Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday paid glowing tributes to former Union minister Arun Jaitley, who passed away last month, saying his life inspires us to work harder for the nation.
Describing Jaitley as a very close friend, Mr. Modi said he was a stalwart blessed with so much talent.
He was a multi-faceted personality. I miss his presence, Mr. Modi said at a Shradhanjali Sabha held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here.
Jaitley ji had health ailments but if one spoke to him, he was more concerned about the nation. Serving the nation energised him, he said.
Mr. Modi said whatever work Jaitley got, he added tremendous value to that.
We will all remember so many memories with Arun ji. His life inspires us to work harder for the nation, the Prime Minister said.
No Indian will be left out: Smriti Irani on NRC
Union Minister Smriti Irani on Tuesday hit out at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for her opposition to the NRC, saying that the BJP-led government at the Centre is committed to protecting the rights of each and every citizen of the country.
The illegal infiltrators will be dealt with as per law, she asserted.
No Indian will be left out... we are dedicated towards protecting the rights of the citizens of the country, the Union Minister said on NRC.
Criticising Ms. Banerjee for her opposition to the NRC, Ms. Irani said, it proves the dichotomy on her stand on illegal immigrants.
The Chief Minister's opposition to policies of the central government are well known to the people, she said.
The belligerent stand taken by Mamata Banerjee is preventing the people of the state from availing the benefits provided by the central government, that could have reached farmers, women and children.
Establishment of industries have been stalled by the West Bengal government..the Lok Sabha election results in West Bengal has shown that people of the state want change, Ms. Irani said
Kashmir neither shut nor under curfew: Jitendra
Union minister Jitendra Singh on Tuesday said that Kashmir is neither shut nor under curfew but only under certain restrictions. He warned anti-India forces that they have to soon change their mentality that they can do anything and get away with it.
We need to condemn such statement (that Kashmir is under curfew and totally shut). Kashmir is not shut. There is no curfew. If there is curfew, people have to go out with curfew passes, he told reporters in Jammu.
No person in Kashmir is being asked for curfew pass. However they are expected not to disturb peace. There are some restrictions, he added.
Mr. Singh was addressing the press conference to highlight achievements of the Narendra Modi government during its first 100 days.
He said that Kashmir is returning back to normalcy slowly.
On the issue of Internet shutdown, he said, We want it to be restored as soon as possible. One attempt was made but fake videos were floated on social media and then the decision was reviewed again, he said.
The government is keen to lift these restrictions and Internet blockade, the Union minister of state in the PMO added.
On civilian killings engineered by terrorists, he said that Pakistan is backing them.
There are perception and mentality that you can do anything and get away with it. Now you cannot get away with it and you will have to pay a price on anti-Indian activities, he warned.
INLD vice president quits party
In a jolt to the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), its vice president Ashok Arora, along with his supporters, on Tuesday resigned from the primary membership of the party.
With a political career of over 35 years, Arora had remained president of the Haryana unit of the INLD for more than 20 years.
He said political circumstances have forced him to take the decision.
The assembly polls in Haryana are slated for October this year.
Urmila Matondkar quits Congress
Actor and Congress Lok Sabha candidate from Mumbai North Urmila Matondkar resigned from the party on Tuesday. The resignation of the actor who had promised to stay course with the struggling fortune of the party in Maharashtra has come as jolt. Several senior leaders have already quit the party and switched to either Shiv Sena of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the run up to the state Assembly polls due in October, party leaders said.
As protests against felling of trees in Aarey Colony to make way for Metro shed gained, Shiv Sena leader Aaditya Thackeray has demanded the transfer of MMRCL head Ashwini Bhide.
"Aarey is not about few trees. It is about bio diversity of the area. The extension of metro line till Aarey is to commercially exploit the area in future," the junior Thackeray said.
Shiv Sena opposed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporations Tree Authority's clearance to to cut or transplant 2,646 trees in Aarey colony to make space for a car shed for Metro 3.
Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi on seat-sharing in Maharashtra polls
NCP leader Sharad Pawar met Congress president Sonia Gandhi at her residence on Tuesday and is learnt to have discussed the seat-sharing arrangement between the two parties for the upcoming Maharashtra Assembly elections.
The Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have already decided to contest the polls together under coalition.
Sources said Pawar is learnt to have given a final shape to the broad seat-sharing arrangement between the two parties for the Maharashtra Assembly polls, slated to held in October, but detailed discussions will continue for the next few days before a final tie-up plan is laid out.
Economy falling into deep abyss of recession: Priyanka
Hitting out at the Modi government, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Tuesday said the economy is falling into a deep abyss of recession and asked when the dispensation will "open its eyes".
Her remarks comes amid oppositions criticism of the government after growth in the last quarter slipped to 5%.
The economy is falling into a deep abyss of recession. The sword is hanging on the livelihood of lakhs of Indians, Ms. Vadra said in a tweet in Hindi.
The decline in the auto sector and the truck sector is a sign of negative growth in production-transportation and the declining confidence of the market, she said.
When will the government open its eyes, the Congress general secretary asked.
Maharashtra clears 37 proposals in one day
The State Cabinet on Monday cleared 37 proposals, including the one to issue tenders worth 3,122 crore for water grid in Osmanabad and Latur districts. This was possibly the second-last meeting before the announcement of the Assembly polls.
The State sanctioned the formation of a cabinet sub-committee to construct a monument to former Prime Minister late Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Mumbai. The city will get 16 new commercial courts. Shurshusha citizen cooperative hospital in Vikhroli has been allocated 25 crore to provide affordable healthcare.
The State will offer a new quota in MBBS admission in government medical colleges to those who are willing to work for a longer period in rural areas after the course is over.
Suspense over NCP MPs BJP entry continues
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MP from Satara, Udayanraje Bhosale, seems to have failed to decide on whether to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or remain with Sharad Pawars party.
According to sources, a private meeting of Mr. Bhosale and his supporters in Pune on Monday, where he was supposed to announce his decision, was allegedly scrapped with the MP leaving for Mumbai instead.
The BJP, too, has apparently put conditions on Mr. Bhosales entry, demanding that he resign his Parliamentary post before formally joining it something that has vexed the MP and divided his followers.
While one section has urged the MP not to leave the NCP and resign his MP post, others say Mr. Bhosale, a direct descendant of the Maratha warrior king Shivaji, can taste victory on a BJP ticket.