Jaishankar flays ‘elites’ for taking Modi’s speech on girls’ toilet ‘bizarre’

Jaishankar flays ‘elites’ for taking Modi’s speech on girls’ toilet ‘bizarre’

Agency News

Washington, Oct 3 : External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar on Thursday made a veiled attack on the detractors of Narendra Modi calling them 'elites' and said when Prime Minister spoke about girls' toilet it was seen as a bizarre.

"The very idea of an Indian Prime Minister talking about girls' toilet in a national address was seen as bizarre. The elites forgot the famous saying of Gandhiji that cleanliness was next only to Godliness," Dr Jaishankar said at a programme in presence of US Speaker Nancy Pelosi organised at the Library of Congress here.

"Clearly the people of India had different appreciation and conveyed that emphatically when the time came," he said perhaps in reference to massive works done in sanitation and also the recent elections that gave the Modi government an enhanced mandate. He also said today if there is one challenge, Gandhiji would like to combat on - that would be Climate Change and mentioned that India is steadfastly working on the same.

Speaking on the occasion, US Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the relationship between India and the US is a 'shining example' of mutual cooperation.

"As the world's largest democracies - yours have been largest and ours oldest, we have been partners in expanding justice," she said.

Dr Jaishankar in a series of tweets also said: "Would strongly recommend watching the rendition of Vaishnav Janato by young Americans of Houston. Was shown at the Library of Congress event."

He shared the audio visual link of the programme. "A fitting tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at the Library of Congress. Attended by Speaker Pelosi, Members of Congress, senior Administration figures and so many other eminent persons," he said.

In his observation at the programme, Dr Jaishankar referred to massive rural development and other welfare measures undertaken by the Narendra Modi government since 2014.

"The next five years will see this not only taken forward but supported by a raft of new campaigns. That being one against the single use of plastic," he said.(UNI)