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BJP hits back at Rahul Gandhi for attacking PM Modi over India-China standoff

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 21 July 2020, 9:56 IST

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday had a go at Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the subject of the border standoff in eastern Ladakh, saying that the Chinese were targeting the PM’s image as a powerful leader, and that he feared the prime minister was giving away to it.

“They (Chinese) understand that in order for Narendra Modi to be an effective politician, in order for him to survive as a politician, he has to protect the idea of ‘Chhappan (56) inch’, and this is the real idea the Chinese are attacking,” Rahul Gandhi stated in the second part of a series of short videos on the India-China border clash he put out on Monday.

His reference is to a statement made by PM Modi before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, where he alluded to his 56 inch chest – in order to reiterate his strongman image.

That “strongman image” is India’s “biggest weakness”, Rahul Gandhi tweeted in a message along with the video.

The Congress leader’s comment drew a quick rejoinder from BJP president JP Nadda, who stated that Rahul Gandhi choose to believe the Chinese army over India’s own government, and described him as “weak on facts and strong on mud-slinging”.

In his first video put out by Rahul Gandhi on Friday claimed that a “troubled economy, foreign policy and neighbourhood” had induced China to take an aggressive posture against India.

The second video, titled China’s strategic game plan, which is two-and-a-half minutes long, is Gandhi’s take on how the Chinese have triggered the border issue to put pressure on PM Modi.

“It is simply not a border issue. The worry I have is that Chinese are sitting in our territory today. Chinese don’t do anything without thinking about it strategically. In their mind they have mapped out the world and they are trying to shape the world. That’s the scale of what they are doing,” he said.

“And they (Chinese) are thinking of putting pressure in a very particular way. And what they are doing is that they are attacking his (Modi’s) image... They are basically telling Mr Narendra Modi that if you do not do what we say, we will destroy the idea of Mr Narendra Modi as a strong leader,” Gandhi claimed.

He then asked how the prime minister will respond to the situation.

“Will he take them on? Will he take on the challenge and say absolutely not, I’m the Prime Minister of India. I do not care about my image, I’m going to take you on. Or will he succumb to them?” asked Rahul Gandhi. “The worry I have so far is that the Prime Minister has succumbed.”

The BJP president Nadda, in a chain of tweets, stated that the video showed Gandhi wanted a weak India and a strong China.

“We saw yet another (failed) edition of ‘Project RG Relaunch’ today. @RahulGandhi Ji was, as usual, weak on facts and strong on mud-slinging,” Nadda tweeted.

“Why does one dynasty want a weak India and a strong China? Many leaders in Congress also disapprove of one dynasty’s shenanigans!” he added, referring to the Nehru-Gandhi family.

“For years, one dynasty has been trying to destroy PM @narendramodi. Sadly for them, PM Modi’s connect with 130 crore Indians is deep-rooted. He lives and works for them,” Nadda wrote. “Those who want to destroy him will end up only further destroying their own party,” he said.

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First published: 21 July 2020, 9:56 IST