The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) likes to believe it will be in power in India eternally but that is not the case, and to say the Congress is “gone” is a ridiculous idea, Opposition MP Rahul Gandhi said in London on Monday.
Addressing an in-conversation session at the Chatham House think tank on Monday evening to round off his week-long UK tour, Gandhi also pinpointed the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s lack of focus on a shifting nature of the political discourse in India as the key factor behind its failure.
“To put it in perspective, if you look at the time from independence to now, the Congress party has been in power for the majority of the time,” he said.
“Before the BJP was in power for 10 years, we were in power for 10 years. The BJP likes to believe that they have come to power in India and they are going to be in power eternally, that is not the case,” the Congress leader added.
The BJP-led government came to power in India in 2014.
Gandhi, the MP from Kerala’s Wayanad, pointed to a set of changes taking place in India that had caught the Congress and the UPA government off guard, such as a shift from rural to urban.
“We were focusing a lot on the rural space and we missed the ball in the beginning on the urban space, that is a fact. Those things are there. But to say that the BJP is in power and the Congress gone, that is actually a ridiculous idea,” he said.
The BJP has accused Gandhi of maligning India on foreign soil while praising China.
Union minister Anurag Thakur hit out at the Congress leader on Monday for his remarks and asked him not to betray the nation.
“Don’t betray India, Rahul Gandhiji. The objections to India’s foreign policy are evidence of your scant understanding of the issue. No one will believe the lies you spread about India from foreign soil,” Thakur told reporters in New Delhi.
He alleged that Gandhi has resorted to “maligning India” from foreign soil as part of a conspiracy to hide his failures.