Modi hits back at Rahul Gandhi: ‘Questions raised on India’s democracy an insult to citizens’

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HUBALLI-DHARWAD: In a veiled attack on Congress MP Rahul Gandhi over his remarks in the UK, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said raising questions about Indian democracy on foreign soil was an insult to the people of the country.

Speaking at an event in poll-bound Karnataka on Sunday, Prime Minister Modi, while not naming Rahul, said some people were putting the Indian democracy in the dock despite it being ingrained in the country’s political culture over centuries.

PM Modi’s retort followed Rahul’s recent lecture at the prestigious Cambridge University where he claimed that the basic structure of the Indian democracy was under attack.

“Everybody knows and it’s been in the news a lot that Indian democracy is under pressure and under attack. I am an Opposition leader in India, we are navigating that (Opposition) space. The institutional framework which is required for a democracy — Parliament, free press, the judiciary, just the idea of mobilisation, moving around — all are being constrained. So, we are facing an attack on the basic structure of Indian democracy,” the Congress MP alleged.

At an event where he dedicated several development projects and the longest railway platform in the world in Karnataka’s Hubballi-Dharwad on Sunday, PM Modi said the people of the state need to keep an eye out for “such people”.

He said there was a multitude of factors making India not just the largest democracy but the mother of democracy and it was unfortunate that qhestions were raised on the same on foreign soil.

“There are numerous factors that make India not just the largest democracy in the world but also the mother of democracy. I was privileged to have inaugurated the statue of Bhagwan Basaveshwara in London. But it is unfortunate that questions were raised on India’s democracy in London. The roots of Indian democracy go deep and dates back centuries. No power in the world can sully or harm the tradition of Indian democracy. However, some people are continuing to put Indian democracy in the dock. Such people are insulting Bhagwan Basaveshwara, the people of Karnataka, Indian tradition and the 130 crore Indian citizens. The people of Karnataka have to be eware of such people,” Prime Minister Modi said.

Rahul’s remarks earlier had drawn severe criticism from the BJP.

Calling Karnataka an “engine of high-tech India”, PM Modi said, “Good and modern infrastructure eases the lives of the common people. In the last 9 years, the network of roads has doubled in villages under ‘PM Sadak Yojana’. Not just roads, unprecedented expansion is afoot for more airports and enhancing the railway network. Karnataka is the engine of high-tech India,” he said.

PM Modi also elaborated on the developmental projects run by the Centre, saying that his government opened 250 new medical colleges in the country over the last 9 years.

“For providing clean potable water, the central and state governments are working together. The foundation for a project worth over Rs 1000 crore, under the ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’, has been laid. We have brought about a three-fold increase in the number of AIIMS in the country. In seven decades, our country only had 380 medical colleges.

However, over the last 9 years, 250 new medical colleges have been opened,” he said.

“IIT Dharwad is an example of BJP’s ‘Sankalp Se Siddhi’. Around 4 years ago, I laid the foundation stone for this institute. Right from the foundation to the eventual inauguration, we worked at great speed. Receiving quality education is a fundamental right of all. Better educational institutes will enable more and more of our children to access quality education. Over the last 9 years, the number of top educational institutes in our country has grown manifold,” PM Modi added. (ANI)

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