New Delhi: The government and opposition on engaged in a verbal duel in the Rajya Sabha over India's statement at the last Bandung Conference in Indonesia.
Senior Congress member Anand Sharma alleged that first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru's name had been omitted from the address delivered by Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh at the 60th anniversary of Bandung Conference. Sharma was supported by Derek O'Brien of Trinamool Conference.
Rejecting this charge, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said India did not address the Bandung Conference as only three heads of states spoke at Bandung.
She said speech which Sharma was referring to was delivered at another Afro-Asian Conference held separately.
Nehru was one of the founder members of the Bandung Conference founded in 1955.
Swaraj added that she had attended the Bandung Conference and saw large pictures of Nehru at the venue, which made her feel proud.
The external affairs minister also slammed the Congress for alleging that the Modi government had dumped the Palestine issue due to growing proxmity with Israel.
She said while the Congress has problems over India's growing ties with Israel, the Palestinians have no such complaints.
In fact, Palestinians are requesting India to use its good ties with Israel to resolve its dispute with the Jewish nation, she said.
The minister asserted that India will never let down the cause of Palestine. "It is our commitment," she said.
To the opposition's contention that India has become lackey of the US, Swaraj said it is only Prime Minister Narendra Modi who has got the guts to have plain speak with US president Donald Trump.
She was referring to Modi's strong statement after Trump had alleged that India was seeking billions and billions of dollars in the name of Paris climate change deal, from which the US walked out.
Modi had said that India's respect for climate was thousands of years old.
Swaraj also dismissed contention that number of H1B visas issued by the US have reduced under the Modi government. Citing data, she said, in turn, the quota of such visas had been decreased during the previous UPA government.
Updated Date: Aug 04, 2017 09:09 AM