29 September 2019
New Delhi: A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi returned from his week-long US visit, during which he addressed the UN General Assembly, the Congress here on Sunday slammed the government saying it failed to meet India's expectations despite public display of bonhomie at the "Howdy Modi" extravaganza in Houston.
The Congress, however, supported Modi for his stand on Pakistan, the continuing threat from terrorism and Jammu & Kashmir.
Senior leader Anand Sharma said in a statement, "the Congress notes with disappointment that the much-hyped Modi-Trump meeting failed to meet India's expectations despite the public display of bonhomie and special friendship at the Huston extravaganza."
He said there were no tangible outcomes of the visit, which could justify the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) celebrations.
"The Prime Minister was unsuccessful in persuading the US President to restore the generalised system of preference (GSP) for exports to the US market, withdrawal of reduction in number of H1-B visas for Indian professionals and steep hike in the visa fee," Sharma said.
The failure to conclude trade deal had disappointed the industry and exporters, which were weighed by the economic recession, he said.
Sharma said Modi's meetings with other heads of states and governments were routine affair and part of the standard practice at the UNGA. "They don't have a special significance as is claimed by the government-BJP propaganda. The BJP euphoria on PM's visit is misplaced and there is no cause for celebration," he said.
He said the Congress would appreciate sharing of the government assessment of visit by Modi with the leaders of the political parties.
The Congress leader accused the Prime Minister of getting carried away by his own "propaganda" and remaining "disconnected with the harsh ground realities of deepening economic crisis, falling investment, crashing industrial production, loss of jobs and wages and collapsing demand and consumption".
"It's high time the government brings focus back on real issues, and not deflect by engaging in boastful propaganda," Sharma said.
The Congress leader, however, supported Modi on his stand against Pakistan. "The Congress is in complete agreement with the stand taken by the Prime Minister and the government on Pakistan and the continuing threat of terrorism. We congratulate the Prime Minister for reiterating India's firm and consistent position that J&K is an integral part of India and its accession is final and irrevocable."
The Congress also endorsed the official position that all issues pertaining to J&K were India's internal affairs and there was no question of any third party meddling.
Modi received a grand welcome on Saturday night on his return here from the week-long visit to the US during which he addressed the UNGA, attended the 'Howdy, Modi!' diaspora event besides several other programmes.
Sharma, the deputy Congress leader in the Rajya Sabha, condemned the provocative and preposterous statements by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan at the UNGA.
"Khan's speech was aimed at misleading international opinion using falsehood and fabrication of facts to defame India. The language of Khan was unbecoming of a Prime Minister and has no place in any civilised discourse," he said.