Responding to the remarks made on Rahul Gandhi by former United States president Barack Obama in his memoir 'A Promised Land', Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, on Saturday, questioned Obama's knowledge about India and said that a foreign politician cannot give such opinions on Indian political leaders.
"A foreign politician cannot give such opinions on Indian political leaders. The subsequent domestic political discourse on Obama's remark on the Congress leader is distasteful. We won't say 'Trump is mad'. How much does Obama know about this nation?" Sanjay Raut said.
The former US president wrote in his memoir that Rahul Gandhi was "eager to impress" but "lacked either the aptitude or the passion" to master the subject, according to a review of the book published in the New York Times.
The remark stirred a row in India with Gandhi's Congress party defending their leader.
"Obama and Rahul Gandhi must have met briefly, probably 8-10 years ago when he came to India as US President. To assess someone in few meetings is tough. Rahul Gandhi's personality has changed since then, he has gained a lot of experience," said Congress leader Tariq Anwar.
Shiv Sena, Congress and Nationalist Congress Party are in a coalition government in Maharashtra. The alliance, called Maha Vikas Aghadi, recently completed a year in office. Raut said that the Uddhav Thackeray-led government will make the state stronger in the coming four years.
"Last year, same time, we were on the verge of forming the government in Maharashtra. Back then, nobody imagined a Shiv Sena leader to become the chief minister here. In the last one year, we have faced challenges in terms of climatic adversity and the Covid-19 pandemic. We have kept patience and acted with caution," Raut said.
"In the coming four years, it is our aim to form a credible bond with the 11 crore citizens of Maharashtra. I advise the opposition parties in the state to work for the welfare of the public and help us in building a strong state in the coming years," Shiv Sena leader concluded.