Sushma Swaraj Capable, But Her Service Not Utilised Properly: Sharad Yadav

New Delhi: JD-U leader Sharad Yadav on Thursday praised External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj saying while she was “a very capable minister” her service is “not being utilised properly”.

He also spoke about former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and praised her for her “tactful foreign policy”, which he said “is missing now”.

“I think we have a very capable External Affairs Minister, but I think her service is not being utilised properly,” Mr Yadav said, referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi being talked of as virtually running the country’s foreign policy.

“I only want to urge Sushma Swaraj, the entire country is with you,” he said during a discussion in Rajya Sabha on foreign policy.

He said that India’s relations with its neighbours “has worsened”.

On the Doklam crisis, he said: “The statements which come from China these days are very painful. Unless the people of our country are economically strengthened, only then will the security forces be strengthened.”

“We have not been able to strengthen the people of our country in 70 years. I am not blaming just one government. We have the highest number of poor people in our country, highest percentage of illiteracy. The most hardworking people in our country are economically very weak,” he added.

Praising Indira Gandhi, Mr Yadav said: “I was in jail during Indira Gandhi’s time. But I can tell you that she used her tact in taking control of Sikkim, but nobody got a whiff. This is also true that Russia always stood by us, the US was also there. But today the situation is different.”

“If the people are not economically strong, how do you expect the economic condition to be strong,” Mr Yadav said.

“You say the forces should be strengthened, if there is no money how will you do it, and on top of it there is corruption in defence dealings,” he added.

Mr Yadav said: “When I hear statements from China, it evokes anger. Had we been strong enough, this would not have happened. I am again saying we should strengthen ourself. This country became weak because of the Partition.”