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(Challenges Congress to name Rahul as its prime ministerial candidate)

 Chandigarh, September 13 – Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal today said the BJP had chosen the right person to lead the NDA into the forthcoming parliamentary elections and challenged the Congress to name party vice president Rahul Gandhi as its prime ministerial candidate.

            Reacting to the BJP’s anointment of Modi as its prime ministerial candidate, the SAD President said the BJP had taken the right decision and that the tables had now turned against the Congress led UPA government. “Let’s see whether the Congress has the guts to announce Rahul Gandhi as its prime ministerial candidate”, he said adding “due to Modi sahab’s anointment you will see more and more allies coming into the  NDA in the coming days and witness the shrinking of the UPA”.

            Welcoming the decisive action of the BJP and congratulating party president Rajnath Singh for the same, Mr Badal said he was always of the view that the NDA should announce its prime ministerial candidate so that the people of the country were aware who they were voting for eventually. “The BJP has taken the right step by announcing Modi  sahab’s name as he alone can instill confidence among investors who are feeling utterly let down by the flawed policies of the UPA”, he added.

            The SAD President said Mr Narendra Modi had undertaken massive development in Gujarat which had been acknowledged the world over. “I am confident that Modi Sahab can replicate the same success at the national level”, he said while congratulating the Gujarat chief minister on his anointment as the party’s prime ministerial candidate. “I on my behalf can assure the party that the SAD will be steadfast in its support to Modi Sahab”, he added. EOM



 Chandigarh September 13 - The Shiromani Akali Dal patron in chief and Punjab Chief Minister Mr.Parkash Singh Badal said here today that  the anouncement of the name of  Mr. Narendar Modi as the BJP' Prime Ministerial candidate signals the start of the count down for the exit of the anti-poor and anti-farmer UPA government at the center. In a statement here, Mr. Badal said that the decision was in sync with the mood of the nation and would  and that  it would help the country get rid of the "grave paralysis of administrative and political will under the scam-tainted UPA regime.".

  " The announcement would " move the  scam-hit UPA government from the  ICU to the mortuary as the news amounted to  complete withdrawal of life support system to an already deceased body," said Mr. Badal. The Chief Minister expressed the confidence that  Mr. Modi would free the country from  the misrule of the Congress-led UPA government  "The country today badly needs liberation from the clutches of the Congress-led government that has seen the poor become poorer, farmers driven to debt and suicides, middle class reeling under crippling inflation, corruption scaling shocking and unprecedented heights and the country in a state of siege from threats to its internal and  external security. "

 Mr. Badal said that Punjab and Punjabis were looking forward to a change in government at the center as the people of the state were reeling under the anti-Punjab, anti-poor and anti-farmer policies of the UPA.



Chandigarh, September 13 - Shiromani Akali Dal President  and Deputy Chief Minister Punjab Sukhbir Singh Badal today welcomed the BJP's decision to announce Gujarat Chief Minister Narindra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate.
               Reacting to the development here, Mr Badal said the BJP has made the right decision and that the SAD welcomed the development whole heartedly.
          The SAD President while congratulating Mr. Modi, said people of the country were eager to topple the directionless Congress led UPA government. He assured the Gujarat chief minister that the SAD was steadfast in its support to his candidature. EOM


Narendra Modi to contest Lok Sabha polls from Bihar?

Patna, July 28,2013: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi is likely to contest the Lok Sabha election from Nalanda, the home district of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, a BJP leader said Sunday.

"There is a possibility that Modi would contest the Lok Sabha election from Nalanda," Bharatiya Janata Party vice president C.P. Thakur told the media here.

A former central minister, Thakur said party leaders from Bihar had requested Modi to be the Nalanda candidate and they were "hopeful" that he will agree.

He said the state BJP had launched a campaign against Nitish Kumar from his home turf Nalanda, about 100 km from here.

The ruling Janata Dal-United (JD-U), which has ended its alliance with the BJP, said Modi was welcome to contest from Bihar but asked if this meant that he he was not sure of winning from Gujarat.

JD-U spokesperson Neeraj Kumar said the BJP was free to put up any candidate including Modi from Nalanda. "The JD-U is not afraid of any BJP candidate, be it Modi or anyone else," he said.


If Modi applies for visa, US will consider

Washington, July 27, 2013: Reiterating that it would consider grant of a US visa to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi if he applies for one, the US has said the issue has not affected India-US relations in any way.

"Well, we've stated that publicly a number of times," State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters Friday when asked if the department or the US embassy in New Delhi has told Modi's party that his application would be considered.

The US does not issue visas under pressure and evaluates them case by case, she said in response to another question.

"No. We evaluate them case by case, and we wouldn't speak to it publicly anyway. But of course, if he applied it would be considered."

"Beyond that, I don't have any private diplomatic conversations to read out for you," she said when asked if visiting Bharatiya Janata Party president Rajnath Singh had met any one in the State Department or if he had raised the issue here.

Rajnath Singh himself told reporters here Thursday that he would not be meeting anyone at the State department as Secretary of State John Kerry was not in town and his deputy Bill Burns had met him in New Delhi recently.

Asked about the department's reaction on the contentious visa issue, Psaki again parried saying, "Well, certainly as I said yesterday, if he applies, it will certainly be reviewed just as any application would be. But we wouldn't speak about that publicly."

Asked if the issue was affecting US-India relations in any way, Psaki said:

"Absolutely not. The Vice President (Joe Biden) was just there and we have a longstanding, strategic and productive relationship with India."

Modi, who was denied a US visa in 2005 for his alleged role or inaction during the 2002 Godhra riots, has never applied again.

But of late corporate America has been warming upto him and three Republican lawmakers who met him during a recent visit to Ahmadabad with a US business delegation had said they would take up the issue with the Obama administration....IANS

Modi seems set for national role, tears into Congress

New Delhi, March 3, 2012

Setting the stage for a likely national role in the BJP, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi Sunday hit out at the Congress, comparing it to a termite while party leaders stressed on unity, discipline and a clean image for success in the upcoming elections


Modi, seen by many in the BJP as the party's prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, accused the Nehru-Gandhi family of keeping its interests above that of the country and referred to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as a "night watchman" in his loudly-applauded speech at the two-day national council meeting that ended Sunday.

Senior leader L.K. Advani lauded Modi but also showered praise on Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. He lavishly praised Sushma Swaraj's speech, virtually comparing her oratorical skills to that of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

In his address, party president Rajnath Singh cautioned party leaders against speaking out of turn before TV cameras and emphasised that they should abide by discipline.

In a session on good governance, Modi mainly spoke on national issues as he attacked the Congress and its top leadership repeatedly.

"The Congress just does not have the spirit to take the country forward. Other countries have overtaken us. It has sacrificed interests of the country to that of one family," he said.

Congress leaders reacted sharply saying that Modi will get an answer from people.

Exhorting party workers to strive to unseat the Congress in the next general elections, Modi sought to downplay his own role as a possible prime ministerial candidate.

"Who is the person, who is not does not matter in the BJP," he said, while giving credit for his third straight victory to party workers, Gujarat's people and the party's national leadership.

Training his guns on the Gandhi family, he claimed that the Congress had appointed Sitaram Kesri as party president so that no one emerges as a threat to "the family".

"It appeared that a night watchman had been put in place," Modi said, adding that when the turn came to chose a prime minister after 2004 polls, another "night watchman" was appointed.

Modi claimed that the political future of those who can emerge as threat to the family is finished.

He said that if Pranab Mukherjee had been made prime minister, the country would not have suffered as much. "Had Pranab been successful, what would have happened to the family... Hence the tradition of night-watchman."

"Getting rid of Congress is a patriotic job, the same work that was done to get freedom. The way swaraj (self-governance) came, su-raj (good governance) will also come," Modi asserted and added that "Congress was like a termite.".

Advani, in his concluding remarks, emphasised that the party should not compromise with corruption.

In his written speech, Advani talked of the need to change the "mutual equation" between the BJP and minorities but skipped it in his oral speech. He also said there was need to remedy BJP's recent image as "party with differences".

Sushma Swaraj said the party had lost in Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand due to groupism and called upon party workers to take the council's message of "Sushasan sankalp, BJP vikalp (Good governance is the determination, BJP is the alternative)" to each household in the country.

The political resolution attacked UPA over price rise, corruption and misgovernance and said BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) was the alternative.

Reacting to Modi's remarks, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla said the kind of language used by the Gujarat chief minister does not behove any leader of national stature.

Communications and IT Minister Kapil Sibal said that Gujarat chief minister had been attacking Gandhi family for years but people had given a reply in 2004 and 2009 Lok Sabha polls and will do so in 2014.

BJP ally Janata Dal-United, which is opposed to projecting Modi as NDA's prime ministerial candidate, said the issue of candidate should be discussed in a meeting of allies.

"Once BJP decides its candidate, it should come to NDA platform," JD-U's chief whip in Rajya Sabha Ali Anwar Ansari told IANS.////NRIpress


2013-03-04 18:04:01

Modi disinvite casts shadow on Wharton India forum

Washington, March 4, : The bizarre cancellation of an invitation to speak to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has cast a long shadow over the prestigious Wharton India Economic Forum's March 23 conclave.

The abrupt cancellation Sunday of the invitation to Modi to speak via live videoconference at the annual student-run India-centric conference in Philadelphia came after a war of words between Modi supporters and detractors even as corporate America is making a beeline for his state.

Modi may have been denied a US visa for his alleged role in the 2002 Gujarat riots, but foreign dignitaries lavished praise on the third term chief minister at the Vibrant Gujarat 2013 Summit in Gandhinagar in January.

Among them was Ron Somers, president of the US-India Business Council (USIBC), an advocacy group of 300 top American and a score Indian companies seeking stronger commercial relations with India.

Modi has "created a magnet for investment,"said Somers, who is among the other keynote speakers at the forum, hosted by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, which has emerged as one of the largest and most prestigious India-focused business conferences since its inception in 1996.

Other speakers listed for this year's forum are Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Minister of State for IT & Communications Milind Deora

In explanation of its abrupt cancellation of the invitation to Modi, the organizers said: "Our team felt that the potential polarising reactions from sub-segments of the alumni base, student body, and our supporters, might put Mr. Modi in a compromising position, which we would like to avoid at all costs, especially in the spirit of our conference's purpose."

The student body which runs the annual forum said it was "extremely impressed with Modi's credentials, governance, ideologies and leadership, which was the primary reason for his invitation".

However, as a responsible student body within the University of Pennsylvania, "we must consider the impact on multiple stakeholders stake holders in our ecosystem".

The surprise move Sunday came following a strongly-worded letter from a group of Wharton's professors and students saying they were outraged to learn that the forum had invited Modi as a keynote speaker.

"This is the same politician who was refused a diplomatic visa by the United States State Department on March 18, 2005 on the ground that he, as chief minister, did nothing to prevent a series of orchestrated riots that targeted Muslims in Gujarat," it said.

"Modi still does not have a US visa to enter the US, but Wharton plans to present him on Skype to the audience. Recently there have been efforts to whitewash Modi's grim record and to grant him respectability. Wharton's invitation lends itself to doing just that," the letter added..............IANS/