This comes a day after the Congress said Donald Trump’s visit should not become an extension of the U.S. presidential election campaign, but should yield concrete results for India

Taking on the Congress over its scepticism about U.S. President Donald Trump’s visit to India, the BJP on Saturday said this trip will be a landmark moment in Indo-U.S. relations and the opposition party should take pride in the “nation’s achievements”.

The BJP also said there are times when political parties should keep aside their identities and “think as one nation”.

This comes a day after the Congress said Mr. Trump’s visit should not become an extension of the U.S. presidential election campaign, but should yield concrete results for India.

The visit should not be reduced to a photo opportunity or a PR exercise that would devalue the importance of the Indo-U.S. partnership, the Congress had said.

Addressing a press conference at the BJP headquarters here, party spokesperson Sambit Patra asked the Congress why it was unhappy that the country’s stature was being raised. “This is a meeting of the world’s largest and oldest democracies and it should be celebrated,” he said.

“There are times when political parties should keep aside their identities and think as one nation,” he said.

Taking a dig at the Congress, Mr. Patra asked if 10, Janpath (residence of party president Sonia Gandhi) had allowed former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to develop a Prime Minister Narendra Modi-like rapport with international leaders.

Also read | A Trump India visit, in campaign mode

Mr. Trump’s visit will be a landmark moment in Indo-U.S. relations and the Congress should “start taking pride in the nation’s achievements”, he added.

Responding to the Congress’ questions about what the country would gain from this visit, Mr. Patra said the latest defence equipment and the deals that the U.S. was offering India were never offered during the United Progressive Alliance regime.

Adding that Mr. Trump himself has said multiple times that India was a hard bargainer, the BJP spokesperson said the Congress should not be worried about India’s interests.

Mr. Patra said close cooperation with the White House had ensured that India remained at the front and centre of Mr. Trump’s strategic blueprint.

With the Prime Minister’s hardwork, India’s relations with other countries have further strengthened, he said.

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