- Trump had mocked PM Modi for funding a library in Afghanistan
- The tenor and tone of Mr Trump not unacceptable, say Congress leaders
- Indian officials said developmental help can be critical in transforming
US president Donald Trump's barb at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over building a library in Afghanistan has not been received well in India. While the Indian officials gave a measured response, the Congress, which is PM Modi's arch rival in politics, has slammed Mr Trump, saying his description of the prime minister of the country was not in good taste and was completely unacceptable.
Emphasizing that he got along with PM Modi, Donald Trump said he was "constantly telling me he built a library in Afghanistan."
"You know what that is? That's like five hours of what we spend," Trump said. "And we're supposed to say, 'Oh, thank you for the library.' I don't know who's using it in Afghanistan."
"India firmly believes in the critical role that developmental assistance can play in transforming human lives," said government sources on Thursday.
Responding to the comment, senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel was quoted by news agency ANI, saying he hoped the government responds to it firmly.
"The tenor and tone of the American President describing the Prime Minister of India is not in good taste and is completely unacceptable," senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel said.
"Hope our Government responds firmly and reminds America that since 2004, India has built extensive roads, dams in Afghanistan and pledged over $3 billion in assistance," he added.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also joined Mr Patel in slamming Mr Trump.
"Dear Mr Trump, stop mocking India's PM. India doesn't need sermons from the US on Afghanistan," he tweeted.
He added that under former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, India helped build Afghan National Assembly.
"Humanitarian needs to strategic economic partnership, we are one with our Afghan brothers and sisters," Mr Surjewala added.
The Congress's gesture has come amid a raging debate in parliament over the Rafale jet deal and other issues. Both the Congress and the BJP have been engaged in a bitter verbal tussle over a host of issues.
The bitter fight that started with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's interview to ANI on Tuesday spilled over today. On Congress President Rahul Gandhi's comment that the interview was "staged" and done by a "pliable journalist", Union Minister Arun Jaitley called him the "Grandson of the Emergency Dictator".
Mr Gandhi also began his morning with an attack on PM Modi on Twitter, accusing him of "fleeing" parliament instead of facing questions on the Rafale jet deal.
This was not the first time that Donald Trump, who is infamous for his outbursts on Twitter, has tried to mock PM Modi. In January last year, a Washington Post report said that he puts on the Indian accent and "imitates" PM Modi while discussing Afghanistan policy.
"Senior administration officials said that the president has been known to affect an Indian accent and imitate Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who in an Oval Office meeting last year told him, "Never has a country given so much away for so little in return" as the United States in Afghanistan," said the Washington Post report.
With inputs from ANI