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Emergency was one of India’s darkest periods, says Prime Minister Narendra Modi

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the Emergency rule in India was “one of India’s darkest periods”.

On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Emergency, Modi took to Twitter and urged people to do “everything possible to further strengthen our democratic ideals and ethos”.

Modi described the Emergency – from June 25, 1975 to March 21, 1977 – as India’s darkest period, when the then political leadership “trampled over the democracy”.

“A vibrant liberal democracy is the key to progress. Let us do everything possible to further strengthen our democratic ideals and ethos,” another of his tweets said.

The then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi imposed Emergency in India citing grave threat to her government and sovereignty of the country from both internal and external forces. Modi said that inspired by the call of social reformer and political leader Jayaprakash Narayan, several men and women across India selflessly immersed themselves in the movement to safeguard the democracy.

“We are very proud of the lakhs of people, who resisted the Emergency and whose efforts ensured that our democratic fabric is preserved,” Modi said. “Personally, the Emergency brings back many memories. As youngsters, we learnt a lot during the anti-Emergency movement.”

In a series of tweets, Modi said: “Emergency was a great opportunity to work with a wide spectrum of leaders and organisations fighting for the same goal – the return of democracy.” (IANS)

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Oli Assures Modi, Nepal’s Territory Won’t Be Used Against India’s Interests

After assuming office in February, Oli made his first foreign visit to India in April.

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Gokhale said that Modi's two-day visit to Nepal was aimed to strengthen bilateral relations
KP Sharma Oli, PM of Nepal, wikimedia commons

Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli has told his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi that Nepal’s territory will not be used against New Delhi’s interests, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said here on Saturday.

“Oli reiterated that they will be sensitive to our concerns and their territory will not be allowed to be used by anybody against India. Prime Minister Modi reciprocated the sentiments,” Gokhale told the media.

Gokhale called Oli’s view “very significant”.

There was a chill in India-Nepal ties during Oli’s earlier stint as Prime Minister between October 2015 and August 2016 when a border blockade blamed on New Delhi crippled Nepal’s economy.

There were also perceptions that Oli was leaning towards China than India.

Gokhale said that Modi’s two-day visit to Nepal was aimed to strengthen bilateral relations “whether it be cross-border electricity or cross-border connectivity”.

“We are looking into cross-border electricity and cross-border connectivity not only with Nepal but other neighbouring countries as well,” he said.

After assuming office in February, Oli made his first foreign visit to India in April.

Stating that India welcomed the restoration of democracy in Nepal, Gokhale said that both the government and the opposition in the Himalayan nation were parties to it.

He said both sides agreed to be committed towards the stated projects. “We will address this within a set timeline.”

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi stressed on the importance of service to others in his last Mann Ki Baat edition for 2017.
Modi is on Nepal visit for two days, wikimedia commons

According to Gokhale, Oli confirmed to Modi that Nepal will host the the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec) summit this year.

Bimstec comprises seven countries lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal — Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Gokhale also said that Modi’s visits to cultural sites in Nepal “suggested that there should be strong people-to-people ties”.

Apart from offering prayers at temples in Nepal, the Indian leader inaugurated the Janakpur-Ayodhya bus service, a 900 MW hydropower project and announced Rs 100-crore aid to develop Janakpur city.

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He also held extensive discussions with Oli, President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and other government officials to better bilateral ties after which he said: “All misunderstandings with Nepal are over.”

Modi also met leaders of opposition parties, starting with former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and other members of the Nepali Congress.

He exchanged views on strengthening bilateral ties with former Prime Minister and Chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”. (IANS)