It was touted as Prime Minister’s “day in sea”. Breaking away from monotony of working in New Delhi Modi went to Goa to get a firsthand feel of the naval preparedness of the country. June is not really the ideal month to visit Goa but PM and his entourage wasn’t really complaining.
Modi’s day out:
Prime Minister today spent few hours in INS Vikramaditya, India’s largest aircraft carrier warship. The enthusiasm among the sailors and officials was palpable, which was not dampened by hostile weather condition. Today Modi formally announced induction of Vikramaditya , a warship commissioned during the Vajpayee era to the Navy. Prime Minister hailed the occasion as that of pride and profound sense of happiness.
However Modi is aware that this warship commissioned from Russia costs nearly 15,000 crores. Alluding to it, PM urged members of the defence forces to become self-sufficient. He said that ideally India shouldn’t be importing defence techniques. Rather it should export such equipment to other countries according to Modi.
Accompanying Modi in this 44,500 tonne warship was Goa CM Manohar Parrikar, Chief of Naval Staff R K Dhawan, NSA Doval and other eminent dignitaries. Numerous “air power demonstration” was done by naval forces. Modi even went to the cockpit of a MIG 29. In his speech PM reiterated the promise of implementing “one rank, one person” in the armed forces.
Vikramaditya is literally a monster ship covering size of three football fields, having 22 decks and is capable of carrying 1600 officials. It can stay in water continuously for 45 days, a feature likely to come handy in case of a war.
While Modi spent the day in Goa his colleague Defence Minister Arun Jaitley went to Kashmir for his maiden visit after taking charge. Jaitley and Chief of Army Staff General Bikram Singh interacted with the senior officers at the headquarters of the Chinar Corps. They were briefed about overall security situation and the counter insurgency measures army is taking to foil sinister designs of India’s neighbor. Defence Minister is slated to visit areas in the LOC on Sunday to interact with troops stationed there.
Later in the day, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah met Jaitley. Omar said on Twitter that they had fruitful discussion about both defence and finance matters. Sources indicate preparation regarding Amarnath Yatra and planning regarding rehabilitation of Pandits in the valley was discussed between these two articulate leaders.
There has been a spike in ceasefire violation in the last two weeks despite positive talks with Pakistan. Jaitley however reposed faith in his troops saying that they are capable enough to give a befitting reply.
Prime Minister Modi after his tour of Vikramaditya went to meet his party workers in Goa. There for the first time he hinted that people should brace for some unpopular decisions in the imminent future. According to Modi these steps are imperative to rejuvenate the health of the fledgling economy.
Modi unleashed a brutal attack on the Manmohan government. He predicted that the harsh decision which will be taken by his government may not go down well with some sections of the people but expressed hope that they will come around once they receive the benefits originating from them. With few days to go for budget, Modi’s warning indicates that several new taxes may be introduced and decision to completely decontrol prices of petrol and diesel may also be taken.
Over the last two decades Prime Ministers have faltered while taking strong decisions due to pressure of allies. The overwhelming mandate of people has meant Modi doesn’t have to think of any ally. He is looking to use this to his advantage to guide the economy to relative strength.
Government has decided to look into different Free Trade agreements, SEZ policy and Companies Act implemented by the previous government. However Commerce and Industries Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has clarified that they are not looking for any whole sale change. The review is to remove any lacunae in the existing provisions according to Sitharaman.
Modi will reach Bhutan tomorrow for a two day tour. This is his first foreign trip as Prime Minister. Bhutan is a very crucial buffer state between India and China. India shares a very warm relation with them. Bhutan’s PM Tshering Tobgay has gone on record to say that they are extremely elated with this visit. Tshering believes they can help power deficient India by providing hydel power.
President Pranab Mukherjee’s daughter Sharmistha Mukherjee today took part in a candlelight march to protest against long hours of power cuts currently happening in Delhi. Sharmistha said that she has never witnessed such long power cuts ever in Delhi. She took a dig at both AAP and BJP saying that Delhi will soon become the “load-shedding” city. Sharmistha rued the fact that AAP and BJP has failed to make elaborate plans and now the situation has become unbearable. Sharmishtha who is an eminent dancer was not into active politics so far, but this may well be the first step towards it.
Modi Sarkar has got some praise from unexpected quarters. When most of the “liberals” and minorities are apprehending what will happen in the new regime, Forum for Muslim Studies and Analysis has welcome Prime Minister’s declaration that their interest will be looked after.
According to this leading forum of intellectuals they see glimmer of hope in PM’s assertion that there will be no tolerance for communal violence in the country. However they believe that if PM is indeed serious to crack down on such violence, he should pass the “Communal Violence Bill” something BJP has opposed so far. Also they have urged the government not to interfere in the workings of the madrasas in the pretext of modernization.
Forum has strongly condemned Asaduddin Owaisi’s attempts to rake up old controversies in the Lok Sabha. This may well be the first signs of thaw between Modi and moderate Muslim organisations.
Woman who alleged that 17 people including Union Minister Nihal Chand Meghwal raped her in 2011 has now described her harrowing experience when she decided to lodge a complaint. According to the woman hailing from Rajasthan, police asked her not to file a FIR as influential people are involved. She alleged that police didn’t investigate properly which led to acquittal of all the accused in the lower court.
Violence against women and subsequently institutional bias against them is almost reaching an alarming proportion. Even a celebrity of Preity Zinta’s stature is not immune to it. Modi Sarkar can earn lot of goodwill by actually showing “zero tolerance” in such matters.
Finally, a look at the key economic parameters as of today…