What message are we sending to China with meagre hike in defence allocation, he asks
Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said India’s international reputation has taken a “massive hit” because of the way the government is treating its own people and asserted that the country is in a “dangerous condition” and the Prime Minister should take quick action to lead it.
At a press conference at the party headquarters, the Congress leader attacked the Narendra Modi government over it’s handling of the farmers’ agitation and the Budget, which, he claimed, not only sends a wrong signal to China but also caters to 1% of the population.
He also asked why the government has made Delhi into a fortress with barricades. He said the farmers are not going to back off and ultimately, the government will have to withdraw the laws.
“The reputation of India has taken a massive hit. Not only on how we are treating our farmers [but] how we treat our own people, how we treat journalists; it has taken a massive hit. Our biggest strength, you can call it soft power, has been shattered by the BJP and the RSS,” Mr. Gandhi said.
Asked about international pop singer Rihanna tweeting about the farmers’ protests, the Congress leader, however, called it “our internal matter”.
“The country requires the Prime Minister to take strict quick action. It requires that the Prime Minister put money immediately into the hands of our people and start the economy. It requires that he protects the small and medium businesses who give us jobs…it requires a clear message to China that ‘you cannot do this with us’. You cannot be sitting inside our land and expect that nothing is going to happen,” he said.
“This country is lacking leadership. There is no leadership in this country anymore. There is just talk, there is no understanding, there is no strategy… Now, of course, what is there is a media that is controlled and so reality of what is going on is not coming out….He [Mr. Modi] is now on a different plane. He has got a beard and seems we are going somewhere else now and the country is not being run. It is my request to the Prime Minister — please gather up your courage and run the country.”
The Congress leader alleged that while China has entered India and taken away “thousands of kilometres of our land,” the government has raised the Defence Budget only by ₹3,000-4,000 crore.
“The commitment of forces is cent per cent, the government’s commitment should be 110%. Whatever our Army, Navy and Air Force need, the government should give them. What kind of patriotism is this that our Army is standing in the cold in Ladakh and you are not giving them money.
“So, my constant request to the Prime Minister is: Do your job, you have been elected to do your job. Your job is not to sell this country to 1% of the population. Your job is to protect the kisaans, who are standing outside. Go, hold their hands, give them a hug and tell them, ‘what is it that I can do for you?’ Your job is to make sure that small and medium business can compete with China,” he said.
Earlier, in a tweet, Mr. Gandhi recalled names such as Mussolini, Marcos and Musharraf and asked why the names of so many dictators start with ‘M’.