Both the White House and India’s Ministry of External Affairs on Tuesday declined to comment on former U.S. President Barack Obama’s interview to CNN on minority rights in India.
The interview has been criticised by senior BJP leaders, including Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, in a tweet, pointedly referred to Mr. Obama’s middle name “Hussein” rather than his first name.
When asked if the issues raised by Mr. Obama had been taken up with Mr. Modi by U.S. President Joe Biden, a White House spokesperson said that the U.S. “regularly raises concerns about human rights in conversations with Indian officials”.
He added that Mr. Biden referred to human rights issues during the joint press conference with Mr. Modi.