Smriti Irani on Rahul Gandhi's UC Berkeley speech: 'A failed dynast spoke about his failed journey'

BJP on Tuesday hit back at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi over his remarks at the University of California, Berkeley in the United States.

FP Politics September 12, 2017 13:00:22 IST
Smriti Irani on Rahul Gandhi's UC Berkeley speech: 'A failed dynast spoke about his failed journey'

The BJP wasted little time in hitting back at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi over his remarks at the University of California, Berkeley in the United States.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani said that Rahul had forgotten that the voter is an Indian citizen and not a foreigner.

"Maybe Rahul Gandhi has forgotten that the voter is an Indian citizen. And that voter put his trust in Narendra Modi in 2014," Irani said.

On the issue of dynastic politics, the Union minister said, "Rahul Gandhi forgot that in free India, there are many citizens who have contributed to India but do not have a political legacy. The prime minister himself comes from a village and was born in a poor family. The president is from a marginalised community. The vice-president is a farmer's son."

When Rahul was asked about dynastic politics, he had said that this was a problem that "this is present in all political parties in India". "Don't go after me because the entire country is running like that. That's what happens in India," he had said.

Smriti Irani on Rahul Gandhis UC Berkeley speech A failed dynast spoke about his failed journey

File image of Smriti Irani. PTI

"The presence of these three dignitaries at the top constitutional posts shows that Indian democracy thrives and gives an opportunity to merit, not to dynasty," Irani said, in response to Rahul.

"A failed dynast today chose to speak about his failed political journey in the United States of America," the minister said.

"It was fascinating for me to watch that the Congress vice-president has publicly proclaimed that under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi, the Congress became arrogant. The confession is something for the Congress to delve into," she said.

Irani's remark came after Rahul had earlier in the day said that during 2012, "arrogance crept into Congress party and we stopped having conversations with people."

"The fact that he chose to belittle the prime minister is expected. After failing to connect with the people of India, Mr Gandhi chooses a platform of convenience for berating his opponents," Irani said.

"The fact that he said that dynasts and dynastic politics is the very fulcrum of India is itself an anomaly," she said. "All I shall say that it is not surprising that a dynast has absolutely no support, no kind words about cooperative federalism which is very evident in the Indian polity and administration," she added.

On Rahul's comments on the Kashmir issue, Irani said that he ignored the "challenges" left behind by the Nehru-Gandhi family.

"He did not say anything about the legacy of challenges the Nehru-Gandhi family left behind as far as Kashmir is concerned. Today, if you look at Jammu and Kashmir, our security forces have had major achievements against those who are terrorising the state. When it comes to Jammu and Kashmir, for Mr Gandhi, what is important is the politics and not the interest of the nation or the state at large," Irani said.

"PDP was the instrument that brought Kashmiri youngsters into the political space. The day Mr Modi made an alliance between PDP and BJP, he destroyed PDP as an instrument for bringing youth into the political space," Rahul had earlier said in University of California, Berkeley about the Kashmir issue.

When asked about whether he was a reluctant politician, Rahul had said that this was a false image which had been created by a "BJP machine that basically tells you about me".

"For Mr Gandhi to indicate that a leadership's reluctance is defined by the right-wing is itself an oxymoron. This means Mr Gandhi thinks that his leadership is defined by us and not by his own contributions," Irani said in response.

On Rahul's remarks against GST, Irani said, "Under the leadership of the prime minister, all the states came together. This speaks a lot about cooperative federalism. If you look at any discussion on GST Council, the finance minister says that the decisions are taken unanimously after discussions with all the states."

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