Modi's diplomacy lacks gravitas: Congress on Trump declining R-Day invite

Topics Republic Day

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PTI photo

The opposition Congress Monday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over reports that US President Donald Trump has not accepted India's request to be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade next year and termed it a "diplomatic faux pas".

Congress leader and former Union minister Anand Sharma said Modi's approach is "frivolous" and his conduct of diplomacy lacks gravitas. He said Modi must understand that engagement with strategic partners can not be transactional or episodic.

"President Trump's non-acceptance of invitation to be the chief guest for Republic Day was an avoidable embarrassment. Extending the invite without assured acceptance was a diplomatic faux pas.

"Never before this honour has been declined by a head of state... He (PM Modi) must know that engagement with strategic partners can not be transactional or episodic," he said.

Sharma said such a thing has never happened in the past.


Another Congress leader Manish Tewari said, "Not Surprising. I was in Washington DC when news of India's Republic Day invite to Donald Trump broke in July 2018. Asked a senior White House official would Trump travel to India, the person smiled and said-needs to be forward movement on a bunch of issues".

Trump is unlikely to accept India's invitation to be the chief guest at the parade, sources said Sunday. 

The US is understood to have conveyed to New Delhi that Trump may not be able to honour the invitation as he will have pressing engagements, including his State of The Union address, around the time India will celebrate its Republic Day.


This comes at a time when Indo-US ties have witnessed some strain after India went ahead and sealed a deal with Russia to procure a batch of S-400 air defence missile systems, notwithstanding US threat of punitive action under CAATSA (Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act).

The sources said India has shortlisted names of two-three heads of states for extending invitation to be the chief guest at the parade.

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel