“No country can take India for granted”
Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday said no country could take India for granted and exhorted Italy to honour its commitment on the marines issue or face the consequences.
Ms. Gandhi’s warning to the country of her birth on an issue that has pushed the diplomatic relations between the two nations to a new low is significant, especially as Opposition parties have been making veiled remarks about her ever since the controversy caught fire.
“The defiance of the Italian government on the question of the two marines and its betrayal of a commitment to our Supreme Court is,” she said, “outright unacceptable. No country can, should or will be allowed to take India for granted. All means must be pursued to ensure that the commitment made by the Italian government… is honoured.”
The Supreme Court had told Italian Ambassador Daniele Mancini that he would not be able to leave India after Rome refused to send back marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone to face trial for killing Indian fishermen Ajesh Binki and Valentine off the Kerala coast on February 15, 2012, mistaking them for pirates.
Ms. Gandhi was addressing the general body meeting of the Congress Parliamentary Party for the first time during this budget session of Parliament.
While referring to Assembly polls later this year and the general elections slated for 2014, she hit out at the BJP.
“The people have seen through the obstructionist tactics adopted by the BJP in Parliament and the deliberate falsehoods spread by it outside,” she said adding, “The use of intemperate and abusive language by the BJP about our party and its leaders goes beyond the pale of civilised discussion and debate.”
Ms Gandhi was clearly in a combative mood as she concluded, “Are we going to take this lying down? Certainly not. We will maintain our dignity and take our fight to the people.”