‘Democratic Structures Under Attack’: Rahul Gandhi Slams Modi Govt In Belgium:Deets Inside!

Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi is touring Europe for a week while New Delhi welcomes a flurry of international leaders for the G20 summit. He will meet with European lawmakers and members of the Indian diaspora. Rahul Gandhi, a Congressman, restated his claim that “democracy is backsliding” on Friday even as he backed the Modi administration’s position on the Russia-Ukraine crisis. This claim was made in March at Cambridge University in the UK and was roundly criticised by his political rivals.

On the eve of the G20 Summit in Delhi, Rahul spoke at a press conference in the Belgian capital of Brussels. He also criticised the administration for not inviting Mallikarjun Kharge, the leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha, to the dinner that the President of India would be hosting for G20 delegates. “There is a sense in India that democratic structures of our country… institutional structures of our country are under attack. They are under attack from a group of people who are running India,” he said. However, he added that “the fight for democracy in India is ours (Opposition)”. 

“It is our responsibility and we will take care of it. We will make sure that the onslaught on our institutions…. on our freedom is stopped. The Opposition will make sure of that,” he stated. On a week-long tour of Europe, the former president of the Congress will meet with lawmakers and people of the Indian diaspora in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, and Norway while New Delhi prepares to welcome a flurry of world leaders for the G20 Summit over the weekend.

Rahul stated at the news conference that he had met with numerous European Parliamentarians in Brussels on Thursday to discuss “the challenges that India is facing.” Rahul claims that among these difficulties is a “general attack on democratic institutions.” Rahul praised the position taken by the Modi administration in response to a different query about the continuing war between Russia and Ukraine and India’s perspective thereon.  

“The Opposition will by and large agree with India’s position on Russia,” he said. “We have a relationship with Russia. I don’t think the Opposition will have a different view than what the government is currently proposing.” India has rejected suggestions from the West to isolate Russia over its conflict with Ukraine and has instead advocated for discussion and diplomacy as a solution.

The G20 Summit, according to Rahul, is a “important conversation,” but he criticised the Modi administration for failing to invite Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge to the President’s dinner being held in conjunction with the summit.  “They have decided not to invite the Leader of the Opposition. It tells you something. It tells you that they don’t value the leader of 60 percent of India’s population.” The Wayanad-based Congress member addressed the debate surrounding the rumours of a potential “name change” for India to Bharat. 

“These are panic reactions. There is a sense of fear in the government,” he said, referring to the new Opposition alliance that has come together under the name ‘INDIA’. “These are distraction tactics. We of course came up with the name INDIA for our coalition. We consider ourselves the voice of India. But it obviously has disturbed the prime minister enough that he wants to change the name of the country. Which is absurd but that’s what it is.”