A flypast with India’s national colours is expected when Prime Minister Narendra Modi pays homage at the statue of Mahatma Gandhi near the British Parliament during his upcoming visit to the United Kingdom, the foreign ministry said Tuesday.
Also, through the PM’s visit to the Jaguar Land Rover factory at Solihull, the Indian side will try to send out a message that India is a “job maker”, and not a “job taker”, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said.
“The speech which the PM will give at the UK Parliament, to my understanding, will be the first time that an Indian PM will speak there. British Prime Minister Cameron will be with him for most of his programme. In fact, Cameron will escort him to the House of Commons chamber,” Jaishankar said.
The Prime Minister will be on a visit to the UK from November 12 to November 16.
“The Prime Minister will pay homage at the statue of Mahatma Gandhi, near the Parliament, which was inaugurated last year. And we expect a flypast with our national colours coinciding with that,” the Foreign Secretary said.
In a series of Facebook posts, Modi has said his “visit is aimed at strengthening cooperation with a traditional friend that is not only a major economic partner of India but also one of the leading economic players of the world”.
“In UK, I will attend a wide range of programmes. I will have the honour of meeting Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace at a lunch hosted by her. There will be comprehensive talks with Prime Minister David Cameron,” he said.
The PM said he will interact with CEOs at a roundtable. “My message to the business community is clear — come, make use of the opportunities India is offering and invest in India,” he said.
Modi said it was “a matter of immense joy and pride” that he will visit the place where Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar lived during his stay in London. On November 14, he will unveil a statue of Basaveshwara, a Kannada scholar, the PM said.
On PM’s visit to the JLR factory, the Foreign Secretary said, “It is the largest investment by an Indian company in the UK. In fact, it is my understanding that this is the largest private sector manufacturing employer in the UK. A visit there drives home the message that we are job makers and not job takers.”
On whether there could be any movement on a civil nuclear deal with the UK, Jaishankar said, “There could be something. But again, our positions are very dissimilar, so I won’t compare that.”
‘Comparing PM’s visit with Xi’s like Apples & oranges’
Asked whether PM Modi’s visit will overshadow Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent UK trip, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said, “It’s not practical to compare apples and oranges. I think we have a different history with the UK…that’s a connect between us…a connect of values and history and institutions and thoughts… In terms of how it’ll play out, my sense is wait and see.”