The Shiv Sena on Friday equated U.S. President elect Donald Trump to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that both personalities won the popular mandate on similar premises and that many see Trump as ‘America’s Modi.’
In an editorial in its mouthpiece publication, Saamana, the party said, “Trump recognised the sentiments of people and directly tapped into them. Before the Lok Sabha elections, Modi had also established a sentimental connect with people.”
The Sena said Modi’s verbal attacks on Pakistan, the dreams he showed about getting black money stashed in foreign countries back and depositing Rs 15 lakh in every Indian’s account, his stance on the Ram temple in Ayodhya, promises of a uniform civic code, and his oratory on employment and inflation were what got the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader elected to the country’s helm. “To a certain extent, the same thing happened in Trump’s case,” the Shiv Sena said, equating the BJP’s tapping into people’s anger against illegal immigrants from Bangladesh and Pakistan to the American citizens’ ire towards Mexican immigrants. “Trump assured his voters not to worry and that he will build a tall wall on the border to stop people from Mexico from crossing over to the U.S. He says that he will get Mexico to pay for the cost of the wall, and people clap,” the editorial said.
“Both countries, U.S. and India are watching for when the Mexican wall comes up and when the Ram temple in Ayodhya becomes a reality,” the Sena added in its editorial.
The party also pointed out how both Modi and Trump, a real estate magnate with business interests even in India, are basically businessmen, with Modi even having said that business is in his blood. However, the Sena conceded that Modi has prior administrative experience of governing Gujarat and hence has been a stable Indian prime minister, while Trump has no such experience and his performance will remain to be seen.
“Ultimately, Trump will have to build that Mexican wall and continue his onslaught on terrorism. Otherwise, people will measure his supposed 56-inch chest,” the Sena said, in a veiled taunt at Modi, whose supporters keep harping on the prime minister’s ‘56-inch chest.’