Vice President targets Rahul for attempt to tarnish India on foreign soil


New Delhi: Without taking name, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar on Thursday targeted Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for making ‘anti-India’ remarks on foreign soil, terming them as ironic and painful.

Speaking at the launch of the book ‘Mundaka Upanishad: The Bridge to Immortality’ penned by veteran politician Karan Singh, Dhankhar said, “How ironic, how painful! While the world is applauding our historic accomplishments as a functional vibrant democracy, some among us, including parliamentarians, are engaged in the thoughtless, unfair denigration of our well-nurtured democratic values. How can we justify such wanton orchestration of a factually untenable narrative?”

He said that at a time when India is having its moment of glory as G20 President, there are people outside the country working in overdrive to denigrate the nation.

“Such misplaced campaign mode to taint and tarnish our Parliament and constitutional entities is too serious and exceptional to be ignored or countenanced. No political strategy or partisan stance can justify compromising our nationalism and democratic values,” the Vice President said.

Dhankhar said he would be on the wrong side of the Constitution if he maintains silence on this misadventure-orchestration by a Member of Parliament outside the country, which is ill-premised, unwholesome and motivated.

“How can I sanctify a statement that mics are put off in the Indian Parliament? How can people say so? Has there been any illustration? Yes! We did have a dark chapter of our political history. Proclamation of Emergency was the darkest period any democracy can suffer. But Indian democratic polity is now mature. There can be no repeat of that.

“Anyone who says so, inside or outside the country, that in mics are put off in the Parliament… Imagine this being done after having held the floor for nearly 50 minutes. Such kind of wanton and misadventure to run down our democratic values cannot be countenanced. I call upon everyone – intelligentsia, media and youth who are our warriors of 2047 – to rise to the occasion, expose these forces and neutralise them,” he said.

Dhankhar also said that people should not allow such a narrative to gain momentum by those elements who wish to pose hurdles to our rising growth.

“I preside over the Rajya Sabha, let someone come forward and say mics were put off,” he said.

Dhankar reiterated that there is fullest freedom of expression in India as per the Constitution and no democracy in the world can rival that.

“You run down our judiciary on foreign soil. Where on the planet is a judiciary that acts with such lightning speed? Our judiciary is made with the most brilliant minds in the world,” he added.

Addressing MBA students at the Cambridge Judge Business School on the topic of ‘Learning to Listen in the 21st Century’, Rahul Gandhi had recently said that opposition parties are under ‘constant pressure’ as numerous cases have been slapped on them by the BJP government.

“Indian democracy is under attack. The institutional framework which is required for a democracy — Parliament, free press, the judiciary, just the idea of mobilisation — these are all getting constrained. We are facing an attack on the basic structure of democracy,” Rahul Gandhi had said.

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( With inputs from )

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