London:In a signal honour to India, Queen Elizabeth II hosted a luncheon banquet in Buckingham Palace for Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday, the second day of his three-day visit to Britain.
“In a special gesture usually reserved for Heads of State, the Queen hosted PM @narendramodi for a luncheon banquet,” Vikas Swarup, external affairs ministry spokesperson, tweeted.
The queen earlier received Modi when he arrived at Buckingham Palace after attending a meeting of the UK-India CEOs' Forum.
“Her Majesty The Queen with PM @narendramodi at Buckingham Palace,” PMO India earlier tweeted.
A photograph showing Modi in conversation with the British monarch inside Buckingham Palace was also attached to the tweet. Modi was wearing a white kurta-pyjama with a maroon Nehru jacket.
After lunch, the queen showed the visiting prime minister a display of artefacts from the Royal Collection.
“After lunch, The Queen showed PM @narendramodi a display of artefacts from #RoyalCollection #ModiInUK,” BritishMonarchy tweeted along with a picture of the two.
Modi began Friday by continuing bilateral parleys with Britsh Prime Minister Cameron at the Chequers, the countryside retreat of the British prime minister. Modi was hosted by Cameron to a private dinner on Thursday at the Chequers and spent the night there.
Later on Friday evening, Modi will address around 60,000 people of Indian origin at the iconic Wembley Stadium here.
This will be followed by a reception in his honour by India's High Commissioner to Britain, Ranjan Mathai.
Srinagar:Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah and opposition on Friday took on critics of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech to British parliamentarians asking "why cannot we take pride" in the excellent speech made by him.
The criticism from Omar Abdullah—despite sitting in opposition to the Jammu and Kashmir government of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP)—shuns the blindfolded diplomatic attack on the government.
"The Indian PM made an excellent speech to British MPs in their parliament. Why can't we just take pride in that?" Omar said in response to a tweet on a Twitter account which claims to be a handle for Congress volunteers.
Putting into exhibition a pamphlet of the PM Modi’s address, the volunteer handle, @withCongress, tweeted: "PM didn't address joint session of parliament, but a speech to MPs in the royal gallery. Yeh Jhoot bhi pakda gaya (this lie has also been caught).”
On the sensitive question asked by the British media over the matter concerning ‘2002 Gujarat riot’, Omar said that they were not “advised” before asking questions.
"I think we can safely assume that the British press was not 'advised' about what to ask & what not to. Some very hard hitting questions!" Omar replied to a question, adding that the “second part of the @guardian question to PM Modi was rather disrespectful to say the least.”
The Guardian reporter had asked Modi about protests on the streets of London saying he did not deserve the respect that would normally be accorded to the leader of the world's largest democracy given his record as Gujarat chief minister.
Shimla:Himachal Pradesh on Friday reported the first swine flu death in the state this winter, a health official here said.
A 32-year-old woman Laxmi Priya, from the nearby Mashobra town, died at the Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital (IGMCH) here after being hospitalised on Wednesday with severe pneumonia. She was tested positive for swine flu on Thursday.
"It was the first case of swine flu in the state this winter. The woman was originally a resident of Bihar and was a labourer working at a resort nearby," IGMCH senior medical superintendent Ramesh Chand said.
Hyderabad:Actor Mukesh Khanna, chairman of Children's Film Society India (CFSI), has said that India can progress only under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and that no other leader in any political party has the vision.
The veteran actor of "Shaktimaan" fame said here on Friday that there is no intolerance in the country. Returning of awards by some artistes and writers is all politics by the opposition to pull down Modi, he said.
"The country can progress only under the leadership of Narendra Modi. If you remove him, there is no leader in all the parties put together, with a new vision," he said.
Khanna was talking to reporters on the eve of the 19th International Children's Film Festival of India, beginning here on Saturday.
The actor said Modi was the first prime minister who spoke about the need for building toilets in all schools, during his Independence Day address from ramparts of Red Fort.
"If Pakistan attacks us, we will give a befitting reply. This was the regular speech we had been hearing every August 15, but for the first time, a prime minister spoke about the need for every school to have separate toilets for boys and girls," he said.
Claiming that Modi has tremendous ideas, Khanna said no leader before him thought of 'Make in India'.
Targeting the opposition parties, the actor said they were opposing Modi just for the sake of it.
"They want to pull him down to get power. They are not bothered about India," he said.
The CFSI chairman said the results of the Bihar assembly elections were not a point to prove that there is intolerance. He attributed the result to too many people getting together for votes through a false propaganda that Modi is not secular.
Mumbai:Two sisters of arrested mafia don Rajendra S. Nikhalje, alias Chhota Rajan, on Friday sought the permission of the sessions court to celebrate Bhai Dooj with him.
The two sisters - Sunita Chavan and Malini Sakpal - moved an application before the sessions judge of the Patial House Court, seeking clearance to meet the mafia don "for performing some rituals for Bhai Dooj".
His sisters said they never met their brother who was bought back to India after 27 years.
After remaining away from the country for so many years, now they wish to meet and bless him, the application said.
Sessions Judge Vinod Kumar of the CBI Special Court is likely to take a decision on the plea at hearing in his home on Friday afternoon.
Both the sisters, who live in Maharashtra, have reached New Delhi where Chhota Rajan is lodged in a CBI lock-up.