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US bombed 6 Muslim nations under your rule, FM slams Obama on India remark

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Senjo M R
June 25, 2023 23:14 IST
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Union minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday slammed former US president Barack Obama's statement about minority rights in India, saying his remarks were surprising as six Muslim-majority countries had faced US "bombing" during his tenure.

IMAGE: US ex-president Barack Obama. Photograph: Courtesy Barack Obama on Twitter

She said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has received the highest civilian awards from 13 countries, including six with predominantly Muslim population.


The finance minister alleged that "organised campaigns" were being run to level "baseless" allegations on the treatment meted out to minorities in India at the behest of the Opposition as it cannot electorally defeat the Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party.

In an interview with CNN on Thursday, Obama reportedly said if India does not protect the rights of ethnic minorities, there is a strong possibility at some point that the country starts pulling apart.

Sitharaman said it is also important to look into the past of people who are levelling such allegations against India.

"I was surprised when Prime Minister Modi was... talking about India in front of everyone, a former US president was giving statements about Indian Muslims at that time," the BJP leader said at a press conference at the party headquarters here.

Sitharaman also took exception to the allegations by US Commission on International Religious Freedom, saying India wants to maintain a good relationship with the US but she is surprised to hear such statements.

"I am exercising restraint while speaking on foreign matters. We want a good friendship with the US. But from there also, USCIRF's comments about religious tolerance in India comes and the former president is also saying something," she added. "Didn't bombings happen in six countries - Syria, Yemen, Saudi and Iraq and other Muslim countries - during his term (as US President)?" she asked.

"When he makes such allegations against India, will the people trust him," she said.

The minister alleged that the Congress is deliberately raising "non-issues" and levelling allegations "without basic data" to vitiate the country's atmosphere because the opposition party cannot defeat the BJP under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership.

"The Congress party is running such campaigns and it was clearly visible in the last election and the previous elections where they went to Pakistan seeking their help to change the government in India," she charged while replying to questions on allegations of discrimination against minorities.

She said whenever there is an issue, it is addressed at the state level by elected governments as law and order is a state subject.

"I find this deliberate attempt to vitiate the atmosphere in the country because they think they cannot win against the development policies of prime minister Modi," she alleged, adding, "They (Congress) have deployed their tool kits which operate abroad".

"Going abroad, our Opposition does not talk in India's interest because they cannot defeat Prime Minister Modi."

"They bring up these people who go to these debates without ground-level details," she charged.

Sitharaman said Prime Minister Modi has received the highest civilian awards from 13 countries and six of them are Muslim majority.

"These (targeting of the Modi government over minority issues) are organised campaigns. Otherwise, why would countries accord such an honour to PM Modi and why would there be a distortion in understanding about how the minority population is part of the Indian mainstream," she said.

During his US visit, Prime Minister Modi said at a press conference how his government works on 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' principle and doesn't discriminate against any community whatsoever, the Union minister added.

Asked about the Opposition meeting held in Patna on Friday to forge unity against the BJP, Sitharaman said, “I don't know for what they are coming together.”

“Their one point agenda is to defeat the BJP, " she said and asked, “Are they saying what they will do for the people.”

During their tenure, the “highest level of corruption” prevailed in the country while in the nine years of the Modi government, only development-related activities are happening and there is “not one whisper of corruption”, the minister said.

“A negative agenda cannot be what people want to hear. So first let them offer as to what they will do for the people,” she added.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Senjo M R© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.