New Delhi. After an extended Dussehra and Deepavali vacation, PM Modi will resume his foreign visits this week starting with UK, followed by Turkey, Malaysia and Singapore all in this November. Before the year comes to end, an important trip to Russia is planned before Christmas vacation starts.
As per our sources in PMO, due to shortage of time, China and Pakistan visits have been postponed to next year. One of the senior bureaucrat working in PMO spoke to us on the condition of anonymity. According to the official, “It was a pretty long break for PM because of Bihar election. Please remember PM had come back to India on October 1st from US and you can see more than 40 days gap between US and UK visit.”
“Nothing much we could have done. PM wanted to campaign in Bihar and help his party to come to power. On other side he was equally upset that his routine work which he usually does by travelling abroad came to a halt. He directed us to push all the October visits to November. It is tough for anyone to manage four high profile visits within 15 days. He has assured us, he can manage. We wanted to push couple of visits towards end of December to give proper gap between visits, but foreign offices of these countries rejected our proposal saying their heads will not be available during Christmas and New Year vacation time,” the official added.
The official further said, “We feel for our PM. Last year during Navratri fasting he was in US, luckily this year Navratri came after his US trip, but no rest. He had to campaign for Bihar 1st phase election during his fasting. We feel he needs to delegate some of his foreign trips to others like Dhoni did by handing over test captaincy to Kohli. My suggestion would be, he should focus on big ones like US, UK, Australia, France, Germany kind of countries, say all G-8 countries. Outside of G-8 countries visit, he should nominate his ministers looking at their performance. It would be kind of performance incentive bonus for these ministers.”
When we pointed out most of PM’s visits happen between June to December, to give him some respite, trips can be arranged between Jan and May. The official was quick to rebuke and said, “Please note this is the case for only 2015. Modiji came to power to in May 2014 and we immediately arranged his foreign trips starting from June. Last year he had so many trips abroad between June and December, we thought of giving him a break. He is not super human, he also deserves break. We also need to make arrangement such a way that he gets chance to spend some quality time at home in India.”
“In hindsight we feel, we did a mistake. We will not repeat the same next year. China and Pakistan visits, we are trying to arrange as early as possible in 2016. I can’t disclose now, we are discussing with many countries to give us go ahead for arranging trips in early part of 2016. By the way Jan to April is a lean period for travel both for foreign as well as domestic. Even our own IRCTC works fine during this period without crashing. We would be able to save some money as the travel cost will be lower for the PMO during this period,” Official concluded.