As he ramped up his assault on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for India’s declining position in global democracy metrics, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said on Tuesday that Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi both won elections.
“Saddam Hussein and Gaddafi used to have elections. They used to win them. It wasn’t like they weren’t voting but there was no institutional framework to protect that vote,” he said In an online interaction with Brown University professor Ashutosh Varshney, faculty, and students.
“An election is not simply people going and pressing a button on a voting machine. An election is about narrative. An election is about institutions that make sure that the framework in the country is operating properly, an election is about the judiciary being fair, and a debate taking place in parliament. So you need those things for a vote to count,” he said.
Responses By Rahul Gandhi:
Responses of Rahul Gandhi arrived days after he claimed India is “no longer” a democratic country, stating media reports of a Sweden-based institute downgrading India since PM Modi took office in 2014.
“The situation in India is worse, we do not need a stamp regarding that,” Mr. Gandhi said when asked about the downgrade.
“I believe in certain ideas and I defend those ideas. I do not really care what my name is or who my grandfather was. There are certain ideas that I defend and I am going to defend them, whether anybody likes it or not,” Gandhi said.
“I have a role to play in the Congress. I defend a particular ideological color in Congress. I am certainly not going to say thank you very much, I will not defend that ideological position in Congress just because I happen to be so and so’s the son. Why should I?” he asked.
“If you had said to me to step aside when I was not facing the RSS, I would be like yes, I could do that. But if you say that there is this monster that is coming at the ideas that I believe in, then I would say no, I would not back down,” Rahul Gandhi said.
To a question on whether others should become leaders in his party, Mr. Gandhi said, “Absolutely, 100 percent. I am more than happy to push as many leaders as possible and make as many of them successful and that is my record…that is all I do all day long. I push people and push them forward.”
“It is interesting to me that when I am pushing for internal democracy, everybody is saying do not do it,” Gandhi said, adding that neither the BJP nor the BSP or any other political party has elections. “But I believe we have a bigger responsibility and we should have internal elections,” he said.