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In poll campaign, Rahul Gandhi questions NDA’s foreign policy

Gulbarga: Congress President Rahul Gandhi waves at the public during a meeting in Karnataka, Feb 12, 2018. PTI

Gulbarga: Congress President Rahul Gandhi waves at the public during a meeting in Karnataka, Feb 12, 2018.
PTI

Campaigning in poll-bound Karnataka, Congress president Rahul Gandhi questioned the BJP-led NDA government at the centre on its foreign policy. Gandhi also accused the ruling combine of creating “problems” in India’s foreign policy which has led to an “isolation” of the country in the region.

“Today India is actually isolated in the region,” he told professionals and business people here during an interaction on the last day of his four-day ‘Janashirvad Yatra’ in the northern region of poll-bound Karnataka.

The Congress president also underlined that New Delhi must find a peaceful and not aggressive way to counter Beijing. “We have to find a way, not an aggressive way, not a military way, but a peaceful way to compete with the Chinese,” he said.

Underlining China’s expanding influence, Gandhi said the most important part of a country’s foreign policy was having a “good relationship” with others.

“You see the Chinese have a presence in Nepal, they have a presence in Pakistan, in Sri Lanka, in Maldives… They have a presence in Burma (Myanmar),” Gandhi added.

He also accused that NDA had created a “problem” in India’s foreign policy. India’s “old friend Russia” was now “cosying up to our neighbours on the western side”, he said in an oblique reference to reported growing ties between Pakistan and Russia. “This is actually a serious problem which is not getting discussed,” he said.

Gandhi also criticised the Central government on the front of employment generation. He claimed that while China was creating 50,000 jobs in 24 hours, the NDA government was generating 450 jobs in 24 hours.

“The simple thing is, there is only one measure, not two: how many jobs is India creating and how many jobs is China creating. I’m sad to say that over the last four years it (job creation) has become a really serious problem,” he added.

Gandhi, however, conceded that to an extent even during the Congress-led UPA rule, “we were nowhere near the number of jobs that needed to be created”.

He also spoke about the “massive increase” in the defence budgets of the U.S., China and Russia, and said, “We are now entering a new phase in world politics where you are going to see increased tension between U.S., China and Russians.”

“In this situation, India has to have a clear understanding of the path going forward,” the Congress president said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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