A P J Abdul Kalam’s death anniversary: PM in Rameshwaram to unveil memorial

Laer, Modi will flag off ‘Kalam Sandesh Vahini’, an exhibition bus that would run across states

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate APJ Abdul Kalam‘s memorial in Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu and attend several other programmes on Thursday, the second death anniversary of the former president.

Today Current Affairs : The prime minister will hoist the national flag at the memorial designed and built by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in Pei Karumbu, the PMO had said in a statement here yesterday.

He will unveil a statue of Kalam and offer floral tributes besides interacting with his family members.

Later, the PM would flag off ‘Kalam Sandesh Vahini’, an exhibition bus which would travel across various states of the country and reach Rashtrapati Bhavan on October 15, the birth anniversary of the former President, the statement said.

Modi will then proceed to Mandapam for a public meeting.

He will distribute sanction letters to the beneficiaries of long liner trawlers under ‘Blue Revolution’ scheme and also flag off a new express train from Ayodhya to Rameswaram (via video conference).

The PM will also release a synopsis of the ‘Green Rameswaram’ project, the statement said.

He will unveil a plaque to mark the dedication to the nation of the 9.5-km link road on NH 87, which runs between Mukundarayar Chathiram and Arichalmunai.

The day-long visit will conclude with an address at a public meeting.

Presidential polls result today: Counting from 11 am, result out by 5 pm

Ram Nath Kovind has a distinct advantage over his rival Meira Kumar

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Politics News : Counting of the votes cast to decide who will be India’s new President will begin on Thursday from 11 am. The result will decide the fate of the two contenders — the ruling NDA’s candidate Ram Nath Kovind, who has a clear edge, and the combined Opposition nominee Meira Kumar.

The candidate who secures at least one vote more than 50 per cent of the total votes will become India’s 14th President and enter the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The final result of the presidential election 2017 is expected to be out by 5 pm today.

Officials said that all preparations have been made for the vote count and that all ballot boxes had already reached Parliament House by Tuesday evening amid tight security.

Also Read : Presidential election 2017 India: Kovind or Meira Kumar, who will be the next Rashtrapati?

They said the counting would begin at 11 am simultaneously across four tables. There will be eight rounds of counting and announcements made after every round.

Polling to choose the successor to President Pranab Mukherjee, who demits office on July 24, was held simultaneously at 32 polling stations — one in Parliament House and one each in the 29 state Assemblies and two Union Territories with Assemblies.

Lok Sabha Secretary General Anoop Mishra is the Returning Officer for the election and will issue the certificate to the winning candidate.

Officials said the seals of the ballot boxes will be opened on Thursday in the presence of representatives of the two candidates – former Bihar Governor Kovind and former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar – and the observers of the Election Commission.

In Monday’s polling, several states registered 100 per cent turnout. The overall poll percentage was pegged at 99.41 per cent. A total of 776 members of Parliament and 4,120 legislators were eligible to cast votes.

Kovind has the advantage

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Kovind vs Meira: MPs, MLAs to vote for presidential candidate today

President election: The MPs will vote on Green ballots and the MLAs will vote on pink ballots

NDA meeting at Parliament House

The elected representative of the Parliament and various state assemblies on Monday will vote to elect India’s next President.

There are two candidates in the fray for the coveted post- National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate Ram Nath Kovind and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) candidate Meira Kumar. President Pranab Mukherjee’s term is expiring on July 25.

In the last presidential elections 2017 in 2012, Pranab Mukherjee had defeated P A Sangma and got over 69 per cent votes.

Ram Nath Kovind, former Governor of Bihar, was announced as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA’s candidate for the post of President of India by BJP president Amit Shah on June 19, 2017. Kovind is a leader and a politician from the BJP. Kovind filed his nomination for the election on June 23, 2017.

Also Read : Presidential elections 2017: Kovind likely to sail through as numbers favour NDA in

Meira Kumar, the former Speaker of Lok Sabha, was announced as the Indian National Congress (INC)-lead opposition’s candidate for the post of President of India, after a meeting held on June 22, 2017.

Both Kovind and Kumar are from the Dalit community and have canvassed hard by visiting states to seek the support of legislators.

The president is elected by an electoral college consisting of the elected members of both houses of parliament, the elected members of the Legislative Assemblies of the 29 states and the elected members of the legislative assemblies of the Union Territories of Delhi and Puducherry. As of 2017, the electoral college comprises 776 MPs (Members of Parliament) and 4120 MLAs (Members of Legislative Assembly).

Also Read : Ram Nath Kovind vs Meira Kumar: Voting begins for India’s next President

The total strength of the Electoral college is 10,98,903 votes. Members of Legislative Council (MLCs) don’t take part in the election of President of India.

The value of an MLA’s vote depends on the population of the state he or she represents. But the value of the vote of an MP does not vary — it is 708.

Though the poll result will be announced on July 20, it is expected that Kovind will emerge as winner as he has also support of non-NDA parties like All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), Yuvajana Shramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP), Janata Dal- United (JD-U), Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and independents.

In terms of the percentage, the total electoral votes come to over 60 percent in favour of Kovind, which is much higher than the requisite 50 percent. Read More

Tejashwi says didn’t have moustache at time of scam; BJP not buying it

BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi once again urged Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to sack Tejashwi

RJD leader and Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav on Wednesday said the allegations of corruption against him were lies and a conspiracy by the BJP, led by Amit Shah and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after attending his first Cabinet meeting since the CBI raids against him.

Latest Current Affairs : Tejashwi, the younger son of RJD chief Lalu Prasad, argued that the allegations being levelled against him were related to events which occurred in 2004, when he was a 14-year-old minor.

Tejashwi has made it clear that he will not resign despite alliance partner and Bihar Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar, calling upon him to come clean. Tejashwi has been named as an accused in a CBI case in connection with benami property.

ALSO READ: Congress reaches out to Nitish Kumar as questions linger over Bihar grand alliance

Instead, Yadav said he would go to the people to explain how and why the BJP, led by Shah and Modi, has conspired against him. “This allegation is of 2004 when I was merely 14 years old, and my moustache and beard had not begun to sprout on my face. Do you think a minor like me would have committed a scam?”

ALSO READ: Project Nitish as UPA face to save party, Ramachandra Guha advises Congress

Further, Tejashwi stressed that the grand alliance in Bihar, comprising Lalu’s RJD, the Nitish-led JD (U), and Congress, remained intact.

BJP not buying Tejashwi’s defence

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Modi in Israel: PM gifts two sets of relics from Kerala to Netanyahu

The relics include sets of copper plates that are believed to have been inscribed in 9-10th century

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Current Affairs : Prime Minister Narendra Modi has gifted his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu replicas of two sets of relics from Kerala, regarded as key artefacts of the long Jewish history in India.

Modi, who arrived in Tel Aviv, Israel on July 6 for a three-day visit, presented the relics to Netanyahu at his home.

They comprise two different sets of copper plates that are believed to have been inscribed in 9-10th Century, the Prime Minister’s Office said.

The first set of copper plates is a cherished relic for the Cochin Jews in India. It is regarded as a charter describing the grant of hereditary royal privileges and prerogatives by the Hindu King, Cheraman Perumal (often identified as Bhaskara Ravi Varma) to the Jewish leader Joseph Rabban. Read Full Story

Modi-Trump meet: India, US name Pakistan, demand action on 26/11, Pathankot

Joint statement issued after visit vows action against Pak-based LeT, JeM and D-Company

U.S. President Trump welcomes Indian Prime Minister Modi to the White House in Washington

Current Affairs : India and the US today vowed to strengthen cooperation against terror outfits like Jaish-e- Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Taiba and D-Company, while urging Pakistan to ensure that its soil is not used for terror strikes against other nations.

In a joint statement released after talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Donald Trump, the two nations also called on Islamabad to “expeditiously bring to justice the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai, Pathankot, and other cross-border terrorist attacks perpetrated by Pakistan- based groups.”

Briefing reporters on the meeting, Foreign Secretary, S Jaishankar said counter-terrorism was a major issue that was discussed between Trump and Modi Trump Meet during the day.

ALSO READ: In meet with Trump, Modi vows to destroy terror hideouts, tackle extremism

On the reference to Pakistan, he said the joint statement could not have been more explicit on the issue of cross border-terrorism being perpetrated by terror groups from the neighbouring country’s soil.

“There was a broad and extensive discussion on Pakistan. On certain issues it was very detailed,” he said, adding that there was a converging viewpoint of what is the problem and diagnose the problem. Read Full Story >>>

Why NDA chose Bihar Governor Kovind, a Dalit leader, as President nominee

Kovind’s name was a surprise to those who wanted somebody with a Hindutva image to be the candidate

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Politics News : Bihar Governor Ram Nath Kovind, a Dalit leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), will be the presidential candidate of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), and in all likelihood the next President of India.

The BJP Parliamentary Board decided Kovind’s candidature at its meeting on Monday. Kovind is widely respected among political circles for his integrity and people remember his family to have led an abstemious lifestyle during his political career, including when he was a Rajya Sabha member from 1994 to 2006.

The BJP-led NDA has 48.6 per cent votes in the electoral college and has been promised support from regional parties like the Telangana Rashtra Samiti, YSR Congress Party, and All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam.

Also Read : Why NDA chose Bihar Governor Kovind, a Dalit leader, as President nominee

BJP chief Amit Shah said his party has informed Opposition parties, including the Congress, about its decision. He said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken with Congress president Sonia Gandhi and former prime minister Manmohan Singh regarding the matter too. Shah expressed hope that other parties will support the NDA candidate. Kovind’s name was a surprise to most, including those within the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) who had been insisting that somebody with a Hindutva image be the NDA candidate. In the choice of Kovind, Modi and Shah seem to have outmanoeuvred not just the Opposition but also convinced the RSS leadership.

Given the political symbolism, several in the Opposition might find it difficult to oppose Kovind’s candidature. While the Left parties are set to field their own candidate as they consider this an ideological fight with the Sangh Parivar, many others like the Janata Dal (United) and Bahujan Samaj Party might not find it politically sagacious to oppose Kovind. Both parties have a significant Dalit support base. Other parties were yet to make their position public at the time of filing of this report. It would be very difficult even for the Congress to oppose his candidature.

The BJP’s choice of Kovind comes at a time when Dalit groups have protested in Uttar Pradesh against the Yogi Adityanath government and raised their voice about the increasing atrocities against Dalits by upper castes and cow vigilantes. Selecting Kovind should help the BJP’s efforts at consolidating its Dalit support base in the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. Kovind would become the second Dalit President of India, after KR Narayanan who served as the President from 1997 to 2002.

Shah said that Kovind will file his nomination on June 23. Kovind is a two-term Rajya Sabha member. His terms were from 1994 to 2000 and 2000 to 2006. Kovind is a lawyer by profession and he hails from the Kanpur rural district. “He is from the Dalit community and from humble beginnings he has struggled to reach a high office,” Shah said. He said the NDA is yet to decide upon its vice-presidential candidate.

Who is Ram Nath Kovind