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Congress has been seeking foreign interference for years and all their attempts at firefighting are failing: Here is a timeline

In a long speech made at Cambridge earlier this month, Rahul Gandhi resorted to blatant lies, misinformation and baseless claims to make a case for himself as the 'ideal leader' of India. Completely ignoring India's electoral and democratic process, the Congress prince was seen desperately pleading with Western powers to intervene in India's politics.

The Congress party is desperately seeking sympathy and support from all around the world after Rahul Gandhi was disqualified from the Lok Sabha. They are claiming that the Narendra Modi-led Central government is ‘persecuting’ the Congress scion. The controversial Congress leader Digvijay Singh’s most recent tweet, in which he expressed gratitude to the German foreign ministry for “taking note” of Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification, has put the party in a difficult spot as it has already come under fire for its pleas seeking foreign intervention in India’s political matters.

On Thursday, March 30, Digvijay Singh thanked the German foreign ministry and Richard Walker, Chief International Editor of Deutsche Welle and wrote, “Thank you Germany Foreign Affairs Ministry and Richard Walker for taking note of how the Democracy is being compromised in India through the persecution of Rahul Gandhi.”

Singh wrote this quoting a tweet by Richard Walker in which the DW journalist had posted a video of a German foreign ministry spokesperson speaking on Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification.

Reacting to this tweet, senior Congress leader and a close aide of Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter on Friday to express his ‘thoughts’ on Singh’s tweet. Sibal’s tweet asserting that the Congress party does not need crutches or foreign endorsement to walk ahead seemed more like a damage control move than a mere expression of thoughts as the Bhartiya Janata Party has slammed Singh over the said tweet. 

“Digvijaya Singh: Thanked Berlin for “taking note of how democracy is being compromised in India.” My thought: We don’t need crutches to walk ahead. We don’t need endorsements from abroad. Our fight is our own and in that we are together,” Sibal tweeted.

While Sibal is claiming that his party does not need foreign endorsements, the actions of the Congress party suggest otherwise.

Congress flaunts foreign media coverage of Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification 

Recently, the Congress party was flaunting the foreign media coverage of Rahul Gandhi’s conviction in a 2019 criminal defamation case over his derogatory comments against the people with the ‘Modi’ surname and the automatic disqualification as a Member of Parliament that followed under section 8(3) of the Representation of Peoples Act, 1951. 

On March 25, Congress leader Supriya Shrinate shared the coverage of Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification by the foreign media outlets Guardian Australia, Spanish Telemundo, Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine, Saudi Arabia’s Ashraq News, France’s RFI, CNN Brasil and tried to insinuate that the Congress scion’s disqualification was somehow done by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

“Truth has an odd quality. The more you suppress it, the even more powerfully it comes out. Well done Mr Modi,” Shrinate tweeted in Hindi.

On similar lines, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor also claimed that ‘they’ tried to suppress a voice, but now every corner of the world hears the ‘voice of India’.

Rahul Gandhi sought foreign intervention to ‘restore’ democracy in India

Notably, Rahul Gandhi had invited severe backlash after he sought foreign intervention in India’s political matters during his controversial London visit earlier this month. Rahul Gandhi had urged the US and Europe to intervene to “restore” democracy in India. Rahul claimed that Europe and the US are not doing enough to restore democracy in India as they are getting trade and money from the country.

In a long speech made at Cambridge earlier this month, Rahul Gandhi resorted to blatant lies, misinformation and baseless claims to make a case for himself as the ‘ideal leader’ of India. Completely ignoring India’s electoral and democratic process, the Congress prince was seen desperately pleading with Western powers to intervene in India’s politics for a regime change operation against Modi. The speech is explained here.

However, during an interview with India Today, Indian Overseas Congress chief Sam Pitroda bluntly denied Gandhi sought western countries’ intervention in India’s matters. Pitroda said, “This is our challenge, and we will deal with it”, is what Gandhi had said. When Sardesai asked about his comment that countries like the US and the UK are not doing anything about the situation of democracy in India, Pitroda claimed that India’s democracy is not just a matter of India but of the whole world. “It is not about Hindustan but Manavta”, he added.

Although Congress leaders like Supriya Shrinate did try to defend the statements made by Rahul Gandhi over television debates and in her tweets, saying that Rahul Gandhi had called the Indian democracy a ‘global public good’. However, the insinuation that the Indian democracy is somehow on the verge of collapse merely because things are not going the Congress way is indefensible. 

While today, under the political pressure ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections the Congress party is defending-denying Rahul Gandhi’s desperate plea seeking foreign intervention, the party has a long history of seeking foreign intervention for its own gains. Here is a timeline of Congress’s moves seeking foreign help.

Congress opened its office in Turkey

India and Turkey’s relationships have over the years been strained owing to Turkey’s pro-Pakistan stand on Kashmir. Despite this, the Congress opened its overseas office in Turkey in 2019. This move by the Congress party aimed at as what its press release reportedly stated was “to polish bilateral relations between India and Turkey’. This came just days after Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan while at the United Nations General Assembly had mirrored Pakistan’s lines on the Kashmir issue.

Rahul Gandhi secretly met the Chinese Ambassador during the Doklam standoff

Rahul Gandhi and Luo Zhaohui, the Chinese ambassador to India, met on July 8th, 2017, but their conversation was private. The Congress party referred to several media reports of the meeting as fake news. Yet, the Chinese embassy afterwards posted a statement on its website confirming the meeting. Eventually, Rahul Gandhi came to his own rescue as he confirmed his meeting with the Chinese Ambassador.

It is pertinent to mention here that the meeting between Rahul Gandhi and the Chinese Ambassador transpired when both countries were engaged in the Doklam Standoff, which lasted till August 2017.

When Rahul Gandhi admitted that he had a secret meeting with Chinese ministers in 2018

In September 2018, the Gandhi scion visited Kailash Mansarovar and a year later admitted to having secretly met the Chinese ministers during his visit. The word secretly is used here as there were no media reports about his meeting with the Chinese. 

On a question regarding concerns of automation in job creation, Rahul Gandhi while speaking at a meeting in Odisha said that a couple of Chinese ministers told him during his Kailash visit that China is facing no problem in job creation due to automation. He said “how can China, in a world which is automated, is producing 50,000 new jobs in every 24 hours? Why? Why is it that automation is a problem in Europe, and automation is a problem in India, but automation does not seem to bother the Chinese? When I had gone to Kailash, I met a couple of their ministers, and they said no job creation is not a problem in China at all. We have plenty of jobs.”

‘Ladakh is to China what Ukraine is to Russia’: When Rahul Gandhi signaled his desire for foreign intervention 

In May 2022, Rahul Gandhi at a Congress Party event in the United Kingdom had signalled his desire for foreign intervention during his controversial address. 

Rahul Gandhi remarked that Ladakh is to China what Ukraine is to Russia in response to a question about India’s role in the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The Congress leader argued that it was important to comprehend the “parallels” between the crisis in Ukraine and the current state of affairs in India. Rahul Gandhi called on the western nations to approach India’s internal affairs similarly to how they treat the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, while indirectly requesting that the US get involved in India’s political affairs.

In the same address, Gandhi also lamented over the fact that the Indian diplomats no longer adhere to the diktats of the west. “I was talking to some bureaucrats from Europe, and they said that the Indian Foreign Service has completely changed, they do not listen to anything. They are arrogant. Now they are telling us what orders they are getting, there is no conversation,” Rahul Gandhi said.

When Rahul Gandhi met Jeremy Corbyn, the British politician known for his anti-India, anti-semitic, terror-sympathizing and pro-Pakistan views

During his UK visit in May 2022, Rahul Gandhi met Jeremy Corbyn, the anti-India and pro-Pakistan leader, who formerly led the Labour Party in Britain. It is notable that Jeremy Corbyn has always backed Kashmiri separatists and echoed Pakistan’s stance on the issue. When he was the leader of the Labour Party, his party’s MPs repeatedly attempted to get involved in the Kashmir issue by reiterating Pakistan’s political rhetoric. During Corbyn’s leadership, the Labour Party even passed a motion calling for international involvement in Kashmir and an UN-led plebiscite.

When Rahul Gandhi sought US intervention in India’s internal matters

In April 2021, Rahul Gandhi during an online interaction with Ambassador Nicholas Burns of the Harvard Kennedy School asked for American interference in India. “I don’t hear anything from the US establishment about what is happening in India. If you are saying partnership in democracy is, I mean, what’s your view on what is happening here?” Rahul Gandhi said. He also asserted that America somehow needs to defend the ‘idea of freedom’.

Rajiv Gandhi Foundation received funds from China

In 2020, details about the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation’s (RGF) monetary operations emerged. Back then, OpIndia had extensively reported on how the Chinese government donated funds to RGF in 2006 and subsequent years. The Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Congress party inked a contract in Beijing during UPA1 in 2008 for the exchange of high-level information and cooperation between them. The memorandum of understanding (MoU) also provided the two parties with the “opportunity to consult each other on important bilateral, regional and international developments”. It is worth noting that Sonia Gandhi is the Chairperson of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, and the trustees have been Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra since 2005. In October 2022, the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) licence of RGF was revoked by the Centre for alleged violation of the foreign funding law.

While these are contemporary examples, back in 2010 it was reported that Rahul Gandhi had told US ambassador Timothy Roemer that radicalized Hindu groups are a greater threat than the support of some Indian Muslims to Islamist terrorist outfits like Lashkar-e-Taiba. According to the whistleblowing website Wikileaks, Rahul Gandhi informed the then US ambassador to India Timothy Roemer that “there was evidence of some support for Islamist terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba among certain elements in India’s indigenous Muslim community; the bigger threat may be the growth of radicalized Hindu groups, which create religious tensions and political confrontations with the Muslim community.”

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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