Updated April 15th, 2024 at 21:03 IST

If Diplomacy Is Stuck in Protocol, We Will Never Perform, PM Modi Says

Asserting that diplomacy should not get stuck with protocol, PM Modi said, “I focussed on performance rather than protocols”.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Edited by: Kriti Dhingra
Asserting that diplomacy should not get stuck with protocol, PM Modi said, “I focussed on performance rather than protocols”. | Image:ANI
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New Delhi: Asserting that diplomacy should not get stuck with protocol, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, during his biggest pre-poll interview since the release of the BJP manifesto for the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections, said, “I focus on performance more than I focus on protocols”.

Sharing anecdotes on how he has, on several instances during his governance, taken an unconventional route in order to “open doors of friendship”, the prime minister underlined that while personality politics holds a great deal of significance, the larger focus – for a country's leader – should be on ensuring that protocol's don't get in the way of the nation's overall growth and development. “Can we not make neighbourhood a success story?” PM Modi quipped in a 78-minute-long interview ahead of the first phase of voting for the polls.

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Stressing that true strength of diplomacy “also lies in being informal” sometimes, PM Modi recalled the time when he had invited the heads of the SAARC countries for his oath taking ceremony when he was elected the prime minister back in 2014. “I had invited seven leaders of the SAARC for my swearing in, and of course I'd already taken the requisite permissions through the back channels”, PM Modi told Smita Prakash, Editor-in-Chief of news agency ANI.

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"After I was sworn-in as the PM, bi-lateral meetings with the world leaders present were due to be conducted [on the sidelines of the oath-taking ceremony]", he recalled.

Further during the interaction, PM Modi revealed how, upon reaching the Hyderabad House, he was apprised about the protocols in place, and how he eventually broke away from conventional diplomatic practices that were already in place. "I was new and inexperienced, and yet I knew that the bi-laterals had to be conducted… So, when the time came, I started walking towards the gate and actually went outside to receive heads of the states", the prime minister said, adding,“I focussed on performance rather than protocols so as to open doors of friendship”.

“Saara system hil gaya tha ye soch ke ki desh ke pradhaan mantri baahar jaayenge unhe lene ke liye... [that one particular action of mine left everyone around me dumbstruck]”, he quipped.

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During the extensive interview right before the crucial elections, PM Modi talked about several issues ranging from ‘One Nation One Election’, Electoral Bonds and BJP's poll manifesto to Elon Musk and Tesla's potential entry into the Indian market.

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Published April 15th, 2024 at 20:54 IST