What kind of INDIA are you…if you don’t want to listen to India’s national interests: Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar Thursday hit out at the Opposition alliance, INDIA, over disruptions in the Rajya Sabha while he was giving a suo moto statement over the country’s foreign policy.

“If you claim to be INDIA but do not want to listen to India’s national interests, then what kind of INDIA are you? You are an INDIA which is prepared to sacrifice national interest, that is not India,” Jaishankar said.

Chaos ensued as members in the Treasury benches chanted “Modi, Modi”, while those in Opposition raised “India, India” slogans during his statement in the Rajya Sabha.

“Our effort was today to say how the country has progressed and our foreign policy is delivering for the people of India, for the national good of India. So we thought at least on this issue the Opposition will put its political differences aside, would listen to it with an open mind and will put national interest first,” Jaishankar told reporters outside the Parliament.

He said that if a foreign minister is not allowed to make a statement in the House, then “it’s a sorry state of affairs”. “It’s unfortunate how strongly and how wrongly partisan politics is pursued.”

“On certain issues people should put politics aside, and think about the country. They should be prepared to listen to where we have made progress. This is good for the country. It’s not just an achievement of a government, but of the country,” Jaishankar added.

“Different political parties… they may disagree on other things. This (foreign policy) is one area where by and large there has been national consensus, national unity. There should be appreciation. The Prime Minister today is honoured across the world… He’s the first Indian PM to get France’s highest award, or of Papua New Guinea or Fiji. He is the only Indian PM who has addressed the (United States) Congress twice,” he said.

The Minister also spoke about some of the developments he had mentioned in his statement such as securing the jet engine tech transfer from GE Aerospace or commitment of investment by US companies towards semi-conductors in India.

The proceedings in the Rajya Sabha were adjourned shortly after Jaishankar’s statement, amid sloganeering by the Opposition, news agency PTI reported.

The Monsoon Session of Parliament has been marred with disruptions and stalled proceedings since it began on July 20, with the Opposition demanding a statement from the Prime Minister over the violence in Manipur.


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