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Modi Gate: Sushma Swaraj offered to resign but RSS intervention made her continue

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New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj offered to resign almost a week before the controversy broke out over her help to former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi in getting travel documents on “humanitarian ground”, but her offer was rejected on the intervention of the RSS, informed sources said.

The sources said the news channel that on Sunday read out e-mails of a British MP concerning travel documents for Modi, had sent an e-mail to Sushma Swaraj almost a week before, seeking her response on the issue.

Soon after that she met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and informed him of the matter in detail, a highly placed source told IANS.

Sources said a meeting of senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh functionaries was convened a day later by Modi to discuss the matter and to chalk out the future strategy.

They said at the meeting Sushma Swaraj clarified her stand on the issue and said she was ready to resign as she did not want the government to face any embarrassment. But RSS functionaries stopped her, saying she has done nothing wrong, the sources added.

The RSS functionaries also said that Sushma Swaraj had made it clear in her communication that any help rendered by the British authorities to Lalit Modi should be subject to their rules.

According to sources, the meeting chalked out strategy to defend Sushma Swaraj.

As part of the strategy, Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and RSS leader Indresh Kumar came out in support of Sushma Swaraj on Sunday.

The controversy, which first appeared in a British newspaper, went on to dominate Indian news channels from Sunday. (IANS)

 

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Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh Worker Shot Dead in Uttar Pradesh

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Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh
Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh Drill. Wikimedia

Lucknow, October 21: A Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) worker was shot dead on Saturday in Uttar Pradesh’s Ghazipur district, police said.

The incident occurred when unidentified motorcycle-borne assailants shot at the 35-year-old, Rajesh Mishra, also a journalist working with the Dainik Jagran Hindi daily, who was sitting at his brother Amitesh’s shop in the Karanda area.

Locals and passers-by rushed the two to a nearby hospital where Rajesh was pronounced brought dead.

Amitesh, 30, is said to be in critical condition.

A senior police official said Rajesh was an active RSS member and was also working as a contractor.

So far, no details have emerged in the initial probe but added that they were talking to the family of the deceased.(IANS)

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India condemns support systems for terrorists in South Asia, expresses concern over North Korea’s nuclear program

Sushma Swaraj’s statement assumes significance as it comes after the unprecedented BRICS Summit joint statement earlier this month in which Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa unequivocally named Pakistan and the terror groups based there

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Sushma Swaraj talks about support systems of terrorists in South Asia
External affairs minister of India, Sushma Swaraj. Wikimedia
  • India on Thursday condemned support systems for terrorists in South Asia while expressing concern over South Asia’s nuclear program
  • Sushma Swaraj’s statement is significant since it comes after the BRICS Summit where many countries unequivocally named Pakistan and the terrorist groups based there
  • Sushma Swaraj also sought cooperation for early conclusion of negotiations and adoption of the India-initiated Comprehensive Convention against International Terrorism

New York, Sep 22, 2017:  In an obvious reference to Pakistan, India on Thursday condemned support systems for terrorists in South Asia while expressing concern over North Korea’s nuclear and weapons and ballistic missile programmes.

“The horror of terrorism continues to haunt global peace and security. Terror groups draw sustenance from support systems in South Asia,” Sushma Swaraj said while speaking at the BRICS Ministerial Meeting on the margins of the UN General Assembly Session here.

“They continue to find support and shelter in countries which use terrorism as an instrument of state policy.

“We must condemn efforts, including by states, to use religion to justify, sustain and sponsor terrorism against other countries,” she added.

Sushma Swaraj’s statement assumes significance as it comes after the unprecedented BRICS Summit joint statement earlier this month in which Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa unequivocally named Pakistan and the terror groups based there.

“There is need for collective efforts to disrupt terrorist networks, their financing and movement,” she said, calling for terrorist funding, their weapons supply, training and political support to “be systematically cut off”.

Sushma Swaraj also sought cooperation for early conclusion of negotiations and adoption of the India-initiated Comprehensive Convention against International Terrorism (CCIT) in the UN Security Council.

On North Korea’s recent offensive military posturing, she said: “The action and rhetoric of North Korea has been a source of growing global concern.”

Also read: Baloch Activist Bugti hails Sushma Swaraj for her speech against Pakistan Atrocities at UN General Assembly

She also touched on climate change and referred to Indian Prime Minister Narendra’s Modi’s suggestion of an alliance between the India-initiated International Solar Alliance and the New Development Bank, a multilateral development bank established by the BRICS nations.

“I hope we can work together to give this ambitious agenda practical shape in coming months,” she said.

The International Solar Alliance, launched at the UN Conference of Parties (CoP) climate summit in Paris on November 30, 2015, by Prime Minister Modi and then French President Francois Hollande, is conceived as a coalition of solar resource-rich countries to address their special energy needs and provide a platform to collaborate on dealing with the identified gaps through a common, agreed approach.

It is open to all 121 prospective member countries falling between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. (IANS)

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Kerala Catholic Priest Tom Uzhunnallil Abducted by ISIS Rescued from Yemen: Sushma Swaraj

The priest's release was achieved through the intervention of the Oman government

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Kerala Catholic priest Tom Uzhunnallil
Kerala Catholic priest Tom Uzhunnallil. Sushma Swaraj Twitter handle

Thiruvananthapuram | New Delhi, Sep 13, 2017: Kerala Catholic priest Tom Uzhunnallil, abducted by terrorists in Aden in March last year, has been rescued from captivity from an undisclosed location in Yemen.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted about the release of the Catholic priest, who was abducted in March last year.

“I am happy to inform that Father Tom Uzhunnalil has been rescued,” she said.

The priest’s release was achieved through the intervention of the Oman government.

According to reports reaching Kerala, after his release the priest was flown from Yemen to Muscat in the Sultanate of Oman.

He has left Oman on a chartered flight — either for New Delhi or for the Vatican, reports said.

The media in Oman confirmed the news of the release of the priest and posted a picture of him — standing in a room with the picture of the Oman king in the background.

He will be flown to Kerala later in the day.

Expressing happiness at the news, the priest’s brother Mathew Uzhunnallil said their prayers have been finally answered.

A spokesperson of the church Fr C. Jimmy told the media that the news has been received with a great sense of happiness.

In March 2016, militants barged into a care home for the elderly set up by Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in Yemen’s Aden and shot dead many people, including four nuns of the charity organisation, among whom one was from India.

After the shooting, the militants took away the Catholic priest. Since then, other than a few videos released from time to time, there has been no news of his whereabouts.

Uzhunnalil’s ancestral home in Ramapuram in Kottayam district is presently shut as two of his brothers live abroad, while another lives in Gujarat. (IANS)