Towards the end of the UPA era, the BJP called Manmohan Singh a “weak prime minister”. It was said that if Narendra Modi comes to power, the center will continue with the ‘strong’ policy. According to political sources, it is easy to talk of ‘fifty-six inches’ in domestic propaganda. But sitting in government and facing economic and geopolitical challenges is another matter.
That fact seems to have come to the fore in bilateral meetings of Indian leaders with heads of state and ministers from Britain, Denmark and Italy in the last two weeks.
No effective decision or announcement was made on the return of Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi, Kim Davy, who was involved in the Purulia shootings, and the Marines who shot dead two Kerala fishermen in Indian waters, but no meeting was held after those meetings.
The Modi government’s reliance on these countries for political, business, and strategic reasons is now so strong that a strong foreign policy is no longer seen. There is no center to get the job done under their pressure.
On Friday, the Foreign Minister of Italy, Luigi Di Maio met with Foreign Minister S. Jayashankar. It’s about restoring peace in Ukraine. But neither side could be heard loudly about the trial of the two Marines, which the BJP fought in Parliament during the UPA regime.
In early 2012, two Indian fishermen were shot dead by Girons off Marine Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore, guards of the Italian ship off the coast of Kerala.
Kerala police arrested them. Since that there has been a lot of diplomatic tension over the issue. Delhi had demanded that the two marines should be tried in an Indian court as the fishermen were killed in Indian waters.
Rome counter-claims that the incident took place outside Indian waters. So it should be judged by the law of the sea of the United Nations. At the same time, the Supreme Court allowed two Marines to go to Italy conditionally. The Italian government later said they would not return to India.
The BJP criticized the then UPA government on the issue both inside and outside the parliament. But the fact is that after coming to power in 2014, they have not been able to bring back these two Marines.
According to political sources, Modi had visited Italy earlier. This time the foreign minister of Italy came. But this question has been kept under wraps.