- PM Modi responds to criticism that he took too many foreign trips
- Every PM had more or less the same number of foreign trips, he said
- There were many international forums and multiple summits, he added
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday responded to criticism that he took too many foreign trips in the past four years. "If someone less than the prime minister's level goes then your voice is not heard, so it has become essential to go on these trips," PM Modi said in an interview to news agency ANI.
Every prime minister had more or less the same number of foreign trips, said PM Modi. "There is not much difference."
The reason for his frequent trips abroad was that there were "many international forums and multiple summits" and it had become necessary to go to be heard. Even Manmohan Singh had to do it, he said.
"The difference now is that I club a few nearby countries so that we can save on expenses and get more work done. My effort is to convey India's message to the world."
Another difference was that earlier, "no one noticed" when anyone went. "When I go, people notice, since I meet people, do some work, take decisions. And I believe I need to do for the country," he said.
The government recently told parliament that PM Modi visited over 55 countries in 48 foreign trips since taking over in May 2014. More than Rs. 2,021 crore was spent on chartered flights, maintenance of aircraft and hotline facilities during his visits to foreign countries since June 2014, according to the government.