With Prime Minister Narendra Modi perceived to be giving a cold shoulder to Justin Trudeau — he did not post a welcome tweet, nor did he accompany his Canadian counterpart on the latter’s Gujarat leg — owing to the perception that his government sympathises with pro-Khalistan sections of the Sikh community in Canada, the Centre moved on Wednesday and sent Union Minister of State (independent charge) Hardeep Singh Puri to receive him at the Amritsar airport. Trudeau, who returned to Delhi on Wednesday, will attend a meeting for the business community, before he meets Modi for bilateral talks on Friday.
The Congress high command’s decision to induct expelled BSP leader Naseemuddin Siddiqui has not gone down well with many party leaders. Siddiqui is likely to join the Congress on Thursday. Earlier this week, the party had inducted former Delhi Congress chief Arvinder Singh Lovely, who had joined the BJP last year. Many in the party are questioning the moves. Congress leaders wondered why the party is opening its arms to “rejected goods” from other parties. They argue that Siddiqui has an image problem. Some leaders also see his induction as a message to Mayawati, who has tied up with the JD(S) in the upcoming Karnataka elections, which may impact Congress votes. In Lovely’s case, many leaders asked now that he is back what would happen to party leaders who have started working in areas where the former delhi minister had influence.
After Doklam, Bhutan has suddenly got diplomatic attention. The brass of South Block, strategic and diplomatic community, was in full strength on the lawns of Bhutanese embassy on Wednesday as they celebrated the 50th year of diplomatic ties with India, as well as the Bhutan king’s birthday. Foreign Ministers of both countries were present, as were top officials from both sides. The event was followed by a lunch consisting of Bhutanese cuisine. And, of course, there was a giant cake, cut by both ministers.