Modi In Karnataka

Eying Elections, Modi Holds Mega Roadshow In Karnataka

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a mega road show in the Mandyan district of Karnataka on Sunday morning.

A huge crowd was seen gathered to give the Prime Minister a grand welcome as he arrived in Mandya to lay the foundation stone of multiple projects and inaugurate the Bengaluru-Mysuru Expressway.

PM Modi got a rousing welcome as BJP supporters and locals showered with flower petals and raised slogans during his roadshow.

People lined on both sides of the streets through which the Prime Minister’s convoy passed.

The Prime Minister was also seen greeting people and waving at them.

During his visit, the Prime Minister will dedicate and lay the foundation stone of projects worth around Rs 16,000 crore.

According to Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), at around 12 noon, the PM will dedicate and lay the foundation stone of key road projects in Mandya. Thereafter, at around 3:15 pm, he will inaugurate and lay the foundation stone of various development initiatives in Hubballi-Dharwad.

“The rapid pace of development of infrastructure projects has been a testament to the vision of the Prime Minister to ensure world-class connectivity across the country. Moving ahead in this endeavour, Prime Minister will dedicate the Bengaluru-Mysuru Expressway to the nation,” the PMO said in a statement.

The project involves 6-laning of the Bengaluru-Nidaghatta-Mysuru section of NH-275. The 118 km long project has been developed at a total cost of around Rs 8,480 crores.

It will reduce the travel time between Bengaluru and Mysuru from around 3 hours to about 75 minutes. It will act as a catalyst for socio-economic development in the region.

The Prime Minister will also lay the foundation stone for Mysuru-Kushalnagar 4-lane highway.

Spread over 92 Km, the project will be developed at a cost of around Rs 4130 crores.

The project will play a key role in boosting the connectivity of Kushalnagar with Bengaluru and will help halve the travel time from about 5 to only 2.5 hours.

Apart from this, PM Modi will dedicate IIT Dharwad to the nation. The foundation stone for the institute was also laid by the Prime Minister in February 2019. Developed at a cost of over Rs 850 crores, the institute currently offers 4-year B.Tech. programs, inter-disciplinary 5-year BS-MS program, M.Tech. and Ph.D. programs.

He will also dedicate to the nation the longest railway platform in the world at Shree Siddharoodha Swamiji Hubballi Station. The record has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records recently. The 1507 m long platform has been built at a cost of about Rs. 20 crores.

The Prime Minister will dedicate the electrification of Hosapete – Hubballi – Tinaighat section and the upgradation of Hosapete station, for boosting connectivity in the region.

“Developed at a cost of over Rs 530 crores, the electrification project establishes seamless train operation on electric traction. The redeveloped Hosapete station will provide convenient and modern facilities to travellers. It has been designed to resemble the Hampi monuments,” it said.

Prime Minister will inaugurate and lay the foundation stone for various projects of Hubballi-Dharwad smart city.

The total estimated cost of these projects is about Rs 520 crores. These efforts will enhance the quality of life by creating hygienic, safe and functional public spaces and transform the town into a futuristic urban centre.

PM Modi will also lay the foundation stone of the Jayadeva Hospital and Research Centre.

he hospital will be developed at a cost of about Rs 250 crores and will provide tertiary cardiac care to the people of the region.

In order to further augment water supply in the region, Prime Minister will lay the foundation stone for the Dharwad Multi Village Water Supply Scheme, which will be developed at a cost of over Rs 1040 crores.

He will also lay the foundation stone for Tupparihalla Flood Damage Control Project, which will be developed at a cost of about Rs 150 crores.

The project aims to mitigate damage caused by floods and involves the construction of retaining walls and embankments. (ANI)

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Modi, Australian PM At Gujarat Stadium For India-Australia Test

Modi, Australian PM At Gujarat Stadium For India-Australia Test

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, on Thursday arrived at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad to watch the first day of the final Test match of the Border Gavaskar Trophy 2023.

PM Modi welcomed his Australian counterpart at the venue, the largest stadium in the world.
Albanese will watch the first hour’s play between India and Australia in the company of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Australia captain Steve Smith won the toss and opted to bat versus India at the toss for the fourth and final Test for the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy series.

Both the Prime Ministers were greeted with loud cheers as they did a lap of honour at the stadium prior to the match.

Earlier, PM Modi arrived at the venue and was received by Gujarat Governor Acharya Devvrat, Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, and state Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi. BCCI president Roger Binny and BCCI secretary Jay Shah were also present at the felicitation.

The Australian PM who arrived in India on Wednesday. Banners of Prime Minister Modi and his Australian counterpart went up at the Narendra Modi stadium ahead of the final Test.

India is currently leading the series 2-1. However, the hosts need to secure an outright victory in the final Test to qualify for the final of the ICC World Test Championship where they will be facing Australia in London from June 7 onwards.

“One of the things that bind both countries is cricket and it will be great to see the leaders of India and Australia on day one of the matches in Ahmedabad,” Australian High Commissioner Barry O’Farrell said.

Yesterday, Albanese participated in Holi celebrations along with Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel and the Governor of Gujarat Acharya Devvrat at Raj Bhawan in the state capital Gandhinagar.

“Honoured to celebrate Holi in Ahmedabad, India. Holi’s message of renewal through the triumph of good over evil is an enduring reminder for all of us”, tweeted Australian PM Anthony Albanese with colourful pictures of Holi celebrations with flowers and colours.

The Australian Prime Minister on the same day visited the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad and paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi.

Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel accompanied the Australian PM on his visit to the Ashram. During the visit, Albanese took a complete tour of the Ashram.

The Australian PM, upon his arrival in India, tweeted: “An incredible welcome to Ahmedabad, India. The beginning of an important trip for Australia-India relations.” (ANI)

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Under Modi, India More Likely To Respond Militarily: US Intel

Under Modi, India More Likely To Respond Militarily: US Intel

According to the Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India is more likely than in the past to respond with military force to perceived or real Pakistani provocations.

The report said the crises between India and Pakistan are more conderning because both are nuclear-armed states. However, Pakistan has a long history of supporting anti-India terrorist groups
But, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India is more likely to respond with military force to perceived or real Pakistani provocations, than it was in the past, the threat assessment report said.

“Crises between India and Pakistan are of particular concern because of the risk of an escalatory cycle between two nuclear-armed states. New Delhi and Islamabad probably are inclined to reinforce the current calm in their relationship following both sides’ renewal of a cease-fire along the Line of Control in early 2021,” the Annual Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community report said.

It further said, “Pakistan has a long history of supporting anti-India militant groups, and under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India is more likely than in the past to respond with military force to perceived or real Pakistani provocations.”

“Each side’s perception of heightened tensions raises the risk of conflict, with violent unrest in Kashmir or a militant attack in India being potential flashpoints,” it said.

Interstate conflict, state instability, and other governance challenges pose direct and indirect challenges to US interests at home and abroad, and to its allies and partners.

Rising tensions underpinned by intensifying strategic competition present numerous consequences for US and partners’ national security.

Countries’ increased military operations across a number of geographic hotspots risk the possibility of inadvertent escalation and the potential for interstate conflict, the statement.

Russia’s war in Ukraine coupled with the Covid-19 pandemic has increased poverty, hindered economic growth, and widened inequality, raising the conditions that are ripe for domestic unrest, insurgencies, democratic backsliding, and authoritarianism.

The war in Ukraine has demonstrated how interstate conflict affects not only the parties directly involved, but can have broader cascading security, economic, and humanitarian implications on a regional–and even global–scale. The following are a few of the potential conflicts between states that could spillover with repercussions that may require immediate U.S. attention, the Threat Assesment Report said.

This annual report of worldwide threats to the national security of the United States reflects the collective insights of the Intelligence Community, which is committed every day to providing the nuanced, independent, and unvarnished intelligence that policymakers, warfighters, and domestic law enforcement personnel need to protect American lives and America’s interests anywhere in the world.

This assessment focuses on the most direct, serious threats to the United States in the upcoming year. (ANI)

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Manik Saha: Man Who Steered BJP To Power In Tripura Again

Manik Saha: Man Who Steered BJP To Power In Tripura Again

Manik Saha, a dentist-turned-politician who steered the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to come to power in Tripura for a consecutive term, is all set to become the Chief Minister of the northeast state for the second time.

Prior to becoming the Chief Minister, Saha was a Rajya Sabha MP and chief of the party in the state.

The change of guard took place last year when Saha replaced Biplab Kumar Deb to steer the party in the Assembly polls amid a multi-cornered contest in the northeast state.

Saha, a dental surgeon, joined the BJP in 2016 after quitting Congress. He was made party chief in 2020 and elected to Rajya Sabha in March 2022.

After BJP’s victory in the recently-held Tripura Assembly polls, Manik Saha will take oath as the Chief Minister of the northeast state for the second time on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP chief JP Nadda will attend the swearing-in ceremony tomorrow. The mega event will be held at Swami Vivekananda Maidan in Agartala.

Amit Shah and Nadda already arrived in Agartala on Tuesday. They were received at Maharaja Bir Bikram Airport by Manik Saha.

Chief Minister-designate Manik Saha on Monday called on Governor Satyadeo Narain Arya to stake claim to form the government in the Northeast state.

Earlier on Monday, there was a general meeting of all the newly elected BJP MLAs who unanimously proposed the name of Manik Saha for the leader of the legislature party.

“My sincere gratitude to all for electing me as the leader of the legislature party. Under the guidance of PM Narendra Modi ji, we shall work together to build ‘Unnata Tripura, Shrestha Tripura’ and ensure the welfare of all sections of people,” tweeted Saha after the meeting.

Manik Saha on Friday submitted his resignation to Governor Satyadev Narayan Arya at Raj Bhavan in Agartala. The Governor asked him to continue until the new government is sworn in.

Speaking to the media, Saha said Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also attend the event on March 8.

“Last time, the oath-taking ceremony took place at Assam Rifles Ground and this time it will take place at the Swami Vivekananda Maidan. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will remain present in the ceremony,” Saha told reporters.

He further said that BJP president JP Nadda will also visit the state to take part in the oath-taking ceremony. “Union Home Minister Amit Shah will also be there during the Oath taking ceremony along with various other leaders of the party,” he added.

He said several chief ministers of BJP-ruled states will also join the event.

BJP returned to power in the state by winning an absolute majority.

According to the Election Commission of India, BJP won 32 seats with a vote share of around 39 per cent. Tipra Motha Party came second by winning 13 seats. Communist Party of India (Marxist) got 11 seats while Congress bagged three seats. The Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) managed to open its account by winning one seat.

The CPI(M) and the Congress, arch rivals in Kerala, came together in the Northeast this time in a bid to oust the BJP from power. The combined vote share of CPI(M) and Congress remained around 33 per cent.

Chief Minister Saha defeated Congress’ Asish Kumar Saha from the Town Bordowali seat by a margin of 1,257 votes. In the 60-member Tripura assembly, the majority mark is 31.

The BJP, which had never won a single seat in Tripura before 2018, stormed to power in the last election in alliance with IPFT and had ousted the Left Front which had been in power in the border state for 35 years since 1978.

The BJP contested on 55 seats and its ally, IPFT, on six seats. But both allies had fielded candidates in the Ampinagar constituency in the Gomati district.

The Left contested 47 and Congress on 13 seats, respectively. Of the total 47 seats, the CPM contested 43 seats while the Forward Bloc, Communist Party of India (CPI) and Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) contested one seat each.

The CPI(M)-led Left Front ruled the state for nearly four decades, with a gap between 1988 and 1993 when the Congress was in power but now both parties joined hands with the intention to oust BJP from power. (ANI)

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Medical Seats Doubled In Last Few Years: Modi

Medical Seats Doubled In Last Few Years: Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said over 260 new medical colleges have been opened in the past few years, which doubled up the number of seats in graduate and postgraduate medical courses.

He made the remarks addressing a post-Budget webinar on the subject of ‘Health and Medical Research’.

This was the ninth of the series of 12 webinars being organised by the government. The objective behind hosting the webinars is to seek ideas and suggestions for the effective implementation of the initiatives announced in the Union Budget 2023.

During the webinar, PM Modi underlined the emphasis on the nursing field in this year’s Budget.

“Opening 157 nursing colleges in the vicinity of the medical colleges is a huge step in the direction of medical human resources. This may be useful in fulfilling global demand, not just the domestic need,” he added.

On India’s pharma sector during the Covid-19 pandemic, he said the trust it has gained the world over was unprecedented.

“The way India’s pharma sector has gained trust the world over during the Covid-19 pandemic was unprecedented. We have to capitalize on this”, the Prime Minister said.

Notably, India not only catered to its own population with life-saving vaccines but also supplied vaccines worldwide. Under Vaccine Maitri, India supplied vaccines to 100 countries and provided drugs to around 150 countries during the pandemic.

PM Modi also put a thrust on how his government is focused on using more technology in the health sector.

“We wish to provide timely healthcare to all citizens through digital health ID system. 10 crore teleconsultations have been made through government’s eSanjeevani telemedicine service,” PM Modi said.

Further, PM Modi also said one of the main focuses of the government is that people should get testing facilities and better primary health care near their homes.

“Critical health infrastructures are being set up in small cities and townships under PM Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission. Not only small cities are getting hospitals, ecosystem related to the health sector has also been developed,” he added. (ANI)

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Suppression Of Voice: Rahul On BBC Documentary

Suppression Of Voice: Rahul On BBC Documentary

Attacking the centre in an interaction arranged by the Indian Journalists Association in London, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi called the recent raids conducted at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) offices across India a “suppression of voice”, alleging that BJP under its “new Idea of India” wants India to be “silent”.While speaking at the event, Rahul Gandhi was asked about the controversy regarding the BBC documentary, and centre’s allegations of a “colonial hangover”, to which Rahul Gandhi replied, “It’s sort of similar to Mr Adani, it’s also a colonial hangover.”

Addressing the event, Rahul Gandhi said, “You know every place there is Opposition, there is an excuse. You asked why we did the yatra, what was the idea behind the yatra. The idea behind the yatra was an expression of voice. And there is suppression of voice across the country. Example is the BBC, but BBC is just one element of it.”
“You found out, well, the BBC has found out now, but it’s been going on in India for the last nine years, non-stop, everybody knows about that. Journalists are intimidated, they (are) attacked, they are threatened. And you know the journalists who toed the line of the government, are rewarded. So it’s a part of a pattern, and I wouldn’t expect anything different,” he added.

The Congress leader said that BJP wants India to be “silent” under the “new Idea of India”.

“If the BBC stops writing against the government, everything will go back to normal, all the cases will disappear, everything (will) go back to normal. So this is the new Idea of India. BJP wants India to be silent. They want it to be quiet, the Dalits, the lower castes, the Adivasis, the media they want silence, and they want silence because they want to be able to take what is India’s and give it to their close friends,” he said.

He further added, “So that’s basically the idea right, distract the population, and then hand over India’s wealth to two, three, four, five big people. I mean we have seen this, we have seen this before also, but that’s not something.”

Responding to audience’s question regarding the BBC issue, Rahul Gandhi said, “The point I was making about the BBC was that anybody who supports the Prime Minister blindly is supported, and anybody who raises question on the Prime Minister is attacked, and that’s what happened with the BBC.

On being asked about the allegations of “defaming India on foreign soil” Rahul Gandhi said, “There’s nothing defaming India in my Cambridge lecture.”

He said, “Last time I recall the Prime Minister going abroad, and announcing that there’s nothing done in 60 years of Independence, 70 years of Independence. I remember him saying that, you know there is a lost decade of 10 years, there’s unlimited corruption in India. I remember him saying this abroad. These were not things he said in India, these were things he said abroad.”

Rahul Gandhi accused BJP of “twisting” his statements, and the media of “playing it up”.

“So, I have never defamed my country, I am not interested in it and I will never do it. Of course, the BJP likes to twist what I say, and that’s fine, and the media likes to sort of play it up. I mean, it gives TRPs and all, but the fact of the matter is the person who defames India is the Prime Minister of India.”

He further added, “You haven’t heard his speech? where he said nothing happened in 70 years, insulting every single Indian parents, Indian grandparents. The independence is washed away, if that is not insult, then what’s an insult? Or saying you know there was a lost decade, nothing happened in India for the last 10 years. So what about all those people who worked in India, who built India in those 10 years? He’s doing on foreign soil.”

On being asked about how the narratives gets built up, the Congress leader alleged that it happens because there is Mr Adani behind the narrative.

“Of course, it does (narrative gets built), because there’s money behind the narrative, there’s Mr Adani behind the narrative, there’s billions of dollars behind the narrative. And there’s a transfer taking place, and then India’s wealth is given to Mr Adani, so that’s the exchange, it’s a transfer. We don’t accept the transfer, we don’t do it, hence no narrative,” he further said.

The I-T officials surveyed the UK-based broadcaster’s offices over a charge of ‘deliberate non-compliance with Indian laws’, including ‘transfer pricing rules and the diversion of profits illegally.’

The BBC had in January this year released the documentary film titled ‘India: The Modi Question,” which features the Gujarat riots of 2002. The film caused controversy for alluding to the leadership of Modi as chief minister during the riots while disregarding the clean chit given by the Supreme Court. (ANI)

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Jaishankar Doesn’t Understand China Threat: Rahul

Jaishankar Doesn’t Understand China Threat: Rahul

Attacking the NDA government at the Centre, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar “does not understand the China threat,” adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement that “nobody has entered Indian territory” is an invitation to the Chinese that they can do it again.

In a conversation with members of the Indian Journalists’ Association in London, the Wayanad MP also said that he supports Indian foreign policy and doesn’t have a huge disagreement with it with regard to India’s position on the Russia-Ukraine war.
“As far as Indian foreign policy is concerned, I support the Indian foreign policy and I am okay with it. I don’t have a huge disagreement with it,” he said when asked a hypothetical question that if China or Pakistan invaded India and since India hadn’t taken a position on the Russia-Ukraine war, it could also be ignored by the World if an invasion into India happened.

Gandhi said, “With regards to an invasion, we have already been invaded. We have got 2000 square km of our territory that is in the hands of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and the Prime Minister himself has stated that nobody has entered India, not a single inch of land has been taken and this destroyed our negotiation position because our negotiators are being asked what’s the fuss about.”

“Your Prime Minister says that no land has been taken. So that’s one aspect of it. The other aspect which I keep saying is India needs to be very, very careful with what the Chinese are doing at the border. The Chinese are acting in a hostile manner, in an aggressive manner and we need to be very very careful and I have been stating that again and again, I don’t think the penny has dropped in the government. I think there is a risk as you say,” added Gandhi.

Speaking about Congress’s China policy, Rahul Gandhi said that Congress’s policy was that they would not allow anyone to enter Indian territory.

“The Congress party’s policy on China is very clear, we do not accept anybody entering our territory and pushing us around and bullying us. It doesn’t matter who they are, that’s not acceptable to us and what has happened is that the Chinese entered our territory, killed our soldiers and the prime minister has denied it,” he said.

“That’s the problem. The idea, we have a relationship with the United States and we have a partnership with them and we have a shred democratic free idea. I think there is a coercive idea on a planet and there is a democratic idea on a planet and I think a democratic planet needs to be strengthened. But you will not strengthen the democratic idea unless you start to fundamentally think about things like production. The huge amount of inequality that is erupting in the West and India is a threat to the democratic idea. We have to think about that. We have to have a strategy for that and that’s not on the table,” he added.

When asked about how India should deal with military threats, the Congress leader said, “You have to deal with military threats militarily. But you have to understand the nature of the threat and you have to respond to the nature of the threat. I had one conversation with the Foreign Minister in my view he doesn’t understand the threat. The government is not understanding the actual threat from China. The Prime Minister stating that nobody has entered our territory demonstrates that he does not understand the threat because the message to China with that statement is you can do it again,” added Rahul Gandhi in an interaction at the Indian Journalists Association in London.

Earlier, hitting out at Rahul Gandhi who has been targeting the government over China’s aggression on the LAC in eastern Ladakh, Jaishankar said that it is not the Congress leader but Prime Minister Narendra Modi who sent the Army to the Line of Actual Control as a countermeasure to troop deployment by China and the opposition party should have honesty to look at what happened in 1962.

“When did that area actually come under Chinese control? They (Congress) must have some problem understanding words beginning with ‘C’. I think they are deliberately misrepresenting the situation. The Chinese first came there in 1958 and the Chinese captured it in October 1962. Now you are going to blame the Modi government in 2023 for a bridge which the Chinese captured in 1962 and you don’t have the honesty to say that it is where it happened,” said Dr Jaishankar in an interview to ANI.

“Rajiv Gandhi went to Beijing in 1988…signed agreements in 1993 and 1996. I do not think signing those agreements was wrong. This is not a political point I am making. I think those agreements were signed at that time because we needed to stabilise the border. And they did, stabilise the border,” said Jaishankar.

When asked that Rahul Gandhi thought S Jaishankar was insufficient. Jaishankar said that he was always open to listen. “I think he said this somewhere in a public meeting. It is probably in the context of China. All I can say in my defence is I have been the longest-serving ambassador in China. I have been dealing with a lot of these border issues for a very long time. I am not suggesting that I am necessarily the most knowledgeable person, but I would have a fairly good self-opinion of my understanding of what is up there. If he has superior knowledge and wisdom on China, I am always willing to listen. As I said, for me life is a learning process. If that is a possibility, I have never closed my mind to anything however improbable that may be,” said Jaishankar.

The External Affairs Minister stressed that when other countries’ demands are not reasonable, the government will not be able to come to an agreement.

Asked about the Congress party’s allegation that the Modi government is defensive and reactive on the China issue, Jaishankar dismissed the claims saying there is currently the largest peacetime deployment along the China border.

“If I would have to sum up this China thing, please do not buy this narrative that somewhere the government is on the defensive…somewhere we are being accommodative. I ask people if we were being accommodative who sent the Indian Army to the LAC (Line of Actual Control). Rahul Gandhi did not send them. Narendra Modi sent them. We have today the largest peacetime deployment in our history on the China border. We are keeping troops there at a huge cost with great effort. We have increased our infrastructure spending on the border five times in this government. Now tell me who is the defensive and accommodative person? Who is actually telling the truth? Who is depicting things accurately? Who is playing footsie with history?”,” added Jaishankar in an interview to ANI.

Asked about Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s remarks that S Jaishankar did not know much about foreign policy and needed to learn a little bit more, the External Affairs Minister took a veiled dig and said he is willing to listen to the Wayanad MP if he has “superior knowledge and wisdom” on China. (ANI)

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BJP Leader Slams AAP For Playing Victim Card

BJP Leader Slams AAP For Playing Victim Card

Bharatiya Janata Party leader Shehzad Poonawalla on Sunday alleged that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is playing the victim card in connection with Manish Sisodia’s arrest and asked if the court is mentally “harassing” the former Delhi Deputy Chief Minister by not granting him relief.

Taking a potshot at the AAP, Poonawalla alleged that the party has transformed from a party which rose from the ‘India against corruption’ movement to a party protecting and celebrating corruption.
“This is the complete transformation of a political party that started its journey as India against corruption. Today they are doing celebration and protection of corruption they are looking at the action against corruption as mental harassment. Is the court also harassing mentally Sisodia by not giving Sisodia or Satyendar Jain relief? They are playing the victim card to safeguard themselves from the allegations of corruption. The AAP should answer the questions related to the Excise policy case,” the BJP leader said while speaking to ANI.

“Those who are responsible for the harassment of the people of Delhi by indulging in such corruption today instead of answering the questions on Sharab Ghotala, on telling us why the Sharab Ghotala was done and how such favours were given, they play the constant victimhood guide people of Delhi have rejected this card,” he added.

The remarks of the BJP leader came after Arvind Kejriwal and eight other leaders from different political parties wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in connection with Sisodia’s arrest.

The leaders alleged that the timings of the lodging of cases or arrests of the Opposition leaders “coincided with elections” which makes it clear that the action taken was “politically motivated”.

“We hope you would agree that India is still a democratic country. The blatant misuse of central agencies against the members of the opposition appears to suggest that we have transitioned from being a democracy to an autocracy,” the leaders wrote.

Calling the action against Sisodia, who was arrested on February 26 by the CBI, a “long witch-hunt”, the letter alleged that the allegations levelled in connection with the excise policy are a “smack of a political conspiracy”.

They claimed that Sisodia’s arrest has “enraged” people across the country and alleged that his arrest will “confirm what the world was only suspecting” that India’s democratic values were “threatened” under the BJP rule.

“The allegations against Sisodia are outrightly baseless and smack of a political conspiracy. His arrest has enraged people across the country. Manish Sisodia is recognised globally for transforming Delhi’s school education. His arrest will be cited worldwide as an example of a political witch-hunt and further confirm what the world was only suspecting – that India’s democratic values stand threatened under an authoritarian BJP regime,” the leaders wrote.

Among the Opposition leaders who were the signatories of the letter included BRS chief K Chandrashekhar Rao, JKNC chief Farooq Abdullah, AITC chief Mamata Banerjee, NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Uddhav Thackeray, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav.

However, there were no representations from Congress, JDS, JD (U), and CPI (M) in the letter. (ANI)

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Migrant Labourers Attack: TN BJP Chief Booked For Inciting Violence

Migrant Labourers Attack: TN BJP Chief Booked For Inciting Violence

A day after Tamil Nadu Bharatiya Janata Party chief K Annamalai held the ruling DMK party responsible for the ongoing stir over alleged attacks on migrant labourers in the state, the police have booked him on charges of inciting violence and promoting enmity between groups.

The Cyber Crime Division have booked the BJP state unit chief under sections of inciting violence and promoting enmity between groups among others.
As per officials, a case is also registered against the BJP Bihar Twitter account holder over the incident.

Annamalai yesterday released a statement on the migrant labourers’ issue saying they are safe in Tamil Nadu but the Chief Minister Stalin led-Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) and its alliance party leaders are the reason for the hate against them.

He also opposed the spread of false news on the attack on the people from Bihar in the state, saying that Tamils don’t support “separatism” and “vile hatred” against north Indians.

“It is disheartening to see fake news spread in social media about attacks on Migrant workers in Tamil Nadu. We, the Tamil people, believe in the concept of “The World is One” and do not endorse the separatism and vile hatred against our North Indian friends,” Annamalai said in a series of tweets.

Hitting out at the state government, he said, “DMK’s MPs’ vile comments on North Indians, DMK minister calling them Panipuri Wala, and their alliance partners demanding their exodus has triggered what we see today.”

He further said that the people, the Government and the police, do not endorse the views of DMK and their alliance partners.

Besides, Annamalai, the Tamil Nadu police have also booked four persons including a BJP spokesperson Prashant Umrao and two journalists.

Prashant Umrao, an Editor with Dainik Bhaskar, a Patna-based journalist, owner of ‘Tanvir Post’ Twitter handle Mohammad Tanvir, and Shubam Shukla were booked at different police stations on the charges of spreading “false” news regarding attacks on migrant labourers in Tamil Nadu.

A statewide panic was created among migrant workers, working in Tamil Nadu, after several purported videos, showing attacks on migrant workers, circulated on social media.

The panic was triggered after Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday, raised concerns and took note of the purported videos of “attacks”.

The panic affected the industries in Tamil Nadu, which rely on migrant workers, badly as many workers stayed off work.

Taking cognizance of the panic, Tamil Nadu’s Director General of Police Sylendra Babu released a statement, saying that the video doing rounds of social media was “false” and “mischievous”.

“Somebody in Bihar posted false and mischievous videos saying that migrant workers were attacked in Tamil Nadu. Two videos were posted. Both are false as these incidents happened at an earlier date in Tiruppur and Coimbatore. One was a clash between two groups of migrant workers from Bihar while another was from a clash between two local residents in Coimbatore,” the top cop said.

The DGP also said that the persons behind this rumour-driven panic will not be spared. (ANI)

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Japan PM Kishida To Visit India For 3 Days From March 19

Japan PM Kishida To Visit India For 3 Days From March 19

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida plans to visit India later this month for talks with his counterpart Narendra Modi, a government source said on Friday, even as Tokyo holds the presidency of the Group of Seven nations this year, the Nikkei Asia reported.

Kishida’s trip to India, currently chair of the Group of 20 economies for 2023, would come weeks after his government did not send Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi to a meeting of the G-20 top diplomats, held for two days through Thursday in New Delhi.

Hayashi’s absence triggered a backlash that Japan’s decision not to dispatch the country’s foreign minister to the G-20 gathering could cast a shadow over relations between the two Asian nations.

Nikkei Asia reported that Kishida, who is likely to visit India for three days from March 19, has been eager to confirm with Modi that Tokyo and New Delhi, as this year’s G-7 and G-20 presidents, will work together more closely to tackle issues stemming from Russia’s war in Ukraine, the source said.

In tandem with other G-7 members, Japan has been bolstering economic sanctions on Russia. But India has abstained from implementing punitive measures against Russia.

India has also emerged as a key nation of the “Global South,” a term that collectively refers to developing countries in areas such as Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Nikkei Asia reported that Kishida has been keen to deepen ties with such countries to pave the way for the success of the G-7 in-person summit scheduled for May in Japan’s western city of Hiroshima, which was devastated by a U.S. atomic bomb in World War II, the source said.

During the envisioned meeting, Kishida is expected to invite Modi to participate in the G-7 summit, the source added.

Along with the G-7, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States, plus the European Union, the G-20 also includes Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea and Turkey. (ANI)

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