BJP accuses Rahul of denigrating India from foreign soil, Congress says statement twisted

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New Delhi, Aug 23 (IANS) The BJP on Thursday came down heavily on Rahul Gandhi for “denigrating” the country on foreign soil, accusing him of justifying Islamic State (IS) and making comparisons with India.

The Congress said Gandhi’s statement has been twisted and he was only speaking about the pressing issue of unemployment in different parts of the world and that its fallout leads to anger among the youth.

Addressing a press conference, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra sought an explanation from Rahul Gandhi on his remarks during an event in Hamburg in Germany on Wednesday, and charged him with presenting the country in bad light while touching upon issues that had “wider and dangerous ramifications”.

“You tried to justify terrorism. You tried to justify IS (Islamic State). There can be nothing more ignominious and perturbing than this. It is very sad. You call yourself a leader of the country. You are a parliamentarian and you mock India from a foreign soil.

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“You are giving an excuse for ISIS. This is a mockery of our minorities. You have tried to denigrate the minorities of the great country. You have questioned them. Your submission that if jobs are not available for minorities of the country, they will sell thier soul to an alternative idea of IS, which is deplorable and for which you have to explain before the country. We cannot forgive you,” Patra said.

The BJP leader was reacting to Congress chief’s criticism of the government by citing the example of IS to say that exclusion of a large number of people from the development process could lead to the creation of terrorist groups in the world.

Congress spokesperson R.P.N singh said: “When Rahul Gandhi was asked a question about a certain mindset developing in the country, he clearly replied that be it in the US, a few countries in Europe or India, employment is the biggest problem. Joblessness leads to growth of anger among people and some forces and organisations take advantage of it and try to influence them and lead them astray. His words have been twisted. The issue was not just related to terrorism.”

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Gandhi had said the US while invading Iraq, had stopped a tribe, Tikriti network, from getting government and army jobs and later the tribe linked up with other groups. He referred to incidents of lynching and attacks on Dalits, saying people in India were angry and the ruling alliance was weakening “support structures” meant for the weaker sections.

Rebutting Gandhi’s charge, Patra said instead the Modi government has strengthened the structures meant for the weaker sections.

“You have false estimate of India and its potential. You are saying that India’s role will remin only to balance between US and the China. Is this what is your estimate for India? Is this what you estimate the potential of 125 crore Indians?,” he asked.

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Responding to Rahul Gandhi’s charge that the level of violence has increased in India and for his call for a change in the attitude of Indian men at the way they treated women, Patra hit out at Gandhi saying, “On women’s safety issue you blamed the Indian culture. You could have blamed some mindset but how can you blame the Indian culture for it?

“You have tried to denigrate the Indian culture. This country accepted Sonia Gandhi, who headed the Congress party for 19 long years and remain proxy prime minister for 10 years. How can they point out at India’s great culture?”

Patra said Gandhi’s attacks were due to his frustration of his party being thrown out of power.

–IANS

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