Atal Bihari Vajpayee, three-time Prime Minister of India and one of the country's most respected politicians, has died. The AIIMS AIIMS, where the 93-year-old was being treated for nine weeks, made the announcement at around five on Thursday evening. Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the hospital twice in 24 hours and top politicians from across parties arrived as the former prime minister's health worsened on Wednesday. Vajpayee was admitted to hospital on June 11 with a kidney tract infection and chest congestion.
The Congress on Saturday stepped up its attack on the Modi government on the issue of corruption and took ownership of the National Register of Citizens while accusing BJP of using it as "divisive tool" as it decided to launch a "decisive battle" along with opposition parties against the BJP.
In a show of opposition unity against the ruling NDA, Congress President Rahul Gandhi led a protest demonstration against the rape of 34 minors in a government-funded shelter home in Bihar, alleging that weaker sections were under attack by the Narendra Modi government and now it would be the BJP-RSS ideology versus the rest of India.
Since illegal immigrants stoke the xenophobia of "nationalist" parties, it is a card which they are reluctant to forsake. It is not in India alone that the card is played.
Against the background of intense speculation about US President Donald Trumps growing indifference to India’s security needs and the landmark India-US Nuclear Cooperation Agreement came the dramatic announcement of the "Tier 1 waiver" for India. This exception from the export control regime will allow the US to export sensitive technology to India without individual licences or approval from Congress, where anti-India interest groups used to hold them up through filibusters.
Call it coincidence or mysterious design, there are moments in world affairs when disparate societies have the same experience.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh has assured there will be no discrimination or needless harassment in finalizing the new citizen's list that excludes 40 lakh people from Assam. "The process is fair and transparent. We are doing everything according to the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court. Every step is being followed," Singh said in a statement in the Rajya Sabha. "I assure everyone that no Indian citizen will be left out. There is absolutely no need to worry." He also assured that there would be no coercive action against those who had been left out of the National Register of Citizens for Assam.
The exit of two prominent journalists from a Hindi news channel was raised in Parliament, where opposition leaders alleged that the channel, ABP News, has been targeted over a report critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government. In the Lok Sabha, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge accused the government of trying to curb freedom of the press. "There have been several instances of the government trying to stifle the media in the past few years. Especially when they try to do a 'Reality Check' of the government's views. That's when they are intimidated, threatened... if.”
The great cat and mouse game over absconder Mehul Choksi takes a curious turn after the Antigua government’s claim that his citizenship papers were cleared by the Indian government with no adverse report cited against the diamond jeweller. In a government statement published by the Antigua Observer onlines states: The Citizenship By Investment Unit (CIU) provides the following facts regarding the Mehul Choksi matter in an effort to provide clarity and address misinformation that has been circulating in the public domain. Mehul Choksi’s application was received by the CIU in May 2017 with the necessary documentary requirements including a police clearance certificate as required by section 5 (2) (b) of the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship By Investment Act 2013. The said police clearance certificate from the Government of India, Ministry of External Affairs Regional Passport Office, Mumbai, certified that there was no adverse information against Mr. Mehul Chinubbhai Choksi which would “render him ineligible for grant of travel facilities including a visa for Antigua and Barbuda.