New Delhi: Former Mumbai Congress chief Milind Deora on Tuesday issued a clarification after his recent Twitter conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi triggered rumours that he would be joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) soon.

In a statement on his Twitter account, the Congress leader said that he was proud of his father, former Union Minister Murli Deora, who, he said, worked tirelessly to strengthen ties between India and the US. Calling his father a true patriot, Deora said that he, too, will remain bipartisan over the issue of national interest and foreign policy.

It all began when praising the Prime Minister’s speech at the ‘Howdy, Modi‘ event in Houston, Texas on Sunday, Deora tweeted, “PM Modi’s Houston address was a momentous first for India’s soft power diplomacy. My father Murlibhai was one of the early architects of deeper Indo-US ties. Donald Trump’s hospitality and recognition of Indian Americans’ contributions make us proud.”

PM Modi responded to this, calling the late Murli Deora his friend and praising his commitment to strong Indo-US ties. Taking the conversation forward, Milind Deora tweeted, “Thank you Narendra Modi ji! Murlibhai put nation first & worked with all governments in India & the US to deepen ties between our great countries. In my many interactions with my Democrat & Republican friends, they, too, acknowledge India’s leadership in the 21st century.”

Rumours of Milind Deora being close to joining the BJP first emerged when he resigned as Mumbai Congress chief after the party’s drubbing in the Lok Sabha elections earlier this year. Bollywood actress Urmila Matondkar, who joined the Congress in April, too, resigned recently, citing ‘petty in-house politics’ within the party’s Mumbai unit.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday addressed the mega ‘Howdy, Modi’ event with President Donald Trump. The event, which turned out to be a huge success, was attended by 50,000 members of the Indian-American diaspora and over 60 US Congress lawmakers.