Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Sunday called Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-nation tour an honour for India and slammed Opposition parties for raising “non-issues" for their own benefits.
Defending PM Modi on his answer on the treatment of Muslims in India, Sitharaman, while addressing a press conference, said he has shown that his government works on the “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas" principle and doesn’t discriminate against any particular community.
But, the finance minister adds, some people join the debate just to highlight issues which are non-issues in a way.
“To just allege without basic data in hand just tells us that these are organized campaigns," Sitharaman said, adding that the Opposition parties cannot compete with BJP electorally, that is why they are running these campaigns.
“Congress is playing a special role in running these campaigns," the BJP minister claimed.
Apart from slamming Congress and other parties, Sitharaman also targeted former US President Barack Obama for his interview, in which he comments on Indian Muslims, saying that under his rule, “six Muslim-majority countries were bombed with more than 26,000 bombs."
“.. I am speaking with caution, we want a good friendship with the US. But comments come from there on India’s religious tolerance. Perhaps 6 Muslim-dominated countries were bombed due to him… from Syria to Yemen…. More than 26,000 bombs were dropped…" she said.
“How will people trust his (Obama’s) allegations," Sitharaman added.
Sitharaman also said that it was a matter of pride that PM Modi was conferred with Egypt’s highest state honour, which is his 13th such award.
The finance minister also pointed out that out of the 13 awards that he has been given to PM Modi, six have been given by countries where Muslims are in the majority."
This comes as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on his maiden tour to Egypt, making it the first bilateral visit by an Indian prime minister in 26 years.
The Egyptian President conferred PM Modi with the ‘Order of the Nile’ award, which is Egypt’s highest state honour.