After Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday alleged BJP of threatening people and misusing government agencies, the BJP responded with sharp comments, accusing the leader of 'insulting India during his visits abroad'.
Responding to questions from the moderator and the audiences at an event at the Silicon Valley Campus of the University of California in Santa Cruz on Tuesday, Gandhi said he can clearly see "vulnerabilities" in the BJP.
What did Rahul Gandhi say?
“As a political entrepreneur, I can clearly see vulnerabilities in the BJP... The BJP can be defeated if the Opposition is aligned properly,” he said. “If you look at the Karnataka elections, the general sense is that the Congress Party fought the BJP and defeated the BJP. But what is not well understood is the mechanics that we used," he said.
The Congress party used a completely different approach to fighting an election and building a narrative, Gandhi said, adding that elements of what happened in Karnataka came out of the 'Bharat Jodo Yatra'.
In his address, Gandhi also took a dig at the ruling BJP government, saying it is "threatening" the people and "misusing" the country's agencies. "The BJP is threatening people and misusing government agencies. The Bharat Jodo Yatra started because all the instruments that we needed to connect with the people were controlled by the BJP-RSS," he said.
"We were also finding that in some way, it had become quite difficult to act politically. And that's why we decided to walk from the southernmost tip of India to Srinagar," he said.
How did the BJP react?
Rahul Gandhi is a repeat offender as he insults India every time he goes abroad, Union minister Anurag Thakur said.
"Rahul Gandhi aims to insult PM Modi but ends up hurting India. He does not even consider India as a country but as a union of states. What does Rahul Gandhi want to achieve by doing all this? See the difference. When PM Modi visits abroad, he meets the PMs and the Presidents of other countries. Australian PM called PM Modi 'Boss'; probably Rahul Gandhi could not digest this," Anurag Thakur said.
Tamil Nadu BJP chief K Annamalai said one has to be in the country to discuss real issues. "You got Jallikattu banned, and now you mock the rituals for the Sceptre done by Saiva Adheenams from TN. What your party cast away as a walking stick is today reinstated to its rightful place, Thiru @RahulGandhi," Annamalai wrote.
Earlier this year, Gandhi's comments at the Cambridge University that Indian democracy is under attack and several politicians, including himself, are under surveillance, invited sharp reactions from the BJP which accused him of maligning the country's image on foreign soil after facing successive electoral setbacks.
(With inputs from PTI)