India and UAE on Thursday discussed the threats posed by the Islamic State (IS), increasing radicalisation of young people, and the need for a joint effort to counter terrorism during wide-ranging talks focusing on deepening security cooperation and expanding bilateral trade. 

    New Delhi also made a strong case for action on pending extradition requests for certain individuals wanted in India. The discussions took place at a ministerial commission meeting, held barely a fortnight after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the UAE, the first by an Indian PM in 34 years. 

    External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and her visiting counterpart Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan co-chaired the meeting.

    The two sides signed MOUs on cooperation in several areas, including higher education and scientific research, tourism, cooperation between the respective telecom regulatory authorities, and also between the FICCI and the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

    A government statement said the two sides agreed to increase bilateral trade by 60% over the next five years and also to encourage the UAE’s investment institutions to raise their stake in India, with an aim of reaching a target of US$ 75 billion.

    The visiting UAE minister also called on Modi and held meetings with defence minister and railways minister before attending a dinner hosted by national security adviser Ajit Doval. PM Modi recalled his successful visit to the UAE and said it had “charted a new course” in bilateral relations that would not only be beneficial for the two countries but also contribute to peace and prosperity in Asia and beyond.

'Modi's ‘toilet first, temple later’ remark an insult'

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • |
  • Updated: Oct 04, 2013 08:51 IST

BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s ‘toilet first, temple later’ comment has put his party in a spot with a Hindutva body and the Congress slamming it for different reasons.

Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s Praveen Togadia described the comment as “insult” to the Hindu society and sought condemnation from the BJP, which had taken rural development minister Jairam Ramesh to task when he had made a similar comment.

Sensing a chance to score some brownie points over the opposition, Ramesh said, "I had also said the same thing, and the BJP had opposed it. It is a matter of regret that nobody defended me then."

The minister known for his controversial comments said that he spoke of toilets out of "conviction" whereas Modi’s remark is out of electoral "compulsion".

"If they (BJP) had got this wisdom 22 years ago, then Indian politics would have been different," Ramesh told reporters on Thursday. "Babri Masjid would not have happened, 1993 blasts would not have happened, Godhra would also not have happened if they (BJP) had got this wisdom then." 

Modi had said on Wednesday while addressing students in New Delhi, "My image is that of Hindutva, but I'll tell you my real thinking: I have said, in my state, 'Pehle shauchalaya, phir devalaya'. (First toilets, then temples)," 

Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh described Modi’s comment as another example of the Bharatiya Janata Party's double standards asked whether Modi had ever cleaned tiolets.

Congress leader Rajiv Shukla took a jibe at BJP by asking that why BJP was not reacting to Modi toilets first remark. ”He is being projected like this to mislead people, mislead Hindus under a conspiracy to garner votes,” he said.

The only BJP leader to react to the Congress attack, Kirti Azad described the ruling party as a “headless chicken” which fails to the context of what Modi was saying.

READ: Narendra Modi's new mantra: toilets first, temples later

Even the Tweeple could not get enough of the temple vs toilet controversy.

Sample this:


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