Rahul Gandhi is part of toolkit working against India: Nadda

Congress completely rules out an apology, stating ‘anti-national’ BJP leaders have no right to school them about patriotism

Updated - March 17, 2023 11:32 pm IST

Published - March 17, 2023 10:43 am IST - New Delhi

Bharatiya Janata Party president J.P. Nadda. File.

Bharatiya Janata Party president J.P. Nadda. File. | Photo Credit: ANI

BJP president J.P. Nadda on Friday joined the ruling party chorus demanding an apology from Rahul Gandhi for the remarks the latter made in U.K. on the state of Indian democracy. He accused Mr. Gandhi of becoming a “permanent part of the toolkit” working against India that seeks a weak government here so as to exploit it for its benefits.

The Congress immediately hit back, with party president Mallikarjun Kharge saying that those who are “anti-nationals” themselves must not preach his party about patriotism, ruling out any apology from Mr. Gandhi.

In a video statement, Mr. Nadda accused Mr. Gandhi of speaking the language of “anti-India” George Soros, a billionaire financier, and alleged that the Congress and the “so-called Left liberals” have become a part of the “deep state” conspiracy involving foreign forces against the country. “Anti-national” Congress leaders have been speaking the language of Pakistan, he added.

Mr. Gandhi’s remarks are also an insult to the people’s mandate and belie Congress’s frustration about their consecutive defeats in general elections and the State Assembly polls. “Anti-India forces have always had problems with a strong India, its robust democracy and decisive government. Rejected repeatedly by people, Rahul Gandhi has become a permanent part of the ‘toolkit’ working against India,” Mr. Nadda said.

It is a very serious matter, Mr. Nadda said, that Mr. Gandhi is now working with the foreign conspirators, who are trying to attack India both “economically and strategically.” “Never before in independent India any leader has done what Gandhi has done on foreign soil,” Mr. Nadda averred. Pointing out the irony, Mr. Nadda said, that the comments against the Indian democracy was made in a country that subjugated India for long.

The Congress has dismissed the BJP’s accusations and asserted that Mr. Gandhi will not apologise. He has sought permission to speak in Parliament to respond to the criticism levelled against him by the ruling party members in both Houses. Parliamentary proceedings have so far been a washout over the row.

Mr. Kharge retorted that those who are “anti-nationals” themselves must not preach his party about patriotism. “They are anti-nationals from before. Even at the time of independence, they (BJP people) did not participate in the movement to get freedom for the country. Those who are anti-nationals themselves are calling others anti-national.” In a series of tweets, Mr. Kharge said those who did not contribute even an iota in the freedom struggle are the real “anti-nationals”.

“Modi ji himself has gone to six-seven countries and said on foreign soil that ‘people of India are saying that what sin did we commit that we were born in India’. Such a person is calling us anti-national?” he asked in a tweet. He also sought to remind the ruling party of Mr. Modi’s comments as Prime Minister during his visits to China, United States and South Korea, where he “insulted the citizens of India”. “Modi ji should apologise. There is no question of our apologising,” he added.

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