Rahul blasts Modi over China, BJP hits back

New Delhi: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday called Prime Minister Narendra Modi “weak” and “scared” of Chinese President Xi Jinping, provoking an angry reaction from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Gandhi hit out at Modi a day after China blocked the naming of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the United Nations.

“Weak Modi is scared of Xi. Not a word comes out of his mouth when China acts against India. NaMo’s China Diplomacy: 1. Swing with Xi in Gujarat 2. Hug Xi in Delhi 3. Bow to Xi in China,” Gandhi said on Twitter.

On Wednesday, the UN Sanctions Committee could not come to a decision on naming the JeM chief as a global terrorist after China put the proposal on hold. India expressed its disappointment at the outcome.

Senior BJP leader and Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad took exception to Gandhi’s comment and slammed him for criticising the Modi government over China opposing the move.

“Why is Rahul Gandhi in a celebratory mood when India stands ‘pained’ by China blocking Masood Azhar’s name in the UNSC? I know your tweet must have become news in Pakistan. These days you feel very happy seeing your name in Pakistan (media) headlines,” Prasad said.

Referring to Rahul Gandhi’s visit to China embassy during Doklam tension and his Mansarovar visit, the BJP leader said if the Congress President is so much close to Chinese establishment, he should have used that proximity to persuade China to take a stand against Masood Azhar.

“Why you didn’t?” Prasad asked, adding whether the Congress would adopt a different voice even in the case of a cruel killer and a global terrorist Masood Azhar.

The BJP leader asked Gandhi whether he had said the same thing when China blocked the move in 2009 when the Congress ruled India.

“It is the result of your (Congress) legacy that China is a member of the (UN) Security Council,” he said, referring to then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s diplomacy of the 1960s.

He said this time, France, America and Britain brought the proposal to declare Masood Azhar as a global terrorist. “Except for China, all other countries supported the proposal. China’s step has pained India and its citizens,” Prasad added.

Hitting out at Rahul, Prasad said foreign policy is a serious and sensitive subject and not determined by tweeting.

“Mr Gandhi, do you understand that by this statement today you are seen to be in close proximity to Masood Azhar? Your tweet will be read today in Jaish-e-Mohammad office and will be shown to others. I regret to say with great degree of agony today that the Congress’ commitment in the fight against terror is becoming suspect,” Prasad said.