PM Modi spent one year and three months travelling-six visits to China, five to US

A report in Asia Times says Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spent every third day of his term out of his office and visited Bihar 14 times in three months before the assembly election there

Photo courtesy: Twitter
Photo courtesy: Twitter
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NH Web Desk

Details compiled by Vishakha Saxena and Aritry Das for Asia Times provide interesting details on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s travels. Based on details provided by the PIB (Press Information Bureau), the PM’s own websites and regional media, the Asia Times report says that Prime Minister Modi has been away rom his office every third day.

While he has spent 1,491 days in office as the Prime Minister, he spent 477 of those days travelling, says the report.

The report also reveals:

  • PM Modi has spent one year and three months travelling
  • 313 days have been spent by him on domestic travel
  • 164 days spent in visiting 52 countries
  • The Indian PM has visited China six times
  • He has visited both the US and Germany five times each
  • Cost of his chartered flights put at INR 370 Crore
  • Within the country he has spent the longest time visiting Uttar Pradesh

The report says there is a definite pattern to his travels within the country with the frequency of his visits increasing before Assembly elections in the states concerned.

It has however been yielding diminishing returns. While Prime Minister Modi visited Bihar 14 times in three months before the assembly election there in 2015, the Bharatiya Janata Party came a cropper.

Where Asia Times takes the proverbial wind out of the Modi government’s sails is when it accuses the government of policy paralysis owing to Modi’s absence from office.

The website notes that most of these trips are for inauguration of projects or electioneering. The portal takes a dig at the Prime Minister, saying on nearly every trip, he spoke for nearly 20 to 30 minutes, praising his own government and deriding the earlier ones’ performance.

The website makes fun of Modi’s foreign policy failures and insinuates that he has effectively replaced External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for all practical purpose.

It notes that relationship with China has worsened and New Delhi’s rapport with Islamabad is at its rickety best. Pakistan continues to be a major irritant, and while Modi promised ‘decisive action to end terrorism’, the state of Jammu and Kashmir has seen more soldiers die during peacetime operations than ever before,” the report says.

It adds, “The US, meanwhile, has called off the 2+2 dialogue with India as tensions over trade tariffs reach an all-time high. Relations with Russia are also frozen following India’s push for closer economic and security ties with the US. The ambitious fifth-generation aircraft joint-project was also recently called off by Delhi. Clearly, Modi’s overt focus on domestic poll campaigns hasn’t helped national objectives.”

Where Asia Times takes the proverbial wind out of the Modi government’s sails is when it accuses the government of policy paralysis owing to Modi’s absence from office.

It says, “ ‘The Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) is virtually down to one man, the prime minister,’ a senior bureaucrat in Delhi told Asia Times. ‘The Home Minister is practically an observer and decisions are now taken by the prime minister only. This has led to people waiting for appointments and many times, key bodies function without a head because the prime minister is traveling,’ this official said.”

Narendra Modi and his party had accused the Manmohan Singh government of policy paralysis. Looks like his own government is suffering from that disease and too, owing to his own absenteeism more than anything else.

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