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No chief ministerial candidate for BJP: Ananth Kumar

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Patna: The BJP declared on Tuesday that it will not announce its chief ministerial candidate and instead fight the coming Bihar assembly elections solely in the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“The BJP will not announce its chief ministerial candidate. The BJP has several capable leaders for the top political post in the state but it will fight the assembly elections in the name of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” said Ananth Kumar, union minister for chemicals and fertilisers and party in-charge for Bihar.

“Narendra Modi is the BJP face; our party will contest the assembly polls under his leadership,” he told the media.

BJP’s main rival – ruling Janata Dal-United, RJD, Congress and Nationalist Congress Party combine – declared Nitish Kumar as its candidate for the top post on June 8.

Nitish Kumar said that the party had, in the last one year, contested assembly elections in different states in the name of Modi.

The union minister downplayed the repeated demand of Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar that the BJP too declare its chief ministerial candidate.

BJP ally Rashtriya Lok Samta Party said on Monday that its party chief and union minister Upendra Kushwaha be declared the opposition alliance’s chief ministerial candidate.

However, another BJP ally, union minister Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party, announced last week that Paswan would not be the NDA’s chief ministerial candidate.

Former Bihar chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, who announced joining the NDA alliance in the state, said he was not in the race for the top job and only a BJP leader would be the candidate.

In the caste-ridden politics of Bihar, over half a dozen BJP leaders from the upper castes and the backward castes have staked their respective claims for projection as chief ministerial candidate. (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)

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