Single fare, double journey: PM Modi’s mantra for tours abroad

  • Sanjoy Narayan and Shishir Gupta, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 09, 2015 09:16 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi prefers to pack more than one destination in his overseas trips because he wants to get more done.

"I'm from Ahmedabad where we have a saying, 'single-fare, double journey'," he told Hindustan Times a day before embarking on a tour of France , Germany and Canada. "I usually try to visit two to four nations," Modi said of his trips abroad, which have sometimes drawn criticism for being too long.

In his first interview to an Indian newspaper since becoming the PM, Modi said the three countries were major economies and had great relevance to the development and growth process of India. "I expect my visit to be helpful in advancing our Make in India initiative. The free trade agreement discussions are ongoing and would be reflected in my meetings."

About the visit, set to focus on boosting trade and economic ties with the European countries, Modi said: "They can each contribute in terms of capital flows, technology and best practices. No Prime Minister has visited these countries for a long time."

The visit aims to make progress in the purchase of nuclear reactors and fuel from France and Canada to power the economy, overriding domestic opposition and concerns over liability laws as he embarks on a foreign tour.

"France and Germany have the manufacturing and skill base which is useful to us. France is our dependable strategic partner. In Germany, I am attending the prestigious Hannover Fair where India will be a partner country," Modi said.

"Canada is rich in hydrocarbons and other natural resources… India's requirements and Canada's surplus are a perfect match."

The PM will arrive in Paris late on Thursday. In France, he will be accorded a ceremonial welcome and immediately hold two back-to-back roundtables with top French CEOs.

On April 12, PM Modi will fly to Hannover in Germany to attend the Hannover Messe fair that has India as the partner country. On April 14, he will arrive in Canada. This will be the first visit by an Indian PM to Canada since 1973.


I myself and my party have made our stand very clear that any lenience towards anti-national elements and terrorists will not be acceptable.However, we should not forget the larger picture. The alliance in Jammu and Kashmir is one of the most important developments on the contemporary political scene.

Peace can only thrive when the climate is right. We remain open to bilateral dialogue with Pakistan on all outstanding issues in an environment free from terrorism and violence.

We respect the verdict of the people of Delhi. However, I find it amusing to hear that those who did not talk about a 'Modi wave' in the context of the outcome of the 2014 general elections are now engaged in intense discussion regarding the 'Modi wave'.

A) I would request the media to counterpose two things together: The allegations our Congress friends level against us, and the complaints that businessmen have. The Congress says we are a government of industrialists and industrialists say we do nothing for them!
B) My government is working for the common man. Our priority is the poor of the country. We want good governance through a dynamic and seamless government.

A) In the 60-year rule of the Congress, the poor of this country have remained poor or have become poorer. Many countries of the world have surpassed us on all counts, including poverty alleviation. The Congress did incremental work so as to keep the issue relevant for the next elections. And then, they bring some dramatic legislation just when the elections are around, and project that they are pro-poor.

B) The worry of the Opposition, especially the Congress is not that we are not pro-poor. Their worry is that they are being exposed. People are asking them, "If the Modi government can think and do this in six to nine months, why you could not think and do it in 60 years?" The reason is simple - they would have waited for an election for a fraction of each one of them.

The culture of our country is that of giving; not of cornering something which belongs to others. Thus, I am appealing to people who are well off.

I would not like to analyse the judiciary, the experts should look at it. There have been instances where the judiciary's initiative has resulted in a good outcome and there have been instances when it has resulted in pain.

A) We have taken a series of measures which have restored faith in our capacity to deliver with transparency, efficiency and speed. We are looking at the interest of the poor of the country and their empowerment.

B) Good governance with good intentions is the hallmark of our government. Implementation with integrity is our core passion.

C) The recent conclusion of auction in coal and spectrum establishes that the curse of scam and corruption is avoidable and transparency possible if there is political will.

D) We have restored the global credibility of India in terms of its politics, governance and economy. This is because the growth of the economy has been restored. We have left behind countries like China in terms of our GDP growth. We have left behind the US in terms of steel production.

I like to combine visits to more than one place when I go on my international tours in order to get more done. I'm from Ahmedabad where we have a saying, 'single-fare, double journey'. These three countries are major economies that have great relevance to our development process and growth.

I had also said that the eight states of the Northeast are the Ashta Lakshmi for the country as they have huge potential. This region can contribute a lot in the development of the whole

More from the interview:

Reversing UPA-era decline, restoring faith in India is our achievement: PM Modi

Open to talks with Pakistan but no violence, says PM Modi

Read: PM Modi promises higher aid to distressed farmers

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Modi rejigs Europe, Canada itinerary to put Paris first
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