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India has to deal with a stronger Xi Jinping, AAP to contest 50 seats in Gujarat, Trump and Trudeau celebrate Diwali: Top stories

Yogi Adityanath said that no politics should be seen behind his government’s efforts to develop the temple town of Ayodhya which gave the idea of Ram Rajya, US secretary of state Rex Tillerson on Wednesday made a strong pitch for greater cooperation with India to tackle global threats

india Updated: Oct 19, 2017 08:08 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Diwali,Yogi Adityanath,Xi Jinping
Trudeau attended the Canada India Business Council (C-IBC) Diwali Gala in Toronto on Tuesday.(File Photo)

Stronger, more powerful Xi Jinping will bring foreign policy challenges for India

One aspect of the Communist Party of China’s congress that is certain is that at the end of it on October 24, President Xi Jinping will emerge a stronger leader - his powers consolidated, his men in key positions in decision-making bodies of the ruling party. What does a stronger and likely more assertive Xi mean for India? Experts and diplomats believe an assertive and rising China will raise new challenges for India. “Naturally a more and more proactive and assertive China, which is shaping its periphery, which has leadership ambitions in the region and beyond, will bring more challenges (for India),” said AK Kantha, the former Indian envoy to China. “China is opting for an Asia where it has pre-eminence. This will make our management of relations with China , management of our foreign policy priorities more challenging,” he added. Read the story here.

Secretary of state Rex Tillerson pitches for greater cooperation between India and US ahead of visit

US secretary of state Rex Tillerson on Wednesday made a strong pitch for greater cooperation with India to tackle global threats and challenges such as ensuring a “free and open” Indo-Pacific region in the face of a predatory China. He stressed that while the United States wants to work with India and any other nation to counter terrorism, it still sees Pakistan as a valuable partner and will work with Islamabad and New Delhi to reduce tensions along the country’s eastern border with India and the western border with Afghanistan. Tillerson did not explain what steps, if any, were being considered by the US for easing tensions along the India-Pakistan border. Read the story here.

Real meaning of ‘Ram Rajya’ is home, electricity, cooking gas for everyone: Yogi Adityanath in Ayodhya

Seeking to deflect opposition criticism, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath said on Wednesday that no politics should be seen behind his government’s efforts to develop the temple town of Ayodhya which gave the idea of Ram Rajya — where there is no poverty or discrimination. “Ayodhya gave the concept of Ram Rajya — where there is no poverty, pain, grief or discrimination,” Adityanath said, adding that the real meaning of Ram Rajya is a home for everyone and electricity and LPG cylinders for every household. Attacking opposition parties, the UP chief minister said his government did not discriminate on the basis of caste or religion unlike what happened earlier. Read the story here.

Taj Mahal stands on razed Shiva temple: BJP leader Vinay Katiyar feeds fresh fuel to row

Controversy-prone BJP leader Vinay Katiyar fed fresh fodder to an ongoing Taj Mahal row, saying on Wednesday that the moon-white marble mausoleum stands at a site where a Hindu temple dedicated to god Shiva once stood. Mughal emperor Shahjahan razed the shrine, Tejo Mahalaya, built by Hindu kings to make space for his monument, said the largely marginalised leader in Ayodhya ahead of chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s visit to the temple town. The Union culture ministry told Lok Sabha in November 2015 that there was no evidence of any temple at the Taj. Read the story here.

Rahul Gandhi raises questions on ‘Chinese action’ in Doklam

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi raised questions on Wednesday on recent media reports of Chinese action in Doklam area at a parliamentary panel meeting which was briefed by foreign secretary S Jaishankar. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs chaired by Congress MP Shashi Tharoor was briefed on the topic Sino-Indian relations with a focus on the Doklam situation. Gandhi, who is also a member of the panel, had the maximum number of queries on the issue and raised questions about media reports that claimed China had again started constructing a road in the Doklam area, a member present at the meeting said on the condition of anonymity. Read the story here.

AAP to contest 50 seats in Gujarat, stay away from Himachal polls in November

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has decided to confine itself to 50 seats in the Gujarat assembly elections and stay away from next month’s Himachal Pradesh polls, party leaders associated with the two states said on Wednesday. The AAP has so far declared 21 seats from where it will field candidates in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state. “We will fight the election in 50 seats or so,” a party leader from Gujarat told HT. The party brass also decided to stay away from the Himachal polls in November. Read the story here.

Trump celebrates Diwali in Oval Office with a shout out to Modi

President Donald Trump lit a diya to celebrate Diwali in the Oval Office with a group of Indian-Americans from his administration, including ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, and members of the community, as he made a nod to a “very strong relationship” with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Trump’s daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump, chief of staff John Kelly, top donor to the Trump campaign and Republican Hindu Coalition founder Shalabh Kumar and his family were also present, according to those who attended. Read the story here.

Canada PM Trudeau celebrates Diwali, says trade with India a priority

Attending his second Diwali function on consecutive nights, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stressed that economic ties with India have been a priority for his government since it was formed and the current environment of protectionism provides greater opportunities for engagement between the two sides. After lighting a diya at a “Diwali on the Hill” celebration in Ottawa’s Parliament on Monday evening, Trudeau attended the Canada India Business Council (C-IBC) Diwali Gala in Toronto on Tuesday. Addressing those gathered for the function, Trudeau said, “Building stronger trade relationships between Canada and India is a priority for our government since Day One.” Read the story here.

BJP retains many old faces in 68-member list of candidates for Himachal polls

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) released a list of 68 candidates, consisting mostly of old faces, for the Himachal Pradesh assembly polls on Wednesday. The saffron party, which lost the 2012 elections due to infighting, reportedly faced an uphill task in selecting candidates as influential leaders demanded tickets for their loyalists till the very last moment. Though it had initially planned to select nominees based on a survey meant to determine the “winnability” of candidates, the plan was derailed at the final stage due to lack of consensus among state leaders. Read the story here.

Russian TV star Ksenia Sobchak announces presidential bid

Russian TV personality Ksenia Sobchak said on Wednesday she planned to run in a presidential election next year, offering liberal voters unhappy with Kremlin rule someone to get behind, but will little prospect she will win. Opinion polls show that President Vladimir Putin will comfortably win re-election if, as most observers expect, he decides to seek what would be his fourth term in March. A significant minority of liberal voters accuse Putin of overseeing a corrupt system that has isolated Russia from the outside world however, and many of them have taken part in mass protests organised by Putin critic Alexei Navalny. But Russian officials say Navalny is ineligible to run for president due to a criminal conviction he says was fabricated. Read the story here.

First Published: Oct 19, 2017 08:07 IST