SHANGHAI -- Prime Minister Narendra Modi today broke his silence on opposition criticism over his frequent foreign visits and took veiled digs at his critics back home, saying he was being attacked for "tireless" work and asserted that if it was a "crime" he would continue to do it.
Modi, who came under attack over his criticism of previous governments during his last trip to Germany, France and Canada, "People are asking why is Modi travelling to so many countries...If you work less, criticism is normal. If you keep sleeping, criticism is normal. But it is my bad luck that I am being criticised for working more."
He asserted that "If working more is a crime, I will keep doing it. My commitment is to the people."
Addressing Indian community here before winding up his three-day China tour, he said "times are changing" and the world is now looking at India differently because of the performance of his government during the last one year which was a "matter of pride" for every citizen.
Modi, who recounted that it was on this day last year that results of the Lok Sabha elections came, said he had then made three commitments -- "I will work tirelessly", "I am inexperienced and will learn" and that "I will not do any wrong with bad intent".
16th May...this day last year…great memories. pic.twitter.com/SaVN09ecij— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 16, 2015
He said he had fulfilled all the three commitments.
"For the last one year, I have not taken even one day's leave. I have worked day and night. Did I go on any vacation? Do I take rest? Am I not implementing my promise," he said.
His reference to "vacation" may be seen as a swipe at Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, who is facing questions over his 56-day mysterious sabbatical.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi had last week accused Modi of playing domestic politics on foreign soil by attacking his "distinguished" predecessor Manmohan Singh during his visit abroad last month and sinking to a "new low" by referring to the UPA in "despicable terms" in Canada.