Building Relations With Tact
Sushma Swaraj’s political acumen has helped India reshape its diplomatic ties
Photo Credit : Himanshu Kumar
She is the original Bharatiya Nari leader of the BJP, after Vijayaraje Scindia. An orator par excellence, and a parliamentarian who earned the respect of her rivals, Swaraj remains a towering figure in the party.
Since becoming the youngest Cabinet Minister in Haryana, Swaraj has come a long way — chief ministership in Delhi and opportunity to take on Congress president Sonia Gandhi in Bellary catapulted her into the big league.
A protégé of L. K. Advani, she was the leader of Opposition for many years, and some even thought she could well be the presumptive PM candidate.
After Narendra Modi’s election as PM, Swaraj, however, comfortably slipped into her role as external affairs minister. She has even carved out a niche for herself.
Not only is she super active on twitter, attending to numerous distress calls, her political acumen has helped India reshape diplomatic ties and economic engagement with a number of member countries.
She is said to be the architect of “a free flowing multi-billion dollar trade between India and China”, amidst rising border issues and tension. She is also believed to be the moving spirit behind India’s growing footprint in the African continent. As Charles Mwijage, the trade minister of Tanzania, recently told this reporter: “I am very much inspired by the way Indian external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj has taken care of every issue, be it diplomatic relation or trade ties between our two countries.”
She has also played a key role in balancing trade deficit between India and China. It is during her tenure that India witnessed 2:1 trade ratio (in agriculture) in India’s favour with the USA. It was her initiative of promoting the Look East policy of the current government that has made India engage in a close economic relationship with the ASEAN countries.
Swaraj remains a huge asset for the Modi government.