India vs Bharat Row a Panic Reaction: Rahul Gandhi

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BRUSSELS — Dubbing the India vs Bharat controversy a “distraction tactic” and a “panic reaction”, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday said the government is little scared and Prime Minister Narendra Modi is “disturbed” to the extent that he wants to change the country’s name which is “absurd”.

Addressing a press conference here, Rahul Gandhi, who is on a week-long Europe visit, said: “I am happy with the names that we have in the Constitution. ‘India that is Bharat’ works perfectly for me. I think these are panic reactions, there is a little bit of fear in the government and it is a distraction tactic.”

He said that the opposition parties came out with the name INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) for “our coalition and it’s a fantastic idea as it represents who we are”.

“We consider ourselves the voice of India so the word works very well for us. But it actually disturbs the Prime Minister very much that he wants to change the name of the country which is absurd. But that’s what it is,” he said.

While discussing Manipur violence he said that his party is very much for democratic rights and peace and the democratic and institutions are under attack in the country.

Rahul Gandhi said, “Our position on Manipur was very clear and I actually visited Manipur and I think we are very much for democratic rights, harmony, peace between people.”

“And as Sam Pitroda said I walked for over 4,100 kms (during Bharat Jodo Yatra) for that very purpose (unity and peace) and I think that there is a sense in India that the democratic structures of the country and the institutional structures of the country are under attack from the group of people running India. I don’t think this point is missed by anybody, I think anybody who has knowledge of India knows this,” he said, adding that of course there are other considerations, when you are dealing with India these days as you will be well aware.

“The democratic fight and the fight for democracy in India is ours and its our responsibility and we will take care of it and we will make sure that the sort of onslaught on our institutions and our freedom is stopped and the opposition will make sure that it happens,” he said in response to a question that he raised the Manipur issue here.

He held a roundtable meeting with the Members of the European Union (MEP) to discuss the human rights situation in Manipur. The meeting was not on the official agenda, so it was held behind closed doors.

According to sources, the meeting went well and Rahul Gandhi was able to raise the issue of human rights in Manipur with the MEPs. The MEPs were reportedly concerned about the situation and expressed their support for the people of the state.

To another question on Kashmir and the role of international diplomacy, the Congress leader said, “Kashmir is an integral part of India so it’s nobody’s business other than India’s.”

“Our position is very clear and even in a resolution of the CWC we have mentioned it. But I feel that democratic structures and institutions need to be protected and the voice of people need to be protected and defended and that goes across India including Kashmir,” Rahul Gandhi said.

When asked about Pegasus and if he was still being spied on, he said, “I mean the fact that Pegasus was on my phone is a known fact. I don’t know the details of how I am tracked but I am tracked, I am certainly sure.”

Rahul Gandhi arrived in Brussels on September 6 and will visit some other nations like France, Netherlands and Norway till September 11 and participate in several interactive programmes and also meet businessmen and
diaspora.

He is scheduled to return on September 12 after wrapping up his visit. — IANS

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