Continuing his attack on the Narendra Modi government, during his two-week-long tour to the US, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi mentioned intolerance and unemployment among the key issues posing a threat to India’s national security and development. During his tour to the United States, Gandhi attended a series of the meeting including a roundtable with eminent Indian/ South Asia experts hosted by the Center for American Progress (CAP), a Democratic-leaning think tank.
Among the eminent attendees at the roundtable meeting hosted by CAP were CAP head Neera Tandon, the former US Ambassador to India, Richard Verma, and Hillary Clinton’s top campaign advisor John Podesta. Participants of the meeting said that officials from the Trump administration sought the Congress leader’s views on the US-India relationship and the recently announced Afghanistan and South Asia policy of United States, while Gandhi met Lisa Curtis, the head of the South Asia division at the National Security Council of the White House.
After another closed-door meeting with Rahul Gandhi, Republican strategist Puneet Ahluwalia said, “I would say he did not seem to be somebody who did not understand the issue. He has an understanding of the issue. He came across as more of a grass-roots understanding leader. Everybody when they left they were pretty much very positive with the interaction.”
Earlier, addressing the students at the University of California, Berkeley, Gandhi spoke about issues varying from the dynastic politics to the 1984 riots. Speaking on ‘India at 70: Reflections on the Path Forward’, while Gandhi spoke about contemporary India, he further criticized the ruling Narendra Modi government over unemployment issues, newly introduced economic reforms and the ongoing unrest in Jammu and Kashmir.
Further speaking on dynastic politics during the question-answer session at Berkeley, Gandhi said that most of the country runs in a similar manner. Citing the examples of Akhilesh Yadav (son of Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav), MK Stalin (son of former Tamil Nadu CM M Karunanidhi), Anurag Thakur (son of former Himachal Pradesh CM Prem Kumar Dhumal), Abhishek Bachchan (son of Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan) and others, Rahul Gandhi stated that it’s not just him to be targeted at. Gandhi is the fifth generation of the Nehru-Gandhi family in politics, after his father Rajiv Gandhi, grandmother Indira Gandhi and great-grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru.