External Affairs Minister formally joined BJP in the presence of party working president JP Nadda at a ceremony at his office in Parliament on Monday. A career diplomat and a former foreign secretary hailed for his expertise on India-US relation was handpicked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his government and was sworn as external affairs minister on May 30. Union Minister Dr. S Jaishankar also played the role of `crisis manager’ and `trouble shooter’ during his tenure as the Foreign Secretary.
The BJP named External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar as its candidate for a Rajya Sabha seat from Gujarat hours after he joined the saffron party in the presence of its working president JP Nadda.
Bypolls of two Rajya Sabha seats were necessitated after Union cabinet ministers Amit Shah and Smriti Irani were elected to the Lok Sabha causing the vacancies.
Carrer diplomat turned External Affairs Minister, Dr. S Jaishankar is the second foreign secretary who have become External Affairs Minister after Natwar Singh. The EAM is also probably the first bureaucrat who has become a cabinet minister so soon after retirement.
Also he has been the longest serving Indian ambassador to China and played pivotal role in reinforcing economic, trade and cultural relations between the two countries.
As foreign secretary, Dr. S Jaishankar was known for his muscular policy with China. EAM shaped India’s position on the Belt and Road Initiative, which had led to the boycott of the flagship BRI summit in Beijing.
With more than three decades of diplomatic experience Dr. S Jaishankar attracted limelight during his tenure as Indian ambassador to the US where he played an important role in intensive negotiator between the US authorities and Indian government to mutually handle the diplomatic ties. The Union Minister used his wide contacts and great tactics with the Washington bureaucracy in order to smooth out the crisis.
As external affairs minister, Jaishankar’s immediate challenge would certainly be to deal with the trade dispute with US as Washington is soon set to end the preferential trade treatment for India. The minister will also have to balance India’s energy security needs and its relations with US over the issue of purchasing oil from sanctions-hit Iran.
EAM Dr. S Jaishankar will have to maintain the current positive momentum to project the position and power of India at global level.