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Modi: In Oman, PM Modi takes on Congress over graft | India News

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NEW DELHI: “No one can accuse my government of corruption,” PM Narendra Modi declared on Sunday while addressing a gathering of 34,000 Indians in Oman’s capital, Muscat, the last stop in a tour that has taken him to Jordan, Palestine and the UAE.

Speaking at the Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex from a royal box that is used by the sultan — becoming the first foreign dignitary to do so — Modi said he has ensured that the trust people have reposed in him was not bruised, remarks which are significant amid Congress’s relentless bid to intensify attacks on the PM and his government over the Rafale deal.

Modi said that while preceding regimes had to explain embezzlement of taxpayer money under their watch, his government is being asked how much money has flowed into the exchequer.

At a rally marked by full-throated cries of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and ‘Vande Mataram’, the PM said his government had so far saved Rs 1,40,000 crore through various policies.

Before he flew on to Muscat, the PM, wrapping up a state visit to the UAE, reiterated strong cooperation on combating terrorism and a defence partnership that will see the Indian Navy conducting an exercise in the Gulf waters.

Addressing the World Government Summit in Dubai, Modi highlighted the importance of assimilating technology with governance to ensure equitable growth, a key message relating to his government’s programmes promoting inclusive growth through banking and DBT. He also met Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the ruler of Dubai.

A joint statement issued at the end of Modi’s visit focused substantially on a joint approach to tackling terrorism and radicalisation. Indian institutions will cooperate with Sawab and Hedayah of the UAE, two entities that are actively addressing radical thoughts and actions at the level of religious places, schools and among the youth.

With defence and security moving up in importance, the joint statement said, “Joint Defence Cooperation Committee (JDCC)” formed under the existing defence cooperation agreement has been meeting regularly. The two leaders welcomed the decision taken during the latest round of JDCC held in New Delhi in December 2017 to conduct the first bilateral naval exercise during 2018.”

This is the first time Indian Navy will be exercising in the Gulf, going beyond the Arabian Sea. Modi told his audience that India aspired to assume leadership position in Artificial Intelligence, nanotechnology, cyber security and cloud computing. Modi also launched a project for construction of the first Hindu temple in Abu Dhabi, describing the holy place as a “catalytic agent” of humanity and harmony that will become a medium of India’s identity.

He laid the foundation stone for the Swaminarayan temple, to be built on 55,000 sqm of land on the Abu Dhabi-Dubai highway, keeping local religious sentiments in mind while making it a place of worship for all manner of Hindus, whatever their chosen deity.

“I would like to request all those associated with the construction of the temple that the rulers here have shown so much respect for India. They have been proud of India’s cultural history. Now, it’s our responsibility that there is no mistake on our part,” he told the gathering. Modi asked people associated with construction of the temple and also worshippers not to cause any harm to others. “This is my expectation from you,” he added.

Updated: February 11, 2018 — 7:13 pm

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