New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi landed in a fresh controversy Tuesday after a photograph of him and British MP Jeremy Corbyn emerged on social media, with the BJP asking him whether he subscribed to the UK politician’s “anti-India” views.
The Congress, in response, tweeted a photograph of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Corbyn, asking if the PM endorsed the British leader’s views as well.
Rahul’s photograph, posted by the Indian Overseas Congress, the overseas arm of the Congress party, shows him with Corbyn and Congress leader Sam Pitroda.
Corbyn, a member of Britain’s Labour Party, has been critical of the BJP-led Narendra Modi government and had called for India to curb ‘human rights abuses’ in Kashmir.
Reacting to the photograph, BJP’s IT-cell head Amit Malviya called Corbyn “anti-Hindu” and said Gandhi has found someone who denigrates India “with the same impunity as him”.
Rahul Gandhi with UK MP and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
Jeremy is known for his visceral dislike for India, advocates Kashmir’s secession and is unequivocally anti-Hindu.
Gandhi has finally found his overseas collaborator, who denigrates India with the same impunity as him. pic.twitter.com/Cn9U4fsCCK
— Amit Malviya (@amitmalviya) May 24, 2022
“Why oppose the country in an attempt to oppose PM Modi?,” asked BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla in a tweet. He added, “Whether it is meeting with anti-India elements like Jeremy Corbyn, who echo Pak propaganda on Kashmir, or signing an MoU with the Chinese and taking Chinese money into the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, or meeting the Chinese during Doklam, Rahul stands steadfast with anti-India forces.”
‘Getting a picture clicked is not an act of terror’
Reacting sharply to the criticism, AICC general secretary in-charge for communication, Randeep Surjewala, tweeted an old photograph of Corbyn with Modi.
“It is the culture of our country, as also that of world leaders, to meet various people. You may have divergent opinions that are completely contrary to my interest, but you may meet and get a picture clicked. Getting a picture clicked is not an act of terror, nor is it an anti-national act,” Surjewala told mediapersons at the AICC headquarters in Delhi Tuesday.
“If this is the criteria, may I ask why was Prime Minister Modi meeting up with the same person? Why was he having a formal engagement with the same person? Does it mean Modiji has endorsed the entire agenda, or every anti-India remark by that person?” he added.