Though no Union minister is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s entourage heading to the United States, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj is already in New York and will be part of his delegation to all important meetings.
Apart from National security adviser Ajit Doval and foreign secretary Sujatha Singh, two senior diplomats — Indian ambassador to the US S Jaishankar and the country’s permanent representative to the United Nations Asoke Kumar Mukerji — are part of Modi’s delegation.
The government is leaving no stone unturned in the preparatory meetings. Joint secretary (America) Vikram Doraiswamy is already in the US holding various meetings. Jawed Ashraf, joint secretary in the PMO, and external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin are also part of Modi’s entourage.
While Modi was accompanied by Swaraj for his first foreign trip to Bhutan, his visits to Nepal and Japan did not have any minister’s on board. The external affairs minister will be in the US till October 2 and will interact with over a 100 of her counterparts during her stay. Commerce and industry ministry Nirmala Sitharaman travelled with Modi to Brazil where the G-20 summit was held.
Unlike his successors, his principal secretary Nripendra Misra doesn’t accompany him on his trips. From his arrival on September 26 till he departs on September 30, Modi will have more than 35 meetings and engagements.