Slamming the invitation to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro as the Chief Guest at the national Republic Day celebrations here, Rajya Sabha member and senior CPI leader Binoy Viswam on Friday declined the government's invitation to attend the official ceremony on Sunday.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Viswam said that government had invited Bolsonaro even as his ideaology and policies are tarnished by bigotry, misogyny, homophobia and discrimination.
"His actions in Brazil and at the global stage are directly against the very ethos of the Indian Constitution that we celebrate on Republic Day," he wrote. President Bolsanaro's apathy and inaction for over two months when the Amazon rainforest was burning has cause irreperable damage, he added. The also stated that as a country committed to addressing climate change, India must condemn the Brazilian president for his action.
Viswam expressed dismay over the government move and reminded the Prime Minister that the same Brazilian President had sought actions against India in the WTO for providing aid to struggling sugarcane farmers in the country.
"His actions are a direct threat to the livelihood for over 5 crore sugarcane farming families in India and your invitation to him signals a complete disregard for your own citizen and their flight," Viswan wrote to the Prime Minister.
A senior leader of the Communist Party of India (CPI), Binoy Viswam was the Forest Minister in the VS Achuthananthan government during 2006-2011. He is currenrly serves as the president of the Kerala Tourism Development Corporation Employees' Federation.
On Friday, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro arrived in Delhi for his four day visit to India. He was welomed by Modi.
PM Modi added that Bolsonaro's visit to India will add strength to India-Brazil relations. The visit of Bolsonaro, who is the Republic day Chief Guest, is aimed at strenghthening bilateral relations in the field of agriculture, energy and defence.