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Cong, BJP applaud Obama's speech

delhi Updated: Jan 22, 2009 08:19 IST

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India's two main political parties, the ruling Congress and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), have welcomed US President Barack Obama's inauguration speech, finding much in it to cheer about.

"It was heartening that for the first time in the speech of a US president the word Hindu figured. He said Christians, Jews, Hindus and Muslims are part of America. That is a pluralistic society and that's what India too is," Sudheendra Kulkarni, adviser to BJP's prime-ministerial candidate LK Advani, said on Wednesday.

Senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily told IANS: "I would call it an eventful speech. He means business and treats all countries equally."

Both parties expect Obama would augur well for India.

"His speech sent a tough message to the sponsors of terrorism, and he extended his hand to the rest of the world," said Kulkarni. "He was reassuring," he said.

Moily said: "He will change the mindset of the US, not only about itself but also about the rest of the world." He added Obama appeared different from many previous US presidents.

Moily said: "We can sure expect winds of change under Obama's leadership."

Kulkarni said: "There was a mark of realism in his speech. His message was very clear, that America is in difficult times and it will take time for revival. There is a mark of realism about the man, he is not selling empty dreams. He says things will happen but not overnight.

"He spoke with great credibility -- and also of old values of honest work, compassion and patriotism. He sought people's cooperation over a long stretch, including his pitching for a second term. The work is long and could go into his next term; that's what he meant," he said.