Accusing the opposition of passing “substandard” comments on Prime Minister’s foreign visits, Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu said Narendra Modi has emerged as one of the top 10 leaders of the world with his voice being heard on international fora.

“India is now recognised and respected worldwide. Country after country is offering red carpet to our Prime Minister. He is now among top 10 world leaders. He has emerged as one among top 10 leaders with his initiatives and approach. The way he is steering the country forward is being appreciated by one and all,” Naidu told news agencies in an interview here.

The Parliamentary Affairs Minister cited India getting the first Chairmanship of BRICS bank and the United Nations declaring ‘Yoga Day’ as examples of Modi’s suggestions being heard on the world stage.

“On matters like climate change and terrorism, his (Modi) voice is being heard. Getting first chairmanship of BRICS bank for India, making yoga international by proposing in United Nations where 196 countries have accepted to observe Yoga (Day),” he said.

Taking objection to opposition parties making “substandard comments” on Modi’s foreign visits, Naidu said the Prime Minister is leveraging foreign policy for domestic development.

“Manmohan Singhji also visited 75 countries. What is it we have achieved that has to be seen. Our Prime Minister is leveraging foreign policy for domestic development, strengthening economy and also using public diplomacy to project India’s soft power,” he said.

Modi made more official visits to countries compared to summit-oriented visits by Singh, he claimed.

“NDA under Modi has restored purpose and direction to India’s foreign policy which was missing during UPA,” Naidu added.

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