Donald Trump mocks PM Modi, evokes angry reactions from BJP, Congress

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US President Donald Trump on Thursday mocked Prime Minister Narendra Modi while expressing his dissatisfaction over India’s role in the Afghan peace process. After his first cabinet meeting in the New Year, Trump mockingly referred to one of his conversations with Modi in the past when the Indian prime minister reportedly told about building a library in Afghanistan.

Donald Trump
File Photo: REUTERS

He said, “I could give you an example where I get along very well with India and Prime Minister Modi. But he is constantly telling me, he built a library in Afghanistan. Library! That’s like five hours of what we spend (in Afghanistan).”

“And he (Modi) tells me. He is very smart. We are supposed to say, oh thank you for the library. Don’t know who’s using it (the library) in Afghanistan. But it’s one of those things. I don’t like being taken advantage of.”

He also went on to question the roles played by other neighbouring countries such as Russia and Pakistan. He said, “Why is not Russia there (in Afghanistan, fighting the Taliban)? Why isn’t India there? Why isn’t Pakistan there? Why are we (US) there? We are 6,000 miles away. But I don’t mind. We want to help our people. We want to help other nations.”

Trump mocking Modi came as a rude shock to the ruling BJP since the Indian prime minister has often flaunted his ‘friendship’ with the US President. The BJP’s Ram Madhav tweeted, “May be Trump should know that while he is decrying every other help in Af, India has been building not only libraries, but roads, dams, schools n even parliament building. We are building lives, for which d Afghan people thank us, no matter what others do or don’t.”

The Congress too condemned Trump for his remarks against Modi. Veteran Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP, Ahmed Patel, tweeted, “Tenor & tone of the US President describing the Prime Minister of India is not in good taste & is completely unacceptable
Hope our Govt responds firmly & reminds America that since 2004,India has built extensive roads,dams in Afghanistan & pledged over $3 billion in assistance.”

Responding to a question, he said he wants India to be involved in Afghanistan. Asked if India’s role in Afghanistan was going to be security related, Trump said: “We are going to be doing something that is right. We are talking to the Taliban. We are talking to a lot of different people.”

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