Rahul Gandhi hails Biden, seeks US govt views on what’s ‘going on’ in India
In a discussion with former US diplomat Nicholas Burns on Friday, senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi wanted to know the US establishment’s views on what was “going on” in India.
Burns, a professor with Harvard Kennedy School, had proposed that democratic countries such as India and the US should come together to take on China and other non-democratic forces, prompting Gandhi to say, “I don’t hear anything from the US establishment about what is happening in India. If you are saying about partnership in democracy, then what is your view on what’s going on here?”
Gandhi answered questions on a wide range of subjects and maintained that countries must act to stop China as the global manufacturer or its Belt and Road initiative.
The interaction, largely on economy and foreign policy, saw Gandhi supporting recent steps taken by US President Joe Biden. When asked about his comments of the US package on economic revival after Covid-19, Gandhi said, “President Biden is doing spot on. India should think along similar terms. Our government refuses to put money in system. The US has done groundbreaking.” He said that while there was a definite space for private sector, in areas such as education and health, public sector had a role to play.
Talking about domestic politics, Gandhi said the Congress needed to redefine itself but added, “We are no longer in same paradigm. Institutions don’t protect us or support a fair political fight. There is complete control of system by the BJP [Bharatiya Janata Party].”
“Opportunity for us is huge. We have to redefine ourselves too,” Gandhi said, asserting that people were fast losing hope with the current regime.