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Does the NSG setback underscore the limits of Modi’s foreign policy?

Modi's failed push to get NSG membership raises serious questions about the country's foreign policy
Modi, Prime Minister, Istanbul Airport attack

With the Modi government conspicously silent on the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) fiasco, more people have started coming out in the open on the way the issue should have been dealt with.

The  personalised diplomacy of prime  minister Narendra Modi has come a cropper after the elite club refused to consider India’s application for  the membership in the NSG.

Its not the opposition which have gone to town about it.

Several questions have been raised over the weekend about why Modi has made the NSG issue a prestige issue, knowing fully well that it does not bring any significant, material benefits for the country. Having done a hard push for the membership, Modi government has made its already sagging relations with China, more precarious.

Veteran BJP leader Yaswant Sinha has  mounted a scathing attack against the government for its failed diplomacy.  India stands to lose by being a member of the NSG, the former foreign minister said. He also alleged the government is misleading the country.

“India which has shown so much keenness and desperation in getting NSG membership, it is not required at all. We are comfortable outside NSG. If we become members of NSG, we will have more loss. There will be no gains for us.” Sinha said.

“I say this strongly that India should not accept the NSG membership. We should not go there as an applicant. Whatever we had to get, we have got it”  said Sinha, who was sidelined in the party after Modi-Amit Shah duo  took total control of the party.

Not just politicians, but  scientists have also come  out against Modi government for its thwarted move at Seoul to  secure a membership in the NSG.

M R Srinivasan, the member of the Atomic Energy Commission member (AEC)  said India’s push for NSG membership was unwarranted and ill advised. He further added that had the AEC been consulted on this issue they would have advised the government.

“Unnecessarily, India made a big hype about this admission into the NSG. It was completely unnecessary because the 2008 waiver was already enabling us to have nuclear commerce with nuclear advanced countries and we already have agreements with Russia, France and the United States for reactor projects,” Srinivasan added.

He told PTI that it was not brought to the AEC. “It’s unfortunate. It was thought to be the preserve of Foreign Office. Ministry of External Affairs. I do not know. Needless drama (India’s diplomatic push on NSG membership) has gone on for a number of days.”

How much Modi has invested in the NSG membership can be gauged from the  whirlwind tour he undertook to different NSG member countries.

But except from  US no country shown interest in India’s claims.

The countries that opposed India include Switzerland, Brazil, Turkey among others. These were the among the many countries Modi has made highly publicised visits.

Modi and his external affairs ministry has been claiming that these visits would herald new beginning in diplomatic relations.

If the failed bid for NSG is any indication, Modi’s diplomacy despite its high decibel rhetoric comes to a nought on practical terms.

The souring relations with neighbours like Pakistan, Nepal and China would give credence to such an estimate.

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