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Sonia gets party behind Manmohan

After getting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to return to the pre-Sharm-El-Sheikh line on linking terrorism with the composite dialogue process, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday declared her support for Mr Singh’s parliamentary “statement” on India-Pak relations.

Ms Gandhi’s stand on the government’s recent Pakistan initiatives, made during a speech to Congress parliamentarians, emphasised that the resumption of the composite dialogue process was conditional to Pakistan curbing India-directed terrorism from its soil. Without actually evoking the joint statement, she backed the PM’s intervention in Lok Sabha but, significantly, steered clear of mentioning Balochistan.

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July 31, 2009 Posted by | News, Politics, Terror | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

No hike in passenger fares, freight charges: Rail Budget

Amid expectations of improvement in railway amenities, railway minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday presented the 15th Railway Budget in Parliament.

Presenting a promised ‘pro-people’ budget, the railway minister said that economic viability is not the only index of development, according top priority to social commitment.

She went on to add, “People expect to get better rail and train facilities. Development should not be restricted to only few people. People want better connectivity between stations in the nation. My priorities will include better passenger amenities, safety and security and provision of good quality food and drinking water”.

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July 3, 2009 Posted by | Business, Congress, Economy, Indian Economy, News, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cong gives Dalits a treat on Rahul’s birthday

rahul-gandhiHappy Birthday to Rahul Gandhi !!!

Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi may be having his birthday party far away from UP but the real bash is being organised by his party workers in the state on Friday.

Rahul’s birthday will be celebrated as harmony day in UP and Dalit sabhas will be organised across the state. All UP Congress leaders and MPs are expected to participate in the birthday party.

It is believed that the Dalit gatherings are Rahul’s plans to make a comeback in the state and the groundwork has already begun for it. The biggest trump card to drive this plan is the youth card, which worked wonders during the Lok Sabha elections.

Congress is also on a membership drive. In an internal note, Rahul has told his team to get ready for the big fight and return to power in the state in 2011.

“The way he has done it this time is great. I am very confident that he will do it for the Assembly elections too,” MP from Unnao Annu Tandon said.

But it isn’t going to be easy despite the Congress putting up a good show with 21 seats because one can never take the battle-hardened BSP chief Mayawati lightly.

Ready to take on BSP, Rahul has urged his party leaders to concentrate on Dalits, SCs and STs who were once with the Congress but have now moved to the Mayawati’s party.

Not surprising then that top state leaders will infiltrate Mayawati’s bastion and court the Dalits. Speaking about the game plan Congress leader Digvijay Singh said, “Mayawati’s influence in the country is highly overrated.”

The Congress’ strategy in UP is very simple – it is going to fall back on the old association of the party with the state and club it with Rahul’s youthful ideas as the formula to hit out at the BSP.

June 19, 2009 Posted by | Congress, Indian Economy, News, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Clinton sees ‘dramatic expansion’ in Indo-US ties

Looking forward to her visit to India, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said New Delhi and Washington were ready to embark to the next stage of relations which would see a “dramatic expansion” in common agenda and a greater role for India in solving global challenges. “We see India as one of a few key partners worldwide who will help us shape the 21st century,” Clinton said in Obama administration’s first major policy reference to India.

Stating that the Indo-US nuclear deal had removed the “final barriers” to broader cooperation between the two countries, Clinton, who will be in New Delhi for high-level talks in July, said that the two countries were set to realize a “3.0 relationship”, using the web language.

As part of the strategy, Clinton, speaking to top American and Indian corporate executives at the US Chamber of Commerce building yesterday, said India and the US would expand broader security relationship and increased cooperation on counter-terrorism and intelligence sharing. Saying that US and India had faced extraordinary challenges, Clinton referred to the tragic Mumbai attacks and said, “The President and I are committed to working with India in whatever way is appropriate to enhance India’s ability to protect itself.”

June 18, 2009 Posted by | Economy, Indian Economy, News, Politics | , , , , | 1 Comment