New Delhi: The Congress has taken strong objection to Narendra Modi travelling to Hyderabad to host Ivanka Trump, saying he had "belittled" the office of Prime Minister.
Former Union minister Anand Sharma said in Surat on Wednesday: "We are surprised that India has a Prime Minister who has belittled his office yesterday (Tuesday) by being in attendance for Ivanka Trump as it is not for the Prime Minister of India to host at the Falaknuma Palace of the Nizam of Hyderabad. He is the Prime Minister and he must not forget that. It was the job of the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh or maximum, one of his ministers."
Sharma added: "Now that shows he is seeking certificates either from dubious rating agencies or he has got a certificate yesterday (Tuesday) from Ivanka Trump. Modi has to be in the frame and news."
Modi not only met Ivanka, daughter of US President Donald Trump, on the sidelines of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit but also hosted a dinner for her.
In Delhi, Congress spokesperson Deepender Hooda alleged Modi had "ignored protocol" for "photo opportunities". "We welcome Ivanka Trump. We must treat our guests well. But Modi ignored the protocol and hosted a dinner for the American delegation. She is not the head of State. Modi could have given a private lunch or dinner in Delhi. There is a question of nation's dignity and protocol.
Every country follows it. But Modi crosses all boundaries for photo opportunities."
Ivanka is also an adviser to the American President. The Prime Minister or the President hosting an official dinner for an adviser to a head of State is unheard of.
Hooda said foreign minister Sushma Swaraj or Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu could have hosted Ivanka but the Prime Minister's visit to Hyderabad for the purpose raised several questions of propriety and protocol.