At London Talk, Rahul’s Fresh Attack On BJP Over China Standoff, Gov Model, FoE

| Updated: 21 May, 2022 6:21 pm IST
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi at 'Ideas for India' conference in London, UK on May 20.

2 different designs of governance at play in India, says Rahul attacking NDA govt

NEW DELHI: On a tour to the UK, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi has launched a fresh attack on the Modi government on a range of issues — from freedom of speech and BJP’s governance model to the Chinese aggression along the LAC.

Speaking at an interaction session at the ‘Ideas for India’ conference organised by non-profit think-tank Bridge India on May 20, the Gandhi scion accused the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of pushing “a particular set of ideas down people’s throats”.

“Please realise, what the BJP does is shout and stifle voices. What we do is listen. They are two different things, they are two different designs,” he said.

Addressing demands from a quarter of Congress workers that the party should adopt reforms and develop cadres system like BJP, Gandhi said the saffron party forces its workers and leaders to speak on the line set by the leadership.

“People tell us we should have a cadre like the BJP. And I tell them that the day we have a cadre like the BJP, we will be the BJP,” he said.

“We are not designed like that. We are designed to listen to the people of India and pull out their voice and place it on the table. We are a party that listens to the expression of the Indian people,” the Wayanad MP asserted.

Calling the Indian democracy a “global public good”, the Congress leader further said, “It is a central anchor for the planet. Because we are the only people who have managed democracy at the scale that we have, if that cracks, it is going to cause a problem for the planet.”

He also took a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, advising him to adopt the attitude of ‘I want to listen’. “And from there everything flows down. But our Prime Minister doesn’t listen. You can’t have a country that’s not allowed to speak… and a PMO that can’t speak freely,” he said.

Drawing a parallel between the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the Chinese aggression along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), Gandhi called upon the government of India to recognise the problem and prepare for it.

“Please recognise the parallels between what is going on in Ukraine and what is going on in Ladakh and in Doklam. There are Chinese forces sitting in Ladakh and there are Chinese forces sitting in Doklam,” he stated.

“So we have to realise that there is a problem on the border and whether we like it or not, we have to prepare for that problem. Because we don’t want to get caught off guard,” Gandhi added.

He also raised the issue of China constructing “a huge bridge over the Pangong Lake” and claimed the Chinese are preparing for “something”. “But the government doesn’t want to talk about it. Government wants to stifle the conversation. That’s bad for India,” he added.

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