Updated: Mon, 15 Aug 2022 03:32 PM IST
Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday refused to comment on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Independence Day address in which he took a veiled dig at the grand old party, saying "corruption and nepotism" are two big challenges which the country is facing currently.
"I won't make a comment on these things. Happy Independence to everyone," said the Lok Sabha MP from Wayanad when asked about the Prime Minister's "two big challenges" remark.
PM Modi, in his ninth Independence Day address, said corruption, and nepotism and dynasty politics are two of India's biggest challenges, asserting that the country needs to fight them together. Describing nepotism as an "evil", he said India needs to come together against it.
"We need to give opportunities to those who are talented and will work for the progress of the nation. Talent will be the basis of New India," he said. "When I talk about nepotism and dynasty, people think I am talking about politics only. No, unfortunately this evil of politics has nurtured nepotism in every institution."
The Prime Minister said India needs to provide more opportunities to people who deserve it. However, he said that the country only shows "anger towards corruption, but not the corrupted".
"Until and unless, people have the mentality of penalising the corrupt, the nation cannot progress at an optimum pace," he said. "We have to fight against corruption with all our strength. In the last eight years, we detected black money using Aadhaar, DBT and mobile."
However, Rahul's mother and party's interim president Sonia Gandhi hit back at PM Modi and alleged that his government is "trivialising" the sacrifices of freedom fighters. In a long statement, Sonia said the grand old party will strongly oppose the misrepresentation of historical facts and attempt to put leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru in the dock based on falsehood for "political gains".
"Friends, we have achieved a great deal in the last 75 years, but today's self-obsessed government is bent on trivialising the great sacrifices of our freedom fighters and the glorious achievements of the country, which can never be accepted," Sonia said.
"Under the leadership of its visionary leaders, while on one hand, India established a free, fair and transparent election system, on the other, it strengthened democracy and constitutional institutions," she added.