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Modi to reach Goa for BRICS, hails BIMSTEC


New Delhi, Oct 14: Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is slated to reach Goa on Friday for the upcoming eighth BRICS Summit and the first ever BRICS-BIMSTEC meet saying that the outreach with the BIMSTEC leaders was significant.

"The outreach with BIMSTEC leaders is significant. We hope to tap the huge potential for cooperation and the dividends this will bring," Modi tweeted. The two-day BRICS summit will be held from October 15 to 16. 

The Prime Minister, in a tweet also welcomed Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Michel Temer of Brazil, who will also reach Goa on Friday. 

"India is honoured to welcome President Putin for the India-Russia Annual Summit, which will also take place in Goa," the Prime Minister tweeted.

Modi said that he looked forward to useful conversations with leaders from China, South Africa, Brazil and Russia on key global and regional challenges.

"As BRICS chair this year, India embraces a stronger emphasis on enhancing economic and people-to-people ties. This will benefit us greatly," he said.

Both Putin and Modi will stay at the Taj Exotica while the other heads of state will be put up in other hotels.

The Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) is an inter-governmental organisation of which Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand are members.

"I am happy that India is facilitating an outreach Summit with BIMSTEC leaders of Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand," Modi said in another tweet.

According to the reports, a joint meeting of the BRICS and BIMSTEC leaders will be held on October 16. India is also counting on the BIMSTEC in a bid to corner Pakistan after 19th SAARC summit which were scheduled in Islamabad were cancelled.

BJP will win 26 out of 40 seats in Goa: Parrikar


Panaji, Oct 10: BJP will win 26 out of the 40 assembly seats in Goa in the coming elections, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said on Monday.

Addressing a meeting of Bharatiya Janata Party legislators and ministers here, he also said that the party would adopt a special strategy for the eight seats in the Salcete region in South Goa which is known as a Congress bastion and has a strong presence of the Catholic minority community.

"We are very positive about these elections. We would do better than previous elections... Our target is to win 26 seats," Parrikar told reporters after the meeting .

"We will adopt a special strategy for Salcete," the former Chief Minister said.

Parrikar also said that the ongoing alliance between the BJP and the ongoing Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) will continue for the upcoming polls, which are likely to be held in early 2017.

The BJP won an unprecedented 21 seats in the last state legislative assembly elections.

Amid Indo-Pak tension, Goa Archbishop calls for prayers for 'Mother India'


Panaji, Oct 8: Archbishop Filipe Neri Ferrao, religious leader of Goan Catholics who account for more than a quarter of Goa's population, has appealed for special prayers for peace for "Mother India", especially in the light of simmering hostilities with Pakistan.

"I call upon members of other religious communities in our Archdiocese to join us in praying for our Mother India," Ferrao said in a statement issued here on Saturday.

"Ironically, it (peace) is one of the most eluding goods in today's society. The fragile peace along the Indian border with neighbouring Pakistan is regularly disturbed by exchange of fire and other forms of violence, revealing a simmering state of hostility and suspicion between two countries that otherwise share linguistic, cultural, geographic and even economic links," Ferrao said.

The archbishop said that instructions had been issued to the church and parish networks to conduct special prayers "for one another and for peace in our land".