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Modi in London Highlights: Want govt to be criticised, makes democracy strong, says PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in London to attend the CHOGM summit. He addressed a programme at the iconic Central Hall Westminster after meeting his counterpart Theresa May earlier in the day.

india Updated: Apr 19, 2018 01:34 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
Prasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, London
Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacts with Indian diaspora and takes questions from across the world during ‘Bharat Ki Baat, Sabke Saath’ event at Central Hall Westminster in London on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacts with Indian diaspora and takes questions from across the world during ‘Bharat Ki Baat, Sabke Saath’ event at Central Hall Westminster in London on Wednesday.(PIB/Twitter)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday warned Pakistan against exporting terror while addressing the Indian diaspora during the ‘Bharat Ki Baat, Sabke Saath’ programme at the iconic Central Hall Westminster in London.

At the event, the Prime Minister recalled that India first informed Pakistan about the 2016 surgical strikes before announcing them to the media.

Referring to recent incidents of rape in the country, Modi said it was a matter of great concern for the country and should not be politicised.

Modi is in London to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. The Prime Minister had a packed schedule for the day, which included meeting his British counterpart Theresa May, Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, and signing of several MoUs.

Here are the highlights:

12.04pm: Joshi asks PM Modi how he would like to be remembered by history. PM replies, “There is no need to recognise me above the 125 crore people of the country. I don’t want to be made immortal in history. I hope the world remembers our country.”

12.01pm: “People ask, ‘Why don’t you respond to criticism?’ It is not my job to shut anybody up. I try to listen and improve. I have reached this position with the help of many, many people who told me what to do and what not to do,” Modi says.

11.59pm: PM Modi says, “Democracy cannot succeed without constructive criticism. I want this government to be criticised. Criticism makes democracy strong.”

“My problem is not against criticism. To criticise, one has to research and find proper facts. Sadly, it does not happen now. What happens instead is allegations.”

11.55pm: India has made its place in the world. India is at the forefront of every international forum, India sets agendas: PM Modi

11.53pm: Last time, I could not go to the Commonwealth Summit in Malta. This time, Prince Charles himself came to invite me and said you have to attend the summit. Even Queen Elizabeth wrote a letter to me saying that you have to come: PM Modi

11.52pm: You all must have seen that the power of your passport has increased. People look at you with proud. India is still is the same. But today we can see a difference. Indian has managed to do this and now people know the power of India: PM Modi

11.50pm: “Can you imagine that an Indian PM hadn’t been to Israel for 70 years? Now I will go to Israel with confidence, I will also go to Palestine. I will go to Saudi Arabia and, if needed,for the energy needs of India I will go to Iran as well. We will deal with every country equally,” he says.

11.46pm: PM Modi says, “To count instances of rape by whose government is in power is wrong.”

11.43pm: The benefits must reach the common man and that is what we are working towards: PM Modi

11.39pm: On Digital India, PM Modi says, “The world is driven by technology. We are entering the age of artificial intelligence. There is scope for transparency and efficiency.”

11.25pm: Modi says, “If you will see where we stand in comparison to previous government, I can affirm that we left no stone unturned in doing good for the country on any parameter. Before 2014, newspapers headlines asked ‘Aaj itna gaya’, today they ask ‘Modi ji kitna aaya’”.

11.21pm: We are working towards doubling the income of farmers by 2022 and making urea easily accessible: PM Modi

11.15pm: We must build an ecosystem that gives opportunity to everyone: PM Modi

11.11pm: PM Modi says, “The concept of depending only on the government immobilises the public. We must do everything to empower the people.”

11.08pm: Joshi asks, “What is the Modi model of governance?”.

11.06pm: What Lord Basweshwar did for women empowerment, democracy and social causes is an example for the world: PM Modi

11.02pm: Modi says everyone must read about Basaveshwara’s work if they can. “Lord Basaveshwara dedicated his life to the people and worked to unite them.”

11pm: Santosh Patil from Karnataka asks the PM how Basaveshwara has influenced him.

10.55pm: “Whether it is wellness centre for the country or private healthcare, we are working for the health of every Indian,” says PM.

“We have focused on three things: students’ education, employment for youth and medicines for the elderly.”

10. 51pm: A member of the audience asks if ‘Modicare’ will change India’s health sector.

10.47pm: Modi says he has made efforts to move from co-operative federalism to co-operative-competitive federalism.

10.46pm: PM says, “I assure the citizens that I can mistakes but I will not work with wrong intentions.”

10.45pm: We have a million problems but we have a billion people who can solve them: PM Modi

10.43pm: Modi responds to Joshi’s question of whetherhe can change the country alone. “I’m an ordinary citizen just like you. Don’t think of me any differently than you. “

10.42pm: On rapes in the country, Modi says, “We always ask our daughters about what they are doing, where they are going. We must ask our sons too. The person who is committing these crimes is also someone’s son.”

“Rape is rape ... How can we accept this?” PM said. Modi said the matter should not be politicised.

“This is a matter of great concern for the country and these sinners are somebody’s sons... The rape of a (daughter) is a matter of worry, a shame for the country,” Reuters quoted the PM as saying.

10.41pm: PM says, “18,000 villages did not have electricity. So many women do not have access to toilets. These realities of our nation did not let me sleep. I was determined to bring about a positive change in the lives of India’s poor.”

10.35pm: I do not need to read books to understand poverty. I have lived in poverty, I know what it is to be poor and belong to the backward sections of society. I want to work for the poor, the marginalised and the downtrodden: PM Modi

10.31pm: “When someone puts a terror export factory in place, attacks my people, has no power to fight a war so makes attempts to attacks behind the back... in such a case Modi knows how give a reply in the same language,” PM says.

10.30pm: Modi says Pakistan has always been informed when India retaliated.“Weinformed them about surgical strikes before we talked to the media. We never hid anything.”

“I said before India gets to know, we should call Pakistan and tell them what we did so they can come and take dead bodies if they have time. We were calling them since 11am but they were scared to come on phone. At 12, we spoke to them and then told the Indian media.”

10.24pm: We believe in peace. But we will not tolerate those who like to export terror. We will give back strong answers and in the language they understand. Terrorism will never be accepted: PM Modi

10.22pm: Responding to a question on the 2016 surgical strikes, PM Modi says, “Look back at India’s history. India has never desired anyone else’s territory. During World War I and II, we had no stake but our soldiers took part in the wars. These were big sacrifices. Look at our role in UN Peacekeeping Forces.”

10.16pm: Participative democracy makes good governance possible: PM Modi

10.12pm: Modi says, “Today the need of the hour is to make development a mass movement.”

10.11pm: During the freedom struggle Mahatma Gandhi did something very different. He turned the freedom struggle into a mass movement. He told every person that whatever you are doing will contribute to India’s freedom: PM Modi

10.09pm: Priyanka Verma from Delhi asks the PM, “ We select a government that works for us. You have tried to change systems, but should all this not have been done earlier?”

10.08pm: PM Modi says, “Impatience gives me energy. If you work with the motive of welfare for everyone, you can never be disappointed.”

10.06pm: I know the day I stop being impatient , I will be of no use to the country: PM Modi

10.02pm: “People have more expectations from us because they know that we can deliver. People know that when they say something, the government will listen and do it. Days of incremental change are over,” PM Modi says.

10.01pm: I am happy that there is aspiration and hope among people today and that people have expectations from me: PM Modi

9.59pm: “Impatience is not a bad thing. If a person has a cycle, a person aspires a scooter. If a person has a scooter, a person aspires a car. It is natural to aspire. India is getting increasingly aspirational,” says PM Modi.

9.56pm: PM Modi takes a question from a user on Twitter, “Work is happening, but how do you view the impatience for development among people?”

9.53pm: People are equivalent to Gods in a democracy and if they wish even a tea-seller can become their representative and shake hands at the royal palace: PM Modi

9.51pm: PM Modi says, “My life at the railway station taught me so much. It was about my personal struggles. When you said royal palace, it is not about me but about the 125 crore people of India. The person at the railway station was Narendra Modi. The person in the royal palace in London is the sevak of 125 crore Indians.”

9.50pm: Joshi asks the PM, “Your life began from a railway station, and you are coming to this programme from the royal palace. What do you have to say about your life journey?”

9.45pm: PM Modi takes the stage to rousing applause.

9.40pm:

9.33pm: Moderator of the event Prasoon Joshi takes the stage.

8.30pm: MoU on illegal immigrants is under discussion. I think there will be a meeting of home secretary and home minister, perhaps the end of next month, and I presume we will continue to discuss it in that time: Foreign Secretary

8.20pm: The second issue was issue of terrorism and radicalism. PM described extremism, radicalism, terrorism as a rising challenge for both countries and for countries across the globe. It was agreed that one area where we need to enhance cooperation substantially is in cyber security field: Foreign secretary

8.15pm: Foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale speaks on the visit. “PM Modi and PM May held discussions on wide range of issues including trade and investment, bilateral issues and international issues after which a joint trade review was held. PM emphasised it needs to be balanced agreement which have mutual benefits:

8.10pm: PM Modi and British PM May were at the India-UK CEO Forum at Francis Crick Institute in London.

The two leaders later visited a showcase of India-UK collaboration in Science and Technology.

7.04pm: I welcome the UK joining the International Solar Alliance. This gives strength to the fight against global warming. We are doing this for the well-being of our future generations: Modi

7.03pm: The Indian diaspora in the UK brings our countries closer. The diaspora is playing a commendable role in furthering the India-UK friendship: Modi

6.57pm: India-UK ties are diverse and extensive. Our meeting today will give new energy to bilateral cooperation between our nations: Modi

6.55pm: During talks with Theresa May, PM Modi said, “I am glad to begin my programmes in the UK with this meeting. I thank you for the gesture of Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs BorisJohnson welcoming me. This gesture shows your respect for 125 crore Indians.”

6.20pm: The MEA also says that the two leaders agreed terrorist and extremist organisations need to be denied space to radicalise, recruit and conduct attacks on innocent people. For this all countries need to work together to disrupt terrorist networks, their financing and movement of terrorists.

6.15pm: Ministry of external affairs says May and Modi agreed to strengthen cooperation to take decisive actions against “globally-proscribed terrorists and terror entities to protect citizens, including Lashkar-e-Tayibba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, Haqqani Network, Al Qaeda, ISIS and their affiliates.”

5.55pm: The spokesperson says May welcomed the return of Chennai Six to UK. Chennai Six were six British former soldiers who had been arrested and detained in India for four years but were were released and returned to Britain in December 2017.

The British PM updated Modi on the progress of UK’s withdrawal from EU, saying implementation period agreed upon in March gives Indian companies and investors confidence that market access will continue on current terms until end of 2020.

Read: Post-Brexit UK will be just as important to India, says PM Modi

5.50pm: Downing Street spokesperson says May and Modi discussed the chemical weapons attacks in Salisbury and Syria, expressing concern and making clear their opposition to the use of chemical weapons by any party in any circumstances.

The spokesperson said May and Modi discussed co-operation between the two countries on legal matters.

5.15pm: A range of MoUs have been signed between India and the United Kingdom on issues such as cyber-security, organised crime and cleaning the Ganga.

Among the signed MoUs is an arrangement between the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board of India and the Office for Nuclear Regulation of Great Britain for information exchange and cooperation on the regulation of safe nuclear energy use for peaceful purposes.

4.55pm: PM Modi tweets he had fruitful discussions with British PM Theresa May on multiple aspects of India-UK relations.

3.55pm: PM Modi pays tributes to 12th century Lingayat philosopher Basaveshwara, days before the assembly elections in Karnataka. The lead organiser of the event insisted it had no connection with the forthcoming election.

The statue, which was inaugurated by the prime minister during his November 2015 visit, is situated along the banks of the Thames in the London borough of Lambeth.

3:10pm: Modi meets Prince Charles at the exhibition on 5000 years of science and innovation, in London.

1:50pm: Modi says it is a matter of “happiness” for him that he will get to interact with people in London on the birth anniversary of Lord Basaveshwara: ANI.

1:48pm: “I’m confident that new energy will be added to our ties after today’s meeting. I’m happy that UK will be part of International Solar Alliance, I believe this is not only fight against climate change but our responsibility for future generations,” says Modi, according to ANI.

1:46pm: May says she hopes both can work together for the people of India and UK, reports ANI.

1:45pm: Both prime ministers hold meeting at 10 Downing Street.

1:30pm: Modi begins his day. Meets UK PM Theresa May at 10 Downing street. Shakes hands standing in front of iconic door.

Theresa May, British prime minster (left), greets Narendra Modi outside number 10 Downing Street in London, UK, on April 18, 2018. (Bloomberg)

1pm: People wait in the streets to catch a glimpse of PM Modi in London.

8:30am: Modi’s engagements will begin with a handshake with British PM May, standing outside 10 Downing Street’s iconic door.

6:30am: PMO tweets of Modi ‘s arrival in London. The Prime Minister is greeted by foreign secretary Boris Johnson at the airport.