All roads lead to Mangalgiri, Andhra Pradesh today as Chandrababu Naidu took oath as the Chief Minister for the third time. From Rajnath Singh to Lal Krishna Advani, top leaders were in attendance in the swearing in ceremony. However capital Delhi saw high profile meeting between Foreign Minister of India and China.
Old face, new challenge:
Naidu who is known as a progressive CM from his earlier stint has a mountain to climb in terms of building infrastructure. The loss of Hyderabad is certainly going to hurt Andhra. But today was a day for celebration and TDP workers ensured that it was an event to remember. Top brass of BJP and Chief Minister of states like Punjab, Goa, Rajasthan and Nagaland were present.
Narendra Modi though absent, tweeted to say that the Centre is looking forward to extend their support to the state government. Yesterday Telengana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao met Modi and demanded for special status. The Centre has to tread a fine line in helping the two states without appearing to be biased for any one of them.
In a late night development, tragic news is coming that 24 students from an engineering college in Hyderabad have been swept away in the Beas river near Mandi in Himachal Pradesh. All are feared dead. Home Minister Rajnath Singh has rushed his men there to help in rescue work.
The foreign policy has already emerged as a major priority for the Modi sarkar with efforts underway to break the ice with all the relevant players. Today, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj. Sources indicate all the contentious issues were amicably discussed by both sides.
The meeting took place at the Jawaharlal Nehru Bhavan amidst the loud protest of Tibetan refugees against the visit of Wang Yi. According to MEA spokesperson, Tibet and other issues were discussed in a cordial manner. The fact that Tibetan PM in exile was invited to Modi’s swearing in has not gone down well with Beijing. Bilateral relation between the two countries had met a roadblock in the past NDA rule thanks to rhetoric of then Defence Minister George Fernandes.
However both sides tried to look beyond rancour to script a new chapter in mutual cooperation. Chinese Minister today said that Modi sarkar has “injected new vitality into an ancient civilisation”. He also harped on the shared tradition between two countries. It has been decided that talks will be intensified to prepare a roadmap to solve all the issues. Special focus in the meantime will be given to strengthen the ties in the trade front. Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit India on September, when more detailed talks are expected to take place.
Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa has shot of an angry letter to the Prime Minister, a day after 73 fishermen were nabbed by Sri Lankan authorities. In the letter, Jaya has asked Modi to look for a long-term solution to this niggling issue. She also hoped that India gives a strong diplomatic reply to the island nation. According to Jaya 77 incidents of apprehension and 67 incidents of harassment of fishermen has taken place in 2012-14. Modi earlier ignored the protest of the Tamil parties regarding Rajapakse’s visit to India. But arrest of fishermen is a sensitive issue and he needs to show a proactive image to sort it out soon.
Is Modi listening to President Obama a lot lately? After “Yes we can” slogan during polls even his jargon regarding China policy looks like straight from Obama’s book. In a book launch Modi said that to compete with the dragon nation India has to focus on skill, scale and speed. He also stressed on the importance of quality education and on using renewable sources of energy. Modi today addressed the crowd from 7 Race Course Road, first time since he moved into the new house as Prime Minister.
Modi sarkar seems to have backed down on its intention of removing Robert Vadra from no frisking list in the airports. When the topic first came up, Priyanka Gandhi had written a letter to SPG that if her husband is frisked then she and the kids also don’t want to get special privilege. Sensing controversy, the government has decided that status quo will be maintained. According to senior officials, threat perception is high about the Gandhi family and hence they are exempted from frisking.
Modi government has already had its effect on the market. Both Sensex and Nifty are in an all-time high charting new ground courtesy hot money flowing in from outside India. In May only, nearly Rs. 20,000 crore were invested by FIIs in the Indian market. This is the highest inflow in two-and-a-half years, roughly the time when Indian economy was in doldrums. Next week will reveal crucial economic data for the month of May, which will decide if the rally in the market continues or not.
Gains in rupee though will flatten out according to experts. So those who were thinking that soon rupee will trade at 50/ dollar may be in for disappointment. It is likely to hover around the 60 mark.
Union road transport, highways and shipping minister, Nitin Gadkari has rubbished rumours that he is going to be the face of BJP in the upcoming assembly elections in Maharashtra. According to Gadkari, he is looking for a long stint in the Delhi politics and has no imminent plan of returning to state politics. BJP is looking for a face in the state after possible CM candidate Gopinath Munde passed away in a tragic accident. Incidentally Gadkari didn’t rule out the possibility of carving out the separate state of Vidarbha from Maharashtra, though he said that it will be a tall order.
Speaking of Maharashtra, NCP Chief Sharad Pawar today said that “communal fever” is spreading in the country soon after Modi sarkar took charge. Alluding to the death of a Muslim techie in Pune in the hands of miscreants allegedly belonging to a fringe Hindu group, former Union Minister said that some forces are getting bolstered after new regime has taken charge. Pawar today referred to the likes of RK Singh, VK Singh joining BJP just in the wake of elections. He said that they erred in reposing faith in such individuals. Some hindsight perspective!!
Union Food and Distribution Minister Ram Vilas Paswan has predicted that there will be assembly polls in Bihar within the next 6 months as the government will topple because of internal contradiction. He said that Jiten Ram Manjhi government is in extremely fragile state which has been exposed by them not willing to fight Rajya Sabha by elections.
Congress has decided that the articulate Ghulam Nabi Azad will lead the party in Rajya Sabha. He is all set to be the Leader of Opposition in the Upper House. Anand Sharma will be his deputy.
Finally, a look at the key economic parameters as of today…