Thursday, March 23, 2023

BJP believes it will be in power ‘eternally’: Rahul


The BJP likes to believe that it will be in power in India “eternally” but that is not the case, and the Opposition can unite to undertake the “repair work” needed to protect India’s democratic institutions, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has said.
Addressing an in-conversation session at the Chatham House think tank in London to round off his week-long UK tour on Monday evening, the Wayanad MP once again claimed that Israeli software Pegasus was planted on his phone as he accused the BJP of trying to silence dissent in the country. “To put it in perspective, if you look at the time from independence to now, the Congress party has been in power for majority of the time,” said Gandhi.
“Before the BJP was in power for 10 years, we were in power for 10 years. The BJP likes to believe that they have come to power in India and they are going to be in power eternally, that’s not the case,” he said.
“We can see that the reliance on our institutions is reducing and that to me is very, very dangerous. Certainly there is repair work that needs to be done, on the idea of freedom, independent institutions, a whole bunch of repair work that needs to be done.”
The Opposition MP pointed to a set of changes taking place in India that had caught the Congress and UPA government off guard, such as a shift from rural to urban.
“We were focussing a lot on the rural space and we missed the ball in the beginning on the urban space, that’s a fact. Those things are there. But to say that the BJP is in power and the Congress gone, that’s actually a ridiculous idea,” said Gandhi.
The BJP on Tuesday lashed out at Gandhi for his criticism of the state of democracy in India and the RSS from London, claiming it is its clear conviction that he is completely in the grip of “Maoist thought process through his minions” and also “anarchist elements”.
Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, former Union minister and BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad also expressed his party’s disapproval of Gandhi “misusing the forum of British parliament” to spread shameful lies and unfounded claims.
During his Chatham House discussion, Gandhi pointed out that besides just the Congress, the foreign media has also been highlighting that there is a “serious problem with Indian democracy”.
“It’s also the way the BJP responds. It’s not interested in a conversation. They have decided that they know what’s going on, nobody else in the country knows what’s going on and that’s it… My phone had Pegasus on it, that simply was not happening when we were in power. So there are things that are very obvious and apparent to everyone,” he said. The BJP has also made light of Gandhi’s allegation that he was being snooped upon, saying that the Congress leader was “hallucinating” and makes such claims as he wants to create headlines wherever he goes. Gandhi also took aim at the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) as a “fundamentalist, fascist organisation” that has changed the nature of the democratic contest in India by capturing the country’s institutions. Asked to explain the RSS to a foreign audience, he noted: “You can call it a secret society. It’s built along the lines of the Muslim Brotherhood and the idea is to use the democratic contest to come to power and then subvert the democratic contest afterwards.
“It’s shocked me at how successful they’ve been at capturing the different institutions of our country: the press, judiciary, Parliament, Election Commission – all the institutions are under pressure, under threat and controlled in one way or another.” The BJP on Tuesday accused Rahul Gandhi of insulting India’s democracy from foreign land and lashed out for his trenchant criticism of the government and RSS at events in Britain, claiming it is its clear conviction that he is completely in the grip of “Maoist thought process through his minions” and also “anarchist elements”.
Addressing a press conference, former Union minister and BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad also expressed his party’s disapproval of Gandhi “misusing the forum of British Parliament” to “insult” India by spreading “shameful” lies and unfounded claims, and said there needed to be a “proper rebuttal”.
He accused the Congress leader of seeking to shame India’s democracy, polity, Parliament, judicial system and strategic security from a foreign land with his speeches in Britain.
If people of India do not support him and he keeps losing elections, then he should not tell lies from a foreign country to vent out his frustration, Prasad said.
The BJP leader sought reactions from Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge if he “feels” that he is an elected president of the party.
He and his predecessor Sonia Gandhi should make their stand clear on Rahul Gandhi’s “utterly irresponsible” statements and whether the opposition party supports them or not, Prasad said.
Gandhi told British parliamentarians in London on Monday that microphones in front of opposition members in Lok Sabha are often silenced.
During an event organised by veteran Indian-origin Opposition Labour Party MP Virendra Sharma within the House of Commons complex, he said opposition parties in India are often not allowed to debate issues in Parliament.
Prasad said Gandhi has forgotten all parliamentary norms, political propriety and “democratic shame” by criticising Indians from abroad.
He further said people of India neither listen nor understand him and supporting him is a distant thing.
Therefore, Gandhi goes abroad and laments that India’s democracy is in danger. This is a matter of great shame, Prasad added.
“Rahul Gandhi has insulted everything, including India’s democracy, parliament, people, political system, judicial system and strategic security,” the former Union minister said.
He also accused Gandhi of seeking the intervention of Europe and the US in India and said he had gone against the consensus in India against any interference in its internal affairs by foreign powers.
“Rahul Gandhi has tried to embarrass the country by saying that Europe and America should interfere in the internal affairs of India,” he said.
The BJP leader also slammed Rahul Gandhi for his condemnation of the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh), claiming that the Hindutva organisation has been serving society and the nation.
He also said the Sangh’s ideology and influence has now spread across the country. However, Rahul Gandhi’s party has been shrinking and in 2024, the Congress is going to shrink further, the BJP leader claimed.


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