Updated: September 13, 2017 7:20:02 am
“A failed dynast today chose to speak about his political journey in the United States of America. As a karyakarta of the BJP, it was fascinating for me to watch the vice-president of the Congress party publicly proclaim that under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi, the Congress became arrogant. The confession… is something for the Congress to delve into,” said Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani, who was fielded by the BJP to give a point-by-point rebuttal to Rahul’s speech at Berkeley.
“The fact that he said that dynast and dynasty is the very culture of India is in itself an anomaly,” she said, pointing out that President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi all come from humble backgrounds. “These three people at the highest constitutional posts… are an indication that Indian democracy drives on, and gives opportunity to merit, not dynasty.”
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“The fact that Rahul Gandhi chose to belittle the honourable Prime Minister is not surprising, in fact, it is expected. But what is to be said is that after failing to connect with the people of India, Mr Gandhi choose a platform of convenience for berating his political opponents,” she said. “It is an indication of his failed strategy. The people of the country where he leads a political party no longer support him, so he is expressing his pain abroad… Since his attacks were not working at home, he has gone abroad. He seems to have forgotten that the voter is here in India,” she added.
Targeting Rahul for criticising the country on foreign soil, she said he was driven by “boosting his own image, not patriotism”. To his criticism of the NDA government’s approach on Jammu and Kashmir, Irani said he should not forget the “legacy of challenges left behind by the Nehru-Gandhi family”.
On Rahul’s allegation about a “BJP machine”, with an army of people, spreading rumours about him, she said the BJP has “genuine” jobs. Responding to Rahul’s remarks that the Modi government had borrowed the architecture of GST and NREGA from the UPA, Irani said: “He is basically saying that everything that we Indians have today is because of the Congress, which indicates that the arrogance of the Congress was not limited to 2012…”
The minster rued that Rahul had “absolutely no kind words to speak about cooperative federalism”.
“Rahul Gandhi gets wisdom when he is outside India. There is a tradition of our country that we don’t talk about domestic politics overseas… Rahul Gandhi did not pay attention to this established tradition,” said Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
Hitting back at the BJP, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said: “We are surprised at the unwarranted and unjustified criticism that has been made by the government and the ruling party. The statements and issues raised by Union Information and Broadcasting Minister betray ignorance of history and her eagerness to be an apologist for a Prime Minister who has betrayed the country.”
“It is the present Prime Minister who is guilty of insulting India on foreign soil. It is wrong to accuse Rahul Gandhi of having said anything which is belittling. It again betrays the streak of intolerance…by the BJP and the present government. Prime Minister had called the country corrupt on his first foreign visit. He had said that India was recognised in the world for carrying a begging bowl in the hand,” said Sharma.
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