MUMBAI: Former Mumbai Congress chief Milind Deora on Tuesday denied that he is joining the BJP after a row over his tweet praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his display of “India’s soft power diplomacy at Houston”.
“The speculations are completely unfounded,” Deora said in a statement released here and added, “I express regret on the insinuations and unwarranted criticism in sections of media and social media. For those who have already imagined and chartered my forward path, I wish to give you one unambiguous answer: I will serve my country to the best of my ability and I will remain bipartisan when it comes to issues of national interest and foreign policy".
"My late father worked closely with Indian Prime Ministers and US Presidents cutting across party lines in the spirit of bipartisanship. Murlibhai deserves respect because he put his country before party. Fortunately, politics at the time was not as confrontational and ungracious as it is today," Deora said while explaining the background of his tweets.
"PM Modi’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. Donald Trump’s hospitality and recognition of Indian Americans’ contributions makes us proud,” Deora had tweeted after the “Howdy, Modi” event.
The Congress on Monday, however, had accused the PM of violating Indian foreign policy’s “time-honoured principle” of not interfering in the domestic elections of another country by “actively campaigning” for the US president at the Houston event.
When asked about Deora’s tweet, state Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant said that the AICC will respond to Deora’s remarks.
Deora, who was entrusted with the responsibility of presidentship of Mumbai Regional Congress Committee just before Lok Sabha election had to resign from the post after the party’s poor show in the city during the elections. Since then Deora is not very active in the city party unit.
To add to the injury, former Mumbai unit president Sanjay Nirupam, targeted him over his tweet. “While there should be internal democracy and freedom of speech within a political party, no one should cross the party line,” he said.