External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday opined that India’s foreign policy during the last five years played a role in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s consecutive victory in the Lok Sabha elections.
Speaking at an event here, Jaishankar said that people now are concerned about the country’s position in the world order which is a factor when it comes to making voting choices.
“Majority of people think India’s standing in the world has gone up (in the last five years). Most importantly, this is something that matters to the people. The assumption that ‘masters do not care about what the world thinks about us’ is not true,” Jaishankar, a former Foreign Secretary said.
He said that the people now feel that the country is making strides towards development and the world respects India. “The sense that the country is on the move and the world looks at us very differently is where foreign policy has made a difference in the last five years,” he said.
The newly-minted minister gave the response on being asked, “In your opinion, what was the role of foreign policy especially of economic foreign policy in the resounding victory of PM Narendra Modi in the recent elections?”
Further stating that foreign policy is integrated into national security, Jaishankar said: “The vote of confidence is also the ability to manage national security and foreign policy is integrated to it.”
The minister said that India’s strengthening position in geopolitics has favoured Indian businesses.
He said: “A very large part of Indian economy has been externalised. It would mean fairer excess to markets, better-negotiating conditions. If we want to propel economic change, there is greater responsibility on India foreign policy to focus on external aspects of it, to create partnerships and mechanisms which help Indian businesses secure markets and do their business outside the country.”
He also said that BJP’s strategy to raise national security issue during the campaigning for elections yielded results. “The massage of the recent election is that people of India trust you to do whatever possible to secure this country,” he said.
National security and India’s growing stature in the world was highlighted by the leaders of the BJP, including Prime Minister Modi, during campaign for the Lok Sabha elections.
(With Agency Inputs)