Narendra Modi News

Couple In Their 70s Offer To Adopt PM Modi After His 'Adopted Son' Remark Stirs Trouble

If there's a lesson in choosing your words well, especially while speaking to the electorate in India, let it be this one.

Days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared himself an "adopted son" of Uttar Pradesh (UP) at a rally to campaign for the assembly polls, he has been served a notice by the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, according to a report in The Telegraph.

Nahid Lari Khan, a member of the commission, currently run by the Samajwadi Party (SP) government in UP, informed the newspaper that she has filed an affidavit on 17 February, a day after Modi made the remark about his parentage.

Speaking in Hardoi on 16 February, Modi was riding high on emotions as he pointed out that 1,350 villages in the state have been electrified since he became PM in 2014. Modi, who had won a Lok Sabha seat from Varanasi, has stakes in UP, the country's most populous state, both as an individual as well as the leader of the party. A win in UP will also be seen as an endorsement of demonetisation, a bold move to scrap higher currency notes overnight, that has faced intense criticism and caused untold hardships to people, especially those dependent on industries that run mainly on cash.

While his self-description was a way of seeking the loyalty of the voters, it was also a riposte to his political rivals, the Congress and the Samajwadi Party. Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh Yadav, the leaders of the Congress and the SP, have launched a campaign in the state projecting themselves as the "true sons" of UP and, by extension, the more dependable candidates to run it.

Khan took offence at Modi's flippant attempt at showcasing himself as a son of the soil as it undermines "the spirit of The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2015, Chapter 8, Section 56 to 73". The PM's remark, she said, betrays his lack of sensitivity to the plight of thousands of children waiting to be adopted and the parents hoping to take them in. In India, the process of adopting a child can turn out to be complicated, long-drawn and difficult.

Earlier Priyanka Gandhi, who is Rahul's elder sibling and increasingly believed to be the real inheritor of the Congress's legacy, had snubbed Modi as well. Speaking at Rae Bareli, a Congress stronghold, she pointed out UP doesn't need adopted sons, since it has two of its own, her brother and Akhilesh Yadav, working for it already.

But the political tit-for-tat wasn't the end of the story. Within hours of the notice being served to Modi, a Ghaziabad couple in their 70s offered to adopt the 66-year-old prime minister as their "fourth son" as a sign of their allegiance to him. While there are legal hurdles to be overcome before their dream can come true, the move has taken the debate over lineage to another level of absurdity.

As political commentator Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay recently wrote in Firstpost, the fiasco over the "adopted son" remark is not only unwarranted but also makes little sense in the history of Indian politics. Politicians in the country, especially those in the Upper House of the Parliament, are routinely offered their seats to represent states they have no connection with. The classic example of this phenomenon is the former PM of India, Manmohan Singh, who held the office for a decade and is a Rajya Sabha member from Assam.

Several other Congress leaders have fought and won from seats in states they don't originally come from, including Indira Gandhi, whose return to political eminence happened from a constituency in Chikmagalur in Karnataka. The debate over insider-outsider to a state also opens up a more recent can of worms, when the BJP had questioned Rahul and Priyanka's mother Sonia Gandhi's right to be part of Indian politics as an Italian-origin person.

For now, the possibility of PM Modi finding a new family in Ghaziabad remains suspended. Khan has assured The Telegraph there are ways of dealing with the offender should he refuse to apologise for his remark but she has faith that matters won't come to such a pass.

Learn more »

BSF Jawan Tej Bahadur Singh's Wife Files Petition In Delhi HC Claiming Her Husband Is 'Missing'

NEW DELHI -- The wife of a BSF jawan, who went public through the social media alleging poor quality food being served to soldiers, today filed a habeas corpus plea in the Delhi High Court claiming that her husband is untraceable and the family has been unable to contact him for last three days.

BSF jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav had on 9 January posted a video on Facebook which showed a meal box comprising a watery soup-like dal, which he said had only turmeric and salt and a burnt chapatti.

He had said this is what jawans were served at mealtime on duty at places including the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan and that jawans often went to bed on empty stomach.

Pursuant to the video going viral on the social media, the Prime Minister's Office had sought a detailed factual report on it from the Union Home Ministry and BSF.

A PIL was also filed in the Delhi High Court seeking a direction to the government to depute higher officers to supervise cooking of proper healthy food and its distribution.

It sought a status report regarding the quality of food served to soldiers along the LoC.

The high court had issued notice on the petition to various paramilitary forces, including the Border Security Force (BSF), seeking their stand on the allegation of poor quality food being served to the troops.

It had also directed BSF to produce before it the investigation report and the steps taken with regard to the allegations levelled by the BSF jawan.

Now less than a month after the PIL was filed, Yadav's wife, Sharmila, and his family are claiming that the soldier is untraceable and that they have not been able to reach him.

She has sought a high-level enquiry into his disappearance as well as the recent rejection of his plea for voluntary retirement.

When contacted, Ex-paramilitary Personnel Welfare Association general secretary Ranbir Singh said that he, along with Sharmila and her elder brother, had met the BSF director general who had assured them that a "fair inquiry as per procedure" will be conducted in the case.

Singh also said that the BSF DG told them that the jawan was hospitalised.

Earlier, BSF had said that Yadav's plea under the Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) was cancelled as a Court of Inquiry (CoI) was pending against him.

Learn more »

Budget will usher in new era of progres: Shah

Hailing the budget, BJP President Amit Shah today said it is aimed at all-round development with sops for the youth, women, farmers, the poor and middle class and that it will usher in a new era of progress.

He also called historic the announcement to restrict cash donation to Rs 2000 to a political party from one source, saying it will bring transparency and cleanliness in political funding and expressed hope that all parties will welcome it.

"It is a budget aimed at all-round development. On the one hand it is pro-village and pro-farmers and on the other it also provides new possibilities for youths willing to strike out on their own. It has given relief to middle class and will also help realise the dream of the poor and lower middle of owning a house," he told reporters.

Despite its sops for various sections of society, the budget seeks to keep fiscal deficit to 3.2 per cent which is laudable, he said, praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

"Outlay of 10 lakh crore for agriculture credit, micro irrigation fund of 5000 crore, increase in PM Fasal Bima Yojana will all help the farmer. Increased allocation for MNREGA at 48,000 crore, from Rs 37,000 crore earlier, will help create assets in rural India.

"The Prime Minister's and Finance Minister's focus on providing social security, health care and affordable housing for the poor and underprivileged is laudable. Tax concession provided to middle class, who earn between 2.5 lakh-5 lakh will go a long way in improving their spending," he said.

Citing the increase in budgetary allocation to Mudra scheme to Rs 2.44 lakh crore, he said it will be a fillip to entrepreneurs. He also praised hike in defence spending and proposal to establish two new AIIMS.
Learn more »

Modi Govt Should Rename Its Development Model 'Sabka Paisa, Sarkar Ka Vikas', Jibes Congress

NEW DELHI -- The Congress on Tuesday took a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA government by terming the development model as 'sabka paisa -sarkar ka vikas' and alleged that the Centre has taken the money from people and eluded the development which was promised.

"What kind of corruption they are talking I don't understand. The only evidence we have seen is so called demonetisation. Today we are totally cashless I hope the Prime Minister is very happy and he achieves his target of 'Sabka paisa, sarkar ka vikas'. They should now alter their statement," Congress leader Renuka Chowdhury told ANI here.

"After the December 31 speech, petrol and diesel prices have gone up four times. If that is called development, we are impressed," she added.

On similar lines, Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav called the speech given by President as hollow.

"The speech of the President was the Prime Minister's 'Mann ki Baat'. It was hollow," he said.

President Mukherjee enumerated various policies that the present government introduced for the welfare of the poor, farmer, youth and women.

The President also highlighted various measures taken to encourage tourism in north-eastern states of India.

The Budget Session this time will witness the merger of the Railway Budget and General Budget for the first time, with government also discussing the benefits economy will get with it.

Learn more »

Modi Likely To Make His First Visit To Israel In June-July 2017 To Mark 25 Years Of Diplomatic Ties

JERUSALEM -- Prime Minister Narendra Modi's much-anticipated visit to Israel could take place in mid-2017 in what would be the first such tour by an Indian Premier to the Jewish state, as the two countries mark 25 years of their diplomatic ties.

India's Ambassador to Israel Pavan Kapoor told news portal 'Ynet' about the visit and mentioned about efforts to boost defence cooperation with Israel, which is looking to set up manufacturing units in India under 'Make in India' initiative.

Informed sources told PTI the dates for Modi's visit have not been finalised but "it is likely to happen in June-July of 2017."

Modi's visit is being discussed amid talks of a "close chemistry" between him and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

India-Israel ties have steadily progressed since the two countries established diplomatic relations in January 1992 but India has shied away from such high-level visits in the past.

However, BJP-led governments seem to have accorded a greater priority to this relationship with President Pranab Mukherjee visiting Israel in October 2015 in what was the first such visit by an Indian Head of State to Israel.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin made a reciprocal visit last year at Mukhejee's invitation. It was the second visit by an Israeli Head of State to New Delhi, coming after a gap of almost 20 years.

The only visit of an Israeli Prime Minister to India happened in 2003, when Ariel Sharon visited New Delhi. Yet, bilateral ties have been on an upward trajectory, irrespective of the governments in power in New Delhi.

The two leaders have met twice on foreign soil on the sidelines of UN-related events and are said to be constantly in touch with each other over the phone.

During their meeting on the sidelines of Paris Climate summit in 2015, Modi had told Netanyahu: "I am happy that often we can talk easily on telephone, we can discuss everything. It has very rarely happened. In your case it has happened."

Learn more »