Thimphu: “My inner voice said I should visit Bhutan first.” This is what Prime Minister Narendra Modi said here today while explaining why he chose Bhutan as his first foreign destination.
“After such a big mandate, there is usually a temptation to visit some big powerful nation so that there is praise all over. But my inner voice said that I should visit Bhutan first,” he said while addressing the joint session of Bhutanese Parliament.
“There was no plan. It was a simple step. Had I not visited Bhutan first, my conscience would have questioned me why I did not do so,” he added.
Modi received rousing welcome in Bhutan with the Monarchy and the government going out of way to display their gestures. He was received at the Paro airport by Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay and his Council of Ministers and was accorded ceremonial guard of honour at the airport as well as the Royal Palace yesterday.
Tobgay and his Council of Ministers went to the airport, about 50 kms from here, to see him off as well. Both while coming and leaving, Modi was given a special welcome en route from Paro to Thimphu, with common people, including children, lining up the road waving flags of India and Bhutan.
While leaving, Modi stopped at two places to interact with common people and children.
Later, on his return, he tweeted, “Back to Delhi. This Bhutan trip will remain etched in my memory. It was a very satisfying & productive visit”.