Congress leader Shashi Tharoor again praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi today, saying he leaves a “positive impression” during his foreign visits and that he does a “right thing” in which ever country he travels.
Tharoor, a former Minister of State for External affairs who has earned his party’s wrath before for his praise of Modi, however, said, there has been no change on India’s foreign policy front as the prime minister has been pursuing the ones framed by the previous UPA government.
“The personal energy that Mr Modi has brought to the diplomacy….He has visited 24 countries in last one year… Doing so he does a right thing in which ever country he goes to leave a positive impression and I think that has to be acknowledged.
“Other thing we should acknowledge that he has done something in which I had criticised Indian governments in the past enough of leveraging our soft power rather than nearly take it for granted,” the Congress MP said, citing instances like the International Yoga Day.
Tharoor was speaking at noted scholar C Raja Mohan’s launch of Book ‘Modi’s World, Expanding India’s Spehere of Influence’.
He also said that the prime minister has taken a stand different from BJP on some key diplomatic issues.
“The Indo-Nuclear deal…The BJP even brought an no-confidence vote…The same BJP that refused to continue any discussion about the Land Bangladesh Agreeement and has ratified. It’s not just a continuation of the (UPA) policy, but a reversal of the BJP’s policy, which to my mind a good indication that foreign policy is different from sitting in the South Block and sitting in Gandhinagar,” he added.
Tharoor’s appreciative statements on Modi came against the backdrop of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s relentless campaign against the contentious land acquisition bill and also his attacks on the prime minister on a range of issues.
Tharoor had earlier said that in the Prime Minister “we are all seeing a master communicator at work”.
Tharoor’s praise of Modi quite a few times was frowned upon by Congress. Tharoor had also accepted the Prime Minister’s invitation to join the ‘Clean India’ campaign.