‘BJP accusing Rahul for something he hasn’t said, nothing to apologise for’: Shashi Tharoor on UK address

Amid a raging debate over Rahul Gandhi’s remarks in the United Kingdom, prominent Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said on Friday that the former party chairman never called on other countries to intervene in India’s democracy and that his views were not even remotely anti-national.

Gandhi’s words during his recent visit to the United Kingdom shook Parliament, with neither house conducting any major action over the first five days of the budget session’s second half.

Speaking at the India Today Colloquium on the controversy surrounding Gandhi’s statements, Tharoor questioned whether it was the most important issue confronting Parliament and urged lawmakers to go past “all this tu tu main main” and focus on the country’s concerns.

When asked about the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) call for Gandhi to apologise for his comments, the Thiruvananthapuram MP stated the former Congress head has nothing to apologise for.

“I believe that is what makes them so remarkable. “The BJP is amazing at politics, I must add, and one of the things they have done is blame him (Gandhi) for something he has not said and then contrived to hang that charge around his neck and demand that he apologies for something he has not said,” Tharoor remarked.

Gandhi did not call foreign countries to intervene in India’s democracy, the former Union minister stated.

“What he stated was explicit. ‘This is our problem, an Indian problem, and Indians will fix it, but you should be aware because Indian democracy is a worldwide public benefit,’ he said. “I don’t see anything to apologise for,” Tharoor stated.

If the BJP wants Gandhi to apologise for discussing internal politics in a foreign nation, he says Prime Minister Narendra Modi must be the first to do so.

Tharoor alleged that during several foreign tours, Modi stated that India had been a country where nothing happened for 65 years and that Indians were embarrassed to show their faces abroad before he came to power.

“I think when he (Modi) apologises for utterances like that, then all of us can apologise for saying the opposite overseas. “I believe we should develop out of this level of political conversation,” he remarked.

When asked about Gandhi’s purported remarks in the UK seeking foreign action, Tharoor stated, “I seem to remember him stating that you need to be informed because this is a worldwide public good…. The concept that he called for any assistance from outside to my mind is not based out of any information that I have read or seen.”

When asked if Gandhi could have avoided making those comments, Tharoor responded, “I am not the one who spoke. To my perspective, there is nothing to apologise for because there is nothing remotely anti-national about it.” “You can explain why you go there at all, why you can’t talk about anything else…. “The fact is that everyone in a democracy has the right to express themselves in whatever settings they see suitable, and I will not condemn any individual,” he stated.

The most crucial question, according to Tharoor, is whether this is truly the most critical matter before Parliament that its activities must be halted for a week.

“Can’t we move on from all this tu tu main main and focus on the nation’s problems?” he questioned. Gandhi claimed during his encounters in the UK that the structures of Indian democracy are under attack and that there is a “full-scale assault” on the country’s institutions.

The former Congress president also warned British legislators in London that microphones in the Lok Sabha are frequently “switched off” when an opposition member raises crucial issues.

Gandhi’s words sparked a political brawl, with the BJP accusing him of maligning India on foreign grounds and demanding international interference, and the Congress retaliating by highlighting instances of Modi bringing internal politics to the fore on foreign turf.

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