WASHINGTON: Indian opposition leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday criticized Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s handling of relations with China, saying Beijing was “occupying our...
WASHINGTON: Indian opposition leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday criticized Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s handling of relations with China, saying Beijing was “occupying our territory,” while also taking a dig at the Hindu nationalist leader over the country’s religious polarization, reports a foreign news outlet. “The fact of the matter is China is occupying our territory. It’s an accepted fact,” Gandhi, who belongs to the opposition Congress party, said in remarks at The National Press Club during a visit to Washington.
“It’s absolutely unacceptable. Prime Minister seems to believe otherwise.” Gandhi also accused the BJP of “capture of institutions” and “capture of the press” in India. Since Modi came to power in 2014, India has slid from 140th in World Press Freedom Index, an annual ranking by non-profit Reporters Without Borders, to 161st this year, its lowest ever.Separately, Gandhi blamed Modi for India’s religious polarisation, saying his Hindu nationalist party was not inclusive.
“They sort of generate a certain amount of hatred in society, they polarize society and they are not inclusive. They don’t embrace everybody, and they divide society,” Gandhi said.Gandhi explained how a state party in Kerala, Indian Union Muslim League, is a secular party.“Muslim League is a completely secular party. There is nothing non-secular about Muslim League. I think the person (who sent the question) has not studied the Muslim League,” Gandhi said. Rahul Gandhi’s earlier statements have already stirred criticism from the BJP, his comment on the Muslim League drew more flak, leading to a considerable war of words between the ruling party and the Opposition Congress.