Congress leader Rahul Gandhi retaliated against the Bharatiya Janata Party's accusations of him "insulting" India on an international platform. He countered by pointing out that it was actually Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was responsible for discrediting India's accomplishments since gaining independence. The BJP had accused Gandhi of maligning India abroad following his speech at his former university, Cambridge, after several consecutive electoral losses.
PM said nothing has been done since independence: Gandhi
Speaking to reporters at an India Insights event held by the Indian Journalists' Association (IJA) on Saturday evening, Gandhi said: "I recall the Prime Minister going abroad and announcing that nothing has been done in the 60 or 70 years of Independence."
"I remember him saying there was a lost decade... there is unlimited corruption in India. I remember him saying this abroad... I have never defamed my country. I'm not interested in it. I'll never do it. Of course, the BJP liked to twist what I'm saying. That's fine," the Wayanad MP said.
"But the fact remains that the person who defames India when he goes abroad is the Prime Minister of India... You have not heard his speech where he said nothing has been done in India since Independence, insulting every Indian parent, grandparent," Gandhi said.
Congress reminds PM of past comments
After PM Modi's comments at Dubai in August 2015 saying he has "inherited problems of indecision, lethargy from the previous government", the Congress had slammed him for writing off the achievements of Indian over the decades.
PM Modi, during his visit to South Korea last year, had said: "There used to be a point in time when people used to regret being born in India and leaving the country saying it is no good. They wanted to leave for better opportunities... Now, those people are saying they are ready to come back even if their incomes are lower than in other places. The mood has changed".
After controversy over Gandhi's remarks, the Congress has been sharing the video of the aforementioned comments by PM Modi, questioning if it counted as 'insult' of India.
What did Rahul Gandhi say?
The remarks made by Gandhi during his address at Cambridge University have sparked controversy between the Congress and the BJP, with his statement that Indian democracy is being threatened and politicians, including himself, are being monitored.
Additionally, he disclosed that he was being surveilled using Pegasus, an Israeli spyware. He identified five significant aspects of the purported assault on Indian democracy, including manipulation and domination of the media and judiciary, surveillance and intimidation, pressure from federal law enforcement agencies, violence against minorities, Dalits and tribals, and suppression of opposing viewpoints.
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