Congress slams Modi over national anthem faux pas

Former broadcasting minister Manish Tewari said, "Spending so much time abroad seems to have made PM forget what the Indian National Anthem sounds like.” 

PTI| Last Updated: Dec 24, 2015, 19:03 PM IST

New Delhi: In a blistering attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for walking past the guard of honour while Indian national Anthem was being played in Moscow, the Congress on Thursday said he has "forgotten" what it sounds like due to his frequent foreign visits and the nation was "deeply hurt" over the "unprecedented" incident.

"Modi signs on National Flag and violates Flag Code. Now walks away when Indian National Anthem is being played in Russia. Unprecedented!

"Nationalism BJP/Modi "Ishtyle". Any comments from Modi Acolytes?," AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh tweeted.

Former Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said on Twitter, "Spending so much time abroad seems to have made PM forget what the Indian National Anthem sounds like. He walked in Moscow as Anthem played!"

Party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said it was "sad that Russians had to remind Modi that he has to respect his anthem. Bhakts got much to say?"

The party also attacked the Prime Minister on the issue from the official AICC podium.

"Finally, the nation is shocked and deeply hurt at what we see on television the PM walking away while the national anthem was being played in Moscow.

"These are matters of grave national sensitivities and we believe particularly that when the Prime Minister abroad represents the whole nation, these sensitivities must always be respected," party spokesperson and former Law Minister Ashwani Kumar said at the Congress briefing. 

In an unusual incident, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had yesterday begun to walk past the guard of honour presented on his arrival in Moscow for a summit meeting with President Vladimir Putin even while the national anthem was still being played and had to be pulled back by a Russian official.

After the Prime Minister stepped onto the tarmac, a Russian official made a gesture with his hand which appeared Modi misinterpreted and started walking. However, another official stopped Modi from walking following which he stepped back and stood in attention.