BJP’s Sambit Patra accuses Rahul Gandhi of tarnishing image of India, says ‘can’t forgive’ him for Islamic State remarks

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) slammed Congress president Rahul Gandhi for “tarnishing the image” of the country in the speech he made in Hamburg, Germany, on Wednesday. BJP spokesperson, Sambit Patra, in his counter-attack, gave a point by point rebuttal of Rahul’s speech, demanding an apology.

Rahul, in his address, while referring to the dearth of jobs for minorities had cited the example of Islamic State terrorist group to say that the exclusion of a large number of people from the development process could lead to the creation of insurgent groups anywhere in the world. Addressing the Congress president directly, Patra demanded that Rahul explain his comment, asking that if Modi has not given the ‘vision’ to minorities, should they join the Islamic State.

“Mr Gandhi, for this comment, we can’t forgive you,” said Patra.

Patra also spoke about Rahul’s comment on women’s safety in India. The Congress president in his speech had stated that Indian men do not view the women in the country as equal and they should change their outlook towards women.

“I think it is a cultural issue, it is an issue of how Indian men view Indian women and I think it requires a huge amount of work to fix that problem,” he said. Patra attacked Rahul for insulting India’s culture.

Patra said, “How can Rahul point fingers at the great Indian culture when his mother, Sonia Gandhi, is at top of Indian politics because of the great Indian culture?”

Patra said that in Rahul’s speech he could only hear the word, China. Outlining his idea of India’s foreign policy, Rahul had said there are different visions in the world, including that of the US, China and India. He said India’s role should be to balance the US and China — much like Europe’s role. Patra asked Gandhi if this is all he thinks of India. “You have a false estimate of India and India’s potential,” said the BJP spokesperson.

Patra claimed that Rahul had tarnished India’s image. He also attacked Navjot Singh Sidhu who attended the swearing-in ceremony of Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan and garnered controversy over embracing Pakistan army chief. “Sidhu cares about Pakistan, you care about China, does anyone even care about Hindustan?” he asked, while terming Rahul’s entire speech a lie.

The Congress president in his speech had also claimed that the Modi government had struck down a law protecting the Dalit minority. Patra aggressively defended the government stating that in the Monsoon Session of the Parliament, where Rahul was present, a more stringent law was passed. He asked Rahul to do his homework.

“You might not do your homework, but at least tell your team to,” said Patra, while also questioning Rahul’s facts regarding the numbers he has about China giving 50,000 jobs in 24 hours, and India giving 450.

“Where did you get this data from? Did you make them up in your house?” asked Patra.

“You also lied that money for the poor is being diverted to corporates, but remember what your father said about only a small amount reaching to the poor due to pilferage. Today, the entire amount is being directed to accounts,” Patra said.

Patra had previously tweeted about the Islamic State statement, and had claimed that Rahul was “justifying” the formation of Islamic State in Syria. “…and giving out a veiled threat that if Modiji doesn’t ‘give vision’ to India then soon someone else (read Islamic State) would give the vision…. Unbelievable …He’s a PM aspirant?” remarked Patra.

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