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PM Modi’s leadership spurs “paradigm shift” in India’s global perception: Former Foreign Secy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the US Congress on June 23, 2023 (Photo: @narendramodi)

Former Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Thursday emphasised Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Bharat First” approach in foreign policy, stating, that the PM Modi’s 10-year tenure has seen a “paradigm shift in the way India is perceived as a country”.

“Prime Minister Modi’s foreign policy has always advocated a ‘Bharat First’ approach. In other words, citizens of India and their priorities have guided and dictated how our foreign policy is implemented on the ground,” said Shringla in an interaction with ANI.

He noted a significant transformation in India’s global image during the last decade, stating, “The last 10 years have seen a paradigm shift in the way India is perceived as a country.”

PM Modi-led BJP registered a ‘landslide’ victory, with 282 seats in 2014 and in 2019, the party bettered it winning 303 seats on its own.

Shringla also highlighted PM Modi’s rare invitations to address the US Congress twice, stating, “It is a fitting testimony to a) the importance of the relationship, b) PM Modi’s stature as a leader that has taken India far beyond what would have been expected by any leadership to achieve in just a decade.”

PM Modi is the first Indian prime minister to address the joint session of the US Congress twice.

The former foreign secretary also elaborated on the growth of India-US relations, stating, “The relationship, in the last 10 years or so, has matured and is today in a position where it is able to consider the strategic aspects of the relationship in a more comprehensive manner.”

He highlighted the significance of managing differences between vibrant democracies and highlighted PM Modi’s positive rapport with three successive US Presidents–Obama, Trump, and Biden–as a crucial factor driving the relationship at the highest levels.

Reflecting on the mood in the United States regarding India’s elections, Shringla noted, “As expected, I think there is a lot of interest in the Elections and the electoral exercise that is taking place in India – not only because of what it represents another major exercise in democracy but also because the consequences, results of the elections will be important not just for India but the world at large.”

General elections are being held in India from April 19 to June 1 in seven phases, to elect all 543 members of the Lok Sabha. The votes will be counted and the results will be declared on June 4.