For PM Modi's United Kingdom visit, an 'unprecedented' welcome expected, say officials

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was looking forward to deepening bilateral engagement with both Sweden and the UK in a number of areas including trade investment and clean energy

Efforts to give a new impetus to the Commonwealth and UK-India bilateral relations will get under way on Monday when the Commonwealth Business Forum kicks off in London, ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, which will see the participation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Mr Modi will arrive here from Sweden on Tuesday night and is set for a packed day of bilateral meetings and events on Wednesday before the live telecast from Central Hall Westminster.

Modi will be in London on 18 April, where he is also scheduled to make a globally televised address.

Interestingly, the friendly approach to pro-Khalistan elements in the form of liberal visas and other gestures by the NDA, perhaps on the prodding of the Akali Dal, or the reaching out in friendship to Kashmiri separatists by Mehbooba Mufti and the rest of the PDP has had the effect of increasing, rather than reducing their anti-India pitch. "We have increased the number of crimes against Dalits enlisted in the law from 22 to 47", he said. "As a country, as a society we all are ashamed of it", the Prime Minister said.

According to official estimates, India-UK bilateral trade stands at United States dollars 13 billion, with the UK among the largest G20 investors into India.

He further said, "Under the theme of "Living Bridge", I will also have the opportunity to meet people from various walks of life who have enriched the multi-faceted India-UK relationship". The forthcoming visit of Prime Minister Modi's visit to the UK will focus on enhancing India-UK tech partnership.

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Modi said the issue of regional imbalance can be achieved through various types of connectivity through road, railway, air and information technology.

An estimated 2,000 people are expected to have received confirmations to attend the "niche event", since online registrations closed earlier this month. Saluting security forces during the speech that lasted for over an hour, Modi said a memorial has been built in Bijapur to honour the personnel who died in Naxal violence.

The Prime Minister assured that his government was committed to protecting the rights of the weaker.

This will be followed by official deliberations between the heads of government in London on Thursday before they head to Windsor for the CHOGM retreat, where the world leaders will interact on an informal basis without any structured agenda or the presence of officials.

The Prime Ministers comment on the recent horrific rape cases in Unnao and Kathua have been welcomed by some but there are citizens questioning as to why did it take so long for the Prime Minister to speak on the issue.

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