Interested in knowing PM Modi’s plans for foreign trips, hosting dignitaries and his schedule ahead of 2019 Indian elections? As the Lok Sabha polls are just six months away and the year-end assembly election is nearing, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going to have a busy schedule lined up for the next six months with foreign trips, campaigning for elections and hosting state heads.
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a fair bit of juggling to do ahead, balancing a hectic foreign program with an even more frenzied campaign season.
Back from a two-day Nepal trip, where he attended the BIMSTEC summit last week, PM Modi still has several key bilaterals / multilaterals lined up during his current term, with some others likely to come up in the course of time. This, combined with the fact that Modi is the BJP’s most powerful face and its trump card for poll campaigns, the PM will possibly have a feverish few months ahead.
Assembly elections to the four states are due in November and early December. In the meantime, the 2019 Lok Sabha polls could be notified by early March.
To begin with, Modi is scheduled to visit Japan for the annual India-Japan Summit at the end of October to discuss relations and progress in cooperation across sectors between the two countries. The summit last year was held in Modi’s home state Gujarat in September, with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe attending it.
The PM will then visit Singapore to attend the crucial Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit, scheduled for 11-15 November. However, according to the government sources, given his tight schedule, there is a lesser possibility of PM Modi attending all five days of the summit.
For the G20 meet on 30 November-1 December, Modi will make a trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina. According to the sources, the Prime Minister is likely to combine this visit with more state visits to some other South/Central American countries. The G20 summit, therefore, will probably fall right in the middle of the important state polls.
It isn’t just his travels in foreign countries that will keep the PM busy, but also that of visiting state heads. Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev will make his first state visit to India on 1 October. Russian President Vladimir Putin is due to arrive in India for the annual India-Russia summit, also in the first week of October.
During his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in June, Modi extended a visit to the Chinese President for an informal summit in India in 2019, which was accepted by Beijing. The two countries had their first informal summit in Wuhan, China on 27-28 April.
There is no clarity yet on US President Donald Trump’s visit to India, but if it does develop, it will add to the PM’s busy diplomatic calendar.
The BJP has a challenging electoral year ahead, preserving incumbency in three state elections — Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, as well as in the Lok Sabha polls. Modi is known to carpet-bomb the party’s campaign with rallies just ahead of polls for the final push.