Varun Gandhi outsmarts Rahul by declining Oxford debate invite

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By: TNI Team
Updated: 18 March, 2023 4:04 pm IST

Even as Rahul Gandhi’s remarks in Cambridge during his London visit has led to a political standoff between BJP and Congress , his cousin Varun Gandhi has declined an invite from Oxford Union for a debate.

Varun reasoned that Indian democracy has enough space for constructive criticism and that using international platforms to scrutinise India’s choices and challenges as a nation was a “dishonourable act”.

“I have declined the invitation for a debate at the Oxford Union. India’s polity regularly offers us a space to critique & provide constructive suggestions to improve our policies. Subjecting India’s choices and challenges to international scrutiny, for me, is a dishonourable act,” tweeted the BJP MP from Pilibhit on Friday.

His statement is clearly targeted at his cousin Rahul Gandhi who has been making appearances on international platforms to criticise the Narendra Modi government’s policies.

Rahul’s remarks have stalled Parliamentary proceedings.  The BJP has stuck to its demand for Rahul Gandhi’s apology for his alleged “anti-India” remarks made in London, while the Congress leaders said he would make his point if given a chance to speak on the floor of the House. In his Cambridge presentation, Rahul had complained that the Opposition’s voice was not being heard. He claimed that Opposition leaders were being snooped on by the Indian government.

In another public appearance, he exhorted foreign superpowers to intervene and take a stand against the Modi government’s alleged highhandedness in dealing with the Opposition, causing a furore back home.

On Friday, in a video statement, BJP President JP Nadda said, Rahul Gandhi on foreign soil said that democracy is being destroyed in India and Europe and the US should intervene. What could be more shameful than this? At a time when India is becoming the 5th largest economy in the world and G20 meetings are being held here, Rahul Gandhi on foreign soil is insulting the nation and the Parliament,” he said.

It is pertinent to remember that Rahul Gandhi during his Punjab leg of the Bharat Jodo Yatra was asked if he was open to his cousin joining his march. To this, he had responded that even though he was open to meeting and hugging his cousin, it would not be possible for him to accept the ideology Varun chose to endorse. “My ideology… I cannot go to the RSS office, you will have to behead me. And my family has an ideology and a thinking system. While Varun (Gandhi) at one point in time and might be today also adopted and imbibed that ideology. I can meet him with love, hug him but I cannot accept that ideology, it is impossible,” he said.

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