Archive for ‘PM Modi’

16/01/2019

Exclusive – Modi’s party wants expansionary economic policy ahead of India election

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling party is in favour of an expansionary economic policy and does not consider the government’s plan to keep the fiscal deficit to 3.3 percent of GDP as “sacrosanct”, a party spokesman told Reuters.

Ahead of a general election that must be held by May and after a string of losses in recent state polls, the government run by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has announced several stimulus measures for the countryside where millions of farmers are grappling with low crop prices. Other fiscal moves have been aimed at helping small businesses.

The measures are likely to be a drain on finances in Asia’s third-biggest economy, though the Modi administration is expected to get the Reserve Bank of India to agree to transfer an interim dividend of 300-400 billion rupees (£3.36 billion-£4.51 billion) to the government by March, Reuters reported last week quoting sources.

Weak consumer spending and the fragile farm sector have already been a drag on economic growth, creating a headache for Modi as he struggles to meet ambitious job creation targets.

India lost 11 million jobs last year, with around 83 percent in rural areas, according to independent think-tank the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, as operational costs surged for small businesses. Those costs were boosted by the launch of a national sales tax in 2017 and the economic impact of an earlier ban on high value currency notes.

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“There’s a demand, there’s a debate – all my colleagues are saying what’s the need of keeping the fiscal deficit in check when there is a distress in a particular sector,” said Gopal Krishna Agarwal, the economic affairs spokesman for the Hindu nationalist BJP, referring to the farm sector.

“Even think-tanks associated with us are talking in this sense. Very few people domestically are talking about fiscal prudence. Only foreign think-tanks are talking fiscal prudence, fiscal prudence. I strongly believe an expansionary policy can benefit the party,” he said in an interview on Tuesday night.

India’s 10-year benchmark bond yield IN071728G=CC rose 4 basis points to 7.53 percent after the news, its highest since Jan. 8 on worries about the fiscal deficit. The rupee INR=D4 also weakened to 71.23 to the dollar from its previous close of 71.03.

Agarwal, a chartered accountant who is a director at state-run Bank of Baroda (BOB.NS) and a member of a government committee on small and medium-sized businesses, said Modi was aware of his party colleagues’ thinking but that no final decision had been taken.

D.S. Malik, a spokesman for the Ministry of Finance, did not respond to calls and emails seeking comment. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who is in the United States for a medical check-up, said in a Facebook post on Tuesday that India’s “fiscal discipline during the past five years has been amongst the best as compared to any preceding period”.

NEED TO REACH LANDLESS

Agarwal said the government understands that farmers are in distress and that directly transferring money to their bank accounts was an option to help them out. He said the government was, however, trying to figure out how to distribute funds to landless tillers to make sure any such transfer programme was effective and didn’t just benefit those with land.

The government is studying a programme launched by the eastern state of Odisha under which farmers with landholdings of up to 5 acres would get cash assistance to buy seeds, pesticides, fertilisers and pay for labour. Sharecroppers, who cultivate rented land will also get the benefits, which include life insurance coverage.

Agarwal said Modi and many financial institutions were not in favour of waiving farm loans, as done by states recently won by the main opposition Congress party, because doing so mainly helps banks and not so much farmers in duress.

“There’s definitely a suggestion to give interest-free loans to farmers. Banks won’t have to pay, it has to be incorporated into the budget,” he said.

“And what’s the so sacrosanct issue about keeping the fiscal deficit at less than 3.5 percent? If you don’t adopt an expansionary economic policy, then the government alone can’t create demand by just spending on infrastructure. It has to come from both public and the private sector. The economy will grow only when demand will be created.”

He said increasing the income tax exemption limit for individuals was also being considered for the interim budget to be presented on Feb. 1 by Jaitley.

William Foster, vice president at Moody’s Investors Service, said that it expects the country’s fiscal deficit to slip to 3.4 of GDP this fiscal year ending March 31 due to revenue shortfalls from goods and services tax, lower excise duty and below-target receipts from sale of government assets.

“Increased expenditure on income transfers, farm loan waivers or other forms of subsidies would weigh further on government finances,” Foster told Reuters.

Reporting by Krishna N. Das and Aftab Ahmed; Additional reporting by Suvashree Dey Choudhury; Edited by Martin Howell

Source: Reuters

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15/01/2019

Past governments ruled India like Sultans, says Modi in Odisha

He also attacked the state government under Naveen Patnaik and said the benefits meant for the people should reach them on time and must not be used as an election tool.

IANS | Bhubaneswar | 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday attacked previous governments at the Centre for ruling the country like their “Sultanates”, neglecting its rich heritage.

“Past governments ruled like Sultans and neglected our rich heritage. They ignored our glorious civilisation and failed to pay attention to their preservation,” said Modi while addressing a public meeting in Balangir town in Odisha.

“This criminal error will always stick to the parties, who the country gave the opportunity to run governments for decades. Surprisingly, they have not taken lessons from this,” he added.

He also attacked the state government under Naveen Patnaik and said the benefits meant for the people should reach them on time and must not be used as an election tool.

This was Modi’s third visit to the state in the past three weeks and showed the importance that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was attaching to the state ahead of the general and assembly elections.

The Prime Minister said his government was committed to conserving and preserving the country’s rich cultural heritage.

He said his government has been constantly making efforts to bring back the idols stolen from the temples in India.

He also attacked the parties for opposing the International Yoga Day and the construction of the Statue of Unity.

“Some parties were against organising the International Yoga Day. These are the people who did not promote yoga. These people neither understand India nor tourism,” he added.

“They raised questions on erecting the statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. But, after becoming the world’s tallest statue, it has generated jobs for people residing around the structure.

“They were also against changing the names of islands in Andaman and Nicobar islands,” said Modi.

He said the central government has cancelled around six crore fake ration cards, gas connections, scholarships with wrong names, grabbing pension under wrong names over the last four years.

“We plugged these leakages, saving crores of rupees. All ration cards have been digitised and around 80 per cent of them have been linked with Aadhaar,” said the Prime Minister.

“The middlemen used to loot the money meant for poor. We have stopped this. We ensured everyone gets what they deserve,” he added.

The Prime Minister said there are people who are angry because he has put a stop to their loot and corruption.

Highlighting the developmental works being carried out by the Centre in the state, he attacked the Odisha government for failing to utilise the District Mineral Foundation (DMF) fund in the mineral bearing areas.

“Odisha has Rs 4,000 crore in its DMF Fund which has remained unutilised so far. What has happened to the government? It is in deep slumber. The government of Odisha should ensure that the benefits reach the tribal people.

“Do not wait for the elections. Ease the problems of people, elections will keep coming,” said Modi.

He said the central government has allocated over Rs 20,000 crore for the development of Railways in Odisha in the last four years alone, which is five times more than the allocation by the previous government.

In a month, development projects worth more than Rs 20,000 crore have been either inaugurated or initiated in Odisha, said Modi.

12/01/2019

Rivals unite in Indian state in bid to beat Modi in elections

NEW DELHI/MUMBAI (Reuters) – Two political rivals in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh will form an alliance in a bid to defeat Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in national election scheduled for May, leaders of the parties said.

The Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), both of whom command large support bases among Uttar Pradesh state’s working class and are led by former chief ministers, will contest the election as a team, they said.

Uttar Pradesh is India’s most populous state and accounts for about a sixth of all members of the parliament, the highest by a single state. Barring a couple of exceptions in the 1990s, the party winning the most number of seats there has helped form the federal government.

Out of the 80 seats in the state, SP and BSP will nominate candidates for 38 seats each, BSP chief Mayawati Das said at a joint press conference with SP chief Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday.

They will not contest the other four seats, which include two that have historically been held by the country’s main opposition party, Congress.

Congress, which ruled India for nearly four decades since its independence from Britain in 1947, has also been working to build a “grand alliance” with other parties ahead of the polls.

Mayawati, however, said Congress would not be a part of the BSP-SP alliance in Uttar Pradesh. “We can surely stop the BJP from coming to power with this alliance with SP,” she said.

On Friday, Yadav had told news channel NDTV: “We can give Congress two seats they have always held”, referring to the constituencies from where Congress President Rahul Gandhi and his mother Sonia Gandhi have contested in the past.

Mamata Banerjee, head of Trinamool Congress party and chief minister of eastern India’s West Bengal state who has been pushing to create a mega alliance of regional parties to defeat the BJP, welcomed the announcement in a tweet.

“I welcome the alliance of the SP and the BSP for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections,” Banerjee tweeted.

Akhilesh Yadav, Chief Minister of the northern state of Uttar Pradesh and Samajwadi Party (SP) President, addresses a news conference before resigning from his post in Lucknow, India, March 11, 2017. REUTERS/Pawan Kumar

“Let us cherish the ‘idea of India’ for which our freedom fighters laid down their lives. Our people and our great institutions must strive to remain “independent”, in the true sense of the word.”

OPPOSITION GETS A FILLIP

Opposition parties across the country received a fillip last month, when India’s ruling party lost power in three states and dealt Modi his biggest defeat since he took office in 2014.

The BJP, SP and BSP contested against each other during the state elections in March 2017, which the BJP comfortably won, but political analysts say a BSP-SP alliance could affect the ruling party’s prospects.

The BJP had a 40 percent vote share in the state polls, the BSP and SP put together accounted for 44 percent. To be sure, voting patterns could be different when the world’s largest democracy goes to polls.

The BJP, however, is confident of winning elections in Uttar Pradesh. “We will win 74 out of the 80 seats in Uttar Pradesh,” president Amit Shah said in a televised address on Friday.

Despite the strategic significance and having been ruled by different parties since independence, Uttar Pradesh remains one of India’s most backward states.

It is notorious for its crime rate and unlicensed gun use, has below-average literacy levels, an abysmally low human development index and worrying levels of population growth.

07/01/2019

Centre clears 10 per cent reservation for economically weaker sections

The Narendra Modi government is ready with a bill to introduce 10 per cent reservation for economically backward sections. The constitution amendment bill will be introduced in parliament tomorrow, the last day of the Winter Session.

Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Upper caste reservation,PM Narendra Modi
Modi government has cleared 10 per cent reservation for economically weaker upper castes (Photo | Hindustan Times )

The government has cleared a 10 per cent quota in jobs and educational institutions for the economically weaker sections, sources told Hindustan Times after a Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The government is ready with a Constitution amendment bill which will be introduced in parliament tomorrow, the last day of the Winter Session.

The decision comes months before the government’s tenure is to end in a few months and the country is headed into election mode.

The bill seeks to amend two constitutional provisions, Articles 15 and 16, which prohibit discrimination on any grounds in jobs and admissions to educational institutions.

People who have an annual income less than 8 lakh, own less than 5 acre farm land, have house smaller than 1,000 sq feet in a town or a 100 sq yard house in notified municipal area would qualify for the proposed quotas.

The move, a BJP leader hinted, would come in handy to deal with reservation demands from communities that had been demanding that they be counted as other backward classes, or OBCs that have 27 per cent quota for government jobs and admission to educational institutions.

It would also help the national coalition led by the BJP to consolidate its the upper caste vote, considered one of the three crucial pillars of the BJP’s support base. The other backward classes (OBC), and the new Dalit sub-castes who shifted loyalties, are considered the other two pillars.

Already, the BJP, which had gone to great lengths to neutralise the dilution of the SC/ST atrocities law last year, had ended up antagonising the upper castes far beyond what it had anticipated. In the recent assembly elections where it lost three states to the Congress, there had been anecdotal evidence that the upper castes had, in some cases, shifted.

Dalit leader and junior social justice minister Ramdas Athawale had earlier supposed reservation for upper castes, arguing that since quotas could not be ended, parliament should give 25 per cent reservation to the upper castes.

“I welcome wholeheartedly reservation given to economically… Now the ceiling will be raised from 50 to 60 per cent… Parliament is very much empowered to raise this ceiling,” BJP MP and Udit Raj said.

06/01/2019

‘Focus on son’s rise will lead to state’s sunset’: Modi’s jibe at Andhra CM

PM Modi was addressing an interaction via video conferencing with BJP’s booth workers in Andhra Pradesh.

INDIA Updated: Jan 06, 2019 14:01 IST

HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
PM Modi,Modi in andhra
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that the Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu was so fixated with the rise of his own son that he is creating an atmosphere for the sunset of the state.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that the Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu was so fixated with the rise of his own son that he is creating an atmosphere for the sunset of the state.

“The chief minister is so fixated with the rise of his own son, he does not realise how his policies and corruption can lead to sunset of the state. To set the son, he’s creating atmosphere for the sunset of the state. His only priority is his own son. He has forgotten about the other sons and daughters of Andhra Pradesh,” Modi said.

Modi was addressing an interaction via video conferencing with BJP’s booth workers in Andhra Pradesh.

In his attack on the Andhra Pradesh chief minister, Modi invoked former Andhra Pradesh chief minister NT Rama Rao and referred to him as the true icon of Telugu pride.

At the same time, he said that this is not the first time that people in power in Andhra Pradesh are cheating people. “Those who have cheated NTR not once, but twice, what do you expect of them?” he said.

“Today those in power in Andhra Pradesh are so desperate to save their power that they betrayed Telugu interests and stabbed NTR in the back, for the second time,” he said, adding, “NTR never forgave Congress for hurting Telugu Pride and its betrayal of Telugu interests.”

“True tribute to NTR and what NTR stood for would be to vote out those who betrayed NTR’s values. Salute NTR’s memories and stand NTR’s legacy,” Modi said.

In a veiled criticism of the Andhra chief minister’s governance, Modi said, “Today I ask you, how is Telugu pride served by one family’s hold on power in AP? How is Telugu pride served by neglecting people and sacrificing their interests for power? How is Telugu pride served by lying and abusing Modi day and night just because you are worried you will lose power. How is Telugu pride served by daydreaming about becoming prime minister when you have failed as a CM.”

“Telugu pride can only be restored when you have respect for all the people of the state just like NTR did. Telugu pride can only be restored when you can speak for all the OBCs, the dalits, and tribals of Andhra Pradesh.

It can only be restored when you put the interests of AP above your own political interests and lust for power,” Modi said.

Modi invoked NTR once again and said that the former chief minister’s “dream of a Swarna Andhra Pradesh will be realized when every citizen of Andhra Pradesh enjoys the fruits of development and not just one family. Swarna Andhra Pradesh will be scripted by the youth power, of all Telugus.”

Source: Hindustan Toimes

05/01/2019

‘Could give Rs 1 lakh crore farm loan waiver, but…’: PM Modi hits out at Congress

Speaking at a public rally in Jharkhand, PM Narendra Modi said loan waiver to farmers would have been an easier choice for the government if it only wanted their votes.

INDIA Updated: Jan 05, 2019 16:51 IST

HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustant Times, Palamu, Jharkhand
Narendra Modi,Modi in Jharkhand,Jharkhand
Ramnagar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses during the Vijay Sankalp Samaroh at Ramnagar, in Silchar, Friday, Jan 4, 2019. (PTI Photo) (PTI1_4_2019_000203A)(PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a scathing attack on the Congress over its loan waiver promises in the recent state elections, accusing the party of misleading farmers.

“Farmers are a vote bank for the Congress but for us, farmers are our food providers. This is the difference between the Congress and the BJP,” the prime minister said.

Modi said that after being voted to power in 2014, the government has focused on reviving irrigation projects. “We launched the Prime Minister Irrigation Scheme. We revived 99 irrigation projects that were pending for 30-40 years…We are spending about Rs 90,000 crore on these projects.”

Also watch: PM Modi says Congress’ farm loan waiver not effective, farmers must be empowered

“Had I only wanted the votes of farmers, I could have also doled out Rs 1 lakh crore as loan waiver. It would have been easier. But we did not go for that…We are trying to change the old system,” he said.

PM Modi did not explicitly refer to the Congress’s loan waiver promises in the recent assembly elections in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. But the criticism of the Congress’s loan waiver promises, in these three states and elsewhere, has been a running theme in the prime minister’s speeches over the last few weeks.

The Congress, which snatched the three Hindi heartland states from the BJP in the state elections, says it has started delivering on its promise for a waiver of farm loans up to Rs 2 lakh. PM Modi has, in his recent speeches, made pointed references to the Congress’s track record on farm waivers and asserted that it wasn’t the farmers really, who benefited.

Speaking in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghazipur on December 29, PM Modi said, “They promised ‘loan lollipop’ to lakhs of farmers but waived off loans of merely a handful of them…Under the new (Congress) governments in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, we can already see long queues of farmers seeking fertilizers and urea. They were also lathicharged. Those who do black marketing have come into play.”

Referring to Karnataka, PM Modi said, “While they managed to form the government through backdoor, they actually waived off loans of merely 800 farmers.”

In Jharkhand’s Palamu where PM Modi laid foundation stones for some projects, PM Modi pointed how no government in the past had bothered to start construction of the Uttar Koel dam that he said, could change the lives of the farmers in the region.

01/01/2019

India ruling party confident of doing well in general election – Modi

(Reuters) – India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is confident of doing well at this year’s general election despite the party’s recent losses in state polls, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in an interview with Reuters partner ANI on Tuesday.

“No reason for morale down. We are confident and are moving ahead. In 2019, if there is one party which the country trusts and is connected with the people, it is the BJP,” Modi said.

India’s ruling party lost power in three key states in December, handing Modi his biggest defeat since he took office in 2014 and boosting the Congress party opposition and its allies ahead of national polls due by May.

Modi said it was more important to focus on his government’s achievements, including the introduction in September of a new healthcare scheme for the poor.

“In such big numbers people suffering, today they have got treatment, how can I consider this a failure. It is my biggest achievement,” Modi said.

He said party has been discussing what it lacked at the state elections but winning or losing was not the only yardstick. The Hindu nationalist BJP was willing to work with regional parties in the run-up to the general election, he said.

“Our effort is to take everyone along, and listen to everyone. I am committed to give importance to regional aspirations. The country cannot be run by ignoring regional aspirations.”

FARMER RELIEF

Modi said farm loan waivers should be “definitely done” if it helps but that was not a long-term solution to the problem of farmer distress.

“What is lacking in our system, that farmer becomes debt-ridden and the governments have to repeat vicious cycle of elections and loan waivers. So solution is to empower the farmers. From seed to market, give all facilities to the farmers,” he said.

Farmers’ anger about low crop prices and their sense that the government has done far too little to address them contributed to the state election defeats.

The government is now considering three options for a relief package to help farmers suffering because of low crop prices at a cost of as much as 3 trillion rupees ($43.20 billion), three government sources told Reuters last week.

PATEL RESIGNATION

Former Reserve Bank of India governor Urjit Patel had personally written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about wanting to resign, citing personal reasons, several months before stepping down from the office in December, Modi said.

“The governor himself requested (to resign) because of personal reasons. I am revealing for the first time, he was telling me about this for the past 6-7 months before his resignation. He gave it even in writing. He wrote to me personally”.

Patel resigned after a months-long tussle over policy with the government that raised concerns about the bank’s independence as the next general election nears.

When asked if there was any political pressure on the governor to resign, Modi denied that was the case.

“No such question arises. I acknowledge that Patel did a good job as RBI Governor.”

01/01/2019

Surgical strikes was a ‘big risk’ but was more concerned about soldiers’ safety: PM Modi

This was the message of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Indian Army Special Forces’ commandos who went across the Line of Control (LoC) on September 28, 2016 to carry out surgical strikes at terrorist camps in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir.

INDIA Updated: Jan 01, 2019 17:24 IST

Surgical strikes,Prime Minister Narendra Modi interview,India news
Prime Minister Narendra Modi(PTI file photo)

“Come back before sunrise, irrespective of the success or failure of the mission”.

This was the message of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Indian Army Special Forces’ commandos who went across the Line of Control (LoC) on September 28, 2016 to carry out surgical strikes at terrorist camps in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir.

Modi, while revealing details of the military action for the first time, told ANI in an interview that the date of the attack was changed twice, keeping in mind the safety and security of the troops.

The strikes were carried out days after terrorists attacked an Army camp in Uri in Kashmir, killing 20 soldiers.

The Prime Minister said the surgical strikes were planned as there was a “rage” building up within him as well as the Army after soldiers were burnt alive in the terror attack in Uri.

“I gave clear orders that whether you get success or failure, don’t think about that but come back before sunrise. Don’t fall for the lure and prolong it (the operation),” he said, turning a bit emotional while discussing that operation.

Emphasising that he was determined to see that none of the soldiers died in the operation, he said he had told them that they must return before sunrise even if they fail.

The Prime Minister revealed that he was keeping tab of the risky operation throughout the night and was getting live information.

“I knew it was a big risk. I never care about any political risk to me. The biggest consideration for me was the safety of our soldiers,” he said.

He said he didn’t want any harm to come to the commandos who were “willing to sacrifice their lives on our word.”

The Prime Minister disclosed that the commandos for the operation were chosen carefully and then imparted special training. Whatever equipment was required, it was arranged for them, he said.

He said he was “anxious” throughout the time the soldiers were on the other side of the LoC and the moments became “extremely difficult” when the information flow stopped for about an hour in the morning.

“In the morning, information flow stopped, for an hour. My anxiety increased. Even one hour after sunrise. That time was extremely difficult for me… Then came the information that they have not reached back yet but two-three units have reached the safe zone, so don’t worry. But I said I won’t be fine till the last man returns,” Modi said.

On politicisation of the surgical strikes, the Prime Minister said it was not done by the government but by opposition parties, which “raised questions” over the military action and cited the Pakistani version to “lend weight to their doubts”.

The Prime Minister said that even before the country was informed about the strikes, Pakistan was told about it.

“An Army officer apprised the nation (India) of the operation. That information was given to Pakistan as well… But it is unfortunate for the country that the same day (of the surgical strike), leaders of some parties raised doubts over the surgical strikes,” Modi said.

“It was necessary for Pakistan to speak like this (to deny), to keep their morale intact. But what Pakistan was saying, was being said here too. To lend weight to their views, they were citing Pakistani version. Politicisation started from that point,” he added.

Delhi CM and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal in a series of tweets post surgical strikes raised doubts over the veracity of the Government’s claims. Kejriwal said that Pakistan had invited foreign journalists to view their side of the border to ascertain claims of a surgical strike. “BJP I believe you. But international media publishing Pak propaganda that no strike took place. Lets expose Pak propaganda,” tweeted Arvind Kejriwal on October 4th, 2016.

PM Modi added that the opposition leaders were speaking “rubbish” and “those who raised doubts over the Army action, were wrong and such politicisation should not have happened”.

Modi said lauding the valour of soldiers from all operations including the 1962 war with China was the duty of the government and citizens.

“If we don’t hail the valour of those who stake their lives for the country, then who will? So praising the Army should not be considered as politicisation,” he said.

The Prime Minister was asked whether the objectives of the surgical strikes were met, considering that cross-LoC attacks still continue in Kashmir.

In response, he said he would not like to discuss the issue in open domain.

But then he went on to add, “Ek ladai se Pakistan sudhar jayega, yeh sochne mein bahut badi galti hogi. Pakistan ko sudarne mein abhi aur samay lagega (It will be a big mistake to think that Pakistan will start behaving after one fight. It will take a long time for Pakistan to start behaving).

Talking about the Uri attack, Modi said, “That incident made me restless and there was rage within me. I had gone to Kerala and made a mention of this. Because I could not stop myself.

Modi said that while talking to the Army, he realised that they wanted justice for their martyred soldiers and the government gave them the “free hand” to plan and execute the surgical strikes.

Special training was imparted to the commandos and secrecy was maintained.

“The topography and obstacles were kept in consideration… It was a learning experience for me as well,” Modi said.

In September 2016, terrorists of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed entered the Army camp in Uri near the Line of Control and killed 20 soldiers in the attack.

In retaliation, the Indian Army troops including the commandos from various units of the Para (Special Forces) units deployed in Jammu and Kashmir carried out raids across the border on multiple targets.

All these targets were launch pads for terrorists for infiltrating into Jammu and Kashmir for carrying out attacks against military and civilian targets.

Though the security forces are not sure about the exact number of casualties on the Pakistan side but based on post-operation intercepts and movements, it is believed that it had suffered around 50 casualties including its regular Army soldiers who were deployed for protecting the terror camps.

From the Indian side, only one soldier had suffered injury due to a personnel mine explosion while returning from the operation.

RAM TEMPLE

PM Modi suggested that the judicial process was being slowed down because Congress lawyers were creating “obstacles” in the Supreme Court.

“We have said in our BJP manifesto that a solution would be found to this issue under the ambit of the Constitution,” the Prime Minister said about the Ram temple matter when asked whether the Ram Mandir issue had been relegated as merely an emotive issue for the BJP.

The BJP, as articulated in its manifesto, wants building of a majestic Ram temple in Ayodhya. Recently, there has been a renewed pitch within the party as well as by its sister organisations in the Sangh Parivar for expediting the process of construction of the temple.

The Sangh Parivar organisations have expressed unhappiness over the delay in resolving the matter and there are demands for promulgating an Ordinance, similar to the one issued on Triple Talaq, to facilitate construction of a temple.

The demand for Ordinance has been articulated even by BJP’s ally the Shiv Sena.

Asked whether the government could consider issuing an Ordinance on Ram temple, the Prime Minister pointed out that the matter is before the Supreme Court and possibly in the final stages.

“Let the judicial process be over. After the judicial process is over, whatever will be our responsibility as the government, we are ready to make all efforts,” he added.

The matter is slated to be heard by the Supreme Court on January 4.

30/12/2018

Mann Ki Baat: Modi highlights achievements of 2018

The PM said Swacchh Bharat mission is a success adding that more than 3 lakh people gathered to participate in a cleanliness drive.

SNS Web | New Delhi | 

Delivering his last Mann Ki Baat of 2018 on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the achievements of his government in 2018 will fill everyone with glory.

He expressed hope that the journey towards the path of development will continue into 2019 as well.

It was the 51st edition of his monthly address.

Modi highlighted the achievements of the year in various sectors like economy, social sector, and sports among others saying it could happen because of the collective efforts of the people.

“Whether it is one’s own life or the life of the nation, we are advised to look back, and look ahead too… so that we can learn lessons from our mistakes and get the confidence to move ahead. You all must be thinking how do we remember 2018? The year 2018 would fill everyone with glory,” said Modi.

Talking about the accomplishments of his government in 2018, he said, “Year 2018 saw launching of world’s biggest health insurance scheme ‘Ayushman Bharat’; in honour of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, India witnessed the unveiling of the tallest statue in the world, ‘Statue of Unity’; electricity reached each and every village of the country; the ease of doing business in India improved notably; on the 75th anniversary of Azad Hind government, a tricolour was unfurled at Delhi’s Red Fort for the first time, and the highest United Nations Environment Award ‘Champions of the Earth’ was conferred upon India.”

The PM said Swacchh Bharat mission is a success adding that more than 3 lakh people gathered to participate in a cleanliness drive.

He also praised the achievements of Indian sportspersons, especially in Asian Games and Para Asian Games where India won many medals. He also mentioned the Indian cricket team and its outstanding performances in the recent games.

He spoke about the opening of India’s first multi-modal terminal on the Ganga river in Varanasi and Sikkim’s first airport.

“I hope this trail of success will continue in 2019 also,” he said.

He also wished the people for a host of upcoming festivals in the month of January, such as Makar Sakranti, Pongal, and Lohri.

(With agency inputs)

29/12/2018

PM Modi accuses Congress of making hollow promises to farmers

Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused the Congress governments in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Karnataka of making hollow promises to the people before elections for political gains.

SNS Web | New Delhi | 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi accused the Congress governments in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Karnataka of making hollow promises to the people before elections for political gains.

In a public meeting in Ghazipur in eastern Uttar Pradesh, the PM said that the alliance government in Karnataka led by Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) had promised to waive off loans of lakhs of farmers but has only done so for 800.

“They gave the lollipop of a farm loan waiver, votes were stolen but so far only… the loans of 800 farmers have been waived off,” Modi said while exhorting people to understand “such games”.

“Long queues for urea, fertilizers can be seen in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Black-marketeers are now back on the field,” the PM said hitting out at the Congress governments in the two states.

He also said that the Congress, when it was in the Centre, had similarly made false promises.

“Congress had promised waiver of Rs 6 lakh crore loans of farmers. The waiver was of just Rs 60 thousand crore. And the CAG report revealed that of the persons whose ‘loans’ were waived, 35 lakh people were not farmers, they had no loans and neither were they eligible for waivers,” the PM said.

Asking the gathering to be wary of Congress’ promises, the PM said that the grand old party was trying to fool the people with such announcements.

“These people are trying to lure you by short-term benefit announcements and promises but all this will not help,” he said, adding, “Announcements made for instant benefits won’t be successful in the long run.”

Modi, who was in Ghazipur to lay the foundation stone of a medical college, said that people of the region will immensely benefit from the medical college.

“The medical college will not only provide Ghazipur with advanced medical facilities but also produce new and meritorious doctors,” he said, adding, “When this college is ready, the district hospital in Ghazipur will become a 300-bed facility.”

At the event, the PM also released a commemorative postal stamp in honour of Maharaja Suheldev in the presence of Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.

Praising the 11th century ruler semi-legendary king, the PM said that Maharaj Suheldev is among those bravehearts who struggled for the honour of India.

“Remembering Maharaja Suheldev, from whom every deprived and oppressed draws inspiration, strengthens the ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ mantra,” he said underlining the political significance of the king in today’s times.

The PM said that unlike the previous governments, his government is showing respect to every brave son and daughter of the country.

Ironically, the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party (SBSP), an NDA ally, decided to stay away from all the events attended by the PM Saturday.

The SBSP, which has four legislators in the 403-member state assembly, announced that it will “boycott” Prime Minister’s programmes. The party claims that the name of its chief, state Minister for Backward Classes Welfare Om Prakash Rajbhar, has been “deliberately omitted from the invitation card”.

Rajbhar has been a bitter critic of the BJP government in the state and the Centre over a host of issues.

SBSP was not the only ally to boycott the PM’s events. The powerful Apna Dal, too, stayed away to protest the “arrogant attitude” of the BJP leaders in the state.

Ashish Patel, the state unit chief of Apna Dal, charged the BJP leaders of “insulting leaders and the weaker sections of the society”.

He also announced that till the matter between the two allies was not settled, Apna Dal will not attend any government programmes and demanded Modi’s intervention in sorting out the matter.

The Apna Dal has two Lok Sabha MPs, including MoS Health and Family Welfare Anupriya Patel, and 9 seats in the UP Assembly.

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