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

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1400 HRS

22nd February, 2018


  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi says, his government is working to find a respectable solution to the Naga issue within a few months; To address election rally at Phulbari in Meghalaya this afternoon.
  • Government to adopt new technologies for housing projects to provide a further boost to the housing sector.
  • Enforcement Directorate freezes mutual funds and shares worth about 94.5 crore rupees of Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi Group in connection with PNB Scam.
  • Pakistani troops violate ceasefire along LoC in Uri sector of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Maldives Prosecutor General says, extension of emergency is  unconstitutional.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi has exuded confidence that within the next few months a respectable solution to the Naga political problem will be arrived at. Addressing an election rally for BJP-NDPP alliance at Tuensang in eastern Nagaland, Mr Modi said his government is working sincerely to bring a solution to the Naga political problem.
Mr Modi called upon the people to vote for a stable government in Nagaland, which would be fully dedicated to the development of the state. He said, only a stable government can work for the development of the state. Mr Modi said, a BJP government in Nagaland will ensure that the money sent by the Centre reaches the people of the state.

"ये भी बहुत जरूरी है कि केन्द्र सरकार नागालैंड के लिए, विकास के लिए इतना पैसा देती है उसकी पाई-पाई आपके विकास के लिए खर्च होनी चाहिए। हमारे देश में एक बार एक प्रधानमंत्री ने कहा था कि दिल्ली से एक रूपया निकलता है तो गांव जाते-जाते 15 पैसा हो जाता है। ये स्थिति बदलने का हमने संकल् लेकर हम काम कर रहे है।"

Talking about the connectivity problem in the state, the Prime Minister said his vision for the North East is 'Transformation by Transportation'. He said, the government has added 500 km of National Highways. Mr Modi said, the talented people of Nagaland have always enhanced the value of the country.

"अब जब देश न्यू इंडिया के संकल् को पूरा करने के संकल् के साथ आगे बढ़ रहा है, तो हम नागालैंड के लोगों का विकास, यहां के लोगों का संकल्, न्यू इंडिया के सपने को पूरा करने में बहुत महत्वपूर्ण भूमिका निभाएगा। आप सभी के योगदान से ही राष्ट्र का निर्माण का यह कार्य तेज गति से आगे बढ़ेगा। न्यू इंडिया का सपना, न्यू नागालैंड का सपना भी साकार होगा।"

Our correspondent has filed this report:

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi talked about road development and said during the last three years work on five hundred kilometers of National Highways in the state have been completed. He also disclosed that the Centre has Plans to connect all State Capitals by Railways. Emphasising on the need to provide electricity to every household, Mr Modi said Centre has spend 800 crore rupees covering one lakh families in Nagaland, which is about 60 percent of the total population. He said, the remaining 40 percent will also be covered very shortly. For Kohima Smart City project, the Prime Minister informed that Centre has already sanctioned 1,800 crore rupees. ANENLA JAMIR, AIR NEWS, KOHIMA."

The BJP is contesting 20 seats in the February 27 elections for the 60-member assembly and NDPP is contesting on remaining 40. Neiphiu Rio, who has been declared elected 'uncontested', is the chief ministerial candidate of the NDPP.


The Prime Minister will address an election rally at Phulbari in Garo Hills in Meghalaya today. Our correspondent reports that elaborate arrangement has been made in and around the venue ahead of Prime Minister's visit. All the political parties have intensified their efforts to woo the voters. Meanwhile, Election Commission is also taking necessary measures to ensure smooth polling. Our correspondent has filed this report:

"The Election Commission will hold a discussion via video conferencing with the senior officials of Assam and Meghalaya tomorrow. Chief Electoral Officer of Meghalaya FR Kharkangor said, the meeting will discuss better border co-ordination, law and order situation, among other issues. There are 177 polling stations bordering Assam. Chief Secretaries, DGPs and Chief Electoral Officers of both the states will attend the video conference. Security has been beefed up in Meghalaya ahead of the polls slated to be held on 27th of this month. MANAS PRATIM SARMA, AIR NEWS, GUWAHATI."


Housing and Urban affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri today said that government will adopt new technologies for their housing projects to provide a further boost to the housing sector. Addressing the National Seminar on Emerging Building Materials and Construction Technologies in New Delhi, Mr Puri said, to construct new building, green technology is the only option. He said, the construction sector has witnessed significant advancements in technology, materials and construction practices. Mr Puri said, this advancement of technology has further led to improved efficiency, safety, and quality of construction projects. He said, with the extension of interest subsidy for the Middle Income Group category, the Housing for all mission has got a big boost. The Minister also said, there is need to revamp scientifically solid waste management system.


The Enforcement Directorate today froze mutual funds and shares worth about 94.5 crore rupees of Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi Group in connection with alleged fraud at Punjab National Bank. Our correspondent has details:

"According to the Enforcement Directorate officials, the frozen mutual funds and shares, worth 86.72 crore rupees, belong to Choksi and his group, and the rest are owned by the Modi group. The agency also seized nine costly cars of Nirav Modi. The CBI team raided Nirav Modi's farmhouse in Alibag in Mumbai. Yesterday, a special court remanded Vipul Ambani, the president of finance of Nirav Modi's FireStar Diamond, and five others in CBI custody till March 5th. Chetan Risbud, AIR News, Mumbai."


In Jammu and Kashmir, a fresh cease fire violation by Pakistan Army has been reported in Uri sector of North Kashmir's Baramulla district today. Security sources told AIR that Pakistan Army resorted to unprovoked firing in Churanda area at Tika post in Uri Sector this morning. They said the fire was  retaliated by Indian Army in a befitting manner. There was no report of any loss of life or damage to any property on this side of LoC. BSF IG Sonali Mishra said that the ceasefire violation by Pakistan is part of their design to disturb peace in the border state.

"पाकिस्तान की तरफ से लगातार इस तरह का दुस्साहस किया जाता है। वे नहीं चाहते है कि भारत में अमन, चैन, शांति रहे, जिसके लिए वह विभिन् तरीके अपनाते हैं। उसमें सीज़फायर वायलेशन, नाइटपेन, बैट एक्शन, इन्फिलिट्रेशन करके इंटरलैंड में भी जो है अमन, शांति को बरकरार नहीं रखना, ये उनके मंसूबे रहते है। उसी के तहत ये कार्रवाई जारी है।"


In Uttar Pradesh, several Union Ministers are attending the sessions related to investment today on the second day of UP Investors summit going on in Lucknow. Speaking in one of the sessions, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today said that defence corridor hub is a sign of synergy between centre and state bureaucracy and it was finalised in a span of just 18 days. She further added that defence corridor hub will generate lakhs of employment and will develop the Bundelkhand area of the state. More from our correspondent:

"Speaking on the opportunities in Defence and Aerospace sector, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, the ministry along with defence experts will go to the businessmen and entrepreneurs of the state for procurement and purchase regading defence production. Union IT Minister Ravishankar Prasad announced to develop Noida and Greater Noida as hub of IT Sector and said that government is now taking BPO sector to tier 2 and tier 3 cities so the youth from these small cites can get employment. 22 MOUs worth 48,000 crores were also signed in the presence of the IT Minister. President Ram Nath Kovind will be the Chief Guest at the valedictory function this afternoon. Sushil Chandra Tiwari, Air News, Lucknow."


In Tamil Nadu, all political parties have appealed to the Centre in unison to form the Cauvery water management committee within six weeks time as specified by the Supreme Court. More than fifty political parties participated in the meeting held at the State Secretariat today. More from our correspondent:

"The long standing Cauvery issue brought in all the parties to the table for a detailed discussion today. Cutting across party lines,all the leaders put forth the creation of Cauvery water management committee within the specified period of six months. The appeal also included the reconsideration of increasing the water demand up to 192 tmc by Karnataka as specified by the Cauvery water tribunal. The parties plan to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to emphasise their demand and seek his intervention on the issue. Joy, AIR NEWS, Chennai.


Communication Minister Manoj Sinha today released a strategic plan in New Delhi to bring synergy among the Public sector undertaking of department of Telecommunication. The strategic plan to synergize PSUs aims at rationalizing human resources, pooling of training capacity, optimum utilization of land and buildings and settlement of legal issues to promote Make in India. Speaking on the occasion, Mr Sinha said, the synergy will enhance the strength of Public sector undertakings. He said, the synergy will also address various business opportunities arising in the country for better future. He said, eynergy will leverage individual strengths to create a multiplier effect on the collective capability of the PSUs of department of telecommunications.


Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar was today discharged from the Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai, where he was undergoing treatment for a pancreatic ailment. Deputy Speaker of the Goa Legislative Assembly Michael Lobo said that Mr Parrikar has reached Goa after the discharge. He was being treated in Mumbai since the 15th of February.


Sensex at Bombay Stock Exchange declined 57 points to 33,788 in afternoon trade. Similarly, The Nifty 50 fell 24 points to 10,373.

The rupee slid beyond 65 against the dollar for the first time since mid-November. In afternoon trade it was at 65.04, down 28 paise.

Globally, all other major Asian markets and major European stocks were also down when reports last came in.    


In Maldives, Prosecutor General has reportedly termed the extension of emergency as unconstitutional, even as the country’s Supreme Court ruled to temporarily maintain the State of Emergency. Opposition MP Ahmed Mahloof said the Prosecutor General has said that she believed the vote was unconstitutional and as a result, the state of emergency is also unconstitutional. More from our correspondent:

"Opposition MPs and some local media have claimed that Prosecutor General and some officials in Attorney General's office have opposed the extension of emergency saying the procedure was void. The Prosecutor General was not present during the President’s address to Parliament last night, thus fueling speculations of her differences with government. However, the Supreme Court has ruled for continuation of emergency till it rules on the validity of vote for extending emergency. In another development, the Maldives government has refused mediation by UN to carry out all party dialogue for resolving the crisis. Earlier, President Yameen called for all party talks but opposition parties had requested for UN mediation to participate. SANTOSH KUMAR, FOR AIR NEWS, FROM COLOMBO."


Canadian High Commission has canceled dinner invitation to Jaspal Atwal, a convicted Khalistani terrorist. The High Commission said in New Delhi today that it has rescinded Atwal's invitation for tonight's dinner being hosted by the High Commissioner for the visiting Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau and his delegation. The cancellation comes at a time when Trudeau's pro-Khalistan approach is being criticised by many including Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who raised the issue with the Canadian Prime minister during a meeting.

Atwal was convicted for trying to kill the then Punjab Minister Malkiat Singh Sidhu in Vancouver in 1986.


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