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Who's Sitting Behind Modi?

September 09, 2023 15:44 IST
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G20 Delhi host, India's Prime Minister Narendra D Modi waxed eloquent about how India's G20 presidency has become a symbol of inclusion and togetherness within and outside the country.

'It has become the people's G20 in India. Crores of Indians joined it, over 200 meetings were held in more than 60 cities of the country,' Modi declared.

As Modi spoke, two Cabinet ministers sat behind him as did senior diplomats and civil servants. National Security Adviser Ajit K Doval -- a regular attendee alongside Modi at such international gatherings -- was intriguingly seated behind the Cabinet ministers and the PM's principal secretary.


IMAGE: External Affairs Minister Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar stands respectfully as Modi embraces African Union President and Comoros President Azali Assouman and warmly invites him to join other G20 leaders as the African Union becomes a permanent member of the G20 during the G20 Summit. All Photographs: Press Information Bureau


IMAGE: Is that Doval -- the gentleman sitting behind Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman -- Jaishankar is speaking to? But why would he not be seated alongside Jaishankar and Sitaraman? After all, the NSA has the rank of Cabinet minister.


IMAGE: The gent on Sitaraman's left is Dr P K Mishra, Modi's principal secretary, who is listed ahead of Doval on the PMO Web site. On Dr Mishra's left is Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra.
To Foreign Secretary Kwatra's left is the IFS officer (2004 batch) and IIT-Bombay alumnus Vivek Kumar, who is Modi's personal secretary.
One IFS and one IAS officer is assigned to the PMO as the prime minister's personal secretaries. They are of joint secretary rank in the civil services hierarchy.


IMAGE: Seated behind Jaishankar is Amitabh Kant, the retired IAS officer and G20 Sherpa.


Photographs curated by Manisha Kotian/
Feature Presentation: Aslam Hunani/

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