Rahul Gandhi never sought foreign forces to save Indian democracy, says Shashi Tharoor amid parliament ruckus
Indian National Congress leader Rahul Gandhi (ANI Photo)
Indian National Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Friday (17) stood by former president of the party Rahul Gandhi over the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) relentless demand seeking his apology over the recent remarks made in London about the Indian democracy saying the latter had never sought foreign forces’ intervention to save it.
Speaking to Asian News International, Tharoor, who like Gandhi represents the southern state of Kerala in the parliament, said, “Rahul Gandhi never demanded foreign forces come to our country to save our democracy. He hasn’t said anything he should apologise for. It’s nonsense.”
“Democracy, in our country, is in danger and everyone should know about it. I didn’t hear anything wrong in it,” Tharoor, a former United Nations diplomat, said.
Further talking about the parliamentary budget session, Tharoor, 67, said, “It is the government’s responsibility to run the Parliament. The budget session is ongoing, there’s a need to pass the finance bill.”
“When there are such important matters, you are not allowing parliament to function over a non-issue,” the veteran leader said.
Gandhi said at the Chatham House in the UK during his recent visit to the country, “The surprising thing is that the so-called defenders of democracy, which are the US, European countries, seem to be oblivious that a huge chunk of democratic model has come undone. The opposition is fighting the battle and it is not an Indian battle alone, actually it is much more of a bigger battle, a battle for a huge part of democratic people.”
Earlier in the day, Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge responded to BJP national president J P Nadda’s attack on Rahul Gandhi calling him a “permanent part” of the “anti-nationalist toolkit” saying the saffron party had never taken part in the country’s freedom movement and was anti-national itself.
Talking to ANI, Kharge said, “They (BJP) themselves are anti-national. They never took part in India’s freedom movement, worked for the Britishers and they are calling others anti-national? They are doing this to deviate from issues of unemployment and inflation. Can Rahul Gandhi ever be anti-national? Are people who debate about democracy anti-national?”
He added that Congress and Rahul Gandhi will respond to Nadda’s salvo in Parliament.
“I condemn JP Nadda’s statement. There is no point of apologising. We will give a strong reply to this in the Parliament. Rahul Gandhi Ji will himself reply on this, that’s why they (BJP) are scared. Why are they not giving him a chance to speak in parliament,” he said.
The parliament has seen repeated discussions with both the BJP and the opposition locking horns over their respective demands. While the BJP sought Gandhi’s apology, the opposition asked for a joint parliamentary probe into the Adani Group fiasco.
(With ANI inputs)