Ever since he took the office of the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi has been under public scrutiny over making multiple foreign visits as the head of the government. Though the ruling coalition had claimed that his visits had been strengthening the country's relations at the global stage and attract, generate more investments towards pivotal sectors, such visits had also been questioned by the opposition parties on its time and the expenditure incurred on them.
As Modi has been in his second term, the details of his foreign trips have now come to the revelation through the Center's report that uncovered the number of foreign trips made by the Prime Minister and the expenses incurred on them during the last five years. Tabling the written reply to the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, Minister of State for External Affairs Muraleedharan has said that the Prime Minister has visited 58 countries since 2015.
According to his report, the total expenditure on these visits was Rs 517.82 crore. Muraleedharan said that during the last five years, the Prime Minister made five visits each to the United States, Russia, and China and he has also made multiple visits to other countries including Singapore, Germany, Sri Lanka, France, and the United Arab Emirates. The report from the minister stated that some of the visits were multi-national trips while some were standalone bilateral visits.
Narendra Modi's last trip was to Brazil on November 13, 2019, where he attended the BRICS summit and his visits had come to a sudden pause during this year in the wake of the global outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
By disclosing the report, Muraleedharan claimed that Modi's visits to these countries have enhanced India's foreign relations in the sectors including trade, investment, technology, defence collaboration, and people to people contact.
The Minister further added that India is now increasingly contributing to shaping the global agenda at the multilevel including on issues like climate change, trans-national crime, terrorism, cyber-security, and nuclear non-proliferation.
While the government praised his visits, the opposition parties are questioning on the time that it was unfolded. During the 2019 election campaign, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had directly attacked the Prime Minister for traveling overseas when the country was under the need to fix the farm crisis.