Sushma says her tweets took MEA to people

Sushma says her tweets took MEA to people

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. PTI

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday said that her tweets in the past four years had ripped her ministry of the aura of elitism and took it to common people.

"The MEA (Ministry of External Affairs) was only an elite ministry and it had nothing to do with the common people. My tweets are linking it with the masses of India," said Sushma.

She was countering the allegation by the Opposition Congress that the office of the external affairs minister had been left with just an account on Twitter during the past four years of the BJP-led government's rule as foreign relations had been controlled mostly by Prime Minister's Office (PMO).

"I am in politics for the past 41 years and contested 11 elections. Whoever is elected to the Lok Sabha knows the plight of the people. Helping people in distress and redressing their grievances have been the first priority as the external affairs minister," she said addressing a news conference on completion of four years in office by the Modi government.

"How am I responding to your questions if I have no role to play in managing our foreign relations," she wondered.

She was dismissing the suggestion by the Congress that it was the PMO that ran the external engagements of the country in the past four years.

Sushma has been extensively using Twitter to help people who have landed in trouble while travelling abroad.

Several citizens of Pakistan, too, contacted her on social media platforms requesting for visas to seek medical treatment for themselves or for their ailing family members.

She has also been using Twitter to instruct the MEA officials, posted at headquarters in New Delhi or in diplomatic and consular missions around the world, to help people who sought her help.

She was, however, criticised by the Opposition for not doing as much as an external affairs minister should do in steering the external engagements of New Delhi.

"Only the insensitive people can make fun of it (her use of social media to help people). They will realise its importance the day someone from their own family will land in trouble abroad," said Sushma.

She also dismissed the Congress' allegation that BJP-led government's approach on dealing with Pakistan had been replete with flip-flops.

She said that it was the success of the Modi government's foreign engagements that the international community had isolated Pakistan and mounted pressure on the Pakistani government to deny safe havens and sanctuaries to terrorists in territories under its control.


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