Home / News / India /  Indira, Rahul Gandhi's UK visit, 45 years apart, face similar fate. Here's why

Congress MP from Wayanad Rahul Gandhi's  week long UK trip and the hoopla around the statements made during several public meet-ups and conferences refuses to die down with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ministers who have demanded an apology from the former Congress President. 

While the second leg of the Union Budget 2023 lives in a limbo as both houses of the parliament gets adjourned owing to warring claims of Congress and BJP, it has now come to limelight that Rahul Gandhi's visit to UK has similarities with his grandmother Indira Gandhi's visit to the country, 45 years ago.  

Indira Gandhi had visited UK in November 1978, when for the first time since Independence in 1947, the Congress party had been defeated by a coalition, led by Morarji Desai led party Janata Dal. 

The Gandhi grandmother and grandson had visited the British House of Commons, talked to students at Cambridge University and made similar claims about their home country. 

Indira Gandhi, who was charged by the British media about the Emergency that she had levied on India, came with all gusto and stated that it was the duty of the Opposition to support agitations if they sought to rectify genuine grievances, according to a Moneycontrol article. 

Rahul Gandhi is facing flak for asking foreign powers to interfere in India's governing body's way of functioning owing to the dwindling state of democracy in the country. BJP has demanded an apology from the Congress leader for allegedly defaming India on foreign soil. 

It seems during an interview with famous TV journalist Jonathan Dimbleby, the former prime minister Indira Gandhi had stated that India was inching towards anarchy under the Morarji Desai-led government. 

The difference between both instances was that, the Janata Dal led coalition government did not seek an apology from Indira Gandhi, who incidentally returned to power as Prime Minister, when Desai's government fell owing to internal squabbles and friction. 

The Congress now has blamed the BJP of weaving a controversy around Rahul Gandhi's statements in UK in order to avoid discussion or creating a Joint Probe Committee against the Adani Group led by Gautam Adani. This is in context with the American short seller Hindenburg report that has accused the Adani group of stock manipulation questioning the sudden and sped up rise of Gautam Adani as the richest man beating Mukesh Ambani, and even Jeff Bezos at a point.

Indira Gandhi had visited London then to mark the Birth Anniversary of her father, the first Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru. She was attending events that Congress activists in UK had organised to celebrate Nehru.

Indira had faced demonstrations and opposition in London from people whose families had allegedly ben affected due to the Emergency. Pro-Desai demonstrators stood with posters saying ‘Go Home’ to Indira Gandhi.

While Rahul Gandhi did not face opposition or demonstration in UK, BJP supporters have been raging against the Congress leader, who completed his Bharat Jodo Yatra, on 30 January, 2023. The foot long march had started on 7 September, 2022 in Kanyakumari and ended in Kashmir in January 2023.

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