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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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Complete list of countries visited by PM Narendra Modi in 2015

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A Right to Information (RTI) filed by Delhi-based activist Lokesh Batra revealed that by mid-September India had spent Rs 41.1 crores over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s foreign visits in the last one year.

PM Modi departing from Delhi on his tour
File Photo

A Right to Information (RTI) filed by Delhi-based activist Lokesh Batra revealed that by mid-September India had spent Rs 41.1 crores over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s foreign visits in the last one year. As the year come to an end, he has made 27 trips and visited 25 nations in a year, while views and counter-views emerge right from Rahul Gandhi’s criticism to Arvind Kejriwal’s questions and social media potshots, some still believe that his visits would strengthen his vision of ‘Make in India’.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Let’s have a look at the nations that Modi visited this year:SeychellesDates of visit: March 10-11Purpose: Met President James Alexis Michelin as a part of Indian Ocean outreach programme and discussed maritime ties and bilateral development and cooperation.MauritiusDates of visit: March 11-13Purpose: Modi was the chief Guest at the Independence Day celebrations in Mauritius on March 12. He poured Gangajal in a sacred pond in Port Louis and commissioned an India-built naval patrol vessel for Mauritius.Sri LankaDates of visit: March 13-14Purpose: Sri Lanka released 86 fisherman prior to Modi’s visit. It was the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister in 28 years aimed at improving the relation with the island country after Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination. The visit was also to discuss increasing Chinese activities in Lanka.SingaporeDate of visit: March 29Purpose: In his first visit to Singapore, he attended the state funeral of first Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Kuan Yew, on the sidelines he also met several world leaders and Israeli President.FranceDates of visit: April 9-12 Purpose: To encourage French defence, civil nuclear power and food processing companies to participate in Make in India programme.GermanyDates of visit: April 12-14Purpose: To visit business leaders at Hannover Messe business fair. He also unveiled a bust of Mahatma Gandhi in Hannover.CanadaDates of visit: April 14-16Purpose: To strengthen Indian- Canadian bilateral relations in various sectors including aerospace and defence, education, energy, mining, infrastructure, sustainable technologies, information and communication technology. He also met Indians in Canada and visited Laxminarayan temple and Gurudwara.ChinaDates of visit: May 14-16Purpose: The issues for discussion included long-pending border dispute, a widening trade imbalance in favour of China, stapled visas, China taking up large infrastructure projects in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and economic matters.MongoliaDates of visit: May 16-17Purpose: Modi visited Mongolia to address Great Khural on May 17 and announced a line of credit of US $1 billion to Ulaanbaatar to develop institutions, infrastructure and human resources in Mongolia. He also gifted Mongolia a Bhabhatron for cancer treatment.South KoreaDates of visit: May 18-19Purpose: As a part of East Asia Policy, Modi upgraded the ties between two nations to ‘Special Strategic Partnership’ and signed seven agreements including one on avoidance of double taxation.BangladeshDates of visit: June 6-7Purpose: There were 22 agreements signed between the two nations including 1974 Land Boundary Agreement. Other issues discussed include business of water from the Teesta river, issues between border forces and an equal treatment for Bangladesh.UzbekistanDate of visit: July 6Purpose: Three pacts were signed to boost cooperation between foreign offices in the field of culture and tourism. Enhanced strategic, economic and regional issues like the situation in war-torn Afghanistan also made it to the agenda.KazakhstanDate of visit: July 7Purpose: Key issues discussed included fight against terrorism and extremism. Five key agreements were inked, which included a defence pact to enhance military cooperation and a contract for supply of uranium. RussiaDates of visit: July 8-10Purpose: Attended BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation ​(SCO) Summits.TurkmenistanDates of visit: July 10-11Purpose: PM Modi signed seven pacts with Turkmenistan, vowed to fight terrorism together and pitched for an early implementation of the US $10 billion TAPI pipeline project.KyrgyzstanDate of visit: July 12Purpose: Modi in Kyrgyzstan signed four agreements to boost defence cooperation and hold annual joint military exercises and discussed combating international terrorism and other crimes.TajikistanDates of visit: July 12-13Purpose: Narendra Modi unveiled a statue of poet Rabindranath Tagore in Dushanbe and discussed regional issues including Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) with President Emomali Rahmon.United Arab EmiratesDates of visit: August 16-17Purpose: Modi’s visit to United Arab Emirates was aimed at reaching out to the Indian diaspora there, wherein he announced E-migrate portal, ‘MADAD’ for Indian migrants, counsellor camps for Indian workers among other measures. The talks also focussed on enhanced energy and trade cooperation. The last prime minister to visit UAE was Indira Gandhi.IrelandDate of visit: September 23Purpose: First Prime Minister to visit Ireland in 59 years, Modi discussed global challenges like terror and radicalisation with his Irish counterpart Enda Kenny. He also hoped for relaxed visa policies for Indian IT firms. They also spoke about India’s membership of UN Security Council and international export control regimes including NSG.United StatesDates of Visit: September 24-30Purpose: Modi’s US visit was focussed towards United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), large Indian diaspora and Silicon Valley honchos.United KingdomDates of Visit: November 12-14Purpose: India and the UK sealed deals worth 9-billion pound, a civil nuclear pact was signed and collaboration in the fields of defence and cyber security was decided upon, besides talks about railway rupee bond were launched.TurkeyDates of visit: November 15-16Purpose: Modi attended G20 summit which focussed on current state of the global economy, sustainable growth, development and climate change, investment, trade and energy.MalaysiaDates of visit: November 21-22Purpose: Modi inaugrated Torana Gate, attended ASEAN and East Asia Summit, discussed Ayurveda and defence cooperation in Malaysia.SingaporeDates of Visit: November 23-25Purpose: Commemorating 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries, PM Modi and his Singapore counterpart signed the India-Singapore Strategic Partnership.FranceDates of visit: November 30 – December 1Purpose: Modi attended COP21 Environment Conference and laid down India’s stratergy on global warming.Russia
Dates of Visit: December 23-24Purpose: 16th India-Russia annual summit talks would focus on stepping up economic engagement and strategic ties. Deals over defence sector which includes joint manufacturing of 200 Kamov-226T helicopters and purchase of Russian S-400 Triumf air defence missile systems also hold an important place apart from access to secret Russian files to unveil mystery of the disappearance of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose. AfghanistanDate of Visit: December 25Purpose: The Afghan Parliament constructed by India at the cost of US $ 90 million inaugrated by Modi.

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

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

Amita Shah

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Article 370 can’t be abrogated, repealed or amended, rules Jammu and Kashmir HC

“It is high time for all the political parties to support the bill without excuses and explanations. The restoration of Sardar-e-Riyasat and post of Prime Minister would not mean a permanent solution to the dispute of Jammu and Kashmir but will be an act to respect the court orders and a move to satisfy the sentiments of masses,” he said.

Ishfaq-ul-Hassan
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‘Akhand Bharat’ a cultural concept, not a political one: RSS

Ram Madhav, had earlier said that the Sangh believes that India, Pakistan and Bangladesh will one day reunite again not by war but through ?popular goodwill?, the comment came when Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a surprise stopover in Lahore for a meeting with Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif.

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If all goes well, PM will go to SAARC summit next year: BJP

It was at a lunch hosted by a union minister on a sunny Christmas Day that BJP spokespersons got messages at 1.39 pm that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was going to meet his Pakistani Counterpart Nawaz Sharif on his way from Kabul to Delhi.”This came as a pleasant surprise. We felt the Prime Minister had shown that he could take such out of the box decisions,” said a party leader. The conversation, which had till then revolved around former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee whose place the BJP leaders had visited earlier in the day on his birthday, turned to Modi.”Looking forward to meeting Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif where I will drop by on my way back to Delhi,” the message conveyed to the party spokespersons from Modi said.Just minutes before that external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj got a call from Modi to tell her that during their telephone conversation, Sharif suggested that he drop in for tea and he had agreed. This was conveyed to BJP spokespersons when Swaraj called them to the ministry at 4 pm. She told spokespersons about the development and said that it was a welcome surprise for all. Swaraj said it was a spontaneous reaction and appreciated it saying there was no need for formality in relations with neighbours, spokespersons said.The Prime Minister’s Lahore visit not only created a sense of euphoria in the party but changed the mood as he stole the headlines, pushing BJP MP Kirti Azad’s suspension over the DDCA row to the backdrop.Party veteran LK Advani, who along with three other senior leaders had met a day after Azad’s suspension, and was critical of the leadership after the Bihar debacle, came out in support of Modi’s initiative. “The efforts initiated by Vajpayee ji, should be taken forward by present leaders like Modi ji and others, regarding the relationship of India and Pakistan…. The friendship between both the nations must get stronger so that both can get rid of the terror outfits which have been created in last few days,” Advani said.The BJP, which has taken a tough ideological position vis–a-vis Pakistan, has been unflinching in its support for Modi’s surprise gesture. A party leader said the Prime Minister was convinced that India cannot be a world power unless it showed flexibility in its approach towards neighbours. SAARC was the “larger circle” through which he could resolve bilateral ties, the leader said.Speaking of the ideological position of the BJP, the leader said even the RSS, the party’s ideological mentor, has accepted the alliance with the PDP in Jammu and Kashmir.On Saturday, BJP fielded party spokesperson MJ Akbar to brief the media on Modi’s Lahore stopover. “This gives us all hopes that there will be one happy consequence. And, if all goes well, the Prime Minister will undertake the visit to SAARC Summit next year,” said Akbar.Describing as extraordinary the way the peace process has been revived, he said it gave “another opportunity to write a new chapter in a difficult history. But it cannot be written by one. It requires two authors reading from the same page.”Akbar said the PM had created a “transformative moment in the subcontinent” with
his “courage, vision, skill and imagination” and that the pursuit of peace in the complex region with its history of fraught ties between the two countries required such courage.Dismissing the Congress criticism as “childish”, he said the move was “symptomatic” of the diplomatic thaw in the sub-continent”.However, in an interview released on Saturday, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav reiterated the RSS stand about “akhand Bharat”. The party was evasive on it, with one leader saying there was democracy.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

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

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

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

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

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PM Modi, Jaitley victims of political intolerance: Ramdev

“Political intolerance” is at its peak in the country and the selective criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley by certain quarters is the fallout of this trend, Yoga guru Baba Ramdev has said.”Political intolerance is at its peak in the country. Therefore, someone is criticising Modi and some other Jaitley and the BJP,” Ramdev told reporters last night after taking part in a book release function.The book “Dev se Mahadev” was written by Akash, son of BJP general secretary Kailash Vijaywargiya. Ramdev also dismissed that religious tolerance has been on rise in the country.”I have not seen religious intolerance even once. On the contrary, nearly 125 crore people of this country, including me, have become victims of political intolerance,” he said. Ramdev also took a swipe at the Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi in connection with the National Herald issue.”Sonia Gandhi had launched thousands of cases against me during the tenure of the Congress-led UPA government, but I faced them all. Sonia and Rahul should face at least one investigation,” he said.Terming Lord Ram as the “soul of India and the national pride”, Ramdev said the issue of construction of Lord Ram’s temple in Ayodhya should not be politicised because it is attached to the faith of people.
Ramdev parried the query on whether parties involved in the issue of construction of the temple should make efforts to arrive at consensus instead of continued litigation.”Will court decide where Lord Ram was born. Entire India and world know that Lord Ram was born in Ayodhya and therefore the temple should be constructed in Ayodhya only,” he said. Responding to a query, Ramdev said that people of the country should have faith in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s poll promise to repatriate black money stashed abroad. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

India PM in surprise Pakistan visit

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi lands in Pakistan on a surprise visit to meet his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif.

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.

PM Modi gives 500 scholarships for children of slain Afghan forces

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The two leaders discussed a wide range of issues, including the ongoing cooperation between the two countries and the Indian aid programme.

Narendra Modi

PTI
India will give 500 scholarships for children of martyrs of Afghan security forces, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced today as he met Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and other leaders and discussed a wide range of issues, including bilateral cooperation and security matters.Modi, who flew in here from Moscow in the wee hours, was received by Afghan National Security Adviser Mohammad Hanif Atmar and Deputy Foreign minister Hekmat Karzai.”From Russia to Afghanistan. A pre-dawn arrival in Kabul begins a day of engagements with another ‘dost’ (friend),” tweeted External Affairs Ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup. Modi was then accorded a ceremonial welcome after which he met Ghani who received him warmly at the Presidential palace.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Related Read: LIVE Updates: PM Modi addresses Afghan Parliament, announces 500 scholarships for children; promises everlasting friendship”A meeting between friends…President @ashrafghani warmly welcomes PM @narendramodi as they begin their meeting,” the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) tweeted. “The embrace of a friend, the strength of a true partner.Prez @ashrafghani welcomes PM @narendramodi in Kabul,” Swarup tweeted.The two leaders discussed a wide range of issues, including the ongoing cooperation between the two countries and the Indian aid programme. The two leaders also took stock of the security situation in Afghanistan where the signs of resurgence of Taliban are being witnessed.After the meeting, Modi inaugurated the new Afghan Parliament building which has been constructed by India and addressed the lawmakers of this country. “Today, I announce 500 scholarships for the children of the martyrs of Afghan security forces,” he said in his speech in Afghanistan’s Parliament.Modi said India’s scheme of 1,000 scholarships every year for Afghan students will continue. “We are pleased with the response to our special scholarship scheme in agriculture science,” he added.”Power and water will flow out of Salma Dam soon. The Stor Palace will again stand as a symbol of your priceless heritage,” he said. The Prime Minister also expressed gratitude to the Indian diplomats, officers, engineers and doctors, “who serve here with pride, to the families of our Indian martyrs”.Modi also met other Afghan leaders, including Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah and former president Hamid Karzai.

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

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

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

PM Narendra Modi

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

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 –>

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

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

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

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

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

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

PM Modi visits Russia’s premier crisis management centre

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The NCMC is a multi-level coordination centre designed to provide inter-agency coordination and alert the people about the threat of emergency situations.

Modi at Russia’s EMERCOM

Photo courtesy: MEA Twitter handle
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday visited Russia’s premier crisis management centre which deals with emergency situations and ensures coordination among various relevant agencies. The Prime Minister spent around half-an-hour at the National Crisis Management Centre (NCMC), popularly known as EMERCOM, the short form of Emergency Control Ministry. Modi was briefed about round-the-clock functioning of various wings of the agency. “A morning for learning. PM @narendramodi takes a tour of EMERCOM, a state of the art crisis management facility ready for emergency response. 240000 employees from EMERCOM are on operational duty daily, using 62000 equipment units,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The NCMC is a multi-level coordination centre designed to provide inter-agency coordination and alert the people about the threat of emergency situations. The capabilities of the NCMC include state-of-art real time monitoring, data collection, analysis and modelling. It uses global navigation satellite systems and global monitoring technologies based on remote sensing to provide real time data and assistance to people as well as various agencies during emergency situations. The NCMC processes information from across Russia and is capable of monitoring industrial facilities, crowded areas, tsunami threats, other natural disasters etc. As the number of cross-border emergencies is constantly increasing, international cooperation is a priority for the NCMC, which includes information exchange with international organisations and emergency call services of foreign emergency management agencies, international operations and international humanitarian assistance. The Prime Minister arrived here for a two-day visit yesterday, his first bilateral trip here after assuming the top office.

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.

Hamid Ansari pulls up Rajya Sabha members, tells them to behave

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According to parliamentary affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu, the real problem was the main opposition party, which was not reconciled with reality that they had been defeated.

Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad speaks in the Rajya Sabha in New Delhi on Wednesday

PTI
Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari declared the winter session sine die on Wednesday but not before pulling up members for their behaviour that caused vital loss of productive time.Making scathing observations, Ansari said, “Vehemence in language or behaviour resulting in obstruction of proceedings, apart from interruption and neglect of listed agenda, also results in violation of the privileges of individual members themselves. It reflects adversely on the parliamentary process and our commitment to it.”Showing mirror to the members, the chairman said, “Three weeks ago, on December 1, the Rajya Sabha solemnly committed itself to the principles and ideals of the Constitution…A functioning legislature is an essential concomitant of these principles; disruptions amount to their negation. The record of this session belies this commitment in good measure.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Exhorting members that there is an “imperative need to dispel this impression” Ansari appealed to them “to introspect on this state of affairs, desist from approaches and practices that demean the stature of the Rajya Sabha, and urged them to make the fullest possible use of the instrumentalities of accountability and discussion available to them under the Rules of Procedure.”Providing a sort of solace, Ansari, however, added that though the last week seemed singularly unproductive in terms of legislative work, the 237th session comes to an end this afternoon after having redeemed itself somewhat in the past three days.”Compared to Rajya Sabha whose productive quotient was just 46%, Lok Sabha did rather a commendable job by registering 100.46% productivity. Not only di it pass 14 bills after thorough debates, it also saw introduction of nine bills. Though Rajya Sabha passed nine bills, almost all barring one were without discussion.According to parliamentary affairs minister Venkaiah Naidu, the real problem was the main opposition party, which was not reconciled with reality that they had been defeated.”It is unfortunate Congress and Left manufacture excuses to disrupt Rajya Sabha. Congress has to take the blame and they are cheating people,” said Naidu.Congress, however, put the blame on the BJP government for an intransigent government that demonstrated that there were no limits in furtherance of its agenda of political vendetta and confrontation.Congress said, “Prime Minister has authoritarian style of functioning as been revealed in the last 19 months both in governance and in dealing with the parliamentary business. The centralisation of decision making, policies and all key appointments has adversely affected both the functioning and effectiveness of the government.”It blamed the Prime Minister for ‘enacting a scripted drama’ of ‘reaffirming’ his faith in the Constitution of India and the ideals of Dr BR Ambedkar and at the same indulged ‘in the murder of democracy, federalism and the Constitution’ in Arunachal Pradesh where the high office of the Governor was used to try and dismiss a democratically elected Congress state government.

DDCA scam: AAP govt issues notification for Commission of Inquiry

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The government’s move, however, may trigger another round of confrontation between the AAP dispensation led by Arvind Kejriwal and the Centre as the former had not sought approval from Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung for forming such a probe panel

Arvind Kejriwal

The Delhi government has issued a notification for setting up of a Commission of Inquiry, headed by former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium, to probe alleged corruption in Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) between 1992 and 2015, and asked it to submit its report within three months.The government’s move, however, may trigger another round of confrontation between the AAP dispensation led by Arvind Kejriwal and the Centre as the former had not sought approval from Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung for forming such a probe panel. Yesterday, the Delhi Assembly had passed a resolution to constitute the Commission of Inquiry even as Kejriwal accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of getting the CBI raid conducted at his principal secretary’s office to protect Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the alleged DDCA scam.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to the notification, dated December 22, issued by the government’s Vigilance Department, the one-member Commission of Inquiry will identify any acts of omission and commission by DDCA and its office-bearers during the period between January 1, 1992 and November 30, 2015 and fix responsibility. The state cricket body had been headed by Jaitley for around 13 years from 1999 to 2013.”The terms of reference of the Commission shall be to conduct inquiry into working, management and administration (including alleged financial irregularities) of the DDCA and whether such practices have been conducive to the game of cricket,” it stated.A senior government official said that the Commission of Iquiry will also give recommendations to make DDCA an institution compatible with international standards and to make the state cricket body an effective and transparent body so that it could promote the glorious game of cricket and identify and nurture talent. Subramanium will be paid Re one for this assignment.Reacting to notification, sources in the LG’s office said that the Delhi government notified setting up of the Commission of Inquiry without the Lt Governor’s approval. “Government did not send any proposal to constitute such Commission to the LG office,” one of the sources said.Yesterday, Kejriwal had claimed that Delhi government has the authority to set up a Commission of Inquiry to probe alleged corruption in DDCA. He had also sought the Prime Minister’s resignation for conducting a “flop CBI raid” at CMO. On December 21, the Delhi Cabinet had approved setting up of the one-member Commission of Inquiry under Subramanium.

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.

Kirti Azad suspended: Congress, AAP have no moral right to criticise us, says BJP

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Both the parties have slammed BJP for taking action against Azad.

Kirti Azad

BJP on Wednesday took on Congress and AAP after both the parties took a swipe at it over its decision to suspend party MP Kirti Azad, saying they have no “moral right” to comment on its internal matter and cited the example of how they “mistreated” their senior leaders.The party said Azad was suspended after he continued to target Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who has maintained “impeccable standards” in public life and has “unblemished record”. “BJP is a democratic and disciplined organisation. One-man parties like Congress and AAP have no moral right to give us a lesson,” party secretary Shrikant Sharma said, noting that it was party’s Parliamentary Board which took the decision to suspend Azad.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nobody can forget the way Congress denied former Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao’s body to be brought to its headquarters and the way it threw out its chief Sitaram Kesri, who came from a deprive community, he said.”In our party, Parliamentary Board takes such a decision while in Congress and AAP one person decides such things. These parties should introspect and not try to teach BJP a lesson,” Sharma said.Taking on AAP, he said its leader and Delhi Chief Minister used “abusive” language against senior leaders like Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav before axing them from the party. Revelling in the trouble in BJP, the Congress wondered if BJP can “suspend free speech, fair comment, exposure of irregularities and corruption”. “These are the questions the Prime Minister must answer,” party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said.Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “There is no democracy in BJP. Honest voices are muzzled to protect corruption.

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

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

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

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

PM Modi 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.

AAP a ‘nonsense’ party: BJP

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In an apparent reference to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal coming down on Prime Minister Narendra Modi while demanding resignation, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday said that they don’t pay much attention to a party makes no sense.

In an apparent reference to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal coming down on Prime Minister Narendra Modi while demanding resignation, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday said that they don’t pay much attention to a party makes no sense.”This is a nonsense party and we don’t pay much importance to them. They are unable to digest their food if they don’t put allegations on us,” Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told ANI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> “If we see then everyday there is a false and baseless allegation by Aam Aadmi Party against one or the other minister. As far as Arun Jaitley is concerned, he has always been honest. If they will see the ground, they will stop making statement in the air,” he added. On a day when Prime Minister Modi defended Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who has been accused by the AAP of corruption in Delhi’s cricket body, the DDCA, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal came down heavily on the Prime Minister and demanded his resignation saying the CBI raid at his office was conducted to ‘help’ Arun Jaitley.Speaking at the Delhi assembly, Kejriwal added, “BJP leaders have told me in private, whenever my name is taken, Prime Minister Modi’s blood boils.”

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

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

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

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.

In Russia, Narendra Modi will regale 3,000 ‘friends of India’

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will embark on a two-day visit to Russia on Wednesday for annual summit talks aimed at further expanding the defence ties by signing $1 billion agreement to produce military helicopters in India and focus on nuclear energy, hydrocarbons and trade.

Determined to unveil mystery of the disappearance of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is set to seek cooperation of Russian President Vladimir Putin to request access to secret Russian files to probe the missing link. Many authors have alleged that under the instructions of India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Russian dictator Jospeh Stalin had confined Bose in Siberia’s Yakutsk city, some 6,000km away from Moscow and he could have been buried there.Prime Minister Narendra Modi will embark on a two-day visit to Russia on Wednesday for annual summit talks aimed at further expanding the defence ties by signing $1 billion agreement to produce military helicopters in India and focus on nuclear energy, hydrocarbons and trade.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The two events, Modi has specifically included in his itinerary, are a detailed briefing at Emercom, Russia’s emergency response agency during disasters, to get an overview of tackling natural catastrophe, so frequent in India over past few years.The Emercom is world famous dynamic force, known in the field of humanitarian response and emergency relief operations. Further, while there is no significant Indian community in Moscow, to recreate the aura of New York’s Madison Square Garden, UK’s Wembly or Dubai’s cricket stadium buzz, ministry of external affairs has identified 3,000 Russians, whom they describe, ‘friends of India’ to listen to the Prime Minister at the Moscow exhibition ground. Weary about Russia warming up and even having agreed to supply military equipment to Pakistan, officials said the summit will provide an opportunity to both countries to look at regional and global issues. Russian ambassador in India few months ago had publicly expressed concern at India’s growing closeness with the United States and switching to alternative defence markets. But the foreign secretary S. Jaishankar said the envoy’s comments were in a context. “If the Russian ambassador does not promote Russian aircraft, whose aircraft he will promote? He is doing his job,” he said. Major challenge between the two countries is that despite being all-weather friends, trade has remained limited. Foreign Secretary said expanding economic ties would be a ‘very big priority’ Energy-starved India, the third largest oil importer after the United States and China, has been pushing for greater involvement in major gas and oil exploration projects in Russia. India is also likely to push for a Free Trade Agreement with the Eurasian Economic Zone and is sharing details of the study it conducted in this regard.Last week, the 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. It will be Modi’s second summit with Putin who was in India last year for the 15th India Russia Summit.On Wednesday, Putin will host a private dinner for the prime minister and the two leaders will interact with a group of Indian and Russian chief executive officers in Kremlin on Thursday.After the summit talks last year, it was announced that Russia will build at least 12 nuclear reactors besides manufacturing advanced dual-use helicopters. The two countries had signed 20 agreements in oil, gas, defence, investment and other key sectors.

Delhi CM Kejriwal demands PM Modi resignation over ‘flop’ CBI raids

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Calling December 15, when CBI conducted the raid at the office of his Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar, a “black day”, Kejriwal tore into Modi and dared him to act against Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, his Rajasthan counterpart Vasundhara Raje and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal
File Photo
PTI
Mounting a fierce attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday demanded his resignation over what he termed was a “flop raid” by the CBI at the Delhi Secretariat to “protect” Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the alleged DDCA scam.Calling December 15, when CBI conducted the raid at the office of his Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar, a “black day”, Kejriwal tore into Modi and dared him to act against Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, his Rajasthan counterpart Vasundhara Raje and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. Kejriwal also defended Rajendra Kumar against allegations of graft committed in his official capacity under the erstwhile Sheila Dikshit government.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”He’s being mentally harassed. CBI has got nothing against him in the last eight days. If I can remove my minister and babu for committing corruption, it is also my duty to protect honest officers,” he said participating in a discussion in the state Assembly on the situation arising out of the raid at the Delhi Secretariat and alleged corruption in Delhi and District Cricket Association under Jaitley’s watch.Kumar was seated in the officers’ gallery of the Assembly during the proceedings.”Prime Minister should be ashamed of himself” over the raids, Kejriwal said and went on to take a series of jibes at Modi over “Rs 10 lakh suit” and foreign trips.”He is fulfilling his dreams now as earlier he did not get a visa. Delhi is all right whenever he is out of the city.Whenever he’s back everything goes haywire,” Kejriwal said speaking during the one-day special session of the Assembly which passed a resolution to constitute a Commission of Inquiry to probe alleged corruption in DDCA.”I seek the Prime Minister’s resignation for conducting such a flop raid and for misusing the CBI. If he uses the CBI to get any file then the country will have no democracy left. Tomorrow there can be raids on any Chief Minister. This is dangerous for the country’s federal structure,” Kejriwal said.The Chief Minister, against whom Jaitley has filed both civil and criminal defamation suits, further alleged that the CBI was specifically looking for a file “containing a note” with “incriminating” details.”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. He (Jaitley) said that he will ensure quashing of cases that come to Delhi police and, if AAP sets up a commission of inquiry, he will get it null and void through ‘our special man’ LG. It was written in that file,” Kejriwal claimed. Kejriwal claimed the Prime Minister was still not able to get over the “pain” of losing the Delhi Assembly elections. Delhi Assembly today passed a motion moved by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia against CBI raid at Delhi Secretariat, condeming the Centre for its alleged high handedness and adding it was in “violation of the federal structure” and the “spirit of the Constitution”.”We are constantly seeking PM’s cooperation and for this, I have met two-three times and told him we don’t need money, and instead, we want him not to put hurdles to our works..give us Delhi for a year and will fulfil your dreams,” Kejriwal said.The Delhi Chief Minister termed the CBI raid at his office as “dangerous” for the country’s federal structure. Kejriwal claimed it was within the government’s powers to set up a Commission of Inquiry to probe alleged corruption in the state’s cricket body.”We have the right to probe the irregularities in sports, player selection, stadium construction. Everyone is admitting that there was a scam…we have power to set up such Commission. In the past, we set up a Commission of Inquiry over the transport scam involving former CM and her officials, but MHA later declared it null and void as LG was getting implicated in it. MHA has no power to declare our Commission of Inquiry null and void,” he said.Refering to Jaitley’s lawsuit, Kejriwal said he was surprised as to how a lawyer (Jaitley) could hurt himself because the Union Minister will be crossed examine by our lawyers for almost one year.”Next pre-summoning evidence on January 5. We want the court to summon us. We will go and trial will begin. His (Jaitley) cross examinitauion will strtech for a year. By filing defamation case, he has hurt himself,” Kejriwal added.Noted criminal lawyer Ram Jethmalani will represent Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the civil and criminal defamation suits filed against him by Jaitley. Jaitley had on Tuesday filed both civil and criminal defamation cases against Kejriwal and five other AAP leaders for allegedly defaming him and sought Rs 10 crores in damages and their prosecution for offences that entail a punishment of upto two years in jail.

Jaitley row: Opposition latches on to Advani parallel

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Arun Jaitley

Reuters
Opposition on Tuesday claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has signalled to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to quit in the wake of DDCA row by drawing a parallel with LK Advani in the Hawala case, a suggestion BJP rejected outright.”Today I heard Prime Minister saying that Jaitley will come out of this like L K Advani in the Jain Hawala case. I will remind Jaitley that Advani had then resigned and had not come back till he got clean chit from the Supreme Court”, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters. “So the Prime Minister seems to be telling Jaitley that he should not continue as Finance Minister till he gets cleared”, he said addressing a joint press conference with party leaders Anand Sharma and Randeep Surjewala.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Striking a similar note, CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said 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 said talking separately to reporters. In a strong show of support for Jaitley, Modi today said at BJP parliamentary party meet that he will come through “with flying colours” against charges of corruption levelled against him by the opposition in a same way Advani did in the Hawala case.Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh also tweeted, “Modi: ‘I am sure Arun Jaitley would come out clean as Advaniji did in Hawala case’. But would Jaitley resign as Advaniji did ? No question!”The BJP was quick to dismiss such claims. “There is no parallel between charges against Advani and Jaitley. CBI had registered a case, launched a criminal investigation and Advani quit as an MP on moral grounds. There is no criminal probe against Jaitley. These are allegations levelled by opposition which are unsupported by evidence.”In fact, the Serious Fraud Investigation Office probe was carried out into these allegations when Congress was in power. It stated that there was no fraud or cheating. Due to political rivalry, Congress is ignoring its government’s inquiry. It has no moral right to level such a charge,” BJP secretary Shrikant Sharma said. BJP leaders noted that the SFIO probe was launched on the complaint of party MP Kirti Azad, who has again targeted Jaitley over the issue after AAP and Congress raked it up. First Congress disrupted Parliament over a case in which its leaders are accused of “grabbing” Rs 5000 cr assets by investing only Rs 50 lakh and now they have resorted to levelling false charges against Jaitley to do it, Sharma said.The AICC briefing saw the Congress leaders utilising to the hilt Kirti Azad’s assertions in the Lok Sabha on the issue yesterday, contending that none of the Ministers of party MPs present contested his charges. “It means all of them were agreeing to what Kirti Azad was saying”, the Leader of the Opposition said adding that the BJP member had also spoken of a CBI inquiry having been ordered into the DDCA. He sought to know from the government whether if such an inquiry has been ordered as Kirti Azad had said, at what stage it is now.The Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha also suggested that Jaitley’s opposition to the earlier UPA government’s plans to bring sports bodies under the RTI appeared to be linked to the DDCA affairs.He said that whether it is the Lalit Modi controversy or some other scandals, the sports bodies are there.Surjewala said that the Congress was ready to provide full cooperation to the government in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha if the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister bring a bill to bring sports bodies under RTI to address the issue of transparency. Seeking to drive home its demand for Jaitley’s resignation, Azad also noted that the Supreme Court in a judgement in January 2011 had held that office bearers of cricket associations are also public servants and all within the prevention of corruption act.

Delhi CM Kejriwal faces court case for using ‘defamatory’ words against PM Modi

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The complainant, an advocate, has sought Kejriwal’s prosecution under sections 124A (sedition) and 500 (defamation) of the IPC. The plea was filed at Tis Hazari Courts and it would come up for hearing on January 4, 2016.
File Photo
dna Research & Archives
A private criminal complaint has been filed against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a Delhi for using “defamatory” words against Prime Minister Narendra Modi following the recent CBI raid at the office of his Principal Secretary.The complainant, an advocate, has sought Kejriwal’s prosecution under sections 124A (sedition) and 500 (defamation) of the IPC. The plea was filed at Tis Hazari Courts and it would come up for hearing on January 4, 2016.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Advocate Pradeep Kumar Dwivedi has in his complaint alleged that when CBI raided the Chief Minister’s Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar’s Delhi Secretariat office on December 15, Kejriwal made offensive remarks on his Twitter account against Modi.”Being fully aware of the autonomy and independence of the CBI, the accused (Kejriwal) owing to his personal interest and political enmity, made some offended remarks on his Twitter account towards the Prime Minister of this country, just because of the said raid by the CBI,” the complaint said.”On December 15, the accused posted the remarks on his Twitter account which reads as, ‘Modi is a coward and a psychopath’. The remarks were made against the democratically elected Prime Minister of the largest democracy of the world,” it said.The complainant alleged that Kejriwal had “intentionally” used such defamatory words with a view to spreading a sense of “hatred and contempt” towards the Prime Minister. Dwivedi said he was aggrieved by the alleged defamatory and seditious remarks of Kejriwal.

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.

DDCA row: PM Modi backs FM Arun Jaitley, says he will pass ‘with flying colours’

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“Arun Jaitley will come through with flying colours in the same manner as L K Advani did in Hawala case,” the Prime Minister said at a weekly meeting of the BJP Parliamentary Party.

Reacting to the District Cricket Administration (DDCA) controversy for the first time, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday told BJP lawmakers that Finance Minister Arun Jaitley would “come through with flying colours,” from the controversy. “Arun Jaitley will come through with flying colours in the same manner as LK Advani did in Hawala case,” the Prime Minister said at a weekly meeting of the BJP Parliamentary Party.The Prime Minister also said that the Congress is raking up manufactured allegations to defame the government, said Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu, quoting Modi.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court has issued a notice to CM Arvind Kejriwal and five AAP leaders on a defamation suit filed by Jaitley against them. The political slugfest over DDCA affairs intensified on Monday after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley filed a criminal defamation complaint against Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and five other leaders of AAP for allegedly defaming him in the DDCA controversy before a Delhi court which took cognisance on his plea.Escalating the issue, BJP MP Kirti Azad, who has been indirectly cornering Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, late on Monday night called Jaitley a ‘napunsak’ in a tweet. However, later he claimed his Twitter account had been hacked.The one member Commission of Enquiry will be headed by former Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium.Meanwhile, undeterred by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s decision to slap civil defamation cases against Arvind Kejriwal and his AAP colleagues for allegedly defaming him in connection with the DDCA controversy, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday said it is neither ‘scared’ nor ‘threatened’.

PM’s mantra to defeat radicalisation: Bank on local links

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He sought the mobile numbers of SHOs at the recently held annual DGPs meet in Rann of Kutch, Gujarat. While it is anybody’s guess what will be the content of PM’s SMS, he is expected to praise their difficult work and exhort them to make police personnel under them public friendly.

Continuing with his innovative approach, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will connect with the Station House Officers (SHOs) of over 14,000 police stations of the country by sending his personal message on their mobile phones on the Republic Day.He sought the mobile numbers of SHOs at the recently held annual DGPs meet in Rann of Kutch, Gujarat. While it is anybody’s guess what will be the content of PM’s SMS, he is expected to praise their difficult work and exhort them to make police personnel under them public friendly.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The meet of the country top cops deliberated on several issues including the need to have a specific central law for the organised crimes that in addition to the traditional spheres of activities like extortion, protection money, contract killing, boot-legging, gambling, prostitution and smuggling now also includes drug trafficking, printing and smuggling counterfeit currency, illicit arms trading and money laundering.The conference spread in several packed sessions for two-an-half days also dwelt on the need to identify and fill the gaps to tackle cyber crimes and economic offences. It also sought amendment in the criminal procedure code (CrPC) to tackle delays in criminal jurisprudence.In a marathon session held on the final day, issues of terror, IS and radicalisation of youths were discussed in detail. The meet observed the need to take the help of the technology to the fullest by upgrading it at the police station level to tackle radicalisation among youth.It also sought empowering the community, especially in the potential terror hubs to tackle the youth from going astray and sensitising police to understand the difference between a highly religious and radicalised person.PM Modi advice to the top cops was to take local communities into confidence in policing and technology should be used in tackling crimes.”Police forces should establish links with local communities and one way of doing this is to celebrate the successes and achievements of people in the community,” he said.The top cops also took up topics like women’s safety, better inter-state policing, police reforms, steps to bring competitive spirit between police officers reforms at police station level and bringing uniformity in police uniforms across India.The PMO gave detailed directions to every state on which compliance report will have to be submitted by every state in a time bound manner.

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.

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.

Kirti Azad accuses DDCA of giving contracts to fake companies

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Addressing a press conference here at the press club, the former cricketer said, “I’m a big fan of our Prime Minister and his campaign against corruption.”

Kirti Azad

ANI
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Kirti Azad on Sunday said that he is a big fan of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his campaign against corruption while ‘exposing’ corruption inside DDCA. Addressing a press conference here at the press club, the former cricketer said, “I’m a big fan of our Prime Minister and his campaign against corruption.” Azad, who held a press conference to expose biggest corruption in the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) also said that his fight was not against any individual but it was against corruption.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Later a video presentation was shown produced by Wikileaks4India (not related to Wikileaks founded by Julian Assange) . The video claimed that DDCA gave contract worth crores of rupees to fake companies. It alleged that DDCA hired laptop and printer for Rs 16,000 and Rs 3,000 respectively per day. The video said that addresses furnished by the companies remained untraceable. Azad alleged that DDCA members inflated price of tenders, executive meetings were not held before passing bills. The DDCA came under scrutiny after Azad had raised the issue of financial irregularities within the association. On a complaint filed by former cricketer Bishen Singh Bedi and other cricketers, the Delhi Government had ordered a probe into the issue. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had earlier hit out hard at Finance Minister Arun Jaitley over alleged corruption during his tenure as DDCA President.Addressing the media, AAP leaders Kumar Vishwas, Ashutosh, Raghav Chadha and Sanjay Singh collectively stated, “The main objective of CBI raid at Delhi Secretariat and taking control of ACB was to prevent alleged graft in DDCA during Arun Jaitley’s tenure coming to light.”They added that the scam included siphoning off money by creating fake companies between 1999 and 2013. Facing allegations of corruption, under-fire former Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) President Arun Jaitley today got the backing of the two biggest stars to emerge from the state– Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir. Finance Minister Jaitley, who headed DDCA for 13 years till 2013, has been accused of corruption by the Delhi Government during his tenure. The state government has demanded that Jaitley must resign or be “removed” from the union cabinet to enable an independent probe.However, Gambhir and Sehwag came out strongly in support of Jaitley.”Grossly inappropriate 2 blame @arunjaitley ji 4 corruption in DDCA. He was d one who got Delhi a proper stadium widout taxpayer’s money. Appalling to note some ex-players blame @arunjaitley ji for all that’s wrong in DDCA. Whereas dey enjoyed plum posts in DDCA coz of him,” tweeted Gambhir.Sehwag, on his part, lauded Jaitley for being there for players. The swashbuckling batsman, who switched loyalties to Haryana from Delhi and retired from international cricket earlier this year, steered clear of making any political claim but lauded Jaitley’s role in helping players.With Agency inputs

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 –>

ISIS top on discussion agenda at top cops’ conference

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

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

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

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

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: 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.

Modi Kutch visit: Gujarat govt spent Rs 31 lakh on building tent for PM, alleges Congress

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The annual three-day conference of Directors General of Police and Inspectors General of Police organised by the Intelligence Bureau was today launched in the presence of Modi and Union Minister Rajnath Singh.
File Photo
PTI
Gujarat Congress on Friday alleged that the state government spent Rs 31 lakh on raising a lavish tent for Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Dhordo in Rann of Kutch, where he will stay during the ongoing meeting of country’s top police brass.The annual three-day conference of Directors General of Police and Inspectors General of Police organised by the Intelligence Bureau was today launched in the presence of Modi and Union Minister Rajnath Singh.”Prime Minister describes himself a Pradhan Sevak but improper expenses have been made to build a tent for him. The money spent is huge,” state Congress chief Bharatsinh Solnaki alleged.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We are not against the conference as such, they should meet and discuss national security but our problem is the expense done behind it,” Solanki added.In a statement earlier on Friday, Congress leader Jayrajsinh Parmar claimed that Rs 31 lakh have been spent to build the tent for Modi.”The Prime Minister himself has appealed to countrymen to forsake the LPG subsidy but is now living in a tent worth Rs 31 lakh,” Parmar said.He also criticised the state government for providing “royal treatment” to the Prime Minister.”Gujarat government is spending huge money on the PM but not giving good price to farmers for cotton,” he said.

India’s global profile has risen in past 18 months: Sushma Swaraj

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In an address at an industry chamber, Sushma Swaraj touched upon various dimensions of foreign policy being pursued and said it has been successful in advancing India’s economic growth, defence requirement, addressing security concerns besides projecting its rich heritage.
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India’s global profile has improved significantly and taking forward ties with Pakistan was the “most challenging” in the last 18 months, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Friday, while commending Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership and rising influence at the world stage.In an address at an industry chamber, Swaraj touched upon various dimensions of foreign policy being pursued and said it has been successful in advancing India’s economic growth, defence requirement, addressing security concerns besides projecting its rich heritage.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Complimenting Modi, she said though he had not played any role at the international stage before becoming prime minister, he made an image of himself in the last 18 months and now is being counted among the most influential leaders in the world.”He is someone who was chief minister for 15 years but never played any role at the global stage. Leave alone prime minister, he was never even a minister at the Centre. The man in the last 18 months have made an image of himself and is now being counted among the most influential leaders of the world. More importantly, he is not only rising. Along with him India is also emerging,” Swaraj said at FICCI.She said India’s relations with all major powers including the US, Russia, Japan, Britain and Germany, have seen an upswing across the board since NDA came to power.”The overall image of India that we have managed to project, even in a short while, is of a country that is serious about meeting its commitments and responsibilities. This has made us a more credible player at international events, as you would have noticed in Paris recently,” she said.On China, the External Affairs Minister said it has been engaged with a greater sense of confidence, whether it is on the boundary problem or on exploring economic opportunities.”Ties with Pakistan have predictably been the most challenging to take forward. However, the recent NSA-level dialogue on security and terrorism and the establishment of a Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue following my visit to Islamabad now offers a pathway,” she said.”Countering terrorism has become an increasingly salient feature of our national security calculations. It has also become prominent in the public discourse about foreign policy. Much of it centres on our relationship with Pakistan, but there are also aspects beyond,” she said.On Nepal, she said India’s traditionally close relations were taken to the next level.”By calling for an inclusive Nepal and urging a political solution to long pending political problems, we are committed to unity, peace and stability of Nepal which will create a more durable foundation for our bilateral relations to prosper,” she said.Swaraj cited declaration of International Yoga Day on June 21 by the UN, evacuation of Indians from Yemen, forceful representations of India’s security concerns and pushing its economic agenda as major achievements on the foreign policy front.About ties with the US, Swaraj said resolution of the long-pending nuclear liability “problem” and working together by the two countries on various global issues reflected the intensity.”It is India’s diplomacy that has today created a situation, where we have ready access to defence technologies from all the key global sources. Not many countries can claim that privilege. Accelerating long-pending procurement decisions at home complements the opportunities that we have created abroad. India’s relations with major powers have seen an upswing across the board since we assumed office,” she said.The External Affairs Minister said the current dispensation is an accountable government and people have right to ask what have you done. She said significant improvement on bilateral ties have been achieved with all the neighbours. “In respect of Myanmar, we are preparing for a political transition, confident that India’s interests are recognised by all parties.”Swaraj said, following the Indo-Africa summit, the ties with the African continent have seen new energy while the summit of Pacific Island States underlined India’s new approach to Pacific island nations.”There is no doubt that India’s international profile has been significantly enhanced in the last 18 months. Our views on key international issues be it on trade, climate change, terrorism or maritime security – are also being given greater consideration,” she said.She said declaration of the International Day of Yoga by UN, which was supported by 177 countries at the UN was symbolic of India’s growing stature.Talking about initial days of Modi government, she said, “Beset by terrorist attacks sponsored from abroad and insurgency at home, there was a growing feeling that a firmer hand was required to steer national security.”Noting that focussing on national heritage has been key aspect of the foreign policy, she said “The India of today aspires to project its own heritage on the global scene. In today’s parlance, we could say that it is to build our national branding.””Even in our short tenure, we have demonstrated our commitment to their well being by organising evacuations in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen. In fact, there has been a sea change in how an Indian in distress perceives the Government,” she said.Swaraj said “two images of the MEA have emerged. One about being influential and the other is about being sensitive.” She said by connecting directly with the diaspora, the Prime Minister has increased their enthusiasm to contribute to the changes underway in India.

Why did ‘anti-Congress’ chapters vanish from Sharad Pawar’s autobiography On My Terms?

Congress-led UPA government of which the NCP was a part of, which have been included in the Marathi version ‘Lok Mazhe Sangati’, are missing from the English edition.
These chapters refer to how the presence of multiple power centres in the government affected decision making.

Known for his legendary networking skills, NCP chief and former Union minister Sharad Pawar may have achieved the impossible by ensuring that leaders across the political spectrum attended his birthday celebrations in Delhi last week.However, his autobiography ‘On My Terms: From the Grassroots to the Corridors of Power’ which was released during the function may turn out to be controversial. Two scathing chapters about theCongress-led UPA government of which the NCP was a part of, which have been included in the Marathi version ‘Lok Mazhe Sangati’, are missing from the English edition. These chapters refer to how the presence of multiple power centres in the government affected decision making.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The chapters also explain how the big-brother attitude of the Congress, the cardinal mistake of the party in reducing the importance of the co-ordination committee and not taking allies into confidence and cutting down to size of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his silence, together affected decision making of the alliance government.This gives rise to a moot question: were these two chapters, which were originally included in the English version, dropped in an attempt to build bridges with Congress president Sonia Gandhi? Does this have any relevance to the 2017 Presidential elections where Pawar is said to be in the reckoning?Pawar also dropped a bombshell in the book claiming that many “bitter but essential decisions” were being deferred because the National Advisory Council (NAC) under Gandhi was opposed to it. “Policy paralysis reached an extent that I arrived at a conclusion that there was no point in remaining in a government which had lost the authority to take decisions. Eventually, my cabinet colleague Praful Patel and myself submitted our resignations to the Prime Minister in frustration,” said Pawar, adding that they withdrew after Singh’s promise to speed up the decision making process.The NAC started exerting more influence under UPA-II and Pawar noted that this covered policies, appointments and transfers of bureacrats and office-bearers and “this unnecessary interference devalued the post of the Prime Minister.”“Though nobody was intervening in my ministry, I was upset at the way in which the Union cabinet’s powers were being encroached upon. I was very frustrated about it,” writes Pawar, adding that while they respected Singh’s contribution and intelligence, “the chief of the government needed to take a firm stand on issues of national importance. It was impossible to digest Dr Manmohan Singh’s policy of turning a blind eye to a decision while knowing that it was against the national interest.” This also affected the morale of the Congress party.Pawar noted that the consultative decision making process during the tenure of UPA-I was replaced by the Congress in its subsequent term as its numbers in the coalition went up. Instead, the NAC was “unnecessarily promoted.”“There was confusion in the decision making processes since there was more than one power centre in the government. During this time, the most fundamental change happened in Dr Manmohan Singh’s style of leadership. He went into a cocoon and his dialogue almost stopped,” said Pawar, adding that this led to a series of political disasters culminating in the 2014 defeat. The 2G spectrum scam which broke immediately after UPA-II came to power in 2009 also affected the government’s image and the Nirbhaya rape case in 2012 and the anti-corruption agitation too hurt it.The CAG’s observations about the faulty allotment of coal blocks in the 2004 to 2009 period leading to a Rs 1.85 lakh crore notional loss also led to Singh, who held charge of the ministry in the period, being put into the dock.

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

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

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

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.

JD(U) MP KC Tyagi seeks action against Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali

The Uttarakhand government, he said, had found an Ayurvedic ‘son-bearing’ medicine sold by Baba Ramdev’s pharma company fake but no action was taken.

JD(U) MLA KC Tyagi

A demand for action against yoga guru Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali pharma company for selling products like noodles and pasta without the food regulator’s approval was made in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.Raising the issue through a Zero Hour mention, KC Tyagi (JD-U) also raised questions over why no appeal was filed in the Supreme Court against the Bombay High Court order lifting restrictions on sale of popular noodles Maggi.Describing the two as the new “Dabangs”, he said no action has been taken despite FSSAI finding faults with their products. He alleged that Patanjali noodles and pasta are being sold without the approval of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Uttarakhand government, he said, had found an Ayurvedic ‘son-bearing’ medicine sold by Baba Ramdev’s pharma company fake but no action was taken.”He (Baba Ramdev) poses as if he is very close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He openly claims that he has helped with ‘tan, man and dhan’ (physically, mentally and monetarily) in formation of the BJP government,” Tyagi alleged.Similarly, the verdict of Bombay High Court in the Maggi case was accepted. “Why was no appeal made to the Supreme Court,” the JD(U) leader said and remarked “daal mein kuchh kala hai” (there is something fishy).

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.

Punjab BJP blasts Arvind Kejriwal for remarks against PM Modi, Arun Jaitley

In a statement, Punjab BJP Kamal Sharma demanded “unconditional apology” from Kejriwal and alleged the Delhi CM was doing all this “drama” to “cover up” his own failure to punish a “corrupt” IAS officer and fulfil promises to people.

PTI
The BJP state unit on hit out the Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for his “below standard” comments against Prime Minister and Finance Minister after the CBI raided office of his Principal Secretary.Punjab BJP Kamal Sharma said the Delhi Chief Minister has “lost” his mental balance and should first get himself treated in a good hospital before making derogatory remarks against PM Narendra Modi and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.In a statement, Sharma demanded “unconditional apology” from Kejriwal and alleged the Delhi CM was doing all this “drama” to “cover up” his own failure to punish a “corrupt” IAS officer and fulfil promises to people.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Kejriwal’s statement that the reason behind CBI raids on his Principal Secretary was to take over files pertaining to alleged corruption in the Jaitely-led Delhi District Cricket Association is not less than a joke,” he said.Carrying out probe in the affair of the DDCA falls under the jurisdiction of the Central government, he said.”If he has the guts, Kejriwal must clarify which file he is talking about,” said Sharma.”On one side you are talking about ending corruption and on the other you are shielding an IAS officer who is facing serious cases of bribe. Isn t it a expose of your personality and party?” the state BJP president questioned.He said such acts of the AAP chief has already exposed him before the public and people call him a “drama-master”, who wants to be in news by creating controversy. He said that the PM and FM are top representatives of an elected government and Kejriwal’s “below standard” comments were big insult to the people of the country who have reposed faith by electing Modi as their Prime Minister.After the CBI raid at the Delhi secretariat yesterday, Chief Minister Kejriwal had attacked Prime Minister Modi calling him a “psychopath” and “coward”. The CM had also alleged searches were conducted because files pertaining to alleged corruption in DDCA involving Arun Jaitley is with the Delhi CMO.

Indian rocket to land on moon in 2017; to launch solar mission

The Aditya L1 mission “is aimed at studying the sun from an orbit around the sun-earth lagrangian point (L-1) which is about 1.5 million km from earth. It will carry seven payloads including a coronagraph to observe the outermost layers of the sun, the corona. Aditya L1 will be launched during 2019-20 timeframe,” he said in his written response.

India’s second lunar probe Chandrayaan II will land on moon in 2017 and the country’s first solar mission Aditya L1 is likely to be launched in 2019, Lok Sabha was informed on Wednesday.Chandrayaan II will land on the surface of moon in 2017 and this second lunar mission will help explore the possibilities of signs of extra-terrestrial life, Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh said during Question Hour responding to supplementaries.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Aditya L1 mission “is aimed at studying the sun from an orbit around the sun-earth lagrangian point (L-1) which is about 1.5 million km from earth. It will carry seven payloads including a coronagraph to observe the outermost layers of the sun, the corona. Aditya L1 will be launched during 2019-20 timeframe,” he said in his written response.The “approved cost” of the solar mission is 378.53 crore.Responding to another question, Singh said India has entered the era of “space marketing” and the launch of six Singapore satellites today will earn India 26 million euros.So far, India has earned 15 million USD and 80 million euros by launching satellites of other countries, he said, adding that 5 million USD and 65 million euros are in the “pipeline”, while apparently referring to the launches proposed in the future.The minister said a budget of Rs 1420 crore has been approved by the government for realisation of Indian Regional Navigation Satellite (IRNSS) programme, including satellites and associated ground segment.

War with Pakistan not an option, talks only way to end terror: Sushma Swaraj

When BJP member Ganesh Singh asked whether India was exploring options like the US did to hunt down terrorists like Osama Bin Laden, Swaraj said India is talking to Pakistan on the terrorist camps existing in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) as “war is not an option”.

PTI
Declaring that “war is not an option”, India on Wednesday said it had decided to hold dialogue with Pakistan as it is the only way to remove “the shadow of terrorism”.External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said in Lok Sabha that India and Pakistan decided to hold talks on terror when the Prime Ministers Narendra Modi and Nawaz Sharif met in Ufa (Russia) in July and then in Paris recently.”We said we can talk so that terrorism comes to an end. So talks (between NSAs) took place in Bangkok where we discussed about terrorism. But one meeting will not bring a solution to all the problem. So we will continue the dialogue,” she said during Question Hour.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When BJP member Ganesh Singh asked whether India was exploring options like the US did to hunt down terrorists like Osama Bin Laden, Swaraj said India is talking to Pakistan on the terrorist camps existing in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) as “war is not an option”.”We have decided that through talks we will resolve the issue of terrorism as talks is the way forward so that the shadow of terror is removed. But we want to make it clear, our Prime Minister has made it clear that talks and terror can’t go together. Dialogue is drowned by the sound of explosion,” she said.Swaraj was speaking against the backdrop of recent decision to re-start the ‘Comprehensive’ dialogue with Pakistan under which various subjects, including terrorism and Jammu and Kashmir, will be discussed.The External Affairs Minister said Modi had said there was a need for talks to resolve the issue of terrorism.”The Prime Minister said let’s talk on terror. For talks we will have to put in faith. There is no third party. Through talks, both the countries are trying to resolve the issue of terrorism,” she said.Swaraj said following Modi’s conversation with Sharif in Paris on November 30 on the sidelines of climate change summit and in line with the Ufa understanding between the two leaders, the National Security Advisors of the two countries met in Bangkok on December 6.”They held candid and constructive discussions. During my recent visit to Pakistan on December 8-9, the two sides decided that the NSAs will continue to address all issues connected to terrorism. The Indian side was assured of the steps being taken to expedite the early conclusion of the Mumbai trial,” she said.

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