New Delhi: Attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi for India’s downgraded rankings in several global democracy indices, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said that Iraq’s dictator Saddam Hussein and Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi conducted and won elections as well.
“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.
Gandhi was speaking in online interaction with Brown University professor Ashutosh Varshney, faculty and students. He was asked about the reports of international institutions that recently downgraded India as a democracy.
“An election is not simply people going and pressing a button on a voting machine. An election is about narrative and about institutions that make sure that the framework in the country is operating properly; (it) 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.
Further, Gandhi added that the institutions that must ensure a fair democracy are under assault and there is financial domination and control of media and communications in favour of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“If a party controls WhatsApp and Facebook, it need not attack the polls,” he said, taking a jibe.
Meanwhile, union minister Prakash Javadekar attacked Gandhi for his comment and said that giving a comment on his opinion is worthless.
“Comparing India’s democracy with Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein is an insult to the 80 crore voters. Only during the year of emergency, we witnessed a time like that of Gaddafi and Saddam,” Javadekar told ANI.