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Narendra Modi could be India's Nixon: Jairam Ramesh

India TV News Desk 20 Jun 2014, 15:26:26 IST
India TV News Desk
New Delhi: Former Union Rural Development Minister and veteran Congress leader Jairam Ramesh believes that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has the potential of emerging as ‘India's Richard Nixon' in handling Pakistan and China.

According to a report published in The Economic Times, Jairam Ramesh said in an interview, “Modi in many ways is like former US President Richard Nixon who opened China to America. Modi could become India's Nixon when it comes to China or Pakistan,” Ramesh said.

Lauding Narendra Modi's flexibility, Ramesh pointed out that while Modi's attempt to smoothen India-Pakistan relations were praised, the UPA government's similar efforts were criticized.

“If we had invited Nawaz Sharif we would have been criticised for feeding him biriyani. But there is exchange of saris and shawls now,” said Ramesh.
“Had Dr Manmohan Singh done something pragmatic, BJP would have pounced on him. But if Modi does something pragmatic, we are not in a position to pounce on him,” Ramesh added.

Jairam Ramesh further said that handling Pakistan and China were “not easy” but “deeper issues”. Citing the instance of border settlement with China as a major issue, Ramesh said a solution might have been possible in the 60s but not now.

“Chinese claim on Tawang has infinitely complicated a settlement,” Ramesh said.

“Mr Modi cannot be Mr Nixon on this (because) he cannot exchange territory and population,” he added.

Asserting that ‘chai-walla' comment was “unfortunate” and it cost Congress “heavily”, Ramesh sees Mr Modi in PMO completely different from the politician during campaigning.

“There were neither “radical U-turns” nor “dramatic reversals” on the policy front during the ongoing ‘honeymoon period'. The Modi government's presidential address could have well been that of UPA's,” he said.

Compliments seem to be pouring from some Congressmen on Modi much to the annoyance of the other party members. Barely two weeks back Shashi Tharoor praised Modi for being ‘amazingly gracious and accommodative' of even those who had not voted for him.

Congress had squarely distanced itself from Shashi Tharoor's remark. Leaders like Mani Shankar Aiyar slammed Tharoor for his effusive praise of Prime Minister Modi. He called him immature and a chameleon.