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Can’t promote ‘Make in India’ abroad & peddle ‘Hate in India’ at home: Tharoor

Modi’s foreign policy is dogged by a growing perception that the “salesman is selling an empty package”.



Prime Minister Narendra Modi has infused a lot of “personal energy” into his diplomacy, but it’s difficult to push the Make in India initiative abroad while promoting “Hate in India” at home, says former central minister Shashi Tharoor.

According to the seasoned diplomat, Modi’s foreign policy is dogged by a growing perception that the “salesman is selling an empty package”.

“He has brought a lot of personal energy to his diplomacy and there is no underestimating that. His travels have been tireless. He has been a salesman for his view of India and Indian development,” Tharoor told IANS in an interview during a visit here to promote his book “An Era of Darkness”.

“But there are two problems,” said the author-cum-Congress leader.

“The first is there is an increasing perception that this salesman is selling an empty package. The reality at home is not being given enough importance. For example, Indian investors are not investing enough in India. Our home-grown capitalists are taking their money abroad. At the same time, Mr. Modi is trying to sell the attractions of investing in India to foreigners. This is a genuine problem,” said the Lok Sabha member from Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram constituency.

“The second problem is that diplomacy has always got to be a means to an end. In our time we were clear that the purpose of our foreign policy is to promote a transformation and development of India and the Indian people.

“That is, we need good relations with countries from which investment comes, we need good relations with countries which are sources of our energy security like the Arab world, we need to be on good terms with countries which are important sources of food security, countries where Indians are working and, therefore, they need to feel secure in those foreign countries and so on.

“It cannot be an end in itself. It’s difficult to promote Make in India abroad if you’re promoting ‘Hate in India’ at home,” says the keen student of history, who was Minister of State for External Affairs between May 2009 and April 2010.

He said the main difference between the Congress and the BJP lay in their different views of nationalism — the former believing in an inclusive one which embraces all, irrespective of religion and language, and the latter promoting a narrow variety that is not shared universally.

“Unfortunately, what the ruling dispensation prefers is a narrow-minded nationalism which reduces India to a particular community, the Hindu community, and that too a particular view of Hinduism which may not be shared universally by everyone. For example, the Dalits may dissent from that narrative.

“To call the one nationalism and the other not is absurd. They are all different variants. One is inclusive and the other is narrow-minded nationalism and the (proponents of the) latter happen to be in power now. Some are feeling left out of this nationalism which I feel is a dangerous aspect.”

Having spent a considerable time at the United Nations, Tharoor, who ran for the post of Secretary General in 2006 along with eventual winner Ban Ki-moon, did not want to read too much into the emergence of right wing politics in many countries.

“For example in France, Marine La Pen has captured some 30 percent in the polls but 70 per cent are still opposed to her brand of politics and it’s unlikely that she will win the presidency.

“In Holland, Geert Wilders may have become a highly-visible figure, but he is not going to be capturing the majority. Brexit was an anti-immigrant vote, (Donald) Trump’s victory was partly fuelled by xenophobia. All these things are true but each country’s politics has its own domestic reasons,” Tharoor said.

The charismatic 60-year-old politician gave some hints about his next literary venture.

“This book (‘An Era of Darkness’) has just come out and is coming out in the UK onMarch 2. My publishers are very keen that I write something on the 70th anniversary of India’s independence about the national character and us as a people.”



No need of JPC on Rafale after apex court verdict: Akhilesh



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Lucknow, Dec 15 : Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Akhilesh Yadav on Saturday said that his party has given up its demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the Rafale deal after Supreme Court verdict in the matter.

Yadav said at an event here that SP had demanded JPC when the apex court had not given its judgement.

“But now the Supreme Court verdict has come and it has looked at all aspects. If someone has to say something in the future, then the doors of Supreme Court are open,” he said.

“There is no bigger court than the Supreme Court and there is nothing bigger on which people have faith,” he added.

The stance of Samajwadi Party is at variance with Congress which is persisting with its demand for JPC into the Rafale jet deal with a French company.

Yadav’s remarks have come at a time when efforts are being made to bring opposition parties together against the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The SP has offered support of its lone MLA to Congress in Madhya Pradesh after the Assembly elections.

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Rahul Gandhi hints at resolving Chhattisgarh CM tussle



Politics, Congress, Rahul Gandhi, Chhattisgarh CM, Chhattisgarh CM tussle, Chhattisgarh chief minister, Bhupesh Baghel, T S Singh Deo, Tamradhwaj Sahu, Charan Das Mahant

New Delhi, Dec 15: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Saturday hinted at the end of tussle for the Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, tweeting a picture of himself flanked by all the four claimants to the post.

Posting pictures of the four contenders in the race for the CM post– Bhupesh Baghel, T.S. Singh Deo, Tamradhwaj Sahu and Charan Das Mahant — Gandhi quoted American internet entrepreneur Reid Hoffman saying: “No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team.”

The party is likely to announce the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister tomorrow.

Baghel, the state party chief, is said to be the frontrunner in the race.

Gandhi’s tweet follows his hectic parleys with Chhattisgarh leaders, along with UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Mallikarjun Kharge, party’s observer for Chhattisgarh, and P.L. Punia, who is in-charge in the state.

The Congress President had earlier tweeted similar pictures of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister-designate Kamal Nath and his rival claimant to the post Jyotiraditya Scindia as well as Rajasthan Chief Minister-designate Ashok Gehlot and his state party chief Sachin Pilot who has been named as the Deputy Chief Minister.

Before the announcements of Kamal Nath and Gehlot as the respective Chief Ministers, there had been power jockeying between the rival camps, with both Scindia and Pilot strongly advocating their stake to the post.


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Government is responsible for giving wrong facts to Supreme Court: Kapil Sibal



New Delhi, Dec 15: Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal on Saturday targetted the Narendra Modi for giving wrong facts to the Supreme Court on the Rafale deal. 

“Government is responsible for giving wrong facts to the Supreme Court, he said while addressing a press conference in the national capital.

“The Supreme Court is not an appropriate forum because it cannot summon and examine file notings, witnesses on oath, including questioning the Prime Minister, and we need to question the Prime Minister”.

Continuing his attack, the former union minister said: “When Supreme Court is not examining technicality, pricing of the Rafale deal, how is government claiming victory?”

“When I read the Supreme Court judgement, in almost every para there was a reference to press reports”, he added.

The Congress leader further said that there is a need to ask the Attorney General to the PAC and get the issues clarified as to why an affidavit was submitted which did not reflect facts.

He described the Rafale deal as a highly sensitive issue and stated: “It will be discussed in the Parliament too”.

Sibal persisted his demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the matter.

“The BJP govt can oppose all they want, but JPC will be formed to investigate Rafale scam”, he stated.

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed all the pleas seeking court-monitored probe into the purchase of Rafale jet fighters holding that the decision-making process was not in doubt.

The bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said it cannot go into the question of pricing and choice of offset Indian partner by the French aircraft manufacturer Dassault.


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