NEW DELHI: “I am not helpless. I am a very influential External Affairs Minister.” This is how Sushma Swaraj replied to a taunt by an opposition leader in the Rajya Sabha while she was speaking on the issue of plight of fishermen and how the issue has been taken up with Sri Lanka.
Rajeev Shukla (Cong) had said the remarks by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe about “right to shoot intruder” in the context of Indian fishermen was a slap on the face of India and showed helplessness of External Affairs Minister “who is not even allowed to share dais with (US President Barack) Obama” during his recent visit here.
He said even the neighbouring nations had started taking India lightly after Prime Minister Narendra Modi rolled out red carpet for their leaders during his oath ceremony in May last year.
Deputy Chairman P J Kurien wanted the word “helpless” to be expunged but Swaraj said there was no need for it.
In a retort to Shukla’s remarks, Swaraj said, “I am not helpless. I am a very influential External Affairs Minister. During President Obama’s visit I sat with my PM where I should have been seated. You see the pictures.”