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‘Betrayal of Bharat’: BJP on Rahul Gandhi's Indian Democracy Narrative

© AP Photo / Altaf QadriRahul Gandhi, leader of India's opposition Congress Party, centre in white T-shirt, walks with his supporters during a march, in New Delhi
Rahul Gandhi, leader of India's opposition Congress Party, centre in white T-shirt, walks with his supporters during a march, in New Delhi - Sputnik India, 1920, 06.03.2023
Former Congress Party chief Rahul Gandhi found himself in hot water last week after he claimed that Indian democracy is under attack during an address in Cambridge, UK.
India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accused opposition parliamentarian Rahul Gandhi of committing a "betrayal of Bharat (India)" on Monday after Gandhi's latest remarks while in Britain.
During an interaction with Indian Journalists’ Association (IJA) in London, Gandhi affirmed that his recent “Bharat Jodo Yatra” (Unite India Campaign) was necessitated because the “structures of our democracy are under brutal attack."
“The media, the institutional frameworks, judiciary, Parliament …These are all under attack and we were finding it very difficult to put the voice, our own voice and also the voice of the people, through the normal channels because the media was not picking up issues like unemployment, price rise, the concentration of wealth, and violence against women,” Gandhi said, claiming that the 2024 elections will be fought on these issues.
He went on to accuse the BJP-led Narendra Modi government of silencing the media and people deliberately.
He likewise claimed that the government is failing to protect India from foreign threats.
"You have to deal with military threats militarily. But you have to understand the nature of the threat and you have to respond to the nature of the threat. I had one conversation with the foreign minister [and] in my view he doesn't understand the threat. The government is not understanding the actual threat from China."
Gandhi also alleged that: "We have already been invaded. We have got 2000 square km of our territory that is in the hands of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) [China] and the prime minister himself has stated that nobody has entered India, not a single inch of land has been taken.”
However, he assured viewers that India's opposition forces are ready to take on the government: "The basic idea that the RSS [Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh] and the BJP need to be fought and need to be defeated is deeply entrenched in the minds of the opposition. There is no question of that. There are tactical issues [regarding opposition unity] that require discussion. In some states, they are very simple… other states they are slightly more complicated but the opposition is very much capable of having this discussion and resolving it.”
India's opposition Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi, speaks during a 5-month-long “Unite India March,” in Jammu, India, Monday, Jan.23, 2023. - Sputnik India, 1920, 03.03.2023
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BJP Slams Rahul Gandhi Over Remarks in Cambridge

BJP Slams Gandhi

In response, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla criticized Gandhi, claiming that he had stabbed India in the back while in the former colonizers' land.
In a tweet, Poonawalla said: “This is betrayal of Bharat. After the drama of Bharat Jodo, Rahul crosses every limit for Bharat Badnami (Indian defamation) in Britain! Rahul Gandhi in Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav year (75 years of freedom) goes on British soil (ironically) and is seeking foreign intervention & validation on internal issues of India!”
Meanwhile, BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya alleged in a tweet that Gandhi’s ideas are dangerous for India’s sovereignty.
In May last year, Gandhi faced a similar backlash after he claimed that the soul of India is under attack from the BJP during "The Ideas of India" conference in the UK.