NEW DELHI: Although he didn’t name him, BJP president Amit Shah yesterday suggested that nobody in India listens to anything that “failed leader” Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has to say.
That he was referring to Rahul became clear when Shah said further that these “failed leaders run off to the US to lecture, as no one listens to them back home”.
The BJP president made these remarks on a day that Rahul delivered a speech in the US at the University of California, Berkeley. It was a speech that led to a day-long slugfest between the BJP and the Congress.
In his speech, Rahul attacked the Centre for creating an atmosphere in India where “violence, anger and the politics of polarisation have raised their ugly head”. He called this development “new to the country”, indicating that he squarely blamed the BJP-led government at the Centre for it. The Congress vice president also said Modi’s move to scrap high-value currency notes last November “cost us two percent loss in GDP”.
BJP president Shah begged to differ. He said the government believes in performance, unlike the previous Congress-led UPA government.
“BJP has heralded an era of ‘politics of performance’. But some leaders go to the US and lecture because no one listens to them at home,” said Shah, during an interaction on the second day of his three-day visit to Kolkata.
Shah also linked performance to the removal of dynastic succession in politics. That was a clear reference to the Congress vice president’s comment – in an interaction after his speech – that dynastic succession is the way “most of India runs”.
Shah said the BJP has removed dynastic politics from the country.
“We do not believe in the politics of appeasement which is vote bank politics. We have removed dynastic politics from India. We believe in the politics of performance,” said Shah, reported ANI.
To be sure, Rahul wasn’t endorsing dynastic succession, which he called a “problem” in India.
“It’s a problem in all political parties in India. Most of the country runs like this, so don’t go after me, Akhilesh Yadav a dynast, Mr. Stalin a dynast, Mr. (Prem Kumar) Dhumal’s son a dynast, so don’t just go after me…Even Mr. Abhishek Bachchan is a dynast, also Mr Ambani, that’s what happens in India,” is what the Congress vice president said.
Still, the BJP called these comments an “anomaly”, termed Rahul “a failed dynast” and said Indian democracy runs on merit.
“That fact that he says dynasty is a fulcrum of India is an anomaly. Not surprising that a dynast has no good words to speak about cooperative federalism which is evident in today’s India,” said BJP leader Smriti Irani.