The Congress on Saturday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “mounting a disgraceful and distasteful attack on the opposition” in China, saying that his “obsession to target opposition and its leaders repeatedly on foreign soil is deplorable and unacceptable”.
“The Prime Minister Modi has done it again… Verbal character assassination of India’s achievements of last the 67 years on foreign soil is unacceptable and is a ‘new low’ in practicing despicable politics. From Canada to China, the Prime Minister continues to repeat this historical blunder with scant regard to dissent, opposition and norms of conduct of the high office of Prime Minister,” Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala said.
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The Congress said Modi’s understanding that India, until he became PM, did not enjoy any respect amongst the international community is misplaced and is an insult to generations of Indians gone by, who worked tirelessly to lay the foundation of the modern Indian state.
“This includes our farmers, workers, defence personnel, students, teachers, ordinary men and women and our leaders who lived and died for to protect the pride of our great country,” he said.
Addressing expatriate Indians in Shanghai, Modi indirectly took potshots at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi. While the party did not refer to Modi’s comments that he has not taken any vacation in the last one year, this apparent jibe aimed at Rahul was not lost on the Congress.
The Congress tried to corner him on his engagement with China. It recalled a speech by Modi in August 2013 where he said: “Bharat ke videsh mantri ko China jaakar China ke harkaton ke khilaf awaaz uthani chahiye thi, anken lal karke China ko samjhanaa chahiye tha. (India’s Foreign Minister should have gone to China and raised his voice sternly).”
“As he leaves China today, we wonder whether he spoke to the Chinese showing his ‘red eyes’ on issues such as the Chinese government giving stapled visas to the people of Arunachal Pradesh while he extends e-visas facility to Chinese nationals, CCTV (Chinese official media) depicting Arunachal Pradesh as a part of China as also large portion of Jammu and Kashmir as part of Pakistan, continuous and repeated Chinese incursions into Indian territory, nearly $46 billions of committed investment by China in Pakistan including PoK, among others,” he said.
“On most of these issues of national interest, Prime Minister’s visit is a complete and utter failure,” Surjewala added.
Referring to Modi’s remarks that he was being attacked for working tirelessly, he said “The Prime Minister’s nearly 16 International forays in less than 12 months without any tangible returns for the country can hardly be a yardstick of hard work.”