Rahul Gandhi meets UK MP Jeremy Corbyn in London; BJP, Congress begin war of words in India
BJP leader Kapil Mishra and party's IT cell head Amit Malviya, besides Union minister Kiren Rijuji were among those who attacked Gandhi, calling him Corbyn's "overseas collaborator" in sharing dislike for India.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday came under fire of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for meeting Britain’s Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn in London. The BJP hit out at the Congress MP for allegedly endorsing the UK MP's “anti-India” views on foreign soil.
The remarks took social media by storm when BJP leader and Union law minister Kiren Rijiju shared a picture of Gandhi's meeting with Corbyn and attacked the former Congress president for going against his own country.
"Again.. Rahul Gandhi meets UK MP and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn who is known for his hatred and dislike for India, advocates Kashmir's secession. Or how long and how much one can go on against one's own country," Rijiju tweeted.
Similar sentiments were shared by BJP leader Kapil Mishra and IT cell head Amit Malviya who called Gandhi Corbyn's “overseas collaborator” for sharing dislike for India.
"Jeremy is known for his visceral dislike for India, advocates Kashmir's secession and is unequivocally anti-Hindu. Gandhi has finally found his overseas collaborator, who denigrates India with the same impunity as him," Malviya said.
The Congress defended Gandhi's meeting with Corbyn sharing pictures of the Labour leader with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking whether he too endorsed the "anti-India" views of the UK Labour leader and MP.
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said, "Am amazed as to how dearest friends in TV Media have to bend over backwards to serve the idiotic agenda of Government and ilk of Kapil Mishra."
“May I also ask our Media Friends to identify the two men in picture below and ask the same questions? Does it mean PM has endorsed Jeremy Corbyn's views on India,” he asked, noting that political leaders having divergent and opposite views will meet each other in the future, just as in the past.
Surjewala further cited examples of Modi's public interactions with economic fugitives Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi and asked whether he endorsed them.
"Rahul Gandhi taking a picture with a person with whom we hold divergent views is neither a crime nor an act of terror as is being made out. If this is the criteria, our media friends should also debate - Why did the PM take Nirav Modi to Davos and about their common photos? What about video of the PM addressing Mehul Choksi as “Hamare Mehul Bhai” in a public function," he said.
"Why does the PM meet President Xi Jinping, when China has occupied our territory? Why did the PM go to Pakistan to meet the then PM, Nawaz Sharif? Will the Government promise it'll never ever meet anyone having divergent views from us? Time to debate real issues, not BJP propaganda," the Congress spokesperson said.
Gandhi is on a visit to London. He met Corbyn on Monday and the Indian Overseas Congress shared the picture of the two along with Sam Pitroda. Corbyn, who served as leader of the Labour party and leader of the Opposition from 2015 to 2020 in the UK, has often been vocal about his criticism of India.
While addressing an event on 'India at 75' in Cambridge university on Monday evening, Gandhi said there is a "systematic attack" on the institutions that allow India to speak and as the conversation is being stamped out, the "deep state" is entering those spaces and redefining the way that conversation is happening in the country.
On Saturday, Gandhi had launched a similar attack at another 'Ideas for India' event in London, comparing the "deep state" in India with that of Pakistan.
(With inputs from agencies)