New Delhi: Congress today criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not speaking up after a string of hate crimes against people of Indian origin in the US, questioning his bonhomie with former US President Barack Obama.
"PM is scared,' Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi said at a rally in New Delhi's Ram Lila Maidan., adding, "Indians are being killed in America but our Prime Minister does not speak a word about it.
Mr Gandhi questioned PM's bonhomie with the former US President Barack Obama and said while "PM hugs Obama", he's silent on the attacks against the Indian diaspora.
"Modi has a 56-inch chest, right? When our youths are being killed in the US, bullets are being fired at them, why is Narendra Modi quiet? Because Narendra Modi practises politics of lie. (PM) Modi hugs (Barack) Obama. But when our people are getting killed, the Prime Minister does not utter a single word as he is scared," Mr Gandhi said.
An Indian engineer, 32-year-old Srinivas Kuchibhotla, was shot in Kansas last month in an apparent hate crime. The alleged assailant, a US Navy veteran, had opened fire at him and his friend Alok Madasani, yelling "get out of my country". A week later, a Gujarati businessman Harnish Patel was shot dead outside his home in South Carolina, followed by a Sikh man, an American national, shot at in Washington and asked to "go back to your country".
"Modi Ji, it is time for you to come out of election mode and start the process of governance, since 34 months have already passed, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said adding the PM had started using NRIs to influence votes and it is "your solemn duty, it is your cardinal duty, it is your first duty to protect the honour, the safety and the persons of Indian origin as also Indian citizens across the world".
Mr Surjewala said these are not isolated incidents and said that such incidents have also occurred in Australia New Zealand.
An Indian man in New Zealand had live streamed alleged racial abuse by a local over the weekend in New Zealand.
With inputs from PTI