New Delhi: Boris Johnson made headlines in India by the maiden Gujarat visit of any British Prime Minister and walked alongside Sadhus of Swaminarayan temple on socks.
He was in Gujarat on Thursday (April 21), and on Friday, he will hold bilateral talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
But back at home, he faces severe criticism and challenges, including repeated calls for resignation.
“He is in every sense the minister of chaos,” says ‘The Atlantic’.
It was reported that after being the “first G7 leader to travel to Kyiv since the Russian invasion”, he was no doubt hailed by Volodymyr Zelensky, cheered by Ukrainians in the streets, and even grudgingly praised by his “enemies at home and his critics abroad”. Yet within 72 hours, he was once again facing calls to resign.
‘The Guardian’ says-“The prime minister (Johnson) has no programme, no strategy, no professed ideology: only a frantic search for survival.”
The article penned by Simon Jenkins says-“Whenever challenged, he refers to the war in Ukraine, as if this was Britain’s business. A war is handy for any prime minister. The Falklands war rescued Thatcher’s leadership in 1982. David Cameron wanted to go to war in Syria and went to war in Libya. But these Prime Ministers were conducting or proposing conflicts on their country’s behalf. Ukraine is not Britain’s war, thank goodness.”
Johnson is in serious trouble. He faces danger on all fronts – says the piece.
On April 21, Thursday, Johnson became the first British PM to visit Gujarat.
“It is an immense privilege to come to the ashram of this extraordinary man, and to understand how he mobilised such simple principles of truth and non-violence to change the world for the better,” Johnson wrote in the visitors’ book at the Sabarmati Gandhi ashram paying homage to the peace apostle Mahatma Gandhi.
Johnson also met industrialist Gautam Adani, who later tweeted that his company would work with the UK companies in defence and aerospace technologies.
In British politics, the British PM Johnson and his government have been the target of the unfriendly press.
His party colleagues have warned Johnson that he faces being “punished at the polls” unless he acts to tackle the UK’s cost-of-living crisis, according to the Daily Mail.
He has issues with the privileges committee. There are local elections in May, which seem to be tough for his party.
As the year began, the British prime minister faced fresh accusations of “corruption” over the funding of his Downing Street flat refurbishment.
Britain’s Metropolitan Police is investigating a series of other potentially illegal parties that took place at Downing Street on his watch and could issue more fines, triggering another potentially fatal crisis. Yet, the timing of a fine—a paltry £50 ($65)—could hardly have been better for the prime minister.
Not only did it come during the Easter break, when Parliament was not sitting and much of the country was on holiday, but it also came at the very moment when he was basking in the glory of his visit to Kyiv. Johnson also claims a bit of diplomatic success of the hawkish position he has taken toward Russia since Vladimir Putin’s invasion.
However, the article in ‘The Guardian’ points out that “Johnson’s most distinctive contribution to Ukraine’s plight has been to deny an open the door to Ukrainian refugees, leaving in place the Home Office’s “hostile environment” to all European migrants”.
Even Emmanuel Macron did not descend to such a stunt, the article said.