India-B'desh borders to be sealed to check infiltration: Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday that India-Bangladesh borders would be sealed to check infiltration, as he accused the Congress of aligning with the forces which are patronising the infiltrators.
Addressing an election rally at Bihpuria under Lakhimpur district in eastern Assam, the Prime Minister said that India-Bangladesh borders with western Assam's Dhubri have been sealed and works are going on at a fast pace to seal the remaining patches of the international borders with Bangladesh.
Five Indian states -- West Bengal (2,216 km), Tripura (856 km), Meghalaya (443 km), Mizoram (318 km) and Assam ( 263 km) -- share 4,096 km borders with Bangladesh.
Without naming the Congress' electoral ally, the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), Modi said that in order to protect its vote bank, the Congress is ready to join hands with any forces and in Assam it forged an alliance with a party that is patronising the infiltrators.
"Congress has no leaders, policy or ideology. The party forged alliance with the Left parties in Assam and West Bengal, but it is fighting against them in Kerala," the Prime Minister said.
Modi also said that the Congress did nothing for the lakhs of tea garden workers when it was in power in Assam.
"In five years, the BJP government has increased the daily wage of tea garden workers twice to over Rs 200. In this year's Budget, a Rs 1,000 crore package was announced for the welfare of lakhs of tea garden workers," the Prime Minister said.
Appreciating BJP's 'Sankalp Patra' for the upcoming Assam elections, Modi said the manifesto is the roadmap to further develop the state.
BJP President J.P. Nadda had on Tuesday released the party's manifesto, focusing on flood management, protection and development of the Assamese culture, empowerment of youth and women, correction of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and checking infiltration.
Modi said that despite being in power in Assam for 15 years (2001-2016), the Congress did nothing to protect and promote the Assamese traditions and culture, instead it backed the poachers involved in killing the state's famed one-horn rhinos.
"In 70 years, 13,000 km rural roads were constructed in Assam, but the BJP government built 15,000 km of rural roads in the state in just five years. Efforts are also on to market Assam's crops outside the state, including organic crops," the Prime Minister said.
Accompanied by Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, the Prime Minister's rally in Bihpuria was his fourth public meeting in six days in the poll-bound state.
Later on Wednesday, Modi is scheduled to address another rally in the Sipajhar Darrang district.
The Prime Minister would visit the BJP-ruled state three more times till April 3 to address several election rallies.
The 126-member Assam Assembly will go the polls in three phases on March 27 (47 seats), April 1 (39 seats) and April 6 (40 seats). The results will be declared on May 2.
Priyanka attacks Modi on lack of empathy for Assam
Jorhat (Assam), Mar 21: Launching a frontal attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Sunday alleged he is sad about a tweet by a 22-year-old woman but not for the flood-ravaged people of Assam.
A day after Modi raised the toolkit issue and alleged Congress conspiracy in it at a poll rally in Chabua in Assam, the daughter of late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, lamented that Modi was silent on peoples'' suffering during perennial floods. Last year''s flooding of the Brahmaputra during the pandemic affected some 2.8 million people.
"I was listening to the Prime Minister''s speech yesterday. He very seriously said that he was very sad about a development. I thought he would speak about Assam''s development or how BJP worked in Assam.
"But I was shocked to hear that the PM was talking about a tweet by a 22-year-old woman (Disha Ravi). He said Congress conspired to finish the tea industry of Assam. He was also sad about Congress mistakenly putting two wrong pictures on social media," Vadra said.
She questioned Modi why he was not sad for the people affected by the flood and the anti-CAA movement, in which five youths were killed.
"Why didn''t you come to Assam when people were drowning? Why were you not sad when all the big promises by BJP were not fulfilled? Did you go to tea gardens and talk to workers about their problems?" the Congress leader asked of Modi.
Talking about the Prime Minister''s famous statement of "double-engined" government in Assam, Vadra made fun of it saying the state currently has "two chief ministers", in an apparent reference to rumours of powerful minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal acting as rival power centers.
The Assam government is not run in Assam... God save you!" she added. The Congress leader also alleged that all segments of the society, including Youths, farmers and tea garden workers, have been cheated by the BJP government as it did not fulfill any of its promises made five years ago.
Also Read: Modi attacks Congress at Assam poll rally, says NDA ensured peace and development
Indo-Bangladesh Cross-Border Rail Route Set to Re-Open After 55 Years
The rail route between Haldibari in West Bengal and Chilahati in neighbouring Bangladesh is all set to reopen after a gap of 55 years on December 17.
According to reports, the prime ministers of both the countries will inaugurate the programme virtually, an official of the Northeast Frontier Railway said.
"Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate Haldibari-Chilahati rail route on December 17," NFR Chief Public Relations Officer Subhanan Chanda said.
The railway line from Haldibari in Cooch Behar to Chilahati in northern Bangladesh has been defunct after rail links between India and then East Pakistan had snapped in 1965.
A goods train will run from Chilahati to Haldibari, which is under the Katihar division of the NRF, to mark the opening of the route, Chanda said.
The distance between Haldibari railway station till the international border is 4.5 kilometres while that from Chilahati in Bangladesh till the zero point is around 7.5 kilometres, sources in the NFR said.
Both Haldibari and Chilahati stations were on the old broad gauge railway route between Siliguri and Kolkata that went through areas in present-day Bangladesh.
When passenger train service begins on this route, people will be able to travel to Kolkata from Jalpaiguri, which is near Siliguri, in seven hours, five hours less than what it takes now, Verma said after visiting Haldibari station on Wednesday.
Himanta Biswa Extends Birthday Wishes to Tripura CM Biplab Deb
North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma extended birthday wishes to Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb.
Taking to Twitter, Dr. Sarma writes, “Dear @BjpBiplab~ my heartiest greetings and best wishes on your birthday. Your diligence and commitment are your assets. I pray to God to always keep you in good health to be able to serve people of Tripura. Blessings and Happy Birthday.”
Meanwhile, PM Modi tweeted saying, "Best wishes to Tripura CM Shri @BjpBiplab on his birthday. He is making commendable efforts towards the development of Tripura. May he be blessed with a long and healthy life."
India's First Seaplane Service Inaugurated in Gujarat
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday inaugurated the country's first seaplane service between the Statue of Unity site at Kevadiya Colony to the Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad, marking the 145th birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
The seaplane is a Twin Otter 300 registered in the name M/s Spicejet Technic and it will be operated by SpiceJet.
The 19-seater seaplane will be used for flights between the Sabarmati riverfront and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s Statue of Unity in Kevadia as a part of the regional connectivity scheme. The seaplane will be able to accommodate 12 passengers and tickets will cost Rs 4,800 per person.
Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Ministry has agreed to start a seaplane service between Brahmaputra river in Guwahati, Assam to Umiam river in Shillong, Meghalaya in an effort to promote tourism.
Seaplanes, which are powered fixed-wing aircraft capable of taking off and landing (alighting) on water, can also take off and land on airfields. It is also called as amphibious aircraft.
"Congress Cannot Lie Like Modi", says Rahul Gandhi
Taking jive at PM Modi, Rahul Gandhi said "Congress cannot lie like Modi" in a rally at Darbhanga, Bihar today.
As Bihar enters the first phase of polls today with above 46% voters turn out, highest till date, the lines of final campaign has taken a new turn. Both Modi and Rahul are at Bihar today addressing multiple rallies. Modi accused the RJD government of looting Bihar whereas Rahul said that the Nitish Government has taken the state to gallows in the last fifteen years.
A voter and a political analyst of Bihar who denied to be named said that though the wind is in favour of the Mahagatbandhan CM Candidate, Tejasvi Yadav but still people are voting in terms of caste. Needless to say that for the first time Bihar is witnessing election contested on the issues of unemployment, hunger, health and education.
While the State and national level parties are on the field, Pushpam Priya Chaudhury's party Prurals seem to lack the field connect and hence might act as a vote cancel mechanism for the Mahagatbandhan and hence favouring NDA led JD(U).
PM Modi Inaugurates Durga Puja Pandal in West Bengal
PM Modi inaugurates Durga Puja Pandal in West Bengal through video conference and greeted the people on the occasion.
Durga Puja pandal was organized at Eastern Zonal Cultural Centre (EZCC) on the initiative of BJP Mahila Morcha.
Further, PM Modi wished everyone a happy Durga Puja and the upcoming Diwali. He said this time Durga Puja is being performed amid Corona pandemic, so special emphasis should be on following the Covid appropriate behaviour. The Prime Minister appealed to everyone to keep social distance and wear masks.
"Everyone has shown immense control and commitment to the entire arrangements while also ensuring that the flavour of Durga Puja remains the same," the PM added.
Lockdown 4.0 to be announced before May 18: PM Modi
PM announces special financial package of Rs 20 lakh crore
Guwahati: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that details of lockdown 4.0 will be announced before May 18. Addressing the nation this evening, PM Modi said, “Scientists, Experts are telling us that corona is going to be with us for a long time. Lockdown 4 will be totally different, with new rules; will be given before May 18.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also announced a special financial package on Tuesday evening. It is of Rs 20 lakh crore, around 10% of the country's GDP.
PM Modi also mentioned that the nation will need to be vocal about local, “From today, all Indians need to become vocal about our local products. We need to not only buy local products but also proudly talk about them,” added PM Modi.
Also Read: Indian Railways plans to gradually restart passenger train operations from 12th May onwards