New Delhi: Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur on Tuesday said Rahul Gandhi should stop his “Cambridge cries and London lies” of democracy on decline and face the electorate in India, instead of seeking help from his “foreign friends”.
Participating in the Lokmat National Conclave here, Thakur said that Gandhi has been critical of India on foreign soil after losing a series of elections where the BJP and its allies emerged victorious, trouncing the Congress.
“No matter how much help he (Gandhi) seeks from foreign friends, foreign newspapers and channels, foreign soil, foreigners can never dominate India. You have to vote here, not in England or America,” the senior BJP leader said.
“Rahul Gandhi should stop Cambridge cries and London lies and come back to Parliament and apologise to Parliament,” he said.
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Gandhi’s remarks alleging erosion of democratic values in India have led to a stand-off between the opposition and treasury benches in Parliament for two days, with the BJP demanding that the Congress leader should apologise.
The Budget Session of Parliament resumed on Monday after a month-long recess.
On Gandhi’s claims that opposition leaders were not given adequate time to speak in Parliament, Thakur said the former Congress president’s attendance in Lok Sabha was way below the average attendance of lawmakers.
“Where is Mr Rahul Gandhi when Parliament is in session? If you look at the average attendance of MPs, his attendance is way below that. Yet, he leaves no stone unturned to criticise Parliament and parliamentarians,” the minister said.
The senior BJP leader said Gandhi was nonplussed after tasting defeat in three states. “When he was undertaking Yatra, he lost Gujarat. When he was elsewhere, he lost in other states. Now he has gone on a holiday abroad. But, citizens of India have to stay here,” Thakur said.
Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said Gandhi would soon be under fire from his own party.
“We have few comical figures who want to go outside India and seek the interventions of the outside world to have a regime change in India. Some of the statements he has made are atrocious,” Puri said.
“I think the problem is not coming from the BJP and it is coming from his own people instead. Some people are saying that the efforts made for the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ have failed after his remarks. I am quite happy with how he is acting,” Puri, a diplomat-turned-politician, said.