Trump Retaliation Threat: Congress Mocks Modi, Says ‘India Should Count First’

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NEW DELHI: The Ministry of External Affairs on Tuesday said that India would export anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine to several countries. The move is seen by many as a fallout of Trump's retaliation threat to India saying US may retaliate if India did not export hydroxychloroquine despite his personal request.

The move of lifting restrictions did not augur well with the Opposition, as they say, India itself needs the drugs amid the coronavirus outbreak in the country. Many also slammed Trump's retaliation threat.

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi red-flagged the export of hydroxychloroquine to the United States and said that the "life saving" drug should be made available to the country first. He tweeted, "Friendship isn’t about retaliation. India must help all nations in their hour of need but lifesaving medicines should be made available to Indians in ample quantities first."

Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor criticized Trump's retaliation saying, "Never in my decades of experience in world affairs have I heard a Head of State or Govt openly threatening another like this. What makes Indian hydroxychloroquine "our supply", Mr President? It only becomes your supply when India decides to sell it to you." (sic)

Reacting to the development, the Congress, in a tweet, said, "A friendship with conditions, is no friendship at all. BJP govt should reassess all that it's doing for foreign nations. PM Modi must prioritise the needs of our citizens first and foremost."

"It is embarrassing for the entire country that Donald Trump threatens retaliation if the Indian government did not allow the supply of medicines. PM Narendra Modi who wasted one full month and Rs 100 crore for ''Namaste Trump'', has now meekly surrendered and has revoked the ban on exports of medicines," tweeted Congress spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil.

Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not replying to Trump's subtle threat to India. "56 inches used to bully opposition at home. Use it to stand up to those who bully India. We and we alone decide when and how much to sell - please make this clear #Modiji . We’re with you on this," Moitra tweeted.

In a telephonic conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week, President Donald Trump sought the supply of hydroxychloroquine to the US to treat coronavirus infected people.

Last month, India banned the export of hydroxychloroquine in the midst of views that the drug could be used as a potential anti-viral agent to protect healthcare workers from treating COVID-19 patients from the infection. India has received requests from several other countries including its immediate neighbors Sri Lanka and Nepal for the supply of hydroxychloroquine.

Also Read: Trump Threatens, India Relents; Restrictions Lifted On 24 Key Drugs

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