Also, Rahul said he is “confident and optimistic” that the opposition will unite and “do very well” in the 2024 general elections as he could see “a lot of anger against BJP”.
India needs to be very careful of hostile and aggressive moves by China: Rahul Gandhi
Speaking at an Indian Journalists’ Association (UK) event in London, Rahul dismissed BJP’s criticism that he had defamed the country in the lecture he gave to students at Cambridge last week, in which he alleged Indian intelligence services are spying on him and India’s democracy is under attack.
He said BJP likes to twist what he says and the media plays it up, “but the fact of the matter is the person who defames India when he goes abroad is the Prime Minister of India”.
“There is nothing defaming India in my Cambridge lecture. Last I recall the Prime Minister going abroad and announcing that there had been nothing done in 70 years of India’s independence. He said there is a lost decade of 10 years…there is unlimited corruption in India. I remember him saying it abroad. These were not things he said in India. I have never defamed my country. I am not interested in it and I will never do it,” Rahul said.
He turned the criticism on its head, asking if it wasn’t PM Modi who had insulted “every single Indian and their parents and grandparents” by saying that “nothing happened in 70 years”. “What about all the people who worked and built India in those 10 years? Is he not insulting them?” he said.
‘The new idea of India’: Rahul Gandhi again targets BJP in UK, says journalists are intimidated and attacked
He accused Modi of denying India losing land to China (military standoff in Galwan in 2020), whereas the reality is that “2,000 square km of our territory is in the hands of the PLA”. “The Chinese have entered territory, killed our soldiers and the PM has denied it…this has destroyed our negotiation position as the PM says that no land has been taken.”
He said the Congress policy on China is clear: “We do not accept anyone entering our territory and pushing us around and bullying us.”
He said the Bharat Jodo Yatra was necessary because “the structures of our democracy are under brutal attack—media, institutional frameworks, judiciary, Parliament.” He said people don’t quite understand the scale of India and its democracy. “How would you react if democracy suddenly disappeared in Europe?” Rahul said. “If a structure three-and-a-half times the size of Europe suddenly went non-democratic. That has happened already, but there is no reaction.”
The Congress MP said the next election “is not just an Indian battle, it is a battle for a huge part of the democratic people on this planet”. He’s hedging his bet on a pivotal change in 2024 as the opposition has placed an inclusive vision of bringing people together.
“I am confident and optimistic we will get something very interesting going forward…And the basic idea that RSS and BJP must be fought and defeated is deeply entrenched in the opposition’s minds,” Rahul said.
There is a full-scale assault on democratic institutions under BJP rule: Rahul Gandhi
Lithium bid to go to Adani: Rahul
London: Rahul Gandhi said Saturday he can predict which bidder will win the auction of India’s first lithium reserve found in J&K. “His name begins with A,” he said. “It’s easy. Mr Adani seems to win every auction…I can predict Mr Adani will get the lithium as well,” Rahul said.
He said: “I can see that Mr Adani has gone from the 690th richest man to the second richest man in a matter of three years. I can see that Adani is rewarded across the board…In India, there is a massive concentration of wealth, the entire banking system is being used to protect one gentleman for his businesses and that needs to change.”