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Putin on Trump victory: Russia is ready to restore relations with US

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Russia is ready and looks forward to restoring bilateral relations with the United States, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, commenting on the news of Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election.

“We heard [Trump’s] campaign rhetoric while still a candidate for the US presidency, which was focused on restoring the relations between Russia and the United States,” President Putin said, speaking at the presentation ceremony of foreign ambassadors’ letters of credentials in Moscow.

“We understand and are aware that it will be a difficult path in the light of the degradation in which, unfortunately, the relationship between Russia and the US are at the moment,” he added.

Earlier today, in a message to Donald Trump the Russian President expressed confidence that the dialogue between Moscow and Washington, in keeping with each other’s views, meets the interests of both Russia and the US.

The Russian leader noted in the message that he hopes to address some “burning issues that are currently on the international agenda, and search for effective responses to the challenges of the global security,” RIA Novosti reported.

On top of it, Putin has expressed confidence that “building a constructive dialogue between Moscow and Washington, based on principles of equality, mutual respect and each other’s positions, meets the interests of the peoples of our countries and of the entire international community.”

Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin has also expressed hope that Trump’s victory in the presidential election will help pave the way for a more constructive dialogue between Moscow and Washington.

“The current US-Russian relations cannot be called friendly. Hopefully, with the new US president a more constructive dialogue will be possible between our countries,” he said.

“The Russian Parliament will welcome and support any steps in this direction,” Volodin added on Wednesday.

A member of the Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security, Senator Aleksey Pushkov, has meanwhile noted that Hillary Clinton’s stake on the conflict with Russia has eventually done her a terrible disservice.

“[Playing the] ‘Russian card’ and portraying Putin as a bad guy did not help Clinton. On the contrary, staking on the conflict with Moscow has only caused fear, doing her a disservice,” he tweeted.

According to many observers, US-Russia relations are now at their lowest point since the Cold War. Putin has repeatedly noted that the worsening of Russia’s relations with the US “was not our choice,” however.

For things to improve between Moscow and Washington, the US should first and foremost start acting like an equal partner and respect Russia’s interests rather than try to dictate terms, Putin said last month.

“We are concerned with the deterioration of Russian-American relations, but that was not our choice, we never wanted that. On the contrary, we want to have friendly relations with the US, a great country and a leading economy,” Putin said at an economic forum in Moscow.

The US will have to negotiate with Russia on finding solutions to international issues as no state is now able to act alone, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said last week, adding that problems in bilateral relations began to mount long before the Ukrainian crisis broke out in 2014.

IANS

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India

Modi, Shah can’t always help, RSS cautions BJP

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Modi and Amit Shah

New Delhi, Feb 20 : “A bad candidate cannot claim a premium just because the party he belongs to is good. An evil is an evil…” This commentary on BJP is not by any opposition leader but from within.

RSS’ English language mouthpiece ‘Organiser’ has come up with a scathing observation, quoting Deendayal Upadhyaya, on the BJP, it’s Delhi unit and the candidates who were launched in the poll fray in the aftermath of a humiliating loss in the national capital.

In a no-nonsense approach, the author asserted that the BJP as an organisation needs to understand that Amit Shah and Narendra Modi “cannot always help out”.

“Narendra Modi and Amit Shah cannot always help out in the Assembly level elections and there is no option but to rebuild the organisation in Delhi to address the local aspirations,” read the article.

The article titled ‘Delhi’s Divergent Mandate’ authored by its editor Prafulla Ketkar called for understanding the “context of city-state voting behaviour” in Delhi. The article says the answer lies in the changing character of aspirational Delhi.

Stating that the ‘Shaheen Bagh narrative’ failed for the BJP because Arvind Kejriwal steered clear of it. But taking a dig at the saffron avatar of Kejriwal, the author subtly asks BJP to keep a watch on him. He asks, “This genie of Muslim fundamentalism experimented under the pretext of CAA may create a new testing ground for Kejriwal. How does Kejriwal respond to this danger? How far was his chanting of Hanuman Chalisa genuine?”

It was reported earlier that both the Sangh and VHP are content with the Hindu-centric politics that forced Kejriwal to adapt to the changing trend. But Ketkar is apprehensive that it’s not ‘genuine’ side of the AAP.

He sent out a clear message to the Delhi unit: you failed. The apparent failure of BJP to revitalise the organisational structure at the grassroots level after 2015 was recognised as one of the prominent reasons for the poll debacle in which BJP secured just eight seats as AAP swept to power with 62 seats.A

After the defeat, the BJP went into multiple huddles — one with general secretaries, another in which Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari was quizzed by party chief J.P. Nadda and General Secretary (Organisation) B.L. Santosh and several others.

While the Delhi unit has blamed it on Congress giving it up, thus making it easy for the Aam Aadmi Party, the central BJP blames the faction-ridden Delhi unit as well. This is one of the reasons why the party refused to project any chief ministerial face ahead of the polls.

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Cities

No-Bag Day on Saturdays for Rajasthan students

The Chief Minister also announced Rs 100 crore for setting up a ‘Tourism Development Fund’ and said that the policy for ‘ease of travelling in Rajasthan’ will be pursued.

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Students School Bags

Jaipur, Feb 20 : Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday announced a ‘No-Bag Day’ on Saturdays for students of government schools across the state.

Delivering his customary speech during the presentation of the state Budget in the Assembly, he said that though there would be no studies on the said day, activities related to happiness therapy, literature and culture, sports, personality development, moral values, scout, tips to stay healthy etc shall be organised for the students.

Also, parent-teacher meetings would be held on Saturdays to enable the school teachers update the parents on their wards’ academic performance, the Chief Minister added.

Gehlot also announced huge funds for sportspersons in Rajasthan. Those winning gold medals in the Olympics will henceforth get Rs 3 crore from the state government, compared with Rs 75 lakh earlier. Silver medallists will get Rs 2 crore against Rs 50 lakh earlier and bronze medallists Rs 1 crore against Rs 30 lakh earlier.

Asian Games gold medallists will now get Rs 1 crore, silver winners Rs 60 lakh and bronze medallists Rs 30 lakh as compared to Rs 30 lakh, Rs 20 lakh and Rs 10 lakh respectively earlier on. As many as 500 coaches will be appointed on contractual basis to nurture sports talent in the desert state.

The Chief Minister also announced Rs 100 crore for setting up a ‘Tourism Development Fund’ and said that the policy for ‘ease of travelling in Rajasthan’ will be pursued.

Another important Budget proposal was that those injured in an accident in Rajasthan can’t be denied treatment by private hospitals. It would be mandatory for these hospitals to attend to injured patients or else action would be taken against the erring institute, Gehlot said, adding that a law would be formulated in this regard, if need be.

Gehlot announced seven resolutions of his government — Nirogi Rajasthan; Sampann Kissan; Mahila, Bal and Vridhh Kalyan; Saksham Mazdoor, Chhatra Yuva Javan; Shiksha ka Paridhan; Pani, Bijli aur Sadkon ka Maan; and Kaushal and Takneek Pradhan.

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World

Confusion over Trump’s Ashram visit

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Donald Trump

Gandhinagar, Feb 20 : Two Tweets, one from the Ministry of External Affairs and the other from Ajay Tomar (Special Commissioner of Police, Crime Branch Ahmedabad) contradicting each other on Thursday created confusion about the possibility of the US President Donald Trump’s visit to the Gandhi Ashram at Sabarmati.

The MEAIndia tweet states that the US President and First Lady Melania Trump accompanied by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be going to the Motera Stadium for the ‘Namaste Trump’ event directly from the Ahmedabad airport.

However, an official tweet from Ajay Tomar, the Special CP, Crime Branch Ahmedabad says that the US President will arrive at Ahmedabad on February 24 and to welcome him, PM Narendra Modi will be here. Both of them will go to Sabarmati Ashram first, then they will go to Motera Stadium to attend ‘Namaste Trump’ event.’

Following the expected visit four days from now, the preparations were underway at the famous Gandhi Ashram. Apart from turning the place into a fortress and getting all the security aspects covered, there were also some infrastructure changes put in place at the Ashram.

The Trump couple was expected to spend half an hour at the Ashram. A new parking space was being created at the place. To the rear side of the ashram, a platform was being built so that PM Modi could show the entire Sabarmati riverfront to the visiting dignitaries from one place.

A special room was also being prepared at the Ashram, where the dignitaries would be spending some time. Sources said all that ongoing work has been halted for now.

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