New Delhi: Taking a strong exception to the comments made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his trip in Canada, the Congress Party accused him of insulting the Indian nation and said the party will tail him on foreign trips and counter him there.
[Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing a gathering at the Indian Diaspora Event, at Ricoh Coliseum, in Toronto, Canada on April 15, 2015.]
“We will send a senior party leader to all countries henceforth. He (She) will hold a parallel conference to rebut the Prime Minister’s allegations against the current opposition,” Deputy Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said while talking to Indian Express.
Sharma was referring to the Prime Minister Modi's remarks about the previous UPA government made on Thursday at a gathering of Indians in Toronto.
"Jinko gandagi karni thi, woh gandagi kar ke chaley gaye, par hum safai karenge (Those who had to create a mess, they have done so and left. We will clean it up)", Modi said, taking an apparent dig at the previous governments.
Charging that Modi had painted a picture which suggested that the country was known only for corruption and scams before he came to office, Sharma said the prime minister had "lowered the dignity" of his office.
Sharma also said it was laughable of Modi to think that India has not achieved anything before he came into power in May 2014.
"For him to think and believe that India had achieved nothing before him is delusional. It is an insult to the Indian nation. He needs to be reminded that he inherited a strong economy of two trillion dollars," Sharma told ANI.
Sharma, a former Commerce Minister in the UPA government, said Modi needs to be reminded that he inherited a strong economy and a vibrant India. He also claimed that the country's GDP had quadrupled under the Congress-led government.
"The last government had left a foreign exchange reserve of USD 310 billion and the country's exports had gone up to USD 315 billion. Throughout the period of the financial crisis, India remained one of the most-favoured destinations for foreign investors.
"If Modi thinks that the world is recognising India's potential, strength and demography for the first time, then he is either ill-informed or being delusional.
"By such remarks, he is denying the achievements of the Indian people. He has insulted those who made the country what it is today. With Modi's government completing 11 months in office, it's time that he gave an account of the lofty promises and dreams he sold to the people," he said.
In an attempt to remind the current government about the previous government's achievements, Sharma added that, "The agreement that he (the PM) is referring to in Canada while signing the uranium agreement, was the Congress' and the UPA's, which takes the credit, and rightfully so, for being the architect of India's nuclear engagement with the world and for India becoming a part of the global mainstream."
"Never in our history has our Prime Minister conducted himself in this manner on a foreign soil. Never has a Prime Minister used official visits to abuse and malign the opposition," Sharma added.
Prime Minister Modi has visited about 16 countries since he took charge in May 2014. He recently left on a three-nation tour to France, Germany and Canada.