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Indian, Nepalese security interests inter-linked: Modi

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said India and Nepal have a “time tested” and unique friendship and their security interests are inter-linked.

“Our friendship is time-tested and unique. We share our burden during difficult times, just as we celebrate each other’s achievements. As immediate neighbours and close friendly nations, peace, stability and economic prosperity of Nepal is our shared objective,” Prime Minister Modi said, in his media statement after holding talks with visiting Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” here.

Modi also commended Prachanda’s role in “strengthening democratic institutions in Nepal”.

“Our security interests are inter-linked. We agreed that securing our societies is essential for achieving shared objectives of development and growth. India stands ready and prepared to strengthen development partnership with Nepal. We will do so as per the priorities of the people and government of Nepal,” he said.

Modi also said that continued cooperation between the defence and security agencies is important to guard the open borders between the two countries that provide opportunities for interaction to their people.

Prachanda meanwhile said Nepal is eager to learn from India’s “success story”, and his government is focused on the agenda of development.

The two leaders earlier held bilateral talks and signed a series of agreements at Hyderabad House.

Prachanda arrived here on Thursday on a four-day visit to India.

The new Maoist-led government in Nepal assumed power last month after the ouster of K.P. Sharma Oli as Prime Minister.

Earlier on Friday, Prachanda was accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj called on him at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Minister of State for Power Piyush Goyal are also slated to meet the Nepal Prime Minister later in the day.

Prachanda is to also meet President Pranab Mukherjee.

In the evening, he will attend a joint business event organised by Assocham.

In an interview with state broadcaster Doordarshan, Prachanda said that Nepal-India ties are unique and that his visit was aimed at building “trust and confidence” between the two sides.

Ties between both neighbours had soured during the 10-month rule of K.P. Sharma Oli, with Kathmandu showing a marked pro-Beijing tilt.

India is hoping to bring ties back on track with the visit of Prachanda, who has chosen New Delhi for his first foreign outing after taking over.

China’s President Xi Jinping is expected to visit Kathmandu in October, while Indian President Pranab Mukherjee is visiting in early November.

India

Put farm laws on hold or we will do it, Chief Justice Bobde tells government

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New Delhi, 11 Jan : A Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice S. A. Bobde on Monday toughened its stand on the farm laws and said the court has made up its mind to stay the implementation of the three farm laws, which have led to the protest by thousands of farmers at various Delhi borders.

“What is going on? States are rebelling against your laws”, a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde told the Centre. “We are extremely disappointed with the negotiation process,” he said.

“If the Centre does not want to stay the implementation of farm laws, we will put a stay on it,” the CJI added.

“We don’t want to make any stray observations on your negotiations but we are extremely disappointed with the process,” said the bench, also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian.

The apex court, which was hearing a clutch of pleas challenging the new farm laws as well as the ones raising issues related to the ongoing agitation at Delhi borders, said it is not talking about the repeal of these farm laws at the moment.

“This is a very delicate situation,” the bench said, adding, “There is not a single petition before us which says that these farm laws are beneficial.”

“We will stay implementation of laws,” the CJI said. “You can carry on the protest. But the question is whether the protest should be held at the same site,” he added.

“Some people have committed suicide, old people and women are a part of the agitation. What is happening?” he said.

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India

Farmer agitation enters 47th day, all eyes on SC hearing pleas on protests

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New Delhi, 11 Jan : The farmer agitation on the borders of the national capital entered the 47th day on Monday as the farmers have taken to the streets protesting against the three central farm laws. But now all eyes are glued on the Supreme Court which would conduct a hearing on various pleas related to the farmers’ agitation and the new farm laws on Monday.

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India

Talks with farmers end without breakthrough, dialogue may resume on Jan 8

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New Delhi, 4 Jan : The crucial seventh round of talks between the government and 41 farmers representatives ended without any breakthrough and the next round of talks is expected on January 8, sources said.

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