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Doklam sign of Modi’s episodic approach, part of govt’s failures, says Rahul Gandhi in London

Rahul Gandhi faulted Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his “episodic” view of the incident for the over two-month stand-off.

india Updated: Aug 24, 2018 20:38 IST
Preasun Sonwalkar
Preasun Sonwalkar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
doklam,rahul gandhi,PM Modi
Rahul Gandhi today addressed a series of interactive events with audiences that included policy experts, diplomats, scholars, students and British MPs in London.(HT Photo)

The alleged presence of Chinese troops in Doklam reflected the Narendra Modi government’s “episodic” and “event-centric” approach to foreign policy, Congress president Rahul Gandhi said here on Friday, listing a catalogue of its “failures”.

Addressing a series of interactive events with audiences that included policy experts, diplomats, scholars, students and British MPs, Gandhi said a ‘formidable alliance’ was being stitched to ensure the defeat of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the 2019 elections.

Mentioning Doklam as an example of the alleged failure of the Modi government, Gandhi said the stand-off with China was not a one-off event but part of a sequence. He regretted that instead of viewing it as part of a process, the government had an ‘episodic’ approach to it.

“This government has an event-centric perspective. Doklam is part of a process; he (Modi) sees it as an event. The truth is that the Chinese are still there. If we were in power, Doklam would not have happened”, he said at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

“On Pakistan too, the Modi government lacks a coherent strategy; but see it as episodic. The problem is who do you talk to in Pakistan, which institution do you talk; they have institutions that hate us, promote terror in our country; we don’t want to talk to them”.

Gandhi cited the experience of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, whose initiatives with the civilian government in Islamabad were simultaneously undermined by other institutions in the country, and led to incidents such as the Kargil conflict.

Attacking the Modi government’s foreign policy, he took a swipe at the alleged domination of the ministry of external affairs by the prime minister’s office, stating that the “capable” minister Sushma Swaraj would have achieved something if she were allowed to work, instead of being confined to responding to visa requests on Twitter.

Gandhi told a gathering in the Grand Committee Room in Westminster that his party had succeeded in “completely dismantling” the idea that the Modi government was a success by highlighting what he called its “insane economic policies” such as demonetisation.

“There is a job crisis in India. China is creating 50,000 jobs in 24 hours; India is creating 450; these are not my figures but government of India data. The jobs will come from small and medium enterprises but the Modi government focuses only on some big businessmen”, he said.

“We are also fighting against attempts to impose rigid, hate-fuelled angry ideology in the country; attempts to capture and destroy institutions nurtured and developed over 70 years. There is a sustained attack on the weak”, he added.

According to Gandhi, Modi is “not allowing Indians to express themselves”, and thus he and the Congress wanted to return the country to the “old India” of pre-2014, of social inclusion, when journalists and those holding differing views did not face threats to life and limb.

First Published: Aug 24, 2018 16:21 IST