Modi gets ”˜Kithna acha he’ accolade while Congress scion abdicates

By Vijay Badhwar

G20 leaders’ summit in Osaka created more interest in who scored a private dinner with President Trump than real outcomes as the world waited on tenterhooks about the turmoil in trade and arbitrary sanctions imposed on nations.

Indians were thrilled by patronising reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a selfie by Australian PM Scott Morrison with Mr Modi, “Kithna acha he Modi (How good is Modi)”, that went viral.

The two prime ministers had good discussions on enhancing co-operation in defence, sports, mining technology, and Indo-Pacific issues.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also held separate bilateral meetings with leaders of Indonesia, Brazil, Turkey, Singapore and Chile and discussed a host of key issues including trade, counter-terrorism, defence and maritime security.

During his meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo, the two countries set an ambitious $US 50 billion target for bilateral trade by 2025.

Earlier, Mr Modi met his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe, on arrival in Japan and held wide ranging talks on the global economy, issues of fugitive economic offenders and disaster management. He announced that the Indian President would participate in the coronation ceremony of Emperor Naruhito in October.

Similar to Mr Morrison’s tweet, Mr Modi was  complimented by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo – “Modi Hai To Mumkin Hai” – when he visited India before the Indian PM left for Osaka.

Mr Pompeo discussed Iran sanctions and that US could meet Indian needs. He also proposed against the purchase of S400 surface to air missiles from Russia. Not that India agrees.

Mr Modi is, for sure, riding the popularity wave as an Indian strongman who demolished the Opposition in India.

So overwhelming was his last month victory that all the Opposition parties are now in complete disarray: the Congress rudderless with its leader Rahul Gandhi finally submitting his resignation in writing on July 3.

Although he took full responsibility of the loss and ”˜humbly’ accepted the people’s verdict, his 1100-words letter was nothing else but a blame game, even threatening that India would turn into a violent society under BJP.

“I instinctively resist BJP’s idea of India,” he said, adding that he “fought to defend ideals of India”.

“Polls (are) just a ritual, not shaping India,” Mr Gandhi said.

Rahul’s Gandhi’s departure may seal an end to Nehru-Gandhi family dominance on the Indian political scene since Independence.

He leaves the party in tatters with all-consuming in-fights in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, the two major states Congress won in State elections which gave the party a hope in the Lok Sabha elections.

In both states the old guard is refusing to make way for the new generation to step in – in Rajasthan, Ashok Gehlot not letting Sachin Pilot in, and in Madhya Pradesh, Scindia hindered by Kamal Nath.

Moti Lal Vora, another nonagenarian, may assume the interim helm of the Congress party while the mess is sorted out in absentia as Rahul and Sonia Gandhi leave for overseas. 

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