Showing posts with label narendra modi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label narendra modi. Show all posts

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

PM Modi launches a new bank MUDRA to support small scale entrepreneurs

PM Narendra Modi launches MUDRA bank

Coming to the rescue of farmers hit by unseasonal rains and hailstorm, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today announced higher compensation for crop damage and eased criteria for them to avail government support.

The Prime Minister said that he has also asked banks to restructure loans of affected farmers and instructed insurance companies to pro-actively settle their claims.

Speaking at the launch of Rs 20,000-crore MUDRA Bank, Modi said criteria of 50 per cent crop damage for providing compensation to affected farmers has been reduced to 33 per cent which will help more farmers to get compensation for their crop loss.
“Second important decision we have taken is to raise the parameters for helping him (farmers). The amount of compensation has been increased to 1.5 times. If earlier, he was getting Rs 100 as compensation, now he will get Rs 150, if it was Rs 1 lakh, he will get Rs 1.5 lakh… a 50 per cent increase,” he said.

Farmers, the Prime Minister said, have suffered a lot on account of natural calamities.
“Last year, it was due to less rainfall and this year due to unseasonal rainfall and hailstorm”, Modi said, adding that
he took a review of the crop damage with Ministers sent to undertake on the spot assessment.
Yesterday, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh had said that unseasonal rains and hailstorms have damaged rabi (winter-sown) crops in about 113 lakh hectares of crop area in the country.
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Monday, 30 June 2014

India's Modi eyes first labor overhaul in decades to create jobs

A labourer cuts an iron rod at the construction site of a flyover on the outskirts of the western Indian city of Ahmedabad June 24, 2014.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set in motion the first major revamp in decades of India's archaic labor laws, part of a plan to revive the flagging economy, boost manufacturing and create millions of jobs. Successive governments have agreed labor reform is critical to absorb 200 million Indians reaching working age over the next two decades, but fears of an ugly union-led backlash and partisan politics have prevented changes to free up labor markets. Now, with the benefit of a single party majority in the lower house of parliament for the first time in 30 years, laws that date back to just after the end of British rule are set for an overhaul. Officials at the labor ministry say this is a top priority in the government's first 100 days in office. India has a forest of labor laws, including anachronisms such as providing spittoons in the work place, and are so complex that most firms choose to stay small. In 2009, 84 percent of India's manufacturers employed fewer than 50 workers, compared to 25 percent in China, according to a study this year by consultancy firm McKinsey & Co. The World Bank said in a 2014 report that India has one of the most rigid labor markets in the world and "although the regulations are meant to enhance the welfare of workers, they often have the opposite effect by encouraging firms to stay small and thus circumvent labor laws". Business leaders hope Modi, who advocates smaller government and private enterprise, will be a liberalizer in the mould of Margaret Thatcher or Ronald Reagan. Perhaps the most important change, they say, is to rules making it hard to dismiss workers. First up, though, to win public support, his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government is looking to make changes that benefit workers, three senior officials at the labor ministry said. Among the changes: making more workers eligible for minimum wages, increasing overtime hours and allowing women to do night shifts. "We are trying to provide a hassle free environment that helps both workers and industry," a senior labor ministry official involved in the deliberations said. "It is a priority for us." Next on the reform agenda will be the most sensitive issue of loosening strict hire and fire rules. Officials said they have begun preliminary talks with concerned groups about slowly implementing the changes. "There is a definite push ... you will see more measures," said another official at the ministry who is privy to the discussions within the government. REFORMS KEY TO MANUFACTURING JOBS India's 20-year streak of fast economic expansion is often derided as "jobless growth" since the service sector-led model has been capital rather than labor intensive. India does not produce reliable, regular jobless data, but long-term surveys by the statistics department show the country only created 5 million manufacturing jobs between 2004/5 and 2011/12. In the same period some 33 million people left farms looking for better paid work. The majority were absorbed into low productivity and irregular work on construction sites. Moreover, research suggests India needs 12 million new jobs every year to absorb the largest youth bulge the world has ever seen. It has fallen far behind that target. Companies complain that current laws requiring rarely granted government permission for layoffs make it impossible to respond to business downturns, and blame the laws for the country's relatively small manufacturing sector. Manufacturing contributes just 15 percent to India's nearly $2 trillion economy. New Delhi says it wants to lift that share to 25 percent within a decade to help create 100 million jobs. Comparatively, manufacturing accounted for 45 percent of China's GDP in 2012. "If business cycles are volatile, the ability to downsize and upsize should be freely available," said R. Shankar Raman, chief financial officer at Larsen & Toubro (LART.NS), one of India's biggest conglomerates. In what is seen as a test for Modi's labor reform agenda and is intended to inspire other states, Rajasthan this month proposed amendments to the federal law to allow firms in the northern state to lay off up to 300 workers without government permission. Currently, clearance is required to fire more than 100 workers and this is rarely granted. LABOR MILITANCY DECLINES Labor unions cutting across party affiliations have opposed the state government's move and have asked Modi to intervene. The BJP's own union has called a meeting of its officials early next month to chalk out a strategy to protest what it said was a lack of consultation over the shake up in Rajasthan. Since almost all the unions in India have political affiliations, their opposition to reforms has a risk of turning into a full-scale political agitation. But the risk that the reforms could also bring full-blown street protests similar to that seen in Thatcher's Britain are unlikely. Labor militancy has declined in India, although sporadic violent protests like one at a Maruti Suzuki <(MRTI.NS) factory in 2012 which resulted in a death of a company official are enough to make policymakers wary on the pace of reform. The labor ministry has asked for public comments by early July on the changes it plans to the Minimum Wages Act, which sets minimum wages for skilled and unskilled labours, and the Factory Act, which governs health and safety. The proposed changes would standardize minimum wages nationally while increasing the frequency of salary revisions based on consumer prices. Although potentially inflationary, the move could bring millions of workers into the formal economy. The ministry also wants to extend the amount of overtime workers can clock and scrap a 1948 rule that prohibits women working at night in factories, suggestions that have been welcomed by both labor groups and employers.
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Sunday, 15 June 2014

India's Modi visits Bhutan on first step of bid to reassert regional sway

Prime Minister Narendra Modi takes his oath at the presidential palace in New Delhi May 26, 2014.
(Reuters) - Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi begins on Sunday his first visit abroad since taking office, arriving in Bhutan to launch a drive to reassert Indian influence in the region, offering financial and technical help and the lure of a huge market. The tiny Buddhist nation, wedged in the Himalayas between India and China, is the closest India has to an ally in South Asia, a region of bristling rivalry where China is making inroads. While India has been struggling recently with policy paralysis and a slowing economy, China has been building ports in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and in its "all-weather ally" Pakistan. China overtook India as the biggest foreign investor in Nepal in the first six months of this year. Modi's Hindu nationalist party has vowed to end the neglect of neighbors and in an unprecedented gesture, he invited all regional leaders to his inauguration last month. On Sunday, Modi will lay the foundation of a 600 MW hydroelectric power station in Bhutan and inaugurate a parliament building constructed by India. "Bhutan and India share a very special relationship that has stood the test of time," Modi said before his departure for Bhutan's capital, Thimphu, which is nestled in mountains and was for centuries closed to outsiders. "Thus, Bhutan was a natural choice for my first visit abroad." In the longer term, Modi's government aims to make India the dominant foreign investor across South Asia as well as the main provider of infrastructure loans, in the same way China has done in much of the rest of Asia and in Africa. Consolidating ties with difficult neighbors like Pakistan and Bangladesh could reduce poverty and transform regional security relationships, Indian officials say. "Although India would like to have a greater say in South Asian matters beyond trade, so far we have not been able to exercise substantial political clout," said P.D. Rai, a member of India's parliament from the Sikkim state, which shares a border with Bhutan. "Modi's first visit to Bhutan will have to be looked at in this light." 'PLEASANT SURPRISE' India's neighbors have responded enthusiastically to Modi's overtures. His Pakistani counterpart, Nawaz Sharif, overcame resistance at home to attend the inauguration even though political ties remain fragile and marked by deep distrust. On Sunday, giant portraits of Modi and his Bhutanese counterpart, Tshering Tobgay, were strung up along a mountain highway with switchback bends that Modi will take from the airport to Thimphu. He opted to go by road instead of by helicopter. School children gathered early on the tree-lined route as prayer flags tied high on poles fluttered in the wind. Beyond them rose dark slopes where people looked out from homes and monasteries clinging to unlikely perches. "Given that India has so many competing priorities and that the newly elected prime minister could have visited any other country, it did come as a pleasant surprise," Tobgay said in an interview with The Hindu newspaper on Saturday. Bhutan, the size of Switzerland and with a population of 750,000, has only recently emerged from centuries of isolation. Its first road was built in 1962 and television and the Internet arrived in 1999. It is the world's first country to monitor gross national happiness an alternative to gross domestic product, to balance a tentative embrace of modernity with an effort to preserve traditions. But Bhutan, which the made the transition from absolute monarchy to parliamentary democracy in 2008, is struggling with high unemployment and a growing national debt. The government that took power 2012 says rather than talk about the happiness index, it wants to focus on obstacles to happiness. (Editing by Robert Birsel)
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Saturday, 31 May 2014

New Indian government fights power cuts in Delhi, biggest state

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi takes his oath at the presidential palace in New Delhi May 26, 2014.
(Reuters) - India's new energy minister pulled an all-night work session to tackle power cuts caused by a dust storm in New Delhi on Friday and provide more electricity to the country's largest state that is suffering outages in sweltering summer heat. The power crunch is a test of whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in power for less than a week, can live up to the reputation for reliable services he built during more than a decade as chief minister of Gujarat. Uttar Pradesh, where one in six Indians live, has been hit by blackouts of up to 12 hours a day as temperatures soared and were expected to reach 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) in the state capital of Lucknow on Saturday. Piyush Goyal, minister of state for power, coal, and new and renewable energy, said in a series of overnight tweets that he would ensure that a request from Uttar Pradesh for an extra 325 megawatts of power would be met by Saturday morning. Peak demand for power in Uttar Pradesh is around 12,700 MW, around 2,000 MW in excess of supply that has been available until now due to power station shutdowns and delays in buying coal stocks, the government says. Goyal also said action was being taken to address power disruptions in the capital. Friday's sudden dust storm caused widespread damage, halted the city's metro and, according to news reports, killed at least nine people. "We will do an all-nighter to monitor the situation & expedite restoration work. Ours is a 24x7 government," he wrote in a tweet. (Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Matt Driskill)
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Thursday, 29 May 2014

Narendra Modi unveils broad policy priorities, asks ministers to set 100-day agenda

Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled his broad policy priorities on Thursday, instructing his ministers to prepare their respective agenda for the first 100 days in office and ensure their time-bound delivery. Modi told his cabinet to focus on efficient governance, delivery and implementation of projects and to work closely with states to ensure the collective progress of the country. He spelled out 10 broad policy priorities that included boosting infrastructure and investment, a stable policy ecosystem and a freer hand to the bureaucracy to implement plans. "The Prime Minister issued guidelines to the ministers … He asked the ministers to set a timetable for the first 100 days listing the priorities," parliamentary affairs minister M Venkaiah Naidu told reporters after attending the cabinet meeting chaired by Modi. "State proposals should not be kept pending for long. There is a need to take the states along," Naidu said, reflecting a view that Modi as chief minister of Gujarat had frequently pushed for. Still, Thursday’s announcements appeared lacking in detail as to what the government would grasp first given the scale of the country’s economic problems, including high prices, poor public finances and a waning of interest among investors. Expectations from Modi remain sky high and his government must deliver fast on creating jobs and building infrastructure to justify his powerful mandate to reform the ailing economy.

But Naidu refused to clarify what the government’s top focus was.

"Containing inflation is an obvious priority for the government," he said. “All sectors are a priority (for the Prime Minister) and expectations are high,” Naidu said, adding that agriculture and women’s security were also focus areas.

He also said Parliament will sit from June 4 for the first time since the election to swear in new lawmakers and select a speaker of the house on June 6. Congress’ Kamal Nath would be the temporary speaker of Lok Sabha until then.

In signs that the Prime Minister’s Office would become the most important policy making centre, Modi told his ministers that he would, from time to time, directly interact with secretaries of various departments.
He also urged his cabinet to give ample work to the ministers of state (Mos).

“But an MoS is an MoS. Try to understand. A cabinet minister is responsible. They have to segregate work,” Naidu said.

“He cannot give total decision-making to an MoS. But certain work has to be given to the MoS so that they have the satisfaction of having some role.”

Modi’s 10-point agenda:
1. Building confidence in the bureaucracy

2. Welcoming innovative ideas and giving freedom to bureaucrats in their work

3. Education, health, water, energy and roads will be given priority

4. Transparency in the government. E-auction will be promoted

5. A system will be in place for inter-ministerial issues

6. A people-oriented system to be put in place in the government machinery

7. Addressing concerns related to the economy

8. Infrastructure and investment reforms

9. Implementing policy in a time-bound manner

10. Stability in government policy
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Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Modi government constitutes SIT to unearth black money

New Delhi, May 27 (PTI) In the first decision after assuming office, the Narendra Modi government today constituted a special investigative team (SIT) to unearth black money.

The SIT will be headed by former Supreme Court judge M B Shah and will include Revenue Secretary, CBI and IB directors, Enforcement Directorate official, CBDT Chairman and RBI deputy governor. Former Supreme Court judge Arijit Pasayat will be the vice-chairman of the panel.
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Monday, 26 May 2014

Narendra Modi sworn in as 15th prime minister, calls for 'strong and inclusive India'

Source- HT
India crowned Narendra Modi its prime minister on Monday at a glittering event attended by leaders from neighbouring countries, top politicians and holy men, and replete with symbolism and grandeur.
Narendra Modi being sworn in as the 15th Prime Minister of India. (ANI photo)

Modi, 63, was sworn in by President Pranab Mukherjee ten days after leading the National Democratic Alliance to a landslide win in the world's biggest election.
Dressed in a white full sleeve kurta, a beige Nehru jacket and a white pajama, Modi arrived at Rashtrapati Bhawan for the event at 6pm to a roar incongruous to the solemnity of the occasion but underlining the rockstar status that he has achieved over the past few months.
Apart from Modi, a total of 44 ministers were also sworn in.

Modi, a former RSS pracharak who sold tea at a railway station as a young boy, showed no signs of emotion or nerves as he read out the oath of secrecy and signed the register, though there appeared to be genuine warmth in the greetings he exchanged with the president.
"I, Narendra Damodardas Modi, do swear in the name of God that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of India as by law established."
The audience of about 5,000 was packed into the magnificent forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhawan, and included Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif - sitting next to outgoing PM Manmohan Singh - Afghan president Hamid Karzai, Nepal PM Sushil Koirala, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, former presidents Abdul Kalam and Pratibha Patil and former PM Deve Gowda.
In a statement on the website of the prime minister's office, which was under transformation from 5pm onwards and went live after Modi was sworn in, the new PM said, "As we devote ourselves to take India's development journey to newer heights, we seek your support, blessings and active participation."
"Together we will script a glorious future for India," added the 63-year-old Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader.

"Let us together dream of a strong, developed and inclusive India that actively engages with the global community to strengthen the cause of world peace and development," the statement said.

Altogether 24 cabinet ministers were sworn in and the list comprised BJP bigwigs such as Nitin Gadkari, Rajnath Singh, Venkaiah Naidu, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley and Delhi chief Harsh Vardhan as well as former Union minister Maneka Gandhi.

There were also 10 ministers of state with independent charge including former army chief Gen VK Singh and BJP MPs Santosh Gangwar, Prakash Javadekar and Piyush Goyal.
Also, the list of 11 ministers of state included Upendra Kushwaha, Kiran Rijiju and Sanjeev Kumar.
The youngest minister in the Modi government will be 38-year-old Smriti Irani, who once served at a McDonald's outlet, and the oldest, 74-year old Najma Heptulla, who is the only Muslim in the group.
Ahead of the oath-taking ceremony, Modi had indicated he would not like to have a large cabinet, and that the focus would be on consolidation of portfolios.
Although their exact portfolios were not announced, Sushma Swaraj is expected to become the foreign minister and Arun Jaitley is tipped to be the finance minister.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, blamed by some for the party's disastrous showing in the polls, found a place only in the second row at the event.
BJP patriarch LK Advani, effectively sidelined by Modi during the campaign, was seated among the foreign dignitaries.
The celebrity roster included actors Salman Khan and Dharmendra and cricketer Sunil Gavaskar. Spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar had a front-row view.
Two of India's richest men, the Ambani brothers, were both in attendance, as were other tycoons Shashi Ruia and Gautam Adani.
White, so beloved of Indian politicians, was the dominant colour, but was interrupted by considerable doses of saffron, the colour of Hindutva.

Modi's mother, 92-year-old Hiraben, was unwell and couldn't make the trip, but watched on television from Gandhinagar.
In an interview shortly before Modi's inauguration, Pakistan PM Sharif said Modi's arrival in power represented "a great opportunity" for the nuclear-armed rivals to forge a new era in the troubled relationship between the two countries.
"Pakistan wants good relations with India and I am going to New Delhi with a message of peace," Sharif was quoted as saying by the PTI before he left Pakistan.
Modi and Sharif will have a "short, courtesy" meeting on Tuesday morning and are expected to steer clear of any acrimonious issues leaving long-standing disputes to be tackled in later formal bilateral talks. The Pakistan PM is accompanied by wife Kulsoom Nawaz and son Hussain Nawaz.
Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa also attended the ceremony. Rajapaksa, a nationalistic leader, was among the first leaders to reach out to Modi after election victory. But after an invitation was extended to him, Tamil Nadu erupted in protest.
(with agency inputs)
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Saturday, 17 May 2014

India's Modi gets hero's welcome as he brings new era to New Delhi

Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi (L), the prime ministerial candidate for India's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), gestures to his supporters during a road show in New Delhi May 17, 2014.

(Reuters) - Hundreds of Indians thronged the leafy streets of New Delhi on Saturday to greet Narendra Modi's triumphant march into the capital after he decimated the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty and the ruling Congress party in the biggest election victory the country has seen in 30 years.
Modi leaned far out of his car, waving a victory sign to jubilant supporters, in a drive from the airport to the headquarters of his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the center of town.
A Hindu nationalist who critics fear will be divisive and autocratic, Modi toned down religious issues in his pitch to India's 815 million voters and won the world's biggest ever election with promises of economic development for all.
The three-times chief minister of the western state of Gujarat is an outsider to Delhi's power circle. The low-caste son of a tea stall-owner, his rise to power signals the end of an era dominated by the descendants of India's first prime minister, independence hero Jawaharlal Nehru.
"Four to five generations have been wasted since 1952, this victory has been achieved after that," Modi said, in a jibe at the Nehru-Gandhi family and the Congress it dominates.
Describing himself as a "worker", he hailed grass-roots campaigners who showered him with pink rose petals as he arrived at party headquarters. There he met other party leaders and was expected to start discussions about forming a cabinet. Modi will not formally take office until after Tuesday, the party said.
Modi has given India its first parliamentary majority after 25 years of coalition governments, with his party winning more than six times the seats garnered by Congress.
With almost all 543 seats declared by Saturday morning, Modi's BJP looked set to win 282 seats, 10 more than the majority required to rule. With its allied parties, it was heading for a comfortable tally of around 337 - the clearest result since the 1984 assassination of prime minister Indira Gandhi propelled her son Rajiv to office.
During the campaign Modi was explicit about wanting to end the dominance of the Nehru-Gandhi family on Indian politics. He may have achieved the goal, with Congress reduced to just 44 seats, less than half of its previous worst showing.
Modi's landslide win gives him ample room to advance reforms started 23 years ago by current Prime Minister Manmohan Singh but which have stalled in recent years.
Despite his party's pasting, 81-year-old Singh was magnanimous in his final address to the nation on Saturday, wishing the incoming government success. Later, he tendered his resignation.
"I am confident about the future of India," he said in his televised message. "I firmly believe that the emergence of India as a major powerhouse of the evolving global economy is an idea whose time has come."
Unlike Singh and his predecessors, Modi will not have to deal with unruly partners to implement reform. That could usher in profound economic changes, with some supporters imagining him as India's answer to former British leader Margaret Thatcher.
The desire for change among the youthful electorate after a slump in economic growth, years of policy drift and a spate of corruption scandals overrode concerns about a spasm of violence against Muslims that occurred on his watch in Gujarat 12 years ago, as well as worries his pro-Hindu leanings would sideline minorities.
In his victory speech on Friday, 63-year-old Modi struck an inclusive tone, declaring that "the age of divisive politics has ended - from today onwards the politics of uniting people will begin".
"No words will be enough to salute the youth of India. They led from the front in the elections & rose above non-issues like caste & creed," Modi wrote on his Twitter page late on Friday.
In Washington, the Obama administration congratulated Modi, and said he would be granted a visa for U.S. travel. Washington denied Modi a visa in 2005 over the sectarian riots three years previously in Gujarat state, where he was chief minister.
Modi is expected to try to replicate his success in attracting investment and building infrastructure in Gujarat, the state he has governed for more than 12 years.
Betting on a Modi win, foreign investors have poured more than $16 billion into Indian stocks and bonds in the past six months and now hold over 22 percent of Mumbai-listed equities - a stake estimated by Morgan Stanley at almost $280 billion.
But with India's economy suffering its worst slowdown since the 1980s and battling high inflation, it will not be an easy task to meet the hopes of millions of Indians who have bought into the idea that Modi will quickly push their country onto the top table of global economic powers.
His party also lacks strength in the upper house of parliament, where backing is needed for legislation to pass.
When Indira Gandhi was prime minister it was often said that she was so dominant that "India is Indira, Indira is India". The Economic Times echoed that on Saturday, with a headline: "India is Modi. Modi is India."
"Modi's ability to rise from nothing to everything has demonstrated that Indians are no longer willing to accept credentials such as belonging to a dynasty or assertion of past scholarly accomplishment abroad as a substitute for persuasive argumentation: you have to perform to command respect," Jagdish Bhagwati, an eminent Indian-born economist who has positioned himself to advise the new prime minister, told Reuters in an email exchange.
(Additional reporting by Frank Jack Daniel and Aditya Kalra in New Delhi; Writing by Frank Jack Daniel; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)
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Friday, 16 May 2014

Modi wins India's election with a landslide, partial results show

Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi, prime ministerial candidate for India's main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Gujarat's chief minister, attends the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) national convention in New Delhi February 27, 2014.

(Reuters) - Opposition candidate Narendra Modi will be the next prime minister of India, with counting trends showing the pro-business Hindu nationalist and his party headed for the most resounding election victory the country has seen in thirty years.
Modi's landslide win was welcomed with a thundering rally on India's stock markets and raucous celebrations at offices across the country of his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), where supporters danced, exploded fireworks and handed out sweets.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, whose Congress party headed for a crushing defeat, telephoned Modi to congratulate him on his success, the prime minister's office said.
Crowds surged around Modi's car after he visited his mother's home in the western state of Gujarat. He sent a message saying "India has won," that instantly set a record as the country's most retweeted Twitter post.
"I'm so happy because all of India wanted a strong government," said software engineer Vinod Rai as he embraced friends and shouted in joy at the BJP's Delhi headquarters, his forehead smeered with vermillion red.
The party was headed for a majority in parliament, giving Modi the most decisive mandate for any leader since the 1984 assassination of prime minister Indira Gandhi propelled her son to office. Since 1989, India has been governed by coalitions.
The BJP was winning in 277 seats of the 543-seat parliament, counting trends showed. An alliance led by the party was ahead in 336 seats, TV channel NDTV said.
Responding to the news Indian markets got off to a roaring start, with the rupee breaking below 59 to the U.S. dollar, an 11-month high, and the benchmark stock index jumped 6 percent before paring its gains.
Betting on a Modi win, foreign investors have poured more than $16 billion into Indian stocks and bonds in the past six months and now hold over 22 percent of Mumbai-listed equities - a stake estimated by Morgan Stanley at almost $280 billion.
Unlike his predecessors, Modi will not have to deal with unruly partners as he implements reform. That could usher in profound economic changes, and he will try to replicate his success in attracting investment and building infrastructure in Gujarat, the state he has governed for 12 years.
"He can afford to have a smaller but stronger cabinet, that means a far more decisive government. He has been saying less government and more governance, we are really likely to see that," said Navneet Munot, Chief Investment Officer at SBI Funds management in Mumbai.
But with India's economy suffering its worst slowdown since the 1980s and battling high inflation, it will not be an easy task to meet the hopes of millions of Indians who have bought into the idea that Modi will quickly push their country onto the top table of global economic powers.
"People will not give him much time to deliver," said Neerja Chowdhury, a political analyst and a former political editor of the Indian Express newspaper. "On the economic reform agenda, I think he will move very quickly ... he's a doer and he's very focused."
The 63-year-old's promises of job creation and clean, efficient government resonated with many of the half a billion people who braved blistering summer heat to vote in the world's biggest election over the last five weeks.
Since being named as his party's candidate last September, Modi has flown 300,000 km and addressed 457 rallies in a slick, presidential-style campaign that has broken the mould of Indian politics.
Modi's media-savvy, modern campaign ran circles round his slow-footed rival, Rahul Gandhi, 43, from the Congress party. The Congress, which led India to independence from Britain, was headed for its worst-ever result after two terms in office marred by corruption and a floundering economy.
Prime Minister Singh, who as finance minister launched reforms in 1991 that brought an end to decades of economic isolation, has already bid farewell to his staff after ten years in office marked by mounting policy paralysis.
The desire for change has been so strong that voters put aside concerns about Modi's Hindu-centric politics. A dark chapter of violence against Muslims on his watch has mattered less and less to many, including a bulging middle class alarmed by dwindling purchasing power and job opportunities as the economy slumped to sub-five percent growth in the last two years.
Gandhi was leading by a slender margin in his seat of Amethi, a family bastion that has been held in turn by his uncle, father and mother, Sonia. A loss there would spell disaster for the great grandson of India's independence leader.
Modi has promised that, if elected, he would take decisive action to unblock stalled investments in power, road and rail projects to revive economic growth.
Tax and labor market reforms, backed by a gradual opening up to foreign investment, would seek to create the 10 million jobs that Asia's third-largest economy must create every year to employ young people entering the workforce.
Modi watched the results on TV at his home in Gujarat then met his mother, 95-year-old Hiraben, at his brother's modest government flat in the state capital, Gandhinagar. He touched her feet and she put a red stripe on his forehead as a blessing, while crackers burst outside amid chants of "Modi, Modi."
He was later expected to embark on a victory tour to his local constituency of Vadodara, while party workers in New Delhi hoped he would go there later for what could be a hero's welcome.
(Additional reporting by Frank Jack Daniel, Rajesh Kumar Singh, Aditya Kalra, Rajesh Kumar Singh, Malini Menon and Tommy Wilkes in NEW DELHI, and by Sanjeev Miglani in AHMEDABAD, India; Writing by Douglas Busvine and Frank Jack Daniel; Editing by John Chalmers and Simon Cameron-Moore)
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Sunday, 4 May 2014

Modi trying to 'divide' Bengal over religion and ethnicity, says Mamata


Trinamool Congress boss and Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee has finally hit back at the BJP’s PM candidate Narendra Modi on the illegal Bangladeshi immigration issue, daring him to “touch them” and face the consequences
On April 27, Modi said at a rally that the illegal Bangladeshi entrants should “pack their bags” and leave after May 16 – the election result day. On Friday, BJP president Rajnath Singh also mentioned that one of the foremost tasks of the BJP-led government would be to deal with Bangladeshi migrants.

Read: Will deport illegal Bangladeshi Muslim migrants: BJP

Mamata, addressing her first election rally on Saturday in Nandigram — a Muslim majority area in East Midnapore district, which became the epicentre of the anti-land acquisition agitation — to campaign for her candidates.

“The BJP wants to divide the people of Bengal on the basis of religion and ethnicity. It wants to throw the refugees of 1971 out of India. If even one Bengali is touched, we will not sit silently. It’s good to be brave but it’s unwise to become a daredevil.”

She said “Modi is a paper tiger, but he has not faced a royal Bengal tiger….NaMo babu is being filled with gas by the media.”

Read: Mamata takes a dig at Modi, calls him 'paper tiger'
She also reminded the crowd how Bengalis were harassed in Delhi for being from this region. “Refugees are living in India as per the international agreements and Hindus and Muslims, Bengalis and non-Bengalis stay in harmony in Bengal. They can never be divided.”

Dogged by the opposition demand for CBI investigation into the Saradha scam, Banerjee took a dig at the agency for failing to deliver justice to the Nandigram people. “The people of Nandigram fought valiantly during the land movement. Although the CBI was asked to investigate, they did nothing and many people are still missing in Nandigram.”
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Friday, 2 May 2014

Nothing wrong, no political agenda: Kapil Sharma explains Narendra Modi tweet -

TV star Kapil Sharma certainly did not see this coming - in the midst of mud-slinging match. Tweeples took to abusing each other over a Modi tweet he shared.

Talking about the Twitter trouble, Kapil Sharma told Hindustan Times, "I just shared the picture as it was great to see that our senior leaders know about the show (Comedy Nights). The post was not political, it was simply for the show."

Narendra Modi on Sunday wrote on Twitter, "The way Rahul Baba is making statements with a dash of comedy in them, I think the TV show of Kapil Sharma may soon have to shut shop."

Modi was reacting to Rahul Gandhi's speech even as he snorted and guffawed, picking up flaws in Gandhi's recent speeches.

Kapil Sharma shared Modi's tweet, perhaps rejoicing at the popularity of his show Comedy Nights with Kapil. Sadly, he was bombarded with abuses and allegations by fans online. The TV host had to delete his tweet to avoid any further damage.

He later requested fans to give religion a break and wrote on Facebook, "Hello friends.. It hurts when i see u people fighting on a social networking site.. Bad words.. Abusing.. Its really sad.. Its my request to all of u ..Pls dont write such bad words to each other on d name of religion.. No religion teaches us to abuse or to disrespect other religion... Please come out of all dis things.. V all are human beings..I just shared mr modi's tweet abt d show becoz u all love dis show.. I felt bad n delete that pic n tweet.. Learn to love each other.. Learn to respect each other.. Lets change this world.. So that humare baad jo generation aye.. Unhe nafrat ka pata hi na ho. God bless this beautiful world.. Keep smiling...Love you all."?

"I think people commenting on the post were some kids. They were talking randomly about the bad blood between India and Pakistan. Social networking site pe 'ye kar denge wo kar denge' kehne ka kya matlab hai? There is no point fighting over religion," he added.

Kapil also said that he deleted the post after he received messages saying it looks bad on his timeline. "Though there was nothing wrong in my post, I decided to delete it because there were around a thousand comments fighting over religion and India-Pak rivalry." - See more at:
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