Days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi voiced his support for US President Donald Trump at the mega event of 'Howdy, Modi' in Houston, Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar issued a clarification and said Modi never said the slogan himself as India has a "non-partisan" approach towards foreign leaders.
S Jaishankar has said when PM Modi referred to the "Abki Baar Trump Sarkar" clarion call for the 2020 US Presidential elections, he was merely referring to what Trump himself had said to appeal to the 50,000 Indian-Americans gathered at the event on September 22.
During a three-day trip to the US, Jaishankar said, "No, he did not say that."
"We have a very nonpartisan (approach to domestics US politics). So, our sort of approach to whatever happens in this country is their politics, not our politics," Jaishankar said.
"I think, please, look very carefully at what the prime minister said. My recollection of what the prime minister said was that candidate Trump had used this ("Ab Ki Baar Trump Sarkar"). So PM is talking about the past," said Jaishankar, refuting the Opposition's allegation that Modi was campaigning for Trump at the Houston rally.
"I don't think we should, honestly, misinterpret what was said. I don't think you're doing a good service to anybody," Jaishankar said in response to a question asked by Indian journalists at the Washington media address.
Addressing the mammoth crowd in Houston with Donald Trump by his side, Modi had said "we in India have connected well" with Trump.
"The words of candidate Trump, "Abki baar Trump sarkar", rang loud and clear. And his celebration of Diwali in the White House -- lit up millions of faces with joy and appreciation," Modi had said amidst thunderous applause from the audience.
Soon thereafter Congress accused Prime Minister Modi of endorsing Trump's candidate while BJP denied the charges.
"I mean, he (Modi) was pretty clear what he was talking about. He was saying, this is what you said as a candidate, which showed that you were trying to, (connect with India and its people even as a candidate)," Jaishankar said, urging the journalist to be accurate.
For the first time in history, a US President joined an Indian Prime Minister to address a joint rally and the Houston event turned out a gala success.