Jaishankar leads 52 diplomats on Garba dance floor

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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, October 1: Fifty two ambassadors joined External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to relax and rejoice in the Garba dance of Gujarat, as the foreign entourage arrived in Vododra for the Navratri festival.

Jaishankar had just wrapped up his week-long tour of the US where he sought to further arm the Indian pivot in the fast changing global order in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russian war in Ukraine.

Widely hailed as an architect of an assertive India on the global stage, Jaishankar is seen as a rock star diplomat, who is hogging the limelight at a scale matched by none in the Narendra Modi-led Union Cabinet.

“Amazed to see about 40,000 people dance in rhythm and live music,” Shankar Sharma, Nepal Ambassador to India, tweeted, with colourful women in their traditional attire taking to the dance floor for Garba in Vadodra.

Jaishankar took the diplomats to a guided tour of the city, taking them to the Luxmi Vilas Palace also.

“Great to see Ambassadors and High Commissioners in Vadodara for the Navratri experience. Look forward to participating in the celebrations tonight,” tweeted Jaishankar. He also took the diplomats to ‘Ma Ambaji Temple’ where he participated in an arti.

In Vadodara, Jaishankar spoke at a symposium on “Rising India and the World: Foreign policy in the Modi era” during which he stated that “India is committed under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to protect the national interests”.

His speech had a political undertone in the poll bound state. “Foreign policy and strategic efforts are crucial in achieving the goals of a secured, developed and prosperous India,” said Jaishankar on the occasion.

He almost sought votes for the BJP during his speech, as Jaishankar said: “To take the vision of the Prime Minister forward, we need to maintain the strong double-engine government”.

The BJP’s poll pitch in state elections is for a double-engine government at the Centre and the state capital.

Gujarat will go for the Assembly polls in December this year.

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