Minister refutes Rahul Gandhi on foreign service

The BJP has accused Rahul Gandhi of harming India in its ‘hate’ against PM Modi

New Delhi:

Rahul Gandhi’s refrain of there not being enough conversation on Saturday has found its latest target in India’s foreign service, which the Congress leader says has become arrogant and does not listen. The comment prompted a sharp and public rebuttal from External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

“I was talking to bureaucrats in Europe and they were saying that the Indian Foreign Service has completely changed. They don’t listen to anything, they are arrogant. Now they just tell us what orders they are getting. There is no conversation. You can’t, you can’t do this,” Rahul Gandhi said at the Ideas for India conference in London.

Minister S Jaishankar, a former diplomat, contradicting the remarks, called it a “defence of the national interest” and a sign of “trust”.

“Yes, the Indian Foreign Service has changed. Yes, they follow government orders. Yes, they counter the arguments of others. No, it’s not called Arrogance. It’s called Confidence. the national interest.” tweeted the minister along with a 19-second video clip of Rahul Gandhi’s statement.

Joining the exchange was Congress Leader Randeep Surjewala, who posted a counter to the minister’s rebuttal.

“Yes, that’s also called being submissive to political masters in the face of foreign policy bloopers. Yes, that’s called not being able to stand up to China in the face of the illegal occupation of our territory. Yes, it’s called advancing the agenda of a party rather than the Nation,” Randeep Surjewala responded to the Foreign Minister’s tweet attacking Mr. Gandhi.

Asked about the Russian-Ukrainian conflict at the conference, Mr Gandhi drew a parallel with Chinese actions in Ladakh. Like Pakistan, the “deep state” is devouring India, he claimed.

Reports have claimed that the Chinese side is building a second bridge across Pangong Tso Lake in the union territory of Ladakh.

India said on Friday that a second bridge being built by China over Pangong Lake is in an area illegally occupied by that country since 1960.

“We have seen reports of a bridge being built by China over Pangong Lake next to its old bridge,” External Affairs Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi said. “These two bridges are in areas that have continued to be under illegal Chinese occupation since the 1960s,” Bagchi said.

During the conference, Mr. Gandhi criticized the BJP government at the Center on several fronts and alleged that the “deep state” in India was attacking institutions and capturing them.

“What is happening today is that there is a systematic attack on the institutions that allow conversations to take place. There is an attack on the Constitution of India. The result of this attack is that the states of India are no longer in a position to negotiate with the governments,” Mr. Gandhi said.

The BJP accused the Congress leader of harming India in its “hate” against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and alleged that his frequent critical remarks about the country from foreign soils amounted to “betrayal” of him.