Speech disrupted, Dr Jaishankar issues 21-minute video

Opposition protests overshadow Foreign Minister Dr S Jaishankar’s attempt to give a comprehensive view of India’s foreign policy and global outreach during a tumultuous session

| Updated: 29 July, 2023 12:11 am IST
External Affairs minister Dr S Jaishankar

NEW DELHI: External Affairs minister Dr S Jaishankar on Friday issued a 21-minute video statement on Friday slamming the Opposition parties after they disrupted his speech at the Rajya Sabha.

Dr Jaishankaon’s speech on recent developments in Indian foreign policy faced disruption in the Rajya Sabha as opposition MPs protested, leading to a 360-degree view of PM Modi’s foreign visits and India’s global outreach being presented in a video.

Addressing the disruptions, Jaishankar expressed disappointment in the partisan politics overshadowing national progress. He stated that the thrust of his statement would be conveyed through the video, allowing for a comprehensive understanding of India’s foreign policy.

“Sadly, the Opposition repeatedly disrupted my statement in both Houses of Parliament. Obviously, for them, partisan politics was more important than national progress,” Dr Jaishankar said.

During his speech in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, ruling NDA MPs chanted ‘Modi, Modi, while opposition MPs countered with ‘I.N.D.I.A.’ Jaishankar responded, questioning the meaning of being ‘I.N.D.I.A.’ if the opposition wasn’t willing to consider India’s national interests.

“If you claim to be I.N.D.I.A. and you are not prepared to listen to the national interests of India, what kind of I.N.D.I.A. are you?” Jaishankar said on Thursday.

Amidst the political drama, AAP Rajya Sabha MP Raghav Chadha mocked Jaishankar’s speech, alleging that the minister spent nearly 30 minutes discussing the Prime Minister’s foreign trip itinerary and missed crucial details like food menus.

“But he didn’t read out the food menus, which was sad. How could he overlook such crucial details?” the young AAP leader said.

Jaishankar’s video presentation sought to provide a comprehensive overview of PM Modi’s recent foreign visits and India’s diplomatic efforts to garner support for its vision from foreign nations. The minister highlighted India’s people-centric foreign policy, emphasising that it aligns with the aspirations and demands of Indian society.

However, Jaishankar expressed regret that these vital matters weren’t given the opportunity for thorough debate in Parliament, despite their significance in the current complex international landscape.

“At a time when international affairs have become unprecedented and complex, our people-centric foreign policy is guided by the demands and aspirations of our society,” Dr Jaishankar added.

He emphasised that India’s voice represents peace, security, and prosperity for all, and the world recognises India as a significant global influencer.

“Today the world recognises that when India speaks, it speaks not only for itself but for many others and that India speaks as the voice of peace, of security, and of prosperity for all,” Dr Jaishankar said.

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