Laxmikant Parsekar is Goa's new chief minister

Parsekar's name as leader was proposed by outgoing chief minister Parrikar and seconded by deputy CM Francis D'Souza. Parrikar resigned to join Narendra Modi cabinet


Laxmikant Parsekar, the health minister in Manohar Parrikar government is the new chief minister (CM) of Goa. Parsekar's name was proposed by outgoing chief minister Parrikar and seconded by deputy CM Francis D'Souza.


Earlier, Parsekar was elected unanimously at the legislature party meeting of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). This follows resignation from Parrikar as chief minister.


Parrikar is all set to join as minister in the Narendra Modi Cabinet at the Centre. According to reports he may be given charge of the Defence ministry, currently looked after by finance minister Arun Jaitley.


BJP, Shiv Sena bury hatchet, Desai to be in Modi Cabinet

Shiv Sena has sent its Rajya Sabha MP Anil Desai’s name to be included in the Modi Cabinet


Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiv Sena on Saturday appeared to have resolved their differences with the latter deciding to nominate its Rajya Sabha member Anil Desai to be included in the Narendra Modi government on Sunday.


After blowing hot and cold over the last few days, Shiva Sena also looked agreeable to accepting a power-sharing arrangement in Maharashtra.


“Uddhavji (Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray) had initially decided that we will not recommend any name to be included in the Modi Cabinet unless talks at the state level reach a conclusion. “But now since the talks are finally in a conclusive mode, we have changed our stand. Our leader has decided to recommend Anil Desai’s name so he can be included in the Cabinet tomorrow,” a Sena MP told PTI on condition of anonymity.


He said the party leadership will decide the second name to be included in the Modi Ministry by evening.


The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had on Thursday asked Shiv Sena to recommend two names to be included in the Union government and the party had said it would be forwarding those the next day.


However, with back channel talks failing to resolve issues between the two parties over power-sharing in Maharashtra, Uddhav had appeared disinclined to nominate any leader to be included in the Union government.


The Shiv Sena MP said talks between the estranged former allies in Maharashtra had reached a ‘conclusive stage’ and a decision on supporting the BJP government during the trust vote scheduled for 12th November will be taken by the party chief on Sunday.


Why Doval sees democracy as a powerful tool to deal with security issues

While stressing that the Islamic State and al-Qaeda did not yet pose a threat for India, the NSA said the country’s economic development could have a spill over effect that could bind the region together


Ajit Doval, the National Security Advisor (NSA) in the new government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said he sees democracy as one of the most powerful tools for dealing with security problems. While stressing that the Islamic State and al-Qaeda did not yet pose a threat for India, the NSA said terrorism is much more intense today than thirteen years ago when the war on terror was declared.

Speaking at the Core Group Meeting of the Munich Security Conference (MSC) last month, Doval said, "The hope lies in the greater unity, understanding and commonality between the great democracies. If they don’t lead, it can lead to a state of anarchy".

Doval also emphasized on a collective response, a systematic convergence, automated systems and institutionalised mechanisms to combat the threat of terrorism. "Though many countries have established military, technical and legal systems to fight terror at the domestic level, at the global level we have failed to make much headway in creating working global systems," he added.

Based on India's experience of a peaceful transition of power, Doval said that one key strategy concerned that question of "what can we do to strengthen democracy […] what can we do to have the relationships with democracies by which we can have bilateral and multilateral arrangements by which the security structure and architecture can be strengthened."

A second key point of strategy Doval referred in his speech was India's neighbourhood. He stressed that "if we had the strong democracy that we have in our country, if we have similar democracies in our region that could be one of the very surest drivers of India's security."

"One important aspect of Indian foreign policy is developing very good neighbourhood relations, and also seeing whether the fruits of India’s economic development could have a spill over effect, which could bind the region together. This could create the vested interest of people to see that India’s growth is nothing that undermines their statehood but probably provides them with new opportunities," the NSA added.

The NSA said India wanted to resolve conflict with any country through talks and negotiations. "We believe that there is no conflict which cannot be resolved through talks in a peaceful way."

Doval ruled out any territorial compromise in the on-going bilateral dialogue with China to resolve the pending border dispute. "Our territorial integrity cannot be compromised but I see positive signals from China and we have to evolve and engage each other rather than work in isolation," he added.

The Indian NSA, said jihadist terrorism like the Islamic State and al-Qaeda did not yet pose a threat for the country. "I don't think there are threats of magnitude from either one of them, which we are not in a position to cope with." He, however, did stress, that the government was very attentive. "We have to watch it very, very closely in case any of these relationships develop and in case they start targeting India or interests of India, we will have to take a very serious view," Doval added.

Calling for a Comprehensive UN Convention against terrorism, Doval, who assumed office just four months back, said, "The new genre of conflicts has no substantially proved correct response. We are just [grasping] at darkness. … We are trying, we are succeeding, we are failing … But most of the time, it doesn’t work."

The Munich Security Conference (MSC) hosted the Core Group Meeting in New Delhi in partnership with the Indian Observer Research Foundation (ORF) to discuss key issues of international security policy with around 70 senior decision-makers from India as well as the Euro-Atlantic, Asian and the Middle East regions.

Video of the entire speech is available here.


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