JAIPUR: Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has criticised PM Narendra Modi's silence on President Donald Trump calling him "the father of India" during a recent visit to USA. Describing the PM's reticence as highly objectionable, Gehlot questioned Modi's respect and affection for Mahatma Gandhi since the great freedom fighter is popularly known as the "Father of the Nation" for ages.
Gehlot said, "Today, on Gandhi Jayanti, I put forth my objection regarding the US president calling PM Modi as the father of India and Modi not objecting to what Trump said. Why did Modi remain silent if he had any regard for Mahatma Gandhi?"
Gehlot added that "If Modi truly respected Mahatma Gandhi, then he should have corrected the US president then and there as India has only one Father of Nation and his name is Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and none else could take this place."
The chief minister blasted BJP and the RSS for not recognising Mahatma Gandhi for a long period but "they all - from PM Modi, RSS and the BJP cadre - have now started taking his name due to political expediency. They should apologise first for not respecting and recognising Gandhi for such a long time."
Speaking to reporters at Gandhi circle in Jaipur after a programme held to mark the birth anniversary of the leader, Gehlot said just mouthing Gandhi's name isn't good enough, his principles too should be adopted and followed so as to end the atmosphere of hate, fear and violence that is pervading the country".
Recently, Gehlot had even called it ironical that India's PM is campaigning for the head of another country.
Claiming that Modi’s outburst “Abki Bar Trump Sarkar” at Houston was childish, Gehlot had said it was the first time in the history of 75 years that an Indian Prime Minister has raised slogans for a particular candidate in a Presidential election of some other country.
Gehlot remarked that personal friendships cannot be placed above political relations of two countries and the criticised the electoral exhortation of the PM in favour of Donald Trump.
Stating that people were criticizing the sloganeering act of PM mouthing "Agli Baar Trump Sarkar" as indecent and unbecoming of an executive head of another country and queried "Would India not face an embarrassment if someone else became the US President in place of Trump in the near future?"
In a sharp counter, however, the state BJP President, Satish Poonia said that instead of focusing on issues of Rajasthan and its people who have chosen him as CM, Ashok Gehlot is making baseless comments on Modi so as to please the Congress High Command in Delhi.
Poonia argued that Modi had raised India’s stature all over the world during his premiership and due to Modi’s leadership, India had become a powerful nation.
Poonia said while most other countries now support India and this has made every Indian proud of our PM's achievements "yet Congress leaders are making silly remarks against the PM to tarnish his achievements.”