New Delhi: US President Joe Biden, who flew to Vietnam on Sunday after the conclusion of the G20 Leaders’ Summit here, said that he had raised issues like respecting human rights, role of civil society and free press during his meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the summit.
Biden made the remarks during a press conference in Vietnam, where he is on an official visit after attending the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Delhi.
“As I always do, I raised the importance of respecting human rights, the vital role of civil society, and a free press and building a strong and prosperous country with Mr Modi. We got a lot of important work done,” the US President said during a press conference in Hanoi.
Biden’s comments after leaving India triggered a political backlash in India, with the Congress launching an attack on PM Modi.
“Na press conference karunga, na karne doonga (won’t hold a press conference, won’t let you hold one) has had no impact,” Jairam Ramesh wrote on X.
“Mr Biden is saying the same things in Vietnam which he said to Mr Modi’s face in India — on respecting human rights, the role of civil society and the free press,” the Congress leader said.
Ramesh had earlier alleged that Biden’s team was not allowed to interact with the media and take questions about his meeting with Modi.
“President Biden’s team says despite multiple requests, India has not allowed media to ask questions of him and PM Modi after their bilateral meeting,” the Congress leader tweeted on Friday.
“President Biden will now take questions in Vietnam on September 11 from the media accompanying him. Not surprising at all. This is how democracy is done Modi-style,” he said.
The US President drove straight to Modi’s residence after landing in Delhi on Friday evening and held a bilateral meeting.
Biden spoke from the G20 platform on September 9 and 10, praising Modi’s G2o leadership, but there was no interaction with the media post his one-on-one meeting with Modi.