Smriti Irani on Rahul Gandhi’s speech abroad: ‘Failed dynast spoke in US about his failed political journey’

NEW DELHI: The BJP on September 12 hit back at Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi for “belittling the PM” on an international stage and for saying “most of India runs” on dynastic succession.
The BJP’s Smriti Irani called Rahul a “failed dynast” and said Indian democracy runs on merit as is exemplified by the fact that the “Prime Minister, President, vice president and even the BJP president aren’t from political backgrounds”. Not just that, PM Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind and vice president Venkaiah Naidu “all come from humble backgrounds”.
Rahul had said dynastic succession is common in India.
“It’s a problem in all political parties in India. Most of the country runs like this, so don’t go after me,” Rahul had said when asked about dynastic succession.
Irani’s comments came hours after the Congress vice president’s speech in the US, at the University of California, Berkeley.
“It shows the failed strategy of Rahul. That he’s going to an international stage to speak about his failed political journey in a country where people didn’t accept him,” said Irani, who underscored that she was making these comments not as a member of the government, but as a BJP representative.
Irani called Rahul’s comments on dynasty an “anomaly” even as she harshly condemned them.
“That fact that he says dynasty is a fulcrum of India is an anomaly. Not surprising that a dynast has no good words to speak about cooperative federalism which is evident in today’s India,” said Irani.
Irani also called “fascinating” Rahul’s rare admission that “in 2012, arrogance had crept into the Congress”, which is why the party may have lost the 2014 Lok Sabha election.
“It was fascinating to watch that vice president of the Congress publicly proclaimed that under the leadership of Sonia Gandhi, the Congress became arrogant. His confession is something for the Congress to delve into,” said Union minister Irani.
In this context, she found it particularly galling that Rahul would choose to “belittle the PM”+ when travelling abroad.
“The fact that Rahul Gandhi chose to belittle the PM is not surprising, it is expected. But after failing to connect with the people of India, he chooses a platform of convenience to berate his political opponents,” said Irani.
Earlier on Tuesday, when asked about criticism of ‘dynastic succession, after he spoke at the University of California, Berkeley, Rahul did call it a “problem” but added that is the way “most of the country runs”.
“It’s a problem in all political parties in India. Most of the country runs like this, so don’t go after me, Akhilesh Yadav a dynast, Stalin a dynast, (Prem Kumar) Dhumal’s son a dynast, so don’t just go after me…Even Mr. Abhishek Bachchan is a dynast, also Ambani, that’s what happens in India.”
Rahul was referring to SP founder Mulayam Singh Yadav’s son Akhilesh, DMK supremo M Karunanidhi’s son Stalin, senior BJP leader Dhumal’s son Anurag Thakur, Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan’s son Abhishek and Reliance founder Dhirubhai Ambani’s son, either Mukesh or Anil.
The Congress vice president also tore into the Modi government saying that “violence, anger and the politics of polarisation have raised their ugly head in India”, a development “that is new to the country”. He harshly criticised the Centre for the recent spate of lynchings and cow-related vigilante acts of violence.
“The politics of polarization is very dangerous. Hatred, anger and violence can destroy us. Liberal journalists are being shot. People are being lynched, dalits are being killed over suspicions of carrying beef, Muslims are killed over suspicions of eating beef, all this is new in India,” said Rahul in his address at the university.

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