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President's Address to the Nation on the eve of Republic Day

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22nd February, 2018


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi says, his government is working sincerely to bring a solution to Naga political problem and is open to consultations with all stakeholders.
  • Mr Modi accuses Congress government in Meghalaya of spending only 50 per cent of the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana funds.
  • Allahabad High Court dismisses petition challenging state government's denial of permission to prosecute UP CM Yogi Adityanath in Gorakhpur riots case.
  • CBI arrests Rotomac Pens owner Vikram Kothari, and his son for allegedly cheating a consortium of banks.
  • Punjab National Bank reiterates it has enough assets to meet any liability in the wake of Nirav Modi fraud case.
  • First sale of Electoral Bonds to commence from 1st March. 
  • Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asks Indian Industries to enhance trade and investment ties for the benefit of both countries.
  • In Sports: Mary Kom advances to the semifinals of the Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said, Nagaland needs a stable Government to bring in development and peace. Addressing an election rally for BJP-NDPP alliance in Tuensang district today, Mr Modi said his government is working sincerely to bring a solution to the vexed Naga political problem, and is open to consultations with all stakeholders.

"अगले कुछ महीनों में नगालैंड के लोगों के लिए सम्मानजनक और उनके राजनीतिक अधिकारों का आदर करने वाला समाधान हम प्राप् कर सकेंगे। हमारी सरकार नगालैंड की भलाई के लिए उठ रही हर आवाज का सम्मान करती है।     

Mr Modi said, his Government aims to bring infrastructure and transformation in the state by transportation. He said the priority areas for development will include infrastructure, water, electricity, connectivity and tourism. The Prime Minister said  special focus will be given to Eastern Nagaland in terms of infrastructure development and welfare schemes.

 Speaking on connectivity in the State, Mr Modi said during the last three years, work on 500 kilometers of National Highways has been completed and around 1000 more kilometers will be covered in 3-4 years, at a cost of over 10,000 crore rupees.

On the Centre's plan to connect all State Capitals by Rail, Mr Modi said 3,000 crore rupees have been sanctioned for Dimapur-Kohima rail connectivity. The Prime Minister also assured to give Dimapur-Shillong flight connectivity in the near future.

Emphasizing the need to provide electricity to every household, he said, the Centre has spent 800 crore rupees, covering one lakh family in Nagaland, which is about 60 percent.

On the Centre’s Project on Housing for all, he said the Centre will spend about 1,600 crore rupees on housing for Nagaland. On health sector, especially for women, the Prime Minister said, during the last three years the Centre has sanctioned 400 crore rupees through the National Health Mission.

Mr Modi said the Centre is giving priority to make agriculture products in the Northeast region hundred percent organic.

Later, addressing a poll rally at Phulbari in West Garo Hills district this afternoon, the Prime Minister accused the Congress government of Meghalaya of wasting 50 years of the people of the state, he said, under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana, the Centre had provided around 470 crore rupees for construction of 1100 KM of roads in the state. However, he said, Meghalaya government spent only 50 per cent of the amount.

Appealing to people of Meghalaya to give BJP a chance to serve them, Mr. Modi assured of good governance by the BJP in the state guided by the principle of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas.

Expressing interest to further strengthen the Act East Policy, Mr. Modi hoped this will open up opportunities for people in the state as well as in the entire Northeast. 

Meanwhile, Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Mukul Sangma and Assam state Congress President Ripun Bora also addressed poll rallies today. 

The Congress has alleged that BJP and National Peoples Party, NPP, are two sides of the same coin. Addressing a press conference in Shillong today, Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala claimed that NPP is funded by the BJP.


Water Resources Ministry today approved projects worth four thousand crore rupees in its 9th executive committee meeting of National Mission for Clean Ganga. The projects include a 20 Million Litres Per Day Common Effluent Treatment Plant at an estimated cost of 629 crore rupees for tannery cluster at Jajmau in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh.

In an official release, the Ministry said, this is a major step forward in arresting the pollution in Ganga emanating from the crucial industrial town of Kanpur. Another project in Kanpur was approved at an estimated cost of over 967 crore rupees for rehabilitation and integration of sewage treatment infrastructure in Jajmau, Bingawan, Sajari zones.

In Allahabad, a project worth 904 crore rupees for rehabilitation and integration of sewage treatment infrastructure was approved. The Ministry said, one project of bio-remediation treatment of drains going into river Ganga has also been given approval at an estimated cost of 410 crore rupees.


President Ramnath Kovind today said, the UP government is ensuring industrial security and taking steps for ease of doing business in the state. In his address at the valedictory function of the two-day UP Investors’ Summit in Lucknow, Mr Kovind said, UP has enough potential to lead the country and termed the Summit as an important step towards the development of the state.

"उत्तर प्रदेश के विकास से ही भारत के विकास को पूर्णता मिलेगी। निवेशकों ने उत्तर प्रदेश में पूंजी लगाने के लिए जो उत्साह दिखाया है, उसके काफी स्पष् कारण है।  देश की सबसे बड़ी श्रम शक्ति और उपभोक्ताओं की संख्या वाले इस प्रदेश में देश की सबसे बड़ी राज् अर्थव्यवस्था बनने की पूरी क्षमता है।"

 Our correspondent reports that Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said that it is a beginning of a new era in the history of Uttar Pradesh.

"Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitly said in his address that in the era of globalisation states need to project themselves as a centre for investment and UP government is doing the same. More than a dozen Union Ministers attended two day summit which state government is terming a big success in which More than 9 thousand registrations made and MOUs worth around 4.5 lakh crores were signed. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today said that defence corridor hub worth rupees 20 thousand crores will attract investment of more than one lakh crores through PPP model. Union IT Minister Ravishankar Prasad announced to develop NOIDA and GREATER NOIDA as hub of IT Sector. Sushil Chandra Tiwari, Air News, Lucknow"


The Allahabad High Court today dismissed a writ petition challenging the order of the UP government, whereby it had refused to grant sanction to prosecute Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath in connection with Gorakhpur riot case of 2007.

Dismissing the petition, a division bench comprising Justice Krishna Murari and Justice Akhilesh Chandra Sharma observed that the court did not find any procedural irregularity in the order of refusal to grant sanction to prosecute the accused in the case. The court also said that no error is found in the investigation.


The Central Bureau of Investigation, CBI, today arrested owner of Rotomac Pens, Vikram Kothari, and his son Rahul Kothari in an ongoing investigation of a case on allegations of cheating a consortium of seven banks. The case was registered by CBI on a complaint filed by Bank of Baroda.  

CBI had questioned both of them at the agency's headquarters in New Delhi yesterday. Vikram Kothari was also questioned in Kanpur, where his company and residence are located. It is alleged that they diverted the loan amount towards purposes other than what they were meant for.

The ED had slapped criminal charges under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against the company and its promoters based on the CBI FIR.

The Income Tax department had also attached 14 bank accounts of the pen manufacturer as part of its tax evasion probe against it.


Punjab National Bank today reiterated that it has enough assets/capital to meet any liability. In a regulatory filing, PNB added that it has followed all lawful avenues to recover its dues from Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.

This filing comes days after media reports quoted Nirav Modi saying that by going public, the bank had closed all options to recover money. PNB had disclosed about the fraud on 14th February, also through a regulatory filing.

Meanwhile, External Affairs Ministry today said that the matter regarding the whereabouts of Nirav Modi should be addressed to the law enforcement agencies. A foreign office spokesperson said, there are certain investigations and legal procedures which need to be completed before MEA comes into the picture.

On a query whether Nirav Modi has received the notice on his passport revocation process, the spokesperson said the request had been received to send notice to a particular email id and accordingly, the notice was sent to the email id. He said, the notice has been acknowledged by Nirav Modi.


The first sale of Electoral Bonds will commence from the 1st of next month for a period of ten days. The Ministry of Finance said, State Bank of India has been authorized to issue and encash Electoral Bonds initially at its four authorised branches.

Electoral Bond will be valid for 15 days from the date of issue and no payment shall be made to any payee Political Party if the Bond is deposited after expiry of the validity period. The Bond deposited by any eligible political party to its account shall be credited on the same day.

The Centre had notified the Electoral Bond Scheme 2018 through a Gazette Notification on the 2nd of last month. As per provisions of the Scheme, Electoral Bonds may be purchased by a person, who is a citizen of India or incorporated or established in India.

Only Political Parties registered under Representation of People Act, which secured not less than one per cent of the votes polled in the last General Election to the House of People or Legislative Assembly of the State shall be eligible to receive Electoral Bonds.


Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau has asked Indian Industries for enhancing trade and investment ties for the benefit of both countries. Addressing India-Canada Business Session in New Delhi this evening, Mr Trudeau said, India and Canada have to deepen and broaden the historical relationship. He said, India and Canada must champion diversity as it leads to better decision making and spurs Innovation. He said, this week’s trip has resulted in over one billion Dollar investment between Canada and India. Mr Trudeau said, both countries are committed to pursuing and upholding democracy.

"I say all the time that Canada is strong not inspite of our differences but because of them and my friends, the same is said of India. Diversity of religion, gender, lived experience-these things enrich us and make our communities stronger and more resilient."

Speaking at the session, Union Minister for Food Processing Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal said, Canada and India have immense scope to collaborate in various spheres including cold chain and refrigeration.


India says it is ascertaining details as to how convicted Khalistani terrorist Jaspal Atwal got a visa to enter India. A controversy had erupted after Canadian High Commissioner Nadir Patel invited Atwal for a dinner which he was hosting for the visiting Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his delegation tonight. Replying to a media query in New Delhi this evening, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the invitation for the reception to Atwal tonight has already been withdrawn by the Canadian side.

"This is something which should be addressed to the Canadian side.  I believe they have already clarified, they have said that it was an oversight and that is the reason why the invitation for the reception tonight, I believe, has been withdrawn"


Five-time world champion M C Mary Kom in 48kg category today assured herself of a third successive international medal by advancing to the semifinals of the 69th Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament for men and women in Sofia (Bulgaria) today. She defeated old nemesis Steluta Duta of Romania in her quarterfinal contest.


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