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World News | Structure of Indian democracy under ‘brutal attack’: Rahul Gandhi

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LONDON, 5th March (PTI) Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has stepped up his attacks on the Bharatiya Janata Party government, claiming a “brutal attack” on the fabric of Indian democracy and launching a sweeping attack on the country’s institutions.

The opposition leader, in London as part of a tour of the UK, told reporters here that there was an ongoing dialogue within the opposition party to unite around an alternative vision for the country and to act against an “undercurrent of anger” on pressing issues such as unemployment and rising prices , concentration of wealth and violence against women.

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The 52-year-old ex-Chairman of Congress cited recent Income Tax Department investigations targeting the BBC’s New Delhi and Mumbai offices as an example of the ‘national suppression of voices’ which was a motivating factor behind his ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ – he It has been described as an expression of opposition to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s attempts to silence the country.

“The yatra is necessary because our democratic structures have been brutally attacked,” Gandhi told reporters at the India Insights event organized by the Indian Journalists Association (IJA) on Saturday night.

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“The media, the institutional framework, the judiciary, the parliament are under attack and we find it difficult to express the voice of the people through normal channels,” he claimed.

“The BBC has now found out about this, but it has been going on and on in India for the past nine years. Everyone knows that journalists are intimidated, they are attacked and threatened. Those journalists who play by the rules get the government Reward. So, it’s part of a pattern and I don’t want it to be different. If the BBC stopped writing against the government, everything would go back to normal. All the cases would go away,” he noted.

Gandhi lamented that the democratic part of the world, including the United States and Europe, failed to notice that “a large part of democracy has disintegrated”.

“The BJP wants India to be silent. They want it to be quiet…because they want to be able to take what’s in India and give it to their close friends. Hand over their ideas to three, four, five people,” he said.

Gandhi’s earlier comments at Cambridge University that Indian democracy was under attack and that several politicians, including him, were under surveillance drew a sharp reaction from the BJP, which accused him of defaming the country in foreign territories after successive election setbacks on the image.

“We can understand his hatred for the prime minister, but conspiracy to discredit the country on foreign soil with the help of foreign friends raises questions on the agenda of Congress,” Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur told Delhi. reporter. on Friday.

Thakur said Gandhi was aware of the electoral debacle Congress was facing in parliamentary elections and had resorted to allegations from foreign territories.

“Congress lost another election but when they lost no time in smearing India from foreign soil, their bankruptcy was evident,” Thakur said.

Asked about Congress and opposition plans for the next general election, Gandhi said on Saturday that the battle for the polls was not only between parties but also against institutions because there was “no level playing field” in Indian politics.

“There are conversations going on between the opposition parties and I know a lot of them. The basic idea that the RSS and the BJP need to be fought and defeated is ingrained in the thinking of the opposition parties. There is no doubt about it,” he said.

“There are some tactical issues to discuss…but it’s important to understand that India’s opposition parties are no longer fighting political parties. We are now fighting India’s institutional structure; BJP and RSS control almost all institutions in India. So there is no fair The idea of ​​a playing field because these institutions are not neutral,” he said.

Gandhi also hit back at government criticism, saying he had slandered countries on foreign soil in a speech at Cambridge University earlier this week, where he first raised the issue of Indian democracy being “under attack”.

He said: “I have never slandered my country, I am not interested in it, I will never do it. The BJP loves to twist my words… The truth is, the person who goes abroad to slander India is the Prime Minister of India… Saying this Is a lost decade and nothing happened in last 10 years – so what about all those who worked in India and built India in those 10 years? Isn’t he insulting them? Also, he is doing it in foreign land .”

The MP added that there were billions of dollars behind a certain narrative being presented and pointed the finger at Gautam Adani, founder and chairman of Adani Group.

“Mr Adani seems to have won every auction he’s been in,” Gandhi said.

Asked about India-China relations, Gandhi said India needs to be very careful about China’s “hostile” and “aggressive” actions on the border, and reiterated his Cambridge speech that global production needs to be free from coercion. China moves towards a more democratic structure.

Gandhi was in London as part of a week-long visit to the UK as a Cambridge University visiting scholar and was scheduled to interact with the Indian diaspora on Sunday.

He will also be received at an event in the House of Commons on behalf of Britain’s opposition Labor Party and will speak to the Chatham House think tank in London on the Russia-Ukraine conflict and wider geopolitics before wrapping up his visit to the UK.

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)

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