The BJP on Saturday accused Rahul Gandhi of harming India in his "hate" against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and alleged his frequent critical remarks about the country from foreign soils amounted to "betraying" it.
BJP spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia launched a sharp attack on the Congress leader for his remarks at a conference in London where Gandhi accused the ruling party of spreading "kerosene all over the country, you need one spark and we will be in big trouble".
In his fierce hate against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he has been making comments against India, the BJP leader told a press conference where he also cautioned the Congress against speaking ill about India in foreign countries.
It is the Congress which has been carrying kerosene oil to incite riots since the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, he alleged, dubbing Gandhi a "part-time, immature, unsuccessful leader of a hopeless Congress" who has often spoken negatively about the country in foreign places like the US, the UK and Singapore.
"He keeps making such comments frequently and it will not be wrong to say that this amounts to betraying the country," Bhatia said.
The opposition leader, who is on a tour of the UK, had an interaction session at the 'Ideas for India' conference organised by non-profit think-tank Bridge India on Friday.
He attacked the BJP government and said Indian democracy is a "global public good" and a central anchor for the planet, and if that cracks, it is going to cause a problem for the planet.
Asked about the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Gandhi drew parallels with the Chinese actions in Ladakh. Like Pakistan, the "deep state" is eating India, he alleged.
Bhatia said Gandhi is a "habitual offender" who always commits a bigger mistake than the last time.
A progressive and strong India is rising under Modi, the BJP leader claimed, adding the country is showing the direction to the world on a variety of issues, including the environment. He also cited India's Covid vaccine export.
Lashing out at the Congress leader, he said Gandhi should not compare India with Pakistan which has been under the military for over half of its existence and goes around with a "begging bowl" for survival.
"Beware Rahul Gandhi in comparing India with Pakistan. India was, is and will remain great," Bhatia said.
While it is well known that the Congress leader hates Modi but he should think twice before speaking against India, he said.
By comparing the situation in Ladakh with the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Gandhi insulted the sacrifices of Indian soldiers in Galwan, Bhatia claimed.
"Being in opposition does not mean that one should damage India in hate," he said.
Bhatia also showed a printout of a now-deleted tweet of Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury in which he posted Rajiv Gandhi's controversial comment "when a big tree falls, the ground shakes", to claim this is what is appreciated in the opposition party.
Chowdhury had tweeted to pay tributes to the former prime minister on his death anniversary. Rajiv Gandhi had made those comments to, what critics say, rationalise anti-Sikh riots following the assassination of Indira Gandhi.
The Lok Sabha MP, however, later blamed a "malicious campaign propagated by those forces inimical" to him for the tweet, adding that it was not his observation.
(With PTI inputs)