Last month, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended a mega event in Houston, US, with the American President Donald Trump by his side, he used the slogan "Ab ki baar Trump sarkar", which many saw as an endorsement for the Republican candidate.
But External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said this is not the case and urged everyone to not "misinterpret his statements".
At mega rally, Trump and PM Modi walked hand-in-hand
During his week-long trip to the US, PM Modi was the "guest of honor" at the "Howdy Modi" event which was attended by nearly 50,000 Indian-Americans.
Both leaders met again, merely two days after the rally in New York, where Trump called the Indian PM "father of India".
What he said
Praising Trump, PM sort of campaigned for him
While the rally was all about celebrations, smiles, and achievements of Indians, PM Modi stoked a controversy by using a sentence from his own campaign to praise Trump.
He said, "Friends, we in India have connected well with President Trump, the words of candidate Trump. Ab ki baar Trump sarkar rang loud and clear."
Notably, Presidential elections will be held in the US in 2020.
Later, Congress slammed PM Modi, said he wasn't "Trump's campaigner"
Congress was quick to slam the BJP leader for what he said on the stage, and rightly so.
"Mr. Prime Minister, you have violated the time-honored principle of Indian foreign policy of not interfering in the domestic elections of another country. Our relationship with the US has throughout been bipartisan, vis-a-vis Republicans and Democrats," Anand Sharma tweeted and reminded that he wasn't Trump's campaigner.
Please look carefully at what PM said, urged Jaishankar
Reacting on the criticism, Jaishankar said PM Modi "didn't say it".
"I think, please, look very carefully at what the Prime Minister said. My recollection of what the Prime Minister said was that candidate Trump had used this ("Ab ki baar Trump sarkar"). So PM is talking about the past," the Foreign Minister, who is on a three-day visit to Washington, said on Monday.
We are not concerned with US' politics, underlined Jaishankar
"We have a very non-partisan (approach to domestics US politics). So, our sort of approach to whatever happens in this country is their politics, not our politics," Jaishankar went on.
Subsequently, Rahul asked Jaishankar to teach diplomacy to PM Modi
After Jaishankar defended PM Modi, saying he knew what he was talking about, Congress' Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter to reveal what he thought about the entire episode.
The former Congress president said PM Modi's statements miffed Democrats and hoped Jaishankar's interference will sort everything out.
He also asked the Union Minister to teach a thing or two about diplomacy to PM Modi.
Rahul also called PM Modi "incompetent"
Thank you Mr Jaishankar for covering up our PM’s incompetence. His fawning endorsement caused serious problems with the Democrats for India. I hope it gets ironed out with your intervention. While you’re at it, do teach him a little bit about diplomacy.https://t.co/LfHIQGT4Ds