Addressing US President ‘Barack’ ‘improper’, says Digvijay Singh

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Bhopal | Updated: January 28, 2015 8:57:08 AM

The chemistry between the two might have led Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address US President Barack Obama...

US president, Barack Obama, Digvijay Singh, Narendra ModiOne of the fiercest critics of Narendra Modi, Digvijay Singh also feels that the suit the Prime Minister wore during his talks with Obama that day which had his full name embroidered on it, reflected his “megalomania”. PTI

The blossoming chemistry between the two might have led Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address US President Barack Obama by his first name during their joint media interaction on Sunday, but Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh is not impressed and finds it “improper”.

One of the fiercest critics of Modi, Singh also feels that the suit the Prime Minister wore during his talks with Obama that day which had his full name embroidered on it, reflected his “megalomania”.

“It is not proper to address the Head of a State in such a manner….It is improper,” Singh told reporters today.

“Barack and me have forged a friendship. There is openess with which we talk, we can talk comfortably over phone, joke with each other… This chemistry has not only brought me and Barack close or Washington and Delhi nearer but also the people of two countries. This personal chemistry matters a lot,” Modi had said during the media interaction where he addressed the US President by his first name at least thrice.

Reciprocating the camaraderie, Obama had also addressed the Prime Minister as ‘Modi’, while referring to their personal friendship which they had been able to build “in a very brief amount of time”.

Modi’s sartorial taste had also come in for praise from Obama, who had at the Presidential banquet hosted for him on Sunday evening recalled a headline back home which asked who is the new fashion icon, referring to Indian leader, other than Michelle Obama and said “I was thinking of wearing a Modi kurta myself”.

The pin-stripe bandhgala suit that Modi wore had his full name–Narendra Damodardas Modi-embroidered on the stripes and Singh found it reflective of the Prime Minister’s “megalomania”.

“I have been saying that he is megalomaniac. He believes in self praise,” he said.

Praising Obama for his speech today, the Congress leader later told reporters in Bhopal, “During his speech, Obama referred to Article 25 of the Indian Constitution, which guarantees freedom of religion, practice, professing and propagating. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi should learn a lesson from it.”

Making a strong pitch for religious tolerance while addressing a Town hall event at the Siri Fort auditorium on the third and final day of his visit to India, Obama said that every person has the right to practice his faith without any persecution and that India will succeed so long it is not “splintered” on religious lines.

The Congress leader said, “Obama’s advice to Modi has come at a time when the right wing hindu organisations of Sangh Parivar are hell bent on spreading religious hatred.

“I hope that Modi, who calls Obama as Barack, will tell VHP leaders and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat to stay away from divisive practices…But I know that Modi will never dare to say anything like this to Bhagwat.”

Singh said that in his speech Obama has called for a nuclear-free world as envisioned by former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.

“It is a matter of pride that our leader Rajiv Gandhi had envisioned a nuclear-free world in 1980s and now Obama is making a pitch for it,” he said.

“Obama’s speech also reflects Mahatma Gandhi’s vision on the issue. Congress welcomes it,” he added.

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