Daily Bulletin: Ayodhya turns into fortress ahead of Uddhav Thackeray's visit; Maldivian FM to visit India; today's top stories
Ayodhya has turned into a fortress ahead of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray's visit, Maldivian FM will come to india on 4-day-visist; today's top stories
Ayodhya turns into fortress ahead of Uddhav Thackeray's visit
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray will reach Ayodhya today amid his party’s push for early construction of a Ram Mandir. The Sena chief will be descending on the temple town with his full might. He will be accompanied by around 3,000 Shiv Saininks who left for Ayodhya in two special trains from Thane and Nashik on Thursday. Moreover, apart from arriving in Mumbai, several thousand of party activists are expected to join Thackeray from the rest of Maharashtra, Gujarat, and other parts of India. Police sources said there would be over two lakh people converging on Ayodhya. In view of this, the temple town turned into a fortress with the police dividing Ayodhya into eight zones and 16 sectors. State Chief Secretary Pradesh Anoop Chandra Pandey, principal secretary (home) Arvind Kumar and Director General of Police (DGP) OP Singh have reviewed the town's security through video-conferencing. The state government has also increased the number of provincial armed constabulary (PAC) from 20 to 48.
Kartarpur Corridor politics
Soon after the Government of India announced that it was willing to develop the Kartarpur Corridor, a road route being developed for Sikh pilgrims to visit Nankana Sahib shrine that now lies in Pakistan, the pilgrimage has turned into a political issue. Even as Pakistan announced that it will work with India to open the corridor before next year, its security forces stopped an Indian Consular team for the consecutive third time on Friday at Nankana Sahib citing 'security concerns'.
On the other hand, Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan has invited Punjab tourism minister and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu for the foundation laying ceremony of Kartarpur corridor. Some reports stated that Sidhu has accepted the invite, but there was no clarity on his stand yet. Meanwhile, there were also media reports showing footage of pro-Khalistani posters and processions with Khalistan flags at the Nankana Sahib.
Maldivian Foreign Minister arrives in India on four-day visit
Foreign Minister of the Maldives Abdulla Shahid is set to arrive in New Delhi today on a four-day visit with an aim to repair the bilateral ties which came under severe strain during the previous government in the island nation. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had attended the swearing-in ceremony of newly elected Maldivian president Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on 17 November in Male. During their meeting, Modi and Solih vowed to renew close ties and friendship between the two countries and agreed on the importance of maintaining peace and security in the Indian Ocean Region.
India-Maldives ties came under strain under former president Abdulla Yameen who was perceived to be close to China. Some decisions by Yameen including imposition of restrictions on work visas for Indians and signing of a new Free Trade Agreement with Beijing also did not go down well with New Delhi.
Relations between India and the Maldives deteriorated further after Yameen imposed emergency on 5 February this year.
English Premier League 2018-19
The English Premier League is back on Saturday as fourth-placed Tottenham hope to prove their mettle with victory against Maurizio Sarri's Chelsea. In another match, Liverpool's Premier League ambitions are up for a tough test when they travel to Vicarage Road to face Watford. The Manchester clubs are also in action on Saturday as United take on Crystal Palace at home while Pep Guardiola's City are up against West Ham.
Maldives President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih won the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party's (MDP) presidential primary election, the first time an incumbent has faced a primary challenge, according to preliminary results on Sunday.
Jaishankar, Maldives President Solih take part in groundbreaking ceremony of Hanimaadhoo airport project
Speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, Jaishankar said the initiation of the Hanimaadhoo international airport development project marks a "historic milestone" in the robust India-Maldives development partnership
Two shilas (stones), around seven feet long and weighing over 350 tonnes, are set to arrive at Ayodhya from Nepal’s Kali Gandaki river