Cong leaders hail Biden, Harris for US polls win; some attack BJP

·4-min read

New Delhi, Nov 8 (PTI) Several senior Congress leaders have hailed Joe Biden and Kamala Harris' triumph in the US elections, with some attacking the BJP alleging that it appeared to side with Donald Trump not following bipartisanship in foreign policy.

Biden defeated incumbent President Trump in a bitterly-fought presidential election that attracted a record number of Americans to cast their votes.

Asked about the slogan 'Ab ki baar, Trump sarkar' at the Howdy Modi event in Houston and whether such things could affect ties, Congress general secretary Ajay Maken at a media briefing seemed to take an indirect swipe at the Modi dispensation, saying the Congress has always believed that the country, its leaders and political parties should not directly or indirectly interfere in the politics of other countries.

'We have always believed in this and whenever we were in government, we never interfered in the politics of other countries directly or indirectly because we don't consider it right,' he said.

'Our leaders never tried to give a message that one candidate in the (US) elections there is more liked than the other. The congratulatory message by Congress president (Sonia Gandhi) and Rahul Gandhi is not to any party leader but to the president-elect, this is our tradition,' Maken said while answering a question on whether his party sees the US election results as a victory of one ideology.

Meanwhile, BJP leaders on Sunday said Indo-US relations are based on the principles of democracy, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Biden will take the ties forward to the next level.

'The US and India stand on a strong bipartisan bilateral relationship based on the principles of democracy, mutual benefits and global peace. I am sure under the new leadership of Biden-Harris, US-India ties will continue to progress as strong as they have been,' BJP leader Ram Madhav told PTI.

Modi and Biden knew each other well from the days of the Obama administration, Madhav said, while pointing out that the latter was instrumental in holding an event of the prime minister at New York's Madison Square on his first trip to the United States since being elected to the top post.

Rajasthan Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Ashok Gehlot attacked the BJP over Biden's win, saying, 'Rahul Gandhi ji's advice to EAM S. Jaishankar that PM Modi ji should have avoided getting involved in domestic politics of the US has proved right with the outcome of the US elections.' Rahul Gandhi's advice has been widely appreciated across the spectrum, along with his other sensible pieces of advice, including those related to COVID-19, Gehlot said.

In a tweet on Saturday, Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill said bipartisanship is the cornerstone of foreign policy.

'Nations forge relationship via institutional mechanisms rather than endorsing an individual. Irrespective of results, the slogan of 'Ab ki baar, Trump sarkar' was a strategic blunder and proof of BJP's inept understanding of strategic ties,' he said.

Rahul Gandhi last year had hit out at Prime Minister Modi for his 'Ab ki baar, Trump sarkar' remark at the 'Howdy, Modi!' event.

Jaishankar had said back then that India had adopted a non-partisan stand to domestic American politics and that Modi was merely repeating US President Donald Trump's words, which he had used to pitch his candidature to the Indian American community while campaigning for the 2020 US presidential election.

Earlier in the day, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi extended hers and the party's felicitations to Biden and Harris in congratulatory letters to both.

In her letter to Biden, Gandhi said the Indian people have followed with great interest the course of the election during the last 12 months.

'We were greatly re-assured by your measured speeches, stress on healing divisions among the people, and promotion of gender and racial equality, global cooperation and sustainable development of all countries,' she said.

Gandhi also hailed vice president-elect Kamala Harris' success as a 'triumph for Black Americans and Indian Americans'.

The Congress chief said she knew Harris would work to heal and unite a 'bitterly divided nation'.

Last night, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had congratulated Biden for winning the US presidential election, hoping that the Democrat would unite the US and provide direction to it.

He had also congratulated Kamala Harris for becoming the first-ever woman vice president-elect of the United States.

Tagging Rahul Gandhi's tweet wishing Biden, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor tweeted, 'All Indian democrats will echo this sentiment as we join Rahul Gandhi in applauding Joe Biden & Kamala Harris. On a personal note, delighted to have a US V-P who enjoys idlis and makes dosas!'.

Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma also congratulated Biden and Harris. He hailed their win, saying it was a vindication of the maturity of American democracy.

'Truly a historic victory, uplifting and reassuring for all those who believe in liberty, equality and democracy. And also congratulations to Kamala Harris on becoming first woman vice president, this must be celebrated by all upholders of equality and justice,' Sharma said.

'Trust Joe Biden's victory brings new hope and refreshing change. A time for renewal and strengthening of Institutions that uphold inclusive constitutional democracies and fundamental rights of all people to live with dignity,' he said. PTI ASK ANB ANB