Zee Media Bureau
London: Spanish member of the European Parliament, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica, on Wednesday questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi`s secular credentials, saying that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader has a “highly problematic history of racism”.
While targeting Modi, Barandica, the member of Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, asked the European Commission vice-president to address India`s "issue of inequality”.
She said the Indian Prime Minister has been accused of involvement in the Gujarat riots of 2002 that left “over 1,000 members of the Muslim community dead”.
Further raising her rhetoric against Modi, Barandica said, “During his electoral campaign, Modi allegedly reiterated his rhetoric on immigration, calling for all non-Hindus to leave India and go back to their own countries. India’s population includes a large number of minority groups who typically live in extremely poor conditions”.
Tabling written questions about Modi under Rule 30, Barandica asked:
“What steps will the EU take, in cooperation with the Indian Government, to address the issue of inequality in India?”
“Is this issue of social, racial and religious discrimination part of the ongoing EU-India Free Trade Agreement negotiations?”
“Considering the fact that national policies on minorities could potentially pose a threat to peace and security in South Asia, is the EU pursuing a collective agreement with countries in the region to address such concerns,” the release added.
Meanwhile, Britain`s Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg defended Modi`s human rights record.
Clegg is scheduled to lead a huge delegation to India in August and have a one-to one meeting with the Indian Prime Minister.
In May, Britain became the first European country to invite PM Narendra Modi to visit the country after his resounding victory in the Lok Sabha polls, nearly two years after it had ended a decade-long boycott of the BJP leader in the wake of the Gujarat riots.
Even the US has been warming up to Modi, ever since he was elected as the prime minister. The BJP leader is slated to visit Washington in September.
Ahead of his September visit, as many as 83 US lawmakers have signed a letter asking House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner to invite Modi to address a joint session of the Congress.