H-1B Reverse

Congress leader Anand Sharma has said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi needs to press Donald Trump to reverse his news, stricter H-1B visa rules as well as protest the disparaging statements Trump about in India in his speech announcing the U.S withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement. (IANS photo)

NEW DELHI — Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the U.S. later this month, the Congress June 15 asked him to demand that President Donald Trump reverse his decision to tighten H-1B visa rules and obtain firm assurances the U.S. president would do so.

The party has raised serious concern over the new H-1B visa rules and claimed there has been a 37 percent drop in grants of H-1Bs to professionals from India.

Senior Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma also asked Modi to protest the "disparaging observations" Trump made about India in his announcement that the U.S would exit the Paris climate agreement.

Modi will be meeting Trump June 26 during his visit to the U.S. It will be his first visit to the county since the Trump was elected.

"He should demand and obtain credible and firm assurances from U.S. President Donald Trump that he will reverse his decision, which discriminates against Indian professionals... He cannot return empty-handed," the Congress leader said.

"We do not want mere statements and photographs. We want answers and also how the prime minister responds and registers our protest over the disparaging observations made about the Republic of India recently when U.S. decided to walk out of the pact. We will wait for the prime minister's response or reaction," he said.

Sharma also accused the Modi government of failing to fulfil its promise to create two crore jobs every year, and asked the prime minister to make his position clear on BJP president Amit Shah's claim that it had never made such an electoral promise.

He also said the prime minister's meeting on job creation with government policy think-tank Niti Ayog was a "futile" and "much- delayed cosmetic" exercise that came only after the government realized the seriousness of the job crisis.

The Congress leader has demanded that the government publish a list of Indians who found jobs since Modi came to power in 2014.

"The prime minister should make it clear whether he agrees with his party president Amit Shah that the BJP had never promised to provide jobs or to create jobs. He should make his position clear. He cannot remain silent and if Amit Shah is right, this means another false promise and the complete betrayal by the BJP," he told reporters.

Sharma said the prime minister should stop making false claims and that he needs to realize that after three years in power the time for propaganda and publicity is over.

"Did the prime minister not talk about job creation for the youth of the country? When it is time for giving answers, they are making excuses," Sharma said.

Sharma said it was time to give an account of the "miserable performance of his government, his failure to provide jobs as promised."

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