New Delhi: Sworn in as the PM for a second time, Narendra Modi has hit the ground running. Soon after taking the oath of office on Thursday, PM Modi met Kyrgyzstan President Sooronbay Jeenbekov and held “wide-ranging” talks.
He has followed it up with bilaterals with five countries. The first meeting was with Bangladesh President Mohammed Abdul Hamid which was followed by meetings with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli and Bhutan Prime Minister Dr Lotay Tshering.
By inviting leaders from BIMSTEC countries, Kyrgyz Republic and Mauritius to his swearing-in ceremony, sources said, PM Modi has signalled an outreach to the neighbourhood from the Bay of Bengal to Central Asia, as well as the Indian diaspora.
In 2014, he had invited SAARC leaders which included then Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. This time, SAARC’s exclusion appears to be aimed at keeping Pakistan out of India’s engagement with its neighbours.
Similarly, by meeting Jeenbekov, India is displaying an outreach to the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), which is headed by the Kyrgyz leader and has China, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Pakistan as members, pointed out a leading daily.
The heads of states had attended the swearing-in ceremony of the 58 ministers. The ministers of the previous Cabinet who will no longer feature in the new Cabinet include Sushma Swaraj, Manoj Sinha, Mahesh Sharma, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Arun Jaitley, K J Alphons, Hansraj Ahir and Maneka Gandhi.
Later in the, the newly constituted Union Cabinet is set to hold its meeting. Reports said while there was no fixed agenda for the same, holding of next Parliament session could feature prominently in the meeting.