A day after formally joining the BJP, EAM S Jaishankar filed his nomination for Rajya Sabha from Gandhinagar in Gujarat on Tuesday, June 25.
Speaking in a press briefing after filing his nomination, the external affairs minister said:
"I want to express my gratitude Gujarat BJP and centre BJP for nominating me to Rajya Sabha,. Gujarta is a land of Mahatma Gandhi and the land of Sardar Patel. It is also the home of Prime Minister Modi. It is also the state of Home Minister and BJP chief Amit Shah. It is a proud moment for me."
Expressing his attachment with the state of Gujarat, he said:
"Gujarat is the most global state and every foreign official is connected to Gujarat in some or the other way. Everywhere around the world there are people from Gujarat and they are very supportive. I have been associated with Vibrant Gujarat since last 10 year. If you look at the image of India, PM Modi has enhanced the image and Gujarat is the most progressive state.
He then added: "I will say that if I get to represent Gujarat it will be important and proud for me and I will try to make every contribution towards the welfare of Gujarat."
The two Rajya Sabha seats are that of BJP chief Amit Shah, who won from the Gandhinagar Lok Sabha constituency, and Smriti Irani, who defeated Congress president Rahul Gandhi in Amethi in Uttar Pradesh. The BJP chief Amit Shah and Irani were elected to the Rajya Sabha from Gujarat in August 2017 for a tenure of six years. S Jaishankar joined the BJP on June 24.
Jaishankar has played an important role in framing India's strategic affairs. During PM Modi's first term, the Prime Minister gave him an extension after his two-year term ended in December 2017. After his retirement, he had taken a job in the private sector - with the Tata group as its president for global corporate affairs. He was also an Indian ambassador to Washington when Prime Minister Modi visited the US for the first time. In March, the 64-year-old had received the Padma Shri award from President Ram Nath Kovind.
As the US ambassador, he had played a key role in negotiating the Indo-US civilian nuclear agreement, which was finally signed in 2008 under former PM Manmohan Singh.
In his first public address since taking up his new role as EAM, Jaishankar explained nationalism with respect to India, he said:
"In the world, broadly there is a growth of nationalism, that nationalism has been validated electorally in many places. At one level, each is different, but somewhere there is some message there. Nationalism in India is the nationalism of confidence, year on year they feel that their prospects have improved, they feel their cultures need to get a fairer hearing than they did in the past. But there is nationalism in other places that are the nationalism of insecurity. There is stagnation, the quality of their life have not improved. As for India, the short answer would be looking at the election result. Five years of the government has kept alive and perhaps even strengthened the expectation of change in this country."