"Proactive" PM not a challenge: Sushma Swaraj

New Delhi:  Asserting that a "proactive" Prime Minister was not a "challenge", External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today said Narendra Modi has not imposed any "restrictions" on her and it was she who prefers to
proactive pm not a challenge sushma swaraj -...
PTI May 31, 2015 18:32 IST

New Delhi:  Asserting that a "proactive" Prime Minister was not a "challenge", External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today said Narendra Modi has not imposed any "restrictions" on her and it was she who prefers to keep a "low profile".

"Proactive Prime Minister is a support and never a challenge," Swaraj said when asked if PM Modi's proactive attitude was a challenge for her.

Addressing a press conference here to highlight NDA government's achievements in the last one year on the foreign policy front, Swaraj also noted that she keeps a "low profile" because she believes that it "goes with her role".  

"There is never a competition between the team members for number one, two or three. Team plays together.  

Competitions happen between opponents and not among team members. All my colleagues are working as number one and doing their best.

"As far as low profile is concerned, this is what goes with my profile. Prime Minister has not imposed any restrictions on anyone so why will he put it on me. But why you feel that I am low profile is because I have become External Affairs Minister from the position of Leader of Opposition. In LoP's profile, I had to speak everyday.  

"But as Foreign Minister, my opinion is that I should not speak on domestic issues. Because when the Foreign Minister speaks, it is not his/her personal opinion or party's but country's opinion. Therefore, a foreign Minister should not speak....So I decided that the profile I have got, I should not speak and I follow that," Swaraj said.  

Her response came as reporters repeatedly kept asking about Modi hogging the limelight in international arena and she maintaining a low profile. She said in the past also foreign ministers kept a low profile.

Highlighting the work done by her government in its first year in power, she said emphasis has been on three areas -visits, dialogue and outcome- and noted that 162 diplomatic engagements have taken place with 101 countries between Modi, herself and Minister of State for External Affairs.  

Apart from the details of engagements with neighbours including Pakistan, Bhutan, Maldives and Afghanistan, she also spoke at length about India's involvement with world superpowers such as the US, China and Russia.  

Noting that the focus of foreign policy would be on "diplomacy with development", Swaraj said major domestic flagship programmes of the government would be incorporated in the international engagements.

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