Azamgarh (UP), Feb 6: Latching on to Barack Obama's concern about religious "intolerance" in India, senior Samajwadi Party minister Azam Khan today sought to puncture Prime Minister Narendra Modi's attempts to project the US President as his bosom friend.
"Modi made tall claims about his close friendship with Obama, but at the time of returning home, he warned that communalism was a bane for India," he said.
Khan was here to attend a Samajwadi Party function here in SP supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav's Lok Sabha constituency. "The foreigner who had come here had warned that the path of India's development would be affected because of communalism," he said.
Khan was reacting to Obama's comment in Washington that the "acts of intolerance" experienced by religious faiths of all types in India in the past few years would have shocked Mahatma Gandhi.
Earlier also, Obama, at the end of his three-day visit to India, had made a strong pitch for religious tolerance, cautioning that India will succeed so long as it was not "splintered along the lines of religious faith". Khan said religion would survive only if the country survives.
The SP leader also slammed Modi for reportedly trivialising and humiliating media. "If the head of the government loses control over his tongue, it will lead to anarchy in the country and we should all condemn it," Khan added.