Read in nutshell, how Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going about his present foreign trip.
A 140-hour long trip covering five nations including the US, 45-plus engagements over five days and flying for nearly 44 hours, bulk of it at night, to cover nearly 33,000 kilometers -
Two of his hosts, Mexicoand Afghanistan, are not seeing a night halt by the PM, with him spending just about four hours apiece in both nations. The detailed travel itinerary of the Prime Minister, accessed by ET, underscores a new thumb rule dictated by Modi in his recent trips - not staying the night in a foreign land if no engagement is scheduled in that country the next day and rather use the night for air travel to the next destination for achieving shorter trips. In fact, the Prime Minister would be travelling back home from Mexico, a nearly 21-hour journey, mostly through the night with just a two-hour technical stopover in Frankfurt. He will arrive in Delhi at 5 AM on June 10, and attend to a working day.
"5 countries, 45-plus meetings...be it here or at home, I am doing country's work," Modi said at a community event in Doha on Sunday evening. His detailed itinerary speaks of about 40 engagements but there are surprise additions to the same as the tour progresses, like an additional community event in Doha before he left for Geneva on Sunday evening and a meeting with Indian students and scientists from European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva on Monday before he enplaned for Washington. "At about 8-9 engagements tightly packed back-to-back into each day, these are the busiest PM foreign trips," a senior Prime Minister's office functionary told ET.
The foreign ministry has been impressing upon the details of the hectic trip through updates on social media during the trip. "Late night arrival is followed by an early morning engagement," MEA spokesperson Vikas Swaroop said on Modi's arrival in Geneva at around 3 AM Switzerlandtime and meeting with the Swiss President Schneider-Ammann eight hours later on Monday. "In under half a day, PM completes visit and emplanes for Washington D.C," Swaroop tweeted later. Senior Government officials told ET that check-in baggage of the entire Indian delegation did not come off the PM's plane in Afghanistan and Switzerland, and will not in Mexico as well.
The PM meanwhile would be having the maximum engagements - 16 at last count - in the US in the 48 hours he spends in Washington starting Tuesday, including the important meeting with US President Barack Obama, address to the Joint Session of the US Congress, a Congressional reception and meeting, community reception, a round-table with US business leaders and an interaction with think-tanks. The Mexican leg of the trip would be the shortest at just about four hours with a private meeting and a working dinner with the Mexican President on June 8 before PM Moditakes the long flight back home.