- Rahul Gandhi joined the opposition chorus after US president's claim
- On Monday, Trump claimed PM had asked him to mediate on Kashmir
- India has strongly rejected Trump's claim
Rahul Gandhi tweeted today that Prime Minister Narendra Modi "must tell the nation what transpired" in his meeting with Donald Trump, adding to the opposition chorus after the US president claimed that PM Modi had asked him to "mediate" on Kashmir.
"President Trump says PM Modi asked him to mediate between India & Pakistan on Kashmir! If true, PM Modi has betrayed India's interests & 1972 Shimla Agreement. A weak Foreign Ministry denial won't do. PM must tell the nation what transpired in the meeting between him and (Trump)," tweeted Rahul Gandhi, who resigned as Congress president last month.
President Trump says PM Modi asked him to mediate between India & Pakistan on Kashmir!— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) July 23, 2019
If true, PM Modi has betrayed India's interests & 1972 Shimla Agreement.
A weak Foreign Ministry denial won't do. PM must tell the nation what transpired in the meeting between him & @POTUS
Rahul Gandhi has been away this week from parliament, where the Congress today demanded PM Modi's clarification on Trumps claim. His mother Sonia Gandhi, calling it all "unbelievable", reportedly directed party leaders to prioritise the Trump controversy and keep raising it in parliament until a statement came from the Prime Minister.
On Monday, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan by his side in the White House, President Trump said on Kashmir: "I was with Prime Minister Modi two weeks ago, and we talked about the subject. And he actually said, 'would you like to be a mediator, or arbitrator', and I said 'where?', and he said 'Kashmir'."
"I think they would like to see it resolved. I think you would like to see it resolved and if I can help, I would love to be a mediator," the US President said.
"I would like to put it on record that no such request (on Kashmir) was made by the prime minister to the president of the United States. All issues with Pakistan has and will remain bilateral between India and Pakistan," the Foreign Minister said in a statement in both houses.
"I would like to put it on record that no such request (on Kashmir) was made by the prime minister to the president of the United States. All issues with Pakistan has and will remain bilateral between India and Pakistan," the Foreign Minister said in parliament, reiterating what his office tweeted moments after Trump's stunning claim emerged last night.
"I would like to reiterate that all engagements with Pakistan will remain only bilateral. I would also like to reiterate that bilateral dialogue is only possible when Pakistan ends cross-border terrorism. The Simla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration lay the path for any talks on the said issue," the minister emphasized.
The opposition staged a walkout in the Lok Sabha and protested in the Rajya Sabha, saying just a statement from the foreign minister was not enough on something that involved two heads of state.
Several Congress leaders have tweeted since morning demanding PM Modi's statement in parliament on what Trump had said, which runs completely contrary to India's stand that Kashmir is a bilateral issue with Pakistan that needs no third-party mediation.
Congress president Randeep Surjewala referred to the full transcript of Trump's joint media briefing with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday and questioned when PM Modi would call his bluff.
"Now, 'Whitehouse' puts up POTUS' (Donald Trump) assertion in 'black and white' that Prime Minister Modi asked him to 'mediate on Kashmir'...When will our Prime Minister 'wake up' and call the bluff if President Trump is lying? Or did Prime Minister Modi ask POTUS (Donald Trump) to mediate," Mr Surjewala tweeted.
Now, 'Whitehouse' puts up @POTUS assertion in 'black & white' that PM Modi asked him to 'mediate on Kashmir'!— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) July 23, 2019
When will our PM 'wake up' & call the bluff if President Trump is lying?
Did PM Modi ask @POTUS to mediate?https://t.co/pFV8gnl6YQ
Congress parliamentarian Shashi Tharoor, however, blamed Trump over the row, saying he "doesn't know what he is saying" and "it looks like he wasn't briefed properly." Mr Tharoor added it was "impossible that PM Modi can ask such a thing, our policy has always been against mediation."