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Rahul Gandhi has habit of criticising India abroad: Jaishankar

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NEW DELHI: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday blasted Rahul Gandhi for his “habit of criticising India” abroad and said taking national politics out of the country is not in its interest.

Jaishankar also exuded confidence of the NDA retaining power in 2024 parliamentary elections as he said “2024 ka result toh wohi hoga, hamein pata hei (we know what will happen in 2024).”

To a question at a press conference on the Congress leader’s strong remarks in the US against the Modi government, Jaishankar said he does not have a problem with whatever is done within India, but asserted that taking internal issues aboard was not appropriate.

“Rahul Gandhi has a habit of criticising the country and making comments on our politics whenever he goes abroad. The world is looking at us and what the world is seeing? Elections are held in the country and sometimes one party wins and at times the other party wins,” he said.

“If there is no democracy in the country such changes should not come….2024 ka result toh wohi hoga, hamein pata hei,” Jaishankar said.

“If you see all the narratives (against the government), they are made within the country. If a narrative does not work or is less effective, then it is taken abroad. They expect that the outside support will work in India,” he said.

Jaishankar said taking national politics abroad will not enhance Gandhi’s credibility.

“There is democracy in the country. You have your politics, we have ours. I have no problem with whatever is done within the country, but I do not think taking national politics out of the country is in national interests. I do not think it will enhance his credibility,” he said.

While replying to another question on Gandhi’s criticism of the government’s handling of the eastern Ladakh border row, Jaishankar criticised the Congress leader and cited his raising last year of the issue of construction of a bridge by China in Pangong Tso area that was occupied by the neighbouring country in 1962.

Three days back, Gandhi said at an event in New York that the BJP and RSS are “incapable” of looking at the future and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is trying to drive the Indian car by only looking in the rearview mirror which will lead to “one accident after another”.

Gandhi addressed a massive community event at the Javits Centre organised by the American chapter of the Indian Overseas Congress.

“Back home we have a problem, and I will tell you the problem. BJP and the RSS are incapable of looking at the future. They’re incapable. Unse aap kuch bhi poocho, woh peeche ki aur dekhte hain (You ask anything they look into the past),” he said.

Gandhi said that if you ask the BJP why a train accident happened, they will say the Congress Party did such and such a thing 50 years ago, taking a swipe at the government following the Odisha train accident, one of the worst railway tragedies in the country.

In his remarks while replying to the question on Gandhi’s attack on the government on the eastern Ladakh border row, Jaishankar said the issues should be looked at in totality.

The external affairs minister also rued that not much attention was given on border infrastructure before 2014.

“A lot of our forward deployment problems are because the border was so badly neglected. I mean I do not want to go into those famous statements that our best defence is neglect of the border so that other people cannot come forward. But the result was that our own troops were severely disadvantaged when they had to respond,” he said.

“I think there are real issues here and you should look at it in totality. I honestly feel there are certain issues where it is important for the country to have a serious debate. It is not my case that everybody should agree with me, but it should be a serious debate,” the external affairs minister said.

It should not be a kind of point scoring exercise as India does not look good globally, he added. (PTI)

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