The Congress has voiced its outlook on US President Donald Trump’s visit to India referring to it as a “36-hour Tamasha”. On February 24, 2020, Congress leader Manish Tewari stated that India had been reduced to a “lowly buyer” for America following the US President’s visit, rather than being a strategic partner.
Previously on February 12, 2020, the Congress had also expressed its concern regarding Trump’s visit and alerted the government to take necessary measures for making sure that the visit does not convert into Trump’s re-election campaign.
The former Union Minister Tewari took to Twitter and posted: “Only gainers of Trump 36-hour Tamasha commencing at noon today are going to be Boeing’s, Lockheed Martin’s, General Atomics & other merchants of death. India has been reduced to a lowly buyer state from a strategic Partner. India has no role in Afghan Peace Process.” That is, Tewari believes that only the arms manufacturers are profited due to the aforesaid visit, thereby reiterating the party’s stance.
The Congress has also claimed that within three years of Trump’s tenure as the President, the Global Multilateral Order has been gutted out by him, has withdrawn from Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), virtually torpedoed NATO, looked down upon the country’s closest allies, and even channelized suppressed racial and bigoted tendencies in America. He is ignorant towards vision but is a keen dealer, as per Congress.
Tewari declared that Trump’s visit was a “fluff” which was designed to distract the Indians from the failures of the ruling government: “A Specticalization of Diplomacy designed to detract from the fact that the NDA/BJP Govt has failed to secure India’s interest and the last big Idea in the relationship was in 2005 – India-US Nuclear Deal that smashed Nuclear apartheid.”
Congress’ concerns have been seconded by farmers’ associations, RSS- affiliated think tank Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM), and other industrial organisations.
Congress had raised the question whether the issues regarding easing of H-1B visas, restoration of GSP status, national security, oil prices and steel exports would be discussed with the US President– as he had already made clear that no ‘big trade deal’ would be concluded.
Swadeshi Jagaran Manch (SJM) had also cautioned Modi government that reducing tariffs on dairy products to appease Trump would deliver a significant blow to Indian poultry farmers.
Poultry Federation of India had marked that if India goes into any understanding with the US, then 100 million dollars domestic ecosystem supporting around four crore jobs, could be affected.
Randeep Surjewala, Senior Congress leader, admonished the government and tweeted about Modi’s silence on “India First” as President Trump had talked about “America First”. Congress has laid forward three aspects that it wants to be addressed by Modi during negotiations—sovereignty, self-respect and national interest of India.
Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said, “The Congress understands Indo-US relations and supports it… the Congress wants the GSP (Generalised System of Preferences) regime to be brought back as Indian manufacturers are suffering and it has impacted small workers in the country.”
Bharatiya Janata Party MP Subramanian Swamy had raised his opinion in the matter. He said that the American President was visiting India to boost the American economy and not the Indian economy, thus having no positive impact on India.
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer who had been engaging in talks with India for negotiating a trade deal, did not accompany Trump during his visit. He had also called off his trip to India prior to Trump’s visit.
Keeping all these scenarios in mind, Tewari’s comment could be justified in the light of the stand taken up by the opposition party, Congress.