Jaishankar’s Bold Bet: ‘100% Stable Government for 15 Years!’

S. Jaishankar underlined the importance of a reformist, visionary leadership backed by a strong political mandate…reports Asian Lite News

Exuding confidence that India will have a stable government for 15 years, even longer, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said on Friday that long-term political stability is essential for good governance.

His remarks at the Nikkei Forum on India-Japan Special Strategic Partnership in Tokyo came as India heads for crucial general elections with nearly 960 million voters gearing up to exercise their right to vote in the coming months.

“Hundred per cent we will have 15 years of stable government; we may have even longer,” Jaishankar said in response to a question at the forum.

The minister underlined the importance of a reformist, visionary leadership backed by a strong political mandate, which in a democracy means having a majority in Parliament, and results in “long-term stability”.

“You can have a majority but you do not have a vision, or you have a vision, but you do not have the political support. So you need both. Now what has happened in our cases, certainly for the last 10 years, we have had it and we hope to continue that,” S. Jaishankar said as he praised his government that has been able “to take good decisions — tough decisions but needed decisions”.

Further reinforcing the importance of political stability for economic growth and investments, the top diplomat said: “Business world today values political stability. For them, political stability means policy stability. Anybody who is coming, you know, somebody who is taking a big bet on India wants to know what will India be in the next 10 years.”

“Fortunately, that has been good for us for the last decade, and I am very confident for the next one,” the minister added.

When asked about India’s position on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the minister took a sly dig at world powers, saying they “cherry-pick one issue, one situation, one principle and they highlight it because it suits them”.

“…even today, parts of India are occupied by another country. But we did not see the world respond saying, oh, there is a great principle involved. And therefore, let us all go with India. So yes, today we are being told that there are principles involved. I wish I had seen that principle in play for the last 80 years. I have seen those principles cherry-pick…” S. Jaishankar remarked.

Before taking on questions at the forum, the minister reiterated that India and Japan today are convergent on the big picture and the key concerns with an improvement in their “inclination and ability” to respond in a more coordinated manner.

He added that the bilateral partnership has identified more avenues for increased cooperation and will draw strength from their larger activities together, especially in the Quad.

Calling all Quad nations — India, Australia, Japan, and the US — strong maritime powers, the diplomat said that the grouping is meeting “more rapidly and more issues are getting added on”.

EAM Jaishankar is on a three-day visit to Japan from March 6-8 to impart further momentum to bilateral exchanges and set the agenda for future cooperation.

On Thursday, he addressed the 16th India-Japan Foreign Ministers Strategic Dialogue with his Japanese counterpart Yoko Kamikawa and participated in the first Raisina Roundtable, a key step towards enhancing track two exchanges between India and Japan.

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