Congress leaders on Friday took swipes at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for United States President Donald Trump’s remark that India was releasing “filthy air” into the atmosphere. Trump made the remark during the third presidential debate with Democratic Party opponent Joe Biden for the United States Presidential elections on Thursday night.

“Trump: Fruits of Friendship: Questions India’s COVID death toll,” Sibal tweeted, referring to Trump’s claim during the first debate that India had fudged data on its coronavirus deaths. “Says India sends dirt up into the air India ‘air is filthy’. Called India ‘tariff king’. The result of ‘Howdy Modi’.”

Sibal was referring to the “Howdy Modi” event hosted in the United States in Modi’s honour during his visit there last year.

“When you talk about numbers, you don’t know how many people died in China, you don’t know how many people died in Russia, you don’t know how many people died in India. They don’t exactly give you (a) straight count,” Trump had said during the first debate, countering Biden’s accusations that the pandemic was ill-managed in the US.

Congress leader Anand Sharma mocked Modi about the “Namaste Trump” event hosted in Ahmedabad in February. “President Donald Trump has insulted ‘Namaste India’ and exposed his lack of knowledge on climate change and the Paris Agreement. A fact check would have told him that US is the largest polluter historically & its per capita greenhouse gas emissions are 6 times #FilthyAir India.”

Trump had also claimed that Russia and China’s air was “filthy”. “Look at China, how filthy it is. Look at Russia. Look at India, it’s filthy. The air is filthy,” Trump said during the final presidential debate. Trump had pulled his country out of the 2015 Paris climate agreement in 2018.

The Congress party tweeted that Modi had been exposed. “Bihar has understood the reality of those promising 19 lakh jobs, who made fun of the 10 lakh jobs promise,” it tweeted. Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav had promised 10 lakh jobs for Biharis if his party came to power in the state following the upcoming Assembly elections. In return, the Bharatiya Janata Party promised 19 lakh jobs.