Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s remarks abroad are continuing to raise heat in India, with the BJP lashing out at the Congress leader for reportedly “seeking the intervention of the U.S. and Europe in India’s internal affairs”— a charge that has been denied by the Congress— who has accused the BJP of “distorting and twisting” Mr. Gandhi’s remarks.
Addressing a presser at the BJP headquarters in New Delhi, former Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad accused Mr. Gandhi of having sought to “shame India’s democracy, India’s polity, India’s Parliament, India’s judicial system and her strategic security from a foreign land.”
He said that the BJP thoroughly “disapproved” of Mr. Gandhi “misusing the forum of British Parliament to spread shameful lies and unfounded claims”, and said there needed to be a “proper rebuttal”. He further said that Indians neither listened to Mr. Gandhi nor understood him, and that supporting him was a distant thing. He went on to accuse Mr. Gandhi of seeking Europe and U.S.’ “intervention”. “Rahul Gandhi has tried to embarrass the country by saying that Europe and America should interfere in the internal affairs of India,” he said.
Mr. Prasad sought reactions from Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and his predecessor Sonia Gandhi on what he termed the “utterly irresponsible” statements and whether the Opposition party disowned them or not.
He also expressed umbrage at Mr. Gandhi’s comparison of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), the ideological mothership of the ruling BJP, with that of the Muslim brotherhood, stating that the Hindutva organisation had been serving society and the nation.
He claimed that the Sangh’s ideology and influence had now spread across the country, while the Congress had been shrinking and would do so further in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
Mr Gandhi has been on a tour in the United Kingdom where he has addressed various fora, including Cambridge University, expressing his views that the ruling BJP had stifled democracy and minority rights in India.
Responding to the BJP’s charge that Mr. Gandhi had sought the intervention of Europe and the U.S. in India’s internal affairs, the Congress categorically denied it.
Congress spokesperson Supriya Shrinate said Mr. Gandhi had described India’s democracy as a global public good and had made it clear that “the health of our democracy was our internal matter”.
“We demand from this platform that Ravi Shankar Prasad aplogises,” Ms. Shrinate said.