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‘Don’t misinterpret’: Jaishankar on PM Modi’s ‘Trump sarkar’ remarks

Oct 01, 2019

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s use of “Abki baar Trump Sarkar” slogan while speaking at the ‘Howdy, Modi’ event in Houston was merely referring to what US President had said to endear himself to the Indian American community during his presidential campaign, said external affairs minister S Jaishankar.

The minister, who is on a three-day trip to Washington DC, strongly refuted the notion that PM Modi used the phrase to endorse Trump’s candidature for his 2020 re-election campaign.

“No, he did not say that,” the minister said when asked during a news conference with Indian journalists about the implication of the prime minister purportedly using the slogan in his Houston address.

“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 Sarkaar”). So PM is talking about the past.

“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 the question.

“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.

“We have a very nonpartisan (approach to domestic US politics). So, our sort of approach to whatever happens in this country is their politics, not our politics,” Jaishankar said.

Addressing more than 50,000 Indian-Americans in Houston on September 22, with US president Trump standing next to him, Modi cheered for his ‘friend’ Trump and said ‘abki baar, Trump sarkar’.

Donald Trump had joined the Prime Minister at the mega event in Houston, Texas as a “special gesture” to underscore the bond between the United States and India.

Soon after those comments, the Congress “reminded” the PM that he was not the “star campaigner” in the US and accused him of violating India’s foreign policy and interfering in another country’s election.

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