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Salman Khurshid questions genuiness of crowds for PM Modi abroad

PTI November 16, 2014 21:54 IST

Farukhabad/New Delhi:  Questioning the genuiness of crowds seen during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's trips abroad, Congress leader Salman Khurshid has suggested that people are taken from India for “slogan-shouting”, a comment which was slammed by the BJP.

Khurshid, former External Affairs Minister, referred Modi's address to the Indian diaspora in Nay Pyi Taw three days back and questioned how a crowd of 20,000 people gathered in the Myanmarese capital where streets are generally empty.  

He also made light of Modi's much-hyped event in Madison Square Garden in New York in September, saying it was a not a big deal to ensure a gathering in the US.  “Yahan se logon ko le ja kar nare lagwa rahe hain (Modi is taking people from here for slogan-shouting abroad),” Khurshid told reporters in Farukhabad in Uttar Pradesh last night.

“I have been to Nay Pyi Taw twice. No one is found on the streets there. Then how come 20,000 people came to listen to him (Modi)? He must have taken along many with him,” he said.

Modi is on a three-nation tour that started with Myanmar where also he addressed Indians. His expression of doubts over the genuiness of public gatherings for Modi abroad came a day ahead of the Prime Minister's scheduled address to NRIs in Sydney's Allphones Arena.

Making light of Modi's Madison Square Garden event of September, Khurshid said, “In USA, organising 20,000 people and making them shouting slogans is not a big deal.”

He said that, “Taking Indians (abroad) and addressing NRIs, will not help.... India will benefit if he (Modi) influences American leaders and American people... Here (in India) he has already influenced people).” Slamming Khurshid's comments, BJP leader and Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said, “It is bankruptcy of Congress.”

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said, “it is sheer frustration” of the Congress party that it says that the Prime Minister takes his own people to create a crowd abroad.