Congratulations to the winners of their respective divisions in the 2012 New South Wales Touch Association (NSWTA) Vawdon Cup finals. Men’s Open Penrith Panthers 7 defeated Parramatta Eels 6 (drop-off)Women’s Open Eastern Suburbs Roosters 7 defeated Wollongong Devils 5Mixed Open Eastern Suburbs Roosters 6 defeated Wests Magpies 4Men’s Division OneHornsby Lions 6 defeated Wollongong Devils 1Women’s Division OneCentral Coast Dolphins 5 defeated Northern Suburbs Bears 4Men’s Division TwoEastern Suburbs Roosters 8 defeated Wests Magpies 6Women’s Division TwoLiverpool Lightning 2 defeated Hills Hornets 2Men’s Division ThreeRyde Eastwood Hawks 8 defeated Penrith Panthers 4Men’s Masters (played on the 19th October)Balmain Tigers 9 defeated Penrith Panthers 0Men’s Seniors (played on the 19th October)Wests Magpies 6 defeated Canterbury Bulldogs 5Related LinksVawdon Cup Results
Instagram/Taylor LewanMichigan State has owned Michigan on the gridiron in recent history, winning seven of the last eight matchups between the two programs. But one prominent former Wolverine is tired of living in the past, and Wednesday he had a little fun at the expense of his new Tennessee Titans teammate – a former Spartan.Former Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan, who was drafted 11th overall back in 2014, apparently wasn’t a fan of what former Michigan State offensive tackle Jack Conklin, who was drafted eighth overall this year, had hanging in his locker room. Lewan, after seeing Conklin’s Spartans jersey, playfully told him to “grow up” on Instagram. He added a “Go Blue” for fun too. Lewan and Conklin are both expected to play prominent roles for the Titans this year.
OTTAWA — Global Affairs Canada has issued a travel advisory for Canadians in Britain, warning them of possible violence in the wake of today’s latest twist in the country’s Brexit drama.The department issued the updated advisory as British politicians rejected the latest attempt to coalesce around a path out of the European Union.In the advisory, officials warn of “acts of violence” and confrontations between demonstrators and security forces around the parliamentary buildings and near Westminster Abbey in London.Canadians are urged to avoid areas where demonstrations take place and nearby subway stations.The department continues to recommend Canadians visiting the United Kingdom exercise a “high degree of caution” due to the threat of terrorism.U.K. parliamentarians today rejected for the third time British Prime Minister Teresa May’s plan for Brexit setting the stage for the country to crash out of the European Union next month without a replacement deal in place.The Canadian Press
Thousands of wrapped toys were handed out to kids in a huge Christmas display Monday at the Los Angeles Mission’s annual Christmas Eve event.Harrison Ford at the LA Mission, December 24Credit/Copyright: Los Angeles MissionThere were more than 4,000 meals served – with Chef Ben Ford creating a gourmet meal for the Skid Row homeless.Among the stars who took part were Harrison Ford, Harry Hamlin, Bella Thorne, Booboo Stewart, Kate Linder, Melissa Gilbert, and many more.Toyota was the primary sponsor for the event, with the Sharing the Spirit Holiday Party presented by the Festival of Children Foundation.“We have made a very big effort to step up the quality of the Christmas meal,” said Herb Smith, President of the Los Angeles Mission. “That’s why we are so pleased to have Ben Ford, of Ford’s Filling Station join us again to create the signature dishes for the meal. That, along with the magnificent Festival of Children Foundation Share the Spirit Holiday Party tent makes this one of the most special events we have.”Celebrity Chef Ben Ford worked with the Los Angeles Mission Chef Chris Cormier and the kitchen staff to envision and prepare the meal. There was Lemon-Rosemary Roasted Chicken, Cheezy Grits, Brown Butter Carrots, Green Beans with Griddled Onions, a special Winter Fruit Chutney created by Chef Ford, and Apricot compound butter for the dinner rolls. The meal was rounded out with cake for dessert.“Changing a life can start with a meal made with love” said Chef Ford. “This Christmas I will be a part of nourishing our community through food and hopefully change a couple of lives along the way.”A generous contribution from Toyota and nearly 200 volunteers helped make the event possible. Thousands of toys were donated by JAKKS Pacific, Imperial Toys, Jazwares, and hundreds from other donors. The Sharing the Spirit Holiday Party featured Santa, decorations, music and crafts for the children. Toys were wrapped so children had the choice of opening them immediately or waiting until Christmas morning. Hundreds of volunteer hours were spent sorting, wrapping and marking the gifts so they could be distributed in an age and gender appropriate manner.“This is Toyota’s third year supporting the Los Angeles Mission’s holiday outreach, and we continue to be touched by the Mission’s dedication and service to families in need,” said Michael Rouse, vice president of philanthropy, community affairs and diversity & inclusion for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. “Nearly 200 Toyota associates, friends and family volunteer their time to work this event or who have contributed by donating 100 hygiene kits to the residents of the Mission will come away from this experience with a greater understanding of our broader community and the support needed.”“The Los Angeles Mission wouldn’t exist without the loving financial support of the community,” said President Smith. “Our community volunteers, our donors, the businesses who support us make our work possible. Toyota and the Festival of Children Foundation have worked closely with us for months to make the event happen. As we look toward 2013 we are concerned about how the unsettled economy will impact the Mission. We have seen a significant downturn in donations – we are concerned about financial shortfalls – all at a time when the number of men, women and families coming for help is increasing.”More than 10,000 toys were donated for distribution at the event.“JAKKS Pacific is proud to support the Los Angeles Mission, both year-round and again this holiday season,” said Anne-Marie Feliciano, Vice President of Corporate Communications & Philanthropy, JAKKS Pacific, Inc. “They provide crucial, invaluable services to underserved families and individuals in our community and make a remarkable difference in the lives of disadvantaged young people. We are very proud that together, JAKKS and the Los Angeles Mission, can help make the holidays brighter for so many deserving children and families.”Festival of Children Foundation staff and volunteers arrived early Friday morning to set up the 2,000 square foot Sharing the Spirit Holiday Party tent on Skid Row. There were 30 decorated Christmas trees, giant nutcrackers, Santa, crafts, and each child received a bag of toys. More than 50 volunteers made a very special place for the children of Skid Row with decorations and loads of fun.“Festival of Children Foundation supports children’s charities nationwide, but today, we’re focusing on bringing Christmas to the children served by the Los Angeles Mission. We’re honored to have the opportunity to share our blessings with them. Christmas means a spirit of love, and that’s what we want every child here today to feel… loved,” said Sandy Segerstrom Daniels, Founder and Executive Director of Festival of Children Foundation.Christmas Eve morning started early for the staff and volunteers and the Mission. There were last minute gift donations to wrap, and the big dinner to prepare. And the volunteers in the kitchen also served breakfast to overnight guests at the Mission. And at about 7:00 AM volunteers also handed out hot breakfast sandwiches and cider to the families waiting in line for the event that would begin later in the morning.Chef Ford, Chef Chris Cormier and the Mission staff marinated and roasted 3,000 pounds of chicken, sliced, seasoned and cooked 600 pounds of carrots, prepared 600 pounds of green beans and griddled lots of onions, mixed and baked 140 gallons of grits for the Cheezy Grits and chopped and mixed 115 gallons of Winter Chutney. (Recipes are attached). The preparation work went on for several days, with the chef staff in a cooking frenzy all Monday morning to be ready for the 11:00 AM serving time.A thousand blankets were handed out by Kimberly Vodang, Ms. America International, to those who attended. There was also underwear distributed which was donated by Briefly Cares, a philanthropic outreach by Briefly Lightweight company. Dining utensils and napkins were provided by Landsberg/Amcor. Hygiene kits were put together by Mission volunteers throughout the month of December, and were handed out Monday as well to participants.Housed in temporary facilities, shelters and low-income housing in the Skid Row area, this will be the only Christmas celebration for many of the guests. As they waited to be seated and served, the guests enjoyed holiday music from a number of local musical groups.The Los Angeles Mission has been providing a Christmas meal and toy distribution at this location since the Mission building was dedicated 20 years ago. The Mission has been operating continuously since 1936, when it was created as a soup kitchen to serve those displaced during the great depression.
LANSING, Mich. — The Latest on the Michigan Legislature’s consideration of minimum wage and paid sick leave bills (all times local):12:35 p.m.Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette says it is constitutional for Michigan’s Legislature to pass bills initiated as ballot drives and subsequently amend them in the same legislative session.Schuette’s opinion was made public Tuesday as the GOP-controlled House prepared to vote to significantly scale back minimum wage and paid sick leave laws that legislators passed in September so they would be easier to change now. Organizers of the ballot initiatives say the strategy is unconstitutional, and legal challenges are likely if Gov. Rick Snyder signs the bills.In his opinion dated Monday, Schuette says the state constitution imposes restrictions on lawmakers’ ability to amend voter-approved laws, but it has no “express limitations on amending a legislatively enacted initiated law.” He says Michigan courts have said legislatively enacted initiatives should be treated similarly to ordinary legislation.___10 a.m.Bills to scale back Michigan’s new minimum wage hike and mandatory paid sick leave law are advancing in the Republican-led Legislature.A House panel backed the legislation on party lines Tuesday. The full House may approve the bills later Tuesday before they move to Gov. Rick Snyder, who has not said where he stands.To prevent the ballot initiatives from going to electorate, where they would be much harder to change if voters had passed them, GOP lawmakers approved them in September so they could alter them now with majority votes.The business community supports delaying the boost in the minimum wage until at least 2030 and limiting paid sick time requirements to employers with 50 or more workers. Opponents say the move is illegal and an insult to voters.The Associated Press
Itanagar: The Congress will restore special category status to all states of the Northeast if voted to power at the Centre, party president Rahul Gandhi said Tuesday, reaching out to the electors of the region where it is a sensitive issue.He also accused the BJP of trying to destroy the social and cultural ethos of the people of the Northeast by imposing on them the “RSS ideology”. Addressing a Congress rally in the run up to the Lok Sabha and Arunachal Pradesh assembly polls to be held simultaneously, Gandhi sought to appeal to the regional sentiments, saying his party will never “attack the language, culture, customs and traditions” of the Northeastern states. “The people of the region are close to Congress’s heart. The Congress has always worked for the development of the region. My party, if voted to power, will restore the special category status to Arunachal Pradesh and other states in the Northeast,” he told a well attended rally at Indira Park here. The Congress party’s last standing citadel in the Northeast fell in November last year when BJP ally Mizo National Front stormed to power in the state. There are some states which require special status because of their “unique problems and difficulties” such as connectivity, terrain and infrastructure, he said. Gandhi said these states had special status when the Congress helmed the central government. The Congress president called Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP’s slogan of “Congress mukt Bharat” an expression of “hatred” towards the main opposition party. “However, the Congress being a secular party would not even want the BJP finished,” he said. Accusing the BJP-led central government of imposing “RSS ideology” across the country, including the Northeast, Gandhi alleged ineligible people with Sangh family background were appointed as vice chancellors. Touching upon yest another sensitive issue of Citizenship (amendmdent) Bill, Gandhi said his party will never allow it to be passed by Parliament as it is detrimental to the people of the region. “We will not allow the suppression of the people of the Northeast,” he asserted. “After the NDA government came to power, the Planning Commission, which was set up for meticulously planned development, keeping in mind the special requirements of the region, was replaced with Niti Aayog. “Earlier, all schemes for northeastern states were planned in due consultation with the respective state governments, but now all planning is done in Delhi,” he added. Noting that Arunachal Pradesh has a special place in the Congress’s scheme of things, Gandhi said his party wants a “bonding of hearts” with the people of the northeastern state. The Congress leader promised his party will give a fresh impetus to infrastructure development in Arunachal Pradesh if voted to power. He also pledged to revive the Special Plan Assistance (SPA) scheme and North East Industrial Policy for giving a boost to the region’s economy. Reaffirming the Congress’s commitment to providing ‘Guaranteed Minimum Income’ to every citizen, Gandhi claimed that instead of giving loans to the unemployed youth of Arunachal Pradesh, the Modi government wrote off the Rs 3.5 lakh crore debt of a handful of industrialists. He dubbed as a “blantant lie” the BJP’s promise of creating two crore jobs a year. “Instead, there are more than two crore unemployed youth now,” he said.
Madurai: A woman college teacher, behind bars for 11 months in connection with the Madurai Kamaraj University (MKU) sex scandal, was released on bail from the central prison here on Wednesday.Suspended assistant professor Nirmala Devi, accused of luring some girl students to extend sexual favours to senior MKU officials to get higher marks and money, was granted bail by the Madras High Court bench here on March 12. Her release was delayed as the bail formalities were completed on Tuesday only, after her brother and a family friend furnished sureties, police said. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Devi was working with the Devanga Arts College in Aruppukottai, affiliated to the MKU. She was arrested on April 16 last year on a complaint filed by the college and a women’s forum after an audio clip of her purported conversation with students went viral on social media. In the audio clip, she purportedly told the girls to “adjust” with some officials “for getting 85 per cent marks and money”. Devi, who has denied the allegations, was suspended by the college following an internal enquiry. The Crime Branch-CID of Tamil Nadu police had filed the charge sheet in the case, booking Devi for several offences under the Indian Penal Code, Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Harassment of Women Act and Information Technology Act.
Washington: The US has warned Pakistan that another terror attack on India will prove to be “extremely problematic” as it asked Islamabad to take more “concrete and sustained” actions to rein in terror groups including the JeM and the LeT.Tensions between India and Pakistan escalated after a suicide bomber of Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) killed 40 CRPF personnel in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district in February 14.India launched a counter-terror operation in Balakot. The next day, Pakistan Air Force retaliated and downed a MiG-21 in an aerial combat and captured its pilot, who was handed over to India on March 1. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c detailsAddressing reporters at the White House on Wednesday, a senior administration official said: “We need to see Pakistan taking concrete and sustained action to rein in the terrorist groups, mainly the Jaish-e-Mohammed and the Lashkar-e-Taiba in order to ensure that we don’t have re-escalation (of tensions) in the region”.”If there’s any additional terrorist attack without Pakistan having made a sustained, sincere effort against these groups, it would be extremely problematic for Pakistan and it would cause re-escalation of tensions, which is dangerous for both countries,” he said on the condition of anonymity. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from ThursdayAsked about the steps being taken by Pakistan in the aftermath of the Balakot air strike by Indian fighter jets, the official said that the US and the international community needed to see “irreversible and sustained” actions against the terror groups.”It’s early to make a full assessment,” he said.In the recent days, the official said Pakistan has taken some “initial” actions. They have frozen the assets of some terrorist groups and made some arrests. They have taken administrative control of some of the JeM facilities, he said. “But we clearly need to see more. We need to see irreversible action because in the past, what we’ve seen is they made some arrests and then a few months later, they released these individuals. The terrorist leaders are sometimes still allowed to travel around the country, hold rallies,” the official said.Reiterating that the US is looking for “irreversible action”, he said America is working with its international partners to increase pressure on Pakistan.”Because it has been too long that these groups have been able to operate,” he said.Observing that Pakistan has economic concerns as well, the official said the Financial Action Tasks Force (FATF) is one area which demonstrates the need for them to take these actions against terror groups.”Otherwise, they’re at risk within the system and the FATF to be grey-listed,” the official said.Pakistan needs to decide if it wants to be viewed as a responsible international player and have access to all the financial mechanisms that are available or is it going to continue to fail to take the steps necessary against these terrorist groups and see itself further isolated. “The choice is Pakistan’s,” the senior administration official asserted.While the situation between the two south Asian neighbours have de-escalated, the two armies are still on high alert and that concerns the US, the official said.”So, we realize that if there, God forbid, would be another terrorist attack that you could quickly see the escalation in the situation once again. So that’s why, we’re making clear that any additional military action by either side runs an unacceptably high risk, for both countries and for the region,” the official said.The Trump administration, he said, has taken sort of a “zero tolerance policy” on the issue of safe havens to terrorists.”The terror terrorist attack on February 14th on India was a demonstration that Pakistan’s continuing provision of sanctuary for any terrorist group is not acceptable,” the official said.During the height of the crisis — February 26-28 — the US was in continuous contact with Indian and Pakistani officials, both on the ground in New Delhi and Islamabad.”They were working on the phones continuously and were deeply engaged in seeking to deescalate what was a very dangerous moment in India-Pakistan relations,” he said.The United States has also reached out to influential countries to have them help deescalate the situation, the senior administration official said.Some of these countries are China, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Japan and Australia.
The humble chaiwala has lost his pride of place. Even the familiar Gorkha has been fired; along with him are gone his night howls of ‘hoshiar raho’. It is because Prime Minister Modi gave a clarion call to every citizen to become a chowkidar to protect our nation. Yes, he has done a great service in reminding us of our duty, albeit it is through protecting our democracy. For this, we need to choose the right chowkidar-in-chief, who would honour the very principles of democracy; and is committed to making us happy and changing our lowly position in the World Happiness Report Index. Also Read – A special kind of bondThe World Happiness Report of the UN looked at six key variables – well-being, income, freedom, trust, healthy life expectancy, social support, and generosity. India stands at 140 among 156 countries in the survey of 2018, down by seven notches over the previous year. Finland is the happiest for the second year in a row, while Denmark has been consistently in the top five for the past five years. Are we really as unhappy as the survey says? Let us have a look at each of the parameters. Also Read – Insider threat managementFirstly, well-being. Our philosophy, Yoga, and Upanishads emphasise well-being and happiness as a state of complete physical, social, mental, and spiritual well-being and harmony with nature. But, the increasing stress of modern day life has robbed us of our mental peace and happiness. Studies have reported that extended families have more ‘life satisfaction’ than nuclear families which is a norm now. They further indicate that by 2025, over 38 million years of healthy life will be lost to mental illness in our country. Further, there is a total change in our cultural values. Leaders telling lies on oath, rendering ethics and values of no consequence, is so common. Alongside globalisation, religion too has become commercialised – profit and wealth being the primary objectives. In contrast, until recent times immediate well-being was not considered as important as the ultimate well-being. Religion is no longer a solace since the culture of rationality and truth-seeking has been replaced with blind faith, rituals and bigotry. Jesus was killed because he talked about taking business out of the temple, whereas Buddha called into question all the Hindu Gods and rituals, yet, no harm was caused to him. Instead, those who opposed him became his monks when they were convinced in months-long debates. It is not our culture to kill people with blind faith in our beliefs, like what the cow-vigilantes are doing with the blessings of the Party and governments. This change is a serious cause of social tension and unhappiness in the country. Happiness is elusive when we think of income too. Right to equality and equal distribution of wealth is only on paper; governments are pro-rich. The GDP growth of 7 per cent, being claimed by the government, is dubbed by many experts as manipulated. Doubting the figure, because not enough jobs are being created, former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan even seeks to check its veracity by an impartial body. Total employment actually shrank by millions and the rate of unemployment is a whopping 16 per cent. And, whatever wealth is generated, the distribution is skewed. As per Oxfam survey in 2018, richest 1 per cent Indians cornered 73 per cent of Rs 20.9 lakh crores of wealth generated, while the rise is only 1 per cent for the poorest half of 67 crore Indians. Previous year’s survey showed the richest 1 per cent held 58 per cent of the country’s total wealth. Now, regarding freedom. We have freedom of the press, but the publishers are either induced or coerced into toeing the line of the government. We have freedom of religion, but there are communal tensions caused by bigots. There is freedom to choose professions; but the choice and opportunities are dwindling, with corruption inhibiting them further. One has the freedom to contest elections, but without money-power, it is beyond one’s dream. More than anything else, freedoms of thought and expression are stifled with government action; and freedom of privacy is intruded by snooping into every computer. There is also a great trust deficit. The promise of cooperative federalism is a farce; there is a mockery of democracy – no debates, no press conferences; only witch-hunting opposition with abuse of institutions; there is the only autocracy. Election promises are made only to be broken; election-time sops are only to please the voters. In the absence of a choice, one has to vote only for the better among the worst, who, once elected, would be on sale for voting in Parliament or Assembly. There is also mutual suspicion among people, like in the Big Brother regime. Now for health and social support. Easily available liquor every hundred yards, made so by the government of AP, etc., has proved to be a health hazard. Globalisation, and absence of character building in education, cause great stress and tensions, and there is a telling effect on life-expectancy; and even premature deaths through suicides. Food adulteration is another cause. Private medical treatment is very expensive and government hospitals, mostly, are not comfortable and conducive places. There is social support in terms of myriad welfare schemes, but corruption sabotages the very intentions. And, NGOs, mostly, work for their gains. Overall, for the chowkidars, there has been an increase in negative emotions – anxiety, sadness, anger and worry, distrust and insecurity. Thus, the survey has rightly placed India among the unhappiest countries. But, instead of sulking, it would be prudent to find ways to cheer us up. Happiness is variously defined. Psychologists consider it as ‘a mental or emotional state of well being defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy’. Sociologists say it is the degree to which an individual judges the overall quality of his life-as-a-whole positively, and refer it as subjective well-being (SWB) or life satisfaction. But quantifying it is difficult. A breakthrough, however, was made by Bhutan by calculating their country’s Gross National Happiness (GNH) and they evolved a single digit Index as a measuring tool for policy-making and to create policy incentives for the government, NGOs and businesses of Bhutan to increase GNH. Good governance, sustainable socio-economic development, cultural preservation and environment conservation are the four pillars that support the nine domains – psychological well-being, health, education, time use, cultural diversity and resilience, good governance, community vitality, ecological diversity and resilience, and living standards, and 33 indicators, which help in reaching the GNH Index. UN also passed a resolution in 2011 in support of this novel concept. While East European countries with no freedoms are low in happiness than poorest democracies, Denmark stands out as an example of happiness and well-being – free from corruption, thrust on health care, gender equality and voluntary work; and they proved the efficacy of cycling in environment protection, fuel saving, accidents, etc. As against the fact that 40 per cent Danes get involved in volunteer activities that generate a feeling of oneness of society, and accountability to each other for common growth, volunteerism is lacking in us. No serious efforts are ever made by us to bring such cohesion. Instead of emulating these examples, the government in power spends crores of rupees in advertising about their bounties and achievements. Any national newspaper of 26- 28 pages would generally have nearly half devoted to full page, half or quarter to advertisements from different government departments, although this does not pay any dividends. There are not even proper mechanisms to assess people’s satisfaction with government projects and schemes. The present systems of vigilance and anti-corruption are grossly inadequate since they only manage statistical targets, and whatever action is taken by them gets riddled in dilatory departmental or legal processes. It is imperative that effective feedback mechanisms are in place for real-time check and corrective action. In the past, apart from using elaborate spying systems and overt feedback mechanisms, benevolent kings themselves used to move incognito to check the well-being of their subjects. It is worthwhile, therefore, to divert the money spent on advertisements for this task since the dividends for the good and sincere work done, and the goodwill generated, are enormous. In a democracy, people’s satisfaction is paramount, like customer satisfaction in commercial establishments. The customer care departments vie with each other to please their customers, while sales departments aggressively advertise their products to lure potential customers. Take for example a pharmaceutical company. Whenever a new product is launched, their salesmen and qualified pharmaceutical degree holders interact with doctors who prescribe them to their patients and get feedback about how much better this new drug is working. Yet, not satisfied, they employ talented engineers and others to get independent feedback from the doctors who are handsomely compensated for the time invested. Similar is the case with sales of vehicles, and so on. It is time that chowkidars become inimitable and assertive, to set things right in our democracy. Revered Hanuman never knew his strength until he was reminded of it. Kumbhkaran had to be awakened from his deep sleep to show his power. For their own well-being and life satisfaction, for effective delivery and improvement in government policies, people should demand a comprehensive model based on Bhutanese and Danish experiences, and also for effective feedback mechanisms, with their participation. Lokpal has to be made proactive and given a pivotal role in this task. Ultimately, the happiness of a nation is the aggregate of the happiness of society and of individuals. For this, a real democrat should be chosen as the chowkidar-in-chief of India. (Dr. N Dilip Kumar is a retired IPS officer and a former member of Public Grievances Commission, Delhi. The views expressed are strictly personal)
Patan: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said he had warned Pakistan of consequences if it did not return Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman.Addressing a poll rally at Patan in Gujarat, he asserted his government’s commitment towards national security and said whether the prime minister’s chair remains or not, he has decided that either he will be alive or the terrorists. He also took a jibe at NCP leader Sharad Pawar, saying if he is unaware of his next move, then how can Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan gauge what he will do. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Modi urged the people of Gujarat to help the BJP win all 26 Lok Sabha seats in his home state, where polling will be held on Tuesday, and said if it does not happen, then there will be discussions on TV over it on the day of vote counting. Following the air strike at Balakot terror camp in Pakistan, there was a dogfight between Indian and Pakistani fighter planes on February 27 in which the IAF wing commander was captured by the neighbouring country and released on the night of March 1. He said after Abhinandan was caught, opposition started seeking a reply from him. “We held a press conference and warned Pakistan that if anything happened to our pilot, you will keep telling the world what Modi did to you.” Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K”A senior American official said on the second day that Modi has kept 12 missiles ready and might attack and the situation will deteriorate. Pakistan announced return of the pilot, or else it was going to be a “qatal ki raat’,” he said. “This was said by America, I have nothing to say about this now, I will speak about it when the time will come,” he said. “The (PM’s) chair remains or goes, I have decided that either I be alive or terrorists will remain alive,” he said. He said the air strike at terror camps in Pakistan was something people expected from him. “When Pulwama happened, what did the country expect Modi to do? Would you, would the country have pardoned me had I done what the Manmohan Singh government did after 26/11,” he asked. The country wanted something to be done, he said, adding that he had announced giving a free hand to the military. “They (Pakistan) made tight arrangements, but being the disciple of Lord Hanuman, our people conducted air strike and their story was over,” he said. Hitting out at the opposition parties, he said the Balakot strike made them uncomfortable. “Pakistan was repeatedly saying India bombed us, but people here were questioning if this was India’s Balakot. They were proved false,” he said. Accusing the Congress of questioning the bravery of India’s military force and doubting its action, he said, “Does any Congress leader ask for air strike proof? They have got the message to stop asking because people are getting angry. After the first and second phases of polls, they have forgotten to ask.” He also took a swipe at Pawar, who on Saturday said he was “terribly afraid” as to what Modi, who once called the NCP chief his mentor in politics, would do next. “Sharad Pawar says I don’t know what will Modi do. If he is unaware of what Modi will do tomorrow, how will Imran Khan know?” he said. He also attacked the Congress for not providing new howitzers to the Army since 1985 and said his government has arranged for artillery manufacturing at three factories in the country.