New Delhi: As Prime Minister Narendra Modi headed home after a five day high profile visit to America the opposition Congress lamented that there was no substantive outcome from his visit.
Congress spokesperson and former union commerce minister Anand Sharma observed that all Indian prime ministers had been accorded the honour of addressing a joint session of the Congress and Senate.
“Every Prime Minister who visited America after 1985 was given the honour to address the Joint Session of American Congress, but Modi was not accorded that honour and almost two-thirds of the Hall was empty when he gave his speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), this has to be corrected next year,” he added.
Seeking a report card from the prime minister about this visit, Sharma said that the mainstream media in America ignored this visit, and it was hyped up only in the Indian media. “All the major channels like BBC and CNN ignored it, and the main meetings with president Obama did not even merit front page treatment in the mainstream papers like New York Times,” Sharma added.
Pointing out that the prime minister was more like a rock star performer during the visit, the Congress leader said that Modi wanted to push his agenda of Brand Modi rather than pushing India’s agenda with the world’s only superpower, especially in the context of the civil nuclear deal between the two countries.
Even when Modi was still in the United States, the Congress leaders had found fault with his references to Mahatma Gandhi. At that time Modi had referred to only freedom and cleanliness in Gandhi’s context and referred to him as Mohanlal and not Mohandas. Congress
leader Digvijay Singh observed that perhaps Modi had not referred to Gandhi’s pet ideals — truth, non-violence, equality and tolerance — as these ideals did not figure in his priorities.
With regard to the faux pas about the Mahatma’s name, Congress leader Raj Babbar had remarked that such slips can occur only in people who have Gandhi’s name on their lips, and do not respect him from the bottom of their hearts. The Congress also lightly dismissed Modi’s engagements with 17 CEOs in America.” All these companies already have their investments in India, so this much publicized event was actually a damp squib,” said party general secretary Ajay Maken.