Tag: Narendra Modi

In his first-ever press conference, PM Modi directs all questions at Amit Shah









Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed his first press conference today but avoided answering any question. All questions asked during the press conference were instead answered by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah, who was seated next to him.

The press conference was organised at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi.

When the media asked questions to the prime minister, Amit Shah said he need not answer them.

Aaj Tak asked the prime minister in case Sadhvi Pragya wins the Lok Sabha election, will the BJP embrace her or show her the exit door. This was in response to the Prime Minister’s comment earlier in the day where he said he would personally never be able to forgive Sadhvi Pragya for her comments on Mahatma Gandhi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he follows discipline and for him party president is everything. The question was then answered by Amit Shah.

“The party has issued her a show-cause notice. When she submits her reply, the party’s disciplinary committee will then take an appropriate decision,” he said.

The media also asked other questions ranging from the election-time violence in West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee’s allegations of BJP attacking Trinamool Congress workers, Congress’s allegations on Rafale deal, among others. These questions too were answered by Amit Shah.

Meanwhile, addressing a live press conference at the same time, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said since PM Modi is now addressing a press conference, he must tell why he is not debating with him on the Rafale deal.



EC cuts poll campaign, Mamata calls it ‘unconstitutional, unethical gift’ to PM

Attacking the Election Commission of India for curtailing the campaigning for the last phase of polls in West Bengal, TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee Wednesday said it is an “unprecedented, unconstitutional and unethical gift” to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah by the poll panel.

Banerjee, also the chief minister, said she had never seen this type of EC which is “biased and full of RSS people”.

“There is no such law and order problem in West Bengal that Article 324 can be clamped. It is unprecedented, unconstitutional, unfair, unethical and politically biased decision” against which the state will move the Supreme Court, she said.

“Mr EC has given a gift to Narendra Modi and Amit Shah (by invoking Article 324) in West Bengal for vandalising the statue of Vidyasagar,” she claimed at a press conference held at her Kalighat residence.

Kolkata witnessed wide-spread violence during BJP president Amit Shah’s massive road show Tuesday. A bust of 19th century Bengali icon Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar was vandalised during the violence. No violence had taken place during any other rally of Modi or Shah in the state earlier, she said and asked, “So where is the lawlessness?”

“The ECI is taking all the decisions at the behest of the BJP. I have never seen this type of ECI ever. I think all the RSS people have been included in the ECI. The ECI is biased,” she alleged. In the first such action in India’s electoral history, the EC on Wednesday invoked Article 324 of the Constitution to curtail the campaigning for the last phase of the election on May 19 in the wake of violence between BJP and Trinamool Congress workers in Kolkata on Tuesday. It ordered that campaigning in nine seats will end at 10 pm on Thursday, a day before its scheduled deadline.

“I have never criticised any constitutional body but today the people of Bengal are under attack, the federal structure is under attack. The great son of this soil is under attack. There is a limit to humiliation and insult,” she said. The chief minister said she and the people of the state will fight this battle boldly.

“They can kill me or send me to jail but I am not afraid. I feel that the people of Bengal will give a suitable reply to you (Modi and Shah) through the ballot,” she said.

Banerjee also alleged that Shah was solely responsible for carrying out Tuesday’s violence in the city which was a “pre-planned criminal conspiracy”. “You (EC) have not taken any action against the culprits. There was no problem in any of the rallies other than that held by Amit Shah yesterday. Why was he (Shah) not showcaused? The EC is doing whatever the BJP is asking it to do,” the TMC chief said.

Questioning the timing of the curtailment of campaign, Banerjee said, “Why hasn’t the EC stopped campaigning from this moment? Is it because Modi has two rallies scheduled for tomorrow?” She said the state government will move the Supreme Court to challenge the decision of the EC. “Of course we will go to the Supreme Court after the elections. Now, the people are supreme and we will go to the people. They know everything,” she said.

The poll panel also ordered the removal of Principal Secretary (Home) Atri Bhattacharya and Additional Director General, CID, Rajiv Kumar from their postings in West Bengal. Banerjee said, “What wrong has the home secretary done? He has only written a letter asking the EC to take help of the local police. Law and order is a state subject.” Describing Rajiv Kumar as a good officer, she said, “Why are you (BJP) scared of Rajeev Kumar? You removed him because he is capturing hawala operators.

Both the officers were removed not by the EC, but by Modi and Shah.” Banerjee has been claiming in her poll rallies that the BJP brought crores of rupees through hawala to be distributed among the people to buy votes. She said till the sixth phase of the polling in West Bengal, only the central forces had opened fired and not the state police.

‘Power-drunk’ Mamata afraid of BJP’s rise in Bengal: Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday called Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee “power drunk” and accused her of “throttling democracy” after a fierce war of words broke out over the violence at an Amit Shah roadshow in Kolkata the day before.
He said “didi was afraid at the rise of BJP in Bengal”.

Both parties spent Wednesday trying to pin the blame on each other. BJP party chief Amit Shah first addressed a press conference after Mamata filed an FIR against him, saying he was not afraid and that her party ‘hooligans’ had attacked the BJP roadshow fist.

The Trinamool leader held a press conference next, slamming the BJP’s “strong-arm tactics” in videos they released where BJP cadres were allegedly vandalising Bengal Renaissance reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar’s bust.
Modi was campaigning for the last phase of Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal’s Basirhat. “Didi’s goons are carrying guns and bombs and are bent upon destruction,” Modi said.

Ascertaining the victory of BJP in 2019 Lok Sabha Elections, Modi said citizens of West Bengal were more confident of their votes now.

“People of Bengal have made up their minds to end the despotic rule of Mamata Banerjee,” PM Modi told the rally.

Sharpening his attack on the TMC chief, Modi also touched upon Didi’s meme controversy.

The Prime Minister threw a challenge at Banerjee, asking her to “make my meme and gift it to me”. He vowed that he would not file a complaint against her and would always cherish her gift.

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Sonia Gandhi invites TRS, TDP, YSRC for May 23 meet

In a move clearly aimed at strengthening opposition unity and to checkmate the Narendra Modi-led NDA, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi has written to all UPA allies and non-NDA parties namely the BJD, the YSR Congress, the TRS and the TD inviting them for a meeting on May 23 to discuss the future course of action.

The meeting, which has been called on the day when the Lok Sabha election results are to be announced, holds significance as sources point out that the message sent out by Ms Gandhi is that all UPA and non-NDA parties need to rally together after the verdict.

With the UPA chairperson personally writing to all UPA allies and non-NDA parties, the meeting could discuss the roadmap for the future political course of action, in case the final numbers are not in favour of the NDA.

While the UPA allies are on board, sources said that special efforts have been made to bring on board the non-NDA entities like the BJD, YSR Congress and the TRS for the proposed meeting.

When Mr Rao met M.K. Stalin in Chennai on Monday, the DMK chief reportedly explained his party’s firm stand against the BJP and suggested that instead the Talangana Chief Minister should support the UPA to form government at the Centre.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath is learnt to have personally spoken to his Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik, requesting him to attend the May 23 meeting. Both the leaders have known each other personally. Mr Modi’s recent meeting with Mr Patnaik after both of them conducted the aerial survey of the cyclone-affected regions of Odisha, had given a lot of grist to speculations regarding the BJP sending signals to the BJD in case there is a case of an alliance after the results. Ms Gandhi’s outreach to the Odisha Chief Minister therefore, holds a lot of significance.

Whether Mr Patnaik attends the May 23 meeting, along with YSR Congress’ Jagan Mohan Reddy and TRS chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao, would depend entirely on the poll results.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, TD supremo N. Chandrababu Naidu termed Congress president Rahul Gandhi a “good leader who has concerns for the nation” and asserted that unlike 1996, non-BJP parties won’t commit the mistake of keeping the Congress out if such an alliance forms a government at the Center.

Naidu not in PM race, but to decide PM

Telugu Desam Party president and Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu is not interested in becoming a king, but wants to become a king maker.

He made this clear, while speaking to media in Amaravati on Wednesday.

Reacting to the comment made by Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar that Naidu could become a better Prime Minister than Modi, the TDP chief said he had never aspired for the Prime Minister post nor was he interested in the big chair.

He, however, asserted that he would be part of the core team comprising the Congress and other regional parties to decide on the prime ministerial candidate after the announcement of results scheduled on May 23.

“Let us not speculate anything on the PM post, as the remaining three phases of general elections are yet to be completed. After the announcement of results, the Congress and other like-mined parties will sit together and we shall ecide on who the PM candidate will be,” he said.

Naidu came down heavily on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for ridiculing the opposition parties on their PM ambitions.

He was referring to Modi’s comments at a meeting in Uttar Pradesh that those who could not even get the leader of opposition status are now getting their clothes stitched for the Prime Minister post.

“This is a very cheap comment from a leader of Prime Minister’s stature to talk about clothes of opposition leaders. Such talk does not augur well for his position. He is in fact denigrating the image of the PM chair, which was occupied by respected leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru, Vajyapee and Manmohan Singh,” Naidu said.

Reminding the Rs 10 lakh suit of Modi, Naidu said: “Modi will wear a dress for breakfast, another for dinner and change the dress for every meeting. But, we in the Mahagathbandhan are not interested in such ostentatious dresses”.

For ‘mahamilavat’ national security may not be an issue but for me it is: PM in Bihar

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that his government is committed to uprooting terrorism from the country and ensured that it will soon take substantial steps to destroy the terror factories set up near the borders.

He also slammed the Opposition for allegedly stating that terrorism is not an issue in India.

“National security may not be an issue for those who do ‘mahamilavat’ but in new India, it is a big issue. In our neighbourhood, several terror factories are running. This is the new India, we will enter terror factories,” he said while addressing a rally in Bihar’s Darbhanga.

“They keep questioning that why Modi talks about terrorism. They believe that it is not an issue. You (audience) tell me — are nationalism and terrorism, not the issues? The Opposition does not have the understanding that you all have. More than 350 people were killed in a terror attack in Sri Lanka. Is that not an issue?,” the Prime Minister questioned.

In a veiled attack at CPI candidate Kanhaiya Kumar who is contesting from Bihar’s Begusarai, the Prime Minister stated that “some people have a problem with Bharat mata ki Jai and Vande Mataram. “Should such people lose their deposits or not? These are the same people who complain when I talk about Bharat.”

PM Modi further hit out at Opposition for questioning the outcome of Balakot air strike and for crying foul over EVM malfunction.

“After the third phase of Lok Sabha polls got over, people seeking evidence of India’s airstrike, have vanished. Now, they are abusing Modi and the EVMs. These people are cut off from the grass root level and which is why they are unable to sense the mood the country,” he said.

He also criticised the Congress for not fulfilling the promise it made to poor in 2004 and said, ” Congress has expertise in doing scams. In the year 2004, the Congress promised in its manifesto that by 2009, every house of India will have electricity. Did they succeeded in fulfilling that?,” he said in Darbhanga.

In his concluding statement, the Prime Minister urged the people to cast vote in favour of the NDA candidates saying, “Your one vote can eliminate the terrorism, please support Chowkidar this Lok Sabha elections. Your votes will go to Modi and Modi is the only one which can end terrorism.”

The voting for Lok Sabha in Darbhanga constituency will take place on April 29.The key candidates for this Lok Sabha seat are Gopal Jee Thakur of BJP and Abdul Bari Siddiqui of RJD. The counting of votes will take place on May 23.

Russia awards Narendra Modi its highest order, PM thanks Putin

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Russia has awarded Prime Minister Narendra Modi Order of St Andrew the Apostle, the highest order of the Russian Federation. PM Modi was awarded the order for “exceptional services in promoting special & privileged strategic partnership between” Russia and India, the Russian embassy in India said in a tweet.

PM Modi thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying he was “honoured to receive this prestigious award”. “Foundations of India-Russia friendship are deep & the future of our partnership is bright,” PM Modi said, adding, “President Putin remains a source of great strength for the India-Russia friendship. Under his visionary leadership, bilateral and multilateral cooperation between our nations has scaled new heights.”

BJP spreads hate, Cong will unite India: Rahul Gandhi at manifesto launch

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Congress President Rahul Gandhi, while unveiling the party’s election manifesto titled ‘Congress will Deliver’, said the document was truthful and reflected the voices of the people of India.

“When we started this process a year ago, I spoke to Mr Chidambaram and Mr Gowda. I told them this manifesto should not be made behind closed doors, it should reflect the wishes of the people of India. Whatever is in this manifesto is truthful, as I have been hearing a lot of lies these days from our prime minister.”

Sharpening its attack on the Narendra Modi-led government, Rahul said, “In last five years, the BJP government has spread hate and divisiveness. The Congress will work towards uniting India and bringing people together.”

Rahul Gandhi also challenged ”scared” Prime Minister (PM) to face him in a debate on issues such as corruption and national security.

Talking about national security, Gandhi said, “Congress will strive and make the country one. We will focus on strengthening national security.”

Amending the Congress’ traditional ‘MGNREGA’ promise, Rahul said, “The PM had spoken about MGNREGA. He mocked and said it was a bogus and useless scheme. Today, everyone knows how much it helped the country. We want to guarantee jobs for 150 days, instead of 100 days, under the new scheme.”

Read: ‘Hum Nibhayenge’: Congress releases manifesto for 2019 LS elections

Putting emphasis on farmers and education, Rahul said, “We have also decided to bring a separate farmer’s budget and 6% of the GDP will be contributed to education.”

The major highlight of ‘Congress will Deliver’ included the NYAY scheme where in the Congress proposes to give 20 per cent of the poor Rs 72,000 a year.

Rahul Gandhi also added that his committee had done a good job in chalking out the manifesto. “This is not a manifesto made in closed rooms. NYAY, jobs and farmers are our focal points. NYAY will help the economy. We will deliver money to the poorest people in the country.”

Rahul Gandhi also proposed that farmers’ inability to repay loans won’t be a criminal offence. “Under our government, defaulting on farm loans will no more be a criminal offence. For education, we will have 6 per cent budget. In healthcare, we will strengthen public hospitals.”

Harish Rao is looking up to BJP

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A popular English daily in Hyderabad came up with an exclusive story on Monday that senior Telangana Rashtra Samithi leader and Siddipet MLA T Harish Rao is looking up to joining the Bharatiya Janata Party.

According to the report, top BJP leadership has approached Harish Rao and held talks with him, promising him to make the chief ministerial candidate in the next elections.

The saffron party, which is looking for a strong leader to galvanise the cadres, could not find a better leader than Harish Rao.

On his part, Harish Rao, too wants a platform to display his strength.

He has realized that there is no future for him in the TRS as the entire power has been granted to TRS working president K T Rama Rao, son of party founder and chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.

Having been completely sidelined in the TRS without even being given a cabinet berth, Harish Rao is also considering the BJP offer.

However, he will wait till the Lok Sabha elections are over and if there is a possibility of Narendra Modi returning to power again, he will take a plunge into the BJP. Otherwise, he will have to wait for the right opportunity.

While the daily, at the end of the story, indicated that it was just an April Fools’ Day prank, analysts do not rule out such a possibility.

In fact, Harish had, indeed, made such an attempt in the past and KCR, who sensed it at the right time, called him and pulled him up. Since then, Harish Rao is lying low.

So, there is no surprise if Harish really does revolt against KCR and takes a plunge into the BJP in the coming days!

‘BJP govt showed courage for surgical strikes in all spheres,’ says Modi in UP

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed his first rally in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut and said the people have made up their mind for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Addressing the rally, PM Modi said, “5 years ago, when I sought your blessings, you gave me a lot of love. I had said that I will return the blessings and the love with interest, and I had also said that I will give account of the work that I have done.”

PM Modi paid tribute to Choudhary Charan Singh and said ‘chowkidar’ does no injustice.

Apna hisab doonga, saath-saath doosra ka hisab bhi lunga. Ye dono kaam saath-saath chalne waale hain.Tabhi to hoga hisab barabar.Aur aap to jaante hain main chowkidaar hu. Aur chowkidaar kabhi Na-Insaafi nahi karta hai. Hisab hoga,sabka hoga, aur baari-baari se hoga (You know that I am a Chowkidar and Chowkidar doesn’t let there be injustice. Everyone will be held accountable, one by one. In next few days, I will keep detail of what I did. But I will also ask that when people entrusted you with responsibility, why did you betray them.),” Modi added.

Praising BJP-led NDA government’s achievement, Modi said be it land, air or space his government has shown its mettle. “We showed the courage to carry out surgical strikes,” he said.

“The opposition is trying to be popular in Pakistan. Does the public want India’s hero or Pakistan’s,” Modi added referring to the row over the impact of India’s Balakot strike on February 26.

Talking about India’s achievement of ‘Mission Shakti’, PM said that for him, India is before anything else.

Taking a jibe at Opposition, he added that they ignored the achievement of missile test.

“Our scientists were demanding for testing of shooting down of satellite in space, their government (UPA) postponed this decision also. To make the India of 21st century strong and for its security, this decision should have been taken long ago. But it kept getting delayed,” he added.

“I spoke about ASAT (anti-satellite missile), some intelligent people thought I was talking about a theatre set,” he said, referring to Rahul Gandhi’s tweet sarcastically wishing him “Happy World Theatre Day.”

Attacking Congress, Modi said on one side there is a strong ‘chowkidar’ and on the other is a line of tainted people.

“The upcoming Lok Sabha elections will be fight between decisive government and indecisive past,” he added.

Modi will hold rallies in Uttarakhand’s Rudrapur and J&K’s Akhnoor later on Thursday.

All three states are scheduled to go for polls in phase-1 on April 11, 2019.

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