The Congress has slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “campaigning” for US President Donald Trump in Houston and said it was a violation of India’s foreign policy.
Congress leader Anand Sharma said, “We have a strategic partnership between India and the US, which is bi-partisan, which we fully endorse”.
“There is an honoured convention on India’s foreign policy that when we engage with foreign governments, the President of India or the Prime Minister are on their soil we do not take part in their domestic electoral politics,” he added.
At the mega “Howdy, Modi” event, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had endorsed US President Donald Trump for a second term, saying ‘Abki Baar Trump Sarkar’ in front of nearly 50,000 Indian-Americans.
“I admire President Trump for his sense of leadership, passion for America and concern for every American,” the Prime Minister had said.
Sharma said the Prime Minister should have “avoided” the sloganeering.
“We have seen that India is taking positions or sides. And the Prime Minister using that moment to exhort and raising that slogan on ‘Abki Bar Trump Sarkar’ was better avoided,” he said.
The Congress Rajya Sabha MP pointed out that in the past, India has engaged with both the Republican and the Democratic administrations in the US.
He said in 2008, it was a Republican administration under President George W. Bush, and our Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. “And we had successfully signed the historic Indo-US nuclear deal. And when the Presidential elections came, Manmohan Singh did not take partisan position to support or endorse the Republicans,” he said.
“And after elections President Barack Obama took over as US President and we took forward that engagement with Democratic President as we had done during the Republican President,” he added.
In his tweets on Sunday, Sharma also reminded PM Modi that he was in the US as the Prime Minister of India and “not the star campaigner of US elections”.
Reminding you that you are in the USA as our Prime Minister and not a star campaigner in US elections.
— Anand Sharma (@AnandSharmaINC) September 22, 2019
However, BJP has hit back through Amit Malviya, the party’s in-charge of national Information & Technology, who dismissed Sharma’s comment as “preposterous”.
I can understand some in the Congress are peeved at the massive success of #HowdyModi but to allege that PM interfered in US elections is preposterous! He referred to the ‘Aabki Baar Trump Sarkar’ slogan and it’s resonance with the Indian American community back in 2016! Listen. pic.twitter.com/BKtK4FlAtg
— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) September 23, 2019