Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor hits back at Bhartiya Janta Party for criticizing him of alleging that External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj politicised UN platform.
Shashi Tharoor described the speech by Sushma Swaraj at the UN General Assembly disappointing and said it failed to project a constructive and positive image of India.
“Most of the first half of the Sushma Swaraj speech was devoted to plugging Narendra Modi’s vision for ‘New India’: Swachh Bharat, Swasth Bharat, Samarth Bharat, Surakshit Bharat, Shikshit Bharat, Viksit Bharat, Urjawan Bharat, Shaktiman Bharat. Was this a UN speech or BJP slogans?” Tharoor tweeted alleging that it was a campaign speech.
“This is not the way in which India should conduct its foreign policy. I am quite confident that if the Congress party comes back to power, we will not fight our political battles abroad,” he further said.
Commenting on Sushma Swaraj’s speech at the UN, Shashi Tharoor claimed that Swaraj had mentioned PM Narendra Modi 10 times in her speech and spoke about India only five timeshttps://t.co/QrsNTl4xCw
— The Indian Express (@IndianExpress) October 2, 2018
Tharoor stated that he is normally very supportive of the union government in international forums because “national interests transcend political interests.”
“I think some of the things Sushma ji said one can fully appreciate and welcome. But some of the statements were disappointing,” Mr Tharoor said.
“Unfortunately, this BJP government has been completely ignoring this time-honoured principle. We have had the prime minister attacking his predecessors on foreign soil.”
BJP criticised his remarks and said that the opposition party defied a convention of all political parties speaking in the same voice on India’s stand abroad.
BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi said, “There has been an established convention in politics since independence that political parties are unanimous on foreign issues at least when it comes to taking a stand at the United Nations where India’s position is not of a political party.”
The BJP leader also mentioned comments of Congress leaders Mani Shankar Aiyar and Ghulam Nabi Azad to equate it with Pakistan in its opposition to the Modi government.