"Narendra Modi has also said that Indians felt ashamed of claiming that they were from the country while they travelled abroad. Smriti Irani is being an apologist for a Prime Minister who has defamed the country. Rahul has infact praised the PM where it merited. BJP cannot say that Rahul did not speak the truth. Democracy has space for dissent. Why deny the problems that we face?" says Congress leader Anand Sharma.
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"Rahul Gandhi did not belittle the Prime Minister. He did say that Narendra Modi was his (Rahul's) PM as well. Even if one were to criticise their PM, then it is acceptable under a true democracy. Who's going to invest in a country where the climate of fear prevails?," says Congress leader Anand Sharma.
"Rahul Gandhi has raised the dignity of the country. If anyone has defamed India on an international platform, it was Narendra Modi as Prime Minister. When he went to Canada he said that India before him was a country that walked around with a beggar's bowl in its hand," says Congress leader Anand Sharma.
"Rahul Gandhi is saying that everything we have today is because of the Congress, this shows their arrogance. When the Congress was in power, then why did Rahul not correct the mistakes of the government? With every issue that he raises, social or political, why doesn't Rahul come and talk to lesser mortals like me? He is talking at an international platform because no one is listening to him in India. If he had thought about the nation before opening his mouth on an international platform, he would have held back," says I&B Minister Smriti Irani.
"Nobody in India agrees with Rahul Gandhi. The fact that he admits that under Sonia Gandhi, the Congress had become arrogant and hence lost elections is a big political confession in itself. It is not surprising that a failed dynast has chosen to speak about his failed political journey. Passing remarks on PM Narendra Modi is not new for Rahul Gandhi. Our PM hails from a poor family and has struggled to achieve this position, through commitment and honesty. Our President today has achieved this position on his own. The Vice-President has gone through years of struggle before coming to power, these 3 personalities are an inspiration to us," says I&B Minister Smriti Irani.
"Just because his party could not get the mandate. He is taking his frustration out overseas. He is forgetting that the voter is still in India. When he said that in India dynasts rule, he forgot that in independent India many are ruling the roost without a political legacy. The PM, President and Vice-President themselves have no political legacy. This proves that in India's democracy works on merit," says I&B Minister Smriti Irani.
Omar Abdullah and Sambit Patra clash on Twitter over the latter's comments on Rahul Gandhi's dynasty statement:
Sambit ji would you care to share exact quotes where Rahul "slams his own country". It will be most helpful since some of us can't find any. https://t.co/VI55RNQt7O— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) September 12, 2017
Omar ji with due respect one example is- When RG says that India is a country of Dynasts "भारत एसे ही चलता है"— Sambit Patra (@sambitswaraj) September 12, 2017
I believe this is demeaning ! https://t.co/3LFpr5uPLP
BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra reacted to the speech and said that it was the Congress leader's 'frustration' that was speaking:
Astonishing that Congress VP, Rahul Gandhi goes to US and slams his own Country,India ..It's frustration of Rahul speaking..Deplorable!— Sambit Patra (@sambitswaraj) September 12, 2017
A look at Rahul Gandhi’s top quotes at the event (9/9) — ON MODI'S YOUTH POLICY: Ignoring India's tremendous institutional knowledge and taking decisions like demonetisation is reckless and dangerous. 30,000 new youngsters were joining the job market every single day and the government was only creating 500 jobs a day. This does not include the massive pool of already employed youngsters. The decline in economic growth today is leading to an upsurge of anger in the country. The government's economic policies like demonetisation and hastily-applied GST have caused tremendous damage.
A look at Rahul Gandhi’s top quotes at the event (8/9) — ON TROLLS: There is a BJP machine with about a thousand guys sitting on computers. They basically tell you things about me. They tell you I am reluctant, I am stupid; they tell you all these things. This operation is run by the gentlemen who runs our country.
A look at Rahul Gandhi’s top quotes at the event (7/9) — ON DYNASTY POLITICS: Most of the country runs like this. That’s how India works. Dynastic politics is a problem in all political parties. Akhilesh (Yadav), (MK) Stalin and even (actor) Abhishek Bachchan are dynasts. Even (Prem Kumar) Dhumal’s son (Anurag Thakur) is a dynast, so don’t go just after me.
A look at Rahul Gandhi’s top quotes at the event (6/9) — ON DEMONETISATION: The decision of demonetisation was taken without consulting either the Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) or Parliament, resulting in severe damage across sectors. Millions of small businesses were simply wiped out as a result of the demonetisation, farmers and many who use cash were hit extremely hard. Agriculture is in deep distress and farmers suicides have skyrocketed across the country.
A look at Rahul Gandhi’s top quotes at the event (5/9) — ON KASHMIR: For nine years, I worked behind the scenes with (then) PM Manmohan Singh, P Chidambaram and a large number of people. We worked silently on J&K. When we started, terrorism was rampant in Kashmir, when we finished there was peace, we had broken the back of terrorism. By 2013, we basically broke the back of terror. I hugged PM Manmohan Singh and told him it was one of the biggest achievements.
A look at Rahul Gandhi’s top quotes at the event (4/9) — ON INDIRA AND RAJIV: I lost my grandmother and father to violence. I used to play with the bodyguards who killed my grandmother. If I don’t understand violence, who will? The idea of non-violence is under attack today, yet it is the only idea which can take humanity forward.
A look at Rahul Gandhi’s top quotes at the event (3/9) — ON MODI GOVT: The Narendra Modi government is clamping down on RTI which was kept transparent during our rule… He is my PM too. He is a good communicator, but he doesn’t listen to the people he works with. Many MPs and BJP members have told me that he doesn’t listen.
A look at Rahul Gandhi’s top quotes at the event (2/9) — ON POLITICS OF HATE: The politics of polarization is very dangerous. Hatred, anger and violence can destroy us. Liberal journalists are being shot. People are being lynched, Dalits are being killed over suspicions of carrying beef, Muslims are killed over suspicions of eating beef, all this is new in India.
CLICK TO READ | That's How India Works: Rahul Explains Dynastic Politics to Berkeley Students
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi address at the University of California, Berkeley on the subject 'India at 70 - Reflections on the Path Forward' was underway at the time of writing this report.
BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra reacted to the speech and said that it was the Congress leader's 'frustration' that was speaking. "Astonishing that Congress VP, Rahul Gandhi goes to US and slams his own Country,India ..It's frustration of Rahul speaking..Deplorable! (sic)" Patra tweeted. When Omar Abdullah questioned Patra on Twitter saying, "Sambit ji would you care to share exact quotes where Rahul 'slams his own country'. It will be most helpful since some of us can't find any.(sic)." Patra replied saying, "Omar ji with due respect one example is – When RG says that India is a country of dynasts. 'India works like this'. I believe this is demeaning!"
Taking on the BJP and the Narendra Modi government, Rahul said the Prime Minister had clamped down on RTI Act which was much more transparent during Congress rule. Speaking about demonetisation, the Congress vice-president lashed out at the Modi government saying the decision of demonetisation was taken without consulting either the Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) or the Parliament, resulting in severe damage across sectors. Continuing with his criticism over demonetisation, Rahul Gandhi highlighted the fact that the decision has done no good to the nation; millions of jobs were lost.
Rahul Gandhi is on a two-week trip to the US. His address at the University of California, Berkeley on the subject 'India at 70 — Reflections on the Path Forward' was the first stop in the visit. In the coming days, he is expected to meet US politicians with whom he will discuss policy and bilateral issues.
Recalling the assassinations of his grandmother Indira Gandhi and father Rajiv Gandhi, the Congress leader said no one understands violence better than him. “I lost my grandmother and father to violence. If I don’t understand violence, who will? The idea of non-violence is under attack today, yet it is the only idea which can take humanity forward,” Rahul Gandhi said. “Hatred, anger and violence can destroy us. The politics of polarisation is very dangerous,” he said.
The Congress leader also conceded that his party may have become susceptible to “arrogance” in 2012, two years before it lost power at the Centre to the BJP. “Around 2012, a certain arrogance crept into the Congress and they stopped having conversations with the people,” he said. More importantly, the Congress leader said he was ready to take charge of the party in 2019 when the next Lok Sabha elections will be held.
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