Toilet controversy: India's Modi ignores protests to collect Gates award

Thursday, 26 Sep, 2019

Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale, briefing news persons after the bilateral between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Trump, said that India and the United States have made "significant progress in growing the trade in last thee-four years and also reducing the trade deficit".

Modi also showered Trump with equivalent amounts of praise.

Also, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, during a press briefing in NY, said, "PM Modi will meet President Trump at 12:15 pm (local time) tomorrow (September 24)".

Modi said he was told that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation had also reported that as rural sanitation had improved in India, it had led to a decline in heart problems among children and improvement in the Body Mass Index (BMI) among women. PM Modi also said that nearly 90 percent of the FDI inflow in the last five years was through the automatic route.

He also ruled out any chance of a meeting with Indian PM Narendra Modi, saying that before August 5, Pakistan tried everything and was rebuffed.

After offering to mediate in the Kashmir issue twice before, the White House in a statement last month said that Donald Trump is "ready to assist" India and Pakistan on the Kashmir issue if both sides ask for it, while underlining that the US President is "very focused" on the situation in the Valley in view of its "broader implications". "In India, there's only need, no greed", PM Modi noted.

Answering a question on what all the trade deal would encompass, Gokhale said that while he could not discuss the details, the deal was expected to be a fair and reasonable one.

President Trump has larger than as soon as made a pitch to wait on resolve variations between India and Pakistan, in the fourth offer at mediation which Unique Delhi has strongly adversarial to this point. "That's why we've asked President Trump and others to intervene", he said.

India's government says it has built more than 100 million toilets under a US$20 billion (S$27.52 billion) initiative begun in 2014 to address the issue of open defecation, particularly in rural areas, a major public health issue in the country. "The reason is India, people look upon India as a market of 1.2 billion people".

Their 40-minute discussion largely focussed to the bilateral trade and problems associated with terrorism emanating from Pakistan. "The whole world will be affected", he said, adding he had raised the issue with a number of world leaders, including President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The premier is also expected to meet with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson as well as with China's Vice President Wang Qishan. "We look to the USA to put out flames in the world", he said.

India, he said, blamed Pakistan for terrorism. It also wants the U.S. to withdraw the penal import duties imposed on steel and aluminium imports from India previous year. "It was quite something, and they really loved the PM, and it was a great thing", Trump said. If you want freedom, take pride in your country.