Santa Clara/New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, describing him as a “specimen” who thinks he knows more than God and alleged that the idea of India is under attack, prompting a furious BJP to slam him as a “fake Gandhi” who “insults” India on the foreign soil in his bid to target Modi.
BJP leaders launched an all-out attack on the former Congress president for his swipe at Modi and his dispensation, with Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur claiming that Gandhi goes abroad on “sponsored programmes” for “anti-India propaganda” to insult the country on the foreign soil.
Speaking at the ‘Mohabbat Ki Dukaan’ event organised by the Indian Overseas Congress USA, Rahul Gandhi also took an apparent jibe at the Modi government saying these people are “absolutely convinced” that they know everything and can explain history to historians, science to scientists and warfare to the Army.
“There is a group of people in India who are absolutely convinced they know everything. They think they know even more than God. “They can sit with God and explain to him what’s going on. And of course, our prime minister is one such specimen. If you sat Modiji with God, he will explain to God how the universe works and God will get confused about what have I created,” he said, evoking laughter from the audience.
With Gandhi likening the alleged targeting of Muslims in India to what he said used to happen to Dalits in Uttar Pradesh in the 80s, Thakur said he forgot to tell people that it was the Congress that was in power in the country and the state then.
The Congress leader also alleged that other minorities like Sikhs and Christians besides Dalits and tribals were also being targeted. Attacking him for criticising the state of affairs in India under the Modi government, Thakur said this was not the first time that Gandhi had insulted India and Indianness in his trips abroad. It has become a habit for him as he does not consider India a nation, the BJP leader said, claiming that Gandhi had himself said so earlier.
“Who are the people behind such programmes and whose platforms are used for such anti-India things? These questions were asked even during his last foreign visit and this time too his visit has started by defaming India,” Thakur said.
Gandhi was asked by a member of the audience about the alleged targeting of Muslims in India. Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi claimed that the Congress leader’s knowledge of history did not go beyond his family. “It is funny how someone who knows nothing is suddenly an expert on everything. A man whose knowledge of history does not go beyond his family is talking about history,” the senior BJP leader said.
“No Mr Fake Gandhi! The core of India is its culture. Unlike you, who use foreign soil to tarnish the country, Indians are very proud of their history and can very well defend their geography,” he said. Gandhi, 52, also told the Indian Americans that the idea of India was under attack and is being challenged.
BJP chief spokesperson and Rajya Sabha member Anil Baluni said it is in the Congress’ character to defame the country and conspire against it. The world is lauding India for its development under Prime Minister Modi’s leadership but some leaders in the country are working to malign it on foreign soil, he said.
Targeting the government, Gandhi said the poor and people from minority communities feel helpless today in India. Talking about the Sengol row, Gandhi said Modi and his government cannot address issues like unemployment and price rise. “The new Parliament building is a distraction. The BJP can’t really discuss these issues so they have to do the sceptre thing. Lying down and doing all that. Aren’t you happy that I’m not lying down?,” Gandhi said, referring to the Sengol that was installed in the new Parliament building by Modi on Sunday.
The Congress hit back at the BJP for its attack on Gandhi. Asserting that the real issues hurting people are unemployment, soaring price rise and the spread of hatred, it said completely “made-up distractions” by Modi and his “drum beaters” will not change that.
“Rather than being a mere event, the Bharat Jodo Yatra has become a transformational movement. It continues to resonate with millions of Indians, here and around the world because it gave them a platform to raise their issues,” Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said on Twitter, tagging Gandhi’s tweet on his remarks in the US.