Prime Minister Narendra Modi played "partisan politics": Congress
New Delhi: Congress on Monday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of playing “partisan politics” by not taking with him the Chief Ministers of Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya and told him that he does not represent only BJP when abroad.
“The Prime Minister of India is expected to show more grace. ....He is not representing himself or BJP but Republic of India”, party spokesman Anand Sharma told reporters.
Mr. Sharma, who had sometime back announced that Congress would fly its senior leaders abroad if Mr. Modi continued to make critical statements against the opposition on foreign soil, on Monday, appeared to have changed tack.
Initially, he said “We never said that we are going to send a senior leader to criticise, to counter what he says.”
“We still have honoured established traditions and conventions....We have never made personal attack…when on foreign soil and ...had embarrassed the country”, Mr. Sharma said insisting that the Prime Minister was a “multiple offender” in embarrassing the country on foreign soil.
Mr. Sharma charged the Prime Minister with failing to remember the contribution of Indira Gandhi in the liberation of Bangladesh despite the fact that Atal Bihari Vajpayee had hailed her as “Durga” in the matter.
The Prime Minister has “not been politically correct, politically honest” in the visit, Mr. Sharma told reporters adding that when Manmohan Singh had visited Dhaka as Prime Minister in September, 2011 all concerned Chief Ministers were with him.
Only West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was taken by Mr. Modi in the visit to Dhaka which ended on Sunday.
The AICC's attack came close on the heels of Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi had hit out at the Centre on the issue. “By excluding Chief Ministers of North East from Prime Minister's visit to Bangladesh is contrary to the spirit of cooperative federalism.”
“It seems as if neighbouring states of North East have no role to play in improving relationship between India and Bangladesh”, Mr. Gogoi had said in tweets.
At the AICC briefing, Mr. Sharma took a dig at Mr. Modi by remarking that the Prime Minister has tried to “rewrite” pages of history by not acknowledging the contribution of Gandhi in liberation of Bangladesh. Indira Gandhi has been awarded by the highest civilian award of Bangladesh in 2011, he noted.
Besides, he accused the Prime Minister of being interested in signing a “truncated” Land Boundary Agreement by excluding Assam. Mr. Sharma insisted that it was because of “constant pressure” by Congress that government had to include Assam in LBA.