Slamming Rahul Gandhi over his remarks in the United States, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur on Wednesday accused him of "insulting" the country and said the Congress leader is unable to digest praise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi from foreign leaders.
"Rahul Gandhi always insults India during his foreign visits. PM Modi met almost 24 PMs and Presidents of the world and held over 50 meetings during his foreign visit. Recently, the Australian PM said that 'PM Modi is the Boss', the PM of Italy said that PM Modi is the most popular leader in the world and the Prime Minister of a country greeted him by touching his feet," he said.
"Today, the world sees hope in the leadership of India. This never happened in 75 years. The fact is that because of our leader, the respect of 140 crore countrymen is increasing. Rahul Gandhi and the Congress party are unable to digest this," he added. The BJP leader said that Rahul Gandhi raises questions about India's progress when the country's stature is rising.
"Even in the past, he (Rahul Gandhi) does not consider India as a nation. He calls it a union of states and also raises questions about India's progress. After all, what does Rahul Gandhi want to achieve by going abroad, under this sponsored program? Is his only job to throw mud on the country? At a time when India's stature is continuously rising in the world, Rahul Gandhi is raising questions on the country," he said.
He also targeted Rahul Gandhi over his remarks that what is happening to Muslims in India today, happened to Dalits in 1980s. Anurag Thakur said that Congress was in power in Uttar Pradesh and also at the Centre for the most part of the eighties.
"The period that Rahul Gandhi is talking about..In the 1980s, Dalits and SC families were oppressed, and Congress was in power in the country and also in Uttar Pradesh. Perhaps he wanted to go out and tell that Dalits and minorities were oppressed under Congress rule and 'Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas' is taking place under the BJP," Thakur said.
Anurag Thakur said that Indian culture has been 'rejuvenated' under the BJP rule and the nation won't accept "insults". "The economy had suffered during their (Congress) time. Under BJP, India has become the fifth-largest economy in the world. Under Congress's rule, Indian traditions were under attack. But under BJP, our culture and tradition have been rejuvenated.
We have come out of the colonial mindset and started being proud of our glorious history. Today, if Rahul Gandhi insults India and Indians abroad, then the country will never accept it," he added Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday targeted the BJP-led government at an event in the United States and said that "what is happening to Muslims in India today, happened to Dalits in 1980s".
Speaking at the 'Mohabbat Ki Dukaan' event in San Francisco, Rahul Gandhi alleged that the impact of some actions of the BJP-led government was being felt by minorities and people from the Dalit and tribal community and it has "to be fought with affection".
"It is being felt by the Muslims most directly because it is done most directly to them. But in fact, it is done to all communities. The way you (Muslims) are feeling attacked, I can guarantee Sikhs, Christians, Dalits, and tribals are feeling the same. You can't cut hatred with hatred., but only with love and affection," Gandhi said. "Also, this is a periodical thing. What is happening to Muslims in India today happened to Dalits in the 1980s. If you went to UP in the 1980s, this was happening with Dalits...We have to challenge it, fight it and do it with love and affection and not with hatred and we will do that," he added.
The Congress leader was responding to a question concerning Muslims in India from 'Bay Area Muslim community' and the steps Congress will take to tackle the issues faced by them. Rahul Gandhi is on a six-day visit to the United States.
During the event, Rahul Gandhi also spoke about "economic inequality" and said that while some people were finding it difficult to make the ends meet, about "five people have lakhs of crores" rupees.