NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ministerial colleagues have made 111 foreign trips in 10 months since June, with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj being the top jet-setter.
In a written reply to a question by AIADMK member P Sundaram in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday, Minister of State for External Affairs General V K Singh listed 111 separate foreign trips made by members of the Council of Ministers.
The list does not include a multi-nation trip as one journey, but instead counts visits to one country as separate tours.
However, the foreign travels are a lopsided privilege -- with only about one-third of the Council of Ministers having travelled abroad.
Among those, who had gone on foreign trips, Sushma is the unsurprising winner with 19 tours. The PM comes second with 11 foreign trips counted separately, though some of them he had travelled in a cluster.
Gen Singh is third on the frequent traveller list with 10 foreign tours, followed by Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman with eight visits abroad. Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar had been out of the country six times for various green summits. He is followed by Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Roads and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, who had travelled abroad five times.
The list also includes private visits-- 10 by six ministers in the last 10 months Interestingly, Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal has been listed to have travelled abroad four times -- out of which three are described as private. In June , she was out of the country for 10 days, going to Italy, with stopovers in the UAE twice.
Minister of State for Railways Manoj Kumar Sinha has been on two private visits -- one for an improbable single day on August 10 to the US. The second time, he was again in the US from September 12 to 20.
The US was also the port of call for a private visit by G M Siddeswara, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, from August 29 to September 3.
Incidentally, Gadkari and Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh had more relatively unorthodox destinations for private holidays-- Sweden and Spain, respectively. In October, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu visited Moscow on a private trip to attend the Moscow Open Innovations Forum.