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People coming together to create a “new India”: Prime Minister Narendra Modi

A fast pace of development cannot be attained unless all 125 crore Indians come together, he said at the India Today Conclave in Mumbai

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Indian PM Narendra Modi, Wikimedia
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Mumbai, March 18, 2017: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the country’s people are coming together to create a “new India” and stressed that people’s power is more important than government power.

“New India is not about ‘upkaar’ but about ‘avsar’. It is about opportunity for all.”

A fast pace of development cannot be attained unless all 125 crore Indians come together, he said at the India Today Conclave here.

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The Prime Minister said the Goods and Services Tax regime, set to be rolled out from July 1, is an example of “deliberative democracy”.

Modi did not mention the February-March assembly polls on a day when a Bharatiya Janata Party Chief Minister took oath in Uttarakhand and the party announced its Chief Minister for Uttar Pradesh.

However, he talked of the “mood of people” post November 8 demonetisation.

“After Diwali, we took a step against black money and corruption… you have seen the mood of the people after that,” Modi said.

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“It feels as if people have come together during war, or a natural calamity; today, we can see people are uniting on these issues,” he said, referring to government steps like the ‘Swachh Bharat’ Mission and giving up cooking gas subsidy.

“There are many people who have failed in understanding this, or even touching it. People are coming together. For what? To end evil and shortcomings within themselves. The dreams of a new India are imbibed in this,” he said. (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)