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Saturday, October 24, 2020

Delhi Confidential: Birthday Wishes

Twitter was full of greetings for him from politicians, global leaders, actors and sportspersons.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | September 18, 2020 1:22:54 am
Prime Minister Narendra Modi

On Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 70th birthday, Twitter was full of greetings for him from politicians, global leaders, actors and sportspersons. Russian President Vladimir Putin, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were among the world leaders who wished him and lauded his personal contribution to strengthening of ties with their countries. The PM responded to several messages on Twitter, many of them personalised. One response caught the eye. Milind Soman had wished the PM “good health and a good and proactive opposition, to push you to do better for our great country”. Tongue firmly in cheek, Modi responded: “Thank you for your birthday wishes and wishful thinking.”

Fingers Crossed

Harish Salve, India’s counsel on the Kulbhushan Jadhav case at the International Court of Justice at The Hague, has emerged as New Delhi’s choice as Jadhav’s representative at the Islamabad High Court. Given the acrimony his name generates in Pakistan, the Imran Khan government is unlikely to give a go-ahead. But South Block is keeping its fingers crossed.

Call To Collaborate

At the G20 meeting of Finance and Health Ministers on Thursday, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan pitched for global equitable sharing of Covid-19 diagnostics, vaccines and technologies, saying that the world needs to come together and share information to battle the pandemic and capitalise on programmes like ‘Access to Covid-19 Tools Accelerator’. The minister did not miss the opportunity to bat for ‘Make in India’, adding that it also meant ‘Make for the World’.

Extra Time

Just before the SAD minister’s resignation from the Union government over “anti-farmer” Bills, BJP MPs were waxing eloquent on the benefits of the proposed legislation. Party MP Jagdambika Pal used the opportunity to applaud PM Narendra Modi for his gift to farmers. “Today is the Prime Minister’s birthday and I think in future, this day, when we are passing these Bills, would be observed as ‘farmer empowerment day’.” Pal’s long speech, however, did not amuse many BJP MPs. As he went on speaking, rejecting the Chair’s instructions to conclude, some BJP MPs were seen standing and urging him to finish. As Pal concluded, many party MPs were seen thumping the desk and thanking him.

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