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May 23, 2024

India Needs Clear Mandate for Continuous Leadership: Ex-Diplomat Shringla

India requires a mandate for clear and continuous leadership to ensure its development into a fully developed nation by 2047, according to former top Indian diplomat Harsh Vardhan Shringla. Speaking on Wednesday, Shringla emphasized the importance of decisive governance in achieving this goal.

Shringla, who has served as the Foreign Secretary and Indian Ambassador to the US, underscored the need for stable leadership to guide India’s economic and social development. “What we need is a mandate for clear and continuous leadership that can take the decisions that will lead Bharat to a ‘Vikshit Bharat’ stage by 2047,” Shringla told PTI during his private visit.

Highlighting the optimism from international counterparts, Shringla noted that even in the US, there is a perception that a clear mandate in India would bolster its status as a significant economic power. “In the US, I got the impression that the administration would like to see a clear mandate in India that would make it a strong economic power,” he said.

The former diplomat believes that India’s youth, who form the majority of the population, will support leadership that offers them the best opportunities. “The youth expect a mandate that will bring them the best opportunities and propel us to become a developed country in every sense, including women empowerment, economic, socioeconomic, and environmental developments,” Shringla said.

During his visit, Shringla, who was also the chief coordinator for India’s G-20 presidency in 2023, engaged with various political figures, officials, businesses, academics, and community leaders. He reported a general sense of optimism about the India-US relationship. “I’ve got a reasonable perspective during my short time here, and there is a lot of optimism in the relationship,” he noted.

Shringla reiterated the importance of India’s progress for the global economy. “If we are one-sixth of humanity and we are doing well, then everybody else will also do well. It will contribute to an upsurge in the global economy,” he said. He added that the US, as a close partner, believes that India’s growth will benefit the United States as well.

He stressed the need for the Indian electorate, especially the youth, to provide a decisive mandate to the leadership to continue on the current path of development. “We are now at a critical takeoff stage, and the next five years will shape the next thousand years of India’s development. Voters must be aware of this when casting their ballots,” Shringla urged.

Reflecting on his own voting experience, Shringla expressed confidence that voters would consider the need for capable leadership. “I believe everyone who has voted and will vote in the coming phases understands the importance of electing a government that is sensitive to people’s interests and capable of achieving the goals of a developed country,” he said.

Shringla warned of the serious consequences of not providing a clear mandate. “The consequence of not having a clear mandate is severe. It could set us back by 50 years. The progress in economic development and infrastructure over the last decade has surpassed the progress of the previous 60 years,” he pointed out.

He highlighted the significant advancements made in various sectors, especially in improving the lives of the poorest. “The state’s provisions for the poorest, through schemes like free ration, health insurance, electricity, water in rural areas, and sanitation programs, have been remarkable,” Shringla said.

Concluding his remarks, Shringla called on the electorate to exercise their voting power to ensure continued progress. “If you want to continue this progress, make sure to use your vote to make a difference,” he urged.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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