Shah congratulates ‘Team Modi Sarkar’ for 5 years; hosts dinner for NDA allies

New Delhi: The Union Council of Ministers met on Tuesday at the BJP headquarters where the ministers thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for leading the BJP to a possible victory in the Lok Sabha elections.

The meeting was attended by ministers including those from the NDA constituents.

BJP national president Amit Shah, who called the meeting of ministers, congratulated “Team Modi Sarkar” for the “remarkable achievements” in the last five years.

Shah also asked the council of ministers to keep the momentum going for a New India under the leadership of Modi.

Meanwhile, the BJP president also said shared pictures of the “Aabhar Milan of Union Council of Ministers” that took place this evening at BJP headquarters in the national capital.

Shah also hosted a special dinner for the allies in the National Democratic Alliance. Among the leaders were Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackrey and his son Aditya Thackery, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Akali Dal’s Prakash Singh Badal, AIADMK’s E Palaniswamy and O Pannerselvam, Apna Dal leader Anupriya Patel and Ramdas Athawale.

Counting of votes for the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections will take place on May 23.

Activists ask PM Modi to remove 3 BJP leaders

Mumbai: A protest was held at Azad Maidan, Mumbai on Saturday, where several organisations, activists and journalists came out to protest against the remarks made by three Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders – Ananth Kumar Hegde, Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and Nalin Kateel – against Mahatma Gandhi and praising Nathruam Godse. The protestors demanded these three BJP leaders should be removed from the party.

Speaking aboutm this protest, Feroze Mithiborwala of Bharat Bachao Andolan said, “We have been on a hunger protest from 1.00-6.00 pm. The protestors said if Prime Minister Narendra Modi really loves the values of Mahatma Gandhi as he claims, then he should ensure these three leaders are removed from the party. They have indulged in Hindutva politics since 1948.”

Kamal Haasan had recently said Nathruram Godse is the ‘first terrorist of independent India.’ After which, Pragya, the BJP candidate from Bhopal and prime accused in the 2008 Malegaon blasts, said, ‘Nathuram Godse is a true patriot and will remain so’.

After this controversial statement by Pragya, the BJP MP from Karnataka, Nalin Kumar Kateel and Union Minister, Anant Kumar Hegde issued their support to Pragya on Twitter.  BJP has already issued a showcase notice to its three leaders regarding their remarks on Gandhi’s assassin, Godse. “They praised Godse and as if it is not enough, one their leaders even said Mahatma Gandhi should be the Rashtrapita of Pakistan.

Modi only said he will not forgive Pragya but he is not removing them from the party. BJP is the biggest divider and we want Prime Minister to remove these three leaders from the party,” said by Charul Joshi, Secretariat Member of Mumbai, Communist Party of India.

Jatin Desai, a senior journalist, said, “Today, we are here to protest the divisive ideology which propagates the idea of hatred and violence. BJP should not give a ticket to such candidates who are accused of a terror attack and follow the philosophy of Godse.”

Narendra Modi’s Legacy As Gujarat CM ‘Black Spot’ On India’s Communal History: Mayawati

For the first time in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, a political leader on Wednesday questioned the tenure of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership as the chief minister of Gujarat.

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati said that Modi’s legacy was Gujarat CM was a “black spot” and “burden” on the BJP as well as the communal history of India.

The four-time former Uttar Pradesh chief minister added that Modi was “unfit” as chief minister and prime minister, adding his tenure has seen “anarchy and hatred”.

“My tenure as chief minister of UP for four times has been clean and works done on law and order, development, peoples welfare front are remembered even today. PM Modi has been CM of Gujarat for a long time but his legacy is such it is a black spot not only on himself but also on the BJP and a burden on the communal history of the country,” PTI quoted her as saying.

“It is clear how fit the BSP president is on issues of peoples welfare and national interest and how unfit the prime minister is,” she said.

“During our government, UP remained free of anarchy and riots but Narendra Modi’s tenure not only as the Gujarat CM but also as the prime minister has been full of anarchy, violence, tension and hatred and so it can be said that he has failed in holding public office and is unfit,” Mayawati said.

“As the Chief Minister of Gujarat, he had been unfit in adhering to the ‘raj dharma’ in accordance with the Indian
culture, Constitution and the law and has also been unfit as the prime minister,” she said.

Alleging that the BJP forced GST and note ban on the country in an immature manner, she said it had been done so as to prove themselves as ‘doodh ka dhula'(honest) and others as wrong.

“Their favourite and corrupt capitalists fled the country with the money of the common people deposited in banks.
This was made possible only with connivance of Modi government,” she charged.

The BSP president said BJP appears to be suffering from the “disease” of proving themselves as honest and others as wrong and “corrupt” but the country knows that most of those having benami properties and corrupt are connected with the BJP.

“But like he is an OBC on paper, the prime minister is honest only on paper. The BJP and PM are different in reality and their actual accounts are kept hidden under a carpet,” she charged, adding all efforts to defame her proved futile as the accounts of her party were clean.

On some Opposition parties terming the BSP president as ‘daulat ki beti’ instead of ‘dalit ki beti’, Mayawati said this has been done mostly by those who had casteist and narrow mindset.

Such people have also opposed reservation to Dalits and oppressed and the BJP is number one in this, she said.

Charging the ruling party with misusing official machinery in proving Opposition leaders as corrupt, Mayawati said at election time, Modi is “misleading” the people by saying he is poor, fakir and had no property.

“The entire country knows that BJP is the richest party run by capitalists but still the ‘guru-chela’ have been crying
about how poor they are in their rallies. This is nothing but an election trick,” Mayawati said.

Mayawati’s latest charge against PM Modi comes days after she said the latter’s concerned for women was fake, adding that the wives of men in the BJP were scared that their husbands would leave them if they remained too close to the prime minister.

(With PTI inputs)

10 Reasons Why You Should Start Planning Your Belize Vacation Today

Are you in need of a getaway, but don’t know where to go? Do you crave the feeling of the sand between your toes and the view of the sun setting over the ocean?

Sounds like you need to consider planning a Belize vacation!

Belize is one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful hidden gems. It’s not as crowded with tourists as other tropical destinations, but it’s just as – if not more – worthwhile to visit.

Here are 10 reasons why you should put a trip to Belize at the top of your travel bucket list.

1. To Soak in the Beauty of Belize Beaches

If all you do in Belize is sit on the beach and soak your worries away, you won’t regret it. The beaches here are absolutely beautiful. They make you want to slow things down, kick back, and relax.

This goes for the bigger, more popular beaches and the smaller, off-the-beaten-path ones alike. Whichever shore you end up on, you’re in the right place.

2. To Visit the Cayes

For those who want something other than the traditional beach day, plan a visit to one of Belize’s Cayes. These are small, practically untouched beaches just off the coast. Some areas of the Cayes can be rented out for private use, but for the most part, there’s a very intimate feel to these beaches.

3. To Go on Incredible Underwater Adventures

As great as all the beaches in Belize are, there’s more to see than what meets the eye! Once you get out into the water, you’ll find plenty of gorgeous reefs and marine life.

Belize is home to huge coral reefs, sea turtles, and all kinds of tropical fish. You may also see a few stingrays or sharks while out and about.

4. To Dive in the Blue Hole

There are plenty of places in Belize to go snorkeling, diving, or enjoy some other water sport. But, the best dive spot of all is arguably the Blue Hole.

This is a world-famous destination in Belize that’s over 400 feet deep. It is incredibly preserved and a true marvel to take in – from both above and below the water’s surface.

5. To Explore Lush Landscapes

In addition to all the adventure of the water, Belize is also home to a lush rainforest. The rainforest is full of gorgeous dense vegetation, many diverse plant and animal species, and breathtaking caves.

There are many hiking tours available for visitors to explore scenery unlike any other. You can even go zip lining through the forest or do an advanced hike if you feel comfortable with the challenge!

6. To Chase Waterfalls

If you do decide to check out what the rainforest has to offer, make sure you ask your tour guide about the waterfalls. This is a must-do in Belize. There’s nothing like standing at the foot of a waterfall and taking in its beauty.

But, the best part is going for a swim in this refreshing water! After some time spent hiking, swimming under a waterfall is equally as rewarding as it is mind-blowing.

7. To See All Kinds of Unique Animals

Whether you’re on the beach or in the forest in Belize, you have to keep your eyes peeled. This helps you spot all the unique animals sharing the beaches and forests with you!

Between tucans, spider and howler monkeys, you’ll never get bored of looking for new animal species. They’re not exactly what you find in your backyard, after all!

8. To Learn About Mayan History

This is one of the most unique reasons on this list to go to Belize: it is home to incredibly well-preserved, beautiful Mayan ruins. This is a little-known fact to most travelers, which means you’re in for a real treat if you decide to go!

There’s rarely ever a crowd at the Mayan ruins in Belize. You can easily arrive there at any time of day without having to deal with large crowds or rushed guides. Rather, you’d get to take in all you want about the ruins in a setting that is peaceful, quiet, and very unique.

9. To Eat Delicious Food

Good food is an absolute must on any vacation – and in Belize, you can trust you won’t go hungry. It’s easy to find mouthwatering food and to try a lot of different plates, too.

You can find everything from Caribbean lobster to fryjack and refried beans – and many of the country’s popular dishes are a representation of the diverse culture. Belize cuisine truly reflects the melting pot of Mestizo, Maya, and Creole cultures that co-exist here.

10. To Relax and Get Away

Still need more convincing? Close your eyes and picture yourself sitting on a beautiful beach with crystal clear water. Imagine the sound of the waves crashing on the shore, and the refreshing feeling of waking up to the cool ocean air and the sounds of nature waking up with you.

These are simple pleasures that are hard to enjoy in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. But in Belize, you can’t ignore them! You’re consumed by a sense of total relaxation – a worry-free, easy-going state of mind.

How to Plan the Ultimate Belize Vacation

It’s one thing to realize you need to go to Belize, and another to plan the perfect Belize vacation. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place to get started!

The first step in planning your vacation is to research everything there is to do and prioritize which activities you’d like to do the most. Then, book these activities so that you can be sure you enjoy them!

Click here to let the adventure begin.

Learning Spanish in Antigua Guatemala – Martsam Travel

Learning Spanish in Antigua Guatemala

Antigua, Guatemala is broadly regarded as probably the most stunning holiday destinations on the planet, no Guatemala vacation could be complete with no visiting this colonial town. Ideally located at the highlands of the country, Antigua date ranges from the 1500s, and it has managed to preserve most of its Baroque charm within the cobblestone avenues, buildings, plazas, and water fountains.

Before a massive earthquake in the 1700s, Antigua was the capital city of Guatemala. Once the capital was transferred to Guatemala City, Antigua was able to restore and preserve a lot of its previous elegance. Constructed on the grid system, it’s an easy town to get around utilizing a map.

Learning Spanish in Antigua Guatemala

The Parque Central and the Cathedral of San José are two of the favorite locations for tourists and natives as well.

Antigua charms visitors with its colorful structures and blends of Spanish and Mayan culture, and it has been declared as a Cultural UNESCO World Heritage site. Encompassed by three volcanoes, Agua, Acatenango, and Fuego, the scenery from Antigua are globe well-known.

Currently, Antigua is among the preferred holiday destinations for travelers aiming to study Spanish in an immersion-type setting. The town is sufficiently small to be conveniently traversed by walking, and also the elegance and charm of the colonial structures combined with the spectacular natural views and vibrant Mayan culture turn it into a favorite Guatemala travel destination.

Because of the increase of travelers, Antigua features an exceptional quantity of Spanish language schools supplying all types of language class possible. Traditional day schools with lodging as part of the cost are popular, but there are other revolutionary possibilities for students searching for a more genuine language experience.

Antigua Guatemala

Immersion Spanish language schools with a volunteer plan are becoming a lot more preferred with vacationers. Packages work from short, one week plans to extended ones that may run to 30 days or longer. Volunteers frequently work in clinics, schools, assisting with building projects, and much more. The advantages of mixing language courses with volunteer work are numerous.

Volunteers usually work with people that only speak Spanish, pushing students to utilize their recently obtained vocabulary skills. Simultaneously, volunteers are visiting a side of the country which a conventional Guatemala tour probably won’t show them. Finally, volunteers generally execute essential tasks that enhance the life of the residents they meet.

There are lots of Guatemala tours which include Antigua as a featured destination, and many provide possibilities to enroll in Spanish programs at one of the many renowned languages schools in the city. Whether you select a conventional method school, one that donates a percentage of tuition to a charitable organization, or even a work-study alternative, there is no more lovely place in the world to learn Spanish and submerge yourself in such a rich cultural tradition.

La Merced Church

Vinod Tawde slams Sharad Pawar over remarks against BJP, Modi government

Mumbai: Maharashtra minister and BJP leader Vinod Tawde Monday said the Congress is in a shambles in the state and also hit out at NCP chief Sharad Pawar over his statements against the party and the Modi government. He said instead of pointing fingers at the BJP, Pawar should ask the Congress why its government did not act in the aftermath of the 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai.

“The state Congress is in a shambles. The party is pressing its leaders to contest the Lok Sabha election, but many of them are reluctant,” he said while talking to reporters here. Tawde slammed Pawar over his statements against the BJP and the Modi government. Pawar, a former defence minister, had Sunday said the BJP was trying to seek political gains from jawans’ sacrifices.

The former Union minister had also sought to know if IAF pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman can be brought back from Pakistan, then why can’t Kulbhushan Jadhav, who is facing espionage charges in the neighbouring country.

Taking a swipe at Modi, Pawar had said if the PM possessed a “56 inch chest”, he should bring back Jadhav, a former Navy officer jailed in Pakistan. Hitting back at Pawar, Tawde said, “It was him who doubted the authenticity of the (surgical) strike carried out by our jawans.

“He should know that Kulbhushan Jadhav was sentenced to death but it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi who took the case to the International Court of Justice and stopped the Pakistani government from hanging Jadhav.” The BJP leader sought to know why the Congress-led UPA government, of which Pawar was a prominent member, did not act against Pakistan after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

“Defence officials had sought permission from the UPA government to carry out surgical strike post 26/11 but Dr Manmohan Singh’s government chose not to act.”Pawar should ask his political ally (Congress) about it instead of pointing fingers at us,” he said.