'A 'tight slap' on Rahul Gandhi's face…', says BJP on White House's Indian democracy remarks3 min read 07 Jun 2023, 07:35 AM IST
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has criticised India's democracy on a global platform, saying it is a global public good that must be defended. His comments were condemned by BJP leaders, who said it was ironic that Gandhi had criticised India's democracy while the White House praised it.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) aspersed Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for criticizing Indin democracy on a global platform. BJP national spokesperson Syed Zafar Islam said it is "ironical" that while Gandhi "shamelessly" criticized India's democracy during his US visit, the White House praised India for having a "vibrant" democracy.
Yesterday, the US White House released a statement in which it said, "India is a vibrant democracy. Anybody that, you know, happens to go to New Delhi can see that for themselves".
The statement has come close on the heels of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the State later this month.
John Kirby, Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council in the White House said India is a strong partner with the United States on many levels.
"Look, we never shy away. And you can do that with friends. You're supposed to do that with friends. You never shy away from expressing concerns that we might have with anyone around the world. But this (State) visit is really about advancing what is now and what we hope will be a deeper, stronger partnership and friendship going forward," Kirby said in response to a question.
"You saw that in Shangri-La Secretary (of Defense, Lloyd) Austin announced some additional defense cooperation now that we're going to pursue with India. Of course, there's an awful lot of economic trade between our two countries. India is a member of the Pacific Quad and a key friend and partner with respect to Indo-Pacific security," he said.
"I could go on and on and on. There are innumerable reasons why India certainly matters, not just bilaterally between the two of our nations, but multilaterally on very many levels. And the president is looking forward very much to having Prime Minister Modi here to talk about all those issues and to advance and deepen that partnership and that friendship," Kirby said.
On 2 June Gandhi said Indian democracy is a "global public good", and added that its "collapse" will have an impact on the world.
“It’s our job, it's our business, and it's our work to fight the battle for democracy in India. “And it's something that we understand, we accept, and we do," Gandhi said during his 6-day tour to the United States.
During an interaction with the media at the National Press Club, Gandhi said that "the US and India have synergies, that if they come together can be very powerful. What we are facing is a particular vision of the world, the Chinese vision of the world that offers productivity, and prosperity, but under a non-democratic field."
"That's not acceptable to us, because we simply cannot thrive under non-democratic. So we have to think about productive production and prosperity in a democratic field. And I think that's where the bridge between India and the United States can play a very important role for us and you," he said.
Rahul Gandhi's statement was condemned by other BJP leaders too. BJP president JP Nadda launched a blistering attack on Rahul Gandhi, alleging that the former Congress president is not running any "shop of love" but has opened a "mega shopping mall of hatred".
Nadda said that nine years of the Narendra Modi government has transformed the country and its progress is being recognised by the world today.
"But whenever India sets new records, the 'Yuvraj' of Congress, Rahul Gandhi, cannot digest India's pride," he charged.
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