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Chief Minister Narendra Modi has expressed his gratitude to Anna Hazare who led a nationwide campaign-fast against corruption, for his statement on Gujarat's Development and CM's leadership by publicly writing an Open Letter. He said that Anna Hazare had shown courage and fortitude and exhibited commitment to truth with a soldier-like conviction. Gujarat is grateful to him, said the chief minister.

He further said that a certain group inimical to Gujarat would not let go this opportunity to malign Anna's fair name. On the occasion of Navratri, Modi said he prays to Maa Jagadamba so that Anna's fair name is not sullied.

The text of the letter is as under:
Respected Annaji,

On the eighth day of fasting in the Navratri, I am inspired to write to you early at 5 O'clock in the morning.

When you were sitting on fast in Delhi, same time, I too was fasting on the occasion of Navratri, the period that symbolizes the embodiment of Divine Shakti. Indeed, I was pleased that by the grace of Maa Jagadamba, I happened to be a co-traveller in your crusade albeit indirectly.

Observing the Navratri fast and being busy in election campaign, I was fortunate to have the darshan of Mother Kamakhya in Assam. When you were fasting, naturally I did pray to Mother Kamakhya about your health and I'm sure that the divine power has been kind enough to bestow her blessings on you.

Today, I came back from Kerala campaign to Gandhinagar early morning at 2 a.m.

And it was yesterday that I got the encouraging news of your expressing kind words towards Gujarat and me.

I am fortunate and grateful to get your blessings.

Respected Annaji, my respect for you is decades old. Before I entered politics, I was full time RSS pracharak. At those time, national leaders of the RSS who came to attend our meetings invariably discussed your rural development activities so that it could be emulated. It has tremendous impact on me. In the past, I also had the good fortune of meeting you.

I and my state of Gujarat are indebted to you for the courage and conviction you showed in saying good words for me and my state. In this show of courage, you exhibited commitment to truth and a soldier-like conviction. And because of this, your opinion has been universally accepted.

I request you to also bless me that your praise shall not make me complacent and commit mistakes.

Your blessings have given me the strength to do what is right and it is good. At the same time, my responsibility has also gone high. Because of your statement, crores of youth would be having great expectations and therefore even a small mistake on my part will disappoint them. Therefore, I have to remain vigilant and seek your blessings for the same.

Respected Annaji, in this delicate moment, I must share with you that I come from a simple family and I am a common man too. In my family, no one is even distantly connected to politics or close to power; I do not have any illusion that I am a perfect human being. Like a common man, I too have my own limitations; good and bad qualities.

I pray that I am always blessed by Mother Jagadamba so that bad qualities do not take possession of me. Always thinking of doing good to Gujarat, I would devote myself to the progress of Gujarat and therefore like to wipe out the tears from the face of the poor. In doing this, I pray that I am never short of your blessings, and this is my humble request.

Respected Annaji, you are a Gandhian and a Soldier. Yesterday, during election campaign in Kerala when I heard about your blessings to me and my state, I feared that you will be subjected to vilification. A certain group inimical to -Gujarat will not miss this opportunity to malign your love, sacrifice, penance and commitment to truth. They will try to tarnish your name because you spoke well of me and my state.

As luck would have it, this has come true. Once again, these inimical forces have come to the fore. On the occasion of Navratri, I pray to Maa Jagadamba that no one sullies your fair name.

You will be aware that whosoever talks good of Gujarat, he or she will be subjected to the vilification campaign.

In the past, a senior Muslim parliamentarian from Canoor constituency hailing from the Communist Party Shri P. Abdulla Kutty was ostracized from the party following his praise of Gujarat's development.

The superstar of this century, Shri Amitabh Bachchan when he promoted Gujarat Tourism, was also attacked by the same group of inimical forces. They spread falsehoods against Bachchan so as to snap his old ties with Gujarat. At a public function in Mumbai where he was invited, this group stopped him from entering to the venue.

Also, a campaign was let loose to malign the leading Gandhian of Gujarat Shri Gunavant Shah who is speaking for the
atma-gaurav of Gujarat and development of Gujarat.

Maulana Ghulam Vastanavi of Gujarat who was elected as Head of the Darul Uloom of Deoband has also been subjected to vilification campaign when he praised the development of Gujarat. He had publicly said that Gujarat is surging ahead on the road of fast paced development, and without any religious discrimination everybody is reaping the fruits of this development. Soon, he has been silenced by constant harassment by the same forces.

Recently, Major General I. S. Singha of Golden Katara Division of Indian Army when he praised the development of Gujarat he too was subjected the same treatment by the same forces and there was even a demand for disciplinary action against the Major General.

These are only a few examples. But Gujarat's real developmental journey is an anathema to this group bent upon heaping calumny on my state. Whenever the name of Gujarat is mentioned these forces immediately swing into action to spread canards and falsehoods.

Respected Annaji, Gujarat's six crore people do not want that the same group should sadden you.

I am still afraid that, this group will put you in trouble. May God give you strength.

I humbly bow to the sacrifices and penances you have made for the country.

Let the Almighty bless you with supreme health and long life so that many like me would benefit from your guidance. This is my prayer to the God from core of my heart.


Yours'
Narendra Modi
April 11, 2011

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Trade and beyond: a new impetus to the EU-India Partnership

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INDIA-EU LEADERS' MEETING
May 08, 2021
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At the invitation of the President of the European Council Mr. Charles Michel, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi participated in the India-EU Leaders’ Meeting today.

The meeting was held in a hybrid format with the participation of leaders of all the 27 EU Member States as well as the President of the European Council and the European Commission. This is the first time that the EU hosted a meeting with India in the EU+27 format. The meeting was the initiative of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

During the meeting, the leaders expressed their desire to further strengthen the India-EU Strategic Partnership based on a shared commitment to democracy, fundamental freedoms, rule of law and multilateralism. They exchanged views on three key thematic areas: i) foreign policy and security; ii) COVID-19, climate and environment; and iii) trade, connectivity and technology. They discussed forging closer cooperation on combating the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recovery, tackling climate change, and reforming multilateral institutions. India appreciated the prompt assistance provided by the EU and its member states to combat its second COVID wave.

The leaders welcomed the decision to resume negotiations for balanced and comprehensive free trade and investment agreements. Negotiations on both the Trade and Investment Agreements will be pursued on parallel tracks with an intention to achieve early conclusion of both agreements together. This is a major outcome which will enable the two sides to realise the full potential of the economic partnership. India and the EU also announced dedicated dialogues on WTO issues, regulatory cooperation, market access issues and supply chain resilience, demonstrating the desire to deepen and further diversify economic engagement.

India and the EU launched an ambitious and comprehensive ‘Connectivity Partnership’ which is focused on enhancing digital, energy, transport and people-to-people connectivity. The Partnership is based on the shared principles of social, economic, fiscal, climate and environmental sustainability, and respect for international law and commitments. The Partnership will catalyse private and public financing for connectivity projects. It will also foster new synergies for supporting connectivity initiatives in third countries, including in the Indo-Pacific.

India and the EU leaders reiterated their commitment to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and agreed to strengthen joint efforts for mitigation, adaptation and resilience to the impacts of climate change, as well as providing means of implementation including finance in the context of COP26. India welcomed the EU’s decision to join CDRI.

India and the EU also agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation on digital and emerging technologies such as 5G, AI, Quantum and High-Performance Computing including through the early operationalization of the Joint Task Force on AI and the Digital Investment Forum.

The leaders noted with satisfaction the growing convergences on regional and global issues, including counterterrorism, cybersecurity and maritime cooperation. The leaders acknowledged the importance of a free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific and agreed to closely engage in the region, including in the context of India’s Indo-Pacific Ocean’s Initiative and the EU’s new strategy on the Indo-Pacific.

Coinciding with the Leaders’ Meeting, an India-EU Business Roundtable was organised to highlight the avenues for cooperation in climate, digital and healthcare. A finance contract of Euro 150 million for the Pune Metro Rail Project was signed by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India, and European Investment Bank.

India-EU Leaders Meeting has set a significant milestone by providing a new direction to the Strategic Partnership and giving a fresh impetus for implementing the ambitious India-EU Roadmap 2025 adopted at the 15th India-EU Summit held in July 2020.