NEW DELHI: The Congress on Sunday said it was disappointed over Prime Minister Narendra Modi's meeting with US President Donald Trump that "failed" to meet India's expectations despite public display of bonhomie and friendship at 'Howdy Modi' "extravaganza".
Congress senior spokesperson Anand Sharma hit out at the BJP, saying the "euphoria" over the Prime Minister's UN visit is misplaced as there is no cause for celebration and asked the government to focus on real issues and not deflect by engaging in "boastful campaign propaganda".
"Congress party notes with disappointment that the much-hyped meeting of Prime Minister Modi with US President Trump has failed to meet India's expectations despite the public display of bonhomie and special friendship at the Houston 'Howdy Modi' extravaganza," he said in a statement.
"There were no tangible outcomes of the visit which would justify the BJP celebration. The Prime Minister was unsuccessful in persuading US President Trump to restore the Generalized System of Preference (GSP) for Indian exports to US markets, withdrawal of reduction in a number of H1-B visas for Indian professionals and steep hike in fee," he also said.
Sharma said the "failure" to conclude the trade deal has caused disappointment in the Indian industry and exporters weighed down by the recession in our economy.
However, he said the Congress party 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 PM for reiterating India's firm and consistent position that the state of Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and its accession is final and irrevocable. We endorse the official position that all issues pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir are India's internal affairs and there is no question of any third-party meddling," he said.
The Congress party also condemned the "provocative and preposterous" statement made by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan at the UNGA, saying it was aimed at misleading international opinion using "falsehood and fabrication of facts" to defame India. "The language of Pakistan PM was unbecoming of a Prime Minister and has no place in any civilised discourse," he said.
He said India and the US are strategic partners and the relationship is one of special importance for both the countries. It must embrace the core issues - political, economic and technological - in strengthening a robust partnership.
Sharma noted that PM Modi's meetings with other heads of states and governments at the UNGA were a routine affair and were part of standard practice at the UNGA. "They do not 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.
The Congress party will appreciate if the Prime Minister shares the government's assessment of his visit with the leaders of the political parties, he said. "PM seems to be carried away by his own propaganda and disconnected with the harsh ground realities of deepening economic crisis, falling investments, crashing industrial production, loss of jobs and wages and collapsing demand and consumption. It is high time that the government brings back focus on real issues and not deflect by engaging in boastful campaign propaganda," Sharma said.