- "Don't misinterpret": Foreign Minister on "Ab ki baar Trump sarkar"
- S Jaishankar said India has non-partisan approach to US domestic politics
- PM Modi was joined by Donald Trump at "Howdy, Modi!" event in Houston
Prime Minister Narendra Modi used the term "Ab ki baar Trump sarkar" at his mega "Howdy, Modi!" event in the US last month only to refer to what Donald Trump had used during his presidential campaign, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar said today, adding that the remark should not be misinterpreted. Mr Jaishankar, who is on a three-day visit to Washington D.C., said India has a "very non-partisan" approach to the domestic politics in the US.
PM Modi was joined by Mr Trump at a mega event in Houston on September 22 during his week-long US visit. PM Modi, who received a rockstar welcome, took the unusual step of introducing the US President to a crowd of more than 50,000 Indian-Americans.
"Friends, we in India have connected well with President Trump, the words of candidate Trump. Ab ki baar Trump sarkar rang loud and clear..." PM Modi had said.
Mr Jaishankar refuted the notion that the Prime Minister used the phrase to endorse Mr Trump's candidature for his 2020 re-election campaign.
"No, he did not say that," the Foreign Minister said when asked during a news conference with Indian journalists about the Prime Minister's remarks.
"I think, please, look very carefully at what the Prime Minister said. My recollection of what the Prime Minister said was that candidate Trump had used this ("Ab ki baar Trumpsarkar"). So PM is talking about the past.
"I don't think we should, honestly, misinterpret what was said. I don't think you're doing a good service to anybody," Mr Jaishankar said, urging the journalist to be accurate.
"I mean, he (PM Modi) was pretty clear what he was talking about. He was saying, this is what you said as a candidate, which showed that you were trying to, (connect with India and its people even as a candidate)," said Mr Jaishankar said, urging the journalist to be accurate.
"We have a very non-partisan (approach to domestics US politics). So, our sort of approach to whatever happens in this country is their politics, not our politics," Mr Jaishankar said.
Back home in India, the Congress hit out at the government, with Rahul Gandhi saying that PM Modi's "fawning endorsement caused serious problems with the Democrats for India".
Thank you Mr Jaishankar for covering up our PM's incompetence. His fawning endorsement caused serious problems with the Democrats for India. I hope it gets ironed out with your intervention. While you're at it, do teach him a little bit about diplomacy.https://t.co/LfHIQGT4Ds— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) October 1, 2019
The Congress had earlier attacked PM Modi over his lavish praise for Donald Trump, saying that he was in the US as the Prime Minister of India and not to campaign for Mr Trump.
"Mr Prime Minister, you have violated the time-honoured principle of Indian foreign policy of not interfering in the domestic elections of another country. Our relationship with the United States of America has throughout been bipartisan, vis-a-vis Republicans and Democrats," Mr Sharma wrote, adding, "Your actively campaigning for Trump is a breach of both India and America as sovereign nations and democracies," senior Congress leader Anand Sharma had tweeted.
(With inputs from PTI)