Wednesday March 27, 2019
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Political deadlock over land acquisition “seriously impacting” rural development: Narendra Modi

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said political deadlock over the land acquisition bill was “seriously impacting” rural development.

“The prime minister said the political deadlock over land acquisition is seriously impacting rural development, including the creation of schools, hospitals, roads and irrigation projects,” an official statement said.

Modi was speaking at the second meeting of Niti Aayog on the land acquisition bill here, which was boycotted by chief ministers of nine Congress-ruled states and West Bengal’s Mamta Banerjee and Uttar Pradesh’s Akhilesh Yadav.

Pointing out that the ordinance on land acquisition was brought following demands from the states, Modi appealed to states that political considerations should not come in the way of a solution that would facilitate development of the rural areas and ensure greater prosperity for the Indian farmers.

He reiterated that as far as paying enhanced compensation to farmers was concerned, there were no differences in the stands of the central government and the states.

“The prime minister reiterated the vision of his government that state units should be the focus of all development efforts, as part of ‘Team India’,” the statement said.

He recalled that the chief ministers had always felt that development policies at the centre should be framed in consultation with the states,” the statement added.

Modi said several states raised concerns over the implementation of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, and many states felt that development work was suffering due to the provisions in that act.

“…some chief ministers requested for changes in the act, and sent letters to this effect,” the prime minister said.

Modi said the ordinance, which has been vociferously opposed by the Congress and other opposition parties, was brought in response to these developmental concerns of the states, and also to ensure that farmers continue to receive their legitimate dues.

“The matter is now before the parliamentary standing committee, and therefore, ahead of the upcoming parliament session, it was appropriate that the suggestions of the states be listened to, once again,” said Modi.

Wednesday’s meeting was the second for the Niti Aayog, which replaced the Planning Commission after the NDA government came to power at the Centre in 2014.

Modi said last one year had been a good beginning, with states being taken on board in the planning process, and chief ministers taking the lead in sub-groups of the newly formed commission.

(IANS)

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PM Narendra Modi Engages with Celebrities to Boost Visibility

Ahead of the 2019 elections, Modi has been increasingly reaching out to Bollywood celebrities to urge citizens to cast their vote

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India, elections, vietnam, BJP
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he addresses a gathering in New Delhi, India. VOA

Prime Minister Narendra Modi engaged with celebrities across different fields effectively on social media in the run-up to the 2014 general elections to raise his visibility and further his electoral ambitions, as per a US study.

Joyojeet Pal, an associate professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Information, examined more than 9,000 tweets from @narendramodi between February 2009 and October 2015 to research Modi’s engagement with Indian public figures before and after elections.

As per the study, ‘Brand Modi: Decoding social media engagement with celebrities’, there were three distinct phases of engagement that happened in the six years for which he studied Modi’s tweets.

It was noticed in the first phase, Modi reached out to Amitabh Bachchan, businessman Narayana Murthy, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. “By engaging with them, he presented the idea that people outside his core support group and with broad followings were willing to engage with him,” Pal said.

Around 2013, his approach moved to getting support for his campaign by referring to various celebrities in his tweets, posing with them, and in some cases, getting their outright endorsement for the campaign. During this phase, celebrity engagement was mainly through pictures showing affiliation.

Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi.(Wikimedia Commons)

The efforts rounded off post-election when Modi called on celebrities primarily as champions for his initiatives.

According to Pal, this was the phase when Modi presented his initiatives as campaigns with national appeal rather than something imposed on the country.

This, Pal said, was particularly seen with Swachh Bharat, a national movement to clean up India’s roads and infrastructure, and, subsequently, with demonetisation. Celebrity engagement at these points presents the views of a collaborative, thoughtful leader.

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Number of Modi’s Twitter followers stands at 46.6 million, and he continues to engage with celebrities.

Ahead of the 2019 elections, Modi has been increasingly reaching out to Bollywood celebrities to urge citizens to cast their vote. (IANS)