred by a controversy with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy being told to stay away after being invited at the instance of SNDP yogam chief Vellapalli Natesan who received the prime minister. On the occasion, Modi unveiled a statue of former chief minister R Sankar, who hailed from the ezhava community and belonged to the Congress. Modi recalled President Mukherjee’s speech in Kolkata on Sunday where he said there are three D’s through which Parliament functions and these are debate, dissent and decision.In an apparent reference to Congress citing Mukherjee’s remarks on intolerance, he said the Congress has the habit of quoting him every now and then and “run it for 15 days” but they are not ready to take note of what he had said in Kolkata.”They have eaten the 3 Ds. They like only one D which is destruct–that is disrupt, destruct, demolish. They have only this D. They have forgotten President’s three Ds,” Modi said.”Our path is the 3 Ds shown by the President and the 4th D for us is development,” he said, amidst cheers by the assembled audience.

CBI raids: PM Modi trying to stop ‘honest politics’, says Manish Sisodia

“Modi is trying to stop honest politics by scaring (us) with CBI raids. People are with truth, they will not let him succeed,” Sisodia tweeted.

ANI
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Tuesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of attempting to stop ?honest politics? following the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)?s raid on Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s office.”Modi is trying to stop honest politics by scaring (us) with CBI raids. People are with truth, they will not let him succeed,” Sisodia tweeted.He said that the Prime Minister Modi-led Government was trying to instil fear among officers working under Delhi Government<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”A Chief Minister’s office has been raided, the files Chief Minister’s office are being looked into. Let Modi ji tell which files he wants to look into. They are trying to instil fear in the officers working under Delhi government,” Sisodia told reporters.He also accused the BJP-led Central Government of indulging in vendetta politics.Refuting Kejriwal’s allegation on raid, the CBI said that his secretary’s office had been searched with a clear warrant, and not the office of the Chief Minister.However, Kejriwal accused them of ‘lying’ and asserted that the CBI was looking at the files in the Chief Minister’s office.Meanwhile, the government slammed Kejriwal of accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the raid on his office and said that it has become a ?fashion? for the Delhi Chief Minister to bicker with the Centre and blame them for everything.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal protests CBI raids at his office, dubs PM Modi a ‘coward’ and ‘psychopath’

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday claimed the CBI has raided his office in central Delhi and launched a no holds barred attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he was resorting to “cowardice”.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday claimed the CBI has raided his office in central Delhi and launched a no holds barred attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he was resorting to “cowardice”.The Chief Minister, who is involved in a prolonged tussle with the Centre, accused the Modi government of resorting to vendetta politics and came down heavily on the agency for the raids at Players Building.”CBI raids my office,” Kejriwal tweeted. “When Modi couldn’t handle me politically, he resorts to this cowardice. Modi is a coward and psychopath,” he said in another tweet expressing his anguish over the raids.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A CBI spokesperson said the searches were being conducted at the office of the Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar and that details would be shared later.Sources said that in the morning, a team of CBI officials went to the Delhi Secretariat, which houses the office of Kejriwal and other ministers, and conducted the search in the third floor of the building. They said the search may be in connection with the multi-crore CNG fitness scam.Sources said that there were allegations that Kejriwal’s Principal Secretary was linked to the scam, but the senior IAS officer as well as the AAP government have been rejecting the charges.The AAP government has been locked in a running feud with the Centre over the control of important functions like law and order, police and land.Read more updates here.

India to discuss PoK with Pakistan: Envoy TCA Raghavan

“The first application to the UN was moved by India and it was on the grounds that a part of the state, which had acceded to India, is now under the illegal occupation of the Pakistan Army,” Raghavan said.

Image Courtesy: MEA

Ahead of the Indo-Pak Foreign Secretary-level talks next month, Indian envoy in Islamabad on Monday said his country will discuss Kashmir which is under the illegal occupation of Pakistan.Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan T C A Raghavan, while giving a lecture, gave a historical perspective of the Kashmir dispute.”The first application to the UN was moved by India and it was on the grounds that a part of the state, which had acceded to India, is now under the illegal occupation of the Pakistan Army,” Raghavan said.”So when you say what is it that India is going to discuss or what is it discussing, it is really, if you ask most Indians, and what is our position — it is the part of that state which is still under the control of Pakistan,” he said during the lecture at the Centre for Security Studies, a private think-tank in the capital.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the broader sense, he said Kashmir will be part of talks with Pakistan.Raghavan’s remarks came just days after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit here during which she called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and met Pakistan Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz.After the meetings, the two countries decided to re-engage under the ‘Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue’.The Foreign Secretaries of Pakistan and India will meet next month in Delhi to work out the details of the dialogue.

PM Modi wishes to offer prayers at Sabarimala

The Prime Minister also extended Christmas and New Year greetings.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is garlanded during a public meeting in Thrissur, Kerala on Monday.

PTI
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said he wanted to visit Sabarimala to offer worship at the famous hill shrine of Lord Ayyappa. Modi, who is on a two-day visit to Kerala, said he however, would like to visit the shrine when there would be ‘minimum discomfort’ to the pilgrims.”I was thinking that during the beginning of my yatra, I will begin with Sabarimala. But due to some reasons, it did not happen,” he said, addressing BJP workers.Modi said he had instructed his officials to chalk out a Sabarimala programme in such a way that it would not cause any hardship to the thousands of pilgrims, who visit the shrine from various parts of the country and abroad.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Prime Minister also extended Christmas and New Year greetings.

Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel to inaugurate ‘Statue of Unity’ foundation raft concrete work

The work order for the project was issued by the state government in October last year to leading engineering firm Larsen and Toubro (L&T).
File Photo
PTI
Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel on Tuesday will inaugurate ‘Statue of Unity’ foundation raft concrete work. ‘Statue of Unity’, is a pet project of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The engineering team working on the project has completed levelling the hillock ‘Sadhu Bet’, located around 3 kms from the Sardar Sarovar dam across Narmada river in Narmada district, P C Vyas, chief engineer of the project told PTI. The hillock is flattened to 60 meters for foundation raft concrete work, he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The RAFT work at the foundation site of the statue will be completed in next 7 days by working round the clock. The safe bearing capacity for raft foundation for the proposed monument is 2,300 KPA,” Vyas said.The work order for the project was issued by the state government in October last year to leading engineering firm Larsen and Toubro (L&T).”This construction work will be completed on June 3, 2018 at an estimated cost of Rs 2,979 crore. Rs 1,347 crore will be spent on the main statue, Rs 235 crore will be spent on the exhibition hall and convention centre while Rs 83 crore will be spent on the bridge connecting the memorial to the main land and Rs 657 crore would be spent to maintain the structure until 15 years after it is completed,” Patel had said while awarding the contract to L&T. The statue will be taller than the ‘Statue of Unity’ in New York.”The project includes an exhibition hall and audio-visual presentation on the life of Sardar Patel, which will become the centre of attraction for tourists from across the globe,” SS Rathore, Chairman and Managing Director of Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited (SSNNL) told PTI.”75,000 cubic metres of concrete, 5,700 metric tonne of steel structure, 18,500 steel rods and 22,500 metric tonne of bronze will be used for this project. The project is expected to generate employment in the tribal area of Narmada district as well as boost the tourism sector,” Rathore added.The project was initially launched Prime Minister Modi on the birth anniversary of Sardar Patel on October 31, 2013 when he was Gujarat Chief Minister. The first phase of the project will involve construction of the main statue, a bridge connecting the statue to the river bank and reconstruction of the 12-km road along the bank.The project also involves a memorial park at the base of the statue, an artificial reservoir between the dam and Garudeshwar town and a visitor facilitation centre along reception desk at Kevadia.

BJP has been treated with political untouchability in Kerala, says PM Modi in Kerala

PM Modi addressed BJP workers and leaders in Kerala on Monday evening. He said that after independence, BJP and its ideology has suffered the most atrocities in Kerala.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing BJP karyakartas in Kerala.

Image courtesy: ANI Twitter handle
Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived at Kochi Naval Base in Kerala on Monday on a two-day trip to Kerala. The Prime Minister was received by Kerala Governor P Sathasivam and Chief Minister Oomen Chandy. This is PM Modi’s first visit to Kerala after he took over the Prime Minister’s post in 2014.PM Modi addressed BJP workers and leaders in Kerala on Monday evening. He said that after independence, BJP and its ideology has suffered the most atrocities in Kerala. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I want to apologise to Kerala, I should have come here earlier. After independence, if you look at the political history of a state, BJP and its ideology has suffered atrocities most in Kerala. In the last some years, more than 200 BJP workers were killed, murdered due to political reasons in Kerala. BJP has been at the receiving end of political untouchability in Kerala from other parties. Today I pay tribute to all those BJP workers for their martyrdom,” PM Modi said. He further added, “People have made up their mind now, they have accepted you whole-heartedly, your hard work has paid off. During my visit to UAE I met Indian workers, and I also interacted with people from Kerala.PM Modi also spoke about the nurses who were held captive in Syria by terrorists and commended the government’s efforts to bring them back. “Few months ago, some of our daughters from Kerala who were working as nurses were held captive by terrorists, entire country was in tears. But as a result of our good relations with other nations, our daughters were brought back safely,” he said. He also said that the youth in Kerala can lead the ‘Digital India’ project. “India is a young nation. We want youth to get opportunities and that too in India. We’ve given priority to ensure security of Indians living all across world, because a large population of Kerala youth working abroad. Kerala’s youth strength is such that they can lead ‘Digital India’ project.” “Change must be brought to quality of life of fishermen from Kerala, will introduce a scheme related to modernised fishing industry soon. It is my dream that every Indian has his own house when India will celebrate its 75th Independence day in 2022. Around Rs 2100 crore has already been disbursed to 2,25,000 people from Kerala under Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana,” he said.Also read: Did Kerala CM Oommen Chandy decline attending PM Modi’s event?On Tuesday, he will unveil a statue of former Chief Minister R Shankar at a Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) programme in Kollam.In a series of tweets, PM Modi expressed excitement over his visit to Kerala on Monday morning.

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