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21st century India’s century: Modi to Indian diaspora

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San Jose: With a sea change in India’s image, thanks to 1.2 billion Indians, people said that the 21st century belonged to India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told a mammoth crowd of Indian diaspora here.

“Everybody agrees the 21st century is the century of Asia. But today, people say, the 21st century belongs to India,” he said addressing a jam-packed San Jose SAP Centre on Sunday night.

“This change is not because of Modi, this change came because of 1.2 billion Indians,” Modi said amid chants of his name.

Modi also saluted Indian techies for changing the image and perception of India with the magic of their fingers at the computers.

“Today there is a new image of India, a new perception of India in the world,” he said.

“People are moved to change their perception of the old India,” Modi said. “This is the magic of your fingers at the computers.”

“Sitting here, with your innovations, you are compelling the world to change. And the people who refuse to change, are soon going to become irrelevant.”

“The biggest thing, American citizens feel proud of is the people of Indian origin,” Modi said. “I congratulate you for this, I salute you.”

Earlier India’s identity were the Upanishads, the prime minister said. Today in the field of science, India has made a new identity. India, he noted is the first country to be successful at Mars mission in its first attempt.

Amid loud chants of “Modi, Modi”, the prime minister said: “I’ll live for the country, I’ll die for this country.”

“Every moment of my life and every particle in my body, I will devote to the work of my country,” he assured the crowd and asked, “Have I done good work? since he came to power 16 months ago. The crowd cheered in approval.

Taking a dig at opposition Congress, Modi said, “It doesn’t take much for politicians to get allegations to their name. The people of India are sick of corruption.”

“What can’t the country do, which has the strength of 800 million young people. This country now, can not be left behind,” Modi said.

“If in the 19th Century, my Sikh brothers came here as farmers and were restless for the independence of India. Today, in the 21st century, my countrymen will fight for India’s poverty,” he said.

Modi recalled his first trip to the US last year when he was given a rock star like reception by the Indian diaspora at the Madison Square Garden in New York.

As promised by the organisers, the Sunday night reception indeed rivalled that of the New York event.

“A Madison Square Garden moment for Silicon Valley. The SAP Center is jampacked as PM @narendramodi arrives,” tweeted external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup.

The crowds chanted his name as the prime minister dressed in white kurta and churidars and a light cream Nehru jacket walked to the stage of San Jose’s SAP arena.

Before he started speaking Modi was introduced to several US lawmakers from California, including the lone Indian American Congressman Ami Bera, whose parents hail from Gujarat and Democratic Minority leader and former House speaker Nancy Pelosi.

At the outset Modi paid tribute to Indian freedom revolutionary Shaheed Bhagat Singh on his birth anniversary and exhorted the crowd to respond to his call of “Vir Bhagat Singh” with “Amar Rahe Amar Rahe”.

(IANS)

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India’s President ‘Ram Nath Kovind’ Designates ‘Narendra Modi’ as PM for Second Term

The Election Commission announced that the BJP won 303 out of 542 seats in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Parliament

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Newly elected lawmakers from India's ruling alliance led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party raise their hands in support of Narendra Modi's election as their leader in New Delhi, May 25, 2019. VOA

India’s president on Saturday appointed Narendra Modi as the prime minister soon after newly elected lawmakers from the ruling alliance, led by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, elected him as their leader following a thunderous victory in national elections.

President Ram Nath Kovind said in a tweet that he also asked Modi to forward the names of those to be appointed as ministers in his government and the date for the swearing-in for his second five-year term as prime minister. Modi and some leaders of his alliance met the president on Saturday.

Media reports said Modi was likely to be sworn in by Kovind on Thursday.

BJP president Amit Shah announced Modi’s name as the leader of the National Democratic Alliance in a meeting of the lawmakers in the Central Hall of Parliament in New Delhi.

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, second right, hugs senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader M.M. Joshi as L.K. Advani, left, watches after Modi’s election as ruling alliance leader, in New Delhi, May 25, 2019. VOA

The Election Commission announced that the BJP won 303 out of 542 seats in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Parliament, after the official vote count from the six-week-long election was completed on Friday. That is well beyond the simple majority a party in India needs to form a government.

The BJP’s top rival, the Indian National Congress led by Rahul Gandhi, won 52 seats, and the All India Trinamool Congress led by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee won 22.

Unity movement

Critics say Modi and his party have applied divisive policies and used a Hindu-first strategy. But Modi said after Saturday’s vote that “this election has become a movement of social unity.” “It is generally said that the election divides, creates distances, makes walls. But the 2019 elections have worked to break the walls,” he said in his address.

On Friday, Modi met with his outgoing Cabinet ministers and later presented his resignation to the country’s president. The president asked the officials to continue to serve until the new government assumes office.

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The Election Commission announced that the BJP won 303 out of 542 seats in the Lok Sabha, the lower house of Parliament. VOA

Gandhi, whose great-grandfather, grandmother and father were all prime ministers, personally conceded his seat, long a Congress party bastion, to his BJP rival, India’s textiles minister, marking the end of an era for modern India’s most powerful political dynasty.

Counting of the estimated 600 million ballots cast over six weeks of staggered polling — the world’s largest democratic exercise — began early Thursday.

ALSO READ: Here’s How TikTok Made PM Modi Popular Among Young Voters

Hindu-first politics

The victory was largely seen as a referendum on Modi’s Hindu-first politics that some observers say have bred intolerance toward Muslims and other religious minorities, as well as his muscular stance on neighboring Pakistan, with whom India nearly went to war earlier this year after suicide attacks killed more than 40 Indian security officials in Indian-controlled Kashmir.

Modi effectively used the incident as a major campaign tool after responding to the attack with an airstrike in Pakistan that triggered nationalist sentiments, with the BJP saying Modi is the right person to ensure India’s national security. (VOA)