Washington: Commencing her five-day official visit to the United States, Union Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Monday asserted that New Delhi sees the US as an important partner in the field of defence.
In her remarks at the start of her bilateral talks with the US Defence Secretary James Mattis at the Pentagon, Sitharaman said mutual trust and confidence in defence partnership between the two countries were growing. The defence minister added that she was encouraged by the importance attached to the India-US defence relationship in the new US National Security Strategy.
“A strong foundation has been laid for the India-US defence relationship over the years. India sees the US as an important partner in defence,” Sitharaman said, adding that the two countries have good military to military cooperation, defence consultations, scientific collaborations and co-production and co-development and industry collaboration.
Exuding confidence that the bilateral talks would accord greater momentum to the dialogue and partnership between the two countries, she said the relationship continued to be very strong. The recent meetings between the two countries, Sitharaman said, have underscored their mutual desire to move positively. The high-level exchanges are an indication of the depth and the quality of bilateral ties as well as their mutual desire to work closely on a range of regional and global issues, she added.
Sitharaman appreciated the responsiveness of the Trump Administration to India’s sensitivities. At the same time, it is also indicative of the desire and the effort to have an even more robust relationship than before, she said.
“Especially over the past three to four years, we have made considerable progress. Our relations, based on common democratic values, enjoy strong political and popular support in both countries. There’s a growing mutual trust and also the confidence in defence partnership, which augurs very well for the future,” Sitharaman said.
Ayodhya on high alert following intelligence inputs
Ayodhya: Amid VIP movements, Ayodhya has been put on high alert soon after intelligence inputs indicated a possible terror attack in the city.
“We have put more force into action. The force has been alerted. Also, intelligence officials in the civil dress have come here. They are checking all hotels, restaurants and railway stations. The police force is vigilant and keeping a track of all the movements,” Anil Kumar Sisodia, Superintendent of Police City, told ANI.
This comes ahead of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray’s visit to Ayodhya on Sunday along with his party MPs.
According to reports, the security has also been heightened keeping in mind the hearing on 2005 Ram Janmabhoomi attack on June 18.
Seven died while cleaning hotel sewer in Vadodara
Vadodara: Seven persons, including four sanitation workers, died due to asphyxiation on Saturday while cleaning sewer of a hotel in Gujarat’s Vadodara district, officials said.
The incident happened at a hotel in Fartikui village in Dabhoi tehsil, about 30 km from Vadodara city. Three employees of the hotel were also among those killed.
“When one sanitation worker failed to come out of the manhole, others went inside. All of them died due to asphyxiation,” district collector Kiran Zaveri told PTI.
Manmohan retires from Rajya Sabha
New Delhi: For the first time in 28 years, former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s name ceased to be part of the list of members of the Rajya Sabha on its Web site, and was included in the list of former members of Parliament.
With the Congress lacking the numbers in the Assam legislature to ensure his re-election, 86-year-old Dr Singh retired from the Rajya Sabha.
Dr Singh, then finance minister in the P V Narasimha Rao government, had debuted in the House on October 1, 1991, from Assam and represented the state for five consecutive terms. He was the leader of the House during his 10 years as PM, and leader of the Opposition from 1998 to 2004.The former PM would now need to wait for the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, an ally of the Congress, to send him to the Rajya Sabha next month or until the next biennial elections in the Upper House in April 2020 when 54 MPs retire.
Five Rajya Sabha members from Tamil Nadu retire in July. The DMK, along with its allies, has the strength in the state legislature to get at least three elected to the Rajya Sabha. It has promised one seat to MDMK chief Vaiko.
However, sources said the DMK and the Congress have not had any discussions on the issue.
The Congress could also hope to send Dr Singh to the Upper House from Gujarat if elections to fill the two vacancies from the state take place together.
The vacancies are on account of two Bharatiya Janata Party Rajya Sabha members from Gujarat, Amit Anilchandra Shah and Smriti Zubin Irani, being elected to the Lok Sabha. Shah has debuted in the Lok Sabha from Gandhinagar while Irani is the Lok Sabha member from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.
The Congress’s numbers in the Gujarat assembly would ensure the party wins one of the two seats, the other going to the BJP, if elections to the two seats are held jointly.
ACB launches Call, Whatsapp helpline
J&K Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) has launched call & WhatsApp helpline number 9419678060 on which the citizens can report demands...
Leopard strays from forest in Kishtwar, captured by wildlife dept
Jammu, Jun 25: A leopard strayed from a forest to a road in Jammu and Kashmir”s Kishtwar district following which...
Two lakh Indian pilgrims to perform Haj this year, 48 per cent of them women: Naqvi
New Delhi: A record 2 lakh Indian pilgrims will perform Haj this year with more than 48 per cent of...
Over 700 militants,112 civilians killed in J&K in last 3 years: Home Ministry
New Delhi: More than 700 militants have been killed in Jammu and Kashmir over the last three years, the Home...
Senior Kashmiri journalist arrested in midnight raid
Srinagar : In a midnight raid at his house, a senior journalist and owner of a local newspaper was arrested...
UN Security Council urges dialogue, end to US-Iran tensions
The UN Security Council on Monday called for dialogue and measures to end tensions in the Gulf, but Iran rejected...
Amit Shah on two-day J&K visit from June 26
Srinagar: Union Home Minister Amit Shah will visit Jammu and Kashmir for two days beginning June 26, the sources said. Earlier, Shah...