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Fact Check: Did Manmohan Singh undertake more foreign visits than Narendra Modi?


The BJP President Amit Shah’s statement that Manmohan Singh made more foreign trips than Narendra Modi is wrong on all counts. Here is a fact check.


Manmohan Singh made more foreign trips than Narendra Modi was the statement made by BJP President Amit Shah recently in Palampur of Himachal Pradesh.

But is Amit Shah’s statement true? Here is a fact check based on the data on the website of the Ministry of External Affairs.

Manmohan Singh’s term as Prime Minister

Between 2004 & 2014 when Manmohan Singh was the Prime Minister, he made a total of 80 foreign trips spanning 303 days. He made at least 10 trips in each of the years 2005, 2009, 2011 and 2013. He made at least 5 foreign trips in every year of his tenure except in 2012 and 2014. In 2014 he made only one foreign trip before demitting office. He was abroad for at least 30 days in 2005, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2013. On average, each of this foreign trip lasted around 3.8 days. He made slightly greater number of trips in his second term compared to his first term.
Narendra Modi foreign trips Manmohan Singh (2004 - 2014)

Narendra’s Modi term as the Prime Minister

On the other hand, Narendra Modi made a total of 54 foreign trips in the first 3 years of his tenure lasting 132 days. He made 9 foreign trips in 2014, 27 in 2015 and 18 in 2016. His trips lasted 32 days in 2014, 64 days in 2015 and 18 days in 2016. Each trip on average lasted 2.5 days. In fact, Narendra Modi made more foreign trips in his first 3 years as the Prime Minister than Manmohan Singh made either during his entire first term as PM (2004-2009) or his entire second term (2009-14).

Narendra Modi foreign trips Narendra Modi (2014 -2017)

Comparing first 3 years of Manmohan Singh & Narendra Modi

Amit Shah’s statement was wrong on all counts. Not only did Manmohan Singh make fewer trips than Narendra Modi in the first 3 years of both his terms, he was abroad for fewer days than Narendra Modi in the first 3 years of both his terms.  In fact, in his first 3 years of term 1, Manmohan Singh made fewer trips than Narendra Modi made in 2015 alone. At the current rate, Narendra Modi will make greater number of trips compared to those by Manmohan Singh in either of his terms. It has to be noted that the average duration of each trip made by Narendra Modi is less than that of Manmohan Singh.

Narendra Modi foreign trips Summary (first 3 years)


About Author

Rakesh has been working on issues related to Right to Information (RTI) for a decade. He is a Data/Information enthusiast & passionate about Governance/Policy issues.

1 Comment

  1. yashwantdeshmukh@gmail.com on

    You have counted number of “countries” visited as “Trips”. Which I guess is both right and wrong depending on what you are trying to prove. Going by your own data, Modi has less trips but more countries covered than MMS. While MMS had more trips but covered less countries as he went mostly to single countries trips. In contrast, Modi has actually gone on less number of trips but covered more countries in each trip. You should have covered both the perspective of glass half full or glass half empty. As per me, this is a skewed attempt , deliberate or not.