“In US, Rahul Addressed Press Club, What About Modi?”
NEW DELHI, (IANS) – Indian Overseas Congress Chairman Sam Pitroda said on June 23 that BJP is spreading lies about Rahul Gandhi, who is a dedicated Indian and has the “DNA of freedom fighters and people who sacrificed their lives for the country”.
The BJP had targeted former Congress President Rahul Gandhi for keeping the details of his meetings abroad secret and accused him of being an agent of the ‘other’ country.
Pitroda said that Rahul Gandhi is not going abroad to “complain” because he has said that “Indian democracy is for the larger global public good” and “India cannot be insulted” if anyone criticizes the government.
“Rahul Gandhi is not an agent of any country. He is a dedicated Indian who has the DNA of freedom fighters and people who believed in the idea of India. You (BJP) are calling him an agent? You got to be stupid,” Pitroda said in an interview.
Pitroda said that Rahul Gandhi is not going abroad to complain, because, as he has said and I totally agree with him, Indian democracy is for the larger global public good.
“We are the largest democracy in the world. And it is our moral responsibility to talk to other countries. Other countries need to be democratic, still, we respect them for what they are. We believe in freedom, liberty, justice, and inclusion. One doesn’t have to agree, but we believe that certain things are going through stress in India, and we want to spread that message and there is nothing wrong in it,” he said.
“Criticizing the government is different from criticizing India, but these (BJP) guys get confused and say that we are criticizing India. No, India cannot be criticized. India is too big; it cannot be insulted by anybody. India has a long history, special heritage, it cannot be insulted by anybody,” he said.
He added that an opposition leader can criticize the government, which is perfectly normal and should be acceptable, adding that one should pay attention to criticisms instead of attacking the critique.
Pitorda also said that during Rahul Gandhi’s recent six-day visit to the US, he met with 15 professors at Stanford University, who all specialize in studying democracy.
“These people have written books on democracy and it’s always good to have a conversation with them. We learned from them, they also learned from our side,” the Congress leader said.
Taking a swipe at the BJP for not holding a conversation, Pitroda said: “If the BJP does not want to have a conversation, it’s their privilege. When Rahul Gandhi came to the US, he addressed the National Press Club before 100 journalists from all over the world. I wish the Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) would do that. That is what the Prime Minister should do rather than ask questions. That is democracy, and that’s what we are pushing for.”
He said the Congress wants a system that is “open, transparent, accountable”, and not personal attacks based on lies.
Pitroda has been instrumental in organizing the programs of Rahul Gandhi abroad.