External affairs minister S Jaishankar said those days are gone when vote bank politics will dominate foreign policies, India’s present stand on Israel is evidence of that. He said, “The conflict between Israel and Palestine has been going on for ages. We have some political reasons owing to which we did not further our ties with Israel. We restricted ourselves. PM Modi was the first PM in the history of India to have visited Israel. The entire country knows that we could have benefitted from the ties. But once you come out of vote bank politics, your foreign policies also get impacted. Gone are those days when vote bank politics dominated national interest.”
Jaishankar said when PM Modi goes abroad, he always makes a note to visit all the modern infrastructure of that place to see how those are working. “Railways, bullet train, convention centre etc — he took a ride on the bullet train himself; he went to see how South Korea was cleaning its polluted river; he visited Berlin’s railway station; when he was in Singapore, he got the idea of a smart city. The mindset of the government has changed. We are open to what good is happening in other countries,” he said.
Jaishankar mentioned, “Talking about India’s decision to continue buying oil from Russia, Jaishankar said people do not understand the situation of India — the income level here. “The issue of oil import was more of people’s interest than foreign policy. PM Modi’s instruction was that we need to think about our people first.”