New Delhi: PM Narendra Modi, while addressing the Indian community in Manama, remembered former Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who passed away earlier in the day following a prolonged illness. “I can’t imagine that I am so far here (Bahrain) while my friend has gone away. Some days ago, we lost our former External Affairs Minister Behen Sushma Ji. Today my friend Arun went away,” PM Modi told the Indian diaspora.

The Prime Minister also reiterated his commitment to make India a 5 trillion US dollars economy in the next five years, saying “India has decided that we will multiply the size of our economy by twice in the upcoming 5 years. 5 trillion dollars economy in the target in front of us.”

Besides, PM Modi also talked about the successful entry of Chandrayaan -2 into lunar orbit and claimed that the entire world is discussing India’s space missions at present. “All of you know that on Sept 7, India’s ‘Chandrayaan’ is going to land on the surface of the moon. The entire world is discussing India’s space missions today. The world is astonished that how are we able to gain these results in such a small budget, using only our skills,” PM Modi said lauding ISRO.

Showering praise on his government,  PM Modi asked, “When you talk to your family members in India, they tell you they feel a change in the environment. Do you feel a change in India? Do you see a change in the attitude of India? Confidence of India has increased or not?

“Facilities like BHIM app, UPI and Jan Dhan account have made banking in India accessible to the common people. Our Rupay card is now becoming a preferred medium of the transaction all over the world. Now our Rupay card is being accepted by banks and sellers across the world,” PM stated.

He also extended Janmashtami wishes to Indians residing in Bahrain. “It is the sacred festival of Janmashtmi today. I wish you & the entire Indian community across the world on ‘Krishna Janmotsav’,” the PM said.

Modi said that he was fortunate enough to be the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Bahrain “I realise that it took quite a long time for an Indian Prime Minister to visit Bahrain. However, I have been fortunate enough to be the 1st Indian PM to visit Bahrain,” PM added. Notably, Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the tiny Gulf nation. 

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Modi was extended a ceremonial welcome at the Al Gudaibiya Palace in the presence of his Bahraini counterpart Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa. Modi was accompanied by National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval.

Later today, he held talks with Al Khalifa, during which the two leaders discussed bilateral relations, as well as regional and international issues of mutual interest.