Prime Minister Narendra Modi says that India ideal investment destination in the world

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated Uttarakhand’s first investors summit on Sunday, saying India is the ideal investment destination in the world today with major social and economic changes sweeping the country.

Addressing the country’s top business leaders and industrial houses at ‘Destination Uttarakhand: Investors Summit 2018’, Modi said the country was passing through an era of unprecedented social and economic changes at present and expressed confidence that in the coming decades India will become the engine of world economic growth”Fiscal deficit has come down, the rate of inflation has come down. The middle class is growing and the country is full of demographic dividend.”

“In the past four years, the state and central governments together have taken over 10,000 measures, which have helped the country improve its position in the ease of doing business rankings by 42 points,” Modi said, describing the current times as the best for investors in the country. GST is the biggest tax reform in the country post-independence which has turned the country into a single market, he said.

Highlighting rapid growth in the infrastructure sector, the prime minister said 10,000 km highways have been built, which is double in comparison with what was done by earlier governments. The aviation sector is growing at a record speed with 100 new airports and helipads coming up across the country. Type II and Type III cities are getting air connectivity.

With the high-speed rail projects and metro lines in various cities and the Centre’s policy of housing for all, power for all, fuel for all and banking for all, the scenario of an ideal investment destination becomes complete, Modi said.”My message to investors is ‘make in India’ but not just for Indians but for the whole world,” he said.

The prime minister said schemes like Ayushman Bharat Yojana will provide health insurance coverage to a huge population and it will also open up huge opportunities for investors in the health sector.Describing Uttarakhand as a shining jewel in the crown of emerging new India, Modi extended an invitation to top industrial houses to invest in the state, which has taken huge strides in its development since its creation.When former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee decided to create Uttarakhand, the challenges were big but now the scenario has changed, with major steps taken in terms of infrastructure building and connectivity.

“The state government’s new policy on tourism, which gives it the status of an industry, is going to give a big advantage to investors coming to the state. The new policies framed by the state government like support subsidy for investors in the MSME sector will be another advantage,” he said. With its unique blend of nature-adventure-culture and yoga, Uttarakhand has enough to stimulate the interest of investors, he said, adding that it has the potential to emerge as the country’s “Spiritual Eco Zone” (SEZ).Noting that the states had great potential, Modi said if India is able to channelise its strength nothing can stop it from growing expeditiously.

Emphasising that the strengths of each of India’s states surpass those of many European countries, Modi said if every state recognises its strengths and develops accordingly nothing can stop the country from growing by leaps and bounds.

Citing his own experience after he took over as the chief minister of Gujarat for the first time, he said journalists decided to grill him as he was new in the office and asked him what model he had in mind for the development of the state.”I said, I will follow the model of South Korea. They were puzzled to hear my answer because they had little idea about South Korea. But, I explained to them how that model could work for Gujarat as it had a similar size of the population and a similar geography,” Modi said.The prime minister asked the investors to expedite their projects in the state where they have an industry-friendly government.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat thanked the prime minister for his constant support and guidance without which organising the summit like this would not have been possible.


BJP’s strategy in the poll-bound state seems to be to deflect the discourse away from local grievances

Vasundhara Raje has fought many battles alone, but will need Modi magic (and more) in coming polls

Weeks after she had taken over as chief minister for the first time in 2003, Vasundhara Raje had come to Delhi. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the prime minister. I bumped into her in South Block where I had gone to see somebody. I had asked her how it was all going. I still remember the feeling with which she replied. Her words were to the effect, “You cannot imagine the bias that exists against women in Rajasthan, and what I am having to contend with.”

Another incident about the same time also underscored her vulnerability, and was recalled by a journalist in Rajasthan. It was decided that she should give an interview to Doordarshan. The late Bharatiya Janata Party leader Pramod Mahajan organised it, and consulted her about who should anchor it. She rejected 10 names, much to Mahajan’s exasperation, before she accepted the 11th. It was not as if she was a raw hand when she was sent to Rajasthan to steer the state. She had already been a minister in the Union Cabinet.

These incidents underscore the distance Raje has covered in the last 15 years. She has navigated the minefield called Rajasthan politics to emerge as a mass leader, with no other state BJP leader anywhere close to her in stature. If the party high command contemplated replacing her in the last four years, as was speculated at one time, they gave up the idea.

Chief minister for two terms in the past 15 years, she is probably more powerful today than she has ever been. But – and this is the paradox – Raje is probably also more unpopular than she has ever been during her political career.

National vs regional

Rajasthan is due for Assembly elections at the end of this year. When BJP president Amit Shah visited the state last week, ostensibly to kick off the party’s election campaign, it was curious that he spoke on issues that were national in character rather than regional. These issues include the National Register of Citizens in Assam, illegal immigration from Bangladesh, or the plan to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, in order to allow India to confer citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. Speaking at an event in Rajasthan on September 11, Shah said in a tone more strident than usual about those who had come to India from Bangladesh : “Ek ek ko chun chun kar bhejenge [We will expel them one by one]”. These are not burning issues in Rajasthan.

Clearly, his intention was to deflect the discourse away from local grievances and Chief Minister Raje and turn people’s attention towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He told party workers to take Modi’s photos with them when they campaigned and asked them to speak about the prime minister’s achievements.

It is hardly a secret that Raje is on the back foot in Rajasthan. And yet the BJP leadership has chosen to put its weight behind her completely. Unlike any other BJP chief minister, she compelled the party leadership to agree to all her terms. The BJP brass had wanted Gajendra Singh Shekhawat as the Rajasthan party chief. It was considered a done deal, but suddenly everything was reopened. Madan Lal Saini, Raje’s nominee, made it to the post in June. He was billed as the party’s “consensus choice”. Shah also announced that Raje would lead the party into elections and would be its chief ministerial candidate. She is expected to get her way in the distribution of tickets. Those who should know, say that she had threatened to resign unless she was given a free hand and projected as the party’s chief ministerial candidate. She took a calculated risk, and given that she stands head and shoulders above anyone else in the Rajasthan BJP, the party leadership had little option but to agree.

With the central leadership behind her, as also the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, which had at one time looked askance at her continuing in power – they had clashed over the demolition of temples in Jaipur in 2015 and had frowned upon the Lalit Modi controversy she was embroiled in – the ambivalence about her leadership is now gone. She is better placed to go on the offensive, which she has done, undertaking a Gaurav Yatra through the state, and opening the treasury to dole out favours to different sections of society.

Unpopular Raje

At a rally held on September 4 in Jaipur, Raje announced that one crore poor families will get Rs 1,000 for a smartphone under the Bhamashah scheme, one of the successful programmes of her government. Under this scheme, welfare benefits are transferred directly to women recipients. In all probability, many speculate, these smartphones will carry the BJP messages nearer poll time.

At the Jaipur rally, Raje had called teachers from all over the state ostensibly to honour them on Teacher’s Day, which was celebrated across India the next day, and to try and address their long-standing grievances. But the crowd response at the event was far from enthusiastic. Teachers were disgruntled for many reasons, the latest for being allegedly threatened with a salary cut if they did not show up at the rally. Her opponents talk about her arrogance being her undoing. 

Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s body cremated; Nation bids tearful final adieu

Atal Bihari Vajpayee cremated with state honours, end of an era for Indian politics

Supreme Court announces half-day holiday for court and its Registry today

The former prime minister died after battling a prolonged illness at the AIIMS on Thursday. He was 93.

Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee passed away on Thursday after battling a prolonged illness at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). He was 93. The charismatic leader who stayed bachelor throughout his life is survived by his adopted daughter Namita Kaul Bhattacharya.

Vajpayee will be accorded a state funeral Friday afternoon and the final rites will be performed at the Smriti Sthal on the banks of the Yamuna. Mortal remains of the former PM is being taken to the BJP headquarters. The government has announced seven days of state mourning. The Ministry of Home Affairs said the national flag would be flown at half-mast from Thursday for seven days across the country.

Over 5 lakh people, including VVIPs, politicians and dignitaries, are expected to be present at the BJP party office as well as the Rashtriya Smriti Sthal near Rajghat Friday. More than 2,000 Delhi Armed Police (DAP) and paramilitary police, along with force from three districts — Central, North, and New Delhi — will be on the ground to make sure that the funeral is conducted smoothly. As many as 20 companies of the DAP and hundreds of paramilitary personnel will be guarding the cremation ground. Delhi traffic police have closed 25 arterial roads, starting 8 am. 

Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee is no more

Our beloved Former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee was critically ill. His health was down for a couple of months now. He is recuperating & we can expect him to get well soon. We must reflect on what Mr Vajpayee has contributed to as a Prime Minister of India. In this article, you will get to know about Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his Early Life, Career Journey, his big & bold decisions taken while he was serving as Prime Minister & more!

Atal Bihari Vajpayee – An Introduction

• Atal Bihari Vajpayee is an Indian politician who was the 10th Prime Minister of India, serving three terms; the 1st term for 13 days in 1996, the 2nd term for 13 months from 1998-99 and the final term, from 1999 to 2004.

• He is the first non-Congress Prime Minister to serve a full 5-year term.

• Currently, aged 93, Mr Vajpayee is the oldest living former Indian Prime Minister.

Atal Bihari Vajpayee & his Early Life

• Mr. Vajpayee was born on 25 December 1924 in Gwalior, to Krishna Devi and Krishna Bihari Vajpayee.

• He did his graduation from Gwalior’s Victoria College and post-graduation with an M.A. in Political Science from DAV College, Kanpur, with a first-class degree.

Political Career of Atal Bihari Vajpayee

• He became Minister of External Affairs in 1977 and was the 1st person to deliver a speech to the United Nations General Assembly in Hindi.

• Vajpayee formed the Bharatiya Janata Party in 1980.

Big & Bold Decisions taken by Vajpayee

During his term as Prime Minister, he made some very brave and bold decisions. Do you want to know about them?

#1. Pokhran Test

• In May 1998, India conducted five underground nuclear tests in Pokhran desert in Rajasthan, 24 yrs after India conducted its first nuclear test (Smiling Buddha) in 1974.

• This test is called Pokhran-II.

• But, two weeks later, Pakistan conducted its own nuclear tests.

• The response of the world leaders was a mixed one but the Pokhran nuclear tests were popular in India.

#2. Lahore Summit

• Vajpayee initiated a new peace process to end disputes with Pakistan, with the historic inauguration of the Delhi-Lahore bus service in February 1999.

• The result was the Lahore Declaration which initiated talks, expanded trade relations and mutual friendship between the two nations and also eased the tension created by the 1998 nuclear tests.

#3. Kargil War

• In May 1999, it came to Vajpayee’s notice that militants and Pakistani soldiers had infiltrated into the Kashmir Valley.

• Indian army was immediately sent into Kashmir in response and the mission was named Operation Vijay.

• The mission was launched in June 1999, where the Indian forces fought thousands of militants and Pakistani soldiers while facing extremely cold weather, heavy artillery shelling and deadly terrain at the high altitude.

• Many soldiers died on both sides but Pakistan suffered heavy losses, and finally, called its forces back, in July 1999.

• The victory in Kargil made the image of Vajpayee as a bold and fearless leader.

• 26 July was later designated as ‘Kargil Vijay Diwas’.

A. B. Vajpayee – Other Miscellaneous Facts

• In December 2005, Vajpayee retired from active politics.

• On 25 December 2014, the President of India announced the Bharat Ratna award, India’s highest civilian honour, to Vajpayee and his birthday, 25th December, was declared as ‘Good Governance Day’. 

7 things to know about Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Vajpayee was first elected to parliament in 1957 as a member of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh

7 things to know about Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Teacher’s son

Born in a humble school teacher’s family on December 25, 1924, in Gwalior Madhya Pradesh, Vajpayee entered politics during the Quit India movement in 1942. He did his graduation and post graduation in Political Science from Victoria College in Gwalior.

13 day PM

He became the Prime Minister for the first time on May 16, 1996 when then President Shankar Dayal Sharma invited BJP, which was the single largest party, to form the government. The stint, however, lasted only for 13 days as no new allies came out to support the BJP.

2nd time unlucky

On March 19, Vajpayee was sworn in as Prime Minister for the second time. After 13 months, the Vajpayee government lost the vote of confidence by one vote on April 17, 1999. This is the only government at the Centre to have lost a confidence vote.

The Kargil ghost

His tenure saw India’s second nuclear test at Pokharan on May 11, 1998. A spate of trade and other sanctions by US and other countries followed. Despite the nuclear test, Vajpayee reached out to Pakistan through the Lahore bus diplomacy in February, 1999. However, just three months later, Pakistan attacked India in May 1999, leading to the Kargil war.

The Musharraf summit

The Vajpayee-led NDA won 303 Lok Sabha seats in 1999 and he was sworn in as Prime Minister for the third time on October 13. Vajpayee again made a tryst with peace when he invited Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf- who was the Army chief when the neighbouring country had begun the Kargil war- for a summit at Agra in July 2001. The summit ended in failure.

His relation with Modi

Vajpayee did not have very cordial relations with Modi and had asked him to follow rajdharma in the wake of the Gujarat riots of 2002. He wanted Modi to quit as chief minister but the former survived as LK Advani backed him.

Secular leader

Vajpayee was seen as a secular, moderate leader. He distanced himself from Advani’s 1991 rath yatra and was not present at Ayodhya when the Babri mosque was razed. Later he said the mosque should not have been destroyed. 

Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Bihari also spelled Behari, (born December 25, 1924, Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, India), leader of the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and twice prime minister of India (1996; 1998–2004).

Vajpayee was first elected to parliament in 1957 as a member of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS), a forerunner of the BJP. In 1977 the BJS joined three other parties to form the Janata Party, which led a government that lasted until July 1979. As foreign minister in the Janata government, Vajpayee earned a reputation for improving relations with Pakistan and China. In 1980, following a split in the Janata Party, Vajpayee helped the BJS to reorganize itself as the BJP. In 1992 he was one of the few Hindu leaders to speak out against the destruction of the historic mosque at Ayodhya by anti-Muslim extremists.

Vajpayee was sworn in as prime minister in May 1996 but was in office only 13 days, after failing to attract support from other parties. In early 1998 he again became prime minister, in elections in which the BJP won a record number of seats, but he was forced to make a shaky alliance with regional parties. In 1999 the BJP increased its seats in parliament and consolidated its hold on government.

Although considered a pragmatist, Vajpayee assumed a defiant posture in the face of Western criticism of India’s testing of several nuclear weapons in 1998. He had earlier been praised for his conciliatory gestures toward India’s Muslim minority. In 2000 his government began an extensive program of divestment of public funds from several key state-run industries. In 2002 Vajpayee’s government was criticized for its slowness in reacting to riots in Gujarat in which some 1,000 people (primarily Muslims) died. Nevertheless, in 2003 Vajpayee made a concerted effort to resolve India’s long-running feud with Pakistan over the Kashmir region. Under his leadership, India achieved steady economic growth, and the country became a world leader in information technology, though the poorer elements of Indian society often felt left out of the economic prosperity. In 2004 his coalition was defeated in the parliamentary election, and he resigned from office.

Vajpayee announced his retirement from politics at the end of 2005. In late December 2014 he was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour.