NEW DELHI: Congress leader Milind Deora here on Monday triggered speculations by praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Howdy Modi' address as a "momentous first for India's soft power diplomacy".
Deora said his father Murli Deora, former Union Minister, was one of the first architects of deeper ties with the US. The PM replied saying his friend Murli Deora would have really been glad to see the strengthening of bilateral ties.
"@PMOIndia's Houston address was a momentous first for India's soft power diplomacy. My father Murlibhai was one of the early architects of deeper Indo-US ties. @realDonaldTrump's hospitality & recognition of Indian-Americans' contributions makes us proud ," the Congress leader tweeted.
PM Modi tweeted back: "Thank you @milinddeora. You are absolutely correct when you highlight my friend, late Murli Deoraji's commitment to strong ties with the USA. He would have been really glad to see the strengthening of ties between our nations. The warmth and hospitality of @POTUS was outstanding."
Deora replied: "Thank you @narendramodi ji! Murlibhai put nation first & worked with all governments in India & the US to deepen ties between our great countries. In my many interactions with my Democrat & Republican friends, they, too, acknowledge India's leadership in the 21st century," he posted.
Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju tweeted in response: "A matured & honest political comment by my dear friend @milinddeora. Dare to be honest and fear no labour. Honesty is not only the deepest policy, but the highest wisdom -- Charles Caleb Colton."
To which, Deora tweeted: "Thank you, Kiren. I have always believed that Foreign Policy should be divorced from partisan politics,"
Deora resigned as the Mumbai Regional Congress Committee chief after the Congress' debacle in Lok Sabha elections.