NEW DELHI: In an all-out attack on Rahul Gandhi for his remark that Chinese soldiers are beating up Indian Army personnel in Arunachal Pradesh, the BJP said on Saturday that the Congress should expel him from the party as its president J P Nadda accused him of speaking the language of China and Pakistan.
“This underlines the question mark about his patriotism. He had also questioned surgical strikes and Balakot air strikes. It is a reflection of his metal bankruptcy,” Nadda said as a number of senior party leaders seized on the former Congress president’s comments to target the opposition party which is seeking some sort of political revival with Gandhi’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’.
At its official briefing, Bharatiya Janata Party spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia said if Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge is not “remote-controlled” and if the opposition party stands with the country, then Gandhi should be expelled for his comments as they “belittle” India and break the morale of its armed forces.
Bhatia likened Gandhi to Jaichand, the king of Kannauj who is projected as a betrayer to the Indian cause in some historical accounts, and alleged that he has constantly tried to break the armed forces’ morale, be it after the surgical and air strikes on terror camps in Pakistan or after the Galwan valley clashes, in which 20 soldiers had laid down their lives.
While Gandhi allegedly sought evidence of the armed forces’ strikes on terrorists inside Pakistan, he called the prime minister “Surender Modi” after the Galwan fight, the BJP leader said.
The Congress leader should tender an apology to the country for his statement, he said. His sin will not be washed away with the apology but it will at least demonstrate that he has realised his mistake, he said.
At a press conference in Jaipur on Friday during his “Bharat Jodo Yatra”, Gandhi claimed that China is preparing for a war and accused the government of trying to “ignore” the threat, saying it is “asleep” and not ready to accept the situation.
In an apparent reference to a recent clash between Indian and Chinese soldiers in Arunachal Pradesh, he said Indian jawans in the region are being “beaten up”.
Nadda said no amount of condemnation of Gandhi’s statement will be enough and added that Indian armed forces symbolise courage and valour.
He noted that the Congress, when it was in power, had signed a memorandum of understanding with the Chinese Communist Party and that the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation had received funding from the Chinese embassy here.
“Probably, this is the reason that Rahul Gandhi speaks the language of China and Pakistan,” he said, adding that Gandhi was “secretly” meeting Chinese officials at their embassy in New Delhi when Indian and Chinese soldiers faced off in Doklam.
Union minister Anurag Thakur said he was not surprised by Gandhi’s statement as even at the time of the Doklam incident he was seen drinking soup with Chinese officials.
“When Indian soldiers carried out the surgical strikes, even then he raised questions. He and the Congress seem to have no faith in the Indian Army. But we have full faith in our army. Today our army is capable of conducting surgical strikes and gives a befitting reply to the encroachers,” he said.
Union minister Kiren Rijiju said Gandhi has not only insulted the Army but also damaged the country’s image.
“He is not only a problem for the Congress Party but he has also become a huge embarrassment the country. We are proud of our Armed Forces,” the MP from Arunachal tweeted.
Bhatia told reporters that if the Congress does not act against Gandhi, who continues to be seen as its main driving force, it will mean that his statement is reflective of the opposition party’s mindset.
The Congress has become less of a political party and more of a den of anti-India activities, the BJP leader alleged.
Bhatia said it was the Indian soldiers who beat up the Chinese and chased them away, and that every citizen of the country is proud of them.
“Why is Rahul Gandhi, India’s Jaichand, working to break the morale of our brave soldiers?” he asked.
While every Indian is happy when the country’s soldiers demonstrate their valour, its enemies and the Congress suffer a lot of pain, he said.
It is no longer the India of 1962 as its brave soldiers also have a strong political leadership under Narendra Modi, Bhatia asserted.
Not even an inch of Indian territory was captured by anyone in the last more than eight years, he claimed. No one can dare India, he said, adding that the country is now showing the way to the world.
Bhatia cited a reply in Parliament by the previous Congress government that China had grabbed more than 43,180 square kilometres of Indian territory and noted that this had happened under its rule.
Hitting out at the opposition party, he referred to its agreement when it was in power with the Chinese Communist Party and said it should make its content public.
It seems it is part of the agreement that the Congress will never condemn China, he said, claiming that the party will be betraying the country by not sharing its details. (PTI)