New Delhi: BJP Rajya Sabha MPSubramanian Swamy has said that India’s partial removal of the ban on the export of hydroxychloroquine which helps combat Covid-19, has sent the message that India capitulated in front of US President Donald Trump’s threat, possibly damaging PM Modi’s image. ‘Words of Wisdom’ which was launched on 2 April, on Ram Navami, is a daily programme on VHS’ YouTube channel where Swamy answers questions posed by Jagdish Shetty, National General Secretary of VHS and Dr Arvind Chaturvedi, a member of the organisation. In the programme, Swamy addresses questions on themes as varied as coronavirus, economy to the management of temples and Tablighi Jamaat. In the latest episode, Swamy said that the move to partially lift the ban has also possibly damaged Modi’s image, which he had cultivated over time. At one point, he gives Modi the benefit of doubt, saying that he wasn’t sure if civil servants had kept him in the loop before announcing the partial lifting of the export ban. The Rajya Sabha MP also argued that while Indo-US relations can be repaired in future, “the fact is that it has certainly been a factor in the mind of the people that somehow we bent and the impression was we won’t bend”. Swamy also cited his own experience in the US and said that while dealing with Americans one should understand that they are “very business like ” and if you promise something to them you must deliver and vice-versa. However, the BJP veteran maintained that he considered coronavirus a smaller issue compared to the economy, which needs immediate attention. He also urged the government to ensure no jobs are lost during coronavirus even if people are paid only 80 per cent of their salaries. To ensure this is done the government should look at ways of getting back the money stashed abroad, Swamy added.
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