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'Will Remain Bipartisan on Issues of National Interest': Milind Deora Responds to Tweet Exchange with PM

Deora had triggered speculation about his future political role after he praised Modi's address in Texas as a momentous first for India's soft power diplomacy.

PTI

Updated:September 24, 2019, 4:17 PM IST
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'Will Remain Bipartisan on Issues of National Interest': Milind Deora Responds to Tweet Exchange with PM
File photo of PM Modi and Milind Deora

Mumbai: Congress leader Milind Deora on Tuesday described as "unfounded" speculation of his future political path after an exchange of tweets between him and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the latter's US visit.

Deora had triggered speculation about his future political role after he praised Modi's address in Texas as a momentous first for India's soft power diplomacy.

Modi had responded to his tweet and recalled his late friend and Milind's father Murli Deora's commitment to strong ties with USA.

State Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant told reporters here that the All India Congress Committee (AICC) will respond to Deora's remarks.

In a statement, Deora said he has inherited the legacy of the Indo-United States relationship from his father Murli Deora.

"My father first visited the US in 1968 as an exchange student, and after meeting Robert F Kennedy, decided to enter public life and build stronger ties between both democracies. My family's relationships with institutions, political parties and leaders were built keeping India's interests in mind," he said.

Deora said his father's efforts and relationships helped strengthen India's national interest. "My late father worked closely with Indian Prime Ministers and US Presidents cutting across party lines in the spirit of bipartisanship. Murlibhai deserves respect because he put his country before party. Fortunately, politics at the time was not as confrontational and ungracious as it is today," he said.

"I express regret on the insinuations and unwarranted criticism in sections of media and social media. For those who have already imagined and chartered my forward path, I wish to give you one unambiguous answer: I will serve my country to the best of my ability and I will remain bipartisan when it comes to issues of national interest and foreign policy," he said.

The experience and relationships that he has inherited and nurtured have little meaning if they cannot be leveraged for India, Deora said.

"Finally, I am my father's son. Friendship was the bedrock of his politics. It has earned us friends and well-wishers from Bhuleshwar to Boston and Walkeshwar to Washington. I will not compromise on my core beliefs even though politics continues to become increasingly uncharitable and partisan," Deora said.

"PM Modi's Houston address was a momentous first for India's soft power diplomacy. My father Murlibhai was one of the early architects of deeper Indo-US ties. Donald Trump's hospitality and recognition of Indian Americans' contributions makes us proud," Deora had tweeted after the "Howdy, Modi" event.

Interestingly, the Congress on Monday accused the PM of violating Indian foreign policy's "time honoured principle" of not interfering in the domestic elections of another country by "actively campaigning" for the US president at the Houston event.

Responding to the tweet, Modi on Monday recalled his friendship with former Congress leader Murli Deora, adding the commitment of Milind's late father had made ties with the United States strong.

"You are absolutely correct when you highlight my friend, late Murli Deora Ji's commitment to strong ties with USA. He would have been really glad to see the strengthening of ties between our nations," Modi had said in his tweet.

Milind Deora, also a former Union minister, resigned as the president of the Mumbai Congress after the party's debacle in Lok Sabha elections this year.

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