Deprecating Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s attacks on previous governments, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said these are a part of “that whole thing of about me, myself and I alone”.
Mr Abdullah said it was wrong for Prime Minister Modi to criticise the Opposition during his foreign visits, or say that people felt ashamed of being born Indian till he became PM.
“That is something that I don’t approve of. To go abroad and target your political opposition or to say that people were embarrassed to be an Indian till I came along as Prime Minister, I think it is wrong. It again is part of that whole thing of about being me, myself and I alone,” Mr Abdullah said.
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He also took a dig at Mr Modi, saying, “Because the implication of that is he himself was embarrassed to be Indian until exactly one year ago. Which means that he did not get a visa to go to America but everywhere else where he went as Chief Minister of Gujarat, he was actually embarrassed to show has passport.
“And he probably apologised to every immigration official saying ‘Look I am really sorry it is an Indian passport, main kyan karun, mujhe badi sharam aah rahi hai, lekin mujhe dikhana padega (what should I do, I am very ashamed but I have to show my passport)’. That is the implication of what he is saying, which is wrong.”
During his recent trips to China and South Korea, Prime Minister Modi had said Indians were ashamed of being born in the country before his government came to power. His remarks have evoked sharp reactions from various political leaders.
Mr Modi’s remarks had also drawn criticism on social networking sites including Twitter, with the hashtag #ModiInsultsIndia trending on the top.
Noting that Mr Modi does not travel as leader of BJP, Mr Abdullah said, “He (Modi) is going as the representative of 125 crore Indians which he himself says.”
He also said that during his foreign visits, Mr Modi “needs to leave the campaign behind and focus just as Prime Minister”.
However, the former chief minister praised Mr Modi for inviting leaders of the SAARC nations for his government’s swearing-in last year and his interactions on the global stage.