Obama praises Modi, calls him tough, stylish

Prez Pranab and Obama at meeting

New Delhi:  US President Barack Obama Sunday praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his “legendary work ethic”, and described him as tough and stylish.

Speaking at the dinner banquet hosted by President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan, Obama marvelled at how Modi, the son of a tea vendor, became prime minister of the world’s largest democracy.

“Here this evening, we think back to all these years ago… your (Modi’s) father selling tea at the train stations, your mother working at other’s families homes to support and earn. Tonight their son welcomes us as the prime minister of the world’s largest democracy,” Obama said.

Visibly impressed with Modi’s work style, Obama said: “We all know about the prime minister’s legendary work ethic. He was explaining to me today how he only needed three hours’ sleep which made me feel bad. I thought I was doing okay with five.”

“What I didn’t know until now is that he once survived an attack by a crocodile. So he is tough,” he said.

Praising Modi for his “style” and sartorial elegance, Obama said: “Tonight, I was thinking about wearing a Modi kurta myself.”

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