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Rahul Gandhi criticizes BJP's pursuit of power in Paris address

The Congress leader asserts that the ruling party is determined to attain power at any expense, devoid of Hindu principles

Reported by:  PTC News Desk  Edited by:  Annesha Barua -- September 10th 2023 05:44 PM -- Updated: September 12th 2023 04:02 PM
Rahul Gandhi criticizes BJP's pursuit of power in Paris address

Rahul Gandhi criticizes BJP's pursuit of power in Paris address

London, September 10: Rahul Gandhi, a prominent leader of the Indian National Congress, expressed his criticism of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) during an interaction with students and academics in Paris. He accused the governing party of pursuing power at any cost and emphasised that there is nothing inherently Hindu about their actions.

Speaking at Sciences PO University in Paris, a respected social sciences institution in France, the 53-year-old opposition leader covered various topics. He discussed his 'Bharat Jodo Yatra,' the opposition alliance's commitment to defending India's democratic structures, the evolving global order, and other key issues.

Gandhi underscored the opposition's dedication to safeguarding the "soul of India" and reassured that the country would overcome its current "turbulence."

Regarding the rise of "Hindu nationalism" in India, Gandhi responded by saying, "I've read the 'Gita,' I've read a number of the Upanishads, I've read many Hindu books; there is nothing Hindu about what the BJP does, absolutely nothing. I have not read anywhere, in no Hindu book, from no learned Hindu person have I ever heard that you should terrorize, harm people who are weaker than you. So, this idea, this word, Hindu nationalists, this is a wrong word. They're not Hindu nationalists. They have nothing to do with Hinduism. They are out to get power at any cost, and they will do anything to get power… They want dominance of a few people, and that is what they are about. There is nothing Hindu about them."

Gandhi also highlighted that 60% of India voted for opposition parties, while only 40% voted for the ruling BJP.

"So this idea that the majority community is voting for the BJP, this is a wrong idea. The majority community actually votes more for us than they vote for them," he asserted.

On the India-Bharat distinction, he referred to the Indian Constitution, which defines India as "India that is Bharat, a union of states." He emphasized the importance of ensuring that the voices of all people in these states are heard and not suppressed or intimidated.

The session in Paris, part of his European tour, was moderated by Professor Christophe Jaffrelot, Director of the Centre of International Studies, and chaired by Arancha Gonzalez, Dean of the Paris School of International Affairs at Sciences PO.

Gandhi also had a similar interaction with students at INALCO University in Paris before heading to Rotterdam in the Netherlands.

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- With inputs from agencies

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