PM skips foreign policy issues in I-Day address

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Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said ongoing probes of and notices to depositors of unexplained money post note ban were among the sources to collate information about black money that figured in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Independence Day speech.

"Security is our top priority", Modi said in a speech as India has been involved in a tense standoff with Beijing over a Himalayan Plateau. There is no question of being soft on terrorists and terrorism will be dealt with an iron fist, he said. Casteism and communalism will not help us: Violence in the name of "Astha" is not something to be happy about, it will not be accepted in India.

He emphasised that everyone was equal in the nation and together they could bring about a qualitative transformation.

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Modi further said: "It sets doubts in the minds of the poor. We have also cancelled the registration of as many as 1.75 lakh companies", PM Modi said.

"In the coming five years, we have to take the country forward with the same collective strength, commitment and hard work", he said.

"People of India stand shoulder to shoulder with those affected due to natural disasters and the great tragedy in Gorakhpur, where little children died in a hospital", he said.

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India has been struggling to restore normalcy in Kashmir, deploying thousands more soldiers after massive protests and demonstrations following the death of Burhan Wani, a militant killed by the Indian army previous year. "He also added that the youth is being nurtured to become job-creators and not job-seekers", said Prime Miniter Narendra Modi on the 71st Independence Day.

"Bharat Jodo" (connect India), he said, should be the slogan now, like "Bharat chhodo" (Quit India) was during the freedom struggle. "The reason was we wanted peace and harmony in Kashmir", he said. "Irrespective of caste, community, and religion, we are one India" he added.

On benami properties, Modi said that his Government had taken the initiative of implementing the benami prohibition law and till date over Rs 800 crore of benami properties have been taken over by the State.

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