The Leader of the Opposition in Gujarat Assembly, Shankersinh Vaghela, took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday for the latter’s remark during his recent China tour that Indians were ashamed of having been born in India. Evoking Mahabharata, he said that even Kauravas and Pandavas had joined forces when the family was faced with a common challenge.
Borrowing from Modi’s sadbhavana (goodwill) campaign of 2011-12, Vaghela said, “One should understand the true meaning of the term sadbhavana. But our incumbent Prime Minister goes abroad and abuses his own country on foreign soil. This should not happen. You may belong to) Congress or whatever other party, but while abroad, you are a symbol of our country,” Vaghela said while referring to Modi’s remarks during his visit to China early this week.
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The Congress legislature party leader was speaking at an event here organised by the party to pay tribute to late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi on his 24th death anniversary. The PM, while addressing the Indian diaspora in Shangha, had said that Indians regretted being born Indians. However, Vaghela, a former chief minister of Gujarat and former Union minister, said politics should be kept within the boundaries of the country.
“You can play an opposition party in Delhi. But you cannot behave like an opposition party in Germany, Korea or China. Even in Mahabharata, Kauravas and Pandavas were at loggerheads and that was why the battle of Mahabharata was fought. But when they were faced with a common enemy, Kauravas and Pandavas joined forces. So, when the situation warrants, we should demonstrate that we are united,” Vaghela said.
President of Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) and former Union minister Bharatsinh Solanki also took a dig at Modi and the BJP government at the Centre.
“Jawaharlal Nehru unified our neighbouring countries through Non-Alignment Movement. But our present prime minister is touring country after country and creating situation where the country receives a slap in the face. China has been helping Pakistan in terrorism for the last many years. But our PM is kneeling down before China to work with them,” Solanki said.
The GPCC president alleged that Modi had lowered the pride of the country abroad. “He goes abroad and talks in a manner which makes Indians feel ashamed of themselves. Modi has committed the sin of lowering the pride of India abroad. Rajiv Gandhi increased the pride of India in the world. But the BJP is trying to humiliate India and its citizens just to score a few brownie points,” Solanki said.
All India Congress Committee general secretary and in-charge of Gujarat, Ashwin Sekhri, other state leaders and party MLAs were present at the event. The day is also celebrated as Anti-Terrorism Day to commemorate assassination of the former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi by the bombers of the LTTE when he was campaigning in Tamil Nadu. Rajiv Gandhi had sent Indian troops to Sri Lanka to fight alongside Sri Lankan Army against the LTTE.