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Won't compromise on beliefs: Deora on 'Howdy' tweet

September 24, 2019 16:37 IST

A day after his praise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Houston event as a "momentous first for India's soft power diplomacy", triggered speculation, Congress leader Milind Deora on Tuesday said he is bipartisan on foreign policy and won't compromise on his beliefs.

Deora had said his father late Murli Deora, former Union minister, was one of the first architects of deeper ties with the United States.

Modi had responded on Twitter, saying "his friend" Murli Deora would have really been glad to see the strengthening of bilateral ties.

In a statement on Tuesday, Deora said he noticed several reports speculating over his exchange of tweets with Modi.

"I will not compromise on my core beliefs even though politics continues to become increasingly uncharitable and partisan," Deora said.

Deora said he "regrets the insinuations" made after the Twitter exchange with Modi.

 

"PM Modi's Houston address was a momentous first for India's soft power diplomacy. My father Murlibhai was one of the early architects of deeper Indo-US ties. Donald Trumps hospitality and recognition of Indian Americans' contributions makes us proud," Deora had tweeted after the "Howdy, Modi" event.

Interestingly, the Congress on Monday accused the PM of violating Indian foreign policy's "time honoured principle" of not interfering in the domestic elections of another country by "actively campaigning" for the US president at the Houston event.

Responding to the tweet, Modi on Monday recalled his friendship with former Congress leader Murli Deora, adding the commitment of Milind's late father had made ties with the United States strong.

"You are absolutely correct when you highlight my friend, late Murli Deora Ji's commitment to strong ties with USA. He would have been really glad to see the strengthening of ties between our nations," Modi had said in his tweet.

Milind Deora, also a former Union minister, resigned as the president of the Mumbai Congress after the party's debacle in Lok Sabha elections this year.

Here's Deora's statement:-

I have noticed several reports speculating over the exchange of tweets between Shri Narendra Modi and me.

I have inherited the legacy of the Inda-United States relationship from my late father Shri Murli Deora. My father first visited the US in 1968 as an exchange student, and after meeting Robert F Kennedy, decided to enter public life and build stronger ties between both democracies.

My family's relationships with institutions, political parties and leaders in the US were built over five decades keeping India's best interests in mind.

I am proud to state that Murlibhai's efforts and relationships helped strengthen India's national interest.

My late father worked closely with Indian Prime Ministers and US Presidents - cutting across party lines - in the spirit of bipartisanship. "Murlibhai deserves respect because he was a true patriot who put nation first. Fortunately, politics at the time was not as confrontational and ungracious as it is today.

While I appreciate the kind words expressed by Murlibhai's friends and well-wishers, I express regret on the insi nuations and unwarranted criticism in sections of media and social media.

For those who have already imagined and chartered my forward path, I wish to give you one unambiguous answer: I will serve my country to the best of my ability and I will remain bipartisan when it comes to issues of national interest and foreign policy. The experience and relationships that I have inherited and nurtured have little meaning if they cannot be leveraged for India.

Finally, I am my father's son. Friendship was the bedrock of his politics. It has earned us friends and well-wishers from Bhuleshwar to Boston and Walkeshwar to Washington. I will not compromise on my core beliefs even though politics continues to become increasingly uncharitable and partisan.

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