Congress president Rahul Gandhi has landed himself a fresh controversy over a recent interaction in Singapore. The Gandhi scion reportedly ducked a question by an economics teacher Prasenjit K Basu over the state of the economy in India. The Congress, however, posted an edited version of the video on their Twitter page, which did not go down well with Basu.
The controversial interaction took place on Thursday when Rahul began taking questions from the audience during an event organised by the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP). "During the years that your family ruled India, India's per capita income grew at less than the world average. But why is it that the PCI has grown substantially faster since your family relinquished power," asked Basu, a writer of a book on the economic history of Asia.
To this, Rahul replied, "You're giving a lot of power to one family (with your question.)"
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) March 9, 2018
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) March 9, 2018
"At the point of independence, India's per capita income was one of the lowest in the world. When you're one of the poorest countries in the world, you should be faster than the world average. Unfortunately during the period of your family's rule, India did not achieve it," Basu said. "Do you agree that India is a success today? So are you saying that I had absolutely no role (in the success)," Rahul asked in response. During the same round of interaction, another questioner hailed the roles of Jawaharlal Nehru and the Congress in framing the Constitution. According to The Straits Times, the questioner also asked Rahul to "restore" India to what it was before Narendra Modi came to power in 2014. "You're both going to extremes. He's saying that I'm the cause of every single problem, while you're saying that I'm the cause of every single solution. This conversation shows you the polarisation," Rahul said. "The truth is, India's success is hugely because of India's people. However, anybody in the room who thinks that the Congress is not part of the success... needs to write a new book," Rahul added. Congress shared an edited video of the exchanges, keeping out the immediate response of Rahul to Basu's question.
With political discourse hitting new lows everyday, Congress President Rahul Gandhi shows how to gracefully handle detractors and call their bluff. #RGinSingapore #IndiaAt70 pic.twitter.com/OnTJz0kzUx — Congress (@INCIndia) March 8, 2018
"I am a person who has been taught to love my opponents, love those who dislike me. I have absolutely no animosity towards somebody who says I have achieved nothing. I differ with it; I will contest it, if you have a serious conversation with me. I may or may not be able to convince you...I'm proud to sit in a room and have a gentleman say this to me. Now you notice something else, Modi would never do that. You would never have the ability to say to Modi what you said to me. And I am absolutely, blazingly proud of that," Rahul is seen as saying in the video.
Basu called out the manipulation of the scene and demanded that the video be taken down. He also warned of taking the case to the court.
This is a classic fake-news video. You are using my image to falsely advertise your politician, showing a sequence of events that did not occur. Withdraw this false video, or prepare for prosecution in Singapore’s courts!
— Prasenjit K. Basu (@PrasenjitKBasu) March 8, 2018
The BJP, too, jumped in the row, and claimed that the Congress "doctored the video" to cover for its president, according to CNN-News18.
Dear @OfficeOfRG You have inherited the mantle as a dynast. So, you will be asked questions of your family's poor track record in office & its "Poverty Perpetuating Model" for promoting political interests. Post 2004, I'm glad you are admitting your role in scam ridden governance https://t.co/dbhYYW8cAL — GVL Narasimha Rao (@GVLNRAO) March 9, 2018
Updated Date: Mar 09, 2018 20:38 PM