During a press interaction at the Brussels Press Club as part of his European visit, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi underscored the convergence of views among India’s opposition parties and the government regarding Russia and Ukraine. He emphasized India’s sovereign right to cultivate relationships with any nation of its choosing, asserting that maintaining ties with Russia is deeply ingrained and customary. Rahul Gandhi highlighted a unanimous consensus among opposition parties on this matter, with no dissenting viewpoints.
Addressing questions about India’s continued oil purchases from Russia despite Western sanctions, Rahul Gandhi stated that India’s relationship with Russia is characterized by historical continuity and is intrinsic to the nation’s foreign policy. He further articulated that the consensus on this issue remains unwavering within the opposition spectrum.
Regarding China, the Congress Member of Parliament (MP) commented on China’s distinctive global vision, noting its prowess in achieving production excellence within a coercive framework. He observed the absence of a corresponding alternative vision from India that promotes production within a democratic context. Rahul Gandhi emphasized China’s ability to deliver economic prosperity to its citizens without extending political freedoms, suggesting that India could counter this by establishing a democratic production system that provides both economic and political freedom. He highlighted the potential for significant collaboration between India and Europe in pursuing this objective.
Gandhi also criticized the government for not extending an invitation to the Congress President for the G20 dinner hosted by the President. He remarked, “They have decided not to invite the Leader of the Opposition. It tells you that they don’t value the leader of 60 per cent of India’s population.”
Expressing concern about institutional erosion, Gandhi stated, “There are serious concerns about the actions being taken concerning institutions and democracy. The democratic structures of the country are under attack from a group of people who are running India.”
Responding to a question about his stance on the abrogation of Article 370, Rahul Gandhi affirmed, “Our position on Article 370 is very clear. It’s in a resolution passed in the CWC. We are for ensuring that every single person in our country has a voice and is allowed to express themselves. We feel very strongly that Kashmir should develop, Kashmir should progress, and there should be peace.”
He also criticized the Centre, saying, “Minorities including Dalits, tribal, and lower-caste communities are under attack. There is an attempt to change the nature of our country. BJP wants power and wealth to be centralized.”