Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s historic trip to the US on an official state visit, Congress leader Sam Pitroda has said that the premier of the world’s most populous nation deserves respect everywhere, and he is “proud” of it.
Mr Pitroda, the chairperson of the Indian Overseas Congress, is currently accompanying Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on his three-city six-day US tour.
While Mr Gandhi has focused on his alternate vision of India as against that of the ruling BJP and has been highly critical of Prime Minister Modi-led government, he has supported the ruling party’s foreign policy stands on issues like the war in Ukraine and China.
“He (Mr Gandhi) knows where we (India) are doing something right, we are all for it. And you see, someone told me that, the Indian Prime Minister is getting a lot of reception. And I said I’m happy about it because, at the end of the day, he’s also my prime minister. But let’s not make a mistake. He’s getting reception because he’s India’s prime minister. And not because he’s BJP’s prime minister. Separate these two things,” Sam Pitroda told PTI in an interview.
“A prime minister of a nation of 1.5 billion people deserves respect everywhere. And I’m proud of it. I’m not negative about it,” Mr Pitroda, the senior Congress leader, said.
President Joe Biden will host Prime Minister Modi for an official state visit to the US, which will include a state dinner, on June 22.
“But you see, they twist every message. They confuse everything. And then they convert into personal attacks. Now, that’s not democracy. Have some respect for other human beings. You will send 50 people chasing you on social media with lies,” he said.
“And the one lie was that this entire trip (of Rahul Gandhi) was sponsored by Muslims. What is it? Even if it is sponsored, let’s say the worst case. I mean, they’re citizens of India. What are you talking about? First of all, they have nothing to do with it. The entire trip has been arranged by the Indian Overseas Congress. I have personally supervised every event,” he said, adding that there were a total of about 17 events.
Sam Pitroda said that the ongoing trip of Rahul Gandhi has generated hope and excitement in the US.
“Both (he and Mr Gandhi) of us are convinced that the message has to go to the global leaders today. Global leaders are not aware of the reality, and implication of it,” Mr Pitroda said.
“For example, in one major meeting we had today in private, we told them that the periodic table has been taken off the school syllabus. They said it’s not possible. I said, how come you don’t know this? And evolution theory has been taken off. And they were shocked. They said, how could you be a scientific nation with all these NRIs running multi-billion dollar companies and in their country now the periodic table has been taken off? What will happen to the next generation of people?” Mr Pitroda said.
Sam Pitroda said the response Rahul Gandhi received had been tremendous. “People are all excited, they’re very enthusiastic. We have generated hope, and people are asking us, what can I do? How can I help? So, I’ve been telling them now that, look, you can help us in many different ways.” Responding to a question, Mr Pitroda said that if Indian democracy goes the wrong way, the world is going to pay for it. “That I think people have to understand. That doesn’t mean we are telling people to come and fix our democracy. No. We are the ones who are gonna fix it. But you better be aware of it because it’ll have an implication for you. It’ll have implications for India. I mean, not only in India but in the world,” he said.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)