New Delhi, September 12: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) launched a scathing attack on Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi following his speech at the ‘India at 70’ event at the University of California at Berkeley. Gandhi responding to a query regarding dynastic politics in India said the entire nation is running on it and hence, one should not go only after him. This sparked a row in India with BJP leaders taking a dig at the Congress VP and claiming he ‘belittled’ his political opponents in America.
Speaking at Berkeley, Gandhi also hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing him of divisive politics, creating space for terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir and ruining the economy. Later responding to another question whether the Congress party was more associated with dynastic politics, he argued that India is being run by dynasties and cited examples of the Samajwadi Party (SP), the DMK and said such is the affair in the country.
“Even Abhishek Bachchan is a dynast. So that’s how India runs. So don’t get after me because that’s how the India is run. By the way, last, I recall, Mr Ambanis are running the business. That’s also going on in Infosys. So that’s what happens in India,” Rahul Gandhi said.
Responding to Gandhi’s comments in regard to ‘dynasty politics’, Union Minister Smriti Irani said none of the incumbent top leaders of the nation are dynasts. She also called Rahul Gandhi a ‘failed dynast’. “A failed dynast today chose to speak about his failed political journeys in US. Rahul Gandhi belittled his political opponents in America. It is not surprising that a dynast has absolutely no support,” she said.
Apart from his ‘dynast’ comment, Gandhi said around 2012, the Congress Party “stopped having conversations with the people”. He said, “Somewhere around 2012, and I say this, a certain arrogance crept into the Congress party.” Irani took a dig at this as well and called this a big political ‘confession’. She pointed out that it was 2012 that Rahul Gandhi’s mother Sonia Gandhi took over as the President of the Congress and ‘to say that Congress became arrogant under Smt. Gandhi and hence lost election is a big political confession in itself’.
BJP chief Amit Shah did not spare Rahul Gandhi’s US visit and while addressing BJP leaders and Bengal Intellectuals in West Bengal on Tuesday, said, “Failed leaders run off to the U.S. to lecture, as no one listens to them back home.”
Several BJP leaders alleged that Rahul Gandhi tainted the image of the country while speaking in a foreign land about the shortcomings of India. To this, Congress leader Anand Sharma retorted back asking Smriti Irani to remember Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first address in the United States where he critiqued the country’s condition. Sharma also said Gandhi’s comments were not against PM Modi, but was against the shortcomings of the nation.