In the runup to the Lok Sabha Elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will ‘stay home’ in 2019 and focus on domestic issues. There are reports that the Prime Minster has no foreign trips scheduled in the first four months of 2019. According to The Hindustan Times, the officials have made sure that the PM has no crucial global interactions lined up in the first quarter of 2019.
The report comes at a time when the BJP is still analysing the drubbing during the recently concluded Assembly Elections. The losses in the Hindi heartland states may have forced BJP to introspect and look for a new strategy. Though there are several big names in the ruling party, yet PM Modi remains the star campaigner.
The BJP has faced ire of the Opposition over PM Modi’s foreign trips. Congress President Rahul Gandhi has attacked the Prime Minister and said that he is always travelling and has no time for troubles at home.
Earlier in July, the government had revealed the details of PM Modi’s foreign trips. According Minister VK Singh, PM Modi had visited 84 nations in last four years. These trips had cost Rs 1,484 crore to the national exchequer.
According to the data presented by Singh in the Rajya Sabha, a total of Rs 1088.42 crore was spent on maintenance of the prime minister's aircraft and Rs 387.26 crore on chartered flights during the period between June 15, 2014 and June 10, 2018.
The total expenditure on hotline was Rs 9.12 crore.
PM Modi visited a total of 84 countries in 42 foreign trips since taking over as prime minister in May 2014.
The minister also informed the Upper House that the prime minister visited a maximum of 24 countries in 2015-16 followed by 19 in 2017-18 and 18 nations in 2016-17.
In 2014-15, PM Modi had visited 13 countries with first one as prime minister to Bhutan in June 2014. In 2018, he travelled to 10 countries till July. His last foreign trip was to Japan.
The cost for chartered flights to overseas destinations in 2014-15 was Rs 93.76 crore while in 2015-16, it was Rs 117 crore. In 2016-17, the cost was Rs 76.27 crore and in 2017-18, the expense on chartered flight was Rs 99.32 crore.
(With PTI inputs)