New Delhi, Sept 23: Slamming Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his remarks, 'Ab ki baar Trump Sarkar' at 'Howdy Modi' event in Houston, Congress on Monday said that Prime Minister has 'violated the time-honoured principle of Indian foreign policy'.
"We have a strategic partnership between India and the United State of America, which is bipartisan, which we fully endorsed. But there is time honoured convention of India's foreign policy that when we engage with foreign governments, when the President of India or Prime Minister of India are in foreign soil, we do not take a partisan position in domestic electoral politics. Prime Minister should have honoured that", senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Anand Sharma told reporters here.
On Sunday, at the 'Howdy Modi!' event in Houston, Mr Modi, who is in US on a week-long official trip to address the UN General Assembly, addressed a large gathering of Indian-American community in the presence of US President Trump. Addressing the gathering, PM Modi said 'Ab Ki Baar Trump Sarkar' on the lines of the BJP clogan 'Ab Ki Baar ModiSarkar' during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
While talking to media persons, the Congress leader said that it should not be seen that India is taking position or sides.
"Prime Minister using that platform to raise the slogan on 'Ab ki baar Trump sarkar' was better avoided. Because we have to engage with Republican administration and Democrat administration", he added.
Referring to the UPA government's foreign policy, Mr Sharma said that it was Republican administration under George W. Bush, when the government successfully negotiated the historic Indo-US nuclear agreement and it was signed under then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh.
"But when the US elections came, Dr Manmohan Singh or the Indian leadership did not take a partisan position to support or endorse the Republicans and President Obama took over as US President and we took forward that engagement with a Democrat President as we had done with the previous Republican administration", the Congress leader added.
Moments after Prime Minister's speech was over on Sunday, Mr Sharma had criticised the slogan, and had said, "Reminding you that you are in the USA as our Prime Minister and not a star campaigner in US elections,".
In a series of tweets, he lambasted Mr Modi and said India's relationship with the United States of America has throughout been bipartisan, vis-à-vis Republicans and Democrats.
"Your actively campaigning for Trump is a breach of both India and America as sovereign nations and democracies", he tweeted.
In another tweet, Mr Sharma said that Prime Minister has violated the time-honoured principle of Indian foreign policy of not interfering in the domestic elections of another country.
"Mr Prime Minister, you have violated the time-honoured principle of Indian foreign policy of not interfering in the domestic elections of another country. This is a singular disservice to the long-term strategic interests of India." (UNI)