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PM Modi likely to attend UN General Assembly meet in September: report

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New Delhi/Washington: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit the US in September for the upcoming UN general assembly meeting and is likely to address Indian-Americans in Houston during his trip, community leaders said.

Chicago and Houston are the two American cities in contention for the Prime Minister’s venue to address the diaspora when he is likely to travel to the US later this year to attend the United Nations’ Annual General Assembly in New York.

No official announcement about the trip has been made yet.

 

According to informed community sources, the Prime Minister is likely to travel to New York from Houston to address a special meeting of the UN on climate change on September 23.

Community leaders said that the dates for the Prime Minister’s address were not final yet, but they have been asked to make preparations for a potential address of PM Modi in Houston on September 22.

Houston is the energy capital of the world. Energy security is a priority area for the Prime Minister.

This would be PM Modi’s third major address to the Indian-American community after he became the Prime Minister in 2014. The previous two being at the Madison Square Garden in New York in 2014 and Silicon Valley in 2016. Both the events were attended by more than 20,000 people.

While the planning for proposed the Houston event is yet to kick off, community leaders are looking at multipurpose NRG Stadium, which has a seating capacity of 70,000 people.

Houston has one of the largest concentrations of the Indian American community in the US. The Texas Governor and Mayor of Houston had visited India last year.

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry, who is now the Energy Secretary, has a close affinity with India and Indian Americans.


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Non-Gandhi chief will cause Congress to split within 24 hours: Natwar Singh

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New Delhi: With the Congress leadership in limbo after the resignation of Rahul Gandhi, party veteran Natwar Singh joined the chorus backing Priyanka Gandhi Vadra for the top post, adding that having a non-Gandhi at the helm will cause the party to split.

Praising Priyanka for her visit to Sonbhadra to meet victims of a firing incident, the former external affairs minister told ANI that she is capable of handling the party. “You must have witnessed what she did in a village in Uttar Pradesh. It was amazing. She stayed there and achieved what she wanted to,” he said.

Singh suggested that Rahul’s decision of a having someone from outside the Gandhi family as the party chief will have to be reversed.

 

On being asked if Priyanka would be elected as the party president, the Congressman said, “It will depend on Priyanka because her brother (Rahul Gandhi) had said that nobody from the Gandhi family will become the Congress president. Now, the family will have to reverse the decision and only they can do it.”

Earlier, Anil Shastri, son of former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, had said that Priyanka Gandhi should be made the Congress president as no one other than her is “100 per cent acceptable”.

Shastri, speaking to ANI, had also warned that if somebody else is made the supremo and a section of the outfit does not accept them, chances are that the party will disintegrate.

Natwar Singh echoed similar sentiments and said that if anyone is elected from outside the Gandhi family, the Congress will split within 24 hours.

“It is unfortunate that the country’s 134-years-old party does not have a party president. I do not think apart from the Gandhi family, anyone should be elected as the president,” Singh added.

Around 50 days after Rahul stepped down as Congress president, taking moral responsibility for the humiliating defeat in the Lok Sabha elections, the grand old party is yet to finalize its new chief.

Gandhi, now a lawmaker from Wayanad in Kerala, became the ongress president in 2017. He had, earlier this month, written a lengthy four-page letter making his resignation from the post public. Taking responsibility for the drubbing in Lok Sabha polls, Rahul had said it would not be right for him to suggest a successor.

At present Congress in Goa has completely lost foot, after 10 of its MLAs switched side with the BJP. This has reduced its strength to five in the Assembly.

Similarly, in Karnataka, the situation is equally embarrassing for the party, as its coalition government with JD(S) is facing a tough time. The government had slumped into a crisis following the resignation of 16 dissident MLAs and now its survival seems to be tough.

The Congress won 52 seats in the recent general elections, which is just eight more than its 2014 Lok Sabha tally of 44.

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35 killed as lightning strikes in Uttar Pradesh

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Lucknow: As many as 35 people were killed in Uttar Pradesh due to lightning, said officials.

A day earlier, the lightning had claimed one life in the state, while two others had died of snake bites on July 18 and 20 respectively, the statement said.

Thirteen others were injured due to lightning, the statement added.

 

The lightning victims included seven each in Kanpur and Fatehpur, five in Jhansi, four in Jalaun, three in Hamirpur, two in Ghazipur and one each in Jaunpur, Pratapgarh, Kanpur Dehat and Chitrakoot, the statement added.

Among the three who died earlier, one was killed due to lightning in Deoria, while one lost his life to snake bite on in Kushinagar on Saturday.

Yet another person had died of snake bite on July 18 in Ambedkarnagar, the government statement said.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath expressed sorrow over the loss of lives in the state and has issued orders to the respective district magistrates to give a compensation of Rs 4 lakh to each of the families of victims.

He also directed officials to ensure that the injured persons get adequate treatment, and that there should be no laxity in execution of relief works, the statement said.

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Netanyahu to visit India in September to meet PM Modi

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Jerusalem: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will travel to India on a day-long visit on September 9 to meet his counterpart Narendra Modi, just eight days before unprecedented repeat polls in the Jewish state.

PM Netanyahu, who created history on July 20 by becoming the longest-serving Israeli Prime Minister, surpassing Israel’s first premier David Ben-Gurion, is facing a tough political challenge as opinion polls show flagging fortunes for his ruling Likud party.

“The (Israeli) Prime Minister will be in India only for a few hours on September 9 during which he will be meeting Modi. No other significant meeting is yet on the cards but something may be worked out during the coming days, possibly a business meeting,” informed sources told news agency Press Trust of India in Jerusalem.

 

Israeli lawmakers in May voted 74-45 in favour of dissolving the 21st Knesset (Parliament) and hold an unprecedented repeat general elections on September 17 after PM Netanyahu failed to form a coalition government.

Some analysts in Israel believe that the meeting with PM Modi is meant to prop up his campaign right before the polls.

Ha’aretz columnist Yossi Verter, in an opinion piece, “Netanyahu’s Out of Luck, but He’s Hoping a Photo-op With India’s Modi Will Help”, recently argued that PM Netanyahu, who’s fighting for his personal survival ahead of a hearing before the state prosecution on several graft cases, must find a way to bounce back.

He wrote that that the PM Office in Tel Aviv is said to have reached out to their counterparts in New Delhi and requested for an invitation.

PM Netanyahu will land, meet, have his picture taken, market the visit as “very important” for Israel’s security and economic interests, complain that the leftist media ignored the trip and upload something to Facebook, the journalist wrote.

Sources said that the Indian PMO had indeed suggested the week of August 25 for the visit but the Israeli side pushed for an early September visit which has finally been confirmed for September 9, exactly sixteen years after then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon created history by becoming the first Israeli Premier to visit India.

The first request for an invitation for PM Netanyahu to visit New Delhi was made in January during the visit of Israeli National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Sabbath to India. The two leaders were scheduled to meet on February 11 before the elections in Israel but PM Netanyahu called off his trip to New Delhi due to other engagements.

The efforts regarding the visit were renewed after the Israeli parliament was dissolved and fresh elections announced.

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