THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:Strongly defending the foreign trips of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the BJP on Tuesday said that the visits have enhanced the image of the country as well as that of the Prime Minister globally, and denied the charge that Modi was neglecting domestic issues.
Addressing a meet-the-press programme organised by the Thiruvananthapuram Press Club, BJP national spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao said that 23 out of the 44 days that the Prime Minister spent abroad last year were on multilateral visits involving heads of other states.
He said that by visiting just three countries, Modi could ensure investment of over 100 billion dollars. The veto at the World Trade Organisation, resisting China’s move to have a disproportionate share in the BRICS Bank and convincing the Saudi King to allow planes to evacuate Indian citizens from Yemen are a few instances which showed how India’s stature has increased globally, Rao said in response to a query.
Asked why Modi was neglecting Parliament after he assumed charge and had not participated in important debates, Rao said that allegations that he was avoiding Parliament were “mischievous and aimed at tarnishing Modi’s image.”
“Modi is a leader of huge stature. So there will be attempts to tarnish his image. But if you analyse comparatively, Modi has spoken more than any other Prime Minister in recent decades. How many times did Dr Manmohan Singh speak in Parliament?” Rao quipped.
To a query on allowing FDI in multilateral retail sector, the BJP spokesperson said that it was “not an automatic route.” “This government is not keen (on FDI). There are no proposals to this effect that are pending before the government,” he added.