BJP president Amit Shah today claimed former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited more countries than his successor Narendra Modi, but the perception grew otherwise because the former's visits were not covered by media as much as Modi's.
"Our opponents make an issue of PM Modi's foreign visits but as per figures, Manmohan Singhji visited more countries than Modiji. The number of PM Modi's foreign visits appear higher because when Manmohan Singhji used to go, no one got to know when he went or came back," Shah said.
Shah's claims may have some truth in them. Most of Modi's foreign trips have been marked by a wooing of diaspora and non-resident Indians abroad, and a high-decibel media coverage.
According to the list provided by the government, Modi has - in the three years of his tenure since assuming office in May 2014 - already visited 56 countries, including four so far to the US, and Nepal, Japan, Russia, Afghanistan and China two times each.
On the other hand, Manmohan Singh spent 144 days in foreign visits and visited 35 countries during his first term. In his second term, he spent 161 days in foreign visits and visited 38 countries, according to the data provided by IndiaSpend.
BJP veteran AB Vajpayee, during his entire tenure as the prime minister of the first NDA government during 1999 to 2004, had made 19 trips to 26 countries.